In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Happy Holidaze

We’ve been busy.  I’ve been busy.  Blogging hasn’t been on the frontlines here lately.  And since I got a Blackberry I’m spending much less time at my actual desktop and I don’t mind that.  This way my kid and her friends can geek all over Facebook. 

Lauren and her friends have been enjoying First Friday Art Walk downtown.  Pretty much every first Friday.  I do like to go to this, but I’m not a huge social person and I find that’s really the reason to go.  It is fun though.  Lots of pretty things to look at, lots of food to enjoy, live music, wine and more.  The photo below was actually taken at the new Price Cutter Bistro Market on Walnut and South.  Lauren is in the green jacket.  I cannot wash that green jacket.  Lauren received a hug from Christopher Drew Ingle.  He’s the singer in a band the girls are crazy about.  Never Shout Never I guess.  Izzy is dead center.  Izzy loves the cartoon Adventure Time, hence her funky hat that Mady made her for Halloween.   Mady is wearing the huge sunglasses.  Oh to be 12 going on 13.

 

A FREE photo op at a photography studio where some cool bands were playing.  I love this photo!  Lauren, Izzy, Mady, Kenzie and Sarah.

Jordan has been busy with off season track.  He’s so happy it started.  He’s also been busy with the ladies!  I think he went out with two different girls last Friday night.  Whoa.  I think one was a friendly date and the other was an actual date-date.  He’s also been busy working as much as he can.  Once track starts full throttle, he won’t be able to work as much.  We are still searching for a college and we’ve found a few that are searching for him as well.  Hopefully we’ll be able to make a decision on this sometime after the first of the year.  It’s stressful and I’m exhausted just writing about it.  When one wants to play sports in college, there’s lots to do.  Stuff like signing up for the NCAA, talking to a ton of coaches about athletics and academics and more. 

Yogaville is going well for me.  I’m enjoying the classes that don’t quit for the break.  The only ones that really take a break are the MSU classes.  But I am doing two intersessions for those folks (per their request) so that’s awesome.  A paycheck is always a nice thing to have.  The YMCA is still a lot of fun.  One student gave me a beautiful, live, potted norfolk pine tree this morning adorned with tiny little decorations.  Someone else gave me a lovely bag of assorted teas and homemade goodies.  They were SO good.  Someone in my free class at the studio, gifted me a loaf of bread sprinkled with powdered sugar and filled with chocolate creme.  Oh man, that was blissful with coffee for sure.  I feel incredibly lucky to have such a fun job that connects me with such amazing people on a regular basis.  I cannot complain.

Frank.  Of course he’s slammin’ busy.  He’s the director of public safety at the Mall.  This time of year means longer hours for him.  It also means he’s out in the cold directing traffic for hours and taking care of all of the other petty things that happen more this time of year.  We are (sad to say) usually pretty thankful when the holidays are over.  If you or any of your family are stuck in retail, you can relate. 

I remember having the video store.  The store was open 12 hours a day, every, single day of the year.  We opened gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve, we ate Thanksgiving dinner the night before, the day after, or whenever we could all find the time.  I actually rented 4 movies at Blockbuster the other day.  The guy that waited on me actually dropped $1,500 in my store at our closing sale.  He had all the cool indie films and foreign things in his hands.  I knew he had to have a store someplace so I asked him where his store was.  He replied, “Blockbuster.”  Nice.  Of course I took his cash, but honestly I wanted those films to remain on the shelves for customers who were interested.  But when one is closing shop, one does what one has to do.

Christmas vacation starts today.  The kids are out of school December 23 until January 4th, 2011.  We’ll be baking up a storm and hopefully I’ll find the time to swim off all the sugar I will consume.  I’m off from yoga for 4 days as well, but I’m thinking about attending a meditation speaker and practice the day after Christmas.  What a wonderful way to come down from the hustle and bustle don’t you think?  That’s it.  I’m going. 

Happy Holidaze to you and yours!

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Video Store Reminiscing #2

Back in the day, I owned a video store.  Lately I ran across something which I kept, because it was damn funny.  When customers would come in the store wanting a specific film, they didn’t always know the name of the movie.  So they made one up.  We logged their requests in our Alternative Title List and kept it our secret.  OK.  We did share it with those customers that could totally relate.  I’m going to share some of the hilarity with you right now.  I put the name of the film they were actually asking for in parenthesis.

