If I were to write a memoir (an inevitable goal of mine), I decided this past winter that the title would be I Fell Asleep Next to a Burrito and other stories I didn’t see coming…
Despite the last two years of my life feeling a bit like a one-way ticket on the Hot Mess Express, I very much try to look on the positive side of things. Every year around my birthday my good friend Rachel asks me what she calls the “Birthday Question.” The question is simply: “What did it take you (insert your new age here) amount of years to learn?” Now, granted this time of year isn’t anywhere near my birthday, but I thought I would apply the same kind of thinking when looking back at this last year. This year was one full of milestones for me, and it took a little bit of reflection to realize that, though less than stellar things might happen in the course of your life, it is still a good life. If you need a sign from the universe that this is true, there is one in the Aria Resort in Las Vegas. I conveniently found it on my 30th birthday. And on, that note, I’m going to tell some of the things I learned in 2017:
I’ve learned how to do Las Vegas. Now, I know you’re probably thinking: “Eva, what’s there to ‘do’? You’re there at least once a year already.” Nay nay, there are certain tricks you can employ to seriously maximize your Vegas experience. Ladies, use that social media! Put as many ridiculous Vegas-related hashtags in your comments as you can think of. Save promoters phone numbers and build a rapport. Get a group of your best girlfriends and get yourself out there! Adventures await. Just make sure you take a few naps, stock up on the Red Bull, and wear your most comfortable heels. You too can “hack” Vegas if you’re determined enough.
You want the thing? Do the thing. Yes, this is a primitive way of putting it. Only you have the power to change things and do things for yourself. You want to be the go-getter? Go get things, just by taking those first steps. Sure, you might think “Dear God, what am I doing?” half the time, but you’re really creating the life that you want and deserve for yourself.
On a lighter note: I now know that I have the uncanny ability to hold two drinks in the same hand. This is especially convenient when trying to take selfies or photos of whatever event you’re at.
Order the thing you want. Order what you really want, and don’t regret it. Screw it. Get the lobster topped with lobster and a cocktail and dessert. This is a case in which the term “Yolo” might actually be appropriate.
Not everyone deserves an explanation or a reaction. Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing at all. As someone who frequently posts her innermost thoughts on the internet, this has been a hard one for me. Sometimes people who disturb your peace just aren’t worth it. You can’t demand peace of mind from other people; you might not ever understand why they do what they do. You just have to figure it out for yourself and move forward.
Tell the people you love that you love them. Yes, it can be scary. Sometimes it doesn’t feel very good, even though it should. Do it anyway. Everyone is worthy of loving and being loved. It doesn’t have to be a quid pro quo thing. Sometimes loving someone doesn’t work out the way you want it to, sometimes it’s not enough. Tell them anyway. Don’t beat yourself up for being vulnerable. You’re a better person for it. Because, as Vladimir Nabokov so elegantly put it, we’re all just “rust and stardust” in the end. Nothing is ever guaranteed.
It’s not always you.
And it’s a good life, indeed.
At this point, I’ve most likely forgotten the vast majority of ridiculous kid stories. It’s safe to say that they’re pretty much a constant in my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I often keep these little anecdotes in my back pocket to bust out in most social situations. Lull in the conversation? Share a kid story. Awkward silence in a meeting? How about a kid story? Need some good brunch conversation? BAM! Kid story! And, without further introduction, I give you a few of the most recent gems, straight out of my students’ mouths.
One of my students ran up to me one morning and excitedly pointed out that she was wearing “lipstick” that day. It was marshmallow lipstick. She then demanded “Do you want to smell my lips? Smell my lips!”
Twice a year, we open our studio space to visitors who would like to observe class. I’ve noticed that the littlest ones often bring the biggest entourages, which can be quite distracting at times. This last Visit Day, I had one of my students run up to her grandmother in the middle of class, lift up her tutu, turn around, and demand “Pinch my booty!! PINCH MY BOOTY.” She refused to dance until they had all done so.
Some of the best moments seem to happen when there is an audience present. On another Visit Day, while I was coaching the kids on how to properly stand at the ballet barre, one of my students decided to loudly elaborate on why we don’t hang on the barres: “Because, if you hang on the barres, they could fall on you and crack your head open and then there will be blood. Blood everywhere, and your brains could come out. And then you’ll cry and cry and then the ambulance has to come.” After this, I had to turn to our audience and reassure them that we had not had any major accidents involving the barres.
Although most of these quotes come straight from their little brains totally unbidden, I can usually count on our “talk time” during class (aka: the “Question of the Day”) to provide me with some interesting insight into their worlds.
In response to “What is your favorite flower?” We got: A Hi-biscuit.
