The Flower of Fire

The Flower of Fire

fire fingers and fans

Still waiting on the video, not sure who has it or what state its in, but Will Connelly got some great shots of our performance… I hope he doesn’t mind if I post them here. (Follow the links! Check out his work! He’s rather good!) If you get to this page, Will, and want me to take them down, just let me know.

I have to be honest, I sort of cringe when I look at these… not because I’m in them, but because I see all the little bits that are kinda off that I’d like to fix. Photos of performances always do that to me. Once I see the video I usually realize that all the little things I nitpick aren’t really that noticeable, but till I see that proof…. ugh, I agonize over the detail I barely remember. Its funny how a performance is over so quickly. We spend so much time preparing, practicing, making costumes…. and it is over in under 4 minutes.

Scorch performing the "Phantom" vignette

Scorch went for another round at the Ab’n’Jacks All Better Fest this weekend. It was just a few of the vignettes, and the whole thing was a little last minute (our only run-through was a few hours before the show). The festival itself was a bit hybrid. Half PEX burners, half bluegrass. The show seemed well received from the folks there, though.

One of the soon-to-be-ripe cherry red hots

Also, my peppers are ripening! A no-go on the shallots, though. I think I somehow messed that one up, and left them in the ground too long. Last year the cucumbers killed some plants, this year the peppers are killing the cucumbers.

I think I need to plan out my garden a little better. Maybe just plant peppers, or leave extra space around the cucumber. The gifted tomatoes aren’t taking this weather too kindly, and I have to admit, I haven’t really been caring for them that well. The mint is taking over (pulling that out at the end of the year and keeping it in its own little pot next go-around). And I didn’t get any strawberries before the bugs, oh well. The pablanos are thriving, the red-hots are ripening, and the jalapenos are chugging along. Yay for gardens!

The rehearsal over the weekend brought up an issue I hadn’t thought of: foot protection. The basketball courts that we were practicing was ridiculously hot, as well as rough and slightly dangerous. I did the rehearsal in my sandals, but for the actual show, I don’t think that would work very well. Of course, since I didn’t think about it till a few days ago, not enough time to order something online, and I definitely don’t have enough time to swing by some dance store. Craftiness to the rescue! I had a bunch of leather left over from the “Widow Svedtka’s Black Heart Memorial” costume, so thought I could make some little footsie things. I looked up a few online, and then made my best estimation of it. Leather pads for the balls of my feet, two criss-crossing leather straps, and (the stroke of genius!) a hair tie around the middle of my foot to keep the whole thing on. I originally wanted to do some sort of adjustable leather strap, but had to tie my hair back mid-process, and lightning struck. I have yet to dance in them, but I think they’ll be okay for at least one show. Always fun when I can use some left-overs to make something useful!

Even though my planned hiking trip is ages away, I’m itching to get out there. I just caught myself daydreaming about my packing list…. I really can’t wait. I have the best hiking buddy ever, the days confirmed off of work, and a camera with plenty of spare batteries. It might be doggedly hot, but it’ll be worth it. Its sort of silly that I’m getting this excited already, since even our planning date isn’t for a month- but the trail is calling! I mostly love not having a car, but it would be so lovely to be able to drive out for day hikes in nice weekend weather, without a whole lot of transportation planning.

On another lovely note, I finished my first pair of socks! The second one is a little looser than the first, I suppose my tension has changed over the past year, which is how long this pair took me to finish.  The wonderful fit of the first sock was probably just dumb luck on my part. They’re super thick, good for house socks, but I think would be a little unwieldy in a pair of shoes.

socks!

socks!

Dance class tonight, first real class in three weeks, and I’m super excited! The day can’t rush to 7:45 fast enough. Plus another Stanley Cup finals game, could be the last of the series. Good luck to the Wings, cause I know my home life will be much more pleasent if they win ;-) I know so much more about the sport than I used to, its been an interesting season.

This is a lovely little door at Rakkasah, a bellydance festival that is held at the Ukrainian Culture center in Somerset, NJ, twice a year. Its very Oz-like to buy your ticket. You lean down to the diamond (which is at the seated man’s eye line) and talk to the man behind the plywood, slide your money through the little slot. This time I learned something that makes that little ticket window even better… behind the curtain is the dancer’s dressing area. The ticket man basically gets stuck in the strange little area while all the ladies get changed, and people bring food and water to him when the room clears out of women in various states of undress. I took this photo for my mom, who always finds the ticket booth amusing. I overheard them saying they were going to try to make a new door for next year…. but I hope that this little window stays just the way it is.
Birthday cake!

Birthday cake!

A few of the Rag Tag girls and I went to Somerset for the weekend to partake in Spring Caravan, the tribal version of Rakkasah. It was Angie’s birthday on saturday, so Jes and I suprised her with a cake that we picked up at a local bakery. The whole weekend was amazingly fun. Workshops, dancing, shopping, performing…. (Check out my dance blog for more about the whole weekend… will be posted soon) Really great to spend the weekend with girls I have so much fun with.

iced tea at mugshots

iced tea at mugshots

Tuesdays are the best days. I head over to mugshots after work to relax before dance class. If I get out early enough, I get to curl up with a book and some tea and completely unwind. This week the weather was unbelievable. I stalked the outside tables, and as soon as I saw something open up, grabbed my bag and snagged the seat. Some icelandic music on my headphones, a mystery novel (Icelander… not the cause of the music, though) sent to me from my sister. Soon my dance friends show up and we work on our latest costuming and chat about the week, the troupe, anything. Then one of us catches the time, and we head off to class….

Wednesday this week wasn’t too bad either… I got my dance skirt in the mail this morning! Its wonderful and light and spins out amazingly. I can’t wait to dance in it!

dance skirt

dance skirt

I’m in the process of making a fringe belt to make dance more fun for my sister. I forgot how awkward the movements can feel if you aren’t used to them, and how in the beginning you always feel like you are doing everything all wrong, all knees and elbows with no grace. I am so lucky that i have the amazing girls of Rag Tag here in Philadelphia. Even when I started dance, I had Alison as a dance buddy. My hope is that when the other girls in class see Alexis’ awesome belt they’ll warm up to her and she’ll find a buddy in the class. Its hard to be her dance friend when I’m across the country.