This. Is who I am.

Okie dokie.

What did you think about my recent post about finding a local source for Chanel and other high end designer goods?

Loved it? Don’t really care? First world problems? Entitlement issues?

Angst. I suffer. Truly I do.

On the same day I purchased my new Chanel sunnies, I was still riding the sweet endorphin rush and made a beeline to Rite Aid to see what was on clearance as a way to detox myself.

Here’s where you’ll get to know the real me. To walk in my stilettos for a brief moment; to feel compassion for the crazy that I am, and which I fully OWN, by the way.

This is complicated, so follow closely.

Do you see these three bottles of nail polish?

(I’m assuming you are all nodding your heads.)

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It’s a low end brand but that doesn’t mean low quality. The polish lasts quite a while and doesn’t chip-while it’s not $10 Opi or Essie quality, it’s perfectly acceptable especially if you’re quirky like me and change your colors on a whim. One day I’m sparkly and the next day I’m red hot.

You get the picture…

But that’s not this story NOR my dilemma.

Bear in mind that I JUST spent a small fortune on new sunnies and the price tag didn’t make me flinch. Notwithstanding THAT, I am really very thrifty. Frugal, even.

The nail polish brand must have been discontinued because there were signs offering a deal. If you purchased two at the regular price of 99 cents, the third one was 24 cents.

So random. 24 CENTS? Honestly, who came up with THAT number?

But my convoluted thought process was working overtime. Do I NEED three new colors? NOT REALLY.

But how can I pass this deal up? I did a quick calculation and discovered the price would be $2.22 for all of them.

You prob think this is a no brainer, right?

NOPE. Not for me.

I agonized for a good ten minutes, talking to myself (in my head, not OUT LOUD, sheesh) about the necessity and/or waste of $2.22 when I really only wanted ONE color, and then I asked myself (again, IN MY HEAD) whether or not I could walk away from a deal like that and might I not find a use for the other two colors at some point in the coming months.

It was excruciatingly painful to be in my orbitofrontal cortex,  anterior cingulate cortex, the striatum, and my thalamus at that moment. You wouldn’t want to be in there, trust me.

All the odd OCD synapses were firing at the same time.

I mean, do you see the insanity? How can I explain it to anyone when it makes no sense to myself?

If you move the decimal point over a bit, you can figure out about how much I spent on new sunnies. (Well, more, but who’s counting.)

I had less angst over THAT amount of money than I did with the $2.22.

What did I do?

Holding your breath?

I bought all three.

NOT SO FAST.

Actually, I first decided not to, and was walking to the shelf to put them back, and then I thought I was being BEYOND mental and completely ridiculous, so I changed my mind.

Whew.

I’ve had some tough decisions to make in my life but this ranks right up there with the most insane waste of time about virtually nothing significant. (Like the time I stressed about driving twenty miles to take back a $2 ball of twine. Which I eventually kept. Read all about it here.)

I told you I suffer from angst. I really really do.

Believe it.

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A Pink Lego Handbag. OMFG.

After writing about the dark night of the soul, I thought it’d be a good time to raise our collective spirits with a bright white uplifting #retailtherapy experience–you could say I underwent a Jungian shadow moment.

Carl Jung stated the shadow to be the unknown dark side of the personality. According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.(Wikipedia)

So I guess I’m now healthy and balanced and that’s our ultimate goal, right?

Since I decided that I NEEDED (need as opposed to WANT) a new pair of sunglasses,  I performed my usual high level due diligence research. My options were to drive to South Coast Plaza in Newport Beach OR take my chances with whatever styles were available at Nordstrom or Bloomingdales. All of those locations are not in my little town and with holiday traffic, I knew it’d be hellish parking.

BUT WAIT.

Apparently there’s a new game in town. How did I never know about this? How? It’s inconceivable that a biz could open HERE that specializes in high end designer goods and it slipped in under my radar? I can speculate that I’ve been a bit preoccupied with certain personal issues and while that might well be true –but if I had only known, perhaps it would have softened the extent of my pain.

