Birthday Recap! 2012


I’ve just enjoyed 3 days of really nice celebration for my birthday. It’s my running joke with myself that I turn 27 every year. It’s an old joke, and probably not very funny, but if you can’t laugh at your own humour than what are you going to do?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfqniUmxBuQ]

On Thursday I stopped by Dolly Factory by Damzels and treated myself to a cute little red dress, a foxy blouse, and 3 fascinators. I should take some photos and post those soon. My sister, Zoey, met me and we continued along on a nice walk down Queen St. It was an indulgent day and we stopped at Bonjour Brioche for a croissant before going to a secret little coffee shop that I can’t remember the name of and it’s quite hidden, but it was really charming. One of the East End’s best secrets, for sure.

Then we hopped on the streetcar and headed West to break my usual no sugar rule in the most worthy way possible – with macarons! We went to Nadege which is on Queen West right across from Trinity Bellwoods park.

That evening I taught my usual dance classes but with a twist; I brought in a little trio to play for the Advanced class and then we had a little party when the class was done. It was so nice! I’m hoping that people put up the photos soon and I’ll include them here.

On Friday I had a nice date with my hubby who came in to Toronto and spent the day with me. We went to the Athens on the Danforth for a little brunch. This was a family tradition of ours when we were young. They make fantastic, freshly baked Greek pies like spanakopita. We had quite a little feast for just $13. Yum! Then we zipped up to a movie poster warehouse that Geoff knows and I picked up Hellzapoppin’ and A Day At The Races prints for the studio.  Then we went South to St. Lawrence Market because I love it there. Walked about and bought a big exotic Nebrodi mushroom cap to cook up this week and some interesting dry garlic snacks. We went on to poke around in Kensington Market and made a stop at Lilliput to look at hats. This is the fabulous store that made my wedding hat. They have exquisite things and I refrained for buying the $250 hat that I fell in love with.

Then it was off to dinner with my family at Rawlicious. They started their spring menu and I had the raw lasagna which is always fantastic as well as the brownie fudge sundae which was worth every delicious calorie. Yum!

Today I went for Afternoon Tea at the Prince of Wales in Niagara On The Lake with my good friend Steph. This was a wonderful way to cap off my birthday festivities. It’s a good thing that I went to the gym in the morning because afternoon tea is quite a feast. Delicious scones with cream, little finger sandwiches and delicate desserts can really fill you up when you’re also consuming 10 cups of tea. We each wore vintage hats for the occasion. It was lovely!

I wonder what I’ll do when I turn 27 the next time?

 

Birthday Re-Cap 2012


I’ve just enjoyed 3 days of really nice celebration for my birthday. It’s my running joke with myself that I turn 27 every year. It’s an old joke, and probably not very funny, but if you can’t laugh at your own humour than what are you going to do?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfqniUmxBuQ]

On Thursday I stopped by Dolly Factory by Damzels and treated myself to a cute little red dress, a foxy blouse, and 3 fascinators. I should take some photos and post those soon. My sister, Zoey, met me and we continued along on a nice walk down Queen St. It was an indulgent day and we stopped at Bonjour Brioche for a croissant before going to a secret little coffee shop that I can’t remember the name of and it’s quite hidden, but it was really charming. One of the East End’s best secrets, for sure.

Then we hopped on the streetcar and headed West to break my usual no sugar rule in the most worthy way possible – with macarons! We went to Nadege which is on Queen West right across from Trinity Bellwoods park.

That evening I taught my usual dance classes but with a twist; I brought in a little trio to play for the Advanced class and then we had a little party when the class was done. It was so nice! I’m hoping that people put up the photos soon and I’ll include them here.

