Thursday, January 1, 2009

It may mean nothing at all, but...

One of the perks of having two grown daughters with jobs, taste, and an inherited lack monetary skills is that I receive a lot of really cool gifts at Christmas. From the elder I received a scroll emblazoned with Einstein's words: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand,” a book on fairy lore, a book on filmmaking, and a book of Little Nemo in Slumberland from 1916 to 1928. From the younger comes a gift certificate for Vroman's Bookstore (as you may gather, we are that kind of family) and a coffee mug covered with Shakespearean insults. (For an English teacher, this is the Holy Grail of coffee mugs.)

But there is one, seemingly minor, gift which stands out for me. It is a calendar from my younger daughter. Each month is a sample of wall paper from the factory of William Morris, the great mover and shaker of the 19th Century arts and crafts movement. Now, both my daughters have been dragged to art museums from the time they could walk. One of our great adventures of recent years was taking the Gold Line from Pasadena to Union Station, there catching the Red Line to the corner of Wilshire and Western and transferring to a bus which took us to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a showing of Diane Arbus photographs. (Note: If you are the slightest bit down and have just had a major fight with a coworker and are feeling somewhat weird about being transgendered, DO NOT take public transportation on a dismal day to see an exhibition of Diane Arbus photographs.) To my girls, the Norton Simon, the Getty, and particularly the Huntington Library and Gardens are second homes. On a recent trip to the Huntington, I went crazy over a William Morris exhibition, and daughter number two took note. Hence the calendar.

And yet.

Here is July. Chrysanthemums. This is not what I would call a "guy" calendar or a "Dad" calendar. And it contrasts with previous calendars which have been Charles Addams, Wallace and Grommit, Edward Gorey, etc. I didn't make comment other than to express my pleasure in receiving it, but I'm tacitly taking it as tacit acceptance of who I am. It's not exactly the equivalent of going to brunch and then dress shopping with me in Gillian mode, but it's a small, sweet gesture and will add the kind of touch I need to my office. I've said it before and I'll say it now: I'm blessed with these girls.

And on a totally unrelated note: I just looked out my window to watch the Stealth Bomber fly by on its way to the Rose Parade. Thought 1: It certainly didn't get its name from its silence; you can hear it coming for miles. Thought 2: Oh for crying out loud! This is a transgendered blog. Take the plane's name and run with it.


Shauna said...

Happy New Year Jill, the paper design is so pretty more like a work of art if you really look into it. Though I wouldn't put paper on my walls, I usually sponge my designs paper is such a hassle getting off. I loved how she gave you that calender something to show you of her learning. :)

Gillian said...

She's a nut for the 19th century, particularly Jane Austen. And she's decided to make her living as an artist, hopefully doing production art and storyboards for the studios.

As wallpaper, this would be a little over-the-top for even me. But I'd give my eye teeth for some of Morris' furniture. Unfortunately, my eye teeth wouldn't buy me a thing.

Happy New Year right back at you, Hon.

Gillian said...

Just spoke to Number Two daughter about an hour and a half ago. (Number One is in New York and Boston with her boyfriend.)

Me: Want to do something tomorrow?
Number Two Daughter: Yeah. Let's go to the Huntington.

Abby said...

It's wonderful to see how well you and your daughters know each other. My daughters and I didn't go to the art museum but I will always remember the many wonderful hours spent together at the Seattle Zoo. It was a magical place for us.

Happy New Year, Jill! It was wonderful talking to you last night.

Lori D said...

Stealth bomber...hehehe. Sounds like an issue I may have in the women's restroom some day :)

Gillian said...