Thursday, June 29, 2006

calling in sick

It's official. I'm sick as a dog. I'm staying in bed and away from the computer, so who knows when I'll be able to upload photos and such for you. Gah!

I just found some of my mommy's chicken soup in the freezer, and (aside from mommy-duty)warming it up is my only plan for the day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

dandelions in san francisco

I know I've posted this information before, but I'm doing it again, because...well, it's my blog...and I'm in the show, and it's a really beautiful piece and I'm proud of it, and sold out houses are good, and and and...
...well, you get it ;-)

If you come, please say hi to me after the show!

Dandelion Dancetheater
presents: ANICCA
Wed–Sun, July 12-16

Begins at Theatre of Yugen’s Noh Space
2840 Mariposa St, SF
July 12: 7pm
July 13: 6pm
July 14: 7pm & 10pm
July 15: 6pm & 10pm
July 16: 6pm

$18 general admission$13 seniors/students/children 12 & under
To purchase tickets,
click here (then click on the date you'd like to attend)

Note: program contains nudity

Jumping off from the discoveries they have made through their five-year Undressed Project, Dandelion Dancetheater has created a new dance/theater work, Anicca (a Pali word translated as “impermanence”). Anicca challenges body image prejudice by illuminating the impermanence of all bodies, placing beauty concerns in a larger and more pressing context.

Anicca taps into the vulnerability of full nudity, while simultaneously subverting audiences’ expectations around costumes, utilizing partial nudity, underwear, and awkward combinations of clothing. The work looks at body politics, power dynamics, the lines between sensual, sexual and medical nudity, aggression, violence and multi-layered responses to mortality. Created as a site-specific journey, Anicca will be performed throughout Project Artaud Complex--leading audiences from Noh Space, through hallways and alcoves into the parking lot and “Jackhammer Park.”

To read more about Dandelion Dancetheater, click here.
And to read more about Dandelion's Undressed Project, click here.
To make a tax deductable donation to Dandelion, click here.

anybody home?

Well, I guess I am home...sort of. Here, but not exactly here, as it were.

Very very long drive from San Diego to the SF Bay Area yesterday. Got home, tucked MyFK into bed (he waited up for me), and then fell into bed myself. I felt a head cold coming on as I was dozing off and I was too tired to get up and make myself an Airborne cocktail (I love that stuff). This morning I woke up feeling a bit more congested. I managed to get MyFK off to day camp, came home and got back in bed until noon...and haven't done a whole lot of anything else today...caught up on reading only two blogs of many, and replied to a few emails. I opened a gift from my Secret Pal, and I'm excited and want to show you all, but I haven't unearthed my camera yet. I think it's still buried in the car. So I'll have to share about that tomorrow (thank you Secret Pal!! Escpecially for the welcome home card, too! That made me happy!). The house is a wreck and I haven't unpacked a thing. I'm tired and feeling stuffed up, and I have rehearsal tonight. Ugh. But we only have two weeks before our SF it's focus time.
No rest for the weary.

As for being home, it's really great to be back, but it's a little strange. Usually when I go away, I have to integrate myself back into the grind when I return, if you know what I mean. But this time it feels different, because the routine I left behind is not the same as the routine I am returning home to. The shift into MyFK being at day camp, plus his expectations of endless summer-fun, all happened while I was gone. It was a bit odd to come home to a different program than the one I left behind less than two weeks ago. A couple weeks ago it was helping him focus on homework.

Just wanted to check in and let you all know I'm alive...but wilted.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

more notes from the road

Last night's show was fantastic. A few minor timing/staging faux pas, but all in all, it was one fantastic show. It seemed like we all had a really good time, and really sank into the piece a little bit too. I spent the last two hours before the show crying...right through warm-ups, and had to re-do my make-up. Not sure what was up with that. I think maybe just a release of all the tenion of the week. But I channeled it into the dancing, and it enhanced things, so it was fine...and by the end of the show I felt much lighter, actually.

The audience loved the show (standing ovation!), and they were very engaged...which is good...because it was in direct contrast with the cranky audience the night before....AND, I suspect it also might be a very interesting contrast compared to the audience we are anticipating tonight.

If there IS an audience.

Get this one (you're gonna love this):

As it turns out, that sight seeing bus full of elderly patrons on Friday was exactly that...they came together. Apparently they are fiscal supporters and friend of the owner of the venue we are performing at. It would seem that they bought out a huge block of tickets for Friday night, and created a huge guest list for all of their friends.
Ahhh, I night on the town.

As mentioned in the previous post, they didn't seem to enjoy the content of our show, and I have a sneaking suspicion that some of them weren't even prepared for it to be a naked performance. Like I said, Lovely.

As it also turns out, the venue owner and somebody from this Lovely Group bought out the entire theater for our final show, which is tonight. Kind of bizarre if you ask me, but I guess the idea is that they would have a private showing. Oh. Did I mention that the tickets were going to be donated to a group home? Some type of rehab center???
A audience full of a bunch of (I was told) "spiritual" folks coming down off drugs and alcohol and lord knows whatever other addictive behaviours, coming to a naked dance show.

Let's all scratch our heads together and ponder this for a moment.

Several of the OldFartTourBusLovelyGroupPeople that were here on Friday night walked out during intermission, and I guess one of these Old Farts is the Grand PooBah on the board of directors of the aforementionted group rehab center.

He called the box office Saturday morning to cancel the entire one hundred reserved seats, which had not yet been paid for. AND we've been turning people away for weeks now, telling them the show is sold out.

Hate to keep repeating myself, but let's say it again together people....


