Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snip snip

(possibly) eleventh in an (very) occasional series of ballet paintings that are not Degas:

Ballet Girl and Dressmaker (1930)
Laura Knight

Thursday, November 28, 2013

If you're in the States:

and if you're not then happy Thursday! I know, right? Almost Friday, that counts for something.
But seriously folks, did you think there even was more than one vintage turkey/ballerina pin-up picture in the world? Well, there you go.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I begin to think the fates just don't want me to go to class

Okay, guys, so guess why I'm missing class tonight. Because the HVAC unit on my apartment has died so completely it can't be fixed and needs to be replaced, instead! Current indoor temperature: cold enough to wear a coat and fuzzy socks and still be cold. PLUS my sick rheumatic cat? She was doing swimmingly last week! But now? Not so much. So I am waiting for her vet to call. Soooooo....
No class this week, then.
Since I have missed so much class I've gained weight! I have no idea how much, but enough to make putting pants on an interesting struggle. Tomorrow I am cooking for Thanksgiving. The menu? Puff pastry/cheese hors d'œuvres, chocolate and cream cheese stuffed strawberries, truffles, and pumpkin angel food cake. Yes, sir, that right there is a great way to lose some pudge.

check out these awesome thigh-high rainbow socks I have, though.
 (or you may have already, but that post got lost and I am out
of ideas so whatever) 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Injured and Complaing About It, Thank You Very Much

My little ballet world has been pretty frustrating, lately. After the horrible "cat + laptop Vs. my poor naked foot" incident I knew I was going to have some bruising. But, did you know that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs, in other words: first line treatment for RA) medications can cause excessive blood pooling and therefore bruising? Which can take a really long dang time to heal? Yeah, I didn't know, either. I have now missed five whole classes, and had to sit out center work for three more. I am pretty unhappy about it.
But here is the weird part. I always bitch about ballet hurting me, and it's true! It does hurt me. It gives me shin splints and broken toenails and foot cramps and you get the idea. But while I've been taking a bunch of time off I've noticed all the ways that ballet makes me feel BETTER. Without class my back hurts. My knees hurt even worse than usual. I thought my shin splints were coming back but it was actually some thin little muscle running along the front of my leg cramping up. My ankles hurt! My toes on my foot that ISN'T bruised!
So, I have decided to just take barre until I am ready to use my foot properly, again. I tried doing center work on Tuesday and it did not work out for me, but OH! The pretty combination we got to do before it all went to hell! Balancés and waltz turns, swishy port de bras... and I felt almost competent for a few glorious moments!
And then my foot was like "what do you even think you are doing, woman?"

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Krill Oil Pills. So Yummy.

So, I take an omega-3 supplement every day, because it's supposed to be good for RA. I find it helps a little with the stiffness in my joints so I keep it up. At first I tried fish oil pills. They are huge, smelly, and make you burp up the taste of rancid fish ALL DAY LONG. It also did some other really disgusting things that I can't mention in mixed company. I switched to flax seed oil pills almost immediately. They are huge, too, but there isn't any lingering nastiness.
Well, the problem is that I keep hearing that flax seed oil isn't a terribly great source of omega-3 because it's harder for your body to process/access it. A friend (you know the kind, the kind that wants to talk your ear off about the latest diet/exercise routine/supplement) has been trying to convince me to try krill oil, instead, and she brought me a bottle to try out a few weeks ago.
From the get-go there were pros and cons. The pros: one tiny little pill per day. No fishy burps. The cons: smells like satan, basically. If satan smelled like rotting fish, anyway. RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Like $36 per tiny bottle expensive. Comes in a bottle covered in snake-oil advertising.
Do I think it's doing me any good? Mmm... maybe. Maybe not. When the effects are subtle enough it is awfully hard to tell. I'll kill the bottle and switch back to flax seed for a while and see if I can feel any difference. I have major environmental concerns about krill oil, probably even more than I do about fish oil. That alone is enough to make me think seriously about how willing I would be to take them long-term.
Okay, but here is the funny part. The friend who gave me these things has a long-haired cat. She punctures the pills and gives a little to her cat every day and it greases the proverbial wheels enough that they live mostly hairball-free. And of course the cat just laps it up because it's sooooooo tasty and stinky and fishy and all the things cats love, right? So tonight I cut open a pill and offered it to my cats. One of them (the one who ISN'T picky) sniffed it and then walked away. The other cat sniffed it with interest, gave it a tiny lick... and then spent the next five minutes doing the bleh-bleh-gross-yucky-get-it-out-of-my-mouth-patooie thing.
Yeah. That worked well.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Don't. Do. It. No. Don't.

A particular dance wear retailer (ahem) posted this photo to Facebook this morning. You have probably seen it on Pinterest already, it's been around for a while:

It's a little girl having a dance with Anna Pavlova in an art gallery. It's quintessential childhood. It's precious. It's nostalgic. It reminds you of the things you love about dancing.
And this is the comment that someone left on the post:

It is a jerk-bag being a Douchey Larue for no discernible reason. It reminds you of the things you HATE about dancing. It highlights two of the problems with dancers (and people in general) communicating via the internet. First, it's almost impossible to truly grasp a person's intent via the written word without any obvious social ques ("he said laughingly", "she said while rolling her eyes"). It is especially hard to grasp sarcasm. Is this sarcasm? There is a happy face, that could indicate sarcasm, I guess. But a winky face would be more indicative of jest. I used to know someone online that would say the most horrible things to people because he thought a winky face would make up for it. I no longer associate with this guy, for obvious reasons. But anyway. Soooo... this commenter really is just being an asshole?
The second problem of course is that people really do this. I have talked about this previously. Multiple times. When you see a photo or video of a dancer online your first reaction should not be "oh here, let me tell you everything you are doing WRONG" regardless of the air of perfectionism inherent in ballet. It is not okay. Do not do this. To anyone for any reason. I understand the urge (lord knows I have seen a few too many porcelain ballerina figurines with dreadfully awkward posture, thankfully pointing this out is not objectifying and insulting an actual person) but if you are not the teacher in a classroom full of students then you need to check your corrections at the door.
And for the love of god, if you MUST be a dickweed? At least end with a winky face. ;)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Bruise to End All Bruises

So here is why I am only taking barre this week:
My cat stepped on my laptop, which was precariously balanced on the side table, and the rest is history. It's not broken or anything, it just hurts a might and looks like the end of the world. I probably would have made it through the entire class tonight IF I hadn't had to stand up in the train all the way to class. Urgh. As soon as the time changes everyone and their mama wants to ride the train for some reason. I'm hoping to get through it on Thursday, though I am guessing pointe is probably a bad idea.
So, while my classmates got on with center work I got to sit and observe them. It's interesting, actually, to watch a class you usually participate in. For one thing you get to admire how pretty it is (well, except grands jetes, but you get to see how badly everyone else does them so you don't feel so bad) when normally it just feels like a hot mess. And you get to wonder at how easy it all looks when you know that in reality it's damn hard work. And you know when you hit the wall? I mean figuratively speaking. And you think "oh god, just make it stop" because you are exhausted, dripping sweat, panting for breath, and just DONE? Well, the one time I get a chance to actually quit after barre and sit out all the hard stuff all I want is to be up there dancing.
What the hell, ballet makes you a crazy person.