Monday, May 26, 2008

Vargo, Art, and Polka Fest

I used to know this girl named Vargo in college. She was a friend of a friend and the thing I remember most about her is that she was awkwardly tall and goofy for a sorority girl. Also, her name was Vargo.

That name makes me giggle because it sounds like verga, the Spanish word for dick.


I've just spent the last two hours looking at posters online. Good times. Matt and I have been in major spring cleaning mode, which also kind of spills into spring upgrades mode. A couple of weeks ago, we spent an entire day making use of the movie posters I bring home from work and mounting them on poster board. I can now look at a deliciously evil Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd (or Sweeney Tizzod, as the interns used to say) all day if I want to. And I do.

I didn't buy any posters because I get kind of funny about buying things online. It's like "really? I can buy this? And that?" It's like a world in which money doesn't exist -- you just punch numbers into your compu and that's it. All of a sudden you've got Matisse's Fleur in your possession, when you could've easily traced it yourself. Fo' free, too.

All this art stuff reminds me of when I used to draw and paint. What the hell happened to that? I guess it got hard. But I used to really enjoy sketching and playing with my watercolors, especially when I finished after a good three or four hours of deep concentration.

I gave away my best painting to a boy who didn't deserve it. I thought he deserved it at the time -- ahem, high school boyfriend! -- but now I realize that that might be the best thing I ever painted. And I can never have it back.

It was a simple watercolor of a garden leading up to an entrance of a building. It was my favorite because of the fun I had selecting the colors of the flowers and blotting the brush down everytime I wanted a flower. And oh were there many! Now that I think of it, it's probably not very good, simply because all the flowers were just little brush blots in pink, purple and blue, but when I was finished with it, I thought it was pretty. I hope the high school ex-boyfriend thinks so, too. No I don't. Yeah, I do.


So Polka Festival...

It. fucking. ruled.

When Matt and I made the trek down to Ennis -- almost an hour's drive from our apartment -- we rode in almost complete silence. It's like we were kind of sharing the "I don't know about this, but we can't turn back" vibe. When we drove up, we saw this big mega-church-looking center with nowhere to park.

Still unsure, we walked up hand in hand, and saw a blonde girl of about 17 wearing short shorts and cowboy boots talking on her (or her pimp's) cell phone. We walked in and saw what seemed like a big Czech wedding with no bride and groom. The Dallas Czech Orchestra was playing while we searched for some seats in the sea of long cafeteria-style tables and plastic chairs.

We sat alone at our table by the restrooms with a great view of the goings-on. Old people, young people (some in traditional Czech costumes), mothers and children danced to classical polka tunes. We were most impressed by the kids dancing so gracefully. It was like watching Mexican kids who know how to salsa because their moms taught them. Only they weren't Mexican. And the music was...polka.

I must have underestimated the Czech people. I thought of them as white. Europeans who found themselves in the U.S., like all the other white people with European roots. When Matt and I sat down to eat, we sat with this old couple who told us they were brought up speaking Czech until they went to grade school, and kept referring to non-Czechs as "white people." That killed me. Here I thought only my peeps and blacks called non-raza "white people."

Another discovery that made me go, "oooo-wee!" A bar. With smoking. A bar with smoking in a Catholic Union center. That's right.

Let's get back to the dancing. I love to dance. I don't care how bad I am at it, I always think I'm good for at least one try and am willing to dance wherever I am. Even if it is to unfamiliar music like polka. It's like Tejano music anyway, and if you know anything about kids from the Texas-Mexico border, we've gone to our share of QuinceaƱeras and weddings were Tejano music is all that's played.

But there's one problem that keeps me from dancing: Matt won't dance.

He's not one of those assholes that knows how to dance, except he won't. No, he just doesn't dance. He doesn't know how. I've had a hard time accepting this in our eight years together -- many a wedding, I've spent making faces at him while watching the happy couples on the dance floor.

I've tried leading him. I've tried coaching him two seconds before going to the dance floor. I've tried getting him drunk. I've tried asking other men to dance with me (but that can just lead to trouble). Always the same result.

I refuse to be one of those women who just sits it out because her partner won't dance. So we're doing the dorkiest thing I've ever heard of and it pains me to even aknowledge it here, but we're signing up for dance lessons. Yes. We are.

Before you start muttering to yourself, "man, Tanya's lost it. Poor Matt, having to take dance lessons..." just shut up your brain for a second! It was his suggestion. I don't think it's really because he wants to learn how to dance for the love of the art. No. I really think it's because he knows that will make me happy. And for that, he is the man.

Here are a couple of pictures of our little polka excursion:

That's right. I wore polka dots to this thing. I told you I would.

This has been an excellent weekend. The extra day off was a nice touch. Thank you, no-work holiday makers of the U.S.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Polka Fest


Matt's taking me to the National Polka Festival today!

This should be either really fun or really um, FUN!

Since I don't have any traditional Czech costumes, I'm wearing my polka-dot dress to show my polka spirit.

I've said "polka" more times in this post than you might have wanted.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Not-Space

"The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world. In this long vigil he often has to vary his methods of stimulation; but in this long vigil he is also himself striving against a continual tendency to sleep." ~ Marc Chagall


I was poking around in MySpace and thought I'd check in on my niece, who is about to turn 18. Like many kids of our siblings, she seems so much younger than me, even though I'm closer to her age than my own sister's.

She's a precocious one, this little niece of mine. She posts random bulletins about "Fuck this shit" and "I'm so tired of being single," etc. She calls all her friends her "niggas" and is pro-life and loves her best friend, Saggy.

This sums up what I know about Tiffany.

In my ongoing state -- one of girl-lonelieness -- I find myself wanting to reach out to the few women/girls in my life. Tiffany is one of those girls.

Perhaps it's because I was never close to her mother, my sister. My sister is my father's daughter from his first marriage, and she is now 40. I saw her a few times growing up, and maybe twice in the last 10 years. There is no reason for us to not be close, except for the fact that we aren't close. She lives in Nashville, I've always lived in Texas. Even if I was in Nashville, I don't think I'd be lying if I said I'd go out of my way to spend time with her.

Tiffany represents that "lost sister." My only successful sibling relationship is the one I have with my younger brother, who is my best friend. The only kind of sister I know how to be is an older sister.

Tiffany will never be my sister. She'll never really be my niece. It's too late for that. The best I can hope for is a cousin-type of friendship with her, marbled with my nerdy, idiosyncratic comments on her MySpace page about how her hair looks nice in this picture or that.

On top of that, her settings don't post comments automatically. They have to be "approved." So if a photo comment from her 27-year-old aunt is too nerdy, she might just deny it.

That's the reality of MySpace.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


At the cyber water cooler:
- Ashlee Simpson got married.
- Jenna Bush got married.
- Ellen DeGeneres is getting married.

My home is quiet for once. It's 12:30 on a Sunday afternoon and two of the three boys living in my apartment are upstairs sleeping. The other -- my brother -- is in Austin making his first steps to moving there. His move-in date at his new apartment is July 1. By that time, he will have been living on my couch for close to nine weeks.

Nine weeks.

So you see why this quiet home is kind of like a precious, precious jewel. I have the computer to myself, the TV, the freedom to bumble around, sit in my own dirt, or wash dishes without anyone getting in the way or talking to me. It's not that I don't like company, but damn, a sister's gotta have some alone time.

I need a second cup of coffee. But I'm afraid to get up from the computer and find a boy sitting here when I get back.

We need a second computer.