Tuesday, August 26, 2008

....what else could have made me do that?
I would delete it, but then I would have wasted two hours of sleep for nothing. I suppose I thought I was saying something last night, so I'll leave it. Just excuse it, if you will. I think I was so excited over being back in an environment in which I am fully encouraged to cultivate my creativity that I wanted to share it, but then started worrying what you all would think (at a late hour after a long day and while I was particularly vulnerable to such scrutiny), and I became as defensive as I ever have of dance! oh goodness. My apologies. I am so tired today. Is that punishment enough?

Day two of my new semester, and a nice hefty day of work after that. bleh. Can I go back to bed?


I am going to write a book someday.

What a great day. I love school. I hate working and going to school at the same time, which ruins any chance I had of actually HAVING A LIFE!!!!! But still, I LOVE school. Especially now that all I have to focus on is DANCE!!! And Gerontology, apparently, for one more semester. Stupid upper division general ed.... grrrr.....

It was AMAZING to dance again today! We took a full ballet class (and I did surprisingly well after a summer of no dancing. I thoroughly expected it to kick my trash. No doubt my professor will rip into us soon, though). Great University dance theatre class. I'm choreographing three pieces (I must have gone insane), and I'll be dancing in two others. Five total. That's my concert average, so it's ok. I say that now. Just wait until November. What am I doing?!

I'm very much looking forward to my choreography class tomorrow, as well as theatre craft. It's great to see all my friends again. That's the nice thing about being a dance major. Big time networking. Everyone knows everyone. It's a small group, and we are all completely passionate about the art.

Modern was a great somatic refresher. We began with a floor exercise dealing with the Bartenieff Fundamentals (I'll spare you my usual educational tangent), and moved through a full class of undercurves and placement reminders. It felt wonderful! So nice to stretch again. I'm always most flexible on the first day back. I'll be dying tomorrow. And for the rest of the semester.

I'd love to share with you my passion for and the depth of my studies, especially since most of you think I'm a little crazy for going to "college" where all I learn how to do is kick my leg in the air, turn around, and look pretty...
Yeah. No. That's not at all what I study. That's what I get to do for fun in some of my classes in order to maintain my technique and facilitate the study of a beautiful work with a great deal of depth and breadth of information. I learn about human development, kinesiology, somatic engineering, physical psychology, language, physics, inter-personal communication, physical therapy, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, finding a balance between body and mind, communicating ideas through movement, injury prevention, anatomy, idiokinesis, interpreting physical stance and how our bodies are constantly expressing what is happening in our minds (whether we want them to or not). I get to learn all that fun stuff about the theatre, putting on shows, lighting, costumes, and makeup, yadda yadda, and I get to perform regularly, allowing myself to have the wonderful experience of formally presenting my hard work to those I care about, or complete strangers! It's a HUGE field, has very scientific and practical applications, and I'm crazy passionate about it. Besides, it's ART!

"We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
~Pablo Picasso

Let each man exercise the art he knows."

My daddy and brother-in-law each seem to think that I have made an impractical choice (not that they don't support and love me. They do). But each of them are great artists themselves. Each see God's beautiful work of color and substance in creation. Each extract the substance , seek it out for their own artistic use. Each design, form, create geometric line, and produce something asthetically pleasing, something to be seen, admired, appreciated, to enhance or reveal the work of The Lord. Adam is a great cook. We all love it when Adam is in the kitchen. Typically, he is just cooking to eat and enjoy the physical satisfaction. Occasionally, he will make a beautiful meal (consider Christmas), and present it carefully. THAT is a major artistic talent. He has the talent of blending flavors, colors, textures, and presenting it to a grateful audience as a welcome meal. Awesome artistic ability. Heaven knows I don't have THAT particular talent... :)

Heavenly Father gave me this body. It certainly is not condusive to today's standard of "perfect technique" in any form of defined dance. But it reacts so strongly to the option of movement amid music and rhythm that I can hardly contain it. I love this work. It is almost as precious and clear to me as the truths of the gospel. I love that we have bodies that can be trained. "Teach your body a lesson", right Grandpa Newman? I agree. I'm teaching my body to move, to be healthy in movement, to explore all possibilities. I'm choosing to say no to sitting still, raising my hand, speaking when spoken to, staring at a computer all day... I want to dance with someone and experience the undefinable energetic exchange. I love to be in an open space where I can move and breathe and not worry if I don't look "normal". I love to spin and jump and bend and stretch and then settle down and discuss what I felt in my body, what I felt in my mind, what others may have seen as they watched, any thoughts that corelate to the movement... It's such an amazing study. Art therapy all the way.

