Not Just Your Ordinary Ballet Class

As you may have guessed from the lack of blog posts this last month, not a lot of excitement has happened around these parts.  Till recently.  Today in ballet class we had a few new faces.  New faces attached to gorgeous bodies that could do magical things.

Apparently, earlier this month, somewhere between 6 and 8 dancers with the National Ballet of Cuba defected while in Puerto Rico for a performance.  (The exact number depends on which news article you read.  All are dated between June 9th and 11th.  I could not find any more-recent articles that confirmed the number.  You can read about it here.)  At least 6 of them ended up in Miami, and 2 of those were in my ballet class today.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I can only imagine what they must have been through in the past month or so.  Leaving behind everything they knew, friends and family, in hopes of more artistic opportunities outside of Cuba.  Wow.

Regardless of how they may (or may not) have been feeling, they danced quite beautifully.  They both had a style that was bigger, bolder, and dare I say, a little less controlled than the rest of us who were used to precise, exact ballet positions.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the structure of a ballet class, it builds in intensity.  Any ballet class around the world begins with pliés (knee bends), and the movements gradually get bigger, until the end of class, which culminates in grand allegro, or as we say in English, big jumps.  Here, is where our guest artists really excelled.  I think they flew.

 

One of my favorite bloggers traveled to Cuba earlier this year, and he got to observe ballet class/rehearsal there.  He has quite a poetic way with words, and he perfectly captures the amazement I felt today.  Give him a read!

Cubans Are Magical

Gods and Goddesses

 

 

Make Way for Ducklings! And Turtles…

Remember that old joke, “Why’d the chicken cross the road?  To get to the other side”?

Well, riddle me this: Why did the turtle cross the road?

No seriously, I’m curious.

 

I was leaving the neighborhood the other day and had to stop for an unexpected turtle crossing.  Had to make sure this little fella made it across safely.

Turtle Crossing

 

And then literally, the following day, I was driving home from work, and a family of ducks was crossing the street at the exact same place!  I wish I had snapped a photo of this one as well.

A neighbor driving in the opposite direction had already pulled over to shoo them across the road, so they stayed safe, too.  Whew!

Ah, spring time in Florida…

 

 

Whirlwind

In the past forever since I last posted, I’ve had some new developments.  First, I broke up with my boyfriend.  It was all very not dramatic.  I just realized we weren’t quite right for each other, and when I brought it up for conversation, he agreed.  So.  There’s that.

And then, a couple weeks later, I started dating someone new.  I didn’t necessarily mean to jump from one relationship into another, but it just happened.  I don’t know what it is with these Florida boys.  :-)

New Boyfriend is pretty awesome.  He’s smart (dabbles in 5 languages), super cute, incredibly sweet to me, and so interesting just to sit around and have engaging conversations.  *Swoon*  You’ll have to excuse me that I’m having trouble finding time to blog.

A couple days ago, we borrowed a bike from his neighbor, and we rode down to the beach around sunset.  Please enjoy the view… of our feet, lol.

 

Feet on Beach

 

 

 

On Prejudices 2

Ahem.

So, yesterday I wrote about Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling’s disgustingly racist comments and the NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s response (if you missed it, catch up here).

I embraced the view that the first step in combatting racism (or any type of prejudice, really) is to connect on a real level with somebody different than you, to really listen to their story.  My theory is that if you understand them, you won’t judge them so harshly.  You might–gasp!–develop empathy for their struggles and cheer on their victories.  Crazy, right?

Ok, technically I still embrace that view.  But as they say, “Charity begins at home…”

 

(Bear with me here… I’m gonna go off on a tangent and then bring it all home again.)

 

There are a lot of crazy drivers here in South Florida.  It helps that Easter and Passover are over, so all the snowbirds have flocked back north to less sweaty climates.  And shipped their cars back with them.

Bye bye, snowbirds!

Bye bye, snowbirds!

 

But there are still a lot of doofuses left who drive 10 mph under the speed limit in the left lane, or who signal .02 seconds before swerving in front of you and cutting you off (Harumph!).  And then there are the nitwits who recklessly weave in and out of traffic going 20 mph over the speed limit.

I realized that whenever reckless nitwits race around me, I got a lot angrier at them if they were driving a fancy, expensive car, like a flashy $55,000 BMW.  What a jerkface! I’d think really loudly in my head.  He’s so pushy and rude and entitled and thinks that everyone around him should get out of his way!  (Ok, I didn’t really think “jerkface.”  The word in my head wasn’t a very nice one, though.)

