Sometimes I love Fairbanks. Saturday was one of those times.
My main goal for the day was to get done up for the evening. It was not just any evening, but Harvest Ball, the biggest gay event of the year. Naturally, Gary was my date, but he had promised to dress up for me. In turn, I took a shower around noon and set my hair in fingerwaves. I've been obsessed with vintage hairstyles for a while, and my fingerwaves have been coming along nicely. With my hair and makeup did, I pulled out my trusty prom dress. Vintage green polyester with some nice beads - I got it for $1 at a flea market in 1993 or 1994 and wore it to my senior prom. Since I'm still wearing it 15 years later, I'd say I got my money's worth. However, it lost the "best bargain" title because I also wore my full-length fur coat. $0.99 at Value Village!
Gary, Liz, Hayley and I met up at the Carlson Center. Being a gay event, naturally there was a drag show. I've seen some of those ladies give better performances, but the crowd was still going crazy.
Liz and I also performed a poi fusion routine. I was conflicted, because generally in a drag show, performers collect tips. Collecting tips form the audience while dancing is just too close to stripping for me. I already have a co-worker who refers to every performance as a "hoochie coochie dance." I have no issue with other performers collecting tips, and honestly I think we should be rewarded for our work, but we certainly weren't going to deviate from our choreography to accept crumpled dollar bills. Sorry, it's not something we work on during our two hours of rehearsal each week. However, while we were dancing, several members of the audience came up and quietly placed money in a tip basket near the stage. I assume it was shared among all the performers at the end of the night. I don't know, since we were long gone by then.
Rather than sticking around until the bitter end, the four of us grabbed some more folks and headed over to the Boatel. If you've never been to the Boatel Sleazy Waterfront Bar, it's pretty much summed up by its named. One fellow bought Liz some Scotch to celebrate her passing another milestone for her Ph.D., and I had an unfortunate martini involving green bean juice, as they were completely out of olives.
As I left the bar that night, I saw my first northern lights of the season dancing across the sky. It's still unseasonably warm, so I stood outside in strappy sandals and my senior prom gown, taking in the beauty of the aurora. Sometimes that's all that it takes to make me happy.
Sometimes I love Fairbanks. Saturday was one of those times.
And by the right thing, I mean the not-as-wrong thing.
It was a weekend of creative endeavors. To wit: I appreciated the creative endeavors of others when Dara, Joel and I went to the Pub to see Paper Scissors on Friday night. Have I mentioned that the band just plain rocks? I'm glad Craig is back in town for the winter. I ran into David there, who taught me some basic salsa. We attempted a Viennese waltz when the music came up, but the dance floor was very slippery due to dirty hippie students spilling beers. After David nearly wiped out twice, we opted to sit out the rest of the song. We were the only ones dancing, anyway.
On Saturday I finally had the materials, power tools and will to buckle down and make curtains for my bedroom. Well, most of the materials. There was some annoying math involved, as I was sewing in a blackout lining that would only cover the window but the curtains were pretty much floor to ceiling. I could have taken the easy route and done a full-length lining, but I didn't want the curtains to be so heavy. I managed to do one window perfectly, but had to wait until the next day to go buy more grommets. I did manage to finish the other window on Sunday. Pictures to come.
Since I had the sewing machine out, I decided it was time for a curve-hugging dress a la Joan Holloway. There was some great stretch suiting at the fabric store, but it had vertical stretch, not horizontal. Bizarre. This involved more math to figure out how to lay out the pattern pieces in the opposite direction. Again I say, pictures to come.
Liz and I also met up on Sunday to rehearse a choreography we're performing at the Harvest Ball this weekend. We made a costume run to Value Village for new tights since we've destroyed our last pair in a few performances.
This coming week should be interesting. I have to wrap up one aspect of a large project at work, and I have two performances. I don't really have any free time scheduled until Sunday night. Apparently stress is part of my daily routine.
The conversation didn't really improve...
Just like I stopped singing "Do You Know The Way To San Jose?"
once we got to Costa Rica.
I know I'm kind of late to jump on this bandwagon, but I have started watching Glee and am in love. I'm sure it's surprising. Who would have guessed I would like a musical with lots of dance numbers? I think I was a very flamboyant gay man in a past life.
