Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm the Great Bambino

Ham Porter

This quote, from one of my boys' favorite movies, never fails to elicit a hearty guffaw from the troops. Joshua always manages to say it in the most deadpan voice. It's awesome.

It's also awesome that it is one of those things Melinda says with great passion...another of the strange coincidences between us. We may live 1200 miles apart, but our brains are apparently communicating without our knowledge. We spent an hour on the phone picking apart religion, politics and the state of our nation, and strangely agreed on most every topic...something that doesn't happen very often, no matter how much you like a person (hi, Dad!)

It makes me appreciate her all the more...and miss her even more acutely. Sigh.

Thank goodness for unlimited texting, man...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates


The movie Forrest Gump will always and forever make me think of my nephew, Jesse. I can remember when he was the age my kids are now, and he would start quoting Forrest...accent and all...sounded just like him.

He's gifted, that boy.

So, when Jesse suggested this movie quote the other day, I knew it would be among the first I did.

Because he's cute. And I can't resist cute.


Yes. Even though he towers over me and has a child of his own, he's still cute.

You can ask his mama...she'll tell you...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Living Fossils


Gingko Gingkgo Ginkgo!

I never spell it right the first time.

This is my favorite leaf page, so far. I love ginkgo leaves, especially in the fall when they turn golden yellow. Absolutely gorgeous shape and color.
So. It's Tuesday. It's rainy and cool. I don't want to get out of my pajamas today, but I really need laundry detergent, and while some people go to the grocery in their jammies, I just can't do it, man. I mean seriously - it's one thing to HAVE Tweety Bird pajama bottoms, people...

It's an entirely different thing to wear them to Safeway.
I gained four pounds after the 5K on Saturday. All of them were directly related to the post-race celebration day we had.

So, now I'm completely avoiding foods that start with "B."

Dang. I had bran cereal this morning. That completely blows the diet.

I guess I'll go ahead and have that last brownie in the pan, now.

Monday, September 27, 2010



It's been so much fun trying to match up animals with movie quotes - I don't know why, but this little house sparrow just seemed to scream Jules from Pulp Fiction.

He totally has the attitude. And there anything better than the bad ass attitude of Samuel L. Jackson? I think not.
I'm feeling completely inspired by this project, I'll tell you - it's something I've needed...inspiration, that is. I believe these will make it onto fine art paper or canvas and limited edition prints. I can just see a series of them hanging in an office or over a sofa.

Or in a bathroom.

Don't look at me like that. People put art in all kinds of places.

Now I just have decide if I want to use gouache or acrylic or crayons or finger paints. I've been using a lot of gouache lately, but it's so gorgeous, I'm not sure I want to stop.

My mom bought me some mule poop paper a while back. Maybe I'll paint some on that.

Wait a minute. Do you think my mom is trying to tell me something?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Five Kilometers to Run

Pre Race Boys

It wasn't the coolest morning we've had lately, but the weather was beautiful and not too ridiculously hot. We arrived at the start line about 20 minutes before the race began. Everyone was excited and a little nervous and eager to get started.


The Smarty and I have done this before, so we did at least know what to expect. The boys were complete newbies. Derek was probably the most nervous - running is not easy for him, although he's physically very able...his mind is his greatest enemy in running - he isn't quite sure he can really do it.

Last night, we each set goals for ourselves. Mine was to finish in 35:00 or less. Joshua's was to beat me. Dr. SmartyPants was helping Derek with his goal, as he was planning to run with him the whole time - they decided to strive for 40:00 or under, and to run the whole time.

When the starter's pistol fired, we headed out. Joshua and I set out together, but after a half mile or so, he took off and left me in his dust. I spent the entire race looking for his little blonde head bobbing up and down in the crowd of taller adults. I saw him at the turn around, we waved and smiled at each other and kept going. After I went through the turn around, I started looking for the rest of my crew, and spotted them chugging along almost 2 1/2 miles in.

Just before the final hill, I took at 10 second walk-break...I had a little crisis of confidence, honestly - wasn't sure I could make it - but after I realized I wasn't actually going to die, I started back up. I saw Joshua turn a corner and disappear. When I got to the corner, I saw that the finish line was RIGHT THERE, so I put on a last burst of speed and finished - Joshua was waiting just to the right, cheering me on.

