Monday, August 31, 2009
i remember when my dad tended bar at western bowl. he was an avid bowler--three or four leagues a week. i think he did it to pay for all the bowling. after all, he and mom managed a bowling alley before i was born, and he went to the bowling alleys until they took the car keys away just before he died.
i guess i was 12 or 13 about the time of this memory. there was a band that played in the bowling alley bar called the now and thens. the drummer's name was fred and i had the biggest crush on him! he had awesome thick brown hair and a huge mustache. oh! i was so shy... but i loved to dance. i would drag my friend to the bowling alley every friday night.
my dad would give us kiddie cocktails and we'd sit at the bar like grown up ladies. we thought we were so cool-- all dressed up with our pink fizzy drinks with extra cherries. my dad thought this was hilarious, and he was brutal! oh, he'd tease me in front of fred about how i had this huge crush. i was mortified... until the guys started playing. then, i'd drag my friend to the dance floor and forget all about boys and kiddie cocktails.
when the band stopped playing and the lights went up, we'd help clean up the bar with dad. he'd tease me relentlessly until i'd be throwing olives and maraschino cherries at him. he'd be laughing so hard and i'd be teetering on the edge of despair or hysteria.
that was my dad, always keeping me real. never letting me forget to be a kid and have fun. it took years, but eventually those lessons helped me keep two feet on the ground and realize i didn't need to take myself so seriously.
western bowl is gone and fred is missouri state representative. but, i still love kiddie cocktails and dancing and men with big mustaches.
i'm trying to keep it real and have fun. but, it'd be a lot more fun if you were here, Dad.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
life is just a series of seasons. today, i noticed the orange hue in the leaves.
things in my world have been a little me-centric lately. i didn't really notice until i started to crack apart the wall i'd built around myself this summer.
i'd rather not be that way, but i think for a while, it was okay. i had some healing to do. i needed to pick up all my pieces and remember who i was before i tumbled down the rabbit hole. more importantly, i needed to learn who i was coming out.
but, i no longer need that... it's okay that Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. that is the way it was supposed to be.
today, i thought of you. i thought for a long time and i tried putting on your shoes. they were too big and i made a great racket clomping around. but, i felt the uneven heal and worn toe of your habit.
how are you? won't you sit with me and have a cup of tea?
i shot a friend's son at his game last week. i had an absolute blast catching up with my friend. i hadn't seen her since junior year of high school. in fact, we chatted so much, sometimes i forgot why i was there!
the lesson? SHOOT IN RAW. OMG. i may not get nearly the number of shots, but the editing time was nearly nothing.
the quality of the shots? oh, even i, who am relentless and critical... i actually really like some of these.
another nice fall out to the lesson and reconnecting with a friend? interest from other parents. i'm thrilled to say the least.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
i went to a very good friend's studio recital/show a couple of few weeks ago. i took upwards of 1300 pictures and learned more valuable lessons.
first of all, just because you can get an ISO of 3200 does not mean that you should shoot at that high.
secondly, if you shoot in raw, you get better shots.
and lastly, it is possible i'm over doing it.
i'm horribly disappointed in the quality of my shots. i'm exhausted from the sheer volume and amount of effort it took to edit and SAVE shots.
am i any closer to "getting" it? i don't know. i just don't know. i have some great action in here, but when you take 1300 shots, you're bound to.
i need to change a few things. first of all, i need to get outside. move around. i've form-fitted to my chair and every limb is numb.
i wish i had something better for these girls. they worked their tails off and did a beautiful job of dancing.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
my computer has been whisked off to the land of the apple techs and i'm fit-to-be-tied about it. apparently, laptops from my era circa 2007 are prone to video cards fritzing out. that i can deal with, but what really yanks my chain is that it must be fedexed to the land of oz, and there is a very good likelihood that the techs will not only change the card, but also clear the whole BRAND NEW hard drive. there are photos on there that i hadn't backed up yet. thus the racing heart and red neck.
why? i asked.
in case they decide to check everything on the computer, said the genius who sounded an awful lot like a cali surfer that was half-baked at the end of a long weekend.
can we ask them not to? i cocked my head in that "aren't you cute? like a chicken who's neck i'm going to snap" way that i have about me. :)
no... we're remodeling the store. said surfer genius.
sometimes i give up to easily and say whatever. like on my birthday when the cop in his new spiffy american muscle car gave me a speeding ticket. this was just like that. WHATEVER.
tomorrow, i will check my status on line and call the support folks. i will see if there is anyway to save my hard drive from the vixens of cleaning.
in the meantime, i'm going to be camping out at work. i'm traveling everywhere with my external hard drive and eyeballing every computer without a body attached to within a 30 mile radius, so watch out. i'm going through some intense and violent withdrawals.
