Thingity Thing Things:

 
 

Seriously, why is this not lounging on my desk as we speak?

GLURG.

 

(I am also planning on whipping up a fresh mint sweet tea rum spiked drink of de-li-ci-ousness this week.)
 
(you know, because I can.)

 

I survived the Los Angeles Salsa Congress…
by the thin suede of my dance shoes,
but still,
I survived.

There may have been a very teary and slightly hysterical phone call to The Boyo
regarding the verysmallandhardlynoticeable mistake that
happened during our routine, because I?

Am a perfectionist.

Never thought I was.

But I TOTALLY AM.

I would post a video for all y’all,
but alas,
the folks running the Congress are also a bit money-grubby,
and wouldn’t allow filming in order to force attendees
to buy *their* video of the event.

BOO.

 

I also finished a couple of books this week–
nothing near my normal rate of reading whilst-being-unemployed,
but it was nice to dig myself into good books,
even for five minutes at a time.

I still have mixed feelings for this book...

I picked up “House of Sand and Fog” at the wickedly fabulous
Altadena Library Book Sale because one of my favorite professors loves the film.

The book is modeled on the Greek tragedy–
events that occur happen because of tragic flaws
within each of the main characters,
and Col. Behrani certainly fits the mold of a great person experiencing a reversal of fortune.

Additionally,
the events of the novel build up slowly,
inexorably,
and as the reader,
I felt absolutely helpless in the face of it all.

Not a comfortable read, by any means,
but a beautiful one.

 

I was very surprised to realize that I *hadn’t* read this book.
It reminded me a great deal of “Brave New World”,
but it has a far more hopeful ending–
which I sincerely appreciate in a dystopian novel.

I loved the entire conceit of a world built without cultural memory or emotion,
and I especially loved that the world had no color–
only The Receiver could see color, hear music, and remember events long past.

The obvious twist probably isn’t so obvious when reading
this at 10 or 12 years old–alas for reading YA lit as an adult!–
but it did not affect my enjoyment of the novel.

 

It’s been a wild last couple of months, y’all.
I’m glad to be done with Lack of Weekends.

It’s time to get back on that Lazy Saturday Train…
maybe this Saturday will involve a walk in the sunshine.
Or reading at the beach.
Or hiking with the Corgi and The Boyo.
Or lounging about,
sipping some of that Sangria Slushied goodness.

It is good to be done.

In Brief!

 

Or boxer,
if that’s how you swing.

I am not dead.

Just busying with new job,
renaissance faire,
crazy-ass rehearsals for Salsa Congress,
and oh, yeah,
a torn rotator cuff.

(according to my absolutely accurate diagnosis via webmd)

I have so many pretties to share with you,
but for the moment,
I’m curling up with beloved friends with wine and a good movie.

I love Friday nights.

Why I Dance:

For the joy of it, loves.

Simply for the joy of it.

 

 

And?

When I’m good, I’m really, really good.

*grin*

I’m Going to Kick Ass at the Nursing Home:

Social Dance Study
______________________________
‘The 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Their method for objectively measuring mental acuity in aging was to monitor rates of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity. They discovered that some activities had a significant beneficial effect. Other activities had none.

They studied cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments. And they studied physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework.

One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind. There was one important exception: the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia

Bicycling and swimming – 0%

People who played the hardest gained the most: For example, seniors who did crossword puzzles four days a week had a 47% lower risk of dementia than those who did the puzzles once a week.

Playing golf – 0%

Dancing frequently – 76%.

That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.

Quoting Dr. Joseph Coyle, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist who wrote an accompanying commentary:
“The cerebral cortex and hippocampus, which are critical to these activities, are remarkably plastic, and they rewire themselves based upon their use.” ‘

_____________________________________

Essentially,
as long as I keep reading like I do,
and dancing like I do?

This bitch is going to go to her GRAVE with all mental faculties intact.

Why I Dance:

If you get a chance to see this film,
do so.

(with the caveat that it *is* directed by Aronofsky, so if psychological horror dramas aren’t your thing…)

I can’t recall another film about ballet, specifically,
that so captures the beauty and agony which live side by side in this world.

Why I Dance:

Because guys like these are just marvelous.

That easy-going footwork just blows my mind–
so effortless!

1:39 is probably my favorite moment in the song;
can you see how they’re *actually* interpreting the music with their movements?
‘s magnificent, really.

ps (It’s actually pretty common to switch to male/male or female/female partners in order to learn the roles–lead or follow– you normally don’t–in this case, Grey Shirt is the follow. I’ve been doing this in my salsa classes; it’s very very difficult, but boy, does it make a better dancer of you!)

Why I Dance:

Storytelling.

The video’s a leetle fuzzy,
but their dancing certainly isn’t.

I love how they use the pole as a third partner–
it’s rare to see this level of smooth coordination,
athleticism and dance choreography outside of something huge like Cirque…
but oh, I love it.

Oh, I want to be this damn good someday.

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