Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Adventure - time warp technologies

Last March my family accepted getting bumped from our flight home from
vacation in lieu of flight vouchers. 4 vouchers. I've used them with
abandon and gusto: Seattle motorcycle trip, New Orleans and now Denver.

The Fri night flight from O'Hare was packed. I was alone (no kids) so
it was fine. I had a mini private Idaho in my claustrohobic window
seat. I brought along that gorgeous charmer, Dr. Who, for emergencies

They confiscated my shampoo and conditioner but allowed (or missed)
the 2 exacto knives in my art box.

I rented a car. They no longer use keys. Just a button. My intuition
and mechanical ability was lit because i started the darn car in less
than 1 minute. Other folks around me were frantic, switching vehicles
only to find the same keyless issue i helped out with a smile only
because I knew my ability to figure it out was quick and lucky. Upon
leaving the rental island I asked how to lock the car. The attendant
was very kind and help search for a remote-like, yet keyless device
that must be in the vehicle in order to start it. Pleased to have
everything in order I headed on my way. 1 mile away I noticed the gas
tank was solidly at 3/4 full. Cynically, there's a price for all
convenience. But I did not feel like a victim. Me and iPhone GPS found
our way to our Oasis: Beki hemingways brothers house

Josh is a complete stranger i have never met nor laud eyes on not a
photo, no facebook friending -nada Sight unseen. He called before I
left O'hare and I relayed my no shampoo issue and I asked if I could
use his guy shampoo.

When me, iPhone GPS and keyless car made it to Josh's pad there was
parking! He had the cleanest, tidiest bachelor pad I've ever seen.
Yet no gay vibe. On my nightstnd were brand new toiletries he said he
picked up at Target cheap!!! Even special face soap. Beki trained him
well! Thanks Josh!

I'm off to CrossFit Certification class. More from the road later

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gorgeous Find

Ever wish you were ahead of the status quo? I often do. Or perhaps better explained: I wish I weren't so far behind. I don't fret about it often. I pretty much march to the beat of my own drum (also the title of the JC Brooks and Uptown Sounds album - which is completely fabulous! Get it!). I had an encounter in a junk shop that put me on cloud Nine. After one of my group art meetings in Andersonville I had a chance to go to one of my favorite shops: UrbanNest. The staff there is so friendly and their home decor offerings are stellar. They are quite pricey but you can always find something good on clearance. I kid you not. I've been craving more organic finishes in my home. I remember them having Birch lampshades in Oct on clearance. I loved them but couldn't buy them at the time as I was busy painting at the Art Weekend. Nothing like having a huge lamp shade next to your easel on the street (nerd!).

They had a few left and I walked outta there paying $10 for a new birch veneered lampshade! Woot! I also like that they display the work of local artists on their walls - which are for sale. Walking back to the car, I popped into a resale/antique shop a few doors north. It used to be way overpriced when I visited years ago when I lived in Andersonville 10 years ago. But they are much more affordable now. As soon as I walked in, there was a box on the floor stuffed with old brass clock innards. Their shapes were so cool. A mere $10 each! All brass! I dug out a few and arranged them on a chair next to the box so I could arrange a lovely installation in my home. As I did this each person who walked into the store, marveled at these and how I had arranged them. They picked them up and tinkered with them. "What is this" they asked. Each piece was covered in some kind of animal hair but the potential was still there. Each piece had a bunch of gears and cogs. Some seen, some not. I was giddy. If you started one in motion, another one would start. But you couldn't quite see how it all worked together. I stood there and played and explored for a good 10 minutes. Being all bundled up I started to get overheated and tried to haggle for a deal. "Can I have 4 for $30?" "Sorry, we just got those." Lost, but, hey, I tried. After I paid, the clerk said to his manager "I never realized how beautiful those were". For a moment I felt like I was ahead of the pack. I was even trying to do that. I was being myself - indulging my natural curiosity and appreciating something otherwise overlooked as junk. The experience also made me a feel a little artsy fartsy, which I really am not. Like I said, I just fly by the seat of my pants. If any of you know anything about clocks, shoot me an email. I have no idea what that circular metal banding does. Wishing you a find of your own soon!

Group Art Installation

I have had the good fortune to be invited to participate in a Group Art Team. We are a group of artists that attend First EV Free Church in Chicago. We have various backgrounds (painting, graphic design, photography, acting, lit). This is the cool part: our goal is to create art installations that are a visual representation of the sermons series' during Sunday service. We understand that not everyone who attends our Sunday services are 1) Christians 2) nor is everyone great at sitting and listening. I can certainly relate to that. I do like to sit and listen, but to have a relevant art installation on stage is a fab idea.

