let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

By the time you read this, the snow will be gone. I, for one, will be sad to see it go.

I love the snow.

I grew up in a beach town. I learned to ski in the local Southern California mountains, on snow blown in by snow machines. Snow that falls at my own home, in my own yard, still feels magical to me.

img_7977

I know that many Portlanders were frustrated by it. I completely understand why: kids out of school, difficulty getting to work, having to shovel your way out the front door or the garage or the driveway. I get it. And I know how lucky I am that I work part-time, that I have a husband who is a teacher (and gets snow days, too!), and that we didn’t lose power or heat. I do.

Still, to me, these days were so welcome. I loved seeing the snow pile up so quickly that first night and then stay and stay and stay! I loved seeing Bonesy frolic in the yard and on the deck, swimming in snow. I loved being at home with David and Quinland and whichever of Quinland’s crazy friends decided to hike over and then stay over. Every 6 am call from Portland Public Schools announcing another day off was music to my ears.

img_7989

The kids* had the best time: sledding on the hills at the middle school, building a snow fort, making snow angels and throwing snowballs. They dug out all our snow clothes and boots and gloves, got them soaked, and then hung (or flung) them all over the laundry room. Q  even hiked a mile in the deep snow to see Hannah on her birthday – almost two hours to get there! (*Edited to add: These kids are all in high school; most of them are seniors.  Everyone is a little kid when it snows!)

People who deal with snow on a daily basis for months at a time might roll their eyes at my naiveté. They know that I’d grow sick and tired of it just like they do. They are probably right.

For now, though, I’m celebrating the minor miracle that this last snowy month has been to me.

the artist in residence, updated

A couple of months ago, I posted a photo of Quinland with this title and promised I’d come back to tell the story.

Once upon a time on a deep dark Sunday night, as I was reading the daily emailed school bulletin, I came across this little nugget:

Wilson Students’ Artwork on Exhibit

Three Wilson art students have artwork in the Heart of Portland exhibition at the Portland Art Museum, a showcase celebrating the visual and performing arts produced by PPS K-12 students. Congratulations to Quinland (Photography), Gina (Ceramics), and Emma (Drawing). The opening reception is Monday, April 4 from 6:30-8:30 pm. All PPS families and teachers are invited to attend the reception, which is free. The show runs April 4-16.

Monday, April 4th? Why, that was the very next day! I asked David if he knew anything about this; he did not. Q was already asleep, so I couldn’t ask him until the following morning. He was blasé about the whole thing:  Yes, he had a piece at the Portland Art Museum. No, he didn’t submit it; every art teacher in the district could choose one piece of art for the exhibit, and Mr. Carlson chose his landscape photo book. Yes, he was thinking of going to the reception that night; could I give him a ride?

GIVE HIM A RIDE?! OF COURSE! I’M GOING, TOO! I WOULDN’T MISS IT! THIS IS SO EXCITING! ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DRESS UP? IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?  IT SURE IS A GOOD THING I READ THE BULLETIN!  AAAAAAHHHH!

(I suppose I shouldn’t really wonder why he felt no urgent need to tell me about it in advance.)

Here’s the story of the piece: All the students in Advanced Photography were assigned to a) make a book with b) text and c) photos, using knowledge they had gained in class. That was it; the kids could define that any way they wished. Quinland made an accordion book of six black-and-white landscape photographs which he printed and then – I am sure I am going to describe this badly, but bear with me – he covered the images with gum arabic and inked over them with a brayer. The gum arabic makes the light parts resist most of the ink, while the dark portions of the photo get darker. I think. That’s the general idea, anyway. It made each photo look antiqued.

img_6357

So here he is, in front of the glass case bearing his accordion book. Most artwork was hung, but since Q’s was very long (this shows only half the length) and two-sided (there were three panorama photos on each side), it got to be in a case, which I thought was cooler anyway. Q’s text was the longitude and latitude of the place each photo was taken: Wilson High School, the Hawthorne Bridge in Downtown Portland, the Columbia River Gorge, the Grand Canal in Venice, and (dagnabit, I’m going to have to look up the exact details of the other two European locations when I get home, but I will edit this as soon as I do). Mr. Carlson was proud. Q was quietly proud. I was demonstrably proud.

David, sadly, could not be at the reception, as it was the very night that he and the kids from the India program were doing a presentation about the trip to the kids’ families and the school community. He was represented in spirit by the Free Tibet sweatshirt he brought Q from McLeod Ganj, the city in northern India that is home to the Tibetan government-in-exile. (This shirt is not to be confused with our friend Jon’s shirt, which reads, “Free Tibet with the purchase of another Tibet.”)

One more special treat about that night: Q’s friend (and my former Girl Scout) Emma was the one chosen for the Studio Art piece, so my friend Jennifer and I got to be excited Art Moms together! (We also went to Pastini’s afterward and ate my all-time-favorite Lemon Pudding Cake, so it was pretty much the best time ever.)

Sing Street – the best movie I haven’t seen

  • Here’s a St. Patrick’s Day riddle for you:

What’s Irish and has Lori spending hours on the internet every evening this week?

If you answered “Hudson Taylor,” you would be incorrect. It’s hard to imagine, I know, but since Harry and Alfie are not touring in the US (and are hard at work on songs for their second album), I have had to find a new obsession.

Luckily, H & A once mentioned that the little brother of their violin player was starring in a new John Carney film, and I was intrigued. I loved Once, I loved Begin Again (I mean, come on – Keira Knightley AND Mark Ruffalo? It was a no-brainer), so I’ve been following news of his new film for months.

Then I saw the trailer:

I started getting excited.

Then I started reading the reviews from the Sundance Film Festival. Apparently it was a crowd favorite and got ovations and people dancing in the aisles. (As well it should – I mean, 80s? Dublin? Cool music? It’s the perfect formula.)

And then I started watching further clips of the film, music performances by the lads, and interviews of the cast. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, the aforementioned little brother, seems very impressive in the lead, especially as this was his first acting role ever and he walked in off the street for an open casting call at 14. He is only 16 now, but he seems to interview like a pro.

The lucky, lucky Irish get to see it starting tonight, which is only right and proper. The Weinstein Company have it scheduled for “limited US release” starting April 15th, but I can only hope that the raves coming out of film festivals (it just played at SXSW and recently in Toronto and Glasgow, as well) will get it a broader release sooner rather than later.

Because I need to see this movie. Soon.

P.S. When it is a huge hit and is nominated for Academy Awards, remember that you heard about it from me, first.