Monthly Archives: May 2010

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Today we went to the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  I’d show you pictures, but for some reason they don’t allow them there.  It is as though I would take them and pass the artwork off as my own.  That being said, you should go there if you find yourself in Indianapolis.  It is free entry, and it is right next to a beautiful garden that you can also tour (which is worth seeing, free).  I’m not what you would call an art ‘fan’, but I also figure that art is important to explore and learn about (in the context of non-naked art).  We had a great time looking at various bits, but at present there were two installations that I really thought were interesting.

The first exhibit we looked at that I enjoyed a lot was a fashion exhibit.  While I’m a t-shirt and jeans guy the exhibit showed styles and dresses from the last 100 years and what blew me away was that many of them could have been worn by people today.  It made me think that maybe the newness of those things we see on reality TV is really just recycling and re-hashing.  I also enjoyed that one designer took a man’s suite, tore it apart and turned it into a woman’s dress and in so doing made a creative expression, but also mocked the designers of the time (or so said my wife, who knows about these things and is a regular commentator on all things fashion).  There was also an interesting display that showed dress patterns over several hundred years, but all of the patterns were done in the same white material so you could observe the gradual changes in the patterns and not be distracted by the materials and prints/weaves that they would have had.  My engineer/nerd self was quite pleased with this display.

Secondly they had the most awesome marble-on-a-track fixture.  It was large and went through no less than 4 rooms.  It took about 5 minutes to complete (possibly longer) and the girls and I ran after the marble.  Except that the marble was a volleyball sized plastic ball and the track was huge.  If you miss the Indy 500 (and I would), this is another race to see, and the crashes never happen so you don’t have to worry about the plastic marbles dying.

One other thing I thought was cool was a 360/mobeus strip sort of model sailing ship.  I’m not sure how to describe it, but it was a perfect example of the sort of thing that was at once creative and abnormal as well as very detailed and precise.

If you find yourself in Indy, go there, you won’t be sad you did.

I Suppose I Should Take This Advice

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

C. S. Lewis

I enjoy exaggeration.  There is something that feels compelling, exciting and at the very least mischievous about pushing things to a limit.  So when I read this quote I wanted to stop and meditate on it because I have had moments where this principle came home to roost.  In arguments.  In attempting to let my children know that they were not to do something again (or I’ll rip your lips off and paste them to your forehead).  In despising a food or circumstance.  The truth of the matter is that I will probably exaggerate until I reach death or an old age or becoming mute.  Even then this blog may live on for a time as a monument to my folly.  So  I shall be very grateful to Mr. Lewis for sharing this bit of wisdom, but I shall be infinitely grateful to him for other principles such as the principle of the safety of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia:

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Think about that for a few moments.

An Old Poem: A Work in Progress

This is an old poem I wrote a long time ago, just sharing it because its relevance in my life seems somewhat familiar given that I wrote this well before I ever got into computer (I was going to be a professional musician at this point in time):

We’ve paved the streets of heaven
in circuit boards and glass
and the joy it brings in this lifetime
never seems to last

And minute steaks and rice and prayers
hold us over for a while
the trade of love for business
is a signature of style

Work so hard for 2,000 feet
two cars in a garage
60 hours a meager week
in this life’s intense barrage

Where are we going?
are our hearts broken?
I guess it’s a work in progress
I guess it’s a work in progress [ed.: See the double entendre there?  I was so clever]

We paint the face of Jesus
in a lovely modern mark
He loved to walk and teach us
He loved to love from His heart

[ed.: and apparently that's all I wrote]

I think this was supposed to be a song, but I don’t find any trace of chords, nor do I recall any :)

Discover: Making Notes of Things

I just got what is the fourth call from the Discover card company (a company we’re working hard to sever ties with as soon as we can).  The first call they asked Jessica if she wanted to take advantage of an offer.  She declined after they smoothly talked her into what was a courtesy call that transitioned into an additional feature with monthly fees.  She was a little ticked.  Then they called back and said she hadn’t finished answering the questions from the previous call.  She was even more ticked.  They called earlier today but we didn’t answer because she was still not thrilled by their diligence.  They called just now and I answered (Jessica was not home). I tried to tell the guy on the phone she had declined and he said, “I’ll make note of that.”  I asked him to wait (it sounded like he was hanging up) and then he said, “What did I just say, sir?”  I said, “I’m not sure, tell me again.”

“I said I’ll make note of that.”

Me: “Make note of what?”

Discover Rep: “That she declined the offer.”

Me: “OK, thank you.”

The reason I asked him to clarify was this: “Making note” doesn’t necessarily mean “I have filled out the form she declined and we won’t bother you any more for at least 6 months.”  It could mean, “This woman’s husband is a crackhead, do not talk to him.”

Hercules: A Miniature Poodle Story

I won’t explain entirely why we got a poodle pup, but I will tell you this: he’s going to be called ‘girl’, ‘her’ and ‘she’ for most of his life by strangers because little, white, fluffy dogs lend themselves to it.  Not my fault.  But tonight we had a funny moment at the pet store.  We had to go get a name tag so as to make sure when he escapes (and some time he will) he has a chance of being found, identified, and we can get a phone call (ideally).  Evie was with Jessica and I and she handed the checker our bright red heart shaped name tag.  The checker asked, “Did you get a new puppy?”

Evie joyfully replied, “Yes! His name is Hercules.”

The checker then enquired, “Hercules?  Is he a big dog?”

Jessica and I both laughed out loud and she explained to the checker that Hercules was a miniature poodle.  I predict this will be the first of many times that assumption comes about.  There is no better ‘worst possible’ name for this dog.  Except maybe “white armpit beast” which was one of my more creative suggestions.  The family declined that name in favor of something else.