I was so mad that December day.
At 6:40, I was hustling off to my 7pm House dance class, wearing my dowdy, full-length black down coat and all kinds of other thermal layers. I’d walked a block thinking, “Only for Cebo’s class do I go out in this cold.”
Cebo is my teacher’s “dance name.” (All the house dancers have them.) His real name is Terry. He makes every class the best class you ever took.
When people ask, “Would you ever live in LA in the winter?” I say, “In a heartbeat. Except no, because LA doesn’t have Cebo.” It’s like that.
After about a block, I remembered to pull out my phone and register for class online so I wouldn’t have to check in with the people who always make me spell my name out loud.
And there it was on the schedule: SUB FOR CEBO.
Let’s be clear: There is no substitute for Cebo.
The subs all go at the level of the slowest person in the class. They forget their own routines. They make you do sit-ups. They stop in the middle and lecture about street-dance culture, while you have to be the freak who jogs in place if you care about cardio. I finish their class with a dry t-shirt.I want to go home with a t-shirt that’s extra heavy in the old Murray’s Cheese bag I plop it in after class. Woe to anyone who thinks there’s cheese treats in there. Ooh, brie? No, not brie.
I want that shirt so soaked that I have to put newspaper underneath it when I hang it at home on the bathroom door, where it makes Steven gag.
That’s a post-Cebo tee. Dry tee: unacceptable.
I looked at the Saturday schedule. That one too. SUB FOR CEBO.
So I had to come to terms with a weekend of no Cebo.
There are greater tragedies in the world, but I was pouting.
Then, on Friday night, my friend Selena Soo tagged me in a Facebook post:
“Anyone want to go to this with me tomorrow?”
The image was a big photo of Seth Godin. The “this” was an all-day Seth Godin event at an FIT auditorium 15 blocks from my house.
Seth is my favorite thinker and speaker. He’s more than that, he’s like my lucky bottle cap. Any time I’m feeling stuck creatively — like I don’t have anything new to say, or anything worth writing — I listen to a podcast interview with Seth. It’s like rubbing his bald head and having a magic genie come out to give me ideas.
Now, thanks to the SUB FOR CEBO tragedy, I didn’t have to choose and have FOMO about one or the other.
The ticket was 600 dollars. I didn’t think twice about it. Automatic yes. Even though it meant being somewhere by 9am, which is when I normally wake up.
In a nutshell:
The day flew by. 9-4. Seth opened with a 1-hour or so talk that was riveting and full of stories, and then most of the day was Q and A where people presented their business challenges.
He solved most by asking “What’s it for, who’s it for, and what is the change it makes?” Most people had at least one of those things screwed up.
They served lobster rolls and whitefish sandwiches for lunch. Plus, pastries from Seth’s wife’s gluten-free bakery, By The Way Bakery.
Everyone got copies of a bunch of his books and a water bottle that says “There’s no such thing as writer’s block.” (Seth claims it was invented in the 20th century.)
I also went home with this action figure. (Considering taking it out of the plastic so I can rub its head.)