What begins with “stick”? stick with it? sticktuitiveness? stick-in-the-mud? sticky? stickler for [something other than punctuality]? Well, ideally, my resolve to blog twice a month for the next twelve months will “stick” around long enough to “stick” itself to my brain/habits/subconscious and make me get on the “stick” ASAP! Sick of picking up sticks? Mêmes ici, mon chèr… same here, dahling… So, instead of picking sticks up, I’m going to fling them in a heap on the page and let you scroll through them. Oh, and by “sticks,” I mean “images,” at least in this instance. But I won’t stick at fobbing off other lame euphemisms on y’all… nor terrible puns, neither. The irony, of course, is that I wrote the above text in February, and may have started it in January, and it is now… March. BUT I do have pictures!
So, do you remember these red boots? The left is sanded, spray-painted, and sprayed with “plasti-dip.” The right is unsanded and painted with acrylic and mod podge. It did not hold up well (and has gotten progressively more floral and less scarlet as the months progress). Alas! The airplanes are modeled on the ones my uncle makes, but smaller I’m trying to make a design that works to hold itself together so I don’t need to use wire ties to make the tiny ones behave. I tried that, but it’s really cumbersome. The smallest plane (mini-1) is less than an inch long, and no, I have no idea what possessed me to make it that small for a first model. I think it shrank in the making… things were off-kilter, so I re-bent other things, which made yet other things longer or shorter… and what with one thing and another, the plane was shrunk.
The house we stayed at in Black Butte (between Hoodoo ski area and and Sisters, Oregon) had bicycles, so mum and I went on a bike ride! SUUUUUPER gorgeous weather! There were some steep parts, though, both up and down (I stayed on my bike, but mum got off and walked for a few). No helmets, though! Granted, there’s almost zero traffic, so it’s not that big of a deal, but I kind of felt bad biking past younger kids who do legally have to wear helmets (at least on roads) and ought to see adults wear them when they bike around. Oh, well; that’s for their parents to deal with. I am not, nor shall I be, the helmet gestapo.
Maman and I hiked towards Three-Fingered Jack (I say towards because I doubt we even reached the foothills of the mountain, for all we spent several hours trekking through snow and logs! Her phone is “lifeproof,” which clearly makes it immune to the depredations of mini-orange peel and snow. I did not drop my phone (in its dollar tree case). Oops. Luckily, my desk is made of wood…
So if I were more knowledgeable, I would tell you what all of these mountains/hills/buttes are…
…but let’s face it: I am sadly ignorant of the local (and not-so-local) landmarks. There are some presidents, and one of them might be Black Butte, or Flat Top, or one of the Three Sisters… I think there’s a Washington or a Jefferson or an Adams… you know, one of those presidents? Oh, and probably Hoodoo. Lol.
So, for anyone who has wondered, the answer is: yes, I am still working on my novel! I’ve been doodling ideas for covers, and doing more elaborate sketches, and once I make one that’s not utterly cringe-enducing, I will post it here. Promise. The two lovely ladies are my inspiration for Faye and Daisy, although the reason why I cast Faye (from the present) as Louise Brooks, a famous actress from the 20s and 30s, escapes me at the moment. Daisy as Clara Bow… it just seemed right, somehow. Sweetness and sass, with some sort of elevated and ethereal sadness, at times. Hugh Jackman is… Hugh Jackman. Also my model for Jim Gatz, Jay Gatsby, and Jay Gatsby, Jr because who wouldn’t love to draw Hugh Jackman over and over and over again?! I can’t decide how he will look with Clara’s eyes, though…
New table, new house! Pros: no mold, mildew, damp, or ant problems; about 10-15º F warmer overall, as far as I can tell (my room is 60º instead of 48º or 52º); lighter and airier (more windows—that open!!—white walls and ceilings); larger oven (my cookie sheets fit in long-ways). Cons: smaller kitchen (half the size, I think) with fewer cupboards (we have homeless—ahem, transient—tupperware in boxes) and smaller/poorly-organized fridge and freezer (seriously, no shelves in the freezer? well, one, but really?); we can’t paint anything (the saddest face!); one bathroom (and yet only twice have I needed/wanted the shower or toilet when it was occupied); smaller space in general (but it’s forcing me to box up stuff I don’t actually need with me, yay!).
