Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Great and Terrible Day of the Dance Recital

Nathan, Megan, and I began clogging lessons in September... and worked on these songs for four months before the performance on December 15. It was scary, it was fun, it was exhilarating... and all too soon it was done. Fortunately for you, my loyal fans, my dad captured it all on tape. Unfortunately for you, I don't have the vids posted here.

And this is why:

I tried in vain for a week to get the video of our recital off the camera and onto this blog. Well... technically I was successful in getting it uploaded to google video (it took overnight!!!). The bad news is that somewhere in the process, the video and sound got off synch... so it's maddening to watch because the legs don't kick when the music says they should. So I'm not putting it up. Perhaps I'll try again with YouTube and see if it works better. No promises.

For now, all you get is pics of us before we went on stage:

Nathan and Megan's clogging number was at the beginning of the program, and then Megan had one song during which she frantically changed into her ballet costume (not as hard as it sounds; she has her white leotard and tights on under this ensemble, so all she had to do was strip the pants and shirt off, and put on a blue tutu). I wish we'd gotten a pic of her as a ballerina. She was a most adorable one.

Jessica and Me. Yep, we're it. Our class started out at six ladies, and four dropped out by mid October. We were just ornery enough to stick with it, and we had an absolute blast. I think we spend 25% of each class laughing uncontrollably -- usually the teacher and Jessica are laughing at me because I cannot master the new incredibly difficult step she has just taught me. Or else I just slipped and fell flat on my fanny. Good times.

Nathan and Megan dancing "Run Run Rudolph" in formation.

Here's a closeup. Notice the creepy alien eyes. Okay, my kids are not really aliens. I'm just too lazy to fix it since I've already postponed this silly post for three weeks. Deal with it.

Okay... somehow the vid of Nathan and Megan's dance got on here, so I'll leave it. The video does kinda catch up to the music near the end of the dance. Nathan starts out at the middle back, the tallest kid at the point of the V. Megan is on the far left side of the screen. She's the tallest girl with the pile of blonde curls on her head.

As scared as I was beforehand, dancing in recital was one of the funnest things I've ever done. Afterward I felt a little sad that after four months of working my tail off to learn the steps, it was over in 3 minutes on stage. At least I have the consolation that class starts up again next week. Yippeeeee!

Do you think it will be a problem that I've done almost zero exercise and gained at least five pounds since recital?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

You big Nerd!! Er... Geek... er Dork!

Do you know what these common epithets really mean? Here's a test that will tell you what proportion of each you are. So come - Nerds, Geeks and Dorks of the world, unite! Post your results below....

Nerd/Geek/Dork Test

Lisa's Score: Pure Nerd

86 % Nerd, 13% Geek, 17% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today marks the second anniversary of the day that my beautiful siamese, Baby, joined our family.

I'll never forget that day. Megan, Nathan and I were driving home from the doctor's office where Megan had just had her cast taken off her arm. While driving along a rural back road on my favorite "shortcut", I noticed a little furry buff colored something on the shoulder of the narrow road. My first thought was a large rodent--a rat or something... but as we passed it I realized it was a kitten! I pulled off the road and jogged back to pick up the little fuzzball.

Now tell me please, how was I supposed to just leave something that cute out in the cold? If that doesn't just break your heart, well, you've got something wrong with you. Or you're a man.

We made a bed for her in a cardboard box lined with an old baby blanket, and put it in the bathtub so she wouldn't escape during the night.

Because we already had two grown cats and certainly didn't need another, my original intent was to keep her over the weekend, and take her to the animal shelter on Monday morning. That idea fade quickly. Somehow I didn't have time to take her on Monday. On Tuesday, I informed my reluctant husband that all I wanted for Christmas was to keep that kitten. Having her in the house brought my heart a bit of joy that had been sorely lacking since Megan's serious arm injury and surgery in early November. How could he say no to that?

"They said there is supposed to be a mouse here somewhere...."

Don't be fooled by the perfect beauty and angelic expression...

because she'll turn on you without warning.

Above is actually one of my most favorite pictures, because it is so Her. As beautiful as she is, she's an ornery little cuss, and for some strange reason, I find that endearing. Could it be because deep down inside I'm an ornery cuss too? Naaaah.

Our two older cats had opposite responses to the kitten's arrival. Bob shunned her and began marking his territory in a most unacceptable way, which earned him exile from the house for the remainder of the winter. Sox adopted her as his baby sister, and they spent many hours ranging throughout the house, chasing madly one minute and curled up together the next.

I don't like fur on my bathrobe anymore than the next guy, but how can you be mad at something that cute?

She discovered a universal truth this day in the neighbor's tree: going up is easier than getting down.

Just try to install landscaping fabric when a cat is determined to be inside and under it.

If there be anything small, paper, and of hollow nature, she seeks after these things.

Just don't interrupt her nap.

"I'll teach you to stick your finger in my face, lady!"

She loves me...

She loves me not. (notice the claws holding my hand in the proper position for alternately licking and biting. This cat has indecision issues.

In honor of Baby's birthday (circa November 1), observed on her adoption day, Susan made a kitty cake. Nice job, Susan!

Baby was a little freaked out by the candle in her birthday tuna... and had to be (ahem) persuaded to pose for the camera.

Once the ridiculous flaming thing was removed, she sampled her birthday present. Susan's superb craftsmanship on the cake was lost on the cat, however. Maybe next year we can flavor the frosting with catnip. On second thought, let's not.

I love this contrary little cat unreasonably much. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it's the undeniable beauty of sapphire eyes shining out of the perfect symmetry of her dark face. Maybe it was our mutual dependence on each other that first winter; she needed food and shelter, and I needed something to get me through those oh-so-cold winter days. We rescued one another, in a way, I guess.

She seems to be mellowing a bit as she gets older, and will actually come and solicit an ear scratching now and then while purring like mad--for about 15 seconds. Then she darts off again, reasserting her independence and pretending that it never happened. But I'm not fooled; there's a strengthening bond between us, somehow. And it brings me joy every day.

Let it Snow!

I was the first one up on this gray Saturday morning. I looked out the window, and what did I see? Snowflakes falling on the apple tree! And the grass... And the patio...

And the slide... Behind the playset, you can see my poor untrimmed raspberry canes are bowed over under the new, wet, very heavy snow. Don't they look sad?

And the picnic table... A very dismayed cat surveys the sea of white that he must cross to go wherever it is that cats go.

And there he goes....wherever.

And the forlorn garden... complete with neglected tomato vines still on the trellis. I guess the harvest is over. (Finally)

And the firepit... No more roasted marshmallows this year.