Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just Another Ordinary Saturday


Between my various travels and performances, I have been slacking off in my duties to my rockin' sailing club, TASCA.

Sailing 4

I joined them back in 2003 and became an instructor last year. The club is a non-profit group that offers very inexpensive sailing lessons ($275 for a 7-week course), and an opportunity to join the club upon completion for the hefty sum of $40 per year (yes, per year!).

Why so inexpensive? Because members are encouraged to hone their skills through volunteering to teach.

Although they offer classes during the weekday evenings, my work and class schedule prevents me from teaching then, so that leaves the Saturday classes: On the water from 10am to 1pm.

And because I just can't handle the weekend subway mess, I usually bike the 10 miles there and back on my snazzy Dahon folding bike.

Me and My Dahon Folding Bike

Normally, that's enough to make a full Saturday. BUT NOT FOR ME!

Today I only had one student (who did very well, by the way), so it was easy to quickly review the day's lesson on dry land with her (shown here with her completed lesson sheet)...

My Student!!

... and hop back on my trusty bike to speed another six miles in the opposite direction towards the Hollis Queens Public Library, for, yes, a BELLYDANCE SHOW!

I've been studying privately with the fabulous Shoshana, who booked me to dance with her students a few weeks before. I knew I'd be teaching that morning, so another another TASCA member was going to drive me to the dance show, but that fell through.

So, I embraced the extra cardio!!!

And then I danced!!

Not surprisingly, Shoshana's students were amazingly good. One in particular, Safinaz -- who had only been studying for about six months -- gave a stunning performance of her own choreography.

Afterwards, Shoshana kindly packed my folded Dahon into her trunk and drove me part of the way home down the treacherous Hillside Avenue, and I completed the entire seven-mile length of Myrtle Avenue on my own.


Exhausted and butt-sore, I got home around 5pm.

Time to relax? Oh, no no no. Not me.

My dear friend Lourdes was holding a special "surprise" party waaaaay up in the Bronx. The surprise, according to her evite, was to be on her guests.

With equal parts trust and trepidation, I cleaned up, dressed up and trundled out again.

Hungry and cranky, I arrived nearly 2 hours late -- and everyone was waiting for me. :-P

Lourdes asked me to write two adjectives and two nouns on separate pieces of paper and drop them into their respective fishbowls. Just to be a punk, I threw "eponymous" into the adjective bowl.

Across from the food table sat four covered boxes, and a few feet from that were some art supplies... and then I realized my mistake.

The game was a sort of cross between Mad Libs and Pictionary: Two contestants pick an adjective and noun, and then paint it.

Kisha v. Alex!

Everyone else votes for a "winner." But regardless of who "won," both people pick a prize blind from the boxes.

I got "whimsical ring," so I drew a cell phone playing an "Istanbul" ring tone. No one got it. My opponent drew something that looked like a puddle having a nervous breakdown.

Everyone loved it.

Then we went onto the second Pictionary-esque part where one person draws a noun-adjective combination and the group guesses.

One person got "enlightened bubbles" and drew Buddha with a soap-hookah.

Draw Enlightened Bubbles

And then it was Stacey's turn...


She fished out her charge and ran into the back room with Lourdes. Thirty seconds later: "CAAAAROL!!!!"

I gave her a more drawable word: incandescent.

Kisha got it and picked out Naughty Naughty Party Games.*

Kisha's Prize

I picked out the Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure.

How appropriate!!

*Actually, she didn't win the Naughty, Naughty Party Games... I did. I just happen to have that picture of her opening it. I also won The Book Lovers Kit. I don't remember what Kisha won. I was really, really, really tired that night!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Newsletter for 8-8-08

This is a reprint of a the message to my mailing list.

Happy "Auspicious Eights" Day!

According to Chinese tradition, 8 is a number of Great Fortune -- so go buy a lottery ticket! (And to the naysayers, there is one person on this list who hit the jackpot a few years ago, SO IT CAN HAPPEN!)

And speaking of good fortune, thank you for your continued donations to the PURE Tree fund; we still have a few hundred dollars to go, so please make even a small contribution at the Prospect Park website, and be sure to write "PURE Trees" in the comments field.

Also, thank you to everyone who came to see 700 Wives. We had such a wonderful response that the production is being optioned by a swanky night club -- so stay tuned!!

In other Dance News:

I'll be joining the glorious Shoshana, her students, and special guest artist Indian tomorrow at 2pm for the Summer Delight series at the Queens Public Library in Hollis, located at:

202-05 Hillside Avenue
Hollis, NY 11423
(718) 465-7355
Free Admission (of course!)

By car, take Grand Central Parkway east to Francis Lewis Blvd south. Make a right onto Hillside Ave, towards 202nd Street. By subway/bus: take the F to 179th Street and catch the Q1, Q36, Q43, Q76, Q77 to 202nd (about 30 blocks).

Incidentally, if you're coming by car and wouldn't mind making a small detour at Flushing Meadows Park, I will be instructing Basic Sailing students until about 12:30pm in Meadow Lake and would love a lift (sailboat not included :-> )!!

Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you there!!

-Carol/Tandava :->

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Amy!!

After a successful close of 700 Wives,

700 Wives Cast Photo

I briefly joined the cast for our Last Supper at a nearby diner -- but only briefly because I had to scoot down to the Village for the lovely Amy Staub's thirtyish birthday party.

Amy's Cupcakes!!

For all my scooting, however, we still waited nearly an hour to be seated at the trendyish Cafetasia.

On the other hand, it took nearly an hour for the rest of the group to arrive (not unexpected from a bunch of dancers busy with performances and rehearsals -- even on a Sunday).

Seated finally, the group included my dear PUREista pals Maria and Lisa:

Maria & Lisa Cuddle Up

Alura & Athena Najat:

Alura, Athena & Amy

Hannah Nour and her intently-focused pal:

Hannah Nour Talks Like An Egyptian

The Glamour Twins, Ranya and Bozenka:

Ranya & Bozenka Have a Secret....

And what party would be complete without the fabulous Darshan??

Lovely Darshan

Bellyqueen's Anasma and Amar Gamal (joined by Anasma's acting teacher) dropped by after the BQ's rigorous Sunday rehearsal:

Anasma & Amar, with Anasma's Theatre Teacher

We brought our own cupcakes to the party, but mysteriously, the restaurant failed to serve them until most of the group was gone!

But this worked out, since they charged us something like $2 per head -- not per cupcake. :-> (I hate when restaurants do this: You've already spent a fortune on food and drinks; you've brought your own special birthday dessert, and then they charge you to eat it in the place).

Well, no matter. It wasn't hard for us to vacuum up every last cupcake:

More and More Cupcakes!

Leaving only a sad little candle on an empty plate:

Lonely Last Candle....

Check out more photos on my Flickr Album.

Friday, August 1, 2008

July Events Archive

Saturday, July 19th, 2-4pm
Dancing with PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) through Prospect Park, starting at Grand Army Plaza.
Click here for details.

Tuesdays through Sundays
July 16th through August 3rd
Dancing in 700 Wives -- The Musical
Richmond Shepard Theatre
309 E. 26th Street at 2nd Ave.
For Reservations Call: 212-684-2690 or go to
$25 ($20 if you mention my name at the door)
Senior/Student Discount $18.