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Archive for the ‘Odds & Ends’ Category

Mondays are a hectic day for me. I go to ballet class in the morning, come home and go into a flurry of housework (today’s agenda: laundry, dishes, sweeping/mopping, dusting, gardening, and tossing some food into a crock pot… all in two and a half hours), then I grab a quick shower and it’s back to the ballet studio to teach.

(Weirdly, that’s how my Mondays were in Clear Lake last year: class in the morning, housework and cooking, then back to the studio to teach for three hours.)

This Monday comes with a cute story:

Background: Our spring performance is this weekend, so our rehearsal schedule has been getting more intense. We did some rehearsing in costume yesterday, so I decided to do my “performance hair”– a high bun. Now, since my hair isn’t terribly long and thus my bun isn’t very big, I’ve decided to wear a “fake bun”– think a scrunchie of hair curlicues. I make a regular bun, put that fake bun around it, then add the hairnet and hairpins and viola! I suddenly have more hair.

Which brings us to our story: In my intermediate class this afternoon, I was explaining to a student the importance a bun for ballet class (she had a long braid which had whipped her in the face when she did a quick detourne). Another student, who is a Junior Trainee in the company,  interjected with “Your bun looked so pretty yesterday!”

Me: Really my fake hair?

Her: It was fake?!

Me: Yup ( then explained the reason for it).

Her: It was so pretty!

… Well, at least I know now that it looks believable.

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(Note: The Shawshank Redemption was on TV last night, which is what inspired this post.)

Dear friends,

I can’t explain how fast things move in San Antonio. I saw a Spurs fan once when I was a kid, but now they’re everywhere. The city got went and got itself in a big damn hurry. My husband got us a pretty swank apartment, and I got a job teaching and dancing in a ballet company. It’s hard work. I try to keep up, but my legs hurt most of the time. Sometimes after work I go to the park and pet other people’s dogs. I keep thinking some of my Houston friends might just show up and say hello. But they never do. I hope wherever they are, they’re doing okay. I have trouble sleeping at night. I have bad dreams, like I’m stuck in traffic on 1604. I wake up really annoyed. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I am. I guess I’m too old for that sort of nonsense.

But I like it here. I think I’ll stay.

(Reference: The original here, and the Weeds parody here.*)

(*Spoiler alert: The first video involves a guy putting on a noose and hanging himself. The second involves a guy putting on a noose and wanking himself. Don’t watch either if thekids/Grandma/boss are in the room with you)

 

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Today is my twenty-eighth birthday. It’s a little weird to think that I’ve been a legal “adult” for a full decade.

It’s been a pleasant, though uneventful day so far. I did not teach today because my knee is not ready yet, which was a little disappointing because I enjoy my Saturday classes (but I’d rather be safe than sorry). Instead, Craig made me breakfast, I got a package and a phone call from Mama Butterfly, and we’re going out for a nice dinner this evening.

***

Since this birthday is not terribly blog-worthy, I wanted to share some of my favorite birthday memories from my adult/dancing life:

Twenty-first: That morning I onstage at the Hobby center in a performance for school students. That night, I had final dress rehearsal for the “big” show that the company was performing that weekend–and the directors and other dancers got me a cake and sang to me backstage. How sweet! Afterwards my roommate and another friend bought me a drink at The Proletariat (sadly, now gone). And oddly enough, this was the Daily Bible Verse for that day.

Twenty- second: So far this was the best birthday everIn the morning I rehearsed Jose Limon’s There is a Time with a dance company– what a wonderful experience that was! After rehearsal, I met up with the dancers from my own dance ensemble, and we piled into a limo (actually a white stretch Hummer) that took us to the airport…where we flew to Pennsylvania for our first (and only) tour. It was a truly magical weekend; and will always treasure those memories. 

Twenty- fourth: On my actual birthday, I went to work and set a ballet that I was very fond of. Nothing too meaningful there. But the day before I’d had my first date with Craig; so it was special in that regard.

***

I have high hopes for my twenty-ninth year on this earth. Really, they’re the same “high hopes” I laid out for myself  less than four weeks ago on New Year’s day; only re-affirmed and with a new sense of fight. Things have not been going my way in the first month of the year, but I’ve resolved to not let it sink me into a deep funk (again).

Someone on FB wished me a happy birthday with the following quote from Nora Ephron: “Above all be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” I really needed to read that, so I thanked the person and copied down the quote (and stuck it next to my laptop, for the next time I’m tempted to whine).

I’m going to close with this little meme, only because I’ve been doing so for eight years now:

</ twenty- seven > < twenty- eight >

 

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My knee continues to hurt and swell, despite my being very careful on it (especially at work), missing class, resting, and keeping it wrapped & iced down & heated up.

