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Thursday, May 18, 2006

I've been busy. So anyway, we took a vacation April 19-21.

On the 19th we went to the Ashes and Snow exhibit at the Santa Monica Pier. It was beautiful, though not as much as I expected. I thought it was heavy-handed with the theme of the sacred in nature. This whole concept of man's disconnect from nature, and therefore spirituality, I believe is incorrect. Man is not separate from nature; man is part of nature. Man is not separate from animals; man is an animal. You don't need to languidly float on a river in a dugout canoe with an orangutan to experience spirituality. I also don't believe nature is sacred, or that anything material ever could be sacred. The divine and the material are necessarily separate. And why is it that when white folk want to experience a spiritual moment they go to a non-white country? It's always India or Africa or Bali. Don't you see the racism inherent in setting those places, and their people, apart as some last enclave of true connection with the sacred? Stop fetishizing the religions of other cultures.

Afterwards we went to Father's Office for dinner. They have the most amazing selection of beer on tap and a small menu of excellent tapas and entrees. They're particularly known for their burger. In the past they've always cooked the burger as the chef sees fit. This time they asked how we wanted it cooked. As any foodie knows, there are only two acceptable answers to this question: rare or medium-rare. Now most of the people in there know this. But just as we're finishing up, these two young guys come up to the bar and one orders the burger. And he wants it cooked well. Hmmph. And the other one asks for a beer that's "like Budweiser". Oh no. Look. If you're drinking Bud, you don't really like beer. And if you're ordering a burger well, you don't really like beef. So what you should do is take your pansy ass down the street and order sparkling water and a chicken sandwich.

Thursdays are free at the Hammer, so we went there on the 20th. Actually we went there and then I remembered that Thursdays are free. I really liked the films by Jesper Just. And John Swope's photos and accompanying text were really compelling. We went across the street to have dinner at The Gardens before going to the Wadsworth Theatre to see Salome. It. Was. Amazing. The performance was really stripped down, almost like a reading. Without the distractions of elaborate set design and lush costumes, the acting could really shine. I enjoyed it so much. If I could afford it I would've seen it again and again.

On the 21st we went (finally!) to the Getty. The gardens are beautiful. It was a bit hazy out, but still the view was gorgeous. I don't think we even saw half of everything there, though we stayed most of the day. When we first got there, we made reservations for that evening at the fancy restaurant. I had a beet salad and liked it. The rich food actually upset our stomachs later, but it sure was tasty.

All in all, a very nice vacation.