Monday, December 24, 2012

What our cats want for Christmas

Yummy Christmas Dinner!  Science Diet Turkey and Giblets Entrée!

Since our cats are the most sweetest, loveliest, adorable cats IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, we try to spoil them every Christmas with gifts we were originally quite certain they would love.  

...Unfortunately, they have never been impressed at our gift selections.  "Your gifts suck!" they complained in unison.  "Just look at all this EPIC CAT GIFT FAIL!:"

1.  Fancy Electric powered aquarium with ascending and descending bubbles and plastic tropical fish

"We knew right away that those fish weren't alive.  Who did you think you were kidding?"

2.  Premium Catnip flavoured cardboard scratch pad with rolling ping pong ball"

"Why would we scratch that stupid piece of artificial crap when it feels so good to rip up your carpet corners and door frames with our claws?  And what's so interesting about pushing a ping pong ball around and around on a track?  Are we gerbils or something?"

3.  Zhu Zhu

"We can't believe you paid good money and pushed over several pregnant women and an old crone with a walker for motorized hot wheels wrapped in faux fur.  Give us a real mouse next time!"

4.  Expandable and Collapsible pink and black three-way Play tunnel

"Are we supposed to amuse you by friskily playing hide and seek in this contraption?  Why don't we just sun ourselves next to the window and scoff at you instead?"

5.  Combo Sisal Scratch Post with plastic excess fur collecting Neck Scratcher

"See #2 above for our comment on your carpets and your door frames.  That Neck Scratcher looks like a scary slicing part from the Guillotine - we're not stupid, we aren't going to put our precious necks anywhere near that!"

This year, we finally had enough of the cat complaints.  "So, what do you kitties REALLY want for Christmas?" we asked.

"All we're asking for is for you to wave a leather shoelace or a straw (preferably with a paper sleeve so we can shred it off while we are playing) creatively in front of us so that we can chase it around.  And while you are waving it around, we want you to concentrate ONLY on waving it around - we don't want you talking on the phone, checking your email, thinking about making money from Tango, or eating a sandwich."

We were skeptical since what the cats were asking for was so low-tech and cheesy, but we went along with it anyway.  Guess what?  The cats had loads of fun - they sprinted around chasing the end of the straw and the shoelace and rolled around and pounced and jumped until they were tired.

We were astounded.  "We can't believe that we spent all that money on those terrible cat gifts while all along, you would be happy with something so simple!"

"Ah, you silly humans!" they said.  "You always make it so complicated.  Do you think that receiving a super-sized box of gourmet chocolates, a Rolex watch, the newest Apple gadget, a designer handbag or even a brand new car would make you happy?  Things won't make you happy.  As for wishing for and getting massive wealth, lots of power, a big dream house - don't think that they would make you happy either.  We know you like to dance Tango - yes, dancing and enjoying Tango might make you happy - but don't think that having all the latest Comme Il Fauts would make you happy.  And as for having rabid Tango ambitions and hoping to become a "Tango Performer", "Tango Teacher", "Tango Professional", "Tango Expert", "Tango Name", "Tango Champion" - ha ha, don't even think about it, you will be miserable!" 

"So, in all of your cat wisdom - what should we do this Christmas instead of wishing for gifts or plotting Total Tango World Domination?"

"You should keep on waving that shoelace - and then when we get tired playing, we should all have a nice nap.  You are permitted to cuddle us - but without making any cloying, infantile, baby-talk noises. In cat years, we are not babies - we are older than you! After our nice refreshing nap, we can have Science Diet Turkey and Giblets (or in your case, the human-food equivalent).  And then we can play some more!"

Thanks to advice from all our cats, it's shaping up to be the best Christmas ever!  Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013 to everyone!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Adela Galeazzi and Roberto Fortunato at Salon Canning

The beautiful and talented milonguera Adela Galeazzi has been teaching classes at Salon Canning with Rino Biondi on Saturday afternoons lately - and after class one day, one of Adela's favourite dance partners, milonguero Roberto Fortunato, came to visit.