“What’s your favorite kind of candy?“ A muffin…but with frosting.”That’s a cupcake, right?
A few weeks ago, I asked them what their favorite thing about springtime was. The answers were typical things like butterflies, rainbows, and sunshine. What I wasn’t expecting was for one of my students to yell “JESUS!! JESUS. He is the king!”
When I asked one of my students what her favorite sandwich was, I got something that sounded like “Iliiiithekiindwiththemannoooandapeaandda…. an’ wainnnbow sprinkles.” Needless to say, I sometimes have a hard time understanding her. However, I feel a little less bad when other students have an equally hard time. “At home, I have a Frozenyuckis!” While I asked her to repeat herself, one of the neighboring five-year-olds looked up at me, bewildered, and asked “What’s a yuckis?” I don’t know, kid. I really don’t know.
Maintaining a poker face can be difficult at times; especially when they volunteer things like “Oh! Cindy can’t come to class today, because she’s in New Hamster.” This place must also be somewhere near Pepsicola, Florida, a magical place we’ve also heard of.
I do appreciate these insightful outbursts. Sometimes, they’re really profound things like: “Look! I have two arms! I’m so cool!”
I have one little one that likes to dismiss her father in a not so subtle way each time he drops her off at class by loudly shouting “Bye! Bye Dad. BYE!!!!! BYE!!!!” until he leaves the room. We guess that he can’t quite take the hint.
And, on that note, BYE!!
Happy Friday eve everyone!
In the spirit of #TBT, I’ve decided to post the above photo including Dance Arts Project’s very own Miss Julia.
Remember when I promised a Part III of my “Kids are Hilarious” post? Well, it’s finally here! I’ve been trying to keep track of all the ridiculous things I hear on an almost daily basis while teaching class. They’re awfully amusing, those young people. Truth be told, there’s been a lot more physical comedy going on than anything. For example, I have one five-year-old student in particular that loves to lick the metal barres after warm up. I mean, walking with her tongue dragging along all ten feet of the barre. Ew and why?! I’ve now busted out the Clorox wipes more than I would like to admit.
Another unforgettably comedic moment happened a few months back, conveniently during one of two weeks that parents are permitted to observe class. One of my littlest students decided it would be a good idea to get, ahem, handsy with my teenage assistant. She also decided to narrate while poking her: “Boobies. Boobies. BOOBIES!” Luckily, my demonstrator has a great sense of humor, and found this about as amusing as I did. Needless to say, the little girls’ parents were mortified.
I’ve found that the most humorous things are often totally spontaneous, and, on occasion, volunteered.
“I broke my leg two days ago, and had to get crutches, but now I’m better.” Well, okay then. We’re all glad your broken leg healed quickly enough for you to come to dance class.
“Oh, has anyone read the story of The Mermaid Dance?” I asked one day. “No, but I have contact lenses.” From the mouth of a seven-year-old.
“Miss Eva, I want to be an entomologist!” I wasn’t not sure how we got on the subject of careers, but I was impressed a six-year-old knew what an entomologist was. She then followed up with “I’m gonna study rolly-pollies!” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it’s not all rolly-pollies out there.
I also enjoy the random observations from my students as to how difficult ballet actually is. It’s not all sugar-plumming about, you know. Or, as one student put it:
“Basically, it’s really hard to point your shoe.” That it is. That it is. I always tell them, if ballet was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Occasionally, I try to engage with them on subjects outside of dance. If we have the time, I like to chat about everything and anything. Today, I asked my students to tell me about one exciting thing they did at school. Many shared stories about their trips to the library, or their fun music classes, and then one replied, “No…nothing exciting. It’s school. My favorite subject’s recess.” Well, okay then.
They sometimes like to ask me about my life as well. These questions usually have to do with my age or personal life, “Miss Eva, are you someone’s Mom?” This was asked so earnestly from one of my little ones- she seemed so sweetly convinced that one of her classmates could have belonged to me.
“Miss Eva, do you have an Instagram? You look like the kind of person that would have an Instagram…” I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean, but I’ll take it as the pre-teen version of a compliment…?
And, lastly, one of my very favorite recent quotes comes from one of the many (yes, many!) little boys in our Monday class. He’s four, adorable, and fully aware of it. Whenever someone exits the studio, he chimes in with the age-old “See ya later, alligator!” catch-phrase. Except, one day, he couldn’t get it quite right:
“See ya later, alligator! After a while….croca-gator.”
Have a great long weekend everyone!
Happy Friday everyone!
Photo courtesy of Dance Arts Project
It’s a beautiful day out in the Bay Area today and I’ve been wanting to do a follow-up on my previous post for a while now. TGIF everyone!
