Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 30: Three wonderful things that happened this month.

I weaseled my way out of a lot of self-portrait's for this project so I am including a straight forward one of me in the mirror with my phone. There it is. So here is my list of three wonderful things that happened this month:

1.  My daughter now goes into her dance class with out clinging to me and my pushing her in and telling her everything will be ok (I hope I am not jinxing myself for tomorrow). Also, I got to guest dance in her class one day to help the teacher and it was both really fun and it also kicked my butt.
2.  I danced and sang to Alice's Restaurant (played on KBCO at noon, mst, not on a CD) with my mom and my daughter on actual Thanksgiving Day (and my sister was sort of there also).
3. My dear, dear, Hedy got to have one day where the pressure on her kidneys was relieved and she ran around the apartment almost like a kitten again. She was jumping and playing and seemed happy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 29: Something I could never tire of.

I have been pondering this topic all day. As I near the end of this daily posting project I feel as though I keep wanting to use the same answer for everything. I must be very boring. I finally realized that something I could never tire of would be baking. It's extremely rewarding for me to take the final product out of the oven. The best is when not only does it look beautiful, but it is also yummy. The downside of course is the weight gain that comes from wanting to bake all the time so I have to really curb my desire. I used to be able to eat a lot more without really gaining any weight, but that is no longer true. C'est la vie. Oh well.

(photos are all food I have baked and featured on this blog over the past couple of years)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 28: A skill I'd like to learn.

A skill I would like to learn is how to play the guitar. I have one so I should be more on top of it, but things keep getting in the way. Maybe by this time next year I could try to learn to at least play something easy!

(Above photo of Patty Griffin: Photo Source)

Day 27: A silly self-portrait.

I have to admit that I have flaked out on this topic. I thought about it all day long, but couldn't come up with a silly self-portrait. During the course of this project I have come to realize that I don't take a lot of pictures of myself (or get pictures taken of me) so I think this was a bit too much for me. I am still planning on a re-do of the "what I wore today" day so perhaps I will try to do that today.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 26: Something I'm looking forward to.

December. For a number of reasons, but mostly I love the holiday season. I love Christmas lights everywhere, my decorated tree, holiday music, lot's of baking, and on and on. Also, I am sort of looking forward to this project being over. It is kind of hard to post every single day and some of these topics start to feel a little repetitive.  I have learned that it is nice to get up in the morning and have something to accomplish that is for myself creatively instead of simply thinking, "what will I do to keep my daughter engaged today?" So I am going to keep up this daily posting (just not on weekends and holidays). Hopefully, it will last.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 25: The contents of my purse.

This is going to be hard, but here is an attempt at a list from the upper left-hand corner:

1.  A sweater for my daughter.
2.  Travel tissue pack.
3.  Little Barbie doll that used to be a pen and now is a restaurant distraction toy.
4.  Brush.
5.  Socks for my daughter.
6.  My wallet.
7.  Program for the Nutcracker that we saw on Friday.
8.  A little bag for tissues and chapstick.
9.  Ticket stub for a Buffs Basketball game a few weeks ago.
10.Two cloth shopping bags.
11. A plastic tiger
12. Jo-Ann coupons.
13. Stickers that my daughter can play with.
14. My daughter's bracelet.
15. Sunglasses.
16. Mardi Gras beads.
17. Tums
18. A notebook and pen for creative bursts and getting work done at the park.
19. My checkbook.
20. The thing that keeps coffee cups from burning your hand.
21. Various lipsticks and lip glosses.
22. Bottle opener.
23. Inhaler.
24. Bobby pins, rubber bands, and barrettes to put my hair up.
25. One blue crayon.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 24: Something that makes me smile.

Going to see the Boulder Ballet's Nutcracker last night with my mom and daughter. Peter Davison is one of the best Drosselmeyer's I have ever seen!

(photo source: Boulder Ballet Facebook)

Day 23: Eight things you didn't know about me.

