Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 21, 2009

The Getty Villa, Malibu, and of course a Twilight Reference

Neither my daughter nor her roommate had to work yesterday, so we went to the Getty Villa overlooking the Pacific. “It smells so good,” we kept saying, feeling the salty breeze and passing roses and lavender. Colleen said that the first time she came alone she just sat by this pool for three hours. Sounds nice.

Inside were big statues of gods, goddesses, and heroes, as well as a room full of miniatures of such engraved on precious gems. It was cool to be in a museum devoted to ancient Greek and Roman art, rather than to just pass through a few rooms of it. My favorite things were two statues small enough to hold in a hand. One was of a woman hefting a lyre on her shoulder, and swinging wide hips to its imagined music. Another statuette was of an old woman feeding birds. It’s nice to think of the everyday moments while others are setting forth on odysseys or wrestling lions or sacking Trojans or turning into swans.

Afterward we ate seafood, or in some cases chicken (Colleen?) at Gladstone’s of Malibu. The view was amazing, the food delicious, and talented staff bind leftovers in gold foil in the shapes of sharks, dragons, or swans. We looked for a few crumbs on our plates just so we might get one of these in the fridge, but we did too well with the meal. We celebrated Emily’s official word on her new internship; pay was set and she was pleased.

I’m so proud of these twenty-year-olds. Colleen has known since she was fourteen that she wanted to design clothing for movies or theater. She’s starting a special third year program at FIDM, one of just nine people. Em’s had a windier search, like I did, and maybe her dad would have if he hadn’t walked into the wrong orientation room his freshman year of college and felt too shy to leave. At least for now, Emily seems to have found working in public relations and marketing fits her skills for design and communication.

And Emily and Colleen (we miss you, Sara – third roommate who will be back soon) are truly such nice people, fun and sweet. They’re managing life a whole continent away from their parents, and as roommates they look out for each other with challenges re keys, cars, computers, meals, getting up on time, as well as sharing obsessions like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, movies, and news such as apparently now you can buy just the pink and red Starbursts, i.e. the good ones, all in one bag. I’ve yet to confirm that, but it may be part of the weekend plan.



  1. I haven’t been to the refurbished Getty. The last time I visited was in…the 90s? Gladstones, too. But now you’ve got me thinking about another visit. That area is so beautiful…

  2. So I’m curious. What type of orientation did he wander into? What type was he scheduled in?

  3. It’s so amazing to look at mountains in one direction and ocean in another. I wish you’d been there, Melodye!

  4. If I have my facts straight, which I don’t always, he was headed for some kind of science and ended up in fine arts. I give his parents a lot of credit for not freaking out. They wished him luck and gave him their blessing.

  5. Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time. Isn’t PCH along the cliffs amazing?

  6. Yes, fun with daughter and amazing scenery. PCH — I need to see more one day! (the dream of getting to San Francisco area and you!) The N.E. coast all got so settled, and I admire how Calif kept those beaches for everyone.

  7. You do NOT want to take PCH all the way up to us, as beautiful as it is. Sloooowww. You’d need to come up 5. LOTS of agriculture.

  8. Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep that in my fantasy though! On the reality level, my daughter doesn’t even see me driving to San Francisco at all and she is probably right. Five hours is really my limit.

  9. Well, it doesn’t have to be this trip. But if/when you want to head north, you can come up 101 to San Luis Obispo (about 4 hours from LA), spend the night in a lovely town, then take another 3 hours to get to me, and I’D take you up to SF–which is only an hour drive north.
    And your daughter is just as welcome as you!

  10. Jeannine has the essential facts right. Back when I was preparing to start my freshman year at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, I had to go down there for two days of orientation in the summer. On the first night, I was supposed to attend a meeting of prospective science majors. I found what I thought was the right room, and sat down with about twenty other people. After about five or ten minutes I realized that this wasn’t the meeting for science majors, but rather for ART majors. I asked the person who was leading this meeting where the science majors were meeting, and got directions to go down the hall, up the stairs to the next floor, then down another hall.
    I left the room full of art majors, walked down the hall, started to go up the stairs… and then turned around and went back to the room I had just left… because I was too embarrassed to barge into a room full of people who had been all in the right place for the last ten minutes. It’s silly, I know… but that’s how I was then (I’m a little better now). So that’s how I became an art major, and went on to get a BFA in printmaking.
    It’s not quite as dopey as it sounds — in fact, I had given some thought to being an art major (art — illustration, specifically — having been one of my passions for a long time), and had originally chosen the science major route because (a) that was also a great interest of mine, and (b) I had gotten very good grades in science in hight school, and (c) I had not received terribly good guidance from my high school “guidance counselor” (big surprise there, right?).
    I’ve told that story many times, usually to illustrate the point that a pivotal moment in one’s life can be profoundly affected by something as relatively silly as fear of embarrassment. I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I had continued up those stairs… certainly it would have been greatly different. But I think I probably made the right choice. — PL

  11. What a wonderful story.

  12. I’ve been to the Getty, but not the Villa — must put that on my list! And I think it’s wonderful that Emily and Colleen have such a good sense of their strengths and interests. I don’t remember being so clear on those things when I was their age.

  13. Sounds like something I may have done at the time, too. Thanks for the story!

  14. I think I like the Getty museum more than the Villa, with the rooms of art and rooms of flowers; but it was wonderful in a very different way at the Villa. I’m having a lot of fun with the girls — I’m sure you were quite clear about what you loved at that age! Or maybe all of us — some clear moments, some not so much. I think it’s easier being older.

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