Aw shucks! No shuttle, but I did see the giant LACMA boulder!

I enjoy my weekends. And my weekend begins just as early as I can manage. I pile a lot of living into Friday! And as such, I missed Endeavor’s Los Angeles fly over.

I was in the Pasadena area, but Pasadena is a large city.  The shuttle flew over my daughter’s house, my mom and dad enjoyed a sighting, and while Jay was working outdoors he could almost reach out and touch it. Me? No!

Although disappointed, I think perhaps it’s fitting that I would miss out. You see, I did not make the effort to go with my family when the Columbia 2 completed the 2nd Space Shuttle Mission, coming to rest in Palmdale, California, November 14, 1981.

The landing was scheduled for Saturday, and Jay packed our two children and his mother into our motor home and headed out on a Friday to be sure to witness the landing. I don’t know what important business prevented me from making the trip with them. I sadly suspect it was more about a busy young mother recognizing this was her big break–an empty house! Quiet!

They have wonderful memories of a major moment in space history. I have a nice souvenir button commemorating an event I didn’t witness.

But I learned my lesson! I do my best to follow anything that’s interesting or remotely newsworthy. I am willing to  put myself out there to be witness to history when I can. Did you forget that I followed Michael Heizer’s 340-ton granite megalith on its journey to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art?

Do you want to see it shrink-wrapped before it arrived at the museum? I can refresh your memory here.

Although I missed the space shuttle this past Friday, later that evening I did make it to LACMA for Friday night jazz…and this was my first opportunity to enjoy a brief moment with Levitated Mass.

My apologies for the photography! My friend Ellen and I should have arrived while there was still light. But in my desire to take a short cut and avoid the worst of Friday night Los Angeles traffic, I decided to Mapquest a short cut. Dear family members, please don’t laugh too hard.

I anticipated being early enough to snap a good photo of the artist’s famous installation.

It would be such a wonderful thing if this late in life I developed a sense of direction. Instead, I rely on the printed word and that let me down. Thankfully, we pulled over and my iPhone navigator shortened the gap and we arrived in time to hear saxophone and woodwind specialist Louis Van Taylor. Sublime. Worth the traffic.

But  the sun was setting, and to my surprise, the artist’s installation was without spotlight. For photo opportunity I was slightly disappointed, but the lack of artificial lighting made sense. It stands-or hovers–over a fifteen-foot channel, drawing visitors to walk beneath the pyramidal stone obscuring all light, blocking out all space overhead.

It definitely makes an impression, but arriving so late in the afternoon it was impossible to do it justice. I will return! And next time with the good camera!

But I can share another LACMA delight. Daylight museum visits fail to do justice to Chris Burden’s Urban Light.

More than two hundred restored cast-iron lampposts from Los Angeles County sit in LACMA’s front courtyard, open to the street, fully lit from dawn to dusk. We won’t discuss energy efficiency, okay? Let’s just talk about how striking and beautiful this is!

So listening to a great jazz combo in this beautiful setting of lights amid palm trees, part of an installation by Robert Irwin, designer of the Getty garden, made for a wonderful evening. Following a day of high temperatures, we simply relaxed and recognized that one way to better appreciate being part of an overcrowded almost combustible urban society is to take advantage of its artistic offerings.

It took a little planning and effort to get across town at rush hour. But the reward was a lovely evening. And it was the perfect prelude to a very busy weekend. Aren’t older people supposed to slow down? Maybe next year.

After a fully active weekend I’m ready to go to work Monday morning. I don’t sing “Manic Monday” with the Bangles. I go to work to calm it all down. I’ll sing Lindsey Buckinghams’ lyrics, “Monday morning you sure look fine!”

Here’s to a new week.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

46 thoughts on “Aw shucks! No shuttle, but I did see the giant LACMA boulder!

  1. Because we were classmates at different schools, we grew up with the space race. From that very first short flight to what YOU MISSED on the recent flyover, it’s special to us who were their at the start … and thus sad for us to see an ending.

