wookiemonster: (Default)
HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] spiziks!!

This weekend, I have spent much time in contemplation and doing research with regards to restoring Cammie, and unfortunately, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that rebuilding the Grand Prix is beyond my means. Not impossible, mind you, but I had to evaluate several things and make some hard decisions. Fact is, the degradation and damage to the body itself is extensive. I blame the long-gone Rockhill Pontiac for that and the absolutely shitty job they did repairing the car after the accident it had when it was just four years old. The cheap metal they welded on there, unprimed, improperly painted, and so on is why there's a hole in the back passenger-side quarter panel. And though they replaced the front passenger-side quarter panel/fender, they didn't prime or pain it correctly, either, and that's why it's cracked and faded.

The scrapes, dings, and other rust areas only contribute to the overall problems. It comes down to the fact that the shitty job that was done... I did what I could with waxing and such, but all I did was prolong the inevitable. And when it became clear five years ago or so that, despite my best efforts, the shitty repairs were failing and holes started forming and such... Well, if I could have afforded to get the body work done then, then things would be different. But the rust is out of control. And since most of the mid-1980s cars were crushed and recycled, I can't just go hunt a salvage yard for new fenders and panels and such. New panels and such would have to be custom manufactured, which would triple the cost of restoring the body.

Then there's the engine. The reason why Gary put in a new crate engine is because factory manufactured engines have been phased out in favor of crate engines. Factory remanufactured are somewhat limited in how universal their applications, whereas crate engines can pretty much go in anything, but at the expense of having the same computer control that stock or remanufactured engines would have. The performance engine in Cammie had no computer feedback, other than an oxygen sensor and a sensor or two in the exhaust line. This may have contributed to her demise, as there was nothing to signal the loss of oil in the engine. Just knocking, and then seizure.

Looking around, Jasper has pretty much dominated the market on street-legal crate engines. And given how they screwed me on the current engine, I refuse to do business with them pretty much ever. When I was looking at Jegs and Edelbrock, they have nice, powerful engines that would fit the Grand Prix, but there's no way they'd pass street-legal emissions. As is, with the performance engine and having to trade the digital Rochester carb for the Edelbrock carb, it barely passed the fast-idle test. Now, I could have switched out the metering rods in the Edelbrock carb with a set that would lean out the mixture and give me better emission results for the inspection test, but, the Rochester could be set to have less emissions all the time. Alas, Rochesters have gone the way of the dinosaur. So, my options, even with trying to build one myself, for a decent engine for Cammie are more limited than I had thought.

Then there's the interior work, which would still be somewhat significant. Even skipping swapping the bench seat for bucket seats, getting rid of the idea of putting in a center console, and new digital instrumentation, the headliner would still cost a pretty penny, not to mention the vinyl part of the roof on the exterior. I could only find used/salvaged motors for the power windows and the door locks. The alarm system slowly died and became just a glorified keyless entry system.

Long-term storage would also present the problems of needing new tires which, this time around, had to be special ordered. I would need a new battery. Assuming nothing else rusts in major components, the radiator would still need to be flushed and replenished. The transmission would still need a fluid change. The brakes, though just done a few weeks before the engine seized, would need the fluid changed.

If I made about twice as much as I make now, then I could probably afford to restore the Grand Prix in a timely manner. Right now? Twenty years would be a best-case scenario, and that's assuming I can get the G6 to last that long without any major problems, like needing a new engine or transmission or whatever. Or without having to replace the G6 with a new(er) car or somesuch.

There's only so much work I can do myself with the tools and expertise I have. And without being able to keep it at home, where I could work on it for a half hour a night or something... Yeah, I wouldn't be able to do much and save money. Yeah, I can keep it at Henry's indefinitely, but, it's outside, and subject to further deterioration from exposure to the elements.

The final cincher is this: I'm trying to get back into dance and I need to start writing regularly. I can manage writing and dancing. Tossing in a car project that would also suck away money is just...too much. I can already see where I would have to make a choice among dance, writing, and car building. I can only do two of the three. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that I want to dance more than I want a truly unique car that I would only drive on weekends and such.

That was another thing... I couldn't see doing all this work for a car I wouldn't drive much and would pay through the nose for insurance unless I found a garage to keep it in. At the new house, I don't think I'll be parking in the garage often at all, and with two vehicles? Yeah, no.

