April 30, 2011

From Someone Who Was There

... no, not at Worlds. Wish I could have been in Moscow for that. No, below is an email from my friend, who was at the Royal Wedding.

Re: the wedding

Well, well! It was a lovely ceremony, inspiring and well done. A bit too old fashioned for our taste and according to many commentators in the press. R had more fun and champagne at Lancaster House (where spouses were and the recepction for the diplomatic corps was held afterwards) than I did at Westminster Abbey. The diplos were seated behind the royal families at the Abbey, but we had an obstructed view because of all the funky hats of the ladies. Hadn't it been for a couple of small screens that were installed nearby, we wouldn't have seen anything. Often times being invited is not such a good thing. All Britain was in a good mood and very happy, at least the monarchists!

Cheers. W & R

Yes, to be at the wrong angle behind this hat would be tough.

But I've got to say, this was my favorite, in a "I can't believe she wore that!" kind of way. But at least you could sort of see through the loops.

April 26, 2011

What's So Great About Figure Skating?

Ryan Jahnke at MySkatingMall.com has put together the video "What's So Great About Figure Skating?" and the skaters say it better than I ever could. When you're looking for inspiration on a day you don't feel like venturing into the cold, check out the video here.

One reason for me?

Figure skating is both an art and a sport and that's a great combo.


Well, instead of doing a million squats a day, I just skated around, fell a few times, and voilĂ , nice round a$$. Like a permanently attached crash pad ... which don't seem to be on the market anymore, otherwise you could find them on MySkatingMall.com.

But there are plenty of other items - gently used, affordable and easy on the wallet.

So, thanks, Ryan, for creating the video and such a great website.

April 14, 2011

Wish Me Luck!

I still remember in the 3rd grade (maybe 2nd?) we had to write our best paragraph that the teacher would read aloud in class. When the teacher read the paragraph by a classmate named Candy, one that was full of beautiful prose about the sunshine in the forest and I thought, "I'll never be able to write like that."

And you know what?

I'll still never be able to write like that.

Ice Charades is all chick-lit, even though you're not supposed to call it that in the publishing world. Womens fiction is their preferred term. Sounds like a college assignment to me, womens fiction.

So chick lit it is and as luck would have it - and there was a lot of luck - Ice Charades has made the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. I'm waiting to hear if she'll go one round more into the semis.

Already Ice Charades has been picked as 1 of 250 from 5000 entries. Those are not the kind of odds you want when it comes to rare and dangerous diseases, but 250 out of 5000 - not bad. Getting to the top 50 - that would be incredible.

This competition is a writer's version of American Idol. It's like I made it to Hollywood and if I make it to the next round, I'll be bugging all of you to vote for me. Ha ha, just kidding. Sort of.

This Is Why I'm Scared

... of book signings.

Haven't done one, I hope I never have to.

From the Onion:

Author Promoting Book Gives It Her All Whether It's Just 3 People Or A Crowd Of 9 People

CINCINNATI—Shortly before her reading Tuesday at local bookstore Word Mentality, author Francine Massey told reporters that she does her absolute best for everyone who comes out to see her, whether it's just three people or a much larger crowd of nine people.

I just love the end of the article and I quote:
"Honestly, meeting one devoted fan is enough to make my night," said Massey, nervously glancing at her watch. "Even if I have to read for just that one person sitting all alone there in the back row, I'm going to give him the reading he deserves."

Checking her watch again, Massey sighed and added, "Jesus Christ, one fucking person. All right, fine, whatever. Here we go."

April 12, 2011

Disney On Ice Reunion

That's right - why should Ice Capades and Holiday On Ice have all of the fun?

There's a DOI Banquet Dinner scheduled for Saturday, July 30, 2011, 5-8 pm, in Orlando. There are already 186 people confirmed to attend.

Go here to the DOI Banquet Dinner Facebook page to check it out.

Go to the Disney On Ice Reunion Facebook page to get updates.

Then go to Orlando at the end of July for the magic to happen.