Air Affair  (Air Up there), Johnny Nomadic (Johnny Nmemonic), Jurastic Park (Jurrasic Park), Silkwood (French Kiss – don’t ask me where that one came from), Last Night (First Knight), Tetnis (Tetris), Sleeping in Seattle (Sleepless in Seattle), Shattered Glass (Glass Shield), Timestone (Tombstone), Too Fu Manchu (To Wong Foo…..), Stagecoach (Tombstone), Grievance Dogs (Reservoir Dogs), Farewell My Cucumber (Farewell My Concubine), Shammy (Chameleon), Dust (Powder), Dumb & Dumble (Dumb & Dumber), Bean Bacon (Canadian Bacon), Total Velcro (Terminal Velocity)

Siblank Redemption (Shawshank Redemption)…..Shankshaw, Sharnsharnk, Shimshank…..I can’t even list how many options people had for the name of this film!

The Fern (The Firm), Rapaphobia (Arachnaphobia), Boys From the Side (Boys On The Side), Duhmanji (Jumanji), Don’t Drink Juice In the Hood (Don’t Be A Menace to Society While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood), Saved By The Bell Stripshow (Showgirls), Rural (Juror), Farrow (Fargo), The Fat Boy (Nutty Professor), Liz Claiborne (Delores Claiborne), Winning Exhile (Waiting To Exhale), Multiple City (Multiplicity), That Movie Where John Travolta Moves Shit With His Head (Phenomenon), Leavin’ Minnesota (Feeling Minnesota), Premarital Fear (Primal Fear), Tomahawk (Broken Arrow), 13 or 7 Monkeys (12 Monkeys), Let’s Get Shorty (Get Shorty), Marilyn Marilyn (Mary Reilly), Boys In The Bubble (Bio Dome), Spitfire Girl (Spitfire Grill), Soft & Sensual (Sense & Sensibility), Watercolors (Waterworld), While Youns Ere Sleepin’ (While You Were Sleeping), Young and Famous (Quick And The Dead), Moah’s Art, or Mo’s Art (Amadeus), Color Me Purple (Color Purple), Shoney’s Playstation (Sony Playstation, includes breakfast bar)!

Imagine trying to keep a straight face while behind the counter at a video store when someone was asking for some of this stuff in a very serious demeanor.  It wasn’t always easy.

kg3Me and my sister Jeanine, in front of the Jurastic Park car at a video convention.

kg11That’s me, with Charleton Heston in the early 90’s.  I have a lot of photos of me with famous people and if I ever find the time, I’ll scan and share.  I’ve got some good ones!


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Video Store Reminiscing

big-fish-4Years ago, I had a video store.  One April, the film Big Fish was released.  I was super lucky to have several talented people working with me.  One in fact, was and still is, an amazing artist.  She offered her skills and painted window sized art for many of our promotions.  This was the first window she painted and she did it on reverse!  From that painting on she chose to paint on the outside taking the risk that hoodlums might destroy her work.  They usually didnt! 

Right inside of our front door at the store we had a showcase that we changed out with different themes.  For Big Fish we filled the showcase with dafodils to mimick the dafodil field scene.  When we took the display down my daughter and I took the flowers to the cemetery by our house and placed them on all of the super old graves.

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hellboy-3Another fun film she painted for was Hellboy.  Amazing detail, that you cannot even appreciate with that glare and reflection!  Once again, we scoured the city for action figures for our showcase.  We usually had a contest that folks could enter to win whatever we had in the showcase.  Big hit for kids and adults as well.

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van-hel-1Enter Van Helsing.  Huge hit.  Something about vampire movies that drive people to rent in droves.  I found an awesome Van Helsing castle.  We put it together and once again, rocked out our showcase.  The person that won this about passed out they were so excited.

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lotr-paint-3lotr-paint-2Welcome Lord of the Rings.  Thank you, Peter Jackson.  This film had an amazing run for us, and in turn, we had an amazing contest.  Once again we filled the showcase with a ton of action figures and had a drawing.  Check out that tree that Stacy drew on the glass below!  Awesome!  We also left Gollum on our front door for a very, very long time.  People loved him!

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We ordered and sold, so many cardboard stand up figures, it was unbelieveable!  My daughter was in love with Legolas.  After convincing her that Legolas was really Orlando Bloom, she’s now in love with him!  We even took a cardboard stand up to the photo place at the Mall and had her picture taken with Legolas.  My mom picked that dress up in a thrift store in Wales.  How perfect is that?

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shark-tale-2We also had a good time with Shark Tale.  We loaded the showcase with stuffed animals from the film and we did the same with Finding Nemo.

We had a good 12 year run with this video store.  We were pretty much forced to close in September of 2005.  There are days I miss the business and of course all of the people who helped make those 12 years possible.  I was blessed with a wonderful group of employees!

