Saturday, March 13, 2004

I took a tally yesterday morning on my bus:

39 males
5 females (including both the bus driver and myself)

Do you think that says something about bus commuting, about [the company many of us are busing to], or both?

Friday, March 12, 2004

This morning at work, within the span of a single hour, I:
  1. spilled tea all over my lap
  2. ripped my pants while squatting down to sort out some wires (good thing I did the skirt over the pants thing today -- I ended up wearing just the skirt)
  3. spilled water all over my keyboard
So very me.

I was in an incredibly good mood before that all happened, and, as my officemate pointed out, my mood stayed sunny throughout all the calamity. If I am clumsy and sometimes lacking in grace, at least I handle it all aptly, right?
I feel much better this morning! Funny how that works; things always look better in the morning light. "Tomorrow" is a new day and all that.
I feel very constricted lately. I hate that I can't write about anything or talk about anything or say too much, whether it's because certain people don't want the sort of relationships they have with me disclosed in any way, or whether it's because people from work might read what I write and hold it against me somehow. I miss having an outlet for my thoughts, a public venue in which to sort out my reactions. I need to finish up my secure-content journal, I guess.

I mean, I have been writing in my physical offline journals, but it's just not the same thing, you know? Maybe you don't. I dunno. Nobody else I know seems to blog the way I'd like to, given a perfect world and no constraints.
Tonight has not been the best of nights. To start off, there were some really bad vibes at the Russian Center. Chris and Maren were at each other's throats and it really got to me. Not cool. I finally had to just leave -- I didn't even stay for the second class, as I couldn't stand to be in that atmosphere anymore.

I was going to just head up the hill to sit in a coffee shop and read, but Alex was amiable to watching some tango so we did that instead. And it was okay for a while.

Then someone showed up and, upon seeing them, I discovered that I hold a lot of anger toward them right now. Up until now I hadn't been able to be angry -- it's like I liked them too much, or I was afraid, or I didn't feel like I had any right -- but tonight it just consumed me.

Oddly enough, it affected some of my dancing in a positive way. I was able to channel the energy somehow.

Then the dance was over. Walked back to the RC -- I actually enjoyed the walk, being by myself out in the dark -- picked up my car (which I had left there for Steve to borrow), and drove home. Now here I am. Still in a foul mood.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

(Yes, I went to Portland last night. Lyera, Mija, and I all drove down for the practica at Nocturnal. It was awesome! And by awesome, I mean super-awesome. Except for the three hours down and three hours back part, which was slightly less than optimal.)
Last night in Portland some guy hung out the window of his car, flipped us off, screamed obscenities, and punctuated the scene by screaming, "WHY DON'T YOU GO HOME!?"

Perhaps he didn't like the Minnesota plates? That was our best guess.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I drove through the Arboretum on my way to work this morning. As I was waiting to get onto the highway, I saw a woman out in the rain playing with her dogs. It was quite picturesque; the dogs running, the woman standing tall and attentive in the rain.

Somehow, it got me to thinking about my life. About what it is now, about what I'd like it to be.

These days, I am disconnected from the earth around me.

Don't get me wrong; I enjoy the people I surround myself with and the full and busy lifestyle that I have developed. I enjoy being hooked into society. But throughout my life, whenever I have stopped and allowed myself to hear it, there has been something else which has called softly to me. Some disjointed song about rain and wind and hills, an abstraction of sky and stars and open spaces.

I am scared of being alone with myself, away from people. Despite that fear, the thought of becoming fully my own person, of extracting myself from all the ties of society, well - it holds some mystical allure. There is a bit of a hermit in me.

So, as I watched the dogs running about, I thought of the remote places that I know; northern Minnesota, North Dakota. I thought about remote places I've heard of but never seen. Montana. Alaska. Alaska, in particular, caught my fancy.

I entertained thoughts of moving out to some backwoods plot, purchasing a small plot of land and building a cottage near a lake shore or a river bed, close enough to some small town that I wouldn't be cut off from necessary supplies but generally removed from all of society. Keeping a garden. Spending a large portion of time outdoors. Living simply and frugally, communing with the earth around me. None of these fancies included another person. Just my dog, my birds, myself. Perhaps another dog.

