la_belle_laide: (Default)
I mean not ALL old people are smart, as evidenced by the old white guys in Congress. But, in this entry at least, old people are smart.


I took the dogs and Callum for a walk today because it's like, above 55 degrees I think. (Yeah. Slow-going this Spring for sure.) On our way back, I stopped to talk with my elderly neighbor, Frank. He's got to be in his 80s by now. WWII vet, was one of the guards of Hideki Tojo, after his arrest. (Tangent: Right before my Dad passed, Frank stopped to talk to him one day and told him that, after all these years, his gag order had ended and he could finally talk about Tojo. So he told him all kinds of stories about him, which is crazy.)

Anyway, I really like Frank, and his wife Yokou; they've been our neighbors since about forever. They are wonderful gardeners and, in Spring and Summer, are both outside every day, working until sundown, growing vegetables. So I always stop to chat with them when I see them.

Of course Sano was barking like a fool. Frank said, “He's just being a good watchdog for the baby.” Then he went on to talk about his dog, who had died this year. He said, “You know, I've seen a lot, being in the war and all. But nothing got to me like losing that little dog. The way she looked at me as she died was the hardest thing.” DDDDDD: Okay, pets and dogs really get to me to begin with, but old people being sad is the worst.

He asked how old Callum was now and all of that. I told him he was almost two, which I thought was a good time to teach him how to garden. So I might be asking him for some advice, because it's been a while since I'd had my own garden, and I've never done vegetables.

He said, “I'll help you out, but I think this year is going to be my last garden. I've some health troubles lately.”

WORST.

I didn't want to pry and ask, what, exactly. But I think next year I'll see if he might still want to do his garden if he had some help. Then maybe I'll go over and do his weeding or watering, or whatever it is that needs to be done.

I told him how amazing it was that he was always the first one on the block who was out in the yard, getting things cleaned up, doing all the hard work etc. He said to me, “You have to stay active. Once you start sitting, you start to stiffen up. You stiffen up too much, then one day you stiffen up for good, if you know what I mean.”

Arrrghhhh you are a treasure, Frank, please don't be sick. DDDDD:

Oh, and in other octogenarian news, my beloved Auntie Kau'i turned 82 last month. Totally go check out her story, she is fabulous and fascinating. Still works full time, too, because she loves her work. Life goals.
la_belle_laide: (morticia)
Only three weeks until Disney! Or, as Callum calls it, “Diz-din.” I've started telling him often, that soon (“Next month, this month, three weeks,” etc.) that we're going to Disney. “Callum and Momma, Grandma and Meghan are all getting on an airplane, way high up in the sky. Then when we land, we'll go to Disney! And there we'll see Spencer and Natasha, Aunt Chrissie, Uncle Timmy, Gavin and Mason, and Uncle Don and Jen. And then we'll see Micky and Minnie, and the castle, and Haunted Mansion, and Pirates. Also a great big ball, and tons of animals.”

When I mention Haunted Mansion, he does the scream. That's because I've been reciting the whole thing to him since he was about three months old. Cracks me up. It's so weird to me that he has no idea what I'm talking about. Like, no sense of the future, that this is a thing that has yet to happen. I wonder if he thinks I'm talking about the Disney Store, or maybe the Disney room at my Mom's.

I'd been fretting, a little, a few weeks ago, because he was only saying five or six words. Then, out of nowhere, in the space of about two days: five more words. And the next week, five more. And then more. All at once! So weird how that happens.

So of course, my biggest stress is boarding the dogs, and leaving my goldfish, The Doctor. I got an automatic feeder thing for him, and I tested it today, and it works. And I'll put his light on a timer, too. But what if something goes wrong, and he doesn't have food for six days? Or light? I don't know, I guess goldies are kind of hardy, but I'd be so upset if he went without food for that long. And, I always hate boarding the dogs. I haven't done it in so long. I know it's going to trigger Haku.

In other news, I started teaching Hula again. I've got a class of six kids, ages 5 to about 10. Okay, I've taught adults and I've taught tweens before, but this is a while different box of frogs. They actually are just like a box of frogs, one that I keep trying to keep the lid on, and they keep popping out. I'm worried, because there's going to come a Monday where my Mom will have to go to work for inventory, and I'll have to bring Callum with me. How the eff am I supposed to teach six frogs, and stop my toddler from getting into everything? I'm stressed just thinking about it. But, it's really fun to teach them. At the end of the first class, the youngest girl ran up and hugged me, saying, “Miss Jules, I love the Hula!” And they all wanted to learn Hawaiian words, too. Which is pretty good, I think.

As far as writing: That one really cool agent still has the manuscript. I even nudged her last week—or two weeks ago?--and haven't gotten a reply yet. She's replied to everyone else who's nudged her (with rejections. :( ) But she is telling people that she's focusing on SciFi now, which is what mine is. IDK, maybe she's getting invested in it, and taking her time? I don't know! My palms sweat every time I check my email.

I've also started another novel. I've actually written tons, tons, TONS of stuff since this one, but either I've kept them to myself, or they've been fanfics, or I've put them on the internet or on HitRECord, and none of them were ever meant for publication. This one is, though. I've only just started it. I might join NaNo this year, even though I'll miss the first few days.

It is cold, cold, cold here today, after a relatively warm Autumn so far. My room was 55 degrees and I put the heat on a little, just to take the edge off. I like the chill, though.

Although, I won't be complaining when I'm in Florida and it's 85 degrees, either, that's for sure. :D

(F)Lawless

Sep. 3rd, 2012 04:03 pm
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Kind of a fun two weeks, more or less. A little craziness/unpredictability at work, but apart from that, eggs in the soup.

I finished up my Hula classes. They weren't a rousing success, but the few people did attend liked them enough to ask for another session. So we are planning on doing some more in the Fall.

The Wednesday after that, I went kayaking with Lady Chrysanthemum. I've never been kayaking before, and I wasn't sure if I would be any good at it. My chiropractor has a kayak, and when I said that to him he said, "Can you sit? Then you can kayak."

It ended up being really easy. We (and a few other people we didn't know,) took a sunset tour at this lake in Southold. I cannot remember the name of the dang lake. But it was pretty big, and parts of it looked a little bit like those creepy Florida waterways, with little sheds hidden in the woods on the shores. Saw a great blue heron and a kingfisher, too, which was pretty much the highlight.

I'd love to get a kayak, and you can get them second hand around here for about $50 sometimes, but I'd have no way of getting it from here to water. My car is too small for that, and the rack to put it on the car is like $700 or something. Ridiculous!

Speaking of my car, I got the bill for my last payment on it. EVER. After five years, I own my car. :) That's $364 I don't have to pay every month.

Today I went to see (F)Lawless with a girl from work. She fangirls over Tom Hardy like me, so we decided to go and fangirl together.

It was a great movie, but so violent. Like, almost realistically violent, and the sounds were pretty grotesque. I cringed through a lot of it.

Things that annoy me that didn't used to: No real awesome parts for women. Women are just kind of there for the men. I have to give some wiggle room, since it was a movie specifically about three men, and roles shouldn't be shoe-horned into stories just for that reason, and it was about the 20s-30s. It wasn't one of those froofy "Let's glamourize everything about the roaring 20s bootleggers and their world!" films either. It depicted the racism of the time. Credit for that.

Everyone was really good in it. Even Shia LeBeouf or however you spell it, whom I normally can't even watch. He was good. I really liked Jason Clarke, too. I keep feeling like I've seen him in a million things, but when I go to his page, I can't find anything I recognize. Same with Guy Pierce, although I have seen LA Confidential enough that he'd stick with me. He was properly hideous. And his stupid hair, OMG.

I actually liked Tom Hardy's accent in this. When he was Bane, I was a little put off by whatever the hell thing he did with his voice. But here, I thought he was right on.

OMG I can't say enough about him. He does that scary thing with his eyes and I really like it when he's scary. I don't understand how people's clothes don't just fly off of them when they do a scene with him. My clothes would fly off. Just being honest here. If I was in a scene with Tom Hardy, my costumers would he working around the clock. "Oh no, did her clothes burst off of her again? Jesus christ."

It was a tad predictable in some ways (I knew who was going to die, just because that's the kind of character who always dies. But TBH I couldn't guess who was going to live.)

Welp, I'd definitely watch it again.

Oh, today's labor day, that's why I was off and going to the movies instead of work. Work tomorrow, though, 1-5. I know that seems like such a short day to everyone else, and it is. But it's about normal for massage therapy. :)

Well, here it is, September 3rd. Time to start thinking about Halloween, a little? I think so. :)


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Yesterday I woke up to the news that uncle John Koko had died. (John Koko was the guy you probably knew, even if you didn't know you knew him. If you listened to Isreal Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" song, you kinda knew uncle John. Iz was with The Makaha Sons, and John Koko sang and played bass with them.)

I met the Makaha Sons for the first time in 2000, at my first Hula seminar. I had been listening to their music for a year, and by then they elevated to Rock Star status with me. (With most dancers, actually.) So when I went to their concert, and the CD signing afterwards, I was very star-struck and a little intimidated. But, not only were Moon, John and Jerome completely approachable, they were totally fun. In fact, I had to call my Mom and Dad and tell them that I was standing there meeting THE MAKAHA SONS. Uncle Jerome actually got on the phone while I was talking to my Mom and said, "Do you know who this is? Lemme give you a hint." And he started singing "White Sandy Beach to her."

