Tag Archives: Liza Minnelli

I Just Wanna Dance

This weekend, in addition to being Canada Day (and Jazz Fest, and some big soccer game, and, I’m told, a Rib Fest), is Toronto Pride. In solidarity, I dedicate this video to all my LGBT friends, and anyone who is struggling for acceptance in a far-too-often far-too-cruel world.

This video was created for some Pride celebration somewhere, in some year, and has made its way around the world, gay bar to gay bar, musical theatre student to musical theatre student, many times over. The song “I Just Wanna Dance” comes from Jerry Springer: The Opera. If you are offended by coarse language, well, I can’t imagine you’d still be reading my blog, but there is some coarse language in the song. If there are young’uns in your house, put on some headphones. There are some good lyrics in there, too.

And just fucking dance.

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Filed under Inspiration, Random Funny-ness

Every Little Step

There it is. I saw this on Pinterest (Obsessed. Did you know it’s the fastest growing social media site ever? I learned that from an infographic I saw on Pinterest) and it really resonated with me.

Recovery is one of those things that everyone thinks they’ll be able to just jump into as soon as they make up their mind to. Obviously since we’re completely in control of our eating disorder we’ll be totally in control of our recovery, right? I think fighting for recovery on my own, outside of treatment, was the first time I’d realized just how in control of my eating disorder I wasn’t. I thought I’d be fixed overnight, but almost a year later I’m still far from “recovered”. I mean, I’m doing well with the food stuff, but I still have a long way to go before I feel “normal”.

Y’all know I love me a good metaphor, and I’ve got a good one for this “steps to recovery” thing. And guess what: it’s dance-related.

When I started back into ballet in January, I figured I’d just pick back up where I left off. I mean, I’d only been off dance for less than a year. No matter that I’d starved off all my muscle and regained a ton of weight that, well, wasn’t muscle: I was gonna be a ballerina in no time!

No such luck. Nothing was working like it was “supposed” to. I was driving myself insane(r) trying to focus on everything I needed to fix. I couldn’t fix everything at once. So, I decided to do it in chunks. First chunk I fixed: my arms. I figure it doesn’t matter what your feet are doing, so long as your upper body looks supported and correctly positioned. My arms improved. Other things improved along with it without my noticing. I’ve worked my way through my body, focusing on a new part every few weeks: core, turnout, spotting, feet, leg stretch. I’m never going to be a prima ballerina, but I’ve improved a lot.

I feel like the same thing is true for recovery. You’re probably not going to be able to eat a cake right away (or even a year later, in some cases . . . so I’ve heard . . . ) but something is better than nothing. I started off by adding things to what I was already eating. I added an apple to my bowl of (in the interest of not sharing any unhealthy tips and tricks, I’ll just call it “air”) , and adding bit by bit, slowly that bowl evolved into my über healthy current breakfast. The current breakfast contains no (air), but I almost didn’t notice it changing. Almost. It was fucking terrifying every step, but the little steps were WAY more manageable than going from (air) to my souped-up steel cut oatmeal.

Patience is hard. But so is recovery. Baby steps make it less hard – slightly. The important thing is to keep taking the steps. When you stop stepping forward, you start stepping backwards, and I promise: that’s not where you really want to be.

(P.S. The pint-sized prima ballerina? Baby Liza. She’s never looked more like her Mama)

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Filed under Tips and Tricks (The Healthy Kind)

What Makes You Beautiful

Sometimes, I run out of words. But, when one runs out of words, one can always lip synch. Here’s a little happy from the cast of Anything Goes on Broadway, featuring Liza’s daddy, Joel Grey, and the lovely and talented human being, Stephanie J. Block. Thanks for making me smile today.

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A Quiet Thing

I should be cleaning my apartment right now. It’s not dirty, per se. The laundry on the floor is clean; I just haven’t had the energy to put it away. Same goes with the dishes in the drain tray. There are a few too many papers on my coffee table. So my apartment isn’t dirty, but it’s a little messy. Probably a metaphor for life. Based on the chaos of my life right now, I’d say my apartment looks damned good.

So why am I writing, instead of cleaning? So glad you asked. Believe me, the perfectionist monster in my head is screaming at me to get off my ass and put those towels away. I’ve managed to quiet it some, as there is a load of laundry in the dryer, and chick peas cooking on the stove as I type. (Somebody poke me in ten minutes, or they’ll burn).

Today, I am writing because of a question posed to me (well, everyone) in group therapy today.  We were asked to identify tactics we use to escape reality, which is something I’ve been working on for a while now. That part was easy. Then, we were asked to identify our “pause button” . . . a healthy something we can do to escape the noise and reset our brains. Not so easy. Most things I would do to get out of my head are either blatantly unhealthy, or could easily become so. For example, ballet gets me out of my head, but it’s not something I could do as often as I’d need to, as it could easily lead to an exercise symptom.

I sat there for a long time drawing blanks. If my head is spinning, no amount of reading, tv, computer, music can quiet the noise. Being around people distracts me for a time, but the noise picks back up where it left off as soon as I’m alone again.

