Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My head rolled off my neck in New York

When I went to New York recently, I promised myself I would take some dance classes again. I haven't danced in a really long time. For someone who was a professional dancer for 13 years, not dancing has been a source of frustration, to say the least. I've been meaning to go to a class for the last five years and just couldn't fit it in my schedule! Actually, every time I tried to go to a dance class, aliens would swoop down, take me to their home planet and beat me senseless, then drop me back home unable to remember what happened.
Really, I'm just using sarcasm as my defense mechanism for feeling vulnerable. Dim lights, cue violins: For the past five years I've been held prisoner in my own body. I went from a professional dance career to an eating disorder and a subsequent neck injury that left me deeply depressed and wondering why I felt so cheated and crippled. It didn't dawn on me that my time dancing was something to be grateful for, not something to expect I deserved unconditionally without appreciating it or like freakin' going to the doctor when I couldn't move my head because it felt like it would just roll right off my neck, across the floor, off a cliff and then I'd really be screwed. No, it took me a while to be a grown up and take care of my aching body after years of neglect. But I finally did! (Thank you Dr. Sibel and the OHSU Pain Center). And the reward was going back to New York to do some dancing.

I left the Hip Hop class options in Anna's hands, but I jumped at her suggestion to go to some guy named Jonte's class. It seemed especially cool because apparently Jonte' was a Jefferson Dancer (I myself am an alum) a looooonnng time after I graduated and has choreographed for Beyonce among other celebs. I have always loved Hip Hop and somehow knowing that I was going to be 20 years older than most if not all of the dancers in the class didn't really bother me. I was going to DANCE! Get my groove on.

The class warp speed...with moves like I've never seen on MTV, BET, SYTYCD...even in a porn movie - let alone gotten my body to do. But, holy flippin' sh*^! This Jonte' can dance. There were about 20 of us crammed into a tiny studio with no air conditioning on a 98 degree, 90% humidity day in Manhattan. You had your serious Hip Hoppers, all buck'd out with their baggy sweats, clunky sneaks and bad attitudes, your "Front Row Hoes" as I call them, just dying to be noticed and the rest of us in between. And in between I was glad to be because after all those head snaps and neck roll moves, the floor soaked with sweat and people flailing to do the choreography, I felt safe knowing that somebody would be there to catch my head when it flew off my neck. I was in PAIN. I remembered this pain. It was mind bending, brain wave scrambling, pulsating pain. And what did I do? Ignore it. Ha! Did I not learn anything after all?! It felt so good to remember what it was like to move my body, to feel like a young dancer rather than the old and crippled me I felt for so long. Then I fast forwarded to the present me, a woman with fibromyalgia, two herniated discs and arthritis in her neck... slapped myself a good one, and stood on the side doing the moves without moving my head. It was....sublime. Besides, after some ice, 26 anti-inflammatory pills, I was just fine.

If you haven't seen Jonte' dance, you are missing out. Check it out below. (He's the one in the striped sweatshirt who moves like no other human can)

If you want to watch more, I recommend the video labeled "Jonte" and "Jonte & Victor."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sleepless City Productions

Sleepless City Productions Official Blog

I want to introduce Noah Shulman, the phenom behind The Dictator music video for Dan Reed. Director, editor, visual effects...he's the s*@^!

Here's some behind the scenes photos from the video shoot.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dictator

I do PR for Dan and I know, you're thinking "Great, just another selfish promotion on a blog." But the catch is, I don't do PR for Dan because I want the work. I do it because he has a purpose with his music. I do it because behind every word he sings is a passion for humans to have peace...from the core of his being he embraces the concept that we all want to be safe, to have love, to have health, to not be scared, to not be abused. Dan is powerful and yet eloquent and I can't see the music world without him. I believe we can make our world better, I believe in the good in all of us. I believe Dan's music is a path to a better way, therefore I share his work.

How can you make a difference?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Welcome to the 21st Century of Design

Since Jay works in product development and design for a rather large company, he gets exposed to some great...stuff. The above object was a piece in an exhibition at the FUEL Collection in Philadelphia called Scripted by Purpose last September. All participants were restricted to two rules: 1. All entries had to involve a scripting technique (you know like computer programming code) 2. All codes and custom tools must be displayed next to the work as open source. (Yeah, I don't get that part either)

OK, so like, I was good at math, am addicted to NUM3ERS (In my next life, I'm going to be an FBI forensic mathmetician), I can hold my own helping Logue with algebra homework - wait, does that count? Suffice it to say, math is cool and to see design and architecture utilizing mathematics and coding to evolve the design process is even cooler. But, that's as techie as I get. Here's an exerpt of the foreword from Neil Leach, one of the contributors:

"The apparent primacy of these codes opens up the possibility of modeling systems through digital means, and with it the possibility of using digital means to breed structures. An emerging group of young architects is using the technique of ‘scripting’ – the manipulation of digital code – to produce radically innovative architectural environments. A new generation of structures is being created, that recognizes the potential of the computer not just as a sophisticated drafting and rendering tool, but as a potentially powerful tool in the generation of designs themselves."

About the submission:

biot(h)ing is a research-design laboratory whose structure derives from particular linkages between various disciplinary and technological nodes, promoting intra-specific creative relationships which in turn serve as a transformative tissue for the design process itself. An algorithmic articulation of the relation between the corporeal and incorporeal i s biot(h)ing’s attempt to engage with complexity.

Dude, brain freeze. I really just wanted to post this 'cause I likey the picture.

