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I am learning to own a lot of my geek tendencies, but my Gleek tendencies are dialed to about 11 this week and I’m not talking about much because about the only thing I have is…

OMG KLAINE OTP!!!!
OMG I ACTUALLY LIKE THIS WHOLE GLEE ALBUM!!!
SQUEEEEEEE!!!
Twirl and faint.

Ryan Murphy and crew did a great job with this. Starting with contriving a tiny thing so that Rachel could sing Yesterday as the opening song.

The setup makes sense for Rachel, but it gives everybody who is holding their breath for the third show of the season (Cory’s show) a little something to hold onto. Also, it is completely crushing to watch her sing it – she nails it and it is impossible to watch without knowing (1) Cory is dead, (2) Recently, (3) She recorded AND filmed the sequence after he had died. What makes that even more impressive is that in the one public appearance that I have seen she was having such a tough night.

I loved all the Klaine parts. There are all KINDS of things and stuff that make it questionable (the choreography of their first song as much as anything else – WTH guys?) but fundamentally I like the pairing and what the actors do with it. I’m interested to see how they sort out Kurt because he was such a puppet to plot point last year that his life isn’t actually possible. With the exception of Lea & Cory, nobody else duets likes Chris & Darren.

I’m happy that Artie and Tina both seem to exist, and I echo the idea that Artie should get to sing more often because he actually has an interesting voice.

I’m sorry that Sam has turned into the plot point puppet this season (in that, I am sorry that they have a plot point puppet instead of writing that makes the puppet unnecessary) but I’m not a fan of Sam or Chord (the actor) so … eh. I would have skipped his bits anyhow.

With the impossibility of Finnchel being “endgame” I think that Klaine got upgraded. I like the idea of it … but the groundwork isn’t quite there on either character besides being gay [spoiler] teenagers (and even R. Murphy has backed away from them kissing (although the lesbian couples aren’t as chaste)). It is shaky as them being OTP … but if they get more airtime, solos, and duets I suspect I’ll be buying more Glee songs this season than last.

He trusts me that that McD’s is traveling food. When grandma suggests that they eat McDs IN Athens – he wants to call me and check to see if grandma traveling is enough to qualify him for McDs in Athens.

There was the scheduled c-section at 38 weeks (something my hospital would likely no longer do). Apparently, like everybody else does, I said something stupid to a tech or RN while I was waking up from the anesthesia. My mom took an amazing picture of Dave talking to Jeff for the first time.

But Jeff.

Jefferson.

My son. Our son.

I am no longer allowed to ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom before we leave. I was supposed to stop this when he was four … but I still sometimes do. Dude knows when he needs to take a piss – MOOOOM.

This was the first birthday party where he cried – and it was for two reasons (1) he caught a bouncy ball in the eye and (2) his piñata was being shredded and we have save those!

He can keep a secret better than any child I have ever heard of. I got the game Pandemic for my birthday and he knew about it for nearly a month and never let on. Also, he did this at 4 with my sonic screwdriver. As a teenager I am only going to know what he wants me to.

He will call me out when he is not treated fairly. He knows that fair and ideal are not the same. He knows the difference between want and need (at least when it comes to gum).

He can put together legos following the instructions and he can freewheel it (sort of).

I am almost always in his list of Six Beautiful things and so is his dad.

He gets a voice, not a vote. Unless it is his week for takeout and Top Shot and then he totally picks where we eat from.

He has always been a great traveler – up for adventure, willing to spin a tall tale on the road, and enjoys dancing in the car. He flies pretty well too.

Eighteen hours after he was born my mom looked at me and said, “You’re really ok now, aren’t you?” and I was.

When I am really present in a moment, I almost never really remember it. It is why I don’t aspire to be a Writer when talking about my life. If I remember it, I wasn’t living it. In my family that makes for a lot of story telling right after the event – mainly so we can cobble together a version of it that will go with us into the future.

I have gotten a lot better about parties in recent years, I realize it is about hanging with people who already like me instead of hoping that people will like me because of a party. It took me a long time to learn that. I also learned that when I throw a party I should not purchase anything I didn’t want to eat for a week if nobody else likes it.

When I was in high school I was a band geek. As such, in my town, your senior year you dreamed of being the drum major whose skirt basically sort-of fit (there were two of us and somebody was going to march parade routes on a safety pin and a prayer). I had a cute white skirt and a talent for walking backwards down the highway. I also could take a breath and be heard hollering out “Rockin’ Robin” in the middle of a basketball game full of screaming high school girls. I loved that time in my life.

So today. Jeff & I celebrated him turning 5 and me turning 40. There were a LOT of people there, happy and celebrating and playing games. I don’t remember much except a core relief and joy. But some of the blips I remember.

Taking a big breath before I started shouting “Parents find your kids and kids find your parents”.
Dancing while a LOT of people sang Happy Birthday (up tempo) to me.
Sadie said good-bye and her sister was a dream every step of the way.
Dave introducing my turn to be sung to (sort of).
That the ice cream sundaes were a hit.
That the party was a hit.
That Jane busted it helping me with the cheese tray (and we’re going to Branded Butcher!!!!!)
My mom and dad were there.
My friends were there
My MIL & FIL were there.
My neighbors were there.
That the neighbor kids let the visiting kids get sundaes first.
The parent faces when I hollered “kids only” to go outside.
The heartbroken kids faces when the piñata wasn’t just the first round of Fight Club – but how I still think that works better.
That I got a Doctor Who mug and Pandemic and a wall hanging that says I am a Lion Tamer … and I am grateful to be known so well.
That is was just … lovely.

