Thursday, February 26, 2009

Comedy/Tragedy

I used to be very actively involved with theater. I know, right? You're all so shocked. I loved to act, and I was fairly decent at it. It was a game to me, how realistic could I be while I was pretending?

I acted throughout high school and college. I was in virtually every show in some way, shape or form. I loved figuring the character out. Especially once I hit college and started in on my psych degree. That became part of the game, too. 

I kind of let the theater thing slide (along with everything else) back in my 20's. While I've started the dancing up again, I've had no real desire to get back on stage and act. I never really thought about that one way or the other; it wasn't something I necessarily missed.

Then tonight in class, our teacher (hi Yasmia!) had us dance to two songs - one just to dance and move; the other to get in touch with our emotions while dancing. She correctly pointed out that in order to be a phenomenal dancer, you have to dance what is in your heart. Let's just say I had issues with the second song. In my defense, the song just didn't speak to my heart. It was a good song, but it just didn't grab me there.

But it kinda got me thinking back to my acting days. I lost all interest in acting when it wasn't a game anymore. You see, when I was younger, I would pretend that I had been through all these things I was portraying on stage: love, loss, fear, betrayal... but none of these things had happened to me. I was lost in the land of what-if. 

I'm not that person anymore; I've felt all those things, and deeply. If I got on stage I wouldn't be pretending anymore - I'd be letting all those pesky hurts and fears and tears out for the whole world to see, and they'd all be real. And I might not be able to stop once they got going.

I am rather afraid that the same thing will happen to me with dance. That I'll never go after the songs that truly move me; because the emotions that bubble up might well be more than I can handle, and more than I want to share. But that is what makes a dancer phenomenal, isn't? That sharing. 

So, I'm stuck now trying to figure out how much and how far I truly want to push myself. I know there are songs I can't listen to for various reasons. What would happen if I danced to them? I'm almost afraid to find out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Letter

Okay, so I totally had something else written here. I even had it up for a whole five minutes.

Then I realized I was playing stupid games, with myself and others. I do not want to be that kind of person.

I highly doubt anyone say what I originally had here (let's face it, my following is not that big). If you did, you probably saw the pettiness inherent in its words. I hope you do not think less of me for that momentary lapse of intelligence.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My body, she hurts.

Performance Friday night. Yoga and a vigorous walk yesterday (okay, and some semi-drunk walking last night but that doesn't count). Today, choreographing the final 1.3 minutes of a dance I couldn't remember the first 2 minutes to. 

Oy. My body, she aches.

My hamstrings hurt, my back hurts, my arms hurt, my abs hurt. Muscles I didn't know I had hurt. 

Two and a half grueling hours of trying to make sense of choreography notes and battling an overwhelming desire to nap instead of dance. This last minute was a toughie. I've doing my best not to repeat moves, but let's face it, I'm a novice. I've only got five to begin with, and this is a 3 minute piece! It's all good though. The dance is finally finished, and I think it looks pretty good. It damn well better, at any rate. I don't know if I have the wherewithall to change anything at this point. 

I have a performance Wednesday night, but thankfully I'll not be doing any solo work. My one dance is strictly a group dance. After that will be the big "Myths and Legends" performance I worked so hard for today. 

I am, in the words of my British friends, knackered. Tonight's an early night for me, I think. I'm going to curl up some place warm and soft with a cup of tea, possibly a book, and the remote.

*sigh*

That almost sounds too good to be true right now.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dancing

My mom enrolled me in ballet when I was around 5 years old. That first class was less of a ballet class than a movement class, but it introduced me to the art of dancing at a very young age. I spent most of my childhood years taking ballet, right up through junior high school. In high school, we had an actual dance program, where I took jazz and modern.

I have pretty much danced all of my life. Even in college, I danced where and when I could. But when I graduated and entered the "real world," I stopped. For going on a decade, the only time I danced was around my little apartment, when no one was looking.

I spent most of my 20's in a state of undiagnosed depression, I am nearly positive. I am not saying it was because I was not dancing - I am sure the reasons are many and frankly I haven't delved too deeply into it. 

