15 December 2008

a Christmas tree story

once upon a time Mom and Dad took Ash out to the Ranch to cut a little Christmas tree to take home and decorate. at first Ash thought it was a lame idea. after all, she really didn't know how exciting Christmas trees were.

however, it didn't take long before she stumbled upon an old ant hill, which changed her disposition rather quickly. ant hills have so much possibility!

the method of entertainment was rather simple yet so rewarding: dip mitten hands in ant hill, dust debris off on legs, repeat.

Ash realized how much fun cutting a Christmas tree can be and promised not to complain about her Mom and Dad's so-called lame ideas without trying them out first.

once at home, decorating the tree was another story. it was action packed and involved tiny lights and cool little Ash-sized things to hang up. not to mention all the Juniper berries to be picked off.

when it got dark and all the lights were shining, Ash smiled big and danced around. she named all of the ornaments and picked some more Juniper berries. what a good idea!

12 December 2008

well, heck. would you look at that?

more graphic design with super-short deadlines, hence my absence from cheese on rye. this time, however, i set some boundaries and i was able to manage it much better than last time. here's the inside page of the 11" x 17" bi-fold.

everyone in the Brooks household is happy to know it should be only post cards for a while.

20 November 2008

2008 or 1978?

November is prostate cancer awareness month. for a five days English wore a mustache to show his support. good man, seventies mustache.

13 November 2008

back to back shows or art on demand

last Thursday at 9:00 am the Art faculty started our second 24/7 show at Snow. the opening reception was Friday evening and quite a success with several big cheeses in attendance (not to mention several small cubed cheeses on the refreshments table). here's the card i designed for it.

for my piece i worked on a new dimension of the Movement Studies: patterns of movement in our domestic space (a.k.a. our kitchen and front room). the square represents the room itself and each colored line records the movement patterns of Ash, English or me within that room. i included a double-time video of the all the segments from which the drawings were made. it was a great show and i'm excited about this new work!

then this week i've been painting like a fiendish mom for the Manti Temple show at the Central Utah Art Center. the show is made up of a wide variety of Manti temple images by local artists. i just finished my painting today and the opening is... tomorrow evening!

while i was finishing it over the last few days Ash did a little painting herself. nice work, Ash! natural talent. but i just wasted my time making this photo all kitsch with the color on black and white. i'm such a nerd. look how serious this artist is.

i think i'll hang this up on my dorm, uh... i mean fridge (next to the hanging-upside-down-bouquet of dried roses).

03 November 2008

Halloween 2008 report

we finally had a swell Halloween after several years of rather underwhelming evenings (dressing up with no place to go... or worse, dressing up with only IHOP to go). this year, we were a ghost family: Ash was the cute ghost, English was the hobo ghost, and i was the pregnant ghost complete with baby ghost growing inside. after seeing the photos i noticed that my headpiece was quite reminiscent of a scuba diving nun, which isn't a bad thing necessarily with the whole pregnant nun joke and all, but still it wasn't really the look i was going for.

fortunately Ash stole the show wherever we went wishing folks a happy 'Hoween' and saying 'boo!' our scones turned out great, a Halloween tradition to be sure, and we still have a little stash o' leftover candy in the cupboard.

27 October 2008

coming up - and staying up - for air

what happened to the last two or three weeks? where did they go? or as Ash says, 'where-izt?'

i just finished working on a 28-page promotional booklet for Snow's Art Department. it was one of those projects that seems to linger over your head like a unassuming rain cloud then boom! you're drenched in a half a second. i caught a glimpse of what life could be like as a close to full-time work-from-home mom and it was grim. my sincerest apologies go out to Ash and English. we were all stretched to the limit and yet we pulled through. 'preciate cha.

this is by far the biggest graphic design piece i've ever done and i have to say i really think it rocks. i can't wait to get my hands on a hard copy. here's a sampling...

i also realized that while i love my computer and and the Adobe Creative Suite, i do wish i had an upgrade. i now understand how bittersweet it is to become 'Santa'. i mean, i really want to ask for these for Christmas.

