sienamystic: (surly bonds)
There are few things that tell you you're in the future as posting an online journal entry from an airplane. Usually the wifi isn't free and I don't bother paying for it, but I had an idea for the draft I'm pecking away at and decided to spend the $2.50 just to get it down before I forgot about it. So I'm at a window seat, looking out a the great wing of the airplane and the clouds lit with the setting sun and looking just like they do in a Constable painting.

We're returning from southern Florida, where I with great delight danced at my dear friend's wedding. She's marrying a very sweet guy, and it was heartbreakingly wonderful watching her beam from ear to ear throughout the ceremony and reception. The bride and I and my friend Persia, also in attendance, met somewhere around 1990 in high school and have been friends ever since, so spending two days in the company of Persia plus getting time with the bride when we could (lots of family and other friends who all need attention!) and all in all had a marvelous time. My husband is also great friends with both of them and he has had a great time as well, especially since we had a little time on the beach. Not, alas, in the actual water - in the rush to pack we forgot that swimsuits would be nice, and anyway it was raining intermittently the whole time - but we got to hang out and sniff the salt air and listen to the waves for a little bit.

The ceremony was very brief (a family member who is also a justice of the peace married them) and Persia and I cried shamelessly, and then there was dinner and dancing and it was all wonderful.

Oh, and the husband has also fallen in love with the area we were in (He's always been a beach guy) and is now agitating to move there. There is a wonderful museum in the area that we visited the morning of the wedding but alas there would have to be some convenient vacancies open because I think their staff is not much bigger than ours is and so they probably don't need extra registrars hanging around.
sienamystic: (mermaid)
Well, back from the road, but about to head out again in a few days. Here are some photos from Syracuse, NY - mostly of the Everson Museum and works therein.

Everson Museum sculpture court
I.M. Pei's first museum building. Lots of concrete. A really impressive interior, an exterior I think could use a little softening.

the knitting porcupine )

Plus I was fed at an incredible restaurant named Sparky Town (amazing lentil soup and mushroom-cheese quiche, plus brownies to die for) and wandered around the Armory Square area and had a coffee at a place called Freedom of Espresso. All in all, a very nice trip.
sienamystic: (Bourne)
Bemo and I met up with some friends in Wilber, NE (The "Czech capitol of America!") for their annual Czech Days Festival. It's a really nice event - one of those small-town things where they're happy to have you there spending your dollars on funnel cakes and touring the tiny museum, but they'd be there anyway, with their giant range of polka bands (from little kiddies to oldsters), dancers (ditto), electing the queen, prince, and princess of the festival, and eating kolaches, the traditional danish/jelly doughnut-esqe pastry that the town is very proud of.

Their little town museum is also a fun place to wander around. It's full of scary department store mannequins dressed in historic costumes, odds and ends that townsfolk have donated, period-rooms-of-a-sort (complete with listening stations consisting of a cd player and headphones), and a woman weaving rag rugs sitting in the storefront.

wilbur 002
A display of wrenches

One of my museum-coworker friends said that it made her feel great and sad at the same time - it was awesome that the townsfolk could come in and point out a dentist chair to their kid and go, "I sat there when I was your age! It was so scary!" But we both feel sad about the fact that nobody there knows how to preserve most of this stuff long-term, and it's deteriorating before everyone's eyes. Generally, these museums are run on a budget of minus five, and have a volunteer staff who love their collection but don't know how to care for it in the slightest. I think there are publications geared towards these sorts of museums, but they may not know about them. Perhaps we could find a way to send them over, but sometimes it doesn't matter if you know how to preserve, for example, a heavily beaded dress (hint - don't let it just hang off a regular hanger and don't pin post-it notes to it with straight pins) if you don't have the storage furniture, staff to store it, money to buy acid-free tissue paper and the training to know how to pad it out carefully, mannequins that will hold it without stress, etc.

surprised stuffed bunny is surprised )

We then went to the Wilbur Hotel and ate duck with dumplings (and sausage with dumplings, and pork with dumplings) and really incredible sauerkraut that I surprised myself by scarfing up with great enthusiasm, and rye bread, and the aforementioned dumplings with were little extruded tubes that looked a lot like string cheese and had gravy on them, and applesauce and onion rings (Bemo insisted) and more kolaches and lemonade.

hot men holding swords from days long ago )

And then we all waddled over (sauerkraut and those dumplings made for a pretty heavy meal) to a nearby quilt show. At this point Bemo and I bid them farewell and headed off to Omaha to look for a dress for me (they apparently went off and found a tank, judging by a photo I just saw on Facebook). I found a dress in Von Maur (a chiffony purpley pretty thing) that will work as my Best Woman dress for mom's upcoming wedding, and I'm glad I found it because I was feeling discouraged about the poor selection of dresses I had been finding up until now. (PS, am feeling discouraged about my weight and my eating habits again, which is funny to say after a description of eating sausage and dumplings, but it's mostly my day-to-day eating that I'm fighting with again, and so am feeling particularly unattractive and not in the best frame of mind to buy a pretty dress.)

