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Archive for the ‘Irish dancing’ Category

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So today’s all about the green. My way of getting into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day? I’m hosting the lucky Irish Take It Or Leave It game.

Before we embark on the this journey of totally random guessing, let’s explore a few facts about St. Patrick and his very party-friendly day.

1. The color green is commonly associated with Ireland, the Emerald Isle, but did you know that the actual color of St. Patrick is blue. In several artworks depicting the saint, he is shown wearing blue vestments. Green in Irish legends, was worn by faeries and immortals and by people who wanted to encourage their crops to grow. I didn’t even know saints had colors.

2.   St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, and he wasn’t born in Ireland. Patrick’s parents were Roman citizens living in modern-day England, or more precisely in Scotland or Wales. Go figure.

3.  The shamrock is a popular Irish symbol, but it is not the symbol of Ireland. The national symbol of Ireland is the harp. And I would have guessed the bag pipe. Duh.

4. Speaking of shamrocks, one estimate suggests that there are 10,000 3-leaf clovers for every 1 four-leaf. So your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are, about 1 in 10,000. Rather like the lottery.

5.  The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1787. Hey, I don’t make this stuff up.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

6.  The activity most associated with St. Patrick’s Day is drinking. However, Irish law, from 1903 to 1970, declared St. Patrick’s Day a religious observance for the entire country meaning that all pubs were shut down for the day. That meant no beer, not even the green kind, for public celebrants. The law was overturned in 1970, when St. Patrick’s was reclassified as a national holiday – allowing the taps to flow freely once again. Praise the Lord!

7.  Speaking of drinking, the phrase “drowning the shamrock,” is from the custom of floating a shamrock on the top of whiskey before drinking it. The Irish believe that if you keep the custom, you will have a prosperous year.

So, now that you know all that, let’s see how well you think you know me. Here’s a reminder of the rules: Post your guesses (would I take it, or leave it) in the comments section below. I will post the choices on Monday and my responses on Thursday. The person with the most correct guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Good luck and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Photo Courtesy Google Images

Photo Courtesy Google Images

1. Kiss the blarney stone.

2.  Kiss a drunken Irishman.

3.  Sing Danny Boy acapella in a bar full of drunken Irishmen.

4.  Eat corn beef and cabbage.

5.  Drink green beer.

6.  Drown the shamrock.

7.  Perform an Irish jig in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

8.  Spend a hour looking for 4-leafers in a field of clover.

9.  Wear blue instead of green in honor of St. Patrick.

10.  Dye my hair green.

Do you do anything special for St. Patrick’s day? Are you Irish, or even a little bit Irish, or wish you were Irish?

Word of the day:  Davit

Fun fact about me:  I was once part of a bowling team.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2014. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So you all know I love to dance. Right? What? You don’t know that. Okay, so maybe you’re new to my blog and you haven’t discovered my theatrical talents yet, but rest assured, I love to dance.

Now loving to dance doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m good at it mind you. Oh, I try, God help me, I try. But because I’m a late bloomer, which Debra Eve is all too familiar with, I didn’t learn to dance as a very small child, like the really good dancers do. No, I started dancing in my mid-twenties. And here’s why:

Nunsense logo

I auditioned for Nunsense, a five-woman show about – well, you guessed it – nuns. It’s a very funny comedy with five very distinct personalities. There were almost a hundred women at the auditions – for five roles! We all sang and then they made a cut to 25. I made the cut! So, I can sing a little bit.

Then we did some cold reading from the script and they narrowed it down to 9. I made the cut! So, I can act a little bit.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Then came the dance portion of the audition. Let’s face it, some things you just can’t fake. Oh, sure if you’re in a crowded bar and there’s a line dance going on you can probably stumble your way through, but when there’s only nine women lined up in a single line, someone who can’t dance is going to stand out like a carnival barker at a mime show. That would be me. I was the carnival barker.I didn’t get a role because I couldn’t dance.

