Monday, August 25, 2008

Forays into civilization and the pursuit of shiny objects

Well, it's been over a month since my last post. For half of that time I was on vacation back on the East Coast. It was unnerving to discover, on my first trip into Manhattan after an absence of six months, twenty-six days, and sixteen hours (not that I obsessively monitor these things), I had totally forgotten proper street-crossing technique. So, in an effort to avoid an untimely death by speeding taxi I had to resort to waiting for the light to change color. *sigh.* On my second day of walking around, however it came back to me: Step into street, look in direction opposite oncoming traffic for bike messengers, step farther into street, look in direction of oncoming traffic, proceed across street in between cars, arrive at destination on time. Now I'm back in Madison, but I haven't readjusted my street-crossing mentality yet, so I've caused several people to flinch by walking into the street well in advance of the walk signal turning on, after verifying that I was not going to be hit by anything. Ha! This weekend, however, I am going to Chicago to visit a friend who's starting grad school there. I will have to be careful. Chicagoans will definitely try to run me over.

Anyway, I went to the Met when I was in New York, and found the current roof garden exhibit (sculptures by Jeff Koons) to be highly amusing. Specifically, there's a sculpture of a 10'-15' tall balloon dog made out of yellow high-chromium steel. It's very shiny and reflects the skyline and Central Park and fills my inner child with glee. There's another, smaller (I think), orange version of this sculpture (and another one of a rabbit) currently on exhibit at the Meuseum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. This, after visiting my aforementioned friend and generally enjoying a final weekend of urban life before classes start is my main reason for going.