Monday, February 28, 2011

Most Dangerous Concert




The website said 7 PM. The tickets staid 7:30 PM. Eddie and I met at Penn Station and went to the Garden around 6:45 PM. The entrance was packed. No one was allowed in yet. The concert started after 8 PM. What the? Still, it was just Bon Jovi, no opening act, so when it started, it was with Jon Bon Jovi standing in front of us, about two sections down, singing Last Man Standing. Amazing? I'd say so. I was closer twice at the Coliseum with my cousin KZK. This was still close and a great way to begin a concert.


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After that, for my section, things got sticky. Two people went missing and a guy wound up in a wheelchair. Here's how that story goes.

Four women were in our row next to me. They were drinking wine when the came in. Two of them got more wine as we waited (forever) for the concert to start. They came back in time to start the concert. Then one of them left after a few songs to get more drinks. A few songs went by. She didn't come back. A few more songs went by. She didn't come back. The woman next to me realized that her friend still hadn't returned--probably because she'd been on empty cup for half an hour and lost her buzz--so she pointed that out to the other friends and they got on their cell phones. Now, instead of dancing and singing and having a good time, the three of them were on a missing person mission. They tried calling, too. Then the woman next to me left to find her friend.

This is why I don't drink at concerts. You miss everything.

Like, they missed the guy who was walking up the stairs and didn't make it to where he was going. We were towards the bottom of the section. At the very bottom there's a concrete wall that goes across the front and then about three rows up the sides of the section, like a box. Some guy was on the stairs and then suddenly, tipped backwards and fell down the stairs into the corner of the concrete barrier. Eddie saw this all happen and yelled Holy Shit that guy just fell.

The definition of irony: This all happened during "Bad Medicine." You see? The guy needed medical attention during Bad Medicine. Get it? Get it?

Security swarmed around and some people in the crowd went down to help him. Someone got a wheelchair. I felt kind of bad, screaming and singing and dancing along when this guy was semi-conscious, so I kept asking Eddie if he'd gotten up yet. It was a good three songs more until the evidence of the fall was gone.

The woman who got lost eventually returned with two drinks and a box of popcorn. I thought I heard her say something about hurting her foot, but I can't be sure. The woman who went to find her came back a few minutes later.

After that, one of the women who was in front of us started dancing down the stairs. She did not fall into the concrete wall. Instead, she disappeared. She'd been very talkative to everyone. She and her friend had turned around to talk to me and Eddie and they were dancing all over the two guys in front of them who were married but without their wives--I think their wives stood them up because they had two extra seats with them. Either that or they wore wedding rings and bought four seats because they were scared to admit that they like Bon Jovi.

In any case, the woman who was the loudest and most likely drunkest did not come back. Her friends did not try to find her. She was simply gone. And when the concert ended, her friends took her coat with them.

Other than the safety hazards, the concert was really good. Oh, the other drawback was the part when Jon Bon Jovi took his normal break to change his shirt and left Richie Sambora to sing lead on a song. Wow, that did not go as it usually does. He used to sing a song from his own record and that usually turned into a bathroom break for everyone, so instead, he's started singing a Bon Jovi song and everyone switches up the parts they usually sing. This concert as during the last, he sang Lay Your Hands On Me. Apparently, this was more challenging than last time. Richie Sambora was speaking in tongues mostly to himself during the song and had a weird haircut. Perhaps it was the weird haircut that made him speak in tongues. In any case, it was not, shall we say, good.

And now, the set list:

Last Man Standing

You Give Love a Bad Name

Born to Be My Baby

We Weren't Born to Follow

Lost Highway

When We Were Beautiful

It's My Life

Runaway

Superman Tonight

The More Things Change

We Got It Goin' On

Bad Medicine with Pretty Woman and the guy falling down.

Lay Your Hands on Me with Richie Sambora on lead hallucinations. After this song, Jon Bon Jovi came out with a button down blue shirt on. Eddie goes, He comes out in that shirt and sings Memory every time. Cut to:

(You Want To) Make A Memory HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAAAAAA.

I'll Be There For You

Something for the Pain, acoustic.

