Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yosemite Park - Family Tour 2009

Majestic Half Dome - Partially obscured by smoke - caused by natural forest fires due to lightning strikes.

Astonishing waterfalls.
El Capitan and the entrance to Yosemite Valley. Half Dome can be seen in the distance.

Ken Burns. You've gotta love him. His new series is about our national parks. I think it's called Our Best Idea.

You've gotta love a guy who focuses on the good and the beautiful.

I was focusing on the falls. I didn't realize my husband was posing. I did manage to get his hat. (or cut off his head). Heehee if I edited this photo before I posted it... Oh well.

So take a break from Kanye West, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and other obnoxious Americans.

Take a break from politics.

Remember that there were once a few visionaries among us. My Grandfather Harrison was a chauffer for one of them - Theodore Roosevelt. Not bad for a guy just off the boat from Ireland.
The National Park Service preserved some national treasures from land hungry developers.

I've only visited three...Yosemite in California, Acadia in Maine, Shenandoah in Virginia.
This was my second visit to Yosemite.
Some of the views weren't quite as clear as they were twenty two years ago due to forest fires.
The National Park Service Rangers have come to realize that forest fires can be a "good" thing. They are part of the natural cycle of things. The redwoods and the sequoia trees are benefitted by fire. I have enough information to bore all of you for many future posts. I am a nature and weather geek who loves this kind of thing.

Doug and Delaney climbed up to the falls.

Here's to the good things.

Don't let the turkeys get you down. Do any of you remember the Boynton cartoons? (I used to have that on a T-Shirt).

Friday, September 25, 2009

So much to paint, so little time...

I have been insanely busy schlepping the kids around, attending football games, visiting colleges, teaching, etc. Sorry if I haven't been visiting your blogs much. I did manage to paint once this week but have nothing to show for it. My latest paintings have been crap.

It seems that I must spend my Friday nights at football games and my Saturdays at college open houses. Sundays are for grocery shopping and other household chores.

I'm not complaining, but a bit exhausted. I am accumulating post material.

I graduated somewhere in there. Pictures to follow when I have time. Haven't been to the gym. I have been walking with the dogs for exercise.

Things should calm down in the next couple of weeks. I hope.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Peer Groups and College Visits

This is my oldest daughter's senior year in high school. Little did I know what a stressful year it would be.

It is time to visit colleges. I need to find an institution of higher learning that will stimulate my daughter's young brain and provide her with training for the future. I also have to find a place where my daughter will feel comfortable. The brochures in the guidance counselor's office say: "It is imperative to visit colleges to determine which school will be the best match for your child."

We have visited three colleges thus far. The Art Schools are winning.
The first state system of higher education school did not cut it. The students were wearing Abercrombie and Hollister.

I didn't take any pictures at universities. I did notice that the Art students looked a lot more like my daughter.

The following photos are from Otakon 2009. These are the my daughter's peeps.

Cosplay at Otakon. Trenchcoats and military style uniforms were all the rage this year.

Trenchcoats and uniforms again. White and Blonde wigs are always in fashion.
Green, blue and purple hair are always in vogue.

These photos were from July 2009 in Baltimore.
Doug and I sat across the street at an outdoor cafe. We nursed a few local brews and enjoyed the sights.
They were not considered outrageous by any means. Daughter was in control of the camera and taking photos of characters she liked.
Daughter is seriously interested in digital animation and game arts. We visited the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Saturday. The kids were not in costume, but they dressed quite creatively. Hair came in many colors and at least 75% of them wore glasses. She felt at home. Isn't that part of it?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Conewago Spring - New Painting

I decided to stop whining and start photographing my paintings. I apologize, but I have crappy editing software on my laptop. This is a square format 20x20 oil painting. I laid it on the ground. Couldn't quite get it right without distortion.

Here is the latest of what I call my maniacal obliteration paintings. I paint, then I scrapewith wood scraps, clay tools, etc., then I palette knife, then I scrape. I need to work on it on at least three sittings, but I have to allow 3-4 days in between for the layers to dry. I have been listening to Modest Mouse and Vampire Weekend. They are a bit subversive. The subject matter is traditional, but the treatment is maniacal. I'm having fun. If you like it, leave a comment. If you don't, leave a comment. After I photographed it I saw a few inconsistencies that I might address.

This is an edited post. I managed to crop the photo better. The first photo annoyed me to no end.

I have been obliterating some other older paintings that I thought looked too picky. I'm just having fun. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy F____ Birthday

"F" as in Five-O. What did you think I meant?

Okay I'm in a ranty mood. It's my party and I'll cry if I want to... Dammit!

Hawaii Five-O. Thanks Dive, I'll use that.

Is it a coincidence that I received a notice to schedule my first colonoscopy yesterday? I think not.

Now when I go to the doctor for routine tests they "find" something.

It kind of sucks. The old bod is not what it used to be. I vowed to lose ten pounds this year. I am failing. Major failing. I joined a gym. I do go at least two days a week. I walk with my dogs on the other days. I rejoined WW. I track everything I eat and after two weeks lose .6 lbs. .6 LBS? Then my doctor says, "You could lose a few pounds." I want to say "F-U", but resist. I am effing trying. I do not eat fast food, butter or donuts. I haven't had ice cream in years. I do not bake for my family because I am afraid I will eat it. I do get at least five fruits and vegetables every day. I read labels. I do not eat trans fats, or high fructose corn syrup. WTF?

Yes, perhaps I am paying for the abuse of my body during my younger, foolish years. I was a teenager in the 70s. I was full of angst. I might have done stupid things.

One of my students told me her mom was born during my sophomore year in high school. This student was a junior. I felt ancient.

Age does have some advantages. For instance, I teach ceramics. Our first lesson was the "pinchpot". I told them they could use it as a "bowl". I heard snickers..."bowl, heehee." I think Teachable Moment. I say, " You know the movie "Dazed and Confused?" That was my era. What do you think every high schooler was making out of clay in the 70s?" They are stunned that I would know about that. With age comes wisdom. (Not that I would have made a "bowl").

It is a major birthday and I did not receive a call or card from my father. I know he just got back from Wales and England last Sunday. I understand the late card. This is the first year I didn't get a call. I'm trying not to feel hurt.

Okay. I'm not a kid anymore. Buck it up Fatso.