superdaintykate: (Default)
superdaintykate ([personal profile] superdaintykate) wrote2011-07-10 01:40 pm

(no subject)

I've been reluctant to post to LJ, because I don't want to be all "Hey, LJ, I hurt myself again," but I did, and this Journal has been an incredible help in the past when I've needed to document when shit happened, so, here I am.

I've been getting ready for the Dance Season here, which mostly means MedFest, a two-day free dance festival that EVERYONE goes to for at least a little while. It's a great way to get some stage time and stay in the hive mind and so hell yes I was going to dance. I got a prime spot, later afternoon on Saturday on the outdoor stage.

I stopped in at my local Dance Emporium (Ottoman Trading [I guess it's now Ottoman Bellydance] -- classes, workshops, vending, they've got it all and now they're only about fifteen minutes away) to get a top to wear with my skirt (made for the Solstice Parade -- this year has been all about multitasking) and the owner and I got to talking about dancing at Masala, which is a restaurant down the street from Ottoman that features live music and dancing EVERY WEEKEND.

I will pause for effect there, since that sort of thing is the holy fucking grail to me. Live music in Tucson generally only happened in conjunction with shows or workshops. When we went to San Francisco and got to see dancers with live music in a glorious dive of a restaurant -- and I realized that I OWNED ALBUMS by two of the musicians -- well, I was so choked up with emotion I could barely eat.

So. Masala features a smaller ensemble two weeks of the month -- George Sadak and Friends -- and the MB Orchestra (George's relatives in a party-band format) the other two, and they keep a constant rotation of dancers. I had mentioned to Dena (the owner of Ottoman) that George seemed to have spectacular timing when he'd invite me to dance: once was two days before Labor Day weekend, and once was the weekend after I'd had my hysterectomy. She had told me just to let George know I was available, as he was frequently scrambling to book dancers (the man is seriously busy with a ton of irons in the fire). This was also unheard of to me as I am used to being at a booker's mercy. I told her I'd keep it in mind.

Voila, a Facebook message popped up a day or two later, asking if I was available for that weekend. I thought about it -- [ profile] manningkrull was going to be in town and it might make for a cool evening out, if he and Marjorie were up for it. Jon inquired. They were, indeed, up for it. So I said yes.

I then found out that part of the regular ensemble was not going to be playing, and their half of the band was going to be filled by Stephen Elaimy and David McGrath from House of Tarab, which is the premier ensemble for the performance of accoustic vintage dance music in the area. (The fact that I live in an area that HAS an ensemble, much less a PREMIER ensemble, still blows my mind, see above.) I was, in a word, stoked.

Jon spent the day with Manning and Marjorie (and [ profile] snowman and Erin) while I stayed home and got ready and found/packed my costume, and then I drove over to get set up. Stephen met with me, with a list of some of the more recognizable dance pieces in their repertoire, and very obligingly put together a setlist for me. I told him I wanted an easyish set since I am still recovering (for example, a peppy entrance number I could saunter around and play finger cymbals to) and we cobbled together an entrance, gooey emotive piece (Ana fi Intizarek again), oud taxim, drum solo, and tip round/outro. Hot damn. I was delighted to see several friends of mine in the house, including one of my students, a sweet gent who is also a silk arialist and pilot. Jon showed up with everyone in tow (and I got to meet Marjorie, who is wonderful) and they got settled, and I trotted off to get dressed.

The evening was to open with a student of Astarte (the dancer who was to close the show); then me; then Astarte. I was prepared for things to start a little late, but I was not prepared for the long set the band played between me and Tanya (the student). I got to hang around in the foyer of the restaurant, draped in my veil, putting my cymbals on and taking them off, and trying to judge when to pop a Tic Tac in my mouth. I used the time to warm up, shimmying to get the adrenaline pumped through my system, circling my hips and ribcage, and stretching my calves. I had pulled a muscle in my left calf during class a month previously (damn Saidi) and it had been feeing twingey, so I tried to pay it special attention.

A couple came in and paused at the podium to pay their cover charge. The man looked at me as they passed and said "you dancing later?" "Sure am." "I need to be sure to be here for that!"

