Solbit Sees Marilyn Monroe, a famous long gone actress!

Dear Nicalai,

We’re enjoying our time in Washington, DC, and it just got better with visitors.  Uncle Jim and Aunt Pat came out from Ohio. On Saturday morning, we all got together at Uncle Tom and Barbara’s. Uncle Tom made pancakes for all of us.  Then we went for a walk on Capitol Hill, and we did have fun.  Doing guess what?  Seeing more art!

First, we stopped for lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian; they have the best food there — you have an amazing array of choices!  After lunch, we walked over to the National Gallery of Art’s newly renovated East Building. Girl, did we have fun there looking at all the art, going out on the roof to see the blue rooster, yes blue, and visiting the gift shop, too.

Let me show you some of the art that we saw. Even though a woman takes up the whole thing, the artist gave it a man’s name,  “Gordian Puzzle.” Go figure.

Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress, was photographed by Richard Avedon in 1957. Then artist Via Muniz turned her into several jigsaw puzzles in 2007!

I get the “puzzle” part of the name, of course,  but Gordi or Gordon?  Nah, doesn’t make sense to me.  How do you explain that? Let me know if you figure out what a Gordian Puzzle is.

Nona said that guests are allowed to go out on the roof of this great big tall art gallery.  Really?  Yes, really.  She invited me out there to see the blue rooster.  Rooster? What, they raise chickens on the roof in our nation’s capital?  I just had to see that.  Look at this …

Katharina Fritch, the artist, can turn glass fiber, polyester, and resin into something big and beautiful, but who ever saw a blue rooster? Do they come in blue?

Never before have I seen a rooster that big or that blue. Have you?  He hadn’t turned blue because of the cold outside, either.  It was a perfectly comfortable day. I wonder what got into the artist.  Do you think she just woke up one day and said to herself, “I’m going to make a big, blue rooster today, and I’m going to put it on top of a big art gallery?”  Whatever, I have to hand it to her, she got it done, made it happen, over came all the challenges.  After all, a lot of people must have complained about a blue rooster on the roof of an important building. She’s my kind of woman.

One thing I noticed as we rambled around this big art gallery was how a piece of art could set off Nona and Barbara talking and talking and talking about something they were looking at on the wall.

Nona and Barbara liked to stand and stare at certain paintings. A painting could keep them chatting for a long time.

Really, girl, how much can you say about this painting?  I just don’t see all those words being generated by a piece of canvas and oil paint brush strokes.  Guess I’m just a plastic Jurassic that doesn’t understand humans, yet.

Here’s another painting that baffles me. It doesn’t have in it what the name says as far as I can tell.

From left to right: Aunt Pat, Uncle Jim, Nona, Uncle Tom, Aunt Barbara, Orange Purse in front of several paintings called “stations of the cross.” Didn’t look like gas stations and where’s the cross?

Papa told me that “stations of the cross” has something to do with western religious traditions.  I didn’t get it all, but I get it that this painting wasn’t about gas stations.  Did you know that Papa studied Comparative Religions when he was in college? Yeah, surprised me too.  Well, maybe that’s why he took this family portrait in front of  this painting? I guess it’s religious, whatever that means.  I don’t know.

As you can see, Papa’s photos are not as good as Nona’s.  I think he doesn’t try hard enough.  Know what I mean? I mean he could have asked them all to turn around. Also, maybe he should use a real camera and not just his phone camera.

Hey, we’re going to see you in a few weeks.  We’re flying to the west coast pretty soon. Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

December 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Guessing Game: What city is this?

Dear Nicalai,

Hi. Wanna play a guessing game? I’ll show you four photos with a sense of place – all in the same city.  Maybe you can tell me what place we’re in; what’s the name of this city?  Here goes!

Photo #1:

Under construction, this building will be a museum among several other museums.

Under construction, this building will be a museum among several other museums.

Photo #2:

The pedestrian walk way and vehicle gate make me feel even smaller than I am, but they make the city look grand. Nona — she studied architecture — says that’s the effect the architect was going for.

The pedestrian walk way and vehicle gate make me feel even smaller than I am, but they make the city look grand. Nona — she studied architecture — says that’s the effect the architect was going for.

Photo #3:

Obviously this city has Bike Share, and people like to go touring around on bikes to see the buildings and monuments.

Obviously this city has Bike Share, and people like to go touring around on bikes to see the buildings and monuments.

Photo #4:

I’ve seen four of these big lion heads, two at each end of a bridge.

Here’s One Big Head! i’ve seen four of these big lion heads, two at each end of a bridge.

OK, now, in what city did Nona and I take these photos? Maybe you even know what the buildings and the one big head are. You get extra points for those! Did you guess right? Here are the…

Answers:

What city is this?

