Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Review: The Hunger Games


Early March I decided I needed to get a GRIP and read this darn series before the Movie came out.  I didn't want to be that schmuck to started reading them and realized how amazing they are AFTER I saw the movie.  

**CONFESSION: That is how I got into the Harry Potter series... I'm not proud of it, but I only saw the first movie before reading the other books.  All other books I read first.  

Anyways - I decided after seeing the trailer (which, was a bit too revealing for my taste) that I needed to make this my new purchase on my Kindle.  I went home and did just that.  In a week I tore through the book.   I was totally incapsulated into the story of the Katniss and Peeta in the Arena and this fantastical world of Panem.  

I always love getting to know the characters and I find that although Katniss is a bit untouchable and bratty? She is undeniably relatable in terms of girl-ness.  With, of course, her struggle between how she feels about Peeta and Gale.  Her awkward teenager self as she is conflicted with dressing up being a tom-boy.   I'm really, truly torn between Gale and Peeta - especially through books 2 & 3 (Catching Fire and Mockingjay).   I'm a sucker for the epic love triangle.  

Now, if I were to compare book VS movie... I'd obviously have to pick book.  This isn't like the Harry Potter novels where they get all the stuff they can possibly cram into the movies incredibly right.  Or, the Twilight saga movies where the actors playing the characters are so attractive you'd love the movies no matter what... 

I was incredibly dissatisfied with the movie.  Maybe it's because I had extremely high expectations.  Don't get me wrong, it's wasn't ALL bad - there were great parts.  I even got choked up with the relationship of Katniss and Rue... but, I felt like they could have done a better job with a lot of things.   

Please, go read it or see it and form your own opinion because some people really did love it.  I think I built it up too much maybe... 

Don't you have lingering questions though?  Like, what happened to the Earth that Panem was created?  How did some people survive...    

Friday, March 30, 2012

hey, you never know...

So, I've never been terribly interested in playing the lottery... Never really got into gambling, tried the slot machines one time but it didn't do much for me. 


Today the Mega Million winnings broke records - or, they will rather.   Typically I'm not even moved to even pay attention, but for whatever reason today when I heard the cast of Good Morning America boast about how many tickets they bought I was intrigued... 


We're talking George Stephanopoulos - who was a political advisor for President Clinton and is now a journalist taking a seat next to Robin Roberts.  These people definitely have money, yet they were buying tickets for the chance to win at least $540 million dollars... 


That's when I decided I was going to give in. I went to the gas station and purchased $5 worth of picks (like I knew what that meant...).  So, now I'm sort of thinking "why did I do that?" I'm certainly not one to beat the odds...  As several people have pointed out, I have a better chance of getting struck by lightning, or getting cancer...  


However, through the negativity (thoughts of getting struck by lightning or getting cancer) a LOT of Americans went out and purchased their tickets.  $1, $5, some dude even bought $10,000 worth because he thought his odds were better!  It was the topic of conversation at the water cooler today, during lunch breaks people rushed out to get theirs. 


What we actually spent our money on is hope.  Hope that tomorrow will be better than today...  Hope that you'll never have to work again, that you can take care of your parents until they die, that you'll never have to take out a loan, be debt free, hope for a better life?  Wouldn't it be great to win, but is that all you'd need to be happy?  I certainly would love to be able to buy those Tory Burch flats I've been eyeing... But, I couldn't live my life without the hope that tomorrow will be better, love from my family and friends, and that amazing feeling you get when you do beat the odds.  When you rise above the tragedies in your own little life and make tomorrow better from your own struggles.


Did you get your Mega Million ticket?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

serious, but to a point of humor...

was the theme tonight.  Every year for our recital we theme our recital - it's somewhat of a dance drama so to speak.   This year our title is Lancelot so naturally we'll have Jousting, and what does Jousting need that the medieval times didn't have?

Cheerleaders.

Yep, my Tuesday night advanced class (who I call the Dublin Team) will be Jousting Cheerleaders.  I just wish the director of A Knights Tale had thought of it... with all that Queen music and all.  We'll be dancing to Trent Reznor's version of Immigrant Song from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack, because I thought it would be oh so Knights Tale if we danced to something truly bad ass.  After all Knights Tale is a modern adaptation of a Sword in the Stone...  Anyways....

So I tell the dancers tonight that their characters need to be serious to a point that the audience thinks it's hilarious - like a comedy scene where the two comedians are trying to stay focused, yet make each other laugh.  They didn't really understand my example, but then we did a small activity of making "funny" serious faces.  Oh my, was that a hoot and a half.  I then made them dance their choreography with these "funny serious faces".  BAHAHA!  I was nearly brought to tears I was laughing so hard.  Needless to say, the audience will have no problems with these kiddos.  Especially when I attach pom pom's to their hands, hee hee.  