Someday I'll Be Saturday Night, acoustic. The acoustic thing was fantastic the first few times. I think I may be seeing too many Bon Jovi concerts. Yikes.

Who Says You Can't Go Home

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead with Start Me Up

No Apologies. Eddie noted that this was the one song I didn't sing along with. I told him it's the last song on the Greatest Hits album which I haven't listened to all that much. Now I have to learn the song.

Have a Nice Day

Keep the Faith

Encore:
In These Arms

Wanted Dead or Alive

Livin' on a Prayer

During the slower songs about love, we turned into that couple and swayed together with our arms around each other's waists. Yes, yes, we did that. We are that couple. As for who is in a couple with Jon Bon Jovi, apparently, the girl in front of us is his wife because she told us he's her husband. Then again, I don't know how reliable that information is considering it's coming from the same person who didn't care that her friend disappeared.

Cooler Than Everyone

Dance class begins whenever Jean feels like it. S and I headed in while seeing through the windows above that class already dancing. Either that or they were all standing in lines and moving exactly the same. They were doing Quarter After One, well into the middle already. We took a spot in the back of the room near the woman who can count to 7 but forget the 8th count and throws herself off in a lot of the dances. We fell into the dance easily, and so, everyone hated us. And when I say everyone, I mean lots of people. Both mullets, all the older couples, some of the new people, and all the people from last session were basically there.

We did it to the music and half the class bowed out but Jean said we all did that quite well. It's really not that difficult after learning it 107 times.

Then we skipped to Hello Dolly. Again. If anyone can't do Hello Dolly by now, they need to stop dancing in the intermediate class. As the women from the clique would say, go back to Wednesday nights. Apparently that's when Jean teaches beginners there. In our lingo, it would be, go back to Monday night because that's when S and I took it at a different place. In any case, going back to a certain night really isn't the best way to tell someone they need to not be in intermediate, but that's the way it was said several times over, and not by us. Instead, we danced in the back and laughed when we messed up and thankfully we were not told to go back to another night.

Black Magic Woman came next. The most difficult part is remembering to do the basketball move. For some reason, I always forget it. S revealed that she hates this dance, which was quite a surprise. I thought she liked the point and drag. We both enjoy the tag. In fact, if any dance has a tag, we enjoy it. We should choreograph a dance that's all tag.

Then came Sweet Slow Song That Gets Even Slower. I hate it. I might like it if if added a tag. No tag. No like.

Then we learned a new dance. We used to do new dances at the beginning of class and then review. Jean's been changing it up lately. The dance is Cooler Than Me to that song by Mike Posner. I told S that the rap part is Kanye. She was like, I don't think that's him. I insisted that it was though I'm probably wrong. I do enjoy it though because no one in that dance room listens to rap and it's hysterical to watch people who have no business even saying the word rap dancing to it, in a line no less. The dance involves a kick on a diagnal and a turn and that's not really difficult unless you're the dancers in our class, in which case, it's all kinds of challenging.


What we did didn't look like what this guy is doing at all. This guy is much cooler than us.

After that train wreck turned okay dance, Jean began the waltzes. The older couple in the back was called to the front by the women in the clique. Two of them decided to dance it as a couple. I refused to do so. I'm in a line dance class so that I don't need a partner. That's the whole point of line dancing. Yes, I like watching the older couple dance the waltz as a couple, but I don't need to copy them to like them.

We did not do the irish dance or the other irish dance that Jean said she'd teach us. Instead, we did Cooler Than Me one more time and then class ended abruptly at 9:28 because why not end early.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo


Basketball is the sport I know least about out of the four major sports: baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. I know more about tennis and curling than basketball. My theory about basketball has always been that every game needs to be only two minutes because only the last two minutes of the game are really important. Everything that happens before that is moot.


Last night, I learned a little more about basketball. I learned that the action does not stop except for tv-time-outs (which I find ridiculous--part of the game is to stop because a channel needs to show commercials--how is that part of a sport?) and team timeouts during which coaches tell players, "play better to win please." Since my seat was in Section 409 and the team huddles happened at courtside, I'm only guessing that's what they are saying. Section 409 sounds far away as it is the last section before being on the roof of MSG, but really, it isn't far at all. The players don't look like specs (despite what the pictures make them look like). They look like people, tall gangly people who sweat a lot and wear fancy sneakers. I could even hear the squeaking of the sneakers.



