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My doggie - 1-5-2014My doggie – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress approx 1/4 sheet

This painting turned out to be a very late Christmas present for The Husband. It’s not quite finished, but finished enough to post.  Just like my hot air balloon painting that I was going to leave alone and then I didn’t which is here.  My pooch looks a little sad because we were up at my sister’s house and that’s where we usually leave her if we go on vacation. She gets to play with her cousin Gus the golden retriever and always has fun, but I think she has a little anxiety when we first arrive thinking we are going to leave her.

My old dog who we would also leave with my sister when we went on vacation would sit and stare at the front door of her house  resulting in my mother once declaring she thought my dog was “a little disturbed.”

We had a wonderful holiday season made extra fun by the kids in our family. One 4 1/2 year-old  niece who is a fan of Doc McStuffins (a  Disney cartoon doctor) got a child’s medical bag as a gift and proceeded to give everyone check ups and diagnoses.  One of my favorite diagnosis was when she told my brother-in-law he had “two inches of allergies.” Achoo!

My biggest faux pas of the season was sending gifts to my family in Alaska with the wrong address.  They took forever to get there only to be “returned to sender.”   Ugh.  I’m still waiting to get them back so I can resend them. Merry President’s Day!

The new year in NYC brings a new mayoral administration and possible changes in my job. I don’t know exactly what they will be, but I hope they won’t be too stressful.  I plan to eat better, following a “real food” diet. I also plan to do more exercise, draw and paint more and I swear, this year I will learn to speak Spanish!

I’m already exhausted.

Necesito una siesta!  Happy New Year everyone.

In an effort to stave off senility, I have decided to learn Spanish.   I took Spanish in high school (along with one year of Latin) and I also took some Spanish in college.  Sadly, nothing stuck other than knowing how to ask where the bathroom is.  I recently started listening to Pimlseur on my iPod.   I can now be seen on the subway semi-silently mouthing Spanish phrases. But here’s the problem.  The conversaciones are ridiculous.  It’s either a perverted sounding man trying to pick up la señorita Gómez or Maria asking Juan if he has any money. WTF?

May I suggest to Pimsleur that if they had more interesting  conversaciones I would be far more able to aprender español.  

Maria:   Hello Juan, do you have any pesos.   Hola Juan, ¿Tiene usted algunos pesos?

Juan:   No, I don’t have any pesos.  ¡No tengo un peso!

Maria:  Do you have any dollars?  ¿Tiene algún dólares?

Juan:  No I don’t have any dollars?   No, no tengo ningún dólares.

Maria:  Adiós

Seriously?     Now if the conversacion when more like this:

Maria (at the methadone clinica):  Juan,  do you have any pesos?  I really need a fix.  Juan, ¿tiene usted alguna de pesos? Realmente necesito un poco de heroína.

Juan:   Maria, I told you a million times, I’m not giving you any more pesos.   You better get clean or else.  María, te lo dije un millón de veces,  No te voy a dar un peso más!. …Será mejor que te limpies, si no…

Maria:  Don’t make me cut you!    No me haga que le corte!

See, NOW I can’t wait to habla me some español.    

Charlie, my old dog walking buddy who is now living up in Maine, once taught Spanish to prison guards at the Coxsackie prison correctional facility. I swear. I bet some of those phrases would be interesting to learn.   Oh well,  I can ask where the Hotel Columbus is like nobody’s business.   ¿Dónde está el Hotel Colón?

The above plate is an 8 inch square clear class plate with all of the decoupage done from underneath.  These are fun to do but very time consuming.

Thank You Gracias

watercolor on 140 # Arches cold press – approx.  20 3/4″ x 13 1/2″

A lone musician plays the accordion in Old San Juan while people go to the beach.

I was attracted to this image because of the slope of the accordionist’s body as he plays his lonely tune.  I tried out my new technique of putting some people in the background.  Turns out they are fat.  Bummer.

I am envious of people who can speak two languages.  I have been trying to learn Spanish since my teen years.  High School = 3 years of Spanish (and one year of Latin to help me with all the other Romance Languages I can’t learn!)  College = another year of Spanish.  Adult education lessons, books, tapes and CDs and still I can only ask for the bathroom, the check, or tell someone my luggage is aflame.

I can’t really tell someone my luggage is aflame, but that probably would be a good thing to know how to say if my luggage actually did catch fire.

The Husband used to know a few handy phrases in Spanish.   “Please put your hands behind your back” (he’s very polite) and “Up against the wall” usually worked.   Charlie, my dog walking friend, got a first job out of college teaching prison guards conversational Spanish.  I think they needed to learn the same phrases as The Husband.   I need to do one of those immersion programs where you live with a Spanish family and you only speak and hear Spanish.  I swear, one of these days I will learn Spanish.

On another note,  I joined up for a sketchbook project.  I may have shared this information with a few of you, but if not, here’s the link with all the info:  Sounds like fun.

Yo estoy barracha!

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