#50ThingsList Update – Week 2
I was able to check two items off my “50 Things To Do In My 50th Year” list since my last post, and I made some progress on two other items as well. Go me!
First, I completed Item #47 (Eat shawarma ala Avengers) on Saturday, June 20th. I’d never had shawarma before, but after Tony Stark recommended it in the first Avengers movie, I knew I had to try it. Grif mentioned that there was a cafe in Simi Valley that served it, so when I had occasion to have lunch with my good friend C (who lives in the area), all the pieces fell into place. I love it when a plan comes together!
We met at Ali Baba Cafe and I had the beef shawarma sandwich. It was very tasty and reminded me of a gyro sandwich. I would definitely eat there again.
The other item I completed this week is #11 (Go to a tango milonga). Grif and I have been taking Argentine Tango lessons at House of Dance in Ventura for the past few months. They hold a social dance party every Friday evening, and the last Friday of each month is a milonga corta, which is a basically a dance party where they play tangos all evening. Traditionally, one is expected to dance with multiple partners at a milonga corta, but since Grif and I are still rank amateurs when it comes to dancing the tango, we cheated and kept to ourselves. Nobody seemed to mind too much.
We were only there for an hour, because Liam has a parkour class on Friday evenings and we needed to pick him up afterwards, but we were ready to be done by the time we had to leave. Argentine Tango isn’t a terribly strenuous dance, but it is done in a close “salon” embrace (essentially a full body press from the waist up), and warm room plus pretty much non-stop dancing for 45 minutes was plenty of milonga corta for us. I’d just gotten new tango shoes too, so while they fit like a dream and were a real pleasure to dance in, my dogs were barking when it was time to go home.
During our dance lessons, the instructors give us specific steps or combinations of steps to work on, so it was a bit of a challenge to figure out how to string them all together enough to keep dancing for an entire three-minute (or longer!) song. Argentine Tango is unlike any other type of dancing I’ve ever done before, and it is surprisingly complex, at least for me. Grif and I spent most of our time giggling and trying to stay out of the way of the other dancers, but in the end I think we made a huge leap forward in our ability to tango together because we weren’t just following along to preset choreography, we were actually dancing. By the way, if you want to improve your listening and communication skills, either as a couple or as an individual, I highly recommend taking social dance lessons. It has done more for my relationship with Grif than anything else we’ve gone through together.
Grif wasn’t too keen on the idea of attending the milonga corta when I first suggested it, but he seemed to really enjoy himself. I think we’ll be back next month, and we may even get brave and try out some of the other milonga cortas in the area. Woo hoo!
In other news, I made progress on Item #5 (Make 50 items to donate to charity). I’ve been doing charity knitting for years now, and my favorite thing to loom knit is baby hats. I have chosen Emily’s Hats For Hope Initiative to donate to this year, and I’ve completed 32 baby hats so far. Most of them were completed before my birthday, however. Is that cheating?
Finally, I made some progress on Item #34 (Finish will, advanced directive, body donation arrangements, etc.). Are you watching the “Ask a Mortician” series on YouTube? Caitlin Doughty is a delight and I can’t recommend her videos highly enough. Coincidentally, her most recent “Ask a Mortician” video covered the basics of advanced medical directives and other topics along this line, so I took lots of notes and did quite a bit of research this week. Not to be morbid, but 50 is pretty much midlife for me (if I’m lucky), so what better time to take care of the paperwork and get all my final arrangements in place so I can get on with the business of living, yes?
That’s it for this week!