April 2014 Archives

Niijima before camp

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You know I love Niijima, don't you? We have been there so many times to enjoy living a slow life in nature. I've lost count. 10? 12? There is something magical about the island that brings us back again and again. 

Guru-guru Camp, our annual 2 week camping/hooping trip, is coming up again during Golden Week and we are scheduled to depart for Niijima on April 24th laden with tents and hula hoops.

So of course, in the midst of preparations for that event, I snuck down to Niijima with one of my dearest friends and her family visiting from Australia. We toured around on bicycles (and I didn't hate it), soaked in the onsen, watched the waves, picnicked at camp, made glasses, and generally enjoyed ourselves enormously. 

It was hard to return to the city, even knowing that in a week, I'll be back! Between now and then, I have several days of tasks to catch up on, including all the camp packing, launching this year's WHD Dance tutorials and preparing a new project with Heather. I'll be frantic. It was worth it.

Spring Sketching

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I took my watercolors to the park today and although the output isn't anything special, it was glorious to be out in the fresh air focussing my attention on the environment for a few minutes. I am reminded how much I enjoy this form of meditation. More drawing...

Roller Coaster Weather

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Almost every day last week, I discussed the weather forecast with Heather. 

It was making unpleasant predictions for her hanami party on Sunday. It declared High: 11 - too chilly for infants to enjoy a picnic - and each day brought new doomsaying of rain with varying percentages of chance. At one point it told her it would snow and the low was going to be 1. In the end, the forecast was too wild for babies under blossoms and she cancelled the party. 

We went to visit anyway, walking through the park and riding a roller coaster, playing a private concert on the ferris wheel. Then the wind blew, clouds rolled in, and we took shelter from the HAIL and SNOW in an arcade. We played whack-a-mole and Tod bought us popcorn and found me a cotton candy machine and I made a fluffy ball of sugar that we all nibbled as we walked back through the park after the crazy storm had passed.

Hanami 2014

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Rob & I get together for a hanami lunch in the Ayoama Bochi every year. Today was the day. It was beautifully mild and our hilltop picnic spot was eye-level with the blossoms. We were showered with petal snow as the winds blew clouds in. The rains begin tonight, so I think Tokyo's hanami season is about to end.

It was Primal vs Vegetarian this year and I must say that Rob's homemade pork coconut curry and fresh salad beat my peanut butter sandwich and carrot sticks by a mile.

The Frolicaholics Play Hoop Lounge

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Memorable birthday! Instead of going out to dinner or pigging out on cake, Tod & I played a show at Hoop Lounge. We were in a terrific line-up of acts that included a diablo player, a performance artist, and a Cirque du Soleil dancer/clown. Backstage was warm and chatty as we got to know one another.

I performed on my birthday because I wanted to promote our upcoming Guru-guru Camp activities. We sang the song that we'll use in the video Rob is making at camp. Stars is one of my favorite Sophie Madeleine songs. I love the delicate sound of Tod's toy xylophone in this one.

My horrible stage fright wasn't so horrible this time, though you will note a look of relief on my face after we finish. At least there is no terror on my face while we are playing. I am feeling more confident about making music and that helps keep the worst of the jitters at bay.

A Hoop Lounge performance isn't right without a little hooping in the act, so I combined skills to sing, play and hoop all at once. It is not as easy as walking and chewing gum at the same time; I've been trying and failing at this for months. It felt triumphant to get it working here. This Roger Miller song was perfect for some new Tokyo-specific lyrics, too. And an elephant reference...

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