Sunday, March 19, 2017

A lot of fun

I work for a company that's active in the community—the founders have especially done a lot in the arts (the Bloch wing at the Nelson Atkins, for example). Pretty frequently, I’ll get an email from our CEO’s executive assistant offering a chance to win tickets to various events. Until Kent was laid off last summer, I didn’t enter anything, partly because I thought others might enjoy the events more and also because we could afford our own entertainment.

But since July, I’ve entered some of the drawings. The events always need to be something I’m actually interested in, and they need to be on a weekend night (or during a weekend day). It’s hard enough for me to get up after a late night on a weekend, forget about it during the week.

Here’s what we’ve been able to do:

  • In September, I won tickets to the Roman Empire exhibit at the Nelson
  • In October, I won tickets to Toni Braxton's concert (fantastic show, her voice remains amazing)
  • In November, I won tickets to the NCAA Hall of Fame Induction ceremony
  • And then in the most amazing stroke of luck, I won tickets to the Big 12 quarterfinals last week and we got to see KU play (and sadly lose)!
  • Finally, I won tickets for the Sporting KC soccer game last night. 

I feel really fortunate that my company supports the arts and sporting events, and even more fortunate that we’ve been able to go to some fun events.

Edited to add that I've actually entered and not won more than I've entered and won. Just in case you thought I had some sort of crazy insane good luck. 

Sporting KC game last night

KU game last week

Toni Braxton concert

Friday, March 17, 2017

An anniversary of sorts

Eighteen years ago, I was in Atlanta for a business trip. Kent and I worked for the same large company then, and had met in another meeting for the same gigantic project a couple of months earlier. I knew him only slightly, and we had not (by anyone’s standards) been on a date nor did I really know he was interested in me. All of those details matter for this story.

Anyway—there were about 80 of us on that trip and the days were incredibly long, with contentious meetings scheduled for about 10 hours a day. As it happened. St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Wednesday and by then, a group of us were desperate for a bit of a break, so we all went out for dinner and then looked for someplace to go dancing.

By the time we found a place, it was pretty late. But the music was good, the beer wasn’t horribly expensive and we needed a way to blow off some steam.

On the dance floor, I noticed a man doing a very athletic version of the Electric Slide. He had clearly had a lot of dance training, and was really quite good. I’ve always like to dance, and I was intrigued. I started trying to add in the steps he was doing, and pretty soon he and I were dancing away as he taught me his version. But this version was truly very athletic: think squats and then leaps. You can imagine how tiring it was! I finally had to stop and I thanked him for working with me and told him I was going to go get a beer.

And here’s where it gets kind of sweet. The dancer said OK, and then he pointed at Kent. “I’ll go teach your husband how to do this dance.” If I remember correctly, I sort of sputtered something about not being married and then got a beer.

I told Kent, of course, and over the three years when I wouldn’t date him we would sometimes get together on our “anniversary” and have a laugh. OK I had a laugh. I don’t know what that man in the bar saw, but he clearly saw something in the way Kent watched me. And here we are, married for nearly 14 years.

Here's a video of that dance (obviously not me hahaha!):


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Another birthday

This time, it's my younger son. I don't have a lot of baby pictures of him, partly because he was the second and fell victim of the behavior of most parents with baby number two: far fewer pictures. But I will also say we had an entire roll of pictures from his first week that were completely lost by the photo developing place.

Here are two from the same day shortly before his first birthday.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Been dabbling

In paint. I’ve read some blog posts that describe painting fabric (often silk) for clothing, not d├ęcor, and I’ve been interested in trying that myself. But I sure didn’t want to spend the cash on silk only to have my efforts look like total amateur hour. So I got some cheap cotton cloth at IKEA, bought some paints with a bit of metallic in them that were billed as being suitable for fabric painting, and gathered up some other paints I had on hand for painting cards (you know, like Christmas cards). I had a set of cheap brushes and figured for this attempt, they would have to do.

I will say that if I go any further with painting on fabric, I’ll need better brushes. These were horrible—the bristles wanted to splay out and shed, which created texture I didn’t want. The paints for cards were OK, nothing you’d want to use on clothing fabric, but for this experiment they were adequate.


I penciled in a grid on the fabric, and then over the course of several weekends (and until today, only when it was sunny outside in hopes of better light), started painting random squares, rectangles and lines. I was going for a randomized stained-glass effect, so if you are trying to identify a pattern, you can stop. There isn’t one!

Today, I outlined each grid with black, and this is where better brushes would have helped. As it is, I console myself with thinking that it looks like the hand soldering you’d see in stained glass made by someone who is not an expert.





Sunday, March 5, 2017

How is it March already?

Don't you hate it when the blog posts you've got in your head don't quite make it to the blog itself? I keep starting posts, and then can't quite finish them up. And now it’s March 5. And today's my older son’s birthday.

I was talking with him on Friday and said something about well I knew I what I was doing the day he was born. He told me I say that every year, and he’s right. I do. But it was a big deal to me, having my first baby and my second major surgery—plus my OB/GYN was kind of nutty, and I was so scared about having a spinal that I didn’t give a rip about labor. Like I didn't even feel it. That's a needle phobia for you.

Anyway. Here’s one of my favorite baby pictures of him. He’s always been photogenic; what I love most about this photo is you can see his face and how we’re interacting. He was about 2 or 3 months old here.