But, did I let that stop me? No sirree. I signed up for every form of dance I could work into my schedule, from tap to ballet to clogging to Polynesian to ballroom to jazz to hip hop. I signed up for them all. There was no way in hell I was going to get passed up for a role ever again because I couldn’t dance.

And so began my twenty years of dance lessons. Some forms were easier to master than others and some were more fun. Because I’m not overly limber, ballet, jazz and hip hop didn’t suit me all that well, although I did continue with ballet because it’s great for posture, balance and just overall discipline. What suited me were the foot stomping forms of dance. So I stuck with those. For awhile. Eventually dance lessons take their toll on your body and your pocketbook. But I do still participate weekly in a local tap class and we even occasionally perform.

The form of dance I loved best was Irish. Irish dancing as an adult is not common, and by adult I mean a woman over thirty. It’s very hard to find a school and even harder to find an adult beginner class. I did study this form of dance for a couple of years, but never competed, which is what Irish dancing is all about. I was rather good at it, because in some ways it’s like tap dancing.

You too can be an Irish dancer. Just follow the simple instructions in this video and in no time flat you’ll be doing the Riverdance routine around your house. Really. Just follow these three simple steps:

Remember, practice makes perfect so practice that every day. I’ll even let you borrow my shoes because the steps sound so much cooler with the proper footwear.

Which leads me to my next point about dancing. Number one item on my bucket list is to dance with Derek Hough on Dancing With the Stars. I’m sure if they pair me with him, I’ll win. Sure he’s young enough to be my son and all, but he’s a really good teacher. I know we’ll win that mirror ball. Of course your votes will help clinch the deal, so when that season roles around, I’ll expect support from ya’ll.

Derek's expression when he finds out I'm his partner. Photo courtesy Google Images

Derek’s expression when he finds out I’m his partner. Photo courtesy Google Images

How about you? What’s on your bucket list? Do you like to dance or wish you could dance? Are you going to try the three easy steps in the video?

And, just so’s ya’ll know, I did eventually audition for Nunsense again, at a different theater and I was cast as Sister Amnesia. It was a hoot and my tap dancing skills were put to good use. I also performed the same role in Nunsense II and again utilized my tap dancing skills. No more rejections for this triple threat.

Word of the day: Inexpugnable

Fun fact about me: In eighth grade it wasn’t uncommon for me to sink 9 out of 10 baskets from the free throw line.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2013. Photos courtesy Google Images. Video courtesy of YouTube (Howcast).

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It’s a new year and that means new ideas! So this year here at Blogging From the Edge of Eternity I’m starting a new game. It’s time for the first installment of “What Haven’t I.”

Question mark

For the first installment I’ll focus on theater related questions. Some months there might be a theme, some months it might just be random silliness. Either way, 3 of the 4 things listed I will have honestly done. 1 of the things, I have not. If you follow my blog, you should be able to answer some of these questions.

There are no rules really, just read the questions, the multiple choice answers and guess which thing among the four listed you think  – I have not. There’s only a few questions so it won’t take much of your time. Record your answers in the comments section below, because on January 30th, I’ll be awarding the first person with the most correct answers with a lovely prize. You can’t win if you don’t play.

I hope you have some fun and learn a little more about me in the process. Remember, you must put your answers in the comments section below in order to qualify for the prize. Oh, and you must check back to see if you’ve won because I will not contact the winner unless they acknowledge on my blog that they’ve won. Sort of like, you must be present to win.

Oh, one more rule – Husband, you cannot play this first round. (You won’t like the prize anyway.) As always general comments are welcome if you choose not to play along.

