Archive for the ‘What I’ve been up to.’ Category

Clumsy Beast Falling.

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Sometimes I take myself too seriously. Sometimes its good to just sit back and laugh at your failures instead of dwelling on them. I am clumsy as shit, and pretty darned uncoordinated to boot. Ever see those videos of cats wearing socks trying to walk? That’s how I feel like I go through a lot of life. Fact. No biggie, though. It is what it is. I invite you to check out a couple of my less than perfect moments in surfing….. or maybe we should just call it falling? Cuz man, these are just no good at all. Enjoy and have a laugh! :)

Yup, Nailed it!

Um, no.

Balance is key.

Effortless.

Barely breaking a sweat.

A real natural.

Textbook.

A rainy day in paradise.

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Sayulita, Mexico is a quiet little fishing village/surf town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It’s about a 40 minute drive north of the touristy hubbub of Puerto Vallarta, and seemingly a perfect place to start our first attempt at living a more expat kinda lifestyle. Devon and I arrived here 5 days ago, and so far its been everything that I’ve hoped for. It’s off season here, so maybe only a third of the local businesses are open, but I am truly a happy chica with at least 3 fish taco stands to choose from for dining options. That was one of the major things I was looking forward to out of this adventure. Fish tacos, surfing on the regular, bangin’ margaritas, writing more, swimming as much as humanly possible, improving my Español, earning some more freckles on my pasty white skin (cuz you know mamacita is physically incapable of taking a tan).

So, I’ve been doing pretty well with my goals. With the exception of yesterday. I kinda earned myself a bit of heatstroke/exhaustion yesterday with an overzealous hike on the beach in the 90 degree sun with no water. Also, heat exhaustion = not fun = totally terrifying! Hydration is key, yo. So after spending most of the afternoon in bed with lots of ice water and Mexican real life crime documentaries on the tele, I woke up this morning raring to go. And then the sky opened up and it has been a torrential downpour ever since.  Of course. But really, sitting on an open air covered patio, with temperature in the high 70s, watching and listening to the rain, hearing los gallos down the block, and smelling the sweet ocean air, life doesn’t suck.

The past few months have been kinda crazy; stressful and emotionally difficult for me, and it’s nice to be able to hit reset and start recharging in such a peaceful, quiet place.

Finding a happy place.

Friday, September 6th, 2013

I haven’t written in a hot minute, and generally I try to keep things upbeat on here. But I’ve have a bunch of things swirling around in my mind recently, and thought that it might be helpful to pick up the keyboard again. Just a heads up.

When I’m feeling sad and alone, when life feels too loud and bright and like its spinning out of control, when I feel helpless in taming things I try to go to my happy place. It’s a beach about and hour and a quarter from my house. It’s a place I feel safe and comfortable. Where I run into good people that I know who do good things. Where I can strike up a conversation, or keep to myself if I’m having a day that I want to be alone. I feel like it’s my home away from home. The best time to visit is between September and May when its cool and quiet, and most of the summer crowds have left. I surf when the surf is good. I walk the beach when the waves are flat. I take in the beauty of nature and relax into the calm of thinking only in the present.

I watch the gulls splash and bathe in the shallow shore water and soar overhead. And while they are normally little bastards who try and steal my loaded bagels, those birds make me happy to watch them doing their normal goofy seagull things. Watching the sets roll in over and over and crashing with the most calming regularity. Way better than any artificial white noise machine.

In September the air has started to cool and it feels like fall. Luckily the sun is still bright and warm and feels good on my skin. It takes me away from all the dark that has seeped into my life and that I am now stuck with the complicated task of figuring out how to replace it with goodness, and then growing from this whole thing.  All of the hurt and loss and guilt. Disappointment and that which I have tried to grasp, but have been unable to thoroughly understand. So I walk and think and stop to write; to get things out of my head; to keep them from bouncing around.

Collecting bits of scattered sea glass brings back a tinge of an old fond memory, which is now too painful to dwell on. What do you do with all of those feelings, or do they just fade and you have to suck it up and deal with them until they do?

A couple flying kites. The wind messing up my hair.  The creepy old shirtless man wearing guyliner, who asks to take a picture of me shortly after I’ve finishing crying behind my sunglasses and keeps making small talk about the Blondie concert he just went to.. These things bring me back into the present and remind me to keep going. To try to replace the bad thoughts with the good. There is no good result that will come from dwelling on things that I can’t control or change. My control freak self needs to just settle down in the sand, feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my face and sit back and take in the beautiful sets of waves rolling in and crashing over and over. Wonderfully consistent, steadily.

