I Mean, I've got love for the tango community that brought me into the world of tango, but seriously, "Tango Milango".. Couldn't help but smile as I DJ'd at this every third sunday event.
1. Whole dill pickles cut in half and presented in a bowl.
2. Whole peppers (Not sure what type but not bell peppers) not cut in half but placed near the ranch dipping sauce.
3. Mini pigs in a blanket and/or mini bagel dogs.
Portland Oregon, October 18th 2010. Been living in Portland for two weeks starting tomorrow and today is the first day I’ve really felt settled. My training as a tango dancer continued beautifully the moment I arrived in Portland two weeks ago and peaked at an intensity of fifteen hours a day for three days as I balanced moving furniture and studying this incredible dance during one of the biggest transitions of my adult life.
Dining room table, chairs, couch, coffee table, end table, computer desk, computer chair, kitchen hutch, dresser, lamp. Never before had my list of “must haves” included these things. Settling myself here required it. I left much of my furniture behind in the move and wanted to redefine my space. Doing it within my budget required diligence as I scoured craigslist through thousands of postings looking for just the right piece for just the right price. Some days it seemed impossible but I’m now one bookcase short of everything on my list and I’m happy with the decisions I’ve made, accepting the compromises while simultaneously delighting in my sense of a good bargain.
A friend today told me “it feels very welcoming in here”. Yes it does. I felt welcomed as I arrived tonight at 12:20am after my 15th consecutive night of dancing. I’m progressing at a joyful pace. One of my mentors, Alex Krebs says this: “your goal as a lead is to make sure when you ask a women to dance, she says yes”. Check.
Next chapter please.
St. Johns, North Portland. Great place to live, Good neighborhood, surrounded by café’s and produce markets, parks and schools. Sitting in Ashland numb from getting three cavities filled, I stumble upon a spacious one bedroom in the heart of St. Johns. 18 Hours later I’m driving up to Portland for a showing. Turns out they had three places available all on the same block. All the same square footage and all the same price range. Saw them all and ranked them on my application in order of my preference. Problem was that in my commute to Portland, two others had seen the places and put in applications. Now there were three places and three applicants, the other two having beaten me to the punch.
Got the call today that my first and second choices had been taken. Ouch. I’d been trying to prepare myself for that potential outcome but alas it came as quite a shock as I’d spent 4 days picturing myself in one of my two top choices. I am now, of course, focusing on accepting my third choice, a much more modern space with a dishwasher and a washer and dryer but with less natural light and a much less creative floor plan. In two days I’ll find out if that’ll be my home for the next year.
In many ways I’m disappointed, equally or more so than I was when I realized the initial place I’d wanted in South East Portland was actually a little beyond my budget. At a fairly deep level I have the understanding that I cannot be too taken by my initial reaction to this news. Perhaps having a more modern, less creatively designed place will be exactly what I want. Or perhaps I won’t get the place and I’ll find something even better sometime in the future. For now, I sit in Eugene eating a waffle with bacon, havarti, basil and maple syrup and work to accept and appreciate all that comes, especially the mystery.
Weird title. I was taking a shower this morning thinking about my upcoming flight to Denver (which I’m on as I write this). And the thought of the travels ahead of me did little to move me. I felt not only uninspired by the prospect of traveling but also almost unaware of how close I was to my next trip. My lack of emotion toward the flight ahead of me made me think of a still life and how it is a representation of something but in a form that doesn’t really serve a practical purpose or even really exist other than for observation.
It’s been quite a year, full of excitement and exhaustion. When I’m excited I’m just in it. Not a lot of anticipation just pure elation in regards to the situations I find myself in. When I’m exhausted, I seldom acknowledge it as exhaustion. The deep tired tends to creep up on me and begin to create a heavy sense of feeling incredibly overwhelmed. When this happens I isolate myself and have to work to be gentle in my state of reclusive being. When I’m absorbed in work and travel I tend to forget that there are other parts of life equal in value yet much more subtle in nature. It takes great personal effort to allow myself the time to recharge and wander. It usually takes two or three days before I’m even able to fully accept my current state of being, to actually stop pushing and breathe with my need for rest.
