Archive for the ‘Art’

Visiting El Greco – Toledo 2014

April 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel

Gentleman with hand on breastFor many years now, my wife has expressed interest in visiting the Spanish city of Toledo. Although she’s not much of an art aficionado, if you ever ask her who her favorite painter is, she’ll reliably respond “El Greco”. So when we saw on the news that there was a big exhibition to celebrate the quadricentenary of El Greco’s death in 1614 (yesterday, April 7, was the actual date), in which his greatest works would be shipped from museums around the world to Toledo, it was not a matter of if, but when we would go. When we got an opportunity to leave the kids with my in-laws, we took it!
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Maidens of Laredo

March 19, 2013 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel

Maidens of Laredo (cropped)I’m a big fan of clever street art, such as this mural, in nearby Santoña, that spans three buildings. The medieval Old Town section of nearby Laredo is both the most happening social zone of the town, and also the most derelict crumbling part, full of abandoned, disintegrating buildings. Just last month one of them blew over. So there are plenty of abandoned houses with boarded up windows. A year or two ago, some interesting paintings began appearing on some of the doors and windows of the Old Town, depicting women inside the houses looking out. More than once, I’ve done a double-take when walking by, because they seem so real.
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House Concert with Peggy Ratusz

November 19, 2012 By: erik Category: Art, Music, Partying, USA, Videos

Peggy Ratusz and Jonathan PearlmanSometimes it seems to me like my parents are very often going to concerts and events around my hometown. So when we chose our dates to visit for Thanksgiving this year, I eagerly inquired if there were any events we could attend. Alas, there were none.

Aware of my disappointment, my parents contacted their friend, Clint, who runs Americana Stage, the organization that schedules, manages and hosts such concerts in various local venues. Clint suggested a “house concert”, which is still a fairly new genre of event. The basic idea is that you host a party in your house, but you charge all your friends an admission fee, and then you pay a band to perform in your own house. Not all houses are appropriate for such events, but the one my parents bought three years ago has a very adequate living room. The whole thing was a new experience for almost all involved.
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Haiku Competition – Win a free Kindle Touch!

August 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Art, Marketing, Weird

Kindle Touch - Haiku Competition

This is a contest
to find syllabic poems.
Win a Kindle Touch!

Haikus for Kindles?
The very best poem wins!
Judged by yours truly.

You know you want one.
Enter multiple poems!
Only the best wins.

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El Sueño de Morfeo in Colindres

June 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Art, Colindres, Music, Photos, Videos

Sueño de Morfeo - Colindres - 2012This morning, the children at the local school were having some sort of play day outside with events and competitions (those were the best days of school, weren’t they?), and there was some pop music playing. When I was coming home with the daily groceries, there was a song playing by a group called El Sueño de Morfeo (the dream of Morpheus). The song playing was their most catchy, breakout song, Nunca Volverá. I found myself humming it as I put away the groceries, and I thought about how nice it was to see them, by complete chance, for the first time back in 2006.
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Nora Riding An Elephant On The Moon

April 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Art, Offspring, Stuff I Found

Nora Riding Elephants On The Moon (cropped face)Late last year, a blogrollmate of mine, Jagosaurus, turned me on to a project by an acquaintance of hers, Dustin Timbrook, an artist, musician, and all around creative guy. As a challenge to himself, he announced that he would attempt to do one drawing each day, of absolutely anything that was requested of him. Jagosaurus submitted this request:

I’d like to see something involving any of the following: hippo, cuttlefish, penguin, octopus, praying mantis. They don’t have to be playing poker and smoking cigars. Really they don’t. I mean, that would just be silly.

Timbrook produced this:
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Cards by Joyce

December 31, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Family, Photos, Videos

Marga's Birthday CardMy grandmother, Joyce Rasmussen, has always been interested in arts and crafts. She has made baskets, pottery, needlework, crochet, knitting, paper-mâché, and origami. What she’s really been excelling at recently is making elaborate homemade greeting cards. Ever since getting a personal computer back in the late eighties, she has been fond of printing her own greeting cards, which involves choosing appropriate clipart and writing a nice message. I have always appreciated her cards more because I know that the sentiment comes directly from her, not Hallmarkâ„¢.

At some point the idea occurred to her that if she cut a perfect circle of just the right radius in the front of the card with an X-Acto knife, then one of her origami chrysanthemums would fit there perfectly and be both held tightly in place and completely cover the hole. This discovery ushered in a Renaissance in Joyce-made greeting cards.
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Michelangelo

November 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Sistine Chapel Creation of Adam by MichelangeloRecently I have been witnessing one of the things I was most looking forward to as a parent, the bilingual language acquisition of my daughter. You can say “Where’s the table?” or “¿Dónde está la mesa?“, and she’ll point right to the table. The same works for her anatomy and toys. In fact one of the best tricks I’ve discovered for keeping her occupied while I sit on the couch is to say, “Where is [object not currently in this room]?”, which prompts her to run off to verify that whatever is in its place. Every day I try to teach her a little more vocabulary. Yesterday was “elbow” and “knee”; today was “couch” and “TV”. But what really amazes me is when I ask her about stuff that I haven’t explicitly taught her, and she knows what I’m referring to. That’s what really blows my mind.
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Scribbler

October 14, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Offspring, Videos

Scribbler (freeze frame)When I took Nora to her 18-month doctor’s checkup, the doctor asked questions like, “Does she do X?”, “If you give her Y, does she do Z with it?”, etc. Beaming with paternal pride, I was able to answer yes to all of them…until he said, “If you give her a pencil and paper, will she draw?” I had to answer, “Probably, we’ve never really done that,” as I plummeted down the rabbit hole of “I’m a terrible parent” guilt.

When we got home, I gave her a pen and paper, and she scribbled away like a tormented artist. She seems to slightly favor her right hand, but she’ll scribble with her left as well.
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Batalla de Flores 2010

August 30, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Batalla de Flores 2010Parking in nearby beach tourist town, Laredo, is really a nightmare in July and August, especially for those of us that go there year round. But never is the parking problem worse than on the last Friday of August, when Laredo hosts their famous Batalla de Flores (Flower Battle), a parade of floats with 100% real flowers. So this year we came up with a parking strategy.

I’ve been walking a lot lately, so we decided that I would drive the car to Laredo in the morning, park it as close to the downtown parade site as possible, and then walk back home. I took Nora with me since she isn’t any extra work on walks (when bribed with cookies), but she is a handful to care for around the house. Then, at 17:00, we set out walking to Laredo. Immediately the sky began to look ominous, and about halfway there, it began to rain. We managed to find a little shelter and soon the rain slowed and then stopped. We got there late for the initial lap (for the judges to see the floats), but we caught the entire second lap (for the awards to be given) and a little of the third lap (for the awards to be paraded, literally, around the town).
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