Wednesday, April 23, 2008

unemployment: week 1

last tuesday was my last day of work.

i've been enjoying the leisure -- it's been a long time since i've had a period this long to just be at home. or a period this long off work at all, really. i'm packing some and wrapping up my knoxville existence, but i haven't been able to resist putting some time into staying out later than i normally would with friends, to studying chinese, to jogging in the sunshine, to watching movies... the boyfriend came down to help me pack over the weekend, and that's been the biggest chunk of real work done yet. it's about time to get myself in gear, though.

tonight, i'm teaching my last class for the KSDA. following something of a tradition, it's kinda freeform, featuring things i consider my specialty. problem is, i can't really figure out what that might be. the thing i get asked about most is swivels... i'm still a little hesitant to teach those since i screwed up the rest of my dancing so much for a while when i was learning them, but perhaps tonight's the night. that or pirouette spins... guess i'll see if joey has anything more fun for the guys to play with too.

Monday, April 14, 2008

be careful with your D.C.-area lindy bombs?

via my friend frank's shared items on google reader: dance party at the jefferson memorial goes awry. summary: twenty or so people were dancing to headphone music at the jefferson memorial at midnight, party got busted up by the police, one person arrested.

i have to wonder what might've happened had they held the party a week earlier and invited the DCLXers along for the fun... swing dancers frequently dance in public places not really set up for dancing (commonly referred to in the community as "lindy bombing")... part of the fun is the feeling that it's just a teensy bit subversive, doing something exuberant and joyful in an unexpected setting, but i've never heard of anyone getting arrested for it -- and we usually bring sound equipment! eep.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

awesome vintage pants

shorpy's just posted this 1938 photo, and i just felt the need to share. because three of the women truckin' across the scene are wearing pants in just the sort of style that, when stocked now, causes people to come up to me and say, "suchandso store has kait pants! you should go check them out!" (yes, this has happened. plaid and/or sufficiently wide-legged will usually do the trick.) i'm particularly enamored with the pair on the far left.

Friday, April 11, 2008


dclx was a lot of fun. as predicted, the music was fantabulous. kathy, our host for the weekend, was great... beyond the usual sleep-space and showers, she fed us home-cooked meals, took us around to see the cherry blossoms and monuments, and was generally just outstandingly nice to talk to.

i quickly learned that while i may lead a bit around here, i really don't have the traffic control skills to lead on a crowded exchange floor. that's ok, it's something to work towards. the crowds weren't nearly as intimidating as they were two years ago... knowing lots of dancers from other exchanges does a lot to transform an undifferentiated mass of people who're (in my head!) too amazing to want to have anything to do with me back into the friendly, lovely people they actually are.

all the bands were excellent, but saturday late-night was when i really hit my stride and had some of my best dances for the weekend. i really, really hope the cangelosi cards get a CD out sometime soon, because i desperately want to share them with people who haven't gotten a chance to travel around as much. besides being generally fun and danceable, they do some especially exquisite trading back and forth between vocals and instruments with blends that sometimes sound like entirely new instruments... love it.

the floor sunday night was really sticky -- i hate that for the organizers, because i'm sure it wasn't when they checked it out. (having more warm bodies in the room, a recent rebuffing or lack thereof, warm temperatures, drinks being served... it can severely alter floor conditions.) it's hard not to dance when the boilermakers are playing, so i did anyway, but i wish i'd remembered sooner that i had a pair of peds in my purse for just such occasions... if suede won't slide, sometimes putting peds on over the shoes is the solution. in this case, it didn't result in super-slick, but it was enough to seriously improve my mood for the last four or five songs the boilermakers did (including the only jam i saw all weekend! dclx with all the silver shadows out of town is a little different...) and for the rest of the night. i caught a ride from dance to diner to airport with the atlanta folks for our early-morning flights... i got home around 10 a.m. and slept through most of what was left of monday.

and... tonight it's off to atlx!


as lindy hop teachers, we use the term "center" a lot. move from your center, keep your center over your feet, your partner should be connected to your center at all times... it took me a long time to get even an intuitive idea what all this means, and i'm still not quite ready to tackle writing about it explicitly. but amberlynn's dance primer blog recently linked to a blog called dance advantage... and what do you know, the first article i ran into there was a wonderfully technical post all about the center coming from a more ballet/modern perspective. which links to another full-out article on the "centre". geek joy. so if i look like i'm thinking too hard while dancing this weekend, it's probably some kind of meditation on being centered. feel free to snap me out of it -- it's an exchange (ATLX!), time to have fun dancing and quit worrying about technique for a bit!

Friday, April 4, 2008


despite a little terror about dancing in D.C. based on going to events there very early in my lindy career, the bands pulled me in this year. and now i'm pretty freaking excited about it!

why the terror? during events, anyway, it tends to be very follow-heavy, and the events are big and overwhelming... plus, it's easy to get shuffled to the side of the floor where all super-jerky-armed leads are. (i truly don't mind dancing with beginners, even get outright delighted when they're having a good time, but i found DC to have more of the painful variety than a lot of places!) plus, last time i was there, i hadn't quite learned to appreciate fast lindy yet... (average D.C. dance tempo is about 150% ours, i'd say. or it was. knoxville's sped up a little lately.) so, last time around (about 2 years ago), i spent most of my time there being too shy to ask people to dance, and having a not-so-wonderful time when i was dancing... basically, doing the slow crumple-into-heap thing that happens when a dance night goes poorly.

now, though, i solo dance or lead when i can't find a lead... and i get really excited about boilermakers and jazz vipers and cangelosi cards and gordon webster and... well, more or less everyone who's playing! whee!

and, um, i made some coffee with a french press earlier, forgot about it for about 20 minutes, and then drank it anyway... i think the caffeine's hitting my system, and i really shouldn't be attempting to write anymore because i'm getting a wee bit spastic. but yay for taking my last two vacation days, and if you're in D.C. this weekend, dance with me!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

i'm moving!

i finally handed in my notice at work today, so it's out. i'm moving to somewhere in the hampton roads area of virginia at the end of this month.

for real. no april fool's!