You know you had a good weekend when even your toes are bruised. It's not as salacious as it might sound. On Friday, I joined Liz and Rachel for pizza and some T-shirt designing early in the evening. Then I headed out to the Marlin to see Paper Scissors play. I have a few friends in the band, and naturally I ran into a few more in the audience, so it ended up being a very late night. The late night led to my choice to have brunch with Gary and be lazy on a lovely Saturday. Some weird weather systems combined to bring us a few warm, sunny October days.
Saturday night I embarked upon a trip across town. It did not begin well, as I got pulled over less than a mile from my house. I wasn't doing anything wrong per se, but I did have a headlight out and cops will use that as an excuse to pull you over on a weekend night to see if you're drunk. I was stone cold sober and also had the replacement bulb in my passenger seat. Back on the road, Mary 1, Cops 0. Across town, I found my dance partner, changed my shoes and hit the floor. About three hours later, I was exhausted and pretty thoroughly danced out. Cha cha, two step, waltz, swing, triple step - it was just too much for my feet.
I decided to swing by the Marlin again on my way home. Mistake. The place was filled with GIs looking to score and I was not in the mood for the band. In retrospect, I should have gone to Ivory Jack's to see the Pickup League, but I didn't feel like getting pulled over again for my headlight.
The weather held through Sunday, giving me the chance to blast some Otis Redding while I replaced the headlight and did a little bit of work on my car. I did not get motivated enough to clean the garage out, but I did make it about halfway through a new dress. I felt the pain of the weekend catch up with me on Monday when I ran intervals before work, then went to tango class afterward. I need to take it easy, because next weekend we have two performances (Harvest Ball and Diwali) and I need to bring my A game.
I just realized I own a house. No, nothing broke. I think it just finally hit me.
I needed Saturday to recover from Friday. Then Sunday happened.
On Friday, Cold Fusion performed at a dance recital put on by Tundra Caravan. Since Rachel rarely gets a late-night babysitter, we took advantage and went to Brewster's after the show for potato skins. My friend (and fellow dancer) Liz has been dating my coworker Craig, so he came along too. I don't know if he was mentally prepared for the thought of Mary and Liz together or for the possibility of several hours of dance conversation.
On Saturday, I spent the day doing dance workshops with Eva Cernik. Her sword workshop was very helpful, but I did not enjoy her zill workshop. After the workshops, Joyce opened her studio for a hafla. Lots of live drumming and dancing. Liz and I decided to go out afterward and went to a 10 p.m. showing of Whip It. I think I might be more of a curmudgeon than a misanthrope, because I couldn't believe the amount of kids at the movie theater. Damn teenagers.
I got up extra early on Sunday to make apple cider doughnuts. The only kitchen store in town did not have a doughnut pan, so I was attempting to make them with a mini bundt pan. Do not make this mistake. I have already ordered a doughnut pan. Dara and Joel picked me up and we went to brunch at Stephanie's house. In true small-town fashion, I realized when we got there that she rents from the Haighs. They are the people I bought my lawn mower from that I knew from Hidden Hill. What was going to be a quick brunch turned into an epic meal with lots of champagne. I got no chores done on Sunday.
Despite all of this, the high point of my weekend came in an e-mail on Sunday night. We've been asked to perform at Diwali. Three songs. Dance domination continues...
No, actually, this is not a sappy post reminiscing about my 6+ years in Alaska. Today I received a copy of Lonely Planet's Trekking in East Africa, the 2003 edition. Why 2003? Well, it's the most recent edition, and I desperately wanted to get my hands on some info about hiking in Africa. Sure, there's Kilimanjaro, but what else is there?
The book only covers three countries: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In fact, so far it's all about the Rwenzoris in Uganda. Uganda is perhaps not the safest place to visit these days. The book skips Rwanda entirely, and yet I have not ruled out some time in that country.
Besides planning for the trip, I am getting ready for my first winter in my new house. Since dance friend Jeff is also my neighbor and a contractor and was the owner of a plumbing and heating repair company, I feel confident that my house will be in good hands. I've got to get the weatherization teams in here for some free repairs too, though. I know this place could be more energy efficient.
Life in the far north is not always all it's cracked up to be. I can't see Russia from here, but that's probably because of the ice fog.
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