    Meanwhile, seems you had an enjoyable weekend. Yep – us too – but I will let you read about it. 😉

    1. The space shuttle is very exciting. I have been listening all day to friends tell me of their exciting sightings! I’ll just have to see it in the museum, I guess. I did have a good weekend, but a busy Monday, so I’m just now sitting down to see what others have been up to! I’ll bet you watched DWTS tonight, though, Frank! 🙂 Debra

  2. I’ve heard it’s STILL hot in LA. When will it cool down? What a great weekend you had. It sounds like a whole lot of fun. I hope your week does settle down after your full-on weekend xx

    1. It is still hot, yes, Charlie. We’ll be getting cooler soon, and it will be your turn to have the higher temperatures! It should be a very nice week. I create my own hectic schedule…and I don’t have teens in my house. LOL! I hope your schedule is calming a bit post birthday and graduation. You get the “high energy” prize! 🙂

    1. I hope you could see the boulder at least in outline! I will have to make another daylight attempt sometime soon. I didn’t get a chance to walk underneath the boulder either, as they close the area down at dusk. It was a great evening, though, and so nice to be outdoors. The weather will begin to change soon and although I’ll be glad to see the heat leave us, I’ll miss outdoor evening time! 🙂

  3. A great Emersonian quote, and nrhatch’s little bit of Pooh’s knowledge made my day, Debra. Good for you for taking advantage of what was at hand. Sometimes we see what we really need to see instead of what the world tells us to see. You do bring back many memories of finding Sputnik in the sky and sitting in my classroom, watching the US’s first manned space flight . . .

    1. I was really disappointed that I couldn’t work out being more available to see the Shuttle perform, Penny, but I just couldn’t work it out. It was being carried all over the city, back and forth and really doing a little performing! I am hoping it’s possible to see it moved to the museum, but even that may not work out. Oh well…I do what I can! Ha! It has brought back a lot of memories for me, too, with early space exploration and the potential we were promised as children. I heard some interesting NASA commentary reassuring that the space program is just reorganizing and we can be assured of future projects. I sure hope so! 🙂

  4. I’m so glad we shared the evening together, Debra. It was a delightful time of music and seeing the “Urban Lights” display lit up was really wonderful. (P.S. Love Aimee’s comment! LOL).

  5. What a great outlook Debra! I enjoy my weekends to the fullest as well. And I’ve managed to rearrange my work week so that I’m not starting off so crazy either. In fact, I’m even fitting yoga in today! Have a great rest of the week.

    1. I hope you had a good yoga class! What a good way to begin the week. I am very fortunate that I enjoy my job, and so I enjoy my work week, too, but my weekends have been very busy. I think that as summer comes to a close maybe we won’t be quite as busy…I do need to get some things done at home. Ha!

    1. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed stopping by, Rommel. It sounds to me like you enjoy art and design. I love going to LACMA, but don’t get over to that part of Los Angeles too often. It is a place we always take out of town guests, though, and I always have good intentions! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll have a good visit. The lamp posts are spectacular at night. At some point you’ll have to make an evening appearance! Debra

  6. I’m so glad you made it, Debra. Like you, I loved that light installation in front of the LACMA. I took so many photos. The restaurant there is very good, if you’ve never tried it. I bet that is an amazing space for music.

    I sent this to you in a comment reply on my blog, but I thought I’d put it here, too. Motoi Yamamoto, the Japanese salt artist I profiled on my blog a while back, has a solo show in LA right now. I don’t know how convenient it would be for you, but since I can’t go, you might as well torture me with pictures. 🙂

    1. Before the photo on your blog I had no knowledge of Motoi Yamamoto, Andra. So interesting and very unusual! Thank you for the link to the exhibition. I have until December, so I think I can definitely fit it in, and I would love to be further introduced! How fun. I will let you know what I do! 🙂

    1. This week flew by, Claire. I think I might have felt it was a lighter week partially because I did enjoy my evening out. I can’t believe it’s Friday again…and already! 🙂 I hope you had a good week, too, Claire!

    1. This week flew by, Kate! I can’t believe my evening out at the museum with the jazz concert was a week ago! Life needs to slow down a bit…I’m at an age when flying calendar pages are a little disturbing! 🙂

  7. With as hot as I’ve heard your weather has been, Debra, that shuttle would have had to fly directly overhead for me to witness it. I like it hot, I like it cold. It’s the extremes of either that keep me indoors. Although, I must admit that listening to some jazz outdoors on a late Summer’s night does sound inviting.

