Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 100: Pole Dancing at LACMA

Today my son and I spent the day at LACMA to check out the Tim Burton exhibit.  The first thing we saw as we walked up to the famous Lightpost installation is a random flash mob of people dirty dancing in the poles.  It was awesome! Their friend was filming them.  I have no idea who they were or why they were there.  Only in L.A.

We took a few photos and then Beckett wanted to play tag.  We ran through the lamp posts until we were exhausted.
After tag, we bought tickets for a 4:00 entry to the Tim Burton exhibit.  We were both sort of starving, so we decided before art there would be lunch.  We ate at the grown up cafe, Ray's next to this incredibly groovy lounge area (note to self:  looks like an awesome place to hang out with grown-ups!  A cross between the lounge area of the old TWA building at JFK, and the sculpture garden at MOMA.)  There was no kids' menu, so Beckett decided to order a pulled pork sandwich (?) I asked him if he had ever eaten pulled pork, to which he replied no.  But I supported him ordering something totally out of his wheelhouse and just warned him if he ended up not liking he could share mine, but we would not be ordering a third thing.  (He is not a cheap date.)  He had a few bites and decided he didn't really like it.  I on the other hand, who have also never really had a pulled pork sandwich, thought it was yummy.  We traded half-eaten meals.  So between the pound of fresh-baked bread we both ate, neither of us starved.

After lunch we checked out an exhibit or two, including an installation Beckett liked with hundreds of tubes/strings dangling that you could walk through.  At four, we headed into the Tim Burton exhibit, armed with our headset guides.  The exhibit was awesome!

It starts with Tim's painfully boring, detached, and yet inspiring youth in Burbank.  The exhibit takes you through his earliest sketches, inspirations, musings and cartoon strips he made as a teen.  Throughout every phase of the exhibit there are fantastic drawings, puppets, film clips and sculptures from the prolific brain of a weird, dark genius.  We loved the audio guide, complete with snippets of interviews with Tim about what goes on in his brain.  His characters are tortured, odd - they have scissors for hands, buttons for eyes, they are disenfranchised outsiders.  But at their core, his protagonists are vulnerable, human.  I love this quote from the irrepressible Ed Wood:
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: And cut! Print. We're moving on. That was perfect. 
Ed Reynolds: Perfect? Mr. Wood, do you know anything about the art of film production? 
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Well, I like to think so. 
Ed Reynolds: That cardboard headstone tipped over. This graveyard is obviously phony. 
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Nobody will ever notice that. Filmmaking is not about the tiny details. It's about the big picture. 
Ed Reynolds: The big picture? 
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Yes. 
Ed Reynolds: Then how 'bout when the policemen arrived in daylight, but now it's suddenly night? 
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: What do you know? Haven't you heard of suspension of disbelief? 

As we left MOMA, without a dinner plan or any exciting groceries to go home to, we were thrilled to see the Galbi NYC food truck, and the topper, a powder-puff blue cupcake truck.  As Ed Wood would say:
"Cut, print, it's perfect!"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 99: SUP getting the cobwebs out!

OK, I have been a horrendously inconsistent blogger.  If you haven't unsubscribed by now, tune in because I am loving my staycation in L.A!  My sister Madeleine, and nephews Nick, and Jack came to visit, The Anderson clan came back from Fargo, Hollie and Carley came from New York, Lauren has been surprising me with pop-in visits for work and fun, so we have been non-stop entertaining, and in exchange we have been very entertained.

My sister Lisa and I have had a summer wishlist for two years, so we decided to start knocking off the activities we've been dying to try: top of the list - SUP (stand up paddleboarding).  This sport combines everything I love:  surfing, kayaking, ocean, Malibu.  What really also attracts me to this sport is you are on the water, but you are not really wet, and you are working out so much you never get cold.  When Mad and the nephews came we tried it for the first time and we were hooked.  We drove up to the Malibu pier, parked on PCH to avoid the rip-off parking lot, rented at the surf shack across the street from the pier.  They are really great at this shop -- they will hold your phone, credit card and keys in a drawer so you don't have to leave any valuables on the beach.  They give you paddles, then across the street at the truck they unload the boards, which you bring down to the beach.  They look like they are light but do not be fooled -- they are heavy as all get out.  Once on the water, the board is free to glide.  You float out either lying down or kneeling as you paddle out away from the shore.  The ideal conditions are glassy.  Today we started out glassy, and wound up with slightly choppy water.  I didn't mind it at all -- it's a great workout because you are constantly engaging your core to stay centered and balanced and not have a Three Stooges moment of physical comedy as you plotz on your ass.  Both times we tried it, first with the nephews and my two boys, and today with Abby, we paddled out west, then north of the pier toward the surfers, then south and one or two more circuits.  I love the serenity of being out on the glassy water.  Malibu seen from out there looks green and hilly and beautiful.  If it were a little greener and hillier you would think you were in Maui.  After my first attempt, I thought I looked so cool.  Then I got a look at the photos and ran to ZJ Boarding House to get myself a sporty mom water outfit, which consists of a mom rashguard and hot Hurley short shorts.  It was awesome having Abby as our tour guide today.  She gave us important tips: don't get too close to the pier as you don't want to get tangled in fishing lines.  Hold your paddle the correct way, so it angles out slightly in an arc in front of you, which for me meant the letters and logo faced the shore.  She said narrower boards are harder to balance on -- the ones we rent are perfect because they are nice and sturdy for us beginners.  Today we made another beautiful discovery -- after returning the boards, thirsty and ravenous, we treated ourselves to kick-ass fish tacos from the fish shack underneath the surf shack.  We toasted our new discovery with cold bottled water and I managed to wolf down a few bites with my sister before zipping home to pick up my kids from camp.  Today, I took a mini-break from my kids, squeezed in a little me time -- balance was achieved in more ways than one.