Archive for October, 2007

OMG FALL.

October 21, 2007

I. LOVE. THE. FALL.

It’s my middle name, and for good reason.

This weekend was THE BEST. Seriously!! EXCLAMATION MARK!

Friday: Adam > my house. Love.

Saturday: CT Renaissance Faire > Gilead.

BEAUTIFUL ride through fall countryside. Red trees. Orange. Yellow. GREEN fields. Farms. OOF.
Crazy medieval clad people selling bits, baubles, swords, turkey legs, myrth, iron weaponry.
Sheep herding border collies.
Knights. Pirates. A Harlequin court jester.
A ten foot tall ENT.
Perfect warm fall weather. Beautiful lighting and puffy clouds. A breeze.
The smell of all that is wonderful.

Made our way home. Took a detour to Gay City State Park.
So beautiful I knew I had to return immediately.

Dinner at Denny’s. Then off to Erica’s. Hung out with Erica, Kelly, Loren & his family. Watched Boston kick ass. Laughed.

Sunday: Up early. Picked up Erica, brought her to my house. Hung out for a couple of hours. Adam and I went to the mall. Looked for DS games. And Books. Picked up burritos. Then back to Gay City State Park for a late afternoon picnic. Setting sun. A blanket of fallen leaves. People walking dogs. Crunching beneath our feet. Long walk on the trail. Golden sunlight. Warm air. No bugs. Glorious. Tired. Refreshed.

I LOVE LIFE.

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YAY BOSTON.

October 17, 2007

Ok. So last Thursday night I went to Scituate. I took Friday off so that I could go into Boston to meet up with Michelle who was in from San Francisco to attend a wedding with her boyfriend Adam. I was super excited and even though I wouldn’t be seeing very much of her, it was definitely worth making the trip! So bright and early Friday morning Adam and I were up and out the door. I got to commute into the city with him as he does everyday. I love riding the train in the morning. It make some feel like part of the world or something. And riding the train next to Adam makes me especially nostalgic for the time we interned in Boston at Judy Sue’s.

Upon reaching South Station a bit before nine, we parted ways and I hung out there until Michelle met up with me. As it was we were only going to have about 3 hours before they had to go to make the wedding on time. But apparently their plane was very delayed from the night before and that left them with two hours less time than they thought they had between arriving in Boston, picking up their rental car and meeting up with me at South Station. So they didn’t get there until around 10, but I enjoyed my time waiting by browsing all the kid’s books in the kiosk and listing titles that I really liked. I also spent some time thinking about what I would talk about if I go to Mark’s mom’s high school for three days as a guest artist, as I have been so kindly invited to do.

Anyway. At 10 we finally met up, Michelle and her Adam were driving by the station and I literally ran over to their car and jumped in while they were stopped at a light. It was so lovely to see them both and meet Adam (who sounds EXACTLY like my cousin Jamie) for the first time. Adam amazingly drove through the crazy busy streets of Boston and drove us to Jamaica Plain where he used to live, and around Northeastern where he went to school. Then we drove around and attempted to eat at this one cafe where Adam particularly wanted to eat, but alas it was closed. So we walked around some more, during which time Michelle gave me cute little presents including a plastic cotton ball holder shaped like a sheep, a bag of delicious chocolates, and a Chinese wish character thingy— one of those guys where you dot one eye when you make a wish, and the other when it comes true. Pretty cute!

Then we found a cute little bakery and it was there that we sat and ate deliciously tasty things. Mmmmm. Croissants and apple turnovers! Yum. We basically just sat and talked for an hour or so and then they had to get going. So they drove me over to the T Stop so I could catch the green line to Government Crossing where I had plans to meet up with Dan at 1. So we said our goodbyes and parted ways. I hate that it’s been six months already since I saw Michelle, and that I don’t know when I’ll see her next. But I was beyond happy to have gotten the chance to see her and squeeze her and meet her Adam, who is awesome.

