i've gotten a bunch of emails and comments about these three things:
book & pie club
we get together, eat pie and talk about books. amy & i had the idea last summer when i was talking about how desperate i was to talk about gone girl. we were eating cake and discussing pie and books at a party and it just happened. book & pie club was formed. books we've read so far: gone girl, deathless, mink river, cloud atlas, and right now we're reading if walls could talk. we meet every 2-3 months; everyone brings pie, a savory snack or possibly an adult beverage; we rotate hosts and we pick the next book at each meeting. we really do try to talk about both the books assigned and books we're currently reading or have just read - sometimes more successfully than others. there is always pie though.
grandma club was started by donovan & kathy in chicago to "explore traditions from scratch." they've made all sorts of awesome stuff and played mah jongg, put together jigsaw puzzles and indulged in a few cocktails. kateri & i joked that once she moved here we'd be starting the west coast chapter because we plan to spend our summer canning. but, it seems some friends in california are interested in starting their own chapter so we will no longer be the only grandma club on the west coast. kateri & i are meeting as things appear at the farmer's market; i think kathy & donovan meet on a more regular schedule. so far this summer we've made two kinds of strawberry jam and raspberry jam. there is peach jam, boozy cherries, canned tomatoes and lots of pickles in our future.
i get a lot of questions about tap dancing from people who really want to learn but are scared to death of walking into a dance class. start with your local park district. those classes will more than likely be geared toward beginners and will have students from a wide variety of backgrounds and skill levels. when i went to my first class back in january, i was talking with a woman before class who, like me, hadn't tapped since she was a child. there was also a woman who had take this particular class for a year and a half and said she still sucked but it was too much fun to quit. i've now taken classes with three different teachers and each class was really different. if you don't love the class you're taking, try a different teacher. everyone's style is different and it might make a world of difference for you. wear comfortable clothes, be prepared to sweat and look like a jack ass (at first.) after her first class, my friend phoebe said "i've never been so happy doing somthing i am so terrible at!" its totally true. its a great cardio workout and has the same brain benefits. i am happy and totally chilled out when i leave class. i don't even care that i am also completely gross and sweaty. if you're in portland, i can't say enough good things about sue's class on wednesday nights at 6:30 PM at jack london bar. don't want to commit and buy a pair of shoes? sue's got you covered - she brings a suitcase full of shoes. she picks fun songs - last week we danced to the go-go's vacation. all kind of awesome.
if you start your own grandma club or book & pie club OR start taking tap, i want to know!