Stacey Tookey Routine

I haven’t posted a single So You Think You Can Dance video yet this season.

Until now.

This piece, by new (er) choreographer Stacey Tookey, using Donnie Darko’s “Mad World” really hit me. It’s about a homeless guy and a business man, who find out midway through the dance that they used to know each other. The homeless guy is supposed to be all over the place, flailing, while the business man has to dance with precision and strength.

Jesse and I had a friend from high school who I’d often pass on the streets of SLO, begging for money. Just last year we found out that he died of alcohol poisoning. I think that experience is what made this dance really relatable for me.

My Lie

I have a silly story/confession to tell. It’s about as silly and juvenile as they come. I know a few of the people who read this blog, but when I see how many “hits” this site has vs. how many people have told me they read this, the numbers indicate that I don’t know many of you. But you are now going to know a little bit more about me– me and silly sinfulness.

On Sunday, a few members from our choir were invited to sing in a wedding that took place in Euless at the Greek church. Kind of a funny situation. The couple was from up north (Illinois, I think?) but the bride grew up in this area. She’s OCA, just like our church, but was told that St. Seraphim’s was booked for her date. So she booked the small Greek church down the road from our house in Euless (really quite beautiful, actually, nestled in the woods, a little bridge over a creek…), brought her OCA pastor from up north, and asked for St. Seraphim’s choir.

Kind of a conglomeration, but it worked. I think Orthodox weddings are so beautiful…if you haven’t been to one, you really should. If you could investigate all the words, they are basically taking the attention off of the couple, and placing them in the context of the rest of history. You’d think that this would “detract” and make the couple feel less significant, but it’s so much more powerful, so deep. I think the best part is that they don’t say vows to one another, just humbly petition God to keep them together and keep their commitment strong, because it’s not a human effort but a divine one. The Church is recognizing that no human being is strong enough to keep love alive, just God working through them. They also receive crowns, symbolizing that they are now the king and queen of their own home that God has established for them on this day.

Anyways, lest I get caught up in how tear-jerkingly beautiful the wedding was (even though I didn’t even know the couple!), let me get back to my story. Since the Greek church was less than a mile from our house, I invited all 6 of the people who sang to come over and eat dinner. Everyone offered to bring stuff. Jenny picked up the pizza that we ordered, Matthew and Vita bought salad and icecream, and Nick and Lydia brought drinks and ice.

Before picking up the pizza, Jenny dropped me off at home so that someone could be there to open the door in case the others arrived before she did. Now, let me back up a moment– Jenny and I had picked up her Boston Terrier, Fiona, and brought her to my house in between our service at St. Seraphim and the wedding. This was so that she wasn’t left alone all day in her crate. When we brought Fiona to my house for a few moments before the wedding, all chaos ensued. At first, it was Claire and Fiona who wouldn’t get along. Fiona was fine, but Claire was so scared of her that she was lashing out, barking in a way I’ve never heard before. Once they sniffed each other’s butts, however, Claire made peace with the situation.

But then Fiona found Mirabelle. So scary. You would not believe how brave this dog is. She LIKED the growling and the spitting coming from our demonic cat. She chased her around the house, over and over and over. She found it a huge adrenaline rush, and couldn’t wait to get more of it. I kept saying that it was like “skydiving for dogs”. Afraid that she would lose an eye, or more likely, her entire FACE, we locked all of the animals up and headed to the wedding.

So, as I was waiting for everyone to arrive, I decided to let Clarabelle out of her cage, but not Fiona. I didn’t have the energy to deal with all the animals going at it again.

Then, right as our doorbell rang, I heard a crash in the stairwell.

As I was redecorating this week, I had rearranged some of my pictures. This involved putting heavier picture frames on a shelf that has stood fine for over a year now. All it took was a few days of strain…and crash. Glass everywhere.

Now, the animals could have had SOMETHING to do with it. I mean, the new pictures had been up on that shelf for over a week and nothing had happened. And the animals HAD been tearing around the house in a crazy manner right before the wedding.

But I was irrationally mad. Mad and embarrassed that instead of having a welcome front doorway, there I was, standing in the middle of a bunch of glass. In my bare feet.

Luckily, it was Vita and Matthew. Vita ran upstairs for a broom, Matthew went to put the icecream away.

All would have been fine, if I could have just kept my damn mouth shut.

But I didn’t. I concocted a story about how this happened. Why, you might wonder. Did anyone care?? Did anyone ask me?? Or was I just too embarrassed and prideful to let the incident go without a good explanation?

Whatever the reason, I started saying how it was Fiona’s fault. FIONA. The poor dog who had been in her cage the entire time.

Like I said, no one listened or cared. Until Jenny got home with the pizza, where, for some reason, I felt obligated to give her the story AGAIN. Unsolicited.