I have helped brainstorm about installation ideas. I'm a do-er and goal oriented and really appreciate the group of great artists collected for this year. We unveil our first installation in next week. It's big and interesting. It's abstract (which I love) and I hope all of you get a chance to check it out. It will change from week to week but continue the same theme - at least until Easter.

First Evangelical Free Church on Ashland and Berwyn

Paleo Challenge and Busy Winter Months

It's the story of my life -- I'm busy. Geez. I love the ease and convenience of Facebook. People seem more interested in commenting there as well rather than on my blog. I love comments. I realize tho that reading blogs takes discipline and dedication. Facebook, esp since it's a mobile application, is such a clever and easy tool. The past few months for me, like many of you, have been full of the quake and throttle of the holidays.

Phew, I'm glad they are over. We were fortunate to get some snow here in the Chicago area which has been wonderful. It's been quite cold though (single digits yo!). Not great weather for sending out the kids to play in. I've done my best to get out into the fluffy white stuff. I love it. I also like extremely cold temperatures - so long as I'm dressed for it. It's difficult to drive in mittens, especially the big, faux leopard fur "Bear Hands" I indulged myself with. I've tried Isotoner gloves and they are pretty useless. Once your hands get cold, it's difficult to get them warm. This is so true with plein air painting too. It's best to keep your hands warm. Do not allow them to get cold. Even if they are sweating, let them sweat. So long as they stay warm. Because one brief contact with extremely cold air and all their heat escapes faster than greenwashers steal your money. Here's the breakdown: Dec: participated in my very first Olympic Weightlifting competition. It's been month since then, and I have to admit that I am surprised at how much I lifted that day. I must have had a surge of adrenaline. I'm still lifting near that weight. A tad more, but not much. Lifts were Snatch and Clean and Jerk. Both awesome for fitness. Your abs get shredded. A whole body workout. I love efficiency. Especially when it applies to exercise. I was fortunate to enjoy the wonder of my children's Christmas pagaents at school. Aislin (3) was a chick in cute little Christmas story. Myself and 2 other moms busted our tails creating the cutest little animal headbands ever. Everyone had plastic gems for eyes so they would sparkle from the stage. All the girl animals were given long, violet eye lashes. Adorable!

Indigo (6) was a spectacular kid, waving from the stage during her evening performance. She held up a gold star and did a dance with other kids in the aisles of the school's, church sanctuary. Very impressive. Sang loud and proud. We baked, shopped, watched every Dog and Christmas themed movie Redbox had to offer. It was kid time. I laid low, painted, shopped and did a small amount of decorating and staying up late obsessing over Doctor Who. Love it! (I own all of Season 4 if anyone wants) My sister, Sally, her husband Bruce, and their 4 little kids spent Christmas here in Chicago, from Western Nebraska. All the cousins got to hangout and be rowdy. Good times, lots of treats and even some sledding. My girls miss them already. 2010 is upon us. I've created a few goals for myself: 1) 30 days of strict Primal eating. From previous posts, you know that I have slowly altered by diet to be more in line with Paleolithic eating (no refined sugars, or grains. Heathy fats, nuts, lean meats and fruits and veges - organic if you can get it). I cut the grains out in October, but I'm so surprised at how much sugar there is in lunchmeat, bacon, sausage. Sheesh, in everything. It's crazy. So I have broken down and gotten grass fed meats. Sausage from an actual butcher (Gene's in Lincoln Sq rocks). I've also bought organic produce when I can. It is so expensive. I've offset it by eating less. So if I lose a few pounds doing this it's not intentional. I'm just broke ya'll. The only thing I really miss are: my 1/2 cup of dairy in my AM latte and 2) wine. Sigh. It's nice to unwind with a glass or two of red. But all is not lost. It's only one month. I can add those things back after that. I'm just trying to create a baseline to see how this diet affects my exercise (Crossfit) and my energy levels (I used to burn out by 3pm, went Paleo and that moved to about 7pm - on strict paleo it's about the same). I've committed to getting to Olympic lifting class twice a week and then twice a week to Crossfit Workouts of the Day (all take place at WCCF). Problem is that I have to stack some of the workouts close to each other. It's brutal to do two in a day. But I did it before. It just isn't convenient. I am working hard and am NOT as sore as have been in the past. I attribute that to the primal diet. It's a nice perk. I get sore just not debilitatingly so. Especially when we do any gymnastics type of exercise (ring dips, muscle ups, dead hang pull ups). Those just make my armpits sore for weeks. So there are the highlights folks. Sorry to have been gone for so long.

I plan to post some before and after pics of the Paleo challenge. The goal is to see the difference physically rather than on the scale. And most importantly, Feel great!