Así soy

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So I was sitting Sunday night writing the third installment of Indiana Jones and the Strip Mall Bar and suddenly a wave of panic slapped me upside the head.  This overwhelming sense of urgency and dread made me jump up from the computer and look around the room (causing my puppy to leap up and look around the room as well.)

Then I remembered:
School starts tomorrow!
School starts tomorrow!
School starts tomorrow!
School starts tomorrow!

Wiping my suddenly sweaty palms on the back of my furry puppy, I became aware of many tasks which had been trying to get my attention:  organize my lesson plans, make sure I had the materials packed in my bag, print out my rosters, tank up my car, and pack food for lunch.
I started with refrigerator first since the food thing for lunch was pretty important (I stand for 6 hours interacting with students and if I don't have food laid out on a table in plain sight I won't remember to eat until my knees buckle.)

But as I reached for the refrigerator door, I suddenly had a much, much better idea:
     I opened the freezer instead.

I took out the emergency pint of Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked Cookie Dough ice cream and mixed in half a bag of mini-chocolate chips.  I set the mix on the counter to melt to the perfect softness while I climbed into PJs and and placed my car keys where I could find them easily in the wee morning hour.
Then I flopped on the sofa and knocked back the entire carton while watching the en español version of Titanic to its bitter, icy end.

In a sugar-stupor, I lurched to the bedroom and collapsed on the bed.  I would pay for this tomorrow.  But I was already dreaming of the three enormous coffees I would chug in order to be able to fully open my eyes, not to mention participate in the upcoming morning frenzy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Indiana Jones and the Strip Mall Bar (Part 2)

So Major Toht sidled up close on my left, staring down at me fixedly.  I thought, hokey dokey, and turned back to Friendly Farmer (who was only to happy to inch closer to my right side).  I tried to focus on Indiana and his band.  There was a tap on my left shoulder.
Major Toht:       Shhhzhh gnnna shuhf wha?
Me (smile):   I cannot hear you.
Major Toht (frowning) gnnnan thzzz rrr gonka streep?
Me (bigger smile and nod): I cannot hear you.

Major Toht held out his jacket and pointed at me.  Puzzled, I took his leather jacket with two fingers, hefted it a couple of times and handed it back.
Major Toht: Shhhzhh gnnna shuhf wha furrrzoh?
Me: Yes, it is certainly very heavy.  And I cannot hear you.

Major Toht looked very frustrated.  He pointed at me and then at himself, and then began waving his hands wildly around his head.   Noting my renewed attention at this interesting turn of events, Major Toht pointed toward the back of the bar and drew out a pack of cigarettes, offering me one (I shook my head, no.) He frowned.  Then, with a crazy smile,  he repeatedly threw his arms up over his head but this time with huge gestures and some skipping and hip gyrations.

Me:  Nuclear war?
Me:  Balloon ride?
Me:  I give up.  Anyway, I cannot hear you.

Major Toht was now clearly annoyed, so I moved away from the bar to a small round table with a chair, closer to the band.  I waved to Indy who grinned and waggled his eyebrows acknowledging my relocation and the reasons for it.  However, my independence was short-lived: Friendly Farmer reappeared on my right dragging a chair. He began a new unintelligible (and apparently amusing to him) monologue.  Major Toht with an angry scowl dragged up a seat on my left.  Toht took out his wallet (causing 12 interesting thoughts to race through my mind.) He placed first his driver's license in front of me on the table and then a business card indicating he was a financier.  This put a new perspective on the charades:  Was he hoping I would invest in explosives?

Major Toht: shhhhhzg nnrtgka   kkka furrrzaa wonka!

Just then a new large man, Boozy Santa, added himself to our group.  Boozy Santa didn't try to speak, he just stood near Friendly Farmer, smiling and staring.

Friendly Farmer glanced at Boozy Santa, put his hand on my wrist and promptly declared:
"Thz is mah wahff!"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Indiana Jones and the Strip Mall Bar, Part 1

So my friend and colleague (I'll call him "Indiana") is not only a hilarious genius in his chosen field, but also a rock star who plays a pretty mean guitar.  He has invited me to see his band play as often as I've probably invited him to come see me dance, but neither of us has been able to sync our schedules.  
And then last week, it happened: he was playing on a night that I wasn't dancing.  After thinking about it all day, I figured, this opportunity probably won't occur again anytime soon, so I'm going for it.
This suspect shape is not the actual marquee

I googled the name of the bar to get the address.  The name had the word "lounge" in it which made me think of a hotel night club, but the exterior picture revealed a bar with a marquee shaped like the kind that cheap motels use complete with a martini on it.  I had dressed in basic club wear, but after considering the photo I decided to change into jeans.

Gold Glitter Platform Shoes: not appropriate

I really wanted to wear the red motorcycle jacket but felt that was too much commitment to the strip mall bar genre.

Getting on the 680 freeway
, I discovered that the famous San Francisco fog had crept over the mountains so I could play a night game of Hide and Seek with the pavement.

