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May. 31st, 2011

Make it work

OOOOOYYYYYYYY, I cannot wait for this move to actually be over and done with. We have two rooms cleaned out and thrown away. It's weird how much stuff is just suddenly...gone. Forever. Mom had herself a nice breakdown crying fit in the middle of the store yesterday and I had a super fun panic attack and crying fit after going to bed last night because of several things that had compounded themselves over the course of the day. Cannot wait to get my first round of applications done and sent off. Then I think many bad feelings will go bye-bye.

However... 100% on my cognition and memory midterm, bitches!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! I may be taking me forever to graduate but I will be a fucking magna cume lad if it kills me.

May. 27th, 2011


Holy fucking hell, stress!!!! I feel like this is the first day I've breathed in...about five months. It's been a LONG while since I posted so rather than paragraph out a bunch of stuff- happy bullet points!

* I think I left off somewhere around the firstish of March so there was St. Patrick's Day and it was not fun this year. Our first show started late because Kells didn't have their festival tent ready and then we RAN the rest of the day. It was super stressful and exhausting and just not the happy day it normally is. On the plus side there were basically no mistakes in any shows. Yay!

* After that it was the massive push to Worlds that involved turning in a research paper ten days early that was admittadly not my best work. It was a good paper, just...I can do better. But Ireland itself was beautiful. After nothing but rain a week of sun and sixty degree temperatures was really welcome. (I wore shorts! I KNOW!) Competition wise was not so great. My comp didn't get the big arena stage with the stadium seating so to be honest, it didn't feel like Worlds. My hardshoe round went over pretty well and I placed around the middle of the comp in it, even had one score that was full recall marks. But then the softshoe round happened. They really like my reel last year but HATED my slip jig this time around. 148 people in the comp and the highest score I got in that round was a 97th. And they only recalled 42. Ouch. So, needless to say, I didn't recall.

* Got back and had end of the semester madness with registration and financial aid applications and all that jazz. I've been informed that until the state legislature passes the budget, I will not be receiving even a guess at a financial aid package. Which means I won't find out about it until about three weeks before Fall Semester. SHIT. So I went ahead and registered for four classes for the fall so I can drop what I need to, although if I don't get a package...it's not good.

* May has thankfully been a super busy work month. The first quarter was DEAD. I made $70 in February, that's how dead. I've started looking for a second job so fingers are very tightly crossed on that one.

* I'm in the middle of an online summer course at WSU. Just had my mid-term yesterday. Summer courses are only six weeks long, so to shove 16 weeks worth of information in is a little on the stressful side. I'm enjoying this day of not studying to you know...clean. I have also decided to never buy an electronic copy of a book again. Becasue I can't print and am therefore stuck at the computer for hours. I've taken to sitting on a stability ball so that my back doesn't scream at me and also so my muscles get some work. I have to pause the lectures or get up from reading every half hour and do dome squats or crunches or SOMETHING. I can almost literally feel myself turning to pudge and it's disgusting. I don't know how people do it everyday.

* My mom spent Mother's Day on a plane to San Diego to visit her mother who's just been moved into hospice. She was there for a week to say her final goodbyes. We're expecting the call any day that she's passed.

* My niece, who was born with severe fetal alchohol poisoning, was just released from a nasty hospital stay. The poisoning led to a severely mishappen back and corrective surgery left her a parapalegic. Her life expectancy was never very long and they think that this current hospital visit is a very good signal that the end is starting to get near.

* In house news, we expect the eviction sometime in the next few weeks. We're busy clearing things out and praying that they serve a thirty day notice and don't just show up and kick us out. I had a great dream a few nights ago where I literally packed up my room for the entirety of the dream. Once my parents have to start the rent payments I need some severe financial aid from WSU and a second job or else either school or dance has to go and I fucking refuse to give up either.

