Monday, May 31, 2010

**You Are Reading This 2 Weeks Ago**

Gone to the Galapagos, see you in two weeks!

Hm? Oh, the asteriks didn't actually transport you back in time? That's odd.

So hey! I went to Ecuador for 2 weeks and spent half of that time in the Galapagos! I didn't tell you then because I was too busy frantically packing and you're just the internet. I can't tell you now because I've been up for 48 hours. Even with my massive influx of equatorial vitamin D I just don't have the energy to give you proper freakout. I've told my stories many times today.

Pictures will all go onto Photobucket and then Facebook and they will be mind-boggling. I also want to give on official poo-poo to Flickr for making me sign up for another Yahoo account after I'd just dropped my old one and THEN only letting me upload 100MB and 2 videos worth. I have almost 1,000 high-quality (i.e. 1 MB or more each) pics and videos to get off this lappy before it dies, man! Plus one of my friends backed up her stuff so she could delete and re-fill a memory card. Bo. Gus.

Goodnight, Internet, I love you!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tedano, Ryukyu, Ohio, Oh My!

I can add to my list of marketable skills: being sole run crew for a show with 5 hours practice time and a non-English speaking stage manager.
This weekend I made upwards of $90 pulling curtains for the Tedano Kai dance troupe from Okinawa. "Living Legend" dancers were part of this group man, and they were coming to where, Buttsquat, Ohio? I guess the Ohio-Okinawa Association was having their 15th anniversary or something and they got THESE GUYS. What an honor... for, you know, the people it meant something to.
The dances were, like techno music, all the exact same tempo and key. Unlike techno, however, the dances were [sometimes painfully] slow and often had many scenes.
What WAS cool were the elaborate costumes and makeup. It was incredibly theatrical and I was glad to be backstage for it. The quick-change from a princess to a demon? Bad. Ass. There was also a really neat dragon puppet who had basically a box for a head and ribbons for a body. I don't know much else of what was going on.

So, they brought their own stage manager and he's used to a.) having total control and b.) keying in a time and having the curtains fly in/out with the push of a button. I am not a button! And what with him changing his mind a lot there was, I think, no smooth runs of the show. In my original notes the instructions were to slowly close the curtain until the last dancer was off, or slowly raise the curtain to set the pace of the music. Well, that's all well and good until you're getting the small circles to speed it up EVERY time and eventually there was no point in doing it anything but full speed every time. *shrug*
The translator was a really nice guy, but he admitted to not speaking the Okinawan dialect and in terms of stagecraft he got in the way sometimes. I got pretty used to Mr. Stage Manager pointing at me and saying something equivalent to "go." Jim (translator) gave a lot of "wait" fingers that looked like "raise the curtains now" and thumbs-ups that meant, alternately, "you're fine" and "okay, go now." He also stood in my sight line more than once which is irksome. He gave me a hug when I left though so it's cool.
At the end of these meticulous, traditional, artistic dances, they did a free dance to "Hang On Sloopy" and all the people on headset died a little inside. Personally, it's like reason #4 that I didn't go to OSU. Why are you doing this to me, Grand Masters Chie Tamagusuku and Shizue Matayoshi? Why? Why are you allowing this to go on in your presence?
It was also one of those uncomfortably long jokes too. By which I mean the whole song. Songs are a joke for maybe the first chorus. Then people start to think you're insulting their intelligence. At least I did.

All in all they were very polite people. They bought us lunch, and gave me $10 to mostly sit around after paying their own way to get here. Hope they had a good time stateside!

Also, this is a curtain experience in which my hand were not ripped to bloody shreds. All in all I don't think it could have gotten much better.


Becky's Shisha Kitchen!
Recipies of Delicious Smoking
Much like the last time we met in this kitchen, I made a good-faith effort to use up all the flavors that I'd originally slapped on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper and said "No! Bad shisha! You are not licorice! Bad!" and shoved to the back of the drawer where all the rest of my broken dreams are held. Last time was a great repossession/success! This time was too. And it proved once and for all that
I am a better flavor tester than anyone currently working
for the Hookah-Hookah corporation.

Pomegranate, Really
Things I was keeping in mind: 7-Spice lost incredible degrees of anise with just time and air, I need a way to combat anise besides coolness (mint), FIE UPON YOU, ANISE.
The Mix: 1/2 Pomegranate, 1/2 Margarita
The Result: Oh man. Oh man oh man. This stuff is seriously delicious, y'all. It's flavorful, fruity, and somewhat sour. It's full bodied and a little sweet, but not candy sweet. You'd know this is a tobacco product, but it's so clearly a nice pomegranate taste too. Not overbearing, I mean to say. It's a rich flavor that speaks its flavor and its plant biology very eloquently. I held this smoke in for quite some time and wound up with a nice nicotine/O2-deprivation buzz. Whee!
Margarita, you and me are like this now, buddy. You're fruit's best friend. Here's to taking on Orange next.

Now get outta my kitchen.

TTFN, world!