I guess Eric did some negotiating and made arrangements to have the tickets be paid for anyhow. I'm not sure who's picking up the tab, if it's the owner of the venue or if the bill is going to the Grand PooBah-Elderly-BoardMember-Who-Has-Deemed-Our-Show-Too-Innappropriate-For-Those-Detoxing (ummm, duh)...but someone agreed to pay. So at least the money stuff is fair and square.
So I guess all things are all good.

Except the part where we have no audience tonight hahahahahahahaha.


TheMIG got on LA Craigslist and posted the show in the events section, and a few folks maybe got on Tribe or other LA list-serves, I think. Several of the enthusiastic audience members said they were calling all of their friends and letting them know we only had one more night here (and they didnt even know about our little "box office issue"...they just loved the work and want the world to see it, yay!). And I'm calling back the yarn store ladies, as they also had wanted to come tonight, but I had told them it was sold out.

So maybe we'll have an audience full of knitterati.

I wish I could fly in all my friends from my home front to see the show here.
I'm very concerned about how this show show is going to play out in San Francisco in a few weeks. Our show is running full length at about 1 hour 40 minutes right now I think, and in San Francisco, we have to cut it to about 1 hour 10 minutes. I can't imagine for the life of me which parts will be cut...because they are all really great, and most are integral to the story line of the rest of the show. I'm glad I'm not Eric trying to figure this one out.

I think a big chunk of time might come from skipping the "community chorus" concept that we experimented with down here. The chorus was wonderful (I worked with them closely), but it was hard on the scheduling to make the time to get a chorus well integrated. I have a feeling the community chorus sections might have appeared a little disjointed, not because of what they brought to the piece, but more from the lack of time for us to work with them closely.

Also in San Francisco, we are going to have a ton of staging and production issues, my greatest concern at the moment being the lighting. Which may be none. Some of our show will travel outdoors for a bit, and for all I know, we might just be bare assed under the streetlights. The dancing is going to be great either way ('cuz we rock!), but lighting really does make a difference in enhancing a production, especially when you need a blackout to get into position, for example. So this could get strange.

I think eventually this showing here in Venice is going to be the best this show gets...but I'm open to making it work in SF. And have total faith in Eric, too. If anyone can do it, he can. But hopefully the dvd that ends up coming together will be mostly of stuff shot here where the lighting makes our bums have a wonderful peachy glow hahahaha.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

on the fly little time! So much to say, and no time to type.
Here's an update, list style, in a very random, brainfart sort of sequence:

1) Opening night was amazing. We hit every single cue, the dancing was beautiful, the audience was hooked in and love it.

2) The second night (last night), was an entirely different experience. The order of the piece changed overnight (for the better), but it meant needing to also adjust cues at an extra rehearsal..and then needing to focus on hitting them come actual performance time. And the audience *sigh*. If I didn't know better, I'd think my grandma chartered a bus from New York to pick up all her friends at the Jewish Retirement Center to see some other play and somehow took a wrong turn and ended up at our show. They didn't get it. I'm not even sure they were aware it was a nude performance.

3) TheMIG is here in LA...just arrived today. He's coming to the show tonight, and after tomorrow night's show, he and I are heading to San Diego for a couple of days to see my all time favorite band, Radiohead. I will have to type later about how thrilled I am to be going..TheMIG made it totally happen, rescuing me from tears of sadness when I found out I was missing the band play in my home area because I would be out on tour. But I gotsta type fast because I only have 2 more minutes...hahaha.

4) A quick TeeHee....Eric was leading us in warm-ups yesterday (keep in mind I do not dance with a prosthesis, I just go one legged), and he told everyone to, "lay on your backs with your arms and legs extended a big 'X'.....or a 'Y"..." and the whole room bust out laughing.

5) I haven't been to the beach since my amputation...and the other night, a bunch of us went to the beach for a bit of midnight swimming. I tackled sand on crutches all by myself! It totally broke an inaccessibility barrier for me, and I am thrilled.

6) The ladies at A Mano Yarn Center in Venice/Los Angeles rock. More about that store, with a link and photos when I get home.

Have to to the studio and on with the show!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

notes from here

I have this sinking feeling that our first show, which is tonight--OPENING night--is actually going to be our dress rehearsal. Or undressed rehearsal. Or whatever you call a dance company that performs mostly naked.

All the Dandelions are officially in town. All of the pieces are now in a sequence, and have been blocked. The community chorus has developed a piece for the program, too. But we're still behind schedule. Yesterday should have been running the show twice, and then a cue-to-cue for the tech. We ran portions of the show, but not all the way through....and we only got half way through the cue-to-cue/tech rehearsal yesterday. I think some of the lighting stuff may have been worked out by a crew staying in the wee hours, beyond our 9 hour rehearsal.

So I think that today is probably a bit of a tech/run through. I have a feeling then a second run through. A small dinner break, thennnnn......IT'S SHOWTIME!!!!!

The good news, is that we've been working on the material for the individual acts for so long that the pieces are incredibly dense and rich. I absolutely love what it is we have created, and Eric has guided this work into a show that will have you laughing and crying and going home with images and feelings that will have you processing for days what it is you've just witnessed.

This morning I watched the extras from the first season of Twin Peaks, and the actors described their experience of David Lynch, and working with him. And I could totally relate. It sounds to me like Eric is the dance version. Campy characters, bizarre story line, strong images, creepy things, funny things....and allowing the work to unfold, and allowing the actors/dancers to let the characters unfold, and then just nudging them along they path if they go a direction that doesnt fit his vision. Allowing spontaneous moments to become part of the choreography.

It's just plain neat.

I'm not sure why I'm not exhausted or sore, but I'm not (knock on wood). I was a bit cranky yesterday in the morning, and weepy, too...but I think that was my pms issues glaring at me. Which reminds me, I used to have a button pinned onto my bag that said "PMS: Harness the Energy". I think I feel a new shirt coming on LOL.

