Monday, June 30, 2008

A birthday diva, picking pics, hanging with Kelly and DSM Art Fest

June 22 when we got back from the zoo, Auchenbachs were there. Mom used to work with Julie when they both taught in Boone. Our parents have adopted the Auchenbach children like honorary grandchildren, and vice versa. Their oldest child, Jordan, is quite the athlete especially softball and track and she keeps her 4-H commercial ewe at our farm. Their son, Bryce, is into wrestling and track. Jenna is the middle girl, and she’s into fashion. She always wants to see my shoes and asks why I picked a particular pair to go with a particular outfit. The youngest is Jayden, who is chubby with giant blue eyes.

On the day of the zoo trip, my parents gave Jenna a present for her fourth birthday—a Disney princess dress-up outfit. She was beyond thrilled, especially with the pink marabou mules!

Since then, I’ve been working on pictures to submit for the Iowa State Fair. I’ve been wanting to do that for years, but never got around to it. I compiled my favorites into a file and had my family help me narrow them down. On Wednesday, I picked six of my favorite pictures and uploaded them to the Christian Photo web site. Friday I went to Des Moines and picked up my pictures, along with mounting boards and mats. It wasn’t cheap, but it I figure if I’m going to do this, I better do it right. Besides, win or lose I’ll end up with some nice wall art.

The next day, as I was exercising, Grandma and Grandpa Staker and my great aunts and uncles Bud, Lorene, Unkie and Helen arrived to visit. I got their opinions on my photos and mats. They made some suggestions and I decided I actually needed another mat or two.

That night, Kelly and I went out in Des Moines. We visited several bars and dance clubs in the Court Avenue area. While we were in the first bar, I found myself musing, “I know this place. Why do I know this place?” Then I realized it had been headquarters for The Fund back when I used to canvas for Sierra Club and Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Then I realized I had the same realization last summer. Hee. Some of the new clubs downtown are great. I love the mix of people and music. In New York different “types” hang out in different neighborhoods and bars. In Des Moines, everyone seems to come together. I like it!

I kept it in moderation and cut myself off long before it was time to drive home, then had Kelly give me a manual dexterity sobriety test. I passed and went home.

Sunday morning, Mom, Dad, the Staker grandparents and I went to church, then to Perry for Chinese food. It was delicious. Then it was time for me to deliver my four photography exhibits to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. I timed it just right. There were ropes that suggested a long line, but only two people were ahead of me. Matted photographs were in tall stacks all around the room. I had no idea so many pictures were submitted each year! I compared the giant stacks to the number of photos displayed at the fair each year and realized I’d be lucky if even one of my four photos was selected for display.

Sunday was also the last day of the Des Moines Arts Festival, so I called Jenny and Jessy (girls I lived with in college) to see if they wanted to go. They decided they were in, so I drove over to meet up with them. We rode in Jenny’s car, and she played cool indie music. The festival was in the Western Gateway, an area that includes a new library, a sculpture garden and some cool shops.

It was hotter than blazes at the festival, but the art was gorgeous, and we had a lot of fun looking at it, listening to live music, and longing for various art pieces we couldn’t afford. I began to despair that I’d never be able to afford cool art, but joked, “Maybe someday I’ll have an apartment with lots of art and no furniture.” The girls comforted me that I could have a beanbag chair, blow-up couch and inflatable mattress. Very mod.

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