Aging ungracefully · Family · I am high-maintenance · June doesn't know any ugly people

My Friend Flicker

They’ve changed how they’re doing things at my job: I used to work on just one account, but now they’ve split it, so I’m copy editing for a bunch of different groups. This is kind of more exciting, and also more scary, because every client has a different style, and things they like and hate, and you have to keep track of it all.

Copy editing is the only place I am persnickety. Have you ever noticed that? How incongruous my job is, considering how the rest of me isn’t quite…attentive to detail? Words are the one thing I care about enough to care, if that makes any sense.

In the meantime, my bed hasn’t been made since I threw out my Flicker.

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“June, what do you think is wrong with you, that you can just pull products like Flicker out of your ass?”

Well, one thing that’s likely wrong with me is m’shredded anus.

Anyway.

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Here is the only photo I took yesterday, and it is decidedly emo, and I just have to sit around and wait to not feel emo, and frankly it’s a Flicker in my ass.

The good news is, I asked a guy at work who is forever traipsing off to dance classes where he GOES to said classes, and I’m going to ballet with him on Monday next. I will become a prima ballerina and live on black coffee and cigarettes and you will all not notice my advanced age and I will take to tutus. “Oh, god, here comes June, wearing that goddamn tutu to take out her trash.”

I will be Desmond Tutu.

I will be tutu much.

I took ballet as a child, you know, for several years. At least to me it felt like several years. It was probably, you know, three. I recall my instructor wore winged eyeliner, and her assistant had little white asterisk designs on her otherwise clear nail polish.

I thought they were both phenomenal.

And I’m certain I was headed to New York with my tutus and my eating disorder, except the winter I was 10, even though my mother denied this until I got out my diary and proved her wrong, I got the chicken pox.

“You never had the chicken pox,” my mother said, last time I mentioned this.

I called my father. “Yeah, I remember you having the chicken pox, sure,” said my father.

My mother said he was wrong. My mother has also said, and I quote, “The dictionary is wrong.”

This is why it’s good I have kept a journal, or back then a diary, pretty much constantly since 1975. So I was able to pull out my yellow Hollie Hobbie number and read about my personal struggle with chicken pox.

The point is, my brush with the pox meant I missed a week of ballet, and the week I missed was, like, THE MOST CRUCIAL WEEK EVER, because that was when they told us we were all headed to toe shoes, but we had to learn all the positions and their French names, not just, you know “second position,” and in a few months, we were all headed to Detroit to take a test in order to climb that ladder to toe shoes and this sentence is not a run-on at all. How dare you?

So I get to class, faintly poxed from my recent ordeal that my own mother denied, and everyone’s all responding to French and pointing their toes, and I WAS BEHIND and instead of, oh, asking my winged instructor to spend four minutes with me after class and catch me up, I panicked and said, “I don’t want to do ballet anymore” and my parents, who’d been attending dance recitals since they threw away their leather strap and straight razor, said, “Okay, SURE!”

It was one of those snap decisions you later regret, which sums up my entire life.

How did I get on this topic, again? [scrolls up] Oh, right! Because I’m going to rekindle my passion for dance, and as we all know, I have a gift. You’ve seen the veeeedeos.

I also have a weekend coming up that is packed with the events. I have a goodbye party on Friday after work for a woman I dearly admired. She was very cool-headed. Enough said. She reminded me of Faithful Reader Fay, in both her looks and her attitude. Unlike Fay, she did not march over and take charge of my life, however. Anyway, she’s headed to another job, and I will miss her no-nonsense self.

Then Saturday day, The Poet and I are penciled in for a movie, the one where Idris Alpaca or whomever is stuck in the snow with Kate Winslett. One thing I would not mind is being stuck in the snow with Iris Aldolph or whatever his name is.

Also, you know how I’m sort of (HAH) into men of color? I failed to mention to you that I was, you know, seeing a man of color for a bit, and I hope it isn’t the last time I do so. While it did not last, it is something I can sorta check off my list, my list of things I always wanted to do, and like ballet, I’d like to return to that particular genre again one day.

I hope I won’t be confronted with some sort of Detroit test re this.

On Saturday night, I have a party to go to, and then on Sunday it is likely I will need to hole up here and decompress from all the people-ing. Open the door and see all the people. Close the door because drained.

I have to go, but before I do, I wanted to mention that my cousin Maria got a new kitten, a kitten the rest of my family is claiming has Steely Dan, well, qualities.

