fligmagearie

 

Image

this is why my feet hate me.
found via google image.

This week’s blog is about….dance.  yep.  dance.

If you know me at all, you know I’m a proud little Scot.  I joke about the fact we always had Scottish dogs in the house (Cairn Terriers to be exact…best breed ever!) and that my parents put me through golf lessons when I was young just to prove we were Scots.  The only other sport I played was football (actual football…not FOO’BO! aka American Football).  I literally wear my pride on my sleeve

I did say literally didn’t I?

One of my favorite ways to show that pride, that I was unable to do for almost 3 years after a bad knee injury is dance.  I’ve done most forms of Scottish dance.  What does that mean?  Well firstly, my joints are shite….But I help that with glucosamine and such (no really, it does help a tad), I have tendonitis in both feet from dancing on the balls of my feet constantly, I have a hard time fitting into skinny jeans because I gots thigh muscles yo (I’ll stop with the faux homie language someday).  Does that mean I’ll stop?  Probably not.  I LOVE IT!  All forms

I love Step dancing for the footwork and solo work.

I love Highland for the precision.

I love Royal Scottish Country Dance for the patterns the dances make.

I love Ceilidh dancing because it encompasses all dancers beginner to experienced to the random person who decided to unknowingly see what was happening and got pulled in.

I’ve danced at festivals, faires, various events.

Image

obviously not me…but loved the image nonetheless. Found on google image

 

 

 

So, why post now?

I’ve been in New Zealand for 2 years….Before that, I had a major break from all Scottish dance forms due to the knee accident (I did try and OMG too much pain for a long time), what they don’t tell you when moving here is you are on an island.  Granted, it’s a colonized industrial Island…but still, a set of two islands.  No matter where you are moving from, there is disconnect.

Now, I’m shy and a bit of an introvert…so making friends is hard.  keeping myself from going insane is even more difficult.

I’ve recently been attending the local RSCDS as it’s roughly a minute away and I needed to get back to it.  I’m also practising step again…I don’t know why I waited so long to get back to it! Aside from the obvious when I was healing, but even after…I was good to start dancing again…and not to brag, but I was quite good before that.  When I am actively involved in Scottish dance, I’m much happier in general, I feel more confident and fun.

….I do have a bad habit of teaching students tullock turns…the only reason it’s bad is because then they want to do it all. the. time.

I also like the people I meet through it, it’s a common interest thing and nowhere else can you feel like a fashion goddess when you get a new pair of dance shoes (no really, I purchased new AWESOME ghillies…and when I came to class with them it was a “Show them off!” “Let’s see!” “How do they dance?”).

I was having a think on all this last night (nearly missed my part in a set by accident as a result…oops).  I’m better when I’m dancing, sure…I’ve gotten some injuries, some ankle sprains, shin splints, had to tape my arches after a rather rigorous day of performing just so I could walk the next day…but I always feel like I’m better when I’m dancing (despite silly dramas with other dancers…face it, they happen).

When I was originally getting into burlesque….I had planned on dressing my step/highland dance skills up to fit the stage and THAT being my thing.

I got a bit distracted by glitter and nostalgia.  Which is odd…I slightly loathe glitter.

I never did bring my real persona to the stage.  That may be where some of my bitterness started.  I haven’t been formally trained in many other forms of dance…just the random stuff I learned through drama.

I’ve taken a looooong break from being on stage.  I’m hoping to end that break soon, I’m currently re-working everything I ever thought on the Cabaret scene and how I want to be a part.  Thanks to the Kongos “Come With Me Now” I have some inspiration to start working on…Hopefully I’ll be performing at more festivals here again and bringing a fling or two to the stage again.

Advertisements

Raising awareness shouldn’t be a secret

shh…don’t tell the boys (image from google used on multiple sites)

As the title of this blog suggests…I may need a shot of scotch after this…

warning:  I am going to try to be as dignified as I can with this entry…however, I make NO guarantees (so, any family reading…I may cuss…I’m sorry, but this is heavy on my mind)

It’s that time of the year…

where we ladies of facebook are sent out some asinine meme to “raise awareness about breast cancer”, one year it was our purse color, another year something implying sex in various places of the house.  This year it will be

“I’m traveling to ___________ for __________months” (your birth month has some random as destination…and your birthdate is the number of months.

