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"Whatever there is, is only He,
your foot steps there in dancing:
The whirling, see, belongs to you,
and you belong to the whirling."
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I found a dance class that didn't hurt anyone or make me want to hurt anyone. The instructor ran through dancer's posture at the beginning of the class, and made specific critiques of certain motions.  The class was instructive, collaborative, and generally fabulous. It was also very, very challenging, since it is the intermediate class with the cued choreography bits I dont understand as yet.

Leaving class I still felt buoyant - I got to play zils (and actually coached one of the other dancers on triplets), dance, and move through space with other bodies. It pointed out things I need to work on (my mayas are much better than my taqsims and I need to practice level changes), and provided me with a short term tribe.

Yay. Huzzah. Etc. And yeah, my shoulder hurts.
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I am getting picked up in half an hour for our hafla, at which I will be performing a group number.  I never did organize an outfit, and I haven't started getting dressed.  I figure I have all the stuff I need, and there are a finite number of combinations, any number of which will look fine.  It's just throwing on clothes, jewelry, and some make-up after all.

I may have officially crossed the line from newbie performer into some other category (unprepared performer?).
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My inner baby goth is snickering.

The song stuck on endless repeat in my head at the moment is called "Black."  D tells me it was done by "The Shroud." Could it maybe get any more stereotypically dark?

I love the first verse: "Black is the color of my true love's hair / All tumbling satin everywhere. / If I should lose myself somewhere / My true love will find me there."

Of course the following verses go from black hair to black eyes and a black heart, but it is still a good rhythm for drilling slinky dance moves, and somehow the song continues to haunt my thoughts. Urban Tribal used it for their classes this weekend, and now I may end up buying it, so I can play the whole thing and hopefully get it out of my brain.

ETA: Rats - it isn't on Itunes. I am not ready to buy the whole CD yet either, so may be stuck with the lyrics awhile longer.
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I think the universe must have decided it owed me one this weekend.  I got to spend three days in the company of several of my favorite people, watch a truly amazing show, take dance classes from the stars of the tribal world, make serious progress on the knitting front (it is now possible, nay, likely, that I will have my sweater done in time to seam it together in class), and come home to happy animals and an email letting me know that the thesis "looks good [and] . . . is ready to go to the committee."

I am tired but happy, and very, very grateful.
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Dear LJ Braintrust -

I am looking for a plural noun for a group of belly dancers.  Fill in this blank: a gaggle of sheep; a pride of lions; and a _________ of belly dancers.  I dont think an official one exists, but I want to know what you think would best fill the need!

(Also, picking up my jeans hurt when I got out of bed this morning. Ow.)
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I am packed.  The funny part is that we are going for three days - driving out earlyearly tomorrow to return Sunday night - and I packed four bags.  For three days and two nights away, I packed four bags (in my own defense, they are small bags and I can carry all four with no problem at all, which is good since I recall doing a lot of sherpa duty last year).

Bag one: clothes, etc.

Bag two: car snacks, knitting, books to read, Ipod.

Bag three: dance costume pieces.

Bag four: thesis stuff.

Good thing I am so low maintainance and am used to traveling light.
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I just got an email inviting me to "Come Get Sassified" tomorrow night.  That is wrong on oh so many levels.  I hit delete as fast as possible and am trying to pretend I never saw it...  My inner-editor cant decide whether to weep, get out the fondue fork and hunt the sender down, or quietly vomit.

I mean, sassified.

(This is spam in the "unwanted" sense, but came through on a dance and music list serve to which I subscribe.  The information is usually less ....trite).
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I lovelovelove where I live, but oh please $deity, someday I would like to live in a place where I can run both the toaster oven and the microwave at the same time, without blowing the kitchen fuse. 

On the other hand, how would I get comfortable with fuses boxes, if I didn't get to visit ours each week? Perhaps it is for the best after all....

(Took a break to belly dance.  Lots of walking 4/4 shimmies and both calibrated and paddle turns this week, weeeee! splat!  Am now eating soup and bread, then back to work).
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To finish out last night's note-to-self entry: I got up, put the skirt on, gathered my dancing shoes, and got in the car. 

I had a good time at the weekly swing "swap" put on by the local club.  There are a couple of guys - S and P - who started in the same East Coast Swing class I took a year ago, so it is fun for us to dance together since we have the same "vocabulary."  P and I took Charleston at the same time too, so we tried a bit of that, and it was rusty but salvageable.  I also danced with a few more guys I am friendly with and lindy hopped with one of the really, really good dancers.  It's interesting, there are about five guys whose moves are magic - watching them dance is just incredible.  Unfortunately, dancing with them makes me feel more like a prop than a partner, so I would still prefer a turn around the floor with an enthusiastic amateur.   Also, despite my lack of skill, I have decided that Lindy Hop is the most fun.

In motion.

May. 3rd, 2006 09:06 pm
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Okay, I have pulled up the window to post about ten times today, and cant seem to find it in me to type.

It keeps "Restoring saved draft[s]" which have one meager line.

My movers came today. I am totally the person you want organizing your next move. In an hour and a half they:
- loaded everything I wanted to store (went in first) followed by everything going to the thrift store
- dropped off a huge load of thrift store stuff
- unpacked all the storage stuff into my storage unit
- and went on their merry way

Best $150 I have spent in a while.

I came home and swept up the drifts of dust and dog fur, and pushed my roommates' stuff around to make the living room look bigger (all their stuff was really close to the door). I also lugged the kitchen table into my office and set up my computer. The table and my desk chair are literally the only furniture left belonging to me. My roommates have a large squishy armchair, two directors chairs, a shelf unit, and coffee table in the living room, and their bedroom stuff.

