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Posts from the ‘Art + Culture’ Category

Nikkei National Museum + Cultural Center – Vancouver

Konichiwa!!!  Nikkei Center is Vancouver’s largest Japanese Canadian Cultural Center + museum! Read more

Science World – Vancouver

SCIENCE RULES!!!!!  Science World ROCKS!!!!!!  Ch-ch-ch-check it out! Read more

Nikkei Centre Mochitsuki 2012!!!

KONICHIWA!!!!!!!  I love me a good mochitsuki ceremony!!!  Being of Japanese heritage, the mochi making ceremony that is traditionally held around the New Year is a special event for me. Read more

Vancouver – Britannia Mine Museum

Overdue post on a MUST VISIT museum in Vancouver – Britannia Mine MuseumRead more

Heritage Park Historical Village

Canada’s largest living history museum!!!  This place is NO joke, history buffs!!! Read more

Una Noche Loca

Saturday was going off for Jeff + I.  Whatta day.  I’m still recovering from Saturday. Read more

Dwell on Design

Jeff has arrived!  Thank you, “Hell on Wheels” for the two-week hiatus!!!!  Thus, the delays in posts…. Read more

Malaise In Calgary Chinatown

Chinatown Calgary has been our new home for the week.  We moved here on Tuesday to be closer to Jeff’s location on “Hell on Wheels”. Read more

Thank You, Mike Kelley

Today, I visited MOCA on Grand Avenue, especially to see their special exhibit tribute to Mike KelleyRead more


After celebrating at Bishop bowling alley the night before, the next morning was slow goings.  Read more

American Indian Arts Marketplace at the Autry

Saturday was the much anticipated American Indian Arts Marketplace at the Gene Autry museum.  It is one of my favorite events of the year + usually happens in the fall.  Debbie + her mom Naomi were my dates!  Naomi is visiting Debbie from New York, + before the Marketplace, I went to Debbie’s house for lunch.  I love when Naomi visits because she always makes yummy, healthy + fresh Korean food!!!! 




For all of you that think Korean food is all bulgogi + meat – you’re wrong!!!!!  Naomi uses lots of greens + everything tastes so light!!!!  Lunch was buckwheat noodles on a bed of spring greens, cucumber kimchi, daikon leaf kimchi + spicy rice cake.  YUUUUUUUUUUM!!!!!!!  Thanks Naomi!  My compliments to the chef!!!!


I was so excited when we arrived at the Gene Autry that I started hyper ventilating!  I’ve been waiting a whole year for this!!!!  I put on so much turquoise, y’all!!!   





























Inside the tent there are vendors selling everything from turquoise, art, photography, clothing, etc.  Here’s Debbie in front of a beautiful beaded pow wow costume.



Even though we had a big lunch, guess who was hungry again?!  I had to get some frybread while I was at the Marketplace!  It’s a sin to leave the Marketplace without having frybread!  There were three food trucks outside, because food trucks are really trendy right now.  I remember when they served the frybread from under a cramped pop-up tent.

When I was placing my order + gave the girl my name, this guy behind me said, “Shelli?  Shelli Morningsun?”.  I was like, “Excuse me?”.  He replied, “Is your name Shelli Morningsun?”.  I was like, “No.”.  He apologized + said, “Oh, I thought you were Shelli Morningsun.  She’s a really amazing vocalist + she’s performing on stage later today.”.  That was pretty funny.  Somebody at work the other day asked if I was American Indian.  I think all the turquoise plays mind games on people.

Check out this frybread!!!  Frybread is like a Native American taco.  Fried, doughy goodness with chili ground beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato!!!  And since I was with a couple of Koreans, we doused it with so much Tapatio hot sauce, it was a fiery mess!!!!  More salsa!  Oh, I will be sad in Canada without salsa on every table….


This was my favorite thing at the pow wow!  These were raised beadwork souvenirs from Niagara Falls made during the Victorian era by women of the Tuscarora Nation.  The guy was really excited when I told him Jeff’s aunt lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake.





