Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Universe :: Blue Eyes

So, in the news today is this: prior to about 4,000 B.C., or 8,000 B.C. (the scientists are not sure) - somewhere in there plus or minus 4,000 years - a caveman baby was born with blue eyes. Prior to that, there were no blue eyes on this blue planet - every Tom, Dick and Hairy had brown eyes. The scientists have figured out that there was a genetic mutation back then that sprouted blue eyes in humans.

This shit humbles me...number one, that this kind of mind boggling stuff happens here on earth and out there in the seven it God or intelligent design or science or whatever you want, but the way all this shit works is just incredible to me...number two, it's equally incredible that there are smart mofo's to figure it out 10,000 years later.

My kinda people - those with a 10,000 year mindset...

Here is the link to the article....

Here is my favorite song related to "blue eyes"....eeesh the sound quality is terrible...I'm not smart enough to figure out how to make it use your abstract mind to imagine it sounding better...

Houston Tango Festival - A photo

I found this on

See full article at

Apparently the photographer is Mayra Beltran of the Houston Chronicle Newspaper.

The pianist is Glover Gill of Glover Tango. He also collaborates with Tosca String Quartet of Austin and does a regular Thursday night live gig/milonga at Lambert's Restaurant in Austin. And, he is a damned good composer and accordianist as well. I can't say enough good things about this guy.

Anyone care to ID the dancers?

Valentine's Day Part 1 :: Lingerie

I ran across this on of all places, on the front page.

If I had a girlfriend, and if I had money to burn ($775 for this puppy), I would be buying this for her...for Valentine's Day...

To be continued...(since I don't have a girlfriend, I will do a reverse vicarious thing and post everything I would do for her, if I had her in my life, for Valentine's day)...stay tuned for Part 2...

You can find it on, and the designer is Carine Gilson...

Actually, now that I am about to click the "publish post" button, I am wondering to myself if it is not so much the lingerie piece that attracted me, but more the woman wearing it...hmmm

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On Life :: Real men don't dance tango

Continuing from the end of my prior post...

I get this a lot...okay not a lot...sometimes...occasionally...especially when I lived in Aspen...I think (not 100% sure though) that some people (not all, mind you) thought I had to be gay because I danced tango - never to my face - just an undertone. I never really got that - because obviously I am dancing tango in a very intimate and very close embrace with soft, supple, sensuous, cuddly, warm women who 99 times out of 100 also happen to smell really, really good.

Ahhh...I just love the segue...especially a segue in the morning....which brings me to another post/topic...that 1 time in 100...when a follower does not happen to smell really, really good....

Tango :: Don't lose your tango

Photo by Bryan Lowe on Flickr.

Don't worry, I didn't break my leg!

I just remembered a post I meant to write a while ago. I was thinking about all the things I don't do - to make sure I don't injure myself and put my tango at risk. In other words, what we don't do (that we used to do) - and also what we do-do (perhaps that we didn't used to do) - to not put ourselves at risk for injury and/or to "enable" our I making any sense here?

Similar to the symptoms of tango addiction, but different...or is it?

Here are things I don't do::

Snow skiing (when I used to live in Aspen)...pretty much quit this all together...

Horseback riding...I went camping/horseback riding with friends in Moab in the spring of 2007...we had six or eight horses with us and everyone was going riding...I tried to make excuses to hang in camp (and take photos around the campsite)...but they made me go...and ride this very large high performance mare (hmmm, note to self....the subject of another twisted post...riding high performance mares...grin)...she didn't respond to neck reining...let me re-phrase that...she responded negatively and erratically when I accidentally neck reined her (versus bit reining I suppose)...and she almost jumped off a 6 foot high embankment down to the sandy creek...

There was something else...rather benign as I recall...that originally prompted me to write this post...something I thought of (or did or didn't do) and then thought about the risks to my tango...I think I was at the grocery store or Lowe's or something...can't remember...

Here's another one, I am a much safer driver (thank Aspen for 10 years of top speeds at 40mph for months on end) offense...all defense...a crash might jeopardize my tango after all...

