Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Love It When We're Cruising Together

Riding past the town of Gross Proud and seeing signs for the Hungry Mother State Park were just a few noteworthy points about our RV trip to the Cecil Family Fish Fry Reunion Hoedown Hootenanny Shindig. There was also the false start when the engine in our rented Cruise America motor-home was seemingly on fire and started smoking, filling up the cabin and leaving a trail behind us on Route 66. Gigi yelled, "It smells like bacon" as we evacuated. On most road trips, parents are bombarded by the usual, "How much longer until we get there?" Instead, we heard, "How much longer will we be stuck here?" After several hours on the side of the road with the RV rocking every time a semi rolled by, a tow truck arrived.

Outfitted with a new rig, we set out again for TAKE 2, six hours after we originally started. It was during this leg of the trip that the rules of the road became evident. A few examples are on the video at right or the below link - "assume the RV stance" & "suspend reality without seat belts."

The Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River beckoned as we ventured along the country roads, passing Davy Crockett's birthplace, the Cross-eyed Cricket Campground, and the world's largest fireworks store. Our final stop was at a "fairytale in stone" known as the Luray Caverns. “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”
- Don Williams, Jr. quotes (American Novelist and Poet, b.1968)

For RV Rules of the Road and pics from the Fish Fry, watch the VIDEO by clicking on this link...

Music credits for video - Cruisin by Smokey Robinson, Country Roads by John Denver and Connect by Foxy Shazam.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Say "YES"

Do you ever have a yearning to do something and you hold yourself back? It could be something on your wish list or a dream you've had since you were a child. You never got around to doing it because you got sidetracked, or were afraid, or, or, or. Maybe it is a mid-life awakening but I'm living loud and proud with those buried desires. It is about saying "YES" to the dreams that empassion you. I am feeling called to perform.

Our little town, it's a quiet village (you know the tune from Beauty and the Beast?)... Kensington, Maryland has a super-quaint children's library but because of county budget cuts, there are threats to close it down. A committee was formed, a foundation created, and fund raising ensues. Last weekend was the Storybook Parade and they asked for volunteers to be characters, one of them being Fancy Nancy. I said, "YES!"

Last June at a dinner party, the hostess had us a play the game of truths. You write down three things about yourself, two are true, one is a lie. The crowd has to figure out which one is not real. Dan said that he almost got stampeded by a pack of elephants, had a criminal record, bicycled across the country. I said that I used to be in meetings with Ted Turner, had to break my legs to get Dan to marry me, and that I am a burlesque dancer. One was a falsehood last year but now they are all true. I said "YES" to taking classes in NYC and performed last night with a group of foxy ladies, sparkle shoes and all!

Try it. Say "yes" to something you normally would not do. Put yourself on a "yes" diet every day. Yes to a new phone app. Yes to a crazy eye shadow. Yes to a project at work that you want to do. Yes to a class you want to take. Yes to fake eyelashes. Yes to downloading new music. Yes to trying a new food. We only have one time to go around this planet. Work that skirt!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Picture This

The gang was all in white, lined up for the family picture. The brother got pissed off at his sister, picked up a pile of mud, and wiped it all over her lily-white top. Mayhem ensued and the shots the photog got were the best ever. That episode of Modern Family jogged a memory about our "sitting" a few months ago. We were dressed accordingly and feeling a bit stiff. After 20 minutes of posing, Dan had the brilliant idea to pull out the wigs. Viola, the personalities emerged.

Capturing that "moment" is key and I wanted some professional advice considering summer travel is upon us. My friend and professional Mapplethorpe, Josh Lehrer, has some enlightening tips. Papa Josh has shot portraits of the big guns such as Donald Trump, Richard Meier, and Tina Brown. His conceptual work has been on bigger-than-life Times Square billboards. Currently, the walls of the Mandarin Oriental in Vegas are adorned with Papa's work. Here are his thoughts on creating artistic memories.
  • Do the opposite of what the camera instructions say. If they say to put the sun at your back, try the sun facing you for something more interesting and dynamic.
  • Family shots - Don't worry what the kids are doing. The parents freak out and get themselves in such a tizzy that they end up looking haggard. Take care of yourself. Let the kids be kids. Trust the photographer to get the great shot.
  • Travel pics - Put your subject in the extreme foreground with the pyramid in the extreme background.
One final idea - say "money" instead of "cheese." Saying "money" makes the corners of your mouth go back in a more natural way. And if you believe that you conjure what you say out loud, it's much better to picture more money than cheese any day.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In the Zona

Have you been carded lately? It was a thrilling experience last weekend when I was out with my friend Heather in Scottsdale. (They card everyone who looks like they are 30 years old!) Lucky for me, the guy had bad eyesight. There is a standing policy that if asked to show my ID, the requesting person gets a smooch on the cheek. However, in my giddiness of such a special moment, I forgot to give him an appreciation peck.

There were lots of other unique moments about our trip to Arizona. Dan's parents took us to a fancy-smancy ranch and we got to see a horse swim in a equine pool. See picture >>>>

At the Museum of Musical Instruments, Marcia and the kids played haunting sounds on the Theremin.
Watch Marcia on this video. >>>>>>

There was also a workin' that skirt moment - I saw an older woman at Target who made my jaw drop. Her hair was adorned with pearls, she had on silver high heels, straight white denim jeans, a white shirt and a smile that could make the midnight sky look like day. Cashier gals were praising her and then saying to one another as she walked away, "She looks better than you and me combined." "That woman sure knows how to do it." "Dottie, ooohhhhh, eeeeee."

Seeing "Dottie" made we want to give her an award, or at least some props* that acknowledge her brilliance and sparkle. I could have showed my gratitude with a big smooch but I have a bad reputation at Target. (See entry "Get Your Head Examined" when I accidently dropped the shopping cart down the escalator - So instead of getting arrested for kissing a stranger, I planted a big appreciation kiss on someone I know, my friend Heather. >>>>>>

* Props, short for Propers, -The entire word "propers" is used in the song "Respect", written by Otis Redding and most famously recorded by Aretha Franklin in 1967. At least, I think it is ("all I'm askin' in return honey is to give me my propers when I get home"). according to Urban Dictionary