Concluding 2012 and, with disbelief, this blog

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Happy New Year’s Eve!  I realize that it has been many months since our last post and, indeed, the end of summer.  It was with the most sincerity that I hoped to write a hi-thank-you-it’s-been-great-post before school started, but…well, school started.  If you haven’t already, transition your reading pleasure to A’s NEW blog.

A and I had the BEST summer-after-our-first-year-in-college and first-summer-in-New-York.  We adventured through the city, attended an excessive amount of ballets (this one’s on me), ate good food, reveled with friends, lived in the CUTEST apartment, dreamed about living in a similar apartment after college, worshiped Trader Joe’s, searched out dance studios, went shopping, worked hard (A was in a movie), traveled as often as possible with our unlimited MetroCards and, above all, were merry.

THE STATS- THANKS TO OUR READERS

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SINCE THEN

What has happened since this summer?  The highlights:

  • A DECLARED her major in Sociology
  • I left the era of teenage rebellion for the ripe age of TWENTY (you can all relax now, I’m not going to be a young prat anymore/I have mixed feelings about the necessity to be an “adult”)
  • A was in Soundgarden’s new MUSIC VIDEO
  • I performed in the Barnard Project at New York Live Arts and mentioned in the Times (see review here)
  • We went to see ABT’s Nutcracker for the holiday season.  Below, A and dearest Olivia

  • We went ice skating at Bryant Park.  Below, A, Ethan and myself

  • I decided to double-major in Art History and French, as well as study abroad in Paris for a year starting in the fall.  A is potentially going to Germany next spring and Olivia might be at Oxford for the year- Europe, here we come!
  • A, Olivia and I went to Max Brennan’s (finally!) with A’s parents

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

So from your merry, Missouri Manhattaners:  many thanks and happy holidays!  We  leave you with the indicative Rinehart Season’s Greetings card (you can follow A’s brother, Ian, on his photo blog here).

Best wishes and much love,

Ariane and Martha Scott

Things In Which I Do Not Believe: Umbrellas

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I’m back in NY, wrecking at life per the use.  Springfield was averaging 102 degrees throughout my visit and maintaining the record drought.  New York, on the other hand, has been subject to humidity and on-again-off-again showers and thunderstorms.  I wanted to throw out a personal belief that really manifested in high school out of frustration and exasperation.

I don’t believe in umbrellas.  More specifically, I don’t believe in their usefulness.  I understand the concept and accept their physical being, but they really aren’t functional.  Let’s walk through the process of using an umbrella:

1.  It begins to rain.  You have hair and clothes on and don’t want to get wet.

2. You didn’t know it was going to rain.  Your umbrella is in your apartment/dorm/car/office which is at least a 10 minute walk or 30 minute train ride away.

3.  You either return to your apartment/dorm/car/office to retrieve your umbrella or buy an umbrella from someone on the street or from an I Love New York shop.  It is probably white with “I <3 NY” printed all over it.

4.  You open said umbrella.  Normally, the lock catches or you pinch your finger.

5.  Spatially speaking, not everyone can carry an umbrella.  You are increasing your circumference dramatically, so the chances of bumping/stabbing/jostling the people around you also increases dramatically.

6.  While you are bumping/stabbing/jostling the people around you, you are also walking down the street (read:  wind tunnel).  Gusts of wind push through at varying intervals and with varying intensity.  Your umbrella inverts.

 

7.  You get a face full of water from the umbrella in front of you that similarly inverted.

8.  You manage to get the umbrella back to its approximate original form and are now walking down the street/wind tunnel with the umbrella directly ahead of you, so you can’t see anything.  Choose your own adventure:  walk into a busy street, get run over by a taxi, knock down a child, trample a small dog, or fall down the steps of a train stop.

9.  You arrive at your destination having wasted 10-30+ minutes retrieving the now broken umbrella and soaked nevertheless.  You may also not have arrived to your destination if a combination of the above adventures befell you.

So suck it up and get a little wet and look like this:

Sans umbrella, we live like the Nicholas Sparks’ novels/movies:

Continued reasoning why I don’t believe in umbrellas:

 

In conclusion, here is a video of a slow loris with an umbrella.

A Saturday Saunter through the South Street Seaport

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Alliteration FTW! Mom, that means “for the win.” I know you were going to Google it.

