Friends and Family

Ask, and you shall receive, Maria. 🙂

First, this choreography! I need to go back to the 70s where I could keep up with the dancing. Step, together, step, tap, baby. I got that all. Day. LONG! My CM choreographers know this.

Second, if you aren’t thinking of the Pirates from the 70s when you hear this, well, I guess you just aren’t a Pirates fan, now are you?

Now, on to the meat of things: family.

Some folks might only have, one definition of family, that being those who fall under the category of people related by blood. Nope, nope, nope, nope nope. If you’re a Facebook user, you might be familiar with friends lists. In my world, they’re more like family lists. Let’s take a look at that, shall we? Not literally because you don’t need screenshots of my Facebook. 😛

Alrighty then, let’s start at the beginning. Steph and Jess had the most pimped out wedding ceremony you have never seen back on 8.1.70. They are my everything. Taught me all the good stuff about respect and being a good person. All the sirs and ma’ams to be had. But also pinochle, barbeque sauce, and banana pudding. And food takes us down the yard to Gram and Pops. Man. Totally my second mom and dad but with cookies and ice cream. Gram made the good good. Peach junk and mac and cheese. I can kinda replicate them because I spent so much time watching her make them, but any time I asked for a recipe, it was “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”. Pops got me my car knowledge as he “worked” in a garage and so I learned to change oil and tires which leads me to the first family that wasn’t blood. Let us not forget the little brother whom I clobbered with the ketchup bottle and the daughter who came much later down the road.

The VMH crew. Van Meter Heights, a name we entirely made up in our backwoods, rural one mile stretch of road. It was the kind of area where everyone knew everyone’s business, so there was no sneaking of anything! At least not for me, lol. I had mom and dads and brothers and sisters all up and down the road. They taught me friendship and fights and how to make up from them. These people were more than likely the beginnings of the unemployed comedian I am today.

My next sets of families came from work. The Don Pablo’s family, the Kanagroo’s family, the Houlihan’s family, and the Club Med family. Working in hospitality changes you! Everyone should have to do it at least once. These folks taught me about relationships and what they were and what they weren’t. They taught me what it was to have someone’s back and to know when someone had mine. I learned fantasy football with them, nearly got kicked out of baseball stadiums with them, went to back-to-back-to-back movies with them, did parking lot donuts in the snow with them, checked out WWF (back when it was still WWF) Raw with them, and took over Carlos ‘n Charlies with them on a weekly basis. Of course there were not so great times, but we got through them together and we’re all stronger for it. This isn’t to say that I have no family from non-hospitality jobs because I do. I’m looking at you Rebecca, Pedro, Justin, Holly, and Chris. OMG don’t be mad if I didn’t mention you. I can’t list every single person, Pramod. And Shiva.

A quick shout out to my pole and circus family! Y’all taught me to be my damn self and go ahead and be that self on stage. A couple sentences isn’t really enough, but I can’t be here all night!

And now, now I am growing a real estate family. It’s been fun! I am constantly out shaking hands and kissing babies. Mayor McCheese-ing like there’s no tomorrow. People who are teaching me how to get this job done; taking me under their collective wing and providing me with guidance and encouragement. I can already almost build a castle with business cards! (I’m not, but I COULD.)

Of course, I couldn’t end this without speaking of my not blood but close as you can be family. The hubster and his (now my) family. They’ve never been anything less than spectacular to me. Hubby puts up with more of my crapola than anyone in the world probably could without kicking me out. He has taught me, with no offense to one or two other people, what true love is, in giving and receiving.

So there you have it. Sometimes hard to follow but sometimes stream of consciousness is how I write. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it as you get to know me. 😀 Come back tomorrow or the next day for some more confusion. It’ll be fun, I promise, fam!

Challenges and Blathering, aka Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

Hey there! Two days in and I’m still sticking with it!

Along with having these writing prompts for a year, Daily Post is also doing something they’re calling Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog. I’m going to attempt to do this for January whilst still adding in the writing prompts and anything else that I might want to recall in the future. Nothing like piling it on, huh?

As you may have gathered from the title of the post, the challenge part of today is to do an introduction of yourself. I know that the three of you that actually read this already know me, but I should introduce myself to the masses of readers that I’m hoping to cultivate. The DP (ha!) provided some questions to answer, so I will answer those, but you should just know that I’m an off-the-cuff kinda chick with a super dry and sarcastic sense of humor. A lot of folks think I’m, well, not very nice, but those are the folks for whom my sense of humor goes right over their heads. I’m ok with that. I need smart humor in my life. Now on to those questions…

· Why are you blogging, rather than keeping a personal journal? – Well, it’s 2014. This *IS* my personal journal. It’s just that I’m sharing it with you all. I try to stay true to myself and therefore true to you. If I put it out there, I know it can come back at me, so like Popeye says, “I yams what I yams”, or something like that.

