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The trip sounds so good with all the exploration and book discovery! I can't believe you crammed a crossfit workout in before your flight. You achiever, you. 

Also... there is gay ice cream? Well, I have a very important and serious research question: What is it like? I expect a book title, such as "Gay ice cream: escaping heteronormative desserts with a queer take on Kant's theory of the sublime, as applied to the culinary arts." Also, details, such as: "same flavours as usual, but with more boozy caramel".

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It does sound amazing :) Glad you had such a good time! funny how you can have such a good time and then completely crash, isn't it? hope you've recovered a bit by now :D

Any news on the article? 

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I'm still cracking up at the bus incident XD Sorry you got to experience the joys of NJ hahaha.

 

Also next time you're in town I have to take you to the non-touristy best pizza.  Joe's is the best in terms of getting the old school NYC pizza atmosphere and the pizza's OK, but the best NY slice in terms of actual pizza is definitely found elsewhere hahah.

 

Please keep us posted on when that NPR piece goes live! I definitely want to give it a listen!

 

Your dancing really did look awesome, I showed some of my dance friends the videos I took for you guys and they agree :) You have fans everywhere now! Also I can't imagine having to travel so far post-comp - I feel like I'd almost rather do the big traveling immediately after so I can spend the whole next day being dead.

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On 12/10/2019 at 5:05 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

The above post was awesome to read. I'm happy you had such a good time.

Thank you!! It feels good to be back to my own bed (soooo comfy!) and my daily routines (and my sharp knives), but it was a great trip.

 

On 12/11/2019 at 9:54 AM, raptron said:

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Accurate depiction of college kids when they see high quality dancing (especially from a same-sex couple - I know that novelty is part of what contributes to their reaction to us). It's low-key adorable.

 

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WHaaat, that's so cool! 

Indeed!

 

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Strand is the BEST, and I feel like there are a lot of booty jokes to be made here.

SO MANY BOOTY JOKES!!!!

 

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YOU MUST. 

DEAL!

 

On 12/11/2019 at 9:58 AM, Mad Hatter said:

I loved everything about that post, but especially those book titles. 😂

🤣I know, right!!

 

On 12/11/2019 at 3:41 PM, oromendur said:

I think that dancing and bookstores just *might* be enough to overcome the massive-city-anxiety that plagues me when I go to New York...

Hahahaha I'm weirdly at home with it - I think because the crowds are so dense, I feel completely anonymous when I'm walking around in a way that's freeing for a socially anxious guy. Also helps that I've always been there for a dance event or seeing friends so I felt really connected to a community, not like a loner in a giant place (also, dance studios in NYC are weird - there are so many Eastern Europeans that I feel vaguely like I'm at a family reunion :lol:).

 

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Well, with the recent BYU flap, I guess you guys are the equivalent of hot ballroom news right now ^_^

Hahahaha you nailed it! Just heard from the producer who interviewed us - it was too last minute for them to add us to an almost-done segment, but she's hoping to turn the whole thing into a longer story after the holidays. Regardless, it was a literally once-in-a-lifetime thing I never thought I'd get to do just to be interviewed!

 

On 12/11/2019 at 3:43 PM, oromendur said:

I am jealous of all you ballroom nerds right now...

:D I will let you know if I ever find myself in SoCal for dance stuff! LA is one of the rotating locations for same-sex nationals.

 

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What an amazing weekend! So happy you were so happy!

:D :D :D thank you!!

 

On 12/11/2019 at 4:06 PM, sarakingdom said:

BRB, designing my February challenge now.

I'm honored to inspire it! And cannot wait to see all the booty jokes!

 

On 12/11/2019 at 5:22 PM, Harriet said:

The trip sounds so good with all the exploration and book discovery! I can't believe you crammed a crossfit workout in before your flight. You achiever, you. 

Hahaha achiever, addict - tomato, tomahto.

 

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Also... there is gay ice cream? Well, I have a very important and serious research question: What is it like? I expect a book title, such as "Gay ice cream: escaping heteronormative desserts with a queer take on Kant's theory of the sublime, as applied to the culinary arts." Also, details, such as: "same flavours as usual, but with more boozy caramel".

Hahaha well...it was a normal ice cream parlor (albeit a nice one!). But it's owned by some sort of LGBT+ ownership (unclear / hard to find on their website) and the shop we went to was down the street from the stonewall inn (solidly in a historically LGBT part of NYC, in other words). So more along the second line - it was just really decadent soft serve with cool toppings and tongue-in-cheek names (my cone was the "salty pimp" - vanilla soft-serve with caramel sauce, sea salt, and a covering of chocolate).

