Thursday, February 28, 2013

The beginnings of NY NY

I've performed the song, famously sung by Sinatra, many many times...New York, New York.

Until today I'd only visited once and didn't see many of the sights or do much touristy. Didn't even stay very long in fact.

This trip is not much different. I'm only here for a few days and I'm not forking over lots of dough to go party and live the high life, but I am getting to visit old and new friends alike, see a few sights, and walk lots and lots and lots :)

I arrived at LGA this afternoon and lugged my suitcase, violin with attached 25lb music bag, and carry on around NY to visit a couple of friend already.

Now snug as a bug, I'm happily content in another wonderful friends home and a very comfy bed and after a nice long chit chat to start catching each other up on our lives.

These next few days should be busy, exhausting, and most importantly, FUN!

Tomorrow is all about more friends, more food, and contra dancing. You thought you wouldn't read about contra dancing in a NY entry, but you were wrong :)  I go contra dancing any time I can and after researching ahead of time I discovered that I would be here for a great dance and that is tomorrow night!!

Then it is a day of sight seeing with more friends, partying with even more friends, catching up with all the friends, and collapsing before joining my next cruise ship on Monday.

Whew, I'm feeling tired just writing it all down. I suppose I should since I've been up for 19 hrs straight and that is on only 5 hrs of sleep the night before. But I'm also excited and eager to go out there, meet people, visit places, try things, and just live life.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Last weekend I performed with the Texarkana Symphony Concert at the historic Perot Theater. It's a beautiful hall and we had a fabulous night of Spanish inspired music.

The program included works such as the Carmen Suite by Bizet,  and a classical guitar concerto by Rodrigo performed by grammy award winning artist, Sharon Isbon.

But like usual, my life can never go as normal, nor as planned...


I'm now officially confused... *nobody laugh here*

This concert my music stand was as much in the percussion section as the violin section.

One good thing about this placement is that I never had any problem, whatsoever, in any way, determining where the beat was :)  One bad thing about this placement is that I can no longer hear out of my left ear...

The percussion section was great and all were a good sport to take the picture with me. You can see that my music stand was indeed in line to the right of all the other percussion music stands. One of the players stood right next to me and usually backed up to avoid being poked by my bow, but I couldn't move any further to the right because I was already partially blocking the entrance/exit off stage.

The concert was a lot of fun. There were a lot of laughs and a lot of bow tapping on percussion instruments and percussion fingers strumming violin strings!  It was a hoot!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The "New" Battery

You simply must watch this short video!

I was blown away at the discovery that was made here that will definitely and miraculously change our world.

It's also ironic that I had just finished reading an article in the PC World magazine about Qi wireless charging stations.

With this discovery, after implementation into the everyday world around us, it will change our lives for the better and in so many amazing ways.

I really look forward to watching the integration of this substance/ device? into our lives.

The New "Battery" or Supercapacitor

I miss ship life. Or in other words; I just want to go home.

Did somebody say Ship life?

This list was posted by a ship friend of mine and I thought it worth sharing with all of you.

Now, ironically, these things listed below are often negative, but for me, they remind me of home. How I feel when I cross the gangway onto the ship is such a relief, even if vacation on land was fun. Even the little things that are annoying make me smile because I'm so happy these are the little things annoying me as opposed to the annoyances of permanent land life. Maybe someday I'll wist for land and soil beneath my feet, but for now, I wish only for the open water and everything you read below.

It's true what they say.

It doesn't feel like work when it's what you love to do!!

- Days of the week become countries
- Taking a bath is considered a luxury
- You have to be a contortionist to shave your legs
- When you talk about how to spend your "hours off" not "days off".
- You have to turn on the tv to see the weather outside
- Where you can get drunk for $5
- Hangovers can be blamed on seasickness
- Hours back determine when parties are
- You haven’t had 10 minutes alone since you walked onboard
- Arriving at a new country usually consists of finding the free wifi
- You haven’t known what day of the week it is for 6 months
- Being screamed at by a passenger condones chugging a beer on a bathroom break
- Being solely responsible for tens of thousands of dollars with no sweat
- Happy hour can be every hour.
- Working less than 10 hours is considered to be "an easy day".
- You know there will always be white rice for breakfast/lunch/dinner
- Partying with your bosses
- It’s been 4 days since you’ve stepped outside
- You’ve just spent a 13-hour day with the same people, so you go to dinner and happily spend the rest of the night with them
- Packing a variety of costumes for a contract is smart
- You can survive with 3 pairs of jeans for 6 months
- Seeing the captain at the gym is like seeing a movie star at a grocery.
- You smile even if you’re having a bad day
- When you’re in the real world you stop yourself from saying hello to random people walking past you
- Walking across the hallway and knocking replaces the need for a cellphone
- If you get a job on land you’ll feel naked without a name badge
- You’re so far from home but seem to be surrounded by your family.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My new Vibram shoes!

For a super duper early birthday present, or just because she's awesome (!), my sister bought me a pair of Vibrams!!!  Now, I've been looking at these shoes forever, but could never afford them so I was super excited to get these :)

I absolutely love love love love wearing them. They feel so great; just unbelievable on my feet.

They are also bright yellow, which I didn't think I'd like very much but I really do. They're eye catching and full of life. I can't believe it took me so long to get a pair. I already want another, in a different color just for fun :)

They look all cool on the bottom. The arch support is nice and comfy and the tread underneath feels amazing. I have always loved walking barefoot since I was a child. Still walk around places like hotels or cruise ships or dormitories or even the city streets of Rio de Janeiro for instance, barefoot. And now finally, I feel like I'm walking around barefoot, but I've got a bit of protection around my feet. 

