Today is Iain’s birthday, and I went to see him after class at his usual hangout.  He turns 30 today, and it is his last smoking day.  He quits tomorrow.  I am glad I enjoy his company so much–the more I find out about people, the more I see that every family is different.  Being related by blood does not  necessarily mean one is family.  Sometimes the family we choose has far more impact, but I am glad he is my brother.

I was feeling a little down today as the day started out.  Well, for one thing I tossed my cookies after breakfast and ended up so jittery and wobbly I was amazed I made it to work.  And the rest of the day I felt slightly nauseous.  Stupid really, I ignored one of my triggers and paid the price, ugh.

And the other thing is that I’ve had to put my practice time with my dance troupe on hold.  I have too many things going and a couple of issues that won’t be resolved for another few weeks or so.  I just couldn’t give it my all, so I had to bow out of performing at Triangle Fest.  After regular practice, I left when I would have normally gone to the troupe practice immediately afterward.  😦  I know I made the right decision for right now, but I feel horribly guilty.  It just seems like I do this all the time–two steps forward, one step back.  Progress in never linear for me.

But I was glad to see Iain in good spirits (ha, bad pun) and his friends are pretty nice.  And I was approached about making some kilts at some point.  I haven’t done a sewing project for someone else for awhile, I might be able to take another one on–with breaks for pregnancy, of course.  I was flattered.

And another nice thing is that one of my favorite fan fiction writers has continued her story which is really, really good.  I love a good story, especially one with a favorite anime character of mine, whom I’ve been lusting after since I was 9 or so.  Yeah, I am that geeky.   Hey, I can’t be cool all the time!

Out and about

So tonight, we went out to the Casbah restaurant with Christy and her boys to see Ayperi dance.  I guess the restaurant opened with new management.  I got the lamb kabob, which was pretty good.  (I always get lamb at a Middle Eastern restaurant, done well it’s my favorite meat)  It was fun to see Ayperi in her tribal style costume, very nice.  She danced to some modern, techno-y songs too, which are my favorite.  Though I love bellydance, I still love techno music the best, and the great thing about modern tribal style is that not only is the costume darker than cabaret, you can dance to whatever music you please.

We had a good time, but though the food was good, I was not impressed by certain aspects of the restaurant.  First, I was going to get lamb kofta, but was told they did not have lamb kofta.  Not that they had run out, it’s just not on the menu, though it was printed on the menu.  (No lamb kofta at a Middle Eastern restaurant?)  Okay, so I got the lamb kabob, which was more expensive.  Second, the charged me a plate fee for sharing with my 3-year old.  Um, Rowan can’t eat an entire meal by herself yet.  Third, they overcharged for a dessert, then added on a second one we had ordered, overcharging that one too.

In fact, when the waitress brought the amended bill over, it suddenly had $20 more on it.  Why?  Because now there was an 18% gratuity, since there were six of us.  I guess I can’t argue that technically, yes there were six of us.  But three of them were 8, 7, and 3 respectively. Plus, no separate checks.  What kind of restaurant these days is still that kind of pain in the ass?

So overall review:

Beautiful dancing:  Thumbs up!

Good food:  Thumbs up!

Money-grubbing attitude:  Thumbs Down.

My little dance performance

So a couple of weeks ago, my class had our little dance recital. It was a dance demo day, so there was salsa, Irish step dance, hip-hop, African dance, modern, and us. It went pretty well. I was a little sad because I didn’t want to bring Rowan, but then all these families came and I missed her. None of my close friends in town could make it either, but then right before we went on Nancy showed up, so that was nice.

Our routine was only 2 minutes long, but apparently we did okay because we got a fair amount of compliments. I even got an anonymous compliment in craislist:

“You are beautiful with your long hair, smoldering eyes and movements. I love your tat.

Probably you don’t realize how enticing you are. ”

Hee hee. But my favorite was Nancy, who told me “Thanks for bringing art and beauty into my life.” Which is probably one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

Meera & the UW Bellydance Show

This past Saturday, I took the Indian Fusion workshop with Meera at the UW.  It was a lot of fun and pretty intense.  In fact, I’ve been limping around since yesterday because my calves are so tight.  Guess I wasn’t used to the “Bollywood Hop” or the the “Bhangra Bounce”.  🙂  I would love to learn more about Indian dance, but as I’m still doing bellydance, I don’t know when I would fit that in.  Plus, on Seana’s website she says she teaches Tribal style, which is open to students that have a year or more experience.  Come the summer, I will have had a year’s experience.  I really want to learn some Tribal!

The UW Bellydance show on Saturday night was really good.  I was impressed.  They almost sold out the Wisconsin Union Theater, it was so packed.  I’m happy for them.  There was a veil duet dance that was really beautiful.  And Meera’s performance was a lot of fun too.  But really, everyone did a great job.

Also, more exciting news, at least for me.  The UW Dept. of Continuing Education wants to the different dance classes to do a little demo, and they asked for volunteers.  So I will have my 2 minutes of fame.  It’s low key, we’re not really dressing up, but we get to perform a little.  I did my little routine for Leif and Rowan (this is the first time I danced for Leif) and they really liked it.  It’s at the end of April, so I have some time to practice.  I’m excited!

From an old Peter Max magazine

Bellydance 1969

Man is one. God is one. Love is one.
We are all the fruits of one tree
And the leaves of one branch.
Everyone is God in the process of evolution.
Identify yourself with everything that lives.
Love all God’s creation.
Love even the leaf;
Love the animals, love the plants,
Love everything.
Feel that the one power
Of God works through all hands,
Sees through all eyes,
Hears through all ears.

The picture is from an article from the January Suhaila newsletter ( The writer, Melinda Lou, was the baby in the womb when this picture was taken in the summer of ’69. The picture above and the verse were featured in a 1970 issue of Peter Max, which I gather was some hippie magazine. I thought the picture was pretty neat.

Getting back to normal

So this is my first week back after traveling and seeing old friends. Rowan and I visited my parents, it went well. I did regress a little, it seems to always happen. And it’s such a dicotomy. But my mom certainly appreciated it. I even went to church in a reunion mode. Saw some people I haven’t seen in awhile.

Then we came back and Rowan was sick, so I had to take another day off. Saturday I went to Chicago for the Rachel Brice workshop. It was so cool to meet her, she’s such an inspiration. She was very funny and down to earth. The workshop was packed.

I love bellydance, but sometimes I despair of doing it well. I would love to perform, even just once, but I wonder if I will ever feel ready. When Rachel dances, it is like a work of art, like a dance I’ve never seen before and I’m utterly entranced. Her dance is art. I don’t know if I can do that kind of art. I don’t know if I could be that beautiful. She is a professional, she practices every day and I have trouble just fitting practice in. I know I can’t be another Rachel, everyone is their own unique person and had their own take on the dance, but I wish I could portray even just a little of that beauty.