On a Midnight Bolero

Click the video above for background music that is appropriate for this post.

 

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Stars filled the night sky. A gentle cool breeze from the sea tempers the warm air. The outdoor patio at Cafe Romantico, which overlooking the city and the sea below. Rhythms of Spanish guitars fitting fill the air for this place by the sea.

The small audience remains as the night nears its end. He – a blonde, blue-eyed American in the area for business. She – a lady of the region with olive skin and long, straight, dark hair.

As a dancer knowing the rhythm, the slower-paced song speaks to him He approaches her, “Un Bolero, Señora por favor.”

She nods while offering her hand. They walk onto the dance floor of beautiful tile displaying the region’s intricate designs.

Their hands join. Their thighs touch. Her left hand goes to his shoulder. His right arm embraces her to complete the frame. They don’t know each other, yet they are one.

As a dancer, he is wise. Initial patterns are easy as each acclimates to the other. Each notices the skill level of the other. He smiles to her and she senses the simplicity is about to change.

Bolero is long and stretchy. They are close, then apart, then close. Low, then high, then low. She sends him messages through her slinky frame, moving arms, and sensual face with dark eyes. He attempts to remain unflappable, yet she motivates him.

They are close, she whispers to him in his native language. He responds by leading everything he knows. Walks, turns, contras, rondes, sweethearts, moons, sways, passes, checks, syncopated, and switches – and she answers his lead every time while continually speaking to him through her nonverbal cues as if she’s drawing him into her web.

He tries to ignore, but he can’t help notice her sensuality. Her movements speak to him – but that’s Bolero – let alone the setting.

The song ends. They silently stare into each others eyes. Seemingly eternity passes. And …. this was his night to remember on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

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On a Beach Walk: No. 33

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

My day starts on a colorful note. I awakened early – stars were still visible in the dark sky and there was enough light to see the whites of the waves. The eastern horizon contains a narrow streak of light. Oranges soon appeared along with light blues, grays, and even reds to accent the black. The light show continues with gradual changes, then the sun eventually sneaks over the horizon to start a new day.

Wonderful colors started my day. Later, I walked noticing the water is pristine and a natural emerald-green of the area. I think of crystal clear blue seen in parts of the Caribbean, or that special Ligurian Blue of the Ligurian Sea in Italy.

The sunny sky is blue with a sprinkling of white clouds across the sky. Although the sand is whitish, most of the buildings are shades of white and beige with an occasional colored roof. There’s also a beautiful blue scattered on the beach by the water – the deep hued blue with a pink crown of the Portuguese Man-of-War stands out saying, “Don’t step on me or else!”

People bring bright colors to the beach. T-shirts, sportswear, swimwear, umbrellas, chairs, and more provided spots of brightness. The beach flags today are also yellow (Medium hazard, cautious swimming) and purple (Marine pests – the stinging ones).

But the natural colors are what I ponder the most. The wide-ranging colors of shells always capture my attention. With different shades of brown and gray – and with brown combining with red to provide orange – but red is not absent. Some grays have so little white that they are black, yet a few have so little black they are white. Colors often combine in different arrangement in bands, streaks, or blotches.

I return to the emerald water that transports me to the spring and summer at home. All the greens. So many shades of green in nature resembling the many shades of green found in paint stores – and probably more. The plant’s green comes from chlorophyll that captures light necessary to produce their own food.

Plants have different amounts of the two types of chlorophyll, which can also be found in different concentrations. Different habits, leaves of different ages, and different amounts of minerals contribute to different shades of green in nature. It seems the biology teacher is still in me.

I’ve noted an array of colors on my day, but who knows how many I’ve missed. Noticing colors is a good thing, especially when walking the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Pronouns: The Musical – Act 2: You

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

A subset of nouns, pronouns serve as a substitute for nouns and noun phrases. These bits of linguistics and grammar are versatile and can almost refer to anything.

Although pronouns can be personal, objective, possessive, indefinite, relative, intensive, demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive, and reciprocal, this musical extravaganza focuses on selected pronouns.

