Yesterday morning, I showed up bright and early for Zumba class. I thought I'd done this class before at another gym, but either I was horribly mistaken then or Zumba has done a psychotic 180 in the last couple of years. More on that in a moment.
So, I nervously situated myself in a back corner and a lady warned me not to follow her as she had never done it before. As I had no idea what I was doing either, I recommended that she pick out someone in the crowd who looked like a regular Zumba-goer to follow, which was my plan. Immediately, I zeroed in on some dude who just screamed "newcomer", and noted that there was no way in hell that guy would be a good one to follow.
Boy, was I ever wrong. This out-of-place, giant, lumberjack-lookin' dude, wearing cargo pants, bearded, covered in shitty tattoos, and with a black kerchief on his head had moves like I have never seen, hips that wouldn't quit, and knew every single step, arm movement, lyric, and fist pump. Homeboy was amazing. I, on the other hand, couldn't keep up for shit and basically abandoned even trying to get the fancy footwork down and ended up running frantically in place just to keep moving. And sweating. Dear God, I lost at least 5 pounds in sweat. Those Zumba people are insane. Insane. How many classes does it take to learn those moves, anyway? More than I will probably ever know, because AB is not cut out for Zumba. Sticking to the normal cardio machines, Step class, and weight room, thankyouverymuch.
I still can't get the image of that dude dancing out of my head. He looked like he'd be more at home as a bouncer in front of a strip club, but sweet baby Jesus, he was simply awesome. Kudos to that guy and his beard.
Daily Food 11/28/10
Breakfast: red onion, mushroom, diced Quorn patty, two eggs; orange and apple slices
Dinner: roasted fennel, Brussels sprouts, red onion, mushrooms over polenta with gorgonzola
Misc: popcorn, glass of pinot blanc
Last night I went to the tree lighting down in Portland's Living Room, aka Pioneer Square, and it was awesome! Can't believe I had never done that before, given my penchant for cheering all things Yuletide. It was completely packed, but terribly fun. We were next to an old guy with a very thick New York accent, handing out tiny communion-sized cups and telling everyone to get ready for his champagne toast, apparently a tradition for him he carried out at Rockefeller Center for decades. Sadly, no one really wanted to engage the guy and we were all a little suspicious that this "champagne" might be a 40 of Old E, but turns out we were all wrong and he produced as promised. We toasted with our tiny cups of bubbly, cheered, hooted, and hollered when they finally lit the 75-foot tree. Just as I turned to chat the old man up and introduce myself, he sped off in his motorized chair. Maybe I'll run into him again some time.
Rounding out the festivities was some great music by members of Pink Martini and the Portland Youth Choir. Carols were sung, my toes froze, and a great time had by all. New personal tradition.
POST SCRIPT: Apparently while I was hollering "Joy to the World" at the top of my lungs and swaying with the crowd as if my life depended on it, the police were arresting a would-be terrorist a few blocks away in a sting operation. They'd been working undercover with the clearly troubled young man, who intended to set off a car bomb at the lighting. Didn't find out about any of this until this morning. News coverage here.
I successfully managed to maintain a plans-free Thanksgiving yesterday and it sure was lovely. In the morning I went to the gym to see the crazy people, always entertaining, the twice-than-normal-size crowd that shows up on Turkey Day, most of them already so sickly thin I get worried someone's going to pass out. Alas, no collapsing, and I headed to Gladstone for a cup of coffee, before my BFF came over and we embarked on a Portland Minute, driving all over town looking at what was open. We almost ended up at the Jolly Roger but thought better of that and bailed. Then we almost accidentally signed ourselves up for the prix fixe dinner at Country Cat, but bailed on that as well since we really just wanted a snack. It looked amazing, though. Ended up having some jambalaya, salad, and spicy mac down the way at Roscoe's, before locking ourselves in my apartment and watching beaucoup TV with my fancy new toy... the Roku! Hours later, I got hungry and whipped up a Thanksgiving-ish meal, not totally complete, but not a bad attempt at a last-minute thing. Capped off the evening with the Beyonce TV special, which totally ruled.
I have been saying for months that all I wanted to do for Thanksgiving was see Burlesque, but we never made it off of the couch to do so. Successful 'do nothing' day.
I have more things to be Thankful for than I can count, separate post needed...
Someone finally figured out how to get on top of the cabinets in the new apartment.