I have a (clean) garbage bag of clean laundry on my bedroom floor. I was really flummoxed as to what to do with it since my dresser was already unloaded into my two laundry baskets, and there was not a single clean surface in the house (well, except my desk chair, and it already had a bag of groceries and one load of laundry wedged in to it).

On my way to the dog park I dropped another load of stuff at the storage unit. It is getting pretty empty around here.

The house echoes strangely when I talk.

Anita and I walked and talked, then I did the dog handoff when I passed Greg on the dog park road (I rolled down my window and said, hey, you want a dog? he looked confused, but rolled with it).

Dance class was wonderful. As always.

In our sharing time at the beginning of class I let them know I was moving, and a little of the backstory. They are the only group of adults I know to whom I was easily, without thinking, able to say, "The universe is telling me to move, so I am moving" and know they wouldn't join KM in watching for a psychotic break.

Fantastic Jen and I also talked a little bit about "welcoming disturbances" and how I am not simply moving away from the problems, I am also trying to move towards something better by living with kindred spirits rather than people (like my current roommates) who I can never truly communicate with since we have such different views of the world and what matters.

Before this conversation, she suggested that I contact her Heather who is roommate hunting. I had emailed that Heather and not heard back; apparently her computer is in the shop. So I called and left her a message and she just called me back.

I am going to introduce the dogs and look at the room on Monday night, and I think living there would be peaceful and quiet and wonderful. Just getting to hang out with her and Jen is probably worth the rent money. She is looking for two roommates, which is fine with me, and I think it has great possibilities. Probably no good office space for me, but maybe we could find a spot for a small desk, or I could just get used to working at the kitchen table.

I had been feeling disappointed that the other girl's whose place I looked at were not returning my emails. Now I feel like, okay, maybe that wasn't meant to be so that this could happen. I am not really a signs kind of person, but this is all feeling pretty right.

I am tired. And I have a lot of school left to do and a few more hours of moving, but it is going to be okay. I am not really even stressing about it, just plodding though. For me - fretter-extrordinaire, homebody, and control freak - this is a Class B miracle.

I have to be at the airport in R (half an hour away) in literally eight hours, so I need to focus on collecting the information I need to work on my paper while in transit, printing rubrics to grade the 28 papers I am hauling along, and packing. It's going to be a weird trip, but hopefully a good one. I will get into my weirdness about this conference later, but in the meantime, duty calls. Time to go dump my garbage bag of clothes onto my air mattress and pack.

Bonus line for today: Talking to my mother, rather than saying, "I am moving" I said, "I am in motion." It was probably a symptom of my sleep deprivation, but it also captures this all so perfectly. I am in motion.
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Just talked to my mom. She asked what I am doing tonight and I told her I was either going swing dancing or pretending to work on my meta-analysis. She advised me to pretend to work on my meta-analysis later.

Probably no one else thinks this is as funny as I do, but I am always delighted when people accept my quirkiness as normal since, for me, it is.
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Our prof tells us on Tuesday that we can do any sort of presentation we feel is appropriate for our meta-analysis projects, as long as it is only twenty minutes long. Of the four students in the class, two of us are terrible smart-asses who dislike ambiguity. P suggests she will be dressing up as Miss Cleo then, while I offer to perform an interpretive dance of attenuation factors. Watching him respond to our innovative suggestions was a hoot, unfortunately he did get more specific and costumes / dancing have been nixed.


Last night on the phone I was telling my mom how great I felt at dance class, and how lousy I felt afterwards. In response, my MOTHER suggested that I drop out of grad school to become a professional bellydancer. (This is even funnier if you knew my mom when I was in high school, when she spent a fair amount of time worrying about keeping up appearances. I must say this mellow version is way more fun).
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We are having a serious storm. Pounding lighting. Driving rain. Brilliant lightning streaks illuminating the sky silver-purple every few minutes. I am not delighted about the rain, but must admit that I am enjoying this dramatic weather. I had probably only seen ten isolated lightning strikes in my whole life in Alaska. I spent 40 minutes watching a cool, distant electrical storm above the clouds on a commuter jet between Detroit and Roanoke a few years ago, which was awesome. However, this is the first really good storm I have gotten to watch since moving here, and the lightning fascinates me. The windows rattling in their frames, power flickering, dogs getting freaked out aspects of the storm are slightly less pleasant (interruption: the weather says "bang! boom! crash! bang!"), but the weather feels powerful and makes me feel cozy, as I watch it through the kitchen window, kettle whistling on the stove behind me.

The flickering power actually motivated me to go swing dancing earlier, as it was making my computer all screwy, eliminating the (I admit, unlikley) possibility of accomplishing great work things. Since I don't really understand how lightning and home appliances interact, but suspect it is not a good combination, I am typing this completely wireless - laptop on the kitchen table with no power or anything else cords attached and the power strip on my desk kicked off - just in case.

The dance was fine - I danced some, including a couple songs with S, who I have known since my first East Coast Swing class. He was being kind of snotty about my following [i.e. it wasn't his fault I couldn't whatever, and why didn't I follow what (he claimed) was being led, etc.], so I finally informed him that I was glad to dance with him but was done conversing. He fussed a bit, saying that if he led talking (by talking) I had to follow talking, but my silence proved that theory wrong. We parted friends, but, jeez, what a way to win friends and influence people. I also compared research problems with another grad student, talked haircuts with one of my instructors, and generally had a good time. I always do, once I get there. It is the getting there that is hard. I even invited a bunch of them to my dance performance on Sunday, but doubt anyone will make it.

Now I am home, watching the storm. Mother Nature is putting on quite a show.


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