Category Archives: adulting

I Just Can’t Even (Finish A Post Right Now) 

So I’m going to write a short one and just get it doon.    

After last week, during which I lacked A) higher cognitive (and any executive) functions and B) the ability to actually execute a decent pirouette, I appear to be regaining my faculties. 

The weekend was highly mediocre ballet-wise, with a really nice moments lightly sprinkled on a field of “meh,” “Wait, what’s the combination?” and just plain “WAT.” Highlights included half-awake me and pre-coffee BG attempting to follow each-other at the barre, with about the degree of success one might predict under the circumstances. 

Last night I took class because, in short, I’m an addict.  Even though I was late (and made friend L, who came with me, late) thanks to challenges resulting from last week’s brain fog(1), it wasn’t half bad. I managed some nice doubles and some intentional, if not awesome, triples.

  1. Dear Sunday-Evening-Just-Past Me:Where did you put my keys?! THIS IS NOT FUNNY 😦 😦 }:( 

Today’s technique tidbit: take a second before launching your turns (with all guns blazing, if you’re anything like me) to feel a few things.  Where are your trochanters in their hip sockets? Is the pelvis rotated or tilted? If so, can you adjust it?  (Unless you’re in a ridiculously huge 4th,the core muscles can usually correct the pelvis.) 

Obviously, this is easiest to do when the music is slow, so use your discretion, but it can be really helpful. More than once, I’ve caught myself preparing turns with one hip cocked, which isn’t what one might call a Best Practice. 

Still couldn’t stop second-guessing myself during petit allegro, though, which resulted in a petit allegro that looked as if I’d been told, “Using the medium of ballet, interpret the behavior of a ball in one of those showy random-number generators they used to use in televised lottery drawings.”

What’s the rule, again? 

“There’s no THINKing in BALlet!” 

—Not Tom Hanks in A League Of Their Own, but close enough.   

…So that was Monday, also known as Logical Friday The Second, because my schedule is FUBAR.

Oh, and I think I acquitted myself decently in our lone grand allegro, which is good, because I kept running over myself in a high-momentum tombé-pdb during Sunday’s.

Day “Off”

The Time of the Allergies(1) is upon us again, and D had a coughing fit at 6 AM that woke me up.

  1. Or, if you’re me, the time of EVEN MOAR ALLERGIES, because all times are the Time of Allergies.

Since then, I’ve actually managed to put dishes away, wash last night’s remaining dishes, put those away, make waffles (because either someone in the neighborhood was making them or I was totally hallucinating the scent of waffles, and I just couldn’t stand it anymore), eat a waffle, feed D a waffle, clean up after the waffles, and run a couple of loads of laundry.

I also failed at making tea, however: boiled the water, then forgot to actually make the tea for two hours, so had to start over. Anyway, I have tea now.

facetea

I’ve got this, guys.

Fortunately, D picked up some allergy meds for me, so I’m breathing through my nose pretty decently at the moment. #smallvictories

Anyway, ballet-wise, I feel pretty on top of my choreography, including the Partner All The Girls! bits (actually, those are the easy bits; I really basically just stand there, look pretty, and put my hands where they need to be). However, we still have the last 23 seconds to learn, so I’m going to rehearsal tomorrow instead of going to see Wendy Whelan’s “Some of a Thousand Words.”

Funny thing is that it really wasn’t a question (because apparently my #priorities are properly aligned, or something). If we’d finished the dance last night, I might have gone to the performance instead, but I really actually want to go to rehearsal.

Fortunately, D isn’t offended that I’m opting out on my birthday present, and in fact agrees with me that going to rehearsal is the right choice. He is going to give our tickets to someone who wants to go and doesn’t have tix, which is a nice thing as well. So instead of seeing Whelan’s show for my birthday, I get the pleasure of giving someone else the chance and still getting to go to rehearsal 😀

In other news, I still have no idea what I’m wearing in the show, besides white socks and white shoes. I keep forgetting to ask, and people keep asking me, and I keep having to say, “Um, actually, I have no idea.