That's most of the big highlights. Last weekend I finally got some girl time with my SMA girls. I hadn't seen Anina since January and Kate since October so it was a much needed get-together. Talked a lot about finances. Kate and I both agree that we would kill for the opportunity to take more than one fucking class right now. I can at least do one, Kate can't do anything. It's driving both of us bananas. We just want degrees. Please? And Anina moves to Forsyth, Montana in July so there are many things that need to happen before she abandons us. Well, not really abandons. It's the only place she could find a bloody job. So, she'll be gone for a year and hopefully by the time she's back everybody will be more sure-footed and steady. I had forgotten how much fun it is to just rampage around downtown. Such a good afternoon.

So, now it is time for a shower and then that strange thing called cleaning that I have recently neglected in favor of prepping for a mid-term. Whoo!!!

Mar. 25th, 2011

5 percent pleasure, 50 percent pain

St. Patrick's Day was HELL. Uuurrrgg. Nine hours, eight shows and absolutely no breaks anywhere. We ran so much that it actually didn't feel like St. Patrick's Day because there was NO time to appreciate it. Everything ran behind starting at Kells that morning where the tent wasn't even fully set up when we arrived and were suppose to go on. So a half hour late there with about fifteen people in the audience. It was magical. And it just rolled from there. Our last show was suppose to be at 9:15 and I think we took the stage around 10:10ish. Being the pub that my dance directer owns, the time constraint wasn't a huge deal, we were all just fricking exhausted. The day came on top of an extra three hour practice we had pulled Monday, and extra hour after regular class on Tuesday, two shows Wednesday plus and extra hour and a half at the studio to finish up the drama piece and then St. Pat's itself. And then the three shows the day after. And then one the day after that.

Needless to say, when I went into the studio Sunday for my private, about halfway through my ankle started screaming every time I flexed my foot. At first I thought it was my Achilles and there were a few moments of panic but then I realized that it's in the little muscles on the outside of my ankle. I then realized that not a single day had gone by in March where I hadn't danced and my muscles were not happy about it. It still tweaks a little but it's nothing agonizing and as soon as I point my foot it goes away.

In school news I am buried under research for my neuroscience paper that's due in three weeks. Bleh. On the plus side, I've become an expert on the neuromuscular junction.

Four weeks till I dance at Worlds!!!!!!

Mar. 14th, 2011

So. Many. Rehersals.

I love St. Patrick's Day. I also deeply, deeply loathe it. SOOOOOOOO many fricking extra hours at the studio.

However. It is going to be a good season. We had our first show Satuday night at the Columbia River Yacht Club and it went pretty darn well. Minor mistakes, and the little seven year old auxillary girls managed to dance an entire number with their backs to the audience, but they are small. And cute. And the audience at the Yacht Club is always really awesome to us. They were super embarrassed when they came off stage. Oh, well. At least it probably won't happen again. 

Next shows are Wednesday. We dance at a daycare in Beaverton and then at Haggens Grocery Store in Tualatin. You all should come out to the Tualatin one if you can. Dancing wise, it's going to be a mixed group and a little odd, but the Store is holding an Irish stew cookoff and for five dollars you get to taste twenty-five different stews and vote for the best one. Awesome is what I call that. However. If you come out, I will probably not be able to talk as I have to fly back to the studio after the show for our final last-minute rehersal. But you will have stew to satisfy you. And that is good. 

On the 17th, if anyone feels like watching us, the senior troupe does two shows in Portland, everything else is in Vancover. But our Junior troupe has a few Portland shows. Let me know if you're going to be around and I'll let you know if there's any dancing going on. At the very least I can direct you to the best venues. We do also have a couple of shows on the 18th and 19th.

Anyways. Find your nearest Irish festival and go celebrate!!!

Mar. 1st, 2011

Ludicrous Speed, GO!

