Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring is springing

Even though it's still freakin' cold outside, it's gratifying and encouraging to go on a noontime walk in the actual sunshine (still needed gloves, though) and come home to find fat robins hippity-hopping through my front garden, and my hellebores gloriously in bloom.

I've found hellebores to be an amazingly low-effort plant. Since I think they look good year round, the care-to-reward ratio is quite remarkable. Their dark green foliage doesn't die back, and in fact looks quite handsome all year (sometimes some of the oldest foliage gets a bit ratty, but it's easy to snip off).

In other news, I went to watch a bellydance classmate perform at a Moroccan restaurant downtown. The food was good, although I'm not sure if I would go there only for the food. Seating was on the floor on big, reasonably comfortable cushions...but my foot did fall asleep after a while.

I was disturbed to learn from my classmate (who recently turned professional, and is starting to get booked in better venues, such as this restaurant), that her gig would get canceled if not enough people made dinner reservations. Her performance was set for 7:30 p.m., which meant she needed to be there with hair and makeup done, ready to go (other than changing into her costume) by 7 p.m. Yet she didn't even know if she was performing until 5 p.m. Insane!

Even more insane, at another of her regular bookings the dancers don't know if they will actually get to perform until after they show up. Which in her case, means driving over to the Eastside. It makes me crazy that someone can be completely dedicated to her art form, spend hour upon hour and dollar upon dollar:
  • Taking classes and workshops
  • Rehearsing
  • Building a music library
  • Buying professional-quality costumes (which run several hundreds of dollars each...used!)
  • Creating a Web site
  • Networking
  • Paying dues by dancing in non-paying "amature-friendly" venues
  • Learning specialty skills like zill-playing, veilwork and sword balancing.
And then have to drive to another city to be told "Sorry, we don't need you tonight"? WTF?!

(OK, stepping off my soapbox now...)

Wednesday, March 25
Morning workout: "Beautiful Technique" DVD (practice flow and choreography)
Breakfast: Cafe au lait; scrambled eggs (1 whole, 2 whites) with 1/2 red pepper; banana bread; 1/2 c. fresh pineapple; cafe Americano; 16 oz. water.
Snack: Apple + 10 almonds; 16 oz. water.
Noon workout: 30 minutes free dance + "Baladi" DVD (maqusom improv drill sections).
Lunch: Mixed green salad w/olive oil & vinegar + 4 0z. turkey breast, 1/2 yellow pepper; 3 oz. cucumber, 2 small tomatoes, 1/4 avocado, 1 oz walnuts; banana bread; herbal tea.
Post-work workout: "Body Fat Solution" workout B
Snack: Orange; 16 oz water.
Dinner: Lentil soup; two small pieces bread with eggplant dip and diced vegetables; b'stilla (sweet/savory pastry with ground chicken and powdered sugar); 2 chicken thighs with apricot sauce; milk pudding; sweet mint tea.
Late cocktail hour: 3 oz. red wine (while watching "Lost").

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