Sunday, December 14, 2014

Xmas tree 2014

Looking back.  It was 2009 the last time this tree was set up in this room, with all of our personal ornaments and mementos.  In the four years intervening, we celebrated Christmases in London, Boston,  Atlanta, and California.  We decorated our trees, when we had them, with paper chains and cut-out snowflakes.  It's lovely to have our special tree decorations again, and to see the glow of the lights in our very own living room. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Today was full.

Greg had to take the dogs to the vet for their first checkup this morning.  It was pouring rain - so we had unlocked the back gate earlier to take them in and out.  Mid-day, Greg didn't think anything of it and let the dogs out in the backyard.  They nudged the unlocked gate open and disappeared.  Greg and I and his assistant Joe scoured the neighborhood for a short time before finding them making their way back towards home on Harvey Street.  Koonan had somehow scored a bag of rawhide bones!  And Nanook looked and acted distinctly sick.  We assumed he had eaten some garbage (perhaps an entire garbage-can-full, knowing him) and something didn't agree with him.

But a couple of hours later, his face had swelled up.  Greg took Nanook back out to the vet's. The emergency vet said that it was in all probability a reaction to the vaccines he'd been given that morning. He did some tests and prescribed Benadryl, and Greg was able to get the swelling to go back down.  Nanook is almost back to normal this evening, but we're all a little exhausted from the drama.

We spent another good amount of time today dealing with Studio 2 - Greg moved into Studio 2 a couple of weeks ago, and now we have a high-maintenance party-rental client coming in this weekend - they were unhappy with the compromised space (Greg's giant cone, tube, and other big props take up a lot of room), so we had to spend a lot of time negotiating with them, and Greg found a way to tuck all of the big stuff into a corner - good practice, actually, for when he'll need to fit it into a truck.  It's going to be a challenging weekend no matter how we handle it.

…I think lots of other stuff happened today …. but I feel like I'm about to fall asleep on the keyboard….

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Things we're up to

Isa doing her favorite trick of the moment, the "360" on aerial fabric (yes, she's about to let go and flip around)

Greg walking the dogs 

Baz with his school iPad - he does homework, and uses all kinds of apps I don't understand.
Trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences today.
We're no longer a gypsy family, but we can still be tourists once in a while!

Ayla loves the "stuffed animals" at the Academy, which continues to mystify me.  But I had to admit, after watching a video on taxidermy, that it is all more interesting than I expected. 
We are in the middle of our Thanksgiving weekend, which so far has involved an appearance in the 6ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade and Good Morning America, a lovely dinner at Becky & Matt's house, my office-renovation project and a PSCA Open House, a dinner date out to see the show QED by the Lantern Theater Company, the museum today, and having the Eddys over for dinner this evening.  Still more to come with playdates and home and office projects - we are filling our days with good stuff.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

States I've visited

Create Your Own Visited States Map

This is a nice map. Hawaii, I think you are calling me!

But seriously, what counts as "visited"?  Quite a few of these states I've lived in for months or years.  Then there are states like Oklahoma, which I've only ever driven through or possibly spent a night in a motel.  No great memories have ever been made in Arkansas or Alabama.

Regardless, it's nice to know I've been around.

There was an international one of these drifting around the Internet last year, and a few of my Totem friends filled it out, which was insane!!  Greg and I have spent good amounts of time in Europe and Canada, and only briefly touched on other parts of the world.  (Greg more than me - he's worked in Kenya, China, India, and on cruise ships all over the place).  But many of my circus friends have spent extensive amounts of time in Asia, South America, Australia, and Eastern Europe.

This is all on my mind right now because Totem is in Australia.  It's hot and sunny in Sydney, and my Facebook feeds are full of pictures of my friends on beautiful beaches.

Here in Philadelphia we have pulled out flannel sheets, space heaters, wool sweaters, hats and gloves, and we are still shivering in our boots.  The temperatures this week aren't getting much above freezing. It's a drafty old house, and the only ones who don't seem to mind it are Koonan and Nanook!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Youth Troupe

I'm very proud of one of my little projects here at home - reviving the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts Youth Troupe.  And Baz is in it!  He unicycles, and tumbles, and walks on the globe.  It's a group of 9 awesome kids, ages 8-16, and watching them train and perform together is one of the highlights of my week.  We had our first gig last week, and soon we're going to be in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Baz isn't sure he'll stay with the Troupe - it's a lot of work, he's decided, and he's not sure he really wants to work very hard (?!) … so, we'll see.  He enjoys his circus classes and the performances, but gets stressed out preparing for shows.  I sometimes wonder if the experience of living with Cirque artists for so many years has given my kids a sense of circus performance as some kind of un-achievable height.  Being a circus artist, to them, is training every day, and performing in front of thousands of people every night, and striving for physical perfection throughout whatever injuries and illnesses life throws at you - a terrible amount of hard work, no doubt about it.

But back here in Philly, circus can be fun, it can be amateur and playful and creative.  It can have room for non-traditional body types, for interpretation, and for expression.  While I know my kids may not fall in love with circus the way I have, I hope they do grow up to appreciate all of these sides of it.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


We have new additions to our family!

Please say hello to Nanook and Koonan, two purebred husky brothers who we found through a rescue organization in Jersey City.  They are two years old, and have been together since birth - they didn't want to separate them, and we had room in our home and hearts to take both.

We've never had huskies before, so we have been quickly studying up on everything we need to know about them.  So far we've learned that they are very energetic and need lots of exercise; they do better in cold temperatures, and overheat easily in summer; that they shed a lot, and need a lot of brushing.
So we spent our first day letting them run around the backyard, working with them on basic obedience commands (they're doing pretty well so far), and shopping for the "stuff" - they came with crates and leashes, but needed food, dishes, etc.  (and holy cow we forgot how much this stuff costs!)

We're all very excited, and a little nervous.  When we tell people we're getting huskies, we get a mix of "oh that's great"and "oh my god do you know what you're getting yourself into?!"  But so far we've gotten nothing but good impressions of these boys.  They are responsive, affectionate, respectful and sweet.  Greg is especially happy - he loves dogs, and has looked forward to having a dog since we first decided to leave the tour.

So here's looking forward to a future with lots of white fur….

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

Here they are - the Undead Revolutionary War Soldier, Hermione Granger, and Anna (from Frozen).

Such a different experience this year, to be in our own neighborhood for Halloween.  The kids had different school rituals - Isa's school only allowed kids to come in costumes "of their favorite storybook characters".  Ayla brought her costume and had an in-class Halloween party in the afternoon.  Baz's whole middle school had an afternoon party together - in the morning, he walked his little pre-school partners around for their Halloween parade.

Then, this evening, we had a quick gathering with the Sells, and sent Baz out on his own for a little while with the older boys.  That was a first!  Trick-or-treating all happened really early this year - people started around 5:30 and were finished by about 7:00.  And the blocks were completely different - one street had nearly every house decorated and a haunted house set up - the next block over had every light turned off, no one in sight.

They are getting big, my guys … how many more of these years will we have?