I Dance When I Want To



Last night I took my first dance class in over a year, and while I’d like to say it was life-altering, it was not. I  was hoping for an experience similar to the episode of Fresh Prince where Vivian goes to the dance audition, complete with white unitard and studio audience cheers, but it was more like that one episode that never aired, because nothing funny happened.

The only noteworthy aspect of the class was that all of the other students were total grump monsters. I didn’t notice until about halfway through class when we started to do some standing center work. As I was struggling a bit to remember the phrase (a recurring problem of mine, which may have something to do with my inability to actually pay attention at certain points in a dance class…I truly believe I fall asleep with my eyes open), I let out a little chuckle of embarrassment. I looked around to see if anyone had noticed that I was messing up, or if anyone was getting stuck at the same spot. People were confused, no doubt, but their faces were made of stone.

What made this all the more strange was the sweet, perky instructor. Now, it’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of “enthusiasm,” but I found her demeanor to be quite pleasing after a day at work. But these people all looked as though they’d just gotten horrible news, like their dog had diabetes or they’re pregnant again. I was like, cheer up, already.

The thing I love most about being an adult is that outside of work, I don’t have to do anything but pay my rent and be minimally hygienic. This is why I haven’t taken class for a year. I spent so much of my life “having” to go to dance class, that I just decided to give myself a freaking break.

As a high school student, I remember praying on my way home from school that there would be a tornado so that I would not have to go to ballet class. That’s right, I actively asked God for a natural disaster so as to prevent myself from putting on tights and being subject to an old, Russian screambag. 

But now, I go to class when I want, and so do the other people in the class. No one is forcing you to be here, I wanted to say to the woman beside me, grabbing her shoulders and shaking her like a rag doll. But I didn’t, because of studio rules. It’s strange. I always remember the adults in my dance classes, particularly modern dance, being really easygoing and kind. But these guys were total buzzkills.

In college, I can remember shouting and gyrating on the side of the dance floor while my friends went across, dancing to the driving drum beats. And here, there were driving drum beats, and even a semi-interesting combination, but there was no shouting (except for when a middle-aged woman stubbed her toe on the piano) and certainly no gyrating (except for when I got bored and pretended I was in a music video). I really want to take class again, but not if these crab apples are going to make me feel like I just left a wake.


The Kutch Goes to Space


This just in:

Ashton Kutcher is going to outer space. According to MSNBC, the “actor” and avid-tweeter was the 500th person to sign up for a suborbital Virgin Galactic trip into outer space. He is the most famous confirmed flyer. I almost don’t know where to begin, but:


  • Why do we even care about The Kutch? As far as I’m concerned, he should be no more famous than Trishelle from Real World Las Vegas. He oozes jerk. First, he played an idiot on That 70’s Show, then he played a jerk on Punk’d, then he tweeted and married Demi Moore, then he replaced Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men (vom), then he divorced Demi Moore and made her so skinny. Gross.com.
  • Who keeps giving this guy money? His net worth is about $140 million (or as I like to call it, brunch with Khloe K.). Why?The trip cost $200,000, which is surprisingly low, all things considered. It costs about half that to fly roundtrip to St. Louis.  Amirite? My point is, he makes enough money that flying to the final frontier is not a big deal. That’s not ok, especially if you ask this question: What is Topher Grace up to these days?
  • Virgin Galactic? As in Virgin Records? As in Virgin Airlines? Richard Branson, you filthy so-and-so! You own outer space travel now? That’s cray! How do you feel about Ashton being your 500th customer…?
  • This is what Branson has to say about sending The Kutch into space: “He is as thrilled as we are at the prospect of being among the first to cross the final frontier (and back!) with us and to experience the magic of space for himself.” My favorite part is how he pretends that any of these people will survive a trip into outer space. “(and back!)” He may as well have inserted this emoticon 😉 and after the first round of people don’t return, this one :\
  • CIVILIANS ARE GOING INTO OUTER SPACE! That means it’s the future. I just don’t have time for this.
  • Other celebs who are on the “maybe” list for the space travel invite on Facebook are Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Brangelina, and Jay-Z and Beyonce haven’t yet responded. First of all, if any of these folk hop on board, Kutcher will no longer be the most famous person, so he better watch his back. Secondly, Tom Hanks probably just thinks it’s a sequel to Apollo 13, so someone, please fill him in. Katy Perry should a) go on the trip, that’s totally fine with everyone, and b) date Ashton Kutcher. There is no way that Brad and Angelina can afford to take a dozen kids into space. They’re going to have to leave at least one at home, and Pax, I haven’t heard your name in a while…And Beyonce and Jay-Z are just waiting until they announce flights to Diamond Planet before committing.
  • I’m not clear on the WiFi sitch in space, but if Ashton finds out he can’t tweet, I’m 90% sure he’ll back out.

