Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teacup Blog Post: Creating A Work Out Playlist - Your Help Needed!

I need a playlist for the Race for the Cure 5K on Sunday! Help me. Here is a sampling of what's popping up on shuffle at work today:

Ms. Jackson by Outkast
Izzo by Jay-Z
3rd Planet by Modest Mouse
Time to Pretend by MGMT
Bros by Panda Bear
Mamma Mia by Abba
Can't You See by The Marshall Tucker Band
Trying My Best to Love You by Jenny Lewis
Southtown Girls by The Hold Steady
Return to Me by Dean Martin
The Seer's Tower by Sufjan Stevens
Evil and a Heathen by Franz Ferdinand

So these are excellent songs for working at my office, struggling through writing a grant or designing a database but these aren't exactly songs to motivate and make me agro enough to run/walk a 5K. I don't have nearly enough energizing, angry or upbeat work out music on my ipod, so I'm working on a small list of songs that might get me riled up and I need your help. If you don't mind, think about a song that always gets your heart racing and leave it in the comments for me. What helps you power through a workout? It might help me finish Sunday's 5K before Monday!

So far possible list contenders:
Anything by The White Stripes
Since You Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
Here It Goes Again by Ok Go
Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
Diwali Riddim (Shake That Thing) by Sean Paul

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Teleconverter is Made of Coconut Shells

Gorgeous day(all photos courtesy of Joe Sands)

Today is one of those days that is best shown in photos and not so much with words. But I'll fill in a bit.
We had a great breakfast with the parents at a little local place, yummy biscuits and gravy. And then headed down to the Plaza Art Fair. The weather was perfect. The top was down on the convertible. And the place wasn't too crowded when we first got there. We wandered, we chatted, we purchased, we debated. It was pretty much a perfect day.

Baby Chilling

That baby is wearing sunglasses. Smart baby. It felt more like June 27th than September 27th.

Skirt and boots

Lots of great people watching. We liked her skirt/boot combo. And she had strong thighs.


Joe is weekend scruffy and I am wearing my artiest necklace.

Dad and Kristy

The Parental Units. No impulse buys for them, but one lovely photo print from an artist that they had a great conversation with while they sat in the shade chilling on a curb.

Coconut Shell Earrings by Ayala Naphtali

And of course we bought a few things, affordable art or "accessible" art if you prefer. These earrings were from an artist who uses bleached and dyed coconut shell. Joe told me I had to get them since he had just bought a teleconverter that cost the same amount. Seems fair.

Mosaic by Greg and Mindy Rhoads

I love art that includes mosaic or layered paper pieces. The song lyric was something my dad used to sing to my brother and me growing up, plus it's got a string of beads embedded in it. It was pretty much made for me. The artists, Greg and Mindy Rhoads, were funny and mellow, from a small town in Kansas.


There is something energizing and inspiring about seeing so many different artists gathered in one place. Pottery, painting, wire sculpture, jewelry, photography, artists from all over the country, but it's different than a museum. The artist is sitting right there on a director's chair eating an artichoke. I can ask questions. I can compliment. I can take something I love home with me. So get out there and support your art community, support with cash, support with attendance, visit a museum, or support by making sure our kids are still getting the art classes they need in schools. I think our minds become more supple, open, and inventive through art. We see the world differently and less critically. We can see the beauty, the pain, the humor through someone else's eyes and see our own lives differently because of that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Birthday Girl

Last night Joe and I had the pleasure of hanging out on the Plaza with one of our best friends, Tara and her fiance, Mike. Joe was taking their engagement photos, I carried camera bags, purses and shouted "Dick Wink" to make them smile for the camera, and as we wandered around the fountains, stopped in front of Starbucks where they first met and got engaged, and ended with a tasty little dinner at Houston's, I thought that since today is Tara's birthday, she would be the perfect subject for today's post.

Tara and I met in 1995 during resident assistant training while we were students at KU. She is one of those rare people that I remember meeting and thinking instantly, "Oh, we are going to be great friends." We just clicked and for the last 14 years we've just kept on clicking. We shared an apartment in college, we've taken some great spring break and summer road trips ("I can't see the stars!"), many tipsy girls nights with Jenga, junk food and crappy chic flicks. We've shared everything from heartbreak and family strife to cleaning up pink strawberry margaritas off the denim couch. And she has always been there to listen, support, and laugh with me along the way.

