Friday, September 30, 2011

AM spider, PM sunset


#sunset #cloudporn

#sunset #cloudporn

Lots of natural beauty today :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Out on the town

At the theatre

Saturday night: War Horse at the Lincoln Center. The storyline was maybe a little bit hokey, but the theatrics were incredible.

Sunset over the projects

The gorgeous sunset on the way there was pretty awesome too. What a fabulous New York night out.

Sunday night: Rochelle and I checked into our hotel in Cranbury NJ at around 10PM local time. It only felt like 7PM to us, so we asked the front desk girl where we could go out for a drink. "NOW?" she asked incredulously. Um .... yeah. Now.

She directed us down a dark country road to Dock's Corner Tavern, which I see described on Yelp as a "fun little dive bar in the middle of nowhere." Dive bar? Check. Middle of nowhere? Check. Fun? Sure, if you like snaggle-toothed guys enthusiastically hugging you.

We escaped with our virtue intact at around midnight, with said snaggle-guy waving from the front step as we drove away.

This is Rory, the eccentric waitress at Canbury Inn.

Monday night: Rochelle, Beth and I had a lovely dinner at an historic restaurant. We were entertained by waitress Rory's deadpan humour (at least, we think she was trying to be funny; it was hard to tell) and her equally 'interesting' son, who told us in an unvarying monotone how excited he was to be in culinary school, and how beautiful his pregnant girlfriend is. Then he pulled out his phone to show us evidence of this fact.

It was all quite, quite bizarre. Especially when Rory visibly blanched when I ordered the tilapia. Didn't I know that tilapia was a bottom feeder? Her husband would never let her order that.

Rory's Angels

Rory let me take her photo in exchange for taking one of us girls playing silly-buggers. At least, Rochelle and I were. Beth just did her best Christmas card pose.

Cranbury NJ

Leaving the restaurant, we (of course!) decided to wander through the pitch-dark graveyard across the road. Thank goodness for iPhone flashlights, that's all I can say.

Microbrewery on the Princeton University campus

At this point, the West Coast contingent was ready to keep partying, so Rochelle and I drove into Princeton to the Triumph Brew Pub.

We were hoping for some dance music but I guess Monday night just isn't party night in New Jersey. So we shared their sampler beers and called it a night.

Tuesday night: I flew home. Back to the real world.


I found my Manhattan accommodation through AirBnB. It was my first time using their service, and it certainly won't be the last.

I selected this place, and it worked out great.

Mike and Natalia

Mike and his girlfriend Natalia were really nice hosts, and the accommodations were just as described.

I'm now thinking of abandoning the search for a full time roommate, and offering the master bedroom on AirBnB instead. Hmmm ....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There's just something about you

Fire escape garden, 48th St

Ahh, New York. Stinky, muggy, noisy, dirty New York.

Saxophone busker under Driprock Arch

I think I like you better when I visit – or rendezvous – with a friend or lover, but this time I made new acquaintances, and that was wonderful too.

Froth and bubble

I love to arrive, but I am never heartbroken to leave you, because I know you'll be here when I am ready for more of your crazy cacophony.

Bergdof Goodman window

You beguile yet exhaust me, New York. I will never hear all your stories, though I visit you a hundred times.

#centralpark #manhattan #newyorkcity

There is always another neighbourhood, another show, another friend to make or meet in another season. There is always another reason to return.

NY sunset

And so, I know I will. See you next time, New York.

Friday, September 23, 2011

This is where I will be tomorrow night

Broadway here I come. Ooh yeah.

Tales to follow.

Being brave

Recently my company put out a call for art submissions for our annual music/art/fest. At the urging of some of my workmates, I overcame my fear and contributed a couple of pieces.

Last night was the party, and here are my works! I actually wasn't embarrassed by them after all! I got lots of positive feedback, which was lovely. But more than that, I felt they were at least as good as other works in the exhibition, and I was proud of them.

Don't know who wrote the blurb!

I don't know who wrote this blurb. I am not sure what a 'rustic emotion' is meant to be, lol. But hey, I'll take it :-)

I'm ready to paint (and exhibit) some more! This is fun!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good mail day

Look what was waiting on my doorstep when I got home today: my Sisters' Day gift :-)

Hand knitted and felted wool bowl
Hand knitted and felted wool bowl
Hand knitted and felted wool bowl

It reminds me of an anemone.

By the way, it was only a few years ago that I learned how to say that word properly. I always said anenome (an enemy). I was quite astounded to find out I'd gotten it wrong for my entire life.

This an-EM-oh-nee bowl was made by Olivia Sherwood.

Thank you sister! I love it, and you, very much.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend goodness


I've joined the VFF cult. Yes, I am sporting these incredibly weird and ugly 'shoes'. They. Feel. Amazing. While I would love to, I am not going to wear them to work. But I absolutely am going to wear them while exercising.

I trail-tested them this morning in Runyon Canyon. For the most part I walked on the dirt beside the paved track so that I could test out the almost-barefootedness. I loved feeling the actual ground, with all its irregularities.

Street art in Runyon Canyon

My ankle didn't hurt at all. I never once felt like this guy. I am a Vibram Five Fingers convert.