Then it hit me. Lately, WGT has had me doing a lot of writing as part of my therapy. On days when I do it, I find I sleep more soundly. I just assumed that it wore me out, but maybe there’s more to it. Then there are times when I’m lost in my head and feeling tortured, and I’ll write something here, on the blog. It doesn’t have to be about what is upsetting me, but spending so much brain power trying to organize my thoughts into words seems to be enough to stop the rest of the noise. It’s my pause button.

Pausing and reflecting in writing seems to keep me from  sitting and spinning in my head, and stops the noise long enough to maybe get some time off after writing. Your comments, both here and via Facebook/Twitter etc., will often prolong the quiet times, sending my brain juices flowing back in this direction instead of towards the murky vortex of doom. (If you say that last part with a creepy voice, it makes it sound way cooler).

So thanks for being a part of what gives my brain a break. Just knowing you’re there, maybe reading, maybe skimming, maybe just looking at the pictures, helps a lot. If you have any brilliant “pause button” ideas of your own, feel free to share.

And just so you know, my chick peas are safely stored and did NOT burn.

*Bonus question: today’s blog title is also the title of a song. 10 points to anyone who can tell me who first sang that song. For those of you keeping track, Tess is in the lead, points-wise. Not that I’m encouraging competition . . . just healthy musical theatre nerd-dom.

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Filed under Blatherings, Tips and Tricks (The Healthy Kind)

For those of you following the saga . . .

. . . I FINALLY SAW LIZA MINNELLI PERFORM LIVE!!!!!!!!!

I know this has very little to do with anything I normally blog about, but I thought you should know. You know. Since she is one of my most used tags.

She was great, btw. I’ve always said that I needed to see her before one of us kicked the bucket, and we both survived! Her, 65 years, me 26 (almost 27 . . . the tickets were an early birthday present . . . don’t worry, still time for you to shower me with gifts for November 21st . . . no? No takers?)

Yes, I wore sequins and an oversized men’s shirt a la Liza, and she wore much the same.

One thing she said last night stuck out in my mind, because it sounds a whole lot like what I say a lot of the time:

‎”Some people collect stamps . . . I collect lyrics. When I was younger, I would have all these emotions that, well, everybody has them, but I didn’t know what to do with them, so I would find a song that described how I felt” ~Liza

So that’s your wisdom du jour from the great one (Liza, not me). Can’t figure out what you’re feeling? Sing a fucking song.

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Filed under Inspiration

Day 9 – If Music Be the Food of Love, PLAY ON!!!!

“2 Songs”

Seriously?!? How am I supposed to pick just two? Ok. The first one is easy enough. If you know anything about me, or have been reading the past few days of blogs, this should come as no surprise.

1. Over the Rainbow It’s just a perfect song, and Judy does it so beautifully. I want to introduce you to another version of it that I love, by Eva Cassidy. There are few interpretations of this song I love apart from the original, and this is one of them . . . maybe the only one.

Number two is harder. I love so many songs . . . but this is a song I refer to as “my song”. I was (to the best of my knowledge) the first person in Canada to sing this song, and it’s always meant a lot to me. This video is of a very talented singer and actress (and a lovely human being) named Stephanie J. Block. For those of you “in the know” in the theatre world, she was Liza in The Boy From Oz, Grania in The Pirate Queen, Judy in 9 to 5 – The Musical, and the role of Elphaba in Wicked was written for her. This song is from a musical called Piece by a young, up-and-comer named Scott Alan. The lyrics in this video are not the finalized version, but I just love SJB’s performance here. Enjoy.

2. Neverland (Fly Away)

I also have a playlist that I will share with you at some point (when I’m low on inspiration) full of musical theatre songs that I find inspirational and to have some “ED” metaphor hidden within. Stay tuned. Get it? “Tune”d? If you don’t hate me for that comment, share some of your favorite songs in the comments.

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Filed under History Lessons

Day 7 – With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

“4 Books”

My Favorite Book Series

Oh, asking me to choose four books would be like asking Liza Minnelli to chose four sequined garments . . . there are just too many to choose from! I think I’m going to pick four categories, and pick a favorite in each . . . or at least attempt to.

1. Favorite Inspirational: Fierce Medicine by Ana Forrest – Yes, Jenni Schaefer’s books have helped me through rough spots, and The Language of Letting Go is my daily read, but Fierce Medicine is such an incredible story. Part memoir, part yoga, part surviving life, anyone can get something wonderful out of this book. It will literally change your life.

2. Favorite Childhood story: Foo by Richard Thomas – This book has always been a special one for my dad and me. It’s the story of a girl named Jesse, who blows “foo” kisses to say goodnight to people far away. We still send foo kisses to this day.

3. Favorite Fiction: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – Such a good book. A commentary on religion, women, family, and how much our thoughts determine our lives.

4. Favorite Non-Fiction: Unbearable Lightness by Portia deRossi – A beautiful, raw, honest memoir of what it means to struggle with an eating disorder, and that it’s possible to one day be free.

Again, I could have picked 20 more books in each of these categories. I’m always on the lookout for a new read. Toss your favorites in the comment box if you dare!

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Filed under History Lessons