BG described the tights I’ll be wearing as “awesome,” so of course I’m picturing something like this:

matador

Ganked from the Googs because I’m lazy right now. (Also, I’m guessing matadors don’t wear dance belts. Huh. Honestly, that looks hella uncomfortable.)

…But I suspect that reality will be somewhat less ornate, since all the girls are wearing pastel leos and white romantic tutus, and not so much with the bling.

In other news, today is perfect soup weather, but I forgot to buy soup, so #firstworldproblems etc. I could make soup, though, if I get desperate.

 

Addendum:

Here’s what I wore last night, anyway:

White-Socks-Blue-Tights

Lo-res video is low 😦

I was use-testing the socks, which are new. BG and I agreed that we kind of liked the blue tights (which are brighter in real life) with the socks, but also that they would clash with the rest of the performance.

The shirt, OTOH, is just the same shirt I wear every damn day.

Modern: The Side Successions Succeed

…Sort of.

I learned to love side successions in Cinci last summer. They are so the opposite of ballet, but when they work, holy crap, they’re beautiful (and they feel really good; like your body kind of massages itself while you’re also stretching).

Yesterday we worked on side successions a lot, especially a little traveling side succession thing that has been doin’ me a heckin’ bamboozle during a combination we worked on Tuesday and today, à la “Ballet Squid Goes Modern.”

I wasn’t thinking of it as a travelling side-succession. I was thinking of it as … I dunno, a more vertical washing machine(1) with wavy-gravy arms?

  1. To whit: “washing machine” might not even be the standard Modern Dance People name for the thing I call a “washing machine,” which is basically a squatty kind of chaîné in 2nd en tournant that you do en manège … yeah, I pretty much always wind up describing modern in ballet terms.

In fact, it’s a side-succession coupled with a chassé and a little turn-under.

We did a bunch of these across the floor to some super-cool flamenco music (if I had time for another dance form in my life right now, I’d go straight for flamenco).

Overall, a fairly successful class: I got frustrated at the end because I was struggling to remember bits of a long bit of choreography and I was All By Mysee-e-eeelf, so I couldn’t crib off someone else for the missing parts.

Curiously, I think I remember most of the choreography now ._. I am sorta cursed with that thing where the choreography consolidates on the way home.

Anyway, now I’m going to go try to wrangle the finances. Apparently, at some point, our Quicken restored a backup file (and apparently lost the newer ones?), and I’m basically having to re-do the reconciling for all of 2016. Not happy about that at all.

Good News 

I got cast! (And not the broken-bone kind 😁)

Next audition on my radar is ballet-related, but I’m not sure when it is. Dates haven’t been posted yet. 

Callbacks ‘n’ Sech

Today was a long day: class at 10:30 (with a smidgen of rehearsal afterwards); teaching at 1 PM; suspended meditation at 2; callback at 3:30 (ended a little past 6:30).

Class was … erm. Like, barre was great? And the rest of it was … yeaaah. Erm. I had issues. On the other hand, I did manage one not-very-good triple, and except for the points at which I actually screwed up, things looked okay.

All three members of my Ballet Girl Posse were in class, and two of them stayed after, so we ran through our choreography … and I actually learned all their names. YAY! So at least I’ve accomplished something today. BG was still around, so he ran us through our bit a couple of times, and we decided that we like fourth arabesque better for my bit of the first partnering piece (a series of supported fouettés).

I begged off the last ten minutes of the modern dance portion of the apprentice-teaching class because my legs were a bit angry at me and I was going to need them for the audition. I used the time to foam-roll the crap out of them.

During meditation, I fell asleep. Given that I am the world’s worst napper (seriously, I can normally only nap when I’ve been awake for at least 48 hours straight), that’s saying something. Evidently, I was pretty tired.

The callback turned out to be the highlight of the day. It was more like a dance-and-theater workshop than an audition—we did some partnering stuff, then learned a dance and performed it in groups, then played theater games and ran some sides. Honestly, it was a hell of a lot of fun with a great group of people (both judges and fellow auditionees), and if every audition was that much fun, I’d audition for everything.

