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14 March 2012 @ 11:49 pm
I know, I pop up to babble for ten paragraphs and I disappear for months.

Well, whatever!

So I took my class back in February. It was fantastic--just really fun to dance again, and it was very much an atmosphere of feeling good about your own body. I spent hours at home trying to dance the routine we learned in my tiny living room (though with limited success). I even felt brave enough to tell my mom about it.

A few weeks after the class, the troupe that I'd taken the class with posted that they'd be having open auditions. I figured I'd go for it, though I didn't have much of a shot since the only real dancing I've done in the past 10 years or so was that workshop. But the woman in charge had said something at that class about how sometimes girls would audition for her, and even though they were fantastic dancers, she didn't pick them up because they just couldn't get past making the "sexy pout" and burlesque was all about the smiles. So I thought, fuck, if there's anything I AM good at, it's smiling. When I was in the high school Broadway revue, I got moved to the front in multiple numbers not because I was a better dancer but because I could keep a smile on my face.

Well, without going into it too much, it turns out that was the right strategy. I was one of three girls who got in.

I still can't quite believe it. I keep rolling it over in my mind, checking it again and again, as if it didn't really happen and if I just review the memory closely I'll realize it. But I went to the first practice tonight, I was really there, I sat in Ginger Snapps' living room and took copious notes about what to wear and how to style my hair and where to find cheap ballroom shoes and when we're making dress forms etc.

We did a bit of dancing, and it is clear that I'm going to have to work bloody hard on this particular dream. But I don't feel too outpaced, since the other two new girls were just as raw as me. It's going to be hard work but it's going to be amazing. If there's one stupid thing I love, it's dancing a routine over and over and over and over. I don't know why, but it's really fun to me. I love learning choreography.

The theme for the troupe's stage names is sweets--the bosslady is Ginger Snapps, and tonight we met Kit Kat, Honey Dew, Toots E. Popp, Sweet Tart, and a couple of others whose names I didn't catch. The tricky part is that the first word has to be something like a name/nickname - so Apple Dumpling or Mint Julep wouldn't really work. I've been thinking about mine and while I've considered several--Pumpkin Pie, Rainbow Sherbet, Vanilla Bean--I think I like Star Burst the best. It seems to fit me the best.

02 January 2012 @ 05:37 pm
The good things I posted about in the last entry have given me months of freedom; to re-examine myself, to discover once again what I want and what makes me happy.

The new year gave me some fantastic ideas about how to use this freedom, and about what might make me happy.

Being Single. I'm not against romance if it crops up but there has been a weird trend among the folks I know lately to try and get me into the dating scene, set me up, or otherwise matchmake. I hadn't really shut it down (though I hadn't encouraged it either) because I needed to figure out myself first. And so I figured it out: being single is not just an incidental occurrence, unrelated to how good I am feeling. It is instrumental, perhaps even required, to my happiness right now. I spent five years trying to balance my time between all the people I've committed to. Now that I'm single, I have enough time for those people and for me too. I'm not saying I'll never be in a place to start a new relationship, but I've got to make up for all that lost time.

Style. The last time I found an actual "real clothes" style (not costume style) that felt like mine was in high school. I dressed like a hippie; bellbottoms and fringed vests and free-flying hair just seemed to fit in with my personal aesthetic. I'm not that person anymore, but I remember what it felt like to have a style sense. (Maybe not one that anyone else liked, but still) Since then I feel like I've been floating through a sea of "oh, this is pretty I guess."

Until this:

I can't even tell you how beautiful I felt. Not just beautiful, but like...this was how I was supposed to look. That in some regards, this was how I pictured myself. Obviously I can't go full-on flapper for normal daywear, but I absolutely think the design aesthetic of the era is something I'd like to pursue...especially with regards to makeup and dress shaping. I've already got a plan to alter a sequined dress I bought from the thrift store (it's hideous, but the sequins and beading are beautiful and I think I can make something awesome). But I feel like it would be fairly easy to whip up some simple drop-waist dresses for everyday wear too.

I don't expect I'll cut my hair, but I might try some styles that make it look shorter than it is. I loved the wave curls in front.

