Sunday, September 27, 2009

Midlife crisis?




Everybody around me is pretty sure I’m going through a mid-life crisis. Yay for me, I say. After all, I’m almost 45. I could use some cool change in my life.

Mid-life crisis = change

Many researchers link the notion of mid-life crisis to worries about aging, or feeling unattractive, or unhappiness with one’s job, or other such things. But to me, mid-life crisis is synonymous with change and jettisoning whatever isn’t working in your life before it’s too late.



I understand that’s hard to do. Believe me, I’ve tried. I know how it goes. But if there is a chance to grab onto something good, why not take it?

So far this year I’ve jostled my little corner of the world thusly:

1. Taken up shootin’ guns
2. Bleached my hair ultra-blonde - wow!
3. Taken up jogging – for real!
4. Looked into buying a motorhome!

But at the heart of it, as some seem to think, is a mid-life crisis all about regaining your youth and being 16 years old again? I say, hell no.

Mid-life crisis ≠ being 16 again

For one thing, though some of the actions might be the same – taking personal risks, listening to David Bowie, etc. – the heart and mind are still vastly different. Hopefully, older and wiser. I can’t speak for you, but when I was 16, I was a hormone-driven mess and not necessarily that smart! But now that I’m nearly 45, the following is more apt to be true of me:

• I no longer think there will be no repercussions for my actions
• I understand and accept the concept of responsibility in its many forms
• I realize that life is short and that we choose our own path to happiness, it is not made for us
• The world as we see it is not as the world truly is and nobody actually sees it the way it truly is
• I’m more forgiving of the faults of others - I don't expect them to be perfect.

There are other things, of course, but it’s also important to note that in many ways, the way I am and the things I want from life haven’t changed all that much since I was 16:

• Answers to spiritual questions – that I never stopped seeking
• A lifetime of knowing distilled into a moment of perfect clarity and able to last forever
• A free and open heart
• Courage and strength and fearlessness in all actions

All that and more, people. All that and more.

Perhaps the real lessons I will take away from mid-life are 1) fight for what you want, 2) do it with compassion for yourself and others at the same time. Always the kindest cut, delivered without animosity, but with precision and awareness and a no-back-down attitude. A little glimpse of the inner warrior-ess in me.



And now I'm gonna go buy my motorhome damn it! See ya!

<3 style="font-style: italic;">"I think in your 40s you're wise enough to have the guts, and you figure, 'What the hell. What's the worst thing that can happen? You've got to get a regular job?'" Waters says. "My stepfather on his dying bed said, 'If only I had ...,'" she says. "I don't want to have regrets."
But Wright also emphasizes the internal journey: "You step out of time. You don't know what day it is, what time it is. You eat when you're hungry. And when you come back, you are changed."

The psychoanalyst Carl Jung explained how in middle age people tend to drop the roles they were playing, outgrow their pretenses.

"Women today realize that their mothers never had a sense of their options." Haas, now 67, shocked her family when she left her first husband 27 years ago. "They said to me, 'Why are you doing this?' I said, 'I'm not happy.' My mother said, 'Who told you you were entitled to be happy?'"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is this for real?

Can it be there is really a group on the internet of people who love the way things smell? It's called, "I Love How Things Smell." This seems rather odd to me, the fact that there's only 72 of them willing to come forward and admit they are closet sniffers notwithstanding. What do you think?

Bit odd, ennit? But wait. There's also a Facebook page called "Things we like the smell of..." Now, I know that's ending sentence in a proposition but they can't help it. I get in trouble for that of course but sometimes it just sounds better so I'm gonna cut them some slack!

Does anybody else sometimes hallucinate an aroma much like fresh lavender or it is just me?



Or is it sweet lilac that comes wafting to me silently?



But then, I suppose a bloom's a bloom. Unlike a perfume - a bloom made on purpose, and sometimes a poor imitation of the real thing. Yet we tend to collect them. Here's just a few that I know I like on men, I like to wear, or one of my dad's that I used to wear when I was in high school! Guess which one? (Yes, I'm weird!) :P














Ha! I'll never tell. And no, you won't see anything remotely resembling Polo on any list of mine! I do have some pride you know...

Bratty

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The International



Well at least I'm reviewing something that happened this year!