And another...taking it easy at the gym...I've got an old shoulder I am always cognizant of not re-injuring....don't want to fuck up my famous embrace...

Although yesterday...I was perched on the third rung from the top of a wobbly extension ladder...16 feet in the air...arching my back and twising my torso to change a light fixture...stupid move...very stupid...I risked my was my tango that kept me from falling...I conjured up all of my balance and contra-body torsion to be able to stand on this ladder in an offset postion...and install the light fixture....both hands in the air working on the hands holding, as I write this, I am convinced I would have fallen were it not for my tango...

Here are things I do-do for my tango::

Creative visualization (of dancing)

View and study YouTube videos

View and study my own video footage (mostly Gustavo y Giselle)

Listen to tango music (almost exclusively for close to three years)

Stretch my calf muscles and achilles tendon every chance I get - street curb, curb at the gas station, edge of a built-up dance floor, any change in elevation I can back up to and drop my heel

Tango specific stretches and weight training at the gym...

For tango in general...take beginner classes....for two reasons...okay three...1] I believe experienced dancers should always go back to the beginning...2] next to check out other teachers' teaching style/content/context/technique...and finally 3] and I believe new dancers (followers) should experience an experienced their first four weeks of classes....there is a mini-epiphany from most followers on the order of "ohhhh, so this is what it's supposed to feel like...." ....if they think that tango is what they are feeling/experiencing from the beginning leaders...then we will lose them...from tango...

Demo tango technique in public... once waist deep in a hot springs pool...with another man (tanguero) night....although there was no embrace...I was demo'ing...he was watching...luckily, there were huge clouds of steam...then we went to a sports bar to watch football, drink beer, talk loud and deep, and beat our chests...

Which brings me to another post/ who dance tango must be gay...

What else? Leave your comments...I would love to hear others...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tango Quote

I ran across this on Tango-L...

>The tango trance.
>Seek it, and it will elude you.
>Talk about it in too much detail.
>and it will haunt you evily.
>Live for it, and you will die many deaths
>Treasure it, but don't hold onto it.
>Dance with love and freedom.
>and it will embrace you.
>Be vulnerable, and feel it's power.
>Dan Boccia

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ms. Studio Wellspring

She blogs about design related's a good blog...and she dances tango, too.

Check it out.

P.S. and she has nice dimples, too...

P.S. and she found these...memory "sticks"...I just love it...memory sticks....whodathunk?

Houston Tango Festival :: Live Milonga Cams

Okay, I am still really bummed that I am not there right now. Dagnabbit! Suckage!

Since we no longer have "Mr. Tango/Milonga/Festival Reporterman" to give us play by play festival reports, (and video) I will throw out the idea to mount live web cams high in the corners of the room. So we can all watch the action, and dance tango vicariously/virtually, through the miracle of modern technology.

I'm not serious about this, but the thought did occur to me.

Tango Quotes

Heather & Lee
[Photo by me...Alex Long Photography..."Heather & Lee" Aspen's Holiday Milonga in 2006]

Someone who hit my blog recently did a Google search, entering the words "tango quotes". There should be a repository of good tango quotes, and perhaps I will attempt to do it here.

I was just reading Ms. Heartbreak Tango's blog...and she said this in one of her posts...

"Tango can save your life, and it will break your heart." [Credit - Ms. Heartbreak Tango]

Here is one she found on Ms. Nuit's blog...La Nuit Blanche (who we all sorely miss by the way...she hasn't blogged in a long, long time....hopefully she is dancing (and working) up a storm...)

"I have tasted a lover's tears on my lips. But I have never felt his eyeballs moving inside their sockets." [Ms. Nuit of La Nuit Blanche - found by Ms. Heartbreak Tango]

Here are a few that I have collected...

“The tango can be debated, and we have debates over it,
but it still encloses, as does all that which is truthful, a secret.”
[Jorge Luis Borges]

There is the now cliche'd one from the film "The Tango Lesson", Sally Potter asks Pablo Veron “How did you choose the tango?”, and he replies “I didn’t. The tango chose me.” So we now often hear the saying…”You don’t choose tango, tango chooses you…” [I suppose credit goes to Sally Potter, who I assume wrote the screenplay.]

