Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Weird goings on...

Hey people.  So, this is what happens when you leave your bikes home alone-- they call a bunch of their wild friends and before you know it...

That's what it looks like when you pack 7 bikes and 4 Honda's into your garage.  Yep, you heard right.  We brought home lucky #4 a couple weeks ago.  Here she is.  This is probably the one I'll de-wuss on and try riding again, since it shifts properly and presumably works how it is supposed to.  Cute huh?

The guy we got her from was kind of off the beam, so I pretty much took to him right away.  He's a motorcycle guy, who does something called "enduro racing".  This is basically the motorized version of mountain biking.  They ride dirt bikes on steroids (super fast, very heavy-duty suspensions) cross country on little deer trails etc as fast as they possibly can for about 100 miles at a time.

Here are a couple of the stickers he had on his main race ride.


We met this guy through Craig's.  He wanted to do a trade with someone-- a kayak for a trail 90.  Dan was on it like brass on a doorknob.  He was thinking of selling his kayak anyway.  He wants a smaller, lighter one.  We gave him Dan's kayak to try out, to see if he really wanted to do the trade, and he put a hole in it taking it over a dam.  Said everything would have been fine if he would have been going faster.  (This guy is pretty hard core.)  So, the swap was a done deal at that point.

Still, we went over there a couple more times because he offered to take a look at one of Dan's other Honda's, and, he's just a cool guy.  Here's one of his other motorcycles-- it's front AND rear wheel drive, and you can fill the wheels with water or extra gas.  It's called a "Rokon" I guess.

I know what you're thinking-- "mildly interesting maybe, but not that weird."  Yeah okay, but one thing that came up is that he is coincidentally friends with the founder of the mountain bike team most of the racers I know are on, so, that was kind of weird.  A little.

Okay okay!  Here.  HERE.  This is the thing that prompted a distubia post-- this doll called, no lie-- "Scary Baby."  A buddy sent it to me.  He and his wife do dog agility training and were at a class and someone was using this as the toy (reward) to motivate their dog to kick butt through the course.  "Get Scary Baby-- GET HIM!" shaking it all over etc.

He said the head was kind of gnawed on too.

Okay, that's more like it right?  But wait, even that, was just the excuse I've been waiting for to post THIS--- Dan's weird, random, super long hair growing right out of the middle of his body.

It's, like, 3 inches long, and growing out of his side.  When he discovered it I grabbed the camera, and, after a brief chase during which I almost pee'd my pants I was laughing so hard because he was shouting "I am not a freak!" -- I got this photo.  Thank god we didn't reproduce.  Who knows what kind of furry bigfoot babies we would have spawned.

And last but not least-- I've had this pic hanging around a while too.  It was snapped at local-weird-ladie's house, the one who has tons of nekkid dolls at every garage sale, usually in some weird display like tumbled in a barrel, or stacked like firewood in a log carrier.

We didn't stay long this year because she insisted on reading aloud to us, from Carl Rove's book.  "My life as the Evil Overlord", I think it was called.  Something like that.

Big art goings on right now-- I have 3 shows between now and Nov 6th, plus a couple commissions.  Those who don't know about my artblog-- I do have one.  It's kind of my "work" website.  You can check there for details about the upcoming shows.  The first one is at my place near the end of Aug.

I'll be putting pics on the "artstuff" page (see tab at top) more regularly.  Today there's a piece I just finished out of more old race car parts.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hey people.  How's your summer going so far?  I love these sunglasses, so retro, so obnoxious, so in your face summer vacation.

Me?  I've been getting back to normal life after Kate's visit.  I got really out of shape over the last month or so, thrown out of my usual work-out routine by other obligations.  The first couple times getting back to riding the trail were BRUTAL.  Today Dan discovered I was riding on only 10 lbs of air per tire (practically flat tires), so, that makes it a bit harder.

(I'm still a resident of suckville though-- lots of work to do to get back in form.  It seems in the last couple years I lose condition faster, and it takes longer to get back.  Hello oldness.)