Last night I did something really interesting. I went to go see Amma. In ten words or less, she is a Saint from India who spreads her message of love by hugging. Everyone. (ok twelve words)

One of the dancers goes to see her often, and had just seen her recently back at home. As it turns out, Amma is down here in LA at the same time as us. Very spontaneously, a few of us decided to go. We arrived at 11:30pm and the place was packed. We picked up "tokens" to be in line to recieve "darshan", which is basically her healing through her hugs. We were about 4 hours back in the line.

Except the gimp (that would be me), saved the day.

Now, I don't often play the gimp card. I'm pretty darn "abled" for someone disabled. But let me tell you. It comes in handy for parking, for getting killer seating (or tickets to sold out shows) at concerts, for skirting lines at amusement parks....and for going to see Amma.

I was allowed into a "special needs" section with my "family".
I wish I had a family photo. They dont allow cameras though. Try to imagine a one legged lady in a wheelchair, a very ample bodied and tall woman with short spiked grey hair, a tall lanky Columbian, and a hot young asian chick. My family.
I mean, I consider it my dance family, but lord knows what it looked like from the outside of our little huddle.

Anyhow...we got in quick. And we were hugged. And it was amazing. Truly, this woman carries a juicy message of love, and it really radiates from her.
As I was leaving, she gave me a big smile and an apple.
I'm putting it on an altar we have building in our dressing room.

So not to get all new-aged out on you.
Here's a little back to earth practical point of interest.

Hey, mom and dad....guess what?

I'm still allergic to Dove soap.

Not as bad as when I was a kid, but apparently I must have had a residue of it on my body, and my stump (which was inside a hot silicone liner, sweating and opening pores and hair follicles) is now covered in red bumps. It looks like my residual limb has chicken pox. Just in time for the show. Whee!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

homesick for birthday cake

I had a hunch that today I would start feeling homesick, even though it's a bit earlier in the trip for me than when this usually happens. Usually I don't get homesick until I'm at least past the halfway mark, which hasn't happened yet.

But I'm missing the people at home.
I missed my son's first day of summer camp (which was yesterday), and....
I'm also missing his 9th birthday. Which is today.

Okay, okay...I'm a bad mom. I know. I know.

I also know that I'm not exactly "missing" his birthday. I mean, it's not like I forgot it or something. But still. (*sigh*) I already called and sang him "Happy Birthday" this morning, and I had left him a present to open. I have another gift to bring home for him that I picked up on the Venice Boardwalk. He is going to absolutely adore it, not that a gift will set all things right in the world, but it's the kind of gift that is so uniquely personal to him that he will definitely know I was thinking about him while I was down here. And there will be a birthday party for him when he returns.

But MyFK's voice got that lilt in it a couple of days ago (only 3 days after being gone), and he's already asking me when I'm going to come home (even though he knows), and I still have one week to go before I return home! And it is making me so sad!! I hate not being able to really fix things :-(
Luckily I have much to distract me most days. But mornings like this, where I actually have time to myself (which has been rare), I'm missing home.

Having internet access and a bag full of knitting has not meant that I've had time for either one, unfortunately. Pretty much every single opportunity I've had for "off time" has been used up in some other way. Until yesterday I hadn't knit more than 1 or 2 rows on a sock, and I haven't touched the computer in 2 days.

I didn't have to go the workshops Eric taught that were open for the public, but I did...because nobody else in the company really wanted to do it. They all wanted the time off! But in my opinion, at least one of us really needed to be there. I think that Eric needed the support, and I think that the workshop participants really needed a connected with core cast members. The people in the workshop are going to be part of our performance this weekend as a "community chorus" of sorts, and if they'd only really met just Eric, my fear is that they would have a bit of a "us and them" experience come showtime. Core cast members vs. community chorus, if you will.

As it turns out, I acutally got to do some teaching on both days. I led a body alignment technique called " constructive rest" and I also led a guided imagery/visualization/movement exercise called "private place". So that was fun. And the workshop itself was actually quite amazing. It was a lovely group of people at all levels of dance experience (or inexperience), and the structured improvisation pieces we created were absolutley amazing.

Anyhow, point is...I should have been "off" on Saturday until 5pm, and I should have been "off" all of Sunday. But I wasn't. And other mornings and evenings that I should have been "off" I was helping to drive people around, or waiting around at the studio to drive other people around, or just too plain exhausted to even log onto a computer or try to focus on knitting a lace sock.

I finally figured out a way to knit socks during dance rehearsals yesterday, though LOL....and now I'm in business. I've not gotten very far in that one day, but I only have one more repeat of the lace pattern to go before starting the heel. And I've finally got the lace in my system in such a way that I can put it down, run out onto the dance floor, do my bit, then when offstage for 3-5 minutes between things can pick it right back up again. I also cast on for a super simple stockinette sock (remember way back when, when I started using Mega Boot Stretch? I knit one sock for me, then a pair for Karen, a pair for MyFK, and a pair for TheMIG...but never made my second sock? Well, I'm making it.)

Today I'm going to pop into a yarn store that is supposedly near the studio. The only other exploration of the area was Sunday night when I had about three hours on the Venice boardwalk with one of the other dancers. I'm thinking I might have a bit more time over the next couple of days as a van has been rented to shuttle everyone around more playing taxi for me hopefully.

I've had a chance to catch up on reading a few blogs this morning...but haven't even made coffee I'm going to go do that and finish reading. Take a shower, pack the dance bag with some food (get this one: a 9 hour rehearsal today), and hit that yarn store for some fondling before I go in for the massive day of dance.

