Tag Archives: museums

San Francisco wrap-up

Ugh, I have been sick like a dog all week with post-convention funk. I think I’m finally killing it, though.

So, GDC was fun times for sure, but several of us stayed an extra day over the weekend to hang out around San Francisco. Andy, Edmundo and I stayed with M.E. We got up the next morning and headed for Chinatown to meet Carlos, Carren, and Carren’s sister. The goal was dim sum, but no no, not just ANY dim sum.

You see, when the crew went on their ETC West Coast trip two years ago, they went to a specific dim sum place while in San Francisco. They were all determined to find the same place again, but had no idea what the name of the restaurant was, and nothing but fragmented memories about where exactly it was located.

Between looking up dim sum places and seeing if they looked familiar on Google Street View, looking at photos from their West Coast Trip to see if any pictures contained street signs in the background, and trying to combine their memories (“I remember it was at the crest of a hill!” “I think we were parallel to the Transamerica Tower!” and no less than a dozen “THIS LOOKS FAMILIAR!”), we walked up and down nearly every block in all of Chinatown and STILL didn’t find the place.

I suggested that perhaps it were a magical place, and you could only find it if you’d never been there before. All the same, I wasn’t about to go wandering around by myself to test the theory.

Nevertheless, there is no shortage of good dim sum in Chinatown in San Francisco, so we still had a DELICIOUS lunch!

The other big highlight of the day was going to see the Exploratorium. I had heard many sing the praises of this science museum, and was anxious to check it out for myself. The songs of praise are true! It is, by far, the best science museum I have ever been to. All of the exhibits are 95% interaction and only 5% text (The Louisville Science Center’s newest installations could learn from this place for sure) and the interactions were significant and engaging (not just “press this button”).

Of course we didn’t see it all, and I really wanted to check out the Touchdome, but it was sold out for the day. This is fine, for it will give me an excuse to go back to San Francisco at some point so I can finishing exploring the museum. HEY COLIN!! Can I come visit you sometime so we can go to the Exploratorium? 😀

Anyway, it was lovely time spent in San Francisco. (it was actually sunny for the whole week! Not a cloud in the sky! MADNESS!!)

NYC part 2

Yesterday was rainy and cold, so potential zoo plans were cancelled. We did make it to the Met, which is good since it’s one of those places I felt I should go visit eventually. First, though, we had hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya, and I must say they were the most delicious hot dogs I’d ever had. I am not a big hot dog person, either, and maybe only eat them once in a blue moon. I am ruined on hot dogs!

Anyway, the Met: we focused on European Painting, Ancient Near Eastern art, and the arms and armory section. They had this unfinished Durer painting that was AMAZING. I love it when I get to see process stuff, especially from people who are badasses. Anyway, I found it very interesting that he completely finished the drapery and hair on the portrait (like, down to the crazy little individual strands of hair highlight) before touching the hands and face. The hands and face had a few places of glaze over them, but for the most part you could totally see his ridiculously detailed Albrecht Durer style preparatory sketch. I found it interesting that he appeared to be starting to paint the lips on the face before anything else. It was super cool, and it made the whole trip to the Met worthwhile.

After our museum trip and an obligatory “Lisa is on vacation” nap, we went down to Little Korea for dinner. I met back up with Carleton, and I got to meet up with Yale too! Yay Yale! We ate at this dumpling place that was DELICIOUS, and wandered about a Korean market store afterwards. We were waiting for Ian to get done with work so he could come join us too. We tried a Korean icecream place, but it was not my style. It was more of slightly tart yogurt with fruit toppings mixed on. Fine in its own right, but not satisfying to my desire for icecream.

When Ian showed up (yay Ian!) we went to Lindy’s for cheesecake, and spent a good part of the evening sitting and chatting. I am glad my two sets of friends got along, that’s something I always worry about a little when friends collide.

Anyway, it was fantastic to see Ian and Yale, and it was a lovely evening of New York galavanting. Coming home tomorrow!


We went to Chicago this weekend to visit D Flo! By we I mean Scott, Kyle, and myself. Scott gives a full account of the adventure if you want to read, but I will say that Body Worlds 2 was cool as hell. And of course Scott was as giddy as a kid in a candy shop…or a PhD anatomy student in a room full of plasticized cadavers…whichever.

Seeing D Flo and Ezzie was super nice, and it was very fun to have Kyle along as well. I did, however, forget to clean Kyle’s car today, like I was meaning to. Kyle! Come to Maria’s tomorrow for empanadas! I will then clean your car!

In other news, I have 4 scholarship deadlines fast approaching and am rather worn out. However, I will be going to New York in 2 weeks to visit Carleton, Matt, and hopefully Ian and Yale. Yay for visits!


First of all, thank you guys so much for your congratulations, it really means a lot to me! I feel all warm and squishy inside knowing I have so much support.

In other news, Scott and I went to Chicago this weekend to visit D Flo, and it was tons of fun. We got to meet Ezzie, who is D Flo’s little Maltese puppy. She is a fluff ball of playfulness and love, and has reshaped my previously bad experience with Maltese. D Flo needs to video her and post for all to see.

