Sunday, July 5, 2015


Making my way up the totem pole.
Izabel and I met up earlier in the morning than everyone else to go to church at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, one founded by famous pastor, Tim Keller. Although Izabel told me that she wasn't religious, she joined me for the service. We picked up some breakfast at Starbucks before riding down to their location and were pointed in the right direction by the ushers. The service was shorter than I had expected but still powerful. Izabel decided to get a "mani-pedi" at a next-door place she deemed worthy. Personally, I thought it was a tad expensive, then again I've never gotten one so I wouldn't know. As she was getting pampered, I figured I'd walk around and enjoy the beautiful day and the sunshine - reflect a little bit, read a little bit. A half hour passed by before we all met up with Ms. Thrift at the Lucerne and headed to the museum. With only a short walk to the Museum of Natural History that conjured up memories of Night at the Museum, we soon discovered that students did not get in for free and I discovered something even worse. 

I had lost my ID card.

Yes, yes, I beat myself up and gave myself the irresponsibility talk already. But not before I went through all the phases that one typically goes through after losing something of a fair amount of importance: the denial stage, the shock stage, the frantic searching and mind-racking stage, the "How could this have happened?" stage, the economically concerned stage, and finally the defeated acceptance stage. I mean, I sort of just dropped a really important twenty dollar bill that takes a heck of a lot more effort to obtain than it should.

Despite being extremely bummed for a legitimate 15 minutes after my loss fully sank in, I forgot about it once we got into the heart of the museum exhibit.

And before detailing every single exhibit that I visited and boring 6 out of 7 people - if that - that read this blog, I'll just cover all of my favorite parts, which, in it of itself is more than enough. 

This one goes out to all my fellow DIYers.
I really enjoy learning about the handmade processes of goods and material stuff. At the museum, this translated into a lot of time spent looking at the tiny diagrams related to tool-making in the Neanderthal Age and the tiny animal carvings out of stone and various other materials. Seeing something so outwardly primitive and yet so ingenious was absorbing. I could have spent hours re-watching the video of a historian demonstrating the stone core tool flaking technique if not for the Mineral and Gemstone Hall right next to it, with equally as absorbing of an exhibit. The stones were beautiful, each one a different color, shape, size, structure, opening up different possibilities in the chemical realm with each variation. And just to think that there was just something so breathtakingly beautiful about the the development of inanimate objects, how much greater and more wonderful and more intricate could it be with a living, breathing organism?  Even within one chemical compound of a mineral, the different formations that occurred and could be created were crazy. 

Fluorite crystals.
Diamonds in the rough.

But the amazement just kept coming on as we went to visit the ocean life section. I can't tell you how much I love the ocean, alright, maybe not swimming in it. But I love the color(s) and the vastness and the complexity and the mystery and the dynamic of it all. (Mr. Adjective and Mrs. Polysyndeton are hinting at me overstaying my welcome. Pfft. No matter.) First off, there's so many animals in the ocean, from the tiniest plankton to the humpback whale. I have also had a personal fondness for ocean life ever since I wrote a term paper on bioluminescence in the Chemistry class I took this past year and found out that around 90% of the organisms that live in the ocean have some sort of bioluminescence.

Isn't marine life incredible? 

Then, of course, there was the whale. 

Need I say more about the massive fiberglass whale hanging from the ceiling of the circularly shaped marine life section? (If we're going to address the elephant in the room, why not address the whale while we're at it?) Even more massive than the whale, however, was the Hayden Planetarium we had the pleasure of watching the "Dark Universe" show in. The dome we were seated in made the room feel like it was spinning and yet felt surprisingly soothing. Directly outside the dome was another kind of an exhibit: a circular display putting into perspective the extremely tiny, like quantum physics tiny, to the incomprehensibly large, like so large that I can't even think of a good enough example to use for this example, through the use of scientific notation and tinier models. The only word that is coming to me right now is trippy. The juxtaposition of something so tiny with something so large (honestly, large isn't even good enough of an adjective to be using) based on my own understanding of size and scale to describe things in our world was mind-blowingly eye-opening and humbling. And to see the scope in which scientists have dedicated their lives to discovering about the world around us was remarkable.

We are small beings.

Also, I figured it was worth a mention but I really enjoyed the soundtrack that accompanied both the ocean and space exhibits. At first listen, I immediately thought of the Interstellar and Drive soundtracks: ethereal, cool, ambient, delicate, and majestic. It really added to the ambiance of everything.

We ended the day with a brief walk to Strawberry Fields, John Lennon's memorial, adorned with purple, yellow, and white daisies. At least, I think they were daisies. In the background, a "newly housed" street performer was playing one of my favorite Beatles songs, "Something," in the background. Boy, was it something. (I just couldn't resist.)
And so, by the end of the day, once I was brought back down from up in space and remembered that I lost my ID card I was much calmer. Twenty dollars? *scoffs*
It is but a small price to pay for wonder. 

Update: That being said, Mark recently notified me of a night-changing comment on my blog from yesterday from a Mr. Matt Fried who most graciously explained that he found my ID card. And even though it's late at night and I had just accepted my loss, I can't explain how happy and thankful I am that I didn't just go ahead and buy a new one.

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