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(well we had a bit of fun before the epidemic became a global pandemic)
This pandemic nonsense had us out of touch for a wee bit.
Kells has been diligently updating our IG.
Nals has not been doing a whole heckuva lot creatively-speaking. Nals hasn’t been super inspired and TBH was in a rut. When restrictions loosened up last year, the P-N-dubs was knee-deep in summer and there were some muses about town.
So let’s rewind to Feb 2020: before the pandemic closed the borders and restricted our lifestyles.
Miss Kells, Cutie T & I took a jaunt down to Portland for a girl’s weekend. It was Cutie T’s first time! And in true N&K fashion, we ate and drunk up a storm. Here is a brief review of the pubs we visited.
We discovered this pub-club by looking online. They had drag queen trivia night scheduled online, but when we arrived, we realized their socials were not regularly updated. The night wasn’t as exciting as we had hoped, but we had a couple beers after dinner and enjoyed a bit of music.
The 3rd Monday in January is the day where it all comes to a sad peak of the post-holiday blues, credit card bills, dark nights and perhaps health concerns from all the rich food.
There is definitely something to this, we think.
Everyone is excited about the summer.
Autumn is about getting ready for school, hunkering down for winter.
Winter can be beautiful with snow here in P-N-dubs. But, in the lower mainland, the snow quickly becomes an unpalatable mess of mud, salt, slushy snow and rain. Yuck!
So, we look forward to the Christmas festivities. Takes our mind off of the gross weather and on to the pleasantries of baking, shopping, wrapping, eating & partying. Of course, this year, Ommi forced us to retreat to our safe bubbles. No work parties, no Secret Sanat, no extravagant dinners with a bunch of fab friends…
Reality sets in… hence Blue Monday.
What can I do about it if it’s reality?
We’re not saying you should ignore reality. What we’re saying is that this is a good time to get reacquainted with self-care & joy.
Connect with loved ones virtually
Engage in self care
Get back to healthy eatingTry exercising – especially walks on the brighter weather days
Take your medications as prescribed (when feeling blue, it’s easy to forge
Talk to your health professional about the SAD lamp or other ways to copeKeep a regular sleeping schedule
Enjoy what you have. Be mindful.
Put your worries in a box for a few hours. Worrying all day will not help solve anything.
Talk about it or journal
Think about fun stuff to do. When was the last time you painted? Sledded? Collaged? Read a novel? Took your pups or kids out for a fun walk? Played a video game? Made a snowperson? Made a slideshow of photos? Snuggled your pet or loved one?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Some of these suggestions might not even float your boat. And that’s okay. But you’ve got some other ideas in that noggin of yours. So get to steppin, you beautiful beast.
This list might be overwhelming. Pick 1 or 2 things that seem interesting and go from there.
What are Nals & Kells doing?
I’m getting back into writing this blog. Kells is still recoveringfrom Christmas cheer. & we are both doing another session of burly classes this month.
Time has really chowed down on 2021. How are we already on the tail end of the year? Mind-blowing!
Our burly performance classes are back on. The studio class sizes are small and have requirements to be masked & vaxxed. Or folks can choose to Zoom in.
Most exciting of all… we’re also going to have a student showcase! We haven’t performed on stage in a year. Oh goodness we are looking forward to the hustle & bustle of the time leading up to a performance.
Kells & I are in Androsia Wilde’s Island Gyal Flow. This is our first progressive with Androsia. We’re looking forward to flowing and exploring our heritages.
Cherry on Top
We are also taking Cherry On Top’s Art of Burlesque Starlet Level for intermediate levels. We’ll be rocking, rolling and perfecting how to give face.
Looks like it’s time for the annual Nals and Kells getaway!
The global pandemic has limited life options this year. But since it’s our birthday, we decided to take off to Whistler, BC. (Coincidentally, Dr. Bonnie Henry has rolled out BC’s Restart Plan: Phase 3. )
However, this gym has an awesome workaround. They’ve created a complimentary 30-Minute HIT at Home for members!
Kells has been intermittently hitting it for over a decade. But over the past few years she’s been really consistent.
I tried hitting it for the 2018 fundraiser Kick the F*ck Of Cancer🔗. It was my first time and I felt like puking after. I hadn’t felt that wretched in ages. I thought “Guess this isn’t your jam, missy.”
New Years promo
A couple months ago, K pointed out that there was a special deal. I hemmed and hawed. I thought, let’s just book a trial session… and I was hooked. You get your own gloves and wraps. Makes me feel like I’m a hardcore boxer.
I thought this would be great for a quick workout. In the days I want longer training, I’d have the option to go through 2x.
But believe me, you work your entire body hard. Both Kells & I are hot sweaty messes afterwards.
I still have not gone through the circuit 2x. But one of these days, I will.
And less than 2 months later
I feel stronger, energized, got some skills, endurance (I had to take multiple breaks per station in the beginning).
My waist is more defined. People have told me my shape is changing. I’m not doing it for looks… but it’s nice to get positive feedback.
If you’re up for a challenge, and this looks remotely interesting, call to get your free trial!
