... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell, 2008

I've been sitting here for awhile thinking about what to write on the last night of 2008. I wanted to write something profound, something reflective, but of course, as any writer knows, as soon as you sit down with too specific an agenda, the words don't flow.

One of my friends likes to ask people on their birthdays what they learned over the last year. I never have good answers for her because she catches me on the spot and I'm usually in the middle of celebratory birthday shenanigans, so reflective thinking eludes me. But I have been thinking about the answers to that question all day today. So here's my list.

A handful of things I learned in 2008...

* I learned how important it is to constantly, diligently work at your craft so you don't become stagnant. I think all artists know this inherently, but sometimes we need a good kick in the butt to remind us... like returning to school in the fall after not doing much to train and stay in shape over the summer, and then being s-o-r-e for weeks because you took the phrase "lazy summer days" too literally.

* While it is important to continually train and learn and grow, it's also just as important to take breaks. For dancers, breaks and rest are necessary to maintain strength and agility, as well as to prevent injury. Creating new work isn't possible, either, if you're burned out. You can't restock the well if you go-go-go all the time.

* In the second half of the year, I slowly began to feel more comfortable labeling myself as an "artist." I always shied away from this, thinking that to justify giving myself such a title I had to have some kind of huge, published work that was bringing in the cash, or be famous in my field. Well, baloney, I say. I write, I choreograph... I'm an artist. And the more I think of myself as such, the more confident I become in my dance training, in my choreographic ideas, in writing projects, etc.

* Saying "no" doesn't make you a bad person. Doing things you don't really want to do is just a recipe for unhappiness and resentment. I experienced this over the summer with a certain obligation I made that my heart wasn't 100% committed to. No more of that business.

* The biggest and hardest lesson I've had to learn this year is that I'm not the center of the universe. When you're mired in the middle of such a destructive, self-centered idea, you become blind to the hurt you're causing others in your orbit. Sometimes that hurt becomes too much and your world explodes. My world exploded and someone in my orbit, someone I loved very much, someone I hoped to be my future, careened away from me. Since November, everything has been a nebulous confusion of heartache and uncertainty. Yes, it takes two to tango. No, it's not all my fault. But I can only take responsibility for myself. I still cry at night when I go to sleep, I still get knots in my stomach. I still have an empty, dull ache in my heart and there are days when I can't focus on much of anything. I still pray that God forgives me and that he would heal the damage that I caused. But I know that I have the choice to either use this to learn and grow, or to wallow in self-pity and spiral into cynicism. I choose growth, as hard as the growing pains are right now.

So, my 2008 exits on a, well, bittersweet note. To be honest, I'll be very relieved when I wake up tomorrow and it's January 1. The holidays and my birthday were hard, and I don't mean to sound bah-humbug about them, I just want this year to be done. Not that I think that life will suddenly be filled with sunshine and unicorns and rainbows and glitter as our calendars change from 2008 to 2009. I just really look forward to the fresh page of a new year and a new chapter.

With my lips glossed, my hair curled, and my cute new red purse on my shoulder, I bid thee farewell, 2008. I raise a glass of champagne and welcome in 2009 with one supafly dance party.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Simple pleasures

Being at home.


A glass of pinot grigio.

Cheese and onion quiche lorraine.

Putting together my 2009 planner.

Thumbing through my new cookbook.

Nibbling on jelly bellies.

Reading my new book.

Sleeping in my own bed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Winter Song

This is my winter song.
December never felt so wrong,
cause you're not where you belong;
inside my arms.

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon
it rolls in from the sea.

My love a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light
to carry you to me.
(lyrics by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson)

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'll take that to go please!

Yowza, it's been a long day.

I'm finally home, showered, and in my woobie - it is now 10:15 p.m.

Oh and I'm finally eating dinner... if you consider toast and half an avocado dinner. Some days just go like this. "Meals" are the most portable foods I can grab while sprinting out the door. Breakfast this morning was leftovers from last night's fish-n-chips dinner, which I scarfed while driving to class. Breakfast of champions, baby! As for "dinner" tonight, I got home so late that I didn't want to eat too much so close to bedtime, but I needed to eat something or the beast will rear it's head raging in the middle of the night - feeeeeeeeed me, Jessi!!!

I'm a bit foggy as to when I last prepared myself a real meal... another reason (of several) I'm counting down the days until break.

And since I'm squinting while writing this, I think it's time to brush the teeth and collapse into bed.

Nighty nite!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Counting down

I'm down to one week left of the semester. I'm getting more and more restless for Christmas break to get here and the things that I hope to do over break. But first I still have some things to take care of on my to-do list:

1. Modern movement exam on Thursday.
2. Ballet movement exam on Friday.
3. Finish choreographing the mask duet with my partner for our Choreography final, which is next Monday.
4. Review for and take my written Ballet final next Tuesday.

