May this be better

Oh dear blog readers.   Yup, here I go writing again.  But this time I make no promises to write everyday or about all that I do.  Clearly, my personal goal to try and live in the moment and my full time busy work schedule takes away from my time to sit quietly in bed and write long posts.

Instead, as I near my 2 year New York-iversary, I’ve decided to post at least once a week… and for a while I have a feeling there will be a lot of catching up on past events.

Oh there are so many things I want to share.  But as I am chillin in the living room with a nice Riesling, take-out, and Mulan (oh, and 2 silly cats), I can’t write it all now.

So I’ll let you know what I want to share with you in the days to come: HALF MARATHON!!  like I ran one and it was amazing.  Job promotion… and ALL the things that come with that… ugh.  City adventures, new friends, and new goals.  I’m sure there will be some personal venting and all that good stuff, but all in due time.

This is what I will leave you with— April 19th (Yes, also the same day of my first Half Marathon) marked 1 year to that date that I have been living, deciding, and surviving on my own.  Never knowing where you will be sleeping tomorrow night makes having a safe, cozy, beautiful home so much more amazing.  I can see how much I have grown in that time and where I haven’t.  But mostly to never give up on and stay true to yourself.

<3always, Christiane

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Badass Ass

I’ve been away. I know. I’m sorry! But I’ve been busy sense I’ve been away. So I suppose it’s alright. I hope you agree.

Short and sweet today, just something that’s been on my mind– my hind quarter, rear, butt, behind, gluteus maximus, booty, back side, ass.

I’ve always known I had one (obviously) but I’ve never really put of much focus on it. I’ve always been told I, “have a nice booty for a white girl”… In recent weeks however, my roommates and friends have commented on it– “what a great ass you have”, and “I want a butt like yours”!
This has drawn my attention to my back-side and just being a bad ass in general. LOL!

I go glut work in Pilates and of course I run, but I’m not in the gym working on my ass every day. It’s just there, a nice addition… not a focus.

What I find interesting is the attention and focus others put on it. If my behind is a motivation to get yours in shape, OK I guess that’s great! If it’s something you are staring at, I’m NOT Ok with that and believe me I’ll slug you in the face!

Yes- sometimes I feel like a badass… changing the topic and the use of ass real quick.
“WHY?” you may ask… well for starters I recently registered for 2 half marathons in the spring and started on a 12 week training plan. That’s pretty cool! And I’m slowly growing as a Pilates teacher, with 2 standing clients, the potential for a class, and a lot more knowledge then before. I have been running (duh) but not retreating to the gym all the time cause of the cold and the snow… no no, I’ve been running outside- dressed appropriately- and last week did a quick 6 miles in Central Park between jobs just cause!

If those things don’t make me feel pretty awesome and badass I don’t know what would. I am seriously looking forward to continuing on my path to these half marathons and hope to have a huge cheering section for me!! hahaha! Otherwise, I’m doing me. Not trying to be a version of me that is forced or manicured (although my nails are a wreck at the moment) or striving to be perfect for someone else. Am I lonely… sure… but am I unhappy… overall NO. That’s all for another post at a later date. And of course there will be training updates and pictures galore!

Till then- comment, share, like, follow, tweet, etc! stay warm and strong.

lovealways, christiane

The Computer Tech in Me

The  computer tech in me has long been dormant.  A memory. A different person in a distant past.  But she has recently, ie in the past 48 hours, come out of hiding and wreaked havoc.. actually worked magic… at work.

Ok Christiane, what in the world are you talking about?   Oh where do I even begin?  I’ll backtrack briefly.  In high school I had to, like so many other kids, take computer class.  But at an arts school we didn’t just learn how to type and what search terms to plug into Google to find accurate information.  Oh no no!  We were learning coding and creating web pages.  Studying 2D and 3D art and animation.  Practicing photo manipulation.  Oh, and I teamed up with another designer and the Yearbook staff to do all the graphic design for the final book.  I had friends who would take apart and rebuild their computers just for fun on a rainy afternoon and who could design you a business card in seconds.

