V did skiing lessons for 5 days from Monday 4th August.
I was really worried about this. The last time we put him in a new childcare situation was a year ago at Daydream Island, and they called me back after half an hour as he was throwing himself at the fence wanting to go out and find me.
But I couldn’t ski either, and Andrew can’t snowboard well enough to teach it to a little kid, and V was really keen to ski, so we forged ahead with all-day ski school. We spent a few weeks telling him about it, trying to make sure that being left at ski school wouldn’t be a surprise. On the first day, when I dropped him off, he did what I call “TV face”: the blank stare of dealing with bad feelings by ignoring the world. I waited for a phone call, but none came. He was not pleased on Monday afternoon when I had lost his pickup card and had to go get a new one, and on Tuesday afternoon they said he’d been a bit tearful, but otherwise he did fairly well.
Our biggest struggle of the week was that he was refusing to eat, probably because he’d been sick the Saturday before. “You’d be less tired and sad if you ate!” we encouraged him on the Tuesday.
“I wasn’t hungry,” he replied. “I just missed you guys!”
Aww. Also: incorrect.
And he did make an exception for hot chocolates and donuts at the conclusion of each day.
He came along well, as far as we could tell. On the first day, the Monday, we were told that “tomorrow the edgie-wedgie might come off”, the edgie-wedgie being the very unfortunately named device that gets attached to the front of children’s skis to help them hold the snow plow position all the time. V was very worried — I think a day later, on Tuesday afternoon — when we said he’d be riding the chairlift the next day, but it turned out he thought we meant the Gunbarrel Express, which zooms high and fast over the children’s beginner area. He was most relieved when we pointed out the lower and statelier Easy Does It chair over the beginners area.
Thredboland is maybe hurting themselves a bit here, because pre-chairlift, the little children are towed around on a trailer behind Freddie the Snow Train! If that’s not an incentive to stay in the land of magic carpets, what would be?
It seemed that he was coming along fine, so on Wednesday afternoon Andrew — who was pretty ill and hadn’t otherwise been on the snow that day — had a very special appointment after V’s class, to ride the chairlift up and come down Friday Flat together. We assumed, I think, having seen little children carefully snaking down the hill behind their instructors, that Andrew would be much faster than V. Which is why I was surprised to see this:
V is in the orange helmet and Andrew is… nowhere to be seen. V came right down onto the flat and came to a halt by himself before he started looking for me:
When he heard me calling, he was very very worried, and not because he’d lost Andrew, but because he was certain that Andrew had no idea to stop. “Daddy doesn’t know how to make a triangle!” This is narrowly true: to this day, Andrew indeed has no idea how to snowplow on a snowboard. I tried and failed (and later Andrew tried and failed) to convince V that snowboarding is separate but equal; he persists in believing that it is some kind of violation of the laws of nature, or at least of snow. We were surprised that he didn’t like the idea: V would love nothing more than to learn to skateboard and we assumed he’d be displeased to learn that little children can’t take snowboarding lessons at Thredbo. He seemed to believe that, since he’d never heard of it, it wasn’t possible.
It turned out that they’d got to the top of the chairlift and Andrew had suggested they do the Giddy Up run, which is even easier than Friday Flat but, in our opinion, prettier, and almost always less crowded. V denounced it as “only for little children”, having graduated from it earlier that very day. So they set off down the main slope and V had just pointed himself at the bottom and gunned it. Andrew is an intermediate snowboarder, but he was ill (the next day he was bedridden with the flu) and out of practice, and he fell over, and by the time he got up again, V had disappeared entirely.
Thursday was the kids race day, when the pro shot of V was taken. This meant that when it was my turn to do a run with him Thursday afternoon, I could slow him up very very slightly by suggesting that he do racing turns around the poles placed in the slope. That meant I could at least keep him in sight.
My own ski instructor, who was full of helpful tales of people falling off chairlifts and getting spinal injuries and such, said that in her experience, kids will do turns voluntarily once they take a very bad fall on the “straight down the hill” approach. So, that’s something to look forward to. In the meantime we will have to convince him that adults are just weirdly slow and he needs to have patience.
We had hoped to stick around for the children’s flare run down Friday Flat on the Thursday night but V was too cold and insisted on going back to the apartment. So we didn’t get to see him ski again, although his last day was Friday. His instructor said they had gone up to Merritts, which meant V had ridden the Gunbarrel Express after all (“we went up the mountain! and I wasn’t scared!”) and afterwards he had refused to do any more runs down Friday Flat. The instructor thought he had “jelly legs” from tiredness, but I’m guessing his trip up to Merritts meant that Friday Flat was now exclusively for little children and he wouldn’t lower himself to a goodbye run.
