Monday, November 30, 2009
For those of you who participated in this year's Nablopomo challenge, congrats! It is finally over! Yeah!
It doesn't matter to me if you missed a day or two. I barely made it this year due to travel and lack of internet access.
I am glad to read new blogs and make new bloggy friends. It has been fun!
Now I am looking to wind down a bit. May not post something everyday. Just want to catch up on reading my favorite blogs.
What I learned from Nablopomo: Try it. It is easier than having a baby.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Spent much time at the Chicago Aquarium today. Had lots of fun. And met this creepy looking frog. He never blinked at all the whole time I was there. Strange.
Still foggy in Chicago today but it is OK. Lots of things to do indoors!
What have you been doing? Anything exciting? I swear I'll catch up with my favorite blogs as soon as I return from Chicago.
Monday, November 23, 2009
So I am here in Chicago and this is how foggy it is today. It is not really that cold. Just very very foggy. Good thing that I get to go back to this place to take more photos.
We went to Al's for lunch today.
They have the yummiest beef sandwiches. Messy but yummy. Not to mention that we have to eat standing up. Very cool and fun.
Next stop was Wrigley's field. It was closed but we walk around it and peeked inside when we were able to.
Notice the brick path around it. For a price, you can get a message written on the bricks. There must be about 5000 bricks.
A quick stop at a local brewery Goose Island for refreshments.
Oh notice how all the houses around the Wrigley's Field have bleachers on their roof. They have the perfect view. Neat way to make some extra money. Right? Those luck people!
Tonight, we are having Lou Malnati's pizza for dinner. Will take photos for you.
Question: Just how much weight do you think I will put on during this trip? Any guesses?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
So I am in Chocago and the waeather is beautiful. I don't need a jacket nor do I need a sweater.
I have a guest poster today...
Walking through suburban Chicago, flip flop-clad, shorts-wearing, in the middle of November was a glorious experience; corroded side walks, ethnically diverse pedestrians wearing colorful clothing, and lots and lots of traffic. Shops and grocery store chains line the streets for as far as the eye can see. Waking up in the morning and endeavoring to acquire a cup of coffee led me through 4 blocks of the suburban landscape. The culture and magnificence of this great city is indeed visible with every step taken. Immediately passing mom and pap and family-owned venues, one cannot but help wonder what secrets, what history, what stories construct the present. My only disappointment is that there is so much left to explore; so much left to learn about.
When driving in yesterday, a GPS unit was loaned to be my guide to Chicago ultimately led me astray; I drove an extra 75 miles through greater East Chicago; a vast expanse of sterile, manufacturing plants and steel processing centers stretched from street to sky. No gas stations, no food, no local culture. East Chicago is what people from Chicago call the region; Gary, Indiana is its name on the map. It is a melancholic experience to drive through the region for two hours and then realize you have just toured the hometown of the king of pop (RIP). Every detour that the GPS navigator suggested only led me down paths that culminated in road closures. No entry ramps. No street signs. No exit.
Tonight a great uncle told me how my great-grandfather was an official municipal official in Colonial India, a post that was governed by the British. The story that followed poignantly portrayed my Great-Grandfather and his role in non-violent resistance to support Ghandi against British opression. He fought and resisted the British mandates and was placed in prison. I also learned that my dad's original name roughly translates to a 'pharmacist' which is remarkable given that his PhD in pharmicokinetics. As we celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family it is important to remember that there remains a history of untold treasures and cultural wisdoms that simply need to be told and explained. Chicago is a mixing pot of great cultures that can simply be excavated with the right questions. So if you are at my table on thursday, do not be surprised if after i ask "can you pass the turkey," i follow it up with a querry a bit more miscelleneous.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Oye. Where do I even begin today?
Just so much going on.
There are times in life where in your personal life and your work life, things are hopping along and manageable.
Then there are times where everything is going crazy hectic. And you don't know which problem to solve first. Not that I am having any problems. Just too many things to do and very little time.
Work is crazy busy. I am trying to get ready for my trip to Chicago next week. And then I have all these extra little projects that are always fun and supposed to be on the side burner but demand time. Need instant attention. Oye, Oye, Oye.
My first encaustic piece and a couple of my paintings got into an important show. I should be ecstatic. Right? And grateful. Right? I am. But I am way way out on the league on this one. How the heck do I frame this piece I call fuzzy dreams? Why the heck do I put myself in this position? Because I honestly did not think I would get into the show. It was too big for me. Le Sigh. Some days, I find living with myself so very irritating!
My regular readers know that I am not a very handy person. I suck at it. Fact is that I hate doing it. The thought of screwing in a screw into a frame turns me into a completely irrational and illogical person. I whine and whine and turn into a total baby. My friend Carol can confirm this. So anyways now, I have to submit this piece for a gallery show and I am screwed. Pardon the pun.
