alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Merry Christmas everybody... I hope you all can see a better time when all your dreams come true in 2012.

alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.


Putting the pagan back in the season--happy holidays to all, whatever you may celebrate!
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)

I'm going to the Christmas Revels for my first time ever this year!  I've always wanted to go, but never been on the ball enough to get tickets before it sells out.  We now have excellent tickets, hooray for mid-week shows!
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Voodoo Dolly)


Me at Raks Spooki V, performing to "Bad Things" (Theme from True Blood), photo taken by Najmat!

We were afraid we weren't getting any trick or treaters this year, but surprisingly they all started showing up after 6pm.  Some really adorable costumes have been coming though :-)
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busy busy

Jan. 11th, 2009 10:40 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Got home from helping plan a friend's wedding on Saturday and then sewed, glued and otherwise crafted for four and a half hours straight.  Then I got up today and did it all over again.  But my Arisia costume is basically done, apart from some glitter spray (meant for fabric--it seems to be awesome!).  I cracked myself up practicing in it.  I am really going to enjoy this show!  And the best part about the costuming is that when you take away the silly bit, it's actually a rather nice costume that I could definitely see wearing again for more conventional performances.

Took down the Christmas tree today--on the one hand I will miss the warm cozy glow of its lights in the living room, but on the other hand I really wanted the living room back to normal at this point.  Our town's tree pick up is this week, hence the wait.  I swept most carefully, but I'm sure my feet will be picking up pine needles for months to come when I dance.

Now I am waiting for a pizza to finish baking.  I made it from scratch.  I do rather wish I had made it a few hours ago, though.  This weekend has been like that.
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Last night I toasted in the new year with absinthe* and today I went to a surrealist circus, and that pretty much sums up the spirit of my new year's resolutions, such as they are.  Be more adventurous, do more stuff.  Strive for balance but don't mistake balance for inertia.  Keep doing more of the things that make life good for myself and others, do my best to avoid the mistakes of the past.  Life is a process, not something you can pin concrete resolutions upon.

The surrealist circus was Aurélia's Oratorio at the American Repertory Theatre, and I would tell you local people to all go see it but I suspect the remaining few shows are sold out.  It was truly amazing.  Aurélia Thierrée is the granddaughter of Charlie and Oona Chaplin, and grew up doing exactly this kind of theatre.  It all felt so elegant and effortless.  It's hard to convey the constant sense of wonder we felt; the world surrealist is overused but it is not a word I personally use unless I mean it.  This was surrealist in the most classic sense.  It made Cirque du Soleil seem tawdry in its honest physicality and bare bones staging.  There were props used--most notably silks used in incredibly innovative ways) but the props never overshadowed the physical achievement of the performers.  There's a video trailer here that shows some small amount of what goes on.  All in all, a perfect way to begin a new year.

*it was amusing that this seems to be the mental image widely associated with absinthe among the group of us.  I'll drink to that!
 

relax

Dec. 29th, 2008 11:56 am
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Now that the holidays and various appointments are done, I feel like I am finally on a vacation--all the crazy of last week was all stuff I *wanted* to do, but that didn't stop it from being stressful to the point of eye-twitchiness and nightly teeth-grinding.  Luckily one of the various appointments was a massage, which helped muchly.  And a hair appointment, which helped in its own way.  I tried clothes-shopping at the Back Bay Filenes Basement and Marshall's afterwards, but did not like any of the clothes I saw.  Back to H&M sometime this week, I think.

Christmas eve and day were very nice--I liked/wanted everything I got as gifts and I felt like I did good with the gifts I got for people.  M was flabbergasted by his laptop :-)  One of my best gifts was the Diana Tarkhan instructional DVD, from M.  I've just done one of the two choreographies on it, and I love it.  The one I did was called Samia and was intended as an homage to the Golden Era of Egyptian film.  It made me grin while dancing because it was so much fun.  Diana's style is light and playful and full of joy.  A good consequence of both this DVD and Randa's is that I'm getting more comfortable with taking my feet off the ground (and I suppose now I have the foot and ankle strength as well), something that I've always thought was lacking in my dancing.  No Dina DVDs for xmas, but I used some gift money to get those and the Montreal performance DVD, so they'll be arriving soon.

Darq was fun, I would definitely go again.  It's too bad they can't stay open until 2, though, 10-1 seems very short.  I guess they can't open any earlier because of the dinner crowd.  The dance floor is rather oddly central; it was reminiscent of the goth club nights at Toast, with the dance floor right up alongside the bar so that you end up with no clear border between dance floor and people standing at the bar and a lot of through traffic.  But the Thai restaurant decor actually worked rather well for a goth night, and you really can't go wrong with being able to order sushi whenever you want during the evening.  Music was a bit too EBM and industrial for my general tastes but I danced anyway and it felt good.

Last night we watched some old silent Wizard of Oz movies.  It was rather strange.  They seemed to come from a studio that L. Frank Baum owned or operated, but they took a lot of liberties with the storylines, some to the point where you wouldn't have thought it had anything to do with Oz at all until a random character popped up.  And then other plot elements repeated from film to film, so they all seemed like one basic film with variations in detail.  My favorite part in all of them was an actor named Fred Woodward who played the mule Nickodemus (not in books, if I remember correctly--definitely not in the first few books anyway) and several of the other animals.  His physical comedy was brilliant, as was his ability to make his human shape really look like the animal's form, from mule to kangaroo to crow.  Nickodemus was apparently so popular he got a few movies of his own.  If I can find them, I'll watch them.  Costuming was excellent in all of them, especially one evil witch's batwinged dress and the wardrobe of the Queen of nearby Iz.

