Showing posts from 2016

Spotify and Instagram

I have recently joined both Spotify and Instagram.

I'm not what you'd call an early adopter. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. Instead of suffering from FOMO, I relish being on the fringe of society. I resist joining things and adopting trends; not exclusively having to do with electronics, either.  I am an introvert; I march to my own beat and gravitate toward a 'granola' mentality.

Back in the 90s, I procrastinated getting a computer for as long as possible. Even though I owned my own business and had heard about computers and knew that people were transitioning into 'email' and 'websites', but to me it seemed like a superfluous fad. It took me several years to join the crowd. It was 1998, before I finally got a computer; mainly so that I could see what all the fuss was about this "Internet" I kept hearing about. Once I took the leap, I was hooked. I became addicted to AOL chat rooms for a while and now I like the interaction of Facebook.…

Nia with JAG Returns to Seattle

Starting January 8, 2017, JAG will be teaching Nia classes in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Classes will be held at

Velocity Dance Center 1621 12th Ave  (between Pine and Olive) Sundays 8:45 am - 9:45 am
Classes at Velocity Dance Center cost $15 each for drop ins, or you could purchase a VIP card and get classes for only $12.

This series of classic Nia classes will include some routines from the vault, like Miracle, Yulunga, Fantasia and Moodfood as well as the latest routines like Sacred, Dragon, Deep Dive and Bring It! JAG will also be presenting his original work; old routines like Goldfinger, Orchestra, Amazing and Frankie Say Nia and routines yet to be created but sure to be lots of fun. There is an all disco routine in the works and a new routine using world and pop music inspired by the old routines of Nia co-creator Carlos Rosas.
In early 1996, there was no Nia going on in Seattle until Jason Alan Griffin (a practicing massage therapist / aerobics/step instructor /…

Chaotic Covert Creations

I have temporarily abandoned working on re-creating my version of David Merritt's awesome "Celebrate" routine. Not being a disco fan, I couldn't really take all the time it was requiring me to spend with those songs. Yeah, it's great to hear them in a class once in awhile, and they're fun to dance to, but not to hear over and over again as I'm figuring out the right moves. I had to put the project on hold for my own sanity, but I'm sure I'll be back at it.

In the meantime, Spotify was getting the wrong impression about my musical tastes. I was starting to get nothing but disco songs as suggestions, and I wanted to nip that in the bud right away, so I started listening to music just for fun!  This is something I stopped doing in the early 90's when I became a dance fitness teacher and used music as a tool in my profession. So my musical maturity was stunted in the late eighties. I'm really enjoying exploring everything I've missed in th…

Dark December

As we roll into December, I'm still decompressing from my highly eventful year.

It started with a triumphant return to the boards after a five-year hiatus, I found an audition listing just by chance, for a role that sounded perfect for me. Soon afterward, I found myself playing in a slapstick farce and losing about fifteen pounds in the process. I took daily baths to combat the aches and pains inherent in doing pratfalls and stunts every night. To exacerbate the issue, my character was a nervous mess. The stress that the character goes through is something I literally feel and my body really reacts to. My body doesn't know it isn't real, so I actually got sick from the pretend stress.

The play was a riot, and I had a great time. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but I was glad when it was over so I could recover. It didn't take me long to return to my normal weight, but it took a little bit longer to heal some of the more serious injuries. My ribs, my shoulders and m…

Long Live Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday created by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. He created it as a way to give thanks for what we have and to honor "our beneficent father who dwelleth in the heavens."  So, yeah, it was a religious holiday to start out and I'm glad that that aspect of it seems to have fallen by the wayside. It has become a mostly secular holiday devoted partially to taking a day to give thanks for all we have, and largely to gathering with friends and family and feasting on turkey.

What's sad is that the sentiment lasts only one day and the very next day is a relatively new but just as revered national holiday. It is the shameful mess known as Black Friday. This day of excessive materialism is a truer indication of what I see as the American sentiment than Thanksgiving, which is soon forgotten in the near full month of rampant materialism that follows.

I find it odd that just one day after giving thanks for all that we are blessed with, it then becomes important to go …

Burger Repurcussions

From late April through early October, I ate almost exclusively hamburgers and pizza and big sugary desserts. I also regularly stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning, watching TV or videos on YouTube. The bulk of my days were spent sitting in the car. Sure, I'd get out and run a bit with River, and often got out to go on small hikes or climb on rocks or jump in waves. And I'd occasionally stop to teach a Nia class. But it was mostly a sedentary, unhealthful lifestyle--something new to me. I noticed, during this time, I was more susceptible to getting sick and being cranky. I also gained significant weight. My usual weight range hovers around 155, and whenever I get above 160 I know I've gotten off track and seek to right myself. But during those past five months, my belly started growing enough to bulge out over my waistband. I was embarrassed to remove my shirt, which is unlike me. I could even see myself bulging when I wore form fitting clothes.

