Monthly Archives: October 2011

a night at the ballroom

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when my friend mj invited me to go ballroom dancing, i had to laugh. ballroom dancing? the mere thought of going to a ballroom dance bar is practically unheard of for people my age; it is something that lonely matrons older ladies enjoy doing (baaad, misstranger, baaaad!!!). grave misconception aside, i do enjoy ballroom dancing at parties and at those long-ago lazy saturday afternoons when my aunt used to invite a d.i. (dance instructor) to come to my lola’s house and teach the ladies in our family the joys of social dancing. however, those parties and my lola’s house were familiar, comfortable places. i have never been to a ballroom dancing bar before and it is with a mixture of reservation and excitement that i accepted mj’s invitation. 

dressing up was a bit of a challenge. dressy-dresses and heels are de rigueur in ballroom dancing, that’s why i was glad to learn that formal pants paired with a nice top are allowed. i simply refuse to wear a dress especially when taking public transportation. it’s the shoes that presented a problem, because one of the heels of my strappy sandals broke the last time i wore them. good thing i found a pair of closed shoes with one and a half-inch heels. i know, i know. how safe is that. heheh. i did away with putting on make-up and went au naturel. looking at the mirror and scrutinizing the overall effect, i decided i look human for once. 😛

i have to admit, shallow moi was laughing when my friends and i arrived at the ballroom dancing bar up until we were shown to a table. it seemed to me that we were in a different dimension, far, far away from the familiar. that and the fact that the word matrona kept screaming in my head. still, the excitement built up when we heard the music, and saw people swinging to the music of voyage (let’s get started). ha! swing is my absolute favorite ballroom dance, and by then i could hardly wait to get to the dance floor myself.

e, a guy friend of ours, is a d.i. at the bar and he was the one who danced with the three of us ladies. so while one of us was dancing with him, another d.i. would come up to our table and ask the other two to dance with him. in my mind, i was like, wow, it feels like prom night. but hey, that’s just me. chalk it up to my being a newbie at this kind of place. 

i marveled at the general atmosphere–the muted lighting, the music (by the dj and the live band), and especially the people swinging, waltzing, foxtrotting, salsa-ing, boogie-ing, argentinian tango-ing, cha-cha-ing, jive-ing, reggae-ing and what-have-you on the dance floor. while the majority of the ladies certainly are of the older set, they don’t exude that matrona vibe and they definitely look like they’re having fun. it was easy to spot those who really go ballroom dancing all the time just by looking at their stance, posture, and the grace with which they move. and hey, do those ladies have the moves! they totally blew me away. also, some of them actually bring along their own d.i.s. others like us dance with the in-house ones, who are as good.

among the social dances, swing, reggae, salsa and cha-cha are the crowd favourites while the more experienced remain at the dance floor for the tango, jive and waltz. as for me, i enjoyed dancing the reggae and argentinian tango as well as swing, of course. it was my first time to learn the reggae that night and it was really easy. i find the argentinian tango’s moves very sexy and if i were just wearing the right kind of shoes, i would have slid and spun across the dance floor very sexily easily. that was one mistake i made, i didn’t consider the kind of soles my shoes should have. the pair i wore had the rubber kind so my feet always fell behind and i couldn’t sway the way i had to. make sure that your shoes have leather soles so it would be easier to glide, slide and spin gracefully and not look like some cow. 😉 swing gave me a natural high like always. i let the music spin me around as if my shoes weren’t rubbery at the soles. in fact, i don’t think anyone suspected. 😛 

one other discovery i’ve made is that not all dance instructors are males. there are female dance instructors as well, and my friends and i had the pleasure of getting to know one. in fact, we four and e turned the dance floor into a somewhat regular disco but we didn’t care, we were having so much fun dancing to our own moves. each pair (or in our case, group) to their own. hahaha. by the time my friends and i left, we were in very high spirits, even higher than we were in before arriving. ballroom dancing absolutely brought out the happy hormones times three.

so, do i still think that going to ballroom dance bars is only for the older set? not really. any preconceived notion i have about it was dispelled by the pleasant and enjoyable experience i’ve had. while it’s obvious that older people prefer this as their pastime, just about anyone else who is interested in ballroom dancing should feel free to go. i know i won’t think twice again when i am presented with another opportunity to go ballroom dancing.

and oh, i’ll make sure that i have the right kind of shoes. 😉

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here’s a short playlist of my favourite swing music (four songs). just hit the links!

let’s get started – voyage

souvenirs – voyage

ain’t nothin’ gonna keep me from you – teri desario

zodiac – roberta kelly

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On Steve Jobs (from a non-Mac owner)

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I got sad when I heard that Steve Jobs died.  I’m a fan, not necessarily of any Apple product but of the genius and innovation he embodied.

As the title of this post says, I am a non-Mac owner. But it doesn’t mean I do not appreciate Apple products, in fact I have used them, thanks to the companies and to the people who allowed me to take a dip in the world of Apple. I admired how user-friendly the products are.