My GPS faithfully guided me through the streets until I pulled into the lounge parking lot.

My first impression was that my first impression (on the web) was correct.  I was thrilled!  I had never been to a dive before and this was my first one!  I opened the door and just like in the movies, all the men hunkered down on stools at the bar turned to look at me.  I stood in the doorway for a moment trying to figure out what I was supposed to do.  I figured a regular bar lady person would walk right up to the bar and order something.  So I calmly walked to the end of the bar and leaned against it, smiling at the other customers.  I looked over at the bartender, but he only glanced at me in that professional bartender way that probably dismissing instantly as a club soda kinda gal.  So I turned around to face the band; Indiana spotted me, smiled and waved.  I leaned on the bar trying to project Karen Allen from the first Indy movie.

The man to my right leaned in close, and with beery breath he mumbled,"Wahlla Whalla monka wonka yu weer."  I thought, Oh my gosh, this is a real drunken barfly just like in the movies!  So I smiled and replied, "I cannot hear you" (which was true because the band was so loud my eyes had trouble focusing together.)  My barfly proceeded to tell me a long boozy story that was completely unintelligible, and finished with an entertaining disco dance for me.  I certainly could not fault him for his sociability.  I finally gleaned from my barfly's ramblings that he used to be a farmer (or still was - I'm not sure.)

He then said, "Bartender! I'm buying for her" in perfectly clear and audible tones.  The bartender brought over a club soda with lime.  We looked at each other for a moment before I grinned, acknowledging his professional assessment of my drink preference for this evening.

Suddenly, Friendly Farmer grabbed my arm and whispered hoarsely, "Watch out for that guy!"  He waved a finger at a tall, muscular man wearing a beret who had appeared at my left side.  I looked up to find Major Toht (from the first Indy movie) staring intently at me.
And I thought, What now?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Farewell to Arms

Ok, I totally like this title.
I planned to write about how Kelly has got my shoulder back into working condition.  It's not as perfect as I want it to be, but I can easily put a sword on my head so really, what can I complain about?
However, despite the catchy wording, the title is basically pretty creepy as though I were saying goodbye to my arms which I don't think even the original work was talking about.  Or that I was giving up my cache of weaponry which is nonsense.  But because I can't seem to shake the phrase, I will leave it there and just move onto the blog.

So for the last of the weekly visits, Kelly celebrated by holding my left arm behind my back, grinding down on my ribcage and also destroying my first rib in an amazingly painful manner that once again threatened to detonate my left eye.  It is possible I will now need glasses.  In fact, I found I was actually unable to inflate my lungs and could only take little squeaky otter breaths.

Of course Kelly continued our conversation as though flattening someone to the depth of a graham cracker on a table were a common occurrence.  He did pause to ask why I wasn't responding, but I was reeling in a semi-conscious world: you know, that mental state you fall into when you are channeling the pain of your arm being coiled like a slinky behind your back while at the same time someone is smothering you.

Anyway,  there I was, live in the moment, when I realized at last my shoulder could move and I would have to let go of my Obi Wan training wheels.

I miss the Tuesday 5:30am drive, the smell of coffee in the freakin' cold San Francisco morning air, but most of all, getting a weekly installment of the adventures of the Kwisatz Haderach.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So clearly I have not written much lately and been fobbing everyone off with pics and video and other random publications.  This was a feeble attempt to disguise a speed bump in my evolution.  Between work, and holidays, and the flu and rehearsals and shows I had an internal mantra of "As soon as I get a moment, I swear I'll write about something."

Plus, I need to get back on the workout track.  When the time crunch hit, it was the first train that derailed.   Of course, I seriously think it is possible that even before I was an otter, I was like a chipmunk or a marmot - something that hibernates when it gets cold.  Right now, the thought of putting on dance pants and a t-shirt and voluntarily going to an outdoor gym causes an autonomous reaction in which my knees buckle, thus forcing me to return to the sofa and watch another episode of Medium.

There was also the re-evaluation factor : were the benefits outweighing the injuries?  With the holiday show season at hand, I decided (at least temporarily) no.

Now I am partially couch otter and part hyper otter.  The entire dance studio is sparkling and neat, but my office is a storage facility.  My bedroom is clean and straightened up, but my closet is impenetrable.  My puppy is shiny and soft, but I have over 800 emails in my in-box and a total of 17 phone messages that I have not listened to (I am not making that up.)

Anyway, there is finally time to do stuff and write about it in blog.  After all, there is a mostly finished article on Obi Wan, and an adventure story to be told about the rock and roll star and the strip mall bar.

And it has to be more fun than cleaning grout with a toothbrush.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Genius comes in many forms

So Kelly springs another of his invented words on me.

He has warned against the dangers of developing "asslaminate."

Ass-laminate is what happens to your butt when you sit a lot: you laminate all the layers of muscle and stuff so that they get stuck together most unpleasantly) (and probably unattractively.)

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people (- W B Yeats)