Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I'm making the Grumpy Cat face Right Now, Actually

So, I've seen this on Pinterest a million times, and I admit I have even been tempted to repin it.
But tonight? Tonight I am just not in the mood for that ish.
My offering:
Go ahead. Pin it. Make me a disgruntled and unamused meme. Me and Grumpy Cat. BFF.

For the record it's some sort of shin thing going on. Which is good because hey, it probably can't be some new RA thing. But bad because hey, what the hell is going on?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Flickin' and a Flackin'

Flic flacs make me feel like a particularly untalented show horse. The kind that will probably be retired early and may or may not be turned in to glue at a young age. Flic flac. Even the name is silly! FLICK! FLACK!
I just don't know.
But don't fret, she promises. Oh no! Because next up we are making these babies do complete turns IN CENTER.
I would post an explanatory youtube video for those unfamiliar with the term, but I can't find any that look nearly as awkward as I feel while doing them. It's like this: we start out doing pas de chevals (which make you look like a horse too but it's okay because at least they put that in the title, right?) and then you throw your foot out to the side, then... whack it across the floor in front of you while you rise up on the other foot... and then some magic supposedly happens in which you turn around and smack your foot on the ground again. Yay. The elegance of la danse, non?
I can just about do it on the right side, but the left is ridiculous. And in reverse? Not even happening.
I have to take a certain amount of comfort in knowing that at this time last year I was utterly perplexed by preparation for ronde de jambes and now it ain't no thang. And think of how much better my chassé/sauté arabesques are now than when I first attempted them back in September. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Visualize Whirled Peas

Which just goes to show, ladies and gentlemen, that thinking about that annoying assemblé combination is the way to master it (at least, after you've already danced so much you can't stand up anymore. Or when you're at work. Or washing dishes. Or...)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I enjoy doing reverence, it's one of my favorite parts of class. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, the dancers will now adjourn to the dressing room to collapse in exhaustion. But, through all the ballet performances I have seen, I have rarely (if ever) seen a dancer actually bow that way. They tend to go for the bigger, more exciting bowing, fist to the chest and knee to the floor. Oh yes, my adoring public, how you honor me by your gracious applause. I have seen this carry on for perhaps a little too long, because no one, apparently, taught them the point at which taking another bow becomes ridiculous. But still, never the tendu-step-back-through-fourth-tendu-front-bow-and-sweep-over-the-leg thing we do in class.

your subtlety inspires, milady

Things I Love

After class tonight the actually-really-good-teenager-who-is-only-in-level-3-classes-because-she's-taking-every-single-class-she-can broke away from the rest of us as we headed for the door and spun joyously across the floor in the other direction, all alone. It was incredibly beautiful to watch, just for the absolute feeling of happiness she carried with her as she flew.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ballet Anxiety

Ballet makes you crazy. Case in point/s:

So now that my substitute acupuncturist has declared my arches horribly fallen and dreadful (thanks, lady) I have gone in to a slight panic about the entire thing. I sit in the bath scrubbing my toes and thinking to myself is that arch looking lower than it used to? Is that right one shallower than the left? WHAT IS GOING ON? And, like many an angsty teenage wannabe ballerina (side note: my spellchecker refuses to admit that "neurotypical" is a word, and yet "wannabe" appears to be in it's dictionary?) I've been looking for arch-improving exercises online. As you might expect the proverbial "they" say that pointing your feet a lot is really the best thing for it. That and, apparently, walking barefoot. I am of the no-shoes-in-the-house persuasion, myself, so that is not really a problem for me. I often don't wear shoes at all for a couple of days straight (which probably means I am not getting out as often as I should but WHATEVER). And ,walking barefoot on the beach is supposed to be especially good for you. While the beach sounds pretty good right about now (we're in the middle of a cold snap that is pretty horrific. I just don't want to leave bed all day. I actually *GASP* wore a sweater for about half of barre on Friday. Today I fished my super gigantic and ridiculous slippers out from under the bed. They are the kind dancers wear for warming up, though they were actually a Xmas gift from my father several years ago. My husband thinks they look like astronaut boots. Damn RIGHT I'm wearing my astronaut boots, dude! It is COLD in here!) my husband insists that a trip to Hawaii is pretty much out of the question right now, so I guess it's back to the old theraband, instead. In any case I refuse to get obsessed about it to the point of buying one of those silly foot-torture devices. 