Any who, on Saturday, Chelbi and I had planned to join the tourists, not by taking pictures of squirrels on College Walk, but by heading downtown and taking the ferry to Ellis Island. Of course, it being August in NYC and all, there was quite the crowd attempting to join us, so rather than wait in a one hour security line in the hot, hot sun, we decided to postpone the trip ’till the fall and walk around the area instead. Definitely a wise decision.

Below are photographs from our walk from Battery Park, through the Financial District, arriving at the South Street Seaport:

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20120808-132050.jpgWe attempted to execute the classic holding-up-the-Statue-of-Liberty photo, but this photo is just one of many displaying our lack of success…20120808-132056.jpg

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Yup. Reflective buildings are the new mirror pics.
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20120808-132426.jpgAnd we’re finally at The South Street Seaport! Much rejoicing occurred, especially since we were greeted by all the food trucks. YUM
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After a long afternoon of walking in the heat, we retired to air conditioning to watch Love Actually.

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Some tourism, some exercise, some food out of a truck, and some of my favorite British actors and actresses. Pretty much a perfect day.

Let’s go ahead and make it perfect with some cuteness, shall we? We shall:20120808-135144.jpg

Retrograding for the week: Manhattan to MO

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Ariane in Iceland, my travels to the OG, New Jersey, Ariane leaves me again for South Carolina, and now I am back in the hometown, the Buckle of the Bible Belt that is Springfield, MO- summer of champions/now I’m an adult and can travel when I want (right?). This blog has now made a full circle- from MO to Manhattan and back again! Don’t worry, I’ll be back in Oz on Wednesday.

Dorothy came back to Kansas Missouri for her best friend’s birthday of the 1-9 variety and to crash her way through the town before school starts. Dorothy texted everyone furiously and viciously, threatening to direct a tornado at anyone who mentioned her arrival to the bestie.

You get the point: I’m Dorthy, MO is Kansas and New York is Oz. Halloween costumes have been determined for a while. So, I got to Penn Station at an unarguably UNGODLY hour and flew via O’Hare (the armpit of the Midwest) into the Missouri River-themed Springfield Branson airport, where James, an oldtime partner in crime, and his college friend, Kristen, met me.  I was informed that Kristen was informed that I was crazy, quote, unquote.  Priceless.  Poor thing.

I surprised Lauren with my effusive presence by driving over to her house early and jumping on her bed and scaring the ever-loving-Jesus out of her. PLOT TWIST: her boyfriend, Adam, was also visiting, so he was another lucky beneficiary of my love and general sparkling personality/he was wrecked by Lauren and I in combination.

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SURPRISE!

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Bestie love at 9 AM

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Perhaps the only decent photo of the weekend. Myself, Lauren and Adam.

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Adam still acclimating to my amazing-ness this early in the morning

After Adam won me over with his hilarity and too-cute-ness-with-Lauren After I threatened Adam with a shotgun and scary devil eyes, we hit the select Springfield standards before gathering for a really lovely dinner at Flame, a pretty classy restaurant in Spfd. Harassment and stories and laughter and gifts and me making Lauren cry with my letter- mah bad, bitty.

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Adam and Lauren- too presh for posh.

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Adam, Sheryl, myself, Lauren, Courtney (sis) and Nick (sis’ boyfriend). Father Marky K behind the camera.

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It’s love.

Also on the agenda was regrouping with my high school girls ensemble (8 girls in total) and recording every song we ever sang. Ever. 3 hours and it was great. This group was pretty special to our teacher, Alberta Smith (also SPS Teacher of the Year- snaps!): we received “1” ratings at state every year that we sang together and tackled difficult music. We were also a pretty rambunctious set of ladies- sassy to the tee. We became “famous” for “our song”, Danny Boy, which usually brought folks to tears. NBD, we do what we do.

Smitty’s YouTube recording:

I enjoyed a $7.25 movie with my dad and sister the next day, a nice change up from foregoing the movies for the ballet at $15. Then, per my birthday gift for Lauren, the two of us met with Craig (Lauren: “Craigles”) for some photos in the bestie form. Think my squinty smiley eyes and Lauren’s gummy gums and our Yankees/Red Sox baseball caps. I think they’ll be real cute.

