Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Carnival weekend!

What's that, you say?
You have this strange craving for malasadas? Me, too. I wonder why...
You were kind of wishing you could find some really good mango chutney, too, huh?
Hmmmmmm. Strange cosmic coincidence? Or ...

Gasp! I was hoping to find some Carnival memorabilia, but everything considered, isn't amazing that I still have this stuff?

Okay guys, think fast:
If this weekend is Carnival 2007 weekend, then that means that the 1982 Carnival was ... uhhh .... 25 years ago. Remember the unintelligible team mumble/grumble on the Sound Booth? Was it really 25 years ago? Wow.

Now that's a Walk Down Memory Lane for ya'.

Carnival Trivia:
(from the Punahou School website)

The two hamburger booths each cook 108 patties every 10 minutes. At that rate they could make over 31,000 burgers at the carnival. Eat them your way: plain, teri or with cheese!

The Haku Lei Booth began in 1972. That makes 34 years. Do you have one?

2,100 gallons - over 33,000 cups - of Portuguese Bean Soup are enjoyed at Carnival. Why? It's great!

There are 64 booths and 18 E. K. Fernandez rides at the Punahou Carnival. How many have you tried?

In 2006, 8,000 jars of mango chutney and 2,000 jars of lilikoi butter were made for the Carnival. Fruit picking and cooking is completed during the summer. They still sell out on Friday!

Over 5,000 pounds of sugar was donated to the Carnival for malasadas. Is that why they are so good?

Anyone that plans on going - enjoy that malasada for me, okay?
Mmmmmm, mmmm.
I've missed that simple pleasure of life, and I've missed you!
With much aloha, especially this weekend,

Wet nose, warm heart

This is what it said. I swear.

"You are a German Shepherd Puppy

Intelligent, quick witted, and a bit aggressive.
You've got the jaw power to take a bite out of anyone you

So, What breed of puppy are You?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Way back when

... when we all had big, permed hair. You had big hair, too. 'Fess up.

Circa 1989, Harmony, CA.
On my way to SF.

In my Tercel.

I'm going through my stuff, mercilessly tossing stuff. Well, almost mercilessly. There's a lot that's getting chucked out, but there are quite a few treasures that are being unearthed. In lieu of drawing and painting, I have to admit that it's been pretty enjoyable running across memories like this. And there's even more to share, too.

I took the coast route and about halfway up, my cassette deck (remember those?) died. When I got even further north, I ran out of radio stations to listen to. Aiiii.

I stopped overnight in Morro Bay and wandered through town. I remember picking up a postcard with a drawing of a person, sitting outdoors, drawing a scene of Morro Rock. Now that's kind of a sleepy town, or at least it was for that weekend.

I used to go up north to the Bay area for Labor Day weekend for the first few years after I moved to LA. I think we typically drove; now I fly. A few years ago, a bunch of classmates and I drove to Monterey for a conference, but it wasn't quite the same as before, not quite as leisurely. We were on a tight schedule and couldn't really stop to explore the towns along the way.

Life gets busy, huh? We all manage to travel pretty far - - every day for work - - but we really don't actually go anywhere. I mean, well, you know what I mean.

I feel like wandering a little bit.

Feels like time for another day-trip up the coast ...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hawaii pics

are the pictures from Hawaii.
I know, you've been waiting so patiently.

One thing I was reminded of while looking at the photos again was how many rainbows we saw. It was rainy, actually, so that helped. J commented that that's not something you see much of in Southern California; not so much rain, you know? I hadn't really thought about it, but it sure made experience even more special - getting to see a good rainbow pretty much every day that we were there.

We got to see the sunset off Waikiki beach. Palm trees silhouetted by the colors of sunset and the ocean. Guess that shot isn't quite all that original, but it sure felt great to be there in person. Don't you love that fluorescent pink inflatable raft in the photos? It adds that extra something, don't you think?

