Friday, June 29, 2012

At A Loss (For Words).

This doesn't usually happen to me. Silence. Generally speaking, I always have something to say, on almost any topic you choose. It runs deeper than that as well though. Like a thin vein of ore melted into the earth's crust that you could follow right to the world's own molten, blazing, burning red heart. It runs as deep as a creative personality and tightly wound nature. It runs as deep as the almost-endless cacophony of ideas, criticisms (generally aimed towards the self) itineraries and plans that careen about in my mind.

But today, everything is still. Hushed - but not soothed. Rather it is as though everything the noise, the thoughts, the feelings, the ideas have reached an apex and with that apex a pitch my tired self can no longer hear.

And so what I have to say tonight, my friends and handful of faithful, beloved followers, is nothing.

For tonight, everything is silenced. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to speak again. In the soft light of morning sometimes I think even the world holds its breath - in that pause mayhaps I will find my words again.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Here's The Plan.

That's become my catchphrase lately.  "Here's the plan."  When I'm talking to my little kids at camp - "Ok, gang here's the plan," and then I outline the next few things on our schedule.  When Boyfriend and I are trying to figure out how to squeeze in all of the things we have to do in a day and actually manage to see each other (something that doesn't happen all that often, even though I divide my time between his family's house and my Mum's) I say "Here's the plan, babe."  When people ask me about Senior Year (dun dun dun!) and graduation (eeeeeeeekkkkk!!!) and similar nonsense I always respond with "Well, here's the plan . . . I think."  Although I usually keep the "I think," locked away in my brain (it sounds better there I think).

So ladies and gents. . . here's the plan.  I was thinking about all the days there are in the summer, and how much posting posting everyday actually is.  And then I started thinking about good topics and ideas so that I'd have something valid/interesting to say each of those days.  The plan right now is to post about the following topics, among others:

*Introducing: where I formally introduce more of the Cast of Characters who make up my life, sort of like yesterday's post about my two best friends.

*Weekly Gratitude where I write down everything I'm grateful for in the past week

*My regular health & fitness updates

*Posts about the creative process that is Aida

*This Week At Work: where I share the most ridiculous/exasperating/enjoyable/unbelievable things that happen each week as an Early Childhood Educator/Coach, self-employed teacher/coach/sensei, and other assorted jobs.

*Regular What I'm Reading and What I'm Watching posts.  Because I try to squeeze in book-and-movie time.

*Updates on the madness that appears to be my senior year.

*The Month In Pictures (self explanatory, no?)

Is there anything else you guys would like to see on here?  Updates about any area I'm missing, or things you'd like to know/read more about?  Please let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Best Friends.

Today, I got to see one of my two best friends.  The best friends department is one of the many in which I am overly blessed - being fortunate enough to count two wonderful ladies as my best of friends, my bosom buddies, my go-to-girls.  About two and a half weeks ago, I got to see one of them, who drove up from NYC to visit her New England friends.  Today, I got the chance to see the other, who drove down from Northern Maine to visit her family (and me! yay!).

I wish I could do justice via a blog post to these amazing ladies but it can be really hard to get "awesome," down in black and white.  Well, grey and white I suppose. . . that is the color of my font, isn't it?  Shoot.

Anyway, these two fantabulous best friends are very similar in a few important ways, and yet totally different in others.  They both have distinctive laughs that you can hear a mile away, that come easily and linger warmly.  Smiles that take up two-thirds of their faces, and a penchant for story telling.  They are both dancers, though of different strips - one is a belly dancer, specializing in tribal fusion who trained in ancient dances while abroad in India as a Dance Minor.  The other took some ballet classes as a girl.  Most of the rest of her "training," is informal and fun: salsa clubs in New York, college clubs and gay bars in various cities with various friends.  All of which is enhanced by a natural sense of rhythm.  As either of these two women dance, their wild manes of tight, curly, dark hair dance and wave around them like a separate entity almost, breathing a new life into their movement.

Both trained martial arts - the same system as me - and earned black belts.  They are each frank, honest, direct, firing from the hip and the heart.  They are vivid, brilliant people, women made of color and sound and commotion and passion.  Sometimes, they each whisper quiet, wiggling worries about finding THE path - the CORRECT path - out of all the paths they may yet choose. 

And how many paths their are, for women who both choose observing the human being and expressing the human being as their focuses in college.  Anthropology and Dance.  Neuroscience and Visual Art. Study, observe, then create.

And yet in other ways, they are so very different.  One stands tall and slender, a former diver and current runner.  Her skin is milky white - creamy even when tanned - and her features as distinctly, proudly Portuguese as her last name.  The other is a few inches above five feet, with golden-tan skin covering every inch of her long slender arms and full, womanly hips as well as every inch in between.  Here and there the skin is permanently kissed by a tattooer's ink, and piercings wink.