Enough ruminating. It’s here, and to coin a phrase from one of my fave Seinfeld episodes, it’s “spectacular.”

This is a tease; I won’t actually give specifics yet. But this should make you salivate.

You know how sometimes a company gets it right from the very first moment? Like they’ve done their homework with fonts and graphics and design and PR and marketing and customer relations?

That’s this place.

The website drew me in and I was hooked.

But I really wasn’t prepared for the ENTIRE EXPERIENCE.

It’s at the end of a cul de sac in the business area of our city, not a regular retail location.

There’s a security gate and an actual guard who checks you in.

VIP parking stalls.

And then I walked in. OH EM GEE.

Bright white walls, bright lighting. All dressed up for Christmas.

And the PINK LEGO HANDBAG. See? I wasn’t kidding around. It’s GIGANTIC. Like almost as big as me and I’m FIVE FEET TALL.

img_6371And look at the holiday decor. AWESOME. Well done.

img_6372When I arrived, I was greeted by two lovely smiling ladies and offered a bottle of water, and I’m not talking the low end generic stuff. I’m talking about Fuji Water. FANCY water.

Since I was looking for sunglasses, specifically CHANEL, I was given a tablet connected to their online website and catalogue and told to choose up to 10 items to see at one time. Those choices would be brought down to me from the warehouse area. When my sunglasses arrived, I was directed to a seating area to try them on and decide if I wanted to make a purchase.

It was so easy. I pretty much already knew which style I wanted and when I tried them on, it was as perfect as I had anticipated.

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A quick bit of plastic exchanged hands for a minute and then my purchase was presented in a lovely bag with lots of little marketing materials.

A wonderful retail therapy day!

Here’s me with zero makeup but a huge happy smile cos I LOVE my purchase.

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Nice shades, huh?

You might call me shallow, but retail therapy is a THING, y’all

It’s been a DAY. Taking a deep breath. Home now, feet up, having a cuppa.
I had an especially joyous afternoon!

Let me tell you all about it.

OK. Last week I felt like crap. I had a viral lung infection (thank you for your potent little germs, Angel Boy 2.0!) that was quickly turning to pneumonia and on top of that bad news, I had laryngitis. I mean 100% no voice. I couldn’t even squeak out a whisper.  I was forced to endure a vow of silence for about 72 hours.

Now I’m almost all recovered, enough to get back to the gym and back to my real sport of choice…SHOPPING!

Yup, Retail therapy is a THING, y’all. It’s therapeutic; self care and all that new agey mindset.

I planned my day with laser precision, flexed my shopping muscles, said a mantra for extra patience, and first ran errand or two for my absentmindedprofessor son who forgot to take care of something important before he/family left for the UK, so that was number one.

Mission accomplished. (As an aside, I don’t care how old they are, it warms a mommy heart to be able to solve a problem for her child. To feel needed. SIGH.)

As soon as I got that out of the way (visualize the chaos of a post office a few days before Christmas ‘cos that’s where I was) I confess that I got a little tingle in my root chakra area (heehee) as I sped off to the Forum in Carlsbad.

Yes, a real physical reaction, like salivating over chocolate, to see what the world had to offer for purchase!

Breathe, girl. Breathe, I said to myself. Pace yourself.

Find a place to park. Universe, open up the best spot for Princess Rosebud. And then it happened. Someone pulled out of the perfect location at the exact moment I was rounding the corner. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A quick check of my hair and lipstick, and I was off, gleam in my eye, rapid heartbeat; I bet my pupils were dilated just a bit, too.

Even though Angel Boy 2.0 already got his gifts, I can’t walk by Gepettos without popping in and getting something. Looky at this. A growing owl. Grow Owl: An owl will emerge from a tree stump. Just put the tree stump in a container, cover with water and after 12 to 24 hours, the critter will begin to emerge as the water is absorbed! Can’t wait to send it for a New Year’s Day prezzy. Just a little something cute and fun. Theo LOVES owls, so this will be something fun for the Angel Boys to work on together.