I knew that Eddie was excited about Carmelo Anthony coming to the Knicks. He'd been talking about it every day for the past few months. My responses were mostly, yup, because what do I know about Carmelo Anthony other than he has chin scruff that needs to be taken off of his face. That and he's married to LaLa from MTV. Then, two days ago, I was working out when Eddie appeared ready to high ten me because "we got Melo." Because we, everyone in New York, is part of the Knicks, and we have the new guy along with some other guys, one in particular, Chauncey Billups, who is by far my most favorite basketball player because, as you can probably guess, I like saying his name. Every team needs a Chauncey. However, the excitement was really about Melo because, as I understand it, now the Knicks have a chance at winning a championship because they have Stat and Melo together, like the song says, Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo.


Yesterday, I was only half surprised when Eddie called me from work to tell me we were going to the game. He'd found a way to get tickets. My response was: What should I wear? I was to bring his Knicks t-shirt to him and wear a t-shirt and jeans. I found my orange United Colors of Bennetton tee from Munich and my blue hoodie and I was set. Orange and blue is one of my least favorite color combinations, but now that I am part of "we", and we's colors are those, I was wearing them.



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The extra perk of the game: Legends Night. Before the game, during time outs, and at halftime, the Knicks were honoring one legend from each decade of their history. I knew two of them: Alan Houston and John Starks. I had also heard of one in passing: Earl the Pearl whose last name I can't remember. So I got a whole lot of basketball history as well as excitement. For a first game, I got lucky.


I also relearned that no matter where you go, you find assholes. Now the guys sitting in the row next to Eddie were loud and semi-drunk, but they were fun. They started chants. They clapped and screamed. That was good.


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The people sitting behind us, a husband and wife with their son, were the epitome of bad parenting. She, with her cigarette-induced rasping, used several colorful terms, one being "autistic retard" and he calling his son a "blind asshole" because he couldn't see Spike Lee. FYI: I couldn't see who he was talking about either, and I don't think he was seeing Spike Lee anyway. I think he was seeing a white dude with a hat on because that's where he was describing. The only celebrities that popped up on the big screen were Louis CK and Chris Rock, who were sitting next to each other. So there's one reason our future is bleak. Oh, and the kid kept telling his mother to shut up because she was threatening to "Say something to him" and I don't know who the "him" was or what about, but it went on for ten minutes and I hate them.


Then there were the Japanese guys in front of us. All of them at some point during the game took a nap.


I cheered for the defense. I cheered when they scored. I looked puzzled every time they called a foul because I never understood why. I also found that not only does Chauncey Billups have a fantastic name, he is also a really great player. He had lots of assists, hit every free throw, and scored a lot of points. This was the first game he was playing with this team and he was awesome. Forget Stat and Melo. Chauncey Billups is my basketball hero. Aside from Eddie, of course, who showed me the magic of live basketball. When we got into the car to come home, he asked if I'd had a good time, and I answered, I want to go again!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cars: A Foreign Language

I drive a Saturn. It is silver. It has three doors. I bought it in August of 2002.
That is the extent of my car knowledge. I love my little car. Though it is sporty more than practical, it is still practical for my needs (except if it's snowing; snow trumps my needs).

When random people see the magic of the third door that opens towards the back, making the entire driver's side of the car accessible, they ooh and ahh. After at least nine years of this kind of car being around, I thought people would have seen this feature by now. Yet, it still amazes.
That's part of what's making me never ever want to give up this car. I want to keep it because the third door impresses people. It also runs really well and I keep it in good condition despite my aversion to pumping gas (I think the car will explode every time I do it myself due to some sort of static cling catastrophe) and my awkwardness at the oil change place (I never go alone ever because when they talk to me, I don't know what they are saying even though everything is in English).

So as part of planning ahead, Eddie and I have been tossing around ideas for cars. He says, BMW. I say, Saturn. He says, They don't make Saturns. I say, BMWs are too much money. He says, We should win the lottery. I say, Yes we should.