Mystical and exotic fascinate one.  She is spirit and heart.  Puzzles and challenges intrigue the other.  She is head and heart.  One was raised modestly, on a tight income, in a rural town.  Homeschooling, quiet local Christian schools, a town without traffic lights, vacations being a trip to grandparents homes.  The other was raised comfortably, in high end homes with international travel and a heavily private, all girls education. 

The one who went to private schools makes (or remakes, really) much of her own clothing. Which she wears dancing, running, sketching, pursuing a possible career in medicine.  Or special effects make up.  You know, whichever.

The other, who I got to see after months apart today, dreams of belly dancing professionally, of exploring acting more fully, of going back to school so she can take her flare for languages internationally and teach English As A Second Language in other countries, her luggage in one hand and her sweetheart's hand in the other.

These are my two best friends.  Sugar, spice, and everything nice.

{She looks like one of her own paintings, no?}

{Can't you just hear the drums?}

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Most Exciting Parts of the Week

Here are a few of the things I'm most looking forward to this week. What makes you excited to get up each day?

Seeing one of my two best friends (yyyyaaayyy!!)

Maybe having another (new!) summer job.

Aida rehearsal. Always.

Setting my Voice schedule for the semester.

Seeing Boyfriend after a few days apart (cheesy I know but true and when most of your relationship is long distance, every second counts).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day Off.

Today (Monday) is currently my day off. I say "currently," because I'm hoping to have a new, additional job soon. For now though, today is a nice respite in the midst of work and rehearsals. I woke up later than I had intended, because last night the patron saint of Insomnia chose to come sit on my shoulder. It was ok though because Monday I meet Sissy ( my little sister) mid-morning between her classes. If I wake up early, we meet in time for a nice early lunch. If I wake late, I can still squeeze in a lazy breakfast.

After hanging out with Sissy, I stopped into a store in the area I heard was hiring and applied. I happened to hand my paperwork in to the general manager and she gave me a quick interview on the spot, to my excitement. I was told to expect a call soon (yay!).

After that it was back to nap because of my bad night's sleep the night before and an upset tummy. When I woke up, Boyfriend and I ventured to the grocery store. We've been watching a whole lot of Chef Gordon Ramsey lately and that combine with his desire to start eating a bit better and saving money, has Boyfriend eager to learn in the kitchen.

After preparing dinner (orange chicken! From scratch! Actually quite delicious!) I read for a little bit and then we caught a late showing of "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter."

A movie I am far too exhausted to give a review to tonight. And so on that note I ask, interweb friends - what do you do on your day(s) off? Share in a comment please!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekly Gratitude (6/17 - 6/24)

Hey guys, remember when this was a thing? When Weekly Gratitude was exactly that, a weekly list I publicly published, to remind myself of my blessings and send out a little positive energy? I do! It's been a while though so if you don't it's ok. I promise.

Here is a refresher course, in case you can't recall just how it works. Every weekend I write a post listing the things/people/situations/etc. in my life over the past week that I am grateful for. And believe me, I have a lot to be thankful for. Why then would this simple thank-you list fall by the wayside? I have no excuse, folks. But what better time than now, during the Summer of Recreating Myself (with its daily blogposts), to start back up again?

And so here you have it, folks. My first Weekly Gratitude of the summer, beginning with:

* I am so grateful for my literacy. In a world where so much of the population can neither read nor write, and where MOST females are entirely illiterate, I am incredibly blessed to even have means to write this down. Let alone the countless worlds and opportunities opened up for me through the key of reading.

*Thank You for the news of my Aunt's seemingly successful rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and for the medical staff who treated her.

*Thank You for music. There is something too it that stirs my soul, where it sits nestled by my heart beneath my breastbone. A beautiful piano or well strummed guitar can make that secret place hum.

*I'm so grateful for the chance to be a part of "Aida." Rehearsals have become the highlight of my week, the thing I endlessly look forward too when it isn't occurring.

*Thank You for my family (biological and we-adopted-each-other), my friends, Boyfriend, and his family (who love and treat me 110% as their own) what is life without love, after all?

*I'm grateful for a job at all - especially one where I get to teach, play with, influence, and mold children. And also, swim. A lot on hot days.

*Thank You for the sunshine and someplace to cool off when it shines too bright.

*I'm grateful for friends who are there in a pinch with a smile.

What are you grateful for this week, friends?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Think I've Discovered the Problem

That's right, folks. I think I figured it out. THE problem. With me, I mean. My too-many credits, kind of overwhelming personality, scatter brained self. Here it is, in a nutshell:

The two reality TV show I'd most love to be on are So You Think You Can Dance . . . and Master Chef. One is all about aesthetic, fierceness, being fit having a look, lots of heart, and a bit of luck. The other . . . well. Sometimes you just have to fry things in bacon grease. Seriously.

