Friday, July 16, 2010

with the fire of 1,000 suns

My sister and I have started going to a trainer. Let's call our trainer Tyra the Tyrant.

We have worked out with her twice, the first time was last Saturday. The training session was 1 hour of torture. 1 hour of lingering in the 7th level of Hell. It was horrible!

During the workout, Tyra chirped as she sipped a latte, "you guys are gonna hate me!"

She was right. By the time the session was over, Shell and I were drenched in sweat, descending the stairs to the locker room with rubbery, muscle distressed legs and in a post workout fog. With every step down on the stairs I announced "I hate Tyra, I hate Tyra".

The remainder of the week was one where anytime I moved, I cried out in pain. While sleeping, everytime I rolled over, I was awakened by twinges of pain. Going up and downstairs was often done on my hands and knees. My dread of seeing Tyra again today built slowly and steadily starting on Sunday.

Today, as we walked in the parking lot of the health club I said to my sister "I wonder which car is hers, I want to go kick her tires". As we entered the building I said "I hate Tyra, she is ultimately evil". As we climbed the stairs to the gym I said "I don't want to do this, I don't want to do this".

As we started the workout Tyra was extra chirpy and perky, which made me want to pinch her. She is one of those super fit natural blondes, probably a size 2 (arrrggghhh). She began to put us through the paces, and what we had to do was a lot more fun than last week (remember it was the 7th level of Hell). I found myself not hating Tyra quite so much in the beginning of the workout. Don't get me wrong, my inner rage toward my trainer grew, but not to the epic levels of last Saturday. When she asked how the work out went today, I said "well, last week I hated you with the fire of 1,000 suns - this week, I only hate you with the fire of 950 suns, so I consider that a big improvement."

Tyra took it in stride, and laughed, as it was meant as a joke. I actually felt a little sense of accomplishment at the end of today's session. And I am not as sore as last week. I didn't totally hate it. But don't tell Tyra I said that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What are the windows of the soul?

Some say the eyes are the window to the soul. Today, I think my toes illustrate my current state of mind / soul right now.

They are blue. Just how I feel.

(BTW my eyes are blue too, so double whammy - the eyes say it too).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Make some room in the knickers drawer

Today I went to the movies with a friend we will refer to as the Dancing Queen. Dancing Queen and I like to have girl time occassionally, and this week it was a lunch and the movies situation.

After a delicious lamb burger at Cafe Barbette, DQ and I headed off to "Joan Rivers - A piece of work" playing at the Lagoon Theater. Not too many people in the audience, and DQ and I were half the age of most of them.

The movie covers a year in the life of Joan Rivers, and how she is the hardest working woman in show business. Is it all business that A listers would want to do? No. But for a 75 year old, she has got a work ethic of a draft horse and the gumption of a Mary Lou Retton (remember her? She was the piston driven pixie that stole the hearts of America in the 1984 Olympics ack!). You get to see behind the scenes of her life - close ups of the results of her plastic surgery, whiffs of her desperation for ongoing relevance and fame, and see the origins of her comedic roots. She's feisty, funny, and a little bit sad.

It's an entertaining two hours that I recommend for most. Some of her jokes are a little racy, so those with the most delicate of constitutions may want to stick with the Disney fare rather than this documentary.

I give it 3 knickers out of 5.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You can ride this or you can ride that....

Currently, this is my favorite commercial. I'm a sucker for any sort of animal selling something. Especially when they are decked out in street wear. These fuzzy fellows remind me very much of my second hamster, Baby Habib, which I have mixed feelings about. He was a biter, but very adorable. He liked my mother more than me, because when he would escape from his penthouse suite of his Habitrail, he would escape from the family room on the one side of the house, run through the house, and end up underneath my parent's bed on the other side of the house. He would set up shop under my mom's side of the bed, right under her head. She then would have to wake up Little Donnie who would have to capture Baby Habib and return him to his quarters in the middle of the night.

One question about the commercial - Why do boy hamsters wear shirts and no pants, and girl hamsters wear skirts and no shirts?

Okay, gotta go. Gotta work on my my soulful hamster dance moves.

