Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A For Effort

I got a gold star in class last night, for being one of only two students who managed to stay in one place while doing a pirouette combination, rather than ooging across the floor and banging in to people. I have to admit, though, that the combination was so fast that I was only pulling off about one in every four turns. So.
But anyway, look. A real gold star:
proud like a second grader.

I also discovered last night that doing flic flacs, even though they are still uncooperative and practically the worst thing that happens during a barre routine, are a lot more fun while listening to my favorite Mozart aria. What? You don't have a favorite Mozart aria? PSSH! Plebes!
At the end of all this pirouetting and flic flacing we embellished our standard reverence with that knee-to-the-floor "oh, thank you my adoring public" bow. It was kind of fun, though trickier than it looks.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fashion Week or Whatever

As much as I love pretty clothes I have to admit that I don't give even the very smallest damn about anyone's fashion week. Judging from the buzz online, though (okay, on the Man Repeller's facebook page), I would say it's probably New York's turn right now. Or else it was, recently. Like I said, I don't really pay attention to that stuff.
Anyway. There is always at least one fashion week collection that is ballet inspired, or pseudo ballet inspired, at any rate. Here are Clover Canyon's rhinestone-encrusted pointe shoe-wearin' models du jour:

and models in pointe shoes always seem to look awkward as all heck, but this one is pulling it off okay (at least in this picture. In others? Mm, not so much):

I do quite like this company's big bold digital prints, though I do wish they didn't insist on making dresses out of icky materials like neoprene. Because: yuck.

Monday, February 25, 2013

woefully late report on level 3-5

Hmm hmm hmm!
Well, level 3-5 was definitely the right choice! I am glad I went for it because I had a really lovely time. At several points I found myself thinking "gee, I sure am having a lot of fun right now" which is quite a thing, in my opinion. Doing new things is always fun and exciting, I suppose. Flic flacs, perhaps, excluded. And, there are things I am just incapable of doing until these shins get back to golden. Like trying to do anything quickly that requires any spring in your step or bounce in your bungee. BUT! Everything else was lovely and I am very excited about not having to take the train to class on Fridays anymore.
Carpe the old diem, etc etc.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Edward Gorey

I was a little surprised that this morning's Google doodle was in honor of Edward Gorey's birthday. I thought I was the only one who knew (not because I am a weird super-fan, but because I happen to be using an Edward Gorey wall calendar that marks the day)!
Anyhow, if you are not familiar with his work you ought to be. Aside from having one of the most recognizable (and wonderful) styles of illustration in the past fifty years he was also a huge ballet fan and did a lot of work for the New York City ballet as well as several other ballet-themed projects. Go read the Gilded Bat, a treasure for ballet students and people who know just enough French to get themselves in trouble.
He was also a cat lover, and you will rarely see a picture of him at home without at least one cat sitting on him or nuzzling. That is my kind of guy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Feel Like I Am Perpetually Starting New Classes

So, guess what I am going to do this week? Take the level 3-5 class instead of my 1-2 class on Thursday. I'm a little nervous about it. My shin splints are still bothering me, and I overdid it a little tonight in an attempt to do a few gentle jumps that turned out to be a terrible idea. They are getting better, sloooooowly, but it will probably be a while before I'm back up to speed. I was going to wait until I hit that magical and halcyon day when I felt competent in level 3, but that day, sadly, will probably never arrive. Because I never really felt competent in level 1-2, either. I begin to believe there is no such thing as feeling competent.
Anyway, so I asked my teacher if I should wait for a while or if I should just go ahead and advance. And she said I should go ahead and advance because "you want to do pointe, right?" at which point (ha) I thought to myself oh geeze, do I? I mean for realios? Like... do all the hard work and suffer through the stupid painful parts for the sake of looking a little like I have GOAT HOOVES? 
This is not a new line of thought. In fact, I am often seized by this exact same feeling when presented with any opportunity that looks like it's going to require work. You know. Effort and time and inconvenience. I'm nearly convinced that I would be a famous runway designer right now if I had any ambition whatsoever. But, I don't, and so I neglect opportunities when they knock. They've been trying for YEARS to get me to advance at the theater to a more interesting position. But... then I would have to work six days a week, and wouldn't even earn overtime when I have to put in 11 hour days?
Anyway, the answer is yes. Yes I do want to prance around with goat feet for a while, just to see what it's like. Five-year-old Me would never forgive me if I didn't. It might suck, who knows. And yes, I will even go to the extreme of feeling like the clumsy new girl for the rest of my life in order to continue doing something I enjoy. I will advance much faster and nail the tricky stuff with much less flailing about if I can focus on it more than once a week.