Footnotes: ¹Ginger is a new instructor but has been performing for years. She’s an Aussie! ²The second instructor is Portia de Favro🔗. N&K were itching to try one of her classes but she’s only doing intermediate and advanced. After a year of burlesquing, we feel that we’re past beginner stage but not quite intermediate.³Congratulations to Cherry on Top and Ariel Helvetica on bringing 2 new tinies to the GVA!
N&K are again joining burlesque progressive classes leading to Vancouver Burlesque Company‘s 🔗 Student Showcase (adult version of a recital). It’ll be Thursday December 12, 2019 at 9 pm at the Rio Theatre 🔗.
Unfortunately Kells and I couldn’t join the same class this quarter (boo!). Her themes are Mad Scientist (Cleo Victory’s contemporary) and The Circus (Chastity Twist’s chair). They sound like so much fun!
My 2 classes are more classic burlesque styles. My themes are Women*’s Personas: Public & Private Faces (Cherry On Top’s Ingenue level) and Vegas Showgirls (Ariel Helvetica). My classes are a lot of fun, too. We’ve mistreating pink feather boas* and red-and-silver heels.
There are a variety of babes in our classes: some new-to-the-scene and some familiar faces. Very exciting mix!
The show is going to phenomenal folks! So please come to see us and cheer us on. We promise lots of good energy, fun vibes and good times.
*mistreatment as in humping and other fun things. No feather boas were harmed… Yet.
Sept 16th 1963 changed my life. Yes, I know I wasn’t born yet, and my dad was only 10 years old. But this day changed my life. On this day, a man that I will now never meet, was killed while working for the Vancouver Police Department. He was doing traffic control for a BC Lions game and was hit by a driver and killed. Sept 16th 1963 was the day that I would never meet my dad’s dad. I would never have a grandfather because of this day. I would never know what is it like to go fishing with a grandpa, here stories of his time as a police officer, and never know the man that I have only heard few stories of. Sept 16th 1963 took away memories that I would never be able to make.
My dad was 10. I can’t imagine losing a parent at 10. And sadly, he doesn’t talk about his dad. He wasn’t allowed to, his new step father forbid it and completely cut my dad’s family off from seeing their dad’s family. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I met some of my dad’s cousins and aunts. It’s weird hearing stories of a man you never met. It’s weird hearing people say “your grandfather was so fun” or “your grandfather would have loved to meet you”. Your grandfather. I never had a grandfather. I never called anyone grandpa. (Besides my best friends grandpa, who insisted that I call him grandpa too). To this day, I will say “my dad’s dad”. (And no I never called, or referred to my dad’s step dad as grandpa, he was an awful man and we did not have a relationship with him). It’s so crazy that a man, on Sept 16th 1963, killed a man that I really wish I could have met. I have heard he was so tall and loved to laugh. I hear he was the life of the party and was pretty funny. But one man’s poor decisions took that all way. On the last Sunday of every September, there is a police memorial to honor those who have lost their lives serving. Many people, families municipalities, general public and politicians (mainly because they want to be seen on camera) come to honor those who have died. I sit there looking at the families that have lost their mom/wife, or dad/husband, and though I am sad for them, I’m jealous that they got time with their loved one. It’s heartbreaking to see them hear the name of their family member and watch the tears flow. My dad and aunts are sitting there listening for their dad’s name to be called, their hero, who went to work and never came home. It’s such an odd feeling of sadness and almost an emptiness.
And I sit there thinking, Sept 16th 1963. Sept 16th 1963, years before I was born, a day that changed my life. And I think, who is the man that killed my dad’s dad. He never went to jail. He turned himself in the next day. He was never punished (except for a hit and run, not murder). It was assumed he was drinking, but he never admitted to that. Who is this man? Is he still alive? Does he remember Sept 16th 1963? Did he go on living his life? Did he ever want to apologize to my dad’s family? Does he know what he destroyed? Does he care? Does he know the man he killed had kids and a wife? That he had family that loved him? That he would have grandkids that would sit at his memorial and wonder? Does he see the news reports of the memorial and think, I’m the reason you are having this memorial? Does he sit with his grandkids and know that there are grandkids that don’t know their grandfather because of him? I would like to talk to him. Is that weird? Not to get mad at him, or yell at him. But I want to know, does he think of these things? This year, Nals came with me to the memorial. I was with my dad’s younger sister and my mom. I go to support my family and represent the families that are impacted by the deaths of the officers that have lost their lives serving their cities and neighbourhoods. I know it’s important to my dad and his sisters that I help remember their father, a man that I would never meet. What was interesting this year, is that during the procession, when the officers walk out, they usually turn and salute the families, but this year, they walked right on by and turned to salute the Premier JH. (Like I said, they come to be on camera and this year, took away from the families). One more thing I will share…my dad’s dad was killed in an intersection I drive through 2x a day, on my way to and from work. Every day, I pass the spot that someone I would know but never meet, died. The report states the driver carried him 80ft before stopping, getting out of his car to look around, and then drove away. I drive this route. This exact spot where Sept 16th 1963 changed my life. Sept 16th 1963; A day that I won’t ever forget.