Burlesque. In some ways, this is probably the big one. I've been enamored of burlesque since I was, I don't know, 12ish? and I caught part of a Bette Midler number on TV. To my disappointment, my cousins insisted on changing the channel, but it's stuck with me. When the burlesque revival started getting some attention, I watched everything I could find online. One of the first things I watched on Netflix was "A Wink and a Smile," a documentary following several women taking a burlesque class. Dirty Martini is, IMHO, about the sexiest woman anywhere. I don't think anyone really knows about this fascination; how do you tell people you're obsessed with burlesque and not sound kinda creepy?

Anyway, there have been a lot of reasons I've never considered doing burlesque myself. Time, other people's expectations, my own insecurities. It wasn't even as advanced as "No, I can't do it!" I literally never considered it as a possibility. And suddenly, a few days after Christmas, it occurred to me: there is absolutely no reason in the world that I can't.

So...well...I signed up for a workshop put on by Cin City Burlesque in February. From there, we'll see--I'm hoping it will get me in a position to find out about more classes. I've always loved to dance (though I am not a natural at it, and it takes lots of practice for me to do it right) and to perform. I don't know if I can get good enough to actually join a troupe, but if I don't pursue it, I won't ever know. It ties in to the style thing, as well--assuming I do get good enough to perform, I think I'd really like to develop some sort of flapper-themed persona. Thinking about having a burlesque persona makes me so giddy I can't help but think that this is something I should go after.

So um...yes. That's where I am in 2012.
Current Mood: defiant
10 September 2011 @ 09:31 pm
For someone who usually hates change, I've found it to be my friend lately.

Eric came and got his stuff today. It went well, or at least as well as it could have gone--we talked comfortably, and frankly. I know he is sad about it, but he was very respectful of my decision and did not try to change my mind. His mom came down later to help haul some of the larger things in her SUV, and she was--if not warm, certainly on the friendly side of civil.

For once in my entire life, I am beholden to nothing and no one. I feel good. It's what I needed.

I did find a car--it's a 2003 Ford Taurus and I really, really like it. The gas mileage isn't quite as good, which is a little tough now that I'm pinched for money, but it's absolutely everything else I wanted and it was the price I wanted to pay.

I start the new job a week from Monday, and though I'm panicking about all the things that I need to do in that week, I know it will turn out okay. I'm dying with anticipation to start the new duties though--while I'm not exactly clear on where I'm going to start and what all I'll be working on, that feels more like an exciting surprise than a reason to worry. I do want to be challenged at work, and I think I'm going to have things that challenge me but that I can rise to.

I got my print (Dancing like a crazy person, alone in your room. That's why) in the mail, so as soon as I have money again (which honestly won't be for at least another paycheck, I got bills to pay!) I intend to frame it and find somewhere awesome to hang it.
Current Mood: relievedrelieved
Current Music: Your Fire Your Soul - Dar Williams
30 July 2011 @ 09:46 pm
So. I think I'm back for real this time. So much has happened in my life lately, and I just want to talk about it, even if I'm shouting into the void.

For starters, I broke up with my (fairly serious and long-term) boyfriend. It's an unpleasant story that I don't really want to go into, but after the tears dried up, I am actually feeling pretty good about it. I didn't realize it, but I was starting to feel trapped. Since he was kinda far away (a bit over an hour), we pretty much spent all weekend every weekend for the last several years together. Also, he was fairly intimidated by my family. I feel surprisingly free now that I'm on my own, and I've been spending tons of time with my parents, which has been awesome. There's still the nasty bit of getting all his stuff back to him, but that will come when it comes.

It's time for a new car, baby! We were saving up to buy his mother's house. I knew we weren't going to manage, but I still felt guilty spending out of my savings, because I knew he wanted the house so much. Now that that weight is gone, I can finally think about getting myself a different car. Not actually new so much as new to me. I'm looking for something with actual trunk space--the Beetle is adorable but it just doesn't meet my needs. I'll probably go with a Hyundai Sonata or a Ford Taurus, though I'm letting my dad do most of the shopping because he's better at spotting problems and also at haggling. I told him my requirements and my budget and he'll let me know when he's found some good prospects.

