Life in Omaha (in Scottsdale)

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Fountain

The Fountain
Originally uploaded by shermans.

Yahoo! We just purchased a futon for the guest room/office. All of you anxious for an uncomfortable bed in ungodly hot weather, c'mon down. We've been abusing Craigslist for months, first unloading as much as we could before we moved. Then unloading all those things that really didn't fit into the new place (one too many bookshelves, one too many patio tables, one too many microwaves). Now we are nearly finished with buying the stuff we need. Got the new stereo speakers. Got the new end table. Got the new dressers and containers for all the toiletries. Got the new piece of luggage ($10-the best value yet). We are ready to roll. About the only thing left is the grill, but in this heat, who's thinking of grilling?

Ciela had her first really bloody fall yesterday at the park. After scaling the elaborate playground, running all around the edges of the pond, dancing on top of the picnic tables, she fell face first crossing from the grass to the parking lot. Lots of blood at first, sending dad to the edge of panic before we realized that it was just a cut lip and the bleeding quickly stopped.

The day before was better with two train rides and two carousel rides at the railroad park. We are members now, so we get unlimited rides, which for Ciela means great things. For me, it's more chances to get queasy on the carousel. Shouldn't those things go slower? I mean, little kids are riding them.

The train park is pretty elaborate, with a scale diesel train that we ride. Most of the cars are the sort of flatbed types, but the last one is a box car where little kids can actually sit inside the car. My Jewish friends find the unintended re-creation a bit unsettling, but still let their son ride in the box car if he wants. What they really object to is the blond-haired kid announcing over the loudspeaker, "Leave your luggage behind. Your luggage will follow you." We all agree that this is in poor taste and have talked about starting a petition.

Last week we saw Constructing New Berlin, the exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. While contemporary art often leaves me cold, this one was moving in a variety of ways. Partly, I really groved on the giant photos of Frank Thiel documenting the dramatic renewal/upheaval of Berlin in the post-Cold War era. But it was Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller's video installation, "The Berlin Files," that grabbed hold of me. Here is sort of a summary of the work, but the intriguing blur of reality, film noir, art and meta-narrative was nearly outdone by the powerful emotion of David Bowie's "Rock and Roll Suicide." The song floods the little theater in sound and feeling, seeping into the other abstract pieces. At times unsettling (we had a small struggle keeping Ciela from crying at times) with jarring, disorienting sounds of helicopters and trains, the piece kind of works like a post-modern noir. But instead of the modernist noir, the search for the truth in the detective story, this does away with narrative qua narrative. There isn't a story, only themes, only resonances and connotations. This is noir poetry on the screen. Any of you in Phoenix would do well to go see the exhibit.

This weekend we are heading up to Arcosanti, finally. We've been here nearly a year, and this will be our first visit up there. I have managed to get to Cosanti, but it's Arcosanti that really blows me away. When I visited it four years ago, I was enthralled with the innovation, the idealism and the beauty of Paolo Soleri's "urban laboratory." I still want to somehow become a factor in its creation. Ciela, however, has something to say about such things. So the best we can do is to attend the various cultural events they produce. This weekend is the three day poetry slam and concert. We're going up on Saturday evening after we do some peach picking in the morning.

And the picture of Ciela? It has nothing to do with anything. Just another in a series of random cute pictures.


At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sleeping on a fouton is nothing new to me. I gladly do it to spend more time with my kids.

I am not sure about the comments regarding your Jewish friends. I sensed you were trying to be funny. Although not Jewish I failed to see the humor.

At 8:18 AM, Blogger Not Scott said...

I was referencing Schindler's List. The awful scene where the Nazi's are putting all the Jews into boxcars at the station. There's a soldier who keeps saying that their luggage will follow. Of course, it doesn't, and I believe that Spielberg has a shot of other soldiers opening up the suitcases and pilling the clothes into a huge mound after the train leaves.


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