I mean, most gourmet chefs aren't people you want to see running around in leotards or half shirts. And the stereotype of dancers involves celery sticks, water bottles, and obsessively splitting your "meals," in to bite sized bits of apple. Hardly two passions you'd imagine going together. And get every time there is a Mystery Box or challenge on Master Chef, I find myself eagerly whipping together meals in my mind. Likewise, as So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) airs I am adding extra time into my daily stretches a d wandering around choreographing.

If you look closely, I think there are threads that tie the two worlds together: technique is a must in both, for instance. If you want to be taken seriously by your peers or progress in either field, you must have perfect technique. Passion is a must, as is creativity, the ability to think quickly on your feet, a thick skin for criticism balanced with accepting/applying critiques, and flare.

One thing I'm learning about myself is how important those things are. Anything involving creativity, passion, technique, and a chance to be original is something I truly enjoy. Let the cooking - and pirouetting - begin!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Being Creative.

I decided - when I decided to start this whole daily bolgpost thing - to really make this the summer of change and growth.  To work on being a healthier, more motivated, more positive person, etc. etc. etc.  Well one of the keys to a kinder, gentler me is creativity.  So that's what this evening's post is about: some of the ways I have been and hope to continue to be, creative this summer.

Daily Blogposts: to make blogging a habit.  To "work on my words," since I believe articulate and impassioned conversation is the key to improving this world.  Because I like it. (does that last one sound childish?  It does, doesn't it.  Oh well. . . sometimes the inner child needs to come out to play.  I think.)

Playing Buddy:  Buddy is the name of a ukelele my friend gave me from his collection.  I've been dying to learn to play an instrument and the uke is portable, small, joyful sounding and supposed to be very simple.  In addition to some of the scales I learned during the school year, I'm working on learning some actual SONGS.

Rehearsing for "Aida,": just being in a room with so much creative, artistic energy - and especially the passion that seeps off of our director - makes me feel more inspired.  One of the best moment of the summer so far was as I whirled myself around in a half-circle in rehearsal, so fast the beads of sweat forming on my brow never got the chance to roll down my cheeks: as I whirled I also dropped my body in half in a big dramatic movement, while inhaling and preparing for my harmony. 

Working on the details of my characters: again, this one is for "Aida."  Creating stories, characters, depth to the people (granted, they are made up people) I'm portraying.  Creating a person entirely from scratch, with only music and dates to guide you, is the most creative experience imaginable.  And the rush you get when you know you've got it right - whether "it," is a tiny detail or something as important as "your," name - is unlike anything else.

Writing in my dance journal again: keeps me honest.

Letting myself play in the kitchen: I've always loved cooking and lately I've defaulted to a handful of easy recipes, instead of broadening my horizons.  No-no.

Making a list of projects for my apartment for this school year: dry erase boards, signs for doors, etc.

Does anyone else out there have any creative ideas they'd like to share?  Please let me know, anything to keep the juices flowing!  Or are you undertaking any creative ventures of your own?  Feel free to fill us in!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yesterday's Post. . .

So yesterday, I was really proud of myself.  I made sure to put up that first-of-my-daily-for-the-whole-summer before sliding in to bed totally exhausted.  And then. . . and then.  I discovered today (right now) that last night's post didn't go through from my ipod.  Apparently, Bloggers app doesn't work in my house.


On the upside, I'm posting now!  And the topic of TODAY'S post is "First Day of Summer Madness."

Here was today's schedule:

7:15am, up and at 'em.  Breakfast, getting dressed, packing bag for the rest of the day.

8:15 on the road!

8:30-9:00 arrive to camp and set up

9:00 - 4:00 FUNergy Camp! Coloring, tumbling, tag, healthy snacks, lake trip, water balloons, upset tummies, front rolls, and seashell searching.  Also, give myself a TERRIBLE sun burn. But don't worry, all of the kids went home with perfect skin.

4:00 - 4:30 clean it aaaaaaaaalllll up

4:30 - 5:30 on the road to baseball!

5:30 - 6:00 watch part of the baseball game. Note that the Kid is now almost a head taller than me and rather handsome. Become disgruntled.

6:00 - 6:45 head to rehearsal.  Realize I've drank almost no water today and forgot to pack a bottle.

6:45. . . obtain bottle of water.  Plastic.Yuck. Dehydration more or less avoided.

7:00 - 10:00 dance. sing. dance some more. sweat gratuitously.  sing and dance. chug water. manage not to faint. AKA, rehearsal.

10:00 - 11:15 find way home.

11:15 to present time: pound water and ibuprofen.  Wrap sunburns in baking soda-vinegar paste (don't knock it. it helps).  Blog (yay!).  Search for dried fruit or granola bar to eat.

Present time onward: cold shower. sleep.

