Sunday, August 26, 2007

The A-Bomb Begins

I have long held the belief that a large part of being successful lies in just showing up. Nowhere has this been more true for me, personally, than the day I was born.

I was not the first baby born in my city in 1976, but I was the first baby born in the South Hills area, leading to my winning the community newspaper's First Baby contest that year. In fact, I crushed the competition: I was born at 4:08 a.m., and the runner-up didn't show until noon. I hope she's enjoying life at age 31. I'm sure she's manning the fryer at Burger King or something, having showed up for her lawyer interview 8 hours late.

Naturally, I won a king's ransom of prizes for having the good sense to be born on the right day at the right time. According to the press clipping, these prizes included:

Accompanying that clip was, perhaps, the best photo ever taken of my immediate family. Here we are, in all our Bee Gees-era glory:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Argentine Tango

As most of the two or three people who have ever read this blog probably know (because you are probably one of my parents or a close friend), I have been gradually staggering my way into learning Argentine tango since the beginning of the year. At first, this took the form of me going to a milonga (the best way to describe a milonga is to call it a tango party) with Andrew, who has been dancing for about eight years, and taking the little introductory lesson that many milongas offer at the beginning. This enabled me to look decent while standing still, and to locomote back and forth. I got pretty tired of sucking and only knowing the basics, though, and I was starting to feel bad about Andrew being saddled with me, so I decided that the time had come to sign up for some formal lessons.

After having to take July off because I just had too much going on to get to class reliably, I have started up again this month at Dance Manhattan. I have been working on types of walking, ochos (a zigzaggy figure eight-type of step that you can do forwards and backwards), and various other bunny slope things. Not surprisingly, two of my biggest obstacles are relaxing, and letting someone else lead. I'm working on both issues.

Last week, I even danced with one or two men who weren't Andrew and did not horrify them!

One thing you should know about Argentine tango is that some of the shoes the women wear are absolutely amazing. Comme il Fait, a brand out of Buenos Aires (as, duh, most brands are), prides itself on making only about 20 of each design. Comme il Fait is so worried about competitors copying its awesome designs (and some of them really are gorgeous) that it doesn't permit its shoes to be photographed -- like vampires! Anyway, I don't really think I am qualified to buy such fine shoes, yet, but I did order a pair that's slightly flashier than the plain black practice shoes I have been wearing. We'll see if they inspire me to dance better, or just make me wobbly because the heels are so high.