So there you have it. Your worst nightmares have come true. It’s the future, and famous people are going into space, and Ashton Kutcher has so much money. It’s too much. I just can’t be bothered.

To learn more and become horribly depressed, click here: http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/19/10762066-ashton-kutcher-set-for-space-trip

The Doppelgangers

This is not me and Lyle, police folk. Honest.

This is not Lyle and me, policeman. Honest.

Warning: What you are about to see might shock you. But probably only if you went to Connecticut College between 2005 and 2009. Names have been changed to protect the innocent…and the guilty.

Yesterday, as I took my midday dilly-dally, I couldn’t help but notice a picture alongside an article I was reading. The photo was connected to a related article beside the one I was reading. I didn’t see what the article was about. But I saw something far more startling. Myself and Lyle Smett, my bro-dude from Conn. Now, had this picture contained one or the other of us, it would have been mildly entertaining. But the people in this photo looked exactly like Lyle and me. I thought it was some weird Google privacy thing. But then I clicked through:

“Police looking for credit card thieves”


What? I thought. Did Lyle and I ever pretend to rob a bank, or something? I genuinely thought it was a picture of the two of us taken on a security camera somewhere. I began to wonder if I’d committed some crime I couldn’t recall.  It happens in movies, right? Why would my life be any less exciting than a movie?

The biggest issue isn’t even that these people look like us, it’s that they are us. I have that coat. Lyle has that hat. We are those people. AND the crimes took place in Southern Connecticut and New York City. It’s unreal. (Lyle is in DC, now, but still)

I truly, truly believe that we both have doppelgangers running around the tri-state area. The evil version of me is probably getting a mani-pedi in Gramercy, or drinking a vodka tonic or something. Meanwhile, I’m eating half a turkey sammie in my short shorts and DanceAfrica t-shirt, and that’s the truth. I’ll tell you one thing, I’m gonna watch my damn back. Because the last thing I need is someone who looks exactly like me stealing my identity. That would be a movie. Like Face Off…No, that’s the one where John Travolta and Nic Cage switch faces. How did that ever become even mildly successful, really?

But I digress. If I do, in fact, have an evil, criminal twin, it will be like an Ashley Judd movie. Only Ashley Judd will be Beyonce. And Lyle will be played by Taye Diggs (you’re welcome Lyle). I just hope this modern-day Bonnie doesn’t get to me before Friday, because I only have $40 in my account, and I cannot handle another overdraft fee.

You can read the full article here: http://www.newstimes.com/policereports/article/Police-looking-for-credit-card-thieves-3403254.php#photo-2615890

But really police folk, it’s not us.

Hot Wheels

I’ve noticed some pretty interesting modes of transportation the past few days, and I’d like to share them with you in order, from “What the?!” to “Stop.”

On my way home tonight, at around 9:15pm, I saw a man riding his bicycle down Lafayette. Oh, but this was no order bike (and no ordinary man, I suppose). The seat was situated about six feet in the air, the handle bars about seven. A Midwestern mother’s nightmare (“Get down from there, Tucker! You’re gonna break your neck!”). My guess is that he wasn’t really “going” anywhere. He probably just wanted to show off his new wheels. Drive it around the block a few times. Pick up some chicks. He gaily made his way down the street, and I can only hope that he made his way home unharmed. 

I saw the second best set of wheels last Saturday night, while seeing a dance performance. As I made my way through the back of the house, a woman buzzed by on a motorized wheelchair. But wait, there’s more. Atop her lap sat a very well behaved dog. In a theater. Now, I have no problem with motorized wheelchairs OR dogs. In fact, I like both quite a lot. Motorized wheelchairs allow disabled folk to get around with speed and efficiency. Dogs are cute. But put the two together, and well, it just seems a little excessive. I didn’t understand the purpose of the dog. She was not blind. I know, because she was steering that chair like a brand new Corvette. Also, the dog was on her lap. He couldn’t possibly be guiding her. I think she just brings her pet places, and no one says anything. I guess I’m ok with that, but if he would have started barking during the performance, I would have asked to speak to the manager (the show was at the theater where I work, so I know the manager, but I still would have asked). 

