Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Secret Love Affair Revealed! Shhhh....


Photo by Al Whitaker
 It’s no secret that I’ve been having a passionate and intense love affair.  Friends are aware of it, even people whom I have yet to meet but follow me on social media, have commented about it.

It’s a relationship that inspires, and has ignited a fire within me, one I thought would never burn again.  It’s a love affair that has taken on a life of its own, a life that has played out publicly and has been the topic of conversation around the Lake Minnetonka area, which is now why I think it’s time I addressed it.

If you have not been living under a rock you have probably heard or seen that I, Natalie Hagemo am madly and passionately in love with the town of Excelsior.  It’s a relationship 20 years in the making, but one which has recently been infused with new life.

If you have ever been in love you know that your senses become amplified.  Everything taste, smells and feels better.  You find yourself wanting to be a better person, wanting to take better care of yourself and the object of your affection.  It is a two way street of enticing adventure.



I’ve had a few experiences recently, which have taken my love of Excelsior to new heights.  I met Debra Antone who opened Scusi at 221 Water Street.  Scusi for me has become a place of inspiration and self-discovery.

Before you assume I’ve lost my mind, just hear me out.  Go downstairs and walk into Scusi and you will soon learn what I’m talking about. This is not your average home d├ęcor store.

First as you descend the stairs into Scusi you immediately pick up the amazing scent of their handmade, natural candles. Lavender is my absolute favorite.  As soon as I walk in and take my first inhalation I let out a relaxing sigh. 


 As the scent of lavender floats over you, you begin to hear the soft sounds of Italian Opera playing gently in the background.  As your eyes scan the room you will see an ever-changing collection of the most beautiful table settings, linen napkins and table clothes that you have ever seen set below and around crystal chandeliers, unique decorative pieces and even wine glasses from the 1800’s.



 Next there is the wishing wall.  The beautiful, original brick wall from another era was unearthed during Scusi’s renovation.  Antone now has visitors from all over who come to Scusi, write down a wish and slip in into one of the many secret holes in the wall.

On days when I need a bit of an escape from a hectic morning or to escape the less than desirable weather, I find myself escaping to Scusi.  Antone has an enthusiasm and giggle that is quite contagious.  Be sure to have her share the stories behind some of the items she has collected.  I’ve had many conversations with her at Scusi, which have recharged me in many ways.

The best thing to come from my visits with Antone at Scusi is I have learned the art of what I call “Showing myself a good time”.  We all have linens, towels, dishes etc that we reserve for guests or special occasions.  I’ve recently discovered the beauty of experiencing these things for no good reason other than I like a pretty table setting and a nice smelling candle.

During one of our unusually warmer days I took out my linen napkin and china and made myself a beautiful table setting for one on my deck, where I enjoyed my dinner.  I then took my candles from Scusi and had a lovely candle lit bubble bath followed by a walk across the street to the lake where I sipped a glass of wine and watched the sun set. 


 I’ve since been using my nicer things once reserved for company or special occasions to enjoy time by myself and for myself.  Antone and Scusi, like most of Excelsior continues to inspire me to laugh, love and truly live while discovering joy in the simple things.  If that isn’t the love of a lifetime, I don’t know what is.





Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm 15,870 Days Old and Other Confessions


During my morning social media stalking, aka: scrolling through my facebook feed, I saw a post about how a baby was 41 days old today.

After seeing the post about the baby being 41 days old I figured out that as of today I've been alive for 15,870 days.  It's not my birthday or anything, it just made me wonder how many days old I was.

During those 15,870 days I've been married, divorced, gave birth to three children, made friends, lost friends, had a mother, lost a mother, got jobs, lost jobs, spent 12,775 of those days in the cult of Scientology, and so much more.

My theme in life is to live life perfectly imperfect. That means I learn from my mistakes, and I celebrate my triumphs.  That doesn't mean I don't work to be and do better at the things I do.  It means that I strive to accept myself for who I am, flaws and all.  If I can't do that, how can I accept anyone else for who they are.

I'm the mom who sent her son to football practice wearing his nut cup upside down, multiple times, but I'm also the mom who stayed up all night taking care of him when he had a fever of 104.

