Friday, December 26, 2008

big smile for the day

via my friend matt's livejournal, a story on DIY adjustable glasses. the idea is to help all the people without access to opticians and corrective lenses. can you imagine having to retire when your vision started changing due to age? or even not being able to read at all because your vision was never so great?

at $1 per pair... i, for one, would happily put in $30 or so to get a pair, for pure glee at seeing how they work. (and, well, with no more vision insurance, $30 would be a steal for a spare pair of glasses.) wonder if one laptop per child's give one get one idea for capitalizing on the neat-o factor could be used to help raise funds... give twenty-nine, get one?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

for the grammar geeks

all of you are reading the nytimes blog after deadline, right?

back in college, one of my pastimes was marking up the student newspaper on the friday afternoon after it came out. just for fun, more than out of any desire to help or criticize; it was a relaxing activity like working a crossword. the oracle of that era was an easy target... during the 2000 election controversy, they had a headline about "flordia."

it tickles me, though, that somebody gets to do that for the new york times--the publication that frequently served as our paragon of style and good editing when putting together honors program publications. and gets to count it at as part of his job. that rocks.

quick admin note

i suspended the loudtwitter service for now. i put a gadget (complete with annoying ads!) in the sidebar here in case anyone not on twitter was all that interested... but, um, there seems to be a lot of overlap between the people who follow twitter feeds and the people who follow blogs, so i thought i'd quit repeating myself.

Monday, December 22, 2008

monday morning

cold, so cold. and three buses in a row were headed to newport news this morning, none to norfolk. (we're pretty sure the 8:15 was a newbie bus driver going the wrong way.) so i was an hour late to work, but not all that upset over the prospect of skipping going out for lunch to make up the time. staying inside is good. second cup of coffee, and my fingers are almost thawed.

i don't want to move to florida. but some days it doesn't sound so bad. (and a lot can happen in the years it's likely to take to get the carrier up to snuff and to make mayport carrier-ready, anyway...) they were planning to take the boat to norfolk today for the first time, but the newspaper says they're putting it off. not sure what that means for when/whether i get to see jesse before i leave for tennessee. it's strange how quickly it's gone from being normal to see each other every four to six weeks to having two weeks apart seem like a horribly long time.

speaking of which... madcap adventures to come! i'm flying to my parents' the 24th, driving to crossville the 27th for nicci's wedding, on to asheville the 28th for lindy focus, back to cookeville on new year's day to catch some of the reunion, then back to the parents' and flying home in time for work on monday. honestly, i'm a little exhausted thinking about it, but it'll be so much fun once the momentum gets going... once i figure out just how exactly to pack for all of it and how to get myself to the airport...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 09:09 migraine yesterday = i went to bed after work. now bouncing around on 11 hours of sleep!
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 14:28 investigating and eliminating potential duplicates in the database = not so entertaining. but it needs to be done.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 11:08 making sure all our employment resources are up-to-date... the newspaper's sending people our way!
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 05:46 up before 6 a.m.... after sleeping... on a saturday?!?
  • 10:31 granola with yogurt is much more satisfying than chex with yogurt. (discovered AFTER pouring cereal that there's no milk, oops!)
  • 20:08 no-show DJ for richmond tonight... jesse's car's not feeling so good, too late to get another ride.
  • 23:09 ice-skating! it was fun until i took off my skates and accidentally kicked jesse's knee with the back of the blade... yowch.
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Friday, December 12, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 11:08 i've got a bruise and/or a sore muscle in the palm of my hand. how do i do stuff like this?!?
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

new venue!

last night was the debut for us dancing in the douglas high studio in hampton. this place is under a mile from my apartment, which is a nice feature when one does not have a car. the fred, where we usually dance on wednesdays, had other holiday plans. wendy found the doug for us back when jesse was trying to get a performance team started... that fell apart, at least for now, but we still had contact info. i hate organizing, but it sounded too good to waste.

the venue's great. sprung wood floor, lots of space, mirrors, not too pricey. we could easily use it as an exchange venue or for regular lessons.

the sound system didn't show up.

still, after a quick run home to get a cord and a handful of cds (for until we figured out the setup), we got things going on the house system. it wasn't a huge crowd, but it was enough to try out the place. and beth brought incredibly yummy cupcakes. next time, we can confidently go all out on promoting and getting people there, i think.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

jimmy carter vs. the worms

i first saw this on saturday... i didn't get around to writing about it then, but it's been making me giggle every time i see a caduceus on signs around town ever since. share the mirth, right?

it really sort of sounds like a comic superhero sort of battle, but jimmy carter has a death warrant out on a parasitic worm that grows up to three feet long in humans and has to be painfully, slowly reeled out when it blisters through the skin. nick kristof blogged it on saturday when carter announced that we're down to 5,000 cases worldwide. it's looking likely to be the first disease in history eradicated through behavior change, without the use of vaccines or a cure. proper water filtering techniques do the trick. jimmy carter's winning.

if you go from there to the wikipedia article on guinea worms, the story gets even cooler. seriously, beyond the usual getting public health aide workers into remote areas to educate people and hand out filters... carter's negotiated ceasefires to fight these things.

i don't recommend an image search for the queasy of stomach.

the caduceus connection? according to wikipedia, the caduceus (and the less commonly used but probably more correct staff of asklepios) may actually have evolved from a picture portraying worms wrapped around a stick, not snakes. guinea worms. the still-standard medical treatment involves wrapping the worm around a stick or piece of gauze as it's extracted, so theory goes that the symbol comes from a picture of one of the services offered by ancient doctors.

so now every time i see a caduceus, it's not just "doctor's office here." it's "hah! humans are winning this one!" go jimmy carter.

mumbles and factoids

  • 06:22 had to drop jesse off at work to keep him from being late... on the up side, i'm awake now.
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Monday, December 8, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 14:08 not dancing this afternoon after all... oh well, hazard of not having a car. the bus system on sunday's not really a viable option.
  • 21:02 just put in the e-mail to announce dancing in hampton this wednesday night... no turning back now!
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 09:20 oops... finished my book on the way to work. usually try to anticipate this and bring an extra...
  • 09:53 starting my morning with a tantrum on the database issue log... always fun!
  • 02:33 went to bed at 9 p.m., but back up ever since jesse left for work around 1 a.m.
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

russian tea

tang plus instant tea plus spices (or in the particular case, cinnamon candies that melt when hot water is added)... i hadn't heard of it before, but a co-worker brought some yesterday.

the name intrigues me. i'm obsessed with hot beverages anyway. this leads to research.

wikipedia, illustrious source that it is, claims:
"Tang is a featured ingredient in Instant Russian Tea (a variation of Wassail), a hot drink mix popular in the Southern US made with Tang, instant tea, ground cinnamon and cloves, and sometimes instant lemonade. Instant Russian Tea is often given as a holiday hostess gift."

shannon, who grew up in illinois, knew it. i, born and raised in tennessee (albeit by non-southern parents), didn't. i don't think it tastes that different from what my parents used to call "percolator punch" --warm and fruity and spicy-- but it's been ages since i've had any of that, and there was certainly no tang involved!

the question i still can't figure out, though, is: why russian? tang wasn't around until the late 50s, so it's hardly an old, traditional recipe. i find all sorts of links around the interwebs from articles talking about samovars to recipes for this stuff... but no one's explicitly saying how or why you get from A to B. i did find at least one reference to tea in russia frequently being served with lots of lemon and sugar, but that's about as close as i got in a casual web search...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

craving fulfilled

baked sweet potato = yum.

i've traditionally never been much of a fan of sweet potatoes. my main exposure to them was, up 'til relatively recently, as candied yams at thanksgiving. honestly, if it weren't for my grandma's german-style noodles, i probably would've starved at thanksgiving as a kid; i was a parent's nightmare picky eater (and i hear it's genetic... so i'm likely doomed if i ever have offspring!). i've since come around to most dishes, but i still tend to get a pretty small spoonful of the yams.

i've since discovered, though, that if you keep it really simple and add butter and salt instead of marshmallows, i love it. today i was out at the grocery store as much as an excuse to use my new bicycle basket (yay!) as because we needed anything, and randomly grabbed a couple of huge sweet potatoes. scrub, foil, bake on 325 degrees for 80 minutes (thank you interwebs)... that's about as much cooking as i've done in quite a while.

and i just gobbled down all of mine before jesse really got through poking and prodding his. oops.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

AC adapter woes

i woke up this morning to find my computer had turned off. (passed out by my laptop, as tends to happen weekends when jesse's working nights -- i try to stay up to adjust to his schedule a bit and fail.) it didn't want to come back on. it was acting like the battery had drained, except it was plugged in.

my instant reaction? go login as a guest on jesse's laptop, start shopping for new AC adapter cord.

fortunately, i ran across this article before i bought anything.

internal circuit breaker. that was it. is this a part of standard laptop ownership training that i missed? i wrote a thank-you note to the guy who wrote the article.

music from 11/20 in Williamsburg

this one was from the once-every-six-weeks graduation dance in williamsburg; wendy runs 6-week courses in three levels of basic lindy hop, and this is the party at the end. while she's got some regulars who are comfortable social dancing, and several folks from the wider scene usually show, the dance is beginner-heavy. i try to keep the music easy. this time i got first half, which meant keeping it even easier. as often as not, this leads to playing lots of stuff that was "top 40" in the knoxville scene back when i was starting out...