I've gone through websites and every time I drive on the parkway, I'm watching every other car speed by to see if I like it. So far, I've really liked two cars I've seen. They were both Saturns. I can't help it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rap Lovers Can't Take A Joke


More than several years ago, I wrote a piece entitled "Rap This." It is a humor essay. It is a joke. It makes fun of me, a little white gal, who used to listen to rap only when it played in her old boyfriend's car. It makes fun of some of the students I've taught over the years who think rap is the only kind of poetry worth knowing. It's comedy, people. Seriously, comedy.

This piece morphed a little and was hailed by one David Rakoff during a workshop at Southampton's Writers Conference before the college was turned over to StonyBrook and before the Conference started limiting the wine to one glass a night. So there you go; it's funny.

The Irascible Professor posts commentaries, so I submitted this one and he posted it on his site. I've submitted others since, and they never got posted, so he does have an editorial stance.

And now for how people have no sense of humor.

You would not believe the number of back and forth emails I received with the Professor moderating as the go-between. People were livid that I dared to declare that rap is not poetry. It's art! It's poetry! How dare you, yo!

Seriously, did no one read the first part about how I could rattle off the names of the Wu Tang Clan? Wu! Tang! Wu! Tang! Did no one read about swooping lovers on rocks for orgasms? Apparently, even if they read it, they simply didn't get it.

And now for how to make a funny thing really unfunny by explaining why it is funny:

Sometimes those in the English profession have a difficult time not correcting incorrect language use. So, in complaining that rap music, and other music which I mention, has language-based errors, I am mocking both myself and my profession. It is humor based on self-deprecation. See? That is part of "funny."

After the onslaught of emails, another website popped up, someone's response to "Rap This" about how I was wrong about rap music not being poetry.

Again, that is not the point of the essay! It is a sarcastic commentary!

Then, the flood of response settled and drifted away. No more complaints. No more defending of all that is lyric and rhythm.

Until today. Until the Irascible Professor forwarded me an email from a supposedly 14 year old girl who is just now reading and responding to the piece, explaining to me why, indeed, rap is poetry. First, let me say, the email was very well-written and has rationale and argument that far surpasses some of my own students. She also thanks me at the end if I've read that far. So kudos to a young girl (if it is a 14 year old girl and not some sad 25 year old rapper who can't cut it in the business) who can write.

But still, that's not the point of the essay! I'm going to look into teaching a course on how to detect sarcasm. The world at large has lost its ability to "get it."

By the way, if rap is poetry, why did Tupac put out a book of poems that are different from his lyrics? If rap is poetry, wouldn't his book be filled with his rap lyrics? (Sarcasm alert! Sarcasm alert! See how this works? It's funny. I swear to you, it is).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The First Valentine's Day Ever

This Valentine's Day was the first time I've had a real Valentine.





We're both so domestic.






Valentine's Day was scrumptious!

It's All Gwyneth's Fault


Why was everyone at the Grammy's so in shock that Gwyneth Paltrow could sing? She's got that song "Fuck You," which I didn't realize was the same as "Forget You," that Cee Lo Green sings either with her or also on the radio. I'm pretty sure it's from a movie, but right now, the only thing I can think about is Cee Lo's outfit--part feathery parrot, part knight in shining armor. Gwyneth wore neon pink feather earrings to match. Yes, she can sing. It's a fun song. But um, hello, she was in Duets. She had a song on the radio. That was when some people were like, wow, she can sing. So anyone who is suddenly realizing she can sing needs to rewind a few years and seek out Huey Lewis Movies on Netflix.

Anyway, she was singing really loudly on the radio last night when I picked up S for line dancing. We caught every red light. I made a wrong turn and we had to go through the back alley industrial part of town near the dark woods. Then we got to a road block. I turned to go around it and wound up at a dead end.

This is all obviously Gwyneth Paltrow's fault.

We got to dance class late without much of an acknowledgement, so late means late as does on time. Jean did eventaully turn to us and told us we were learning A Quarter After One. That was good because we already knew it and needed only a refresher.

