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This is my blog AND my website now. Click on the " my paintings" tab to view my paintings. Scroll down to read my blog.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jesus Loves Skaters (and so do I)
Tonight was the annual skate competition at the indoor skate park I have been working at for the past year. It was my first time at one of the competitions. I donated the above painting as one of the prizes up for grabs. It was definately the hot prize to win (ofcourse it did have a $100 Zumiez gift card attached to the back of it). I decided to put Jesus on the bottom of the skateboard with a "sk8er" tattoo on his arm. While it is lighthearted and "tongue in cheek" enough to be cool enough for a not churched skater kid (who would wear a "Jesus is my homie" shirt), it also pretty blatantly expresses my most deepest reason for painting at all- and I think it's cool to be able accomplish both intentions at once.
Normally I line the edges of my canvases with decorative furniture tacks, but for this one I afixed large hardware nuts to the sides to give it a more industrial look: I also perfected the art of fotune cookies making- which (little did I know) is a difficult art to master. I used this recipe, but incorporated a lot of my own tweaking before finally getting it right. Inside the cookies are specialized "skater" fortunes and inspirational sayings like, "Say NO to hashpipes, say YES to halfpipes!" and some misfortunes like, "Rocket is a better skater than you- OH SNAP!". But as it turns out, that might not be such a misfortune, since Rocket grabbed the second place prize in the beginners category (a $25 visa gift card) which he already plans to spend on another UNeducational Nintendo DS game. Unfortunately, yesterday he dumped out my entire brand new bottle of magic puppydog potty training spray, which costed $12, and he will have to pay retribution before spending his prize cash... much to his disagreement.
I am still of the opinion that he got extra points from the judges for being such a good natured dodge ball target for the skater kids throughout the year (and for being the youngest competitor). I often wondered if I were doing long term damage to his well being by putting him in such a dangerous environment week after week as I go to help out, but I guess it has payed off for him. This skater kid had a special costume with a cape:Chris (pictured below) got first place in the advanced category:
He won a $130 skateboard, so he should do even better next year. Chris again: At the end of the night, Marvin won my original painting as a first place prize in exceptional skatermanship, which I have to say I am pretty happy about, because Marvin never throws balls at Rocket, and he is one of my favorite skaters. Don't tell the others though. When I told him he better hang the painting in his room, he told me he didn't have a room... which made me pause... and then made me even gladder that he was the one taking it with him.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Denver Zoo Aquarium

Last week I bought a Denver Zoo membership which I plan on us using a lot this summer. Today was the first day of the kids' spring break off school, so we thought it was a good time to put the membership into action for the first time, with much excitement.
I seem to have lost my camera memory card- and I completely blame my kids. Since I am trying to save my money for a new camera, I don't really want to go buy a new memory card for my current camera, so you may not be seeing many photos on my blog in the near future. I know that blogs without pictures are pretty much the worst thing in the world, BUT I do still have my scanner, and we all had our sketch books handy at the zoo today. We spent most of our time in the tropical building, since it was a little cool outside. The tropical building has mostly fish and other otherwater things. At the end of our day, we all (me, Rocket, Roxanne, and Chloe) compiled our drawings, into this one aquarium picture, in lieu of a photograph:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


My friend, Cat, from highschool came to Dr. Sketchy's with me on Sunday. I was thrilled because she is an excellent photographer and that meant I would come away with some fabulous photographs, paricularly of myself. Is it vain that I enjoy pictures of myself? I think it is because the essence of Dr. Sketchy's is the actual sketching, and I hardly ever get any pictures of myself sketching there. So I enjoyed getting some "sketching" pictures of myself- afterall, that is what makes Dr. Sketchy's so fun.

