Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oh my gosh, did we just talk next year??!!

I didn't even realize until this morning, as I showered at E's, using some of the body wash I'd gotten for my father that he didn't use up and thinking of him.  (I still do NOT get why that one social services woman told me that I shouldn't be the one washing his feet.  Um, and why not?  I am his daughter.  I washed for him whatever he needed, whenever he couldn't, even if he usually could except sometimes it was harder for him to get his feet.)

My mind wandered, naturally.  E told me again last night that he is surprised that I think that my brain ever shuts down and that he sometimes feels as if he's trying to catch or keep up.  He's a smart man.  It's more that my mind jumps about in many directions, quickly, in ways that may seem utterly random to another.  It just works differently than his.  So I teased him that I apparently can't play tic-tac-toe with him when I'm tired, as he actually thinks through his moves.  Bob Seger sings that a woman never really knows a man until she's made love with him.  True, but play tic-tac-toe, and you know a lot more, also.  E's a strategizer, a worthy (read fun for me) competitor, and we look forward to playing more board games together.

And I thought of us hanging out last night with friends after rehearsal, chatting about a variety of things.  Three classmates had showed up, thinking it was a regular class time, and another would have except she's a friend I'd talked with earlier in the day.  Communication has been, well, lacking.  One guy wants it limited to announcements during class.  We have great information for that time frame, but we really still need the e-mail notifications, heck, our end of year class party is coming up and people are asking when it is.  Yes, I made handouts for class, but nothing's been e-mailed.  I know I need it visual, and jot it on my e-calendar.  Anyway, I brought up that next year, class night conflicts with M's dance schedule, now that she's a preliminary championship dancer!!! (one friend there had competed as an adult -- second place in her reel!).  I've been talking academic and dance class schedules for M for next year, for months now.  It seemed normal to talk about next school year, and now I know that I can't be there for announcements for my main dance class, nor do I wish to miss out on information and non-class activities.  I want the e-mail notifications to resume.  "Then again," I motioned to E, "He can always tell me what's going on."  E smiled, "Yes, I will keep you informed."

We were both so tired last night...... "you know Daisy is welcome here any time."  And, more importantly I suppose, "I'm glad you're here, anyway."  "Me, too."  This morning, as E got out of bed, his guest bed as it's darker in that room which I need so he moves his alarm clock in there for us to sleep when I'm over, he gave me a sweet kiss on my cheek, and again as he left for work.  I could stay sleeping a bit and still have time to take care of Daisy and my feline babies, get some rice from E to put M's "thrown into the pool argh" cell phone into, and get on to work.  I like how he looks in his white dress shirts (always white, from the cleaners), and dark pants and tossled out of the shower hair, so I turned from the pillow to look up at him. 

E started asking me M's summer schedule within a couple weeks of us dating.  We've been putting that more into real planning, now.  But, next year?  Oh, my.  But, yeah, probably so.  And, that is not something I'd normally go speculating.  I've been single for so long, even my last local boyfriend was SO, that ended the day M and I got Daisy (just a coincidence) 5.5 years ago.  It just feels natural to be with E most of the time.  (Hey, no one is perfect.  We've been open which can be scary, but.)  Comfortable enough where Memorial Day late afternoon, after a sunny walk and such, we just lingered silently for quite a while together (M was at "Al's" pool party; picnic at my mom's was the first half of the day).  So natural, it just seemed an assumption for both E and me, that he would keep me informed of next year's details.  :)  Then again, words are just words.  The "meat" is what's behind them.  It still seems good, though.  And real.  He's not a player, and I think I'd like to stick around a while.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It was a good feis day, part 1.

Sunday dawn, feis morning, the world was awakening, the birds calling out to each other as Daisy savored the extra early walk in the crisper air.  "Dear God, please have it be a good day today....."  I really need to start the day in prayer a lot more often than I seem to remember to.  I didn't ask God to have M win her last first place that she needed to move up to a preliminary championship level.  I knew I'd be happy for her if she did, but I don't like praying for such a thing.  I wanted, well, a good day, for M, for my mother and for E, and everyone, for the stage to run well that we were volunteering at, however God meant "good" to be.

M had prepared most of her things earlier on Saturday, I'd washed the second pair of her bubble socks "just in case," got more gas in the rental car, visited my Blazer in case the wig was there and found her feis makeup.  M had taken her shower and repacked her dance duffel bag, having declined a dinner invitation with E and me, and some of his visiting family. Yet, that fancier "Meagan" style wig remained elusive until I was home, and finally told M in all seriousness that she'd need to start putting her hair in curlers, then.  (Buying another wig at the feis wasn't an option with my current funds available, even if the vendor would have had that style in M's hair color, even as a wig is practically a requirement at her level of dance competition.)  By morning?  Even the snacks were ready, and a good breakfast eaten. 

