Solbit’s Argentinian find: bathroom humor!

Dear Nicalai,

I’m am so sad today.  We have begun our trip from South America back to the US.  We’re waiting at the Trelew airport for a flight. Trelew is in Patagonia.  Papa is in the Men’s room.  He went there to get away from my whining again and again, “I want to stay here!”  Even after our wonderful seven months living in Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina, I’m not yet ready to go home.

Papa just came back from the Men’s Room.  He saw me still pouting to Nona, but he returned anyway. Right away, he found a way to cheer me up with some bathroom humor.

“Solbit, you have to look at this photo that I just took in the restroom,” he said enthusiastically.  “Papa, I’m not sure that would be appropriate,” I replied, even before Nona could close her dropped, disapproving jaw.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “I didn’t go low with my iPhone camera. You’ll appreciate this and so will Nona.  Nona, close you mouth and look here.”  Then he exposed his big iPhone 6 screen for us to see. “This is what I saw when I was standing in the bathroom and turned my head,” Papa explained.

Papa said he felt like “The Eyes of Trelew” were upon him, just when he needed his privacy!

Papa said he felt like “The Eyes of Trelew” were upon him, just when he needed his privacy!

“For just a fraction of a second, I thought a woman was staring at me through her sunglasses, and then I started to laugh, because I realized I’d been fooled,” Papa laughed, and we did too. “That is funny!” Nona exclaimed, “I wonder if there’s one in the women’s restroom?”  She and I checked.  There was! That one is a big mirror made to look like a man’s sunglasses though. Nona and I laughed again, and I almost forgot to be sad.

Papa said that the mirrors in the Men’s and Women’s rooms weren’t just “bathroom humor” but also art.  “Art?” I questioned, “in a bathroom? I don’t think so.”  Nona jumped in, “Oh, sure, art can be found almost anywhere.  Remember the mural outside of that pizza shop in Buenos Aires, Solbit?”  I did remember that painting of movie characters. Check this out.

Right there at the pizza shop was Don Corleone and Darth Vader.  Wonder if either of them liked pizza? Does Darth Vader eat or is he just a machine now?

Right there at the pizza shop was Don Corleone and Darth Vader.  Wonder if either of them liked pizza? Does Darth Vader eat or is he just a machine now?

Oops, our plane is here. We have to put the computer away and board. I’ll have to finish this email another day.  Stay tuned…..

Our art appreciation continued when we arrived at our next stop, Washington, DC.  Nona and Papa took me to the Phillips Collection — they collect art there.  We saw this amazingly detailed portrait called, “Mercy,” by Whitfield Lovell.

A fine portrait doesn’t need to be in oil paint on canvas. This dignified image of a man who was made a slave is in charcoal and on wood.

A fine portrait doesn’t need to be in oil paint on canvas. This dignified image of a man who was made a slave is in charcoal and on wood.

I guess art can be found in many different places and can be created out of many different things.  For another example, look at this.  Papa said he thought it was oil paint on canvas, and he’s right.

Nona really liked this ballpoint pen and crayon portrait by his wife, Sally Michel. I do too.  Hey, I have a ball point pen and crayons. Maybe I’ll try being an artist!

Nona really liked this oil on canvas portrait of Marsden Hartley by Milton Avery.  I don’t have canvas or oil paint, but, hey, I have a ball point pen and crayons. Maybe I’ll try being an artist!

Well, as you can tell, we’re back in the USA.  Although I’m sad to have left South America, I’m pretty happy eating great food at Uncle Tom & Aunt Barbara’s home on Capitol Hill, and we can just walk to the free Smithsonian museums on the mall here to see more art. It’s not South America, and I do miss hearing Spanish, but I can’t complain. Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

November 20016

*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.”

Costanera Sur – again

Dear Nicalai,

October in South America means that spring has sprung!  I look forward to our walks to the ecological reserve — called “Costanera Sur.”  The bees are buzzing. The flowers, bushes, and trees are blooming, and the birds fly around with construction materials for their nests.

Uncle Josh saw our photo of this flower and told us the name, “passion flower.”  I enjoy its design, and so does that bee.

Uncle Josh saw our photo of this flower and told us the name, “passion flower.”  I enjoy its design, and so does that bee.

Papa explained that the bees help flowers (and other plants too) to reproduce.  He said that flowers try to attract bees by looking good.  The bees stop by the flower for a visit, pick up tiny grains of pollen on their fuzzy hairs, then fly to another flower and give that flower the pollen, and then, with the pollen, the flower can make new seeds.

What a miracle! Who figured that out?  Nona says that, if I want an answer to my question, then I need to learn about something called evolution and a guy named Darwin.  Gosh, there’s a lot to learn, isn’t there?  Don’t you feel like the more you learn, the more you want to learn?  I do.  Discovering all these new things just makes the whole world more wonderful to me.

Nona said in a loud whisper, “Solbit, look! There’s a ‘salt tatter.’”  I looked for a potato with salt on it, but I didn’t see any plates with potatoes or cartons with french fries . “All I see is that bird,” I replied.

