Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Epic Weekend

This was a wildly productive weekend for me. It was a whirlwind of fun, pain, heat, wind and law breaking.

Friday was karaoke with friends, Saturday I had a silks photoshoot downtown over the Bayou. We set out around 4:00pm, the most sweltering part of the day to rig my silk from a bridge. My photographer buddy, Rad Sinyak, had previously scoped out what he thought might be a perfect location. Upon arriving we were greeted by a couple vagrants. One chimed " Oh wow ! See ! See! I told them you were a model when you walked up. Hey, wut u gonna do wit dat thing?" To which I answered, "Well I plan to climb it." The bums proceeded to ask a few other random questions (rightly so, I was invading their home)... I think they were fascinated but looking at me as if I'm from another planet.

Travis (my roommate/rigger/ all around awesome friend) took the initiative to walk up the sloping facade to the old railroad tracks. I watched him walk through what was clearly living quarters. From behind me I hear a bum say, "That's cool, just walk through my bedroom." My head snaps around and I apologise... blushing. Honestly, at that point , I was unsure if the group really were bums. They appeared clean, their clothes were normal... one donned a button up short sleeve shirt, sneakers and Vietnam Veterans hat. The other guy was fishing with his little boy. I'm still unclear on whether or not the man and his boy were homeless.

Travis begins to check the rigging points, every one of which made us nervous scaling a particular piece of old railroad had not been maintained in decades. We had to ix nay our plans to use track number one. Luckily, track number two, still very much in working order was just a few dozen years past the first. However, our best rigging points looked to be on the other side of the Bayou, the best path being directly through the Bum/Vet's bedroom. I gestured to the path through his room and he nodded mentioning that he had cut a foot hole for easier climbing. I made my way up through makeshift tools and utensils, surprisingly crisp, clean articles of clothing and sticks holding them. The photographer remained on the cement bank, by the water, looking hesitantly up at the situation. I knew he had no level of interest in treading through a hobo's makeshift shanty under a railroad bridge. After a few seconds, he relented and walked up the slope. We crossed the old track to the other side and found our way to a glorious, sturdy, new perfectly positioned railroad bridge. Victory! While the photographer, sets up the shot down below, I argue with Travis about the height and positioning whining, "There's just no way it's long enough!" He continues to work ,drops it down and proves to me that it is.

These images by photographer extraordinaire , Rad Sinyak.

The entire shoot, I wasn't much thinking of the alligators down below,the cement or more specifically, falling. I was waiting to hear the telltale signs of an approaching train or perhaps sirens. None of those misfortunes occurred and we finished up feeling pretty accomplished. I was dehydrated and exhausted so decided to take the first path up through the brush to the street that I saw. BIG MISTAKE. In a matter of 4 seconds I was covered head to toe in hundreds of the smallest prickliest sticker burns you can conceive. Smooth. Would have made a great picture. Wish I had snapped one of that. UPDATE **** Rad did take a picture after all! Here is that little gem...

I whine and laugh all the way to the car and stand behind a blanket Travis held stripping down completely to change under the interstate bridge downtown. Those bur covered tights and leotard are still sitting on my bedroom floor... Fishing out hundreds of tiny, painful burs has not yet seemed appealing.

After going back to the studio to shower and review a few pictures, Travis and I head over to my friend's warehouse just across the street. They were preparing for a party that evening held by the CCSD (Connoisseurs Club of Smoking and Drinking). Brilliant. They would be holding their annual lounge formal that evening. Looked like too much fun to pass up so we decided to attend. It had all the makings of a great party, boasting an open bar with liquor and cigars, great music , good lights and eclectic crowd . We stayed till 4, (stopped drinking at 1:30, chill out) and had an all around good time.

So did this chick.... she danced for 3 hours straight and hung out like this for a bit outside.

Sunday I had another amazing shoot with Shawn Welling. Just so happens he had a cord de lisse (circus rope) that I got to play with. We ventured out to the same location as Saturday, in hopes of rigging it up from the tracks. Alas, this time there was a train preventing our doing so. So we took a promenade under some interstate bridges and around the tail end of the train to scope out other locations. We found a tractor which proved to be a lot of fun and just as soon as we came to an alternate rigging location (plan B), the train started to move! Score.