That night, the rest of my halau went out to a steakhouse. I stayed behind because there was nothing on the menu for me. I'm glad I did, because I went to the hotel restaurant, where I met uncle Moon. He was eating alone, too. So we sat down and started talking. We talked for hours, literally until around 2:30 AM. He asked me how serious I was about Hula, and I told him "completely." We exchanged email addresses, and after that, he started giving me free lessons in Hawaiian via email. Sometimes five or six emails a day.

Two years later, I went to Hawai'i. Uncle Moon wasn't able to meet up with me, but the Koko brothers (John and Jerome,) and their wives, Toni and Yolanda, were. The four of them picked me up in their truck, greeted me with tons and tons of leis, and then drove me all around Waikiki all afternoon. They showed me 'Iolani palace. We went to lunch at Sam Choi and saw a show. Uncle John kept telling everyone we met that I was their publicist in New York.

Every year or so, they would do a show in Florida or New York, and my family would always try to schedule a Florida trip to coincide with theirs. My Dad loved Makaha Sons; in fact it's probably not too far off to say that they were his favorite modern band. Everyone in my family adored them. We saw them in Florida once, and my Gran got to meet them, too. At one of these shows, every time uncle John would take a drink of water, he'd announce into the mic: "Beverage!" Well, this became a running gag throughout the show. Eventually it turned dirty—as most references did at these shows—but I can't for the life of me remember in what context.

Thereafter, every show following that, there were always a few a-holes in the audience who would yell out "BEVERAGE!" between songs. I'm not ashamed to admit I was often that a-hole. John would always shout it back though, saying, "The beverage crew is here again!"

A few years ago, they came to New York. Mom, Dad, and Jo-chan and I went to see them. In the middle of the show, Uncle Jerome said, "I want Jules and her family to stand up!" And then they dedicated "Take A Walk In The Country" to us. We met up with them after the concert. Uncle John was always such a big flirt, always telling my Mom how pretty she is and making her blush.

Eventually we all got onto Facebook. Uncle John was really the only one from the group who really got into it. Every day he would post a "Kokolicious" joke, or do a survey, or put up a silly picture. He shared his beautiful paintings, and every year, he would put up his Playgirl Calendar starring himself. He had over 5000 friends on FB and he knew us all. He always had a comment for everyone, and a random, unexpected PM just to say "Aloha, hope you're having a Kokolicious day!"

When my Dad died almost 3 years ago, I took all my Makaha Sons songs off my iPod. I just couldn't bear to listen to them anymore, because they were something I had shared with him. It wasn't until last summer that I was able to hear them again. I had missed their music so much. Last year, I taught a Hula to one of their songs and it was so good to do that again.

But now once again I'm too sad to listen to them. I wish everyone else would, since I can't – at least not for a while.

I know Uncle John meant a lot to lots of different people, and of course the real tragedy is his family's: He was only 51, with four sons and he'd just had a granddaughter, too, only a few months ago. But, this is just how I knew him, and what he meant to me. And this whole thing is just too sad to handle. Also, Facebook is so dreary without him.


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A few days ago I got a message from a west-end Hula sister named Makanani about a Hula/Tahitian workshop in Stonybrook. WHAT? I am so out of the loop on this stuff. And it was with a NZ/Tokelau-based band called Te Vaka, and Hawaiian singer/dancer Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole.

I had a seminar with the Kanaka'ole family years ago, and it was the most intense seminar ever. In fact, I'm pretty sure I went home injured after that one, because I just didn't warm up enough. He is the son of one of my favorites, Kekuhi Kanahele, and he's an awesome singer in his own right. (But, dude, I just really love Kekuhi. I remember when I went to that seminar years ago and I saw her in the elevator. I couldn't even talk to her. That's how ridiculous I am.)

If you've heard of the epic Holo Mai Pele then you know of the Kanaka'ole family.

So! How could I miss it! I had gathered that since the workshop was free to students of Stonybrook, it wasn't going to be an actual Hula workshop, but just a basics introduction. I could have skipped it and just gone to the concert later that night, but I figured, what the hell, ten bucks for watching this epic Hula dancer show the basics to some locals. Maybe I would get some pointers on how to teach total newbies, right?

And I actually did. He had the entire class dancing within two hours, which is something that I didn't manage to do in two weeks with my class over the summer. He was very kind, but didn't waste any time, only teaching four basic steps, what they meant, and then going right into a Hula that he had written. There's just something about him that conveys it so that people understand immediately. I need to find that.

After, there was another workshop by Te Vaka. I figured, "Oh cool, Tahitian!" But then they went on to teach Tokelau, Tuwalu, and a Samoan slap dance! I've never done any of those before. Well, i've learned a slap dance or two, but this one was new to me. And I've never done a Tokelau dance before. There was one that was really cute, a child's nursery rhyme, and it was basically just, "Oh my gosh, you're gonna fall! You're gonna break your leg/arm/neck... Oh my gosh, you're gonna fall!" It was really cute. I think I liked the slap dance best though.

After that, Te Vaka set up and played, and told us all do just dance however we wanted. I was there with the west-end group Dance Aloha, and out of the 40 or so group of people, we were the only ones with any exposure to Polynesian dance. So we got out there and did our stuff. It was so much fun.

After the workshops, I had two hours to kill on the campus, and I desperately wished for internet access. Time was, I could amuse myself for hours by writing in my notebook. I did that for about an hour, then that wasn't enough and I ended up wandering around, looking at things and taking photographs. I walked until I got blisters. Then I went to dinner at the school restaurant "Jasmine" which was really nice. Sat outside in the little Chinese-themed garden and ate some veggies and rice.

Then I met back up with Dance Aloha and we had tea together, catching up on old times. I got to meet some new dancers, too.

I went to my car and mastered the art of changing into a mu'umu'u in the front seat. We lined up at the VIP entrance (the perks of being a dancer!) and took seats in the second row. While waiting, we chatted some more, catching up on different shows, halau gossip, the times we performed together, etc.

Makanani started talking about her toere drum and I was like, "OMFG, where did you learn to play Toere?" And she said, "The Orlando seminars. They started doing that, but you haven't been there in years." Well, yeah, pretty much. I haven't been to Florida in three years, and since Dad died, it has been like this barely conceivable thought. I explained that to her and she said, "But it's been two years since your Dad passed. Get yourself ready and come back to Orlando." She was kind of right, too. I mean, I deal with memories of Dad every day, here in his home town. I can't go to Home Depot or Best Buy without thinking about when I was there with Dad, and obviously I'll go back to Orlando some time. I don't think I could really stay away forever. Makanani said, "You don't have to actually go to Disneyworld. But I can get you in for free if you wanted to." She also said she has a house there, and all I would have to pay for is a plane ticket and the seminar, which is like $40.

I warned her that if I did this, I would probably need some time to go busting out into tears randomly. But, I'm considering it, depending on the price of a plane ticket. We'll have to see about that. I miss my Orlando friends.

Kaumaka came on first. He not only sounds like his Mom, he looks so much like her it's eerie. And aside from having such a gorgeous voice, he was hilarious and sweet. I honestly remember him a little differently from 8 years ago. In the seminar he was totally hardcore and took no crap – but I guess, you know, different venue, different circumstances, different expectations. Here he was just a laugh-riot between songs. He did a rendition of Hi'ilawe that I've never heard before, and he told a different story about it, too. See, I had been told that Hi'ilawe was just about growing up by this waterfall, and being the favorite of your parents and grandparents. But apparently the kauna is about having a visit from a lover, and the rumors that follow it. O_O Hmm, something to remember!

Te Vaka came on and did a high-energy, amazing show. Their music is traditional, but with modern elements. And the dancing by the two girls, OMG, incredible skill. I will never look like that, god. They were so fantastic.

After the show, there was a meet and greet, and I got to talk to Kaumakaiwa. We talked for a bit about Long Island and I told him that if he was ever out here again, I would be glad to show him around the real Long Island, with the cliffs and oceans and spooky places. I said that Long Island was Ka Mokupuni Lo'ihi and he was delighted. We posed for some hilarious pictures, too.

Right before I left, one girl (the girl with dreads, in the pics below,) said she figured I was a dancer, and she was really interested to follow up on this. She's local, and she wondered if I gave classes anywhere or would teach her. I gave her my card, and the card of my massage therapy job where I teach in the studio upstairs when enough people sign up. She was really interested and I hope she'll sign up.

Then, another woman came up to me and said, "I was there the night you performed that solo." I was kind of speechless. She said it like it was some kind of known thing. I asked her when it was, and she said a few years ago in Huntington. "Oh! 'O Pana 'Ewa,' I think! With the pu'ili stick?" She was like, "That's the one, that's the one! Everyone video taped that, it was amazing, we still talk about it!"

O_O

I knew a few people recorded it, because I actually got the video from someone I didn't know, a few months after the show. But I didn't know it was a thing that went around the local Hula community. Like, "Oh, the girl who did O Pana 'Ewa, yeah I recognize her."

