He Had a Getty-kind of Laugh Weekend

What a great weekend! On Saturday, after work, I got to hang out with feigao. Later on in the evening, The Family got together at the Sixth Family’s house. We were celebrating my fourth aunt’s birthday. My eldest uncle and his wife came from Texas to visit. The air was full of children’s laughter and barbequed shrimp and chicken. I got to hear Cindy play all of Fur Elise. Later in the evening, all the kids and I played Risk. In the end, Jason and Joshua won the whole game.

On Sunday, I got to hang out with S. As usual, she’s a breath of fresh air to my ritualistic routine. We met up at her house in Granada Hills. I was acquainted with her chinchilla, cat and neglected piano while she freshened up from her Saturday fun. Although she was extremely tired, she was nice enough to still go to the Getty with me.

At the Getty Museum, we experienced “The Passions” of Bill Viola. Sunday was the last day that his exhibit was going to be on display. Viola is well-known for using the video medium. In this exhibit, he captured his performers/actors expressing various emotions on high-speed film. He would then transfer the film onto high-definition video and slow it down to snail-speed. As a result, the audience can witness the minutest transformations of the human emotions. To be honest, most of his exhibits were blah, but “The Emergence” was definitely a wow piece.

In “Emergence,” two women were mourning by a three-foot tall altar. The older one could have been the mother of the deceased; the younger, the lover. Both were absorbed in their own grief. The altar then flooded and a stark naked, white marble pale, dead-looking young man emerged from its waters. He fell into the arms of the older woman while the younger took up his feet. Both carried him and laid him onto the now wet floor. As the older woman hugged him, shaking from joy-sadness, the younger fanned out a thin cotton veil to cover the man’s naked body. Both women prostrated themselves on top of the dead man, ultimately coming into contact with each other, holding the other’s hand in consolation. Death brings people together. Generations are linked by the passing of lives. A resurrection of religion will bridge a generational gap. Wow.

I wonder how the piece would have been perceived had we not seen the man’s genitals? The woman could have brought out the veil earlier just as the man’s waist went above water, providing the young man some modesty. The man was in Full Monty, however. And, as a result, the piece was more solemn, more serious, more grave. Somehow, seeing the nude dead slowly emerging from the water, the anticipation, the question of “will I see his dick?”, elevated the seriousness of the message.

After the Viola exhibit, S and I went to the garden and took some pictures. As I looked at the wide open spaces, I daydreamed of taking L and our kids to this same museum, and spending the day out in the sun. L and I would lie on the grass, holding hands, as the kids ran around in the grass in front of us, chasing each other. Being in such a beautiful environment would have been very depressing had S not kept me company.

After a slow chit-chat over a cup of hot chai (for S) and hot chocolate (for me), we decided to head out to Ventura Blvd for the sketch show we were going to see that evening. S introduced me to my new favorite shrimp restaurant, Killer Shrimp. Talk about eargasmic! I’m not quite sure how to describe what I ate, other than it was a bowl of incredible soup with thirteen pieces of jumbo shrimp soaked in herbed, buttery goodness. Every shrimp-lover needs to try this place.

At eight, we went to the L.A. Connection Comedy Theatre to watch the sketch comedy that one of my employees at Countrywide is involved in. What I saw was so funny that I’m telling everyone I know to go and see it. In fact, I’m going again before the show closes in June.

So, the evening ended on a tired note. I imagine S must have been exhausted. She had a nine o’clock class the next day. I, on the other hand, could sleep in until 1pm (which I did).

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