Tango Trance: “The state of being so completely immersed in the music, and so profoundly connected to your partner, that movement flows from within the partnership, uninhibited by conscious thought.” [Dan Boccia of, Anchorage, Alaska]

>The tango trance.
>Seek it, and it will elude you.
>Talk about it in too much detail.
>and it will haunt you evily.
>Live for it, and you will die many deaths
>Treasure it, but don't hold onto it.
>Dance with love and freedom.
>and it will embrace you.
>Be vulnerable, and feel it's power.
>Dan Boccia

“The follower feels the first half of the sentence [from my lead], and then she completes the second half of the sentence...” [Murat Erdemsel]

“Surrender Tango [a documentary], delves into the mystery of the tango connection--why sometimes you lose yourself in your partner's arms and other times three minutes seems like three hours. This thirty-minute film goes beyond tango as a dance to tango as a metaphor for relationships. The rules and roles of tango partnering reveal how giving space actually creates more intimacy. The film breaks down various aspects of the dance to see how a good embrace is about sharing; the lead is about clarity and commitment; the follow is about sensitivity and surrender. But surrender requires that the dancers be centered and independent of each other before they can truly give themselves to each other. Sensuality is the fusion that adds tension and excitement to the dance and music is the glue that holds the couple together.” [Film Commentary about the documentary film “Surrender Tango” – produced and directed by Tango dancer Marcia Rock]

A famous quote attributed to Enrique Santos Discepolo, a poet, journalist and philosopher, "Tango is a sad thought that is danced."

I will do my best to keep compiling a list...send me your favorites...or point me to them...


Movement never lies.
~ Martha Graham

Dancers are the athletes of God.
~Albert Einstein

A day I don't dance is a day I don't live.
~ Anonymous Tunisian dancer

Dancing is like dreaming with your feet!
~ Constanze

Only the wise can dance the rhythm of life.
~ Unknown

Nothing is more revealing than movement.
~ Martha Graham

Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.
~ Samuel Beckett

Dancing is a relatively safe form of intoxication.
~ from Copeland & Cohen

Don't dance for the audience; dance for yourself.
~ Bob Fosse

Dance is not something to talk about. Dance is to dance.
~ Peter Saint James

Everyday I count wasted in which there has been no dancing.
~ Nitzsche

We're fools whether we dance or not, so might as well dance.
~Japanese Proverb

There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.
~ Vicki Baum

Will you, won'te you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
~ Lewis Caroll

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
~ Epictetus

"She may be horizontally desireable in life, but she's vertically challenging in tango..."

"I believe that Tango has the potential to bring out the best in each of us, at least while in the embrace. We surrender our egos; leave prickly personality traits at the table; and cease to be CEOs, taxi drivers, engineers, unemployed. We replace all our externals with a purity of spirit, a generosity of kindness, splendid caring. And when these elements flow freely between partners, it is...the joy." (Johanna)

"I come to tango to relax - the music carries me and makes a dance for me. With other music, I have to make a dance myself" [a professional dancer]

There is no open or close embrace, there is only tango...

"Life is like Tango... sad, sensual, sexy, violent and quiet."

"Other music exists to heal wounds; but the tango when sung and played is for the purpose of opening them, for the purpose of sticking you finger in the wound and to tear them until they bleed."

"Tango is not a dance, it's a feeling. And how do you teach a feeling?"

"We dance tango because we have secrets." :: Marilyn Cole Lownes

"Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion." :: Martha Graham 1894-1919, Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer

"The music goes in my ears, is filtered through my heart, and comes out through my feet." [El Flaco Dany Garcia]

"Students must obligate their teachers to continue learning - the teachers must continue to learn." [Dana Frigoli and Pablo Villarraza

"Please, just for me, forget the steps...hold me, feel the music, and give me your soul. Then I can give you mine." [Sallycat]

"Salon tango is like having sex with someone you love, nuevo tango is like having sex with a pornographic athlete."
Suzy Vegas []

You don't *do* boleos. Boleos happen." [Limerick Tango]