I felt both flattered and old. ^_^;; (Oh, the video above that is of me dancing with Makanani.)

Before I left, Kaumakaiwa told me that the green dress really worked, and I should always wear green because it was a good color for me. Which is funny, because I had been thinking about maybe switching to red and going with a different style for once. But hmm, maybe it's a sign.

Then I drove home in the rain (and I'm not sure if I got a ticket or not, because something flew off my windshield wipers when I started them – but I can't imagine what I would have gotten one for because I was parked in "VISITOR'S PARKING" with no time limit, WTF,) and by the time I got home I had a huge headache from being thirsty.

And of course, here are some pics from all of yesterday!

Dancing to Te Vaka! )

Kaumakaiwa performing )

Te Vaka on stage, and everyone on stage for the finale. )

Me with some Dance Aloha folks: )

Yeah, I totally struck a pose with Kaumakaiwa! )

All in all, what an epic night of dance. It made me really long to get back into the workshop/conference/seminar scene. I've got to give that some thought.



la_belle_laide: (hula)



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So, here is the rest of the story with Haku's blood test results.

His T4 is 6; normal is 8-40. So that is very low! This could eithe rbe caused by phenobarb, and/or it coul dbe causing his seizure threshold to lower, as well. Either way, it looks like more phenobarb might not be the answer. At any rate, I'm not rushing into it. He's going on thyrotabs, a low dose, which doesn't have side effects. And he's got a thyroid panel next time in 4 weeks. Let's see if this works!

In other news, my Hula class is finished up until after Labor Day. That's it, then; summer is nearly over. Less than a month left. Only one dancer from this class is able to return. She's bringing a few friends for the next session, too.

So, here are some stills from videos of our last (so far) class:

pics and such )

In that last one, one of the girls had brought some friends and family, and so we did an impromptu "recital" for them. Then the two dancers high-fived and said, "YAY, WE DID IT!" It was really cool. ^_^ I had such a blast teaching, and I'm already planning what the next hulas / lessons are going to be.

Now we're bracing for this hurricane, which had really better not hit on Sunday, because that's the day of the Bai Shi ceremony, ffs. Tuesday in Kung Fu we did sparring, mad, crazy, intense sparring, 27 rounds. I didn't sit a single one out. I love sparring. :D We're doing more of it Sunday before the ceremony, too. So I've got to remember to bring a change of clothes for the restaurant afterwards. Gonna be a box of frogs, this one. Well, if the storm holds off. Expect tons and tons of pics, of course!

la_belle_laide: (hula)



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OMFG where have I been? Well, yes, where indeed? Umm, let's see. My Hula class started last week and I was reminded of how much I love teaching. Not only that, but the fact that I can teach. I went in there really worried that I'd just stand there and freeze. But I didn't. I taught, from 7-8 in the upstairs studio, in high summer on a beautiful night!

The students—no, the dancers because I believe everyone who tries to dance is a dancer—really had a great time. They got the gist of the Hula, if not the moves right away. But people have to realize that this is not a western way to move. Our bodies are used to different styles, so can feel unnatural to people who have never done it before. At any rate, they area lovely group of ladies and I can't wait to see them again next week. Or really this week, since it's only about 3 more days until the second class. :D

Also, I wrote a Tiny Story and Joe reblogged it, AND it got some art by the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] skitty_kitty, so that was really awesome and made my day. That was yesterday.

Before that? I went to the beach for fifteen minutes, parked my car bayside a few days after the beginning of the season, with a note sayint that I'd forgotten the dates of the season and I'd be right back and PLEASE don't give me a ticket, I only needed 15 minutes. And I came back and there was a $100 ticket over the note.

ARE YOU GODDAMN KIDDING ME? Seriously, for parking for fifteen minutes at my frigging beach, where I go all year anyway? And mine was the only car there, it's not like I was blocking anything or taking up space that someone else could have been using.

EFF YOU.

So yeah that pissed me off.

Umm and I've been working. That seems to about cover it.


ALSO, NOTE TO SELF: GO OUT DANCING ON MONDAY THE 25TH. DON'T FORGET.
la_belle_laide: (hula)



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Now, real quick, I'd like to once again address some of the phrase and word searches that have brought random people to this LJ. Some of these are really fun and some are hilarious, and others, I hope I can help you find what you were looking for. ^_^

To the person searching for: JGL SMIRK: You probably found my entry about Inception, and how I really loved the way he did nearly every scene with that knowing little smirk on his face. I try real hard not to fangirl Joe, but he's got a great smile. I also don't understand why people think that Arthur's character was canonically dull or strait-laced. I think he had an awesome time and I found him actually sort of puckish and sly. :)

To the person looking for the phrase, A tiny net is a death sentence etc. YOU MADE MY DAY. I love that movie endlessly. A tiny net is a death sentence. It is a net, and it is tiny! ^_^

One person, or maybe two separate ones, sought out answers about the Tahitian fa'arapu. One person searched, "How to fa'arapu" and another searched, "songs to practice fa'arapu."

How to do it? PRACTICE LIKE A FIEND. I'm not even kidding. I stop doing it every winter, and by the time summer rolls around, my hips are like dead weights. But yes, there is an actual technique to fa'arapu. I'm going to tell you what a kumu from the Polynesian Cultural Center told our class when I took the seminar on Tahitian: It's key to stand with your feet close together, so your heels actually touch. "So not even a cock-a-roach can get through," she said, and I'll never forget that. Of course, you've got to keep your knees bent and somewhat soft. Also, pretend that you're standing in a cylinder, and as you circle your hips, you have to touch every part of the surface on every rotation. Start slow, really slow, and build up speed. Keep your upper body still – draw an imaginary line at your waist and pretend like you are two different bodies: hips doing circles, arms and hands doing something completely else. Practice with a book on your head. Practice with weights on your hips.

When doing a walking fa'arapu, come up onto your toes – that's the only way it's possible, at least for me.

Now, as far as songs to practice? Oh my, I've got TONS. My favorite by far is "La Toere" from the CD, Tihati. You read it right: it's not "Tahiti," it's "Tihati." It's an awesome CD, not only with great 'oteas on it, but lots of other lovely songs, like Love Song Of Kalua, a personal fave of mine. Honestly, you can practice the fa'arapu to most anything with a fast beat, though.

Then, someone searched Animated gif. I'm sorry, I don't know how to make them. But there is a Tumblr where you can grab some reaction gifs. I got a ton of them from there. :)

Hope that helps you guys! WEEEEE!
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Today was a strange one. I did end up going to the ocean for a bit. I brought some Hula stuff, and my camera, thinking to recreate the photos from a few years ago. That didn't work out so well, but I'm still glad I went.

The beach was crowded for a Monday, so I had to walk a ways to get some distance on the cluster of humanity that I was trying to avoid. I found a nice quiet space all to myself and thought it would be fun to dance a little, so that's what I did. Then I saw this older lady coming towards me so I stopped, and pretended I hadn't been doing anything.

She was dressed (sort of) in a bikini which she wasn't making too much of an effort to actually wear, using the halter tie in a very distinct way. She came up to me and said, "Please don't stop dancing! I love your joy and you're reflecting the beauty of Long Island!" I went, O_O.

Well from there we just started chatting. She asked my name and when I told her "Jules" she said, "Isn't that wonderful! Not just one of them, but ALL of jewels of the sea!"

She went on to tell me that she was a: spiritual advisor, reflexologist, past-life therapist, and nudist. We talked for a long time about nude beaches and how women should be allowed to go topless just like men, and in fact the law saying women had to keep their tops on had been repealed (has it?) but that people were too immature to deal with that kind of thing in public. We talked for a while about Hawai'i, Long Island, music, and all that kind of thing.

She asked if she could touch my shell necklace, the really realy super long one from Hawai'i and I told her, sure. She wrapped her hands around it and said "I can feel so much energy!"

Then she said, "I want you to know, I love Native Americans, I feel a kinship with them."

I figured that she had made a guess that I was NDN or part NDN or something, so I said, "Oh, that's cool. I'm Choctaw, or Cherokee, or both – never did figure it out."

We talked about Native music for a while and then I asked if I could photograph her. She was like, "Little old me? Really? Let me get into my pose!"

Her pose. )

I was like, "Man, she seriously does not give a single good goddamn what people think – good for her!"

Then she went away for a bit. She came back again while I was taking videos of myself practicing poi balls. )

She had two shells in her hand, one of them was shaped like a heart and she wanted me to have it. Then she handed me a blue shell, saying, "I found you some wampum, too."

It was so cute and sweet, and I wished I'd brought my purse with me so I could have given her some of my shells too.

Then she went on her merry way (I say that literally, she really did go on her merry way) and I swear to god, when I turned to look at which way she went, she was gone. I know that's cheesy but it's true.

She kinda made my day. I kept dancing and goofing off after that, because I wanted to try to make some retro looking photos out of stills. Or even not retro looking, I don't know wtf I'm talking about.

Anyway! )

After I looked at those pics, I realized, you know what? Self? Quit worrying about your weight. So yeah, you can kill a quart of Cherry Garcia in a night. It's not like you do it every night, and hey, check it out: you're not fat. You're kind of thin, in some pics.

