Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wanted: Couch potato night

It ain't happenin' tonight though. Didn't happen last night because I was lucky enough to have an evening alone with E, and we went out to Mikuni. Great, but not restful. It's been two days since my show ended and I have yet to sit and veg. Tonight it won't happen because I have a meeting for the upcoming Disneyland trip. I have to give the parents a chance to look at me and decide I know what I am doing.

I just want to sit on my couch and be a lazy bum! Right now I'm waiting for Mimi to bring back the kids. No idea what time she's supposed to be here. I called E and I can't get a hold of him--in fact, I thought he was home so I was locked out when I got here.

Bonus: I saw Marmalade, the old lady cat. Apparently she's still alive. I'm glad. I hadn't seen her in a while. When that happens lately, I start to wonder.

Edited at 7:30 to add: Just finished the meeting at school. I forget sometimes how YOUNG these girls are. They certainly don't think they are, but then I see them with their parents--many of them are flying for the first time, traveling for the first time, their parents are letting go for the first time... it's so interesting. I get used to all the girl drama at school and I forget that in so many ways they are babies. Even the seniors. It should be a good trip. I just had to get through that meeting. I feel like I have to prove to parents that I am responsible, and despite my appearance, not a kid. I think I passed the test. It's going to be a great trip. Who doesn't love Disneyland?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday bike ride

I suppose this could be called Sunday and Monday bike rides, since we just got back from dinner out on the bike, but the pics are from yesterday. Auntie was watching the monkeys, so we were able to get out for a while. It was unfortunate that I had my show and wasn't one bit of fun on Saturday, because Saturday was wind-free and about 80 degrees. Yesterday was a craptasticly windy day. Let's be honest though, I wasn't going to turn E down when he wanted to spend the day with me. Even though I was so sore from show stress I could barely walk. Even though all I wanted to do was sleep and watch TV while shoveling Breyers' Cookie Dough Ice Cream into my mouth. Couldn't turn down the day date. 'Specially on the bike.


Yesterday kind of threw me for a loop though. I still haven't ridden a ton, even though we've had the bike since about August. Being separated and thinking we were over kinda put a damper on the whole Harley thing. I really hadn't ridden in strong wind yet.

I love the bike. I really do. But it is still sometimes a fear-conquering thing for me. I have a healthy respect for it. And for me, sometimes healthy respect + unreasonable fear = anxiety. Case in point: I've been kind of freaked out since I got back from Riverside. I was so tired that I zonked out on the plane on the way home, and since nobody was next to me, I was stretched across the entire row--sideways. Awesome for comfort, but not awesome for landing. Especially since I was horizontal and in a zen state of REM sleep at that point. I can't believe the stewardess didn't ask me to sit up, put my tray table in an upright position, blah blah blah. So when we hit (and it was a rough landing), I was SURE that was the end of me. I was really shaken when I got off the plane. Adding to my anxiety was the fact that right after I got off the plane, I heard about the plane crash involving three families and their children. And then the next day I heard that one of the women was from my town.

I am not a complete idiot. I realize none of that has anything to do with the bike, but I was just a little anxious. Not that I was a rebel before, but having these two monkeys means I am hyper-sensitive to my own safety. It ain't about me, at this point.

So I was a bit nervous about the wind. It was really strong once we hit the freeway, and it felt like it was going to blow us over. When we were riding into it, E's head was bobbing a bit from taking the brunt. I think if it's a while before I ride in wind, that would be okay.


Here's our route. It was a beautiful ride. I'd never been down one of these roads and it was just so peaceful--rolling hills, cows (I love the cows!), lots of poppies. I love all the houses tucked away in the countryside and all the livestock in the pasture looking at us like really? you're gonna ride through my turf? as we cruise by. I didn't want to make E stop so I could take a pic, but my favorite thing yesterday were all the abandoned chimneys. Chimneys where houses must once have stood, just looking sad and forgotten.

There were lots of great things about yesterday: spending QT with the E man? Check. Really dark, like so dark you can chew on it beer? Check. Awesome BBQ lunch at a mom-and-pop joint? Check. Riding for the first time with my ipod in? Check, check, checkety check. Overall, a good day. My thighs are just kind of sore from the Suzanne-Somers squeeze I had on the bike to steady myself.

Good times.

Doesn't he kind of look like a lego guy?

Coincidence? You decide.

Aller-GEEZ

Geez. Freaking allergies. All I want is some peace, body. Just some peace and rest and calm--and you had to go and be a buzz-kill and ruin my first day of serenity.

Ugh.

Trees + grass + wind = itchy, sneezy, watery me. And it's not supposed to be any better tomorrow.

If you need me, I'll be basting myself in a vat of Benadryl.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I love fancy shoes too

The underside of Buddy's bunk, designed by Ad

Stuff

Here's me, writing and not even trying to organize my thoughts. I'll do that next week. Maybe.

I'm done! I'm done! I'm so happy. No more dance shows for me with Elk Grove. I think it will take a few weeks to set in. No more rehearsals after school, no more costuming, no more teenage girl drama (well, no more of the kind that spills beyond 3:11 every day). I think I'm going to have so much free time. I can't wait. It's delicious, just thinking about the possibilities.

