Yes, I am one of those people who throw parties for their dogs. This is 10% because I will throw a party for literally anything and 90% because Trixie has added an immeasurable amount of joy to my life and deserves to be spoiled. I don't even care that four years ago I totally would have judged me. Things change. One minute you think dog sweaters are ridiculous, the next you're buying size 5T Circo shirts from Target because your dog needs a new outfit. It is what it is.
October 20th was Trixie's 4th birthday so we celebrated with a fire hydrant themed party in my Mom's backyard. Her bff Molly (who is a dog) was camping so she couldn't make it this year, but my Mom, Erik, Michelle, Jason, and Daniel (who are people) all came. Trixie always knows when a party is for her, so she has the best dog day ever. We, on the other hand, spent most of the afternoon swatting away flies. It was worth it to see her so happy though.
Happy birthday, love bug!
I just got done editing a couple of adventures from Year One of RBA that involved dancing, so I really feel like anything I would say about Henry and I going to Dimensions in Dance would be a repeat of my own writing. Is self plagiarism a thing?
Oh well. Henry and I went to Dimensions and Dance and re-lived our glory days as dancers. He and I (and a couple of you out there) performed in the summer show at Allan Hancock in 2004 and now he's the cheerleading coach there and I have a Wii with a dance game. Obviously we both still love to dance. Plus I just started watching So You Think You Can Dance. Because I do still think I can dance. What I can't do, however, is always find someone to go to local performances with me. I want to go every year... but haven't been since 2010. I need to work on my powers of persuasion.
But this year Henry had free tickets and a free afternoon so we went to the show and had a great time. My favorites dances in any performance are usually the ones that are either really fun or really dramatic. If they fail to be either of these things then I have been known to yawn and/or laugh internally (sometimes externally) at them. That's just who I am.
Henry happened to be in a similar mood, so we kept making each other laugh by repeatedly whispering the names of the dances to each other and waving our arms in the air, singing "Heeeey, hooooo". You really had to be there to get the full effect. But all in all it was a pretty good show. My favorites were "Musical Chairs" and "Paris". I even got to hear two Michael Jackson songs in the mix ("The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Place With No Name") so I was a happy camper.
Afterwards, we danced (literally) back to the car while I yelled, "I just wanna dance!" I'm so glad Henry is my friend. He doesn't care when I do a Random Parking Lot Yelling Dance.
Then we went for ice cream at Doc Burnstein's just because. We sampled, we ate, we listened to "Billie Jean", we laughed until our sides hurt. Perfect day.
Lompoc, Solvang, and all surrounding cities be advised: The scarecrows have landed. Repeat, the scarecrows have landed.
Okay, so they didn't land exactly. But overnight, 150 scarecrows popped up all over the area as part of the First/Fifth Annual Scarecrow Fest. It's a first for Lompoc, but the fifth for Solvang. It's also the first time Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Buellton have joined Solvang. So it's kind of the First/Fifth/First Annual Scarecrow Fest.
I'm telling you this because if you live here you still have time to go see them. I went out to Solvang last weekend and people really get into scarecrow making there.
I mean, look at this:
Wow, right? And I've heard that they get even more into it in Cambria. I'll have to save that Fest for next year. I didn't get to vote on my favorite 'crow though because I don't have a Solvang zip code, but I totally would have. Voting is important and every vote counts.
I leave you with this picture of me and Trixie being surrounded by scarecrows. She wasn't scared at all. She probably would have eaten one if I'd let her.
One of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling adventurous but don't want to leave the house (or put on clothes) is to dig out an old hobby. I haven't painted in way too long, so I wanted to dust of the old brushes and make something.
I was 21 when I started painting, but I really fell for it when I realized I didn't have to paint like Renoir, I just had to paint like me. Now I'm constantly touting the benefits of artistic self expression. In fact, it gets me all worked up just thinking about it and I start singing "True Colors".
Anyway, here's what I painted today -
And this -
Two of my favorite subjects: love and mix tapes. Creativity achieved.
Not many hay bale mazes can compare to the (fictional) maze created by Taylor for the annual Stars Hollow Spring Fling in the aptly titled Gilmore Girls episode "Hay Bale Maze". I mean, that is the hay bale maze we all really want to go in.
When I first started Adventuring back in aught 9, I put "hay maze" on the list of things I wanted to do. I searched everywhere for one, but not a bale could be found. Then Justin and I discovered a corn maze in Goleta and it was all over. I now looooove corn mazes. They're not claustrophobic as mazes made of hay and they smell like popcorn. Who doesn't love a popcorn-scented maze?
Well fall is here once more so I put down my pumpkin cream cheese muffin and lit my Bath & Body Works "Sweater Weather" candle and resumed the search for this elusive autumnal adventure. I knew there was one at the rustic and charming Avila Valley Barn, but as far as I knew it was usually a covered maze. Talk about panic-attack inducing. Two-foot wide aisles, non-breathable hay, and a tarp that makes it one million degrees inside? Then release a dozen inevitable toddlers into it? Um, no. So I always skipped it when I went pumpkin shopping there.
But not this year! My good buddies J and D and I made our annual trek to the Avila Barn only to discover that the hay bale maze was uncovered! I can now say that I have found my way into, and out of, a hay maze. I can also say that there are few things funnier than grown-up people running around and bumping into each other because they've lost all sense of direction.
I am, and have always been, a mix tape junkie. In fact, you probably don't want to get me started on all of the reasons why they are the greatest, most awesome things ever. And don't even bother telling me that technically they're not "tapes" anymore because I don't care. The CD is just the vessel, the heart is the mix tape.
There is no magic formula for what I put on a mix tape that I make for myself. It's usually just a bunch of songs that I enjoy belting out in the car from a variety of genres. There are so many songs that I love (for many different reasons) that I want to horde them all for myself. My precious...
Earlier this year I made a mix I called Mixology 2014. Then I was mad when a really bad summer TV show premiered called Mixology. Needless to say, the two are not affiliated in any way (though that would be funny).
Today I made Mixology vol. 2. I now present you with the track list. Enjoy.
1. Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song
2. Just a Friend - Biz Markie
3. Long Hard Times to Come - Gangstagrass
4. Hurt - Johnny Cash
5. Jolene - Dolly Parton
6. Rhinestone Cowboy - Glenn Campbell
7. The Cover of the Rolling Stone - Dr. Hook
8. We Built This City - Starship
9. Can't Fight This Feeling - REO Speedwagon
10. I Wan to Know What Love Is - Foreigner
11. Home Sweet Home - Motley Crue
12. Alone - Heart
13. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor
14. Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie
15. Afternoon Delight - Starland Vocal Band
16. The End - Nancy Sinatra
17. Be My Yoko Ono - Barenaked Ladies
18. Everything is Awesome - Paulette workout mix
And, as a bonus, some recommended reading:
Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
This man knows all about the science behind mix tapes and how to create the best ones for any situation.
Also, I'm not going to tell you why I picked the songs I picked. Feel free to speculate.
Remember how I was telling you about Miss M and I walking in on Abraham Lincoln in a saloon in Los Alamos? Well, the next day my Dad and I went out to Old Days to watch the parade (I won't bore you with the details - horses, horses, more horses), and lo and behold, I came across this guy:
The President was shopping for antiques, as one does on a lazy Sunday afternoon. A group of kids had just run up and asked for his autograph, so I felt fairly confident that he wouldn't mind posing for a quick snapshot with me. He was very gracious. I was a little star struck.
"Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will be able to treat life as art."