Wednesday, October 31st 2007

First apple EVER!
posted @ 10:36 pm in [ ]

Today, one of my students brought me an apple! I’ve been teaching since 1993, and yet, my many teaching desks remained conspicuously uncontaminated by apples… until today. I was charmed and delighted.

Monday, October 29th 2007

The glamourous life of a model
posted @ 7:34 pm in [ ]

I spent yesterday afternoon and today being a hair model at a product show. I’ve done it before, and the nice people I worked with called me about the casting, which is good: repeat business. A few of the models I worked with last time were there, too.

The glamourous part of being a model is the part everyone sees: you get your hair done, your makeup done, you walk across the stage, you pose… There’s a lot that people don’t see, though, and it wasn’t what I expected — which is not a complaint or anything — it’s actually fine by me, and kind of interesting.

The deal is that, when you’re a model, you’re sort of a living prop. On the first afternoon, if you get cast, they color your hair, and sometimes cut it. This time, I my hair got cut the first afternoon. Last time, it got cut and styled on stage during the show. If you get your hair cut on stage, you’ll spend maybe 20 - 30 minutes there. If not, maybe only 10 minutes. The whole rest of the time (8 - 10 hours on the day of the show, plus some of the 3 - 5 hours the afternoon before), you are either being prepped (that is, you are the object of preppage) or you’re idle, but you must be right where you are expected to be found at all times, go where you’re told to go, when you’re told to go there, and be doing what you’re told to be doing. You don’t have a big-picture view of what’s going on, so the folks who do give you simple instructions, and you just have to follow them and be flexible and not worry about it. As a prop, getting up and walking away or not being ready when you’re needed would be disastrous.

Many models have a hard time sitting quietly and doing nothing — they want to be entertained. Today, we had a really sweet setup backstage where we had some snacks, a TV and some DVDs to watch in a sort of indoor tent, which I referred to as “the model corral.” I had a big ol’ pile of grading, so I worked on that in between getting my hair styled, restyled, and touched up, and having my makeup done. I really liked having the time to get that stuff done, and I really like getting my makeup done.

So my day went like this: I got up at 6 so I could be at the facility before 8. Before 9, I was dressed (their short, low-cut black dress, my black leggings, black shoes, and BLAM! push-up bra), had my initial hair styling, and was waiting for makeup. The models who would be on stage before me were getting their makeup done first, which makes lots of sense. I got my makeup just before lunch, and hung out grading in the model corral until then. We got lunch after the audience did, so they wouldn’t see us (it would wreck the drama of the surprise). It was a flippin’ phenomenal spread of a buffet. Before lunch, I got touched up a bit. After lunch, I got my makeup and hair touched up again, did my initial five minutes on stage where my hair color was presented and discussed, as was my style. Then I went back to the model corral for more grading. Toward the end of the show, I came back out onstage and my cut was discussed for a bit. Then I finished my grading, and at the very end of the show, I went out to the lobby where the attendees (licensed professionals in the beauty industry) were, so they could check out my hair at close range if they wished. Then the nice people I worked with thanked me for coming and sent me home with a cute goodie bag of upscale beauty products. That was around 4. I expect I’ll be getting a check pretty soon, too. So that’s all great stuff: check, goodies, free cut, color, style and makeup from high-profile folks who really know what they’re doing. All in all, a nice way to spend the day.

I think what surprises me most about modeling is that, although it is the height of glamourous jobs, it’s arguably a somewhat boring job most of the time. That suits me personally, because I have so much crap to do. I got a lot done today. I find being a living prop rather enjoyable.

Wednesday, October 24th 2007

Divided Loyalties, brought to you by Astroglide (TM)
posted @ 8:50 pm in [ ]

Okay, so as you know, I’m from Boston, but I’ve been living in Denver for the last 10 years or so. Consequently, I was a little torn about which hometown team to support in the Series. After that uncomfortable nanosecond passed, I resolved that I have always been a Sox fan, since my first-ever game at Fenway in 1978, where Bob Stanley swallowed his chaw and barfed all over second base, because it was The Coolest Thing I Had Ever Seen. Still, I further resolved that I wouldn’t be mean about it, and that I could certainly be happy for the Rockies if they won.

So I’m watching Game One, and I have to say that, as much as I’d like to see the Sox win, my heart goes out to the Rockies right about now. Okay, my heart and my Astroglide (TM). That inning where the Rockies were just walking the Sox around the bases like a Popeye cartoon conga line was just painful to watch, and it followed an inning where the Rockies had stranded more men than Blackbeard. The poor Rockies. They must be tired of Sodom by now, and anxious to visit Gomorrah.

The Rockies had this sort of western gentleness and childlike exuberance going into this, and they are just getting brutalized in the worst kind of behind-the-dryers, laundry-room prison rape kind of way. To paraphrase Mr. T., I am filled with compassion for any team playing the Sox at Fenway for a high-stakes game like this. They don’t know that it really could become like a reverse Aztec sacrifice, where the losing team is actually eaten by the fans. They don’t know that, win or lose, the fans will leave no car in Kenmore Square unturned, and will probably flip the entire Green Line. Here in Denver, you can absolutely walk down the street wearing the other team’s colors and not be beaten to a bloody pulp like a Crip in Blood territory, no problem.

