Así soy

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Night Out (in which I did not forget to work on Mobility)

In my woolly vest, soaked with rain, forced to consume delicacies, I do not forget my mobility exercises....
I also had an audience...

Executive stretch
Some sort of stretch but seriously the boots are cute

The Spencers are amazing lasso artists as well as riders

Thursday, December 9, 2010


So today I am at home with alternating ice & hot packs on my face.

I am suffering from SEF.

Those in the teaching profession are at high risk for the painful SEF syndrome:
  Smiling Encouraging Face.

Smiling Encouraging Face is completely different Professional Face (PF.)  PF is a happy enthusiastic face that I wear for short periods of time and usually the PF either genuinely reflects the fun I'm having or it can actually generate a sense of fun for real.

On the other hand, I have to wear Smiling Encouraging Face for 5-6 hours at a time.  I use this face when sitting through a series of presentations given by nervous students.  I have to look encouraging, friendly, interested and engaged in whatever they are demonstrating.  I totally understand that presenting to a group of people can be nerve-racking, and even more so if the language you are presenting in is not your own.  So SEF gives them assurance in the way that a light house reminds anxious ships that land is nearby.

But while sometimes PF can be hard to maintain (it does involve an eye smile as well,) the SEF is an absolute labor of love: the sheer endurance factor has my face aching after the first hour.  I've even taken Advil because my aching cheeks feel as though they have single-handedly each pushed a Prowler.  Uphill.  In the Snow. To Canada.

This semester is complicated because after sitting with SEF through 6 hours of presentations, I have a 2 hour break before teaching a dance class that requires a mix of PF and SEF.  During that afternoon break, I let my face pass out into an utterly expressionless coma.

By the time I get home uber-late after the dance class,  my lips feel like rubber, my eyes are jammed back into my cerebrum, and my cheeks are like individual face migraines.

However, the presentations are now over and I'll be giving final exams:
It would be pretty creepy if I were smiling and nodding while watching students working on tests.  So I get to look just as blank as they do.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Phone Tag, Part 2: I'm it

So I do a quick assessment of the restaurant and realize the only quiet place will be outside.  So I rush through the front door and try to get a grip on the giggles.  In a post-laughter adrenaline-haze, I lean against a lamp post and manage, "Hello?"
OB1 clearly can tell that I am in the middle of something interesting and politely asks, "Is this a good time?  Perhaps I should call back later?"

So, I have two options:
I can say, "Actually, OB1, thanks so much for asking, let me call you back later because in my current situation I can only wander up and down the street outside of this restaurant in the middle of Oakland in the dark, avoiding interesting street people who are highly entertained by my sparkly super-cute shoes and the fact that I am walking outside without a coat, talking by myself in the cold, cold rain."

I can say (and I'm paraphrasing,) "No, it's totally fine!"

So I'm not sure that either of us could actually understand everything I was saying by the end of the call since I was shivering pretty hard, clutching that phone with a chilled, dripping hand.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Call Me

So Obi Wan and I have been playing phone tag for a while.  It's been more like, he texts asking me to call, and I call and leave messages that become increasingly more rambling and more inane.  For example:

Me:   Hi, uh, I know I'm calling later than we agreed but I was driving and...well, I actually always drive at that time so I'm not sure... I mean, I have to teach at...  never mind, it's just that I have more time at night so... oh, and don't call back at this number it's my work number and I never answer it or check messages... Not that I'm a slacker. I just use email and... oh God why isn't there a Delete Your Message option on your phone???

Since I pretty much earn a living speaking and performing extemporaneously, relying heavily on the ability to think and communicate simultaneously, I was mortified at my lack of even basic coherence.  I hung up, imagining Obi Wan's face as he listens to the inarticulate babbling, sure that he now thinks I must have a ghost writer for my work.

So, at any rate, tonight I'm in a Middle Eastern restaurant watching (and dancing with) my dancer friend.  There is a rowdy group of customers celebrating a birthday and we are all shouting encouragement as the men get up and dance.  And then out of the corner of my eye, I see that my cell phone is flashing.  It's OB1.  So without thinking, I grab it and swipe the Droid unlock to answer it.

And then I stare at the phone.

I become acutely aware of my surroundings: middle eastern music blasting away, people clapping and shouting, dancer's zils blazing; there is no chance whatsoever that I will be able to hear anything OB1 may say in response to anything that I am probably going to shout, spontaneously babbling.