My inner GPS guided me to H&M, where I picked up some SUPER ADORABLE clothes for Mr. T. They were on sale!!!!! A total score. Three dollars for the striped shirt and seven dollars each for the sweatshirt and distressed jeans with suspenders. I cannot even imagine how precious he’s going to look. Such a little boy. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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Across the parking lot was my HOLY GRAIL…Anthropologie. I get it. It’s overpriced but their marketing and store decor is so amazing, you gotta appreciate their attention to detail.

Here I was, back with my tribe, my people. My PEOPLE. All Christmas-y. The mall was crowded and so was Anthro.

We were all rotating in our own little worlds of conspicuous consumption- women on a mission with a very few brave men who dared to cross the threshold, and omg they all looked the same: scared, dazed, deer in the headlights. trudging around and around not able to locate the door to exit the hell they were trapped in. I almost felt sorry for them. ALMOST. No eye contact cos I didn’t want them to plead with me for assistance. Not my problem.

The checkout line snaked around the store. I was looking for something for myself. I had a “secret Santa” who gave me a little cash and I wanted to spoil myself because I’ve been a VERY good girl this year. I found this beautiful pierced tin candle. The scent is Mahogany Amber and it’s filling my bedroom with love and joy. 30% OFF! The bag and wrapping paper adds so much to the shopping experience. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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I forgot to tell you that I went to Macy’s yesterday at Carlsbad’s other (newly refurbished) mall and bought myself an extravagant Chanel lipstick. I know it was forty dollars and I could have purchased at least three or four others for that same price, but CHANEL. Plus lots of samples, so a good deal, right? Rouge Coco Etienne #446 LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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I had a follow up doc appointment to see if I needed an x-ray (I don’t, yay!) and their office is across the street from a hospice resale shop, so I stopped in for a minute. Christmas decor was on sale, so I picked up this adorable vintage bunny ornament for one dollar! ONE EFFING DOLLAR! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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When I got home, I found a box at the front door!!! Nestled inside was a wrapped gift from my wonderful son and DIL. I can’t wait to open it!

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All in all, a wonderful, stupendous. amazing, joyfilled day! Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone, but for me, retail therapy can turn my frown upside down, no matter what.

Love and joy to all!

Mean Girls at Any Age

I was working on a blog post about the dark night of the soul but I put that serious subject on the back burner so I can vent a bit.

Better to vent with words than to do what my initial reaction was, that’s for sure.

OK, here’s the deets…

I planned to go to a turbo kickboxing class at my gym. It’s one of my faves cos it’s super cardio and focuses on core strength and I’ve got some FIERCE kicking ability from all those years of ballet training.

It starts at 9:30 a.m. which isn’t the most ideal time because I like to work out earlier and get it out of the way so my day is free. However, the instructor is awesome, so I make a point to attend her class.

I arrived at 9:10. There was a sort of loosely constructed line outside the Group X room as there was a spin class in progress. I was the third person in “line”. When it was time to go in, I made a beeline for the spot I like. The girl (in her 40s, not really a GIRL per se) put her bag down and I moved to the right of it. She said, “That’s my spot.” I said, “What?” Like I swear, I couldn’t believe she said what she said. She said, “I put my bag down for my friend. I’m right here” She pointed to where I was standing. I said to myself, ‘whatever” and moved a few inches to the right.

OK, wait, that’s not what pissed me off. Bear with me, the rest of the story is coming up…

As I moved ever so slightly to the right, ANOTHER girl (again, not a girl, prob in her late 30s) said to me, “You’re going to get kicked.” I assume she was referring to the part of the class in the title: kickboxing, but as it turns out, I believe it was more of a physical threat.

I said nothing but didn’t move. She then said in a really nasty tone, “I was here first, you need to move.”

OH NO SHE DINT.

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I could feel my hackles rising. GURL, you do not want to go there. Trust me.

As she was most definitely NOT THERE FIRST, I said, “No you really weren’t. I was here first.”

She proceeded with some blah blah blah bs crap about how she had put her stuff down (not true) and I said, “Are we back in high school?” and stood my ground. Literally.

