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Archive for the ‘dance’ Category

Hey folks! I’m still around! Don’t go away!

I apologize for not posting for…..over a month?! Such a shame, huh? My website must have gotten soooooo boring, I can understand if my readers (who were few to begin with) decided to abandon me.

So, what have I done during my blog absence? Nothing really boring, mind you. I have kept up with knitting, dancing, still working nights, still on track with my walking training for the Portland Marathon in October. I’ve incorporated jogging a bit in my walk training, but am trying not to aggravate my knees.

This past Wednesday, I went to a knee/hip specialist to find out what the status is on my knee condition. Had x-rays done. The doctor took one glance at the x-rays and told me I have no ligament nor bone problems. I don’t even have any sign of arthritis. That’s wonderful to hear.

However, because I have Baker’s Cyst on both of them, there’s something that’s generating fluid build-up to the back of knees. I’ve known that I had Baker’s cyst ever since my rowing days. The first specialist I went to told me to stop all physical activities and see if the fluid would go away. I did that, stopped ALL activities for 6 years, until I got sick of the over-25 pound weight I put on. That first specialist also recommended that I had a choice of pain killers (steroid-type) or fluid aspiration or surgery to overcome the Baker’s cyst. I didn’t like the choices so I just laid off physical activities.

The fluid never went away on both knees. I dabbled with safe workout, but reality check was I’ve put on extra weight that I hate. I wanted to be fit again. Six years of exercise hiatus will not make one fit in a matter of months though. It finally hit me that walking IS a form of exercise. So, here I am today, excited and stoked about getting back to fitness.

This knee surgeon I went to this time around suspects that I have a tear in the meniscus and recommended an outpatient procedure called arthroscopy. Although it’s an outpatient procedure, the recovery may take a bit longer. I cannot afford that, as at this time when such a procedure would take me out of the marathon. I will have to postpone the procedure till after the marathon, if ever I decide to go forward with it.

This walking business seemed to have taken over my life. I even joined a fitness school, right after the Eugene Marathon, for my cross-training. The fitness program is SUCH a killer. It involves a combination of weights, aerobics, gymnastics at high intensity with emphasis on safety for 45 minutes. But it can be scaled to your ability and any physical, or health issues. I love, love working out on weights. I’m really enjoying this fitness school. I have a long ways to go though, as I get winded just 10 minutes into the workout.

So, there you have it. This is my excuse for being away from writing my blog. I can’t wait to resume it though. I’ve missed mentioning alot of stuffs happening around me, my life, my family and friends.

I hope you all come back, all 5 of you, to my blog. hahahaha!

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I dread it when time change begins in Fall. It’s the official countdown to Seasonal Affected Disorder for me.

SAD is not so bad during the months of October, November and December as there are quite big distractions, e.g., son’s birthday, Halloween, even the annoying Thanksgiving and peaking at hubby’s birthday, Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

January…..I dread January as well as the coming February and March…..all before the next Spring Time Change. Nothing, not even major holidays, to divert attention to. Nada!

These are the times, when all over the horizon is GRAY, GRAY and GRAY. Moods are gray too. Bleak outlooks.

Moving to the Pacific Northwest has been such a wise decision, except we, er I, wasn’t prepared for its Winter, Spring and even the first part of Summer seasons, when RAIN, more RAIN, FOG, more FOG, and endless GRAY come into play. Snow, actually, makes things come alive, be it for a brief time. And the plunging temperature that comes with snow makes one wishes for RAIN. With rain means higher temperature.

For the first few years of working nights, winter had not bothered me to the point of tearing my hair out. It was on the 5th year. Totally drove me nuts! From then on, I had to find diversions fast. I found plenty alright. Mostly in the form of taking classes upon classes. All kinds of classes……top most of which would be Spanish immersion, cooking, martial arts and dancing classes (see next paragraph). Once, even joined a tour group for seniors even when I wasn’t of senior age. Had to beg to get in. The highlights were touring local popular stops and even extended tours that span more than 100-mile radius from home. And then there was the rowing club… the rowing practice was year-round… even in dead winter, when we dragged our frozen tooshies to practice.

Well, this year, here is one of choice dancing classes I’m considering:

English & Scottish Country Dancing  I’ve never been interested in line dancing before. Never liked country music, except for a few. But English, even Irish, dancing is totally new to me. They are not as popular as the other ballroom dancing of mambo, samba, salsa, swing, hustle, etc. But with ‘waltz music’, I can imagine being in England in ‘Victorian periods’, dancing and meeting marriage-potential rich lords and even a prince in grand Victorian ballrooms, like we see in the movies.

Little did I know English-Scottish dancing to be challenging, although I know Viennese waltzing steps. To say the least, I HAD FUN. It’s literally a sweat activity, meaning there’s a workout feature to it. 

Anyway, the Eugene group of the Heather and Rose Country Dancers has no website. I was told by one the organizers, Leslie, that the Eugene group is unique in that there’s a sense of community in the group. They prefer to include newbies and have no specific rules of pairing by gender, by skills, etc.

So, being a newbie, I was hesitant to come in last night to check out the group. I wanted to just observe the dance and make a decision from there. I did, however, call Leslie with inquiries. Last night was the first session of a 12-week program. So, when I appeared in the middle of a 2-hour session, all attention was on me. Everyone stopped dancing. I was on the spot as everyone wanted to know who I was. Oh, you don’t know HOW shy I am when it comes to being a center of attention to anything, especially when I do NOT know who these people are. AWKWARD MOMENT!

Then before I could even say I just wanted to observe the dancing, Leslie dragged me into the group and the lesson began, er, continued. The first few minutes were truly awkward for me… a total failure following everyone’s steps. The group didn’t mind. They insisted. They persisted. That was good. I stayed even after the class ended, socializing and meeting members. That meant the lesson and the people were enjoyable enough to endure that initial awkwardness.

