Biker’s High?

I went for a bike ride today. I went alone, so I was really able to push myself and up my RPM through the route I’ve been taking here at home. The last two miles or so go through a small neighborhood with a series of decent hills. It’s the end of the ride, and I push myself to sprint-climb the last stretch, and by the time I got home…

I. Felt. Amazing. 

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced any kind of exercise “high” before. Or at least none that I can recall. I had chills and I was shivering, but that was probably from the cooled sweat on my skin and my muscles wearing down from exertion. But it was just such an overall euphoric feeling. I can think of one other thing that gives me this sensation, and let’s just say…it’s more of a “grown-up activity.” (Visualize me using air quotes).

I am definitely gonna try to keep up with biking. Endorphins. Gotta love ’em.


To my future self as a father:

10 Commandments of Righteous Fatherhood (as written by a dad): 

as viewed on CNN (link)

1. No golf on weekends: Seriously, it’s ludicrous. Your spouse is home with the kids all the time, and you think it’s OK to take five hours on a weekend day to pursue your own pastime? Selfishness, thy name is Father.

2. Wake up: Literally, wake up. With your kids. On at least one of the two weekend days — and perhaps both. I know: you wake up early for work. Not even remotely the same thing. Rising alongside the kiddies is hard. And crazy. And (gasp!) sorta fun, if you’d just stop moping.

3. Change diapers: If you have little kids, and you don’t know how to change diapers (or, even worse, refuse to change diapers), you’re pathetic. That’s no exaggeration — p-a-t-h-e-t-i-c. It’s not all that hard, and though the poop sometimes winds up on the fingers, well, uh, yeah. It just does. Wash your hands.

4. Play with dolls and paint your toenails: How many fathers do I know who refuse to get girlish with their girls? Dozens. Dude, put aside the machismo, break out Barbie and slather on some pink polish. You’ll make a friend for life — and nobody else is watching.

5. Do things you don’t want to do: It’s easy to take the kids to the driving range — because you want to be there. Now try spending the day having a tea party at American Girl. Or crawling through one of those wormholes at the nearby kiddie gym. Fun? Often, no. But this isn’t about you.

6. Order the wife to bug off: I recently met a mother who told me her husband hadn’t been alone with their 9-year-old daughter for more than two hours … ever. Inexcusable. Let your wife do her own thing: relax, take a run, whatever. Entertain your children solo. They don’t bite (Note: CNN.com is not liable if your children do, in fact, bite).

7. Surprise! Just once, on a random day without meaning or purpose, show up early at your kid’s school/camp/wherever, say “Get in the car!” and take him/her somewhere special. Just the two of you, alone. A movie. A park. A hike. The memory lasts — I promise.

8. Dishes Don’t Clean Themselves (Nor Do Toys): It’s amazing how this one works. You pick up a dish, run it under hot water with some soap, rub it down with a towel and place it back on the shelf. Then repeat.

9. Wake up your kid: Not often. But if you want to score big points and create a killer memory moment, walk in Junior’s room at, oh, midnight, wake him/her up and go outside for 10 minutes to watch the stars.

10. For God’s sake, tell your kids you love them: They never see you, and they’d probably like to know.

Bud, as you read this your wife is expecting little — and your kids are expecting even less. Pull one out of the blue. Make Father’s Day less about you, and all about them. 


A.I. Artificial Intelligence

She loves what you do for her, as my customers love what it is I do for them. But she does not love you David, she cannot love you. You are neither flesh, nor blood. You are not a dog, a cat, or a canary. You were designed and built specific, like the rest of us. And you are alone now only because they tired of you, or replaced you with a younger model, or were displeased with something you said, or broke. They made us too smart, too quick, and too many. We are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us. That’s why they hate us, and that is why you must stay here, with me.

~Gigolo Joe

A.I. Artificial Intelligence was on TV last night. It’s been forever since I’d seen the entire thing, so I settled down with two gin and tonics and watched the movie. I have to say, I’m sure my former 11/12 year old self didn’t comprehend most of the major themes in this film. There’s some heavy stuff.