Right now there are a lot of possibilities in all areas. E graduates from law school in May. He also wants us to renew our vows in May. He's taking the bar in July. I can't imagine what life is going to be like once he's not at school every night. As Pepi le Pew would say, Le sigh.

I want to go to Hawaii sooooo bad. Or anywhere. I need a vacation, and I'm not talking about being a chaperone on school field trips. We had actually reserved Mom and Dad's condo for August, just after E is going to take the bar. But, as all fun things I try to plan for myself, that idea went to crap. E has to take his ethics test and the one and only time they are offering it is that same week in August. And I start school right after that. I'm really sad. I was really looking forward to having that time together and being able to just escape right after the bar. I'm trying hard not to be disappointed. It's going to be a tough summer, and then I'm starting school two weeks earlier because they're changing our school calendar.

Nest week I'm taking my dancers to Disneyland... I'm excited about that, actually. Yes, even though it's work. It's a small group and I have taken that trip with students so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. And it's Disneyland! How can you not have a good time in Disneyland? Well, maybe you wouldn't, but I love it so much I have a good time no matter who goes with me. My mom and sister are begging to go in my suitcase.

My body hurts. I didn't even dance yesterday. I just feel all the pain and frustration and responsibility from the last two weeks settling inside my body. That's going to take a while to go away.

Going on a ride today--not sure where. E says it's a surprise. I can't wait.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A tension, a tension.

My tension. Let me show you it.

The day between shows is the most useless day on the planet. I am completely and totally exhausted, but I am tied up tighter than Joan Rivers' face. I couldn't sleep last night, so I was up until about 12:15 (bad idea #1) and then this morning I woke up in a complete state of agony and tension, so I got up before 7:00 (bad idea #2). I need my rest. I have to be ready to go tonight. I have to make it through the last show. But I can't relax.

The problem isn't just normal show-related tension. I had a confrontation of sorts this week at school where I blew my top and sent off an angry email, and then yesterday in a state of complete frustration and disappointment, I yelled at someone else at the show. Anger feels dangerous to me--I'm not used to allowing myself the freedom to express my feelings when and if I feel wronged. I have to say, it feels good to speak up, and in both cases I believe I needed to do so. My problem is that I have guilt about it. I don't like confrontation. I don't like the thought that anyone might think less of me for showing my frustration or anger. By not expressing that, however, I am not doing myself any favors either. It's all about balance.

So much has changed for me in the last two or three years. Those changes are asserting themselves in my newfound hotheadedness. I think that learning to express my feelings in an appropriate manner is a skill for me to practice. I've been biting my tongue and avoiding confrontation for so long, I've become the local doormat. I need to keep asserting myself so that I can get more comfortable speaking my mind. The thing is, everybody else seems to be quite comfortable blowing their lids all the time. I need to jump in with both feet. As I've been saying, I feel myself changing. I think that being able to get angry at people (when warranted) is going to help with my anxiety. A lot. It's just kind of unfamiliar still. I have a hard time allowing myself permission to show imperfection.

The other thing weighing heavy on my mind today is that this is my last show. It's not weighing heavy for the reason you think. I am so glad. I am wanting to shout it from the rooftops. I am going to feel such a huge weight lifted. What's bothering me is that I am not emotional about it. I have avoided giving the girls (my dancers) a specific answer about whether this is my last year or not because I was avoiding the inevitable awkward conversation that would ensue. I have to tell them today. I know they want me to be sad that I'm not doing it anymore. They need me to be sad. But I have to say that the kids that really touched me have moved on. I like the kids I have now--I think I just see that my heart needs to be for my family right now, not them.

For seven years I've been coaching. As a first-year teacher, I coached Mock Trial. The year after that I took on Drill Team for three years. The third year of Drill Team, I took on the school dance company AND Drill. At the same time. (How is that even possible that I did that?) And in the years following that year that I do not remember, I have continued to direct the dance company. My life has been extra curricular activities. And what's happened in that time? My two kids were born, my husband graduated from college, my husband went to law school, I danced for another professional dance company, I started and subsequently dropped out of a Masters program, my husband and I separated--twice--and now we've come back together with a real desire to heal what's broken. It's not like I've been twiddling my thumbs.

I'm tired.

So today I'm afraid that when we circle up and I have the girls give each other validations, that they are going to look to me for some answer that I won't have. I'm afraid of the tears that won't come and the longing to continue leading them that I won't feel. They are great girls. It has been a privilege to teach them. But I also know I need to move on. My family needs me. And I need me.

Going to try to to unwind. Operative word: try.

Blog changes

I'm going to mess with my blog today--it's been bugging me for a long time, and I need to try to edit the HTML for comments. The only problem is I'm not exactly sure how to do what I want to do.

I added JSKit for comments a long time ago because I needed to do that in order to add another application, Comment Luv. Comment Luv is cool--it posts a link to your most recent blog post every time you comment. Only problem is that Comment Luv does not love my blog, no matter how many times I try to reinstall. So today I'm going to try to take it out--a process which may involve having to start over from a blank template and build things back in. If I do that, though, I'm going to have to redo my banner and some other things which I've been able to resize.

