• Daily Life

    o lord we are tired

    Young Indiana awakened at 5:12 today, having gotten up yesterday at 5:24 after going to sleep at 9pm. We are all tired. And the poor pumpkin developed a fever suddenly this afternoon, so he’s genuinely not well, poor wee fella. We have had a Very Quiet Afternoon of watching movies (How to Train Your Dragon really is *awfully* good, isn’t it?) and cuddling.

    Before that, though, we went to see my Mom in a dance performance, which was really very entertaining. The dance reminded me of a Busby Berkeley piece, which was evidently exactly what the choreographer was going for, so that’s cool. And Young Indiana, at the end of it, shouted, “Thanks, Grandma!” which made everybody laugh. :)

    I got 3100 words written in 2.5 hours this morning, which is a very good bout of writing. The book is now at 105K and I’ve got at least another chapter at [Pemberly], which frankly does not bode well for bringing the book in anywhere under 120K.

    ytd wordcount: 56,000

  • Movies

    Picoreview: Step Up

    Picoreview: Step Up: Better than your average Wrong Side Of The Tracks Dance Movie.

    I have an unashamed love for Wrong Side Of The Tracks dance movies while being perfectly capable of recognising that their usual range of quality falls somewhere between “not good” and “excrutiating”. Most feature at least one lead who cannot. act. at. all. Some feature two. In the real humdingers, not only can neither of the leads act but neither can any of the supporting cast, either.

    However, they can all dance, which is really all that matters in these films.

    Step Up is better than average, which puts it somewhere around “not bad” in terms of actual quality. It’s no Save the Last Dance, but StLD came out of nowhere and confused the entire Dance Movie issue by actually being a good movie. (Its sequel, however…)

    Step Up was, I gather, Channing Tatum’s breakout film, and as he can in fact act as well as dance, he wasn’t embarrassing. There were even moments when he emoted. The female lead was…not quite as good as Tatum, but almost entirely not cringe-inducing.

    The supporting cast was actually pretty good, with the exception of the Best Friend’s Younger Brother, who was deliberately over-acted, but not, I think, to the effect they hoped. The Best Friend (played by Damaine Radcliff) was actually really good, and also about 19 feet tall. I don’t have the impression Tatum is a small guy, but Radcliff towered over him. :)

    Anyway, not bad, as these things go. Better than 3 & 4, which are the only two of the 5 I’ve seen (and Sarah Rees Brennan has still not, I think, forgiven me for making her go see 4 with me, although I *told* her it wasn’t going to be good… :)), so now I’m kinda looking forward to watching 2 and 5. :)

  • Daily Life

    tap class

    I walked like 8 miles yesterday and then went to 2 hours of tap dance class last night. My legs are a bit weary today.

    Class was…it was all right. I went to both the beginner’s and the intermediate class, and am nowhere near good enough for the latter. It’s not that I can’t do the steps, but I can’t process them at the speed they’re given.

    Truth is I could barely process the combinations in the beginning class, and I knew how to do all the footwork, which no one else did, as they were all *actual* beginners. I…this is something that’s happened with every beginner’s dance class I’ve taken in Ireland: things are thrown at the students *much faster* than I would expect in a beginning class.

    To me, the goal of a beginning class would be to give people the very basics–in tap, we’re talking about shuffles, flaps, ball changes–and work them through relative confidence in those before giving them a very simple combination to give them a sense of accomplishment, so that they’re eager to come back next week and improve on what they’ve learned.

    Every class I’ve taken here (regardless of the teacher’s nationality) has rushed through the basics and thrown people into combinations or (in ballet) things that newbies aren’t warmed up enough for, and the result is a lot of stunned-ox expressions. After the beginning class last night two of the others came up to me and said “You said you’ve taken tap before?” and I said I had, and they said “Oh good, because we’d look over and see that you were screwing up too and that made us think maybe this was hard.”

    That does not seem to me to be how a beginning class should feel to a newcomer. I would expect me to be a shining star in a beginning class, because I *have* 8 years of tap. Instead I could barely process it. And I don’t know if these classes are being taught this way because

    1. Teachers think “God, these are adults, I can’t have them doing flaps and shuffles for thirty minutes, I have to give them something exciting to do!”, or

    2. Teachers are accustomed to ‘beginner’ dancers who are people coming into a dance troupe or college setting with some dance training or something of that nature, or

    3. Teachers are so far removed from their own early learning that they have no memory of how it was done, or

    4. Everybody else in the entire world except my dance studio threw combinations at children and expected them to already know what a shuffle was (except I’ve taken tap classes in California and Anchorage that were structured far more like I would expect them to be).

    (I did not go to the beginning class to be a shining star. I went to it because the last time I went to tap classes here I went to the intermediate level because for God’s sake, I may be out of practice but I *did* tap for 8 years, but it turned out I was completely out of my depth. So I thought I’d better go to the beginning class before the intermediate to see which better suited my skill level, and the truth is that neither of them do, because I’m probably slightly better than the beginning level as it’s being taught but like I said, the intermediate is faster than I can process.)

    Anyway. I enjoyed it well enough, really, but I wish I understood what caused this disconnect between my expectations and what I’m getting.

    ytd wordcount: 43,100

  • Family

    exercise room :)

    So my dad has converted the garden shed at my parents’ place into an exercise studio, with a weight bench and a stationary bike and free weights. I said heck, I was going to just start going over there to exercise!

    “Good idea!” Ted said brightly. “It’s even a gym that provides childcare!”

    *laughs and laughs* My parents thought it was funny, too, but I just like imagining the look on Mom’s face. :)

    Actually, Ted also said “All it needs is a dance barre!” and now I’m all thinky. :)

  • Reviews


    oh my GOD why did none of you TELL me about LXD (Legion of Extraordinary Dancers)? STREET DANCING SUPERHEROES, GUYS, AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME. YOU ARE ALL FIRED!

    Ted found the first season on Netflix the other night and thought “Catie must watch this.” Furthermore, he knew which two episodes I would like best before I watched them. Now we must watch the rest of them!

%d bloggers like this: