Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm Not Working Today

At the moment I'm staring at a floor covered in what I like to call "our weekend." Whenever we return from a weekend away our front room becomes a landmine of clothes, laundry, cameras and shoes. Typically, I have the energy on Monday morning to put all this chaos away, but today, I only feel motivated to lay on the couch and sleep until Dan gets home.

The reasons for this extreme case of lethargy are due to the after effects of coaching a lacrosse clinic on Thursday, biking 4o miles over two days, surfing on Saturday morning and filming my sister-in-law's wedding. (Oh, and eating everything that wasn't nailed down).

Here are some shots of the lovely bride and me filming her in my awesome dress. (I've filmed weddings before...doing it in a little black dress and heels, now that was a different experience.)

I finally put on shorts after flashing most of the wedding party and unsuspecting kids at the beach.

I would also like to thank Dan for being patient with my constant, "Danny...over here."... You were a wonderful grip.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tales of Commuting

I've noticed that individuals commuting on bikes fall into three categories. 1. Homeless 2. Young people trying to be "green" 3. "Spanish speaking people" Fortunately, for me I've had some pretty cool run ins with each of these groups.

"The Homeless Encounter"
1. While parking my bike outside of the grocery store a homeless man struck up a conversation with me about my brakes. He told me that while riding from the shelter in Venice he finds his brakes take a while to start working. He then asked me if I knew the shelter on Sunset Blvd. For a moment I thought, "Does this guy think I'm homeless too because I'm riding a bike?" or "Does he think I'm homeless because I didn't shower that day?"

"The Green Encounter"
2. While riding to get some dinner Dan and I passed a biker wearing a fluorescent green jacket (with reflectors all over it), a white helmet (with a headlamp around it) and a flashing red light on the back of her bike. When she saw Dan and I riding with no reflectors or helmets she yelled, "You are both going to die. Helmet, Helmet. You are going to die." I wanted to thank her for the warnings...but I just couldn't see her.

"Mi Encounter Loco"
3. Yesterday I rode my bike from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills to get my hair done. While waiting for a light to change at the intersection of Wilshire and Rodeo Drive a group of Spanish speaking men rode up. Their faces looked absolutely shocked to see me on a bike. It was like they all were thinking, "Senorita, this is our mode of travel not yours." (Well, they probably thought the whole thing in Spanish, but "senorita" is the only thing I can remember from high school).

All I can say is again, get out on your bikes. You never know what you'll see or who you'll meet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Top 5

Monday night's concert of Coldplay got me thinking about all the concerts I've seen in my lifetime. I think I've seen almost forty different bands in concert. They have ranged from Metalica (which was disturbingly awesome) to the Dixie Chicks (which was the pre-Hate Bush don't get mad Mom) and Wyclef Jean (which was a free concert I worked at as "security").

To non-music lovers, spending money on concerts may seem like a pointless activity. However, for me, a concert is a time when I can fully immerse myself in the beauty of music. (Well, not in the case of Wyclef. That was more an experience of shock watching a man rap to a mostly white crowd at Duke about the hood and pot).

Anyway, I've decided to list and describe my top 5 concerts.

1. My number one would have to be U2 at the Delta Center almost three years ago. Outside of The Who, I had been literally raised on U2. I can still remember my Dad taking my brother to his first U2 concert in Philadelphia and hearing about how Bruce Springsteen made a guest appearance. I remember the Joshua Tree Tour t-shirt Jason used to wear with a crew cut and camo pants, and I remember hearing all the details of when Matt touched Bono during the Zoo TV Tour. When I was 13, Matt offered to get me a ticket for a show in Philly, but my dad said I was too you see where I'm going...I waited a loonnng time for this event.

Though the sound was slightly deafening in the Delta Center, it was absolutely amazing. I sang every word, danced every beat, and will forever be grateful to Jason for getting me the best seat in the house.

2. Without a doubt number 2 would have to be Guster. Now narrowing down which Guster concert was my best, that's a little more difficult. I have seen Guster 4 times and every time I walk away loving them even more. I think my favorite time seeing them would have to be at UVSC in Provo, Utah. This was the first time my friend Emily Madsen had ever seen Guster live and I made sure she fully enjoyed it by acting out and singing every lyric for her. Thinking back I'm surprised we are still friends. (Picture going to a concert with a really loud mime.) Anyway, with Guster you are guaranteed a very fun night of dancing, ping-pong balls being thrown on stage, covers of Violent Femmes and good one liners from Ryan, the lead singer.

