Kent Odessa - Bo Jacksons Music Video

This is me, in a very small leotard, doing my best Flashdance-esque moves. Check out the rest of Kent Odessa's album, Silverdome, here, and buy it on iTunes.


Let's talk about ...

... herbal facial steams!

I can't breathe through my right nostril right now, and I've been coughing unproductively (you know, the kind that's really annoying to other people, like listening to one side of a conversation by someone on a cell phone) thanks to this SHITTY COLD I got my from my best friend (thanks Syl!), so I decided to break out the big guns.
Luckily I work in an herb store and I had a baggie of the perfect kind of tea to use, but if by some weird chance you DON'T work in an herb store and have a baggie of magic herbs lying around, here are some good ones to get:
(flowers are pretty safe)

and if you wanna chill out in the meantime, you can use some hops, passionflower, and mint of your liking.

Bring water to a boil. Add a handful of herbs and let it steep with the lid on for a minute or two so the steam get get good and herby.
Then place your pot on something that will prevent it from burning a hole through your table, throw a towel over your head, and create an herbal steam cave sauna.

WHAM! You will be hit with a lot of steam. Adjust position and vents accordingly. It's not rocket science, don't burn your face off.

Sit and breathe deeply, feel your pores opening up, and the snot trickling down your nose. But if you want to proceed to the next step I suggest you don't let it fall in the pot.

When you are reliving the sensation of having two nostrils, or you are able to get some shit out when you cough, you've probably been in there long enough.

Now, you can strain your herbal tea into a mug and drink that shit. Or, if you feel so inclined, you can use it as a foot bath. Calendula and rose especially are very good for your skin, and chamomile is soothing. But don't do tea AND footbath. Or do. Mmmm!


The endurance of Free People

The August Free People catalog has been sitting in my room for a while. I tend to sort of ignore their catalogs because their stuff is notoriously the same from season to season and I can never afford it even though it is meant to look like worldly and ethnic stuff collected while backpacking through third-world countries.

The formula works, though, and I decided to flip through this catalog and pick out new and old trends that work and that I can easily rock without shelling out hundreds of bucks toward corporate clothing.

1. Random-ass braids.

This is an old FP standby, which is also pervasive right now. I can get behind this super trendy hair situation because I'm lazy. As long as you have a braid here or there--but not a perfect one, mind you, it must look like it was formed accidentally by the swishing of your locks--your hair can be a fucking rat's nest. I'm off to a good start!

2. Piles of bracelets belonging to other cultures

Basic tee from Walmart? American Eagle jeans? NO PROBLEM. Even your most boring outfit is Free People-worthy if you put on at least 25 ethnic bracelets--those ones we all have from when Aunt Sarah went to Jamaica.

3. Maxi skirt and sweater

Am I the only one who bought an amazing maxi skirt this summer but found it was too fucking hot to wear it? Didn't think so. Thank goodness Fashion decided to cut us a break.

4. Summer dress = Fall dress

In the same vein ... this is actually probably what I love most about Free People. I'm not exactly rolling in dough over here, and the clothes that I own, which include Springy and Summery dresses, never get a break. But they showed me that if you add socks and a sweater, IT'S OKAY to be poor and only own little dresses! Free People is about, well, excess, for one thing, but also quick fixes: neglected hair? Add braids! Bam! Boring outfit? Add every bracelet you own! Bam! Little dresses? Underused maxi skirts? Add sweaters! Bam!

5. The "ethnic" bag

Oh, the ethnic bag. What is there to say? Everyone loves the eclecticism, the cheap chicness, the worldliness, of a bag made by someone brown. People compete with these things. Look at MY ethnic bag that I got in Nevada. Look at MY ethnic bag; it's Tibetan. Why I like them: well, god damnit if they aren't really pretty. And, any street fair. No, really. ANY street fair. You will find one, and it will be twenty bucks. And you will feel as if you have won.


Crystal shopping: a fairy tale

On Monday, Moonrise Herbs posted a photo on their facebook page with a caption highlighting the beneficial properties of Fluorite:

"Fluorite cystallizes in the form of masses, grains, columns, cubes, octahedra, and rhumbdodecahedra cyrstals. The color range includes pink, blue, green, yellow, purple, magenta, red black, colorles, and shades of all.
This mineral produces an energy which is predisposed to discourage chaotic, disruptive, and disorganized growth. It emits an energy which can be used to stabilize and to produce order within the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual systems. It can be used to bring order to chaos.
It increases the ability to concentrate, balancing the positive and negative relationships of the mind. It helps one to see both reality and truth behind illusion.
It is excellent in helping one to understand the balances intrinsic to relationships. It provides for a stabilizing energy, helping relationships, groups, and individuals to flourish in the realm of that which is beneficial to all.
It also encourages and sustains the flawless ideal of health, intellect, and emotional well-being. It provides for purification, cleansing, and elimination of that which is in disorder. It can be used to dispell disorders at the commencement of the symptoms."

I decided immediately I needed a chunk in my life, so I opened a new tab and headed for a site where I had previously bought Moonstone with very happy results, exquisitecrystals.com. Lo and behold, you can get a chunk about the size of a nickel for a whopping two bucks.

