ebonlock: (novak)
M- and I dug up some old choreographies for her performance this weekend and astonishingly enough we remembered them all. It was crazy fun and we were both intensely proud of ourselves. Given that I don't think we'd danced either routine for at least six months and we nailed 'em both, I think we had a right to be ;) We've got one more practice on Thursday and that's mostly for finessy stuff, she'll bring her costume and veils and music and we'll do the whole thing, I'll video record it and she can make sure it looks the way she wants it to. Done and done. Yay!
ebonlock: (Default)
I just uploaded my two favorite pics from the Rakkasah performance last weekend: )

Also my new voice download for the TomTom GPS in my car is AWESOME. Seriously, Brian Blessed is my co-pilot and I couldn't be happier. I turn the GPS on even when I know where I'm going to hear him bellow out, "Get on the Motorway! Squadron 40, DRIVE!" I've heard it dozens of times and I still giggle madly every single time it comes on.
ebonlock: (Dancing)
Wanted to share this image from our last performance because we don't often get professional shots when we're dancing and I think this one is pretty damn good:


Me and Monica doing double veil airplanes in February


Also can I just say JC Chasez is my new dance-related hero. He basically just flat out said that the voting on ABDC is total nonsense and that he didn't feel either of the bottom two dance teams deserved to be there. I just wanted to kiss him!
ebonlock: (Dancing)
Ok I'm getting really bad about updating for which I apologize by dance stuff is eating my life right now. I've made a solemn vow that next weekend is going to be at least performance-free. Really. For sure this time.

On the plus side our performance, despite being one gal short (poor M- was feeling terrible), went pretty well. Of course we had an audience of about 10 people (dancers included), but we got to do a classic drum solo called "Tic Tic" with Alyne and that was crazy fun. She did exactly what she always does during her performance as well, she would make faces at Angie and I when she forgot a move or got confused, and we'd laugh each time. She's just the sweetest and most generous person to dance with, you always feel lucky to perform with her.

After that I got changed into my new salwar kameez and Aelf and I ran over to the Santa Clara convention center for our first Dandiya. Imagine a religious celebration mixed with the most amazing dance party possible. As a Wiccan I could appreciate it on a variety of levels and couldn't help thinking [livejournal.com profile] windrose would've felt much the same. Hell, a bit part of the evening consisted of dancing in circles, big ones around the altars or just little spontaneous ones that would spring up and grow and grow. The energy was incredible, the outfits people were wearing just jaw-droppingly gorgeous and the music kicked ass. I can't believe how much stamina the band must've had to keep everyone moving all night long.

I learned the Garba, or at least a very simple version of it at the beginning of the evening and our Bollywood teacher, Vikashni, made sure we all had a handle on the actual Dandiya steps before we got there. I must say, though, that woman is dangerous with the things. I mean I know you're supposed to be re-enacting the goddess Durga's sword battle with the sticks, but there's no need to get quite so literal about it. Still we had a wonderful time and Aelf and I are already talking about going back next year.

And after dancing my ass off last night today turned out to be an entirely lazy one. I did head over to [livejournal.com profile] moonlightnrain's for my first chance on the mic in the Beatles Rock Band game. I think I acquitted myself reasonably well on the easy and medium settings. While I got some easy ones ("I Wanna Hold Your Hand"), I got some damn tricky ones too, ("I've Got a Feelin'"), but none of us were prepared to face "Helter Skelter"...oh no. Then there was kitten time!
ebonlock: (Default)
Best things about having free HBO for 3 months? Getting to see True Blood as it airs (OMG, I have to wait until Sunday for the finale *sob*), and the True Sex series. I'd forgotten how much I liked it. It's also reminded me that I really need to get up to Folsom Street Fair one of these years.

In other news our dance practice went quite well last night, we even video taped ourselves run through the whole thing 3 times so we could sit and pick it apart afterwards. The nice thing is the entire choreography is in our heads it's just a matter of fine tuning. I expect we'll be doing that right up until we climb on the stage so no worries there. I'd feel a lot better about the whole thing if I at least had my costume. It supposedly shipped on the second so I'm freaking out more than a little. Ok I'm freaking out a lot.

