Monday, January 15, 2007

Dance Dance

Thursday November 16th

So the end of my trip is nearing, but that doesn't stop me from sleeping in on this gloomy Thursday morning. I have noble plans of seeing the sights but end up heading in towards Covent Garden for some food and a bit of shopping. Craig, who writes for the Guardian... among many other publications, has invited me to be a part of a column that he writes for the national newspaper; a column about dancing, and why we do it. He will spend the next few days interviewing me about my love of dance, the style I choose to bust into when I'm in da club versus when I'm home alone. In fact, in the coming days I will share with him my dancing successes, failures and fears, but today is another day; today is the day of the photo shoot. Yes... you heard me correctly, a professional photographer photographed me shaking my money maker to my favorite dancing song; Fergalicious!

The photo shoot began in the late afternoon, so once I was done putzing about town; I hopped into a Black Cab (finally got to see what all the fuss was about) and headed off to the studio. I arrived a bit early and spent the down-time sipping tea and chatting with Craig and his Flatmate. When the photographer was ready and the music was set... I began to dance. Now, there's something odd about dancing in a room, bright lights blazing, while a man takes seemingly endless pictures of your tiniest move, all the while calling out encouraging words like "That's good" and "could you do that again, please?" <-- The British are a rather polite bunch, if you ask me. Anyway, Craig danced on the sidelines and that made me feel even more comfortable, because I'll tell ya, if you're ever in a dance battlefield... you're going to want someone like Craig beside you. He's a dancing powerhouse... but more about that in a future post.

By the end of the session I was hot, but energized... raring to go. Craig had to stay and work with some other dancers so I took the tube back into town, to continue my shopping extravaganza. London at night is quite beautiful, especially when you find yourself in the middle of a quartier known as Neal's Yard. Supposedly full of hippies, it is a beautiful area of stores surrounded by brick and soothing warm light. If it weren't getting a bit chilly out, I might have stayed a while longer than I did. Instead I made my way back to the studio, picked up Craig, and went off in search of some good eats. We ended up at a yummy restaurant in the area, where we met up with Molly, a friend from the States. She is boisterous and fun, and we have a grand old time talking about boys, girls, relationships, and the fact that we are all, no matter how old we get, no closer to the almighty answer than we were when we were born. One thing is certain, this trip is inspiring me.

Click here to see the online version of Craig's column about me!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wicked Wednesday

If you have read Gregory Maguire’s book, or have heard Idina Menzel sing... you will understand my obsession with not only seeing this musical, but seeing it in London (with most the original Broadway cast).

The story is a genius retelling of the Wizard of Oz from the secondary characters points of view. By the end of the book you really feel sorry for the "Wicked" Witch of the West, and saddened by her death... after all she is merely misunderstood; a characteristic that is very easy to identify with.

So, on Wednesday I rode the tube to Victoria station, took my place in line and waited in the lobby for the Apollo Victoria theare to open its doors. H13 was my seat and as I keep getting closer and closer to the stage, I begin to think that spending many, many, many pounds on tickets was the right choice. As the lights go down, the curtain rises and the show begins, I am 100% sure that not a cent (excuse me: pence) has been wasted!

I am mesmerized from start to finish. Nothing, not even the deafening applause that erupts from the audience when Idina enters stage left, can distract me. I am a women transfixed. I laugh, and pout, and cry alongside the characters... that last bit, I'm not really proud of, as I pride myself on being a big girl... but whatevs, I identified with the character... so what?!

By the time I get home, the immense joy has settled itself into sing-song happiness, and I am ready to take on the night. Craig and I decide that the best plan of action is to head into town in a mini cab (the veritable understudy of the more knowledgeable and pricey Black cabs that London is known for). We arrive in Soho and plan to meet up with one of his flatmates for drinks and din at a cozy place named Black's. As we approach, I am faced with a non-descript building. We take the stone stairs down and are met by a sign that can only be described as a big fat head with oozy ooze coming out of its ear... the caption basically reads: Turn off your cell phones, don't make your brain bleed! I was taken aback, but loved it in the way you love things that are very different from your own existence.

Once you enter the resto/bar you almost feel at home... or at least in a home better laid out than your own. Decorated with long communal wooden tables, a fireplace and candles; it has great wine, and a rice pudding that made me momentarily forget my hatred of all things milky and clumpy. The staff was so nice that the only reason I even gave the rice pudding a try was because the hostess offered me a bite of rice pudding off of her own dinner plate (Although now that I think back on it, this may have had more to do with the fact that by this point the boys had charmed her within an inch of her life, and she was diggin' it)

So I guess tonight's lesson was two-fold:
1) Never judge a building by its cover.
2) Even if you absolutely despise something... give it a try every couple of years; just in case. Who knows... your tastes may have changed... you may want different things... I now know I do!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Londy, Londy, Londy!

On Tuesday, Jet lag was setting in so I got up late, took forever to get ready and walked all around London... Soho, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, The National Art Gallery... you name it, and I was probably there!

The National Gallery was very beautiful. Walking around its' grandiose halls listening to the free info-tape machine gave me a new appreciation for art of eras gone by.

