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September 27, 2004

The James Madocks Four

James Madocks.jpg

"The James Madocks Four" was posted by dogpossum on September 27, 2004 10:27 PM in the category music

toilet wipes. what ??

ok, so i've just seen my first australian ad for moist toilet, literally, toilet wipes. i'd discovered these things in the uk.
they really puzzled me when i was in the uk. i couldn't figure out where the toilet paper was. and then, later, i figured out that you were supposed to use these wipe things. gross.
not to mention environmental terrorism.

so now, here they are. in australia. fucking unethical. and gross.

"toilet wipes. what ??" was posted by dogpossum on September 27, 2004 9:54 PM in the category


i've been working on some outfits for lotte to wear during mlx this year. i'm going for a vintage 30s theme. some of it is historically accurate, some is sort of 30s themed, but more loosely interpreted.

lotte has the perfect figure for early 30s stuff, pre 1935. long legs, slim build, tall. but that earlier stuff isn't too practical for dancing. she also prefers trousers, and while women were wearing trouser then, it really wasn't until later (with the beginning of the war and women's mobilisation in the conflict in various capacities) that trousers became common-place.

so i've had to compromise and go for later 30s stuff, for the most part.

i am keen to do some nice earlier 30s stuff, though. i'm also very interested in some deco-styled garments, late 20s stuff. but that's not really the clothing of swingers...
hm. we'll see.

meanwhile, that picture up there is of my prelim plans for lotte's outfit for the ball.
my movable type is totally rooted at the moment.i cannot upload images at all. not even on fsp, i don't think. if anyone can help me out with that, i'll love them forever...

, which is black and white themed. and difficult to work with. bit naff and over-done if you ask me. i reckon black and white cinema would be way excellenter, and give people something to really work with, as they did in 2002.

"sewing" was posted by dogpossum on September 27, 2004 9:48 PM in the category old sew and sew

September 24, 2004

i just read a paper called 'the anti-political populism of cultural studies'

by todd gitlin (in cultural studies in question, edited by marjorie ferguson and peter golding, 1997). i'm not really sure how i feel about it.
i mean, i've had troubles with the work done by quite a few people in cultural studies programs in the unis i've been at - they just seemed depoliticised in a worrying way. especially to me, whose always done feminist work where i've really tried to make my research practical, have some sort of political use-value.

and gitlin is echoing all that, but he seems fairly tough. and he's really getting into the cultural studies people of today. his key point is that they shouldn't pretend that they're doing 'politics' just because they're doing popular/populist stuff. that doing 'politics' is actually a bit more complicated (and he places 'politics' right over there in the activist camp, doing things like rallying and protesting and writing pamphlets and so on).

i'm a bit torn...

he's very critical of things like radway and modleski's work on women's romance novel reading, and pretty much says that we shouldn't treat that as political activism.

... i don't know. on the one hand i agree with a lot of the things he has to say. and on the other, i wonder if he's being too harsh.

either way, his concerns are very similar to the ones i have when i read the horrid wench's blog, and when i heard her speak about her work on bogans.

i'm not in that gang. i'm with the people who still want to politicise stuff (which she doesn't - she confesses that she has no interest in politics - stink of 'politics' much?). i also want to get feminist in this sort of work...

hm. dilemma. i need to find a response to this article.

"i just read a paper called 'the anti-political populism of cultural studies'" was posted by dogpossum on September 24, 2004 7:45 PM in the category academia

not only incredibly taut, but also little.

i am feeling very tough today. yesterday i went to the gym and did my program again and managed to do the whole thing (minus 1 set of pushups - i'm working up to 3 sets of 12 but am only capable of 2 sets of 8. don't tell max). i am SO tough. by the time i got to the stretches, i was flying on my endorphine rush (a little reward for toughing it out) and really enjoying myself.
it's crazy, isn't it?

then lamby had to go and bring me down to earth with
a) a little talk about how weights are bad and all you need's your own body weight to really work out;
b) declaring that pushing yourself past your pain limit is the only way to really get the most out of your routine, and
c) flipping me around his waiste in a curb-side demonstration of the lamp post aerial, so i could not only feel his iron-hard muscley body 360 degrees in under 3 seconds, but also experience a demonstration of how effective working with your own body weight is in increasing strength.