Isn’t it gorgeous + amazing!?  I really want one.  The technique is called a “hump stitch” or “rope stitch”.  This creates the three dimensional shapes by sewing beads in raised arches or by sewing beads over beads.  Drool.

This gal was making these ridiculously awesome dolls + was in the process of beading moccasins + a vest for the male doll.  Me want these too!!!!!!!! 

Debbie + I were obsessed with these scarves that you’ll see us wearing at the end of the post.  We were making such a big deal about them that the lady in the red + black jacket next to Debbie’s mom had to get in on the action.  They’re so cozy – we love them!!!

We ended our day by watching the dancers perform.  Look at their beautiful costumes, beads + turquoise!!!  Double drool!!!! 






















There’s the statue of good ol’ Gene Autry in the background.  The Autry is one of my favorite museums in Los Angeles.  They have a great permanent exhibit about the development + expansion of the west, stories about gunslingers, the ethnic groups that immigrated to the United States, you name it!  Their non-permanent exhibits are always really well curated too.  Go visit!!!












What a fun day!  I did not purchase any turquoise!  My restraint was world class!!!    Here’s Debbie + I in our beloved scarves.  They are warm as heck.




Technology Saves Relationships

People ask me often how Jeff + I keep in touch, considering our entire relationship has been long distance + still is.  It sucks.  But we’ve never experienced anything else, so to us it’s sort of normal.  I miss him all the live long day, but I pretend that he’s “on location” + psych myself out that way.

In the beginning, when we first started dating, we would just text + email.  Then, we graduated to buying phone cards + skyping.  It all sounds so archaic now!  Here’s pictures we texted to each other during our respective holidays 2009. 

Can you see I’m trying to convey a sense of, “Hey, don’t I look fun?”.  I look a little uncomfortable doing it.  My friends had to force me to take this picture + send it to Jeff.  We had met at the end of November, so at this time I was still trying to woooooo him with my charms.


Jeff’s 2009 holiday photo to me with Matt + Tobin.  Don’t they look so little?!  Isn’t it crazy how fast kids grow up?!  What do you guys think?  Jeff better with or without a moustache???  With, of course!!!!  That’s the answer!!!  Mother Jean would definitely NOT agree!!!!  My mom LOVES his moustache because she thinks it’s macho. 












Mas Macho!!!! Does anyone remember an ad campaign from Camel cigarettes in the 70s about “The Turk”?  I totally don’t.  But it’s amazing!!! Jeff + I saw an art installation with The Turk in it at the MOCA “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art: 1974-1981” exhibit.  Hot!!!!  What’s not hot about panning for gold?!


Sorry, I always get distracted on the subject of men with moustaches.  Ok, carrying on.  Jeff + I would also email photos of what we had been up to in our separate lives.

Here’s Jeff bowling.  This was when his facial hair evolved into this weird Wolverine style.  I was like, “What the heck is going on with that hair on his face?”.  But it was too new in the relationship for me to say that.  Now, I’d be like, “Yo, do something about that.  It’s weird!”

So weird.  I don’t even know what inspired him shave like that.  I should maybe ask him. 




Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.  So hot.  I love me some Hugh Jackman.  Distracted again.  Sorry. 




Here was me at the San Juan Capistrano mission.  In the picture I was probably trying to convey, “Hey, I enjoy California history. And aviator sunglasses”.




Once Jeff got an IPhone that revolutionized our long distance relationship.  We basically FaceTime almost every day, if our work schedules allow it.  Seeing your significant other’s face while talking is very important in my book.  I’m no couples therapist, but in my opinion it is a huge deal.  Some other vital tools for being in two different countries is to get the Whatsapp + Viber apps.  My techy savvy friend Kim has a boyfriend who travels out of the country often for work + she was aghast that I didn’t have them.  They use up data on your phone, not minutes.  So you can basically text, send pictures + talk for free if you have a wirelss connection or 3G connection.  My sucky AT+T plan only lets me send 100 texts to Canada a month.  Lame-o!!!!  These two apps are a must for long distance relationships!!!!  If you + your guy/gal have smart phones, get these apps stat!!!!

