Monday, March 28, 2016

Dali And Disney

Next time we are in St Petersburg we will visit the Museum of Fine Arts but my wife had heard about this exhibit and was hell bent on seeing it. 
I had no idea Dali spent his war time years in the US collaborating with Walt Disney but the show demonstrated what a profound influence  surrealism had on Disney. Indeed looking at animated movies from the 30s you would hardly credit the saccharine corporation of today with being rooted in such outrageous short films. 
The exhibit drew quite a crowd comparing the lives of Dali in Catalonia which reminded me of my Italian childhood and Disney growing up in Missouri which reminded me of nothing in my life. I found it odd to be suspended in the worlds created by the two men, one from my youth and one from my adulthood. I saw movie influences which I recognized from later films rooted in the art work of Dali and the film scenes he created for Hitchcock and Disney. They were as was explained in the exhibit, artful self promoters though I saw Disney as more of a sell out to the mainstream while Dali stuck to his grotesque dreams and sold them anyway to a public at large seeking some contact with his world of art. There was a museum full of people to see it:
 Which reminded me of his ant obsession:
I pondered whether people really would drink from or swim in the fountain outside were there no sign prohibiting such activities.  It seemed rather surreal to me:
We spent a couple of hours wandering and headed back to the car with the air conditioned dog inside sleeping.
I was surprised the parking lot upstairs was as empty as it was considering how many people were inside the place. Perhaps they preferred to park in the sun closer to the building itself.  Walking is not a popular pastime but most people in Florida would rather park in the shade. 
I liked the shapes so I took a picture and here it is.
And the surrealism did not stop at the museum gates. Walking the ever patient Rusty we found this sign which made no sense to me.
We saw no alligators. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rusty Tours St Petersburg

The day started as one might expect.  
 I left the hotel room to load the car. Rusty has some separation anxiety still.
We have found a couple of Asian restaurants we like in St Petersburg. So, rather uncharacteristically we went back to pay them another visit. The sandwich shop also sells Boba Tea which is now rather less fashionable among non Asian people but I still like tapioca. I went all in and had the Durian version. My wife, less adventurous and smarter had soursop. I have to say Durian tea was a  bit rough honestly as the pungent aroma of rotten onions and vinegar wa sin my nose and the sweet custard flavor was in my mouth. My wife said my breath smelled of rotten eggs for some time. Not my best food choice of the day. And her soursop tasted sweeter.
We walked Rusty downtown and he did quite well in public. He's getting better on the leash staying directed, he responds to his name and he does okay around people, mostly. He still shys away from loud people or people dressed in bright colors(!).
The Vinoy Basin where I lived for a  summer in 1989 I think. I was at anchor here and eventually moved into the marina next door when using the dinghy to get to the car to get to work got tedious. Summers on the west coast get really wet and thundery.

These kids were bent over their phones in the waterfront park, but they may have been listening to the live music coming from the yacht club.
 Rusty got freaked out and started pointing...yes that black and white dot was a dog on the opposite side of the street minding his own business. That's how freaked out he was while living as a  stray. 
 Danger passed he got back into normal dog mode.
 Segway Tour. They looked really weird to me, like clockwork ducks or something.
I like not having squirrels in the Keys. Rusty restrained himself and didn't pull my arm out of it's socket. He's a terrible coward, ready to chase small stuff yet quaking at the sight of a large dog miles away.
 Shakespeare in the park would be nice. We just saw the set under cloudy skies.
We went for dim sum, a meal we cannot find in Key West and listened to the conversation at the snowbird table next door where they discussed boating misadventures, broken engines and storms and so forth. Which turned out to be entertaining as service was not fast.
The picture on the wall reminded me of the Top Gear motorcycle adventure in Vietnam where they ended their epic journey converting their motorcycles into boats to reach the houseboat finish line. And that's all I know.
 Hot tea and rice cakes waiting for the main event.
 The dumplings were okay, shrimp and peanut was different, but the fried calamari...
 ...were surprisingly large balls of deep fried chunks of quite tough squid. The eggplant was oddly flavorless and the ribs were just okay. It was an odd meal but every now and again things don't quite go one hundred percent. I guess it was an off day as the previous visit was excellent and we will try again. 
 I was reminded outside the hotel that I was no longer in the Florida Keys:
 I got beaten up once in St Peterburg delivering pizza decades ago. They threatened to stab me but I went at them with the pizza box, my only weapon. Luckily the customer had ordered a large which made a useful foil but I took a fist to the eye and the delivery had to be aborted. I felt bad for the mother stuck at home wanting a treat. I prefer life south of the Big City.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Rusty Goes North

Spring Break means a week off for my teacher wife. With some slight adjustments to my schedule I too had much of a week off so that meant - road trip! Alligator Alley at dusk:

We stopped at the Miccosukee Service area for their clean bathrooms and a romp for a small brown dog who has slept in perfect order on the back seat of the car. The bench I created was barely enough for Cheyenne but three Rustys would fit.

Rusty loves running in the wilderness and I like walking him there. He ran and romped, at home in the field. It was a joy to watch him.

Then he came back to the car to wait for his elderly plodding guardians.

He has learned to stand by the trunk if he is thirsty. That's where his (Cheyenne's) waterbowl lives.

He seems to enjoy traveling. And sleeping on our bed with us.

More wilderness. More happy Rusty.

He is a different dog and he is learning fast. He travels well and now he is no longer afraid of elevators. Other dogs worry him, doors are a puzzle but elevators are now his domain. Good boy. And no, he doesn't seem to feel the heat and therefore he doesn't sit in puddles. Double good dog.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Big Pine Key South Street

It's a dirt road off Key Deer Boulevard near the baseball diamond, but it has a name and they call it South Street. I have no idea why, it's not particularly north  or south of any landmark that I can see. Cheyenne used to like it, and Rusty likes it a lot.
A cold front yesterday made it an ideal day to let the Carolina Dog loose on the trail. He had a restrained good time. 
Rusty spent some time in the bushes and while he did I stood around shivering slightly and taking pictures of random woodsy things.
It's been raining a bit and the puddles filled. Rusty got thirsty but he is reluctant to drink found water, much less lay down in it which is okay by me as a muddy dog is a pain in the car. 



 Oyster shells and Bud Light cans, indicate the woodsmen have been living large in the shrubbery.
 Sea grape leaves about toe shed:

 South Street in the Eden Pines neighborhood of Big Pine Key.


 Nothing escapes Rusty's eye.
He had two bowls of clean water back at the car. We went home and I warmed up with tea.