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See. It’d be funnier if this kitten were at a neighbor’s house doing this.

This is Maria’s daughter Anna, of “Aunt Katie, are you a lesbian?” fame. And the alleged Steely Dan spawn.

I love this Satanic video. Also, Maria’s BF isn’t too shabby, either. Maybe next up for me should be a man in his 30s.

Twenties! Aim high, June. Ballerinas can get any man.

I’d better frappe a té out of here, or some other very real ballet term.

Pad-a-thai,

Le June

74 thoughts on “My Friend Flicker

    1. Ha! No, sorry. There are adult classes. HOWEVER, that class must perform in the children’s recital. So you go from the cute 6-year-olds who are dressed in sequins to middle aged dance moms. It’s weird….nowhere near Legen…wait for it…dairy!

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  1. I think it is fabulous that you are going to take a dance class! I would love to do that, but at my kid’s dance studio, if you take a class you have to be in the recital. That, my friends, is a deal breaker. No. Way.

    Nicely done, Coot.

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    1. @Megsie, are you saying that you would be joining a class where all the rest of the class were kids and you were the only adult? If that’s the case, I will pay you to take that class and go to the recital! Think of the story you could tell! You would be legen… wait for it… dairy!

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  2. I hope you have fun at the ballet class! When I had the chicken pox in the third grade, the teacher taught everyone how to subtract (this was the seventies when we learned things at a more leisurely pace.) When I got back, not only was I completely lost, but I had to bring homework home (which felt like a punishment because I don’t think we had a ton of homework back then; see also: seventies.) That was the beginning of the end for me and math.

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    1. See, I think that was so common for so many things back in the day. Just give up cause you missed some class time. That’s how it was with me and American geography in 5th grade. I was out for most of a week due to flu or something and when I came back, the whole east coast states had been covered. That explains why I didn’t know that Washington DC was located…..[clearing voice]….um, not in the state of Washington. SHUT UP I WAS SICK FOR A WEEK IN 5TH GRADE!!

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  3. Took ballet, point, jazz, and tap from age 10 to 17 although I dropped the ballet at 13. I loved it. My favorite thing to do was to watch old MGM 1930’s and 40’s dance pictures, so when I was 10 I pleaded to take lessons. The dance teacher LOVED sequins so our costumes were fabulous. I wish I could go back in time! But my Dad took lots of pictures every year so I have an album dedicated just to those.

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  4. Your tutu talk reminded me of that story about Ronald Reagan. When asked how his meeting went with Desmond Tutu, he replied, “eh, so so.” Ha!
    It cracks me up that you pretty much haul your diaries out just to prove family members wrong. I can get behind that kind of right-fighting. You go, girl.
    Black coffee and cigarettes. Hilarious!

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  5. I’m looking forward to hearing about your dance classes. I’ve always wanted to take a hip-hop dance class but my kids would be mortified!

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  6. My Mom signed me up for a Ballet class when we had just moved to a new town and I was about 5. Of course my parents, like @Lisa, not that Lisa’s, did not hover. One time a few months in, my Mom did stand on the other side of that glass to watch. She wasn’t thrilled when I came out of class but she was young & overwhelmed in general so that wasn’t an unfamiliar look. I was so excited that my Mom got to see what a prodigy I was, I Ballet-ed out to the car. Suddenly she got big eyes and through clenched teeth said “don’t do that, you’re embarrassing me. Ballet isn’t for you!.” And thus concluded my last Ballet class!

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    1. Oh, little GreenInOC, I would have let you twirl and leap all you wanted. I would have rejoiced in your joy. Says a grandma who is not young and overwhelmed.

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      1. Aww @PJ, your sweetness brought tears to my eyes.

        I have no idea how or why, in spite of having a lot of those stories, I have confidence dysmorphia disorder – my cup runneth over without any supporting reasons as to why!

        When I was about to enter sophomore year of high school I tried out for cheerleading. My single father was raising us by then and so we had less than zero hovering as well as undying “go for it – have fun!” encouragement. I was in the gym watching all the other girls with their dance and gym backgrounds really being impressive and of course they had cute outfits.

