Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
As many of you know I have steadfastly and utterly refused to answer questions poised on the blog. My reasons for this refusal have been stated as not wanting to get overwhelmed by questioners. My real reasons are of course uncompromising laziness. But I have decided to make an exception to this. Steve Water's question "Billboards?" deserves an answer. It is one of those questions that I think is so universal and far reaching that to resist would be unconscionable.
First, billboards are a ubiquitous feature of life here and come in various sizes from the humongous:
to the small as in these Ubahn escalator pictures:
Some of these are quite effective as selling things:
Some boarder on art:
Some seem rather ordinary and typical of such advertising:
And some boarder on the absurd:
So there you have it. I know I should not have opened the door to answering questions, but the question "Billboards?" was too compelling, too thought provoking, and too mesmerizing to leave alone. Hopefully, you will forgive the breech on my long standing rule and intractable refusal to answer questions.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
But I'll tell you a lot more.
Me and dad were waiting for it to move. Then a guy came and pushed a button and We started up the hill. It was a long ways up the hill! Then we got to the top. Did I mention we were first ones in the cart!!! Then my dad said Remeber to keep you eyes wide open. Then I held on. Then ahhhhhhhhhh but I didn't scream. I kept saying ''dad'' in a horror voice! I was with my dad. Then the track went sideways!! Now, I screamed. Then it went up and down. we were high. MOST OF THE ROLLERCOSTER WAS SIDEWAYS!!! Then we went strieght. Then it was done.
That was my very FIRST time!!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
This is what I do EVERY day except Sunday. I walk 2 blocks to the Billa's to get food. I can only buy what I can carry home so it's not a whole lot. That's why I have to go every day. I have a teenager and one on a growth spurt so I always have to keep the food stocked up or it will get pretty ugly here. Their grocery stores are really small compared to ours.
Plus you have to pay to use their carts. You get it back when you return it. After I pay for everything and bag it (you have to buy your bags too so you learn to save them) I carry it all back uphill to our apartment. Nathan unloads to see if I forgot anything and to see what he can eat.
The store I love going to is called Butlers.
It has some of the cutest stuff. Just look at the pictures and see.
They are constantly getting new stuff in there for me to lust after. They are a German based store and they know what they're doing. Seriously...how can you resist some of this stuff?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I suppose in the final analysis I will be blamed. Yet somehow I'm not sure it was completely my fault. I mean who could get tired of museums? Right? First things first. Zoom in on this picture and examine the faces of Nathan and Emily (also you may want to satisfy yourself that Hercules in the background is indeed wearing a fig leaf). Then look in Lori's hand. Where did she get the knife? You must, as I did, wonder at its being pulled at this point. You might think, I should have seen coming. The first signs of boredom appeared earlier.
Of course I thought that seeing one of the most spectacular Museums of art history in the world would be educational (and it was, actually, as Lori commented to Emily at some of the unfigleafed statues, "At least you know what boys parts look like" whereupon Emily said "Yeah."). We saw real human mummies, and crocodile mummies and cat mummies. How cool is that. And what about this picture of the inside of a sarcophagus taken with a flash before Lori got tackled by the guards and reminded, "NO FLASH:"
(Which I thought so cool I decided to get it tattooed on my back). But as the museum wore on the weariness of my charges grew until we reached a painting that gave Nathan what I'd hoped he would experience at being in the one of the finest art museums in the world, i.e., the experience of art giving voice to his innermost feelings, :
It was shortly thereafter where Lori pulled the knife and took the kids and fled the Museum. They are now art history fugitives last seen in this surveillance video capture of the three of them in the Ubahn shortly thereafter:
So these questions remain. Why did Lori bring the fearsome weapon into the museum in the first place? Doesn't that speak of premeditation? Had the decision been made that I had dragged them to one to many museums been made before we left? Will Nathan become an Art History major in collage? Emily an Anatomist? Will I ever get them into another museum? Only time will tell. Only time will tell.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Sometimes you find treasures just laying around the house:
READ if you Find
I love you. I'm so glad that your my family. Your so thoughtful and nice. It's hard in Vienna. But we need to do as much as we can here. I know what your thinking. But this a once in a life time. It has bad air but we here all together. I glad I'm with you three. I feel safe. I love it here. Thre subways, trans, and buses. I didn't make this to make you more stressed. I love you three so much. but I don't want to make you so sad. I love you all so much more than you can think.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
A New PLACE
You walk slowly out of the airplane. People form all the world are here. You get your suitcase. And walk into a car. Your tierd you go into to stay. You feel weird. You look outside at all the bilding. You go to your room . It's nice and clean. You look aroud then you lay down and fall aleep.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I went to Salt Lake to be part of a philosophy of biology workshop on “Edges and Boundaries” in biology. (If you want to see what this was about philosopher, John S. Wilkins, was live blogging the conference for his evolution blog Evolving Thoughts:
He kept notes in real time while we were talking. If you scroll down far enough you’ll find his description of my presentation, but he misspelled my name).
