Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Putting On The Moves

Two voices of seduction emerged at dance class. After reviewing several dances we already know, Jean put on some music that was new. Sometimes Jean goes into her own world and dances by herself without explaining anything. I used to think she was rehearsing the steps in her mind before teaching us how to do the dance. Then I realized that sometimes she simply likes to dance. Alone.

This time, she didn't really do a dance. She bobbed her head a few times. Then she turned to the two women from the Clique. She slowly moved her shoulders from side to side and then up and around. The bottom half of her body wasn't doing much. She asked, Do you like this?

The two women's faces responded before their words could. Their faces said: We're confused. We're not sure what "this" is. If you're asking if we like what you're doing with your body, the answer is that your movement is making us uncomfortable. We think you're trying to pick us up. We're going to say "yes" now, because this is getting even more uncomfortable and we think that's the answer you want to hear.

They then said, Yes, sure, it sounds easy, in the hopes that Jean was referring to the music.

S and I were totally in each other's brains because she said what I was thinking. It kind of reminded us of this:

After learning Bajo La Luna, which means Under The Moon (nine years of Spanish at work here, people!), we danced it maybe twice. Every second 8-count was the same, which makes the dance seem easy because you keep repeating. Really, it makes it harder because you have to remember, Did I just do the first second 8-count or the second second 8-count? That means I found myself spinning in a complete circle, rather quickly, and facing the wrong way.

This kinda makes me want to dance in a park.

I actually did that exact same more once more when we went over Love Letter Waltz, at which point S pointed out how we are horrible people because no one laughs at us when we clearly mess up, yet we laugh at everyone else, especially when they forget to restart Homeward Bound in the middle and go off in a flying step across the room when everyone else is slowly moving forward and backwards. To which I responded, they don't laugh because they don't see us because they are watching their own feet for the most part. But yes, we are horrible people. Me especially since I put my head down and laugh hysterically instead of holding it in, which in all reality is impossible and if not achieving the impossible makes me a horrible person then so be it.

Next, S and I were seduced by the idea of Scottish Folk Dance. A woman who has been in all the sessions with us asked if we had ever heard of it. At first S went to say she's seen Michael Flatley Lord Of The Dance but then realized he's Irish, so no. The woman explained that it's very intricate and as you learn it, it is difficult, but it looks very pretty and she wished more people did it, especially young people, meaning we should do it. It's a partner dance, which I do not like at all, but if we get to stick with the same partner and we don't have to touch anyone, then maybe I'd be interested.

Jean started French Toast at that point so the woman ran back to her spot and we started dancing. S hates French Toast, which makes me love it more. It's her Reggae Cowboy and Stupid Slow Broadway Song all rolled into one, and I delight in it. When S saw the woman talking to the Clique, she no longer felt special because she thought the woman was recruiting everyone for the Scottish dancing, not just us.

The woman came up to us after class also, though, to explain the musicality needed for the dance, I guess suggesting that we have musicality. We said we'd think about it. I said I'd look it up. It sounds intriguing. So maybe we'll become Scottish Folk Dancers. Maybe that's our true calling.

Until then, however, let's take a look back at the entire seduction of Chandler and Phoebe. My favorite part? 5:48--Show him your bra!

Speaking Of Hair Band Videos

This is the video S thought of when I mentioned my search for windy models through 80s and 90s music on YouTube.

My instincts urge me to discuss the suspenders coupled with leather pants. However, since Janie Lane has sadly passed on recently, I will refrain from my usual snark.

I will instead discuss how this video does not come to my mind when I think of windblown video girls. This is the video I think of when I think about:

1. Pie

2. Cherries

3. Cherry Pie

4. Getting sprayed down with a fire engine hose that is not strong enough to push you down but is strong enough to get you sopping wet, apparently much to your delight

5. How guys think a girl would enjoy getting sprayed down by anything coming out of a hose

6. Scary fake smiles

7. Songs with bad lyrics for which the bad lyrics go unnoticed because everyone remembers the video with the happy girl who gets sprayed by a firehose and then licks things

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dirty Minds

I want these dolls..