On Friday, Scott and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry. It was tons of fun, though Scott had his hopes raised because Body Worlds 2 was on our map. However, it doesn’t open until next week. Hopes crushed! We still had lots of fun at the museum, and we saw a cool Omnimax about Deep Sea Volcanoes.

That night we went to see D Flo in a sketch Comedy show at Donny’s Skybox at Second City. The show was written by the Second City Conservatory writing students, and was quite entertaining. D Flo remains the funniest man I know.

On Saturday we went to the Shedd Aquarium. We saw the sharks and the rays and the dolphin show, the belugas, the sea dragons, and so on. I love aquariums, but it tempted me to run out and buy another betta, which I can’t do right now. Sadness! That night we ate out to celebrate my grad schoolness, and I got to see Squirt, who I haven’t gotten to hang out with in aaaaaaaaaaaaages. Yay Squirt!

The rest of the trip was all Guitar Hero and Mario Party, but I am very happy I was able to see D Flo. Yay Chicago!

Yay tar!

Today Will and I went to the La Brea tar pits. We had to drive straight through downtown Hollywood to get there, which Will was annoyed with, and even drove by the Klasky Csupo studio, which Will was even more annoyed with.

But once we got there, things were quite cool!

It did not smell as heavily of asphalt as one might expect, and the large bubbling lake of tar was super awesome. There were dramatic statues of a mammoth sinking into the lake trumpeting in despair whiles’t a baby mammoth stood on the shore, reaching its trunk out and bellowing “Noooooooooo!” It was a strange touch to a family-friendly park.

I discovered that I have the same physical reaction to tar as I do to oil paint. That is, when I’m in the same vicinity as it, I’m going to somehow mysteriously get it all over me. It was worth it, though, to use a stick to poke at a newly bubbled up tar puddle that they hadn’t put a safety fence around yet. It was so gooey and awesome!

The fossils inside the museum were super-cool! On one wall they have something like 400 dire wolf skulls mounted in a glass display together, and that is of something like 1600 total dire wolf skulls that have been dug up at the tar pits. It was impressive to see them all together, but it gave a rather “holocaust museum” impression upon first seeing it.

I was a big fan of the sloths, the bird skeletons, and the antique bison skeleton. We took some photos, but only managed one or two before the camera battery died. I did some sketches, but only a couple.

It was an awesome place and I’m glad I got to go. HOORAY FOR SCIENCE!

Atlanta Adventure

The perk of working at a school is that I get most of their breaks for myself, so I plotted to give myself a for-real vacation over fall break. I flew down to Atlanta for some good fun times and adventuring.

I came in Friday night and met up with Marji and Hanna, whom I met through Will via the not-so-secret-anymore-secret-summer-project (that being JamJams, which Will outlines a bit in his journal). They are good awesome folk and made me feel right at home.

On Saturday Will and Cari drove up from Savannah, and the group of us went trouncing around in the city. Most of it was idle wandering, but we did at least get to the Center for Puppetry Arts and had a good look around. They have some Lion King mask prototypes there, as well as a skekse from the Dark Crystal. It was a fun place and I’m glad I was able to go (in spite of the terrifying “Puppet Storeroom” exhibit). Our former plans of also visiting the Coke museum were thwarted by the infrequency of the MARTA, so we headed back to Marji and Hanna’s for video games and cooking. Pie also happened.

Sunday was mostly lazy napping (on my part), homeworking (on Cari’s part), and visiting Cartoon Network while Hanna went to pick up work stuff (on Will’s part, much to his enthusiasm). We all reconvened for video games, which was very fun, and Will and I beat yet another Dynasty Warriors campaign. That night, we accompanied Marji to a Radical Axis party for the opening of Squidbillies, on which she works. I was fearful of a major social event at first, but fortunately for me it was an evening of exhausted animators all watching cartoons, with little to no need for mingling. Hooray! (yes I know, I’m a social cripple).

Monday, while Hanna and Marji were at work, I spent the day with Wheeler, who has conveniently relocated from Sante Fe to Atlanta. We went to the zoo, and then spent the evening at the arcade. We played quite a bit of DDR, and I’m proud to announce that my former panicky “I CAN’T DO ANY MORE THAN 3 FEET!!” bar has been raised to 4 feet, comfortably. Strother would be so proud! *tear*

We also played a bit of pool, Time Crisis 3, and then I had a go at Ms. Pacman. I immediately regretted this, for I had forgotten that Ms. Pacman is actually a VERY stressful game, most of which I spent panicking. Also, I affirmed the fact that I’m good at those light-spinny ticket games by winning the jackpot of 316 tickets, which I used to buy Marji and Hanna thank-you presents for being good hostesses. Anyways, it was great to hang out with Wheeler again.

That evening I cooked dinner for Hanna and pie happened a second time. All in all it was a fantastic visit, and I hope to make another one in the future. I feel very rested and ready to spring back to work. Boing!

(note, i haven’t forgotten about the activity i posted last entry, I’ll follow up on that soon)

Old pictures

Cleaning my room never works. I always find something to distract me, and in this case it was my stack of photo albums. I really haven’t been taking enough pictures lately.

