Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Spring Break day

Frank took today off and we had grand plans of bowling, going to the Discovery Center, going to the plumbing store and the pet store. We were successful at the plumbing store and Anna was happy because they had a 20 year old store cat who let us pet her. Then we went to the pet store and got stuck there because Anna saw a dwarf hamster she wanted to get. So we did, but then had to come home right away and get the cage ready for her. We think it is a girl, but the store guy didn't know for sure. Anyway, she is very cute and I will try to get a picture soon. The dwarf hamsters are much smaller than the regular ones. Her name is Clair - short for eclairage, which is french for lightening (if I could put that accent aigu on the first e). She runs very fast.

We did make it to the Discovery Center where it was packed with people. What were all those people doing there on Friday afternoon? Was there really that many people that didn't go anywhere for spring break like us? We did not go bowling because we were planning on using the university alley but they were working on the student union building and we didn't think it would be open.

Tonight Anna is spending the night at a friend's for her friend's birthday. It is a rare night Frank and I get to go out, have dinner and see a movie. We saw In Bruges, since we had just been to Bruges last summer. It was fun seeing and recognizing all the places in the movie. But I'm not so sure about the movie itself. Frank liked it. I didn't get it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Weather

This week is Anna's spring break and we had not made any plans. We are at home and I was hoping we would have some nice weather that we could ride bikes or scooter outside. But no. Yesterday we had clouds, rain, freezing rain, snow that was sticking, a brief sunny spell with the snow melted, lightening and more rain and wind. Inside activities it is!

We saw the movie Horton Hears a Who earlier this week (there weren't many kid choices). It was better than I thought it was going to be. They did a good job keeping the animation very Suess like. I've been reading The Golden Compass to Anna. Yesterday she had a friend over to play. One day I even managed to get Anna to clean her room (with the incentive that we would go to Hallmark after Taekwondo to look at Webkinz). Today we went to Michael's to get craft stuff for her birthday party, coming up. So, it's been a pretty good, relaxing week.

I wanted to show you the pictures of my triangle banner from the banner swap I participated in. I got some nice triangles from people all over (Scotland, Australia, Austria, Montana, etc.). It says creativity. These pictures don't really show all the details and hand stitching that some people did.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Memory of Cocoa

Anna's second hamster, Cocoa, died on Easter. We only had her since November but we will miss the little Cocoa puff. The Tuesday before I had taken her to the vet and found out she had a big tumor in her tummy. So we knew she didn't have much longer to live, but it still didn't make it any easier for Anna when her time came.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Easter sneaked up on me this year. However, we did manage to dye some eggs yesterday morning. This year we even blew out a couple that we can save. In the pictures below, there is one egg that Frank decorated, three that I decorated and the rest Anna did. Can you guess who did which ones?

The cat egg is one of the blown out ones. The Easter bunny did manage to come and fill up Anna's basket this year with a few things. And we hunted for eggs early this morning when it was still pretty chilly at around 33 degrees.

Anna with a new Webkinz (as if she needs any more). No, she didn't bother to comb her hair. At least she has clothes on.

All our Easter pictures look the same every year. Oh well. We thought it was going to be a fairly nice day and we went for a bike ride. But it was cloudy and windy and felt pretty cold even though it was in the 50's.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Educational experience

As most of you know, I was not accepted into the MFA program at BSU. In their rejection letter, it said I could apply again next year. I don't know if I will do that or not, but if I did I had a few questions. I emailed the program director and asked if I had to get new letters, transcripts, etc. or just resubmit a portfolio. I also asked if she could give me any specifics on why I was rejected. She didn't give me specifics but basically said to work on the portfolio. She also said if I was interested in seeing what was going on in their program, they were having critiques and defenses of thesis of current students on Tuesday (this past one) and I could come.

I decided I would go as sometimes I'm very curious. She had told me the time and directions of where it was. Tuesday morning I drove over to campus and found the building (they had converted an old office depot into a fine arts building). I wandered into the building. There were quite a few people milling around. Nobody stopped me or asked me anything. I wandered back to the studios and looked in. Some people must have wondered who I was, but nobody asked. I did talk to one person I knew because she is doing an internship at the art museum (and she is also in the graduate program). She asked me what I was doing there and I just said I came to observe. There was one other person there who I knew because she had taught a class at the art museum once.

I have to say that when I walked in, it was like entering another world. I was trespassing on someone else's reality. I can't really describe it, but I knew I wasn't part of this "world". I was able to stay for the first student's explanation of his works and the question period of his defense of his thesis. It was interesting for me, being someone not involved in the process, to observe the faculty and how the artist responded to questions. Sometimes I thought the faculty got a little too picky about terminology and other times I thought they had legitimate questions. They were concerned about the motivation for the work and what historical art periods or artists was this student "grounded" in or to.

