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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.

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Wednesday Class: How I Make Decisions 

We have a new lyra teacher on Tuesday evenings, and she’s lovely and gives a great class — but I’ve decided that I’m going to bow out of that class, because Ballet.

Basically, there’s too much in that class that trains the muscles I’m  trying to de-train a bit (hello, quads; greetings, hip abductors), and the result is that Wednesday morning is a struggle to counteract those effects, which means it’s a less-effective class than it should be (qv: today my left split was laaaaame and my turnout was, by my standard, only meh). 

Wednesday is legitimately the hardest class in my week, much of the time, and I want to be fully able to take advantage of it.

Once upon a time, I used to ride my bike a lot more. I cut back on that for similar reasons — I am constitutionally unable to refrain from stomping up hills, destroying my turnout all the way, so I simply ride less.

Dancing has made it easier to decide what to do and what not to do. It feels akin to religious conviction: when conviction is very strong, the decision to live by the tenets of one’s faith is not as difficult as it might otherwise be. 

So this is weird, in that now and then I realize I’m sacrificing things on the altar of ballet — but also not weird, in that deciding what to do and what not to do has never been simpler.

A flowchart representing my decision making process superimposed on a photo of Anne and myself demonstrating a low supported Arabesque.

Basically, this flowchart governs my entire life (photo by Amy Merrick).


I kind of wish I’d figured this out as a kid. So much of my life has been needlessly complicated. 

On the other hand, I had some amazing experiences, and it’s really awesome to have all these other interests in my pocket in case I ever mysteriously tire of dancing.

Class this morning was also complicated by the fact that mold-and-ragweed season has descended upon us, bringing with it asthma and pleural pain. I had to take my inhaler before class this morning, so things were harder than they should have been. I’m still having issues, so I’m taking the night off.

Basically, taking the inhaler before class is rather like taking a nice hit of cocaïne before running wind sprints, only cocaïne is better at turning off the Governor in your brain that makes you slow down before your heart explodes. Basically, you tell your body, “Okay, fondu now, and DO IT RIGHT,”  and the governor sticks its fingers in your body’s ears and says, “Don’t listen to him; he’s a putz,” and your body is is like AAAAUGHHH DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO and half-arses its way  through everything.

I finally started to assemble my proverbial waterfowls in a linear array during the adage at centre (because by then the initial kick-in-pants offered by the inhaler was wearing off). 

Ironically, perhaps, I did better in petit allegro than in just about anything else, though I had to think entirely too hard about the entrechat trois for some reason at first (possibly because we generally do cinq?).  It was still rather an uphill struggle, though. 
Tomorrow night, I plan to do BW’s class, after which will be heading out for Marco Island early Friday morning. I’m ambivalent about the trip — I know I’ll  enjoy it, but I’m not in love with the idea of taking off again just as I’m getting back into the swing of things. 

On the other hand, this trip should be a lot more relaxing, and when I come back my life is is like SwanLakePilibolusShowPilobolusClassWendyWhelanTalkMovingCollectiveNutcrackerWinterShowcase, and that’s just the part that isn’t ballet and modern classes.

I’ve also involved myself in the parents’ and adult students’ group at the ballet school, which is pretty exciting. BB and I have sort of become the de facto adult program delegates, which is no big surprise, since we’re basically always at the school anyway.

Anyway, I think that when I come back from Florida, I’m going to switch to Flexibility & Mobility on Tuesday nights. 

In other news, I cheated on my favorite shoes by wearing my white stretch canvas ones, and I’m forced to admit that I quite like them. Too soon for a full review, though. 

On Ballet (sort of)! – The Importance of Counting

All jokes about dancers not being able to count higher than eight aside, there are some very good reasons to count things.

Like, for example, alcoholic beverages.

Historically, I have been one of those people who have a couple of drinks perhaps six times a year (mostly on trips to visit family and friends, who — I am convinced — enjoy plying our naive systems with alcohol and watching us get tipsy). Various influences (read: somehow, we have suddenly developed a non-bike related, non-ballet related Social Life o.O) have conspired to knock out three of those drinking occasions in the past three weekends.

