Monday, October 24, 2011

How Much Difference Does It Make

PBS aired Cameron Crowe's new documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty, over the weekend. As someone who "grew up" with their music in high school I totally enjoyed the video footage of their early performances, interviews with the seemingly personable band members, and an update about what they've been up to in recent years.

To me, the first half of the movie was the best part. The second half jumps around a bit, and doesn't go into much depth about what has really influenced where they're at now. I wish their had been interviews with close friends, wives, or family. I wish difficult questions had been asked. Are they still friends? Do they still make music together? When they made Vitalogy and started to implode as a band, what kept them from breaking up? Do they feel like they will now that Vedder is pursuing a solo project? I'm sure Cameron Crowe is dying to know what I think of his film, so will you pass this on to him if you have a chance? Great. Thanks.

So, Pearl Jam. I heart them. I heart them for wanting to make a difference and for being passionate about their work.
Here are a few comments from documentary interview footage that particularly interested me, for whatever reason:

"a real person, not a person trying to sound like another person"- on hearing Vedder's vocals.

"[we were] strangers coming from a similar place"- on Vedder joining the rest of the band, who were already friends.

"maybe talking about the dark parts of my life brings me happiness"-on why their music had an edge of "darkness", and would it ever be "happier".

"a grammy. what does it mean? you get an award for art?that's ridiculous!"-on being awarded a grammy, obv.

Also, who doesn't love a good plaid flannel shirt? No one, that's who. Get on your favorite flannel, crank up some rock & roll, and next time your friends are standing around in a group try diving into them!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Run Chicago!

 Myself, my awesome Chicago Marathon training group, and our friends and families carbed up at the Tuscany on Saturday evening before the race. Wow. It was SOOO good. I may have overdone it though, with the bread. Chalk that up to things to remember for next time. If there is a "next time"- talk to me several months from now about that!

 Post dinner Jon, Seth (my youngest brother), and I returned to Seth's apartment in Lakeview. The day felt a bit hectic: flying in, navigating our way into downtown and to the expo, picking up my race packet, dropping off our luggage, and then rushing to little Italy to join the crew at Tuscany. Another thing to remember for "next time"- don't exhaust yourself the day before running 26.2 miles.

 Saturday evening, I laid out my gear, set the alarm for 4:45 a.m., and went to bed (a bit later than I should have). Sunday morning came so fast! I got out of bed, got dressed and prepped, had my usual morning routine (2 cups of coffee and a protein bar) and headed to the train.

It took me a bit longer to get downtown than I anticipated so I was late to meet up with everyone at a hotel near the start. Here we are (photo above), bright, shiny, nervous, ready to go! We began the short walk down to the starting area as the sun was rising above the lake. Temps were in the 60's, very comfortable.We checked our bags (to have dry shirts, flip flops, etc at the finish), made last minute bathroom stops, and got in the corral.

A handful of us started the race together, but split up pretty early on so we could run at our own paces. I planned for a finish time of 4 hours and 30 minutes, which I thought was generous and would be no problem. HAHAHAHAHA. My finishing time was 4:45:39. And that took everything I had.

Here I am after the finish, about to reunite with everyone. What an epic feeling of accomplishment and relief! But, let me tell you more about what happened prior to this moment:
The first 10 or so miles were lovely. We ran along the beautiful lakeshore, and Jon and Seth came out and cheered for me at mile 7 and 8. There were lots of crazy fun "cheerleaders" along this part: great costumes, music blasting, plenty to look at. Seth also jumped in and ran about a mile with me here.
The next 6 miles or so began to decline in loveliness. I think I got a little bored, at this point I was running alone. The crowds were a little calmer, and I didn't feel their energy as much. Or maybe I just zoned out. Not sure.
The next 4 miles or so got a little better because a sweet girl by the name of Jenny Magill ran into me. She is an East Nasty who now lives in Chicago, and decided to run the marathon. She is an incredible runner: fast, ultra-marathoner, experienced, and super motivating to run with. She really supported and talked me through some tough miles, even though I was running a pace minutes slower than I know she would've done on her own. THANK YOU!
The next 6 miles got really hot. At this point we are headed back into downtown, no more shaded neighborhood streets, and the midday sun is beating down. I walked through every fluid stop, drinking a bit of gatorade and of bit of water. I took salt tablets, too, and never cramped up. At this point though, my legs just felt heavy. Heavy and so tired. Maybe I should have had caffeine at some point midway through the race. I took my shirt off because of the heat. I hate running hot and wearing extra layers. In retrospect, I  question that decision becuase now in all my end of race photos I notice the flab around my waist and how I look like I might pass out on the street. Oh well! The last couple miles Seth, Cristina, and Nicole jump in and run with me. What angels they are. Their pride and belief in me carried me through the most miserable part.
The last .2. Wow. What a mix of very intense emotions. I want to stop. I wonder why I chose to do this. I wrote my name on my race bib; total strangers yell my name and words of encouragement. Thousands of people are watching, I can't show weakness now. I see the finish line, and grandstands full of spectators on either side. I know elite runners have crossed this line and broken records. I know tens of thousands like me will cross it today and break their own records- not just of running, but of what they ever believed they were capable of. I'm getting chills just typing this out.

