Friday, May 27, 2011

Missed milestone

You guys...
I don't want to alarm you, but I thought you should know that I've written 100 posts.  Actually 104.  Well, 105 if you count this one, which I kind of don't.

Turns out that silly picture post of me in funny clothes and me with funny faces... that was my 100th post.  That was the milestone.  Kinda fitting, eh?

I thought about re-capping my 100 favorite posts, which would really mean just singling out my 4 least-favorite posts, so that's not really a good idea.  They might get their feelers hurt, you never know.  At 50 I picked fun words.  I think a list of 100 anything would be a bit tedious though, both for me to write, because I'm both lazy and easily distracted, and for you to read, because I have a feeling that easily distracted thing is something we have in common.

I could list fun things that come in 100s... but isn't that really everything if you get enough of it?

Alright, here it is, a slightly brief list of things I would like 100 of:

  • picture frames--of varying sized of course
  • flowers in a garden
  • marshamallows
  • dollars
  • one thousand dollars
  • vacation days
  • pairs of shoes (with coordinating outfits)
  • sequins to put on stuff
  • giraffes (not REAL giraffes, but little ones, like collectible things... this also goes for hippos I think, except I really don't have anywhere to put all that stuff)
So, if you are so inclined, please feel free to contribute to me any of the things on that list.  You don't have to give me 100 of them... just one.  Or none... up to you really.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

To win at life

Still mostly sickly, and still on a ridiculous amount of medication with side-effects I don't care to mention, but I'll give you a little bit of what I've been thinking about, aside from my dislike for being sick and all the associated stuff.

Success. That's what I've been thinking about. Mostly as it relates to specific things I do and how I measure whether or not I was successful at them. I haven't spent too much time thinking about the wide-range definition of what it means to be successful at life, but I think the answer to that is something about earning the respect of the people you respect... or something.

No, I've been thinking much more narrowly about success as it pertains to being a wife, a home owner, and a renaissance festival performer. I'm going to skip the first completely because I don't have a good answer yet. As for number two, all I'm gonna say about that is that floors are not the answer.* Clean floors do not define my worth as a home-maker.

Now, as for the last on that list, I have some thing to say. If you're tired of hearing about Faire stuff, take heart--this is the last weekend. 3 final days of performance. I might have a few more things to say about it next week as I sit in a stupor, recovering on my couch, but for the most part, come June, I should be done thinking & talking about Faire for a while.

So, how do I define my success as a renaissance festival performer? I'm not sure. I mean, if I was sure, I probably wouldn't be thinking about it. In the beginning, when I didn't know what I was doing, I looked to the people who had been doing it to see if I was doing it right. I thought if I had their praise and recognition that I must be succeeding. That's where the mug and rose come in--tangible recognition from my peers.

There's another way that is totally wrong, but still true...which will make sense in a minute (I hope). Pictures. This one is from Photography on the Run. I once believed that if I was out and about enough, then there would be lots of pictures of me, so I decided that if there were lots of pictures of me, then I was doing my job well. This is really silly as most of my actual "work" wasn't caught on film, but I do have a knack for resting photogenically.

None of this was really important until I discovered that for all the 9 hours of show time that we actually have, my four 30 minute scheduled show times had consumed all of my time. I know it seems silly that 2 hours can take 9 hours to do, and it is silly. First of all, it's not just four 30 minute shows.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Things I don't say in polite society

So, no post on Thursday because of the previous pictured/mentioned cold that turned into a minor plague which I want nothing more than to describe to you in great and graphic detail so that you can fully understand and therefore appreciate my unique and special suffering. I will stop that sentance before it gets any farther away from me.

I'm not sure what human impulse it is that makes us feel the need to share the details of our discomfort with others. Simple whining for sympathy? If we describe the visceral details of our suffering, then others can validate our feelings of punyness and make us feel better for feeling like crap.

So, there's some of that in my brain that wants to regale you with tales of mucus and the number of tissues used and the names of the various medications and their side-effects...

I'm not going to...

