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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Information Is In Your Blood

The author did not speak to me.  I did not learn anything from "How To Write A Sentence".  I am always drawn to "how to" books even though I am disappointed more times than not where it seems it is just a regurgitation of something I already know.

Before the Internet I was visiting Seattle for the weekend with my boyfriend at the time.  We stopped in the city Museum and there it was.  A model of the future computer.  He was mesmerized.  He was a film maker and told me how this mock-up computer is going to give us access to information from all over the world.  I did not yawn but I did wonder if that was what I really needed in my life or if it was more important for me to apply the mass amounts of info I already had stored in my brain.  I already felt I was addicted to gathering more and more information as a procrastination from actually doing anything with it

My main interest is health, fitness and fashion.  The blogs I like are ones where I can learn from the dialogue rather than from a so called expert.  Fat Head and Mark's Daily Apple have some good dialogues.  I do not like business or medical journals putting out findings on the basis of which ever corporation is subsidizing their research.

Applying the information is another question.  My mother taught me to eat vegetables growing up.  She practiced her preaching and was placed in a nursing home at age 94 with dementia.  Jack LaLane who my mother exercised to on the television ate nothing but fresh vegetables and fruits right out of his organic garden if you believe the infomercials he made selling his blenders.  His exercise routine was stellar and never missed a day.  He died at age 94 of pneumonia.

On the front page of our newspaper the other day was a picture of a lady age 104 lifting weights at the health club she attends three times a week.  She takes more vitamins than medications and "eats lots of vegetables".  I am eating lots of vegetables, taking ballet class 5 times a week and have another cold.  GRRRR!!!!!

Now I am reading about the "High Priestess of Fashion".  Diana Vreeland says. "You cannot learn about fashion.  It has to be in your blood.".  Maybe this is true for all things???

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Men In My Life

I'm sure the men in our lives tell us something about ourselves.  I wonder why I do not have any men in my life other than colleagues, business professionals, and my dance teacher.  The only men in my life I have never met.  The only male influences I have are in my dreams and on my mind.  My top four:

Arvydas Sabonis google image
 Arvydas Sabonis from Lithuania.  At seven foot three he played basketball with a finesse I had never seen.  He spoke with an eloquence that is exceptional for a sports figure.  The twinkle in his eye and sense of humor made him endearing and over a thousand people came to celebrate his days as a Blazer.

MJ google image
Michael Jackson, King of Pop to the masses and a genius to some.  I first came to notice him with his interviews and saw an artist that reminded me of the line in a song written about Vincent Van Gogh, "I could have told you Vincent this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you."  That is how I felt about Michael.

Kobe Bryant a super athlete.  Tonight I watched him play in the All Star game and he surpassed Michael Jordan (the BB player Kobe is accused of imitating) with number of points scored.  His love for the game, and constant hunger to improve and play and win is all attractive to me.  Oh and that smile!!!
Kobe Bryant google image

Woody Allen, how can I forget?  He does slip my mind.  Then the minute I hear him on the news as I did last night it all comes back to me.   He was  talking about the call he received recently telling him he was up for four Academy Awards .  He said he thought they were calling to ask for his Oscars back that he has already won in past years.  Why?  He never participates and is well known for his opinion that art cannot be judged because it is too subjective.  He does not want to consciously or subconsciously have awards influence his work. .  He is not a member of the Academy, cannot vote, and will not attend.  And tonight he WON an Oscar for best screenplay for Midnight In Paris.  Go Woody Go Woody!!!  He is his own man, talented, adorable, and funny,  And a musician.  Super attractive on many levels.

I admit the men in my life are obviously best admired from afar.  I feel like the author Graham Greene when he was in the same room with someone he admired.  His friend asked why he did not go speak to him and he answered, "I am afraid he would not live up to my projection". 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How To Find Yourself

Self knowledge is awareness of your inner and outer world.  Observing yourself in relationships with your mate, friends, collegues, community, the world.  One fun way is to pay attention to your choice of reading material.  A few weeks ago I found myself in Powell's bookstore drawn to Jane Austen and choose her last novel Sanditon.  I find English authors are my favorite when wanting to read a register above my day to day dialogue with friends and co-workers.

Maybe it is because my father's side is English and my Grandmother was an English school teacher the spoken word was important.  I remember I stayed with my Grandmother at the age of six and I used the word "stuff".  She told me that was not a word in the dictionary and not to use it.

Now I listen to our nightly newscasters and my ears cringe and my face hurts.  Everything is described as "we've got".  Whatever happenned to "we have"?  Which sounds better to your ears?  "We've got a storm coming" or "we have a storm coming".  Worse, why am I the only one this bothers????