The International came out in Feb 2009 but all I saw was the trailer for it while I was at another Clive Owen spy drama, Duplicity, which also starred Julia Roberts.

I think I at first wanted to see it because a lot of the action in the trailer took place in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, someplace I'd like to visit since I have a penchant for moving quickly around round objects such as the parking garage at SeaTac.

Sighs...remembers the last time I had fun picking somebody up and squealing my tires going 'round and 'round with the music blaring on the stereo. (Hey! I'm easily pleased! In some ways at least.....:P)

Here's a pic for ya:


Go ahead, you can say I'm weird. Doesn't bother me. Maybe I just like ROUND THINGS okay?

But I've gone astray.....

I watched the first 3/4 of the movie not enjoying the shoot-em-up very much, and then was taken quite by surprise at the very philosophical turn of events at 1:24. Agent Salinger (Owen) has Colonel Wexler (Meuller-Stahl) alone in a room and he's trying to flip him (thought that term was only used in R/E transactions. Silly me!) to his side. Here's a bit of the dialogue that seems as if it was the beginning idea of the film, the point the entire rest of the film was created around or, less likely in my opinion, was just darn odd for a shoot-em-up.

1. Wexler: "There's a difference between truth and fiction. Fiction has to make sense."

2. Wexler: "We cannot control the things life does to us. They are done before you know it and when they are done they make you do other things. Until at last everything comes between you and the man you wanted to be."

3. Wexler: "I was once destined to become a man much like yourself - true hearted, determined, ful of purpose. But character is easier kept than recovered."

4. Salinger: "Sometimes a man can meet his destiny on the road he took to avoid it."

5. Salinger: "Sometimes the hardest thing in life is knowing which bridge to cross and which to burn. I'm the one you burn."

My commentary -

Quote #1 - I have heard this exact quote from authors and editors. Fiction has to make more sense than reality they tell me. Well. Who knew?

Quote #2 - this could be taken several different ways, depending on if you believe the last line or not. Life does throw things our way - seemingly impossible things at times - and they do change us. Do they all change us for the negative and push us farther away from our goals/God/Buddha nature? No. I say no. I say hang on and buckle up. Life is as weird as it is.

Quote #3 - The last line is important, I think. At least that is what the film is showing at the end where Salinger meets up with the other man who's been trying to kill Jonas Skarssen, Chairman of IBBC (Thomsen). He sees himself in the other man and realizes what he has become. That the collateral damage has been to himself. And though this film was naysayed a bunch and touted to be about as worthy as dirt, the final scene where he is standing on the roof top and we just hear him breathing and then the film cuts, we get a sense of the isolation he is going through.

Quote #4 - This is the one that really really really really applies to my life right now so much that it freaks me out to hear it come spouting out of my DVD player. I had to play it again! Yes, I made a decision to veer off the path. And yes, the path has come looking for me. Stay tuned.

Quote #5 - This also applies to my life so so much right now. Which bridge to burn? Which to cross? I think I know but..... In the movie, this scene is where he is telling his co-worker to go and leave him to his destiny/obsession and we see in that moment where Whitman (Watts) touches his face and his face is like stone and we see that he is cold and obsessed and doesn't even respond to her touch - did ya miss that? - that is when we see the truth about him. The truth that leads us to the final scene.

Y'all can say what you like. I like Tom Tykwer's films - Run Lola Run, Wintersleepers, The Princess and the Warrior - and I think I understand where he is coming from. Maybe it's just me. but I think the film is worth seeing just for the last half hour.

<3

Bratty



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

This week, I'm gonna enlighten/entertain/bore you with tickets to thirteen shows I'm glad I saw. And maybe a couple of ones I couldn't care less about! :)

First up: The Clash! Rock the Casbah! I saw this one on a lark - I had gone to Seattle to sign up for classes at Seattle Central CC, and took my entry tests and all then....well I flaked. I went to the Bon Marche bought a bunch of expensive makeup, then didn't have money left over for a hotel. So I hung out at the bus station downtown.

I met a guy there with tickets to this show and took off with him (I know, I was always doing risky behaviour! Remind me to tell you about Denver some time...). We went to the show, had a great time, and he even bought beer! Then, he got on his bus later that night and I spent the rest of the night alone cowering in the women's bathroom in the bus station.

Nice! I know, it makes me shake my own head. But hey, I'd just about graduated high school here so give me a break!



