Friday, February 22, 2008

A Little R&R

Hello everyone, long time no see! Sorry for the hiatus, but I needed some time away from the
public forum to regroup and let some things marinate for a while. Let's see, what have I been up to since you last heard from me...

Paul and I took a trip to Tahoe with a group of friends. Parts of the trip were fun, like the night we stayed in and cooked up some lasagne and spent the night drinking wine and Blue Moon (the unofficial official beer of Tahoe it seems) while we played Taboo and Apples to Apples. My two friends Marissa and Jeff, the couple who planned the trip, are the two most competitive people in our group of friends, probably in all of creation, so it was great fun and verbal fireworks when we played boys against girls Taboo. My motion sickness/nausea/migranes/possible altitude sickness and then the drugs to counteract said sicknesses which made me super sleepy had me pretty much out for the count during most of the weekend. I didn't go skiing, partly due to the sickness and partly due to my fear that I will never find ski boots the fit me properly, but I did ride the gondola up to Adventure Peak to go tubing on day two. And of course, no force of nature or sickness can keep me away from trolling the gift shops for treasures.

Almost as soon as we got back from Tahoe, Paul was off again to Washington D.C. to attend the AIA Grassroots conference. He got to hobknob with some architecture greats at the conference Gala including John Carl Warnecke, the Architect responsible for JFK's eternal flame memorial at Arlington National Cemetary.

While he was gone, I decided to use the extra free time to do a lot something I love -curling up in a comfy chair at Borders or Barnes and Noble (I alternated) with a good book or writing in my journal for hours. I also had lunch with my wonderful friend Michele and a sleepover at my mother-in-law's.

I was a reading fool last week! I finished Perseopolis: The Story of a Childhood in a couple of days and it was really a good read. Its a graphic novel memoir, telling the story of Marjane Satrapi growing up in Iran during the time of revolution. The writing style was both humorous and poignant showed the changes in Iran and in one family's life because of the revolution. The movie based on this book and its sequel (which was also good, better than the first, in my opinon) was up for an academy award this weekend for best animated film. I'm hoping that the theatre near my house that usually gets the less mainstream movies usually reserved for New York and LA is showing it.

I'm also reading Love in the Time of Cholera. I LOVE this book. At the risk of sounding like I should be recieving social security, they just don't make books like that anymore. The first 50 pages were agonizingly slow and confusing. Where is thte love story? Where are the main characters mentioned on the back cover? Who is this boring doctor? However, I think it is well worth enduring that part for the rich story that follows. And don't worry, I wasn't one of the masses that bought it when Oprah chose it as her book club selection. No, I was way ahead of the trend when I picked it up a few years ago when it was featured in Serendipity, the John Cusack/ Kate Beckinsdale romantic comedy.

Well, that's about all for now. Since I have been getting into yoga again lately, I'll leave you with Namaste.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Set Your DVRs and TiVos

I have desperately been trying to post something witty and interesting this week, but my full time teaching, Japanese class and Grad Research class have sucked all of the creative energy I would like to funnel into writing blog posts out of me.

I nearly had a break down on Thursday after finding out that the researchers I had learily agreed to videotape my class a few times told me they would be back next Tuesday and Thursday too. I was under the impression that they would tape 3 classes total (which is uncomfortable enough), not 3 in the beginning, 3 in the middle and 3 at the end. That is practically the whole semester! And I hate being videotaped, hate it, hate it, hate it. I didn't even like being videotaped on my wedding day. It adds a feeling of complete panic to whatever I am doing not only during the taping, but also before and after for me. In fact, I can feel my blood pressure going up right now just thinking about it. I am trying to find a way to trick my mind into putting a positive spin on the whole thing. Like I'm the star of my own reality TV show. Except I don't get to travel around the world and go bungee jumping or ride in a dragon boat or anything like that.

After talking to Paul about it, I felt a little better and decided to audit both of my classes rather than taking them for credit. Hopefully this will relieve some of the pressure and give me a little more time for some creative pursuits.

On a happier note, my good friend and super talented artist Matt, who was my partner in crime during my study abroad days in Spain, is making his television debut! After doing plenty of as a starving artist, his work has recently been showcased in New York, Chicago, Reno and probably more that I don't even know about. Thanks to this exposure and press appearance in The Advocate last year his business has really taken off and has allowed him to paint full time. I am so proud of him and love to see that all of his hard work and determination to follow his dream has paid off.

Please check him out tomorrow on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where he painted a "Reflection of the Buddahs" mural in Ty's "Secret Room" for the Gilyeat family in Kansas City. The show airs tomorrow, Sunday February 10 on ABC at 8/7 central.
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