subdued, simpler, smarter, selfiebration-ish


Back from BlogHer14, missing pretty much all the parties and the sessions yet my head and my heart are full.

For me, there was scarcely any time for pictures but plenty of time for meeting up with old friends; not all as life and commitments always are calling, but some…enough to fill me up with the love, inspiration and encouragement I have been missing…needing. And all together we were enjoying our time. Time to hug a lot. Time to network. Time to talk about our writing, our photography and what drives us to post and create on our spaces. Reflecting on the fact that, yes, we are the “veteran bloggers”. Time taken to realize that, OMG, our kids are growing (grown) up much too fast while we seem to be getting older, perhaps grayer, achier and a little creakier. No one really wants to talk about those hormonal hot flashes but thank goodness for the Yoplait Greek Yogurt fans one could pick up in the Expo hall along with some other swag.

side note: Today I learned that swag is actually an acronym for “stuff we always get”. So says my darling daughter, Abby….The more you know.

I do regret not planning to attend the full conference as it did seem to be getting back to the basics…the blogging, the writing, the putting ourselves out there because we are enough in everything that we do everyday.

Thank goodness for Twitter and BlogHer live blogging everything. I know it’s not the same but it’s almost enough.

Meanwhile there were still many opportunities to be engaged here networking, walking through the expo, screening a movie coming soon to a theater near you, enjoying delicious food while talking with incredibly smart people about that which they are passionate about, sitting together in a suite with an incredible view discussing women, health issues, politics, mid-term elections, changing the world, telling our stories, empowering and encouraging one another.

Meanwhile, Khloe Kardashian showed up in the Expo Hall.

Whatever.

This was a much more subdued, simpler BlogHer and I definitely liked it. I’ll write more about it later. For now it’s family circus time.

 

 

and after the show


Nothing shows more birthday love than some “Man-Cake” maple chocolate bacon cupcakes from Christina’s Cupcakes.

Am I right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah…just hurry up with the “Happy Birthday” song so I can enjoy my chocolately, maplely, bacon man-cake goodness.

All kidding aside, my darling husband did enjoy his day of moving furniture for his first-born, magic compliments of Alex Ramon, tri-tip dinner with his noisy family circus gathered round followed with some delicious cupcakes and ice cream because it is also National Ice Cream Day

coincidence?

I think not.

 

birthday #newmagic


Your darling husband is turning 51 and you really want to gather the family circus to do something fun with him when what do your wandering eyes see but an old (not really old)  magical friend is coming to town with new magic to share.

Yes.

Perfect!

Our family circus first met Alex Ramon when he was performing at the “Zingmaster” for Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey presents Zing Zang Zoom Circus. Like every one else, we truly were mesmerized as he made an elephant disappear, levitated members of the audience and transformed a man into a tiger right before our very eyes. But more importantly, we never forgot our conversations backstage before the show where he shared with us his love and enthusiasm for magic and the opportunity to come back to his home in the Bay Area and perform. Three years later, Jodie and I ran into him in Tahoe where he had been performing in his long-running show, Illusion Fusion, at the Horizon. It was there that my darling daughter literally ripped Alex’s heart into pieces which he magically (of course) pieced back together. With the closing of the Horizon Casino this past Spring came the opportunity for Alex to go on tour with NEW MAGIC with first stops in Northern California because you can go home again.

With only one performance in Modesto today, six members of our circus were guests of Alex’s including my darling husband, the birthday boy…

…who perhaps was a little too enthusiastic in locking Alex in shackles leaving marks on his wrist. “He said put them on tight.“, Bill argues.

Yes, he did. Still Alex got out of those shackles…several times.

#NewMagic is absolutely fun, family-friendly, audience participation entertainment that will not fail to hold you spellbound as you watch illusions performed that make you truly wonder if this is real or a dream.

Northern California readers be sure to catch Alex and the lovely, Meghan in the next few weeks at Vacaville on July 27, Livermore on August 10, and Marin on August 17.

Go.

See.

This.

Show.

I promise you that you will be as mesmerized as we were this afternoon. After the show most definitely take the time to stop and say hello to Alex as he is waiting after the show to say hello to you too.

Be sure to tell him the Scarborough Family Circus sent you.

