Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We're gonna stay one extra night

Believe it or not, but I just made the decision to spend an extra night here. We are in the eye of one crazy storm, and I can't risk getting hurt on the way home. As I just wrote that sentence, the power went out. Tonight before the ballet started, two people were struck by lightning and rushed to the hospital. We still danced. But I'm glad we're just going to bunker down tonight and enjoy the light show, I don't have to work tomorrow, no stress for A.J. Thank god this is done.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

SPAC is Wack part Deux

Everything that our company travels with is shipped in crates. This includes costumes, sets, props and a few fat dancers.
This crate contained three swords and two fat dancers.


I admit, some times I'm a bit of a sour puss. But in my defense, I know what I want, and who says I should remain silent when I don't get it. Maybe, just maybe, one day I will look back and think that coming to Saratoga each summer was a great experience. There have been some memories that are worth holding on to. To name a few... My sister Jessy (her birthday is today) had her last performance with NYCB a few years back up here. I was a mess because I didn't think that I would survive in this place without her. Jessy's last ballet was "I'm Old Fashioned". I had been understudying this ballet for years. I still to this day have never been cast in it, nor do I wish to. Anywho, at the end of the finale is a section called "going up the stairs", I had been learning it for so long that at that time I had even learned the girls part just to do something new. I knew that this was Jessy's last show and I didn't want to just watch it from the wings, so I asked the ballet master if I could surprise Jessy by coming out at the last minute as her partner. She said yes, though I would have done it even if she said no. Jessy and I had never gotten to dance together, and it was a prefect way to say good bye to my sister who had paved the way for me all along. OK. That's sort of a sad memory. How about a happy one? Six years ago a group of us went up to Lake George to go boating. It was pretty much my sister's friends and Rebecca and I. We had only been dating for maybe a month. We all had a great time tubing and trying to water ski. I was nervous for Rebecca to spend the day trapped on a boat with me and everyone, but she's so likable, what's the worst that could have happened. On the drive back, everyone was wiped out from being in the sun and hey all passed out except Jessy our driver and me, acting as Rebecca's back seat pillow. I can remember Jessy looking through the rear view mirror back at me, and I silently mouthed "I love her". Which I did and still do. But later that night, when I told Rebecca, she was not as positive. It had only been around a month, but I knew it. There was no doubt and there never has been since that day. So that is a memory from Saratoga that I will definitely hold on to. Oh, and I once drunkenly ran around my house naked with just aluminum foil covering my penis. 

Get Us Out Of Here!!

I don't ever want to go to jail. Being held against my will would kill me. I need the option to leave. Right now I'm locked up in "Saratoga State". I am fully aware of the amount of bitching I do, but I really truly hate it here. Week two was horrible. I danced my worst and had absolutely no fun at all. Gorgeous weather. The pool was clear and warm. But I was stuck rehearsing in the heat. Rebecca and I are both physically and mentally burnt out. Working since October with one week off is taking its toll on our bodies. Rebecca eats dinner every night with her foot in a pot of ice water, which is a funny sight that sadly makes my heart hurt at the same time. See, even my heart hurts. What's the deal. The only one that's having a good time is Chubbs. I know people who have to share bedrooms up here, or sleep on a pull out couch, but Mr. Chubbington gets his own queen sized bed downstairs with us. I hope the owners don't mind, but frankly I don't care. I guess this makes up for the years that they had gold shag carpeting in the kitchen. THE KITCHEN! Yesterday Debbie D, George and Alex came for an afternoon visit. It was great to see them and get to toss Alex in to the pool a few thousand times. I don't know where he gets all of his energy, but scientists should find a way to tap its source and get us all off gas. He's such a cute little guy and it's fun to finally get the brother I never had. Oddly he seems to be taking the big brother role because he loves to boss me around. He gives great piggy-back rides. Truly impressive for a seven year old. Week three(good god) I'm thinking will be better. Rebecca has a great debut in the Goldberg Variations coming up which I can't wait to watch. She is stepping in for Rachel who has not come up this summer. We all miss her so much and are sending her love and prayers and as much positive energy to her as we can. I hope it finds her. This weekend is the weekend when everyone's significant other come up to visit. It's always fun to see someone else's reaction to where we are and what we're doing. Then comes mid-Sunday when everyone's reluctantly checking out the train schedules to get back to the city. And this is when I feel great to be sitting on the sofa next to my Krohn. Because she's stuck here with me. And we're both going to pull the other one along until we're both sitting on the sofa back at home together were both truly want to be. 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

