Monday, March 31, 2003

CNN "Embedded"--Drink!...FLUX this Saturday...

The SO and I came up with a new drinking game. While watching CNN, everytime someone says the word "embedded," drink. This is guaranteed to put you into a coma within an hour.

The BIG news this Saturday is that Khafif is performing at FLUX 9, at 7:45 PM in Euler Way and again at 8:45 PM in the Beehive (King's Court Theatre). This will be our "avant garde" show. We will be doing a special modern, arty type of piece in addition to two others from our standard repertoire in a 15-min. set. So, don't be late or you'll miss it.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Can't we all just get along....To Kill a Mockingbird...Khafif Merch (cont.)...

The war thing is very depressing. My SO reviewed all the UN resolutions, and convinced me that it is legal--that still doesn't make it right. He also woke me up at 1 AM a couple nights ago to tell me that he saw the American POWs being executed on Iraqi tv (via al-jazeera). Needless to say I couldn't get back to sleep. I think that the pro-war folks get the wrong impression from the anti-war folks. Protesting the war doesn't mean that you don't "support the troops". In fact, you care so much about them that you want them to come home safe. NONE of the U.S senate have any children in the service to worry about being sent home in a body bag. One of my coworkers who is a conservative Bush supporter has two sons in the military who are currently awaiting orders at Ft. Dix and she is literally on the edge of her seat with anticipation and worry that the next phone call will mean they are being shipped out. Being in that position, how could you support war? Being a Buddhist wannabe, you could never talk me into supporting war or violent action (with the exception of self-defense). The SO enjoys watching things blow up.

Enough with the war....on to more enlightening things, like reading the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird." For some reason, we are all supposed to be reading it. It's part of some community program: One Book, One Community. There were 50 copies sitting on the shelf in the library, and I finally picked one up. It's actually quite good so far.

And, at last, I have listed the Khafif CD and video on eBay. Shop my eBay store link at left.

Friday, March 21, 2003

War Shmar...Farscape: R.I.P...eBay Feedback Galore...Khafif Merch...Henry Rollins

Had a week at work.

Anti-war protesters make a feeble showing downtown during rush hour. I think that the cops and news vans outnumbered them and did more to disrupt traffic than they did. Don't get me wrong. For once the Pope and I agree on something---the war is illegal and immoral, but I'm not so much anti-war as I am anti-saddamhussein and pro-liberation of the Iraqi people. I just think that it is futile to protest a foregone conclusion. The war is running according to schedule, just in time for sweeps.

BTW, just watched the series finale of Farscape. Bummer. You can call 1-888-SCAPE-66 or visit if you want Farscape to continue, but I'm not so sure I do if John & Erin have been reduced to confetti.

I just have to toot my own horn...people are saying wonderful things about the rajasthani choli pattern. Check out my feedback here.

Speaking of eBay, I am working on setting things up to sell Khafif merchandise. We have T-shirts and halters, music CDs, an instructional Video, and songbooks are coming soon.

And just for completeness, I should mention that I started "The First Five" by Henry Rollins. This is a collection of some of his early prose snippets and poetry. It's good. It's him. I wish I would have read it back in the early 80s when I was really taken by the punk thing. It would have explained a lot. I saw him front for Black Flag in 1984. They were at "City Limits." I got to meet him in person before the show. He looked really spaced out and didn't talk, or maybe he was just being very serious and intense. I was young and naive, so I couldn't tell the difference. He had long hair back then. He did the show in nothing but a pair of shorts and you could see the big sun tattoo on his back. He rocked. Now, I've seen him twice on his spoken word tour and I know that I am old because of how much he has aged--but he is still hot!

Monday, March 17, 2003

The Ides of March...

The weekend was very interesting and enjoyable. The weather was wonderful for the 'Burgh. Walked around without a jacket. You see, we don't have spring here. It goes from freezing, to balmy in an instant. Or, it just rains for days on end. Friday, I went to see Squonk Opera's new CD release party at the Rex Theatre--they rocked. If you've never seen them perform live, I highly recommend it. Their show is a multimedia feast for the senses, very entertaining, never a dull moment. The music is in a class by itself. It is probably most comparable to modern opera, but more comical and irreverent. If you like Rasputina, you might like this group.