See my new header? I just finished SCRIPTschool with the passionate, creative, and hyperactive Kal Barteski. It was fun learning to use a sumi brush and delectable creamy gouache.

Kal asked us to pick a phrase that had personal meaning and practice it over and over and over, trying different letterforms each time. Back in my teen years, "Love the one you're with" was an excuse for promiscuity. Now, it speaks to me of self-love. Instead of pining for the love I once had, I am reminded to love the one who's right here in this room: me.

The act of writing out the phrase twenty, thirty, forty times was very meditative and therapeutic. I see a LOT more brush scripting in my future.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hollywood Forever

Last night I enjoyed a Los Angeles summer tradition, an outdoor movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Moon rise over the mausoleum

Cinespia has been screening movies on the wall of the mausoleum on summer Saturday nights for 10 years, but this was the first time I've gone.


Gina and I became friends through our Sign Language studies. Then we were roommates for about a year before I married Josh. Those were good times! We get together too infrequently these days. When I texted her on Friday to find out her weekend plans, we quickly agreed on a picnic and movie under the moon.

James Dean

Rebel Without a Cause: another first for me. I liked it a lot, though Gina found it pretty hokey. Regardless of the quality of the movie, it was a fun night out. Cemetery Screenings aren't really about the movie, they're about the experience. So I might even go back in two weeks to see E.T. :-)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Bedroom Makeover

Whew. WHAT a busy two days it's been. I painted my bedroom at last. But I didn't stop there. I ended up with a complete makeover of the room. Come in and see ...


This was my room on Saturday. I'd done nothing to it since I moved in four months ago, with a bed, two bookshelves, a daggy old pine nightstand, and a trunk. The pale blue/grey bedding didn't go with the creamy yellow walls. It was stark. Ugly, even.


Here's another view. No wonder I didn't like being home. Ack.

But now ....

Bedroom, after

The walls are Pensive Sky, a little darker in the blue-grey family than the bedding. First up, I stacked the two bookshelves (need to strap them together, and to the wall; this is earthquake country).

Bedroom, after

I bought these curtains at Ikea. Sure, I could have made them, but I was going for the quick gains. I did line them with blackout fabric before hanging them. I have not been sleeping well since I got back from Australia, and I'm hoping that a very dark room will help. The strip of fabric on the pink chair was my inspiration for the color palette.

Bedroom, after

Here's the fabric again, made into a king pillowcase.

Bedroom, after

I painted the nightstand red, and (after spending a little time lusting after Anthropologie draw pulls) covered the knob with a motif from the feature fabric. The round red rug came from Ikea.

Bedroom, after

The lampshade, formerly green, I painted Indian Yellow. This turned out to be a bad idea, as it's now very opaque. A bedside light is not much use if it only shines up and down, not out. I'm going to have to rectify this situation.

Bedroom, after

The trunk still holds the spare blankets, but now it's sitting on the little blue rug that used to be beside my bed.

Bedroom, after

I have yet to hang art on the walls. This Misty Mawn painting is just sitting here waiting for me to get or create some larger pieces, then I'll figure out where to put them all.

Bedroom, after

One more thing: I made curtains for the little window in my ensuite bathroom. (Rhea, you will recognize the fabric.) I don't need them for privacy, but I like the cuteness!

I am quite worn out, but so happy with the results! Besides paint, the only things I bought were the curtains and hardware ($52) and the rug ($10). What a difference! I can't wait to go to bed tonight.

I think I deserve some new pyjamas now :-)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Long weekend in progress

I used to love weekends. I could sleep in a little, move slowly, catch up on the housework and cooking, get outdoors, socialize, garden, sew ... you know, all that weekend stuff. With the backdrop and the embrace of my family, weekends were a mixture of stuff for us and stuff for me. A nice mixture.

But for the last few months, I have floundered through my weekends like a fish flapping on the dock, desperate to get back to my Right Place, wondering what the hell I am meant to do now that I am alone. My house isn't dirty, so the weekly housework takes a lick and a spit. My food needs are few, so there's no need to spend Sundays in the kitchen.

Yes, I can sew, I can paint, I can garden. Yes, I can call my girlfriends and arrange to see them. Yes, I can hike or go to an art gallery. In other words, yes, I can fill my weekend. But it all feels so arbitrary. Why choose one thing over another? Why do stuff just to fill the days? I have no direction. Nothing has meaning. I don't want to be busy just for the sake of it, but neither do I want to be idle, listening to the crazy talk in my head.

So when I was faced with a 3.5 day weekend (our office closed at 1PM Friday), I felt some trepidation.

However, I am happy to report, that today was very nice.

Giving blood
First, I gave blood. That's just iodine on my arm, in case you thought they'd botched the canula.

Then I had lunch with some girlfriends.

Then I went to the Skirball to see the Houdini exhibition, which closes tomorrow.

Prep, the not-fun part of painting a roomThen I came home and prepped my bedroom for painting.

These are all things that have been On The List for some time, so it felt really good to do and enjoy them. I am excited about the bedroom transformation; I've decided to put a little money and effort into making the room a place I really want to be. I think it will help my weekend blues.

1.5 days down, 2 to go. This is easy, right?