Tara is sunny and beautiful. She is a great hostess. She is magic with kids. She is a talented painter and potter. She is a hopeless romantic, and stubborn. (She'd have to be stubborn to still be a romantic after more than her fair share of crappy first dates.) Her laugh is infectious, along with the occasional "Woo Hoo!" for emphasis. Comparisons to Charlotte on Sex and the City would not be off base. She's lost at least five cell phones, possibly more. She knows that butter makes food taste better. Her home looks like a magazine photo shoot, with some dirty laundry shoved in the closets. Finding her keys is always a challenge. She's a great aunt, and has traveled to Disney World with her family more times than I can imagine. She's just easy to be around. And more than anything, she's strong.

This last year has been an amazing one so far for Tara, lots of exciting personal events and surprises, and I can't wait to see what an amazing mother and wife she's going to be in the next year. Her fiance Mike is a first-rate guy. Funny, kind, and sharp, and most importantly, he loves Tara. They fit together. Just watching them during the photo shoot you could see how much they compliment and just enjoy each other, for exactly who they are. As Joe would say, "He's her lobster." So, here's to my friend Tara. I'm lucky to know you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Move Over, 30 Rock, Here's My New Favorite Show

My new favorite show is The Police Women of Broward County. All the new first run shows are coming back in the next couple of weeks, but I don't care. I care about a little TLC program that follows the tough, funny and brave female police officers of the Broward County, Florida sheriff's office.

TLC has odd programming. Pretty much the reality version of Lifetime, targeting the women folk, but instead of bad TV movies starring Joanna Kerns or Tori Spelling or Melissa Gilbert you get a lot of reality crap, a lot of wedding, makeover and design shows, and then some real gems like I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, which looks more like Unsolved Mysteries with all the re-enactment footage cut with real interviews. (Sidenote: Unsolved Mysteries was one of the few shows I did not allow myself to watch alone, especially while babysitting, alone in a strange house after dark, kids asleep, it just always freaked me out.) And the spangled, creepy glitz wreck, Toddlers and Tiaras. Don't watch this show, it's unsettling and brings out the nasty judgmental sides of my personality. I think fake tan, teeth and eyelashes on three year olds are bizarre. If you don't agree, then tune in and vote for your favorite sparkly baby swimwear contestant.

But I tune into TLC for the ballsy, sharp, bad ass female sheriffs of Broward Co. I've never been a big fan of the show Cops. Just found it depressing, bleak and occasionally funny or exciting, predominately a lot of footage of cops running suspects down, breaking down doors, or shining flashlights on people they've pulled over. This is fine, and there is plenty of this kind of action in Police Women, but you also get to see a little more behind the scenes. Who are these police officers? What duties and responsibilities do they balance between being cops and being mothers and wives? How do their interactions with suspects and victims differ from the way many male officers interact with the public? And I guess because I have a vagina, all of this is much more entertaining and compelling for me than Cops. I like back story, I like some action too, but the action has more meaning for me when I care about the officer taking the risk. I love hearing people's stories, victims, suspects, the officer's, but mostly I just love to hear about how someone got to the place they are in, what decisions, right or wrong, put you in the handcuffs or the one doing the cuffing?

The real draw of this show is the personality and character of the women themselves. They are open, articulate, self-deprecating and tough. They don't take disrespect, they don't take lying and most of all they seem to treat even the most lowlife criminal with respect. One scene in particular sticks out for me. Deputy Andrea Penoyer and her team have arrested a young drug dealer and as she asks him why he's dealing again, he calmly and sadly tells her a little bit about his life, tears running down his face, hands cuffed behind him. Deputy Penoyer nonchalantly wipes off his face for him with his T-shirt. It sounds like a throw away scene, but it was kind. It wasn't special, it wasn't babying him, it was just a kind thing to do for a kid who'd made some bad decisions and some serious mistakes. She treated him with respect. To me, this ability to treat people with respect and even use a little humor to lighten the mood ends up defusing situations that can be dangerous and life threatening for everyone involved. I think this helps make them great police officers, that, and their general bad-assery.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fake Vintage Fridge Clutter

Bravely Obey fridge
Originally uploaded by ksands9101
One of my great friends asked me where the blog title came from, yes, yes, I'm original.