Anyway, so I chilled out about that.

My day actually went on from there when I went into the grocery store, ending with me getting so flustered that I forgot to buy my stupid chocolate, but that goes in a locked post because I'm never sure who's reading but trust me, it was a good story, a funny story so typical of me and my spazziness and my utter FAIL that I can't leave it out.

Oh, speaking of the chocolate, I'm looking into just ordering a case of 30 of them each time I almost run out. I buy about five bars a week so I think that might be a cheaper alternative. The only kind I really love, love, love, I mean the only chocolate that really nails that one particular spot I have, is Chocolove's 77%. Other chocolate is good, like Lindt and Girardelli, but that one bar is sometimes so necessary and I eat about half a bar a day. It's ridiculous.

More in a locked post.


la_belle_laide: (Default)
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COURAGE. That is how I feel today, so HA. (I did try the sword form with that new sword. Haaaarrddd. But fun.)

Well, today is a day off and it is gorgeous out. Nearly 80 degrees (finally!) breezy and shiny. I tried to take the dogs to the beach (which I do on every day off now) and, BIG mistake. It was way too crowded. Sano was in hysterics. Welp, it's Memorial Day weekend, after all. The beginning of a-hole season. I swear I nearly up and murdered some people while driving yesterday. I swore, promised myself, made a vow that I was not going to leave the house at all after work yesterday. But, if the vet is open tomorrow, I'm going to have to go into Speonk to pick on Sano's meds. Ugh, traffic, UGH.

Speaking of vets, Haku was boarding at the vets yesterday. They turned their backs on him and also left his leash and collar within his reach (which I have warned them, so often, not to do,) and he ate his collar. He didn't get any of the tags, but the metal parts got stuck in his mouth and cut his gums to pieces. They're giving me a free service, so there's not much I can say. :/ Still, I don't think that "free" should mean "we're not even going to bother." On the other hand, accidents happen. On the OTHER hand, this is a known thing, and it's half the reason why he has to go in daycare in the first place.

In more pet news? I'm pretty sure my gourami Eames ate my favorite angel fish, Trowa. Trowa is nowhere to be found today, Eames is huge, and my other angel, Quatre, is acting like he witnessed the rapture. I am so upset. Trowa was the most mild-tempered fish I've ever had. He used to swim into the feeding cup and come up for petting. :( This really blows.

Umm, yesterday at work was really awesome. I had lots of nice people and they gave me lots of nice money. Gas and groceries this week (and replacing Haku's collar.)

Oh, that little 'keet, Derek? The neighbors' kid, who found him, was allowed to take him. I was real happy to hand him over to her today. She was thrilled. And they went out and bought him a beautiful cage with all the necessities and extras. Good bye, Derek! Have a good life with your new family. ^_^

What else did I do today? I totally managed my closet into submission. Got my summer stuff out, winter stuff away, everything organized. I even threw away clothes that were torn and unwearable. And I hate throwing things away. I set up the bird feeders, watered the plants, dicked around on HitRECord.

In that last entry of mine, I was rambling about listening to Makaha Sons again, right? So, I did. Well, mostly. I couldn't find Ho'oluana then I realized I'd given it to my Dad because the songs were already on my old computer. But, I listened to all the others and I was fine, for two days straight, up until the last song, Pua Carnation. And I don't even know why. It wasn't even one of my Dad's favorites. I'm sure he might have been aware of its existence, but he might not have even recognized it if he heard it. And the lyrics are nothing significant having to do with my Dad, either. So I don't know what got me started. One second I was on my way to work, merrily singing along, and the next, I was floodcrying like they do in anime. Out of frigging nowhere. Effing mourning, HOW DOES IT WORK.

Okay, enough negativity now. I am over that for the moment.

The rest of the week looks to be pretty decent. Movies with Glassworker Best Friend, maybe possibly movies with That Guy I Met (boy, he needs a code-name stat.) Nice weather, family, friends, good job, and teaching Hula next month.

Oh, yes! I am up to six students so far. And there's still a few weeks for more people to join. Am I excited? YES! :D

One more thing I just remembered! I just got that "keyword search" extension.

So, to the people looking for Kapunua: HI!

To the one looking for quotes about how praying won't help, it was Led Zeppelin.

To the one looking for "hula pa'u skirt color hi'iaka", I think it's red, from what I can remember having been told by a Kumu Hula once. Also, remember, Hi'iaka did have a magic red pa'u that she put over Lohi'au. :) Hope that helps.

For the one looking for "fa'arapu", mine isn't what it should be / used to be.

To the one looking for "legends about Camp Hero" and "into the radar tower," I hope you liked the short film.

To the one looking for info about "Male dog's urethra cut during neuter," in Haku's case, it was the ureter – or so I'm told by a few other vets and techs when I asked them, without mentioning the Idiot Vet's name, the date of surgery, or anything, if it was possible. Yes, apparently, it is.

To the person looking for "king arthur and the spiders story " please tell it to me, because I've never heard it but it sounds like it's right up my alley.

I love keyword search!

Okay, have a great weekend, everyone. And if you're travelling, please drive politely, don't slow down at every single goddamn effing corner, and please don't be a-holes to the locals!





Ke Alaula

May. 26th, 2011 06:42 pm
la_belle_laide: (hula)
Here's the entry that I wanted to make earlier, before I had my day rocked by a really nice agent who said some very heartening words to me.

So as I have mentioned, my Hula class is a go for this summer. I know I've only posted about this in passing. I have this thing about not talking too much about something important to me unless it's solid. I feel like I'm going to jinx things, which I know is ridiculous.

As of now, I have 4 students. They all signed up within hours of the press release, so hopefully there will be more before July. But even if it's just the four, that's also great. They are all between 60 and 70 from what I understand. I love, love, love teaching this age group. They get it. But, I also hope for a wider range, too. From keikis to Tutus, wahine and kane, I want to teach them all.

This morning, my baby bird woke me up for a feeding, and after that I lay in bed thinking about my first year doing Hula. It was a big game-changer for me, Hula was. I mean huge. It made me see myself in a different way, and actually it made me understand this ridiculous affection I feel for my land, my 'aina. Sometimes I still feel like most people don't get that. But Hula people do.

I was thinking that I want to tell the class, "I hope you'll always remember this as the amazing, adventurous summer when you learned Hula. And I hope some of you stick with it. Or if you can't, then you'll at least take it with you when you go."

A big part of my first Hula year was the music I discovered when I started. It was 1999. This was a whole new world to me. My first teacher had a tape of side B of Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau's album Ho'oluana. I listened to the tape constantly, just six songs. I played them for everyone. My Dad actually fell in love with their music immediately, and it sort of became our thing. Any time we were in the car together, that's the music we would have to play.

Eventually, I got the full CD and then I was hooked, buying up every Makaha Sons CD I could find.

The summer after that, I was obsessed with their album Kuikawa. I was playing Final Fantasy VII for the first time that summer, and I was raising a ton of birds; I think I had upwards of about 90 of them that year. Somehow, weirdly, those three things merged in my mind. Kuikawa, FFVII, and tons of baby birds.

After Makaha Sons came Keali'i Reichel, Sonny Ching, Kekuhi Kanahele, Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu, and just and endless stream of Hawaiian artists, doing old songs, hapa songs, new, upbeat ones, techno ones, everything. A world of music over the years.

So I realized that when I teach my class, obviously I'm going to need mele. Especially for the early warm-ups, when I have to show the moves as well as explain them, and do them along with the class. So, for the beginning, I won't be able to pa'i while I'm leading warmups, and I'll just have to play some music. I could get regular recorded pa'i beats of course. But why waste the opportunity to show people new to Hula as much music as possible?

When I was about 3 years into Hula, I started dancing with Auntie Kau'i and her group down in Florida. Down there, Makaha Sons are also really popular.

One group in Orlando, led by the awesome Kumu Kawehi, had choreographed a Makaha Sons song called "Ke Alaula." That means "Sunrise." I remember one older woman in the audience telling me that she started Hula late in life, when she was searching for something to fill the void left by her dead husband, who had committed suicide. She said she felt that the song Ke Alaula had come along and offered her this new path, and for the first time, she thought there could still be some happiness in her life. She said that the song felt like good luck for her.

So, I kind of took on Ke Alaula as a "good luck song" as well. I try to send it to people who need some change, something happy to break an old rut or something. Most people don't get it, I know. But it still feels like good luck.

Now that I'm thinking of it, I need to listen to this song again too.

The thing is, I haven't listened to Makaha Sons since I lost Dad. It's almost like when he died, it wasn't just him, but all of these other things that I had to do without because of it. Everything that reminds me too much of him, etc. The entire state of Florida, for chrissakes. Dad's music. Certain other songs on the radio that he liked, or sang. And, most of all, the Makaha Sons. I was able to listen to everything else (even Keali'i Reichel, who Dad also loved,) but not them.

But now I pretty much just have to. Because I can't deprive my new students of this beautiful music, and I shouldn't go this long without hearing it, either. There's really only one song of theirs that I can't listen to, which is "White Sandy Beach / Mehameha" because that was his absolute favorite out of all of them. And the lyrics are way too sad anyway. It's a gorgeous song and all, but I don't think I can get past that.