But if the reckless nitwit was driving a battered early 90s sedan, I’d think something along the lines of, Ugh! how rude!  Ok, maybe his wife’s about to give birth.  Or maybe he just has to pee really, really bad or he’ll explode.  Oh no, now I have to pee!

Why did I assume the expensive car guy was a jerk, but give the crappy car guy a break?

I think I have to reexamine some prejudiced beliefs a little closer to home…

Obviously, rich people aren’t necessarily jerks.  Poor guys aren’t necessarily saints.  But I think I should give everybody the benefit of the doubt instead of getting angry.  (Maybe ALL their wives are giving birth?  Maybe ALL their bladders are super full?)  That way I’ll be unbiased.  And at the very least, it’ll keep my blood pressure at a reasonable level.

 

<<The author of this post gets down off her high horse…>>

:-)

 

On Prejudices

If you’ve tuned in to any news outlets in the past couple days, you might know that the Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling was recorded making extremely racist comments, and now NBA commissioner Adam Silver is fining him $2.5 million and banning him from the NBA for life (see story here).  Pretty much everyone on the planet is understandably outraged at Sterling’s views.

First and foremost, I would like to express my opinion that Sterling’s remarks are NOT okay.  Racism is bad.  Yes, Sterling should face some consequences.  Absolutely.

But I want to know how punishing Sterling like that is gonna change anything.

(I also feel badly that the Clippers as a team [players and staff] have to suffer public condemnation and lose sponsors because their owner is a big fat jerkface.)

But fining and banning said big fat jerkface doesn’t make racism go away.  I sincerely doubt it changes his (or anyone else’s) views about people with different skin colors.

I don’t have the answers.  What I do have is the hope that this situation starts dialogues in lots of places across America.  I hope that people everywhere reexamine their own views.  Yes, we’ve come a long way from segregation and “separate but equal.”  I hope that people realize that we still have a ways to go.

Because the only way prejudice is going to diminish is if we open people’s minds.  Just because someone is a different color, or gender, or sexual orientation, or religion (etc!) than you, it doesn’t make them any better (or worse).  Maybe, just maybe, if you have a real heart-to-heart conversation with people different than you, you can learn something wonderful.  Everybody’s human.  Everybody’s got a story to share.  Just take a moment to listen.

 

And if you have another moment, I’d like to direct you to a really thought-provoking editorial on Time.com by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  He’s got quite the writing prowess to go with his crazy athletic skills.

 

All Ages

There is an 85-year-old lady who regularly takes my ballet class, Miss Sally.  (Side note: the median age of my ballet class is probably around 55.  It’s quite a mix.  There are two very amazing 14(?)-year-olds who are homeschooled, then there’s a couple of us in our 30s, and everybody else is 40+ up to 85-year-old Miss Sally.)

Anyhoo, after class today, Miss Sally asked me if I was currently/ever a professional dancer, like in a company.  My answer: “Oh no, but that’s really sweet that you think I could be.”

I think Miss Sally needs new glasses to go with her hearing aid…

But it was nevertheless quite a compliment.

*Grin*

 

On another note, I hope that I’m as awesome as Miss Sally when I’m her age!!  She made a career for herself as an airline exec and decided to get back into dancing when she retired in her 60s.  How brave is that?!?

 

 

A Week of Radio Silence

After I gave myself permission to NOT write a blog post every day, something funny happened.

I don’t have any ideas for interesting blog posts.

I guess I write better under pressure?

(Although, you be the judge.  Maybe not.  Maybe silence is better?  Lol.)

Rest assured, I haven’t forgotten you guys.  Nor have I fallen off the face of the planet.  I’m just hoping inspiration will strike!

Daily Thoughts

So.

You may or may not have noticed that I failed to post anything yesterday.

I’m debating the future of Thought of the Day Blog.

It’s been nearly 6 months of daily posts, and since I have a bit more structure in my life than when I started writing, I’m not sure what I’m getting out of it at this point.  And I’ve definitely lost more than a few hours of sleep over self-imposed posting-every-day-except-weekends rules.  Which is silly, because only about 4 people read my blog, and I’m related to 3 of them.  I can’t imagine they’d have a problem if I missed a day or two.

So.

I’m going to dial it back a bit.  I probably won’t be writing blog posts every day just for the sake of writing posts.  I’ll wait till I have an (hopefully!) interesting thought or amusing story to share.  At this point, I’m not sure how often that will be.

But I’m a fan of quality over quantity.  And I’m also a fan of not losing sleep.

Can I rename my site Thoughts Every Once in Awhile Blog?