Saturday, August 25, 2007

adventures in book research

I'm tired. It's a different kind of tired than I mentioned the other day. This is a genuine worn-out feeling caused by too much fun. I've been doing my job as helper monkey for Suzanne's book, thus I've gotten to see many interesting things.

Thursday we went to a glass museum, which wasn't weird, but it was interesting. Then we wandered about and I happened to spot the scariest statue ever, "the Virgin Mother."

It's by Damien Hirst, who is known for using things like formaldehyde to make art. So yeah, I took some pictures which on further review look exactly like the promo shots for the statue. But I took the one above, I swear. Suzanne can attest to it. To prove it, here is a super scary one that I have not seen anywhere else. You know I took this one.

I know the lighting's not great, but the statue is like 60-something feet tall and surrounded by buildings. It's all I could do.

So anyhoo, then we wandered down to the UN to see the sculpture garden and the life-sized elephant statue with the larger than life-sized elephant penis. But alas and alack the garden was closed for construction, even though we did not see any actual construction going on and the police officer guards seemed more than a little annoyed that we even talked to them. We spotted the handicap access ramp which would get us a tiny bit closer to the "closed" garden and began to walk down it. The same annoyed guards made it clear that the ramp was "not for us" and we had to turn around. We were discriminated against because we are not in wheelchairs. Damn government.

Dismayed, we made our way to Brooklyn where I saw a chance to show off my new diggs (just the outside, as we don't have the keys yet) and wander around my new fab 'hood a bit before we meandered all the way to the Red Hook waterfront ( a few good miles) to see the craziest of crazies in the whole crazy crazy.

It's a barge. That's also a museum. That is also where a family lives. And where they do their circus act. Suzanne already talked about killing a bunny-abusing child, but she did not go into the sheer craziness of the place. After getting a disinterested interview from the owner/captain/ex-juggler that was drinking beer out of a cappuccino mug, he showed us some weird contraption that propelled a ping pong ball Rube Goldberg-style and made music. Here's a photo that doesn't begin to explain it. (The bratty child was also playing with this and had to be told by Captain Crazy not to get her fingers chopped off, while her mother stood idly by.)

See that red thing up top? That's a pull-down backdrop that Captain Crazy's kids use while they are doing their trapeze act. On the barge. Which is also their home. And a museum.
Craziness, I tell you.

So that was enough craziness for one day. We stopped off to get some key lime pie and after some was purchased for me, I happened to glance at the promotional sticker which listed the ingredients. Know why I have never tasted key lime pie? It's chock full of gelatin. That kinda goes against my whole "vegetarian" thing. No worries though. Suzanne took my pie home and ate it for breakfast the next day.

So... after sleeping in a bit on Friday (I'd stayed up late making my new necklace) I rejoined Suzanne for more research fun. We met at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace where I was a teency bit late (whoda thunk the museum would be on "Theodore Roosevelt Way?" Not me. I headed the other direction.) But I was ushered in by a security guard that was outside, and told by the cashier to "run upstairs and catch up." When I took out my $3 for admission, it was refused and I was given orders to pay when I came back down. So I ran and caught up with the group, still wearing my backpack even though everyone else had to leave theirs at the front desk.

Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite president. Not only because I was given preferential treatment at his home (I did pay at the end, btw, lest you think I'm that much of a cheapskate), but there are also the following reasons:
-The Natural History Museum, which you know I am a little obsessed with.
-all those political things he did to fight corruption and help the working man out.
-the fact that even though the Roosevelt family was uber-wealthy, they raised their own children. That means little Teddy was not raised by a nanny.
-The fact that when he was shot in the chest, he refused to go to the hospital. Then when he couldn't read his speech because it was riddled with bullet holes, he talked for 90 minutes just on his own. Our current president couldn't do any part of that. (ms - the shirt he was wearing, the speech, and the eyeglass container are all on display at the museum.)

So yeah, I heart Teddy Roosevelt. That was definitely the best non-crazy element of the book so far.

We then went to the Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art, which was interesting but very small. So not much to mention about it. And we had just missed the Stan Lee exhibit.

But I've had a busy coupla days and now you see why I'm tired.


Average Jane said...

There's no good reason to put gelatin in key lime pie. It could just as easily be thickened with corn starch.

super des said...

I would very much like to have corn starch key pie.

flutter said...

damn, I need a nap!

Suzanne said...

Good times were had. And your pictures are totally awesome in the awesomest way possible. You make working on the book so much more fun. Thanks.

super des said...

I totally took a nap.

And the pictures are only awesome because they recall our fun.

Alex Elliot said...

I want a statue like that on my front lawn!

super des said...

ok alex, I'm sure you could get one. (crazy!)

mdog said...

formaldehyde? i must have seen this guy's "art" of a lamb floating in a glass cube of formaldehyde.

needless to say, i didn't "get" it.

scary-ass statue, dude.

super des said...

It's very edgy.

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