What with all the blogging and tweeting about last Saturday’s WordCamp at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS), I suddenly realized that I had never written an account of my trip to Houston last September to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at HMNS. I was spending a hell of a lot of my time back then firing off job applications, and the rest of my time I spent wringing my hands and wondering how long before I’d be living on the street if I didn’t find a job. Not exactly conducive to generating the kind of energy to write a bunch of upbeat blog content. Nevertheless, I knew I would hate myself later if I passed up the chance to see that exhibit, in spite of how much it might set me back in groceries.
While it didn’t register in my mind at the time that there was any particular significance to the date, I went to Houston on a Wednesday, September 9 (yeah, 09-09-09). (Oh my, oh my, oh my. If stuff like that is supposed to mark significant changes… well, we got some rain here a few days later, after several months of drought. But my job drought continued.)
I took my brother’s camera, and then found out I couldn’t take pictures in the exhibit. I don’t know if taking pictures would be harmful to the terra cotta figures, or whether there are just different policies set up by the owners of each exhibit (I would have been allowed to take pictures of the fossils in the Archaeopteryx exhibit if I’d had the camera with me then). There was a whole little shop full of T.C. Warrior merchandise at the end of the exhibit, so that might have been the deal — don’t let people take their own photos and they’ll buy books and miniature figures, etc. However, there were two figures at the entrance to the exhibit that it was okay to photograph, so I did. Then I proceeded to go around to other parts of the museum and take some more pictures, which I have been meaning to share.
I failed to write down the scientific names for the stuff I was taking pictures of, so we’ll all have to be content with names like “really big geode,” etc. Sometimes I get caught up in being an enthusiast/tourist and forget to be anything else (like scientist, journalist/photojournalist, whatever).