Today's Teacup Blog Post: Teeny Tiny and Brief

Favorite Quotes Heard While Working at Old Shawnee Town Saturday

"Oh, I don't wear red. It's too provocative." - from 30 year old woman who proceeded to explain that she attended a Catholic high school where red was forbidden. See what nuns do to young women? She will never be able to wear red without feeling a little slutty. Sad.

"It's just so beautiful." - from the little red-haired 5 year old girl. Was she talking about my jewelry? Nope, talking about the big conch shell I had just held up to her ear so she could hear the ocean. She was adorable clutching her hands together with the excitement.

"It's crunchy, it's poppy, it tastes like butter." -from the three "mentally awake" Webelo scouts who were selling their slightly overpriced, but buttery delicious popcorn.

"Oh, my neck is too short to wear dangly earrings." - from 60 year old woman with absolutely normal neck length.

You would be shocked by the number of women who stop to look at my jewelry booth and then discuss the multiple body image issues they have that keep them from wearing chokers, earrings, necklaces, bracelets of varying styles, colors and lengths. I've heard fat ears, stubby necks, bony wrists, droppy earlobes, you name it. Ladies, you can wear anything you want and look beautiful, it's all in your head.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Say "Craft Show" and You Picture Wooden "Santa Stop Here!" Signs, Don't You?

I do craft shows. Now I'd like to say that I do art shows, it simply sounds cooler, but what I do is a craft. I buy shiny pretty beads, string them or wrap them with wire and make them into jewelry. This is a craft. I taught myself, there is no special technique, I didn't attend courses to arrive at this skill level. I just bought a book, made some mediocre pieces the first couple of years, and now I make better pieces with better materials. But I don't fall into the art show group. I don't do metal smithing, I don't charge $300 for a pair of amazing earrings. And I'm ok with that. This is a hobby, and a hobby I think I'm pretty good at. But mostly I enjoy going to craft shows because it is a joy for me to see what other women like, to watch someone's face light up when they try on a necklace that makes them feel beautiful. And I get to think, "Hey, I did that!"

But this time of year it's always a little stressful. I pack in the 4 or 5 shows I do into a six week period and its jewelry, jewelry, jewelry. I wait until nearly the last minute and then my frantic, procrastinator tendencies take over and in a whirlwind I make everything I need. And like any good procrastinator, and believe me I'm one of the best, I loathe and despise the sense of urgency and at the same time thrive on it. Sick, isn't it? So this blog post is just one more great way to procrastinate until I can't stand it anymore and realize I still need to make another 25 pairs of earrings before Saturday.

But I often think about trying to take my interest in creating jewelry to the next logical step. Taking a glass bead making class, trying my hand at metal smithing, being more adventurous with my materials. But then Glee's on TV, or I think of 1,000 things I should be spending money on instead of a class, or an hour vanishes on the internets looking at baby animal pictures and videos of Kanye West acting lame. For now I'm a crafter and clearly at this point not interested in putting the time and commitment into making myself an artist. But that artist is sitting there in the back of my head, wearing black of course, saying "Risk it, try it, challenge yourself, you might be good at it." And maybe I will.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Good Cry

I don't know about you, but for me, about every six months I need a really good cry. I'm talking ugly, sobbing, heaving, can't catch your breath, puffy eyed, feverish exhausting crying. I don't consider myself a big crier. I'm usually embarrassed to cry in front of other people, frankly even my husband. Though he is exactly who I need afterward. But I need to ugly cry alone. Usually laying horizontally across the bed with my face shoved in a pillow. And today since I knew it was coming, I wisely removed my eye make up before the typhoon hit.

Crying makes me feel exposed and dramatic and weak. And those aren't bad things, just things I'm not particularly comfortable feeling in front of people. Because I'm supposed to be strong, capable and supportive for other people (in my own over-functioning head.) Feeling weak, needing help, seeking release, out of control, where does all that go? Well, it turns into tears and snot and runs down my face. And so the every six months cry, usually precipitated by a big event, I let it loose. The flood gates open, the snot pours, I sound like a six year old who got put in timeout.

But I feel better, lighter, emptied afterward. I see more clearly. Granted the crying is quickly followed by a lot of talking and processing of emotions, but one can't happen without the other for me. I'm always grateful to whatever event, even if it's awful, because it moved me to tears, because it's as if I've gotten permission to cry about every other problem, sadness or complaint from the last few months. Thoughts fly through my head and each little grief gets its own moment. And no, I'm not crying all day, its quality not quantity. So if you haven't cried in awhile, I highly recommend it.

