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October 29th, 2002

I met Kim at work at 8:10, 10 minutes late. As I was walking out this morning, I stopped by the front desk to tell them that I don't think I'm in a non-smoking room, that it smells like smoke when you walk in, and I smelled smoke all night in the comforter. She said, "No, that is a non-smoking room." I said, "Well, what about the black ashtray that's in the bathroom?" "Perhaps the last guest smoked in the room." Yeah, perhaps. And perhaps the smoking rooms have THREE ashtrays. She moved me to the only room vacant tonight -- room 136, a handicap room. It smells good, but now I have to bend down to use the microwave and the other appliances. The shower is a real pain. Interesting that this room is as inconvenient to me as a regular room might be to a disabled person.

I met way too many people today. Some were real cuties, especially one named Robert. Hmmmm. I met a couple of people from Austin -- Sue J., the tester, for one -- and Sam and Justin are here-- from Raleigh!

I'm almost positive the trainer who taught me for two hours today is gay. He has the blackest hair, eyebrows, and a triangle just under his lip forming somewhat of a goatee with stubble all about. I looked as often as I could without getting caught, to see if there was actually mascara on his eyebrows making them so thick and dark. Not to mention that they had an unbelievable arch to them.

A group of 10 of us went to "Super Mex" for lunch. It was quite good. The complimentary tortillia chips that they give out with salsa to munch on until the meals come were huge. They were the size of soft, round taco shells. I had a chorizo & egg burrito (no beans!). Sam sat next to me and he had a burrito the size of his head. No kidding.

All four people at my end of the table outed themselves as straight during the lunch conversation. Once said, joking about how she hurt her knee (she's walking around with a crutch), "My boyfriend tried to cut off my ponytail, and I..." Dan mentioned his wife and his daughter. Meagan mentioned her ex-boyfriend and ex-fiance (though I suppose this hasn't technically confirmed anything as I, myself, have an ex-wife), and Sam mentioned his wife. I'm going with the odds that they're all straight.

I left work at about 5:15, and at 5:45 left for North Hollywood. My destination was "Oil Can Harry's" on Ventura Blvd. I pulled in at just about 7:45. Two hours to go 50 miles. What they say about the L.A. traffic is definitely true.

The trip into LA reminded me of my first trek to NYC -- every where you turn, there are famous streets and areas -- Hollywood, Vine, Mulholland Drive, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Blvd... pretty cool.

One of the guys who was at the door, Kevin, asked me to do the first lesson with him. It was called a shuffle-something; perhaps the cha-cha shuffle. cha-cha-cha right, cha-cha-cah left, slide, slide.

The second dance they taught was a line dance. Right kick, Right kick. cha-cha-cha. Left kick, left kick. cha-cha-cha. Swing out right foot. Swing out left foot. Swing out right foot, hitch and turn quarter right. Rock back and forward and cha-cha-cha. Military turn with left foot forward and turning to the right. cha-cha-cha. Step right foot forward on toe, put heel down. Step left foot forward on toe, put heel down. Jazz box with a quarter turn to right; another jazz box with a quarter turn to the right. Start over.

The third dance lesson was the cowboy cha-cha to Neon Moon. I didn't dance this, but I sort of know this dance already.

Other dances they did that I knew: 1) Back Street Boys, 2) The one we do to Peace Train, 3) the Tush Push, and 4) the one I learned most recently that I don't know the name of, nor the name of the song we do it to. (The one with the multiple turns ending with the right foot kicked out twice. Adam taught me this one on the side one night.) I really do need to learn the names of these dances.

Something new that I learned about two-stepping: starting on the "quick-quick" is an "east coast thing." Here, they start on the slow, and take an extra step. How interesting!

I left the bar at 10:15. Things were going smoothly until a traffic jam at about 10:30 where 101 South met 5 South. The exit to 5 South was "closed." An alternate route -- take 10 East to 710 South -- was recommended on the flashing sign. I did this, and 710 South eventually had an exit for 5 South off it. I got home at 11:15PM. A 50% improvement to the trip out there.

I've decided, unfortunately, that that's too far to go to dance on a school night. I'm pretty tired. They have C&W dancing there Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I'll probably go back on Friday. Going there -- the two hours -- it occurred to me that that's like driving to Wilmington after work to dance.

It's going to be a tiring three weeks. It's non-stop at work. What a concept.

I forgot to take my cell phone on my trip to the "big city."

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