General

5 Reasons Why I Am Looking Forward to Summer

The last few days have been beautiful and sunny here in New York. On Sunday, it was a whopping 80 degrees! While this is unusual weather for this time of year, I fully enjoyed this glimpse into summer. It has cooled off since then, which is somewhat reassuring. However, this summer weather in April definitely indicates that the end of the world is upon us. On a more positive note, here are 5 reasons why I am looking forward to summer!

Hikes with Mom and pups
There is nothing more wonderful than taking a stroll through the woods with my mom and the dogs. This is where I see the dogs at their happiest (and craziest). The little guys turn into wild beasts and bound energetically through the trees, stopping only to relieve themselves, which they do quite frequently. There are a number of hiking trails by my parents, so the pups never grow bored. By the time we return home, the dogs are so exhausted that they turn into little mush balls for the rest of the night.

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Charlie and Rufus on a hike

 

I will be able to walk regularly 

This is the big one. I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday which will determine my weigh-bearing status. I am currently at partial-weight-bearing, which means I can put 20 to 30 lbs of weight on my injured ankle. I’ve been on crutches for 6 weeks now and I am going a little crazy. By the summer, I’m hoping I will be walking regularly again. I am so excited for that day. SO excited.

Summer clothes

I love being able to slip on a dress or a romper, some sandals and be on my way. It just feels good not to put on 15 layers of clothing every time I leave my apartment.

Free concerts and events

One of the best parts about living in New York City is the free events! Every summer, there is a plethora of free concerts, movie screenings, and other events to attend at no cost. Many of these events take place outdoors in parks. I am really looking forward to this because I am broke. I also love both events and parks. I mean, who doesn’t? I live a brisk 15-minute walk to Prospect Park, so I am definitely going to be there frequently.

Beach!!

It might surprise some of you that I am excited about the beach due to my vampiric appearance, but you have no idea. I CANNOT WAIT! I am going to become tan this summer. And by tan, I mean slightly less white. I haven’t been a huge beach-goer throughout my life because my parents mostly took our family on outdoorsy vacations consisting of hiking and kayaking. I loved those trips, but we never really spent that much time at the ocean. I’m very much looking forward to relaxing on the beach this year.

 

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Montauk, NY

 

Why are you looking forward to summer this year? Comment below!

 

General

I’ve Been Movin’ and Groovin’!

Hi, Friends!

Hope you have all been well. I apologize for my little hiatus. I have been busy getting out and about. I almost feel like a real person again. It is nice.

On Saturday, David and I had delicious Ethiopian food from Ghenet in Park Slope. Service here was fantastic, the food was delicious albeit slightly spicy, and the experience was lovely. Though it wasn’t quite warm enough to sit outside, we had the privilege of sitting in their covered backspace. They converted their backyard into something akin to a glass greenhouse, so you feel like you are sitting outside.

We ordered a combination platter for two people, which came with two meat dishes and four vegetarian dishes. Everything was amazing, but our favorite dishes were definitely the beef (Siga Wett) and the cabbage, potato and carrot dish (Atkilt Wett). The lentil dish (Misir Wett) was also to die for.

The food was a bit pricey for Ethiopian, but it was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend this place! By 6:00, the restaurant was totally packed. You can tell it’s a real neighborhood favorite.

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David enjoying his meal at Ghenet!
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Top left: Atkilt Wett; Top right: Misir Wett; Middle left: Doro Wett; Middle right: Siga Wett; Bottom left: Engoudaye Wett; Bottom right: Fasolia

On Sunday, we lived it up by going to Toby’s Public House in South Slope. We shared a filet mignon carpaccio salad and smoked pancetta pizza. Both were fantastic. We sat outside in the sunshine and relaxed while I dog-watched. I probably saw upwards of 50 doggies. Best day ever!

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Relaxing in the sunshine at Toby’s!

Monday night, we went to David’s godmother’s seder. We had an abbreviated service, drank lots of wine, ate lots of delicious food and laughed a lot.

Tuesday, my mom came to pick me up! We had Nepalese food at Himalaya in Yorktown and then saw Beauty and the Beast. Almost everyone in the theater was a mother-daughter pair. I think there was maybe one dad there. I smiled throughout the entire movie. It was great 🙂

After spending some quality time with my family and dogs in Westchester, I am now back in Brooklyn!

Recovery

Recovery Activities, Part 2

Still looking for activities to do while you recover from surgery? Here are some more exciting activities to keep you occupied during this strange time.

Take a shower.

This is an activity that I both dread and cherish at this time in my life. If you are looking to pass the time and feel better about yourself and your place in the world, I recommend this activity. I guarantee this will take up at least 30 minutes of your life. If you have an injury like mine, showering will also be highly physical. You will need to balance on one leg on a slippery surface while twisting in five different directions at once, all while scrubbing your body and hair. If that’s not enough, you have the constant pressure of hot water rushing down on you. If all of this is too easy, try shaving! Woohoo. Set aside at least an hour for your shower. And get a shower stool, just to be safe. You can find one by searching “shower stool for elderly” on Amazon.com.

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Shower stool

 

Go on Pinterest.

Spending time on Pinterest is a great way to feel productive without actually doing anything. You can spend hours planning out the projects you will one day do, the outfits you hope you will one day wear, the meals you will one day prepare and the vacations you will one day take! I have to say, it is tons of fun and provides hours of entertainment.

Do that administrative work that’s been piling up.

Whether it’s taxes, budgeting or whatever else you need to do, tackle those administrative tasks you’ve been putting off for days, weeks, months, years, whatever it might be for you. Make some excel spreadsheets. Ah, how I love spreadsheets. They are so magical. Go crazy, guys. Organize your receipts and put them into little boxes! YES.

