Monday, May 31, 2010

I miss me some Disney movies

I miss the old days of the Disney animation renaissance. You know -- The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and even the lesser lights such as Pocahontas, Tarzan, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I'd love to see more of that stuff. Thankfully, Pixar is still producing top-notch stuff.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Paige O'Hara

Previously, I talked about the luminously talented Jodi Benson. I'd also like to say something about Paige O'Hara, who came right on her heels. Paige doesn't get the same amount of exposure as Jodi, but she also has an amazing voice, and she got to display more of her singing chops in Beauty and the Beast than Jodi did in her movie.

Jodi does gobs of voice work for Disney though, making it a regular gig on her part. Paige doesn't do nearly as much, for some reason. Is it a question of interest? And availability? I don't know; however, it does seem to me that Ariel is much more heavily merchandised than Belle is, which may suggest that Ms. Benson's character is simply more popular, even though O'Hara's movie did better in the box office.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

This monthly so-called "dance"

I have almost totally given up on this monthly singles "dance" that I used to attend. It just wasn't any fun. The people there didn't know how to dance, nor were they really interested in learning how to do so. Rather, they just shook and wiggled around without any skill or style.

Mind you, I'm not saying that they need to become as skilled as a professional dancer. I'm not even saying that they should learn any ballroom dance styles, though that would certainly be nice. I'm just saying that it'd help if they learned at least some basic dance moves -- y'know, something at a higher level than the twist or a grapevine. The people there had no style.

The cupid shuffle was tremendously popular there. You know why? Because it requires no skill whatsoever. In a sense, that's a plus, but if you keep doing the mindless, skill-free stuff over and over again, then that's setting the bar awfully low. It means that there's no challenge and no art whatsoever.

Friday, May 28, 2010

More on Deborah

I remember how Deb reacted when I chose to search for other candidates instead of promoting her into the senior director position. She heard that I didn't think highly of her people skills, so she got me on the phone and yelled, "What do you mean, saying that I'm not a people person? I have GREAT people skills!"

The irony somehow escaped her.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I wonder what happened to Deborah. She was this woman I knew who was intelligent, well educated, and even pretty despite her extra pounds. She was also abrasive and lacked people skills. When she was the assistant director of a charity, she tended to rub people the wrong way.

She said that she was a people person, but that she chose not to operate as one so that discipline could be enforced. Frankly, that's a cop out. A good people person can enforce discipline without having to abandon her people skills. Her problem wasn't that she was deliberately not operating as a people person; rather, her problem was that she was hostile, needlessly abrasive, and just all around tactless.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Learning to dance as a student

I've got some young college friends who seem to have plenty of time to learn how to dance. They take dance lessons and participate in all sorts of dance exchanges.

Personally, I can't imagine doing that as an undergrad. We always had way too much homework to do, and way too many tests to prepare for. It was a safe bet that we couldn't take a weekend off. I was a double major though, and I was in some pretty demanding fields.

I almost wish that I had pursued some more leisurely degrees, but that wouldn't have satisfied me at the time. I think I would have regretted it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Software testing

Software testing sucks. It is boring, boring, boring.

I don't like doing this.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cancer immunotherapy

I remember my grad school days. Back then, I got to talk to folks about various fields of research. Knowing a wide range of graduate students really helped, and I just wish that I had more time back then to absorb their knowledge and interests.

Some of them were involved in cancer immunotherapy or related fields, for example. Would have been nice to learn more about what they did. Unfortunately, too much of my time and mental energy was already being poured into my own research work. That required virtually all of my free time, especially with my limited funding. Ugh. I wish that I could have taken a more leisurely approach.

That just wasn't an option, though.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What a voice

This is worth repeating. Jodi Benson has an absolutely angelic voice, and she comes across as a wonderful performer. I wish that I had even a fraction of her talent.

Got to catch her on some YouTube videos recently. Man, what a voice. She also injects so much love and energy into her songs. I would love to see her perform more. Too bad her old "Crazy For You" videos aren't online anymore.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Got the P90X DVDs, but...

I got a bunch of inexpensive P90X DVDs off Ebay. I'm dying to try them out, but I just don't have the time. I still need to catch up on housework and yard work, for example, and I'm spending a lot of time with my dance lessons and practice. Yikes.

I really want to ramp up my exercise routine, too. I want to get leaner and pack on more muscle.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cha cha moves I need to learn

I need to learn a few more moves before I can say that I've completed a bronze syllabus.

One is the cha cha shadow position. This is otherwise known as the cha cha sweetheart position. Another is the cross body pull back. The third is the crossover flick to side break.

Perhaps another private lesson would be in order?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cha cha moves

I've recently expanded my repertoire of cha cha moves. Cha cha is a useful dance style to learn. It can be used with a lot of modern music (e.g. Brown-Eyed Girl), so even if you're not actually dancing to Latin music, it's still good to know.

Here are some of the moves that I currently know.

- Basic in place
- Side basic
- Progressive basic
- Outside partner position. This is where you turn the lady to one side. It also requires rocking forward with the right foot instead of rocking back.
- Crossbody lead. This is a little bit different from the salsa crossbody lead. You don't start turning until you rock back with the right foot -- or at the very least, until the final cha cha step before rocking back.
- Open break and underarm turn
- Chase turn
- Shoulder check. (Paul taught me this one, and then Lizzie did too.)
- Butterfly. This one requires touching her left palm with your right palm after a side break. It involves rocking forward with the left, alternating it with rocking back on the right.
- Alternating underarm turns
- Triple cha chas. This one requires using the progressive basic and steering the woman as though using a pair of rapiers. Also, with a little push, you can get the follower to turn during the second cha cha.