Juanita Wow was the model for the night. She would best be described as "exotic" and "voluptuous". She had beautifully intricate exotic costumes that sparkled a lot and allowed for a lot of voluptous "spillage". Spillage is my word for when your body overflows out of your clothes. I think it is fun to draw, although I don't very well like it when it happens to me- especially when it happens in the form of muffin topping. I hate muffin topping. But Juanita, on the other hand, had some very beautiful spillage happening. Even her lips seemed to be overflowing. You can see all of the pictures HERE- as I am protected innocent eyes from excessive spillage.
About a Roxy Blossom

The last 12 months have been marked by much change in Roxanne. The progress she has made is truly evident (to me) in her art. 12 months ago, her sketches were barely recognizable, which, at the time, I was genuinely impressed by anyways. From there, they evolved, first revealing usually sad characters- sometimes scary characters, but all drawings that brought inexpressible joy to me (sometimes I enjoy disturbing art) despite the fact that I wandered if it was a sign that something was wrong. Recently, they have evolved into more vibrant and smiley depictions- bringing even more joy to me. At this point, I truly believe the angst she was experiencing last school year, probably had a lot to do with that fact that she was the youngest in her class. I’m indescribably content with my decision to hold her back a year in school. Since starting this year in school, I would describe her as “blossoming”. While she was like a beautiful flower bud before, she has recently opened up her petals and revealed some of the more colorful and intricate parts of herself.

She has found herself a best friend, Kei, whom she loves, unashamed, with all her heart- as displayed in her non-stop chatter about her. I thank God continuously for Kei, a little girl at preschool that really does seem to reciprocate Roxanne’s feelings. I’ve come to realize that my fear wasn’t based on Roxanne’s own shortcomings, but rather my own past insecurities that I never wanted Roxanne to experience. Perhaps I have never overcome them. Perhaps I was afraid they would be genetic. Whatever it is, I pray that Kei is the sign that Roxanne has transcended what I was, although I do realize that relationships become more complicated as you get older. But I still pray she won’t outgrow the new confidence she has found in friendships.

Although her confident determination can irritate me beyond comprehension, I distantly admire the assurance that it brings her. I admire the way she holds her chin up high and her shoulders back, even when she is shy. I admire the way she free spiritedly and uninhibitedly dances her hands through the air as she talks. I admire the way she walks- with such perfect poise and posture. I really just enjoy watching her, and I think she knows that. I hope and pray that all of these things are a sign of a girl who is becoming a woman who will be completely collected and composed and extraordinary.

Ironically, I mostly admire her stubborn determination to resist my slightest influence. Although it is totally inconvenient and infuriating at times, it is also comforting to know that her success is not dependant on me. Her productions are solely her own- because she deeply resents any suggestions, modifications or anything to slightly do with me. I vainly try my hardest to give her my best advice, and she rejects it all. That’s why I am so astounded when she comes to me with an idea, or a masterpiece, or a dance that is actually beautiful- it is of her and definitely not me. I admit, sometimes it is ridiculous, but still, it was completely fabricated by her own 5 year old little soul! It encourages me to look within myself to find that same spirit to create my art with- a spirit that is uninhibited and ludicrous and hilarious and sparkly- that’s the spirit of Roxanne.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Don't pinch Friday- he's wearing green.
Can you guess what I need to be doing today???
This is a gigantic pile of clean launry. Can you find the one unclean thing in this pile? (hint: it is in the lower left).

Monday, March 09, 2009

Butt Dialing

You know what butt dialing is, right? It’s when you have a cell phone in your back pocket and then you sit on it and it dials a number. OK, so I have a question. If someone accidentally butt dials you, is it rude to ease drop on whatever is going on? Or is it your right to ease drop, since they were dialing irresponsibly anways- sortof like a sign from God giving you permission to ease drop.