And guess what guys. . . I survived!  In almost 100 degree heat, and without being late once! Woohoo!  Onto tomorrow's adventure.

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Idea.

So according to Blogger, it has been approximately two weeks since my last blogpost.  I was really disappointed with myself when I realized that was the case.  You see, in the past two weeks I've had thoughts EVERYDAY about posts I should write, clips I should share, etc.  But I haven't been. . . and I should be!  Remember this post, all about my summer health agenda?  Well I'm in that same mood again.  Motivated, inspired, ready to work.  And that include on this blog!  This coming semester is going to be madness - 23 credits, plus an Independent Study, Senior Performance Rehearsals, a Senior Seminar trip to NYC, several clubs, dance and theater performances (and rehearsals, obviously) three different jobs, and auditioning for "Real World," post-grad gigs.  Madness.  And the thing is, I don't want Such Ado to get lost in the wilderness and madness that will be my life.  They say it takes 30 days to make a habit, right? The habit I want to make is regular blogging - because I love this creative outlet.  Because it makes me happy.  Because it will be a convenient way for family and friend to follow along on my journey.  And because I want to, damnit!!

So here's the plan, fight fans:  daily blogging.  That's right. Everyday I'm going to put up one new post - whether it be one of my novella length musings, a link to my favorite song-of-the-moment, a Tiny Taut Toned and Tan 2012 update, or a list of things I am grateful for.  Or you know, whatever other random musings pop into my head.  I figure if I can fit in my summer camp job, Aida rehearsal, babysitting, family functions, and my new attempts at a health lifestyle daily this summer, fitting in blogging regularly this fall should be a cinch, right?

This is the summer of reinvention folks.  Time to grab the bull by the horns and start working towards being the Me I believe I can be.  And that means not just healthier and more organized, but more creative and happy too.  Here goes nothing!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Music & The Mirror

For those of you who don't know, the title of the post comes from a beautiful song of the same name from the musical A Chorus Line.  In this number the lead character declares "God I'm a dancer - a dancer dances!" and explains how the only things in life she ever needs are "the music, and the mirror, and the chance to dance for you."

In that moment, I feel for Cassie.  I understand exactly what she means - because I feel the same need, the same urge to move that has my feet tapping and my heart racing and my very bones aching if I sit still too long.  If I go overlong without singing enough notes, I can feel my throat tighten and I get grouchy, listless, bored.  Without a character to painstakingly create and build and loose myself in, I become so antsy I irritate even myself.  I was nervous at the thought of a summer spent this way - with no "home dance studio" anymore, no money for voice lessons, and not much access to theatre where I live, it didn't seem likely I'd be performing or creating very much.

But my fears were proved wrong by a wonderful chance to perform!  I'm part of a community theatre's production of "Aida."  It's a beautiful show and a talented cast and a well respected theatre, so that alone is a great opportunity.  I'm part of the Trio of Dancers in our production, who like the Trio in the Broadway production narrate and enhance the story through dances to instrumental music through out the score. The Trio often take the lead during the ensemble dances, and portray various ensemble roles.  Additionally we're part of the Prologue and Epilogue sequences, set in a modern day museum with all of the key characters intermingling and forming connections.  During the Prologue, the audience doesn't realize the crowd is composed of the lead characters - but when the Epilogue comes, they've met everyone and are aware of their roles/connections/etc.  It's one of my favorite bits of stage magic and I'm quite excited to be a part of it!

And perhaps even more excitingly, I have been given a wonderful opportunity to perform a solo in this production!  The way our director has decided to stage one of the dance sequences, it will be danced by a soloist in an exotic costume, en pointe.  I almost cried I was so excited when he informed us at the Read Through that soloist would  be me!  Me, my pointe shoes, and a live band alone on the stage. . . what more could I want? Because stereotypical as it is to say, performing is my life. The practice studios and rehearsal halls are my home, with their cool barres and familiar smells of rosin, tea with lemon, tiger balm, and honey, the ancient creaking of floors a thousand feet have danced on, the solemn black music stands waiting to be burdened with librettos.  The dark curtained wings are my horizon, a strange mix of heavy red velvets and blinding yellow lights - and beyond them lies my entire world.  The stage.  Without songs to sing and steps to dance and characters to breathe life into, I am certain I'd have gone mad.  Now, I am going home instead.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Late Spring/Early Summer Instagram

Hello friends!

I'm keeping my word and making sure to post daily! And yes, even of this post goes up after 12:00 midnight, I'm counting it as my day two post. Because I'm posting it before I go to sleep. So, that's my new rule. I must post before bed and if it after midnight, it counts.

So . . . here is the post! A sampling of some of my pictures since my "summer vacation." That's in quotes because it's not officially summer yet , and if you're working/rehearsing I'm not sure it's 100% a vacation.