So I stare at the phone.  And then it happens.

Before I go any further, I have to relate what happened to me and Elaine at Easter Mass a couple of years ago.  Elaine and I were sitting in the middle of a pew together in the center of a large Catholic church, listening as a visiting priest sang part of the liturgy.  For those of you not Catholic, normally the cantors (real singers) sing parts of the liturgy.   This unfortunate man, alas, was tone deaf and struggled mightily to sound even remotely musical.  However, he did achieve an odd rolling rhythm that was eerily familiar.  Elaine and many members of the congregation struggled to stay focused, but I was on a tangent, fully absorbed trying to identify that cadence and figure out where I had heard it before.  I was unaware that Elaine was now biting her lip in an effort to maintain control.

Suddenly, I recognized the rolling, rolling rhythm and I leaned over to Elaine, when the priest wound down, and sang quietly into her left ear the triumphant climactic phrase:
" Rawhide! ♫ "

I was unprepared for the consequences of my action.

Elaine exploded into gasping, racking bouts of laughter, startling everyone in the congregation.  Her honking volume grew exponentially with each breath; I was swept away by the volcanic pyroclastic flow of her laughter and burst out laughing.  As I'm sure you know, trying to contain it only added additional effects like snorting, choking and tears.  I could only think "Get Out of here! Get Out of here!"   Elaine was way ahead of me, shoving her way through the pews, barely able to breathe through the howling paroxysms.  We staggered outside.
After several minutes of painful, convulsive laughter, we lay gasping on the grass in our nice Easter Dresses.
Elaine: OMG!

And finally another quiet moment of ragged breathing.
Me: We will have to change churches now.

These repeated attempts to regain sanity continued for the rest of the day.
We were pretty famous after that.

At any rate, back to the Middle Eastern restaurant & the Droid.  So I'm standing in the middle of the restaurant surrounded by shouting, clapping people dancing to the beat of the crazy loud music and I have answered my cell phone.  All OB1 can hear is a melange of serious noises... dominated by my helpless giggling laughter spawned by the complete pathos of the moment that our phone tag has led to.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Whole New World

So I'm working away on Web stuff.  My coffee is steaming, the flu has been successfully trounced by my immune system, and I did not burn the bacon.

My puppy is playing with her Kiwi bird by drowning it in her water bowl and then violently thrashing it.

I type away on a blog draft and in the middle of a sentence----
Nothing.  The screen is frozen. What the --?
I have lost connectivity!
I check the ethernet connection.
I check the router.
I reboot my computer.
My puppy watches all of this with interest.

Then she disappears back under the table and reappears dragging a long blue cable:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paleo in the High Beta Lane

So here is my daily breakfast routine:

1) Put 1/2 pound awesome fresh Wellshire bacon in large pan and place on burner.

2) Turn burner on medium.

3) Go to computer to "check on a few things" before flipping bacon.

4) Read email from friend asking opinion about costume color.  Go to website, check out costume.  Notice other costumes.  Check sizes.  Consider buying one. Send reply to friend.

5) Read request from student to check a homework assignment.  Log into online work.  Review student's work and correct it.  Send message to student.

6) Think of new idea for Blog and open application to jot down a few notes.

7) Imagine picture that will go well with it, search for the base photo in folders, open Photoshop and...

8) Accck!!

9) Race to the pan in the smoke-filled kitchen and scrape out 1/2 pound of charred remains.

10) Go back to Step 1 and start process again.

If there were a trophy for the largest quantity of bacon burned per month, I would be a double crown winner.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Sound of Silence

So I got a couple of emails asking why there has been a black hole of silence in my blog.
I think it's better that I simply report the conversation I had this past weekend:

Brain:     Dudes, we need a blog episode and I'm too tired to think of anything
              remotely interesting to say.

Rest of Body:
Rest of Body: 
Rest of Body:  
Rest of Body: 

Brain:      Stomach? No comment from you?

Stomach: Not available, still enjoying the pumpkin pie and whipped cream
                swimming pool down here!

Brain:     Um, Immune System? 

Immune system:  Sorry, a little busy here planning a raid on the out of control Rave
                          that the germs have going on behind the eyes.



Brain:  Uh, hey, Germs! Do you have a few minutes?