Well anyway. So today for the first time I'm putting Makaha Sons back on my iPod, with a really good feeling about it. So, in more ways than one, I'm so glad to be teaching again.

Now, I just hope I can remember how to teach. I know I can dance, but doing and teaching are two different things. And it's been forever since I've taught.

Guess we will find out in about a month and a half! That gives me time to start preparing, anyway. :)








la_belle_laide: (hula)
Last Saturday after work, I was outside with Sano when I heard my neighbor's kid shouting about this cool bird she'd found. She was outside riding bikes with her brother and their friend. (Tangentially: these are the kids of the guy I used to ride bikes with when we were that age. Last year he moved back in next door. His kids are actually really nice.) So, I put Sano inside and went running over, figuring she'd found a baby bird or something. Because, it's almost June and I haven't had a single baby bird yet. (WTF.)

But it wasn't a baby. It was a full-grown, blue and green parakeet. We all kind of circled around it and finally I managed to catch it in my sweater.

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This is Derek. He's named after Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds. He's got a band on his leg and I should really check it. Now that I'm thinking about it, that's not a bad idea.

But if no one claims him, I guess he is my parakeet. He's pretty cute, and I'll always take a bird in need, so there it is. :)

Also this week, I got a new broadsword! This one has an actualfax live blade (just a lot thicker,heavier, steel, and sharpened.)

Here, under the cut. )

Wow, look at how gorgeous that blade is! I'm just afraid that once I start using it, I'll cut myself in half. Can't tell you how many times I've whacked myself with the broadsword I've used for years. It's a lot thinner, lighter and not as sharp. Guess I'm going to have to start slow and stop making stupid mistakes.

Today is the first warm, sunny day of the season. It has rained every day for over two weeks and not gotten above 60. I'm sick of it! I still have my stupid winter clothes out. Not awesome.

Here is some excellent news, though. My job did a press release not only about hiring me, but also about the Hula class they want me to teach. Within hours of the release, four people signed up. They have until July to sign even more. So I definitely have a class to teach over the summer and I am SO STOKED. I hope I get tons of students, and of all different age groups.

The people I work with are really sweet and fun. I feel like I'm finding a little niche there and it's one that I like. I know now, realistically, that I'm going to have to find other ways to supplement my income. I'm going to have to freelance – which is just as well. I just need to figure out a few things before I start doing that. Although, I am getting some nice change for the Hula classes. :D Which is going to take the edge off Haku's vet bills a bit, too.

Just yesterday I was talking to a darling friend of mine about vet bills. I know I bitch about them a lot and am always talking about them. But I don't think I've ever specified how much the vet bills actually were.

Since May of '09, between Sano and Haku, their veterinary bills have hit upwards of about $45,000 dollars. That is three zeroes you see after that. It might be more by now, with the monthly meds; I haven't counted those in yet.

But since '09, Haku has had 5 surgeries. He's had an MRI, spinal tap, ultrasound, and countless x rays. He's had months of rehab, weeks of hospital stays (which can be up to $100 a night.) At least one of Haku's conditions (the missing kidney) can be traced back to Dr. Dickwhistle. That's not official, but I've asked vets and techs all around the island (without mentioning his name) and they seem to all agree that it's likely that Dr. Dickwhistle accidentally cut Haku's ureter while he was up there looking for a second testicle during his neuter. Spay. Speuter. Whatever.

Sano, since '09, has had X rays, ultrasounds (on his liver, due to one vet accidentally doubling the dose of his meds and blowing out his liver AND his bone marrow,) three-week stay in the hospital last autumn, and three blood transfusions – each at a thousand or so dollars each. He also gets bi-monthly blood tests for the ITP. The ITP is also a result of a mistake by Dr. Dickwhistle, but that one was a willful mistake.

One of these days I've got to take a picture of the "dog pharmacy" as I call it. You'd have to see it to believe the amount of pill and supplement bottles that line the counter.

So, yeah. Over forty five thousand dollars in vet bills over the last two years. That's more than my college cost.

I still want to punch people when they tell me that it's not worth it to keep taking care of them. Also, before anyone says "YOU SHOULD GET PET INSURANCE," rest assured that neither dog is in any way insurable with their preexisting conditions. Pet insurance. I wish.

Anyway, that's just what was on my mind.

So now I've got this parakeet—and I think they're also called budgies? I hope so, because "budgies" just make me think of Monty Python. So far he has not flown out of my lavatory and infringed on my personal freedom.

Plenty of stuffs going on in Kung Fu as well, but that will all be for later posts! ^_^

I'm off tomorrow, except for taking Haku to his physical therapy. I've been taking the dogs to the beach a lot, on my days off. Maybe I'll take them again after his rehab. They have such a great time there and I get lots of videos.

Oh, I should also mention that last Thursday, as I was walking along the beach with the dogs, I dropped my camera into the bay. I had to actually go into my piggy bank for the first time ever to get some cash and buy a new one. I got a little Canon PowerShot for like $170. Ugh, still a lot of money, but I legitimately couldn't go more than a few hours without having a camera. Which is crazy. Anyway, it's fuchsia.

So, that's what's been going on in this neck of the woods for the last week or so. Guess I'll wrap this up now.

ETA: last minute! My cousin just brought over a baby bird. Finally! Her dog had it and it looks slightly worse for wear. But let's hope he'll be all right! ^_^
la_belle_laide: (D)



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Haku had a seizure at 10 this morning, which is a really weird time for him. Well, I guess they are all really weird times, but I think that 10AM is a first. It was a short seizure, about two minutes, and he bounced right back from it, but still. I never get used to it. He forgets his situation for a short time after each seizure, and he walks around on his injured leg. Because he can't remember that it's supposed to be hurting him.

Aaaaand Sano had massive blow-out diarrhea and vomiting for two days straight. Seems to be over now since I just started giving him rice and sweet potatoes. Still, OMG. WHAT.

In better news! The place where I'm working has an upstairs studio where they teach Yoga. It's a really nice studio, with wood floors and lots of space. Bosslady asked me last week if I would be interested in offering Hula classes up there over the summer.

Extra money, and I get to teach, and dance, which is what I most love to do? YES PLEASE. I really, really, really hope this one works out. It's what I want. Hello, universe! *taptap* Let me have this!

Work is both predictable and unpredictable. I can usually guess how many treatments I'm going to be doing, but I can't rely on tips. Some people tip, some don't. The first week was insane, I made about $90 in tips. But, I was covering for someone who's been there for over a year. Now I'm not covering for her anymore, treatments have dropped off a bit. And actually, some people just don't tip. They don't know they're supposed to, I guess. Or, not supposed to, but that it's super nice if they do. And some people think that $3 is a suitable tip for a $80 service. I guess they just don't get it. So, you just have to learn not to actually count on them.

I'm just happy that I'm making actual, real money. It's not a lot, and I'm not being realistic when I'm thinking that this is going to solve my problems and keep me in my house. I know I need to make more. I'm hoping that within a year or so I'll get a really steady client base and that will take some of the burden off.

I also have the best friends ever. Remember last summer when the pool collapsed? Well, it's been sitting there in shreds all over the yard since then. Most of it was still standing, just a big empty ¾ circle of scrap metal. My Kung Fu brother, Homeslice, came over Tuesday while I was at work and started taking it down. He just PMed me, showed up with a Sawzall (or whatever it's called,) and cut most of it into manageable bits. Now, I can sell them to some scrap metal company! Then they recycle it, which is awesome. In return for Homeslice doing this, I give him some treatments and we're square.

I love bartering. I really think it's the way to get things done. :)

In writing or whatever news, I've got one query still out. I had two more rejections. I'm still hanging on to that one awesome one I got ("You are a fantastic writer and even though this isn't my thing, someone will love it.") I just know someone will pick it up. It's a matter of finding the right match, that's all. So, I'm waiting on a third, then if that one is a "no" (but my fingers are crossed! This agent has a client that I really like!) I go out searching again. I think I like to do 3 at a time. 3 is a lucky number. :)

Then, I'm also translating this epic poem on HitRECord into Hawaiian. It's so freaking huge. And it challenges everything I knew about the Hawaiian language. All the mele that I can so often understand is written in an entirely different idiom. There's no model for something like this. So I have to figure my way around phrases and patterns that I don't know. Hawaiian language patterns are hard for me. But I'm still glad for the challenge because I've missed speaking Hawaiian.

Other than that, the usual. Still spending a lot of time with Boychild, going to Kung Fu, hanging with friends, watching movies, making movies, dicking around on the internet.

But spring is here! So exciting! :)
la_belle_laide: (hula)



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Today was my first Hula show with my new name given to me by Auntie: 'Ilikeanani (The whole meaning.)

It was also the first show I did since last year, when I did that one right after Dad died. I hardly remember that show at all, TBH. It was miserable and awful and if I hadn't needed the money I wouldn't have done it. I vaguely remember dancing with an ancient, I mean ancient, tiny, adorable kupuna. She was 100+, wore her hair in 'dreads, and I gave her a flower to wear in her hair. That was the only really nice part I can remember. I danced for a bunch of kupuna. I love love love dancing for old people. They remember Hawai'i the way it used to be, and they get it. The understand what the Hula is.