I'm the daughter who put magnetic bullet holes on her mother's car, freaking her out and convincing her that a gang of angry suburban hoodlums shot up her car, but I'm also the daughter who gave her one of my kidneys when her's failed.

I'm the woman who got sloppy, sick drunk the first time he introduced me to his father, but I'm also the woman who spent two days cleaning his house so he could spend more time with his kids rather than on household chores.

I'm the friend who forgot to ask how your sick grandma's doctor appointment went, but I'm also the friend who spent more than one afternoon at happy hour with your grandparents at the assisted living facility, and loved it by the way.

I'm the sister who convinced you that it was more than acceptable to pee in a department store clothing rack when we were kids, but I'm also the sister who took you to the Spam Museum to celebrate your successful cancer treatment.

I'm the neighbor who borrowed your air matress pump and never returned it, but I'm also the neighbor who helped your child get her dream job.

In my 15,870 days I've come to realize that putting energy into trying to pretend I'm something I'm not is a waste of my days. I'm flawed and I make mistakes, but more often than not I get it right.

If I'm lucky I'll have another 15,870 days to experience and learn from. What I do know is that I have today, and tomorrow I'll have tomorrow.  I don't even regret the mistakes of yesterday because they set in motion who I am and where I am today.

It's not my birthday, but today I celebrate my 15,870 days.  Tomorrow I'll celebrate and be thankful for 15,871 days and so on and so on, striving to remain perfectly imperfect along the way.

post signature

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Spamtastic Dream Comes True


If you know me well you know I LOVE SPAM!  Fried Spam with eggs, a Spam sandwich or fried Spam by itself. I love it all. Growing up in Hawaii We always has an abundance of Spam.  Even today you will always find my kitchen stocked up with this tasty goodness.


My passion for Spam goes beyond just eating it.  I've spent a few years cooking it up for students at Minnetonka High School while I share with them what I like to call "The gospel of Spam."  We chat about how Spam came to be so popular in Hawaii and it's culinary influence on the culture.

The home of Spam is right here in Minnesota.  It has been a dream of mine for years to have Hormel bestow upon me the title of "Spambassador".  This dream has just come true during a recent trip to the Spam Museum in Austin Minnesota.

         Pictured with Spam Brand Manager Nikki

It was a pleasure to meet Spam Brand Manager Nikki, who was kind enough to give both my sister and I a fun Spam cooler filled with Spam swag.  

    My sister Lana and I having fun in our Hormel uniforms

The Spam Museum is filled with Spamtastic interactive fun! We spent about two hours there, plus a good amount of time in the gift shop.  

My family in Hawaii were more excited to learn that I'm now an official Spambassador than they were when I told them I had become a myTalk 107.1 Radio Host.  It's all just Spamtastic!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Picks

Valentine's Day is around the corner and I could not help but put together a list of my Valentine's Day Gift Picks from around Excelsior!

Let me walk you down Water Street in Excelsior and show you a few of my favorite shops and what I think will make for great Valentine's Day gifts for your lady.  I don't really have any picks for guys because let's be serious here, Valentine's Day is pretty much for women.

First stop is Ooh La La at 274 Water Street.  I'm in love with their blingy heart jewelry.  These pieces are $20-$39.  I'm also a big fan of the hats at Ooh La La.



Walk down about half a block to 226 Water Street and you will find Amore and Fede. They are very well known for their collection of Miss Me Jeans, and are currently stocked up on spring dresses.  What I absolutely love are their Lake Minnetonka Excelsior Hooded Sweatshirts! They come in three colors and are $69.



A few shops over at 206 Water Street you will find GEN by Figen Ozdenak.  This is the only place in all of the United States where you will currently find the timeless and classic looks of European designer Figen Ozdenak, whose brother and sister in law run the boutique.  Just about anything from GEN makes for a unique and beautiful Valentine's Day Gift.  I'm particularly crazy about this outfit.  Everything I've tried on at GEN feels amazing!


Cross the street to 221 Water Street and go downstairs to find Scusi, the recently opened home decor store.  They have these adorable bird feeders in different shapes, which I'm just in love with!  They run $28-$30.





post signature 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mortifyingly Embarrassing Things I've Done When I Thought No One Was Looking

We have all been there.  You think there are no eyes or ears on you, so you  partake in a bit of less than lady like behavior.  Surely I can't be the only one.

