Archive for May, 2012

I really agree with many, if not all, of the author’s opinions. As both a Raqs Sharqi dancer and ATS dancer, I’m able to look at both sides.


Oh boy, what a week!

Hubby and I celebrated with friends on Saturday – he was at an eleven-hour LAN party (Diablo II) and I went to a girls’ night party. We all met up at the end of the night and partied some more. Thankfully, I didn’t have to get up early on Sunday.

Monday, being Memorial Day, was super fun for me. Not only did I have the day off from work, a paid holiday, but I got to spend time with my sister, mom, and grandma. Sis and I drove up north about 3 hours to go to our family’s cabin. I haven’t been there since I was 12 or 14, so it’s been quite a while.

Memorial weekend is the weekend that my grandparents open up the cabins for the season. There are 2 houses up there – the old house (my grandparents’ place) and the new house (my great-grandparents’ place). Even though my great-grandparents passed away years ago and my grandfather passed three years ago, I still differentiate them that way. With the new house being, well, new, my grandma has stayed in that one rather than the old house. The electrical, water, and heat work better there. And there is a washer/dryer set and a nice, updated kitchen.

She’s getting on in years, so the little comforts like that are great.
But I’m not saying she’s old or anything. I mean, she’s only in her late 70’s. And she’s just as active and spunky as ever.

I still worry though. Since grandpa died, she hasn’t been the same. It’s expected I know, but it’s really hard seeing her age.
I grew up knowing my dad’s parents, my mom’s parents, and my moms grandparents. And by know, I mean I spent holidays and birthdays and other days with them. I spent a whole month living with great-grandma after her hip surgery to help her out. They were all alive well into my teens.

But life happens. Aging and illness happen.
My great-grandfather battled leukemia and Alzheimer’s. He was in his eighties. Great-grandma wasn’t too far behind him; she died 3 years later.
My maternal grandfather had renal cancer. He fought it for a few years, but it wore him down. That was really rough on us grand-kids. We had all grown up with him being a robust, happy man. He taught us to catch frogs, bait hooks, and clean fish. We watched him waste away. He was also in his eighties.
My paternal grandparents were almost ninety.  Grandpa got sick first. He had cancer, too. While he lay in one hospital bed, Grandma was admitted across the hall with pneumonia.
We knew it was getting close to the end for Grandpa. Most of us went to visit, to say goodbye. I saw him. I didn’t recognize him. I couldn’t bear to see him like that, so I went across the hall and spent time with Grandma. She was quiet and obviously worn down. But I chatted with her.
The morning that Grandpa died, Grandma was in particularly bad shape. She had a secondary infection.
She only lasted another 5 days. She couldn’t be away from him.

I knew them all. I love them all.
Going up to the lake is my way of connecting to a time when I still had them in my life. It’s like putting a little stop in time, even if it’s only for a day.

Wonderfully written and full of rational thought, which is often lost on part-time and pseudo- practitioners.

Druid Life

I’ve been reading with interest ideas about magic on Cat’s Blog and Red’s Blog this week. Red’s really got me thinking about how we square honourable relationship with magic. Now, what is normally called ‘white magic’ could be described as ‘asking for something nice magic’ while going round cursing people would be ‘black magic’ being horribly simplistic for a moment. But take apart ‘white magic’ and what are we doing? Asking for something we haven’t worked for, maybe something we want and can’t have. Nothing comes without consequence, even prayers for healing. If we all lived forever, magically, this world would not be viable. If we use magic to violate the laws of nature and the natural cycles of life and death, how can we square that with the idea of honourable relationship?

If we pray – let’s imagine that’s for a miracle to save a dying person – we…

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A Storm Rolls In

I have a love-hate relationship with storms.

I love they way the sky smells when rain is about to move in. I love the feel of cool droplets dancing on my body. I love the shady grey sky and how it makes my city look like an old movie. And I absolutely love how a good rain storm can give me the best sleep of my life.

What I hate is that I am my own barometer, so when a rain storm comes my way I can usually tell within 6-8 hours how big it’s going to be based on how much my head throbs.
You see, I suffer from migraines. Most of the time they aren’t too bad; I can function and go about my day with minor issues. But when a big storm comes in, I get very sick.
Sometimes I lose my vision, other times I black out. Mostly, it’s just intense pain and nausea.

We’ve had a series of storms for the last week. Oh, it has certainly been a fun week. I went to bed last night at 7 (way earlier than my typical 2), and woke up at 10. There were a few moments of pseudo-waking up in there; I had to feed the cats, get an ice-pack, and hit the bathroom. For the most part though, it was just sleep with random dreams about the zombie apocalypse and mutant kittens.

To my benefit, though, was this storm is going to be big. So, though my head feels like it is securely locked in a vice and it feels like I got roundhouse kicked in the diaphragm, I slept incredibly well. And that sleep helped relax the rest of my body. Small miracles, eh?

Doctors are on the fence about whether or not people can “feel” a storm coming on, and if changes in temperature or pressure can cause migraines. I’m no doctor, but I can tell you yes, yes it does.

What do you experience when it rains?
Do you love it like I do?
Do you hate it?