So if you follow us on Instagram you know we recently did the student show case with the Vancouver Burlesque Company. I got to dance with a level 2 group. I was totally out of my element and felt very insecure.
Dancing puts me in a vulnerable position.
1. I’m not a small girl. So I feel like its obvious, me, this giant chick on the stage
2. Being giant, you are gunna see that a) I’m bigger than others, height and weight and b) you will see I’m not a good dancer (especially since I was dancing with former dancers).
3. Others in my dance classes are good dancers. They have danced before and they know what position 1 means.
4. I was told when I was younger, and wanted to join ballet, that I cant be a dancer because I’m to tall (Stupid that the things we are told when we are young sticks with us).
So yah, I’m feeling vulnerable but determined to do it. But this experience got me thinking about my thoughts vs others. What I see is me as an elephant in the room, dancing with cute ballerinas. BUT what others see is me doing well. I got good feedback from my friends. But these crappy feelings of me looking stupid flood other parts of my life too.
For example, at my gym, for the longest time, I always thought I could see my tummy reflecting off the heater that is located on the roof right above me. It literally took me over a year to realize it wasn’t my belly at all, but the big ball I was using making the reflection!
Like what the heck!?
Why? Why do I assume, this big ball is my stomach reflecting? Why do I go to a negative place? Why didn’t see a ball? Why didn’t I see me accomplishing this one work station that I’ve struggled with for so long?
I’m so annoyed with myself when I realized I’ve been doing this. Nals and I have talked about this (a lot). We always remind each other that we are pointing out negative things and will say “that’s not what I see”. As much as I have focused on trying to be body positive, and not negative on myself, I still find I have moments (like mentioned above) where I still beat myself up. I still see negative things.
But here’s what I can do:
1. Listen to the positive feedback
2. Recognize when Im being negative
3. Continue to challenge myself
4. Remember to love myself
5. Celebrate my accomplishments
I know I’m not the only one that goes through this. Please share the ways you challenge your negative self talk and ways you love yourself!!
So I (Kells) sucked it up, put my fears on hold and went to my 20 year grad reunion.
Back ground: I was not one of the “cool” kids. I had many friends and floated from group to group but I never had that crew. I didn’t sit in one spot, or hide out in the back field. I simply survived high school by roaming, moving and saying hi to those that would say hi back. I viewed myself as a band/theater geek. But no one asked me to the prom (however I was more than happy to go with my bestie), I tried to avoid the school bullies and I learned to just laugh at myself (especially before others could laugh at me).
So 20 years has come and gone. (I did go to my 10 year reunion, it was still weird). People still had their clicks but what was neat was at the 10 year reunion, one of the dudes that was always mean to me came up to me and apologized. It was really shocking but very nice of him to do. I totally respect him for that.
I didn’t know who I would see, or what to expect. I went to the reunion (even the 10 year) without the hubs. I tried to say hi to everyone I could, though some did not recognize me and some still snubbed me.
But I wanted to share the things I didn’t expect.
1. A few people told me they had a crush on me. Surprised me as I always had a low view on my looks in high school, so never thought anyone would like me. Plus I was generally a foot taller than most people, which made me stick out, or above the crowd. Also made me self conscious.
2. I heard other people (even those I deemed as cool) talk about trying to survive. One person mentioned staying in their clump, because to them, survival was in numbers.
3. Most people agreed who the school jerk was. He was there too. I didn’t get to talk to him, but if I did, I was gunna tell him he wasn’t nice. Why not? I would want someone to tell me if I were mean to them in high school cuz I would like to apologize. (Not that I expected him to apologize).
4. A couple people thanked me for always being so nice to them. I didn’t realize I had that impact. They even remembered things about me I didn’t! It was so touching.
5. I got this at both my 10 and 20 year: “you’re so pretty now”. Dont say that. It’s mean. This time I responded with, thanks, I think you are trying to be nice, so I will take that as a nice compliment.
6. People said they didn’t remember me until I started talking and laughing and this is what they remember me for. Sad cuz I laugh like a donkey but atleast I was remembered for laughing!!! I will definitely take that.
7. I had fun. Who knew? I laughed so hard, that my abs hurt, even 2 days later. I stayed up way to late and I went to sleep feeling happy.
So why was I so happy? Well I suppose a few reasons...
1. I realized that jerk in high school is still a jerk and that it wasn’t me, it was him.
2. I went in to the reunion hoping to just have fun and not hide. Mission accomplished!
3. I’m happy with my life. I have everything I could ask for. I laugh. I live. I love.
4. It was nice to hear feedback about my high school self that was completely different than what I though I was. Where I saw fluttering from group to group to try to hide/blend, others saw as social. People saw me as kind, laughing and fun. And guess what, I am those things!
I have so many friends that don’t want to do their reunion because high school sucked. But I heard from many of my classmates that it sucked for them too!! Thank goodness high school isn’t the best years of our lives! I want to live my best life now, and feel that I am. I want to encourage you to attend your reunion! Talk to people. Ignore those who still suck and learn that our negative self high school image is not what others have seen!