Saturday was the performance at Schoolhouse Yoga. They had a nice turn out. besides khafif, there were a couple of other dance performances, including one Flamenco style group.

...The only good picture I got.

I was a little disappointed that a real hafla did not follow. The crowd dispersed quickly after the show. See, you Beehivers could have come out to see us and you would have had plenty of time to make it to the Cauldron gig!!! However, Melissa and I did manage to talk the other Khafif-ers into going to Ceremony (goth night) afterwards. The theme of Dark Celtic/Pagan or songs with "green" in them held potential, but the DJs were not playing our requests, and most of the music was very mellow, slow, and not as danceable. We quickly became bored and left.

Yesterday, had a no-pressure low-stress Sunday for a change. Did not sew a darn thing. Went shopping, at a leisurely pace--no rushing. Watched "Children of Dune" on scifi channel. This first part was actually a very faithful telling of what happened in the book, "Dune Messiah" and was not too bad. I still find some of the costumes (like the benegesserits) laughable, and some of the acting lacking. In general, I liked the art direction in David Lynch's Dune much better than in this recent version. I am currently reading "The Butlerian Jihad" and it is ok.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Spirit of the Tribes

I just flew in from Florida and boy are my arms tired...

It was an overwhelming experience to say the least. I had never seen "tribal" bellydance outside the context of the SCA and I was intrigued by all the different interpretations and expressions of the dance and costume that I saw at the event. It was wonderful seeing so many people come together like this. This year, the venue was a rodeo fair grounds. I don't know what it was like last year, but this venue had its advantages and disadvantages. It was open-air, and considering that the weather was hot and clear, this was not such a bad thing. However, the floor was DIRT--not very encouraging for doing any kind of floor work at all, and shoes were a must.

I attended three of the workshops and I enjoyed them all, although I found them all very challenging and some things were just way beyond my level. Firstly, there was Neha Shah who taught Rajasthani dance. She taught a very charming choreagraphy of authentic moves to a traditional piece of music---that she sang to--and she was very good. Then, I took the Ultra Gypsy workshop with Jill Parker. This was probably the easiest one for me because I have studied with Zafira Dance Co, who were influenced by Ultra Gypsy and a lot of the moves were familiar. Even so, I found it difficult to last through to the end. It was quite a workout. Lastly, I took the workshop by Urban Tribal and they were AWESOME! They put a very modern hip-hop-techo spin on their moves and they seemed to just float across the stage. I was glad that I got the chance to take their class.

I did not take the workshop with my troupemates, Neefa and Safa: Indo-Eurasian Dance, because I already participated in their "test" run-through prior to the event, but I think that it was well-received. I thought it was very challenging, and the moves were original and unique to the conference--no one else is quite like us. After seeing a vast array of troupes and performers from all over, I can honestly say that we are quite "novel" in what we do. Jas's drum workshops also seemed to go well--he is an awesome musician.

Speaking of performances, ours was almost ruined by a case of mis-management at the event. We were scheduled to go on near the end of the big performance on Sat. night, and the show started to run behind schedule. There were just too many groups, taking a little bit too much time, and Maja, the organizer of the event had to start cutting numbers. This was a real shame because there was so much talent to be shown off. Luckily, we were able to perform our set in its entirety, after we sat through about 3 hours worth of other performances--most of which were a real treat to see. There was a huge troupe, with somewhere around 20 people on stage--they rocked. Blue Lotus Tribe, rocked. Awalim, rocked. The other troupes I mentioned already, rocked. However, the anticipation, combined with the threat of being cut, was almost too painful.

To further complicate things, I had brought some of my merchandise and attempted to vend alongside the Khafif merchandise that we had. And, I had brought mom with me to the event and this was her first exposure to anything like this. I had put a lot of pressure on myself to perform, while also juggling my DarkThreads business and looking after mom the whole time. It was a good experience for mom, but I didn't sell as much stuff as I hoped to. It certainly wasn't worth the schlepping. Next year, I focus on performing, and that's IT!

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