In the spirit of sisterhood I'm going to share a few of my "Moments when I thought no one was looking."  Be sure to share yours!

1. On a particularly warm fall day I was walking on a local trail with one of my very good girlfriends having a deep seeded conversation about female sexuality.  I failed to notice the approaching man on a bike until he was right next to us, which was when I happened to be exclaiming rather enthusiastically: "I never even told my ex-husband that I masturbated!"

What made matters worse is he started to wobble on his bike, confirming that I'm fairly sure he heard me.  Adding to my embarassment was that I recognized him as a member of my local rotary, who I knew.



2. After having dinner at home by myself, I stood at the sink in front of my kitchen window and licked all of the A-1 sauce off my plate.  Seconds after I was done there was a knock at my door.  Of course whoever is standing at my front door has a clear look into my kitchen, especially at night.  I opened the door to a girlfriend of mine who greated me with "Hello my plate licking friend!". Thankfully she was holding a bottle of wine.

3. While eight months pregnant with my son I escaped the retail showroom I worked in at the time for a very needed bathroom break, taking the cordless phone with me.  I accidently hit the intercom button and proceeded to pee like a race horse while sighing in relief quite loudly.  I even let out a few moans.  All of which was broadcast loud and clear over the showroom (as confirmed by a co-worker), which of course had customers in it.

So now let's hear yours.  What have you done when you thought no one was looking?

post signature

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Suck it Mr. Sakai. Girl Has a Radio Show Now!

If you have ever met me in person or have been reading Mommalicious In Suburbia for awhile, you know that someone probably wouldn't describe me as shy or quiet.

Most may describe me as being loud, obnoxious, inappropriate, funny, self centered, lacking a filter etc.  Well, being inappropriate and having not much of a speed bump between what I think and what I say has paid off, so suck on that Mr. Sakai, my 6th grade teacher who told me being a loud mouth wouldn't get me anywhere!

I've recently started co-hosting a radio show on myTalk 107.1 called Pop Life with Twila and Natalie each Saturday 2pm-4pm. Twila and I have the conversations that you love to have with your girlfriends.

Twila Dang and Natalie Hagemo
We take water cooler talk and turn it into happy hour. You can expect to hear celebrity gossip, entertainment news and where certain men rate on our Hump-a-licious scale, where we rate them on a scale of 1-5 humps, 5 being completely Hump-a-licious!

Twila Dang and I will even tackle the questions that plague women everywhere like, "What does your choice of underwear say about you?" Okay, that probably doesn't plague any of us, but it beats rehashing the lastest Cosmo article about the Top Five Ways to Please Your Man, for the 500th time.

You will learn more about both of us than you probably want to, but you will be laughing along with us.  Twila likes to share about her odd love of Korean Pop music and I'll openly talk about everything from sex toys to how it's okay to hate your kids once in awhile.

If you are in the Minneapolis St. Paul area you can tune in on Saturdays from 2pm-4pm to myTalk 107.1.  You can also listen live online at this link: myTalk 107.1 just click on "listen now".  There is even a myTalk 107.1 app you can download onto your smartphone to listen live that way.

Twila Dang is also the self proclaimed nerdy black girl behind the blog Pop Culture Parent, which you should check out.

post signature

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Vagina is a Portal & My Top 3 Parenting Tips

Yesterday I had all three of my offspring home together.  With two kids in college, this is no longer an everyday occurrence.  The older two go to school and live about an hour and twenty minutes away, they often come home to shop for free in my pantry, ask for money or steal my hairspray.

It seems that having college aged kids is like paying for the privilege of being robbed by panhandlers with great hair.

Despite my perfectly imperfect parenting style, these three kids have turned out to be pretty dang awesome.  It's not like they can walk on water or one of them has cured cancer or anything, but that they are creative, productive human beings pursuing their dreams.

Having been a parent for going on 23 years now, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on the subject.  As an expert, I will be sharing with you my "Top 3 tips for parenting teens."

I'm also convinced that my vagina is a portal, a portal that amazing people come out of.  Though, I'd like to state for the record right now, this portal closed to anymore babies.

