Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sneaking around the Y

On Mondays and Wednesdays Naomi has swim at YMCA.  When I signed her up it had been a couple of months since she took lessons, and they asked me what level she was in, so I said, "I don't know, Polywog or something."
"Ummmm... There is no Polywog.  It says here she was a Guppy."
"Ok."
"So is she a Guppy?"
"Well, did she pass her test?"
"There is no record of her test."
"She was tested though, I guess you can sign her up for Guppy again"

Then came the first day of swim and Naomi had a breakdown. She passed her Guppy test and she refused to join her class. So I went to the front desk and asked to move her up a level to "Fish".  Apparently I could only do this 2 weeks before the class started.  So after walking out of the first class and spending 2 days on the phone with three different people, I finally managed to change her class assignment. You'd think I was trying to bring down the whole organization by switching my daughter from Guppy to Fish.  Now twice a week I sit in the corner by the pool and try not to look anyone in the eyes while I draw in my sketchbook.  I honestly feel like I was caught trying to steal a stack of boogie boards.

In other news...
 Our web comic, "The People That Melt in The Rain" is making it's way through another intriguing  chapter check it out here! 

Tonight we are going to see this...

I'm so excited!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A bonfire on the beach and "The Art of The Red River" returns


Last weekend we had Chloe's 14th birthday party at Fiesta Island.

There was a lot of swimming and sun.... Lots of sun.

We roasted veggie hot dogs, and made some campfire cones (this was a pretty cool recipe I found online. We took waffle cones and then filled them with chocolate chips, berries, and mini marshmallows.  Then we wrapped them in foil and heated them by the fire thus making a yummy, gooey mess thoroughly enjoyed by the many teenagers).  It was a very long, but successful event, and the next morning Chloe was off to a week of Girl Scout camp.

As I dropped her off early the next morning for the bus, I hugged her goodbye.  
"Bye Mom."
"Will you write?"
"Probably not."
"Oh. ok."
"Oh come on Mom, I just don't get homesick!"
The fact is she's just not a clingy kid. She gave me that same nonchalant,  "Bye Mom," on the first day of preschool, so nothing's really changed there.

An hour after that I was live on the air with this month's "Art of the Red River" . Our guests this month were cartoonist, Rebecca Hicks, designer, Michael Nelsen and plein air painter, Caren-Marie Michel.  It was an incredible show for us and this month's guests were naturals on the radio. The show was archived here!





Thursday, June 21, 2012

parties and comics and other artists

 Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!
-Barbara Hoffman


Parties, parties, parties. First there was the goodbye party from Looking Glass Theatre, which was at Pam Raney's house, who, aside from being an incredible costume designer, also throws a great shindig.  Then there was the graduation parties (one after another-you'd think they earned a PHD not a promotion into High School!).  Now I'm scrambling to put together Chloe's 14th birthday party. We're having it at a fire circle on Fiesta Island this weekend.  The kids want to burn their old school uniforms as a symbolic "goodbye forever Roosevelt Middle School" gesture. (I went through and made sure the uniforms were far too worn out for donating.)

For Father's Day I wrote another article for the Examiner about artist and designer, James Hubbell.  Each Father's Day there's an open house at the Hubbell House which is an incredible event here in San Diego. You can read all about it here.

This coming Monday is our radio show and the guests we have lined up are really great!  We have designer and illustrator, Mike Nelsen from St. Cloud, Minnesota joining us.  Then we'll be talking with visionary landscape painter, Caren-Marie Sargent Michel from Maine, and finally Rebecca Hicks from San Diego will be here talking about her web comic and book series, "Little Vampires". Be sure to tune in for Monday's show! (It's sure to be excellent).


Speaking of web comics, my series "The Horribles" has begun a new chapter called "The Horrible Show".  You can squint your eyes and try to read the first page here, or just go to the site. Also of interest is our series "The People That Melt in The Rain" which is in the middle of a riveting chapter here! 

A couple days ago I received the girls new passport cards in the mail.  They look great, nice and sleek compared to that clunky book.  Unfortunately I'm not sure we'll have time to visit Mexico again before we leave, but it turns out we'll be using them anyway as we're crossing into Canada on our way to Maine.  In fact since we're only going to be a few hours from the border I'm sure we'll be exploring Quebec next year instead.  It's funny when you fill out a passport application they ask you your travel plans.  Last time I wrote in that we'd be going to Brazil and we wound up going to Argentina and Chile, and this time I said Mexico, but we'll be using them to cross into Canada. Somehow I always get it wrong. Oh well.
Happy Thursday!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

3,327 miles

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre Gide

This coming summer we are packing our clutter and driving...  And driving... And driving to Maine.

Where our little house on the lake sits and awaits our arrival.  It's been waiting for 2 years and we are finally coming.  We have concluded what we came to San Diego to do and need to tend to business on the East Coast.  As our friends have pointed out this is the farthest we could drive without leaving the country (yes, Alaska is closer... I checked!).

