My wife’s and my kids moved off on down the road a couple of years ago. To fill our time, we decided to take up dancing again. We went dancing on our first date, so it’s something we’ve always done when we had the chance. I’ll admit it takes up valuable writing time these days, but that’s okay; I need the exercise. Writing is still my number one priority, but dancing is chomping on its ass in second place.
I used to be a big time two-step and waltz fan–learned these in the ’80s while in the Navy–but when I saw West Coast Swing at the Electric Cowboy in Lewisville, TX, I fell in love with it. It was one of the most sensual dances I’d ever seen. The Tango, when done right, can be sensual, but West Coast Swing doesn’t have Tango’s precision. West Coast Swing has its own moves, half a dozen or so basics and maybe twice that many advanced ones, but its free-style nature means there are literally thousands of different combinations. It’s been compared to having fully clothed sex on the dance floor; it isn’t Dirty Dancing, but it’s close.
Unfortunately, our two favorite dance studios are 30 minutes or more away.
Our solution is to convert the front room into a dance room. Our front room has served as an office for Bont Software, our home office, a place for our bookshelves, printer room, computer room, and leather working shop for well over 14 years. It looks like it. Shoes, belts, hats, coats, shelves, boxes, backpacks, computers, printers, etc. Ugh! Everything must go! We’re taking different parts of the room and either throwing away what’s there or we’re developing new attitudes on how we stow everything.
For instance, my computer desk has been in constant use since I moved Bont Software’s operations to a real office. And the computer I have there is over 12 years old. It’s been updated twice, and I have two large monitors. I’ve been hesitating to get rid of that setup, because, well, I’m a nerd. I gotta have the Big Iron. When I finally gave up trying to find a place for my computer, I told my wife that if I did this, I’d need a new machine, one that was small yet powerful enough to do what I needed to do.
She said, “I don’t care. Just get it. I’m tired of looking at the front room.”
I’ve got a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 I use for work, and I’m impressed with it. I knew it would do what I needed here at home, so now I’m typing on my new Surface Pro 4 with a 1 TB hard drive, 16 Gig of RAM, and an i7 processor (2 cores, 4 threads). It’s only got one screen, but as I use it more and more, I’m finding that is good enough for what I need to do these days (write!). If I ever want to play a video game again, I’ll pull one of the old monitors and hook it up. I’ve got enough power to do pretty much anything I want to do, and it’s in something that’s so small and light, I wonder if I’m not actually living in the future; this is coming from someone who owns a company that sits on the bleeding edge of technology, too. I’m impressed with it.
Now that I’ve got it updated with all my writing and editing programs, it’s time to really get busy in the front room. Once we’ve got everything out, it’s wood flooring, mirrors on one wall, disco ball from the ceiling, ceiling fan, colored lights in the corner, and a wall-mounted TV for my wife’s work-out videos.
I’m excited. I’ll post pictures when we’re done.