Also, just FYI: tonight's level 3 class wasn't half bad ( "it ain't half good, either" as I always think to myself when I feel like quoting Pinky and the Brain) I actually managed to not get all that lost on the funny barre combinations we always seem to do. The ones where instead of doing everything en croix we do some crazy switcheroo and start using our inside leg at what appears to be a totally random point. I think it was explained better this time, to be honest. But, I claim this victory in the name of getting my lazy ass to Thursday class, anyway.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ballet History Lesson

A quick share for your afternoon, while I work lazily and conserve my spoons for ballet class tonight:

And you'd better believe I've been attempting to walk around the house like this all morning.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

State of the (very small ballet-related) Union Address

In level 3 tonight I didn't have my posture corrected at the barre. Not even once! I am trying really hard, maybe my anguish is just making my teacher feel bad. And then we were doing a combination across the floor. Waltz turns and balancés with appropriate port de bras. And, amazingly, I managed to surprise myself by actually pulling it off. BAM! I'm sure it didn't look so great to an outsider, but I was doing it! Anyway, I was pretty chuffed with myself. But then we were supposed to do this crazy glissade-assemblé-glissade-assemblé-pas de bourée-pas de bourée-glissade-assemblé-glissade-assemblé-tombé pas de bourée-pas de chat-pas de chat craziness. So, my winning streak ended abruptly and with a whimper of protest rather than a cheer of triumph.

I am supposed to be working on stretching and strengthening my calves, ankles, feet, toes, hamstrings, whatevers.  For this shin splint business. 4Dancers and Gaynor Minden both posted this link on Facebook today, which looks like a lot of stuff I should probably be getting off my ass and doing. Maybe tomorrow after pilates. Sigh... this whole stretching/working out/practicing at home thing just isn't working out for me. Okay, it NEVER works out for me. It's the self-discipline thing. You know, the fact that I don't have any. I really enjoy the structure of my dance classes. Should I be taking the stretch and floor exercise class at the ballet studio? Probably. But then again, that's another $11 per week and... well... to be honest I would like to waste some money on something else right now.
Speaking of which, I have been covetously eying this leotard for months now:
Oooooooh! Isn't it pretty! And so perfect!
Decent coverage AND cool meshy parts!

But the fact is that I have four leotards already. And what I need, what I really need, is a cat fur colored leotard. Because I stand there and pick fur off of myself ALL DAY and in the end I am STILL covered in fur! Argh!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Obviously Have An Opinion About Running

I bought running shoes. RUNNING shoes. UGH. No, no, before you ask I will not be running in them. Ever. Under any circumstances that don't involve being chased by a zombie.
But, I keep reading about how you need really supportive shoes to correct for shin splints. And at this point, after the completely wretched week I have had, I will try anything.
But I hate them. There is no such thing as an attractive running shoe. Or a quick-to-put-on running shoe. Or a running shoe that doesn't make your feet look like they're the size of a tractor.

All of the shin splint information out there seems to assume that you have acquired them through running and attendant sports. Marathon... stuff. Whatever. Bleh. So, I have been reading a whole lot more about running than I ever wanted to. All the things I have learned! For instance: apparently people are in to running now. As a ... sport? Kind of thing? Not just jogging around the block in the morning for your cardio workout, but... actually running. For "fun".
Also, did you know that running skirts are a thing? An actual thing that actually exists? You can buy them at Target, even. Why, there are even people who run in tutus. For reals, guys. I just don't even know.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