So, the plan instead is to keep the G6 in really good condition, pay it off in 5 years, then save up for a year or two, then go to CarMax and trade in the G6 and have money down, hopefully a couple thousand, for a Camaro. It has to be a V8, black, and with a sunroof. And some way for me to plug in the Sansa clip, either by USB or patch cord. I'm also thinking manual transmission, just to help deter theft, but, I worry about my knees sometimes and having to deal with a clutch, so, the jury's out on that. I've found that CarMax has three and four-year-old Camaros with 20k miles or less on them, practically new, for about $10k less than brand new. I'm thinking these were cars given to salespeople at a dealership or demo cars for test drives or somesuch, then sold to CarMax. Plugging in my criteria, I found a 2011 Camaro with a manual transmission for $24k with just 20k miles on it. Factor in the transfer fee (it was in Fairfax, Va), title, tax, and so on, figure $25k, which is still a little less than half what the G6 cost. Now, if I have a good G6 to trade in and a couple thousand down thanks to saving, I could come up with a decent enough replacement for the car I loved so much.

This is still a bit of a kick in the gut, though. I enjoyed having a classic that I had worked on, that at one point was one of the five cleanest cars in the state emissions-wise, that was truly unique, that had saved my life so many times. I feel bad that I just...can't return the courtesy. I suppose I did save her life a few times, what with transmission replacements, replacing that first engine with the 350 which lasted me 13 years. That engine served me well that summer I went down to Delmar every few weeks to practice with Holly, or going to Yardley every few weeks to practice with Kristin, or to visit Robin every other week in Milton for over a year... It got me through a LOT. And there was still that time the battery died on the way back from Milton, yet the car kept running until I got to Henry's. Inexplicably so. Whatever spirit inhabited the Grand Prix, I hope it found a new home in the G6 and will follow me into the Camaro in six or seven years or so. I hope Cammie is nestled somewhere in the G6 and may live again as a Camaro.

And I'll enjoy taking the cats to the vet for their annual check-ups in the Camaro, and going to TTL for dancing or lessons in the Camaro, and so on. For now, I'll enjoy doing all that in the G6. But I will miss the Grand Prix, and will treasure the memories I have of driving that car, of hearing the secondaries in the carburetor kick in and the free-flow thrumming as the throttle opened up and the car reared like a horse and took off like a shot. I am mourning its loss, and will probably do so for awhile.

I hate Jasper and I'm glad Rockhill went under.

On the plus side, I had fun dancing at TTL earlier tonight. I even managed to dance a full Viennese Waltz with Josie, and though a little winded at the end, I didn't need my asthma inhaler. Again, dancing with someone who knows what they're doing makes V. Waltz so much easier and effortless. Well, less effort, anyway. And I'm glad that some of the newbies I've been dancing with have shown some improvement as well.

For right now, I'm okay with social dancing, what with being busy with the move and all. But after we're in the new house and somewhat settled, I plan to get more involved with dancing.

Anyway, more later...
wookiemonster: (Default)
HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] disgruntledgrrl!!

So, the big news for today is (dun dun DUNNNN...) the annual vet trip!

First off, mucho thankies to all who donated funds! There was enough money from that and Mom's direct donation that they all are current on their shots and such, that Minerva has enough insulin to get her to about Christmas, and I have just over $10 left over to apply to Minerva's glucose checks. Because of everything going on with Rocky's and then Minerva's diabetes, there was just...nothing left financially. And now? Now, I was able to afford the latest ampule of insulin and get them to the vet in a timely manner (meaning, about the same time as last year) for them to remain current on shots, which means this year, they finally got a 3-year rabies vaccination instead of just a one-year shot.

If I ever get out of debt and have this thing called "disposable income," I shall pay it forward...

Anyway, back to the vet visit... Rocky is doing well. He's at 22.2 pounds, which, for his size, is a little overweight, but not by as much as it sounds, as he is a Big Cat. And they're okay with him having a little extra weight; if his diabetes flares up and he doesn't eat for a day or two, he'll still be okay, instead of, say, shutting down his liver. Heart, lungs, eyes, teeth, ears... Everything else is excellent! Perfect for a cat in remission. He does have allergies and dry skin, which they can't give him anything for, as he's steroid-allergic, meaning, a steroid would send him into a diabetic spike. But otherwise, he's a big, healthy, happy kitty in diabetic remission, which we'll ride for as long as we can.

