Getting going

Know how when you miss the gym or any other significant physical activity for 3 or more weeks it's a lot like you never were in any kind of shape? Muscles seem to have forgotten how to use the blood your heart is frantically pumping to all your long parts and based on your light-headed, dizzy feeling, NOT your brain? No? Just me?

And not just physically. It's been hard to focus mentally. Distractedness is not necessarily abnormal for me, but the degree to which my attention span has shrunk is notable. It was short enough already but now it's practically ADD short.

I know I'm often overflowing with excuses but when one of your kids is ill, then you yourself end up down for five days, and then you're out of town - it's more challenging to fit in the needed exercise. So when CCC and I made our return to the gym today....it was DANG hard. She did much better than I did. At one point all I could do was stand there and laugh. It was laughably pitiful. As we carefully descended the stairs I had what I thought at the time was an earth-shattering epiphany.

Forward Momentum. Inertia. The Groove. My momentum has been thwarted. The needle of my everyday goings-ons has been dislodged from my groove and is screeching across the surface. Funny how I never really thought of it in these terms before. I mean, yes, I've realized the difference when my schedule has been disrupted for whatever reason. Days seem "off", it's exponentially more work to get the schedule back on track. And while I've definitely said "I've got to get my groove back", when I've been thrown off track, it just never really resounded with me the way it did this morning. Maybe it was my oxygen-deprived neurons clinging to any semi-coherent thought that sparked a synapse.

Today I checked things off my list. Not everything but more than yesterday which was break even at best. And while I'm not slipping back into the groove as quickly as I'd like, I've got my foot on the accelerator and am slowly picking up speed. I ought to be able to merge back into full throttle Life in a day or two.


On Journey

This is how we spent our Wednesday night.

And what an incredible way to spend it. Bubble Boy and I joined my sisters, Uncle D and others in the HORRIBLE HEAT for a triple play from Classic Rock Heaven. Before I go into the details of the show I have to give the weather the proper respect it deserves.

It was hot.

Really, really, REALLY raging hot. People were dropping all around us from heatstroke.

Seriously. It was freakishly hot.This photo of the sea of humanity doesn't really demonstrate the heat. But see that girl in the white, sleeveless shirt toward the middle/bottom of the photo? She was on the ground on the verge of something bad about 15 minutes after this photo taken. And two other people within 20 feet of us had to have emergency medical intervention. Did I say it was warm?

Maybe this one is more descriptive.

And I can't let the opportunity for a little quality crowd watching pass me by without a comment to this.

But as much as this photo seems to be BEGGING for commentary I can't help but feel that perhaps it stands well enough on its own.

Cheap Trick opened the festivities as the 6 o'clock sun blazed down, then after we were sufficiently warmed up, the dual force of Anne and Nancy Wilson of HEART came on stage to wow us with their unbelievable talents (that voice is crazy good and Nancy's a guitar goddess). And then. THEN!


Of course I knew that Steve Perry hadn't been with the band in many, many years but I hadn't really followed their search for a front man. I don't think I was alone in my surprise when the show started. "That guy looks Asian" my sister and I said in unison. "Filipino", Uncle D informed us. Halfway through the first song it could've been Steve Perry for all I could tell. He sounded just like him but was probably a lot more energetic and enthusiastic than we'd get out of a 50-something Steve Perry.

Since then I've been obsessed with finding out more about the quest Journey band members had undertaken to find a new front man. It's been a long "journey"....(Extra Points for Puns!!!) I may have been delirious with heat exhaustion from waiting in line since 3:30 in the 103 degree scorching sun but it was a truly fabulous show.

The nostalgic value of those songs is not just in the songs themselves. Not only do they call to mind 'those days' but it reminds me of how much music meant to me then. I rarely have time or inclination to keep up with music these days. Either the kids have their requests, it's too loud to hear myself think (let alone do I want to add yet another stimuli into the mix), I feel like I should listen to the news so I can be at least minimally informed on current events, or the desire for a few moments of peace and quiet when they can be snatched overwhelms any thoughts of listening to new music.

In those days I would sit poised by my double tape deck, hour after hour, tape queued up and ready to dub my favorite song when it came on the radio and I'd curse the DJ when they'd talk all over the intro to the song (or start blabbing away before the song was over). In the world pre-iTunes, we shared tapes with friends and had to buy the whole tape to get the hot new single. And I sat and read the cassette inserts from cover to cover, memorizing every word, all the dedications, studying the insert photos down to the finest detail.

