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March 31, 2010

c25k: wk9, run2

distance: 5.14 km, time: 00:40, pace: 07:46, calories: 519, effort: 4/5

Got to the end of the running part and literally groaned in disappointment. This is getting easier (and funner).

cloudy, overcast

"c25k: wk9, run2" was posted by dogpossum on March 31, 2010 9:39 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

March 29, 2010

c25k: wk9, run1

distance: 5.09 km, time: 00:40, pace: 07:51, calories: 519, effort: 5/5

I had difficulty finding my rhythm in the first ten minutes or so, but it was fine after that. It was a bit challenging, but not as hard as wk8run3 was. I feel pretty good now.

hot, humid, overcast

"c25k: wk9, run1" was posted by dogpossum on March 29, 2010 9:38 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

searching sources

NLA Australian Newspapers - search em for stuffz.

Trove - a gateway to all sorts of interesting things

VADS - a gateway to 'free' images for use in educational projects

CSIRO's ScienceImage site - for images of 'science and technology' excellentness

"searching sources" was posted by dogpossum on March 29, 2010 6:02 PM in the category learning and research | Comments (0)

March 28, 2010


The Tiger Lilies' 'Living Hell':

The Tiger Lillies- Living Hell from Mark Holthusen on Vimeo.

"spooky" was posted by dogpossum on March 28, 2010 12:56 PM in the category music | Comments (2)

March 26, 2010

fitness: social dancing

duration: 02:00

Humid! Hot! Fun! Lindy hop is way harder work than running, but way more fun.

hot, humid

"fitness: social dancing" was posted by dogpossum on March 26, 2010 8:50 PM in the category fitness and lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)

c25k: wk8, run3

distance: 5.29 km, time: 00:38, pace: 07:10, calories: 493, effort: 5/5

Much better today! I've broken the 5k mark, which is very exciting (time for a new goal, I think). The flatter route made all the difference. Imagine what it would be like running a route that was actually flat!


"c25k: wk8, run3" was posted by dogpossum on March 26, 2010 8:49 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

March 24, 2010

c25k: wk8, run3

distance: 4.4 km, time: 00:38, pace: 08:38, calories: 493, effort: 5/5, feeling: not too good

Had to walk at about the 20min mark, then ran then had to walk, then ran, then finally just had to walk home. Woke up feeling tiiiired in my body and found the (quite hilly) new route really hard. Feel so rough after the run I suspect some sort of cold in my future. :(
But at least I got in 20mins of running and went the whole distance - I couldn't have done that 3 weeks ago. I'll repeat run2 of week8 next, then have another go at run3.

cloudy, hot

"c25k: wk8, run3" was posted by dogpossum on March 24, 2010 8:47 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

March 22, 2010

c25k, wk8, run2

distance: 4.88 km, time: 00:38, pace: 07:47, calories: 493, effort: 5/5

Cool weather, but very cloudy and with some sprinkly rain. Not enough birds. Running was about the same level as hardness, though the transition to the hillier route has required more effort in parts. Very tired afterwards, probably because I didn't go to bed early enough. :D

cloudy, humid, overcast

"c25k, wk8, run2" was posted by dogpossum on March 22, 2010 8:46 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

beginning djing: preparing for the first set

This is the third post I've written about beginning DJing. The first one was beginning DJing: how i got into djing. The second was clarifying some early points from that post, ' beginning DJing: different DJing contexts'.

This post will talk about how I prepared for my first set.
This is certainly not how everyone else did/does. In fact, I suspect it's an incredibly anal, overly careful approach to DJing. But then, that's what I'm like - careful. Ob-con.
I certainly would never say "This is how you should prepare for a first set" to someone. But I do get a bit dictatorial in this post. Please just read it as enthusiasm. I'm fairly sure these are - as I've said - really just things that apply to my experience. But you can cherry pick ideas, if you like, and I'll try to note where I found something especially useful, or something particularly ridiculous.

I want this to be a bit useful. I hope it is. But I also want it to be encouraging. So if you're timid, perhaps you should just read the short list. :D

How did I prepare for my first set?

  • Dance

  • Dance as much as you can once you've started DJing

  • Listen to music. Buy music.

  • Love music

  • Play with the technology

  • Test your music before you play it

  • Buy the electronic stuffz

  • Practice transitions between songs, tempos and musical styles

  • Watch other people DJ

  • Ask lots of questions

  • Make some contacts

How did I prepare for my first set?

  • Dance.
    I danced for about 8 years before I started DJing. It took me that long to get up the guts. I was kind of thinking I could be into it for about a year or so before I took the plunge. But before that, I was just dancing. And dancing. And dancing. I got into dancing because I loved the music. I stayed with it because I loved the dancing. I also sampled a whole range of styles (of lindy hop, and of other jazz dances - from charleston to bal, blackbottom, shag, blues and into all manner of solo things) and began to understand how different music worked in different ways with different dances. And vice versa. I think this is what drove me to DJing, eventually.
    I did a lot of classes. I still do. I did a lot of workshops with visiting people. I traveled to dance.
    Dancing is where DJing should begin, middle and end. If I've stopped dancing, I should stop DJing. My DJing goes down hill when I stop dancing. Dance. Dance. Dance.
    I'm almost tempted to say I think you should "dance for a few years before you start DJing," but I'm not sure that's good advice. Sometimes DJing can kickstart a new dancing obsession or fuel your dancing love. For me, it has to be dancing first.

    Dancing teaches you how music works. Dancing teaches you what music works for dancing. The more you dance, the more you'll learn. The longer you've been dancing, the better idea you'll have about what will work for dancers and dancing. The longer you've been around, the more likely you'll be to have seen passing trends - you'll remember a neo or a groove or a novelty or a lindy hop hop phase. You'll have seen someone try that Richard Cheese song and see it crash-and-burn, but also make people laugh/cringe/gasp.
    Not all experienced or very good dancers are good DJs (many very good dancers are totally horrid DJs). But observant dancers can make for very good DJs. Some experienced dancers are very set in their ways and have very particular ideas about what makes for 'good dancing music.' Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it can be an obstacle, preventing their learning and responding to what other people (ie not them) are doing on the floor. A non-dancer is never a top-notch DJ for dancers.

