Yes, it's been four short days, but this week has felt much shorter!! Too much to do and not enough time!!
I spent the better part of Friday at AM2, the anime, manga and music convention in Anaheim. Dancing with the pirates was a wash, but I did enjoy looking at all the art and cool merchandise. Plus, I got to catch J-pop artist Kaoru Enjoji on stage. She is as beautiful as her music! Kaoru plays keyboard and sings in English and Japanese and was really great. She has a lovely voice that keeps you listening and wanting to hear more. Check her out at http://www.kaoruenjoji.com/
On Saturday, my mom and I met with friends at the Ahmanson in LA to see "Les Miserables." It was a very good show with some amazing scenery and staging. The costumes were perfect and the cast was terrific. I'll admit, I even cried near the end-- I won't tell you which scene, as that might ruin the show if you plan to go, but once you see it, you'll know.
After the play, we sat out by the fountain as we let the traffic leaving the parking lot die down. Then my mom and I went for dinner. We ended up having breakfast, though! Ha ha ha!
Sunday, I was back at AM2 to perform as Nocturra & Friends. I had Fred on Native American flute and other woodwinds, Joyce on madolin and percussion and Joanne on violin and percussion and they were wonderful. The trio played an intro piece to let people know something was happening at the stage and then played not only my dance music, but pieces in between to keep the show going. They were so good that the soundman invited them to play an extra song when we had finished our set!
I danced with my swords, as well as a fan and veil. Near the end of our show, I went through the audience, dancing at the tables and people began tipping me! I was surprised and pleased because obviously they were enjoying us. But the best part was my back has finally loosened up after nearly a year and I was able to do some moves that I had to shelve- YAY!
My friend Byron showed up in time to catch our performance and after we wandered through the vendors. I found a katana (samurai sword) at a very good price. I've been looking for one to work into my dancing. It had nice balance and weight, so I bought it. Now, to figure out what I want to do with it....
I must add that after my set there was a talented trio called Poel~ here's what their lead musician, Poel Hikaru told me:
"The project is called Poel. I try to feature some great musicians every time we play. The bass player's name is Masa Nishimura, and he plays bass in a band called The Electric Starfish. The drummer's name in Raanen Bozzio, and he is the leader of a hard rock band that we're trying to put together, but meanwhile, he is kind enough to play for my solo material. He is the son of Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons, etc.).
"As far as Poel goes, I'm trying to incorporate world music, especially contemporary Japanese pops and bossa nova, but I love all types of world music."
You can find Poel the artist on Facebook.
I eventually left AM2 for Carin and Tom's house. They had invited me to stay over and celebrate the 4th with them. Byron came too and we had a mixed lunch of salmon and cream cheese on bagel chips, chips and guacamole and macadamia nuts. We went swimming in the pool, soaked in the hot tub and then sat by the fire ring cooking bratwurst dogs. It was a nice day.
The neighborhood rooster woke me up at 4:30 a.m. and apparently he woke up all the birds around too, as the morning was quickly filled with birdsong. I managed to go back to sleep and wake up later at a more normal time. I did my exercises, got dressed and sat in the garden reading for a while before Carin was ready to start our day.
She grilled chicken and corn on the cob for our early lunch, setting off a few firecrackers as we waited. Again we swam and hot tubbed. As darkness fell, we took chairs out to the front yard so we could watch the fireworks and do sparklers. I still can't get over all the fireworks in Carin and Tom's area-- it was as good if not better than the Rose Bowl. And not only did I miss waiting two hours to get out of the parking lot, I got to eat ice cream!
Wednesday I went with Mike Davis to review Wheel Food Wednesday at Jones Coffee Roaster in Pasadena. Owner Chuck gave us a mini-workshop on coffee followed by a tasting, which was interesting. The only thing I didn't like was having to slurp and spit the coffee during the tasting, as I'm not very good at either, but I did my best.
Mike and I also sampled Indian food from the No Tomatoes! truck and it was surprisingly good. I felt that their chef had captured the tastes of India well. You'll be able to read more on that soon.
Speaking of reading, Harry Potter fans will want to learn about the new exhibit opening tomorrow at Nucleus Gallery in Alhambra and western swing lovers will want to see Carolyn Martin at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena Thursday. Learn more by reading my stories at http://www.sgvn.com/
This weekend I'll be back with Carin and Tom to take in Estouric's Black Dahlia tour (http://www.esotouric.com/ ) and all the beauty the Huntington (http://www.huntington.org/ ) in San Marino has to offer.
In rotation this week: Manisha Shahane and more of Bob Davis' CD mix.
Photos we got 'em: Pretty skimpy, but satisfying. A photo of Poel on stage (cute AND talented, need I say more??) and a strange animal shot from the Web.
Thought o' the week: Keep cool. It's hot, hot, hot and tempers are also on fire. I have noticed that everyone is more aggressive and angry than usual- from the supermarket to the highway. I guess the temperatures are getting the better of them. Don't let this happen to you!
Find ways to beat the heat, especially if you don't have air conditioning at home. You can visit your library and spend a day reading, go to an art gallery or museum, find a nice shady spot at the park, and so on. Be creative. Also make sure to keep hydrated so you don't get sick.
Keep cool, baby, and
Keep on rockin'