Twelve weeks of English-Scottish country dancing here I come!

I decided to join the group. Yipeeeee-hay-hay!

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Okay, I’m Over It!

All the years growing up Catholic, one characteristic that has stayed with me is GUILT. I’m such an expert on GUILT, Of all the things I’m good at, this is it!

The last entry of my post was quite a depressive entry. And I felt bad and guilty for writing it.

But to get out of the dumps, I picked myself up and pulled this from my stash of YouTube clips to get something uplifting. This is the right time to uplift my spirit or anyone’s, don’t you think? Dancing does that for me. And here it is.

Yes, this will one day be hated, like we did with the MACARENA or WHO LET THE DOGS OUT songs. But this video really got me up my dancing juices.

I’d say, of all the fans’ imitation videos of Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ vid, Shane Mercardo’s is the best. He IS one great dancer with so much expression and personality.

Now that Shane is a bit famous, I hope he gets a job dancing his little heart out (or toosh*) professionally. You can tell it’s his passion.

What do you think?

*Cannot use the right spelling in fear of spam.

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What Joy! Such Bliss!

Besides yarn, what do you think makes me more happy to have?

Well……

My Very Own Flamenco Shoes

THIS IS ABSOLUTE HEAVEN!

To have, AT LAST!, real FLAMENCO SHOES. And perfect fit to boot.

For so long, I have been relying on these.

100_2090

See the difference in the quality and look between these and the Flamenco shoes?

These basic ballroom shoes were able to get me into all sorts of dance practices. However, they are now wearing out and need to be retired soon. Real Flamenco shoes have sturdy, solid base to support the countless tapping intensity needed to execute this dramatic, electrifying dance.

Now I need to invest on the outfits, but they are not cheap. Then, I’m ready to dance away in bliss.

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Last week Thursday, my mom (Lola) and my youngest sister (YS) came up for a visit. They arrived mid-afternoon on a very hot day, closed to a 3-digit degrees. Upon their arrival, the three of us stopped by a favorite restaurant and had a quick lunch. Then home I drove them.

After a brief tour of the house and garden, they were able to relax long enough for my sister and me to get to the county fair.  See my previous blog entry about it. The main reason to go to the fair was to hear Satin Love Orchestra play disco music. It would have been such a great event had it not been for the sweltering near-100°  humid-like weather. It was really, really hard to dance. Every five minutes of dancing, we had to reach for the water bottle. My sister had a fun time dancing up though; while I had to stop and rest out of breath (stupid asthma!) every few minutes.

Although at the fair, we never got to see the All-Alaskan racing pigs, YS and I hit the building housing the farm animals just prior to the disco concert. Lots of photos were taken. YS was taking photos of the farm animals’ private parts. hahahahaha! Of course, animal private parts are always out in the open. So, YS had a giggly time taking their pictures. She is really weird!

 The pygmy goats were sooooo adorable. And there were piglets, guinea pigs, rabbits sheep, which were all huggable. Roosters and chickens, some yellow bird, a peacock and peahen(?) couple were showcased too. Then, there was this curly-feathered duck. The most impressive of all was an almost 5 foot tall mama pig.

 Doesn’t he look like a donkey?

 

 A litter of pinkies!

 So cuddly guinea pigs!

 Brave Rabbit

 Bored Sheep!

 What are you gawking at?!

 Gorgeous Feathers!

 Stunning-Looking Bird

 Regal Couple

 Atypical Duck

 Mama Pig

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If It’s August…

…then it means it’s time to go to the Lane County Fair! In 2.5 weeks!

What’s there to do? Plenty, of course. Eating junk food, carnival rides, checking out exhibits; then there’s watching my favorite “All-Alaskan Racing Pigs”. Last year, I got to hug one of those little porkers.

But the main reason to go to the fair is because of this musical band. My youngest sister and I consider ourselves ‘groupies’ to this band.

With the music they play, you will then conclude WE ARE OLD! hahahahaha!

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Martita is a favorite teacher of mine. Her personality, her demeanor, her embodiment of Flamenco dance and music exudes in her whole being; one cannot help but love her.

Although I have met her in the early 2000’s and took lessons on and off for months; there were pressing family and personal issues that needed priority more than dancing. And so I stopped. But I cannot stay away from dancing for long. My body needs it. So this year, after immersing myself back into dancing consciousness, I started going back to my dancing teachers for lessons so I can catch up again. And thus, here we are with Martita.

Her whole family consists of David and Martita Madeira Woods with their 8 children (all grownup with their own families). Everyone is artistic. They even have their own band named Abakadubi, a fusion of dance and music, according to the description in their website. If you meet Martita and the rest of her family, one can only conclude that they are a closed-knit, one big happy family who want to share to the world their love of music & dance; their selflessness; social and environmental consciousness as well as healthy living. That said, people who meet and befriend them all feel that they too belong to her family.

So I told Martita that it’s only my gratefulness that I write something about her and Flamenco. And plug their business and livelihood. Under the Abakadubi umbrella is Martita’s Bailar Dance Studio. She had taught so many would-be dancers from tweens to young and mature adults into graceful, self-confident Flamenco dancers.

Below are more photos taken from the Oregon Country Fair of Martita, Abakadubi band, of Iana and Ishi who are the singers, poets, spokespersons for the band. Iana was, by the way, a classmate of my son in middle and high schools. Amazing how such a small world we have, that we all meet one another again sometime in our lifetime.

Please note some photos are a bit blurry, as Martita and Ian danced so fast; it was hard to capture good movement out of them. And yes, I have a crappy, basic digi camera. What can I say!

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