· What topics do you think you’ll write about? – What topics *won’t* I write about?!?! I’m really a stream of consciousness kind of writer, so I write about whatever I’m thinking about mainly. However, you’re likely to find me chatting about circus stuff, pole dancing, working out in general, music, books, and trying to make my work life a little better. Throw in some occasional jokes and silliness and you’ve gotten in my head.

· Who would you love to connect with via your blog? – Easy peasy. Any and everyone that finds what I write helpful or amusing. Someone who wants me to write for them professionally in my non-professional manner. Authors with tips on how to start/finish a book and then get it published. Aerialists with new moves. Readers with good books. You get the picture.

· If you blog successfully throughout 2014, what would you hope to have accomplished? – I’m a simple girl. I just want to get back into the habit of writing on a frequent basis. Perhaps daily writing will push out a daily short story that I could put in an anthology. Who knows? Aim high, right?

So there you go. That’s my “intro”. If you are truly new to the blog, please feel free to browse through and see what I’m about. It’s a lot of silliness.  If you’re not new, hi there. Thanks for stopping by again.

Before I go running off to do whatever it I do all day, let me touch on today’s writing prompt, as if I haven’t written enough for one day. Today’s topic is:  Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept? Without searching through my blog archives, I would really have to say no on this. I know that I’ve wanted to do things like get a massage once a month (that lasted for 2 months), get better with my Spanish (that’s just sheer laziness not doing that one), and work out more. While I am fairly consistent with my working out, I probably am not consistent enough to consider it accomplishing a NYR. All in all, when I look back at this post in a year, I want to be able to say, “hey, I did pretty good this year!” Wish me luck as I wish you the same in your blogging/writing/achieving endeavors!

Yoga Awakening?

I know, I know. It’s been forever since I last posted. Now that the shaming is out of the way, let’s continue.

This morning, like many mornings, I received an email that told me that I should write 750 words today. But this morning, unlike many mornings, I said to that email, “I WILL write 750 words today…I just need a topic.”  When you ask, the universe provides.

Off I went to the gym for yoga. I stopped to take a picture of yet another of Colorado’s absolutely gorgeous sunrises and made my way.  I’ve been going to yoga on Monday and Friday mornings for about a month now and last week I started throwing in Wednesday mornings as well. While the class is titled ‘Sunrise Yoga’, my inexperienced mind (and Google) say that this falls under Iynegar yoga. I’ve been seeing the same couple of people in the class with a mixture of new folks now and again, and the same instructor.

Sidebar: The first time I went to this class, I really thought I was not going to enjoy it as there were some real sourpusses. I’m glad I hung in there.

This particular morning, I chose to really try to focus on my breathing to ignore any discomfort that was coming from holding poses for quite some time. And this morning, for the first time, I felt extremely light-headed (and I wasn’t returning from an inversion), and immediately after the light-headedness passed, I felt as though I was going to break down into tears. Not one drop hits the mat and I continue, but I’m about to go into full wailing and shaking, breakdown crying.  This.  This was very new to me. After a few minutes, the feeling passed and I continued on with my practice.

At the end of class, after Shavasana, I was taking my time in returning to present and the instructor came over to complement me on my work for the morning. I thanked her and saw this as my opening to have a brief discussion about what had happened in class.  I was (literally) able to corner her in the room where all the mats are to pose my question of what in the world happened to me today?!?!

I started out with, “I have a question for you” to which she immediately responded, “Are you getting light-headed?”  At first, I was shocked that this would’ve been first out of her mouth, but upon further reflection, she *is* an instructor and probably hears things like this often. She talked to me about how sometimes this happens when we’re really using our breath and she said that I am probably like her in that I have the tendency to keep my abdomen tight and engaged which causes ‘reverse breathing‘ and therefore the light-headedness. In regards to the overwhelming emotion out of nowhere, she had a little less to say. She suggested that I meditate and see where I am right now and just to try to work through it. I think that I wanted a little more, but I also can see that portions of this are a personal journey.  At some point today, I hope to find the time to take her advice.

Today’s weather is certainly not a reflection of my day so far.  If anything, it is probably the exact opposite. On my way to yoga, the sun was rising and it was clear. After yoga, a heavy fog had settled in to the point that it was difficult to see more than 10 feet in front of me while driving. However, the thought occurred to me as I type, that maybe this weather is correct. Perhaps this fog that prohibits me from looking around is the exact metaphor for what I need to do, being focus on what is in front of me and give it my full attention as not to miss what is under my nose. These are things upon which to ponder.

Tonight, I close a chapter in my life.  I started pole dancing nearly five years ago and tonight, I walk away from my last class in my home studio. It was a difficult but necessary decision for me. The time has come for me to branch out in different directions in arts that are a little closer to my circus love. As I try to do nothing halfway, I trade my pole for cash, and my cash for an apparatus that will assist me in my next journeys. I am sure my path will be filled with obstacles, I only hope that they are not insurmountable. Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. Life begins today.

