Thursday, May 27, 2010

STUFF: Compulsive hoarding by Randy Frost and Gail Steketee

Hoarding is not a new phenomenon, but only now being studied. I thought my mother was deprived because of her Depression childhood, and modern consumerism made her want more, but her behavior corresponds to many other people with rooms full of stuff, 5% of the population.
She has the heightened appreciation of the world, and that has been good for us, her children.
She gets stuff not for materialist ends - her collections are not for status, but to save the unappreciated.
The third floor of the house was great for that, until the stairs got to be too much.
She gave up and let me clean it out. Yay! Progress!
Visiting her means I don't want any more stuff myself.
I will collect only dance steps.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Three hours, but luckily I'd already seen the first one. I got several sewing projects done in the ads. Cleaned out my mending basket.
Also, I recorded the dances so I have maybe 10 minutes of content. Not as good as the guy in Florida's hour DVD, but similar. I wrote him and got no response though I included a prepaid postcard. Not really surprised. Surely illegal to distribute.
I'm trying to imagine where I could do that work of putting together VCR clips. I don't want to own that much equipment. Video is such a pain.
Anyway, back to Nicole Scherzinger. Congratulations to her. She earned the mirror ball trophy. Len said it before it was officially decided. Her talent and performing ability beat out the equally hard working Evan Lysachek who actually held down another job at the same time, the skating show, traveling the whole time. Interesting that he gets to actually freestyle on ice during that show. Free style, meaning no choreography, no having to be in sync with the partner.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I don't think they should have made the finalists do 4 dances. We get an inferior product if the people are overworked.
Anyway, looks like sleeping with the dance teacher might help, if Erin ends up winning. With Maks, it seems like that would help him to act less bored. For that reason, Disney would choose another winner.
Derek is a Mormon, so we think he might have a lot of self control as far as sex goes. That could be nice for Nicole who has probably had to do a lot of sleeping around on her way to the top of the girl group business.
I think Evan would have done better with Anna Demidova who is a tall woman. That was an odd segment with Anna Trebunskaya in tears, finally having to bring in another choreographer for the freestyle- who bombed according to the judges.
Two more dances tonight. I predict Disney goes with the gold medalist again, but maybe Nicole because of her rags to riches story.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Looking for Patterns

That's what our brains do, so if everything is going well, we think it's a pattern, but really the seeds of disaster have been sown and we didn't realize it as we went along while everything was working so well. Don't trust it!
As I work through events and classes, sometimes I get blindsided.
Classes were good all week.
The Stage Door Canteen dance at the Cotuit Center was great. Love that floor.
As for Portuguese Americans, they are very cautious - only a little progress.
On the home front, Joe was going to take Ron's lesson when I got the call that classes were canceled because Ron was sick, so he went to play tennis and injured himself.
Will the VCR work tonight? It's still only a 75% chance in my book.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Talent

"The Talent just returned!" I said just last night.
In this little group class, one couple moves easily to the music, though he doesn't listen or apply himself to learn any new steps. She follows very well, but would like clearer clues, which would happen if he paid attention to what he was doing.
To the solid students, I said quietly, "But we all know that people who work at it go farther."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Fair Lady

The new younger owner was really looking for vintage, and I had what she wanted, stuff from my mother's third floor closets, everything before 1990, mostly from the 1950s, flowered summer dresses, embroidered shirtwaists, batiks and tie dye. I told her my mother is a recovering hoarder. She gave up on the third floor. I doubt I'll get to help her with the second floor. The new book on hoarding at least appreciates the good in the syndrome, finding the good in things, as hoarders do. They just don't know when to stop. My mother was pleased that someone would want the stuff. WE know they will if they'll pay for it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pleasant results

The worst dancer left the show. Chad Ochocinco, my husband says, "Isn't that good a wide receiver either." He has made a name for himself, however.
I'd never seen Sarah McLaughlin and loved her.
Meanwhile, "Continuing her effort to grow-up and shed her Hannah Montana persona, Miley Cyrus performed her single "Can't Be Tamed", surrounded by dancers in strange costumes and hairdos. I guess her fan base is now 13, a tiresomely rebellious age.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yowzer! Great performances last night on DWTS.
Looking at Donnie Osmond in the audience, I was thankful we weren't watching him. Our intrepid host, Tom, noted the caliber this season, calling this episode "my favorite show ever."
No word from Florida, so I'll try to figure out how to save a batch of these performances together on one DVD without judges, ads, or background packages, though where the stars came from was nice to see, and a good sell for Chad and Nicole as well.
Nicole is amazing, not my usual word, but willing to work incredibly hard, like Evan, so both of them are constantly impressive.
No great music this time. "Kiss" as a Cha cha when it makes a much better West Coast Swing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mob Dance

Something different. Our son and his wife suggested we all go to the Institute of Contemporary Art, the ICA on Boston's waterfront that specializes in avant garde. Emerging Artists was the theme. As we waited by the door for the sold out show, dancers performed with a man with a sprinkler hose and a plant. Inside, we were part of Chatroulette that I just read about in the New Yorker Inventors issue. Then the dance part had a drum troupe and something I've seen online. Ali had the name - Mob Dance - where they arrive ready to dance together in a what might be also called a line dance. Arms up, arms down, crouch, turn, etc.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Here's a press release from Javier Arroyo
On Sun May 30, Memorial Day Week-end, Salsa Night Band will be performing live @ Pufferbellies in Hyannis. Salsa Dancing lessons by Pepe Leyva and Latin DJ, to be announced. Ticket sales $15, $20 at the door. Dance lessons start at 8:30. For more info call (508) 333-3376 or e-mail . 21 + event. "See ya at the dance floor"

Here's what I said to Javier:
Joe and I are out of town that weekend.
Also, last time you were at Pufferbellies, your band didn't show up until 11:30.
My dancers are middle aged people who are used to going to bed at 11:00.
Also, that space is huge and echos, so I can't recommend it.
Boston DJs are usually very loud and play House (even if they're Latin DJs).
Nothing will compare to the concert at the Heritage Plantation which was the best ever.
I will forward to Cape Cod Ballroom Dancers who might be interested in the dance lessons.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nicole & Jai Ho!

