Last December, Nayna found herself without a dance studio, making it rather difficult to teach class. All of her students–me being just shy of one year and ready to move to intermediate–dispersed woefully.
We spent all of 2011 nagging the hell out of her.
Ten months later (?!), she’s back with an email to the masses the day before classes began. So tonight I dug my hip scarf out from the back of my underwear drawer and giddily bounced my way to the pole-dancing studio where she held class tonight.
It was awesome. It was amazing. It was like the first time, except with that fun disjointed experience of your mind knowing what to do and your body almost sure it remembers how to follow. If I want to move up to intermediate (which I totally do), I’ve got to get all that in sync before I get bored and wander off.
One of the things I love about belly dance is how easy it is to practice. It’s chock-full of named moves that I can drill over and over again until I get ’em right. Because I have a deep love of listening to music on repeat, I’ve got a certain way I like to practice: one song, one move.
This would probably drive some people nuts.
I warm up doing a variety of moves for one or two run-throughs of a song, just doing a few repetitions of every move I know. …This might be where I sneak in some of the combo ideas I come up with on my runs.
Folks warned me, and I should have listened–5k’s are addictive. About a week after my 5k back in October, I signed up for another 5k on December 11. It’s not a fundraiser and so is more expensive to participate in ($35), but I’m actually using a training program for this one.
The classic Couch-to-5k isn’t a good fit for me–I’d be starting several weeks in, and 30 minutes doesn’t equate to 3 miles for me. Going for a distance-based training program led me to Hal Higdon’s novice 5k routine. Not the most conservative program, but it’s silly to only increase by 10% when you’re starting at 1.5 miles.
I can’t believe how much I love running. How did I ever stop doing this?
I had the joy of seeing a belly dance show in person this weekend. Ladies from throughout the region, with international repute, different skills, and different styles. It was so damn inspiring. The costumes were top-notch, the crowd was hype, and there was a cash bar.
A great Saturday night in the making.
Greg and I got stood up pretty rudely for dinner at Libretto’s beforehand, but we had a great time despite my annoyance. I tried a delicious fettuccine al forno (essentially what I’d call a carbonara: pasta, cream sauce, bacon, peas, bell peppers) and Greg got an intimidating but subpar calzone. It’s rare that something has too much cheese for us to handle, but they managed to pull it off in the calzone with two thick layers of cheese surrounding a layer of spinach.
I’ve noticed that tendency in calzones around here: cheese and more cheese. I think I’ll try my own hand at making a calzone sometime soon. What could be better than a self-contained pizza? Put enough sauce in it, and you’re guaranteed at least second-degree burns in the eating.
Unfortunately for us, I parked the car for convenience in a big, well-known parking deck instead of hunting for metered parking near the event. It was a brisk 3-4 block walk to the restaurant and a freezing 1.5 mile walk to the hotel where the show was being held.
Hip-hop started again on Monday! The thing that struck me (again and again) for the entire sweaty hour was how great it was to fail again.
As some folks may remember, I started both hip-hop and belly dance back at the beginning of January. Hip-hop stopped in May with the end of the school year, but belly dance kept a comin’. I took about 2-3 hours of belly dance a week this summer, but since we’re working up to a recital in December, we’ve been repeating the same couple of songs over and over again. That’s kind of becoming a problem.
This month of belly dance has been a tough one for me. This is about the seventh time that I’ve sat through the “this is belly dance posture,” and “this is a hip hit” spiels, and all the people I’ve been dancing with have moved up to the next level of class. I’m not good enough to move up into the intermediate class, but I’m unchallenged with the choreography of this song–which is a short song I’ve done before–and because of how many complete newbies we have, we can’t really focus on perfecting technique.
I just don’t work well that way. Dance class as it was in March – June was best, where I was still slightly overwhelmed by everything, always two steps behind and forced to focus. I always want to be learning something new while I’m getting better at the old. (That’s some PEAK Learning 28-3 bidness right there. Here, have some J.R. Anderson.) I dance because I like to dance, not because I want to perform on stage.
So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.
*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…
It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.
I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.
In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.
Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.
Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.
Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.
As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.
So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.
One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.
I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”
But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.
But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.
Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.
It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.
Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.
After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.
Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.