Friday, February 27, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Black Swan

For some reason today I am reminded of the aria I sang in Menotti's The Medium:

THE BLACK SWAN

The sun has fallen and it lies in blood.
The moon is weaving bandages of gold.
O black swan, where, oh, where is my lover gone?
Torn and tattered is my bridal gown,
And my lamp is lost, and my lamp is lost.

With silver needles and with silver thread,
The stars stitch a shroud for the dying sun.
O black swan, where, oh, where has my lover gone?
I had given him a kiss of fire,
And a golden ring, and a golden ring.

Don't you hear your lover moan?
Eyes of glass and feet of stone,
Shells for teeth and weeds for tongue,
Deep, deep, down in the river's bed,
He's looking for the ring.
Eyes wide open, never asleep,
He's looking for the ring, looking for the ring.

The spools unravel and the needles break,
The sun is buried and the stars weep.
O black wave, O black wave, take me away with you.
I will share with you my golden hair,
And my bridal crown, and my bridal crown.

Oh, take me down with you
Take me down to my wand'ring lover
With my child unborn, with my child unborn.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Love actually IS all around

Yesterday I learned that one of my best friends is getting married. Yes, everyone, Miss Rei is going to get hitched! I am so excited! She is marrying her beloved girlfriend, Lacey, and I can tell you right now, without ever having seen any preliminary sketches, that the dresses will be to die for. Rei's mom is making them, and she is a sewing goddess if there ever was one.

I am absolutely over the moon with happiness for my friends, and as I'd promised to come over to the east coast if they ever got married, I will be doing so. The wedding will probably be in the fall, so I will have plenty of time to get tickets and prepare. These ladies are very special to me, and I would not miss their wedding for the world. Please feel free to drop by their blogs (Rei and Lacey) and wish them well!

My beautiful friends:

Miss Lacey Irwin
Miss Rachael Wickham

Monday, February 23, 2015

Various things

I had a lovely weekend. Finished up the rest of the tattoo I wanted on my leg, did my hair because I actually felt rather pretty for once, and Chiara Bautista put up a new sketch!

Pray observe:




I love you so much, Chiara.
After having dark eyes for 34 years, I think I would look super weird with any other color. I'm accustomed to seeing my pupils and irises blend into each other. I would probably look like an alien with a different eye color.

With the tattoo, I'd originally thought to have designs on both feet/calves, but I think I prefer my art on just one. The asymmetry is pleasing, and I don't feel particularly compelled to get any more. I think this will do nicely.

Thoughts?

Edit: oh yeah, I forgot this part... I finished reading No Easy Day, which is an autobiographical account of the Osama bin Laden takedown. It's written by a former SEAL who was in the team responsible for killing him. I'd heard a lot of viewpoints on the book before reading it myself, and after having gone through it I will say that I do not see it as self-aggrandizing or boastful in any way.

The book is written from a humble, team-first point of view, and at no point does the author tout his own role in the affair. If anything, it gave me a much greater appreciation for all the hard work that goes into becoming a member of these elite forces and the sort of work they do for our country.

At the end of the book, the author mentions that he felt at liberty to set the record straight (he wrote the book as all of the media accounts of the event were in error) because many high-ranking people, including the President, felt perfectly all right discussing the assault. In the beginning of the book, he mentions how he got some military lawyers and such to go through all the details in the book to ensure that nothing in it would compromise US security or the safety of military personnel.

I was pleased to read this story, if only to hear from someone who was there what really happened. And, as I said, it gave me a much greater view toward appreciating our men and women in uniform. I already had quite a lot of respect for them, but I feel even more indebted now.

So, all in all, I am glad this book was written and I read it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Halestorm rocks. And so does ballet.

So. My newest favorite band is, as I'm sure you've figured out by now, Halestorm. This is group was founded in Pennsylvania, and the two who began it are siblings, Lzzy and Arejay Hale. They are, frankly, fantastic. The entire group is amazing. Lzzy plays guitar and does the vocals. Arejay is the drummer. Josh Smith plays bass and Joe Hottinger plays lead guitar.

