Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A trip to Mars

It's Tuesday night on the north side of Baltimore and I'm bored. This, from an engineer/IT guy who's studied a fair amount of statistics, accounting and economics. I know bored - this is the real thing.

I don't react well to boredom. Bored engineers are especially dangerous, and the results often include property damage. Bored neighborhood kids used to make pipe bombs out of old lawn furniture, match heads and homemade gunpower, and I marvel to this day that we all escaped with all of our eyeballs and fingers. The worst I ever did on my own was a respectable fire that only caused a little smoke damage and a slightly cracked commode before I put it out.

Well, I did have a dance lesson tonight. Some might prefer boredom - welcome to my life. But hey, my Latin dancing is getting more recognizable.
< rant>!@#$@ metric dancing! - of course those contrary furriners don't do it the same way. You might think that Latin (international style) rumba or cha cha cha (sic) would be the same as rhythm (American style) rumba and cha cha, but no, and they morphed east coast swing into something called "jive". And who came up with that leg-crossing limping-looking thing called samba? They start their rumba on the 2nd beat, which is contrary (although rhythm dances like mambo and salsa do it too). Somehow underarm turns became "alemanas", crossovers are "New Yorks", and what amounts to a right side pass becomes a "hockey stick". And there's exactly one standard "syllabus" of steps for each dance for teaching and competitive judging purpose, instead of the multiplicity we have in the US, so as usual when innovation is needed it comes from the Americans.< /rant>

Natasha was my instructor tonight. She's a young (<20?) girl with the kind of figure you can only get from dancing. Like about all the staff at the studio (website here), she is from Minsk, Belarus or thereabouts. And they're all good - the owners, Igor and Polina Pilipenchuk, have been 10-Dance champions. (Sheesh, how'd they wind up in Towson? Don't tell me - they got bored.)

Then it's off to the Guitar Center almost next door. Oh, the toys! Now if only I had some talent. Or at least a repertoire. But I'm not going to buy anything, so once again I'm bored.

Alright, better head for the motel. But I can't go the same way every time, or straight back - let's go up York Road. Yeah, let's check out the famous Best Buy where they had a guy busted for passing $2 bills. The guy at the door assured me that they accept $2 bills now. He asked me if I had any and I said no, I was just looking for trouble. I would have bought some stuff, but the line was so long that I wasn't going to wait even though there was some spectacular eye candy just a couple of places ahead of me in the line. I guess I should have expected the long line - obviously they'd had trouble hiring good help.

Then at last, my trip to Mars. No, nothing in Rand Simberg's turf - if you're familiar with Baltimore you know Mars is a local grocery chain. I had to ask the deli clerk and the checkout lady the worst lines they'd ever heard playing on the store's name, but they didn't have any ideas. Boring. I guess I'd better leave the JayWalking to the professionals.

Across the street was a Bertucci's, which makes terrific but pricy pizzas. While I was waiting for one the other day I told the kid at the counter that they were going to open a strip joint next door and call it "Bare Tushies". He liked the idea, or at least humored me until I left with my pizza.

Actually boredom itself is kind of boring. What I have must be something special, like ennui. I'm ennuied. Or something like that - Dr. Weevil would know.

That's what I need - a blogger get-together like when I was in St. Louis. We even managed to get a couple of us together on a weeknight when Tim Blair stopped in town on his transAmerican tour a couple of years ago. Around here of course there's Dr. W, intrepid investigator Bryan Preston, curmudgeonly and skeptical Rodger Schultz, and probably a few others I don't know about. And we're not too far from DC, where they have people like Michelle Malkin, "Deacon" Mirengoff of PowerLine, La Shawn Barber and the Galley Slaves. Maybe we can arrange something before I'm out of here around mid July.

Alright, this post is long enough. I may still be bored, but at least now I know you are too.

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