Of Tunesday Tunes – Life Has Been Good To Me by French Stewart

My song of the week is a cover of Life Has Been Good To Me by French Stewart.

This weeks song is a little bit different in that is from an episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun, the show that I am currently binge watching. The 2-part episode where the Solomon’s all dream for the first time is absolutely gorgeous. The creators took full advantage of the ridiculous premise of aliens on Earth combined with the surrealism of dreaming, and it worked. But the real highlight of the episode was the song and dance number performed by French Stewart.

It’s a jazzy little blues number that is just fun. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve danced to the original version by Randy Newman (performed by Bonnie Raitt) at various Blues Dance Venues, but there’s just something extra special about French Stewart singing the ditty.

Life Has Been Good To Me is incredibly catchy and the choreography from the show is spectacular. If you wanted to watch more than just the clip below it’s from season 3 episode 26 of 3rd Rock From the Sun.

Favorite Lyric: “Life Has Been Good To Me.”

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Of Tunesday Tunes – Nothing Would be Better by Nick Jonas

My song of the week is Nothing Would be Better by Nick Jonas.

Nick Jonas’ solo debut is fantastic! If you’re hesitant because of his Disney/boy band background, just remember that the now beloved Justin Timberlake has a similar history #JimmyFallonsBFF #Hilarious #WhoKnew? #SexyBack #CryMeaRiver #Classic

Honestly, it was difficult choosing only one song off this album. I can’t recommend fiercely enough that you listen to the whole thing, if you have a soul you won’t be disappointed. Almost every song falls into one of my two favorite categories: fun or sexy.

Few songs make me hit the repeat button as often as Nothing Would be Better has. The song is beautiful with a rich build to a mostly instrumental chorus – he uses the wordless chorus quite a lot actually. The words are poetic yet simple as Nick’s voice balances perfectly with the stunning orchestration in the background.

Plus as an added bonus for danceland, it’s the perfect song to DJ in the middle of a blues/fusion set.

Favorite lyric: “We don’t turn around unless we’re throwing stones. And we’re crawling like there’s cracks all in our bones. You’re the broken part of me that makes me whole. But so unsure”

Of the Jackass in the Red Shirt

Jerk

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Social rules exist. Everyone knows this, or rather, I hope they do. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are some things that are just not okay in certain social situations. Swearing at the Pastor’s house. Outing someone. Wearing a long white dress to a wedding that’s not yours. Staring up a girls dress as she climbs a tree. Crashing a baby shower. Talking loudly throughout a movie. These are just things that you should really rethink attempting.

I deal with jerks who don’t understand the basis of social etiquette on a daily basis, but I rarely let it truly bother me. Most the time I throw those people into the column of stupidity and move on. Like the man who insisted on showing me his Yankee tattoo (on his calf). Or the woman who stormed out of Ice Age 4 because she was under the impression that she had bought tickets to a documentary about the ice age and not a children’s cartoon. To these people I think, really?, laugh to myself, and move on.

But when a man insulted my most favorite hobby, the teacher, and the overall Blues culture – that’s where I draw the line.

A man in red. I don’t know his name, I don’t care to, he pissed me off. When I walked into the venue I could sense that he was going to awkwardly hit on me. And I was right. He had that look that men on the prowl get where their eyes squint (as if women are some mysterious object), widen (ah ha! they spy a female), and then attempt a casual smile (target acquired, no way she can say no to this sexy manliness). I proceeded to put on my dance shoes, fill my water bottle, and sit down against the wall. The dance floor was respectably full. Sometimes it’s fun just to watch people twirl around.

He walked up to me and started talking, but I found it challenging to follow his pointless chatter. Here’s the basics: “I’m not really much of a Blues dancer I just like to do my own thing, you know what I mean, more of a freestyle dancer, you know what I mean, like Chris Brown or Kanye West, everyone here is so into pair dancing, I’m more of a solo act, you know what I mean, I like choreography, you know, so I’m trying to figure out what the girls like for choreography, I’m here to challenge myself, I like a challenge, I’m not here just to talk and meet girls, it’s kind of like a school dance, you know?” Ugh, never have I want to wave my rainbow bracelets in a man’s face so badly and yell, “LESBIAN!!” at the top of my lungs.