And dance, above all other art forms, is my personal preference. I have seen dance pieces that have moved me to tears, made me laugh, made me angry. Once, recently, I experienced "The Well" by Deborah Hay. It was the most disturbing piece of movement set to the most disturbing piece of music I have ever experienced. I HATED it. But I LOVED that I hated it. I have seen thousands of paintings, sculptures, photographs, what have you... None of them have ever caused such a powerful emotional reaction as "The Well" by Deborah Hay. I will never forget it. It wasn't terrifying or evil. Just STRANGE! She affected me, and in doing so, achieved something significant through her own means of communication. I certainly don't want to view many more dances like that one, but it reminded me that dance can actually apeak to me. Dance is ALIVE. It's made up of living bodies that a viewer can relate to and feel energy eminating from! I have two arms. That person on stage has two arms. I have a nose and eyes. That dancer's nose scrunches like mine, her eyes sparkle with delight. That man's knees keep bending on the heavy beat and it makes me want to bend mine, too! Monkey see, monkey do. Every human being that has ever been able to move their body has danced at some point in their life. I would even go as far as to argue that, even those who could not move for whatever reason, have danced their own dances as well. The very organs that make up our intricately designed and presicely finctional bodies move in a very specific rhythm in a designated order! It is when they fall out of order that we become ill! I would call that the most carefully choreographed dance of all. Every baby wants to bounce to a repetative sound. Every child loves to be rocked to sleep, especially to soothing sounds. Every kid wants to jump and run and explore an unknown space with their eyes, hands, feet, mouth, knees; their BODIES. They dance. It is only into our adolesence and adulthood that we are conditioned to believe that the body should only be used in certain ways. "Sit down, shut up, raise your hand, walk in line, don't wiggle, hold still, look normal, don't be silly (WHY NOT?! I demand that someone FINALLY explain to me why a person can't be SILLY when the opportunity arises, so long as they are in an appropriate time and place!!! I REFUSE TO NOT BE SILLY!). Everywhere, all over the world, every living thing moves and is affected by sound and the movements of others. Dance is far too broad to be labeled as "ballet", "tap", "swing"... there are so many variances within each genre, no human can track them all, no matter how carefully the rules and standards of a technique are recorded. They will change. Because humans change. The desire for new movement comes and there is no stopping it. Personal style is added, as no two living things move in exactly the same way. So broad. Martha Graham said "dance every step". I say every step is a dance. I love that I can move. Even if I became paralyzed and could only twitch an eyebrow, I would twitch it to every beat I felt. My very own eyebrow dance. And If I couldn't move anything at all, I would enjoy the beat of my heart until the day that dance ended and I was able to start fresh again!

ALL art is amazing and so necessary in life. I don't care if it's a Rembrandt or Karly's most recent fridge-adorning scribbling; a stick-figure drawing of her mommy and her holding hands. We MUST have it. Man didn't create it. God did. There is nothing worth anything in this life that mankind created on his own, and I have felt too much joy in art to believe that it is worthless. The very Earth is an unfathomable piece of art, given to us to learn from, enjoy, honor and share. I love that I am back in school, enveloped in this study. It's so important to me. So consider the value of such a study and stop making fun of me. :)

Also, I started my period in the middle of my modern class today. I won't say how I really felt about that because they are words that I should NEVER say. The female body is a wonderful thing, but why does it have to do THAT all the time?!?!?!?!

ok.... so now that I have shared way too much about everything....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh Bother....