 

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David getting stuff done!

 

Reach out to old friends.

Connect to old friends you wish you had kept in touch with over the years. You have lots of time on your hands, so why not?

Practice going up and down the stairs.

For me, this is an equally terrifying and challenging workout. I don’t actually do this unless I have to go somewhere. But damn, let me say, it gets my heart pumping every time. I like to see how fast I can get up and down the stairs without falling over.

Learn a new skill.

I’ve been using this time semi-productively. However, if you want to go above and beyond, take this time to learn a new skill. I’ve been meaning to check out Lynda.com for like 5 years. I swear I’m going to do it…one day. I can actually access it through my New York Public Library account, which is pretty cool. Lynda is great. There are tutorials on many, many topics— video editing programs, marketing, the list goes on and on.

Find a way to engage in your art.

As a dancer with only weight-bearing leg, my capacity for movement is limited. However, my friend recently reached out me about showing some work in a couple weeks, so I decided I’m going to make a chair/crutch dance! Limitations can often push one to find new ways of expression and meaning. I’m looking forward to being a maker again. Wish me luck!

Recovery

The Long Process of Recovery

Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s rainy and depressing here in Brooklyn, but I have a fuzzy beast named Snaxboat (pronounced Snack-boat) sitting on my legs, so I’m all good here.

As you all probably know, recovery from surgery can be a long and painful process. Not only is there actual physical (excruciating) pain in the first few days after surgery, but filling the postoperative days can be difficult. This is challenging for someone like me, who is used to moving and grooving nonstop. In this post, I’m going to talk about some of the ways one can fill that post-op time and make the best of being laid up.

INDULGE in reality TV, trashy magazines or really anything that will make you forget your pain.

Seriously, no one is allowed to judge you at this point in your life. You are in pain! You are all drugged up! You can’t handle intellectually engaging content right now. I highly recommend binge watching a reality television program of your choosing. I watched Vanderpump Rules almost 24 hours a day for the first few days after my procedure. I may have lost a few brain cells, but it was totally worth it. Percocet was helpful, but Vanderpump Rules is really what took my attention away from the pain. The drama is REAL and RAW, the people are pretty and wear cute outfits, and it’s actually pretty hilarious. Plus, the characters frequently undergo cosmetic surgery, so I found the program relatable.

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Vanderpump Rules Cast

Spend quality time with your furry friends.

If you are a dog or a cat owner, when else are you going to have this much time to spend with your little furry buddies? You know they miss you when you are out and about, so you really owe it to them to offer extra cuddles and maybe even a face massage. And spending more time with your pets will make you feel better too.

When I was at my parents’ house directly following my procedure, I had these little guys to keep me company:

Now that I’m in back in Brooklyn, these two are my best companions:

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Snaxboat and Linus

If you don’t have any furry friends of your own, there are hours worth of youtube videos to indulge in.

Read books!

Once you start to feel your brain melting away into a reality TV mush, it’s time to switch it up. E-book readers are great because you can pretty much read anything and everything. When you are done with one book, you don’t even have to leave the couch in order to start a new one. All you have to do is click around and before you know it, you have a new book in your library! Amazeballs.

Don’t know what to read? I recommend checking out Goodreads. You can see lists of your friends’ favorite books, what they are currently reading and more.

Practice meditation.

What better time to practice meditation? Getting surgery can be emotionally exhausting, and mediating can really help. I am incredibly anxious, so having all this time to worry about my life just amplifies my stress level. I downloaded this app called Headspace, which makes meditation really easy, accessible and fun. You get to watch little cartoons about meditation, too! What more do you want? Plus, the sessions are about 10 minutes each, so it’s not something huge to commit to. I’ve been doing it before bed and it’s been really helpful in letting my body and mind relax.

Read the news.

I recommend doing this activity before or after meditation. You might even want to meditate both before and after reading the news. Enough said.

Make some money online.

If you aren’t able to work like me, it feels good to make a couple bucks here and there. I’ve been doing transcriptions and filling out surveys. You aren’t going to get rich. You aren’t even going to make minimum wage. But, it’s something to do and you will feel semi-productive!

There are so many more things you can do while you recover! Stay tuned for Part 2. Thanks for reading.

General

Hello, and Welcome!

Hello, blogosphere! My name is Julie and I am a dancer/choreographer based in Brooklyn, NY. I am starting this blog as a way to keep myself occupied and connect to the world as I continue my recovery from ankle surgery. 

A bit about me: I grew up outside New York City where I spent time frolicking in meadows, petting small dogs and doing a lot of math homework. I attended a small liberal arts college in Ohio before making my move to the Big Apple to pursue a career as a professional dancer and choreographer.

My ankle had been an ongoing obstacle for me for years. I had sprained it so many times to the point that my ankle flapped around like a dead chicken (sorry, that’s gross.. also I’ve never seen a dead chicken flap but it seemed an appropriately graphic and upsetting simile). I had damage to multiple ligaments. The super important one called the anterior talofibular ligament, or ATFL, wasn’t even there. I mean, it was there but completely detached from my bones. CRAZY!

Long story short, my ankle needed some serious repair. Not only would my dance career be over if  I chose not to proceed with surgery, but my general capacity for movement would be impaired in the long-term.

I found an amazing surgeon who specializes in treating dancers. Awed by his professional demeanor and experience, as well as my eagerness to get this operation over with, I booked my surgery as soon as possible– in the beginning of March. The process was fairly terrifying because I am a generally anxious person. However, my surgeon performed a flawless surgery and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I’m SO relieved to have the operation over with. 

So now I wait. I sit around and wait for my human body to work its magic and heal my ankle. Stay tuned for exciting updates on internet discoveries, TV, books and other ramblings!