love to eat them peoples, peoples what I love to eat

I ran out of thread halfway through my work day on Wednesday (can't walk, scooter is dead, husband has the car...) and ended up watching a documentary about the Joffrey ballet that my teacher had encouraged us all to watch when they played it on our local PBS station. It's been sitting in my Netflix queue for a while now so I figured I'd give it go. After all, I was done with the dishes and was in no mood to deal with anything as exciting at cleaning the bathtub.
It was fine. You know. A documentary. The snips of performances were interesting and the account of Joffrey's company-saving smash hit featuring the songs of Prince was certainly amusing.
The cat, who is determined to snuggle, by force if necessary, anyone who sits on the couch for more than ten minutes straight, joined me. She enjoys watching TV and in the past I have managed to get her really excited about nature documentaries about bats, but usually she would rather watch humans talking, moving around, and interacting with one another. Well, she was completely captivated by the ballet. Sat there on my lap the entire time, eyes glued to the screen. Maybe she thinks those tiny humans are juuuust about the right size to catch and eat.
In a totally unrelated note I was propositioned by a possibly-homeless guy on my way to ballet class this evening. Aw, yeah. I still got it.

PS: don't envy my ability to take half a day off in the middle of the week to watch TV. I now have to spend part of Saturday and Sunday finishing that work so it can be mailed on Monday.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I know that heal bro

I didn't feel like going all the way to my doctor for the whole shin splints thing. After all, he'll just tell me what I already know (ice it, rest, no jumping in class, do stretches...etc) and I'd have to walk to the train to get there, anyway (which would only make it worse). So I just sent him an e-mail saying "hey, this thing is happening and unless you tell me otherwise I am just going to treat it at home". He wrote back to tell me "yeah, that sounds about right" and recommend more ice (I felt fine yesterday until I iced it, then I felt like I'd been stabbed in the shins! Ice sucks!), no jumping, no running (ha! If you see me running it's because I'm being chased by a mountain lion. I Do Not Run.), and to avoid "heals". By which I assume he meant "heels". Or else I am doing it wrong.

In other news: I was doing a pilates video today. Some AB CRUNCH SUPER BURN SIX PACK EXPLOSION thing. And as I was laying there on the floor, all crunched up in to a ball and flailing my arms around madly in the region of my butt the instructor on the video said "how BADLY do you want  those abs?" and all I could think was "oh, please. No. I don't want abs. You can have them. Go ahead. I will just go have myself a lie down."
This is for you, ballet. Don't say I never did anything for you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The kiss-off

I finally got my kiss-off letter from Kaiser. They basically just restated my entire complaint (replacing "I" with "you") and told me that I should consider going to hell. Which is exactly what I figured they would do. They did say they talked to the rheumatologist in question about it. If nothing else that means she knows that I think she's a useless waste of space. They also said I can get a second opinion if I want. As if I wasn't going to, anyway!
My next step is to get an appointment with another doctor, and to tell them in no uncertain terms what they need to do. Unfortunately, I am no longer willing to make these visits without someone else accompanying me as witness, and until my husband's job calms down enough that he can take an afternoon off without being yelled at for the next solid week I am out of luck.
For now I am just going to go jitter quietly in the corner for a few hours to work off this desperate adrenaline surge.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

tres mal

I talked to my teacher tonight and told her about the shin splints and we agreed that I am not allowed to jump until I'm feeling better. The bad news is that it means no sauté arabesques or grands jetés. But, let's not be choosy. The good news is that I have a legit reason not to do assemblés. HA! Take THAT assemblé!
The things I've read about shin splints seem to indicate that I should be stretching my calves (moo) and hamstrings more often, so I've been really trying to work on that this week. I even stopped doing the calf exercises I've been working on lately, just in case that is aggravating things. And I took the insoles my acupuncturist insisted I use OUT of my favorite shoes. Because obviously they aren't helping, and I never had shin problems until I started using the silly things. Oh, and because they are uncomfortable and make me grumpy. Okay, maybe the whole thing is making me grumpy.

So. What I'm saying, basically, is pretty please Universe, I really am trying very hard to listen to my body and to work with it's limitations. But, please please with a cherry on top could you please leave me alone for a while so I can get on with it?

On an entirely different note I am posting this photo I found on Pinterest because... well... because it's awesome and I don't know what on Earth is going on, here.