Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's like a train wreck... I can't look away!

Jess and I outside the Legion of Honor
Click to inBIG-en any picture...
To say that I was amazed by the works of art we saw at the Legion of Honor would be an understatement. To see the way that the paper was manipulated, colored, painted, glued, pulled, and gathered was breathtaking. The remaining art at the museum was just as amazing. Portraits of people from hundreds of years ago, painted by people that I actually recognized! Renoir! Degas! WOW! I found several paintings that totally spoke to me, for various reasons. All of which I have included, although, I didn't take the time to actually jot down names or artists. Who really cares anyway? The art is the reason I cared, not the artist. I found several paintings that I just couldn't stop looking at. The signs say, "Stay 1 foot away from uncovered art!" Yeah. Whatever! I got within inches. Longing to see how the simple brush strokes and daubs of paint brought forth such emotion.

This was my favorite. I could just imagine the mother going "Gentle! Gentle!" as I have SO many times!

The sight of the little baby, with his sweater of chub, just reminded me of the wonder of being a mother. I have struggled lately with juggling the jobs I have: mom, wife, daughter, teacher, etc. This was a reminder to me of what a HONOR it is to be a mom. There was also this one:
"MOM! Are you sleeping!"

"I SEE you!"

Sigh. THIS is why I never get to sleep past 7:39 every morning. I love, however, how DEDICATED my children can be in getting my attention. I also saw things that remind me of why I love my husband... and I made sure to text him to let him know! (He was, after all, parenting solo the whole day so that I could have this little excursion... Thanks babe!)

"(insert sounds of kissing here)"

Jess and I had a great day at the Legion of Honor... ate a great lunch, saw some great art, laughed at some of the paintings... I mean seriously?

I would cover up too if those creepy old men were trying to get a gander at my goodies!

Our weather today... geesh!

"I stare at you because I LOVE you..."

But. Little did we know what would happen next. Heading home via Geary Street, we decided to stop in Japan Town. We have been there before, and wanted to visit a few of the shops to get a look at what they had. It was a CHALLENGE to find parking. Raining a ton, hills everywhere, impatient drivers behind us, and Jessica with a stick shift. We voted: parking garage. It was a WAIT to get in, due to everyone having the same thought we did. I almost told her to just head home. THANK GOODNESS we persevered!
As we headed for the elevator up out of the garage we were confronted with some sort of... photo shoot? Some completely costumed, stiletto heeled, masked... cat? Bunny? Wombat? Do they wear short skirts? Hmmm... As we stood in line for the elevator, we each made little comments.
"That was odd."
"Yes. Weird place to have a photo shoot."
"Man this elevator is taking forever!"
Eventually, deciding on the stairs (I am WAY out of shape by the way!) we entered into the Hotel Kabuki lobby. Jackpot! We were surrounded by hordes (seriously!) of costumed, masked, and home-made weapon wielding adolescent (and NOT so adolescent) individuals. HOLY cow! I couldn't help it. I started snapping photos with my camera all covert-under-cover style. I couldn't WAIT to tell people.
This was right out of the stairwell. As you can see we walked right into the heart of the Animation on Display 2011 Convention. Score!

Do they make these costumes? Buy them? They were SUPER elaborate.

O.K... This one we asked. Zachary was SO excited to learn I took a picture of THE Mario.

Everywhere we looked we were surrounded by groups of people just like this. Jessica and I were just dying over some of the outfits and conversations we observed. BUT. Despite the humor, and the awkwardness, and the... lack (?) of deodorant we found... comfort. These guys were COMPLETELY comfortable doing what they were doing. Being who they truly enjoyed being. There was no embarrassment evident on their faces. Society may laugh (and yes, so did I) at their displays, but they were having a GOOD time. They had found a place were judgement had no place.
Sometimes I can't say that for my everyday life. I would like to believe I am less awkward than those I saw, less "nerdy", I fit in... but really? I don't possess that confidence. I couldn't do what they did.

I also, couldn't look away.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life IS like a box of chocolates...

Do we really know what we're in for on any given day that we swing our legs over the edge of the bed and boldly embark on a new day? We think we do. As we shower, eat our breakfast or drive to work, we think about the tasks we'll accomplish, colleagues we'll talk to, appointments we're expected to keep. But the miracle and beauty of each day is that we don't actually know what's going to happen, and sometimes the unexpected detour is the thing that ends up being the most fun.

The Legion of Honor and Pulp Fashion were fantastic. We loved it so much that we bought a membership, which can be used at the De Young too. $64 for a two-person membership--not bad. We marveled at the detail and skill involved in making Isabelle de Borchgrave's paper clothes sculptures, which were truly amazing! As we looked at the pieces, I found myself pondering how anyone could have the audacity to devote their life to sculpting clothes! How could she be sure she wouldn't starve before someone appreciated her brilliant, yet impractical gift? It is absolute proof that people are just wired differently.  I don't know how much money I would have to have in the bank to give myself permission to play with paper all day, which by the way, I would LOVE to do.