I actually have a surplus of these gems, so don’t be surprised if you happen upon a Part III and IV within the next few months. I’m going to begin with some of the more recent things that have come out of my students mouths these past weeks. I can honestly say that some of these occurred all at once, within the same class. It’s like the little ones know whatever they’re saying is infinitely amusing to the adults, so they just keep talking. There seems to have been a recent bout of illness going around the dancing school, so when inquiring about the health of another little girl in class, one randomly volunteers this information:
“You know what?!” (This is generally the premise for something exciting, is it not?) “I threw up right in my bed last night!”
Lovely. We then checked to make sure she wasn’t feeling like throwing up on the dancefloor anytime soon. She wasn’t. Following this discussion of everyone’s general health, we somehow strayed upon the topic of babies. You know, the kind mommy and daddy go “pick up” from the hospital. The point was made that Miss Eva does not have any little brothers or sisters, but she does have a kitty-cat. A little one piped up:
“My landlord says that we can’t have any dogs or cats, we can only get more kids….”
Because of course that’s how it works. Little brother= stand in for the puppy I really wanted.
Chatting about babies with young children is always amusing. That is, of course, until one of them asks you if you’re pregnant. Irked, I replied: “Do I look pregnant to you?” They suddenly realized that they had made a horrible mistake in asking me this question. You can’t really blame them, though. The world and everything it contains is such a hard concept to grasp.
Some of my slightly older girls seem to have recently come across the notion that there is a correct and incorrect way of referring to people of different ethnicities:
“My friend, she’s Vietnamese, but… she looks Asian” (The latter part of this sentence was whispered, I’m assuming in fear of being politically incorrect.) I assured her that Vietnam is, in fact, a country in Asia, therefore her friend is Asian.
Some children seem to miss this mark altogether. When asked what she was going to be for Halloween one year, a student once responded:
“I’m gonna be a Chinese girl!”
The actual Chinese girls in the room did not find this to be a valid costume. We do not live in Missouri in the 1950s, we are in California, a state diverse enough to know that dressing up stereotypically as some of our “exotic” classmates is a little inappropriate.
We do our best to educate them. We teach them the meanings of the French words we use in ballet class, and give them corresponding historical anecdotes when possible. Our director, Michaela, once asked her youngest class as to which nice people invented ballet. The random guesses commenced: Japan, Germany, Italy, America. She then gave them what she thought was a hint: “The nice people who invented French fries.”
“OH! The nice people at McDonald’s.”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this year’s Nutcracker is now brought to you by the quarter-pounder with cheese. Why? Just why?
They are dynamic little people, nonetheless. They worry about everyone’s well-being. I had a sunburnt nose once, and, as I drew attention to it one day, my student asked me in a concerned voice:
“Miss Eva…are they going to cut off your nose?”
I assured her that this was not going to be necessary, and that you should always wear lots of sunscreen. They also have big aspirations as to who they would like to be: princesses, doctors, ballerinas. But, every once-in-a-while, a child will tell you that she wants to grow up to be a puppy. I’m not sure how this will work, but I will get back to you on this. They embrace who they are wholeheartedly. When taking roll once, I received the following request from a student:
“Miss Eva…you can call me Marshmallow. That’s my nerd name.”
I didn’t quite know what to do with this, and was pretty sure that her mother was mortified that she had chosen “a stripper nickname,” so I made her name into a hyphenate. Because, Leah-Marshmallow works so much better.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Hey everybody! It’s the first Friday of the month!
Usually, this is the time for great goings-on in the East Bay (Drake’s Brewing Company, Oakland Art Murmur), but a lot of these events have unfortunately been canceled due to the rain. As many of you know, California is in the midst of a drought, so the rain is quite a welcome sight today. And, with the rest of the country dodging the Polar Vortex, us Californians have it pretty good. I admit that we’re grossly spoiled. Another thing that I will gladly admit is that, for some unknown reason, rain seems to send us into a tailspin. People forget how to drive and frantically veer around the highway. Walking to school or work suddenly becomes a game of Frogger (remember that one 80’s babies?). Actually, forget going anywhere altogether. We pretty much barricade ourselves inside. Because you never know when that acid-rain thing is going to happen, right?
I’ve never been one of those people that inherently loves the rain, but I certainly can appreciate it. I appreciate it’s ability to slow me down a bit, and it always provides an excuse to wear that new coat/pair of boots/chunky knit you’ve been guarding in the back of your closet. I also appreciate the free car wash.
Sometimes the rain is the only thing that cures my restlessness. This weekend, I’m planning on doing some vintage-dress hunting, some cooking/fridge cleaning, writing, movie-watching, and cocktail sipping. Ok, maybe throw in some dancing around in my socks à la”Risky Business.” Why else do you live alone?!
