Our new friend, Wingy

We brought home our new little friend on Friday. Her name is Wingy. She’s a shorthair orange tabby with little white feet. And I swear, she’s got the sweetest little face, and the loudest purr.

So far, she’s enjoyed squeezing herself into many surprisingly small spaces. Some, which I worried about – like the sofabed… yes, IN the sofabed. But now she’s all tuckered out and sleeping next to us on the couch. I like her.

Last night we learned she sleeps like a person. She got into bed with us, under the covers, and fell asleep. She used my arm as a pillow and her two front paws stuck out over the blanket. I wish I could have gotten a picture of that. It was so bizarre. But here are pictures that I did get… and even one short video:

Wingy from Quantum Kitten on Vimeo.

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Paranormal Activity

Have you seen this movie?  (Paranormal Activity). Well, if you like scary movies, and haven’t seen it yet, you should do so as soon as possible. But don’t watch it alone. It’s actually scary.

I haven’t been this frazzled by a scary movie since I was around 7 years old and hid in my parents’ lap from Freddy Krueger. This movie was really well done, and I’m kind of impressed that it wasn’t a big budget production either.

Yeah, I watched some Scrubs to get the memories of scary things away. Now it might be time for bed.

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12th Annual Steven & Virginie in ROC

Ok, so I’m currently at the airport, it’s 5am, and haven’t yet slept tonight. This might be kinda nonsensical but I’m willing to take my chances.

I made the trip to Rochester this weekend for what may as well be considered Lindy Hop Church. Steven & Virginie’s workshop in Rochester has always left me bursting with new inspiration and a renewed if not magnified appreciation for the dance. But this year was beyond words. I don’t think it was anything the organizers (Groove Juice Swing) willed and worked to have happen (though I think organizers will always hope and work to do so). It just kind of happened. All the elements of a most epic weekend came together and BAM! We were all blown away. It’s Monday night / Tuesday morning after the workshop officially ended on Sunday afternoon and my heart is still bursting, and my brain is still scrambling to explain it. Since I obviously can’t, and it all won’t really make sense unless you were there to experience it, I’ll just give some highlights:

  • Steven and Malcolm singing with Gordon Webster and his band (which included many super talented musicians like Jesse Selengut and Matt Musselman) for about half the night. Each time they sang the room stopped dancing… it was too awesome to not give them our undivided attention. My favorite moment was when Steven sang Truckin’ using the horn mute as a megaphone.
  • The Sunday Musicality classes! We got to interact with the musicians in a new way, battling along to the music with another dancer, and then seeing Matt and Jesse (band members) duke it out on their horns.
  • The babies!  More and more dancers are growing up and starting families. This year we had three newborns in attendance (Virginie’s, Sylwia and Adrian’s, and the Fragmans’), and they were loved by all! So cute! Next year there will be four (Alex and Sarah, from Rochester, are expecting). I think Groove Juice will need to work some sort of daycare option into their registration package in the future.
  • The chance to catch up with old friends. People I haven’t seen in a loong time came to Rochester this weekend. It was nice to chat and catch up, dance with, and have a drink or two with them.
  • Late nights were energetic beyond belief. We were still kickin’ it with high energy jazz at 4am… 5am…. then the sun came up. I barely got any sleep over the weekend but I don’t care. It was worth it.

I know my friends over at Groove Juice will work to re-create the magic for next year. It’ll be hard, but between the organizers, the amazing instructors, and the motivated students, it just might happen. In the meantime, I am stoked for NE Girl Jam.

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Austin

I love…

  • our apartment — it’s so cozy
  • the friends we’ve made here — it’s great to hang out and talk about nothing/everything for hours
  • dancing locally — people are so motivated and enthusiastic
  • the live music — I could potentially go out and listen/dance to a sweet jazz band every night

Basically, I’ve really been enjoying the past two months living here and I’m filled with warm-fuzzies about it right now

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ULHS

All I can say is …..      that’s right. I’m speechless.

ULHS  was held in New Orleans this year. It was my first time there and I had a blast. New Orleans is a wild city. I had always wondered about going to Mardis Gras, but after seeing what Bourbon Street is like on a regular night, I don’t think I could handle Mardis Gras one bit.

Brooks and I got there Tuesday before the event and went right out to dance that night, as we did every night after. It was amazing. I finally had the chance to see the Vipers (now renamed the Cottonmouth Kings) live. They were as great as I imagined.

The event itself was awesome as well. It was great to see so many of my old friends from the northeast again. It was hot as hell in New Orleans. Everyone was drenched in sweat after a single dance, let alone a whole night’s worth.

Comps were stressful. I was terrified actually. Prelims and such were all jam-packed into Saturday and I was really just looking forward to getting them over with so I could sit down and watch finals. My plan was just to try my best, try and stay calm, and have fun. The J&J went exactly as I expected, you know, when there’s a group of so many amazing dancers all in one place. I did not make semi-finals and I enjoyed watching the remaining comp a lot. The finalists really brought some heat.

