Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ugh .... High School Reunions.

A friend posted on FB yesterday her contemplations of possibly going to her HS Reunion. Boy, did that get me thinkin'. I went to our 10 year reunion a few years back, with a friend that really really wanted to go. I however, really, really, really did NOT. But, I love her, and know how much it meant to her to go, so we did. What a freaking laugh fest. It was (apparently) billed as a tail gate party at the school's big homecoming game. I wouldn't know, because I wasn't actually invited. I thought to myself - that's not too bad. Maybe these people have relaxed a little, you know - gotten more down to earth. I should have known better. To me, a tail gate party is just that - grills, coolers - in the parking lot. Maybe a boom box. No. These people catered it, and held it in the cafeteria. Really? WOW. Whoever planned it - wow. Ya sure lived up to Lakeshore's reputation. That's all I'm going to say.

Yikes. How many of you reading this knows what the hell that thing is? If you don't that's my old school mascot. It's a lancer. No, not a knight. A lancer. Medieval re-enactors are rolling their eyes somewhere, I'm sure.
This was/is one of the biggest schools in the area. They have great programs for college bound kids that are overly focused on academics. As you can tell, I was not one of them. I entered my rebellious stage early. Some time in elementary school, I think. No, maybe it was at birth. I don't know. either way, I did not like being told what I should be/what I should do/how I should think. That in it's own could have made life at this particular school system hell.
But, I was WAY too stubborn for that.
***note to people thinking about putting their child in this school system - if your kid is extremely competitive this is SO the school for them. IF they are extremely sensitive - please, for their sake, look elsewhere. There is a ridiculously high population of these predatory creatures.

Evil little fashionista wanna bees that generally need their butt's kicked. Hmmm. They never bothered me much. Probably because I once (okay, maybe twice) threatened to swing them around by their hair if they crossed me.

Of course, I was not a high style kinda girl. I wasn't even trendy. I have dressed in a similar style since I was a kid, all through HS, and still to this day, pretty much dress in the same manner. Around here, it's always been a generally accepted look. So, it was quite unfortunate for me when during my tender teenage years, the grunge look came in.

First off - who the hell decided to call it GRUNGE??? It's not grungy. It's comfy. It's layered. Warm. Sure, it can be a little eclectic, but wtf? Everyone I knew took regular showers, so where is it grungy??

Let me explain my general Michigan style. Cuz, It needs to be explained, because it's not grungy.
I wore/wear my hair long. I never never styled it. Hell, I was lucky if it stayed brushed from my room to the car. I did not, and still do not own a hairdryer, or curling iron. No hairspray either. No product at all, in fact.

I wore concert tees from my favorite bands. This one was my favorite, bar none. For the record, I rarely wear concert shirts any more. I stick now to plain colors, or snarky one liners.

A big baggy flannel shirt that my Dad could quite comfortably wear was a MUST. The better to hide in, my dear. So functional. And, necessary in Michigan. You see, it can be 30 in the morning, 68 by noon - 80 by 3, and near freezing after dark. And it's May, folks. Ya need to LAYER.

Red is the standard 'I'm a hunter' color. I have 3. Love them all. I sport one much like this nowadays. My favorite one at the moment has a cream colored back ground with several different browns as the stripes. I ADORE it!!

Torn up jeans were a must have for me. However, as I said - I was not being stylish. I bought my jeans whole. I wore them whole until they got a hole --- then I kept wearing them until they were completely shredded. I remember my dad BEGGING to take me to the mall to buy me new clothes because he hated my jeans. I usually refused. I hated clothes shopping. Still do.
However, I generally toss the torn jeans nowadays. Too many biting flies out at the horse barn. Don't want to make it too easy for them.

BLACK Converse Chuck Taylor's All Stars were a daily MUST. THIS is the one thing that I came on from the group I hung with - the only thing that I picked up in High School from someone else. Before that, I wore work boots, tennis shoes or cowboy boots.
The thing about these Chuckies - to me they are absolutley irresistable to NOT write on. I had song lyrics on my toes, down the sides of the rubber strip, on the heels, insides of the shoe on the white canvas - on the star logo.... and then there was the paint. These shoes were incredibly embarrasing to me unless I had a little paint on them. By the time I was done, they were undeniably mine. Paint splatters, worn out ink pen lyrics & poems, sayings & even friendly teachers would add to my shoe graffiti. I guess they thought if I was doing it to my shoes, I wasn't doing it anywhere else.

Mine were always black. In retrospect, I should have embraced the colors. If I did, it's very likely that I would have a collection much like this guy right here.

