Sunday, November 9, 2008

Throwin' down on K-town

First off, I have a bit of business to take care of. I promised I would call out and thoroughly shame anyone who committed to NaBloYoMoFo only to fail in their half-assed effort. That has unfortunately occurred. Our first casualty didn't even take a week. TravelingEm, surrounded by over 12 million Muscovites drunk on vodka and capitalism, can't even be bothered to share with us her daily adventures in that most cosmopolitan of Russian cities. Weak. So weak. TravelingEm, consider yourself shamed. It pains me deeply and I'm sorry you put me in this position, but a promise is a promise. Keep writing anyway, please.

Enough about her. I'm still posting and that's why you're here.

The lady and I had one of those rare "damn Knoxville can be an interesting place" afternoons. This usually occurs when we decide to actually get out and do stuff, which is the rare part. I'm sure Knoxville on the weekends is normally interesting, just not from the inside of our apartment.

Reading the paper this morning, I read that a Civil War "roundtable" had been going on since Friday at Fort Dickerson, an earthworks fort on the hill opposite the one we live on. That explains the several concussive blasts I hear midday Friday that had me a little freaked out. It was still going on today, with a battle reenactment scheduled for 2:00, so we put on our walking shoes and headed over.

Despite the steep terrain and in the face of small arms fire and at least one cannon volley (I'm actually not kidding about this), we made it to the top of the hill where we found a bunch of soldiers, Union and Confederate both, encamped for the duration of the fake siege. Civil War buffs are weird, which probably goes without saying. Then again, when you live somewhere surrounded by the battlefields from one of your nation's pivotal crises, which is basically everywhere south of Gettysburg, I suppose taking part in events that preserve this history and help to educate others about it isn't the worst way to spend a Sunday. And it's not like they all insisted on dressing in gray, which is good considering much of east Tennessee was sympathetic to the Union.

It was still kind of funny, though, because amidst the people giving interpretive talks to interested groups of civilians (like us) were other soldiers staying in character even when no one else was around. Courtney and I overheard a couple of Yanks who crossed paths discussing their state of readiness for the skirmish to come. These people are into it. I'll let Courtney tell you about the one she caught with a cell phone.

I think they should have added the word "Reenactment" between Civil War and Event. Ya know, just to avoid any confusion. And because some folks around here would probably welcome another shot at the real thing.

This guy, a surgeon, was a little too proud of his period speculum, seen at front right, next to the baby forceps. The thing on top of the brown box on the left side of the table is a display of an arm bone shattered by a musket ball. Nice.

Johnny Reb in camp, preparing for the assault.

We bailed before the start of the actual reenactment, neither one of us fond of fake (or real) gunfire and already having survived our share on the approach. Besides, art awaited. We hoofed it up Chapman Highway to the Knoxville Museum of Art for one of their no admission fee days. Nothing like free art. Oh sure, I support the arts, but I prefer to do so more with my presence than with my dollars. I have far more time than I have money, after all. They had some really cool exhibits, too, mainly consisting of works by regional artists, which is what a museum like KMA should do. Leave it to the High in Atlanta to worry about Picasso.

The Knoxville Museum of Art is watching you.

After getting our art on we took a trip up to the observation deck of the Sunsphere just because we were there and it's always fun to look down on things, literally and figuratively. There's a bar up there now, but it's unfortunately closed on Sundays, so we trekked another several blocks over to Coffee and Chocolate, where we had some of both. Delicious.

Hypercolor tree next to the Candy Factory Lofts, Sunsphere in the background. We checked out the open house they were having to see what a $350,000 one-bedroom loft looked like. Not too shabby.

View from inside gold-tinted windows of the wig shop, aka the Sunsphere.

Good stuff. We'd been meaning to try this place.

