36ish hours in New York City

For me, the strangest part about being back to life in the US is watching my calendar fill up three months ahead of whatever I'm doing today. Last weekend, since we didn't have any pressing obligations, Jameson and I had planned to spend the weekend camping to celebrate my birthday...but weather forecasts predicted rainfall over the entire south east of the continent. I decided on a whim that I wanted to take the overnight Chinatown bus from Richmond to New York. So, Jameson though exhausted, consented. It was a nice little 35 hour escape. We stayed with my friend Julia, who I met while studying in Asia. We spent Saturday walking around the city. When we first arrived Julia greeted us outside the gate of her apartment wearing a bath robe and an eye mask on her head. She rather quickly woke up, threw on some jogging shorts and led us all to prospect park where we were still managing to make the designated "dog off the leash" time of day. Never before in my life have I seen such a sea of kanines, and all different shapes and sizes. Silly New York City dogs who didn't seem to know what to do with their new found freedom. Most seemed to loiter around their owner and cautiously sniff on-coming dogs, making sure to maintain proper spacial limitation. Our representative pug/pomeranian was happy rolling around in the muddy spots of grass.

Mid-day, we met a friend at the Union Square farmers market. Oh what wonders there are to see! A man with a monkey head, lost in the crowd, a lady with a parrot sitting on her shoulder watching a man playing the guitar wearing a feather headdress, and flamboyant men everywhere carrying tiny dogs.

That night some of Julia and her boyfriend Kareem's friend had a party on the rooftop of his Brooklyn apartment building. We grilled our veggie dogs and listened a band play old time folk music, though It didn't feel quite right in NYC, not the way it does back in old Virginia. I listened and stomped along, thinking that at least the banjo player was from North Carolina. Cold rain rolled over us at about 11. My lack of sleep caught up with me and I passed out downstairs on the sofa.


My "while I don't have a job" project

Well... now I do have a job, 4 almost 5 actually. But during that down time, while I was still trying to busy myself with productive, meaningful ways to spend my time, I decided to start making wine out of things I could find around the house. I made a half gallon of dandelion wine. It is fermenting in the dinning room as we speak.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.
Here's the recipe if anyone else has some free time and an un-mowed lawn.



We are children again

So last weekend Carytown had an event called Chalk Up the Town, which did nothing more than hand out free chalk, and tell people to draw.
You were encouraged to abstain from naughty words or controversial topics, but I saw some rule bending, as Richmond is known to do.

Here are some pictures of the event that we didn't take:
(our camera wasn't working at the time)

It was a lot of fun. I drew a giant snail with a television head, flower vines coming from under trash cans and news paper stands, and one (pictured above) asking "Where can we recycle?" in Carytown.

I really think Richmond has some of the best, random, festivals and events.
This weekend is Earth Day and Fish Festival. These aren't separate events, they are a combined (related?) festival. What?


The river, music and a shed.

We have finally settled into the cozy little shed we are living in, behind our friend's house. Amazing what pictures of birds can do to improve a living space (Pictures to follow). The spring has rained pollen on all things once shinny. But seeing it is Spring, the weather is warm and kind. When we arrived the James river was nearly overflowing on to the train tracks that run beside it. April showers.
It was hot enough one day to go swimming in the river at Texas beach (which is in Richmond, VA, I know right?)

We have already gone to three concerts and seen almost everyone who lives in this small city. We are playing music with friends to get our album ready for the studio, and glad to be back. Richmond has a distinct energy that gives you culture shock one minute and goose bumps the next.

Part of us is feeling anxious, ready to pick up our bags and move on. While another part tells us to stay, get involved again, in this place we know far too well, and yet has areas we still need to explore.

First thing's first. We need to make some money. Jameson is already working 4 shifts a week at the vegetarian coffee shop. While Laney is debating whether or not she has the inner strength to work with children again. We will figure it out. Rent is cheap, because we live in a shed.


The Spirit of St. Francis of Assisi

I know that these photos are amazing, but what is even more amazing is that this squirrell recognized Jameson from them meeting over a year ago at my mom's garage sale. Stuffy the squirrel saw Jameson through the kitchen window and came right up to the glass and pressed her nose against it. When Jameson went outside to give her some peanuts, she ran up to him and sat on his lap. I think this is one of those examples of his unspoken connection with State of Virginia.



We have been working on stickers for our band LOBO MARINO for the past couple of days now, and this is what we have come up with.

The name of our upcoming album, to be recorded in May, is in the puzzle, in the last sticker above.
A: Keep Your Head Up.

We are back in Richmond working, living in a shed, and playing music.
This time around, culture shock has been a little more off setting, hopefully we will even out soon.