Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Friends and Dia Photos

So many things were on hold for the last, oh 3 or 4 months, while I worked on the Buddhist Festival. (and I'm not quite done for the year...this Sunday we have a debrief meeting, and there are some tasks I need to complete before then.) Yesterday I thoroughly vacuumed. I'd only done quick run-throughs a couple times these past months.

This evening I cleared off the accumulated nest of papers, junk mail, flotsam and jetsam that were landsliding off of my coffee table and my kitchen table. I couldn't just sweep it all into recycling. This took me hours, but I finally got them clear and clean. I can now see the cluttered collection of mementos. See here:

coffee table cleared for viewing

I still have a mountain of stuff on top of the dresser-turned-coffee table in my library. At least it's down to one horizontal surface.

Last night I got a couple more sets of photos uploaded that I shot earlier this spring.

In March, I spent a little time with my twin friends. They were being dinosaurs, and the game that naturally evolved for a little while was my trying to "catch" them with my camera.

You see how elusive they were?

almost missed him

barely seen

The rest are here. If you use the slideshow tool, be sure titles are turned on for viewing.

In April, I got to go on a field trip at work, i.e. I got sent to another library branch to help them with Dia de los Ninos.

I was so happy to do that. Some may recall that I was working at that branch last year for the festival. Again, I got my picture taken with the celebrity of the day. Guess who?

me and Peter

You can see the rest here.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Photos Here and There

I wrote about my first day in Brooklyn. Here are the photos of my visit with Jan to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Do follow that link. This one may be my favorite:

orange gate with red skirt

Earlier this spring, even while I was so busy, I found time to go on the river cruise again with my friend and mentee. See more river and bridge photos here. With a sufficiency rating of 2, could this be the most unsafe bridge in the nation?

Sellwood bridge

See why it's so unsafe here.

Back to Brooklyn:
I stayed at the Loralei Bed and Breakfast, and I certainly could stay there again. Compared to hotels in New York, it is cheap, but so much nicer than a hotel. See photos here. There are also photos of the neighborhood. I will be adding a few more of the neighborhood that I haven't uploaded yet. I found Loralei through TripAdvisor. I highly recommend it for planning trips.

I love this Mister Softee scene:

ice cream man

I intended to go to the Guggenheim, but all galleries were closed but one.
That just left more time for the Met. I meandered through for 4 hours. Exhausting but amazing. (Follow that link for a daily featured work of art. I should do that too.) As I did with MOMA the first time I visited New York, I took photos of those pieces that grabbed my attention. Well, some of them. Thank you, New York, for letting us take photos, unlike the museums over here in Portland. I showed my nephew Jake my photos on my camera. He is really into skulls in his artwork, and he was quite interested in this:

Ground Zero, 1983

Hello, kitty.

Tiger and Cubs, 1884

More later...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hurry up and...vacation

It's amazing what you can do when you do it with a higher purpose. In the final weeks of preparing for the Buddhist Festival, I was getting a bit of negative energy sent my way, on top of negotiating some vital cross-cultural connections. That person I was concerned about, well, he takes the cake. And alms. And has an ego the size of a house. Stress and worry dragged me down, and I got a cold. On the third day of said cold, I did all that I needed to do at the Buddhist Festival. Last year I also lost my voice...allergies this time of year just add to the immune system break-down. People watched out for me, but some people, notably at least 2 middle-aged white men who are attracted to Asian temples, gave me undue hassles over abiding by park rules.

A friend told me it's like there's a big birthday party, and I'm the mom. Everybody else is having great fun, but I'm worried about all the little details. Exactly. I do try to find something to experience as just another audience member, but I don't get to experience much of the talks. Regardless, countless people found it a perfect day, even with scattered droplets of rain. Photos here. Don't get me wrong, I am happy I could do this, even with a cold. If not me, who?

The next day a good deal of my cold lifted. For one thing, all that weight was lifted. For another, I used various cold drugs to get it out of my lungs, as well as pineapple. Another tireless organizer, a sweet monk, was watching out for me at the festival, and told me pineapple was good for that. It was. He also said I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, and lifted his hands to demonstrate as though it was quite visible to him. I think it was.

I still went to Dharma School. It was the final day, skits by the classes. When I and my girls took the stage, I was delighted when my little friends Sam and Tim pointed and exclaimed, "Look, there's Enji!"

The day after that, I cleared up some of the mess in my house so I could pack, then I packed.

And today, I flew to New York. I took the non-stop flight for the first time (I haven't before because I was afraid of the early morning start). When I got here, I still had a good portion of the afternoon and evening. I apologize to those of you who've heard this a number of times. I decided to visit New York for a couple of nights because I'm visiting Wisconsin for my twin nephews' graduation party. The best airline tickets were sending me to Newark, then back to Wisconsin. I thought since I had to log all that airtime anyway, I might as well pause here for a couple of nights. I was still feeling the cold a little, and body aches from all that busy-ness, and I had a hard time getting to sleep. I got maybe 2 hours sleep last night. I feel surprisingly OK today, but earlier tonight I was drifting off as I was checking my email.

Tomorrow night I see Passing Strange, highly recommended by Spike Lee and Rosie O'Donnell. (Among others I'm sure.) During the day I plan to visit either the Met, or the Guggenheim, or both if I can.

Thursday, perhaps the Brooklyn Museum before I go to the airport in the late afternoon.

Today it so happened my friend Jan, the one who took all the beautiful photos at the Buddhist Festival, linked above, was on the same flight as me. We shared a taxi back to her friend's place right across from the Brooklyn Museum. Jan lived there in the 70s and early 80s. The rented apartments became a co-op building. I don't remember what she said she sold her apartment for, but now they sell for a million dollars.

She took me to see the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. We expected to pay, but the sign said "Free all year." She had stories to tell connected to the garden. When she was a little girl, the Japanese garden was closed due to the war. Her mother would hold her up to the fence so she could peer in, and would say, "When the war is over, the garden will open again."

She and 4 mothers in her building would take their play group to the Garden. The kids would play in Cherry Row. A little 4 foot bank leading down to the cherry trees was their "hill" that they would roll down. Each mother would have the kids 1 that was 4 days that each mother had free to do what she wished. The garden is right next to the museum, and we could see the back of it. She told me that the large addition replaced a hill that they would sled down when she was a girl. We took a photo on her camera, and on mine, of her pointing to her old apartment building. We also took a photo of her on a bench, pointing to the plaque which dedicates it to a friend of hers who died. Everything had little metal plaques, including great boulders. I joked that kids growing up there might think that all rocks and benches come with plaques.

She called a car service for me, and I first arrived at my Bed and Breakfast around 6 pm. Just like on HGTV, my beautifully restored B&B is run by a gay man around my age. I'm not sure if his partner is still involved. I found it on trip advisor, and I suspected the one negative comment stemmed from bigotry. I was getting a bit hungry, and walked to a restaurant from a list my host provided. I couldn't find the restaurant, but I did find authentic NY Italian pizza, and it was the best. Then I had a chocolate dipped cone from the ice cream truck.

I meant to have the photos to go with my day, but I'm experiencing technical difficulties. My computer is not recognizing my nifty new 4GB SD card. I did not bring the cord to connect the camera, so it looks like photos will have to wait til I get back.