We ate a delicious lunch at the gallery cafe, took a spin around the various collections, and then headed home via Japan Town, where we found ourselves in the midst of the 'Animae on Display' convention at the Kabuki Hotel.  We couldn't believe our luck as we waded in among the colorfully quaffed, skimpily clad and somewhat ripe-smelling adolescents, who were relishing a rare opportunity to cavort with their kind. They were exuberantly geeking out on animae, being photographed together in sultry super hero poses, and Kari and I, choking back giggles, shamelessly snapped photos and drank it all in. It was like adolescent awkwardness and arrogance on steroids, and we couldn't look away. Fortunately, everyone there was completely exhibitionist and far from offended by our gawking in disbelief. Now that was fun!

But the best part of the day--the time when I laughed the hardest--was in the car, driving with Kari to the Legion of Honor. I have no idea what we were talking about.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Wane, Wane, Goooo to Bay"

This is the song my son was singing today. Maybe he didn't quite get the words right...

When it is raining I always have a hard time being responsible. I don't mean that I get the urge to suddenly binge on Jack Daniels and smoke a blunt... but being at work... like an adult... is hard.

Maybe the fact that I work in a classroom filled with 5th graders has something to do with it. Today was a NO recess day. Not even 1 minute of outside-running-around-get-your-freakin'-wiggles-out-OH-MY-GOD-FINALLY! time. sigh. In addition to being rainy, it was also LIKE a Friday, without the relaxation of ACTUALLY being Friday. We had SO much to do, to cram in, because it is a short week. I am VERY excited about my 4 day weekend.

Jessica and I have decided to officially launch the Fun Chronicles with our first FUN event! We are taking some time to go see an exhibit this weekend that we have been looking forward to. A time to geek out a little with our crafty, origami-minded brains. We are heading over to Legion of Honor in San Francisco to see Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave. It is a mouthful, but I am unnaturally excited about it.

When you are little, you always hope that you will grow up to do something that you love. I am lucky enough to have found that. But when you are younger you hope that the thing you will end up doing will be something you loved THEN, like coloring. Or making little crafts out of pipe-cleaners and puffy balls.

Anything with googly eyes would make a great career...

I think that this exhibit will be like finding someone who DID grow up to do those things.

I just hope we have good weather. Go to Bay, Wane!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fun: noun. 1. A source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure.

Sometimes life gets away from you... it seems like you forget who you are. I am a mom, I am a wife, I am a daughter, I am a teacher. Somewhere, I forgot to be Kari. Do you know what pulls you back into being yourself? Something that can remind you who you are? A friend. Sometimes all you need to pull you out of your lost feelings is someone that can remind you of the life you have already lived.

I need to remind myself of not only who I WAS, but who I can be. I need to step outside of my label of mom, wife, teacher, etc. and into the life of KARI (who happens to be a mom, wife, teacher...). My best friend is just the person to help me do that!

I once walked through downtown New York City in a rainstorm with no one but this person.
I once fell from a rope-swing and broke her leg.
I rode my bike all through San Francisco having high-tea and visiting the beach to celebrate my birthday.
I made her 2 tiered- chocolate covered wedding cake complete with frosting bees, gold leaf, and flowers.

I have to remember how to do those things more often.

Fun. Such a simple word. My 5 year-old can sound it out, "fff-uuuu-nn" and write it down in his shaky left-handed print. My almost-two-year-old can parrot the word back to you, always making it sound like a question, and then break into giggles. Maybe it is time to take part in the simple word... more.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sometimes you just need to have more fun

This blog is about two best friends (Kari and Jessica), who have known each other their whole entire lives (30+ years), remembering how to have fun like they did when they were kids. I'm talking about the kind of fun you have when the end of summer vacation is still a good two months away, you know exactly where your next meal is coming from (thanks Mom) and no one cares whether you accomplish anything in a day or not.

It all started when Kari and I realized that our grownup lives were sucking the life out of us. Don't get us wrong--we wouldn't trade our lives for anything. We love our families and our jobs, but sometimes it's just hard holding down a job, taking care of a family and being an all-around responsible member of society.  And one day, as we over-analyzed our lives, looking for exactly why we were tired and disillusioned, we realized that maybe we just weren't having enough fun. 

Hence 'The Fun Chronicles,' in which we will share our adventures and misadventures as we try to recapture the carefree, belly laughing, blissful fun of our childhoods. We hope you'll join us.