Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Day (Sort of) Off

Today I had every intention of finishing the installation of the Halloween decorations, but instead I worked on the documentation for our HomeAway rental all day. Dave and I both wanted to sleep in this morning, but between the dogs wanting out to pee and the cats wanting fed (and all five animals roaming the bedroom making their wants known--cats on top of the bed and dogs squiggling around it), there was no way. It was a normal 8:00 am day. So I worked on docs until my eyes (almost) bled, and then I napped.

Tomorrow is the Formula One United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, and for my sins, I am apparently spending the day there. Jessie's birthday is in a couple of weeks and all she wanted for it was to go to the race. So tomorrow morning we load up the folding chairs, lots of battery-powered devices, and my knitting and we go off to watch cars go round and round in circles for several hours. Stevie Wonder is putting on a concert at the end of the race and I hope we have enough energy left to stay and watch it.

I am definitely dragging and feel the need for a day of doing nothing but curling up and reading. Maybe next Thursday...

Friday, October 20, 2017

Halloween Has Come to Stone's Throw

The ghostly woman in the garden
Today is our first day renting the apartment and I spent all day getting ready. I discovered at 1:30 that I had dropped the ball on replacing the toilet so I quick called our handyman, and he zipped out and put in the new toilet I bought at Home Depot between calling him and his arrival. I put together the crib I borrowed from Bryon and Vanessa, and I set out a cute little arrangement of Tassimo coffees and teas, and a vase of flowers from the garden. I turned two twin beds into a king, and fluffed freshly laundered towels. I hope they enjoy their stay and write us a good review.

Today is also the first major push getting the Halloween decorations put up. There is a ghostly woman, a grim reaper, three large human skeletons, the tyrannosaurus rex skeleton from a previous post, and a bunch of bat, cat, rat, crow, vulture, and snake skeletons--even an alligator skull floating in the pond. There are also a bunch of gravestones and some cool lanterns to turn the botanical garden into a ghostly fright-land. I really like the rat skeletons.

Jessie helped and put almost everything into place for me, I just have to install it all (anchor it to keep it from blowing away in the wind) and put up the lanterns. Too bad I can't set them up to turn on and off automatically. Tomorrow we'll finish out there, and I'll have two more big things off my list (Halloween and cleaning/mailing).

And now I lay me down to sleep...


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Does There Need To Be a Title?

I thought I'd do a longer post tonight, but I'm too sated. It was a good day, almost a great day. I'm behind in what I need to get done this week and totally over extended, but it's fall. The days are cooler and the nights are downright nippy. The weather alone makes me happier than anyone has any right to be. I was able to examine all the beehives today without sweating more than, oh, a quart or so. And it looks like I'll even end up with honey from one of the hives. I wasn't anticipating getting any honey at all this year so that will be pretty cool.

I didn't get the Halloween decorations up today--have to do them tomorrow. Also didn't get to put the finishing touches on the apartment (like take the cardboard off the stairs leading up to it or pick up the loaner crib from Vanessa) so those will also be tomorrow. The highlight of today was a wonderful lunch at Asti Trattoria with my longtime friend Lize. I don't see her enough since we moved back to Austin an I'm making an early new year's resolution to change that.

I also floated at Liquid Floats this afternoon as I had two floats expiring tomorrow. It is a sensory deprivation tank where you float in heavily salinated water two degrees above your body temperature in the dark with no sound. Well, no sound except for my snoring. I kept falling asleep and either twitching or snoring myself awake.

And now the husband calls and I must go. I leave you with a little ee cummings:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Nothing. Just, Nothing.

I have done so much typing on the computer over the past few days that I can feel a tingle in my right arm tendon indicating a strain. Good thing I'm not going to work on the computer at all tomorrow! Concomitantly with working longer on the computer, my posts are getting shorter. I guess after a day of website and Facebook and even Twitter, I don't have much energy left for Blogger. Well, tomorrow I will have more interesting things to post!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Organizing a Juried Art and Craft Festival

I have been spending more time that I planned on organizing A Fair of the Art, the holiday art and craft market sponsored by Students Making Films and the Cinematic Arts Program at McCallum Fine Arts Academy (where Jessie goes to school). But fortunately tonight at the meeting, the five other people who came took up the mantles of many of the jobs that need to be done, and I will be assigning others in email tonight. Tomorrow. Dave has an off-site tomorrow and I have a piano lesson followed by ceramics. It's time to get back into life. I think I said that a day or two ago. But, wow. Two weeks to wrangle over 40 artists into applying for a first-year festival during the holiday season. Sure, we're the only game in town that weekend, but artists are worried about having enough inventory for multiple shows so are hesitant to apply. So tomorrow I'll assign a bunch of stuff and then step back. Really.

