Monday, August 25, 2008

La Rosa Negra

“We didn't win the contest- but we did win something more important to us. On my last night in Havana we were King and Queen of La Rosa Negra.”

Does it worry anyone else that I felt that way after spending the night dancing with my cousins? Oh there were Latinos involved too but the trouble with them is they stalk you afterwards. And when they ask you to dance it’s not just for one song but for a twenty minute set. Try doing twenty minutes of bachata with the same kid who comes up to your chin and does a little tiptoe jump move when he spins you and dislocates your shoulder with a jerk of your arm.

But those long dance sequences become heavenly when your partner smoothly leads you into turns, spinning you with ease as you fall right back into the step. Bonus points when he knows the steps too and doesn’t step on your toes or take your hand and ask “now what?” We were speechless too.

And all the while I’ve managed to improve my Spanish. Qieres bailar? and sí adoro a mi novio Usually I state in clear English that I don’t speak Spanish saving me from any awkward conversation or lame come-ons. But the best part of going dancing, aside from the giggly high state I achieve after a dizzying night, is the memories of Costa Rica it sparks.

It’s been years since my spring break Costa Rica trip but on the occasional Saturday night I relive particular moments from it. A horribly great movie called Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights largely influenced the Central American trip (that and cheap fares—we were college students). And so on the trip we spent many nights looking for our own Javier to dance with. We fit right in with the wild dance scene and ever since have ventured to Latin nights in Salt Lake.

This Saturday I remembered what it’s like to be one of the only white girls surrounded by Latinos all with the same question in their eyes, where did you learn to dance? I recall laughing at the San Jose boys taking us out to teach us how to dance. Laney knew the steps better than they did and Ashley and I had no problems following. We also wowed the Lizard Lounge crowd and did a number down on the beach.

As Adam pointed out, we put on our dancing shoes (we were mocked for them)and become completely different people. Well different came out of his mouth but I think he wanted to say scandalous or some other sk sounding word.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

East Canyon Flop

We sat. The sun beat down. The wind blew a pungent aroma. We glanced at the lake. We thought about the boat. We called our captain. And when he didn’t answer, we sat.

Phil called me at noon for two reasons. First to inform me he was in town and second to ask if I’d like to spend my Friday afternoon at the lake. Since Friday morning was spent unconscious I thought the lake trumped my day by the pool in the ghetto. I threw on a suit, grabbed my towel and stumbled into the bright sun.

On the drive up we were all in high spirits, singing along to the radio (I won’t tell you what was playing on the radio as that would be social suicide). I even impressed the boys with my tour guide knowledge of East Canyon—fishing rules, swimming rules and navigating mixed in with some special memories of the area. But once we got to the lake disappoint set in. No boat.

So we waited for the boat to show and in those two and a half hours I mentioned back flips. As in someone should do a back flip off the pier. Except that the guys heard that I would do a back flip off the pier. We walked down to the pier and I felt my sudden death. My head would crack on the pier, or my neck would roll off as it went back and the rest of my body failed to follow. Or I would create the East Canyon Flop.

Juan manned-up first and completed a back dive. Once he clambered back onto the pier he and a couple nine-year-old boys shamed me into jumping off the pier myself. I talked my way out of a back flip and into a belly flop looking dive. It’s hard to say who shined most on the pier, Phil with his shimmy, me with my flopped dive, or Juan who managed a half rotation in his running back flip into the refreshing water.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Dressing after yoga class I realized a missing button of my buttoned down dress gave an ample cleavage shot. Throughout the day buttons continued to disappear. My slit climbed higher, my neckline plunged lower, with a peep show at my belly button. My checks flushed deeper. Unfortunately this is not the only time I’ve bared too much.

A weekly gym visit with Stacey ranks in the top five embarrassing moments and resulted in the ultimate punk’d experience. Done studying for the night and needing to work out some aggression, Stacey convinced me that lifting weights at 1 a.m. would be great. I closed my solitaire game and threw on an inherited pair of shorts. Thank you Heather. That night I followed Stae through her routine of leg press, lunges and squats.

Leaving the gym I remembered I needed a manila envelope for finals. Stae needed ingredients for coffee cake so we ran to Smith’s. No envelopes there but we did laugh at the poor boy who worked the graveyard shift, certain that he recognized us as the sweaty girls that shopped in the wee hours. We went to Macey’s ran around the store and found my envelope.

Once we returned home Stacey began making her coffee cake and sat down to watch. But as I sat on the wooden chair it felt oddly cold and I stuck to it. Instantly I jumped up and ran to the hallway. From a backwards glance I saw my bare white bum. A gurgling laugh exploded from my throat and Stacey ran to see what happened. Too embarrassed I shook my head and slipped into my bedroom. Moments later I carried my shorts into the kitchen showing her the five inch seam separation. Stacey was convinced the squats had caused the split but I argued that the seam unraveled when I scooted in my seat at home. How would I not have noticed the cold air against that sensitive area?

A few weeks later my friend Paul visited and shared a funny story. He’d been at Smith’s the night before and chatted with the graveyard boy. Scandalous things happen after midnight. The cashier told Paul he saw more than he needed to; including people’s butts. As Paul launched into his story my mouth dropped open. Tears formed in my eyes and between gasps of horror and delight I slapped Paul’s arm exclaiming, “That was ME!!” Paul shook his head in disbelief and I shook mine in sorrow that the gothic world of Provo had seen me exposed. My shame lasted for months.