In terms of skill, he’s a strong beginner. Given another day, he would have been doing some easier intermediate runs. In their terminology, this is “level pink plus”. He was rather horrified, because he assumed the colours are an identity label, and not a progression, and was very insistent all week that he was pink minus, always had been pink minus, and always will be pink minus, thank you very much.
The process of the children riding the chairlift is amusing, because it’s a quad chair and there are more than three children per class, so they don’t all ride up with their instructor, but instead get loaded onto chairs filled with adults (beginners, mostly, given what chair it is). They’re too young (3 and up) to be able to really work out the sequence of events involved in getting up to the loading zone (wait at the barrier until a chair is gliding past, then hurry out behind it to the loading point before the next chair comes around) but luckily there were copious lifties standing by to help them out and, if needed, actually lift them and sit them down. The adult riders just operated the safety bar for the children.
I didn’t ride a chair with V during his classes but I did with several other children. The first stared stonily into the distance, the third was busy trying to wave to her mother on the chair in front, and the second gave me a pretty lengthy summary of all of the major scenes in Frozen. I’d love to know how V did with any strange adult he was assigned to ride with.
One thing the children seemed to have in common was a ritual about the safety bar. A child next to me was teaching his own parent the ritual. “Look! You blow on the bar! Then you rub it! Then it comes up all by itself!” I lifted the bar and the child was pretty unhappy about the magic trick being ruined. I thought it was individual to that kid until Andrew rode up with V and reported that V was mystifying him with an elaborate safety bar magic trick, which turned out to be the same one. After that, other children I rode with did it too. I’d love to know if it’s original to the children of Thredboland and perpetuated among them, or (sadly, I think more likely) whether it’s something they’re actively taught to avoid the alternative of them attempting to lift the bar by themselves.
2. It was hot today and looks like it's supposed to be hot for the foreseeable future, but at least at work I have air conditioning. (It actually wasn't too bad with the fans on today, at least most of the time.)
3. Picked our first tomato today and it was super delicious! There are quite a few more on the plant and a ton of flowers that will hopefully turn into tomatoes, but nothing else is ripe yet.
4. There's apparently a Bob's Burgers comic! I haven't read it yet, but I do have it on my phone and am looking forward to reading it.
5. Rather than holing up in one of her safe spots for the night, the kitten slept in the bed with us last night. It was sweet, though also a little annoying as she kept wanting to sleep right where my head was. Definitely a sign that she's really getting used to it here, though.
Here she is exploring the sofas this morning and stretched out napping on one this evening.
Can anyone point me to an enneagram analysis of the various Avengers and associated characters, including Peggy and Sam?
Music Title & Artist: "To Build a Home" by Cinematic Orchestra
Pairing or Character: characters are Sherlock Holmes and John Watson
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Link: Link to tumblr page for To Build A Home vid.
Reccer's Comments: There are so many wonderfully creative forms of vidding, and one of my personal favorites is the vid which focuses on an inanimate element and captures its character. I have seen fantastic Sherlock vids celebrating the city of London, and even Sherlock's beloved coat, but this one cuts to the heart of things by focusing on 221B itself. The vid tells the story of Sherlock and John from their meeting to their parting (at the end of Series 2) through this intimate and atmospheric space. It's often said that 221B acts as a character in the series, but this vid really makes you see how true that is. A lovely and haunting piece.
Nine out of ten dentists recommend Lumberjanes.
( The tenth one just wanted to look at my teeth or something )
Writers: Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis
Artist: Brooke A. Allen
[09:09] <fhocutt1> I'm not sure whether I just found a yak or a shark
[09:10] <exor674> try to shave it, if it has a fin and/or doesn't have fur, it's a shark
[09:10] <V_PauAmma_V> (to fhocutt1) If you can shave it, it's a yak. If you can jump it, it's a shark. :-)
[09:10] <fhocutt1> hah!
