Sunday, January 15, 2006

Kenya! Tanzania! Rubens! Oh My!

Thank you to Jay and Megan and Libby for the American pep talk. You're right, of course. Screw the LSATs. Or, after Libby's suggestion, I'll take them, just for the practice and the fun of it. Cancellation's easily done and I've already paid.

My main point of the night was going to be related to art. I got up early this morning to be at the National Gallery when it opened (more or less) for the last day of their early Rubens exhibit (which was very nice, especially after I paid the under 18 student price...£4 instead of £8 and got an audio guide in celebration). An observation, however, I don't like the funny faces people always seemed to be making in the paintings with smaller figures and NO to romanticized horses and men with weird muscles. I don't care if they're copied from classical sculpture...they just don't look right! Too many bumps! People are smooth, not bumpy! I still think that Rubens' best works are the quiet scenes, where the subject either looks straight at you and forces you to become invoved (his portraits and Ecce Homo of Jesus today) or they represent the moment of calm before the storm (Sampson & Delilah). They're the most engaging. He gets the energy across in the "action" scenes, but it always makes me ask: why? What can I learn from this that I can't get in one of your psychological portraits (real or imaginary)? More and more I want to got the Low Countries. And did I mention the Rembrant/Carravaggio exhibit in Amsterdam this spring? Did I mention that I am a big nerd?

The other HOT news is the Easter holidays. We've decided on Kenya & Tanzania and are going on Tuesday to book the tickets. I can't tell you how pumped I am about this! One of my friends went on Earlham Tanzania program a few years ago and I was so jealous of her stories and experiences. A big part of me was thinking: "I went to London, when I could have done this?" Anyway, it's my chance. There should be elephants and a trip to Zanzibar and Arusha...the headquarters of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda! How cool! I'm off to buy the guidebooks tomorrow! (I'm amazed that I waited this long, frankly.)


Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Joyce, Since when were you eager to chase elephants? smiles, jrb