Germs: We're not funny.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tis the Season

So my weekends are booking up as companies and people are organizing their seasonal, end of year parties.  As Kelly pointed out, nothing says the Holidays like a belly dancer!
This luckily coincides with the slowdown of the school semester so that I have more time for practicing, performing and choreographing, not to mention a little sewing to tweak the fit on costumes  (although admittedly my sewing skills are perhaps on the Frankensteinian level.)

And right on schedule, the semester just peaking with loads of projects, exams, grading, and presentations, dancing, workshops, and rehearsals, my sullen immune system senses the impending slow down at work with the advent of the holiday season.

Immune System:   so, uh, hey, how are you feeling, Throat?

Throat             :  What? What are you --- oh, no, I think...I think I feel sore!

Immune System :  No way!  And how are you feeling, Metabolism?

Metabolism       : Actually, I feel sort of elevated, but not in a good way...
                          Do we have a fever?

Immune System:  Hmmmm, don't know.  Hey, eyes, how are you today?

Eyes                : Wait a minute, we feel raw and bloodshot!  What's going on?
                          I think we are being invaded by microbes!

Immune System:  Well, how about that?  Maybe I should do something about those germs, Maybe I should get off my over-worked-taken-for-granted butt and maybe help you all out One More Time!  Well, I'll certainly take it under advisement-  once I have finished this delightful glass of champagne.

Rest of Body     :  This is SO wrong!!  You rotter!  Brain, Help!!

Immune System : Tsk, Tsk, looks like Mr. Stress has momentarily stepped out. MWHAHAHA!

Stomach           : Um, FYI guys, I have heard that lots of barbecue is good for a fever...


Monday, November 15, 2010

Mile Marker : five months

So I'm now five months into this and I finally hit a significant milestone: this was the first day that I noticed a difference in my efforts with Paul.  I wasn't floundering & confused.  I was actually focused and working!

It feels totally weird to have Paul who is sporting a new IceMan haircut like Steve McQueen's in The Great Escape, talking about "plates" and I know what those are.  They are not actually called wheels even though they look exactly like wheels and nothing like plates, at least not the plates at my house.

So anyway, after repeatedly shoving the Pink Prowler that Paul kindly continued to enhance by adding two wheels of weight after each run, I bent over panting against the table legs waiting for the sickening sucking sensation to leave my legs.

Paul:       You have a new PR!

Brain:      Prowler Run?

Stomach: Pork Rinds!

Paul :      Personal Record!  You have pushed over 2 1/2 times your weight!




So there it is: a sense of accomplishment not based solely on the fact that I survived intact.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So Paul had me on my back on the floor with my legs up against the wall.  The task was to see how far I could reach to each side with each leg to stretch some technical term muscle/ligament in order to make my squats amazing and powerful! I had slid my legs down the wall and was now actively trying to push them farther apart.  Aforementioned tendon now felt like a steel cable tearing through my flesh.

Me:  Um, this is as far as my legs will go given the current state of my physical human body.

Paul:  Well, I could stand here, like this, and then push down on your legs to get more stretch.

He faces the wall, straddling my torso. As he begins to lean forward, his butt begins a journey out toward my face.   And I realize those loose shorts are about to cross the event (line of sight) horizon.

I squeeze my eyes tightly shut as Paul's baggy shorts hover over my face.

Paul: Ok, I'm going to reach down to push on your legs.

ME:  !!!
ME:  Auughhh!




Paul: Ok, or maybe not.

Monday, November 8, 2010

in delicto flagrante

Paul:  Can u change ur appt from 3:00 to 2:30?
Me  : In class giving test hang on
Paul: Ok
Me  : Ok think so. will drive fast.
Paul: ok will b w Mr. J
Me  : ok
Paul: thnx 4 b flexible w time
Me  : no worries

So while this seems like a pretty innocuous text exchange, the text-versation actually occurred while I was in a classroom watching my students wring out cerebral sweat onto an exam.  One of my students came up with a question while I was typing and I actually said with my own human flesh lips, "hang on a sec."

This comment made my student's eyes bulge because my class is like an airplane: the use of electronic devices is not permitted while the plane is in motion.  Unauthorized use of a cell phone or iPod interferes with the successful navigation of the class.  Students must keep them off until I turn off the Fasten Seat Belt sign.  And yet, there I was, blatantly texting while the students struggled with stem-changing verbs.

So I confessed the shamefulness of my behavior to Paul.

Paul (and I am paraphrasing):  Well, everyone is hypocritical.  After all, look at me with the health diet!  And yet, I am a serious cookie monster.
Me:   This is SO true!

