Monday, November 19, 2012

Kalachakra Mandala

On Saturday I went with my mom's neighbor, Dorothy, to UTEP to see the kalachakra mandala that Losang Samten has spent the last month creating with sand--grain by grain.  We were able to hear the monk speak and get a close up look at the mandala. A woman read from a book explaining what certain parts of the mandala mean. The sand is layered, so a spot may look white, but have pink, red, and blue sand underneath and each layer has a meaning.  The mandala was very impressive.

When the mandala is completed the final step is to dismantle it. This teaches the impermanence of life.  The University has asked Losang Samten to keep the mandala.  Usually the sand is put into the river or handed out to people as holy, blessed sand.  The monk said he would be handing out blessed sand from somewhere else as part of the closing ceremony on Sunday.  I was lazy and didn't go to that.

Here is a time lapse video courtesy of the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Center of El Paso:


Yesterday I went to lunch with my dad and his friend Raul at the local burrito place.  My parents' neighbor has worked there since the place opened.  When she saw me she came over to say hello.  We hugged, and then she grabbed at my stomach and said something like "Where's the baby?"!!!!!   I said "No babies" and amazingly didn't get angry.

Granted I've put on a few pounds and was wearing a kangaroo hoodie, but I still can't figure out what possessed her to paw at me. I was shocked, but not too much.  A lot of people seem to think that the whole point of life is having kids, but you know I disagree.  Just because you can have kids doesn't mean you should.

Monday, November 12, 2012

El Manuel

I went to school so that I don't have to work with Manuel.  Well, I come home and my dad puts me to work.  This weekend we grouted the tile in the bathroom that my dad built.  We had to float in the grout, then clean off the excess.  We still haven't buffed off the dust.
 My dad is sitting where the toilet will go.
Here's my mom cleaning the tile with her left hand--she has to rest that right arm.
So washing the tile and grout turned my fingers all pruney, and my nails are all white from the grout.  My precious hands aren't used to manual labor.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bailey's Crinkly Toy

Bailey likes to chew on plastic bags.  She likes to chew the handles off.  It's annoying when she decides to do it in the middle of the night, so I try to keep bags up off the floor and out of her reach.  A while back I heard her chewing on something and I couldn't figure out where she got a bag from.  Well, it wasn't a bag, it was her new toy that Ainsmar gave her as a going away present. It has catnip inside, along with something that crinkles. She loves it.  Thank you Ainsmar!

Friday, November 9, 2012

599 Miles

Yesterday I drove 599 miles.  All in the great state of Texas.  It wasn't bad.  The first part through the Hill Country is actually really nice.  I had fun critter spotting. I saw: lots of deer, cows, horses, goats and sheep.  I saw a great deal of roadkill including: deer, coyotes, so many racoons, opossums, at least one fox, a couple of porcupines, and lots of unidentifiable fur.  I didn't see any roadrunners or armadillos yesterday.  The drive took me almost exactly 9 hours--including 3 pit stops.

Driving on I-10 is boring. So I took some photos.
 It's a little blurry--at 80 miles per hour.
 We have wind farms overlooking oil derricks.
Okay. So every time Ross and I drive to El Paso together---which hasn't happened in a long time--Ross plays this joke on me.  He starts to act very sick.  He says his stomach hurts.  He groans.  And when I ask what's wrong he says he has Balmorhea!  I fall for it almost every time.

p.s. I had fun playing with these photos in Gimp.  I don't have a super fancy camera, so I thought I'd edit my photos to look cooler.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I've been a little fascinated with tattoos lately.  I decided to give Ross an octopus tattoo on his wrist.  I used some of my dozens of sharpies to create his tattoo.  It is hard for me to believe it actually turned out looking like an octopus and not a purple sunburst or something.  The guys at his work all thought it was real, except for his boss--who noticed his arm isn't shaved.  Ross is a little bothered that Christiaan pays attention to his arm hair.

I was in a funny mood yesterday.  I couldn't think of something I'd have permanently etched onto my body.  Well, I'm obsessed with ginkgos, so I decided to do a ginkgo tattoo (or 3) on my forearm.  This is the one that turned out the best.  Unfortunately I drew the first one near my inner elbow crease--so now I have green smudges on the lower part of my bicep.  Oh well, it was all for fun.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ross Catches Set Planche

We celebrated Halloween by going to trapeze class.  I wore my costume from my recital.  I tried the back end straddle whip, but our timing was off, so there was no catch.

Ross finally caught his set planche. Oh, and he did his first one-handed take off.  I've been working on moving toward unassisted take off (no belt hold).  Sarah said that I need to work a littlemore on my take off, apparently I lean forward at the waist a little on take off.

It's a small world.  Well, trapeze is a small world.  It turns out that Donovan--my catcher for my IFW classes--is here in Austin!  He is training with trapeze Austin folks and teaching a few classes.  I haven't seen him yet. Hopefully I'll catch a class with him by the end of the year.

Straight Catch

Last Sunday I went to trapeze and worked on my swing--and the straight jump.  Ross caught this video of my catch.