  • Dance as much as you can once you've started DJing
    I just have to add this here: dancing is the best thing you can do for your DJing. Maybe not when you're actually DJing, but the rest of the time, yeah.
  • Listen to music. Buy music.
    The more you listen to music, the more you'll understand the structure of swinging jazz, and the better you'll understand what works for dancers. You'll also figure out things like when the last chorus starts (and how it sounds), which is very useful when you're DJing and haven't found a follow-up song yet.

    I started buying music fairly hardcore quite a while before I started DJing. Mostly because I was addicted. I did look at pirated sources at first. I think that that can be a good entryway for new DJs. Even if 'pirated' just means borrowing your friend's CD and putting it in your computer. But I found within a few months that this just wasn't going to do it for me. I was very lucky: the Australian dollar was kicking it against the American dollar at just that moment. So I switched to buying music online. CDs. I used SwingDJs as a key source, and then bought almost exclusively through amazon until I discovered And then I found sources like, then mosaic.
    I think that buying your own music is the best option. For me, it meant that I could follow my own tastes, which weren't like those of the people around me. I'd squeeze people like Brian for song titles and artists, I'd ravage for suggestions, but basically, I was following my nose. I think this is a very good thing. It means you only get music you like (hopefully!). It also means you acquire music slowly (because it's expensive!), so you get to know your music very well as you go. This way you're also following some sort of natural progression between artists and eras - Ella Fitzgerald can lead you to Count Basie. Basie can lead you to Bennie Moten. And then of course there are all the usual copyright issues. But there are actually more, and very much more convincing arguments for acquiring your music legitimately.

    Listen to what you get. I listened to that stuff all the time. On headphones, but also on the home stereo. That last bit is important - it might sound good at home on your perfect expensive headphones, but will sound shithouse on that shitty nightclub sound system. Now, I find I just can't keep up with all my music. I have so much I have to listen all the time to keep it all in mind. Let alone getting to know the new stuff. Listen. Listen. Listen.

    I can chart the decline of my hearing to the moment I started thinking I might like DJing.

  • Love music.
    I started DJing because I loved the music. Don't get into DJing because you think it's cool or because you want to be really popular. It's a fairly unappreciated craft, and will drive you nuts. Do it because you love the music.
    Don't punish yourself with music you hate. There's no room for martyrs here. But if you don't love swing from the swing era, swinging big bands, swinging small bands, hot jazz, groovy jazz, jazz, and more jazz, then swing DJing is not for you. If you're really into soul and funk, then DJ for soul and funk crowds.
  • Play with the technology.
    I think this is a very important and often under emphasised part of beginning DJing. When I first got up there to DJ, I was so nervous I could barely remember my name, let alone how to work a sound application on my laptop. If you practice this stuff at home, you get better at it. The movements become natural, and you can stop thinking about the technology and concentrate on what the technology allows you to do. I think that this is partly why I've stuck with itunes: it's a well designed application that becomes invisible when I'm DJing.
    I practiced 'DJing' at home for ages. I plugged my laptop into the stereo and learnt about the cords and connections I'd need. And bought them. I set things up just like I would if I was DJing, and this made me realise that I'd need to think about things like extension cords, where I'd sit (if I'd sit), how the laptop works in relation to the sound system, whether I'd use my laptop's equalizer or the sound system, and so on.

    I asked a lot of questions during this stage. I asked The Squeeze. I asked my DJing friends. I went into DJing shops and asked questions and was generally really annoying. Learnz: I had it on.

    I also practiced clicking and dragging - the mechanics of DJing within my software. Was itunes useful? I did begin with a windows laptop and winamp, but our household switched to macs very soon after that. So I started playing with itunes. It has a lovely layout and a very useful library. It's not the best tool for DJing, but it suited me. I soon learnt that I couldn't preview music with a mac - I needed a second sound card to run a second music application out. This has been a challenge, and I eventually started using usb headphones and then a little cheap external sound card about a year after I started DJing. By then my collection was so big I really _needed_ to preview music.

    Whatever your set up, practice with it before your first set. And practice a lot.

  • Test your music before you play it.
    Dance to it in your lounge room or with your friends. It might sound great on your headphones, but be utterly shit for dancing.
  • Buy the stuffz.
    I bought the cables I'd need to DJ. Brian drummed that into me. I bought everything I'd need to DJ. I bought RCA cables, I bought adaptors for different mixing desks, I bought extension cables, I bought it all. I was also obsessive about taking my power cord to DJing.
    I'm always very surprised by new DJs who turn up to their first sets without any cords. Mostly because it's such a simple issue, and if you've even pretended to DJ at home, you'll have figured out that you need some stuffz. If you've ever looked at a DJ's gear while they'll DJ, you'll have some questions about stuffz.
    New DJs doing this tells me that they've really not planned this at all. That they've relied on other people to sort it for them. I'm actually very impatient with this stuff, mostly as I find it's men who fail to bring the right gear. And I resent playing mother to them. I will only very very rarely lend my gear to other DJs - they will usually forget to return it, it could get broken, it could get lost, it could get borrowed again by a third party. I just don't do it. I also carry spares of the important stuff.

    If you're not sure what you need, just ask another DJ. They'll probably pull out their rig and tell you a long, boring story about soundcards. If you're too shy, or you're alone in your scene, get onto swingdjs STAT.

  • Practise transitions
    I'm a super nerd. But I also had an agenda. My scene was heavy on the groove, neo and hifi. I wanted to play Lionel Hampton, early Duke Ellington, Lucky Millinder. I was also into newer bands and some groovier, hifi stuff, but I wanted to play both. I wanted to play favourites, but I also wanted to play stuff I loved. So I needed a plan. A way to get them all together in one set. I'd also been reading about this stuff on SwingDJs (I think), and talking about it with people. I'd also heard other DJs do nasty, nasty transitions from supergroove to scratch and back again. And it was nasty for me as a dancer. I wanted to rock.
    So I practiced. I sat and put together pretend playlists, where I'd work from one style to another and back again. But I did it 'live' and in 'real time', so I could practice working under pressure. I had til the end of the song playing to get the next one ready to go. I also listened my way through the songs, pretending I was dancing, and trying to feel the way the song would make me feel on the dance floor. I also thought about combining tempos and working a 'wave'. I'd think about the different instruments and different routes between songs and styles. A piano at the end of this song here could link me to the intro of that song there. A big, shouting Kansas man could link me to a big, shouting Kansas man there.
    This stuff took a lot of practice, and it's something I keep returning to. How do I best work in a new bit of hot Chicago small groups1920s instrumental action? How do I get it in the set so it's best set up for a crowd who don't know this stuff? How do I make them love it, despite themselves? And if they hate it, what do I play next to 'apologise' or win them back? This is important for me because I have a really bad memory for names and details. I really can't retain a lot of detail. So I need to practice my skills and then lean on the previewing a bit. Hopefully leaving some brain for watching the floor.

