Wednesday, July 15, 2009

RAWdance and Prop 8

Sunday afternoon, I went to a free modern dance performance in Union Square. It was part of their Jewels in the Square summer series. A number of the dancers who were in the performance are teachers at ODC, the dance school/organisation where I work. The piece was a reaction to Prop 8 being passed in November 2008. I love seeing modern dance performed in public places and I thought it was great that this piece brought a pertinent issue into such a space.

The piece ended with the dancers standing in two rows facing each other and they all, very gently and sweetly, kissed the person opposite them. It reminded me how a kiss is such a loving gesture and how we kiss so many people in our lives - parents, siblings, friends, lovers, family. And it's only when people sexualize the act of kissing that it becomes taboo in our culture. I remember when I was living in Italy how pretty much every where you went you could see young couples making out. And how kissing was a natural form of greeting between everyone. Not that I could see gay marriage being legal in Italy any time soon.

Still for me, two people expressing their love for one another and wanting to share that with their family and loved ones should be embraced not feared and repressed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Krista!

Krista, our cousin Nathan and me when we were much younger.

My one and only sister came to visit me here in San Francisco a few months ago and today is her 25th birthday! Here's a few pics of this crazy chick (she's currently jumping out of a plane for her birthday) who was the perfect minion for her older sister when we were growing up.

Krista posing on top of Tank Hill with San Francisco in the background.

Krista cart-wheeling on a fallen tree in Muir Woods.

Krista ... being Krista.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Let's do the Time Warp!

Yesterday, I randomly saw a friend from long-ago high school. I can't believe it's been 9 years since I graduated high school and 5 years since I graduated from college. I was complaining the other day about my university contacting me about donating money and I said, "Can't they at least wait 5 ... holy shit, it's been 5 years since I graduated college!" In my defence, they started calling 6 months after I graduated.

Me performing at Miss Aphrodite my junior year of high school.

In my opinion, they should take liberal arts majors who had financial aid off of those lists for at least a decade. By then, maybe we'll have some monetary stability to show for that education and the memories of campus construction and organizational bureaucracy will have faded into nostalgia. Until then, I'm going to be putting my hard earned money to my academically earned debt, thank you very much.

My senior year roomates - Arielle, Tanya and Gwyn - and I the morning or our graduation from Emory.

I find I am much more sanguine about reminiscing about high school since it has little bearing on my life and finances these days. I'm so bad about keeping up with people that I enjoyed hearing what people were up to. The news for many people was about getting married or engaged, which amuses me because it's so far off my radar and life expectations. But I know that for most people getting married means they are happy and growing in their lives and relationships. As for me, I'm just so happy that I have such a creative, adventurous and understanding friend and partner living and sharing life with me right now.

Me and Martin

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Meet Totoro...

The newest member of our household.He is most widely known for his performance in "My Neighbor Totoro." Prone to roaring and taking the Catbus to get around town, Totoro earns his living by serving as the mascot for Studio Ghibli. We're currently working on a circus act to take around the world.

Friday, July 10, 2009

July (to date)

  • Movie night 2 (7/2/09) - I can't believe it took me so long to see "Rushmore." It was as good as everyone has claimed it to be. And the music made me slightly nostalgic for college since my roomie, Arielle, had most (if not all) of the soundtrack on her computer's playlist.
Now, we're all up to date... let's hope I can keep it that way :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

June: An eclectic month

  • Tanya (6/5/09) - Tanya came from Atlanta to visit her brother and have her semi-annual fete with her friend Maylee. I was able to steal a few hours with her to have some dinner and show off my place of work while providing some much needed de-stressing time for her. Luckily, I get to hang out with her more soon!
  • Trigun (6/8/09 to 6/21/09) - This is an anime series that Martin got for us to watch. He had seen it before and thought I would like it prompted by the number of anime movies I had been getting from Netflix. It was the perfect blend of silliness, seriousness and science fiction for me.
  • Appcelerator Release Party (6/9/09) - Martin's company had a big release party downtown. I went and finally met most of his current co-workers. I don't see them a lot since their office is down in Mountain View.
  • Ben and Blues dancing (6/15/09) - Ben Nathan, a friend from high school, lives out here in SF. We rarely see each other because we're usually both busy working, but he gets a summer vacation. We got to hang out, grab dinner, see his students perform (he works at a performing arts high school in Oakland) and go to a Blues dance house party.
  • Plants Vs Zombies (6/21/09) - Martin should know better than to show me silly games on the computer. He knows how addicted I can get. Can't wait to show my mom when I come home to visit!
  • Katie Faulkner (6/27/09) - Another local, SF choreographer. She played with text and movement in one piece, light and projections in another and finished with a duet that was both nostalgic and light-hearted at the same time.
  • Grand View Park (6/28/09) - A new park! Well, we had climbed up to the park back in May, but it was totally encased in fog. We literally couldn't see beyond the hill top. This time it was hazy, but clear. Unfortunately, no camera again. :(

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

May: Work, Play and Friends!