Happy Towel Day!

“If you want to survive out here, you’ve got to know where your towel is.”

I have read most of Douglas Adams’ books. My best friend got me hooked in high school.
I usually keep a towel in my car – just in case.  🙂

If you haven’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you really should. The book is much better than the (new) movie. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the movie; it just missed so much. I think the BBC series was better.

” All my life I’ve had this strange feeling that there’s something big and sinister going on in the world.” –Arthur Dent

For a long time I recall thinking that. I guess nowadays, though, I don’t think of it so much as sinister, but just bigger than me. It’s actually quite comforting.

Ooh, also…. Alan Rickman as the voice of Marvin?! That guy could read me the dictionary any day. ::swoon:

Bonus Post! Imagination

A Lazy Day

Happy Wednesday, folks!

After a good (read: busy) day at work, I decided to skip the gym today and do a little yoga/stretching at home tonight. I also decided that tonight would be a good night to enjoy some quality beers.

So, first up: Fulton’s Sweet Child of Vine IPA.
It has a light, crisp, sweet tang to it that is simply delightful. And, if I might add, goes rather nicely with my spinach, feta, and garlic burger.

I haven’t decided on my next beer yet, we’ll see how long it takes me to write the post.

We have a new gal in the office. She’s a peach.
Also, she’s a little nerdy like me. We have already bonded over our love of Dr. Who. And we both got a giggle out of several of our office mates not knowing about the good Dr. 🙂

Our sensory analysis guy is out of the office this week, so our former department head is in covering for him. He’s a good guy – he even gave me a gift card to my favorite bar/restaurant!
Seriously, gang, my job and coworkers are awesome.

No tribal dance class tonight, which is a bummer. My instructor is out of town this week. And we’re in between sessions for Cabaret, so it’s a pretty lazy week for me extracurricular-wise. I’m ok with that, though; I’m pretty sure I need the break. After my kick-butt performance on Sunday, I’m a little wiped out.

I also need some time to plan my summer activities.
I’m the summer parades coordinator for my St. Patrick’s Day group. So I need to get all our dates down.

Busy, busy, busy.
Ok… short post today, I guess.
I’m going to finish my dinner and enjoy this IPA.

Um, yeah…. it’s just coffee. Nothin’ in here but coffee….. really.

~Blessed Be~

Tonight was the Summer Stars  Spectacular Hafla.

I danced with 2 of my fellow level 3 students – who are both amazing women. We did a veil piece to Georges Lammam’s “Sand in Flames“. It was super pretty. And I feel very confident in our performance as a group and my performance as an individual. That’s actually saying a lot, for me, because I am usually not overly impressed with my own dancing.

Practice for the veil piece. I’m the blonde.

I tend to pick apart all of my mistakes. But tonight… tonight that wasn’t an issue. I guess I finally learned how to relax. That makes me feel wonderful!

I got a basic choli/vest pattern from Simplicity a while ago. We modified it to be backless and I altered it to fit my top a bit better. Panne velvet is one of the best fabrics for this top.

I should be getting a DVD of the evening eventually.
Hopefully I can get some stills of the performance; I’m pretty happy with my costume and makeup.
I made a cute new choli; it’s the first time I’ve tried a drop-sleeve.

In related news:
Al-Bahira Dance Theatre is putting on a big production soon. If you’re in the Twin Cities area at the end of June (the 21st-24th), you should come see it.

Ifrita Helwa” is an original dance-play based in traditional Egyptian and American stories and inspired by the 1949 Egyptian film, “Afrita Hanem”. Featuring contemporary and theatrical dances derived from traditional dance and classical music of Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iran (Persia), with collaboration between Mirah Ammal, Al-Bahira artists, guest artist Derek Phillips, and guest choreographer Laurel Victoria Gray.

Click the link above to get the details on how and where to see it, as well as how to donate.

Well…. Friday kind of got away from me.
We had dinner with friends and then had a mini pub crawl.
Karaoke is super-fun when you’ve had that much to drink. And I kind of hit it hard.

Still, there’s nothing quite like being a little irresponsible when you have to blow off steam. It was the first time in a while that I’ve been able to truly relax.

Waking up was difficult, though.
I woke up pretty early (around 7 am), only to go back to bed for another 3 hours. Then, we went home and slept for another 4.

We met with some other friends for dinner, which was lovely, then we caught The Avengers.
FYI – Go see that movie. It is AWESOME.

We has a pretty heavy storm while we were out. Rain, a little hail, power shortages all around the Twin Cities area.
I got home tonight to read on Facebook that one of my cousins’ houses sustained damage. A tree in her yard got struck by lighting and littered shrapnel all over the yard and siding. Crazy.

Overall, I’d say it was a good day.


Oh, ladies (and gentlemen, if you’re into this sort of thing), check out this awesome Avengers-inspired makeup. Seriously pretty.

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.

Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said “Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.” The crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.

The people stared – how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought? The young man looked at the old man’s heart and saw its state and laughed. “You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”

“Yes,” said the old man, “Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love – I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren’t exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn’t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges — giving love is taking a chance.

Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?”

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.

How sad it must be to go through life with a whole untouched heart.