Apr 23, 2007

Rockin' the Tut

What a great weekend this was! The weather was priceless... 70's both days, with clear skies. Maureen and I went to see the King Tut exhibit in Philly on Saturday. My parents came down to our house to watch the kids, and were going to stay overnight. The exhibit was amazing... crowded, but amazing.
I've always been interested in ancient Egypt, but not to the point of decorating my bedroom with mummies and golden sarcophagi, mind you. The items shown in the rooms, with a combination of Egyptian burial artifact history as well as Tutankhamen's (assumed) lineage, amazed us with their preservation. We were both blown away that a wood sculpture we were looking at was over 3200 years old, with original paint and inscriptions. I was definitely more struck with the items that were used by Tut and others more so than those that were made for his burial.
The child's game board, alabaster jewelry box (with a written description of the contents, almost as we label things today), his chair and footstool (with wear marks on it), and his flail and crook definitely impressed me more than the items that were crafted upon his death.
Regardless, we both learned a lot of new things, and are going to be doing some research of our own to learn more... it's worth going to see.
Afterward, we hit a restaurant in the city that had some gluten-free items on the menu, and could accommodate Maureen's celiac needs. Our staple restaurant has been Buddakan in Philly, but Maureen believes she was "glutened" the last time she was there because of a bonehead waiter that wasn't paying attention. So we went to Buca di Beppo, a family-style Italian restaurant. We ate in the "Cardinale" room. Each room had a different "theme", such as the "Pope" room, which had a bust of John Paul II on a lazy susan in the middle of a round table that probably seats ten - kinda freaky. The food was great, although limited for Maureen since almost all of the few gluten-free items had meat, and she's (unfortunately for me) a vegetarian. They were nice there, and were able to substitute shrimp for salmon in her meal. I had the tortelloni and a meatball... a half-pound meatball! WOW. It was damn good. I ate the meatball and half the tortelloni meal (the "small" is for two, mind you... remember the family-style part?) So I went off the diet, but had control, which is a good thing.

Sunday was busy, but stay-at-home busy. Dad helped me build a pseudo-retaining wall around the air conditioning units on the side of our house. The ground on the sides of our house slopes a lot, and the two A/C units are on this slope. Trouble is, the water pump outflow from the summer dehumidifier on the inside blower (and the winter's humidifier unit) lands next to the one A/C unit. Because of the flow almost year-round, the soil's been slowly eroding. So, because we had a lot of slate rock left over from the rock wall Maureen built around the shed, Dad and I used them to build the rock wall around the A/C units. It turned out really nice. All that was still to do was to fill it up with something to level it out... later.
We grilled up some burgers for lunch... the inaugural 2007 barbecue. Nice.
Then Emma and I tried to fly the kite we bought for her at the Franklin Institute on Saturday (where the Tut exhibition was). Wasn't much of a breeze, but she ran her heart out back and forth across the yard. To her it was a success, and we all had a lot of fun.
After my parents left, I decided to move as much of the river rock (see Freakin' Rocks!) from the back of the house to inside the rock wall around the A/C units. That was a lot of rock, again.
By the time we sat down to watch The Soprano's, my back and legs were aching.
The kids passed out with no hassles. I found out my parents passed out shortly after getting home. We passed out shortly after the show was over.