Monday, September 19, 2016

Aerial Antics

This summer has brought about some fun aerial adventures. I learned I can base two people at the same time (and was told that I have thighs of steel):

I also came up with a fun way to fit three people on a hoop:

I followed a drag queen's youtube makeup tutorial for a showcase...


To look like Cher. I mean, come on, it was only a matter of time until I portrayed her in the aerial world!

I performed in another showcase as Mighty Mouse:

And revamped my doubles hoop routine with my aerial partner Cynthia for a special show in her backyard for CAbi clothing.

I'm now working on choreography for two pieces my students will be performing in an Alice in Wonderland themed showcase at the end of October. Fun, fun, fun!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Speechless

It seems as though I've lost the ability to blog without complaining, or sounding like I need attention. I used to have fun with blogging, and often feel the desire to write something, but I sit and start draft after draft and don't end up posting or saving any of them! When did I stop being so carefree and fun? When did I stop feeling like people cared about what I write, or what my life is like? When did my trials put joy in the back seat? When did I become speechless?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ranting Regret

Sometimes I just want to rant. I get the urge to make a list of everything that bugs me, or that has recently made me angry, and at times I want to take that rant to an audience - i.e. this blog. But then I remember I'm not 2 and don't need to throw public tantrums that can result in hurting others' feelings.

I let myself slip a little recently. I let a post on facebook get to me; I took it as a direct insult to my experiences and where I'm at in life, and kind of lost my mind. I responded and I wasn't nice. I then walked away from my computer for several hours trying to tell myself I was justified in responding the way I did.

Guys, that kind of behavior is never justified.

I flipped out over something that I really should have ignored, or better yet, something that I should have taken the time to understand better by putting myself in their shoes. I went back to my computer and pulled up my comment and deleted it. No one had responded. To be honest, I don't know if it was seen by anyone at all. But even if it wasn't seen that doesn't make up for what I felt and how I acted.

Talk about a major #GrownUpFail.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

All the Insomnia

My body doesn't like sleeping this week. Well, that's not exactly true, because when I go back to bed around 7am after I get back from teaching seminary I fall asleep quickly and can't drag myself out of my covers again until somewhere between 10am and noon. But trying to fall asleep at a normal evening hour is next to impossible. I lay down, get comfortable, and  then my eyes just pop open and refuse to give up their vigil. My mind thinks about things I haven't thought of in years, or of things that just aren't important in the middle of the night. When I do eventually sleep I dream.

My dreams are vivid. I've kept a dream journal off and on just to remember how crazy some of the adventures are, or to keep track of the way they made me feel. I also go though times where I have bad or incredibly scary dreams; they seem to come for a week or two at a time before leaving me in peace again. I don't write these dreams in my journal. Most of the time I don't think that dreams mean anything, but occasionally they carry some weight. A couple of dreams I had foreshadowed the end of a job. Another told me I needed to serve a mission for my church.

These insomnia dreams I've been having recently kind of have a feel of their own. They're not bad dreams, but they're not necessarily good ones either. They are still vivid, but perplexing. I find my dream self often confused and unable to respond to situations in ways that would make sense. They bother me, and have woken me up several times because of them already. It's getting to the point where I don't know if trying to fall asleep is worth the energy- I fight my body to sleep, and then it fights to wake me up again just a few hours later. One dream last night was so bizarre (and quite a bit disturbing) that I woke up with my mouth salivating the way it does right before I toss my cookies. I had to grab the water bottle by my bed and take a few drinks before I felt I had things under control.

I really hope this wave of insomnia goes away soon and takes it's crazy dreams with it- I'm tired!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Bruised

I bruised my calf of my right leg. This is not a large bruise, nor a very dark or weirdly-shaped bruise. BUT - this bruise is important to me.

Since losing my full time job a few years back I haven't been able to take aerial classes regularly (they're not cheap). Yes, I teach aerial arts, and have had many performance gigs since then, but at times I feel like the spark and excitement I once had for training has died out; I haven't been improving or adding to my skill set much. Often I find it's hard to feel motivated to train when I can no longer afford to have awesome instructors that push me to be my best and challenge me to try things outside of my comfort zone.

