It was quite the busy day for me—or, at least, it felt that way. I can’t say that my perspective might not be warped by being tired (of course, staying up even later to write and post about the day’s highlights isn’t helping, but we’ll overlook that).

I was responsible for procuring the birthday cake for a coworker’s birthday today. Due to the way things worked out, this morning I got to run around to the major grocery stores in town: WinCo, Safeway, and Albertson’s. My coworker had a rather unintelligible notation about her favorite cakes, so I wound up visiting the first two stores in vain; at my last stop, Albertson’s, I gave up on trying and grabbed a small single-layer white cake, and a similarly sized chocolate-oreo cake.

During this transaction, Albertson’s successfully determined an amount of money I must save before I’m willing to sign up for a stupid rewards program: $6. Compared to the total price of the cakes before discount, it was a not-inconsequential amount.

That Oreo cake, by the way, is excellent.

Tonight was my final West Coast II class, so we had a “practical exam” consisting of demonstrating a move or skill that we thought we had improved on in the course of the class. The instructor did this by having all the follows rotate around, demonstrating their move/skill when they were dancing in the corner next to the instructor, and then by having the leads rotate in a similar fashion.

The whole event resulted in switching dance partners every minute (at most), giving the sense that we were engaged in speed dancing. I surprised myself by being able to hold a variety of minute-long conversations with most of the follows (get this) while dancing. Interesting conversations, even, that frequently employed humor.

Incidentally, it’s extremely rare for the leads to have to rotate—that duty is almost exclusively given to the follows. I actually experienced a bit of up-is-down, black-is-white disorientation when we started (it didn’t last long). Sadly, once I’d recovered, I made a hilarious (to me) reference to feeling like Dr. Samuel Beckett, hoping each time that [my] next leap would be the leap home, that fell on deaf ears.

During class proper the leads learned how to (“when it appears that another lead can’t handle the woman/women he’s dancing with”) steal follows, and we learned a way to dance with two follows (briefly: a second follow grabs onto the shoulders of the first; leads begin a move by leading the first follow—whose motions cue the second follow on how to move—and finish the move by leading the second follow—whose motions cue the first follow on how to move). Doing so meant that we had groups of two guys and two gals; one guy would lead the gals, and the other guy would periodically steal them away.

Enterprising classmates quickly realized that this could extend to multiple follows, so in short order we had four follows (frequently consisting of a smattering of leads who self-converted into follows, for additional hilarity) being led by one lead. Towards the end, by forces beyond my imagination, the entire class congregated on my group—and I wound up leading at least half the class, including the instructor. Oooooh yeah. The evening was a rare blend of hilarity and kick-assedness; I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much joy experienced by a bunch of college students on a Thursday evening of Dead Week.

And then, while driving over to the Beanery for our weekly chat, Brian tells me about a new goal he’s made for himself. It’s the damn funniest goal ever, but I swore I’d keep it secret. (Not that there’s any good reason to, other than to avoid increasing the difficulty of attaining his goal.)


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