The Hawaiian girl with Russian and Filipino ancestry is thought to be Pakistani, it seems, because the Pussycat Dolls did an English version of Jai Ho! with disappointing lyrics. Instead of "Under the blue tent of the sky", it was "You can have your way with me." I'll stick with the Hindustani version even if I offer it as a possible Salsa song. As far as speed goes and infectious drums, it qualifies. Shall we make it a line dance like "Thriller"?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DWTS quarterfinals

I got the Paso on tape. Now I want it as part of a series, "Best Of DWTS"
I liked the Purdue dance team better, though the judges didn't, basing their opinions on the choreography.
Nicey is gone - less famous than Ochocinco.
And I always enjoy The Gypsy Kings. Didn't even need the dancers accompanying them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Truly 30

That final dance last night was too fabulous. Derek has really grown as a choreographer, rising to the challenge, adding fun stuff for himself, really enjoying himself. Paso skirts can be wonderful and Nicole this week had one of the best.
Anna's robot routine was good, Mr. Spock meets Barbarella in Chacha Trek, 3D, as Bruno said.
Bad news: VCR mistake so I don't have any of it on tape. I saw the one dance live, but for the rest of the show, streaming is even worse than before. Worked for the Futuristic pieces, Rita and Gary Gehkman and Evan and Anna, which are kind of disjointed anyway.
What I really want is something I saw in Florida, a set of clips of the best performances - all the routines that got 30 and some of the 29s. That was homemade. I will write the guy. Probably won't be available from ABC/Disney what with all the people to clear it with.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Days off

Going to visit my mother and sort stuff.
Maybe a prom dress or two.
Can we have a thrift store exchange on premise at CCBD's Senior Prom?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Janet C.'s video

Remember the book I read a few weeks back? Well, she has a website with video of her Samba showcase, and it's a terrific routine. I expected no less. She is a classy and gusty lady.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Viennese Music?

I will never forget an early dance teacher training class when we were to choose the dance to the song - "What a Wonderful World". The fellow I was partnered with and I decided Viennese waltz.
No, Silly! Slow Dance, what Mary called One-step and Arthur Murray called Foxy.
But I see that type of music chosen as Viennese on DWTS all the time, for instance the gorgeous Ray La Montaigne songs "Hold on Forever" and "Trouble"
Traditional Viennese has an oom-pah-pah feeling while this will be very smooth. Gotta try it out.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bye, Pamela Anderson

They just couldn't stop talking about her top half, "top-heavy". Little DWTS jokes. But true that her footwork seemed lacking. Interesting that Tom said they had been trying to get her on the show since Season 1. You wonder how she would have done against Season 1 winner Kelly. Maks was wrong that you only remember the winner. I remember second place Season 1, John O'Hurley who said his career was revitalized. Who could forget Maks' partner Laila Ali? I'd have forgotten Brooke Burke if she hadn't shown up as co-host.
Maybe I will do 2 entries for DWTS per week. I hold off from reviewing the show and then I talk about results first as if the Monday competition weren't the heart of the show and really much more interesting. I do my sewing during the results show.
I thought Erin rocked, and voted all my votes for her. Nicole is sounding a bit whiny, maybe she is used to getting choreography for her strengths instead of the discipline of the specific dance style. I am glad Evan got the 30, but actually didn't like the dance all that much. Perhaps it was Cheryl's choreography - Gilles' Argentine blew me away. Evan is also tall, dark and handsome, though his voice is dull, especially compared to the Frenchman (who didn't get the mirror ball trophy either, Maks). Nicey dances pretty well, and I hope she outlasts Chad who continues to look insouciant.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


If you send a foot out without any weight and then gather yourself on top of it, are you moving your foot like a pseudopod?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Something different

The weaving of ribbon onto the Maypole worked!
Take six 10-foot ribbons attached to the top of a five foot pole, held up by an illustrious presence. Add six people, three going clockwise, and three counter-clockwise, alternating their ribbons to go over and under the next person's ribbon. There, that wasn't so hard!
I had a jazzy Hava Nagilah song which is as folk dancey as my iPod gets.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Back to Lori Martin

I trekked over to Osterville yesterday morning for the super Pilates class with the teacher who always manages to target abs without involving anything else. Three-day sore stomach muscles.
I also read an article on the "Appetizer Effect", the way the taste receptors on the tongue tell the brain to eat faster if the food is particularly good, i.e. rich. Once the fats reach the stomach, other receptors tell the brain when we have eaten enough. If you eat fast enough, you can get too much fat into your system before the hypothalamus can get you to stop. Atul Gawande wrote about an obese man who couldn't stop eating until he got the gastric bypass surgery. Even then, it took a year for his hypothalamus to re-set.