I’ll be off to bowling tonight with some kiddos. Really, I’m just there to make everyone look good. James and I want bumpers, but we may need to choose our battles. Then some family dinners and friend brunches and lots of work emails in between before taking off on Wednesday morning.

I’m not old enough yet to wax eloquent about my hometown, but it has been nice to catch up with Lauren and harass a few friends. I think I’m more comfortable visiting home after the third try- you expect some things to change, but, as all those songs go, you’re the one who has changed. And then the things you don’t want to change do and the things you do, don’t. And it’s all wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey and I AM JUST TRYING TO GROW UP.

On that note, my next goal is to become a better hugger. Here are the 8 Best Hugs, to which I aspire. I am leaving you a la Ariane to demonstrate my roommate separation anxiety, as she has informed me that she is watching the most emotional episodes of Buffy in order to cope.

Until I see you in Oz,
Martha Scott

Celebrating our friends across the pond…no, the other ones. The ones without that global sporting event.

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Hello, it’s me again. Yes, the silent one. The one who has inexcusably abandoned you these past few weeks, leaving you to gorge yourself on Ariane’s fabulous adventures, both corporeally and virtually. For forgiveness, I will solemnly swear we were up to no good. As you know from Olivia’s guest post on the Paris Opera Ballet, Saturday, July 14th was Bastille Day for the French (sort of their 4th of July). Yet another cause for celebrating freedom and another flag that flies red, white and blue (bleu, blanc et rouge).

Alors, we had a little fete (a la South of the Border, but not, and with Ariane) at the apartment after Olivia and I attended Giselle. With the fear that we would NOT be cliche, we invited cheese, baguettes, NUTELLA, bon bons, macaroons, those petit ecolier cookies that everyone adores, and some fruit.

But let’s have real talk: Ariane and I live in New York. We are living in a sublet apartment. Let’s imagine the square footage available for shenanigans. Let’s also remember the close proximity of other people ie neighbors. 16 people in our living room, some of which were learning a step routine to Azealia Banks? People on the floor, drinking out of a Pyrex measurement cup? NO PROBLEM. We’re young, it’s summer, and we love the French (see photos at the end for a visual walk through of the night, thanks to Ariane’s new and fancy camera). More people = more conversations, faster conversations and that many more laughs.

OH BUT THE LOVE DIDN’T STOP AT 3 AM THAT NIGHT, as AJ trekked to Brooklyn and David barely made it the 3 blocks to his dorm. Per our plan created weeks in advance, Olivia spent the night in order to catch the Bastille Day Festival, sponsored by the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) on 60th st (btw 5th and Lex). It was a little overcast, which was perfect given the HEAT (good lord). But that didn’t stop us from eating DELICIOUS CREPES, eying many a macaroon, and teasing the mime who walked through the streets. It made Olivia and I entirely too excited to study abroad in Paris next year (In fact, we’re meeting tonight at the quintessential Cafe Lalo to ooh-la-la over the chic and true love and pastries that will assuredly occur overseas).

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Bastille Day Festival, sponsored by FIAF

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Woeful accordion player. Oh, so woeful.

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Mime

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Call me?

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Scrumptious crepes!

But the day didn’t end there! Oh no, we ambitiously decided (again, per our plan created weeks in advance) to attend the newest Improv Everywhere Experiment- the flash-mob-esque group that recruited and performed during Columbia NSOP 2011. We dashed to Jack’s 99 Cent store (where NOTHING IS ACTUALLY A DOLLAR) to pick up the following necessities:

- A water gun, filled with water. RESULT: a Cars squirt gun that held about 1 oz. water before leaking
– A shower cap. RESULT: 6 multi colored shower caps
– A white bed sheet. RESULT: Plastic white tablecloths
– A hard, flat object that you don’t want anymore. RESULT: $1.07 hot pink clipboard the size of my hand
– A small, soft object that you don’t want anymore. RESULT: an Angry Birds dog toy plushie
– A small musical instrument. RESULT: these small trumpet things that are quite loud

Back story: Also during NSOP, the biggest event/party was held on Governor’s Island. Key point: only accessible by ferry. Please note the ~2,000 head count of the Class of 2011. Please note the number of ferries running: 1-2. Needless to say, it was worse than the Jersey Turnpike during rush hour. Worse than when everyone from 5th Ave leaves for the Hamptons on Thursday night (because who actually works on Fridays in the summertime, amirite?).