I've picked up some riding tips lately that are helping.  I like learning more about riding, and having things to work on.  It makes it more encouraging than just thinking of it as needing to get in better shape.  There are skills to learn too.  A two-pronged approach.  It makes it seem attainable-- that someday maybe I'll actually not suck.  This possibility that I haven't yet reached my apex helps me enjoy the now.  I can see myself as still on an upswing, even as I contemplate what it will feel like to have to be satisfied with declining abilities as I get older.  I'm not there yet though. 

This shot is pretty bad, lifted from video, but I'm trying to ride the one jump I now attempt every time, usually with modest success.

When Dan & I ride we take video sometimes.  It's fun, sure, but it's good for learning too.  There was a guy that rode through right before I went, and Dan accidentally video'd him.  The guy got lots bigger air than me, and now I can compare what we did.  I think I figured it out.  Tomorrow I'll try changing my approach a little and see if I'm right.

Anyway, in the meantime-- "WEE!"

Here's some of what sis and I got up to before she left town.  This was the gold bikini top incident in Target.  That's her, "Would you hurry up and take this?" face because some girls were looking at us.  I no longer really give a crap, and know most people who look are just jealous they aren't having as much fun.  Or, are possibly annoyed for no good reason, so-- I still do not care.  We are not hurting anyone, so piss-off cranky people.

Some guy I started calling "blingy dad" looked at us weird when we rode on this kiddie ride at MOA, having way too much fun, laughing like spazzes, but he wound up laughing and probably having more fun than he planned going on some lame ride with his little kid, so did the people in line laughing at us.  Joy spread.  You're welcome, America.

Back to our dork-out shopping trip.  Katie won the contest of finding the world's biggest, and most annoying earrings.  These were not only huge, but as she pointed out, super LOUD-- for the win!

But I won for biggest and most ridiculous hat.

These were the most hideous shoes we could find.  They were RUBBER people, with little portholes in the arch to presumably let your foot-sweat pour out of.

These though, are my shoe porn until my boots-jones is sated, sometime this fall.  I WANT THEM.  Now my fitness goals are as follows-- #1--get good enough at riding and in good enough shape to maybe enter some for-fun races at the trail this fall and A) not die, & B) not make a total fool of myself and #2-- to become thin and fit enough to wear these and effing ROCK them.

I have to say Katie looked pretty effing hot in them.  You should totally get a pair Kate!  We'd have to coordinate not wearing them on the same day so the Earth wouldn't get thrown off kilter or anything, but we could work it out.

We also took a little nature break, just a small one.  (Hey-- those kidless hours are few and far between.)


This is really what we like doing, and where we like to be.  We can have fun anywhere, and make our own fun, just like we always have-- through all the moving around etc, playing in big cardboard boxes, not knowing any kids etc, but nature is where our hearts really live.  Check out this cool huge tree we found.
We're already planning another escape from crappy Texas (okay, my words, not hers) where we'll go up to the north shore-- no kids, to just hike all day long, for a few days anyway.  I hope it works out.

Sheesh, another longy.  Sorry guys.  I just have so much to say right now.  Grandma is still recouping and looking actually better than she has in months, and I have tons of art stuff going on too.

I can't believe summer is going to fast!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In the summertime...doo dee dee daht daht

Hey people.  Sis hit town a couple weeks ago.  She was pretty psyched about being in MN again.

It wasn't just her, she brought the brood too-- (the kids she had for me basically, my protege niece-- mini me & my future rock star/heart & rule-breaker nephew.)

Kate's almost 5 years younger, so when we were kids, she was the little pain in the butt I always had to keep track of, but now, we both agree, we have a major connection.  We can totally be ourselves around each other, and dork-out.  Like, all the way out.

I'll say one thing for her, and I suppose I have to credit the hubs in this case too, at least in his role as sperm donor if nothing else-- they sure do make 'em cute.  (There was a bit of ice cream eating during their visit.)

Megan and I have had a connection ever since I first laid eyes on her, even though I AM NOT a baby/toddler person.  To me they are like gelatinous aliens, what with all the excretions and lack of head supporting ability and inability to communicate with other humans.  To this day we can read each other pretty well, and she's very creative and artistic.  She always has some kind of narrative playing out in her head, and she's an adventuress.

The boy & I, on the other hand, got off to a rockier start.  He had the whole baby/toddler thing going on, PLUS this whole other "making monster truck and automatic weapons noises in utero" *boy* thing.  He would just look at me with pure defiance and scream or cry or yell, whatever he needed to do to get the message across he was def UP for the battle of wills that was to play out between us for the first few years.