Today I was dancing for keiki, little kids. That's always a little harder because they require different kinds of entertainment. Plus it was a holiday show, so I had to adjust the theme and throw some holiday songs in there. Drummer Boy and Hawaiian Santa (the latter one I taught to them.) I always get a little nervous around kids to begin with.

And I'm jittery before any show. My dumb Garmin sent me down the wrong street and I was almost late, but made it just as everyone was filing in. They gave me a nice dressing room and a really big place to dance. I like dancing on the floor much better than a stage. Hula traditionally doesn't go on a stage; you do it eye-level. You'd have done it on the beach, or plain old on land, originally. So this stage thing is a relatively new development for Hula and Tahitian.

Sorry for the tangent. Anyway, I got there on time and met the guy who was doing the music for me. I already had my playlist all cued up and ready to go; he just had to follow my signals (stop, go, louder, lower,) and we were all set. Actually, he did such a great job with that, that I'd have to say he was the best sound-guy I've ever worked with.

It started off a little slow, with no one in the audience really sure what to do with me etc. Drummer Boy didn't go across as well as I'd thought it would. I think that particular Hula is maybe for a bit more of an intimate setting, less festive. I'll keep that in mind for next time.

Then I called the keiki up to teach them Hawaiian Santa, and I was surprised at how much they loved it. They were having a great time. When it was their turn to dance, then the parents all got involved and started becoming a part of the show / audience. It got some reactions, finally.

I also included poi spinning in this show, too. I only ever do that when there are either keiki or kupuna, and when the show is casual. The reason for this is that I suck—abysmally--at spinning poi. I know only two or three good poi-spinning tricks and the rest is really just me hitting myself in the back of the head, the ass, the eye, the boob, everywhere. But if it's an informal show, you can joke about that. So I taught them how to swing poi balls around, I gave them each one (there were so many keiki at this point!) and I spun my two. Actually I didn't do so badly; I was pleasantly surprised that it came back to me. We did this through Hoki Hoki and then I ran off to get changed into my Tahitian 'otea garb.

The keiki lovedlovedloved the Tahitian. I told them they could come up and shout with me (because I do that ridiculously loud Tahitian scream, the "tssyaaaaa!" that gets everyone's ears bleeding,) and because I wasn't using my i'i's I let two of the girls shake have them to dance with. (The i'i's are the 'otea pom-poms, I guess you would call them. They're made out of bark though, like the costume itself.)

So I finally performed La Toere and, holy crap, so much harder to perform than to practice. My fa'arapu (the Tahitian fast hip circles) were PAU by the end of the song. I haven't practiced this dance since the summer and it really showed. All the kids were like "How do you do that!" and I was like, "you need a motor in your hips, haha!" meanwhile I was dying. By the time "Tahiti, Tahiti" came on, I was like, "Wow, we're gonna have to just do this like an 'aparima!" Well, not really. That's one of my favorite songs. I've never performed it before, either. It's so much freaking longer when I'm dancing to it than when I play it in the car, DAMN.

But, if my fa'arapu was starting to die, no one noticed it and everyone had a great time.

I finished up singing and dancing Aloha 'Oe, and then we took a couple of pics and I was out of there in about an hour and fifteen minutes all told. A pretty easy and really fun way to make a hundred bucks. I wish I could do this every Sunday, because I seriously would.

Here are some pics, anyway.

Hawaiian Santa )

Keiki spinning poi! )

After the show )

That's me, in my dressing room. )

(I have a similar pic of me from years ago, same costume, same angle. The file name just reads "Kapunua" and this one just reads "'Ilikeanani" because in a weird way, I draw a line between 'Ilikeanani and "Jules" the way I did with "Kapunua" and "Jules." Is that strange?)

Well, anyway. This was a really nice way of getting back into Hula. For all that I have these many other interests and lifestyles, this is one that I always hope will be with me forever, and I always rejoice when I'm thrown a chance to be that person again. Sometimes it's a few times a month and sometimes it's just once a year. But I take it any time I can get it. :D

Hau'oli makahiki hou!
la_belle_laide: (hula)



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Today was my first Hula show with my new name given to me by Auntie: 'Ilikeanani (The whole meaning.)

It was also the first show I did since last year, when I did that one right after Dad died. I hardly remember that show at all, TBH. It was miserable and awful and if I hadn't needed the money I wouldn't have done it. I vaguely remember dancing with an ancient, I mean ancient, tiny, adorable kupuna. She was 100+, wore her hair in 'dreads, and I gave her a flower to wear in her hair. That was the only really nice part I can remember. I danced for a bunch of kupuna. I love love love dancing for old people. They remember Hawai'i the way it used to be, and they get it. The understand what the Hula is.

Today I was dancing for keiki, little kids. That's always a little harder because they require different kinds of entertainment. Plus it was a holiday show, so I had to adjust the theme and throw some holiday songs in there. Drummer Boy and Hawaiian Santa (the latter one I taught to them.) I always get a little nervous around kids to begin with.

And I'm jittery before any show. My dumb Garmin sent me down the wrong street and I was almost late, but made it just as everyone was filing in. They gave me a nice dressing room and a really big place to dance. I like dancing on the floor much better than a stage. Hula traditionally doesn't go on a stage; you do it eye-level. You'd have done it on the beach, or plain old on land, originally. So this stage thing is a relatively new development for Hula and Tahitian.

Sorry for the tangent. Anyway, I got there on time and met the guy who was doing the music for me. I already had my playlist all cued up and ready to go; he just had to follow my signals (stop, go, louder, lower,) and we were all set. Actually, he did such a great job with that, that I'd have to say he was the best sound-guy I've ever worked with.

It started off a little slow, with no one in the audience really sure what to do with me etc. Drummer Boy didn't go across as well as I'd thought it would. I think that particular Hula is maybe for a bit more of an intimate setting, less festive. I'll keep that in mind for next time.

Then I called the keiki up to teach them Hawaiian Santa, and I was surprised at how much they loved it. They were having a great time. When it was their turn to dance, then the parents all got involved and started becoming a part of the show / audience. It got some reactions, finally.

I also included poi spinning in this show, too. I only ever do that when there are either keiki or kupuna, and when the show is casual. The reason for this is that I suck—abysmally--at spinning poi. I know only two or three good poi-spinning tricks and the rest is really just me hitting myself in the back of the head, the ass, the eye, the boob, everywhere. But if it's an informal show, you can joke about that. So I taught them how to swing poi balls around, I gave them each one (there were so many keiki at this point!) and I spun my two. Actually I didn't do so badly; I was pleasantly surprised that it came back to me. We did this through Hoki Hoki and then I ran off to get changed into my Tahitian 'otea garb.

The keiki lovedlovedloved the Tahitian. I told them they could come up and shout with me (because I do that ridiculously loud Tahitian scream, the "tssyaaaaa!" that gets everyone's ears bleeding,) and because I wasn't using my i'i's I let two of the girls shake have them to dance with. (The i'i's are the 'otea pom-poms, I guess you would call them. They're made out of bark though, like the costume itself.)

So I finally performed La Toere and, holy crap, so much harder to perform than to practice. My fa'arapu (the Tahitian fast hip circles) were PAU by the end of the song. I haven't practiced this dance since the summer and it really showed. All the kids were like "How do you do that!" and I was like, "you need a motor in your hips, haha!" meanwhile I was dying. By the time "Tahiti, Tahiti" came on, I was like, "Wow, we're gonna have to just do this like an 'aparima!" Well, not really. That's one of my favorite songs. I've never performed it before, either. It's so much freaking longer when I'm dancing to it than when I play it in the car, DAMN.

But, if my fa'arapu was starting to die, no one noticed it and everyone had a great time.

I finished up singing and dancing Aloha 'Oe, and then we took a couple of pics and I was out of there in about an hour and fifteen minutes all told. A pretty easy and really fun way to make a hundred bucks. I wish I could do this every Sunday, because I seriously would.

Here are some pics, anyway.

Hawaiian Santa )

Keiki spinning poi! )

After the show )

That's me, in my dressing room. )

(I have a similar pic of me from years ago, same costume, same angle. The file name just reads "Kapunua" and this one just reads "'Ilikeanani" because in a weird way, I draw a line between 'Ilikeanani and "Jules" the way I did with "Kapunua" and "Jules." Is that strange?)

Well, anyway. This was a really nice way of getting back into Hula. For all that I have these many other interests and lifestyles, this is one that I always hope will be with me forever, and I always rejoice when I'm thrown a chance to be that person again. Sometimes it's a few times a month and sometimes it's just once a year. But I take it any time I can get it. :D

Hau'oli makahiki hou!
la_belle_laide: (D)



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I kinda had a hint of a feeling that stuff was way too awesome for a few weeks, what-with the hitRECord book, the end of school, me getting tossed a Hula show, etc. I figured, maybe losing Dana was my bad-luck balance. But today while I was at my last day of school, Haku blew out his cruciate and subluxated his patella while running. He is hobbling around, unable to walk until he can get the surgery, and for that I have to wait for the surgeon to A) be there and B) see him first and then schedule the surgery. Cruciate surgery is mad expensive. Well, any surgery is. Looks like I'm going to have to get a 3rd, 4th job maybe. I'm thinking of being a hooker. What do you think?

