Squirrel. Image taken at the Spanish Village Art Center at Balboa Park. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Classy like that.

Well, m’dears. Once again I lied. I don’t know why I try telling you when I will or won’t do something, since every time I do the world makes sure to shift around and make all my plans look ridiculous. I have had so much going on this month that a blog post seemed one thing too many, but as I am currently stuck for hours on a layover in the airport, it seems silly not to.

Next week I hope to share my good news, but this week I am finishing up a jaunt in—can you guess?—San Diego! By virtue of my husband having a work conference, and a stockpile of frequent flier miles, I got to spend a week in sunny California! It’s mind boggling how one can go from a morning of one degree temps and scraping the ice off the driveway until the pile of ice resembles one of those arctic shots in a documentary film in hopes no one slips and dies while you are gone (much better to wait until we come home), to sun, and palm trees, and glorious fifty and sixty degree temperatures that the locals think of as “cold”.

(Just as a semi-related side note, when I last got my driver’s license renewed, I was sad. The previous picture I wore make-up, smiled, and looked fairly decent. The new one? I look exhausted, cranky, and possibly as if I just woke up. However, as the very young security person made an earnest study of my ID and carefully compared it to me at stupid early this morning, I have to admit the new photo is a far more accurate representation.)

Left to my own devices while my husband attended his meetings, I actually ended up doing work-related activities most of the time. I have reams of reference photos, spent an entire day in the Spanish Village Art Center at Balboa Park talking art and pricing with other artists, and only got mildly lost once. While I spent much of the time wandering in the sun wishing it had occurred to my winter brain to bring sunscreen, it resulted in a sea lion siting, so I am calling it a win. And the green! LOOK at it! Just LOOK. Gorgeous!

Most of the photos I took with my camera are reference, not art, but in the interest of always having an image to share I present these two.

This is not a great photo, and doesn’t count as “art”, and I am not generally an orchid person, but don’t you just love the implied grin? It makes me very happy, and since it is still February I am sharing the smile. It got out of focus in the middle, otherwise, questionable photo or not, you’d all likely get one as my new year’s card since it makes me laugh.

This one is my favorite of the week. It makes me smile, also, but for a completely different reason:

Squirrel. Image taken at the Spanish Village Art Center at Balboa Park. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Image taken at the Spanish Village Art Center at Balboa Park, CA

In pursuit of smiles, I will also share my Melting Pot adventure, because it’s funny now….

After spending our days apart, my husband and I would meet up for dinner. Neither of us having ever had fondue, we went to the Melting Pot in downtown San Diego, which is quite expensive, but also super fun. I recommend it for all dates, if you can manage it. It’s a built in activity that takes a long time, and if in the end it has gone badly, you have the sharp, pokey things to stab your date with. How can you go wrong?

My husband proved, once again, that he really is an engineer. He spent the time excitedly looking at the metal tools they use to keep things from spilling out of the pots, and inspecting the table for the controls used to heat them. I proved, once again, that I am so painfully myself.

As we were on the second floor, by the balcony, I was once again overcome with an urge to spit over the side. Now, I would like to clarify, that I have never once actually spit over the side of a balcony at any point, but I always want to. I shared this urge with my disbelieving spouse, and apparently uttering it out loud set off a chain reaction of extreme elegance on my part.

First, while being given stabby things for one’s dinner is super fun, it doesn’t mean the individual wielding them is any good at it. I did not actually hit anyone else with any part of my dinner, but I do admit that not all of it was consumed, and a reasonable portion ended up on the floor, some of it quite a distance away. Ahem.

Then, I innocently went to the bathroom. Mostly, I admit, to distance myself from the floor wreckage. Previously, I had always wondered how people managed to drop their cell phones in the toilet. I mean, why would you be on your phone while using the bathroom? Now? I have discovered that neither jean nor sweater pockets can be trusted. Out it fell with a dramatic “plop”. I can neither confirm nor deny that I may have screamed. I fished it out of the bowl as quickly as possible (EWW!), ran it frantically under the sink, washed my hands, ran it under the sink again, stripped it of its case, washed it again, then waved both around in a frantic fashion in an attempt to dry it out. Into this dramatic, one-person chicken dance walked two young and fashionable looking ladies who took in the scene and skittered into the stalls at the opposite end of the room *very* quickly.

Despite the fact that I have never once managed to keep my own secrets, I hurried back to my table determined to not tell my husband about this latest episode. I sat, took a calming breath, and picked up my snazzy lemonade—only to miss my mouth completely, and dump half of it right down my shirt.

Classy. That’s the only word for it. Classy.

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