Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SNL - 9/29/84

Whoa...26 years today. Thanks Shawn. I'd do it again.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yoga - Can I Let you Happen to Me?

A little Tuesday night yoga lesson. The book club had some drama in Pinetop (more later...) and I was worrying about it while lying on my mat in the dark. Then Yogi Mary read this poem.

Can I Let you Happen to Me?

Can I sink into the moment with you, drop my defenses, park my pattering mental process and allow myself to be with you and with myself for that matter.

Can I sit next to your ideas, your feelings, your ranting and raving, your excitement, your boredom, your creativity, your disgust, your enthusiasm, your despair, your gratitude, your resentment, your laughter, your grace, your embrace...can I sit next to any of that, or all of that, like I would sit next to a good friend on a park bench?

Can I adjust to the season? Let the ice melt inside me, thaw and float down river as the sun sets?  Can I mop my brow in the heat of the moment, without complaint, accepting that sometimes it's hot and it's not anyone's fault?  Can I, will I allow you to happen to me?

Movies - Never Let Me Go

The benefits of Movie Madness - new friends, free movies! The Phoenix Film Society is a great organization. I haven't joined yet, but it shows cool films, insider events, screenings and discussions and tonight it's Never Let Me Go. So, thanks to my new friends Kelly and Nathalie. Wow. What a haunting, totally unique film. And even better to see it with this hip, smart new crowd.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Movie Madness - Jack Goes Boating

Beautiful. Jack Goes Boating. Go see it.
Cool MM crowd - Berkeley Babe, lady with a cane, LRoc and long lost, almost dropped, LL.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Party on the Porch

Slumber party, Little Women in the loft, morning hike, hot rod car show

Farm Frau French Toast, mimosa, poinsettia - yum yum
Art fair - shop 'til you drop
Dragonfly negotiations

Taco night, new Grand Canyon ruler - Cecily bday, Apples to Apples - did you say Melodrama? Who us

Septic tank rule (discovered the hard way) if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down - shitty weekend ideas...protest the poop, the Maddie Potty (pronounced mawdy pawdy), the Jeannine Latrine.

Stoup and Salad night, pie, pie, pie, do you think we have enough alcohol? Another day, another lawsuit. Ditch the minivan. Don't need therapy with this crowd. Wash to the possible. The sweet Black Pearl ride. The Bling Belt. Car parade - move the cooler, lady - throw the candy, vroom, vroom, vroom. War and Peace on the nightstand. War and Peace downstairs. Manipulate the tractor. Life isn't fair. Tears for Fears. Meatloaf - will you love me forever? Just call me Racquel. Renee. Ann. Jennifer. Joop. Merry.

Rotating Divas - one in the chair, two on the rock, three in the car, four on the couch, five in the loft, six on the road, seven on the floor, eight in the sun, nine at the table - hold hands, say a prayer. Amen.  Thank God for the bookclub.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Party in the Pines

Early morning ride up the hill - Leslie stand-up comedy on the porch, Cricket the dog, sunny and cool, antique shopping, visit with the in-laws, group crosswords, the ricshaw, Lion's Den pub crawl,
Happy Hour back on the porch, Hostess with the Mostess, JillyB
 Charlie Clark's blurry laughing through dinner (here's our "after" photo in about twenty years)
teen 20 questions, out like a light, tea and scones, morning mosey through the forest, wildflowers included)

bird seed gone, reading in the sun - feet up. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Party in the Pines - Year Two

Three day weekend at Jill's place up north. Last year was awesome. As of now we've got nine confirmed for a festival including Cecliy's birthday, a Pinetop parade, car show, arts festival, Charlie Clark's, farm frau French toast, cranberry mimosas, reading time, Little Women lined up in the loft, 70 degrees.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Movie Madness - Kings Of Pastry

Who would think that watching a bunch of guys baking cakes would be fun? Well, go see Kings of Pastry. It's hilarious. It's a nail biter. There were tears. There were screams. Mouths were watering. It's about a once every four years serious competition in France. Serious. People's lives are at stake here.