I need to buy another pair a size larger so when the weather is chilly I can wear toe socks in them. That's my next plan of attack. Until then, it's footless tights that are in order since all I have are footed ones.

Funny story:

Today I was wearing my Vibrams, as usual now, and I walked into a post office in Little Rock AR to mail a letter. There were 4 women behind me in line ranging in age from around 40-80. All of them kept glancing down and staring at my shoes. Finally, the one directly behind me got brave (they had all started whispering together even though they were strangers) and asked me about them. I told them I loved the shoes, and that they are very comfortable and very good for your feet. You can get them wet and it's ok. You can wash them, you can go everywhere in them and your feet will be much happier than in a pair of toe crunchers (as I call them). 

Disclaimer: I do wear toe crunchers, but as a part of my job or for special events, not as a daily option for fashions sake. 

As soon as I proclaimed the joys of the shoes the ladies all immediately started saying they all wanted a pair and how good they would be at their various employments all at the same time. At around this time the next window opened and I walked away to conduct my business. As I turned to go, the first lady readdressed me and asked where I had purchased them. I said that I had received them as a gift, but told them the only store in Little Rock that sells them and that they are also available for purchase all over the internet. That Vibrams are the main brand but that there are others. And yes, all the toes are separate.

It was so funny watching these women gawk at my shoes with big bright eyes of amazement. None of them had ever seen anything so funny looking in their lives it seemed. It was wonderful to brighten their day with something new and hopefully improving to each of their lives. 

So now you know what a vibrant yellow pair of Vibrams will do for you!

If any of you want to buy me my next new pair that I can wear socks with so my toes don't get so cold in the wintery weather just let me know....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dancing Fool Feb. 2013 videos

Everyone has been asking me how my latest contra dance weekend went (except for those of you who were there of course). So, here are some videos to showcase the awesomeness that is Dancing Fool. I'm in all the videos somewhere. But enjoy the music and the laughter and you might just find yourself tapping your feet :)

And I'm also going to pat my own back for the html coding of these videos. I am super happy I was able to not just do some copy/paste but also some edits!! Yea me :)

this dance you can see me somewhere, but I'm not going to tell you. You're just going to have to watch the video :-) Evil? Most definitely not! You'll love watching it!

I'm also in this video, about 20 seconds in and then closer up at around 45 seconds in. Can you find me??

And I'm at the very end of this video off and on through the 6 min mark. I'm swinging my girls away :)

And I included this video, even though I'm only in for a second around 2:30 minute mark BECAUSE it's one awesome tune! You've got to play it just to listen to the of the best and greatest contra tunes out there :)

Hope you enjoyed watching these videos. It did take me some time to get them all encoded properly here and then code my page in html as opposed to just writing it like normal. But I enjoyed watching all the videos multiple times and successfully editing the html so it was totally worth it!!

Hopefully I'll see you at the next contra dance festival :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Movie Night!

Movie music is usually some of my favorite music to play. Lucky for me, the orchestra usually puts on a movie music night once per season. And this year I'm here for it!

Wish you all could join me at the Arkansas Symphony tonight and tomorrow for: A Night At The Movies :)

We'll be playing pieces from The Godfather, Chariots of Fire, Disney, James Bond, Harry Potter, and my favorite to play, Pirates of the Caribbean!

Everyone laughed when I made note that I'd had a hard time deciding which movies to watch for my research since I didn't have time for them all. And then I suggested we all should be able to come dressed as a character from one of the films, but that idea, although greeted with smiles and chuckles, was vetoed immediately :(

There will be a boy singer for Lord of the Rings, tango dancers for Por Una Cabeza (from Scent of a Woman and True Lies), background movie showings, guest conductors; it will really be a spectacle of a show!


Friday, February 8, 2013

So much for coasting...

Yeah, after a fantastic and amazing and every other positive adjective you wish to insert, I was coasting nicely along back into the real world....hoping to linger just a bit longer on the oh so soft clouds of contra.

Life did not deem it as such for me it seems.

This was what I was rudely interrupted with last night.

The sun had just set, and the rain clouds had begun to roll in. I was starving and eager to retrieve  package from a friend. So off I set down the highway until the tire shredded to inoperable measures.

Of course these things never happen when you'r planning on staying in town for the week, or you just got paid, or you're not supposed to be the carpool driver for the weekend. No, all those things and more are when it happens.

Welcome back to reality. It's great to be back (said with much facetiousness)!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I am a Dancing Fool!!! Are You???

Over the last weekend I danced and danced and danced some more. And I wish I could keep dancing! That's my brain talking; not my feet :)

Dancing started Thursday evening with a full house and reunions with friends. Then Friday it was off to the races. Catching up with quick words amidst swings and gypsies and then on to the next, trying to dance with all your old friends and make new ones, guzzling water and quick changing shirts during short breaks, was how it all started. Then Saturday hit....full on, with no mercy!

Dancing all morning, dancing all afternoon, a marathon dance, and dancing all evening....did I mention dancing?? :)

Here are a couple photos to show the fun and craziness that is contra!

Wheeeeeee!!!!!!  Girls gotta love a good swing :)

What a sweet moment captured here. I love leading in contra and this swing was a truly lovely time :)

A manic smile, but it betrays how much fun I was having. Helps that I had a stellar swing partner!

So sad that this Dancing Fool Seattle weekend is over. I miss all my friends, new and old, all the swings, left and right, all the meals, hurried or lingered, and most of all, the energy and environment and engaging atmosphere that is the contra dance weekend Dancing Fool.

Thanks to Meg who put it all together and the bands and callers who worked so hard and to all the dancers who nearly destroyed their bodies out there on the dance floor.

Until next Fool!!!!!