On Teaching

The other night, one of my students, Vivienne, (who is also a fellow instructor) complimented me on my teaching ability. You see, we were in our spin class and I try to encourage all students to search the internet and if they see something that they like or want to learn, bring it to class (or show me ahead of time) and if I can figure it out and I feel that it’s safe for the class, then we’ll try it. This was the case this past week. Fortunately, due to the move being accessible to those of us who aren’t pros, I was able to decipher the movement after a couple times of trying it myself. Afterwards, I gave an explanation and the majority of the class was able to get the move or at the very least, understand the concept. I’m not one to stand still…or right-side up, and so I do a lot of explaining whilst in motion..or upside-down. I guess this isn’t the norm. But then again, what do I do that IS in the norm? 🙂

Until Vivienne mentioned it, I really never thought about teaching and being good at it. I just do what I do. When I actually did start thinking about it, though, I’ve been “teaching” for quite some time. Let’s get in the way back machine, shall we? 

A couple of full-time jobs back, I trained my replacement. Office stuff.  Snooze.

Summertimes for the last couple of years – let’s teach people the flying trapeze!

Zumba, yo! (Ok, I’m certified to teach it, but I don’t currently.)

Oh, the Club Med years….taught some folks how to bartend, how to rollerblade, do all kinds of circus stuff. Even trained a fellow GO to be a circus GO. (I’m pretty proud of that one and you’ll really only get it if I either tell you the whole story or you understand the inner workings of Club Med.) Pretty sure I taught some chicks how to get loose too, lol. (PLUS PLUS, a Francais)

Restaurant work – I was a corporate trainer for a restaurant once. Taught my girls how to sling those drinks and make that money.

In my free time, back then, I tried to teach a person or two how to go out safely with $5 in your pocket, have the drinks that you want, and still come home with that $5 in your pocket.

Without even realizing it, I’ve been “teaching” in one way or another for quite some time now. I would have to say that teaching pole is up there in intensity with teaching circus stuff. I would also say that teaching circus really helps me in my pole teaching. They share that body awareness factor that allows me to say, “Move your <insert body part> in this way,” and most of the time, it works.

I think what I’m noticing is that teaching could very well be my life force. I feel empty when I don’t get to boss people around do a little teaching. Every life-sucking moment that I am sitting in an office, I am thinking about how I should be teaching. Gotta make that happen.

Also realizing that I don’t have an ending for this post……

Life….as a Gantt chart

Yes, I was totally planning to create and embed a Gantt chart here, but I also thought I had MS Project. Oh well. You’ll just have to imagine it in your head. Start drawing:

  • Once a week (and I’m only looking out to July 2 at the moment), I choreograph about two minutes of a song. This song changes every two weeks, sometimes three if the girls are really feeling it.
  • We have a pole showcase coming up for which there was a song requested. If I can get a commitment from enough girls, there will be that to work on. I have 7 weeks.
  • Remember back when I said a goal for 2012 was to compete? Well, I have to decide if I want to make that happen sooner as opposed to later. I have to decide in 5 days if I want to make that happen sooner as opposed to later. If I wuss out, my calendar isn’t so bad. If I go balls to the wall (because I know no other way), I would have to come up with two pieces (which are oh so likely to be pieces I’ve already performed just prettied up) and make them competition ready. In 8 weeks. EIGHT. WEEKS. There is a possibility that I would be in over my head on that one but the jury is still out.

Now that I write it out, it doesn’t seem so bad. I feel as though I could actually do this. There would be a lot of stretching, training, and (ugh) clean eating on the horizon, but I really think I could do it. I don’t have to win, right? It’s about the experience, right? We’ll see. I still have five days.

****** Don’t you hate when someone says something cryptic that you think could mean a variety of things and you know you should just ignore it because the person that said it will never come clean about the true meaning of the statement but you. Just. CAN’T?!?!?******************* (enter your own hashtag here)

Deep breath.

The weather has been just to the side of gorgeous lately and it’s not a moment too soon. I am certainly getting a circus itch that needs to be scratched. It’s time to once again visualize and then actualize that damned layout and just take it out of lines. I have to find my balls in one of these things that I do and hopefully it’ll transfer to everything else.

Hopefully. Not a word that I’m putting a lot of umph behind. I know that it’s me and me alone who puts hand to pole or fork to mouth. Sometimes, I just find it difficult to find my inspiration. When I watch folks doing the things that I know my body is capable of doing, I think to myself that, yes, I could do that, but I find the actual prepping to do it so difficult. Probably, I don’t want it badly enough, but, unfortunately, I also don’t know how to make myself want it. I need to be surrounded by pole and circus people 24/7. Ha! I need a Club Med vacation!

I’d love to stay and chat a bit, but I just remembered that I have some hula hooping to do. Be good!

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