She didn’t move and I didn’t move. Picture this. I’m 5ft and 92.4 pounds with all my clothes on, including shoes. She’s about 5’7″ and outweighs me by about 50-60 pounds. AT LEAST. I still wasn’t planning to move cos right is right and all that, you know? And why should I?

The girl on my left who had initially asked me to move cos she had “saved” a spot decided to chime in and join her friend in bullying me by lying and saying, “Yes, she was here first. You were messing around with being in my spot.”

OH FOR FUCKS SAKE, YOU STUPID BITCHES. They have no idea the level of rage I have stored up inside of me right now.

It’s kind of funny if you think about it.

When that thing inside me finally blows up, it’ll be like Hurricanes Irma and Harvey got married and the Mexico earthquakes were their babies.

There I was, one on either side of me. Entitled Southern California bitches who picked on the wrong chica.

I’ll back up and mention this is not the first time they’ve played these high school games, trying to intimidate me into moving. In fact, I had a discussion with the instructor about it a couple weeks ago, and she shared her own gym mean girl stories, so just letting y’all know this is a REAL THING.

What do you think I did? 

Kick the living shit out of her? Unleash my really really foul mouth full of nasty commentary?

Nope. Not this time, anyway.

I channeled my friend, the Dalai Lama, and simply picked up my workout gear and handbag, told her, “I’m not dealing with your neggy shit” and walked out of the room.

THEY LAUGHED AT ME AS I WALKED AWAY. THEY LAUGHED AT ME. Okie dokie. Noted. No worries. I got this. I almost stopped, turned around, and was going to give her a piece of my mind, but I thought to myself, I’m too old for this shit, and kept my self respect and a certain amount of Zen. She wasn’t worth my sarcasm or a stroke from rising blood pressure.

While it’s true that I got all dressed and ready to exercise and all that, the atmosphere was so hostile and negative that I wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway, as they throw shade constantly.

I left in order to diffuse the situation instead of igniting it further, which would have only been satisfying for a moment or two. I wasn’t about to demean myself by lowering my vibrations to her level.

What I did was to locate the manager and tell him why I left, declined to make a formal complaint, but gave him a description of who it was and he said he’d check her out ‘cos even without a formal complaint, if it happened again, he’d kick her ass out. And he would talk to the instructor, whom I told him was well aware of these specific mean girls and their nasty little girl games.

I was actually proud of myself for handling it in a non-violent manner especially since she was ITCHING for a fight. She just wasn’t worth it.

As a former ballet dancer, I am just as much in love with the mirror as anyone else, but I won’t engage in World War Three over it.

What would YOU have done?  

Before you reply, moving to another spot was not an option for me, because she was a bully and a liar and no one should be allowed to get away with that. At any age. And why should I do what she says? She’s certainly not the boss of me and she doesn’t work for 24 Hour Fitness in the capacity of policing the virtual floor space.

I’ll go to another class this evening where I won’t be attacked, but because I had that unexpected extra time, I felt like retail therapy was just what I needed, so I bought Angel Boy 2.0 the most adorable chair and boy doll for his next visit. Yes, it’s an elephant chair!! And the boy doll, while not anatomically correct (which is what I’d been looking for), sports working zippers and buttons and and other cool stuff.

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WHEW! I feel better now. Thanks for allowing me space to vent!

The macro view of this issue is that in this current world climate, people are generally not kind to one another; there’s an undercurrent of meanness and aggression and hostility by women toward other women that is really ugly and so sad to witness it and to also be the target of it. Yes, their behavior was atrocious, but what is equally as upsetting is the sheep mentality of those that were observing; not ONE person spoke up. Very much a sign of the times, I’m sad to report.

“My soul was in the lost and found…”

…and no one but me came along to claim it.

I got lost today. Physically lost, not spiritually lost.

That’s not to say that I’m NOT searching for myself in a spiritual realm, but that’s not what this day was all about.

Nature was calling as she often does; I could feel the strong pull to hike, to connect my hiking boots with sagebrush and trails and coyote scat dotted with small bones and fur.