Giving my sister a car for her birthday! As for the Beetle, we're giving it to my sister for her birthday. Her car (which doesn't have air conditioning) will go to my brother. We spent all day today cleaning up the inside, and I'm making awesome coral pink-and-green paisley seat covers for it. (Her favorite color is pink) And a green vinyl cover for the back seat so she can drive her dog around. I can't wait to see the look on her face. To be fair, this is not entirely out of the goodness of my heart (though I was willing for it to be!) The money that my brother was going to spend to get his own car will come to me to bolster my own car budget to "cars made after 1995" range.

Perhaps the best thing, a new job and a raise! I've been offered a job at my agency that is basically all the things I like about my current job (database building, marketing materials design, data compiling and reporting) and none of the things I dislike (direct customer service, mostly). One of the other department heads (Jillian's boss, in fact) has been talking about having me in this position for awhile, but I never thought it would happen soon--if at all. The IT department head got some funding to create a new IT position, and basically designed it with my skills in mind hoping I would take the job. She is awesome and going to be my new boss. Oh, and! It is a significant pay bump from what I'm making now, so I'll be doing work I like more for more money. AWESOME. I just found out about it on Friday, but it's a bit hush-hush right now since they haven't talked to my boss about it yet--she was out Friday.

My life seems to stretch out before me in a wealth of possibility. Last Saturday, my parents and I went to a 70s and 80s club for my aunt's birthday, and I danced my heart out, because there was nothing stopping me. That's a bit how I feel now. Like there is nothing holding me back from dancing my fucking heart out.

I've said it before, but I truly believe I am naturally lucky. Good things don't always come when I want them, but they do seem to come when I need them, in spades.
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
30 June 2011 @ 08:59 am
Is there anyone who'd be interested in beta-ing some LOTR fic? Right now it's roundabout 17,000 words, but I only want serious beta-ing on the last thousand or so (the rest has been posted for nigh on six years now, no real point making major edits). Not slash yet but it's meandering in that direction. Elf-focused, cross-gen, Rivendell. Don't need grammar/spelling or even really much canon-picking (I mean, you can do that, but it's not my weak point), just some plot/pacing/chapter length advice.

If not, I'll check out the beta directory I found, but I trust you guys more. :)
29 June 2011 @ 12:34 am
But I'm still going to try.

I may be like Susan, looking for a way back into Narnia, too little and too late.

Or I may be like Sarah, and find out the world of magic is still there, should I need it.

Fandom, are you still out there somewhere?

Will you take me back?

(Crossposted from the old LJ, because I don't know where anyone is anymore, or whether it's all just shouting into the void.)
Current Mood: wistful
I have wondered more than once on this trip, what the hell is wrong with me?

I love my family and get on very well with them. Usually spending time with them is very relaxing for me.

For some reason, I have been a high-strung mess ever since we got here. I've been especially unkind to my mother, which I can hardly bear. It's like being a teenager was; I hear the words coming out of my mouth, see the way that I'm acting, and want to redirect it but I can't. It's like spilling a glass of something and watching it in slow motion, knowing you'll never be able to get your hand out in time to prevent what's in the process of happening.

I waver between this weird kind of shut down (giving people monosyllabic but rudely toned answers, refusing to engage, being inexplicably annoyed at things that shouldn't annoy me and being utterly unable to function because of it), and being on the verge of tears because I know my family's done nothing to deserve it and I am being stupid for no reason.

I think my mom's the only one who has really noticed something's up--she's been very patient about it, and at one point when I apologized, she said she wasn't offended because I wasn't acting like myself.

What is happening here? I would think it was hormonal except for the shots kind of regulate that out, and I can assure you I'm not pregnant, so no hormones there. I feel like I have gone back 15 years in time or that some stranger has taken control of me.
Current Mood: guiltyguilty
Thank all the deities for sunshine.

It's been a...tumultous week, though not necessarily a bad one. Little incidents; on Monday night I got pulled over for having a headlight out. The rain and enterprising construction teams have made my trip to work more and more challenging, and I've been very nervous about the bridge right by my house flooding (if it does, I'll have a 35-mile detour to get around it). The river is all up in my business, no lie. It's all been a bit surreal.