Author Stanley Fish
I know my posts on this blog tend toward a style of casual conversation.  Maybe this is why I was attracted to this book at the library today.   I cannot wait to learn how my inner Jane can be revealed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ballet Pink Boots

Going shopping at the Outlet stores is not my favorite thing to do.  It is well known you cannot trust the prices just because they are the so-called outlet stores.  It does not mean the items are automatically a good deal.   But I was going with a fun friend from ballet class and knew this day was going to be a good time.

We had never gone shopping together before and did not know each other very well.  We have very different styles so items she is drawn to I am not.  We were going into most every store in the Mall but when she wanted to go into Rockport I thought she was kidding.  I asked her if she was looking for boots and she said, "no, but you are."   I only like dressy boots and they have to have a heel or at least a wedge.  No flat boots for me.  She has one of those personalities that is so upbeat when she said, "one never knows what one might find" we were already in the store. 

I wandered up and down the aisle hoping she would hurry up and decide we could leave when she asked me to come see.  And there they were to my surprise.  The softest prettiest ballet pink swede hiking boots on sale for $15.00.  I wanted to get two pair and Vix wisely said, "no one needs more than one pair of powder pink boots".

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Version Of MJ

Hat F21
I found this hat yesterday while shopping at the Mall for a few cami's and some interesting quality sleeveless shells or blouses.  So what was I doing in F21?  I was done looking.  I had gone to Ann Taylor, The Gap, Bebe's H & M, J. Crew, and actually tried on 3 different white camisole's at The Gap.  Nasty.  The only word I can think to say.  The material was so slimy I could not wait to rip them off my skin.  I wanted to say something to one of the clerks but knew they had nothing to do with the quality of the merchandise they sell. 

I always check out F21 accessories.  I have been wanting a white hat to wear with my black jackets to brighten them up a bit and thought this would do the trick.    My daughter's reaction to this picture was "CAN YOU SAY MICHAEL JACKSON!!!"  What?  Really?  She knows I thought he was a genius.  When I told her I always wanted that look she said, "You're hilarious!".  So I will take that as a compliment???

Actually I had a friend come over today to help me figure out how to post photos again because just when I get it figured out my computer decides to be weird.  So this is an experiment taking my own photo with my phone, then emailing it to myself, then inserting it to my blog.  I think I finally have it down. Next comes  purchasing an SLR and learning how to use it in the spare time I don't have.

Who Is The Artist

This painting hung in my Grandmother's home.  The painting has no signage on it anywhere and I have looked in many library books over the years to try and identify it.

I am wondering if my grandmother may have been the artist?  How does one go about identifying the artist of a painting?

Friday, February 17, 2012

What Celebrity Are You Wearing

If only celebrities did it better.  But somehow it's worse.  I am talking about their so-called fashion designs.  Do they actually design the clothes or just attach their name to the articles in question?  We have Jennifer Lopez for Kohl's, Katie Holmes for Ann Taylor, Paris Hilton at Macy's but not sure if that is still happening, and forget who is at Penny's and of course the 3 Kardashians plus Mom and the two teens are not only at Sears but all over QVC.
Twiggy for HSN

Queen Latisha on HSN
Also to be found on QVC is Joan Rivers, and Wendy Williams.  At HSN we have Twiggy, Mariah Carey, Queen Latisha, and Serena Williams.  Making the price tag reflect the value of the celebrities name is one thing but why do all the clothes have to look so cheesy and be of such horrendous quality?
Joan Rivers on QVC
Serena Williams for HSN
Mariah Carey for HSN

K-Dash for Sears

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do Expectations Matter

A 95 year old Raramuri hiked 25 miles over the mountain .  Why did he do it?  Because no one ever told him he couldn't.  No one ever told him he should be in a nursing home dying.  You live up to your own expectations.  Do you?  Have you?

We know the power of the mind and all the positive and negative thoughts we bring to our individual lives.  It has always fascinated me with those who excel in an activity and their response when asked their secret.  One example is with the Olympic athletes when they are interviewed after winning a gold medal for their event.  One will answer, "I always knew I would win a medal since I was three years old it is all I have ever thought about."  The next athlete winner will say, " I never dreamed  I could ever win a gold medal.  It has completely taken me by surprise I am in shock."

Isn't that interesting or is it just me?  Two different expectations with the same result???  Self-fulfilled prophecy I think is powerful when it comes to negative thinking.  I remember when I first read the book "Psycho-cybernetics" I thought I had found the secret to life and I would be able to control everything to turn out the way I wanted. 