We grabbed waters and headed back down and around the corner to wait for Derek and the Smarty - when we spotted them coming up the hill we started cheering for them and yelling - Derek responded by sprinting up the hill, which almost did him in, but with some encouragement from us, and from the crowd around us he ran across the line...I guess I was yelling his name rather loudly, because all the spectators were yelling it out, and the announcer at the line gave a big, "Way to go, Derek!" as he crossed the finish.

In short, we all met or exceeded our goals...Joshua finished in 33:05, 4th in his age group. I finished at 33:37, well under my goal of 35:00. I was a little disappointed that I walked when I was so close to the finish, but I'll just make that a priority for the next one. Derek finished in 40:08, with Dr. SmartyPants a few paces in front of him.

A fellow runner snapped this photo of us just after we picked up water and snacks...

Post Race

She was probably afraid to say no...when a crazy looking woman asks you to do something, you just do it, by golly...

Post Race Crazy Face

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lines, Lines, Linety-Lines

Sketchbook Project_0002

My eyes are feeling a bit crossed, and this is only the second page...I've since finished a third and started a fourth, and while it can be a little eye-strain-y, it's a strangely relaxing thing to do while I listen to the television in the evenings with Dr. SmartyPants.

Am I the only one that does that? I rarely actually watch the TV unless it is one of those visually stimulating shows - I listen to the TV while I read or draw or knit. I'm the only one in my house that does it.

It doesn't make me weird or anything, does it?

Nah - I've got plenty of other things that make me weird...
The 5K is tomorrow. I'm trying to figure out a way to run with a camera so I can get a snapshot or two of all of us at the finish line. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather stays pleasant and the the wind is at our backs, okay?

I'll update you as soon as I recover...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sesquipedalian Portmanteaux


Joshua loves words. LOVES words like crazy, man. His two new favorites are:

sesquipedalian: [ses-kwi-pi-dey-lee-uhn, -deyl-yuhn]
1. given to using long words.
2. (of a word) containing many syllables.
3. a sesquipedalian word.

and portmanteau:

a blend of two (or more) words or morphemes and their meanings into one new word.

He has decided that he wants to be sesquipedalian at all times, and so instead of saying "yes," he says "indeed," because it's twice as long, syllable-wise, as "yes." Instead of "cool," he says things like "outrageous," "fantastic,"  and "spectacular."

It's so cute.

He also enjoys making up portamanteaux - even before he learned the proper word for the practice, he made them. They just seem to come to him naturally. He just informed me that Derek has a "grayver" Hot Wheels car. It's a mix of gray and silver (I'm guessing a dark metallic silver - sort of pewter?)

The other night at dinner, when we were discussing, yet again, how Daddy is a goober, and Mama is a genius, he informed us that he was a half-breed...half goober, half sesquipedalian.

Dr. SmartyPants asked him what you would call such a person.

"A gooberpedalian." he said with confident authority.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Alone in the Dark


Derek: I go to sleep easier in Knoxville than in Arlington.

Me: Really? Why is that?

Derek: Because I can hear the train.

Me: Yeah? Is that a soothing sound to you?

Derek: Yeah. It lets me know I'm not the only one awake.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Sketchbook Project...Part 2

Sketchbook Project_0001

This is where I'll be having a little more fun with the project. The grid is not traditional - it's more of an isometric projection grid, although the isometric part is a little wonky. It's just background, people - don't get all huffy about it.


The bird takes center stage here, literally and figuratively. And although I don't have them in here yet, the "lines" for these spreads are going to be composed of movie lines - great quotations in film history that are just begging to spring from the mouths of anthropomorphized creatures.

Heh. I find it endlessly amusing...don't ask me why...

But DO tell me your favorite movie quotations, and I promise I'll use them and name a critter after you, okay?

I'll even let you pick if you want to be a bird or a lizard or a frog or a hippopotamus.


Tell me your favorite movie quotation AND the animal that should be saying it. I'll send everyone that plays along a little postcard of their drawing, 'mkay?