So then I thought, there is no point to being a measly hypocrite:

From now on, I will Be Brazen!


Friday, November 5, 2010


Paul: I've thought about blogging my perspective on our training sessions, you know.

Me :   Oh really?  You see them differently from the way I do?  I think I portray them pretty accurately.  And I try to see my efforts from your point of view too:  like the
          burning building thing.

Paul: Ha, ha, yeah.  Anyway, when I thought about what I was going to blog,
         I couldn't think of a way to describe it that was, well, like not, well,
         that wasn't like kinda mean or anything.

Me  :

Me  :

Me  :

Me  :

Paul : Um...wait a minute...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Raising the Bar

So Mr. J. has me working on crunches and butt squeezy things. Then I get up and see that we are heading over to the metal frame where Paul has me do the oxen yoke bar lifts.  I'm thinking, ok, I have done these before.
But Mr. J has placed a metal bar at the bottom of the frame.
I stare at Mr. J, confused.
He then says, Today you are going to do a (technical term technical term) lift.   While I don't recognize the name, my brain makes a huge leap and accurately translates this into DeadLift.

My entire body breaks into a sweat, and I struggle to understand Mr. J's instructions. This is hard for my brain to do because my low back is letting out a constant wailing scream that rivals a fire engine:

Mr. J.: Ok, you are going to push your ass back and keep your chest up and reach for the bar.
Lower Back: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Mr. J.: And then fnslkeopnmr vsdlfjvpso jalk  oiseurjksf whelrjp lker.
Brain: What? What? I can't hear anything?!
Lower Back: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Mr. J. : Ok, give it a try.

With the Lower Back in full banshee mode, my hands damp with sweat, and my brain completely bailing and heading out for a drink, I stick my butt back, pushing down into the floor against the outside of my feet and keeping my chest up.  I grip the bar, take a deep breath, brace, and push my hips forward.

And stagger backwards, nearly falling.

Mr J. has given me a new bar that I will call the Smurf bar.  Although it appears to be a heavy steel bar, it is once again one of his illusions: it is like one of the aluminum edge tubes on a hang-glider, weighing basically nothing.

My whole body is silent.

My brain, slightly tipsy on an adrenaline Martini, says: Well, looks like Someone at the Body Party deserves to wear the Cone of Shame!

Lower back (sniffling): well, it could have been really heavy!

Mr. J.: Ok, well, now that the drama is over, let's try a little weight.

So although the lower back whimpered about how the Rest of Body may be sorry, it held up very well and even got the hang of it as we went up in increments to something bordering actual effort.

Mr. J. is still working the street magic.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Just how sleep-deprived am I?

So driving home today I thought, 'I need to blog about my Tuesday training with Paul and then I need to blog about my Thursday training with Mr. J.'

And then my Brain thought: the way I am traded back and forth, I should refer to them as Mr. P and Mr. J.

Brain: In fact, I can think of them as my PJs. Ha ha ha!

Brain: Wait, even better, it's like a P & J sandwich!

Ha Ha Ha!

Rest of body:
Rest of body:
Rest of body:
Rest of body:

Rest of body: We need more sleep.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday: so while Obi Wan is at the Fjords

so while Obi Wan is at the Fjords

Professor Plum and Mrs. Peacock head out to the Clue Party.
Where I get to hang out with other gamer characters..

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Back on the Blog

So I've had kind of a rough week, juggling a lot of slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and decided I'd better regroup before getting back on the blog.

Anyway, Tuesday morning I'm back at the Presidio for another metaphysical journey with Kelly.  I was eager to hear about his Russian Bath House experience but figured I'd wait patiently as he reviewed my shoulder mobility.
As he started working away at the shoulder mechanism, Kelly began, "So about the Russian Bath House..." I waited with bated breath for him to continue.  My breath was bated because he was pushing down too hard for me to inhale.
"Alas, the Russian Bath house was closed!" (Ok, maybe he didn't actually say "alas" but he implied it.)
I can't exactly remember why he said that it was closed.  I think it had to do with a liquor license problem.
He then regaled me with a hilarious story of what he ended up doing in New York instead which incidentally did not involve good Cuban food.

Then he dropped another Kelly conversation-explosive (and I am paraphrasing here): "So tomorrow I am off to the Land of Ice and Snow, from the Midnight Sun where the hot springs blow."