Riffy is also doing well for an 11-year-old cat. His ear crusties were gone this morning, but I still mentioned it to Doc McHarg, who had done the original partial ear removal and biopsy. She said that if it went away, resolved on its own, then yeah, it's an inflammation issue and not a skin cancer issue. (For the new people: Riffy is all-white, and two years ago, there were crusty scabs on one ear that looked like the skin cancer which eventually led to the demise of another all-white cat we'd had, GiGi. Doc McHarg (nee' Boone) had just started working up there, and indeed, that was the same day I had to bring YoYo up to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge. After assisting with that, she removed part of Riffy's ear, in case it was cancer, to try to halt its spread. Fortunately, it wasn't any squamous carcinoma; just irritation. And she did a good enough job on the surgery that, for the most part, you can't really tell he'd had part of his ear removed. So anyway, yeah, that issue is resolved. He was at 16.2 pounds, which is what he was at last year, so, he's maintaining his weight, which is another sign of good health. Riffy, overall, is almost as big as Rocky, and a little leaner. Dr. Shlusseil once commented that I tend to have big cats, and said it in a way indicating this was a good thing for the cats. His heart murmur was the same - no better, no worse; just stable. As he's asymptomatic - no panting or rapid breathing - this is relegated to, "Be aware of this, but most likely, it's nothing to worry about." Otherwise, he, too, is in excellent health, especially for an 11-year-old.

So, I have three wonderful, healthy cats, despite diabetes and heart murmurs. I am glad to have all three of them in my life, and I am proud to be their "daddy" and their "hoomin." And I look forward to getting them all to enjoy each others' company when we move.

See, both Rocky and Riffy were out of their carriers at the vet. And yeah, they hissed at each other, and Rocky grumbled. But Riffy was out first, and he stuck his head into Rocky's carrier when I was trying to get Rocky out. They would periodically check each other out, then hiss, then sit next to each other and pointedly ignore each other. But no attacking. No swatting or other dominance issues. They kind of acted how I'd expect "normal" new cats to act during an introduction.

Of course, when I got home, I opened the carriers, they came out, hissed at each other, and Rocky went to get a drink of water while Riffy slinked up the stairs. Rocky then went up, hissed at Riffy, then went down the hallway and sat outside my room while I let Riffy back into Mom and Rich's room.

Right now, the hope is that in the new house, with no established territories, they will all get over themselves, stake out new territories and shared territories, and finally get along. Mom has also said that she and Rich, in addition to getting a new, bigger cage for Yoda, are also planning to get a few cat trees for the cats, including a BIG one for the basement, and maybe a few window perches.

At the vet, they recommended getting some Feliway for when we actually move to help calm them all down a bit.

On an aside... One of the things that is so frustrating is how similar Rocky and Riffy are. In temperament, in helpfulness, in intelligence, in caring, in curiosity... Rocky is a little louder, but Riffy's a "talker," too. As is Minerva, once she warms up to someone. They're all very sweet cats, and I'd love to see them all get along and express that sweetness towards each other by cuddling when it's cold out or tag-teaming caring for one of us when we're sick, and so on. I want them all to not be confined or restricted from each other's part of the house and to instead enjoy the big house we're going to, enjoy each other's company, and have full lives.

Anyway, shortly after I got back from the vet, I had lunch, puttered around for awhile, watched some TV, then ended up taking a nap. Things like this take an emotional toll on me. I napped for a good three and a half hours. But now? Time for dinner, then going dancing for a bit. I kind of need it tonight...

Posted at LiveJournal and Dreamwidth
wookiemonster: (Default)
I'm posting this entry "in the clear" so that it shows up on my Facebook feed. As I've mentioned here, I've been dealing with a lot of...unpleasant...memories this past week. Memories from middle and high school, when I was really young and stupid. Now that I am (much) older and at least know that I am stupid, I have to say I'm somewhat embarrassed by some of the actions, attitudes, and so on I had as a youth.

Hell, even in college, I was still pretty stupid. So, for the people who were not in my life from pretty much when I joined the dance team and began competitive ballroom dance, I am, essentially, completely different from how you may have known me. Now, no one from high school or even college has an on-line journal blog thing, so, this is just scratching the tip of the iceberg. In some ways, I feel badly for not giving this caveat to my friends from the before time, from high school, when I friended them on Facebook.

