Friday, February 20, 2009

<3 (it's a sideways heart)

Joe and I have never really been big on celebrating Valentine's Day. He gets away with this mostly because his birthday is the day before, so we can kind of smoosh the two together and he can finagle his way out of the expectations most husbands have to deal with on that lovely Hallmark Holiday. However, he knows that he is still expected to recognize that it is indeed a holiday on which women are supposed to be showered with chocolate and affection. This Valentine's Day I had to be up early to run some rehearsals at the studio, so I left him snoring soundly in bed an tiptoed out of the house. A few hours later, I called to let him know I was coming home.

I'm leaving the studio. What are you doing?
Oh... uh... I'm at Kroger.
Kroger? Why?
Well... I had to get you something right? Oh, and your Dad sent you flowers. I was really confused at first, so I looked at the card.
Oh... thanks. No surprises for me today, huh?
Oh yeah. Sorry. I'll meet you at home.

Fast forward about twenty minutes, when I pass by Joe walking home from Kroger with a grocery bag and single red rose (not in a vase or wrapped, mind you... just the little naked rose by itself). Of course I beat him home, so I called my dad to thank him for the flowers (which were really gorgeous tulips... but they came in a box, which made me laugh because it reminded me of this superbowl commercial). Joe came in, handed me the rose (I'm still on the phone, mind you), reached into the bag and handed me a box of Milk Duds. Then reached into the bag and handed me... wait for it.... ANOTHER box of Milk Duds. And that was all.

Now, my husband has never been what you might call a "romantic" man. But I was stumped (and amused) trying to figure out the rationale for this little set of gifts. I could picture him in Kroger, surrounded by sleepy, hungover frat guys fighting over the last bouquets of roses before some poor schmuck had to resort to carnations, looking around thinking to himself...

Ok... Valentine's Day. Chocolate. Greer likes chocolate. What does she always get at movies? Milk Duds. Yeah... ok I'll get her some Milk Duds. (tosses them into a basket) Hm... that looks kinda puny in there by itself. Ok, maybe TWO boxes of Milk Duds. (adds another box) Yeah. Yeah, that looks better. But then she'll probably say that it's not a very romantic gift. So something romantic... flowers. Chocolate and flowers are romantic, right? (looks at price tag on bouqet of roses) Geez... ok maybe just ONE flower. (looks at vases with single roses in them) I think we have vases at home. I'll just get the flower. Red, for hearts and stuff. Perfect. This is totally right on. I am so awesome at Valentine's Day.

I love my husband. And those Milk Duds were actually really good.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"expert" village

I apologize in advance for any ranting that occurs in this post due to my feelings about this week's Weblink Wednesday.

A few weeks ago I was hunting on youtube for ballet videos. Occasionally, I can find some good exercises to use in class or a tutorial video that demonstrates a better method for teaching turnout, etc. It was on youtube that I discovered the Perfect Pointe System, which has been very helpful in teaching my first year of beginning pointe technique. I stumbled upon some videos posted by "Expert Village", which claims to be a collection of experts in various fields that post tutorial videos so that the un-expert among us can learn from their vast stores of knowledge. I had a hard time deciding which video to link to because they are all just so dreadful. I decided to go with this one, which is teaching how to do a "passe" or "retire" position. This is a very important position in ballet, used in turns, jumps, extensions, etc. For those of you who can't tell... THEY ARE TEACHING IT WRONG!

(Not to mention that they both look dumpy, unprofessional and sloppy. If you are teaching technique, you need to be willing to let us see your body. As I tell my students, lose the t-shirt when you're a ballerina! Let alone trying to teach a position of the legs wearing pants that are too long and cover your ankles... oy.)

Now, I am aware that there are many different schools within the ballet art form. But for the most part the technique itself is universal. And for a passe, you wrap the toes of your working foot around the ankle of the supporting leg (a position called "sur le cou de pie", which means "around the neck of your foot") so that your knee is directed back immediately. Pressing the knee and hip back to create an open position, you wrap and slide your foot up to the knee, maintaining connection between the two. You then reverse the process and lower the foot to 5th position, in which you are trying to connect the toes and heels of your opposite feet (I know they are doing it in 3rd position, but that is another thing that is silly... no one really uses 3rd position anymore because it just looks sloppy and teaches bad form when transitioning to 5th position). You are also never never supposed to lift your hip as your leg rises (which she does) or release the knee of the supporting leg coming down (which she does). Another "expert" video that might be just as bad is the "glissade" video, which gets linked to at the end of this one.