He came back to talk to me a few minutes later, standing too closely, asking the usual questions (have you been dancing long, are you from 'over there') but doing it in a creepy way. I answered in a cautiously friendly way, ignoring his subtext, and he picked up on it, telling me I was looking at him like I didn't know what he was up to. That's quite true, sir, I thought, because I fucking don't. He went back to his table, thankfully.

The band took a break. Dena was playing drum in the ensemble and came back to the foyer; I intercepted her as she was heading toward the bathroom. Could she ask George to intoduce me? For the life of me, I couldn't remember which song I had requested for my intro. She laughed and told me she'd do what she could.

After the break, the band played two more songs, and then, thankfully, Stephen gave me a short intro on the mike. (I think. The sound is pretty muddy in the back of the bar, but there was a cheer that came after something that sounded like my name, so I got my cymbals back on and popped my TicTac.) The music started. I waited for a measure, then stepped into the room, playing my cymbals...

...and felt my left calf muscle pop, and searing pain shoot through my leg. I had no clue what the fuck I was going to do. Everyone had heard the cymbals at the back of the room, they knew I was coming; do I back out? Limp up to the front of the room and talk to the band as they played and explain what had happened? Send a proxy? What the fuck? All these thoughts were racing through my head as I circled the table in the back where all my friends sat, playing my cymbals and experimentally testing my leg. I couldn't put my full weight through the full range of my foot, so I took my time getting the stage (normal for me, anyway), figuring out how the hell I was going to dance for fifteen minutes without going up on releve on the left foot or doing any arabesques or, you know, turning LEFT.

I got though it. I felt hobbled, but I did the best I could. I had never experienced the saving power of adrenaline, but I sure as hell felt it then. I made it through the whole set and a tip round (creepy dude wasn't putting up with my "catch my hip" routine and pulled my belt so hard my butt scooted across his table) and bow and was offstage and getting out of costume before the pain started to wash over me in waves. I changed while standing on one foot the best I could and packed everything back into my bag and toweled off (sweated both eyelashes nearly off, but at least they stayed attached until I was getting undressed) and hobbled back out to the restaurant. My party had left to reconvene at our house -- they knew it would take a while for me to get into civvies -- so I stood at the back of the room watching Astarte's drum solo (and frankly, envying the soft lobs that George seemed to be throwing her). My friend Laura came back to tell me how much she liked my show and so she was the first to learn that I thought I had torn my calf. She was flabbergasted and concerned and very sweetly insisted that she and her husband would drive me home. I thanked her and told her I was okay, that it was my left calf, so I could get myself home. I made a quick round of the other folks in the restaurant after Astarte's set, thanking my other friends for coming, and then hobbled back to my car.

The pain really set in about a block away from the restaurant, making me grip the steering wheel and swear. I couldn't get home fast enough. I parked out on the street and hobbled up the driveway, and Jon met me with a huge hug and a smile that faded quickly as soon as he saw the look on my face. "I broke myself," I muttered in his ear as we hugged, and soon I was installed on our couch (oh thank GOD we have a couch now) with an icepack and a very strong rum and Coke. Most of the party was hanging out in the kitchen; Manning very kindly came and kept me company, and Jon rushed off to Google my symptoms and figure out if I needed to go to the ER or not. We figured out that I hadn't torn the muscle through (I have every sympathy for Triple H now, let me tell you) since it wasn't bruising immediately and, well, it still looked like it was attached. I loaded up on ibuprofen (I had been taking it through the evening) and ice packs -- eventually giving myself frostbite on top of everything else -- and everyone joined us in the living room, and we had a lovely evening.

Jon and I spent a few hours the next day in Urgent Care, where I was seen by a doctor who described herself as my NP's buddy, and she wrapped the leg for me -- I couldn't believe what a difference that made -- and wrote an Rx for physical therapy. We hobbled over to Bartell's and got me a pair of crutches (oh, sweet relief, to walk at a normal pace again) and then made an attempt to have lunch at Coho Cafe. Unfortunately the decor was awful, the menu pretentious (Kogi Short Ribs, anybody?), the waitress warned us away from the burgers but didn't offer any substitutions, and the drove the final nail in the coffin by filling our order of Coke products with Pepsi products without warning. We beat cheeks out of there and made our way to Neville's, where we filled up on proper fish and chips and a stilton burger, then had a bit of a nap and met back up (with Llorona, who was nonplussed) at Jus and Erin's house for a get-together. We had a sweet little picnic in the Arboretum with Manning and Marjorie the next morning (with La Llo in tow, so Marjorie could coo over her and feed her treats) before we took them to the airport.

