Friday, July 29

A Letter to My Feet

(Not to be confused with Pablo Neruda's Ode to his Socks.)

Dearest, dear feet of mine,

I owe you a sincere apology, for   

PLUS THESE (so pretty!)
THIS (open toe!)
AND THIS (jump! and jab!)


Please consider this a humble gesture on my part.  I will be more considerate in the future.  I promise I won't hurt you like this again.  Let's let bygones be bygones, eh, and move on together? 

Yours devotedly,


Saturday, July 23

Roads Closed to O'Hare

Chicago Flash Floods

So, I should be in Bogota right approximately now.

Instead, I spent three hours out on the roads this morning, trying to get to O'Hare, where my flight was merely delayed...if I could get to it.

Apparently, the next flight available through my airline, standbys included, is next Sunday.


So, here I am.

Friday, July 22

The Almost-Tour of Chicago

Met this artist, Michel, in his hot-as-hell studio above the shops in Wicker Park.
He is also a professor.  Perfect life?  We thought so.

Then we went here:
new logo 

Where I saw this Picasso painting: 
...on a postcard in the gift shop.

Then we went here to the North Shore concrete edge (read: beach):

Where I took some really sweet pictures from the top of an acquaintance's apartment building.  But I cannot currently find my camera.  

Then we went to The Violet Hour, which is this:

tucked away behind this:

Tonight--Korean Food!
Tomorrow morning--off to Colombia!

Wednesday, July 20

Dancers' Discrimination

Only Argentines Tango?

It might seem strange that Asian dancers dominate Latin dance competitions.  The same could be said about a tall skinny redhead kicking ass in martial arts. 

Who are we to close off practice and/or competition of dance, of sport, to anyone?  Even Islam, Hasidic Judaism, and Buddhism take converts.  And these people have changed their lives in similar ways in order to master the craft, devoted time, effort, and quite probably, adopted a love of the dance.


Tuesday, July 19

Fireflies and Bubblers

Things we don't have in Denver.

Through a music-less milonga in the park, I watched over my partner's shoulder the pinprick incendiaries flick from the bushes, and fizzle a moment later.  I finally understood the origination of fairies.

When not even the possibility of fairies could distract me from my thirst, I drank from a bubbler at the corner of the park.  A bubbler.  Not even in Italy, where public fountains drip from ever bridge and piazza, had I heard such a name.  But now, forever, I will call them "bubblers."

"Bubbler" is still used as a generic term in several regional dialects of the United States, originating in eastern Wisconsin and remaining well-known throughout the state.  (Wikipedia)

Sunday, July 17

Tango Dancing in the Fountain

Just a skip from Summer Dance where we mamboed last night, I met my new friend Dan to tango in the South Gardens of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Ninety degrees and 44% humidity, pressed against the chests of strangers, we drew a tiny crowd.  I estimate that I will be in some two dozen tourists' photographs of their visit to Chicago.

Come 6:00 p.m., we moved up the street to Millennium Park, where those fountains have faces that spit on crowds of soggy children, to dance where the water cooled our feet and our boleos flicked splashes onto passing couples.

Now, off to dance salsa.  Perhaps tango in the park again tomorrow...

Millennium Park

Ah, Chicago
The River

Art installation, Millennium Park

The Bean!

Dancing Mambo in Millenium Park!

And the dip--good job, Billy.  Nice legs, Jenny.

Saturday, July 16

Chicago Fitness

Zumba this morning with instructor Jenny, followed by kick-boxing.  Three-story gym with a "roof top oasis."  See below.

We're beat.

The Baristas' Charge

Yesterday, I left Denver, entrusting my father to the care of baristas:

    the pretty, wide-eyed, brown-haired girl whose father called her Gertrude, his humor apparently garnering equal eye-rolls--or, in her case, sass.

    the blonde one-- "daughters stick together," she laughs to him as she swipes my drink on his card, too.

    the sleepless lawyer who sings Korean hymns on Sundays and pots his piano with bud vases.

    the seminary student reading Frankenstein in his off time.

    the smiley one with shiny eyes and dimple, who tells my father to turn right back around when he comes in.

    the hey yous, the "guy"s and the "lady"s.

He will show up before you even open--that customer who means you wake up at 4am.

He will tease you and shower you with puns.

He will grin like he hasn't seen you since last Thanksgiving and this year you brought pie!

He probably won't remember your name--but he'll tell me about you.  Your aspirations.  Your family.

His name is David.

He's my dad.

Take good care of him.

Thursday, July 14

Time to Say Goodbyes

Even, or especially, Cookie Monster is sad to see me go.

Half a suitcase packed.  Laundry still to do.

I'll make it.