    I talked about these things with other DJs. And I practiced. And I made The Squeeze listen while I practiced.

    This is something I still do. And I find I do a better job when I'm doing this regularly. It's also a time when I can set aside a list of 'maybes' - songs I might play that night. I remember combinations of songs and perhaps pull them out, or use them as a model or a combination I make on the fly.

    Above all, I was preparing for sets where I would stand up there with a blank playlist and just make it up as I went along. Scary arse shit. But I was determined to be a ninja.

  • Watch other people DJ.
    This can mean actually staring over their shoulder (which I did a few times - that was invaluable), but it also means watching the way a DJ watches a floor, the way the floor responds to musical choices, and then the way the DJ figures out solutions to blowups, or capitalises on successes. I think this is where being a dancer helps - you learn how to read other dancers' bodies and moods. You can tell when they feel excited or flat or tired or angry or disinterested. You can tell when a song stumps them, and they don't know how to dance to it. You can tell when they really love something or when they really hate it.
    Most of the time learning to see this stuff also means being able to stand aside and not actually get caught up in it. You might be on the dance floor having a ball, but that feeling might mask other people around you and how they feel. To a certain extent, DJing requires being able to stand outside a little to observe the room. You've still got to be able to feel it, but you can't confuse your own feelings with what's happening in the rest of the room. That can be tricky. It's very tiring to be at once feeling all that excitement and also 'working', manipulating what you see and feel.

    I think that learning this stuff takes ages. It took me a long time. And I still have trouble - I really struggle if I can't see the dance floor properly. But just watching how a good DJ really works a floor is a good start. And exchanges - which bring experienced DJs to your town - can be a really good place for this. If you can bear to stop dancing.

  • Ask lots of questions.
    Be brave enough to stalk other DJs. Stalk them online, in person, and ... wait. Don't stalk them. But do ask them lots of questions and be brave enough to show how interested you are. It's ok to not be cool. It's ok to be a big old fannish geeky music nerd. Say nice things to the DJ. Ask them: "Who was that band?" "What was that album?" "Where do you get your music?" "When did you start DJing?" "How did you get into DJing?" Ask them lots and lots of questions.
    Try not to do it while they're actually DJing, even though they're a particularly, temptingly stable target, trapped at the mixing desk. But they mightn't be able to give you their full attention, and mightn't want to. I can't really talk and DJ well, so I much prefer to be talked to after sets. Or before. In fact, if you want to chat to me, please do it after or before a set. I can't talk properly and DJ properly at the same time.
    But be brave. Most DJs want to nerd it up. Some are arsehats, but then some dancers are arsehats. That's cool. But most want to talk. I've found that the DJs who do the best job with the floor, who have the best networks of contacts, are also quite empathic, observant, approachable people. Not exclusively so, but often.
    Be prepared to get evasive answers about a DJ's latest 'gem.' A winner song can be currency in a competitive DJ scene, so they mightn't want to spill all the details. But that doesn't mean you can't figure it out yourself - learn about musical styles and you'll be part way there.
  • Make some contacts.
    This was important for me dealing with a dance school who ran all the major social dancing nights, but where I wasn't a teacher or student. I really had to start finding out who ran what, how DJ sets were allocated and so on. I also had to actually ask DJs about stuff. This wasn't too hard because most of them were my friends. But I had to actually _do_ some asking. And hassling.
    Networking happens naturally when you start hassling DJs and asking questions. It's also a very good reason to know when to back off and when not to hassle someone. Or to know who you should avoid (because you clash). Or it can be a good motivation for just getting over it and becoming a sociable person with some basic social skills to get you through professional situations.
    I'm still surprised by the number of DJs I see do stupid things which will fuck up their networks for future gig opportunities. You might feel justified in snubbing that person, badmouthing their buddy at a party or knocking back their Squeeze on the dance floor, but someone will have noticed. And then you will find it difficult to get gigs.
    Really, it seems insane to have to say this so clearly - surely people just know how to be in groups? How to get along with other people? But dancers can be particularly socially challenged, and this stuff just keeps happening.

    Showing an interest in DJing - to other DJs and to event organisers - is a good thing. DJs with half a brain will figure out your questions about cables or songs are the beginning of an interest in DJing. And they'll mention you to event organisers. Maybe. If they do have that half brain.
    It's also useful to get to know event organisers and other DJs to develop a support network (people who'll give you encouragement, help you out in a pickle, offer advice, give you your first set). This support network should - as with all networks - be natural, not faked. Personally, I see it as just being nice. I like working with nice people and I find being nice to other people makes them nice. It's a win-win. Fake sociability is scumbaggy. And people will smell it.

    Later on, when you're getting into DJing in a more hardcore way, it can be useful to develop networks of contacts interstate. Even if that just means finding out who organises the DJs for each event you think you might like to DJ at. I find that I know most of these people anyway, simply because I've been dancing in Australia for so long. But I have few contacts in Brisbane, for example, because they don't come to other events in other states. So I'd need to work on something if I wanted to DJ up there. When I moved to Sydney I also sent out emails to event organisers at local events, letting them know who I was, what I'd done in the past, and that I was keen to DJ. And then I made contact in person when I got there. Sydney was a delight, actually, as I was contacted by locals who just wanted to make friends!

    At any rate, these skills are useful in other parts of your life, and are invaluable in DJing for dancers, where so much of the community is based on a system of exchange and favour rather than conventional economics.

    This stuff might seem scary, but by golly, you're going to find DJing TERRIFYING if you can't strike up a conversation with an acquaintance. Best to start practicing now.

Other posts on beginning DJing:

"beginning djing: preparing for the first set" was posted by dogpossum on March 22, 2010 6:37 PM in the category | Comments (2)

beginning DJing: different DJing contexts

Rereading my first post on beginning DJing, I'm struck by the lack of clarity in my writing. I did intend that first post as a sort of first scratch-around and scene-setting for my own experiences. Kind of a way of explaining how I got to this point in my thinking about DJing for swing dancers. But it didn't quite work like that.

So let me revise that first post.

