Monday, January 16, 2006

Reflections on Time


I looked up from the checkout counter at Rite-aid and saw this sunset today. When I got back to the minivan, I propped my elbow on the roof rack and snapped a few pix. Sometimes, I take a few extra seconds to look around and notice beauty around me. It makes me wonder how many times I miss it while rushing .

I am currently reading Fred Hoyle's autobiography which I find difficult to put down. The part where he recalls how he figured out what adults meant by time is especially interesting.

We played Jenga last night and discovered that Iris is a ringer at this game. I also a great deal of time with her today because her school is shut down for MLK day. We dropped off some overdue library books, posted a letter to my mom, went to get allergy shots, then met friends for lunch at Nyala Ethiopian Cuisine. We talked for two hours while the kids played hide and seek around the (very kid-friendly) restaurant.

Afterwards, Iris and I headed over to LACMA to see the Pisarro and Cezanne show that closed today. On the way home, we swung by the Rite-aid where I took the top photograph. This reads kind of like one of those "36 hours in X..." travel articles. But we managed to do this in just over 6 hours. Whew!

If you missed the exhibit, you didn't miss much. I bought the audio tour for both of us. That usually keeps her amused enough so that we can enjoy the exhibit (3 hours at the Vatican museum last year!) But the audio tour today was so insipid, that both of us were bored to tears and stopped using them halfway through the exhibit.

I also noticed that schools, libraries and post offices were all closed today in observance of MLK day, but the meter maids were still out in force.

Digression
Using the roof rack of the minivan to steady my arm while snapping the photo today reminds me of the Nissan Xterra commercial where the Xers use the Xterra as a tripod on their backcountry ski outing. I recall the commercial was really annoying because of all the quick cuts that the MTV generation is supposed to favor. Come to think of it, I am a backcountry skier, MTV generation Xer. So the commercial was effective in that I (the target demographic) remember it. OTOH, it didn't get me into the Nissan showroom while car shopping. (Chiat/Day is paid for making memorable ad campaigns, not for selling cars.)

I didn't really mean to get into a jag about Nissan vs. Toyota. But, did you ever notice that the Nissan minivan commercials show nary a child? The Toyota ads had kids popping out of the windows. I think the Sienna tagline went something like, "Kids, raise your juiceboxes!". I read that consumer research showed that SUV-driving and minivan-driving moms have fundamentally different self-images. So Nissan tried to divorce the Quest from the kid-hauling function. People who wouldn't be caught dead in a minivan won't buy one just because of a "cool" ad campaign. But the same ad campaign might turn off buyers who do want a minivan.

More thoughts about minivans:
The Zen of Minivans, On Time and MPG, the Unbearable Vapidity of Hipness

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a fun day!

    The only audio tour I ever enjoyed was one at MOCA for an Andy Warhol exhibit. Since he hung out with plenty of local celebrities, the audio tour featured the actual subjects of some of the portraits discussing what they thought of their likenesses and telling funny Andy Warhol stories.

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