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Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’

Museum Musings

Back in January when Yim and I went to the Cleveland Museum of Art to see the Paul Gauguin exhibit, we had a good bit of fun.  Museums are great diversions.  They open your mind and leave you feeling alive and a part of this world.  Anyone with a creative cell in their body and a pulsating heart in their chest will recognize this.  And hasn’t everyone my age wanted to have a day like this for themselves since 1986?:

Thank you, Ferris Bueller.

And that’s not all.  Woody Allen fans can certainly relate to the museum as a location for dramatic emphasis.

Back in Cleveland, Yim and I had time to tour some of the other wings of the museum before heading home.  We found expression amidst the sculptures.

In Gallery 9 (my favorite number), the gallery of European Art: Mythology, History & Portraiture, I saw something that caught my eye. 

The useless little toe on this alabaster foot looked familiar.  As did the plump hanging lobe of this ear.  You know, either your lobes hang or they don’t.

The conclusion?  Napoleon’s niece looks like young me.

That’s Elisa Baciocchi, daughter of the Grand-Duke of Tuscany.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Now, when Lord Mycol was a baby he had a halo of blond curls framing his chubby cheeks, blue eyes, and plump lips.

He was just like a little cupid.  And while baby cupids are cute, teenage cupids can sometimes be comical.

Do these guys resemble each other? That’s Cupid on the left and Lord Mycol on the right.  If you click on the link you will see the painting in its entirety.  The description calls this ‘humorous eroticism’, and the museum decided to up the ante with their first question to the right of the photo.  Go ahead, click it.

When we left Gallery 9 and turned the corner into the Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection, I was in utter awe of this painting.

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I saw it from a distance and approached it directly.  I was pleased to read the placard beside it.

And once again I was struck by the European resemblance.  19th century Italian peasant child on the left, 21st century Italian pleasant child on the right.

A visit to the museum will show you how everything has changed, and yet it has all remained the same.

Lastly, before going to see the Gauguin exhibit we researched some of his works online.  I really liked The Swineherd and decided I would like it as a gift for my birthday.

I was good and got my wish.  Now it is matted and framed and above my mantel, where every time I look at it I can remember all of the good memories I just shared with you.

And F**k you very much WordPress for making it so extremely “easy” to put up posts like this.  If someone can explain to me in logical terms why the dashboard editing page should not be identical to the product that will publish for public viewing, I’d love to hear it.  It was absolutely not my intention to place words between my photos, but after toying around with the editing page for THREE HOURS and still not being able to reach a true solution, I settled on publishing this sub-standard layout.  Please excuse me, it was not meant as art.

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The Art of Suffering

Last year I wanted to go to NYC and see the exhibit “Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night” at MoMa.  Unfortunately, we missed it and since then I have been periodically checking art museums within a reasonable radius for exhibits I might like to see.  Recently, Yim and I were able to plan a day trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art for the exhibit “Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889”.   We brought along Yim’s son Nicholas who is an aspiring artist.  We primed ourselves and Nicholas on Gauguin’s biography and artwork before going.  The exhibit was worth seeing and I was interested to learn details of Gauguin’s life that I had not known before.  Paul Gauguin was desperately troubled.  His health waned at the hand of alcoholism and the contraction of syphilis.  He suffered financial losses and depression.  He tried to kill himself.  But failed.  It’s almost as if he were the embodiment of  Cleveland, Ohio!
Since I had originally wanted to see the Van Gogh exhibit I was glad to learn that Paul and Vincent knew one another.  Some of their works look as if the two were holding hands while painting.  One of my favorite Gauguin paintings is At the Cafe.

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Obviously the same place as Van Gogh’s The Night Cafe, which I love equally.

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One of my favorite phenomenons of the world is how groups of artistic people find each other, feed one another’s creative geniuses, develop a name for themselves, i.e. “impressionists”,  and then go down in history together.

Gauguin tried to escape his Cleveland and eventually laid to rest in French Polynesia, but before he died he spent time in Martinique, which is now on my life list of places to go.

I do not, however, recognize a need to return to Cleveland ever again.

But is is worth it to watch another video about Cleveland:

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I think this pretty much sums up driving through Ohio! We were all just so excited to be on the road. It’s hard to believe.

1:02 pm : Indiana / 290.1 miles

So, apparently Indiana is the boyhood home of Abe Lincoln. We stopped in Richmond, Indiana and had a picnic lunch that we’d packed in Pittsburgh for exactly this location. We spread a blanket on the lawn in Glen Miller Park near the base of the “Madonna of the Trail”. It is a huge statue of a pioneer woman and her two young’uns. The 9th statue of 12 erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The park and the statue are along the National Road (or Trail), and sit at the sight of the 1st tollgate to the west!

Mummy walked aroung in the grass looking for things, but she found nothing. She said, “Looks like they haven’t had rain in a lot of Sundays. It’s dry. Real, real dry.”

I smoked two cigarettes.

Mycol’s very anxious. He counts every minute and tries to keep us on our toes. He won’t let us “waste” any time enjoying a break from the road. He wants to get to San Diego, dammit!!! By TUESDAY!!!!! (He’s CRAZY!)

