Wednesday, June 30, 2004

space for rant

my brother-in-law [a self-proclaimed etiquette nazi] posted recently about the hoi-poloi's lack of elevator manners. he mentions renting a billboard and publicizing to the world at large the proper method for entering and exiting an elevator.

i, too, fantasize about being able to broadcast to the unwitting some things that might lubricate day-to-day social interactions. maybe these can be a crawl across the bottom of the television or something:


so many annoyances, so few episodes of the ricki lake show.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


i just got back from visiting three camps since thursday [normal, il; cape girardeau, mo; and back to normal] and i'm home again until yet another jaunt to normal again following the holiday. it's like groundhog day: i keep experiencing camp day 1 over and over again.

while it was so fantastic from a professional perspective to finally meet some people i've only communicated with via phone/email/aim in person, i truly enjoy seeing the coaches who remember me as an instructor from years past and give me great big clothesline-style bearhugs and call me "baby-girl." what really just gives me a golf-ball lump in my throat is to be greeted by my former students, either grads that are back to watch home routines or upperclassmen who are students for the last time and who've had me as a teacher before. they're as easy as old friends with me, and miraculously, i don't even know their names. they ask me if i'm teaching this week [no] and if i'll be at camp all four days [no], and then they reminisce about classes i've taught and demonstrate moves they loved. in a short exchange, they tell me about their lives: how they're choreographing for their high school teams, teach ballet to three-year-olds, or where they're trying to go to college and maybe dance. we smile, grasp hands, and part. for me, it's like attending a memorial for the person i used to be -- bittersweet.

subsequently, i'm pretty peopled out now, so i'm off to visit the cats at the shelter around the corner. tomorrow will be a fun-filled day of wading through no longer pertinent e-mail and voicemail. [sigh]

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


words of wisdom: it's probably not wise to begin a challenging craft project at the apex of acute premenstrual syndrome, particularly if a sewing machine is involved.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


after doing some gardening a week ago, this raspberry appears on my right ring finger's middle phalange that itches like the devil. naturally, i scratch the hell out of it. let's face it: people that say, "don't scratch it," are either fuggin' masochistic martyrs or have super-human self control. then, i have fun one day and begin to press the raspberry so that miniscule blisters pop. dude, you know what i'm into [hello, title much?]. of course this brings me much enjoyment.

now, i have the same lumpy itchies on the inside of my left wrist [no pop factor there] and on my left ring finger [one mini-blister: popped repeatedly] and on the top of my right foot [looks like a vampire bite: very itchy]. casey likes to tell me that some critter done laid some eggs in thurr. thanks, lover. you think that will actually stop the popping? now, i have to pop them to see what they hell is in there!

i wrote emails to dizzee's posse; he's ascap! whooeee! now, i just gotta get mixmaster bunny with the scratch routine to work on this for me.

Monday, June 21, 2004

i hate stupid rules that just make your life hell

hello! my name is dizzee and i'm here to make your life hell! mwah-hah-hah!

aaargh! i am trying to get bw's pom music done, and i'm having one helluva time trying to locate licensing info for some tracks. at least, for some, i can find that the artist is a member of the society, so i print off that websearch as proof, but for the love of all that's holy,

is dizzee rascal bmi or ascap!?

if anyone's good at finding that out, please leave it in the comments. i have to say that, while i understand the music licensing rule, it blows gorillas through a screen door. what an unnecessary pain in the tokhes.

oh! call me crafty! you may know that i've been complaining about the huge, floppy, boxy, ugly black polo catherine sent me to wear visiting camps and things. at least it was a slight improvement on the men's medium long-sleeve polo she sent last spring. it looked like a fuggin' burqa, it was huge. this one is at least a ladies' shirt, but i still looked like some butchy gym teacher. y'ever see, like, a dance team with a manager? it's usually some chubby, shy girl who didn't make the team but really wanted to be a part, so she follows the team around carrying music equipment and big, unruly laundry bags of poms... that's what i felt like wearing the polo.

so i busted out my old sewing machine, did some yanking with a seam ripper and voila! i have a shirt that looks cute and fits just like i like it: snug, juniors fit that hits right at the hip bones. perfect! go me!

now, casey's hankering for me to "make him clothes." i'm like, "i took apart a polo shirt and put it back together. who do i look like, jaclyn smith?!"

