Archive for November, 2008

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Gotta Dance!

November 29, 2008

Two weeks ago, I attended a performance of “Singin’ In The Rain” at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. First off, this was the perfect theater to see it in; with it’s deco stylings and comfortable seats (at least in on the floor*), I felt like I was transported to a time when movies were big and important. And included singing.

Honestly, I was on the edge of my seat, and the edge of tears through most of the film. Sure, I’m a sucker for musicals, but Gene Kelley is on a whole different plane than other dancers**. He pulls off moves that seem impossible like he was walking down the street. His turns are perfect.

So what I got most out of the movie was inspiration. I want to become a better dancer, even if it is just a hobby. I’ll never be Gene Kelley, or anywhere close, but while I can still move, I want it to be the best movement I can do.

Now I just have to figure out HOW.

*I recall seeing Bjork there years ago, in the balcony, and becoming very good friends with my knees.
** Though it really should be noted that Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor really kept up with him, and I think O’Connor was really underrated and underused in comparison.

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My Car Smells Like Crayons

November 19, 2008

It’s a fact. Indeed, almost everyone who gets in my car for the first repeats the same refrain. My usual reply is “that’s considerably better than what many cars COULD smell like.”

FINALLY, I can tell them why, courtesy of my good friend Katy:

Found this online: “VW uses wax to coat its metal parts on the underbody of the car to help deter rust. Hence the “crayon” smell. See especially when it gets hot, the wax will melt a little, creating the waxy smell.”

Personally, I LOVE that my car smells like crayons. It reminds me of  happy afternoons sprawled out in a sunny patch of the carpet, making the My Little Ponies into little whore-horses. You should all be glad I never went into make-up.

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Waking up my fingers

November 18, 2008

This last Sunday, my grandmother turned 88. Also this week, she passed her driving test, meaning she’s legal to be on the road until she’s 92. Even she thought that was hilarious.

It was a great family get-together, with excellent food, laughs, and wine.  (Oh, a lot of wine. My brain was not happy Monday morning, and I wasn’t the only one.) I can’t remember what possessed us, but my sister and I decided to head over to the piano and see how many musical numbers we could bang out, using our favorite old songbook.

My sister has a lovely voice. And I took piano for seven years in my youth (ending at 14). I hadn’t touched the keys at all in at least three years, so I was convinced that I wasn’t even going to remember where middle C was located. And yet! I moved my fingers, and music emanated from the piano! I was very rusty, and got confused on the very low notes, but I think I did pretty well, considering.

I forgot how much I love playing piano. I was never concert-level good, but it was good stress relief in college, merging a break AND feeling kind of constructive. I want to play again. Alas, there is nary a space in my tiny and already overfilled apartment for such a thing, to speak nothing of getting it down all those stairs! And a keyboard just won’t do.

I find it funny that NOW I’m in the right space to practice for twenty to thirty minutes a day, when as a child it bothered me to no end. What did you do as a child that you wish you had kept up?

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Hey! I can post from 43 things!

November 13, 2008

“I love my purple hair!”

How I did it: I had been putting it off for years – I was looking for a new job, and I knew showing up with normal looking hair would probably help me during an interview. So finally, after landing the new job, I could approach my hairdresser about adding some purple.

She bleached out a hair amount of hair, including the underside of my bangs and large sections on either side of my head, but with a layer of my natural hair over it, so it wasn’t TOO obvious. She blended two different purples and applied it. I LOVE IT.

Lessons & tips: This was the first time I’d ever had my hair professionally dyed, and I can’t recommend it enough. No worries about burning my scalp, or making a mess, or anything.

It took me 2 years.

It made me Totally Happy

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Driving Sideways

November 12, 2008

Between the nasty cold, the show, and a rather unpleasant womanly time, I’ve been indulging myself too much lately. It seems like I can justify almost anything, so I find myself knee deep in bad habits. I’ve been drinking often (but not too excess, at least), I’ve been pounding full sugar and caffeine sodas, I’ve been having mid-afternoon candy bars. I sit on my ass when I get home, because it’s been the first time in months I’ve been able to do it. My apartment is still a complete mess. And, the final nail on the self-pity coffin, of which I feel the worst about, I bit off all my nails last night.

I’m really unsure of what’s going with me.

Regardless, I still am Mace, so I know, deep down, that everything will be fine. I’ll find some new project to jump into, the apartment will sort itself out, and I will bounce back to my happy self. It’s just a matter of how long.

(I still feel guilty about missing the Year Without for the last two months. Any spectacular ideas for December?)

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Today, I beat myself up.

November 6, 2008
Last night, I was parading around the house with my cat over my shoulders, like a stole. He seemed to like it, or at least tolerate it by holding still. Until I let go for a moment, and he lost his balance, and dug his claw into my tender upper lip (and scratched my face, too, but that is small and I never felt it). It took a while for it to stop bleeding. Today my lip is swollen and it hurts to laugh.This morning, as I was waking up, I grabbed the bedding to pull it over my head, and didn’t get a good grip. My hand slipped, and I punched myself in the eye. It’s a little tender, but luckily it didn’t seem to bruise or swell too much.

My hands are very dried out between frequent hand washings and the heaters being on at work. My knuckles are the worst, pink and cracked.

Basically, I look like I got in a very minor fight last night. Thank god Trevor wasn’t over, or I’m sure people would assume. Sigh.

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Oh, there I am.

November 5, 2008

Leader of the pack, originally uploaded by Lupiebug.

I’m a bit amazed. Someone actually asked what happened to my blog!

As the performance approached, I was spending more and more time dancing, and less time doing… well, everything else. For example: I skipped a party I was looking forward to attending, because it was going to be my one chance that week to sit at home and do nothing. Of course, as I’m cooking dinner (another activity that was rare), I get a call from a fellow dancer, asking if we could run a particular piece she was having troubles with. So we danced from 9 – 11pm on a FRIDAY NIGHT.

The Sunday before the show, I finally got a day off and went to a wedding (congrats to Jeremy and Kristin, two of my favorite South Bay peeps!). Driving home, my throat felt a little sore, but I figured it was the dancing and drinking. Little did I know that it was a cold that would knock me out for almost two days straight, and even now, a week and a half later, still is lingering. This made rehearsals that last week a little difficult.

But it was all worth it. We sold out both the afternoon and the evening show. It was probably the best dancing I’ve done in my life. I didn’t make any major mistakes, and no one could even tell the minor ones.

I did, however, manage to rip something on almost every costume I wore (and there were plenty). The one shown above is the only one that escaped unharmed, but then again, it’s all street clothes that I wear all the time. I yanked a zipper out of it’s mooring, I pulled part of a ruffle off a skirt, I ripped a safety pin through my nice new shawl, and we won’t talk about how many times my butt got stuck in zippers. Embarrassing. There’s a fantastic difference between the chaos of backstage and the control onstage.

I’m so happy that those who came could make it, and I’m sad for those who couldn’t, be it financial, distance, weddings, or because we sold out*. There will be a DVD, and I will be inviting people to watch it with me. Hopefully it’ll capture the experience. And hopefully not capture the moment where I almost showed the crowd all my goodies by lifting my skirt too high.

Now it’s a Wednesday, and I’ve had th entire evening to myself. I cooked some, I cleaned some, I played hard with my cat. It is exactly what I wanted to do. I’ll miss rehearsal, and having that goal, but I look forward to spending quiet time alone, and fun time with my friends. I’m back!

* I am the least sad for this, because it’s pretty awesome.