 Eight seems like a lot, but here goes:

1.  I have become addicted to caffeine by drinking tea every morning.
2.  I prefer manual transmissions and rue the day I will have to change to automatic.
3.  I have really high arches that makes my feet look pretty in ballet shoes, but may cause problems as I get older.
4.  Currently, I am addicted to the television show Chuck. I am not sure how it happened.
5.  When I was in jr. high and high school a friend and I routinely dressed alike without consulting each other.
6.  I lived near the beach for three years.
7.  I prefer cornbread that is not sweet and cake-like.
8.  If I could find a way I would like to live in France for a few years.

(photo is of Traci Gilchrest's feet from Strength and Beauty)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 22: What I love about my job.

I am not sure if I will be able to post tomorrow because it is Thanksgiving. We shall see. So here is my 22nd post. Currently, I don't really have a job. I guess I consider a job for me as a teaching job.

What I do now is take care of my daughter and work on my (almost done) documentary. For this purpose I will consider it my job (even though I don't really like thinking of raising my daughter as a job per say). What I love about being a filmmaker is growing artistically and using the skills I have developed over the years.

What I love about being a mom is being that person that can calm her and that sometimes I am the only one she needs. Sometimes that is a heady responsibility, but mostly I really cherish it. Today is the forty-fourth anniversary of the White Album being released and beginning when my daughter was little and even now, I have sung Blackbird to her to calm or help her to fall asleep. So I thought I would share it today.

Day 21: A self-portrait.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 20: Something that means a lot to me.

BEFORE—Ballet studio 1045 Pearl Street Showing promise Ceiling demo rubble
Here is another post where I want to say my daughter; I just thought I would put that out there. I had a hard time deciding what to write about, but today we had to re-arrange our schedule all around so that I could go to a dance class. Usually I go on Thursdays though since this Thursday is a major holiday class is cancelled. So I realized that ballet classes mean a lot to me. Particularly getting to go to Boulder Ballet with the same teachers I have had since I was a girl.

I had these great intentions of taking pictures in class today to post here, but I failed. Somehow I was distracted because I even had my phone out ready to go. With an internet search underway I came up with the above pictures. These pictures our of the studio where I danced so many years ago. Currently, Boulder Ballet is located at the Dairy Center for Arts, but it used to be here (it was also called Ballet Arts). It was above Tom's Tavern on the West End of Pearl Street. These pictures make me a little bit sad, but also a little happy because I can imagine being there, where I stood at the barre, being distracted looking out those wonderful windows, and the smell of fries wafting out of Tom's. The studio was on the second floor and to get there you had to climb a very steep and narrow stairway. Sometimes there would be violin music because there was a rehearsal space across the hall. This was such a special place to take classes.

Even though I am being flooded with amazing memories; I will share just one. It is an incredibly big deal when a young dancer gets to finally wear pointe shoes. If you wear them too early you can cause a lot of physical damage. It doesn't have so much to do with technique as much as it does with a child's development. Before we could take pointe class (which at first was 15 minutes at the end of our technique class) we had to have our shoes approved by our teacher and  I remember us all sitting around her (she was in a chair, placed to the right of the door in the top picture, and we all looked up at her with our eager eyes wanting so badly to put on our shoes and dance across the floor). She explained how to sew the ribbons and elastic onto our shoes, how to take care of our feet (blisters, ouch), and I remember very clearly being told not to dance around in the shoes outside of class (so we wouldn't injure ourselves before we knew how to dance in the shoes properly). It was a really good day.

Today as I was driving down the East End of Pearl St., I was thinking about how different it looks. I tried to think about what the old buildings looked like or where there used to be  dirt lots when I was growing up. Everything looks all nice and pretty now, but sometimes I miss when things aren't so polished, and shiny, and new looking.

Apparently this post is about two things that mean a lot to me: ballet and memories. Though, for me I guess those two things will always be intertwined.
Main office complete (photos found at this photo stream)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 19: Myself, one year ago.

This project has made me realize that I don't really take pictures of myself. I haven't been able to find pictures of me a year ago. At least not of my face. My daughter took some pictures of me driving from her car seat while we were driving last November. The best thing about them is that they show very different landscape that we used to live in! Trees galore.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 18: What I wore today.

I just sat down today to complete my daily post and realized I needed to take a picture. People are already asleep in the apartment and I attempted to to take one by myself, but it is too dark and I am too tired to put in the extra effort. Maybe tomorrow I will post twice. We shall see.