Program

Act 2: You

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. (Charles R. Swindoll, American Clergyman)

Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life. (Yoko Ono, artist)

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. (Confucius, philosopher)

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. (Albert Einstein, scientist)

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. (Maya Angelou, poet)

Guidelines

Songs must have You in the title

Cautions

  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists
  • Contractions are acceptable at the discretion of The Producer
  • Your is unacceptable

Production Note

To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement

Welcome to the latest aFa Production – Pronouns: The Musical.

Act 2 is all about You – my readers. As one believing that most of the people of the world are good, the words of this 1967 hit support that mantra. Written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon-McCartney, let’s have a rousing welcome for Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, and Paul McCartney singing All You Need is Love.

Act 3: Me

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 369

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I’m sorry to report that I didn’t win the latest huge lottery drawing … and I was so sure my ticket would be the winner!

Cheers to the great start for Pronouns: The Musical. Act 2 features songs with “You” in the title. Curtain raises this Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). Did you noticed that I placed the next act’s theme below the opening act’s video.

Thanks for the unexpected encouragement for a post about cutting the cord! I can report good so far.

Ever had an unexpected treat? We hosted out-of-town friends earlier this week. As my wife and I were waiting at the Reds box office, a stranger approached us, then gave us four tickets to a private area that included food and drinks … and for free! What a great treat for our friends!

Did anyone watch (PBS) 10 Modern Marvels that Changed America? Cheers to a Cincinnati landmark making the list. Here’s a link to the show. For anyone interested, the Cincinnati piece is early in the program (the second marvel).

We’ve started watching The Americans (via Amazon Prime). Interesting. Have you seen it?

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I find it interesting that the rise in the price of gasoline is getting so little press. Maybe the lack of coverage is one of the effects of someone sucking all the air out of the room.

Because of the swath of thoughts about ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement), here’s a nonpartisan article about the agency.

I finally figured out something about loyal Trump supporters. Even though The Bloviator lies, blames, exaggerates, takes credit for everything while avoiding responsibility, Trumpians simply justify anything with this fill-in-the-blank statement: “What about ____?” (The blank being anything from American history)

There are many things that anyone can say about President Trump, but I don’t think anyone is more succinct that the one that I call The Great American Orator. Click here for the 5-second summation.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides timely tips for back-to-school shopping.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Embittered raisin won’t shut up about how it could have been wine
Index finger rips into toilet paper package like Velociraptor claw
Bee wishes it could hang around open soda can without everybody freaking out
Every driver in roundabout just winging it
Flight attendant demonstrates proper technique for eating fellow passenger in event of crash

Interesting Reads

Netflix: from pioneer to powerhouse
Rome’s subway expansion and discovered artifacts
Chinese mega-machines
Poland and democracy
Your mind while sleeping
(Graphic) Cosmic history
(Photos) 1988: A look back
(Photos) World Bodypainting Festival

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a song from my youth. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Bolero

For appropriate background music, click the video above for. You will have to stop it for the other videos.

 

Bolero – a style of music that is not music for Bolero the dance. For instance, Ravel’s Boléro is not meant for dancing a Bolero

Bolero – a slow dance to Latin music

Bolero – a dance with expressions through the arms, hands, legs, feet and face

Bolero – a fluid, slinky dance with rise-and-fall plus contra body movement (the upper and lower body slighting twisting in opposite directions)

If Cha-Cha is the tease and Rumba is foreplay, Bolero is the act of love

Image from ballroomdancers.com

 

History
Dance historians credit Spanish dancer Sebastian Cereza for creating Bolero in 1780

Bolero originally danced in 3/4 time

When Bolero music reached Cuba in the mid-1800s, it fused with African music and the timing changed to 2/4 or 4/4

Bolero originally a dance for a couple, but later adapted for large group choreography (which helped spread its popularity)

Bolero introduced America in the mid-1930s

Spanish and Cuban Bolero forms still exist today

Cuban Bolero (aka Bolero Son and International Rumba) is similar to American Ballroom Rumba, that is slightly faster than Bolero

 

Basic Steps
Bolero – a popular social ballroom dance, but also a competitive dance in American Rhythm ballroom

Bolero – danced in 4/4 time, usually at 96-104 beats per minute (slow than the Cuban Bolero in the previous video)

Basic pattern consists of six steps over two measures of music (eight beats)

Bolero’s basic pattern is as follows: (Note: Slow = two beats, Quick = one beat) Slow-Quick-Quick-Slow-Quick-Quick … (repeat)

1) Partners facing each other in standard ballroom hold

2) Bodies lower before a large, lunging step to the side (lead to the left, follower to the right), then raising on the second beat after the weight transfer (2 counts, slow)

3) Two rock steps follow (1 count each, quick-quick) that are smaller than the large side step. (Lead goes back then forward, the follower forward then back). Lowering for the next sequence occurs on the second small step.