What a pain.

So if I accidentally delete my whole blog today or (more likely) all my comments, I will be back ASAP.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog!

Oh man. There are so many things I want/need to write about. And I just don't have anymore energies. So tired. And some of it, I need to wait until I'm not teaching dance anymore...to protect the alleged deviants...er... lovelies... but it's JUICY.

So I wanted to tell you how I thought I crashed when we landed flying home from Riverside, because I fell asleep (laying down) and the stewardess didn't wake me up. And I wanted to tell you all about my trip to Riverside and the kids and their second place finish in the State Mock Trial competition. And I wanted to tell you about how I haven't seen the monkeys in basically two weeks. And I wanted to tell you how missing my TV shows by having a life just proves to me how I watch entirely too much TV on regular week without even thinking about it.

And did you know I'm going to Disneyland next week? And I sent a very angry email to someone who outranks me this week? And how somebody let me down yesterday? And how I yelled at somebody else today?

Well, all that. But not tonight. I miss you, blog. But tonight I am going to go disinfect my skinned elbow--I can tell you about that. I was leading warmup class tonight at the show and I ripped off a scab on my arm. The scab was from rugburn, which I earned by rolling down the aisle of the theater, legit hotdog-style, the other night at tech rehearsal--on a dare from my girls. I amuse myself. That's just how I roll. Get it? Wordplay. That was solid. Anyhoot, (I hate how much I use anyway, so, and however on this blog. Puke.) I am going to disinfect, I am going to catch up on ANTM, Fatties, and whatever Law and Orders have been on in the last two weeks.

Who am I kidding? Not you, huh? Not you, anonymous readers + Jeannette and Pat. You know the truth and you know I'm going to pass out before the first "gu-gung" of Law and Order and the corny one-liner from the cop.

Man, I miss Lenny.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

God bless Eleanor

"Women are like teabags; you never know how strong they are until they're put in hot water."
{Eleanor Roosevelt}

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Proust Questionnaire

Aw, shucks. I can't think straight tonight. I'm trying to catch up on TiVo. I am THAT superficial. Deal. With. It. (I started writing fragmentary sentences a few weeks ago like Shatner... Can't. Stop.) I am not thinking well enough right now to write about this past weekend at the State Mock Trial Championships, or the fact that the show for my dance company is this weekend.

So here comes another questionnaire. I know. I'm beyond help.

This one's from Vanity Fair.

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

1.What is your idea of perfect happiness?

It's a toss up between scuba in calm, warm water with lots of marine life, or a good nap. Depends on the day.

2.What is your greatest fear?

Loss of control.

3.What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Lack of confidence in confrontations.

4.What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Dishonesty and lack of integrity. Oops, that was two. I have a lot of deploration.

5.Which living person do you most admire?

Hmm... again, toss up. Kitty, and my Grandma Lila.

6.What is your greatest extravagance?

Massage therapy and assorted spa treatments.

7.What is your current state of mind?

Cautiously optimistic.

8.What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Blind adherence to the idea that life is black and white.

9.On what occasion do you lie?

I never lie. Never, ever, never. Well except for right now. See, that was another one. Man, I have such a guilty conscience. But I mostly lie to cover my undesirable qualities. Like right now. Don't judge me. I probably lie a lot when it comes to not wanting to hurt people's feelings too. Dang. I'm such a liar. But I feel really bad about it. Does that help?

10.What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My sausage fingers. Or my giant, wonky nose. The fact that my eyebrows awkwardly have no pigment. Or if we're talking about right this very minute, the jeans I'm wearing that I wore all weekend (they are very saggy in the rear) and my dirty ATTICUS t-shirt with a hole in the left pit. But let's get back to unalterable physical traits. And let's leave it at my BRILLO PAD HAIR.

11.Which living person do you most despise?

Nobody. Also, see #9 for clarification.

12.What is the quality you most like in a man?

Another tie. Integrity and humor.

13.What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Probably the same as #12.

14.Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Lately, Peace out, Nerds. But I have a whole list. I basically live by a really lame set of mad libs and I just adjust based on each day's plot.

15.What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Gluten-free E. Dang, love is work, but it can sure be wonderful too. At this point living without him is about as successful as living without an essential organ.

16.When and where were you happiest?

Immediately following the birth of both children.

17.Which talent would you most like to have?

After this past weekend, full knowledge of the law and the credentials and confidence to use said knowledge.

18.If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My lack of confidence in high school and college. It kept me from traveling when I had the freedom or moving away from home and actually enjoying school.

19.What do you consider your greatest achievement?

There are different categories, you know? The monkeys are pretty amazing. But that's a biological imperative expressing itself, so it probably doesn't count. Dancing for a professional company was a realization of a childhood dream, so that was cool but not really defining. I hope that one day I can say somebody thought I made a difference as their teacher. But not yet. I'm not really one of those teachers yet.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Do I get to know what the thing is first? Because with my luck, I'd come back as a mold spore buried in a garbage heap. Probably living on a dirty diaper for all of eternity, next to a Twinkie. Pass.

21.Where would you most like to live?

Probably here, if we're talking long-term. But there are a lot of places I'd like to stay for a while.