Shout Sister Shout - Lucky Millinder 140
Potato Chips - Slim Gaillard & his Shintoists 140
Swingin' On Nothin - Jo Stafford 125
Solid as a Rock - Count Basie 136
Ja-Da - The Famous Castle Jazz Band 152
My Baby Likes To Bebop - Ella Fitzgerald 140
Everybody Eats When They Come To My House - Cab Calloway 154
South Of The Border - Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra 146
Let's Do It - Billie Holiday With Lester Young 152
Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop - Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra 136
Winter Weather - Benny Goodman 156
I Got The Sun In The Morning - Artie Shaw 138
Baldhead - The Fabulous Treniers 139
Yes Indeed - Dick Haymes With Harry James & His Orchestra 159
Now You Has Jazz - Louis Armstrong 172

happy turkey day!

dunno why loudtwitter doesn't seem to be shipping over right now, but lesson learned: i ramble a lot more if i bother with the one- or two-sentence stuff. for the better or the more boring...

we had turkey dinner over at jesse's boss's. nice family, excellent food, not quite like going home to MY family but awfully generous of them. and it was fun to have thanksgiving with kids around for the first time in years. i remain stuffed.

but not too stuffed for a glass of eggnog. i'm a bit of a grinch on many things holiday -- too much fuss, too much commercialism, and i'm not leaving the apartment before noon because black friday's really not my thing. but eggnog is excellent.


i didn't read the news for a couple days and all of a sudden mumbai's a mess?!? ugh.


ok, after noon, jesse just got off work (pity the poor navy guys who had to work after their turkey dinners!), and he wants to go shopping. so i suppose i'll peel myself away from the computer...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

rumba, november 17

jesse and i djed last monday night. it was a small crowd to start, and i had second set, so a lot of it was just struggling to get anyone to dance. this week, the crowd was a little bigger, and beth and i traded 4s... that format's a little less frustrating for the venue, i think.

Rag Mop - Joe Liggins And The Honeydrippers 154
Save The Bones For Henry Jones - Nat King Cole & Johnny Mercer 145
Ragtime Cowboy Joe - Pied Pipers 138
Love, Nuts And Noodles - Rosemary Clooney 217 (this one officially doesn't swing. won't play it again!)
Solid as a Rock - Count Basie 136
Gotta Pebble In My Shoe - Chick Webb 159
Hellzapoppin' - Louis Armstrong And The All Stars 170
Ja-Da - The Famous Castle Jazz Band 152
Jump for Joy - Duke Ellington with Ray Nance 188
All That Meat And No Potatoes - Fats Waller 146
Sixty minute man - Billy Ward and his Dominoes 130
Let's Do It - Billie Holiday With Lester Young 152
All of Me - Lizzie Miles with Sharkey 160
The Gal From Joe's - Duke Ellington 164
The Walkin' Blues (Walk Right In, Walk Right Out) - Jesse Powell Orchestra 166
For The First Time - Kay Starr 168
We'll Meet Again - Paul Barbarin's New Orleans Band 163
Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (Album) - The Andrews Sisters with Vic Schoen and His Orchestra 167
The Preacher - Quincy Jones 155
Chief - The Dutch Jazz Orchestra 125
Froggy Bottom - Andy Kirk and His Clouds Of Joy 153
Doin' What Comes Natur'lly - Pied Pipers 146
John The Revelator - The Dirty Dozen Brass Band 122
Chicago - Dutch Swing College Band 206
Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Bob Crosby 146
Chloe - The Dorsey Brothers 160
Why Don't You Do Right? (Album) - Benny Goodman and His Orchestra 125
Nature Boy - Johnny Hartman 145
They All Laughed - Gunhild Carling And Her Swing Band 131

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

human barometer?

i've been noticing lately that the debilitating headaches seem to correspond to big weather changes. last time, it was a big drop in temperature. yesterday, i spent about 24 hours with a headache; when the rain finally got here around 7 or 8 p.m., i was suddenly fine.

just discovered that the weather channel online has an aches and pains forecast, theoretically good for predicting arthritis and migraines. think i'll start watching and see if the correlation is real.

mumbles and factoids

  • 09:50 severely limited report types make me grumbly. seriously, i'd rather learn sql than have to manually look up hundreds of phone numbers.
  • 10:31 yay macros! still gonna have to look up the numbers, but at least getting from report to useful data columns is just a few clicks now.
  • 11:00 will DJ for food! (well, and a ride home. waiting to see if any of the peninsula crew is planning on rumba tonight...)
  • 11:52 sinus headache plus sore back muscle that hurts when i inhale deeply equals likely to skip the gym again today... sigh.
  • 15:58 beth, while not of the peninsula, is heading to northern virginia for thanksgiving after the dance. logistics solved, dancing on!
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Sunday, November 23, 2008


back in probably 1994 -- beginning of high school-ish, i guess -- i talked my parents into buying me a freakin' huge backpack (or so it seemed at the time... i hadn't yet encountered hiking/hosteling backpacks). because high school books were big. i think it was something like $40, which at the time seemed ridiculous, but it had a lifetime warranty.

i carried it all through high school and college. recently, with the advent of daily adventures on the bus, i started carrying it again. the right strap, the one that gets twisted off the shoulder a lot when i'm reaching for something in the bag, started to fray. i looked up the address.

i sent my decade-plus-old backpack back to the company for warranty repairs.

just got it back. new straps, and i think they patched up a couple other places that had looked less than new.

so yay eastpak. and yay for the parents for getting a pretty great deal.

and now my laptop bag is getting torn up... no such warranty on it, alas. maybe i'll just get one of the protector pockets and use the old eastpak when i need to bring it along.

klx saturday late night setlist

from 11/15, the 3-5 a.m. shift, shared with mike marcotte. approximate reconstruction, because i still hadn't gotten the hang of actually having to manually save them.

Drunk (Album) - Jimmy Liggins 165
Take It and Git - Andy Kirk & His Clouds of Joy 161
The Donkey Serenade (Album) - Artie Shaw 147
Sunday - Kay Starr 155
Sugarfoot Stomp - Harry James 165
Swing, Brother, Swing - Billie Holiday 151
Midnight In Moscow - The Firehouse Five Plus Two 180
Diga Diga Do - Joe Venuti & Zoot Sims 225
Hellzapoppin' - Louis Armstrong And The All Stars 170
April In Portugal - Oscar Aleman 182
The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me - Glenn Miller 174
A Study In Brown - Bunny Berigan 198
Swingin' On Nothing - Bob Crosby 129
Tap Room Swing - Adrian Rollini 179
Hallelujah Joe Ain't Preachin' No More - Harlem Hamfats 166
'Tain't No Use - Benny Goodman 155
Salty Dog - Lizzie Miles with Sharkey & His Kings Of Dixieland 194
Drop Me Off In Harlem - Mills Blue Rhythm Band 143
It Dont Mean A Thing' - Duke Ellington 178
Dinah - Lino Patruno & His Blue Four 224
Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai (Hawaiian War Chant) - Andrew Aiona 186
Why Do Hawaiians Sing Aloha? - Fats Waller 147

mumbles and factoids

  • 10:51 currently rating nearly every song in my library as "bad"... (just using rating as a binary to say it's been looked at and tagged.)
  • 18:19 dancing in richmond tonight!
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 00:07 can preview while DJing in linux! audacious plus amarok = easy set-up. i still want to learn mixxx, though.
  • 07:17 Snow!
  • 10:41 the office bathroom has a phone. it's blinking like it has voicemail. now i'm tempted to call it and see what the greeting is.
  • 16:15 "extension 3049 does not answer. please leave a message after the tone." i did not leave the bathroom any new voicemail.
  • 21:45 ok, so it was mostly removing code instead of coding... but i got an amarok script to make my playlists look like they used to for posting.
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last thursday at the attucks

not a bit in the right order (didn't realize the program i saved the playlist from was likely to scramble it!), but here goes:

We'll Meet Again - Paul Barbarin's New Orleans Band 163
Madame Dynamite - Eddie Condon 184
The New Call Of The Freaks - Luis Russell 138
The Hot Canary - Paul Nero 151
Comes Love - Billie Holiday 107
Sunday - Bunny Berigan & His Orchestra 192
Celery Stalks at Midnight - Will Bradley 156
Twenty-Four Robbers - Jimmie Lunceford 144
The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me - Glenn Miller 174
For The First Time - Kay Starr 168
Coquette - Bob Crosby & The Bob Cats 186
Chloe - The Dorsey Brothers 160
I Like Pie, I Like Cake - The Four Clefs 160
Ubangi Stomp - Warren Smith 162
Bassology - Slim Gaillard & his Flat Floogie Boys 159
Hit That Jive, Jack - Four Vagabonds 190
Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai (Hawaiian War Chant) - Andrew Aiona 186
Why Do Hawaiians Sing Aloha? - Fats Waller 147
Yam Brown - Bob Hunt's Duke Ellington Orchestra 241
This Little Light of Mine - The Boilermaker Jazz Band 168
Sugarfoot Stomp - Harry James 165
I Want A Roof Over My Head - Helen Humes 154
Dinah - Lino Patruno & His Blue Four 224
Doin The Voom Voom - Duke Ellington 196

Friday, November 21, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 08:56 unexpected issue: big, fuzzy knee socks plus wide-leg pants -> odd-looking static cling. but my feet are warm today!
  • 11:04 temp employee no longer!!
  • 13:41 gmail themes! NINJA!
  • 00:07 can preview while DJing in linux! audacious plus amarok = easy set-up. i still want to learn mixxx, though.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