Gotta remember these moves and put them to use.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I really, really miss the old ESPN show, BodyShaping. I was never much into watching televised sports (certainly not for hours on end), so ESPN never held much appeal for me. They did have a bunch of fitness shows though, such as BodyShaping, and I did like that one. Too bad they're not showing it in reruns anymore.

And yes, Jennifer Dempster was a cutie.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The flying guy in the red suit

I'm watching an episode of "The Greatest American Hero" on DVD. I remember this one. It's the one that had Captain Bellybuster in it. I remember thinking that this storyline was a bit implausible, even within the conceit of the series.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Man, I sure would love to practice some high-speed Charleston moves sometime. Too bad most of my female friends are in such bad physical condition. They don't have much energy at all, even if they're not terribly overweight.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Got a mold problem in my basement ceiling. Gotta get that fixed. This means cleaning up the house a little bit more before the contractors get here... and I'm already plenty busy. Yikes.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I remember sending a Christmas greeting via e-mail to a bunch of people one day. One fella, Imad, send the following (paraphrased) response:

"Please don't send me any more non-business related e-mail. I receive plenty of e-mail as it is."

Gee, loosen up, grinch.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Autumn, please

I can't wait until autumn. I can't wait. I'd love that.

Oh, and I hate doing yard work in the summertime.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's blank

This post has been intentionally left blank. Well, almost blank. Not quite.

It's getting progressively less blank, the more I talk about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Arnold, you stink

I won't go into detail, but there's this underhanded guy that I'm going to call "Arnold." As in "Benedict Arnold," mind you, not the powerhouse bodybuilder.

Arnold is a despicable traitor who would sell people out without any hesitation. He routinely screws people over, and it's detestable. No wonder nobody likes him.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Swearing like a sailor

I wish that people wouldn't swear so much. I encounter way too many people who seem incapable of expressing themselves without spouting the f-word left and right. It's jarring and annoying.

Some people say that the liberal use of profanity helps them express themselves accurately. I disagree. It might feel good to them, but it doesn't help with precision of meaning. Nor does it help much with emotional impact; after all, when profanity is used excessively, then its impact is diminished.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Dang. I'm disappointed. Bummed.

Not altogether unexpected, but it was unpleasant. Disappointed indeed. Darn, darn, darnity darn.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Cancelled plans

I had to cancel my workout plans for Monday. Why? Because some folks decided to organize a small trip to a local amusement park. I felt that I needed to be more sociable, and besides, one of the organizers was a pretty lady. That certainly can't hurt.

And a very cute lady she is, too. Not classically pretty, but she has a different sort of appeal. We only went as friends, but I have to admit that she was cute.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Another new kickboxing combo

Jab, hook, slip
Back kick, stutter forward, palm fist
Elbow to back, elbow to front, elbow down, switch

Friday, May 07, 2010

New kickboxing combo

Jab, cross, jab, knee
Jack, jack
Back kick, front kick
Side kick, hop and side kick

Repeat above using opposite side

Thursday, May 06, 2010


And here's wishing a warm happy birthday to my beautiful sister.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

That was kinda nosy

Get this. I was taking some photos of a friend at a recent swing dance. Upon seeing this, one lady comes up to me and peppers me with questions. "Excuse me, but what are you going to do with those photos? Are they going on your computer?" "Are you taking pictures for a newspaper?" "Did these people ask you to take photos of them?" and so forth, and so on.

I assured her that it was common practice for people to snap photographs at events like this. I'm not sure why she was asking, but I think it was kinda nosy. If I see somebody taking a picture of someone else, I'm not about to give that person the third degree regarding what they're doing.

I'm not sure what that was about. I don't think this gal was a swing dancer. She pretty much sat in the same place the whole night long. Maybe that's why she decided to pepper me with questions. Whatever.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I'm always interested in hearing about technological developments in less advanced countries. That's why it's nice when I stumble across websites such as this one. It's a biotechnology firm in Thailand, a decided less advanced nation.

Now, I'm not trying to say that such companies are remarkable to find. It's just good to know that they exist, and I hope that they get all the exposure that they need. The design of this company's website could use some improvement, though.

Monday, May 03, 2010


Gotta work in some forearm exercises, too. I think I'll plan those for Monday morning. They tend to be very much neglected, even by experienced gym rats.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Workout plan

Okay, here are my exercise plans for the weekend:

Thursday: Shoulders with a bit of chest and triceps work
Friday: Noontime walk with weighted vest, plus back and biceps work in the evening
Saturday: Cardio work in the morning and early afternoon. Some core work as well.
Sunday: Leg resistance training, followed by massage, followed by chest work
Monday: Back and biceps in the morning. Core work and a little cardio in the evening.
Tuesday: Core work and cardio in the evening. Maybe some balance exercises, too.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Celebrity Apprentice

What a waste of time. Donald Trump has no integrity -- especially after the way he screwed Annie Duke over last year in favor of Joan Rivers. Ugh.