Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How are you today?

How's it going out there in the wide internet? Things are going good here. I had a pretty nice day, actually. Chris and I went out on a rare date. We saw Curse of the Golden Flower, had dinner at Texas Roadhouse, and went over to Barnes and Noble. My parents used to joke that it wasn't a date if they didn't go to Wal-Mart. For us it's quickly turning into not being a date if we don't hit B&N.

So first, the movie. It was beautiful but also very boring in some parts. I'm not much of a drama person, and I figured most of the intrigue out pretty quickly. There were a few good action scenes, however, and you have to see the costumes to believe them! WOW! The Empress especially has some beautiful outfits, amazing hairpieces and jewelry, too. I may have to see if I can find a screen-capture of her gold necklace and see if I can recreate it in beads. China has been making some incredibly attractive movies in recent years, with sets that are almost over-the-top and clever use of color. I found that there was almost too much color in the palace where 99% of this movie takes place. Over all, I am not sure if I liked the movie, but I enjoyed watching it from a sheer eye-candy point of view.

Next, dinner. My parents have been not really bugging us to try Texas Roadhouse, but every few months they ask if we've been there yet. So since we were in the neighborhood and wanted to try a new restaurant, we finally went there. The service was good and surprisingly fast for a crowded sit-down restaurant. My steak was good, my sweet potato was beyond delicious, and the sweet tea was just like what I always drink way too much of when I visit North Carolina. Chris, on the other hand, was disappointed with his meal. The steak was almost half fat, and the fries weren't that great, he said. He did like his chili, though, and we both liked the rolls. Neither one of us really dug the country-western atmosphere (I grew up on C&W and the music was inducing flashbacks). If you like southern American type food and country music, you'd probably enjoy your dinner there, but we'll probably be going out for teppenyaki at our favorite Japanese restaurant next time we crave steak.

And then, the book store. They didn't have Bead Unique either! I asked at the information desk and the nice man there said that although it was supposed to go on sale today, they didn't have their shipment yet and hopefully would next week. Of course we couldn't leave Barnes and Noble empty handed, so a trip to the bargain books section was in order. The first thing I found was this cool deck of stretch cards. Each deck shows how to do one stretch, lists what muscle groups it stretches, what its good for, stuff like that. I'm sure I'll get some good use out of it, as I'm always trying to learn new stretches to improve my range of movement and muscle control for dancing.

The real find of the night was spotted by Chris, however. It's a book called something like "The Secret Lives of Faeries and Elves" which purports to be transcribed from the journal of a 17th century Scottish reverend who actually traveled to Faery. The man in question, one Robert Kirk, apparently actually existed and his writings are said to be referred to in other texts of faerie lore. I own a copy of one of the books mentioned in the reference section, so I'm going to look him up in there later.

I have my doubts as to the reality of this so-called journal, however. The reverend records some faerie stories that he's heard, and the two that I've read so far are pretty well-known to me, having been mentioned in several different books. The second one concerned the tale of the faerie wife who gave her husband the following taboo: If he ever struck her three times, she would leave him. In the stories which I'm familiar with, her husband struck her three times in anger, and she left. This story takes a far more politically correct bent, one time he strikes her playfully, the other two are on accident. The way the story is changed to reflect contemporary mores makes me question its authenticity. Regardless of whether it's true, it's still proving to be an enjoyable read.

A few other things of note: I did end up dancing last night, and warmed up enough that I actually stayed warm for a few hours. This has encouraged me to not be so lazy, so as soon as I finish this post I'll dance again (it's taken this long for me to not feel like I was fit to burst from dinner!). After I got tired from dancing, I practiced with my fire fans a bit. Had they actually been lit, I would have scorched the ceiling, the carpet, my shirt and my pants. I need more practice! I also worked on my book a bit. I only have a few chapters left to edit -- thank God!

Inspired by last night's fannage, today I finally watched the DVD that came with the fans. I was hoping for some how-to info on cool fan moves (my brother sent me a video today of this guy doing some amazing dancing with paired fans), but it was all safety tips and interviews. The tips were of course good, and the interviews were interesting, but I'm still left unsure of how to properly spin a fan without dropping it or wrenching my fingers. Lots of practice will be in order, it seems. There's supposed to be a fire-spinning group here in town, so maybe I can find someone local who can give me some pointers. My brother unfortunately only spins a great big quarter staff.

Wow, did this post go on forever. I'm going to finish it up, because if I wait any longer, I'll be too sleepy to dance. Today's Cool Thing is Flexi-8 Barettes. I purchased one at the Winter 2005 4th Ave Street Fair and wore it almost daily for a couple of months. I only stopped because it had rhinestones and one fell out and I've been too lazy to replace it. I really should fix it and/or buy some new ones, because it is super comfortable!

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