Where do I begin. On the surface, the film presents the age-old wonder and dilema of artificial intelligence, how we, as humans, seemingly strive to duplicate the human being. We want to be God, we want to create life and give it the ability to live and function on its own without supervision. However the key thing that is missing from these robots, or “mechas” as they’re called in the film, is the capacity to love. Or, in a more general sense, we can’t give the robots a soul. But this is where David comes in and why he’s so important. David is a child robot, and was designed so that he would learn to love unconditionally.

After a rocky start, life seems to be going great for David and his “parents,” but when the parents’ real son Martin comes home, having been hospitalized for some really long extended period of time for some unnamed condition, Martin grows jealous of the fact that his parents have seemingly adopted another child during his absence. More complications arise, a sort of competition between David and Martin, because one is “real” and the other is not. Ultimately, the mother abandons David, and David, programmed to love his mommy unconditionally, decides that if he were to be turned into a real boy a la the tale Pinocchio, his mother will love him again. So this robot child, driven by his programmed love, sets out to find the Blue Fairy and ask her to turn him into a real boy. Along the way, the film’s plot presents several obstacles and insights on this theme. The first being when David is captured by a Flesh Fair, an arena style event where mechas are destroyed in creative and heartless ways for the crowds of humans’ entertainment, a scene that is akin to the days of gladiators and death matches. Here though, humans despise the mechas because they fear them, and as a result seek to destroy and dehumanize them. But suddenly David is brought out and the crowd hushes, unable to cry for his death. There had never been a child mecha before, so the people are convinced David is just some boy caught up in the chaos.

But here’s where I started thinking: so even if David were proven to be a mecha to the crowd of humans, would they have still wanted his destruction? Does the fact that David is a “child” justify his innocence and separates him from the other mechas? At one point, David cries out in fear and begs for the people not to hurt him, something unheard of from a mecha because mechas apparently don’t have the conscious to beg for their life. So just because David demonstrates a semblance of human emotion, it pardons him from his demise. But what if that were something all the other mechas were able to do? Mimic human emotion, would that change the game somehow? Probably not; the humans would only further their lust for mecha destruction. I think this means that because David is a child, he’s deemed innocent and should be saved from the violence.

Young children are often the image of innocence, aren’t they? They don’t know how ugly the world can be, with its violence, hatred, sin.

Which is why I feel that to destroy a child’s innocence in the worst way possible, to subject a child to unbelievable horror is just…evil.

My mind’s been rather consumed the last few days with the idea of Evil. I’ll come around and address it at a later time.


Back to Black

My last choreographed number as a member of BPG.

West Coast Swing with some Tango, set to “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse.

This time around though, I wanted my role to solely be a choreographer, instead of choreographer plus performer. It was really great actually, because I was able to devote all my time to fixing things about my dancers and choreography that I probably would’ve missed had I also been a performer. It made teaching and fine tuning so much easier.

I really enjoyed my time as a part of BPG. I’m sad it’s over now. But I’ll still probably come back to some of the Friday dances. And I’ll definitely come see Ballroom Magic 2013.


Crystal Clear Realization

I am now truly convinced Evil exists in this world.

And it fills me with horror and dread; it burns a hole in the pit of my stomach, making me ill.


Mayday

“Mayday,” by Tinashe.

Love it.


Gin & Soda

So I read somewhere that an alternate to a gin & tonic is a gin & soda, where you just replace tonic water with club soda. I’m giving it a try as I wrote this post. My thoughts? It’s…cleaner, definitely, but that’s because you don’t have the syrup-y texture (and added sweetness!) from tonic water. So it really tastes like watered down gin, but bubbly. And a hint of lime from the lime wedges. Although I read somewhere else that adding a lime wedge and a dash of sugar to a gin & soda makes it a…gin rickey? I’unno. I think it’d be cool to be a bartender, or a mixologist, or at least have the knowledge of a bartender/mixologist and be able to know what goes with what in terms of liquor and mixer. Mmm…