Archives for September 2010

Monday Dare: Horticulture

You can lead a horticulture
but you can’t make her think.
-Dorothy Parker
Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Try, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: I will go to a museum. Of my own free will and accord. And spend at least one hour inside the exhibits. No ma’am, the gift shop does not count as an exhibit. Nor the coffee shop. Nor the ticket booth. Nor the bathroom. Nor the IMAX theater.

I’ve visited a lot of museums. Really. If you challenged me to name five quickly, without thinking, just to make sure I was telling the truth, I’d immediately think of the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty Center, the MoCA Los Angeles, even the Kimbell. I’ve been to every single one of them. Well, sort of.

A boy once invited me to a beautiful party to celebrate the opening of the Lucian Freud exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Los Angeles.  The champagne flowed freely and I enjoyed spying on the artsy ladies and well-groomed men, preening and kissing and hugging each other. When my friend beckoned me inside to view the artwork, I declined. Go inside and waste a perfectly fresh (and free!) drink? I think not. Still, technically, I have been to the MoCA.

I once used the restroom at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. I even stopped by the gift shop and purchased a large poster depicting a lovely landscape by Monet.

The chef-d’oeuvre of my museum experience-the Louvre. Yeah, yeah, so cliche. If you’ve ever been there and it’s not your favorite museum, that’s okay. Honestly, I was about to put down Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but Harv just informed me that it’s not considered a “real” museum. Potato, potahtoe.

Poor Harv. The trip to Paris was his 30th birthday gift. I innocently led him to believe that we would spend hours wandering the cavernous rooms, our eyes feasting on all those amazing works of art. I’m sure he dreamt of the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory, and the lady of the house, the Mona Lisa, for weeks, anticipating the actual meet and greet. I didn’t even mind the hour we spent waiting in line for the admission tickets.

Sadly, we only spent 47 minutes roaming the halls.


I spotted a stone carving of a man’s head in one of the rooms. It didn’t have a nose. Maybe someone carelessly mishandled it. Judging from the creepy unfinished eyes, maybe the artist suffered from attention deficit disorder. Either way, it was in poor shape. Defaulting to my classy and restrained self, I started poking fun. I even posed in front, modeling a wide grin and a thumbs up sign; Harv snapped a picture. I stepped closer to read the description. Oh. Jesus Christ. I’m not swearing. It was a carving titled Tete de Christ Couronne, or Head of Christ.

See how long you mill around somewhere after you accidentally make fun of  Jesus.


no ma’am, my feet aren’t bleeding. that’s just my nail polish.

Remember that ceremonious unsubscribing to the 111 retail emails I did to kick off the project? Well, it didn’t work. Either they’re not listening or they don’t care. In the last 24 hours, I’ve received 27 of these once enticing, now annoying, gems in my inbox. Oh, and the four catalogs I got in the mail yesterday? Bless your heart, thanks for not letting me forget about that.

What exactly does it take to erase my email address from these retail lists, anyway? Do I need to lay my current address to rest, forcing my hand to create a new email identity-one with an extra “e” or a made-up nickname?

I’m walking around with my chest puffed up a little. It’s been two weeks. I haven’t shopped. I haven’t had my best-friend-in-a-cup Caramel Machiatto. There is a slim chance that the last few mom-and-pop craft stores in the neighborhood have officially lost 30% of their monthly sales.

If I’ve been making any sense until now, here’s where I might lose you. I deemed manicures and pedicures as unnecessary expenditures, but I kept my uber fancy haircuts with the stylist who will only answer to his initials. My logic? Overgrown cuticles and a homegrown manicure are a-ok on the path to self-discovery. A bad, layered haircut like the one I tried to give myself when I was 13? The one that compelled me to lie to my mother afterwards? Fuhgeddaboutit.

I sat on the cold hardwood floor in my bedroom this afternoon to try my hand (no pun intended) as my own manicurist. I contorted my body into all sorts of yoga poses to get the right angle for my pedicure. It looks….like I did it myself. That’s not a pat on the back, in case you’re confused.