I ordered a floating frame for it. When it got delivered, the sweet lady corrected me when I tried to put this piece on the wrong side of the frame. Sigh. She showed me the right way to attach it but I have no idea what to use for attaching this wooden panel to the darn floating frame. I am way out of my league here. Way out!
I sent out some frantic emails, got some suggestions and I have to say that since it involved a hammer or a screw driver, I panicked. So I did what any smart, independent, strong, macho woman would do.
I handed it off to my hubby. And begged him to frame it for me. He will also have to deliver it to the gallery since I am all tied up in meetings.
So there you have it. That's going on in my life right now. What is going on with yours? Any exciting stuff? Any suggestions how to use a floating frame?
PS: Thanks to the kind lady, I already know which side goes up.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Here is one of my photo that is currently being exhibited in Conrcordia University.
You are going to have to bear with today. I had a different photo planned for this post but blogger will not let me upload a photo right now.
So anyways. I am going through some process right now that requires lots and lots of paperwork. And just when you think that you are done and can move on, there comes... MORE PAPERWORK!
Typically, I treat paperwork like a hot potato. Avoid it till you can, fill it up and then toss it as far as you can.
But it keeps coming back to me. Like a boomerang.
So far, I've filled about 40 different forms which make no sense to me. I've even had to prove that I am a natural person. Yep. a natural person.
I am also having to read a lot of legalese and let's just all collectively say, "Kill it".
Seriously you legal people! You need a decent writer and I know several who are available.
I swear one sentence has 140 words in it! How can that make any sense to anyone?
When the word of the year is unfriend, can you guys please simplify it so humans of this generation can understand?
At one point I had to stop and ask my hubby, "Look at me! I am so stunning and gorgeous. Do you think I was intended for this paperwork? Absolutely not. Make it stop!"
At one point I had to stop and ask my hubby, "Look at me! I am so stunning and gorgeous. Do you think I was intended for this paperwork? Absolutely not. Make it stop!"
OK. I'll stop. The less we talk about my meltdown, the better.
So I am miserable and there is no end in sight. Someone tell me a joke please?
Monday, November 16, 2009
This year for Thanksgiving, my hubby and I are going to Chicago. The boys will meet us there. Typically for Thanksgiving, they fly down to Austin. But this year, they only had a couple of days. So I suggested instead of the two of them flying down to Austin, why not we meet in Chicago? They can drive to Chicago. And I can hang out with my new born nephew. Good times for all! Pizza galore!
So since my boys live in an apartment by themselves, I often cook food, freeze it, and send it to them.
One of their favorite thing is my home made salsa. I would post the recipe but...
1) My lawyer son has claimed his rights on the salsa recipe and bought it for a dollar. He forbids me from revealing it to anyone. He wants to market it down the road.
2) There is no real recipe. I just gather a bunch of stuff and blend it all. I don't measure anything. I smell the jalapenos and decide whether I should put 4 or 8. None of this is helpful to anyone who wants to make my salsa. And I've had some serious commercial offers for my recipe. But it won't do them any good.
Anyways. My boys always want me to send them and bring for them a gallon of my salsa. I make it, freeze it and send it. And I label the containers, CALL MOM SALSA. XOXO.
Yes they are supposed to call me every time they eat it. Which they say is technically not possible since they eat it with every meal.
Tonight, I am going to make some to take with me to Chicago.
Anyone have any recommendations about Chicago? I am planning on going to the aquarium and the museum. And eating lots of pizza. What else?
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I was about 5 years old when I first saw a ghost. It was an old lady who had lived across from our house and recently died. It was the middle of the night and I was fast asleep. Something woke me up. I looked around and saw the old lady by my bed. She was leaning on her cane and lifted her hand to assure me that everything was ok. I screamed and ran to my parent's room.
The odd thing is that I did not really know that lady very well. I had met her only once. But yet when I described her to my parents, I gave all the details. The necklace she wore, the bangles she had on. E.T.C.
My parents told me that I had had a bad dream but later discovered that everything I had described was accurate. But they never told me this for decades.
When I was about 35, I woke up one night and felt somone sit on my bed. The matteress dipped and I could feel someone affectionately patting my legs. But I saw nothing. I screamed bloody murder, woke up everyone and slept with the lights on.
Whatever it was, followed me for days. I would be driving and suddenly felt a presence. Someone sitting in the back seat. I would look back and see nothing. I would be doing dishes and the curtains would start moving suddenly. The presence came and left at will. For a couple of months.
I talked to my Mom about it. She told me that whenever I felt it, I should say loudly, "Please leave. I am not comfortable with your presence." It worked. It was a good spirit. But it kept coming back.
My hubby, who is a scientist, did not believe in this stuff. Yet he bought me some earings that would dispell spirits.