Oh my GOD!! the mind is spinning. And spinning. And spitting out random creative bursts. And then spinning some more. In the past 24hrs I've come up with ideas for three separate dance drama pieces, a couple of random show pieces and an entire years worth of lesson plans, class schedules, funraising ideas and competition selections for when I take over teaching teams at the studio. I was inspired enough to actually start writing things down in a notebook- a rather impressive step for me as I tend to never get fully organized with my thoughts.

I'm sure this is in some way related to spending more time dancing over the Friday to Sunday period of last week than even the most dedicated ballerina. Friday was three shows and regular class. Saturday was eleven straight hours at the studio alternating between teaching, practicing and choreographing and Sunday was my private, which was originally suppose to be Friday, but was moved due to all of the shows. And now I'm staring at my huge ass desk calander for March filled with nothing but dance stuff. WHEEE!!!!!!!

"Dance, dance for the figure is easy. The tune is catching and will not stop. Dance till the stars come down from the rafters. Dance, dance, dance till you drop."   -anonymous

Feb. 20th, 2011

Myasthenia Gravis...we meet at last for the first time

So, I finally picked a topic for my research paper...Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease leading to fluctuating muscle weakness and fatigability. Sounds enticing. Abstracts of our research articles are due March 1 and I've got two sources so far with many more relevant ones to come courtesy of Wikipedia. While it may not be a reliable first source, their reference section at the end of their science entries is impressive. All peer reviewed journals. Yay! Makes searching much more streamlined.

Gave my 'death from laughter' presentation on Thursday. I was suppose to present the first half of the chapter but my partner e-mailed me at 4:30pm Wednesday to say she was dropping the class effective immediately. My reaction? 'FUCK!' So to say my presentation was a little disjointed is a tad of an understatement. The professor knew the circumstances and I still got a hundred but it was definitely not my personal best. People laughed a lot during it which was good. And no one died from laughing, which is even better.

Three performances this past week, all of them odd. The first one was at Adidas on Monday and boy do they suck at planning. I remember my dad working with both Nike and Adidas and saying that Adidas was always a pain because they're unorganized and boy he was not kidding. They were holding in-house sign ups for the Shamrock Run. We were told that we would start rallying people around 1:15 and so arrived at about 12:50 to make sure there was plenty of time to find parking and get set up and what not. We have no idea where we're suppose to go so we walk into the first building where they have their store and ask the receptionist. Her answer: "What rally?". I give her the name of the lady we're suppose to contact and the receptionist has no idea who that is. So I call her since I'm the only person that bothered to write down her phone number and she goes 'Oh. We weren't expecting you until 1:30". APPARENTLY, the event wasn't starting until 3. Nice of them to tell us. So we sat around for two hours and finally started the performace, on carpet, shoved against a wall so that people could make lines at all six of the tables to sign up. We kept getting shoved into a smaller and smaller area because the people working at two of the tables felt like we were scaring people away from their precious little sign-up sheets. Apparently the people behind the tables are competitive with eachother. The woman who invited us to perform kept asking for more numbers and since there were only six of us and we had exhausted all of our show choreography we did step about stuff for seven numbers. So boring. And again...on carpet. (She asked for more hardshoe pieces. Dumbass.)

Then on Friday a group of us went to Oregon City High School to perform for their diversity week. During lunch period. At 10:15 in the morning. Also a second show at 11:30, but they had forgotten to mention that in the e-mail. I will say that the kids paid a lot more attention than I expected. We danced on their concrete floor which lovingly gave off NO sound during the hardshoe pieces. But it was better than option A. Option A when I got there was a stage they had set up that was three and a half feet off the ground, four feet wide, eight feet long and shook if you tapped it. The top was slick and grooved and had screws sticking up out of it. It was a nice thought but....No. This coming Friday we're at Lakeridge for two shows. I'm assuming it's another diversity week thing. It seems odd that they would celebrate St. Patrick's Day this early. Or at all.