Take heart, guys — tomorrow is another day. Don’t forget to end this game before that, okay? Raise a white flag if you have to, but don’t offer to pay any reparations or anything. I pray for your safe passage back to your hotel — may you arrive unbitten by Boston fans.

Friday, October 19th 2007

Waving off death
posted @ 6:15 pm in [ ]

In dance class Wednesday night, my dance teacher had a heart attack. We didn’t know it was a heart attack at the time — she was just very dizzy and clearly didn’t feel well. She’s been abnormally healthy her whole life and has been dancing for something like 75 years. One of the other longtime students and I took her to the emergency room, where she was admitted, and stabilized, and got lots of medical attention and what-not. We hung out until we were sure she was going to be okay, and then we found out the next day that it had been a heart attack, and a damn good thing we got her to the hospital when we did.

The odd thing is that I feel like I figured out there was a serious problem the same way a pet would. I’ve been taking dance class with her — multiple classes a week — for nearly 10 years, and I worked for her at her dance studio for several of those years, too. I consider her to be like my family. She was very pale and not moving like herself, even when I’ve seen her in pain. I also thought that if she were considering going to the hospital even for a second, she probably thought she was in real trouble. What really clinched it for me, though, was that she didn’t smell right. Not bad or anything, just not right. I imagine those are the ways my cats know when I’m not okay, and they come and try to take care of me in their own way.

Anyway, the upshot is that I almost lost somebody important this week and that it came out okay. I’m very relieved, and I’m glad that if something like that was going to happen that it happened during class when there were lots of folks around her to help.

Monday, October 15th 2007

posted @ 7:13 pm in [ ]

I’m sick at home today. I went out for a while to run some errands, but I’m so tired and weird that, apparently, I can’t even bring myself to buy shoes. I know! I didn’t think it was all that serious, but that’s cause for concern. Still, I imagine I’ll be okay in a few days. Of course, I have to teach three classes in the next three days, and some of the classes will be unavoidably talky for me. Feh.

You know what sucks most about being sick? You have all this time at home with a perfectly legitimate reason to be there, but not enough energy or motivation to accomplish the things you wanted to when you thought about how great it would be to get a whole day at home.

I used to get administrative colds. I would get so overwhelmed by my schedule and obligations that I would get sort of psychosomatically ill for a few days — just sick enough to stay home, actually. As soon as I had a day of rest and a day of scheduling and everything seemed more or less under control, I would wake up to a full recovery. This cold feels a little bit like that, and I do have a ton of stuff to try to plan. Perhaps a little scheduling and administrative crap will straighten me out.

Monday, October 8th 2007

The body project: an update
posted @ 3:43 pm in [ ]

I joined a gym a couple of weeks ago. My personal trainer lady is lovely, but it’s not easy to see her as often as I’d like. She’s a little bit scattered about getting information and appointments together, and she’s, well, expensive. Once I get her, she’s terrific… but still expensive. So I’ve been at the gym 4 days a week for the last couple of weeks. I do an hour of cardio, 3 sets on a series of weight machines, the occasional class, and a good stretch.

Performance-wise, I’d say I’m well recovered from the string of injuries I had. My extensions are far better in dance class, I’m bizarrely flexible for an adult, I can exercise as long as I want, and I’m pretty strong. When I was in my 20s, performance and the satisfaction of my vanity were coincidental. Now, though, I’m totally annoyed to report that my vanity is not entirely satisfied. What is that stuff on the underside of my upper arms, for example? It’s not just skin, and if it’s fat, it’s damn sad fat. My mantra at the gym is, “Get off me!” It’s directed at that stuff, whatever the hell it is, and similar stuff that seems to be stuck to my real body.

I’ve also been shopping at a new farmer’s market that just opened up near my house. Every time I go to the checkout line and put my stuff on the conveyer belt, I just have such a sense of well-being, and perhaps self-satisfaction, at all the good nutritional choices I’m making. Then it’s almost always a lot cheaper than I would have expected, which is great, too. They have such good produce all the time, and such a giant variety, that it’s pretty easy to get fresh fruits and vegetables I’ll really enjoy. It helps a lot.

This week, I got a bunch of different kinds of squash to experiment with. I like squash, and right now, of course, there’s a bunch of it available. Today, I took two kinds of baby squashes (sunburst and summer), brushed ‘em with a little olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and roasted those little suckers. I stabbed each of them once with a fork first, and they were super-cute in the roasting pan, each of them about the size of a walnut. They also whistled in the oven as they heated up, which was just hilarious. Then they were really tasty. I have about half a dozen other varieties of squashes to try, too, and some fun recipes to try. Good stuff!

Friday, October 5th 2007

My Roessler
posted @ 6:29 pm in [ ]

At long last…

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