Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Strong points

Here is how I know for sure that dance is the major for me:
  1. At the end of Sci Fi today, Chris had us give each other back rubs, roll into our primary curves while sitting (so basically sitting with the torso lying on our legs with our arms flopped over), then snap our fingers in unison to end the class.
  2. Candice (my Comp professor) told me I could incorporate drama and vocals into my pieces.
  3. We're learning the "Steam Heat" number from The Pajama Game in Jazz.
  4. Every time I enter a class for my major feeling grumpy, I leave in such a good/serene/collected state of mind that I can hardly remember why I was so upset in the first place.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My lunch today

Sardines, black tea, and Waker's shortbread.

Pretentious? Moi?


I've been thanking people a lot lately, and I still feel like I can't thank anyone enough. So at the risk of sounding like the winner of the Miss America pageant, I'd like to express my thanks some more.

First and foremost, thank you, Alice Wolff, for tag-teaming Pearls and Cashmere with me. I couldn't have done this without you.

Thank you, Elizabeth Markee-Behrends, for making me take the high road. Without your help from the very start, this project would not have been nearly as successful or powerful as it has become.

Thank you, Lisa Daniels of the Smith College BSA, for organizing such an incredible event in support of Pearls and Cashmere.

Thank you, Smith Sophian, for asking Alice and I to write an opinion piece. When we saw that message, we were both speechless for about thirty seconds, and then there may or may not have been excited squealing.

Thank you, Smith students, both past and present, for making Pearls and Cashmere so successful. We wouldn't be anywhere without your support, your stories, and your outstanding networking abilities.

Of course, I'd like to thank my parents for a) raising three wonderful Smithies b) supporting my endeavors now, and c) just generally being amazing

Of course, no post here on Smif^3 would be complete without a mention for my two wonderful sisters, who are both shining examples of strong, intelligent, smartass Smithies. No one could ask for better sisters.

Thank you, Anne Spurzem, for writing that letter. You've made the diverse Smith community even closer and prouder than we were before, and made literally thousands of people realize just how wonderful Smith is.

Finally, thank you, Emily Randolph, for coming up with the name "Pearls and Cashmere," because our previous title was just hella weak.

2, 262 people attending our Facebook event; 4, 243 invited; 81 declines. 296 followers on Tumblr.
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And it's not even schadenfreude!

Big news, big news!
I'm the most flexible girl in my dance class!!
I feel like maybe I don't get to rejoice about this, because I'm the only dance major in the class, most of whom have taken like three dance classes in their lives, but it's a big deal. After taking class with Katie (the girl who played the Arabian princess in Nutcracker) for so long, the fact that I'm hella flexible in any context makes me feel good.
General question: does this relative flexibility make me a that girl, albeit a fairly quiet one?

Current music: "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Croft, because Alice is a jerk.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Next time I post something sad, I'll try to follow it up quickly. Just a note to myself.

It's nice and warm today. I took a walk behind the crew house and watched the ducks snack on delicious pond mud. My route back home took me through the garden near the greenhouse and I shared a moment with the dormant bulbs.
Spring isn't coming for a while still, but it's definitely on the way, because I caught myself singing Kimya Dawson today. I only do that when spring is coming around, for some reason. I'm listening to "Losse Lips" right now, and it reminds me of afternoons in the UU church getting ready for Youth Service, pulling out musty-smelling skirts, the smell of dirt and thyme in Forest Lawn, and daffodils.
Ash Wednesday is this week. I'll figure out a way to go get ashes, even though it's my busiest day, and soon I'll pull my bike out again. I'm excited for my bike. I'm excited for the flowers and the dirt and worms and lying out in the sun and taking root.

EDIT: Spring or not, Kimya Dawson is kind of awful. I'm coming out of this mood now.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bothered and bewildered

After five auditions, four callbacks, and five rejections, like a daisy, I'm awake.
I'm done now. No more.

I want a love that's on the square. Can't seem to find somebody to care, so I'll find a different kind of love.