I may write more about the big news that precipitated today's cry, but it's not really my news, it's a family member's health issue and for privacy reasons this may not be the appropriate place to discuss it. But my family and I have lots of supportive friends and loved ones, so we'll make it through everything just fine.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

To do list for the weekend:

-Make huge amounts of jewelry - earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more earrings for the next 5 weeks of constant Fall Arts and Crafts shows.

- Sleep in past 6:30am.

-Work out - Joe and I have committed to the Race for the Cure 5K in three weeks, and though we've been doing this Couch to 5K program, we've not been consistent the last few weeks, so now its go time.

- Attend annual fall party at friend's house this evening - general merriment, consumption of tasty food and beverage and adult conversation once all the kids tire out.

- Earrings, earrings, earrings.

- Type up notes from last board meeting, I'm the official secretary, which means I need to learn shorthand, start wearing a girdle and my glasses to look the part. (I've been watching too much Mad Men.)

- Read several nonprofit publications and do a little research for a new work project that I'm excited about, its outside of my typical work duties and will be a great challenge.

I don't know how you craft your to-do list but I always pad mine with things that a monkey could do. I just like to check things off and it helps maintain a sense of accomplishment, fake accomplishment, but I still like that feeling.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Things picked up on our trip to Sandiegoyumaphoenixalbuquerqueamarillotexola:

- one borrowed black 2000 Porsche Boxter convertible (Joe just told me to specify Boxster S, very important.)

- several Starbucks beverages: the iced and hot varieties, soy and whole milks.

- a dottery lesson from Bethany, including full mug painting experience, and dissertations on new paint vs. old paint (old paint wins!)

- In-N-Out Burger and fries, Joe thinks thousand island dressing on a burger is sublime.

- several free chalk drawing lessons from a Bug and an Annalie.

- one, ok, two homemade rainbow lemon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

- $6 harbor cruise package which included built in sauna, tanning, and sight seeing.

- two slightly water damaged shells and one little rock with a perfect hole through the middle procured from Dog Beach.

- a couple of new friends, including one very talented graphic artist, whose work you might see up on this site sometime soon, and her spunky, adorable daughter who called Joe, "Steve", "Guy", "John" and actually "Joe" a time or two.

- over 2,000 miles of beautiful, desert driving through the Southwest and along old Route 66.

- something called a Maui burger in Mesa, AZ that was nearly life changingly good.

- private police escort on our slightly thrilling drive up South Mountain, plus a great view of the entire Phoenix metro area. (Thanks, Tom!)

- prickly pear and mango margaritas from Macayo's along with the purchase of a pair of truly cheesy, possibly stereotypical margarita glasses dubbed Senor Bob and Cha Cha.

- a wonderful welcome basket with Arizona treats from our warm, funny and entertaining host and hostess, Tom and Bree.

- a playdough goat and cow, handcrafted by Trevor.

- photos of the most beautiful, peaceful and varied scenery along our drive from Chandler to Flagstaff, I think we took over 100 shots, camera strap wrapped tightly around my arm, sticking out of the car.

- welcome to Amarillo from a little boy in a black cowboy hat, shouting down from the 2nd floor of our motel, "Ma'am, I like your car!"

- things we considered buying based solely on the constant pressure from shouting billboards along the highway: authentic Navajo blankets, real handcrafted Indian Turquoise jewelry, many many Kochina dolls, moccasins, Hopi rugs and pottery, maple nut logs, and a 72 oz. steak from The Big Texan.

- green chile sauce from El Patio, 'nuff said.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I Have A Blog Don't I?

Do I ever use it? Is it horribly basic and dull? Should I do something more? Do I like to write? Do I have a fairly interesting life and certainly my fair share of opinions? Does hard-charging make for good reading? These are all the questions I ask myself when thinking about writing/expanding/improving this blog. My friends KristenBethany and her friend Brenda are fantastic bloggers. Creative, smart, funny mothers and women who really love blogging, sharing their lives with friends and family. I keep thinking that when we have kids I'll start blogging, but wouldn't it be easier to start now? Should I get in the habit? Will I like it? What will be my structure for blogging? Daily, weekly, monthly, every other leap year? Do I over analyze things? Oh, maybe. Maybe, yes. Ok, I'm starting. I will post every couple of days, at least once on the weekend, I need to improve my layout, and I'll add some photos. These are my small goals. Stay tuned.