I never knew what it was. Until one day my Mom told me that one of my old childhood friend had died a couple of months ago. She had just found out about it. He was on a motorcycle and a bus ran over him. The day he died was the same day as the first time I felt something. He was 36 when he died. He left a child and wife behind.
After that, whenever I felt the presence, I would address my friend and ask him to move on.
And he did.
I blame MrsUpole to get me to confess this:) Check out her ghost story if you have a minute. Rivetting.
What about you? Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a ghostly experience? Do tell!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Did I ever tell you that one of dream jobs is to become a cruise director? How fun would that be? A while back, I wrote about my top ten fun jobs and I have to say that I am fantasizing about it again.
The wanderlust has hit me again. I want to T.R.A.V.E.L. And be that anonomous person behind the camera acting like a tourist. And what the heck is wrong with that I ask? Nada. Not a thing.
Last year, when I went to Cabos, I had a strange thing happen to me. As my hubby and I were walking around in downtown Cabos, we ran into a little group who was struggling with directions just as we were.
We had a perfectly normal conversation. Then a gentleman asked me, "Are you on the cruise?"
To which I replied, "No we flew from Austin."
And his expression changed. He looked a little sadly at us and then it turned into pity.
"Oh. Ok." And then he did the most brutal thing. He walked away from us.
We, who were not on the cruise ship, were not worthy of his time.
So now you tell me. Have you ever been on a cruise? How was it? Do you think as someone who is claustrophobic and fears heights could survive a cruise? And don't you want to be a cruise director?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
While I have been on a half-hearted mission to declutter my home, I found this. It is safe to say that it is at least a hundred years old. Maybe more.
I wish I remembered who exactly gave it to me. I know it comes from my Dad's side of the family. And I know that it is tiny enough to fit a new born but way too heavy to actually wear it.
I wonder what to do with it.
Who made this? For whom?
It is so lovely and I know that I am never going to part with it. But I wish I remembered the history. Who gave it to me? And who did it originally belong to?
And most importantly, how should I preserve this? I am totally thinking of creating artwork out of it. Encaustics? Frame it with a colorful background?
Not sure. Any ideas?
Monday, November 9, 2009
This weekend I had dinner with a girl friend of mine. We went with our spouses and another couple. She recently turned 51 and is a little reflective. She is asking herself the same question I ask myself.
What the heck am I doing? Why am I working so hard and not playing at all? Or playing enough? Sure both of us have great jobs and get paid for what we enjoy. Our other friends have retired or semi-retired, are free lancing etc. etc. We can't help but feel a little jealous. And in these times where jobs are scarce to find, should we even have doubts? But...
For those of you who don't know, I was a stay at home mom for the longest time. And then the career bug bit me. Right in my dearrie. So I chased a career and here I am ten years later wearing suits, high heels, battling rush hour traffic and showing up to 8:00 AM meetings.
What was I thinking?
Meanwhile, our hubbies are smart enough and have chosen careers that allows them to work from home, flexible hours, ya da ya da.
You know what I think? The woman's equality revolution exploded in our faces. We wanted jobs and careers and we got it baby. We got it.
So I told my girlfriend, "Let's run away to Mexico. And open a nice cantina. Due to my nice bloggy friends, I already have a cook and a handy man who will work for food."
She laughed and said, "I wish."
I then told her, "Let's open a wine/liquor store. We'll drink as much as we can and sell the rest."
She burst out laughing.
So there you have it.
What are your thoughts? Did the woman's revolution explode in our faces?
Sunday, November 8, 2009
So today I decided to do some encaustic art. And decided to show it to you in real time.
Above is the wax medium heated up.
Below is the composition.
Off I go. Will update this post as I go along.
Wax layer done. On to assembly.
I hope you were not riveted to this fascinating adventure. If you sat by your computer and kept hitting refresh to see what I was doing, well sorry... I took a nap.
Here is the next step.
Son1 called to ask about the final piece. I have to say that this is the stupidest idea I have had in a long time. Perhaps ever since I have been blogging. Sigh.
This piece is not done yet. But I am going to go now.
See you tomorrow!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I got a present! I got a present! Yeah! Boy am I thrilled!
So a while back, my bloggy friend Janice across the pond wrote a post about Pay it Forward. The project involves offering hand made thingies to three people who comment and ask for it. In return, they have to offer 3 hand made things to people. You can read about it more here. The best part is that you have up to an year to complete this and if you don't do it in an year, ah well. No big deal.
Yesterday I got my pay it forward gift from Janice. And man was I floored! A hand made, hand bound note book. It is simply exquisite!
Before I gush too much and embarrass myself , I am going to stop.
Thank you Janice for participating in this project and giving me this idea. I already have my pay it forward projects done and can't wait to send it out.