I've had a few people ask questions about getting into DJing. They tend to ask things like "what're some tips for a beginner DJ?" It's hard to answer these sorts of questions without giving too much information...

What I meant here, was:

  • There's so much to say about DJing generally, that a few simple tips can be overloaded by detail
  • I really like talking about DJing (and most things), so it's difficult to rein myself in and think simply and clearly about this stuff)
  • There's a big difference between ideas about DJing and actually, practically DJing. At the end of the day - and just like dancing - what you think and say has zero meaning when you're out there with/on the dance floor

The second point in that (very busy) paragraph that I'd like to address is:

I've had a few people ask questions about getting into DJing. They tend to ask things like "what're some tips for a beginner DJ?" It's hard to answer these sorts of questions ...without knowing about that person's scene.

I think that, despite what we might like to think about the 'nature' of lindy hop, jazz dancing and jazz generally, the specific details of individual local dance scenes is far more important in shaping what DJs play and why. So sometimes advice and tips from an interstate or international DJ - or even a DJ playing on the other side of town in a very large scene - aren't very helpful. How do I think about the different places and ways of DJing and being a DJ?

  • Regular DJing in a local scene, playing for after-class socials, regular social dancing nights and occasional bits and bobs. This is the bread and butter of DJing. This is the stuff that keeps a scene's social dancing working. It's the day-in, day-out stuff like this, where you turn up every week or month or whatever to play for all sorts of crowds, from the very small to the very large, that makes up the bulk of my DJing. I also think it's where I learn the most, and it's also often the most challenging and most frustrating. But this is also where the crowds are kindest, you get the most satisfying feedback, and you can really learn to DJ with less pressure. I'd distinguish between playing after-class stuff and social dancing 'nights'. The first is where new DJs should cut their teeth, the second is where DJing can become more 'important', but also more pressured and more challenging. And more political.
  • DJing at large local events like dances or local exchanges This mightn't involve large crowds, famous dancers from overseas or even very much truly satisfying DJing. But it's a different animal to the regular stuff. There're greater chances to stretch, but there's also more pressure. Dancers expect more, and are usually more interested in dancing hardcore.
  • DJing large interstate or national events This is where dancers expect to hear interesting, new, challenging music. This is where you get to stretch a little. This is where I think organisers should be really picky about who they hire to DJ and how they represent their event.
  • International and 'famous' events I have no experience here, but I'm talking about DJing at large events overseas like Herrang, the more 'famous' exchanges like the DC Lindy exchange, and the 'flavour of the month' events like Camp Jitterbug, Showdown and so on. This is where there's more money - to fly in and pay DJs - and more pressure.

There're a whole range of other events for DJing: radio gigs, house parties, after after after parties, corporate and non-dancing events, DJing for competitions, DJing for classes and performances for the public and so on. These all require very different skills sets.

It's difficult to make definitive statements about 'how to DJ' in each of these types of circumstances. How you DJ (and how your DJing is received) will also depend - in a very large way - on who you are.
A famous international teacher will get more leeway and a degree of arse kissing regardless of their ability to work a wave or transition between styles. Dancers may have other barrows to push, here, and demonstrating a great love for this DJ's work might serve other purposes.
A DJ with an interstate or international reputation will be met with a degree of expectation and anticipation. The stakes will be higher, but then there might also be a degree of leeway granted simply because dancers are _expecting_ to be entertained.

One thing I've noticed, though: most dancers don't know any DJs beyond those in their local scene. The longer a dancer's been dancing, the more they travel, the more contact they have with visiting dancers, the more active they are in DJing-related online talk, the more likely they are to know a visiting DJ. But for the most part, 75% of dancers won't have a clue and couldn't give a shit. For them, the dancing's the thing, and a band will always be more fun than a DJ. This is the case in most Australian scenes. I dunno what it's like overseas. I also tend to think that this is a good way to be.

At the end of the day, the people who'll pay most attention to your DJing are other DJs. And even then, 65% of them are too busy dancing/drinking to pay attention. Unless you really suck. Then they'll notice.

To sum all this up, different settings require different DJing skills for most DJs. And the people who'll know a scene best are the people who dance there, regularly, with the most people.

Other posts on beginning DJing:

"beginning DJing: different DJing contexts" was posted by dogpossum on March 22, 2010 5:48 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (0)

March 21, 2010

beginning DJing: how i got into djing


I've had a few people ask questions about getting into DJing. They tend to ask things like "what're some tips for a beginner DJ?" It's hard to answer these sorts of questions without giving too much information and without knowing about that person's scene. So I'm going to try to write a few posts addressing key issues.
[EDIT: I've expanded/clarified these points here, in this post
beginning DJing: different DJing contexts'

Of course, these are issues which I see (with my 20/20 hindsight) as key to my beginning DJing. So they're probably not going to apply to anyone else's experiences, or even be a terribly accurate reference point for my own DJing. But what the heck.

Firstly, here's how I got into DJing:
It was in Melbourne in 2006. Which isn't very long ago, really. At that time there were two large social dancing nights - CBD on Thursdays in the city and Funpit in a dance studio every second Friday night. There were also many after-class, shorter social dancing opportunities where you could get in an hour or so of dancing. The Brunswick and Camperdown classes were good spots for this. There was also a struggling Sunday afternoon/evening event at a venue called Mayfields. This died almost immediately after I did my first ever set there. I take full responsibility.
Nationally, there were two all-social dancing exchanges - Canberrang and the MLX. MLX had only just moved to social dancing only in 2005.
I had been to Herrang in 2004 and was particularly frustrated by the social dancing in Melbourne. The music really varied. There was one or two DJs who were really solid (Brian, Doris), and there were only a few who really played the sort of music I liked - classic big band swing from the swing era. Otherwise, Melbourne was awash in supergroove, neo, terrible late 90s 'swing lite' and contemporary artists like Michael Buble. It was killing me. I wanted to dance to the music I loved, and I wanted to dance to the music I saw in the clips from old films. DJing is not, however, a good way to do this. When you start DJing you're almost guaranteeing you'll never dance to your favourite songs. You'll just be playing them for other people.