Thursday, June 17, 2004


well, ballet was humiliating and frustrating but inspiriting in some respects, too. the class i took was a slow level 1, which i interpreted as being, well, slow. um, not so much.

to give you some background, i haven't taken ballet in quite some time. how long ago, you ask? well, let me just tell you my ballet leotard is teal. remember when magenta and teal were all the rage? anyway, it's been a while. at the same time, i didn't want to take basic ballet because i don't want to start from scratch [and they don't let you pay per-class for basic anyway].


  • the teacher was passive, unprepared, and mumbly [or maybe i'll need to bring my hearing aid next time]. she never introduced herself, never took control, never seemed qute sure of what she was doing, and didn't explain well. i think she wasn't that thrilled about teaching this class. i think she could sense some confusion at times [only a few were able to execute the barre combos without sequence errors] but didn't know how to address it, so she just parrotted, "questions? questions?" not the kind of teacher that makes you want to work for her.

  • i'm not used to the barre combos yet, and these were what i perceived to be more complex than the combos i'd done back in the mezozoic age, so i was like, "hold the phone, joan!" i really wanted to concentrate on proper technique, but i found it too hard to remember to switch my port-de-bras while balayéing because i would forget whether to balayé devant or derrière. what would happen is that, i would eff it all up on the right side and just jack around, trying to get the sequence. after sort of getting the jist of it, i'd do it well and execute with decent technique on the left. so i'm lopsided now -- my left calf is like piano wire today.

  • honey-chile, my body just doesn't work like that. we had to do seven ronde-de-jambes par terre on each count during barre work then close to fifth. the music wasn't that slow, and instead of just frantically waggling my hip, crossing my working leg over the base and throwing my leg around, i went at my own pace, trying to keep my hip squared and my foot turned out and closed to fifth on 8 after maybe doing five.


  • when the combination was simple or something i could grasp, i didn't look half bad. i am very mindful of placement and alignment -- i just can't remember whether to close to first or fifth alla time. despite my ruined ankles, never-look-straight legs, and bubble-butt, i'm not an eyesore.

  • i got a nice workout. i sweat a lot and feel that pleasant dull ache in my traps and delts. the idea of getting my arms back again keeps me considering coming back!

does anyone know where there is a nice, slow ballet class for adults in the city with a terrific teacher where i can pay per class? i heard patty at ruth page is very technique-intensive, and i'd love that. send me your suggestions!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

father's day looms...

did the cat shelter thing. it was so nice, i need to tell you that. yes, upon entering, the stench is shocking, but you definitely get used to it, and [provided you like cats] it really is so nice to go and give these little guys some attention. i like to go see the ones that have been there forever that no one adopts, like snowden. he seems perpetually in that position -- he just lays there all sad with his one pig-ear. i love to give him some nice scratchings and lovings since i'm guessing not many others do. how nice that i can walk right over twice a week to go love on the kitties for a few hours!

as some of you may know, i don't talk to my father. i don't have any malice towards him, and i can't say that i can truly rationalize the decision to not really talk or hang out with him, but i think that it's best for now. when i see him at family events, we're cordial and do the chit-chat thang, but just like when we weren't estranged, we don't share our lives. i need to go get him a card [not going there for father's day with my sisters], but i always dread it will lead to some phone messages feebly requesting a dinner at the house or something. after 31 years [give or take a few in the mid-90's when we were really estranged], i've determined that trying to pretend we espouse the same values and beliefs [or at least respect our differences] is pointless to try.

i feel bad for my little sister. she's got to juggle my mom and dad [a feat i can honestly say i'm thrilled not to have to deal with] and her rather difficult italian immigrant in-laws. none of them can respect the work she and her husband [yes, rick] have to do to keep them from feeling slighted. every holiday means shuttling from one parent to the other for them. i told her they have to plan and switch off, but i don't see my dad or his parents pulling out their calendars any time soon. negotiating plans with family is apparently insulting to the mediterranean set.

going to take ballet tonight. my shoes are still wet from walking in the bathtub with them today. pray to the patron saint of ankles and knees for me!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

what's wrong with me?!

goddamn it. what a lame day.
  • ever since i visited camp (where you look at the clock at 12:48a and wonder why the hell you aren't trying to sleep already), i have had a hard time getting up. so i get up later than usual today and slap on a pair of pj pants and a t-shirt.

