The Lady or the Tiger?

Hi everyone!

Today’s post is a little more substantial than my usual. Every once-in-a-while, I have some “deep thoughts” I like to share; I’m usually compelled to do so because I know at least one or two of you out there can relate. I’ve come to a bit of a crossroads in my life, and, it being a crossroads, you’re typically forced to make some decisions.

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A little while back, my mother handed me a printout that she insisted I take home and read. She didn’t elaborate much after that, but was adamant that I look it over. It’s only three or so pages, so it doesn’t necessarily belong on a bookshelf, although I think the content is undeniably worth the binding, or a soft cover, at the very least. I expected it to be an article or a bit of self-help type advice, something to help me make sense of my life. It turned out to be a short story: “The Lady Or The Tiger?” by Frank Stockton. The story starts out like any other fairytale, depicting a kingdom in olden times, ruled over by a king. It’s certainly not a children’s story, as the king is “semi-barbaric” and his kingdom is unique in that, in lieu of a proper judicial system, there is an arena in which any person accused of a crime is given the choice between two doors. Behind one, a tiger and a horrific death, behind the other, a beautiful young woman and a wedding. (An awfully extreme kingdom, yes?) Chance dictates whether the accused receives one of the other. Things in the kingdom get a bit interesting when the king discovers his own daughter in love with one of his subjects, and immediately has him thrown into the arena to be “judged.”  The princess, obviously invested in this particular case, makes it her business to know what lies behind each door on the day of the trial. Her love looks to her for guidance, and she secretly signals him to choose the door on the right.

   “Now, the point of the story is this: Did the tiger come out of that door, or did the lady?”

Apparently this tale is often used in academic settings as a teaching tool for comprehension and logic. The author leaves it entirely to the reader to decide. The princess has already lost her love, and it is up to her to then chose his fate. In the story, her mind is made, and she does not hesitate.

As the reader, you can’t but help imagine yourself in the princess’ shoes. This, of course, colors the outcome of the story. I shared and discussed the story with a friend of mine, and we both easily decided that the barbaric princess would have sent him to his immediate death. I think any woman who has ever been in love and had things not work out can relate. I oftentimes wish that the people I once cared about would simply disappear in a puff of smoke. Poof! Things would be so much easier. Admittedly, when asked about certain people in my life, I did once make big eyes and state the they had been “hit by a bus.” Funnily enough, the woman posing the question immediately understood my meaning. “Wow…that’s unfortunate.” I know, right…?

 After finishing the story, I did have to ask myself that, were I to choose, would the outcome be indicative of my feelings for the person at stake, or of my general character? One would think the natural choice would be the lady- to be the bigger person and to wish them the ever clichéd “best.” And yet, strong feelings for someone can, somehow, easily bring out the worst in us. The boss lady once told me that she could recognize how passionately she felt about someone based on how angry they occasionally made her. You might argue that if your feelings are fundamentally platonic or indifferent, a disagreement or canceled plans would leave you unruffled. In this case, the princess knowingly sending the man to the lady would be somewhat palatable. On the contrary, it’s often easier to grasp at anger when you feel a profound sense of loss, especially when it’s over something entirely out of your control and when your decisions are made for you. When discussing the story, I once joked that there should be tigers for all of them.

I recently came across a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald that somehow manages to sum up those difficult feelings: “suddenly she realized that what she was regretting was not the lost past but the lost future, not what had been but what would never be.” At the end of the day, what touched me the most in the story was the awareness on the part of the princess that she had already lost. I’ve always been a big softie, and often to my detriment. Sometimes I find myself sad or fundamentally angry about things that never had a chance to materialize. I wonder if the princess in the story felt the same way. If she did, she might have perhaps chosen differently? Who knows…

EVA♥

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A Week in Photos

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since Watch Me Juggle has seen me- I’ve had the craziest week of all this last week. I’m the absolute worst at saying ‘no’ to projects, so almost every day has been substitute teaching during the day, and picking up extra ballet classes to teach at night. That’s almost 12 continuous hours of standing/running around to the tune of “Miss Eva! Miss Eva! MISS EVA!” It’s really rewarding work, but I’m honestly proud of myself that I got through it. It’s not easy, by any means. Working in public schools has really renewed my appreciation for teaching dance. As much as I love working with the kids in the local schools, it’s truly my goal to be able to throw myself entirely into dance- whether that be running a company or a school, or teaching. It was something I dreamed of doing as a kid, and being able to be creative on a daily basis is truly a blessing.

Oh…and I also got another new job, that happened as well.

*cue the bad juggling*

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 Just throw all the balls into the air, and keep them there. That’s apparently my M.O.

Here are some snapshots from my week:

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Let’s all just take a moment to appreciate these lemon ricotta pancakes. Wow! I only made it about half-way through these.