I looked out of the car to see Ellie taking pictures of the sunset. I looked again to see that she had climbed on top of the van (actually very normal in my family) to take pictures of the (admittedly gorgeous) sunset. I wandered over to discover that maman had also climbed part of the way up the van to take her own pictures, and that papa was standing in the street, also taking pictures. I’m sure the sunset was particularly pink because the sun was blushing from all that attention!
Yup. Excellent vantage point.
So at Hoodoo’s Winter Carnival, around 8:30 or 9 PM a group of skiiers skies down Blue Valley, a big, wide, not-too-steep-but-still-sloping run in plain view of the lodges, holding road flares which, I learned, are duct-taped to old ski poles. This is very good because, as I also learned, road flares drip glowing, burning gobs of… whatever under-water-burning chemical that forms them, which will happily melt through your skis, clothing, or skin if given the chance! Yikes! I mentioned on the ride up that I had wanted to participate several years but didn’t know how it worked, and one of my parents—I kind of think maman, but I’m not sure—said that there’s a sign-up sheet open to the competent-on-skis public. Huzzah! I didn’t actually sign the list, but papa, who skied for National Ski Patrol back in the 90s (whoa… that makes me feel old, which probably makes those of you who actually are old laugh hysterically and choke on your dentures… er… no? no dentures? sorry; my bad) and has scheduled patrol shifts for them ever since he left active patrol (too many weekends gone from family, alas), has ways and means beyond those of us mere mortals. The upside to this is that we get several free lift tickets each ski season! And, as it turns out, we can jump on the torch-bearing bandwagon at the last minute! Well, it was more like a half hour, since we rode up the chairlift while it was still running, then they closed the lift, then Patrol had to make sure everyone was off of the mountain, and other staff were laying out little sticks of dynamite—yes, DYNAMITE!—on a loooooong fuse/cord that burned A MILE A SECOND (that’s, ummm, 3,600 MPH! holy crow!), and more Patrol folks reviewed how and when to light the flares, how to ski with them (in a long, snaky line, not too quickly, evenly spaced), how to line up at the bottom of the run (go to the opposite side of the person in front of you), and how to salute and snuff the flares (hold them OUT, not UP, so it doesn’t drip on you and burn you, then stab it point down into the snow and rub it in so it’s DEAD! D-E-D DEAD!). Then we had fireworks, and one big slightly rolling BOOM of DYNAMITE!!! Just think: I saw high-powered explosives tootling on past behind me like a little train (actually, they looked really cute, which isn’t necessarily what I would have expected from incendiary materials, but who knows?), maybe twenty feet away! Little sausages on a string! But very dangerous, if you try to cook them…
Buddy loves enclosed spaces. He would also jump onto this grid tower before it had its backing, and the whole thing would sway ominously, so I took it apart and put backs on both pieces. Now, if it falls apart, at least it will have to work harder and maybe lose a few pounds. Seriously, have you carried a bag of those? HEAVY! I have three fake-cloth shopping bags of them, and they weigh a LOT. And yes, that is my cloth guitar case. He likes that, too. Indie is not sure what’s going on, lol, but that’s on par for him. Henry Jones, Jr is a bit of a space cadet, but we love him so!
Buddy will do anything to get on the internet. Actually, it’s probably just that the old house was so cold, he wanted to be cosy warm, and the warmest thing around was the modem. How sad is that?! Needless, I hope, to say, he has abandoned the modem for higher targets: namely, the lid of our trash can, turned upside-down, covered with a cloth jewelry organizing roll Lindsay found somewhere in her room while packing. Way to upgrade, Buddy. But look at those eyes! Sooooooo handsome!❤
Oh, and I have a new client, now! I will post pics of my art if my bosses say it’s ok. Todd (dual UA bossman/CEO) pretty much said “sure; it’s free advertising for us” when I asked him if I could post art I did for Underwater Audio—drawings of cute cartoon waterproof iPod Shuffles and so forth. Since I anchor the links I post to useful search terms, I boost the site’s ranking in Google and other search engines. So, if you wondered why I specifically said “waterproof iPod Shuffle” for that link, now you know!