Monday, May 5, 2014

Bless Me Father... has been two and half years since my last blog post.

In that time, we've added another family member (our baby is now seven months old) and our lives have resembled whirlybirds (the mid-Missourian reference to those things that fall out of maple trees, spinning around as they descend, also referred to as "helicopters").

As things change and I keep having birthdays, I might be growing little more introspective.  As such, I'd like to add a category to the Trivial Pursuit layout of the blog.  I hate to deviate from the classic version, but there were no "Armchair Psychology" or "Meaning of Life" or "Self-Indulgent Whims of a Narcissist" categories.  The closest I could find to describe the All-About-Me-ness is from the Trivial Pursuit Master Game - Young Players Edition (1984) - the category is Arts and Culture.

It's the "Culture" part, specifically, that interests me - not just my own, but others on all different scales, be they global, continental, regional, even household.  Yesterday I attended a birthday party with my kids where we were served Ethiopian food by our hosts, some of whom were wearing traditional dress from their country.  Great example of a completely different culture, totally foreign to us for the most part.  And yet, the kids in our neighborhood living three doors down have a home life and upbringing that, in more subtle and nuanced ways, can be worlds different than that of my own children.

So there will likely be some essays on what I believe/wonder what/think/feel makes me me and the people around me, them.

Yay, right?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Workouts and andFLEW! - Book Club

Sports and Leisure - Workouts and andFLEW!

I'm in the earlier stages of creating workouts that I enjoy.  I've put on 20 pounds over the last year and I'm ready to be done with that.  I was all set to do this awesome bootcamp/circuit training thing, but the only way it's offered here in town is through a personal trainer with a group fitness program.  I did the free week offered, but found that after that, I really couldn't do personal trainer prices.  I did love the workout though - my friend Crystal said her workout DVD sounds similar, so I might order that and let Jillian Michaels and her scary face scream at me two or three times a week.

Looking at me now, one might not believe it, but I do have a background in gymnastics and dance.  I've always wanted to get back into dancing somehow, but my 32-year-old, 5'10", XXX-pound body resides in a small mid-western town where adult dance classes have always been impossible to find. Until now!  Enter andFLEW! Studio for the Arts.  Along with her family, the studio was started by Gessell Caudill, a girl about my age who was home-schooled along with her sisters.  The family has always fascinated me - through their homeschooling they had the opportunity to develop their already existing talents in the arts and now they teach us dance, yoga, dance fitness, music and more.  I won't plug them too much more, check out their website for that.  The point is, I hate "aerobics" and most things like it.  Now I can dance!  For me, this week will be Cardio Striptease (it's not dirty!  And I would feel ridiculous if it were.  It's mostly the kind of dancing you do when you've had a few drinks, come home to a house that is either empty or sleeping, crank up your iTunes or Rhapsody, and dance by yourself) and Zumba.  When I'm feeling in shape enough, I can't wait to start ballet.  Or tap.  Or jazz.  Ugh.  How will I tell my children that I can't read to them at bedtime because I'm rehearsing for my recital?

Here is one other aspect I plan to add to my workouts twice a week.  We already have the heavy bag in the basement, but it's attached to the rafters and when you use it, it literally shakes the whole house - so I can't do it after the kids go to bed.  Are there two times a week when everyone is out of the house but me?  We'll find out.

I promise this won't turn into a "follow my progress as I diet and exercise" blog.  I will make mention of it from time to time, especially if I've proudly reached some milestone or another.  But it won't be the focus.  (But DAMN do I hope I have some cool before and after photos to post at a later date)

Art & Literature - What I'm Reading These Days....
I love books and I've only recently figured out how to work them back into my life.  Birthing two babies in 16 months kind of stops every other part of existence in its tracks.  But now I'm back in the game and have become part of.....wait for it....yep....a book club.  And it's exactly what you might think it is - a bunch of women sitting around drinking wine and discussing works of contemporary fiction and non-fiction.  Exactly the sort of thing that makes me cringe and also makes me feel like I'm now a woman of a certain age.  But guess what?  I love my book club!  It's filled with intelligent, insightful women, excellent wine, and NO Oprah Book List!  Thank you to my excellent friend Rachel for creating this avenue.

Here's what we've read so far:
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Shaffer and Barrows
Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
The Shack - William P. Young
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

And we are currently reading:
The Black Dahlia - James Ellroy

I do have things to say about these books, but it will be at a later post, maybe an end of the year review.  Or maybe tomorrow, I don't know.  My brain doesn't seem to want to think about the books right now.

I enjoy books outside my club of course.  I've been reading The Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan, since 1996 (my high-school boyfriend introduced it to me - it took me months to get past the prologue and the fact that I was reading fantasy, but I finally embraced my repressed inner geek girl and went for it!) and am now, with much excitement and bittersweetness, awaiting the final volume due out in March. 

More to come - more books, more music, more everything!  This sure is fun :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Budos Band - DJTees - Vintage Recipes

Entertainment - The Budos Band 
One of my favorite musical acts is Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.  Soul, funk, fun and beautiful.  They share a record label (Daptone Records) and a guitarist (Thomas Brennick) with the self-described "Afro-soul" band The Budos Band.  I happened upon them while looking for some SJDK merchandise - the merch link on the SJDK page took me to all Daptone Records merchandise.  I saw a sweet t-shirt with a band I'd never heard of, so I youtubed them and found this:

Who's lucky?  This girl.  If our lives had soundtracks, these guys would compose my score.  I'm so happy to add this band to my life.

Entertainment - Art & Literature -
Art and literature because fashion is art (frivolous or not, it's still art) and because the photography work for the tees is really great.  And entertainment because these t-shirts all have rock stars on them!
I've been purchasing from this site since about 2005.  Just take some time to look around....
My notable purchases:  The Flying Burrito Brothers t-shirt for dad, Stevie Ray Vaughan tee and Clint Eastwood (from High Plains Drifter) tee for husband, classic Elvis from Jailhouse Rock tee for my boy, and future purchase for baby girl - hot pink Debbie-Harry's-face tee.

Art & Literature - Vintage Kitchen Recipes
A new site started by my excellent friend Sallie.  She takes old - like generations old, in some cases - recipes and updates them for our more modern lifestyles. The combination of kitsch, cooking and Sallie's approach to life cannot be beat :)

More Trivial Pursuits to come - there are as many as a life is long.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just what the world needs - another blogger!

We are inundated with information and plethoras of opinions regarding it all.  While I'm overwhelmed and annoyed by so much of both, I've still chosen to add my lot to the mix.  I believe I'm doing so because somewhere in all the chaos, I do discover all kinds of cool stuff!  And I feel so strongly about so much of this stuff that I want to pass it all along to the people I enjoy - just in a more concise way than random posts on a facebook news feed.

I realized that the things I love to think/talk/ponder/worry/gripe about resemble the categories of Trivial Pursuit (a game I love and can sometimes win, but is most times a learning experience rather than a victory experience):
Geography (I want to travel and have a manageable obsession with maps)
Entertainment (I have a less than manageable obsession with pop culture)
History (I love history, and since I'm now over 30 I've developed a more than mild interest in politics - aka future history)
Art & Literature (More beautiful entertainment.  I love book nerds and will make as much time in my life as I can to be one)
Science and Nature (Even though I'm surrounded by mathmaticians, engineers and scientists, it's the subject of which I am least knowledgeable, so of course, most fascinated by.  It's all magic to me)
Sports and Leisure (More entertainment!  I'm a fan of sports - but a true fanatic of leisure)

So look for the things I post to fall under one (or more!) of these categories.  I imagine some will be a stretch, but I'll do my best.