Friday, April 20, 2012

Swinger Art Night

D was happy to get the Swinger all dolled up for an art night with the ladies. He didn't even mind being the only guy in the group (who am I kidding, that guy never turns down a chance to be the only guy surrounded by ladies). He kept telling me I had to "prepare" more for the evening but I kept telling him, these ladies and art nights in general don't warrant an obscene amount of planning. They are more free and easy than that; things just unfold and, personally, that's why I like it so much.

In any case his little seed was planted firmly in my head and I did end up searching for some cool gallery event that night to head to because part of the delight of the Swinger is feeling like you are on parade while driving down the street. It's like having your own personal city bus to yourself...and you could be making something in an oven while you roll. I didn't find anything cool to do so we settled for City Park and the sweet relaxation of just hanging out in a motor home. Julie walked us through her branding work for Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon, a new venture in Susanville, CA. It was fun to review/brainstorm about her ideas for beer labels, coasters, and the logo itself. She really has been working her tail off on some cool designs (as always). I can't wait to see it all in play with a cold beer in hand!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Playing Dress Up

Lately I get so excited to provide Miss M with opportunities to dress up that I forget that I need a little dress up too. Actually that's not true, I've been working the heals and skirts when we go out because I don't have any "work" dress up in my life these days.

Thankfully Chris and Cullen (aka The Landrum Family - logo design to come) provided just the opportunity to for us to put on the shine when they invited us to the National Guard Association of Colorado Military Ball. Once I returned the tight black cocktail dress that had me looking like Rodney Dangerfield, I remembered an old reliable I had in my closet from our Wedding. It's one of those dresses that feels so comfortable, sexy and fun to have on. It has literally been years since I curled my hair (and once I did I remembered why: my hair won't curl). For his part, I had to break D's heart when I explained he couldn't wear his nice tan suit since it was a black tie affair; still the old guy cleaned up well. He was no match for Tricia, Chris, and Deb - who were all rockin' it. And I would fail if I didn't give a shout out to Cullen in a tux, which I probably haven't seen since their wedding in 1990.

It was a great night. We learned about things we should already be familiar with, like what these National Guard volunteers contribute and we even got to see a photo of William Gilpin. It was certainly impressive to see Rob in his element and hear (with some prodding) his stories about the medals he earned. I'm embarrassed to admit I take for granted the freedoms so many others fight for every day and I'm grateful!

I'm also embarrassed that my photos as of late have been really sucking (more so... because I can't find my camera and have been using my phone). Needless to say, the lighting in the pre-party room wasn't the best and I felt like we were in one of those bad photo taking time space continums. Still, here are a few shots from the night.

J cracks me up... along with Chris' expression
A much nicer photo but I had to keep him running away in the background
The shot I sent to Nancy to show miss M - the obligatory "my parents are at a fancy ball" photo
Sergeant Major Rob Lawrence speaking to the crowd

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm On The Hunt I'm After You

Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran

Leave it to me to be off mark about a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. Saturday morning I was driving over to Nancy's house humming Hungry Like the Wolf in my head as I explained to Miss M about the activity that was in her near future. I pictured ruthless little kids kicking my sweet little spring bud over to get a plastic egg full of cheap candy. Thankfully, it was neither as intense or as amazonly sexual as I imagined. In fact, it was a gorgeous day surrounded by a bunch of people longing for the same thing as me: an experience for my child to remember. 

We arrived shortly before they cut the pink ribbon for the "Under 3" section. Once they did, a flurry of parents and children careened towards the grass section where seemingly the Easter Bunny had flagrantly spewed eggs all over the ground. There was lots of hand holding and slowly picking up eggs. Some of the three year olds had full baskets while M was working on her three that I gingerly knocked some kid over to get. I was pretty put off to find each egg we picked up was empty. Of course I was thinking some bastard took the candy and threw back the egg until I realized all the eggs were empty (and we were dealing with three year olds at best). Once the hunt was over, each kid returned their eggs to the table and got a "treat" from the Easter Bunny. The hunt was starting to seem much "greener" and user-friendly than I anticipated. M loved her new notebook and pencil and only ended up with one miniature box of nerds (impressive since I would have cursed the sugar riddled experience otherwise). I really couldn't moan anymore.

Except that here is where my 70s roots kick in: I long for the good old fashioned egg hunt we had in our yard every year with the eggs we decorated ourselves. Sure it meant a basket full of mostly hard boiled eggs and of course as a kid, I longed to go on one of the coordinated hunts in a large lush park. After a few years, I found the predictability of a guaranteed egg in the little metal gutter coming out of our front garden planter or the one on the back of our mailbox too easy to locate. Thinking back now though, I love the idea of my parents coordinating the experience and inviting the neighbor kids to join in the fun. The older kids got to have the distinct honor of hiding the eggs, the younger ones got to hunt. It seems so much more intimate and fun that way.

I'm not a fan of crowds - the older I get, the more true that statement holds. Sure this was a great experience, but I think our future spring celebrations will include a close group of kids, like the ones we arrived with. Call me old fashioned that way but I will bring back the simplicity and utilitarianess of the 70s with pride.