DJing, linux, whistling, ice skating, beer

tonight will make four DJ sets in eight days (attucks, klx, rumba, williamsburg)... that's a lot for me, even when i'm NOT trying to adjust to a new software setup. at least it's keeping the cost of dancing low. and it's not exactly like i mind having an excuse to go around with at least one earbud hooked to my mp3 player most of the time in hopes of finding more gems i didn't know i had.

overall, the transition to linux has been pretty smooth. i still haven't figured out use of two sound cards simultaneously, but i have enough clues that a long morning hanging out in pjs ought to help. (can you tell i'm looking forward to doing not-so-much this weekend?!?) i just saw a bug log claiming that my biggest complaint about amarok, the program i've been using to replace itunes, is fixed in the version that's in beta. (generating smart playlists by "label does not contain" doesn't work so well right now. and itunes smart playlists were kinda a cornerstone of my organizational system.) plus, john and brooks in atl have been big helps -- judging from, atlanta must be the linux lindy hop DJ capital of the world.

other thing to do while flannel-pajama-clad this weekend: figure out how to make netflix's instant play movies work with linux. or if not, there's always jesse's desktop windows machine, i guess.

random downtown norfolk coolness... there's this one guy who's incredible at whistling. like, if i were going to record a song that featured a lot of it, i'd probably seek him out. i first noticed several weeks back... another guy was banging on the side of one of the bus shelters, being a little obnoxious... the next thing i knew, it'd developed into a regular rhythm, which then became this strange little duet with the whistling guy. gorgeous, one of those spontaneous moments you just don't look for when you're standing around at the bus stop. ever since then, when i hear a particularly catchy tune floating in the air (as i did on lunch break -- that's what prompted this), i look around; he's usually in range.

they're putting the final touches on a seasonal outdoor ice skating rink a couple blocks from my office. hurrah. oh, and parade stands. i didn't know about it, but apparently the grand illumination of the christmas lights is a big deal around here. williamsburg has one in a couple weeks. i think we're dancing in their parade, and for some kind of event in the mall here.

current beer obsession: legend chocolate porter. it's seasonal, brewed down the road in richmond. thus far i've only seen it at cogan's, the pizza place where everyone usually winds up after the wednesday nights at the fred. then again, i don't get out to beer-drinking locales all that often. but yummy.

mumbles and factoids

  • 15:41 cold weather is making me want to cancel everything to hang out at home in flannel pajamas with a cup of tea. going dancing anyway, though!
  • 16:08 holiday airplane tickets bought... the madcap nashville-manchester-crossville-asheville-cookeville-manchester-nashville trip is on!
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 10:16 back to work... whee?
  • 18:54 think costco would take back a jar of artichoke hearts on the basis that we can't open it? (and when i say we, i mean all-out team effort!)
  • 19:54 modern linux continues to surprise me. i hadn't thought to try, but ubuntu had no trouble with jesse's printer. plug in USB and bam!
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Monday, November 17, 2008


this year's knoxville lindy exchange was a lot of fun, or at least the friday-saturday portions of it were.

my first time riding the greyhound was not the least bit traumatic. nor were 7 hours in the car with adrienne. we made good time, successfully found the starbucks when we needed it, and got to knoxville in time for dinner.

friday night didn't feel like klx to me... i finally figured out that it was less about what was going on in the dance venues than about ME -- the fact that i wasn't in host mode, wasn't going around making sure everyone knew what was going on, wasn't trying that hard to meet everyone i didn't know. of course it didn't feel like klx as i've known it! the streamliners were in good form (if a little loud!), though, and everything seemed to run pretty smoothly.

saturday felt more like home. i started the day by almost losing shannon's dog for her (i got mixed up about which one is reliable and likely to come back if you let him out...), got to know some of my fellow guests at the casa de shannon and jewel over doughnuts, and headed to the afternoon dance. after that, i skipped the lindy feast and, with davenne, took shannon out for a belated birthday dinner at sitar's. good times. the villains ball went off with plenty of costuming, and christabel and the jons gave the dancing the warm feel that goes with them. michael gamble kicked the late-night off right by playing a kickin' dixieland set in the "blues room" -- i have to admit, that was one of the weekend highlights for me. i got to trade three-song sets with D.C.'s mike marcotte for the 3-5 a.m. shift, and that was another weekend highlight; i really enjoy that format, and mike's a top-notch DJ.

unfortunately, i'm still figuring out the linux DJing, and i forgot to save my playlist. i'll post my best guess at a reconstruction as soon as i get a little time with my laptop, along with playlists from thursday and last night.

i wish we could've stuck around for the afternoon dance, but making it back to richmond in time to have dinner all together before adrienne handed me off to jesse was nice.

i wound up taking yesterday off too... i had asked for it in case travel plans necessitated it. i was defeated by the combination of having the option, needing to catch up on sleep, having the boyfriend with the day off, and finding the world outside my bed much too cold to deal with. i'll probably miss the day of pay, but it totally felt worth it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 10:09 my croatian penpal from approximately the junior high years just friended me on facebook. craziness!
  • 10:27 decided to take the greyhound up to richmond tomorrow for simplicity's sake...
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 21:56 woot! dvd player works in ubuntu!
  • 22:17 anybody know a hangout in williamsburg that's public transit accessible and interstate-convenient? meeting up with adrienne to ride to klx!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 14:00 santa claus has set up shop at the mall already?!?
  • 15:23 happy veterans day! (banks are closed, so much for buying quarters for laundry...)
  • 19:56 perl is funny-looking! but it worked - perl -pi -w -e 's/C:\/home\/kait\/Music/\/home\/kait\/Music\/Music Backup/g;' *.m3u
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

linux on the laptop, round 2

i last tried installing ubuntu linux on my computer last september. the lack of sound made it a little impractical -- the primary things i use my laptop for are internet and music, so it didn't last all that long.

a year makes all the difference. now all the drivers work straight from the cd. back in college, when i regularly used linux (mandrake-flavored!), it pretty much took a fairly knowledgeable geek to deal with it. my tech skills have deteriorated, but it's a nice surprise -- ubuntu's user-friendly! i've only gone command-line so far for a few bouts of moving files around, and that's just because i've missed doing it that way.

i was intending to go dual-boot, but, um, "experimental" is probably not the ideal method for figuring out why a windows vista partition isn't shrinking properly. the internet tells me -- too late -- that it's better to use vista's built-in partitioning tools. i think my oops would've been fixable, but i couldn't find my windows cd. (ransacking the apartment did reveal some floorspace we hadn't seen in a while, though...) i finally decided to just go for it. i'm very very glad that jesse talked me into finally getting a backup hard drive; i tend to reformat when frustrated, and having another copy of everything significantly reduced the associated angst.

tonight's project? see if i can get itunes playlists imported over and set up so i can DJ off this system without having to sort all the music again. preferably by thursday! amarok looks promising, and i actually already managed to get from the itunes library xml file to m3u form playlists... they still point to windows filepaths, though, so learning a teensy bit of perl might be in my future.

(and yeah, we skipped the dancing last night... jesse was tired, and i was wanting to play with the fresh operating system. i don't know what was leading to all the confusion yesterday, but not going out was NOT meant as a political statement!)

mumbles and factoids

  • 11:24 fighting absurdity in the database...
  • 14:03 lots of contradictory e-mails coming in, but i'm pretty sure that there's really no dancing at rumba tonight.
  • 14:30 or... maybe there is.
  • 16:30 scene politics make me crazy. 3 incoming phone calls and 10 e-mails later... (it's on, but dunno yet if jesse and i are going...)
  • 20:43 windows-free! and a little terrified, but yay! (or oops?)
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

mumbles and factoids

  • 10:57 suddenly pouring rain... maybe i should drink tea and install linux instead of getting out on the bicycle.
  • 12:33 and "installing linux" quickly turns into getting distracted by old photos and stuff i didn't realize i had on the backup harddrive.
  • 16:02 linux still not installed, but at least all my music's backed up now... off to richmond for the 2nd Saturday dance shortly!
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

wednesday night hop

more because posting a playlist forces me to do the cleanup work like checking to see that the tempos i have in the tags are accurate than because this one actually made anybody dance... wednesday night was a dark and stormy night, the dance didn't get advertised like usual, and the few people who DID show up were more interested in talking about dance and teaching each other than in social dancing. after a while, i gave up and played what i wanted to hear instead of trying to create a dance... so, um, here's what i felt like hearing wednesday night.