Lastly, I would like to speak to you about a woman whom I see every once in a while around Fort Greene. She, like the other woman, drives a motorized wheelchair. But this is no ordinary Hoveround. This baby is fully equipped with a “ceiling” and a speaker system. Most frequently, she can be seen flying at top speed down Fulton Street, against traffic (yes, IN the street), listening to ’70s funk. The songs usually have lyrics like “You know you got work, work that thang,” or “Bring it on down, gimme more, gimme lots.” It’s strange and dangerous. I hope she is safe in inclement whether. I hope she doesn’t drink before hitting the streets. I just don’t want any accidents. 


I have no idea why this photo exists, but I'm glad that it does.

All of these vehicles make me want to change things up a bit, at least get a segway. But one day, if I’m lucky, you’ll see me on Eastern Parkway. I’ll be steering a 9 ft. motorized wheelchair with a baby panda on my lap, and no one will be able to stop me. 

Dancing With the “Stars”

This was an extremely important week in our nation. On an unrelated note, ABC announced this season’s cast of Dancing With the Stars, or as I like to call it, Slightly Rhythmic Movement with Some People. The big announcement was made on Good Morning America (how did they nail that exclusive?) and wasted about an hour of air time. Lucky for you, I was watching from the Planet Fitness elliptical. America, meet your stars!

Gavin Degraw: Most of you know Gavin Degraw from his mid 2000’s singing career. He was made popular by such gems as “I Don’t Wanna Be” and “Chariot” (and yes, I do have a live version of this song on my iPod, in case you were wondering). His name was in the headlines again in 2011, when he was “beaten up” outside of a bar in the East Village and then (wait for it) hit by a taxi at 4am. I’m pretty sure he was just wasted, got pissed off when some bros started singing the One Tree Hill theme, started a fight, lost the fight, and then got hit by a taxi (?). I’m sure he’ll do very well on this show about dancing.

Gladys Knight: Gladys Knight is/was actually pretty famous. With the Pips and whatnot, she really made a name for herself.  Fun fact: one of her four husbands was her high school teacher, Jimmy Newman. Scandalous. If she weren’t old, I’d guess she might win. But she’s old, so…

Donald Driver: Donald Driver, according to a Google search, is a football (?) player.

Jack Wagner: Jack Wagner is either a soap actor or the host of The Price is Right. I can never keep those two straight!

Ew, where's Urkel?

Jaleel White: STEVE URKEL! Or Stefan Urquelle, for the more sophisticated readers. Jaleel White was insanely popular in the early ’90’s. That is, until Family Matters was cancelled and he couldn’t get an acting job to save his life. With any luck, they will “Do the Urkel” on the show, and he’ll make a little comeback.

Katherine Jenkins: Really DWTS? Katherine Jenkins is a mezzo soprano. This is America. 70% of people don’t even know what that is. I made up that statistic, but still. Next.

Maria Menunos: I’ll begin this one with an eye roll and a “come on.” Maria Menunos is the pretty, skinny, kind of ethnic girl on one of those shows like Inside Edition or Entertainment Tonight. She probably studied dance as a child and will probably do really well, which makes it all more annoying.

Martina Navratilova: Martina is a Czech tennis player who should be played by Emma Thompson, if they ever make a movie about her. Not only is Martina Czech, but she’s also a lesbian (the ole one-two punch). We’re with you all the way, Martina!

Melissa Gilbert: Melissa Gilbert starred in Little House on the Prairie. She was once famous enough to date Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, and John Cusack. Now, she is famous enough to be on Dancing With the Stars. 

Roshon Fegan: Roshon Fegan is the biggest Disney star they could nail. As his name suggests, he is very cute and around the age of your little brother. Roshon is a triple threat. He has a voice like Nick Carter and can pop and lock with the likes of Justin Bieber and Chris Judd. He can also says words when prompted. No one knows what race Roshon is, but he’s very cute and has a winning smile. Roshon will either win or get one of the other contestants pregnant (I’m looking at you, Melissa).

Sherri Shepard: Werk! Sherri is my personal favorite on this list. Not only does she hold her own with the beast cats on The View, but she also plays Tracy Jordan’s wife on 30 Rock, which earns her 75 famous points, making her the most “Star” of the bunch. She is also very busty, so stay tuned for a wardrobe malfunction.

So there you have it, this season’s “Stars.”This show is definitely going to add a little something to all of their careers. And honestly, all of these people have been more successful and made more money than I ever will be or make. They may not be A-listers, but they are getting paid to prance around like show ponies in front of millions of viewers, and they’re getting paid for it. Toss me a bedazzled gown and $100, and I’d be right up there with them.