Friday, July 27, 2012

"It's time for a change!"

Standing once again looking in the mirror only to see the same thing.
I used to have long hair... like crazy weird long.  My parents are hippies and they had a love for long hair and I didn't argue.  My hair had well hit my calves before I  decided, in college, to chop it all off. Since then, every stylist I have seen always cuts my hair the same.  Every time I would go to get my hair cut I would toy with pictures of different cuts, the idea of doing something drastic, something extreme, something that wouldn't make me come home disappointed once again.  Finally Chris just plain out called me out, "Just do it already!"

So I sat down into my friend's, who is a stylist, chair and said, "Do whatever you want.  Any length, any style... Anything."

It was a bit crazy to watch as hair kept coming off... 
The strangest part now is I still go reaching for my pony tale.  Like when my niece asked me to teach her how to do a fish tale braid, "Oh, yea..." 

Before: (sorry best shot I had considering that I forgot to get a before pic)


Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Life Happened"

... then we go to visit your sister.  Then we have the conference.

You name it between you and me, Chris and I have done it.  He have gone all over the place with hectic schedules... all save for go on a vacation since our honeymoon.  It was almost 4 years ago that we last donned our sun hats and took to... well absolutely nothing!

Life just seemed to get in the way.  Time off was hard to come by, money was even harder and to have both at the same time seemed like a dream.  So each year we would save what we could for our "dream".  In the mean time we took a mini vacation.  

Back in the while ago, when I was more responsible with my blog postings I was honored enough to win a nights stay at The Kings Daughter Inn in Durham, NC.  Like all things me I kept stalling on using it because "What about when...????"  Enough was enough: I called got tickets to a Durham Bulls game and off we Goooooo... (yes, we did have capes and full body Lycra suits)

Like the true tourists we were, despite living less than an hour away, we slowly drive our way through downtown, taking just enough time to miss street signs.  A small drive takes you to The Kings Daughter Inn's parking and patio.  Scattered benches and bistro sets  sit about waiting for use.  Just across the way lays the grassy fields, gazebos, benches and a walking path that circles the Duke campus.  The historic wide stair cases and the beautiful hardwood floors take you to friendly staff awating to take you to your room and bring you tea upon your request.

"Each room is completely different?" Casting a smirk to my knowing husband.  "Yes, we can go look at all of them."

After our tour we took a bike ride on their complimentary bicycles just before returning to enjoy our baseball game.  It was dollar concessions night, how can you turn that down.  "Um... I guess 13 hot dogs and 5 fries will do..."

Couldn't help but take this... too big a fan!

Filled with too many hot dogs and the most wonderful Italian ice (always get lemon... don't let them fool you) we returned to not only the average turn down and chocolate but port and truffles.  I mean really, but then again I love truffles.  Though both were amazing it got me wondering where the tradition of chocolate before bed started?  Sounds crazy to me but then again I'm a bit obsessed with my teeth, so I'm not the best judge.

A few pouts and with the help of Chris actually pulling me out of bed I thumped my way downstairs, did I mention I don't like waking up... not so much mornings but they go hand in hand so kind of.  This particular morning I wasn't greated with the fact and necessity of making my own breakfast, and yes, breakfast is a necessity at least if you are me.  Before I got a chance to even look at the hot breakfast menu I was greeted by almost dancing breakfast pastries begging to be eaten. . . a mini buffet of beverages, cereals, fruit and yogurt.  Finally at my table thinking I had made a pretty great heaping plate when I finally get around to ordering my hot breakfast, I told you breakfast is a necessity:  their famous Chocolate Chip Waffles.  Unfortunately they were so delicious that Chris and I ate them with so much haste I forgot to snap a shot.

We walked away pampered and wishing all our friends and family to come enjoy this little bit of "dream" if only for a night.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gangly to boot

Before it's out of my mouth I knew it was a mistake.  Years younger, in a time seemingly long ago stool me, having just shot up a few inches too far too fast coupled with yet another year in braces made for a decently awkward high school me.  My family was on a trip, only trips families make: to visit other family ;P.  My father walked me around a little shop filled with figurines, some of blown glass and some beautifully painted wood.  My sentiments of the art I saw around me was the same as it has always been, a bit too practical for my own good, "It is beautiful but what purpose do they serve... and I only have so much space on my desk and it is a desk..."

My father is a dreamer's dreamer.  He walked into the house that is now their home and saw a dream, the more then retro tight kitchen, the bright blue the previous owners seemed so in love with: having painted more than a handful of rooms, the shag carpet throughout not to mention the use of that electric blue in the hall bath with blue tile, tub, sink and toilet... nothing seemed to be able to deter him.

I tell you to help you visualize the man who walked me through this small store of nick nacks... each he had a story, each a little adventure.  It was towards the end of a beautiful trip added to our list of family adventures and my father wanted to make it special, "Aren't these great... this one really looks like you... Pick one?"