22.What is your most treasured possession?

I like a lot of things when they're around, but I'm not really about them. It would have to be something symbolic. It would probably take me too long to think of anything I have that's symbolic and "most treasured" because the part of my brain that wants to be right would take over. So I'm going to just say my photos of the kids from the last 6 years. That's a good one. (And it's not even a thing--it's data.) I'd also have to say I treasure words--I hold on to the loving ones people have said or written to me. See? Deep.

23.What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Wow, awesome question, Survey. You used to be so cool. Now you're a total buzz-kill. I'd have to say losing a child. My miscarriage was the worst thing I've ever been through, and I can't even IMAGINE losing one of the two kids I am blessed to have now. Don't want to, really. While we're on the subject of misery, you nosey survey, being separated/thinking you're headed for divorce is pretty craptastic too. Geez. Moving on now.

24.What is your favorite occupation?

Out of the very few I've had so far, I really liked being a Barista. Except for the whole subservience thing. Barf. I don't really do subservience. While being a teacher is good in the independence realm, most of the time it's a giant pain in my patoot and not at all the Freedom Writers-style utopian occupation I imagined.

25.What is your most marked characteristic?

I usually have a lot to say. But I won't necessarily want to say it--I'd rather write it. Then look out people. Also, it's really important to me to have incredibly loving and loyal connections to people. This means I tend to value quality of relationships over quantity. Oh crap. That wasn't one. Oh well. See, I'm still writing. Get me off this crazy train.

26.What do you most value in your friends?

Honestly, I just value my friends. I'm always kind of pleasantly surprised that they really like me. I don't really trust it.

27.Who are your favorite writers?

Barbara Kingsolver, the Beowulf poet(s?), the guys writing for John Stewart, Tina Fey

28.Who is your hero of fiction?

Hiro Protagonist

29.Which historical figure do you most identify with?


I got nothing. I can't think of a way to answer this one that doesn't sound pompous.

30.Who are your heroes in real life?

Teachers who have crossed that line and really do make a difference. Also, the people who put away child molesters.

31.What are your favorite names?

Adele and Henry

32.What is it that you most dislike?

Bad TV shows. Books that are written poorly. Insensitivity or lack of gratitude from people I make an effort to care about.

33.What is your greatest regret?

I figure I can't regret any of it. It all made me who I am right now, which I dig. I figure it can only go up from here. I hope I continue to both fail and succeed, and learn from both.

34.How would you like to die?

Not now, I'm busy.

35.What is your motto?

alis grave nil

Miss me?

I actually feel guilty that I haven't written anything since I left. Yeesh. What a nerd. I didn't take my laptop down to Riverside. And I'm drained tonight. But I promise I'll write something up after dinner about this weekend. In the meantime, if you didn't check it out before, go over to my twitter account and you can read my tweets from the trials.

http://twitter.com/_AlisGraveNil_

-P

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chatting with Henry Bobenry

(watching "Chopped" with me, E, and Ad)

Ad: When I grow up, I think I want to be a chef and be on "Chopped" too.

Henry: Ad, we can't really do that because we can't get in the TV.

...

(later this evening)

Henry: Dad, I love your shirt, and I love you (over E's shoulder, to me) and I love you too!

...

(looking at my ipod--at a picture of the cover of the Monsters, Inc. Soundtrack featuring Mike and Sully, the main characters)

Henry: Mom, which one is Ink?

Me: What? INK? What are you talking about?

Henry: You know, "inc". Which one is the Monster, and which one is "inc"?

...

HAHAHAHAHA.

Love. that. kid. SO MUCH! Omigod. *(contented) sigh*

Tomorrow morning I head to sunny Riverside! Yay for the California State High School Mock Trial Competition!

You may or may not think this makes me weird, but I'm looking forward to a) a plane ride, b) a free trip, c) a really nice hotel room, and d) an academic competition. NERD ALERT!

Peace out.
H

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

From the Bestie

I am not really an email forward person, simply because it requires a lot of reading to find the gems. But the Bestie sent this to me at work this morning with a little note: Have a great day, Buddy. Sometimes the smallest thing can make such a difference.

Here you go:

...


Twelve choices
you must not die without making….. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar has spent his life inspiring people to embrace a positive attitude about life. Attitude makes all the difference. And attitude is a matter of choice.

Choices impact our lives. We can choose to be miserable or happy. We cannot always choose our circumstances but we can choose how we shall react. Fortunately there are many decisions that can enrich your life. Here are some choices you must not die without making:

One, choose to like yourself. Enjoy being you. Never waste a moment wishing you were someone else. Picture yourself as a wonderful person. If someone does not like you, that is their problem.

Two, expect people to like you. Let Zig Ziglar’s "likeability factor" work for you. Zig says people like four things: kindness, optimism, a smile, and people who listen. Practice doing the things that people like and you will have many friends.

Three, be optimistic about the future. Pessimism shrinks life. Optimism enlarges it. Choose to expect the best. When bad things happen, face them with courage but get up every day believing good things are going to happen to you.

Four, live every day with enthusiasm. Pour yourself boldly into what you are doing. Enthusiasm produces the energy to dance, so dance until people start dancing with you.