The three amazing people who came out of my vaginal portal

TOP 3 TIPS FOR PARENTING TEENS 

1. This first one helped my girls navigate the teenage world of touchy feely boys. In regard to underage dating the rule is:

If you would do it with your father, you can do it with your boyfriend.  The beauty of this rule is that each time that boyfriend tries to cop a feel where he shouldn't be, your daughter will think about her father and be thoroughly grossed out and push him away.  This one totally worked with my girls!

2. Your teenager does NOT have the right to privacy.  They can earn the privilege of privacy by making good life choices.  The second you detect the possibility of shenanigans, you get busy getting to the bottom of it. Make sure there is a trash can in your teens room and go through it regularly.  If you see your teen emptying their own trash, immediately dumpster dive and find what they are trying to sneak out.

3. Learn and use social media. Follow them and their friends on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  If you find photos of their friends engaging in behavior their parents wouldn't approve of, download those photos.  Use them later to blackmail your own teen into better choices, otherwise you send the pics to the parent of the offender.

A note on #3:  Of course if you find out their friends are truly doing something dangerous, by all means inform the kid's parents.



post signature

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kerfoot Canopy Tours - Zip Lining Adventures

Being the adventurer and outdoor enthusiast that I am, I'm sure it is shocking to hear that I've never been zip lining before.  When Kerfoot Canopy Tours opened in Belle Plaine, Minnesota, which is only about 45 minutes from my house, I had to try it.

I can hardly say adventurer and outdoor enthusiast with a straight face.  If you read this blog you know I'm deathly afraid of heights and my idea of getting outdoors is sitting outside on a patio at my favorite happy hour bar, enjoying a vodka soda.

The truth is I met two of the "Sky Guides" from Kerfoot Canopy Tours at the Lake Minnetonka Magazine "Best Of" party.  They were really cute and one was super tall, which is my kryptonite. If a tall, handsome stranger asked me to change a tire, despite my lack of know how I'd probably say "My jack or yours?"

My partner in crime, photographer and a true adventurer Sue Craig of Austin Images Photography and I headed out for a zip lining adventure.  We also brought my 14 year old son Jared along.

With a few of the crew from Kerfoot Canopy Tours
A short ride in an ATV took us to the zip lining ground school where we learned the basics before getting started.


There are nine zip lines zig zagging over and through the scenic Minnesota River Valley.  In the 2.5 hours it takes to get through everything, you can expect to experience:

  • A 170 ft suspension bridge.
  • Multiple spiral staircases, this isn't for the weak-kneed.
  • A 1200 ft zip line. You don't see the landing when you zip off.
  • Being 175 ft up in the air going from one tree canopy to another, overlooking deep ravines and beautiful natural areas of the river valley.

Geared up and heading up

What you don't see in these photos is my sheer panic, especially when I had to launch myself off the platform into the abyss.  This might come easy to some of you, but for me you may have well have asked me to jump into a tank full of sharks.  My anxiety was in overdrive, despite the multiple safety precautions that Kerfoot Canopy Tours take.  In reality it's quite safe.

After my cursing debacle while riding in a stunt plane with Lucas Air Show pilot Michael Wiskus, I knew I needed to find a different  way to let my anxiety out.  One that didn't involve screaming "Mother Fuc#*er!" every two seconds.

I had the idea to sing and focus my mind that way, but the only dang song I could think of was "Milkshakes" by Kelis.


So each time I had to launch off of the platform, I'd head out singing at the top of my lungs,

"My milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard,
 and they're like it's better than yours
damn right it's better than yours
I could teach you, but I'd have to charge"

For the life of me, I couldn't remember any other song, but this one did the job and got me through it without swearing.  Towards the end the other people on our tour and the sky guide were singing with me as I launched to show their support.

Proud of myself for surviving the 1200 ft zip line.
The 170 ft suspension bridge, majorly freaked me out
Sue and I atop one of the tallest canopys.
Our zip line tour group
Despite my fears, zip lining over and through the Minnesota River Valley with Kerfoot Canopy Tours was an uniquely fun experience.  I'm pretty sure I would even do it again.  My son who is 14 loved it and gives it two thumbs up! 