*sigh*

Also, just when I start to think we've crossed over into fall weather we get bitch slapped by a heat wave...
ebonlock: (House)
First a big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] moonlightnrain and [livejournal.com profile] lizzzie_lou for a lovely dinner, great company, and the series finale of SGA last night. Apparently there is a spectacular pasta store just down the street from where I work that I did not previously know about. I'm not sure if this knowledge is a good thing or a bad thing...

SGA was...well, it was ok. My overall reaction throughout was, "Wait, you're just giving us this information now?! You've had 5 seasons!" Followed by, "Jesus Sheppard really, really has a death wish. No, really." I won't even go into a certain dramatic cheat that left me rubbing my forehead and sighing sadly. But there was some cuteness and it wasn't a horrible episode so that was definitely something. The thing is, if they hadn't shown me "The Shrine" and "Vegas" I probably would've enjoyed the finale a lot more. Knowing that they could do better and just...didn't, well that always makes me a little disappointed.

Ah well. Today has been insanely busy, starting at 8 a.m. and going pretty much non-stop until now. It started with a trip to the vet with Kage. Turns out the thing on her head isn't a wound (as I'd begun to suspect) and is probably some sort of skin infection. The vet thought ringworm was a possibility but I find it unlikely. I've had ringworm before and it's pretty likely that if she had it I'd have gotten it too, which I would easily recognize. The second theory is that it's an ear infection of some sort and she's irritating the skin by itching the ear. So we're trying a steroid/anti-fungal/anti-biotic combo for 21 days to see how that goes. If it's not that then we're back to thyroid problems, and given her continued weight loss that's probably pretty likely. She had a full bloodwork and urine test done so I should know by Monday what we're looking at. The vet also clipped her claws so she couldn't keep irritating her ear/skin if that was the problem. It had the secondary benefit of making the actual task of giving Kage her medication this evening a great deal safer for me.

So $300 later Kage is curled up in her little heated bed and we're not on speaking terms, though the beef-flavored Greenies treats did earn me a slightly less frigid cold shoulder. If she spurns sleeping with me tonight I have the super deluxe tinned food she likes best to attempt to win back her affections. Although the twice a day medication application is going to strain our relationship, I just know it.

After that I got some laundry done and then was off to M-'s for dance practice. We worked for a good hour and a half on a veil piece and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Just moving and being creative together again was enough to have us both grinning and practically giddy by the end. She even suggested we get together immediately after she gets back from France so we can get back to work on it. Gods I've missed this!

On the way home I swung by the Cupertino Whole Foods and my gods, it's like natural foods Mecca. It's like 3 times the size of the ones I've been to up on this end of the peninsula. And they had...Key Lime Tofutti Cuties. I swear I heard a choir of angels when I stepped in front of the freezer and saw them. Yes, yes and oh my god yes! I figured the dancing earlier meant I'd earned one tonight. Yum!

After getting a bunch of chores done I have gratefully collapsed and hey, Spike's playing Star Wars...
ebonlock: (One of those days)
I hate, hate, hate starting the day with a headache, but thankfully I keep a bottle of Ibuprofen in my purse for just such an emergency. I think it's a combination of weather, sinuses and lack of sleep all pouncing on me simultaneously. The toyed with idea of moving to a desert island becomes more and more appealing by the day.

In other news I heard from one of my old troupemates who I'd thought was going to ask about buying my official Jewel of Opar coin costume off me (something I'd happily part with), but instead asked about buying my pearl costume. Now the coin one I'd have sent out the door already but I had to think about the pearl one. I designed and made that baby from scratch and mine became the template for the rest of the troupe. It's also the one costume I got tons of compliments for and a few jealous looks. It's a variety of gold, bronze and darker gems highlighted with pearls to keep it in theme and it was damned flattering on me.