Oh, and don’t tell the guys. tee hee.

I’m sorry, but…what??

I expose these bloody things every year, in the hopes that I dunno’ maybe this fad will stop?  Maybe, just maybe, people will listen.

I simply do NOT COMPREHEND how this RAISES AWARENESS.  How is posting some random as thing in your status and NOT explaining it tell ANYONE about breast cancer??  Oh, wait…we got the memo on facebook.  so, those who are included in this silly thing know?  But never the guys…

let me say this.  guys are affected by breast cancer too…they can get it, it’s not as common as it is in women, but they can.  Even so, they’re affected in seeing a mother go through treatment, their partners, sisters even daughters.  You can’t tell me this is a girls only club.

“Stop being such a spoil sport”

“It’s just a silly thing”

“You’re no fun”

I’ve heard this from multiple people multiple years when I respond back with my usual “there are better ways to raise awareness, I won’t participate in this”.  you know what?  You’re right.  I’m not “fun” on this.

Breast cancer isn’t fucking fun!

My Grandmother was a breast cancer survivor…

My Great Uncle is a breast cancer survivor…

My Mum is a breast cancer survivor…

(do you realize, this puts me in an incredibly scary position in life?  I check myself every other week or so and in the past year have had 2 breast exams during my immigration physicals)

I lost a dear friend and mentor to breast cancer…

Seeing my Grandmother’s chest (she’d had a double mastectomy during the 60’s), wasn’t fun as a kid.  Seeing her cope with troubles from radiation later also wasn’t “fun”.

I didn’t realize my Great Uncle had breast cancer until I was an adult.  He is one of the funniest men I know, thinking that he and his family went through that..isn’t “fun”.

Seeing a woman who I considered a second mum, a month before her death…she was so different, then having to hold onto a friend while we both cried in the car park of the hospice centre…wasn’t “fun”.

1.11.11 I received a call while I was at work, I knew my mum had a biopsy schedule, but the next 3 words completely devastated me “I have cancer”.  I had been in the process of checking students out with their parents, I went to get a pen when my phone rang…after the news, I hung up on her (I couldn’t fucking handle it), I nearly dropped my phone and was shaking uncontrollably…I went to my boss and tried to remain calm and tell her I needed to be in the office until she asked if I was ok…I broke down in front of dozens of kids and their parents as she took my clipboard and ushered me into the office.

Once in the office, I couldn’t stop crying.  I nearly vomited from how much I was crying.  I was scared, I was sad, I was angry.  None of which was “fun”.

my friends and coworkers came in to comfort me, I was told to leave my car at the theatre as I was in no shape to drive.  I was driven to my friend’s house where she and her boyfriend loaded rum into me, let me talk, scream, cry and get puppy kisses.  I had plans to meet with a friend who didn’t make it to my side of the city very often, I called him and said what had happened.  We still met up at a pizza shop, like always, only as I got there he immediately sprang up and hugged me tight wherein I began bawling again.  in the middle of the shop.  I was also bought lots of beer….I got home and drank even more…and showered, I had a tough time standing up I was so drunk.  I’m surprised I didn’t throw everything up into the toilet.

…then again, I’m Scottish and can handle my liquor fairly well.

…no, seriously…I am actually surprised I didn’t vomit all that liquor back up.

much as I had friends there for me….that night wasn’t “fun”.

I picked myself up the next morning, exhausted and hung over and went back to the theatre to teach.  I didn’t do any makeup..my hair was a mess…I think I was in the same outfit I’d worn the day before.  When my students asked what was wrong.  I sat them down and was honest “My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday” there were gasps and lots of sorries…we talked a lot about emotions in my group and how to show them and I was very candid saying “I’m sad, I’m angry and most of all I’m scared…and what I need from you guys today is to help me forget for a bit and be happy”.  they did just that.

The next few weeks, we faced mum’s ops, and what was next. My step dad and I had to put on brave faces (when we were both fucking scared). none of which was “fun”.

All of these things were scary.  I admitted to my partner today that I hope he never has to go through any of that with me.

So, when the girls only memes go around and we talk in hushed voices, giggly at the no boys allowed shite…it really feels like a kick in the teeth to those who I know that fought and survived breast cancer.  even moreso, to those who lost the fucking battle.  and it’s a bit of a mockery of the emotions the family members who had to put on those brave faces and be happy while being terrified went through.  men and women.