Monday, August 24, 2009
i feel like i've been swimming the english channel, and just when i think i've crossed and i'm william the conqueror, i hear this and realize i'm don quixote.
in the end, i suppose i strive to be more like queen elizabeth... going solo on principle.
just focus on the affairs of the state, allow for distractions till the calluses are thick, and one day, i'll forget it even happened.
Kings of Leon
Thursday, August 20, 2009
some days i am not sure if the day is going to be a handful of bitters or perk up like a bouquet of spring tulips.
i wish i could count on it like i can count on the fact that thursday follows wednesday, but i cannot. inspiration has a mind of its own.
i looked in the mirror a few hours ago and i thought, "if you want things to change, you have to do something."
i walked back to my desk and did a few busy work things that were very helpful to my boss. (things that i normally get a little cranky about.) then i sat down and sent out a few emails about photography. particularly, i emailed someone that i should have emailed four months ago to ask for help. that led to another email which landed me an opportunity. that led to a conversation which led me to even more help.
then, i started looking at professional photographers for serious inspiration... with a critical eye as opposed to cowering and withering and feeling unworthy. i started a list of things that i feel i need to accomplish and would like to accomplish to be prepared for this wedding.
it's only lunch time and i've already changed so much--but i'm not even close to finished! i've got a lovely bunch of tulips in my hand, and i intend enjoy them and appreciated them until the last pedal falls.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
the point: after the wedding, i've decided to splurge and give a gift to myself.... a 10 day extravaganza to Maine and Nova Scotia.
OMG, OMG, OMG (this is where i squeal)
i was looking at average temp charts and mapping out drive times compared to taking the CAT. if you've ever seen me get ready to travel, you know that these are sure signs that the kindling has caught and a full out forest fire is imminent. this is about to get dangerous. :)
OMG, OMG, OMG (this gets annoying, even for me)
i'm doing it. i'm really doing it and i'm going alone. i've never done anything like this alone.
i'm so excited, i just got all teary-eyed. i've wanted do this since.... since.... i think maybe.... forever.
so.... i fly to Portland on the 10th... take the CAT to Yarmouth... then drive to Halifax... seems best to do Halifax first... other places on the island? or .... hmmmmmmmmmmm..... and the OCD kicks in.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
until just a minute ago, i suspected it was about a guy. but, maybe it's got nothing to do with him at all. maybe he was just one more of the insane number of coincidences and Hindenburg-sized hints.
as we all know, i've got a good healthy fantasy built around the northern portion of the continent. within mere weeks of meeting above mentioned gentleman, i was in a fierce struggle over whether to take a vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine or Halifax, Nova Scotia? struggle... mull... indecision.
then, like Zeus dropping gifts from Mt Olympus, a Canadian bought me a beer.... and i became distracted. well... he was charming, kind and armed with a wit that was only rivaled by his intellect. so, you can imagine how this might've become an easy detour.
nonetheless, Canada is all around me. in fact, it has come up so much and so often that i barely note it anymore. i just assume... it's from there, about there, going there, coming from there. for pete's sake, somehow, it's bound to be Canadian. the universe, my karma, God... whomever or whatever you subscribe to... is flashing Las Vegas-sized directional signs.
so, please, Powers That Be... be aware that i've heard you. i'm going, i'm going.
now, can i please get some good old-fashioned Midwestern peace?
a friend of mine told me a story about a man who became a woman. he told her that when they started giving him hormones, he learned very quickly what the real difference was between men and women.
according to her, when she was a man, his emotions were almost separate... like they were in a bucket next to him and he could pull out whatever emotion he wanted, whenever he wanted. OR NOT. that point is central here.