I think the most important lesson I've learned during my first year at Smith (thus far) is to trust my gut. My first impulse is usually the correct one, but it's hard to trust that first impulse. I'm learning to do that the hard way.
The first thing I wanted to do was Forties Radio Hour. That's not working out on my own, but I'm following that impulse and letting it lead me.
A capella, while nice, isn't what I'm meant to do.

Hello, Jazz Ensemble. Hello, lifelong dream.
It's nice to see you again.

Today's music: "Come Rain or Come Shine," by Billie Holiday. Let's be real; I'm disappointed, but this song sums up my feelings perfectly. And if it's trite...well, just humor me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Compare and contrast

I've been thinking about site design a lot lately. It started when Adriane was looking at some website that was pictures of baby bunnies, but had such a bad design that it was hard to focus on the cuteness.

Then, a few days later, I found the blog of a certain extremely pretentious Smithie whom I've never met, but I have seen her aggressive self-promotion on Facebook. She has a blog that's much like A Beautiful Mess and The Lovely Undergrad in design and layout, but it's profoundly irritating instead of attractive and charming. In fact, the thing I found the most annoying about her blog (aside from the fact that she photographs her outfit every day) is her little signature at the end of every post. I forget what it is exactly; something along the lines of "Love, Freedom, Rainbow Cookie-Farts" with each word a different color. But my point is, that's exactly the little detail I appreciate about Zoe and the Beatles (she signs using "namaste") and The Lovely Undergrad (who signs with "Stay lovely!).

Where's the line?

I read an interview with Krista from Effing Dykes in which she said that she uses a lot of pictures in her posts because nobody wants to read a wall of text, and that's true. It is exhausting, even when I'm reading something I wrote myself. But there are so many blogs that I read that have almost no information about the person writing them, which is just going to an extreme. Pictures of Seattle and adorable kittens are nice, but I read blogs because I'm interested in the authors, and that kind of layout doesn't help me build a rapport with the author at all. Then, too, I don't understand the point in having a website where you just show and tell things that you like, as opposed to things about you.

Can anyone explain this to me? What's the appeal of a site where you just post pictures? Don't you want to write about your life, what you think and feel? Is there something that I'm just not seeing here?

And should I post more pictures?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Who's the boss?

That would be me. Why? Oh, no reason. I just made the callbacks for the Smithereens. No big deal.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm not polite. but I am on TV

As it turns out, Jazz is not nearly so difficult as I was anticipating. Almost everyone took Jazz III last semester, so the teacher knows everybody already, but it doesn't seem like I've missed too much. At least half of the class is in Leading Ladies and I'm the only dance major, which is interesting. My next-door neighbor is in Leading Ladies, and while she has the slightly annoying habit of playing showtunes at all hours (usually when I'm studying), she's nice and I like her. However, these Leading Ladies are either fearful of those who are not their kin or just straight up rude, because they never look at me. And this isn't me imagining things. One of them was in Art History with me last semester and sat next to me every day, but she has yet to say hi, smile, or acknowledge my presence in any way. What is her deal?! It's not like we were buddies or anything, but it was a small class and she obviously knows who I am, so why is it that every day in class, she walks past me rigidly, as though afraid of even glancing in my direction by accident, and sits with her back to me? It's like she took lessons from Alice's roommate.
Women, am I right?

Anyway. Jazz is good and we're doing Fosse right off, which is hard but wonderful. Our next variation is Steam Heat from The Pajama Game! The first class was a little bumpier than I would have liked, but I spent an hour and a half last week nitpicking at exactly what was difficult, and I now have that shit down. It was a wonderful feeling to prepare for the combination that left me totally flummoxed last week (how great is the word flummoxed? It's just the best) and do it perfectly. Laserlike focus, tight technique, and higher extensions than the rude girls in the class. Because what's success without a little schadenfreude?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The mellow show

