Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mystery Image Revealed

Imagine my surprise when I peeled opened up my morning breakfast earlier this week and got what can only be called a work of art. Every day a small miracle.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ruben's Second Annual Jam

My pal Ruben got a bunch of friends and family together last week for a live sing-along. It's the second time he's done it and everyone had fun.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What Is This?!?

This is how my morning started. Please feel free to guess what it is. The answer will be revealed later this week ...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Karaoke Weekend: The Final Installment

The day after the big Karaoke night with Cheri, me and a group of my pals from Asians and Friends Chicago rented a Karaoke room and had a great time. It was also one of the last times we'll get to party with Jason, who's moving to Connecticut. Needless to say, we're not a very sentimental bunch. But certainly we had lots of laughs and memories.

Karaoke Part II

Beyond the video we shot, we took a lot of photos of the Chicago-area friends who came out to see Cheri on her big Karaoke night. In addition to her sister Penny, here are friends from her Ohio upbringing and pals who did a lot of singing with her when she lived here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Karaoke Weekend Part I

My pal Cheri came into Chicago with her sisters and of course we went to Karaoke to reprise our wild antics last month in Sarasota. Here she is performing "Cabaret." Photos and Day II of my Karaoke weekend to come ...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bar Rat

So on a recent business trip, I had the opportunity to sneak away and visit a local gay bar in the area. I walk in about 9 p.m. and there's a handful of lesbians and I think, okay, this is probably as good as it's going to get for this small town and I order a glass of merlot.

An hour later, all these young twinks start flowing in with their straight girlfriends and the place fills up. After several glasses of wine, I take in the scene of about 60 twinks and straight chicks, swing around to the guy playing pool next to me and yell above the D.J. and the noise, "Am I in Chuck E. Cheese? Is this Chuck E. Cheese? Where's the skeet ball? I'm in frickin' Chuck E. Cheese!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Photo Booth

I've finally gotten around to posting the photo and video footage from a "photo booth" session that my friend Kristine and I did a couple of weekends ago. We were at the wedding of the daughter of Kristine's friend Kay.

Kristine has a Velcro encounter that puts a run in her stocking. Tragic.

And the booth itself was kind of interesting. It was a portable booth of lightweight bars and black material with a console of two big buttons. Then just a regular digital camera tied to a small printer. A far cry from the originals, but decidedly practical.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eggs and Sushi

Easter this year was also Bob's birthday, so we went to a special place called Sushi Samba. It's a combination of Latin but with Japanese cuisine that makes for a cool combination. The Chicago Tribune also named it as one of the best places to have brunch. So that's where we went. And along the way, we saw a bunny.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Learning to Turn Again

For my entire dancing life, I've been draw to the piroutte. The ability to do multiple turns has been the quest for me and is partly why I still love to take dance classes. It's a nuance. It's an action that requires me to execute five or six things at the same time--and then another two or three things during the turn. I can have it one day and lose it the next.

Well just recently--after years of training--I've come to realize that it's not just about hitting a position. Nor is it just about relaxing and engaging muscles in a particular formula (believe it or not, I just learned that a year or two ago--at least the relaxing part). It's also about physically "jumping" into it. The relaxation I take when I bend my knees right before I jump into the air and the stretch of my legs while "in flight" are the same actions necessary to launch and maintain multiple pirouttes. It's a complex series of engagements and movement that comes naturally, but something I can't replicate if I'm thinking about it.

I tested my theory last night in ballet class. I put a mental image in my mind of this low-hanging branch. While growing up in Honolulu, I remember jumping up onto this unusual, trunk-sized branch that extended out from a huge monkeypod tree in a park near my house. I didn't analyze or worry about the jump, I just focused up at the branch and my body did what it needed to do naturally. So I thought of that branch, leapt and executed a pristine series of turns.

My mistake was thinking that a piroutte was about hitting a static position and grabbing onto it as if I fell into a swimming pool and needed to hold my breath. A piroutte is really a motion. A moving, living thing. For all these years, the object of my quest has not been the Maltese Falcon, but a live bird.

Gotham on the Chicago River

When my pal Kristine asked me to join her for a friend's daughter's wedding reception and said it was on the Chicago River, I immediately said yes. Here's the view. It's where they filmed Batman--Dark Knight.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Sit-in Site

While visiting Greensboro, N.C., for a conference, I stopped by the site where four African-American students staged the first "sit-in" to protest segregation in the 1960's. They're trying to make it into a museum, since it's perceived as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.