Friday, September 30, 2011

Pacific Standard Time

Looks like Arsty Summer is far from over.  Pacific Standard Time officially starts this weekend.  It's been all over the paper and magazines for the past couple of weeks.  Tons of hype.  And it's gonna be tons of awesome.

This weekend kicks off with FREE admission to a number of museums and I'm hittin' up the Natural History Museum to see this exhibit, along with the dinosaurs (of course!).

I've got my eye on loads of other exhibits, mostly those highlighting MCM design and architecture, and culture. These will take me all over LA and as far out as Palm Springs and San Diego. There's even an exhibit in the OC that shines a light on my alma mater.  Check the link above; there's tons of information and slideshow previews. 

Hello, Artsy Autumn.



[mama n' me]

It's been two weeks since my mom's first anniversary memorial and it blows my mind that she's been gone for an entire year.  I had left myself a buffer of a few weeks to sort out thoughts and emotions, but when it came down to it I was one.  hot.  mess.  Especially because Mom's was a week after the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, and those memories revolve a lot around my parents.  I sat down to write about my mom and the waterworks started -- surprising because I thought I was fully resolved that she had truly finished her life and was therefore okay with it all.  But the truth was -- and is -- that I will always, always miss this lady.

When I have bad days, I miss my mom's comforting hugs.  She always insisted that it's okay and I'm still young and it'll work out. 

When I have good days, I miss my mom's celebratory hugs.  I miss her comments on my haircuts and manicures.  I miss her guilt trips over my shopping, until I told her I got a good deal, and she'd say, "Good girl!"  I miss her curiosities over my knitting or sewing or embroidery projects.  I miss the way she said, "turtle," or "squirrel."  I miss her grammatically precise emails, how she always wrote, "perhaps," and never, "maybe."   And her texts.  I miss her laugh.  All the seeming little things that are such huge and gaping holes in my life, now that they're no longer a few miles down the road.

So, you see, I can't have a day that's not without missing some part of my mom.

My coworker saw my puffy red eyes coming out of the ladies room, put her arms around me and let me sob into her shoulder for as long as I needed.  She lost her mom a few months after me, so knew exactly how I was feeling and exactly what I needed.  Thank God for sending angels at just the right time.

As the weekend progressed, we observed the cultural customs.  At the Buddhist temple, we found Mom's photo on the big wall along with all the other people who've died.  Her coordinates are OO-64.  The feeling of being so separated from her was surreal and discomforting.  My younger brother had his mini-meltdown then.  The next day, when the extended group -- family, coworkers, high school alumni, college alumni, NZ alumni -- gathered at my dad's house, was another day of showing up.  I'm so grateful to my cousins who helped with all the food and serving!  My youngest brother had his meltdown then: in addition to mourning and missing Mom, he just found out that one of his housemates was killed in a hit-and-run bicycle accident.  Sadness and shock all over again.

The picture above is one I took of me and my mom at the black sand beach at Waia'napanapa on the island of Maui, when our entire family vacationed there in 2009.  It was our first family vacation since my brothers were kids, and Mom's first year of retirement.  We ate and drank and talked and faught and swam and shopped and drove and watched the sunrise and had a great time.  My SIL later shared that my mom actually said she had fun, that she did things -- like snorkelling -- she'd never done before and never thought she could do.  With all her kids.  At the same time.  How awesome is that?  After a lifetime of work and struggle and never thinking that she could ever rest, I'm happy that she had a couple years to relax before she left us. 

I won't try to wrap up this post in any succint or "lesson learned" manner because the truth is, this sadness and gladness over my mom will ebb and flow for the rest of my life.  I don't know whether that's okay or not; it just is.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sound of Music sing-along

What a wonderful way to ring an end to the summer! I was last here six years ago, and though the bouncing ball has given way to a higher-tech color-changing scheme, the crowd was still festive and lively. This year's costume contest winners were a group of children dressed in shiny gold bodysuits; standing on top of small platforms, they were dressed as the Oscars won by the Sound of Music. Their grandmother found the fabric and made the suits for them. Super cool.

If you're in LA about this time, the Hollywood Bowl is a quintessential summer outing. Next year we plan on checking out the "Grease" sing-along. Who's in?!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Artsy Summer: LACMA, again

A quick series of text messages and the troupe was assembled for an impromptu trip to LACMA, this time courtesy of Target-sponsored free holiday Mondays. A couple of us came earlier to have lunch on Eames shell chairs (I know, again!) along with hundreds (I kid you not) in the plaza.


lamca plaza[lacma plaza, packed]

The visit was fortuitous because it was the final day of Gifts of the Sultan and I got to see that fabulous rug that I read about in the Times; in addition, some new exhibits had just opened, including the Asian -- or are they simply Chinese, because the artist is Chinese?! -- zodiac installation:

ox   dog

dragon   rat

Then there was a more in-depth tour of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, which houses a genre (Warhol, Koons, Harding) that I generally don't understand. Like the fish tank with basketballs in it.  Or the big blue balloon dog. Did you know Koons tried to copyright it?! I guess the grievance was that too many people were trying to "copy" it. Does that include clowns?! Look closely to see W and me reflected manifold: that's me makin' art outta art. Take that, Koons.

bcam[bcam, descending]

blue balloon dog[blue ballon dog + reflections]

Fun in the sculpture garden, too. I love a good Rodin. This smile was strained, as it was much harder than it looks because the torso is, uhm, huge.

rodin[portrait w/ torso]

There's only one more stop, in terms of planned museums.  Then, Artsy Summer transitions into Artsy Autum by going international in the first half of October!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


My local farmers market is beginning to reflect the change in seasons, too. Behold some of the last offerings of summer:

[gallery link="file" columns="4"]


This morning I dashed back into the apartment to grab a scarf, the air much crispier than even just yesterday, and the grey sky causing me to put my sunglasses away.


The big bag is back, too, which means I'm knitting again. (And reading, and writing letters, still.)

Come, Autumn. I'm ready for ya.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Artsy Summer: Secret Sisters & Levitt Pavillion


What makes summer time great is the abundance of outdoor activities: farmers markets, concerts, movie nights, etc.  And though I like the idea of outdoor summer concerts, blankets, grassy knolls, picnic foods, etc., I usually end up too lazy to go. I am, however, prone to respond to an invitation than initiate the event, so when I got an email a few weeks ago about hearing the Secret Sisters at Levitt Pavillion, I happily responded in the affirmative.

They are a cute duo (actual sisters) who play the guitar and harmonize well. A good twang always gets me.

Sadly, it was one of the last of the evening concerts this summer. It's already starting to get darker sooner. Summer nights, must you end so soon?