Sunday, March 29, 2009

Burn the Floor!

So yesterday Stacked Librarian and I hied ourselves to the Queen City to watch an international group of absurdedly-flexible dancers whirl about and toss their shiny hair. This was part of Stacked Librarian's birthday present; I was merely a tag-along. The long-touring show "Burn the Floor" takes ballroom dancing far, far away from the pasted prettiness of yards of pink net and Brilliantined hair.

Now, I must say that I'm not a dancer. My rhythmic abilities are pretty much limited to walking and the occasional muttered counting of "four, three, two . . . drat, which way?" in a Zumba class at the Y. However, I can greatly admire the strength and skills involved in dancing, which is not an especially easy art. In addition to precision training and cat-like balance, many of these routines involve strength and stamina way beyond what it may appear.

Dancers as delicate wusses? Tell you what, Drake, you try holding a girl upside-down and flinging her about all while keeping the beat and smiling. Then do it eight times a week. And if you're a girl, try doing this stuff backwards and in high heels.

You can get a taste for what I'm talking about here.

It was enough to forget the rainy mist that made driving a curse and (almost) enough to forgive the "planners" of Charlotte for their liking of one-way streets and very short green lights. I once heard that San Antonio was planned by a drunk on a blind mule and I think that person may have been run out of Charlotte for making too much sense in his style of urban planning. But that's me.

By the way, have you been watching Dollhouse? I'm still slightly behind, but I'm beginning to like what I see. If you're interested, check out my musings over here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring!

We all seem to have weathered winter and come out on the other side. It's been a tough one, no doubt about it. Even the revered Weather Pig, the Great Gallumphing Groundhawg, who predicts the end of winter in my old hometown, is glad to see the final weeks of winter tick away.

Outside, my scrawny azalea bushes are trying mightily to bloom and there's just something heart-warming about that effort. Oh, sure the forsythia has been showing off for a week or more, but my azaleas have to exert more effort due to my devotion to the principles of Darwinian gardening. ("Good luck, boys! You're on your own!" is about all my plants can expect and they know it.) And no, the lush azaleas in this post are (alas) not mine.

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone. That's a day that is often used to mark the beginning of the planting season. Growing up, it seemed that many people used that as the day to start breaking up the garden plot and maybe even set out potatoes and onions. I'm not that ambitious about my garden, which is still a tangle and will be so for a while yet. (See earlier notes on Darwinian gardening.)

Even so, I'm feeling better about things. Warm weather will do that for you. I may even sort through the clutter in the shed and see if I can find a shovel and hoe to work on that garden patch.


In the meantime, I'm speaking at Gardner-Webb University on popular culture in the classroom, including a comparison of Whedon's dark Slayer, Faith, to St. Luke's Prodigal Son. Hansel & Gretel will make an appearance in that one, too. How, you may ask? Well, details can be found here. Should be fun - stop by if you can!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Signs of Crispiness!

Certain things ought to be crisp. Snappy comebacks, breakfast cereal and, with a little creative spelling, Kremes. However, Mockingbird probably ought not to be so golden-brown around the edges of her temper.

Spring break is looming and, once lists of lists of things/errands/chores are tended to, it's off to the calm blue ocean for a few days which will (hopefully) be characterized by large amounts of sugared junk food (I gave up the scale for Lent, you see), and a total lack of binary code and things that go "ping!"

Aside from the calendar, how could I tell it was time to get out of Dodge for a bit? Well . . .

1. Turkey vultures (they're buzzards, all right? Large, hulking carrion birds looking for something stinky and dead) roosting in disturbingly large numbers in several trees in my neighborhood. Seriously, it's like I'm an extra in a National Geographic special about the Shelby-geti. Shudder.
2. Weather that whipsaws from eight inches of snow to eighty-two degrees in the space of a week. 'Taint natural.
3. Having a sinking feeling every time I look at the headlines. Every day, I'm expecting to read "Torrential Rain of Toads Soaks Town." It's bad out there, sure, but I still don't think the Apocalypse is coming to town. But lately, it's harder to remember that.
4. Being so focused on multi-tasking (remember the lists of lists I mentioned), that I managed to dribble both toothpaste froth and salad dressing on my clothes today. The only bright spot was that these were two separate incidents, rather than indicating that I was brushing my teeth while eating. (Although, given the way things have been lately, that's not as far-fetched as you might think, more's the pity.)
5. Feeling my own internal jack-in-the-box getting closer and closer to the "YAAAHH!" point.

So it's off to a porch swing, the new Christopher Moore book (a re-telling of King Lear in his own inimitable style), and an adjusted perspective.

Back soon.