        I had on a pair of sweats, no bra, a t-shirt and my frizzy hair unbound. Even though I admired everyone else’s abilities it did nothing to deter my “routine” that I had practiced so diligently for a total of 15 minutes the night before. When I was done and looked at the five judges I saw 10 giant bug eyes staring back at me, 3 with horrified looks and 2 with twisted smiles (obviously looking back, they were trying really hard not to laugh!). You would have thought that I would have just slunk away but no, I was at that door waiting to see my name on the sheet fully expecting to become a cute cheerleader. I wasn’t on the list (shock!), I shrugged, was on to the next thing but was totally perplexed by the crying of the others who didn’t make it.

        Still to this day when I think of that performance, I convulse with laughter, cry from laughing so hard and can barely tell the story as I hyperventilate with the memory!

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  7. Am looking forward to more veedeos of dance moves and tutus/tights/shoes and such..
    You are so fun. Brightening our days.

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  8. My Friend Flicker. See, that’s why we love you, because of titles like that. And your nice rack and pretty hair and soon the mastery of your dance moves will take our breath away even more than it does now.

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  9. I was so scared that sweet cat was going to jump at the flames.
    What anxiety? It’s not anxiety, it’s a superpower. I see disasters.

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  10. I wuv that kitty so bad!! Those earsies!!

    Hey, you know how people go to receptions and clubs and stuff and dance? Well, I don’t. I go to those things but I sure in the hell don’t dance. And the world is a much better place because of it.

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    1. I’ll be sitting at your table admiring everyone on the dance floor and singing to myself, “I’ve no rhythm, lot’s less rhythm.” June Gardens of the dancing Junes, I’m not.

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  11. Why yes, I had to Google “Morris Dancing” too and it looks like Jazzercise with bells and ribbons and flowers.

    When I was an adolescent, I went through a pretty lonely period and I thought that if I could take ballet or tap, I’d make some new friends and I’d at least have something to do. I begged my mom to let me take lessons. She refused. I also asked to take piano lessons because I always wanted to play the piano. She refused that as well. Looking back, I’m sure the reason was because we didn’t have any money to pay for said lessons but at the time, I wasn’t given any reason other than “Because I said so.” 40+ years later, I’m still bitter with baggage.

    Very nice, Coot.

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    1. Kelly, it’s never too late. Take those piano lessons! I always wanted piano lessons as well, but I was already in the band and we didn’t have a piano. The girls across the street had a piano and took lessons, but didn’t want to practice. Now I have a keyboard and pay occasionally.

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  12. I did dance lessons for years. The whole lot: ballet, pointe, tap, jazz & hawaiian. Dance recitals. Tutus. Loved it all. Usually get season tickets for the ballet companies that come here. Still have my toe shoes, hanging on the bedroom doorknob as a decor item.

    I’d like to do adult tap, which several of the studios offer. Just bang out the tension, frustration, and whatever else. Also, would bang Idris Elba, though he seems to have someone in real life.

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    1. If we could sit down and have a glass of wine, though I prefer dark beer I suppose you, with all your culture, drink wine. Anyway, I would just put my chin in my palm and beg your for those dance class stories. I had to pass a dance studio on my home from school and every day I would stand and look in their window at the photos of the kids in their costumes and dream. For my 50th birthday I put an ad in Craig’s List for a tap teacher willing to indulge a 50 year old in her dream of tap lessons for a few sessions. Got 0 responses. Zero. Goose Egg.

      A friend took pity and bought me a CD and booklet on beginning tap steps. I got so excited and spent one Saturday afternoon playing with my CD and booklet and learned several runs or sets or whatever. That night and all the next day I suffered from about 15 runs or sets of the worst charlie horse cramps and muscle misery and foot pain ever in the history of humankind. I’d had my fun, paid for it, and gave away the booklet and instructional CD.

      Now tell me about your costumes. Did they have sequins? Did you get to wear tights? Did your shoes click?

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      1. Sorry long time readers and June, long time writer, that I drag that sorry tattered dance story out once again. Carol in Mpls woke up my green dragon. Sigh. I’ll die with tap shoes on my mind. And with the agony in my heart that I once had tickets, great seats, to see the real Bary Shickov dance and got his fucking understudy because Bary had hit his head while dancing at The Fucking White House the night before and was unable to dance. Fooey. I’ve hit MY head and gone to work the next day.

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        1. Oh, PJ, what a great message! My dance teacher was Barbara Jean, and she had waist length black hair, and was a wonderful teacher. She instilled my love of dance, and my appreciation for the craft.