While we were in Florida, my mom butt dialed me. I tried to get her attention, but she didn’t hear me screaming from her back pocket or purse or wherever her cell phone was (in this case, I was probably purse-dialed, but the term butt-dial still applies). When I couldn’t get her attention, I took advantage of the situation, and began to listen. Whatdoya know, I hear my own mother talking trash about me!!! Well, the trash wasn’t too dirty, or I wouldn’t be posting it on my blog. And, furthermore, I have already forgiven her, which is why I deem it OK to post this blog. However, she still doesn’t know that she butt dialed me... until now I assume.

This is what I heard:

“Naomi thinks that I always get WHATEVER I want! She says ‘Mom, you always get your way, and Dad doesn’t EVER get his way!!!’” When she imitated me she did it in a very loud, obnoxious, screechy voice. “Everyone thinks that Johnnie is just so sweet and never gets his way, but it’s only because he lets eeeeeeverybody know when he isn’t getting his way! Me, I just don’t complain at all, so they THINK I’m getting my way! And when I tell Naomi this she says ‘YEAH right MOM! Like what??!’ [awful screeching obnoxious voice again] and I say, ‘does anyone know that I like thin crust pizza? No! No one knows that because Dad ALWAYS gets his way and he DOESN’T like thin crust pizza. But do I ever complain about it? No. So no one knows I even like thin crust pizza! I love thin crust pizza, and I NEVER get it. But Naomi, she just doesn’t believe me. I hardly ever get my way……”

Eventually I did hang up. Later that day, as me, my mom, aunt and cousin were out and about, Aunt Carol asked “what do you guys suppose we should do for lunch?” Of course, I spoke up first and said “ya know, I was just thinking that we should go somewhere that has thin crust pizza”. I noticed a slightly suspicious look on my mother’s face. As other people suggested other things, I kept coming back to the thin crust pizza idea, which confused them, so finally I said, “you know, I was just thinking about my mom. I don’t think she hardly ever gets her way, and I am pretty sure she likes thin crust pizza… of course I am not sure of that, because she would NEVER complain about it! But I have a feeling she likes thin crust pizza, and it would be SO nice for her to have something SHE likes for a change.” Then my mom glared at me. We ended up going to a sandwich restaurant with no thin crust pizza, so as it turns out, I guess my mom WAS right... but I never heard her complain about it.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Ten More Things About Florida

As snow flurries begin to fall from the sky here in Colorado, I am still basking in my warm memories of our trip to Forida. There is nothing like spending a day in the Forida sunshine, with extended family and new experiences, and then ending the evening by relaxing by the pool as the kids play and writing some poetry in the moonlight to reflect on the day. I think being around extended family makes me extra reflective. It opens my eyes to many of the family legacies (both good and bad) that have formed me into who I am, without me even knowing it. It gives me a more grounded sense of who I am- how I am connected in the world.
But I didn't have a poem for everything that happened in Florida. Nevertheless, here are some miscelaneous items that I don't want to forget anyways.

1. A Wedding:
A lovely bride and groom:

An exbride and exgroom: Who still love each other:

2. I am currently saving all of my $$ for...

the camera that took this picture: and this picture: The camera is expensive- I will be saving for quite a while. The bubble blower is (relatively) cheap. You can get it for $6 at gymboree, and it's the coolest bubble blower in the whole wide world!!!!

3. A Conjoined Grape:
I am always on the look out for conjoindism. I tend to have a sharp eye for it.
4. The swing
The swing in Aunt Carol and Uncle Gary's back yard is legendary. I have pictures of each kid from the time they were babies on it. I always spend a big chunk of my time, camera in hand, trying to capture the fun, squeals, and smiles that happen on this swing.

5. The Beach
We built a sand castle at the beach. Oh yeah!!! I did write a poem about this!!:

I'm going to build a sandy castle
I wish I had a candy tassle.

6. Lizards
After seeing this picture close up, I feel really bad for the lizard. I guess I couldn't see the terror in his face when I was taking the picture. We released him shortly after, and I choose to believe he has no recollection of the event.