I've hit the wall

Oh the pressure of challenges. Why oh why did I put the pressure on myself to post every day in July? Now it makes it feel like work. Not that I should feel put out by that considering I am currently exploring the unemployment arts.

I'm not inspired, but deciding to just type whatever comes to my mind. My friend Wubbis and I would type letters to each other in typing class in high school that were free-form streams of consciousness rants and raves. Don't judge, we did our assignments and had plenty of time to spare so it was fine that we were doing these stream of consciousness documents. Usually they were single spaced, double sided letters. They were quite hilarious. Wubbis (named to protect her identity) tended to rant about the girl who sat in front of her in typing class and her smelly hair. The girl always smelled like food, and poor Wubbis was forced to inhale the aroma while typing 80 words a minute. We would pass each other the notes after classes, and then spend time in our next classes laughing at what the other said. I found one a few months ago when I was packing up my house in North Carolina, and I still laughed out loud, almost 25 years later. Typing class was totally awesome in that you didn't get homework, because most people didn't have IBM electric typewriters at home - and NO ONE had computers at home unless it was a Commodore 64 which didn't have any word processing capabilities.

I was just mentioning to someone a week ago that the class I probably got the most out of as an adult was the two semesters of Typing that Little Donnie forced me to take. I thought it was a lame decision at the time, but now I type more than anything other high school related - I mean, I spend little time on my clarinet, speaking elementary French, or reflecting on the knowledge gleaned from my Social Studies classes. Typing rules! Thank you Little Donnie!

Wow. That little post just wrote itself!

Crisis averted.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I always feel like somebody's watchin' me, and I have no privacy

I'm collecting bookmarks of street fashion blogs like a hobo picking up aluminum cans. They have developed into an addiction (not to Lindsay Lohan levels, but I may need an intervention in a year or so). I find it quite fascinating how some people can really pull some doozy ensembles together and look like a million bucks.

I think it's a gift, but perhaps it can be learned. The question of nature vs. nurture is a valid one, when looking at the science/art of putting together an interesting outfit.

Here are a couple of my favorite sites that I like to check out every day.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tonight I shall dream of blue ribbons....

It's official.

I am going to be puttin' a mighty fine artistic entry in the State Fair! Wahoo!

I'm a little nervous. Last time I put anything artistic in a show I think I was 10 and they hung a picture I had painted up in a student gallery display at the lovely Har Mar Mall. The 1970's were much more forgiving on the creative souls of children back then. Now, everyone is a critic - with free immediate venues like Facebook, Twitter, blogs - I could be emotionally slashed to ribbons if I don't win some sort of prize. Of course, I am being a bit of a drama queen, considering the MN State Fair is one of the largest of the nation, and thousands of people enter items. So, assuming that I would be a focal point of attention is a wee bit pretentious isn't it?

Anyway, I know that it will be fun to do - Jody, Mike and I are going to have a craft day and make two items each to submit to the fair. We are each putting in an entry for stained glass design (flat) and stained glass design (vessel). Check back in a few weeks for a photo of what I end up making. Currently my vision of the flat design item will be a recreation of this:

Let's just see if that comes to fruition shall we?

A few years ago I took some pics at the fair at some of the submissions - take a gander at the caliber of competition we will be up against.

They are all magical in their way. I just hope those that view my future pieces are as generous as I in its criticism

Monday, July 05, 2010

My knickers at their 'twist-freeyist" or Missy being mighty chill...

I have got another day of Cardiac care under my belt. As the TFK readers already know, my father aka Little Donnie aka IRON MAN just spent a significant bit of time in the cardiac unit of a local hospital.

Today I spent some more time, but not with IRON MAN. This time we will call today's patient Bubble Boy.

Bubble Boy has been visiting me from out of town for about a week. He came to hang out, experience the Twin Cities and chill with the chilliest chick around (me). This morning, after his shower, he asked me what the day's agenda was.

Bubble Boy: "So what is today's schedule?"

Me: "Well, 8:30 we will leave, drop off stuff at Bud's house, 9:00 we will go to the grocery store, 10:00 we will meet A & B at the yacht club, 2:00 we will come in from the lake, 3:00 we will be back at Bud's for the party, and then at the party till 9:00 PM."

BB: "Which of these things are the least important?"

Me: "Why?"