I’ve always been tech savvy and great at following directions and solving puzzles.  I mean, I was offered a position with Apple company… I know SOMETHING about my computers.  I’m always the one in the family who can trouble shoot, upload, upgrade, install, export, backup, and when i have no idea… call tech support and have some idea of what they are talking about!  haha.

What does any of this have to do with anyway?  Well, at work we just had the floors replaced in our lobby and offices… that means all the desks had to be moved to storage… and that means that everything had to be taken off the desks… and that means the computers had to be all pulled apart and moved.  And THEN someone (me) had to put them all pack together.  Doesn’t sound all that difficult… except when your technology is getting on in years and is about as organized as rats nest.  Actually, the power cables, either cords, phone lines, and goodness knows what else reminded me of a rats nest tangled in a massive cobweb.

Yes, it was bad.  and Yes, I was tasked with untangling and reassembling all the computers and phones in the studio.  You can just see it now– there I am sitting on the floor in a pile of cables and cords and monitors and hard drives. Crawling into, under, and around desks and chairs and cabinets. And did I do it?  Oh yes I did.  I got 6 computers and phones plugged in, powered up, and online almost before anyone knew what hit them!

Ok Christiane… you are blowing this up, big time.  It’s not that hard to plug a power strip into the wall and turn it on.  Oh boy, do I wish that’s all it took.  Yes, plugging the mouse and keyboard with USB plugs into USB ports on their given devices isn’t rocked science (ok, none of this is rocket science)… but wiring a computer at 6am without coffee and hoping you are plugging that important looking… but unlabeled code, into the correct router port… can be well, stressful and intimidating.

But the short of this story is… well… that i got all the computers and phones set up and online and it was so smooth!  Ok… on the first one I did fun into some issues… but once I figured out what I was dealing with, the rest was cake.  And oh wasn’t it a precious moment when I my boss walked into the lobby and it looked like the computers had never been removed from the room.  Yes, what was a glorious moment indeed.

I love playing with technology.  Really, you can’t mess it up to much.  Something doesn’t work, try plugging it into something else.  Tome computer (usually) won’t bite you and you are (usually) much bigger then it.  Don’t show your fear and it will respect you.  LOL!!

I’m such a techie at heart… and maybe in a former life I really was a computer tech.  But for now, I’m the computer queen of the yoga studio and honestly, very proud of myself for that!

Anyway, just a story I wanted to share tonight.  I wish I had taken pictures of what I had to deal with… but just keep that rat’s nest-cobweb image in your head and thing how frustrated and overwhelmed you get when you can’t untangle a knot in your shoe string or a ball of yarn or your favorite necklace chain… and you will know what i was up against.

Share your story!  🙂

lovealways, christiane

I’d Read Your Blog If…

You went to France!!

That’s what my boss said to me a few weeks ago in regards to reading blogs in general.
And of course it got me thinking- What do people read about? What is found interesting or intriguing? Of my personal posts, I’ve discovered that posts regarding my relationship struggles or specific New York City experiences get the most attention. Of course these are posts that I sometimes feel are beating a subject into the ground or just fussing… whereas posts about my dance or running go by seemingly unnoticed, and of course those I thought would be interesting and unique.

Which led me to wonder what kind of blogs, if any, people spend time reading?! I’ll be honest, I seldom read a blog consistently. That’s not to say I haven’t… just not often. Usually the blogs I read are those of my friends when they are traveling or embarking on some new adventure that I want to keep tabs on. I have been better at reading posts from the various blogs I’m following… but really should do more it I want to be an active member of the blogging community.

Which leads me to the point of this post– what do you all (my followers and readers) enjoy hearing about? What do you enjoy reading?

When I set out on this blog extravaganza it was because I was setting out on my New York adventure and I wanted to stay in touch with everyone. Of course that fell off the grid but I’m pretty serious about keeping this up now, so tell me what you might like to hear about!!

And please continue to share, follow, comment, like, or just read!

lovealways, christiane

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors: NYC Subway Culture

Happy Sunday everyone!  My New York people, are you out enjoying the weather? To quote the New York Times,   “unseasonably warm”– but I’m totally OK with it!

If you’ve even lived in or been to New York City and traveled by subway, I’m sure you will be able to relate to this post. Underground is a whole different culture, playing by it’s own set of rules, with it’s own set of problems and frustrations.