Not on the internet. In person, I'm not so noble or gracious, but in writing, on this blog, I find that I cannot seem to break the unspoken rule.

You know you're not supposed to talk about religion, politics, or sex at polite dinner parties. Those are the spoken rules. The unspoken rule of polite society that I guess was spoken at some point, probably in our toddling years, but remains mostly unspoken in later years, until now, when I speak it is this: bodily functions and fluids are not to be spoken of--but they are funny, in the base and endless way of whoopie cushions and such.

Potty talk was once something that was limited to the very young and very old. Kids couldn't be expected not to laugh and giggle about farts and old farts were expected to discuss the nature and frequency of their bowel movements*. I mean, who else would keep Metamucil in business? So, we leave the dirty business of examining the contents of our Kleenex's asside.

Which leaves me with nothing much to talk about. I was sick all week. I lay in a feverish state, having bizarre dreams, using Kleenex and taking medication. I watched a lot of Doctor Who. I intended to read, but found I didn't have the stamina to hold a book or the focus to make my eyes comprehend the words. Watching a science fiction series with very loose rules about what is and isn't possible is perhaps not the best thing in the world when one will be having feverish crazy dreams. This wonderful bit of wisdom I pass on to you--the fruits of my labors. Use it wisely friends!

*As a child, I had a keychain from my dad. It was one of those promotional thingies given by drug companies, because he was a pharmacist. He remembers the name of the drug, but is in Scotland at the moment, and I can't really see calling him to ask, but the keychain said "Take in the AM for a BM in the PM." I had no idea what it was for, because a "BM" wasn't anything in my brain, so I never knew I walked around with an add for laxatives on my keys...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things I acquired this weekend

A photo essay--I think.  I don't actually know the true definition of a photo essay, so I suppose this is just a list of pictures, not even really telling the story...

A giraffe necklace, bought at an annual trunkshow from my friend Allison, Isn't it lovely?

Black, liquid velvet stockings from Ginger's Faire Pair. So soft!

A mosquito bite, on the right... got 4 more of those.  The bruise I'm not really sure about.

This is where I almost, but didn't, give myself tetanus.  Clumsy me, rusty nail... you know how it goes

And last, but certainly not least: a cold!  A rather eventful  weekend, wouldn't you say?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fantasy vs. Reality







that is all

Fantasy photos courtesy of Paul Stout at Photography on the Run. Reality photos courtesy of my cell phone, and MHartman.

Medium Red + Dark Blonde = Brown?!?


My somewhat natural hair color. There had been highlights and then the removal of highlights, so it’s not 100% un-dyed hair, but it’s as close to the color that grows out of my head as could be achieved when going back to one-color from two-color hair…

I decided that I wanted to try being a brunette for the fall. So, I used this:

and got this:

Hooray! Dark, chocolaty brown. Just want I wanted…

For the fall & winter.

Come spring, I wanted my hair back. I had purchased some fun fake hair to match my natural color and wanted to wear it…

So, I used this:

which I have used multiple times before to get my hair back to it's "natural" color.
I hoped to get back to this:

Because my ideal hair looks like this:

That was not the result… NOT AT ALL…

This was…

Which isn’t bad, it’s just not what I wanted… and all the colors are messed up in the pictures, so you can’t really see that it’s not even red in real life, it’s brown.  This picture makes it look like it actually came out the color that was on the box, and that would have been fine by me.  The camera is trying to fool you into thinking that my hair is actually the color I want it to be, but if you knew me in real life, you could see that it’s definitely browner than red and nothing like what's on the box at all, except in this picture taken with a cell phone in fluorescent office lighting.... I don’t want brown hair anymore! I want my red hair back. Like this…

Those were the days man… I traveled, backpacked around Europe*, had the world at my feet and everyone wrapped around my little finger… *long suffering sigh of melodrama*

