Sunday, January 25, 2009

All Things Dance

I hope no one has been holding their breath waiting for me to blog about ULX. I had the best intentions to do it, because it was a spectacular weekend, but I was distracted by the inauguration and, you know, life in general.

It's very hard to go from an exchange back to the real world. Never mind that my sleep schedule is still a little skeewompus, but to actually have to do something besides dance is... a little bit of a downer. In an ideal world I would be able to go around to country attending exchanges and workshops and things and not have to worry about anything else. How cool would that be?

I will say that I'm really happy with my experience this year. I met so many amazing people and have hopes of keeping up with them. So I now have contacts around the country so when I do manage to get out of UT, I have people I can meet up with.

It's an odd thing (I'm going off on a tangent here)... All these new friends of mine, it was really cool hanging out with them this weekend. Now most of them are friends on facebook and I'm not quite sure what to do with it. Part of me says I should send them messages and things like that, but it feels... somewhat insincere. I guess small talk in person is much easier for me than over the internets. I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Isn't it better to be less awkward in person than online? I like to think so. Still, any new friendship is going to fizzle if it's not fed, and facebook is the only way to feed some of these. I'm sure I'll manage.

Moving on! Enough about swing (what? there's something besides swing? ... I really do feel that way sometime lately. I've gotten so into it, I feel like I hardly do anything else) I'm not going to talk about Belly Dance! Yes. Booty shaking, shiney, sparkly belly dance.

This weekend I went with three friends of mine, with whom I belly dance, down to Wendover. One of the gals is involved with the VFW and they were hosting a fundraiser for cancer research. As part of that we volunteered to come down and dance. It was a lot of fun! In the twenty minutes or so we were dancing, we collected around $410! Not too shabby.

Now it's all over. My fair city is sitting in the middle of a snow storm, which is really lovely. I love snow like this. The flakes are big and soft and everything is quiet and clean. I'm also glad to be getting actual winter weather. The last few days it's been raining. Rain! in January! Bah!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Proud American

Obama has officially been president for about an hour now.

I listened to his speech on the radio. I would have watched it, but I don't have a television. I know I could have seen it online, but I happened to be in the car on my way to get groceries.

I can't remember the last time I had any faith in my country or the administration.

It's wonderful to have an articulate president. I truly believe that he will be able to do a world of good for our country.

I'm not naive enough to think that he will change things overnight. It's going to be really hard to undo all the things that the Bush administration did. I have faith that Obama can get things done though and that he will change our country for the better.

I suppose there were times when I was little that I was proud to be an American. Patriotism is instilled in us in elementary school, right? I feel like I have never in my adult, or even young-adult (read teenage) years, really truly felt patriotic. The 4th of July has been a nice break from school and work. I always enjoy fireworks, but I scoff at the people parading around in red, white and blue and roll my eyes at the pomp of the patriotic music.

Today I am, for the first time in years, not wishing that I lived in Canada or Europe. I won't say that the grass is suddenly greener on my side of the fence, but I can see the fertilizer and the new seed that will make it lush and verdant again. I am actually happy to be a citizen of the United States today. It's a very strange feeling.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ain't What You Do It's the Way that You Do It

Guess what! This weekend is the Utah Lindy Exchange! You may remember me posting about it last year. It's amazing how much things are different now though.

Last year I had only been dancing Lindy for a few months so I was totally out of my league. Friday night I didn't dance much and even though I danced a lot of Saturday, I was often awkward and not really up to par with most of the leads there. After a year of pretty hardcore dancing, I am a million times better suited for this event.

There are still a few dancers here that I am a little intimidated by. They are seriously brilliant and have been dancing for years. I can really hold my own with most of the leads though. Not only that, but this year guys are actually asking me to dance more than once. Know what that means? That means they think I'm fun to dance with.

Ok, that sounds a little silly, but it's true. A lot of leads will, at the beginning of an event, try to dance with every follow present. They shop around and see who is really fun to dance with and who is not. Naturally they're more prone to dance with the fun girls. For some guys at least, I'm not one of the fun girls.

The really big dance of the weekend is tonight. I'm kind of catatonic right now because I was dancing pretty hard for nearly 11 hours yesterday (wow, when I actually add it all up, it's pretty damn impressive). There were three dances I went to - one in the afternoon, one in the evening and the Late Night, which went until 5. I had to stay because I volunteered to help clean things up. I'm taking it easy this afternoon because I've got about 8 more hours of dancing ahead of me tonight. I don't know if I'll make it til 5 though again.