Pack the dresses in the trunk and bring the iPOD.  We were going to a feis!  Our first one together since possibly last October?, our favorite feis where many of the local Irish dance schools help out, we know so many there, she is most relaxed, and we kicked off helping out one of the beginner / advanced beginner stages.  It was exciting to drive up with other vehicles with Irish dancer stickers, or passengers wearing big head pieces, while seeing Rolling Thunder going south, the start of a new day, new feis season.

This feis opened and capped / closed within 8 hours this year, within a day?? last year.  Both set records, and this year, approximately 200 additional dancers were accommodated and it still capped even more quickly.  However, it didn't feel more crowded (except for the line to get in and pick up registrations; we usually don't arrive when the doors open, however).  She had time to get her registration / competition card, and her makeup on, a spot on the bleachers not too far up so Grandma (my mom) could sit comfortably if desired near another dance school friend there for her first prelim, and retouch up her sock glue just because.   M likes them perfectly lined up. 

I was a stage manager, checking in dancers, liaison with the judge (a lovely and very nice Myra Watters, co-chair of this years Southern Regional Oireachtas), and M assisted more directly with the dancers in lining them up, and counting them in.  There were some U5's, meaning dancers who turn 5 years old sometime during the calendar year 2008, and U6's.  One wee girl burst into tears; she'd forgotten what she was supposed to dance.  I saw her turned around and hugging her dad's leg, while I concentrated on the new batch of dancers signing in for their upcoming competition.  M told me that the girls brother came over, and went over what dance the U5 girl was to dance.  "Oh, yeah, I can dance that!"  And, she did.

There were also two beginner adult dancers who smiled, "Yes, please," when asked if they, too, would like to be counted in.  It's not the age as much as the level and experience of the dancer that determines if they may need some counting-in assistance.  An older dancer will have seen others coming out dancing two at a time, then retreating into the line and waiting for the judges nod for them to bow to the judge / musician, and walk off orderly, and will know to mimic that even if a first time feiser.  Younger ones will need more guidance on those nuances.  A few groups had almost 30 dancers and it can get a mite confusing. 

Many parents were first-time feis goers, and would ask a lot of questions.  Sometimes, an older knowledgable sibling would be checking in their younger charge.  Many polite beginners would wait their turn, the announce their name to me, unconsciously hiding their competition card and # with their nervous hands.  It's their number I really needed, to check them off the list (that does include their name and school as well). 

Musician Sandy Jones played at our stage.  I was unfamiliar with him previously; he played great, and would confirm the style (is it still light jig, or on to treble jig?), first.  Yes, it is live music, has to be, and I love that.  They will often wear a metronome in their ear to help them keep the correct beat, repeatedly over and over and over again for every dancer, even admist the chaos of other stages (and their musician), and the crowd.  At this feis, speakers were at the opposite end of the stage from the musician, facing in towards the stage, to aid the dancers.

A couple hours in, others came to relieve M and I, and we transitioned over.  Mom had come, and M and L had met up and went to put on their wigs and tiaras.  I've mentioned M's dance friend, L, previously.  They are like dancing twins in a way.  They are a month apart in age, and often at thee same level of dance, and at mostly thee same feiseanna.  Even when a particular competition splits into an A and a B group, they are often still put into thee same split / group.  They are also similar heights and builds and sizes.  M has the natural turn-out; L has the stronger oompf for hard-shoe.  Details they both overcome often enough to still nail it and win firsts. 

Shortly after, E found me at the stage where M and L would dance their 2-hand reel, their first dance of the day.  He laughed that it took him half an hour to find it (the correct stage location).  I smiled back and told him that this is thee best organized feis I know of, while understanding the confusion for a first-timer, even if he exaggerated. 

Sometimes, figures (team dances) are done first thing at a feis; this feis nicely does them in the middle of the lower grades (beginner and advanced beginner dances), and the higher grades (novice and open prizewinner dance competitions).  Former beau / dance dad aka DAID, SO, was impressed enough he felt that M and L should win first place.  Their arms, their connection (a team should look like a team even if just two of them), their unison and their choreography done just for them, did look sharp and good.  They ended up winning 2nd place out of seven or eight teams.  M knew that the winning team looked really good.  It's all good.

My mother even got "moon-pied" by Z&B himself.  I had to explain to her just what that meant, and that it's traditional, et al.  She doesn't really like them, either, but we both ate ours, being hungry and all.  Ends up, my Kentucky-born stepfather, Bob, likes them.  They ARE a "southern" thing, I suppose.

