Monday, October 20, 2014

Fright Night

While I love halloween, I don't like scary movies or haunted houses.  Maybe because my childhood home looked exactly like the Amityville Horror house.  No joke, creepy attic windows and all.  That and that haunted house I went to when I was in college in Alabama.  Where one of the gory characters chased me down through the enitre house.  Ok, it's because I lost a barrette and he was trying to return it to me.  Of course, at the time,  I had no idea that was the reason.  And that year I spent in Alabama for college?  That was a horror story of a completely different kind.

So when Craig suggested it would be fun to go to The Haunted Mines here in town, I was immediately looking for an out.  Until he told me he already bought the really expensive tickets for all of us and then broke the news it would take 30 minutes to go through it.  Then I searched even harder for an exit strategy.  But, in the end, I couldn't come up with one.

Before I even stepped foot inside, I was terrified.

It started in line, where we waited for over an hour just to get to the front for our turn.  It's not that the suspense was building so much as it was the teenage couple who made out directly in front of us during our wait.  Talk about grotesque!  Then they started to play guess which movie on the outdoor screen, yup, Amityville Horror.  "Look kids, where the flies attack the priest, that was where my bedroom was in grandpa's house." 

Then finally, it was our turn.  

And a funny thing happened.  I became hilarious.  Oh, I'm not joking.  Let me assure you, I definitely didn't go in first, cause the only funny thing about that would've been me peeing myself.   But, when I knew exactly what was coming because Jade's brave friend went through first, then I could devote myself fully to trying to make the actors break character and laugh.  And it worked.  Not just once, but several times.  

Cause when I'm trying to cover my unease, I always try to make people laugh.

So, when a zombie crept up behind me and whispered in my ear that he wanted to take one of my children, I responded the only way I could.  "Take them all, they're expensive.  Dude....the college years are coming.  Oh, not the really blond girl though, she's not mine.  But, the other four, definitely."  This was after I complimented the creepy dolls on their synchronized messy pigtails, asked the guy in the haunted saloon if they served alcohol and introduced a guy to the group the Pet Shop Boys by singing West End Girls to him.  He even stopped my husband, who was at the end of the line, to ask him what the name of the song was again, so he could look it up later.  That's how compelling my performance was.

OMG, zombies and other creeps totally get me!

Since my family doesn't laugh at my jokes anymore or acknowledge how funny I am, even though I've assured them many times that I am, I think I'm just going to have to go to haunted houses just for the validation.  Although,  I'll make sure I'm completely barretteless first.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wine Enthusiast

A sampling of my wine cork selection.  
By now you may know I really like wine.  Only red though.  And I prefer it to be bold, full bodied and not come out of box or have a screw cap.  I have nothing against screw caps per se, it's just that removing a cork adds a little more pageantry to the process.  This is in direct contradiction to everything else in my life, which I like to keep casual and understated.  Everything except my wine.

I want it to be an experience, to savor it.  
But, maybe that's because I'm spending at least $10 a freakin' bottle.
In my defense the labels are beautiful...

Bring on the freakshow!
Ok, not so beautiful, more confused, as was I when I bought a $6 bottle of crap
solely because the question mark on the bottle was my favorite color,
And come on, this bottle of red is perfect for when Aunt Flo comes to visit.
Of course I like my red served up with a gourmet meal
with a side of deep, meaningful adult conversation.

And I also love to enjoy it outside in a stemmed glass sitting at the tiki bar.
(Don't even get me going on those new sub par and less elegant stemless wine glasses....ughhhh.)
But, if I have no other choice,
 I will drink it out of a clearly labeled plastic cup.  
And I think we all know how a night with a nice bottle of red with a cork sipped from an elegant stemmed glass with  a gourmet alfresco meal  with deep, meaningful adult conversation has to end.  With some spicy dark chocolate, preferably
while getting spicy in the hot tub.

Please note:  This post is pure fantasy void of all the realities of 4 whining ungrateful teenagers ruining a gourmetish meal I slaved over for an hour.  Completing the picture with broken corks crumbled into the wine served in dusty chipped wine glasses that fruit flies have committed suicide in while we're fighting about who got a window seat when we flew to Portugal.  And someone forgot to put the chemicals in the hot tub, so I end up falling asleep on the couch.  AGAIN.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Special Report

Interrupting your regularly scheduled blog post to bring you this special report.

For those of you who may not know, I'm now a writer at Jummp on-line travel magazine.  And for my second article with them I was assigned the topic of pot tourism in Colorado.

So you jump on over and see what I had to say here.

And here's last months article on traveling with kids I wrote.

Oh and next month, I'll have an article on toilets you won't want to miss...

Monday, October 13, 2014

That 70's Post

Last week I found this vintage Mountain Dew t-shirt at a thrift shop.  While I hate the soda, I love old things, like the Adidas sneakers I paired with it.  The same ones I always wear camping and hiking.  The ones my friends make fun of like I should be in a Run DMC music video.  I don't care that they aren't fashionable anymore.  There's just something about the 70's that makes me feel connected to a simpler time.  Maybe because it was my childhood.

And don't we all idealize the past? Like if we just go back far enough we'll find the part where it all started to take a turn for the worse.  Which of course started with the Big Bang.  But right now, sandwiched between ISIS and Ebola, what's the harm in a bit of reverie?

They called the 70's the "Me Decade", obviously no one could have foretold that the "Millennials" would take individualism to a whole new level, until everyone was so individualized that everyone kinda became the same again.  Like Sneetches.   But alas, this was the only epidemic in the 70's which was sandwiched between polio and the HIV epidemic.  There wasn't a major health scare.  In fact you could smoke anywhere and everywhere and no one wore a seat belt ever.