My mother and I started Weight Watchers this week, which sounds like a pretty average thing, but it's really weird for me. I've heard people talk about their "relationship" with food, and while I could understand it on a logical level, I've never really felt that way. It's just been...when I'm hungry, I eat. There's some food I really enjoy, restaurants I like to eat at, favorite dishes, all that, but it wasn't something that I interacted with in any significant way.

Now, I feel like I have started a Relationship With My Food. Not in a negative way, it's just...very weird to me to be so conscious not only of what I'm eating right now, but also what I ate yesterday, and what I'm going to eat tomorrow, and for the rest of the week. I went to the grocery store and bought more fresh food than I've probably ever had in my house at one time--bananas, pears, raspberries, mushrooms, even a bundle of organic cilantro. (Fresh fruits and most vegetables are 0 points, so I'll be eating a lot of them). It was just...strange. Pulling out my little calculator and finding out that raspberry cheesecake granola bars are fewer points than plain cranberry fiber bars. Counting up the different varieties of tuna. It's this foreign thing to me, especially after so many years of trying to gain weight and really not managing.

Anyway, I'm hoping it will be a good experience. I'd like to come back down a few (okay, many) pounds to the median of where I've been, but honestly, I think I'm doing this as much because I want to prove I can as anything about my weight. I have never had a lot of impulse control. I'm suspecting I might better myself if I can learn some.
20 March 2011 @ 07:05 pm
It's been a good weekend. I spent it, in various ways, piecing myself back together after a very hard winter. I've been fortunate; nothing truly bad has happened, no death or illness or loss of employment, but I really struggled this winter, all the same.

On Friday, I took the day off. I got up early to go grocery shopping, which was strangely edifying. It was misty and grey, and the trees were full of enormous black turkey vultures and the cawing of crows. You'd think that would be ominous, but honestly, it was pretty cool. (Today as I was driving, one swooped low over my car on its way to the river. I could see the white patches underneath its wings.) Not surprisingly, Google results suggest that vultures are symbolic for renewal and/or cleansing. Later on, my grandparents worked out in their garden behind my house, while I took advantage of the temporary sunlight to do some spraypainting for a project. I even did a little housecleaning in the evening.

On Saturday, my parents came to help fix my (very leaky) skylights. Sadly they're beyond repair, but we patched them up for the interim while my grandparents order new panes. I climbed up on my own roof and caulked the kitchen one while my mother changed the (still non-working) lights above the porch awning. It was beautiful. When we came down, we cleared up branches that had fallen, and walked around my grandparents' property, down through the spots that were flooded days before. I kept thinking of this song (warning for catchy My Little Pony music!), which was more accurate than I realized, since tomorrow really WAS the start of spring.

Today, the first day of spring, I watched The Color of Magic, then drove north to Joseph-Beth (bookstore), where I had a) a $50 gift card and b) a 20% off your entire order coupon. I've been longing for books, and I used up the whole card, almost entirely in the YA section. Bought the new(ish?) Cory Doctorow book, and though I've heard a lot of criticism about his writing, I'm honestly loving it. I can ignore the social commentary, because I'm fascinated by the characters. After my book shopping, I did something even more indulgent--I ate at the attached cafe, Bronte, all by myself and read my book. Ham and brie sandwich with apricot preserves--delicious. Tiramisu also, which was nice because I usually never have room for desserts at restaurants. And when I came home, I noticed the buds on the magnolia tree are beginning to open, showing green tips of petals. I expect it will bloom this week.

I've been doing some writing too, the past few evenings. I've started something new, which I suppose I should feel guilty about since I have all those abandoned projects, but I'm not going to. I'm just happy to have some drive again.
Current Mood: contentre-energized
26 February 2011 @ 08:10 pm
Also, I want to sell you something.

I can't begin to tell you what I've been up to--work is killing me, but it will get better soon. I've been doing some creative things, playing with Ponoko.com (which is both awesome and relevant to this post!), sewing, LARPing.

Speaking of LARPing! I am selling earrings in order to pay for a super awesome LARP prop I want to make (via Ponoko, naturally). I have whipped up 3 designs, as seen below! If you click the image you can see further info about how awesome they are and how much you want to buy them!
Click meeee!

Also, hi.