It was date day, Linda's choice. I'd given her a local see and do adventure book for her birthday and she's circled in all her desires (nearly every page) and we're now in the process of ticking them off. As always I woke late and got moving slowly, then thought to spend a few minutes admiring myself in front of the computer. The few minutes turned into an hour or more and the lovely wife got a little cranky as she's wont to do. Finally, as is our ritual, she walked down here to the whine cellar, crossed her lovely alabaster arms and tapped her attractively miniature foot so as to remind me I am an incorrigible toad; and within moments I was showering and dressing in my "boys can do this in 5 minutes, nya nya" way.
It was off to the
Bell Museum of Natural History to the strains of "we'll never see both
museums now, you always say you'll be right there and you never are",
followed closely by "hey don't drive like a maniac, I'm just sayin..."
we were there on the beautiful University of Minnesota campus where I
hobbled a block to the entrance and tried to shoot a few pictures so as
to document a wonderful day out with the little woman. After two shots,
the battery crapped out. I was on a roll.
The museum though, was
fascinating; forty or fifty dioramas all done during the 30s as I
understand it with artists being paid through the WPA or the post stock
market crash federal work program. It's like any work of art, if you
don't know what you're looking at it seldom seems spectacular. But when
you understand that each piece of greenery is hand painted wax, each
needle on each conifer, each blade of grass on each meadow... and every
clod of dirt is positioned perfectly by someone offering their
interpretation of the random perfection of nature, it's a pretty amazing
From there we were off to a modern art museum on the
campus and since parking is a pain I had to walk the mile or so woe is
me. I did my normal share of moaning and groaning, cursing and swearing
never to do this agains, punctuated by a shameless "see how much I suffer
in your name? I must really love you" blurb. But the walk was easy
compared to viewing the "art".
What is it about the majority of
what qualifies as modern art that makes me feel so superior? Why is it
when I leave a museum like that I feel so incredibly depressed because
I'm not the wealthiest man on the planet? That had I only spit my
toothpaste foam onto a corkboard every morning for five years and framed
it, I might have had my 15 minutes of fame long ago and at this moment
could have been talked about by beret clad students all over the world
as the creator of toothpaste spittle art; a title that would put me
right up there with Micheal Jackson and dead guys that framed soup cans.
it (the modern art) was a bore, but a husband's bullet to take. I am
now one up on the "cmon it'll be fun" chart and the next time the
Bavarian Midget Circus and Bowling Troupe is in town, there won't be any
"aww do I have to?" from Mrs. you know who.