"It's not so much that he led me, but more like he willed my movements..." [a woman talking about dancing with Pablo Veron]

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Milonga Last Night

Originally uploaded by ianono

this is a photo by "ianono" on flickr...but it perfectly captures a milonga feeling...

i didn't pull out my camera last night...but regretted it afterwards....there was live music....a bandoneon and keyboard....great music to dance to....great people to dance with....although a few of them "hung" on me too much...too much pressure on my left hand...i should have said something i suppose...

my back was beginning to bother me because of i pulled the roberto disappearing act...and snuck out at 1130...but i had been dancing since 730....4 hours was enough...

back to write more...i know i have a tendency to be a man of few words...and i am hesitant to write about those i dance with...hmmm...

there was to be a beginner and then an intermediate class before the milonga...but no one showed for the beginner i danced the hour away with an experienced follower...nice warm up...(i like to check out instructors...and their teaching form/style/content/context/ that's what i was doing at a beginner class...)

for the intermediate class, more people showed up...but the class ended up not being very organized...kinda dis-integrated...i ended up teaching a young woman and her partner...she was a salsa dancer...with killer comme il faut's...brand new and shiny...and she wanted to skip past all the basic stuff and have me teach her boleos...i taught her the basics...posture...walk...balance...axis...weight transfer...pivoting...heel up...committing to a step/ cruzada...she did very well...and i relented in the end and showed her a simple boleo...

then later during the milonga i noticed her and her partner out on the dance floor...they couldn't walk...but by god she could do boleos...luckily the dance floor was fairly open...i warned her about that...that we rarely lead boleos in a social setting...because of the danger of impaling someone with a heel...

it's nice to see the young'uns interested in tango...perhaps it is beginning to be "cool"... much as i enjoyed experiencing a new milonga...dancing with new folks...i found myself missing my friends...and thinking about the houston tango festival...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Milonga (con traspie) :: Detlef Engel & Melina Sedo

First, a milonga to Canaro's "Milonga Sentimental"...

Then, a milonga to Edgardo Donato's "Ella Es Asi" at "Porteño y Bailarin" in Buenos Aires. I happened to be there on this night with a small group from Aspen. Forgive me if I have posted this in the past...

It just doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Houston Tango Fest :: This Weekend!

See my comments below the photo...
Houston Tango Festival Jan 25-27, 2008

Do you hear that "great big sucking noise"? (Remember, Ross Perot made this phrase famous - about the federal deficit.) Anyway, it's the major suckage that I can't go to the Houston Tango Fest this weekend.

I cannot express with enough displeasure how much I wanted to go - the words I have in my head, on the tip of my tongue, were they to spill onto this virtual page - would not be words I would want my lady friends to hear me speak...write.

Except this one...


Or maybe this one...


Yup, I am more of a "dag-nabbit" kinda guy.

The reason I can't go is that my life life as a capitalist...calling me to go make money...

Doesn't it just SUCK when "life" gets in the way of tango?

P.S. I do plan to dance this weekend...but just not in Houston...another time...another year...

P.P.S. I do have a handful of friends now in Houston...who I hope to see soon...have fun! I will be thinking of you!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Where in the world is Alex?

If you happen to be in the market for an accordian, the close relative to tango's bandoneon...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tag::Seven random things about me

Sorry folks...I rolled into Austin and promptly was set upon by the "I-10 Revenge" (think Montezuma's revenge)...I told a friend the first day that it felt like someone "took an eggbeater to the inside of my stomach"...let's just suffice it to say the past four days have been the absolute worst gastrointestinal event of my lifetime...that said...

Here are the rules: Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog: Share seven random and/or weird things about yourself. Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Here goes:

I was tagged by:
Reality Pivots
Johanna's Tangri-La
still looking for one or two others...

