School resumes tomorrow and, to be honest with you, while I should have a lot to write about, I'm really not in the mood to blog. But I know I won't have another opportunity until the first week of classes is over. My mood this past week has alternated between excited and anxious. I'm pretty happy with my schedule so far (although, with the Museum School, you have to scope out about ten or so classes and hope that half of them are good or better) and eager to get back in my studio. At the same time I don't feel ready. Winter break went by way too fast and I'm just feeling settled into my domestic life here in Boston. I need another week to ease back into the crazy balance of school, studio, and work. Which, hopefully, the first week of classes will provide, but you never know what you'll be asked to do on the first day. Anyway, as you may have gathered, my mood tonight is a little more on the anxious side...

I thought our day-trip to New York last week would inspire me...and it did, but not in that personal sort of aspirational way. We didn't make it to MoMA, but instead visited the Neue Gallerie to see the work of Egon Schiele. Gnarly stuff - I even bought a coffee table book that looks terribly impressive.

Otherwise, Neal and I have been logging an awful lot of hours catching up on The O.C. Go ahead, judge all you want. I'm TOTALLY into it - we've watched all 27 episodes of season one and the first couple of season two since the year began. How do we fit it all in, I don't know...What I like about the show mostly revolves around Seth Cohen's character - where was this guy they're leading us to believe is a big dork when I was in high school? But, you know, he gets his in the end. And I dig Summer's non-apologetic feisty attitude. Marissa, on the other hand, could use a little more personality than the occasional binge-drinking and similar risky behavior, but we'll see how season two pans out. For now at least, it's an awesome way to wind down after a closing shift at work.

Oh, and, by the way, while they only washed once, Hair Adventure was a huge success!


hair adventure

I'm getting my hair cut today for the first time in almost six months. That's what happens when you move to a new place. After eight years in Oakland, I finally knew where to get good pizza, where to take my drycleaning, get my haircut, get my nails done, etc. Here in Boston I'm starting fresh, and on a student's budget. I've started using Dryel at home, I don't get my nails done anymore, and I avoided getting my hair cut altogether. But now it's halfway down my back and the split ends are creeping higher and higher. So I've been asking around. A lot of references for people and places along Newbury Street, which is pretty much out of the question. But earlier this week I got a reference for a guy named Joe in a placed called Hair Adventure in Boston's Chinatown. Sounds a little sketchy, but this gal swears it's an unbeatable deal. I'm big on the wash and dry being included in the price and apparently they not only wash your hair before they cut, but after, too. Sounds like quite the adventure, no? I'll let you know how it all works out...

Otherwise, I've been spending most of my time off working toward finally feeling settled here in Boston - unpacking the until now ignored box shoved in a corner here and there, re-organizing closets that were hastily stuffed in the two weeks we had before the fall semester began, etc. Some folks have been giving me a hard time about not getting out and seeing Boston. Somebody actually asked if we'd been to Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard yet. Hello??...We're busy! I don't mean to get defensive, but what do people think we've been doing here in Boston over the last five months? In other words, we didn't move here for the weather, if you know what I mean. Summer will be a better time to explore - time off from school and better weather.

But I agree that I need to get out a little more. Even if it's just one little outing each weekend or day off. On that note, Neal and I discovered yet another best kept secret right here in Dorchester - the Pope John Paul II Park that stretches from Dorchester Bay inland along the Neponset River. We made our first attempt on Tuesday, getting there a good half-hour before sunset. The park is supposed to be open from dawn 'til dusk. The definition of exactly when that occurs is apparently up to the discretion of the park ranger, who reported he was closing the gates about two minutes into our walk. So we went back yesterday and walked about half the park. Here's a shot of Neal à la magic hour on the first day. You can see more pics from the much cloudier second attempt on Flickr.

After my hair adventure today it's back to work for most of the weekend. On Sunday, Neal and I are taking the Chinatown bus to NY and back to see a good friend in town from L.A. After catching up, we might try to squeeze in a visit to MoMA to see the Odilon Redon and Pixar exhibitions, which will be closed when we hope to return in late March. I'm having issues with the whole commercial gallery/museum scene (that's another blog entry altogether) but the fact that I can actually make it to the Whitney Biennial this year without too much hassle is still pretty thrilling.


a few of my favorite things

Belated season's greetings. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza and a delightful New Year's eve. I had hoped to write before the end of the year but spent most of my time after the 20th and before Christmas at work, squeezing in cards, wrapping gifts, last-minute holiday projects and packing for California.

Our week away was wonderful. The weather in Sacramento on Christmas eve was a sunny 62 degrees, but by the time we arrived on the evening of the 25th it was raining. It continued to do so for most of the week, with a couple of breaks here and there. But I can't complain - the low temperature there was still a good 10 degrees warmer than the highest high here. And no snow. Delightful.

We spent most of the week with Neal's folks and brother, plus a couple of bonus visits with friends in town. Aside from eating (I easily put back on about half of the 10 or so pounds I'd lost since moving to Boston last summer) we did a lot of sleeping in and watching movies (Walk the Line, Rumor Has It, King Kong, and Munich, plus Man in the Moon and Yes on video/DVD), plus a little after-Christmas shopping. That's pretty much the typical Roseville agenda. It was probably the first Christmas vacation where I actually took the entire week off and truly relaxed. It was great.

But I was ready to come home. I was a little homesick the first evening, but I'm more or less back in the grind, as they say. I have three weeks semi-off (I'll put in a little time selling stationery between now and then) until spring semester begins.

Anyway, there's not much else to report since my last update. I've posted a few pics from our visit to Thunder Valley Casino, just outside Sacramento, on Flickr. Otherwise, I thought I'd share some animal imagery here. I used to think the song from Sound of Music, you know, when she sings about her favorite things, was a little weird. I had it all backwards - I thought she was singing "these are a few of my favorite things: when the dog bites, and the bee stings..." as if she was listing those things as her favorite things, not the things that made her think of her favorite things. I thought this for about the first 25 or 26 years of my life. Seriously. Anyway, I love animals in general, and cats' paws in particular. They'll rarely let you get a good look at them, by my kitties are so docile and trusting that they actually let me pet their paws. I don't know what it is, cats' paws are just one of my favorite things, I guess. So here are a few images of the animals in my life, starting with a sleepy Sophie:

And Xander, pre-:


and post-yawn:

Aren't they just precious?

By the way, to be fair, Neal took these pictures. I downloaded them with the Flickr images that I took. I feel justified in claiming and using them because Neal rarely blogs or updates his Flickr page. What's up with that?