Transcript Wrangler

So I’m applying to grad school (remind me again why this is a smart idea?) and the most annoying part of my process is finding and sending all of my transcripts. I’ve attended four undergraduate institutions, and I swear it’s like pulling teeth to get these places (that I’ve already paid, mind you) to send my records to other places. Granted most have electronic systems now which helps, but of course I’ve got one straggler where the system doesn’t recognize me. Even though my name, birthdate, and social are still the same. Explain that, please?

So I guess once I figure out where I got lost in the Interwebs I’ll have that grad school thing on lock down.

I’ve been to a couple more spin classes, with plans for more, and I love it! I feel myself getting better in the classes already and my butt usually only hurts by the end of class. You guys, I might have a cardio addiction…


Curtain Up

In case you don’t watch PBS (or whatever your region calls it), they have a great series called Live from Lincoln Center. Since PBS is SO AWESOME, they also have everything available online. For free. For basically ever.

One of the more recent episodes was all about the School of American Ballet Student Workshop. When I saw the words “School of American Ballet” in my listings I almost peed from excitement then and there. Needless to say, I’m a Balanchine fan. But having never seen NYCB live (or even all the way through on video), I knew that this would be the closest I would get while sitting on my couch.

With my DVR set to record, I anxiously awaited the morning that the title would appear in my List. Settling down with my coffee, I devoured this program. To my surprise, the first number performed was Tchaikovsky’s Serenade, choreographed by Mr. B. Which, is my absolute favorite*. The moment I hear the opening chords, I get chills and have to stop what I’m doing to find out where it’s coming from. THIS. PIECE. IS. PERFECTION. The music, the costumes, the steps, OH ITS SO GOOD. And yes, I’m yelling it at you.

(*I assume that it would be my favorite if I ever saw it in real life. But either way I’m obsessed with it.)


Next up is sections from Coppelia, Swan Lake, and one of the movements from Western Symphony. All equally excellent (and choreographed by Balanchine), especially the excerpt from Swan Lake, because the part with Odette and the Cygnets is what’s up. But I was so blown away by Serenade in its entirety, that I have since watched the whole program at least five times. At least.

|Swan Lake!|

|Western Symphony!|
[source for all three dance stills]

These kids, because they are actually kids, are phenomenal athletes and artists. Do they need a little bit more depth in their emotion? Sure. Could they use a few years in the corps to refine? Yeah, why not. But they look and act like professionals, which is amazing to me.

|Rehearsal for Western, which literally looks like The Most fun.|

Just for you, I dug up the link to watch this online. You’ll find it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Or hell, even half as much would probably be an appropriate amount. Even if you don’t love Balanchine, having a FREE 60 minute plus video of professional caliber performance is worth your time.


Holy Spin Class Batman


I went to my first ever official spin class this morning. I say official because I’ve been on the bike in the gym and I’ve done those virtual classes, but this was the first actual group class I’ve done.

It was fun! But holy moly my ass hurts.

There’s a place in town called CycleYOU and they offer all kinds of group classes for cycling, TRX, and yoga. A friend and I did the 60 minute Body Blast with Kai, who was very very good. At least I thought so from my limited amount of class experience. They turn the lights out and have flameless candles around the room, as well as people whose job it is to refill your water bottle and pick things up so you don’t have to unclip.


We parked in the back, duh.

Speaking of unclipping, they let the first time riders use their shoes for free, PLUS your first class is free, so it’s wins all around. You can also rent shoes per class or buy them.


There's Kai!

I have a Groupon for another three classes that I will definitely be using. After that I will make a decision about buying a package. But I really think I could get behind this place. It has the right kind of vibe for me. Plus the people are helpful but not in your face, which I like.

Have you ever done a spin class? How long until your ass gets used to the seats? Do you ride road bikes instead? How does it compare?

More updates soon. Plus some ballet people and I are talking about taking an aerial silks class next month, eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!


First Class of 2015

Thursday meant two things for me: 1. A day off. 2. Ballet is BACK! It was so great to get back to class after, what felt like months off. In reality I think it was actually just over two or three weeks. And man what a turnout we had! All of our usual class (there are five of us) plus FIVE MORE PEOPLE. Our class doubled in size over the break! I hope that at least some of them stay with us. I remember when we started last summer we were busting at the seams, but then it went down to four, then we gained one back in October or so.

Class was lovely. We started out back to the basic basic basics because several people were absolutely brand new to ballet or had not done it for years and years and years. I used the time to really hone my technique: pointing toes, pulling up, engaging core and quads, you know the drill. It made me realize that I let a lot of things slide when I do more complicated movements, and I even reached out to my teacher to enquire about additional lessons to focus on technique. I’m serious guys. Srsly.

A couple of girls and I in our class would love to do pointe work one day, and I know that using strong technique is very important, especially as an adult beginner. You need a strong foundation, even if you don’t progress to pointe, which is a distinct possibility for me.

I would like to try to do some progress points throughout the year. A little report card if you will. Just to show myself that I can improve, even if it is a small amount. I’ll be recording myself (after class or some kind of activity so that I’ll be the most warm) in picture form doing arabesque, pirouettes, and balances. I want to focus on form, extension, turnout and length of balances. I’m not a good turner. Some of the time I can maybe get one clean pirouette from either side. Forget about pique turns. But I am determined to improve my technique so that I can absolutely nail one perfect controlled turn most of the time. I think that’s fair. Oh! And I’m going to get my splits back. I used to be a gymnast as well, so it hurts my soul that I’ve gotten so out of shape that I lost my splits.

Do you look at specific points to note your changes? Do you measure progress or just feel things in passing?

I feel a little Type A by measuring things directly, but hey, you gotta do you.


Ice Cream Paint Job

So we (read: Joel) were finally motivated enough to finish painting upstairs. I had finished all of the rooms except the master bedroom and bath over the summer, and we picked out colors, just never got around to purchasing the paint. Sidenote: why do people say that painting is the cheapest way to redecorate? That shit is actually hella expensive. And we only got Behr. Which I guess is like top shelf at Home Depot, but it’s no Sherwin Williams or Porter. Or hell, Benjamin Moore would probably cost as much as a mortgage payment to cover one room. Anyway, I digress.

Joelle had some Christmas vacation to burn up, so he did most of the work this time, but damn if we didn’t do a ton of work the past few days. The biggest task being having to repaint the trim, since the previous owners painted everything off-white, which made it look dirty and gross. If you ever want to paint your trim off-white, friends, please don’t do it. You’ll thank me later.

So all that’s left is a second coat on some trim in the hall and the trim in the two small bedrooms. Joel did the master while I was at work the other day and all the doors. I did the bathroom today and we both worked on the trim. I hate painting trim because it’s so tedious and even when you’re finished you have almost no work to show for it. Ugh. Trim. Seriously, don’t do it.

The biggest impact was in the bathroom. It feels like a completely different room. Win.


Here's the before. With a cat face off, obv.


And the after!

Now I just need some art or something. Yeah. That sounds right.