Scott’s Visit and Our Impending Trip

Well, I took Scott to the Vienna Metro stop today, but only after stopping at three places first. The only notable stop was the Udvar-Hazy National Air and Space Museum, which was excellent as always. Last time I was there, the NASA wing of the museum was closed, so it was nice to be able to fully explore that section.

I have barely been able to glance at the photos from today’s trip, but this one caught my eye right off. I stupidly brought my 50mm lens, so everything was automatically a close-up. There are many disadvantages to prime lenses, but the advantages generally outweigh them in my opinion. The main problem is that I typically bring the wrong lens. This is a photo of some prototypical turbine from the 60’s. Scott and I did everything we set out to do. We made oil paintings, visited the museum, traded banjo-playing wisdom (he has really improved from last year; I had no wisdom to offer), and watched a few documentaries. After completing all items on our to-do list, we commented that things are not as they used to be.. we are finally grown-up. It’s not like the college days. As far as the banjo goes, I have re-dedicated myself (for the fifth time) to learning the banjo the right way. I’m stuck on Mike Iverson’s instructional page for clawhammer style. It seems I was setting my sights too high with my previous attempts at the Bluegrass style of banjo playing. Multi-instrumentalists typically say that the banjo is one of the easiest instruments to learn, but I disagree. Maybe it’s my inability to follow instruction and practice on a regular basis. I don’t know. The banjo is hard!

This is the oil painting I did yesterday. It looks slightly better in person (the camera flash kind of ruined it), but I still need to go back and lay some thicker paint on a few parts. The texture that thick oil paint leaves is part of the appeal of buying oils. This type of paint can take months to dry, so I am done for now. I painted over an old painting of mine, and believe it or not, this is a massive improvement. I actually kind of like this one, unlike what was on this canvas before.

So, now another long-term friend of mine has met my baby. He (Scott) kept saying how cute he (Stephen) is, which we never get tired of hearing. Stephen can crawl around like a champion now, and can sit up with ease (in less than 2 seconds). He is becoming a menace. Not too much of a menace… he went on a 3.5hour field trip with me and Scott today and didn’t particularly act up. He had a lot of stimulation and was quite overdue for a nap. His long late-day nap is what has allowed me to write all this.

We are spending Thanksgiving at S&S’ house, and driving down to Chapel Hill on Friday. It has become a tradition to meet my parents halfway the day after Thanksgiving. We barge in and take over my aunt and uncle’s house in order to have a second Thanksgiving. We bought Stephen a walker specifically for this trip. The place we are going has several dogs and lots of hardwood. We’d like to keep Stephen from being trampled, and he seems to already like the walker. I already feel bad enough for my aunt/uncle; they shouldn’t have to worry about their dogs trampling my baby on top of everything else.

Some Thanksgiving traditions have been established. Scott stops at my house for a few days on his way to Baltimore. We spend Thanksgiving at Jaime’s parents’ house. And we go to Chapel Hill to meet my family the day after. Busy, but nice. I look forward to it every year. Tomorrow I am taking Stephen down to Jaime’s work so she can show off the baby. He’s six months old now; it’s about time.

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