A big thank you to my partner in crime Sue Craig for once again capturing our adventures through photos, and also for not laughing too hard when she heard "My milshakes bring all the boys to the yard" echoing across the Minnesota River Valley as I zipped through it.

post signature

Travels, New Friends and Becoming Mommalicious

I've been traveling around the New England area working on my book inspired by my blog.  For now I'm calling it "Becoming Mommalicious".

When I'm home I'm way too distracted to just sit and write for hours.  I have a household of misfits to keep in line and alive. Then there are the hours I spend taking pictures and videos of my dogs, which I then have to post to facebook, vine, instagram and twitter.

Early morning with Loki
Plus there are "work" responsibilities, the projects the Stud Muffin makes me do so I "Don't forget what real work is."  Then there is my Outside the Box column for the Lakeshore Weekly, and my usual blogging.  Plus all those happy hours don't just happen.  They take planning, coordination and time.

Recent VIP Party at the Excelsior "Fash Splash" Fashion Show
Don't even get me started on how much of a time sucker being the town busybody is.  I have sources to meet with, openings to attend, and an endless stream of handsome men to keep track off.  As a service to my community, I do my best to discover and keep track of all the good looking men in the Lake Minnetonka area.  It's these kinds of selfless acts that consume my time when I'm home, making it almost impossible for me to focus on my book.

Being forced to watch half naked men at a Fashion Show
In my travels I've met some interesting people and I've had some very let's say, interesting encounters, but you will have to wait for the book to read about some of those.

For now though I'd like you to meet my new friend Joe who I met in Connecticut.  I'm convinced he is related to the guys from Duck Dynasty.  Joe won't admit to that, but I'm thinking he just doesn't want all the attention.   He is a man of few words, but let me tell you, his eyes and quiet nods speak volumes.


I explained to Joe in painstaking detail how distraught I was over the fact that my dogs continued to eat their own poop, despite my best efforts to curb this behavior. After about 35 minutes of my sharing, Joe looked at me, gave me an eyebrow raise and nodded.  That look said it all!  I got the message.  I need to just accept them for who they are, even if they are shit eaters.

Joe is very wise.  I wish I could take him with me to my next destination.
post signature

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Am I Wearing Pants, and Other Irrational Fears

Between sleeping with two small dogs who have to pee before the sun comes out, and the fact that I have the bladder of an 80 year old, I'm up between 5:30am and 6:00am most days.  Either I'm getting up to pee, or the dogs need to go out.  It's a damn urination fest at my house during the wee hours of the morning.

Rarely do I fall back asleep.  I use to grab a cup of coffee and take it back to bed with me. I'd sip my Hawaiian Dark Roast, and do some reading while the dogs would go back to sleep.  These days I drag my ass to the gym, and the dogs go back to sleep because they are lazy and lack discipline.

They aren't morning pups.
I'm not sure what the name is for my irrational fear.  I'm sure there is some clinical name for it.  Kind of like how "Arachnophobia" is the fear of spiders, or "Amathophobia" is a fear of dust.  That's a real thing by the way.  Hmmm maybe my irrational fear isn't so bad after all. 

When I leave the house early, and I'm tired, I become convinced that I'm not wearing any pants.  I arrive at the gym, jump on the elliptical and spend the first 15 minutes checking and rechecking that I have pants on.

This is the conversation I had with myself just this morning, for the first 15 minutes I was on the elliptical at the gym:

"Crap it's hot in here, they should really open the door. Shit do I have pants on?

God I love Joan Jett's music, I wonder if she is still alive? OMG do I have pants on?

I should really Instagram a photo of that flag in the parking lot. I have pants on right?

Wow this row of machines cleared out fast. Shit, is it because I'm not wearing pants!"

This goes on and on for about 15 minutes, which seems to be how long it takes me to calm the heck down, return to sanity and be confident that I do in fact have pants on.

I don't have a logical explanation for this fear, which is probably why it's referred to as an irrational fear.  If there was a logical explanation it wouldn't be irrational.  I've had nightmares about showing up naked in grocery stores, maybe that has something to do with it.  I'm trying to talk my sister into asking her therapist about it.  Lana is getting tired of having to address my issues with her therapist.  She knows I have crapy health insurance. She needs to just take one for the team and address this with a mental health professional so we can get to the bottom of it.

