PEX Summer Fest

Wow. My last post was in June. Where has the time gone? I’d love to say I spent the summer traveling and was just never near my computer, but that wasn’t the case. Sadly, I think it was mostly work. Which is funny to say, coming from a freelancer. But now that the upstairs second bedroom is my office, if I’m not booked for a client, work is just a step away all the time. Working on a feature length documentary requires a slow and steady progress. I guess I did get away a few times, though. We had a great show at PEX Summer Fest, one of our best- for Thursday night anyway. We had some technical difficulties for the Friday night show but the overall reaction was amazing. This was the first year I actually had FUN at PEX, too! Camping with the Luxie ladies made a huge difference, and I ended up wrangled into helping in various ways- including being a safety for the conclave right before the burn. Wow, did I get some good practice putting out huge flaming props.

Beachy Skeleton!

Lets see, what else? We had one brief vacation, to Rehoboth beach. Good people, but terribly humid and hot weather. Lots of swimming. We also went to Boston, which was a lot of fun. We rented kayaks and hung out with Chris’ sister, and then drove all the way home. Long day. My sister came to visit from Seattle for quite a whirl-wind trip.

Performing in AC

Performing in AC

Lux Arati had an on-going gig in Atlantic City over the summer that started out a little crazy, but turned out to be a ton of fun. I was rather anxious about going, not sure what I would do to entertain the crowd for 2 hours without fire (the venue found out that they needed to have a fire marshal on scene the whole time if we preformed with fire, which was out of the budget for the event). I bought some long veil fans, practiced with my sword and dug out my silk veil that I think I’d used once previously. It was awesome. The gig included 3 dancers a night from 9 to 11 on every other Friday and Saturday night for about 6 weeks. We rotated the schedule, filling in around everyone’s availability. I think it was pretty well received. We had everything from glow hooping to feather fans and belly dance. Fun fun!

And now? Fall is upon us. Everything moves along, working some days on location, some days at home, trying to practice with my sword and my fans and maybe even through the staff in there. Working on my cable-full sweater is progressing slowly, and I have another monster in the queue…. everything keeps going.

Monster! The family I gave him to named him Scaramino Mingo


The PEX life

The temple burn. Or effigy... still not sure which it was

Oh PEX. It’s that time again- hot sticky summer, which means time for the PEX summer fest! Time to hang out at a campsite in Maryland, trying to stay as cool as possible during the day and wandering around watching the sites at night. The big change this year was that we made a great tent-town shade structure. Three tents, joined by a shade canopy, with cloth draperies tied to the walls for extra shade coverage. It made definitely made the daytime much more bearable. I don’t know how these people do it. The music is 24-7, and people are always out there dancing. I can’t keep that pace. I like wandering around at night, finding the interesting art exhibits. This group is all about LED lights and fire, so there is some pretty cool stuff. My favorite was a “24-7 rainbow” that was a big wooden packing crate, painted black on the inside with tons of little prisms hanging in perfectly cut holes and a spotlight aimed through them. (I tried to take a picture, but my camera is pretty bad in low-light.) Frank’s Kitchens put together a whole bunch of fire installations, including a huge propane tank fire jet thing…. I don’t know what to call it exactly, but its in the video at the bottom of this post. I remember there being more spontaneous fire spinning last year, perhaps I just wasn’t looking in the right places. There was more aerial dance this time- they moved the big forklift around the campsite and set up at various points in the night. That one was easy to spot though- the contraption is huge.

RRVS sign by Xtina

This was my second year at PEX. I go to perform in the fire show that Jexi (of Iconic Fire) and her collaborators put on. This year the show was called the Russian Roulette Variety show, and consisted of 5 acts- a piece by HulaGraphix (fire hoop and programmable LED hoop), a burlesque number by The Penny Treats, partner poi, fire-breathing and fan solo by Iconic Fire, contact meteor by Jerome Dmenza and Lux Arti’s bellydance/fan piece. I think it went over well. The audience seemed to enjoy it anyway. The whole thing felt like it was over before it started, quite a blur. Can’t wait to see photos and video of it. I wanted to get some shots of the other acts, particularly the awesome contact-meteor spinner Jerome, but since I had my fire fingers on, I couldn’t really work a camera. Those things are a pain in the neck to do anything except dance with. Hope they looked good at least!

