I spent Thursday morning lounging around and reading Geek Love, a book I’d unsuccessfully tried to mooch on BookMooch for going on three months (I honestly don’t know why I keep trying, every experience I’ve had with that site makes me loathe it and humanity more) and eventually broke down and purchased after bringing terror down on a Barnes & Noble bathroom one afternoon. Around noon, when my camera battery was fully charged, I walked the three miles to Balboa Park to see what I could see.
The first area that I wandered around was the artists’ gallery, where visitors can observe craftspeople at work, purchase their work, and occasionally also take classes in the trade. I didn’t see many artists at work, and the area was mostly quiet save for the classical guitarist sitting in the middle of the venue.
After I had seen what there was to see in the artists’ gallery, I walked to the cactus and rose garden areas of the park. I actually expected to prefer the rose gardens, but was struck by the variety of cactus species and the way they were arranged; the cacti were in a more natural arrangement which gave the area a power that the bricked-off roses did not have. Equally amazing was how quickly the power and beauty of the area was sapped when some douchebag decided to bring a boombox and blast Bon Jovi. Go ride your steel horse into traffic, cowboy.
I was really saddened and disappointed to see that people had taken it upon themselves to carve their names into the cacti, to rip up the dedication plates on the benches in the rose pavillion and to tag the hell out of the benches and pavillion itself. What did they get out of it, besides ruining something nice for other people? When I mentioned this to my dad later, he said that one of his recurring fantasies is to just appear out of nowhere with a baseball bat when people like this are tagging, break their legs, and disappear into the night; a different sort of batman. I am pretty much my father’s daughter.
I wandered around the park proper for a while, people-watching. The botanical gardens were closed, which was a little disappointing, as I’ve enjoyed that area in the past.
After a time, I went into the Timken Museum of Art, and while I shouldn’t complain about a free museum, I’m going to do so regardless. The staff loomed unpleasantly at every room entrance, and it’s hard to focus on art when you can feel eyeballs boring holes into your back. What’s worse, though, and any decent curator should know this, is that very reflective paintings were displayed high on the walls near the light source, rendering them impossible to see. What, exactly, is the point of having a museum where you cannot actually see the works of art?
After the disappointment of the Timken, I washed the taste out of my mouth with one of the pay museums–the Museum of Man, which was currently running three exhibits: one on ancient South American Indian civilizations, one on the evolution of man, and one on the Egyptians and mummification, all of which are right up my alley.
This is Gigantopithecus, the largest known primate. No, they did not have a stuffed Bigfoot inside the museum.
Here they showed a series of related primates:
Here I just wanted to take a picture of some caveman wang:
Not all robot feet look like that. This display is discriminatory against robots, I feel. Also, my feet are much daintier than any of those.
Then I got to play dig site, which didn’t really have any relevance to anything else in the museum, but what the hell:
After I’d finished with the Museum of Man, it was just about time to walk back and meet my dad for dinner. We ended up going to El Indio, which is one of my favorite Mexican places ever even though I get the totally gringo white trash trailer park of taste California burrito (carne asada, cheese, and french fries all wrapped in a flour tortilla. Yeah, you read that correctly.) and a mysterious beverage called ‘BANG!’.
After dinner, we walked down the street and bought some gelato, and I brought up the idea of going to school for makeup special effects. I did not expect my dad to be supportive of the idea at ALL as he’s always discouraged me when I looked at ‘arty’ careers, so I was floored when he said he thought that sort of career would be a perfect fit for me and that I should definitely go for it. So far I’m still looking at schools, but it’s nice to feel like I’ve got a path in front of me and that I’m not in it alone.