Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Blogger Dance Off...

The following Just Dance post was written by my dear daughter, Anna.

The most humbling aspect of this was the many reassurances in the "comments" section of her class blog, sympathizing with Anna for having such a dorky-dancey family.

What the what!?!

I believe I dance just as well as any rhythm challenged, middle aged, white lady.
Ok... maybe not Madonna,
(a middle aged white lady full of dancerly awesome)
But perhaps there are a few other gals who I could get down and boogie with on similar, if not completely equal, dance footing. 

I feel the need to take this moment, (and sorta public forum) to give a shout ou to my Ohio State dance tutor and dear friend... Terror Rose. I'm very sure that she is proud and honored to be associated with these "hands in the air like you don't care" moves 25 (ish) years following those very fun and educational dance offs.

Rock on Buckeyes everywhere,
maggie g.

Just Dance 

Rosie G...one of the better dancers in the family.
               One of the things I love most about my family is how much we like to dance.  Nobody in our family is very good at dancing, but we dance all the time anyway.  Throughout high school it was perfectly normal to come home to my mom doing “the guns” in the kitchen as she makes after school snacks.  I remember after she met my stepdad, Karl, one of the first things she said to me was “Anna you’ll love him he does such a good running man”. Everyone in my family has the same dorky dance moves.  And with the only exception being the father daughter tap dancing class that Lily and Karl took, the older members of the family try to limit our dancing to just inside the house.  But this isn’t the case for the younger members, Lily, Jamie, Henry, and Rosie dance everywhere they go.  In the grocery store, on the sidewalk, outside the gas station, sometimes it will be a full minute of freestyle, other times just a quick moonwalk.  They dance everywhere they go and I love it. It’s the videos of them dancing that make me the most homesick.  I love the carefree attitude they have and how they don’t care about anything other then the fact that they just want to dance.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gulliver's Travels... middle school style.

My daughter as a drunkard.

Lily happily participated in a very impressive middle school production of Gulliver's Travels last weekend and had a wonderful time with it. She was thrilled to play three parts...

Dranic - a drunkard
Prosecutor Horse- A Houyhnhnm; an excellent and totally rational horse
Flimnap- lord high treasurer of Lilliput

Mary was also very happy to to be the assistant director of the production. She loves working with kids and all things theatrical- so assistant directing a middle school play was a rewarding fit for our high school senior. Lily also thought it was pretty cool to have her big sis so involved.

 Jonathon Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels 392 years ago, so while it's an important and relevant play, it's is also quite challenging, however, I have learned never to underestimate the strength and power of middle school kids when it comes to drama. They were committed and quite cool with Swift although they were asked to remember some extremely complicated lines... just the names of Swift's characters were difficult enough... while I realize that it is a satire and ridiculous by definition... the young actors referred to the emperor by name... "Golbasto Momaren Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue."
You must admit, it hardly rolls off the tongue.

One of my favorite parts of the play, was the introduction of the houyhnhnms, which Swift characterized as brilliant speaking horses who ruled over the Yahoos.*
(Yahoos themselves were rude, unsophisticated and uncouth and apparently needed super smart horses as lord and rulers)
  To play the horses the young actors manipulated life size horse head puppets that were designed and built by another student Meg M.
Meg, also a senior and a good pal of Mary's... is a girl of many talents, including art and design. I have no idea how someone so young could design and facilitate such fantastic puppets (watch out, Julie Taymor) but she did, and they were were terrific.
The four smartypants speaking horses stand in judgement. 

One of the best parts about this production, was that it was such a great collaboration of students of  many different ages and talents. From the 10 year old actors to the high school seniors, each student understood the importance of supporting each other... being helpful without being bossy wasn't always easy, it was necessary, and the kids did a great job in learning this skill that will serve them for a lifetime.  

Personally, I was most happy and relieved on Lily's behalf that the Monday that she was scheduled to begin her bout with orthodontia was following the play instead of before. The language of Swift is challenging enough- but delivering those lines with a mouth full of brand new braces would be next to impossible!
Here is Lily outside her orthodontists office they very next morning...
Oh, the added complications of being a middle school actor! 

* to Jane.... did you know that Swift came up with the term "Yahoos?" I thought you would enjoy that factoid!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dog Jog.

Jamie and Henry are both feeling the runner's high after being a part of "Barktoberfest's Dog Jog" in the park on Sunday morning. 
 Penny our sort of sporty schnoodle.