And then we bought cat food and dish soap and diet soda and cleaning products because I am going to try and not leave my catsitter a filthy apartment to face. And we came home and did laundry as a giant storm rolled in, all yellow sky and ferocious winds and a few tree branches down in our front yard right as it started, and also the power flickered but thankfully didn't go off. It's cool and I have the windows open, much to the delight of the cats. Ratchet is particularly chuffed as he's been permitted to escort me to the basement laundry room a couple of times (he's good about not getting stuck anywhere or running off and evading me, so he gets to trot down the two flights of stairs and howl at the doors of the storage areas down there. I do not know what is in his tiny cat brain.

Tomorrow will be spent cleaning, I think. And lazing about, that too.
sienamystic: (Venice)
I hope the lady got away

Corcoran, Washington, D.C.

St. Louis

Mar. 17th, 2010 11:53 am
sienamystic: (This is art)
Did a lightning-fast trip to St. Louis, four days - two of which were spent in transit to and from. Met up with my sister and her boyfriend, of whom I have given an official sisterly stamp of approval. Visited our grandmother, drove to my father's hometown, after which I am named, and consumed mass quantities of Oberle Dog, a summer sausage made in the area that is the delicious porky smell of our childhood. And then we visited a competing meats/deli place down the street and all ate pork steaks.

Interspersed was a quick visit to the St. Louis Art Museum (where I saw one of my favorite Zurburan paintings, Saint Francis Contemplating a Skull) and a much longer (and more rollicking) visit to the St. Louis City Museum, which is a critter of a different kind. It's the brainchild of an artist, and I have no idea how they sorted out the liability insurance. It's a four or five story building riddled with slides and holes and crawling tunnels and man made caves covered with mosaics, and a rather grubby aquarium that we did not pay to go into, and a learn-how-to-be-in-the-circus center, and an area where you slide all around in your socks down ramps, a place where you build big walls out of plastic tubs and then swing on a rope into them, a place to cut elaborate snowflake designs, a big ride-on train, an exhibit of architectural fragments from buildings and a collection of doorknobs of all kinds. Best of all, there is an exterior climbing place built out of salvaged materials which include a tower, two airplanes, a cupola, part of a crane, a tree, and much more - all connected with stairs and metal mesh tunnels and spiral staircases. It's adult-friendly too, although I wish I could have experienced something like this as a kid - talk about a place to let yourself run wild. My sister and I (and her boyfriend on the first run - Bemo sat this one out on account of girth, bad knees, and no real interest) ran wild through the place, giggling like a pair of crazed ferrets and taking photos of everything. There were places we couldn't go, on account of our own girth, but we managed to shimmy through just about everywhere else.

And then, home and back to work. I have finally completed the text of the gallery guide for my exhibition, and it has been edited so all I need to do is present our publications guy with the text so he can send it off for printing. Squee!
sienamystic: (Default)
Have been meaning to finally visit it for years, finally stopped in for a very quick peek. The building is gorgeous both inside and out (although I understand from other museum workers that it was not precisely designed with function in mind) and I can vouch for the cafe being expensive but delicious. If you have a hankering for buffalo, you can definitely satisfy your craving there, that's for sure. Me, I had something more basic, since I was just after a snack. Mmm, spicy Mexican hot chocolate and frybread with honey. I haven't had frybread in ages.

Alas, I only got the chance to quickly scope out the rest of the building. I can say that when you enter in on the ground floor, it rather has the feel of a very nice, contemporary office building that happens to be owned by somebody with a big Native American art collection who wanted to show it off. That is, it was very pretty but somehow a little bit sterile. Or maybe not sterile exactly, but glossy in a way that reminded me of office buildings or very glamorous hotels, which is reinforced by the glitzy gift shop with the very pricy art for sale. On the other hand, the exterior landscaping is just fantastic - very well done.

I've heard quite a few bad reviews about exhibits in the building being badly laid out, or confusing, or difficult to see properly, but I didn't get the chance to really check it out. I'll go back at some point, drink more hot chocolate, and give a proper review.

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