Tick Tock Time

Rush. Rush. Rush. Busy is the new good, and all that. And that, is terrible. Can you remember when you didn’t feel constantly pressured by ever looming- seemingly- life or death deadlines? When the time allotted to a project was uninterrupted by the tinkling alerts of a smartphone? When you were focused on the task at hand? Yeah, me neither. It’s as though being busy has replaced being productive. But who am I to complain? I am a busy-body*. I am a work horse. I have a hard time saying No, and I tend to stretch myself thin; in all the wrong places.

Gracie finds herself circled by stacks of acts.

Gracie finds herself circled by stacks of acts.

On a (nearly) daily basis, my Hubby vocalizes how my time management skills affect our lives. Specifically our living space. There are piles of ongoing projects on every flat surface. The sad stacks of half-cocked ideas and nearly done nonsense, litter our tiny Toronto condo. Unlike many of my burlesque colleagues, who have a dedicated space to tuck their wares away; my open concept living quarters display my disaster for all to see. Now, I could blame this on architectural inadequacies, but honestly, if I didn’t have a to-do pile, nothing would ever get done. I am naturally drawn to disarray. It is a nature/nurture flaw/foible that I acquired from my ever lovin’ Momma. She too is a busy-body*. The house of my youth was stacked with all the diverse distractions she loved/loves doing. Then once a month, when those oh so special hormones would kick-in, she would hit the roof and callously cleanse the house…And by that I mean, fill the junk drawers and hide the evidence. I too have this monthly habit, although I don’t have a junk drawer, I have a serious collection of over-stuffed Ikea organizational elements. So, those projects remain. Stacked. Taunting me.

I submit this blog into evidence as exhibit XXX. I get pleasure from writing it. I receive pleasure from those reading it. But I often find myself with hands full, unable to type or afford a typist. So the ideas sit, stagnant in a doodle diary; until their interest for me expires or the topics become outdated. The time for action has disappeared but the pile remains and I am still too busy to finish it. But with what am I filling my time? My over active imagination has had me convinced that my piles could animate themselves. Becoming paper monsters that haunt me. And I’m scared. So, what does one do when they don’t have enough time to be so busy? Well, my little lambs, that is a question for the interweb at large. So, if anyone has a meme that clarifies life, I’d love to see it- especially if there’s a baby animal involved.

*Busy-body in this context meaning a hustler, a go-getter, a do-gooder and just an all around fun-time-seeker & joiner

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This Is Not A Drill

Last night my fire alarm went off. Not in the, “I was busy over baking chicken fingers” kinda way, more of a “The Toronto fire services have discovered a fire on level P3” fashion. So, Hubby, forced me out from under my sewing machine and into the cold dark night, with dog baby in tow. (We left the Puss, cuz I think she’d prefer to stay and roast than have to deal with society…I know how she feels) So, we took to the stairs with our neighbours, who are also strangers. I hrumphed the whole time, wearing two sets of gloves. We stood outside watching the firemen, who know it’s a faulty alarm in a new building, mill around, until someone turns off the alarm. I was day dreaming about how beautiful and dangerous fire is, and what it would look like dancing. When suddenly it dawned on me: I hadn’t grabbed anything. My house is on hypothetical fire and I was more upset to lose the time working on my costume. I seriously didn’t grab anything but my keys. Keys to a house that is potentially on fire. I guess the point of this antidote is that when the mythical fire was burning my condo to the ground, it was all just stuff. And if I’m really honest, I could use the insurance money.

But all was safe and sound. I am blogging from underneath the sewing machine again. And I am on fire.

A Gracie For All Seasons

I want sunshine lollipops and rainbows everywhere! I stretch out in the warm nights and soak in patio weather. But I’ve noticed the busy bumbling bees have already lost their summer minds- transforming them into droning kamikaze nuisances; dive bombing my shady afternoon. You might say, I’m havin a hard time letting go of this summer lovin state of mind. Even today I find myself answering the siren call of the sunshine. I am drawn away from my computer and out into the big wide world. Cuz before you know it, it’ll be fall and before I know it, I will need to be wrapped up and winterized.