It turns out that I know the guy who’s directing the production. I met him at a party (which happened to be at his house) and felt instantly very, very comfortable with him, which speaks very highly of him. Also: proof that my world is incredibly tiny, heh.

We’ll hear back in a week or so about roles and such. Fortunately, I have too much going on to have much time to chew my nails about it, though I don’t have class with BW on Thursday this week.

Regardless, BW gave me homework—jumping rope to improve my cardio as well as the usual Turns Homework and … erm. I’m supposed to be doing something else, too, I think? Fehhhhcccckkkk. I can’t remember. It’s in my notes somewhere.

Anyway. I will miss BW’s class this week, but I suspect my body will welcome the extra rest. The fitness is returning, but my body hates me so much right now.

Just A Quickie Before Rep

Two things: first, I’ve had plentiful occasion this week to reflect upon how radically dancing has altered my life.

Three years ago, I had a tiny handful of local friends and didn’t really really feel connected to anything or have any overarching vision guiding me. 

Now I’m increasingly knitted into this strange, tiny, amazing world of dance and aerials people as my life furiously churns (ohai, unintentional modern dance pun) towards some kind of future in which dance and aerials are central.

I am stunned and awed and grateful every time I think it. 

Second … Well, crap, I’ve forgotten what the second thing was. Honestly, it was probably about class this morning and still feeling like a space cadet whilst struggling against allergies. 

So that’s me: an allergic spaceman. 

If I was Matthew Bourne, I’d almost certainly write a ballet about it. 

Remember That Audition Where I Fell Off The Trapeze? 

The most interesting man in the world doesn’t always fall off the trapeze, but when he does, it’s during an audition … and lands him a callback!(1)

  1. Okay, so falling off the trapeze may have had exactly nothing to do with it. But still! I got a callback!!! YASSSSSSS!

Pretty much a perfect depiction of how I’m feeling right now 😀

Hmm

I’m curious about a thing.

Every time I walk into a brick-and-mortar dance shop, people assume I’m a professional(1). Occasionally, this even lands me a Professional Dancer Discount (not gonna argue with that).

  1. A professional dancer, that is. Not, like, a sex worker or a hit man (though, let’s be honest: those both seem like career paths for which years of ballet training might be a reasonable form of preparation).

This makes me curious. Is it because I’m an adult buying dance stuff for myself (as opposed to buying dance stuff for a child). Is it because I’m a guy? Is there possibly some other reason?

Adult dance peeps: does this happen to you? If so, any thoughts about why?

It’s Taimz for Crazy Taimz

As of today, my schedule officially begins its trek through the land of:

This means rehearsals that end at 10:30 on Monday nights, a whole lotta class(1), extra conditioning for an upcoming audition, Dance Team, preparation for our annual Meeting With The Accountant, and work on the next iteration of the website for D’s business*. 

  1. This is different than a Whole Latte class, in which baristas would presumably learn the art of making ethically-sourced organic coffee drinks, or perhaps simply how to make an entire latte and not just part of one(2).
  2. If you forget the milk, for example, it’s just coffee! 

In the interest of retaining some shred of sanity, I’m keeping Modern Mondays off the calendar until March, at least. My primary studio just added modern on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though, so I’ll be doing at least one of those, depending. 

I’m trying to keep Tuesday unscheduled, but since tomorrow is the first class, I’m going to go.

For the time being, on Mondays, it makes more sense to take an evening ballet class instead of a morning modern class. That keeps my mornings free for goofing off on the Innertubes  household stuff and groups all the dance things into a nice block from 2:45 — 10:30. (There’s a dinner break in there, don’t worry.)

This is one of the things I’m trying to do differently this year. Instead of saying, “Oh, cool, I only have three things on the schedule for Mondays!”,  I’m accounting for things like transit time and the fact that I don’t change gears well, so it’s foolish to assume I’ll get even one task done if I have a couple of hours between engagements. 