.. because they curse.

If they didn't curse, they'd simply be scaryass dolls that I would want nothing to do with.

We Were Video Girls

Autumn has been going through an identity crisis in the past few weeks and can't decide if it wants to be Autumn or Summer. That makes deciding what to wear to dance class difficult. Additionally, plantar faciitus came to town along with Aunt Flow, so my wardrobe was a huge debacle--what pants would fit? what shirts would be warm enough but not too warm while dancing? what sneakers had the best support? Really, way too much time was needed to plan the whole outfit.

S and I stood at the front of the room as we have been doing. I wore a zippie with a long sleeved shirt under it and instead of my orange and black sneakers, I was wearing my cross training sneakers that I use to work out in. I'd been wearing them all week to work paired with jeans. No one said anything to me about wearing sneakers to work, meaning my students don't really pay attention to me as a human being--also evidence of this idea is the fact that when I say Good morning how are you? they stare, confused. Anyway, I was wearing basically what I'd worn to work.

We danced a mambo. We danced a tango. We danced all our usual dances. My foot was holding up pretty well except for during the alligator dance when we jump a lot; I felt a few aches so I backed down. Also impeding me from large jumps? My uterus and its penchant for cramping and all around dragging me down. Still, I'd rather that than a person inside of me.

All the dancing caused some heat. That happens. I shed the hoodie. S shed her hoodie. Other people shed their outer layers. All a part of the dancing.

Then, because Autumn suddenly became Summer only inside the dance room and only for some people, lady who tied her jacket around her head once put on the big fan in the front of the room. Who did it blow on? Mostly S. When she moved, who did it blow on? Mostly me.

You know those videos that have long shots of slo-mo girls rocking out and flipping their wind-blown hair to and fro and they're smiling and laughing, all glittery and fun? It was kind of like that only we were not happy and grinning with glee. It was annoying and it was cold. The only things missing were a car to dance on and fake smoke.

Man, I used to love this song.

[The other video that came to mind is not available for embedding, which is unfortunate since it shows a woman literally sitting in front of a fan. Sigh. I miss hair metal and all its unsubtle metaphors.]

S stood for it for about a minute and then turned to me and said, I'm going to the back. I said, I'm coming. She said I could stay in the front but I explained that if she moved, I had no fan buffer.

Of course, as soon as we got to the back, we were learning a new dance. I couldn't really see Jean's feet because all these people were now in front of me and a partial wall was in the way. However, I was able to catch on. The nice thing about being in the back was all the room we had. We learned Love Letter Waltz (that's kind of the name) and a waltz necessitates a lot of room. For the first waltz we ever learned, Jean kept instructing, Now MOVE! And MOVE! And so, we learned to really move, taking up as much space as possible. Now that we were in the back, we could move around as much as we wanted, which was quite nice.

Jean was very enthusiastic about this dance because it was by Elton John. And Bonnie RAITT! Her emphasis, not mine or S's.

Moving was becoming a problem, though, because I was simply running out of steam, and S recognized it. She was like, are you okay? I said, I think I'm dying. In that moment, I think I thought dying really was a strong possibility. Class was over by that point, though, so I was alive, a bit windblown, but alive.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Maturity, Defined

Certain people in my life have wound up on a list of people I would rather not see for one reason or another, the main reason being "too awkward." In my mind, they no longer exist. I don't wish them harm. They simply disappear. Vapor. Dust. Nothing.

Because of this very real scenario I've made up completely, I am overly surprised when I see one of these people walking around on this planet, still very much in existence.

So as I sat in the back of Starbucks, facing the front doors, I stiffened, gritted, and stage whispered to T, L's here. Then I turned my face to the window. Then I turned my face to the counter. Then I turned my face back to the window, realizing these were my only two options.

T goes, L? Like, L L?

I answer, Yes, L.

She was like, Do you want to sit here? Her back was facing the doors, but by this time, L was at the counter and had we stood up, she would surely look over.

