Friday, April 8, 2011


I borrowed this beached whale from here

I am massive. I'm putting odds on this baby being born 2 weeks early. I'm also putting bets on me going just a little crazy if it doesn't. I can't bend over at all, which is weird. I swear I don't remember not being able to bend over when I was pregnant with Jack. I also don't remember Jack having razor blades for bones. I have pointy elbows, and Nipper has pokey sternum (it's true!), so maybe this one has inherited those charming traits. 

Nipper Knapp's niece and her best friend came to visit us this week from Michigan for their spring break. They are 13. Oh holy cuteness. They are all at once sweet kids, and eye rolling, Katy Perry sing-a-longing teens. We did the rounds with them, taking them to the Hollywood sign, Universal Studios, the beach, the giant Forever 21 in Pasadena that used to be a Saks Fifth avenue (so depressing). 

On Tuesday I had my friend Deanna do their hair and make-up before we went out for the day. Deanna works in film and television and I thought it'd be fun for them to get sort of a make-up lesson from a pro. Aren't they pretty?! 

Tuesday afternoon I had arranged for them to take a dance class at The Edge Performing Arts Center. It's the place in town where it seems like all the professional dancers and choreographers train. I had sent them a schedule of classes and they decided they wanted to take a hip-hop class. I asked them if they wanted to take a beginning class or a regular one. They said "I dunno". They're both dancers and have been taking for years. So I asked if they had ever taken hip-hop before. "Nope". Ok, so beginning it is...

Nipper texted me from Universal and said they were both a little nervous about the class. Oh and that their feet were sore from walking in flip flops all day. My  Knute Rockne brain took over, and I gave them my version of a pep talk.

I told them about the time I was in Cuba my senior year of College. I was there studying Santeria under Communism. I had befriended some people who worked in our hotel, and they were showing us around, introducing us to their families, and showing us how they lived. I asked if anyone could take me to meet a Babalawo or Santero (you know like a priest or shaman). The lifeguard at our hotel said his sister knew a guy, who knew a guy. We went into a shanty town a few miles from our hotel. We went to her house, and then she took us to the Babalowa. Also later that day, I may or may not have made out with the lifeguard, but I left that out of the story for the girls, didn't seem pertinent to my point. 

The Babalawa had people lined up outside his house waiting to see him. He had an alter in the main room and was in the process of helping some little girl who's mother was sick, or maybe she wasn't doing well in school, I can't remember. I asked if there were any sort of rituals or ceremonies I could be witness to. He told me to come back later because they were going to do something important later than night. Then he pointed to the half door that led to a tiny space behind the house. There was a goat and the biggest rooster I had ever seen in my life. They were going to slaughter them, then do something with the blood. OH MY FUCKING GOD. 

In my time there I had seen a newly killed pig being cleaned for a roast in a yard, and I wouldn't say I was squeamish, but something about seeing these two animals live and in the flesh did me in. I didn't go back. I think about it all the time when I'm afraid to do something or try something new. I regret it all the time. It was a good lesson. I should have gone back that night, seen what it was all about. Instead me and Radio Raheem necked in the stairwell of my hotel.

So I said to the girls "sometimes life presents you with an opportunity to do something you may never get a chance to do again." Not that hip hop class in LA is equivalent to ritualistic animal killing, but still. I said, "you are never going to see these people again! Even if you just stand in the back and sort of half dance/watch, what've you got to lose?! SLAUGHTER THE GOAT!"

Needless to say they skipped the class and we all met up for pizza instead. I can't wait until Jack tells me he wants to quit his interpretive dance class, or flag football. "SLAUGHTER THE GOAT JACK!"

Can you see the resemblance. The lifeguard was cuter though...

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