Later I was thinking, why does art have to have some deep meaning or motivation. I think all art has some motivation or the artist wouldn't make it. But does it have to have deep meaning or make a political, social, emotional statement? Is this the art you see in museums? Is this the art people actually buy? Lots of questions ran through my mind concerning the intellectual art realm vs. the more visual. Why can't art just be? And be something beautiful or not or just something one person likes to look at? Maybe that doesn't work in that graduate school atmosphere.

I didn't get to stay for the next person as I had to get back to my reality of working with sixth graders and trying to meet the yearbook deadline.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Big Sigh

The yearbook is completed! I just have to drop it off for the photographer and hope he gets it to the publisher on time. That is such a big relief. Now I can concentrate on some other things, like the next deadline. Below is a picture of the block prints on fabric that I had the kids do back in January. Now, I can sew them together into a wall hanging for the school auction which is April 11.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Normal is an Illusion

I was beginning to feel like things were starting to get under control and back to normal. Anna's about over her bad cold/cough and starting to get back to her normal routine and after school activities. I can see the finishing line for the yearbook deadline and am starting to get my mind back on more normal things. I'm feeling physically well and to the point where I can get back to my normal physical activities. I'm not taking extra medicine, just my normal asthma stuff.

But then I had to take Anna's hamster to the vet today and find out she has a big tumor and is going to die very soon. And I have to be the one to tell Anna this. Yesterday Frank said he was going to have to go to California tomorrow for a few days for work and next week he was suppose to go to Texas for a day or two. Tonight he tells me next week is California for a few days and Texas is out (maybe). He will be here for Easter, so that's good. Next week is Anna's spring break. Who knows what we will do. So much for normal. What is normal anyway? I think the only thing normal is change.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

At the Zoo

Before Frank's mom and uncle left us, we took them, Anna and her friend to the Zoo. Yes, Boise has a zoo, although it is not very big. Anna wanted to see the young snow leopard. We also saw the baby gibon. It was a cool, cloudy day, but some of the animals were more active than they are in the hot summer. Anna was most interested in the cats.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

More Trip Pictures

I've been neglecting my blog duty because I have been working hard to get the school yearbook finished before the deadline. I'm not getting much help from the kids. I hope to have it completed and mailed by the end of next week so I don't have to work on it over Anna's spring break.

In the meantime, enjoy some more pictures from New Orleans.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bourbon St.

You can't go to New Orleans without going to Bourbon Street. I have to tell you that it is quite a different experience at night than during the day.

We went on a Friday night. The picture below is still fairly early and on the outer edges. They block off the street to car traffic and there are tons of people walking around and partying. Now, I would much rather take a walk in a forest than one on Bourbon St. on Friday night, but isn't that what you are suppose to do as a tourist? What surprised me was all the different kinds of music we heard blasting out of the bars as we walked by. I, of course, was thinking it would be all jazz, but it wasn't. There was rap, rock, pop, etc.

There were way more people than the picture above shows. And I think a lot of the locals and tourists go for people watching as well as partying. They have an open container law there where it is o.k. to have alcoholic beverages in open containers as long as they are not glass. That's why we saw several places advertising daiquiris to go.

I did have a Hurricane drink at Pat O'Brien's (because isn't that what a tourist is suppose to do?) It was the biggest, strongest drink, I'm sure I've ever had. In the end, I did not finish it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Later" pictures

I'm not going to call these "after" pictures, just "later" pictures. Scroll down to my previous post to see the "before" picture of me and my college house-mates during our senior year. The first picture is all of us in New Orleans in the same positions (well almost the same) as the "before" picture. This one is just 18 years later. I think my house-mates look almost the same now as before (I'm not including myself in that statement). We did this with a timer on the camera. We also did some on Laura's camera but I have not received those pictures yet. Hers probably has the one where we are laughing so hard that we will have cheesy grins and squinty eyes.

Back: Sue, Laura R., Laura B., Heather, Verna.
Front: Michelle and me

We had a wonderful time and the trip was to celebrate all of us turning 40 this year (ooo, maybe some of them didn't want you to know!). Laura B. had brought these lovely tiaras and noise makers with her so we could celebrate the occasion (we did not wear them on Bourbon street, although I don't think anyone would have noticed if we had). I'll show you what I brought later.

Friday, March 7, 2008

New Orleans

Here are a few of my pictures from my trip. We tried the famous beignets. I always thought they came with a dusting of powdered sugar, but we got a dumping of powdered sugar! It was good.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm Back from NOLA

I just wanted to write a quick note to let everyone know I'm back from New Orleans. I had a great time with my friends. I have lots of pictures to share and promise to post some later. Today I'm back in full swing of routine life. I'm getting the art lesson for Anna's class prepared for tomorrow (we will be doing some paper mache). Anna is home from school with a cold. Frank's mom and Uncle Bob are still visiting and new garage doors are being installed today. Yep, it looks like vacation time is over!