That's it! Of course this all entails work and preparation, and it is taking quite a lot of energy to stay focused on the tasks at hand. I was ready for the semester to be done the week before Thanksgiving, and coming back for a few more weeks has been difficult. I'm worn out, and not just physically. I need a mental and emotional break more than anything. My batteries need recharging! Only seven more days...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Birthday wish

My 30th birthday is coming to a close. I made a wish...

But I can't tell or it won't come true!

Where the gin is cold and the piano's HOT

Omigod, omigod, I just received an email that Chicago is coming to Denver in February!!!! I H-E-A-R-T this musical with my body and soul. If I could sing, and had started my dance training when I was 9 instead of 29, you can bet your bottom dollar that all my training would be for this fabulous, glorious musical. Now, whether or not I actually get to see the show when it's in D-town is another story, but you never know, a miracle could happen...

The 2002 movie version can't touch the theatre performances, but it was fun nonetheless.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Boots were made for walkin'... the snow!

I need me some snow boots, ya'll. My blue suede Pumas, as fly as they are, just aren't cutting it in the six inches (and counting!) of snow that's out there.

I know what I like and I've seen pairs out there that I'd like to buy, but my teensy budget is making a snow boot acquisition a little challenging. Maybe I'll get some birthday money that will help me get some boots... (yep, yours truly is entering a new decade come next Monday...)

Um, have I mentioned how much I'm loving the winter wonderland of goodness out there?? Whouda thought snow is the secret ingredient to help me feel a little happier and to rock the Christmas spirit a little bit...?!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Yes, ladies and gents, my prayers for snow were finally answered!! My friend and I did a little happy snow dance tonight as we left rehearsal, snow falling softly on our heads.

This is my favorite kind of snow fall, soft and light and airy. I love it at night, when all the sounds are muffled and softened by it. It's so peaceful, like the whole world is resting.

Snow, glorious snow...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All the pretty lights

I had to run an errand tonight after work that brought me along different streets in town. I drove through older neighborhoods in the northern part of town. Lots of houses had their Christmas lights up, which surprised me, and it was all very pretty! Now if it really snows tonight, like they are telling us it will, all those lights will be even prettier! If it does snow, I just might have to drive around town a bit and check out the twinkle and sparkle...

I'm rollin' with it... or trying

I'm declaring today as my Monday. I'm all out of sorts like it's a Monday. Cranky, tired, the whole bit. My head is just not in the game today.

Let's start with some things from yesterday... I didn't get to teach my Pedagogy final yesterday, as there were scheduling issues, so I got rescheduled to next Monday. No biggie, just irritating more than anything (I spent a lot of time Sunday working on that). I would have really liked to have that out of the way. Oh well.

Oh! (mad face) After class yesterday, I arrived at my car to find a parking ticket on the windshield. Seriously?! I've been parking in that lot since the first day of the semester, and as far as I know, there aren't any restrictions. Most everyone that parks there is a student and I'm confident that no one has a faculty parking permit. I looked around at some of my friends' cars, and I was the only one with a ticket. LAME. I'll be calling CSU Parking and contesting that bad boy.

Now today... I had a very hard time waking up this morning. Maybe because I went to bed post-midnight. (That may not be late for some, but I turn into a pumpkin by 11:30 at the latest most nights.) It was the typical rush around like a headless chicken kind of morning, getting me to work late.

I did get my modern final paper finished, along with my mask. But that didn't make classes go well. Our modern professor was pretty annoyed with us all because we weren't remembering combinations very well, and our dancing was definitely not to his liking. We got several "this-is-your-major-and-career" lectures. He also teaches my choreography class, and no one had movement prepared like he asked, so that annoyed him further. Good times. On the plus side, he did like our masks. Glass is half full, right?

I still have quite the to-do list for the rest of the day... tuck and roll, Jessi, tuck and roll!

Now I'm at work and nursing a caramel macchiato, hoping it cures the headache I developed at some point today. I'm counting the hours until I get to go home, get out of these grumpy pants, and into my comfy pants and into bed... oy!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Concert week

The Senior Dance Concert is this week!

We had a short rehearsal tonight, our tech rehearsal is Wednesday, full dress rehearsal with the entire cast and tech people Thursday night, and then it's show time Friday and Saturday. I'm a little nervous, but looking forward to performing. The piece I'm in is very abstract - I portray a sound wave, an optic nerve, and the sense of touch at different times during the piece. Ahh, abstract modern dance.

On top of all of this, I still have all the end-of-semester biz that I've mentioned before, so it will be a busy week, but I'm okay with that - it will fly by! I'm counting down the days until I'm done... 15 days!