Then we needed another refresher when we turned to the back wall because we forgot an entire 8-count but did remember the tag, which we did while everyone else was doing the 8-count and Jean was calling out vine and THEN tag, obviously seeing our mistake. It's one of the more intermediate songs we do, so I don't mind messing up because at least we're not messing up a beginner dance. We do that, too, of course, but not this time.



Jean tried to teach it over and over but a lot of people weren't getting it and she told us she was getting discouraged so she stopped us in the middle of the song and said we'd get back to that. I don't know if we will.

We turned to Black Magic Woman and Wonderland Waltz. Then we did another waltz: Waltz Across Texas. We knew that one from either Jones Beach or a previous class with Jean, but I definitely didn't remember right away. The older couple in the back who has reappeared, not having attended since last semester, did the waltz as a couple, and so one of the women in the clique asked to see how they danced it and she had some trouble letting go and following the guy, but the guy is a great dancer, such a gentleman--I think in some lifetime he's been Southern--and then we all clapped.

Last night we realized that the class probably has 40 people in it, but half the class switches out every week. Neither mullet was in attendance. Neither new Asian was there either. It was as if we were in class last session with two new people, the space invader and another woman who we now dance near and she kind of picks it up but always manages to miss one beat and throw herself off completely.

We did Hello Dolly. Again. Then Jean decided to teach us another Broadway inspired line dance: Sweet Song That's Really Slow and Gets Even Slower. I did not like it. I kept messing up, not because it was difficult, but because I was bored and trying to rouse some sort of excitement. We did it over and over and then twice to the music and it's probably the worst song I've ever danced to aside from Reggae Cowboy which is the worst dance also. Maybe they're in two categories: Worst Broadway Dance and Worst Dance In A Circle Dance.

Jean brought back The Irish Songs! One is called Stealing or Steeling something or other. The other one we're doing next time! We knew that from the beginner class but it's a lot of fun so I didn't mind that it's a repeat.



We do not have matching shirts. We don't emerge in pairs. I add a little bit of a bounce. I can't help it. It's fun!

At the end of class, S requested the Tennessee Waltz. Jean said, yes I'm going to teach that. We are so not doing the Tennessee Waltz. I think Jean takes all of S's suggestions and puts them on the No Teach List. We're still waiting to do San Antonio Stroll. S requested that at St. Catherine's in August.

Pulling out of the space in the parking lot, I sank my car into a deep pot hole that took a good three seconds of revving to climb out of. Again, Gwyneth Paltrow's fault.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It Takes A Turn

Ebay was the answer. It promised it would get rid of the clutter. It promised our stuff would not go to waste. It promised great fortune. These high hopes have been dashed rather quickly. I temporarily forgot that most of the world is made up of idiots. And so, instead of good times and cheer, I've found that most people have a spelling problem and don't understand math.

My ads say, NO INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. So someone from Denmark bought one of the Garfield figurines. I sent a message stating that I won't ship to Denmark. They replied that I should not send it to Holland and I should use an address in Arizona. Is my geography really bad? Perhaps I lost the part of history where Denmark and Holland became a superpower of one country. Seriously, am I wrong? Are they two different countries?

In any case, they went on to say that they needed my email address to pay me through PayPal because they had an international address and couldn't use that for PayPal. Aside from the fact that their reasoning for needing my email makes no sense, I didn't understand why they couldn't use the Arizona address, and told them so. I don't know what they did, but I did wind up getting the money in my account.

They also send along a message to repeat: Please send this to the Arizona address and not to Germany. Now, I have been to Germany, and unless I am really clueless as are the customs agents who stamped my passport, Germany is NOT Holland and Germany is NOT Denmark. At that point, it didn't matter, so I shipped it to Arizona and they never left feedback but they also didn't complain so I didn't leave feedback and have tried to forget about it. I figured, out of all the things I'm selling, at least one looney toon will pop up.

But then, another one emerged as the winner. I sold a few textbooks I didn't need. Never used them. They had the answers pre-printed in them. I stated in the ad: Some exercises contain the answers pre-printed by the author/publisher/editor. It said it right there in the ads.