3. Number tres...this is harder than I thought it would be. Hmm...number three would have to be Rusted Root at a little theatre outside of Philadelphia. I remember thinking I had never seen such energy on a stage before. There was literally twenty people on stage either singing or playing an instrument. Every song had this pounding African beat that shook my body. By the end of their set my knees were completely bruised from banging against the seats in front of me while I tried to dance. Probably the second coolest part about Rusted Root, was that they were the opening band for Toad & the Wet Sprocket. When Rusted Root finished, Toad came out and said the obligatory, "Hey, how about Rusted Root?" To which the majority of the audience responded with, "Better than you guys," and then walked out.

4. Number four would be Mr. Vaaann Morrison. Never in my lifetime did I think I would see this legend perform. However, sweet Danny got us tickets for my 27th birthday. The concert was held at the Hollywood Bowl, which is this amazing outdoor amphitheatre. I think I mostly listened to the concert in a state of shock that I was actually hearing one of my favorite performers of all time. The other cool part was that we were about ten feet away when Van Morrison came out and got in his limo. What did I do? Hmmm, only harassed the man by yelling, "Mr. Vannn Morrison." (Someone in Van's band kept announcing that during every song. It got slightly annoying, so I decided to do it one more time.)

5. When I was a sophomore in college all my friends decided we needed to kick off the start of school with a little outdoor Dave Matthews concert. For almost three hours Dave played, I think, every song he wrote and any song he's ever heard. I don't know if I was high from all the pot in the air, but I remember we all were dancing with each other and then we started to dance with complete strangers. As the concert went on, the entire lawn of the amphitheatre became this giant dancefloor. It was so much fun to dance with everything from red necks, to little frat boys from UNC.

So, there you have it. My top 5. I suppose there could have been some different entries had my strict father let me attend Janet Jackson when I was ten and Blues Travelers when I was 15. Oh what could have been...

Viva La Coldplay

Last night we attended the opening night of Coldplay's World Tour. (It was my birthday gift to Dan...and a little birthday gift to me). To be honest, I didn't know what to expect with this concert. Apparently, a few weeks ago Coldplay held a free concert at Madison Square Garden, and according to the reviews, they were not only at times out of tune, but appeared unrehearsed. Fortunately, for us this was not the case. For 90 minutes Coldplay put on an amazing concert. They rocked their hits, scaled down some songs for more intimate versions, and even ran up the aisle to a little stage located in the "cheap seats" and played an acoustic version of "Yellow." The sound was great in the Forum (even though the parking cost us 20 bucks), the band was gracious and the stage effects made the show. I have to say concerts can be very telling - you can either leave a concert hating a band or loving them. I think I'm now a lifetime fan of Coldplay.

Side thought: On the way home we were cruising down the 405 when all of the sudden we saw this cop come flying down an on ramp. He started to swerve back and forth along the lanes. Consequently, everyone slowed down and waited for either this drunk cop to pull over and give himself a DUI test or hit a median. Apparently, this pace car was getting traffic to slow down for on-coming construction. I like the drunk idea better, but Dan said if I didn't tell the real reason the cop was swerving he would expose my embellishment. Happy Dan?

Sunday, July 13, 2008


(Pictures of me surfing will come. As for now, enjoy this hot surfer.)

This summer I have made many declarations. For example, I've been heard saying: "It's a no car summer," and "I'm going to start giving motorists the finger more often," and "I'm going to take my vitamins everyday," and "I'm going to kill Mary Murphy," and most recently..."I'm going to master surfing this summer." Master. Yep, I too immediately recognize how misguided that word is. I should of set myself a more attainable goal of, "I'm not going to die this summer while surfing." or "I'm going to wait thirty minutes after eating before I surf." Or "I'm going to learn how to communicate in Chinese."

On Saturday Dan and I went out to "master" the surf. As we pulled up to the beach, that I had experienced surfing for the first time at, I thought it was going to be a masterful day. The waves didn't look too crazy, and the water seemed a little above freezing. As we entered the water, my confidence began to grow. I felt like a pro jumping on my board and beginning the paddling process through the crashing waves. As my first wave came, I instantly "pearled" right over my board. (For those non-masters of the surf) pearling means your board goes down into the water and you go over. It's a wonderful sensation of getting knocked over and then having your leash yank your ankle a few more feet.