Oh, and as if my plate isn't full enough, the neighborhood is talking about resurrecting the Homeowner's Association and covenants to block potential (not even proposed) development. Over my dead body.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Another Penultimate

The camera angle was weird as I was rushed taking the pic,
but here's my couch table!
Tonight was my penultimate wood and steel class at The Contemporary Art School and I managed to finish welding my couch table! I still have to clean up my welds next week and to decide how to finish the metal (it's raw steel so if I leave it as it is, it will rust). I've already cleaned up my previous welds a lot so they are all bright, shiny silver color--not the dark grey of the surrounding unpolished steel--so I don't think a clear coat would look nice with the contrast of the surfaces. However I'm not thrilled about painting it black either. But maybe I can find a a dark greyish brown that would look nice.

I also haven't decided how to finish the wood. I have a bit more sanding to do, but first I think I'll fill in the holes with the black resin. I also have to decide whether I want to route a design into the top and fill it with glass, steel, resin, or wood inlay. I most likely won't have time to do any of that in class next week, but that's okay as I have my own router and orbital sander to finish it up at home.

I spent today inviting artists to apply to A Fair of the Art and contacting guilds and art groups to share our application with their members. Tomorrow night is our meeting to assign tasks and I am really looking forward to handing the marketing--including twitter and Facebook--off to other people. I hope the posters are finished as I would like to distribute them tomorrow night too so other people can deliver them.

Tomorrow day I want to be outdoors a good part of the day. I have the Halloween decorations to install in the botanical garden. The tyrannosaurus rex will be joined by a bunch of other skeletons and a graveyard full of tombstones--I am going to try to get Zaga to help. We should also look at our bees. It was so beautiful out today (high of 72  or so and breezy) that it was a sin to stay indoors working on the computer. Tomorrow outside for sure!

Yesterday Zaga and I took most of our dogs to the dog park (Baxter stayed home) and at the end she bathed Jig and I bathed Gallifrey. They have the coolest stands for washing your dogs at the dog park! The dog walks up a ramp, you tie its leash to a post, and then you wash your dog without having to bend way over. I want to build one on the side of our house so Gallifrey can stay a clean, sweet boy.

Enough chatter, off to bed. I'm pooped!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Let a Fair of the Art Begin!

Today was a day spent almost entirely on the holiday art and craft festival I am spearheading for the Cinematic Arts Program at McCallum. I finished the website, created the facebook and twitter accounts, sent out a mass email to the artists who did a similar festival close to ours last year that is not happening this year, and sent out an email with the agenda for the meeting Tuesday night to the other parent volunteers. Spreadsheets are filling with tabs and data, and the web is full of our presence. I spent two hours easily manually optimizing our site for search engines. I'm not sure how much it's working as I couldn't find our webpage on Google with a flashlight and both hands on it. I hope our ranking improves as more people go to the site.

On the plus side, we've already had two applications from people who are not me (I also applied) today with photos, and payment and everything. Woot Woot! Tomorrow I get to focus on my own work with an order to ship and stands to track down. Tomorrow night it's back to the Wood and Steel class and I'm planning to weld the rest of my table frame. If I get it all done with time to spare, I might go ahead and put the finish on the wood--though I can just as easily do that at home.

I am lucky enough that such is the case every night, and tonight the time has arrived where my sweetie awaits and I must go.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Another Year, Another Anniversary

Everyone needs a Tyrannosaurus rex in their front yard.
Thank you for 22 wonderful years my heart. It was a great day today, and I can't tell you how happy I am that I came home from Gatlinburg last night.

So how did the old people celebrate 22 years of marriage? Well it started with Torchy's Tacos for breakfast after stopping to pick up the blood pressure meds at the pharmacy after a couple of rounds of wild monkey sex. Then came assembling the tyrannosaurus rex in the front yard followed by a small rest and more monkey sex. The evening ended with Blade Runner 2049 at the Alamo Drafthouse. It's hard to believe that the first Blade Runner came out 13 years before we met. Now it's time to get these old bones to bed for some more wild monkey sex. You think I'm kidding...