How much is shipping, though, you ask? Ready yourself: FREE. How there is any profit involved here is beyond me; I'm not good at math. So anyway, I ordered an octohedron of Fluorite Sunday night and was notified it shipped on Monday, the 27th.

Today, Wednesday the 29th, I came home, and my roommate said, "oh, you have a package." Que?! Well, it was a part for my broken blender that I ordered a week ago. NO, silly, I'm just kidding, of course it was my Fluorite! My crystal arrived bubble-wrapped in a bubble mailer.

Not only that, but the envelope was sealed with an inspiring Confucius quote;

when I opened it, I found a FREEBIE (!);

and John, whom I presume to be the owner, thanked me personally, hand-written.

I am gobsmacked. Buying crystals from this site is hands-down the best online ordering experience. If you need crystals for any reason (because you're a jeweler? just a rock enthusiast?), John is your man.



Future Fambo & Lufly "All Out" Music Video

I had the privilege of working with artists Lufly and Future Fambo for the video for their song "All Out." I'm the "annoyed neighbor" in the beginning and one of the dancers (the "end butt," as my Mom called it).


Dance Response: Hubbard Street 2

On Saturday, April 14 I attended the performance by Hubbard Street 2 in the Olmsted Theater. I’ve seen some YouTube videos of the Hubbard Street main company, but this show wasn’t actually exactly as I expected it to be. And it was both impressive and depressing, for me personally.

The first piece in the program, never did run smooth, choreographed by Gabrielle Lamb, was my least favorite. Not that it was bad by any means, I just thought parts of the choreography were a little “cute” for my taste. It simply wasn’t very exciting or moving—musically, in terms of stage elements, or choreographically. But luckily, things started to pick up pace in the next dance. Never was, by Alejandro Cerrudo, set to two very different Baroque-era musical pieces by Handel and Purcell, had more of the things I want to see at a dance performance. The piece began dramatically, but not overly so; two dancers, Emilie Leriche and Johnny McMillan, were lit by a circle of strong white light from above. Their costumes were simple almost to the point of being severe; the drum processional music by Purcell added to this severity. And, most importantly, the movement was strong and intense, with an air of being warriors. The two dancers were very sharp and precise in their movements.

My favorite piece was the third. HS2 dancer Johnny McMillan choreographed this piece with the Sami people, nomadic reindeer herders native to Norway, in mind. He used folkloric music by Sami musicians such as Pekka Lehti and Mari Boine—and this was perhaps one of my favorite elements of the piece. McMillan listened to all the intricacies of the singer’s voice and the movement corresponded to the sounds. Each movement seemed to me to be an emotional response to the singer’s raw voice, so the movement and sound were one. The use of fake fall-colored leaves onstage wasn’t totally necessary, but they were beautiful when they got swirled around by the wind from the dancer’s movement. At times, the movement was uncomfortable—raw and explicit, eliciting discomfort in the form of snorts of laughs or whispers from some audience members. That’s also one of the things I liked about it. I think it’s good to have awkward or unusual moments in choreography. If all you want to see is pretty stuff, go see a ballet. If you want to broaden your mind and feel something (other than contentedness and “wasn’t that nice, dear”), have a visceral response to what you’re seeing, then this is what you’re looking for. The choreography was fast, intense, primitive, and also beautiful. It was the type of dancing that is so impressive, I thought, “I’m not sure I could ever do that.”

The fourth piece, sad monsters, choreographed by Maurya Kerr, was not for me. It was a little too Sidra Bell. I didn’t like the “fierce” intensity and I absolutely hated the costumes (black turtlenecks and booty shorts). The last duet was pretty great, but in general I didn’t click with this piece.

PACOPEPEPLUTO, choreographed by Alejandro Cerrudo to music by Dean Martin, probably gave a bunch of Long Island old ladies very good dreams. It was a series of three male solos, again in white light, and the kicker is that all they wore was a dance belt (“costume design, Rebecca Shouse,” struck me as funny). Each of the solos was beautiful, but I did rather wish there were fewer times their backs faced downstage. Each dancer had his own very distinct movement quality, but they were all beautiful in their own respect. I was impressed mostly by their control—they way they could catch their balance and how they could move out of turns. The program talks about their being “enshrouded in dim lighting and fog,” but we didn’t get any fog. It must not have worked out in our theater. Anyway, Andrew Wright’s butt was my favorite.

The last piece, Bonobo, was more like what I expected from a Hubbard Street performance. The choreography, in this case by Penny Saunders, was most like what I thought it would be, based on what I’d seen online. This is also one instance where the description in the program matched what I thought of it. It was “inspired by the history of Vaudeville-type traveling tent shows from the 1920s and 1930s,” and “[featuring] an eclectic score ranging from hilarity to poignancy.” This one was the most theatrical of them all. It was a good one to end with.

One of the things that impressed me most was the dancers’ partnering skills. I’m always impressed by good partnering, because I know how hard it is. I wonder how many times they have to practice each lift to make them look like that. It made me wish that instead of working on choreography for our workshop piece in partnering class, we would spend more time practicing lifts until they are smooth and easy.