Ragtime Cowboy Joe - Pied Pipers 138
Flying Home No. 2 - Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra 162
Shout 'Em Aunt Tillie - Chris Barber 166
Functionizin' - Alex Hill 179
Sunday - Bob Wilber And The Tuxedo Big Band Of Toulouse France 153
I Swung The Election - Jack Teagarden & His Orchestra 199
Boy In The Boat - Steven Bernstein 161
This Little Light of Mine - The Boilermaker Jazz Band 168
Take It And Git - Andy Kirk & His Clouds of Joy 161
T'aint What You Do - Sy Oliver 172
AC/DC Current - Charlie Christiana 204
Drop Me Off In Harlem - Mills Blue Rhythm Band 143
I Hear Music - Billie Holiday 167
Tomorrow - Slam Stewart & Major Holley 152
You Gave Me The Gate - Duke Ellington 171
Come On Over To My House - Julia Lee And Her Boyfriends 146
Whistle While You Work - Bunny Berigan & His Orchestra 150
Good Evenin' Good Lookin' - Benny Goodman with Helen Forrest, vocals 157
Killing Jive - The Cats & The Fiddle 183
My Blue Heaven - Helen Humes 163
The Garbage Man - Harlem Hamfats 210
For The First Time - Kay Starr 168
Shorty's Got To Go - Lucky Millinder 146
Belleville Rendez-Vous (French Version) - The Triplets of Belleville 270
That's a Plenty - Firecracker Jazz Band 320
Egyptian Fantasy - Sidney Bechet 98
I Got The Sun In The Morning - Artie Shaw 138
Yes Indeed - Dick Haymes With Harry James & His Orchestra 158
Massachusetts - Gene Krupa 159
Honeysuckle Rose - WNEW broadcast, NYC, May 31, 1947 198
Our Love Was Meant To Be - Count Basie 163
I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me - Boyd Raeburn 171
As Long As I Live - Jonathan Stout And His Campus Five 159

Friday, November 7, 2008

today's collected short ramblings

  • 08:27 Testing? -from phone
  • 08:33 at work early, playing with porting from twitter to the blog...
  • 08:36 it occurs to me... i started tntech more than 10 years ago. that means more than ten years of process names, status updates, etc.
  • 09:15 one more test post...
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edit: ok, it works, yay. now switching post time to late evening. not sure how much i'll use this, but i have a twitter account i never really use for anything, so why not?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


11 o'clock on the dot, and CNN, Fox, and the Daily Show have all called it. looks like i get to go to bed earlier than predicted!

(2000 made me wary about going to bed early on election night... but it looks good, it really really does.)

watching the polls roll in...

virginia's at 50-49 for obama right now. a couple likely republican districts aren't reporting yet, but fairfax county's only at 35% reporting.

it's not looking like it's going to matter in the big scheme of things -- hopefully the big scheme's not even close. but i'm really enjoying watching from a state that's up for grabs!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

i voted!

i was going to get to tell a tale of slogging a mile and a half each way in the rain for the sake of exercising my right, but jesse happened to get off work early and loaned me his car. (he's still registered in california, so he voted absentee weeks ago.)

i took a photo when i got there. but (a) i don't have an SD card reader handy at the moment, and (b) the line of umbrellas outside in no way captures it -- inside, every bit of hallway in the little elementary school assigned as my polling location was lined up, complete with switchbacks in the final stretch through the cafeteria. two hours. there's a certain splendor in people being willing to hang out that long without even a roller coaster ride at the end, just a paper and a felt-tip marking pen. except for a little disgruntlement over the P-Z line running significantly faster than the others (fastest poll worker? dearth of smiths and thomases and williamses in the neighborhood? who knows...), people were incredibly cheerful over the whole thing, giving big rounds of applause whenever a first-time voter was announced.

yay for being in a swing state where nobody really knows how it's going to turn out. hoping to find someplace fun to watch the returns come in this evening...

and i'd like to make a big shout-out to the people working at the polls all day. my boss is among them, and he told us what a long day he's in for -- 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., plus however long it takes to get through the people lined up at 7.

i got up earlier than usual and didn't get my habitual snooze on the bus, so i may need the free starbucks before the day's out. happy election day, everybody!

Monday, November 3, 2008

how far?

it's been a quiet weekend. no halloween craziness here. not needing a costume at all made me sort of miss my old office, with the big group costumes and associated hijinx; i need to call and get the rundown on what went on this year.

i put an odometer on the bike. it's starting to become obvious how bicycling folks turn into gear junkies. thus far, it's all simple, easy stuff (headlight, tail light, odometer)... but now i really want a rack to make hauling groceries easier.

if i got the wheel size in there right (i think i did!), i put about 14 miles on it this weekend. i made a google map of today's running around, just to see if my distance is roughly right. it is! because the big red loop is somehow oddly satisfying, i present:

View Larger Map

a few errands, and i found my polling place for tuesday, but mostly i was just enjoying what's maybe the last of the warm days. no great distance, but it's more than i used to ride. speaking of weather... i heard tom friedman in an interview talking about how maybe "global weirding" is a more obvious term/effect than global warming. i'll believe it here. i bought a winter coat thursday evening. needed it friday morning -- there was frost. saturday, it hit 70 degrees outside.

Friday, October 31, 2008

treasure hunting

a few weeks back, my friend brad asked about a tune that wasn't quite "flying home". all the local swing DJs knew we'd heard what he was humming, but we didn't know the title.

after a lot of listening to samples (and consequently spending all my emusic downloads for the month on things that weren't it but were cool) because i'm too stubborn to just ask the swing djs discussion board, i've got it.

it's (trumpet fanfare) "flying home no. 2". despite the less-than-thrilling moniker, it's a pretty interesting little story. when lionel hampton put together his band, he wanted arnett cobb to play tenor sax for him. arnett cobb had another good gig going, so he didn't join up. instead, hampton got illinois jacquet -- then just a teenager -- to join up on condition that he switch from alto to tenor and "play like cobb". the way jacquet wailed and honked on his improvised solo when they recorded "flying home" in 1942 was so wildly popular that almost every sax player since has played it like jacquet -- it's become a nearly inherent part of the tune, which is highly unusual for a jazz solo. when arnett cobb DID decide to join the band later in 1942, he learned the jacquet way of playing "flying home"... but he also reworked the solo his way, and the band recorded it as "flying home no. 2" in 1944, shortly after the recording strike ended.

(all info taken from the internet, mostly things that pop up when you search for "flying home no. 2" plus "cobb", so no guarantees! found this in my unfinished draft posts from last weekend...)

Monday, October 27, 2008


at some point on the bus on the way here this morning, i started giggling over the realization of exactly how horrified the junior high-age me (the one who could spend an hour trying to hairspray my way into compliance with acceptable early 90s curling-ironed coiffure, usually unsuccessfully) would be with my current morning routine.

ok, so i usually brush my hair before heading out the door. but when one is trying to recover from a decade of chronic tardiness and dealing with a bus that waits for no one, sometimes the cosmetic stuff slips. like today. if the watch hits 7 a.m., shoes go on, ready or not, here i come.

(i do keep a gym bag at work with all the necessary grooming stuff, and i can usually duck into the bathroom before anybody sees my just-rolled-out-of-bed look. but me, the 13-yr-old version, would still be completely mortified.)

Friday, October 24, 2008


it's been a good week for dancing... jammin' on the james up in richmond over the weekend, then rumba monday night and the fred on wednesday. wednesday night, i was in the mood to try out some music i hadn't played for a crowd before. there'd just been a beginner bal class, people seemed to be willing to dance faster than usual, and the kind of chunky swing and trad jazz that i'm partial to was working... all in all, it led to the best overlap of DJing for the floor and DJing for me that i've gotten to do in a long time -- none of the clearing the floor with something i wanted to hear and then trying to woo them back with a scene favorite. super fun, and it's been inspiring me to hunt down more interesting tracks for next week. here's the setlist (numbers on the end = tempos in beats per minute):

Swingin' On Nothing - Bob Crosby 128
Sunday - Kay Starr 155
Tap Room Swing - Adrian Rollini 179
It Dont Mean A Thing - Duke Ellington 178
My Blue Heaven - Jimmie Lunceford 172
Take It Easy Greasy No. 2 - Lil Johnson 139
All The Cats Join In - Billy Butterfield And His Orchestra 156
A Study In Brown - Bunny Berigan 198
In The Mood - Oscar Aleman 175
A String Of Pearls - Benny Goodman 180
Are You Jumpin' Jack? - Glenn Miller and his Orchestra 196
Tuxedo Junction - The International Sweethearts Of Rhythm 143
Miser's Serenade - Chris Connor 136
Savoy Blues - The Wolverines Jazz Band Of Bern 138
Nature Boy - Johnny Hartman 145
Sugarfoot Stomp - Harry James 165
The Donkey Serenade - Artie Shaw 147
Solid as a Rock - Count Basie 136
Swing, Brother, Swing - Billie Holiday 151
New Orleans Bump - Jelly Roll Morton 120
Salty Dog - Lizzie Miles with Sharkey & His Kings Of Dixieland 194
Stealin' Apples - Fletcher Henderson 174
All Of Me - Della Reese 160
Hard Hearted Hannah - Ray McKinley 110
Cajun Romp - Wingy Manone And Dixieland Jazztette 139
It Had To Be You - Adrian Rollini 175
Hallelujah Joe Ain't Preachin' No More - Harlem Hamfats 166
Ball Of Fire - Gene Krupa 189
Big John's Special - Mills Blue Rhythm Band 202
The Mooche - Johnny Otis 122
Carioca - Artie Shaw 220
Riff Staccato - Duke Ellington 140
My Buddy - Lionel Hampton 186
Them There Eyes - Roy Milton 146
Douce Ambiance - Robert Bell 170
Let's Misbehave - Boilermaker Jazz Band 198

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

totally unsolicited endorsement - messagesling

i've been running my voicemail service on my cell phone to for about a month now.

and i just wanted to say... for a chronic phone-forgetter like me, it's fan-freakin'-tastic. on the phone itself, i get a text message to notify me of new voicemail, and i can call to retrieve it... but it ALSO gets delivered to my e-mail account as an mp3, so on days when i forgot to bring my cell phone along to the office, i still get all the stuff worth leaving a message over. especially critical when my decisions about evening plans hinge on other people's logistics.

days like today. i seriously need to find an a different alarm clock and move my cell phone charger so it never has to leave my backpack at night.