  • Stern Grove & Anna Halprin (5/3/09) - A site specific dance performance that was part of the San Francisco National Dance week festivities. It was cold and foggy, but worth it. The audience sat facing the amphitheatre as the dancers ran, flew, and fell through out the space. A little boy, who was the son of one of the dancers, was in the audience and kept getting up to dance with them. There was also a dog who had an engaging duet with one of the dancers at one point as well.
  • My 27th birthday! (5/4/09) - Truffles, comfy chairs for the apartment, yoga class and dinner waiting for me when I got home. Add a homemade carrot cake and you've got a pretty amazing birthday.
  • Day at the Races (5/17/09) - This was the end of the year youth program performance at my job and the bain of my existance for most of April and May. I ended up being the Box Office Manager, Production Manager, Stage Manager and House Manager for the event. Those of you who have worked in the performing arts industry can imagine how stressed and overwhelmed I was. In the end, it ended up being a great show with only a few incidents that were totally out of my control.
  • Move a Teen to Dance campaign (5/12/09 to 6/12/09) - And as if I didn't have enough on my plate at work, we started a fundraising campaign during the month of May for the Teen Program. In the end, it was a great success and we raised over $11,000 and $8,000 of that was matched by a foundation grant that we have!
  • Alex (5/26/09 to 5/31/09) - And after everything calmed down, Martin's good friend and former roomie Alex came to visit us! The two of them went to a Google conference during the week and then to Alex's cousin's Bar Miztvah.
  • Scott Wells (5/28/09) - Another local, SF choreographer. Probably one of the funniest, most atheletic and well-choreographed performances I've been to since I've moved here. There was even a juggling piece!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

April: Trail blazing & dancing

  • Mount San Bruno (4/5/09) - As I was bicycling up the side highway on a mountain, I was reminded of how I should remember to make sure that Martin has done his homework on how we're going to get there BEFORE we leave. In the end, it was worth the amazing views and the knowledge that I made it up there (even if I had to stop and walk because a bug flew into my eye).
  • John Jasperse (4/4/09) - A New York choreographer who's work I was curious to see. The stage was covered with an elaborate set made up of wire hangers. Both lovely and surreal.
  • Fort Funston & Lake Merced (4/11/09) - Another long bicycle, but this time it was flat and by the ocean. In the end, Lake Merced was very disappointing, but Fort Funston was worth the views and the experience of hangliders swooping over our heads. No pics, sorry.
  • Liz Lerman (4/14/09) - A dancer, teacher and choreographer who developed a critical response method that many of the organizations that I worked with in Atlanta used. Many of my mentors know and/or have worked with her, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to hear her talk.
  • Toe to Toe (4/16/09) - ODC/Dance dancers verses Cal Berkeley athletes. A fundraiser for my organization that I dragged Martin to. Nothing like wacky obsticle courses, giant boxing gloves, and an Alligator dancing with a Bear.
  • Janice Garrett (4/19/09) - A local, SF choreographer. I saw one of her pieces performed in Union Square when Danny came to visit and really appreciated it. I was excited to see her work in a traditional venue. Plus, I finally knew some of the dancers in the performance!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Where's the reset button?

It's always interesting to me how difficult it is for me to return to journal writing after a long break. I always have had this desire to recap and explain what's been going on during the break between entries. But if I start doing that, then I get bored, annoyed and bogged down very quickly. I have about half a dozen journals from my youth that suffered this awkward fate - a weeks worth of daily entries, a couple days go by and I write an entry covering those days, a week goes by, I try to write an entry covering that week, get tired, say I'll finish it later and never write again. ending after only a few entries.

It wasn't until I had the idea to stop putting dates on my entries that I found journaling worked for me. If there was no visible marker letting me know how long it had been since I'd written, then I had no reason to recap. I guess it's one of my odd quirks. And three years ago, I actually managed to fill an entire journal. It took about 5 years.

Unfortunately, the medium of blogging makes it very obvious when there is a gap in posts. After the first month, it was hard to think about making a post. After 3 months .... oh dear! I'm going to do my best to deal with my need to fill in the huge gaping 3-month break as briefly as possible by hitting the highlights over the next few posts. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I promise to emerge soon

But on this oddly balmy evening in SF, my mind wanders and cannot focus on creating a coherent post. That, in addition to our currently wonky internet connection, leaves me with nothing to do but leave you with this absolutely goofy "Menard" moment from Krista's visit.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Atlanta in the HOUSE!!!