A true purist would insist that no one could replace Steve Perry. Give the youtube videos a listen and see what you think. While I'm not proposing that Arnel Pineda has necessarily replaced him, he is a freakin' great alternative. Me and the other 10,000 people singing and dancing in the melting heat thought so anyway. If nothing else it'll bring back a few memories.


Batman v. Joker

It was nearly 20 years ago when I giddily gathered with my closest friends to see Michael Keaton portray Batman as he fought to protect Gotham from the maniacal attentions of a certain hysterical, painted predator. Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale (where HAS Vicki gone?), and Michael Keaton. In retrospect I wonder Really? Michael Keaton? Mr. Mom? Beetlejuice? But I bought it hook, line and sinker. Loved it. Loved Prince's "Batman" song. It was all very campy and Jack Nicholson as a crazy bastard is wholly believable, right? And entertaining to the nth degree.

Up until about a year ago when I Netflixed "Batman Begins" I had been thoroughly disappointed in every iteration Hollywood had thrown at us since that 1989 version. Val Kilmer couldn't carry it. And George Clooney's is a great doctor / lawyer / suave casino criminal, but he's just NOT Batman.

But Christian Bale? He IS The Batman. And Heath Ledger as The Joker? Not merely a wacky, fun-loving, murderous crazy man. But a darkly sad, sociopathic maniac. I was skeptical going in, assuming the critics and reviews were cutting some posthumous slack to the late Heath. But he had me from his first murderous magic trick (Remember?? "Wanna see me make this pencil disappear??" - eeeek!).

Suffice it to say that it was a thoroughly entertaining movie that I watched with rapt attention, oftentimes peeking through covered eyes, with mouth agape, figuratively biting my nails to the quick. imdb.com has more than 91,000 voters giving it an average of 9.5 stars. That is the highest rating of any movie on the site.

It was pretty darn good.


My Dark Knight

Little MG celebrated her fourth birthday today and had the Face Painter Extraordinaire on site decorating all the children and making a jungle of balloon animals.

Little A makes a great Caped Crusader. Eat your heart out Christian Bale.


Woe is me

Little A was down with a fever last week for five whole days. Not just any fever but a whopping 104+ day in and day out fever. It was the kind of fever that prompts mothers to throw their kid in a tepid bath in the middle of the night and allow them to eat unlimited popsicles in the hopes that they will bring down their core temperature. I hadn't mentioned it here because, believe it or not, I do put forth some paltry effort to not make the blog be a whinefest ALL the time.

But now that Little A has kicked the virus out and considerately passed it on to his mommy, who lovingly bathed him, read to him, brought him 7000 popsicles and let him sleep with her and cuddle his hot little body up to hers despite the hot summer nights, I can hold back on the whining no longer.

I hurt. Everywhere. Did you know earlobes could hurt? And that thick skin on your elbow? It can.

Fevers suck.

You heard it here first.


You can't make this stuff up

If I hadn't seen the first bit I would've pegged this as a clip from one of my favorite news sources.

But alas. It appears to be actual news. All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for the leprechaun flute and spellproof overalls. It could be worse...they could be Noodling leprechaun hunters.


Just as Lost as the masses

After binging on a Lost marathon that lasted into the wee hours we are all caught up with Lost. I know the fact that I'm actually blogging about a TV show might ring of a soft addiction, but I've learned to accept it. I hope you will too and we can be friends anyway. I had planned in good faith to make Season 4 last. To savor each 42 minutes and mull them over and absorb them individually as I formulate my theories on the many mysteries of The Island and it's old and new inhabitants.


That lasted all of 41 minutes when at the end of the first of four remaining episodes I said Screw It! Get comfy 'cause we're watching 'em ALL! Bubble Boy didn't even protest, so I've decided he's a closet addict. He won't admit it because he's got my wide proclamations of obsession to hide behind. Or maybe he knew better than to try to talk me out of it. I couldn't be responsible for my actions had someone come between me and my remote.

So, now here I am. Just like all the other Lost fans. Waiting impatiently for them to feed us answers bit by teensy bit while doling out VW busloads of mystery and intrigue.

Sawyer, Hurley and Jin try to upright the VW bus

They've mastered the game of providing us with just enough information to prevent overwhelming frustration which would incite an all out rebellion with viewers deciding just give up. Plus, it's strange and peculiar, but not SO strange and peculiar that it's utterly ridiculous (remember how Alias got completely ABSURD after the first season or two? The whole Rambaldi thing?? Puh-leeeeaaase! No thanks...I don't care if Jennifer Garner can whoop up on ANYBODY...you lost me!).

