Geri at practice, with some palm torches

My fingers are crossed for nice weather tomorrow… Lux Arati will be performing at the Rotunda as part of the Poet-tree EnMotion series. We did a gig for the series last year, and it was a lot of fun. The location is beautiful, and our set was nice and casual. We were supposed to have drummers, but there was some sort of family emergency, so a few people grabbed some things to bang on- it was a little bit all over the place and tough to dance to, but still fun.  This year we’re a bit more organized, and I’ve told pretty much everyone I know in the Philadelphia area about the show. Which means I’ll actually know quite a few people in the crowd. Eeeep! Time for stage fright to kick in! I’m really excited about it, though, because we have a nice line-up. Its a mix of fire and non-fire, solos, duets and group pieces. We’ve got our intensive practice tonight, so I hope the rain holds off. Another fun bonus? We get to use the new speaker thing that I bought for the troupe… its pretty awesome. Basically like a guitar amp on wheels, battery powered and iPod friendly. We’ll have to test how loud it gets tonight, but I think its going to be really great for our shows. Definitely relieves the “Where the hell is our music supposed to come from?” anxiety. Now we’ll always have a backup ready! So yeah, if you’re in Philadelphia, come on by! Its a free show, in West Philly at the Rotunda. We’re set to go on around 8:30 or 9. It’ll be fun!

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Sakura Sunday

Shofusu House

The weather has been beautiful, and with every tree coming into blossom, I’ve been counting down the days till the Sakura festival. Honestly, though, I’m not really sure why I like the event so much. Parking is a bloody nightmare. There isn’t really any good way to see the stage unless you get there super early. The booths are crowded, and the food is okay… but I love it anyway. This year we got there early and caught one of the first tours of the Shofusu House.

I can’t wait to got back on a less crowded day, so that we can check out the tea house and the grounds a little bit more.

The whole weekend was beautiful. This is the literally the weather that everyone dreams of all winter, and longs for all hot humid summer.

We also got some location scouting done for our upcoming Lux Arati promo shoot. We’ll be using the great Liberty Lands park as one of our locations, and thought it would be a good idea to get some actual reference shots of the stage. Location scout a beautiful park in spring? Sure! Why not??

 

Pretending to help Chris dig out his car... (we only have one shovel, so there wasn't much for me to do) in my favorite tights ever, from blackmilk

Really not sure why my street was only half plowed, and only today, three days after the snowfall. The streets are mostly okay, but the smaller ones (like where I live) are still a bit unnavigable. We dug out the car but left it in the spot and did errands on foot. It was pretty nice walking around the city though, the weather was a bit warmer than I thought it would be, and I got to see more than I do when we drive. Like this awesome snow dragon. The guy was still working on it, he said it had been three days work so far. He was worried about the rain forecast, because it would melt it all away. If we’d been driving, I never would have noticed this beauty. Or if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to talk to the guy making it. Cars are wonderfully convenient and definitely have their place, but living a place where walking is a real option is great.

 

 

Snow Dragon

 

 

This weekend was Halloween. So obviously it was an awesome weekend. But surprisingly, the awesomeness wasn’t really costume/halloween related. Chris heard on NPR about an event at the PMA- a re-creation of Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Turin event of 1967- rolling a giant ball of newspaper around the city. Since we’re both members and don’t take advantage of it nearly enough, we went to check it out. Pretty rad!

The kids at the event sort of took over the ball-rolling (and what adult is going to tromp over a kid to roll a ball?) so we didn’t participate in that part, but walked with the horde for a while. Beautiful weather, a fun artsy crowd, and kids rolling a giant ball- whats not to like? We also got to see a members-only preview of the gallery show. Finally, the PMA is featuring an artist who is actually relevant and alive! The show was cool, and seeing it without the mass amounts of people that the special exhibits tend to get was pretty great. A lot of his work has to do with reflective surfaces, so it was cool to see the art reflecting the room, not a huge crowd- added a good element of space to the pieces, rather than claustrophobia.

chicken chili and cornbread

Then, since it is fall after all, we made a batch of chili- our first attempt. Pretty much bastardized this recipe. We added three kinds of beans, corn and chicken sausage. And I have to say, for our first chili attempt, not too bad. I made some cornbread too, that turned out pretty awesome. The perfect amount of sweet. Overall, I’m rather pleased with our culinary excursion.

lizard awesomeness

Oh, and it was Halloween! I re-used my lizard/dragon/dinosaur dress from last year. It never got a very good run, so I thought it was worth it. I added some lizard-y make-up and was set. Chris did his George Michael/mistaken-for-prolifer costume again. Seriously, not enough people are familiar with 80’s pop icons. He had the cross earring and everything. Come on, its WHAM! (You can’t see in the photo, but he had short white shorts and white sneakers, too.) I really don’t get why anyone ever buys a costume… making them is so much better! We went to Rob’s house, where I knew almost no one (and the people I did sort of know where wearing costumes, so difficult to recognize) but was fun anyway. He’s got a good group of halloween-enthusiastic friends- the best kind for a costume party!

