Saturday Mayhem with Tracy

kateschannel - Tracy - My Partner in Life and Mayhem

The sun, moon, and stars aligned last Saturday. My husband, Tracy, and I escaped parenting duty for a few hours of alone time. We opted to check out the Rock Mayhem Festival at the DTE Music Theatre. There we were treated to several head-banging performances by Machine Head, Megadeth, Godsmack and Disturbed. While I am not a huge fan of any band in this lineup, Tracy is. Plus, Megadeth and Godsmack both have songs that connect me with fond memories shared with Tracy since we married some 13 years ago. I can see us enjoying bonfire parties with his brother and family, trying to shoot baskets on roller blades at our first home, and painting and installing wood flooring in our current home.

Highlights from my date day with Tracy include . . .

Uninterrupted alone time. I didn’t have to stop Tracy mid-sentence to respond to competitive interests for my attention. My mind was free to focus specifically on romancing him and engaging him in worthwhile adult conversation. Eating, drinking and peeing in peace was equally refreshing.

People watching. Our fellow concert-goers earned the top spot on My Best 5 for people watching. Other experiences that make this list in no particular order include Ann Arbor during Hash Bash, after dark in downtown Tempe, AZ, Time Square, and Halloween week in New Orleans.

Tailgating before the show. There is nothing like chugging a couple ice-cold brews on a hot, muggy Michigan afternoon. The experience took me back to my high school and college years. I relive youthful times any chance I get.

Boy/girl security pat-down lines. To expedite security checks, DTE segregated concert-goers according to gender. It seems to me the search for contraband was hindered by this antiquated process. Here’s why. They had two lines for checking male concert-goers; and just one line for checking females. Also, after completing a check of all male concert-goers who had been in these two lines, the security officers stood around with nothing to do for at least 15-20 minutes while us females continued to wait.

The Devil Tree. As Tracy and I enjoyed Raspberry Kazis on the deck behind the infamous DTE hill, some guy asked us where he could find the Devil Tree. Tracy and I needed more than the double vodka shots in our drinks to help find this tree.

Eight Creative Sparks

What sparks your creative energy? My top eight include cleaning, gardening, and walking. Add in some MP3 tunes from Foo Fighters, U2 or Pink Floyd; and the ideas blow my mind. In fact, I’m listening to Pink Floyd’s Blue Sky as I type.

At times it’s challenging to keep up with what my brain produces during these sessions. I use a pen and journal book to record snippets of ideas while I clean or garden. These tools are old-school. But, they are easy to keep nearby for note-taking.

I have also been taking my camera with me everywhere, recently. That way I am ready to snap a shot anytime, anywhere. While my smart phone has a camera, I seem to prefer my husband’s Canon PowerShot. I think it takes better pictures and provides me with more options for enhancing my impromptu photo sessions.

kateschannel — brood of ducklings — Rochester Park

Visual and written references of big-picture thoughts help me remember ideas when I am at my computer creating. Here’s a look at my Top 8 creative energy sparks… What are yours?

1. Cleaning has three distinct benefits. I end up with a clean house and hours of exercise as well as buckets of material for blogs, conflict resolution strategies, date night plans, and play activities to try with my children.

kateschannel — Daffodil blooms — Spring 2011

2. Gardening is therapeutic. What could be better? I am outdoors in the warm sunshine helping nature be beautiful around my home. My creative energy surges as I watch things grow and flourish.

3. Mowing the lawn is an activity my husband and I mud wrestle over. I believe he realizes the same benefits as I do from this mindless, thought-invoking chore. He amps Godsmack on his MP3 and away he mows.

4. Walking after my children go to bed is a mini-vacation for me. It’s one hour of downtime to stride along with the bunnies and frogs while thinking about whatever comes to mind. There are no interruptions for snacks, drinks, advice, phone calls or help with finding the remote control.

5. Running or elliptical training unleashes my competitive spirit. If I need a boost before writing a blog post I go for five miles in 30 minutes while watching some light TV or a movie with eye candy.

6. Listening to music moves me in a number of different directions. The direction depends on so many variables such as weather, mood, energy level, motivation, etc.

7. Writing opens my mind to thoughts I may not have considered before. I try to write without editing. But, sometimes, the perfectionist in me trumps the moment; and stifles the process.

8. Praying/meditation enables reflection on ideas I think have more merit than others. During prayer or meditation, my mind is often cleared of clutter. I just think about whatever comes into my brain. After an hour or so, I seem to feel a better sense of direction on what an idea might lead; or if it just a dead-end to be left behind.