Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's Official -- I'm a Blancmange

I was looking in a full-length mirror the other day, and suddenly it hit me. After two years of going to school while working simultaneously, and having to forego the gym for nearly a year.... I've turned in to a bland, custardy British dessert product.

This is not good. I have a massive crush on someone. If it turns out, when it all comes out in the wash, that he feels the same, how will I ever be able to get naked with him? I can only hope that once this is all over, and I'm done with the two-days-a-week in class thing, I'll be able to drag my sorry, custardy ass back into the gym and beat the "blancmange" out.

On the other hand, maybe he likes blancmange. Oh, don't be stupid, Catharine. Who really likes blancmange?


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Other Dancers With Voodoo

I just closed what will probably be the last show I do for a while, given my upcoming schedule. It was a Broadway revue with a spiritual bent that played to several churches around the L.A. area, and in Newport Beach. Three of the songs were choreographed by an L.A. dancer named Sarah Harkness, who miraculously managed to make all of us look somewhat like dancers, though many of us were most definitely... well... not.

Sarah founded a dance company called Meh-Tropolis Dance Theatre, and I wanted to give it a plug for those of you around Los Angeles (and for those of you who aren't, but haven't bought your Christmas cards yet). They are selling handmade Christmas/Holiday cards and gift tags which are lovely in their own right. But they are also sponsoring what I consider one or two very worthy causes.

First, they are supporting the arts in Los Angeles at a time when every politician and evangalistic neo-con is fighting to drag money out of the arts (but not football, you'll notice) in schools and communities all over the country. We need to keep dance, drama, art and music alive, and since our public schools have such limited ability to expose our children to this, we must rely on local companies like Sarah's to provide access and inspiration. Second, a quick trip to the Photos section of the Meh-Tropolis website will reveal that Sarah's dance company is filled with something you don't see too often in the dance world. Breasts. Not huge breasts, mind you. But breasts nonetheless. The female dancers, both principal and corps, in the company are, for the most part, normal-wieght, healthy women in fabulous condition, rather than the boy-shaped stick figures you see on stages in New York and in Europe. Meh-Tropolis dancers are real folks who can dance up a storm, and who don't inspire one to stop the show just to fix them a ham sandwich, lest they perish before the second act curtain.

Meh-Tropolis is providing little girls who have a yen to dance with a proper role model that says, "Dancers don't have to starve to dance." So buy a box of cards or some gift tags. Or a t-shirt with the really neat logo I kiped that starts this post. Or maybe make a teensy donation to the toe shoe fund -- every little bit helps.

Support the arts, and you support the things that bring us closer to ourselves. In the words of Agnes de Mille: "To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking."


Friday, November 11, 2005

Paranoid-Schmaranoid -- The Whole World *Is* Against Me.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. I had finally managed to get over my academic writer's block and turn in two written assignments yesterday, and I was feeling pretty hopeful about finishing this quarter, and going on the MFA program.

Then I went to the mailbox (I really must stop doing that!). There, in the box, was a bill from my university, for an additional $210 in tuition that wasn't covered by financial aid. That makes $465 I have to scrape together from my already exhausted budget in just two and a half weeks. On top of my other financial obligations.... I can tell you... it's just not happening.

I am pretty sure there's no way out of this for me. Without the cash, they won't release my transcripts. Without the transcripts, I can't go on to the MFA program.

I have pretty much reached the end of my emotional (not to mention my financial) reserves. These are the moments when I get so resentful that I have to do this all by myself, I want to scream and rip somebody's hair out. Not my hair, of course. Cuz... well... that would hurt....


Thursday, November 03, 2005

More on Love and "The Thing"

Ever since I posted the thing on "The Thing," I've gotten some interesting responses -- some in comments, some in e-mail form -- about relationships and whatnot. Good advice, from women who have found Mr. Right... Or rather Mr. As-Right-As-He's-Ever-Gonna-Get-Cuz-Nobody's-Perfect-Right? I made a point on the Chron of stating that I have spent the last year and a half, two years choosing not to fall in love. Actually, I've spent the last six years choosing not to fall in love, but I had a brief reprieve with a long-distance relationship with someone I loved (still love, in many ways, in fact) dearly.

I think the main concern I've been having lately is that by choosing not to choose, choosing not to get involved, I have maybe set myself up for something I hadn't anticipated. I notice -- mostly while doing "The Thing" -- that the idea of even entering into a relationship invokes feelings of genuine fear and anxiety. I look at my father -- old and alone -- and I think maybe the acorn doesn't fall too far from the oak. Maybe by choosing not to get involved with anyone, and reiterating that choice every day thereafter, I've only made it harder to find someone or to imaging myself with someone.

I start tearing a relationship down before I even enter into it. "He's too neurotic." "He's too smooth and flattering." "He couldn't possibly find me attractive (despite all evidence to the contrary -- like, he asked me out!)"

Alone is safer. Alone is more comfortable and less trying. Maybe it's the "full plate" issue. There really isn't room for one more thing before the end of the year. But I think it goes deeper than that. I think its something inside that I am refusing to address.

I worry I may be destined to be alone. Or maybe I just think I'm destined to be alone, since my mother ended her life alone and without companionship, and my father seems headed down the same path.

Now may be the time to choose something else. Maybe that's what is cooking deep inside this issue. Now may be the time to chuck caution to the wind and put myself out there. The last time I did that, it didn't work out so well. But I didn't die from it.


All of this is just thinking out loud, isn't it. Yes, well.

We'll see.


(illustration: "Dry Spell" by C.A. Sowards, 2005)