Now though, he just turned six, and we are finally clicking.  We like each other now, kind of a lot.  He hasn't figured out much beyond "I love Aunt Sue, & she seems pretty crazy about me too", but this kid is going to be happy to have me in his corner as things unroll.

The pic above makes him look kind of "actiony", but really, he squeals like a little girl every time he gets dirt on him.  Because of where they live (you know, TX-- the raging hottness, fire ants, bald-eagle-sized mosquito's, huge bugs and snakes, and, HOTTNESS) the kids exist kind of like potted plants and hardly ever play outside unless forced, like being signed up for soccer or T-ball.  Here he is modeling his T-ball uniform.  Jr. GQ.

But really what turns this kid's crank-- is this-- the boy likes to ROCK.  Check it out.  This is what sis got him for his birthday last month.  They are exactly like the set I wanted, except mine were, you know, adult sized.


When there's music playing anywhere, he's tuned completely in.  Seriously, he's possessed by boogie fever.  Check it out.  (He developed this thing where he walks up to us and says, "Hey Ladies, I got a little song for ya" and busts out some jam.  That's what he's saying at the beginning.)



This can, at times, be embarrassing, like when he was singing, "I got my red dress on and I'm looking for action" at the top of his lungs in the grocery store, or like here-- in Target's swim suit section.  Sis and I had just (of course) tried on these awesome GOLD bikini tops over our clothes and hammed-it-up for each other, when Jaden insisted on doing the same.  The second he got it on he started dancing around singing, "La cuceracha".  Passersby did not think it was as funny as we did.

I kind of love it (of course).  Already his dad is warning him music is not a career path.  The kid's six.  The kid's got music in his soul.  Dad may just have to suck it.  I'll of course support any out of the box thing these kids decide they want to do.  One day I hope to have some pretty hot backstage passes from this little dude.

Here's a pic he took of us and it's kind of funny, and telling.  Here we are as we appear to him-- beams of adoration emanating from his mom, amused, affectionate curiosity from me, and we're giant, having to actually bend down to fit within the frame. 

They love coming up here.  In summer you can actually GO OUTSIDE AND DO THINGS, in winter the snow's a novelty, and they all kind of like being out of their usual kind of hectic routines, and away from the critical glare of hubs/dad.  Sad but true.  I'm just glad they dig coming up.  Meg seems to let a little of her stress go up here. 

It was pretty nice weather, hot to us, mild to them.  We got to fool around in the river a bit.

We set up a little camp on the bank by crushing the tall grasses down with our towels.  We brought tunes, snacks & drinks.  The only rules were-- "no whining, fighting, loud voices, or going over your head."  It was awesome.  Our secret retreat.  Megan took care of little bro, reassured him and pulled him around in his inner tube.

There was a parade one night too, that went right past my driveway.  Unbelievably, half the town turns out to see this.  A friend who recently moved to town, upon finding out about a free concert in the little town park one night, and this parade the next, commented, "Where the hell is this place?  Mayberry?"
Yeah, kind of.

Sure the parade is corny, but it's kind of fun.  Where else can you see this?

Or this?


One of the funniest entries, was this pick-up truck with no door magnets or signage of any kind, except this piece of cardboard torn off a box hanging over the side of the bed from regular old string.  Written in barely legible magic marker, (just kind of scribbled on really) it said something like, "The Big Lake Go Getters" and a phone number.  There were a couple of lazy-looking teens moping in the back.  By the time sis pointed it out I missed the shot.  Bummer.

I got Tina done in time for the big mountain bike race, in case you didn't go over to the "Art Stuff" tab and see the whole story on her over there.  She's not installed quite yet, but we're scoping out spots and a tamper proof-way to secure her.  

Of course the night before there was a monster storm.  Here's Dan and Kate, out on the deck as the winds came up and it was thundering and lightening like crazy, and it was starting to pour, and they're both OUTSIDE.  (They get along really well.  I like it that two of my favorite people like each other.)

Here's the cats-- where any sensible creature should be when there's a tornado warning in your area.  (I put the macs down there too-- "Save the macs!")