I started dancing again last year - belly dancing (which I've mentioned several times here now). I had a performance last night. For someone who was on her 2nd belly dance performance ever, I was probably getting a little ahead of myself. You see, it was live music (wonderful live music), almost none of the dancers were familiar with the songs, and none of it was choreographed. We were pushing each other out onto the floor where we all just hoped for the best. Even the seasoned dancers were nervous about this.

At the intermission, some lovely older lady (whom I suspect had snuck some alcohol in) came up to me and said "You're a wonderful dancer. I've been watching belly dancers for 40 years. It's obvious you love to dance. You've got the moves, just get the confidence and you're there." That total stranger gave me one of the best gifts I've received in a very long time.

I love to dance. I'm good at it. I denied myself that pleasure for far too long. I am never turning my back on this gift I have again.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sigh.

I am, apparently, addicted to cheese.

I love cheese. Vermonters make good cheese. Not only do I not feel guilty about eating it (yes, I've read all the vegan literature), but I actually feel guilty for not eating Vermont cheese.

I mean, the stuff rocks. Not just the Cabot stuff (Hunter's Favorite Seriously Sharp is the best), but even the artisinal stuff is amazing.

I know what it's doing to my insides. I try to leave it alone; really I do.

But it's soooooo gooooooood!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wow, that was random...

... even for me!

I met my cousin Chrissy (hi Chrissy!) for dinner at a local tex-mex place in town. As we were taking care of the bill, she casually mention that Sweeney Todd was going to be playing at the Flynn Theater. For those of you not in the know, the Flynn is one of Vermont's premier theaters, and it books some pretty good stuff. It still maintains its community roots though. It's a good theater.

So anyway, I say to Chrissy "You know what I want to see? Cirque Eloise. But tonight is the last night they're in town." So she says, let's go! And I'm all like "huh? Hasn't the show already started?"

Nope. We took our seats just as some Flynn chick was up there thanking people who gave the theater money to operate.

So, I saw Cirque Eloise's performance of Nebbia. On a Wednesday night, apropos of nothing. It was really good. I'm not sure human bodies are meant to bend like that, though...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When?

How do you know when to fight for something you really want, and when to just let it go? How do you know when you've reached that fine line between "worth it" and "not worth it anymore"?

When do you stop listening to what your heart is screaming and start listening to what your head has been quietly droning on about? And why do they always seem at odds with each other?

Perhaps, when you reach the point where your heart just hurts so much you want to rip it out of your chest and throw it against something, maybe that's when its time to listen to your head. Then again, maybe it's because you were listening to your head that your heart hurts so much.

And now my head hurts....

***
Yellow-Bellied Ne'er-Do-Well

If I started walking right now
I'd be home for dinner
Maybe that 15 mile hike
Would help me come to terms with things
Or at least come to a course of action
Either is good
I get jealous of those
Who can just drop everything and run
When things get tough
When you've spent your whole life living up to responsibility
Turning tail and slinking out the back door
Is braver than sticking around
And mucking through the ever-growing pile of shit around you

Monday, February 16, 2009

I should be happy.

I mean, I just got off a wonderful long weekend in Florida. I had a blast, hanging out with my friends who relocated down there. We didn't do much except hang out, but that was exactly what I needed. I had so much fun.

So why am I so terribly sad now?

I mean, I have reasons I could give, but really I think they're just feeding the problem and aren't the problem in and of themselves. So what's the bigger issue? And why am I so friggin' sad, anyway? I mean, really. There isn't a lot in my life I should be sad about. I should be grateful for everything I have. There are so many in this world who would kill for what I have. 

What is missing in my life? What am I not letting in my life that would fill this void? Why do I think there is a void to begin with?

I am reading this book now called Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's been out for a while but basically, she wrote it after spending a year living in three different countries: Italy, India, and Indonesia. She went on this voyage of self-discovery after going through a difficult divorce. I'm two-thirds of the way through the book and I am jealous that she was able to do this voyage of self-discovery. That she was brave enough, that she had the finances, that blah blah blah. 

Every once in a while in my life I have this feeling of claustrophobia. That I want to run away from all of the pressing responsibilities and just not be here anymore. I don't know where I'd go or what I'd do, or what I'd even be looking for. I don't doubt that it would solve none of my problems, and in fact give me even more to be sad over. But... sometimes that desire to run just gets so hard to ignore.

