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‘Cause this is Thriller

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‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike  

You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for you life inside a killer, thriller night

Don’t you love Mr. Jackson’s desert-glam Barbie Jeep?  I know, the pink fringe is all sorts of fierce.  And that tiered white frock?  The King of Pop makes summer-to-fall fashion look so easy.  Even NYT’s Bill Cunningham would be impressed.

Yes, my dear readers, this is indeed a Michael Jackson Barbie doll.    It is, of course, the Thriller edition complete with the red leather getup, silver glove, white socks, black shoes and a microphone, all of which have been lost in the abyss of Barbie parties long past.  Barbie couldn’t have asked for a cooler manfriend, really.  And we all know Ken was so….blonde.

This little trip down memory lane is brought to you by my mother and her pending move into a smaller dojo.  I was horrified (think Michael’s girl in the Thriller video) when she told me that I needed to come clean out my corner of the basement, which she had graciously let me occupy with tons of shit stuff spanning my 32 years.  So horrified that I truly wanted to convince her that her new homestead wasn’t her style.  Yes, this earned me a horrible daughter merit badge.

There were boxes of elementary, middle school, high school, college, AND grad school ephemera.  Thousands of photos.  Chotchkies from each and every bedroom I called my own.  It was obvious after the 8th box that unicorns and carousels rocked my world for quite some time. There were also a few clothing items, all shocking in their itty-bitty sizes and complete awesomeness.  Biker jacket, fur collar, with “Angel” emblazoned on the back.  Yesssss.  Not surprisingly, this gem did NOT go in the trash as my future spawn will need to see how utterly cool their Mom was even at the tender age of seven.

What other gems were stowed away, you ask?  Prepare yourselves.

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just another manic Monday…

The very first iPod, folks, aka a Pocket Rocker.  And it still works.  Favorite mini-tape in the collection?  A close tie between Walk Like An Egyptian/Manic Monday and La Bamba/Tequilla.  I specifically remember belting out some of these epic tunes in my Smurf teepee.

Gah, to be a kid again.

Hugs and kisses to my Mom for forcing open my toy box of childhood memories.

How about we turn this Sunday-funday into a dance party?  ‘Cause this is thriller!

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Something in the Water

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Is it just me, or is there something bad swimming around in the universal karmic waters lately?

I don’t know if you watch the stupor-inducing, and disturbingly addictive, 24/7 cable news channels (I personally dig CNN’s Anderson Cooper, a.k.a. Andy Coop in my dojo) or maybe you are a loyal newspaper consumer, but regardless of how you get your news, I doubt you have missed the fact that the world is a damn mess right now.

Let’s review the headlines, shall we?

1.  The Colorado Rockies are in last place in the National League.  WTF.  Playing baseball is hard I guess.  Put me in coach.

2.  I have seen approximately one million ALS Ice Bucket Challenges.  If only there were these types of challenges for every ailment out there.  I’m hoping for peanut butter and jelly elimination wrestling for my disease.  Bonus: you can have a protein-packed meal while you raise money AND ice water is not involved.

3.  Okay, maybe this one isn’t news but whatever.  My dear friend showed me this website, http://www.shethinx.com.  Skivvies with a purpose, y’all.  Even if you don’t wear knickers, that’s your business, just contribute to the cause.

Not quite the news ticker you had scrollling through your mind?  Fine.

The Middle East conflict.  Ebola outbreaks.  ISIS in Iraq.  U.S. considering going BACK into Iraq.  Passenger airlines being shot down.  Ukraine.  And Putin.  Syria.  Unarmed teenagers being murdered by law enforcement officials.  Robin Williams, RIP.

Awesome sauce.  I’m turning off the boob-tube now.

Time for some personal headline news because sharing is caring, especially when it’s all puppies and rainbows.

In my family, the removal of seemingly vital organs has been breaking news.  Grizzly (one of my dogs) had his spleen taken out.  The vet informed us that dogs don’t need it so….why do they have it?  Are there other organs that are, in fact, useless in dogs and humans alike?  The week after the canine splenectomy (yep, it’s a word), my Dad had emergency open-heart surgery.  And news to me – the entire heart is removed during surgery, repaired, and then plopped back in and “hooked” up.  Are you kidding me?  Heart surgeons are the bee’s knees.  Period.  This organ is vital.

And to end on a positive note, and one that is related to my Dad’s recent ordeal, let’s watch the beloved Robin Williams take it to the next level.

P.S. – The crazy-eyed flounder photo is perfect for this post.  His world is (argh, was) undoubtedly crazy, too.  Look at those eyes!  Don’t you love evolution?