We really enjoyed the Kapiolani end of Waikiki; less people, less crazy. We walked past the Zoo Art Fence - - local artists will hang their paintings (this is organized, not random) on the fence that surrounds the grounds of the zoo on the weekends. Made for a nice and lazy walk, getting to see original paintings, prints and photos. We'd cut across Kapiolani Park and to the very edge of Waikiki, find a spot to sit for a while and take pictures, just enjoy the tradewinds. All the families with their snorkle gear, their fluorescent pink inflatable rafts, bamboo beach mats and deepening sunburns... We walked out along this, um, wall (I'm sure there's a more correct term) that stuck out further into the surf. The water was calm and we could see all the little fish, including the humuhumunukunukuapua'a! The state fish! Well! How cool is that? Next time, maybe we ought to snorkle and get up close and personal to the fishies.

I think the colors turned out better in J's photos. I think his compact camera is better than mine (oh, gadget envy ...). You can also identify mine because perhaps in some photos you'll think that the horizon isn't quite, well, horizontal. I'm too focused on the snapping-and-clicking part. Or, perhaps you've had a bit too much to drink and your head is leaning over to one side. That's it ... (or, maybe it's just me).

But, hey, it's Hawaii, and it's all so amazingly beautiful.

Pear Honey Cranberry Sauce

Oh, that’s a nice, um… pear?

1/2 cup sugar
about 2 cups canned pears (about two 15oz cans), drained (I use the reserved juice for part of the water, above), and diced, medium
12oz fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 cup honey (Oh my. Lots and lots of sweetness in this one. Who's counting calories? Heck, you're having turkey and pumpkin pie with this as well, aren't you?)
2 tsp (or to taste) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest

Heat the water and sugar to boiling. Stir and cook until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the drained pears and mix.

Stir in the frozen cranberries and honey. Mmm.
Cook, stirring, until pretty much most of the cranberries pop and the syrup thickens a little. Do not overcook – the syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.

Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Refrigerate (overnight is good) and serve cold.

Store up to one week.
For you, Jane.

I even had a glass (most of) of white zin with it (Jane's influence). I figured it was safer than coffee, hot chocolate or water. Because while I’d be in trouble with the coffee, chocolate or water, I’d never, ever reach over and swish my brush in a wine glass by mistake.


So that felt good.

Somewhere, I think I can hear Karen clapping with joy.

Just a little more time

I’m taking a break from preparing materials for teaching. Guess I should get away from the laptop, but it seems like a good excuse to do a brain dump and update you a little bit.

Yes, I owe you photos from Hawaii.
I also owe Jane a post with the cranberry sauce recipe.
And a description of Hawaiian style shaved ice for Karen.

[big sigh]

I’ve been:
- Reading, as quickly as I can, “Never Eat Alone”, “Presenting to Win” and “How to Grow as a Photographer” to put together material for my class
- Thinking about design
- Wondering if I want to teach the process when what I really want to do is be an advocate for the profession. And how do I do this and get paid for it? Hmm.
- Listening to a few people make rather quick judgments and offer somewhat unsolicited comments of caution. About me and my life.

That’s a topic for another day.
But, no, it wasn’t any of you people out there.

- and looking at my poor ginger plants that I’ve already cut down once to clear of droopy, cold-weakened leaves and my ti leaf plant that survived a trip from Hawaii and a somewhat accidental start of life here in Southern California, hoping that their roots have survived the frost. All we can do is wait for the weather to warm a bit and see.

Less heavier things:

- Listening to a new mix, which includes: Mana’s “Vivir sin aire”, Nickelback’s “Far Away” and Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”. And you thought all I listened to was bubble-gum pop of the Backstreet variety, didn’t you?
- Getting rid of extra stuff. I think I’m going to offer some of it here – books and (new) sketch journals in formats or sizes that I’m really not going to use but can’t take back to return. Stuff like that. Anyone want extra fabric for charity quilts, as well?
- Training for a local 5K in March. I’ve had to continue to baby my ankles, actually, so while you know I’m enjoying building time, distance and speed on the treadmill (“Woo!”), I’ll start running (instead of walking) on pavement in about another week. If it all goes well, I’d ultimately like to run this 5K in a time somewhere between my first two.
- Looking forward to the SuperBowl. I've been a fan of Peyton Manning's and, of course, of da' Bears as well. So I'll be happy no matter who wins.
- Enjoying reading about the meanderings of John Muir.
- Catching up with so many great, thoughtful journeys that the bloggers out there are on. You guys all distract me so, but you inspire me as well.

