Tuesday, June 23, 2009

English Country Dance

So I just had the craziest, adventurous evening of my life (so far)!!! A friend from work invited me to go to her dance club tonight---and the dance of choice=English Country Dance...aka. what they do in Pride and Prejudice, etc!!!!! My first impression of the dance (from tv) was that it looked boring because you didn't have as much one-on-one contact with your partner as I was used to. Going into the club house and watching the end of a dance changed my mind completely. It was so fascinating and looked really fun. I was amazed that everyone knew where to move because it's an intricate group dance, and I was psyched that I was doing something Jane Austen used to do.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...the adventure happened on the way to the club house. I, not having a car, chose to bike and take the bus... at least that was the plan until construction on Maiden Lane foiled it!!! So the bus stop I was meant to take was not operating and, being lost, I biked the rest of the way. Correction: I got lost two times. So I'm on my merry way, thinking that I'll be late but at least I'll be there and it wasn't exactly my fault Google can't tell you where construction is. I realize I left my waterbottle at home and I am DEAD thirsty. So I bike until I see a gas station, lock my bike's wheels up and go in to buy a bottle of water. When I come out, my bike is GONE. One of the mechanics says: "Sorry 'bout that- it was his idea" before I can do a double take. Turns out they just wanted to play a prank on me and teased me for locking up my bike (with two locks) when their gas station is apparently safer than anything (according to them). They were friendly guys, though, so I didn't get mad. It was nice to be able to voice my frustration at having to bike all the way when I wasn't sure how far it would be.

So I got my water, I'm biking across the street and I go over bumps all the time.. you can't avoid them (just the small ones). And as I bump off the part where the sidewalk meets the road ... my right pedal falls off! So I'm gliding along from the momentum and my brake doesn't work because I lost that pedal (it's a primitive bike). So I use my feet to stop it, go get the pedal FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD and try to screw it back on. It wouldn't let me get it back even half way... so it's barely hanging on by a few rings and I get back on... pedal again. I'm fine for a while, but four more times this happens and finally I said ....well... and walked the bike the rest of the way. I was getting close to being there by the time I gave up on the pedal so it wasn't too bad. Oh... and I had to change my shoes on the way because the ones I were wearing weren't meant for long distance walking.

Besides that, I got sprayed two or three times by sprinklers spraying into the sidewalk area and my skirt got caught in the bike's wheel and got all muddy.


But it was a blast when I got there. Everyone was friendly, and guys were clamoring to be my partner (and that doesn't exactly happen at Open Dance). There was a live group playing music: a violinist, a clarinetist, and a pianist, and one person was designated the "caller" for each dance. He/she would walk us through the dance by giving instructions as we moved, and the set of moves is repeated down the line of people.

I had a really good time. :) I really felt like I was in Pride and Prejudice. I started imagining everyone in Regency dress (tell me if I get the era wrong), and the actual dancing was fun. It was a relief not to worry about my technique or my frame.

Rachel, Amanda, I wish I knew about this club when we were living together. I think you two would've loved it. Maybe not as much as if you were in the 1700s and you were dancing with people your own age (it attracted a more elderly group), but I think you would have liked to try it once just because.

But the night ended well. The pedal's still off my bike but I got a ride home and now I'm writing this entry up for y'all. And I assume someone else had a good night because as I was walking up to my room, a non-female came out of the bathroom in a towel and went into one of my housemate's room. O.O

Here's a video example on youtube of English Country Dancing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lghNoyVe-2o

It might not look like much but you have to be there to really experience it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If you just realize what I just realized...

Hey y'all! I thought I should update, since it's been a while. I'm still working at the bakery. Two weeks ago was the anniversary of when this specific store opened so we had a week-long celebration sale, which translated into more hours for me :)....and, subsequently, a cold the following week. I was really scared because the symptoms felt just like mono- AND I DO NOT WANT IT AGAIN!!! I don't think you can get it again either... but all the same I was worried. Luckily, I've pulled through, although I'm still suffering from some post-nasal drip.

Something interesting that's happened is that Steve and Susan, the ballroom coaches apparently know my name!!! Surprising, since I haven't had the best of luck with partners and haven't actually made it past the newcomer division. :'( But they singled me out a few times in class to answer questions or tell me what I'm doing wrong. It's exciting! That must mean I'm not a horrible dancer, if they noticed me (I hope). But right now we're learning technique as opposed to steps, and it is hard! But worth it!

So A. came back from Taiwan, and brought back a farmer's hat (the one in my picture)... just like I wanted!! It is sooo cute, but I look like a dork in it because this is not Taiwan and I'm not a farmer! Very good for keeping my face out of the sun, however.

I tried taking a mandolin lesson the other week, but I decided it's too expensive!!$25 for a half-hour! I'd rather look at videos online or read a book. I found a really great website, where this guy posted videos of how to play some popular songs on guitar. I have a hard time strumming so it's good this guy breaks it down. I'll send you the link if you want! I really like the new song by Colbie Caillat "Realize." Kinda makes me want to cry though.

And I found someone to practice Chinese with/practice teaching English. She's from Taiwan and took English in school but this is her first time in the US and she's not very confident speaking English. So we meet up once in a while and talk. She's actually very good- not fluid, but I can understand her perfectly. If she doesn't know the word she's looking for, she describes it so I can guess. So I think she's amazing- especially if you compare my second-hand Chinese with her second-hand English. I think her main weaknesses are vocab and writing/reading, but again she's pretty darn good for only studying it in school. Sidenote: she says my tones are very clear!!! :)

So I've been watching So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) and I loved the premier show! Kupono is my favorite so far (last year I liked the Hawaiian guy too...int!). I also like Brandon, Asuka... and the guy who does really awesome locking/popping/whatever it's called. The only thing I don't like is the word "buck" or "stank." I just dont' get it. :P I want to learn some hip-hop sometime though. AND if you search for any clips, look up the bollywood number! I just about died at the ending kiss.

In other news, A. and I are planning a trip to California in August!! To see my darling Kathryn and explore the San Franciso/LA area. I've also never been to the ocean so we have to put that on our list. Part of me wants to go to Disney World because I've never been to either Disney park...but I gotta keep in mind that we're only going to be there for a week.

My lord, there is so much I want to do but so little time to do it! I always paint over the summer but I haven't gotten around to it juuust yet and I've been meaning to go work out for weeks...

So I haven't heard back from EMU yet. I'm starting to get .... frustrated. I'd kinda like to know if I got rejected so I can freak out about what I'm going to do with my life: teach English in Taiwan, go join a convent in France, etc. :P If you have a moment, please say a prayer for me, because I don't want to have to reapply to grad school. :(

Okay, I'm signing out, and going home this weekend for Father's day!