April 7, 2011

This Reminds Me Of

... whenever someone had a really nasty crash on the ice ... or a crash that sent them flying off the ice into the audience ... or a crash where the skater fell off the staircase ... or smashed into the headlights ... well, you get it.

There is always that first instant when you don't know whether the skater is seriously hurt, the fall looked terrifying, but once you know they're okay, well ...

April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday

... to my dear friend and the best muse a girl could get.

photo of some of the cast of Nutcracker standing on a billboard, Atlantic City, '96. Can you see Calla Urbanski's name in the background?

Look at that smile!

Right now my friend, and the inspiration for the character Judy in Ice Charades, is the stage manager for Ringling Bros. and finally got to run away with the circus. Among other things, he takes elephants out for a walk. There's a book that needs to come out of that job indeed.

Happy Birthday!

April 4, 2011

Just Kidding

... about that last posting. I'm going to stick around and blog for a little more. So, strap in kids.

I haven't performed any April Fool's pranks in ages, so the post on Friday felt strange to write.

Full disclosure: got a little verklempt typing that I was ending the blog.

What I feel more comfortable writing about are the numerous pranks that ice show skaters pulled ... usually, but not always, on the Closing Night performance.

So I present in no particular time frame ... some of my favorite ice show pranks.

(The costumes and production numbers have been changed to protect the guilty, thank you very much):

* One closing night show, all of the girls decided to skip the ugly white granny panties, we had to wear and just go with our g-strings for the ballet/peasant number that had a long, heavy skirt down to our shins. Most of the number, no one could tell, but there was a series of chaine turns towards the end, where all of our skirts flaired out just above our (bare) asses.

* Another prank in Japan was when the skaters decided to wear flu masks during the number - at least the white masks matched their white costume - which we often saw in Japan whenever someone was sick.

* Still cracks me up thinking about the time our drummer tried out his duck call at the exact point of silence between the two segments of music in the Swan Lake production.

* During a break in rehearsals, a skater was able to get a ladder, climb ten feet and change the time of the only clock in the rink ahead one hour and trick the choreographers into letting the skaters go early. (Kids, for those of you wanting to try this at home, i.e., your own local ice rink, it helps when rehearsals take place at night and everyone it pretty out of it to begin with. It also helps that the skater who changed the time was an Olympic competitor, so really, you going to argue with him?)

* I'm using the real name on this one ... I'll never forget Brian Wright's amazing solo during our Indian production number. Of course, now we say "Native American" Indians. Think teepees (the showgirls wore them) and Little Bighorn-type headresses. Brian couldn't wear the giant headress through the whole number (not very aerodynamic when attempting a double flip or lutz) so one night he took it off as usual, but kept the specially-made "arrow through the head, a la Steve Martin" on for the whole solo.

* Again, real name here ... Robin Cousins was notorious for pulling pranks and the one I saw was when he asked to take turns at being a background "tree" in a production number. The skater should have known that the Cousins tree would not stay in the background and would not stay still.

* Of course, Disney On Ice can't get away with this, but in our little amusement park show in the middle of nowhere, southern Japan, our version of Snow White had some feisty dwarfs, I tell you. One day instead of carrying the "sleeping" beauty to the special case, they dragged her. Nice!

I'll save the rest for another day or another book!

April 1, 2011

Ice Charades Turns Four

If this is anything like when my daughter turned four ... we're all in trouble.

That's right. On April 1, 2008, I felt there were trivial and mundane ice show revelations that weren't being met by the greater skating blogging community, so I started this run-of-mouth, chatty blog that has lasted all this time.

Still waiting for those needs to be met, btw.

So, anyway, I figure this is a good time to end the program, skate off and exit, stage left. Thank you for following me. All the best.

Oh, and btw, April Fool's Day! I'm not stopping yet. I still have to talk about more Ice Capades Reunions. More costume choices for Halloween.

Please Miss Ice Charades, enough with the costumes.

Okay, okay, but I've got more skaters I want to introduce you to ... so hang on for year four!