So this scenario happened AGAIN during Experiment Nine. We met up with Stephan (also in attendance at the fete) at South Ferry, getting in line for the ferry.  Quick math:  the ferry runs every 30 minutes and seats ~100.  There are 500+ people in line.  It is 2:30.  We are at the back.  Conclusion:  we’re not going to be on that boat. We were devastated because we missed this.

Only a little devastated. En route home, Ariane and Stephan did about 10 minutes of the Experiment on the train/120th St.

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The chances of being in an empty car?
Olivia, Stephan and Ariane.

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What we WOULD have looked like, had we made the ferry. At this point, the car was no longer empty. People stared. We stared back.

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We never stood a chance.

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Playing our 99cent musical instruments with melancholy.

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Slow-mo, trying to be with Improv Everywhere in the UWS.

Then, we watched Dark Knight/I took a nap because 3 am is WAY past my bed time.

Much love,

Martha Scott

Tweet at me, brah.

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Well this is embarrassing. Despite my passionate declarations that I would never ever, ever, ever, ever-times-infinity-plus-one get a Twitter account, I’ve succumbed to this #socialmediadevice and procured my Twitter name, or as Martha Scott has informed me, my Twitter handle. I knew I’d be getting one in the winter time so I could live tweet during Dance Marathon, but I never thought I’d be falling down the slippery Twitter slope so soon! Alas, I went to Jersey for the weekend and came back with a Twitter. Welcome to the Dark Side.

So what is my Twitter handle, you ask? Well it’s a name that really speaks to my nature, captures my essence, really hones in on the complexities of Ariane Elise Rinehart.

arianerinefart

Yeah, buddy. One full hour of brainstorming with Natasha and Alexandra for that one. And let me tell you, we did not settle on it easily. I didn’t want to go with plain-jane ArianeRinehart, especially with my roomie’s to live up to, so we were really hard at work. Let’s briefly walk through this monumental night, shall we?

At first, I wanted to incorporate my love for Nancy Drew and desire to be her in my Twitter name…excuse me, handle. Not surprisingly, most of the obvious ones were long taken. Enter the oh-so-brilliant Natasha Antony and her favorite suggestion – I’m not being sarcastic here, this was actually her favorite: NancyRineDrew. I’m sorry, what?! I just don’t even have words for it. And as Ali pointed out, “Well, then that just screws things over for the real Nancy Rinedrew when she wants to get her Twitter.” And we can’t have that, now can we?

Next we tried the pun route. Unfortunately, collectively, we aren’t very punny. Ali’s favorite suggestion in this department was “airhead,” given the “ari” part of my name. She really pushed for it. Remarkably, it was not my final choice. Although, I did end up going with a fart joke, so everything is questionable here.

I’m going to give some explanation as to how I decided on arianerinefart, although I know I’m going to regret it. Basically, in the 3rd grade, one of my favorite teachers nicknamed me Hairyman Whinefart, all out of love, and I was like, hey! That totally works! And it’s way better than playing off of the “heart” aspect of my name. I’d like to say anyone who knows me knows how appropriate and fitting arianerinefart still is today, but I don’t want to scare off any potential friends, so….TOTALLY NOT TRUE. But hey, everybody farts.

Martha Scott thoroughly enjoyed the name. She couldn’t stop giggling and vowed to @ mention me in all of her tweets so people would be confused as to who this crazy fart girl was. We also added my twitter to the side bar on the left of the blog, and Martha Scott wanted me to name it “Ariane’s Fart Tweeter.” Again, remarkably, this did not end up happening. (But check out our Tweeters on the left!) She seriously couldn’t stop giggling and retweeted about 4 of my beginning tweets because of their gassy references.

HI GUYS WE GO TO AN ACCREDITED UNIVERSITY AND ARE VERY MATURE AND GROWN UP AND SMART AND STUFF.

So you know the drill. @arianerinefart.  Call me, tweet me, if you wanna reach me.

Yeah, that’s right. I worked in Star Wars and Kim Possible references in the same post. #canttouchthis

#deargoditsadisease

#helpme

Oy.