What do you do when you want/need to escape, but you have no idea from what, or how to go about doing it?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ahhhh... that's the ticket.

I wish I could say I slept in decadently on my first day of vacation, but alas the conditioning stuck and I woke up as if I would for work. No matter... I wasn't going there! Instead I actually sat back and enjoyed a leisurely (and surprisingly healthy) breakfast whilst lingering over a second cup of coffee. 

I needed to go to the grocery store to pick up a couple items, so I decided to swing by the mall and see if I could find any nice tops to wear clubbing while in Florida. Alas I found nothing to my taste. I did, however, decide to take advantage of the empty mall and get my hair trimmed. It looks soooo much better now.

I came home, did laundry and took a walk along the lake. I'm making bread now; a tad late in the day to do it, but I'm trying to exhaust myself. My flight takes off at 6am, which means I'm up at 4. Yeouch. I want to actually get some sleep tonight, so I'm trying to do as much as possible.

I'm trying to pack as well. I'm not sure what to bring, so I am apparently bringing a little of everything. I don't think Florida is prepared for the sheer whiteness of my legs. Good thing everyone down there has sunglasses.

So now, my bed is strewn with cute little camis and summery shirts, there is a glass of white wine near at hand, and bread rising in the kitchen.

Today was a very good day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Zzzzzzzzzz

I am tired.

Not the "oh, I stayed up too late" tired. Or the "man, I had such a good time last night!" tired. Not even "that was the worst night of my life" tired. I am at that place where it doesn't really matter how beautiful a day it is, how many things are going my way, or how nice everyone is to me.

The well is dry, so to speak. I've got nothing left to give.

This short little vacation (which starts at 5:01pm today) couldn't have come at a better time. I desperately need to recharge and this trip to Florida is just what the doctor ordered.

Right now, my greatest fear is that it won't be enough.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Random Thoughts #4

1. On Friday the 13th (!), I am flying down to Florida to visit my friend Alex. She moved down there with her husband back in August, and I'm flying down for a nice long weekend. The fact that it'll be 70 has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

2. I have been buying costumes for performances I haven't scheduled. Does that make me a bad person?

3. If I don't have to get out of my pj's, I won't. I have, on occasion, gone an entire weekend without wearing actual clothes.

4. I usually wear my hair in Laura Ingalls braids when I sleep at night. It keeps my hair from getting snarled.











5. My hair is getting really long. This is usually about the time I get sick of it and chop it off. I haven't yet. How much longer will I go?

6. I love french fries. 

7. I am jealous of my brother's art collection. Well, most of it. 

8. I can't choreograph a dance until I have the costume at least 2/3 of the way complete.

9. I love to walk.

1o. I read too many Nora Roberts/JD Robb books. They're all the same, yet I can't stop. Help me. Please.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The economy owes me a dinner.

Apparently this weekend was my weekend to shop. I love shopping. I love going through shops and seeing all the colors and feeling up all the fabrics. I don't necessarily need to buy anything, I just like going and seeing and feeling. Shopping with my senses, I guess.

Although, this weekend I actually spent money. Not as much as I could have, to be sure. I stuck to TJ Maxx and secondhand shops. So at least I don't feel guilty about anything I bought. Okay, I hardly ever feel guilty about the things I buy. But that's besides the point. 

I fed my belly dancing fetish by buying a beautiful red beaded top at a second-hand store. It was meant to be an actual party top, not any kind of costume. But it's stunning. This afternoon, a couple of my belly-dancing pushers friends and I headed up to The Forget-Me-Not Shop to look for tops we never found. However, I ended up with two broom skirts (one red velvet and one black with gold embroidery) and a stunning white shawl with red roses embroidered on it. The red stuff is for a performance in June, but the rest of it... well, I guess I'll figure something out. Where am I going to put all this stuff???

Yesterday, I used my upcoming trip to Florida as an excuse to head up to TJ Maxx and buy a great pair of pants, a couple short-sleeved shirts and a pair of pj's. Everything was super cute and I love all of it. I'm going to actually have to update my summer wardrobe this year I think; all my shorts are too large and don't look flattering at all. Of course, if I keep shoveling it in like I have been, it won't be a problem. Sigh. I like food. Hee hee!

