Friday, March 20, 2015

Dancehall Class

Tonight was my first night attending LaToya Bufford's Dancehall PowerUp, which generally meets twice a month (every other Thursday) at Sierra 2 Center from 8:30-9:30pm. Had a great time! Jamaican Dancehall is the best!

LaToya is based in Elk Grove, so having a class closer to the city center is more convenient for me.

Time to rest now. Fierce Funk + Dancehall + 3 hours of sleep last night are putting me under tonight.

Hard to believe it's been more than 3 years since I spent much time at Sierra 2.

Better Iggy-Azalea Stuff

Trying to become familiar with the Iggy Azalea discography. So much of it is garbage, but it's quirky too, and some collaborations work well, like with Aoki:

This song is pretty good too.

Mr. New Mexico

Two nights ago, they had "Young Guns II" on the teevee. James Coburn is great as John Chisum ("You just killed yourself! Bonney, you are a fool! You call yourself the scourge of New Mexico? Well, by God, I am New Mexico! And you are dead!") is awesome in this faceoff with Emilio Estevez as William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid.

There was an excellent article in the New Mexico Historical Review a few years ago that identifies Billy the Kid as the second-most filmed character in world film history (Abraham Lincoln is first).

401K Rollover

Today, I finished a 401K rollover, which apparently is so important that only a paper check is trustworthy - no electronic transfer. It's for the largest amount I'm ever likely to see on a paper check in my life (I was going to include a picture, but worry about security).

Retirement planners say that Americans shouldn't retire with anything less than $1 million in savings. I'll never get there, no matter how robust the stock market, so instead of spending my summers at Davos, I'll spend them throwing chunks of bread at obnoxious geese in the local park. But at least there's something there. Many people have nothing.

Glenn Beck Bails On The GOP

So, like Ahab, Glenn Beck, who has been called the most-effective American demagogue since Father Coughlin, is strapping himself to the Tea Party and abandoning the Republican Party. He almost did so in 2012. Just another step on his journey. He's not finished yet. For example, Beck's intense criticism of the Federal Reserve and the Progressives behind Woodrow Wilson echoes very closely the very-liberal criticism of Woodrow Wilson by very-liberal people like Walter Karp. I think it's inevitable he'll end up as a liberal. But not yet....

What's That Shadowy Place?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Various Zumba Songs I

Osmani Garcia Ft. Pitbull, Sensato - El Taxi

Guajiros del Puerto - Veo Veo

Carlos Vives - Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo ft. Michel Teló

The Regulators Will Ride Forever

Last night, they had "Young Guns II" on the teevee. James Coburn is great as John Chisum ("You just killed yourself! Bonney, you are a fool! You call yourself the scourge of New Mexico? Well, by God, I am New Mexico! And you are dead!") is awesome in this faceoff with Emilio Estevez as William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid.

There was an excellent article in the New Mexico Historical Review a few years ago that identifies Billy the Kid as the second-most filmed character in world film history (Abraham Lincoln is first).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thinking About Bob Fosse's 'Bye, Bye Life' From "All That Jazz"

My favorite movie musical of all time is Bob Fosse's "All That Jazz". There is much food for thought packed into this little musical.

For example, at 5:22 in this video, the dancers assume the neo-classical Ascending Arabesque stance from George Balanchine's 1928 "Apollo", representing the Rays of the Sun. But there's just 2 arabesques here; not the original 3. The question in my mind is: Why?

Is it just a looser, jazzier formulation? Is it a shout-out to Balanchine, perhaps? New York, after all, is a pretty small town, dance-wise. Fosse and Balanchine no doubt knew each other, or at least of each other. Balanchine was still alive when this movie came out, and could be expected to see it at the cinema, so it could be an acknowledgment. Is it Bob Fosse just being an ass, comparing himself to Apollo in sunset just as Balanchine was rebuked by critics in the 30's for comparing himself to Apollo in sunrise?

I'm not sure which dancers represent which muse, but my opinion is Ben Vereen, facing Roy Scheider with his pointing, accusatory finger, is the third, missing arabesque, the muse of mime, Polyhymnia, symbolized by The Mask. (And masks open the number, and are featured throughout). Balanchine spent most of his career slowly stripping mime out of ballet, so maybe Fosse just finishes the task.

One would think the Bob Fosse's muse would be Terpsichore, the muse of dance and song (and wouldn't Ann Reinking, on the right, be sublimely-perfect in that role?), or even Calliope, the muse of poetry. But in Fosse's judgement of his own life, The Mask leads the dance (as, indeed, Ben Vereen does, in "Bye, Bye Life").

And that's just several seconds of this most-wonderful movie!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cemeteries Of The Future Have Arrived!

