Sunday, October 27, 2013

Some treats and maybe some tricks

I would like to dedicate this post to one of my dearest friends, Shelby Schaefer.

Shelby is pretty much the coolest girl in school. She has awesome hair, is super funny, super smart, likes bacon, and cares a lot about learning outcomes. She also very nearly potty trained her cats, which I think takes some real ingenuity and a tolerance feline fecal matter that I just don't have.  But clearly I am perfect in other ways, so it's fine.

I was heartbroken to discover that I could not attend either Shelby's bachlorette weekend or upcoming wedding due to my crazy traveling sched.  Yes.  I am abbreviating that now.  Deal.

So Shelbs, this post that is mostly about me and my life, that all of three people will read, is all for you.  I know it totally makes up for everything and you're welcome.

I very much look forward to a time in the future (maybe December?) when we both (sort of) have our lives back and can have a big glass of whiskey together.  Oh wait, scratch that.  I'm off whiskey due to the Jameson vom-fest of 2013.  Fine, I'll have bourbon and you will have whiskey and it will be grand.

Now, to borrow a phrase from Mario in the immortal Nintendo 64 Mario Cart.  Here-a we go!

I've sat down to write a post maybe half a dozen times over the past three weeks.  And without fail, each time, the bright white framed draft appears before me--coruscating, untainted--my mind goes blank and I think: efffff this and go off to stare at the inside of my pantry instead.  We have a lot of expired canned soup. So. That's where I am coming from.  How are you?

All right, let's dispense with pleasantries.  Scoff.  As if there ever were any in this blog.

But seriously, moving on.

Things have been reeeeal busy around here.  I wish I could say that I've born the freneticism uncomplainingly but who am I kidding?  I've been grumbling to just about anyone who will listen, which now includes you. I've had to work almost every weekend this month and I will have to work almost every weekend next month until I blissfully ease into death or Thanksgiving.  Whichever happens first.

In other words, a lot has been happening recently and only about 40% of it is blog worthy.  Although I have posted in the past on air travel and taking my car into the shop, so clearly I have a firm handle on what's interesting for other people to read.

The first vaguely compelling event happened a few weekends ago in San Francisco.  I had a real brattitude about the whole thing because I was originally supposed to go to San Diego that weekend for a portfolio day, which I was really excited about.  Moses and I were going to go there together and spend time with our friend Jeff and maybe even squeeze in a trip to the San Diego zoo, which I haven't been to in such a long time.  But then, I was asked to the represent our department at an alumni function, honoring Tyrus Wong and Camille Rose Garcia at the Walt Disney museum in the Presidio. And I harrumphed about it for only four weeks because I don't draw anything out.

As the date of event drew closer, I found myself positively dreading it.  Especially when it was determined that I would fly into San Francisco the morning of and fly out again in the evening after it was all over.  You better believe that this made Wendy feel like C-.

Or if you prefer something more visual:

To top it all off, I chipped a small part of one of my molars the night before I left.  I wish that I could say it was a tooth cracking standard like a candied apple or a particularly hard piece of bruschetta that did the little guy in (yes, my teeth are all male, aren't yours?) but it was a chicken nugget of all things.  Apparently my enamel is made out of only the finest porcelain.  Anyways, I was convinced that this brought a real sense of foreboding to the rest of the stupid trip.

But it was actually really lovely.

Despite one minor hiccup when my wifi inexplicably stopped working and I had to place a frantic call to Moses to look up which bus I need to take from downtown to the Presidio, everything went smoothly.  All my flights were on time and uneventful.  It was a crisp, clear beautiful fall day in San Francisco.  I even got to do a little unexpected sight seeing when my bus dropped me off right near the Palace of Fine Arts, which I had never been to before.

I managed to garner my fair share of stares from a group of girls at a nearby photo shoot in my attempts to take a series of ridiculous selfies.

None of them turned out but I did enjoy the irony of being judged by a gaggle of ambiguously clad ladies in their quiceanera/ prom/wedding? best.

The Tyrus Wong and Camille Rose Garcia exhibits themselves were pretty spectacular and it was really overwhelming--in the best way--to see their work, learn about their narratives, and to meet them in person.

Tyrus Wong is an Otis graduate from 1932 and was one of the animators on the movie Bambi.  You know all the gorgeous woodland scenery?  That was all him.  And as I lagged behind on our guided tour of his exhibit, I felt struck with a sense of awe; I was looking at pieces produced by a Chinese immigrant and working artist during an immensely prejudiced and precarious time in American history.  But the exhibit didn't dwell on any of that.  At all.  We heard a little bit about his struggles to get into the country due to the Chinese exclusion act, but aside from that, all we saw were his career and artistic triumphs and the impact he made on so many influential artists and animators currently working in the industry.

He is now 103 and is still producing artwork.  I bashfully shook his hand at the conclusion of the evening and told him how much I admired his work.  I normally never have the desire or the nerve--mostly the nerve--to do that sort of thing but, you know, when in Rome, blah blah blah. You would think that at 103, he would be so over people fawning over his work or just over things in general.  I mean, I am so over everything and I am only twenty-eight.  But he was just so gracious and humble and kind.   He hung out for the entire event and took photographs and signed books like a champ.

Camille Rose Garcia's self-described "creepy" reinterpretations of John Tenniels illustrations of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass were in perfect juxtaposition to Wong's elegant, majestic landscapes.  And they are so my style.  I mean, I really could not have commissioned a project that better encapsulated my artistic aesthetics.

A scowl after my own heart.  Or alternatively titled: Wendy looking at people on the bus.

Overall, it was an incredible experience and I am really glad I got to go.  And no, I don't feel silly at all for wasting all that time being grouchy about it.  Why do you ask?

Okay, so what else?  Ah, yes.

Because I have been working so much recently and in anticipation for all the work and traveling in my near future, Moses and I rationed sometime together for a fall wonderland day.

And even though neither of us particularly felt like it, we rallied and drove the hour and forty-five minutes to Southern California apple country.

Our first stop was Riley Farms where we could pick pumpkins, press our own cider, learn how to throw tomahawks, and where the employees were forced to dress in period garb.  I would have pitied the poor waiters in the farm's public house carrying styrofoam to-go containers full of chicken pot pies while wearing petty coats and pantaloons if I didn't secretly like it so much...

True love.


We got to eat good food and spend time with each other--two of our most favorite pastimes.  I also got to (illegally) pet and feed a horse (see our prom photo above) and to exercise my glaring muscles (like they needed it) at all the customers complaining to the farm employees about having to pay 10 cents per flower.  Highway robbery, I know.  I am sure I would share in that outrage if I too were a terrible person.

All right, I think that that should about do it for now.  Consider yourself updated.  I know that it must have been gnawing at you.

Oh yeah and in honor of the season:

Happy Halloween

Heart, Moses and Wendy.                                                                

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