when he started getting hormones to be a woman, she couldn't separate them... they were all on her at once, and they were intense.
oh sweet heaven above what i wouldn't give to be able to deposit my emotions into a bucket and drop kick it into the other room. i've never been a player or a game player for that matter. i've always been a girl with her emotions right there on her sleeve--and oh yeah, they're often intense.
but sometimes, girls like me have an incident that changes us. we start being a little less compassionate and a little reckless. we learn to take that soft, lovely part of ourselves that makes us the "gem", the girl that anyone would be lucky to have and pack that shit up and send it to the Philippines. this is a defense mechanism and that is a jacked up Disney fantasy.
i'm going to remember that little bit about the bucket.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
this is my little work world. the new building is okay... i'm trying to get used to the space. it is much louder, so i'm truly thankful for my ipod. it's brighter and smaller; believe it or not, i like that.
once, i lived in an apartment that had an old butler's pantry that had been turned into a closet. it had a tall skinny window that overlooked a park and had a high ceiling. it was maybe a 5 x 3ft closet--it was my office. i studied, wrote and created in that closet for a couple years. the house i bought to replace it was a poor substitute and didn't make me any happier.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
deer in the headlights.
"i'm not worried about it since they are functioning. we'll just continue to keep an eye on you."
deer in the headlights.
"we don't have to do anything about them."
SUV swerves and misses deer.
the end result? i get to decide whether or not to have the 10 minute outpatient procedure that will make my life a lot easier, predictable and more comfortable. of course, it will end any and all possibility of having children. back to that, AGAIN.
so, there's the question. hanging next to me like 10 point buck at a debutante ball.
i opened my mouth to say, "let's schedule it." instead, i hung my head and cried.
it was much easier when my body was having an attitude and making the decision for me. it is possible that i don't like driving this bus and prefer being the roadkill.
eventually, i gathered myself and said, "okay, i'll see you in 2 months."
Monday, August 10, 2009
i would still move to london, but that is beginning to seem like a real long shot, and that's okay.
that leaves heading north. yeah. my close friends are rolling their eyes. they've heard this before.
well, that may be. and who knows what will happen, but i've made a call or two. broached the subject with mom. started looking at career options. started preparing to sell things...
i've researched a trip in october. with the flight plans and someone to stay with in halifax, i just need to figure out what to do in maine. and this is all ridiculously cheap. nearly two weeks vacation should be more than enough of an opportunity to explore bangor, bar harbor and halifax... maybe more. well, at least get my toes in the water.
and yes, boston is still an option.
if you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise. --Robert Fritz
Sunday, August 09, 2009
a friend of mine was telling me that a guy had asked her, "if you were a tree, which would you be?"
interesting question. trees are actually fascinating. i learned a while back to appreciate them not only in the splendor of their blossom or greenery, but also in the winter when they are naked.
i thought i might have said a red cedar or a fringe tree or the orange tree at mobot... that's when i remembered it. i would be the tree pictured above. i used to know the name; it's a tri-colored something.
why? it's the only one i've ever seen. it's habit is beautiful and elegant, but full of curious twists and character. of course... the leaves. three colors... how many trees do you know that have leaves with three colors? it's a lovely tree in a shaded spot. i almost always find cardinals near or in it and i so enjoy cardinals.
in brief, yes, if i were a tree... this tree would suit me.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
as a child, i was a loner who had no siblings and was very good at entertaining myself. i didn't see my cousins often, and there weren't many kids in the neighborhood. i only babysat once in my youth and that was a small disaster. generally, i hung out with adults.
in high school, girls were talking about getting married and having kids while i stared at the floor and grimaced. i was not really keen on that idea, particularly the actual birthing part. i found it horrifying. even worse was the constant tending of these critters. i couldn't imagine the commitment and work.
every time i would date someone and get serious, my friends would ask if i was going to get married and have kids. umm, no. why would i do that? when i got engaged the first time, then the second and third time, the immediate question after the announcement was, will you have children? umm, no, why would i do that?
i have a lot of respect for the act of raising a child. in my eyes, for starters if you even consider it, not only should you be practical and dedicated, but there better be some serious commitment and love between the parents. i doubted my relationships would last, so i quickly deduced kids weren't for me.
