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Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Have a Kudasama Flower Girl Entrepreneur

My 16 year old daughter is an artist.

She'd rather draw than do homework. She'd rather design a big, mascot-type fox head out of plastic screens and faux fur than clean her room. She'd rather make me an original, animated widget for my blog for mother's day than go buy something. She'd rather make a YouTube video on how to draw eyes than watch a movie with her family on Saturday night.

So when she brought down one of these lovely Kudasama paper flowers she made yesterday, I was not surprised at all, but I was very happy, and very excited. I love these things.

I told her I want a several of them, to put around the room, and that we could hang up a bunch of small ones on a curtain rod in front of our sliding glass doors to make a paper curtain. I could envision 30 or 40 flower spheres hanging on strings, moving slightly as people walked by, looking all modern and contemporary and elegant and art installation-y.

So my daughter invited a friend over, and together they made several of these lovely flowers, in various sizes. Her friend's mom arrived, and we began to fight over how many were going home with the other girl, and how many were staying home.

Not fighting, really, just, you know...trying to be fair and the girls.

So then the girls, being smart and business minded, and tired of the negotiations, said we could buy them. And in fact, if we wanted them to make any more, they'd be happy to sell some to us.

So of course, the other mom and I looked at each other, looked at the girls, looked at the flowers, and said, at the very same time:

How much?

How the neighbors see me...

One bad thing about living in a high density neighborhood is not having a yard. So we have to let the pesky little dog outside whenever he asks. Which is a bummer when it's 20' outside. Of course I just throw on whatever warm clothes are closest to the door.

My family laughs, sometimes. But I figure the neighbors already know I'm quirky, so they probably don't even notice my get-ups any more.

For the record: no 13 year old fashionistas were physically harmed by taking this picture. Emotionally? Maybe. She'll get over it, some day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Apple Pie.

If you came here thinking I'd talk you out of eating lovely holiday food, you're in the wrong place.

I do like pie. Especially this amazing pie from Grandma Opal, that we found on All last year.

You make a sort of Carmel sauce out of butter and brown sugar, then you pour it over a mound of thinly sliced apples, then you criss-cross some dough on the top, bake it for a while at 350' and - -

Voila. Delicious.

So, who's running tomorrow? Besides me, obviously...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Snow Running - Breathable Underwear

It's a glorious day in Bend, Oregon. The sun is shining on the fresh, white blanket of snow, and the blue sky says "no excuses, get outside."

Now I'm hunting up the Yak Traks to put on my running shoes so I won't slip, and appreciating my warm, first layer of "microfleece" Paradox running pants and shirt I got at Costco a couple of weeks ago.

I do like my Paradox long underwear. Because it's breathable. Which makes it seem alive. Which is really, really cool, the more I think about it.

Living, breathing underwear? If your underwear could breathe, would it have a nose? Would you want it to? How far will biotechnology evolve? Will your underwear grow a mouth and talk some day? What would it say?

Maybe I'll have another cup of tea and think about the answers to these questions before I go snow running.

Pipe down, blue sky, I'll be out there in a minute.

Birthday Wishes

I had my birthday. I'm 44 now. Here's me with my cake, making a wish. What's your birthday wish, dear readers?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Running in the Dark

My running partner, Joanna, likes to run in the dark. I'm usually busy with dinner and kids and Twitter and stuff by the time dusk rolls around, but sometimes she convinces me to go with her.

She says it's easier to run at night, because you forget about the distance up ahead, and concentrate on where your feet are going to land next, so you don't trip. And if you're a self-conscious runner, your shape blends in with the shadows of the night, so you can jiggle all you want and no one sees it, or cares.

Tonight we ran through the trails in the woods at dusk, and watched the sky turn pink, then purple as the cold winter sun slipped behind the hills. We made it back to the road before the sky turned pitch black, but just barely.

If you need a little adventure this week, go run in the dark.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Missing Sissy: No Hoop Running Tonight

I'm supposed to go to dinner with my friend Sissy tonight but I'm in bed, instead, because I was feeling a little fainty. Last time I felt this way, I got the flu. But I won't get it again, I'm not the type. Once is enough for me. This is a fluke, I swear.

Sure wish I had a fainting couch, though. I love those things. I'd prefer a red velvet one, as long as we're asking for presents. Except you aren't.

Anyway, Sissy's the friend who's even goofier than I am. Except she'd say I was lying. Sissy's just her nickname, because she's the youngest of 9 children. I'm the youngest of 4, so I can't even hold a candle to her. I could hold one for her though, and I would, if she ever needs a candle held for any reason.

