Monday, May 17, 2010

In Which I Get All Pervy About Art

I love Asian art.

I'm usually turned off by anything associated with Tibetan Buddhism because I associate it with well-meaning but obnoxiously militant hippies (some who I love dearly) and fake celebrity concerns. Also, because Buddhism is really, really difficult to understand. So much so that although I wandered into "Lama, Patron, Artist: The Great Situ Panchen" exhibit at the Sackler Gallery yesterday, I wasn't expecting much.

What I came away from the exhibit was this: in old-timey Buddhsim, hats were pretty important and if you had a black hat, you were all set. Also, their gods were capable of some sexual feats that not even the Internet can trump.

So fantastical were these portrayals of what you could accomplish if you were a god, and able to kill your enemies, ride on a flying tiger, and remain in "union with your consort" all at the same time that I was a little embarrassed to be in a room with this stuff on the walls with other people (kids!). Really, the women were wrapped around the gods in such a way that you almost didn't notice them at first. It was absolutely dirty. And pretty hot, not just in an art kind of way. I couldn't find any examples from the exhibit (and was too shy to take pictures), so here's a tamer example:


Good on you, Situ Pachen.


I truly understand that a porn-attack was not the aim of either the gallery or the Buddhist masters. But I couldn't help but contrast it to what I know of religion. Because sexual gymnastics aside, these were religious paintings and sculptures. I wondered what it might be like to have been raised in a world where my gods were depicted crushing enemies with one hand, creating the oceans with another hand, and simultaneously f*cking a buxom red goddess (no hands).

I'm a little jealous. In a way, I think that "this, if taken seriously, is a path to enlightenment" is a healthier approach than "everything is a sin."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Texts from Rock Bottom

I recieved some pretty amusing texts during last night's abysmal Game 7 for the Capitals.

They started at the end of the first period. My dad has a habit of changing his hockey jersey in an attempt to sway the results.

Dad: Jersey and scotch brand change.

Gina: Meredith and I applaud this.

---Second Period---

Dad: Chantilly sweatshirt?

Gina: Nationals jacket?

Dad: I thought about it.

Dad: I am now nude.


---Third Period---

Gina: At the Glory Days, we have literally all switched to cheering for the kids playing with the stuffed animal claw game.

Stephanie: Blood pressure through the roof right now. I worry about dad's health.

Stephanie: (sends a picture text) Our father:


(wearing an Ovechkin jersey, an Ovechkin and Backstrom jersey on his head, and--why not?--a Nationals coat for good luck)

Gina (to Sidney): Your goalie has sold his soul to the devil.

Sidney: He went down to the crossroads, fell down on his knees; asked the lord for mercy, "save the puck if you please."

Stephanie: NOOOO!

---Drive Home---

Stephanie: First ever instance of a dad f-word.

Dad: Go Mystics.

Gina: Viva la D.C. United.

Chris: I am sorry sweetie. Can you root for the Pens with me now? :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

She Feels Strongly





I was at Target with my mom yesterday, when she pointed out to me that she'd placed a pair of infant girls' rainbow shorts in the cart.

...I did something.
Mom, get those out of the cart.
I want to get them. Do we know anyone who needs them?
No. Unless Alyssa wants to pair them with a really manly top. (For her impending kid.)
I can make something out of them. I celebrate this fabric!
Mom, no.
Gina, you know how I feel about textiles!

Granted, I do know how she feels about textiles, and they would have made a great pants-shaped pillow which matches nothing. Stuff like this makes me kind of look forward to having kids--because I have a feeling they will be as crazy well-dressed as I always was.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

failure to maintain control: well played, universe

So, yesterday was pretty fucked up. People have fender-benders all the time, only my car is very small so any damage to it looks catastrophic. (It my well be.) Same size-to-damage ratio goes for my bank account. Oh well. We'll see...I can be non-emotional about this. I know it.

There were a few bright spots to yesterday. The police officer who gave me my ticket for "failure to maintain control" (I think this is an appropriate judgment on me. Not in a vehicular sense, but, just life in general) was extremely kind in guesstimating my weight. Although, I work way too hard to have this color classified as "brown." Come to think of it, they probably pull that info off of some database updated in 1996. That would make more sense. OK, so there was just one bright spot:

Last night, I was assisting Stephanie in filling out the registration for Radford's freshman orientation. And by assisting, I mean I was trying to keep my mom from driving her up a wall. So, with me acting as a moderator, mom "mothering it up," Stephanie attempting to navigate the website with the help of RU tech support ("His supervisor is having a nom and will reset my account when he returns") there was a lot of talking.

And sometimes, with all that talking, you type things that you don't mean to. That's when the word "dining" can become "dinosaur."

As in, when asked: "Do you have any other concerns or needs that we can assist you with?"

You reply with: "I have food allergies and will need some information on dinosaurs."

We collapsed into the kind of laughing that eventually hurts. I'm of sorry we caught the typo-saurus before it was submitted, because I like to think of the bafflement that would ensue in Radford's Admissions department.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gina's Awkward Adventure Park

I was watching one of those commercials for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and couldn't help but thinking, "God bless J.K." Because children's fiction is where it's at. I wish I had the patience to try and write it, but I can't even really read it.