Here’s a cute baby bunny to cleanse your palate:

Ice-capades in Iceland, AKA world travel didn’t help my terrible titles

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As you may or may not know, I was just in Iceland for a few days shooting a movie, so of course I now must blog and share what pictures I was able to take during my short trip.

Iceland was a very interesting place. It was definitely beautiful, but it was also amazing the range of its landscape, from the fairly flat suburbs and the meticulous streets of downtown Reykjavik, which struck me more as quaint than as the downtown of the country’s capital, to the sprawling lava rock fields surrounding stunning mountains. Iceland’s terrain was as varied as the country’s weather (there’s a saying that if you don’t like the weather in Iceland, wait five minutes and it will change).

The airport is also beautiful, as silly as that seams to say when you’re in such an otherworldly place. I’ve never been to such a clean and aesthetically pleasing airport. With wood panelled floors and sleek staircases, it was not what I expected to see after stepping out of our gate. I also have to mention how chill entering the country was. We went to get our passports stamped and I was expecting questions of some form, however, the guy just smiled, stamped my passport and carried on to the next passenger in the same manner. So then I thought going through the customs line, they would make sure we weren’t soiling their beautiful and environmentally friendly country with our American germs. Wrong. Customs was literally a hallway with two security men chatting at a corner. Odd, but I certainly wasn’t complaining.

It was about midnight when we hopped into the car to go to the hotel, and it was still light out (20 hours of daylight in the summer time and the sun was just setting). With the four hour time difference not in our favor, we weren’t tired yet, so our driver offered a short detour to see the famous Blue Lagoon. Um, yes please.

I was disappointed to find later that a good portion of my photos were blurry as my camera was low on battery and it wasn’t quite as light out as I had initially thought, but I still managed to salvage a few.

The water was this beautiful, milky blue, and they use the mud to create skin care products and spa experiences in the lagoon’s hot springs, as the mud and water are supposed to have healing and beauty properties.

I didn’t have anything the next day, so I walked through downtown Reykjavik, which was only a short distance from the hotel.

Iceland’s Harpa Concert Hall, their newly built opera house, was a beautiful sight on the walk to downtown. The outside looks like glass honeycomb and was matched by the mirrored hexagon ceiling tiles inside the complex.

Ah the króna. I was quite the fan of Iceland’s currency, plus the exchange rate wasn’t too bad either. Although, I didn’t do my research on it beforehand, and Adam and I had to ask twice what it was and then proceeded to use a calculator before purchasing everything. Hey. I haven’t done that math thing in a while. Cut me some slack.

It doesn’t look as odd in this picture as it did in person, but those cans of Coke are as big as the 16oz bottles. They had an entire refrigerated area devoted to Coke and Pepsi products. Here in the US, that would probably be replaced by an energy drink section.

Next we have Hallgrímskirkja. Hallgrimskirkja was a church that you could see from most parts of Reykjavik. Especially with the cloudy backdrop, it had quite the presence.

There was some beautiful graffiti downtown and a helpful mural in case you forgot how to tie your tie.

I’m all about enjoying the food of the place you travel to, so I treated myself to a meal of mink whale steak. Yup. Whale. It was pretty good, but I liked horse better. Oh yeah, I had horse too. You know what they say: “When in Iceland, do as the Icelandic do.” Hmm… I might have the wrong expression there. Anyone know any famous Icelandic sayings? I’ll settle with a Björk quote: “I am a grateful… grapefruit.”

Now as far as pictures of when we actually filmed go, I’m not totally sure what I’m allowed to post, so I’m just going to go with nothing. I’m not a rule breaker, kids. So I’ll end the photo stream with this beautiful photo of the sky at I believe around 7 or 8 and a fuzzy iPhone picture of Darren and me at the end of the shoot day.

Oh and naturally, something cat themed:

Another Summer Stayer! Guest Blog from Olivia Aylmer on, yep, the ballet

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Ariane and I have been getting comments and notes that people are reading and enjoying our rather spontaneous blog and now we’re franchising!!  Olivia Aylmer, previously mentioned on this blog and a dear, bunhead friend at Barnard, has graciously agreed to write a note on our trip to see Paris Opera Ballet’s Giselle on Saturday.  As it was the company’s first trip to the States in 15 years, we couldn’t miss it.  You can see pictures from the performance here.

