after the dancing debacle at manny & daisy's wedding back in july, i vowed that i would learn how to cut mad rug and would never again be embarassed on the dance floor with my utter lack of dancing skills. manny & daisy have been taking lessons at a dance studio in boston, and every month they have a free night where anyone can come and sample the class, maybe even possibly signing up for some private lessons. all this was later tonight, first i had to get through a work day.

autumn sleeps are the best, with the windows opened, the bedroom is cold, but it's warm under the covers. it makes me not want to get out of bed, but fun and excitement awaited me in boston. leaving the house, i said hi to my new neighbor jen, she had a bag of what looked like laundry, i'm assuming she's going across the street to the laundromat. walking to the train station, i bumped into sam's girlfriend alexis again, i see her about once a month around porter square, in the most random of places. the train was more crowded than usual and for the first time i wasn't able to get a seat. when i got to south station i headed to the squid office, 15 minutes, even though technically i don't have a fixed schedule to keep. i ate my last can of congee that i had stashed away in the office. it was a gorgeous day, clear blue sky, and i was hoping i'd be able to get an office run in, but both alex and kristine were busy, so once again, no go. it was good i didn't get all sweaty, since i was dressed in proper attire for the dancing later in the evening.

i headed for chinatown for a late lunch, and found out that hsing hsin pastry store was closed. not closed for the day, but closed like either they went out of business or they're renovating the place, because the interior was gutted. there was a flyer taped to the door written in chinese so i couldn't read it. "i hope they didn't get shut down because of health code violations because i ate there last week," i thought to myself. so i ended up going to a different pastry shop. not only was it different, but without a doubt it had to be the shadiest pastry store in chinatown, most likely a triad front. i bought a small custard pie and a sponge cake. i also took the opportunity to ask about chinatown buses ticket prices, it seems now they're all $10 regardless of when you leave. back at the office i ate my patries, and wouldn't you know it, there was a piece of curly black hair in my cake. (pause for collective "awww nasty!") i don't know why i keep on doing this to myself, eating the most suspect foods from chinatown, playing russian roulette with my stomach, seemingly a death wish for food poisoning.

by the end of the work day i was starting to get fried. i'd been programming since 10am, and i was reaching my coding threshold. even though i had work to do, i started to get bored. is this a telltale sign of attention deficit disorder? alex had some salt and vinegar pork rinds which he shared with the office (part of his atkin's diet), i couldn't stop eating them even though it made my face pucker each time i had one. i didn't leave the office until well after 6pm. figuring it would be a while before i'd get the opportunity to eat, i went to a vietnamese restaurant and ordered some grilled chicken on vermicelli for dinner. the thing with being 29 versus, say, 21, is that i can do things by myself without feeling self-conscious, like go to the movies or eat in a restaurant. probably a few years ago this would've felt weird, but not anymore. it's probably half maturity but also half survival, as perhaps more and more of my friends end up finding a steady girlfriend/boyfriend or getting married, there seems to be less people to hang out with. anyway, i am totally digressing. dinner was good, dinner was cheap, and when i finally finished eating, i visited barnes & nobles, looking for some good book deals, but nothing was interesting. with showtime drawing near, i cut across the common to the park plaza building, where the dance studio was.

when i arrived at the studio, a class was just finishing up, an advanced class, with students learning how to do the hussle, that staple of disco dancing. i saw manny and daisy, as well as daisy's sister anne and her boyfriend dan. everyone joined in on the free beginner's class, the more advanced students using it as a form of dance practice. our instructor was an attractive woman named olga (russian? got a little scarlett johansson thing going), who taught us the waltz (3 beats!) and the rumba (4 beats!). she went at me with kid gloves since i was the virgin dancer at the studio. we kept on changing partners, and we also learned how to spin, since the ladies love to spin. olga left and another instructor took over, this petite woman whom i didn't get her name. she was the more animated instructor, and went about creating a dance club atmosphere with mood lighting and hipper choice of music, real world situations if you will. the founder of the dance school, an old woman, was also in the dance crowd, and she came up behind me with both hands on my shoulders and said, "less bounce." our new intructor also taught us the meringue, which is the dance i like the most because it's easy, although it's quite a workout, a fast 8 beats worth of steps. our new instructor also danced with another instructor, a woman, showing us some more advanced waltz moves. i was starting to get turned on watching two hot ladies in heels doing some sexy dancing. wouldn't you know it? i get stuck with the large black woman (juanita) for most of the evening. she was nice, but would close her eyes when we danced, which made me nervous. there were also a lot of couples there as well, apparently they get a lot of pre-wedding folks who come to learn to dance for their nuptial. we finished off the evening with a spotlight waltz between manny and daisy. they were okay, but i rather watch the two hot instructors go at it another time. all the instructors, men and women, seem so happy, it seems like a fun job to have. dancing is all about good times and being happy, nobody dances when they're sad or depressed. after tonight though, i have a better appreciation of dancing. i definitely need practice though, and i'm not sure if i'd go back for paid lessons. i did gain some dancing confidence, which prior to tonight was probably nonexistent. it's really impressive when a couple dances well, like two people merged into one, their moves synchronized, a natural rhythm to their dancing, a physical manifestation of courtship.

manny and his crew walked down to the south end while i took a detour and returned to park street to catch the red line. julie called me on the cellphone with some bad news, her gramophone arrived, but it's damaged and can't be used. she said when i got home i could go over to her place and take a look at it before she returns it.

back at the house, i changed into my riding garb and took the motorcycle the one mile distance from my place to julie's. there was some melodrama as one of her neighbors came out of his house asking me how long i planned on parking in their private driveway. when julie heard about this, she made me move the bike anyway even though her neighbor and i struck an agreement where i could park there for the next 30 minutes. inside the house, all her roommates where home (a rare sight, i haven't seen the band all together since the day julie moved into the place at the beginning of the year), as well as one roommate's boyfriend. there was a murmur of "you ride a motorycle?" - i'd forgotten that for some people, motorcycles are a big deal. the gramophone was on the dining room table, and julie played a 78 record for me despite the fact that the device was broken. the tinny sound coming from the horn was surprisingly loud, although the music was distorted from the wobbling mechanical spinning tray. after the demonstration, i came back home, just in time to see mike leaving for his girlfriend's place. i watched the curse of the bambino documentary on HBO, i got teary eyes on a few occasions. maybe this year?