So I find myself saying over and again that I really want to:
- Read
- Write
- Listen to my music
- Quilt
- Paint
- Cook
- Bake
- Catch up with my design gal pals that are working way too late, way too hard.

I really want to dig out the tubes of acrylic paint tonight.
Where does the time go?

Hugs to you. xox -w

Monday, January 22, 2007

Waiting for football

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Trying to keep warm

Haven't been drawing much, but I did finish off this purple scarf. You know how I like purple things..

Brr, it's been cold.

We were away for the long MLK holiday weekend, and when I got back to my place, all my plants that are Hawaiian in origin (ti leaf and ginger), all looked pretty bleak. They're wishing they were back in Hawaii, too. I had to cut off the droopy stalks, moved the ginger plants inside til the danger of frost passes, and am hoping for a gentle spring and summer. I've been waiting for two years; maybe this year I'll get some sweet ginger blossoms.

Sweet ginger. [sigh]

Stay warm. I'm off to the quilt show. A whole convention center filled with quilts and pretty fabric to pet ("Who? Me? No...") ... now that'll warm your soul up. Mmmm-mm. Catch up with you in a bit. -w

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust

One of many obligatory photos of Bellows Beach, but in this one, the important thing, more than the beauty of the place, of course, is J :)

Waking the first morning to a raucous cacophony of birds.

W, groaning: Ugh
J: What’s that bird?
W: Which one?
J: That one.
W (still very sleepy): Huh?
J: The one that sounds like a marimba.
W (trying to get her brain to move a little faster): A marimba? Huh?
J: There, that one.
W: Oh, that one. It sounds like a marimba? Guess so. I think it’s a dove.
J: A dove?
W: Yeah.

You can have heard stories all your life, gotten endless lists of recommendations of things to do, and yet the experience of going somewhere new turns out to be something much different from what you might have expected. Or, you take someone to someplace really familiar to you, that your guest has never seen before. You’re forced to see all of the little details anew, all the tidbits of information and history that make your impression of this place very unique and personal. We’d had trips like this over the summer - Glacier National Park, a place I’d never seen. The trip over New Year’s was a bit of a reversal; for me a trip home, for J his first to Hawaii.

When you grow up seeing the words, one forgets that the Hawaiian language is nothing like anything you might have see in Southern California (say ‘Kalaniana’ole’ three times fast), that the skies are so vibrant blue, that the land is lush, the air heavy and humid. You forget that the waves at the North Shore can be huge, but if the conditions are choppy, you won’t be seeing any surfers out on those waves. Oh yeah, brainfart.
“You can hike into Diamond Head?” J was surprised. Yup. “Aren’t you afraid of volcanic fumes that might be out-gassing?” Um, nope. “Do we have to hike from the ocean?” No, there’s a parking lot inside the crater; you’ll see. Things you don’t ever think about; you realize that it’s a very different experience, trying to take it all in for the first time.

And more, things you knew all along but had forgotten:

How yummy pass-o-guava juice is and how onolicious the take-out from Kin-Wah Chop Suey is. How reassuring it is to know that there are L&L Drive Inns almost wherever you go. How windy the Pali is (did you have pork in the car? Ooo, chicken skin). How nice the sunset over Waikiki is. The feeling of the early morning and evening breezes. How long the wait is to take the ferry over to the Arizona Memorial, and that you should have just come early, but you could easily pass the time to wait going through the other exhibits, all the same.

We passed on joining the rest of the crowd in the middle of Waikiki, choosing instead to enjoy the walks along the Kapiolani Park/Zoo end, less crowded and so relaxing. We got these amazing coffee shakes at Teddy’s Bigger Burger across from the Zoo, but J experienced new cuisine as well - - Malasadas (and he’ll know to keep an eye out for the red and white striped trucks) and andagi and Wendee’s favorite, futomaki sushi. He says all were good. Does life get any better than that? We got to see Bellows and Kualoa, two stops that many visitors miss. And J got to experience a traditional Hawaii New Year’s Eve, yes, with noisy, smoky fireworks and sparklers. This is a trip to Hawaii that most visitors couldn’t imagine, and yet, I couldn’t imagine Hawaii as anything else.

