While I’ve had an account for a while over there, and I’ve yet to actually post anything, I’m finally on You Tube courtesy of one of my troupe-mates. Enjoy!
I really meant blog entries to be the exception to the 301 rule, not the norm. and I’m still qualifying this as exercise #12, because I haven’t been to bed yet, dammit.
This was another night of juxtaposition for me. I danced at Artopium with my troupe this evening. It was wonderful — the weather was perfect and it was a great group of people So we danced outside in the fresh air, and there was a breeze that blew the veils all around so they danced as much as the women wielding them. And Kelly pulled rugs and pillows up to the very edge of the dancing space and encouraged the whole crowd to come to the front to be a part of the dancing. It was such an appreciative audience, and I loved dancing so close to them. The energy was phenomenal. I did a full-on 7-minute drum solo and didn’t appear to lose anyone, so I’ll call it a success.
The juxtaposition came with my other major project today. Okay, well, two major projects. Firstly, I finally finished the damned curtains. They’re officially hemmed and hanging in the dining room! YAY!
Second, Stv’s hard drive went kablooie today. As in, won’t boot. So we made a mad scramble to Fry’s to get an external HDD case, a new hard drive for his laptop, and a back up HDD which we should have bought a long time ago but never did. So now we’re stuck trying to figure out how to get the data off his old disk if at all possible. So far we haven’t had any luck getting a computer to register the disk’s existence. Uh-oh.
So anyway, I’ve spent the last, oh, three and a half hours after my show and some food installing and formatting his new hard drive and getting some basic software up and running. Stv has managed to lose his Windows install disks, so for now I have him running Ubuntu, which is a Linux-based open source OS. I’m not that great with Linux, but I managed, and I’m pretty proud. However, watching me figure out how to get software onto the machine has rendered Stv afraid to touch it, I think…
So I was invited to dance at the Dark Goddess Ball again this year, and it went pretty well despite the frosty weather. I danced two sets outside and it was 25 degrees! I couldn’t feel my toes by the end of the first set (yes, I was wearing shoes), but otherwise I was okay. I did sword again this year — the crowd there really digs it and I think it adds to the atmosphere. Sonje was my own Goddess and came out and drummed for me. She was AWESOME. I didn’t do her justice, but it was a blast to work with her. Content, part of the heart and soul of the Vortex company also came out and drummed. The Typsy Gypsy’s were there too, and a couple of them zilled for me, so I had a whole little ensemble going. It was so damn cool!
It was a good crowd and I think the ball went well. Tony was there taking photos again, and I am really awed by how well they came out. He somehow manages to get some nice lighting effects despite the fact that it was almost completely dark. There are a few shots where you can see how dialated my eyes are, and that will validate my claim that you couldn’t see a damn thing.
Check ‘em on his website, AustinCandids.
I stopped at the apartment complex office this evening to pick up a package. Now, the office for my complex is actually in the complex next door. It is a long story — Riata is a Yuppie Wonderland and it would take forever to explain.
I decided to walk (DESPITE my hideous cedar allergies, which are marginally better today through a combination of steroids and rain), and on the way back to my complex, I came alongside a tired-looking jogger who had just finished his workout.
He was very chatty, and as we walked amiably into the complex, he gestured at my box and said, “Get anything good?”
I kinda had to laugh.
I smiled at him and said, “It’s funny you would ask that today of all days. You see, I am a bellydancer, and I just got a new sword.”
The look on his face was absolutely priceless. I had to giggle. I just had to.
“I bet that is just about the LAST answer you were expecting,” I commented, smiling some more.
He had to admit that yeah, swords werent one of his first guesses.
But the really cool part was that he kept chatting with me, asking if I actually make money doing that and other genuine curiosity questions until we parted ways.
I love Austin. I really do.
Steve and I are contemplating investing in another fancy kitchen knife. We bought ourselves a set of Henckel’s Four-Star knives for our first Christmas together (Weird, I know, but is there ever an appropriate occasion for big knives?) and it has made cooking SOOOOO much more enjoyable. Our chef’s knife takes the brunt of the abuse, so we are contemplating getting a second one to make chopping chores divisible. We also might go for the santoku, which I have an irrational desire for. It can do most of the same things, and the curvature of the Shun blade looks like it will still handle the needed rocking motion for mincing and such well.
I had yet another Mirage performance last night. No one I know at this one, which was just as well, since the headliner cancelled, as did one other guest performer, and we had massive audio difficulties to boot. If anyone feels like donating a five-disc changer (or hell, just a CD player) to a group of starving bellydancers, let me know. We use UT’s equipment, but it’s on its last legs and every show is an adventure. Anyway, I felt like my performance was … smushy, for lack of a better word … so I’m determined to do something REALLY percussive for the Bedouin Nights show, which will be March 10. Gotta sharpen up my moves before I lose them completely.