Five, choose to learn something new every day. Explore the unknown. Exercise your brain. Continue growing until you gasp your last breath. There is so much to learn and old dogs really can learn new tricks.

Six, do not allow disappointment to grind you down. You will have disappointments so accept them. But they need not lead you into despair. Tell despair it is not welcome in your life. You can choose to make your disappointments temporary.

Seven, treasure your relationships more than your stuff. People are more important than things. Be content with what you have. If you have anything you love more than your family and friends, give it away. Things cannot hold your hand when you are hurting.

Eight, choose not to worry. Worry will kill you. Worry never solves a problem. Worry is a thief; it will rob you of joy, peace, health, and contentment. Put your worries in a jar and think about them only once a week – every Thursday at 2:00 o’clock.

Nine, laugh a lot. Laughter is healthy. Life without humor is boring. If you wake up one morning and can’t think of anything funny to laugh about, look in the mirror. What you see staring back at you is bound to make you grin. And don’t ever waste a grin without adding laughter to it.

Ten, choose to be understanding of the mistakes other people make. You make mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. Give other people a break. That is doing for others what you need for them to do for you. Life would be impossible without understanding.

Eleven, tell the people you love the most that you love them. Speak the words, “I love you,” to those dearest to you. You will be dead one day so while you are alive, make your love known. Your love is your most precious gift so give it while it is day.

Twelve, tell God you love him. Thank Him for your blessings. You have them because God loves you. So thank Him for loving you. He will smile to hear you express your love for Him. And many times you will suddenly feel like someone touched you.

Here are choices that can enrich your life. Be sure you make each one before you die. Choose to begin today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stream of blogschiousness

So, ehrm, uh... I'm sitting here eating sunflower seeds, watching last night's Celebrity Apprentice on my TiVo. There's a turkey breast in the oven and some rice in the rice cooker. Did I mention that I love anything having to do with rice and/or gravy? Wellido. I feel like I need to apologize in advance for the next two weeks of posting (or not). It's just going to be busy time, so I'm not promising much. Not that I ever am, honestly. I read a lot of blogs, and here are some things that my blog is NOT:

1) informative
2) funny
3) instructional
4) relevant

That relieves some of the pressure, doesn't it? Then I can just post janky photos of myself, taken by my daughter, and I can stream my unconsciousness to my little heart's content.

You know who I like on this show? That guy who is married to Sandra Bullock. The motorcycle guy. What's his name? I like him. I think this is some kind of transference--my liking motorcycle guys in general, ergo I like him. But he's pretty normal. I like it.

These brides are making me wish I had a tan.

Everything's better when you're tan. Well, not your skin health, but you feel and look better. I feel skinnier when I'm tan.

I'm kind of starting to get excited about the next few weeks. Thursday I leave for Riverside with the Mock Trial Team, then it's my show, then on to Disneyland the weekend after that... and SPRING BREAK!!! WOOHOO!

(Are you kidding me? You didn't think I was going to party, right? I'm going to be asleep from April 5 to April 11. Just FYI.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wiikend Pics III

Wii time.
Lovely.

Wanna know a secret? I like having a guy around the house. Okay, this guy. I dig him. I'm so glad things are going so swimmingly. Paddycake FTW. This reminds me that he needs a new Harley shirt.

I'll say it again. This is my favorite thing ever.
Look at those feeties.

Learning at the hands of the master.

Lean!

video

In action.

Me and Ad, horsing around with the camera. Get it?

Because what ISN't funny about a Transformer on your head?

So demure.

Okay, maybe a little.

Just like her mommy. Ad shot this one. She had to get her innate beauty somewhere. Seriously, this should be on the side of a bus or something.
Just kidding.
This picture is ten kinds of WRONG.

A little love for my homies

(Click image to make larger)

Last year I danced with a Contemporary Dance Company in Sacramento called CORE Dance Collective. It is a phenomenal company that has, in only two years, become one of the most amazing things Sacramento has to offer in terms of dance.

CORE is an emotionally and technically driven professional company, and it is unlike anything you have ever seen. Artistic Director Kelli Leighton is truly gifted, and the dancers (who are all volunteers, by the way) are just amazing. They come from a variety of professional dance backgrounds, and the company is able to really move its audience through expressing an emotional connection with the music, and each other. It will blow you away.

I just want to encourage you to give it a look. I can't dance with them as of right now, but I wish them all the best. I am going to be there... it would be great to see you there too. Please check it out. If you can't go, or you don't live in the area, consider donating. CORE is a nonprofit, and survives only on donations.

I really believe you will be touched by it.

Thanks for listening,
H


CORE DANCE COLLECTIVE PRESENTS
Undefined Existence
April 17 & 18, 7:30 PM
Benvenuti Performing Arts Center
4600 Blackrock Dr
Sacramento, CA 95835
Presale $14 adult, $12 student/child/senior
At the door $16/$14
for more information or to make a donation: www.coredancecollective.org

Friday, March 13, 2009

birdwalkin'

Fatigue thieved away all my thoughts and killed my creativity this week. So here's one of my absolute favorite poems. Bonus: it's in a chick movie I really like: In Her Shoes, with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette.