*cue the tiny violins*

First it was frustrating, but now it’s gotten to be depressing.  My usual day-to-day life is very exercise-oriented, and being sidelined from my routine has left me bored and sad. I can’t hike in the beautiful weather or enjoy the dance classes I’ve worked for; I’m missing my internship (my second day!) because I can’t plie without pain; my job (that I love so dearly) is complicated because I can’t demonstrate everything. What’s a dancer to do?

*crescendo of tiny violins*

Worse than the boredom and disappointment, though, is the fear. What if it gets worse? What if something tears, or requires surgery? Dance is not just my joy, it’s my livelihood. What will I do if I become unable to work? And just when things were going well for me, dammit.

***

So. That’s where I am today. Missing a day of dance, hurting, bored, and worried. Trying to alleviate the pain with ibuprofen & ice and the worries with prayer. I should use this down-time for productive non-physical things, like catching up on reading and finding new music for my classes*– it’ll help the boredom and cheer me up a bit, too.

Writing a whiny blog post seemed like a good enough start. 

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*and resisting the urge to drown my sorrows in tumblr and Netflix

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Rocky Start.

So, how’s your year going so far?

As for mine? Let’s see:  I wasted zero time catching whatever bug is going around the community where I teach (probably didn’t help that one of my little-littles coughed directly in my face on the second day back), and was knocked out sick for three days last week (and missed my first Thursday night of classes).  I felt better by Friday and enjoyed two days of dancing and being outdoors in the bee-youtiful weather… and woke up Sunday morning with a swollen, sore knee. WTF? While I’m thankfully able to teach (albeit very carefully), I haven’t been to a ballet class or a nature hike all week.

In the midst of all that, we had some worries about our truck (which, mercifully, turned out to be nothing), and I evidently had some malware on my blog (no idea what happened there, but it’s fixed now).

The first two weeks of 2014 have been frustrating. I made lots of plans and wanted to accomplish much, but so far I’ve been sick in bed or sidelined with a bag of ice on my knee. It feels like a bad omen, but I’m trying to stay optimistic. And praying for that light at the end of the tunnel.

***

Despite all that, I started a new internship this week, in a youth arts program. It’s a really great program– I’ve known many kids who have been part of it, and even more adults who have taught for it– and I’m really thrilled to be involved. I’m assisting with a teens dance class; they do an hour of modern dance followed by 45 minutes of improvisation. The kids are really great (I’ve worked with at least one of them before), and the teachers are fantastic! I’m looking forward to next Tuesday.

…2014 isn’t off to that bad a start, after all.

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This year, like last year, I built our Christmas tree out of books– except this year I made two.
A smaller one for the bedroom:
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And a larger one for the living room:
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Stupidly, I started with the smaller tree (which took about 30-40 minutes to put up, and had nothing in the middle to support its structure), and didn’t leave myself *quite* enough books to make the living room tree as tall as I’d envisioned. Still, it came out nicer and less shrub-like than last year’s efforts.

I happened to get some build shots of the second one:
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This was about 30 minutes in. That’s an old butter churn with a folded yoga mat inside it in the center there.
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This was about an hour later. You can’t see it from the picture, but i’d stuffed two flimsy pillows inside the tree on either side of the butter churn/yoga mat contraption. I built it up until I reached the top of the yoga mat, then laid the last few books across the top of the mat. I placed two more smaller books on top and topped if off with an angel and some lights. The whole process took two hours and roughly 200 books.

They came down a few days after the 12 days were over. The smaller tree came down in less 40 minutes. The big one took longer, but I had fun with it: after the lights were off I removed the books from the top, pulled out the pillows and mat, and proceeded to knock/kick the thing down & pretended I was Godzilla. If you can’t amuse yourself…

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My UU minister shared this on Facebook. Enjoy!

***

My friends, we have arrived. We are here, in this new year. 
We have crossed the boundary of time, into the next year, with all its resolutions and plans and schedules ahead of us. 
Let us pause, for just this moment, before we move boldly onward. 
Let us pause to hear the breathing of those around us, 
to feel their presence in this room. 
To know their presence in our lives. 
Let us pause to consider the trees, their branches stripped bare, 
their elegant architecture on display. 
Let us pause to feel the spirit of life and love that ties us to each other, that winds its way through our very bones and settles in our hearts. 
Before we march forward, armed with resolutions that will shortly be forgotten in the day-to-day of living, let us notice what it is that remains every year, every day. What exists beyond schedules and months, beyond time. It welcomes us to life, not just at the start of the year, but every day. And let us answer . . . Amen.

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