The last time I was with Sissy, I did some hula hoop running, and she took this picture to prove it. It's good exercise. I'm not sure how many calories hoop running burns, but it seems like it should be 1,000 per minute, because you have to keep bending down to pick up the hoop every 10 feet or so.

Alas, if I tried hoop running tonight, I might fall over in a faint, and the hoop might break. That would be sad. Funny, but sad. No one likes a broken hula hoop.

Poor me. No Sissy craziness tonight. I only have hula hoop memories to sustain me until I stop fainting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cold Weather Running - 1980's Style

I went skating yesterday. I meant to go running, but the thin sheet of ice on all the paved trails near my house forced me to tread carefully until I got to the dirt trails a mile away.

I need advice for ice running, so please send ideas. I do have some of those nifty thingys you slip on the soles of your shoes for snow, but they seem a bit spiky for bare pavement. I'm afraid I'll screw up my knees if I run 4 or 5 miles in them without the cushion of the snow.

Meanwhile, look what I found at the bottom of my snow gear box! It's my wool North Face headband from 1989. Stylish, and upside down to boot. Hey, it works.

I don't really want to run in the gym, so I will attempt to stay outside this winter as much as I can. Who's in?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The One About New York

I went to Manhattan. I loved it. I didn't want to leave. I want to go back.

For the record, I did go to Manhattan once, when I was 11. It was in 1976, when we went to Washington DC to visit my cousins for the bicentennial. We went to NYC for one day. It was a hot, sticky, miserably muggy gray day in August, I think, and the crazy people in the subways scared me.

So, from 1976-2009, I didn't really want to go back to Manhattan. It seemed nice in movies and books, if you're very rich and very thin, and obviously brave enough to live there. I figured I wasn't any of those things.

But then, these people named Loren and Michelle Feldman, who I met a year or two ago on Twitter, decided to put on a conference, and I decided I needed to go. I wrote about them last December in my post "What a Croc: @1938Media's Shoes and How I wish I Could be Jewish."

I wanted to attend The Audience Conference, something fierce, because I wanted to meet them, and the conference was all about this:

"Audience is a conference aimed at those who recognise the need to reach engage and influence audiences of all kinds, an investigation into how this is changing, and a look at how technology has in the past and is now, through new media tools and the social web, changing audience participation and interaction."

And this is the exact kind of thing I'm into, especially since my new company Twist Pop Media is all about telling stories for clients and pushing the stories out to the world. Plus I was a drama girl, you know. And I write for many different audiences. And I want to meet people and get some work, to boot.

So I figured I'd need to be brave, take a red eye flight to Newark, take a bus into the city, find my way through the crowded, dirty, mean and crazy streets of Manhattan to the hotel, and then try hard to be social and outgoing and professional with a bunch of strangers I'd never actually met in real life. All by myself. Without having an anxiety attack.

Turns out I am very brave. And Manhattan is clean and friendly and easy. And the hotel was lovely and I met Ezra Butler (who works with 1938 Media) in the lobby when I was checking in, and he walked me right down to 5th Avenue to look at new phones and get a real bagel.

And then I went to MOMA and The Folk Art Museum and The Museum of Arts and Design and Central Park and around and around and around all the streets (which are on a grid, by the way,easy peasy) and then I took the subway back.

I did get a little lost down there in that ridiculous underground maze, but attractive men in suits and friendly women with shopping bags kept pointing me in the right directions until I found Grand Central Station, and a wonderful guy in a bike cab who got me back to my street and said I didn't even have to pay him, but I gave him $10 bucks and let him kiss me on the cheek at the end.

And then I met Erin Bury in the lobby, who was also traveling alone, and made her come to the parties with me, because my theory is if you walk into a party with a beautiful blond woman who is also smart and plays the piano and sings like an angel, strangers become instant friends, and they are always happy to see you.

The party was fun and I met a bunch of nice people. They didn't think I was shy at all. I completely fooled them, I think. Because I'm such a good actress.

And then, the next day I went to the conference and met more twitter friends in real life and
several more new best friends, and listened to the speakers, who were quite impressive, and the poet and the singers, and ate good food, and talked to smart people, and felt so lucky to be there.

I sure wish they'd have an Audience Conference every 1st Thursday of the month. Now that I know my way around, I could be a Manhattan Ambassador for other scared tourists. Manhattan should hire me, I think. I could tweet the whole entire thing, every month. Goodness, what a great idea!

The whole thing was wonderful. It was all just like a Woody Allen movie, but faster, and with much less angst.