Thursday, June 26, 2008

How can this still be so?

I was recently blindsided by someone who looked right at me and started sharing with me, confidentially of course, that that child's issue was that she has (said with a conspiratorial and hushed tone) lesbian parents.

I just looked at her. Could she really not know that she just said that to a lesbian parent? Really?

I still just looked at her.

Then, "I bet if that girl had a father he would straighten her right out!"

She just said that to a SINGLE lesbian parent.

In retrospect, I am having a hard time believing that the look of utter disbelief on my face didn't tip her off.

I am astounded by the bigotry, sexism and prejudice that still exists.

Oh, and that child? She is being lovingly raised by lesbian foster parents that see the beautiful jewel that is hidden under all those protective layers that girl had to create to protect herself from her completely screwed-up, drug-addicted, sexually and physically abusive heterosexual parents.

Get your own bumper sticker from AnniePants on Etsy


"Because when I feel safe, I can really relax, close all my eyes, and do just about anything you want." -- Johanna
There is a gentleman that has danced with me from the very first time I stepped on the floor, and we have a certain comfort level and always enjoy the dance, but I have noticed lately a...lack of awareness on his part regarding floorcraft. I don't wish to stop dancing with him, but I no longer feel safe...and this week have the bruises to show for it.

How do I let him know this while still being kind and firm?

Flat Out Fitness

Last week I rode my lovely cruiser bike to work. I wasn't able to ride all summer last year, and couldn't ride this school year because I was transporting children. So, finally, I pulled out my bike, loaded up and made my way to work.

It's not far, but oh it was sad. I was hot, I was exhausted, and I was mortified at my fitness level. How could it have gotten so bad? How could I not have known it had gotten so bad? My friends assured me I would regain my fitness level quickly, while looking at me pityingly. I told myself repeatedly...Each time it will be a little easier.

While my friend Tom was tuning my bike for me: "Hey, do you know your tires are flat?"

Who would have thought tire pressure would make such a difference? I'm feeling much better about my fitness level now.

Thanks, Tom.

Thanks, Robby Russell
Thanks, Phitar

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tipping Point

I reached my tipping point yesterday. Now, I have been gifted withpatience and a genuine joy of teenagers. And I enjoy the dance between being a kid and an adult, and I find them endlessly entertaining. But we reached the tipping point*. And let me tell you, my tipping point is slight. There's no plateau there. I came right up to it, and he shoved me over in the time it took him to utter:
"Well, you have a vehicle, don't you?"

And it is c a v e r n o u s down here. There's no visible way back up. He'll be building a ladder out of whatever he can find and lowering it down with chocolates and roses on every rung. Then, and only then, is there a possibility of finding his way back into my good graces. And if I climb back up, I will be precariously balanced on the edge of that point indefinitely. There are no more second chances, no more excuses, no more omissions.

And, this is why I love teens. Prior to this event, I didn't even know that I had a tipping point.

*I was so angry that I cleaned out and rearranged the garage, rearranged my patio, completely cleaned the refrigerator, and scoured the kitchen floor and hallways on my hands and knees.

Oscar Mandagaran y Georgina Vargas

Tonight I had the pleasure to take a couple group classes with Oscar Mandagaran and Georgina Vargas. They stopped in Eugene for a mini workshop, and I'm glad they did.

The first class was on Grapevines, turns and enrosques. It was billed as all levels, and I think the information was advanced beginner and up. If you had little tango background, it would have been difficult to get some of the nuances they shared.

  • "aha moment": the role of the big toe. When I turn my foot out, the big toe is my stabilization point. Spreading the stabilization throughout my toes causes me to have to do a minute adjustment before my next step, but rolling the foot in and using my big toe as the balance point allows me more strength and flexibility. And, it keeps me more in line so that I am in more natural alignment with my axis.
  • "aha moment": using the hips. When I move from my solar plexus and keep the energy moving upwards, and release my pelvis so it drops back (as opposed to tucked in), I get a lot more play in my hips without losing the connectedness in the embrace. Allows for some very nice swish. (The former bellydancer in me cooed in ecstasy! She's been complaining about hip neglect for ages now!)
The other class was a milonga traspie class (yay!). This was a challenging class for the leads, and I think that overall we would have benefited by starting at a more basic level. I loved the playful attitude, and the focus on simple concise movement.

One of the charming things about this class was Oscar's use of the word "worship" in reference to dance. ahhh, it is a worship to dance.

I will look for them for future classes.

Sorry, everyone, I looked for a good quality video but couldn't find one.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


You asked me to dance. We got one song in before the tanda ended, but you held onto me, an invitation I accepted. And then you started to knew it was likely going to be a milonga tanda. And I saw you looking for a way to get out. You made some comment about milongas being demanding, and I saw you look around. At that point, I gracefully let you off the hook.

Nevermind that I love milongas, nevermind that I actually dance them fairly well, nevermind that you could have said thank you and escorted me off the floor after the first song....

So I quickly exited the floor while you scurried off to find the one you really wanted to dance with, and sat that tanda out.