Hey, speaking of Toni Collete, have you watched The United States of Tara? Dang, that show rocks my socks. Faah. Bu. Luss. Hey, speaking of socks (and shoes!) have I ever told you I have a shoe problem? Well, I suppose it would only be considered a problem if I acknowledged it or wanted to do something about it. But I am a happy slave to my constant need for blissful shoedom. This quote from the movie explains it best (we're back to talking about In Her Shoes again. Did you follow me on that birdwalk?):

Rose Feller: I get something out of them. When I feel down, I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good, and food just makes me fatter, but shoes always fit.

Anyhoo, people. Here's that poem. Please to enjoy:

i carry your heart with me
ee cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

...

Piece out, friends. Go enjoy your Friday night. I will too.

...

Hey? (I know, I just interrupted the end of my own post. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.) Know what else would rock my socks? Leave me a comment. You can be anonymous. It's okay. Or just use your first name. :) Then I know somebody out there is reading this junk. I'll love you forever. Okay, peace. For real.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Caviar Wishes, Burrito dreams

I am dreaming about burrito bowls right now. Isn't that glorious? I'm a Chipotle addict. Geez. It's embarrassing. One has not lived until he has tasted the ambrosia that is the Chipotle black bean carnitas burrito bowl with sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo and guac. Like, omigod.

So I used to just go there all the time, and then the Bestie had to show off and start making burrito bowls at home. Why didn't I think of that before? It's not like this is rocket science. And it is probably the thing I cook most often for myself now. It also works great with leftovers--whatever meat you have left from the night before? Put that in your bowl and... eat it.

Right now I'm mentally assembling my burrito bowl for dinner. Already.

This is what is key to the burrito bowl: you make it using whatever you have. And then you set it all out on the table and everyone who eats with you makes his or her own bowl. And then they love you because they are essentially eating only what they like. It's infallible.

The other awesome thing about it? Gluten free. Gluten-free E loves burrito bowls. And I can usually get the kids to eat some kind of thing that grew out of the ground if I make these. They are win-win.

Burrito bowls

Ingredients:

Rice (Plain ol' white rice. you can be fancy and make Mexi rice but that takes effort, which I do not have. Plus white rice is yummy.)

Can of beans (ANY. I like black, but you can use pinto, refried, whatevah.)

Can of corn (Mexi-corn is the best because it has little peppers in it, but plain is cool. If you're all white-bread about your corn.)

Meat (see below for more about meat)

Shredded cheese (mmm. cheese.)

Sour cream (lurve!)

Salsa or taco sauce (I like the green one because I can use it in Chicken Tortilla Casserole)

Avocado? Tomatoes? Green chilies? Olives? (Whatever is on hand.)

Directions: cook meat, cook rice. Pile food. Eat.


A word about taco meat:

You can just brown some ground beef or ground turkey. I do this a lot. With some onion, usually. But that's kind of boring. So here's how my mom always made the chicken for chicken tacos and I love it mucho. (You can do this to your ground beef too. And people will act like you're fabulous, and you can claim to have invented it.)

Taco meat a la Mary: Cut up your chicken breasts (2-4) into small chunks. Cook in a small amount of oil with half an onion, chopped. Add some garlic, pressed. When chicken is white, add one can of tomato sauce. Add taco seasoning and chili powder to taste. Taste for me means a lot of both. I like it zesty.

I promise to put up a pic after I make all this tonight. I didn't think you'd want a pic of me sitting at my desk at work looking all peckish and gaunt. :)

Hey man. It's nothing fancy, but it tastes like heaven on a bun. I mean on a plate. I mean in your burrito bowl.

Whatever.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This is how I know

that it's show time right now:
  • I haven't straightened my hair in a month.
  • I haven't even used my hairdryer in several weeks. I have permanent pigtails. (My cop-out hairdo of choice.)
  • Every morning, I convince myself that mascara, brow liner, and a little powder are actually enough makeup. (They are not. You've seen me. You get it. Tragic.)
  • My car looks like a combination fast food trash bin/dirty laundry hamper.
  • My children started asking me when I'm going to take "all that junk" out of the car so they can put their feet down.
  • Said children also asked how much longer I'm going to be grumpy because I'm always tired and when I'm always tired I'm always a grump.
  • Cereal for dinner. Often. Potato chips for lunch. And today, cake. So healthy.
  • I haven't done dishes since Sunday.
  • I throw some dog food at the dogs every night and rush back in the house before they can make eye contact and guilt me into feeling bad about what a terrible pet owner I am right now.
  • Every morning, I choose 25 more minutes of pressing snooze above such luxuries as eating, putting together an outfit, being on time.
  • I told my kids at school to not even ask me about getting their essays back until April. That went over well.
  • I have to leave myself post-it notes that say things like "eat lunch."
  • It's a tough call every day at lunch time between eating and napping.
  • Normally I live for email. I wait for email to come, just so I can respond. Now I just open the ones that I think are from angry people.
  • Everything I brought home from work for the last three days is in a pile by the front door. You could analyze the strata like rock.
  • I have a hard time waiting for my kids' bedtime to roll around so I can finally go to sleep.
  • I try to convince my children to play games like "take a nap with mommy" or "the quiet game."
  • My outfit every day for the last two weeks: jeans, t shirt, sweatshirt, flip flops.
  • I am a puddle of a person on the couch all night. The artist formerly known as P.

