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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2005-04-11 - 10:24 a.m.

Best day ever, yesterday.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden was a riot of forsythia and daffodils, desert succulents and tropical elephant ears and, alarmingly, cute ducks eating helpless goldfish.

At the BBG, they have a rarity called the weeping hemlock, which, because of a genetic mutation, cannot produce a "leader shoot" and so its branches droop. I found some strange inspiration there, as in "let us not weep and droop, let us grow a leader shoot and ascend to the stars!"

Then I went to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Basquiat exhibit, which was incredible and highly recommended.

The added bonus: because it was a sunny day and because the huge Basquiat exhibit sucked in most of the patrons, the rest of the museum was virtually empty. There's nothing like the serene joy of finding yourself alone in a cavernous room of noseless Egyptian statues.

Rounding out the day, watched the pitch-perfect Undertones documentary, Teenage Kicks. It features tons of ancient live footage of the band in action, and interviews with the band and with John Peel (their earliest and staunchest champion) as well as Seymour Stein and other characters.

This is no Behind the Music--you get the sense that these were just five normal guys (well, 4 plus the slightly more sophisticated and ambitious Feargal Sharkey) who made it big, were very grateful for their shot, and then packed it in when things weren't fun anymore.

The documentary also gives me some perspective on what it's like growing up Irish, constantly being told "Eh, boys, don't git too big fer yr boots, neh!" and being regarded with suspicion and resentment for their opposed to growing up American, where everyone is expected to achieve! kick ass! be the best! nyar! nyar!

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