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The Husband and I are taking beginner Spanish classes. Again. We’ve tried this once or twice but don’t keep up with it and forget everything. This time we say we will stick with it. We’ll see.
Last week a student in class asked the teacher what the difference was between “usted” which is formal, singular “you”, and “ustedes” which is formal, plural “you”.
The teacher explained it this way: “Usted” is “you”. “Ustedes” is “Y’all”.
Only in the South…. :)
I’m still struggling with oil painting so I’m staying with using only one color and white and doing value studies. One of these days I’ll graduate to color. The above oil is of some of the rooftops and water towers in NYC. The next is a fun little watercolor of some tulips for #worldwatercolormonth.
Hasta luego, Y’all. Thanks for visiting.
Last week was the largest lottery drawing EVER in the history of lottery drawings. A $1.5 Billion dollar jackpot had everyone fantasizing about what they would do with that kind of insane money. Myself included.
ME: One day I will win the lottery…..
The Husband: You already won it 27 years ago.
We laughed and laughed. Yes I did, my dear. Yes I did.
Still. Stoopid money like that would allow one to do so much stuff. Help charities. Travel the world. Afford tickets to the hit Broadway show Hamilton which I am currently fixated on.
I waited on the Hamilton lottery line twice to try to win $10 tix to see the show. With only about 11 pairs of tickets available and a bazillion people waiting to get them, I probably had a better chance of winning the actual powerball lottery. At which point I could have afforded to pay for real tickets to Hamilton and get to see it sometime in this lifetime. Sadly I won neither. So it’s back to whatever it is I do all day.
I’m still getting used to this new place and my re-wirement. I found a drawing/painting meetup group here and went to, so far, one meet-up. Since it’s been cold they met indoors and had a model, A clothed model. And boy was she clothed. A turtleneck sweater, a shawl over the sweater and a long skirt to her ankles. My two-minute gestural drawings looked like a potato sack with a head.
I was finally able to get the drawing above even with the handicap of having a fractured bone at the base of my right pinkie of my dominant hand. The fracture was a result of a fall while walking on an unpaved road. 4-6 weeks from now I should be splint and bandage free and able to draw with more than the first two fingers and thumb.
Once I have all 10 fingers working properly again, I’m sure it will feel like I’ve won the lottery. Woo Hoo.
The past few months have been crazy. Buying a house in N.C. Selling our apt. in NY. Packing up a place we’ve lived in for 27 years.
The moving truck came on Tuesday. After it left we realized we severely underestimated the amount of stuff left that we were going to take/throw out. It took us much longer than we thought to get out of the apt. Then The Husband took our bedroom TV off the wall which also took off a bunch of paint and left some holes. Ugh! We then had to quickly try to spackle the holes and arrange for someone to repair the wall. We finally left our apt. around 6:30 pm. HOURS after when we thought we would leave. Then drive upstate to my sister’s house to get the dog and the nephew who said he would help with the drive down with us. Thank you Jack, you were a godsend!
The next morning about 5:00 am Matt, Jack, Kaiya and I got into the “clown car” and off we went. 13 hours later we arrived at our new home, unloaded the clown car and finally fed Kaiya who hadn’t eaten all day. She then proceeded to barf it all up in the living room. Twice. Jack said it will get rid of the new house smell.
Some quick observations about living in Asheville:
- I have to drive everywhere. Yikes!
- I’m leaving a city of 8 1/2 million to a city (and I used that term lightly) of 87,000.
- My new perfume is now Deep Woods Off. I am a mosquito magnet.
- And I live in a place with bears. Lots of bears. Black bears. Everywhere.
Wish me luck!
The above card was made for my dear friend/watercolor teacher. It depicts a city skyline and the blue ridge mountains. No goodbye’s NY. Just “see ya later”. I’ll be back.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is well known for the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. It manufactured steel and was a major shipbuilder during the industrial revolution. Like most manufacturing, steel making went overseas and the company declared bankruptcy in 2001.
