Sunday, July 3, 2011 A
"Happy Surprises"

(I don't know why I wake up early to write. Maybe it's because the rest of the world is quiet. I'll return to sleeping later.)

Yesterday had its share of happy surprises. Breakfast of sour yogurt sweeted by some cocoa puffs was followed by chocolate sampling.

The lecture room was crammed with people for that presentation. They were even sitting on the floor. The "Moonstruck" chocolate features a special type of cocoa bean which is the purest type. Their dark chocolate truffle is wonderful. A Moonstruck shop is near the hotel, if we can find it.

After lunch with some of Julia's ISPE associates, (nice conversation with which I kept up, despite lacking the test credentials), we found another of our destinations quite by accident.

Julia felt like wandering the town, so we set off wandering. We came upon an area filled with shiny old cars. Avid car lovers were photographing like like crazy.

A sign on the building behind the street display revealed there were more cars inside. The Portland Art museum is featuring an exhibit of classic cars.

I asked at the front desk about the Portland Art Museum, if there was another building farther away. No, there are two buildings side by side, joined by a linking tunnel between their basements.

Google map directions had lied to me! It's a good thing we'd stumbled upon the museum, for it sure would have been a waste of time and energy to follow where they'd led, a good mile away from the museum.

We began exploring in a gallery of native art south of the border, and then went to native art north of the border.

Ceramic Seated Figure
From Veracruz, Mexico, 800-1200 C.E.
Gift of Mr. E.M. Nagel, #71.32


He has something of the calm dignity Egyptian figures have.

From there, we went to American and European painting. I snapped some nice portraits of people gazing out at the museum visitors agelessly.

The impressionists were in the other building, so we tunneled over. Happy surprise! Another Gauguin for my photo collection!

Vue d'un Jardin, Rouen, (Garden View, Rouen), oil on canvas, 1884
By Paul Gaugin, (French, 1848-1903)
Gift of Melvin "Pete" Mark in honor of Mary Kridel Mark, #2009.12

(Note of July 7, 2011: Unhappy surprise! When I got home, I found my camera had done a dirty trick, and after a few photos, they all came out the terribly small 640x480 pixel size like my ancient camera! I never even knew this was possible. I can't find what caused this, so later I will examine the camera instruction book.)

Earlier, I found another aquamanile, this one from Germany:

Brass Aquamanile
North German, 1200-1500
Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Children's Museum Fund, #44.1

I like some of their modern sculptures. I failed to notice it, but Julia who looked above, found a Calder:

Le gong c'est une lune, (The Gong is the Moon), 1953-54
By Alexander Calder, (American, 1898-1976)
Sheet metal, wire, strong, objects, and paint
The Evan H. Roberts Memorial Sculpture Collection, #80-38

We didn't see everything. I never found the art which the docent showed us in her slides. We were getting weary. But we could visit again.

My poor calves, already strained by much stair climbing, were killing me. Why, you wonder, were we climbing stairs when the hotel has four elevators? Those four elevators appear rarely, and when they do, they are often full of people, butt to belly to butt to belly. So whenever it doesn't require the many steps uphill, we opt for stairs.

We missed the Jean Auel talk. When we arrived back to our room, we settled in for a nice long nap, emerging in time only for the gala dinner. We met the ISPE people again. But as the huge ballroom was very noisy, I couldn't follow the conversations very well. The meat eaters got fed more than the veggie eaters. I wished our ravioli plates had been graced with a dollap of mashed potatoes, too. We all got the same amount of carrots and aspargus, and I noticed many of the meat eaters didn't even touch their carrots. What a waste, when there are hungry vegetarians eying them!

However, the dessert made up for it. It was a tasty chocolate covered mound of raspberry chocolate mousse on a thin chocolate cake. Yummy!

The speaker, an avid Beatles fan, spoke on five things the Beatles did right. While I did take notes, the thing I remember most was his ending statement. He took the last words of the last song the Beatles ever recorded:

"The love you take is equal to the love you make."

So true! Many lonely people never realize that to have friends, you must be a friend. They never realize their words, which they perceive as being bluntly honest, are being perceived by their listener as deeply hurtful. They never understand why affection does not flow freely. Communication skills! They should be taught in schools.

After the main event we wandered basement-ward. Julia had some beer and I had some chops and salsa. Then, Julia was curious about the views from the top floor, which someone said were excellent. But I think day light might be better for views.

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