One of the feis chairs, ceili/set dancing friend LF, also danced an adult 4-hand reel.  He was part of a team that one first place at the 2007 Southern Region Oireachtas.  The one woman looked familiar, so it was likely the same team.  E and I watched LF and his 4-hand team dance.  E knew it wasn't "the" 4-hand reel, so what was it?  He didn't realize that sometimes there are dances done in the very traditional style, and sometimes they can be choreographed within guidelines.

Next feis entry -- M's dances, and L's, of course, as they dance all thee exact same ones, and Si, maybe SO's daughter, etc.


Friday, May 23, 2008

it's Friday

So many good intentions for the day, but gosh, it's Friday.  Of Memorial Day weekend.  It's sunny outside, bright and a bit breezy.  (I'm wearing a sweater; M's wearing capris and a t-shirt, and flip flops I complained about and she insists are the ones with the most arch support of any of her flip flops.  Sigh.)

E called me last night from his boat.  His sister, a war widow, had gone to "the" hearing yesterday on "the" Hill, then was maybe joining him last night or this morning along with her granddaughter, et al.  It was windier last night, and E described the pub near his boat.  Ah, I've seen it, remember, E? albeit he took me at Hemingway's instead, a more romantic spot.  I've missed him.  It was so nice to hear from him, the updated details of the boats preparations for its trip, including the generator working last night (okay, he's not cold).  He told me where they were headed today about dawn (yawn!!!); I made mental note, repeating its name in my head.  E told me the nuances of the waterways.  I have no clue where they are going.  Ha, I don't remember but I think it's three syllables, and I think I know the last syllable.  My memory is mush sometimes.  It should be a grand day, though.  He is closest to her of his five siblings, he has two kayaks again, and she brought some as well.

He asked if he should let me stay watching the end of the 2-hour Grey's Anatomy season finale.  Oh, no, I'm doing both -- it was great to get his call.  He's the best, after all.  Shortly after my one-word neme, I realized that what I should have written for E is the word "best."  E is the best man I know.

M has a feis class tonight.  It'll be good to leave here early.  The few people here are leaving midday, anyway, except perhaps for Boss who'll be in from meetings in a few, and staying, well, a while.  He gave us an hour off early.  Not sure if we'll see Si there tonight or not.  M said she'd been going nuts not full-out dancing while in NOLA.  She was still rather tired Wednesday night, back up for things last night.  She's missed enough classes, going tonight should really nail it for her. 

Sunday should be fun; that's how I'm looking at it.  Our favorite feis, a big local one.  The different (larger) local Irish stepdance (ID) schools pitch in, and M and I will help out again this year.  She'll also compete.  She wasn't in all prizewinner dances last year, and now only has one left at that level.  This means she stays dancing all of hers at the prizewinner level, however, so she should do well.  (Last year she won this trebel reel, too, so?!)  THIS year, little Si will try dancing Treble Reel, also, but it'll be a different age grouping than M.  It'll be a whole different ball game when M moves up to preliminary championship level, so I'm glad she has this first big feis of the year, at her favorite one, at THIS Open Prizewinner level again.  Being away a week and re-focusing now, well, she's looking great!  She needs her treble jig, and for soloing at the Oireachtas this year, she'll be dancing reel and hornpipe.  This means her slip jig is likely getting the least attention of her four main dances, yet as I watched her dance her slip jig last night, I was impressed.  She's grown so much, not just physically taller, but as a dancer.  I'm so proud of her; what a fine good dancer she is, meaning, yes, she danced a great slip jig, IMHO!.  And, having her half-hour private with L to review their 2-hand dance, helped a lot -- the last bit was a focus on M's treble jig, and L's hmmm, I think slip jig is what L has left.  (YEAH L got one of her last dances at a feis a monthish ago.) 

Mom and Bob will come as they don't miss these for M; E stays promising me that he'll come.  That is so sweet of him, but I do understand if he didn't.  I've tried to explain a feis to him.  I'll like seeing him, though:)  Maybe even Saturday night, his mom's birthday.  Maybe we'll ALL hang on Monday, as in, at my mom's.  Hmm.  Or, if not?  Rolling Thunder will be in town D.C., and we may go down there as well.  Clean the house some (find usable things for a coworker's daughter as their home burned down, horrible, all are safe phew).  Plant flowers?  Something.