1/2 Way Point

There aren't many points in life where you can be 100 percent sure that you are half way through the event that you are living. Today however is in fact, the middle point of our Saratoga season. Today is the day that goes on forever. There's a full moon, but I am waning. Am I old? Or am I just tired? Can I answer this question myself? I can almost feel the sand in my future in between my toes today. The countdown has begun. 

Okay. I'm Back.

Rebecca and Amanda get escorted to the backyard party. They apparently don't know how to follow a walkway.
Yes both of these ladies have taken a better photo, but look at that house.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
                                             I look fat.

Every Saratoga season is the same. During the first week we are pretty optimistic, we party our brains out the first weekend, and then half way through the second week it hits you. You hate this place. Coming up here in theory should be a lot of fun. There are swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, lakes, horses and county fairs. But the truth is, all of this provided entertainment is not really for us. It is for our audiences. They are the tourists, we are just a part of the tour. All of us are at our physical end. We've all been dancing straight since October. Aside from dancing, this has been an emotionally draining year for all of us and seeing a little rest time in the future is the carrot dangling in front of us.
Last weekend we went to a party at a very expensive home. Most homes wouldn't be mainly described as expensive, but that is the only semi-positive way that I can describe it. Some proof...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Week 2 (weak too)

Sorry for the lack of postings. If I survive tonight, I promise to get things rolling again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Tomorrow is Rebecca's birthday, and while I without a doubt could post an embarrassing story about her as I have done to others in the past, I think I will decline. But rather I will profess my undying love of her. Rebecca has had an effect on me that I had no idea could be possible. She has changed the way that I view the world. Her kindness to everything has inspired me to want to be a gentler person myself. (it is a work in progress) There is no one in this world that I would rather be with. I can not look at her without smiling. I can not hold her without melting. I can not imagine a life without her. I am so incredibly thankful that we have found each other and have fused such a tight bond. I fall in love with her each and every day. Tomorrow, even more.

Ten positive things about Saratoga

1. The entrance ramp on to 87 South.
2. Roma Subs
3. Family dinners at 644 Crescent Ave.
4. Everyone gets their own sofa.
5. Two day weekends!
6. Seeing Chubbs out in the wild where he belongs.
7. Rebecca's birthday bashes.
8. The stars at night.
9. Grocery carts at the liquor store.
10. Kyle's morning hair.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Week 1, a reflection of.

Today wraps up our performances for the week. In past years I don't remember myself feeling such constant pain. I think I'm getting old. I'm like an older woman who keeps cramming her large feet in to a pair of heals she use to wear in her twenties, sad and in denial. 
I don't feel that I've given any performances up here that warrant any memory, I'm just trying to get through this and get home. Pain is the name of my game here. Last night after a performance that roused up more inflammation than applause. Afterwards I gave my body over to our therapist for an emergency acupuncture session. Thirty needles later, I was able to drive myself home for some dinner, beer and sleep. Rebecca is doing her best as well to stay ahead of the waves of pain that always seem to be crashing down on our little island. We need a reef. 
Did god create weekends? If he did I'll pray for more. 

Our house has been missing its 'Founding Tenant' and things do not feel right here. This is an enormous house and it takes many, many large personalities to properly fill it. On this end of the first week, when we all are tired and sore, we send out to Rachel the biggest hug and kiss we can. We all miss her immensely and love her like family. Be well "Dish Bitch".

Friday, July 11, 2008

Amanda Hankes Stodola Hides From Company Class

Dancing for an audience of seats.