Winnie the Pooh said it best. Or maybe it was Adam Sandler:

"Back to school, Back to school,
To show my dad I'm not a fool.
I've got my lunch pail packed,
my shoes tied tight,
I hope I don't get in a fight.
Back to school, back to school...."

Nope, it was definitely Winnie who got it right.

Mounting feelings of anticipation and apprehension are taking over my body.

This semester I have scheduled to take:
Advanced Modern Dance Technique
Advanced Ballet Technique
University Dance Theatre (Everyone come to my concert in November!!!!!)
Theatre Craft (90 hours of theatre service required, YIKES!!!! The dancer becomes a tech for a semester!)
Gerontology - Multi-cultural views of aging in society.

So close to graduation. Yet so far away. *sigh*.

Better go get some tights on. Ballet barre begins in an hour.
wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A few weeks ago, Scott and I had a date at the lakes at Woodward park in Northern Fresno. The area is gorgeous, lush and full of bird life. I knew the evening would be a nice one when we happened upon this elderly couple enjoying the wildlife at the opening of the park.

The birds became friendly just as soon as they realized we had food.

Very friendly.... But not with one another...
Soon we had several new friends of the fowl persuasion.

Uh..... maybe too many....Scott played it cool and acted like he wasn't getting attached, but when we ran out of bread and the birds sought out new enterprises, I caught Scott enduring a moment of loneliness... hehehe!

We had a lovely evening and sustained no bites from the birds. Always good. Also, this rock is apparently ours. Well, not OURS as in mine and Scott's, but ours as in the people of Fresno. It was dedicated to us. Or maybe that was the whole park. But I'd like to think it was just the rock. It's funnier. Either way, it doesn't specify on the rock. It simply says "Dedicated to the residents of Fresno County.... blah blah blah". And I'm pretty sure they meant the rock. It's a nice rock. I appreciate it. I tried to take a picture standing behind it, but there was a black widow. I suppose the rock belongs to the black widow, too, as it resides in this county. I can't complain. I would live behind that rock if I could.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I have three darling nieces. One of these nieces is named Karly. I call her Roo, which is short for her middle name. Well, as short as you can make an already single-syllable name... She is hilarious, and one of my favorite people on earth. Whenever possible, I go to her town to visit. Last weekend, Roo finished a long list of chores and earned a special date night. So I came over, we fixed up some snacks (Roo even wanted sliced veggies! Good choice, Roo!), took my laptop and some sleeping bags to the second floor of the playhouse that King Daddy built by hand for his daughters (Nice job, King Daddy!!!), and settled in for a night of fun. Once settled in, I asked Roo what she wanted to do first. We had books to read and lots of movies to watch. I asked if we could take a picture so that I could blog about our date. ""YEAH!"
Roo is dangling her feet off the edge of the second floor. Below her is the sandbox on the first floor. "Do you think I could jump down there, Laura?" "I don't think you should do that right now, Roo." "Oh."

Many a playtime spent here.

Soon, Roo was getting really into the camera thing. "I know, Laura! I'll do one and then you do it!".

I had to laugh when she visably ran out of ideas for pictures, settled for a moment, and asked "Now what?"
So we proceeded to make shadow puppets.

This is Roo's favorite shadow puppet. It's a monster.
After that, we read a book, watched The Game Plan, A Charlie Brown Movie, and the Swan Princess. At 1:30AM, she was STILL AWAKE! I was certain she would have zonked out by ten. Yeah, no. She started asking what would happen if we went inside to sleep. Turns out she was a little scared of the dark. She kept saying that her bed was more comfy. I gave in and we went inside to sleep on her big, comfy bed. The next day, we went to see "Wall-e" at the movie theatre. Then we went shopping at the mall and bought a Walle book and a "Webkinz" pet for each of us. I got a monkey (Mose), Roo got a kitty (Sarah). They are now best friends. We rode the kiddie rides and played in the mall playground. Very fun date. Roo is a great buddy. High five, Roo! Love you.

Me and Mose.