There have also been several people whom I considered friends back then who have refused friend invites, or who friended and then unfriended me, or whatever. In many ways, I figure this is just as well. If you still see me as some geeky, nerdy kid worthy of ridicule, rejection, or what have you, then I really don't need you in my life, be it in person or in the digital frontier of social media. Indeed, the only reason why I even bother is because I have changed so much that friending people from the before time is one of the few ways I have of reminding myself that I have a past that extends beyond when I started dancing. I mean, I've pretty much divided my life into "before dance" and "finally living."

I am still shy. Painfully, pathologically shy. Except for when it comes to cats or dance. As I mentioned before, dance gave me a dysfunctional crash course in How To Socialize With Other People, and my early days (years, actually) on the dance team were, in some cases, as painful and painfully awkward as my high school days were. Thankfully, I made friends, like Jon Anderson, Trey Smith, Kyle Buzzard, Doug "Danger" Manley, and several others, and I was fortunate to have a few dance partners who birthed me through a late-blooming socialness, namely, Ciela McDevitt and Holly Powers. Lastly, Pete Taylor and Lisa DeBevec, as my coaches and mentors, did much to teach me about professionalism and simply not taking any shit from nobody.

I look at what the world of Ballroom Dance has done for me, at the person I've grown into, and in some cases, maybe my head has gotten a little big. Then again, I'm allowed a certain degree of pride in what I've accomplished through dance.

Tonight, er, last night... Just a few hours ago, I was at a social dance at my new dance home, Take the Lead in Lantana. Because of financial sacrifices to keep my house out of foreclosure, and the power on and so on after my father's death and my mother's incredibly hard unemployment and underemployment, and then followed by further sacrifices I made for my four-legged kids, I can only afford to social dance at the moment. Once I sufficiently dig myself out of debt, I do plan to start taking private lessons again and competing. But social dancing still has plenty of rewards.

I dance with people of all levels and abilities. A few hours ago, I danced with someone who must have just started dancing. I had danced with her twice during the Fox Trot mixer, and I even asked her to dance for a Waltz a little while later. It wasn't rewarding for expressiveness or anything, but it was rewarding for making someone's night. Many times, when Crystal Ballroom was still around and when I worked as a DJ there, I often danced with new students, and if it was a night when the men and women were pretty evenly matched, I would often ask the one lady who was sitting by herself to dance. In some ways, I should thank the people who were often "too cool" for me and often excluded me from whatever, since having endured that hell, I tend to be sympathetic for those who may be feeling excluded and make them feel included. Thus, I've no problem dancing with newbies, since (1) it makes their night and (2) the only way anyone gets better is by doing. Even though I'm restricted to three or four basic steps, with someone who is still learning to hold their own frame, I am still rewarded with making them happy by giving them someone to dance with. And thanks to Lisa and Pete, I learned to lead well. I'm often told how clear my leads are and how easy they are to follow. Thus, the newbie gets the benefit of someone who knows what they're doing, who can keep time, and so on. They may be clomping on the floor, but they feel like they're dancing through a meadow with the wind blowing through their hair.

Tonight, though, I also had several moments of pure bliss while dancing. Fox Trot and Tango with Helena, a Bolero with Josie... Both are upper-level dancers, and so I can break out the more advanced figures and amalgamations as well as technique and styling. And since TTL had a good turnout tonight, there was even floorcraft. Floorcraft is where you have lots of people on the floor, and you manage to not collide with other couples or smack them in the face with your arms, and so on. Very important when competing, especially at Bronze and even Silver levels, where they cram 30-some couples on a floor at one time and you're trying to be seen by the judges without rudely running over the competition.

In particular, during the Bolero with Josie, the ghosts who have been haunting me the past week were given a thought. And in an instant, I thought of every show, every competition, every lesson I've taught, and I realized that the people who have chosen to absent themselves from my life are the ones missing out, not me. I realized that I have been blessed with not having the cookie-cutter life of go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, and then what? I have lived, and am still living, albeit on a reduced scale at the moment because of my current financial situation, which is, as they say on Avenue Q, "For now."