Several tandas later you approached me and instead of just offering an apology and an offer to dance, you told me that milongas are challenging to dance, and there are really only a few people you want to dance them with. (read: and you aren't one of them)

And because my mother taught me to be nice, to think of others first, to imagine how they feel...I said that yes, of course it was fine, of course I understood, and certainly I would be happy to dance this tanda with you.

But you know what? It wasn't fine. Oh, you wanting to dance the tanda with someone else was fine. But what wasn't fine was you explaining it away. And it certainly didn't help that the make-up tanda was crap...

Next time, all you need to say is "I'm sorry I left you in the middle of the song. Thank you so much for your graciousness, and if you'll have me, I'd love to dance this tanda with you." And then make it the best damn tanda ever.

Please see update here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summertime, and the Living is Easy....

It's summer, and I am beyond thrilled.

For the first time in many many summers, I looked forward to summer with nothing but joy. I get to see my children more, there will be no Board meetings, no one to wake up, no one's schedule to set my watch by, warmth, open doors and windows...

It hasn't always been this way. I have spent most my parenting years as a single mother, and this has its joys and its challenges. But this year, it is actually more joys than challenges.

So, on this Solstice eve, when the weather is graceful, when the wind is playful, when my children blissfully ignore my existence, I give thanks.

I give thanks for the joy I am feeling, for the abundance that has moved me through survival mode, for fulfilling work, for extended family far and near, for a wonderful friend that "gets" me, for baby bunnies.... you get the picture.

Blessed Solstice every one!

Thanks, Desmal.

Ah Yes, Our children....

This Delightful post from Okay, Fine, Dammit had me rolling but then I came to the comments. They were fantastic. These are the things that make me love being a parent. The sheer camaraderie of knowing that your child makes you look like a total ass, and that there are thousands of other people out there experiencing the same thing; that's the stuff that dreams are made of!

My kids are almost past that stage of embarrassing me by the words that they use, but they find other ways.

A couple days ago (Wednesday) my foster son announced to the people that decide his future, that he had not completed several of his classes, that he is on academic probation, and that his financial aid is suspended.....all before he told me. So there we all were, on a conference call that decides his destiny, and I am silently smacking him upside the head. His defense? "Well, I didn't lie to you....I just didn't tell you."

I thank god for those moments of stuffing OB tampons up their noses when company is over, when they ask someone why they have man-boobs, when they announce at parent-teacher conferences that I had tried to get out of coming....they prepared me for days like last Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Thanks, Alyce, for this one...

Japanese woman caught living in man's closet

Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press Writer Fri May 30, 3:21 PM ET

TOKYO - A homeless woman who sneaked into a man's house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.
Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man's closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.
The resident of the home installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.
One of the cameras captured someone moving inside his home Thursday after he had left, and he called police believing it was a burglar. However, when they arrived they found the door locked and all windows closed.
"We searched the house ... checking everywhere someone could possibly hide," Itakura said. "When we slid open the shelf closet, there she was, nervously curled up on her side."
The woman told police she had no place to live and first sneaked into the man's house about a year ago when he left it unlocked.
She had moved a mattress into the small closet space and even took showers, Itakura said, calling the woman "neat and clean."

While I was away...

ManyMom: Stupendous Child, I will be in in a moment to tuck you in.

a moment goes by

ManyMom: (mid tuck) Stupendous Child, What is on the wall?

silence, with an air of wide eyed innocence,

ManyMom: What is it?

Stupendous Child: I was really mad.

ManyMom: Ok, but what is on the wall?

Stupendous Child: I was really mad.

ManyMom: Right, but WHAT IS IT?

Stupendous Child: I got really mad and threw my hamburger.

ManyMom: *exasperated sigh* Stupendous Child, clean it up

Stupendous Child: Well, I already tried to pick up the crumbs.

ManyMom leaves the room

* 2 seconds later*

Stupendous Child: Mo-oomm, I picked up all the crumbs now.

deeeeeeep breath

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mushy Arms

I'm joining Johanna from Tangri-La (and several other tango bloggers) in building strength in my arms. And, I'm going to match each push-up with crunches.

Thanks for the cyber-inspiration.

One Hundred Push-ups

How to do a push-up

Mistressing the Push-Up

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tango Dreams

You know that state of mid-day antihistamine induced nap? The one where you are asleep because you have to be, because your body has been taken over but your mind is still amazingly active? Creating lifelike and intensely colorful dreams? I had that yesterday.

It was a tango. I don't recall the actual music, but it was deep and sensual and languid. He invited me into the embrace, and I knew it would be a memorable dance. We were somewhere unutterably mundane...the parking lot of the grocery, outside the tango hall, someplace with little magic. I was so surprised he wanted to dance with me, and also calm, as if it were inevitable. And from the moment we joined our embrace, the barriers melted away and I could hear his intention as it were my own, and the music welled up and around us, and my body and his body moved something living and it was perfect.

And still, in my thinking-dreaming mind, I wondered if I was good enough.

Unkind jackel living in there.

What I am...

I am NOT:
  • A car you drive
  • something you "take for a ride", "test drive" or "steer"
  • a bronco that needs to be broken (it's not even the correct damn gender!), that you tie up to a tree until I tire myself out
What I AM:
  • A fledgling tanguera

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mango Tango

I had an entire rant going about this ridiculous combination but Telly and Rosita said it better than I possibly could.