So I rigged the cord up from the tracks and played around a bit. Dusk was coming so we relocated to a field positioned perfectly in front of an unobstructed downtown skyline view. I did some light fire spinning, mostly to get some photos, so no impressive tricks here but the video has an interestingly random story to it. (considering we really did not plan a thing) Just happened that Shawn had a rope from and old show, got lucky enough to take a walk and hop on a tractor, wasting just enough time for the train to leave just as we got to our desired rigging point. The video below documents this excursion of our daring endeavours downtown. :)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jim Henson may be dead...

But there is still a puppet master ruling behind the scenes.

All of this talk about “insulting the president/vice president and administration” got me to wondering. Has there been any precedent to a general undermining or speaking ill of the administration he serves? Either answer, yes or no, would be compelling. In my opinion, General McChrystal and his staff were right to question even criticize white house policies outlined in this controversial article. If a general feels his hands are tied to fight a war successfully, shouldn’t a patriot speak out? What’s this nonsense about “respecting the office?” It’s a good thing Nancy Pelosi, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama “respected the office.”

If Pelosi can say things like :

"Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he's not a leader,'' Pelosi said. "He's a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects that he has to decide upon.''

Hilary Clinton can say:

"There has never been an administration, I don't believe, in our history more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda,"

And about Patraeus in 2007

"The reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief,"
She went on to criticize General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker as "de facto spokesmen for a failed policy."

Barack Obama can say:

“Here’s what we know. The surge has not worked. And they said today, ‘Well, even in September, we’re going to need more time.’ So we’re going to kick this can all the way down to the next president, under the president’s plan.” 2007

Yet in 2010 decide to name the architect of the surge, General Patraeus to head up the War in Afghanistan saying:

“He has my full confidence and I am urging the Senate to confirm him for this new assignment as swiftly as possible.”

Funny… how things work out that way.
In case I haven’t made it apparent, I have no level of trust for politicians. Republican/ democrat/ libertarian. All habitually talk out of both sides of their mouths until it seems we are staring at a Capitol Hill and Whitehouse full villains transposed directly out of Batman.

Who’s to save Gotham city now, when the public is misled and political parties are an illusion?

Friday, June 18, 2010


Oh man…. I’m rusty. It’s been 5 whole years since I took a dance class… Sad coming from a dancer of 17 years. The last time I attempted attitude turns, pirouettes, etc. was when I lived in Dallas. I did a weekly lyrical jazz class at Texas Women’s University, which is by the way an amazing school for dance.
I can warm up with the best of em’. I’m not lacking in flexibility these days… I’m just not so used to the floor anymore. I recall always being a bit dizzy doing turns, but yesterday at the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, I was brought to the brink of near certain vomit. Still, I think I made a valiant attempt to hold my own with the 17, 18 year olds in the class. The Met was just as I remembered it (I danced there as a kid).

The studio has this charming urban feel to it, ornamented by brick walls, high ceilings, chipping paint, and missing ceiling tiles with insulation falling out. The same dance posters still hang in the dressing and break rooms. This one being one of my favorites.

It has been more than ten years since I have been there. I wonder how many times I danced through the ghost of my former self. I am definitely out of practice and rusty, but it felt great to glide around on the floor again. With all the high flying I have been doing, I wanted to try my feet at sacheing at bit. Actual floor contact!
The instructor was kick ass. He had a cool choreographic style and impeccable taste in music. Back in the day(circa 1994-1999), every jazz class had to feature Janet Jackson in the warm-up and of course some Amber or some Paula. Seemed every class was required to play that housey techno crap and 90’s hip hop/ jazz featuring trumpets (for the record I loved it). So glad to see we have moved on from fog machines and rhinestones and big hair… Oh wait… yes… studs, French bobs, boobs emanating sparks (and fog) are much better!

Who remembers this tune?
Or this one

Jazz anthems of the 90’s.