Thursday, February 25, 2010

Clog Blog #2: Featuring The Girly-Man Skirt

It's time once again for the Eclectic Cloggers to get ready to hit the road for the summer touring season! I am excited to be back in action after taking maternity leave as of last August. Even with five months off, I was able to enjoy nearly a full summer of shows, with baby Theo along for an exciting ride! His prenatal performances included University District Street Fair, Northwest Folklife, Shoreline Arts Festival, Yakima Folklife, and Olalla Bluegrass Festival.

Olalla @ 5 months

If you recall from my last Clog Blog, we are a diverse group of dancers, but experience a bit of gender identity confusion due to our disproportionate ratio of women to men. Last year we came up with a solution to this problem with the introduction of the Girly-Man Skirt: Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman! Making it's debut at the University Street Fair, the black skirt is worn by a lady playing the part of a gent in some of the dances. This helps the audience distinguish between the two roles, and allows the lady to still show off her bloomers!

Another way that we like to compensate for our shortage of testosterone is to do a little improvising, DIY-style. Using ordinary household objects, such as brooms, mops, and wine corks, we are able to create our own dance partners! Meet Slim and Jim...

If you've missed the Eclectic Cloggers in the past, not only did you miss pregnant dancing, broomstick gents, and girly men, you've also missed out on a lot of energetic, foot-tapping, hand-clapping fun! Plus, you never know when the roof might blow off the stage, a tap shoe might fly off mid-kick, or a suspender might unsnap mid-jump....

Be sure to check us out this summer! Here is a partial listing of where you can find us. And if you really "like" us, become our Fan on Facebook! We'll be posting more details and updates there as we finalize our schedule.

May 31 NW Folklife Festival
1:50 PM International Dance Stage
June 27 Shoreline Arts Festival
1:00 PM Shoreline Room Stage
July 10 Yakima Folklife Festival
2:00 PM
July 31 Lake Wenatchee Campground
Fireside show at dusk.
August 21 Olalla Bluegrass Festival
12:00 PM
**Special thank you to Jenny Grand of CE Photos for all the great shots at the University Street Fair last year!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Size & Batteries

If I've learned nothing else from having a newborn baby around, I've learned these two very important lessons:
1) Size does NOT matter
Why is it that some onesies claiming to fit 0-3 month old babies barely fit over my newborn's head? If we do manage to squeeze one on, the sleeves are usually so tight, he looks like a mini metro-sexual. How long is a baby considered a newborn anyway? Cause seriously, items that are size "newborn" fit him for like a week. Even before he turned 2 months old, he was wearing clothes supposedly designed to fit 3-6 month olds. I have heard this same story from at least 3 of my friends who also have baby boys. I thought it was just because their children must be freaks of nature. Surely my Theo is no freak (although he seems to have inherited my ape arms), but we are experiencing the same issue. So my theory is that clothing manufacturers still use patterns designed 50 years ago when maybe babies were not as well nourished as they are today. Or they are made in countries who give birth to much smaller children. Certainly they are designed by someone who has no experience dressing a modern-sized, US-born, squirming baby.

Someone should do something about this. Until they do, if you need to buy a baby shower gift, I recommend that you buy big. Better for them to have something to grow into, than to only get to wear an outfit for one day, or not at all. I also recommend buying second-hand. Goodwill has oodles of baby clothes in nearly new condition for like, a dollar. Or steer clear of clothing altogether, and buy a toy. Kids love toys.

2) Keep lots of spare batteries on hand at all times.
I've never used so many batteries in my life! Nearly every accessory designed to keep a baby occupied or quiet requires at least 2 of various sized battery. Some even require more than one size of battery, and use an uneven number of them! One bouncy-vibrating-musical chair uses two different size batteries, and has a separate location for each size, both requiring a screw driver to open!! My question here is: Why do these items not also come equipped with a plug-in option? (Ever hear of AC/DC?) Granted, we do move some of the items around from room to room, or even outside on the patio, as needed. But for the most part, those places do have electrical outlets available, so I would save a lot of money by not having to use the batteries at those times. It would also save my sanity and back, when the batteries invariably die mid-play or, even worse, mid-nap and I realize we do not have any backups on hand. This leaves us to either deal with a screaming child, or become the human swing!!

Until this issue is addressed, I am forced to keep a full stock of batteries on hand, from AA-D. Oh, and don't forget the 9 Volt.

The Swing: 4 x Size "D" Batteries

Bouncy Vibrating Musical Chair #1:
3 x Size "AA" + 1 x Size "D" Batteries

Bouncy Vibrating Musical Chair #2:
3 x Size "C" + 1 x Size "D" Batteries

The Sleep Sheep: 2 x Size "AA" Baaa-tteries


Flashback.......What a (Guilty) Feeling

A few months ago a friend gave us a stack of old vinyl record albums that he no longer wanted. Mixed in with the mostly classical and folk music was this flash from the past:

I assume the movie Flashdance was rated R, and since I was only about 12 when it came out, I don't know how I was able to see it. But I vividly recall Jennifer Beals maniacally strutting around in her collar-less sweatshirt by night, and attending her day job in a full welder's mask.

Anyway, none of that really matters. The point is, if you look closely, you will notice that the album is OVERDUE from the Seattle Public Library by 23 YEARS!!

Tom intends to return it to the Fremont Branch from whence it came the first chance he gets. But will they accept it? Or even want it? Will they make HIM pay the overdue fee?

There is a very good chance that Gus has never even heard of the movie, let alone would listen to the soundtrack, so we can only assume it was his ex-wife, an old girlfriend, or possibly his sister, who checked it out of the library and is responsible for this egregious infraction. (We originally thought it might have been his daughter, but after doing some mathematical calculations, realized this was impossible since she was not even born when the movie came out, and was only about one year old when the album was checked out of the library.) In any case, this was in the days before computerized library records and scanning bar codes, so there may be no way of ever knowing who the offender is.

We can only hope it has as happy of an ending as the 99 year overdue book!