New Adventures: 11 of 30 – Model in a Fashion Show.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I believe that I’ve always been somewhat fashion forward. One time in high school I was wandering through an alleyway in Southie (South Boston for you non Bostonians) and I came across a crumpled up  paper bag on the ground. Upon picking up the bag and opening it (don’t judge me!!!) I found 3 cloth napkins in a really rad red plaid print. I had been wanting a plaid mini-skirt for a while and the napkins looked relatively clean enough, so I took those puppies home, stitched them together and sewed in a zipper. The skirt barely covered my derriere, but that thing looked so punk rock deluxely awesome and I rocked the shit out of it. (Until a few months later when I acted like a typical out of control asshole teenager, broke some house rules and my mom shredded and trashed it as my punishment.)

From a very young age I was super particular about the clothing that I wanted to wear, much to the chagrin of my mom-dukes. Mini-skirts, faux fur jackets and anything with sequins is my idea of a dream outfit. I’m wicked into the costume aspect of clothing. I’m not really a huge fan of Lady Gaga, but I’m all about the idea of wearing costumes for daily wear. In the past my friends have enjoyed shopping in my closet for Halloween costumes. For a hot minute I was a fashion major during my time at Mass College of Art.

I’ve never really had a huge classic designer fashion affinity, but, I always dig watching runways shows and whatnot. I’ve always thought that it would be totally awesome to be a runway model.  People cheering as you prance in the limelight? That sounds pretty cool, right? I mean, I’m not particularly proud of that, but whatever. And then one day stuff randomly started falling into place. Through Facebook, I came across an open casting for a fashion show called Catwalk for a Cure that would be taking place at the State Room.  I figured at the very least, it would be fun and get me out of my comfort zone. I arrive and there’s about 200 other ladies auditioning. I turn in my application and head shot, get my photo and measurements taken, meet the Catwalk for a Cure  organizers and do a little runway strut for them. They say they’ll call me if they’re interested. Ok….. After about a month, I figure that they’ve passed on me, and almost a month later, I get an email on  my 29th birthday saying that they’ve chosen me along with about 20 other women.. Holy crap! Out of 200! What an ego boost when I was bumming about entering my last year of my wild and crazy 20s. :) Some time goes by, and I do a fitting with my designer, which is cool to meet her and some other models. See what I’ll be wearing and what one of the collections look like.Another models awesome hair. @CatwalkforaCure on Twitpic

On October 13th (I know, I’m still really behind in updating!!!) I show up for hair and makeup before the show and am assigned to a hair team from Dellaria Salons. My team was the alterna team or something because they had the most tattoos and piercings and were rocking the skinny jeans, and they were psyched to be doing hair for “the pink haired chick”. They were awesome and made me look like a million bucks! Thanks guys!! (The picture on the right was taken by fellow model Jill, who was super nice & friendly! Click on the pic to make it bigger.)
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The  venue, The State Room in Boston was absolutely gorgeous. The venue is huge. 2 Stories of open space on the 33rd floor of a building in the middle of downtown. The windows are floor to ceiling and you have an amazing view of the city and the harbor. Big space. Lots of people….

Luckily all my immediate family had come out, as well as a bunch of my close friends, so I was feeling the madd love which made me less nervous. The models were able to practice a run-through, which also helped, but I was still a pretty jittery… The fashion show go-ers were seated after a delicious sounding cocktail hour. The models lined up, and then the music started and after a few moments I standing on the platform, making my way down the runway. It’s weird. I was super nervous before hand. But as soon as the spotlight hit, I had to do my thing. Fight or flight, baby. And then I heard my people cheering me on, and that was totally awesome and amazing and I love them so much for that. They always know how to make a scene. I had to do them proud, so I worked it as best as I knew how, lol. Here’s my “blue steel”.

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I made it to the end of the runway, did my spiffy model turn, and then walked back to the start and stepped off… And then I had to do that 2 more times. So yeah. It was pretty awesome. A bunch of fun. A huge burst of adrenaline. And the event was a benefit for a great charity: The Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer education and research group. No wonder they didn’t ask me to change my hair color. :)

My friends and family had a great time, I was super happy to be part of such a great event! Although I am bummed to have missed out on the free samples from Pinkberry, one of the sponsors for the event.

Hopefully I’ll get the chance to work with Catwalk for a Cure again!

11 of 30 Completed!