It was the look on Jenny’s face that finally made me feel the impact of my stupid lie. She felt terrible for me, and was also a little scolding. “Why did you let her out without me here?” I lied again, saying I couldn’t be that cruel to make her stay in her crate while Claire got to roam free.

Oh, no. I really WAS that cruel, and on top of it, I’d just blamed the entire incident on her.

I felt awful about it the rest of the night, but didn’t say anything until the next day, when Jenny emailed offering to pay for the frames that broke. It was then that I called her and confessed my terrible lie. She laughed, but I’m sure she thinks I’m like 10 years old.

Jesse thinks that I should tell my professor that Fiona broke my laptop and ate my Conrad book, just for good measure.

Misc. Decor Projects

I painted 2 of my dark wood Ikea frames to match the rest of the room, then put it two cute baby prints I found on Google Images.

I also painted 3 black shelves I had, then hung them on the wall by the window.

Some more ABC blocks πŸ™‚

Craigslist Queen

I feel like the Craigslist Queen. I decided that my goal for the week was to sell all of the extra furniture we had around the house and garage.

What I’ve sold:

Our leather office chair: $50

My Queen Anne Chair that Mirabelle made into a bed: $25

My vintage movie theater seats: $15

My modern white disk chair: $80

The Ikea Crib: $50

The baby mattress that I got for free with it: $15

The window settee that Mirabelle tore up with her claws: $10

A coffee table we found in our dumpster: $5

I will miss some of these things, even though we had no room for them with Gregory on the way. But having all the extra space AND an extra $250 for baby necessities is pretty sweet!

Leaf Mobile

Yesterday, I sat down and made a baby mobile. I was interested in buying one off of Artecnica, an interior design/architecture site, but it was $70, and I’ve already bought my one “splurge” item for Gregory: the elephant hamper I’ve had my eye on for months.

I just couldn't resist...

Using an old leaf curtain that got irrevocably tangled in our move last year, I put this together in less than an hour.

Also, went to a garage sale this weekend that should’ve been titled, “Love Affair with Baby Gap”. This mom had TONS of 12-24 month Baby Gap Clothing for boys, 50 cents a piece!!

Brand new, never worn shoes

I got at least 4 other pairs as well, but these were the cutest πŸ™‚

This reminds me of something Buddy would've worn as a child...

Food Inc.

Just a quick warning: unless you want to entirely change everything about every food you buy at the store, do not watch “Food Inc”(which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary).

Picture that movie, “Supersize Me”, coupled with hidden cameras at meat packing plants and slaughterhouses (the same ones that package not some, but ALL the meat you buy) and interviews of families who have lost young children to strains of E-coli that have become resistant to antibiotics because of all the corn the cows have been eating (it’s cheaper than grass). Β Just research “Kevin’s Law” if you don’t believe me.

They also state some pretty startling facts:.

The Center for Disease Prevention estimated that 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,00 hospitalized, and 5,000 die from food related illnesses each year.

1 in 3 children born after 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes. This rate increases to 1 in 2 amongst minorities. It’s not just Fast Food– it’s the chemical engineering of our food to make it cheaper. Also consider that you can buy 2 McDonalds cheeseburgers for the price of one stalk of broccoli. Faced with limited funds, which are you going to buy? Obesity is now almost entirely dictated by economic status.

Only 1 percent of corn grown in the US is sweet corn– the kind that we eat off of a cob or from a can. The rest is broken down and used to chemically engineer over 90% of the foods we eat. All the foods made with this stuff (soda, chips, peanut butter, ketchup, even charcoal and diapers) are cheaper because they support this industry. Foods that can’t be chemically engineered? Expensive.

Many of the Supreme Court judges making crucial decisions in issues of meat contamination and slaughterhouse regulations used to be VPs and Presidents for the very companies they are supposed to regulate (and don’t worry, the movie didn’t generalize. There were specific names and photos, I just can’t remember them).

It is also against the law to speak out against these companies or even publish personal photos taken at any of these plants. Oprah was sued for millions because she said on tv that the Mad Cow disease made her never want to eat another hamburger. One of the moms whose 2 year old son died of E-coli would not tell the interviewers how his death has changed their family’s eating habits– she said she didn’t have the money to fight the food industry in court.

I think the grossest part was when they showed the chicken houses, where the chickens have been so chemically engineered (so as to produce larger breasts since Americans buy more white meat) that they grow faster than their bodies are capable of keeping up with. Most of the chickens are only capable of taking 1-2 steps a day– many just lay down and die. Sometimes their bodies are disposed of, sometimes they are packaged with the rest of the animals for processing at the factory.

Kinda sick. Jesse and I are both pretty depressed.