Friday, June 16, 2006

i've arrived

Lordy, I can't believe it, but I actually have internet access while I'm on tour! No way to upload photos, but who cares...I'm just so excited! It's really funny to me that this here girl who used to avoid computers at all costs is now totally addicted to email and blogging (both reading and writing), and it's also funny to me how much I use funny websites to keep my mental health nice and sound.

We completed the drive to LA in record time (6.5 hours, and we even stopped for a sitdown lunch). I think the car was in some kind of time warp. My travelling companions were "Stacz the Barbarian" and "Jim e Sparklpants". No. I am not making this up. It was highly entertaining, and made the drive time just fly.

A group of the performers arrived in town a couple days earlier, and a few more of us come next Monday. So when we rolled into town, we drove straight to The Electric Lodge, where our performances are taking place, and then we jumped right in with warming up and running a few segments. I haven't had time to trip around the neighborhood much yet, but I can tell you that when I stepped outside the performance venue I could smell the ocean (yay!) and that we are in a pretty hip neighborhood between Venice and Rose, maybe 3 blocks or so in from the beach (yes, mom+dad, you can bet I am hitting the Rose Cafe!). I can't wait to go explore in my off time.

Coming down here, I had some big concerns about my ability to withstand the demands of this trip. We have a whole lot of rehearsing and performing to do, and the plan was that we would be staying all together in a small home (the director's mom...we're on a budget).

It's a push, but I can handle long days of dance work strung together. And it's a push, but I can handle living in close quarters in an unfamiliar home (although I often don't sleep well, I get stressed when I don't have enough quiet time, and sometimes the disability/inaccessability issues of another's home exhaust me). But when I put those two things together--a demanding physical schedule mixed with a living space that isn't neccessarily regenerative--I often melt down pretty quickly.

Well...Hector saved the day.
When we broke for dinner between rehearals and show time, Hector, one of the other dancers, asked a few of us if we wanted to go cook up some dinner. As it turns out, he landed a gig house/pet sitting for the entire run of our tour, so he wasn't going to stay at the main house with everyone else. The house he's watching is about 5 minutes away from the venue. Eric's mom's is 25 minutes, and closer to 1 hour if there is traffic (and when isn't there traffic in LA?!).

Well, dinner sounds like a great idea to me, so I offer to chip in for ingredients, but he says he was told to use up anything in the fridge as it would go bad anyhow. Fair enough. Free dinner. I can live with that! But it keeps getting better. Besides being so close, it's quiet, there are several empty bedrooms, there is a disability friendly bathroom, there is wireless and permission to use any computer in the house, there is a housekeeper that will come through to the do the heavy cleaning, they left their pass to use the local video store, there's a farmer's market on Sunday just a couple of blocks away. I mean, I could keep going because there are more perks than that even, but I think you get the idea. And I think you know that it only took me about a minute to beg to stay here. When he said yes I pretty much threw my hands in the air and praised the lord.

I'm sleeping in one of the teenage daughter's room. It's early mornning and I'm here on her computer. It's unbelievable to me how much her room resembles my room at that age (not so much the look....but the feel. The feeling of being trapped between childhoold and adulthood).

I think she's probabaly just graduated highschool, as there are SAT books lying around. But let me see if I can list for you just a few things that are on the walls (I wish I could just show you---the walls are plastered with posters and things cut out of magazines):
A poster of The Breakfast Club. Posters of Kurt Cobain, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, and Ferris Bueller, and Curious George.
There are photos of friends and family everywhere.
On the bedpost is a pair of cheap handcuffs, and on the wall next to the bed is a postcard of all of the Disney Princesses, right next to an ad for the Chippendales male review, John Stewart on the cover of Rolling Stone, a picture of James Dean, a photo of Aretha Franklin.
Her well loved stuffed bunny is laying on the floor.

Ahhh, yes. I remember.
Partially because I still have a bit of that time still in me. I dont have the wall of photos. It's been replaced with a small display of photos of my son, and the clipping go into my journals now. But I still have my stuffed bunnyman.

So, I'm awake because the housekeeper started banging around at 7am. Normally, I'm up at this time anyhow, but a bunch of us went out after the show last night and I didnt get to bed until about 2am. Actually, I am developing a pounding headache. I feel dehydrated even after a few glasses of water, and I could probably stand a cup of coffee...and I'm uncomfortable prattling around with people working here. I'm going to head out. Explore a wee bit. Knit socks. See you soon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

knitting knews

I promise not to drive you all nuts with enldess photos of robot guy...but it's pretty difficult.
He is totally Mr. Photogenic.

(robot guy on business trip with TheMIG, watching cable in the hotel)

I finished TheMIG's socks yesterday...and they fit him. I had to rip back the first sock to make the foot longer, and then I ripped out the second sock too, which was just past the cuff, so I could get the striping to match a little better.

(Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch, 1 skein, color #707...just your basic sock on US2's)

With the birthday knitting done, I then swatched and started the first pair of sky-blue socks. Even though I really should have been packing.

(yarn from Black Bunny Fibers, pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks)

It took me two attempts to get the cuff figured out (I'm sure knitting past midnight didn't help matters), and after the second pass I thought to myself, "What the hell am I thinking?!!" But I immediately answered myself with, "What the hell I am thinking is that these socks are going to be goddamn gorgeous."

I also thought about the fact that my last 4 pairs of socks were all just your plain ol' stockinette sock, and I'm due for something interesting. I know that sock patterns haven't changed much over the centuries, but it does feel kind of neat to be working on a pattern from 1900.