Proof that I have no swagger.

Monday, August 29th, 2011

So the other day I was at Pike Place Market. I was picking up a bunch of different veggies and fishies for a super-luxe home cooked dinner. One of the vendors was being super friendly, and I’m pretty sure that there was a smidge of flirt thrown in there too.

Attractive Food Purveyor: ” MMM…. So, is that you who smells so good?

Me: “Uh?” *Looks around* “Probably not?”

Attractive Food Purveyor: *Appears very confused* “Um, no? I’m pretty sure that it’s you.”

Me: “Oh……. Awkward…..”

New Adventures: 6 of 30 – Drink out of a Fishbowl.

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Alright, so title standing alone, this entry already has a lot of WTF in it. I should state for the record that I’m talking about a touristy alcoholic beverage, not some sort of crazy ass stunt that you’d see on a CKY video, or an episode of Jackass. It’s pretty darn random, but it kind makes sense when you look at the big picture. It begins to balance out Adventure #3 of me not drinking for a month and the idea is something that I’ve been fascinated by for a while.

I have previously proclaimed my love of fro-fro technicolor concoctions. The more plastic do-dads attached to my adult beverage the better. A few years back I came across a super awesome party-fun-times picture of my friend Kay-Shee drinking some kind of booze out of a fish bowl at a place in Miami, and I knew that some day I needed to get all up in that. Unfortunately I had no idea that any place in Boston was awesome enough to serve drinks out of an aquarium. That was until the day that I received word from my Scorpion bowl drinking partner, Andrew, that there was a place along the Boston Harbor waterfront that was only open during the warmer months, but that actually served these mythical beverages. And so, this went on my list of things to do.

1st things 1st. Drinking fishbowl drinks require drinking partners. So I tracked down my friend with possibly the lowest alcohol tolerance out of all of my friends that drink (Brendan) and made plans. We decided to meet up at the Landing on a Thursday afternoon in August. Perfect. Mid-week, mid-day, so the bar wouldn’t be packed, but with enough tourists in the vicinity to make it hilarious for people watching. The Landing is pretty awesome. It’s an open air establishment with an awesome view of the harbor and all the boats arriving & departing. When we went it was pretty low key, with just your typical mid-day bar-going alcoholics & tourists looking for somewhere to cool their barking dogs.


We decide on an aqua-blue colored, vodka based drink called the The Blue Lagoon. When it arrived at our table it was totally color-coordinated to my sunglasses, so I knew that it was a sign that this was all meant to be. Since there were only 2 of us, we were limited to the “Guppy Bowl” size drink, for a minimum of 2 people. It mainly consisted of vodka, blue curacao, raspberry vodka, pineapple juice, more vodka, sprite, and of course more vodka. Once you get past the teeth rotting sweetness, the flavor actually wasn’t too bad. Totally a sugar fest, but I dig that sort of thing once in a while. And the drink actually tricks you because it’s so sweet which confuses you flavor-wise because although it has a boat load of vodka in it, all you can taste is sugar.

Luckily Brendan & I weren’t in any sort of rush. We had a bunch of catching up to do and creeping people watching to take part in & so the Blue Lagoon took us a while to pound. By the time we reached the bottom of the Guppy Bowl, although the bartender offered us a refill, the last thing we wanted to drink was another 32 ounces of sugary alcohol.  That would have been a very poor (pour?) decision, but that afternoon I decided to go the -somewhat- responsible adult route. So we called it a day and stumbled went on our merry way, and I was able to check this off of my list of random stuff to try.

6 of 30 completed.

New Adventures: 4 of 30 – NASCAR!!!

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Every month, my family tries to get together for a family dinner or activity. I’m not exactly sure how we all agreed to it, but the Turnbaugh’s activity for the month of July was going to a NASCAR race!! Now, I’m not particularly into car racing, however I am into activities where I can veer full throttle into white trash territory, so as soon as we bought our tickets and  before you could say “redneck”, I had started planning my outfit for the day.

Since NASCAR is about as quintessentially American as it gets, I decided to go the high class route with a stars and stripes themed ensemble. I found a delightful belly shirt crop-top with a distressed American flag print, that was accented with some rhinestones (hand stitched, I’m sure) that highlighted the stars, and showed off just enough of my gut midriff to be striking but not entirely trashy. I then paired the shirt with some jean ghetto-booty-hot-pants  cut-off shorts with peek-a-boo linear patterned front pockets and a star pattern on my ass the rear. Topped off with a hunter’s camo print ball-cap accented with American flags, I was ready to roll. Behold, the classiest family portrait ever.
IMG_1197So some things that I learned…..