These were books for writing better. Perhaps the person who bought them should have been looking for books about reading comprehension as well because this is the following exchange that ensued after the person paid for the books and received them:

Disgruntled Customer:
hello....i received annotated edition for both books...and you dint mention in your listing that your books are this edition not student. i bought these books for someone else and they are definitely not happy with this...can you please refund half of their money which will be 12$ to compensate for this?? if you refund 12$ they are willing to keep the books. Please refund asap...

Me:
Hi,
Thank you for your message. I don't quite understand your reasoning for the partial refund. Why would someone want the books for cheaper? Either they are useable or they are not useable. The ad lists that the answers for exercises are filled in by the publisher. The only difference between an instructor edition and a student edition is that the answers are already filled in, as the ad states.

Please explain and help me understand exactly why the books are useable after a partial refund, and I will gladly work with you to get you that money back.

Awaiting your response so we can rectify the situation,

Disgruntled Customer:
the reason for this is that this edition is not intended for sale in USA, its prohibited coz these books are send for other purposes only. Now they were being nice about the situation since you already mailed them out and classes have already started so to save you cost of return shipping and all the hassles they did agreed to keep them but again you should always mention clearly in your listing that book is ANNOTATED INSTRUCTORS EDITION..i hope this explain your concern if not let me know I will explain in more detail. second thng if i opened case with ebay regarding this they will refund me full money and they might put hold on your account for doing this so choice is yours, I was just trying to work this out for all of us. let me know.

**Note that this does not really explain why a book with answers in it is useable at half the cost.

Me:

Hi again,

Thank you for your response. I asked you to explain more clearly, and now I do understand the complaint. Please don't threaten me with opening a case as I have worked out several situations being a buyer and a seller without opening cases. Now that I understand why you are asking for a refund, which was my only issue, I can offer you the one you ask for. I had thought that my description made it clear that they were annotated as annotated means having notes in them and they do. Thank you for your advice in listing them as such more clearly. I am an honest seller, and had I known I was not supposed to sell those books, I would not have. They were given to me and I have no use for them, hence selling them on ebay.

I can refund you the partial amount you requested via PayPal. To be clear, this refund covers both books that you purchased for this other person who is using them. If I am incorrect in that, please alert me immediately.

I will wait until tomorrow to put the refund through in case I am misreading your message. If I do not receive a message from you stating otherwise, I will put the refund through then.

Thank you for your quick reply. I'm looking forward to resolving your issue within the next day.

And now for what I wanted to write:

Hi,
Perhaps you should look into getting the books back from whomever you gave them to and use them yourself because you obviously do not have a strong grasp on the English language. You should also search for some books about logic and reasoning, and maybe even a book on common sense, because your reasoning for being able to use the books only if you get a refund makes NO FUCKING SENSE. Also, a reading comprehension text would work wonders for you since you totally missed the fact that the answers were already in the book even though the ad states that the answers are already in the book.

I did not write that though. I couldn't. And this is why I'm not in retail.

Friday, February 11, 2011

On Time Means Late

S and I arrived in the parking lot of dance class at 7:52 PM. We walked to the door and up the stairs. That took maybe a minute. That's when we saw everyone lined up and Jean beginning to teach. What the? Apparently all she needs is a quorum to start now. Jean has stopped classes before when other people are late (and to awkardly--for everyone else--inform them of certain demises of acquaintances. With us, no one seemed relieved we were there. That seems about right.

They had obviously been going for some time as they all already learned most of the dance. We caught on quickly though so there! It was to a slowish song and then to Rod Stewart's song about Motown for which the video involves the cartoons but not the girls in the plastic dresses, a forever long misconception that took a lot of time figuring out between me, S, AV, and MM.

Then we learned Black Magic Woman, or as Jean indicated its other name, Black Magic, and which S renamed or Just Black. It begins with a side point on your tippie toe and it includes some spinning, so at the beginning--and then later on too--there were points where the class was facing one way and I was facing them. S did it too, once. No one noticed, however, because everyone looks down at their feet when they dance. S and I look at the reflection in the windows instead.



We did the Wonderland Waltz twice in a row despite the Clique that didn't want to. Jean usually listens to their requests, but the waltz won out for Jean. She explained that we would all like it once we really got it because it goes so perfectly with the music. The Clique didn't agree. S and I did. I love it even though it's really long and kinda creepy.