I've said goodbye to the writer/teachers who encouraged me through the Denver Writing Project's summer institute, to my Spanish tutor, to my beautiful cousins, my mom, my dance friends, my yoga studio...
It will be hard to leave behind my bed.  And my Dad.  And even that skinny black cat that thinks my stomach is a good place to take a nap.

Wednesday, July 13

Once Every 10 Years

Reader Warning:  the following is a blog post about colonoscopies.  I have not decided to only write about medical procedures involving the most private areas of our bodies, but have unexpectedly come upon these occasions in very close proximity in time.  So.  Here goes.

Imagine this--
you enter the fifth floor, the gastroenterology ward.  The nurse takes your father, and hands you a restaurant pager, set to blink red lights at you when they have successfully excavated his colon.  You set up your computer at the table in the corner since they told you to plan on two hours, and people around you watch, complain about not having eaten all day, tell their husbands to talk quieter, and make pooper jokes.  That man's ham and cheese melt smells amazing, and he looks around guiltily as he takes another bite.  An hour later, the pager buzzes its UFO lights at you, and you are escorted to the back, where an assortment of cordoned off patients lay farting in recovery.  The doctor gives a read-aloud version of the procedure, complete with pictures.  All is well, shake your hand.  When you get home, you have to recount all of it to your father because those drugs work pretty good, and he doesn't remember a stinking thing.

Thankfully, you only have to do this once every 10 years.  

You too, Phil.

Monday, July 11

To-Do List, Pre-Colombia

Travel Itinerary:  Friday mid-day leave for Colombia...via Chicago.  Spend the days between appointment with consulate and receipt of visa dancing salsa and touring Chicago.
Itinerario de Viaje: el viernes, mediodía, salga para Colombia...vía Chicago.  Pasaré los días entre la cita con el consulado y el recibido de mi visa bailando salsa y pasando por la ciudad de Chicago.

(Those of you who know Chicago, I am collecting must do/see/eats in the comment section below.)

Buy first dress suit of my life.
Clean ungodly mess of a room and a little red car.
Print contracts, letters of rec, all official documents.
Launder every soakable cloth in my possession.
Pack dance and yoga clothes.  (God bless uniforms.)
Hide things around Dad's apartment for kicks.
Say goodbye. Haceres:
Comprar primer sastre de mi vida.
Limpiar el quilombo en mi cuarto y carro.
Imprimir contratos, cartas de recommendación, todos los documentos oficiales.
Lavar cada tela lavable en mi posesión.
Hacer yoga.
Empacar ropa de baile y de yoga.  (Me encanta el concepto de los uniformes.)
Esconder cositas por el apartamento de mi papá, para divertirme.

Friday, July 1

Dear Non-Gynecologists

Dear Urgent Care Doctor who saw me this morning,

If you are uncomfortable with vaginas, you should not give vaginal exams.  Should you be required to give vaginal exams, you should not assume that, I, who have a vagina, am uncomfortable with them as well.

I am familiar with the fact that menstruation results in discharge, or, blood, "if you will."  Yes, I will.  It is blood.  Every month.  For the last twelve years.  I am quite confident that I know this is normal, and I am unconcerned that you, a doctor, would have seen blood at some time during your practice.  Therefore, we may conclude, that touching such a red-type discharge would not phase you.

When you tell me, after every touch or swab, at neither of which have I flinched, to "hang in there," and that I am "doing a good job," I have to wonder how many children you have had to talk through vaginal exams also.  Or perhaps you work with horses?

If it were so brave to go to the doctor unaccompanied, I would gladly send my vagina by itself, lessening your discomfort, and certainly mine.  As it has yet to appreciate full autonomy, alas, I must also attend.  Be assured that, as I look up at the dots in your ceiling, that you have probably never seen, I am imagining myself at all of the other tasks I would rather spend my time doing.  I hope, however, that you, as you peer through your newfangled, warm plastic, self-lighting speculum, are not imagining the same.  I hope that you are carefully observing and quick-checking your mental reference, and that I will promptly be diagnosed and shooed out the door with some pills and/or a cream.  I would rather not wait twenty minutes, leaking your cold goo, a discharge with which I am slightly less familiar, and staring at the specks in your tile, which you have probably never seen.

If we should meet again, I will not be staying for the examination.  Here is my hand, the only thing you seem quite comfortable touching, and my nod and smile to make you feel better about your job, and here are my flip flops smacking against your hallway floor.  On my way out, I will not check in with the front desk, I did that over an hour ago, and they have had plenty of time to photo copy my license and key in a few numbers.  Next visit, I will send you a bill for wasting my time.

Very sincerely,

Your first patient of the day.