Monday, March 21, 2011

"A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

Just a few shots from the last month.

When I grow up...

I want to be...what? Too many choices. I thought things would maybe narrow down as I got older, but instead. more and more has opened up to me, which is like a dream come true, of course, but also makes for many hard decisions. I can't do everything. Time's a'passing at breakneck speed all of a sudden and I could never fit it all in.

What do I love to do, best in all the world? I love to dance, write, take pictures, read, talk to people, be a mother, design things, teach things, organize things, study history...If I had to pick just one or two to do forever, what would win?

Dancing makes me happy. Turning around and seeing people literally wringing sweat out of their shirts, but still grinning at me, is the best feeling of all time. I love having my body suddenly find that perfect groove. I love the music turned up LOUD enough to feel it hammering in my chest. I love my dancers. Love my job. But it's my job for how long? Dance teachers need to be young, need to be lively, sexy, tight. Can I really see my body cooperating for even ten more years? Not sure.

Writing is something that I can't stop doing...I'll wake up at two in the morning and grope around in the dark for the stubby pencil on the bedside table to jot down some thought.... if I don't, I can't fall back asleep. I have no idea if I'm any good at it, but fact is, I can't stop, so I'd better GET good, huh? Otherwise, what can I do with it? Dime a dozen. I personally know a handful of amazing writers, just off the top of my head, and yeah, their scribblings leave mine in the dust.

Photography - Everything enchants me through my camera lens. I never see ANYTHING without thinking "click". When I'm without a camera, I feel like I'm forgetting something, lost. I'm not great at this, no matter how much I love it. I'm decent with composition, portraits, and catching a moment, but I have never buckled down and memorized all the technical aspects that I should have long ago, it never interested me. A hefty portion of my shots rely on luck, not actual skill. I'm not too shabby with Photoshop, but unfortunately, it's out of necessity. Thank God for the digital era!

I want to help and be The Nice One. Everywhere, anyhow I can. And it's true, I AM good at being the behind-the-scenes person that gets the dirty work done when nobody else can, but I'm a snob about it. I push my way in any place that looks like I can be of's a little obnoxious. Stems from being the oldest child, perhaps? Oh, I can to tell people how to fix their problems, how to be happy, how to heal, how to keep roast chicken moist. I come across as a know-it-all and I don't mean to be. I know nothing, really. Or worse, I know a little bit about everything, not enough to give an expert opinion, just enough to be a pain is the ass. But I like to brainstorm and try to help. Little Miss Helpful. Run when you see me coming. I'm working on it.

If I was rich, maybe I'd just stay home and stare in wonder at my kids all day long. They are hysterical and smart and beautiful and darling. I love them beyond anything else I could ever say. I think I'm a pretty good mom. But admittedly, if I spend too much time doing nothing else but mothering, I get rather testy. Mothering comes first, but something else has to be there too.

I have spent days making mock-ups of posters, websites and brochures I knew I would never use. Fascinating to lay out a page of images and text and make it catch the eye, you know? Not a terribly useful skill in little Vermont. We only need maybe two graphic artists for the entire state and we already have hundreds more than that.

Teaching skating, snowboarding, water skiing (I was a last choice for that one, don't ask!) dance, photography, all those things feels GOOD. I get frustrated with the politics involved, trying to please everybody, but the nitty-gritty teaching...that I love. Teaching people that actually want to learn = especially gratifying. Passing the torch and all that. I also love being taught things. Somebody sit me down and finally show me how to fold an oragami crane!

When I get immersed in planning something, it's all-consuming and delightful to watch come to fruition. I'm totally anal about details, details, details, evn if they don't turn out exactly that way in the end. A party, event, wedding, trip, all those kinds of things. I'm the dorky one that makes an itinerary and passes out photocopies...I'm the one that has a Plan B. Also a snob here. "You forgot your sunscreen/safety pins/vitamins/plastic forks? Don't worry, I brought extra."

History, particulary local history, I am a total sucker it. I didn't find it all that absorbing when it was handed to me, easy as pie, back during history classes, but now? Love it. Dusty old photos. Houses. Stories. Letters. Journals. Clothes. I could give you a two hour lecture on the Tunbridge Fair, or the 1927 Gaysville Flood, and you'd be the only one of us that was bored. Too bad for you.

So there you have it, Jack of all trades, master of none, that's me. Lately feeling like I need to choose, to make some sort of decision so I can master something and grow up. And stop feeling smug that I remembered the safety pins and you didn't.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tricky Business

People who play pranks are really sort of cool. Take my brother-in-law Matt, for example. He LIVES for pranking people. My mom falls for every one of his gag phone calls. Among other things, he can pull off the old "Is your refrigerator running?" like nobody else. You think you couldn't possibly fall for that one? Think again. If you stayed late after school to finish up a project, who would have the uncanny ability to know what darkened hallway you'd be walking down, and could jump out at you, nearly causing your heart to stop beating? That's right, Matt. Who hides in the back of your pick-up truck on a summer night, so they can reach around through the window and grab you by the neck as you start to pull out of your driveway? (Ummm...holy crap.) That would be Matt. It's really quite impressive. I can't ever trick anyone, I'm lame like that. Plus, with my luck, the person driving the truck would have a stroke and drive us off a bank. Matt has good timing and crazy luck. Tricky, tricky guy.

Totally off the subject, but the word 'trick' reminds me of Pete. When I was a little, we had a pony, a mostly nice pony. Pigweed Pete. He had 50 tricks, my parents like to say. He ate a hole in the side of the barn big enough to walk out of so, yeah, I guess he had some stuff up his sleeve alright.

Once my sisters and I tried to booby trap the neighbor's swing set as kids, but all we got out of it was the girl's mother calling, all pissed off, telling us to take our prank down. Similar reaction for toilet papering some trees on Halloween. Ticked off people, immediately knowing it was me. Matt needs to pass on his secrets. How he gets away with trick after trick. And making people laugh all the while. We should all be so lucky.