I also signed up for the Showdown (strictly) and the solo jazz comp. I competed with Chance and had a lot of fun. That comp however did not go as expected. I actually made the quarter-finals. We were just aiming to have fun for as long as we could. Then we made the semi-finals… then the finals.  And then, we won. We were up against Dax and Annie, two dancers who I greatly respect and admire. How did this happen?! Not what I expected at all. But it was a lot of fun. Now I’m waiting to find a good quality video of the whole thing… you know, so I can show my mom.

The solo jazz comp was right after the strictly finals, so I didn’t have a chance to rest at all. I didn’t get to change into something more comfortable or get water. I was exhausted and too tired to pull off any of the things I knew I wanted to do in that comp. Oh well. I did still last longer in that comp than last year, so to me, it was still a success.

Basically… New Orleans was a hell of a time.

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Hot Rhythm Ball Recap Video

One thing I forgot to explain is that the dance I attended, Hot Rhythm Ball, was in essence a one-night event advertisement for a dance weekend the organizers are planning to put on next year -- Hot Rhythm Holiday

Their site contains a video recap of the evening:

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Hot Rhythm Ball

Last night Brooks and I decided to take a break from unpacking and go to this dance that we had heard was happening. It didn’t seem like it would be a huge event or anything (and it wasn’t), but it wasn’t a regularly scheduled Austin dance either. We had heard the band would be good and that there would be food (it was also BYOB). So we got gussied up and off we went.

The place was kinda hard to find. It was an old German style ballroom/meeting hall/manual bowling alley (yeah… I was confused about that too). The building was easy to miss. It didn’t stand out at all.  But it was perfect for this. The dance was a prohibition era themed dance. The ballroom was designed like an old supper club (with the tables at the perimeter of the dance floor), with a stage on one end of the floor, and the bar at the back. And, everyone was decked out in vintage 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s garb. It was  like walking into the past (a little). They definitely did the theme up right. The bowling alley, I found out, was even farther in back, and about only two lanes, and yes, manual. You set the pins up yourself. No, I didn’t try bowling.

The band last night wasn’t a usual group. They were members of about three different local jazz bands, chosen and thrown together into this one-time ensemble they called the Hot Rhythm All Star Band. And oh, how amazing it was. Jazz couldn’t get any hotter than that combo, it was so good. The one downfall to the evening was that the floor was so damn fast! It was hard to keep your balance even in rubber soled shoes… but we danced the night away anyway, just with some additional precaution.

During the band break there were some performances. Two musicians, and a dance performance by Mike and Laura. First off, I want to commend Mike and Laura for being so brave as to even attempt their choreography on that hellishly fast dance floor. Not to mention, Laura didn’t have rubber soled shoes on. She was dancing in suede (even slipperier) for that performance. Most of the partnered stuff in their routine worked just fine. The trouble was with the solo stuff. The floor was so slippery you had nothing to work off of for your movement. There were times watching their performance I thought ice would have given them more traction. So yeah, if you’re reading this, I commend you guys for doing that. You’re troopers. Seriously.

One of the musicians that performed during the band break was particularly memorable, and really, the reason I wanted to write this post in the first place. Luna Tart. Let me just describe what I saw…  A mature (but not old) woman staggers up to the stage looking totally drunk, dressed in vintage garb, holding a ukulele. When she speaks, she sounds drunk too. I wondered if she was. Then she starts singing. Her songs were this mix of humor, honesty, and multiple personalities. One song in particular was about a party she couldn’t leave because she was too drunk to find the door and she wanted to leave because they had run out of rum, but then she found the door but couldn’t find her keys, but then she didn’t want to leave because she found the gin… I laughed so hard I cried.

I found her website, and a particularly descriptive review of one of her performances. You should read that review and check her out. I know I definitely want to see her perform again.

Luna Tart.com

A Review of Luna Tart at Joe’s Pub

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We officially live in Austin now

We’ve been here a full week now and managed to get a lot done in that short amount of time. We found an apartment, and today, we moved our stuff in. It’s pretty exciting. I’m also really thrilled to be joining the folks over at The Lindy Project as well as a dedicated practice group. I can already feel my dancing changing (just the tiniest bit), and  in a way I’m happy about. Now we just need to find those darn jobs. So elusive.  But I have high hopes here.

I’ll try and remember to post pictures of our apartment once it’s all cleared of the clutter.

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Goodbye Atlanta, Hello Austin

My apartment is empty and ready to welcome its new resident on Tuesday. Our stuff is in storage pods ready to be moved. We drive out in the morning. Exciting? Yes. Nerve racking? Yes.  I don’t think I’ll be totally at ease yet until we have found an apartment to move into in Austin. In the meantime… a-driving I shall go.

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News…

I found someone who wants to rent the apartment. She wants to move in Sept. 1st. So I’ll be moving, leaving Atlanta, in about a week.  Goodbye Georgia.

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