The Borders of Our Lives


I’m watching Antiques Roadshow and relaxing after a day of getting up early and catching a 7:10 flight from Albuquerque with stops in Houston and Dallas. I’m also trying to ignore the sadness that comes on strong after leaving Porkchop.


Anyway, we had a very good visit, even though we weren’t able to swing a trip to the Balloon Fiesta. It’s okay….I’ve seen a couple of hot air balloon festivals before.


Porkchop met me at the ABQ sunport a little after 10:00. We took the bus into town and then stopped at her apartment before going to Tamarind. Visiting Tamarind was weird because I felt like I knew everyone, even though I had never met them before (except for Alex, who visited St. Louis recently). After touring the studio and hanging out, we all went to the Frontier for lunch. I wasn’t very impressed with my vegetarian burrito, but I was happy to finally eat at the famous Frontier.

After lunch, I sat in on a demo by Porkchop’s instructor. After that, we went back Porkchop’s apartment and opened anniversary presents (7 years today – woot!). I received some Dagoba chocolate, a very pretty necklace from Mariposa (a shop on Nob Hill), and a toy cap gun. While Porkchop headed back to the studio, I slept for a couple of hours.

We had fast food Japanese for dinner and then later hung out at Patrick’s place. Patrick is Porkchop’s favorite Tamarind buddy and is a very nice (although very young) guy. At his apartment, we snacked on mixed nuts and played a fun Polish game – the name of which I cannot remember.

Porkchop left for Tamarind early in the morning while I slept in (the high altitude makes me tired!). I managed to squeeze in an hour and a half of knitting at Satellite Coffee before joining the Tamarind gang for lunch at Winnings (yum! hummus sandwich!).

In the afternoon, I went on the monthly official tour of Tamarind, during which I watched Four Stones for Kanemitsu. Once the tour concluded, I hung out in the studio and watched some of the students try their hand at a blend roll.

After a spaghetti dinner, Porkchop convinced me that I wanted to make my own print during my visit.

So, we went back to Tamarind where Porkchop prepared a couple of plates for me. We used plates instead of stones because Porkchop just happened to have some scrap plates. Here are shots from Friday night…

Porkchop doing prep work on a plate that I drew on with a greasy pencil:

Both plates nearly ready to go (after a couple of hours of working):

The plate on the right will be a flat…a solid block of ink with, in this case, the paper showing through where the designs are. The plate on the left will only have ink in the areas with designs.

After a leisurely morning, we walked down to Nob Hill to browse through shops and get lunch at Scalo. I had a delicious nicoise salad with ahi tuna, potatoes, olives, zucchini, and a poached egg. Here I am looking quite tired (again), but I like the Satellite Coffee and the mountains in the background:

The afternoon featured more work at Tamarind. More shots…

Porkchop doing more prep work:

Porkchop mixing ink for the flat:

Porkchop rolling out the ink and giving me an amused look:

Me trying my hand at the press:

Printing made us work up an appetite, so we had pizza at Saggio’s.

After a bit of resting, we went out for a drink with Patrick and his parents (who were visiting from Milwaukee). After a couple of drinks, we (minus the parents) went to Valpuri’s house. Valpuri is Porkchop’s classmate who is from Finland and goes by Valps. Valps Finnishness came through when she offered us a drink of licorice-flavored vodka that she made by melting half a bag of her favorite licorice candies. Mmmmm…it was deliciously salty and licorice-y.

Sunday meant sleeping in late and then going out for bagel sandwiches for lunch. After eating, it was back to the studio to print my second plate.

Here are some finished prints laid out to dry:

I was a bit disappointed with the end result, but I had a few things working against me, including sort-of-crappy plates with areas on which I couldn’t draw, inexperience, and lack of drawing skills. Anyway, now that I know my limitations, I have plans for a second print that should be more successful. Next time.

Once printing was done, Porkchop and I went for a walk on campus and hung out by a duck pond, enjoying the sun, the cool breeze, and the guy who took study breaks by walking on a tight rope.

Sunday night was reserved to go to Albuquerque’s Packers bar with Patrick and his parents. It was a big game, you know! The Packers versus the Bears. Unfortunately, the Packers lost. However, it was fascinating to observe a little outpost of Packers and Wisconsin culture (including Johnsonville brats and sauerkraut) in the desert.

This morning came too quickly with a 5:15 alarm and a taxi to catch at 5:45.


I miss Porkchop.

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