As someone who lives here and travels by train several times a day, I’ve seen a lot of strange and annoying things… and I’ve smelled even stranger. I thought a piece on “train culture” would be interesting and would give me a chance to share some of my top favorite train experiences.

Mostly, it’s all about the people. Sure, sometimes the MTA system screws you over and never tells you your train will be out of service or running local when it should be express. Or you get stuck in a tunnel without cell service- so you can’t tell your boss you are gonna be late for that important meeting… but some of that wouldn’t be so bad if you were just able to sit in piece and deal with it alone. Instead, you are surrounded by people, tons of strangers… all trying to get to someplace.

The weather, the time of day, the temperature outside and inside the car, all of these affect the commute and the people on the train. I’ve seen full out fights start because people won’t move into the center of a car and someone else can’t get in, so they push and shove and piss someone off.

It’s not always bad, thank goodness. When men stand and offer their seat to women, when someone holds the door cause they see you running to the train, those that you share a moment with when there is a crazy homeless person on a screaming rant and the train has stalled out in the tunnels. Remember that post a few weeks ago, “OH the 1 Train”? While I seriously disliked having to stand and have that guy hit on me the whole commute, the girl I ended up chatting with later and the other passengers who shared in a laugh at my facial expression was very fun.

Usually though, as soon as you descend down those stairs underground, the rules all change. We fight for seats, we push and shove to get into a crowded car, and we all deal with annoying things. Here are some of my favorite subway irritating moments… at least to date. Pictures and “definitions” are all mine… as are the titles themselves for that matter.

The Poll Hog:

Definition: Leaning a large portion of one’s body on the center polls that are meant to over a place for multiple people to hold onto when standing on a moving train and offer stability so one does not fall and the train lurches down the tunnels.

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I only understand this one when the train is nearly empty or you are the only one standing. But when you are one of many on a crowded train—DON’T LEAN!! Suddenly there is so many fewer options for everyone else to find a place to hold onto. I’ve been one of 10 people holding onto one poll before, but in the blink of an eye, one person can hog a whole spot and the rest of us might just be outta luck. I don’t know what makes some people feel so entitled as to do this!

The Leg Spreader/ The seat Hog

Definition: Taking up more then one seat per-person. For men, most often accomplished by sitting with legs spread. For women, most often accomplished by allowing ones purse to have a seat of it’s own.

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I’m sorry if it’s uncomfortable, or you really don’t fit in the seat, or you don’t want to keep your personal belongings in your personal space… but you don’t need 2 seats on the train. What? You don’t want someone sitting next to you… or you think you are better then everyone else and you need more space? Oh GET OVER YOURSELF!! It’s rude, it’s also unslightly. And then glare when someone brave enough comes over and squeezes in. In a city where everyone thinks they are entitled either because of who they are wearing, what they do, what they Don’t do, how old they are, and on and on… it’s almost expected, but totally annoying. And I know, it the spots were reverse and I were taking up 2 seats… well, it wouldn’t last long!

The Chicken Wing

Definition: Someone who holds onto the bars and totally forgets where their elbow is… or that they have one at all? Or that it MAY be in someone else’s face! So it reminds me of something like a chicken wing, just flappin’ around wherever.

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I experienced this one for the first time last week. It’s early on a Tuesday morning on a packed train, and I’m sitting in my seat (totally minding my own business) maybe falling asleep every few minutes… when I open my eyes and just a meer 4 inches away from my noise is some mans hairy elbow! Like it’s RIGHT THERE! And shift of my head, his body, or the train will send it smack right in my face! What got me was that the whole trip, he never seemed to notice how close his arm was to me or that I couldn’t move. This could have been remedied if he chose to pull his arm closer to himself, hold the bar a little higher, or angle himself another direction. As it was, I get this great picture and stayed awake the rest of the trip!

At Crotch Level

Definition: I think the name really says it all.