Yesterday was a nine hour day at the studio. Taught for two hours, had a break, practiced during the break between the noon class and teh Auxillary troupe, taught Auxillary troupe and then had two hours of senior troupe. We started our drama piece about the Warrior Women of Ireland set to some Dropkick Murphy's. We got a grand total of 30 seconds into it. Whee. Lot of work to do next week, which will be an eleven hour day at the studio. You are jealous.

Feb. 11th, 2011

Exhausted would be the term

10 weeks exactly until I dance at worlds. (I was a little messed up with my calander last time I posted..whoopsie) Today I had my first private + normal class in several months and I am feeling it. Everywhere. At least everywhere from the waist down.  I rubbed several toes raw, got one of my big toes stuck at a very awkward angle that took a few hours of massaging to get it to crack (pain isn't totally gone) and gave myself a lovely purple bruise right smack on my tailbone with the heel of my hardshoe. This new bruise goes with the ten I've collected over the past week of practicing, all from my hardshoes and all either on my bum or my ankle bones. (I'm breaking in new shoes. It's not a fun process).

Taught the Auxillary Troupe some figures last week and will do so again tomorrow. It's fun, but damn does it make for a long day. I get to the studio about 9:30am and I don't leave until 5pm. And next week the Senior troupe has an extra practice until 6:30. And the week after that till 8:30. Whee.

In other dance news, the trailer is up for Jig!!!!! This is the documentary that BBC filmed at last years World Championships since it was the 40th year for the competition. They followed seven different soloists and a team from Russia and it just looks awesome. We're not sure if they're going to release it in the U.S, but we're hoping. For those of you who want a glimpse into the cuckoo world I'm a part of here's the trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ4D2cg48uw I'm sooooo excited!!!!! And it's a nice inspiration piece as I move into this years comp.

In other news, did you hear the new Lady Gaga track today? YYYYYAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love, love, love, love, love, love,l ove.

Random neurology thingie of the day:
I'm prepping my presentation right now about people who have died laughing. There was a dude in England who died laughing while watching a T.V. show (really, he went into cardiac arrest. His heartrate was estimated at a minimum on 250bpm) His wife wrote to the show to thank them for making her husbands last minutes on Earth so mirthful. This is the clip that sent him over the edge. It seems to want to be Monty Python, just lacking...humor. And John Cleese narrating. I leave it to you to decide if this is worth dying over: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ4D2cg48uw

Feb. 4th, 2011

St. Patty's Day on the Brain

So, the neurology test went better than expected and I ended up with a hundred and five percent because they built in a LOT of extra credit. This is good as I did fine on all of the new information but completely blanked out on the difference between hyperpolarization and depolarization. It was one of the first concepts we learned last semester and cost me a couple of questions on the test. But, no real biggie. Now I'm starting research for the chapter I have to present on people who have died laughing. Exciting stuff. I also need to start research for the actual research paper, but have yet to decide on a topic. I want to do something physiology and preferably dance based, just haven't located a good topic yet.

We're looking at doing a choreography/dance drama piece for St. Patty's this year based on the Warrior Women of Ulster. To be danced to either the Dropkick Murphy's 'I'm Shipping up to Boston' or the Flogging Molly's 'Devil's Dance Floor'. In other words, to be danced to something completely awesome. I am SO excited for this. Not sure how we're going to fit the time in to learn it but...minor detail.
I'm starting my work with the Auxillary Troupe tomorrow and am super excited to see where they're at and work on perfecting team dances with them. We also just booked three shows for the rest of this month. The first is a rally on Valentine's Day to get people signed up for the Shamrock Run on St. Patty's morning. The other two are for school assemblies and I have to admit, this amuses me. Especially since one is to hell and gone out in Oregon City. Unless they're cultural assemblies, it's just a touch odd to have Irish dancers come in during February. And if they're in a gym, we can't do hardshoe unless the school is cool with scraping the floor down after we get done on it. But they're shows. And shows are good.

Ten weeks exactly till I dance at Worlds!!!!