The biggest crises of the day were the oil embargo, stagflation and at the tail end, the hostage crisis.  The hostage crisis which the charismatic Reagan gets credit for ending, when modest Carter was the workhorse behind it.  Environmentalism from the 60's was picking up steam and Greenpeace and granola emerged on to the scene.  And I had a pet rock, earth shoes and desperately longed to have my very own Sunshine Family complete with pottery wheel and jeep like my friend Lisa,  instead of the hand-me-down metal roller skates that strapped on over my sneakers.  Cause really how stupid are metal wheels?  All I wanted was to watch roller derby on tv and own the new fangled all in one Adidas sneaker skates.

No, the 70's weren't perfect.  Need I remind you of Nixon?  And that Ford pardoned him in the same decade.  The song Afternoon Delight was on the radio as was the group Wings.  I don't care that Paul McCartney was in it, it sucked.  Even as a kid without access to an ipod chock full of songs tailored to my own personal taste, I knew this.

But when things get stressful and look dire, this is where I go back to in my mind.
The 70's, a simpler time, if only in my mind.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

That Magic Moment

Have you ever been in a moment that is so magical you want to suspend it in time so it can last forever?  Yeah, well mine is gone.  Ok, it was more like a stream of moments put together that were my kids' single digit years.  And though my youngest,  Ember, isn't double digits until next month, we've bridged one of those major magical milestones, confirmation that Santa (the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy) isn't real.

I couldn't wait for this magic moment to come or so I thought.  Hiding the gifts "from Santa" was getting exhausting with 4 snoopy kids.  In addition to answering the increasingly intricate questions of how he gets all those presents to all those houses.  Putting out and eating the cookies and carrots on Christmas Eve was a burden.  Maybe that wasn't so hard.  And to be honest, we didn't eat the carrots, we just put them back in the fridge and pretended the reindeer ate them.

Though I couldn't wait for the charade to be over, I still didn't want to tell Ember quite yet, except we're going to Thailand over Christmas.  And I don't have the energy to hide stuff from Santa in the luggage and try to pull off a magical Christmas after 24 hours of traveling with 4 kids and little sleep.  But I really feel like an era is gone now.  And I want to take it all back.  To pretend that magic still exists and try to keep my kids in a suspended state of innocent wonder where good things come to good people forever.

But instead, I'll have to accept that the magic moment is gone.  That they need to experience all the wonder of the world.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  And they'll need to learn how to make their own magic.   And how to savor and celebrate it in all its fleeting delight.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Timed Out

Sometimes, I want to show you new things I can do on a pole.  But, you might not know how difficult these things can be to capture.  Because I take them with a self timer.  Meaning, I have exactly 10 seconds to set the timer, determine the best angle for the shot, hop on the pole and hold it.  Often with blood rushing to my head and it's hard not to look ridiculous with a vein popping out of your head, especially when you're in pain on top of that. And there are so many times I can't even get into the move in 10 seconds.  So I have a lot of shots of me in weird positions looking pissed.  Really, really pissed. Cause I am.  If I shot it in video, it would be a stream of curses.

This is one of my favorite moves,
 bonus, it's fairly easy to photograph too

Butterfly is also highly photogenic.

This was me attempting superman,
which looks nothing like this, I just timed out.

This is an attempt at pyramid,
which I did get later.

And this is an early dismount from something,
I have no recollection of...all that blood rushing to my head and all.

This is Gemini, unless it's Scorpio.  I'm turning my smile upsidedown here
 cause I don't particularly like this pic

Pyramid, nailed it!
Unless it's called tripod...

This is triangle or "d" or in my case backwards "d".

Just made it, you can see my hand is still in motion.
This knee hold must've taken about 15 tries
and I still have the bruises to prove it.
If you haven't timed out and want to see me at my last recital with the lights on even, here it is...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Body Image Post

I'm almost 45 and the most fit I've ever been.  Achieved through nothing less than hard work and making a commitment to staying healthy every day.   So when I recently saw some professional photos of a friend, I thought maybe I'd like to get some done.  So I started researching "boudoir photos".  And for 24 hours, I considered it.  Until I realized, this kind of photo isn't me.  Lingerie and lots of make-up aren't my thing.   Maybe that was the temporary appeal of it all, to feel and look like someone else.  Someone I'm not. 

Gabrielle Reece
Then, I asked myself what it was I really wanted out of this whole photo shoot thing.  And the answer is, I want to accept myself for the way I am: short legs, small chest, thin straggly hair with receding hairline, a giraffe neck, accompanied by an extremely long cheekboneless face with a big chin and forehead.  By seeing my body for what it is and what it can do.  Not my body in comparison to other women.  And not to make anyone else feel inadequate, but to send the message that with dedication and sweat equity, anything is possible. Especially in your forties and beyond.  Especially for my daughters.  Especially in a world of feigned photoshop perfection.

Malia Jones
The women I find the most attractive are those that live their passion and push themselves beyond their limits.  Doing it with a sense of grace that makes it appear effortless but only comes from failing a million times over only to get up and try again.  Women who don't cover up their flaws, but instead flaunt them and the imperfections that make them beautiful.    These are the women I want my daughters to look up to and emulate.  Which is exactly why I'm going to stay true to myself.

 Never been a fan of lingerie. I like comfy, cotton underwear dammit!
And stilettos? I'll stick to my chucks, thank you very much.

But, who knows, if a photo opportunity for a natural over 40, non-surgically enhanced fitness model who's really uncomfortable in front of the camera comes along, maybe I'll take it.   But, I definitely won't be sitting around waiting for that to happen.  I've got pole moves to master and Jillian Michael's ass to kick.  


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