My eyeballs bulged (and not just because I was lying face down.) What?!  What?!
I immediately considered explaining that I am good at braiding hair and folding clothes and would therefore make an excellent assistant. 

So anyway, he is now arriving in Valhalla-ville.

I googled Norwegian Bath House.

Alas for Kelly,  No Results.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where am I?

So I woke up this morning (like, 2am) thinking about Dennis Wholey's observation that  expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person, is like expecting a bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.   I first read this when I was twelve, and it just burned straight from my eyes into my brain as a very wise thing to remember.

Anyway, turning this over in my mind, I hit the commuter lanes at 5:30 for a thoughtful drive to the Presidio.  I like to arrive a little early to admire the people working out.  They make all that lifting and push-ups seem so easy.  I can't wait to be reincarnated as an amazon (or an amazon painter.)  I think I was once a bellicose Bedouin fighter.  But possibly, as said fighter, I was arrogant, and so was reincarnated deliberately as a weeny-sized woman to get some perspective.  If so, it has totally worked because while I fiercely admire strength, skill and determination, I am totally in love with belly dancing, cute bras, pancakes, and watching otters play. 

But I digress.

So today Kelly worked on that first rib so hard (using both thumbs) that I thought my left eyeball was going to explode.  My stomach (in a gesture of solidarity for my flaming eye) nearly tossed the 4:30am bacon & eggs onto Kelly's shoes (but that is  a waste of good bacon.)   He did listen kindly to my whingeing and then promptly squeezed all the stress out of me.
Kelly wrested a new range of movement out of my shoulder while he told me stories of dancing around drinking pisco in Chile, of using a Chinese network to get his passport renewed, and of future travels to a Russian Bath House.

By the time he was done, I not only had new shoulder mobility, but also some new mental mobility:
 I have an existential map; it has ‘you are here’ written all over it. -Steven Wright.

Good friends make sure you don't get lost.


Monday, October 18, 2010

But every now and then

there is the Up moment.

So Mr. J handed me a large black plastic tube.  "Lift this straight over your head."
I grabbed the tube and started to lift it overhead.  It lunged to the right with a sloshing sound.  It was filled with water.  I gripped more tightly and struggled to get it level.

Mr. J : Yeah, so just hoist it overhead, keep yourself organized and walk down to the
           speed bump and come back.
Me    :  You know, just FYI, this tube would be way more stable if they took more care when they filled it.  If it were tightly full of water, the tube wouldn't be so hard to control.
Mr. J :
Mr. J :
Mr. J :
Me    :   Ok, then. I'm walking.

I was still thrilled that my shoulder would actually let me lift something straight overhead so I wasn't complaining as I lurched across the parking lot.  Going out was fine.  Turning around caused the water in the tube to start sloshing from one end to the other.  On the trip back, my arms got tired as they strained to keep from dropping the tube.  Mr. J barked out helpful comments, like "No, keep it straight over head!" and "Keep your arms back!"

But the third trip I had figured out how to organize: I had to tighten up my core the same way I do for sword-balancing except.

During that last walk, I had a momentary flash that made me grin:
for one shining second I felt like She-Ra Princess of Power.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Legerdemain with Mr. J

So between Prowler runs & squats, Mr. J observing and I, panting discussed favorite candy, snacks, food, & favorite ways to eat and/or prepare said foods.  I thoroughly encouraged him to invest in a pastry blow torch because it is a much faster and more entertaining way to melt butter on English muffins or cook the yolk on eggs.

He agrees with me that Bacon, Butter and Beef are all individual food groups with serious RDAs.  He likes to eat at home-style Taquerías that have fútbol & telenovelas blasting on the TV (even though he isn't sure what he is ordering unless it's carnitas.)

Anyway, in light of all this sharing, I felt it only fair to let him know about spreading butter on Graham Crackers as a snack.  And to let him know about the origin of the Graham Cracker...(look it up: comes under weird but true.)

And, the trump card:

He has a Barbie pink roller suitcase

(seriously, is that hot or what?)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Up and Down and Down

So Tuesday morning I drove to SF in complete darkness, enjoying way lighter traffic.  This is because I now drive out to see Kelly one hour earlier.  I'm on the road by 5:30am.

It was still dark when I arrived at the Presidio, but there were no street lights.  The nice office with the nice bathroom was not open.  This meant using a dark Port O'Pot.  It has some interesting Christmas style lights draped around, but actually, now that I think about it, it is probably better that it is pretty dark in there.