The mass hysteria about the snow that didn't really happen continues... It snowed a little bit, but nothing worthy of the overkill news footage. Pretty chilly, though, only about 20 degrees right now. BRING IT!
Long week, thank goodness it's Friday. One more workday, then some bday celebratin' tonight! Had fabulous last-minute Happy Hour at Victory last night with the ladies. Always love that. I initially said 'no', that I couldn't go, too broke... then we somehow racked up a bill large enough for a whole week's worth of meals. Whoopsie-Daisy! Delicious, yes. A bajillion calories? Yes.
See, here he looks kinda fun. Can't we keep him like this?
I found out today that I only love Prince William, who I have loved my entire life, when his mouth is shut. Christ on a crutch, I have had enough already of the engagement announcement, and I've only had the news on for about 12 minutes. Did anyone think they were not going to get married? Did anyone think he would not give her Diana's ring? Please. A lovely couple, certainly, more regal-ready she could not be, but dear God he is boring me to tears as he speaks. I think I nodded off in the middle of an attempted joke about her cooking only being mediocre.
As Americans have no idea what truly following Royalty (actual Royalty, I mean... not celebrities), the clips on the news of the reactions of British about the engagement are ten times as funny. They seem like an SNL skit to me. Royal engagement of the century, how 'bout that?
Last night, we rallied for the monthly Gay Skate night at Oaks Park, which benefits both Esther's Pantry (food bank for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS) and the Just Out scholarship fund. It's a helluva good time, recommend to anyone of any skill level. Skating is harder than it looks, though, be warned if you are like me and have only done it once in about 20 years. It's a workout, for sure. Muscles I'm not sure I knew existed are sore this morning. All worth it! Estelle B's bestie is here in town visiting from NY, and I hope that was a good taste of some old-timey Portland fun. Oaks Park is one of the ten oldest amusement parks in the country, and the rink itself the largest in the Pacific NW.
Daily Food 11/15/10
Breakfast: GF toast, pear
Lunch: Veg Pho and a crispy roll at Mekong Grill, love it
Dinner: 2 Quorn naked cutlets, peas, rice
Snacks: popcorn, NF frozen yogurt
Neat-o, creepy row of Barbies and other various dolls at the Can't Fail Cafe in Oakland
Bay Area Blow-Out was a success! Will post full photo set soon (90% graffiti pics... I think I maybe took one photo of a person, whoops). It was five days of hanging out, no set plans, just roamin' and eating our way across the Bay. There were a few bars involved (in the Castro), lots of cable TV-watching (yes!), and big laughs all around. A huge thank you to our hosts for letting us invade and subsequently trash their loft for the weekend.
YESSS! Got into the Bay Area without a hitch, and stone-cold sober, too! I didn't get scared on the plane, not one time. I had several trash magazines to read and good company, plus we had a ride to and from the airport, how fancy is that?
Upon arrival, had a Mediterranean lunch in Berkeley, where the waitress sassed our friend for wanting more foil to wrap his leftovers in. She said, "I feel like I've already given you more than enough." HAHAHA, I just about died laughing. "I feel!" Who says that in a service/customer environment? Oh, we had ourselves a good old Berkeley laugh over that one.
We stayed in last night, reserving our strength for tonight's dance party... Headed out shortly to explore the 'hood.
What fun! Saturday afternoon was Yelpoween, an Elite Event at Foster Burger. It was packed and sweltering back on their new covered patio, but it was awesome to see everyone in costume. There's a flickr roll of photos found here. My favorites included BP Cleanup Guy, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and the Cocktail. I held down the fort with my axe and giant beard. It was as little creepy how much I liked wearing the beard. Never felt more comfortable.
After the party, I caught a viewing of Psycho at the fabulous Living Room Theaters (the best!) downtown. So simple, so creepy, that movie just never gets old. Sunday, one of my favorite things to do in Portland, ever... the Tour of Untimely Departures at the Lone Fir Cemetery, after a stellar happy hour with good pals at the Bonfire. As always, cemetery tour was awesome, the actors portraying some of the 25,000 residents buried there always en pointe and always entertaining. The weather could not have been better, and made the hour-plus wait to get in go by like a breeze. That and the giant box donuts we had.
Daily Food 10/31/10
Breakfast: Trio bar
Lunch: cheese pizza slice @ New Seasons, harvest festival samples
Dinner: HH @ Bonfire - tofu tacos, hummus, cider, hot toddy
Misc: holy donut overload, I don't even want to talk about it.