Sometimes I feel a little weird about Movie Madness. It's a bit crazy, I guess. A bit decadent, maybe. A grown woman, working full-time, now in school, too (sort of), with lots of other things to do, makes room once a week for a movie. A little escape. Ditch day. A little reminder of what's so good about my life. I realize that most people can't just make the time. There's a demanding boss, little kids, guilt. So every now and then I think I'll give it up, stop sending out emails, stop harassing my friends, get back to work like everybody else. But last week, a friend of a friend showed up. She's new to the whole movie on a Monday sneaking away from life thing. She brought two friends with her, too. And as we waited for the lights to go off along with even two more book clubbers, she said, "I'm so happy to be here. There's something bad about it and I love it!" Made me smile.

Cute for a good cause

Bono and his lovely wife, high school sweetheart, Ali. She has a clothing company, Edun, and it's mission is to encourage trade with Africa. They have made that really cute bag she's carrying along with Louis Vuitton  to help out Africa some more. So buy a bag. Save the world. Or just look adoringly at those adorable people.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall Equinox Labyrinth Meditation

I hate to get all woo woo here, but I met a really cool lady, Taffy, while working on a film in Cave Creek this summer. She lives in a geodesic dome house and goes around the world building labyrinths. She has an amazing one in her backyard, out in the desert, mountains and Palo Verde trees all around. Tonight she hosted a Labyrinth Meditation at sunset to celebrate the Fall Equinox. That's when the day and the night are exactly the same number of minutes. She talked about the changing atmosphere and the upcoming full moon next Thursday. She said that there will be another one in October (a "blue moon") and that the specific time for the equinox will be 9/22 at 8:09pm. We all walked the labyrinth in silence, except for the incredible sound of a massive gorgeous gong being played. My fingers were vibrating as I walked because of the sound. I've been through several labyrinths but never really saw how it related to life. I got the meditative part, the part that you just have to walk and there's nothing to think about because if you just stay on the path, you'll eventually get to the end. But tonight I saw it for the metaphors. The boundaries that we set for ourselves. We make our own lives as easy or as difficult as they are, the paths as wide or as narrow as we want, we can race through or take our time, take short cuts or make it count, let others move easily by or stand in their way. We all surrounded the labyrinth at the end and held hands and oommmmed and hugged, all very Sunday churchy churchy and, as a wise woman (hi Leslie G!) once said, very The moon was bright, coyotes howling, torches flaming and a million stars shining over us. Pretty cool.

Saving Tania's Privates

Wow! What an incredible show. What an incredible woman. The courage, the energy, the spunk, the mojo, the humor, the blast from the past references, the family drama, the girlfriend drama, the doctor drama, the stuffing, the airport - it was nonstop. We were in awe from the moment Tania walked on stage until the lights went down after an amazing amazing last scene.

A hit in Seattle and Edinburgh! A thrill ride solo comedy written and performed by leading satirist Tania Katan based on her award winning memoir. A show about far out families, quirky girlfriends and boobs. But not necessarily in that order. 

Phoenix Theatre  9/16 - 10/10

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spa Pig

Here piggy, piggy, piggy. It's Spa Week in Arizona! spaweek Most of all the spas in town are offering a spa service for the super duper price of $50 bucks.  I headed over to The Princess with some lady friends (as well as the rest of Scottsdale, apparently) to hang out all day, get massaged, swim, jacuzzi, steam, inhale lavender, watch the sun set over the purple mountains in a cool, misted cabana and sip on the mint, ginger, cucumber, ginkgo, herbal, Omega-3 antioxidant tea.
Spa Week comes back in October, too!

Book Club - Thin, Rich, Pretty, War, Peace and a Three Day Weekend

Book of the month: Thin, Rich, Pretty. I'm in the library line for that, but after sitting in my new Thursday night classroom of twenty-somethings that love to read, are excited by all of the classics, love the whole learning process and seem to be so darn creative, I thought I'd get back to basics for awhile. Plus, I just finished 
and was so motivated that I made it through 500 pages in just a few days that, after watching The Last Station about Tolstoy, figured maybe War and Peace would be a good place to start. I mean, if not now, when? starts off at a party. Fancy, fancy. I'm on page 4. Only 1200 or so more to go.

