“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Friday, July 30, 2010

What Lies Behind the Yellow Chicken Mask - mu-wa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

It lives in my kids' closet. It lives behind the yellow chicken mask; under the old, possibly broken, lamp without a shade; and next to a bag I haven't looked inside of in years. It sits on a platform. The platform bears my name, painted in large, orange capital letters: ANDREA.

It's a scary starchy clown. It wears a billowy blue unitard and carries a bunch of plastic balloons. Its clothes are hard, like painted fabric. It's got a weird ring of fuzzy hair around its head, but has a shiny bald top. It must have had a hat at some point. I seem to remember it. I think it had ruffles.

I'm not sure where I got it. I have it in my head that my Godmother gave it to me. However I got it, I've had it as long as I can remember. When I was a kid it lived on my bookshelf. When I got older, it moved to the closet. When I moved to San Francisco, I took it with me. It sat on a shelf in the kitchen of an old apartment I shared with some friends. On the shelf, in the kitchen, it shared space with another clown; a clown called "Chuckie-Blue-Head".
I can't get rid of it. I don't know why. Hubby says it's because when my name was painted onto the platform on which it stands, our fates were sealed together. I don't think the clown and I share a "one can't live without the other" bond.
The question remains unanswered, however. Why can't I get rid of the clown?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Inception might be ruining the whole dream-thing for me.

I haven't seen Inception. I want to, though. I'll most likely wait until it comes on on-demand because I never go to the movies and if I do it's to see something The Girl wants to see. The last movie saw in the theaters was that one with Eddie Murphy and some little girl who has a imaginary characters in her head that help her dad make it big in the business world and Thomas Hayden Church thinks he's Native American and makes his kid drink cases of Red Bull in the hopes that he'll have visions.

Anyhow, I think Inception might freak me out a bit. It's about some guy who invades the dreams of people and uses the information he obtains for nefarious purposes, right? That might prove to be too freaky for me. Yup, see it on on-demand for sure so I can watch it in 1/2 hour blocks and watch something to cool down and ease my mind during breaks.

Maybe I'm making too much of it and shouldn't rely on what the general public thinks about it. I mean, I don't mean to channel my inner Jose Ortega y Gasset or anything, but in general, the masses think they know everything but they don't.

After seeing certain movies and reading certain books I usually have themed dreams about them. I don't have a definition of what "certain" means, but I do know that there's something in "certain" books and movies that make me think about them whilst sleeping.

I couldn't sleep for a week after I saw Kalifornia. I don't know what it was, but I kept having Kalifornia dreams. Harry Potter and Twilight Series made me have Wizarding and Vampire dreams. They were entertaining silly, not spooky. The Kalifornia dreams were icky. I did not enjoy those.

I have to say, I have a pretty entertaining dream life. I've had dreams about silver-clad men falling from the sky singing Def Leppard songs; dreams about carnivals in Africa where the prizes on the midway are Giants Bobbleheads; dreams about my mom and Bono being friends. All in all, I can't be disappointed with the musings of my subconscious.

I can, however, be a little bit pissed off at it. My dream life seems to have taken a little siesta.
I've been having boring ordinary dreams of late.
Case in point . . .
I'm at some kind of work/hula-related event. My group and I are dropped off at a hotel. We have an hour of free time to check into our hotel rooms, relax for a bit then meet up with the rest of the group for the remaining activities of the day. I'm assigned to room 503. I walk over to the section of rooms are that are in the 500 series. My room is not in that building, but rather a building way across the courtyard. I finally find my room, open the door and it's all dark. There are two beds with red velvet beadspreads and white sheets directly to my left, both unmade. There's a kitchenette to my right that has some old dishes that room service hadn't picked up yet and a hallway beyond that. I go through the hallway and come into a bedroom. The bed is unmade and there is a man wearing a yellow hard-hat and covered with a blanket passed out on the floor. I go to the door of the hotel room, pick up the phone and call the front desk to tell them that the room isn't made up and someone is on the floor. Just as the operator picks up, the man on the floor comes out of the room and yells at me for being in his room. I leave the hotel room and find a hotel employee who takes me to the front desk to find a new room.

