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Perot Museum

IMG_1239After hearing about how difficult it was to get into Dallas’ Perot Museum but how extraordinary an experience it was, I finally decided to go. I bought tickets on the internet about a week out and found that there were 400 available and they let in 400, so not so hard to get in at all. Actually quite a bit easier to get in than the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

About the experience, I had mixed feelings.

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First, the Perot Museum is a beautiful building and it is architecturally fascinating, somewhat presenting itself as the Borg having landed to assimilate downtown Dallas. You can see most of architectural aspects from the outside. And aside from some interesting views of downtown Dallas, there isn’t much of a reason to go inside, unless you are a kid or have them in tow.

That’s the rub here, the content is geared for those about 14 or younger. I would imagine even a high school student would find the exhibits trite since most of the content is taught in primary school; oil industry and Texas wildlife displays notwithstanding. That said, if you have kids in the tween or younger range, they are going to find it engaging if only for the plethora of hands-on, interactive displays. The interactive displays are extraordinary, however the problem with them is the ridiculously long lines that queue up for each experience. I didn’t wait in any lines since I wasn’t interested, however I did find the constant long lines of children forming a road block an irritating aspect of navigating the interior. Maybe its better during the week?

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One of the more interesting hands-on activities was the bio labs. Kids are queued up for their white lab coats, goggles and gloves then they travel from station to station inside the fishbowl area performing experiments and looking at results through microscopes. There is a focus here on DNA, so I’m thrilled that single digit kids are being exposed to the fundamentals of biotechnology, there is no reason they shouldn’t.

If you do have kids, this is a great stop for 2-3 hours, otherwise I would do a 1-2 stop about the exterior, snaps some shots, then move on to something more interesting.

Glad I went, won’t be back.

12 July 2013

Perot Museum | 2201 N Field St | Dallas, TX 75201

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Bullet Point Friend

Law Girl is a attorney in Los Angeles, 50’s but the body of a 25 year old with a mind and wit that leaves her younger doppelgangers scratching their heads long after she’s moved on to the next challenge.  We met in San Francisco, me an undergrad at Cal, she a retread student at Stanford Law  after an unsatisfying career in finance. Our paths crossed  while suffering through a battery of tests to qualify as a volunteer at an AIDS hospice. Yes, tests – psychological tests. This particular hospice had an eastern philosophy about end-life care and volunteers had to be screened to determine if they would “survive” in the environment. As you may know, people in end-life develop quirky behavior, namely,  whatever irritating personality traits they developed in their lives becoming alarmingly amplified. The philosophy was to be able to identify but not emotionally respond to anything other than physical needs. Tougher than it sounds, Law Girl and I were the lone candidates out of a group of 100.

When we were brought in for our “training” we both looked at each other with WTF eyes, as if we were no longer certain we wanted this on our resumes. We “survived” a whole year, the maximum allowed by the hospice and really, it was a huge learning experience,  more so than my undergrad at Cal.

Since, we’ve had a long distance friendship with the occasional in-person visits but those are challenging; shes busy, I’m busy, life occurs. However infrequent, I can always rely on Law Girl to give a summarized, bullet point list of what has happened in her life.

This was the case when she filed for divorce some years ago. No hysterical phone call, no solicitation of advice, no crying, no mean-spirited revenge plots. Just an ex post facto email

  • New home – Willshire Blvd, lovely
  • Kid – Graduated HS – UCLA in fall, proud
  • New car – Hippie chick hybrid, shut it.
  • Divorced – cheated, caught, served and processed.

Right, of course I called – “About the last bullet point,  elaborate”. She did but it was in lawyer speak and devoid of any emotion; it was clear, she had processed and she had moved on. PERIOD. Good on her. Since, she has remarried, a nice guy 16 years her junior who “puppied” her around after giving a series of lectures at his university. At least shes sticking to that story, so is he.  He is also a lawyer, at a different firm, in a different area of law. Her son graduated UCLA then went to law school. This is seriously a family you don’t want on your bad side unless you can afford a hefty retainer fee.

I rather admire and appreciate Law Girl’s communication style. I realize its somewhat of an occupational hazard for her but I’m constantly saturated with information on all fronts, so her important life strokes summarized and distributed in low frequency work for me. I also like her youthful and often snarky tone, a testimony that while you may be obliged to act age-appropriate at work,  you can be young at heart otherwise.

I got another bullet point update this month.

  • Anniversary – Istanbul, loved it
  • Kid  – Lawyer now, hopeful
  • Breast cancer – Treated, new boobs
  • New car – SUV, bigger boobs = bigger car

Right, about that third bullet point,  apparently its time for our annual phone call.