The big question I'm considering now is whether I will be able to be strong and hold off for the completion of Season 5 so I can binge on hour after hour of juicy shows and quench my need for instant gratification. OR if I will cave once the season starts and sit like the strung-out junkie that I will be, every Wednesday night, getting my fix. I'm sure you have your theory. And you're probably right.


Laying Low?

Last week, as the Fourth of July approached, we looked forward to our first weekend of summer with NOTHING on the schedule with great anticipation. We refused to commit to anything unless it included sleeping late, going to the pool and simply wallowing in our excess of time. We got off to a good start on Saturday, sleeping in with no swim meet to go to at an obscenely early time. Bubble Boy treated the kids to a special breakfast of Belgian pancakes, his specialty in the kitchen. I did a few minor housekeeping duties, but nothing major. And then the call came in.

See, we were invited to a wedding in Dallas at 6 pm on Saturday. But I'd made the executive decision that we would not be attending this wedding because it was our first weekend without obligation in many moons. And while, yes, it would be lovely to see family we hadn't seen in years, I just couldn't refuse my body's instinct to crawl inside a cave. I was firm. In no uncertain terms I informed my mother, my father, my sister that No, we will NOT be attending. Y'all have fun. We'll see you in two weeks.

But some people have trouble taking No for an answer (why, yes! I am talking to YOU, Auntie!). I hate to admit it, but this might be where I got this tendency. My feelings of satisfied confidence in the correctness of my decision as I lazed around the house in my scrubby clothes at 2pm were still strong when that fateful phone call came in. We chatted a while about her fun 4th with friends on the lake and she double-checked whether I'd had any second thoughts about the wedding. I laughed. Nope. No second thoughts. Then Big E wanted to talk to her Auntie.

This turned out to be a wee bit of a mistake.

One hour later Big E and I were in the car, hurtling up I-35 to Dallas in our wedding finery. We missed the actual wedding but arrived at the hotel just in time for the reception. Big E hasn't had that many opportunities to attend weddings and that girl does love her a bride. What 9 year old doesn't? It's the closest thing we have to real live princesses. And then The Cousins! She didn't know she had ever SO MANY cousins! And it doesn't matter that she hasn't seen some of them in her life, some of them for a couple of years...they became fast, fast friends. There was eating, dancing and general merry-making until Big E literally collapsed into her bed in the early morning hours of Sunday.

And the fun doesn't stop there! A series of events beyond my control were set into motion Sunday morning that ended with Big E making the trip to Oklahoma with her persuasive Auntie, cousins and Mamaw and Papaw. It's been All Cousins, All The Time since then, with jet skiing, swimming, movies, and all-around fun morning 'til night.

I know she misses us though. She called just to ask if she could have a Dr. Pepper. I must miss her too. Because I said Yes.


The Provincial Life

SJ clued us in to this year's Zilker Hillside Theater production of Beauty and the Beast and was kind enough to take a blanket to stake out a sweet spot on the hill before the throngs of people arrived. I have to admit that I went with very low expectations after an experience three or four years ago left me glad that I hadn't paid any admission.

What a wonderful surprise it was then to see what turned out to be a very nice production with delightful actors who could actually dance, act and sing rather well, a costume designer who obviously had a budget and and imagination, an orchestra that could keep time and tune and an entertaining story with familiar songs to boot. The temperatures were mild, the mosquitoes weren't swarming and even the crowds weren't overwhelming since we got there early and I stayed on my little square of blanket real estate.

Little A's favorite characters were the obvious Belle and the Beast, but interestingly also Gaston's silly sidekick. Big E's faves were Lumiere and the swaggering Gaston, who was kind enough to flex his biceps for the camera. You can see Little A's not too impressed.

Domestic partners

Well on our way to a goal of a wrapping paper-free Christmas (and birthdays).
This is the most work my sewing machine has ever had to do. The need to refill and reload an empty bobbin was previously considered a stopping point for whatever project I was feebly working on because it presented too great a challenge for my pitiable Sewing Skills.


Not only have I refilled the bobbin TWICE, I've created many, many buttonholes! Buttonholes AND straight stitching! I've been reacquainted with my seam ripper due to a few minor mishaps, but despite that time sucker we've got a growing pile of various size bags in beautiful prints for all occasions. If only Mrs. Lee from Home Ec could see me now!