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Friday, February 27, 2009

Well THAT was humiliating...

Tonight was rehearsal practice...a long one. It went well except for the part when the guest critique coach asked me to do my solo.
Yeah...that part wasn't so good.
I essentially haven't practised my solo for a while. At least a week...and before that my instructor and I went through my routine and added a bunch of hand movements and movements around the stage to enhance it....so essentially it's all mud in my mind. I have gone over it in my head since then but haven't really practiced with intention. And so when I did it for her...I sucked. I'm not just being self deprecating...it was probably the worst I've ever done it. I was very embarrassed. I finished it, but I wasn't proud...I just wanted to leave.
Yeah...nothing like bombing in front of the whole class. She was kind and said she'd work with me next week and drill me, and had a lot of useful suggestions, but I was so bad...I could see in her eyes that she was a bit at a loss for words. Add to that the fact that I haven't felt that well all day (something I ate), and it's been a sucktastic evening overall...
I wanted to tell her I'm usually better than that, but I would have just come off as a gibbering person trying to make excuses.
Good times.

I finally made it home on the bus, moping my heart out. I am now drowning my sorrows in a beer and some food. When J is done work we are going out dancing. On my terms. A little funk is what I need right now...to shake this.

So...a weeks worth of a lot of practicing I think, so I can show her what I can actually do next week. Now that I'm not fighting technology or burning my own weight in DVDs apparently I have some work to do...

How I propose to Deal with Winter

A 40 Watt Club.

Pa pa pa POW!

A little whine with my cheese

So with the wind it is -39 (A balmy -28 without). Celsius. There's an actual windchill warning out this morning...

Seasonal norms are somewhere between -4 and -13.
I have tried not to whine about the cold but I can't help it. This is becoming rediculous....isn't it March soon?
Y'know, spring and all that?

Sheesh...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The sound of one hand slapping

Ahhhhhh.
I am less stressed.
My battle with technology seems to be at a comfortable lull, both at home and at work.
Last night I managed to start churning out DVD copies. I have to make 16 copies of 2 DVDs, but because they're so short, it's going surprisingly fast. I should finish them up in time for a nice mojito and late supper tonight.
Then I will never look at the files again, except to watch for practice...but that is the OK bit. I must say it is wierd to watch yourself dance. It was good to have done this though, as we can all see the things we need to work on in our routines...and giggle at ourselves.

I gave in and dug out my skipants again so I'd be warm. It's winter's last hurrah at the moment....down into the -30s (again). The sun is rising as I'm riding the bus to work though, so it's getting warmer...it can't stay this cold forever.

No it can't. Be quiet.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I can haz lobotomy?

I spent ALL evening yesterday and some of the night (well OK that was just my macbook pro) trying to take video recorded on a minidvd camera and put 2 halves of our bellydance recital rehearsal together onto 1 DVD. Simple you would think...but no. All the video editing software we have, ranging from iMovie all the way up to Final Cut cannot take in VideoTS folders or the VOB files in them. Oh no. They must be converted first...into DV or MPEG-4 or some other format. The camera only burns the disc in this format. Because of this it won't talk to my Mac to even import them that way by USB/Firewire.
Yet I tried...oh I tried. I took the DVD files and tried to convert them. I used VLC. I used MPEG Streamclip. I used Handbrake...and consistently, I either got audio and video that are out of sync (and too tricky to match up as it isn't images or mouths, just dancing), or audio and video where chunks of audio are just missing for no damn good reason. I even tried converting just pieces of it...just the 4-5 minute dance bits...still no dice. Lack of sync.
All OUR gear is compatible with Macs and can input quickly and easily...but (surprise surprise) given our luck, the cameras J uses to shoot are broken. That is why I borrowed this one.
It appears that all our kit is in kahoots...even our DVD player with a harddrive is interfering...I thought I'd just input them into that and burn both video pieces on to 1 DVD that way...but oh no. Nonononono. It (because of my curse) will no longer burn DVDs. Just cuz. This is a new thing. (It made me yell GAH) I will say, that am pleased with all my laptop can do...but without the video in proper format, I can't combine the two files or work with them in Final Cut or iMovie.
Most of the people in my class are not computer savvy enough (some don't have a computer...) so they need DVDs they can just pop into their DVD player. Soooo...2 DVDs it is.