I’ve never hiked alone but thought it’s about time, it’s time to stop waiting for my Prince Charming to tie my cute size 5 1/2 boot laces into little bunny bows.

Time to step out and face this day and the next day and the day after that…

On my solo journey.

At least for today.

So I did. I hiked Calavera: I’ve hiked it a zillion times over the years but never by myself.
(Check out a previous Calavera excursion with pics HERE)

How difficult could it be? It’s a five minute drive from the house and like I said, I’ve done it a ZILLION times.

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I started at 4:00 p.m., thinking I’d walk for about two hours or so and be back at the car before sunset.

That was my plan.

I started up the trail, found another trail that looked SLIGHTLY familiar, and made it all the way to the top of the not-very-big-mountain, said hi to some other hikers, was asked to take a pic by a young couple who were celebrating their very first outing away from their newborn (grandma was babysitting), and breathed in the scent of dirt and native plants– HEAVENLY.

I decided to be a real adventurer by taking a different path to get down the hill.

This was where my decision making became just a bit faulty.

Nothing looked familiar. NOTHING. All I knew for sure is that I had climbed UP and now I needed to go DOWN.

How the hell could I have pretty much walked every inch of this land and not remembered the right way to go?

5:30 p.m.

I saw another single female with a similar look on her face–one of slight anxiety, embarrassment, and uncertainty.

I asked her if she knew how to get down. She replied, “No, do you?” I responded, “Nope, but let’s walk together so that we can be lost together.”

I gave her one of my walking sticks because the first path we eventually agreed to traverse was steep and narrow. Prickly bushes slapped our faces as we hacked our way through to one dead end after another.

We FINALLY found the correct way and set our course around the lake.

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6:15 p.m.

We said goodbye as the sun started to dip and blaze on the horizon. I had parked at the far trailhead and had a fairly long but level walk to my car. I walked FAST because the sun was going down FAST.

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OOPSIE.

I forgot there was a last minute fork in the road where I should have turned right which would have led me directly to the parking lot.

Instead, I ended up probably two or three miles away from my intended destination.

It was dark now. Completely dark.

I somehow found my way to the main road (I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I GOT THERE) with traffic whizzing by.

I felt like Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild)  on the Pacific Crest Trail.

I thought I was going to end up spending the night there, sleeping with a trio of coyotes wrapped around my body to keep me warm. As magical as that sounded, I was tired and dirty and wanted to go HOME.

It took about another hour to walk up a steep incline to where I THOUGHT my car was parked.

I knew I could have called my neighbors for help but I was determined to solve this problem on my own.

I am a strong and capable female. I CAN DO THIS.

Sweaty, dusty, stressed out but exuberant, I made it to my car at 7:30 p.m.

I had never been so grateful for civilization in my life.

I drove to the closest liquor store, bought a bottle of wine, got home, took a bath and toasted myself with a huge glass of merlot.

I was lost, got found, and feel like a natural woman.

Success!

“Hey Donald Trump, Keep Your Grubby Paws Out of My Vagina, Ok?”

Yoo hoo! Over here! *waves arms furiously*

Hi, Donald. How ya doing today?

See me?

Hear me.

As Judge Judy often says, and I’ll paraphrase…put on your listening ears. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Let me make myself particularly clear.

My parts belong to ME.

MY eyes, MY nose, My arms, MY uterus, cervix, ovaries, and vagina.

All mine.

MINE.

Not yours.

Not yours to invade and certainly not yours to grope or grab at the behest of one of your NASTY little whims.

(See, there’s the proper use of the word “nasty“. Donald, don’t refer to Hillary Clinton as “nasty” because that’s REALLY a whole lotta narcissistic projection going on, DONALD, along with some garden variety “pot-calling-the-kettle-black”  blameshifting, smearing, and gaslighting.)

Unless I invite you in or ask for your opinion, keep your grubby paws to yourself.

If I get pregnant and do not want -FOR WHATEVER REASON- to grow the little sperm/egg combo to maturity, it is my RIGHT, not YOURS, to determine the outcome.

D’ya hear me?

