Tuesday, January 28, 2014

hello, hooligans: dance party violence

hello, hooligans:

we were having a random dance party last night. it happens every now and then when we're trying to survive the 4 p.m.-to-bedtime stretch I call "hell."

it was a good song, from what i can remember. kenna was jumping around like mad, clapping and yanking the dog's tail. riley was standing on my legs, holding my hands for balance and sort of half jumping off, half butt-dropping like her name was miley cyrus.

the she did something awful.

she hauled off and hit me square in the nose.  out of nowhere.

my eyes stung and it was such a hard hit that my initial instinct was to smack back out of self defense. but i didn't.

and i think there's a life lesson in there somewhere.

sometimes, when you're raising kids they have a random misfire and hit you so hard (literally and figuratively) that you rethink your life choices. (it passes.)

maybe he world in general is a little like that, too. random hits so hard it makes your eyes water and your language crusty.

anyway, the only thing you can do is get back to the dancing and keep a watchful eye on the violent ones.

fool me once...

part advice column to my kids, part snapshot into what it's like when the inmates run the asylum. "a pack of hooligans" is often how i introduce my kids to strangers. 

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Art School in Session (Lots of Faces in One Week)

I've spent so much time taking writing classes and attending writing conferences that I forget that I used to love art nearly as much as I loved writing.

I stumbled across Carla Sonheim's website by chance and saw that she hosted regular online classes that use a blog, Flikr, and videos and when I saw the average price (for the week-longs) was about $35, I couldn't help myself. My biggest problem was deciding which one to start with.

Dom and I decided we wanted to start with the Faces 101 (as in, 101 different faces in a week) because it was a live class with feedback from Carla.

Today was day one and we dabbled with our watercolors and blobs and created faces.

Here are a couple of mine:

I was channeling a little Led Zeppelin with this one. I wanted to make him older but couldn't quite pull it off. Still, I dig his goatee.

Doesn't she look like Kenna a wee bit? I love the purple hair and it just so happened my hair was pulled into a long braid today, too. Hooray for purple braids.

I read a lot of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. What can I say? Guilty.

I've never known a Milton in real life, but I'd sure like to. I bet he'd look like this guy and tell bawdy jokes and put skim milk in his coffee. Good ol' Milt.

More later in the week!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

stuff of life: toy portraiture

Do you ever wonder about the secret life of toys?

I spend about two-thirds of my days picking up, sorting, tossing, picking up,sorting, and tossing the amassed mountain of toys our kids have and I often wonder what their backstory is.

I took my new camera out for a testride today and I couldn't get my kids to sit still for a some pictures for the life of me. But I needed the practice, so I dumped out every figurine I could find and I took portraits of them. They were more than happy to tell me their woes.

toy portraits, session one
january 24, 2014

1. Randall dreams about being a concert pianist and growing organic turnips. But mostly he hates having his ears chewed on by the baby.

2. Gertie's big moment, her very own portrait, was ruined by Construction Carl's immature photobomb.

3. After a decade together, Caillou and Leo find themselves in couple's therapy.

4. Marine Corps Moe (the dollar store's answer to GI Joe) really loves a good cup of coffee in the morning. And some guerilla urban warfare for lunch.

5. Bernard lost his pride in that last battle. He lost his arm in Tijuana a few years back while on leave.

6. Saul and Paul never could see eye-to-eye.

7. Dusty remembers the good old days when pirating was considered an honest trade. He'd give all the legos in Houston to be chasing the fair winds again.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year, an Old Couch

I'm sure I had every intent to write between my last post (mid-November) and today. Truly.

But, see, I had this goal last year to write more posts than my previous annual record (I wrote 70 posts in 2009). So on November 18, I hit post #100 and I thought that was a fantastic number. And when life got busy and I realized there'd be no way to hit 150 or 125 or some other monumental number, I figured a break from both Facebook and the blog would be ok. Just to preserve such a monumental number like 100.

Then there's the fact that my camera jumped off the kitchen counter to the tiled floor last month. That was a pretty awful experience.

Last night we rang in the new year on our couch, hedging bets on whether Jenny McCarthy would get her midnight smooch with my favorite former New Kid. (Donnie. What can I say? I was never a Jordan sort of girl and Joey always looked too young. Danny looked like a caveman and Jonathon just wasn't my type. Donnie it was.)

Somewhere around 11:15, when the east coast had rung in 2014, we went to bed like a couple of old farts.

That's just who we are right now and I'm pretty ok with it.

2014 will pick up speed, I'm sure of it.

I had every plan to write a thoughtful, insightful post, but as I type, my toddler is on our kitchen table launching the four-year old's legos in every direction. He's screaming. She's laughing. And I'm zoned out. I'm pretty sure that sums up much of 2013...where we balanced precariously between moments of awesome (state parks, birthdays, the zoo) and pure junk (broken water pumps, bounced checks, rejection letters).

I don't expect much else out of life, I guess and that's enough for me!

Here's hoping you rang in the new year in style and wishing you love and health in the new year!

...happy, happy...

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