Tuesday, July 14, 2009

a day at the museum...

As part of my crusade to pull Sam and Tali from their respective screens and to insert a hiatus to their incessant digs at each other, I dragged them to the museum yesterday. They were pained at the thought of quiet halls of ancient artifacts, even though I told them over and over that where we were actually going was to the Experience Music Project, a museum designed by Frank Gehry that houses incredible rock and roll and science fiction exhibits.

"Ewwww, exhibits," Tali whined from the backseat.

"Ugh, rock and roll," said Sam. "Let's at least go to the science museum, if we have to go to one."

"You guys," I told them cheerfully. "We're going to see the Jim Henson exhibit about the Muppets. How is that boring?"

"Ugh, Muppets," said Sam. "Old, ancient muppet exhibits."

Basically, I think the kids suffered from brief amnesia because the EMP is this huge, shiny, colorful metallic building inspired by Jimi Hendrix's guitars. It's been around for years now, but my kids are only just now old enough to potentially be interested in the place.

To get to the Muppets, we had to go through the Science Fiction exhibits exploring how images of space has evolved through popular culture. We passed by glass enclosed exhibits of all my old Star Wars figures, Alf, characters from Lost in Space, and Planet of the Apes.

The kids were mesmorized.

"This is a museum?" Sam asked incredulously. "Cool."

They had the model of the Death Star Station used in the fourth episode and we talked about how they could've used such a small piece in a film, but still have it look real. Sam stood and squinted at it from all angles, checking it out as if it were a piece of fine art.

And then we donned guided tours loaded on iPods and started the Muppet exhibit. They had napkin drawings of Jim Henson's early sketches, films, and best of all, a theater where the kids were taught how to manage muppets behind a stage using a televised screen and then they performed the muppets to a song.

Sam's fave was the Jimi muppet.
"I can't believe they put that stuff in a museum," Tali said afterwards. "How could they just put his drawings in a frame and call it famous?" She asked, referring to his framed scribbles on lined paper.
"Wasn't it cool to see how Jim Henson worked on the Muppet designs?"
She thought for a sec. "I'm going to frame my drawings, too, so that it's easier to put them up in a museum."
It was a good parenting afternoon. Maybe when they start bickering again this afternoon, I'll have them draw more Muppets.

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