This is a mix of different videos and pictures of our experiences over the past week. The first one is a video clip showing a typical lunchtime conversation with Ayla. Here she is telling me about her current school art project, which has something to do with Andy Warhol.
One of my favorite places to be is backstage when something new happens in the Totem show. Whenever a new act performs for the first time, or someone in a new role, everyone gathers around the video screen to watch attentively. And when the act is over, you have a scene like this:
Shandien is our new Hoop Dancer. She is the sister of Nakotah, our regular Hoop Dancer. Some parts of the show will now be a duet, and she'll be backup in case Nakotah ever has to miss a show.
We had a very unusual week, because Greg was leaving Totem to attend the wedding of some dear friends of ours. So finally, after a year and a half of training, Greg's understudy was called in to work. They spent a lot of time over this past month getting him completely prepared to fill in for a weekend's worth of shows. Due to Dmitri's other responsibilities in the show, however, they had to train a second person to fill in for Greg's "cues" during the show. So it was odd and complicated, but in the end everyone was ready. It was too funny for us to see two other artist friends in the show dressed up as the Scientist! Here they are....
The wedding was in New Jersey. Greg was a groomsman. This meant that the five of us had to be out the door by 5:00am. It would have been around 8.5 hours driving, if we hadn't hit the flooded-out areas of southern New York! Major highways were shut down, and we were improvising detours, and running into scenes like this:
We found ourselves driving through the mountains on dirt roads, not at all sure that we were going to make it to the wedding on time.
But get there, we did. Greg was immediately whisked off for bridal-party duties, the kids and I put on our fancy clothes, and the festivities began. It was an unusual, and beautiful wedding. Our friends, David Smith and Rachel Katz, had decided, instead of one taking the other's last name, to pick an entirely new last name for themselves. Their choice? Darwin. So now I have a lot of practice to do, calling them David and Rachel Darwin. (I've known Dave for over ten years, and Rachel for probably five).
To add to the adventures, they had James "The Amazing" Randi as their officiant, Dave carried Rachel across a pile of broken glass, and there was pre-dinner entertainment by their magician and juggler friends. (Greg included). The fashions and the food were top-notch. And there were many tear-jerking moments! Like their amazing personal vows to each other, and their dances with their parents. When I saw Dave dancing with his Mom, I actually got all choked up from the Mom's point of view... imagine that I might do that someday with Baz, as a tall grown man! It is impossible and beautiful to picture.
The next day we rushed through Pennsylvania, visited with Greg's family, and then spent today (Monday) making the long drive back to Toronto.