Field-Trip Tuesday: Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

Who says adults can’t go on field trips? Because most of my time is spent traveling in a car for work, I try to make the most of that time. When I drive through towns that have a tourist attraction, local restaurant or museum, I try to make at least one stop.

Recently I visited the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis. And there was something magical about it. Works from the late writer and Indianapolis native were on display, but more than that the library is a cultural and educational resource that helps fight censorship and support language arts.

Those able to visit should do so as the curator gives complimentary tours. For those unable to see it in person, I’ll share some photos I took.

When walking in to the library, I was greeted by the typewriter Vonnegut actually used in the 1970s and the phrase “we are dancing animals.”

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Several of the author’s drawings are also on display around the library.

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After walking around listening to videos about the author and reading some of the rejection letters Vonnegut received, I reached my favorite part of the library.

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Visitors can sit over and type on the same model of typewriter that the author used next to the same style of lamp he used. I sunk down into the chair, typed my own message and sat there for a moment. It’s easy to see why many people enjoy visiting this library, especially this room.

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After that I walked around a little longer, I purchased a collection of his graduation speeches titled “If this isn’t nice, what is,” and then went back to work (so it goes). I highly suggest people visit it if they are able.

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Color me rad: my first 5K

My friend and I participated in a Color Me Rad 5K run this weekend. It also was my first 5K. If you never have experienced a color run, do it! It is fun, people are happy, it is not competitive and you get bombed with six different colors. It. Is. Awesome.

1.) The beginning of the race looks like this:

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2.) You get cool tattoos:

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3.) It is just plain fun:

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4.) After the 5K you look like this:

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and this…

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and this…

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5.) This is what the end looks like:

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Go find one in your area and sign up now.

Armageddon in Retrospect

I finished reading Armageddon In Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut tonight. The book features a collection of short stories on war along with a letter home from Vonnegut and a speech he wrote but died before he was able to deliver it. 

It also includes an introduction by Mark Vonnegut. In the introduction his son even says he found himself wondering “How on earth does he get away with some of this crap?” And he does. Vonnegut gets away with saying these things.

Some passages I found memorable from the collection of short stories are below: 

“I consider anybody who borrows a book instead of buying it, or lends one, a twerp.” 

(after Vonnegut asked his son what life was all about) 
“We are here to help each other through this thing, whatever it is.” 
“Whatever it is. Not bad. That could be a keeper.” 

And how should we behave during this apocalypse? 
“We should be unusually kind to one another, certainly. But we should also stop being so serious. Jokes help a lot.”

My advice to writers just starting out? Don’t use semicolons…all they do is suggest you might have gone to college. 

“We accepted their congratulations with good grace and proper modesty but I felt then as I feel now, that I would have given my life to save Dresden for the world’s generations to come. That is how everyone should feel about every city on earth.” -Wailing Shall Be In All Streets

“Don’t never mess with time. Keep now now and then then. And if you ever get lost in thick smoke, child, set still till it clears. Set still till you can see where you are and where you been and where you’re going, child.” -Great Day

“Where do I get my ideas from? You might as well have asked that of Beethoven. He was goofing around in Germany like everybody else and all of a sudden this great stuff came rushing out of him. It was music. I was goofing around like everybody else in Indiana and all of a sudden stuff came gushing out. It was disgust with civilization.” 

Vonnegut ends the speech included in the book in true Vonnegut fashion:

And I thank you for your attention, and I’m out of here.