Tuesday, November 28, 2006

bitten by the bug

The tango bug that is. I went to a Tango festival in Montreal this past weekend, rather spur of the moment, but there you go, it was an "Oooh! Shiny!" moment for me. Who am I to say no to a road trip that promises fun?! And Montreal is one of my favorite cities in the world. So why the hell not. So, off I went with my new friend, S. the reason I got bit this weekend, but more on that later. We get to Montreal, and it is cold. Damn cold. And it is not even the dead of winter yet. Makes me shiver thinking of it again. But, I was not there to be out in the cold air, I was there to experience tango, which I rather did. So, first night, milonga. Was rather lovely, I really enjoyed watching the people dance, paying attention to the things S tried to teach me before we left. Balance, posture, embrace, communication. Damn, if I can get the communication thing down, and not constantly be thinking about what is supposed to come next... I'll be happy. And I bet I would stop frustrating my first tango teacher, the day I stop hearing "Let GO!!!" I will be a very pleased woman.... But I digress. So, watched the dancers. I saw examples of what I should aspire to do. I saw examples of what not to do. And I saw examples of absolute sublime moments. There were various instructors who performed at the milonga, and while most were entertaining, one couple stood out to me. So much so that I could not stop referring to them the whole weekend. They just looked like they were having the best time, thoroughly enjoying each other and themselves, and moving to the music in such an intimate way, on so many different levels, watching them was like a sugar rush.... YES! I want to do THAT!
I also enjoyed watching S do his thing, try to see if he was pleased with the tango or not. My curiosity was just getting the better of me, which amused the crap out of me.
Next day, exhausted but feeling good (the milonga lasted from 9pm to 3am - if you are dancing the time goes by quickly and you are tired, but if you are not dancing, the time does not go by so quickly and the exhaustion is not the satisfying exhaustion of exertion.) but not exactly up to watching another milonga, so S and I poked around Montreal a bit, he went off to class, and I went exploring. Then later that night I found a little jazz club called The Green Room where I heard some really good local jazz, really mellow, relaxing and invigorating. Good stuff. Up late again. Got in around 1:30 or 2, I think, but S was up dancing until 3am again.
Next morning, exhausted again, curious that.... But still feeling good, the music last night has been really good and S was pretty hyped from the tango, and so the day started. He went off to a practica and I went up Mount Royal. Was lovely up there, despite the biting wind that seemed intent on stripping every molecule of warmth I had managed to create for myself. So after an hour or so, I had to head back down to the relative warmth of Avenue du Parc and, yes, the shops. I LOVE going through all the different local shops, finding the really good vintage and consignment shops, talking with locals (only had to shake out my terrible french a few times, thankfully, as I did not brush up before we left and I am sure I sounded like a 2 year old who desperately wants something, but does not know how to ask for it). And guess what I bought. Yes, indeed, I bought shoes that I thought might be good for starting tango. 4 inch heels, comfortable arch, snug fit, angle strap, and sexy as anything. Well, sexy to me. I have yet to fall under the spell of the uber-sparkle shoe that most women tend to favor in tango. But we'll see. It could happen. For the moment, I am happy with my sexy black heels.
Then, met up with S who was on a tango high from having a fantastic practica, off to find food to appease our riotous stomachs, and we ate way too much (Greek restaurant, how could you not eat yourself sick!) then off to the last milonga of the festival. This time, S educated me on the proper etiquette of refusal and how to show that you are not interested in dancing without having to actually say so. So, off my shoes came. I placed them very neatly and very obviously in front of me. And I avoided making eye contact with men, which was strange for me as I do not normally avoid eye contact, but there you have it. And despite all of this, I was asked to dance, repeatedly, and almost aggressively. They were beginners who were asking me as most dancers who walked by would look at the shoes, then at my feet perched beneath me, gave a little smile and walked on. But the ones who asked, would not take a "No, thank you, I am not a dancer" as the end. They tried to convince me to give it a try. Now, I KNOW what I was doing, or more appropriately, what I was NOT doing when S tried to teach me the basics and there was no way on this good green earth that I was going to embarrass myself out there by having any sort of ego about dancing tango. I am no where near ready, I have too many predetermined wirings from years of ballet and modern dance to reconfigure before I get the courage to step out on the dance floor. But, it amused me greatly, especially when one of the gentlemen came back and asked S if I could dance (!!!), you can guess how well that query went over with me..... ;-)
But, again, I had a great time watching the dancers, learning from what I saw, and taking pictures. S let me use his camera to try to capture a few tango moments of my own. And a couple of them actually came out really good. So I was pleased.
And now I am determined to learn.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

That crazy feeling in your toes...

What is it about a first kiss, even if you have been kissed innumerable times before by others, that makes your stomach drop to your toes, your skin prickle with lightening, and all those happy crazy thoughts run through your brain? Feeling that first touch of some one's lips, that first connection, that softness that comes from a first touch. And while your lips are being soft and pliable, searching the other's, your mind is screaming aloud "YES!! HE LIKES ME!! This is more than a quick peck... he's a good kisser, THANK GOD, oh that is nice, let's make him do that again!!!"
There really is nothing like that first kiss, no matter how old and jaded you get. When everything goes right and you are both into it, it is just beyond anything else one can describe. And when he leaves you wanting more... well.... that is when you know that you are in trouble...
And I, my friends, am in trouble.....
And I like it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Curious world