The blast furnaces and a narrow gauge railroad remained and in July of this year the Hoover Mason Trestle opened. Like the High Line in NYC which is now a park created out of a disused elevated railway, the Hoover Mason Trestle revitalized the old railroad and it’s now a public walkway/museum.
I love when the old is kept along with something new. (Add something borrowed and something blue and we’ll all be celebrating a wedding.)
Now, as a community service, I’m giving you fair warning. Next week will be a Trifecta of Traffic Nightmares. Pope Francis is coming to NYC. on September 24th. President Obama will be here. And the UN General Assembly will be in session. The Pope and the President will be addressing said Assembly.
My advice? If you’re already in NYC run, don’t walk, out of town. If you’re not here, don’t come to the City. It will be a logistical nightmare. Hey, I’m here to help.
Holiday subway girders from an original painting posted here.
Dear family (except my brother who does not read my blog) friends, fellow bloggers (whom I also consider friends), Here’s wishing you a wonderful and happy Holiday Season, whichever holiday you celebrate. May 2015 bring us peace all over the world. Here’s to your health, happiness and continued creativity! Thank you all for visiting, reading, commenting and always putting a smile on my face. And thank you all for sharing all of your wonderful artwork. See you next year!
I am petrified that I am starting to have short-term memory loss. Or the beginnings of dementia. I can’t remember anything anymore. Ask me what I did yesterday. Who knows. What’s that person’s name? Not a clue. It’s frustrating. Words are on the tip of my tongue and then I forget them or what I was going to say.
I just read in AARP magazine about a test for dementia. (Why do they continue to send me this magazine? I’ve already told them I am too young for it.) AARP magazine could NOT be more depressing. It’s dedicated to stories on how to watch out for scams on older people. How to make sure that you have enough money after retirement so you’re not eating cat food. Tests to see how long you’ll live. And, of course, tests for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Which brings me to my point. (Yes, not only did I have one but I remembered what it was since the first paragraph of this post!) Two friends and I went to see a Broadway musical (which we all hated). Since it was Valentine’s day week, I got them small little heart-shaped boxes of Russell Stover chocolates. As we were seated I reached down and handed them the boxes saying “Happy Thanksgiving!” They stared at me. Then we all laughed. But still.
In this month’s AARP magazine there was a test for Alzheimer’s involving peanut butter. If you could smell peanut butter with your right nostril but not your left (or vice versa I don’t remember), you may have early stages of the disease. I can tell you for sure my dog does not have it. You can open a jar of peanut butter 3 blocks away and she’ll smell it.
On another note, which has nothing to do with peanut butter or tests for dementia, I will give you the best review of the musical we all hated by my friend Josh who saw it a week after we did. He said, and I quote:
“The first act was awful.
The second act was better because I was at Starbucks.”
The above painting was done using a reference photo from my friend Judy who recently rescued and adopted two kittens, Audrey and Roberta. They have their own Facebook page. They are adorable. And, they are now part of a big happy family which also includes Madison the cat and Benny the dog. Hope you like the painting Judalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Lest you think I’ve been hiding in my apartment wishing this winter would end without doing any painting, you’d be partially right. I have a very bad case of S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder). Although like most things, I’m doing nothing about it but complaining. And painting.
I finished a number of paintings:
Then I completed this painting:
And finally I finished this painting:
The Olympics are on TV seemingly everywhere, all the time, non-stop. Instead I’m watching a TV show about how the Beatles changed America. Their first American televised live performance was on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday night, February 9, 1964. Fifty years ago today. Remember?
In case you don’t remember, they sang:
- “All My Loving”
- “Till There Was You”
- “She Loves You”
- “I Saw Her Standing There”
- “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
Today was the 13th annual no pants subway ride. Why would anyone want to ride the subway without wearing pants? I have absolutely no idea. I have seen unspeakably disgusting things happen on the subway and quite frankly I really wonder why we all aren’t riding the subways in HazMat suits. My dog walking buddy who moved to Maine, Charlie, wouldn’t even sit on the subway even if he had an opportunity to sit, nor would he hold on to the poles. Obviously he was very good at balancing and would stand the whole way back and forth to work. I will always grab a seat if I get one, but I make sure that any body part that is touching any part of the subway is fully covered. I am not a germophobe by any means and fully believe that kids need to get a little dirty when playing outside and don’t need to be purelled every five minutes. Based on my vast medical experience I believe this is why most people of my generation have few allergies and the young kids today are allergic to everything. On second thought, maybe all the young’uns should go for a no pants subway ride to increase their ability to fight off allergies and build up immunities.
