Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Weekend Report : King Tut - Pretty Freaking Sweet!

I know it's Tuesday, but you'll just have to wait until Wednesday for your Cake of the Week. I didn’t blog yesterday because I was on a lovely red-eye flight from CA back to DC. When I landed, I went straight to work (jealous? anyone? anyone?). So, needless to say, I was not quite bringing my A-game on Monday. And you all deal with enough nonsensical posts without me writing with my eyes half-open, same clothes/makeup as the day before…

So happy Tuesday!  Here I am. Slightly more alive today than yesterday (but only slightly - my alarm went off this morning, and I'm pretty sure I told it to shut up. Out loud. It didn't listen).

My last weekend in CA was pretty low-key. The fam went to see the King Tut exhibit at the DeYoung in SF on Saturday morning. It was pretty cool. 

(FYI: You can by cheaper tickets at Costco. But make sure you make your reservations online at least 25 hours in advance, or else it won’t work. Also, the Costco tickets come with an audio tour, which is nice, but not essential. You could get about the same info from reading the displays, so if you're not buying through Costco, don't bother with the audio.)

 When I say “pretty cool,” I actually mean really cool! For some inexplicable reason, I am really into Ancient Egypt.

Once a week in elementary school we had Library Day. Everyone went for a half-hour and checked out a book. And seriously every week it was a race to get the Eyewittness Mummy book. Because it was the COOLEST BOOK EVER. There were pages on frozen mummies, Egyptian mummies, and pictures of all the gory details. Like how they used a hook to pull the brains out through the dead person’s nose! COOL!

Then for the 8th Grade Science Fair, a friend and I mummified a duck for our project (the legitimacy of this as a science project is questionable…but whatever, we got an A). We went to an Asian grocery store, bought a duck with a head and feet and everything, then proceeded to dry it out by covering it in salt in my parents’ wine-cellar over the course of a couple months (my family doesn’t drink, so this nice cool little basement room was always empty). Looking back on it, I guess that’s kind of weird…BUT kind of cool at the same time.

And then Egypt resurfaced recently when I went to the Met in NYC. They have rooms full of awesome sarcophagus and mummies and all that stuff! And I was surprised how into it I was, because usually ancient artifacts are not my thing at all (ceramics? booorrring!).

And back in CA, my mama insisted we see the King Tut exhibit as a necessary cultural experience. 
"Our goal with this exhibition is to present the beauty, artistry and rarity of the 130 objects from Tut’s tomb and the tombs of his royal ancestors and to share with visitors a comprehensive and educational look at life during the 18th Dynasty, Egypt’s Golden Age. Since it is likely that these objects will not travel again once the new museum in Giza opens, this exhibition presents a unique opportunity to see these wonderful artifacts in person."
And it did not disappoint. Bottom line is that in a previous life, I was Nefartiti, Queen of the Nile…or something like that…

The exhibit was very well-done (thanks NatGeo!). It was a series of small rooms that you went through on a self-guided tour. I was expecting more King Tut stuff, but there were a lot of artifacts from other tombs (his extended family, mostly). I'm not complaining, I mean cool old stuff is cool old stuff. Also, make sure you watch the small video (on one of the walls in a later room) about the scarab beetle jewel that's actually glass from a fireball that hit the Sahara Dessert in ancient-ago times. (I know, AWESOME, right???)

But don't expect to see any actual mummies. King Tut himself never leaves Egypt. (Read about why here.)

Conclusion? Go. I think it's worth it. And while you're there, PLEASE check out the rest of the DeYoung. Especially the tower (which is free to go up even without a museum ticket) - if you're in the SF area and haven't been up the tower yet, do yourself a favor and DO SO NOW. Thank you. 

Have a great Tuesday, and look forward to some cake tomorrow!