But today, I am thankful that my days are filled with less film, in more ways than one.


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Five Things

Five Things Lazy Blog Post –

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?  Let’s see, December 1998.  Lauren was almost one, I was getting ready to close my failing gift shop and I still owned the video store .  I was married to Lauren’s dad, I lived in my dream house in a dream neighborhood, had lots of disposable income and was freaking out about becoming a mom.  Thanks Rhonda, for correcting me!  You’re right!  I was not pregnant in Dec 1998…….man, I’m a flake!

 2)What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

1.  Drink an entire pot of flavored coffee.    2.  Print out our holiday letter and decorate it with colored pencils with my daughter  (maybe I’ll add a funny note that says “we’ve given up on getting anything out before Christmas.)    3.  Wrap some gifts for my son, since he’s not home today.    4.  Watch a movie with my kid while wearing the comfiest clothes ever!    5.  Not venturing out anyplace, except the grocery store for stuff to make a small dinner, since my husband will be at the Mall until who knows when.

3) Snacks I enjoy:       Toast, hot tea with honey and cream, yogurt, mandarin oranges, warm chocolate chip cookies, brownies, popcorn, ice cream….I’d better stop there!

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:      Help my family out as needed first of course.  Make sure my kids had trust funds and plenty of cash for college!  After that, I’d open a beautiful, green yoga studio, with an organic eatery, coffee/tea shop, and bookstore and the classes would be offered on a donation basis only.  I’d definitely travel and maybe buy some land with a pond/lake to build a simple place to enjoy for the rest of our lives.

5) Places I have lived:       Springfield, Missouri…..sounds really lame I know.  But as long you take time out to visit other places, it’s all good.

I’m not tagging anyone, but if you would like to post this on your blog, it’s great fun!

 

 

 
 


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My Lucky Day

*Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We brined a huge turkey and chowed.  Frank’s sister brought Quinoa stuffing and man was it fantastic!  I love quinoa.

*My brother also made it in.  He flew stand by on United and arrived at 5:45 just in time for the “second” dinner!  As a heads up, if you fly as a guest of United, you have to wear slacks, nice shoes and a collared shirt.  He lives in Boulder and I hadn’t seen him for almost three years!!

*My sister and her husband stayed in Florida.  Her husband builds pools and water features which means he works with a ton of illegals.  Unemloyment is 8% in Florida now and probably like 12% if you count the ones you can’t really count.  They invited two guys from Guatemala and one Mexican to join them for dinner.

*Us chicks walked over to Phelps Grove Park and did a couple of treks around the track after the big meal.  Then we came back and had pie.  It’s all good.

*The guys went to the Mall and checked out the Segway.  I would’ve loved to have seen my 83 year old father-in-law on that thing!

*My parents are camping at Taneycomo.  They seem to be adjusting to retirement very well.  This is the first time they’ve traveled and not had to worry about a “business.” 

*In the video business, you are open every single day of the year, 12 hours a day, so that also presents a problem on holidays.  Some years, we had Christmas at midnight the day of.  When you hired people, they said they could always work on the holidays, but when the time came.  Guess what?  It was usually us and a few others behind the counter!

*I’m passing on the camping since I really DO NOT want to shop today.  My husband, had to be at work at 5:00 a.m.  At 7:00 a.m. he said traffic was gridlocked from the Mall to Target.  I’ll be going to the Gratitude Yoga Class at 10:00 a.m. instead.

*I hit the Mall on Wednesday to return an item I purchased on Evening of Giving.  The Lucky brand stuff was marked down 40%.  Oh…my…..God.  The sales clerk must’ve heard me gasp.  She said she couldn’t believe it either as they never have sales, only clearance.  No kidding.  Whoa.  I returned my top that didn’t fit quite right.  They gave me a gift card (since I wrote a check) for my purchase (we don’t use credit cards unless we travel) and I put it towards the Japanese People top I’d been eyeing!  I paid $27.88 after my exchange, the top was originally priced at $58.  My Lucky day!!

*My parents brought us some great furniture.  My sister, who used to make scads of cash, has had approximately 10 couches in 15 years.  I scored one of her great sofas she got at Burdine’s, a leather ottoman/coffee table, and an end table, plus a barrel chair from the house that I grew up in. 

*Anyone interested in a big sectional, with two recliners and a sofa bed?  It’s blue, it’s comfy.  It was here when I moved in and I am unable to rearrange our living room as long as we have it.  I”m looking forward to getting this out of our house to open up the HUGE picture window even more!  Look for it on Craig’s List soon!

