Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ryan's Birthday Week - part 1

Somehow I managed not to update this space for a week and left it on a depressing note. Sorry everybody! Really, my life isn't so tragic. I try and stay positive -- even in light of Monkey's passing, I have to give thanks for having known him at all. To have loved and lost and all that...


Last weekend marked the start of Ryan's Birthday Week! Yay! And it also happened to coincide with Brian visiting from New York, Pete visiting from New Jersey, and Trevor & Jordie visiting from Berkeley so it was a weekend chock-full of friends too.

On Friday, I met up with Pete and the gang for an avalanche of sushi, which was great but sent me directly into a coma. Luckily, I was able to recover by lazing around the house that night and finishing up some commission pieces and sent Ryan out to Art Dork Club with the boys. Since I hadn't seen Joe or Dave on their birthdays, I whipped up some custom peg people just for them [details coming soon to my Giddy Crafts blog http://giddycrafts.blogspot.com/] and had Ryan deliver them at Art Dork Club, where they were well-received.

On Saturday, Ryan and I met Kate and Brian at the Skirball Cultural Center & Museum in LA to see their Golden Age of Comic Books exhibit (now closed, so the link has disappeared from their site), which was really neat. Photography was only allowed in select areas, so I don't have much to show from that part of the day except...

Super Kate
super flying
Super Punch-Out Ryan
Super Cheesy Valentine
Superman Valentine - Skirball Cultural Center
"I'm not a bit like Superman. Can't hear through walls made of brick, so if you like me Valentine, come out and say so quick!"

The exhibit had original artwork from all the Golden Age masters, which made Ryan and Brian drool with excitement. The two of them were like kids in a candy shop and Kate and I did our best to keep up. "Ooh, yes, I do see that linework. Uh huh, how nice!"

After having more fun than was technically legal (surprisingly strict!), we headed over to see the Noah's Ark exhibit. Ok, so I was totally unprepared for this and had NO idea what it was. So it was completely mind-blowing when I got in there. Firstly, you start in a small room with a 'guide' who gives an extremely brief overview of the Flood Story and how it exists in nearly every culture around the world in some form or another and how the Noah story centers on the saving of the animals, via a giant boat. After this explanation, you're lead into a giant exhibit with all of these animals that were made from recycled materials and nearly all of them were kinetic sculptures. They were simply amazing. I was totally agog.

Ryan & the rockin' zebra

oh no!

Further into the exhibit were interactive stations where kids (or adults!) could pump water into a display to show the rising waters of the flood

pumping the water floats the boat

Or crank up an electric charge to create lightning or pull a rope that activated piano wires to create the sound of thunder. There was also a giant giraffe that could be manipulated by a mechanism on the ground, so that he was looking back and forth.

Brian, controlling the giraffe

And then there was the Ark. In every available space were more re-purposed structure animals and also lots of ones that were made for playing and touching (like puppets and dolls) and giant crates, showing the necessary provisions for the journey, like vegetables and beans. (that sounds really dull, but they were cool, because you could crawl inside them and each had interactive portions) To get the full effect, check out the Noah's Ark page on the museum's website.

Inside the Ark, in addition to the toys and interactive bits, were display cabinets with crafted versions of the Ark Story from countries and cultures around the world. My favorite was the "American" version, featuring "Old McNoah" on a tractor, towing his animals to safety - talk about cheesy! I love it!!

At the end of the exhibit is the Dove of Peace, which is made from a harpsichord (?) and guitar picks.

dove w/olive branch

Outside is the Rainbow Arc, where there is a constant fine mist (which is perfect on a hot day!) that creates a rainbow effect. We all thought the mist would be very light and subtle and so the boys walked through it - and came out soaked to the bone. Still, very refreshing, even if it was surprising!

Ryan running through the rainbow at Skirball Cultural Center

After all the excitement of comic books and animals lined up two-by-two, we headed off to get some lunch/dinner/linner, during which Kate gave Ryan his present: a Pistol Pedro belt buckle!! Ryan and I are in love with Michele Valigura's art (plug for my Peter Pan statue!) and this belt buckle is awesome in SO many ways. Firstly, it's a Valigura piece. 'Nuff said. THEN it's a belt buckle, which he just happens to need. And THEN it's got a spinning moustache!!!! Which is perfect for Ryan, who happens to be enamoured with spinning belt buckles, ever since Christy & The S Squad brought him back a skull & crossbones spinning buckle from Thailand.

Ryan and his new belt buckle

I happened to have a necklace chain in my purse (why not?) so Ryan was able to wear the buckle during dinner and repeatedly spin his 'stache.

Although we SWORE that we wouldn't, we ate too much. So after we sat and digested a bit, we headed out to Griffith Observatory. It was surprisingly busy! I hadn't expected that big of a crowd... but I guess we're not the only science nerds (yes we were, but that's ok). We watched the new Planetarium show which was AMAZING. I'd go see it again in a heartbeat (anyone? anyone?). Although there was one minor hiccup, which was that there was a young girl behind us who cried and moaned through the entire show because she wanted to leave (the poor thing was in the middle of a panic attack) but her parents -- to say they were 'icky' doesn't nearly do it justice -- didn't want to take her out, so she wailed through the entire show. Which was distracting and rude and... did I mention how icky those people were? Buh.

ANYWAY. We came out of the theater feeling the majesty of the universe and the insignificance of us all and then we saw this, sitting right outside...

low orange moon, taken at Griffith Observatory

It was entrancing, to say the least. It reminded me of Kevin Kidney's recent post about the giant moon model at the Observatory and we set out to find it. Eventually, we did, although it was nearing closing time (15 minutes left!) and the guard wouldn't let us go over see it. I asked nicely and even pleaded our case, that we'd driven all the way up here and just wanted to see it and he was kind of jerky and said "Well, we have to close sometime! Come back another day!" That kind of put me into a pout and I apologize to my friends, because I was really irked. We were the ONLY people over there and we're respectful people and not some crazy gang bangers looking for an opportunity to tag up the museum. It wouldn't have hurt for him to let a couple little ladies peek at the giant moon. But no. Stupid stinkypants.

But the night did end on a high note. Ryan used the uni-sex bathrooms and came out laughing because the lady (an obviously foreign visitor) had used the urinal as a toilet. I guess she was expecting a public bidet? So she used the one that she thought was meant for #1. Which was funny and it kept us giggling the whole way home.


mimilove forever said...

Aw, not depressing just a whole lotta loving for your wee chappy x

I'm totally envious of your life, you have fabby outings and fun...I'm coming to live with you! x;0)

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