We also send a picture of ourselves every day to each other.

I can’t WAIT to live in the same country + under the same roof with Jeff!!!!!  It’s getting really old, y’all.  I really hope our immigration paperwork gets processed without any delays or complications.  And no, we haven’t turned it in yet.  😦  Jeff is coming to visit for Remembrance Day ( a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty since World War I) + we’re going to put our heads together + work on it because I think I have all the documents I need now.  Come to think of it, I flew to Calgary on Remembrance Day in 2009 for work + that’s when I met Jeff!!!!!!!!!  Wow, I just realized that because when we landed all the Canadians were wearing red poppies + I thought, “Oh how nice the Canadians are with their red flower pins.”.  I had no idea what they were for, I just thought they were cute.  The red remembrance poppy is a symbol of Remembrance Day, due to the poem in “Flanders Fields”. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, + red color represents the blood spilled in the war.  This is probably going to be on my citizenship test!!!  One question, down!

California Pride

This Pacific Standard Time art collaboration that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog is really something else.

I am really proud + excited to be Californian + be surrounded by art + design that really personifies the West Coast + Californian ideals.  I think these exhibits come at a perfect time, considering that soon I will become a permanent resident of Canada.  It’s like a bittersweet goodbye to my beloved state + the artistic environment that I may have taken for granted, now that I realize all the art + culture that was surrounding me growing up.

Yesterday, we visited the JF Chen antiques + furniture gallery/showroom that was showcasing their huge vintage Eames collection for Pacific Standard Time. 


I really thought Jeff was going to pee his pants when we stepped inside.  It was like a museum.  Everything was for sale, but the deal was that if an item was purchased, the paid for item was to be on display as if on loan until the exhibit was to come to a close.















I went to the ladies’ room + this is what I wanted!!!!  Danish modern mirror!!!!  Drooooooool!!!!!  Dreamy.








The old department for Superman was super (haha!) close by, so I wanted to take Jeff there to say hello to everyone + debut myself as Mrs. Nishino-Fayle.  Yes, I’m a hyphen!!!!  Oh, explanation – this is where I was working before I left to go pack a 40 foot shipping container + get married. 



The gang!!!!  Cacey, Annie (The White Duchess), Ninska (Nina) + Kurt!!!!!  I missed everyone like loco!!!  We chatted, ate a bunch of their potato chips + headed down to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Better known as LACMA for all those who are savvy.



On exhibit is the “California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way”, going on until March 25th – so everyone, vite, vite!!!!  Go now!!!  Go!!!!!  Go nooooooow!!!!!  So well curated + displayed!!!! 








The exhibits showed how Californian design evolved over time through the influence of German + Austrian emigres post WW II, the materials that were used in a post war era, the population explosion of Los Angeles suburbs + the needs of the growing atomic families, etc.






The contents of the Eames House living room was on display in painstaking historical detail.  But alas, we weren’t allowed to take pictures.  But it was really fun to see after being at the house yesterday. 

The best part is a conversation I overheard between two toothpick baby hipsters chatting in their respective bathroom stalls.  Hipster #1 was not excited about celebrating her birthday + was just going to do a quiet Sunday brunch (which is the female Angelenos most beloved past time, by the way).  Hipster #2 asked, “Why aren’t you excited???”.  Hipster #1: “I’m really not that excited to turn 26.”.  Hipster #2 replied, “Well, it could be worse!  You could be turning 27!”.  Hipster #1: “Omigod, you’re totally right, I know!!!”.  This whole conversation is even more ridiculous to me because I just had a conversation with a friend about how she was turning 37.  When the hipsters came out of the bathroom stalls + saw me washing my hands + realized they weren’t alone in the bathroom whilst they were conducting their flippant conversation they bowed their heads sheepishly.  That’s right!!!!!!!