(this blog needs a new name. i'm still dancing regularly if more locally, and tonight's contingent plan is actually the second week dancing at victor's new venue, but i'm a total flop at staying on topic.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"liveblogging" the debate...

i was going to watch tonight's presidential debate live.

then i got home from work, saw jesse was still asleep, and decided that curling up for a nap sounded like a good idea.

we overslept. it's almost 11:30, and i'm just now starting the debate. oops.

somehow, using google chat to watch with friends just isn't quite as much fun when they all saw it two hours ago...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

shrunk world

i finally went back and faced the mechanic yesterday. they hadn't called me back as promised with the "low" estimate for replacing the engine in my car, and i hadn't called them back since stalling at least until mom had time to mail me the title felt like a good idea. (i got this car by telling my dad how much i was willing to spend for a car and asking him to find me something relatively reliable. and it worked, at least for several years! so the car was mine, but the title was still in manchester.)

$2,500. nope. nicely, though, they're ok with my leaving the car there until i can figure out what to do with it. donate it? (i'm not sure my income bracket makes a tax write-off worthwhile, but the warm fuzzies would be nice...) sell it to a scrap dealer? put it up on craigslist and see if i can get anyone to offer anything for it? haul it up here and see if jesse's friend weaver agrees that the current engine is really, truly dead? (weaver, by the way, is helping jesse put a new radiator in his car. weaver gets kudos for being nice.)

i might look for a used car once i get health insurance and feel a little more comfortable cutting deep into savings. i'm really uncomfortable with debt... i like to keep my finances simple. income less than or equal to spending.

in the meantime, though, the bus.

the bus actually isn't so bad. i've got the commute to work figured out so that it's actually less of a pain than before... i get there early, i can sleep most of the way. evenings are less reliable, but again i can sleep or read or do whatever. mostly, it's just the extracurriculars that are difficult. wanting to stay out late to dance or go to a club meeting or whatever.

i'm having to ask for a lot of help. this week, i'm supposed to be DJing a dance on monday in virginia beach, teaching on wednesday in norfolk, and DJing again in williamsburg on thursday. that's three different rides.

on the one hand, i'd like to stick with public transit, even once i can afford to do otherwise again. it's one of those things where more people using it makes it possible to finance improvements to the system, and i feel like i should put my money where my mouth is. and i CAN largely find an adequate amount of personal freedom within the strictures of living by bus schedule.

on the other, i'm scared of turning into a mooche. i offer gas money, but still.

the world feels a lot more spread out when you're forced to go slower. on weekends, i've been using my feet or the bicycle for anything under about five miles. there's a lot in that range... still, simply going to walgreens, picking out a route that won't involve encountering heavy traffic, becomes a bit of an adventure.

my horizons are shrinking. i can't just casually run up to costco in newport news to grab a gallon of milk, or over to a friend's house 15 miles away to practice dance for an hour. taking objects along requires more consideration, too -- i find myself avoiding groceries that contain unnecessary amounts of water, because they'll make my backpack heavier. longer travel depends more heavily on whether anyone else is going that way or if i can justify buying a plane ticket.

but there's richness in getting to know what's around me. i went to the hampton museum of history for museum day last weekend. it's been 400 years since the english settled here, and there were kecoughtan indians before that. i found a WPA Guide to Virginia that includes information about what it was like here back in 1939... i like superimposing, imagining the past form of places as i wander around.

interacting more with strangers is kinda neat, too -- in a car, you're isolated from the world. the bus, if it gets stuck in traffic, people start trading stories. i'm getting to know the people who regularly travel the same directions i do, if not by name, at least by face... somehow, having a few people who smile at you in recognition every morning helps a lot, makes it feel safer, gives you someone to share the mirth with when something unusual does happen.

but anyway. i should get my bicycle out before the sun sets!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

i don't live in a county anymore

virginia is weird. i'd idly thought it was a little strange that up to now, even registering to vote and getting my virginia state driver's license (which was finally necessitated not by driving needs but by the desire to get a norfolk library card), i hadn't had to put down a "county of residence" anywhere... but when some odd-looking data yesterday led to trying to look up what county williamsburg is in, i still wasn't expecting the answer to be "none!"

(for reference, my hometown, manchester, has a hybrid school system in which those who live in town go to city schools through 9th grade, at which time they're merged with the county kids, who've already been at the high school for a year... actually, i'm not so sure that i should be pointing fingers at places that choose to have one local government per chunk of land as weird!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


just found out - saturday is museum day! smithsonian magazine has a downloadable card good for free admission at a whole bunch of neat places all over the country. and a fairly large number of the participating virginia museums are within reach of the hampton roads transit system. yay free entertainment!

(thanks to lifehacker for letting me know...)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


i've been reading the paper newspaper a bit at work... it gets delivered to the office, and it's good for keeping up with local agency information that ought to find its way into our database. one thing that strikes me as kinda cool about the virginian pilot is that they're totally unintimidated by pointing their readers to the web... and if it's a long URL, they just send everybody to a tinyurl. i haven't exposed myself to real print media on a regular basis in years. is this the standard now? or are they just that smart?

(they also tend to use google maps with pinpoint locations in their online edition. i'm a little more ambivalent about that... not so sure i want to know exactly how close to my place last night's robbery was...)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

update: wal-mart and bicycles

i bicycled to wal-mart to buy a bicycle lock. success.

they didn't let me take my bike into the store. however, the greeter was willing to watch the bike and pointed out a relatively inconspicuous area to stow it. having paid a grand total of about $15 for this bike -- a 70s schwinn world tourist, more or less a slightly more banged up version of this -- that's no problem. i love my bike, but it's not much of a looker. no need to strip to protest its right to come inside.

i always thought the traffic around here was too scary to ride in, but after a few minutes of heart-pumping adrenaline over the audacity of claiming my VERY OWN QUARTER OF A LANE, i got over it and enjoyed the ride.


now at home. cox cable finally sent out a technician who diagnosed that we'd been accidentally disconnected when they hooked up somebody else in the neighborhood. yay rah.

jesse's car is back in commission, too. so transportation issues involved in participating in a bit of dirt cheap blues tonight are largely solved. i asked google maps for public transit directions for getting to beach-side virginia beach... it said i could get there on monday at 9 a.m.! i'm estimating it's actually closer to 3 hours to get there on weekend schedule, but that was amusing.

when i asked my friend kristin (who had to cut off the conversation to head out for a triathlon -- go matt and kristin!) whether she figured wal-mart would let me bring my bicycle inside long enough to shop for a bike lock (my old one rusted out), she sent me this story. tempted to try it anyway...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

kait finds her hot-button issue

(i need a real blog update with all kinds of recent adventures, but internet at home's been down. and my car is dead. life's been interesting, to say the least... but more on that when the internet goes up at home... this is an official part-of-my-lunch-break-sized post.)

it's no secret that while i'm not exactly a highly political creature, i'm also not exactly an undecided voter. i'm also not generally a one-issue voter. but here's one that's really not much of an issue in the real world presidential election politics, but that made my eyebrows go way, way up.

seriously folks. you just don't mess with the librarians. even thinking about censoring books is not really funny. even in a town smaller than my hometown. dunno that the mccain/palin fan base would agree with me on this one, but i'd like some better explanation of what was going on...

thanks to dennis, who shared a blog pointing to this snopes article verifying the authenticity of a letter from a wasilla resident... which led, in turn, to a google search for palin + library.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

hurricanes and widgets and browsers, oh my

to your right and down, i added a nifty hurricane-tracking widget to the page. this link came out at work, where we're working on making sure we're prepared, just in case anything hits virginia... yes, mom, at this office, i'll probably hear about it if i need to evacuate, even if you don't e-mail me. probably not any faster, but you do have backup if the internet goes down!

the widget seems not to be working yet in chrome, google's new browser. but the browser's pretty. in a little bit of casual, not-particularly-challenging browsing, i can't tell much difference from firefox, but pulling tabs off to independence and regrouping them amuses me far more than it ought to.

*three minutes later* um, the widget does work in chrome now. and it looks like it's going to be a rainy, rainy weekend. who knows...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

really tired rambling

ilhc was intense. maybe more on that when i'm not so tired that my speech is slurry. illustrations necessary.

frustrated and ready to quit forever sunday morning became stopping by skye and marie's class became remembering that dancing's really freakin' fun and tying on my dance shoes. me = a wee bit moody, i guess.

i had to be dragged away from the soul party sunday evening. that's a new one.

sleeping on the way home didn't happen. oops. abi kept jesse awake enough to drive, as intended, but i wound up engaged by the conversation too. much good dance geekage.

the person who's charged with helping me figure out what i'm doing was back from vacation today. yay guidance! and yay, she's really cool!

after work, a police officer was hovering around my car when i got to it. window smashed, gps gone, mp3 player too crappy to bother with, thankful my computer wasn't in there. too tired to deal. i'll clean up the glass tomorrow. jesse helped saran wrap it for now since it's supposed to rain. made it home without getting lost, hurrah.

new fountain pen in the mail!

i need sleep.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

public transportation coward

i really want to try out using public transportation to get to work tomorrow. it being thursday, there's dancing in norfolk, so i can get a ride home.

alas, though, i think i'd better take another week to establish myself as a "good employee" before i risk coming in late and maybe ask around a little about how well the HRT takes traffic into account on its bus schedule... especially for buses crossing the hampton roads bridge-tunnel. anyone wandering by happen to know?

this evening, i went for a run around downtown norfolk instead of fighting traffic after work. it's a nice area to run in, except that the crosswalk signals feel like they take forever when you're trying not to completely lose pace. the exertion felt great, especially since i'm in the midst of what i like to call new-job-mono -- the first summer after i graduated college, i was convinced that i had mononucleosis until i caught onto the pattern that frequent new temp assignments were closely correlated to the exhaustion... my brain tends to overload easily in new environments, but tonight i actually feel appropriately physically drained to go with it. think i'll go sleep now...