The polar vortex arrived in NYC last week. It was in the 50’s in the morning and the next morning it was 6 degrees. Now I’m not complaining because I know it was brutally cold and snowing in other parts of the country. The Husband wonders if nine months from now there will be kids being named “Vortex”.
The painting above is the start of a lake-side scene in Prospect Park. I’m trying some new colors that I don’t normally use. I’ll keep you posted.
I started Saturday meeting the NYC Urban Sketchers at the Pulitzer Fountain which is in front of the Plaza Hotel and Central Park. We then moved to the entrance of the Central Park Zoo. We didn’t go in, but sat on some benches and sketched there. I left shortly after that to meet Jana Bouc, a fellow blogger who I only know from blogland. She was visiting NYC with her friend Micaela Marsden another artist and urban sketcher. We met by the Conservatory Water (which I erroneously told her was called Conservatory Pond.) Jana is as Northern Californian as I am a New Yorker. Tall, lithe and lovely we had a wonderful time.
After chatting, sketching, and wandering the park, Jana, Micaela and I got on the subway to go downtown. They wanted to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. We got on the Lexington Ave. express. It was packed, but Micaela and I were lucky enough to get a seat. Jana was standing. As the doors closed we heard the familiar sound of someone asking for money. The man standing next to Jana gave the guy a dollar.
And then the unthinkable happened…Jana talked to the dollar-giving guy.
I was astounded. Jana asked him if he always gives money to people begging on the subway or does he evaluate the story first and then give. The man told Jana he gives out of love and because he always gives money he gets money back. Now he has a lot of money. Jana then asked what he did? His reply? He sold da ganja.
Yep, He sold marijuana.
Weed, Mary Jane, Waccy tobaccy. Chronic. Grass. He has a daughter that’s with her mother now, but he may try and get her back. He also asked Jana what month she was born in. She told him and he said that she was part of the tribe of Joshua. What tribe is that? Where is that in the bible? Mr. Chronic said it was in the LOST BOOKS of the Bible. Oh. We finally got to the Brooklyn Bridge stop where Micaela, Jana and I got off and Jana’s new best friend hoped that God blessed her and continued on.
I CANNOT tell you how amused I was and Jana, I hope you don’t mind me telling that story. I had a great time with you and Micaela and hope you visit again soon.
Here’s an article about that New York accent: “In a really good New York conversation more than one person is talking a lot of the time”http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/newyorkcity/
EXIT STRATEGY: A PLAY IN ONE ACT
This is dedicated to my brother who does not read my blog.
How’s the business going?
I’m doing very well. My business is growing
Good for you. What’s your exit strategy?
I’m not sure yet.
You have to start thinking about that now.
Hey Rob, what have you been doing?
I’ve worked for the same company for 20 years.
Yeah…. My exit strategy is death
I started this watercolor to celebrate the reopening of the Carroll Street Bridge, one of only two retractable bridges in NYC. The other being the Borden Avenue Bridge in Queens. It was built in 1889 and from the NYTimes: ‘This relic of the late 19th century, which today connects Carroll Gardens with Park Slope, is not just one of the oldest of New York City’s 25 movable bridges, but also one of its quirkiest. As in a quaint New England covered bridge, its deck is made of thick boards, making it the city’s only wooden bridge that carries cars. The approaches are lined with cobblestones, many of them laid in 1889 when the bridge opened. It even features an old sign that warns: “Any Person Driving over this Bridge Faster than a Walk will be Subject to a Penalty of Five Dollars For Each Offence.” ‘ If you’re interested in bridges, you can read about it here.