Yesterday was Erika's housewarming/Disney Detox all in one. After weeks of badgering the Housing office, Erika finally moved out of the Quad and into Cutter, where she can actually get a decent night's sleep. Alice and I did the little ceremony from It's A Wonderful Life with the bread, salt, and wine (we used sparkling cider for that. Wooo underage!), which was nice, but would have been better if anyone besides me had seen the movie. Still. Sea salt and Hungry Ghost bread is not to be sneezed at.
The movie was Howl's Moving Castle, which I saw for the first time right before coming back to Smith. I loved it with the unbiased affection that comes from not reading the book on which it was based. When I was little I was ferocious about people watching any movie without reading the book first---ok, let's be precise. I was furious if anyone saw The Wizard of Oz without reading the book first. It's not a pretty part of my past, let's not dwell on it. Anyway. The movie was good. It felt like a very Smith kind of party; I took a bunch of peanut butter squares from dinner (actually I made Steve do it. I was too shy, and a girl behind her in line snarled at her for taking too many, so I'm not sorry for delegating) and we had tea. Like we do.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Your wish has been granted, Caroline

The Rules

You must post these rules.
Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post.
Go to their page and tell them you linked him or her.
No tag backs.
No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.” You have to legitimately tag 11 people.(Sorry, can’t.)

11 Things About Me

  1. I like doing allegro work to Lady Gaga. I swear her music makes me jump higher.
  2. I don't care for the way I look in glasses, but I wear them all the time because I'm lazy.
  3. I would like to go to pastry school. In fact, I've wanted to go ever since I learned that pastry school existed.
  4. My favorite dog to appear in a movie is Asta from The Thin Man. He's a classy detective dog, much like Nick and Nora themselves.
  5. Whenever anyone speaks French on TV or in a movie, I try to translate what they're saying in my head before looking at the subtitles.
  6. One of the best times I had over the summer was playing Gaga and the Ramones in the kitchen and rocking out while baking hundreds of chocolate chip cookies. That's how I found my Zen place.
  7. I used to want to be a US senator when I was little. It was a brief phase.
  8. My superhero alter ego's name is Fulgora, and she controls and manipulates electricity. She also has wait-length blond hair, so presumably, when channeling electricity, it poofs out from the energy and forms a crazy hair-orb. Emily illustrated this the moment we realized it.
  9. I have never been confirmed, but I am trying to get that sorted out. When I was a UU I never felt like I belonged there because I hadn't been dedicated, but I never had a dedication ceremony (even though the minister told me several times that I could) because I think I knew that Unitarian Universalism was just a kind of stopping point for me. Now that I'm a Catholic again, I don't feel like I don't belong, but I feel like my spiritual journey is still stalled. That's why I'm trying to get confirmed.
  10. If I could be an animal, I'd want to be a swan. They can completely destroy anyone who threatens them, but still look classy while doing so. I admire that in a totally non-ironic way.
  11. I auditioned for the Smithereens two days ago! I was going to keep that to myself, but I really can't keep my own secrets. Other people's, sure, but never my own. Anyway. I auditioned, they were really nice and I think it went pretty well, but I won't hear till next week.

Caroline's Questions

1. When was the last time you laughed really hard? When was the last time you cried?

Alice and I do this thing where we kind of headbutt each other as a sign of affection, and last night we accidentally headbutted with a little more force than we intended. Then we started joking that if we really cared about each other, we'd break each other's faces with the force of our affectionate kind of went downhill from there. I laughed so hard I could barely breathe.

As for the last time I cried...I don't remember. It was a while ago, I think.

2. If you could live without sleep, how would you use all of that extra time?

Dance. A lot. And work, so I could pay for this stinkin' degree.

3. If you were a surgeon, what would your specialty be?

I see what you did there, Caroline! I am really uncomfortable with the idea of performing surgery on anyone else. I don't really want to go messing around inside of people. That's hella messy. But if I had to pick... neurosurgery. Might as well go the whole hog.