Friday, August 15, 2008

matchairi genmaicha

or "brown rice green tea with added powdered tea."

on the way back from the interview in norfolk yesterday, i stopped to check out a couple bookstores way down granby street. there was a little japanese grocery beside one of them; instead of books, i wound up with tea. (and, incidentally, some really yummy chewy ginger candies!)

(one of the bookstores is pretty promising for supplying the cheap used novel habit... even if i've recently rediscovered the possibility of actually checking things out from the library and honestly probably don't need to buy any more books until i've read some of the ones i have. i still miss mckay's, though.)

trying out the tea this morning, i got curious over why this green tea's actually green whereas most of the green tea i buy is more the brown variety. wikipedia to the rescue! japanese green teas in general and genmaicha in specific. turns out that what i have is mostly the same stuff as the canister of "green tea with toasted rice" i had from republic of tea... but with a little matcha--the powdered, bright green green tea used for tea ceremonies and for the characteristic "green tea flavor" on things like ice cream that are not tea--mixed in for flavor and color. i like.

the label on the tea i bought is mostly in japanese (i bought it based on the illustration on the front of the bag), so i'm a little extra-happy that wikipedia had the characters, too. 茶, cha, tea, is familiar hanzi from chinese - i know a very few of 'em!


as of monday, i'm the database manager for a non-profit in downtown norfolk called the planning council.

i have absolutely no clue how to manage a database. and i told them that. apparently they want me anyway. you can check out the database that will be mine here.

it's temp-to-hire via officeteam, and it pays a fair chunk less than i'm used to making. but the office atmosphere rocks; they seem super-nice. the right team means a lot more to me than the price. and it's an unambiguously save-the-world sort of place, which really appeals to my mostly-dormant-but-not-at-all-dead inner idealist. plus, i get to see how non-profits work and learn new stuff. yay!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

there and back again

the last couple weeks -- connecticut, d.c., tennessee, and home again.

actually, california started the whole thing. see, the boyfriend went to california for a week and a half to visit family and friends and to go to camp hollywood. when the choices are between going someplace fun and staying home with cute and cuddly boyfriend, the comparison is "relatively expensive and yay" vs. "free and yay".... there's a certain amount of inertia to overcome. when the second option becomes stay home by myself, though, financial sense tends to get lost.

so, wanna go to connecticut this weekend for ctlx? absolutely!

getting there was a lot of the fun. one of our local dancers is also a pilot. i'd flown in small airplanes before, but had never been asked to help with the flying.

i got to steer the airplane!

i realize this was probably something akin to letting a four-year-old "steer" a car, but i got every bit as giddy as a four-year-old over it. unfortunately, we quickly discovered that i can either turn the plane or keep the pitch steady... both at once? forget about it!


somehow, in all the excitement about getting there, i never quite stopped to consider where we were going. so new haven -- and YALE! -- were an excellent surprise. the exchange itself was a bit to the blues/groovy swing/soul end of the spectrum for my taste, but the DJs were top-notch in that field, and thus it was an excellent opportunity to work on re-expanding my range. really, though, on this one, the conversations over meals and on the edges of the dancefloor and while just hanging out with our host, jason, were so much fun that they really outshone the dancing for me. conversations that veer all over the place, from mri machines to favorite new york times reporters to bach, make me really happy.

the tuesday night after we got back, jesse came back temporarily -- he had to check in at work on wednesday, so his time in california got a little segmented. somehow, he wound up flying into reagan but had left his car at dulles... excuse enough for me (and shauna!) to go dance at the jam cellar. amazingly, the plan worked -- jesse took the subway to the jam cellar, we all danced, then we took him to dulles before heading home. the dancing was awesome, but it was soooo hot. i'm learning - charming historic buildings go with charming historic air conditioners. i soaked through several shirts, sat out a bit, and was still too woozy at the end of the night to drive before i'd drunk quite a bit of water to rehydrate.

then came lake week. again with the impulsive travel plans. on tuesday, before heading to d.c., i'd realized that (a) several of my good friends who i don't get to see often enough were converging on tim's ford lake in tennessee, and (b) if i go to a temp agency and beg for work as planned, i may not get any vacation for a long, long time and will miss my parents in manchester, about an hour from the lake, i found a super-cheap ticket to nashville (yay priceline!) for thursday.

i didn't think this through before dropping jesse off at the airport on wednesday, but since he was gone (second round) wednesday-wednesday and i was gone thursday-thursday, it made the most sense for me to park my car and let him use it when he got back late wednesday night. this resulted in mailing my spare car key across the country... another plan that really shouldn't work, given my entropy field, but did.

my dad worked his schedule around so he could come to nashville to get me and drop me off at the airport, and they loaned me a car for getting across to winchester -- again with the being a lucky, spoiled brat. i had a really relaxing day at home hanging out with the parents, and then drove out to the lake thursday evening for four days of water skiing, over-indulging in really good food and wine and gabe's home-brewed beer, catching up, playing cards (i'm no card-shark and have to have the rules re-explained to me every time, but they even dragged me in for a couple games), dunking each other in the lake, getting the yoga fans to explain how to stretch the muscles i'd abused during inept attempts at skiing, and other such general merriment. very good times. then back to the parents' for a couple more days, then home.

this morning i've got an interview with OfficeTeam, my old favorite temp company (they got me the job at EODT!). with any luck, the days of impulsive adventuring all over the place will be shut down for a while... i'll miss it, but i need to get back to work.

upcoming dance weekends? the international lindy hop championships in d.c. are for sure. baljam in philly, maybe. dirt cheap blues is in virginia beach, so i can hardly avoid it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

flashback to may 2007

once upon a time, jesse took me to the five loaves cafe in charleston to see a really fun little band called the v tones. it was one of his last nights in town before he moved to albany, and we had a blast.

today, biffle over at baxter sez put up a post about a band he's playing with that sounds like my sort of thing. i took it as an opportunity to check and see if other towns uphold the knoxville rule that most of the super-fun bands in town overlap by at least one player. (it was always entertaining to watch, for example, jon whitlock, christabel's drummer, on local music fest nights... i can remember one where he had three different gigs with three different bands.) as a matter of fact, biffle's violinist IS listed as one of the frequent guest v tones. certainly no proof, but the evidence continues to mount. and i'm sending word to the charleston dancers that they may want to check these guys out.

the real shock, though, was to find myself on the v tones' myspace page! quite possibly the only video in existence of me dancing bal, and the first i've seen of jesse and me dancing together where we're clearly visible. good times, and i can remember being totally terrified that we were going to kick one of the little kids who were roaming around -- later that evening, i danced with a couple of the little girls, too. so much fun.

Find more videos like this on The V Tones

Thursday, July 24, 2008

the personals

if you happen to be sort of beginnerish at mandarin chinese but wanting to practice listening, you can't do much better than the movie the personals (征婚启事). in it, a young doctor places a personal ad looking for a husband, and the bulk of the movie consists of the meetings that result -- lots and lots of "getting to know you" speech, precisely the topics where i have some vocabulary.

the boyfriend is incommunicado for work from work from yesterday morning to tomorrow evening, so i've been spending more quality time than usual with my netflix queue. this one was actually up on their instant viewing list -- since i have no tv and watch everything on my laptop anyhow, that's a super-nice feature.


google knol, apparently designed to compete with wikipedia, is open for business. i just found out, haven't explored much yet, and it seems mostly empty thus far... but it seems an awful lot like everything2, concept-wise. guess it's time to start analyzing what shape i want the public's sum knowledge to take... any opinions on the strengths/weaknesses of the different models?


a few minutes later... actually, i don't think knol's likely to compete with wikipedia at all... more complement. with wikipedia, you wind up with the consensus on anything or everything -- the schoolbook version. knol, i imagine evolving into the sort of place where you go read the original texts, listen to the voices behind them, get some perspective via the ratings and credentials, make up your own mind. not good for getting acquainted with a subject quickly, but rich. my favorite history class in college had two textbooks... one was a standard textbook, and the other had sets of three essays on various problems in american history. it gave us a basic structure, but also a way to go in depth in places where there were snarls and where things really weren't that simple. history's a lot more fun when it's about finding the story rather than memorizing dates. i hope that kind of system is what evolves out of having both, rather than one website killing the other.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


the job offers still aren't exactly knocking down my door, so i'm still at home a lot... which means i drink a lot of hot tea at home.

a couple months ago, my mom gave me a french press. she'd previously given me quite a bit of loose tea. the combo is lovely -- i can brew about two big cups of tea to just the strength i like, then smash down the leaves... the second cup stays at that strength while i drink the first, and it's easy to clean (those would be my main problems with teapots).

only now, i'm running out of oolong (my favorite!) and darjeeling, and i haven't found anyplace local that sells loose tea. there's no earthfare; i checked trader joe's -- lots of good deals on coffee and beer, no specialty teas... plenty of tearooms in the further reaches of hampton roads, but past experience says those only very rarely have more than a casual relation to actual tea. any other suggestions? otherwise, methinks i may put in an order at stash tea...