I'm just about to swatch the other sky blue yarn sent to me as a gift by StrangeLittleMama. I'd like to have both socks running at the same time. I think the vintage lace pattern might drive me kooky from time to time (besides being lace, they are on US1's). Plus with all the touring and performing over the next two weeks, I'm going to love settling in to some nice soothing comfort knitting with this other skein. I can already tell just from winding the yarn that SLM did a nifty striping job, so I'm trying to decide whether to just let that yarn stand on it's own as a simple stripe, or whether to take it into some sort of Chevron pattern. I've been very intriqued with taking stripes onto the bias or into diagonals, and I haven't had a chance to try that out yet. Stay tuned.

Today is crazy busy with packing and such...hopefully I'll have time to fit one last post in before I head out.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


If you were trying to figure out what this was.... was this!

He's a JessHutch Robot, and is a (better late than never?) birthday gift for TheMIG. I loved Jess' color choice in the original pattern so much that I just duplicated it, but maybe one of these days I'll make another one with a different color scheme so that this little dude has a girlfriend (do check out Jess' damn cute robot gallery).

I was finally able to find time to finish the robot because MyFK wanted to go to that geeky gaming place this afternoon...and while I'm not a big fan of the place, I knew it would give me time to park with my knitting. I called TheMIG and he came down to hang out with me, which was a special treat. For some reason today I was being a complete cling-on high-maintenance girlfriend, and he indulged me, even though he had plenty of other things to do with his day (luckily the game place offers free wireless!). When TheMIG arrived I was just seaming up the last arm of the robot, but since there was one arm already sewn on, I used it to make the robot guy wave hello to him when he came in...and he really lit up when he saw it. The robot guy (TheMIG hasn't named him yet) is pretty darned photogenic, so once he was fully seamed up, we had some fun with the camera, as you can see.


The performances went realy well this weekend, and I am glad to say that the venue was laid out so that I was able to see the other performers. Good stuff! I'm looking forward to being in Los Angeles to do more dancing, but most of my excitement is overshadowed by my regular pre-trip packing panic. In fact, I gotta scoot and get some stuff done!

Friday, June 09, 2006

busy busy

Action packed day for me today, so this will be quick. It's MyFK's last day of school, it's a half-day, and therefore it is also the "please-come-help-us-with-the-end-of-year-school-barbeque" day. My parents are going to meet us there, and then take MyFK with them for an overnighter.

Immediately upon leaving the barbeque I move on to a full day of dance stuff. First, there is a 5 hour reherasal for the full length piece to be performed in LA and SF. Then tonight we have the show in SF where we present segments as part of a collaborative production. So basically I'll be doing the dance thang from about 1pm-11pm.

I did want to try and squeeze in a tiny post of some little oddball things before I head out, though (I actually tried hard to do this yesterday but blogger was down. Poo.) Let's see how far blogger lets me get today with uploading photos.

I picked up a couple of nifty finds from the Japanese Dollar Store (if you are new to my blog and/or don't know what Engrish is go here).

First I picked up a little cotton draw string bag. I've already got the hand dyed sock yarn packed in it for my trip. Only cost me one dolla.

Even the wrapper had funny engrish on it.

It says: I might look a little gawky. I was born this way. There's nothing I can do.


Then I picked up this little zippered pencil case. It says "Cool care makes you hot" (and why yes, it does.) Also one dolla.

I'd been wanting to replace that little notions bag I keep inside my sock knitting tote. That first notions bag was too big, and the pouch was a little deep, so it was difficult to find things inside of it (ie scrambling to grab a crochet hook because I dropped a stitch way back there, for example).

So here is what I can fit inside this new little ditty:
Crochet hook, spare dpn's, waste yarn, stitch markers, darning needles w/case, folding scissors, mechanical pencil, and a couple of tiny index cards for notes (that come from a little ring bound stack of cards that I keep with my stash).

Oh, and I can also fit in my little book light. I use this all the time when I'm hanging around before TheMIG's show...I just clip it onto a rocks glass from the bar and I have have an instant table lamp.


I ripped back TheMIG's ill fitting sock, and knit it up again. It still needs to be grafted, but I wanted him to try it on again first...which he did this morning and (*whew!*) it fits. I had to completely frog the second sock in order to keep the stiping even, so I did that too, but I'm now back to the heel flap on the second sock, so we're doing just fine.

I also ripped back his surprise knit thingy yesterday, and reworked the intarsia section. I finally nailed it, with no wonky problems where the colors change. I'm actually now done with the knitting and just have to seam and assemble.

Here's a little peekeepoo for you of what it is (and a closeup of the intarsia section )...if you know what I'm up to, shut up in the comments about it or I'll delete yer arse. TheMIG reads my blog.

I believe that both his socks and the secret-something will be finished before I leave for LA on Thursday, and if that is so, then my time in Venice is going to be all about the blue socks!



Gang, that stupid little green widget on my prosthesis came was like having a rubber knee or sea-legs or something. I almost broke my neck because was walking all wobbly. The socket that fits on my thigh was rotating around willy-nilly inside of the knee joint (for all intsensive purposes). When I got home and took the prosthesis off, I picked it up to move it into the bedroom, and the whole bottom part of my leg fell off! HAHAHAHA

I don't really have the time to make the trek out to the prosthetists office with the shows and all, and I'm going on tour next week! But guess what?! The prosthetist made a house call! He drove out of his way to swing by and fix it, and even better, showed me how to fix it myself should the screws ever work their way loose again. I now have allen wrenches (sp?) in my purse.



Well, let me just say that the saga continues.

I have two more installments for you, but they require photos, and blogger is just being tooootally uncooperative this morning, and I am out of time. I must get myself together for the rest of my very long day. But stay tuned. And happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

dandelion dancetheater

Shameless self-promotion. But I'm hoping at least a few of you are intersted in this ;-)

I'm a core cast member of Dandelion Dancetheater's Undressed Project.