What are you all up to?
I missed writing on “Watch Me Juggle” so much over the last two weeks! Things have been crazy on the home front. For a start, I’ve spent the majority of 2014 on the other side of the world. Where it was summer. (Boy! It’s cold here!) But coming back to my little home, I’ve wanted to give the passing year the nod of acknowledgement it deserves. On December 31st, I noticed an awful lot of clichéd, reminiscing posts going around. Don’t get me wrong, I adore nostalgia as much as the next person- I was actually the self proclaimed queen of nostalgia, at one point. But I’ve decided that what I want for 2014 is to be a little less nostalgic, and give myself to the present a little more. Pardon my French, but sometimes you just have to say “Fuck it!” and just live. Instead of thinking of the things I did or did not do, people I met, or troubles I had, I’m going to leave off with this bit of wisdom I learned:
Thanks for that 2013. For the resilience. I can say that I’ll miss you greatly, and that you were a good year that taught me many things. I’m going to shore-up my restless self and keep moving forward. All I want in the future is a cup of strong coffee. To keep seeing and being inspired by beautiful people and things.
Merry Christmas everyone!
I just wanted to wish everyone a lovely Christmas & happy holiday season. I’ve enjoyed a lovely family brunch, and am taking a few moments to myself, next to my tiny tree, to watch Elf and get ready for tonight’s big Christmas dinner. It’s altogether too warm outside to feel entirely Christmas-y, but I’m still wearing my beanie and furry boots everywhere. Because I can!
Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Lots of love,
It’s the most insane time of the year!
Hello All! I feel like it’s been so long since I posted, but it’s only been a week! These last few days have been ridiculously busy for me. Busy, but exciting. As is evident in the picture above, I’ve brought a little holiday fun to my last week of classes at Dance Arts. Can anyone say holiday sock class? (Yours truly is wearing the black and red holly socks.) One of my last classes had almost 25 dancers in it. We barely had enough space to fit on the barre:
On top of a bevy of classes, I’ve been working some extra hours in the city this week, as Smuin is starting it’s Christmas Ballet run in Yerba Buena. I so enjoy being in that theater, and being able to see the show from almost any seat in the house, and as much as I want, is an extra-large perk. I’ve also been getting used to the commuter lifestyle. It’s fantastic for people watching, but it also reminds me just how many crazy people there are out there. Unfortunately I don’t mean clinically crazy people, I mean people who apparently have the world’s largest chip on their shoulders and want everyone to know it. Bah Humbug! My commute also does provide me with a fantastic excuse to visit new little stores and coffee shops on my way to work, and of course, perfect the art of the Muni selfie. See below.
(Alternative to Starbucks on my way to the office: Ma’velous. Don’t know if you can see it, but they have a little turtle mascot stamped on their to-go cups. The turtle himself resides in a tank to my left. They get bonus points from me for doubling as a wine bar.) I did also happen to pass Veer & Wander the other day, and saw to fabulously stylish ladies in the middle of a hair appointment, cracking open a bottle of champagne. I do believe I stopped and envious eyes at them through the window. It was the kind of glamorous moment that you don’t expect to find at 10am on an ordinary Friday morning.
In all the scuffle, I somehow ran out of time to have a little Christmas to myself, so just this morning, I made a decision to get up a bit early, grab a tree from the lovely neighborhood nursery and do a quick decorating job. I would show you a picture, but I have a number of presents that I have yet to wrap under the tree. And we all know that would spoil some surprises. Until next time…
I promise I won’t be a stranger.
I’ve been MIA for a bit, I know, but I wanted to get a quick post in before heading off to work! The freezing cold here in the bay area seems to have slowed me down temporarily, and I’ve become quite the hermit lately. In other news, my house is quickly becoming spotless, thanks to my spontaneous cleaning jags. I’ve joined the world of commuters shuttling themselves to and from the city; I can’t imagine doing the time-consuming trek for a job that I don’t absolutely love. My trips on BART and Muni have provided me with some prime people-watching, and I do enjoy watching the San Francisco bustle (as well as a shameless opportunity to take selfies, in the rare moment that I’m the only one the train). It’s almost like a living, breathing thing, transforming every day. I’m always amused when I pass by the new Twitter headquarters on mid-Market, as the culture clash there is quite hard to ignore. I’ve been trying to give myself permission to not run my life at a continuously hectic pace, but I always seem to kick myself at opportunities I’ve missed, classes I didn’t take, books I haven’t read yet. On a more profound note, I’m trying to teach myself that, just like love, happiness can be unconditional too. You have to give yourself permission to be happy, whatever the circumstance might be. Just a thought.