Despite Madison’s best attempt to delay us, we did manage an early start. Lynnette found out about the New Year’s Ohana Festival put on by the Japanese Cultural Center the same way she find out about all of her activities: in a way I know nothing about. The event started at 9 and that’s when we got there. We parked in the lot adjacent to the erstwhile Varsity Theater. The $4 was worth it just to not have to deal with a shuttle. Anyway, here are a few shots and thoughts on our Sunday morning.
I think one of these guys is supposed to be Kikaida, but I’m not sure. My father tried to introduce Kikaida to myself and my brothers, but it looked dated, even back then. I also think my dad’s expository skills are less than clear. There was something about a motorcycle, a guy with a guitar, and barren rocky cliffs where someone would transform regardless of what kid of terrain they were at prior to transforming. Anyway, Lynnette, Madison, and I entered the Cultural Center through the back entrance and this was the first thing we saw when we entered. Since it was early, there wasn’t a line at all. Lynnette and Madison popped their faces in and this was the result. There’s a better one with Lynnette’s eyes closed, but I selected this one instead because I wanted to portray her in the best possible light like I always do.
High on the list of reasons Madison was excited about the Festival was the presence of the KC Waffle Hotdog. The KC Waffle Hotdog is among one of Madison’s favorite food groups, joining fruit, candy, and melted cheese at the top of the hierarchy. Lynnette ate some mochi and some kind of deconstructed musubi things. I had a Frito Pie. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, I didn’t until this morning. A Frito Pie is a large handful of Fritos smothered in chili, cheese, onions, green onions, and sour cream. So yeah, basically nachos. In case you were wondering why I would eat that at a Japanese Cultural Center Event, let me remind you that I am not cultured at all. There were a number of booths offering Japanese fare – even the local fusion/street food stuff like chicken sticks and stuff, but I can get that whenever I want (and I rarely want it). This was the first time I had ever seen the Frito Pie, though, so I went with that. I was not disappointed, and feel like I won’t be disappointed until the Frito Pie picks a fight with my sensitive stomach. Then it’ll be about 20 minutes of the sound effects of Words With Friends bouncing off the walls of my bathroom. And also disappointment.
I’ve learned to silence that voice inside of me which often questions the motivations behind some of Madison’s decisions. She won another water bottle again today by playing “Spin the Wheel” at the Geico booth. All it cost us was our information. No big deal because Geico already spams both my inbox and my mailbox. I like to think that whoever has the responsibility of taking all the forms that were filled out today will be super-excited by the time they come across our entries, but then just crumple the papers when a “We already bomb them with shit” notice pops up on their screen. Anyway, Madison also won a Geico bumper sticker which she affixed to her shirt while I was away getting my delicious Frito Pie. I didn’t bother asking why. I know, there’s no way a photo such as this one can be ruined, but the sticker does add a little humor. I’ll make the statement again: having children makes a human’s tolerance for nonsense increase exponentially.
There were a few bouncers in the outfield of Moiliili Park, and Madison got into one of them. There was a chance to purchase a wristband which would have meant unlimited access to all of the bouncers, but said wristband cost $20. We passed. Instead, we purchased a $5 games passport which allowed Madison to play 12 separate games hosted by high school volunteers. There were three fishing games and one of them even involved real fish! Mad was stoked. She was too passive, however, to actually catch any fish. Bonus: When she finished her turn, she held her hand – wet with fish water – out and away from her body. I held the camera in one hand and Mad’s passion-orange juice in the other. I popped out my right knee and Madison promptly wiped her hand on my shorts. I didn’t even think about it. Three, four years ago, I would have found another way. But now? WHATEVER. Should Lynnette and I have another child, I can’t even begin to imagine how much less I’ll care about everything else. I’ve already gotten to the point where I let Mad wipe her runny nose on the inside of the t-shirt I’m wearing at the time, what’s left?
Of course I guide Madison towards all of the games which involve overhand throwing. Look at that extension, the pronation. I just can’t get her to step into the throw and follow through. She’s still not coordinated enough to incorporate all parts of her body in the processes of achieving a single action like throwing a four-seam fastball. She’s getting better, I suppose. She’s started to figure out how much umph to put on the ball depending on the distance from her target. On our way back home, I mentioned to Lynnette that I am always curious about when I’ll just stop writing this blog altogether. I have no idea when that would happen, or what would cause me to stop. Just know that as long as I am adding to And Release…, there will be frequent photos just like this one with commentary discussing Madison’s throwing progress. This is one of the promises I will make to you, my faithful reader. Another is that I will always make uncomfortable references to the awkward amorous moments between Lynnette and I, no matter how old and unattractive we become. No, thank you. You’ve earned it.
My brother Matty has pounded Mochi with his wife’s family for the 17 or so years that they’ve been together. I, however, have never done so. I’d never even witnessed it until today. In the words of SNL’s Miley Cyrus, it was “pertty cool.” I can’t do the process justice through pictures or words, so I will settle for saying that the best part about the whole thing was hearing one of the guys narrate the process while averaging about 4.7 sexually connotative puns-per-sentence. You’re right, I’m a child.
We ended our stay at the New Year’s Ohana Festival by checking out the crafts on the 5th floor. It wasn’t exactly what we thought it was going to be. There was a Kawaii Kon booth in the corner and one guy with blue hair. There was another guy who had crafted a Robotech-esque helmet out of business cards. That was pretty awesome, actually. Why is it the Kawaii Kon guys are either super-chubby or super-skinny? What about fat guys with skinny arms and legs like me? No niche? Anyway, the one thing Madison did make was her own headband. It was just a strip of fabric upon which Madison stamped a few Japanesey images. You know, koi, snakes, and baby animals on a train. Before taking this picture, I told her to make like a “ninja.” She didn’t do anything. “Sorry, like a bad guy, then,” I said. She managed to grimace. I literally had to pose for her. This is what she came up with. I don’t know what style I’d classify this is as. Maybe peacock-style, as her left hand is fanned out like the tail feathers of the majestic bird. She might have been just telling me enough with the pictures. Either way.