          I do have dance stories, lots of sequins were worn, hair (long) was worn up and down, and heavy makeup plastered on our faces. Petroleum jelly on the teeth, so you keep smiling. I was never destined for a real dance career, as I have hyper-extended knees. When you’re on pointe, you need to have locked knees & a straight leg, so you have a nice attractive line. My knees lock behind me, in a “C” shape, so locked, but not so attractive, or straight.

          I did meet Baryshnikov, right here in my SW Mpls neighborhood a few years ago. We have an art gallery down the street, and the exhibition was his photographs through the years, performing and traveling.Most were large format, and very impressive. Opening night, and he was there. I had seen him dance on stage, but had never met him till that night. Tiny, little man, though muscular. I’m 5’3″, and we were pretty well eye-to-eye. But still very handsome. I kept looking at his hands. My artwork over the bed after college was him, mid-flight. Oh, he could leap and jump and turn so well.

          Also, I love both wine & beer. Spent the day with a friend looking at fall color around town. Lunch & a Summit EPA with my burger. Yummy! I love Bock beer, as it comes out during my birthday season, late March. I’m happy to talk dance any time you want. If you lived close by, I’d invite you over.

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      2. @PJ, this is such a good story. The only that that would have made it better was if you had seen that the author of the instructional booklet was Coot Hare!

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  13. Dance lessons sounds like fun. Ball room dancing is taught at my church, which I find hilarious because it is a Baptist church. Don’t they recall you are going to hell for dancing. I always wanted to take dancing lessons, but took music instead, so I was in the band from 3rd grade all the way through high school. I am glad because it was so much fun. You will be lovely in your tutu.

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    1. I used to, when I lived with 404 Error. He was very persnickety about that. But lately, no. I kind of hate it, but I can’t dredge up the energy.

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      1. Sometimes, okay, most of the time I make half of my bed. The half that I sleep on. There’s no one on the other side, so why bother?

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    2. I totally thought that “made my bed” line was a euphemism for something not have happening since Coot stopped shaving her legs. Would someone please reach into Stupiddom and jerk me back to the world?

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  14. You would have been in your element with all the dancing at the wedding reception I attended last weekend. I should have had you crash the wedding.

    Very nice, Coot. You are tutu fabulous.

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  15. FLICKER! I had one! I hated it!

    Is Barre a thing down there? It is ALL THE RAGE up here in the northeast and former frustrated ballerinas are flocking to those classes. So, it makes perfect sense to me that you’d try toe shoes again.

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      1. I think you missed a space and a capital letter up there. Are you sure it isn’t being taught by Bary Shnikov? The one who still watches The Nut Cracker every Saturday evening?

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      2. I saw Baryshnikov give a lecture/demo at my all women’s college in the 70’s. My God, that man was gorgeous! Even the lesbians wanted a piece of that.

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  16. M’shredded anus.
    I love starting my mornings with you, Joob.
    Having the pox de poulet was bad enough. Ruining your ballet career was a crime.
    Anna, her mini SD and BF are gorgeous.
    The manly forearms and tats are distracting. I almost missed the kitteh.

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  17. I had worse stick-to-it-ness (or in grown up terms, perseverance) than you did. I took exactly one baton twirling lesson, one chess club practice and one half of a cross country practice before giving up. I’m trying to make sure my son is not like me in this respect. It is hard to make him see things through because I get tired of dragging him to practices and meets way before he decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore. I really feel like I deserved his Black Belt more than he did!

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  18. The question I came to ask is, whatever happened to Baby Rainbow? Is she a she? And who is she now?

    My foray into gymnastics ended about the same way your ballet career did. I missed a few weeks due to a bad case of bronchial pneumonia (which MY MOTHER now claims was just a bad cold – I still have BRONCHIAL SCARRING MOTHER!) and when I came back everyone had learned to walk on the balance beam and I had no clue. Parents didn’t hover back then – even though I was only 8, I was on my own. So I, too, panicked and quit.

    Don’t be a nicker… who came up with this stuff?

    Also, too – very nice, Coot.

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    1. I swear I’m not going to answer every comment today like some sort of amateur, but yes, rainbow turned out to be a girl. She’s technically Marvin‘s niece, so I bet she doesn’t even know who I am anymore. She’s in college now.

      >

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  19. We did Morris Dancing here, and I quit when I was hit on the knuckles by a man wearing bells once too often. Ballet is way cooler!
    Loving the retro story Coot!

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