Ever wondered why I've got so much emotional blog fodder lately?? Well, aside from my life being what it is, and myself being who I's also because I'm a part of this project.

I saw Dandelion perform "Nightmarsh" in 2004, right after I got out of the hospital. Images from that performance floated through my mind at unexpected moments for weeks. The piece used "the marsh" as an analogy for the human body...both teeming with life and simultaneoulsy rotting in decay. The cast was (and still is) an incredibly diverse group of performers (all ages, shapes, colors, abilities). For me, as an audience member, that diversity, and the vulnerability of the naked body used as a canvas, drew me into the piece in a way that had me right there with the dancers.

This 2006 incarnation of the project, called Anicca, is built on years on previous explorations and performances by Director Eric Kupers and a returning core cast. I'm a newbie, and I am extremely blessed to be part of the process.

(from the Dandelion website)
We are fascinated by human beings' very complex relationship to the body. In the Undressed Project, Dandelion uses naked modern dance to uncover the inherent beauty, interconnection and impermanence of all bodies; as well as the blocks that get in the way of experiencing such a perspective.
...Dandelion Dancetheater will create a new naked dance/theater work in 2006, titled, Anicca, a Pali word translated as "impermanence". We will challenge body image prejudice by illuminating the impermanence of all bodies, placing beauty concerns in a larger and more pressing context.

Come see us dance.
Come dance with us, even.
Or (more shameless promotion) please support our work with a donation.



Friday, June 9th, 8pm
Saturday, June 10th, 8pm
Jon Sims Center for the Arts,, 1519 Mission St, San Francisco

A Benefit for the Undressed Project and Jon Sims Center for the Arts.
Performance by a dynamic collection of artists working with the naked body, including:
Dandelion Dancetheater
John Killacky
Bob Webb
Jim ‘e’ Sparkle Pants
Jess Curtis
David Wilson
and more!


June 15 – 17, 8pm
$20/$15 (discounts for multiple shows/weekends)
Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave, Venice
Click here for tickets and info

Performance by a dynamic collection of artists working with the naked body, including:
Dandelion Dancetheater
John Killacky
Bob Webb
Jim ‘e’ Sparkle Pants
Sarah Luella Baker
Richard Piscuskas
David Wilson
and more!

ANICCA (preview performances)
June 22 – 24, 8pm
June 25, 5pm
$20/$15 (discounts for multiple shows/weekends)
Electric Lodge (see above listing for info) or call 310.823.0710

The new evening length work from The Undressed Project collides nudity and body politics in a radical wrestling with impermanence. The work travels throughout the diverse physical spaces of Electric Lodge (wheelchair accessible).

(or opt out of performing, but still participate in a one-of-a-kind dance workshop experience)
Take the “Healing Body Image Through Naked Dance” workshop
June 17 & 18, 10 – 5pm, $75 one day, $130 both days
310-823-0710 or



Wednesday, July 12, 7pm
Thursday, July 13, 6pm
Friday, July 14, 7pm and 10pm (two shows)
Saturday, July 15, 7pm and 10pm (two shows)
Sunday, July 16, 6pm
Project Artaud/Theater of Yugen's Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa St, San Francisco
Tickets and information: 415.863.9834

World Premiere performances. The new evening length work from The Undressed Project collides nudity and body politics in a radical wrestling with impermanence. This site-specific journey travels surprising pathways through the Project Artaud complex, beginning on the sidewalk outsideTheatre of Yugen’s Noh Space (wheelchair accessible).

(or opt out of performing, but still participate in a one-of-a-kind dance workshop experience)
Take the “Healing Body Image Through Naked Dance” workshopJuly 8 & 9, 10am – 5pm, $200 (work-study available)
CounterPULSE, SF 415.920.9181

Monday, June 05, 2006


Spotted for me by my good friends, the dynamic-duo, M & M.
Downloaded from here.
Artist found here.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

(probably too much) catching up

A little Saturday night game of catch-up for you, including stuff about knitting, being the spotted blogger, Secret Pal 8, rheeming the prosthetist, and a few comments on comments.

Knitting Knotes
June birthday knitting. *sigh* (Hey! Didn't I ask y'all to stop me before I made the mistake of setting another knitting deadline again??!!)

Well, it's happened again. Knitting for (early) June birthdays proves, once more:
I can't knit on a deadline.
Honestly, now. How many times do I have to repeat this lesson before I get it through my thick skull???

I have three Gemenis in my immediate circle, but I was really only knitting for one of them...TheMIG. All through May, there I am, working on two projects for him (except for when he's around..and then I'd be stuck tinkering with a scarf for myself, a washcloth project with MyFK, or the little gift for my Secret Pal, which is actually done--Yay).

The first of the two birthday items for TheMIG was a pair of socks (I know, getting socks from me would be some sort of surprise. Shut up.). Anyhow, I had one sock finished, except for the grafting of the toe...and I had plenty of time to get the second sock done. I had an entire kid free, no commitments, 3-day weekend left ahead of me. Completing the pair on time would normally not be a problem at all. Except that I was spending almost the entire 3-days with TheMIG, and I didn't want him to see me working on the socks. And of course it took me until mid-day on Sunday to recognize this as a conflict.

And so all I have to show for the birthday knitting at this point is a lesson.

Knitting Rule #42
These two things do NOT go together:
* you want the knitted gift to be a surprise
* the free time you have avaialable to knit the surprise gift is spent hanging out with the intended recipient

Ok. So I finally just gave in and let go of the surprise part, and showed him the darn sock so I could knit the second one in front of him.

