Monday, November 30, 2009

Break Dancing... Yep you read that right.

Friday night my FI and I started our 4 week Break Dance session. We were half an hour late because of the crappy weather (more on this later), so that wasn't a great start. There's only 3 of us in the class, so on a good note, they waited for us before starting.
Our instructor is awesome. He's so mellow and fun! We learned a bunch of 'top rock' moves (basically floor work) and a one stab (stall I guess is another word for it) We did things across the floor to practice them. Super fun since that's how I remember learning things in dance years ago. We practiced things slowly and then sped them up. Once we had a few moves, he put together a combination that we'll be adding onto each week. I love it! Definately need to practice though.

Now, the crappy weather. Freezing rain/snow from early Friday afternoon well into the night. My regular 10 - 15 minute drive to the dance studio took an hour. We went the equivalent of 2 blocks in 20 minutes. We thought we'd take a shortcut to the spot I always park in and avoid some traffic. Little did I know... the short cut involved a large hill (this didn't show on google maps sadly) that we couldn't get up. Eventually we parked at the bottom of this giant hill, walked the 6 blocks to the studio and hoped we would be able to get out of our prediciment after class.  We found a less steep hill and made it out that way, but what a nightmare! There are some people saying it took them 5 hours to go what is normally an hour drive about mid evening.
Thank goodness everyone we know was ok and made it to wherever they were going. I'd rather have 4 feet of snow, that an inch of ice.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Personal Image Branding

Today I attended a seminar on Personal Image Branding. It was basically about how you dress can make a difference in people's first impressions of you. It was very imformative and I enjoyed the talk, but I left feeling a little deflated.

I believe that one should dress according to their comfort level, their job, and the people they will see that day. Obviously if you have a meeting with an executive, you would wear a more professional outfit than when you are sitting in your office all day. I also believe that ones personal style should be brought out. Either with an accessory, or something else.

The handout we received was great and informative and broke down attire into categories. Executive, Professional, Informal and Relaxed.  After reading the categories and reading the things that 'undermine your business credibility' I found that I am in the Informal category when I consider myself 'dressed up' and on a regular day, I'd be in the Relaxed category.

Today, I decided that I would wear something I consider nice and add an accent to show my personality. I have long grey sweater, with elbow length sleeves and a cowel neckline, with a black belt at the waist, black thick tights, and my red pumps. I can pull the look off (I've been told) and yes, I realize it's not in the 'professional' level, but it I would consider it high in the business casual area. According to the 'do nots', I should never wear leggings, and besides my shoes being red (heaven forbid), they are also open-toed.

I woke up this morning, picked out my clothes, and looked in the mirror before I left for work and thought I looked very good. A step-up from wearing pants and a t-shirt. I'm not a suit person. I think they look stuffy, and pompous, however some people can pull it off and look amazing. From a comfort level, I don't feel comfortable in them, and that shows through. According to the levels of clothing people wear, the dull black/grey suit, black shoes, and white shirt will command the greatest respect.

You may gain respect but is it the right kind? I'm afraid of people in power suits and don't find them friendly on first impression. I stay away from them because my first impression is that they have a dull personality, and no sense of fun. I don't live like that, and I would hate for people to view me that way.

Just some ramblings, I guess my style of dress won't take me higher, but I am true to myself, enjoy what I wear, and feel comfortable and confident. That's what should really matter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2 more photographer viewings

We've already met with 3 photographers and ranked them according to our preferences for style and price. This week we see the last 2 that were on our list of 5 to go meet with.  Tuesday and Friday are the days we'll go. I'm looking forward to going and seeing what they have to offer.  We have a basic idea, but there are always more questions to ask in person, and being able to see their finished products is a great way to help make decisions.
Out of the 3 we've already seen, we have one in mind we both like. The rest of the meetings have basically been a comparison to that one.
Once we're done meeting and deciding on a photographer, we'll pretty well be done any planning until after January.  There will be little things we can think about, and research that can be done online, but there won't be any meetings until after January.
That's one perk of having a long engagement. Everything can be spread out and we can take our time. I enjoy having the time in between planning bits to actually have a life. Wedding stuff doesn't take over everything. it's secondary now, and that's a good thing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last Level 6 class

Last night was my last class of level 6 pole. I now know the entire routine and can do it. I've even managed to put it to songs other than the one we learned it to. I learned a few new moves, and learned a few new combinations that I can use in other routines. It was really nice to have a class where we learn to put things together that we learned in previous levels.  Up next?

