31 December 2006

Holidays At Last

This weekend was my true Christmas. I spent the weekend with my babies in Portland enjoying the holidays. The big present this year was bikes!

We went and watched Beauty and the Beast on stage. They really like musicals. The production had some strong vocal performances, and was pretty solid all things considered. It moved a little slow at times as evidenced by a yawn or three from Emma. But Caleb really got a kick out of conducting the music and singing along. He is such a ham.

The Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo were pretty good this year. We rode the train and oohhh'd and aaahhh'd the lights and animals. All around was the smell of hot chocolate which makes it really feel like the holidays.

Now I'm heading back to a warmer climate to ring in the New Year. What hijinks can we get up to this year?

27 December 2006

It Comes Around

Spending so much time with my family for the holidays brought to mind how everything comes back around in time. Consider your parents for a moment.

When we are first born and growing, we rush to them all the time. They are the center of our world, and we look to learn all we can from them.

When we reach our teenage years, we pull away. They become something we put up with and we are absolutely convinced they have no idea what they are talking about.

When we leave for college or a job or our first apartment, our independence really kicks into high gear. We never call enough, and we feel like they can't possibly understand what we are going through so we don't share ourselves completely.

At some point, we realize just because they are our parents doesn't mean we can't enjoy their company as adults. The conversations improve.

Then one day, you see your parents with new eyes. Maybe it was an illness or just a conversation, but they revert to being the adorable people we loved so much as children. You want to just hug them all up, take care of them, give them the happiness in the life they carved out for you.

Of course, this could just be me. My parents are so freakin' cute.

23 December 2006

Christmas Party

Tonight I got to spend some time with my family at a Christmas party. One of my sisters and her family recently moved to another state and not having them around was a little weird. But my mom and dad stayed for quite a while which was cool.

My family has their quirks just like every family I suppose. The most notable from this evening is how loud we are. Everybody talking loud and making all sorts of noise. It was one part chaos and two parts mayhem.

Following our tradition, I took some cousins out for a movie and we saw "Unaccompanied Minors" which was actually pretty funny. A ridiculously cheesy ending, but a very hilarious romp until that part so it was easily overlooked. Lewis Black, one my favorite comedians, played with gusto and verve as was to be expected.

And by the way, big Congrats to my friend Dusty who just got engaged.

17 December 2006

Soft Feet

This weekend I had some down-time (much needed!) and I got to take a bath. Okay, no laughing, I actually bathe quite often. Every day at least, and twice a day if my work-out is at night instead of morning. I'm not talking about showering and getting clean, I am talking about relaxing in the tub, taking a nice long soak. Hot water, bubbles, peace and quiet, the whole bit.

While taking time for reflections is nothing new to me, this particular venue for meditations comes with a side-effect that evidently I had forgotten. Soft feet. After soaking in a tub of hot water for almost an hour, my feet come out soft and...ahem...tender. Not that they aren't usually just fine, after all I'm sort of fond of lotion and being clean. It is just that I really enjoyed the feel of my freshly pruned feet on hotel carpet.

Anyway, shout out to my friends in P-Town. And Cooper, I'm kindda sad you didn't tell me about the whole engagement thing. One of my real friends had to fill me in since you can't seem to pick up a freakin' phone or type a bloomin' email. Congrats, bud.

13 December 2006

Jingle Bell Bash

Over the weekend I had a chance to check out Jingle Bell Bash with some friends from P-Town.

The line-up was:
  • Cartel
  • Natasha Bedingfield
  • JoJo
  • Danity Kane
  • Nelly Furtado
  • Pussy Cat Dolls
  • Gym Class Heroes
  • Fall Out Boy
Needless to say the last two bands really stole the show. However, Nelly Furtado also surprised me, that lady has come a long way in my book.

10 December 2006

It's Their World...

...we're just living in it.  I'm talking about women, of course.

This weekend afforded me the very rare opportunity to mingle amidst the masses and witness the spectacle that is shopping during the holiday season.  While trundling around from store to store picking out presents and gifts galore it struck me how much more there was for women than for men.  The remainder of the excursion it seemed that every store I visited exhibited the same proportions.  Mostly it was for women, with a nod to the fact that occasionally men need new things too.

Old Navy was especially apparent, actually taking over a whole section of normally menswear with female accoutrements. Even Club Monaco and normally even keeled Kenneth Cole fell in with the stereotype that men require only the minimum of floor space and variety.

Am I strange for feeling slighted in the shopping arena?

I've Got Shim In The Veins

Tonight at the High Dive I had the opportunity to partake in the auditory delight that is a Shim show.


There was some difference of opinion from the variety of musical elite in attendance, but the general feeling was that their entire performance was really tight.

Their first release "In The Veins" isn't on a label, but with their continued maturity and exponentially growing fan base we can look for that to change soon.  Perhaps.  In any case, this first album is a solidly produced and lyrically sophisticated offering.  The landscape of their sound is reminiscent of Jet, White Stripes, Killers, but with Brit-Rock undertones throughout.  It makes for a fairly unique auditory experience for a band from the Northwest.
You walked in like you own the place, but you don't.
You're acting like you'd do anything, but you won't.
- You Walked In, Shim
Check 'em out when you get a chance.

05 December 2006

Smiling? Really?

Someone comment today that I've been smiling "more" lately.  And that this was a good thing.

Now I'm not really sure what that means, but I took it at face value as a positive thing.  The comment made me self-conscious in the way that virtually any comments about me, to me, will do.  In this case, the thread of thoughts wandered around wondering if I'm as even-keeled in my presentation as I think I am.  Obviously not.

The random off-the-cuff remark today was hardly necessary to remind me that I'm not as good as keeping up appearances as I might think.  No sir.  Of my many failings in the "just keep smiling" department, I need no reminder.  This is, I think, mostly by choice.  It is probably just that my choice would be less erradically inclined were I following my intentions to the letter.  You see, the conflict is between wearing my heart in the air.  Being transparent.  Living deliberately.  My basic creeds and tenets, vows and convictions to be honest, clear, and open in all things.  These fill my personal side of this ledger sheet.  In the counter column resides my desire to protect, guard, sometimes to control.  Even as I try and balance these conflicting goals, my short-comings in performance often choose my choices for me.

Why is it that even with practice and determination, my deliberation is so incomplete?  Why would being caught with guard down hold such a negative connotation for someone yearning desperately for transparency?

I want to be real. I know that I am not. Getting caught being real should be a good thing.

01 December 2006

Turkey Pictures

Okay, so there are no pictures of actual turkeys (unless you count my cousin), but I thought I'd let everyone know that the new pics from Thanksgiving have finally been uploaded.  Take a peek here when you get a chance.

Get off my back, I've been a little busy.

In other news, I got to have a great dinner with my Mom because we happened to be traveling in the same general vicinity.  That was a very nice treat.

Have you taken your mom to dinner lately?