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A Quick Break So My Head Doesn’t Asplode

Still working on the Great Data Restoration of 2017.

I wish I knew what our desktop PC had done with its backup files, because Jiminy Cricket, this is ridonculous.

From now on, I’m going to upload backups of our backups to The Great Cloud In The Æthers so this will NEVER HAPPEN EVER AGAIN.

Anyway, I’m still working on this. I expect to finish it by … I’m not sure. Tomorrow morning at the latest. It would be tonight, but rehearsal. THE SHOW MUST GO ON, amiright?

In the process of doing this relentless desk-bound and detail-oriented job, I have discovered that I will do almost anything to avoid sitting at a desk and futzing about with financial datas, including cleaning the house. “Oop, can’t enter the datas right now, our friend who’s in massage therapy school is coming over to work on us!” (Speaking of which: OMG. You guys. Evidently I have needed a legit massage for like 17 years or something.)

Anyway, one of my Avoidance Strategies this morning was to come up with a set of cards for an improv game that I’m going to try with our Dance Team, which is divided into Kids Who Grok Improve and Kids Who Are Like, “Wait, What Steps Am I Supposed To Improv?”

There are three sets of cards, as such:


  • cheetah
  • elephant
  • falcon
  • lion
  • snail
  • trout


  • crawl
  • glide
  • run
  • skip
  • stand (yes: in dance, standing is a movement)
  • walk


  • angry
  • bored
  • confused
  • joyful
  • sad
  • thoughtful

The idea is to give the kids something a little more concrete around which to improvise movements.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose an Animal card (these are orange in my set). Think about how that animal is shaped and how it moves. Think about how it might feel to be that animal. Are you heavy or light? Are you relaxed or focused? Do you live on the land or in the water, and can you fly? If you live in the water, do you live in lakes, rivers, or oceans? If you live on land, do you live on the plains, the mountains, or the forest? Is it hot there? Cold? It’s okay to start out moving in ways that look like the animal in question, but ultimately you should try to move your body in ways that feel like the animal in question. Explore this for at least one minute; at most, five minutes.
  2. Choose a Movement card (these are green in my set). If you draw “Elephant” and “Glide,” think about how a glide would look and feel if an elephant were doing it. Try to capture that movement with your body. Is there more than one way an Elephant can Glide? How would a Falcon Skip if it were by itself? What about five Falcons together? Explore this for at least one minute; at most, five minutes.
  3. Choose a Feeling card (these are blue in my set). We tend to associate certain movements with certain feelings, but we can mix them up. What would an Elephant Angrily Gliding look and feel like? What would a Snail Joyfully Standing look and feel like? Is there a difference between one Cheetah Thoughtfully Walking and three Cheetahs Thoughtfully Walking? Explore this for five minutes, to give yourself time to connect all the parts.

I plan to couple this with the classic North, South, East, West flocking exercise. I’ll run them through the flocking exercise first, though, so they get a sense of how flocking works before adding weird stuff.

Next time, I might add in “vegetable” and “mineral” categories. How might sad seaweed skip? How might a confused granite cliff-face crawl?

And now, back to our regularly scheduled strugglecast day.

Meh-dern Monday

I am definitely on the mend (the meh-nd?), but not yet well enough for class. I’ve got an inquiry in to my doc’s office to see if they want me to come back in. 

I stayed in this morning, slept late, and had really weird dreams that probably resulted from the fact that I was sleeping with my face shoved into a pillow that was, in turn, hanging off the bed and wedged into the Pile-O-Books that lives on my nightstand. I can’t remember what the dreams were about, but I remember thinking they were weird. 
Anyway. I read in the bath for an hour and change, trying to get the fresh cement in my head to loosen up. It did, to an extent, for a while.

Then I went off to Dance Team, where the girls were pretty awesome. AS and I restructured the rehearsal program and divided the girls up into discrete small groups, and that made a big difference.

I let my group choose a song to work on with no suggestions from me. They chose Adel’s “Rolling In The Deep” (yeay!) and I banged out the first few phrases and got them started. They did a fantastic job staying on task and picking up the opening choreography, including at least one fairly challenging move, so I’ve added some harder stuff to the section they’ll learn learn on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday, I’ll review the technical aspects of the today’s phrases, review today’s phrases, break the new steps down to get them thinking about technique, then teach them the new phrases. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll do as a group.

Tomorrow, I’m going to have to see if I can find a pharmacy that actually has my decongestant. I’m now out of my previous supply, and the pharmacy I normally use hasn’t been able to fill my prescription, which they’ve had for a week as of tomorrow :/

I am audible enough now that I should be able to call their other locations and check around. I’m hoping one of them will have it, as my insurance only covers two pharmacy chains. I can go somewhere else and pay out of pocket if I have to, though. This isn’t an expensive medication.

In other news, I made Brussels sprouts for for the first time ever tonight. They were good! …Which was nice, because the cooking time recommended on the package was too long,and i was afraid they’d be incredible when I took them out of the oven. 

Anyway, here’s my recipe:

You’ll need:

  • 14 Brussels sprouts (or however many you need; scale other ingredients accordingly!) 
  • 1 – 2 tbsp (15 – olive oil or melted butter 
  • 1 – 2 rashers bacon, cooked and cooled
  • coarse salt to taste

Here’s how you make them:

  1. Preheat your own to 450 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Remove loose outer leaves and cut sprouts in lengthwise halves
  3. Chop or crumble bacon 
  4. Toss sprouts in oil/butter to coat
  5. Place sprouts cut-side down on a cookie sheet 
  6. Sprinkle bacon and salt over sprouts
  7. Roast for 15  –  25 minutes*, until cut sides are golden brown 
  8. Remove from oven, flip sprouts cut-side up, cool for a minute or two, and serve.

*The sprouts came in a bag that suggested 30 minutes at 350 — too long at too low a temp, IMO. I did 15 at 500 and 15 at 350; next time, I’ll just do 20 at 500. Sprouts roast beautifully at a high temperature, with a lovely Maillard reaction where they touch the pan.  That’s why I put the flat, cut side down, by the way — more surface area for browning!   

I was preparing dinner to coincide with Denis’ arrival from a late evening at work, and the sprouts were ready a bit early. I ate almost all of my share before he got home. Thought about eating his, but I’m a nice boy. At least I’m eating again! 

I think I’m going to make these again tomorrow, so I’ll try to add pictures.

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