My fingers feel too heavy to lift anymore. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

(I wish.)

Piece out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No crazies

I just realized something. I'm stressed. I'm overbooked. I'm overworked. I'm taxed. But for the first time in four years of high school dance shows, I'm not anxious.

Wow.

I can't tell you how big a realization this is for me. It's the month before my show. I'm supposed to be crazy right now, right? No. Life is crazy. But me? I'm just stressed, overbooked, overworked, taxed, TIRED. But no crazies. No chest-tightening, heart-racing, hand-clammying crazies. How the HECK did that happen?

I think I got so used to living with anxiety that it's taken me a while to notice that right now, it's not there. Wowie zowie. I'm not talking about anxiety for normal people. I'm talking about the kind that makes you feel like it's panic time, all the time. My old friend.

So what's changed? Well, I've made all kinds of gut-wrenching choices to simplify life, for one. It makes a huge difference right now to have a lot of the normal stuff off my plate. Knowing this is my last show lifts a big ol' weight. Not choreographing/teaching for Staff GQ this year? Whew. I miss those ladies, but I know enough to know that I wouldn't be able to take that right now too. I have an assistant with the company at school--God bless her--who is really helping to keep me sane this year. Worth her weight in gold. I had to say no to dancing with CORE this year, even though sometimes I miss it like a piece of my soul is missing. No more masters program. No more extra committees and meetings I don't have to attend. *sigh* I'm learning to say no. Or learning to say please help me. I hate doing it, but it lightens the load, which makes everything more palatable.

Truly, I think that not carrying around my little anxiety buddy right now comes from the crud of the last six months. In the weeks leading up to our separation and decision to divorce, I felt like a scared animal. Or a kid who had gotten called to the Principal's office. I don't mean I felt like this sometimes, I felt like that nonstop. I had a constant feeling of icy yuck at my sternum that made my fingers numb. Fear. Nerves. Agitation of hands. Call it what you want. I had no more choices. I had no way to fix my situation. And then when we decided to end things--Good Lord--I've never been so despondent, and despondency meant more anxiety. But I got through, in a variety of ways, medical, therapeutical, spiritual, and personal. I had to be in the crud to get through it.

I'm just not chased around by that fear-feeling all the time right now. When I rest now, I rest. I breathe. I read. I sleep. I play. I couldn't do that before. I couldn't turn the crazies off. E would see it coming and he'd know even before I would. All it would take was one trigger and I'd be in anxious-mode for four days. Either running scared, or unable to get out of bed because I was so overwhelmed by life. I know it's still inside me, waiting to come out if I let things get too far out of my control. But I feel better knowing that I have some tools to curb it.

I keep harping on this, but because of the recent work we've been doing, E and I have been able to figure out how to talk to each other and how to listen to each other. We're going to be working at that for a long time, but we're each saying to the other one that they're worth trying. Such a basic skill. Such a deficiency in our relationship for so many years. Communication has helped me to feel like I can reach him, like I can access his feelings, and like I am heard and understood when it matters. I have an ally. Communication has helped me to stop feeling that fight-or-flight feeling. Communication. What a concept. Who'da thunk it.

It's hard to define how different it is now. By "it," I mean me. I feel myself, as Carl Sandburg said, "search[ing] for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and unknowable." My angst came from feeling unheard, misunderstood, and alone. And overworked, overbooked, and stressed, and all that. But now there's an out. And somebody's looking at me now, telling me all the time that I am worth staying for. Fighting for. Talking to. (Ending sentences with. Haha... Just wanted to drive any of y'all grammarians crazy.) But you kwim. (Lis: kwim= know what I mean.)

I guess it's spill your dirt week on my blog. And why not? All the things that have been struggles in my life--embarrassing, difficult, hide-under-a-rock-worthy struggles--are not unique to me. This one included. So there you go.

Searching for syllables,
PDawg

Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday good things

1. Taking a nap in the sunbeam on the family room carpet with one of the monkeys. (No pic of that one--I was napping. Hello! Macfly!)

2. Cereal for dinner.


3. Freshly pedicured toes and bare feet in the grass. I lurve it.

4. Dawgs. And messy glass, apparently.


5. My blue ceiling.

6. Oatmeal raisin cookies. No pic of that either. They're all gone. Hmm... wonder how that happened? I made you a cookie but I eated it.

Lulz.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another weekend... more pics.

More birthday...

Saturday night was a family affair for Auntie/Papa/E/Hank. Each had his/her own dessert. What an amazing Mimi.

Rice crispy cake for Gluten-free (egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free) E.

Transforming. Concentrating.

Cozy pants.

A rare picture of me with Ad. I'm usually the one taking pics. I think Auntie had the camera. Cozy pants FTW.

Today, swinging in Auntie's new backyard.


Blossoms on the peach tree in my backyard.

Oh look, a bee!

Couldn't get the little bugger to hold still for a pic.