On this day of near-autum, I am taking stock of my life. Happy Hubby in year 2 of marriage. Healthy puppa & kitty. And then there’s Gracie. This summer is one for the herstory- no, my-story books. I have fallen into the world of burlesque. A community that has embraced, caressed and teased me on a regular basis. I am a happy camper. I mean, I’ve been a ship without a captain, floating aimlessly in the creative world. Now, finally, I have control over me. And I’m told that if I burlesque it, they will come. Though the rest of this year is going to be a gauntlet of picking, planning and pawning my acts, it’s the most fun part. I mean, just trying to choose from the overflowing concept fountain that is my under-stimulated, overly-warped mind (which- I hear are ideal qualities to have as a maker of art) has been a production. With oh so many crew members involved. I have become obsessed. It’s my sparkly addiction. And I can’t help myself.

They say time flies when you’re having fun. But I’m not sure that times goes faster as much as you’re not interested in looking at a clock. Unless, of course, like me, you’ve stacked your schedule to consume every nanosecond. When I stopped to look at the calendar I realized that the days are literally numbered. It’s already September. And I don’t know if you’ve realized, but there are some major holidays coming up. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s and oh so many more and they all require an act. Sigh- showgirl problems. It is my hope that  take advantage of the inevitable shortening of days in the fall and utilize the long, dark hours of winter nights to come. I want to used that time wisely. I will be able to  glamorize, systemize and holiday-ize Ms Gracie, so we’re ready for a happy new year. So, I’m sorta happy it’s summer’s end & I won’t be sweating my guts out anymore in way too many showgirl layers. A happy showgirl hovers just above freezing and my A/C has been turned off.  But back to fall colours and chilly breezes . I’m excited to start a new season of wardrobe. But I am going to try carrying those sunshine lollipops and rainbows with me all year-long. Now, that’s what I call a beach blanket bingo!

PS- Tomorrow, I dance for money, but it’s not so private.

Class Acts: Vixen Recital

Mr. & Mrs. Klutz

Yesterday marked my 2 year anniversary. Two wonderful years married to my superhero, my biggest fan and my best friend- no offence BFF:) And I am happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better man than my Hubby. A sometimes grumpy (Commish), but always supportive and understanding new OS of the man I fell in love with. His generosity and self-confidence help to keep me grounded and logical, well, as logical as I can be; dreamer and do-gooder that I am. We have been together since before Gracie took over my waking life. And he doesn’t mind sharing us with the world. Mostly.

Now, I love calling my Hubby: Mr Klutz. At heart I am a laid-back feminist. I think anything they can do, I can do better, I can do anything better than who? and it doesn’t matter if you’re a gal or a broad or a dude. It’s about doing it, and doing it, and doing it well. I like that calling him Mr Klutz, implies that I took his last name, but knowing that he took my last name, but what’s in a name anyways? Even if it wasn’t a made up name, it’s who we are. We are the Klutzes. We spill and squawk and squeal. We love and live and laugh. We are the highest versions of ourselves. The selves we’d both love to be all the time, if the world would just let us. I ❤ being the Klutz family.

Our married life is simple. We live covered in glitter, sequins and full of that untamed wild performing arts spirit. These lives may not be easy to navigate but we don’t need to make sense to be happy…though if you want to give us something, we need some things really badly. Including but not limited to: more sequins, glitter and time, if you’ve got any extra laying around, we’ll take it. I remember from my school girl days that sharing and being a team player are important to becoming champions. But I never realized that being married to a man who really gets you, is the best team you could find yourself on…except a dream team that includes 2 Harlem Globetrotters- specifically the dunk king and the long distance basket baller, but what do I know, I don’t play peach basket ball.

I ❤ you Mr. Klutz, thanks for catching me when I fall. And helping dust me off. And cover my bruises. And carrying my heavy stuff. And laughing at my jokes. And protecting my virtue. And all the things that make you Mr. Klutz. I am delighted to be your Gracie.

