On Valentine's Day, I found myself without a significant other, but that was okay, and this daylog isn't about that.

I cloistered myself in the campus center and worked on homework for three hours so I wouldn't have the Internet to distract me from getting any work done, but this daylog certainly isn't about that. I didn't even want to do that damn homework, you sure don't want to hear about it.

The Macalester Gaming Society threw its monthly techno/industrial/rock/funk/metal/whatever the fuck our talented and crazy DJs want to play quote-unquote "gamer dance," and that's what this daylog is about, mostly.

The audio system was shot. Whoever had been in there before us had apparently done something terrible to it and it hadn't been fixed. My esteemed roommate, who was one of our three DJs and also in charge of setup, had to borrow people's own personal musical instrument amplifiers to pipe the sound to the speakers. Even then, he blew out my guitar amp (although this daylog isn't about that) and in the end, the entire dance sounded like it had been run through a distortion pedal. Oh, that sound. There was nothing anyone could have done without advance warning, but it was crippling. Many of the regulars sat in the back and, as far as I can tell, grumbled about the sound the whole time; although I'm probably being unfair to them, I have to say that they didn't do much for the vibe.

As much as real honest-to-God vanity on my part frightens me, this daylog is, in the end, about me. I knew that my roommate had poured a significant portion of his heart and soul into this dance, as he does for each and every one of them. He had said to me earlier in the day, "I really, really hope the dance today goes well," and I went to the dance and heard kkkhkhknksksknkkhksk and sat in the back for a while listening to people who ordinarily would have been the most vivacious dancers complain about the sound.

Let me mention my history concerning dancing. Sometime in high school I realized that dancing made me acutely uncomfortable, so much so that a dancing-oriented situation made me sick to my stomach at a party at one point. For a while, I was all right with this. Dancing just wasn't my thing.

I first started to become uneasy about this state of affairs when I came to college with my then girlfriend and she discovered, via the aforementioned gamer dances, that she loved dancing. I went to a couple of them, felt really awkward, and left, and because I had always looked up to my girlfriend (perhaps one of many major reasons we're not together anymore is that I always felt that in some way she was better than me, but let's not go into that), I began to feel that maybe my aversion to dancing was not just an inconvenience but a reflection on some fundamental aspect of my character. This was not a thought that comforted me in my moments of self-reflection during my first couple years of college.

That relationship ended a couple months into my sophomore year and in the throes of self-pity or something I wrote an impassioned and rather childish diatribe against dancing in my web journal. (A web journal! How teenage and angsty! Yeah, shut the fuck up.) As I recall, it was more about how uncomfortable dancing made me than about dancing itself, or about the people who did it, but nevertheless I think it bothered a lot of people that I felt that way. Part of my point, I think, was that it bothered me too.

Later that year, with nothing to prove, I went to a gamer dance and sat in the sidelines watching people dance and feeling increasingly conflicted until finally I said "fuck it" and started to, well, sort of dance. I mean, I didn't know how to dance, of course, so I have to confess that my style was largely Dance Dance Revolution-inspired. And I didn't stretch, so I was hella sore the next day. But the point is that I danced, and I had a good time, and it was like a wall had been torn down in my mind.

Dancing still isn't my favorite thing. I don't go to clubs. I don't, in fact, even go to dances that aren't populated mostly by my friends. But now I know that someday maybe I will, and moreover I might even enjoy it. At least I won't throw up. I mean, I probably won't.

Back to the present, I guess there's not much to tell without seeming overly self-congratulatory, but I am proud of myself, dammit, and I've wanted to put fingers to keyboard again on the matter of my aversion to dancing for a long time. By the end of Valentine's Night, I had taken a flying leap onto one of my friends, danced like a monkey and a robot and some kind of squid or something (not at the same time), slapped at least one of my male friends' asses (if you knew how much ass-slapping I suffered at the hands of said friends, you would know how justified it was), and bumped butts with one of them after he shouted "ASS TO ASS!" in the middle of a song.

It was a hell of a time, and overall the dance went over really well. I don't know that I would have gotten away with that kind of shit at any other dance. And, after the fact that the sets were excellent, I like to believe that my antics played a part in the positive vibe that the dance had in spite of the sound quality.

As is traditional at gamer dances, each of the DJs chose one dancer whose dancing they liked during their set and awarded them a copy of their set; they also collectively chose one person as "Best of Show" who would receive a copy of all three sets. That night, I was "best of show" for the first time. That I was awarded the prize was not as valuable to me as the fact that I felt I had earned it. My roommate called it the "Life Is Good" prize due to my exuberance and the salmon sweatshirt I sometimes wear with that phrase on it; I hope some of my other nodes here indicate that he could not have paid me a higher compliment.