2.260 museum, meetings

Wednesday 08/25/2021

Today is the day for which I bought tickets to the exhibit “Last Supper in Pompeii” at the Legion of Honor in the city. Initially I proposed this outing to Jean, Darlene and Jessea, but D&J had already seen it, so it came down to just Jean and me. Which worked out fine.

She drove up and parked in our lot at 9:30, and we took my car on up to The City. There were two special exhibits there. The Pompeii one had lots of small domestic items from Pompeii, utensils, cups and bowls, wall frescoes and floor mosaics, to illustrate how the Romans were living pretty comfortably until the town was wiped out in a few hours by hot ash flows from Vesuvius.

A special treat was cooked dormouse, “either as a savoury appetizer or as a dessert (dipped in honey and poppy seeds)”. The exhibit included an actual Glirarium, a big pottery cage used to keep and fatten dormice, and also a special small pottery oven used to roast them. Not clear to me how they were prepared; did they skin them? Need a small sharp knife for that. And at the table, how do you eat one? Probably put the whole thing in our mouth and suck the meat off the bones. They didn’t say that; I’m speculating.

The other exhibit was a number of large pieces by “Afro-fusion” sculptor Wangechi Mutu (do an image search on her name). Really striking stuff, I thought; made me want to take pictures. Here’s a couple.

Anyway, we entered the museum at 10:30, and by 11:30 we had seen all we wanted so started back. At Channing House Jean headed off in her car, and I grabbed a sandwich from the grab-and-go for a quick lunch before my first meeting at 1pm.

Oh, also, I started my laundry.

This was a zoom meeting for volunteers of FOPAL. The first open sale weekend in two years, two weeks back, netted about $17,000, or about half what we got in the old days. There were about half as many people. On the upside, that meant that nobody felt crowded or unsafe. Everyone conformed to the mask rules and generally a good time was had by all.

Next meeting was at 3pm. Continuing my laundry, I watched the start of this in the laundry room folding my underwear. This was a talk by Dr. Sarah Cody, the Public Health Officer for Santa Clara County, who was the first public health official in the country to implement a shelter in place order, March 2020. She described the days leading up to that, getting hold of their first testing kits, starting a program where anyone who came to a county hospital with respiratory issues, and who tested negative for flu, was tested for Covid. After two weeks of that, she looked at the numbers, and compared them to numbers from Italy, and realized that we were on the exact same curve, but just two weeks behind the Italians. So with other regional public health officers, they authored the shelter in place and announced it.

Unfortunately I had to leave that program to join my 4pm meeting, the Channing House Strategic Planning Committee. I have mixed feelings about this committee but it is starting to feel like maybe it will do something productive. This one left a better taste in my mouth than the last one.

Bumped into Craig and Diane and Jerry going down to supper so ate with them.

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