Friday, October 13, 2017

Homeward Bound!

The more time passes, the more plans change. I was going to go home tomorrow starting at the god-awful hour of 4:00 am. But at noon I thought I'd just check to see of there was a flight tonight I could feasibly catch and a shuttle to the airport that would get me to it. There was, and there was! I couldn't change my ticket with an agent because Delta's hold time was *over two hours* to speak to a representative. I put in for a call-back when my place in the queue came up and went ahead and booked a ticket with my miles to get in at midnight tonight. When the agent called me back two hours later he cancelled my new ticket, changed the departure time of my old ticket to today's flight, got me Delta Comfort seats (which I had been unable to do), refunded the $6 charge I paid for the ticket, AND GAVE ME BACK 2500 MILES FROM THE ORIGINAL TICKET!

So now I am packed and waiting for the shuttle to take me on the first leg of my journey back to my sweeties. It's a beautiful warm fall day, and I'm listening to Bob Dylan playing from the speakers belonging to the University of Tennessee art student sitting next to me working on the chalk drawing for the dinner menu board. We're discussing American music from Johnny Cash to Roy Orbison and the Traveling Wilburys to Townes Van Zandt.

I am exhausted and brain dead (and NOT [entirely] because of last night's drinking!), and ready to be home. I met some people I would like to stay in touch with and see again, and I met some people I could do without. "Yes". "Right". "Okay". "Uh huh", like every comment the instructor made was to her personally. And maybe she thought it was as she had already taken several classes with him. I was okay until 2:55 pm when I was working on my big piece and asked if anyone still have blue glue out as everyone (else) had been cleaning up and putting tools and things away since 2:00. The talker said, "You shouldn't be doing that because the instructor wants to turn the kilns off at 3:00"... Our class was scheduled until 5:00, and the instructor said this morning that we could work until 4:00 then clean up from 4-5. I communicated that information to her, but by then I was so rattled by her admonishment and the bustling cleaning of everyone around me that I lost track of what I was doing and messed up my magnum opus for the week. Yes, my fatigue certainly contributed, but I felt rushed and pressured to finish because everyone else wanted to be done, and I let myself get caught up in their drama. After my firing failure (overfired and fallen wires), instead of doing anything more--even grinding or polishing--I just packed everything up and left.Whatever, shake it off. I'll remember the good parts of the week and let the rest go. 

Now it's time to go home and wake up tomorrow morning with my honey on our 22nd wedding anniversary. I do love me that man.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Penultimate Day At Arrowmont

I skipped dinner tonight. I had a big lunch, and by 4:30 I was absolutely punchy from lack of sleep so I decided to forego the meal, have a couple of glasses of wine, and go straight to bed. It's 11:50 pm EST and I am just now posting so clearly the evening took a different turn. Let me explain.

There was an opening reception for an artist in the main building at Arrowmont tonight. I meant to drop in, but I was busy working. However one of the Arrowmont staff came through our studio towards the end of the show carrying three bottles of wine that were clearly surplus to requirements for the show, and he offhandedly asked if any of us wanted a glass of wine. When some of us said yes, he replied to go to the opening. I asked him if instead I could buy one of the bottles of wine from him. Emily and I already had plans to run out for a bottle of wine right after we finished in the studio before dinner (instead of dinner for me), and scoring a bottle from him would be even better! He replied that if we wouldn't drink it in the studio (against the rules) he would give me one. I agreed, and he gave me a very decent bottle of cabernet sauvignon. Woot!

I ended up staying in the studio till about 8:30 when Emily and I left and came back to the lounge of my dorm to drink the wine. We polished it off over stories of old boyfriends and life, and then Judy joined us. She brought out her bottle of applejack, and we just kept right on going. What a wonderful night! I could have been 20 something, I could have been 30 something, (I couldn't have been 40 something because there was clearly something wrong with me when I was in my forties--I blame Atlanta), but I am 50 something and the experience was timeless.

Now it's almost midnight on the night before the last day (a short day) of class. It has been a good experience: I have learned a lot as Ricky Frank is (after 40 years of honing his craft) a font of knowledge. I'm not ready to go home yet, but I will be after tomorrow. I'll finish up my last few projects (I've already shopped for tools and materials), and have one more evening with my new friends, and then after far too little sleep, I'll be catching the 4 am shuttle on Saturday morning to head home to my sweeties. Tomorrow will be the recap post with the final photos. Now I need some sleep!