Took ages to get the scanner and my computer working together properly (thus why I wanted the digital archive cd…) and of course Rite-Aid did a terrible job developing the photos, so I didn’t have much to work with. But at the end of the day: beach photos!

Having fun in the sand and waves

The photos are on flickr here. I didn’t scan all the photos, just the fun ones. Its probably the only time I’ll make it to the beach this summer, so I made the most of it. Miserably hot, though. Guess that’s what the waves are for! Despite all the trouble with Rite-Aid, I’m still going to hang on to the little waterproof camera. I stand by my previous statement- best 50 cents ever.

Beach!, originally uploaded by ducksRfriends.

Finally got to the beach this weekend. We stayed at Chris’ Aunt’s house in Rehoboth, Friday night into Saturday. I brought my waterproof camera (best 50 cents ever!) but since it takes real film, I have to wait for the prints… It was fun, but goodness gracious, so so very hot. The heat did get me to spend more time in the water than is my norm, thought, so it wasn’t all bad.

Caramel sundaeFor the past few weeks I’ve been craving a butterscotch sundae from Dairy Queen. I know, not the most exciting ice cream dessert ever- but it was my standby treat when we’d take a drive with the family, and the hot summer weather is a perfect pair with the cold/hot/crunchy mix. Chris surprised me with some blizzards (we froze them for later- who can finish that whole thing??) the other day, but it wasn’t quite the same. So over the weekend, the search began anew while doing some shopping. Finally, a DQ! And then- foiled!!! They’ve discontinued the butterscotch topping! Caramel just isn’t the same. (Looks like I’m not the only one who feels that way, either.) It freezes way too quickly, and just ends up a sticky mess. Now my craving will never be satisfied. Guess I’ll just have to switch to the Reeses blizzards….

Vacations are always too short with too much in too few days. My fingers are crossed for a trip coming up in August, but this short one night beach trip will have to hold me over for now…. I got to curl my toes in the sand, play with my $1 underwater camera, read with waves crashing near by, and get more work done on my socks. Even the thunderstorm was nice, although it did chase us out of the water. Chris won me a monkey playing whack-a-mole. We have far too much fudge in the fridge. Overall, a successful two days.




I think this was a rather productive weekend, and I’ll share a list because it makes me feel like I actually got things done:

  • baked muffins for breakfast during the week (a little bland, the recipe needs work)
  • knit a pair of socks, from toe-tip to just below my Achilles
  • fought with epoxy, with the end result of 3 finished hair clips and one that needs another pass at gluing
  • relaxed at Ultimo
  • altered my sari top (let the front hem down about an inch)
  • worked on one of the on-going will-never-end documentaries
  • used my garden’s tomatoes, a pepper and some basil in a delicious casserole with chicken and scallops
  • bought a bathing suit

cucmbers making a run for the alley

Things I wanted to do, but didn’t:

  • Walk to FDR park to check for the geocache, and just enjoy the open space
  • finish the documentary
  • decide about my upcoming vacation quandary
  • vacuum my room
  • re-dye my hair
  • bike to the craft store (got thread at Pearl instead, but still should have gone for the ride to get supplies for the necklace I want to make)
  • make a mobile/wind chime/light catcher for the back yard
  • make a cucumber salad
  • sew something from scratch
  • make tofu from scratch
  • yoga

Always too much to do. I’m torn between relaxing on the weekend and chipping away at my list. I think I need to be more disciplined about it- work on the list in the morning, relax in the evening….