Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Killer Klowns from Waterloo

OMG I cannot wait for the 2012 Presidential race to hurry up and get under way already!  For real folks, it's gonna be a circus.  The pre-show has not disappointed as yesterday, Tea Party icon and hopeful GOP nominee Michele Bachmann told Fox News (blek) that she wants people to know that like her, John Wayne was also from Waterloo, Iowa, and 'that's the kind of spirit I have'.  Someone had to have gotten fired for that fact fail because the John Wayne from Waterloo, Iowa, is in fact John Wayne Gacy.  You know, the clown-clad serial killer of 33 boys in the 70's (he buried the bodies under his home in Chicago - talk about spirit!).  Yeah, that John Wayne, is from Waterloo.  Whereas this handsome devil...
 is not.  He's from Winterset, Iowa, but close enough, right?
Tic toc ya'll.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's Called Living Art Ya'll.

Field trip day for my summer camp at the IMA 100 Acres Park.  We took 60 kids ages 6-12 to let them run amock (in a semi-structured fashion of course) among the outdoor sculptures and trees.  6-year old Teah banged her knee pretty good on the Funky Bones and was forced to stay behind with your truly while we waited for her mom to maybe or maybe come to retrieve her.  While we waited we iced the swelling knee and waxed poetic.  She might be the funniest kid I've ever encountered.  Our bus driver ideled yards away in case we needed transport back to the museum and I thought to myself What a nice man to volunteer to do that  but then I soon realized the error of my thinking.  As Teah and I laid on the plush grass and turned gray skies into fish and stars, I glanced up to see the Nice Man Bus Driver hanging half way out of his window, mouth agape, eyes wide.  Teah noticed too and we both turned in unison to the object of his, um, attention.  Here's what we saw: 
Teah:  Miss Nicole!  What's she doing?
Miss Nicole:  Posing?  Resting?
Teah:  But you said we're not supposed to climb on the art!  And look at those shoes!
Miss Nicole:  Look Teah, I spy a rabbit!
Teah:  Miss Nicole, why is she wearing a bathing suit?
Nice Man Bus Driver:  HEY! COME OVER HERE! I GOT A GOOD SHOT FOR YOU!(apparently there was someone with a camera clicking away as our orange-shoed friend climbed amidst the non-climbable art installation and in heels no less!)
Teah:  Why is he yelling at them? 
Miss Nicole:  I don't know but let's not stare.  Did you know that you can make music with just 2 blades of grass?
Teah:  Huh?
Nice Man Bus Driver: I'M TELLING YOU, THE PERFECT SHOT IS RIGHT THERE!  I cringed uncomfortably.
Teah:  Eyes popping out of her head as the scene unfolded behind her back.  She slapped her hands to the sides of her face and exclaimed Oh miss Nicole this is so embarassing!  He loves her!
Miss Nicole:  I don't know Teah, maybe.  But I think she's ignoring him.
Teah:  She doesn't love him, he should stop yelling.  I can't watch!  She covered her eyes, shaking her head back and forth.  Priceless.
As the photoshoot continued the Nice Man Bus Driver believe it or not managed to get the photographer's attention and they shared trade secrets and guess what, this was the money shot:
Side note:  This week of camp the theme is all things art; How all different mediums can be used to create art.  Jelly Beans can be turned into art and so can coffee pots.  By this time we ditched the blades of grass and just plain ol watched the photoshoot continue...
Miss Nicole:  Teah, do you think she could be art?
Teah:  Yeah, head tilting, looking thoughtful, I would call her 'living art'.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hi, yes, this is the Universe Calling.

I tried in vain to put off running yesterday.  Why?  Because I don't always like it.  I like the effects and sometimes its the only freaking thing that gets me away from my desk but really?  I'd rather be sitting on my porch with wine.  Or coffee.

Yesterday had all the promises of a lazy rainy Sunday, with little hope of running, despite my current 'training schedule'.  Kev tried to get me to go when we first got up but I distracted him with my yummy quiche (and no that's not a metaphor for anything else, it really was quiche - 2 kinds with tons of fresh herbs from my garden).   Then I distracted myself with neighbors.  Lots of them from all directions, convening on my beloved porch for coffee, quiche, fried rosemary (from my garden too - just call me Martha) potatoes and whatever else folks could find.  Hours were spent playing catch up as the gray skies spat and spewed and sometimes thinned just a bit.  But even with all of that goodness the running was never far from my mind. 

Why am I so anti-running all of a sudden?  I'll let you in on a little secret:  I don't like working out.  There, I said it.  Shocking, right?  This coming from a person who gets paid to get others to work out.  The irony is almost painful.  But I don't consider all activity that happens to burn calories to be a workout.  Heh-em.  Like Yoga.  Or leisurely biking.  Swimming mayhaps or even a run to de-stress (which I do frequently).  Those are outlets, not workouts.  The workout angst happens when, for example,  I start to train for something and all of a sudden the pressure of that alone is enough for me to psyche myself into a frenzy of negative inner dialogue that has me coming up with every excuse in the book to not do it.  Hence yesterday's quiche and neighbors.  Then it was work.  Then I had to go teach.

The excuses were justa piling up.  When I got done teaching I started to walk past the heated yoga room where a class had just started.  I looked outside to the sunny skies of early dusk with plenty of light for a few good miles.  I looked back to the heated yoga. Back to dusk.  I said eff it and went for the sweltering hot drippy slippy heated yoga class and it was glorious.  When I emerged an hour later, buzzing and energized, it was 7 p.m. and still perfectly light.  CURSES.  So I called my dad, after all it was Father's Day.  59 minutes later it was still light out and I had my running shoes on and could be heard uttering the words, Sorry Dad, I have to get a run in before it gets too dark.  I'm training you know.  So I hit the pavement sans ipod, hoping to just get through the next 3 miles without stopping or cutting short.  3 stinking miles:

You can do this.  But oh, how ridiculous running can be.  I mean really, why do I need to get there so quickly?  What am I running from?  To?  I'm just running in circles.  Jesus, are you kidding??  I'm only at 46th??  Fug.  This is torture.  Why do I do this to myself?  Maybe I could just walk for like 20 steps once I get to 52nd.  Who's gonna know?  I will!  Come on!  It's only three effing miles!  Get a hold of yourself girl.  Oh that damn quiche...