I'd been into swing for ages - long before I started dancing lindy hop. It was wanting to dance to swing that brought me to a class in Brisbane in 1998. So I'd been buying music for a while. By 2005 I had been buying CDs for dancing in earnest and had enough music to DJ with. A close friend of mine had started DJing in 2004/2005 and it was her enthusiasm and suggestions which really pushed me to start DJing. From here, it was the support of my close friends which really got me to DJing.
Before I actually played for a crowd I used to practice DJing at home, playing with my music software and doing 'pretend' sets. I did my first sets for small after class crowds, and they really weren't what I'd think of as DJing. I was all caught up in the scariness/excitement and really didn't rock. It was after about the third of these that I finally did a real set at CBD.

I was really scared.
I really could have done a 'serious' gig at an after-class social. But the DJing standard at CBD was so bad at that time, I don't think I could really have done any worse.
I practiced combining songs and working on 'flow' between styles at home a LOT. Basically, I wanted to play stuff I loved, but I knew I was going to have to make some concessions to pre-existing tastes. In retrospect, I was going in there with an agenda: "play some good music, not that shit we hear every week."
I think it helped that I'd been dancing so long before I started DJing. I had an idea about what might work for dancing, and I had a decent idea about the structure of swing music and how it worked with lindy hop (this is something that's _really_ improved over my DJing lifetime). I also had an idea about what was fashionable now, and had been in the years before. So I could make some observations about 'favourites' and which songs had failed terribly in the past.

I did a few things for my first set:
- I approached the organiser for a chance.
- I did the first set of the night
- I asked an experienced DJ to stand next to me during my set and help me set up and handle the technical stuff
- I practiced with my laptop and DJing software til I knew it inside out. I didn't want to have problems there in front of a crowd.
- I DJed for an hour and a half, which was a bit too long.

This is the first set I played for a real crowd. It was at CBD on Thursday 1st February, 2006, starting at 8.30pm and finishing at 10.

[title bpm artist year album]

Knock Me A Kiss 115 Louis Jordan 1943 Swingers
Let's Call The Whole Thing Off 120 Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Louie Bellson 1957 Ella And Louis Again [MFSL]
Cow Cow Boogie 120 Jennie Löbel and Swing Kings 2001 He Ain't Got Rhythm
Splanky 125 Count Basie and his Orchestra 1957 The Complete Atomic Basie
Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy 126 Stan Kenton and his Orchestra with June Christy 1945 The Best Of Big Band - Swinging The Blues
Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby? 140 Dinah Washington 1956 The Swingin' Miss "D"
Moten Swing 138 Oscar Peterson 1962 Night Train
Out South 129 Junior Mance Trio 1962 Happy Time
Good Rockin' Tonight 155 Jimmy Witherspoon 1963 Jazz Me Blues: the Best of Jimmy Witherspoon
Now Or Never 167 Katharine Whalen 1999 Jazz Squad
Big Fine Daddy 125 Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers 2000 Everybody's Talkin' 'Bout Miss Thing
Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop 136 Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra 1945 Lionel Hampton Story 3: Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop
For Dancers Only 148 Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra 1937 Swingsation - Jimmie Lunceford
C-Jam Blues 143 Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis 1999 Live In Swing City: Swingin' With Duke
Don't Falter At The Altar 138 Cab Calloway and his Orchestra Are You Hep To The Jive?
Let's Do It 148 Eddie Heywood and his Orchestra (Billie Holiday) 1941 Lady Day Swings
Apollo Jump 143 Lucky Millinder and his Orchestra 1943 Apollo Jump
Shoutin' Blues 148 Count Basie and his Orchestra 1949 Kansas City Powerhouse
Comes Love 105 Billie Holiday and her Orchestra (Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Ben Webster, Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessel, Joe Mondragon, Alvin Stoller) 1957 Body And Soul
My Handy Man Ain't Handy No More 76 Alberta Hunter (acc by Doc Cheatham, Vic Dickenson, Fran Wess, Norris Turney, Billy Butler, Gerald Cook, Aaron Bell, Jackie Williams) 1978 Amtrak Blues
Salty Papa Blues 115 Lionel Hampton and his Septet with Dinah Washington 1943 Dinah Washington:the Queen Sings - Disc 1 - Evil Gal Blues
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee 130 Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra 1949 Lionel Hampton Story 4: Midnight Sun
Drum Boogie 176 Gene Krupa Drums Drums Drums

Looking at it now, there's a fair bit of stuff I never DJ any more and don't even listen to. That Oscar Peterson version of Moten Swing for a start. But in 2006 Melbourne was heavily into supergroove. There was no real interest in old school music or dancing, beyond the kids learning at Got That Swing, and a few indy dancers. The tempos in this set are really low. Oooh, that first block is tediously slow. And low energy. The tempos in Melbourne were generally extremely low. So 160bpm was crazy fast.
I posted about the set on the Swing Talk board here, though there's nothing here on

In general terms, I think I took a few chances which were new to or underplayed in Melbourne, but used a lot of familiar stuff which I knew would work. The transitions between styles aren't as smooth as I'd like, and the energy levels are a bit low, but this was my first set, and this was the first set of the night at the venue. If I remember rightly, it was a bit quiet in that moment after the classes and before social dancing. And that set could be heavier on the beginner dancers.

In terms of song selection, I'm surprised I played two Billie Holiday songs. I love her so much, but I rarely play her now. Which is a massive shame - she played with such wonderful bands. Handy Man was probably a moment of 'oh I loooove this song and I _have_ to play it.' I dunno how it went down. This was before Melbourne got into blues, so it might have had mixed results... though the preponderance of supergroove meant that Melbourne dancers were generally ok with lower tempos.

Looking back over my set lists (I've kept them all as playlists in itunes), I played about 22 sets in the next six months. Which is scary. I was a totally new DJ, playing heaps of sets. And I notice most of the second sets at CBD, where I was finishing, ran way over time, from anywhere to 20 minutes to one and a half hours over my rostered 1.5 hours. I do remember the organiser for that venue wasn't all that organised, that there was a shortage of DJs willing to do sets, and that I said yes to every set I was offered. I think saying yes (often at no noticed) was a good strategy in that it got me lots of sets and got me lots of experience and exposure and got me a rep as someone you could call on in a pinch. But I'm not sure how good it was for the dancers.
Looking over the sets themselves, I didn't suck at all (though how can you tell without seeing the effect songs had on the floor?), but I'm not sure it's a good idea to have so few DJs working a social scene. CBD was very popular during this period, though it did decline in the following year.

There's some interesting comment about DJs' sets in the DJed sets thread with some interesting parallel discussions about CBD in this thread. The DJ bubbs thread is also kind of interesting.

I'll try to do another thread on beginning DJing generally. But I don't make any promises...

