Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Bigger than a T-Rex, baby.

Bigger than a T-Rex, baby.

I've been taking my youngest sister, Abigail, to a lot of children's museums lately. We've been to three this month: the Center for Puppetry Arts, SciTrek, and the Fernbank Museum of Science. I suppose my favorites were the Fernbank, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and SciTrek, in that order. Abby's favorites were that in reverse, I think.

My sister liked all three trips, but was more in love with the IMAX at the Fernbank than the actual exhibits. We made puppets at the Puppet Center, and that was fun, but for her age group SciTrek is the best because so many of the exhibits are interactive. It's a museum dedicated to the Physical Sciences, and Abby loved being shown how to demonstrate the laws of physics. SciTrek tells children to touch and climb on things, which 10-year-olds love, while Fernbank is strictly hands off. She grouched at me after I had to remind her for the 4th time not to put fingerprints on the glass cases and for pete's sake Abby, don't lean on them either, OK?

Fernbank is a museum of the Natural Sciences, and she was put off by the stuffed dead animals used as examples of Georgia wildlife. I couldn't blame her, but tried to explain that biologists can gain a lot more information from an actual specimen than from a model sometimes. A typical conversation from the Fernbank:

"Dinosaurs weren't really that big."

"Yes, they really were."


"Yes, these are really their bones. We could park the car up there in that rib cage."

"You're lying."

"I'm not."

"You so are."

"Read the sign, then."

"When does the IMAX start?"


"Is there anything I can climb on?"


It's her Spring break, and she's staying with our Uncle and Aunt out in the countryside. There are neighbor's horses to visit, other children to play with, and small dogs to torment. I took her to see a musical at the movie theater the other night, and she can pretty much eat ice cream whenever she'd like. Even though I'm pretty busy, I'm trying to make the time to play Battleship and Monopoly and tic-tac-toe with her.

I hope she remembers how nice this time was later in her life. While everything else falls apart - while the center can not hold - some 5th graders are having a pretty decent Spring Break right now. I think it's important to remember that.

I suppose anyone with a blog right now is making their anti-war statements again. I did that here, over a year and a half ago. The things I wrote about Afghanistan go for Iraq as well, so I don't feel the need to re-state my position. I marched in D.C. to protest my country's foreign policies last April, and I plan to do so again at my first opportunity.

I have been in voluntary media black out for a couple of months now. I allow myself the Sunday Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Alternet, an occasional issue of Newsweek, and sometimes a daily paper at lunch. But I've kept the television news off when I'm not at work. When I get home, I want to relax with some cartoons or a Joss Whedon production. If I watch the news I just get stressed out over things, and I feel like I do the best I can at expressing my dissent so far. I go to marches and I let my voice be heard by those around me. I can't afford to quit my job and dedicate my life to activism right now, as much as I would like to.

I will let friends and family tell me about events though, which is why I knew today was supposed to be the day we start dropping the big bombs on Iraq. I'm taking a ten-hour day at work, in the office by myself, preserving photographs and listening to CD's. This is very relaxing, rewarding work that I normally find very soothing. Still, I had to take a moment to type this to my blog, because it's half past noon now and I can't bring myself to turn on the radio or look at any webcasts.

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