MY REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS do not include YOU.

Do you hear me now?

Do you understand? Comprendo? Verstehen?

To recap…

I am a woman. Stay out of my body. Stop telling me what I can and what I cannot do with all of my parts; past, present, and future.

Here’s an insightful article on Huffington Post by an OB/GYN.

Donald Trump Confuses Birth With Abortion. And No, There Are No Ninth Month Abortions.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-confuses-birth-with-abortion-and-no-there-are-no-ninth-month-abortions_us_5808dfa2e4b0dd54ce389b61?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

(Photo courtesy of http://photos.gograph.com/thumbs/CSP/CSP519/k5193117.jpg)

Welcome To The Jungle

Before I was Princess Rosebud, I was Rowdy Rosie, did you know that? Something must have happened over the years to morph RR into PR, but she’s BACK!  (You can read a previous post about RR here: https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/07/02/the-story-of-rowdy-rosie/)

All you need is a little patience, right? Well, to paraphrase my rock and roll crush, Axl Rose, I guess I needed twenty-plus years of patience, ‘cos that’s how long it took between Guns N’ Roses concerts. At least for me.

When my good friend from Cowboys and Crossbones told me their Not In This Lifetime tour was one of the best concerts she’d ever attended, my ears perked up. When I discovered GnR would end their US tour in San Diego, I knew I’d have to something about it.

I dusted off an old Rowdy Rosie sheer lace spandex camisole I’d kept safe (just in case) since the nineties nestled in tissue paper and wore it over a black and white polka dotted push up bra, squirmed into skinny jeans so tight there wasn’t an ounce of space to breathe, added studded moto boots, and the look was complete. gunsandrosesfashion

Not too bad for a grandma, am I right? (DO NOT ANSWER THAT RHETORICAL QUESTION!!)

After a slight mishap at the trolley station where I accidentally fell onto the tracks. No adult beverages nor any mind altering substances could be blamed…the sun was in my eyes and it was SUPER crowded-sometimes the truth is BORING, but the truth is what you get in Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife…

The opening act was the Cult, do you remember them? They did a great job of holding our attention until Axl hit the stage.

OK, here’s where more truth comes in.

We are all aware of the inexorable march of time; it can’t be stopped, we all get older, look older, feel older–none of us really has a picture in the attic (literary reference to Picture of Dorian Gray)-even Botox and a skilled surgeon can only for a brief moment hold back the tick-tock of aging.

So…when that sweet bad boy child of mine, the now fifty-four-year-old Axl Rose first appeared, I do believe there was a collective GASP from the crowd, or maybe it was just me? I mean, I know it’s been 20+ years, but I really expected him to still look like…

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Then

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Now

Side by side comparison…Where did he go?

And it didn’t matter at all. Once he started to sing, I was transported back to that special place where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky (lyrics to “Sweet Child of Mine”)

He’s still bad boy sexy though, and if I squinted, he kinda sorta-well no, actually not at all.

He’s aged, I’ve aged, we’ve all aged. He’s had some work done, not exactly a total Mickey Rourke, but a bit, and he’s brave to step on stage knowing how the world sees him in reality versus in dreams (oops, my bad, hee hee.)

I screamed like a teenager.

I danced like no one was watching (no one was) and had the BEST TIME OF MY LIFE.concertME

The biggest difference in the two concerts from then and now -except for the cost of the ticket lol-was the ubiquitous presence of cell phones capturing every single moment. I’m guilty of that too.

When the first chords of “Welcome to the Jungle” started up, there was nowhere in the world I would have rather been than experiencing that iconic moment.

They played nonstop for more than 2 1/2 hours and ended with “Paradise City”.

As we ran to grab the trolley back to our vehicle, we saw Slash drive away in his black limo SUV and he waved to us.

BEST NIGHT EVER.

And now I’ll have a forever scar to remember it by…dropmic

 

What do videos, Fergie, Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian, and nursing moms have in common? Image. Message. Intention. Neon.

Huh? What did I say? Have I gone completely BONKERS? The jury is still out on THAT, but hopefully, it’ll all make sense very soon. 