 

Update from the week:

Week 1, Day 1: Oof, the recovery from the weekend was rough. I did my best to get a bunch of work stuff done during a busy day, but don't remember much. Followed it up with dance practice and teaching, per usual, and stayed up waaaay too late watching "Star Wars: Rebels" thanks to Disney+ (first time watching the show, I dig it). You're about to notice a recurring theme this week.

 

Week 1, Day 2: Another rough day at the office - don't remember any specifics other than LOTS of meetings - but I survived. Had a solid, low-key day of teaching and quickly picked up some groceries en route to a coaches / captains' debrief for the end of the semester with my college kids. It was a good chat and I'm excited with where things are headed. Stayed up too late (again) watching SW:R. Also had a therapy session where my therapist brought up the idea of self-partnering (h/t Emma Watson for the term) and honestly, I think that's where I'm at on the dating front - I'm happily not searching for anything serious on the dating front because my dance career is the most important thing to me right now, and I really value my time with my friends and my students and my rest time. So romance need not be something I scramble to find, it'll come when it comes.

 

Week 1, Day 3: Finally got up early enough for a CrossFit class (with my favorite coach). Did a bunch for my one overarching work project and not a whole lot else during the work day (but the project got to a good result by the end of the week). Taught, then took a lesson with our coach which set the stage for our focus areas early in the year (mine will be stretching my posture even more vertically, having an awareness of how much space I need in each move and adjusting space accordingly, and seeing how much of a multi-dimensional shape I can make with my body). Got home and stayed up too late again with SW:R.

 

Week 1, Day 4: Slept in, kind of (see also: staying up too late). Did the last day of work for that big project alluded to above, and jetted out of the office for a doctor's appointment as soon as the presentation to the VP was done (I felt very good about how things went, all things considered). The doctor's appointment took longer than I liked, but I was still able to get to my friend's law firm opening party (technically, she's going from a staff attorney to a named partner at a small firm - but it's still awesome and I'm super proud of her!). It was a great party with Mexican food, cake, and an open bar - plus it was great to catch up with my extended, non-ballroom-dancer friend group who are slowly trying to adopt my dance partner as part of #thefam (actually what we call ourselves, mostly non-ironically). Then I jetted up to the dance studio for a lesson with my coach on all the ballroom fundamentals that might be wonky for me as I learn the kiddos' upgraded routines, hugged some folks I won't see until after the holidays, and had a nice little catch-up chat with some other folks about the weekend competition and dancing in general. It was great to fill up my social batteries with so much time with people I love, and I came home in a happy bliss from it all. It's been a great year that I'm wrapping up.

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Alright, checking in here again after a long hiatus. While jamming out to Christmas tunes and slacking my way through my last work day before it's Christmas break time!!!! It's my favorite season of the year, so I'm very excited to head home to Chicago and give all my loved ones a big ole hug.

 

We're officially at the point in the challenge where I've forgotten what my goals were but thankfully I have my planner to remind me. I definitely have not been doing as much prehab and mobility as I'd like (though non-zero and my body's feeling ok - but I'd really like to IMPROVE my hip mobility and not just avoid a dance-impairing injury). Mental toughness has been almost daily, and with the exception of this week my CrossFit consistency has been there. Pilates has not been tried yet, but that was a stretch goal anyhow. I've almost completely whiffed on daily meditation, and just generally noticed this morning on my drive into work that I haven't felt stillness and calm in a good long while. It was good to notice this, and hopefully I can go from noticing into carving out time for it in the near future.

 

I've definitely let my sleep and eating habits get off the rails the past couple weeks - staying up too late, eating too much festive junk food, and generally not thinking about future Mike very considerately. I'm going to use the trip home to get a hard reset on my coffee consumption and sleep habits (there will be ALL the Christmas cookies, so junk food will wait until 12/30 when I'm back in my Dallas bubble). Bit of a rough ending to the year, but that's ok - I've had rough patches before and bounced back strong from them, this one will be no different.