NB: looking back over those threads from SwingTalk, I'm struck by Brian's awesome music. He was playing stuff I still haven't discovered. It was a sad time when he gave up DJing. :(

Other posts on beginning DJing:

"beginning DJing: how i got into djing" was posted by dogpossum on March 21, 2010 1:35 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (1)

March 20, 2010

fitness: social dancing

duration: 02:00

Lots of fun. Running has made dancing fast _so_ much easier - I'm fitter and my movements are more controlled and more efficient.


"fitness: social dancing" was posted by dogpossum on March 20, 2010 8:45 PM in the category fitness and lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)


Running report: I can run for 28 minutes without stopping. I'm at run 3 of week 8 of the c25k. I am badass. I am considering some sort of fun run situation.

DJing report: went to BBS and DJed. DJing for blues dancers is a bit boring. Blues dancing events are a bit boring. Having said that, I had a very good time. For my money (and it was), BBS offers the most interesting bands and venues at any Australian dance event. G$ has some great photos here. That's one of his there with this post.
My DJing was ok, and I think I did a pretty good job on the... Sunday night I think it was. On the whole I didn't hear a whole lot of really inspiring DJing over the weekend. Most of the sets seem to lack coherency or flow. And they tended to be really low energy. The low energy is a real suck at an entire weekend of blues - you really need to keep the energy up there so people dance. One exception was Chris Haarm, who did some really nice work warming the room on the Friday night. I think his set was my favourite.
The bands, though, ROCKED. And that's how it should be.
I don't think I'll bother with another blues weekend. I ended up going for a run on the Sunday because I didn't feel like I'd had enough exercise. And that's just wrong for an exchange.

Learnz report: I am working my way through this pgrad diploma. It's really hard not directing your own learnz. I don't like waiting for someone else to decide when I'm ready for the next bit of learn. I also much prefer following my own interests rather than having to follow someone else's curriculum. Remind me to talk a bit about this more later on.

Intertubes report: I have neglected this blog for twitter. And my learnz.

That's it.

"reports" was posted by dogpossum on March 20, 2010 4:49 PM in the category academia and c25k and djing and lindy hop and other dances and melbourne and music | Comments (3)

March 19, 2010

c25k: wk8, run1

distnace: 4.71 km, time: 00:35, pace: 07:26, calories: 454, effort: 5/5

I feel really good. It was still hard in the last 5 minutes, but not as hard as I thought it'd be, especially as I went a slightly more hilly route.


"c25k: wk8, run1" was posted by dogpossum on March 19, 2010 8:43 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

c25k: wk8, run1

distnace: 4.71 km, time: 00:35, pace: 07:26, effort: 5/5, calories: 454

I feel really good. It was still hard in the last 5 minutes, but not as hard as I thought it'd be, especially as I went a slightly more hilly route.


"c25k: wk8, run1" was posted by dogpossum on March 19, 2010 8:41 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

March 17, 2010

c25k: wk7, run3

distance: 4.55 km, time: 00:35, pace: 07:41, calories: 454, effort: 4/5

This is getting easier. In that I can actually get through the running without praying for the cooldown in the last 3 minutes. But today it actually left me feeling good, and the endorphines are finally beginning to kick in.


"c25k: wk7, run3" was posted by dogpossum on March 17, 2010 8:39 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

"Open the pod bay doors, Hal."


I've finally managed to take some dodgy photos of the UTS tower building on my phone. They're not very good, I'm afraid. I'll need to take some more. There are more pics on my flickr page, and I'll try to get some more tonight.
This is a little film I made by accident. I'm a bit snuffly and sighy - I'm pretty snotty atm, so the sound effects are a bit gross.

The Tower building at UTS is a really good example of brutalism. Brutalism apparently refers to the use of raw concrete and materials, but the more usual connotations do seem to apply.
The building is tall and a bit of a bunker. There are fabulous views from all windows, but most of the windows in my lecture rooms are too tall for me to see out of. And too narrow for proper panoramas.

I didn't realise I was making a movie - I thought I was just taking photos. But at least you get to see the BRIGHT YELLOW hand rails, the curved corners and rounded door corners. This is all in the stair well.
The ceilings seem a little too low and the corridors a little too narrow in this building. I think it's because it was built in the 60s or 70s (I'm not sure when), and they used slightly smaller proportions for smaller people... well, that's what happened in our flat. Lower sinks and so on. But I think that this might also be a deliberate design feature in the tower building. It makes the building feel as though you're in a space ship. The bright green doors contrast strangely with the raw concrete and 'natural' colours. It's all very strange. I am particularly fond of the rounded corners on the doors.

That is one big sigh.

""Open the pod bay doors, Hal."" was posted by dogpossum on March 17, 2010 1:34 PM in the category | Comments (0)

Sir Henry John Wrixon [ Victoria ]

Sir Henry John Wrixon [ Victoria ]

Originally uploaded by Wimmera

Federal Australasian Convention for facial plumage.

"Sir Henry John Wrixon [ Victoria ]" was posted by dogpossum on March 17, 2010 11:36 AM in the category | Comments (0)

March 15, 2010

c25k: wk7, run2

distance: 4.11 km, time: 00:35, pace: 08:30, calories: 454, effort: 5/5

Achey right knee, probably part of my bung foot adjusting to the longer runs. Last five minutes were _hard_, but I didn't stop running. The nice, cooler weather is good.


"c25k: wk7, run2" was posted by dogpossum on March 15, 2010 8:38 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

March 12, 2010

c25k: wk7, run1

distance: 4 km, time: 00:35, pace: 08:44, calories: 454, effort: 4/5

Another 25 minutes without stopping. But it was a challenge. These longer runs are _tiring_. But I did it all without stopping. Very very slooooowly.


"c25k: wk7, run1" was posted by dogpossum on March 12, 2010 8:36 PM in the category c25k and fitness and lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)

fitness: social dancing

time: 02:00, calories: 1559,

Dancing like a fool at the ball in Canberra. Some floor work, many stunts. Manjury gave surprisingy little trouble. Improved fitness makes for superawesome showing off.