Upcoming book club. Party in the Pines. Three day weekend at Jill's woody retreat in Pinetop. Thursday. Already bought the Champagne.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Composting Update

My brown to green ratio was all off. My composting efforts were turning into a soupy, smelly mess. I was totally cleaning out the kitchen, loading up scraps in my pot on the counter - watermelon rinds, tea bags and coffee grounds which was all good green stuff. My problem was the brown. So I started spending more time outside and went gung ho on the brown. Raking my yard, shaking my trees, pulling weeds and grass and loading up the bin. It must have worked, because the other day I opened the top and it smelled so good! So earthy. Like nice soil. I didn't actually touch it or anything, but the ratios are balanced, the amount of trash being thrown out is way down and soon, hopefully, we'll see something that resembles dirt.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Movie Madness - Mao's Last Dancer

Excellent Movie Madness turn-out for an amazing film! Wow! True story about a Chinese ballet dancer that defects to America, gives up everything for a chance to be free. Beautiful dancing, gorgeous China, lots of history, politics and love (we all had a good cry) all wrapped up into a great movie.

The Get Low List

A little something to ponder...

After a Movie Madness viewing of the great film Get Low (about a man who wanted to celebrate his life and have his funeral before he died - to "get low" is to be buried, to get six feet under, not Getting Low on the dance floor, although there has been a lot of that lately) and a recent ten hour long Diva road trip to San Diego, some of us decided that we should spread the word about what we want to happen to us when we're gone. We figure that our husbands, significant others and children probably aren't the best ones to handle these things - that it's the girlfriends that need to know. Plus, the pre-getting low party sounded like so much fun.

Remember - It's not about the dates on the tombstone - it's all about the dash.

So...give the following questions some thought, write down answers somewhere.

Buried or cremated?
Where would you like to be buried/ashes spread?
Religious (or not) requirements?
What type of funeral/wake/ceremony do you envision?
Theme song (what would be playing in a movie if you suddenly appeared onscreen?)

I'll go first...

Camelback Mountain
Or not
Went to one in Bali once that would be perfect.
U2 One

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Shana Fix

I was getting a little shaky. Almost a month without the little tyke and it was way past time to head down and say hi. Here she is in her new apartment. We took her and roommate/BFF extraordinaire, Shila (who will make it through U of A on the 2 1/2 year plan and wants to go to Prague in January for grad school)
off for a fun lunch at a great Mexican restaurant, complete with table-side salsa. Yum.
We caught up on all of the classes, the Think Tank job, the upcoming semester in Spain (the kid wants a one-way ticket), loaded up the pantry at Trader Joe's, then put handyman, cute Daddy to work on Dad stuff, just like the old days (couldn't fix the dishwasher, but hung things and tightened shaky ceiling fan),
then headed out to watch softball practice for the new co-ed club team Shana joined. It was great to get back to the ball park and see the gang hitting and running again (even had on the old Firebirds tee).

She's off to a good semester. Mom can breathe easy again. Can't wait for the next trip down for the game!

Workshop Weekend

Do the kids need a little tune-up now that they're back in school? Workshop has a few upcoming one-days available for boys and girls ages 9 - 16. Just $50. Sign 'em up.

*Deal with peers and peer pressures

*Strengthen social and life skills

*Develop and choose healthy friendships

*Enhance self-confidence and self-worth

*Finding your voice & taking a stand

Change your life. Or at least improve the next semester.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Moving Images

Started my new English class last week at SCC. Besides feeling a bit weird walking around my old stomping grounds, I'm trying to fit in. I'm surrounded by twenty-something guys in the Filmmaking or Screenwriting college, forced to take a writing class for their major. The other half is a collection of people around my speed, not quite the for actual credit types, but really fun. This week's assignment - write down some "moving images" from your childhood moving forward, not the same images that everyone else has, either. Here's a few of mine. Do it, too. It's fun.