the question became a point of torment with my family and a joke among my friends. i was far too selfish with my time and my interests. having a child became a measure of commitment, the ultimate gift that i would give to a man, to a relationship, to myself--to build a family. in other words, that ain't gonna happen, but if it does, you know i mean business.
this sometimes became an issue in relationships. the topic would come up and i would brush it off with a funny comment and remind him that there was plenty of time. who's in a rush? i was a master of deflection and to be honest, not once did i look at my partner and think, that is a man i want to build a family with. the concept remained alien.
even though i didn't want my own, the tiny folk gravitated to me. i was a jungle gym and playmate of mythic proportions. even though they were a mystery to me and i didn't have the first idea what to do with them, somehow i ended up giggling at the kids table and peeling them off of me at the end of the evening.
however, the first baby that entered the world of my circle of friends was a terrifying event. my friend kept telling me to hold the baby who was only hours old. i was certain that i would drop her, and of course, she took a deep breath and wailed with gusto as soon as she was in my arms. crap. that was a sign that fully reinforced the childless road.
then, i got married. yikes, now the heat was really on. it'd taken me eight years to actually sign on the dotted line and now the kid question came hard. uh, no thanks. i still did not have that calling. besides, my ex-husband had a child and she'd had children. i was called grandma before i was called wife.
then my friends at work began to have babies and strange thoughts arrived in my head. it was really more about all my friends having tykes than my own desire. i talked about it with my ex-husband. ultimately, reason won out. i quickly dropped the topic and soon after ended the marriage.
another relationship and the question of children. uh, no, why would i do that? but, this time my humor didn't work. it became a major point of contention and the whole thing tanked. goodness, my track record is awful!
all the time, my doctor was checking in on me. thinking about it? nope. the belly dancing has you in great shape for birth; it'd be no problem. nope. you're closing in on forty. nope, nope, nope.
the year i turned forty-one i was diagnosed with pcos and found out that getting pregnant might be difficult. well, i suppose it was a good thing i never wanted a baby. this worked out just fine. i went on my merry little way rather relieved.
then something happened. one morning i woke up early and in the silence slipped into a daydream. it was a cool and overcast day at the beach and i was sitting with a dark haired little boy on my lap. the boy suddenly caught sight of someone and leaped excitedly into the sand. i watched him run up a dune into the arms of the man i was watching sleep next to me.
i'll never forget that feeling. right then, i wanted nothing more in this world than to live that moment. i wanted to build a family with this man and it was the most overwhelming feeling i've ever known.
this time the question never came, and of course, the relationship didn't work out. however, i feel like it was a gift to have had that moment--to have felt that much love.
in less than a week, in all likelihood, the child option will be taken off the table. it isn't as though i'm in a relationship where it can be discussed. my doctor is no longer encouraging, but quite contrary. there is always adoption, but i would never intentionally try to raise a child alone.
with all of this on the table, it should be an easy thing to let go... but it isn't. i feel broken and inadequate. logically, i know this is the right decision and that i am more than this one thing.
but, that little boy running through the sand? i sort of wish that could have happened.
welcome to zenfest, may you find your zen.
btw, clothing is optional.
we enjoyed the weekend immensely.
first, we got to the camp about midnight. we put up a tent that none of us had seen before in under 20 minutes. when we went to bed about 1 am, it started storming. not a soft patter of rain--a storm that lifted the tent with rapid and loud lightening and thunder. the tent stayed up and we stayed dry... yes! when we finally woke, we took a stab at pancakes... the coleman didn't work and we didn't have a pit. we had yummy doughnettes, brie and prosciutto... nomnomnom
there were lots of interesting classes in reiki, mudras and massage. one guy in a sarong was toting a boa constrictor around. her name was hannah. btw, sarongs seem to be the step between pants and commando.
we nearly had a throw down with the belly dance teachers. they didn't know what the hell they were doing, and we were showing them up something fierce. then jules rocked the poi and even though they asked lars and i to spin that night, we decided that since we were still frequently whacking ourselves in the head with the tennis ball sock poi, real poi with fire might not be good.