I plucked out some of my very favorite pictures I’d taken to share with the world. They are all old, though, so chances are you’ve seen them before. But still.

Working at the LSC was probably the first place I learned that hugs fix everything. Even grumpy ‘ole Howie the Humpback Whale can’t really resist. Thanks for everything, Marsh!

The 2000 Vice Presidential Debates at Centre turned the entire student body into raging savages. No, really.

A sign in Wales. I thought the stinky lines coming off the poo were a particularly nice detail, just as an explanation, you know. So many people see signs and wonder, “Why? WHY no fouling??”

One day, me and Jen were hiking, when we stumbled upon a near-disaster! Jen, because she is a good-hearted superhero, threw down her bag and rushed to take care of the situation. To this day she keeps the forest safe from imminent smooshing. Good ‘ole Jen.

No story, really, I just like this one.

I could have included a gallery of SETC pictures from that one year, but this one is nice enough. Hooray for cuddle puddles.

Okay, that’s enough of that. My room will never be clean!

Science Therapy

Yesterday was considerably more energizing than the few days before it. I met up with LSC Scott and Mariah at the Louisville Science Center, where we did romp about our former domain. We surprised Julie (the volunteer coordinator and our old “boss”) by all showing up together, and it aw a fine reunion. We even ran into even more former volunteers from our time, and it was all joy and play and laughter.

Being around those guys, and around the Science Center in general, was just the sort of energizing boost I needed, and I’m really glad we got together. I miss the Science Center. That was definitely one of the highest points for me emotionally. It was just such a wonderful playground, full of wonderful, wacky, brilliant, playful people. I remember when I first started going there, I was so shy and timid, as I’d signed up for the program all by myself. But then there were so many magical people. People like Marsh, who taught me that off-the-wallness was perfectly acceptable and liberating. Or Jared Schuetter, who planted within me the seed of obsessive Hawaiian shirt wearing. And of course the people I met in the program: Scott, Mariah, Kathleen, Devon, and billions more, all some of the most fantastic and amazing people I’ve ever met so far.

We ruled that Science Center during our time. RULED IT. Spreading and wallowing in the joy and fun that was SCIENCE and play. It was like an imaginary world that I got to escape to as often as I pleased, only it was populated with real people who were just as imaginative as me. Alas, I should never have strayed from the path of SCIENCE! ^_^ Perhaps I should learn something from this.

*note* I was never afraid to dance when among those of the LSC

After our joyful reunion, I went to my safe place–Brendan’s and Maria’s–and almost promptly fell asleep, the first bit of healing sleep I’d had in days.

Massachusetts Visit

I just got back from a weekend visit with Steph and it was a blast and a half! Or no, make that 2 whole blasts.

After a tasty lunch, we went to this awesome candy store. You can pick out your own assorted chocolates, so it’s like getting a box of chocolates, only just with the kinds you like, and no scary surprises. I also got a sucker in the shape of a lobster (don’t worry, it was not lobster flavored)

Steph showed me around Salem, MA, and we went to some dinky-but-fun history museums about the witch trials. We also hit up a comic store, where I *finally* indulged myself in snagging the last volume of Bone, only to see the new color reprints! Now I want the whole set all over again. We also rooted through a secondhand bookstore, snagging children’s books with inspiring illustrations out of the 50% off box.

We spent the rest of the evening playing various video games, with a brief break for sushi. After a bit of gaming the next morning, we went out for lunch, and then adventured on the shore (we did not find any critters, only a shoe-full of cold water, oh well!)

I’m really glad I got to visit! It was good fun, and I also got to see a bunch of Steph’s art up close, including her in-progress raven thief sculpture. I also got to meet her sweet little rat, Oreo, who is adorable and has inspired me to add rats to my “potential pets” list Yay for visits!


It’s coooooooooold in Connecticut (or maybe just in the house). So, my trip up here went smoothly, in spite of last minute planning changes and Carleton’s phone dying before I finished giving him directions to Ali’s apartment where he could pick me up. Madness and Chaos! But all turned out well.

I saw The Christmas Carol and was very impressed with the puppetry, especially the Marley puppet, very cool! Ali introduced me to the puppetry people before the show, and Carleton’s friend Frankie showed me around the puppet lab afterwards. Everyone was very friendly and informative. We also stopped by UConn’s puppetry museum, which currently has an exhibit of works by students and alumni. It was very cool. One UConnite did puppets for Pinwheel, and as I turned the corner to see great, green, glaring Ebinezer T. Squint, I nearly melted with Nostalgia, exclaiming “Ah! My childhood! My CHILDHOOD!” and weeping. Anyway, I got to see the puppet lab and talk to the puppet people and got lots of information and made lots of connections. It was a very successful day.

Yesterday was a lazy just-hang-out day, the bulk of which was consumed by the extended version of The Two Towers. It was very good (and very long) and full of lots of little helpful explanatory tidbit scenes. Today and Tomorrow Carleton has to go in to Hartford to do work, so I am using the time to catch up on my glass sketchbook and such. Being on break is soooooo nice.