Last Saturday a student of mine (who I now regard as an equal in the aerial world - she's so good) showed me a drop on hoop from a move I already know. She then demanded that I try it. Something about the way she insisted resonated with me and I pulled myself onto the hoop to give it a go. It was simple to do, yet I ended up grabbing my foot too tightly as I rolled over my inner thigh to drop into a single knee hang, which caused the hoop to slam into my calf. It was painful! I dismounted and over-dramatized my pain a little by curling into a ball on the mat - while laughing. Yes, it had hurt, but it also felt really good. I had forgotten how satisfying it is to accomplish a new pose or trick while parts of my body scream at me for making it do something new. 

And there it was. Not just the beginnings of a bruise, but also a glimmer of that spark and excitement I had lost; that desire to learn and grow as an aerialist.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful

Today I'm thankful for my family, friends, a warm house, and good food. For technology that allows us to connect with others when we're far apart. For teeth that no longer hurt, and sunny Autumn days. I'm thankful for hugs and smiles, long sleeved sweaters, reliable transportation, and skilled doctors who have recently guided two of my grandparents through surgery. For hand written notes and letters, music, and crayons. I'm thankful for washing machines, automobiles, and airplanes, for fuzzy socks, and legs that can carry me anywhere I want to go. I am thankful for movies, long conversations, and studios where I can share my knowledge of aerial arts. I am thankful for animals and nature, for paper to write on, and good books I can get lost in. I am thankful for electricity. For love and faith, and my contoured pillow. Today I am thankful.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Dental Drama

Remember how I posted back in April about needing to get two crowns and a filling done? That was supposed to be the end of it, right? Sadly, these issues have turned into a long and painful saga.

I started the process of getting the crowns done, and had metal temporary ones put in while waiting for my porcelain ones to be made. The metal ones didn't feel good. My gums weren't healing, and the very back one seemed to be pushing into my cheek in an uncomfortable way. I mentioned my discomfort to my dentist the next week when I went to get the permanent ones put in and she didn't seem concerned, until she pulled off the temporaries. "That's something I haven't seen in a long time," she voiced. "It looks like you've been having an allergic reaction to the metal." She proceeded to fit one permanent crown on, but the other wasn't creating a good seal, so she sent it back to the lab and stuck that darned metal temporary back on the back tooth for another week.

After getting the updated permanent tooth back and glued to my skull I went in to have my filling done on the other side of my mouth. Time passes, the crown in the far back refuses to feel good, and I learned to chew all my food on the left side of my mouth - the side with the new filling. Until one day I was chewing eggplant and a shooting pain sliced up through my tooth. Something was wrong.

I went back for a 4 month check up at the beginning of September (the crowns are in with temporary glue to make sure I don't actually need root canals) and talked about the uncomfortable crown and pain I was having while chewing on the filling side - pain that by now has brought me to tears at least twice. I'm not really a sissy when it comes to pain, either. She filed down the crown a bit to adjust the bite, and looked at the tooth with the filling but couldn't see an issue. She wanted me to wait and see if there is any temperature sensitivity before planning the next step.

Even with the adjustment the crown still didn't feel good, and I still can't chew on the filling side. Then, near the end of September after eating lunch one Sunday it felt like there was a small piece of food stuck behind my troublesome crown. I reached back with a finger to push the food out, and with the slightest touch of my finger my crown fell off! The dentist is closed on Sundays, but she did respond almost immediately to a facebook message I sent her. She told me to try and stick it back in with Vaseline (which I don't have), and that she'll call me in the morning to schedule me an appointment. I left the tooth out because it just felt better that way (minus a little temperature sensitivity on the exposed tooth-stub), and got scheduled for an appointment that Tuesday morning (the 29th).