So I was able to show Kelly how far I had come along:  I could jump up and grab the bars to hang from them.
He smiled. "Can I see that again?"
Me (thinking, uh-oh)  : Um, Ok!
Kelly:  Can you make the hollow rock position?  Pull in.  Don't raise the ribcage.
Me   :  Um, ok!
Kelly  :  Is your butt tightened?
Me (mentally slapping my butt upside its slacker head) : Um, of course!
Kelly : Can you point your toes?
Me    : Ummmmmkkkk.
Clearly, I need to work hard on my Rigid Otter position.

Kelly then set up the Trapeze Rings low to the ground.  "Let's have you do a push up using the rings so you can improve that shoulder rotation!"
Me (heart sinking down into my bowels) : um, ok!
I was determined to do this, but push-ups are not what I would consider my forte.   I suspect I may need to be Reincarnated before I become adept at push-ups.
My hands gripped the rings (the upside: rings are easier on my wrists!) (the downside: Kelly was about to witness the depths of my weenitudity.)
Kelly watched me for a few seconds as I tried to control my arms.  He frowned, "Well, you can do it from your knees.  Or just go as far as you can."
I did not dare mention that actually that was what I was trying to do.
Then he added, "and let's make the rings lower."
The rings were now like an inch off the ground.  I got straight-armed but once I started to lower down, I felt my body turn into a wriggling eel.  I tried to figure out what to focus on most, and hoped my body would just organize instinctively (like with the Prowler.)  But, no, every body part was apparently too immature to make any decisions without mental direction. I squeaked like an otter as I slithered to the ground and then struggled to get back up.
Kelly: Well, you have the idea, at any rate!

It could have been worse:
He could have come up with a rhetorical situation involving a burning building in which a ring push-up was required to save a loved one's life.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Part 2 Infinity Digression : Infinite 8s

So if we look at a woman's body, we can see the Infinity shape vertically:

In the lower loop, there is another horizontal infinity shape in the hips:

In the upper loop, there is an upper infinity shape in the ribcage,

and yet another in the shoulders,

and even more in the arms themselves.

Because movement flows and is not static, feminine dance literally embodies infinity.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Part 1 Digression 4 : Infinity & the Nature of Dance

Warning:  if you hate theory stuff and would rather read about me crumpling under heavy weights and pushing metal stuff on pavement,  just skip this one (and Part 2, although it does have nice photos.)

So I've had this theory for years and figured I may as well put it in writing somewhere other than the dance course packs I make.

Actually the Infinity Theory first crystallized for me with Literature and the development of philosophies and approaches.  Most analysts refer to a back and forth pendulum movement (reaction to reaction) of literary movements, but I knew this was inadequate.  This assumes a linear motion in one direction before a reactionary movement in the other. Human dynamics (and binary life in general) makes this impossible (besides, exactly what is said pendulum hanging from?)  Finally, while exploring the nature of duality in Carlos Fuentes' Aura, it hit me.

It isn't a pendulum movement.  It's an infinite movement in which one motion already engenders the contrary movement by the initiation of movement itself.  Think of waves - as one wave rises, it does so by pulling at the water in front of it : for some water to move forward, other water has to pull back.  When a wave falls and flows forward on one side of the ocean, the water on the other side of the ocean pulls back and rises in a crest.

Imagine the infinity symbol as a constant flow rather than a static typed image, and I think you will see what I mean.

So when one literary movement begins, by its sheer beginning, it inspires & defines its own reactionary counterpart that will eventually replace it as the driving literary movement.

Ok, yadda yadda yadda, what has this to do with dance?

Music breaks down into natural 8s  (which I believe result from the 8 beat rhythm of our heartbeats.)
In belly dance we recognize the figure 8 shape of a woman's body.  We refer to movements in eights: We talk about "up 8s" (Little Egypts), "down 8s" (Mayas), "front & back 8s" etc.
I don't think they are eights.  They are infinity symbols.  Our movements are not isolated.  When the "up 8" starts, there is already the downward movement from the other side that will slide into the upward movement thus taking the originating movement from up to down.  It isn't tracing a figure 8: Tracing a figure 8 implies a beginning and an end and that somewhere is the originating point.  Also it means that we have selected a point of our body that travels along the shape of the 8.

Instead, what we are really doing is manifesting infinity (gestalt) within ourselves.

to be continued...