Were I ever to make such a move, I'm not sure how I would support myself. I'd like to do something on my own, some work that I could do on my own time, in my own space. Perhaps I'd paint. Or I could even write. I've never been overly happy with my writing skills, but I do write all the time. This is only one of my journals. Whenever I experience anything, I run it through my head over again and again, wondering how I might best put the experience into words. In grade school we heard often that we should write what we know. Well, my life is ripe with experience. If I could somehow get a handle on all of that experience, find some way to adequately shape it into language, I would not be at all lacking for material to work with.

Neither pastime would earn me much, I'm sure, but were I to save up my money for a few years first conceivably it could work. My cost of living would be low. I wouldn't need much to get by. And if I had to, I could always find some other skill to market to anyone living nearby or traveling past, to earn a supplementary income. I am adaptable and I would find a way.

I don't know that I will ever take such a path, but there is possibility. It is not infeasible. And I find such a life compelling; I believe I would do well and would achieve contentment. It is not the well traveled path, but perhaps it is a path fitting to my gait.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Portland was awesome! I could totally see myself moving there someday. Small, liberal, nice architecture, nice amenities (an amazing independent bookstore!), good public transit, nice location. Very artsy. The weather is still a little too Seattle-like for my tastes, but given everything else, I think that's forgivable.

Friday, Casey McGill, not my favorite. The Viscount was hot and crowded and felt like a battle ground. People were bumping into each other all over the place, and half the leads that grabbed me were seemingly oblivious to everyone around us, as they kept swinging me out into our neighbors. Lots of bad east coast. The downstairs all-ages room was better, but not a lot of energy. Friday latenight was okay, although I was tired and I kept getting pulled away from the dance.

A bunch of my housemates and I spent Saturday afternoon wandering Saturday Market. Very nice. Lots of little booths, artists selling their wares. I'd love to run a booth at a market like that someday and sell some of my own stuff.

Saturday night, I skipped the main venue to go tango at Berretin. It ruled! So much good music, so many amazing tango dancers. I was very happy. Alex let it run a full hour over the published end time, and I happily danced right up until the end. Then latenight again, and I even managed to drag Lorenzo along.

So, in tango, there's this thing where people generally dance a bunch of songs with one another. At a formal tango dance the DJ will play songs in sets of four or five, separated the sets with non-tango songs called Cortinas. The purpose of the Cortina is to break everything up and clear the floor so that people will dance with someone new. At less formal dances, people dance with one another until one thanks the other, and the thank you signals, "It was great dancing with you, but I'm ready to move on now."

In swing, people rarely dance more than one song with each other, unless they're good friends or they knowingly make an exception to the rule because they're enjoying themselves so much. Very different culture.

Lorenzo wasn't aware of this cultural difference. After we'd been at the latenight for a while, I asked him how he was doing. He said in a really dejected voice, "I got a thank you after the first song. I mean, I'm not great at swing, but it's been a long time since that happened." So sad! But funny.

Sunday afternoon there was an outdoor dance in downtown Portland. I only made the very end, but I loved it. We were dancing on brick, which made for a terrible surface, but it was outside and the sun was shining and people were walking by and getting excited about the dancing... all in all, scrumptious. I ate it all up. Wish we had an outdoor venue here. As a poor substitute, I think I'm going to start dragging some friends and a boombox out on the weekends sometimes, and make my own little outdoor dance.

Sunday evening, Lily Wilde at the Crystal Ballroom. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Did I mention that it was awesome? So the Crystal Ballroom has a "sprung floor", built over ball bearings. It moves underneath you. You can feel the rhythm through the floor. Feels so good, makes you want to dance and dance and never stop. Someday, when I am independently wealthy, I am going to build myself a ballroom like that.

Latenight was nice too. Perhaps my favorite venue of the weekend. Less crowded, as people had begun going home, but good music. And they brought in one of the local tango folk, who DJd an alternative tango room downstairs. Terrible, awful floor, but amazing music. And a few other tango aficionados down there mixed in amongst all the bluesy folk. Very nice.

We drove back up after the latenight -- just got in -- and after I post this I'm going to head into work. I had been going to do all the driving, but we ended up picking up another passenger who drives and who was awake and willing to take the wheel. Worked out quite well. I got to grab a few hours of sleep, and now the day should pass a little more easily.

So, anyhow, yeah. Portland = super awesome. I'm sad the weekend is over.

To rub things in, today is beautiful. Perhaps the nicest day we've had all year. Perfectly clear, sunny, warm. The mountains are completely visible, and boy are they something to look at. The air smells delicious. It all makes me want to be outside, but here I am heading into work, instead! Bullocks. Maybe I'll take my lunch outdoors today or something.