At the permanent exhibit was “The Centaur” by Pablo Picasso.  Jeff sneaked a picture for me because when I was 4 years old LACMA had a huge Picasso exhibit that my dad took me to.  I remember this piece + how blown away, confused + mesmerized I was by it.  This piece is really symbolic to me.  I thank my parents so much for exposing me to the arts for my whole life. 







Jeff + I were really excited to stumble upon the temporary exhibit of Ed Kienholz’s “Five Car Stud”.  It’s a huge installation piece that was crazy controversial in it’s day during the civil rights movement in America.  A huge statement on the race wars in America, it was only showed in Germany + was subsequently placed in storage for almost 40 years in Japan.  Keinholz’s more famous “Back Seat Dodge” installation almost caused LACMA to lose it’s funding in 1966.  His depictions of reality, violence + sexuality gets the good old US of A up in a tizzy. 



This is not my picture, but from the LACMA website because you were not allowed to take pictures.  But what the amazing thing was that  we were allowed to walk into the installation + really get a really close look at all the details.  I’m not going to describe “Five Car Stud” to all of you, because you should go + see it, or educate yourselves about it.  This is a teaser!

I haven’t been to that many museums in such a short time in a really long while.  I thank Jeff + Pacific Standard Time for being such a patron of the arts + for Jeff being my best friend!!!!  I LOVE CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!

Eames to the Nth Degree

Charles + Ray Eames overload!!!  Is there such a thing?  Possibly, yes.  For those of you who’ve aren’t familiar with them, Charles + Ray Eames were an American husband + wife design team that were HUGE contributors to architecture, furniture design, photography, film, etc.  Most of what the general public would think of as “mid-century modern design” was probably influenced by Charles + Ray Eames.  Don’t they look fun?






Some iconic Eames furniture pieces – this only scratches the surface of what the Eames contributed to the world of design.




Yesterday was POURING rain!!!!  Everyone said that Jeff brought the rain to Los Angeles.  Jeff called it “a light mist”.  Macho.  People were decked out in all their rain gear – you would have thought it was a tornado warning.  Angelenos freak out when it rains + it’s like the whole city shuts down.  We went to the A + D (architecture + design) museum on Wilshire.  The show was: Eames Designs: The Guest-Host Relationship.  “The role of the designer,” said Charles Eames, “is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests.” 



Rainy, rainy streets.




Another Eames philosophy was to find, “the uncommon beauty of common things.”  Not a very good philosophy to promote to a hoarder.  Easy, Jeff.  Don’t get any ideas.






After A + D, we traveled across the street to the Petersen Automotive Museum.  I think 92% of Angelenos have never been to this museum.  It is fascinating + I highly recommend it, y’all!!!  Usually it is the kiss of death going to the Petersen with Jeff because he’ll take 30 detailed pictures of one car.  There’s THREE STORIES of cars. Lots of them.  Luckily, he forgot his camera. 




History buffs, pay heed.  If you’re not much of a car aficionado, the Petersen Museum is still a good visit for insight into the evolution of car culture + the development of the city of Los Angeles.  Incroyable!!


This guy is at the model T display as an example of how the cars would always get stuck in the mud.  But, really Petersen museum?!  He always gets a chuckle + witty remarks from the viewers cuz it’s like, “What the heck is really going on here????”.  Jeff made me put this in the post.  Guffaw, guffaw.






The rotating exhibit is, “Scooters – Size Doesn’t Always Matter”.  Snicker, snicker.  So, if you are a mod + have Quadrophenia on rotation on your plasma, go check it out.  It shows the complete evolution of the scooter from the turn of the century to the luxury Vespas of today.



Today, the weather was absolument gorgeous!!!!  To die for Los Angeles weather!!!  Thus, Santa Monica, tally ho.  First stop?  The Eames House.  Visit by appointment only, park on Corona Del Mar + no pictures of the inside of the home. Only the exterior.  Nestled in a eucalyptus grove that smelled so fragrant after the rain!!!! 