I stared at the wall of figurines unsure of what to do.  In a house with the idea of  "no thank you helpings" (small portions of food you take of food you may not like but have to eat for social reasons) was more than integrated, how do you tell your father that as much as the idea is appreciated the reality is undesired?  How do you look this adventurer in the eyes and tell him "no".  I swallowed and ate my words, "Uh... what do you think?  I mean they are all beautifully done."  It was the only answer...

In my family the gift is more about the heart than the reality of the object.  My poor mother had to deal with more than a few abysmal necklaces chosen by yours truly as a small child but she wore them with pride as I am sure many of your mother's did as well.  My sister got a strange set of off brand Disney princesses Ariel was Arel and Cinderella was get the idea.  Though I walked away with something I thought I'm practical whenever I look on my weird little Giraffe I can't help but think of all the fun we had on that trip and the joy my dad had as his gift was wrapped.

Monday, July 23, 2012


With a half cocked smile and a bit too much arch in my eyebrow, "So... wanna take a trip?"

After hours in the car driving I got the feeling we were not going anywhere.  The scenery wasn't changing... lots of asphalt, as you'd expect, and trees.  State after state line was crossed and yet seemed all the same.  Some mountains, some flat but mostly just endless trees.  Don't get me wrong, I love me some trees.  I mean gives us the air we breath and all... plus most the time they aren't too bad to look at but at a certain point the eyes crave a bit more than trees.  After the fourth round of the Alphabet game we got creative, "Okay, this time only cars!"    

With legs cramped seemingly permanently, having consumed more fast food than I had in the last year we crossed the final state line.  Slowly we moved closer and closer to our destination: Detroit.  Techinically Auburn Hills but to all there and any looking in it is Detroit like Fredricksburg is DC... only more so.

As we drive through the city making our way just a bit north of town, the surreal world of empty charred cases of what used to be neighborhoods, businesses and homes fills my senses.    As we pass exit after exit of Detroit, passing the all famous 8 Mile Rd, I can't help but pull my face to the window like a small child enjoying the view on their first plane ride.  There was something so chaotically beautiful; such a quite beauty.  My fingers pawed at my camera wishing beyond hope for a chance to walk down those hollow roads and capture the sorrow and tranquility that I was feeling.  My mouth open and closed unsure of what to say.  The trip was to glance a few days life with my husbands newly relocated sister, and plans were made itineraries written... no room for roaming the broken streets.  Plus, Chris' family is a bit protective, so me semi petite and clamoring about with my beautiful DSLR...   All the same I hoped.

Despite my despair over photos that could not be this trip we had a blast.  I never thought of Detroit as a place to live... I simply thought of it as a dying town, a place forgotten.  I was wrong.  It is a beautiful city, and not just because I love ironic beauty but also for its Eastern Market.  The oldest local farmer's market in the USA.  It was huge.  Rows after rows, buildings after buildings all filled with flowers, fruit, vegetables and the best gluten free bakery ever!  (I eat wheat but I appreciate the skill)  As you walk in the crowd the market is filled with calls of  "4 for $10, Get them now!"  "Buy one get one, best berries in town!", the smell from the bread or locally made sausage made me want to stand in the center of the walk way close my eyes and just breath it in.  I wanted to walk up and down the rows talking to each vendor getting their story...

The river walk had a festival the days we were there.  It was the largest carnival I think I have ever seen that isn't declared a state fair.  Local art was displayed all across the walk, some more traditional and others more abstract... A pause at the guard rail protecting passers from the water separating our world from the next, Canada.

When I was first told about Ford Museum, "it's like a theme park but with no roller coasters but also kind like a museum" I wasn't sure what to make of it.  But it was great and that is actually a fitting description though it doesn't really help all the same.  In the village part you're given a chance to ride in a Model T and walk around in a small copy of what life was like when a Model T came out.  The Museum had more than just a history of cars as you would expect, it also had a civil rights section, history of furniture, pop culture, long rifles, farming equipment as well as an exhibit of presidential cars.  By the end of it I felt like I had walked a marathon but we got to see almost all of it save for the working factory tour.

But I think the thing I will miss the most, sorry it isn't the family... though I guess it should be but you just don't understand till you have had it is: Buddy's Pizza.  It is literally the best pizza I have ever put in my mouth... and I have been to Chicago and had their amazing local fair.  They serve their own recipe of Detroit's traditional Detroit style pizza.  More closely related to the deep dish of Chicago then New York's specialty.  You can ask my husband I am a crust fan.  Pretty much all I want in a pizza... in fact I am the horrible wife that will literally steal my husbands crust off the piece of pizza he has yet to eat.  At Buddy's I don't care if there is crust or not... I want all of it... till I'm sick!

A week after we got back I searched and search till I came across the recipie for the dough and sauce.  Chris and I worked all day to try and make our own Buddy's at home since they have no locations outside of  the Detroit area... sadly it was a fail but I will try again... and again till I get it, or at least close enough.