An interesting aspect of…

What is a Friend?

This political environment has given rise to the question of who is my friend.

I have reached a boiling point and no longer want to tolerate support for the neo-fascist running for president on an elitist ticket. So I have made the decision to remove those people who support him from my Facebook friends list.

There have been some interesting reactions to this decision. I didn't expect much support for this choice in general, so I was surprised at how much I actually did get. But not surprisingly, I also saw a fair amount of resistance. I'm not the type of person who does things based on what most people think. I've marched to the sound of a different drummer my whole life, and if people get me, that's fine; but it's not a huge concern for me if they don't.  I'm not writing this to convince anyone else that I'm right or to persuade anyone to think or do like me, I'm only going to make an attempt to be understood, for what it's worth.

Some people …

Road Trip 2016: Fun Facts

I was on the road for 23 weeks. Not only is it the longest road trip I've ever taken but it's the longest I've ever been away from home.  During that time I made stops in the following 85 different cities. I stayed in each city for only one night unless indicated otherwise in parenthesis.

Seaside, OR
Coos Bay, OR
Arcata, CA
Santa Rosa, CA (2)
Santa Barbara, CA (2)
Carlsbad, CA (2)
Marana, AZ
El Paso, TX
Del Rio, TX
Rockport, TX
Corpus Christi, TX (2)
San Marcos, TX (2)
Dallas, TX (2)
Houston, TX (3)
Slidell, LA
Destin, FL
Bessemer, AL
Tucker, GA (2)
Venice, FL (4)
Pompano Beach, FL
Gainesville, FL
Florence, SC
Charlotte, NC (3)
Harrisonburg, VA
Sandston, VA (2)
Edgewood, MD
New York, NY (6)
Altoona, PA
Columbus, OH (2)
Aurora, IL
Woodson, MI
Springfield, MO
Oklahoma City, OK
Amarillo, TX
Albuquerque, NM
Holbrook, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ (3)
Kingman, AZ
St. George, UT
Glendale, UT (3)
Las Vegas, NV
Barstow, CA
Gardena, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Auburn, CA
Klamath Fal…

Returning to Seattle

Last night was kind of weird. After I was done teaching my last class of the tour in Pendleton, I stood in the motel room with the feeling that it was all over. There was a bit of sadness mixed with a bit of elation. And the feeling of being in the motel room was different. It almost felt unnecessary and strange to know that I was in a motel room and had no plans coming up except for driving home in the morning.

There wasn't much going on on the ride home, but I did enjoy driving through the middle of Washington. The rolling hills were all different shades of brown as autumn was obviously in full swing.

I stopped in Stanfield, OR for lunch. The choices were pitifully slim, so I opted for Jack In the Box. I hadn't eaten at one since I was a kid, and I used to really dislike it because they would include a balloon in with the order and the balloon tasted like chemical. It ruined the taste of the food to have that toxic powder on my lips from the balloon.

Today I didn't get a…

The Ultimate Amazing

Today was a situation that I don't care for. I had a six and a half hour drive before teaching a class. I tend to prefer to be in the town well in advance, just to avoid the myriad things that can go wrong to delay my timely arrival.

Lucky there were no interesting sites along the way.  Well, actually there were, but I'd seen them all already so I had no problem. The ride was pretty uneventful; especially compared to the calibre of beauteous drives I'd been taking of late.

I got an early start and I gained an hour as I passed into the Pacific Time Zone.  This is the kind of scenery I mostly saw:
I got to Pendleton in plenty of time, even with stopping several times, for gas, pet food and rest breaks. I was able to check into the motel first and even had time to give River his dinner before I had to be in the studio.

Pendleton is a tiny little town, so it only took me four minutes to get there from the motel.

The studio was beautiful but they kept it dark. They used just a …

Colorado National Monument and Arches National Park

My original plan was to visit Arches on my way out of Grand Junction and then drive the rest of the day all the way up to Pocatello. But last night, on my way into Grand Junction, I saw a sign saying I was close to Colorado National Monument, so I thought I'd pay a quick visit there, too.

 OMFG. I cannot describe this place without cursing. The shapes of the rocks and the color of the ground and the flora growing. It's all just so incredible. I actually literally understood what 'breaktaking' means. I was gasping so repeatedly that I lost my breath at one point. I also think I broke my awesome meter. It's going to have to be recalibrated at least. I cannot believe that places like this quietly exist in the middle of our country. Why aren't people talking about this place every day?

 I was really hoping to see some big horn elk when we were in the Big Horn National Forest, but we didnt' see any that day. Today, though, I spotted a whole herd of them walking …