Oh great pulsating brain that rules the galaxy...you win again.
Curse you and your little dog too...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Um...we don't have a button for that, ma'am

*sigh*
I just spent the past hour fighting with an automated instrument in the chem lab of the hospital, getting it to take in my manual programming for a method and then entering in all the info for my samples and such so I could test it all out and run some standards I made up. We want to try and make it do something the company doesn't sell as a test - a new one. One that could help with diagnosis if we can ever get the damn thing running. In addition to methods and chemicals the company sells to run tests, they have "user defined" chemistries - in which they coyingly say in the manual you can use to "easily set up" a new method as you like, using the cartridges and "large variety" of methods in the software, and your volumes and instructions.

Easily my ass.

Once I waded through the mazes of confusing menus and fought with the machine, consulted the manual, banged my head, called the company (and got their oh so helpful techs who just did what I did and said "huh, you're right- That is odd..."), banged my head and even said I Wish I Were an Oscar Myar Weiner in my head to calm down and keep myself from swearing like a sailer...and I managed to hammer out what I needed, tweak it, and enter in my samples. Then I loaded all the stuff in and walked away. I didn't get any error messages and it appears to finally be working for me (after only 4 previous attempts at programming and optimizing)

Tomorrow morning I shall pop in and see if I have any results or many printouts of pages saying ERROR FAILED RUN.

If you hear a scream coming from the labs at ~9AM CST...just look away. It's for the best.

Cellphone's Dead

This has been stuck in my heas since I woke up...so have a listen. Maybe you'll get it in yours and out of mine :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Favourites - Lemon Jelly

I love Lemon Jelly.
Years ago, in our first apartment, we'd listen to the ambient music channel a lot. One day this song His Majesty King Raam, by Lemon Jelly came on. I loved it. Then another track by them "What do you do in the bath?" came on. I had to track down their album. I hunted down their first CD lemonjelly.ky, a collection of their first 3 EPS and loved it.
Lemon Jelly makes (mostly) happy Electronic, sample based music, some lyrics some not. they're very hard to describe...Ode to Patagonia, A Tune For Jack, Stauntin Lick, Page One...all great songs - many with happy memories to go along with them.

Their next album Lost Horizons followed, and other than Experiment #6, I love it too. Songs like Nice Weather for Ducks and Spacewalk. More of what I call my my happy music.

Their latest album '64-'95 was a bit of a surprise. Each song is made with samples from music of that particular year...it's a bit less ambient than their previous -more dancable than mellow. And...AND they do a track with the one and only William Shatner-Go. No I'm not kidding. And no it does not suck :) (Apparently he asked them to do Together on his album and they asked him to do one with them in turn...(Together is actually an OK track on what can only be described as a William Shatner album...but I digress). This album has tracks like Shouty Track and '76 Stay with You on it. I love to run to it...

Their music videos are also a treat...colourful. Happy. They make me smile.

I've had Spacewalk in my head all day for some reason... I think if you haven't heard Lemon Jelly yet, you should. They'll add a dose of mellow happiness to your life. I hope these links have given you enough of a taste that you want more...
Trust me.