Nona said in a loud whisper, “Solbit, look! There’s a ‘salt tatter.’”  I looked for a potato with salt on it, but I didn’t see any plates with potatoes or cartons with french fries . “All I see is that bird,” I replied.

Well, I misunderstood what Nona had said.  She said “Saltator.” That’s  a bird, a golden-billed saltator. I joked, “Saltator? Who comes up with these confusing bird names?” Nona, took me seriously.  She said, “Well, Solbit, if you want an answer to your question, you’ll have to go to the Audubon Society’s website to learn about how birds are named.”  I like learning, but I don’t know if I like it that much.  Why can’t she just tell me?

By the way, I should have said that I really liked seeing that bird with its golden-bill.  We see other animals too.  For example, I really liked seeing this one on the ground.

Nona told me the name of this cute little animal.  It has a cute name, too, the “pampas cavy.”

Nona told me the name of this cute little animal.  It has a cute name, too, the “pampas cavy.”

Hey, you’ve seen ladybugs, right?  They’re little round, domed bugs with a black face and an orange body with little black dots.  Talk about cute! Girl, lady bugs make me smile every time I see one.

This bug reminded me of a ladybug, but it’s the wrong color and just a bit too big.  The color reminds me of lemonade. If you know what this bug is, please don’t tell me to look it up. Just send me the name, ok?

This bug reminded me of a ladybug, but it’s the wrong color and just a bit too big.  The color reminds me of lemonade. If you know what this bug is, please don’t tell me to look it up. Just send me the name, ok?

Sometime ago, when we were traveling in the US and visiting Thomas and Nancy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Papa told me about a cuckoo clock that they had on their wall.  He said a little wooden bird would come out of a little door on the clock each new hour and say “cuckoo-cuckoo.” So, I thought a cuckoo looked like that little wooden bird.

This is the real thing, a living, breathing Guira Cuckoo.  I just love its tail.  Never heard it say “cuckoo-cuckoo” though.

This is the real thing, a living, breathing Guira Cuckoo.  I just love its tail.  Never heard it say “cuckoo-cuckoo” though.

I think that, when your mom was very little and visiting there with Nona and Papa, she grabbed the clock’s chain, pulled, and the clock came crashing to the floor, broke into many pieces never to work again. I’ve noticed that little kids in diapers seem prone to those kinds of accidents, and I’m sure it was an accident. Right?  Anyway, this real cuckoo was in no danger from me.  I don’t wear diapers, and it wasn’t stuck in a clock.  I just liked looking at her. She isn’t really pretty like some other birds, but, still, she is attractive in some way. You don’t have to be pretty to be attractive and appealing, do you?

Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

October 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.”

Our neighborhood in Buenos Aires

Dear Nicalai,

We’re going to live in the city of Buenos Aires for a month. I think “Buenos Aires” is Spanish for “Good Air.”  I think they must have named this place before the invention of diesel trucks and busses.  If they named it today, the city might be called “Diésel Aires”

Don’t get me wrong, though.  I really like Buenos Aires. We can walk everywhere from our apartment on Avenida Guido.

Imagine how good it feels to walk on our street under this archway of trees!

Imagine how good it feels to walk on our street under this archway of trees!

We can walk to a big park, Costanera Sur.  The park lies between the city and the wide river.  It is a safe place for birds to live, so a lot of different birds come here to live.

The eared dove is one of the most common residents here, but it’s not the most colorful. Its quiet, gray color makes me think of funerals.

Our eared dove nests on our porch, and she has two little chicks underneath her. Sometimes she lets me see them, when Nona and Papa aren’t around.  The eared dove is one of the most common residents here, but it’s not the most colorful. Its quiet, gray color makes me think of funerals rather than babies. 

Speaking of funerals, Buenos Aires must have a lot of funerals.  I know because we sometimes go for walks in a city that is built just for dead people, the Recoleta Cemetery.  Yeah, they make houses, even mansions, for people who died.  Whole families of dead people occupy the houses. Instead of clothes, the dead people are either put into urns or into wooden boxes called coffins.  That’s ok because they are not going anywhere, and they don’t breathe anymore.

I guess the dead people like to have us visitors walking around their little city, called a “necropolis.” A lot of people who are alive — like us — come here to look at these houses.

I guess the dead people like to have us visitors walking around their little city, called a “necropolis.” A lot of people who are alive — like us — come here to look at these houses.

We don’t just go to the cemetery.  Buenos Aires also has a very nice art museum in our neighborhood.  We like to walk over there to look at Argentinian art, as well as art from around the world .

Nona said that this woven “painting” is called a “tapestry.” It is amazing that someone could “paint” such a big and detailed picture on a weaving loom.

Nona said that this woven “painting” is called a “tapestry.” It is amazing that someone could “paint” such a big and detailed picture on a weaving loom.

Well, that’s not everything that I could tell you about our neighborhood in Buenos Aires, but I’ve covered the basics from good air to bad air to life in nature to death in a cemetery to art in a museum. So, you see, our neighborhood — it’s called Recoleta — has it all and more.

Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

October 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.”