Washington DC. Yep, we’re still here. By the way, the “DC” stands for “District of Columbia.” I still have to look up what that means.  Do you know?

The photos show you …

Photo #1:

That’s the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. As you probably can tell, the museum is still under construction. I can’t wait to see it on our next visit just 8 months from now. It is scheduled to open September 24, 2016 on The Mall, but we won’t get back to Washington DC until mid-November, and that’s when I get to see it.

Photo #2:

This building is … Oh, no, I forgot what we took a picture of! Does that ever happen to you?  I’m guessing that it’s the big, fairly new building at the Federal Triangle Metro Stop.  What’s that called? It’s named for a president. The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, I think.  (I remember that when we visited that building, Papa told me that he liked Ronald Reagan as an ok-actor but not so much as president.)

Photo #3:

Nona, Papa, and I have no idea what this building is, but, trust me, it is in Washington, DC, and those are Capital Bikeshare rented bikes. If you visit Washington, DC, your whole family can rent bikes at a metro station and ride around town.  Oh, bring your bike helmets!

Photo #4:

That one big head is, of course, a lion’s head.  Speaking of “big heads,” Papa says that a lot of people in this town have them, but, actually, most of the people I’ve seen seem to fit into regular size hats.  Anyway, this lion is one of four that “guard” the Taft Bridge on Connecticut Avenue. That’s an old bridge that took ten years to build, from 1897 to 1907. Wonder why it needs to be guarded?  Anyway, nobody has stolen the bridge in all these years, so the lion guards have been doing their jobs well.

I have to go. Nona and Papa are taking me to see something called the National Portrait Gallery. That means we’re gonna look at a lot of paintings of people hanging on walls — the paintings, not the people, are hanging on walls — and that means I’m going to take a nap in Nona’s purse. Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

November 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Finds Exotic Animals in the Nation’s Capital

Dear Nicalai,

Exotic animals of all kinds have colors and patterns that help them to blend into — almost disappear into — their surroundings, but, with my iguanodon eyes, I can spot them!

OK, being at a zoo in the nation’s capital helped too. Nona and Papa took me for a walk at the Smithsonian National Zoo, not far from where we were staying with our friend, Jo. We saw some exotic animals.

Fashion.  That’s the word that came into my mind when this cat came into view.

I think this cat, a cheetah, could be a feline fashion model, don’t you?

I think this cat, a cheetah, could be a feline fashion model, don’t you?

She kept her distance from us, so I never got her name.  She also kept walking back and forth along that fence. I suspect she was looking for a door to get out of her confinement. That’s what I would be doing, if I were her.

Nona got my attention, “Oh, Solbit, look! A Dwarf Mongoose! Isn’t it cute?”

This little mongoose seemed to be as interested in me as I was in it, but a glass window kept us separated, and so we couldn’t chat.

This little mongoose seemed to be as interested in me as I was in it, but a glass window kept us separated, and so we couldn’t chat.

I waved hello to her through the window, and she just kept staring at me.  I think she wished she could know what kind of exotic animal I am.  I mouthed the words “Jurassic Era Iguanodon … but I’m plastic,” but I could tell that she can’t read lips.  In other circumstances, I think we could have become friends.

You would think that this cute and cuddly looking exotic animal is just a house cat, but you would be wrong. Washington, DC has more house cats than you can count, but I suspect it has only one of these.

Sand cat.  That’s what this cutie is.

Sand cat.  That’s what this cutie is.

When I go to a zoo, I do learn a lot. For example, I learned that Sand Cats, also known as Sand Dune Cats, live in sandy or rocky deserts.  They have fur on the bottoms of their paws — like slippers! — to protect their feet from the hot sand or hot rocks.

Well, that’s my report on our visit to the National Zoo, but I have one more photo of an exotic species to show you.  We didn’t see her at the zoo though.

We went to visit our friends, Meg and Aaron, at their house.  When we got to their door, it was open, because someone had been waiting for us to visit her.

Colette’s beauty and poise took  my breath away.

Colette’s beauty and poise took  my breath away.

She welcomed us on her favorite new toy, a push bike.  I guess she’s like Uncle Josh and Papa; she likes bikes.  I think she likes me too.  She wanted to know all about me: “What’s an iguanodon?” “Why are you so small?” “Where are your parents?” “Do they make bikes small enough for you?” “Are you a girl or a boy?”  “Do you want a sandwich?”  I really enjoy talking about myself and nibbling on a sandwich, so we had a great time together.

Nona says that we’ll be in Washington, DC for a month, so I’ll probably have more to tell you about our stay here.  Bye for now.

I’m your friend.

signature

 

 

 

Love,

Solbit

November 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”