February 16 2003
Had a total vacation day yesterday. Went into Phoenix around 8:30 and ate at the Matador for breakfast ($20 cash, plus $1 for parking), then went to the Phoenix Art Museum to see the El Greco to Picasso exhibit ($40, Kathy bought for Valentine’s Day present). Show was uneven and didn’t quite live up to the title (there was only one or two El Grecos and two Picassos, and not really stunning ones at at that), but there were several gems, including two Van Goghs (the headset narrator pronounced it “Von Gauckgh”), a small gem by Degas and a thrilling Gauguin masterpiece which I had never seen called “The Ham” (which the narrators pronounce “Tha Hom”). What’s so incredible is that someone could paint something so trivial and non-sexy as a plate of ham and make it so sensual, well, you’d have to admit that person is a major ham.
Here’s pictures of my three favorite paintings. Van Gogh’s the Public Gardens In Arles, 1888; Edgar Degas’ Melancholy, late 1860s (tiny little mother); and the aforementioned The Ham by Paul Gauguin, 1889.
After the show we decided to sneak in a movie and went to Harkins 16 to see “Shanghai Nights” the new Jackie Chan-Owen Wilson follow-up to “Shanghai Noon.” ($12 for tickets and $4 for popcorn). Not quite as funny as the first one, but funny enough. Of course, the outtakes at the end, a Jackie Chan staple, were almost funnier than the entire movie and then they played a cover of the Kinks “You Really Got Me Now” as the credits finally rolled and I had to stay to listen to the whole song as the entire audience left (Kathy went to the bathroom). The clean up crew kept looking around the corner and there I sat, playing air drums all by myself in the dark theatre. “Does the name Pee Wee Herman mean anything to you?” I wanted to say to the clean-up kids but I didn’t because the reference is probably before their time.
Came home, took a nap, got up and went to dinner at a new Italian food place up in Carefree called Alberto’s. It’s in the former Cajun place location and it was quite good, although a tad expensive for Kathy’s tastes ($77, she bought). Came home and read.
“Forget your mistakes, but remember what they taught you.”
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