Also this year, I'm hosting someone. Vanessa is staying on my couch for the weekend and she is pretty cool. Plus she's an amazing dancer.

I'll write more about the weekend later. Now I'm either going to make lunch, or take a nap. I just woke up about an hour ago, so I think lunch makes a little more sense.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Where Does the Time Go?

I can't believe it's been this year for two weeks. I've been filling every waking moment with very fun things... and work. Which is not to say that work isn't fun, it's just not super fun. Anyway, I feel like I've done enough in the last two weeks to satifyingly fill four.

Where to start? Last weekend, just on friday, I went sledding, which was awesome. I also went on an amazing date. I was supposed to go skating with my friend, Roy. The weather was really bad though, so we went to dinner and then we went to an archery place and shot bows and arrows. How cool is that? I was like freekin' Robin Hood! Plus it was really awesome just hanging out with Roy. I have an itty-bitty crush on him now, but it's completely rediculous and won't possibly go anywhere. Still, he's a cool kid.

Saturday I worked then I was supposed to go snow shoeing with my friend, Jason, but he flaked - he had committed himself to something which didn't give us enough time to go. But we did hang for a little while. That evening I went dancing.

I worked a lot this past week, and when I wasn't at work I was hanging out with friends, working on stuff for swing club, or getting stuff together for this belly dance thing I'm doing in a couple weeks. I did my usual dance thing on Thursday and made it out to dance at the Skillet on Friday.

Yesterday afternoon I rode around on trax (the local light-rail train system thing) with no pants. It's an ImprovEverywhere thing. I'm not going to say much about it, except that it was wicked fun and a bit chilly.

Last night I went with a friend of mine down to Provo for dancing. BYU has their swing dance there on Saturday nights (which was ok, not much different from the U and not something I would make the trip for by itself). There is also a late night dance from 10:30 to about 2:00 at this little sandwhich shop downtown. That was a lot of fun! I will probably try to get down that way again for that.

That's a quick overview of what I've been up to and things are not going to slow down any time soon. School starts tomorrow so it'll be back to the books. Next weekend is the Utah Lindy Exchange, so I will be busy all weekend dancing there. The weekend after that I going to Wendover to belly dance at a cancer fund raiser thing.

Maybe February will be less crazy.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Another Year Gone By

Hello everybody, welcome to 2009!

I rang in the new year with the most incredible night of dancing. Royal Crown Review played at a local club. People were encouraged to dress up and there was a dance contest (which I entered with my friend Celcey. We were by far the best girl/girl couple in the contest) and great music. The band was really good. Right before the break the bass player and the drummer did solos that absolutely blew the mind. There were tons of good dancers there and the energy was really high. Plus you could actually get a drink, which rarely happens for swing dancing in Utah. Not that it's really necessary to have drinks when dancing, it's just one of those things that makes Utah special. When I went to Lindy on the Rocks in Colorado, every dance had a bar. People had a couple drinks throughout the night, but no one ever got belligerent. It was kind of nice to have that options.

After last night, I'm kind of exhausted and sore today... in that really good way. I also worked 8 hours yesterday so I was on my feet a lot. It's no surprise that my legs feel like they are going to fall off now and, actually, my lower back is pretty tired as well. That said, I'm going over to my parent's for dinner tonight and I'm thinking about walking over there. Best way to cure tired legs is to use them, right?

So, it being the start of the new year and all, I thought about doing an epic year in review post like I did last year, but I really haven't had time. The last few days have been so full of... I don't even know what. Besides the holidays I've been working a lot and playing a lot. It's all been very fun, but I'm getting a little burned out. I feel like almost every day I've left the house at 8 and haven't gotten home until 11 or later. So the whole year in review is out. If you want to know what I did all year, you can go back and read all the little post thingies I did.