But, to be brutally honest, I've put on so much weight I couldn't wear it now anyway and I'm no longer performing so the poor thing has been relegated to my costume closet. It's not doing me or anyone else the slightest bit of good right now and if C- wants it and will wear and enjoy it then it makes a good deal of sense to sell it to her. Also the money would be nice. I have pictures of me in it that I treasure. And hey, C- is cool and has just the right coloring to make it look awesome as well.

So I pinged her back and said sure, and now we're dithering over just how she can try it on before deciding if she wants it. I think I'm still going to be a little sad to see it go, but it's a part of my past I don't need to cling to with both hands. I enjoyed it and was proud of it, but I don't need to hold onto it. It's just a thing, you know? It's not the memory or the feelings I associate with it, those will be mine no matter what.
ebonlock: (Avon)
Well the first day at the new office wasn't too horrible though it feels rather like working in a fishbowl. I got my stuff unpacked well before anyone else and then got to work in the kitchen. We needed certain essentials and I managed to find all of them as well as discovering that we have a metric assload of decaf green tea. I mean seriously, there's no way the entire office full of people drinking nothing but decaf green tea could make it through our supply in months.

At any rate traffic wasn't too dreadful and I'm hoping to find some alternate routes just in case one is filled with accidents and people looking at accidents (the bane of my existence). The building itself is kinda skeevy, unlike our last building which was like working at the Ritz by comparison. We've also discovered that the windows act like solar panels sucking in every bit of heat and radiating it about a foot into the space turning it into an oven. I imagine that'll come in quite handy in the winter.

Came home to find the season two boxed set of Avatar waiting for me. Tomorrow there will be special features...oh yes, there will be special features.

The weekend was quite nice, including a return to Alyne's dance class which was sheer bliss. I'd been a little scared of returning to the intermediate class as it's been about 2 years since I really danced at all. I wasn't sure if I'd remember even the most basic steps and was even more freaked when Alyne told us she was teaching a choreography and we were expected to just follow along. Ok freaked is not the right word, petrified is more like it. The steps were familiar but the speed of the whole thing was daunting. Still, of the 4 of us who'd never even seen the choreography before I think I held my own pretty well, surprisingly well in fact.

The best part was just dancing with Alyne again, it was glorious. Like coming home again, both T- and I agreed. We stayed a little longer after class to chat and it felt just wonderful. Afterwards I zoomed home and changed so I could run up to RWC and see my beloved [livejournal.com profile] elo_sf for some catching up, Metroid and Damages. I liked the latter, but don't think I'd watch the series regularly, there's just nobody in the series who really interests me and the whole thing lacks subtlety. I've gotten entirely too spoiled by British tv.

After that zoomed home so [livejournal.com profile] moonlightnrain could make me a very yummy dinner and we watched more Blake's 7. I think she's developed a bit of a crush on Vila and I know she's walking the long, dark path of Avon fan-girldom. Then [livejournal.com profile] aelfsciene joined the fun and we all chatted and caught up. In short a rather perfect Saturday. Sunday was full of errands and chores but in a good way, though attempting to get to the Art and Wine festival in downtown MV was a huge mistake. Those are the kinds of events that make the notion of becoming a hermit highly appealing. The crowd was truly crazy-making.

Owie

Jun. 20th, 2007 09:41 am
ebonlock: (Default)
Got to go to my first tribal dance class last night and boy was it a workout. An hour and a half of doing much bigger and slower moves than I'm accustomed to. It feels like I'm learning an entirely different dance in some ways, and in others things are so familiar it's almost eerie. Kind of like when I started learning Italian after taking Spanish.

The trickiest thing was figuring out how to walk and do some of this stuff at the same time. Usually in cabaret you just kind of plant yourself and do stuff. You move around between moves, or in a very set pattern. In this you move pretty much constantly and flat footed, another thing I'm not really used to. Cabaret means spending a lot of time up on your toes, but in tribal you want your heels on the floor.

