Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer, right on schedule

The 21st is the official first day of summer, but I think this is the first time I felt like summer actually arrived on that day and not weeks earlier. Apparently we have chilly Junes here in the Northwest, but it was truly beautiful here Tuesday and I knew it was summer because I got all sticky and uncomfortable. Of course it has been cloudy and in the 60s the two days since...

This is my fun and folksy birthday gift from Toni! I think it's going to be my reason for everything from now on. It's painted on a drawer front. Apparently a homeless man painted it and was selling it at the bus stop, but she didn't have money, so she had to run home and get some and then run back to catch the man as he was boarding the bus and made the bus wait during the transaction. Now where to hang...
This weekend we made waffles out of Bittman's How to Cook Everything.  They were ok, but turned out a little dense. Perhaps we didn't get those egg whites fully to "soft peaks." It's hard to whisk that much by hand! 
Nathan poses in a "eating waffle" tableau with the orange juice

Since my long string of performances finally ended Sunday, I was finally able to embark on Spring Cleaning: Round Two
Some stuff just needs organizing and this takes time, but I was rather proud of this transformation:
Under our sink is stuffed with plastic bags that I somehow accumulate even though I always take re-usable bags to the grocery. The evidence of my unabashed consumerism is on display right here under the sink and the general untidiness of this situation is unacceptable. SO...I remembered a little bag storage "sock" that Nono and Gdad have at the lake, and I made one!

All the bags are now contained in this festive tube with an elasticized hole at the bottom to allow pulling out one bag at a time, which is convient for kitty litter scoopin' time. Thus my plastic bags are hanging right above the cat box and is that is the inspiration for the colorful kitty fabric that was a scrap in my stash. I didn't take an "after" picture of underneath my sink, but trust me, it looks goooood.

That is the non-news from around here

Monday, June 13, 2011

BIG update.

It's been a crazy couple of weeks--maybe more like 3 or 4 weeks. I know because the house used to be sparkling clean and now it is...not. And I don't know exactly when it is going to remedy itself. I was sort of hoping that upon my return from San Francisco, Nathan would have pulled his "I didn't clean, the house is just so easy to keep perfect when you're not here to mess it up" like he did when I returned from France, but alas, Nathan had finals and was too busy to "not clean." Anyways, a few weeks ago I performed in San Francisco with Khambatta Dance Company. We split a show with Scott Wells and Dancers (we were the first half, they were the second) and it was a great time despite the lack of sleep and the loss of voice.

First we left SUPER early from Seattle--I can never go to sleep properly when I know I have to be up by 4:00am--and arrived in San Fran by 8:00am. The six of us squeezed in a rental car (eric curled up on the floor of the back seat) and drove to Berkley to meet up with Scott Wells and go to breakfast at the Homemade Cafe. Huevos Rancheros--yes please! We were all staying at different places all over the city, so Scott drove us around a little bit before dropping us off at our various locations.
The view from Twin Peaks--what a pretty city! Recently read Travels with Charlie by Steinbeck and he described San Francisco as being Grecian. With the water, the rolling mountains, and the white buildings, I can kind of see it. It definitely feels different from Seattle. Pretty much all of Seattle is neighborhood-y like Berkley is, while SF is much more urban and concentrated. It has all this great Victorian architecture, which I love of course because I love all things old, particularly buildings. The climate is also completely different. Much drier and, well, California-like. There were some fantastic flowers blooming while we were there, none of which I knew.
Meredith, Scott Wells, Rachel, and Eric

Golden Gate Baby!
 Then Scott dropped me off at the home of two of his company members in a charming town house in the Mission district. I had a very comfortable futon in the living room.
They have pretty much the most perfect artist's apartment. Crammed full of lots of stuff, but all of it interesting. Beautiful art on the walls and wonderful architectural details like a sweet little marble fireplace. Also, clawfoot tub and great deck off the back. >love<
So after dropping off my luggage, I grabbed a couple of tacos (the Mission is the latin district after all) and was off to tech rehearsal at the theater. I had to take the bus, which I'm used to of course, but its a little different in SF. Fortunately, everyone was very helpful and the bus system there is significantly easier to manage and understand than the one here. The only tricky part was that the back doors of the bus are sometimes triggered by stepping down on the stairs, and sometimes you have to press on the doors to get them to open. In Seattle we just have to yell "back door" up to the driver and hopefully he or she hears you and lets you off! Very sophisticated. Anyways, to the theater, and then rehearsal from 6-11pm after waking up at 4. It was a marathon. Mostly a marathon of trying to keep my eyes open. Fortunately, the next day I had some time to sleep in. Unfortunately I woke up at 7:30. Why? Who knows. I walked around the mission a bit, did some grocery shopping, had breakfast, and then took a nap until rehearsal in the afternoon. That night we had our first show, and the premier of our new piece, Rush,  which should have been called Rough on that particular night, but the other two pieces went alright. Scott Wells and Dancers presented two really entertaining and delightful works, one doing Parkor work on big gymnast mats and forms, and the other using balls of all sizes--rolling on them, tossing them, juggling, etc. They will be bringing this piece "Ballistic" and another I haven't seen to Seattle next weekend when we do another joint performance in the Seattle International Dance Festival.