Should be a good show :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ow..


my feet! 

Tonight I drilled the kids in their hard shoes for about 45 minutes.  I was feeling super guilty for drilling their show routine for the past weeks coming onto St Patrick's Day, and they've been begging me for hard shoe while I just proclaim "soon we'll be able to do hard shoe again!" in my teacher voice!  
If one of my girls came up to me and complained that their feet hurt (kind of similar to how I am complaining my feet hurt..) I would turn to them and say "well, now you're a real dancer!" 
As if to say they weren't before their feet hurt?  I don't know, it's just a trick I learned from Mary... thanks Mar! :)   So, I suppose I'm a real dancer now...  

Either way, it was splendid to strap on my shoes and shout "turn out MOOOOOOORRRRRRREEEEEEEEE" 


Monday, March 19, 2012

St Pat's hangover...



this weekend brought:
record breaking organization at our shows
record breaking weather (in the 70's, in MARCH???)
record breaking people at the parade... 

it was truly an insane couple of days.  i am thankful i took today for myself.  in a moment of despair last week, i looked my manager in the eyes and asked for today off.    it was probably not truly needed, but i felt that if i wasn't really rested and had to go into the end of the month my head would pop off! 

so, today i did some chores around my apartment, finally went to the dmv to figure out what went wrong with my vehicle registration renewal, grocery shopped, and relaxed...   i took a long walk down to highland park. this is where i snapped the above photos of a few blossoms that are also making an early appearance.  i hope we don't get a frost... that will definitely whip out any and all of these lovely daffodils  that are starting to bloom.   

either way it was the perfect day - the weather man forecasted thunderstorms, yet the sky stayed beautifully blue and cloud-less.   even now i sit with my windows open, birds chirping, trying to decide if i want to head to the store for some ice cream... :) 

hangover cured.  now, to start my week

Sunday, March 11, 2012

the week of st. patrick's day...



...is upon us.  It's always a little nerve wrecking to get that first show out of the way.  Last night we were invited (along with a few of Rochester's other Irish dance schools) to dance before the Rochester American's game.  It was "Irish night"! 

I think it was a little weird for our dancers, too - Wendy and I had to remind them that we were in fact at a show!  With the bazaar location and terrible map with completely Irish directions - 
"Go up these stairs, when you get to the top you can go left or you can go right.  So, you should go right and go all the way down until you get to your spot. "
It all sounded like it made sense when the Blue Cross Arena man was telling us where to go - nope, those directions were useless... thank you, Dude.

It was great, though.  A great beginning to our week of festivities!   Afterwards most of us stayed for the hockey game and the Amerks came out on top.   I truly love the times we can spend with our dance families that aren't hustling between classes, or at a Feis... Where we can actually sit and have a conversation and laugh and get to know one another.   That warm and fuzzy atmosphere is what I love about us and all our dancing families :) 

until the next time... 

xx

Thursday, March 8, 2012

bloglovin...

i've decided if i want more readers - i should probably promote my blog a little.  Or at least get out on multiple sites. 

follow me on bloglovin

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3556548/after-the-40-bar-finish?claim=hnw6pr5yxg9">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WORK IT

Do you know who Coco Rocha is? 

I'm sure if you're at all into fashion then you've probably seen her on a runway...   You may have even seen her on Project Runway when she modeled a challenge winner's piece.   Or, maybe you've seen her Irish dancing down a runway...

She was discovered at an Irish Dance competition.  Someone actually came up to her and asked her if she had ever thought about modeling.   

The first time I saw this commercial I wish I had DVR at that moment so I could have rewound it to replay!   That is precisely what I did when Sara and I saw the commercial this weekend - we called down our parents like five year olds and cheered "look! She was an Irish dancer!" 

I'm not completely sure why exactly I want to be her - maybe her radiant beauty, her ability to look great in anything like most models have, or how amazingly charming and fun she looks in this commercial.  But, I'd live her life for a day... 






Monday, March 5, 2012

successful...

This morning, as I was sitting at my desk at work I received a text from my friend Kerry - the text read "Any news?" 

Now, it's not typical for Kerry to text me so right off the bat I knew something was up.  I immediately checked my email app on my iPhone...  nothing from Clair at the Commission.  I did receive something from Kelly (who I took the exam with last year, and this year).  The email read... 
"omg omg omg omg omg did you get an email???????????????????"