George Michael with a lizard

George Michael with a lizard

And for Sunday, a good chili and eggs breakfast and some lazing about the house. So far (its about 8:45 pm) we haven’t had a single trick-or-treater…. so I’m glad I didn’t buy extra candy. I never got around to carving my pumpkin, so I’ll have to figure out something to do with it. A good pumpkin soup perhaps? MMmmmm…. any recipe suggestions?

Plant of mysterious origins

Plant of mysterious origins

Though, this time its with a positive, albeit confusing, twist. As I brought my bike out this morning, I noticed some freshly dug soil. I thought a cat had been in the pot, so started to survey the damage. Instead of a dead dug-up marigold, I found this plant. I’m more confused than ever. I can’t say with absolute certainty how many days the plant has been there, but it couldn’t have been long. Its been raining, so I haven’t had to water the pot, but I tend to notice turned soil. It is the same color as the marigolds, so sort of blends with a glance, but still.. its been there a day or two, tops.

At least this time the saga has a positive twist- though why there’s some altruistic plant-giver, I’m not sure. Maybe someone has a crush on my flowers?

Nøgne Ø Winter Ale at Belgian

Attempts to get a drink and sit outside relaxing have been foiled by the strikingly beautiful weather. It seems everyone else in the city has the same plan. There were no tables outside at Belgian, but they did have the winter ale by Nøgne Ø…. one of my absolute favorite breweries. They’re from Norway, and I’ve never had one of their brews on draft before… a great start to the weekend.

My main task this weekend was to grade my student’s finals. Its a task I did not look forward to, I find grading very frustrating. A few clever responses here and there, but overall its a difficult balance to be tough, fair and understanding. I wish everything could be multiple choice. Black and white- no room for misunderstanding or slightly off answers. Right or wrong. Ah, to teach a scantron class.

I meant to get a lot of sewing done this weekend, but it didn’t really happen. Although, I did learn quite a lot about my machine, and ordered some attachments that hopefully will fit, and make my life much easier. From what I can tell, I have a Model 99-13 Singer, but with a foot pedal, not the knee control. From the serial, I think it was made between 1928 and 1930, and would have cost around $77 at the time. She’s a solid machine, but for straight, forward stitches only. Or so I thought. While trying to figure out online how to use an attachment Mom and I decided was a button holer (turned out to be an adjustable hemmer) I found a zig zag attachment! I’ve been dying to sew some nice cotton jersey, or other stretch material, for ages. I always felt so limited by my beautiful old singer- a work horse, but not for any of the materials I wanted to use. If the attachment fits, the possibilities are endless! I think I might be getting my hopes too high, but I’m pretty excited, so I can’t help it. Summer skirts, new dance gear…. oh, my imagination is getting carried away.

seedlings

Though I didn’t get anything substantial done on the crafty end of things, I finally got my garden started. I turned over the soil in the garden box out back, finally pulling out all the old plants. I must have started my garden much later last year, because when I went to Lowes there were none of the plants I was looking for. So I bought seeds instead, and they are now germinating in a nice little box. I’m not sure what to do if they all sprout, since I definitely don’t have room for all of the plants, but perhaps I can find some friends to give them away to. I bought an already started strawberry plant, too, and put it in the garden box. The front plants are now in the pots, too… I can’t wait till they start growing. I got some big crazy Dahlias… I wanted big bold color this year, instead of the boring petunias or whatever they were. I also scattered some “mixed colorful flower” seeds in the larger pot…. I don’t know what they’ll turn out to be, but thats part of the fun. I hope I didn’t jump the gun with the weather. Truth be told, I’m not a very good gardener, I just do what I want to do and hope the plants will play nice. So we’ll see how well it goes.

sunset, originally uploaded by ducksRfriends.

They called it a snowicane this time…. snow-pocalypse, snow-mageddon…. the names go on, but this time nothing accumulated. And since we didn’t get a snow day from the office, I’d like it if everything thats left just goes away and I can bike to work again. Enough of this SEPTA already- my legs need to move in the morning or I just arrive at the office in a daze from reading on the train (I find it hard to emerge from books sometimes….)
I do hope the snow stays away tonight, we have plans to go check out curling tomorrow!