I will, however, take a look at my list of things to do in 2008:

Things to do in the new year (not resolutions, mind you. No one ever keeps resolutions):
1. Find a new job.
2. Get into hardcore biking shape again
3. Eat veggies
4. Shrink my "to-read" list... by reading.
5. Make new friends and strengthen the friendships I already have

Things to NOT do in the new year:
1. Date complete douchewads
2. Waste away in my death job
3. Go on a psycho mass murdering tour de world
4. Waste all my time watching TV and adding books to my "to-read" list that I will never get around to because I'm wasting all my time watching TV.
5. Eat meat (that's right kids, I'm going to give the vegetarian thing a try)

I think I've done pretty well for the most part. I did, indeed, find a new job. I quit the receptionist gig and am now doing something that I really love. I rode the MS 150, so I think that counts as getting back into hardcore biking shape. However, after that I kind of slacked. So I got there, but didn't maintain. I have eaten several veggies. I read a lot, but my "to-read" list is longer now than it was before. It's a hazard of working with books.

I have made several new friends and become better friends with those I already had. That's a tricky one though. I think some of my older friends have slipped through the cracks. I still keep up with a few, because they are the best friends I have, but.... If I look at who I was spending most of my time with this time last year compared to now, the dynamic is really different. I think it's mostly due to regular drifting apart. I've gotten so into the dancing thing, and most of the friends I have outside of that just aren't interested. I mean, that's why I started going to the U swing club in the first place. I wanted to meet people who I could go dancing with because none of my friends did it. I'm really passionate about swing, so there's no way I'm going to give it up. It's sad, but it makes sense that if I spend so much time dancing, I'm going to bond more with the people I go dancing with. C'est la vie.

As for what I wanted to not do in 2008... I didn't date any douchewads. I actually didn't really date anyone. I went on a few dates with a few people, but they didn't seem to go anywhere. And you know what, I'm totally ok with that. I've had fun, and I don't need to be with someone to be happy. I'm not saying that I want to stay single, anyone who has read my blog knows that I want to find love just as much as the next gal. I just am in no major hurry. It will come when it comes, meanwhile, I am perfectly content with what I have. Moving on, job o' death is no more, I didn't not mass murder anyone. I don't have a TV. I do watch shows online, but I don't spend too much time doing that. Especially not lately. I really don't miss TV at all. The vegetarian thing totally failed.

I'd say that I did pretty well on my goals for the year. Nine out of ten ain't bad. For 2009 I have a long list of things I would like to do, but don't know how possible they really are. First I want to do the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Ride in July. And, since doing the MS 150 early in the season made my brain say "hey, I don't have anything to train for anymore. I can totally slack off," I think I may do the ULCER again too. (Hey, Aaron, you should come back and do the ULCER with me again). I want to go to a few Lindy Exchanges outside of Utah. Exchanges are so much fun, and the best way to get better at dancing is to go out and dance with good dancers. There are a few good dancers here, but the really brilliant dancers are elsewhere. They all go to the exchanges though. Plus doing that exposes you to all sorts of different styles. I also would like to get a one bedroom place or a studio when our lease is up this summer.

These three big things are high on my list of things I want to do. They're all kind of on the expensive side though, so they may not be possible. I'm definitely going to do the bike rides, and I'd really like to do the apartment thing. I may have to settle for just one exchange though. We'll see. There are other, not big things I would like to do too. So I guess I'll do a list of goals again, just like last year:

Things to do in the new year (still not resolutions. Resolution is a bad word)
1. Get a merit position at one of the libraries (I like the subbing thing, but I wouldn't mind having a steady schedule, and I'm going to need a job with benefits soon)
2. Get back into hardcore biking shape, and stay there!
3. Improve my lindy. I'd like to get to the point where I feel comfortable seriously entering a contest. Yes, I did do a contest last night, but that was just for giggles. Celcey and I knew we wouldn't place or anything. We just thought it was fun.
4. Put my monies in order enough that I can afford a place by myself
5. Write regularly and often. Not blog writing or journal writing but Writing writing.
6. Get swing club running and fabulous.

Things to NOT do in the new year
1. Drink soda
2. Date douchewads (it was a good goal)
3. Go on a mass murdering tour de world (also a good goal, might as well carry it over)
4. Fail at school

I have to say, I think 2008 was a really good year. I'm sure 2009 will be as well. There are lots of things I'm looking forward to. Not the least of which is I will hit the 5 year mark of being in remission in March! My bestest buddie, Arrakis, is getting married in August. Who no what other fabulostiy awaits.

I hope your year has been lovely. I hope your next year will be lovelier still. Happy New Year, my dear and faithful readers!