Now I have grown to expect the unexpected and to focus on the present.  All the stories my mind tells me are to be expected but not reliable and self knowledge will come from the silence.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Will Growing Old Ever Be Amazing

About a year ago I came across a fashion blog Advanced Style by Ari Cohn.  He is a photographer and posts photos of the older generation because he wants them to be appreciated as being as beautiful as the younger generation.  I thought that was a worthwhile endeavor.  It seems in the USA elders are stereotyped and depicted in the media as sickly or crazy in the head

I am old enough to remember when there were no black people in advertisements.  We all know what happened  with the message "black is beautiful" as they were slowly included in our ads and the media and the television brought them right into the living rooms and now we have our Fab President.  Ari's premise is if we get used to seeing older stylish men and women in the media we will see them as beautiful as well.  We may need to start with a slogan "aging is amazing".

Or maybe it just isn't that important?   Do we reach a certain age where it just doesn't matter what people think of us?  It is a sign of maturity not to give a damn about what anyone thinks?  I think Ari is right on.  In my world of ballet there is always a reference to age as a bad thing never a good.  It is readily acceptable that with age the body deteriorates and people never question that equation.  In dance as in most all sports old means the late thirties.  When a few people break through the age barrier they call it a fluke.  An exception to the rule.

What does it mean to grow old gracefully?   Do we celebrate and show our fabulousness or if we do chose to show a positive image of aging does it give an impression we are begging for attention?   I am asking myself these questions.  If the media shows more positive images of aging will it be appreciated more or still be dreaded except for the alternative?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Does It Mean

When having a virus for two weeks it feels like two lifetimes.  With my passion for health and fitness when I get sick it makes me question everything about my routine, my choices, my discipline,   I tell myself I have been here a million times before, just relax into it, do not get into mental stories about how this should not be.

My friends and family know it is my style to exaggerate when I converse.  If you don't know me and overhear my conversation it can be quite shocking.  Those who know me come to expect it and prepare themselves to come right back at me and call me out on it.

This morning after my walk on the river for the first time in two weeks I was exhilarated.  When I came home I called my daughter and told her I was REINCARNATED!!!  I asked her if she even knew what that word meant?  She said, "yes, it means you're feeling better".

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How To Cure Thyself

Feeling "under the weather" the past two weeks once again has me reading the various natural healing books.   I also get online and read various health and wellness sites and find many comments from those who are being pro-active and finding natural cures rather than drugs.   It does seem drugs are the fast food medicine and who doesn't want to get well fast?

My favorite books are memoirs.  Especially those of artists and athletes.  When I am down and feeling sick I like books about real life people conquering all odds climbing mountains, cycling around the world, training to swim the English channel, all activities I have no desire to pursue yet reading the challenges and demands to excel inspires me.

One activity I have tried to get into and pursue is running.  By try means every once in awhile I will run a few blocks and it will feel so bad and not nice for my body that I wonder what I am doing wrong?  I think it has to do with not being able to breathe properly.  Sometimes I will just run spontaneously and think okay this could be fun.... but no.   I walk along the Willamette river while most everyone else is running or biking past me.  It looks more fun than walking until I try it.

This leads me to the book I am reading now by Christopher McDougall "Born To Run".  He admits he did not like to run but he wanted to like it.  His foot started hurting while running and after going to several sports doctors specialists and studying physiology online looking for answers led him to write this book.  Only into Chapter 2 and already inspired!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Portraits In Paris

My portrait drawn by a street artist my first few hours in Paris at a bistro in Montmartre
One of the best things that has ever happened to me in life is when my son said he would take me to Paris.  A dream come true. 
My caricature drawn on our last evening in Paris at a cafe in Montmartre

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What About Hair

Do you have a hairstyle you have had for years and do not want to change?  I don't .  I am always looking for change.  I have friends who have had the same hairdresser longer than they have had a husband or significant other.  Why can I not find one?  A very close friend said it is because I am fickle.  True I have never had a husband or significant relationship that has lasted more than a couple years and I change hairdressers every 6 months. 

Is it because I am so vain I want someone to transform me into something impossible?  I have read where the request is to look like certain movie stars.  I do not want to look like anyone but me.  So I take a picture of how I want my hair to be highlighted but guess what?  I look basically the same when I leave.  My friend will say,  Barbara you expect too much."  Okay..........tonight I am over it. 

What does hair have to do with it?  On a scale of 1 to 10 how important is it that your hair looks the way you want it to????

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Artists At Work

My favorite show is Project Runway and tonight is Project Runway All Stars.  When growing up my mother taught me some about sewing but I was not too interested.  We made an apron in Homec class and I had no interest or use for an apron.  I renewed my interest in sewing when I discovered I could with my Mom's help design and sew my own dresses.  I made one white sleeveless pique sheath dress with a wide pink cotton belt and remember I really liked it but do not remember I ever made another.

