Thursday, January 15, 2009

Field trip to OMSI

Walking to Van, crosswalk:

Gabe! Scott! Wait at the corner! (Gas station at that corner with driveway immediately adjacent to crosswalk; as pedestrians cross cars coming from our left are allowed to turn left, often heading for that gas station driveway.) Gabe! Wait! damn it

Felix, Scott, Mia, Gabe. Everyone here. Cross driveway safely. Now let them run, except for Mia, carrying her stuffed pink whatever, talking nonstop: We built a snowman. did you build a snowman? I wear my red mittens when it's cold. I like my red mittens. Do you like red mit..."

Gabe! Scott! Felix! Come back, the van is back here!

That's a nice lamb, Mia.

It's not a lamb; it's a poodle.

Figures. I've already been barking like a dog and am probably in for more of the same.

Unlock it! Unlock it!


I'm sitting here; no I'm sitting here because I want to sit next to Scott.

OK, fine, that means I get to keep the Bionicles comic book.

Everyone clicked in? Seatbelts?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Oh boy! We're going on the freeway! Yay! The freeway! Freeeeeeee-way!

I'm hungry.


What's so funny!

Something in the comics.

Let me see, let me see, let me see!

In a minute.

Come on, let me see!

I wish we could stop at Subway and pick something up! I had breakfast but I walked a half mile to school this morning and so I'm hungry.

Tricky merge ahead of a bottleneck downstream. Blind spots in van. Blinker on, checking and rechecking.


eye-twitch Slip into open slot between dumptruck and sports car. Look for another slot to merge over one more lane because the two right lanes must exit. Around, everyone is doing the same. Some trying to get to the far right lane from the far left. Do I take the opening next to me or is someone from two lanes over on the left angling for it...can't quite see signal...

I was going to give it to you when I'm finished but I don't really want to now because you called me a name and shouted at me.

I hope Billy has little juice boxes for snacks. I hope he brought those and has...



Look, Felix, Gabe said he'll give you the magazine when he's done with it. If he's not done with it before we get to OMSI, you shall have it on the return trip, I promise.

...granola bars

Stop light. Restaurant. Garlic smell.

I smell Pizza. Oh, yes, pizza! Pizza! It smells good!

It's torture.

Yeah, it's torture!

When we went to Nebraska we went to a waterpark.

There's a place to eat!

A waterpark.

I wonder what Billy brought.

We went to a waterpark.

Wasn't it cold in Nebraska in December?

Let me see that marker.

I had a swim suit.

My marker!

My father and I went down a tube three times.

I'm keeping it because you pushed it in my face.

Give me back my marker Felix!

It's not your marker.

It's my marker!

No it's not; it's MINE

I brought it from my pencil box!

It is Gabe's, Scott. I saw him bring it from the classroom.

Give me back my marker!

Not until you apologize for pushing your marker in my face!

Scott'smom, he has my marker

hunGRY! hunGRY! hunGRY! hunGRY! hunGRY! hunGRY! everybody sing hunGRY! hunGRY! hunGRY! hunGRY!

He doesn't get it back until he says he's sorry!

I'm thirsty.

I hope he's brought the apple granola bars.

Even though I had some water at school I'm still thirsty.

I don't like the OMNIMAX. I'm scared of it.

It probably won't be scary this time (are there things to scare us in a film about the Nile River?)

OK, fine, you can KEEP the marker!

It wasn't enough.

We have to keep together in the parking lot. Look. There is a car backing up. You must stay with me. Gabe! Scott! Why are you running when I just said stay together?

I'm really really hungry.

Sidewalk. Relative safety. Relax radar a bit.

Headache. Other parent drivers dodging the movie. Didn't dodge soon enough...decide to stay in theater to help with adult/kid ratio; reassure Scott.

The trouble with the Omnimax is the misuse of power. Because they can give a visceral experience, they insist on shocking with it. So, in the last experience, "The Human Body," the camera has you gazing into a perfectly still eyeball, and then suddenly hyperaccelerates you through the iris, past the retina, along the optic nerve and slam into the visual cortex of the brain with no warning. Accompanied by an escalation of the intrusive volume of soundtrack. Scott hasn't forgotten this. Neither have I.

The feature this day is an adventure story: the first raft and kayak descent of the (Blue) Nile River from its source at Lake Tana in Ethiopia (this is the largest of the two major forks, contributing 80% of the flow. The other fork, the White Nile, originates in southern Rawanda. They meet in Khartoum, Sudan.). Scott's class has been studying ancient Egypt, and part of the theme of the movie is the river's historical role in the lives of various civilizations extending to this day. So there's some connection with their classwork.

This omnimax experience is a great improvement over the last. One has the feeling of flying above the river, sometimes skimming the surface and sometimes high above. Of course they can't resist throwing in some stomach-wrenching banks and dives. Several times when the camera was obviously in the bow of the raft, bouncing through major rapids, careening toward and then spinning away from rocks and holes, I closed my eyes to minimize the queasiness. Still, this was an experience of the Nile I would never have imagined. It makes you realize how strongly our visual sense dominates what we perceive.

It was very cool. I'm glad I stayed. Scott pronounced it the "best movie ever."

Ah, but there was still the journey back to the school--another aural experience I could do without. I was glad to be rid of the lot of them.

Yes, I do. I do hate children, I do.


Lori said...

Ugh. I hope you treated yourself to a glass of delicious wine tonight.

And a pedicure tomorrow.

And a solo trip to Tahiti during February. The whole month.

(May I join you?)

Maddy said...

Sounds all too frighteningly familiar, except with slightly less on the word count.

Deep breaths dearie.

Irish Gumbo said...

(Pant, pant, pant) whew! I am exhausted! and a little queasy. that eyeball thing...

Hey, thank you for dropping in on me at Irish Gumbo. I am delighted you liked the post and blog. Thank you so much!

Now go get some rest!

Martha said...

Wow, that is a murderous commute.

excavator said...

McTarnahan's Amber was my consolation of choice. Only because I didn't have any tequila for margueritas. Or mojitos. In Tahiti. (Mmmmmmm, Tahiti)

Driving on field trips is bearable if I think of myself as an anthropologist, studying the ways of a people strange to myself. And if I take mental notes to store it up for a blog post.

Hi, Irish Gumbo! What a nice surprise to see you. Thanks for visiting.

Yeah. Just about any commute with kids is a murderous commute.