I went to England to dance in the 2001 Intercontinental Dance Festival. From the UD team, we had five guys and three girls. My partner was not among the women who went. So, I had a different partner every night. One night, I ended up dancing with a girl from France, who barely spoke any English. We survived three heats of Bronze Rhythm to make it to the semi-finals. Which means we were in the top 12 of about 100 couples. In fact, just about every night, I made it at least to the quarter-finals, if not the semi-finals or even placing.

Then there was the time a bunch of gymnasts from China ended up coming to the HESC 120 class at UD. Pete told me to go dance with one of the gymnasts, largely because he knew I could lead. Now, this poor girl knew absolutely no English, and to top it off, came from a significantly different culture. Naturally, I ended up dragging her through a Cha Cha. Well, not really dragging; she could at least hold herself up. One we got through the chasse step, it was all gravy.

Thankfully, dance has an intermediary language of music, which is universal. Hence, this is why I have the utmost respect for musicians. Well, for musicians who are any good, anyway.

I remember dancing at the American Star Ball with Holly... We were the only amateur couple in our age group, and so our heat was run concurrently with the pro-am (professional-amateur, where a professional dancer dances with one of his or her students against other professionals dancing with their students). Because there's a professional involved, and because of the costs involved, these other competitors have trained hard. So when my coach, Lisa, said that she was proud of us because she had to go looking for us, that it wasn't a cursory look at the floor and, "Oh, there they are," that meant a lot to me. We blended in quite well with professionals and amateurs who had, at the time, likely spent about twice as much time dancing as we did, and for twice as long.

Then there was the Arnold competition. Arnold Schwarzenegger started and continues to sponsor a long-weekend-long competition of athleticism, with events for body-building, cheerleading, gymnastics, martial arts, and so on. Several years ago, they added a ballroom competition to the list of events. Arnold was very interested in the ballroom component, largely because he had to learn some Tango for his role in True Lies. Normally, they had a special show for when he came around to see what was going on, largely involving kids barely a quarter of our age and with dance abilities they could mop the floor with us. (That's the one drawback of amateur, non-collegiate competitions: you see kids 10, 11, 12 years old who can outdance you in their sleep...) Anyway, the third year, when Arnold was still governor of California, there were some security concerns, and his schedule was changed at the last minute. So, he didn't see the show they'd prepared. Instead, he saw some of the actual competition. Which was the year Katherine and I started to get our feet wet with International Standard. Consequently, Katherine and I danced in the semi-finals for Bronze Quickstep, and I made eye contact with Arnold as he sat at the dais and watched us. Dancing in a competition can be nerve-wracking, and even more so while being stared at by the Terminator.

And thanks to Pete? There's only two degrees of separation between me and Marilyn Monroe. See, Pete was a close friend of hers, worked with her on several films. Come to think of it, there's only two degrees between me and Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the casts of White Christmas and The King and I, and so on. One of the most humbling things for me was when one of my teammates asked Pete what Marilyn was like, and he looked at her and said, "She was a young girl just. Like. You."

And the first showcase we did... There was a large group number we did that was Rumba and Cha Cha, and we entered the stage doing Rumba walks from either side of the stage, in time, meeting at the middle, and so on. I was one of the people in the front. And Pete declared, "All right, you're all gonna watch David. When he moves, you move." Then he looks at me and says, "Don't fuck up." Consequently, whenever people are depending on me, or there's something serious going on to which failure is not an option, I remember Pete's sage instructions: "Don't fuck up."

Then there are the situations where you fuck up. Where I remember the many reminders that the audience, the judges, whomever, don't know your routine may not know you fucked up, and will continue to remain ignorant of any blunders unless you act like you made a boo-boo. And in dance, there's also the rule: If you are rhythmically right, then you're not wrong." As long as you're on time, you're fine. There have been times when I've screwed up a pattern, and will just walk in time to the music, then continue on. I've done this at competitions, during show routines, at social dances, and so on. It's kind of a variation of, "Fake it til you make it."

I miss Pete. Long story short, he needed to have both his hips replaced, and to afford it, he sold the studio. Hence, the end of Crystal Ballroom. Fortunately, there is Take the Lead.

More and more nowadays, I find myself losing myself in the music, in the dance, feeling free and alive, technique and steps coming naturally, grinning ear-to-ear, with this skill and feeling that no one can ever take away from me. And right now, I'm sure as hell. My knee and ankle are screaming, though surprisingly, I can walk, and without limping. The weather weakened both, but, they held up tonight. But my arms and back are feeling like they had a good workout, too. Weather-permitting, I'll be doing this again next weekend.