In class the other day we were doing our port de corps en ronde (I am just going to assume that I spelled that correctly. I usually check but tonight: pbbt!) and the teacher was instructing us on proper technique. She said "make sure your weight is on both feet throughout the entire thing. Shifting your weight from foot to foot is cheating." and then she said something about how it's probably more fun the wrong way but doing it the right way will move your core around, or your body around your core. .. or something to that effect... which is better for your ... something or other... ballet technique. You get the idea. And she finished with "so if you are here because you are serious about improving your ballet technique then do it the right way, and if you're are just here for a fun way to stretch go ahead with however you're doing it"
And I thought Oh dear, she doesn't mean ME does she? Like no, wait, I am serious! Did you see my annoyed posts about pilates on Facebook and so you think I am just poodling around for fitness' sake? NO! I am serious! I only do pilates for ballet! I swear! I love ballet! I am in it to win it... okay maybe that one just sounds dumb but you know what I mean! How do I prove that I am serious? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, WOMAN?
But that is crazy talk. Like crazy people would say. Not normal, well-adjusted, sane people. That would be silly. Right? Right. Okay then.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Complaining in Black and White

Well. I submitted my formal complaint against my rheumatologist tonight. I had been putting it off for months, now, because I just couldn't even put it in to words, but I am running out of time. I tried submitting it a couple of weeks ago but their website is so crummy that I had trouble with it and ended up having the entire thing erased without a trace before I could hit the send button. The new one has been saved to my hard drive, which is what I should have done in the first place but OH WELL.
The complaint is written with my usual brevity and clarity of purpose. Which is to say that the main complaint text pulls in at almost 800 words, almost all of which is back story. I did not use any words my granny would have been scandalized by. I tried to keep my snark down to a reasonable level, but you can still tell that I'm writing hot, and sadly unless I am given a few more YEARS to get over the problem then my anger is just going to keep coming in to the equation. I really did try.
Anyway, writing the complaint was really freakin' taxing, emotionally, and now I just dread getting a call from Kaiser's customer service reps telling me that it's all my fault and I should shut up. Honestly, I am considering responding to any phone calls by telling them I will only correspond in writing. Aside from making it easier for me to deal with because I won't be put on the spot it will leave a more absolute paper trail.

Now, I'm going to go nurse this stress headache and finish reading Pride and Prejudice. It's my first Jane Austen and I have got to say, this Mr. Darcy might be the thinking woman's lust object of the century (or, you know, last couple of centuries) but a douchebag by any other name is still a douchebag.

Monday, January 7, 2013

acupuncture... again

When I am at the acupuncturist's office she sticks me with all the appropriate needles and then leaves me to "rest" for half an hour, which basically just means I have to lay as motionlessly as possible, flat on my back (today I also got to wear a fetching hospital gown. Very chic.). The gal I saw today usually leaves a stereo on playing "soothing" music (also known as depressing acoustic guitar solo versions of classical music that was never meant to be played on guitar. Today I got The Dying Swan and it was probably the most bleak rendition of it I have ever heard. Hey, you know what ballet classic sounds awesome when played by solo acoustic guitar? Neither do I.) and asks if I would like the lights turned off. I always say yes because otherwise I will just lay there looking around at stuff and be tempted to try fishing my e-reader out of my purse, because BORING. When she comes back in to un-stick me she asks if I fell asleep. Really? How, precisely, are you supposed to fall asleep when you have pins stuck in your ears? At least it wasn't as awfully painful this time. Last time I felt terribly sick and spent the entire "resting" time feeling restless and achy.
Magic trick, though? My right wrist, which felt terrible this morning, is actually feeling pretty good right now. I know, right? I am not sure I believe it, either.
She poked my toes and tut-tutted at me and said that I have calluses on my big toes because I clench my feet when I walk so I am going to get toe arthritis and die or something. Also, she said my arches were obviously falling. First off: GACK I do not want to hear about my feet disintegrating beneath me! I dance! Ballet, guys! You can't be messing around with toe arthritis if you dance. They pop and creak and stuff, sure they do. But still, don't scare me okay? I dunno. I mostly have calluses on my big toes because I forgot to scrub them really well in the bath last night and I am genetically pre-disposed to having seriously unattractive callusy feet. I don't look like either of my parents (or anyone else in my family for at least a couple of generations back) and am often mistaken for my father's wife when we go out together (even by the post-op nurse at the hospital after he had surgery. Why you think I would marry a dude who is pretty obviously 31 years my senior is another story I guess) but the one thing I inherited from him is my kind of flipper-like feet with long thin toes, each of which calluses over like it's going out of style. But, I suppose I might just pay some more attention to my toe situation for the next couple of weeks, and see if I can catch myself clenching them at all. As for my arches? Considering that I don't have a long and complex history of foot-examination with this lady I am not sure what she is even looking at. It's a foot, honey, I don't know what you are seeing, here. Personally I think my feet have toned up a lot since I have been dancing. I've dropped half a shoe size! I honestly have no idea what that means but I think it's pretty insane.