Next, Robyn Hitchcock. Not too many people can claim to have worn out the cassette tape on Globe of Frogs, but I did it. I wore that puppy out in no time. And with good reason too. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat! Just watch me.



Which doesn't help to explain why my brain loves both Beethoven (blech on Bach!) and the Butthole Surfers, but it sure does. My brain loves them both equally, without reservation. I saw the BHS at the Moore, and that was unfortunate. Don't see a show you care about there, especially if you are in the way-back. Oh well. I saw them nonetheless, and it sure wasn't as if I was gonna see Beethoven himself!


1990 was apparently a hot year. I saw the Ramones and Debby Harry in the Escape from New York Tour. And it was HOT. I mean HOT. It was at the Paramount - my second favorite Seattle venue - and the place was packed. The floor was standing room only packed. I'll always remember trying to force my way out the aisle and onto the floor to go have a smoke - and this guy PICKS ME UP by the collar and hauls/shove/pushes me out. Man, I didn't realize until that moment how light I was! Giggles....



I also saw Jonathan Richman - and this was at my favorite Seattle venue, the Backstage. Nice show. Never seen a guy come out on stage with just a guitar and use the audience as his rhythm section before, but let me tell you, it worked. "Ra ma na ma na ma na ma na ma na ma na, goin' to the beach get started....." Yeah. I was sad and horrified years later when I saw him on the Tonight show or David Letterman and he'd had way too much blow in the backroom before the show. Yikes! This guy is cool though. If you like his music, you'd be sure to be a friend of mine!



And now for the ART and LEISURE section --- the Goodwill Games and Moscow Treasures and Traditions show. I don't want to tell you how much I drooled over Klimt and Klee, the icons, or the rest of the show. All I'll say is I still have the lapel pin from that show and you cannot have it! It was held on the UW campus, and it was marvelous. Drools....The Goodwill Games - eh. Take it or leave it. Can you tell I dated a bicyclist at the time?





But this - this is the coup d'etat! Timothy Leary, in the flesh, and G. Gordon Liddy - the man who ate the rat! SWEEET! And check that price folks - $12 and it was at the Shoreline CC - a damn good place to um...well....impress easily impressed young minds. There wasn't much that I didn't love about this show. Yes, you may kiss my hand now!



In 1991 I saw Tin Machine. Meh. 'Nuff said. You know, I think I actually saw Bowie 3x, but maybe I'm losing it.

I can't find tix for 1992.....

In 1993 I got more ---- spiritual from the looks of things. I saw His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the Monks of Gaden Shartse just days apart. I can only imagine how my planets must have been aligned for that to happen - and they must have been ringing throughout the galaxy!

I'll always remember arguing with my bf on the way to see the Dalai Lama. We argued at a gas station in Ballard - the one across from the old Denny's they tore down just this year (sadly. Had memories of many late night conversations there). He said, "well, maybe we shouldn't go see him now if we aren't in a good mood." I told him, "I think he sees unhappy people all the time. It won't phase him!" So we went. And got the complicated blessing which I will never remember how to do!

I saw the monks here and also in Wenatchee years ago. Still have pics of their sand mandala. Cool! (Of course I realize that defeats the purpose! Oh well!)





So later in 1993 we got back down to funny business, specifically my favorite comedian in the whole wide world: Steven Wright. OMG he is so funny in that dry, wry, and ironic way that tickles my funny bone. Yes, some in America can handle irony. We are few and far between, but.....if someone were to send me a youtube link for a Steven Wright show I'd probably kiss ya! Smack!



Was it really in 1990 that I saw David Bowie at the Tacoma Dome? I'm not sure. The tix isn't dated. But that's what Wikipedia pulls up. Anyway, sing Modern Love to yourself as you gaze upon the beauty of it:



And then consider that punk was dead by the time I saw Nina Hagen in 1994 at some weird place like the Crocodile. Seeing her um....act interested was ...interesting. But she was good. Her voice was good and all. Just wish she'd been enthusiastic about singing the same damn song for the 14 millionth time. Sigh...




Of course I can't find tickets for Mary's Danish, Jane's Addiction, Diamanda Galas, any of the blues shows or Bumbershoot shows I went to. But I do have fond memories of BB King, Cab Calloway, and the likes.

Ahhh... such good entertainment, better food, the sea shore...tell me again why I live in Wenatchee?