As I came up and pulled my board towards me, my confidence was slightly bruised, but not defeated. It wasn't until I got caught in the middle of a break and couldn't paddle my way out, that I heard myself saying, "Sonaof a B, I suck at surfing." For the next ten minutes I tried with all my might to get around the break and to my patient husband, who kept motioning for me to come to his calm waters. (Cue gospel application) Finally, I got around the break, and while laying on my board, I told my husband that I didn't think I was going to master surfing this summer. It was a sad moment, but I had to face reality. I had been surfing for almost an hour and a half, and unlike the little kid WITH A CAST ON HIS ARM (who had not only caught every single wave, but was paddling with one arm), I had only quasi caught one wave, paddled for almost an hour, rode one wave on my butt and drank most of the ocean. I was exhausted, defeated, and quite frankly, slightly whiny.

So, I'm now making a new declaration: This summer I'm going to attempt to surf and keep a positive attitude about things I'm not very good at, eventhough I'm typically quite coordinated, and there must be something wrong with surfing that doesn't allow for incredibly gifted people to excel at it. Yeah, I feel good about that.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Take That

In my life I have had many dreams and fantasies. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a professional tennis player, and then I went up to a tournament in Philadelphia and lost in the first round, 6-0, 6-0, to a grunting Asian girl and I no longer had that dream. When I was in high school I wanted to marry a guy named Mark Williams, and then I kissed him with my braces and I sort of lost respect for him. (What was an eighteen year old guy doing kissing a 13 year old with braces?) When I was in college I wanted to become a writer, but then I realized I had another undiagnosed learning disability. I was a "write-tard." Definition: Someone who takes an abnormal time to write a paper.

Actually, come to think of it, this was diagnosed by my very caring teammate Claire Sullivan. One night she saw me in the library writing a paper. In the midst of stacks of books and notes, I had only two sentences written on my computer. The next afternoon she found me in the exact same spot, and during that time, I had only produced two additional sentences. While shaking her head she declared, "Ruth (my nickname in college) you are a freaking 'write-tard.'" Those words convinced me that writing was not my destined profession.

Now, please know that at the same time I've also seen many dreams come to fruition. For example, on the way to LA from Las Vegas all cars must pass through a fruit inspection station along the highway. This is typically manned by California's finest deputies of fruit, who's main job is to cause a massive traffic jam while they sit there and wave cars through. I have literally sat in my car for hours waiting for the perfunctory "stop and wave through" of these morons. It makes absolutely no sense, and I have vowed one day I would burn this structure down.

Yesterday, while driving from SLC to LA, I didn't light a match to this structure, but I was able to get one point in the game of "stop and wave through." Before I left, my mom had given me a bushel of bananas. (is bushel right?) After about eight hours of driving, traffic began to slow. It was only four thirty in the afternoon and I was still in the middle of nowhere. Instantly, I knew. I was coming upon the Fruit Inspection. As I pressed my brakes I began to think of how much I loathed this tiny stop. I hated how these lazy individuals would only open two booths at a time. My blood began to boil as I thought about the "official" uniforms they wore to simply wave people through. Did that make them feel important and powerful, I thought? I wanted to ask them what had possessed them to create this colossel nuisance, but didn't want to waste my time to get an answer. As I finally saw the structure, I realized I hated everything about the Fruit Inspection Station.

After waiting fifteen minutes in line, my turn came. A very official man stuck his hand out to stop my car and asked, "Do you have any fruit?" Do I have any fruit? For a moment I was caught in a moral dilemma. Do I tell the truth and let this inspection station take my fruit? Do I let them win after all the torture they have put me through?...No, I thought. Not this time. With a smile on my face, I replied, "Nope." I was then waved through.

I'm not sure I'm even going to eat these contraband bananas, but I will cherish them. They helped me accomplish a very important dream...a dream of sticking it to the Fruit Inspection Station.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Danny

Today is Danny's Birthday. Therefore, to honor my dear hubby I have decided to make a list of some of the reasons why I love this man.

1. He not only watches "So You Think You Can Dance," but actually loves the show. (And yes, ladies, the man is as straight as a pencil.)

2. He calls me "Cub Master"

3. He lets me dress him.

4. He is more ticklish than a little girl.

5. He can't go to sleep until he scoots over and touches my foot with his foot.

6. He always has two helpings of whatever disaster I make.

7. He listens to all my stories, and lets me freak out, be in a funk, be wound up or just quiet.

8. He calls me about five or six times a day and says, "I want to come home and see you."

9. He knows the craziest fun facts. Like what is the price of oil right now in Korea.

10. His legs. (For those of you who don't know, Dan won "Best Legs" in 1995)

Happy Birthday Danny.