San Francisco here I come! I'm writing as a guest here on the Martin and Lauryn show, it's kid sister Krista, and boy do I have a lot to say about my recent visit to see these two weirdos out in California. I stayed 4 days and walked a thousand miles while visiting the Bay area and also brought some good ole southern sunshine out there with me. I first got off the plane and made my way on BART (San Francisco's version of MARTA for you atlantians) to meet Lauryn, and I have never been so excited to see her in my life. Eight months is a long time to go without seeing your favorite sister (yes I know she is my only sister...). Her workplace is AMAZING, a beautiful dance studio where we got to take a class to show how out of shape we both were. Everyone there was really nice, although I found it weird that they were all asking me where I was from because I was where Lauryn was from... Atlanta duh. That day she toured me around the Mission. We stopped and took pictures in this graffiti alley. Lauryn is telling me to look down in the photo.
This next photo is my favorite.
We ate crepes, got ice cream, sat in the park to people and dog watch, as well as catch her up on all the family drama. It's so different to see the life of a city girl, no getting in your car and driving, but strolling down the sidewalk block to block. We had dinner at one of their favorite burrito places and chilled out at the apartment.
Saturday's theme: Up! So while Lauryn was at work on Saturday, Martin took me around to all the great parks they love. I loved them too but there sure was a lot of, me- "So Martin which way now?" Martin- "Up!" We hiked up to two beautiful spots that overlook the city. Stunning sights amongst all the concrete. We went through the upper Haight (pronounced like hate) which is similar to Little 5 points (again for those who are reading this from Atlanta). We walked through Golden Gate Park, saw the rose garden. Caught the train down to the pier to see the Farmer's Market which had fresh fruit stands, as well as coffee, desserts, peanut brittle, you name it you could buy it. I got a hot cross bun and a rasberry croissant to tie me over. We met Lauryn for lunch at a local sandwich shop and ate at a park. Martin left us for his improv class, so the two of us set off to do my two touristy things. Lumbard Street and Coit Tower. Lumbard is neat to see, Lauryn described it well, it was like watching a ballet of cars coming down the street. We then hiked UP! to Coit Tower which really just ended up being a tourist trap with two funny stories. First, after waiting 15 minutes to get on the elevator to go UP! the tower, we get on and the operator closes the door, everyone is silent and all you can hear is typical elevator music. And then the operator guy goes... "So welcome everyone, this is the elevator", we all just started laughing at the simplicity of the statement. Second, after looking around at the top we had to wait even longer to get back down the elevator (we couldn't figure out how there were three times as more people waiting in line to go down than there were up seeing as how the same amount of people can fit going up as well as down). The couple behind us irritated Lauryn by saying that they had now done Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge... the only two things to see in San Francisco! Lauryn almost turned around to scold them, there is certainly a lot more to the city than that! That night we went to a show to see the ODC dance company from her work. Great show, still can't believe she has such an amazing place to work.
Sunday we traveled to Mier Woods to see the red woods.But before we left, for breakfast we ate at this place that makes the most amazing breakfast burritos! Best meal of the whole trip. On the walk home they took me to see the shoe garden and the "Painted Ladies".To get to Mier Woods we had to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped on a little side trail,
Lauryn and Martin may plan a trip back to go hiking further on it. When we got to Mier (pronounced mirror) Woods... more walking, I think I'm up to 20 miles by now. Never felt so small standing next to those giant trees.

We brought lunch and ate under the shade of trees at the top. A friend at her work told us about a bar in the middle of one of the trails and by golly we were going to find it! It's a private club called the Tourist Point that's open to all visitors so we stopped and had a pitcher of beer and chatted til it was time to make our way back down.

At the bottom there was a fallen redwood that had been converted into a bridge. Lauryn made us do an on site dance performance, I'm sure she will post it in all it's embarrassing glory. We then drove on the coastal highway to the beach and then back home.
I passed out first, still adjusting from being on east coast time and walking all day.
Monday (which is also Lauryn's day off) was girl time. We relaxed and went shopping! I love that San Francisco is all about local artists. Bought stuff from a store called Upper Playground and P.KOK both local neighborhood shops with really great clothing. We had planned to eat at a BBQ joint that day (didn't want to make Martin suffer) but of course it was closed so we had to settle for some delicious cheese steaks instead. Tough luck, but just one more excuse to go back and visit. They dropped me back off at BART and it sucked, pardon my french. I took the red-eye flight back to Atlanta which everyone and their mother was taking too! Got in at 6:30am, got picked up from MARTA at 8am, and went straight to work at 9! I'm young and can do that! Needless to say I was asleep by 8 that night, thanks dad for turning off all the lights! So to summarize my trip: I love my sister more than anything, she and Martin make the cheapest and most entertaining tour guides, San Francisco is soooo different than anywhere else in so many great ways, I will always remain a southern girl who vacations a lot in San Francisco!!!! Love you Martin and Lauryn! Can't wait to see you again!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


What's that out there in the distance?
A bird? A sandwich? A star bellied Sneetch?
No, it's just a Martin.

I don't think he realized getting me a camera meant that I would be behind the lens and that he would be in front of it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What happens...

when you leave Martin, Lauryn and a camera in a car for hours?

You get two
Grumpy (I don't know how he survived that look)
Hungry and Happy
People :)