Without further ado, the talented writer, blogger and fashionista,  Olivia Aylmer:

“But Everything was beautiful at the ballet…” sing Sheila and Bebe in A Chorus Line. They could have been singing about Martha Scott and I’s Saturday afternoon, because—let me tell you—everything at the ballet was the sort of beautiful you dream about, but rarely see performed a mere few feet away from you by the crème de la crème of the Parisian dance world.

Almost two months ago, we heard that the Paris Opera Ballet would be spending a few days in the city in July, performing one of our favorites, Giselle, at Lincoln Center, in the theatre usually reserved for New York’s very own City Ballet. We hesitated for about thirty seconds before hopping online and reserving two seats in the Orchestra; chances like this don’t come around every old day.

Do we have any regrets for spending a pretty penny on those tickets at the start of summer? The answer, quite simply, is: not one. We sat enthralled for two hours as the troupe long-limbed, naturally expressive, utterly elegant French dancers leaped and pirouetted and danced their hearts out for us to Adolphe Adam’s hauntingly beautiful score, all the while telling a story of mad love (literally), redemption, and forgiveness. It’s hard to believe that this ballet first premiered on an evening in June over a century ago in (but of course) Paris, France.

As MSB and I discussed post-performance, once we had finally settled down from an eight-minute, wholly deserved applause and standing O (and the chills/hairs on end had subsided), Giselle ends on a note of hope. Unlike, say, Romeo & Juliet, in which the title characters tragic fates evoke less than uplifting emotions in the audience, this ballet closes with a scene so bittersweet and beautiful that it draws both a tear and a smile. In light of the aforementioned incredible ballet, I’m leaving detail of the plot itself out to encourage all of you lovely readers to find it being performed during an upcoming season near you, and to BUY TICKETS. Immediately!

Truly, these dancers could not have been more gracious, which made applauding for them after the curtain closed that much more of a pleasure. The principal dancers (or, étoiles as they’re known in Paris), Isabelle Ciaravola (Giselle), Karl Paquette (Albrecht) stepped aside fellow company members enjoy their New York moment on the white flower-strewn stage. MSB and I clutched each other’s arms multiple times over the course of the performance without saying a word as the subtle sublimity of the company’s spot-on rendition struck us. From their extensions that seemed to stretch on for just a moment longer than the music allowed, to their visible evocations of first love, lost love, and everything in between, they brought an essence of sincerity to every gesture they made, every step they took, and every breath they breathed before breaking into the next flawless movement phrase.

For me, a ballet becomes an entity all its own when its dancers are able to transcend their physical movements to bring a story to life——they’re no longer simply dancing, but living through dance. A grand-jeté becomes a cry for help, a port de bras a warm embrace, a pirouette a spin into madness. What the Paris Opera Ballet dancers did on Saturday only reaffirmed to me how possible and exciting it is to see a breath of fresh air breathed into a story of old. How very happy I am that MSB is one proactive gal when it comes to purchasing tickets, and inviting me to come along!

Playing tourist on my own campus

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I finally purchased a real camera.

Well, I have my iPhone camera, which is miles better than my five year old pocket camera, but now I have a real, live (er… not really), pop-up flash, focus-with-a-button, multiple settings camera. Since I’m not going to up and become a photographer, I just got a bridge camera, a Fujifilm FinePix SL300. It was sort of an impulse purchase (except not really ’cause I’m not the impulse purchase type. I did lots of google research…). After a Groupon purchase fiasco and finding out I’m going to Iceland (!!!), I splurged and ordered it. And like a small child, as soon as I got it, I couldn’t wait to test it out.

So I played tourist during my lunch break. I just tried to blend in with all of the tour groups that come on campus and take pictures. Although, they don’t take pictures of the beautiful, old, campus buildings. Their favorite subjects are our squirrels.

I’m taking a picture of people taking pictures of squirrels. Squirrel inception?

Seriously, though. The tourists LOVE the squirrels.

I, however, always end up with a million pictures of Lowe, Butler, and College Walk. They’re too beautiful to ever get tired of them. I say that now…

Ah College Walk. Friend of beauty, enemy of heels.