Slow day

I saw this on Grapecat's blog and realised I hadn't done this in a while...soooo here she goes.

current clothes: Winter shoes, jeans, blue checked shirt.

current mood: Bored. I've been busy busy at work and all of s sudden it's lull city. Zzzzzzzzz.

current thing: hibernating and reading. My friend lent me the first couple books in the Song of Ice and Fire series and I can't put them down...

current desk top picture: Chinese symbol for serenity. Literally translates to: "to make your heart calm"

current book: Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. 2nd book in a great series of fantasy fiction. Intrigue, war...an evil from the past...good stuff. So many characters & plots...so good. The author reminds me a lot of Guy Gavriel Kay.

current song in head: "Spacewalk" by Lemon Jelly ("Beautiful! Zero gs and I feel fine!")

current dvd in dvd player: The Dance Fusion workout DVD I did this morning. Before that was the Godfather movie...the third one. I know I know, the first two are great and the third one is not that good, but I figured I should be complete about it and watch all 3 of them after I watched (and still thoroughly enjoyed) the first 2. Think I"ll have to read the novel again. I tried to buy a set with just the first 2- I couldn't find one so I have all 3. Now if only Sophia Coppola didn't make me want to scratch my eyes out whenever she went on screen...worse acting ever...

current refreshment: Water. Boring...

current worry: Will winter ever end? This being cold/broke/stuck inside business has to end soon. I'm going a bit nutty...

Current thought: After having a helluva lot of fun with the fusion dance exercise DVD I just got, god help me I am so tempted to buy a Bollywood dance cardio DVD. You can't tell me that a workout where I get to screw in the light bulb , pat the dog and push up the roof would not be a helluva lot of fun :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Groucho reincarnated



Have a great day guys.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Love Day

natalie dee
nataliedee.com
I've never understood the whole Valentines day thing. It seems like trumped up negotiations for sex, or desperately trying to prove your love. As tho what you get your partner on that day directly reflects your level of love. Back when dating I absolved J of all Love Day duties and responsibilities. I think its silly. Little things done out of the blue are what matter to me. Anyone can buy a card at the shop on demand. Restaurants are packed full of romantic people trying to play the part - what about the poor sods who have to serve you? They can't all be single.
The whole enforced gift thing is a bit like paying for your love...I know a lot of girls I work with who have this day set up high on a pedestal. It's the day their sod of a husband actually makes an effort to take her out, kids free, and have a nice dinner and a bit of romance after...maybe even some nice wine or lingerie. I'm glad they get it at least once a year, but if you're that far apart from each other, what the hell is a bouquet of flowers and a card going to do. It's not the middle ages anymore - you can't woo (most) women with a shiny jewel or some flowers and chocolate. We need love my good chaps. Love and respect and honour. Flowers die. Cards get chucked out. Jewels are for chumps.
Plus, who says the guys have to do all the hoop dancing and magical tricks? Come on ladies - give a little! We have a larger part to play in this than the maid in the tower waiting for a token of undying love - we're their partners. I think guys get hosed on Valentines Day... I ask you women- what are YOU doing? And why?

Maybe I'm less naive, but I don't buy into any of this love on demand business. It's silly. In life I ask for whatever random acts of kindness pop into J's head. No set day or time-just life. If he gets me a gift, to get me something because he wants to...not because it is heart shaped.

This love day?
Me?
I got a pizza. Before you smirk, let me tell you this was a damn good one, with spinach and garlic and lots of other good things. Then came the nudity.
Really, a great day for me....and not unlike other lazy saturdays. Full of love. And pizza.
You don't need a special day for that...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Soundtrack of life

I saw this on Rimshot's blog and I haven't done it since I first got my iPod and had very little music on it.
So here we go: The soundtrack of my life. How she works:
1. Open your music library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc.)
2. Put it on shuffle & press play
4. For the first question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button TWICE
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool... just type it in man!
7. Tag people

OPENING CREDITS:
Hell's Kitchen- The Orb
Cool...this would work actually

WAKING UP
Climbing the Walls (the Zero7 mix) - Radiohead

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Always Remember to Respect and (title ran out of room) - Dusted
Well it does have a boy singing in it. Hmmm...

FALLING IN LOVE
Porcelain (Clubbed to Death Mix) - Moby
A song about bitter relationship endings -not good juju

FIRST TIME
Forever Indebted - Shout out out out out
Erm...what?