My poor Haku, he can hardly even stand up and he's crying all the time. This will be his second major surgery and he's only five.

And I fully realize how much worse it could have been. Yeah, I appreciate that and all. Still.

More on this story as it develops.

Yes, so today was my last last last day of school. I got an A on my pathology paper and they asked me if they could keep it as an example. Then my supervisor said I was nominated for the Excellence in Clinic award, which is something they give you at graduation, which I don't plan on going to but still, that is so freaking awesome.

Here's the thing that was more awesome than that, though. Last night I got a message from Auntie Kau'i re: her choosing a new Hawaiian name for me. The naming process in Hawaiian culture is sacred so I knew I wanted this new one to come only from Auntie. She thought about it for a really long time and finally last night, she sent me the message that she had decided to name me, 'Ilikeanani. At first glance it means "Fair-skinned beauty" but the word "'Ilikea" refers to Hawaiian people with light skin. "Haole" means a white person. An 'Ilikea is a fair-skinned Hawaiian. I felt a little hanai'd and a lot honored. So, that's my new name, but I'm still keeping Kapunua because that's been my name for about ten years, too and it's still a big part of me. Which makes my entire Hawaiian name:
'Ilikeananipunuamililanihoalohaokeola. Which is by no means a long name, for it being Hawaiian. They get much longer than that.

So, that's settled then.

Kung fu last night, awesome staff drill and some sparring early on. More on that later too. But I have to manage right now to carry Haku to his bowl for some late dinner. :/

*sigh*
la_belle_laide: (D)



tumblr tracker



I kinda had a hint of a feeling that stuff was way too awesome for a few weeks, what-with the hitRECord book, the end of school, me getting tossed a Hula show, etc. I figured, maybe losing Dana was my bad-luck balance. But today while I was at my last day of school, Haku blew out his cruciate and subluxated his patella while running. He is hobbling around, unable to walk until he can get the surgery, and for that I have to wait for the surgeon to A) be there and B) see him first and then schedule the surgery. Cruciate surgery is mad expensive. Well, any surgery is. Looks like I'm going to have to get a 3rd, 4th job maybe. I'm thinking of being a hooker. What do you think?

My poor Haku, he can hardly even stand up and he's crying all the time. This will be his second major surgery and he's only five.

And I fully realize how much worse it could have been. Yeah, I appreciate that and all. Still.

More on this story as it develops.

Yes, so today was my last last last day of school. I got an A on my pathology paper and they asked me if they could keep it as an example. Then my supervisor said I was nominated for the Excellence in Clinic award, which is something they give you at graduation, which I don't plan on going to but still, that is so freaking awesome.

Here's the thing that was more awesome than that, though. Last night I got a message from Auntie Kau'i re: her choosing a new Hawaiian name for me. The naming process in Hawaiian culture is sacred so I knew I wanted this new one to come only from Auntie. She thought about it for a really long time and finally last night, she sent me the message that she had decided to name me, 'Ilikeanani. At first glance it means "Fair-skinned beauty" but the word "'Ilikea" refers to Hawaiian people with light skin. "Haole" means a white person. An 'Ilikea is a fair-skinned Hawaiian. I felt a little hanai'd and a lot honored. So, that's my new name, but I'm still keeping Kapunua because that's been my name for about ten years, too and it's still a big part of me. Which makes my entire Hawaiian name:
'Ilikeananipunuamililanihoalohaokeola. Which is by no means a long name, for it being Hawaiian. They get much longer than that.

So, that's settled then.

Kung fu last night, awesome staff drill and some sparring early on. More on that later too. But I have to manage right now to carry Haku to his bowl for some late dinner. :/

*sigh*
la_belle_laide: (hula)



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So much to babble about, but I'll try to keep it short-ish.

Here's my exciting thing: I got a Hula show on the 19th, which, WOW, it's been over a year since I did an actual show. The last one was right after I lost Dad and it was miserable. I mean, the show was pretty good itself but the experience was hard, trying to smile through the whole thing, trying to be cheerful and Aloha etc. This one is going to be so much better. It's a holiday show. I haven't done a holiday performance in, what, like eight years? No one wants Hula in the winter, that's why. Or if they do, they don't ask this far-east gal to come and perform. So, I get to do Hawaiian Santa, White Christmas, Little Drummer Boy (I try to keep holidays secular, but LDB is legit one of my favorite songs ever and I really love the Hula; it's mad difficult unless you know it well enough and have strong thighs, no joke,) and then I think I'll do some poi balls, and a Tahitian set.

And guess what? I'm doing La Toere. Come hell or high water or an extra five pounds or lack of practice. Actually, I really should practice that one. AND. I think that for the first time ever I'm going to do Tahiti, Tahiti, the pop song version. There's going to be a ton of kids there and I think they'll really love that one.

So that's the deal with that.

That aside, I utterly fail at the holidays this year. I really, seriously did try. I didn't want a tree,and I had to sit and think for a long time about why I didn't want one yet. I usually love getting a tree. And I think it's because Dad used to help me move my chair out of the way (or if he wasn't around to do it, I'd move it and when I'd tell him I'd gotten a tree he'd go, "Did you move that chair by yourself? You should have waited for me to do it!") which maybe is a really vague reason, but I couldn't help the association. That, and every single year I've always used Shinigami to go and get my tree. Even after Shinigami more or less quit on me, and I started driving around little red Ronin, I would still rev up Shinigami and take him out for a holiday spin to get my tree. Shinigami is still in the driveway. Last year someone asked me if I was ready to sell and I immediately busted out in irrational tears. I should sell, I know I should, I need to. Someone can fix up that beautiful car and drive it around like it should be driven. It's just, UGH, I have issues.

So! I decided I'd do my own stupid holiday thing, switch it up a little, do something new, right? So instead of a tree and a ton of lights, I figured I would get some of those big-ass pine things that people wind around their porches and I'd put it up all over my house. This way I'd get the nice tree-smell without all the admittedly irrational emotional nonsense. This was a huge effing mistake.

This is about the stupidest looking thing ever. )

You can't just stick them up all over the place, I guess. I had to cut it into three parts. Decoration fail.

Then I also thought it would be high-freaking-larious if I got two of those stupid balls and hung them side by side, right? Just for a laugh. The ones I found were like millennia old and the boxes were all beaten up. I tried them at the store and the guy even gave me a discount because they were so old. So I made my little holiday gag: )

And thought 'Oh, LOL, I am so funnee!" and then the right ball flickered out and has stayed that way. Damn it. I only have one ball for Yule now. Woe.

I remember what else I wanted to rave about. Kung Fu (who is surprised?) In the last few weeks we've been doing staff drills indoors; I mentioned it a few posts ago. On Tuesday (today is Thursday) we did even more two-person drills that were yet cooler than the last. And before that, we did line basics without staff.

Let me talk for a second about the line basics we did. First of all, we did them for about an hour, even going straight through warmup time without quitting. Which, fabulous. You get to that part where you stop feeling things like "ow, pain" and "boy my legs are tired." You just zone right on up out - please understand by my use of many prepositions how meaningful this is. Not only that, but the drills we were doing looked so effing cool, I may have to record it tonight. I always say it's so that we can remember what we were doing and practice them at home but honestly, it's because it looks cool. I can't even lie.

Well, it likely doesn't look as cool when I do them, because I am long-limbed and flaily and I fully realize that I don't have the right amount of control over the reach of my arms. I can actually feel it when I'm getting flaily, and invariably Sifu will come over to me saying something like "hey hey hey hey, Lotus-flower-blossom-san, what exactly are you doing?" I get way too enthusiastic, haha. So then I have to stop, reset my stance, and actually put some thought into it.

It's great, because we do right and left side, and the thing about Kung Fu is that it's so ambidextrous, you have to sync your right and left sides so that they're doing two opposite things, while your legs are pretty much doing yet another thing. You can kind of feel your brain seaming in the middle. It's neat.

So yeah, from Hula to Kung Fu, as usual.

And school. I guess I won't be writing much about that anymore, and I can probably retire my "school" tag. Not get rid of it, but I won't have to use it. Tomorrow is my last day, five clinic hours and then I'm pau. I also get my path paper back, and I'm kind of sweating that. I know I didn't fail, but I don't just want a good grade. I totally suck like that. I want the freaking A. I worked really hard on that paper. More than that, though, I don't want to let my supervisor down. I'll be bummed if I get a B or something. I realize I sound like a child but, well, I cop to that, too.

My last class was yesterday. It was a lousy hour and a half, and then about fifteen minutes of me running around registrar etc. trying to get them to fix up my missing paperwork, HELLO. I paid the extra cash for it five weeks ago (the first aid cert. cards that they misspelled, remember?) and I never heard back from them if they came in. I called, left messages etc. Then yesterday I went up there and was like, "WTF, no one ever called me back. Hope you guys realize I can't graduate without these cards, and today is my last day, why has no one returned my calls?" And she goes, "Oh, that. I do remember you paying, yeah. Umm. The guy who was doing that got fired."