OK, now I definitely know something is up, I also know at this point that Kelly definitely passed (way to go Kel!!! ).  I go back to my inbox - still, nothing from Clair at the Commission office in Dublin... 

I text Kerry back - "I have nothing, they're out? My heart is POUNDING"

Quite literally I felt my heart rate rise from normal, to as if I had just sprinted a 400 meter!

I receive a text from Kerry "They are out.  Fingers crossed.  xo"

What the heck - where is my EMAIL!?!!?! 

I am now shaking, I can barely type a text to Mary and Wendy reading "exam results are out, I haven't received anything yet, I'm freaking"

I decided at that moment, since I was at work...  That I should probably take a lap around the office and try to calm the heck down.   So, I walked around the aisle over to my friend Anne Marie's desk...  I say 
"the exam results are out, I didn't receive an email yet and I....can't.... breathe.... "
She tried to calm me down by smiling in her very Gwyneth Paltrow way and just said "It's ok, you passed"

How could she be so sure when I wasn't???  I mean, I definitely felt very confident but still YOU NEVER KNOW! 

So when I went back over to my desk it was there.  The email from Clair at the Commission with the subject line "ADCRG/TCRG/TMRF Exams LA 2012"

I closed my eyes, touched the email to open it on my iPhone and then looked down at it and saw:
Examination Results ADCRG/TCRG/TMRF LA

This email is to inform you that you have been successful at the above exams.
Your full result will follow by hard copy in the mail.

An Udaras Scrudaithe
Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha

So, they don't highlight the word for you in red - I just did that because literally it's the only word I truly saw and read in the email.  I then proceeded to scream (yes, at work.  yes, at my desk)  "BAHHH  I passed my test!!!"  

The office all cheered and clapped for me, it was a very sweet moment.    Obviously I took the next... hour or so to text/email all the important people in my life and update the Facebook statuses.  

Wow - what a feeling.  

THEN, I get home and see that this blogger I follow had put up such a sweet post about me.  She's studying for her TCRG and I like to read her blog and keep up with her study habits, how her dancing and dances are coming.  Visit her blog The Long Road to the TCRG Exam and read about her journey.  It truly is a long road to the TCRG - and it's not an easy one!!  Kudos to you to nailing down an exam date and giving yourself a deadline!!! 

All in all, it's been a pretty amazing day! :) 

Anything incredible happen to you lately?



Sunday, March 4, 2012

sunday funday...








Today was my mommy's birthday!   
After my run with Dana this morning and the weekly socializing with Harper (Dana's perfect and adorable infant), I met up with Sara, Morgan and mom to purchase and set up her birthday gift - the iPhone 4 in white. 

We helped her pick out a case and got all the accessories necessary.  She was very excited :) 
When we arrived back at the house, Ryan and dad were already starting to prep for dinner and desert... 


The Menu:
Entree:
Sirloin Roast with Mushroom Demi glaze 
Squash and Caramelized Onions with baby Spinach and craisins
(Both recipes curtesy of Wegman's Menu Magazine)

To Drink: 
Rohrbach Patty's Irish Cream Ale

Desert:
Ryan's AH-MAY-ZING chocolate cupcakes with Swiss meringue frosting


As any Piccini gathering there was bickering, laughing, singing, loads of eating, and love and fun (of course).  

I'm literally obsessed with snapping photos of my nephew, Romeo.  He's brilliant when the camera comes out - always smiling and laughing and making the goofiest faces.  He's SO FAST!  That's probably just kids in general, but I swear I toss out tons of snaps that have everything in perfect focus except Rome who ends up being a complete blur... 

All in all, it was an absolutely splendid day.  The only thing halting this from perfection was the snow accumulating.  


How do you spend your Sundays?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

MIA

So, here I am - 2 weeks until St Patrick's Day...  Sorry I went MIA for a week(ish).   We took February break off of dance, and I decided I wanted to not blog as well... Plus, it was the end of month at work - which is never a fun experience.

Getting the kiddos ready for the shows on the 13th, 16th, and 17th is my main priority at dance the next two weeks.  We have a lot of "tidying" up to do.  The routines are done...enough at least for the shows.  The one team's choreography I'd like to add a bit more before the recital on April 29th.    Why is it that I'm freaking out, though?  It's such a sense of pride and accomplishment that the kids get out there and perform at all, let alone do it well!    I know I'll be proud that day - but until then Miss Meana is out and ready to take on anything!

In other news, I started reading The Hunger Games.   Unfortunately, I saw the preview for the movie and that hinted towards some things that happen.  However, I'm just getting into the really good part and I can't wait to find out what happens to Katniss!

Are you ready to be Irish for a day?  What books are you reading lately?