I had another dream a few days ago that was just as boring.

The group I danced Mr. Sandman with at the hula intra-murals last month and I had a few performances. The venues were two houses right across the street from each other. I knew where we were performing, but not the times. I walk into one of the venues to find my group. I'm just about to ask them what time we go on when I notice this guy who works for my company standing in the middle of a room crying his eyes out. I thought it was weird to see him because I've only met him twice, his job and mine hardly, if ever, intersect and I don't know him very well. Anyhow, he's crying his eyes out. I ask him what's wrong and he says he needs a hug. I hug him and miss the performance. When I found the group a little later they were mad that I flaked on them. I kept telling them I didn't flake, I had to give someone a hug. Then it was time to perform at the other venue across the street. I got on stage and danced but kept forgetting the new choreography. They were pissed at me. I got all flustered all because of a stupid hug.

OK, yes, my dreams still have a lot of detail in them, lots of color, etc. But they just haven't been as vivid as they usually are.

I'm kinda pissed about it and I'm blaming Inception.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's a Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Two kids, two knee surgeries, too much wine turned me into what The Girl calls "Fairy Godmother"-like.
As sweet and wonderful as that sounds, I'm done being so "huggable". In the 3 weeks I've been seeing a trainer, I've lost 6.6 pounds. WOOO!HOOO!
That's about 1.5 pounds more than a standard bag of flour you buy at the grocery store.

There are two machines I can't decide if I love or hate. I hate them when my trainer makes me use them. I love them when I see the results.

I give you "The Leg Lift" thingie (I don't know what it's called but that's what I call it.)

And the ever-torturous
This machine doesn't say it, but the one at my gym has 'BUTT BLASTER' written in fancy script across the top. I'm thankful this one is kept in the corner because as effective as it is, it ain't pretty to watch.

My sore muscles say today is a good day. My sore muscles need a hot tub, though.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I have THE BEST little boy

I have the best little boy.

This evening when I got home I smelled one of the most wonderful smells in the whole wide world. Yup, Pot Roast. There was trouble, though. It wasn't done yet. Darn.

Hubby had some work to do tonight so he left the house for a while.

There was still about 40 minutes left of pot roast lovin' to do in the oven. I went into the Boy's room to see what he was doing. He was stacking his blocks and then knocking them down. We spent the next 40 minutes finding creative ways to stack the blocks and even more creative ways of knocking them down. My favorite method was stacking about 7 blocks, followed by two miniature board books, a matchbox car, a plastic pig, topped off with Kehlar the Klingon action figure. We knocked it down with a very loud 5 inch long, three inch tall fire engine.

I thought about getting the camera, then changed my mind. We were having such a good time I didn't want to spoil it by making him pose or trying to reenact the event.

Then of course, the moment was spoiled when the timer went off, indicating that dinner was ready. My Boy got mad he had to stop and eat dinner. Once he realized what it was, however, he forgot all about being mad.

We had a fun evening.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why I dance hula.

A lot of people wonder, and most people ask why I hula dance. I have no connection to Hawaii. I've only been there once. I don't believe I was Hawaiian in a former life. I'm not trying to become Hawaiian . . . . I'm just a white girl of German, Swedish and French Canadian ancestry from shores of Southern California.

I tell them the simple story that in 2002 I needed to have knee surgery. The doctor told me to do something that would make my legs stronger before the surgery. I started taking hula lessons at the Rhythm and Motion in San Francisco. I did this every week until my surgery and when I was recovered, I decided I still wanted to dance so I joined Na Lei Hulu. And that was that.

I admit that all of the above is true. I did have a knee surgery. I was advised to take up an activity to strengthen my legs. I did take hula classes at Rhythm and Motion and I'm now a student at Na Lei Hulu.