Except for the addition of: nobody looks good in that particular shade of orange.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This is Me, Now. Tomorrow, Who Knows?

The narcy part of me loves these things. I found this meme at Tina's World.

You play too, and let me know so I can feast myself on your visuality. Here are the rules:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Thanks to those who provided the photos!

1. i've been reading adrienne rich again..., 2. ♥ (red beat), 3. Bridge Over the Rogue, 4. Just hanging around, 5. Surrender, 6. Untitled, 7. Kayak, 8. pear tart, 9. midwives, 10. Laughter, 11. Socks, socks, socks and more socks. Long live SOTTS!! ~Day 146, 12. Mountain Mama

Monday, June 2, 2008


I love witty intelligent and creative Drag King acts. Great one Fox!

In the Garden of his Dreams...

A very charming friend of mine suggested that this year I allow my 8 year old to put in the garden to lessen my load.

If given the chance, half the garden would be a well manicured small critter garden filled with dandelions and other edible greens, cute topiaries, singing birds and bird seed strewn everywhere, with cats that NEVER ever even thought of harming such a cutesy-wootsey wittle birdy...

And the other would be covered in giant carnivorous plants grown tall to hide the
velociraptor he had imported through his secret spy connections that he met by the mail box the other day. There would be ninjas hiding amongst the grasses and a pirate ship sailing on a sea of wheat (for his mother though, because he really thinks that in pirates v. ninjas, ninjas win hands down. They have throwing stars after all, but isn't it kind that he'd think of me?)and they would all be contained by a circulating demon that he controlled by a special whistle with a frequency only the demon could hear. And it would have spots. The demon that is.

I think, perhaps, I will put in the garden this year.

(Of course, now that I think about it, that velociraptor may just keep the deer out!)

Think you're funny, don't you?

Alright already! I'm worthy, I get it. So whatever Coyote spirit up there thinks it is funny to send me new and amazing and intriguing job opportunities just as I reach my one year mark at the job I LOVE, you can STOP. I get it. I'm worthy.

Backleading and Musicality

Ok, help me here...

How do I prevent myself from floating away to the sweet lead of the music?

Dread of dreads, I find myself backleading. I don't want to do it, and it's not that I don't appreciate my lead or that I think I can lead it better. It's simply, sometimes the music whirls around me and swallows me whole, and then I feel it. I feel it moving me, and sometimes I stop listening to my lead. Not because I want to, but because the music is a stronger clearer leader. Which is a lovely experience until I come back crashing to the ground and realize I have a lead standing stock still, staring at me, amazed at the heinous crime I've just committed, and horribly offended.

I'd like to tell him that I felt safe enough in his embrace to let go and be in the music, that I wasn't worried I'd be crashing into people, or tripping over feet, but somehow that doesn't seem quite enough. So I smile sheepishly, and work very diligently at not listening to the music for the rest of the tanda. Which may make me a better follow, but it also diminishes the joy for me.

How do you listen to both the lead and the music when they aren't saying the same thing?

7/16/08 Edited To Add
Ok, I am getting better at this. I am learning that when I find the right groove with the right dancers, it just happens naturally and there's no need for me to disassociate from the the music. I can feel the music through the lead. As my dance improves, I find that I do less and less of the backleading, and find more and more ways to express my sensations of the music within the dance the lead is offering.

I offer my most sincere apologies to the gentlemen that were victims to my inexperience and eagerness. Thank you all for your kindness and generosity, and for still dancing with me.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Procrastination v. Tango

All that fretting? It was for naught. I had a perfectly pleasant milonga.

There were more leads than follows this evening, making me in demand. Which was lovely. And the one I was hoping to avoid that bashed me into people last week?, he wasn't there!

The unfortunate part of more leads than follows, though, is that I get asked by people that rarely ask and have to turn them down. It happened at least 6 times this evening! Such a loss.

What is funny to me is the story before I got to the milonga. All day I talked myself up, thought pleasant things, was excited to wear new shoes (not the super special shoes, just new sandals), got dressed up nicely, put on makeup and apparently smelled quite nice as well. And then, instead of going straight to the milonga, I made a detour. A detour to the house of friends that are good for prolonging the inevitable. These are the friends that I can just drop in on, still in my pj's, and have a cup of coffee that lasts for hours. And that's just what happened...I procrastinated. For a couple hours. Suddenly, it was 10:45 and I had managed to procrastinate through my entire evening. Which would have been fine if I had a crappy milonga in my future, but instead I missed out on one of the more enjoyable ones I've had lately.

Not that my friends weren't equally enjoyable, they are. But they aren't tango friends. :)

Of course, maybe they, and their good company, contributed to my excellent mood.

I want to thank the gentleman that actually led to my level, and seemed to enjoy our dance. He was someone I dance with rarely, but he invited me for a second tanda and I was able to just really enjoy the dance as I knew that he would dance just slightly above my level to keep me interested/challenged, but wouldn't throw all kind of expectations at me I couldn't meet. They were my nicest tandas of the night.