If you use videos in your blogs as much as I love to do, you’ll definitely want to read this post! 

It’s TOTALLY cutting edge…and totally COOL.

And FREE. Yup, FREE!! Read on…

Marshall McLuhan had a lot more to say than his ubiquitous “The medium is the message.” 
How about…
“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”
“The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.”

“Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century.”

And this is one of my faves: “Diaper backward spells repaid”. (Think about it.)

Which leads me into this message of MY medium.

I’ve shared a bit about my son we all refer to as Angel Boy, esteemed professor in the Pacific Northwest with a Ph.D. from Yale, and I’ve shared a few stories about Angel Boy 2.0, my one and only amazing and brilliant grandson — but I’ve not talked much about my DIL, other than to tell you that she’s also brilliant and even more spectacular is the fact that she successfully gestated the world’s most beautiful manchild (lol).
After doing something like that, there’s not really anything else she’d need to do to become my favorite daughter-in-law in the whole world, but there’s more to tell
 
I am so VERY proud of her!  
More than 1.8 billion pictures are uploaded to the Internet every day—and she knows exactly which ones you’ll choose to look at.

With a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brown University, my DIL is co-founder of Neon–a company that uses human neuroscience and machine learning to automatically select images for some of the world’s largest publishers and platforms.

Neon is supported by leading Silicon Valley venture capitalists, the National Science Foundation, and has been recognized by the World Economic Forum, The White House, Fast Company and others.

Get to know a bit more about Sophie HERE where she was chosen one of Fast Company’s most creative people of 2015.

DIL has been working hard juggling start up life, delivering a beautiful baby, AND A BEAUTIFUL APP.

Here’s the cool part for us bloggers and anyone who loves videos– the app is user-friendly for those of us who are less than brainy techies–YAY!!

Neon Pro is FREE and available at https://app.neon-lab.com.

I know you’ll do me a HUGE favor and re-post and share and post on your walls and tweet all about this amazing FREE app

Since the title of this post should contain content that makes SENSE, here’s my breastfeeding connection. Thirty-five years ago, I did it night and day with my Angel Boy. Now DIL feeds precious AB 2.0 the same way. Mothers have been feeding their babies this way FOREVER. Animals do it; whales and dolphins, too. It’s beautiful and natural. Although I was a stay-at-home-mom,  I am in awe of working moms who manage to do it all like my DIL, Fergie, Chrissy Teigen, and even Kim Kardashian.
Have you seen Fergie’s new video?
I processed Fergie’s M.I.L.F.$ video (with her celebrity momfriends) through the Neon app. MILF, anyone?

Here’s another video I processed of the paddleboarder in Half Moon Bay who had an encounter with a whale.
http://neon.li/2aleepl

Now YOU try it! Neon Pro is FREE and available at https://app.neon-lab.com.

 


BREAKING NEWS…San Francisco – July 28, 2016 – Neon Labs (https://neon-lab.com/), the video and image performance company, today announced the availability of Neon Pro, a free web app that makes the company’s deep learning technology, and NeonScoreTM, available to individual content creators. Previously, the technology—which identifies and serves high performing video thumbnails and images—was only available to global image, video, eCommerce and content platforms operating at massive scale, through Neon EnterpriseTM.

Founded on a decade of neurocognitive research at Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Harvard Medical School, Neon technology combines the science of human perception, deep learning, and the world’s largest and most comprehensive dataset of emotional responses to images. Using deep neural nets trained on human visual perception data, rather than just clickstream data, Neon predicts how people will emotionally respond to an image, and how effective the image will be in driving engagement.

Neon’s predictive image technology helps businesses drive significantly higher clicks, likes and shares for videos and images, resulting in increased revenue. The company guarantees that Neon Enterprise customers will increase their overall engagement rate. Depending on the content and context, increases in engagement of 30% and higher are common.

Neon Pro, a free and slimmed-down version of the company’s enterprise offering, now available as a web app, allows individuals and content producers to get NeonScores for their videos and images. Neon Pro identifies the thumbnails and images that are guaranteed to increase engagement over human-selected images and thumbnails.