But tonight, I really needed it. One of the other regulars, Lydia, has described the weekly social dances as medicine. Medicine for the soul. And...she's right. Troubles at work, ghosts from the past... They vanish when I'm dancing. And tonight... Old ghosts were banished from my mind. The past went back to the past as I found what I needed to ground myself into the present. I'm not the person I was. I'm much better, much more interesting, than that.

One of these days, I'll use the digital transfer station at work and transfer my old videotapes of me and my partners competing to a digital format that I can upload to YouTube and show you all. As well as making new videos.

Posted at LiveJournal and Dreamwidth
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wookiemonster: (Default)
Well, it has been a productive and relaxing weekend for me. Which is good, because next weekend's going to be busy. Though, I might get some stuff done during the week. We'll see.

I just finished up my defensive driving renewal/refresher online course. Alas, it actually took about three hours. Most of it was reading, with a short quiz at the end of each chapter (there were nine chapters, plus the introduction). For most of the chapters, I was done reading in 10-15 minutes, but, you had to wait 20 minutes from the start of each chapter until you could take the quiz. So, yeah, if not for that, I would probably have been done in about two hours instead of three.

But, it is done, and my defensive driving discount is good for another two years or so.

So... I went dancing last night. Take the Lead had their 7-year anniversary party, so, there were instructors there, most of whom did a performance. The only...uncomfortable...part of everything was that Katherine, one of my former partners, was there, and I definitely got some sort of hostile vibe from her. Oh well; her problem.

On the bright side, I got to see some people from Crystal and one former teammate I haven't seen in quite awhile. Yeah, Raisa apparently teaches two hours a week, just to get out of the house for a little bit. Makes me realize something similar could be possible for me when I'm ready to get back into teaching. But, yeah, she asked me to dance a swing, and I asked her to dance a samba. Apropos, given that she, Heather, and I taught a 10-week swing class back when I had first started teaching, and that she (Raisa) taught me my first samba steps right after I joined the dance team (on a Tuesday afternoon in Pearson Gym... Don't ask me why I remember those details...).

I danced more last night than I've danced since I went back to dance at the end of last year. Consequently, I'm kind of sore today. But sore in a good way. You know?

I got in a few dances with Lydia, who had nothing but nice things to say about my dancing. She lectured me to start dancing more, because otherwise, I'm just wasting my talent. You know, the positive feedback is such a 180 from what I used to get when I was on the team. There were a few other people - both old and new - who seemed to enjoy dancing with me.

I also ended up dancing with one of the instructors up there. Francesca. The ballroom-edited version of "El Tango de Roxanne," which is one of my favorite tangos, came on and, of course, I had to dance with it, much like Arnold Schwarzenegger's character Harry had to dance pretty much any tango in True Lies, even when his life was in danger. I digress. Anyway, the song came on, and I was compelled to dance, and Francesca was the closest person with which to dance, and with whom I knew I could just dance. So yes, it was a good, fun dance.

Afterward, Lydia commented on it. Apparently, most guys are intimidated to ask Francesca to dance because she's (1) really attractive and (2) really good. Apparently, I had balls and didn't know it...

Though, this only occurs in dance situations. The reason why I have had any sort of relationships with women is because women are attracted to confidence, and the dance floor is one of the few places I truly feel confident.

I so need to get further back into dancing. But not joining the dance team again. No. Just not gonna happen. I'd rather be poor and barely dancing but have full control of my dancing and not have the bullshit that went with being on the team.

Incidentally, now would be the perfect time to find a partner can't afford lessons or competitions, but would have plenty of time to work with a newbie and teach them in the ways of the Ballroom-Dancing Jedi.

Last night also reminded me of something. As I watched the performances, I realized I missed performing, or running music, or working the background. This is a significant reason I can't stand commercial sports: I suck as a spectator. I want to be doing something. Contributing.

Anyway, in the meantime, I have to replace a light bulb and finish up some laundry.