FIGHT SONG
Demolition Man - Sting
Sweet :)

BREAKING UP
Hymn (I believe) - Moby (Everything is Wrong Disc 1)

PROM
She's a Goth - the Stabilisers

LIFE
Da Bomb - Blue Quarter

MENTAL BREAKDOWN
9th Ward Blues - DJ Logic
I see a disjointed montage coming on...

DRIVING
Mi Swing is Tropical - Nickodemus
I would need a convertible for this...

FLASHBACK
Requiem for Dinosaurs - IMAX Films :Destiny In Space
Yup.)

GETTING BACK TOGETHER
Mi Cuba - P18

WEDDING
Bring it On - Gomez

BIRTH OF A CHILD
We Haven't Turned Around - Gomez

FINAL BATTLE
The Rabbit's Name Was - Dept.
Hard psytrance. YES...

DEATH SCENE
Cancelled Check - Beck

FUNERAL SONG
Do the Eggbeater - The Evaporators

END CREDITS
Simple - Collective Soul

Tag: anyone in the mood.

And there she goes...the most disjointed soundtrack ever made :)
My poor Pod Serenity....she's full. I have to actually pick what songs to put on and take off now. She's lived a long life...she's about as old as this weblog. Considering how clumsy I am, Serenity has had a relatively abuse free life.
Who knew back then 40GB wouldn't be enough?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Knucklemuffins

Last night, besides other stuff I've been meaning to get to, I got on a "make healthy snacks" kick and made some homemade granola bars and some blueberry cornmeal lemon muffins (at the request of his sickness). Being my usual dexterous self, I managed to grate all 4 knuckles on my right hand while grating zest from my (organic) lemon.
Ow.
Then (after washing my hands) I squeezed the juice from the lemon into the batter.
Oh lordy...my mumbles of pain could be heard about the house. One cat hid. The other came to comfort me. J was napping so he didn't know..altho I gave him permission to mock me freely when he woke.
Kindly he did not and we enjoyed the knucklemuffins.
They're really good you know (and 99.9% knuckle free)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pork: the one you love

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

I was over at Failblog and ran across this billboard. It made ma laugh, because I've told people about this, but they didn't believe me - it jsut seemed too perfect a goof to be true. I remember it being up in Regina by the Dewdney underpass when I was in university and I nearly went into a post giggling the first time I saw it. It was up for about a month before someone took it down. I still think it's funny that this made it all the way thru a number of people and actually got pasted up before someone pointed out the obvious...um...faux pas. It's funny tho, as my Dad snickered at it right away, but it took my Mum took a bit of awkward explanation before she turned a bit red and said "Oh dear...you don't think they knew do you?"

Sometimes life tosses you a smile.
You should take it :)

Plague potato

It'a hot potato over here with the cold virus.
J is sick again...I cane home to a poor sniffly hacking husband. I can't figure out if I gave it back to him, or if he caught a new cold from a friend when we were over there friday night playing cards.
Poor guy.
It seems like we've been living in plague town, just passing the virus back and forth...I'm trying not to get all germophobic, but this time of year with everyoen trapped indoors makes for some serious germy annoyances. Plus it's just annoying being sick.
Here's hoping I don't get it back again...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Much Music's Top 10 gyrations, er, I mean songs...

While feeling sicko I watched some TV. Usually I don't and I've got other stuff to do, but after a few days you need something to entertain you when you feel too drugged up on Nyquil to read a book.

One thing I watched, out of curiosity, was the Much Music countdown...you know, to see what the current greater sheepherd of the world is up to. I caught the the last top 6 "songs" of the top 10 countdown. Sadly, all but one were insipid dance tracks with no creativity or quality to them...sure if you were somewhat drunk and wanted to shake your ass at club they might do in a pinch, but to just listen to? Meh. And the lyrics? Quality lines like "I'll take him out and make him hard" and "I'm huffin with my muffin"...who writes this shit?