4. Goats, sheep, or cows? Why?

This summer, there was a running joke about me and paintings of cows. I really enjoy cows from an aesthetic point of view, but I'd have to go with goats. Specifically, fainting goats. They're highly amusing, and travel-sized, which I need at this point in my life. Plus I could use the goat's milk to cook for Emily.

5. If you could bring an old timey style of dress back into fashion (without worrying about safety concerns, like organ-squeezing corsets that break rib,s and kill people and whatnot), what would you pick?

20's clothes, but Flora Poste things rather than flapper dresses (still good, but not what I look for). Specifically, hats like this.

6. What would your storyline be if you were a student at Degrassi?

The queer dancer. I'd probably have a huge embarrassing episode involving me falling in love with another dancer, only she's straight...or is she?

7. If you had to wear a hat every day, what kind would you pick?

My newsboy cap (currently being held ransom by one Alice Wolff).

8. What house would you be in if you went to Hogwarts?

Ravenclaw, I guess? I'm not quite ruthless enough to get along in Slytherin, and Ravenclaw's a good group. But I bet Potions would be my best class if I went to Hogwarts.

9. What book will you 100% read to your children (if you don’t have any yet)/what is the most important book that you do/did read to your children?

Edward Eager. Every last book he wrote. Those books were formative for me. They taught me so much about youth-adult relationships, open-mindedness, Ivanhoe: everything a well-adjusted child needs to know.

10. If you could go back in time and relive your life from a certain point, when would you start over?

Sophomore year, just so I could make friends with Marty sooner.

11. What is a physical feat you would like to achieve?

I want my splits back. And some decent core strength, since you're asking.

My Questions to You

  1. If you had to join a circus tomorrow and you had no skills other than the ones you currently possess, what job would you do?
  2. If you could have anyone's singing voice (living or dead), whose would you pick?
  3. If you could jump into any book and live in it as a character for as long as you wanted, what book would you join?
  4. What is your favorite made-up sport?
  5. What pet would you like to have (excluding fish, hamster, gerbil, cat, or dog)?
  6. Have you ever kept a paper diary/journal? If so, when?
  7. Do you prefer to take photographs or be in them?
  8. If you had to live your life unable to see one color, what color would you pick?
  9. If you were a cartoon character, what outfit would you wear every day?
  10. Would you rather be in a Charlotte Bronte novel, or Jane Austen? (No choosing neither. Pick one, unless you know what I'm referencing, in which case you can choose that.)
  11. How do you feel about bologna?
Don't let me down, Mystery Readers. Please respond! You can post in the comments section or on your own site if you want, but if you post on your site, would you give me the link? I'm anxious to see your replies!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All the babytimes

Working with the kiddos at Sunnyside is fun and much much better since I cut back my hours. (On Tuesday I worked from 8-12:30, then had class from 1 to 4:50. It was an insane decision, so now I'm working from 8 to 10:30. Much better.) The kids are adorable. Some of them legit pronounce r's as w's, as in, weawwy for really, which is so cute I thought they were faking it at first.
One of my favorites is Morven, who, although burdened with a stupid name and a boatload of inconvenient allergies, is extremely sweet and thoughtful. On Tuesday, they went to play outside, and she had a big green hat that flopped over and covered up her left eye. These kids are like puppies! And they think I'm hilarious, apparently. Today a few of us were talking about what my job is, and they agreed that my job is to tell jokes. They usually laugh at things that weren't intended to be jokes, but hey, I'll take what I can get. It's a good crowd.
However, Keller lost some points with me today. I was supervising snack and making small talk-- cardinals at the bird feeder, Cheerios, and so on-- when out of the blue, Keller asked me, "Why are your boobs so big?"
I'm sure I blushed, because the second the other kids noticed my discomfort, they all jumped on the bandwagon and started to ask me the same question. It was extremely awkward, and the worst part was that I couldn't think of anything to say. In the end I just said, "New topic!" and they started talking about something else immediately. At least my embarrassment was short-lived.