I laughed so hard. Great stuff.
I never would have thought I’d be one for casual debauchery. I’m still wondering if it really happened and it’s not just something conjured by my imagination.
But a touch to my still slightly sore knees tells otherwise.
I’m an adoptee and was raised by white parents, Polish and Irish American, with their Western view of masculinity. I could also feel the way people wanted me to fit into an idea of the type of Asian male they were comfortable with. Both sides made it hard to be myself. I was often described as quiet, studious, easygoing, book-smart but not street-smart, and some of these descriptions stuck in a self-fulfilling way. It took me much of my life to realize that I was molding myself to a stereotype. I wanted to be accepted, so I valued those characteristics that made me acceptable. Yet I was never accepted. I was either picked on and called “flatface” or would hear people whisper that they shouldn’t mess with me because of course I knew karate. When I was able to start processing how I fit or didn’t fit an acceptable representation of Asians, I held those same stereotypes against the people I met who looked like me. In college, I refused to join the Asian American group because I felt they were too studious, too earnest, too cliquish. Instead, I valued white friendships, white girlfriends, white literature and art and film. I tried to be more assertive but was paralyzed with fear. Whichever role I tried to fit, I didn’t value myself. I didn’t see how I had internalized the same descriptions that the majority culture employs to keep “us” separate from “them.”
Goddamnit. I relate too much to this.
I remember wanting, acutely, both to be white and to be the kind of minority [my friends] so easily were, to be comfortable with myself. I wasn’t comfortable. I wanted to be Asian as a fallback for when I wasn’t able (of course) to be white.
Well, that’s also a bit familiar.
Whoa. From a writing standpoint, I loved this. Using the 2nd person POV can be so powerful. And I love the cadence, how the sentences read and flow off each other, long, breathless ones that alternate with short, gasping statements.
You were a storm barreling toward me, full of boiling rage and leftover resentment. You needed a place to land the whirling brew of dust, wind and rain and I let you right in.
You were handsome. You have a darkness to your features which is my weakness, and it casts itself over your stern face giving you a severity that’s mistaken for shyness. Your arms are muscled though you hide them in sweatshirts. You seem like you could fly off the handle, which is partly why I start to like you. Trouble simmers on your skin. I like nice people, don’t get me wrong, and you are nice. But there’s a itch on you, under the surface and you seem poised to scratch it. Your hands tighten into fists by your pockets and you need an outlet for something so dark and deep you haven’t let yourself touch it…
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“I’ll Kill Her” – Soko
Innocently terrifying. Love it.
See, men, this is why we can’t have nice things.
Last-last weekend was simply amazing as I was at Enter the Blues 6, a weekend blues exchange here in Atlanta. This is a pretty big event, and there were some top notch dancers and instructors from all over the country coming in. It was great! I learned so much at the workshops, and even though I knew I’d get spanked in the competitions, I entered the Choreography, Jack and Jill, and Solo Blues contests anyways. And ya know what? It was really fun, too! If anything I think the experience of simply dancing in a competitive setting is good, so over time, I won’t be as nervous.
I love dancing solo blues. There were a couple of workshops dedicated to this part of blues dancing, and I lept at the opportunity to take them. I was especially pleased when after the weekend was over, one of the judges messaged me on facebook and gave me a little feedback regarding my submission to the choreography competition as well as my performance in the solo blues preliminaries. She actually put me down as a “maybe” to compete in the finals! I was extremely ecstatic just to read that. I mean, I was up against dancers who have been doing this for many more years than I have, some even do this for a living, so I was rather enthusiastic to have even caught the attention of one of the judges with my meager 1.5 years of blues dancing.
Oh, right, I totally entered the choreography competition portion of Enter the Blues. Like I said, competition was extremely stiff and my piece did not get selected for the finals, but you can still view my video submission here. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely happy with the final recording because there was so much that could’ve been improved, but, I gave it my best shot, my partner gave it her best shot, and it was a great experience nonetheless.
Sharon Davis was one of the instructors this weekend, and I was rather excited to take a couple of workshops from her. Whenever I watch videos of her performances, I feel a mixture of crazy-arousal and seething envy…but I suppose it’s safe to say most of her audience might share similar feelings.
I lept at the chance to take her solo blues workshops, and they were very informative. However, her dancing still has feminine elements to it because…well, she’s a woman. Obviously. What I really crave and need is a masculine approach to solo blues dancing, which one of the workshops focused on, and it was a great start. But I need more. It’s kind of a bummer that it seems like solo blues is really dominated by women – come on, guys, we can dance and be awesome by ourselves too!
Sharon also specializes in burlesque dancing, and she hung around town for a few more days and taught a burlesque workshop. And yes, I attended her workshop. And I wasn’t even the only guy! There were four guys total, myself included, amongst…maybe 20 women. Didn’t care. It was extremely fun and I got a little insight into what burlesque is and the energies and fundamentals behind it.
I also took notes, both from the weekend and the burlesque workshop. Methinks it’s time I start another blog dedicated to my dancing endeavors…yes. That would do.
More to come!