  • i push back the ever-flowing tide of e-mails and phone calls asking about invoices, whether payments have been received, and the whereabouts of informational packets.

  • i schedule flights for myself and stupidly send our travel agent, ric (who now thinks i'm retarded, surely) flights from saint louis to chicago. he asks me in his whispery, fey voice to send him my choices of flights from the correct cities this time and i feel like such an airhead.

  • i go to my junk drawer to look for (what was it again? oh yeah!) a scraping-razor-thingie to scrape of the many layers of chicago city stickers on the little red sled, and i literally forget what the hell i'm rummaging for.

i think i will try and redeem myself by going to the volunteer orientation at the cat shelter down the street tonight. i think the squirt and gumble think this is a good idea -- they can't stop giving me kitty-kisses of encouragement.... or maybe it's that i need a shower. [sigh]

Monday, June 14, 2004

weekend epiphanies

well, it's been a great buncha days!

went to NIU to go visit camp. i have to say that i now truly feel like the fabled "brick in the wall" jazzy jeff always talks about in his speeches. it's so humbling and awe-inspiring to see someone trump what you've always believed yourself to be capable of doing (to quote jeannine) "with both arms tied behind your back, blind folded, drowning in a pool of water." as continually critical as i may be, when i step back, i am so thoroughly impressed with how life goes on: the torch you've struggled so long to just carry is passed and even twirled and brandished before being passed on to the next in line, the fire-eaters! everyone likes to poo-poo the next generation and wonder what will happen when the good, solid salt-of-the-earth people are gone, most likely to make themselves feel less like australopitheci. [is that what i'd look like pregnant?] well, i may be a cavewoman in the grand scheme, but i'm comforted to know that evolution brings a better, smarter instructor.

one truth that has been made more clear to me is that recognition doesn't come from seniority. you have to do to get. good work like an iceberg: there's gotta be a lot of it for some of it to stick out noticeably.

got home. read a lot. weeded the back yard. i almost electrocuted myself. get this: here i am, in oversized overalls and green plastic garden clogs, balancing on a huge metal ladder, waving an electric hedgetrimmer over my head to prune the gigantor lilac tree in the back yard. suddenly, the power shuts off... i severed the extension cord! whoops.

okay -- monday blows homeless goats.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

getting ready for northern 1

i'm subbing for kristin for reporting day at NIU tomorrow. i'm the tin man when dorothy and the scarecrow found him in the forest -- rusty! whoo! i'm pumped though.

so exciting! we're ditching the ugly white wire fencing in the front of our house (that many passing teenagers have mangled on the way to school, apparently while planting pot in our hostas) and getting a cool black wrought iron fencearound the front. that'll learn 'em.

i hate when people don't tell you it's their birthday. dude, come on. don't make life harder on everyone. teacher isn't going to put a big shiny posterboard calendar on the bulletin board with everyone's 'special day' so you might as well do your own p.r. work.

oh: my birthday is december 20... mark your fuggin' calendars, 'cos i can be a brat about it.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

here we are... so...

hi, there. thanks for playing. why'd i move here? truthfully, i got a little bit tired of my previous profile provider:
  • i had trouble logging in almost everyday
  • there's no room for response from dear readers like you
  • there really isn't a way to keep storing previous entries

we'll see how i fare here. i will miss being able to see who stopped by... that's always very interesting to me. i will miss harvesting screennames.

in the classic style of all introductions, this is boring, so i'll close. thanks for your continued readership, you guys.