Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Road Trip Revisited: A Jacktorial.

I had been anticipating this trip for awhile.
Two years to be exact.
The first time we would be together as a family.
The Jack road trip.

So it was only fitting that we picked up a little hitchhiker on our first day.
He was a quiet yet happy passenger and fittingly the name on his cap read, "Jack"
Hope you enjoy his journey.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Empty Nest revisited

Remember how I said I had an empty nest?
Well not any more because it's a boy!
Not a baby but a full grown adult boy!
Of course with every nest change comes adjustments.
I don't get to drive anymore. Whenever I go to get into "my" car someone is already in the drivers seat.
My daily sonic bill has doubled.
He corrects my Spanish pronunciation constantly which you would think would not be a problem since we are in an English speaking country, but hey, I live close to the border. It happens more than you would think. Sometimes he even chortles while he does it.
Chortling might possibly be banned in my nest soon.
He drinks straight out of the jug. He says that he doesn't. He says that he is "water falling" the drink and that is way different than drinking out of the container.
He does it a lot...
I have to actually cook again. And I get talked into things like this Ghosts in a Graveyard. By the way it was nasty. Don't try this at home.
He takes pictures of me with his iphone. Candid pictures where I can't try and elongate my neck and suck in my stomach. Pictures where I am not wearing make up. Pictures that make me realize that all cameras should be banned with the exception of mine...oh and mirrors while we are on the subject.
He tells me that my phone is "weak sauce" and he loads all these fun applications to show how much better his phone is than mine. Today's app was a scanner that scans bar codes and tells you the price. He keeps asking me what I paid for things, then scans it and tells me I paid too much.  He nags at me trying to make me buy one by telling me that if I do that we can talk "face to face" with the video camera capability. He promises me that he will talk like that to me all the time when he leaves the nest.....yeah right.
He leaves his belongings EVERYWHERE and then in a panic needs me to find them.
He tries to pop me with the kitchen towels.
He leaves cups everywhere in the house (even though I am not sure why he needs those cups and glasses with his patented "waterfall" method of drinking)
So am I ready to go back to this?
Do you see that smile on my face?
Or this one?
or this one?
This is one of the kindest, sweetest, caring. loving, and fun birds to return to a nest, 
(even with the "water falling")
And I am enjoying every minute of it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Take that Mr. Cute Art Guy.....

Did I ever tell you about the time I failed my art class?
Well fail is a strong word I guess, 
the teacher was kind and just entered it into the records as an
"unofficial withdrawal"
Which is true. I never intended for it to be official and I definitely would call it a case of withdrawing which is ironic since the class was DRAWING 101.
It was my freshman year at BYU and I was eager to find out what I was really good at.
I have artists in my family...my uncle, my mom, my sister....I am sure that there are more.
I just knew that if I took this class I would be able to join their ranks.
Possibly a great artist someday.
When you are 18 you have an unlimited supply of "what if's" to explore.
I loved buying the paper, charcoal pencils and kneadable erasers down in the basement of the bookstore. It was just a matter of time before I would blossom into other mediums.
I went to the class and set up my easel with all my new supplies particularly enjoying the eraser that reminded me of a gray silly putty. There was a very cute guy at the easel next to mine with a wonderful head of dark curly hair and a really great smile....
This class was promising.
There sat piled in front of us a still life.
I can't remember what it was but it was not colorful or interesting.
Nothing that I would ever choose to draw.
The teacher talked about the light and shadows and showed us different techniques.
And then it was our turn to apply our charcoal to the paper.
I sketched and erased and sketched and erased.
It was no use. The objects I drew were flat and one dimensional.
I tried to look for the light and shadow that everyone kept talking about but I just didn't get it.
I spent a lot of time staring at the object to see what was so obvious to everyone else in the room.
I just didn't see anything except the object as a whole.
Mr Cute Art Guy as I affectionately called him did see what he needed to.
His drawings even from the beginning looked like they could come off the page and rest in your hands.
He would sometimes try and tell me what to look for but when I would try to apply the knowledge there was something that was missing in the connection between my brain and my hand. 
I attended all semester and sat next to Mr. Cute Art Guy watching his pictures come to life while mine remained frustrated scribbling.
I often felt that he looked over when I wasn't watching and shook his head with pity.
As cute as he was I was starting to despise him for his ease and talent.
I dreaded the twice weekly chore of taking the next group of stuff piled on the table and making it come alive. I couldn't believe that not an ounce of the artistic gene had filtered down to me.
Finals week came with all of the stresses that seem to overwhelm a young college student and make them feel as if their life is truly harder than everyone else's.
There was of course no cramming for the drawing exam ahead of me but I dreaded it nonetheless.
I walked into class and took my place at the easel next to Mr. Cute Art Guy and exchanged our usual pleasantries.
The teacher lifted up the sheet which covered the still life which was to be our final test of our drawing skills or the lack thereof.
I looked at that pile of junk for about 15 minutes while my classmates sketched away.
Mr. Cute Art Guy's drawing was already shaping up to be a masterpiece worthy of hanging in a museum or at the very least on his mothers refridgerator.
And that's when it happened.
I stood up and walked out.
Clutching only my backpack and kneadable eraser in my fist.
And I felt free.

Free that is until my report card and grade point average reflected my "stand for liberty" moment. I could have literally drawn a stick figure on the paper defiantly waving a pencil and erase in hand cursing the light and the shadows and I would have passed the class.
But I didn't.
And instead of the F that I probably should have earned I got a UW.
Ironically I found my passion.
I can't draw anything but I know about light and shadow and what makes a good picture.
It has become almost an obsession.
I wish I had known which was the right class for me to take.
I am sure that I could have shot circles around Mr. Cute Art Guy.

P.S. All of these photos are from my road trip to Utah I took in June. I am going again this week. I am taking a friend with me. Actually it is the pigs friend. Look for the photos that are sure to follow. I can't wait to show you.