Sunday, February 28, 2010

My birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. (I was thinking about calling it my "first annual thirty-ninth birthday." Yes I feel old.)

We went down to Chung Ki Wa in Lakewood for lunch. I got some dduk guk and Doug had jap chae. (He often gets this, since he can share it with Kate and she'll eat it.) Everything was just really good. That broccoli was yummy.

I can't remember the last time I had dduk guk that I didn't make myself. It was quite tasty. Since we didn't have any for the lunar new year I thought I'd get some for my birthday (seemed appropriate, since I was turning a year older).

Birthday pictures!

"Can we stop this now?"

For my birthday I got the Eye-One Display 2 calibrator. I was having trouble with my monitor before, getting some weird greenish banding in the shadows. Calibrating seems to have solved that problem, but I'm still not sure on the color. The pictures from Doug's birthday look very red now. So I'm tring to figure out if my color is off now or if it was just really, really off when I did those pictures.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bag Boy (Part 2)

(The sequel to these pictures.)

It's not enough to pull all the bags out of the drawer--now he has to sit in the drawer while he does it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Korea calling

After I got home from my mission in '93 I wrote letters, in Korean, to a few friends and companions. This is a card that I kept tucked into my dictionary, where I made a list of words that I found myself looking up frequently. After Doug and I got married, went and taught in Chonan for nine months, and then went to Newfoundland, the list continued. (I can kind of tell what was happening when by looking at it--moving from words like "graduation" to words like "Canada" and "dialect.") I wrote to Kim Ji Won, who'd been a student in one of my classes; to Mr. Ha from Doug's kendo class, who owned a restaurant and made wonderful soon tubu jjigae (we spent a memorable New Year's Eve with his family); to Lee Soo Mi in Suncheon; and to Kim Son Mi in Nonsan. Somewhere along the way I stopped writing.

I've thought about my neglected correspondents every once in a while. Wondered if there were any poor sad letters wending their way to Newfoundland and then getting rejected and sent back. This year I finally made a card for the Lunar New Year, and planned to see how many of those friends I could get back in touch with.

I still might never have sent them, as February approached and they remained under my desk. But after we had the Korean lady randomly show up at church and I was just stumbling all over myself, I was seized with a sense of urgency. I pulled out my White Field Korean book and went over some grammar forms. I watched videos on youtube. Then, that Friday, I had planned to make keema matar (not Korean, it's Indian) for lunch, and realized we didn't have any garlic. Immediately I had an idea. I would borrow some garlic from our Korean neighbors. It was like a sign.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Point Defiance Playground (video)

From Saturday!

Andy loves watching the video of himself swinging. He points and babbles and just shrieks.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Kate found some videos on about how to make "snuggle pillows" of characters. She kept saying she wanted to try it, so Doug got the idea to make her a stuffed Vince. Vince is not a Nick Jr. character--he's from Rex the Runt, which is a production of Aardman, the people who brought us Wallace and Gromit and Creature Comforts. (Rex is a bit rougher--both in content and execution.)

Doug made a pattern, got some felt, and even hauled out the sewing machine (which, as I have mentioned, really needs to be cleaned and adjusted) to put it together.

Here's the finished product!

Kate loves Vince.

Kate and Vince watch Vince on the TV.

We have the DVD set. You can also find episodes on youtube and hulu. Here's "Holiday in Vince," featuring Vince's Random Pavarotti Disease.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

President's Day Park Pics

While parts of the country have been buried in snow, we've been enjoying near-springlike temperatures. The trees are budding, and crocuses are starting to poke up. I talked to my mom (in Ohio) on Monday, and she said they were expecting six more inches of snow. Doug found this time lapse video of snow piling up in D.C. (Check it out--it's pretty cool.) We haven't had any snow at all aside from our light dusting which lasted maybe an hour and a half. Though we did get snow in March last year, so I suppose it could still happen.

Since Doug had the day off for President's Day, we had lunch at Bombay Bistro and then went to the park.

Kate had her Beanie Baby rat with her. After the park we went to Fred Meyer, and she insisted on bringing it into the store and lost it somewhere. We spent a while searching for it, without success. I hope whoever found it was not too alarmed at seeing a rat in a grocery store.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Want a bag over your head?

Kate said she wanted a paper bag to make a mask. I laughed so hard when I saw what she'd come up with.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Year's Blessings

Sunday, in addition to being Valentine's Day, was also the Lunar New Year. On Saturday we went with some friends to an activity at the Korean (church) branch in Federal Way. (They used to meet in Auburn, but moved.)

There are quite a lot of Koreans around here. I do occasionally work up the nerve to strike up a conversation in public (I met a nice family at the library once), but it's difficult. ("Hey! I don't know you, but I see that you're Korean! I want to talk to you!") 쑥스럽다. So I was looking forward to doing some Korean schmoozing, as I'd put it, in a no-pressure setting. Well, we didn't exactly have people running over to talk to us (the random Americans crashing the party), and I realized that if I wanted to meet anyone I was going to have to make the first move. (There were a few people there that I'd met before, so we weren't going into it completely cold.)