Despite SPAC's attempts to fill the seats here, we seem to be mainly dancing to an empty house. Someone here had the grand idea of offering specialty programs to entice a different crowd, especially men. Before some performances here, they are having beer tastings, soccer demonstrations, tango lessons, even an American Girl Doll expo, where from what I hear, there will be people dressed as dolls walking around. Last night was "Meet a Jockey" night.
I mean, come on people, if your town doesn't like ballet, accept it. As I left last night after the middle ballet, I looked in to the audience, and there were maybe 200 people. 200. To us, the sound of 200 people clapping sound a lot like silence. Times have changed and most of us can face the facts, but it seems like the people in charge just can't swallow their pride and admit defeat. I wouldn't be surprised if someone had the brilliant plan to dress us up like horses and have us run around in circles on the stage. they could call it "Off Track Ballet". 

SPAC is Wack

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A random short story that doesn't really go anywhere.

When I was in preschool, my mom thought that she was qualified to cut hair. I had always worn the standard bowl-cut, looking like a native boy from the Amazon. No one would be surprised to see me carving a canoe out of a log with nothing but a sharp stone, in the jungle. How challenging could a bowl-cut be to execute? The steps of the procedure are in the title, bowl on head, cut. But my mother needed no bowl. She had an eye for arts and crafts. Free hand baby!

With an old beach towel wrapped around my shoulders, that for sure was in too much of a state of disrepair to ever leave the back of our linen closet, never to taste the brine of saltwater again, I sat and awaited the clippers.
Oh the dreaded clippers, rusty dog clippers that we stored in our basement, I can still hear the loud SNAP! that they made when they were turned on. Who knows the life those clippers lived. Matted pet hair, beards and back hair, never meant for a bowl cut. Scissors are what the bowl cut demands.
I am still filled with fear when I need a haircut. I let my hair grow until it appears that some stray cat has fallen asleep on my head. Only then will I reluctantly drag myself to a salon to awaken that cat from its slumber. Never do I book an appointment in advanced. Otherwise I will no doubt stress myself all day long, and eventually cancel.
I have since out grown the bowl cut. Now I wear short shag. Yet, I have the hardest time dictating to a hairdresser just what I am asking of them. The direction “I need a haircut” gets one nowhere in a salon. I used to look through magazines for pictures of people sporting the same do that I was looking for, then cut it out and bring it in, only to get a disconcerting look. “Poor boy can’t talk. Sit down honey; I’ll cut it like the picture.”
Once the only picture with a style near what I was after, was worn by some beefy, Mexican model with gold chains and fake tattoos. Nothing like the scrawny white body that I am trapped in. So I reluctantly hand this woman the picture from the men’s magazine. She looks at it closely, then at me through the mirror, and asks, ”Is this you sugar?”
Now, I could accept this as lame humor, but she was for real. She honestly thought it was me. It actually looked more like her. Now I’m supposed to let this blind woman have her way with my head with a pair of sharp scissors?
“You know, maybe I should let my hair grow out a little longer. I hear this is going to be a chilly July. Thanks anyways” And away I ran.
This trepidation to hand over my scalp to a blade wielding human has followed my throughout my life. I can recall a hair salon in a mall back at home with the god-awful name “Head-Hunters”. What kind of image is that supposed to evoke in a young kid’s head. I would stand outside kicking and clawing at my mom, as she’s drag me in. There was no way I was going to let these primitive tribal members come near me, bones through there noses, carrying spears and woven baskets.

A Few More Tchotchkies.