On Friday I had a nice date with my hubby who came in to Toronto and spent the day with me. We went to the Athens on the Danforth for a little brunch. This was a family tradition of ours when we were young. They make fantastic, freshly baked Greek pies like spanakopita. We had quite a little feast for just $13. Yum! Then we zipped up to a movie poster warehouse that Geoff knows and I picked up Hellzapoppin’ and A Day At The Races prints for the studio.  Then we went South to St. Lawrence Market because I love it there. Walked about and bought a big exotic Nebrodi mushroom cap to cook up this week and some interesting dry garlic snacks. We went on to poke around in Kensington Market and made a stop at Lilliput to look at hats. This is the fabulous store that made my wedding hat. They have exquisite things and I refrained for buying the $250 hat that I fell in love with.

Then it was off to dinner with my family at Rawlicious. They started their spring menu and I had the raw lasagna which is always fantastic as well as the brownie fudge sundae which was worth every delicious calorie. Yum!

Today I went for Afternoon Tea at the Prince of Wales in Niagara On The Lake with my good friend Steph. This was a wonderful way to cap off my birthday festivities. It’s a good thing that I went to the gym in the morning because afternoon tea is quite a feast. Delicious scones with cream, little finger sandwiches and delicate desserts can really fill you up when you’re also consuming 10 cups of tea. We each wore vintage hats for the occasion. It was lovely!

I wonder what I’ll do when I turn 27 the next time?

 

Marilyn Monroe & her TV Dinner

Last night we went to the 20th Annual CKOC Reunion Dance, an event in Hamilton put on by the oldies radio station. We went to the event last year and had a pretty good time, so we thought we’d go again. Also, our friend Dean won first prize in the costume contest last year and a great prize of $500, so Geoff thought he’d put together a really great costume and shoot for the cash prize.

We did some brain storming to come up with fun 1950s & 60s costume ideas and came up with a TV Dinner! Geoff loved this rather extreme costume idea – most people just dress up as greasers and sock hoppers – so we’ve had the makings of a giant TV Dinner in our living room for the past 6 weeks.

Well, it ended up being a bust. The radio station did indeed advertise that there would be a cash prize, but I guess they went over budget and though Geoff did win for the best male costume, they gave him a crappy gift basket instead of the cash they had advertised. He was furious! And he doesn’t get mad very easily. He plans to write them a letter tomorrow. Uh oh!

For myself, it was a good excuse to pull out the Marilyn wig again. I had a reasonably fun time parading around as Marilyn for the earlier part of the night, but then I got pretty tired and annoyed with the whole thing. The venue and the music wasn’t as good as last year. We won’t be attending again.

On a brighter note, our friend, Inna, won the door prize of a big trip to the Carribean! Not bad at all.

 

Project Q


My good friend Krister is both a swing dancer and a Quantum Physicist. He’s running a really exciting project – Project Q!

Here’s his video explaining the project and showing the dance choreography. Incidentally, this was filmed at my studio in Toronto:

And here’s my group dancing it in front of Niagara Falls!

A pretty fun way to spend Family Day, I’d say.

So many websites, so little time

Check out these great websites!

I think that it was Pinterest that gave me the idea. I’ve just gotten over being really sick for a couple of weeks and spending WAY too much time cooped up at home… inevitably on the computer.

With all of the fun of pinning on Pinterest and having an cyber-bulletin board, it got me thinking… I have quite a few websites, and sometimes it’s a bit confusing to explain about all of the different projects that I’m working on. And even for myself, I sometimes have trouble remembering what my next priority should be since I have so many balls up on the air. So why not set up a designated website just for me?

I like the idea. I have a little blog for my food experiments, but sometimes I just want to write about something general that’s going on in my life or that’s on my mind. This site will allow me to pull from whatever source I’m currently in the mood. I’m feeling really good about it!

So here’s to my new all purpose website! I’m enjoying it already.

Mandi

Some personal memories of Frankie

I have some very personal memories of Frankie that I would like to share.

Before ever having seen him before, a few of us traveled to New York for his 85th birthday. Dan and Mark Hart were two of the people who still dance now, and Arthur who went up in a different car. For me, it was a very overwhelming experience. There were so many people there, and they were all there to celebrate the one great man who I had heard so much about but never seen. I hardly had a chance to see him at the event, but I do remember how everyone was given an individually wrapped sweet potato pie because that was Frankie’s favourite. I thought that was pretty cool.