Here's the video of Adela and Roberto's exquisite dancing that afternoon!  Just look at Adela and Roberto's wonderful musicality, and Adela's cat-like grace and delicate footwork:

Adela Galeazzi and Roberto Fortunato dancing to Fresedo after class on a Saturday afternoon at Salon Canning

Adela's awesome technique reminds us of the way cats move - with softness, precision, speed, and underneath it all, surprising power.  

"Hey kitties!" we said to our cats.  "Want to take up Tango?"

 "Squishy?  Not even - we're perfectly comfortable!"

We thought our cats would be interested in learning how to tango since they are naturally athletic and musical creatures (they have their own kind of cat opera called "caterwauling" - we hear it every morning if we are even five minutes late in making their breakfast) - but they were too busy trying to fit more than one cat in a half-cat sized cardboard box to answer us.

In fact, our cats keep on surprising us.  We thought that cats would go "meow meow" but we were mistaken - they don't understand "meow meow" language, let along speak it.  We can go "meow meow" at them all day and they would look at us like we were completely bonkers.

"No, the proper way to speak to "cat" is to go 'Aurrrrrrwow!  Aurrrrwow!'" said one cat.

"I prefer 'Ack-ack!  Ack-ack!'" said another.

"Don't be silly with those noises," said yet another.  "I understand Cantonese perfectly well."

We were also mistaken about what cats like to eat.  Man Yung had been brought up to understand that cats ate fish. In fact, 75% of our cats turn up their noses when presented fish.  The other 25% would eat fish, but only in the form of salmon sashimi - but she also demands to have bits of cooked lobster, shrimp and crab whenever we have it for dinner.   As for the non-fish-eating 75%: one likes yogurt and cheese (and beef tartare!  You can't slice any beef at home without him 'caterwauling' for some), another likes french fries, KFC and crispy b.b.q. roast pork skin, and the little one goes nuts for BREAD.  Man Yung and I have to hide in the bathroom if we want to eat a sandwich in our house - but even with the bathroom door closed we are in mortal danger because we have a ferocious, bread-eating cat on the other side of the door, swearing loudly in Cantonese and trying to claw his way through the wood.*

* Joking aside - we let our cats have a little "human food" only as an occasional treat - the rest of the time they have to eat their nutrition-optimized cat food!

We love our kitties - even if they are trying to steal our sandwiches!

Man Yung risking life and limb in hugging our most savage, bread-guzzling kitty.  Kitty was not amused by this display of gratuitous human affection.

Thanks Adela for sharing your video with us!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Osvaldo and Coca performing everywhere!

We love watching Osvaldo and Coca perform - and during our trip in October, Osvaldo and Coca were as popular as they are always, performing at least two or three times a week at milongas all around Buenos Aires.

Here are some videos we took of their performances at La Salsera - two Tangos, a Vals, and (half) a Milonga!

Osvaldo and Coca are beloved wherever they go and they always bring down the house with their exhibitions!  People never get tired of their dancing... and why?  It's because they truly become one with the music.  They take you straight into the heart of the music with their dancing.  If anyone says they are bored by Osvaldo and Coca's dancing, they must be bored of Tango!

Recently, Osvaldo and Coca also performed in Uruguay:

And here's their exhibition in Salon Canning with the live music of Sexteto Milonguero:

We also want to share these two delightful videos of Osvaldo and Coca performing at La Yumba de Dorita at Club Oeste - they dance to Caló's "Jamas Retournaras" and Canaro's "Con Tu Mirar".  What emotion!

Thanks to all the people who appreciate and love Osvaldo and Coca's dancing as much as we do - and for all those people who film their performances and put them on Youtube.  In an internet permeated by videos of flying legs and furiously spinning bodies, robotic expressionless tango clones, and bopping soulless nuevo-isters, Osvaldo and Coca's videos show us that there is an alternative - and better - way to dance and enjoy Tango.  Tango does not have to be exaggerated, it should be natural, and it can come from your heart if you are sincere - and that is lovelier and more astounding than all the exhibition of skill and artifice in the world.  Thank you Maestros, we love you!

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