Thus, while I seem to have once again stacked a lot onto my plate, I’m trying to be sensible about how I approach it. 

The thing I’ve learned about pursuing dance seriously is that you’re either up to your eyeballs in alligators—wait, let’s call them crocodiles because it will be funnier later—or you’re on break. The challenge is learning to Arrange Your Crocodiles  In A Linear Array. Which is to say:

Get your crocs in a row! (Shamelessly ganked from Chris Booth over at Expatior)

Arranging my waterfauna is really not my forté, but I’m learning. Sort of.

The frenzy of class and rehearsal is worth it to have the chance to make art and do the thing that it feels like I was made to do(3).

  1. The cat disagrees. He believes I was made to serve as a cat bed and play-bot. 

I fully expect to arrive home exhausted at 11 PM tonight. Needless to say, I’m glad Tuesday isn’t Killer Class day.

If it was, I’d make it work. It would be worth it.

Right now I feel weirdly like my dreams are rushing towards me at terminal velocity.

All things considered, that’s a pretty cool feeling.

Though, really—ask me again in March how I feel about my schedule 😉


Here’s a detailed explanation of how my current schedule happened:

Things No One Ever Told Me, Part 1

But first, Cabrogal over at Neurodrooling turned me on to this really insightful post(1) about how maybe there’s a different lens through which we could possibly view bipolar, which hooked in rather directly to a lot of other stuff D and I have been talking about a lot lately. 

  1. Potential content warning: it deals with with the with the idea that perhaps mental illness isn’t really even the right model. Some readers might feel like this invalidates their struggle, and that is a totally okay way to feel. There was definitely a time not too long ago when I would’ve felt that way. If you’re there right now, you might want to skip this particular link for now.

Okay, moving right along.

I’ve been at this adulting thing for a while. I’m slowly getting, like, less bad at it—much more slowly, I am forced to admit, than I expected, and also more slowly in some ways than seems to be typical. 

I’m pretty pretty sure that’s okay, though. 

We all live in our own timelines and on our own time scales. I come from a family of people who mostly live a really long time and often seem to take a while to figure things out. I’m also pretty sure that dealing with some major trauma (or, more accurately, not dealing with it for a long time) set the clock on the process of reaching a kind of functional maturity back by ten years or so for me. For a long time, I was stuck being 14 and severely traumatized. 

Yesterday I wrote a G+ post about how I’ve learned to deal with D’s dietary preferences. Backstory on this: historically, he has been pretty into Southern “comfort foods”and sweets and not at all into veggies, and since I can’t eat that way and stay healthy and I’m morally opposed to cooking two separate meals all the time, I’ve had to find a middle way. 

The analogy that came to mind was that our life together isn’t a tandem bike ride; it’s just a regular bike ride. Sometimes I get up the hills faster than he does because I like climbing on the bike. That’s okay. He still gets up the hills at his own pace, and I am okay waiting for him at the top(2).

  1. In real life, I used to do a lot of riding ahead, then descending back to my friends, then riding ahead, until I figured out that too much of that makes you look like an annoying show-off.

Sometimes we even take a different route, either because he doesn’t feel like climbing or just for fun. That’s okay, too. At the end of the day, he rides his bike and I ride mine. I can influence the route we ride, but can’t ride his bike for him, and the funny thing is that we both enjoy the ride more when I don’t try to ride his bike for him.  

    Anyway, I’m slowly realizing that same analogy applies to other things, like adulting. 

    Just because I like to climb out of the saddle, that doesn’t mean you have to. (Does help, though, if your hubs are actually in the middle of your wheels o_O’)

    Maybe I’m not getting up the climbs as fast as other people—hell, tons of people my age have responsible, well-established careers—but I’m still on the road, pedaling along. 

    I’m way behind the group I started with because an asshole threw a stick into my spokes early on, and I had to scrape myself off the tarmac, and then I got lost for a while when looking for a shop to help me fix my wheel. 