*update* a closer look at farm fresh revealed some bulk tea hiding in amongst the coffee... but no oolong, just english and irish breakfast representing the relatively plain black teas. so i won't go without, but ordering directly from stash is still looking like a pretty good option...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

not even raining yet

now that i'm in hurricane territory, my mom sends me news stories any time anything's remotely possibly heading for virginia. which is probably good, since mom alert does tend to come in via channels (e-mail and phone) that get my attention a lot faster than anything in the media.

the current threat, though, tropical storm cristobal... every single time, never fails, the shape of the word is close enough that my head trips on it and gets a little disappointed when the context makes it clear that it's not a story about local knoxville dancer favorites christabel and the jons. i miss them. however, checking the calendar, they'll be in richmond for a show august 15!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


i was reading this article about china's reaction to the movie kung fu panda. it mentions the movie's title in chinese, 功夫熊猫... i was curious how the word for panda was pronounced, so i ran it through adsotrans - xiongmao. "mao" as in cat? check. and it turns out the first character means "bear." so, literally, we have bearcat.

which, as it happens, connects pandas to the blues, for me anyhow. right after big mama thornton's song "hound dog" came out in 1953 (that's right, elvis's was a remake), rufus thomas came back with "bear cat" to approximately the same tune, complete with campy fun sound effects. it was sun records' first hit, and they later lost the lawsuit for plagiarizing. you can hear a sample here.

and so it goes, now you see why my mental pandas are no longer lounging about, munching on bamboo. nor are they waging gravity-defying battles against power hungry ex-con snow leopards. nope, they're scratchin' at the door, purring, and otherwise trying to win their way back in under false pretenses...

another panda-related tidbit i didn't know: firefox is another name for a red panda.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


the lifehacker blog put up a link today to a hundred pushup training program, designed to help even wimps like me work up to 100 consecutive pushups in six weeks. being mostly nocturnal for the moment is wreaking havoc on my running ambitions (going and running laps around the interior of wal-mart's gotten a little tempting...), but i can work on this, even in the middle of the night.

initial test, i can do 17 pushups with sorta ok form -- i stay flat, but i'm aware that the pushups aren't as deep as they ought to be to qualify for actual good form. six weeks, here we go.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

reload... reload...

the first act of dr. horrible's sing-along blog, joss whedon's latest project, is supposedly up today... but fan enthusiasm has apparently crashed the website. meanwhile, this site has the teaser. doogie howser vs. captain mal... it's gotta be fun, right?

in other news, i'm awake in the middle of the day because i finally got a call from a company. going in for some talking and some skills testing tomorrow...

Saturday, July 12, 2008


i wasn't exactly meaning to sync up to jesse's current night schedule (his shifts rotate from week to week), but i slept poorly last night and went back to bed for a "nap" this morning when he got home... and woke up around 6 p.m.

and here i am, 11 o'clock at night, not calming down for bed, but digesting "lunch" and trying to organize myself for the time until morning. it's a bit easier to focus with this schedule -- back in school, i often ducked out of the evening and early night for a nap so i could wake up and study from 4 a.m. on, when nobody was interested in socializing. hopefully that'll mean great things for el jobhunt this week.

but i think i miss the sunlight already.

Friday, July 11, 2008

fun with collegiate shag

i don't think anyone here had even tried to lead collegiate shag when dancing with me prior to last weekend.

and now... tah-dah! we have not one, not two, but FOUR different basic steps present in the hampton roads area!

those of us who went down to sugar foot stomp last weekend learned the two basics that joel and alison presented:

joel and alison single shag = quick-quick-slow, quick-quick slow (or L-R-L-L, R-L-R-R lead footwork, if you will.)

joel and alison double shag = slow-slow-quick-quick (L-L-R-R-L-R)

tuesday, i went down to the virginia beach lesson, where they were teaching a single shag, only starting on the slows... not much different, it just changes where the ones are.

jeff and amanda single shag = slow-quick-quick, slow-quick-quick (L-L-R-L, R-R-L-R)

in williamsburg last night, they had a slightly different double shag... the footwork was the same as joel and alison's, but started on 8 instead of one.

mike double shag = ow-slow-quick-quick-sl (L-R-R-L-R-L)

so i'm totally pumped to have so much shagging, but it's a little crazy. today i did some reading up on the board. our first three basics, anyway, are all pretty common. among the cool things i found out, shag goes back further in the south than it does in the northeast, probably in the form of single shag. one of the earliest references that peter loggins cites is actually from virginia beach, so i might be in the right place to do some local research this time. during WWII, southerners were exposed to double shag and referred to it as "yankee shag". and yes, there were all kinds of local variations, but most people didn't switch basics constantly mid-song... which makes me feel a little better, since i was having a really hard time following people who switched back and forth at sugar foot stomp!

also, i really want to try triple shag -- slow-slow-quick-quick-slow, slow-slow-quick-quick-slow -- but i think it might make my brain explode.

and, um, for all of you who were thoroughly bored reading about shag... have some to watch?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

update - the jobhunt

resume with cover letter #1 is turned in; the worst of the inertia's beaten, i hope! now i just need to repeat that feat once a day or so until somebody thinks i'm interesting.

(have to admit, though, that even though they're in williamsburg and i think i've decided i'd rather work between here and norfolk, i really hope this first company likes me. it's non-profit, interesting job functions, and generally looks like a super-neat place to work.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

my scuff muscles hurt

sugarfoot stomp was fantastic. collegiate shag--both single and double, texas tommy, peabody, flea hop, pony trot, blackbottom, charleston... i love my obscure vintage dances, and for once i got my fill. plus i got to see my old southeast crowd (and some fun non-southeasterners!), hung out in asheville, danced to crazy fun music, competed in a solo charleston comp (despite the fact that i knew i was WAY outclassed and would've almost preferred to watch from the front!), and generally had a super-great sweaty time.

i've decided to declare my dance scene as hampton roads. because i live too far away from virginia beach, none of the dancing actually goes on in hampton, and i can't seem to pronounce norfolk properly. (naw-fuhk. yeah.) people will get used to it and figure out that i'm talking about all of the above. or they won't. either way, sticking to it.

on to convincing everyone i know that they want to go to san francisco shag jam in october, so we can really get collegiate shag planted around here...

(and shoot. all dressed to go running, had picked out a brand new route from, and now it looks like a storm's moving in. grr.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

where do electric companies get their information?

despite a few halfhearted attempts to get it changed, my electric bill in knoxville always always came addressed to "Kate P" rather than "Kait T". i'm not one to throw a fit over my middle initial as long as it doesn't cause any real billing problems, and so it goes.

however, moving in here, i figured i'd moved on to a phase of my life where my electric bill would come properly addressed... and yet, here it is, first name spelled right this time, P for a middle initial.

does this mean that somewhere out there, my credit history is linked to a universe where my middle name is patricia or penelope? or is dominion power calling up the good old KUB just to ensure they have something to throw on the bill? i'm pretty sure they never asked for my middle name when i called to get service started.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

situation downgraded to funny story

i mentioned already how our apartment maintenance staff is awesome, yeah?

they just busted us out. the golf cart showed up just as jesse was messing with ways to make a climbing harness from bungee cords. door open, no boyfriend splat on sidewalk, all's right with the world.

we're getting out of here!


nytimes has an article on the new style of milk jugs that we've been seeing at costco.

i didn't know they were better for the environment. i'll cease grumbling over the awkward spilly-ness and work on getting used to them now.

stuck inside

we're stuck inside today. literally. well, at least for the moment.

jesse, in an effort to improve our energy efficiency, put some silicone sealant around the front door frame last night. before it dried, we got distracted cooking dinner and forgot to open the door again.

sometime around 1 a.m., he realized that we couldn't open the door anymore. much tugging and trying to break the sealing stuff with knives ensued, all to no avail.

while there are some noisier measures to try today, it may come down to needing somebody to work from outside. i'd like to get this solved before jesse decides to weave a bunch of bungees into a rope to adventure his way down from our second story balcony, though. preferably without destroying the door. i'd call apartment maintenance, but i'm a little afraid that gluing your own front door shut has to be a violation of the lease. somehow.

so much for going running this morning. any and all suggestions are welcome!

iran story update

today's fresh air was an interview with seymour hersh, author of the new yorker article i linked yesterday. it's probably a little more accessible than the article itself, since terry gross is good like that. (plus, you can take the podcast driving/running/housecleaning/whatever. npr helps make our kitchen a cleaner place.)

dancing and distance running

do i want to start this again?

jesse and i have been dancing considerably less than i was in knoxville. there, i was doing 2-3 nights a week for a fairly solid 2-3 hours each time. here, it's usually one night of dancing (thursdays at the attucks in norfolk... or in williamsburg once every six weeks) where we have to leave early if jesse's on days, plus maybe the william and mary club on wednesdays, and maybe a little bit of dancing at one of the live shows at one of the parks in the area across the rest of the week.

on the one hand, less dancing = less practice = not so good for the skill level. and less exercise from dancing = not so good for my body fat level or cardiac health. we're sort of hoping we can get a venue going a little closer to home one night a week to up that, and sort of hoping we can find some like-minded dancers who want to jam out to trad jazz/classic swing frequently so we can offer something a little different than what we're getting at the already established venues, but that's all fairly theoretical at this point.

