Friday, June 17, 2011

The Only Way to Fly

I have a ton of work to do before I ninja out next week, but I really wanted to write this blog - so I am going to take 10 minutes and give you, my loyal, wonderful readers, some advice.

Take a flying trapeze lesson.

No.  Seriously.  Do it.

I think I've gotten this reputation with most of my friends as the "kooky, weird one."  I have a strange job, that teaches me strange things.  I go on crazy adventures.  I blog (for Chrissakes). I make jokes and have this bizarre Peter Pan syndrome that manifests itself in all kinds of ways (I am wearing a skirt with an owl on it today.  An Owl).  But just because something is strange or unfamiliar - doesn't mean it isn't something everyone should try once or twice.

When I was 18, my dear Mother purchased a flying trapeze lesson for me in New York City.  This was before the Sex and the City episode when Carrie flies, so it was pretty low key.  It was merely an adventure.  My Mom knew I was always down for some adventure. This was so long ago that the pictures aren't even digital.  They are actual pictures.  Crazy.

Anyway - now Trapeze School New York is kind of a big deal and they have a location in lovely Chi-town, just South of Belmont harbor.  The guy who is running it is a cool dude, and so he let me and a whole bunch of kids I work with go flying on Thursday.

It was the best-worst, funnest-scariest thing I've done...possibly ever.

I am so much more aware of fear these days.  In everything, I see how it might hurt me, or how in providing this service, someone else might get hurt.  But despite all that, my pride won out in the end.  There was no way I could tell a bunch of 15 year-olds that I was going to do something, and then back out.  They would never let me live it down.  

It never got less scary. That instant when your feet leave the platform was never really okay.  But I did it.  And it was amazing.  Through the pain (ouchie mcgouchies, armpit muscles) and the fear (I really do hate heights, I really do) - it was incredible.  There is this moment, when you are reaching out for the bar, when you are completely convinced you are about to tumble into the abyss.

But you never ever do.  Which is a lovely (albeit cliched) metaphor for life and whatnot.  There are people supporting you (sometimes strangers) and if you trust them and believe in them, they will keep you from falling to your death.

The craziest part is the catch though.  Its weird, because its all about timing.  You are in the air, which hasn't gotten any less crazy in the three times you've done it, and you're listening So.Hard for the guy on the ground who is telling you what to do.  And then its all over, in one second you go from hanging by your knees to being held by a deceptively strong young lad.

And then its all over.  And you realize you've survived.  You might be a little shaky, but you're also smiling, in awe of the things you can accomplish.  And how cool gravity and physics and the human body are.  And how amazing you are for trying it.  Because no matter how scary it is- when they say Hup, you always jump off that platform.  You always do it.  Because fear can be accepted, but it shouldn't be limiting.

And so you should do it.  Even if you don't really love heights, or being upside down or anything.  You should try.  Take it from your kooky, weird friend - its worth the ladder climb.

Enjoy the video below.  My form needs some serious work, but it shows just how easy it really is (in the catching video I scream really loudly the moment I am caught and it's pretty embarrassing - so don't expect to see that on YouTube anytime soon).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book 12 - Bel Canto

This is a book that makes me put my foot in my mouth

I spend most of my time speaking in hyperbole.  Everything is perfect or terrible or amazing or horrifying.  This especially applies to the ends of movies, but also some books.  Most of the time I prefer a terrible, dark depressing ending to one with butterflies and rainbows - because that is how the real world works and I am nothing if not a realist when it comes to movies made by perfectly sculpted humans pretending to be other people.

I don't want to give too much away (although this book is basically a primer on "being hit over the head" foreshadowing) but... well, too bad.  Based on past experience, my reaction to the ending should have been, "pleasant surprise" but instead it was somewhere closer to grouchy pants stick-in-the-mud.  And I will say there are two endings to this book (I think its what some people, in the biz', call an epilogue) to throw you off the scent.

I don't know if my life of domestic partnership has made me soft, or if I've just lost my taste for sadness and desperation but I was kind of a little bummed.  And then I was angry.

This book apparently gave me a lot of feelings.

However, I don't think I would say I liked it.  I think it was okay and a pleasant enough vacation read - but I found myself preferring words with friends (or my weekend fling - four square) over slogging through.  Literally, I felt like a hostage of this book.  And if that was her intent - well then, a tip of the hat to you, Ms. Patchett.  Well played.

Also - I think I just don't do well with a cast of social misfits.  They were all just strange and awkward. This is probably how I would also be in a hostage situation.  But it kind of just made me not want to read about them any more.