Tadaaaaaaaaaaaa! See?? Finished sock. Second one on the needles and cuff done within minutes.

Since the surprise aspect was blown, that's when I decided I might as well at least have him try the first sock on and feel the fuzzy lovey goodness, right? Remind him how grand it is to have socks that are a custom fit.

And it DID fit. Once he managed to WRESTLE it on, sure. It fit great. (*ahem*)

I don't know what went wrong. The circumference of the leg seems perfect, and if I went any looser would probably sag. But the instep seems tight. Not once it's on, but just while he's pulling it on. Which he says he can live with, but it was really hard to watch him almost breaking a sweat putting on socks (I'm cracking up over here just thinking about it).

Oh. And the length of the foot was short, too LOL. So at the very least, I need to rip back and add some length (I'm thankful I hadn't seamed it up yet, although I did cut the yarn and now I might have striping issues to contend with now that I've begun the 2nd sock). But to tell you the truth, the more I think about it, the more I think I need to rip back farther and redo the gusset decreases and make it more gradual so the instep is wider. Or something. I dunno.
Back to the drawing board.
Or the frog pond or whatever.

The second gift I'd begun for TheMIG is still a surprise (and this one I want to remain a surprise), so once I put his socks down on Sunday I couldn't pick up this other project last weekend either because we were hanging out is also unfinished. It's just a wee little something, and a very quick knit, but it includes intarsia, and I'm not sure what is going on with me and my aching hands, but I'm having alllll kind of tension issues where the colors change. I'm on my 4th pass with this project. I hope to have another crack at it next week.

So by the end of last weekend, I just gave up.
I put down the birthday knitting and instead whipped out an alien washcloth, inspired by StrangeLittleMama, pattern found here. Nothing like a little instant gratifaction.

Aside from the birthday knitting, my other projects (and soon to be projects) are all about everything blue, and I'm not even part of Project Spectrum.

I'm about halfway done with Branching-Out, which I am thoroughly enjoying working on, but I can only work on it when I really have time to pay a bit more attention than I've had lately. It's not all that difficult, but it's not mindless...and I need more zen knitting in my life right now.

The rest of the blue goodness in my life went from skeins and into balls (I've got blue balls!! bwahahaha!!). These twins are now ready to head out on tour with me in a couple of weeks.

I also bought this over the long weekend....

Gems Pearl in Carribean Blue...which at some point will be a third pair of socks knit to match my prosthesis. I am far more excited about the hand dyed yarns I've been gifted than this stuff, so it will sit in stash for awhile I'm sure, but I've been keeping my eye out for a solid sky-blue yarn so that I can also have one pair of socks to match the prosthesis in some sort of lacy pattern stitch.

10 seconds of fame
Speaking of that Pearl sock for it was the very first time I was spotted by someone because they have read my blog. Not like I don't stick out or anything. I mean, just how many one-legged ladies are you going to find in a local yarn store fondling sky blue sock yarn?? *giggle *

I bought it a store I rarely get a chance to pop into...the (not-so-local) Local Yarn Store called Yarn! (I have been told by Alameda knitters that is major-bad-juju to leave off that explanation point). I suppose the store really isn’t all that far from me as far as the crow flies, but there is a huge traffic zone referred to as "TheMaze" between it and my home, and that’s enough to keep me from that neck of the woods during business hours. But whenever I'm in the neighborhood, I always make some excuse to swing by. It's a lovely little shop, and there is something about the colors of the yarns in there that just harmonically true with my own personal inner palette.

There I am in the shop drooling over the sock yarn, when the owner says, “Umm, do you keep a blog??” It was pretty funny. We've spoken briefly before, basically just shop-owner to customer, but I suddenly became very aware that she could potentially know quite a bit about me! It actually took me a little off-guard, like my anonymity was blown or something, and I found myself kind of doing a mental rewind and trying to remember what it is that I've written lately! It was very nice to talk to her, actually...and it actually opened the door to a pleasant little chat. Neato. Had never had that happen before. Got me wondering what it must have been like when all those bloggers got together at Maryland Sheep and Wool!! Strangers, but not strangers??


Secret Pal
If I had a clue at all about how to geek my way into setting up one of those little poll thingies on my blog, I would querie:
If you were my new Secret Pal, and were new to reading my blog, and were only reading my blog because you have been assigned to me as my knitting buddy....would you have read the last few instense posts and then run screaming for the hills?? O Yes or O No

Whoops. Sorry, chica!!!!!!!!! (I haven't heard from her in awhile) I swear, I really am a nice person (albeit intense and a tad bit of a freak). And I swear, even though I haven't written about it much lately, I actually do knit, too LOL.

As for the pal that I have been matched with to spoil...I still haven't quite figured her out yet. She only started blogging a few weeks ago, and she only started because blogging is a requirement to participate in SP8. She doesn't do the required "must blog weekly" thing, so I don't have a whole lot to go on. I actually get the feeling that she isn't all that interested in the "pal" part of any of this, but is mostly interested in the swapping of gifts. Which is fine. I can do that. The first package is going in the mail before I head out on tour. But I'm this how it has been for other secret pal participants in past rounds? Is it just about the stuff? Are my expectations more getting to know the person off track?

I think in signing up for SP8 I had some silly expectation that this would be so much better than my childhood attempts to have a PenPal. When I was about 8 years old or so, I had signed up to be matched with a pen pal through some kids magazine (was it Highlights? Remember that one??!). I remember sending off a letter and daydreaming about what it was going to to be like when I got a letter back. Checking the mailbox. And waiting. And waiting.
I don't think a letter ever came, actually.
Guess that didn't really work out, either LOL.