Burly Girl Seeks Benefactor

Being an artist is expensive. Plain and simple. The cost of materials versus the implied value…well let’s just say it puts the artist in the hole. A deep, beautiful hole that was oodles of fun to dig, but a hole none the less. And this hole burrows through common sense, heats up credit cards, scorches pocket books and cracks nest eggs. But enough about that, I just wanna dance;)

I grew up a hard-working artist. I’ve struggled to make ends meet since I moved out on my own at 19, with the support of my parents, also 2 hard-working artists though they are currently without projects. I’ve been working since 2 weeks before my 13th birthday, in effect making me a child labourer. And that doesn’t even count my babysitting, lemonade stands and recess restaurants. Needless to say, I have been a mover and a shaker from day 2,555 or approximately 7 years old. I have owned my own company for the last 5 years and I have been a free-lancer since I quit the retail biz after graduating post-secondary school. I like working for myself, choosing who I work with and when I do it. Dare I even say it? I like working at home while snuggled up with my doggy. And often I work HARD. Notice, I said often not always…sometimes, I putz around when I could be getting so much more done. But all this is besides the point. The point is that being a sparkly sequined showgirl, well, glamour, she’s expensive.

To put together the kind of number I dream of, let’s call it Vegas, Baby, well it would cost me a month of my day job just to buy the sparkly parts. Now, being the resourceful little vixen I am, what I am capable of doing myself is pretty impressive. I can sew, glaze, glitterize and sequin my pieces, without incurring further cost. Which although time-consuming, saves on the total budget. But even with all that free labour, I am still buying supplies. And counting on the generosity of friends, which is sure to run out eventually.

This is where a handsome benefactor would come in ever so handy. With his wallet open we would walk through the finishings and findings, never even glancing at the price per/yard. The cost of private lessons, rehearsal space, festival applications and travel would be taken care of. With a little left over to pamper myself at the local spa. I daydream of a day when I can doodle a dishy new dress and have it all done for me. I long for a time when coming up with an act concept is the hardest part of my job. I want to buy feathers and fascinators and frilly frocks without bullying my budget and going without something else, like food. I long to live a life of luxury, even psuedo-luxury, heck at this point I’d love breaking even:) I want to get everything I want, when I want it…is that too much to ask? If you are the Benefactor I’ve been dreaming of and want to support my delusions of grandeur; please contact me immediately. I will also accept not so handsome benefactors, fairy godmothers, genies and other wish granting deities. I’m easy…I mean flexible…I mean, well, you know what I mean.

Collateral Burlesque Damage

I have always been an understated glamour puss. I love sparkly vintage clip on earrings.  I love the shine of a new pair of shoes.  I love glitter and fringe and everything sparkly. Lately though, looking around my almost teeny weeny Toronto condo I see just the kind of damage a showgirl can do. Every corner is jammed with feathers, sequins and webs of glue. A sewing machine here, a feather boa there.  I’ve sprayed the glamour I try to exude throughout my living quarters. It’s just too bad it’s all over my condo and not all over my burlesque act.

As I survey the damage my new glamour puss lifestyle has had on my living quarters I am surprised. I’ve always been a crafter. Stringing, crimping and collaging are my forte. But now I do it to stockings, pasties and panties. Bedecking them to within an inch of their structural integrity. Gluing sequins, affixing studs and painting glitter; I am merciless. And it shows. I am glamorizing this shabby apartment rental to within a glimmering inch of showgirl wonderment. But is it fair to the other occupants?  Jill Bean and Bucy Goose are happy to be sparkly. Their coats glimmer with the shine and sheen of two happy healthy animals. The couch that glitter was spilt upon is now more glamorous than it could’ve imagined. My Hubby on the other hand is sad to be sparkly. The odd sticky shiny sparkler shining on his face, body and brawn. .. Call me crazy, but I like it.

Everyday we are forced to walk through a not so dreamy life. We make choices that aren’t fun or beautiful. We grasp at the glamour. A glamour that can be found in the sparkle of a few sequins. Groping at the ritz and regal lifestyle saved for how the other half-lives. I think that the little bit of loving life left on the couch and kitty are a great reminder of the way I want to live. Striding towards the feathers, fringe and folly of the stage. So, I must say to myself, and you. My house is a disaster. A beautiful disaster that tells a story of who I am, what I want to be and what I’ve been doing to get there. Yeah, it’s messy. Yeah, that mess isn’t going anywhere. But it’s all over and I love it. So, how could I be anything else? A cluttered crafty creation. And a beautiful disaster.