Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Suddenly I was picturing scantily clad Egyptians trying to maneuver going to the bathroom wearing their heavy gold accessories. Why wasn't there an ancient toilet paper holder? Didn't they have to wipe? Maybe they WERE aliens! My mom sometimes comes to the conclusion that they were aliens, but aliens wouldn't think a giant scarab beetle pushed the sun up from the underworld every day now would would they? I don't know about you, but I've never exactly pictured people of an advanced ancient culture having to take time out of their day to go potty. But here I was, staring at the actual device they used. Don't you love museums?
Tutankhamun is filled with amazing artifacts -- 100 to be exact -- found in Howard Carter's 1922 excavation of King Tut's tomb. There are masterful sculptures that I envisioned flappers looking at for fashion ideas, finely crafted beaded and gold jewelry, and even the boy king's smallish white bed and throne. There's something about staring at an object while knowing it is THE object Tut used that is just so exciting. Kind of like when I saw the actual B3 organ used in the song Green Onions when I went to the Stacks museum in Memphis.
And then there's the exact replica of Tut's mummified remains, printed from a 3D printer based on actual CAT scan measurements of the body. In some ways I think that is even more impressive than the actual remains of Tut.
There are mysteries surrounding Tut's death and the exhibit does a nice job of presenting what those mysteries are along with the realities of what could have been the cause. There are conjectures as to his death being the result of malaria, or a bone disease that was showing signs in his foot, but there is nothing definitive. In fact, the ancient culture tried its best to erase Tut from history, which is fascinating, considering King Tut is the first thing people think of, besides the pyramids, when the subject of Egypt comes up today.
As you will see in the care of this exhibit, Tut's posessions -- and I imagine the actual mummified Tut -- are still being treated like royalty 3,000 years after his death. It makes you think, however briefly, that maybe the Egyptians were on to something when taking such care in preparing for the after-life.
Visit the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Foxy Tann, the Boss of Burlesque MCd the event, taking the stage at intervals throughout the evening in a jeweled dress and her signature giant hairdo. At around 10pm she introduced the screening of Moulin Rouge -- the version starring Nicole Kidman and Ewen McGregor. I had never seen this movie before and was delighted at how absolutely bonkers it is. Suddenly the psychelic lights on the wall made more sense. Bunny ran out to the corner store and bought a bag of popcorn while I replenished our cocktails.
From our vantage point, we could see peoples' fingers, elbows, and arms dripping over the crowded balcony as the movie began. Chandeliers and disco balls twinkled from the ceiling and soon, not surprisingly for a music-based party, people in the audience were swaying in time or singing along with the movie's soundtrack. During a few of the scenes, dancers came out and performed before the big screen.
Tomorrow I'm off to the Tut exhibit at the Minnesota Science Museum. Stay tuned.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Sea Change has recently instigated a brand new happy hour with an earlier starting time and it's sure to be a hit. From Sundays through Thursdays from 8:00pm to 11:00pm, Sea Change happy hour specials include $5 Absolut or Jameson cocktails, $5 red or white wine, $3 Grain Belt Premium Beer and $5 burgers and fish sandwiches. There were quite a few journalists who made it out to this happy hour sampler, too, and I made an observation that local restaurateurs may like to know: Twin Cities' journalists are oyster fiends. Erik Anderson, the chef at Sea Change, couldn't replenish the iced critters fast enough. After finding out that he is currently among the nominees for Food & Wine's The People's Best New Chef Award, I couldn't wait to taste the other samples he had planned for the evening.
My favorite was the fish sandwich; the breaded fish patty was delicious and simple in its presentation on a fluffy white bun with a pickle and sauce. The burger has much more action between the buns, as it were, with cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions. Since this was a sampler night, the burgers and fish sandwiches were miniature. I was told they will be bigger for the actual happy hour.
But, as Tallulah says, I never eat on an empty stomach.
Although Sea Change's special happy hour cocktails are not classics, they are well-crafted with a choice of either a vodka or whiskey base. Because of the ginger beer and mint that makes up their Jameson cocktail, it tastes a bit like a Moscow Mule jumped into an herb garden. I'm curious about what gives this drink its pretty pink color.
The vodka-based drink was much more of a citrus-flavored drink, like a very stiff Absolut lemonade with an alcoholic-bite -- something to make the back of your jaw tingle. This drink made everyone think of summer and we glanced outside, dreaming about the weather that will soon permit outdoor seating. Instead, only the colossal image of Arthur Miller peered back at us from the frigid outdoors. One attractive lady and I ended up exchanging our When-I-Met-Arthur-Miller stories, and it turns out his eyes were very much focused at the same angle whenever he was around a lady.
Our reminiscing was cut short when one wild-haired guest broke a glass full of white wine. Everyone knew it wasn't because the drink was bad, but it did seem to signal that the party was a success. (A broken glass of Jameson, on the other hand, would have been something to cry over.) Another round of oysters appeared on the counter top and distracted everyone from the matter altogether.
Not ones to quit partying when a good party comes to an end, Bunny and I found some playwright friends enjoying a late night bite in Sea Change after the happy hour sampler came to an end. The place was rather busy at this time, as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, one of the shows currently playing at the Guthrie, had just let out. I was lucky enough to meet a couple of the leading men in the cast at this time, too. James T. Alfred, who plays the character Levee, and Penumbra founding member Abdul Salaam El Razzac, who plays Toledo, were nice enough to sit and share jokes and stories over champagne until the lights in Sea Change came on full blast, letting the four of us know this after-party party was over. And a note to James: I hope your invite for port still stands.
Opera party tomorrow. Stay tuned.