4) Repeat the large, side step in the opposite direction.

5) Repeat the two rock steps (also opposite as below).

Watching this video will make more sense to the abbreviated written instructions.

 

When danced well, Bolero is a beautiful dance. With its long, fluid motions to go along with the music’s slow tempo, Bolero is full of expression, drama, and passion. The smooth, gliding, twisting actions, and accompanying rise and fall help make Bolero the beautiful dance of love. Enjoy the high-quality Bolero in the video below.

On a Beach Walk: No. 32

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Today is my birthday – February 17th – which is a good day to reflect on my life. I think about different people.

I think about my mother. A kind, gentle woman who came to America at age 26 with a 3-month old, knowing only my dad, and not knowing English. In time she learned the language well enough to converse with customers, visitors, friends, family, and neighbors.

I think about growing up in a small town in the rural Appalachian part of Ohio. Different times there then than today. I had wonderful friends in that isolated, small world. Good times with good people in a good place at a good time.

I think about my college days – a four-hour drive from home – a place that providing great times and a beginning for my career. The place that I established many long-term friendships. The place where I met my wife of 40+ years. Yes, we are called Falcon Flames.

I think of my teaching career – such an important, challenging, difficult, frustrating profession. My career was one of two halves – time when I thought I knew how to teach and times when I knew how to teach for learning. (past post?)

I think about my years in training development. Wish I could have done more of it – then again – I needed the last half of my teaching career to guide it.

I think about 40+ years of marriage – the ups and downs – the travels, hobbies, events, and friends – the love, support, growth, and challenges.

I think about all the people I’ve encountered in 65 years – family, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, professionals, fellow church members, medical professionals, my students, dancers, cruisers, and many more. I’m steadfast in my belief that the most important decision people make in their life is the people one chooses to be around.

I think about the new world of the cyber-connections I’ve made with fellow bloggers. Many wonderful people from most US states (if not all), and from all the world’s continents. You have confirmed my belief that the majority of the world is good.

I think about those who died during my journey. From Effie, a fellow third grader, and (of course) family and friends. Those from accidents, natural causes, illness, and violence – and now I am 6+ years older than my mother when she passed.

Reflecting is an important thing to do. My birthday is a good occasion for looking at life – and the beach is as good as place as any for it. After all, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Pronouns: The Musical – Act 1: I

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

A subset of nouns, pronouns serve as a substitute for nouns and noun phrases. These bits of linguistics and grammar are versatile and can almost refer to anything.

Although pronouns can be personal, objective, possessive, indefinite, relative, intensive, demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive, and reciprocal, this musical extravaganza focuses on selected pronouns.

Program

Act 1: I

I – when the speaker or writer refers to self as the grammar object in a sentence

I – but not me (that’s Act 2)

“I am the greatest.” (Muhammad Ali)

“I shall return.” (US General Douglas MacArthur)

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” (Albert Einstein)

“I have a lot to be thankful for. I am healthy and I am loved.” (Reba McEntire)

“I am a strong woman because a strong woman raised me.” (Writing journal title)

Guidelines

Songs must have I in the title

Cautions

  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists
  • Contractions are acceptable at the discretion of The Producer

Production Note

To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please: 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement

Welcome to Opening Night of the latest musical by aFa Productions: Pronouns: The Musical.

Selecting the opening number for any act is difficult, but finding the starter for Act 1 on Opening Night requires extra scrutiny. In the spirit of our leader’s contrarian nature, we at aFa Productions think outside the box – and a Mummers band perfectly fits that criteria. Let’s give a rousing aFa welcome to the Polish American String Band and I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.

 

Act 2 – You – Next Saturday @ 1:00 am (Eastern US)