"fitness: social dancing" was posted by dogpossum on March 12, 2010 8:35 PM in the category fitness and lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)

March 10, 2010

c25k: wk6, run3

distance: 4.12 km, time: 00:35, pace: 08:30, calories: 454, effort: 5/5

25mins without stopping was hard. Hills are really hard - this was much easier on the flat. I had to pause for 2secs to fix my shoelace once (too tight and hurting my foot). But I got all the way through. I'd repeat this run if wk7 run1 wasn't the same thing.
But I'm feeling pretty good. Tired, but good.

cloudy, humid

"c25k: wk6, run3" was posted by dogpossum on March 10, 2010 8:33 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

March 7, 2010

fitness: social dancing

duration: 2:00, effort: 4/5

Lots and lots of social dancing craziness without resting.

"fitness: social dancing" was posted by dogpossum on March 7, 2010 8:31 PM in the category fitness and lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)

c25k: wk6, run2

distance: 4.45 km, time: 00:30, pace: 06:44, effort: 4/5

Running after lunch: hot and fullstomachyuck.
Running on little sleep and much dancing: challenging.
Running on the super-flat with less humidity: super easy - felt like cheating.
No cockatoos, but many crows.

hot, sunny

"c25k: wk6, run2" was posted by dogpossum on March 7, 2010 8:29 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

March 6, 2010

fitness: social dancing

duration: 02:00

"fitness: social dancing" was posted by dogpossum on March 6, 2010 8:25 PM in the category fitness and lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)

March 5, 2010

c25k: wk6, run1

distance: 4.84 km, time: 00:30, pace: 06:11, effort: 3/5, calories: 389

It's hotter in Melbourne than Sydney, and I felt a bit rough after a late night and dancing. But I did it all. It's much easier running in a flat town - hence my longer distance I guess. No cockatoos, though.

humid, overcast

"c25k: wk6, run1" was posted by dogpossum on March 5, 2010 8:23 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

March 4, 2010

fitness: social dancing

duration: 01:00, effort: 3/5

Good fun - hot and sweaty!

hot, overcast

"fitness: social dancing" was posted by dogpossum on March 4, 2010 8:20 PM in the category fitness and lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)

March 3, 2010

c25k: wk5, run3

distance: 3.71 km, time: 00:30, pace: 08:05, calories: 389, effort: 4/5

20minutes running without stopping!
Really felt the impact in my knees without the resting walks, and also the limited range of movement in my right ankle. Tired, but triumphant.


"c25k: wk5, run3" was posted by dogpossum on March 3, 2010 8:18 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)

mid-week report

This is just going to be an account of things I've done lately, as I'm trying to get my brain in gear for doing readings and some writing.

Today I did the third run of week five of c25k. That was 5 minutes walking, 20 minutes running, 5 minutes walking. I ran for twenty whole minutes without having to stop. I haven't been able to do that since I was in an athletics squad at thirteen. It's pretty bloody amazing. And it wasn't as hard as I thought. My knees did get a bit sore from the impact, and I really felt the limited range of movement in my right ankle, but otherwise it was ok. I'm pretty tired now, and I don't have that massive, crazy adrenaline-charged energy I usually have on days I run, but I don't feel terrible at all. In fact, I am tough.

Tomorrow I'm off to Melbourne for Blues Before Sunrise, a blues dancing exchange. I'm not doing workshops. I never do any more - I'd much rather spend the daylight hours being a tourist and socialising. I'm not interested in any of the teachers either, which is usually the deciding factor. I'd really like it if Damon Stone came back so I could do some historically informed blues dancing classes.
I'm doing some DJing there (as I mentioned earlier), and I'm interested in seeing how Melbourne's social dancing is going these days. I'll probably play the sort of set I do at Roxbury these days, as Melbourne used to have slightly higher tempos than the Sydney SP gigs, but I'll also keep an eye on the lower tempo range as it's an after-class gig.

I'm also looking forward to buying a good sports bra. I've lost a bit of weight since I started running and this has meant that most of my clothes no longer fit the same way. Most of my wardrobe is cope-with-able, but I'm finding that I really need to get a smaller bra. I've got three super awesome Berlei ones that are actually still in good shape, even though they're about two or three years old. Apparently the elastic goes in bras after a few zillion washes, so you should replace them. But I like these and they were fricking expensive ($70 each). They're not, though, really fitting properly, and I'm getting some bad bounce which actually gives me a bit of a stitch. Egads. So I'm going to go in and get fitted at Myer and then have a look at the outlet store in Brunswick to see if they have what I'm after. I really do have to buy at least one good one for running in.

The semester has started and I've been to two of my three classes. There's an option of getting credit for one subject because of my previous study, but I'm not sure I'll take it. I should, because it'll save me heaps of money and make the workload easier, but I'm actually interested in the content. It's really just basic semiotics and critical thinking, but it's applied to information systems and data management, which is interesting. I really could just do the readings and guide myself through the content on my own (seeing as how I've spent a couple of higher degrees learning just how to do that), but I think the discussions in class could be interesting. At any rate, I have until week four to make up my mind and then withdraw without academic penalty. I should withdraw - it'll save me 1.5 thousand dollars.
Classes have been interesting. The one I'm thinking of dropping was a little frustrating. It really was like being in a first year semiotics/intro to cultural studies subject, but in a very light weight way. It felt as though the discussion was going really. really. really. slowly. Partly because the group doesn't have the sort of discussion skills you get from an arts degree, but also because the tutor/lecturer is kind of adversarial, and this shut down the contributions. It's also because it seems as though information management people are only just discovering concepts like cultural diversity, active readership, meaning as a product of reader + text not inherent in text, etc etc.
The literature is equally slow - it's very tentative about its claims about audiences and users and the status of texts, which is very ANNOYING. These things are so standardly basic in cultural studies, it feels as though we are reinventing the wheel, but without actually using any round shapes. It's a bit interesting because it also makes clear the fact that info management really does rely on the idea that texts do have innate or essential value and meaning. If they didn't, you wouldn't collect and catalogue them and libraries wouldn't exist. The very nature of cataloguing is that texts and items carry meaning within them.
I think this is why the field is having such difficulty accommodating the idea of users as a diverse bunch with different needs and interests. If your text is the important bit, you really have to assume that readers have a shared value system and shared approaches to text. I'd like to see how the literature ultimately deals with this stuff, but right now articles published in the 1990s are all 'you know what - anything can be information! Even a building!' and I'm all 'oh fuck, didn't we talk about this thirty years ago?' So it's very frustrating, but also reveals a whole lot about the way museums and libraries and things work.
It's super frustrating because I'm used to teaching these things to undergrads, and I'm not particularly enjoying the way the tutor in our classes is handling discussion. This stuff really requires a lot of talk and testing from students; they really have to actually do the whole 'meaning is made not innate to texts' thing in class through their own discussions and exploration of readings. But this can't happen if your (white, male, hetero, alpha-male...) tutor can't let the discussion move away from him-as-focus. It's really emphasising the way patriarchy relies on masculinist ways of communicating and engaging in public talk and the negotiation of ideas to maintain the status quo. And while this tutor is all about 'multiple approaches to texts' and so on, he can't see that his own discursive style is enforcing boring old hierarchies and status and modes of engagement that marginalise women and not-patriarchy-types. This is way poop when your group is 90% middle aged women with badass careers behind them. I mean, you've gotta be doing something wrong if you manage to reduce a loud, enthusiastic, cooperative group of mature aged women students to silence. Self-reflexivity, please.