Maybe it's just because I don't like to wear pants?"  If I could spend the warmer months wearing one of the Stud Muffin's XL t-shirts, I'd be a happy camper.  I've taken to wearing summer dresses around the house because I got tired of hearing "Mom put some pants on my friends are over!" from the kids.

Even the pups give me crap about not wearing pants around the house.  Their look here says it all.

Bitch please put some pants on!
Surely I'm not the only one with such an irrational fear.  What's yours?

post signature

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Who is Your Celebrity Boyfriend or Girlfriend?

I realized this morning that I had three bottles of Kraft dressing in my pantry closet.  I don't eat Kraft dressing. I only bought it to support my newest boyfriend, the Zesty guy.


This hunka, hunka is number 3 on my"Celebrity Boyfriend" list, behind Joe Manganiello from True Blood who is number 1, and my favorite little person Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones who is number 2.  The Zesty guy and I have only had a thing for a short time, which is why he is number 3.

My celebrity boyfriends in order.
My significant other isn't bothered by my celebrity boyfriends because he doesn't think I have a shot and I'm crazy. Today I reminded him that stranger things have happened.  The Zesty guy could wake up tomorrow and say "I have an insatiable need to be with a 42 year old Hawaiian mother of three who snorts when she laughs, and eats pop tarts in bed!"  Ya just never know.

He is not a jealous man.  Sometimes it would be nice if was, even if just a touch. After letting him know Zesty guy is number 3 on my celebrity boyfriend list he says,

"Wait, he is behind Peter Dinklage, the midget?"

Me: "First off it's dwarf or little person, you are so offensive. Yes, he is behind Peter because we are just starting out."

Him: "You have psychological problems."

Me: "Well, duh!"

Now I'm on a mission to sleep with Joe Manganiello, Peter Dinklage or the Zesty guy just to prove my point.  When Joe Manganiello is helping me out of my spanx,  or the Zesty guy is ripping off my granny panties, then we will see who the crazy one is!

Do you have a celebrity boyfriend or girlfriend?


post signature

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mommalicious Takes to the Sky and Sets a Record!


Several weeks ago Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce Director Laura Hotvet, asked me if I would go up in a stunt plane with stunt pilot Michael Wiskus of Lucas Oil Air Shows.  Laura has known me for a couple of years and knew to ask me at a party when I had been drinking.  My love of red wine and committing to crazy acts of insanity seem to go hand in hand.

Michael Wiskus is the stunt pilot doing the air show during the upcoming Lake Minnetonka 4th of July festivities.  He has been flying for a couple of decades and has over 24,000 flying hours.  Winkus does full-time air shows March through November all over the country.

Keep in mind that I'm afraid of heights and I get motion sickness.  I don't go on roller coasters, I don't climb tall ladders, I'm the furthest thing from a thrill seeking daredevil as you can get.  I don't even like to drive up steep hills.  To say that going up in the air with a stunt pilot is outside the box for me, would be a huge understatement.

My producer Chris Vogt from the "Out and About" Community TV show I do for the Lake Minnetonka area, was also coming and going up in the stunt plane before me. Local photographer Susan Craig came along to document the craziness.  Susan is quite the thrill seeker.  The woman has jumped out of planes, gone deep sea fishing and more.  She should have been the one going up in the plane.  My sister Lana tagged along too.  She came mainly to see if I chickened out or threw up, true sisterly support.

Despite my fears and anxiety, my plan going into this was to remain calm, cool and collected and look cute while doing it.  What actually occurred couldn't have been further from what I had envisioned.  When you hit "play" make sure there aren't any kids around who can read lips.,




After we landed Wiskus told me that in all the years he has done this, he had never  heard such a long string of F bombs being dropped during a loop.  At least I set a record for something.  I was like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.  I stopped just short of puking up pea soup, or having my head spin around.  I had taken one dose of Dramamine, which is probably the only reason I didn't toss my cookies.  Winkus said  only about 1 in 20 people throw up.

Dont' get me wrong, there were parts of the flight that were amazingly beautiful.  Mostly the parts when we flew straight and parralel to the Earth, where I could take in the sights.  For a bit I thought "Well, this isn't too bad." Oh how wrong I was.

