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Sedge Island kayak tour Mon, Aug 31, 2009
Yesterday morning, Wendy and I went on a guided kayak tour of New Jersey's Barnegat Bay and Sedge Islands.  We paddled around in a few feet of water and stopped off at a few sandbars and marsh islands, while an off-duty teacher and a park ranger told us about the various marine life and history of the area. 


AIC review Mon, Aug 31, 2009
One thing I intentionally neglected to say much about in my Chicago trip review was the Art Institute of Chicago.  In general, I don't have much of an appreciation for art, and my experience at this museum was no different.  However, I feel the need to state exactly why I despised this particular place so much. 

First, I'm not in school anymore, so I'm not forced to develop an appreciation for things I already know I don't like, such as poetry, literature, and paintings.  I finally feel comfortable saying that I hate art.  And that's the end of it.  Like anything, you can't develop a taste for it if you already don't like it.  It's like forcing yourself to like the smell of raw sewage.  You don't like it; that's fine; move on.  I already knew I wouldn't like the art museum, and nothing could really change my mind, not even the best painting of a rainbow-puking unicorn.  As parents like to say, my attitude was my decision, and I had fully decided my attitude before anything even happened. 

Second, the museum had a bag check, which was awesome because we had already walked several miles with bags on our backs, so hey at least the stupid art museum could provide me that luxury.  However, they had this finicky little rule about not having any liquids or opened food packages in your bag.  I understand that it's probably so our strange food items don't mix with other people's strange food items and form some sort of food monster that will poop on all the paintings.  Fine.  But we had just come from a natural history museum and an aquarium, neither of which had a bag check or even a bag scan, and both of which stand to lose much more than some stupid paintings.  I could've easily destroyed some dinosaur bones or mummy remains, or I could've given the beluga whales some ecstasy and caused an aquatic nightmare, but I didn't.  So it pissed me off that this stupid art museum (notice a pattern here?) made me check all my food and beverages because they didn't want me to ruin their stupid paintings.  Right from the get-go I caught a scent of elitism. 

Third, we stopped at the photography exhibit because I like taking pictures.  I wouldn't call myself artistic, but I can appreciate a weird picture of an otherwise uninteresting object or view.  We walked into the room, looked at a few pictures, then left 30 seconds later.  I couldn't come up with a better way to express myself, so I said to Wendy, "I could poop out a better picture than that."  And that's a feeling I still stand by.  There were ridiculous pictures of people and simply ugly pictures of dirt and sticks, and to me, I don't care who you are or what you say, that's just not art.  If it is art, I want no part of it. 

Fourth, the museum was likely designed by a blind person on drugs walking upside down, because there were eight different second floors, and none of them were connected.  We walked up a staircase to the second floor, went to where there should have been a hallway, and there was a wall.  This happened several times, and it was like the museum's architect was thinking, "If the person hates art, this will make him hate it even more."  Mission accomplished, idiot. 

So this is my scathing review of a place I shouldn't have gone to in the first place because I hated it before I even knew it existed.  But it had a bunch of Impressionist paintings, and Wendy likes that type of thing.  I tried to do a few impressions of my own, but this joke sadly fell on deaf ears. #entertainment

Recently from the Onion Mon, Aug 31, 2009
Two unrelated stories from the Onion:  Increasing Number Of Educators Found To Be Suffering From Teaching Disabilities, and Tiny Dog Has Been Barking Nonstop For 6 Years.  That dog lives down the road from me. #entertainment

Cops always win Mon, Aug 31, 2009
I don't have much experience with cops, and this topic isn't in response to a recent run-in with the law, but just an observation (slightly in reference to the Henry Louis Gates thing):  Cops always win.  You'll never have the last word in an argument with a cop.  You'll never get to plead your case to a cop after you push them around or yell at them.  Cops are always right.  Cops don't make mistakes.  They are the law.  They enforce the law to the letter and then some.  And if you provoke them, they'll arrest you, plain and simple. #lifestyle