So without further ado, let the games begin: Irish dancer

#1 – What show haven’t I been in?

a) Anything Goes; b) Annie Get Your Gun; c) Once Upon a Mattress; or d) Camelot

#2 – What form of dance haven’t I studied?

a) Polynesian; b) Clogging; c) Belly Dance; or d) Irish

3# – What song haven’t I sang on stage?

a) Downtown; b) Oh Holy Night; c) Moonshine Lullaby; or d) Play The Game

suit of armor#4 – What character haven’t I played on stage?

a) A boy; b) A hobo; c) A harlot; or d) A Queen

#5 – What costume haven’t I worn on stage?

a) Suit of armor; b) Cat suit; c) Nun’s habit; or d) Neglige

#6 – Which thing have I not done on stage during a performance?

a) Smoked a cigarette; b) Kissed a girl; c) Disrobed; or d) Fired a gun

#7 – Which role haven’t I performed:

a) Director; b) Choreographer; c) Lighting Designer; or d) Costume mistress

So there you go. Good luck! I look forward to your guesses.

Word of the Day:  Ogee

Fun fact about me: I used to make my own clothes (this might be a hint)

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It may be just plain lazy, but I’m calling it multi-tasking. This month, I’m playing along with three different people and their chain blogs.

On August 14th Myndi Shafer posted “The Letter B to the Tenth Degree” http://myndishafer.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/the-letter-b-to-the-tenth-degree/ and on August 21st, KB Owen posted “Grateful for the Letter R and Myndi Shafer” http://kbowenmysteries.com/posts/grateful-for-the-letter-r-and-myndi-shafer/.  I’m  playing the letter game with “Why I Love the Letter D.” See below for my reasons.

But I am also playing the Booker Award game with my friend and SVR chaptermate, Cyndi Faria. http://www.cyndifaria.wordpress.com The rules are simple.  Someone nominates me (see Cyndi’s blog for my nomination) and links my post. I blog about my 5 favorite books and nominate 3 other people to play on their blog.  Upon nomination, should you choose to accept the award and play along, you put the Booker Award photo in your blog (cut and paste from the my blog), list your 5 favorite books, link back to me and nominate 3 others who in turn link back to you.

My list of books and nominees are listed below my favorite “D” things.

So, without further ado, let the games begin!

Why I love the letter “D”, or, what things that start with the letter “D” do I love, is probably more appropriate but awkward to say.

Dark chocolate. I like all forms of chocolate really, but dark chocolate is my favorite. I can’t rightly say why. I just prefer it. And I’m told it’s actually good for you so I try to slip in a little bit evey week or so, as a precautionary measure you understand. It’s purely medicinal. And can I help it if he happens to pair nicely with port wine?

Dogs. Take a look at that sweet face and tell me that I need to expound on the reasons why I love dogs. There’s just no getting around it – I’m a sucker for that face. Every dog has one. And again, I’ve read that owning a dog will actually improve your life-span. So again, in a conscientious effort to maintain good health, I’m a proud dog owner. (P.S. This is not MY dog. My dog won’t sit still long enough to be photographed. The paparazzi have tried.)

Distilled spirits. Need I say more? It’s all about good health this month. I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. A little liquor loosens the muscles and joints and helps me move better and relax. A nice cosmo or snifter of brandy helps me sleep. A glass of wine improves the quality of my cooking. I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food. Of course too much of a good thing can have an adverse effect and I strongly recommend moderation. And never, and I do mean NEVER drink and drive! Natalie Hartford will tell you why in her blog. http://nataliehartford.com/2012/08/31/impaired-driver-kills-parents-of-5-and-serves-only-7-months-in-jail/

Diana, Princess of Wales. She is, in my book, hands down the most beautiful woman who ever walked the planet. If there was one person I could meet in the whole entire world, it would be Princess Diana. I love her spirit and determination. She bucked the rules at the palace when it came to raising her kids. I admire her stength to end a loveless marriage despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the whole world watching. I think her world views were ones to be emulated. She was caring and empathetic. I know if she were still with us, she’d be proud of the children she raised. (Except maybe that wild child, Harry, but you have to love him, too. Strip billards? He’s welcome at my party any time!) It was fifteen years ago that the world lost this beautiful soul. May she rest in peace.

Dancing. Any form, but in particular, Irish dancing. Who doesn’t love Riverdance? If you haven’t seen it, visit You Tube and watch. I could have posted a link, but I’m lazy so you’ll have to look it up yourself.

