Monday, December 23, 2013

Then and Now

Vatican museum courtyard.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What does that feel like?

I've got some big thighs (thanks, Dad.) Not quite thunder thighs, but I definitely have the chub rub.  I have rubbed holes into the inner thighs of my pants. So when I see girls like the ones pictured above I wonder: What's that like? What does that feel like to walk around without your thighs touching? Drafty? Free? I'm just mesmerized when I see skinny legs like that. Wow.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Watercolor 2

So yeah, I am alive, and I've actually been sort of busy. This month I have an unlimited pass to Yoga Yoga, and I've gone 8 times so far. I've also been working on my watercolor paintings. This session (each session is 5 weeks) I am taking watercolor 2. The class is pretty much the same, but we get more one on one attention.
We are supposed to complete 3 paintings. I have managed to complete 2 so far--with lots of work outside of class. I'll start on a third painting today or tomorrow. Monday is our last class. I doubt I will finish, but at least I finished two paintings and I really like them.
This first one is a recreation of a section of a neo-impressionist painting. I'm very happy with how it turned out.
This second one is a recreation of a photo that I took in the Vatican Museum. The windows were very old, with poured glass, so the buildings in the background were very distorted. This is the second attempt at this painting. It is amazing how much better it is than the first painting. I spent a very long time working on this one. I think it is actually frame-worthy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bailey and the PS4

The PS4 controller has a speaker in it.  Sound coming out of the controller (or anything small really) disturbs Bailey. She walked around on the couch crying and pawing at Ross. It is like she's begging him to stop. He stopped for a while (watched Key and Peele) and she curled up on his chest. Then he started playing again. I think she's just trying to ignore the voice coming from the controller. They are so cute together.

And just as an aside--it is currently 46 degrees outside and pouring rain. This weekend is supposed to be cold. Hmpf.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ross's Big Day

Today is Ross's birthday.
He started off by opening TWO packages of cookies sent to him by his admirers on the East coast.
For lunch we went bowling at The Goodnight.
I had a chicken fried antelope sandwich and tomato basil soup.
Ross had a burger.
After bowling wore us out we played a few games of shuffleboard.

Ross got to have his favorite food for dinner--that's right--pizza. And I got him a second controller for the PS4.  Yeah, we have a PS4 and dad bought him Call of Duty Ghost for his birthday. I feel bad that I didn't make him a cake, but he has a ton of cookies to eat. I'll make him something this weekend.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17, 2013, Austin, Texas

At nearly 6pm the internet is reporting the temperature as 86 degrees here in Austin. Our thermometer says 77.  We may have broken a record high for today. Too bad we were so worn out from PS4 play yesterday to really go out and enjoy the sunny warm weather. I'm tempted to fill the tub and hang out in there tomorrow.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Goodbye My Beloved Dragon

My beloved cup is dead. As I've mentioned before, my mom bought this for me at CM. It was a good size and I could put it in the microwave. The best part was the handle.

I searched and searched the web, and can't find one like it. Pout. Pout. I have no idea what brand it is.  All I have is the mark on the bottom of the cup. I still have the padded box it came in--no markings. Oh well, time for something new I guess.  I'm really liking these tea cups.

I have no clue what this mark says.....


We recently took a glass working class in South Austin. When the glass turns molten it is very strange. You are supposed to slowly rotate the glass and push inward to form a ball. It wasn't as easy as the demo made it look.
The flame looks orange when you put the glass in.
The safety glasses block the orange flame and you can see much better.
Close up--trying to form a ball. The molten glass glows orange----the color goes through the glass and you can see it on my right fingertips.
We left our "drink stirrers" at the shop so that they could be set in the kiln. The middle one and the one on the far right are Ross's. The middle one is really cool. The pointier one second from the right is very short. I'm planning on using it as a hair stick.
The class was fun I guess. I did feel like a dope because I wasn't very good at it: I managed to shatter a chip off one of my sticks, and I absent mindedly tried to pick up the chip--uh, very hot!

Phallic Fungus

Ross thought I ripped out this mushroom and left it on the sidewalk for him. I did not. Kind of freaky. I looked in the front yard and discovered where it came from, along with another one.

The end is covered in muddy looking slime. This is definitely not a mushroom I want to eat.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ready, Go!

After finding out that Kitson had a blow out between Austin and College Station and had to wait hours for AAA we vowed to teach her how to change a tire before Thanksgiving. Tonight Kitson came over for dinner and changed Ross's flattened tire before dinner. Then after dinner she reinflated the the tire, inflated the spare to the correct pressure, and swapped them out. She had a great technique for loosening the lug nuts and did a great job overall. We bought her a jumper box/air pump so that she's more prepared next time she's on the road.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Simple Socks

So I knitted these simple socks with cheap yarn from Big Lots. Just because it is cheap doesn't mean it is low quality. I'm fairly certain the yarn is 100% wool. I love the colors too.

These are afterthought heel socks. That means I basically knit a tube sock with a special line for the heel. I pulled out the line and then knitted in the heel. This makes it easy to replace the heel if it gets worn out. I just wanted to try out the technique. 