The contents of the living room have been moved to Los Angeles County Museum of Art which is a bit of a bummer because it would have been nice to see the living room intact, considering all of it’s contents have never left the house since 1949, when the house was completed.  Everyone!!!  Right now in southern California, Pacific Standard Time is happening – a six month celebration of art in L.A. from 1945-1980, with over 60 cultural institutions from Malibu to Palm Springs + down to San Diego exhibiting + showcasing southern California as a influential center for arts + culture.

Charles + Ray’s grandson was on the premises being interviewed by what we assumed was a Japanese reporter.  He shot a film about the dismantling of the studio on Abbot Kinney in Venice that Jeff loved.  We bought a copy + Jeff was able to flag him down for a chat + an autograph.  Jeff was thrilled.  Eames Demetrios was thrilled as well when Jeff told him about meeting me on “Inception” because there is a character by the name Eames + Leonardo DiCaprio’s character spins a toy top, which is a huge symbol in the Eames philosophy.  Hmmm.  Coincidence???  Me thinks not…..







Afterwards was a hop, skip + a jump to one of my best friends from high school, Adrianna’s house.  She is preggos with her first wee bairn, + I haven’t seen her tummy grow since I’ve been gone!!!  Here she is with her tummy + her beloved greyhound rescue, Enid!!!!  How I’ve missed them!!!!  Hi Adi!!!







Jeff is convinced that he + Adi are related.  Crazy???  Yes.  Unfounded?  No.  Adi’s maiden name is Day.  Jeff’s paternal side come from a well documented line of Days from Cork, Ireland.  Here they are looking at Adi’s genealogy binder.  Because everyone should have theirs handy!!!!  Look alive, people!!!  Get with the program!!!  Slackers!!!



For lunch, we walked up the street to Ocean Avenue for a packed picnic because we are thrifty like that.





A perfect Southern California day – beat that, Vancouver!!!!













The Eames Office on Pico was our next stop.  It was bigger than I expected.  They had the 1961 “Mathematica” exhibit commissioned by IBM showcased. 
















It was amazing!!!  There were historical timelines, quotations from famous mathematicians, physics displays, photography + film from the original exhibition.



Oh + let’s not forget – a really amazing gift store.  My favorite part.






Okay, LAST STOP.  The Santa Monica Museum of Art.  Located in Bergamot Station – a collection of galleries located in an industrial location that’s been around for years.  I remember going there in high school feeling artsy.  The exhibit was on Beatrice Wood.  An eccentric bohemian who was known as the Mama of Dada (Dadaism).  I LOVED learning about her!!!  She had a pottery studio in Ojai, east of Santa Barbara.  She only wore Indian saris + was frequently seen with Roche + Duchamp during the early 1900’s, consequently it is assumed that she was the inspiration for the Truffaut film, “Jules + Jim”.  One of the few French New Wave that I actually love.
















After the excitement of Beatrice Wood, we drifted off to the many galleries that Bergamot Station has to offer.  It’s one of those places where, if you’re a local, you take Bergamot Station for granted.  But if you’re visiting – please go!!!!







Julius Shulman – world renowned architectural photographer.  Neutra, Lautner, Frank Lloyd Wright, Koenig + various other Case Study houses.  Jeff was beside himself for real. All I was thinking about, was that Los Angeles traffic that was approaching.  And believe me, it was.  We braved traffic during rush hour + were better men/women because of it.  Today was a plethora of information , art + culture that I haven’t experienced in a very long time.  This need, should not go on so long ignored.

The Big Score

Hey all!!!! One week from today, Jeff + I will be in Hawaii!!!!!

Yesterday was another day of editing the storage garage.  It was not as harrowing as the day before.  We were in a groove.  We were making progress.  Look at our happy faces.  GO TEAM, GO!!!!!   We shall laugh in the face of adversity!!!!

I look like a midget for sure in this pic.