I’m exhausted and happy and I want to write more down my soul is full and tired.

In 1999 I joined a dance troupe that was based in the local community college.

Many of numbers were a mix of rehearsal availability and dance needs, it wasn’t a rigorous group by any stretch. Except an instructor I really liked was actually auditioning for a very physical dance. I went, not expecting much. A long time ago I had learned that if overtly feminine was part of the requirements for a thing (like cheerleading, or dancing) I was likely to get the role of weakest male instead (I have played the Munchkin Mayor (in drag), the football coach (in drag) and the far edge of the bottom of the pyramid more than once).

When I went to the audition we were all taught a two-person combination. One person stable and grounded, the other approaches from the front – left hand to the stable person’s right thigh, right hand to the stable person’s left shoulder and then feet in the air to be caught by the stable person.

Think about how a baton twirler walks and carries a baton tucked into their arm kind of like a baby. Like that, with the head of the moving person at the stable person’s hips and their feet waaaaay up in the air. Hold for 5 seconds and then disassemble in a way that doesn’t kill anyone.

I learned that move 14 years ago, if I trusted my body and a partner well enough I could still do it because I remember it that clearly.

The best part was that everyone who would be accepted into the piece had to be able to do BOTH parts. For once I would be able to do the beautiful flipping part as well as the stable part.

My partner and I nailed it. Then the instructor looked at the program – I was in the dance before and the one after. I wasn’t replaceable in either by that point. I wouldn’t get to play. The song before gave me the chance to get across the stage in 8 beats with a running roll thrown in for dramatic measure (I suspect I could still do the roll too). The song after was non-descript and a bit of an embarrassment as the choreography kept deteriorating to accommodate the lowest common denominator.

I have a tiny sad in my heart that I wasn’t in the extremely physical piece because it was stunning. I also know that I was eating a pound of peanut butter a day during the Saturday rehearsals and my feet were so gory by the end I was taking pictures of them. The celebration dinner after the opening show also included six ice packs. I am not sure I could have physically really pulled it off but my GOD I was having a wonderful time working so hard to be ready for the show.

It really remains a highlight of those years — and those years were really really good.

Last night a friend of mine & I drove to Durham, NC to see Pilobolus perform at the amazing DPAC. We ate at the Blue Olive where you should totally eat if you have the opportunity.

Pilobolus does the type of dance I long to do, even though my body is far past the opportunity. I love that when I go back and look at the website I recognize the dancers. I saw two world premiere pieces and the first one (choreographed in part by Penn & Teller) was great but the second … will be how they close the show for a long time because it is perfection. I also got to see two men untie themselves from a Gordian Knot on a Stripper Pole – and if you ever have the change — you should see that as well.

There may be hesitation because any YouTube search shows folks in G-Strings. You might wonder if your kid / mom / uncle / grandma should see it. They should. You should. Bodies are amazing, and more than the physical proximity of the dancers to each other (they are CLOSE), the intimacy of the trust they show each other, the respect, the absolute faith they have is mind blowing.

If you are mid-air, I will catch you.
If you are head-down, you will not fall.
If you flirt, I will flirt back.
If you trust me, I will trust you.

Go see Pilobolus. At least in Durham they also did a shorter “children’s show” which (I suspect) involves a different level of clothing.

Best of the Bunch

Best of the Bunch (Photo credit: Enokson)

I am not shy about adoring the amazing AFP.  I swooned awhile back about her TED talk, and now I will attempt the greatest form of flattery by doing my own rendition of this.

Our LLV has had the support of everyone in our lives, cheering us on and wishing us well, welcoming us with open arms and waiting patiently for our return.  This weekend is a microcosm of the ways in which my family and I have been supported in LLV….

Thank you L for making the decision that saved us from a less than flowing day, and for choosing instead to be in a place that made you smile so brightly.

Thank you J for letting me use your car on the occasions that I need it.

Thank you stranger for pushing the car up the hill to safety when I needed it.

Thank you to K&D for picking me up and bringing the BEST BANANA EVER.

Thank you (different)D for offering to help in any way you can.

Thank you A for taking me into town for groceries, and then again for breakfast and coffee.

Thank you to the makes of red tools for the lawnmower, ax, saw, and cutter thingies that occupied me today.

Thank you to the fine people who make 1554 and the wine folks of Trader Joe’s.

Thank you (different)J and E for being willing to help me get into work tomorrow.

It is hard for me to ask for help sometimes, even harder to accept it when it is offered but this weekend was full of that very thing.

 

The other part was that I had some serious conversations that I needed to have with myself.  This weekend had just enough tension to push me past my wanna-be-British “stiff upper lip” mentality and then enough time, support, and safety to get on my feet and prepare for all of the amazing things that are still on the way.

This weekend was a good one, and I hope yours was too.