As me, myself, and I continued to trek along, the dialogue got louder.  Note to self, never run without your ipod ever again.  In fact don't do anything without your ipod ever again.  2 miles down and I hadn't stopped but was looking forward to the red light up ahead.  A little bitty pause was coming up.  As I reached the 46th St. (remember, I run in circles apparently) corner I was just about to take my delicious pause when the red light suddenly jumped to a bright loud green and I heard the words being shouted Damn girl!  Take pride in what you do!  But they weren't being shouted at me, they were being shouted at a rather mousey looking girl in the driver's seat of a little white Geo, being shouted by what appeared to be a very frustrated guy in the passenger's seat.  Ouch.  Although the message was not for me it was received.  Loud and clear.

Just past the shouting Geo, I slowed as I approached a very elderly woman, shuffling ever so slowly with her walker tight in hands.  Elbow held supportively and protectively by a younger gentleman, she inched her way to a vehicle on the street with little steps attached.  I slowed thinking that I would let her pass, knowing that I could have made it but still, I was still looking forward to a pause.  A breath.  But then she stopped instead and met my eyes as I continued to jog towards her.  She let go of her walker (you can't make this shit up) and gave me 2 thumbs up I swear to Jesus and said I used to do that.  Christ on crutches I smiled like the dickens and sprinted off, booking it the last half mile until I got to my door steps.

Ok Universe, I hear you loud and clear!  Take pride in what I do!  Keep going because I won't be able to do it forever!  I'm queen of the world!  I can do anything!  Then I walked into my kitchen and their was dog poop on the floor.  Yes Universe, I'm still listening.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

To the Drunk Guy in the Bar -

You're an asshole.  

Did you know that?  I doubt that I'm the first to tell you.  You looked right at me and asked me if I had kids.  I said no.  You said you don't know how lucky you are.  Really?  I'm lucky?  I asked you how many you had and you said I have three and my life has never been the same.  Once you have them you don't have a life of your own anymore.  Don't ever have kids you said.  I asked if you regretted having them and you said yes and no.  Then you don't deserve them I thought.  Then you actually kept talking...  They consume all your time, your money, and thoughts.  You can't stay out late in bars anymore (Really?  You could have fooled me.) and they'll ruin your marriage.  Are you still married? you said For twenty years.  Nothing's been the same since we had kids.  Everything changed.  We can't do things together just the two of us anymore.  Then you're not trying hard enough.  I said that much at least.  You said the words Having kids was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me, but really, they're the light of my life.  Clearly.

I don't know why I bit my tongue so hard that night and didn't call you an asshole right then.  I think I felt sorry for you but felt sorry for your kids even more.  I wish that I had shouted Screw you man!  I wish that I had told you that you don't know how lucky you are to have them but sadly they are not lucky to have you. Because you know, you're an asshole.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

If I Had a Hammer

You can thank WFYI for this post....

Any proper child of the 70's and before should be able to deftly finish the phrase If I had a hammer.  Not only that, but you should also be able to continue through the rest of the chorus in a sing-songy manner while attempting harmony.  You might even be standing up by the time you sing your way to the last few lines, head shaking back and forth, fists clenched, It's the hammer of justice, it's the bell of free-ee-dom, it's the song about the love between by brothers and my sisters, aaa-aa-allll over this laa-aaa-aaa-and.  Woooooooooo.  

Now you're saying to yourself, Damn you Schovillova for putting that song into my head!  Why did I do this to you?  I'm just sharing the love kids, sharing the love.  And also?  I'm reminiscing about some of my earliest musical influences and dare I say my first concert ever.  That's right, that motley crew pictured above was in fact my first live musical performance at what was once known as Starplex Amphitheater located deep in the heart of Dallas Tejas - aka Smirnoff Music Center.  Ugh.  My memories of that event are limited but what I do know is that we sat on the lawn, I was with my mom, dad and sis, and we were on  a blanket.  And I had Cheez-its.  To this day I can't look at  a box of Cheez-its without humming a few bars of Puff the Magic Dragon.  Early 80's best guess.

I know few who can top my first concert experience (besides my mom whose first concert was The Monkees) and I'm happy to report that it was uphill from there.  Nights running around Poor David's Pub when I was no taller than the bar peppered my taste buds with some of Texas's finest and still to this day I'm a sucker for anything Willie or Stevie Ray.  My next ones came at the tail end of my freshman year of high school with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company, followed shortly by Buffet, Steve Miller and James Taylor repeatedly.    By 16 I was sneaking into bars with fake ID's in search of more relevant artists like Better Than Ezra and Dave Matthews, and after that it all runs together.  U2, Moby, and Bob Dylan in Prague stick out as some of my favorite live shows but Stevie Wonder singing at the Obama rally during the 2008 Democratic primaries in Naptown takes the cake.  The minute he came out on stage I started to cry like a baby, uncontrollable and raw.  Kevin looked at me like I had 2 heads but steadied me anyways while I strained to stay upright on the tips of my toes, inching my way towards the stage.  Strangest live show reaction to date and I was totally sober ya'll.  So many years and so many shows, but trust me when I say that it all started with Peter, Paul & Mary.