Thursday, July 30, 2015

You took the spot, now stay in it

In formation flying, there's an important skill called station keeping. This means staying in the correct position relative to other planes in the group. It's critical for safety as well as the symmetry of the formation.

Ladies of today's Turbo Kick class, I want to introduce you to station keeping. This means STAY IN YOUR DAMN PLACE, thankyouverymuch.

And it's critical to my safety since your dervish-like side kicks and uppercuts seemed to gravitate toward me at every opportunity and I spent more time watching you than keeping up with the crescent kicks and air jacks.

To be clear: It doesn't mean inching toward your neighbor during combinations. It is not traveling backward when kicking. And it certainly doesn't involve following me when I find a new position 10 feet away. No, it definitely doesn't mean that.

So kickboxers and you, too, Zumba chicks, I beseech you: For my safety and yours (because I really am getting good at round houses), stay. in. your. spot.

That is all.


Other fitness class rants:
- "Stealing" someone's spot: Loathing and loving (?) fitness class characters
- Fitness class characters
- Zumba, where have you been all my life?
- Not all Zumba classes are created equal
- Braving Bikram: What I learned about hot yoga, day 1
- If Zumba fitness is your New Year's goal, don't stop dancing
- Diary of Mad Muscles
- Mad Muscle Redux

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Anniversary the fifth

We'd just parked by the fuel pumps after an hour of Bonanza flight training. We'd gone out to get me comfortable in the high performance, complex airplane before our long trek to Oshkosh in it the next day. Sacramento's 100+ temperatures and mid-air bumps got the best of me though and I ambled down the ramp in search of water to splash on my face.

As I moved, sweaty and queasy, toward the restroom, I glanced around the beige buildings and rubber stained runways of McClellan Airfield. Five years ago on that particular day, I took a different walk. In a long white dress. Surrounded by family and friends. Hand-in-hand with my beloved.

July 17, 2010 the new Mr. and Mrs. at the California Aerospace Museum at McClellan Park, Sacramento, California.
Photo by the incredible Beth Baugher of True Love Photos.

So much has changed in the last five years. T became a corporate executive type. My sojourn to the desert came and went. T trained and became a leader in formation flying. Goliath had all but five teeth pulled. We visited Alaska. I became Dr. Shawna and started learning how to fly. We finally put in a back yard. T multiplied our fleet of cars. I landed a tenure track gig. And we've found excuses to throw awesome parties as often as possible.

What remains the same, however, is the love stuff. At this five year mark, I'm incredibly grateful to have a loving, faithful, funny partner who is so easy to love. Looking forward to the next five minutes and five years. Happy anniversary, T!


P.S. And because I can't help it...
Show-stealing ring bearer, Grant, who is so grown up now!
An original song by Brenda Malvini.
Signed, sealed, delivered. (Such a great recession song!) 
My favorite thing about Beth was how she captured the candid moments. 
A few quiet minutes before the reception.
B, me and Marm. 
Yeah, so my Wedding Princesses are now driving and/or graduated high school. Bizarro-world!
My favorite shot from the day. Who falls down in their wedding dress, really?
Still trendy in 2010.
With one of my favorite planes, the C-47.
So strange to think I was just an aviation enthusiast back then and not a pilot.
His cuteness.
Looking forward to seeing these folks next weekend!
My favorite ladies!
For Sacramento #avgeeks the California Aerospace Museum is a great venue!
I am such a lucky lady.
All pictures by the photo genius Beth Baugher of True Love Photo.

Friday, July 10, 2015

On birthdays and brain mortgages

"How old are you going to be this year?"


"34? Are you sure? How old am I again?"

"What year is it?"

Yeah, those are snippets of actual conversations from around the Redden abode as my June birthday approached. Apparently we've lost all track of our middlin', non-milestone ages as of late.

Though I'm not bothered by the getting older (yet?), it's a little strange sometimes. Like the other night, when making fun of So You Think You Can Dance contestants' penchant for performing backwards-facing splits whilst looking suggestively over their shoulders (see here).

I got into split position and was poised for mockery when my feet slid out awkwardly. Thanks to a double gym class earlier that day, I could barely walk as it was. I ended up feet out, buns up, hands splayed on the ground in front of me trying not to hit my head on an end table before completely crumpling. I cackled as Mr. T yelled "33!", teasing me about not being so young and spry anymore. I was the height of sexy, let me tell you.

Luckily, four days later I can almost walk normally again. Almost.