now, i cleverly countered his point a) with my points
i) where i argued that yes, i know that about the body weight thing - that's why i do yoga and
ii) where i declared that i like using the weights and machines and things because it's a safe, supervised way for me to learn proper weight lifting technique, show off my 'muscles' and get away from the thesis. i followed with
iii), arguing that it also prevents me from doing silly things like working out til i pass out as did certain thai chi masters who have recently flipped around their favourite hamface.

i then followed up with a refute to his point b) with my points
i) that working to the point of pain seems dangerous and injury-causing, esp when you're just a baby,
ii) that i want to enjoy going to the gym, so i'll go back and
iii) max told me not to.

there was no response for point c) rather than to suddenly develop a counter-intuitive and somewhat disturbing enthusiasm for learning aerials as a follow. wrong, wrong, wrong, i know, but still. he's very strong and it's very exciting.

you might wonder what lamby and i were doing playing 'mine's bigger than yours' on the side of the road after midnight on a thursday night.

well, it seems The Squeeze's little sister had broken down on vic parade. i say 'little' because she really is - only up to my breast bone and she's younger than he is. she's also the other fittest person i know, who teaches aerobics (recent title holder for the '13 classes in 7 days' ... title), was the 'best of the best' winner year before last, where she scared the pants off us with incredible aerials, and demonstrated that being little, a former gymnast and very good at scrunching your center is actually useful.

so we were waiting on the side of the road after dancing at cbd, lamby and i one-upping each other with feats of physical prowess (i got up on the trunk of his car using only my bare hands), The Squeeze presenting his little sister with a very sexy new - and very little - digital camera. just right for her little hand, and the RACV man on his way to give us a lecture about dissy's.

this is not the first time lamby and i have waited on the side of the road with a friend while their car fussed and acted broke. i remember lamby and i working on the bows for our swingouts in carlton one night while cammy wrestled with his temperamental station wagon.
it seems that my learning to lead has sparked a degree of competitiveness in lamby, and in myself. a sort of productive, spurring-us-on-to-excellence competitiveness, rather than an eye-scratching, pushing-yourself-past-your-pain-barrier sort of competitiveness.

it's all to our benefit, anyways, as, when i declared 'i'll learn how to do aerials and then i'll throw you around, ok?', lamby promised:'yeah, and i'll let you'. we are agreed.

it's lucky he's not only incredibly taut, but also little.

"not only incredibly taut, but also little." was posted by dogpossum on September 24, 2004 6:33 PM in the category

September 22, 2004

back at the gym

i went and did my program yesterday and it nearly killed me. i'm still suffering from (yet another) chest cold thingy, plus i spent a week with only one incidence of exercise: a night of dancing.
and oh baby did i suffer for it yesterday. i had to do a cut-down version of my program so i wouldn't faint.
MAN i need to do excercise regularly.
i was also feeling pretty crappy on the monday when i went dancing: all that time in the car driving round tasmania and no exercise. i was the stiffest, least creative and flexible dancer you've ever seen on monday night.

"back at the gym" was posted by dogpossum on September 22, 2004 7:43 PM in the category

September 20, 2004

i am addicted to patience

with the arrival of The Squeeze's imac a few weeks ago (that's a neat little wireless internet-enabled palm pilot, everyone), i have discovered a new addiction.
i'm totally addicted. i can regularly win on the palm pilot. i brought a deck of cards with me to tasmania and finally figured out how to win at least a few times in every sitting (where a sitting is a few hours worth of back-episodes of angel).
i also explored patience on the little laptop - spider solitaire. oh yeah. beating that too.

i am insanely addicted. i don't know why. and i've found that the more i play, the more aware of patterns and strategies i am. the better i get.

i am so hooked.

i love games. not games of chance or role-playing games. but strategy games. strategy as in scrabble which involves some sort of manipulation of the odds.

is this leading me to a gambling problem?

i don't dare go looking for the game on my pc. it would make the already-difficult task of getting back into my thesis impossible.