So basically - this book was too much like real life for me to be happy.  Which completely negates everything I've ever thought about anything.  Dang lady - what a way to write a book.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Weekend in Future Phone

I am obsessed with future phone and with all the fancy things it does - including taking and editing pictures so they look real nice (although some of these pictures arrive to you all unedited and raw).  Two weeks ago, I went back to the East Coast to watch the lovely T-bone get married, play touristy in the city of my roots and see my monsters (both feline and little boy).  Here's a sample.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book 11 - About Alice

Guys, these book reviews are coming 'atcha.  There are three unread New Yorkers on my kitchen table (I'm saving them for Iceland as they are easier to dispose of than books) and I have a fair amount to show for it.

This book made my heart make funny noises.

It made it beat seemingly slower and faster at the same time.  It made me cry with sadness and with pure joy.

Seriously, if 16 year-old girls knew what was good for them, they would stop mooning over boys who can write songs and spend some time with boys who can write words that don't need to hide behind  lame guitar cords and canned drum beats (You're Welcome, nerdy book-writing boys).

There isn't much I really want to say about this - except you should go read it.  Now.  Right now.  It will take you exactly one lazy, sunny afternoon on the porch.  You'll still have time afterwards to cry a little and then send a wish out into the universe that you'll feel that way some day.  Or that someone will feel that way about you.  And even if it never happens - you can smile because it happened somewhere, for someone.  And in some small way, the fact that we get to share it makes it wonderful.

Monday, June 13, 2011

lo siento

I should be writing blogs more.  I should be talking your eyes off (??!) about all the crazy biz-nas happening.  I have been having crazy adventures - and you will hear about them.  But dang, y'all.  I am sleepy.  All I want to do is finish my book, eat a cupcake and take a gd nap. Sorry that when there is a choice - I pick nap over blog every time which is why I will never actually make money doing this.

Anyway - the blogs are in process and I will try to get you just enough to keep you satisfied before I whisk myself away to Iceland for 2 weeks of potentially internet-free quality time.

I will say - before I go...

Give up your seat on the bus, jerks.  Seriously.  Are you an able-bodied under 40-year old?  Is there someone who looks like they could be your grandma/grandpa in front of you?  Get up.  I don't care about your liberal, socialist, "we're all equal and they don't pay, anyway" crap.  They are old.  They have been here, literally, since before you were born.  They have dealt with your terrible music and stores only selling "trendy" (read: ugly) clothes because you and your poor-taste friends will buy them, for a really, really long time.  You ruin everything.  Get up and give them a seat as an apology... because I am pretty sure that when You are old, you'll probably want to have a frackin' seat on the bus.  You are terrible people.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

light my way

We finally finished doing battle with our insurance company after the break in so it was time to compile the list of all the things that got swipped (Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm will screw up your life, not return your phone calls and hire morons in their local offices).

This was hilarious for all the reasons that any interaction in my house is hilarious.  Boyfriend is super efficient and thorough - and I am a freaking space cadet.  I made my list from memory (duh, but Boyfriend also had receipts and whatnot to help prompt his memory) - which meant that there was no order or thought put into it.  For goodness sake - the list started as an MacBook sticky note, before Boyfriend made me transfer it to an excel spreadsheet.  To be fair - his list was all electronics, which can be easily found on the internet and cross referenced.  It is nearly impossible to describe most jewelry (apparently), making it even more impossible to find it using a basic google search.

So I did what I could and gave the list to him to work with.  Then this conversation happened:

"You put lightship basket earrings on your list twice."
"Yeah.  I had two pairs."

I did.  I had two pairs of lightship basket earrings.  Because what my Grandmother lacks in creativity, she makes up for in her giving spirit.  Two pairs - one that just sits on your ears (from my google searching I believe these are called "post") and one that has a post backing but like hangs down (so I have dubbed, "dangling").  Two pairs of earrings that were, sorry Granny, almost identical and now I don't have either.

It's strange.  I didn't think I'd miss them.  They were cute, but completely absurd and made me feel a little pretentious, mostly because when people would ask, "are those earrings baskets?" I would have to explain that they were actually Lightship baskets which were a thing from Nantucket which is a place that is kind of a big deal where lightship baskets were kind of a big deal which I guess, begrudgingly makes Me a big deal..."

Why I have to explain this, I am not quite sure.

Anyway, on Monday night I wore my Lightship basket necklace for the first time in (possibly) ever.  It was silly, but reminded me of my Grandmother and her island and her stupid, stupid addiction to these ridiculous things.

She's pint-sized and amazing.