Please? Somebody?

Sighs....

<3

Bratty

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shootin' 9/13/09

Here are my shootin' pics taken with Leona Frank and Tom....X. Sorry, forgot his last name. I liked his gun though. I'll have to remember a Smith and Wesson 686-6 is the gun for me! Now if they just made that in the smaller J-frame.....Bang bang = happiness!

:P


Cocking the trigger:




Taking aim:




Taking aim again after the recoil effect:



Tom shootin':



Leona with her shot-up target and 2.5 inch barrel 357:



She named her target "fear." Tom named his target "jealousy." I didn't name mine. Whenever I shoot I just try to focus on FOCUSING and reaching the target. So I say, "Om Ganesha Om" and pull the trigger. Focus. Remove obstacles. Hit the target. Remove all other things from one's mind.

Apparently I didn't do too shabby:



I shot the FRICKIN' HELL out of that thing! Thanks to Tom and his S&W 686-6! Wow! That is one cool target if I do say so myself. Most pleased.

:)

<3

Bratty

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More music....

Came home from Safeway and the song in my head is: The Spaceball Ricochet by T. Rex.

Hunh. Well, why not?

I'm just a man
I understand the wind and all the things that make the children cry
With my Les Paul
I know I'm small but I enjoy living anyway, yes I do
I bought a car
it was old but kind, I gave it my mind and it disappeared
I said how can I live when all I do is play the spaceball ricochet?
Deep in my heart there's a house that could hold
just about all of you

The spaceball ricochet
oh baby
the spaceball....
do the spaceball
do the spaceball
oh baby
yeah
do the spaceball ricochet


And now let's move on to Ultravox's "My sex." Heh heh



My sex waits for me
like a mongrel waits down wind on a tight rope leash
My sex is a fragile acrobat
Sometimes I'm a Novocaine shot, sometimes I'm an auto-mat
.........
My sex is savage, tender
It wears no future faces, owns just random gender
My sex has a wanting wardrobe I still explore
of all the bodies I knew and those I want to know
My sex is a spark of electroflesh
leased from the tick of time and geared for synchromesh
........
My sex


This is a crappy video! And the mix is bad as well. But is it sad that I can still recite the lyrics with little trouble? :)

And here's one even more obscure: Gary Numan's "Cars." Sweet! This is the original video! I remember when MTV first came out. Isn't this wayyyy bad?



Okay, 2nd glass of wine. *hic*

Now what? I've gone from slightly zen-pseudo spiritual to a song about sex, to a mostly instrumental driving song, so why not another one? When I lived in Seattle and still drove a Valiant slant-six I had a giant tape deck on the seat and would drive around to David Bowie's "Low" album at top volume. Some great songs on that album, including "Speed of life." Hip. Funky. Full deep throttle. Nice. If you need it, here it is.



Sorry, I can't supply the Valiant.

Right before that era, every time I crested the top of Capital Hill in my Valiant on the way downtown to my job at the Sixth and Denny building, I would hear Louis Armstrong's song "It's a wonderful world" on the radio. Every freakin' day. And usually I'd be eating breakfast as I skidded down the hill -in most cases a frozen fruit bar! So here's the song. The video is lame!



And that leads me to - where else? - the B52's! Rock Lobster! Rock Lobster! Enjoy the retro vid! Nice swirly skirts!

We were at the beach
Everybody had matching towels....
somebody wiped under a dock
there they saw a rock...
it wasn't a rock! It was a rock lobster!

Rock Lobster
Down
Down
Lobster!
Rock!
Lobster!
Rock!
Rock Lob!

Pass the tanning butter!



And just to bring us back to sex/love/sex/love here's Robert Palmer reminding us we are all "Addicted to love."


The lights are on
but you're not home
your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats
your body shakes
another kiss is what it takes
you can't sleep
you can't eat
there's not doubt you're in deep
your throat is tight
you can't breathe
another kiss is all you need
you like to think that you're immune to the suff
oh yeah
but it's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it you're addicted to love!



And with that trip down memory lane it's now 10:00 and time for all girls goin' shootin' on the Lord's day to go to bed and wake up happy!

<3


Bratty

2009 NCHBA Tour of Homes

Man, what the heck was I thinking?

