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We gave Mini a special toddler tough camera for Christmas. Much hilarity ensued.
Hilarity, and many, many pictures of feet and various kinds of flooring.
His own feet.
But Mini doesn’t seem to want to limit himself to just feet and flooring. No, he’s also an expert on Mommy pictures.
Mini feels that Mommy cannot be captured in just one, straight-on, in-focus shot.
Mini also finds pedestrian the modern reliance upon constructs like makeup and flattering lighting to ease the egos of subjects. In Mini’s studio, subjects are not even allowed to put in their contacts before they are photographed.
Nor does he demand that his subjects pay attention to him while he’s photographing them; instead, Mini favors a cinema verite approach to his high art photography.
He can identify art in the highest of the high and the lowest of the low, as is demonstrated by the following, “Mommy Cleaning Out The Diaper Pail,” 2010.
But far more intriguing are his set of admittedly dark self-portraits.
After sundry daytrips to silly places like the Getty Center, the Treehouse Social Club, and Disneyland, Mommy and Daddy finally pulled out all of the stops and took me to The Greatest Place on Earth a couple of weeks ago. That’s right, they took me to, can you believe it?! the new Americana at Brand shopping center in Glendale, California!
How could one toddler be so lucky? I don’t know. A shopping center with–get this–a trolley that runs in a circle endlessly?! You can just get on it and go around and around for as long as you want? Will wonders never cease? When the only thing limiting you is the willingness of your parents to continue riding around listening to the announcer say, “And up here is our Sony store, right next door to our new bakery, Crumbs! Don’t miss their great cupcakes!”–well, I don’t need to tell you that we’re living in a great age!
So, yeah, when I was done with the trolley, I picked up some stuff from Kitson. I didn’t see Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan, but then we were in the provinces.
I also noticed that, outside the bookstore, they had a picture of that mouse with the big ears. Desperado. I pointed it out to Mommy, and the dude walking by thought I was terribly droll.
They even have a jungle gym there so fly kids like me can break dance. Or, you know, go down the slide. Or just walk back and forth on the sand, and “get tired out,” as Mommy says.
Now, admittedly, this kind of water statue is a little garish and unusual for a mall. But I am a man who likes flash, so I appreciated it.
Oh yeah, the Americana at Brand is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend going there. Or, you could just wait until they build a shopping mall identical to it down the street from your house. This is America, after all.
A couple of weeks ago we went to the Getty Center. Have you been there? Even if you haven’t, you might have seen it from the 405 Freeway. It’s a giant white structure done in the great architectural tradition of Miami Vice. Except tasteful. The Getty Center is situated high above Los Angeles in the Bel Air hills, on some of the most expensive real estate in the world. And it took many many years to build it, beginning back in the 80s sometime. They have an art museum there, and sometimes they host special events. To be honest, their collection is somewhat lackluster, with only a few notable entries. However, the place itself is a work of art, and as far as places to take beautiful pictures goes, it’s tough to beat the Getty.
After you pay for parking, you don’t have to pay an admission fee to get into the Getty. But you can’t just walk into the Getty, like you might with another museum. First you have to park. And ride in an elevator, a process that I find both interesting and terrifying at the same time.
Then you have to get on the tram that goes all the way up the hill. Particularly disconcerting fact about the tram: There is no driver!
On the way up the hill, Daddy talked to some people from England who were sitting next to us. They were fans of Liverpool, like my Uncle Beaux. Uncle Beaux is not British, nor does he live in England. Yet he follows English soccer. Except in England, they call it football. These British people were impressed that Uncle Beaux was a Liverpool fan, even though they didn’t meet him. They assumed he must be a man of discerning taste. They were also happy to have us there to point out all the extraordinarily expensive homes that are visible across the valley from the Getty. Daddy says that Adam Sandler, the Regans, and “all the royalty” lives over there.
The first thing you notice when you actually get to the top of the hill is the fact that it’s really bright. This is why they pass out umbrellas to people at the tram stop. But Mommy’s like, “Yeah, right, I’ll just carry that with my third arm while I chase Mini around.” And the lady who was passing them out was like, “Who pissed in your cheerios, lady?” And then Mommy explained that this conversation took place in something called “internal monologue,” and that was why it was OK for her to be so obnoxious to somebody she didn’t know. She didn’t take an umbrella.
When we got into the Getty Center, I was overwhelmed by the scale of everything. I held Daddy’s hand while I was still feeling the place out and getting a lay of the land.
They had to ship in something like 85 million billion tons of travertine from some quarry in Italy to finish the Getty Center. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I think that travertine is a little overdone. I mean, it’s beautiful, sure, but if I have to look at another KB home with travertine in the shower, I’m going to scream.
Having said that, they really do it up right with the travertine at the Getty Center. They don’t just smooth everything over and streamline everything. Since the architects designed the walls to include unfinished stones, sometimes you can see some fossil remains in the stone, which seems to underscore the fact that archtecture is both a form of art and a piece of living history.
But we weren’t there to dick around looking at rocks! We had a storytime to get to.
The Getty organizes a storytime for its younger visitors, which sounds like a nice idea, doesn’t it? That’s before you get there and you find out the “story” is some chick wearing a crazy outfit, standing in front of a painting with a guitar.
The “story” centered around looking at the painting, and saying how many dogs were in painting (1). And how many little girls were in the painting? (Hard to say, because they all have similar hair lengths, and similar clothing). And this painting was painted in France, where they speak French. Can anyone say three in French? And in case you’re wondering, yes, there are a significant number of preschool age children in West LA who can say three in French. FYI. I thought it was all a little pretentious, but I did cop a decent snuggle from Mommy during the story time.
Afterwards, we went to see some of the more significant pieces in the Getty’s collection.
And some of the least significant.
But the chief attraction for me was outside, where you can get a good look at the architecture.
And the crazy gardens.
And the statues.
Ahhh! the statues!
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ONLINE DATING CHRONICLES
Sure, I eventually met my husband, Mr. Right-Click, through online dating. But not before I had dated nearly one hundred of Los Angeles' least suitable bachelors. Laugh along in my Online Dating Chronicles.
Sometimes I like to muckrake. You can read about it here. Oh, and here too. Listen, if I don't do it, that muck will just keep piling up until we have to call a roto-rooter. So really, you should thank me. You're welcome.
You know, you slave away at blog posts day after day, you try to write fiction, you try to provide interesting social commentary, but at the end of the day, they come for the lists. Check out List Mondays to see what all the hullabaloo is about, because I sure as hell cannot explain it.
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If you'd prefer to peruse the ABDPBT archives by month, you can check them out here:
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On Truth: Sometimes somebody will say something and it hurts your feelings. And then you will write a story about it and your aunt will call it "phenomenal." Everyone else will try to pretend like it never happened.
The Sheer And Unmitigated Power of Bob Mould: Sometimes you spend your formative years obsessed by an unrequited teenage crush, and then one day you realize that person is now an orthopedic surgeon who lives in your neighborhood. It kinda sucks when that happens.
Ben From Madera: For one Halloween, Ben dressed up like a bee, like that kid in the Blind Melon video. That's how I will always remember him.
He is my best friend, even if he uses a PC. And the fact that sometimes he will pretend to be a "Pancake Pirate" is only part of the reason. Arrrr!
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Mini: The Fame
My name is Anna. I like to blog. ABDPBT is a creative effort at understanding my experience as a wife, mother, recovering academic, popular culture enthusiast, satirist, and unrepentant fake American.