We ended the evening with Mango Smoothie and Hello Dolly, with one of the Clique telling the rest of the room to watch the girls in the back when the class turns to the back wall because we know what we're doing. Yup, us girls know stuff real good.

Then as we packed up, we had some social interaction with a woman asking us to vote for her nephew's band on some website so they can play at Central Park Summer Stage. I like Summer Stage so I happily agreed. And if they wind up playing there, I'm taking credit.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why We Don't Say The F Word

First of all, how the heck do you even spell fiancee? Or is it fiance? How can you type an accent mark? I've never had to. And isn't there a difference in pronunciation or spelling for the male versus female version of that word? So all of that is first.

Secondly, fiance(e) means to me about the same as getting an engagement ring. Not much. Why do we need such a word to indicate the one to whom another is betrothed? Engagement is like limbo. People keep asking if "it" is official. Well, no, nothing is official because a French word and a piece of jewelry are not really the measurement of something being official. Like, if a notary public signed my ring finger and then signed Eddie's ring finger, then maybe it would be official. (BTW: I used to think the title was Nota Republic. You know, like Banana Republic but with less style). Or if a mayor wrote out a document proclaiming that we were to be wed on a certain day and then that document went into the Smithsonian, then perhaps that indicates official. But a word and a ring? I don't get it.

Thirdly, if the label is so important, why don't we have an English word for it that doesn't involve accent marks?

Lastly, Eddie and I sound really silly saying it. We also sound really silly when we address each other with our real names at this point because we are constantly using babe, honey, hon, and hey you, but this is all besides the point. The point is, neither of us sounds quite right in the head when we refer to each other as "my fiance(e)."

I told him that even when we're married, I'm calling him my boyfriend. I don't have the same problem with the word husband as I do with fiance(e). Husband is an English word involving no accents and indicating something concrete. My problem with husband is that (1) I will never feel adult enough to have one the same way I still can't believe that either of us by law is allowed to be engaged because I think of us as two children, not because I'm afraid of getting old, but because the two of us put together still never act like complete adults--I mean how we fumble through life is sometimes a mystery; and (2)for some reason, sometimes the word husband reminds me of the word mustard, and I really don't like mustard.

Eddie has no problem with using the word wife, and I don't have a problem being called a wife, and he actually refers to me as his wife to his friends, some of whom also call me his wife, and to random people like the Fios guy .

Sidenote: All this talk about labels has reminded me of that Marc Cohn song, "True Companion." I used to make fun of it, pointing out that it's a song of love and the best word he could come up with is "companion." Now I'm realizing that it's better than fiance(e).

Until then, when we are "officially married," which by the way, does involve actual official paperwork, we will not be each other's fiance(e)s. We'll be two people in love sharing a life together. Come up with a word that encompasses all that, and maybe I'll use it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back To The Dance

Ah, dancing at the local community center feels like home. Some of the same people are there this session from the last one. A man in the class is a man who had attended the beginner's class infrequently at best; he's always dressed so dapper with really shiny shoes and he writes down the steps and the dance names as we go along.

S and I walked in to see lifeguard training happening on the other side of the windows in the little room. This was going to be one of those interesting nights during which the lifeguards-in-training kind of watch us dance and we kind of pretend they aren't there.

The core group of dance women from the beach and from Jean's past classes were there. They had helped Jean teach 200 girl scouts how to dance and were retelling the tale as if it had been a non-voluntary community service assignment to avoid jail time. The girls were crazy and the parents were worse. The blonde said this is why she doesn't have kids. Yup, that's why. S and I wouldn't know what it was like because we weren't asked :)

One of the women in the core group noted that since the weather was bad, none of the old people were going to show up. Later on, S told me to go over to the piano and read the sign on it. I did and it said: This piano is old. So I go, it made it to class tonight. S was like, yes even though it's old.

Back also to dance were two of the older Asian women. Other than that, everyone was new, at least to us. Two women were sporting mullets, not something you see every day in these parts. One made friends with me quickly when someone mentioned dancing at Jones Beach, S asked me something about a dance we learned there, and then Mullet 1 asking all about it. I told her I didn't know if it would still happen this summer but she insisted on knowing where to park.