OH, COOL. AND NO ONE TOOK OVER FOR HIM. THANKS GUYS.

I can't even tell you how ready I was to punch the entire effing school right in the ass. Long story short (too late,) I had to go the hell home, fax in my misspelled cards so that they can send them along with a certified letter (that they will write) saying how it's their own stupid fault and that the NYS boards pretty much have to accept them.

So that's my last experience with this idiotic school, way to send-off with a bang.

I'm fairly sure there was something else I wanted to catch up on but I can't think of it right now, which is probably just as well.

So, here, look at some pictures of my fish!  )

Those are just the ones in my ten-gallon tank. I'll have to upload some of the ones of my other guys in the 20, one of these times.

Well, I'd better gear up to think about getting out of the chair and feeding the dogs, and then myself, and then going into the stygian, freezing night to Kung Fu.

After tomorrow I don't have to see that stupid college for a really, really long time; not until I have to go back for continuing ed. Which I'm sure they will also screw up, but at least it will be a short term thing. Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow!
la_belle_laide: (hula)



tumblr tracker



So much to babble about, but I'll try to keep it short-ish.

Here's my exciting thing: I got a Hula show on the 19th, which, WOW, it's been over a year since I did an actual show. The last one was right after I lost Dad and it was miserable. I mean, the show was pretty good itself but the experience was hard, trying to smile through the whole thing, trying to be cheerful and Aloha etc. This one is going to be so much better. It's a holiday show. I haven't done a holiday performance in, what, like eight years? No one wants Hula in the winter, that's why. Or if they do, they don't ask this far-east gal to come and perform. So, I get to do Hawaiian Santa, White Christmas, Little Drummer Boy (I try to keep holidays secular, but LDB is legit one of my favorite songs ever and I really love the Hula; it's mad difficult unless you know it well enough and have strong thighs, no joke,) and then I think I'll do some poi balls, and a Tahitian set.

And guess what? I'm doing La Toere. Come hell or high water or an extra five pounds or lack of practice. Actually, I really should practice that one. AND. I think that for the first time ever I'm going to do Tahiti, Tahiti, the pop song version. There's going to be a ton of kids there and I think they'll really love that one.

So that's the deal with that.

That aside, I utterly fail at the holidays this year. I really, seriously did try. I didn't want a tree,and I had to sit and think for a long time about why I didn't want one yet. I usually love getting a tree. And I think it's because Dad used to help me move my chair out of the way (or if he wasn't around to do it, I'd move it and when I'd tell him I'd gotten a tree he'd go, "Did you move that chair by yourself? You should have waited for me to do it!") which maybe is a really vague reason, but I couldn't help the association. That, and every single year I've always used Shinigami to go and get my tree. Even after Shinigami more or less quit on me, and I started driving around little red Ronin, I would still rev up Shinigami and take him out for a holiday spin to get my tree. Shinigami is still in the driveway. Last year someone asked me if I was ready to sell and I immediately busted out in irrational tears. I should sell, I know I should, I need to. Someone can fix up that beautiful car and drive it around like it should be driven. It's just, UGH, I have issues.

So! I decided I'd do my own stupid holiday thing, switch it up a little, do something new, right? So instead of a tree and a ton of lights, I figured I would get some of those big-ass pine things that people wind around their porches and I'd put it up all over my house. This way I'd get the nice tree-smell without all the admittedly irrational emotional nonsense. This was a huge effing mistake.

This is about the stupidest looking thing ever. )

You can't just stick them up all over the place, I guess. I had to cut it into three parts. Decoration fail.

Then I also thought it would be high-freaking-larious if I got two of those stupid balls and hung them side by side, right? Just for a laugh. The ones I found were like millennia old and the boxes were all beaten up. I tried them at the store and the guy even gave me a discount because they were so old. So I made my little holiday gag: )

And thought 'Oh, LOL, I am so funnee!" and then the right ball flickered out and has stayed that way. Damn it. I only have one ball for Yule now. Woe.

I remember what else I wanted to rave about. Kung Fu (who is surprised?) In the last few weeks we've been doing staff drills indoors; I mentioned it a few posts ago. On Tuesday (today is Thursday) we did even more two-person drills that were yet cooler than the last. And before that, we did line basics without staff.

Let me talk for a second about the line basics we did. First of all, we did them for about an hour, even going straight through warmup time without quitting. Which, fabulous. You get to that part where you stop feeling things like "ow, pain" and "boy my legs are tired." You just zone right on up out - please understand by my use of many prepositions how meaningful this is. Not only that, but the drills we were doing looked so effing cool, I may have to record it tonight. I always say it's so that we can remember what we were doing and practice them at home but honestly, it's because it looks cool. I can't even lie.

Well, it likely doesn't look as cool when I do them, because I am long-limbed and flaily and I fully realize that I don't have the right amount of control over the reach of my arms. I can actually feel it when I'm getting flaily, and invariably Sifu will come over to me saying something like "hey hey hey hey, Lotus-flower-blossom-san, what exactly are you doing?" I get way too enthusiastic, haha. So then I have to stop, reset my stance, and actually put some thought into it.

It's great, because we do right and left side, and the thing about Kung Fu is that it's so ambidextrous, you have to sync your right and left sides so that they're doing two opposite things, while your legs are pretty much doing yet another thing. You can kind of feel your brain seaming in the middle. It's neat.

So yeah, from Hula to Kung Fu, as usual.

And school. I guess I won't be writing much about that anymore, and I can probably retire my "school" tag. Not get rid of it, but I won't have to use it. Tomorrow is my last day, five clinic hours and then I'm pau. I also get my path paper back, and I'm kind of sweating that. I know I didn't fail, but I don't just want a good grade. I totally suck like that. I want the freaking A. I worked really hard on that paper. More than that, though, I don't want to let my supervisor down. I'll be bummed if I get a B or something. I realize I sound like a child but, well, I cop to that, too.

My last class was yesterday. It was a lousy hour and a half, and then about fifteen minutes of me running around registrar etc. trying to get them to fix up my missing paperwork, HELLO. I paid the extra cash for it five weeks ago (the first aid cert. cards that they misspelled, remember?) and I never heard back from them if they came in. I called, left messages etc. Then yesterday I went up there and was like, "WTF, no one ever called me back. Hope you guys realize I can't graduate without these cards, and today is my last day, why has no one returned my calls?" And she goes, "Oh, that. I do remember you paying, yeah. Umm. The guy who was doing that got fired."

OH, COOL. AND NO ONE TOOK OVER FOR HIM. THANKS GUYS.

I can't even tell you how ready I was to punch the entire effing school right in the ass. Long story short (too late,) I had to go the hell home, fax in my misspelled cards so that they can send them along with a certified letter (that they will write) saying how it's their own stupid fault and that the NYS boards pretty much have to accept them.

So that's my last experience with this idiotic school, way to send-off with a bang.

I'm fairly sure there was something else I wanted to catch up on but I can't think of it right now, which is probably just as well.

So, here, look at some pictures of my fish!  )

Those are just the ones in my ten-gallon tank. I'll have to upload some of the ones of my other guys in the 20, one of these times.

Well, I'd better gear up to think about getting out of the chair and feeding the dogs, and then myself, and then going into the stygian, freezing night to Kung Fu.

After tomorrow I don't have to see that stupid college for a really, really long time; not until I have to go back for continuing ed. Which I'm sure they will also screw up, but at least it will be a short term thing. Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow!
la_belle_laide: (hula)



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I believe my pathology paper is finished! At 30 pages and 7K some-odd words, it's not too bad, I think. I also wrote another freaking 20K on my fun, private fiction project. I'm well into the 70K mark now and all that in like four weeks, on top of school and work, wtf. What is even wrong with me? Jesus. It's like crack.

So, six more days of school, count 'em, six. Wednesday I go in all effing day to make up my Thanksgiving clinic hours. Then the next three Wednesdays and Fridays until the 8th and then PAU. I walk on out that door and quit thinking about that place.

Oh, I need to remember to sign and return my stupid promissory note because hello, I haven't done that yet. And they also haven't yet replaced my misspelled first aid certification cards and such which I had to pay for even though it was their mistake. Ugh, yeah, still pissy about that.

Today I got a beautiful, inspiring, uplifting, just plain awesome message from a Hula Sister in Florida re: asking my Auntie about re-naming me. Auntie says she needs to meditate on it for a while ("Meditate on this, I will!") and the rest of her message, and the words from my Auntie were so lovely and sweet, I practically danced around the room.

I re-learn my love for Hula all over again, sometimes. I know I'll go back to it full-time when the opportunity presents itself. I wonder what Auntie will come up with.

Anyway. So I'm off tomorrow and Tuesday, and then Thursday and Friday too! Stupid Wednesday, screwing it all up. Oh man, what adventures I might have! I'll get to go shopping, clean the fish tank, do my last lab assignment, and finally vacuum the rug! Maybe if I get real crazy, I'll even put my laundry away and give the dogs a bath. WOW. I can't even stand how exciting this all is.

Yeah.

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