The post 26.2. Jon and Seth met me, and got me to our group of friends. I was glad to regroup, but also just wanted to go home and lay down! We walked a couple blocks to the red line and rode back to Seth's apartment on the north side of town. I have never been so happy to take an ice bath in my life- odd as it sounds, it felt great. So did a shower and some dry clothes. Next, I hobbled to Joy's noodles and had the best Thai curry ever!

I spent the next several days walk /hobbling about Chicago. Sore muscles, aching knees, and a bit of chafing were the worst I was left with. It's been 5 days, and I think I'm back to normal now! Will I do it again? Maybe I'll decide that after I can't remember anymore  how terribly painful those last several miles were!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hillsboro Village October Art Walk

  These are 8" x 10" ink & watercolor on paper, $40. If you're interested having a meerkat to call your own, just let me know!

 The Hillsboro Village Oktoberfest Art Walk last night was lovely. Bosco's Brewing Company & Restaurant invited me to be their featured artist for the event. Bosco's got very festive for the evening, and even brought in a band!

I'm ready for the weekend now; in the morning I'll be on a plane to Chicago and I'm already bursting with excitement! There will be plenty of awesomeness happening around Nashville though, too. It's still "Artober" which means a full calendar of creative events. Last weekend I worked with an Artober event, the Handmade & Bound Nashville Book Arts festival, welcoming families and encouraging kids of all ages to to get there hands dirty with sidewalk chalk. 

Here's to another wonder- full weekend! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Before and...

Only 80. 5 hours till my first marathon- Chicago. Not that I'm anxious or anything. I think I 'm ready, ready as I can be. I've trained well and planned for what I can. Now it just depends on last minute variables like weather (forecast is a little warm, but no rain!), the night before (nutrition and rest), and my knee (which is again sore).
We leave for Chicago on Saturday morning. The race is Sunday morning. If you think of it, say a prayer for me! I'll give you a run down next week (pun intended)! In it, I might even include before and after race shots inspired by Sacha Goldberger's "Before and After Shots of Joggers" project. 
What do you think of his project?
What do you think of my desire to run 26.2 miles throughout the windy city?

Maybe it relates to this sentiment? Ha!

images courtesy of pinterest

Monday, October 3, 2011

Art Slash Oktoberfest on Thursday!

I 've been experimenting with new little projects lately. This one began with a sheet of watercolor paper, liquid watercolors, and feathers on my mind.

Undiluted liquid watercolors produce very intense, brilliant color. After dripping them on a sheet of water color paper and letting it dry, I cut out multiple feather shapes. Using a fine point black sharpie, I added detail work to each of them.

After letting paint and ink dry thoroughly I attached, with glue, each feather to it's own 5" x 7" archival card.

The finished cards are blank inside, and also fit a standard size frame.Give your loved one a card with a sweet message while also giving them the gift of art! These are only $10 and will be available at my table in the Hillsboro Village Art Walk this Thursday, October 6, from 5- 8pm.

AND, the entire month of October is overflowing with creative events like the Hillsboro Village Art Walk, many thanks to Metro Nashville Arts Commission partnering with dozens of arts and cultural organizations to host the first annual "Artober". Many special art events throughout Nashville during the month of October are occurring, highlighting the depth and breadth of arts activities middle Tennessee has to offer! Check HERE for a full listing of events.