Last weekend we stayed in Providence for the night for a viewing of a live orchestra playing the soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with the movie. It was so cool!
We have a tradition of offsetting our observation of Valentine's Day by a week or so to avoid the crowds, so this was the main event this year. It would have been nice to also go ice skating (a standard component of Shmalentine's Day) because the rink is right outside The Graduate, where we stayed, but it was way too cold!
The holiday season so far has been crazy. So many projects all of the sudden and I ended up having to left some of them go. But here are the ones I actually got to:
Relieved to finally be at my parents' house without much more to do but wrap gifts!
Twas the night before our 4th anniversary when all through the night, not a creature was stirring, not even me, since I was unconscious because I fainted on a packed train. Thank you to Chris for rushing home to feed the pigs and waiting for hours at the ER before he was allowed to see me. Didn't think year five would start with us sitting on a hospital bed, but glad he was next to me.
While I was sitting in intake I made this doodle on the last page of Twilight New Moon. It's me imagining better commutes that I've had.
Some backstory: sometimes I'm affected by vasovagal syncope due to low blood pressure and sensitivity to blood. Twilight had a particularly bloody scene and I hadn't eaten lunch, so down I went. Usually I just need fresh air and food but an ambulance happened to be called this time and I got stuck in the ER for hours, ironically without food and with blood tests. All is well though! Got discharged, Chris brought me home, we ate pizza, and lived happily ever after. Also shoutout to my very fun EMTs, Andrew and Chris. They were a riot. And the nice nurse on the train who jumped into action.
This portrait was for a friend of mine from high school. He wanted to surprise his fiancée with something personalized for Christmas and chose this family photo from right after they adopted Luna the corgi. I used my new lamp with a hollow opening to record a time lapse (almost) start to finish, which I've never done before. I may need to look into a different app however; the one I've been using only records for 20 minutes at a time.
Yesterday afternoon I unpacked and then we had a few friends over and watched a few epsidoes of The Chris Gethard Show before heading to bed. A couple friends may come over for New Year's Eve, but it will probably be a very small affair.
In the meantime, I brought out all of my comic storyboards and am trying to pick up where I left off. A roadblock that I am experiencing right now is that so far I have started with a scene that leads into a flashback, and within the flashback, a memory is shared. I want to illustrate the memory, but I'm worried that it's too multi-level to have a flashback within a flashback, à la Christopher Nolan. I suppose it's an interesting problem to solve, and it could be a good opportunity to break away from the traditional framing that I've been gravitating toward just to give myself structure. But I still feel a bit out of my depths. Hopefully something compelling comes of it.
This is the first time I've been home for Thanksgiving since 2011, when I was still in college. From 2012-2015, I was working retail and the holiday shopping season made it impossible to grab three days to make the trip home, eat, and come back (especially without a car and the limitations of a multistep bus trip). In 2016 I spent Thanksgiving week in Florida and visited with my grandfather one last time before he passed away a week later. And last year I stuck around Boston and celebrated with Chris's family.
This year, I decided to make the trip because it's my ten-year high school reunion. There was some confusion with planning so it ended up falling through almost entirely, but I still got to see some of my classmates who I haven't spoken with since graduation. So many people are married, expecting, parents, and/or live out of state; some of our classmates have even passed away. It's weird how things move forward so quickly.
I left at first light Thanksgiving morning, and because there was zero traffic, I made the five-hour trip in only 4 hours and 15 minutes, including a stop for gas. It was also a beautiful sunny day (albeit 10 degrees out) and I split my listening between Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on audiobook and assorted music from my iPod when I got antsy.
It has been such a relief to have a few days at home with my parents. My mom is an excellent cook, and nothing says home like her potato and cheese casserole (lovingly referred to as "cheesy taters"). She also prepared apple and pumpkin pie and in my biased opinion, pies made by my mom and my aunt Mary are the absolute best out there.
It's back to work tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to having an almost two-week break to return home in December. I've been working holidays so I can save up vacation days and can't wait to cash those in. Work has really been running me ragged and I can't wait to just be at home where all I need to think about is what book to read and which baked good to eat. My brain desperately needs a rest.
As some bonus material, I've also included a photo of my varsity letter. Apparently we got a pin for everything.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Mansfield, MA.