I guess it’s back to the salon…

*I was actually in a backpack, but it counts. There are stamps on my passport to prove it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Ever since I mentioned my compulsion to compliment strangers, I’ve been trying to think of a way to express my thoughts on the value of compliments. It seems fairly self-explanatory that compliments from the people you love would have more value or weight than those from people you don’t know or don’t like. That’s universal right? As much as we might try to expand our minds and our hearts to have love and compassion for all of humanity, there are millions of people that we just don’t know and so can’t value them except in an abstract way. The way that I love and care for the poor and destitute in disaster areas or third world countries or inner cities or in the city where I live is different from the way I love and care for my spouse, my family, my friends. Which doesn’t really have anything to do with compliments, but that’s the line of thinky-thoughts that I’ve been thinking. It’s stating the obvious, but when you have a relationship and a history and feel like you really know someone and they know you, the things they say mean more… they feel more real, more grounded in common experience… or something. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m over analyzing, maybe this is one of those social rules of the universe that’s just meant to be understood and not spoken of because it’s awkward to put into words. But that’s sort of one of those things that I do… try to put awkward things into words, awkwardly.

Back to what I was trying to talk about! There are times when a compliment from a complete stranger means more than all the heart-felt words of my friends and family. The example that comes to mind is from this weekend. There I was, wandering the Faire grounds, talking to small children, surly teenagers, families, etc. I had expended a considerable amount of energy in my excessively bright and fluffy costuming, in the sun and I was sweaty and ready to sit somewhere shady for a bit before hopping up on a stage that is approximately two miles from the sun to sing. I’m sure I was still smiling, because I’ve had enough training (and seen enough pictures) to keep my stage face on most of the time, but I was just walking through one of the eating areas, on my way to relax. A lady whom I had seen earlier in the day, but hadn’t yet spoken to, waved me over. I’m not one to turn down an opportunity to chat with strangers, and she seemed a sweet lady, so over I went. She beckoned me closer, like she had a secret to tell. Her secret was this:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Syncopated Synapses

Alright, so this isn't going to be one of those posts where I tell you all about the weird dream I had last night, but I am going to talk about my weird dreams in general. Last night wasn't sufficiently weird or representative to justify regaling you with the tale of a Thanksgiving dinner gone awry and a trip to my old high school that had replaced all the doors with 70's flower patterned sliding panels. My husband is the only one upon whom I inflict the retelling and sometimes reenactment of my bizarre brain's picture shows.

My remembering of my dreams seems to happen sort of sporadically. There are periods (such as now) where I remember most of my dreams for several months at a time. I can start to see themes and attach the dream things to real life events. Other times, I go a similarly long stretch of months without remembering a thing. I'm sure if I kept track of my sleep patterns a reasonable and logical connection would be made, but that smacks of effort.

In this particular bout of dream-remembering, I seem to be incorporating people I barely know as main characters. A few nights ago my friend-of-a-friend who lives in New York showed up 10+ years younger, with a cute little chin-length bob to visit her grandmother, who for some reason was living in the house that earlier in the dream had been a pawn shop that I was taking over from my aunt. Last night it was someone whose name I don't even know, but whom I happen to run into somewhat frequently out at Faire. He showed up with a dramatic new haircut as well, and more tattoos than he has in real life--to the best of my limited knowledge.

I'm sure that new hairstyles has some sort of symbolic meaning and is hinting at something I should be paying attention to, like the nail biting that happened a few nights back. I don't usually try to deconstruct my dreams for hidden meanings and symbols. I know people who are pretty good at that sort of thing though. Dreaming in and of itself is just such a big mystery, and I guess I kind of like it that way.

Some dreams are so blatantly obvious in their meaning that it's sort of funny--although I'm sure there are layers and layers of subtext that aren't obvious. For example, recently I dreamed that a friend who is in the real world known for being somewhat stubborn about change... this sentence is getting long and awkward. Let me start over. Stubborn friend was pregnant in my dream--having contractions and refusing to either push or go to the hospital, saying that the baby would be born if it was supposed to be born, but she wasn't going to interfere. See? Obvious! There's a difference between interfering and helping... although trying to explain that particular bit of wisdom to my cats has been so far unsuccessful. Anyway, that's the point I've been trying to make to Stubborn Friend for a while now, but hadn't been able to put into the right words... thank you, brain, for sorting that out for me. Now, there were other parts of that dream, other pregnant friends and a strange roadside setting that may or may not have meaning that I can decipher. But I think at least that one time, I got the gist of it.