The Best Conversation I've Had Ever

Yesterday, Bean and I were driving to work (my little children's clothing boutique) and we started talking about her hair. Now just remember, this child is 8 years old.

Me: Honey, I think if you're going to grow your hair out we should trim it.

Bean: Yeah, ok.

Me: I could do it, but maybe we should have Bob at the Barber Shop next to our store cut it real quick.

Bean: Bob? BOB?

Me: Yeah, he used to cut ladies hair at the MAC club, you know where Jujube belongs?


Me: Yes, honey, I just think it would be quicker than mommy doing it.


Me: Yes Maam.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Social Consciousness Lives!

I was just getting settled in to write my most fabulous and insightful review of Pixar's latest film Wall*e, when I happened to come across my new friend and fellow blogger, PR Mama's similar post. What can I say? She just said it better! (bitch)
Therefore, I humbly stand aside and give you this:

Must-see moment: Wall*E meets Saturn’s rings (via L.A. Times)

Dispatch from the Edgewater NJ Multiplex

While Professional Me has been exposed lots to the usually unpleasant inner workings of the entertainment industry, Private Me still finds it possible to watch a movie in open-mouthed, awe-struck, teary-eyed wonder. You know what I’m talking about — the burning of Atlanta in “Gone with the Wind.” The massive Imperial Stardestroyer rumbling like some prehistoric beast into the opening frames of “Star Wars: A New Hope.” Dorothy stepping out of her tornado-tossed house into a vivid Technicolor Oz. Hell, I even go ga-ga watching dead Patrick Swayze push that penny towards Demi Moore’s face, as that one impeccable tear wells and spills down her (as-yet surgically unaltered) cheek…

So add “Wall*E” to my list of wonder-inducing, tear-inspiring movie experiences. Visually stunning, funny, sweet, suspenseful — and all without benefit of much dialogue to speak of, mega A-list celebrity voice performances, Disney Channel hyper-promotion, or Happy Meal trinkets. (Although I will say, my son and I hot-footed it right from the movie theater to the nearest Blockbuster to rent the Nintendo DS version of the “Wall*E” game…so am not completely immune to the siren call of tie-in merchandise…)

And the movie happens to have a message. One that I’m sure some jackass right-of-center pundit will jump on as irresponsibly pushing a liberal eco-nazi agenda on the impressionable minds of today’s moviegoing young (remember all the “Happy Feet” brouhaha?)

Puh-lease. How about this message? Earth is a pretty great place to live. Litter really stinks. It’s easy not to litter, which is one way to keep Earth a pretty great place to live. Easy soundbite for the 5-year old in my house to digest, and pretty non-partisan at that.
For more on “Wall*E” and the marketing (or non-marketing) genius of Disney/Pixar, check out this terrific post from Seth Godin. (Thanks to Jon Cronin for the heads-up.)

Thank you Stephanie!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The neurotic, evil, spaz of a dog, Chloe

I was reminded yesterday of why I call our dog, Chloe, the neurotic, evil spaz.
For one, it came to my attention that in the thesaurus, "black" is a synomym for evil (OK, that's WRONG and is a whole other discussion for another time - believe me I will get to it...BUT, I didn't write the thesaurus and I am ONLY applying this to my no racist accusations necessary) - and Chloe is a BLACK Doodleman. Note to self: off our other black dog before it's too late.

B. Chloe was sitting on the couch on the floor with half of her body on me, as usual, chewing on a sock, when holy SHIT! Read: sharp stabbing pain. She bit my leg! I turned to her in horror and disbelief looking for answers. Her eyes just said "dude, I seriously thought that was the sock."
I can see the similarities completely--sock: black & fuzzy...leg: peaches, cream & fuzzy perfectly smooth. Don't think you fool me for one second you devil child of a dog.

III. Later, I heard that all too familiar grunting and snarfing sound that always makes me jump to attention and beeline for the kitchen--and there she was, with a whole stick of butter in her mouth, drool rapidly pooling under her, looking at me like "Whaddya gonna do now? He he."
The following slapstick routine ensued: She ran, I chased her, slipped in her drool, fell, regained my composure, tried to act all bad-ass, caught up to her and...
cowered as she growled and I watched her eat the butter. CRAP! Literally.

Then I remembered Caesar Milan. We love his show because it reminds us we're not the only neurotic dog owners, I mean owners of a neurotic dog. Being the quick witted, eloquent gal I am, I'm all, "Chloe! You're such a....a...ffff...Baaad dog! Baaad Baaaaaad Dog!" At least for the moment I felt like I was taking control (I know Caesar, I know, I suck).
Trying to draw from all the obedience training I'd been taught, I got down to her level and told her that what she's done is not only sick and wrong but I won't be smelling her farts later when she's in her time-out, NOT enjoying the evening fun and games. Oh, shoot, isn't that a parenting technique from Supernanny? Whatever.

I blame this all on my husband myself. As Caesar Milan says, "A bad dog is the reflection of the owner, not the dog." Well I say, she looks nothing like me!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thank You. Kind of.

This card, from Pretty Bitter Cards, took the words right out of my mouth. The sarcasm is so right up my ally, it's like the writers said "Here Claire, take a load off. We know just what you want to say." I'll be buying of few of their Dirty Doilies Cards too! Here's an excerpt from the Thank You card:

Wow. I can't believe you. Most of the time when people do something nice for me, I just brush it off, but this time, it was different. You really surprised me--like that time I walked in on my parents doing it. That was awkward...This was better than that. It was, you know, special. And I guess that really is a reflection on you. I mean, not that you're special or anything. You're kind of a pill.

See, now you know, I'm not that nice of a person...