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Monday, January 28, 2008

Lego Art

Got Legos? If you've got kids, most likely the answer is yes. Need inspiration?
Check out the "gallery".

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue

Somehow, I don't go to the theater as often as I'd like. It tends to be such a big production. So many choices! How to decide? I don't love planning weeks or months ahead only to find myself not in the mood when the day arrives. And ticket prices, even for an off-Broadway show, can be sky-high.
So it was a special pleasure to find myself at a matinee at the local Luna Stage theater company for a beautifully done production of "Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue", by a brillliant young playwright, Quiara Alegria Hudes. Done in one intermission-less sitting with a simple but perfectly evocative stage setting in a tiny, tiny theater and with just four outstanding actors, it's a poetic story of three generations of a Puerto Rican family involved in three American wars (Korea, Viet Nam, and Iraq). Apparently it ran briefly in NY last year (to rave reviews) and was a Pulitzer finalist.
My "senior" ticket was just $16, a hassle-free on-line purchase made just yesterday, and the theater is barely a mile away. I'm so lucky to have this sort of thing available practically on my doorstep. I need to remember to take better advantage of it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Vaseline and bacon

No masterworks to show yet. They may, in fact, be slow in coming. We're working through a lot of academic exercises, such as color and value studies, and experiments with different "grounds" (surfaces). All worthwhile and exciting, but not really about "results". Drawing every day has become a priority, though. Most of the time now I am either drawing or reading about drawing or thinking about drawing. I may photograph a few things just so you can see what I'm talking about. Or I may not!

In the meantime, I wanted, before I forgot, to pass on two of the best things I learned in the last few weeks.

1. If the gaskets on your refrigerator or freezer doors are misbehaving to the extent that the doors keep popping open at inconvenient times, try rubbing some vaseline into them. I had gotten so far as to actually have a NEW refrigerator delivered because of this pesky behavior. But with the new one in place and the old one already on the truck, it became apparent that the new one didn't really fit the space as well as I had hoped (we were dealing with clearances of fractions of an inch), so I had them bring the old one back inside and cart away the new one. The vaseline trick worked wonders! The other thing I did was remove the icemaker which was taking up an absurd amount of room. I can easily keep a few trays worth of ice cubes in airtight plastic bags - more than enough for my ice needs which are practically nil. Yay! Way more freezer space!

2. Cooked bacon freezes perfectly. So cook up a bunch at a time (in the oven, perhaps). Then wrap the slices, a few at a time, in paper towels and then into a plastic freezer bag. You can easily have ONE SLICE any time you want it by nuking for 30 seconds. Why did I never know this til now?

As for the black cake - patience! I will post the recipe as an "update" to the original as soon as I get a chance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not quitting

It's been over a month? Oh dear. Unless one makes a commitment to blog on a daily basis it's very easy to fall by the wayside. I'm still here, in fine fettle, and will try to do better.

One thing that has contributed to my becoming sidetracked is a renewed interest in a different form of expression. I'm taking a class in pastels at the local museum. I found a cobwebby old easel that had been my mother's and have the beginnings of a "studio" in the childrens' old basement playroom. (Pastels can be quite messy and I realized I'd have find a dedicated place to work on them.)

Thanks to all patient readers who have continued to check in here. Do you all know about blog "readers" such as Bloglines, or about RSS feeds, both of which allow you to easily see when there are new blog posts without actually going to the site? Worth investigating!