Graduation is in 2 weeks.  "In My Life" is their graduation song.  "Who Knew" came on, my song for Dougie; I told M that it's the song that Dougie "gave" to me.  She asked me if I'm going to cry when they sing it.  Sing it?  Dag, yes, whatever they sang, as M's years there and growing up and leaving will have me cry, anyway, but really so with this song, yes I will.  Next week, M's class presents "New Orleans" to parents.  I have her hair cut scheduled, we have two potential graduation dresses but not yet the shoes, we have a good-bye gift for Mr. L (gotten months ago, an L.L.Bean NOAA weather radio), and for Mo (a gold and green-beaded bracelet with bangles of various peace symbols, overpriced but otherwise perfect), and her girlfriend with a birthday this weekend (oops, not taken in to school today.....).  They've been working on their graduation speeches.  I only need to change one of M's classes for NEXT year.  We even have a good idea of her Irish stepdance classes next year, and a lot of the summer figured out, with openings........

Granted, I'm working on donating my dead Blazer to my former high school's automotive program and seeing how I can obtain a new-to-me vehicle (w/ no money, oy), and got a call about Dad's house (ack), but.  Right now?

It's a 3-day weekend, and I can't wait to just spend it with my daughter!  Sunshine, windy, whatever.  Enjoy, all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

she's back....

M secretly texted me, "Hey we r back!!  Luv ya and will c u soon! :)

That's normally their lunchbreak time, so I texted her back.  I included asking if she wanted to go riding this afternoon.  Nah, it was pouring rain then, and, um, colder than in New Orleans ha, and M really wants to just SLEEP.

I went onto the Amtrak website and had figured out that they likely left on the 7:10 a.m. train yesterday from New Orleans, and arrived into Union Station about 10:10 a.m., then gathering their luggage, et al, and getting back to the school.  Tomorrow, she'll sleep in, orthodontist, and re-begin life at home (with no school, supposedly for the students to rest but methinks that the teachers will need it, also!).

I am eager to see my Cinderella, eager to hear all of her stories! and see photos.  At least, I hope she took some.  I bought her (charged her) a new memory card for her camera.

And, E was off to his boat this morning, after we spent a few hours obtaining me a rental car (comedy of snafu's there, including at the very end, me having left my housekeys in his car, and not being able to figure out the wipers for almost 5 minutes while driving in the rain).  I may see him tonight at a mini-ceili last class of the year, but I will likely spend that time with M, instead.  I have enjoyed a week with E, even liked the Speedracer movie, really!, that we took his two local grandsons, "the boys," to see (Daisy really liked "the boys.")  Dancing, a lot of things.  It's been good. 

Yet, I teared up seeing M's yearbook I couldn't wait to purchase and hence picked up yesterday.  Photos of her, little and big graduate ones, the congratulatory notes from my mother / Bob, and from me.  I miss my big-little girl.  I'm so glad she's back, and home soon!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

John Edwards supports Barack Obama; M in NOLA

This isn't news to those who follow news, but it's noteworthy.  M's favorite Presidential candidate back in January was John Edwards (she liked Bill Richardson as Vice President).  John Edwards even garnered votes in the recent West Virginia Democratic primary while no longer a candidate himself.  I wonder how that states voting would have gone if he'd just given his announcement a day BEFORE their primary election, instead of the day AFTER.

Anyway, I'm excited at this latest endorsement of Barack Obama, which I think shows more solidity of the Democratic party for one thing, and I appreciate, and agree with, John Edwards' words about Hillary Clinton even (that she's made the part stronger for her running, x y z).

(I also noted on Tuesday, May 13th, my father's would have been birthday, that it was announced in Chicago for some reason I'm not aware of, the city of Dad's birth, that Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans, became the latest [at that time] super-delegate to announce his support of Barack Obama.  Just found it interesting the timing and locations of all that; M left for New Orleans with her class that day.  FYI that they arrived last night, after a 26.5 hour train ride ha, so today is her first full day in NOLA.  It's bright and clear here, and supposedly rainy there.  She'll still have a blast!  More on that later. 

 I should actually depart E's house, take Daisy home, feed the pretty kitties, and get on to work, eh, just making sure to NOT use a work computer for any of my political stuff!  Oh, but has MY local Congressman, superdelegate Chris Van Hollen, yet announced whom he will support?  Nope, at least, not that I've heard yet, and I'm on my county e-mail "list serv" for Obama supporters, so I think I'd have heard.  I DID note that Martin O'Malley, our cool state Governor, has ceased sending out e-mails in regards to Hillary Clinton.  I respect anyone's choice for President; I just happen to disagree with him that she'd make the best choice.)


Oh, I should find that video, being E's computer has sound / speakers......  maybe I could finally HEAR it...........