Look at the lame smile on my face in this pic.  I’m one of the least photogenic people you’ll ever meet.  Just ask my dad.  As a cameraman, my dad has wasted years of his life trying to get a good picture of me at family functions.  My mom is one of the top 5 photogenic people on the planet.  I’m trying to emulate her charming smile but it’s clearly not working.










Example: here is the master at work.  Effortless.










Jeff really has some gems in that garage.  I’m actually getting excited about the idea of trying to swindle the Japanese market into buying all of his Americana at top dollar, y’all.  I’m all about the greenbacks.



Jeff + Pee Wee.





I scored big time yesterday.  Big time.  It is my compensation for all the pain + suffering Jeff is putting me through.  Oh, and I just would like to say to all my costumer sisters + brothers out there that thank god I’m a costumer, because Jeff + I were that more efficient, because it what we do at work.  I was bagging, tagging, sorting, taping boxes + lifting.  You 705 folks know what I’m talking about!  Represent!!!  And thank god I lift weights.

Score #1, #2, #3









Score #4






Score #5










Score #6









Score #7








And this is for you ladies!!!!

Score #8!  A picture of Jeff with John Hamm!!!  HELLOOOOOOOO!!!!!  Hotties time 2!!!!




So after working for 6 1/2 hours with a 20 min lunch break Jeff + I headed over to Karen + Kyle’s for a bbq.  Yaaaaaay!!!!  SAVE ME!!!!!  Here’s Rudy the rudester the king of all canines. 








This is Karen + Jeff.  Look at all the turquoise on Karen!!!  A woman after my own heart!!!  Isn’t she beautiful?!  Canadian ladies, I tell ya.  Natural beauties.













I went inside to say hi to Juna + her friend Zoey.  I was promptly sushed because it was nap time for the babies.  Geez, ladies!!!  Point taken!!!












This is how Canadians play with kids:










This is what they transport kids in.  Take that, Los Angeles moms!!!!









The menfolk playing with the babies.  As it should be.  Look at the decor in the house!!!  Karen has an amazing eye + is a self taught interior decorator.  Her style is a mix of modern + ethnic with mid century pieces thrown in.  This house should be featured in an interior mag!!!  Stat!!!!













Here’s Kyle at the grill.  Canadians know how to party!!!  Look at all that meat!  Look at Jeff’s face.  Definition of anticipation.








Speaking of party, we all sat in the backyard + enjoyed some wine + spirits.  All in all, good times were had.  That’s why this morning was slooooow going.  Jeff dropped me off at Budget rent a car.  Remember my hooting + hollering about being compensated?  Well, guess what?!  They gave me the same mini SUV from Friday at a discounted rate of….wait for it…wait for it….$29.99 a day!!!!!!  That’s right!!!!  I was really appreciative.  Even the girl who was helping me was shocked at my discount.  That’s how I roll!!!!!!

So, what happens when I’m not feeling so hot?  Yes, folks it’s Banff time.  Check out my parallel parking skillz: 








Uh oh.  It’s another Alberta fashion bomb: 











Had lunch at the park + read an interview about Rihanna.  Very life changing.  Did I go to the Banff Indian Trading Post again, you ask???  Need you ask???!!!  Drool.








I also visited the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.  It is a well curated museum of Bow Valley history + art. I’m a little obsessed with Norman Luxton.  He was known as “Mr. Banff”.  Mr. Luxton was a newspaper publisher, philanthropist, outdoor enthusiast + friend to the Stoney Nakoda natives.  He is also credited with putting Banff on the map as a tourist destination.  Another important note: Luxton founded the Trading Post + the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum.  If you regard this photo, you’ll understand my love for Norman Luxton. 





The current exhibition is “Women Adventurers in the Rockies”.  I was very inspired + wish I had learned to alpine climb, shoot + fish at a young age.  This amazing buckskin was worn by Mary Schaffer Warren – an artist, photographer + explorer.  I thought it was very unique in it’s turn of the century detail + I would definitely like to replicate it one day.

Bye for now!!!