If I'm going to be honest, I think some of the shopping was retail therapy. I spent the week rather stressed. Won't go into the details as to why, but I will say everything has worked out in the best possible way, and the stress regarding this particular issue has been relieved. By clothes. Lots of them. 

I am okay with that. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why I'm Vegetarian

I have a good friend who is struggling with the idea of becoming vegetarian. She likes the idea of it generally speaking, but finds the follow-through difficult.

I can't say as I blame her. I know there are many out there who have been able to give up meat cold turkey (tofurkey?) and never look back. They don't miss it; they don't like the smell of it; the very idea of it roils the stomach and leaves them nauseous.

Well, I want to be that voice that says to everyone who is wrestling with this concept: "being a vegetarian is hard!" It is especially hard for those of us who grew up in agricultural settings, who "know" where their food comes from. I put it in quotes, because often times the idyllic farms we know (especially here in VT) don't adequately represent the mass production scale of the factory farms out west. There can be a dichotomy: you buy the steak thinking it was raised similar to Uncle Ed's steers. It never occurs to you that it lived (and died) horrendously out in Idaho somewhere.

So, to all you newbies and all of you struggling with the difficulty of being vegetarian, I give you my own personal reasons for being veg. Maybe you can relate to them, maybe you can't. But I think it's important to have another voice saying "it's hard, but it's doable".
  1. My heart. This is the main reason I went veg. I think only one or two people on my dad's side lived passed the age of 65. There is a genetic predisposition on that side for heart issues; one I inherited. There is also a direct correlation to the amount of meat you eat and heart disease. For me, I like living more than I like meat.
  2. My weight. A few years ago, I lost 40 pounds. I did it very unhealthily, relying on frozen lean cuisine dinners and highly processed food. Vegetarianism allows me to maintain my current weight without feeling deprived.
  3. My health. Learning about vegetarianism made me realize how much processed food I was eating, and how bad it was for me. I have stopped consuming so much (although I will not say I avoid it altogether).
  4. I feel better. I must say, I don't feel as slogged down as I used to.
  5. The environment. By not eating meat, I am lessening my carbon footprint on the environment. Raising mass meat for consumption is using up our resources at a faster rate then almost anything else. Do the research on it.
  6. The animals. They deserve a better life than what 95% of them are getting. It is one thing to be respectful of the animals you are raising for meat; it is quite another to look at them as expendable objects that have no intelligence, feel no pain, and deserve nothing.

As you can see, animals are on there, but not at the top of the list. In the end, only you can decide your reasoning for becoming vegetarian. Everyone is different. Some people may never give up fish; some people may continue eating meat and only do a few meatless meals a week. It's all good. Each choice you make makes for a better you and a better environment.

The point is, make a choice. Don't be mindless. If you want to eat meat, go ahead and do so. Just be informed about where it came from, what is in it (hormones, various -cides, etc) and how it lived/died.

You have a choice with everything you put in your mouth. Make it an informed choice.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Call Me Grinch.

If you tune in to any kind of media outlet at all, from time to time you'll find one of those stories where a returning soldier surprises his kid at school/home/party etc. 

I am ALL FOR soldiers returning home and receiving a warm, celebratory welcome. These men and women are doing their best in very tough situations. They're putting their lives on the line in an unpopular war and deserve our thanks for their willingness to do just that.

So it just irks me all the more when I see one of these "heartwarming" surprises, knowing that a family's relief and joy at seeing a loved one alive and well is being exploited for public relations purposes.

I know I know. What I black heart I must have for not being moved by a little kid's joy at seeing their daddy or mommy. It's not that; I am moved. Children don't hold their emotions back. When they are elated, they let you know it. And it is priceless to see. But for me, watching these videos or reading these articles just makes me feel like I'm intruding on a personal situation. I have no business being there, and neither do the millions of others who see/read it.

I sincerely hope that soon, there will be an influx of returning soldiers, to the point where there are too many to possibly have a film crew at all of them. May there be an army of relieved spouses and elated children to welcome them all home.

Better Kate Than Never

As you've probably noticed (all six of you), over the last few months my contribution to this blog has dwindled significantly. In trying...