Gist. Where does that word come from? If I were in the habit of calling in to radio shows, I suppose I could ask the folks on "A Way With Words." I am, however, not in the habit of calling radio shows, or stations, or djs in general. I don't know why. I've done it before... twice if I recall correctly. And I was a dj for several years--it was required to get my degree-- a bachelor of Journalism in Radio/Television Broadcast... yeah, see how I'm using those skills now! And just think, in only 18 more months, I'll have my student loan paid off... 10 years after graduation.

Now that I've rambled off topic, allow me to sum up thusly*: Dream are weird and I have weird dreams sometimes.

See, if I just summed everything up, this blog would be a whole lot shorter...

*"thusly" is a word that is fun to say and type... I'm not quite sure why

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A symphony of snores

Snoring is one of those things that it is both very easy and very hard for me to be mad at someone for doing. On the one hand, it's just... so... GRRRARGH! For the love of my pillow and my sanity, please stop making that noise!! And on the other hand... the person is asleep! It's not something they're doing on purpose, just to annoy me. They have no control over it... which makes it easier to be kind to the person, but doesn't make the snoring any less annoying. I say this knowing full well that I, too, snore. I mean, I think I do... sometimes, when I'm sick. I don't really know... I'm asleep at the time. I've been told on occasion that I have been caught making nocturnal noises resembling certain avian creatures. So, I'm guilty of it too.

And really, when you're told that you're snoring, what can you do? Roll over and try not to do it again, but... it's a sleep thing, right?! I am an incredibly lucky woman in that my husband rarely snores... or if he does, he does so while I'm already asleep. I think I can sleep through most snoring if I can just get to sleep first. Of course, sometimes my husband doesn't snore, but he starts... well... breathing. I mean, I know he's always breathing, but most of the time it's all quiet like and unobtrusive. Then suddenly, for no reason I can discern, he's... breathing. Every exhale and inhale is magnified and reverberates and I think I can actually hear each little bronchi doing whatever it is that they do inside the lungs. Anyway, it's not snoring, but it's just as obnoxious, only it sounds very strange to roll over in the middle of the night and tell your husband to stop breathing.

There is a wide world of snores out there too, and I've spent some time (sleepless nights in particular) coming up with names for many of them. My brother with a sinus infection sounds like a chainsaw--without exaggeration even. He really does have that strange mechanical revving a chainsaw sound that sends my lizard brain into fits of terror remembering torment received at various haunted houses across the country. My grandpa has a much deeper snore. Like I imagine a grizzly bear would sound if you attached a duck call to his left nostril mid-winter hibernation. My husband sounds like some water fowl inside a bagpipe. Some people have delicate, dainty snores like the cooing of morning doves. I would hope that I have such a lilting musical snore. More likely I sound like a vacuum cleaner trying to hoover up Irish stew.

One particular night from recent memory yielded a very surreal moment. Four women sharing a hotel, all sleeping peacefully when suddenly, around about four in the morning, I'm awake. Whether because of a need to pee or some strange noise that penetrated my dreams or just that my stupid internal clock thinks that "four" is a magical number and thus an appropriate time for waking. Whatever. I was awake. As I lay trying not to twitch, roll around and otherwise be a nuisance, I noticed a strange sound. I couldn't place it. Maybe I wasn't as awake as I thought. Maybe I was still half asleep and some creature or critter from my dreams was projecting it's lonesome mating call into the hotel room. Not likely, but it was an option I seriously considered while trying to identify the noise. Then I realized... it sounded just like the Wonka Wash... Ok, not just like, but very close. Turns out that I was in just the right place at just the right time to catch the perfect symphony of snores. I had a hard time keeping the giggles to myself.

And that's all I have to say about that.
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