The dog jog is a very fun run benefit run to raise money for Friends of Noah, a pet shelter that helps find families for dog and cats and other furry little beasties. The run takes place over a 2 mile course through a very pretty park, but the thing is, you need a dog to jog. It's completely against the dog jog creed to jog solo. While we are a two dog family, we have only one sort of sporty dog and Henry called Penny as his own. This left Jamie in need of a running partner, which was absolutely not a problem at all because as a fundraiser for an animal shelter, a surplus of hounds eager to run with boys was ready and available.     
Jamie was assigned a charming hound with a sparkly blue eye named Luckystar who was full of awesome. Luckystar and Jamie quickly became good friends and a fast team.   

     Henry and Penny started strong but got overwhelmed by the scene and together made a joint decision to dog jog back to mom after the first mile. 
Can't blame them a bit... Henry was the youngest runner and got separated from the pack jogging alone with only a little brown schnoodle as a guide made him nervous, so hanging out with mom at the finish line seemed like a wise move. 
 But there was no way Jamie and Luckystar were turning back. They both ran the two miles as fast as they could without stopping and were very proud of themselves. 
While a fully realize that it's an obnoxious move to cut, copy, and paste the race results here, I will anyway... because I think it's way cool that 10 year old Jamie and dog "Borrowed" came in just beyond the medals of 4th place in a race full of grown up men and dogs of their own. 

Dog Jog 2012

Place    O'All    No.    Name    Sex    Dog Name    City    State    Time    Pace
1     5     1740    TIM SMALLIDGE    M    ROXY    HEBRON    KY     12:41     6:21
2     10     1690    BRAD MIDDENDORF    M    WINNIE    FT MITCHELL    KY     13:42     6:51
3     24     1748    NICK DAVIS    M    CLAYFORD    CINCINNATI    OH     18:00     9:00

4     25     1671    JAMIE GIESEKE    M    BORROWED    CINCINNATI    OH     18:08     9:04
5     35     1712    ERIC SOTZING    M    COSMO    MIDDLETOWN    OH     19:30     9:45
6     58     1659    EDWIN BROTT    M    LINCOLN    CINCINNATI    OH     27:39     13:50

 I think it's really important to make sure that the athletes in the family maintain some humility, so to ensure that they didn't get too full of themselves, I caused them a little hardship by locking the keys in the van after the race. Here is my little huddled mass waiting and freezing in running shorts for dad to come rescue us. It was about 40 degrees and they were really very crabby as you can see.

Jamie really liked his running partner Luckystar and wished that he could come home with us. Unfortunately, our household is at full dog capacity right now, but after spending the morning watching Jamie and Luckystar, I can honestly say that she is a great dog, with a huge joyful personality and a lot of energy. She loves and adores people of all kinds...also other dogs, Luckystar happily ran in a pack of people and dogs and didn't show any signs of  nervousness of fear. While there are likely reasons why she shouldn't be so darn happy, she doesn't realize that and would make someone a very fun, and fearless friend. 
If you are interested in this sweet girl, please contact Friends of Noah for more information.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The (not so) Serious Moonlight.

Ever wonder what would happen if you decide to "sleep" outside in tents with 20 kids and a full lovely moon?
A whole lot of
shrieking, running and sweating.
Maybe not so much a peaceful commune with nature but really a lot more fun.
I think that all of the nature of the night was officially freaked out by just how loud and rowdy a passel of young humans can be. I'll bet the intruded upon wildlife... the coyotes and racoons and such, were cowering in their dens with their paws over their furry little ears waiting for us to pack up and leave already.
Poor dears.
 When the tents started to go up the farm took on the feel of an "Occupy Wall Street" protest, only far less peaceful...more like an occupy event during a raid.
If any of the kids realized that they were "the 99%" the adults on site would have been doomed. 
They were far younger, stronger, and had remarkable endurance.
We didn't have a chance when faced with those kind of super powers... fortunately there were no arrests or senseless acts of violence. 
Here is Ryan in front of his very own tent that he almost had the nerve to sleep in.
His shirt reads
In case you didn't know, Major Barnes is a very, very, tough fellow.
 A very crabby and toilet mouthed farm toad couldn't wait for us to leave his backyard...
 "please go find your stupid keys, get in your damn cars and leave me the hell alone."
Blame it on the not so serious moonlight...

We had a wonderful and very rowdy night, sleeping a little bit, but mostly watching our little werewolves as they ran around the farm, sweating, screaming and loving life itself.