Friday I start break dance class with my fiance. It's 4 weeks and should be a blast.  I think we'll have a great time laughing and having fun. I like that it's something we can do together.

Next Monday, I start level 7 pole. It's an awesome format since we do 3 weeks before Christmas, break for 2 weeks, and then have 3 weeks in January. Makes it easy for everyone to take class and still have a holiday.

So I'm advancing, getting stronger and loving every minute! Pole is so wonderful for the mind and body. It certainly is a nice pick me up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Updates on life

This weekend was an accomplishing things weekend. I got a lot done and felt great going to bed last night knowing that I got so much done and still have relaxation time.

Christmas shopping is just about done. I have a few more gifts to buy and a few things to send in the mail. Christmas cards are just about done, I just need to get some addresses.  I've started my Christmas baking already. I've got two types of treats so far. I'll need to make another batch of each of those and still make another type of treat. I'm noticing a trend though... it's chocolate. lol Sorry peeps, can't give the recipes. They are from my FI's mom and therefore secret ;)  My FI and I survived the 'putting up Christmas lights' test. They just go around our garage and to the entrance of the house. Nothing big, but for our first Christmas in the house, it's a start.

We booked our vacation for January finally.  Heading down the Caymans to meet my FI's nephew... officially. We've met him via Skype several times, but now we'll get to hold him :) That's one thing to look forward as well as lots of sunshine, scuba diving, snorkling and food!

As for relaxation, we went for a massage and were turned into butter, then spent the evening watching "The Tudors" I borrowed the first season from the library. It's very good so far. I don't think it will take us long to get through the first season.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another great photographer meeting

Last night we met with another photographer, Tait Photography. When we first looked at their pricing, we thought wow, they are more than the rest of the top 5. However, once we met, we realized how much we get with each package. The albums are beautiful! Much larger than we thought at first, and certainly amazing work. They cover everything from when I am putting my dress on, to the last event of the evening.

I was very pleased with the personalities. My FI seemed very at ease with the two photographers. He asked a lot of questions and was more involved than at the previous meetings. Their style of photos is also something we both like.

Now we have two that we like a lot. This will make it a little more difficult to choose.

I'm very happy that things are coming along nicely. I love that we aren't bogged down with wedding stuff weekly. Spreading things out to suit our life is fabulous. Wedding stuff doesn't take over, which is how it should be, in my opinion.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Performance Success

Friday night I was onstage for Polejunkies performing the level 6 routine. Originally I was supposed to perform it along side another student. When I arrived at the show, there was only one stage, so all my fretting about getting all the moves down was not needed. Ended up peforming the routine by myself.

I was so nervous before getting up there. Not because there were people watching, I've done that before through years of dance. More because I didn't want to mess up. I wanted to show the level 6 routine off as best I could to bring in more students for the studio. I wanted to entice people to come and learn pole dancing and show it as fitness.

I had to improvise a little as I forgot to do a transition here or there. I also found I did a lot of the moves too fast and got ahead of the music.  Thank goodness I've done performances where I've winged the whole thing.  I can think of my feet while I'm up there. Very handy.

After getting over the first performance, I will hopefully do this again next year when the show comes around. I'll make sure to get more practice time and prepare a little better though. Lessons learned :D

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wrist Sit - Nemesis

I have now found my nemesis in pole. The Wrist Sit.

We've just learned it in level 4, and I can't quite manage to get it down consistently. Up until last night's class, I was unable to hold it for more than a second before I started spinning and losing my grip with my top hand.