He asked me to dance, and like any good social dancer, I accepted. I wouldn’t call it a dance, unless I was at a wedding, it was more like me walking back and forth while he attempted to do fancy footwork. It was lame. It was awkward. I was laughing – but he probably just thought I was smitten. For the rest of the night I did my best to avoid him (I suddenly went to go get water more often than normal).

An hour or so later I came down from the bathroom to see the man in red attacking the teacher. He was loud, angry, and contradicting himself about every twenty seconds. I couldn’t believe it! I blatantly sat down and sipped my water as I eavesdropped – not that he noticed. He proceeded to bash the group lesson format, he got mad at her for not asking for a detailed account of his dancing experience, whined that they only taught Blues (at a Blues venue … *rolls eyes*), that he couldn’t dance with any of the girls here, blah, blah, blah. Everything that he said, all of his complaints, came down to him not understanding, or even attempting to grasp the culture.

From what I understood of his conversation, which was so emotionally heated and scattered that I can barely remember what he said, he felt insecure about his dancing and thought that people should pay him a lot more attention because he’s new. Shocking as it might be to understand – we encourage new dancers to dance. Crazy right. I don’t know a single follow who will bitch to her friends that she had to dance with a beginner. She’ll bitch because she had to dance with a weirdo.

Based off his body language I determined that he ultimately he wanted to feel like a star, to have everyone ooo and ahh over his impressive skills, and ideally take a lady back to his apartment. When that clearly wasn’t going to happen, he freaked out. If he wanted special treatment he should have paid for a private lesson. He crossed the line, simple as that, in what situation is it ever okay to yell at someone who was trying to help you? I must say, I applaud the teacher, she spoke gracefully and tolerated his attack much nicer than I would have.

Social dance has rules just like any other scene:

  • If you attend the lesson do what they teach the group, don’t try to move to far ahead – remember that there’s most likely a wide variety of skill levels in attendance, sometimes you’ll have to learn the same dip/twirl/concept multiple times, consider it practice.
  • If you receive a correction don’t get offended, learn from it – I promise you’ll be a better dancer if you do.
  • If you have a question, ask – don’t expect the teacher to know that you’re struggling (like the jackass in red did).
  • If someone asks you to dance, say yes – unless you have a really good reason to say no – like a hurt joint, you’ve already promised this dance to someone else, you’re a lead who needs to change your shirt, or you already danced with him/her and they got really creepy.
  • AND DON’T DISRUPT THE EVENT AND PROCEED TO YELL AT THE TEACHER ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY’VE BEEN TRYING TO BE POLITE AND HELP YOU.

Aka – use common sense.

Of the Sleeping Schedule Myth

Girl sleeping

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When I graduated college I bought into this myth that I would develop a normal or at least constant sleeping schedule. I was under the impression that not having homework would mean that I would not have to stay up till 3AM only to wake up at 8AM. Lies. Filthy, curse you Satan, lies. If anything I’ve gotten worse. For instance, last night I was up till 5ish in the morning, and tomorrow I have to work at 8:30AM. But I’m still going to go to Blues in Canada tonight.

At least when I was in school I had a set time that I had to be alive and functioning (or sitting in a desk pretending I was interested). Yes, I had to stay up late for school. And yes, I had to work a part-time job that often meant not getting home until midnight. I had excuses.

Now my reason for being tired when I open at work are far less impressive.

I went from saying, “I’m so fucking tired. I didn’t get to sleep until 3:30AM because I had to finish this damn fiction story. I’m still not completely satisfied with the piece but it’s turned in on time and that’s what matters. Then I had to read 50 pages for my lit class and finish programming a web page for my CSS project.” – I sound super smart.