Normally I run around town stomping through knee-high dirt snapping shots of half-completed houses in a mad race against deadline to get photos of all tour homes before we go to press. But this year I didn't have to do that.

So what do I do instead?

I pay my $10, and go with Linda!

GAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!! (head slap) Am I addicted to the Tour of Homes or something?

Well, since I did go to 5 homes, and I did snap a few photos - um, 58 of them to be exact - I thought I'd upload a few for your viewing pleasure. So, here in order of my viewing are the Wenatchee/East Wenatchee 2009 NCHBA homes....

Bollinger - Inside Ace's house, 1833 McKittrick Street, Wenatchee

The bathroom looks cozy with a nice jetted tub and a walk-in shower.





Linda and I hamming it up in the bathroom:


Ace's bedroom. Nice ceiling fan! I'm moving in buddy, roll over! BTW he is looking for a couple of roommates. I may keep that in mind for future reference. Besides, Ace is a pretty nice guy and the house is so nice my friends would visit me more often!



This little guy I found in another Bollinger house in the McKittrick St. development. Thought he was kinda cute:



VanLith home, 1310-9 Easy Street, Wenatchee

The first thing I noticed was the deck. Fireplace. Nice grill. Inset TV. Comfy couches. Hmm...wonder what one could do in the evening on a deck like this when the lights went out and the neighbors couldn't see? This has possibilities, and I'm not talking about BBQ!



Linda on the deck posing:



Me, hamming it up with my little booties on:

Hang on. It gets worse! You'd think I had wine but NOOOOOO. The dang homes were dry. Damn, I need a flask. Hint hint. Birthday coming up! Hello....!

The nice big kitchen:



The view. I don't know why, but I just want to stand here and kiss somebody that I care about a long passionate goodbye in the morning:


Stimac Construction, Inc., 2452 NW Columbia Avenue, East Wenatchee

I call this reach out and pass the t.p. construction. Yes, the houses are fairly close together. No there's not a lot of privacy and the lots are small. But for some, this is affordable housing and some units provide an ample view. I found this nice water feature in the Tour home and I'm doing a (albeit sloppy) "Do not fear" mudra in front of it:


Sweet!

The table setting. Seriously, nobody but a girl would notice this. The whole place was done in a sea-side decor. Made me want to be in Newport, Lincoln City, or Canon Beach, Oregon. Take yer pick! My bags are packed!

Hmmm maybe my Thursday Thirteen next week will be about Oregon...



Detail from the table setting:



And here we have the bathroom....



And a close-up of the view out the bathroom window. You've got a clear shot of the Town Toyota Center, and the River Walk condos. You are also very very close to the Loop Trail. In fact, people walk by damn near right outside your window.

So, my question is, do you want to scrub my back?


A striking red bathroom sink:





VanAssche Homes, 963 Briarwood Drive, East Wenatchee

I believe Linda liked this one the best. Me, I'm holding out for VanLith's million-dollar-baby.

Deck and view at VanAssche:


I like to think of this space as "the grotto." But it's really just a Tuscan style little patio that I could see holding a hot tub, some naked bodies and some wine.



Or a ham. A really goofy ham!


Ahem. Yes. Well. Too bad there was no wine to be had!

Luckily, the Jolly Green Giant stopped by to green things up a bit (or is that the green goddess?):



The view from the other "turret":



And the deck out front:



Say aaaaahhhh.

Roberts Construction LLC, 825 Navajo Lane, East Wenatchee


This is the very first Roberts Construction home I've ever seen, and I must say I found it quite nice. I liked the touches of rock here and there and the romantic fireplace, etc. I would live here....

For example:

The three stones at the edge of the deck



That form a single row when viewed from the bottom of the outside stairs. I dunno. I found it kind of Zen....



Or here, the use of natural stone around the "wine cellar" in the basement and nice wrought iron work gate:




Bad photo, but hey - that's what a cheap camera and an automatic flash does to a girl!

But my favorite special touch I think was this: one can roll from the bed in either a languid state (oops!)...or a frenetic one...(Aaaahhh!)



And land on the floor in front of the (I'm assuming gas or propane-powered) fireplace:

For more snuggling. Kissing. Laughing. And ...um. You know.

Sigh.

This concludes my 2009 NCHBA Tour of Homes. Please stay tuned for regular insipid and multi-level confusional blogging.

<3

Bratty