    That’s okay, too. I’m back on the road now; the one I want to ride. And, honestly, if it hadn’t been for for the asshole who broke my wheel, I don’t know that I would’ve ridden my own road. Having lived through something that really shattered my whole life early on has made me both unable and unwilling to struggle through a life that doesn’t fit(3).

    1. No judgment implied, by the way, towards the folks out there doing exactly that. Sometimes you have to live the wrong life in order to get to the right place—just like road work happens and sometimes you have to take some crazy-ass detour to reach a treasured destination. I admire people who have the strength to do that.

    Anyway, so yeah. I feel like I’m learning things now that, in retrospect, should have been obvious—things maybe other people learned way earlier. 

    One of them is that being a grown-ass married adult doesn’t stop you from developing intense and enduring crushes on people you admire.

    Not that I subscribe to the philosophy which dictates that marriage should make you blind or you’re doing it wrong. Honestly, part of being human is admiring other people—ideally, people who are worthy of admiration, and not giant self-aggrandizing dicks. Sometimes those people will also be hot and kind and insufficiently whatever-it-is-that-prevents-crushes-for-you(4).

    1. For me, it’s a certain flavor of authority: I have never had a crush on a boss or an academic teacher or advisor; that feels too much like crushing on a parent. It’s like, “Squick, and also, no.”

    Sometimes, you will develop an uncomfortable and enduring crush on someone with whom pursuing a relationship would be a Bad Idea For Reasons even if you were single, or if you were poly and sure they were fine with poly relationships.

    Sometimes, regardless of your best efforts, you will go on crushing on said Amazing Person no matter what. It will be weird, but you’ll stick it out, because regardless of the fact that the person in question “makes (your) heart kinda flutter; makes (your) eyes kinda blur,” it it is really good to have them in your life anyway.

    …Even though it’s gonna feel a lot like this sometimes.

    Nobody ever told me that, so I’m passing it along.
    It is also possible that living with such a crush might sometimes be as wildly uncomfortable as, say, crushing on your best friend or lab partner or Lofty McPerfecthair was in high school. 

    Part of you might still desperately want to lay your absurd crush at their feet in hope of (chaste) validation; in hope that they will say, “No, if things were different, we would totally happen, and it would would be awesome because you’re amazing and also really hot.” 

    Part of you might desperately hope they never find out, because it would wreck you at least a little bit if they were like, “LolWut?” and a lot if they were like, “Yeah, um, this feels too weird. I’m outies,” and even more if they told all the cool kids  your peers or colleagues about you and your ridiculous crush(5).

    1. Which, of course, leads to the feeling best identified as,  “If s/he ever finds out, I’ll never be able to set foot in the coffee shop/studio/office/chemistry lab again! I will have to move. TO ANOTHER PLANET.

    So you endure, trying to figure out how to make yourself stop having a crush, because it would totally be super weird for everyone involved if Awesome McDreamyface ever learned The Awful Truth(6).

    1. By the way, this is powerfully amplified by the conditions of dance and circus arts, wherein we interact at close quarters in our fancy underwear and touch each-other a lot. Perversely, these exact conditions, coupled with the inevitable admiration and hero worship involved in doing difficult things with other humans, all but guarantee that dance and cirque are first-rate Crush Incubators.

    Nobody told me that, either.

    Like many socially-challenged people, I’ve learned a great deal about How to Human from fiction.

    In fiction, though, conflicts kind of have to resolve. Nobody(7), to my knowledge, actually writes about the poor, happily-coupled schmuck who goes on having an awkward crush and never speaking of it and not even being a total creeper about it(8).

    1. Maybe I should? This seems like a topic that Anne Tyler might handle well, so maybe I should just send her an anonymous note suggesting it?
    2. Creepers be like: “I punched him in the face because he never should have said that purple isn’t your color! He doesn’t deserve you! You deserve someone better!!!” *suffers in deafening silence* “Also I made you this scarf. I knitted it from from my own hair.” Silently, to self: …Which I have shorn, mourning the great love between us that can never be. Oh, why will you never see how much I love you?! 