To saying, “I only got like 4 hours of sleep, but at least I had an awesome time dancing tonight. Totally worth it … when does the coffee shop open?” – this one I’ll probably say until I lose my ability to dance, and I’m fine with that.

Or saying, “Oh my God I’m so sleepy. I only got like 3 hours of sleep because I got sucked into to watching Charmed on Netflix and I had to know what happened to Cole and Phoebe.” – damn you Netflix and my addiction to television shows (especially one’s that center around magic or fantasy)!

I guarantee you that tomorrow, about 4:30PM. I’ll get home from work, pass out, and wake up when I should be going to bed in the first place.

Maybe when I get a real job I’ll sleep like a normal person.

 

 

Of Dancing the Blues

Say we were to meet while waiting in line at a coffee shop and we got to chatting, odds are we’d ask each other what we like to do. I don’t know what you enjoy. Maybe you’re a hiker, a baker, a contortionist, or a movie junkie; maybe you like to break into SeaWorld and go for joy rides on Shamu or sit around in your underwear watching America’s Next Top Model reruns; maybe you go horseback riding, sky diving, or train dogs (obviously I’d find out in conversation). My response would be simple: I dance. But if you wanted more detail I would probably start talking about my favorite, Blues, a style which if my memory is correct came about during the 90s (my favorite era for almost everything).

I haven’t been into Blues for all that long, about a year I’d guess, but I quickly fell in love when I watched my future teachers demonstrate it at a swing dance event. Blues is damn sexy. What’s challenging is explaining the style to people who have never seen or even heard of it. That’s about as easy a task as teaching a toddler advanced chemistry and expecting them to ace their midterm the next day.

It’s all about connection and feeling the music as well as communicating with another person. What’s beautiful about Blues is I can look out on the dance floor during the song below, for example, and everyone will be dancing different. Some dance fast, other’s slow, a few couples are two feet apart, or even nearly upside down, and there’s those have maybe an inch between them:

Sometimes the dance is about large movements, crazy dips, and footwork. Others its about subtle movements and it’s a much more intimate dance. I’m not a Blues teacher, I’m just an enthusiast so forgive me if you still have no idea what I’m talking about (if you want a visual, the first video is a demonstration of Blues). How I dance often is dependent on the leads personal style and the level of trust I have with him. Some leads incorporate a lot of swing or tango, and some I would allow to dip me about as willingly as I’d let them dump a bucket of bleach on my head (most likely these are new people). If the lead is my friend I probably trust him and I’ll let him do pretty much whatever, as long as it’s still a dance obviously. With leads I trust I’ll do lifts, or dips where I end up being caught only two inches from the ground.

When you walk into a Blues dance there’s an energy that’s shared by everyone there. It’s a community. Ladies, here’s the reality. In traditional roles (men lead, women follow) there’s always an abundance of follows. This means that often you’ll have to not dance even though the song is probably super awesome, this is both a blessing and a curse, the men rarely get to sit down – especially if they are good leads. But unlike with other social dance styles sitting on the sidelines doesn’t feel awkward (at least in my experience). There’s days or moments when I’d rather sit and watch people dance, it’s beautiful and captivating. And as I said earlier – damn sexy.

Of Pant Day Blues

Sad Pants Cartoon

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Today I was forced to wear pants. I hate being forced to wear pants.

Cause, you see, I don’t have very many human clothes. And the ones that I do have, I don’t particularly like. I haven’t bought jeans since high school, my shirts are mostly intended to be tucked into a skirt, and I don’t own sweatshirts of any kind. It’s always a challenge trying to find a nice human outfit to wear to an event (or in weather) that my normal clothes (casual for me, dressy for most humans in the Pacific North West) would simply be a bad idea.

That’s why this morning it was so sad to walk out of my room with denim strapped to my legs and one of my few human shirts, while my dresses and skirts hung limp and sad on their hangers. Their pretty feelings hurt by my neglect.

What made matters worse was that while it looked cold and wet – it was not. In actuality it was humid and warm. I was wearing pants for no reason! I even had an umbrella in my backpack.

Curse you Washington and your weather inconsistencies!