Celebrations

Weekly Sketch: Eeyore Statue

I had a busy week and not much time to draw, so here’s a quick sketch of the Eeyore Statue in Eastwoods Park:

For scale:

The plaque reads: “This statue commemorates the original Eeyore’s Birthday Party held in Eastwoods Park in May 1964 and is dedicated to Prof. James Ayers, Lloyd W. Birdwell, Jr. and Jean Craver, whose inspiration began a unique Austin tradition. March 2007.”

Eeyore’s Birthday Party outgrew Eastwoods Park in 1974 and is now celebrated at Pease Park. It’s a big event every year. Costumes, drum circles, drugs, good times.

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Celebrations, Weekly Sketch | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part II: The Road to Pokhara

While I wait for Elizabeth to sort out more favorite photos from the 100 bajillion or so she brought back, here are more impressions from the bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

One thing that struck Elizabeth about Nepalese culture is that there are corporate logos literally everywhere. She got the impression that many of them aren’t even paid advertising, people just like the designs and paint them on their stuff. One example was this small Shiva shrine, which had Castrol Oil logos on the sides and back:

Another thing was the haphazard way structures there are built anywhere they can be squeezed in, seemingly out of whatever materials are on hand.

Tata freight trucks. Like everything else about Nepal, they are bright and colorful.

Breakfast smoothie on a pit stop.

Snowy Annapurna Massif in the far background, the section of the Himalayas that borders Nepal.

Adorable Elizabeth is adorable.

And finally, they arrived at the home of family friends, Sabita and her son Bee Striit.

By happy coincidence, they arrived on Emma’s 23rd birthday! Sabita was ready with a beautiful Ganesha cake and traditional trimmings.

What a warm and gracious welcome!

More to come!

Categories: Birthdays, Celebrations, Family, food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Love, Nepal, Travel | 2 Comments

Weekly Sketch: Pixel Bernie

I was working on a grasshopper sketch to post today, but yesterday’s win in New Hampshire inspired me to draw this today:

It’s based on the little candidate animations that The Guardian used in 2016 for its election results map:

I’m feeling excited and hopeful today. Remember to vote in your state’s primary, it’s so important this year!

Categories: Artwork, Celebrations, Life, Weekly Sketch | Tags: | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas!

The secret to getting hand-drawn Christmas cards designed, assembled and mailed out on time when you work in retail is to start them around June and have them finished and ready to mail by Thanksgiving. I think I need to start doing my gift shopping/making that way too.

Merry Christmas!

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Celebrations, Christmas, Holidays, Life, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Winter | 1 Comment

In the Hall of the Mountain King (Road Trip, Part II)

We woke to heavy rain the next morning. Elizabeth was worried that we would not be able to do the Zip Lines or the Canopy Explorer at Natural Bridge like we’d planned. But by the time we pulled into the park, the rain had all but stopped.

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We went straight to the outdoor attractions, in case the weather turned wet again later. It’s hard to describe the Canopy, but it’s a lot of fun and looks like this:

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You’re buckled into a harness the whole time, so you can’t fall while you practice your balance beam and tightrope skills.

I actually balked when we did the zip line thing and I saw the view from the top platform. I thought I had outgrown my fear of heights, but apparently not. Once I was off the edge and sailing through the sky, though, it was all good.

Here’s the Natural Bridge that inspired the park’s name:

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We did two separate cavern tours, the Hidden Passages Tour and the Discovery Tour. The first, Hidden Passages, is smallish but has some striking formations.

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AND I GOT PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF OF LUKE HAVING FUN!

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The second tour, Discovery, was my favorite cave tour of the trip. This runs through a string of amazing caverns with names like “Castle of the White Giants,” “Hall of the Mountain King” and “Sherwood Forest.”

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It was raining hard again when the Discovery Tour ended, and this time it didn’t let up. Alas, Austin remains unexplored. Our next stop was in Bedford, to grab some cake for Luke, and then home.

The plan has always been to travel after the kids are grown. Little “test runs” like this are a good way to experiment with what kinds of things we enjoy and want to do more of, and which things we can leave off the list without losing anything of value. They’re also useful for stepping away from the everyday routine and getting a better sense of perspective on the small struggles that we get bogged down in. Sometimes the solutions look obvious from a distance.

I’d like to say it’s good to be home, but if I’m honest, really all I want to do right now is go climb a mountain or explore the black depths of an untended cave, or maybe camp on a clifftop with giant redwoods on one side and the wild sea on the other. There’s a whole world out there, and the harness of civilization seems even less appealing now than it did when I took it off four days ago. I guess it’s time to start saving up for the next trip.

Categories: Birthdays, Celebrations, Family, kids, Life, Road trip, Travel, Weather | Leave a comment

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