The above review of #NewMagic is my own opinion. I received no compensation other than tickets for my family and me to attend the show. My thanks to Alex Ramon and Gallo Center for the Performing Arts for the hospitality and the magic today.

all we really needed to know we learned at dance competitions


Um, actually no. All we really needed to know we did learn in kindergarten just like Robert Fulghum said. But while dancing competitively and supporting that competitive dancer all these years we certainly put it all into practice.

As Jodie is packing away her costumes and cleaning out her makeup box we are finding ourselves both reflecting on the last seven seasons. It seems like it was only last week or so that we were packing those dance bags for her very first competition. Yet here we are, reflecting on all that we learned and have put into practice at dance competitions and, I imagine, will continue to in real life.

Jodie learned very quickly to be gracious always in victory and in defeat. At one of her very first competitions, we witnessed first hand a sweet little dancing snowflake express her disappointment in the judges’ result by smashing her trophy in the parking lot as her dance mommy did her best to soothe her angry, disappointed snowflake. Jodie observed correctly (before I could even say a word) that if she did that she would likely never be allowed to dance again.

True that!

Through the years, Jodie has scored many trophies, ribbons, plaques and pins as the shelves her daddy installed above her dance barre prove. The diamonds, platinums, lightning golds, high golds and golds she is very proud of and were all accepted graciously and humbly. But not to be forgotten are the emeralds, high silvers and silvers which were also accepted with gratitude. At Nationals this last week she received a high silver for one of the dances that she danced in. Disappointed? Oh yes she was…very much so…but one would never know watching her accept that award and shake the judge’s hand nor did they know as she left the stage and walked with me back to our hotel room that night.

As with any competitive sport/activity, Jodie learned to be responsible for her own crap, er, equipment, shoes, makeup, costumes, props. Sure I helped over the years to take inventory, pack it up, hang them up and carry them everywhere we should go; but ultimately everything she needed for dance was her responsibility. Her teachers taught her that as did her parents because are we really going to be there to take care of all these things as she goes out on those auditions? Um, no.

Being part of something bigger than herself, Jodie learned a lot about what it really means to be a part of a team. One must show up and honor their obligations to the people who are depending on them to show up and give their all to the team effort. Sadly, a few times while dancing competitively she has been partnered with dancers who sometimes just didn’t show up physically or mentally. It was hard for her and the rest of the team to fill in those gaps but they did. Under their teacher’s instruction and their families encouragement, they learned that is what you do when you are a part of a team…as you do in real life.

She also learned that everyone really is replaceable.

Opportunities have come and gone. Thanks to her teachers’ instruction, encouragement and connections, Jodie has taken classes, learned choreography and danced with a lot of professional dancers and choreographers and she has taken each opportunity as a chance to learn, grow and make friends. Not once has she ever taken for granted these opportunities.

And as with awards and critiques, be gracious always for those opportunities for you never know where they might take you.

Much has been learned over the years. It is bound to take her far in  life through many adventures whether she be on stage or not.

A friend of mine, whose daughter wants to dance competitively, asked me recently what was she getting herself into. I assured her that there will be all kinds of money spent, all kinds of drama, all kinds of exhaustion guaranteed. I also promised her there would be so many teachable moments for her little girl on the dance floor, in the studio and traveling on the road. Adventures definitely await her and her tiny dancer; and with an open heart and mind and a willingness to work hard and learn much god only knows where they will end up.

For us, for Jodie, the next part of the adventure is just beginning.

 

 

 

 

boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, ‘murica and all that sh!t


I really don’t care what you all might think but I hate the 4th of July.

Sorry.

No, not sorry.

I miss my brother. Today is his birthday. He should be here. But he’s not. Yeah, it’s been ten years, I know.

Whatever.

Grief is weird like that. It changes shape, but it never ends. Birthdays are hard. Birthdays are real hard. You bury your brother much too young then maybe you’ll understand. On second thought, I hope that you never do understand.

Thank goodness for my circus. They might not totally get the tears, the melancholy I feel when everyone else is waving the flags at the parades or boating and drinking or barbeque-ing or the blowing up fireworks because it’s ‘murica. But they do love me. They do care. That’s for real. We all should be so lucky to be surrounded like I was today…even when I was alone, sitting in my car at the car wash crying. I had this to come home to.

‘murica!

When I look to the sky something tells me you’re here with me
And you make everything alright
And when I feel like I’m lost something tells me you’re here with me
And I can always find my way when you are here