As grotesque as the movie is, with 2 hours of facts and interviews, they leave hope at the end. They showed Walmart reps coming out to make deals with local organic farmers, people who had been boycotting Walmart for years. The Walmart reps confessed that it is pure economics– an increasing number of people want organic food, so they are going to carry it. The radical organic farmers are making peace with a multi-billion dollar chain carrying their products, because they know that it will put an end to the unsafe practices of the US food industry. Money talks, and if people stop buying their products, major companies will change their ways. They used the tobacco industry as an example– it took years, but Americans broke the control they had, one dollar at a time.

So, I’m considering shopping solely at Dallas’ Farmers Market (open 7 days a week, 8-6) and buying anything else organic at Walmart, where it will only cost a few dollars more. If you know how much I like to save money buying food, this is huge. But I’m there, people. It’s that or never eat meat again, in my book.

Here’s the website, if you want to be entirely undone.

Crafts

So, I’ve had some free time lately πŸ™‚

Organized baby accessories

Quilt is finished, even without a sewing machine! I wanted Gregory to have at least one thing that I made for him, all by hand. I even used organic cotton batting...

$5 Divine Intervention

I decided to just go to ONE garage sale this weekend, and only because it was right down the road, across the street from Michael and Courtney’s apartment. Just ONE. People, this is huge.

I’m soo glad I did. It turned out to be the best one I’ve ever been to (which is saying something, if you know how many I’ve been to!), and not just because I got a giant bag of expensive, barely used baby clothes for only $5, but also because this woman, “April”, had also given birth with my midwife! She was able to share her story (only 2 hours in labor!) and give me lots of advice and encouragement, even offering to talk to me in the future if I ever had more questions. It was really quite providential.

And it’s hard to believe that everything you’re about to see was only $5. Not per outfit, but for the whole bag!!! That works out to each item for less than 25 cents! Since everything here is name brand, I’m guessing that I would have paid over $200 in the store for all these things. The unbelievable part is that most people actually do pay that much! Me, well, I have a car payment instead.

A summer outfit from Janie and Jack. This would EASILY cost $40 in the store. You can't see, but even the little buttons are fish πŸ™‚

"Little man" outfits from Polo Ralph Lauren and Gymboree

Classic Pooh outfits

Newborn sleep sacks

I guess I like blue things... πŸ™‚

I also like green things. The bottom item is a Kiddopotomus swaddling blanket

Getting to buy cute baby clothes almost makes all of the pregnancy discomfort worth it!

Personal Space

As I gaze retrospectively over the 12 days I spent with my family, I did a bit of self-evaluating (okay, who am I kidding, I self-evaluate all the time…). I thought over each of the times where I “lost it” and gave in to the pregnancy hormones– you know, the ones that make others around give you a sympathetic pat on the shoulder, all the while thinking to themselves, “she’s c-c-crazier than wool socks in July!!”

This is going to sound ridiculously simple, or ridiculously particular, depending on your viewpoint, but I think I boiled down 98% of the cause. I’ve always been pretty picky about my personal space, but having a baby inside who will not stop moving (it’s odd if I go an hour in between bladder hockey matches) has really made my patience for any “outside interference” very thin. The plane ride to CA was miserable, because I was either in the aisle seat, trying to fall asleep while getting bumped by the stewardess every minute, or I was shoved next to the window with a fat guy eating smelly sandwiches. I arrived to Burbank crankier and needier than I should have.

One of the things I got really annoyed with Janelle for? Giving my shoes “flat tires” and walking too close to me (which, I think with chagrin, was probably because she missed me! What a bad sister!). The other thing I got annoyed with her for? Throwing her hand into my face while she was sleeping (we had to share a bed). I even set up a pillow as a dividing line, and made sure she didn’t cross it!

I wanted boxing gloves while shopping at a very crowded Costco with my mom. As a result, I was irritable for hours. Then, I made sure that Ellen and Julie knew that if they slept on “my bed” while we were all gone in San Francisco, they should tell me so I could change the sheets. I wasn’t extremely tired and irritable at the wedding until drunk people started stumbling into me and I felt like a sippy cup that was definitely going to tip over and not get up again. Crying/Meltdown #2 followed shortly thereafter.

And then I became very irritable when a junior higher sat next to me on the plane ride home and could not sit without spreading his knees and elbows as far away from his own seat as possible. He also was not wearing deodorant, I’m pretty sure. I spent the whole 2 hours mentally “reclaiming” my space, occasionally putting my elbows down at my side so that he could see, yes, he did NOT pay for two seats, and would be required to keep his elbows on his armrests (and WHO was the junior higher again?).

I’m afraid that even though I am aware of this “irritability trigger” in me, awareness is not enough. I hope it doesn’t get even worse as the baby starts gaining a pound a week over the next couple months!

Catalog Living

Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t checked out the humorous blog, Catalog Living, you should. I’ve had at least 2 friends recommend this to me, and it’s very worthy. My mom and I giggled over the phone for quite a while.