Monday, December 28, 2009

It's Polkapocalyptic!



One of the cool perks of being a traveling belly dancer is meeting and performing with musicians from all over the world. When I was in Berlin, I performed at the Phoney Island Cabaret with the Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band- a gypsy punk band from New Zealand. One thing led to another (as these things usually do), and I was asked to dance in their music video.
The name of the song? Polkapocalyptic. The theme for the video? Drunken gypsy party. With that combination, I thought mayhem would ensue. Would we actually get drunk for the video? Would there really be a polkapocalypse? And how gypsy were we talking? Because I'm pretty much your standard white girl.
However, my wild imagination was calmed upon entering the studio/house. We were shooting on a green screen, and would be shot one at a time. And there was no alcohol available (much to my dismay), so the drunkenness would only be pretend (as it turns out, I make a pretty good fake drunk).
Shooting on a green screen is a little bizarre. Green screens are BRIGHT green and kind of cushy. Meaning that my complexion looked horrible and my feet stuck to the floor. Not so flattering for a belly dancer.
Dancing to the music was a little awkward, too. First, I had to dance to the music at half tempo. And then at double tempo. And finally, at normal tempo. I liked double tempo the best. Nothing like getting your shimmy on!
Despite the awkwardness of the glaring lights, the green screen, and having to pretend I was surrounded by drunken gypsies, I pulled the whole thing off quite well. Everyone did. There were four other dancers who also performed: modern, contemporary, and free-style. As a belly dancer, I ended up being the most gypsy of them all- go figure.
The video was shot and produced by Sumone Productions and they did a fantastic job. The drunken gypsy bit is just a small part of the finished product; who would have thought that thirty seconds took four hours to shoot?
Wanna see the video for yourself? Check it out: polkapocalyptic but be prepared for an acid trip down the rabbit hole.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santarchy


In San Francisco, Christmas is very much like Halloween; it’s an excuse to party and to indulge in varying levels of weirdness. Decorations are put up, parties are thrown, people hand out candy, and people dress up in costumes and run around the city in them. San Franciscans love pushing the envelope.
I was eating a vanilla ├ęclair at Thorough Bread (if you haven’t yet been to this bakery, hurry up and go, before they take down the life-size Christmas tree that’s made entirely of bread) on Church St. the other day when I saw a group of Santas pass by the window. Ten minutes later and another group of Santas- this one all women and conveying more of a naughty Santa them- sauntered by. Later, I saw another Santa gang at Burger Meister (and keeping with the Christmas spirit, they let me pose with them for a picture), and throngs of Santas parading through the sidewalks, yelling “Merry Christmas!” and swaggering as if they were half in the bag (they probably were).
I finally asked a fishnet wearing Santa’s helper, “Why all the Santas?”
“Santarchy,” she replied. Of course. Makes perfect sense. This was San Francisco, after all.
“No force on Earth can stop one hundred Santas!” is the official slogan on the Santarchy (also known as “Santacon”) website. And it turns out that there are cities out there that are just as crazy as San Francisco when it comes to Christmas: over three dozen cities were listed as Santarchy hosts worldwide.
So, what is Santarchy exactly? It’s pretty simple- just a mob of Santas, creating some light Christmas mayhem, including mock Santa assassinations, snowball fights, bar hopping, and singing Christmas carols in a pitch no one wants to hear. The date for the event is listed on the website and anyone wanting to their city to be involved simply needs to plan on donning a Santa outfit and let the web coordinators know.
Santarchy seemed like a lot of fun. My only regret was no having heard about the event- or else I would have gladly paraded about in a Santa outfit myself.
www.santarchy.com for more info

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Don't Call Me Blondie!


They say that blondes have more fun. (Who is this “they” anyway?). I’ve decided to find out for myself. After bleaching my hair three times, I’m finally passable as a blonde (albeit a fake one). I couldn’t go all the way, though, so the under layer of my hair is black. But no one notices that; it’s all about the blonde!
Have I noticed any differences? Am I having more fun? I am getting hit on more lately. But I’ve also recently become obsessed with cute knee-high and thigh-high socks. So, it could be either the socks or the hair. A guy walked by the other day and said, “Rockin’ socks!” with lust in his eyes. Guys really love girls in cute socks. I get it; I like girls in cute socks, too.
However, I do feel more like a porn star in bed now- but that’s because there are so many images of blonde porn stars in my head. Yes, I associate blondes with porn, just like the rest of you! Shame on me, I know, but now I’m in the blonde club, so I can get away with it.
Really, I was just getting tired of having brown hair. It took me years to grow out the black that was in my hair, and after only two months of being my natural color, I got bored. I tend to get bored easily, as you can see. I usually dye my hair black- so much that it’s way too predictable now.
So, blonde it is. And I like it. I feel a little edgier now, as if a part of my personality is represented by my hair. I felt the same way when I had dreads. No need to explain who I was- the dreads said it all! (Unfortunately, they said “hippy”, but we don’t need to go there.)
I think my blonde/black combo says “edgy, adventurous, flirty, fun, daring“. It might also say “easy”, but I’m hoping my hair keeps its mouth shut on that one.
The only downside to being a blonde? Getting called “blondie”. So many creepy, dirty, filthy guys have called me “blondie” since I dyed my hair. Shudder. I really don’t want to know what’s going through their minds, but since I associate blondes with porn stars, I can only guess.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow in the Grapevine



There is a pass in the mountains between Bakersfield and Santa Barbara called the “Grapevine”; the pass is twisted and curvy like a grapevine. And it snows there in the wintertime, much to the delight of Wilson’s niece and nephew. We were driving back from Bakersfield last weekend when the kids saw the snow. I remembered how exciting the first snowfall was when I was a kid, but these kids were getting really excited. They wanted us to pull over on the freeway just so they could touch the snow! I mean, snow was a big deal when I was a kid, but not that big of a deal. Well, it turns out that they had never touched snow before. I guess that’s growing up in Southern California for you (but don’t get me wrong, I love Southern California).
When I was a child, growing up in Canada, we would always make a snowman right after the first snowfall. It was a tradition. Even if we had to scrape all of the snow off the yard just to make a snowball. This resulted in some dirty looking snowmen- all covered in dirt and with sticks and grass poking out.
We decided to pull over on the Grapevine. There was an off-ramp and a little side road, so it was okay. And once again, the snow was scraped off the ground, right down to the dirt, to make a snowman. Only, there really wasn’t that much snow, and the snowman ended up being only six inches high. But hey, you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.
The ride home was spent singing and listening to Christmas carols, and eating peppermint chews. I never thought that Southern California could remind me so much of home.