Disney. All things Disney!  This one is a no brainer. Unless you’re been trapped on a desserted island somewhere and have never visited my blog, FB page or know me personally, you’re probably wondering why this one wasn’t at the top of my list. Answer: It should have been and it would have been, but my efforts to cut and paste were fruitless and I ended up screwing all of the formatting up on the other stuff so I just left it here. (Damn WordPress!)

Diamonds, and not the baseball kind. This one should probably be a little higher on the list as well, but for the same reason stated above, it’s staying here.

Desserts. I’m not a huge of all desserts, but certain ones will tempt me every time. Like pie. Fruit pie. I love fruit pie. And birthday cake. I can never resist a piece of birthday cake. And I’d really love a piece of this yummy looking thing. Anyone know what it is and how to make it?

Deserts. Deserts have a mystical aura about them that I love. There is something hauntingly beautiful in every desert I’ve visited. The silence and the way the shadows slide across the distant mountains is awe-inspiring. When they bloom, deserts are some of the most beautiful places in the world. And most people avoid the desert so usually it’s a nice vacation spot if you’re seeking some solitude. Unless you’re visiting the Burning Man Festival, in which case you will most definitely NOT alone. If you’re not familiar with this, Google it. It’s crazy, weird and fascinating. But don’t get hurt if you go because you are days away from help. The festival truly takes place in the middle of nowhere. I know because I’ve been there. Not to the festival, but the location in Nevada. It is about as desolate as your can get.

And, my most favorite “D:”

“To have and to hold, from this day forward. In sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer . . . “

. . . my Darling. This wonderful man asked for my hand in marriage almost 12 years ago and he has stood faithfully by my side ever since. He’s my hero, my rock star, and my cowboy.

Now for the Booker Award portion of this month’s blog. Because I don’t have favorite books, so much, I’m going to list favorite authors, in no particular order:

1 – Phyllis Whitney. My mother used to read Phyllis Whitney’s books when I was a youngster and when she felt I was old enough to handle the adult content, she passed them along to me. Not that they are in any way erotic, because they are FAR from that, but a certain level of maturity is required to truly appreciate them.  After reading my very first novel, I was hooked. My keeper shelf has every book she ever wrote on it and I will not part with even one of them.

2 – Linda Chakin. She only wrote a few books, that I’m aware of, and then she disappeared. I never tried to find out why, but I miss her stories. She wrote mostly historical, faith-based books that came to life in my hands. Again, I believe I have every book she ever wrote on my keeper shelf.

3 – Linda Castillo. This is a new author to me and I can’t get enough of her books. I fell in love with her Kate Burkholder series set in Amish country and I always wait, impatiently, for the next book in the series to come out. The first book in the series is being made into a movie and I can’t wait to see it!

4 – Christine Feehan. In particular, her Drake Sisters series and her new Sea Haven series.

5 – Victoria Holt. Again, this is author from yesteryear, so to speak, but her romantic suspense novels are awesome and she was the second author I fell in love with as a young person with a passion for reading. While I don’t have every book she ever wrote on my keeper shelf, I probably have most of them.

Now for my nominees, may I have the envelope please (drum roll):  Jeannette Marie Powell, Pat O’Dea, and Louise Beheil, come on down. You are the next contentants on the Booker Award blog game.  Anyone else who wants to play along, please feel free to do so. Just let me know so I can pay you a visit and check out your books. And don’t forget to link back to this blog so others can see how to play.

So there you have it. Two games in one. I hope you’e enjoyed this month’s blog and that you’ll take a few minutes to visit the links above and check out the authors I’ve shared with you. I’d love to know some of your favorite “D” words, or favorite books and/or authors, so why not tell me about them in the comments section below.

Word of the day:  Juvenescent

Bonus fun fact about me (besides the ones listed above): When I was in high school, I could run a mile in less than six minutes. (Ginger Calem would be proud! http://www.gingercalem.wordpress.com)

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