Lana, Stunt Pilot Michael Wiskus and me "before".
Photo by: Susan Craig Austin

   
If you look closely you can see me begging for rescue with my face against the glass.
Photo by: Susan Craig Austin
Straight on up.
Photo by Susan Craig Austin
At one point I was wondering why I couldn't hear Winkus over the headset. It wasn't till we landed and chatted that I realized I couldn't hear him because of my own screaming.  At one point I could hear "Relax, relax, I need you to relax."  After we landed he said I had grabbed the controls while we were in a loop.  What happened was I had slammed my thighs together with the control stick between them, and tensed up like a man about to get a Prostate exam.

In this video we go straight up a couple of times. At about the 45 second mark you can hear some kind of alarm going off, which didn't help to calm me down.



All in all, I'm thankful for the experience and I'm amazed that I followed through with it.  I'm in awe of the talents of Michael Wiskus and his team at West Metro Aviation and Lucas Oil Air Shows.  If you live in the Twin Cities area be sure to check out an event they are having on June 16th called "Fly In and Breakfast".  They will have airplane and helicopter rides, along with a pancake breakfast.  More details can be found at www.WestMetroAviation.com 

Don't miss the Lucas Oil Air Show at the Lake Minnetonka 4th of July celebration on of course, the 4th of July in Excelsior.  More details of what else to expect that day at "Lake Minnetonka 4th of July".

Now I'm off to Sunu Wellness Center for some much needed Chiropractic care.  With all my tensing up and screaming, I'm pretty sure I popped a rib out of place.

post signature

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bitch, I'm Hawaiian and I'm Fabulous!

Today I had a very bizarre experience.  I went to a local make-up store, I won't say which one. It's one of those stand alone larger ones.  I'd never been there before, but my friend Julie Swenson, who is also an amazing make-up artist, recommended a product I thought I could find there.

I couldn't remember the name of the product.  I'm having to combat not just wrinkles, but CRS syndrome, "Can't Remember Shit" syndrome.  I approached the first employee I saw and asked her if she could point me in the direction of products which would help minimize or conceal the dark circles under my eyes. The woman looked at me and said "Your dark circles are hereditary because of your dark skin."  Her attitude seemed to be that there is nothing we can do about it, due to my dark skin and all.

Now, I know for fact that something can be done about it because I've worked with multiple make-up artist who do a great job covering up those dark circles.  The woman had nothing left to offer, and quite frankly left me kind of stunned by her attitude of, we can't help you.

So, I turned to another employee nearby and said the same thing to her.  She took me over to a line of products, which she thought may be helpful.  Everything would have been fine, except she looks at me and says "Your wrinkles are because of all the tanning you must do.  You look like you do a lot of tanning."

Excuse me?  This woman just assumed that I must spend hours at a tanning salon because I wasn't as fair skinned as she was.  I'm darker than most Minnesotans, but I'm far from looking like that crazy, leathery "Tan Mom" woman.

My sister Lana and I. I'm in the grey.
 I looked at her and said, "I'm dark because I'm Hawaiian.  20 minutes in the sun and I get darker. I don't do "tons of tanning", I'm multiracial.  Additionally, I think the fact that I'm 42 years old has more to do with the wrinkles that I'm here to address."

She was making an assumption, never considering that I may be dark because of my nationality or in my case nationalities.  I was born and raised in Hawaii and I'm Hawaiian, Chinese, American Indian, Portuguese, Scotch and Irish.  Hawaiian being my dominate nationality.  I don't think either of the women were trying to be mean.  In truth, I think they were both just incredibly ignorant.

Running into one ignorant person at a business like this would be one thing, but two of them?  For a minute I thought I was probably on one of those hidden camera shows and Chris Hanson from Dateline was going to jump out.  Not the case, they were just two ignorant women who shouldn't be working at a make-up store.

This incident reminded me of something similar that happened to a good friend of mine.  She is half German and half African American, she is truly stunning.  She did a pageant and received her judges feedback afterwards.  One judge wrote "Too tan".  Seriously? Yes, it was all over her bio that she was multiracial and this idiot judge no doubt took away points because she was "too tan".