*Speaking of scads of money, my brother used to manage a nice bike store.  This guy, a president of a “company” would fly in on a private jet and buy stuff.  Usually thousands of dollars in bike clothing and sometimes bikes.  He would hand my brother one item and that meant he wanted it in three different sizes.  

*One time, my brother asked him why he never tried anything on.  He said because his company pushed the pencil and the time that he would take was not worth it.  The pilot would then come in and pay for the stuff, with an American Express black card.  They’re made of metal and you have to spend like $250,000 a year to be considered.  What did he do with the stuff that didn’t work out?  He passed it on to his employees.  Cool.

 

*The family is hoping for snow this weekend.  So is my husband.  He spent all summer welding a bracket for his Lawn Boy Lawn Tractor, so he could attach a snow shoveling bucket.  He was pushing leaves around the yard with it the other day.  I did not know this, but a Lawn Boy Tractor, is NOT a Lawn Boy riding mower.  Who knew, or it was more like to me, who cares?  He’s so excited about this snow bucket.  Look for Jefferson to be clear and plowed this year, by yours truly!

*He drove to Branson three years ago and hauled home two riding mowers (the Lawn Boy was one of them) for $80.  After some minor stuff, the Lawn Boy was up and running.  The other one?  It’s stripped and combined with some other mower, so now his dad has a good one too.  Where’s the rest of it?  Don’t ask, but I want it out of here soon!

*Looking forward to hanging with my family again, when they come back in the morning!  I don’t think, I know I can’t handle Branson today!


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Almost Famous

Tonight was a rarity.  I watched TV.  Normally, the family runs the set and I’m busy doing “my stuff.”  I don’t have any weekly shows that I must watch, and I’m actually pretty thankful.  But tonight, I watched My Name is Earl.  I’ve always liked Jason Lee, and it is a funny show.  They usually play good music throughout the show as well and tonight, I was reminded of the movie Almost Famous.  Not only because Jason Lee is Earl, but because of the soundtrack tonight. 

Once upon a time, I owned a video store.  It’s a long story, that I won’t get in to.   When Almost Famous first came to the theater, I actually paid money to see it.  Something one does not do when one OWNS a video store.  I not only paid once, but I paid twice.  It pretty much goes down with one of my favorite movies of all time.  Period.  I love Cameron Crowe, I do.  When the movie came out on DVD, we were oh so excited at our store.  The promo stuff was awesome.  We got special posters, prints, soundtracks, t-shirts, you name it.  I kept a bunch of it, cause it was cool.  I also purchased (on ebay) a HUGE canvas banner, (the size of a single car garage), for our store window of Kate Hudson in the classic sunglasses.  This banner also hung in my huge 3-car garage after the hoopla. 

Almost Famous by steviebreech.

When the day came to close the biz, I kissed it and lots of other memorabilia good bye.  After all, how much crap can you keep?  The most important things I kept, were my special edition DVD and my soundtrack of Almost Famous.  I still have some small promo items as well in the way of prints, some are signed.

I think I’m going to stay up late and watch it tonight, it’s been awhile!  The bus scene, was one of my favs.


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Company Times Two

My sister and her daughter arrived safely!  I took a road trip to Bentonville, AR to pick them up on Sunday.  Closer than driving to KC or STL for sure!  Not a bad drive.  She had free air miles, so they were both able to fly from Florida for $50!  Of course, we’ve been exhausted ever since and we need to get some serious energy!  The craft fair in Ozark is this coming weekend and we have LOTS to do!

Today is pick up things we need to finish and make more things.  I have a sub for my class tonight, the only one I’m not teaching during the two weeks they are here.  On top of the craft fair, I have my annual check up this week, Lauren has open house at school, and Jordan goes to OK on Friday (sometime) to stay over night for a cross country meet!  Oh, and there’s no school on Friday either!  We will have to take both girls with us to the craft fair.  Since my sister lost her job, her husband is pulling the load and was unable to vacation with them.  I seriously am wondering how we’re going to pull this off.  But ya know what?  We will and we will be laughing and having a great time all the while. 

On a different note, our parents are closing their video store this week.  It’s their last store, soon to be zero.  Our mom seemed distraught when she called last night.  You would think that their life is going to be over with tomorrow!  And to them, it probably feels like it.  They’ve been in the video business since 1984.  It’s all they’ve done (since then) and they’ve been super successful.  I know they are having a hard time letting go.  But I hope they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  What they will gain, will long overcome the joys and sorrows that they’ve experienced with that business.  No more free movies for us!!

We’re off.  Wish us much luck, we’re gonna need it!