After much debate the week before with the girls in my class, my instructor took some time in class to figure out what was wrong with me.  I thought the problem was with my top hand not being in the right place. We tried different ways of gripping, but nothing seemed to help me be in the pose long. Then I explained where I put my hand underneath me to create the anchor. That seemed to make the difference.  I wasn't creating enough of an anchor underneath myself with my wrist (hence the wrist sit) and it was causing me to move and spin.

I managed to do the sit several times in class last night, failures and successes abound.  Now that I know what the issue is, I will definitely be working on that so I don't have to think about it as much.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Writing your own Obituary

I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but I'm currently in the RCIA process. I'm converting to be a Catholic. The RCIA has classes every week to teach us about the Church, Faith and help us to learn what Catholicism is about. There are some bad classes where I learn nothing, some good classes where I learn a great deal, and then there are the interesting classes that are cause for discussion.

Last night was one of those last types of classes. We were talking about Purgatory and how once we die, we face judgement and we can not do anything from that point on to change the time it will take for us to be purified and enter Heaven.

 A friend and fellow blogger was blogging on the Gestalt Therapy/Theory. She was having a hard time understanding how useful it was to have people write what would be on their epitaph and how that could lead to writing your own obituary. The thought of that made her uneasy.  I had to chuckle in class last night, because that's exactly what we were asked to do.

So here is what I wrote off the top of my head in class last night. We only had about 8 minutes to write it.
We were to answer these questions:
When were you born/died? What was the cause of your death? Who survived you? What will you be most remembered for? What was your biggest regret?

Born 1985, died 2082 of old age. She is survived by her husband, 3 children, 7 grandchildren and many great grandchildren.  She will be remembered most for her generousity to loved ones. The way her smile would light up a room. Her passion for life never ceased to inspire those she loved, those who met her, and those she did not know.  She always said her greatest regret was not keeping in touch with those who passed through her life. She focused her efforts to teach her children never to forget the memories that their lives have created.

I do not have children yet, and the date was picked randomly. A lot of people in my class wrote "in God's hands"  My "most remembered for" are the things that I truly hope I accomplish in my life.  Aside from the money I make, the career I have, the differences I might make and be recognized for, I truly hope that I will be remembered for the love I have for others.  My "greatest regret" is something I feel now. It's a reminder to myself to keep in better touch with people and make a better effort to show them I care.

The exercise was interesting, and I think I found it easier since I am still in the beginnings of my life and have my whole life ahead of me to make those things happen or not. It's up to me to think about what is really going to matter in the end.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Photographer Meetings

We are now into meeting with photographers. In the city, that's the next thing one should book since they are very busy.

We met with As I See It Photography last night. They showed us some slideshows with different amounts of coverage (with/without reception) of two entire weddings.  It's one thing to see all the photos online, since those are normally the best ones. It's another to see a wedding from start to finish.  It certainly gave us a jumping off point. A benchmark for the rest of our meetings for sure.

I think one of the biggest things we will find is how well we get along with the photographers and how comfortable we are.  FI and I felt comfortable in our meeting last night. We also had a lot of questions answered. What does the album look like? There were 4 examples for us when we got there. What sorts of prints? Those were there too.

It was great to have everything answered and give us a point where we can start doing comparisons and make a good choice. I'm excited for the rest of our meetings. Four more this month and then I believe we'll be able to make a decision.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pole Performance

I was discussing the upcoming performances Polejunkies will be doing at a convention here in Calgary next weekend.  Since the best way to promote is to get students to perform, I offered to do the level 6 routine that I am currently learning.

I'm excited and a little nervous. Much less nervous now that I get to use a pre-coreographed dance. I can wing things easily, but I am horrible at putting moves together and having it planned out.  My brain doesn't function well that way. I would need a lot of notice to come up with something to a song and have it made up before going on stage.  You'd think that wouldn't be a problem from all my years of dance training in other genres.

So for the next week, I will be parking myself in my basement and getting this level 6 routine down pat.  There is one move I still cannot do and I've already told my instructor for performance, I will be taking it out and putting something else in. No sense trying to do a move I haven't gotten more than once and risk falling and embarrasing both myself and PJ's.