Playing in the new car with my sister with the electronic window openers, thinking that they were the most incredible thing in the world
Falling out of a tree in our backyard and landing on my side on top of the edge of the sandbox, knocking the wind out of me. I couldn’t breathe or cry or scream for what seemed like forever
Almost drowning in the ocean, seeing the sand circle around me, not knowing where the sky was
Getting a Dorothy Hamill haircut a few hours after getting my ears pierced and the guy kept combing, combing, combing over my new earrings, tears running down my face and he kept apologizing
Running away from home with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, no shoes
Leaving summer day camp - AWOL - with my sister, walking home in heat, dropping pot holder loom thing in the middle of Camelback Road, Mom throwing us in the pool to cool us off
Watching One Day At A Time with my mom, my sister and me, just like on the show
Boo Boo’s brisket – onions, mushrooms
Falling off bike going downhill – over the handlebars - two stitches in chin, chipped front tooth, doctor scrubbing rocks out of skinned knee
Picking up dirt with a magnet in Tempe
Getting glasses around age 10 and reading “over one million served” on the McDonald’s sign, never knowing that was there before
My Mom giving away my cat, Boots, because he scratched my face
Bill Clinton in the parking lot at Park Central Mall
Barack Obama at ASU
Breaking left pinkie playing four square at Hopi School
Getting blisters from the monkey bars
Sunburned after a day tubing the Salt River
Mr. Yee, fourth grade teacher, arguing about a spelling test grade, I told him that if I left it blank, technically it wasn’t wrong. I lost that argument
Childbirth 6pm Friday. Pain for the day, absolutely no emotion until 3am Sunday 
Seeing disgusting stubby tooth before getting a crown
Getting first car – red Mustang, hidden around corner

Then - list of all the jobs you've had

Babysitter, waitress – can still smell the bleach on my hands sometimes, psych tech, parenting class instructor, cashier at Hallmark cards – can still pick the perfect card in under a minute, retail sales – still can’t pay retail for anything, social worker, therapist, student – undergrad, grad, wife, navy wife, mom, PTA member, snack mom, currently office manager (CEO, CFO, COO, co-owner, carpet cleaner, maid, biller, payroll adder, phone picker-upper, fire putter-outer, band-aid buyer)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Broken Gaydar

My gaydar is broken. My first boyfriend turned out to bat for the other team, which I completely missed, and the other day I tried to set up my sister with an adorable, very smiley guy named Thor from Orlando. He shook his head, laughed and said, "Sorry, I'm probably not her type." Whoops. There have been lots of missed calls in between, too. See, unless somebody asks or tells, I'm usually in the dark. But not anymore. As of today, the whole Don't Ask, Don't Tell law is going down. People in the military, at least, can walk around with the rest of us and say whatever they want without fear of getting fired. Hallelujah. It's about time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sophie Sophie Sophie!

He cried when she walked down the aisle.
Check out this adorable couple - Parents of the Bride!!

Slumber Party

The road trip, the spooning, the dirty dancing, the Diva love, the Sephora bathroom, the wine cooler, the wet suits, the ducks out the window, the ups and downs, the morning poop, the afternoon nap, the midnight chatter, the smokey eyes, the back home check-ins, the How big is your boat?, the blood orange mimosas, the let me present the vajazzle, the Hi Babe, Ronnie, the Nurse I'm still in Phoenix for all you know, Louise, the AJ penis press, the Where's Jo?, the just call me JJ, Jaye, the last morning by the bay breakfast on Russ, the circling of the MOB, prop her up, no falling allowed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Wedding

John and Laurel walking Sophie down the aisle.
The parasol ladies.

Tie the knot. Hit the road.

Fun dinner on a gorgeous afternoon.

A Little Wedding Poem

Announcement: Wildwood wedding
Boulders up mountain, under tree of love, prayed, promised
Curtains for a dress, wrapped a beautiful bride
Dad, Mom, Dad, Mom, Dad, date
Ethical Anthropology
Fertility Goddess on dance floor
Gambled on love, pushed the button
Harbor dance for two, surrounded, surrounded, alone
I will
Jared loves Sophie
Kneeled at the tree
Lavender peanut butter
Missionary Man Mambo - to the right, to the left, turn, turn, turn, to the right, to the left, turn, turn, turn
Nazarene nuptials
Passion, but not yet…wait
Questions answered, yes, yes
Reality rendezvous, ten weeks
Sparklers rainbowed get-away car
Thor said, “I heard you were the wild one.”
Unglued DJ shaking, eighties bop, drop
Vodka-hooched Crystal Light
World around honeymoon
X-rayed hearts, beating strong
Yellow shoes, yellow ties, daisies
Zero regrets, tears, perfection

The Tall Ships

Swung by San Diego Harbor to tour the Tall Ships. Wrestled with some scary pirates, popped on to the incredible America

and cruised along the pier for a fun trip back in time.