Another Asian woman was in the class. She followed S and I for a lot of the dances. At one point, she almost fell over. She tried to do a sidestep and tripped over her own foot and really almost went down hard.

Another woman was also having problems keeping up. She decided the best course of action was to get the best view of Jean no matter where Jean was in the room. That also meant no matter where anyone else may have been standing. Which meant she got in my way. A lot. I'm pretty sure she also farted during the dancing.

I smelled something and it was bad. I turned and looked at S. She was like, What? I shrugged. A few seconds later, she was like, Did you fart? I answered, Good, now you smell it. She was like, it's bad. I was like, I would own it if it were mine, but I've got an idea of who the culprit may be.

I had no proof of course and perhaps the woman's getting in my way without regard for other people's personal dance space was clouding my judgement. Her disregard, however, also almost pushed the dapper man out of the room. We were doing Mango Smoothie and there's a full turn and a back shuffle, and that's when the woman moved in front of me (which had been behind me a few seconds previously) and that made me move closer to the door which was now behind me and I turned and saw DapperDon almost in the hallway. I spoke up--He's almost out the door; that's not right! No one really moved out of the way, but at least he knew S and I knew he needed room.

Mango Smoothie almost caused some injury. That's when the New Asian almost fell over herself.

At some point during the beginning of class, a woman walked in who was new to us but Jean knew her from some circle in which they know common people because the following conversation occured in front of the whole class:

Jean: Did you hear about Sheila?

Woman behind me: Sheila? No.

Jean: Her son.

Woman behind me: No, what?

Jean: Yeah, he died last week. Sheila's son. He died.

Woman behind me: [Gasping] No, I didn't hear that. Last week?

Jean: Yeah. Mmm. Okay, anyway, yeay, Mango Smoothie!

I shit you not.

The new dance we learned was the wonderland waltz to a very creepy song from Alice In Wonderland. I had some trouble with it, but I caught on better after Jean practically danced with me. Aw, Jean.



*NOTE: Neither of these women are any of the Asian women in our class. Plus, we do not have outdoor lawn chairs in our dance room.

We also danced some other songs we knew. We did Hello, Dolly. We did a dance to a Michael Buble song that we did when we were in the beginner class. We're in an intermediate class now and people were still having problems with it. It's going to be an interesting session.

Doing The Dishes

I never realized how much I hated doing the dishes until I was able to stop doing them. I declared, I don't like this very much, and Eddie said that he'd do them. So every once in a while, I do them anyway, and I hate it. A lot.

So does he.

We have a small sink. We apparently eat more than the average human being. Somehow, we use all the spoons in the drawer, and we have a lot of spoons.

Every time he does the dishes, the sink is full again. It's a vicious cycle.

The other night, I climbed into bed, and then heard a large bang, a short clink, and then: MOTHER FUCKER! Eddie rarely curses so this had to be some sort of tragedy in the making.

I called out, You okay?

He called back, I hate doing the dishes!

The next morning, I awoke to find one casualty: the ceramic olive-oil-bottle shaped thingie that is for resting cooking spoons on while cooking is now cracked in two. Thankfully, we went on a mission a few months ago to find Krazy Glue (you'd be surprised how difficult it is to find), and so I have yet another maintenance job on my hands.

I say another because somehow every week, I find myself doing some sort of chore that's less housework and more construction site-ish. Well, my kind of construction. As in, hey I replaced the toilet seat all by myself! I haven't done that type of thing in a long while, probably not since I moved in here by myself.

Since then, the construction chores have waned and then disappeared, and my days filled up with housework, like the dishes. Now that the dishes are taken care of, I'm back to being Rosy The Riveter.

Until we get a dishwasher. We can dream.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Home. Same Antics.

Come on in. Take a look around.

Usually, I don't like change. Change is bad.

However.

I'm settling in here quite nicely. I feel renewed, fresh, and lighter. That old place had so many good times, but also a lot of baggage.

New place, no baggage. But the same antics, no doubt.

I think we'll get on swimmingly here. I'm still working out the decorations, but soon enough, we'll be all set up, unpacked, and rolling right along.