This time, finally, after the dentist took her time to fit, file, and re-fit the crown, it felt like it was in the right place. For good measure she took some x-rays of the tooth with the filling to see if she could spot a crack in the tooth or an abscess that would cause my pain. She couldn't see anything, but the filling is large enough that a crack could still exist out of sight. She tells me to start saving my money - it could lead to another crown (shudder!).

I went home and was living life normally for a couple of days, and was enjoying the ability to properly chew food on one side of my mouth. Then I noticed by Thursday my jaw and area under my cheekbone on my right side (crown side) were getting a little achy. I assumed it was just the trauma of having my crown put back in, so I took some ibuprofen, and moved on. But the pain started getting worse, and ibuprofen wasn't cutting it anymore. By Wednesday night I knew without a doubt this issue wasn't going away on its own, so I called my dentist again yesterday morning and explained my symptoms. Not convinced it's an abscess (there's no visible bump) but not ruling it out she called in a prescription for penicillin. I've been on the antibiotic for 24 hours now, switched my pain meds to naproxen, rotate through ice packs, and keep praying this does the trick. The pain was so bad last night I was in tears again - hopefully the antibiotic works, and soon.

Can I say I am SO ready to be done with the dental issues?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Circus-ing

This month I was asked by a friend to fill in for a couple of show dates at the Los Angeles County Fair with the Venardos Circus. If you've been reading my blog for a while you may remember that I performed with my own show at the same fair last year. The fair decided to move things around a bit this year, so the entire circus street was relocated to the northern end of the racetrack and grandstand (there are no horse races during the fair).



The new location had potential to draw bigger crowds straight from one of the main entrances to the fairgrounds, but ultimately left some show owners a little frustrated that they had to compete with the noise from the evening concerts inside the grandstand. While in the circus ring I was able to tune out the concerts, but when behind the tent waiting for my next cue I had to try hard not to get caught up in the music of ZZ Top or Jake Owen. One night I went to the fair to watch the circus show and could hear the Beach Boys doing their thing. Good music, but I understand the show owner's frustrations. Part of me was grateful my show hadn't been re-contracted based solely on the high temperatures this year; last year we had one week that was above 100 degrees while this year that seemed to be the norm. Yuck!

For my first performance date I performed a tissu (fabric/silks) routine to an instrumental version of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. Not typically being a silks performer, the routine was challenging and exhausting. I made it through all 4 shows that day but could tell I was really working for it - I downed a couple litres of water throughout the afternoon and evening. Last year I'd barely get through one litre in the same amount of time!

Rex the Impossible (clown), me, Faeryn (fire hoop), and Anton (juggler)

Sometime during the next week my friend told me that the part had been changed to a lyra (hoop) routine with an entirely different song to boot; Mindy Gledhill's All About Your Heart. I'm not entirely sure why the change was made - I speculate it was due to high winds and/or the fact that no other show on the street had a lyra routine, but I took on the task of familiarizing myself with the new song and learning the new routine. Even with only two days to work on it in a studio the routine was easier for me to get through and was fun to perform.

The cast (including ringmaster Kevin) with my Uncle John and Aunt Helayne

I was happy to see many of my performer friends again, meet a bunch of new ones, and I was glad that several friends and family members made the effort to come see the show. They even saw me dance a little during the opening and closing numbers! Now to get some video up for y'all to see... Maybe!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I want to blog more often. But then I usually remember that nothing unusual has happened and figure no one wants to read about the same stuff. Again. And again. Especially without pictures. Routine is good, but can make for a boring blog post. Lucky for you I've done some things outside of my recent routine. Yet that doesn't mean my post won't be boring.

This week I had the opportunity to be a production assistant on a live-action short that was written and being produced by some friends of mine. The film is a touching story that focuses on childhood depression. We filmed outdoors along some cliffs next to the ocean, and it was beautiful! We watched some of the raw footage at the end of the day and I was amazed at the scenery and the acting done by my 12 year old student (I've taught her aerial arts and am currently tutoring her in Spanish). I cannot wait to see the finished product!