Because I need help, people. This teeny sketchbook has a lot of pages to fill before I have to send it back in January...

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

Sketchbook Project

So, there's this thing you may have heard seems to be popping up in all the art blogs I read lately, and now I can't even remember when I first read something about it, except that it was a long time ago and I've just now managed to figure out what to do with it and now I feel completely behind except that I ordered my book ages ago and...

What? You don't know what I'm talking about?

I'm sorry. I'm in a bit of a tizzy.

The thing is The Sketchbook Project - a kind of traveling art show for sketchbooks - and I've decided to participate this year. You can click here for all the information in the world about it, and you still have time to sign up if you want to, which would be awesome and I would totally go check your book out when it comes to the town nearest wherever I happen to be at the time.

No, really - I would. And do you know why?

Because you're awesome. And I love ya.

Yeah. Okay - enough of the sappy stuff...let's talk themes!

In The Sketchbook Project, participants are required to select a theme for their book, although they have complete artistic freedom to interpret that theme in whatever way they will.  I chose "Lines and Grids," and so the image above is my first full spread in the sketchbook - a grid of leaves, heavily lined. Every other spread will follow this pattern, but no two leaf spreads will have the same type leaves on them.

Alternating spreads will play on the theme a bit differently.

But you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what that means.

Hey...I've gotta keep you coming back, right?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Orange You Happy, Yet?


Just last week, my kitchen looked like this. I painted it this color before we even moved into our house over 4 years ago. It has been a wonderful color, but I was growing a little weary of it, to tell the truth.


Now my kitchen looks like this. It's soft and light and pretty.

I like pretty.


The motivation for the sudden paint job was the purchase of this sofa the weekend before. We set it down, up against the orange in the kitchen, and I lost all vision in my left eye for about 10 minutes. After I recovered, I painted and re-caulked and cleaned and then I sat down in front of the TV, faced the sofa and kitchen and smiled.


Somebody got a bit curious about that strange-smelling green goo I was playing with...


See it? Right there?

And as I didn't find any dog-head shaped smudges in the paint on the wall, I can only assume he stuck his head in the roller pan.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chills, Hills, Thrills and a Significant Lack of Caffeine


Hello, dear friends. I'm back in the land of internet technology. It seems forever since I've seen you.

I missed you very much.

I've done a lot of reading, a lot of painting (of the wall variety...not of the art variety), a bit of sketching (more on that later), a smidge of camping (later as well), and what seems a great deal of staring into space and not thinking about anything in particular.

It was all very Zen.
This morning, after I had one cup of coffee, I headed out for my run. The 5K is one week from today, so I decided to get off the track and onto a local trail that has a few moderate hills in preparation for some real-life road running.


After I regained consciousness and dragged myself back home, I turned the coffee pot back on (it had just gone off when I walked in the door) and went back upstairs to get dressed to go to the farmer's market for my week's supply of Honey Crisp apples and hydroponic lettuce and other vegetable goodies. Dr. SmartyPants was cleaning up the breakfast bowls and supervising the boys' attempts to straighten their room.

I walked back downstairs, fixed a bowl of cereal, grabbed my coffee cup and walked over to the coffee maker.

The coffee maker what had nary a coffee pot upon it. The coffee maker whose pot had just been dumped and scrubbed clean by a certain someone. The coffee maker that I had turned on just moments before so I could have my much needed second cup of coffee after having run 900 MILES UPHILL AND BACK*.

Dang it.

The Smarty and I will be entering couples counseling soon.**

*where 900 miles uphill and back = 2 1/2 miles with a couple of up and down hills...

**where couples counseling = he bought me an Americano from Starbucks on our way to the farmer's market...

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Pause and Refresh

Simple Pleasures

I'm taking a little break - to reflect and refresh. I feel the need to examine a few things, to clarify a few others and to explore a few new ideas and directions.

That may take a day or two.

Or a couple of weeks.

Who knows?

In any case - I'll be back here before you know I'm gone, but maybe with a few new things to show you and tell you about...

Until then - I'll probably be posting photos sans words over at quirk, and snarky comments on Twitter...

all my love,