09 October 2008

hold the plastic, please

the other day i bought a medium serving bowl, a pair of cheap sun glasses, and a chapstick at Wal*Mart. i'd forgotten to bring in one of our canvas bags so i planned on carrying everything out just inside the bowl. as the checker went to put it in a plastic bag a conversation took place:

me: 'oh, don't worry about putting it in a bag, i'll just carry it out.'
checker, looking at me like i'm an idiot, continuing to bag the bowl, then proceeding to double-bag the bowl.
me: 'no, really. i wouldn't like it in a bag, please.'
checker, hesitating but still double-bagging against my request.
by this time i realize there's no way i'm getting out of here without a bag.
me: 'it's okay, you don't need to double-bag it.'
checker: 'but what if the bag rips?'
me: 'i think it'll be okay.' plus i'm thinking, one extra layer of wimpy plastic bag isn't going to cushion a fall even if the first bag does rip and if the first bag rips then it isn't a suitable grocery bag at all!
checker, still double bagging...
me: 'please. i don't want two bags.
checker: 'but...'
me: 'it won't break and if it does, i won't hold you accountable.'
she stops double-bagging and scans the other items only to then put them in a separate plastic bag. what the...?

me: 'could you just put everything in that same bag.'
checker: 'okay. if that's what you want.'
me: 'yep.'

now, i understand that there is a protocol to bagging groceries. my sister, who was a bagger at Smith's, had to watch a training video on effective bagging: don't put the bread on the bottom, wrap raw meat in a separate plastic bag, put tender produce near the top, etc. all in an effort to get groceries home unscathed. that makes sense. but i think the checkers at Wal*Mart have taken that to mean only put two or three items in a bag and don't ever put a tube of toothpaste in with a box of crackers. one is food, the other is not.

sure, i think this over abundance of plastic bags and inefficient bagging is unnecessary. heck, i bring my own canvas bags with me to the store 9 out of 10 times. but what surprised me the most is that i was treated like i nut for not wanting a plastic bag in the first place. as if i were asking Arby's to hand over my beef n' cheddar without a wrapper... 'you can just put the fries right here in my hand.'

hey, that's not a bad idea. hmmmmm.

06 October 2008

proof of God's existence

yesterday afternoon we visited our friends' farm. it was an incredibly beautiful day: perfect fall weather, lighting, etc. on our little walk to the pond we stopped to watch some mules grazing in the pasture and Ash played with Chuck, the very friendly dog. the colors were magnificent.

04 October 2008

Our Mutual Friend, a review of sorts

it's been a while since i've read any Dickens (ninth grade, excerpts from 'Great Expectations'). perhaps i should read some more. in the mean time, however, i'm perfectly content with watching BBC versions of his stories. last night we just finished watching 'Our Mutual Friend' for the third time in about as many years and it was as good as ever. the story intertwines characters and sub plots galore. you meet virtuous, silly, and treacherous folk in poor and wealthy classes alike. and it's very well done (no out-of-date synth music to throw you off). i highly recommend this video to everyone.

p.s. i might not be a bad idea to watch the first little bit with the subtitles on until you get used to the cockney accent.

30 September 2008

once you pop...

in 1957 Ralph Crawford designed this toy. he is a genius. pure and simple.

we just got one at the D.I. (50¢ - i love D.I.) for Ash and she digs. but that's no surprise.

23 September 2008

that's a rather big slice of the pie

so i've been doing a lot of pregnancy and birth-related research lately and it was only a matter of time before some of the more interesting facts appeared on my blog (and probably will continue to pop up every now and again). i know it's not as exciting as photos of Ash or anecdotes about students, etc. but that doesn't necessarily mean you may not find it interesting yourself but enough with the disclaimer.

did you know that...
one in every four - closing in on three - births in the United States are cesarean?

doesn't that seem really high? yeah, it's crazy!

18 September 2008

eating corn

do you have a minute and twenty seconds?

15 September 2008

a man of mighty strength

last year English celebrated his 28th birthday by running 28 miles at 10,000 feet along the Skyline Drive. it was an impressive feat and one that could not be repeated. so this year he ran 30 miles - from the beginning of the Skyline Drive up Fairview Canyon to the top of Ephraim Canyon. it was an incredibly beautiful day and the whole operation was kink-free. Ash and i manned the support vehicle again and i have to say we rocked this time - even more than last year.

oh, right... but it was English who truly rocked. seriously, 30 miles... at 10,000 feet! that's crazy nuts awesome.

08 September 2008


last Wednesday my midwife rolled the Doppler around on my lower abdomen and we heard the sweet swoosh-swoosh-swoosh of a 16-week old baby. that is a wonderful sound.

and here's a photo of Ash eating beans and rice. she now has five teeth and is quite the dancer with several moves and stances. she likes to say, 'no, no, no, stop,' - especially to dogs across the street - and her version of 'want some more of that?' which sounds more or less like 'wanna-mo-mo-mo-dat?' she also likes to pick tomatoes of varying shades of ripeness and redness off the vine and eat them as the seeds go spurting out onto her chin and shirt. she is a wonderful girl.

01 September 2008

farewell sweet summer

happy birthday English.

happy Labor Day all.