Monday morning I was up bright and early to teach a 6am Old Testament seminary class to the high school aged kids from my church. Along with a co-teacher, I have been asked to teach this class for the entire school year - we will be trading off every other week, which will be nice to catch up on sleep. I've enjoyed my first two days teaching and think it's going to be a great experience! We have 4 students who come every day, 1 student who comes part time and does the rest of the course through home study, and 1 other who hasn't figured out if he's coming or doing home study. They are all great kids.

I've made some progress on my 32 goals I posted about a few months ago, but I haven't been perfect at all of them. I have checklists hung on my bedroom wall to keep the goals in the forefront of my mind, which helps, but isn't foolproof. I've struggled the most with getting to bed by 1am, but I think my stats with that one will improve as I adjust to the 5am wake up time for seminary. My ASL vocabulary is expanding, I'm reading a ton of books still (I've been great at this since January), and have significantly cut down the time I waste on social media and watching television. It's nice not to feel like I need to be online to connect with others. I have time to plan my seminary lessons in advance. My room is starting to look less cluttered. I feel more content. It's nice.

On another note, my business partner and I dissolved our circus company. It happened rather quickly, but in the long run I feel like it's best for the both of us. I still teach aerial arts at two studios, and may be picking up some extra work at my friend's flying trapeze rig. I occasionally dog/house/kid sit on the side. And later this month I'll have the opportunity to sub for another friend for a couple of days at the LA County Fair doing a solo silks routine. Circus, clearly, is still my life!

California is still nice and warm, and I'm grateful our house has air conditioning. I'll keep looking for stuff to blog about that isn't in my typical routine. And one day I will once again have pictures! Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Zombie Apocalypse

When I moved in to my first apartment in Los Angeles I lived next door to a group of girls from my church, one of whom is Sarah. Sarah is one of the first friends I made in LA, and has become one of my closest friends in the city. We talk about EVERYTHING! One subject we often approached while neighbors was that of the impending zombie apocalypse. Or rather, emergency preparedness... It was just fun to blame it on zombies. 

We decided that since we lived far on the west side of Los Angeles, should a disaster strike be it a zombie apocalypse or earthquake, we had little to no chance of making it out of the city safely. Since neither of us had family in the area we hatched a plot to help each other out; comparing supplies and planning the best way to block up our windows and punch a hole between our two apartments to reach each other. It was done pretty light hearted, but at the same time was comforting to have a plan of any sort in place.

Although Sarah and I are no longer neighbors, I have continued to try and be prepared for emergency situations. I carry a few emergency supplies in the trunk of my car, and usually keep extra canned goods in my pantry.

This week, I learned a few more survival skills! I surprised most of my family by flying to Colorado to go on their camping trip, and had a fun four days spending time with my parents, 3 of my 4 siblings, and 11 of my 12 nieces and nephews. Our first stop in the mountains was to a small lake where we went fishing to catch our dinner. I had fished before, so that skill wasn't new, but this was the first time I gutted what we caught! This was an important step for me to take - the last time I had fished my mom did all the gutting, and had sliced one open that wasn't quite dead when she started. Seeing it's little fins flare out when she made the first cut freaked me out a bit, and was quite the deterrent for me to want to try it myself. I decided that this time I was going to learn, and thankfully, all the fish were dead by the time we started gutting. It turned out to be an easy skill to learn! They were SO tasty.

Our last day in the mountains several of us went on a hike where we saw large mushrooms growing all over the place. We pulled out a bag and filled it up with several different varieties; stocking up on one kind in particular that my sister was sure was edible. For my entire life my parents have lived next door to a family who went mushroom picking nearly every year, so we consulted with the neighbor once back in town and it turned out that my sister had remembered correctly! We had a couple of edible varieties, and only a few poisonous ones. We tossed out the inedible ones, and the rest were cleaned, sliced, and put in my mom's food dehydrator.

I've got to say I was surprised at how empowering it feels when you learn to provide for yourself out in nature; I may have to play mountain woman more often! The zombies can't stop me now!