saturday night there was a very cool drum circle that played all night. i could still hear one solo drum at 5:30 in the morning. at the bonfire, we watched women wearing nothing but a skirt and coin scarf "belly dance" around the fire. we contemplated stripping and showing them how it should be done... we decided we needed another cup of liquid courage to carry out the deed, but when we went back to camp we succumbed to the call of the sleeping bag.
sunday morning we had a gentleman caller who came to ask if we were going to breakfast and to the lake for a swim--judging by the lack of swim trunks it was a naked swim. we declined with sweet smiles and packed up the tent.
the zenfest was a lot of fun. most of the people were very kind, considerate and intersesting--with the exception of water boy who attempted to greet jules first thing saturday morning with a big wet kiss and later tried to wrap me up with a whip. yikes!
we laughed till we were in pain, decided that we were far more vulgar than men and enjoyed yummy camp chow. jules' jerk chicken and blooming onion were ever so decadant. lars has incredible patience and roasted perfect marshmallows for all of us. sunday morning, after we bolted, we landed in a cracker barrel where i guzzled coffee, lars became obsessed with the little game they put on the table and jules, well, jules put ice in her milk and made a biscuit stonehenge.
we also made a random visit to a cheese store where i discovered cheese curd and we all tried the habenaro cheddar that burned for a good forty miles.
i barely got out big daddy (what we named my camera) because of all the nudity, but i did get some shots of the ritual circle we accidentally camped in. the coven that showed up saturday night to perform their ritual gave us a stern stare down. what could we do? there were two other tents in the way, but their inhabitants were dancing around the bonfire! i also got some shots of the poi spinning saturday night... click the perfect s'more to see more pics.
we nearly forgot the tent and all got sunburned, but no one noticed.... what with naked tai chi!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
i've got a whole slew of shots to edit from the city garden, but this is one of my favs. i think it looks like a postcard. i never remember which building this is, but it's my favorite downtown building. i used this pic in class tonight and it got great feedback. there are ways to improve it, but i'm rather digging it.
a friend forwarded this link! holy moley! they made a video for the movie with my tune!! deeeelightful.
i walk around daily humming this silly little tune and have sort of adopted as my song. not sure what that says given the lyrics. the lyrics and the melody, they are so light and i dig the attitude. it's sorta like, hey this works so let's just have some fun. i guess this is an ideal, the way i think things oughta be. :)
btw.... why don't you come and play here?
Why do you let me stay here
All by myself?
Why don't you come and play here?
I'm just sitting on the shelf
Why don't you sit right down and stay a while?
We like the same things and I like your style
It's not a secret
Why do you keep it?
I'm just sitting on the shelf
I've gotta get your presents
Let's make it known
I think you're just so pleasant
I would like you for my own
Why don't you sit right down and make me smile?
You make me feel like I am just a child
Why do you end it?
Just give me credit
I'm just sitting on the shelf
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
i don't have an agrarian background, but i come from a blue collar family. my dad worked 30 plus years for the railroad, and a year after he died, we won a class action suit against the railroad. my dad was a brakeman and he climbed around the cars for his whole shift... there were no covers on the cars pulling lead. that means that he had a few decades of lead poisoning--him and a few hundred other men. my dad suffered the most dramatic effects and was therefore the lead case.
he never saw the case settled because he died the year before from lung cancer at the age of 59. i was there with him and watched him die. he started smoking as a barely teen and smoked until he couldn't even hold the cigarette in his hands. though he only had days to live and it no longer mattered, i just couldn't help him smoke no matter how much he pleaded.
what does this have to do with food inc? this movie is not a surprise. we have suffered the tobacco lies, seen the results of the love canal, and recently, learned a good deal about the gas companies (see Gashole if you haven't).
everyone should read upton sinclair's the jungle and george orwell's the road to wigan pier. it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to consider the theories of the disappearance of the hopewell indians (the huge indian civilization that lived at the cahokia mounds). one theory of their demise is a diet based too much on corn.
among my peers this evening there was often a surprising level of amazement about the what was on the screen. it is at times like this when i'm grateful for my natural curiosity and ability to temper information and facts from many sources. yes, i did learn a lot tonight. i'll not claim i knew it all beforehand. instead of it being all new information, i was filling in some holes and developing new questions.
even when we don't think we do, we do have choices. we just need to stick our heads out from under the rock and look around and question, question, question.