Another thing Mycol likes to count: the minutes until his next bite of food. He is ALWAYS hungry!!!

I said, “Indiana. The Hoosier State.” Mycol said, “Who’s YOUR state?”

What’s on the radio in Indiana? Hellfire & Brimstone or country music, take your pick.

We stopped in Centerville, Ind., which is a really neat small American town with the “Antique Alley”. OOHHHH! Mycol was very nice to oblige us while we browsed the antiques. I found a postcard from 1908 and a baby’s photograph from ???? at Wheeler’s on Main St. Mycol found Jesus. I think he’s following us.

Mummy thought we should each be someone from the Oregon Trail. She’s gonna be Merriweather Lewis, Mycol is Clark, and I am (uhoh, I don’t know how to spell this) Sacajawea – or Sacajamila.

In Jamestown, Indiana we pulled over for gas. It was kind of a scary little place. Anyway, it’d been hot as hell. Before we left Pittsburgh, Mummy put bottles of Desani water in the freezer. By the time we were in Jamestown she’d been trying to drink the few sips of water that have thawed around the ice. The ice in the bottle looked like…..well, here’s how it went:

Ma: “Look, an ice arrow!”

Me: “Too bad you can’t get that out of there. It looks like an ice rocket.”

Ma: (laughing and holding the bottle up and jiggling it so that Mycol and I can get a good look) “It looks like…..What it looks like is……”

Me: “An ice penis!”

Mycol: (shaking his head) “Dirty old grandma.”

6:34 pm : Illinois / 459 miles (crossing into Central Time Zone, reset clocks to 5:34 pm)

Pulled into Knoxville, Illinois around 8:30pm. Tired and hungry. Have been on the road for 13 1/2 hours. Get a room at the Super 8 because it’s the only thing around. The good news? Let me rephrase that. The great news? We are right across the road from the Knox County Fair and we have just enough time to catch the last hour of flat track motorbike races!!!!!! While eating ‘fair’ food!!!!

My mom was thinking of catching the shuttle back to the Super 8 (where she saved us $10 for being overaged). But she really enjoyed the motorbike races, so when she saw the sign for monster trucks, well, she forgot all about taking the shuttle.

Finally, back at the hotel room and ready for a good night’s sleep. Mummy plops herself down on her bed.

“Ouch!”, she says.

“What?”, we say.

“My bum hurts!”

“Dirty old grandma.”

At the end of day one we have spent $155.03. This is more than we’d like it to be.

$2.25 – Gatorade
$1.00 – Sunchips
$2.73 – 2 small cones from Dairy Queen
$4.37 – antique postcard and photo
$30.35 – full tank of gas
$3.58 – coffee, tea, Chexmix
$89.00 – double room at Super 8
$22.00 – food at the fair for 3

Anything else we ate or drank on the road we had brought with us in the cooler.

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First Day!!!


I don’t know if you know what time it is, but damn, I’m tired. Only it’s the start of Day Two on the road and I wanted to get this up so that you all can see what we’ve been up to. So, without further ado…..

This is a trip that I’ve been thinking about taking for about seven years now. I’ve driven cross-country before, but only with a destination in mind, not as a vacation in itself. Over the last 6 weeks or so I’d been hearing myself tell my friends again and again about the route I’d be taking and the things I’d be stopping to see. But every time I had that conversation with someone I felt doubt and a tinge of fear. I wasn’t sure at all that I was really going to do this. I easily saw myself coming up with an excuse to just stay home for a month of vacation. Another Ferragosto. I’d just have to deal with a bit of shame and embarassment. Nothing I haven’t dealt with before! But enough of that nonsense, because like Jack Kerouac I am ON THE ROAD!!!!!!

My travel buddies: (see that picture up there? It’s up there because I’m still retarded trying to post pics on this thing). That’s me Ma ‘n me boy. (I’m a brave soul, aren’t I?) Anyway, her name is Mary, a.k.a. Mummy, Ma, or Grand Mere (that thar is French for granny). Her real name shall remain withheld. Her real name is soooo beautiful that when she was introduced to pregnant women or their husbands they would cry tears of joy at the discovery of such a name that would be just perfect for their new baby girl. Women started going and getting themselves knocked up so they could name their baby this name. So in an effort to maintain the name’s originality, she started calling herself “Mary”. Now people don’t even remember her name.

We departed Pittsburgh at 8:07 am on Friday, August 3, 2007. My car (Manuela), had 69,083 miles on it in the driveway.

9:07 am : West Virginia / 49.06 miles

9:18 am : Ohio / 62.08 miles

At the Ohio State Visitors Center, we stopped to use the restrooms and I smoked two cigarettes (because Mummy said to me nicely in the morning that if I needed a cigarette, could I please just pull the car over to smoke? Which is WAY better than anything she has EVER said to me before about smoking!!!!). Mummy likes to walk around in the grass and look for things. She found a quarter of a dollar and a quarter of a buckeye. We kept both. Alison and Rocky both called me while I sat there. What great timing.

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