IMG_1200NASCAR is big…. Like really big. Bigger than Jesus, or the Beatles for that matter. The race, Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, took place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which is largest venue for any type of sport in the whole general area…. Which is kinda insane to think about. Over 100,000 people jam packed into a huge outdoor grandstand. It’s in the boonies of NH Loudon, NH, so there’s no public transit of any sort and everyone has to drive there & park, which leads to kinda a logistical driving and parking nightmare. There are seas of car and RV parking lots. The picture on the left is a pic that I took of maybe a tenth of all of the RVs that had camped out there for the weekend, and that’s not even including cars/SUVs/trucks etc…  And there’s only 1 major road in and out of there… So after the race ends plan on some post-game tailgating, for a while, cuz it’s going to be at least 2-3 hours before you can even get your car out of the parking lot (on top of the 45 minutes that it will take you to walk back to your car)…. Unless you’re awesome like us and drive through some bushes and find a semi-illegal unpaved back road out.

Things to bring, because there won’t be any, or it will run out fast: Toilet paper, Water (crucial on a 95 degree day), Food (the food stands and vendors seriously ran out of food & water halfway through the race!?!?!?!), sunscreen, ear protection.

IMG_1207NASCAR is white trash. Like, really, for-serious white trash. Not like this is ground breaking news or anything, but going to see the race in person just reminded me of what I already knew. Half of the dudes there were shirtless. Now don’t get me wrong. I love me some sexy shirtless man action. However the guys here were bearing their man-boobies regardless of if anyone would even want to see that horror show. And of the men that were wearing shirts, most were wearing shirts with the sleeves ripped off. (Along a similar vein, when did tramp stamps of Disney characters on DUDES become socially acceptable?!?) As seen on the right, the lemur decided to get in on the NASCAR fashion & root for his favorite race car driver.

The women weren’t any better. I had been a bit nervous that my outfit would stand out for being too over the top and/or trashy. Luckily I fit right in with the chicks walking around in bras, pregnant women smoking (I shit you not.) and ladies (and I use that term very loosely) with race car number arm sleeve tattoos. Yeah. It was a scene. A scene that I just don’t really get… But hey, if you’re into that, you go on with your bad self. Fashion is one thing, but manners and friendliness are another. And boy, were those fans friendly. The row behind us shared a ton of their spilled beer with us….. and their cigarette ash. That was pretty cool. In fact all the chain smokers in our section made sure that I got my daily dosage of second hand smoke, so that was incredibly helpful.  Other than that, people were generally pretty happy and friendly, and I got a couple salutes, hand shakes and toasts in honor of my outfit by some fellow fans of America.

IMG_1204All in all, it was quite impressive. The cars are sooo loud and beefy sounding that even a non-gear head like myself found it to be a thing of beauty. The cars go sooo fast. It’s hard to really get how fast they’re going if you just watch it on TV. I’ve always been like “Oh, yup. Moving cars…. That turn left……. For hours… And this is fascinating why ?”. But those little buggers fly & it’s pretty jaw dropping.

Even in the oppressive heat of mid-day July the fans really got into it, and stayed into it for the entire whole 4 hours. And it’s really hard to not get into the spirit of the moment when you’re surrounded by super enthusiastic fans who are cheering & standing up to wave every time their favorite driver goes by or passes someone or takes the lead, or if another car crashes, spins out or catches on fire. Cool stuff.  Not sure if I’d want to go to another NASCAR event, but it was definitely unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced before and I’m glad to have had the opportunity.

 

30 Seconds to Mars: in concert!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

About 10 years ago, I first heard of a band called 30 Seconds to Mars. At first, I thought that it was just a lousy rip off of a local punk band from the ’90s called “30 Seconds over Tokyo”. Then I hear that 30 Seconds to Mars was fronted by mid-late 90′s teen heart throb/actor Jared Leto. Leto’s extensive acting career consists of things like “My so-called Life”, “Requiem for a Dream” and “Fight Club”. I immediately mentally rename “30 Seconds to Mars”  to “My So-called Band” and forget about them….