Next it was Dan hanging out time. We met up around 1:30, and made our way over to Borders near Winter Street where we sat in the kid’s section and talked about everything from model airplanes to awesome toys we had when we were little. It was great company and I was very happy that our schedules overlapped out so well. We went to the Hub Pub and grabbed lunch, and that was really nice. After that we walked around a tiny bit but it was extremely cold and wet out so he walked me back to the Borders and he got himself back to Sommerville. I sat and read more kids books and found a beautiful new one of Mother Goose illustrated by Scott Gustavfson, which I simply had to but for Adam. I hug out there until 4 and then got myself back to South Station to wait for Adam to get out of work. I went back to the little book kiosk and bought the one picture book that had me salivating since I saw it that morning. It’s called The Arrival, by Shaun Tan. And it’s not so much a children’s picture book as it is a graphic novel. It is truly an amazing work of art that tells the universal story of the immigrant experience through beautiful and surreal pencil drawings. IT has undoubtedly become my number one favorite book. I am in love.

I sat and looked at the books I bought and finally 5:30 rolled around and Adam met up with me and we hopped on the train to go back to South Attleborro. We talked the whole way back which made it pass very quickly. Then we drove home and picked up Hot Fuzz from a Redbox on the way. We came home and had dinner with his mom, and then later we all watched the movie. it was AWESOME. Hysterically funny– funnier perhaps than even Shaun of The Dead, though I still prefer the latter– I mean, who doesn’t love zombies? And then we went to sleep. What a day!

On Saturday we had breakfast with Dustin at Kountry Kitchen, and that was great. And delicious. Then Dustin came over to hang out some more, and I simultaneously worked on my drawings for most of the day. On Sunday Adam and I lounged around until about four, at which time we decided upon a spontaneous trip to South County so he called up Casey to see if we could visit, and she in turn invited us over for a friend filled dinner at Michelle, Meg, and Rissy’s. It was a really great time, lots of laughing and pasta and apple pie eating, and it was so generous of them to have invited us. So many amazing people in one place makes both Adam and I, who are usually heavily unsocialized during the week, very happy kids indeed.

After dinner we made a brief stop over to see Casey, Ayla, Amanda, and Kyler’s ridiculously cool beach house before I we went back to Scituate. We got home, I grabbed my stuff, and then drove back to Manchester. What an action packed weekend! This upcoming weekend should be fun as well, as I will finally be in Manchester. I promised I’d take Brittany and Kaitlyn to the Renaissance Fair, and that’s what we shall do on Saturday. And tomorrow I should finally be finished with the drawings for my current freelance project, and that will be quite a relief indeed. Oh, happy days.

Pretend I wrote this last week

October 8, 2007

I’m always so damn terrible at remembering things that I try and record every last bit of how I spend happy days for fear of forgetting them entirely. Which makes for rather boring entries. So my apologies. But please excuse my laundry listing of weekend activities because I write this for my own personal pleasure, with selfish disregard for any other persons who may find themselves reading this. People like you- right now.

(I’m already fearful that if I can’t even remember what I did last weekend when I’m 23. god knows what I’ll remember when I’m twice and three times my age. Eek. Life is too short.)

Anyway. Back to the weekend most recently passed.

Highlights of which included me in Scituate. Adam and I went to the Art Festival on Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful day, but ridiculously hot and humid. We spent a good deal of time browsing the books at the library sale, and I spent a whole $4 on seven classic kid’s books from my childhood. Then we braved the sun and heat to browse the wares. We saw some our favorite artists from the previous year, including: the comic genius that is Greg Stones, the brilliant guy who does super simple really long landscape paintings, and my favorite artist who I don’t know by name, but who makes beautifully under-painted oil paintings. [Note to self: He can teach me a thing or two about exciting color, and that painting less = a more satisfying experience for the viewer, as their imagination gets some good use. See below. ]