It was a quick trip. J had just started to get some of the place names straight in his mind, able to pronounce them without pausing with uncertainty. We miss the morning breezes. You know we’ll have to go back. After all, we went through Haleiwa twice without stopping for shave ice. You, like J, might say, “Shave ice? You mean snow cones? What’s the big deal? It’s like … snow with syrup. I’ve done that before.” Ah ha. You think you know, but Hawaiian shave ice, well, that’s a whole ‘nuther story…

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rededications, 2007

Before the year gets too old, before I get to the Hawaii trip, and more importantly, before I get distracted, there’s something I ought to do. I’ve read some really nice resolutions, some pensive and very spiritual, while some are very specific. There’s something appealing about specific, measurable goals, I have to say, like one I read:
“I will exercise my big fat body in some way or another at least once a week”.
Go girl!

The summaries of the year only hint of the tremendous transitions, challenges and adventures that everyone went through the last year. Wherever each of our hearts yearn to be during the next year, I hope that we can continue to share the support and caring, anonymously, distantly, in person or in thoughts.

I just re-read my list of Rededications from a year ago and am pleased that I managed to do most of them. Actually, I’d have to say that because of that dedication of the mind and heart, I find myself with rich stories and adventures to tell and a cast of really great, soulful people to share them with, as well. I guess, though, that I notably fell short of doing more of this “dust” thing, and that I didn’t really start sooner on my Christmas preparations. Oh well.
Heck, if my frame of mind helped me to find my way to the hunky J man, who cares about keeping up with dusting? I mean, really.

Anyway, for the new year, under heading of ‘pensive’, this is what I hope for:

Growing and steady faith to replace the clouds of doubt
A choice to act rather than to procrastinate
Peace, contentment and gratitude.

Here’s the original ‘Rededications’ list with minor edits and a few more tacked on at the end. I think it still works:

Stay better hydrated. Run more. Tell the people that you care about that you love them. Be brave. Be strong. Be gentle and tender. Show compassion. Have no regrets. Go to the beach. Cheer for the underdog (that goes without saying). Draw more. Share a smile with someone new that isn’t expecting it. Try new foods. Show forgiveness. Recycle. Dust. Eat ice cream and feel no remorse. Call an old friend. Call a new friend. Read more. Be a design advocate. Motivate the terrapins and other lurking readers to post comments. Sleep in. Wake up early. Be patient. Start preparations for Christmas earlier. Know what you want and go get it. Throw out the socks that you can't put into matching pairs. Recognize and really appreciate the ease and comfort of the back-and-forth. Commit in ink. Show up with champagne. Finish. Eat and type more mindfully. Go fast; Really, really fast. Hold on. Let go. Run some more. Draw some more. Dream big; really really big. Say “Yes”. Move. Support the visual and performing arts. Make lists and do everything on them. Make more lists. Quilt. Paint. Paint more. Cook. Cook more. Simplify. Choose more fresh produce. Learn if there’s a difference in using a {, [, or a >, in non-programming text. Trust your gut. Go ahead and put it all out there. Push the "send" button. Believe.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Back from Hawaii

We’ve been away for over a week (did you miss me?), visiting Hawaii (could you guess?)! There are lots of fun pictures (say: “peechah’s”… At some point, maybe I need to make sure it’s okay with J to post the ones with him in ‘em. Hm.) and I have five pounds of proof that I got a good dose of all the comfort food of home, too. Lots of good adventures.

'Missed you; Hope that everyone's 2007 started off with hope, warmth, and a good dose of optimism. I need to catch up with everything that’s piled up during this time, catch up with your blogs, and return to a more disciplined routine [snarf], now that I’m off Hawaiian time. There are good stories to share from this trip, and I’ll work on getting them – and the photos – posted as soon as I can.

Mele Kalikimaka e Hauoli Makahiki Hou!