    Come to think of it, “Making peace with yourself; learning to go on being friends happily in spite of The Most Awkward Crush,” probably is a valid resolution, so maybe I’ve just missed that book, but if it’s out there I haven’t heard of it. Maybe if I’d read more in the “Written Rom-Coms” or “Touching Stories of Friendship” genres, I’d have encountered this idea earlier.

    Anyway, I’m filing this with Things That Don’t Automatigally Fix Themselves When You Turn 18 (0r 21, or when you graduate from university, or possibly ever). If I come up with a solution, I’ll let you know. If you have any suggestions, please please please for the love of of all that is holy  feel free to leave them in the comments. If you’ve had similar experiences and want to to leave those in the comments, that’s awesome too (even if you, too, are right this very moment in the throes of The Most Awkward Crush and haven’t the faintest idea how to deal).  

    The other one that’s grinding my gears right now is the thing about being afraid that the other kids in your class project group  your colleagues, with whom you’re working on a group project  dance that you’ve choreographed, secretly would rather do something else and wish you would stop bothering them and are only working with you because your English teacher is forcing them to  out of pity.

    I kept feeling weird about inviting dancers to work on my piece, and then feeling weird again when trying to schedule rehearsals—like I was imposing upon them or something. 

    I finally figured out, as a by-product of realizing that I was afraid that no one would come if I threw a party, that I am still convinced in some level that people just kind of tolerate me because they have to, but aren’t willing to tell me. 

    Basically, it seems that I’m still convinced that, once people realize how much I suck, it will be just like middle and high school again. No one will want to hang out with me or participate in my projects, because I don’t really know How To Human. 

    I think, though, that maybe grown people—some grown people, anyway—figure out how to get along with the socially awkward weirdos of the world and how to be more comfortable with their own Inner Weirdos. And I hope that they learn to say no instead of agreeing to work on the project and then fervently hoping they really won’t have to.

    So after the difficult and awkward Nobody Told Me That…,there’s this one. Nobody told me that I’d still feel just as certain of rejection now as I did in middle school. The upside of this one is that I think I know how to approach it, now.

    For me, the best way to deal with something scary is to run right towards it. Sometimes I can’t yet, but I think I’m ready to run straight towards this piece of of this problem. The work I’m trying do as (I guess?) an artist isn’t going to get done any other way. It doesn’t matter how great my ideas are if they stay locked in my head as I sit here doing doing the equivalent of waiting for Prince Charming to trip over me and decide to marry me on the spot(9). 

    1. My inner cynic is picturing Prince Charming saying,”Well, now we’re lying here on the ground together, so I guess we had better get married, because people will talk.”

      Given my past and the fact that I’m both shy and still a little fragile in the self-worth department, I’m not going to say Go Out There And Grab Your Dreams By The Balls! 

      … Because, let’s be honest, that’s not what I’m doing at all. 

      Nope, instead, here’s what I’m trying, and maybe what I recommend if you’ve got big dreams and you’re afraid they’re gonna kick you in the face, hard:

      Get out there use binoculars to spy on your dreams. And then when you start to get a feel for their habits, maybe get a little closer. Then a little closer still.

      And then kind of follow them around, so you maybe just seem like a particularly persistent tumbleweed or some other part of of their normal environment.

      And then integrate yourself into the herd of dreams, and over time get a little closer and a little closer until you’re standing around next to your dream, pretending to graze (because you definitely don’t want it to suspect anything).

      And then eventually lean on your dream and later maybe skritch that one spot right behind its ears, to make friends.

      And then sort of wriggle yourself up on its back a little, like you’re just another dream and just cuddling.

      And then when it doesn’t even worry about that,  just kinda slide up and throw a leg over, and hope that it’ll just just be just be like, “Oh, no problem.”

      And then stay up there and ride.

      Then if you do fall off and get kicked hard in the face, it’s 100% cool to lie there and lick your wounds for a while.

      I guess what I’m saying is that, even where dreams are concerned, you’ll get up the hill when you get up the hill.

      And that’s okay.

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