Heavily sugared and caffeinated we traipsed on down to the library to pick up some media. My lady friend found herself a book and we each also picked up three CDs apiece, now comfortably loaded into iTunes. More free art, I suppose. I mentioned I support the arts, right? I probably wasn't going to get around to actually paying for anything by Husker Du (I don't know how to type umlauts), Les Savy Fav or Mission of Burma anytime soon. Like Courtney pointed out, though, our taxes have it covered in this case.

To those of you in Knoxville: Do you remember just a few years ago when Gay Street on a Sunday looked like the day after the Rapture? Look at us now!

And that was our afternoon: the war between the states, a little oil on canvas, cappuccino and midwestern punk rock. In other words a typical Sunday in a midsize city in the American south. We came back over the bridge, the lady fixed her Caribbean Jerk Grouper and now we're both typing away in front of the TV, probably covering remarkably similar events in our posts, although I left some things out to give you guys a little different taste.


Courtney said...

It definitely was a Knoxy kind of day. I really do like our little city.

Rachel said...

Gaaah! I'm officially freaked out by the art museum.

Also, to type an ü -- press alt and 129 on your keypad. Don't mash the numbers down all at the same time, though ... that probably results in some sort of freaky German shit that you'd rather not be a part of.

In case you ever need it, ä is alt and 132, while ö is alt and 148. I'm such a German nerd.

Stefanie said...

I would thank you for supporting the Minneapolis music scene, but it seems you supporting only the Knoxville library system. Also, I don't actually get any sort of kickback from the Minneapolis music scene, so I suppose it's all irrelevant anyway.

Regardless, sounds like you had a more eventful day than I did. Laundry and raking leaves, anyone? Whoo. It's a non-stop party here, I tell you.

Stefanie said...

P.S. "you" = "you're"

I'm sure you knew that, but I do hate it when I don't proofread, regardless.

Julie said...

No one told me I could go up into the big golden orb. This might warrant a trip back to K-town.

It sounds like you really did have a great weekend. I sat on my butt and read all weekend. Barely left the house. You had art, history, music, literature and a golden orb. I am not worthy.

nancypearlwannabe said...

I just wrote a whole big comment about how awesome the Civil War event looks and it got deleted.

Blogger, you are a cold-hearted bitch.

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Wow I am totally impressed with your motivation! And slightly creeped out that that kid is standing so close to all those civil war surgery implements.

em said...

Scott and I discovered Fort Dickerson not that long ago, when we were out for a Sunday drive. I never knew it was there. And I will probably never go there again; and those 2 minutes we spent there will be the only minutes I ever dedicate to the place. Civil War reenactments freak me out.

Chris said...

Sounds fun. What I really would have liked, though, would be a photo of you two picnicking in the middle of the Civil War reenactment battlefield. It's a family event, right?

surviving myself said...

I once lived with a reenactor and he was the weirdest dude I've ever met. He had all these fake guns and even cut his hair to look more authentic. I didn't live with him for very long because I feared for my life.

Jacob said...

Someone gave you the code for the umlaut up there, but in the future, you can go to the character map in the accessories menu of your start menu and find the character you want, copy it and paste it into your text. It's how I got the ♥ in my post title today.

A Free Man said...

Knoxville's right purty this time of year.

A Free Man said...

Knoxville's right purty this time of year.

Allie said...

Looks like a neat place!

I used to tend bar at a place that attracted a lot of reenactors. It was surreal. They'd come in all decked out in their Civil War garb and lean their muscats against the bar. I always thought, "Why bring the muscat? Can't you leave it in the car?" The were a weird group. One had a mail order bride. I suppose that's neither here nor there, but still . . .

Aaron said...

Well, heck, I could have provided you some pirated Husker Du. Or really any of Bob Mould's post-Du catalog.

Yeah, I was going to say, that Civil War Event sign should probably be more specific. Some weird folks out there.

The Modern Gal said...

I guess Knoxville's alright.

No, I love how a day around town with pictures to boot does make it seem like a wonderful place.

Those KMA eyes have been freaking me out too. Seriously, are they necessary?