Friday night we went out for dinner with Kelly. It was the best kind of dinner: grazing at table for something like three hours without overeating, then enjoying coffee and affogati by a really cool fire pit.

Not content to stop there, we dropped in on ironically-named Bardstown Road hot spot “Big Bar,” which is really a lovely little venue, after which we went dancing at NoWhere, another Bardstown Road venue with lasers, DJs, and enough room on their dance floor for me to actually dance! …Which is to say that I danced for like 2.5 hours while Kelly and Denis intermittently danced and chatted. We packed it back home at 12:30 and were in bed by roughly 1 AM.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. However, I made a serious mistake: I completely failed to count how many alcoholic beverages I had enjoyed. I’m still not really sure. That’s not a good thing. If you can’t account for all of it, you have definitely had way too much.

Needless to say, I remain quite a lightweight. I don’t think I went Full FratBoy on this excursion, but I do know I more than found my limit. I wasn’t exactly incoherent, but I was hammered and I knew it.

I wasn’t “drinking to get drunk,” either — just kept trying different things because they tasted good, and quickly lost track of how many good-tasting things I’d tried. So, evidently, it is quite easy to vastly overdo it without trying. It was very much like the, “Petit fours? Don’t mind if I do!” sort of thing that can happen at catered events where endless plates of new and different little hors d’ouevres and desserts circulate.

The end result was a jammed left knee, one heck of an abdominal workout (derived from about two hours of early-morning hurling), a wickedly sore throat that persists to some extent today (cinnamon infused whiskey is lovely going down and hellish coming back up), and no ballet class on Saturday. I think I probably would’ve forced myself to get up and go if it weren’t for the knee thing, but the knee was definitely a problem. I am guessing I jammed it on the dance floor and failed utterly to notice until I woke up at 5 AM.

So, in all, a distinctly self-punishing experience … and I think maybe I’ve reached a point in my life at which I’m smart enough to learn from my mistakes. At least, this mistake.

The lesson? I can handle two to three drinks in the course of a night out, depending on how long the night out in question is. That’s all. No more. More than that, and I begin making poor decisions, like, “Sure, coffee with creme de cacao sounds delicious!” and “I can have one more shot of that cinnamon stuff, that was delicious!”

In case you’re wondering, “delicious” is not a good reason to miss ballet class.

Ballet class is more important than Trying All The Drinks, even if they’re tasty. Also, it’s hard to enjoy dancing at a club* as much as I normally do when you’re as hammered as I was on Friday ._.

Also, there was some of this.

Also, there was some of this.

It is nice having a kind of straight razor in your life that helps you make decisions.

“Will this interfere with the ballet? Yes? Then I’m not doing it. End of sentence.”

Denis kept telling me this would happen: “Some day you’ll find that one thing that you feel passionate enough about to put everything else down.” I don’t think I quite believed him, but ballet is the only thing that has ever made me willing to change the way I ride my bike and, yes, even give up Strava (at least for now, until I learn how to ride in a way that doesn’t directly conflict with my ballet goals). I am an Endomondo boy for the foreseeable future.

Easter seems as good a day as any for clarity of thought, revelations, and renewals — so I will consider this a lesson and a renewal. The occasional night of wild culinary excess is no big deal because I am skilled in the art of enjoying small portions and tend not to overeat to the point of imminent explosion, but there will be no further nights of wild alcoholic excess. Two or three drinks is my maximum, end of sentence … and I probably ought to stay away from the ones that combine alcohol and coffee, because alcohol + caffeine = 32 flavors of Asher Being Stupid.

So that’s it. Class notes will resume on Monday.

Notes
*I realize this is the opposite of how many people feel. For me, alcohol-induced clumsiness interferes with freedom of movement, and the high you get from dancing itself is much better without alcohol.

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