There he goes. Look at those wings. :)

Yes, this was taken today. Yes, I let my children wear their bathing suits and play in the hose. It was cold. But they didn't care. I was outside cleaning up the backyard and they couldn't resist. My mother would have never let me do this. Ever. Shh. Don't tell anybody. They survived though. They're in their room right now talking when they should be asleep.

Happy Monday.

vroom

It has been a bad week. I'm really struggling to make it through the end of March and get my last show for the school dance company finished. I think this emotionally draining year has just left me bereft of any enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is exactly what ordinarily keeps me running through the end of the season. It's just gone. I'm honoring my commitment, but it's a fight for me to be at school and all those extra hours of rehearsal.

[If my dancers were reading this, they'd say PDawg? You don't want to do our show? You don't care about us? Because that's how teenagers think. And I'd sigh and say Of course I care about you, but this has nothing to do with my caring about you or not, because it isn't about you. You are not my life. This is the problem. Now let me get back to my post and stop invading every aspect of my personal being.]

I feel fatigued.

So as I drove home Friday afternoon in the sunshine, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do this weekend more than go for a ride on the bike. Of course, it's a terrible weekend for that because we're so busy, but I just knew how nice it would be. I haven't been on the bike since last summer--since before E and I separated--and I was also eager just to start that up again. It's a really positive thing that we can only do together. No kids. Nobody else. Just get on the bike and go. Anyhoot, E indulged me and we set out for a few hours.

Have you ever been on the back of a bike? Until I was 29, I hadn't. Maybe most people have? I just grew up thinking that was something I'd never do, so I was terrified of it. It looked to me like it would be really precarious on one of those things, and that turning would feel like my very death. I was wrong. I am glad I was. They're actually very stable. There's a little bit of movement, but you get used to it. Of course there's an element of danger--a huge one that is to be respected--but as an activity it's much more relaxing than I could have imagined before we had one. As a dancer, I think I like it because I can sense how I need to shift my weight, or balance, and it's very fluid. I remembering being surprised by scuba diving, and how zen-like it was. This is the same way for me. As we cruise along, it feels good to be outdoors, and I usually have a song in my head. I am alone with the air and my thoughts. Yesterday I had "I want to hold your hand" in my head for most of the ride, and then "Leaves on the Seine" by David Lanz. No I'm not joking. Yes, I realize that having a new-age piano piece in my head while riding a Harley is a bit of a dichotomy.

We weren't riding to any destination, but it felt good to be outside. It felt good to feel the wind and take in the green of the countryside. Even the cow smell near the dairies--not so bad if you keep moving. I like cows. I got to try out the liner for my new leather jacket (cozy!) and remember how it feels when bugs hit my neck at that speed. I enjoy getting to see the anachronistic parts of my town; these parts are getting smaller as the sprawl of housing tracts advances. And I got to spend some time with E, not even talking, but remembering how much I enjoy his company. Just being with him. Even in wordless silence (that's redundant, isn't it?) we understand each other better than anyone else.

I know you're wondering. What's the status there? I haven't really said in a while. What's the story, Morning Glory? E's pretty much back. We're still doing well. It's a struggle every day. But we're struggling together. Retrouvaille has helped us to discover that we really do need each other and given us the tools that we need to get through the difficulties that are inevitable. Don't think for a minute that I am talking about this having been all peachy and sunshine and rainbows since we decided to give this one more look. It ain't. It's hard. We fight. All the time. We struggle. We bicker. But we choose to love each other, in spite of that. This is just how we do "us".

So like I said, E's back. At this point we're throwing around an idea of renewing our vows--in order to mark the occasion and say to each other, our children, and our families that this is it. This is what we want, for life. Good or bad, etcetera, etcetera. I know that's what it is supposed to mean the first time, and I absolutely do not regret one thing about that day, but for various reasons there has been some reinterpretation, or I suppose I should say recommitment. I know that E especially feels a desire to make that commitment to me, and I know that I need to hear it. I need to let him know too that I'm walking the walk and not going to bolt when it gets hard. We're thinking just something small, informal, and with family. Neither of us has taken any of this separation lightly--please don't think that--it has been an internal struggle just as much as the external one. And neither of us knew how it would be to be apart. Just that we were at the end of our ropes and in so much pain. But being apart was unbearable, a ripping apart of what had become one. We had traded one pain for another, and we didn't have each other anymore. Couldn't do it. So here we are, doing some intensive work on "us" that will continue indefinitely.

So that's quite an update, huh? It's hard to know what to share, but my hope is that maybe someone else would feel like it's okay that things not be perfect for them. That maybe by writing about it, somebody else would see that you have to choose love--every day--that it is never going to be an overwhelming feeling that makes everything work and makes the other person behave exactly as you'd want them to. That you have to hang in there, ESPECIALLY when you don't feel it. That's when it matters. Because people are not perfect. They're punks. And they're worth it anyway.

Plus, we have two amazing little monkey-punks who need us. And they need us together. I am convinced. So we make it happen. They are both scientific and theological evidence that E + me = good. So we respect that.

And we need each other. So we better figure out a way to get through. Together.

Go out an enjoy the sunshine today! Peace out, nerds.