Monday, July 5, 2010

Turnips, Tango, Tapas, Tequila, and Totes

For those wondering what happened to those delectable turnips I purchased last week, here is the result:

Pictured above: Sliced turnips, sautéed with garlic and red wine, seasoned with parsley and basil. After this picture, I promptly threw them all in the garbage. Why? Turnips are gross! Eww!

But as exciting as turnips are (most of my blog readership now comes from links from the Turnip Fancy magazine website), I decided to leave them at home as I prepared for a night on the town last Friday.

There was a free Argentinian tango lesson and live tango band performance at Grant Park, and a fellow MSTP student and I wanted to give it a try. You should understand that, between the two of us, our respective Tango abilities could not more disparate. I realize that although I have an immense history of "gettin' jiggy wit it" to a variety of dance styles, the tango was one dance I had never tamed. It was my unicorn: uncatchable and ready to impale me with its powerful horn.

Contrastly, my friend not only knew how to tango, he had years (probably decades) of Tango experience and training. I imagine that as a fetus, his in utero months of dance practice were difficult, as the umbilical cord was his only (and unruly) partner. Now a grown-up, non-fetus tango master, he could will a single rose into his hand just by stepping onto the dance floor.

The basic tango lessons at the beginning were easy enough, but when the band came on, I entered a world of trouble. All of my leading skills were limited to swing and salsa, where "leading" really just means throwing the girl around until you get tired. My half-whiteness, eager to finally get the chance to gain control, shone through in spades; I became a bumbling, awkward nerd. I didn't so much tango as I just apologized and stumbled around. While it is true, as the old saying goes, that it takes two to tango, it only takes one to ruin it.

However, my friend had the opposite problem. His level far exceeded that of the crowd, forcing an excess of charm and machismo to ooze onto the dancefloor, certainly in violation of some EPA ordinance. Later, he lamented the casual nature of the dance, where I "asked" women to dance with me. "In real tango," he said. "You find your partner by locking eyes onto each other."

Pictured above: This tango master demands a dance. And a GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!

Defeated by the tango, I decided to do something I knew I could do well: eating. A few of us MSTP kids when out to get Tapas on Saturday night. Tapas is a famous part of Spanish cuisine, where traditionally diners will all share their entrées, their wine, and their tuberculosis (el consumption).

Afterwards, we went to a tequila bar, because this weekend had still not yet become Hispanic enough. Unfortunately, I didn't know that there was a themed party going on at the bar. From what I could deduce, the theme was "Terrible Frat Party." I took a picture, but my film melted almost immediately.

Pictured above: Not pictured. It was like the Ark of the Covenant. But instead of Nazis, it was dudes with baseball caps and polos. Close your eyes, bro!

So that's about it for my weekend. Oh yeah, I also made this sweet tote bag.

Pictured Above: Punctuation-nerd tote bag.

Note: This is not irony. Punctuation marks are awesome.


  1. Three problems:
    1) "Contrastly"
    2) You don't have film!
    3) I don't feel like enough of the punctuation marks are represented on your tote bag for it to be considered an accurate reflection of all punctuation marks. Since "punctuation" has 11 letters, we can't quite assume a 1:1 ratio between the number of letters and the number of marks... Let's instead say that if 5/13 marks have been represented, then we can use four of the letters. Punc? Tuat? Unct?

  2. Is this Doug I or II? Or a non-Doug? And how can YOU not be good at dancing?!

  3. Nicole:

    You missed some other problems:
    1) There has been no concrete evidence for the existence of unicorns
    2) Womb dancing is highly improbable
    3) Tapas does not involve any mycobacterium

    This, however, is your problem: you seem to have forgotten that this is a blog of lies (sometimes even to the point of fictional word usage, what I call "English-Plus"). In the future, you can save time by simply listing the accidental truths in my posts.


    To protect his anonymity, I can neither confirm nor deny his Doug-ness. And yes I, too, have the capacity for failure. For example, this blog.

  4. Exclamation points are just crutches