 

But also, there's been some GOOD STUFF:

  • Had a brunch date on Saturday that seems promising - won't get to see him again until after the holidays, but I'm excited
  • I'm all packed for my trip home to see my parents! And I packed my comfy pillow from home so I won't be rolling the dice with my parents' extra pillows
  • My dance partner and I are doing a lot of good stuff in practice - seriously so excited to keep working on the posture and body alignment topics I'm working on and see where it takes the look of our dancing
  • I also started learning the choreo for my kiddos' gold ballroom routines, and I surprised myself with how quickly I was able to pick things up - really gives me confidence as I carve out the ballroom half of ballroom and latin as my de facto teaching niche (it's what I coach my kiddos in at the studio AND it's the main thing the college kids use me for)

Probably won't be checking on NF til 12/30, so I hope you all have a wonderful week, however you're celebrating! 🎅

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On 12/13/2019 at 5:16 PM, Mike Wazowski said:

It was great to fill up my social batteries with so much time with people I love, and I came home in a happy bliss from it all. It's been a great year that I'm wrapping up. 

 

This is SUCH a good feelingggg ❤️ It made me feel warm and cozy just reading it hahah

 

15 minutes ago, Mike Wazowski said:

I also started learning the choreo for my kiddos' gold ballroom routines, and I surprised myself with how quickly I was able to pick things up - really gives me confidence as I carve out the ballroom half of ballroom and latin as my de facto teaching niche (it's what I coach my kiddos in at the studio AND it's the main thing the college kids use me for)

 

Yay this is awesome! Not to just keep going on about quickstep in every thread that I can, but gold quickstep is SO GREAT AHH.

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18 minutes ago, Raxie said:

This is SUCH a good feelingggg ❤️ It made me feel warm and cozy just reading it hahah

❤️ most definitely! It is really great, especially because friendships have not come naturally or easily to me most (all) of my life. Knowing that I can sink into that warm embrace of friendship is really great!

 

18 minutes ago, Raxie said:

Yay this is awesome! Not to just keep going on about quickstep in every thread that I can, but gold quickstep is SO GREAT AHH.

Hahahaha you ranting about how great quickstep is just feels on brand! :P But yes, gold quickstep is pretty great, although I'm in LOVE with my kiddos' first tango long wall (it's got a fallaway reverse -> basic reverse -> contra check -> chase w/ chasse and whisk ending -> drop oversway w/ natural spin ending in there and it's tough but awesome). Actually, their gold long wall is pretty fun too (natural pivot turn -> 2x rumba cross -> 5-10 running right turn -> quick open reverse -> 4 quick run). And they've got some great passages in their foxtrot and waltz too.  Ok, so I clearly love all their routines. Really, it's just a nice capstone for their program (which I was just informed will *actually* continue with another 2+ years of open, so I'm just gonna keep leveling up my knowledge and skill in ballroom for a while!).

 

Also, I snuck it into the last update, but I'm starting to think that one of the niches I may really fit into for Dallas is being one of the few instructors who's STRONG in standard - we've got a TON of latin pros (and "pros") but only 2 who I'd say specialize in standard/10-dance or teach it well (my coach teaches the only standard group class I know of, and he's only got a few people who work with him in standard for pro/am - and there's only one other latin pro I know of who really competed as a 10-dancer, but his students have all dropped standard). I'm definitely NOT at that level yet, but it's cool to have an idea of something I'd wanna work toward as a brand (in addition to being strong in Latin, but again, that's not a rare commodity in the city the way that being good at standard is).

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59 minutes ago, Mike Wazowski said:

We're officially at the point in the challenge where I've forgotten what my goals were


That happens :D 

 

1 hour ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Probably won't be checking on NF til 12/30, so I hope you all have a wonderful week, however you're celebrating! 🎅


Merry Christmas!

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2 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

❤️ most definitely! It is really great, especially because friendships have not come naturally or easily to me most (all) of my life. Knowing that I can sink into that warm embrace of friendship is really great!

 

I love this! What was it that changed for you?

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On 12/20/2019 at 1:39 PM, Harriet said:

That happens :D 

:D quite often for me, in fact!

 

On 12/20/2019 at 1:39 PM, Harriet said:

Merry Christmas!

Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you as well!

 

On 12/20/2019 at 4:01 PM, Mad Hatter said:

I love this! What was it that changed for you?

Thanks - I wish I could nail it down to one specific thing, but I think it's been the slow steady march of positive reinforcement for things that lead to real friendship (opening up about myself, asking genuinely inquisitive questions about others) that's lead to me slowly getting more comfortable with the skill of friendship building (ever so slowly).

 

On 12/23/2019 at 2:50 AM, KB Girl said:

You want to make a career out of teaching dance eventually? 