Neon Pro is free and available at https://app.neon-lab.com.

How NeonScore Works:
The NeonScore is a number from 0 to 99, common to Neon Pro and Neon Enterprise, that measures the predicted emotional impact of an image for a given audience, device or platform. The higher the number, the higher the predicted engagement. NeonScore uses the company’s patent pending methods to analyze every image or video frame for over 1,000 unique and interrelated “valence” features that drive human interest, such as eye gaze, instability, brightness, and incompleteness.

“Unlike the traditional deep neural networks that are trained to identify objects in a scene, Neon uses deep learning in a creative way to predict the emotional response to images at massive scale. This novel approach has helped us identify the features of an image that drive engagement, allowing us to predict the images that will go viral, even before they are published” said Sophie Lebrecht, Neon Chief Science Officer.

#NeonScore #NeonPro #WomeninTech #DeepLearning #AI

I was bitten by an alligator

lizard.

Yup, an alligator lizard. So adorable. So harmless looking, right?

alligatorlizard

A few teenagers were sitting in a local park above our beautiful Agua Hedionda Lagoon, attempting to humanely herd this creature off the grass and back into his native habitat of sagebrush and coyote bush, when I waltzed by and thought I’d be the conquering heroine and offer my assistance.

They were afraid to pick him up, but I said, “no problem, guys, here’s how it’s done.” I then proceeded to pick him up, totally forgetting the proper way to handle a scared reptile and he immediately latched onto my finger with his razor sharp teeth and WOULD NOT LET GO.

So much for my heroics; I started screaming and shook off the poor little fella, sending him sailing off into the bushes. No worries, though. He was FINE, scurrying away with all of his limbs intact and whole, probably searched for his family to tell them about the lunatic human he encountered, while I was nursing several bleeding puncture wounds…amid teenaged laughter. To be fair, they DID ask me if I was OK, but I think they actually recorded the whole incident, so if you see it on YouTube, yes, that was ME.

I dropped my phone whilst repelling the attack of the ‘gator, and this pic was accidentally taken…

alligatorlizard2

It was all good, though. Just a day in the life of Princess Rosebud.

Confession: I LOVE Comic Sans

I was shocked, I tell you, simply SHOCKED when I Googled “Comic Sans font” and this post entitled Why You Hate Comic Sans appeared from http://designforhackers.com

Here’s a little snippet…

Everyone loves to hate Comic Sans. The child-like handwriting font is so infamous, there is a movement to try to ban it. Mention its name to the common layman (aside from a preschool teacher), and you will likely get a chuckle, mention it to a trained designer, and you’ll get a look of disgust. Why hate on this easy breezy happy font?

The truth of the matter is that I love love LOVE Comic Sans. Not for every type of writing, of course–I mean it wouldn’t be appropriate for an obituary, you know what I mean? But for emails, it lends a certain joie de vivre that no other font can match.

My very special blogging friend at Misifusa’s Blog-The Presents of Presence also loves this font, so all is good! P.S. Check her out; she’s amazing.

Who designed this joyful font?
Comic Sans MS, commonly referred to as Comic Sans, is a sans-serif casual script typeface designed by Vincent Connare and released in 1994 by Microsoft Corporation. It is a casual, non-connecting script inspired by comic book lettering, intended for use in informal documents and educational materials. [From Wikipedia]

Life has forced me to learn to extract happiness from the tiniest and most innocuous of things- from gratitude to the daily rising of the sun and the moon, my flowering garden, the song of the coyote, bunnies cavorting at sunrise, to a font that brings a smile to my face–no matter who doesn’t like it!
Take a look at this sampling of Comic Sans memes.
hipster-ariel-meme-generator-dont-call-me-ariel-my-name-is-comic-sans-ms-3e4925e43ee6ad44414f53c9816d82fa2b8a70ce92d8d989c323fbfb12e9b47e4c1a6613268421766450711fde3_COMIC-SANS
One word.
WhatEVER.