Friday, October 26, 2012

Skinny Malinky, Big Alice and Ida

This summer I had the pleasure of hosting an autograph party for the wonderful Stanley Kiesel, author of many books, my favorite being "The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids". I first met Stanley along with Scott Smith while I was interning at the Neighborhood House Senior Center. Very humbly he shared with me his writings over lunch. After lunch that day with them I went home and went on eBay to find his book. The next time I ran into him I asked him for his autograph. He said he would only autograph it after I had finished reading it and had given him my thoughts. The book soon became one of my favorites, each chapter I would become Skinny Malinky's cheerleader and admirer. After I finished it, I decided to send a couple of copies to friends with the idea of hosting an autograph party so that they could meet Stanley and get their books autographed.

Invites were made and sent. Along with meeting Stanley, I had also asked Laura Lou Pape-McCarthy to lead the group in some Laughter Yoga exercises.

Laughter Yoga was a huge success (which I knew it would be)

After the laughter yoga, we received the gift of Stanley doing a couple of readings from several of his books followed by one on one autographs.

I was a bit apprehensive about having this get-together. As the day proceeded it was reminding me of something all too familiar - Skinny Malinky and his friends Big Alice, Ida and the others. Friends being there exactly when needed. From Kristi preparing the appetizers

to Gina making sure everyone had what they needed.

From Annette aiding Stanley with all of his signings

to Lynda driving to Scappoose from Sauvies Island to pick up Kay.

A day spent with the best of friends ever

And a day spent with a wonderfully gifted author

I received this note from Stanley a couple of days later.
I know it brought him happiness to have people gather in his honor; my apprehensiveness was for naught. How right he is about that sensitive, intelligent and socially aware group of people - they are all my Big Alice's and Ida's!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Color Run

Earlier this year during one of our "Vein of Gold" weekly meetups Dayna brought down her iPad to show us with glee her latest stumbled upon event called The Color Run. It's a 5k run and at each "k" post they throw paint on you - and she wanted to put a team together. Sign me up!! Our team was called Alley Art Outlaws and I invited a couple of my schoolmates to join in the fun. Last week before the run we met to get our teams' name stenciled on our backs.
Back home I excitedly put together our outfits. I had previously went to Sam's vintage clothing store and picked up two perfect white tutu's!
We all met at the Max, took the train to PIR to began our 5k run.
And with a burst of colorful mayhem, the race began!!
We finished the race and headed back to the Max tired and hungry, where we all agreed that the Widmer Brewery was sounding awfully good. It would be perfect for my "cheat" meal.
And once on the max Cat whispers to me, "Cheat meal? How about a Cheat Day?!!!!"
Oh how I love that lady! I love Dayna's adventurous ideas and I love wearing a tutu!!
And I love a run that comes with knee socks!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Friend - Eddie Lim

One of the best things to come from my degree was finding wonderful people and places to volunteer at. A place I interned at last and decided to stay on with was Neighborhood House and it is there that I met Eddie Lim.
Every Thursday afternoon he is there with his smiles, jokes and learnings; every Thursday I come away a little bit smarter along with a blessed feeling for knowing Eddie. He is 87 years old and very proud of that. He plays piano along with classical guitar. He knows how to cook, his garden is spectacular and he needlepoints. Each day after he leaves the center, he goes home to needlepoint for 3 1/2 hours. There are no words to express how verklempt I was when he came into the center and presented me with a beautiful needlepoint picture he had worked on for months and gorgeous flowers out of his garden.
I put the picture in a place that I pass each day - it reminds me that there is still so much for me to learn about. I feel such gratitude for knowing Eddie Lim.