There were about half a dozen people drawing, which is a small crowd for Denu, probably due to the brutally cold weather. The platform had chairs on all sides, but people clustered up at and near the tables, putting them in something like a 120° arc. Shawn had given me a quick training on Monday and I'd tried a couple of timed poses to see what my legs were willing to do for me ahead of time, but I was planning on mostly making things up as I went along. In addition to the platform with its mat, pillows and sheet, there were easels, a ball, a broomstick and a little promotional beer pail at my disposal.
The poses started at two minutes, and worked their way up to seventeen. I did my best to vary facing and level, and mix props and propless poses. I think I got in a good variety, and managed to hold still even in ones that turned out to be physically difficult. It wasn't always obvious which ones would be: I did a supine pose with one arm off the platform that turned out to be quite tiring, and a long prone one, almost going-to-sleep, that had so many points of contact with myself that I felt like a big mess of pins and needles by the end. Climbing the easel, a big open pose with the broomstick, and some modified yoga poses were all easier than I'd thought they would be.
Mentally, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Once I was up there, I was thinking about position, stability, breath and keeping my focus on that bit of debris or architectural feature to keep my gaze and position stable, mixed in with wandering thoughts about life outside the studio. It was very much my yoga-space, as far as my thoughts were concerned, which shows both that I'm something of a technically-oriented yoga person (to the detriment of all the noble stuff my mind could be doing while in a pose), and that maybe the time and money I've spent on yoga classes can have tangible benefits — two modelling sessions would pay for one semester of weekly yoga at work! I think I felt most naked right after taking off my clothes, after that everything else was more pressing. It didn't hurt that the room was at a comfortable temperature, the doors were closed and the air was still.
It was also a notable night in that for the first time, we left both kids in the care of others. When we got back, Oscar was basically asleep: a little wibbly and fussy still, but in his room in the dark and easy to cover, calm and leave to doze off. Vivien was a bit distraught but happy to get Mama back, and Elizabeth's parents didn't seem particularly frazzled by two and a half hours of both kids. I think we all knew this was about what would happen, but it was still good to get the proof that Elizabeth and I can escape for a bit together. It took until eight months with Oscar for us to get a date in, so evidently we're something like 50% more confident by some measure this time around. A two and a half hour date isn't long, but not bad for parents with a baby who's still not into complementary foods.
I think I could definitely be a nude drawing model again. I didn't have any epiphanies or crises up there: it was a pretty relaxing and satisfying gig (although my muscles were a bit sore afterward). I'd recommend giving it a try to anyone considering it, and Denu feels like it might be a better-than-average place to give it a try.
I once posed in various states of dress and undress for a friend's art project. I don't know if the project ever saw the light of day. It was photography of people in their clothes, her neutral-looking overalls, and naked, to investigate the role of clothing in identity if I remember right. My Google skills aren't turning anything up; I don't know if all those rolls of film even got developed (last time I asked, I don't think they had been). A couple of years ago, I looked into posing at the Ottawa School of Art, but there was lots of paperwork and it felt like they wanted you to prove that you were serious: I'm not particularly serious, just looking to try out modelling and see how it feels. I'm feeling this should be an interesting experience and a good match for that. Elizabeth has often remarked on my “shamelessness,” referring to a quality that should make me reasonably confident and natural at getting up in front of people without clothes, we'll see if it manifests on the 22nd.
I've been carrying around a list in my head of things to do while I'm 32 years old; now I'm committing it to the Internet. I've seen bucket lists and life lists, but the time horizon doesn't speak to my procrastination-prone and tactical nature, and I of course see New Year's resolutions, but I think going by my years rather than calendar years is more personal, and protects me a little from the list elements being fresh when the invariable collapse of many resolutions happens in late January. Also, some elements of the list were really dear and salient to me in the summer, so it made sense to hang them on my birthday (even if it's taken months to post them here). So, here are the things I would like to do or improve significantly this year:
- Floss more days than not.
- Make a conscious and courageous-when-necessary effort to improve my relationships in ways that make me happy.
- Make deeper use of this journal, as part of trying to be less guarded with people that I trust.
- Wear through multiple massage bars.
- Get the deposit back on beer bottles at smaller intervals and more reliably.
- Wipe out the mortgage and direct the resulting savings to a mix of responsible and fun things.
- Replace the chain-link fence with a durable, attractive, Oscar-resistant one.
- Get a check-up this year and renew my vaccinations; it's been too long on both counts.
In general, I think I have more guiding values than long-term specific goals, but here are some things (somewhere between values and goals) on a longer time scale.
- Have fewer secrets.
- Be entrusted with more secrets.
- Raise competent, well-adjusted kids. Do so with good humour, love and trust in them.
- Make our house more comfortable, energy-efficient and adjusted to us.
- Take care of my body and try and make my list of aches and pains not increase monotonically.
- Get family doctors for all of us in the household.
- Continue to like my job, be good at it, and be worthy of the respect of my co-workers.
- Keep learning new things, and consolidate dabbling into competent in new areas from time to time.
Vivien is a little over four weeks old now. She's filling out, both visually and weight-wise (almost three kilograms now), and keen to look around and see the world. We've been out and about with her on foot in buses and in cars; she can be a bit fussy at the beginning and end of the trip but she travels pretty well in general. I've been out alone with the two of them successfully, walking and bussing: Elizabeth can practice better for her upcoming gig in an empty house, Vivien mostly naps and Oscar enjoys the moving scenery and interacting with the neighbours. A dad during the day with two under-twos gets a lot of positive attention, too, which is nice :)
Oscar seems a bit fragile and jealous sometimes; he's very keen to claim Vivien-associated things and people: Elizabeth (including breastfeeding), the diaper cream (!), our attention generally (when she fusses, he often fusses). He does also still seem excited and want to help and hold her (he also wants to hold the cat, we have to supervise and intervene in both cases). He's picked up jumping-on-the-bed skills, and his vocabulary is expanding — he picked up “rainbow” just in time for Pride (he had a blast at the parade: lights, music, candy, people smiling at him — he was dancing on my shoulders for the whole thing, more or less), too many food terms to count, “happy” and ”eat” for his internal state. His first (and so far, only) three-word sentence is “I like it!”. He's on track to be my height if the double-your-height-at-two rule is to believed; I looked up his height and weight on the WHO curves and he remains ninety-something on height and median on weight, just like when he was born. I hope he enjoys turning two!
Here are some pictures from the beginning of last month of the two of them, including a cute size comparison:( some pictures from the early days )
I've wanted to write a little about how I handle financial matters, and how our household money situation works — I like reading about other people's ways of doing stuff on LJ, and thought I'd throw my thoughts into the mix.( money and the pipes it flows through )