Stupid Man Tricks and Crystals – The ROM

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On Friday my intention was to go to Toronto, no matter what the weather was doing. The weather cooperated somewhat. The sun even peeked out cautiously a few times, giving me the opportunity to walk about in my lumberjack flannel shirt. I did go to Toronto, but I did not get to do what I had planned. You see, planning is the key. That is precisely what I forgot to do.

What I wanted to do was to visit the MZTV Museum of Television at 55o East Queen Street. Forget about the address. It’s not important to you unless you plan to walk all the way to the museum from the bus station as I did. You have to pass through a very interesting neighborhood. When I say interesting you can surmise that I really mean scary. Don’t get me wrong. I fit in there quite nicely with my pony tail, earring and multiple tattoos. My choice of clothing also blended in with the attire of huge, rough-looking men hanging around in front of bars and loans-until-payday joints. The word “joint” fits into this picture also, if you get my drift. No need to purchase. Just pick up a roach from the sidewalk. Anyway, I did make it to the museum, but it did me no good.

This is where the planning comes in. You see, what I had failed to do was to ascertain whether or not the museum was actually going to be open when I arrived. The answer is NO, unless you have called ahead to make an appointment. I truly did not know how to react when I saw the sign saying “by Appointment ONLY!!!!!” No, there were no exclamation marks nor upper case. My mind added those. Having no cell phone with me I had no way to call for an appointment, as if such a thing could be arranged on the spot anyway. So I just stood there and stared at it for a while as my mind ran back over the previous twenty-four hours to try to figure out what other blunders I had made which were still lying in wait for me.

I soon found out.

My son, Hans, had mentioned the Royal Ontario Museum. I thought to myself, “Oh, I’ve never been there.” So, I decided to figure out where to find it and how to get there. It seems faintly ridiculous for a seriously mature man to admit that getting around in a big, unfamiliar city alone is a challenge. It is, nevertheless, true. So, I set about to meet the obstacles and overcome them one after the other.

The first of which was to learn how I could get onto one of those cute little streetcars with the wire over the top so that I could bypass the harmless, but disconcerting neighborhood I had just passed through. I did the obvious. I asked a kindly looking woman on the street how I could travel by trolley. She directed me to a corner variety store where I could purchase a tiny token to get me on the vehicle. The clerk there asked where I was going and suggested that I purchase two tokens. She also cautioned me to get a transfer so that I could use the subway. It seemed to be getting complicated, but I reckoned that I could manage it.

The trolley took me in minutes back to the spot I had been an hour ago. It was a while before I located the entrance to the subway. The sign was too small, I think. Four stops later I was here:

At this moment I realized my second blunder. I had been here before with Eunie. Maybe someday happy memories will flood over me when I revisit places which we once enjoyed. However, I now try to avoid those places, if possible. However, I was already there. I decided to tough it out.

As it turned out, the trip was not a bust. Three years ago I remember seeing a small section of the museum which displayed some amazing mineral specimens, including splendid crystals the likes of which I had never seen. I’m glad I forked over the CA$21 to get into the museum, because the new display – a hundred times larger – was a mind-blowing experience.

I give no credence to theories of “crystal power”. They seem nonsense to me. For me they are objects which dramatically display the myriad ways by which the laws of physics and chemistry can be expressed as wondrous works of beauty.

I tried Googling to get some idea of where the great mineral displays of the world are located. No luck. I can’t imagine that there are many which can beat this one. I took a lot of pictures. As the lighting was not bright enough for easy photography, I had to set my ISO at 400, which makes for noisy images in my Canon G11. Nevertheless, they are good enough to get an idea of the beauty of the specimens.

Here is a gallery of some of the better shots. You can start the gallery by clicking on any of the images:

I’m happy with the way the day turned out. It was a bittersweet mixture of emotions. I feel as if I salvaged something from it. Now most of life feels that way to me. I’m getting better at it.

I’m synthesizing happiness. It’s almost as good as the real thing.

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8 Responses to “Stupid Man Tricks and Crystals – The ROM”

  1. Ali Says:

    Hi Jan, I love happy endings. What a great story today.
    Sounds like you negotiated the “Torronto Test” with flying crystal colours.
    Your day out certainly threw up some exasperating, daunting, disappointing and emotional detours for you. But you took them all in your stride and came out safe and smiling on the other side….with some new memories to compliment the older ones, awesome photos and an entertaining yarn. You turned a whole heap on negs into a big pos!!!
    Congrats my friend…..I reckon you are winning!


  2. DogsDontPurr Says:

    Those crystals are amazing!

    There’s a place on the Oregon or maybe Northern California coast…in the middle of no where…a roadside attraction that was basically a broken down store front with a barn like building attached. It is filled with giant crystals of all kinds like those you pictured. Out front, there are crates of smaller rocks and crystals to sort through. Inside, it’s like an odd slightly dilapidated museum. But you can actually BUY these things. It was an incredible place.

    When I was there, I didn’t have either the time or money to explore it properly. But I would have loved to have one of those really huge hunks of rock. They are simply mystifying!

  3. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Ali. The day did turn out better than it started. I’ll be off to Arizona in a few three days to continue my adventures. Maybe more positives there, eh?

  4. MadDog Says:

    DogsDontPurr, as was explained in the museum, many of the world-class mineral specimens came from only a few locations on the planet where unusual conditions caused intense mineralization and resulted in extremely rare deposits of huge crystals. Some of these were in the western parts of North America. I suspect that there may be such places on New Guinea. If I were wealthy, I’d lead an expedition to try to find them. Dream on . . .

  5. kristy Says:

    I am always amazed at how crystals always look like something or other! One of those looks a lot like bone marrow!

  6. Ali Says:

    Ooooo Kristy, now you have me looking at the crystals with different eyes…..Don’t recognise the bone marrow one, but I can see one that looks like a “cracked coconut”.

  7. kristy Says:

    The Croicoite(?) is the one that made me think bone marrow. I had just been to a talk on osteoporosis and it just reminded me of the lattice work of bone structure.

  8. MadDog Says:

    Okay, Kristy. I see the one you are talking about, but I don’t have a clue what bone marrow looks like and I don’t think that I want to.