Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fiji on the horizon

(photo from

It's official, my sister said today. Her husband, who works for the US state department, is being sent to Fiji (instead of Nepal which would have been cool too) for three years. And as she told me this I could not help but feel a twinge of separation anxiety. Maryland to California and back again, no big deal. I can go back and forth twice, sometimes three times a year. But Fiji...

Yes, but it's Fiji!!!!! Treehouse resorts, hours away from New Zealand, biggest city in the colonial south pacific, scuba diving... And though it may mean I see my sister and her family only once a year, I get to go to Fiji! I get to go to Fiji! Hurray, huzzah, hippie-aye-yeah, hurray!

On another note, L. and I went to El Rio last night for swing goth... (swing goth instructor Brian Gardner and student, flickr)

Yes, swing goth, or 'partner dancing with a darker twinge' according to the flyer. One of the strangest dance experiences I've ever had. Imagine partner dancing, 40's style, to Nirvana and Billy Idol. Weird, oh boy was it, but fun. And we met some very nice people there. People who asked for numbers...

It reminded me of Jane Austen, specifically the Netherfield ball. Would I rather dance with Mr Collins, Mr Bingley or Mr Darcy? For better or worse, a man's ability to lead during a dance does tell a woman a lot about him. Perhaps all she needs to know. For instance, if you make a mistake while he is in the lead - I repeat, he is in the lead - does he say something insensitive and stupid like, why did you forget...? A Mr Collins for sure. Or is he so experienced that even though you've never done this dance before he enables you to have fun while you're learning? Not quite a Mr Darcy (older, more sociable) but somewhere within the same range. And even if he is not so good a lead because he is learning the dance himself, is he so enthusiastic and polite that it's almost endearing? A Mr Bingley...almost. And unfortunately, I'm not a Bingley kind of gal.

Conversely, in Northanger Abbey, Henry Tilney compares dancing to marriage saying it's the duty of each partner to attend only to the other at least during the duration of the dance. I didn't always do that, but found my attention wandering now and again to other possible partners settling on no one in particular. So it's safe to say I'm not Catherine Morland. I'd rather be Elizabeth, anyway.

I'll end with a photo from El Rio, an amazing gypsy punk band I unsuccessfully tried to identify. They were so good, wish you could have heard them.


  1. Swing goth? Goth Swing? Was David Lynch pouring the drinks, tapping skull mugs with Trent Reznor? You do have the strangest outings.


  2. Almost, there was the atmospheric lighting, the disco ball, the weed smoking, moody looking onlookers, men in suits dancing with women in gym outfits, the giant Marilyn Monroe cut out board along the was awesome.


  3. Ditto, mmm Fiji, I meant. Did not smoke weed last night, or even sip a beer, I swear.

  4. Am I remembering wrong but aren't the Fijians considered to be the happiest people on earth? If so you must find their secrets. I think you have shared some of their secrets:"Treehouse resorts, hours away from New Zealand, biggest city in the colonial south pacific, scuba diving."

    I wish I could hear the band and that Mr. Darcy had been there. I love Mr. Darcy. Le sigh!!

  5. La Belette Rouge - I hope so. It'll be a great place for my nieces and nephews to spend some of their formative years in.

    Yeah, I wish I'd video taped them, they sounded like the Gypsy Kings but with female vocalists, and cooler. And I wish I'd met Mr Darcy there too, or at least someone very like. Who'd be a Jane when you can be an Elizabeth?

  6. How jealous am I? Swing Dancing and Fiji! And just yesterday I was watching the BBC series "Lost in Austen" and the main character who has switched places with Elizabeth is at Netherfield dancing with Darcy. But of course, it doesn't turn out quite as she expected.

  7. 1) "I get to go to Fiji! I get to go to Fiji! Hurray, huzzah, hippie-aye-yeah, hurray!"
    This confirms that I was firmly planted in my own psyche on your last post, and that you've something valuable to teach me.

    2)"Swing goth...40's style, to Nirvana and Billy Idol" sounds so much more interesting than the "California Swing" group sessions Dawn and I participated in.

    3) Wanderlust and creative spirit do go hand-in-hand, an asset to artistry while a liability to accomplishment.

    Nice post, Elizabeth ;)

  8. Cid - I hope I can find that in Itunes! I don't have cable at the moment. But I found a BBC article saying the series was going to be remade for the big screen by Sam Mendes.

    David - I hope so, I hope I can do more than just give people something to look at or read for a few moments. Being an artist, I sometimes think it's kind of useless. I don't save lives, build houses or do anything that makes an immediate impact on how other people live. But I hope it can help anyone in some way...

    Swing goth, I'm not sure, but I think it's new, started by the guy pictured above, so it might be a local SF thing for now.

    Yes, I definitely have wanderlust for sure. It helps, though, to have family that go to exotic places and are able to put me up for free. But I hope it's not a liability to accomplishment. Have you found it to be so? A lot of my paintings have been inspired by my travels. Some writing too. And if I get hired by Disney or Pixar I'm sure I can resist the urge to wander so I can work on the next big blockbuster, at least until vacation time...

  9. Wanderlust... in reality, it's how I manage and balance it that counts, and I seem to have gotten better as time passes. In the proper dosage, it is no doubt an asset... sometimes I indulge, but am pretty good at compensating. For everything, there is a season, and so my blanket statement is just that. Touché!

  10. By the way... I was really meant a more archaic form of the word... a strong desire for or impulse to wander, and I meant it in regards to your impulse to mentally search for all of the possible dance partners, rather than focusing on accomplishment with one. I probably should have expressed it differently, though.

  11. ... and maybe there is even a swing goth place on Fiji?

  12. David - Ah, I see. I should have guessed. Yes, I guess I've gained enough experience and self understanding to know what it is I want, to be able to tell if someone is a real possibility or not almost right away, and to trust that my fist impressions of a person are usually correct, and I have to say I didn't find it, or him, rather, at El Rio. So I guess I will keep a wanderlusting away...tomorrow my friends and I are going to a bachelor firefighter auction. Don't plan to bid, but you never know what might happen...

    Peter - I hope so. I know there'll be a lot of hula'ing there at least!

  13. Swing dance sounds great. Fiji sounds great. My jealousy is great! ;-)

  14. Swing goth sounds fabulous! I wish I could go. It would be hilarious trying to do that with my straight-laced hubby. I'll have to live vicariously through you. I love how you wrote this up and tied it into Jane Austen.

    Fiji sounds wonderful, and I hope you get to visit soon.


  15. YAHOOOO Fiji!! And Swing Goth sounds like a complete and total BLAST. Love it!

  16. Cheryl - Fiji! Yay! What a wonderful opportunity. As for the Swing Goth ... sounds like brilliant fun! :)

  17. Fiji! Wow. I look forward to follow you there though your blog.

  18. Fiji always sounds really romantic to me. I wouldn't pass on a trip there. The photograph looks like paradise.

    CJ xx

  19. "Fiji" by Gillan....great track, pards!


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