I answered, Nope.

Then T offered these two suggestions of disguise:

1. Put your sunglasses on.

2. Do you want my hair tie to put your hair up?

I showed her my wrist which bore my own hair tie and answered, she's known me long enough to know what I look like in sunglasses and a pony tail.

I relied on my own disguise of "Invisibility." That means I willed myself to be invisible, much in the same way children do when they think no one else can see them if they close their eyes. Instead of closing my eyes, however, (I'm not a child!), I tossed back the miniscule drop of what was left in my coffee cup timed perfectly to coincide when L walked by us. Apparently, she hasn't known me long enough to know what I look like while drinking out of a paper cup.

Either my amazing disguise worked or she chose to do much of the same thing I was doing--pretend it wasn't happening.

T, doing her best not to call attention to us, waited until she walked towards the doors to ask what she looked like now. I was like, much of the same. T got up and walked towards the front of the shop to see her and came back with, She drives a Mercedes?

I was like, No, and that means that totally was not her at all.

So she went back for a second look and came back with, No, it was her and she's driving a Volvo.

And then, flying by the window came L in her Volvo, looking exactly the same as I remember her when we used to hang out, her Starbucks in her cupholder, eyes on the road, making sure she didn't catch one more glimpse of me. Hmph, now that's mature.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Two Cents, Literally

To celebrate 11/11/11, Eddie and I decided to go on a date to see a movie. I still had money on my movie gift card and I still had money on my Visa birthday gift card. Cheap or free--that's the way to be. For a movie date, anyway.

When we got to the theatre, tweens and teens were everywhere. He wondered what was playing because these kids were way too old for Puss N Boots, weren't they? I noticed that Footloose was playing in two of the theatres. Sigh. Why can't they just replay the original?

Now we both have hearing problems. Talking to someone through a small hole in a plastic wall is not easy. I asked for two tickets to In Time. I handed over my movie goer card and my movie gift card. She slid it through and said something. I looked at the register and saw there was a balance, so I guessed she'd said the balance. I handed over the other card and she slid it through. She said something. I didn't know what she said, but Eddie handed her cash, figuring we had a balance. Then she held up two quarters. I shrugged. I did not know what this meant, but I knew it meant something because if she were simply giving us change, she would have slid it to us. I was like, Oh, do you have change? to Eddie. Maybe we needed to give her change.

She then said loudly, Oh, no, I don't need that; I have only quarters left. I looked at the register again. The change she owed us was something dollars and 52 cents. She had no pennies. Seriously? She handed us the quarters and our receipt and ripped our tickets for us because there was no ticket ripper and we were off.

We stood in one of two very long lines at the concession stand because Eddie likes to get popcorn and soda and M&Ms. You know, because it's so cheap at the movies, so why not. I realized that there were two registered open here. I told him that when he ordered, I was going to order two pennies.

As we waited--about ten minutes, no joke, as the guy behind the counter helping our line was clearly stoned and in slow motion--I noticed the other guy behind the counter was wearing a suit. He had to be the manager. I told Eddie I was going to ask the manager for two pennies. As we got up to the counter, the woman from the ticket booth came over and told the manager that the movie in theater five was playing half off the screen. I called out, And you're out of pennies! He said, I'll take care of it, as he scooped some popcorn into a bag. I think he was referring to the movie being off-screen, not to my penny problem.

We made our way to the theatre all the way in the back of the place. I remembered being there for another movie we saw and freezing my ass off because we sat towards the back and there was a cross breeze from the open door. We sat further up. Then we both noticed at the same time the front ten rows of the theatre. They were marked off with yellow police caution tape. I looked up and saw that some ceiling tiles were missing. Either there was a leak or there was a murder in those rows.

When the movie started, I was freezing. Eddie was freezing. The air conditioner was on full blast. The cold had nothing to do with a cross breeze apparently. He went to put his soda down and realized, This is the theatre with no cup holders! Then, about halfway through the movie (which was really good), he was wiggling around in his seat, completely uncomfortable. They are the most uncomfortable seats with no cushion on the seat part and no give in the back part so you sit straight up and down. Sitting on an airplane is more comfortable.