The trail had been, due to copious amounts of sweat and many MANY hours of grooming by the trail crew, TrailBossRich in particular, immaculate before the storm.  Of course over twenty trees went down overnight and the whole crew, including me got called to help clear the debris at 5 a.m. the morning of the race.  It wasn't as perfect as it had been, but it was ride-able, and really pretty darn good considering.  About a dozen people showed up before dawn to work their butts off, then some of them even RACED later.  See?  They are hard core.


Man, a whole bunch of other stuff happened I can't even fit in this post.  Kate & me dorked-out shopping one day, my G'ma had a major health scare, like, major.  She is still, amazingly, recovering from.  (It's amazing because she's still alive!)  But I just can't fit anymore in one post. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sisterlandia

Hey people.  Sis hits town tonight, so I'm sure what with developing our careers as back-up singers and all, I'll be way too busy to blog.  I may be able to document the hijinx as it happens, but most likely will save it all up for a big post apocalyptic visit extravaganza.

I'm sure there will be the usual pretending to be Charlie's Angels type activities.

Possibly requiring some kind of matching crime fighting uniforms.  (Gee, can you tell who the good cop and who the bad cop is?)

And as is usually the case it will all devolve into some kind of bad dancing, maybe while pretending to be robots, probably accompanied by the usual high risk of pants wetting.


As Megan gets older, the potential to embarrass her with our dorky behavior keeps increasing.  This, of course, makes it exponentially more fun for us to think of ways to capitalize on this.  After all, what's the fun of having kids around if you can't train them to give you foot massages and fetch you tasty beverages, and have a good laugh at their expense now and then?

Big PS here-- Tina is all done!  Checker her out on the "art stuff" page!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Whipped

Hey people.  Painting an old all-wood building is a lot of work.  There are no aluminum eaves, or any parts you don't have to paint really.  All the trim etc all needs to get painted, and before that can happen-- prep'd.  It's taking a LOT longer than I thought it would, but it's coming along.  And look how pretty all the flowers will look!

There have been baby animals galore visiting Suelandia lately.  You can see some over on the "Take a break" page.  I'll try to add more this week-- I got some footage of the raccoon family and a bunch of turkeys-- moms and chicks.  They left this behind.  Turkey feathers are so pretty-- all browns but sort of iridescent.  (It is sitting on top of the box my friend's gift to me came in.  She MADE the box, and the book inside!  That will be a whole post another time.  Cool huh?)


I'm still wrestling with my over-commitments around here.  Last night I sort of hit the wall.  I fell asleep almost immediately when I finally sat down on the sofa, and will have to watch it this week because I'm borderline physically-- my hands are super sore (joints etc) and blistered, I have a number of gnarly bruises, and everything is pretty creaky.

The weekend was pretty tough work-wise.  Dan wanted to get as much done on the shop as possible, which was really nice actually since it's basically a cosmetic improvement that was my idea, but it meant working pretty hard in the hot sun from early in the morning until practically sunset every day, and it was HOT.  Did I mention that?

This isn't that bad, except I'd promised to help prep the mountain bike trail for the biggest race of the year a while back, and that was going on all weekend too.  I ducked in for less than an hour one day to help, while some paint was drying, and put in a pretty healthy half day yesterday, but it kind of sucked.  It wasn't nearly the level of help I'd promised the organizer.

I felt like wherever I was, I needed to work extra hard and fast to help make up for my absence, and like I was disappointing everyone-- Dan doesn't really get my dedication to the trail, which is maintained exclusively by volunteers.  He usually tries not to show it, but gets impatient with my involvement. But the place is very important to me, and the other volunteers have become friends I don't want to let down, and I had promised to help.  Then because of the way the painting project developed, any time I spent over there was stolen time.  Result?-- Feeling like I was letting all parties down while pushing myself beyond my physical limit work-wise.

Oh, and sis is still coming to town this week and my house is basically a pit.  I do also have a job by the way, and that is all still going on-- shows to get ready for and commissions to complete.  Plus, there's Tina, another love letter to the trail that takes up a lot of my time, but is my favorite project.  She's almost done, but presents another of those walking the line of irritating Dan "working for free" situations.

I could really use a clone of myself about now.