Above we have Earl Hall and the top of some building I don’t think I’m ever going to have classes in. The colors on campus are all magically saturated. It’s amazing how well everything turns up in photographs.

Of course I had to give Barnard some love on my way back to the office.

The Diana Center and the Greek Games statue, given to the college by the class of 1905. Again, a huge orange building against a bright blue sky amongst impossibly green foliage. I’m one lucky girl….woman…cat.

I also played around with the panorama setting, which was incredibly easy to use. This picture of Butler Library and friends is now our new blog header:

I do love me some schnazzy camera features.

With the addition of the new camera, get ready for some (hopefully) amazing pictures of Iceland next weekend! OH MY GOD GUYS I’M GOING TO ICELAND. Life is crazy.

I leave you with a great video entitled “Rare Bird Humps Photographer’s Head.” It’s exactly what it sounds like. Watch the whole thing:

#OceanGrove2012 #noregrets #WOOHOO

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As Ariane often did as a child, I traveled with my family to a consistent vacation home.  And, as Ariane’s did, my family drifted away from such a tradition (certain niceties fall by the wayside after divorce).  But I have nothing but fond memories of Ocean Grove as kid-friendly, ice-cream-cone-osmosis-ing, boogie-boarding, porch-people, sidewalk-waving kind of place.

Ocean Grove, NJ: God’s Square Mile, everyone!  Clearly, my story is at a CROSS-roads (hugh hugh) with Ariane’s at this deeply Christian turn that our vacation home takes.  Ocean Grove: where you nearly run over all the bible studies on the boardwalk while taking your morning bike ride and where the American flag is flown as proudly as the cross is worn around your neck.  But the Bible-thumping is so interwoven in this two-month town that it feels more like Bible-wearing.  “The OG” wears its religion well.  It wears it right on (and through) the consistent Victorian architecture that is outlined in the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s building code and straight up to the Great Auditorium and down the aisle in the ritualistic Usher’s March.

After a rather exasperating struggle through Port Authority (Port Authority:  where the crazies stay cool and the personnel are clueless) and a sigh-full bus trip (buses vs. trains became a running joke this weekend), I arrived at 51 Bath Avenue to a heart-warming welcome from my extended Carmichael family and friends:  Grandma and Grandpa, the Thornburys (Aunt Kimberly and Uncle Greg, their daughters Kate (11) and Carolyn (9)) and family friend, Jennifer Tharp.

A note on the Thornburys:  decidedly the hipper, fun-ner part of the Carmichael clan. Kimberly and Greg recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary, but don’t have the bored, itchy mannerisms of seasoned couples.  Instead, the whole family seems to get cooler with each passing year (maybe its the distinct choices in funky eye wear made by every family member, or maybe its the significantly larger cultural and technological no-how of “Thornies” in the face of my tv-opposing, magazine-avoiding, NPR-listening nucleus).  And what’s better than hanging out with a super-sweet cousin Kate or sassy cousin Carolyn?  I enjoyed boogie-boarding with Kate for a day and walking the beach at night with Carolyn.  Love the T-babes!

And, per the usual, a wide range of emotions and near-catastrophes were reached within 24 hours (think ear infection, a 102 degree fever, multiple cases of sun stroke, parking disasters and multi-layered-never-meeting dinner discussions on top of reunions, morning boardwalk explorations, hilarity, amazement-both positive and cynical-, board games, truth and dare with jimmies-and-butter-and-pink-salt-sandwiches and casual smooth jazz concerts).  Think of my family life as extreme reality.

Ice cream is had after every meal at Day’s: or  Nagel’s:

and the organ in the Great Auditorium is played every hour, on the hour.  Life is good and the going’s easy at the OG with morning bike rides on the boardwalk to Asbury Park, cantaloupe by the scoop and “Draw Something” parties.  A highlight of the weekend was basking in the sultry heat of the night and in the sultry voice of Diana Krall, who was matched by an equally impressive guitarist, drummer and bassist (yowzers!).

With all the fun had this weekend, I hope to get my own OG tradition up and running:  #OG2013!

Best wishes and much love to family and the OG,

Martha Scott

P.S.  I’m thinking about adding a “getting to know you” note in the signature of my email, in which I emphasize the SCOTT of Martha Scott and discuss the semantics of a double name.  Thoughts?

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