I would love to buy actually paintings there, but alas a I have no monies. But I did buy Greg Stone’s little book of miniature watercolor paintings of penguins, in which every penguin somehow unavoidably and humorously meets his demise. After much walking around all afternoon we headed to Adam’s to freshen up and then to Casey’s house to hang out with wonderful people. When we arrived Ayla and the gang were watching Pan’s Labyrinth, so I finally got to see it again after many months. The movie is still one of the most brilliant and stirring films I have ever seen. Then we hung out and chatted and then Casey, Amanda, Kyler Adam and I went to Chelo’s for dinner. That was pretty cute, too. Then it was back to Casey’s for some You Tube watching (best kitten video ever.) And then it was home for the night.

On Sunday I finally got my wish to go to a corn maze! We went to a farm close by. It was amazing. Well, the little kids there were amazing anyway. We had to take a little tractor over to the corn field and Adam and I were more than extremely entertained by the cutest and creepiest little boy I have ever encountered. He was the sweetest little thing with huge bright blue eyes that verged on inhuman. He was sooooo excited to be on this tractor going about 4 miles an hour and kept saying how it was the best ride ever, and wondered which way we would go, and when we took the turn left, he was so excited because: “THAT’S THE WAY I WANTED TO GO!!!” and then each outburst of excitement and enthusiasm about how amazing everything was was followed by a maniacal little boy laugh. Adam and just kept cracking up the whole way.

When we finally pulled up to the maze, Adam and I started in and basically had the paths to ourselves. The corn was super tall, perfect for taking the silly pictures I had so longly wished for. Basically, the only reason I wanted to go to the maze was to take pictures of us in the corn. So we did so, trying to avoid looking suspicious as we crawled out of the stalks. It was a surprisingly cold day, the first real day of fall. After we found our way out of the maze and took the tractor back to the greenhouses, we ate some hot dogs and fried dough and then headed back to his house. Mission accomplished!! One of the best little trips ever.

Two Grand Weekends

October 2, 2007

Oh, Autumn. How I love thee and all the pretty leaves and cooler weather and bluer skies that come with the changing seasons!

It was my birthday last week, so I’m going to press the rewind button on my giant remote control of life and go back to last week to recollect a few things before discussing this one. Firstly, I convinced Adam to come spend the weekend with me at my house because I knew I’d be at his for the next three or so weekends. So he, like the awesome boyfriend he is, drove all the way over even after having commuted and worked in Boston. With him he brought the BEST BIRTHDAY GIFTS ever which included the following amazing books:

  • The Invention Of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
  • Whales On Stilts, by M.T. Anderson
  • We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (Helen Oxenbury)
  • Puff The Magic Dragon (Eric Puybaret)
  • The Incredible Book-Eating Boy (Oliver Jeffers)
  • Adele & Simon (Barbara McClintock)
  • The Tinderbox (Bagram Ibatoulline)
  • Pinocchio (Roberto Innocenti)
  • I am A Bunny (Richard Scarry)

And to top it all off, Adam also got me a super-mega-awesomely-huge external “My Book” hard drive for my computer because I basically used up all my space. So now my computer has sooo much space it doesn’t know what to do with itself!

Friday night was a lovely and the next day, Saturday, was spent working together in the basement on respective projects. Adam was working on an elephant painting for a fantasy publication, and I was working on my illustration for Stories For Children Magazine. It honestly was one of the nicest days we could have spent together. Listening to music, painting, being productive together—it’s exactly as I hope it will be when we have our apartment. It was just so easy and helpful to have someone creative right next to you, someone you can bounce ideas off of, and give you suggestions. We both really needed a day where we could work and hang out, and relieve some of the pressure that had been mounting from getting our work done. So it was a really relaxing day, and both our pieces were extremely successful.