A few people commenting on the videos were defending the two women saying that we should not critique them for dancing, which is something people do for fun and to express themselves from the heart. True enough. If this was a piece of choreography or a recreational video, I would not have said a word about it. But these are people claiming to be experts demonstrating specific technique for other people to mimic and learn. Ballet is, of course, a form of artistic expression but it is also a discipline. Not only does doing it incorrectly look bad, it can also lead to injuries down the road. Not to mention, what is the point (no pun intended) of learning something wrong?

ARRRRRGH and ROAR and all that.

OK, I'm done now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

argh and harumph

Two little tidbits for you today.

First of all, I was considering changing the background colors and template for my blog (I've been on a change kick lately... weird... Obama must be rubbing off on me...). So I went into settings and clicked on one that had polka dots and it looked like crap so I changed it back (obviously the change kick only kicks me so far). But I forgot that I had spent a long time adjusting the colors and formatting of my first template and of course it all reverted back to the original blogger settings! So I spend another long time trying to get it back to something I like... is it close? I think it looks about the same, or at least close enough to be acceptable. (Oh, and note that I gave into peer pressure yet again and now am a Twitter-er. Follow me!)

Secondly, as I was investigating this whole Twitterpation phenomenon, Freak Dog was sitting in front of the coffee table chewing on a toy. Or I thought it was a toy. When the chewing had continued for a length of time that I considered suspect, I decided to investigate. At which point Freak Dog looks up at me all innocent-like from the book he has been gnoshing (I have a stack of books on the floor that are at some point going to get donated to the library... unless they all become dog food first...). Of course the book Baxter chose for his tasty treat was "Clicker Training for Dog Obedience". Of course.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

i always did like my name...

Follow the directions for each number and just see what comes up!

There were some real gems out there, but this is the best of the best:
1) Type in "[your name] needs" in Google search:
-- Greer needs an education, 3 more homeless shelters, and to learn to creep better. (Awesome)

2) Type in "[your name] looks like" in Google search:
-- Greer looks like Lex Luthor. (Not too many options, here... I kinda had to fudge this one)

3) Type in "[your name] likes" in Google search:
-- Greer likes smooth young men and what she sees at OSU.

4 ) Type in "[your name] says" in Google search:
-- Greer says stimulus has a way to go, it's ok to pay for sex, and you can't be feminist if you're skinny. (HAHAHA)

5) Type in "[your name] wants" in Google search:
-- Greer wants to emerge as a leader, to stay with the Bills, a veiled war protest, and YOUR teddy.

6) Type in "[your name] does" in Google search:
-- Greer does it all. (...Nuff said)

7) Type in "[your name] hates" in Google search:
-- Greer hates your shoes.

8) Type in "[your name] goes" in Google search:
-- Greer goes nuts, global, for the basket, wild, wireless, and to Oakland's Mills College.

9) Type in "[your name] loves" in Google search:
-- Greer loves the penis. (I just type what shows up, folks)

10) Type in"[your name] is" in Google search:
-- Greer is growing up. (Maybe not so much... heh heh heh)

president potty mouth

This week's Weblink Wednesday comes to us from Stephen, who sent me this link a few days ago in an email (he was even the one who recommended that I use it for this very purpose!).

Thanks to the wonders of audiobooks, we now have audio samples of our 44th president of the United States talking some trash. There really isn't much more need for explanation. Enjoy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

favorite photo friday

The other day I looked around my apartment and realized that nearly every framed photo was from my wedding. And I have a lot of frames. Then I realized that A) my wedding was almost 2 years ago, B) other cool things have happened since then, and C) I've been meaning to get prints made of some of those cool things for a while now. So I decided to use the morning to go through my photo albums on facebook and in iPhoto and find some of my favorite pictures to make into prints and then begin the heart-wrenching task of replacing wedding pictures with new ones (change is a really big deal for me, folks... just ask my mother.). Once I was back from Wolff Camera with my little envelope of matte paper, white bordered pictures, though, I actually got excited to change some of them out. And not only wedding pictures either! For example, I have a silver frame that I bought solely to hold a picture of me with my college roomies (it says "who wouldn't want to be us", which is so true) that had had the same picture in it since I bought it. Now, the picture fit the caption perfectly: it was the three of us in New York holding up Wicked programs standing next to a cute and smiling Joey McEntire (of NKOTB fame, who was playing Fiyero that night... have I lost some of you?). So really, who WOULDN'T want to be us? But anyway... the picture had served its time and its purpose, and was replaced with an equally appropriate one of the three of us on our cruise to the Bahamas, looking windblown and tanned and extremely happy to be together (it was while we were on the party boat... yeah... nuff said). It makes me happy to look at, so I even moved the frame to a more prestigious location, on the side of the TV stand. Here, you want to see it too?