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These are the people who stand right in front of your seat (if you are sitting) and don’t bother to angle their bodies or hold on the to bar with one hand and turn sideways… NO, they stand square in front of you and we… if you are sitting your eyes usually fall right at crotch level. Then of course, as the train rocks and rolls down the tracks, they may swing closer or further from your face. Mostly it’s just awkward and uncomfortable. I understand, you have to stand, I’ve been there. It’s totally cool (but I’m glad to be sitting) just, like, I don’t want to be looking there for the next hour of my commute!

The Screamers… and all those Loud Talkers

Definition: People who treat the train car like their own personal living room. They talk, fight, laugh (cackle), scream, cry… or don’t stop their bratty children from screaming and crying… and don’t for one moment seem to care if it’s bothering every single other person stuck on the train with them.

I have had to look away or close my eyes and restrain myself from glaring at so many people, or worse- from saying anything. Especially mothers with screaming children who act like it’s totally fine that their child is crying at the top of it’s lungs and make no effort to silence them. This is about as bad as the adults who carry on for the whole world to hear. Don’t you care about your privacy at all? I mean, even if you don’t… just shut up! Or use your indoor voices! It’s not that hard and it makes the whole time on the train so much better for everyone.

These are some of my favorites… that are funny, worthy of a definition, and that I can get a pretty good picture of. The list of annoying, frustrating, and unique things on the trains also include, but is not limited too: the incredibly smelly, the drunk, the good the bad and the ugly musicians, the dancers (yes, like the kids who blast music and take up the whole isle to dance and usually hit someone in the face), the starers, and the napping (those lovely people who fall asleep and tip onto their neighboring passenger).

There is always something interesting

What have you encountered on a NYC train?  Anything fun that you’d like to share, please comment!  As always- follow, share, like, comment, etc!  and Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @NYChristiane

love always,  Christiane

Sharing is Scary Part 2: “Solo” in Progress

Happy Friday fabulous readers!

As promised, I’m continuing to work on and share dance performance and choreography. In this post I’m featuring the first rehearsal footage of a brand new piece I’m working on. This solo, untitled to date, is being performed by yours truly at the moment. I have always feared sharing a piece when is it still very much in progress, because things will change, be added or taken away, and people don’t always take well to seeing mistakes. However, I want to keep working on this piece and I feel like I will be more motivated if I have an audience to share it with. This is also helping me overcome my reservations and hesitations of sharing my original work.  (the link is at the bottom of the post… in hopes that you will read the post then watch the piece!)

 

With this piece being in progress, I thought I would talk a little about the many aspects and pieces that come together to begin work on a piece of choreography, at least as it applies to me. Each dancer and choreographer has their own process and method of working, so do not define the “choreographers way” as what I’m about to talk about… this is just my way.

 

MUSIC

Music is an important, but not totally crucial aspect for dance performance. Many pieces are done with and without music, sometimes the dancers know the track before getting onstage, other times it may be a game of chance. Some choreographers prefer not to use music with lyrics, not wanting the movement or the audience’s perception of the movement to be affected by the preexisting tone of the music.

Personally, I like to choreograph with my music already chosen. I don’t mind pieces with lyrics, but I’ll usually look for one that will compliment the style, movement and “story” of my dance. Often, when I hear a piece of music, I can already start to see the movement come to life in my head… this is how I know it’s something I want to work with. However, it’s not always the first piece of music that ends up fitting for a piece of dance. For this solo, I had chosen a very different piece of music, one that was very personal to me, and would fir well with the track for “Shaded Blue”… but at this time I was not motivated as I should be, to choreograph to it.   The piece I ended up choosing, “Elements” by Lindsay Stirling (check out her site and music!), found me. It came on a co-workers Pandora Radio station on day and I was hooked.  I could feel the creative juices starting to flow and I wanted to start creating right there in the middle of work… I know this was a piece I had to work with.

 

MOVEMENT

I like to create and set movement that is comfortable in my body. If I’m working on a piece for myself, or without a particular performer in mind, I will create using movement that highlight my strengths and show my body the way I want. On the other hand, if I’m setting movement on a particular dancer(s) or working with someone specific in mind, I will choreograph to highlight their strengths, while staying true to my form and style. For example, the opening solo to “Shaded Blue” which was specifically designed for Emily! I’m not at all adverse to making choreographic adjustments in the future, to make any piece a better fit for the dancer.