I first saw a Mac back in the 1980s at a bookstore, the Mac was priced at about $800. Ever since I have longed to own an Apple product when they launched the cool iMac in the 1990s, the iBook then the MacBook, iPodTouch and iPad. The reasons were varied, but mostly coz I could not afford it but also in the early 2000, I was a Windows developer so I had to have a PC in order to study the latest trend in Windows programming.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 speech at Standford University was one of the most memorable speech ever. It talked about life, tracking back – connecting the dots, and searching for what you love. I am trying to follow this advice.

The one thing that makes me a fan too is because we share the same birthday (not birth year). Though for some it means nothing, but for me, that connection is enough for me to believe I can be great in my own way. And reading several articles about him after his death, I found some similarities between us, the detail-orientedness, the secrecy, the family-orientedness. What I admire is his discipline, his boldness, his commitment.

Simply said, Steve Jobs is a legend.

[Book Review] Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father

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I just finished reading the book “Dreams from My Father” written by Barack Obama years ago, before he became president. It narrates his struggles as a black kid trying to find his place in the world, having a white mother and a black father. It traces his journey to Hawaii, Indonesia, back to Hawaii, Chicago then to Kenya, his father’s homeland.

Obama’s writing is visual, very in-depth which is both good and boring, depending on what he is describing.  It is also infused with introspection about the particular lessons and struggles he is faced with. Due to this, he has successfully combined non-fiction which poetry, creating that poetic moment with each chapter. He certainly has that rare ability of a writer who involves the reader and invites him to ponder, to remember and to cherish life.

misstranger’s late night saturday/crack of dawn sunday playlist

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i was actually writing another post but for some reason the words are all jumbled and simply won’t form themselves into coherent, un-sabaw-ish sentences no matter how hard i tried. so i’ll just share the music i’m currently playing while i was trying to write. the songs actually match my swirling moods as of late perfectly–there’s a hint of this, a dash of that, which certainly didn’t help with what i was writing earlier. this is total sabaw moment ! 😀 but nevertheless, these are songs that i like. and oh, totally diggin’ the videos too.

just hit play and enjoy! 

Life and Death

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I cried buckets after watching the ending episode of Pure Love (49 Days) a Korean drama about a person who was given 49 Days to collect 3 pure teardrops so she can go back to her body. I actually watched this because of missstranger, who was part of the dubbing team for the Tagalog version.

For those who do not watch it, here’s an overview of the show. The main character, Diane (Ji Shin in the Korean version), met an accident and during this 49 days, she can use the body of another person, Isabel (Yi Shung), who is depressed after her boyfriend died.

Anyway, the ending was really unexpected. I saw a link on the internet and finished watching the remaining 4 episodes. Since each episode is about 3-5 episodes when shown in the Philippines, most likely the series will still run for 3-4 weeks.

I don’t want to reveal the ending, but it really reminded me of lessons I realized before, when someone close to me died. I was like Isabel for a while, feeling sad. But thankfully I had family and friends that helped me recover, and of course, God whom I clinged to.

Recently, I also read many articles about Steve Jobs. His famous speech at Stanford University back in 2005 speaks of his realization to live each like our last, because at the time he already found out about his cancer. I read an article that before he died, he met with people closest to him.

In a way, I think people who know have an idea when they will die might be lucky, as they can make use of time the best way they can, can say their goodbyes. It is same with other people who passed away whose books I have read, Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie, and Randy Pausch who delivered his last lecture. But the truth is, we always have a choice on how to live life. The question is, are we living it well? Are we living it the best way we could?

life, oh life

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so goes the song by des’ree. 

a lot has been happening in my life lately that i have lost the energy to blog. and even when i feel like writing, i’m at a loss lately as to what to write about. while talking to ris on the phone, she suggested i write about life. haha. and so here i am typing away trying to rack up anything pertaining to life. but life, what about it? well, since i am all about the weather lately as well as i get into the habit of looking at the sky whenever i can, i will talk about the sky instead. 😉

this kind of cloud cover was hovering all over the metro for some weeks now, no thanks to the last couple of typhoons that wreaked havoc not just here, but in the provinces also. now, i may have grown to like rainy days, but rainy days can take their toll on this sun person. yesterday was the last straw so imagine my pleasure at the surprise that greeted me when i woke up this morning:

blue, blue sky!!! just the sight of it is enough to bring a smile to my face. in fact, it even gave me a surge of energy to invite ris and sherrymoon for a jaunt to the tunnel, aka the park. but as the day wore on, the clouds threatened to hide (and actually succeeded at it) the blueness of the sky that we decided to postpone it for another day. 

and what do you know, just some minutes after ris and i hung up, the cool winds blew away the clouds into mere wisps. the sky is again as blue as it can be.

 

 

 

well dearie, that’s life for you. 😛

 

Our Greatest Fear – Nelson Mandela / Marianne Williamson

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Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,

but that we are powerful beyond measure.

 

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,

gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

 

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

 

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking

so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

 

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

 

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give

other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.

 

(shared by sherrymoon)