Even though these socks were super simple and I knitted them two at a time (toe up) it took me forever. I kept getting side-tracked by other projects. Also, I knit them on size 0 (2mm)... needles. I finally finished these on the plane to/from Europe. The socks are a little slouchy. I might throw them in the dryer to see if I can shrink them just a little. And since they are knit in completely stockinette stitch they aren't at all springy/stretchy. I did knit a stretchy lace cuff to help keep them up.

I already have my next project picked out. I have bought the pattern, the yarn, and done the swatch. I will cast it on tonight and plan on knitting it (at least partly) while driving to/from El Paso. Well, while Ross drives.

St. Peter's Basilica

We only took a short break between the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's.  When we got there the line was obnoxiously long--you can see the line in the second photo--wrapping around the left curve. It was even longer...Ross didn't want to wait. People said it was moving quickly. After walking around a little we went back to see how much it had moved--I didn't want to miss the duomo and St. Peter's Cupola. It really had moved quickly, so Ross stood in line while I went to get some cash from the Bancomat (ATM.) I think we waited around 45 minutes to get inside, and we headed straight for the dome.
We paid the extra 2 euro to take the elevator up, but you still have to do stairs, and they are cramped. I got sick of waiting for the elevator down and took the stairs.
View from the top of the cupola. In the center there are chairs set up for mass I guess.
I mailed some postcards from the Vatican. Two have already arrived. I haven't heard anything about the postcards we sent from Athens.
St. Peter's has several cupolas.
St. Peter's feet. Everyone (except me it seems) rubs them as they walk by so the toes are completely rubbed off his right foot and smooshed and cartoony on his left foot. I really wanted to take a photo and the old ladies behind me got angry. If I had been touching it, it would have been okay...but to have his feet there, and no one touching them seemed to bother the ladies.
Handsome Swiss Guard.
So, there were a couple of strange things in St. Peter's. There was a wall with all the Pope's names inscribed on it, but it ended at JPII. JPII's crypt was there, and something was inscribed on the floor. I also thought he was there, on display, but apparently that was Pope John XXIII. It was creepy, and people were taking photos.

Vatican Museum

Just a selection of the photos I took in the Vatican Museum. We burned out after 4 hours...and so we didn't see everything.
Looking down onto the courtyard.
Must take photo of peacock.
We saw tons of sculptures. The flowing, almost transparent look of the fabric is amazing.
River God.
The staircase is a double spiral. Last time we were there you could race down the spirals and see who won. This time one side was closed off and there were "speed bumps" at the beginning to keep you from going fast.


I'm in my third round of watercolor classes and I've finally finished some paintings.
This one was basically an exercise. Practicing different techniques all on one sheet of paper.
Here is the octopus I worked forever on. I finally painted the octopus part. I'm not thrilled with it, but I learned some things while painting it.
This brain coral and the fish above it is my favorite part of the painting. I kind of like the curled up tentacle too. It reminds me of the curl on the top of a cello.
I finished this one last night. I like it. It looks better in person, and from a little far away. It is a closed trumpet flower surrounded by flowers.

Friday, October 25, 2013


I have fond memories of visiting Hydra as a child. We took a boat out to visit the island, soak up some sun, and cool off our toes in the water.

There are no cars, bicycles, or motorcycles on hydra and it is hilly, so if you want to get around, they offer donkeys.
For lunch we had some kebabs in pitas and fried zucchini balls. The star of lunch was the fries, which came with feta and oregano. It's really the best way to eat fries. Even better than truffle aoli. I don't have a lot of food porn photos. Usually I was just too hungry or too forgetful to take photos of what I was eating.

When I was a kid we used to get huge muffins on Hydra. I didn't find a bakery with muffins, but I did get a great piece of cinnamon cake. We saved the cake and ate it down by the water.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cats and Dogs

There were a lot of cats in Italy and Greece. I saw the bulk of them on Hydra. Some of the cats are really good beggars. We had some kittens that were practically climbing our legs to get some food. We were total suckers and fed them.

The dogs in Italy and Greece are different. In Italy the dogs were on leashes. In Greece the dogs were roaming around or just laying around--but a lot of them had collars. When I lived in Greece before people didn't really have dogs and cats as pets. Now there are stores devoted to pet care.

We saw two interesting dog-related things. The first one was a dog that actually used the cross walks. He waited to cross the street, and then cross another. He could have walked across the street diagonally, but he waited for the cross walk. It was hilarious. The second thing we saw was dogs with water bottles in their mouths. People give the dogs a bottle of water and the dog will bite it and drink the water that dribbles out.
Fat kitty at the leather school behind Santa Croce in Florence.
This is how the dogs in Greece were--just laying around nothing phased them.
Cat at the Acropolis, where there were many cats.
Cat family in an area with ruins.
Sleepy kitty in Hydra.
Kitties in the shade.
Blue-eyed kitty.
This kitty on Hydra looks like our old cat Charlie (who we got in Greece.)