The other thing that impressed me also depressed me. All of the HS2 dancers are very young. In fact, two of them are my age, and still in college! It hit me kind of hard and made me feel very behind where I should be in my career. I’m nowhere near as good as these other college Seniors.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show and seeing how ballet technique can transform into so many other things, and how performing classical ballet isn’t the only possible end goal of practicing ballet technique. I hope that this impression was also made on Adelphi Dance’s newest members whose minds have yet to be opened to the possibilities.


Lar Lubovitch Dance Company at MMAC

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company performed “Histoire du Soldat” and “Crisis Variations,” accompanied by live music, at Manhattan Movement & Art Center February 11, 2012.
I was slightly surprised by the space, which struck me as being rather casual. Since non-student ticket prices ran close to $50, I guess I expected a more upscale venue.

The first piece, “Histoire du Soldat” (or “The Soldier’s Tale”) is to a 1918 score by Igor Stravinsky which the composer said was to be “read, played, and danced.” Now, I don’t know about the original script, but the modern, English version read that night is terrible. This piece could have done with a lot less reading and playing, and way more dancing. The Kindergarten-like storytelling and boring musical score made me uncomfortable. Actually, that’s an understatement. I hated the narration and couldn’t believe how painfully awful it was. But, when the dancers were actually onstage, they were wonderful and beautiful. Maybe if they had danced during the narration and music I wouldn’t have minded it so much.

Actually, the partnering in “Soldier’s Tale” tied in very nicely with what we are learning in partnering class here with Amy Marshall and Chad Levy. There was a lift in which Amy had to look completely limp. This is tricky because dead weight is hard to carry, so the person being lifted has to be able to achieve the limp look but still hold their abs. We got to witness this type of lift when “Soldier” Reid Bartelme brought out the sick “Princess” Nicole Corea, dangling under his arm.

There were a lot of partnering movements that we’re learning about in class that it was good to see executed professionally well.

Where the first piece disappointed, the second piece, “Crisis Variations,” awed and amazed. I would have seen just that for my $17. This piece actually reminded me a lot of Sylvana’s work; some of the floor work in this piece was also in Sylvana’s “May Fly.” This piece also had crazy partnering in it, as well as magical patterns, and the way they danced was fluid, as can be expected from Lubovitch’s company, but at the same time they affected limpness and flailed around wildly while maintaining impeccable technique and strength. The surprising ending was so delightful it left me giddy. This piece made me excited about dance again and gave me a new standard to strive for!


DIY Fabric-covered denim shorts

I've had this photo sitting in my "fashion" folder on my computer for some time, and recently looked at it again while at home.

(clicks through to my fashion Tumblr. I regret that I don't know the source of this photo. VERY SORRY; CONTACT ME IF THIS IS YOURS.)

I happened to have some cool fabric saved in my remnants suitable for the job. And some Levi's cutoffs from the Salvation Army.

As you can see in the picture, the fabric appears to be adhered to the denim without stitches; it looks like it's glued on. So I armed myself with some fabric glue, which I've never used before, so this was kind of experimental, and set to work.

You have to cut the tip off of it to start using it. I joked that it's Jewish glue. Mom didn't laugh as much as I'd hoped.

I started with what looked to be the hardest part, because that's the kind of gyal I am: the belt loop.

I cut one incision not quite the length of the belt loop, and two more diagonally to the corners, then folded under; that's how it sits flush with the loop. (In my opinion I did this much more neatly than whoever made the inspiration shorts ... )

First I tried just using the glue, but the shit totally doesn't stick right away and I don't know how long you have to hold it for it to bond. I don't have that kind of patience. So what I did was put glue down, press the fabric into place, and tack a small stitch into it through the glue, on each corner.

Then I went for the pocket. This was kind of tricky because it's curved. This would have been much harder with the cotton used on the inspo pair, but my fabric has a bit of leeway, so it curved nicely. I continued my glue/press/stitch method.

artfully dodged that rivet

Then I tackled the crotch area.

This proved the most difficult because I didn't cut it very smartly. Oh well.

And here's the final product!

Now I know why the original DIY'ers opted for the angular cuts around the zipper. That crotch part was unnecessarily challenging. Luckily the un-straight line doesn't show when I put the shorts on.

I opted for just one side for now, because I'm a little wary of this look ...

Also I didn't want it to be like the "skort" effect, where you think it's one thing in the front and then you find out you've been horribly deceived, by the back. I guess you could call it the "mullet" effect, too. Well anyway, there's still more fabric, if I change my mind.


Mail me this stuff?

With bracelets

Ew, this thing is filthy. I want the charging dock too, of course.
2 small photo albums, Book pictured above, as well as Delsarte spiral-bound book
This clump of clothing. Yeah ............... sorry.
These three pairs

But I don't need Jannie's feather duster! :p
4 picture frames
This whole box of STUFF. You can stop at the pareos that are folded in there. I don't think I need those.


Shut Up and Dance! Featuring Afrika Bambaataa

Excited to be dancing at this with Peek A Boo Gogo. :)


Necklace for a mutual birthday

On the close-up you can see how I attached the strings of beads to the hammered ovals with tiny loops of chain.