Sunday, December 25, 2011

Resolution 2012

Resolution 2012

The past few days have been filled with Christmas preparations, celebrations, and cleaning. Now Darrin and I sit here in the airport in Kansas city, packed, ready for real vacation! We are headed to a mild beach climate in South Padre, Texas. One of the things I am looking forward to, surprisingly, is Humidity! My hands are aching from dry skin cracks. Missouri is so polarity opposite on everything, including humidity conditions. So yes, I'm looking forward to sand, water, and wet air, haha.

For holiday gifts I made paintings for each family member. I ended up making no less than ten medium sized paintings. I decided to do printmaking as the theme and they turned out great. I only bought gifts for my nephew (army men/cars) and for Darrin (cologne/gift card). I will try to attain some pics of the paintings for this blog.

So as we near 2012, I remember my resolution 2011 was to payoff my credit card. I even blogged about it on new years eve haha. Well, that has not happened. I paid it down a thousand dollars, yippee, and managed to pay an average of 60 per month in interest, which amounts to . . . .720 dollars. Lame. Instead of paying off that credit card i traveled to Springfield, Seattle, Colorado, Boston, and Texas. Those trips are worth way more than half of my credit card debt. I have also saved up a grand towards Europe.

So my new resolution? Eurotrip obviously. BUT . . .I have considered making the decision not to travel after Europe for a certain length of time. The problem is that traveling begets more traveling, due to the number of friends, contacts, and experiences I will have in Europe. People will recommend places, events, and lifetime opportunities from this experience. We shall see. At lease Eurotrip has finally inspired me to get a second job, which means more income to pay off that credit card after Europe, if I restrict my traveling of course. If, and only if :)

Whether I restrict my travels or not, I would like to renew my vigor towards my painting series. I have watched a friend develop a line of paintings from start to finish. Its been interesting to see him start with a small number of new designs, all on an exact canvas size, and work through an intense development of his collection. Over a year he seems to have painted at least 30 designs, many of them seem inspired by a small thought, image, or idea. My paintings tend to come from a mood and a collection of ideas over a few months. Then I throw everything together in a mixed media, or collage style, painting. I have not invested in canvasses or proper framing. And when a painting is finished it takes a while for the next one to build up. Another difference between me and my friend, he is committed to establishing the lifestyle of an artist. He spends hours working in his studio probably daily, balanced by some part time work probably to make ends meet. But with this series and his commitment, he is ready for his new line of paintings to take off, and it is. He is building up his gallery calendar and getting reviews published of his artwork. Do I want that lifestyle? I don't know. I guess I probably have to decide. It's very hard work. If I were that committed while maintaining my full time teaching career I might run out of time for one or the other, easily. I would also have to change my development of ideas to a much faster pace, which would happen naturally if I put in the time. This all reminds me of the book I read on Willem de kooning. He turned down a high paying job, especially in his times, in order to commit all of his seriousness towards becoming a painter. It worked for him eventually, but not after some serious lows combined with complete immersion into the art world. I am just dabbling. I have too many other combined interests to give up one for painting. I guess I will come back to this later.

For now, off to the beach and a week of wonderful vacationing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Go to the East Side Market!

So I went to two small local businesses for groceries this month. The first was the healthy foods store, the second was the east side market (Amish type produce store). I spent about the same at each store: 50 dollars.

From The first store, healthy foods, I came out with a lot of instant "noodles." they carry a lot of Thai, Indian, and cultural items. I was able to find quinoa, which I read about in magazines all the time but can't find in grocery stores. I also got pre made organic soups, chai tea, organic deodorant and shampoo. The problem with the food, I tried four different noodle/soup meals before finding one that I liked enough to eat. The Indian chili was the good one, but probably not good enough to buy again. The chai spice tea is ok, not my favorite. I still have more to try.

Now the east side market looks like a small produce store, and I was surprised at how much they actually have inside. I could easily eat a full diet from their selection. The neatest thing was how fresh, local, homegrown everything is. The Amish girls were in the back baking fresh loaves of bread! I picked a loaf of warm, buttery, oatmeal bread and it renewed that dangerous love of bread that I used to have. The treasures were abundant. Spicy cheese, veggie cheese, chocolate, milk, peppers, butter lettuce, cheese dip, Italian spices, almonds, butterscotch pecans, fruit, salsa, mango jam, jalapeƱo jelly. I left with 5 bags full, came home, and had an excellent taste party for lunch. It was all good.

In the end, i will get beauty supplies and cultural foods from one, and a majority of groceries from the other. I should mention the east side market was very reasonably priced, comparable to grocery stores. The healthy foods store was more expensive, but carries rare and less common items, such as the quinoa. The biggest point of this blog? Go to the east side market! I loved it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Today has been wonderful. It is the first full day of my holiday break, Saturday, and I have spent it pampering myself. I woke this morning and jogged a mile on the treadmill in the art studio, then did lifts, sit-ups, etc. Afterwards I tanned, got my hair trimmed and highlighted, and eyebrows waxed. After that, I went the the health foods store and picked up neat tea, rice, soups, and Thai meals to try, as well as some organic shampoo and deodorant. It's been a great start to enjoying my two weeks off work.

Its especially wonderful in contrast to the last day of work yesterday which was filled with some unnecessary drama and unprofessional behavior which is bothering me. But, I was not perfect last week and managed to step on some toes myself, so I can't claim too much unfairness. At the end of the day, I have to forget it, move on, and leave it in the past. That mental note is furthered by the knowledge that the next work day is already different. Everyone will have already forgotten all the events of the day before and will be focused on new events. Or at least they will tire of gossiping about them.

So, I shall focus on pleasant things such as this chai tea, the christmas gifts I am making in my art studio, my night out tonight with good company, and the many many good things to come in the next two weeks and beyond. Hooray for family, for vacation, for our trip to the beach, and an upcoming new years eve of a lifetime thanks to Tino! Happy holidays everyone.