The Start of Summer

It’s coming up on the Fourth of July, which for most of us, marks the middle of summer. I love the 4th for many reasons; one of which is that it means my birthday is coming up. When I was little, I used to think that all the fireworks and sparklers and picnics were meant specifically to celebrate my birthday. Imagine my disappointment when I realized it wasn’t! Still, it’s a fun holiday and it’s meant to be a mid-summer celebration.

But before we can get to mid-summer, there’s always another holiday that I enjoy immensely. That would be Memorial Day. For me, that holiday marks the beginning of the summer season. When you are once again allowed to wear white shoes and white pants. When walking around in shorts doesn’t seem so odd. Even (gag) the weekend where most people try to finish planting their spring/summer garden. (Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mom’s green thumb.)

But while others might be gardening or grilling outside for the first “summer” holiday weekend, my husband and I tend to be elsewhere. We, being Detroiter’s through and through, make it a yearly event to head downtown to Hart Plaza every day during that weekend. That’s because it’s the Movement Festival: a weekend celebration of all things electronic music; specifically techno. The festival has had many reincarnations over the 7 years it’s been in existence (political, economical issues, etc), but the main core reason the festival continues to draw the crowds (whether it’s a free or paid event) still exists. It’s a weekend of great (insert your choice of electronica music -ie- techno, house, drum n’ bass, etc) music. From four stages to choose from, not to mention the afterparties, it’s a weekend of pure “get your groove on” fun.

And even though it gets harder and harder every year to be there all day and every day or be out late every night for the afterparties, my hubby and I try to make an effort to go. Not only because we love this type of music, but also because it helps celebrate the history Detroit plays in electronic music. Go Detroit!

Dancing with the Stars

Okay, I have to admit it. I’m a sucker for any shows or movies that involve dancing. Dirty Dancing? Loved it. No one puts Baby in a corner. Hell, I even liked the bad sequel, Dirty Dancing Havana Nights. Bye Bye Birdie? Yup. Gotta love Janet Leigh and Dick Van Dyke. I even love the recent Gap commercial that’s on right now with Claire Danes and Patrick Wilson where they’re dancing to that Broadway Tune. And of course, my all time favorite, Strictly Ballroom. The list can go on and on. There’s just something about dancing that’s to romantic and so graceful and so controlled that I love.

So, it’s no suprise that I’m totally enjoying the Dancing With the Stars series. I’ve watched it on and off over the past few seasons, but watching the first two episodes of this season has already got me hooked. It certainly does help that it’s got “Cliff” from Cheers (John Ratzenberger), Heather Mills (ex-Mrs. Paul McCartney) with her prosthetic leg, and Apollo Ohno (yum). But seriously? It’s really about the dancing. I found myself smiling every time one of the contestants came out; transfixed on their movements. It looks like so much fun and yet so much work. I want to be able to do that someday.

Of course I’ve got two left feet (okay, the Filipina in me might have more like one and a quarter left feet – I have SOME rhythm, after all) so I’d never be Ballroom Competition-worthy. Also, there’s that “thing” about having to let the man take lead – I’m never good at giving up control. Yet, something about it just makes me want to put on those dance shoes (no, not them Doc Marten boots — this isn’t City Club, after all) and grab the hubby and have him lead me in a quick-step or a fox-trot.

I’ll never be Ginger Rogers, nor will my husband be Fred Astaire. But the feeling I have on the occasions where my husband does grab me and lead me in a slow dance around our living room (and I do relinquish that control) … it leaves my head spinning, my heart thumping, and my face smiling … just like it did tonite while watching Dancing With the Stars.

Roller Coaster

It’s hard to describe this type of roller coaster ride that I felt like I’ve been on the past ten years. I spend most of my time trying to forget that I’m on it, hoping that if I do actually forget, then the tracks of the roller coaster will eventually bring me to the top of a hill and just stay at a plateau for a while. (Perhaps maybe then I’d be able to get off this ride.) But it seems like every time I hit a peak, I end up free-falling back down at an uncontrollable speed.

And after what seems like a million of free-fall moments, I’ve learned that the best defense against feeling like shit was to pretend that I was okay. (That’s the reason behind me trying to forget that I’m on this stupid roller coaster to begin with.)

I’ve also learned recently that I need to break myself of that habit of ignoring what I’m feeling and learn to acknowledge these emotions in order to get over them and move on. The task of breaking that habit is proving to be more difficult than I thought.

As for how I feel now … almost three weeks after the initial disappointment? I’m still sad but I’m no longer free-falling. I’m at a plateau. But that plateau is more towards the bottom of the hill instead of the top. I’m hoping with more effort on my part, that I’ll start feeling that roller coaster start pulling me back up again.