There is more to it, however.

After some searching online I found the Rhythm and Motion center. There were two classes I thought would strengthen my legs, that also fit into my schedule; Tai Chi and Hula. I chose hula.

The first day I went to class was a Sunday. I was in a grumpy mood because at breakfast that morning a few of the people we were dining with thought it was stupid and told me so. Hubby made me go. When I walked into the studio I was super intimidated and had butterflies like nobody's business, but I pushed through it, and I loved it. I had a great time. When he picked me up he said my whole countenance had changed. He looked at me and told me that I had to go again.

After recovering from my knee surgery I decided I wanted a more formal hula education. What I had at Rhythm and Motion was a great exercise class, but wasn't what I needed. Through the power of the internet and a few serendipitous clicks on the mouse I found Na Lei Hulu and discovered that new classes would be starting soon. I signed up.

Again I was terrified. I made myself go the first few months. I really enjoyed it, but I didn't know anybody and just about everyone outside of class that I did know thought I was weird for learning how to Hula dance. I've always sucked at making new friends. I get all awkward, stutter and don't know what to say next. I used Hula class as a tool to make myself less afraid of the opinions of others, and more willing to try new things that I've always wanted to do. Through Hula I've gained so much more than conquering my fear to try things on my own, without permission. I've learned about a beautiful culture. I've learned how to dance. I have learned to (almost) have a conversation with someone in another language. I've learned confidence. I've made new friends. I freely admit that I am not the best dancer in the class. It takes me a bit longer than everyone else to get the hang of new dances, and once I do get it, it's still not perfect. It doesn't matter, though. I go to class for other reasons, reasons that may not be the same as everyone else in class. I go to class and try my best because hula has brought out the best in me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My first dream about a website. Congratulations.

This morning my alarm sounded at 5:10am. Before it so rudely interrupted my beauty sleep, this is what I was dreaming about. . . .

I was standing on a Muni platform at Embarcadero station in that spot under the stairway in front of the operator potty. I was in my own little world not really paying attention. I looked up and saw a fare checker standing there. I apologized for not noticing her and fumbled for my fastpass. She told me not to worry, she only checks for fares from teenagers.

Then I find myself sitting on the train. I’m on the first car in the very first sideways seat. A different fare inspector comes on and starts checking the fares of teenagers. He finds a few and makes them walk to the front of the train. They are teenagers, but they are clearly Danish tourists wearing long flowing robes and flowers and ribbons in their hair, each carrying $2. On the way to the front the fare inspector asks the riders on the train what they all must carry with them at all times. Everyone says in reluctant unison “proof of payment.” The fare inspector asks what is considered proof of payment and again, in reluctant unison the riders tell the fare inspector what proper POP is. The Danes disappear. I walk up to the fare inspector and look at his nametag. It’s Cambria Birini. I go back to my seat and take a picture of him. He notices the flash but doesn’t know it came from me. He starts spouting off fraudulent California laws, saying it’s unlawful to take pictures on Muni and says it’s written somewhere in the Brown 700’s (whatever that is, it made sense in the dream).

I’m no longer sitting in the front of the train. I’m now sitting on the back of the 29, but an old kind, the kind with the squishy seats and the long backseat spanning the width of the bus, not unlike the kind I would ride to school in Long Beach. The guy behind me tells me I must be nuts for taking pictures and writing a little story for Muni Diaries and I should be afraid of the possible repercussions and retaliation from the fare inspector. I shrug it off.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bragging Alert: My daughter is Awesome!!

This weekend we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and then to The Festival of the Holy Spirit in Santa Cruz. More on those later.

On this trip we gave a camera to our Miss. Turns out she's got an eye. Look what she did.

 There were TONS more that she took. These are just the ones I cherry picked out of the bunch. This afternoon I'm going to show her how to use the meager editing tools we have on our old-rickety computer. I'm excited to see what she comes up with.

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?

Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

Rest assured I make no money from any of it.