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Phantom Blackberry

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Do you see it?

No, not the delicious strawberries and blackberries, the phantom blackberry bubble?  Strange, huh?

In case you were thinking I fell off the wagon and was having fruit and cream, think again.  This here, my friends, is one of my favorite Paleo breakfasts when I’m not having a green juice.  Put on your smarty pants because it’s a complicated recipe:

1/4  cup blackberries*
1/4  cup strawberries*
1/4  cup kiwis*
1/2  13.5-oz. canned, full-fat (none of the “lite” crap) coconut milk*
Touch of honey if you’re feeling crazy
*Organic, if available

I usually have this with a few slices of bacon and I honestly think it’s better than your standard issue fruit and cream and SO much better for you.  Added bonus, you don’t have to think where those udders have been and instead can imagine the tropical locale where the coconut came from.  I would call that a win-win!

Stay tuned for the best rib recipe EVER via the resident chef/musician/koolcat/boyfriend of the household.

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Off the Deep End

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How did you learn to swim?  Lessons in the neighborhood pool?  Or maybe swimming looked more like flailing your arms wildly after slipping off of your whale-shaped inner tube in the deep end?

From the beginning, lessons weren’t my thing.  Technically, I don’t remember the day I learned to swim but my parents do, memories of which I have adopted as my own.  I was much too young to remember that infamous day at Glenwood Hot Springs, the outdoor pool reeking of burnt eggs (sulfur) and other minerals that apparently provide a plethora of health benefits despite the sour smell.  Undoubtedly drunk off the mineral cocktail seeping into their pores, my parents decided to indulge my stubbornness and toss me in the deep end.

Snaps must be given to said parents for having the courage (cojones) to bypass the floaty pool noodles and get straight to the point…because it worked.  Reportedly, I started to swim immediately after I was no longer in the safety of my Dad’s arms.  But this brings up another point entirely.

Instinct.

You know, fight-or-flight, the physiological reaction when faced with a threatening situation.  Yes, this critical brain function may have developed in our neanderthal days – being chased by blood thirsty creatures will do that – but I would argue that this trait is still very much in vogue in today’s stress-consumed world.  Okay, so we’re not running from, or fighting with, saber-tooth tigers anymore but there are plenty of times when we must choose whether to sink-or-swim, fight-or-flee.  In other words, how do we know when to let our instinct take over?  Can we train ourselves to be rational rather than reactive?  Would we even want this type of control?

I surely do not have answers to these vexing questions, nor do I think anyone does.  But how do we, as humans in this beautiful and complex world, try to balance instinct with reason? We must have both to survive, but too much of either action can send us over the deep end, literally and figuratively.

With another wearisome week in the books, one that I can’t quite wrap my head around, I think it’s time for a swim.  Care to join me?  It’s okay, you can bring your pool noodle.

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Under Construction

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Denver, like many cities west of the Mississippi, is growing by leaps and bounds.  Anywhere you look there is something being built, torn down, or repaved, seemingly overnight.  From mega-apartment buildings to hipster-central breweries, Denver, my city, is hardly recognizable some days.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a supporter of progress and the benefits of growth for a city’s economy.  Got it.  But wouldn’t it also be grand if some of Denver’s western grit could stay despite the new organic, gluten-free, grain-free, cage-free, conflict-free restaurant opening up next door?

Wait, did you just say gluten-free, grain-free restaurant…where?  In the perfect words of Tina Fey, “I want to go to there.”

Like Denver, I am also under construction of sorts.  Just over 100 days ago (not that I’m counting or anything) I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.  Ugh, I still don’t like to say it out loud.  It feels uncomfortable, kind of like a pair of jeans that are still wet from the wash but you wear them anyway because you have nothing else to wear.  Yes, that kind of uncomfortable.

I am happy to report that the initial shock of the diagnosis has worn off but the realization that my personal construction zone is just beginning has started to sink in.  My life, like Denver, doesn’t look the same as it used to.

But perhaps this is misleading.

Sure, I don’t eat bread, cheese, eggs or any sort of grain anymore,  and I take a variety of fun pills throughout the day, and perhaps my future isn’t as clear as it once was, but I am still me.  And more importantly, this construction zone is controlled by me.

So, my beloved city of Denver, I feel you.  You may be covered in scaffolding and have potholes the size of New Hampshire that need fixing but you are still the city I love, even if you are being overrun by beards and ironic glasses.  The true Denver, western grit and independence, is still here – I feel it.

How about you and I rebuild together, mmmmkay?

Welcome to the tradegy, readers, whoever you are.  I hope you stay awhile.