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. :)