Also on Saturday, my Nana, Aunt, and cousin Ashley stopped over, and Adam and Ashley finally had the chance to meet. Which is crazy because we’ve been together for two years and he’s basically met everyone I’ve ever met. Later that evening my mom cooked me a delicious chicken dinner complete with stuffing, rice, and mashed potatoes in celebration of my birthday. We even had some cake. It was quite a feast!

Sunday went by very quickly, and not much happened apart from Adam and I getting a tasty lunch of mexican food. Then he had to get home so we parted ways that afternoon. I made a stop at A.C.Moore with my sister at which point I got a call from Adam as he was driving home telling me about a beautiful detour he just made down a random side street. In the middle of telling me this Adam says, ” Oh there’s a cop behind me– I hope they aren’t pulling me over— Uhhh, I think they are, I gotta go— bye!!” And then fifteen minutes later he calls me back to say he got a $100 ticket for talking on his cell phone while driving. I was pretty pissed to say the very, very least. Oh well. Live and learn.

Fast forward to Wednesday, my actual birthday. Amber, Brittany and I went to the Regina Spektor concert at UCONN, and it was AWESOME. Only Son (who I hadn’t heard before) opened for her and he was really good and funny. And then after a ridiculous thirty+ minute intermission, Regina FINALLY got her adorable little self onto the damn stage to play us some fantastic songs. She played everything I could have wanted her to, including some I hadn’t heard. “Baby Jebus” as she called it was one of my favorites- it had me laughing a lot. It was a brilliant performance which is no surprise because she is just so painfully amazing and talented. Even with her little cold she was flawless. OOF. Regina is the best.

Fast forward some more to this Friday when I got a call from a guy from London pertaining to potential illustration work. I won’t go into the details because of confidentiality stuff, but I can say that he asked if I was available to do a couple of children’s books for a charitable foundation. They’d be story books about various life issues with animals as the characters, and it will be a series of 12 books released over the next 24 months. He asked if I’d be able to do two books by the end of November, but I had to tell him I was committed to another project right now, so I may hear from him about future books, or I might not. Who knows! But it was very exciting to hear an English accent on the other end proposing potential published book projects!

Anyway, later that night, I drove over to Adam’s. We spent the night working in his basement, yet again on our respective projects. He working on his computer, me working on my sketches for Red Farm Studios (my first well-paying illustration job).
On Saturday we were up bright and early and off to Providence for the street painting festival. It was a really fun day as I got to spend some time visiting with Casey, Ayla, Amanda, Greg, Mike, and Marrissa among other familiar faces. And although it was hard work, it was also good fun for a good cause. The highlights of the day are as follows:

  • Getting upgraded from my assigned 4×4 foot square to an 8×8 foot square that was in very close proximity to Adam’s.
  • Seeing Greg and getting an awesome t-shirt that he made for free.
  • Casey, Ayla & Amanda’s B-day gift to me, the board game “Shear Panic” which involves SHEEP. Need I say more?
  • The many compliments from strangers as I worked.
  • A girl from Brown Radio recording the sound of my chalk.
  • Having my picture taken as I worked by a guy from the Providence Journal.
  • Cute little kids running up to my picture saying things like “it’s Happy Feet!” (which it wasn’t), or “PENGUINS!”
  • The little boy who made my day by asking me for my autograph.
  • Having my bucket filled with a hefty amount of tokens.
  • Casey, Ayla, Greg, and Mike all winning!

The downside to the day was being covered in black chalk from head to toe, bleeding fingers, and finger nails filed into points from the friction as I worked. Also not so fun was the next day, when I could barely move because I had inadvertently become a gymnast while I was working on the damn thing. Oops. Note to self: Stretch before dong something like this. Also, being on concrete and walking around the city for 12 hours does a number on your legs. I’m still recovering.

Next up in the Weekend Chronicles of C.A. Martin:

  • Scitutate Art Festival (next Weekend)
  • Boston– To See Michelle!!! (following weekend)

I’m also hoping to make it to a corn maze this weekend. Oh, how I do hope it happens! I LOVE THE FALL.