[09:10] * Woggy jumps the yak
[09:10] <fhocutt1> the yak gets very cranky
Domesticity meme, from Tumblr -- I am a LOT more likely to do these if it's here. :)
Choose either Charles/Erik or Sam/Steve and one of these, and I will see about possibly rambling (I need to warm up the writing muscles again, they have atrophied in the last year and a half!):
- big spoon/little spoon
- favorite non-sexual activity
- who uses all the hot water
- most trivial thing they fight over
- who does most of the cleaning
- what has a season pass on their dvr/who controls the netflix queue
- who calls up the super/landlord when the heat’s not working
- who steals the blankets
- who leaves their stuff around
- who remembers to buy the milk
- who remembers anniversaries
- who cooks normally?
- how often do they fight?
- what do they do when they’re away from each other?
- nicknames for each other?
- who is more likely to pay for dinner?
- who steals the covers at night?
- what would they get each other for gifts?
- who kissed who first?
- who made the first move?
- who remembers things?
- who started the relationship?
- who curses more?
- what would they do if the other one was hurt?
(PS: If anyone has a Sam/Steve icon, or can point me to a resource for one, I would greatly appreciate it. :D)
"It’s really accessible, but it’s really formally innovative and different. It’s not like anything else out there. The splash pages in this comic don’t work the way splash pages are usually intended to in comics in 2014. Not to sound all pretentious and information-theory-y, but just the way the story and the world and the information are presented to you is completely different from the way you tend to see them in comics, especially mainstream comics, today." -- Co-writer John Barber
"Transformers vs. G.I.Joe is to Transformers 4 as All-Star Superman was to Superman Returns." -- Artist/colorist/letterer/co-writer Tom Scioli
( Read more... )
|Cover of Spectrum 21 by Rebecca Guay|
Yes, I am put off by some requirements as well! But, there are many major benefits that competitions bestow upon us even if we never get in. While at FantasyCon in Salt Lake City this past July, a panel of professional artists touched upon this topic, and I was able to clarify both to the audience and myself why entering competitions has been so beneficial in my career.
Here a few of these thoughts:
1. Money very well spent. The relatively low cost to many of these competitions may expose your work to a much larger and diversified audience than what you could have ever pulled off with a similar level of cash outlay. A basic fee of $20-$30 per image means you may reach 10,000+ viewers. If you tried that with postcards, the mailing alone would reach $5,000 (mostly postage). You could of course stay digital, but even emailing 10,000+ individuals effectively would cost you hours upon hours of labor better spent in the service of your studio and art. In the end the labor costs alone make competitions a great bargain.
2. You commit to yourself. I believe one of the greatest benefit to entering work occurs just before you hit the send button or mail out the envelop...that you make a commitment to an image or set of images that represents who you are as an artist and will reflect work in a style or kind which you would like to potentially be commissioned again for in the future. By preparing work for an entry, you first need to commit to finishing that piece you've been dying to show off. Then you have to polish it so that it displays your abilities to their present best. Which brings up the third reason:
3. You meet a serious deadline. Yes we all would like another week or two to make it perfect, but by committing to a competition, you have to send in that art as is and learn to live with all the little mistakes you know are there, but which we see as just a part of your technique. The more often you make these kinds of commitments, the more confident you become in your decision making process, technical skills, and time management. This allows you to move forward with each project more confidently and speedily, leading to the fourth issue:
4. You become more prolific. As you enter more competitions, and meet more deadlines, you will be inspired and confident to produce work which you want to have seen by that larger audience. This also leads to creating more art of the type you wish to have in your portfolio. Speaking of portfolios, the fifth issue:
5. You assess the art in your portfolio. This to me was the greatest benefit I received from entering competitions like Spectrum, the Society of Illustrators, and Communication Arts in the early years of my career. In the process of deciding what to submit, I was forced to spread out all the art I had created in the past year, the good and the bad, rushed and the slow, inspired and the hated. There it all was, the productivity of my career as an artist, the results of my passion for art making. And early on I realized most of that art was not me. It was not reflective of the images I wished I could create, nor knew I had the ability to create.
The greatest benefit in entering was that I had to come to terms with the art I had just produced, which then redirected my future commissions into those forms and types of images which I wanted to create. I began to become more assertive with my clients and more passionate about projects, pushing my labor and commitments far beyond the expectations of my clients'. Pay was not an issue on many of these. My goal was to make create images I knew would make it into exhibitions, knew would be seen by other professionals, and knew would be the art I wanted to make. And in the end become the art that I would receive future commissions based upon.
Oh, and that last reason you enter competitions:
6. You get in and get seen.
( Loose ends, mysteries, speculation; contains major, book-destroying spoilers for all seven previous volumes )
What do you all think? azurelunatic? muchabstracted?