Nov 20, 2006

I Heart Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are awesome. Dinosaurs are way better than dragons or Cthulu or Godzilla or anything. I mean, that stuff is all pretty cool, too, but dinosaurs are even cooler because they were actually real. Of course, they're not around any more so they now only exist in our imaginations, so when we think about them they can be almost anything we want. But we've got proof that they existed at one time, so we're not just dealing with amorphous fancies here. So, dinosaurs have just enough reality and just enough fantasy to be the sweetest things ever.
When I was a kid, I loved those wooden dinosaur bone puzzles. You know, the one's where the kid punches out the bones from a balsa wood template and then assembles the skeletons? I had tons of those. So, I was extremely pleased yesterday when I saw a giant-sized cardboard t-rex staring me in the face. The t-rex was made by "Fujidan," and I'm somewhat unsure as to whether that's a guy or a company, but it's basically a bunch of cool looking cardboard artwork. Have a look! 'Tis nifty!
Anyway, I was out with two of the girls that I met during karaoke the previous night, (the Iliad reading one and her friend) and we were hitting various art places and such. We first went to the Okayama Prefecturial Art Museum which was... well, it was ok. It was an exhibition of local artists, and while some were rather interesting most of it was precisely the sort of thing that you'd expect stuff by "local artists" to be like. Though there was this crazy psychedilic art film, which was cool.
After the museum, we hit this place which was a combo jean shop/gallery place, and I was extremely pleased to find out that such a place existed. Until I walked in, I hadn't realized that I was getting ever so slightly starved for a place that was full of pretentious artsy stuff. I think I spent almost an hour just looking at the graphic design books (some of which were in English) and the weird alternative comics that they had.
It was on the top floor of this place that I saw the big cardboard t-rex, as well as sundry other pieces of nifty. There were some cool looking abstract prints, a bunch of t-shirts (almost all of which were too small for me) various wooden sculptures, and some paintings of cartoon rabbits. Iliad Girl bought a couple of prints, and I got a small cardboard dinosaur kit from Fujidan. After seeing the big t-rex I couldn't resist.
While I was there, I learned my first Kanji pun. Apparently the group calls themselves "Kurashiki" which is phonetically identical to the nearby town, but also means "creative types." So, apparently if you speak Japanese, their logo is cutely humorous. Yay for pictographic puns! Yay!
Later that night we ended up at the apartment of this Turkish linguist studying at Okayama University. Yes, it was just sort of a "go with the flow" sort of day. If you're open-minded enough and just willing to go down the rabbit hole, you end up talking to this skater-looking linguist guy who has very strong opinions about beer.
Cool dude. Showed me how to write one of the readings of my name in Kanji, and made these awesome stuffed peppers. Also, he went on and on about how much he loved the Blues Brothers, which is an absolutely wonderful bad 80s movie.
So, anyway, here's my little cardboard triceratops that I got at the gallery place. Kawaii!


Jen said...

It's sooo cute! And, your right, Blues Brothers is an Awesome movie!! I just wish Joseph would agree on this...

Kristin said...

Very cool, Joe. Hey, do either of those artsy websites you linked to have an english option? If they do I couldn't find it. Glad you're having fun!

SonicLlama said...

I don't believe there are any English language options. So, you just have to go through what I'm going through, i.e., being able to read maybe 10% (if that) of what's written. Hahahaha!
Actually, I think that some browsers might have some page translation utilities, but I doubt that they're very good, espcially from Japanese to English.

Eric said...

You went with the Triceratops, huh? Couldn't avail yourself to a carnivore? I mean come on. Everyone knows that T-Rex is the best. But you could get his spunky nephew, Allasaurus. Or at least the hulking behemoth, Dipolodaucus (sp?). But no, tired, boring Triceratops. I'm not saying he's not cool - he's a dinosaur for God's sake, of course he's cool - but let's face it, that's the Ford Taurus of dinosaurs you picked up right there. Sure you own your own car, but you could have had a Corvette or something.

Rip Tatermen said...

Dude, triceratops is the rhinoceros of the dinosaurs. Are you saying rhinoceroses aren't cool? Now if he'd picked a hadrosaur or dimetrodon, which isn't even a dinosaur, ridicule would be in order. But triceratops has at least three big sharp horns, and is therefore cool.

SonicLlama said...

Why didn't I get the t-rex? Simple. They were out of them, and triceratops is way cooler than any of the sauropods.