About 6 weeks later I made my way to the Herrang Dance Camp 1999. My sister and I took the very long ‘scenic’ (lost) route to get there. When we got off the bus we were confused and exhausted and unsure what to expect. The very first people we met walking down the Herrang road were Frankie and Chazz. I recognized these big stars from my brief experience in New York and felt awe struck, but both of these gentlemen greeted as with casual warmth and friendly hellos. Their smiles were genuine and kind.

I will always love and remember how Frankie would call all the ladies “Baby” and all the guys “Jim.” If only I could get away with forgetting people’s names so smoothly.

I have many memories of hearing Frankie’s talks. Though some of the stories were often the same, it never ever mattered. What was so magical was Frankie himself. I wish I could have bottled his enthusiastic story telling to save for a rainy day. His talks made me so happy.

A couple of years ago I had dinner with Frankie and Chazz and Frankie began to tell us a story – I think that it was about playing basketball with Cab Calloway – Chazz exclaimed with surprise that he hadn’t heard that story before. I thought that it was so neat that Frankie was still remembering wonderful and amazing snippets from his many rich experiences.

Later on I had the very humbling privilege of teaching with Frankie on three different occasions. I say humbling because to stand before him, to have him take your hand and begin to lead you through even the most simple is nothing short of incredible. To swing out with him was perfection. Strength. Surety. Rhythm. Absolute clarity.

Recently I saw footage of myself teaching the first workshop with Frankie back around 2002. I felt so embarrassed to see how I danced then since I have come such a long way in my learning since that time. But I also remember how absolutely gracious Frankie was dancing with me at that first workshop, even if I wasn’t very good. I am so happy that I had the chance to teach with him one year ago as a much better dancer so that I could really appreciate all of the nuances of his skill.

What was amazing about Frankie is that off the dance floor or teaching floor I could really feel his age, but as soon as it was time for him to stand before an audience he would light up and turn on. It was like he would instantly lose 20 or more years. The most remarkable instance of this was when we had to wake up very early one morning to make a television appearance. It was so early and he was so tired. But just before we went to do the performance he went through his transformation. That short dance was absolutely amazing. I have never felt anything like that before or since. Every step, every second was absolute Lindy Hop perfection. I am obtaining that video footage this week and will try to post a clip of it soon.

These are just some of the random thoughts going through my head about Frankie this morning. I’m sure that I will have more to add to this note soon.

Thinking of you Frankie.

Mandi

DamzelsFrankie3 damzels20thFrankie1 Frankie Manning, Mandi Gould, Gero Hajek - 2008 Mandi Gould

 







Frankie has passed away – it is our responsibility to continue to share what he has given us

Frankie has passed away – it is our responsibility to continue to share what he has given us
April 27, 2009 at 9:17am
Frankie Manning has passed away one month short of his 95th birthday.

Frankie was a truly great man. There are not many people who that can be said about.

Everyone has a story to tell about Frankie. About how he inspired them and really touched them on an absolutely personal level. It wasn’t just that he taught us to dance. It wasn’t just that he showed us the soul of the Lindy Hop. That was important, but it was more than that. Frankie Manning inspired LIFE. His passion for dancing was… is… will always be synonymous with a passion for life.

All of the good things in life, all of the positive energy, deeds and feelings; that’s what Frankie Manning was teaching us. He was radiant with it. Frankie was a living, breathing, pulsing mass of life-inspiration. All around the world, everywhere that he went, he inspired people right down to their core.

This man has left a legacy with us and I truly believe that it is each of our responsibility to carry on the Lindy Hop gospel. Tell people about Lindy Hop. Tell them about Frankie Manning. Teach them what it means to swing. Show them, not only with steps but with that same passion and joy that he brought to us. Remember that feeling. Cherish it in your heart and spread it whenever and wherever you can.

Thank you, Frankie Manning, for everything that you have given us.

Love always.

Mandi