T- and I were totally exhausted by the end of the night and ended up chatting about how out of shape we clearly were. Then I asked the teacher if she required zills and she said no, this was the beginner's beginner class and in 5 weeks she didn't see the sense in teaching them. Fair enough. She did comment that T- and I clearly had danced before and asked who we studied with. When we said Alyne, she chirped, "Oh veil!" We laughed and said we did indeed study double veil, which led, inevitably, to the teacher saying she'd like us to demonstrate a few moves for the class. T- and I stood around talking a bit later trying to figure out what we both remembered in common. I'm thinking just put some slow music on like "Goddess" and do about 5 moves we both remember and call it a night.

That is, if I can even remember how to use the damn things. *sigh*

Overall an enjoyable, if exhausting class. The teacher's got the right attitude about dance, this is her hobby and she's just in it for fun. I very much didn't want to get into another situation with egos and politics and that nonsense and it seems very unlikely in this one. On the downside I'm feeling muscles today that I forgot I had. If I can stay fairly active tonight, do some stretches and maybe a little Qigong, then I should be able to move tomorrow. Hopefully.

*yawn*

Apr. 26th, 2006 09:05 am
ebonlock: (bsg AIM)
So sleepy today, mostly 'cause I stayed up way too late watching the hockey game last night and since I'm on the no caffeine diet, I can't even turn to coffee to wake me up. Totally worth it, though, to see my pretend hockey husband Patrick Marleau just dominate the game offensively and defensively. If I were the Preds I'd be seriously considering just going home today and not risking another spanking on Thursday.

Also spent last night with my new clandestine mini-troupe mates making plans for our first choreography and costumes together. Yeah, I know, I probably shouldn't be making such plans until I figure out what's going on with my body, but it is fun to think about getting back to dance again. I'm not sure if they settled on a veil piece after I left, but the other musical selections are going to be a whole lot of fun to do. I do worry a little that I kind of rode Aelf's coattails into an invite to join the group, but hopefully I can contribute a little something to make my presence worthwhile. We shall see.

Oh, so I had the CT scan done yesterday and it was actually quite dull. The worst part was drinking this noxious fluid that tasted a bit like bad, watered down orange Tang. And I had half an hour to drink 3 huge glasses of it. I made it through 2 1/2 and the nurse agreed that it was better than having it all come back up again, so 2 1/2 would just have to do. I liked the nurse a lot, and we chatted while I was getting put into position and then again when I got the iodine i.v. She noticed my pentacle ring and I waited for a reaction. Her response was to ask if I'd been to PantheaCon, so I liked her even more. I have to say the most interesting part of the whole procedure was getting the iodine i.v., the sensation that just races through your body is amazing, though the nasty metallic taste it leaves behind is less fun. I can still taste it a little today :P

No news yet, and actually it's unlike the CT would show anything conclusive anyway so I'm not expecting much from the whole experience.
ebonlock: (Default)
Well the People's Choice is over for another year and finally, finally Jewel of Opar took home the big trophy. Yep, we took number one in the troupe category in only our second year of competing. Go Jewels!

It was so funny watching the dancers as the announcements were made, they kept hearing names that weren't us and mentally recalculating how many other troupes were left in the competition. When second place was announced it was all I could do to stay in my seat. Aelf looked like she was going to spontaneously combust, right there in the community center. There was much screaming and rejoicing and jumping up and down, then pictures and hugging and great big grins. Our risky avante garde piece actually paid off, so much so that we had at least one audience member walk up and ask where we'd found such amazing music, then comment, "You guys made it very easy to vote for you." Hee.

Afterwards we had a little get together at S-'s where the exclamation "We won!" was shouted on more occasions then I can even remember. S- had brought along her karaoke game and we all joined in on a chorus of "We are the Champions", thus reminding ourselves why we're all dancers rather than singers ;)

I'm still on a bit of a buzz this morning, I like to think that the Sharks stomping the Preds 3-0 was a forecast of the good things to come in the competition. It was an all around wonderful, winning day and if I'm going to be saying goodbye to the Jewels for a while, this is the way to do it, on a high note. They were all just superb, and if you get a chance, stop by and congratulate [livejournal.com profile] aelfsciene, she put so much effort into this performance and deserves all the accolades possible.
ebonlock: (Default)
So to speak :)

For anyone who'd be available on Sunday the 23rd (i.e. this Sunday), Aelf and I would love it if you'd join us at the People's Choice Bellydance Competition, held at the Quinlan Community Center from 12-5. Jewel of Opar could use all the votes we can get, and I know we'd both love to see you all there. It's only $10 and you'll get to see some amazing dancing, so please come!