I wasn't a bad kid. I kept my head down, minded my own business unless someone tried to hassle me, or a close friend. Never did my homework, but aced all the tests - so, passed with solid C's most of the time. I was never interested in sports, which, in that school, is like an automatic snub from both kids & teachers. It's almost like they think non-athletes are automatically trouble makers. I was artsy, but tough. Didn't do drugs, didn't drink, didn't date - I'd had offers on all 3, I just chose not to. More than can be said for those 'squeaky clean' athlete types.
As I type this, I am more confused than ever as to why anyone would want to relive their High School experience. I don't care how happy you were in HS, that was an awful awkward self absorbed point of life for everyone that lived through it. WHY? WHY would you want to go back to it?
I have no plans to attend another HS reunion. Those that are worth talking to, I talk to. I get theses lovely updates on Facebook from the people that I think were/are nice. And, to our class's credit - that's most of them. I would love to get with any of them individually, but a formal at the school kind of function? NO THANKS. No disrespect to those that love them, but I never was one for large school functions.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Homeschooling Is Fun-ny.

This is the face I got a little bit ago. This is his "I-am-so-not-happy-right-now" look. It shouldn't but it cracks me up. Here was how our conversation went:
Big Boy: 'Do I have to do more Swedish right now?'
Big Mean Mommy: 'Yes, keep going - you're doing great!'
Big Boy: ' But Mom, this is hard.'
Big Mean Mommy: ' I know honey, but you really are doing great. Just keep repeating it back when they say it. You'll get it fast.'
Big Boy: 'But, I got like, 6 wrong. I stink at this.'
Big Mean Mommy: 'How many questions were there?'
Big Boy: 'I think it said there was 62. But I got 6 wrong!!!!'
(he was very upset. Have I mentioned he's a perfectionist?)
Big Mean Mommy: 'Honey, that's great!
Big Boy: 'No it's not. I got 6 wrong. Why are we learning Swedish anyhow? Why can't we learn Paris?' (French, people. He was refering to French.)
Big Mean Mommy: 'Because it's what some of Mommy's ancestors spoke, and I think we should learn it too. It's pretty'.
Big Boy:'Paris talk is pretty too.'
Big Mean Mommy: 'Yes, it is, but I can't yell at you in public in French. Too many people know French in this part of the world. I can get mad in Swedish and only you, me & your brother will know what the hell I'm saying. So study up.'

He is doing well, and he's quite proud of himself. He shows off to his dad all the time.

As would be natural, he wanted to know where Sweden was, and if it had any volcanoes. So we checked the map.....Yep. There it is. I couldn't find any volcanic info, though .... google has failed me before.

While I was at it, I showed him where our 'cousin' Anne lives in Sweden. It's a tiny little town to the extreme south, near Denmark. But, lets face it. A map doesn't always give you a feel for a place. So I found a few pics from the Skane reigon. Now, tell me - who wouldn't want to visit this place - especially during harvest time???

I could SO live here. Except for the whole crazy-gun control thing. Yeah, that wouldn't fly too well with me. Otherwise.... Yowza! See .... that could be MY little red house, tucked into the pretty pretty yellow field, with the forests in the background!

Thankfully, I think I still have a few years before I need to use Swedish girls' infamously famous good looks *ahem, ahem* as bait for him to continue his scholarly endeavors into Svenska. But when I do, that's one area I'm sure Google will not fail me. Oy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Lovely Lady Memorial Project

Quite a while back, I talked about my crazy psycho redhead horse that eventually had to be put down. If you missed it, and have no idea what I'm talking about now - here's a link for ya. Just be sure you have time to read all 5 parts - or stop at 4 and forget number 5 ever happened. That's fine too. Bring a tissue if you're into horse operas.

Anyhow, the truth is - I finished my rough sketch quite a while ago. Check out the date in the corner of the last photo, near her neck.
Yeah. It's been a little while.
I thought I should share these here, and mention that I have yet to decide if this should be watercolor or oil paint, or if I should transfer this contour/line drawing to a nicer sheet of paper and just finish it out as a drawing. If you have an opinion, chuck it at me! I am kind of stuck!

I made her eye a little softer than it was in real life. I like to imagine she's not stressed out in the hereafter/heaven/whatever you believe in.

I focused on that dang crooked blaze for all of about 15 minutes. I can't express it's weirdness in a line drawing anymore than I have. You can't tell, but the inside of that nostril is black.

I kind of left the mane out at this point, short of it's general shape - mostly because, well.... she wasn't chestnut as I was taught. Chestnut is kind of the same color mane, body & tail, and she had just about every color in the horsey rainbow in her mane & tail. That, I was told, was Sorrel. Sorrel is kind of hard to paint/draw because you want to find the definition between the different colors - but you can't, because they aren't clumped up. It's kind of irritating when you're in that super-focused-need-to-get-it-just-right mode.

Overall, I think I have a solid start, but do I go with the laid back near translucent glow that comes from watercolors, or the deep, radiating warmth that only oil paints can exude?
Or should I scrap the idea of either in favor of a black & while highly intensive contour/line drawing shaded from here to Tecumseh? I feel the need for color. Ugh. This stinks.