mneme: (Default)
So, [personal profile] drcpunk and I have been learning to blues dance recently. It's a lot of fun -- an improvisational lead/follow form with an emphasis on weight-shift-by-weight-shift lead and follow, tremendous enabled and allowed creativity, and a really active NYC scene.

Which means, it's time for...

Ten Things I learned (to do and not to do) from learning to dance the blues [where something's in brackets, it's actually -about- the blues]:

  1. Don't do anything extra--unless you want to. [don't assume a basic step; in blues, every weight-shift is lead--anything the follow does on top of them is their choice, not assumed]
  2. Don't just wave your arms around. Whatever you do, throw your whole body into it. [lead/move from the core]
  3. Don't anticipate. What goes in motion stays in motion until stopped, and stays stopped until started again--unless it -chooses- otherwise [particularly the follow].
  4. You pick what you want to follow--but then, follow it. [for leaders, pick the line in the music you want to dance to, and if you don't like where it leads you, switch; for follows, you -can- choose to ignore the lead and do your own thing, but know you're doing it.]
  5. Every relationship is equal, even when it doesn't seem like it all the time. [The follow is an -equal- partner, and is just as responsible to add to and contribute to the dance. I dance -so- much better with a good, and equal partner]
  6. Every action can--and often, should--be met by an equal and nearly opposite reaction. [blues connection, in particular, involves the follow always matching a push by a push, a tug by a tug. And I think this is good style for a lot of dance, actually, as it means there's always something to lead; if I'm completely relaxed, that's not important, but if I'm moving/tensing my arm and my partner's still relaxed, I lead and nothing happens]
  7. You shouldn't just follow a script--you have to express yourself too, or it's not really a conversation.
  8. Pay attention to your space. How you position yourself matters--you want to vary it, but you also want to choose at any given point what you want, where you are.
  9. In fact, pay attention to what you do. Time, tension, and positioning are all things you choose--and they all matter. You want to be choosing them actively, not passively. Do what you want, when you want--not just "any time."
  10. But in the end, live in the moment, and let it flow; don't overthink things!
mneme: (Default)
[ profile] citruscomando asks:

I'd just like to hear how things are going. You mention stuff that happens when you go to cons, but not terribly much about what goes on the rest of the time. So, this one's easy, but probably kind of hard at the same time.

Short question, a few long answers:

Life is pretty good. I've had the same tech job for about 6 years, and it doesn't pay horribly.

Lisa and I are still in the same place, though she's had some definite downturns--health problems for both her parents, and mass layoffs at her job this past winter that included her.

I've been unsuccessfully tried to control my weight -- I'm up to 170. :( And I've had a few minor health issues -- minor knee problems, and digestive issues that won't sit up and shut down, though they're mostly just inconvenient, not even scary. Who knows, new treatment may help there.

On a lifestyle level, things are more or less unchanged -- I've stopped fencing (due to the initial occurrence of knee issues; may start again), and dropped my SCA participation way down from its already minuscule level, but...I work during weekdays, hang out with friends 1-2 nights a week playing RPGs, play D&D or board or card games another day, and board games most fridays. Weekends are sometimes RPGs, sometimes "getting things done", and frequently SF or gaming or Filking or LARPing cons. I still do a lot of reading, though far too much of it is email or livejournal rather than books (still read a fair number of books, though). My board game life is dominated by German and German-style board games, with tight decisions and simple-ish rules. My RPGs are all over the map; I've been playing D&D 3.5, paying attention to D&D4, playing Indy RPGs like Dogs in the Vineyard and FATE, not to mention continuing to play super-light games like Epistolary, OTE, and Everway as was my older practice. And with some friends, I've written a bunch of four hour LARP games.

I don't watch TV (except sometimes entire seasons of shows on DVD, or movies), play video games (except emulated games on my handheld during commutes, or grabbing a few hours of games on a friend's console rarely), or play commercial computer games. I do read a large list of webcomics, a small list of print comics, and play several web-based games (,, DragonFable occasionally, KoL rarely,,, cycle, and some of these are rising, others falling, and pretty much none staying the same).

Lisa and I are still happy with one another and get comments about our obvious affection for one another 14 years into our relationship, and our relationship is practically monogamous (if theoretically open).

I still enjoy social and historical dance -- Whyte Whey dance practice is pretty much the only SCA thing I do these days, and I dance with Elegant Arts, and will not infrequently strike up latin or swing or historical (ie, two-step, tango, waltz, polka, etc) when there's appropriate ambient music.

Finally, I've been managing to practice harp every night (and just got delivery on a new, ultra-portable Flatsicle harp that at least gives me more options), which has definitely improved my playing (odd, that :).

[ profile] barking_iguana writes:

What are things you consider admirable, perhaps illustrated by newsmakers who exhibit those traits

Sorry, but I don't really spend any time thinking about this. I've never shaped my life around people I wanted to be like; instead, I've focused on things I wanted to do and things I wanted to be. I find it mildly alien that some people do see the world this way, frankly, though I understand it's a known phenomenon. I can love people, like them, be friends with them, envious of them, respect them, sympathize with them, or even want to emulate them or wish I could do so -- but I cannot recall ever having -admired- them as such.

[ profile] sammywol writes:
One of my most abiding memories of you at Worldcon is of 'the man who carries his own spices' yet you rarely do food blogging. Tell us about what you like to eat and how.

I'm more or less omnivorous. I like vegetables, meats, fish, shrimp (shrimp!), seafood, tofu, mushrooms...

My most likely cuisines are Asian of one sort or another -- Sushi, spicy (or even non-spicy) Chinese, (south) Indian (curry!), Thai (curry!), Vietnamese (curry soup!), Malaysian (all sorts of curries, actually), and even Afghani (I don't actually like the curries that much. I far prefer the barbecue) come to mind. I'm pretty omnivorous for desert, but tend to favor the western a bit -- Italian and french pastries of all sorts, chocolate, ice cream (Chinatown Ice Cream Factory last night -- yum. And I should get Gelatto from Financier when its summer again).

I don't cook much, though I'm competent at it, certainly at throwing together "short order cook" stuff like breakfast or a quick soup. But living in NYC, I usually get a much better price/performance by eating out -- and we eat out a -lot-.

I have actually done a fair amount of foodblogging in the past -- I think I've done half a dozen restaurant reviews here, though I've local restaurants I frequent which I've never gotten around to writing reviews for.


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Joshua Kronengold

October 2018

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