Another major replacement was of one of my favorite pictures of my family at the wedding where we are all making excellent "yay" faces. But of course I had to free up a frame for one of the many pictures of Sara Keelin! The one I chose for this was taken at about 2 in the morning as Stephen was wheeling her little newborn self to the nursery. She was wide awake but very quiet, just enjoying staring at her daddy. Here is the masterpiece itself.

Overall, I'm happy with the changes (although I do miss that family "yay" picture...). I feel like in the past two years I've really decided which wedding pictures are my favorites and which ones I really like to see everyday, so it was easier to get rid of some of the others. But the album is still on my coffee table... one day at a time, right?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

it's that time again...

Weblink Wednesday is back! I know, I know, I have been a major blog slacker. My last two posts barely count as posts and now I'm coming back with my silly little linkage that is on Wednesday just because of alliteration? Shame on me. Shaaaame. But irregardless (hehe... Mean Girls anyone?). My first link (Yes, there are two today. I couldn't pick.) will make you feel all warm and fuzzy and like you are doing something meaningful with your life. And for those of is sitting on the couch with our dogs at 10:45 in the morning, that is important. Wait... is that just me? Well, even if you're being a truly productive citizen and doing something silly like working, you could use a little warm and fuzzy, right? Well here ya go, friends. This site has a bunch of little buttons you can click on that support advertisers/sponsors who then give money to all sorts of different causes. The most popular two that get linked to often on facebook and sent through email chains are Breast Cancer Awareness and Animal Rescue, but there are 6 in all and the only thing you have to do is click! And you can do it everyday! Yaaayyyy warm and fuzzy saving the world feelings. Obama would approve. Oh yeah, here's the site.

The other thing I just wanted to make sure we are all aware of is the brilliance of Miller's advertising for this year's Super Bowl. A one second ad? Genius. I hope that advertising guy got a serious raise. Or at least a very hearty pat on the back (the economy being what it is...).

Oh, and in case you didn't know, I am completely obsessed/in love with How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM, for the hip ones among us). If you don't watch it, you should. There are 3 seasons out on DVD. Go buy them. But just in case you don't follow my sage advice, at least watch this clip. I thought I was going to fall off of the couch.

OK, so it's 3 links (well... technically 4 if you count the Mean Girls reference).

Monday, February 2, 2009

i do what other facebook people do...

25 things. I can think of 25 things about myself, right? Everyone else on facebook can do it... and most of them are pretty interesting. I'm interesting. I think...