People are not just black, white, asian, or hispanic.  When filling out paperwork requiring me to check a box for race, I could pick a few: Pacific Islander, Asian, or Caucasian, sometimes all of the above.  No one box describes what I am anymore than one personality trait can describe who I am.

Recently General Mills put out a commercial with a mixed race couple with a multiracial child.  The dad is African American, and the mom is white. I greatly applaud this!  It's about dang time.

I purchased two items and went to my car.  There were tears in my eyes as I tried to make sense of what had happened and my own feelings about it. I realized that the comments, assumptions and looks of disapproval by those two women made me feel somehow wrong for being what I was.

Looking at myself in my rearview mirror, I realized that I'm lucky to come from a line of people who chose to love each other despite race, or cultural differences.  People from six different parts of the globe came together to eventually create my family.  I wiped away my tears, gave myself a smile and said out loud "Bitch, I'm Hawaiian and I'm fabulous!"

My sister and I with our Dad back home in Hawaii

post signature

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Kamikaze Squirrels and Visits From the Dead

Lately I've been sleeping fairly deeply. I'd like to think that it's because I'm at such a peaceful place in my life, but in truth it's probably due to my use of Benadryl to combat my allergies.  Once in awhile I remember my dreams, at least for a bit after I wake up.

The other night I had a doozie of a dream.  I posted it on Facebook when I woke up so I wouldn't forget it.  First, each time I came and went from my car in my cul-de-sac, large flying squirrels would swoop down and try to attack me and whoever I was with.  For some reason I wasn't parking in my driveway, but in the cul-de-sac closer to my neighbors house.  An odd choice as it gave the flying squirrels more time to attack me.

They looked like this but bigger
Don't be fooled by how cute these creatures may look.  Trust me, when they are dive bombing your head like the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, it's scary.  Once I made it to my house I went to my backyard.  My deceased mother was there.  At first I assumed I was seeing a ghost.  She told me that her death was faked by the government and she had been in a witness protection program for the last 19 months.

She insisted that she was there for real and was not a ghost.  My sister came over and saw her too, as did a few other people who I can't remember.  We realized she was telling the truth and was real.  I woke up before I could find out why my mom was in the witness protection program.  In hindsight I should have asked her that right away.  I mean, she really had to have seen some shit go down to leave her family and fake her own death for 19 months.

After a day of trying to analyze my dream with friends, and via various dream analysis websites, I think I figured out what it all means.  By the way, dreams of being attacked by flying squirrels are not as uncommon as you might think.

My mom's birthday is in a little over a week.  Since she died in October of 2011 I've broken down on each birthday, Mother's Day, anniversary of her death, my first birthday without her etc.  We were very close.  She is one of the few people who really got me.  She use to say "You can't fool me. I know you better than you know yourself."  She also often said "What the hell is wrong with you!?" But, that was usually after I played some kind of prank on her, like the time I threw fake dog shit at her, which she thought was from her dog, or the time I put magnetic bullet holes all over her car and convinced her gang bangers had shot it up.

A few weeks ago I decided that for her birthday, anniversary of her death, Mother's Day, my birthday or any significant date that reminds me of her, where I might loose it, that I would do something that scared me.  Some kind of bucket list item that I wouldn't want to do because I was scared, or afraid of trying for fear of peeing myself in public.


I'm deathly afraid of heights. When I'm on an airplane I pretend we are still on the ground. I can barely climb a ladder.  On June 11th I'm going up in a stunt plane with stunt pilot Michael Wiskus of Lucas Oil Air Shows.  Here is a little video to give you a taste of what he does.


I've known about this for a few weeks now, and I've been stressing about it.  It's obvious that the Kamikaze flying Squirrels in my dream represent going up in the stunt plane and my fears attached to it. My mom showing up represents my mom, whose birthday is only days away.  So, it all kind of makes sense now.

Though I feel comfortable with my dream analysis, I'm going to have my sister run it by her therapist just to be on the safe side.  I'll be sure to share the experience with all of you.  I have faith, and am pretty certain my safety will be assured.  In the unlikely event that something happens to me, please remind my sister to go clear out the top right drawer by my bed.
post signature