Today I have eight million things on my to-do list, but that's okay.  The sun is out and I feel productive.  If I get three things done I'll be happy with that.
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
on Halloween, we spent a very pleasant quiet classic New England fall afternoon at the DeCordova Sculpture Park.  I played with tigers.


more pictures )
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)


(This is Seti and Pan, who are no longer with us but still make great little Halloween ambassadors)

Halloween!

Oct. 9th, 2008 05:30 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Last night M and I went to Halloween stores to look for a costume for me--I'm being Sekhmet this year.  After looking at horrible cheap yet dearly expensive Cleopatra costumes, I decided I could improvise well enough out of my own closet, with the addition of a few accessories.  I put what I've got so far together last night and I like it much better than any of the pre-made costumes.  Ha!  I've got a white dress that will do fine as the base and an awful gold lamé dress I can cannibalize for bits and obviously I've got belts and jewelry galore.  Also, my lion mask is covered in glitterdot!  Mock it and I will unleash the wrath of Ra upon you!  Not sure what I'm doing for footwear.  I think Sekhmet would wear big Fluevog boots, don't you?

This is all for a party M is invited to on the 17th, but we don't have plans for actual Halloween weekend at this point.  What are people generally doing, just going to Bloodfeast?

My parents gave me a pair of Skel-o-mingos for my birthday last month:


I would keep them out year round but I'm not sure how the upstairs people would feel about that.  We'll put them out for Halloween evening for sure.  If we stay put for another year and turn the back porch into a seating area, they can live out there.
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
A little while back I ordered a choreography DVD by Atef and Magda Farag with seven or so different dances on it, primarily for the Nubian choreo as I've been curious about how the mechanics of that style.  It turned out the DVD is not an instructional per se but a demonstration of each choreo done by Atef or Magda in teaching clothes in front of a mirror.  I'd watched bits of it before but today I had time and mental energy to follow along with the quick and snappy Reda style choreo.  I did the shamadan choreo several times and filmed myself following along wearing my shamadan.  I'm happy to see that the shamadan stays pretty steady.  I don't think they're that difficult to dance with, they just take some neck strength and poise.  I'll definitely be able to work something up by that August show in Salem.  Anyway the DVD was a lot of fun and will be a good resource for the future.  I am only slightly more enlightened about how to do Nubian dance than before, and this being Reda it was very Nubia goes to Broadway, but I have a better feel for the core movements now.

Had a lovely Fourth of July up in Rockport--many thanks to the gracious hosts!  Much good food and drink and conversation was had and lovely fire dancing was seen.  Everybody seemed to like my tofu poke, as it was all eaten up.  But I have to say, I think my favorite part of the day was walking from the house to the parking lot about a half mile up the road and realizing that I was about 20 feet ahead of my group because I was walking more quickly than the rest of them and needed to slow down for them to catch up--the way I always do, the way I walk, the way I walk when I don't have an injured foot!  Totally made my weekend :-)

Huge improvement in Ianto since his medication started.  It was hard to accept that I needed to bring him in, but I'm very glad that I did.

at peace

Dec. 27th, 2007 08:19 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
10 years ago today M and I had our first date--we watched an episode of Deep Space Nine and then went out to a Korean/Japanese place in Brighton Center.  I can't believe it was so long ago, and at the same time I can't believe it was only ten years.  That was the first day of the rest of my life :-)

The holidays have been good to us.  We both got good swag and some exciting family news from my brother and his wife, making it a very happy holiday indeed.  I bought a camcorder yesterday, a JVC model that came with its own DVD burner, which is very cool since my computer does not have a burner that can do DVDs.  I've been following Seti around making little movies, and it does ok in the low level of lighting in our dining room at night, so I'm optimistic about how well it will handle belly dance shows.  It has a sports setting for capturing fast moving people on static backgrounds, which might be useful.

I've got to get dancing again, but the last three days have been super productive for me.  I organized all my sweaters in bins (as opposed to storing them in a jumbled heap on the top shelf of the closet), went through years of accumulated paperwork (I suppose I don't really need to keep the phone bills from three apartments ago), am currently backing up my computer, found places to put all the christmas stuff, bought a utensil holder bucket thing from Monroe Saltworks so that we can actually find things in the kitchen drawers again, and many other useful endeavors were undertaken and accomplished.  This is really what I wanted to do with my holiday break, so I'm not too sorry about missing the dance time.  Tomorrow I should get in some dancing, after the trip to Winmill Fabrics and a couple of sewing projects.  Though among my swag were a couple of samba DVDs, so I might delay the Middle Eastern dancing another day ;-)

Today my parents took us to see the Napoleon exhibit at the MFA.  I'm not sure I would have gone on my own but it was quite fascinating.  I had no idea about much of the symbolism of the material culture of the time--no design elements were accidental.  Napoleon had his artists creating a new lexicon of symbols based on the principles of the Revolution, at least before he went all power crazy emperor.  Josephine sounded fascinating in her own right.  I'd like to find a good bio or better yet a good reality-based novel about her.  Of course the elegant gowns made us all think of [livejournal.com profile] kambriel --if you are reading this, K., my mom says hi to you and C.

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