Thank you for reminding me about the gift of giving. We may never meet or even talk on the phone. But it is wonderful to have bloggy friends!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
So yesterday I took a day off from work. I've got some home projects to do and sometimes a weedend is simply not enough.
This month, I am on a project to de-clutter my house. There is stuff everywhere!
On Saturday, as I lay on my couch drinking coffee, I decided to make a plan and tackle it.
First came analysis of the problem. What caused the most clutter in the house?
Clothes. Clothes. Clothes.
Every laundry basket was filled with them. Towels, men's shirts, single socks, and of course my clothes.
My boys may have moved out of the house but you could not tell looking at the laundry and their closets. Full of clothes.
Don't get me wrong. I am the biggest culprit in my house. I can fill a laundry basket faster than you can say yo yo mama. After a long day from work, I come home and yank out my heels or boots. The jacket and the bra goes next. Into the laundry basket. If I am wearing tight clothes, I shed them off and go for a mumu like dress.
In my 20s and 30s, I giggled at the mumu dresses. So unflattering! But in 40's I don't care. I want to be comfortable at home. So the dresses "I would never be caught in that" became "comfort! comfort! Who cares if I get caught in them? They should not be coming to my house uninvited anyways."
But I digress. So not only do I have my daily work clothes to wash, I have my daily mumus. Not to mention the nightly pj's. The laundry baskets fill up fast!
Since I have only one washer and dryer at home I have to do laundry in a linear manner. Can't really do all the laundry at the same time. Unless I go to a laundrymart.
So after drinking coffee, I spent many hours on Saturday surfing the web for local laundrymarts. And surfing for other things. Then I go distracted with something else and decided that the 6 hours of analysis was too overwhelming and I needed to de-stress. So I took a nap.
Needless to say, nothing was accomplished that day.
Because I am smart and know that I will never ever be able to win the war against laundry, I decided to tackle the next biggest clutter invoking thingie in my house.
Books. Hundreds and thousands and millions of books.
Unfortunately my Son 1 inherited the book collecting gene from me. So we have 2 peeps in the house collecting books. But he is smart and keeps all his books in his room. Mine are everywhere. EVERYWHERE! In the bedroom, under the couch, under the bed, in cute little fancy baskets, in the garage, on table tops, blah, blah, blah.
Oye. I felt overwhelmed and since I had the Monday off, decided to put it off for a day and tackle it then. And yes I napped.
I am a very smart person. So on Monday, I got up early, exercised and then tackled the books in the garage. I rearranged the books I need to take at the half price book store, and found an old book that I decided to reread.
Because I am allergic to dust, an allergy attack soon came, I took some strong allergy meds and took a ... what? You tell me what I did.
So tell me. Do you have clutter in your house? How do you handle it? Do you think I can be saved?
Monday, November 2, 2009
Recently I started creating encaustic pieces. I often get some questions about it so here are some answers:
What exactly is encaustics?
An ancient art where artist uses wax instead of paint to create artwork. Artists have recently embraced it and made it more current and relevant.
Does the wax melt?
Nope it does not.The manufacturers mix bees wax with a resin and add pigment to it to create a medium.
What do they look like?
See this for more examples.
What supplies do I need for this?
See this for supply list.
My hubby won't "obey" me. What can I do?
Sorry but you are on your own about this one. Once you figure it out, do let me know since I have yet to figure it out.
I am a rat pack and have too much junk sitting around at my home. What should I do?
For starters, I am glad that you are admitting it. That is the first step. Next step, buy more stuff like wooden panels, wax, electric griddle etc. Slap the junk on a panel and paint wax over it. Then call it art like I did.
What exactly is this piece?
Wood panel, black and yellow medium/wax, and a broken plastic chandelier.
So now I need to ask you a question. Can you please help me come up with a title for this? What do you think I should call it?
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Today is the first day of Nablopomo this year. Now inquiring minds want to know. What is Nablopomo? It is not a cult or a religion or a crazy ritual.
Well I take that back. Nablopomo is the National Blog Post Month. That's when some of the bloggers commit to blogging daily for a month. So in a way, it is a crazy ritual!
You can find more info here:
So there you have it. I am committing to blog every single day this month. Wish me luck!
Nablo, as I fondly call it, is not about quality writing. It is about quantity and keeping a commitment. November is a busy busy month for a lot of people. But the logic is that if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person and it will get done.
Hundreds of bloggers worldwide will make this commitment today and keep it. This is my second year to do this and I am excited about it.
I get to write everyday, meet new bloggers and make new bloggy friends.
So good luck to all the bloggers out there who have made this commitment. May all us fishies move in the right direction and accomplish our goals!
If you are new to this blog, welcome and please leave a comment so I can visit your blog too.
In the bloggy world, comments are like candy. And I want some candy!