I did a double-take passing by the cemetery upon seeing what appeared to be glow sticks. Turns out, they were tasteful and pleasing plastic floral/butterfly/dragonfly gravesite decorations with colored LEDs that pass through an array of colors, like night lights. I wonder if they have a disco package? That bizarre narco cemetery in Culiacan, Mexico, with music and air-conditioned tombs may be the cutting edge of the future.

No Warning Label On The Pigweed

Dan in the UK picked up some daffodils in a supermarket and noticed the warning not to eat them. Reminds me. There is a mucilaginous but edible plant called pigweed that grows in the cracks of Albuquerque sidewalks, and if I find someone tedious and dull I sometimes absentmindedly reach down, grab a bit, and start chewing.

Grim Spring

The birch-like tree in the back yard appears gone, but that isn't so surprising considering the adverse climate of CA for a water-loving tree. The gum-like tree out front surprises me, though. It has a southern exposure, true, but it's favorably located for rain drain water, and should be drought-tolerant. No sign of life from it yet. A third tree isn't reacting to spring either. The drought is unforgiving.

[UPDATE: The gum tree finally is starting to leaf out. It's on its Antipodean schedule, it seems.]

Words Of Wisdom From The Streets Of Sacramento

Donating My Recall Book

Decided to donate copies of my book regarding the 2003 CA Gubernatorial Recall Election: one to the California Archives and one to the California State Library. I was very impressed by the lobby of the history annex of the CA State Library (9th & N St.). The metallic columns and concave ceiling make it an eerie whisper gallery!

California Is The Best State For Business

Coming from New Mexico it's easy to see why California is good for business: natural wealth, plenty of money and a large market. New Mexico has very limited regulation and low taxes, so should be a business paradise, but it's anything but that. Not that many people live there, and the ones who are there have no money. Regulations and taxes are secondary and tertiary concerns when the fundamentals aren't there.

Got A Stake

Well, that was interesting. Store clerk watching FOX News, muttering about Obama not using the terminology 'Islamic terrorism'. I said I agreed with Obama, because of the need to keep Muslim allies. Triggered his very passionate ten-minute diatribe about Middle East politics and the need to bomb ISIS into the Stone Age. Turns out fellow is Greek Orthodox, originally from Bethlehem, so he has rather a greater stake in the situation than I do. We agreed on basics, though, and hope we diatribe again.

"Iggy Azalea Show" On SNL

I can understand the complaints against Iggy Azalea, and if I was from Atlanta I might even care, but I can't help but admire her will of iron and limitless ambition. Hip hop encompasses the world and will morph in many unexpected ways over the coming decades. Time to adjust.

Lots of pushback from Facebook Friends regarding alleged racism. Hmmm. And the writing of lyrics. Yet, not terribly concerned by this. Most of this stuff doesn't register as racist (except maybe the Asian thing). Most of it is just immature. People are too sensitive, which makes me think the actual transgression must be something else. New celebrities often face unfair pushback (think Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga).

Battling Chemtrails

As a former Utah Weather Modification guy, I find this video hilarious. Folks in the country tend to be a little off-center, and folks in Nevada City, in particular, seem even more a little off-center.

Supernumerary Rainbows

Sacramento received 0.2" of rain on March 11th - the only rain in more than a month in what is still nominally the rainy season.

There was a rainbow this evening with very pronounced supernumerary bows inside the main arch. Supernumerary bows are caused by light interference, but only when raindrop sizes are very-nearly uniform.


I didn't realize Will Butler had a solo project going! Liking what he and his band do, and he's in San Francisco on May 26th!

Send The 47 GOP Senators To Guantanamo

I'm sorry, but the GOP Senators sending a letter that interferes with negotiations with the Iranians is an act known in the old days as Treason. Senator Tom Cotton, in particular, deserves the firing squad. Time to frog march all these clowns to Guantanamo.

Barbie, a la Bodega Bay

Love the refined, Marin-County look for Barbie. She must have peanuts in the hand bag. Crows really go for peanuts.

Woman in the Yellow Dress, in "Contact"

I tried to find a good Holly Cruikshank video. She was Broadway understudy, and Touring Company lead, as the Woman in the Yellow Dress, in "Contact". When I lived in Tempe, AZ, I was in one of her ballet classes (Summer of 1989), but my memory of people is so weak I had to be reminded later by friends, after she had become famous. She runs a fabulous photo business now, it seems. As it turns out, despite her Broadway and movie fame, there don't seem to be many good, short videos of Holly dancing. So, I will content myself instead with Boyd Gaines and Deborah Yates dancing at the 2000 Tony Awards.


Heh, heh!:
A specter is haunting Cottonwood Classical Prep—the specter of "prom-munism." After an online vote this week, the Albuquerque high school's senior class has elected to stage a communism-themed prom this year, appropriately dubbing it "prom-munism."

"They wanted prom-munism, so that's what got voted for the most," senior Sarah Zachary told KRQE. "We have a lot of jokesters in our grade, so they wanted it to be funny and a lot of them are really intense with politics."