Things you can learn about art at the National Gallery:

1) Sometimes the technique is more artful than the painting itself*
2) The rawness of a piece of art can be breathtaking
3) Artists do need math!
4) Just 'cause something's old, doesn't make it beautiful

Things you can learn after getting escorted out of the National Gallery:
1) When they say the gallery closes at 6pm, they mean it.
2) London at night looks very different than London during the day... and much harder to navigate around.
3) London is full of crazy, odd, or interesting people. Oh the people that you meet when you're walking down the street... the people that you meet each daaaaaaaaaay!**

* Seraut's dot matrix style of painting is an example of this. It is an interesting technique whereby he dips his brush in paint and dots the canvas. No color is mixed together yet somehow the finish product seems to be blended by your minds eye. Dots of red beside dots of yellow, appear as if orange... Very cool stuff.

** One such person: The talkative (read: crazy) woman in the coffee shop. She discusses the recent bomb-less-ness of the city with her invisible partner; intermittently informing the waitress that she is exotic, and looks good. She mentions that she doesn’t feel well, and has ordered a "steaming hot" (her words not mine) Apple pie with cream... LOTS of cream! There is so much cream, in fact, that it completely obstructs my view of the pie itself... I see mounds of cream, and columns of steam.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Look Right then Left

That title is my new mantra! It is repeated as I come upon any form of motor way... be it busy street or empty drive way. It may not always be correct, but I feel as though repeating it will constantly remind me not to dive headfirst into kooky London traffic, and therefore save my life a high percentage of the time.

Ah London! I've arrived! Maybe I should start from the beginning of this adventure...

hmm... Let's see, the plane... the flight was speedy. We arrived a whole hour early due to strong tail winds. There's something about the idea of a strong gust of wind pushing an aluminum alloy machine through the sky that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable... but anything that eliminates the need to be stuck in a enclosed space for too long can't be all that bad now can it?

Anyway the flight was rather uneventful, Safety demo, TV, food, movie, TV, old movie, more food. I was seated next to an abnormally tall, skinny man who apparently thought that it was completely normal to enter into an enclosed space without having washed his hair for at least 3 months. I grinned and bore it while silently cursing him and his equally oily scalped, pda-loving girlfriend who was seated in the row behind us. Let me tell you... nothing got in the way of their love... not even the chairs. ughhh!

Once I had arrived, the adventure truly began. I picked up my luggage, and proceeded to the tube station, the beginning of my long trek to Hackney. Not having Craig's number I was unaware if he would even be home when I got there... Oh let's face it, even if I had had the number, it would have taken me precious time to figure out how to use all 27 of it's digits effectively.

Monday night:

My friend Craig had a friend hosting an amazing event at the Tate Modern Museum (my favorite museum ever) The event featured interesting scientific materials, all of which could be touched and manipulated by the participants. The two most interesting materials were the Aerogel: a substance that is lighter than a feather and is the least dense solid on the planet; because it is made up of 99.8% air. The second was a Shape Memory Alloy. Once it is set in a particular shape, you need only to blow torch it... yes I held and operated a blow torch... for it to return to it's original shape! At the end of the night we all slid down the slide to Turbine hall.

That's it for now. The adventure continues tomorrow... so until then... look right, then left; and mind the gap!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Trip

I leave for London today.

I'm excited and will keep you all abreast of my travels...

Yes... I know I'll only be gone a week, and that most of you won't miss me in that short time, but I'd love to make you jealous anyway! I'll post my adventures the first chance I get!

David Hasselhoff

Two words: The Hoff. What is wrong with this man??? What?
Please, Please, PLEASE WATCH THIS!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

London Calling

In keeping with my trip to the Motherland... (well it is someone's Motherland) take a look at the following Youtube clip. See Sacha at his best

This guy is freakin' good! As uncomfortable as he may make you feel, you've got to giv'im big ups for keepin' a straight face, and being so bloody quick on the jokes.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Halloween is really my favorite time of the year... it may have to do with the fact that I love any reason to get dressed up in costume (I am an Actress at heart after all). It could also be because I went to Bishop's University where Halloween is not something to be taken lightly.

When Halloween time comes around, I get that familiar joyous sensation... the anticipation of finding the perfect costume. Usually I find a piece of a costume before I come up with the actual concept. An item or prop will pique my interest and will then inspire the costume. This year was no different. I was shopping in Kensington Market with my friend Sarah when I spotted this skirt... something about it was familiar to me, but I couldn't put my finger on it. And then it hit me... It resembled the skirt that Minnie Mouse wears back in Disney's "Steamboat Willie" days.
The idea was so brilliant that it blew my mind... for the rest of the week I went about busily collecting all of the other aspects of the costume until I had a complete outfit…

Much to the amusement of those around me, I looked like this -->
Yes, Yes... I'm not ashamed to say that I looked good... 'cause let's face it Minnie Mouse is hot. The best part about a well put together costume is the recognition you get from those around you... If people know who I am without being told, I've done my job.

The nice progressed quite nicely, the A-Team* partied it up at the Tangerine Nightclub where friends of friends were having a Halloween party. The outfits there ranged from good to pathetically non-existent... but who is Minnie to judge! The A-team rocked the house... Together we were Minnie, Officer Sethi, The Glowing Fairy, and the Japanese Hooker for the white man... <-- I kid you not, that was MeMe's costume!

These are my girls, my A-Team.

* The A-Team is a moniker we came up with that addresses the fact that in the game of life we are A list-go-to friends.