AWOL

It’s been a while, my 2 semi-interested readers. 

Shame on me.

When last I blogged in earnest, I was sussing through my educational decisions and dilemmas.  I have also done a lot of existential dusting and sorting in the last month and have come out a  more enlightened and satisfied person. So there’s that.

As far as school is concerned, it seems our ever dwindling class of (for now) 6 is a bona fide bunch of culinary badasses. Who knew?   We knocked out a kickin’ spread for our grand buffet day this week

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and are pushing our way through the sustainable block.  From here on, it’s all about doing what we now know we can.  The one drawback we seem to have?  Baking.  As evidenced in a previous blog, I am well aware baking will never be my strong point.  As it happened, our decorating day in the last baking block fell on my birthday.  I frosted myself a Dr Suess inspired monstrosity (sad and laughable – but I’m ok with that)

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then went on to plate some fairly passable desserts.

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Outside school, I’ve indulged in several noteworthy live music experiences lately. They include the Will Callers at Waterloo, The Wheeler Brothers and Whiskey Sisters at Blues on the Green,[loved the music, fought the crowd and heat]  Symphony In the Park on the Long Center lawn,

 

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 The Taming of the Shrew [hilariously well done with period music] and my favorite of the bunch – and birthday present to myself – The Tedeschi Trucks Band at Austin City Limits. A friend came along, and I managed to control my impulses well enough to keep my panties on all evening.  The band was exhausting, dancing at every possible opportunity, throwing one big, musically miraculous stage party.  I love Derek Trucks… sigh… He is the great guitar god of my generation.

 

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My parents were back in town after the melee, visiting for a quick post-birthday weekend, during which my air conditioning was on the fritz and I was suffering from overheated crankiness. (Hello, Walley World). Nevertheless, it was, as always, great to actually see them and visit, and we managed to squeeze in some shopping, art perusal, a museum, and good food.

The Austin Art Garage is exactly what it advertises – a warehouse style housing of local art.  But they are pleasantly displayed and the artists up when we visited were all appealing in different ways.

mail (335)The Natural History Museum had super cool information and thematic floors. Some of my favorites included

Dinoturtles

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Meteorites

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And this guy

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Now that the AC is once again functional, I’m thinking of things to cook and to do the next time I am lucky enough to entertain guests.  Any suggestions out there?  Throw them my way! And tell me, friends, family, bloggers, what’s shakin’ in your world lately?

 

 

 

 

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Museums and May

mailCATXSV20Yesterday was International Museum Day. When I discovered that fact, I couldn’t have been happier to have the perfect excuse to plunder Austin on exhibit. That’s just the nerd I am.

To observe the occasion I decided to visit a couple of local spots – a difficult choice, given the volumes housed in the area, not to mention state.

But there are more days in the year. More weekends to fill. More blogs to post at some later date. For now, a brief sidetrack:

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(After driving my otherwise reasonably temperature controlled vehicle around town for an hour or so) It’s mid May. Balls to that!

Back on track –

I settled on the Austin Museum of Art’s Arthouse – one of two locations housing its works, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Both, as it turns out, illuminating and entertaining choices.

When I stepped into the Arthouse, I was personally welcomed by its staff, briefed on the exhibits, and told admission fees were waived in celebration of Museum Day. (Classy first impression, check!)

The first exhibit, “Constructed Landscapes” by Seher Shah, was both aesthetically interesting and intricate in its simplified form.

Oh hell, I’m no art critic. But I did like it. Here it is:

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Then I wandered into a short film exhibit, featuring Cinthia Marcelle and Tiago M Machado’s “O Seculo.” It was about ten minutes of trash being chucked into a street, complete with sound. I’m told it represents the industrial growth of the twentieth century. I consider myself a thoughtful, fairly open minded person in these matters. I sat through it twice, just to give myself time to mull it over. I get it – sort of. But the mundane presentation left me underwhelmed. Maybe that was the point.

A still:

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Finally, the interactive work titled “Temporary Insanity” by Pinaree Sanpitak consisted entirely of varying orb-like shapes meant to represent the female form, which responded to movement by rocking, humming, and creating their own rhythm. A concept I would have enjoyed exploring on my own… as it was, I found myself in the company of polyester-pantsed, sensibly shoed seniors who clapped, stomped and shouted at the artwork in an attempt to coax responses.

“Pearl, which one you wanna talk to?”

Oh well.

On second thought, what a fabulous idea for a children’s experience. Field trip, anyone?

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Next stop, the Bullock Museum, featuring the “Story of Texas.” The three level building houses a comprehensive history of the state, from native roots

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to pirates – or rather, their remains

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to missions

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and the moon.

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I was one of about 5 people NOT there to see the IMAX version of the new Star Trek movie… Although that would be cool, too. I found it a very well presented experience, far more impressive than even swelling Texas pride, more informative and thoughtful than so many stereotypes might offer. I feel all citizens, no matter where, should make the effort to learn about the places they inhabit. I know I plan to continue to do so.

Thinking back, there are other places that made big impressions on me over the years. A short list of some of my favorites:

The Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, FL

The Hershey Museum, Hershey, PA

The Ben Franklin Museum, Philadelphia, PA

The Smithsonian Museum of Art and National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

The Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, MS

The D-Day Museum, New Orleans, LA

The Pink Palace Museum, Memphis, TN

The American Textile History Museum, Boston, MA

The Natural History Museum, Salt Lake City, UT

The Field Museum, Chicago, IL

There are too many!

What are some of your favorite museums? Maybe they’ll be next on my list.