BB: "Because I'm suffering from chest pains, and should probably go to the hospital"

Me: "LET'S GO!"

Now, the Bubble Boy is healthy overall, however, at age 44, he is in his heart attack years, as I learned on Oprah years ago. I quickly got dressed, gave him some aspirin, jumped in Babs the Wonderbeetle and high-tailed it to the ER of the best cardiac hospital in town. I kept my cool, and so did Bubble Boy (he is quite mellow in his own right) and we were probably the calmest people in the hospital all day.

After a 10 hour stay, with nitro glycerin dosing, morphine injections, EKGs, X rays, blood tests and more, it was determined that he was not dying from a cardiac ailment.

Two of Bubble Boy's reactions to his situation were consistent with reaction other males that are part of my reality.

1) males think that they write the rules
- example BB decided that they didn't need the 12 point EKG attachments attached to his chest anymore, and went through the process of pulling the sticky little pads off of his chest hair in anticipation of leaving the hospital. Imagine my amusement when an EKG specialist rolled in an EKG machine about 2 hours later and reapplied new sticky conductors back on to his furry chest.

2) males think that there is no reason for pain relief. Once BB found out he wasn't damaging his heart, he refused any sort of pain relievers to reduce his discomfort for his medical situation. The number of times I have heard "Pain is weakness leaving the body" from males is epic. All I am going to say is sitting in pain when it could easily be relieved doesn't increase your street cred with the ladies in any way.

I'm glad to be home, and glad BB didn't have to stay in the hospital. All in all, it turned out to be a good day.

One more public service announcement:
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM CHEST PAIN - DON'T BE A HERO! GO TO THE DOCTOR ASAP! Better that it ends up being something minor, than being something bad. As the nurse said today, "It's a good thing you came in today, because we can't treat your heart attack at home".

Current Obsession - in a very Animotion sort of way...

I was first introduced to The National on the Letterman show (sidebar - his little music producer person has been doing a great job getting some interesting acts lately). They are one of these bands with like 17 people in it - like having one guy that plays the maracas exclusively (an exaggerated example). They are super scruffy, look like they buy all their wrinkly, musty looking clothes by the pound, and have a tremendous sound. The lead singer's voice is hypnotic. Sorrow is my current favorite song by the band, and I will be doing further exploration of their music catalog. I suggest you do too. Give 'em a try...

Sunday, July 04, 2010

What is wrong with some women?

I have a confession.

I'm a picker.

Nose picker? Nope. Cherry picker? Not at all. I am a pimple picker. And not on myself, just on others.

It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally an opportunity will come along, usually on a friend with a XY chromosome, to apply pressure to a skin curiosity that provides a very satisfying result.

I know that I am not alone - lots of females are into picking. My sister is one, my friend Kristen another. I remember riding in Kristen's family motor home in the summer as a kid, her dad at the wheel with no shirt on, and Kristen standing behind him picking on skin curiosities on his upper back.

You Tube is filled with videos of people squeezing lumps and bumps and other crazy things - often with extremely gross results. My sister finds videos and forwards them to me, just to share the gross out. It's just another type of sisterly bonding.

If you are strong of stomach and can handle viewing graphic activities - type in the following search keywords on You Tube "two girls, one cyst" and feast your eyes.

It's a secret shame...but listen, I could be doing heroin or something. Don't judge me so harshly.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

And I'm not talking about Robert Downey Jr. in this post...

I told my friend Payam tonight that time was ticking and I needed to log a blog post before the clock struck midnight. I asked "what should I write?". He said "what was significant about today?". Hmmmm it was a jam packed day of errands, dinner with friends, shopping, movie watching, internet surfing, reading, beauty treatments and other insignificant things. When I really looked at it, one thing stood out.

The most significant of the day was realizing how I'm not ready for my parents to leave the planet.

Wow. Heavy thoughts from a silly girl huh? Well recently my dad, who going forward will be referred to as Little Donnie, gave us quite the scare. Short version of the story is that he fainted on the golf course on a hot day (really it was cardiac arrest), went to the hospital, was told he was having a heart attack, was rushed to another hospital, had a stent put in for the blockage and then ended up having a defibrillator and pacemaker put in. A lot of stuff for an active 80 year old to have going on, but he came through it like a champ.