1. I met my husband in the 8th grade but we were NOT high school sweethearts. I had no idea I would marry him until much later. We did date for a short time in high school, but it didn't work out at that point. People always seem confused by this.
2. I am obsessed with my dogs. They are awesome. Libby is ridiculously smart and funny and Baxter is the sweetest, goofiest ball of fluff you'll ever meet. My life and my apartment would feel empty without them.
3. Speaking of my apartment, I live in the tiniest one bedroom in all of Athens, I'm pretty sure. My husband, our two dogs, and I share less than 600 hundred square feet with no dishwasher, no washer, no dryer, and no cable. I have learned to live without all of the "amenities" and was surprised to realize that I don't really miss them. Except the washer and dryer. Good God, do I miss having a washer and dryer.
4. I was planning on auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance or American Idol this season, but I missed the Idol auditions and the SYTYCD auditions are too far away and in the middle of the week. Maybe next year. Did I mention I love reality television? If I was single, I would totally go on the Bachelor too. Ha.
5. I love my job, but I have a lot of guilt about it. First of all, I feel like people don't think of it as a "real job" and therefore look down on me. It doesn't help that I have the morning off and tend to sleep late and spend a lot of time on the internet. I want people to take me seriously, but can't really blame them for looking at my lifestyle and not seeing me as an adult. However, I would challenge any of them to try their hand teaching 6 years olds ballet.
6. I know for a fact that some very close friends of mine feel like I made a mistake and am wasting my life by not pursuing a performance career. I can see their point, but I feel like everyone has so many directions they can go in their life, all of which will lead to happiness. I could have trucked it to New York and lived like a starving artist and loved it, but I also love my life here in Athens and am excited about my future.
7. I feel guilty about things ALL the time (refer back to number 5). I hate the thought that I have hurt people and tend to dwell on situations that I should have let go of a long time ago. I alway want to fix things and fix people... I think I inherited that from my mother.
8. Speaking of my mother, I am so grateful for the relationship that I have developed with her. We are so much alike, which I view as a blessing rather than a curse. She is absolutely amazing and so much fun and I'm lucky to not only have her a mother, but also as a friend.
9. My dad is my hero. I am convinced that there is nothing he doesn't know about or know how to do. And if there is, he could look it up on his iPhone and get back to you about it. And not only is he smart, but he is kind, funny, and unconditionally supportive. Dad has sent me flowers for every opening night performance that I can remember. And that is a lot of flowers.
10. My family has been going to Harbor Island, SC for pretty much as long as I can remember. There is no place that I feel more comfortable or closer to God.
11. My sisters are two of the most beautiful people I know. I hope they both know how much I admire and adore them.
12. My husband and I are pretty much exact opposites of each other. He's an extrovert, I would rather stay home. He's loud and goofy, I get shy around new people. He doesn't mind a mess, a sink full of dishes makes me twitchy. We do tend to argue, but it works for the two of us and I know there is no one in the world who could love me the way he does. I trust him unconditionally.
13. I have a deeply rooted love for the Gap brand. There are days when literally everything I wear (from pants to underwear to socks to shoes) is from either the Gap or Old Navy.
14. My dog Libby is a flyball prodigy. I have no idea how this happened... she successfully jumped all 4 hurdles in her first class and was running a full lane in 3 classes. I guarantee you that it was nothing I did. I didn't even give her treats- just tennis balls! (Which should show you how obsessed she is with tennis balls.)
15. I have a secret (well... I guess not anymore) desire to have lots of people read my blog. I started keeping it as more of a journal, but the more blogs I read the more I realized that I liked the idea of it being more of a public forum for my thoughts. Although most of my readers are family or close friends, I'm excited to know that some of them subscribed and read all of my entries (of which this will probably become one...). I had the same secret desire when I was young and kept a diary after reading Anne Frank and Zlata's Diary. I didn't take into account that both of them were in war torn countries and died at a young age... (help my dreams come true, folks)
16. I did not have an imaginary friend when I was young. Instead, I had an alter-ego named Jula and she was FABULOUS.
17. I am sad to have lost so many friends in my life, but exceedingly blessed by the ones I have kept. Thanks for sticking with me, be it for 20 years (Christin! can you believe it's been so long?) or just a few. Meghan and Katie, you are two of the best and loyal friends anyone could want and I love you both. Keith, you bring light into my life. Joel and Margaret, you made an amazing experience even more life changing. Erin, you are a constant in my life even when we are so far apart and don't talk as often as I'd like. I always know I can count on you. My Berry dancer girls, you are always a joy and I often wish I was more like all of you.
18. Yes, Joe and I are trying to start a family. No, I didn't intend for everyone to know about it (thanks Dad), but we are excited about it and so really I don't mind who knows. Just don't keep asking me "are you pregnant yet?". I'll let you know.
19. My parents paid for my first car (which I still have) and my college education. I don't think this makes me a spoiled person, just very lucky. My parents worked hard to be able to do these things for me and my sisters and I appreciate it every day. I hope to be able to do the same for my children.
20. Although I weighed about 40 pounds less in high school than I do now, I am much more comfortable in my body than I was then. It was one of the down sides of dancing all the time... feeling fat at less than 100 pounds.
21. I will always identify myself as a dancer. It is not just a skill or a hobby that took up a lot of my life, it is part of the person I am now. That has a lot to do with why I teach ballet now... I feel like there are so many valuable things to learn from practicing any kind of art form that extend far beyond knowing how to do a plie or 16 fouettes. Ballet taught me discipline, work ethic, poise, patience, and much more.
22. While I loved my college years, I feel a deeper connection to my high school (well, my elementary/middle/high school... I was there from 5th grade til graduation!). Maybe it was because I was there for so long, maybe it is because of the family ties that I have there, but I look back at Davidson with so much fondness and appreciation for all that I learned there and for what it gave to me. I know it is a much different place now, but I will always treasure my memories there and the people it put into my life.
23. I love animated movies (namely Disney and Pixar) and movies with the Muppets. Finding Nemo is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time, and my family has a Christmas tradition of watching Muppet Christmas Carol every year. My dad and I can pretty much reenact the entire thing together. And we have.
24. There are many places that I want to travel and I know that my knowledge of the world is limited, but I am pretty sure that London will always be my favorite city because of the time I spent studying abroad there. Not only is it just an awesome place to be in general, but it also brought two of my best and dearest friends into my life.
25. I am impressed to find that there are still more things I could share about myself. There are so many life changing people I have not yet mentioned (Dee, Justin, Nicki, Jaime, Dan, my grandparents...) and places and times I have not talked about. Although this reflects a lot about me, I think it says more about the people in my life and how much joy they bring me. I could go on and on about my amazing family, my husband, and my friends and still not really capture how important they are to me and how thankful I am to share my life with them.