on the upside, though, not dancing as much opens up the opportunity to partake in other activities. for the moment, cheap activities are highly preferable. running = ultra-cheap. i've been doing 3ish miles every few days anyway, but i'm thinking that maybe i should find a race to work towards. jesse took me along to the langley air force base's gym (which is quite swanky) today so we could work out together without my slow and steady approach impeding him, and i saw a poster for the air force marathon. unfortunately, el internet tells me that it's in dayton, ohio, but there's a half-marathon in norfolk in mid-october. too soon to finish fast, but i think i could at least finish.

maybe? guess i'll start stepping it up a little and see what my knees will let me get away with at this level of dance activity -- previously, i could never seem to recover from weekly long runs of 8 miles or more without skipping more dancing than i wanted to. if anybody has any tips on training for distance running while continuing to participate in other relatively high-impact activities, i'll take 'em!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

stepping up ops in iran

i'm not all that in touch with the news media, honestly. but had any of you heard about this story, involving congress authorizing $400 million to step up covert ops in iran? it's front-page news today in france. still working my way through the stories, but it's interesting to see what's likely to affect the perception of america o'er there... (and has it hit al jazeera yet? can't imagine this making too many friends.)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

step 1: resume


well, a draft anyway.

i think i have it up here if you, dear readers, would like in on the polishing process.

i still hate trying to find that balance of telling people what i can do without sounding overly boastful, of trying to find the keywords employers are looking for without running too far into the b.s./buzzword territory.

and shhhhh, don't tell 'em that i don't use capital letters in my personal life!

Friday, June 27, 2008

just in case there are any other xkcd fans out there who don't watch tv...

we'd probably be watching discovery channel too if we had cable, but yeah.

here you go. i had to look it up, so i thought i'd share.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

language-learning goodness

i think i've mentioned chinesepod on here before, yeah? the same folks recently launched frenchpod, and i'm using more of my time than i probably ought to be poking around there. but... if i can find a job where they like the fact that i speak french, it'd be better to have knocked some of the rust off my grammar and vocabulary before trying to interview. so yay for feeling a little productive while i'm having fun. they came out with their first upper intermediate lesson today, and i'm rather relieved to find that i can follow it, no problem.

also on language, chris p. (whose blog i think i wandered over to from chinesepod?) recently posted a video explaining his strategy for learning lots of vocabulary in a foreign language quickly. it's not too entirely different from what i do when i'm being serious about learning vocabulary anyhow, but it's more systematic and it's been a while since i've been serious about it. i'm giving his method a try with chinese, albeit using the pdf transcripts of my daily podcast dialogs instead of articles -- not up to article-reading level yet, but the pockets of "things i understand" are getting more frequent!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

squeaky wheel

we had put in a complaint about the oven... the door was a bit warped, so it didn't seal properly, and thus tended to heat up the entire kitchen more than it did food.

i knew that the maintenance guy had been out to look at it. i knew that he hadn't been able to do much. i knew he'd hinted that we should put in a second maintenance request, just to see what happens.

i had not the slightest suspicion that while i was sitting here in my pajamas this morning, a couple of men were hauling a brand new stove up the stairs. surprise new appliances are fun.

sometimes, our apartment complex kinda rocks. it's not one of the ritzy gated communities, but it's a good location, rent's entirely reasonable, we have a gorgeous view, and thus far they've been really nice. that counts for a lot.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

long time no post

still jobless, and the idea that "i ought to be looking for a job as first priority" has led, more or less, to a sort of procrastinating paralysis across all areas of life. one day, maybe i'll learn to do something other than play solitaire and organize my music when i have too much to do that i don't want to deal with. i hate hate HATE the application and interview process, which is why i've typically just gone into temp agencies to deal with the problem of obtaining a job. i promised my mom, though, that i'd start getting in a bit more of a hurry about the jobhunt as soon as i get back from this trip (one of the last major ones that was planned before i moved); maybe it'll help to start unfreezing other domains first.

let's see, since i logged onto blogger last... it's been philadelphia for the workshop with kevin and sharon, then d.c. for big big event, then vblx last weekend, and now knoxville to go to alice and kris's wedding (HAPPY WEDDING DAY, yay!). shannon, who's kindly hosting me, is headed out to nashville for today, so i have a bit of time here by myself.

of the recent weekends, philly was probably the best in terms of adding new dimensions to how i think about dance; kevin st. laurent and sharon davis taught a one-track workshop that became, for me, basically a day to meditate on "how the heck this stuff works." by taking the simplest stuff out of pattern, and making us really lead and follow it, they produced pretty incredible results for a group class, and made it challenging for all levels (well, i was challenged, anyway). jesse and i also shared an opportunistic last-minute half-hour private lesson with kevin on sunday while david was taking one with sharon... the thing that struck me most was how kevin was able to correct some of my connection problems without actually saying anything -- he, through his connection, could make me aware of the tension i was carrying... very cool stuff.

big big event was a very, very sweaty weekend, but wins hands-down for best dancing. friday night, solomon douglas's band was in the best form i've ever heard them -- granted, i'd only heard them at lindy focus and on cd, but they were rocking out. the hot club du jam cellar's debut was also highly entertaining -- watch out for them! ninety-plus-degree heat and classes in non-air-conditioned venues don't mix all that well, but there was plenty of good material. peabody with chad and midori and "antiquated vernacular dances" with mike and casey were enough to get me even more excited about the sugarfoot stomp weekend (coming up 4th of july!). the boilermakers and russ wilson on saturday night were also delightful.

uh oh, i need to duck into the shower if i'm going to make it to the... um, scenic outdoor location?... on time! hopefully i'll get around to more rambling before another month's gone.

Friday, May 30, 2008


totally last-minute! david, jesse, and i will be hitting bal night in d.c. tonight, then driving to philly for a workshop with sharon davis and kevin st. lauren, then to nearby pottstown, pennsylvania, to dance to the boilermaker jazz band.

jesse and i survived teaching the intermediate lindy class together last night -- we're kind of a disaster since we approach dancing from such very different perspectives, but i think the final result, complete with last-minute compromises, actually went very well. so everything's sunny, and i need to pack!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


oops 1: jesse, nearby dancer shauna, and i attempted to carpool for dancing at william & mary last night. we had a a location written down, but we got there and found... no one. still waiting for word on where the mix-up was. we had a nice time eating appetizers and dessert at a local bistro instead. but it wasn't dancing.

oops 2: 11:00 p.m. is NOT a good time for lesson planning. not if lesson planning involves dancing and if the room currently featuring the most open floorspace happens to be above a school kid's bedroom. hopefully, one oops isn't enough to create a permanently hostile neighbor...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


i want better lines.

i'm not really sure how to go about getting 'em. best guesses = grab a private with someone who looks great, and get over it and start using video more to get instant feedback on what i look like. a lot of photos i see of myself these days have this slightly awkward look that makes me cringe a little, and i want to get rid of it. here, i'd say it's mostly just too much turnout and stiff looking arms? and i keep seeing weird amounts of tension around the neck, too. but anyway. yet another set of stuff to work on. (forget looking fat or making weird faces in photos... dancing's given me a whole new set of things to pick at myself for!)

any good tips out there?

btw, this one's from the swing dance competition in williamsburg on saturday. jesse and i came in third. the whole weekend was an awesome time -- if this was a mini-exchange, i can't wait to see vblx. the photo was taken by andy nishida.
Posted by Picasa


an afternoon piddling on amazon's mturk for a grand total of about $3.50 is enough to convince me that it's not -- at least not yet -- any way to earn a living. but there's something strangely addicting about taking assignments to rewrite sentences for about 4 cents each. not as much fun as project gutenberg's distributed proofreading, but a little more profitable.

Monday, May 26, 2008

local public radio rocks

ok, so weekday evenings aren't really to my taste... but they have pretty fine programming, both local and national, all day while jesse's at work.

the real gem, though, we discovered this weekend. the saturday night fish fry was doing a show on v-discs, cranking out the bob crosby and red norvo. it took a while to pry us out of the car when we got to the dance we were headed to. if you're into that sort of thing, check the webpage -- archives available for listening.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

we're online!

and the utility closet (opens from the patio) that the cable guy had to get into to get the data cable hooked up was scarily full of feathers and dust... i wonder how long it'd been since anybody had opened the door. i think it might be enough of a hazard to justify a maintenance call?

Monday, May 19, 2008


until i get a chance to call and find out why our home internet's still not hooked up, here are a few things:
  • CHEX was super-fun. awesome people, lovely location, excellent DJs. geoffrey was the lone knoxvillain who drove over -- still enough to make me a little homesick, and i've officially realized the shim sham's just not going to be the same without him calling it!
  • i like living near the ocean. it's still pretty obvious who's from the landlocked state.
  • this was the weekend without a hairbrush. or a wallet. or phone. i left my purse in a subway restaurant in kenly, nc. fortunately, people are super-nice. i realized my mistake two hours down the road, got david's wife heather (also our lovely hostess for the weekend!) to look up the phone number, and called -- they had the purse and returned it to me on the way back through sunday. i owe big thanks to jesse and david for letting me mooch all weekend while wallet-free.
  • the count basie ghost-band's appearance in the neighborhood = good occasion for a mini-exchange up here next weekend (memorial day). come play?
  • i'm closer to unpacked. the boxes never end, though.