I met with my PT on Tuesday, I think. I asked her how likely it could be that I would be healed up for MedFest next weekend, and she said it would most likely make things worse, and end with me in a walking boot or possibly needing surgery as a result. Any mention of surgery puts the fear of god in me, so I gave up that idea. I felt better when she said I will most likely be able to perform at the next event on my calendar in August, so we got to work. She did some massage on the calf to break up any scarring, and my calf turned some gorgeous colors as the blood came to the surface. I rarely can feel a bruise happening, but this one, I sure did. I also got some electricity and ice on it, and stretches to do until next time. I am trying to be good and keep it elevated in the evenings and wrapped and iced and I am taking my ibuprofen and doing my stretches. I want this thing to be behind me. I emailed Saroya (one of the MedFest organizers) and let her know what was going on and she was very understanding and supportive, and someone else can have my lovely spot.

In other developments, we can't stop cooing at Llorona in a French accent.

[identity profile] 2011-07-11 03:42 am (UTC)(link)
I'm very, very sorry to hear you're injured, Kate. I'm also immensely impressed with your fortitude, going through the rest of your set like that. I'm glad that folks around you are being supportive, but I'm sure you're feeling disappointed about MedFest. It's annual, though, right? Small potatoes, I know, but at least it'll happen again soon and it's not like you flaked out on your spot -- you have a legitimate reason not to dance and it sounds like Saroya will be happy to book you again.

Unrelated, but that last line got me: Did Marjorie refer to Llorona as a "Tweetie" or even a "Tweetie Bird"? This is a term of endearment she uses for her rabbits, but I also discovered it's what she calls our cats (they catsat for a week while we were in Seattle once) and, I presume, any sweet animal. My French impression for the kitties involves saying things like, "Aaaah, bonjour, Tweeee-teeees! Comment ├ža va?"

[identity profile] 2011-07-11 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
It was rewarding to hear that it was a good set -- Jon thinks it was one of my best thus far -- on TOP of my doing it while hobbled. No one was the wiser, thank goodness.

MedFest is annual, yes. Luckily anyone can perform if they register by the deadline (a friend describes the resulting show as "the good, the bad, and the what-the-fuck"). I made a good impression on Saroya my first year here when I volunteered to help them set up and spent the day measuring and marking vendor spaces with orange spray paint. I figure volunteering an hour or so is the least I can do, so I try to make sure to do that every year. This year I will be checking in dancers and hopefully doing some announcing.

And your Marjorie impression is pretty much our Marjorie impression. "'Allo, Tweetie! Would you like a treet?"

[identity profile] 2011-07-11 05:33 pm (UTC)(link)
She is the reason we call our daughter "Lily-Bird".

[identity profile] 2011-07-11 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
You are a fucking hero, lady, for doing your set through injury. I'm so sorry that you are hurt and that it's cutting into your normal functions and that it made you cancel out of a gig.

Love to you! I would wish you strength but you clearly don't need any help in that arena.

[identity profile] 2011-07-13 12:14 am (UTC)(link)

Sorry, thank you for the compliment, I know what you mean and I appreciate it. :)

[identity profile] 2011-07-11 04:58 pm (UTC)(link)
I wish I had something useful to say. I'm so sorry you're dealing with yet another medical issue. It's so damned unfair. I hope it clears up as quickly as is reasonable.

[identity profile] 2011-07-13 12:15 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! I can go into cautious releve now, but it sure feels weak.

[identity profile] 2011-07-13 01:19 pm (UTC)(link)
sorry to hear you are injured. :( here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

I have to ask - what is the purpose of the tic-tac?

[identity profile] 2011-07-14 11:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Keeps away dry mouth so my lips don't stick to my teeth. :)
ext_415587: (I Hurt)

[identity profile] 2011-07-15 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
One usually doesn't walk into a story about dancing and run into a frickin' pro wrestling reference. ;)

So it's a partial tear? Or something different?

I'm not your usual dancer.

[identity profile] 2011-07-15 11:22 pm (UTC)(link)

It's a strain: a tear, but not a separation. My PT has been massaging the blood out of it so now my calf is pretty colors.