Point, if you get a chance go enjoy the beautiful city of Detroit and make sure to take time for pictures of the contrasting city.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The intrigue

I have never lacked an affluence of words.  Never have I been a great speller, thanks mom: you were right, phonics does work for spelling? :P #homeschooled.  In my head I am a great writer, much like I can sing like Whitney Houston, dance like Neil Haskell, yes despite being a dude I can dance so amazing I match his amazing...ness, act... no so great so great about par with Scarlett Johanson less her sex appeal... so not much...

Point being I am delusional with image of all I could be... yet know the reality of it being less... not so sure of how far less for most people are polite enough to keep their thoughts to themselves... though being painfully honest I am like a friend of mine, remaining nameless, who always thinks it is better to know then not know... whatever the case may be.  I'm not so sure that I have though enough about everything to think I would always rather know then not know but I can admit pretty readily that in most things I would rather know then not know.

I came to the full and complete revelation after an enjoyable conversation with said/or not so said friend, followed by viewing the movie Social Network (an enjoyable and well done film if you haven't had the chance).   Some of you may recall the app "Face Smash", but for those of you who don't recall it was the idea of women you might have seen or know in passing being compared.  Unlike other systems it didn't ask the person to arbitrarily assign a number value but instead ranked by an either/or system.  "Left or Right? Which lady is more attractive?"  Women, in the very general sense, were appalled at this system of ranking/the ranking at all but while watching I couldn't help but think I would have like to know where exactly I would have settled.  The joy of external observation, it is something that you can't often gain with ease.

What would someone I have never really met but has seen me in passing say about my external beauty?  My ability to sing?  My dance moves?  I don't desire to take hold of their judgments and reassign my own internal value but it would be an interesting alkaline test.

How often do people actually tell the truth about what they think?  Without prejudice, without malice, without something in return...

The idea of pure knowledge.  The idea intrigues me.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Goodbye dear friend

I slowly walk from room to room.  My hands softly caress the wall as I take in each wall.
"You ready?"  Chris asks peaks in and finds me in the kitchen.
His hand reaches out and fingers lace around mine, "Time to go?"
I silently nod to him as I shake my head to rid the silly tears that came to my eyes.  "It's only a house."
I can't help but watch the mirror as it our first real home shrinks in the background.

Just in time for us to finally finish our last project my husband took a job an hour away and after a few months of Chris getting up before dawn and home after dark we decided that as much as we loved our home, this life we were living was not worth it.  We started our hunt for a new home.  Months of looking seemed to lead no where and no real bites on our home and I was beginning to think it wasn't going to happen when in one day we got three offers, all for our asking price.

It is silly but each room tells a story of our efforts.  Tells a story of a silly young couple trying to redo their kitchen and having to carry their stove in and out to cook during the process. (On a stove literally so bad that if you wanted to bake cookies you had to put them so close to the top burner that after rising they actually touched the burner and yet still managed to get burned on the bottom and dough like on the top.)  The story of the two of us working a triple shift just to coming home to a 90 degree house.  The story our first date in our new kitchen.  Every tile we put in place, every cabinet hung by us and we sat silent taking in all we had done.  Saying goodbye to past work friends and saying hello to dreams.  Dreams of my photography and now to Chris' dream of programming video games.

Ultimately it's just a house, but it will always be more to me.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Skitsofrantic in training

Okay, I feel like a melo-drama.  Between last weeks "wallowing" post and today.  I feel peppy.  And for no particular reason at all.  I want to be happy and spread the joy.  I feel like Chris from Parks and Recreation today, I literally thought when eating some tortilla chips "these are literally the best chips I have ever had" I'll blame that one on hunger but really?  I mean they were good tortilla chips but they were two days old... I feel like I must have a really low bar.

I'm pretty sure my emotions look like a baseball crowd after they had one too many beers and really really want the wave to make it all the way round.  I blame this on my internal nature.  I am a thinker.  Not just a thinker I can't stop thinking.  Great example of this my husband and I are newly married and the car is quite from probably less then three seconds but in my mind because of the trains of thought that have been passing through it has been minutes, I look over lovingly to my husband with a quandary, "So, whatcha thinkin?"  Chris stops drops his chin a bit with a pause he responds "Nothing" with a shake of his head.  "Nothing?  How could you be thinking nothing.  No one just sits and doesn't think"

Cause everyone is exactly like me right?


Or, I am totally the chick that when we get in an argument and you "Need to think"... yea, you might as well not come back cause no matter how long you are gone by the time you come back my anger will be the stuff of legend.  I am so ridiculous that I can realize that I don't remember what made me angry but I dismiss the lack of evidence or knowledge with "but he/she deserves my fury".

So yea, I think... a lot.  Pretty sure I got four skitsofrantics in my head all sharing their thoughts at the same time.

So all that to say that when I get super internal and I am trying to work things out on my own... they don't work out.  I tie myself up in knots trying to work out a "perfect plan"... and somehow I am crushed when it doesn't happen.

Flawed plan much?

All that to say,   take a deep breath and take a note from the ever so wise  (tongue in cheek) Finn from Glee, "Life's too short" and lick a lollipop and skip away...

You can leave off the last part but I advise it and I follow it.