I once had a dream (more like a fleeting thought) about being an Olympic speed skater (I have the legs for it) and then it was an Olympic C-1 paddler. My passion, many years ago, was whitewater kayaking. The culmination of my kayaking "career" was paddling the Chattooga River in Georgia - a National Wild and Scenic River - made famous by the movie "Deliverance". As I recall, it's solid Class 4/5 whitewater.
Olympic Whitewater C-1 Slalom

I sincerely believe that I was a mountain man/trapper (like Jim Bridger, Jedediah Smith and those dudes) in a previous "incarnation"'s the story...the summer after high school, I did a month long mountaineering course at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in the Wind River Range in the end of the trip, we were picked up at Green River Lakes by a bus for the long ride back to Lander, on the other side of the range...we were driving past this one area...where I got this overwhelming was almost like I could see the tipis...the indians...the mountain men...the horses...the dogs...the smoke from campfires...all coalesced into a rendevous (mountain men, indians and merchants trading) was like I was we crossed the creek, I noticed it was named "Horse Creek"...when I got to Lander I wandered into a book store, picked up a book on mountain men (I had already been reading everything I could get my hands on for the past several years...)...thumbed through the pages...and stopped on a map/plate showing the location of the very last rendevous ever held by the mountain was in 1840 at Horse Creek on the Green River...after that, the mountain man's way of life began to die demand for beaver pelts was a really eerie feeling at the time...

I'm allergic to allergic reaction when I was 6 yrs old consisted of severe dizziness and seeing everything in black and white negative...freaky...

My first job was when I was 11 or 12 years old...was working as the "attendant" at a driving range (golf)...I got fired on my first day...I was too young to drive the I was shagging the golf balls manually...and some kids went into the little shack and stole some candy bars while I was out on the range..."you're fired!"...

I once choked on a large chunk of bacon in a breakfast taco...while driving down the road...actually inhaled it partially...I thought to myself, "this is it, this is how I am going to die"...but then involuntarily heimlich'd myself by throwing my body over the center console (and choughing and choking the offending chunk free) as I skidded to a stop in the middle of an intersection...cheating death...

When I was 16 years old...a sophomore in high school...I had a year long affair with a 24 year old nymphomaniac...I just found out last year why it mom found out about it and ran her off...

I can think about someone I have not seen or heard from in a long time...and within hours, (sometimes minutes) I will run into them...or they will call or email me...this happens to me a lot...

I will figure out and add the tags and other stuff later...

I made it...

Exhausted...1609 miles...34 hours of driving over four days...I left Aspen at 3pm on Sunday...arrived Austin 830pm tonight (Wed)...going around the long way (Aspen to Moab to Phoenix to El Paso to Austin)
Train in West Texas

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Greetings from sunny Phoenix...

No more snow for this puppy...yeeha! On the road again to El Paso del Norte...



Monument Valley at 50mph

Here are a couple of shots I took in Monument Valley (Arizona) yesterday...driving 50-60 miles per hour...pulling a trailer weighing around 4000 lbs....rolling the windows down as needed... for shots out my window I brace the camera (Nikon D-200 with battery grip) on my shoulder...for shots out the passenger window, these are a bit more difficult...stiff armed...arm extended...sometimes steering with my left knee...the trailer only fishtailed once...I never stopped or slowed down...due to time constraints...that's what makes the photos more interesting for me...

Also, you will note that these are very atypical Monument Valley photos...

More on my brief run through the Navajo Nation in another post....


Monday, January 7, 2008

Icy Road Conditions in Moab

I left Aspen yesterday with another load of detritus...actually good camelback leather sofa takes up almost the entire fucking trailer...and other shit...pots & pans...dishes...shot glasses...other stuff to create a workspace...

I decided to head back to Texas by going west into Utah...and south through Arizona...hoping to dance in Phoenix tonight...then visit my uncle in El Paso...then back to Austin...

I didn't have access to the weather channel for the last week...I was planning to miss the big snow in the mountains...but instead now driving into some heinous weather in the Four Corners area....

I'm here at the internet cafe in Moab...roads are icy...waiting for new tires to be put on...figgered it was time to replace the (almost) bald ones and not risk death or may have heard about the bus crash (8 people died) in Mexican Hat, Utah...a few hours south from here...just before you go through Monument Valley...

Anyway, heading out now...would post some pics but my card reader is packed away...perhaps later...

My parting thought...sitting here in this little cafe....on Main Street in Moab...god the women are beautiful here...beautiful...