Then I got to thinking about my unfortunately unprofitible talent, the humorous/embarassing first person essay...and what kind of amusement park that would make. It would have a scotch slide, that much I know. And there'd be a ride, like Haunted Mansion, where your exes would pop out of nowhere and scare the bejeezus out of you. OH! And a theme restaurant where everything is burnt.

Actually, YES.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Skip 81

Last night I wanted nothing more than to speed home after work, de-pantyhose, and crawl under the electric blanket. My mom called around 2 and asked, if I wasn't doing "young people things," I'd come over to help create a family-type atmosphere since they were having Papa (crazy g-pa) over for dinner. I said, "not really," which I think took my mom aback a little bit. "I appreciate your honesty..."

Cut to: me driving to the Sunrise after work to pick him up. When I got to his room, the first thing he showed me was the recent Washington Post cover story with a photo of two dudes kissing. I said something about "love being a nice thing," and then was like "where's your coat?" (With the same tone, I'm afraid, that I use when I want the dog to please stop whatever he's doing in the yard and for the love of Jesus get in the house. Wanna TREAT?) Rather than get his coat, he retrieved and reviewed with me a copy of the bill for his assisted living place, which he's highlighted and scribbled on up to high heaven. He demanded it off of a staff member who didn't know that Papa doesn't get bills, or any paperwork of any kind, for exactly this reason.

In his previous life, my grandpa was a shrewd and successful financial mind. Now, he's not. His paranoia and memory loss have created an actual monster. There are hundreds of pieces of paper around his apartment, all with lists of things to do, thoughts, people to call. Most of the notes I saw had something to do with steps he needed to take to deal with what he believes is my freaking saint of a mother embezzling from him. It was disturbing.

We got down to the lobby when he realized that he forgot the grocery list he was supposed to give my mom. So, we went back upstairs, and spent about 15 minutes rifling through more paper to find the list. I found what I thought was it, and he looked at it and tried to read it, and we agreed that it was probably the right thing. Along the way, I shoved any "notes to self" that I thought it were best he not find again ("Revise copy of my will--call a lawyer, etc.") into my pockets. I'd find out later that he'd given my mom the shopping list over the phone earlier that afternoon and the groceries were already bought at this point.

Before we could leave the building (it had been about an hour, now) he demanded that I allow him to turn off all the lights in the common area--the living room/pool room/reception area. I told him that those lights were for everyone. He then got kind of stern, "I'm NOT going to leave all these lights on!" At this point, I'd lost some of my patience, (remember, my electric blanket fantasies?) grabbed his arm, pulled him away, and said "Those aren't your lights!" He then laughed and said he forgot, and I immediately felt like shit.

As we walked out to my car, he said "Where are we?" And I said, "Outside." "I know that!"

There was quiet for a minute and then he told me I should skip being 81, if I could.

It took a lot not to cry all the way home.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Merry Duff-mas

This weekend, I took my sister to Radford to a science department open house/sales pitch (as if she'd not already decided)/Reed and Curie tour. Normally my parents would have gone, but my mom was working and my dad had...skating lessons. I'm unaware of any complaints my sister had about this game time substitution.

We had a nice drive down, aided by the Sirius radio in mom's car (which we borrowed) with the occasional cursing of the Broadway channel for not playing enough Disney/Les Mis. We screeched into the library parking lot at 1:05, just barely making the 1:00 presentation by distinguished alumni so-and-so.

At 1:30, we broke off into groups to tour the new Museum of Earth Sciences on campus and the planetarium. There was a moment, while in the museum, when Stephanie was explaining to me how hematite (or something) was formed, and the curator jumped in to tell us that he "was surprised you ladies weren't looking at the jewelery (that was on display) because that's where "the girls usually are." I bit my inner Peter Venkman/feminist tongue which wanted to reply with "Back off man: I'm a scientist." What an odd thing for the curator of the science museum to say to women there for a science weekend. But, overall: not important.

What was important was the two things I got from the weekend. First of all, I've never been a sciences person. I just--my brain doesn't go that way. But my sister's totally does. I had a panic moment in the planetarium when the professor was throwing out "hey who knows what THIS is?" questions. But she was on it. And that was pretty cool.

Second: while I don't want to go back to school, ever, ever, ever again...it was neat to go to a college freshman-type event. I didn't have that, and wish I did. I might have been less lame while I was there. As a transfer student you kind of don't know what's going on. I did tell her that I wished I'd joined one of the two hundred clubs and activities they present to you, rather than devote 100% of my time to my social life/having panic attacks.

After the event, we had dinner, watched CNN to make sure Hawaii made it thought the night, and relished an awesome Hallmark made-for-TV movie marathon of some of the worst movies ever made.

That, and Napoleon Dynamite, which, along with Love Takes Wing, and The Perfect Man, was a Hillary/Haleigh Duff triple feature. Score!

It was a wonderful time. And a bit of a game-changer. I'm forever sentimental about the things that take us from childhood to whatever happens next.