Thursday, June 24, 2010

New happenings, and a belly dancing book review

Afternoon all :) I've been a busy bee, working on my article. Tenure, tenure, always on the mind... I'm not making rapid progress, but I'm making steady progress, and that's what is important.

And not too much new is going on. All good, summery, stuff, really. Mike is teaching, Hank is being cute, all that stuff. I've been knitting, although summer is really not knitting's season. We don't have central air conditioning, so sitting in the humid house in the evenings with a giant afghan on your lap isn't all that fun. Certainly, it would be wiser to only work on smaller projects during the summer, some that wouldn't heat ones lap, but I never plan ahead well. Plus, I have an afghan obsession. I love them. I can't help it.

Recently, I was working on a baby afghan for some friends. I got a pattern for a "Quick Knit" afghan, hoping that it would be done in about a week, but 'twas not to be. 6 weeks later, and I've still got a giant mint green afghan on my lap each night. Well, last night, *drum roll*... I finally finished it! There is nothing that invigorates my craft creativity more than finally finishing a long project. *feels good*

So, I'm all excited to work on some other things now. I have a dish cloth I'm finishing up, a sweater for myself in a lovely mermaid green, and a taupe shrug. I'm also going to start some baby gifts for one of my beloved knitting group friends, which include my very first attempt at amigurumi! I'm ridiculously excited.

So, that's that. I've also been perfecting my belly dance routine. It's looking better. I made an important realization the other night - even though I kept telling myself to smile, smile, smile! while I was practicing, I wasn't actually smiling. I was merely *thinking about* how I needed to remember to smile when I was actually performing. I would occasionally remember to crack a beam, but otherwise, I had my concentration face on. Thus, I've remedied this, and I have to say, it's helping. I do smile more now, and I don't think that I look quite so hideous doing so. Smiling is muscle work, and you have to get that into your muscle memory, just like your other choreographed steps, as part of your practice routine, to translate into a flawless performance routine. It really is helping. So far, my audience consists only of Hank's Planet Heroes, but hey, I'm doing what I can. If I can be playful for Jupiter, I can be playful for a group of random strangers.

So, book review time. This is one of my favorite memoirs of all time:

Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love, by Anne Thomas Soffee. As we start the book, we learn a bit about Anne and find that she has recently been on the receiving end of a breakup with her live-in boyfriend. She winds up back home with her parents, heartbroken, and trying to figure out what to do with her life while unexpectedly single again at 30. She ultimately discovers a belly dancing class through her local communication education center, and being half-Lebanese, decides to check it out. The rest of the book chronicles her journey into emotional well-being through belly dance, as well as her romantic journey toward love and marriage.

I love, love, love this book. The author is an excellent writer, and is very funny. Super endearing. We even have a Catholic angle in here in that she was raised Maronite Catholic. She admits to being only a Christmas/Easter Mass attender, which is too bad given her family's rich history with the Church (detailed more in the book), but she remains firm in her Catholic identity. One caveat, given that this is a religious blog :) : the dating sequences are definitely not of the completely chaste variety. Nothing is graphic, mind you, but we all know what can be involved there, so if that kind of allusion bothers you, you may want to stay away. But overall, I adore this book. I re-read it every few years. I identified with her heartbreak and rooted for her to find Mr. Right, and I found it a fun way to learn a bit more about belly dance. Check it out!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love amigurumi! I've always wanted to learn to crochet or knit just to make them. But I haven't...

    You should make some little shrugs to wear during Mass or something, that would be something useful for summer. I wear this one (since I only have 2) to Mass each Sunday, they come in real handy.


Thank you for commenting! I read and appreciate every single one, and I will respond to each one personally!