That's the (tentative) plan! I'm not one hundred percent sure which way things'll shake out, but there's a couple different paths that'll overlap / intertwine in some way:

  1. Current day job (business analytics): I keep working at it in some capacity, building my skills and seeing how far my career can go either at my current company or within the broader industry (basically every company needs people who are good at bridging the gap between their data and their business objectives, which is what I do). In addition to just working hard at my day job, I want to keep building and expanding my knowledge of statistical analysis and data science so that I can continue to get more effective at my job.
  2. Dance teaching: I currently don't teach for money, just free lessons or purely as a volunteer, but I want to slowly start building a client list (organically and sustainably and all that jazz) and maybe also work as an adjunct lecturer if some local places with dance departments are interested in adding ballroom and latin to their department repertoire. In addition to my own practices, I want to keep growing my knowledge of the syllabus figures, my understanding of human anatomy, and my knowledge of general dance theory.
  3. Economics: I have a pronounced passion for economics and specifically political economy; at some point, I plan to pursue a master's degree (while not working as an analyst, because I know that dance keeps me busy enough that there's no time for study on top of it) and may at that point decide to push further into academia or something similar with a hope of influencing public policy (or working as a teacher at either the high school or college level since I know I love teaching young people).

I'm not really sure what the timing of them will look like - #2 is certainly going to progress at its own pace, #1 and #3 can't overlap, but the relative timing of all of them isn't clear yet. All I know for sure is that I'll continue saving diligently so that the financial side of some options (like starting up teaching dance full time) doesn't keep me from being able to pursue them and building transferable skills (like communication with clients / coworkers, especially the skill at breaking things down for people with different learning styles or knowledge levels) that'll help me in all the parallel threads of my career.

 

Welp, Christmas has been an interesting time - there were some really great moments, but also some much less than great moments mixed in too. Currently in the middle of a less than great moment and hiding from it on the Internet.

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13 minutes ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Welp, Christmas has been an interesting time - there were some really great moments, but also some much less than great moments mixed in too. Currently in the middle of a less than great moment and hiding from it on the Internet.

 

That sucks, but I'm happy you have somewhere to hide, even if it's"only" on the internet. And the moment will end, and you will be able to come out of hiding, and you will have great moments again. Hopefully involving dancing and teaching dancing, somehow. :) 

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1 hour ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Welp, Christmas has been an interesting time - there were some really great moments, but also some much less than great moments mixed in too. Currently in the middle of a less than great moment and hiding from it on the Internet.

 

No one ever does this :D

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On 12/26/2019 at 9:01 PM, scalyfreak said:

That sucks, but I'm happy you have somewhere to hide, even if it's"only" on the internet. And the moment will end, and you will be able to come out of hiding, and you will have great moments again. Hopefully involving dancing and teaching dancing, somehow. :) 

:D thanks! It definitely is helpful knowing there's always a supportive community here. And thankfully, my parents' bad moods are just as fleeting as mine are. And the issue that caused the bad mood was thankfully resolved with an (admittedly long) call to customer support (basically, my mom's Fitbit broke - specifically, the mechanism that holds the band onto the tracker got jammed - in the process of putting a new band - which was a Christmas gift - on it; thankfully, customer support was willing to provide a replacement free of charge despite maaaaybe being just out of warranty).

 

On 12/26/2019 at 10:31 PM, Harriet said:

No one ever does this :D

:D never! Especially none of us.

 

I got caught off guard by the new challenge forums being up - but the plan was to hit the ground running this week with new goals and a new routine, so it kinda works out perfectly! I'll be throwing up a new challenge thread soon - inspired by some of the experiences while home with the family, it'll be all about appropriately applying my stubbornness to only the places where it's serving really important goals. Challenge goals will include meditation, mental toughness, workouts, sleep, mobility, and work focus. Basically, all the things Mike Wazowski is always working on!

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1 hour ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Basically, all the things Mike Wazowski is always working on!

 

I feel this in my soul.  I went back to my first challenge from like 2013 recently and realized some of my goals are still exactly the same hahah.

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27 minutes ago, Raxie said:

I feel this in my soul.  I went back to my first challenge from like 2013 recently and realized some of my goals are still exactly the same hahah.

Hahaha some things have definitely changed (namely, I changed jobs and biking to work is no longer a practical goal - even back then it was a stretch). But early 2017 Mike's goals look an awful lot like early 2020 Mike's goals (holy crap, I think I'm creeping up on 3 YEARS on NF!). Still focused on cleaning up my eating, getting stronger, and building good mental health habits (but I've learned how to care about mobility too, so progress! haha).

 

New challenge is up! I'm pumped for this one, especially because of some of the self-reflection that led to the "theme":

 

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