If you want to raise awareness…TALK ABOUT IT! send care packages to families in need, donate money to the cause. Don’t make it a silly thing…it’s NOT a silly thing.  You know what’s a good way to say you want people to know about it? “hey, you know something?  Breast cancer really sucks. Guys, did you know even you can get it?  Whatever the case, we’ve all been affected in some way by it and it sucks!  You know what? we should donate to the cause”

don’t make this a girls only club.  don’t make it something we laugh at.

Geek Rant: Double Standards

ImageI realize it’s been awhile…let’s just move past that, it’ll be best for us in this blogging relationship (note: I will really try to update more)

So, yesterday was the grand unveiling of the 12th Doctor…in Whovian world, this is a big deal.  And I was…

disappointed.

Not by the actor who was chosen to play the 12th Doctor..I think Peter Capaldi is a great choice!  I loved him in The Thick Of It and can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to the TARDIS.  So, what had me disappointed?

The reaction from female fans.

I was considerably disgusted by my gender yesterday, continuing on into today.

Arguments I’ve heard:

“Whaaa!  He’s too old to be the Doctor!!!” (note: I thought he still looks young for 900+ years old)

“I don’t like him!  Isn’t the Doctor, like, supposed to be hot??”

“He’s old and uuuuuugggglllly!!!”

Um, seriously ladies?

W….

T….

F?!?!?!

Are you absolultely serious?  I understand it’s difficult to let go of who you adored as the Doctor for so long, I had a hard time when Eccleston left and Tennant came in…in fact, I didn’t like Tennant at first (OMG! Blasphemy!!!), but I eventually grew to like him, when he left and Matt Smith took over the role, it took a long time for him to grow on me.  So, I get that…but saying the new guy isn’t “hot enough” or “young enough”…GET OUT OF MY FANDOM!! (I actually said this at work…made one of the therapists laugh)

Are you really so superficial??  There’s far too many good reasons to watch Doctor Who, rather than this vapid excuse.

Thing is, I hear this double standard often…girls can objectify all they like, but guys not so much.

I like to think I’m a bit feminist, but when it comes down to it I’m an “equalist”.

You hear it all too often, girls get angry at guys when they watch a show for an attractive actress, say a pop star is hot, or a woman in a movie is pretty.

“That’s the only reason he watches the show! God!”

“You don’t even like her music!  Just her tits/ass/skimpy costumes!”

“Ug…he couldn’t stop drooling over [insert movie starlet name here] the entire movie, it was so disgusting.”

yet GIRLS ARE JUST AS BAD!!!  In fact I hear similar from females more often than males now.  What other excuse is there for Twilight? (note: if you enjoy twilight…trust me, this is not a blog you’ll enjoy.) for that matter, boy bands (admittedly, my favorite band…The Beatles, technically started off as a boy band, but they EVOLVED.  When I started listening to them their looks were not on my mind, I just liked the music)

So, now…this has invaded the Whoniverse.  I will admit, I only just got into the series with the reboot (however, I do remember watching Tom Baker episodes with my dad as a kid), so I get accused of not being a real fan…this isn’t to say I don’t plan on going back and watching the old episodes, I do!  Anyway, in seeing the “OMG the new doctor isn’t hot” arguments, I was flat out….

disgusted.

disappointed.

enraged.

I still am actually.  I understand, change is hard.  I really do.  However, you are watching a show where the main character REGENERATES into something new, change is inevitable. If the only reason you are watching the show is for his looks, bugger off.  The show is well written…even Moffatt’s episodes (ok, no…I’m not a huge Moffatt fan…but I can give him some credit 😉 ).  I much more understand the disappointment by some that the doctor isn’t female, that had been a rumor for awhile and it would’ve been an interesting change.

I do hope with the change in the Doctor’s age, it’ll put a kebash on the Doctor/companion romance hints…and maybe I’ll actually LIKE Clara (side note: nope, not keen on the new companion, sorry, just don’t care for her at the mo).

Scottish Rage: Geek elitism

image from google, used by various sites including geekgirlproblems

So, I had hoped to have some more art up….but not so much (Friday, I swear!).  Anyway, something that’s been on my mind for awhile…as in a couple years.