Random neurology thingie of the day:
From 'Phantoms in the Brain' by V.S. Ramachandran:
You have a second sensory map of your hand in your upper arm just below your shoulder and on your cheek on the same side (right cheek and shoulder with right hand) In amputees who report feeling a phantom limb, if you touch their cheek or upper shoulder they feel the sensation in their phantom.

Jan. 30th, 2011

Dance, dance

Survived the workshop last weekend. As always, work had something crazy up it's sleeve for when Michael got here. Got a message from them between my private and workshop class on Friday that they wanted me to meet someone at 12:30am. Naturally. And naturally I accepted because my boss bribed me into with double pay. So, I got home at 1:30am and was back in the studio to teach at 9am. Jealous? You should be. Michael didn't overhaul much, which is nice, just little tweaks to the choreography here and there so that I am now set with what my final stuff for Worlds is, and I can practice like a maniac. So, I went ahead and scheduled four privates with Sinead for February. Hee. Also, Sinead has asked me to help choreograph and put together pieces for our Auxillary Performance Troupe for St. Pat's this year. Yay! I get to help coach a team. There's a part of me feeling very content right now.

School wise, my advanced physio class is attempting to kill me. Rather than have a textbook this semester, he's pulled all of our 'review' articles from random graduate level textbooks so that we can 'get used to the language' for all of the research we have coming up. Our first quiz is on Tuesday and I've spent three days working on the study guide without actually sitting down and studying yet. Glah! After the quiz Tuesday I have to put together a teaching/research presentation on my half of chapter ten from the book we are using in class- a novel written by some Indian doctor who's done a lot of work with phantom limbs. No one realized this had to be a half research presentation until this past Thursday, so now everyone's scrambling to find up to date information on their topic. This is on top of beginning research for our memory unit that we have to bring articles in for and for finding our resources for our main paper. Sources due March 1st, paper due April 21st. Although my paper gets to be early because I will be in Dublin for the actual due date. Oh, and consciousness unit research also. Fun times.

In house news, we've been slowly but steadily throwing away all of the shit that Heather left here when she moved because she didn't want to deal with it. This includes boxes of stuff from the accident, random things Dan didn't want when he moved out, cords and cables to all of the electric things they bought, never used and then threw away, a garage worth of old paint, lumber and tools for projects that never happened and most of my parents thirty years of accumulated stuff from being up here. We're hoping to hold out until May, when I'm back from Worlds, but chances are good that won't happen so now we're boxing stuff up as we can and waiting for the thirty day notice to be served. 

Random Neurology Thingy of the Day: 
From Chapter One of 'Phantoms in the Brain' by V.S. Ramachandran

A lady had a stroke that blocked part of her corpus callosum, so her two cerebral hemispheres couldn't talk to eachother. She apparently had latent suicidal tendancies and the blockage prevented her left, rational half from stoping her right, emotional half from acting on the tendancies so while she was talking to people her right hand would at random times fly up to her throat and try to strangle her. 

Jan. 19th, 2011

Don't Stop Believing!!!!!!!!

Watching the season finale of Glee. Vocal Adrenaline's performance of Bohemian Rhapsody? Fucking awesome.

So, I have eleven classes left to take at WSU. Could be seven, but they don't offer any classes that are more than three credits, so filling out credit hours is ridiculously tedious. I was thinking about this yesterday and realized that in order to graduate out of there, coming in as a freshmen, would require fifteen credits per semester. Because of the way WSU works, this means a minimum of five classes at two hours a piece, with only one offering of each course per semester, maybe even per year and no classes on Fridays. It's freaking impossible if you have any kind of extra-curricular activity let alone a job. Massively ridiculous.

Spent a great dance class last night nauseaus and dry-heaving. Felt like I had a rock sitting on my chest until I realized it was actually a pool of vomit. Ew. Dry heaved like mad and left class early and drove home with the window down coaching myself to breath in and out. One of the less pleasant drives of my life. 

Attempting to do neuroscience reading and making my brain numb. Blerg.  

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