Next my two sons were born 15 months apart and being a stay at home Mom I decided to start sewing clothes for them  They tease me I could have been a pageant Mom if I had lived in a State where they had them.  Six years later I had my daughter and yes of course I made us matching hats, ponchos, and I was teased about it and I really did not feel comfortable wearing the same thing as my two year old anyway.

So I switched to household items such as a round  dining room table cloth in bright orange with huge white flowers with matching floor to ceiling drapes.  Who was going to tell me it did not look divine???  I knit a sweater for myself....terrible.  Then years went by and in ballet class I found a dancer who was looking for a sewing machine and I gave her mine.

When I came across the Project Runway DVD's at the library I was in heaven.  My favorite thing is to watch artists create their art and this show is so well done.  I have no desire to buy a new sewing machine but I did think I wanted to take some kind of design classes and that is when I started looking at fashion blogs which has led me to wanting to take classes in Photoshop after I take classes in how to use a camera and take my own photos without giving up my ballet classes and I have to work full-time to support all of those activities.  This has all taken place over the past 5 years slowly and so interesting how it just grew into this new interest.

Don't you think it is interesting how we become interested in what we do?  I remember my mother decided to go to my cousins roller skating birthday party as the baby sitter and decided to join in and loved it so much she bought her own skates, took lessons, and started participating in various couples competitions.  She went to that party when she was in her forties.  She decided to stop when the competitions would take her out of town and she did not want to leave my father on his own.

Have you too found yourself evolving into new interests?  How does it happen with you? 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What It Means To Be Wired

Getting into blogging is eye opening.  Reading various sites I find topics that I want to respond to as in a conversation and yet find my time is limited.  I do like to read the responses to various subjects and find open discussion about things that I question within myself. 

An example would be I always "feel fat" in the winter time.  I do not have a scales but have been dieting for most of my life in order to stay at a weight I feel is comfortable for me and my lifestyle.  I wondered to myself if others had this weight gain but did not want to come right out and ask.  There it was on one of the blogs and many responded that "yes they did" feel heavier when the weather turned cold. 

Another blogger had a fashion request to "show off the way you wear your lace".  Because I love lace and all clothing feminine and romantic I could not wait to see how the mature woman styled her lace because for me several years ago I decided I could no longer wear it.  I try lace items on every once in awhile  to see if I am being weird and each time I do I wonder what it is about lace that makes me look older?   Then I remembered how I used to have much fun shopping in vintage shops until one day I looked in the mirror to see the antique clothing made me look the same way.  Then I read an article that confirmed what I had seen in the mirror.  That at a certain age vintage clothing (except for some accessories) no longer is a good choice for some of us.  Then sure enough today I read other bloggers say that lace is aging on them as well.  Of course a cami with lace on it is not the same.  Those I think are an elegant touch on everyone.   Lace is arsenic after all.

Then I read a blog that said, "put away your electronics".  I have always thought electronic gadgets have a place and now I notice more people are questioning the health and well being of being wired all the time everywhere.  Not my problem because I am not addicted to my cell phone or social media but this blogging can begin to feel to me like I am taking away from another part of my life that is important.  I cannot even imagine socializing on this blog PLUS have a Facebook, Twitter, and the list goes on.  WHOA!

Now the blog that was titled "Put Away Your Electronics" was a Boy Scout den mother talking to her scouts.  At a race car event the scouts were participating in for the day only 50 percent of the participants were watching.  The other half were on their electronic device not even watching the event.  And she was not talking about the parents.  It was the kids whose event it was all about that were not watching it.   I have always had such a pet peeve about adults out and about talking on their cell and now forget about it.  I had to give up my aversion and accept it as a permanent appendage that most every adult and child has added to their anatomy.

"a moment in my day..." is a beautiful blog I just came across the other night.  Her post said she is unplugging for 90 days.  She practices yoga and I am aware when I taught and practiced yoga I was much more quiet and in touch with my being.   I think we go through different chapters in life and right now I am one that is working full time, taking ballet class 5 times a week, learning how to blog, how to use a computer, how to use a camera, how to take my own photos and find time to enjoy my friends on the weekends.  I have learned that meditation is not just sitting in a certain posture on a mat, it is a state of mind where ever one is.  Even in the busiest shopping mall.  But I was questioning how my life is very active now but not stressed..  On Maria's blog there is this incredible statement...."Simplicity is an inward attitude".  Yes.  Love that.