In remembering my mission lately, I've been thinking a lot about my Korean companions. I did send 설날 cards to a couple of them, but haven't heard anything back yet. So I was especially interested in talking to the Korean missionaries serving in the branch. There's a Korean sister and an elder, and their American companions, who travel all over the Seattle mission working with the Korean people in the area.

Well, I met Sister Kim and Elder Min, and it turns out they're both from my mission area! Sister Kim (김훈지) is from Gwangju (농성 ward, which is where Sister O'Bryan is serving right now) and Elder Min (didn't get the rest of his name) is from Daejeon 선화 ward. I told him I'd served there, and he said, "So who do you know?" and I just kind of went "Uhhhh..." Nope, can't remember any names. That was seventeen years ago! (I did remember a couple of names, later, but probably not anyone that he would know.) I neglected to ask if there was any chance I would have met him as a four-year-old.

Sister Kim was very sweet. I went over to talk to her, holding Andy, and she said, "Oh, baby!" and took him from me, exclaiming over how cute he was. Then I asked her where she was from and she said "Gwangju," and I just grabbed her hand and said, "자매님! That was my greenie area!" I told her all about how I've been thinking about Korea a lot lately, and practicing the language and trying to get in touch with old companions. (She said my Korean was very good.) I got her email address, so I can write to her after she goes home in April.

There was a lot of food at the activity (but no dduk guk) and some amusing jump-roping. We had to leave early because Kate was bored and cranky (and we wanted to give her a little time to decompress before bed.) I'd like to attend church there some Sunday, but I'm afraid it wouldn't be very interesting for Kate.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Doug brought me these for Valentine's Day. They're alstromerias.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's Doug's birthday! Hooray!

Kate made this card for Daddy.

Inside she drew lots of things that she likes to do with Dad (like dancing, counting, and making popcorn) and things that she wants to do (like making snuggle pillows).

Pictures! (Taken with my Finn Bounce)

We had a nice birthday lunch of birthday bacon soup, and now Doug is taking a birthday nap on the couch.

It's my sister Barb's birthday too! Happy birthday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

setting the scene

Yesterday we (the kids and I) went out to Port Orchard and set up the primed plywood on the train table so I could sketch out some ideas.

It turns out my boards are just a teeny bit too wide to fit in the space. I need to take about 3/8" off one edge.

(Please note: the backdrop is a surprise, so if you know the owner of the train table, please don't say anything!)

Next I get to start actually painting! Exciting!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

blue shift

I'm working on some stuff for this next month's collab kit at NIDSB. It's been a while since I've contributed to one of those. I've decided I need more ribbons. There are tons of great ribbons out there already, but hardly anyone does the extracted shadows. So I've been spending hours clicking with the pen tool and squinting at tiny details extracting this ribbon, and then fiddling with layer masks to get my shadows just right.

I love my new monitor, but staring at it all day makes my head hurt. I should find something else to do for a while.

I added a formspring box at the end of my sidebar. Ask me something!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"Kate's Rescue Mission" (story by Kate)

We don't remember exactly when Kate wrote this story--any time between August and November, probably. This one has a bit more of a coherent narrative structure than a lot of things she comes up with. Doug did the writing at Kate's dictation.

Kate called beetles, bugs, and butterflies to play with her. Some fell off and landed on their backs.

Kate's video watch showed her a giganotosaurus eating a bug. A nearby Tyrannosaur was eating a bug, too.

(I'd never heard of a giganotosaurus before. It is an actual dinosaur.)

The giganotosaurus looked at the bug. "YUM," he said, "that is a tasty bug!"

The giganotosaurus GRABBED the bug that came from Chevy's restaurant!

(Bet you didn't know they served those there, did you?)

"Oh darn," said Kate. "The giganotosaurus is eating that bug!"

Kate to the rescue! "I am coming to help you, bug!" called Kate.

(Here you can see Kate's hands on her hips in a heroic stance, with her cape blowing out behind her. The cape has a K on it.)

The giganotosaurus tried to eat the bug!

Kate rescued the bug from the hungry giganotosaurus. Kate was a hero!

(I love the expressions in this one.)

But the giganotosaurus ate the bug anyway. CHOMP!

(A surprise ending! Ha.)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

eighteen feet of plywood

Guess what this is?

It's my new painting project! I'm doing a backdrop for a model train table. 18 feet long (in five panels) and 27 inches high.

This will be different because I'm going to be working on it at home. I suspect I probably won't be able to get much done when Doug's not here, so it may be a very slow process. It doesn't have to be done till Christmas, but I figured I'd better get it started as soon as possible. It might actually take me that long.

I got the primer on yesterday. Kate wanted to help. This turned out to be not such a great idea after all. Messy.

Doug said, "I reckon there ain't one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it's got to be done." (Well, okay, that's not exactly what he said--I had to look it up--but he was pretty close.)

I'm excited about painting again! I haven't done anything since Barb's giraffe. I'm going to do some cool stuff with clouds.