Almost there...

Monday, July 09, 2001

Okay so the holiday in the middle of the week totally screwed me up. If you'd asked me what day of the week it was during any part of the latter half of the week (Wednesday on), you would've had to give me three chances to get it right.

On Thursday, Rick and I had plans to go to dinner with Sean & Elizabeth. Of course, we all forgot that until midway through Thursday. After a lengthy debate about where to eat dinner which ultimately came down to either High Thai or Macaroni Grill, but then I decided to try calling La Fondue on a whim. Much to my great surprise, La Fondue had more than one table for four available that night. I picked the 8:45 table and called Elizabeth. She was as excited as I was. When we got there, we decided to share a meal for two amongst four. For the first time, I left La Fondue without feeling like a total whale. Between hearty helpings of the Stinking Rose cheese fondue and the bittersweet chocolate fondue for dessert was the Fondue Feast where we simmered our own meats and veggies at the table. We had wild turkey, ostrich, swiss chicken, Chicken Japonaise, shrimp, and duck. It was fabulous as always. And it was really nice to sit down and really talk with Sean and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is about seven months pregnant now and has the radiant glow of a soon to be mother. I'm so happy for her. They have decided not to find out the sex of the baby before delivery, so it's either Rhianna Jane or Logan Conner. Either way, I'm looking forward to having another little one to spoil soon.

Friday night marked the start of Waltz Weekend here at Stanford. Unfortunately, Rick wasn't in the right mood for it and gave up after about ten minutes. Luckily, there was a slight imbalance of women to men, so Richard (the instructor) offered to refund Rick's tuition. I came back on Saturday and danced myself silly. Perhaps my favorite part was learning Valse Muzette and Java, 1920's Parisian popular versions of the waltz. Fun. Now I want to go back to Paris and see if I can find this happening there. Supposedly it's still a living tradition. Waltz Weekend was a great experience. I finally formally learned Crossstep Waltz and now fully appreciate why it's a great version, and a good one to teach beginners. There's just something magical about waltzing with a group like this all weekend. Instantly there was the kind of bonds forming that usually take multiple trips to Gaskells. It was a very safe comfortable place to learn. And Richard Powers is every bit the great instructor that I'd heard. Funny, light-hearted, witty, and able show you just what you may be doing wrong without being the least bit mean about it. He would occasionally call a time out sort of moment and have everyone sit down on the dance floor for a quick talk about something, then right back up and start dancing again. Lots of laughs and smiles, and yet, I still was working hard and learning a lot. It made me wish that I'd encountered him earlier (like when I was at Berkeley). Then I might have seen a future in actually teaching dance. Who knows. Still, I don't think I'd trade away my past experience and current life so easily. Just makes you think. He has the same views as I do about social dancing versus competitive ballroom dance. They are very different things. Social dance is fun, safe, and warm and fuzzy to me. It is based on leads that can be followed by anyone with a little experience rather than routines that are memorized. There's a magical thrill to dancing beautifully with someone you've never met before. I got a whole lot of that energy this weekend.

Of course, on Saturday evening after dancing 9-4:30, all I wanted out of life was a hot shower and to sleep. Maybe watch a movie if I got really ambitious. So after a shower and a nap, we rented Pay It Forward. Interesting flick. Nothing fabulous, but definitely highly skilled acting from the three main characters. Unfortunately it felt a little disjointed all in all. Still, it was just the right speed for last night. Then I curled up to dream happy dreams and to waltz again the next day.

What a life. I'm not complaining at all.


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