Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Adventures

Riddle: Alice is walking through the forest of forgetfulness. She wants to know what day of the week it is. She stops and asks a lion and a unicorn. Now the lion lies all of the time on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The unicorn always lies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Alice asks the lion what day it is, he says, "Well, yesterday was one of my lying days." Alice can't figure it out just from the lion's answer so she asks the unicorn and the unicorn says, "Yesterday was one of my lying days."  “Thank you,” says Alice, enlightened. What day is it?

Thanksgiving was wonderful, spent with good friends, so along with a very fine dinner there was interesting conversation, plus the fun of a silly card game called Play Nine.  Because I went off my very low carb diet for the day, the mashed potatoes were especially welcome and totally delicious.  I may use Tanya’s recipe in a book sometime.

As planned, we did get up very early on Friday and so gained free entrance into the Minneapolis Institute of Arts exhibit of Chinese Terracotta Warriors.  These are figures from the tomb of the first Emperor of China, who lived in the third century BCE.  There were nine life-size men and two horses made of fragile pottery, along with other items, such as life-size bronze water birds and assorted gold buckles and harness ornaments, pottery, bronze vessels, and weapons.  One short sword, a ceremonial weapon, had a bronze blade and a handle made of tiny squares of gold and turquoise in an open-work pattern, very strange and beautiful.  The men each had a different lively face, and I understand that of the thousands so far uncovered, no two are exactly alike.  The minute details of their hair and costume were amazing.  Because there were so many treasures in the tomb he was preparing, the emperor ordered that every craftsman who worked on it be locked inside to die when it was finished, and the whole thing was carefully covered over.  Such a cruel deed makes me less sorry to learn he died at a relatively young age of mercury poisoning (he was seeking immortality and his physicians tried to preserve his life by dosing him with that metal).  If this exhibit comes your way, I recommend it.

A travel hint I recommend:  When you’re driving and get sleepy, stop for the night.  You are a danger to yourself and others if you aren’t fully alert on the road.  Better to arrive late than not at all.  (But if you’re going to be late, phone ahead to let them know.)

Answer to riddle:  Thursday.  (Think about it.)


Linda O. Johnston said...

Sounds as if you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Monica. The Chinese Terracota Warriors sound fascinating. And as a person who can potentially be lulled to sleep in a moving vehicle, even if I'm driving, I agree with your travel hint!

Betty Hechtman said...

Good advice about stopping when you're tired.