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On Friday, I had a little time for yoga in the park with the kindergarteners I was teaching for the week. We weren’t sure if we would be able to do it, given the recent weather’s propensity for downpours, but the sun came out just in time. It was wonderful to see them all jump into something new, and like it. I had an amazing brunch the other day with a long-lost girlfriend of mine, and I think we have many standing blow-out appointments in our future together. Despite my crazy week, I also managed to make it out to Hawthorn in San Francisco for cocktails. And, by cocktails I mean reliving my college days by taking shots of tequila. I (embarrassingly enough) spent most of my Saturday shopping, and was in desperate need of a red bull by the end of the day. The trick is just to not sit down! Poof! Instant energy!

Anyway, I can’t say enough amazing things about the supportive people in my life. It’s so heartening to know that I have wonderful people who will back me up, under any circumstances. When things get overwhelming, as they can do sometimes when you have three jobs, it’s important to be able to accept a helping hand. It’s also equally important to “pay it forward,” when the opportunity presents itself.  I’m a firm believer in an honest, kind word. I know how those simple things can perk up my day, so I try to keep it moving full-circle.

Now that the craziness has died down, I’m hoping to be back on my regular posting schedule, and have many fun things planned in the upcoming weeks to share. Here’s to adventures, and more adventures!

Hope this finds you well, dear readers.

EVA♥

Back to School

Hello everyone!

I’ve survived “back to school” season, but it’s all been

…shenanigans.

Yes, that’s the only way I can describe the last few weeks.

Don’t get me wrong- I spent my entire summer missing Dance Arts. But, jumping back into teaching when September rolls around feels very much like being asleep for three months and then rolling out of bed to run a 5k. Ouch. The students never cease to amaze me, and I have a wealth of quotes from them already. I’m certain there’s more coming in the very near future.

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It’s like herding little gerbils, bless them. Look at those straight lines!

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Here are some of the latest gems:

“I don’t need this. I don’t need this. I DON’T NEED THIS.”– child when handing me a dirty band-aid. Great, honey. I don’t need it either.

“Ew, oh! Excuse me. I just burped.” Mid-sentence. Of course.

“I’m so tired today, because I had second grade.” Life is tough, kid. What else can I say?

“Wait! Your favorite thing isn’t lunch?!” Upon learning that the boss lady’s favorite thing is, in fact, dancing.

“He has a brother. I think his name is Colon.” I’m sure it is.

“My dad has a farmer’s tan!” 

“Can I take my leotard off? I’m hot!” No, no you are not dancing naked.

What’s your favorite pet? “Ice cream.”

“This is Miss Izzy. Did you ever meet Miss Izzy? ‘No, but I know how to do cartwheels.'”

“No, those aren’t my shoes.” Her name was on them. Of course they were her shoes.

and, my personal favorite:

“This is Miss Eva. She used to dance here when she was seven, then she went to college and got her degree in dance!” at which point a little voice said:  ME TOO! I’M FOUR!'”

Oh yeah, I remember you!

EVA♥

The Bugs.

Hello everybody!

Alright, so today, I’ve decided to do something a bit unconventional (at least thus far) on Watch Me Juggle. It’s my first official, random series. It was all inspired by my initial lack of inspiration that I documented a short while ago, aptly entitled: Brain is Cobwebs. First off, I just have to say that you, dear readers, are pretty dang funny. While my total dissatisfaction with my latest content was leaving me frustrated, you were coming up with ideas for me, and were oddly fascinated by the emptiness/randomness that was my brain recently.

Bless y’all. That’s all I’m saying. So, without further ado, I present you with Part I of the “Cobweb” series. Please enjoy the irony, in that I’m writing about bugs today. It’s unintended, I assure you.

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That’s a huge freakin’ moth, in my humble opinion.

Now, I realize that in many places in the world, there are much larger bugs than this. But, when you leave your house early in the morning with your car keys in hand, the last thing you expect to come in contact with is a powdery bug the size of your fist hitching a  ride on the back of your car. Now, I’m not the usual girl who screams at the mere sight of a spider. I admit that they disgust me in almost every way, but the happy pacifist in me will also scoop one up in a tissue and set it free outside anytime. With well disguised revulsion, of course. For those of you that are less inclined to practicing your poker face, or remotely getting near a spider, may I recommend hairspray and a kitchen pot? This is particularly effective with cane spiders, although I luckily don’t have the firsthand experience.

Despite the fact that I can handle most spiders with ease, there are bugs out there that have made me scream, cartoon-like, and clamber up on any available surface. When I first moved back to the Bay Area, a conscientious roommate of mine would regularly compost. While said roommate was out-of-town one weekend, our kitchen compost bin stood unnoticed and neglected- that is until I glanced down one evening and saw a single maggot crawling near my foot. There was screaming, some hysteria, and I may or may not have brandished a spatula frantically at another roommate while simultaneously trying to climb atop the microwave that was occupying most of the counter space. This was a proud moment for me, clearly. In short, I’m sure there’s a deep, intrinsic fear of insects embedded in all of us, yet, to make a long story short, it’s ok if you just think they’re icky.

Before I go- Big shout out to you, Emily. You gave me complete justification to write about the most random things I could think of….ever.

EVA♥