He's out of the hospital, and can't drive for 46 more minutes(well officially in 46 minutes it's tomorrow), so my sister and I have been doing driving duty to the various things he and my mom need to go to.

Today was my job to drive to cardiac therapy at a local hospital. Cardiac therapy is like a mellow, very supportive gym that isn't a meat market and has emergency personnel available at a moment's notice. Little Donnie took his place on the recumbent elliptical machine and put in an hour long work out. Afterward, we ran an errand, going to Sam's Club. Little Donnie likes to have bagged salad and bananas on hand at the house, and of course, why wouldn't you go to a super warehouse store for those items?

While we were at Sam's Club, he told me to drive into the gas station there to fill up my gas tank on him. I felt like a teenager that just learned to drive, and my dad was making sure the tank was full before I took the car out on my own the first time.

Then inside Sam's, we walked around the store as he put stuff in the cart, and I was transported back to when I was his little helper at the home improvement store, in charge of pushing the cart.

Driving back home, and just chatting with him in the car, I realized that I haven't had my fill of conversations with him as an adult. I appreciated how fantastic he is, and how lucky we were that something bad didn't happen last Tuesday. I'm not ready for Little Donnie, or Joyce Ann (my mom) to go anywhere any time soon. Thank heavens the doctors implanted his little power source in his chest - kind of like Iron Man lite - and that it keeps on glowing (figuratively) indefinitely.

Little Donnie is IRON MAN.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Artsy Fartsy

These are my friends Joe and Kristina. They are super cool, and just got married.

One of the awesome things about them is that they (Kristina especially) are crafty, and have a huge appreciation for glass art. See Joe do his best male model pose, showing off his glass cuff links worn at his wedding. Work it....

I visited them in Chicago about a month before their wedding, and saw some of the fused glass pieces they had collected. Their enthusiasm inspired me to be a crafty queen and make them something out of glass as part of their wedding present. The day after their wedding they gave me a call to express their glee around the new glassy goodness I gave them. During the call Joe relayed that he didn't believe I made it myself (my friend Jody provided guidance and the kiln)so today's post is all about showing Joe that I am not a fibber!

So this is how it happened:
I had a feeling that I wanted to make a serving piece, and what colors I wanted to use. I purchased the glass, and invited myself over to Jody's house. Then I hunkered down in Jody's craft zone basement and began to plan out the piece.

My vision was a retro inspired tray with intersecting circles (hello Venn Diagrams!) and layered circles and loops

I traced my first circle on a piece of glass...

Cut the outline with a glass cutter and then used a glass pliers to break the circle free photo available of the result of freeing of the cut circle of glass, as it snapped in half. And did again the next two times I tried it.

A girl's gotta be flexible - so let's try SQUARES!

I love me some right angles!

I cut squares of varying sizes and colors, and mapped them out on the table.

Once I had my plan together, I had to wash the little sharp squares by hand. Luckily, no digits were lost.

Then it came time to glue the little pieces of glass to the base piece of glass which forms the tray.

The kiln is readied...

And I proudly carried my piece over for some serious melting (or fusing if you want to be official about it)

Happy fusing!

Much like how a BMW goes from 0 to 60 in 6.6 seconds, the kiln goes from 0 to 56 degrees in like 2 seconds flat...and then keeps going and going and going!

This ain't no easy bake oven...or maybe it is...on Planet Mercury!

After fusing for an hour or two at 1500ish degrees it's time to cool it down...
The kiln is opened, and the glass looks like this

and then when the air hits it, it gets cranky like a toddler awakened from too brief of a and rageful!

Finally after several hours, it cools itself down and has now become a flat square of fused glass.

Now it's time to give this glass some shape. Prepare the slump!

The slump is a white form made out of clay that one puts a flat piece of glass on it, and as it melts it conforms to the shape of the slump. The slump I used is a serving tray (I think officially it's called a sushi tray) that has one large rectangular space, and then 3 small square shapes beside it.

The kiln gets fired up again, brought to temperatures close to those on the surface of Mercury (it's true, I looked it up), and melted so it slumps to the shape of the form

Voila! The finished product!

See Joe? I told you I made it!