    1. We have plans for more outdoor “concert going” this next weekend, John. And it is still hot hot hot! Our evenings cool down abruptly, though, so being outdoors is a pleasure. I might as well enjoy them because I know myself well…when it turns cold I’ll not like that either! 🙂

  8. What is more important than having some time for yourself? After all history will run its own way no matter what you do. And even if you missed out the space shuttle once again, it seemed like you had a great day and evening. What is it with this space shuttle anyway, it’s done its job and about to be tossed!

    1. I’ve been slow to respond, Otto, but you gave me such a good chuckle with your response to my thoughts about witnessing the movement of the space shuttle. You put things in perspective rather nicely! Yes, you’re right! It has done it’s job….and off to the museum it goes! I suppose some of the hype comes from being raised in an era when space was truly hyped as the “new frontier” and even in school we were taught a lot about looking ahead to what would one day be routine space flights. THis before there had been any manned spaceflight. But maybe we do get a little carried away! 🙂 I always appreciate your thoughts. You spend so much time in the US, yet not being American, you have so much insight!

  9. Sounds like a great evening even if you weren’t able to get the shots you wanted. As for shuttles…they’re a bit like Concordes and will attract too many people making photographs common and difficult to obtain in equal measure 😉

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Martin. I would like to go back to the museum and take better daylight photos of some of the installations. I did have a good time, though. And I’ll visit the Space Shuttle when it arrives at the science museum! 🙂

  10. I don’t live near CA, but I’ve enjoyed watching many space shuttle launches from Cape Caniveral, Florida. I enjoyed reading your post, and must point out that I’ve never had difficulty with directions! Before or after injury! lol (My dad was a part time taxi driver challenging our directions ever since I could remember)

    Post reminded me of my husband recently believing he knew how to get around St. Louis. He gets lost all the time. I got great pictures of the arch in every direction while sitting in downtown St. Louis, MO as his passenger (I know when to keep quiet…sometimes!) and was texting a couple of my siblings so they could laugh with me.

    Ha! So your direction challenged…What’s your excuse?LOL I’ve totally enjoyed your post. Take care and stay safe. Edie

    1. I am very direction challenged, Edie, and I have no idea why it’s so severe! I am usually pretty good at paying attention to landmarks and other visual cues to help me along, but when Mapquest gets it wrong, I’m in serious trouble! Fortunately, I’ve been lost so many times I don’t panic. I can always figure it out…eventually. 🙂 D

      1. I don’t get lost much, but I just lost my response to this and I’m typing it again. It’s good that you don’t panic…and you figure it out eventually. Does this happen in familiar environments or totally new environments?

        The last time I got lost a couple months ago was because I planned on using my GPS in an unfamiliar area. I couldn’t enter the address into GPS before I left home. I headed out, and pulled over. Finally I realized Satellite wasn’t working. OH NO!, but my passenger called my son out-of-state to map quest the address. Damn, we count on technology too much!

        Happy and safe traveling, Edie

        1. Ha! I can get so turned around, Edie! Hard to believe how I can lose my bearings in all but the most familiar surroundings. I lose my car in parking structures, too! But technology really helps, and now I am completely dependent on them. I’m sure it would be better for my neural mapping if I practiced paying attention, but maybe I could do both. Pay attention, and then if that doesn’t work, access the navigator! 🙂

    1. I had to laugh at your comment about not coming to LACMA to see the giant rock! You are surrounded by plenty of beauty and art in your own museum…I am quite sure you aren’t drawn on your days off to see another! LOL!

  11. I was watching Letterman and heard some celebrity talking about filming and the shuttle flew over. They stopped what they were doing and everyone ran to look…they couldn’t film anyway because of the noise…but still,,,,it’s pretty cool.

    1. Thanks for sharing the Letterman story, Barb. The friends who saw it told me that the awe they felt was in its flying so low! It was almost showing off! 🙂 I will just have to see it at the museum when it finally lands! 🙂

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