Eight things I am passionate about
1) Gospel
2) Scott
3) Dancing/movement/learning about the miraculous human body
4) Spending time with the Haights
5) Earning my BA and MA
6) Pieces of writing that I can be proud of
7) Working towards a temple marraige
8) Music

Eight Books I've read
1) Book of Mormon
2) Blood Memory, autobiography of Martha Graham (fantastic artistic views and expressions)
3) The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (if you're an artsy fartsy type like me, you'll love this)
4) All Harry Potter books
5) Miracle of Forgiveness
6) Believing Christ
7) How to be Totally Miserable (Short but very, very sweet, and one of the best books I've ever read)
8) All of Theadore Suess Geisel's "Dr. Suess" Collection. Some of the best books on the planet, in my opinion (and I am one to appreciate good writing. Still...) I won't argue that here, though.
Currently reading No One Can Take Your Place by Sheri Dew, and a temple prep book mom gave me for my birthday! Thanks mom!

Eight Phrases I say often
1) "Base to Line", "Copy", "Negative", and "A-Firm" (affirmative -I work a lot of aviation radios at work)
2) "Watch your language, please" (I work with 20 ex-sailors).
3) I love you
4) "I'm pretty sure..." (I watch too much of The Office. watching it now, in fact)
5) "Hey, you!" (as a friendly greeting. I was cursed with a terrible memory for names, and I have to memorize dozens of new pilots' names every day. I kind of stink at it. Ironicly, I know almost all of the names -and spellings- of the flight students from India studying upstairs at Mazzei's flight service. Tejeshwar, Ishtdeep, Ravneet, Pooja, Vrushali, Aman, Armol, Samjeet, Navreet, Saket, Zahir, Sarab... yeah. They're unique and stick out in my head.)
6) "Tomorrow, I'm going to get up earlier!" (This only happens if I have plans. Can you guess how often I woke up before nine this summer? If you guessed less than half, you get a gold star.)
7) "You're a mean person". (Just something completely lacking in wit that I say to Scott when he does something sweetly cruel, like tickle or jump out from behind something to scare me)
8) "Oh, this is my favorite song!" I am told I say this about every song I hear.

Eight things I want to do before I die
1) Marry in the temple
2) Have and raise children
3) Earn my MA
4) Learn to fly a plane
5) Leave the country
6) Teach at a University
7) Help Scott build his special something. Or at least be by his side supporting him as he does.
8) Write a book and have it published.

Eight things I have learned over the past year
1) I love having a fresh diet of fruits and veggies, and I LOVE to exercise. (so why do I continue to gain weight?!)
2) I am just like my mother.
3) Love isn't just for "everyone else".
4) I might actually be able to see the INSIDE of a temple again someday.
5) Just because I'm 25 and taking a bit longer, doesn't mean I'm being left behind or that I'm not accomplishing anything.
6) My once mean big sister can be both my hero and my best friend
7) Some Boys like Anne of Green Gables too.
8) Pick your battles and let it go.

Eight places I want to see
1) My office and studio as a college professor.
2) Sealing room of the Oakland temple.
3) Prince Edward Islands
4) Ireland
5) Hawaii beaches (snorkeling)
6) The earth from a hot air balloon
7) "Where they make balloons" (See TMBG's "NO!")
8) Bamboo forest in China

Eight things I currently want or need
1) A new car the runs on something clean and renewable, like fingernail clippings. We will probably never run out of fingernail clippings, and as a young child I was very concerned that, if I continued to clip my fingernails regularly, everyone in the world would be swimming in them by the time I was eighteen, which, incidentally, I was a day I was CONVINCED I would not live to see). Do you think the atmosphere could survive pollution in the form of little bits of human?
2) Babies
3) Money for school
4) More time in my day to squeeze in more classes while still working full time in order to graduate before next Christmas!
5) Q-tips. I'm a bit obsessive about cleaning my ears out.
6) Not to have to go to work in two hours. I just left that place a few hours ago.
7) A blessing
8) to lose twenty pounds

Eight people I want to tag
1) Scott
2) Helena
3) Annette
4) Natalie
5) Judy
6) Troop 461... (I'm running out of untagged friends on here...)
7) Lori
8) Denise
Anybody else who wants to do it.