*sigh*

Mar. 15th, 2006 09:06 am
ebonlock: (Default)
I decided to ask for next Friday off, mostly because it's the day before our big show and I'm going to be worrying about the performance and likely to have very little brain power left with which to accomplish stuff. And I just got all my vacation and personal days back so I figure why not? Gives me a chance to get Kage back to the vet as well, which should be loads of fun.

I'm very happy to say that a schedule jam packed with rehearsals has helped me shed a few pounds and exchange some flab for muscle. I still don't like what I'm seeing most of the time, but my own reflection doesn't make me outright shudder any more. Baby steps. I got through most of our last rehearsal without wincing whenever I caught a reflection of myself and from certain angles I almost liked what I saw. So I guess, go me!

On the other hand my stomach is back to being rather bad again. I've given this proton pump inhibitor 6 months to work its magic and I seem to be getting worse rather than better. I think it's time to go talk to the doctor again and see if we can try something different. If anyone on here has acid reflux and can offer any suggestions regarding treatments I should look into I'd be glad to hear about it.

Edit: Forgot to mention that while flipping channels last night I happened to catch the last 3.5 minutes of the Buffalo/Washington game. My beloved Sabers were behind by a point but playing like fiends. I mean they were just skating circles around their opponents and damned if they didn't tie it up quickly. Then, 30 seconds or so left in the game and they pull out a win. Even got an empty netter but apparently the buzzer beat the puck in so it didn't count, so 5 to 4. It was a true thing of beauty.

Also my sis sent me a pic of my niece in her Sharks jersey and I think I have to frame it. It is beyond adorable.
ebonlock: (Starbuck cigar felgercarb)
Moving a bit like a 90 year old today, still hurting from Saturday. Nearly 3 full hours of dancing and a good deal of floorwork that has my leg muscles aching. Still we got the damn choreography done and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Now we just need to really get it in our bones so we'll be ready to dance it for the entire class. Tonight we see the costume designs, which should lead to some interesting debates from what I've gleaned from rumors. We shall see.

We also made it into Rakkasah, but a side stage fairly late on Saturday so I doubt we'll have much of a crowd to impress. That's sad, but it does give us some practice before the competition season gets underway. We're shooting for a win this year, but I'll be content coming in second really.

Between now and then there will be much dancing, oh so much dancing. I'm looking forward to it, but I also realize I've got to get into better shape between now and when we start the serious work or I'm not going to be able to keep up. Well maybe this is just what I need to get motivated and exchange some of the flab for muscle. We'll see.
ebonlock: (Kara and Goddesses)
So last night I showed more self restraint and good old fashioned common sense than I ever thought myself capable of. We're working on 3 new choreographies for Rakkasah right now and are splitting into 3 teams to do it. We want to have them finished by January 15. Realistically speaking the creation of an entire choreography, if done with a modicum of organization and determination, can be finished in a few hours time usually. Certainly Aelf, Alyne and I managed to hammer out a reasonable start to our first piece in about a half an hour on Saturday. I expect one or two more Saturdays will see it finished and then we can check one off the list.

Of course, that's the easy one.

The other two are a great deal more complex and challenging and I can only hope we're ready to tackle them. I'd like to think so, but we're seriously pushing our boundaries on these two with props that 90% of us are almost entirely unfamiliar with. On the other hand I don't know why I'm stressing about it as there's a very good chance I won't even be able to do Rakkasah anyway due to work, but I'm going into this hoping I can dance this with the troupe because if it works out it's going to be fucking phenomenal.

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