March 20th, 2009


Spectacular spectacular

It's been a banner week in Liztown!  My parents came up to visit last weekend and I showed them a great time.  Even though when they arrived I had slept for a grand total of 2 hours.  Tactically speaking, I picked a really poor night to relive my college days - but I had a blast, so no regrets.

My mom took me birthday shopping - which officially marks the close of my Birthday Quarter.  Ritual observations of my birthday last longer than Advent and Lent combined.  I have a feeling the Pope would frown on this.

Around 3pm, we met my dad at my house and walked all the way to the South End.  This should surprise no one, as the day they came up to see Whorehouse, we walked a minimum of 18 (eighteen) miles around Boston.  Rob joined us as Seiyo for some lovely sushi.  Then I took my parents out for ice cream, and the three of us walked (naturally) to the BCA to see The Quiet Infinite - an original play.  The playwright, Brian Tuttle (I think that's his name)  was there to address the audience.  I loved it!  I actually want to read it now, because there are so many great lines.  It's the story of a couple living in NYC whose relationship is on the rocks.  In the course of the weekend they are innundated by houseguests: her drama queen friend who just moved back from LA; his slovenly friend who seemed to be channelling Jack Black (these two were hilarious; the actors did an awesome job); her ex-boyfriend who is in town while taking a break from bumming around the world; and finally his ex-fiancee, who he calls in to make his current girlfriend jealous.  The dialogue is great, the plot good and twisty, and while the heart of the play is pretty dark and dense, there is a great balance of levity throughout.  The action takes place over the course of a few evenings and then one flash forward, and on the second night, they're playing running charades, so it literally becomes a three-ring circus of people; one team acting out charades, one team running in and out from another room, and one couple furtively conferencing off to the side.  I'm in awe of someone who can write like this.

On Sunday, after our traditional brunch at Centre Street, we drove out to Lexington & Concord, and ultimately to Decordova, which was a big hit.  Among other things they have a video installation that is particularly entrancing, and a mid-career exhibition of Tabitha Vevers, who blew me away.  A lot of her work is really dark - one series she completed during the height of the AIDS crisis in Provincetown, where she paints beautiful mer-people, beached, with their tails devoured down to bone.  Disturbing and unforgettable.  I also loved this series she did where she would ask people to describe their dreams of flying in detail and then illustrate them. 

Monday's supper club was great!  There were 8 of us.  Angus & Michelle brought Luna who was an angel.  She is always adorable, but it was a mere month ago that she was over and running all over the place, and throwing a huge temper tantrum when it was time to leave.  This time she kept wanting to look at books or count my coasters or play with toys and was totally chill.  She and Hugh played with her baby karaoke mike and cracked everybody up.  Also, I got to watch Hugh feed her flan which was maybe my favorite part of the whole night.  So frikkin' cute.

And if last week was my favorite kind of cupcake, last night was a pile of icing big enough to face plant into.  TWELVE PEOPLE came to my class!!  This is double my previous record number of students.  Mind blowing.  Three people brought friends with them which thrills me to no end, because I would love for this thing to go viral; I can only do so much on my own.  Rob came for the first time, EVEN THOUGH he saw one of my Nia videos at home, where Carlos Rosas is wearing a big red unitard and he is thrusting his package at the camera and talking about dancing with scarves made of crystal/grass and/or water, "If you can imagine it, you can do it."  So that was a huge leap of faith he took.  And on top of that he surprised me by bringing two friends!  It was Christmas in March, all right.  There were so many people, and so many of them were new, that I actually had moments of stage fright.  But I made it through, and had a great class.  I love watching people warm up to the idea of freedancing, and my goodness!  people actually clapped after a few of the songs.  I think I finally feel like a legit dance instructor.

Afterwards Rob and I went dancing with his two roommates and his friend, Dana, at '80's night at the Common Ground.  As soon as I can buy myself an espresso pot for Friday mornings, I think I am going to make this a tradition.  It was such a fun night!  I've always liked the Common Ground for its lack of pretention and the fact that people really do come out to dance.  I'm a big fan of '90's night, but it's been ages because it's hard for me to get there before the line wraps around the block.  The music at '80's night is great, and enough people dress up for you to be pleasantly entertained by their ingenuity, but not so many that you feel like a big loser for showing up in street clothes.

One of the first things Rob ever said to me that made him catch my eye was that he totally knew places to go dancing on a weeknight.  This was actually the first time we got a chance to go, but the boy delivered!  They were all fun to dance with.  Greg has some pretty awesome liquid moves.  Rodolfo's signature move makes him look like he is trying to crash a Greek wedding.  And Rob and I crack each other up, which is awesome.  Really, if you can't laugh at yourself on the dance floor, you may as well go home. 

At one point we were all taking a drink break, and Rob was like, oh go ahead, go dance some more.  So I said, ok, I'm going to go dance with that guy, as I pointed to the biggest show-off in the place.  The guy, apparently a regular there, is hard to miss, as he's close to 7 feet tall, positions himself right under this glowing shaft of light, and is not afraid to take up a lot of room.  He also has pretty tight moves and a lot of signature flourishes.  I marched right up and started freestyling with him.  It was fun, and also exhausting trying to keep up.  We got to talking - he's a professional ballroom dance teacher and I think he said he majored in modern dance at college.   He was reeeeally complimentary and asked me where I learned to dance like that.  I kind of shrugged and said, oh, y'know, around.  I'm always a little nervous and in awe around people who have actual dance training.  I'm kind of a sponge for dance moves, but I have no formal training.  Well, ok, I had no formal training before I moved here, now I suppose I've picked up stuff at classes here and there, but I've never studied.  And my Nia training counts and it doesn't.  Nia is more of a philosophy than a set of moves.  So when he told me I have to come back because he wants to dance with someone who actually challenges him, it was kind of a rush.  I tried to explain to Rob - there's really isn't a lot of "professional recognition" in my "field."  As there is no Nobel Prize in dance to be won, I am more than satisfied with the compliments of random dance instructor guy.  Also, he might be able to teach me some contact improv, which is tied on my wishlist with learning to break dance, but is a much more realistic goal. 

This week wins!!  I don't know if I can top it, really, but I will sure try.

Over and out.