Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

How I spent my Hollywood vacation

In which the best-laid plans of guy and sister completely go aglee.

I mean, we had great intentions. I got tickets to the Getty Villa for Friday. And the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was over at UCLA.

But what seems a good idea in theory…

My sister arrived Thursday night. We ordered pizza, put on Eddie Izzard, and then she crashed around 10 or so, which was really 1-ish for her.

Friday, we trekked up the PCH to the Getty Villa, which is a museum devoted to Greco-Roman art. It’s mostly statues, with some jewelry/metalwork. I’d thought it sounded like the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters in Manhattan, which not only houses the largest collection of medieval art in the world but is also a recreation incorporating elements from five different French monasteries.

The Cloisters is awesome. Simply jaw-dropping. I’ve gone four or five times, and each time, I love it even more than the time previous. Not so much because I notice something new, but just because it’s better than I remember it. I think “It can’t possibly be as good as I thought,” and each time it’s better.

I’d thought the Getty Villa was similar; it sounded like a collection of Greco-Roman art housed in a building that was itself a recreation of a Greco-Roman structure. And it might have been close, but it wasn’t, not exactly. The best way I can describe it is, you go to the Cloisters and you can believe you’re back in the Middle Ages, but going to the Getty Villa does not approximate the feeling of Greco-Roman times. Never once could I have imagined turning a corner to bump into Homer.

We were home by three. At which point, we ordered food and watched some more movies.

On Saturday, we went to the beach. It was the single requirement my sister had. We figured we’d spend the afternoon, but we laid out for about an hour before we got annoyed by the sand and packed it in. We intended to check out the aforemention Festival of Books on Sunday, and we woke up early specifically to do so, and then we looked at each other and pretty much defaulted to “Fuck it. Let’s stick around and watch House.”

Which is pretty much precisely all we did.

After reading Tod Goldberg’s summing up his experience, I can’t say it sounds like we missed all that much.

I think the weekend was just what I needed, though; the past two years were a bit of a whirlwind of a ride, and I bookended my Los Angeles experience with my sister–I drove out here with her to arrive, and then spent the weekend before I left with her, too. Which gives it a nice symmetry. Now, tomorrow, I get my students’ final papers, which means I’ll spend the weekend grading, and then Monday is the killer normalizing grading session where I go to a classroom and spend the entire day reading paper after paper after paper.

But hey, then I’m done.

It’s been a wild, grand ride, but I can’t say I’m sad to see it end.

Now I get to figure how I’ll spend my summer vacation.


  1. Sounds like a good few days…although, I’m a bit of a hermit sometimes. Heh. The Getty whatever sounds boring–just from their Web site. But, then, I’m not really into looking at sculpture–I’m more into creating it. It’s strange–I always end up going to museums–but I never really enjoy them. Unless it’s the kind with biological paraphanalia. Then, I skip around like some bio major on crack.

    I never found PCH when I was lost in LA. Sad. I never got to go to the beach the last time, either. Although, the idea of beaches is usually more satisfying than the execution. Except with Big Sur. Big Sur is rad.

  2. You didn’t go to a orange grove or a pistachio farm? *sigh*

  3. @Gotham: I live on Orange Grove street, so that’s got to count for something, no?

    @Alma: You can’t miss PCH if you just go west–it runs parallel to the ocean, and there’s nothing between it and the beach. Which is why it’s such a scenic drive.

  4. Hmm, I don’t know. Are there oranges on Orange Grove street?

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