I never mentioned how the Dark Goddess Ball went. I haven’t heard any news on how the fund raising end of it turned out, but the Ball itself was quite an experience. The pervasive drizzle that had been plaguing my spirits all day thankfully stopped before the event, since I was scheduled to dance outside and moving it inside would have been really problematic. Things started with a bang, quite literally, as the DJ blew a fuse at the beginning of the night and there were all these Goddesses running around trying to fix it. I was in the dressing room getting ready, and unfortunately, the lights there were the last to come back on. It ended up making me start late, which I felt bad about. I did a sword performance, since it is always fun, appropriate to this particular audience, and has the added bonus of making you look cool just because it’s on your head. You don’t actually have to *do* much from there. Usually. But this ended up being a grueling show. Due to a lack of communication, I ended up dancing a TWENTY MINUTE set. Nonstop. On the wet grass. With a sword. And while the drizzle had stopped, the air was still so heavy that nothing evaporated, so I finally reached the point where I had to put the sword down, since my hair was so wet with sweat and rain that it kept sliding off. Twenty minutes. I could barely move the next day. Nevertheless, I had a good time, and I send my thanks to the folks who cheered me on. It made a four minute piece for Mirage last night feel like cake. Talk about immersion therapy.
Daddy took my picture at the show last night, so now you can see the hair AND the costume all at once. Click through for the full version.
The show wasn’t my best performance, I don’t think. I usually do a lot of percussive hip and rib work, and I was expermenting this time with arm and hand work instead. The girls were very sweet to me, as always, but I can’t say I felt great about it.
It turns out that at the end of the semester, Nisaba makes a video for everyone of their solos plus all the group numbers. I’m nervous about it – I’ve actually never watched myself dance on tape. It will be educational. And I hope it won’t suck horribly. Of course, will I realistically think anything else??
Lest I become a “deadbeat blogger” again (thank you, Jim, for the turn of phrase), I figured it was time to check in. I have actually been doing a good deal of external writing lately, which is why there hasn’t been much action on the blog. Ultimately, that’s a good thing, but I wouldn’t want you to get lonely.
I have my first Mirage performance on Thursday. I am excited even though I’m not doing a solo (my own choice), and all I have to remember is the opening choreography. If Laura makes it down from Seattle and can come to the show, I’ll be sure to do one then (although we also have a group choreography that show, so my brain will most likely be exploding). I got my costume from Dahlal incredibly quickly, and it is GORGEOUS. More of a gold base than I was expecting, but especially with the darker hair it works fine. How will it look if I go blonde again? Dunno. The belt is a few inches too big, and it sits precariously low. Wearable, but I’d like to move the hooks. The problem is that moving them will require attaching new eyes in a very thick part of the beading. Not really possible. So I’m taking the costume with me to rehearsal on Tuesday to ask the experts there if they have ideas on how to adjust it. If they do, great, I’ll keep the set. If they don’t … Dahlal has a 15-day return policy, at least.
Just for my own personal reference (and in case you’re interested), here’s the Mirage spring performance dates:
- January 27
- February 10
- February 24
- March 10
- March 31
- April 7
- April 21
- May 5
I told Najla last night that I will accept the invitation to be part of Mirage for a “trial” semester. For those of you following along at home, Mirage is Austin’s longest-running belly dance troupe (it has been around for twenty years or so), and I am very honored to be invited to join. With my friend GG leaving this month, I no longer have much of a dance support network, and this will keep me dancing and hopefully help me take myself to the next level. Yes, it is a big time commitment. I am a little nervous about that part. Not to mention the fact that I’ll probably need to buy a new costume. Why do I have such expensive hobbies? Ugh. .
Anyway, I’m excited and nervous. I’ll have my first rehearsal January 18, and my first show on January 27. We have shows every other Thursday at the Texas Union on the UT campus, if you are ever in the area and want to stop by. I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with some fun and amazing women, who will probably kick my butt to boot. And if this doesn’t get me over my fear of soloing, nothing ever will.
Speaking of kicking my butt, I’m supposed to meet Alice for a spinning class tonight. I have only been to spinning twice and it is the most grueling aerobic workout I have ever put myself through. I felt like I was going to upchuck over the handlebars for about 15 minutes in the middle of both sessions, I kid you not. Strangely though, after you’ve washed the sweat off, it is a HUGE endorphin high that is really nice, especially on the weekends when we go in the mornings. So I go back, even though it’s voluntary misery. Last week I was supposed to go, but I came down with a raging migrane Tuesday night and was still suffering the aftereffects Wednesday. So I figured that sweating on a bicycle for 45 minutes probably wasn’t the best thing for my head. And now, I have another headache. I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that my subconscious brain likes doing this even less than my conscious brain does.