So, I fully embrace being a geek.  Since I was young, I remember watching episodes of Star Trek (Original and TNG), Star Wars, Doctor Who and Ghostbusters with my Dad…also, avidly watching him play Atari (ok, yeah…that dates me a bit..shutup).  Aside from the shows and movies I loved as a developing geek girl, I developed an interest in science, arts and history.  I loved all these things…however, once kids started realizing what was “cool” I was told what I liked was unacceptable.

As an adult, I found many more people who were like me and enjoyed all those things…and even found my stories of hiding spiderman comics in Seventeen magazines when I was briefly accepted into the popular crowd (moving to a new town, nobody really knows much about you seems to make you cool) entertaining.

Geekdom has become more mainstream, it’s no longer a negative thing necessarily.   Mostly.

With the popularity, or acceptance…it almost seems like the geek community has turned on itself.  This is something I’ve seen in person, online, at Cons, etc.

Geekier than thou

There seem to be pockets of people with more geek cred than anyone else.  As such, they snub anyone not as “geeky” as them…how is this any better than the people who snubbed us for being geeks?  I find it just as annoying personally.  Part of me has to wonder though, when most of us adult geeks were young…it wasn’t socially acceptable to be who we are, people were ridiculed, beat up and snubbed.  Are we just acting out a sort of vengence now that we’re in a position to?  Doesn’t make it right, does it?  

New Geeks

So, ok…when someone gets into this nerdy thing (that you’ve known about FOR-EV-ER), they get excited,  vocal, perhaps like you were when you first discovered that same thing years ago.  Rather than sharing in the excitement, there are eyerolls and “hipster geek” attitudes (ex: “Man, I was so into that like 5 years ago when it wasn’t cool”)…hell, I can even admit I’ve been guilty of this before, am I proud of it? no.  Do I roll my eyes at myself for that behavior? yes.  Why not, instead of being a snob (and yeah, I realize this all kinda’ ties into the Geekier than Thou rant)..we share that excitement.  I mean, someone loves something you do, share the love!

Cute Geek Girls

Oh man, I have been ranting on this for awhile now.  So, with the fact being a geek is more acceptable..a bit more mainstream…more people are coming out geeks.  Hell, some of these people are, dare I say it, “hot”.  I get that people feel their territory is being tread on…however, stop and think for a minute;  The girl who is now at a Con, in a catwoman costume, may have years ago been the awkward girl in braces.  Just sayin’, people can change as the years go on.  But instead, they’re even made fun of…”pfft..she can’t possible know anything about Doctor Who, she looks like she moisturizes 3 times a day” “She’s trying too hard in that Laura Croft costume, she probably has never played Tomb Raider”

Shite, this actually affected me personally before.  During a conversation at a Con, we were discussing bullying and someone actually said

“you wouldn’t know what it was like for us, you’re too pretty to understand”

Too. pretty. to. understand.

Let me e’splain something to you…No, I’m not horrible looking.  However, I fully admit I can be a bit awkward, I get socially anxious, I’ll sit back and observe people randomly…and when talking about school days, this was all times 10…add onto it that I had braces, I didn’t dress cool…I loved Jurassic Park…from age 8 – 14 I was bullied.  I was pushed onto the pavement, rocks kicked at my face, called more names than I’d like to recount, kids threw their food at me during lunch.  Eventually, the braces came off…I moved to a different town and had a reprieve for a year…I was still shoved into lockers, teased by the jocky kids, even called a lesbian (I’d like to think I at least would have good taste if I were….and also, quite lame that THAT was used in a negative connotation, all things considered) for most of highschool, but I also had a good base of friends from band and theatre to go to.

Trust me, I understand.

A good chunk of the time, no matter how a person looks there is more to them on the inside;  they’ve had their share of sadness, made their mistakes and had their triumphs.

Overall though,  being a geek has made me a stronger person and being a part of a few geek communities has been an even more awesome experience!  Holy hell, we are fun people!  and the rest of the world is seeing that!  I just recently saw Wil Wheaton’s “Why it’s awesome to be a nerd”  and I loved the quote “It’s not about what you love…it’s about how you love it”.  We all came together because of the things we love.  just keep that in mind.  cheers!

Ps.  for listening to my rants, I will try to have some minor goodies up tomorrow…but a full thing of awesome Friday (that’s NZ Friday)!