Comics )
Posted at LiveJournal and Dreamwidth
wookiemonster: (Default)
First point: I did indeed go dancing last night. Though due to a brain fart, I forgot that they ended the social dance at 11 instead of 11:30 these days, and I didn't get there until a little after 10. Still, I got a good amount of dancing in. It would be much easier to count the number of times I didn't dance in that hour. The androderm patches must be making some progress, because in that hour, I danced two cha chas, a few rumbas, plus a bolero, a few fox trots, a few waltzes, and a few tangos. The cha chas are especially significant, since, as a high-energy dance, they tend ti wear me out a bit more quickly. And I did two of 'em!

My legs are screaming in pain, of course. The good kind of pain, as from a good workout. Still, I feel like I've got a giant knot in my left quadriceps.

This morning, I managed to cut the grass. While the temperature wasn't that high (mid-70s), the humidity was such that I was sweating rivers. Even the cold shower I took afterwards had a hard time cooling me off.

Now? I'm feeling rather physically drained. Still replenishing lost fluids. Hopefully before I develop another kidney stone, too.

Not much else, since I've just been busy with housework and whatnot.

Posted at LiveJournal and Dreamwidth
wookiemonster: (Default)
Last night, I finally carried through on a plan to go dancing for the first time in two and a half years. I'm back, kids!

As I was on my way to Take the Lead, I came to the realization that the more time elapsed, the more I was becoming afraid that when I finally did go dancing, I'd be disappointed with how crappy I've gotten and probably decide to hang up the dance shoes for good. I was afraid the "magic" of dance for me would be gone, and I would just have to move on or something.

I'm glad I went on a "quiet" night. It gave me a chance to...re-acclimate. A chance to talk with a few people. Especially Lydia. Lydia's husband is having memory problems, possibly Alzheimer's. But, he still remembered me. I asked her if anyone knew anything about Pete, and the last she'd heard, he'd "let himself go" and does nothing but sleep and watch TV these days. He's basically a depressed version of Jabba the Hutt.

There were several people who actually remembered me and said it was good to see me again. In addition to Lydia, of course. Lydia says I haven't lost any of my dance abilities and that I made her night. Some of the other ladies there were somewhat beginners and remarked on how good I was, wondering if I was new to the area and so on. No one seemed to believe that this was the first time I'd danced in over two years. With the exception of dancing with my sister at Ryan's wedding.

I have to say, the thing that saved me was muscle memory. The more I disengaged my brain, the more I was actually able to dance. Though my leading is a little rusty, more complicated figures are forgotten, and my footwork is atrocious.

I'm also seriously out of shape. I need to fix that by...dancing more. Somehow.

So...last night was a good night for me. I'm thinking January 5th will be my next dance outing.

In other news... I'm about a third of the way through John Scalzi's Redshirts. I'm loving it! I haven't laughed that much, that hard at a book in a long time!

Anyway, a lot of Christmas prep is done. Still waiting for Mom to put up the last of the decorations and such so I can put the rest of the storage containers away and do some light vacuuming of the downstairs. And I still need to wrap gifts. But at least everything's here, and I have all the supplies I need.

I'm really glad I don't have much left to do for Christmas. Thanks to last night, and, don;t get me wrong, I regret nothing, but, I am exhausted and rather sore. Surprisingly, my feet have stopped hurting, but my knees and my back are complaining. Not going to push myself too hard today.

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Rocky is doing fine. I gave up "keeping him quiet" in my room because last night Mom let him out while I was out "because he was pawing at the door." So far, he seems fine being out and about, and he's been avoiding the stepgoggies.

Still, he looks like BorgKitty...

"I am Rocky Horror, of FelineBorg. You will be assimilated into my hoomin serving staff. Resistance is futile."

Since his surgery was more than $100 cheaper than what I had budgeted for, I took the extra money and got a new phone today. I am back in the land of the telecommunicated! I got a dumb phone, of course; it doesn't do much more than the old phone did (when it worked, of course). But I can now take pictures and video. I got an extra charger and a USB connector for the computer, though, the USB doesn't seem to be of much use other than charging the phone via USB port. I am able to text-to-e-mail pictures to myself, so, at least there's that. Tried it out, and, well, here's Rocky's cell phone duck face...

I will somehow get duck face pictures of myself in nerdy locations... Libraries, National Museums, and so on.

On a sadder note... I doubt I'm going to make it to dance tonight. While I haven't gotten anything done, I've been pecking away at several things around here (yard stuff, pool stuff, house stuff), plus learning the new phone, and so on. With heat, exhaustion, and heat exhaustion, I'm just not feeling it. Mer.

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January 2015


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