What really got me though, was the videos. Soft porn anyone?
Point in case: the "dancing". Maybe it's because I've been doing a lot of bellydancing lately - but you can be sexy without looking like a burlesque show. You can do it with style, and have fun dancing. Yet, looking at these videos, honestly, I've seen a few burlesque shows with more class. Lots of pleather, tight 80s kinda costumes, with boobs all over and dry humping of the air, cars and the occasional boy toy plopped in the video for increased groping factor (I recall Justin Timberlake was one of them-he had a shower in the desert before making out with his girl on her car by their trailer...I know. Wierd.). Even a bit of an orgy in one of the videos.
Um...hello? You're not selling the music here...you're selling sex. Nothing new really, but seriously. Give it a rest. All that dry humping must be exhausting... With the whole voice pitch correction thing, you don't even need to know how to sing anymore, so work out some real dance moves. Work it...and no, just gyrating and humping the air don't count as dancing. Boob shaking and hip grinding is not dancing...

Let me say this - I am definitely NOT a prude. I'm all for sexy...when it suits. I just got to thinking, how do young people cope with all this and figure out who they are? I ask those of you with young girls - how the hell do you bring up a girl to be self respecting and not buy into all that crap? Is it just me or has woman's lib tipped far over into "freedom to be a skank, because I choose to be"?

Bah!
Where are my pills?
It's cold in here. Someone get me my afghan and mywalker.
Time for my nap...

Geo goes to the movies: Coraline


I love 3D. I don't get why there aren't more 3D movies - it's just a great thing. Beowulf in Imax 3D was amazing and I'm hoping there are more and more 3D movies made...if you're going to animate something, add in the 3D element. Because you can. It's cool...we all need more coolness in our lives.
This weekend I got to go and see Coraline, a great 3D childrens film. It's based on the kids book written by Neil Gaman (a favourite author of mine) and the animation is designed and produced by Henry Selick - the mind behind the animation of the Nightmare Before Christmas. It is the same amazing animation...AND it is in 3D. It is captivating.

This film is full of imagination, spooky characters and strangeness. Amazing things like acrobatic dancing mice, button eyed parents, eccentric neighbors, evil bat terriers, and a strange duplicate world on the other side of a tiny door...it was all so full of imagination and creativity. If I had kids I would love to take them to this...it was a little bit scary, but the cool kind of spooky that would be OK for most older kids. The animation was amazing. It made me feel like a kid again.
If you get the chance to see it, even in plain old 2D, do so. Or (crazy talk I know) you could even read the book. It's worth it.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I like to sew

Whew!
The top is sewn. And, done well I might add. It doesn't have any of the fringy bits on it yet (I wanted an hour or two of sleep...call me crazy) but I did all the finishing stitching and the arms are trimmed with proper satin seam tape and there are three pretty beady bits dangling from the center, right between where my bosomy bits sit for a bit of mvement. I don't know if I'll keep thatt or go for a fringy trim or add other trim to it yet...that's for later. I just couldn't wear it completely plain tonight (vain? me? no...) but I was tired enough that I didn't trust myself to screw up complicated trimming with all the nice trim bits I've got for it so I left it at what I did. I did the sewing a bit close to the zipper so it's a bit sticky to unzip, but hey - it looks great, so I am happy. It definitely won't come off and I won't fall out of it or anything...that's the main thing. The fabric is gorgeous enough on it's own. It's a sleeveless fitted cropped choli top out of black flat satin that is embroidered silvery grey bits on it. S'nice.

I did managed to whip up a simple front and back V belt with a bit of fringe on it. I couldn't get the grommets to go in tho - so I may just have to pin it together for tonight and figure out that part later. Grommets and I are not friends. The idea is the two halves of the belt will lace up with some leather tie and grey ribbon thru gommets on each hip. Should look cool...well, except for the current lack of grommet part. Ah, I'll figure it out. I have a whole grand idea for chiffony drapy bits about the hips coming down from behind the belt in grey and black chiffon, to layer over the skirt and swoosh when I dance, but I have to serge all those bits and I want to plan it out carefully as the fabric was $$, so I left for later too. I know those won't be a problem so I'll do them next week...or the week after that. I want time to drape and fiddle and do it proper. And yes...pictures when it's done I promise.