The Return Visit to the Prosthestitute
I had called the week before my appointment to see if I could explain myself and my feeeeeeeelings prior to the actual appointment. He wasn't there, so the receptionist took a message.
When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionist said, "Did he ever call you back?"
"No. He knows I'm not happy and probably is avoiding me...but there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, this time."
"Well, to tell you the truth, I think he's a bit intimidated."
I said, "Good."

He walked in, and I started off by listing the three "mechanical" issues that needed to be adjusted. The abrasive spot ripping up my poor little bumm, the adjustable buckle seemed wonky and wouldn't tighten (that was was a user being the user), and the anti-rotation device mounted on the inside the socket needed to be tweaked.

He mistakenly seemed relieved those were my only complaints.

And then I reminded him there were two "cosmetic" issues.
The crotch o'bulging ambiguous genetalia.
And the widgets.

To which I told him he needed to sit down an listen because I had a few things to say.

I know him well enough that I knew his response would be to roll his eyes (not at me, but more in the "I don't want to do this, and here we go!" fashion), so he was mid-eye roll when I told him that he could roll his eyes all he wanted to, but that was fine by me and he needed to be prepared to listen.

And I told him everything...and, I'm almost surprised to say, very constructively and with love in my heart.

I really like the guy. Trusting my intuition, which is pretty in tune most of the time, I actually believe he is genuinely a big hearted person himself...but he's just a fucktard when it comes to bedside manner and (especially) all things girly.

Once he heard that my tone was one of him really wanting help him to understand some of the emotional aspects of prosthetics for amputees, he really listened. I also think he could really relate to the missing front tooth analogy (thank You for that, TheMIG!). We had a full discussion about everything, and I think in addition to understanding the importance of trying to find out in what ways his patients differ emotionally (not only just the differences in the size and shape of their stumps), I think he has a better understanding of why some prosthetics end up collecting dust in the closet. And why sometimes you'll see an amputee wearing a prosthesis but sitting in a wheelchair.

SO. All things mechanical were addressed....the chafing, the buckle, the rotation. And the cosmetic stuff has been addressed. The crotch bulge has been substantially trimmed (it still shows a wee bit, but it's not nearly so bad...and since this socket is temporary, it has been duly noted how to correct it for the final, definitive, socket). The widgets are still the wrong colors for now, but he will swap them out in a couple of weeks when we make the final socket. I eventually shall be color coordinated ;-)

Comments on Comments
Thank you ALL for your comments to that last big post so very very much.
I'm feeling the love, and the love feels good :-)

There are a couple of comments that I wanted to address here, within a post.

Gimpy Mumpy said...
I also find that people, no matter if they are total strangers or people I've known awhile always want to bring up my injury, how it all happened...the long story. Do you get this too?
Oh, lordy, do I ever. I've written about a similar issue here, but Sara has addressed it (and better than I ever could) here.

My personal solution to this annoying phenomena?? I wear a t-shirt that says:
Leg Story: $10.
Within a few weeks of being a gimp, I realized that I would a rich woman if I had $10 for every time I was asked to tell my story. So TheMIG made me my very first CafePress shirt.

But get this one...the first time I wore the t-shirt, there was one very noticeable, but unexpected, result.

I went a whole day with nobody asking me.

When I wear this shirt I am guaranteed that not a single person will ask me what happened to me. Seriously. Not a one. No shit. The most I've ever gotten has been, "Jeez, I wish I had ten bucks..." or, "I like your shirt," and then they keep on walking. They don't ask. It has now become my "I need a day off from talking about it " shirt, because otherwise...I DO get asked. Every. Single. Day.

I've asked TheMIG to think about making one that says "Gimp Story: $10" or something like that so it's more generic, so stay tuned...and if anyone out there has a better idea for comparable text, let me know.

Oh, and is ok to link to my blog. anytime. ;-)

jenkaal said... I am really open to suggestions about how to deal with this sort of feeling, so if you hear anything that helps, please post!

Yeah. Funny you should ask.
I actually brought my sadness right back to the person whose comment kicked it all up for me in the first place, my director/choreopgraher the wonderful Eric Kupers. He's been a practicing buddhist for many years. I don't know much about buddhism, but every reading or opportunity I've had for exposure has pretty much rung true for me. I somehow have remembered some story about how the buddha was shielded from seeing suffering as a child, and how it affected him when he saw suffering for the first time and how it propelled him down his spiritual path. Eric told me that there there are different sects of buddhism that deal with the suffering issue in different ways. He sent me a lovely email (which I haven't asked permission to copy, but will, because it was wonderful), and he referred to teachings of Buddha, the bodhisattva path (central as I understand to Zen and Tibetan Buddhism), as well as the teachings of Ram Dass, and Stephen Levine.

I must (and will) investigate further.

ann said...
I have never heard of the idea of "the pain" - I suppose then that it is "the happiness" too ...

Yahhhh (*blissful sigh*)...I know. Isn't it neat??! And what's an even more profound concept to me is that this also means that there is "THE Love" too.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

let's light the best kind of candle--a birthday candle!

"Can I ask You something?"
"And please don’t say no…?”
(He frowns and lowers his head)
“On June 1st, can I post a picture of You? On my blog? For Your birthday?”
"Yes. But only if you post that one of you along with it. "
"And then you have to explain why.”
“Why I gave that picture to You?”
(girl thinks about it for a moment)
“Okay. I’ll explain why.”
“Well, wait. What is your interpretation of the why?”
“Well, I gave it to You because in that photo I was super-duper happy…my little cardboard house was my very favorite thing. And I loved it so. It made me feel safe and happy. It was my very own secret private place. Like how I feel when I am with You.”

~Happy Birthday to TheMostImportantGuy~