"i am addicted to patience" was posted by dogpossum on September 20, 2004 2:22 PM in the category

September 8, 2004

dance talk

i'm a bit inspired, dance-wise. it was really nice to get some decent teaching, somewhere outside of angsty old melbourne. it was also nice to meet so many interesting people from all over the world - that was the best thing about herrang.

but i'm totally into leading now - not particularly interested in following. maybe i would be if there'd been any guys in herrang who'd done classes and were interested in trying stuff with me. but doris and i are cooking, and corinne is always up to try things out. so it's girl on girl action at the moment: i am damn lucky to be able to dance with these two superior follows. corinne leads a bit, and doris is interested: soon we will all be all-leading, all-following chicks.

rawk on.

i am obsessed with weight transfer and leading and following with your centre. this obsession was only fueled by the amazing max at the gym (who does my programs and assesments), who's taken up aerial work. we had an excited talk about centres the other week: much enthusiastic realisations about how bodies move in space.

max rawks.

a quick gym note: i am doing a hardcore upper-body and core-strengthening program. so my arms and shoulders ache, my abs ache and i'm getting much more control, centre-wise.
max rocks.
and i am getting a two-pack. if i had less of a jelly belly, i might have a three or four pack. but i do, so i don't. or if i do, i can't see it.
i really like being strong.

i'd like to be fitter, but i just can't hack that boring, dull as dogshit cardio work... aerobics totally sucks.

"dance talk" was posted by dogpossum on September 8, 2004 8:27 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances

work talk

well, i'm going great guns on thesis. went back and re-read Floating Lives, and goddamn, i had a goddamn revelation. this stuff just didn't stick with me last time i read it.
but now... it's just a really nice way to hook all the shit i've been writing and thinking about together: global media and diasporas are a nice way to bring together the way the international and local swing communities use media and are related.

i'm thinking of them as a community of interest, to use somebody's term... i forget whose. i'll look it, that was my word. gay hawkins used the term 'communities of taste' which i can't really remember her writing.... i think i need to follow it up. it's from her article "SBS: Minority television" in Culture and Policy 1.1 (1996): 45 - 63.

that's what i'll be chasing tomorrow at uni.

as well as having a bit of a love-in with that book, i've also had a bash at blocking out the chapter on video/AV use in swing communities. i didn't mean to - i was just jotting notes. but it turned into coherent writing, so i figured, why lose that?
i've also wacked together a dodgy overview of the thesis, drawing together all my theory/approaches.

it's still all a big mess, but at least now i know what i have to read (and re-read).

i do like my thesis. very much. in fact, my feelings for my thesis would prompt my less mature readers to exclaim 'if you love it so much, then why don't you marry it?' and i retort: "baby, if i could, i would". but i don't think this will be a long-term relationship. 3 years only... unless i decide to make it my postdoc work...

i am actually considering that. i'd like to do follow-up work, looking at the asian swing communities. which is actually kind of a stupid thing to write: there's a fair fuck load of difference between the singaporean (see this link or this link) and the tokyo swing scenes... and there are swing scenes in okinawa and yokahama, but the links are nasty for one (urky angelfire with horrid popups) and the other's not in english at all). and then there's also lindy hop in korea - staaacks of it in seoul as this site suggests.

it seems that lindy was mostly spread to japan and korea via american dancers (and it's kind of ironic that an american army guy was involved in seoul - seeing as how the american GIs in WW2 were blamed for its coming here... which i'm a bit curious about...).

so i'd be kind of interested in doing some postdoc work on asian swing dance communities. i know quite a few singaporean dancers, but haven't met any korean dancers. i know one guy from japan, and one american guy who lives in korea...

could be interesting....

"work talk" was posted by dogpossum on September 8, 2004 8:20 PM in the category

it's a sad, sad day

when there's nothing on your blog page...
i've updated that there sidebar, there (over on the left), complete with lame-arse weatherpixie. i'm learning about blog tech stuff for free swing press, so i'm practicing on dogpossum.

isn't that a sad thing? dogpossum is no longer alpha. it's beta. the beta blog.

i still need to sort out the titles over on that left side there.... i was going to draw them. but they looked crap. so i didn't. but then i got all caught up in fsp, so i didn't think about this blog again...

i just don't think i'm the journal type...

and i pretty much decided blogging was bad for my health when jon told me that talking to me was like reading my blog. so i nipped that in the bud by stopping with the bloggage.
drastic? au, contraire. healthy.

i guess i'll really only need to worry when my thesis sounds like my blog.
but really, i'm holding onto quite a few writing styles here - hardcore swingdancing nerd over on swingtalk, concise swing journalist on freeswingpress, clever-cloggs phd person in my thesis work, annoying blogger on dogpossum.
then there's all the email-talk.

ah well. if it's only the blog that suffers, i guess i'm doing ok.

"it's a sad, sad day" was posted by dogpossum on September 8, 2004 7:43 PM in the category