Now I just have to practice my solo with my iPod all day in my head and try to stay awake :)

Tonight I am sleeping.
I can't wait...that and seeing Caroline in 3D are my only weekend plans. This week has been insane.

You know, having a dress form is nice...Finally I could sew, adjust, and pin to make sure it fit me before I put the zipper in the back - and as a result the top fits me very well! Plus - now it's a display stand for the top and the belt to keep the cats from sitting/scratching/playing with/puking on it until I can do more.
It's like my Dad always said "when you've got all the right tools, you can do the job right".
Smart man my Dad :)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Loose threads

Hmmm...sleep?
Sew?
Sleep?
Sew?

I nearly have the top of my outfit sewn. Haven't even started the belt yet. What I have is awesome, but I only have enough fabric to make it once and I'm not in the mood to screw it up. I want more time - getting sick has really screwed me up timewise.
We're supposed to have it done for rehearsal tomorrow. You know, to be sure it doesn't fall off while we dance or anything...

Will it be done in time?
Bwahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
*wipes away tear*

Surely you jest...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Played best at window shattering volume

I am PUMPED!

Know why?

Some serious old faves of mine The Prodigy have a new album coming out in a month. Their last one was a bit of a dissapointment, as it wasn't at the level of Fat of the Land which is still one of my favourite albums. Fat of the Land had tracks like Firestarter, Funky Shit and Narayana...serious, heavy, shake your ass, hard techno...even great for running fast through the woods. (I'd link to them but Youtube has been taken over bythe copyright goons, and I can't find anything good anywhere). Years later I still love this album...so I'm excited for more.

Their new album Take Me to the Hospital sounds like it will be fantastic...check out their first single from the album: Invaders Must Die. Their old style is back...

I'm gonna go heavy up the labwork with some techno...aw yeah...

Monday, February 02, 2009

A Hog's view

It's groundhogs day. The day the fate of our spring (and sanity) is held by a furry little guy...named Evan.

Our very own groundhog Saskatoon Evan (I didn't name him) has declared his decision for the year and he says it'll be an early spring. I think he's just being hopeful like the rest of us. Nevertheless, he's a pretty accurate guy as far as local weather goes. Our little Evan's prediction accuracy is recorded at 49% for local weather while the other groundhogs average a mere 39%. (Take that Punxsutawney Phil...)

I tried to find a photo of the little guy, but all I could find were photos of Evan Biddel, a local who won Canada's Best Designer (who is a cool guy, don't get me wrong. I actually know him...want a cool outfit and he's your guy, but as for weather...eh, not so much)

Here's the "Hog's View of 2009 Groundhog Springtime Predictions" from about the globe (courtesy of Wikepedia )- for what it's worth:
(ahem)

French Creek Freddie - Early Spring

Buckeye Chuck - 6 more weeks of winter

Saskatoon Evan - Early Spring

Balzac Billy - 6 more weeks of winter

Malverne Mel - Early Spring

Woodstock Willie - 6 more weeks of winter

Jimmy the Groundhog - 6 more weeks of winter

Octoraro Orphie - 6 more weeks of winter

Staten Island Chuck - Early Spring

Wiarton Willy - 6 more weeks of winter

Shubenacadie Sam - 6 more weeks of winter

Punxsutawney Phil - 6 more weeks of winter

Dunkirk Dave - Early Spring


Good luck with your local hoggy weather witchcraft. Go watch Groundhog's Day and think of spring.

Me? I'm just happy to be feeling well and back at life. I'll take that for starters...:)
Happy Groundhog's Day !

It's ALIVE!


I'm feeling better today.