7. The Wine Room

Rows and rows of hundreds of wine bottles all at your vending convenience for your taste testing pleasure! Tips: 1. Don't try to test all of the wine in one night. 2. Don't fill up your glass one minute prior to closing time (cause then you will have no other option than to chug).

8. Pools
Not much to say about it, but we just can't seem to get enough of it!


9. I just like this picture and I don't know why:
10. A Coconut Delivery:
Just before I came upstairs to post this blog, we heard a thud outside the front door. When we opened it up to see what it was, we discovered that a coconut had fallen from the sky onto our doorstep! And what-do-ya-know, it had the kids' name and address on it (address obscured for blogger-safetyism)!!!

OH! By golly, a little girl just delivered me a cool refreshing glass of coconut milk! Now I am sipping it, imagining being back in the warm Florida sun.... perhaps I should close the shades of my window so I don't notice that it is now no longer "flurrying" but more like "blizzarding" outside.
Florida, we'll be back!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I have mixed feelings about Disney World. The kids don't. On our second day in Florida, Courtney and her boyfriend, Rey, who both work at Disney world and are Mickey groupies themselves, treated us to the Disney experience. We are very grateful to them, because whether it damaged the kids or not, it was an experience we would have never had without Courtney and Rey. Here they are with their best friends:
This is my poem about Disney:

Mousey mickey wonder world
Dazzled, speckled, twisted and twirled
Sparkled, flashed, silvered and pearled
The happiest place on earth.

So give us your money
And we'll call you our honey
And then act really funny
All. Day. Long.

Stand in the line- twisting, winding, undulating
We'll tittilate your eyes and make you glad you were waiting
And roll you through the world we've been creating
Just. For. You.

It all ends with magical fireworks- boom!
Your's kids will never be happy again- doom!
Now, hop the monorail home- zoom!
Disney, see you again, never!

Roxy the princess pirate:

and, a REAL boy!!!:
Roxy was a lucky lucky little girl, and was transformed into a real live disney princess, which has really raised the bar on our regular morning routine.

But the highlight of her day was when she got to meet Ariel. I thought that after spilling the beans (over and over again) about Santa, she would realize that Ariel wasn't a real mermaid. But I guess the principle didn't cross over for her. After seeing how tickled she was over talking to the "real" Ariel, I got a glipse of why many parents enjoy prolonging the deception over Santa...
At this time the boys were doing "boy things" in the park like race cars and stuff.

At the end of the day, the kids were allowed to spend the allowance they had both been eagerly saving for just this occasion. I tried hard to convince Roxanne to buy a doll, or game, or toy, or something that she could save to remember her experience, but all she wanted was a balloon and a lollipop for Kei (her bff at preschool). So I let her buy it, since it was her money afterall. Can you believe she spent two and a half weeks worth of allowance on this balloon???? After she bought it, I was so paranoid that she would let it go in the sky, that I wouldn't even let her carry it. Now I feel really bad, because I realize that the only reason she wanted the balloon was so that she could carry it AT disney- and I ruined it for her.

Rocket spent his money on the disney version of the game "Clue". I thought this was a wiser use of money, but now he wants us to play it with him ALL the time and I can't help but think that a balloon would have been easier.
This picture sums up Matt at disney world (the happiest place on earth):

The fireworks are the final caboom at disney, and the image is permanently ingrained in both kids' heads. They now believe in magic, wishing upon stars, and following your dreams. I know... it was bad... real bad.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Salvador Dali Museum

Step into the world of Salvador Dali
Of twisted dreams and unusual folly
Of melting clocks, bright colors, and all things jolly

See Venus de Milo and Abraham Lincoln
But look closer to see this painter is winkin
Look even closer and you'll see he's been drinkin.

Stop by the gift shop on your way out
Pick up a dali thing to think and talk about
Put it in your pocket and don't let it fall out!

I am posing as Salvador Dali (all I need is a mustache)
Now I am pretending to be Venus de Milo before her arms and clothes fell off.