So I will just describe what I wore today. It's nothing too extravagant. Jeans, a white 3/4 sleeve shirt with a wide v-neck, and black flats. My hair was down and I wore dangle earrings with a turquoise glass bead hanging from them. That's it. Not to fancy, but pretty close to a daily uniform for me.

Day 17: My family.

I try not to bring my family into this blog too much (though the topics involved with this daily project is making that sort of hard). Moving back to Colorado was especially exciting for me to be near my parents again. I also love being close to friends that I have missed for the past decade or so. One of the things that I love doing for family is making things for people are care about; it is very rewarding for me. I love to cook and particularly make cakes. Ever since my daughter has been around I have gotten even more into sewing than I was before. I am working on the above dress for my daughter to wear when we attend Boulder Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker. Hopefully, this will become a holiday tradition, both the Nutcracker and dressmaking!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 16: Someone who inspires me.

If I answered this question in my twenties I would probably have come up with a long list of filmmakers (more than likely ending up with either Agnes Varda or Maya Deren) and explained how I wouldn't be a filmmaker without them. Now that I am firmly in my thirties I realized that famous people such as the above may influence me and my work, but I am not sure that they are truly my inspiration.

The person who truly inspires me is my daughter because I want to be a good example for her. This has been really inspiration since I haven't been working because sometimes it is hard to keep pushing myself in this industry, but my daughter makes me realize why it is important to not give up.

(photo: at the Denver Film Festival when our friend Chris visited two weeks ago)

Day 15: Three blogs I always read.

Some of these posts are hard to think of pictures to accompany my answers. To me the visual element of keeping up a blog is the hardest. Often, I will have something I want to write or say, but because I don't have a picture to accompany the thoughts I don't post anything.

Here are three blogs are read on a regular basis. I am not sure there is a good reason as to why, but here you go, enjoy:

Secret Agent Josephine


Lilac and Lace

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14: Style inspiration for the season.

This is tough. My biggest style inspiration for winter is usually sweaters. I love them, they are cozy, they make layering easy, and overall they are simply perfection. In North Carolina I didn't get to wear them very much so I am excited for this winter. Though, I am realizing that a lot of my sweaters are too lightweight. I am sort of inspired by skinny jeans paired with big cozy sweaters and boots, but my hips are a little on the wide side so I am not always comfortable rockin' the skinny jeans. Though I do have a couple I like. I love being back in Colorado for snow storms. I missed them and being able to actually wear my sweaters!

(Photo: View from my apartment window Saturday)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 13: Something I'm proud of.

It seems overly easy to say I am proud of my daughter, almost like cheating on this post. So instead I will put in a shameless movie plug because I am pretty proud of my documentary that I am just finishing up. Sometimes getting a documentary into festivals is really hard because people see them as being really subject driven so they pay more attention to the subject itself than the film. Since my film is so female oriented, unfortunately, that gives the film a disadvantage. Film is very masculine in many, many ways. So I thought I would say here that regardless of what happens with the film I am very proud of it. I feel that I truly accomplished what I set out to do and it has been a dream come true to be able to make this film.
When I began this film I was not only thinking about humanizing the ballerina, but also about the documentary form itself. Interviews can become very dry and impersonal and I really wanted to explore how an interview can be used to connect with a person as opposed to presenting facts or moving along a narrative. I also wanted to explore what it means to exist and be successful as a female artist. No matter what a woman does they can never be separated from the basic principle that they are a woman. I don't necessarily view that as good or bad; it just is. So I was intrigued by the idea of examining the career considered to be the most feminine of all and explore if that changes who the women are as people. In essence, does being a ballerina turn a person into a stereotype or is there an existence beyond the public perception of a ballerina. Even going beyond that to consider what the stereotype of being a woman is and how does a dancer balance both of these labels. In the beginning I also wanted to inform the general public about ballet in general, why it is an important art form, its history, and so on. I quickly realized that was too much for one film and I needed to stay focused on the ballerina. Maybe, I need to make a series of films. That will have to take some consideration, perhaps.