This was my conversation with my 8 year-old about it:
Naomi- Mommy will it be winter when we arrive even though it's summer here?
Me- No, we're not crossing the equator this time so the seasons stay the same.
Naomi- So I won't have a second summer?
Me- No, but as we drive we'll have to keep changing the clocks, because the time WILL change.
Naomi- TIME will change? Wow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

As the monkeys scream

Yesterday we rolled out of bed and headed to the zoo to watch Chloe's graduation from Middle School (yes, I said the zoo!).  Her class gathered outside of the Wegford Bowl at the San Diego Zoo in preparation, as hundreds of people arrived.
Here are the kids processing in to their reserved seats down front.

It began with welcomes from about 15 different students speaking each in a different language, from Hungarian to French to Hawaiian.  The kids spoke really well, but most of them had lived in or were from the country they represented linguistically.  (Now that's an International Baccalaureate school for you!). Then as the monkeys screamed and howled in the background we listened to the keynote address.

Chloe was one of the first kids to get onstage for her promotion certificate.  As you can see she wore her combat boots.  :)

While the list of graduating students was read off this flock of parrots circled above, and squawked  loudly.

Chloe posed by the spider sculpture with her promotion certificate and her honor roll award.

When the ceremony ended we used our complimentary passes to revisit this amazing zoo. Of course I just had to add more pictures of the kids in a gondola to this blog.

 From our "Skyfari Car" we saw the zoo from above.

These polar bears seemed really content and loving the water.

This is a gazelle or some kind of deer from Africa.  I always get mixed up later when going through pictures, but it's not a zebra. (That was helpful right? It's also not a dog. )


This one I know. It's a panda, A very sleepy panda.

This guy was awesome.  The Orangutan.   The zoo educator told me how scary smart they are.  Scientists came to study some on an island and rowed their boat to the shore.  They tied it up and left it for several minutes, when three orangutans hopped in and rowed away in it.
Silly orangutans, boats are for people. :)  



Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Snoopy" onstage and the end of it

On Thursday Chloe graced the stage of Roosevelt Middle School as "The Little Redheaded Girl"...
It was the Junior Theater's production of "Snoopy". While she firmly believes she was type cast (being the only redhead in the after school theater group), she did do a great job!  They all did.
Friday night was my last art class with the kids over at Clay Elementary.  As the year comes to an end so has my teaching contract.  The kids took photos with me and and gave me some awesome cards.  I'll be missing those guys.

Next Tuesday my oldest will be graduating from Middle School.  The ceremony takes place at the San Diego Zoo. Graduating from Middle School at the zoo seems appropriate to me. Middle School was a wild ride!  One that we get to start all over again next year with Phoebe. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Radioactive pee and other news

I figure if say this post is about pee straight-away then you know what you're getting into when you start reading.  For the last week or so I have been in pain.  At first just mild cramps but then.... really a lot of pain. I've had this pain before and I thought, yes this could be one of two things.  Another UTI or another ectopic pregnancy . In the desperate hope that it's a UTI, I cut out coffee over the weekend and just had a very small amount as the kids returned to school on Monday and we began another week of 5:30am wake ups.  I started taking a product called Azo to control the pain until I could get to the doctor. It all worked well enough, except that Azo has the unfortunate and somewhat alarming side effect of turning one's pee neon orange.

On Tuesday morning I sat in the doctors office and after filling out a packet of forms the size of a bank loan, they asked me to pee in cup.  I offered up my glowing, radioactive sample and set it in the lab next to less impressive, boring ones lined up on a shelf.  The great news is that I'm not pregnant, the other good news is that they ordered up some antibiotics right away to get things in order, the bad news was they want some of my blood because my neon pee was screwing up some of their tests.  God I hate getting poked!

Other possibly more interesting news than what color I'm peeing today is that I have a new article from The Examiner out here! It's about the glass blowers of the Spanish Village.
If you've been following my blog you know I've been drawing a lot of mandalas lately.  Well, it looks like some of my designs will be licensed for T-shirts by a company called Skurvy Ink. YAY!

BTW-I had my first full cup of coffee today in about 5 days and I'm SO AWAKE !!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A botanical wonderland

On Monday was our 18th wedding anniversary so we spent an afternoon exploring the San Diego Botanical Gardens in Encititas.

Upon arrival we balked at the entry fees as nothing was mentioned on their website. Mike went ahead and complained (just because it's annoying) and they gave us an amazing discount. I guess it's that squeaky wheel thing!
The girls found some strange inedible fruit right away!

Checking out the trees from the Canary Islands.

Phoebe in the bamboo forest.

 Around each corner was more to discover.


This guy was watching us.


Just past the gift shop a classical music concert was in progress.

 Naomi found the waterfall.

Throughout the park statues and sculptures were on display.


This one was tribal.

Others were nearly part of the garden itself.

They were very inspired.

They certainly inspired the kids!

Chloe and Phoebe wanted to dance with them.

Naomi decided to worship them.  I guess she's just drawn to worshiping idols.

The children's garden had so much to do!

They had instruments inspired by the Flintstones and games and a tree house!

It was a great place to explore.

And an excellent day out!

Now's the part where I post a photo of Mike and I on our wedding day, looking ridiculously young and glamorous, standing in a rose garden on Long Island (yes I have photos like this but I hate the stupid hair do I had that day so I hide those photos away.)  Then I'm supposed to say how 18 years have passed in the blink of an eye, but it hasn't.  It's been a journey filled with smaller journeys in between and I'm so lucky to have had him with me on this crazy ride!  

Love you Mike!





"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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