Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On oddities and a tribute to my friends Ols and Emily

I'm weird, and I try to be proud of it. Actually maybe I'm just goofy, but I am spectacularly so.

Marianne and Jerry witnessed my essence a month or so ago when I was running around town with my hands plastered to my butt, waggling, pretending to be a gray squirrel swishing my bushy tail. For an hour or more. Incessantly. Accompanied by singing. Heh.

I'm pretty sure that that is the only time I've been 100% myself around those two in particular. Mind you, they're two of my very close friends. It just....takes a LONG time for me to really get there with people.

Yesterday I went to K&W Cafeteria* with Emily and The Cutest Baby I've Ever Known (sorry everyone else!), to celebrate my impending return to worklandia. Emily is one of them--one of those who have hung around with me enough for me to trust that she's not going to look at me funny when I break out in song or dance. One who will break out in song or dance with me.

When we got back to her house, Emily mentioned that she had gone to see "some Brazilian dance thing" she thought I'd have enjoyed. I asked if it was capoeira, simultaneously flailing around kicking my legs, swooping down to the floor and trying to be, well, fluid. I think I also made Hi-YAH noises to indicate the martial-arts aspect to capoeira. Emily reponded by saying, quite seriously, "No, it looked a little more like this," and broke out into rib-cracking, boob-heaving, arm-flailing cuchi-cuchi moves. "You know, like samba," she explained.

The conversation turned to whether I'd be interested in taking a Latin dance class with Emily. Um, not so much, sorry. Cause why? Because of Michelle "La Rubia" A Local Dance Instructor. She is the worst instructor I've EVER met. I hold a huge grudge against her. It's because she's a total attention whore. Yeah, she can dance. But she can't teach for shit. Her teaching involves giving extremely detailed, multi-step instructions, saying "got it?" and then proceeeding to whip her skirts around, twirl like an ice-dancer, and manage to look kind of desperate even as she does it. It turned me off of salsa lessons, that's for sure. I prefer the way I had already learned, which was from slightly to majorly drunk Latino men at clubs. Very nice, willing to show you what they are doing, and typically strong leads. Also, most were pretty receptive to the word No when their hands would move more toward groping territory. Whoops. That was a RANT!

Back at Emily's, Juan Luis Guerra's greatest hits was on, and I merengued and bachata-ed my way through the rest of the afternoon, without a bit of self-consciousness.

I came across the following video a half-hour ago or so. It made me think about how much fun I could have with Ols, learning the choreography to this and putting it on like a talent show, for her husband or my family. Take a look. I hope it makes you want to dance, too!

*Between us we ate, or at least tried to eat, the following: Country steak and gravy on rice, stuffed peppers, fried green tomatoes, red fruit congeal, turnip greens, creamed spinach, creamed corn, and buttered coconut pie.