All of that said, get older I did, celebrating my birthday for the last several weeks. It's been glorious. The pinnacle, naturally, was very hip and high adventure: We paid off my brain mortgage! I may be old-ish and out of shape, but hot damn, I own all of my smarts now.


P/S Some celebration snaps:

Bright birthday flowers from dear friends.
Do you have a flag? Early birthday awesome: A 16-year dream come true! 
This genius got me Eddie Izzard tickets back in February. February. So much time to get excited!
Fell in love with Eddie Izzard when I first saw Dress to Kill in 1999.
Eddie Izzard's show, Force Majeure, sold out in Sacramento. LOVED the vibe and everyone's excitement.
Threw a little shindig in June to celebrate all things summer. Had a fun time with friends and family, burning thighs not withstanding. (There's apparently a relationship--the more awkward the pose, the slower the camera person!)
I love when the hottest day of the summer is when I decide to throw a party, but thankfully the Delta breeze showed up. Really grateful for our beautiful community of family and friends.
The best! I keep threatening to tack it to the front door.
Day-of celebrations, Cold Stone and girly craft project not pictured. 
Day-after birthday "gift" involved paying off the brain mortgage (student loans!). I figured homemade peach pie was a worthy reward for owning my smarts outright.
Belated birthday and Father's Day shindig. In case you wonder, Lady A has grandpa wrapped around her little finger.
Yellow cake, chocolate frosting and SPRINKLES. Yayass. Thank you, Marm! 
Becoming a crazy bird lady requires bird-ish accoutrements like this gorgeous house from my inlaws Mom-5 and Ray-Dad. Just waiting for some residents to move in!
Other birthday things:
Birthday time
Spoiled Shawna writes a birthday blog
Turning 30 and (not drowning) kayaking in Ketchikan
Romance, birthdays, and bikes
Surviving the early birthday surprise
Birthday av gas, wind corrections and faux emergencies

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

From OSH 2013. T-12 days until we're on the way to Oshkosh!
"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better." --Albert Camus.

Here's hoping for the best year yet!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The mailbox clam shell mystery

When I found the first clam shell in the mail box, I chalked it up to a fluke passerby. It was small with dirt crusted on one side, not very pretty.

A few days passed. Between birthday celebrations and work, I forgot about the mollusk remains. That is, until Saturday rolled around and sitting in front of the red Netflix envelope was a new shell, with a small shriveled flower poking through.
It is not every day one receives a clam shell in one's mailbox. 
I stood, holding my mail, glancing up and down the street, heart starting to pound a little. Who knew clam shells could be so utterly creepy?

Was someone watching? Casing the joint? Leaving strange tokens? Did the mailman have a crush on Mr. T? Perhaps a passing serial killer stopped by? I've seen enough Criminal Minds to know only fools discount important clues like this!

A huge part of me hoped that it was a gift from the neighbor girls down the street who periodically stop by to turn us into frogs and spaghetti noodles, and dare me to eat fruit from the decorative pear trees. But they were out of town camping!

Or so I thought.

Later that evening, while mixing up a home brew of fish emulsion, Epsom salt and beer for the tomatoes, I hear a booming kid voice come up the drive way.


It was 6-year old Savannah rolling by on her Razor, her dad trailing behind. I asked if she went to the ocean on her camping trip. She just laughed, wrapping thin arms around my waist, before scooting off down the street.


A few minutes later, her mom popped by to exchange phone numbers so as to warn me about future gifts I might expect--rocks, bits of ribbon, etc.

She told me Savannah found the clam shell not at the ocean but near our neighborhood creek. Apparently there are all sorts of treasures--fresh water clam and mussel shells, bottles, balloons and most recently, a "bubble maker thing" aka a plastic feminine hygiene product holder tube. (Sing a chorus of YUCK with me?) By comparison, the mystery clam shell seems all right!


Related-ish links:
A grateful heart: Feeling neighborly
On being nosy, I mean neighborly
Following the white rabbit (And then catching it)
Front yard veggie gardening

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sun lovers

It felt like a near-death experience. Me. Turbo kickboxing after eight months away. Burning chest, raspy breathing, nausea. And my chipper instructor was happily babbling about the weather. While I glared, I somehow absorbed her information: Low 90s this weekend. No way! Too soon.

But it's almost June and in Sacramento that spells summer heat.

The only thing good about it? The (five month) burst of hot sun will be fabulous for my burgeoning tomato garden.
Newly acquired sun stake for my front yard tomato garden. I'm trying to pretty up the space but with cheap accoutrement, lest they be stolen. I'm pleased at the growth just in the last two weeks since I wrote "Fixing my tomato mistakes."