PS: She poked around at my knees and exclaimed at the amount of inflammation present. SO WHY DON'T YOU TELL MY RHEUMATOLOGIST THAT, KAISER!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

For Serious Guys, No

Have I mentioned that for some reason one of the top google search terms that leads to this blog right now is "balett flats insertion pussy"?
The first thing I thought when I saw that was "uuuuuh, learn to spell, dudes" and the second thing I thought was "I don't know what that means but the only things I can think of are ... uh... never mind" and then I had to think about kittens and rainbows for a while.
Learn to spell, sickos.

Maybe I Should Resolve Not To Be Such A Bitch... Oh Wait Never Mind I Should Embrace My True Self Instead

I'm still doing the level 1-2 class, which gets fuller every week. 18 students tonight! I imagine there are a certain number of new year's resolutions being worked off in there. I would wonder why there are so many new students but I am pretty sure the proliferation of posts like this on pinterest are all the explanation I need.

My own personal resolutions are to work more on stretching and do a super boring pilates routine once a week. Will it happen? Who knows. I've fallen out of doing stretches every day because I feel like my flexibility hit a wall (or a plateau, maybe. It sounds less dire that way) at a point that seems pretty darn crummy, honestly, and stretching is boring and sucks anyway. But, we'll see if I can do it more often (I refuse to expect myself to do it every day, that is just silly and doomed to failure). There are so many things I should be doing that if I did them all I wouldn't have time to do anything else. Like work or talk to my husband once in a while.

One of my classmates is a wretched driver. I like her, she's smart and polite and always says hello, but GOOD GOLLY she cuts people off like it ain't no thang. I recognize her the entire way home after class because she has a very memorable car. I mean, it's awesome, but it's not going to get you through any checkpoints unnoticed, either. SO WHY ARE YOU DRIVING LIKE A CRAZY PERSON? And then I think to myself  "ah HA! I hope you screwed up when I did because you were following me at the barre, tonight!" and that's just not gracious.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 all up in da hizzouse

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your 2013 is off to a running start. I don't know about you but I am totally over the holiday season and look forward to next week, when life can fall in to it's natural rhythm again. This weekend we are parting company with the junky old Ford we have been borrowing since I left town in October. While I am not sorry to no longer be driving a car I have nick-named the "tuna trolley" I will definitely miss the convenience of having two cars. Right about the time I have to start taking the train to ballet class on Tuesday (following having to drive back and forth all over heck and back on Monday in an attempt to take my husband to work and then go to see the acupuncturist again) I fear I shall be overcome with a swelling of nostalgia for that beat up old piece of junk tuna trolley. Sigh... I do not relish the thought of walking alone in the dark through the ghetto to get to class. But, it's ballet class and I will be darned if I'm going to miss it. I suppose I will just carry my elderly can of pepper spray (never mind, I can't find it) and a little flashlight and power through.
Now, I must adjourn and with any luck get some actual work done. Adieu, mes amis!