We got out of there as quickly as possible, moving like the elderly, once the movie was over. I thought that maybe, just maybe, my two pennies would go to a fund to refurbish and update the place so that the next time we go, we'll have a more comfortable experience and get extra change back.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Move Over Rover

I have a problem with this Range Rover commercial.

These two trucks arrive in Times Square, unloaded from a huge semi. They stay in the middle of Times Square. People ooh and ahh over them. Then at nightfall, they drive out of Times Square, one after the other, as people crowd up on the corners of the sidewalks to let them by.

Um, no.

1. No one in Times Square cares about two shiny trucks unless you are giving them away for free. Times Square is filled with blinking things, shiny things, glittery things, funny things, odd things. No one cares about a truck they can see on any street in any city.

2. Let's pretent they do attract attention and people fawn all over them. The trucks would not look as shiny and new as they did when they arrived. They would be covered in fingerprints, breathmarks, oil from nosy noses, and mystery matter ranging from possible fro-yo to possible hot dog water.

3. No vehicle can make a turn from one city street to another while pedestrians calmly wait on the sidewalks. No vehicle can part the Red Sea of Manhattan Walkers. Instead, these cars would be stuck between huge mobs of people crossing against the light as well as cars going in the cross direction who are illegally blocking the box or who get stuck behind busses that can't move because more people are walking in front of them. Not even Range Rovers can do that.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Other One

I arrived at dance class alone as S was getting a ride straight from where she was and not staying around the corner as per our usual ritual. When I got there, which was not really early, I saw that only five people were there. Where was everyone? I went over to the side near the windows where we've been leaving our stuff and dancing. Then I saw the other people were parked across the room. Ah, making friends. It's my specialty.

A young Asian woman came in and sat down near where my stuff was and struck up a conversation. She first asked where my friend was. I said on her way. Then she asked how long we'd been dancing. So the two of us had a nice chat about our dance histories and how many dance classes at which levels we had taken with Jean. This nice chat was filled with me going, Hmm? What's that? and Say again? because she was a low talker with a slight accent and I'm deaf and distracted. Then out of the corner of my eye, I see Jean making a b-line for us. So I started talking frantically about dancing at the beach, nervous about Jean's approach.

Jean asked, What's your name again, Christine? I said, Yes, Christina (which should have been, No, Christina, but it's Jean so I just agree automatically). She then asked, and the other one of you is? Heh heh. When I relayed this to S later on, she was like, I'm the other one? I responded that if she were in class, I would be the other one. Jean reaffirmed the Asian woman's name, too, which I have now forgotten. Then it was off to dance.

We learned a few steps of a dance we did briefly two weeks prior as S approached the doors. Jean waved. S waved back. I waved feverishly and S rolled her eyes as she walked in. Early start? she asked. Yes, definitely. Even though early is on time, this was even earlier than that.

The class filled up pretty much after that and everyone seemed to be picking up on all the dances. S pointed out, well look who's not here. After a quick survey, I realized that Robot Dancer was not there, messing our side of the room up. However, during one particular dance, I did turn to find everyone facing different directions, doing different steps, so we can't blame all the screwups on Robot, but we can blame most of them on her being that when she does her Robot thing, S gets messed up, and since everyone follows S because she's on the end of the line, everyone messes up. Dance logic. Learn it. Love it.

By the way, the flying dance is Homeward Bound and what we do is more flyingish that this:

Beer and Bonfire

Have you ever been to an Oktoberfest bonfire party when the nighttime grows slowly colder and colder but because you are drinking beer by a fire, you don't really notice it? If not, here's what happens: you take a lot of pictures of the fire, which you think is the coolest thing ever.

Some days later, in recapping the night to my brother, I mentioned that the first beer I tasted was actual Oktoberfest, to which he responded, That stuff is strong! No kidding.