Then one story telling night as we relived that experience Stacey looked me in the eye and divulged her prank. She had met Paul the day after my shorts split and told him the story, they then planned his visit and my humiliation. I sighed deeply with this knowledge grateful that my assets remained unseen.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


They tell me death comes in threes. I’m a little skeptical because I keep hearing about them in pairs. Unless I’m the third and somehow keep escaping the grim reaper. This weekend was no different. One friend dealt with a suicide while another mourned a grandparent. As I wait for the third I thought maybe just maybe the anti-christ was right when he told me that our negative thoughts project destructive energy. Not wanting to be responsible for the triad of deaths I’ve decided to celebrate trios.

Tricornes: Yes, Johnny Tremain has a lot to do with this entry. But not nearly as much as the hour I spent in fourth grade learning a song in German. As I remember it with a surprising amount of English: Mein hut it has drei corners. Drei corners has mein hut. And had it not drei corners. It would not be mein hut.
Actual song: Mein Hut, den es drei Ecken hat, drei Ecken hat meinen Hut Und hat es nicht drei Ecken gehabt, die es mein Hut
nicht wäre

Tricyles: That third wheel did wonders for me and giving it up created a lifelong fear of needles. When learning to ride a bike my next-door cousins put me on a bike without brakes and launched me down the hill of Lake Road. Their final instruction to roll into the grass for a nice easy stop. I rolled into a log, flew off the bike and summersaulted my way through a sticker patch. For at least a week, though it felt like a full year, my poor mother came into my room early in the morning. With the sunlight shining through the window she dug her needle into my chest and tweezed out the embedded thorns.

Three Stooges: Larry, Curly and Moe babysat me many Saturday afternoons as my dad supervised between laughs.

Queen of the court: The best way to play indoor volleyball. Three people on each side fighting for the point to stay on the victorious side and at least three teams to rotate through.

Tres leches: My Café Rio dessert.

So now I wait for my second and third to come home from their adventures. Last summer was the best when the three of us lay pool side. Or, Laney and I lay pool side as Kellie lifeguarded. The pool was a safer place that summer no matter how many outbreaks of Crypto.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

“Park City is a mis-mash of dirtbags who are into the outdoors and skibums.”

When I heard this I silently cheered and silently wept. Journalists dream of such quotes and the journalist me that recorded that quote knew immediately it would never be published in the Park City newspaper that I conducted the interview for. Here I wept.

The fun, frenzied freshman in me instantly remembered Tyler from my frosh ward. Tyler who wore green scrubs across campus. Tyler who stalked the medieval circus camped behind the mental hospital. Tyler who called himself and the rest of the of us dirtbags every day. Tyler who hates scary movies yet watched Fear Friday with me for a year. Tyler who also informed me that the boys dorm believed me to be a witch.
A rumor circulated that year of my magical witch wiles. Before you get too excited let me explain the basis for it. Cacao-colored hair framing alabaster skin with ice blue eyes—a witchy combination. So I figured out why none of the guys talked to me. Ever.

The laughter shared turned into a cackle as I realized this to be a common occurrence in my life. Growing up in a small town I had the same friends since birth and no one really thought me to be odd looking. I don’t think. Then Megan Boardman moved into Lamar in seventh grade. I first felt her gaze at volleyball tryouts. My shyness kept me from saying hello until we both made the team. She quickly fell into the heart of our group.

Five years later after watching Practical Magic Megan confessed her first impressions to me. She too had thought I was a witch. It seemed unnatural to her that a girl should have such pale skin after the summer and such long dark hair (my hair reached my waist) with eerie electric eyes.

I tan in the summers in hopes to alleviate sudden scares when I meet new people. And I’ve fallen in love with the dirtbags and skibums of Park City, a place I desperately wish to call home. I mean that crowd should love a witch right? Here I cheered.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Yoga Enlightenment

With mixed feelings I had arrived at his work (not a yoga studio, just some office) feeling underdressed and ridiculous. I know nothing about teaching yoga, but I was there to be interviewed and tested as a yoga assistant. I expected to be laughed away and hoped for a free yoga session. Oh and it was. My novice rank means little in the realm of partner yoga. We are all just learning it—the hard bendy way.

“Have you done your yoga today,” he asked.

“No,” I replied biting my lip, “not today.” Or in the past seven months….

We sat down and began a series of intense poses—warm-up for the three hour session ahead. Not pain, I’m surprisingly flexible, but not strong so I felt the strain and pressure of holding a position while he stretched on top of me. Think of me as a pillow and he a restless sleeper. Remaining in child’s pose nearly brought me to tears, but I sweated them out instead. As he finally eased out of the pose I frantically realized I couldn’t move. Interview over.

Except it wasn’t. He pulled my arms forward and stretched out my legs, the shook them to pump the blood (I’m certain they held a purplish-blue tint) while he commended me for my energy. He launched into a tutorial on light energy and chakras. They seemed vaguely familiar from my university class a few years ago. But I tuned out when he geared up for our next test of endurance.

I loved this pose. I balanced on his feet as he held me high in the air. Or two feet above the ground, but with my eyes closed I felt like a trapeze artist flying with the greatest of ease. It was like playing superman as a child, and knowing that the lightheaded feeling is what makes it fun. After that we did our cool down and I realized what he’d done. He ripped my muscles apart then gave the big payoff of an endorphin filled flight. Trickery so that when he called to set up another session I’d say yes.

I have a class tomorrow at 8:40.