I decided to try out the internet for dating, why not? Seemed possibly safer than the real world, less tricky. Turns out it is basically the same as the real world, just allows you a wider range of people to meet, and removes the awkward approach factor. It is much easier to send someone you don't know an e-mail as opposed to walking up to someone you don't know and trying to find a way to start a conversation.
Where did I begin my internet dating journey? Good old Craig's List. I know some people who had good experiences meeting others there, and it's free, and it is a bit more eclectic than, say, Match.com or E-Harmony (don't those ads bug you? They bug the crap out of me! And have you ever noticed that in the ads the people look EXACTLY alike! Ethnicities are the same, hair color, eye color, everything is the same.... kinda creepy if you ask me!) So here's what I posted:

Ten Things you should know about me:
#10 - One of my favorite feelings is waking up without an alarm and laying in bed with that half awake, half muzzy sleep feeling where your limbs are completely relaxed and everything just feels good.
#9 - Lloyd Dobbler was my first crush. I will go see every John Cusak movie because of Lloyd Dobbler. Even the bad ones.
#8 - I am not a "romantic" person in the traditional Hallmark sense. The things that make me melt are a man who remembers things I forgot about a shared moment, or bringing me coffee made exactly the way I like it.
#7 The greatest love story, in my opinion, is The Princess Bride. And I am talking about Max and Valerie, not Buttercup and Wesley.
#6 I love thunderstorms.
#5 I am as comfortable in jeans as I am in silk and heels.
#4 If you ever bring me to a book store, expect to be there awhile, the shortest time I have ever spent in a book store has been about an hour, and that was a forced exit because of theatre tickets.
#3 I promise to never, ever ask "Do I look fat in this?" And if I do, you are allowed to say "Yes, like a hippo."
#2 My favorite flavor is vanilla, and I do not believe that is a boring choice. Ask me what Victorians thought about the power of vanilla...
#1 I think that the sexiest thing about a man is his sense of humour, and if he can make me laugh - really laugh - lung searing, eye tearing, stomach cramping laugh, then I am a gonner. I always thought that "You had me at hello" was a bit saccharine, but if it was "You had me when I laughed" then I might have bought it.

And I posted a picture. The one you see here. I thought it was a good posting, and actually gave an insigh into me without listing a laundry list of stats and wants. So far the responses have been interesting. From the thoughtful and interesting, to the banal and aggravating. I can not believe the number of responses that I received where either there were misspellings galore (maybe I am unusual in that I read over everything before I click on "send", you never know what your subconscious may have typed while you were distracted) or they looked like a text message:
"Ur kewl. U wanna IM?"
Uhm..... no..... I don't.
I got responses from men more than 20 years older than me. Thanks, no thanks, I already have a father figure and I love him dearly, I don't need a father figure lover. Cause that's creepy. And I received responses from men in their early 20's (I'm 34) looking for an "older woman with experience". Uhm, again, I gotta pass on that. I don't fault you for wanting experience, but I am not interested in teaching a seminar on how to please your future girlfriends. And then there are the men who are used to getting by on their looks, so they send me their picture with a one liner. Something like "We'd look really good together, e-mail me back and tell me about yourself and how much you liked my picture." Well, as tempting as it is, I have to say that I already told you about myself in my ad. And if what you are interested in is the "Me show" (Me meaning You), I do not tend to play the role of a groupie very well. So good luck with finding the vapid, lacking confidence chit that will give you a captive audience.

But I have met some interesting men as well. Had a couple of dates. One of which so far was promising (at least I think so), in the sense that I really liked him, we had a good time together, and now I am beginning to obsess about the fact that it has been a couple of days and he has not called. We've e-mailed since the date, but no call, so my mind has inserted some estrogen and the "Does he like me" nerve has been hit. Which is all good, I am really liking being back in the dating pool, just need to remember to take it easy. Might have another date with someone else soon too. So all in all, we'll see where this path goes. At the very least, I am having fun. :-)

Monday, November 13, 2006

time is fluid

Well, I am guessing that I need to actually pay a little more attention to this if I want it to actually be a blog. So here is my attempt to be more attentive and write more often.

If you'll indulge me, a little more Shakespeare seems appropriate this fine, damp rainy autumnal day....

To sleep: perchance to dream: aye, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.

Poor Hamlet. So full of philosophy, so short on action.

But he hits on something there. What dreams may come. Although I do not think we need allow Death to take us on a date in order to allow us to reach beyond our scope.
To dare to dream, to allow Lord Morpheus complete access to ourselves, to break the fourth wall as it were and really allow all that we could be to take shape, or at the very least present itself.
I wonder if that is the object which we are all trying to reach within this little kinked world we have jumped onto. To reach deep within and find that dream as we offer up our very selves. Find that gossamer thread of the Grey Sisters and recognize it for who we are, and then dream to be more.
To question, to ask why, to really pause and take in this world that we inhabit, to feel more than rote response.
Maybe I am asking for Christmas 366 days of the year.
Maybe I am full of rot and speaking out my sphincter.
But maybe we could all just pause and see what dreams may come.

In that vein, I was walking through the South End the other night, when it was so blessedly warm out,and was amazed at the community of little store fronts; shops, cafes, salons, bistros... All of the glass fronts lit up with warm, welcoming glows, highlighting their wares or foods or the pretty people already strolling inside, sipping their cappucinos or looking over the latest over priced accessory. The voyeur in me eagerly going from window pane to window pane, taking in the fluxuations in sight and sound. And as the gloaming settled into evening, the lights became evenly spaced beacons along the stretch of road, I fell in love with this city once again. I was almost purring as I made my way down the avenue, breathing in the warm air that held that very specific scent of leaves changing and cool nights to come.
I love autumn, it makes me believe in dreams and love.