Happy Birthday Rob

Today is Rob Krohn's birthday. I thought that it might be an appropriate time to share a story about Rob and I...
A few years back, Rebecca and I were spending a few weeks with Rob and Liz. I love to stay with them upstate. There's always lots of trips to the lake, wine tasting and mostly they have a hot tub. I am a sucker for a hot tub. Honestly there is nothing in this world that I want more than my own hot tub. I'm sure that I owe Rob and Liz hundreds of dollars for their electric bill after all of the late night soaks that I have taken over the years.
So on this one particular visit, I woke up in the morning before Rebecca, and I felt quite guilty to be a guest in someone's house, and sleep-in well past ten. Rebecca didn't seem to agree with me, so I decided to let her sleep and go downstairs myself for some coffee. What I wasn't aware of, but now will remember for the rest of my life, is that Rob likes to hot tub in the morning. 
As I came around the hallway in to the living room, something in the back of my head said"Stop!" but I just kept on walking. Walking in to the scene of Rob standing, luckily with his back to me, naked.
I turned on a dime and ran upstairs as fast as I could. "I just saw your dad naked!" I jumped in to bed next to Rebecca and hid under the covers. "He was toweling off from the hot tub and I saw him naked. I can't go back down there ."
But I clearly got over it, and now realize that the embarrassment lies more with him than me(especially now). So, I just want to say, Happy Birthday White-Ass!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our House Is A Very, Very, Very Weird House

Day 2

Last night Katy and I "cooked" dinner for everyone who performed. We assembled a salad of greens, avocado and crab meat with a side of orzo, tomatoes and feta cheese. It wasn't quite the meal of love that we would usually prepare, but we were both pretty tipsy and frankly didn't really care. But as I thought, a hungry, tired dancer will eat pile of crap as long as it has enough gravy on it. Everyone was greeted at the door with some cocktails that I prepared. Cranberry vodka with a splash of pomegranate/blueberry juice. Katy even skewered some blueberries on drink stirs to make them look "classy". I guess they might have been a little strong since everyone fell asleep real easy but awoke as a monster. Needless to say, we didn't all make it to class this morning.
So today I taught class a the State's school. It's nice to not get nervous to teach anymore. Last year I would pace around the house here, drinking cup after cup of coffee until the last minute. Today I just rolled out of bed and went in and taught. It seemed to go well. No one cried, one girl fell. That was pretty much it. At the end of class every girl comes up and curtsies to me and thanks me and I try to look each one in the eyes and thank them as well, but by the tenth or eleventh, I swear that my eyes are crossed and I look like freak. Maybe next time I'll just scream "You're Welcome!" and run out of the room.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Clutterworths

In past years of living here, we have come to notice an abundance of tchotchkies (yes that's the correct spelling) all over this house. A few years back, I began the "Tchotchkie of the Day Contest". It became a house hit. I even conducted little photo shoots for the figurines and posted them on my long gone art website. I even had some people who wrote me to purchase the items. However, they weren't mine to sell.
So, this year, while the contest is over, I thought that I might once again, give these odd objects another fifteen minutes of fame and share them with my little "Blog World". We couldn't locate all of our past favorites today, but I'm sure that over the next few weeks, we'll find many more to share. And don't worry Rachel, your "Santa Egg Whisk" will show itself eventually. 

Day 1 (official)

Well, I hope my car windows are all up, because it's raining something nasty outside. I have no work today and I was looking forward to sitting by the pool with Chubbs. I guess that will have to wait. I realized today that this is my 10th Saratoga season. I use to love Saratoga. The novelty of a house and car, a yard with a pool and badminton on the weekends. Now I'd much rater be in the city eating Japanese food. 
I immediately begin to itch as soon as I walk in to this house. No amount of bleach will make me feel clean, and trust me I've tried. This house could be amazing. But it never will be. Who ever lives here during the year is afraid to part with anything. In the room I'm sitting in now, there are three full sized sofas, two over stuffed chairs, four fancy wooden backed chairs, two side boards, a dining table, two office desks and one fake giant mounted swordfish. This is the fancy living room. The one that greets you when you first enter. 
Why don't these people throw stuff out? I'll come up and help out. That actually sounds better than dancing here. 

Monday, July 7, 2008


So. We are here again. It's the fifth year in this glorified shit-shack. Our drive up here this afternoon was uneventful. Our house is the same. Some things are better. Luckily nothing is worse. Keep checking back here for updates.