But I am really really really enjoying being back in a class again, as a student not a teacher. I did have to fight my instinct to manage the discussion in the first tutorial (especially when I could see the tutor squashing the discussion). It is hard to change the way I work in such a familiar setting. Tutorials are so clearly hierarchical. The tutor really is the alpha, or at least the guiding, structuring entity. And while I don't mind being in the beta position (yahoo! no lesson planning!), I'm finding it hard not to act on my instincts to lubricate discussion. I think in part it's because I'm also used to being in academic discussions where everyone knows how to talk - you know how to keep things rolling along.
I also think it's a part of being a woman in talk - women tend to do more affirming, active listening and general social lubrication. I've noticed that women tend to respond to alphas in a particular way - affirming, listening, agreeing rather than volunteering ideas, disagreeing or asserting themselves. In a group setting, when faced with an alpha, I tend to square up, to assert myself. And I'm trying not to do that in this class because it then encourages a sort of competition between me and other alphas, but it also provokes a particular response from the women in the group - agreeing, nodding, etc. And while that's all very nice, it also shuts you off from the sort of serious, hardcore communicating women do in all-female groups. Sure, there are particular hierarchies and power dynamics at work there, but they're not such blunt objects. So I need to chill and step back because a) I'm not responsible for the smooth and productive running of the tute, and b) these are my peers, not my students and I'll gain a lot from remembering that.
Basically, this has reminded me of how challenging being a university student is, and of how academia is - despite all this talk about discourse and collegiality - absolutely all about competitive, masculinised interaction. While it was professionally a good idea to learn how to do this type of behaviour when I was teaching, it's actually a fairly shitty way to be in a cooperative, collaborative class setting. So I'm trying to - once again - stop talking and to listen more. To not be the first one to answer questions, and to not 'take control' of the discussion or social setting, even by doing things like massaging conversation or discussion, or heading off at the pass disruptive influences.
It's also a real change to be a student within the university. I'm used to the status and privilege of teaching and researching. But as a student, no one will provide my reader, no one will tell me where to be at any one time, no one will organise rooms for me. Staff deal with me in a different way (I'm definitely lower status). It's super-nice to have other students treat me as peers, though. It's strange because though I've always tried not to be a 'we are gods' type academic, I've still benefited from the higher status of being staff. But I just haven't noticed it. So that shift in status is kind of destabilising.
I noticed it most yesterday when I couldn't find my lecture room. When you're doing the teaching, everyone has to wait for you to find the room. But when you're a student, things just continue whether you're there or not. I found this a bit daunting because it was the first class of the semester for a new subject. So coming in late, I found it tricky to catch up.
This class was discussing stuff I really know nothing about - the internal architecture of information systems like google or databases or search engines. It's taught by a computer science dood (who's really a very good teacher and a lovely guy) and it's run a bit like a computer science subject - practical lab work and lots of contact hours, but NO READINGS (that blows my brain). So I'm going to have to learn how to learn in this new type of setting.
I'm kind of lucky that I do do dance classes regularly - I have ongoing experience learning how to learn in a class, and being comfortable with not knowing things. I think that dancers in the lindy world are very much about learning and knowledge... well, most of them are. The ones who are interested in historical dance forms tend to be very interested in learning. Learning new steps, routines, etc. But there's a great deal of difference between learning a routine from an archival clip or being in a dance class, and learning how to construct databases in a computer lab.

So being a student again is challenging. But it's also very exciting. I really love being in a group again, rather than working independently as you do during a PhD. I love hearing other people talk about their ideas, and having my own brain fired up by their saying things I'd never have come up with. I love this part of teaching, but when you're part of the group it's as though you have permission to just let your brain go, and follow ideas much further. When I'm teaching, I have to stay on track and keep the discussion within some sort of structure, as you have some goals and definite things to achieve. But when you're a stood, you can just let your brain run on and on and on. It's fabulous, and I love it SO MUCH.

Meanwhile, less fabulously, the bathroom renovation continues. The tiling is going on as I type, insulated by my headphones. The floor will go in today (hopefully), and then it will be tiled tomorrow. The vanity should be in by the end of the week, and the plumber in and doing the bits and pieces that make water work and the toilet exist. Next week they put in the fittings and shower screen. So, really, it won't possibly be done by next Wednesday, unless we're really lucky. But it should be done by Friday.
I haven't had a shower since Friday, and though I'm doing a good job with buckets, I'm looking forward to showering in Melbourne. Especially as I'll be dancing so much. But the bathroom will look good, and I think I did a good job choosing the tiles. It's all white, but the shade of white matches the old tub. The shiny (rather than matte) tiles mean it's already far brighter in there, and the whiteness is really good for light. There're no external windows, just a skylight, but the new downlights have also made a big difference. I'm not entirely happy about the vanity, as it will just eat up room, but we just couldn't afford a custom-made one, which is what would be required. Well, we could have afforded it, but it's not a good investment in a flat we won't spend the rest of our lives in.

And that's just about it, I think. I have some readings to do now. :D

"mid-week report" was posted by dogpossum on March 3, 2010 10:05 AM in the category academia and c25k and domesticity and learning and lindy hop and other dances and melbourne and teaching | Comments (1)

March 1, 2010

c25k: wk5, run2

distance: 3.91 km, time: 00:30, pace: 07:40, calories: 389, feeling: good

A little chilly starting out, but that's a nice change. The 8minute running blocks were a lot easier than I thought they'd be. I feel surprisingly good.


"c25k: wk5, run2" was posted by dogpossum on March 1, 2010 8:15 PM in the category c25k and fitness and running | Comments (0)