I have a tendency to pull from the variety of styles 

 

STRUCTURE, FORM, FUTURE

Some choreographers have a piece already mostly set, either in theirs heads or on paper, then the rehearsal process is just getting that out onto actual dancers. Others prefer to create as they go… maybe having definite points or movements that will happen as a given time, but the rest come together like a puzzle as they work. I am a little of both I think, depending on the piece. “Shaded Blue” was 90% written out on paper before I ever set foot in the studio with it and dancers. While changes and adjustments were made throughout the process, most of it is as I originally set. This new solo, on the other hand, is very much coming together each time I get in the studio to work.  While I have some ideas for the overall look and direction of the piece, I don’t always know what’s coming next… so much of my rehearsal time, right now, is playing and seeing what comes out.  The rehearsal process will be for another post… Yay, something to look forward too!!

In my head, this piece is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” (premiered in the last Sharing is Scary post). watch it again! While “Shaded Blue” was more so movement for movement’s sake, this solo is a little more aggressive and the character is troubled. There is more tension on the stage and she is always looking off to something else… something just off stage… something she can’t have. The movement is more angular and sharp and I actually love the silhouette look I got in the studio! The music adds to the driving element, while being light and easy to listen to… and believe me, I listen to it a LOT!  the first week of working on this piece, I listened to the track every day on my 45 minute train commute, just to get it in my body and lear the music, phrasing, and character.  

When this piece will be finished… performed… with or without “Shaded Blue” is beyond me.  Right now I’m working on it so I can keep creating and to have something special to share with you all!  I would LOVE to reset Blue with this piece when it’s done… but I also don’t want to rush myself so I truly create something I’m proud of and enjoy.  (“Shaded Blue” is by far my favorite piece of Modern/Contemporary dance I’ve done… so this new one has a big sister to live up to)!!

And on that note… I should fork over the link to the new piece and let y’all see it for yourselves!  Here it is “Solo” 2014.  Please feel free to share, like, comment, etc!!  I love your feedback and support!  

 

Love always,  Christiane 

 

Infatuated: Blue Skies, Wide Open Spaces, and Me

I really think this title says it all. So let this be a photo entry accompanied by some words, instead of the other way around.

I’m not sure when my love and interest in bright blue skies first came about, but I know I first noticed this infatuation on top of Elk Mt. in Oklahoma.IMG_0030.PNG
You could see for miles in all directions. It was breathtakingly beautiful, the water reflecting the intense blue of the sky, and that sky meeting the land far off in the distance. Up there was the first time I realized I would have been very happy to sit for hours just bring under that sky, looking at it’s beauty and power… Feeling small and humbled, but also beautiful.

For years I took for granted the majesty and beauty of Southern Illinois, where I used to spend my summers and now where I run to in an attempt to escape New York City and regain… Or maintain… Some of my sanity. There, un-impeded by sky scrapers and city lights, you can see sky, trees, water.

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I have come to realize that I could happily be under and look at a blue sky, really anywhere, and by so happy. Now I don’t just mean any blue, I mean that piercing, intense, clear, powerful blue sky that says “yes, look up from your phones, get up form your office chairs, and come outside. Look up at me and bask there, totally unchained from all other daily problems. Just be”.

I’m not saying you can’t see a phenomenal sky in New York City, because you can in fact.

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You just have to be in the right place, but even then there is usually a building standing in the open blue. And all to often, you may only get a small glimpse as you move through the dark underground of the city.

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I believe there is something very deeply rooted in us, that draws us to nature in some form. For me, the blue sky… Being able to watch it go on and on. Yes it can make me feel small and vulnerable, but it also gives me a view of endless possibilities with plenty of space and time to try them all. When I’m distracted by a perfect, uninterrupted blue sky, I never feel lonely or lost. I’m reminded there’s so much more out there.

Ever had a dream where you fly? Well, I can tell you- it’s the best way to see the sky!!

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For more fun pictures, check out my Instagram @nychristiane ❤️. And follow, share, like, comment! I always love to get feedback and support.

Love always, Christiane

Remember to check out my original choreography “Shaded Blue” posted in Sharing is Scary Part 1