Today I met a girl named Tilly from Boston. We met on the corner of 19th and Florida in San Francisco. We commented on all the "no parking on such and such a day from such and such a time due to street cleaning" signs and how despite it all, the streets didn't actually seem that clean. Together we are two tenths of a volunteer team specifically created to admit tango students into their classes and to provide gender balance by assuming the necessary role of lead or follower in any given situation when faced with gender/role imbalance. There are four specifically designed teams of ten members as well as four team captains and ten understudies. Day one of Antipanico in SF. I'm exhausted. On tuesday morning I woke in Seattle after dancing all day and night for 5 days and drove 8 hours to ashland where I stayed a night and woke up to drive another 7 hours to SF (I know, it's only a 6 hour drive but at 8:30PM on a wednesday I hit traffic that set me back an hour). I think I'm a bit burnt out. So much dancing and not enough balance. Gotta find a balance. My desire to improve as a dancer battles with my sore body and my cravings for down time. When I'm down I crave tango, but if i dance too much and too frequently (10-12 hours a day for weeks straight) I crave down time. Tonight the cops shut us down. The DJ, Ney Melo had just finished announcing that instead or going untill 2AM we were going to go until 3AM. And then the cops came. He said "last song" and played la cumparsita. The officers made him play it at an excruciatingly low volume. I heard through the grapevine that a nearby resident complained about the noise. Perhaps "violin" sounds to much like "violent". I had no idea that classic tango music was held to the same standards for noise restrictions as other music. Wonder what's gonna happen tomorrow as our milonga goes until 5AM. When i left to get back on the road I saw that I'd received a parking ticket. I had moved my car a few times that day and the finale time I parked I'd neglected to see the street cleaning sign. "No parking 12:01 am until 6 am." I got to my car at 2 am and now owe the city $55. hmm, I wonder how loud those street cleaners are and if they ever get called in for noise complaints. Tomorrow, I'll wake up and do it all again, hopefully, minus the ticket.
I've often wondered about bloggers. Wondered if their motivation to blog came solely from the desire to have others read their thoughts. It's a lot like making music; if my motivation to write songs came solely from a desire to have others listen, the music would most likely be garbage.
I turned 23 yesterday. Woke up to over a hundred emails, texts and voice mails. A lot of people just wanted to wish me a happy birthday. Some wanted to know where I'd be, what I'd be doing, if I'd be dancing tango. I had a number of really nice offers odinner and lunch and cake and companionship but I just wanted to be alone. Celebration can be internal too. So much of my life is spent absorbed in celebration via external sources: Music, Dancing, Eating, Talking, and when I woke up yesterday I just wanted to retreat. I'd spent birthday's 20, 21, and 22 camping away from noise and stimulus with one or two close friends. To wake up to 23 with booming cell phone reception and wireless internet signal was a bit more than I've become used to. 19 was the first birthday I celebrated clean and sober since I'd started using at 16. I spent the day traveling, flying from Oregon to California. Traveling is isolation in a way too because nobody knows you. And so, to celebrate my fifth birthday since being clean and twenty third since being born I decided to hit the road. I was in Monterey locked up in an audio room recording and I packed up my stuff, took myself out to lunch (and a single scoop cone of rainbow sherbet) and started driving around 6PM. I watched the sunset and the stars come out as I drove the plain stretch of I-5 that I know so well. It was peaceful. I listened to my latest works that I'd created over the previous week, some just beats that I freestyled to (I tend to speed while I'm free-styling). At 12:01, the "official" end of my birthday, I saw the "Welcome To Oregon" Sign. I felt relieved to have been able to spend my birthday the way I wanted, without seeing anyone I knew or having to fulfill any expectations or standards on how I should choose to celebrate.
Sometimes reflection is helpful in finding appreciation. Been a little overwhelmed lately, locking up with my music and making beats without the intention of finishing them. About every third beat comes a song I'm drawn to write lyrics for: Complete and Record. A couple days ago I did an interview for a friend who is writing a paper on me for what I think might be a college art class of some sort. I enjoyed answering the questions because I hadn't thought of the answers in a while. Writing down and fitting segments of my life into a paragraph was therapeutic. More often than not I'm so absorbed in the journey I don't take an outside perspective on the life I'm living. I finished the artwork for my 8th album about 3 months ago and have yet to release the album.. I've written many songs since then that will be included on some future collection but for some reason I haven't been compelled to put the finishing touches on the 8th. Title: September Deceased. Tentative release date: well, tentative.
The tango raps have been coming slowly, about 10 songs in 10 months of dancing. A slower rate than my usual writing pace but I'm still writing what have become known as "non-tango raps". The tango raps, though new and innovative are easy to categorize: hip hop music with lyrics based entirely on my experiences dancing tango. Creating a genre of music so easy to define has made me look at ways to categorize my "other music". I think the best way to think of it is songs about the rest of my life. Everything other than tango goes into them. So in many ways "non-tango" is a perfect description.
I turn 23 tomorrow. People are always telling me how young I am or how prolific I am for such a young age but I actually feel old. Each year rushes by faster than the one before it. Though I'm aware of this I still take so much for granted. I still spend so much time wasting time. I'm trying to differentiate between down time - which I view as valuable and restorative, and wasted time - which I view as taxing and unnecessary, habit forming and counter productive. I've never blogged before but it seems like a nice mix of down time and responsible reflection and healing.