Flash forward to last month. I’m sitting at home. Bored out of my skull. I need to get out of the house & do something. I start checking out what concerts are coming up in Boston. And I see that 30 Seconds to Mars have a show coming up at BU’s Agganis arena. Tickets aren’t totally ridiculously priced, and to be honest I’m somewhat curious to see if the band sucks or not, since I’ve heard that they have a pretty crazy following in Europe and South America.  Also, if I’m being totally honest with you and myself: I find Jared Leto somewhat dreamy in that cute androgynous/non-threatening kind of way. So sue me. I download the band’s 5 biggest hits & listen to them on repeat for about a week, so I’ll be able to sing along & look like I have always been a fan.

Last Sunday I dragged Devon to the show. I know I probably lost crazy punk rock points for going, but whatever. I’m always up for an adventure. The show looked like this:

I’d have to describe 30 Seconds to Mars as catchy screamo/emo/pop rock. Like Screamo that’s been manufactured to appeal to a wider audience, or something. I dunno. I used listen to a bunch of emo-ish stuff, so their music doesnt make my ears bleed. Some songs are pretty darn catchy and provoke just enough angst to make me want to go do something that my parents would disapprove of. Like staying out past curfew. Or drinking a beer. Or not cleaning my room.

I expected the crowd to be full of angry emo teenagers and for there to be a parent waiting room, or something. I was totally envisioning myself as one of the oldest people there. You know how at every show there’s always that 1 really old dude in the back, who looks totally out of place & gives off a creeper vibe? Yeah. I was thinking that that would be me. Surprisingly it wasn’t. I was probably actually one of the younger people there, as most people were probably in their mid 30s. I dunno if it’s because the concert was on a Sunday night, or what, but the crowd was actually full of a bunch of normal middle aged people.

Unfortunately Jared Leto was sick, or something, and you could tell it in his voice, as he couldn’t hold certain notes or sing at certain times. So that kinda sucks, but it seems like their band had a pretty intense tour, without any time to re-coup, so you figure these things must happen & I had to give him mad props for not just canceling the show. He definitely made up for his injured vocal cords with his stage presence. He hyped up the crowd really well & had lots of energy and whatnot. He had the crowd singing chorus’ when he wasn’t able to. Downside was that I think that most of the crowd had come mostly just to see Jared Leto & had never heard any of their music before. I was probably one of the only people in my section who was able to sing along to some of the stuff.  (Don’t judge me for having a good time!)

All in all it was a really fun time. Normally I’m not a stadium show kinda girl, but the band was good at working the crowd and making it feel like a more intimate venue. Can’t say if I’d go to one of their shows again, but I’ll probably check out any new music of theirs when it comes out. Thanks for the fun night 30 Seconds to Mars. I guess I’ll have to stop being an asshole about your band’s name now.

Emerging after a long frost.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011


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Originally uploaded by emmasart

The snow has melted, the earth has thawed and seedlings have started poking up all over. I’m finally able to start up my daily walks through the forest again. Today I went sans iPod and was kind of amazed by the peace & calm that came over me.

Just nature and myself. The sound of my breathing, the crunch of my feet on last year’s fallen leaves. Birds of all colors and sorts calling and singing. The rustle of brush that comes from chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits rooting around. The sound of a brook skipping over rocks as it empties into the pond. It smells intensely like spring.

I come to my favorite perch in the forest. An ancient fallen tree that rests half in the water, but that is still large enough to bear my weight when I walk out on it. I surprise about five turtles, who have been sunning themselves on the branches and they immediately hurl themselves into the safety of the pond. I sit down, straddling the horizontal tree. My feet floppily hang downwards, but are a bit short of touching the water. Staring out at the pond, the trees, the water lillies, absorbing the moment.

Grounding myself.

Via Flickr:
Wandering through the town forest.

Vegetable Garden – 2010 – Planning Phase

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Thanks Lilley1 from Flickr!

Spring is quickly approaching, and I finally got around to ordering seeds for my garden this year. I’ve decided to go through Johnny’S Selected Seeds, which is a local employee owned company that has pretty reasonable prices. In addition, I used their seeds last year & stuff turned out pretty well, so why not be a repeat customer? :)

This year I’m going with Red Grape Tomatoes, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Zucchini, Collard Greens and Scallions, along with some various herbs, and maybe I’ll pick up some Pepper or Broccoli plants later in the summer. The tomatoes should be interesting, as I’ve never grown those from seed before. Last year I just gaffed some plants from my mom, so hopefully I can figure it out on my own. Also, I’ve never tried scallions before, but how hard can they be? :)

Now all I need to do it get my gardening staff (aka Devon) started on building the 2nd raised bed so I can increase our harvest by double this year!