Tuesday, January 06, 2009

And....we're back

What a nice holiday I had of 2 weeks. I can't say that I did that much, but I had a heck of a time just relaxing and catching up with "stuff". J and I traveled to PA twice, and made it into DC a couple of times, trying to catch the pre-inauguration happenings.

Break started for me around the 20th of December. I had a good start by having an amazing meal at Nora's, in DC. It's a certified organic restaurant, and well, they deserve it. The food was fantastic, and it felt like I was sitting in someones dining room, not a stuffy, trendy upscale type place. We both had the vegetarian tasting meal, with a great start to a creamy and delectable black bean soup, followed by an amazing onion tart....with goat cheese and roasted red peppers, and finished up with vegetable risotto (I was stuffed) and a molten chocolate cake. YUM! Needless to say I was a happy camper. Much better than than the vegetarian "flan" at a very different place--- don't do it, it's disgusting. I would happily go there again and again. It was a great way to start the break.

After that we actually ventured to this Russian Bar, for an outstanding martini! Of course! What else are you gonna drink it a red velvet lounge with the staff all in black and using their accents. The music, was less than stellar (Russian electronica??). But it was a fun way to end the night.

The rest of that weekend went by and before we knew it we were headed up to PA to see my family for Christmas, but not before we gathered all the goods to create a nice couple of meals for my family. This year in lieu of gifts J and I decided to cook fom my family. So we bought the ingredients for a nice french onion soup (plenty of cheese and bread especially) for Christmas Eve, and then for Christmas I was going to make a really nice baked pasta and spicy broccoli.

In case you haven't guess it was a pretty low-key kind of Christmas for us. My parents had quite a year, and we all figured as long as we got together that would be just fine. If only my sisters had felt that way.... Unfortunately they don't really get along and avoided all contact this year. Oh well.

Christmas Eve was nice. We just ate a late meal, and chatted. My sister's boyfriend played some music on the Mandolin. Just really relaxing. Christmas day was quiet as well. It was just J, me and my parents. We all woke up late, started to cook, and then ate. After that, J and I went to a traditional Christmas Day movie : Benjamin Button. It was good, very much reminiscent of Forrest Gump, particularly because it had the same screenwriter or something... But good. Nice effects of aging etc...

Boxing day was a little different. J and I were still there, and then my older sister and niece arrived. We had a big lunch and then decided to get on our way.

The next few days we kind of took a little break. We made it to see Slum Dog Millionaire-- A great movie, highly recommend it. I laughed, I cried.. a fantastic growing up/gangster/love/comedy/slightly Bollywood type movie that was seamless. I loved it.

We also managed to get downtown to the Hirschhorn Museum and looked at all the new exhibits. A few nice ones. One all of different kinds of portraits....

New Year's was spent up and PA again, although in a different direction. J and I went up to visit ATO. We had a really low-key New Year's by staying in and playing the Wii! Which is completely AWESOME! I loved it so much that I really want one. Although, I really do think it's more of a social way to play video games. I don't think I would have as much fun all by my little self. We bowled, skied, played tennis, raced, hula-hooped, practiced yoga poses...among other things. It was hilarious for us all to be making such huge movements that had some very little impact. We ended the old year by drinking a little champagne, and woke up in the new year to the sounds of almost-2-year-old O running around playing.

We made the trek back to VA, and just after I parked the car in the drive way I became seriously...ill. Ugh... What a way to finish out the end of a holiday (and it wasn't even a hangover). I was sick through the 3rd, and managed to make a recovery right before school started. I spent hours not being able to keep anything down, and poor J wondered if I should have gone to the hospital. But I survived. And I feel fine now.

Now it's the onset of a new year, some new students, and some new projects for them to do. I just have to make them student ready. The first 2 days back have been pretty good. Some students are finishing some self-portrait projects they started before break. But sadly, most are unfinished. 15 students left over the holiday and we received 20 new students. Quite a turn over. So we started tessellations. Always a good one to get back into the swing of things. Next I'd like to do an architecture study of DC. There are so many interesting buildings and styles in the area.

Debating on an art position that's opened up at a "normal" high school in my area. I certainly like my job, but it really has it's moments where I don't. And obviously there really is no way for me to build a program, or continuously improve students abilities for the long term. All I really do here is expose them to newer things, or different things. It is so rare to have a student for more than one project. And I kind of long for some growth in teaching.

Decisions, decisions.......

So the new year should be looking up. I've already been sick, so I'm looking forward to a healthy and happy year. I have a house that's my home now, and steadily improving it everyday. A great relationship with someone who loves me for being myself. What more could I want? Well.......

Some things I NEED to do... Create more art. I NEED TO. Not just because I should, but it's really who I am. It's pretty sad when all I seem to do is make sample projects for my students to see as examples. It's not at all what kind of art I prefer to do... (although sometimes it is).

So-- we're all back. Happy New Year to all of you! May you have a healthy, happy and wonderful 2009.

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