Swing dance at our Reception

Swing dance at our Reception
Dancing to Come on Come on: by Mary-Chapin Carpenter:

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Clowning Aspect of Soul Life

Friday night, was the Halloween Dance at the Country Dance Hall, my wife and I visit. We dressed up as Gentleman and Floozy. Of course I was the Floozy. I'll see if I can learn to place a photo here, but until then let me tell you, I was beautiful!

Donna and I threw our outfits together in a couple hours. Doesn't that mean that we have to much stuff that we should throw out? When my wife gave me a choice of two purses to carry, she got concerned. I had a strong preference for one of them. The pink one with the gold-like clasp. Although we lost to the couple that went as doctor and patient. (the wife had a fleshy looking butt sticking out of the back of her hospital duds), we were not known for quite a while. Good disguises.

Last night we visited the new dance hall, Saddle Ridge, at Station Square here in Pittsburgh. For real country dancers (line dancers, swing, and 2-step), we discovered that the best time to dance is between 7-9 PM. Although the $8 parking rate seems ridiculous, getting there before 9 gets you in without the $5 cover charge. The spacious dance floor had only a few "real" dancers and no non-dancers that will come out after 9:30 or so. During this early time, dancers are left to themselves to remember a line dance that will go with the music. Periodically a song is played that doesn't sound county, more like hard rock, just a foretaste of the music saved for the college age drinkers, standing all around the dance floor.

It was great to have a bouncer and the DJ enforce dance floor etiquette, preventing drinks from being taken on the dance floor and even herding the "non-dancers" from running into the real dancers. A couple minutes before 10, the Saddle Ridge dancers got on the bar, dancing to one of those Rock songs and boy were their costumes provocative. With the playing of the Harder Rock, non country songs, it seemed like an invitation for the college drinkers to access the dance floor. Time for us to go.

On the way out, my wife Donna, a friend who came with us, and I stopped to watch the girls riding the mechanical bull. The operator allowed the girls to ride, Debra Winger style (from the Urban Cowboy movie). Then a couple quick, jerky moves would knock them off into the rubber air inflated floor and railing. All in all, a great couple nights for the clowning soul.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Asking Opah for Help!

As you can see, I've experienced some blocks trying to write this blog. I will return to talk about those, but for now I want to tell you about an interview I heard on NPR, National Public Radio. There is a great interview show, Fresh Air by Terry Gross that I try to hear as often as I can because of the relevance to our culture. On Oct. 27, she was interviewing Cam Simson, a Chicago Tribune journalist who had been reporting how Halliburton sub-contractors have been luring Nepalese workers to Iraq through contacts in Nepal. When the workers get to Iraq, after their families have gone into debt to send them for the high paying jobs, they find they have been deceived.

With their families in debt for the jobs, they can't return and find benefits and protections promised to those workers by US law are not enforced. I was so incensed by the story and felt so powerless that i decided to write the only person that I know who might publish this story to a larger audience. I emailed Oprah.

On Oprah's website, there is a great contact page. One of the ways to contact Oprah's producers with potential show stories. I know it isn't much, but it's someting!

Link to these for reference:
Terry Gross's Interview
Cam Simpson's Articles
Oprah's Ideas Submission