Anyway, this trip was one for the records. I got to Paris and the wind was blowing. Of course this meant that the even though the Air France pilots were not on strike (rare enough indeed) they would not fly. It was windy. Almost as windy as it was every time I flew between islands when we lived in Hawaii. If the Aloha Air pilots had refused to fly under these conditions on the Islands, I don’t think any planes would have flown in Hawaii since that calm day in ’53 that everyone is still talking about. Anyway, all flights had been cancelled. I was given a voucher for a hotel. I was very frustrated because I had not been to Utah in a while and I was anxious to get there, but ever the optimist I thought, “Well a night in Paris. I’ll make the best of it, visit the Eifel Tower and all that.” People kept waving me in the general direction I was suppose to head, but no one seemed pleased that I was trying to communicate in English. I suppose they thought if I was fated to get where I was going I would. It took me about 45 minutes of frustration to find the bus staging area, part of it standing in two lines that people had waved me towards that turned out to have nothing to do with the hotel busses. When I got there the bus was full and they told me to catch the next one in an hour and a half. Despite my trying to put a cheerful face on things, I was very tried from trying to find out where I was suppose to go and settled down to wait. I found an email stand that charged a euro a minute (which in terms of dollars is now measured as one bucket of dollars per euro (the size of the bucket is irrelevant ust as it would be in Monopoly money) and the keys had to be pounded and the curser jumped from place to place randomly. It took me six minutes to type the following message to Lori:
My flight to new york was cancelled and am stuck in Pairs, they are bussing me tot some hotel way out there. dI am using a by the second intrnet stand and cant send .Please contact Jess and T C SW and MyMom and Dad,
cantget keybordto work. Will try to get out tomorrow. I love you.
Six minutes. No kidding. Timed because I know how much I paid!
Anyway, I’d not brought a coat because, well I thought I’d be in airports the whole way, and so I was freezing outside waiting for the bus—not wanting of course to chance the available seats filling up and having to wait for the next bus. So did we drive through Pairs? See the sites? No we hopped on a freeway and headed to the country. It looked like Idaho with lots of potato fields (used I suppose to support the French fry industry?). We drove and drove. And finally arrived at Disneyland Europe. So we drove though the country a little more, passing little islands of hotels until we got to ours, again in the middle of nowhere. It was around five by this time and I waited for about a half hour in line at the lobby. I don’t know where Disneyland was actually, the hotel was surrounded by potato fields as far as the eye could see. There was a shuttle that would take us to the park, but we would have to pay the entrance fee and as I was very tired and have very little interest in Disneyland I just retired to my room. I did have dinner at a very nice buffet with an elderly English chap who travelled the world. We referred to ourselves as the Air France refugees. The food was unbelievable.
I slept poorly that night. I’ve got to remember to temper my raw seafood eating.
The next day, Air France bussed us back to the airport. After a long wait, finally the boarding process was starting, but I could see the wind was starting to pick up again. Fear gripped me. Would the French pilots dare take off in the wind? We had to take a bus from the waiting area, onto the tarmac (and you though we would board on one of those extendable arms off of the terminal didn’t you) where we climbed onto the aircraft up stairs they had rolled up to the large intercontinental airplane door. It was just like we were back in the fifties. (Even as I read this it sounds like I’m making this up, but its true!). Most of us on the plane had been on the earlier cancelled flight, and in chatting with the French woman next to me I accidentally let slip that I was not pleased with Air France not flying. She said, “No no, it is better to be safe. I was glad they take our safety seriously. We can trust when we fly that they will be safe.” Yes we were safe. We might not get where we are going, but at least we would do it safely.
This delay was about how the whole trip went. Thankfully, late Tuesday night/Early Wednesday morning Timothy and Jess picked me up and took me to the house. Shortly after I arrived Christopher went into the hospital. I was glad to be there for that. I went to my workshop (which was day and night for two and a half days.) Then I had half a day Saturday, I spent mostly with Christopher. (more on this later).
I had to take Air France back. I was worried when I saw I only had an hour connection for my flight from Paris to Vienna. Worried rightly so. I got of the plane and started making my way to the D terminal which required a train ride, a quarter of mile run (and run I did, literally, a fast run). Went through immigration, then through security and the long lines and hassles associated with that (stripping of shoes and belt, puling out computers and stuff out of your pocket). I was despairing as I watched the clock tick away--I was within the 10 minutes between when they close the doors and the departure time. It was anyone’s guess if I would get on. I bolted from security, my shoes untied, my computer jammed in but sticking out of my bag, my belt unbuckled and my coat over my shoulder. My hands full of watch, a little one quart baggie of less than three ounce liquids, ticket and passport. And I ran to the gate. I made it, the last one on, and they closed the door behind me. Welcome to Air France they said, the Ce qui sera, sera music playing overhead.
Of course they lost my luggage.