Pictures: (top) Traci Gilchrest, Melissa Anduiza, and Alessandra Ball in the studio (middle) Melissa Anduiza and Pete Walker rehearsing (bottom) Alessandra Ball in her apartment. Visit: for more information about the film.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In Memoriam

 Last night we had to put my dear Hedy to sleep. She has had kidney problems for the past three to four years and it finally caught up with her. She has been with me for a little over eleven years and has lived in Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Wilmington, Greensboro (again), and then made the trip to Denver nine months ago. In Colorado she finally didn't have allergy problems, which somehow made me feel a little better as her kidneys got worse.

She first came to live with me and my roommate Sheila when I was in grad school. She was six months old and had been a stray cat found on the side of the road somewhere. Nearly six months later Hedy and I moved into an apartment by ourselves. When someone broke into an apartment across the street and attacked a woman Hedy in some way became my protector. She would sit on the edge of the couch near the door. Alert to every tiny sound or movement. She always seemed to know if I was scared, sad, or happy. She wasn't a touchy-feely cat and didn't want to constantly sit in your lap and be petted. In fact, she hated to be picked up or handled. She was feisty to say the least. But, if you ever needed comfort she would suddenly be there with you. She may not have given you a lot of affection, but her presence was powerful. Whenever I was away for a trip when I got back she would coming running and be so happy I was back. I always knew she missed me.

Hedy was the most beautiful cat. Her hair was soft like a rabbit and stayed that way until the very end. She loved to be scratched under her chin and I loved to scratch her head between her ears. It was so soft and like kitten fur. She never seemed to age. I named her after Hedy Lamarr, which was the most apropos namesake because they were both beautiful and incredibly smart. If you called Hedy, she would come running. She'd look at you like, "Yes, what do you need?"

I will miss her so much. She was truly the Queen of our home.

Day 12: The last item I purchased.

I am on a sewing kick. This usually happens to me around Halloween because I always make my daughter her costume and then I get inspired. This year I am making her a special dress to wear to the Nutcracker on Thanksgiving weekend. Now I am considering making something for myself. Last week we were walking around the mall and a Madewell store just opened. There was a red lace dress there (imagine the dress below in red) that I thought would be nice to wear to the Nutcracker. It was a steal at $160. I was just daydreaming; I can't afford a new dress at all much less one from Madewell.

Pinned Image
Then I got the idea that I could make the dress because it is a pretty simple design. So the last thing I bought was a pattern, red fabric, and red lace. The lace isn't as textural as I wanted, but they did not have red in that style of lace plus it was about three times as expensive. Hopefully it will turn out. I have to finish it by next Wednesday.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 11: Three years ago today.

Three years ago today I was still living in North Carolina. I taught at Bennett College and my daughter was about six months old. I chopped all of my hair off around this time as well. I do that periodically in my life, but I am not very good with short hair. It looks good, but I am not good at maintaining it. C'est la vie.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 10: A favourite recipe.

Sweet potato biscuits with marshmallows are one of my favorite things to make. In general biscuits are rewarding because they are so easy, yet very rewarding. I have already made these biscuits twice this past week. I love them so much. I first made them for Thanksgiving last year; sometimes I use marshmallows and sometimes I leave them out (though I miss them when I leave them out). Recently, I have come to realize that cinnamon is my all time favorite flavor. I put it on a lot of stuff and when you mix it with sweet potatoes? How can you lose?

The last time I made them I used snowman shaped marshmallows (they were cheaper) and they actually worked really well because they are flat and they did not roll out of the dough while I was cutting biscuits. These aren't the best pictures in the world. I have been using my phone and sometimes they came out great and sometimes not so great.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 08: Three inspirational quotes.

My mom creates collections of quotes as part of her job as a book editor; so I have thought a lot about what makes a good quote. So hopefully, I will be good at this task today. I am taking it to mean three quotes that are inspirational to me...
"Why are you stingy with yourselves? Why are you holding back? What are you saving for—for another time? There are no other times. There is only now. Right now.”
George Balanchine

 In my films I always want to make people see deeply. I don't want to show things but to give people the desire to see.
Agn├Ęs Varda

"I love you mommy."
My daughter to me

(Picture Source: New York, 1936,Photo credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt for LIFE)