Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Biked across the Ben Franklin Bridge today

...with Isa on the Trail-A-Bike!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Philadelphia shows

The roundup of shows we've seen here in Philadelphia is a bit different than the New York list, but wonderful as well.  All the shows we've seen here have been somewhat circus-related, and it's amazing how much of it there now is in Philadelphia.  (which does not even count Totem)

Perfect Catch, a Throw-Mantic Comedy, at Funicular Railway Station
Tangle Movement Arts, Invert, at the Rotunda
Silks Trio Send-Off Party at Funicular Railway Station
Clown Cabaret at Pig Iron Theatre School for Advanced Performance Training
(And, a couple of weeks later, APT's Final Showings at Christ Church)

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts at City Hall
Invisible River, by Alie Vidich and the Brigade
This isn't even a comprehensive list - we missed If Man Is 5, and the PSCA Youth Aerial Intensive shows, and Aura, and various Air Play performances.  Apparently Philadelphia is getting to the point where you simply can't see all the circus theater happenings??

It is a thrill to be a part of it all - even just as a spectator.  It does not seem so long ago, that it felt like Greg and I needed to be the ones to make these sorts of things happen in Philadelphia.  And now, a few short years later, so many people are doing so many amazing projects!  I think sometimes that our stepping out of the picture has actually created more space for growth in the community, what a good thing for all involved.  (although it doesn't mean we're not eager to jump back in and join you all...)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The good and the bad (quotidien)

I love the word "quotidien" (among many other French words dear to my heart) - "everyday" doesn't quite capture its meaning in English.  But that is what this blog post is about, the small things going on in day-to-day life here in Philadelphia.

On the good side....

The kids' French homework is getting increasingly demanding and complex, a challenge I enjoy.  Whether they enjoy it is up for debate :) With Isa now beginning her French homework, I expect to have 3 kids writing, reading, and speaking French every night for the next year.  Warm glow to their French-major-mother's heart.

I got out for a bike ride on Kelly Drive today.  There is no better way to start a summer morning.

Baz's latest occupation is making what he calls "Lego videos", which are really slideshows set to music.  He will take a hundred or two hundred photos of the Legos in progressive action scenes, and then build the slideshow on the computer.

We have nearly finished the renovations on Studio 2.  We finished our house renovations, and finally! found new tenants, a couple from New Zealand who will move in this week.

It's been truly marvelous bringing Totem folks out to PSCA this past month.  We've had visits and guest presentations from so many artists and support staff.  There's a huge sense of pride in this for me, and connection, and simple joy.

On the bad side....

We only have 10 days left in Philadelphia and haven't done a single one of Philly's marvelous tourist things.

Packing is a bear this time around - the kids and I are flying to Ottawa on Cirque's charter flight, while Greg stays behind for a week of flight lessons.  This means many packing variations - shipping cases, airplane cases, international travel cases, car packing, Greg-overnight packing, etc.  Sorting it all out is going to be a nightmare.  (Note the future tense.  I haven't started yet.  Itemized packing lists due Wednesday).

If I don't get back to a Bikram yoga studio soon, I think my muscles are going to stiffen completely into rocks, crack apart and crumble into dust.  The aches and pains of non-yoga life are ridiculous already, after only 6 weeks away from the hot room.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The regular-life stuff

I think this entire city is going to pass by without any sightseeing whatsoever.  Which is such a shame, because we are living right in the middle of Center City!  But there is just no time.  And even though every day I'm walking past the Constitution Center, the Atwater Kent Museum, the Barnes, etc. etc. - I don't think I'll have a chance to go inside any of them.  Real life is just entirely too time-consuming.

Today I had jury duty.  It was unbelievable that I got a jury summons for the one month over the past three years that I am living in Center City Philadelphia.  I had no excuse!  So I showed up.  Fortunately, however, I was not selected for the jury, so after a mere 6 hours I was sent home.

I'm getting savvy with Web Ex conference calls.
We are showing our house to prospective tenants.
We are hosting loads of friends and family at Totem.
Going to see shows by local artists.
Attending meetings at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.
Getting ready to move all of our stuff from one storage unit to another.
And still fitting in schoolwork, flight lessons, library visits, and the Totem social events (birthday parties, baby showers, barbecues).

Some things have had to go out the window for this month.
Kids circus classes at the tent.
Playground dates with Totem friends.
Blogging & Artist Profiles

But I am still determinedly reading (see my Goodreads profile, which I've just added to the sidebar here) and studying Russian at least once or twice a week.

Only three more weeks till we leave for Ottawa!  There is still so much to do!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

This week's activities

The days fly by here, there are never enough hours.  We are busily renovating our Studio 2 at the circus school.  Mostly this has been Greg, but the kids and I have had a couple of chances   to help.  Isa was thrilled to be able to wield a paintbrush.  Last night all 5 of us worked on laying the floor with Anthony Zangara, and we celebrated with the first "party" in our new party room - Chinese takeout!

When we're not doing that, we're having our house renovated and cleaned.  Our tenants moved out last week, and before we get new tenants in, we wanted to give the place an overhaul.

Totem life continues.  We had one of the best-ever Premiere Parties in this city, at a German beer garden called Frankford Hall, in Fishtown.  Kids were welcome!  There was table tennis and fussball and Jenga, and the kids had a great time making massive Domino displays - allowing the adults, therefore, to have a great time.

Big news - Isa had her first day of school!  I love this picture, which shows the tents and trailers against the backdrop of Philadelphia.  She really starts school at the end of August, but the school tradition is to have the incoming 1st-graders attend school once a week, for a 1/2 day, to get them acclimated.  So Isa had her first experience of French immersion (all 3 kids will be in full French immersion for their final year on tour) and she handled it like a champ.

For me, the feeling of sending her off to school was a powerful wave of emotions.  I don't have time today to write about it at length.  But you can imagine, I'm sure.

Here is what Totem's final class of school kids will look like.  10 of them, from 5 different nationalities, ages 6-15.