They have two full albums out (Halestorm and The Strange Case Of... along with a separate cover album), and the third (Into the Wild Life) is coming out in April. They've released a couple singles from it already, and I love them both. Be warned that you will not like Mayhem if you don't like harder rock. (Parents and grandparents, etc, I am speaking to you.) Sorry about the ads. I don't control YouTube's revenue system, unfortunately. If you are interested, here they are:




And the best news of all: they are coming to Seattle! We are seeing them in June, and I'm so excited. Lzzy Hale has inspired me to get my own badass black leather jacket, and I am loving the hell out of it. It is this one:

It is made of leather. And awesome.
It's really comfortable and I feel fantastic in it. How did I go so long without owning one of these?! Plus eBay is awesome. I got one for $40. Usually they're $400, and I saw them on sale in the official store for $199, but eBay is my friend and apparently no one wants to buy leather jackets in February, so I got this for a song. (A $40 song. But it was really good.)

Ballet is tonight, and it'll be an excellent re-hash of what I did on Monday in class. I think the two classes per week deal is the way to go. Not too much that you feel overwhelmed, but enough that you can actually process and absorb everything. One hour per week is insufficient for maximum information retention.

I also particularly enjoy wearing my leather jacket with my ballet gear. It's a pleasing mix of grace and strength, at least in my mind.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Story Project III - The Strange Case Of...

Disclaimer: the title for this blog post was drawn straight from the title of Halestorm's second album.

I'm walking stiffly through the ER's eye-wateringly bright green waiting room with a guard on either side, hands cuffed together. I do not want to be here, and my discomfort is palpable. The smells, the people... all of these make my skin crawl. I reach the reception desk and try to share a commiserating smile with the lady opposite me (Hey, how about all these weirdos here, huh?), but she is having none of it, and neither are the cops accompanying me.

"Name."
"Alexa Gavinaux."
"Oh, that's right...the homicidal lunatic."
"Innocent until proven guilty!" I brightly chirp in an attempt at levity, which is again passive-aggressively ignored. 

Fine. I don't like you either.

"Fill out these forms and have a seat. We'll get to you as soon as we can." 

Nurse Crabby hands me a clipboard which appears to hold roughly 200 sheets, all of them wanting my name, address, social security number, any disgusting sexual proclivities I might have and whether I thought I'd been a peasant or a guerrilla fighter in a previous life.

I might be making the last couple up, but only just.

Why is it necessary to fill out everything in quadruplicate or whatever? I have no idea. Nevertheless, I set about appeasing the unfriendly registration wench with exhaustively detailed descriptions of what exactly is the matter with me. 

In short: everything.

If it's got "syndrome" or "-pathy" after it, I've probably got it. Not ALL of them, of course, but a nice broad spattering of Crazy Paint across the mentally screwed-up spectrum. I make sure to brighten up each official mental health issue with an exciting anecdote detailing its effect on my life and interpersonal relationships (yes, I'm the person who starts yelling and throwing things at weddings). The thing is, though... between you and me? None of these issues are responsible for my presence in this atrociously colored place. My sanity is.

Nothing that's currently wrong with me led to my stabbing that heinous waste of oxygen. I was perfectly in my right mind for all of it, and knew exactly what I was about. "Homicidal lunatic", my ass. I'd like to see one of these tough-looking guards face to face with a despicable lout the same caliber as the one I offed, and we'll see how they handle it. Barring divine intervention, I guarantee you they'd be the ones now slapped with a ludicrously inaccurate diagnosis and a drafty hospital gown.

I suppose it's better than jail. Not by a lot, though. At least in jail, people still (generally) act like you're capable of rational thought. Here, not so much. I am physiologically unable to roll my eyes hard enough to adequately convey my disgust at these proceedings, and hurry through the last few pages of questionnaire drivel as quickly as possible.

I get up and proffer the mess of scrawls as well as I can manage, given that I'm still stupidly handcuffed. "Here. I think I managed to answer everything."

The nurse takes my mountain of paperwork and sniffs self-importantly as she flips through it. 

"These look fine, if a bit melodramatic. Go have a seat. We'll see about a bed in the psych ward as soon as someone up there answers the damn phone." At least I'm not the only one making her cranky tonight... 

I plunk my sorry self back down on the uncomfortable plastic chair between my minders, trying to hold the back of my faded, tired-looking hospital gown closed (a neat trick when you're handcuffed to yourself) and uselessly wishing to be somewhere else. Anywhere else, really. I'm not picky. Even ratty overpass hideouts with burning trash barrels have their charm, if you're not too choosy about your fellow hobos. Or personal cleanliness.