Back to San Francisco, the Saturday and Sunday night performances went better. I started losing my voice on Saturday afternoon and couldn't talk at all by Sunday, which was unfortunate because we had a little free time and I had arranged to meet up with Dave and Jane. We still got together for some delicious brunch at Starbelly Restaurant, and Dave and Jane took me around to see some sights!
Chilequiles at Starbelly YUM

Dave got a delicious looking pork sandwhich
Driving down the super famous switchback street!

It was very nice to catch up with them, even if I couldn't be as social as I liked. We ended up going to see the movie Bridesmaids because my voice was shot and we were tired of driving around. There were funny moments, but I didn't think it was hilarious as I had been hearing from everyone. To each his own I suppose. 
Also, there was Carnival happening on the street where I was staying. They had a huge parade Sunday that I watched for about an hour. 

Many Latin American countries were represented with a float and dancers following. I think these dancers were representing Cuba. I watched for about an hour.

Monday we had another super early morning flight back to Seattle, and then I was unexpectedly called into work. I was also scheduled to work on my birthday, but fortunately got that covered. Unfortunately I was not feeling up to doing Karaoke like I had planned. : ( I was pretty bummed, but Nathan and I made the best of it and used a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant we had been saving for a special occasion! 
Outside Wild Ginger. Happy to be dressed all fancy, sad to be wearing my coat in June...
Wild Ginger is an Asian fusion restaurant and Satay bar. We got to try lots of yummy things. First we got some fancy cocktails and satay. The satay (that means on a stick!) all came with fantastic sauces, sweet pickled cucumbers and this extremely sticky cube of rice that we quite enjoyed.
Nathan gazes lovingly at the delicious spread!
 Then we got two more entrees and another appetizer. In this one meal we had chicken, beef, scallops, duck, pork, and a completely vegetarian dish. I think that's a record. The duck tasted similar to the carnitas nathan makes and I have blogged about, except less greasy and still super tender. The other entree was Seven Spice Beef or something like that and it was amazing.

Full Bellies!
Thanks to Sherrie Kossoudji for the great meal!

The night after my birthday we were joined by a few friends at a Madonna/Lady Gaga themed dance party in Fremont. Nathan got me tickets to see a band we like perform in Ballard that we went to see last week, so my birthday week was filled with lots of celebration. Going to the concert, we discovered how great Ballard is; an area we haven't really explored yet for some reason. Hopefully we'll get there again soon and I'll take some pictures!

Birthday fun over and back to the grind! I've been preparing for a lot of shows lately.  For instance last night I danced in a thong for a room full of people. Don't worry--it's not what you think. It's the Seattle International Dance Festival! I was part of a collaboration with a Japanese choreographer that was put together this past week. 
Here I am in "costume:"
I can't really get into the details of this piece, but lets just say I think maybe strange Japanese art is not for me. Also, I have showered three times and I still feel like I'm covered in chalk dust. Yuck yuck yuck. I have just finished reading Black Like Me which is a really fascinating and important book about a white journalist in the fifties who traveled around the South in black face and writes about the discrimination he encounters. I couldn't help but think of the scenes where he writes about applying (and then removing) his black makeup in the mirror. Except it would be White Like Me. We also compared my frantic scrubbing to an "Out damned spot" moment, to which Nathan cunningly remarked, "having trouble removing your white guilt?" Oh, Nathan, how I love thee.

 Ok, house cleaning time...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On turning 24

Today is my birthday! Yay! Trying not to think about being in my mid-twenties, which to some of you may seem very young, but I feel that time is passing terrifyingly quickly! I guess it will only get worse, so might as well embrace it.
While 24 is not a huge milestone birthday for anything, it actually has some special significance for me. Back when I was a freshman in high school and first started studying modern dance at Community, my teacher, Deborah Sipos-Roe told me that it takes 10 years to make a dancer. This was something Martha Graham (the mother of modern dance) had said. I told her I had been taking ballet class since I was three so...dancer! She said "No. 10 years of thinking about, and doing, and dedicating your life to dance everyday."  So since then I have cringed just a little bit every time someone called me a dancer and hesitated at calling myself one, because I knew I was only a student of dance. The day my teacher told me this I remember thinking, "That means I will not be a dancer until I am 24!!! Thats SO old!!!" But here I am. 24. So I can say I have spent every day of 10 years aiming myself at becoming a dancer, and now I can say that I am one. Also, in support of this fact, I recently received my first pay check for dancing. So not just a dancer, but a professional one, and I love my job!