July 24th, 2007

krazy koati

Everybody wants to be an art director

With rcoony visiting, the obvious question was: what to do? When I was up around Albany and he visited, we'd usually drive around more or less randomly, sometimes picking something that was sort of a deliberate destination, often including a walk through one of the malls, but very often including a visit to some open field where he'd suggest we go camping, which I don't go about doing. Mostly we drive until we get lost. This time, I happened to think of the local attraction of Monmouth Battlefield state park. This is more or less the site of the famous Battle of Monmouth, where General George Washington, without any help from time-travelling idiots in light planes, battled Sir Henry Clinton's forces and just barely managed to kill more people than heat stroke did, while Rebel General Charles Lee threw one of his many hissy fits.

I haven't been to the Monmouth Battlefield since a field trip somewhere in middle school since it's mostly fields. I had forgotten the Visitors Center, though, which was built in 1977, which is something one could only guess by looking at it. Inside the center on a musician's stand was a sheet explaining there was an historian on duty, and indeed, he could stamp the children's state park passports if you wanted. (We weren't particularly interested.) They've got a few rows of miniatures showing the rough positions of the various armies at some point in the battle, and rcoony pointed out you don't usually see elaborate miniature displays like that without at least a couple of orcs or trolls or dragons in the mix. He suggested we could some slow day sneak a few in.

They may have quite a few slow days, based on the sign for the gift shop explaining that it's open three hours per week. We missed those hours, but I'm sure sometime twenty years from now I can try again. There were a couple of little triangular voting booth-type theaters to I assume show documentaries, but one of them was definitely out of order and the other we couldn't figure out how to start. So we watched some of the displays of the battleground's use as a Civil War camp, and took pictures of the artillery reconstructions which are being restored to their 1972-era construction state and took pictures of Revolutionary War Reenactors in the visitor's center, in the hopes that pictures of pictures in the place we were in of the place we were in might cause a universal recursion error. So far it hasn't.

Trivia: A 1659 French royal edict established the profession of ``barber-wig maker'', creating men's barbers who had no medical duties, merely the care of hair. Source: The Essence of Style, Joan DeJean.

Currently Reading: The Insanity Defense, Woody Allen. The down side of Woody Allen's 1990s campaign to make himself as creepy as possible is that his success there overshadows how really funny he used to be. It's good to get back in touch with that. (``The giant roe is a mythological beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion, though not the same lion.'')