Wednesday, January 16, 2013

O, Leonardo!

OMG, if the exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci's Machines in Motion every comes to roost anywhere close to where you live, like within a couple hours' drive, go.  Go, go, GO.  We went yesterday, and I have to say that I was a bit reluctant because of the entry fee ($15 adults/$13.50 geezers), but Monday was payday and I decided to use this week's stash money for it.  I. Am. SO. Glad.  They offered Durwood a wheelchair and he took it (!!) so he got to enjoy the exhibit without needing to look for a resting spot every few minutes.  There was a school group there, 2nd graders maybe, which made it even more fun because neither of us is shy with kids and we just played along with them.  The machines are made of wood and nearly all of them are interactive with cranks and falling marbles and pulleys lifting weights.  Oh, mama, it was like a playground of genius.  I got a lot of fun out of figuring out how the things he imagined were in use today.  He had one that made a turning motion transfer 90 degrees--kind of like the drive shaft of your car does at the differential gear in the drive axle.  Hmm.  At that machine an intent young man, maybe 13, was turning the crank and I told him that he was now a car engine.  He just smiled.  It was fascinating.  And the flying things, oh my, so beautiful.  And he made "swimming hands"--guess who sells things that look almost identical for people's feet.  Me, think scuba fins.  The only disappointment was that there isn't a companion book (or maybe they were sold out), so I had to buy a book of his illustrations and I'll have to check to see what the library's got in the way of Leonardo biographies or something.  (Free from the library might be better than bought, except for the not keeping part.)

There's a "meh" exhibit about Houdini's escape tricks (I was kinda jaded after Leonardo wowed me) and downstairs there was one about papermaking and an interesting timeline of Appleton's history with Edna Ferber, who went Lawrence University in Appleton and was the first female reporter at the Appleton Post at the end.

The hours we spent at the museum went by in a blink.  Then we lunched at Wendy's, stopped at Penzeys for peppercorns (hey, they're cheaper for a lot more than any grocery and we were in Appleton anyway, besides Durwood had a coupon for free cumin), then drove home to visit 3 groceries, pop into the bank again to give Tom the banker a flyer about Leo (Leo and I are pals now, he calls me Babs), and then home just at dark.  Good thing Festival had their St. Louis Ribs on sale for ten bucks a slab so he just microzapped fresh green beans and a butternut squash and, voila!, supper.  We were both more than a little pooped and Durwood said that his arms were achy from rolling himself around in the wheelchair, although I noticed that he was having fun doing that, zipping around like one of the school kids.

January 16--Vasily Kandinsky, Improvisation 27 (The Garden of Love II)  Life is messy and in Leyla's world it came in bright colors.  Sounds echoed and pounded the red and yellow rooms.  Leyla held her breath when Martin painted his door black.  She knew that bad things would come through a black door and there Martin was, lying in the snow all white and blue and still.

I was so tired I was cross-eyed, but I kind of like it.  It's Kandinsky-esque, don't you think?  Hey, Aunt B, I remake resolutions just about every year.  I don't think you have to have a new one, you just have to rededicate yourself to an old one and that counts.  In my book anyway.  I made some Weight Watchers quinoa & apples hot breakfast cereal last night (sauteed apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon--what's not to like?) so I'm going to go heat up a serving to see if it was worth paying five bucks for a 2 cup box of quinoa, which I'm not sure I'm going to like five bucks' worth.  Change is good.  Maybe.

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