Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2nd solo trip (sort of) to The Dalles and more

Let see...what's been happening since my parents arrived from Taiwan earlier this month—we've done the Chinese Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden (all in one day); we've gone to Central Oregon and the gorge; we've done some shopping and gone to the movies.

Work-wise—some Portland Open Studios stuff, some Guild of Book Workers stuff, interviewed an artist for the Portland Open Studios blog (although it will be a while before I write it up), and teaching bookbinding at Rose Schnitzer Manor. The main thing today was the visit to my WWII vet senior out at The Dalles, combined with taking my parents on a trip through the gorge. I took a small motor I found in my American dad's workshop for us to play with...I wish I wasn't so tired and could jot down more about the visit, but the brain isn't quite firing on all cylinders at the moment.

I also wish I could write more about what happened of the seniors I worked with last year passed away, while I was visiting with her. I'm still kind of processing it. I feel ok, I'm just not quite sure how to describe the sense of weirdness. It was a very peaceful passing, so I'm glad. And I'm happy that I was there to witness it so I could tell her daughter.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Strange tale of the spider

It was a glorious day here today, sunny & warm, and as I was coming home this afternoon—riding on the passenger side—I noticed an itty-bitty spider on the window. It was running around on the window frame and up and down the window like crazy. And when it would stay put, it waived its legs about like crazy.

I couldn't figure out exactly what it was trying to do, as it didn't seem to be having trouble moving around, nor sticking to the window. I touched the window glass and, no, it wasn't very hot. I watched it for quite a while, wondering if I should've let it out while we were still in the parking lot (didn't seem like a suitable place to let out an itty-bitty spider). I finally decided I would just have to wait until after we get home to let it out in the garden, seeing how we were going 60 mph down the freeway at the moment.

I took my eyes off it for just a few seconds, and when I looked back, it had balled itself up—hanging by a strand of silk attached to the widow—and was lifeless. Dead.

It dangled there, waving back and forth along with the movement of the car. Thoughts went through my head: "oh my god, that was like, a life & death struggle that I was watching," "I definitely should've let it out in the parking lot," "I just witnessed a living thing pass into a non-living thing..."

It was a bit of a downer. I like spiders, and the baby ones are so cute. Finally, we got home. I thought, well, I guess I might as well clean it off the window.

I took an used kleenex and tried to wipe it off the window. It had hung itself really close to the window frame and I couldn't get it very easily. So I tried it again. This time, I barely was able to scrape it off the window, and as I held the kleenex in my hand, the spider suddenly unballed itself and started running around like crazy on the kleenex!

It was just like in the movies, I could almost hear the crowds roar, "yay, yay! Itty-bitty spider! Go! Go!"

So the story had a happy ending. I let it out on one of the plants. Of course, it might be bird food by now, but at least it had a chance and didn't die inside a car while some idiot watched.

OK, onto work. Made a big push to update the Portland Open Studios website for 2009, and we're almost there. But yesterday and today were both pretty low key work wise. I gessoed some boards, and worked on a proposal for a show in Salem. Got some much needed yard work done, saw La Cenerentola (the Met simulcast) and the new Star Trek on the same day. And now it's time for bed.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

First solo trip to The Dalles

Today was my first solo trip out to The Dalles to visit with my WWII veteran senior. The weather was dreadful—drenching downpour all the way until almost to The Dalles, where it was merely overcast but not wet. But as we wrapped up my 3 hour visit, we were sitting by the window, and I could see the weather catching up to me. It moved in like a thick blanket of fog over the river, and by the time I was in the car, it was a drenching downpour and, since we're in the gorge, wind gusts.

But otherwise, I would say it was a fabulous visit. He talked pretty much for the 3 hours straight, enjoyed the "picnic" lunch I brought, especially the mixed fruit salad, although we didn't picnic outside...the weather just wasn't right for it. He did seem dubious that a relative stranger would be visiting him though (I had only met him twice before, tagging along with his wife). But as soon as I pulled out the big coffee table book of WWII US ships, I was ok!

In the mean time, other projects continue to cook—still working on variations for a collaborative book mockup that the critique group is doing, still working on the IFCC proposal, still finishing Portland Open Studios website/tour guide/stuff for the 2009 year.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Lesson of the day

Signs work!

I had my studio sale today. I was expecting a fairly quiet day, and it was so. Although I didn't even get 10 people, I got 8. But the interesting part was that of the 8, only 2 came from my email/facebook invites. The other 6 came because they saw the signs I put out.

I put out a sign at the main road and a sign at the street corner, plus the one in our driveway. And that was what brought in 75% of the visitors! The Good Prince already is having visions of being made a sign-spinner on Capital Hwy the next time I have an event. I have to admit, the thought of him out there spinning signs, well, that' they say, priceless.

Once again, I didn't get as much done as I hoped. Instead of working while there was no one here, I read the Sunday paper instead. So sue me.

A turtle in pink snow

As promised, this was a long week of nothing but administrative work and errands—grant proposal and exhibition proposal (both with my critique/collaboration group), picking up panels, packing/shipping prints, Portland Open Studios tour guide/website/board meeting minutes/buttons, selling Ann's gocco (success!), and preparing for tomorrow's studio sale. I'm not expecting (nor planning) for a big turn out, maybe just a few people to drop in. I'll be working and if people show up, great, if not, I'll be getting work done.

I did manage to put some veggie starts in. Since the greens were such a success two years ago, I did mostly greens again this year—swiss chard, mustard, lacinato kale, but also planted some sugar peas, and hot peppers (just for the Good Prince).

We had a heck of a windstorm this afternoon. For a few minutes, it was like a hurricane. When I drove past the neighbor's house, their cherry tree, which is right next to their driveway, had dropped so many petals that their entire driveway was covered in pink petals.

Here on our front deck, we have the little new turtle (carrying a goat on its back) swimming in pink petals. The turtle is made from an up-side-down raku bowl I found at the Goodwill for a buck plus some little river rocks; the goat was a little cement piece a friend had made years ago. I think they make quite the pair: