Touchy-feely new age jumps

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I learned from P today that I almost lapped JL on the stroking when we were taking our tests together. Ha! I was so into counting my strokes to make sure I got the right number, and so nervous in the first place, that I never even noticed. (I can't imagine I actually came that close to her; surely self-preservation instincts would've kicked in within about 15 feet.) P was like, "I'm going to have to pay more attention to relative speediness when I schedule these things in the future..."

Now it's on to Bronze Moves in the Field. I like these better than Pre-Bronze; they're a bit more interesting, and since 4 of 5 go along the length of the rink they're easier to practice when traffic is heavy. Plus I use a couple of them as warmups already, so it's just refining something I already do! And this test appears to be primarily about extension and power, which are probably my two biggest strengths.

Good Skate Tech moved my blade again yesterday, and I think I finally am happy with it. (I thought that last time, but this time I really mean it!) It's not a battle to get to an outside edge on that foot anymore. This improved my toe loop tremendously, since I wasn't unsettled by trying to hold the edge on the preceding inside three turn. I think it also improved my nascent back scratch spin, though more that was probably due to D teaching me a nifty little entry trick to it that gives it more (terrifying) momentum to begin with.

I'm back in spin hell on the forward scratch, since I need to start doing it from a real entry rather than a standstill. Ugh. On the other hand, at least that's actually sort of happening now, instead of being completely nonexistent like that last time I tried it a couple months ago. Hooray.

The mechanics of a one-footed salchow are still befuddling. P was like, "I wish I could give you concrete instruction for when on that long spiral in on the LBI edge to jump, but it's one where you just have to feel it. The edge will just pop you into the air when it's time." Unimpressed, I said, "So it's the touchy-feely new age jump?" P: "Yeah, pretty much." Bah.

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This also happened during my test.

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
Because you have the misfortune of being my friends, you all get to hear the behind the scenes version of today's test.

Cut for TMI. Seriously TMI.Collapse )

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[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I passed my skating tests!

Heh, it was by the skin of my teeth on the freeskate, which was about what I expected. I had to do the one-foot spin again to get enough revolutions. But I passed after that, and I did well on the moves! The judge said lots of nice things about me on the form: see, lookit.

I was so nervous I could feel my foot shaking at the end of my leg in the spirals, for instance, but according to JB, I looked totally calm. JL and I took our tests at the same time, which was weird, especially for the moves, but it worked out. I barely noticed she was there, actually.

Anyway, it's OVER, YAY, and now I have the rest of the day off.

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Movies, skating, and an X-Files remake

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
Yesterday during my lesson, I actually managed to center a spin of more than two revolutions. (It was somewhere between three and five; it's hard to count revs while you're in one.) THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. Did I mention I finally found the spin rocker on my blades? (On any blades, for that matter; I never found it on my old ones.) I can feel the drag pick scraping when I spin, which is not ideal but is a hell of a lot better than I've ever managed before, because it means I'm just a millimeter forward of the right spot rather than half an inch behind it.

I just need that to show up for the test on Friday. I didn't get a chance to try and center one out of P's sight because my lesson was at the end of the session, but I'm certainly going to try tomorrow. (Skating reminds me of my struggles with math in K-12. Everything worked perfectly in class when the teacher was there, but the minute I tried to do stuff we'd just done that school day at home, everything went to hell. I grew up practically believing math teachers were magic and I could only really do math in their presence. My skating always improves when I'm in a lesson, even when P is not actually giving me corrections at that moment.)


I watched Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend. I went into it completely blind, purely on the recommendation of a co-worker. Things I was not expecting:

1. The talking raccoon.
2. Lee Pace.
3. Sweet, innocent, adorable Lee Pace as the villain.
4. Lee Pace with his eyebrows covered up (sacrilege!).
5....except I guess on some level you could argue that the makeup department made his eyebrows take over his entire face? But they were still hidden by makeup! Why do you have a Lee Pace and immobilize his eyebrows??

I wasn't impressed with the movie. It felt like it had the structure of a children's movie, with half-hearted attempts at the trappings of an adult movie thrown in at random intervals. Pixar manages to do the "kids movie with some fun bits for the adults," but this was not like that at all. It was awkward and weird.

The tree was cool, though. I liked the tree.


How much stock should we put in the ever-more-substantiated rumors of an X-Files remake/continuation with Duchovny and Anderson? Part of me is squeeing uncontrollably, while another part is remembering that the second movie was actually not that good, so I have mixed feelings.

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Morning practice

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I dragged myself to the rink this morning so I could see if all the elements of my tests were going to show up at 7 AM. I have them at 5 PM, or at 10 AM on Saturdays, but early mornings are a whole other story. (My back tends to hurt in the mornings. And I'm, you know, sleepy. I stopped doing the morning practices once I started doing more than half jumps because I was too tired to really get off the ground and felt like I was wasting my practice time.)

I am glad to say everything showed up, even the proper number of revolutions on my one-foot spin. Hopefully it will do the same next Friday.

Amusingly, given my first paragraph, for the first time I actually managed to get some air on my waltz jump. Well, in height I probably went from six inches to a foot, but that's double! It felt like double, anyway. I've been making minor adjustments to my technique to compensate for/take advantage of the rocker on the new blades, and finally they've started paying off.

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Skating and Agent Carter

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I think I've finally made peace with my toe loop. At least, I'm not as weirded out by having to cross my leg behind myself to pick. Counter-intuitively, it is more stable, though I'm still at the point where I kind of pick and turn on that pick before hopping off rather than doing a full revolution, but eh.

The test session is a week from Friday. I'm definitely doing Pre-Bronze Moves, and 90% sure I'm doing Pre-Bronze Freeskate. I just wish I were a little more confident that I can get the three revolutions for the 1-foot spin on command. They usually take most of a practice session to show up with anything resembling consistency. And did I mention this is at 7 in the morning? I'm not exactly at my best that early.

I've actually been watching some current TV recently--amazing, I know. I struck out on Galavant (it was like watered-down Monty Python; I just couldn't get into it), but I surprised myself by getting into Agent Carter. I've never seen anything else Marvel-related and am vaguely sour on superheros and their canons as a rule, so I watched the first episode almost entirely because I love Art Deco. (Also because it's a series with a female lead, which is, you know, hard to find.)

I was not disappointed on the Art Deco front, and the show was surprisingly good on its own merits. Not amazing, but not bad. I wish these characters were better at secret agenting. At least Carter and Jarvis have something of an excuse--Jarvis in particular is new to this, and I get the impression Carter is as well? Maybe she did something different during the war?--but the other agents are really kinda not that bright. Oh well. The show is not exactly about brains.

I like the focus on a war vet trying to fit back into civilian society, and in particular the unique place Carter has, trying to fit back in to a society that had a brief taste of something like gender equality and is now enthusiastically wrenching itself back to the status quo. This happened in American film, too, incidentally, something that has fascinated me since I ran up against it in a film class in college.

I do wish one of the three female characters had not kicked the bucket in the very first episode (Colleen was so sweet; I could definitely have shipped her and Carter), but I do like Angie, and the women's hotel has promise. I also like sweet Sousa quietly being the most competent of them all even while catching flak from the other agents about his disability.

Anyway, it has an agreeably pulpy feel (superweapons!) without being too dumb (stupid agents aside). I approve.

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Vid: "Are You Out There" [China Beach]

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
Song/Artist: "Are You Out There," Dar Williams
Fandom: China Beach, McMurphy-centric gen with appearances by basically everyone
Length: 3:03
Summary: "And though the static pulsed around me / you were out there, and you found me." Or, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Streaming embed and download links under the cutCollapse )

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Things That Happen When Vidding

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
1. You could not plan a more perfect match between image and lyric in this one spot.* It is the most perfect thing ever. It is also just a bit too cheesy and obvious for a vid that's pretty much a black comedy with a heart of srs bznz (much like the source).

2. "Oh my god, how long IS this song?" The song is only three minutes. (Note to self: Never do another vid where much of it is fast cuts and clips of less than a second.)

3. "@#$%&! ANOTHER GODDAMN CHORUS? What is this, some kind of...chorus?" (Second note to self: Especially don't do vids where most of the fast cuts and extremely short clips are in the chorus.)

4. "Well, that was unexpected but brilliant. Let's redo this whole verse to accommodate that clip."

* For those who will understand: The song is Dar Williams's "Are You Out There," and the lyric in question is "I will write this down / and then I will not be alone again." The clips are McMurphy spray painting the names of dead soldiers on the outside of the hospital at China Beach, and then the entire cast at the Vietnam Wall in DC twenty years later.

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[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY, what did Apple do to iMovie when I wasn't looking? How do you make a video in this thing? How do you even SEE THINGS unless you have a quadzillion-inch monitor?

Luckily, 9.0.8 is still living in my applications folder. I'm going to use that and forget I ever had this horrible experience. And possibly buy myself a slightly more professional video-editing program for my birthday next month.

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Fic and some year-end stuff

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
Yuletide reveals are up! To the surprise of absolutely no one, I wrote the following:

And One More for the Road (2318 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: China Beach
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Colleen McMurphy, Dick Richard
Additional Tags: Drinking, Friendship
Summary: "You've never actually been drunk, have you?"</p>

Colleen McMurphy loses a little more of her innocence in Vietnam. Or, how McMurphy and Richard became drinking buddies.


This has certainly been a successful vacation so far. I have:

1. Gotten to a point where I consistently get 2-3 revolutions on a forward scratch spin, and can usually enter it with only a half-revolution on two feet,

2. Finished a complete draft of the angst!fic (uhhh, except for these two scenes that popped into my head last night and insisted they would be good additions, but anyway),

3. Rewatched all of CB S4 and catalogued good/useful shots for vid-making purposes.

I'm off work through the end of the week, so hopefully I can make some headway on revising this angst!fic and on making the first of two vids I have planned.

I thought about doing an end-of-year meme, but really, what is there to say that hasn't already been said here in the past twelve months? 2014 threw a lot at me, from a promotion at work to a nasty series of health problems to my first foray into private skating lessons. (It's hard to believe I only switched from group classes to privates in February. It feels like much longer.)

Admittedly, many of the health dramas were of my own making, because I decided that 30 was the year I was going to fix myself and clear up all the nagging problems that had been plaguing me for decades. So the laparascopic surgery was on me, the allergy shots (and thus reactions) were on me, and in some respects the giant hemorrhaging episode was on me, since I did request bc that did a better job managing my endo (though I don't think I should be held accountable for the antibiotic interactions that screwed things up). Bronchitis and one ER visit were totally not my fault, though.

May 2015 bring you all good health and great joys.

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[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
For Yuletide, I got not just one, but two charming Corner Gas fics!

Sparkle Balls (3707 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Corner Gas
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Karen Pelly, Davis Quinton, Mayor Fitzy Fitzgerald, Wanda Dollard, Lacey Burrows, Hank Yarbo
Additional Tags: Small Towns, Misses Clause Challenge
Summary: Davis has his heart set on a flashy lights display to bling up the police cruiser for the Dog River Days parade. Karen doesn't want to tell him that she broke the display weeks ago. Can she fix it before the day of the parade?

Casing The Joint (878 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Corner Gas
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Davis Quinton, Karen Pelly, Brent Leroy, Wanda Dollard, Lacey Burrows

I read a bunch of other stuff, too. Pretty much everything in the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries section was good, as was everything in the Thrilling Adventure Hour section. But my favorite has to be the Beyond Belief/Thin Man crossover. It's pretty much the best thing ever. My favorite four drunken, married, adorable detectives solve a supernatural crime via alcohol consumption.

The Thing-Man (2835 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Thin Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Frank Doyle/Sadie Doyle, Nick Charles/Nora Charles
Characters: Sadie Doyle, Frank Doyle (TAH), Nora Charles, Nick Charles, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Crossover, Vendettas, Drinking & Talking, Clink!
Summary: The Doyles are invited to a mysterious dinner party.


In writing news, I...think I am done with a complete draft of the angst!fic? All the words appear to be there, and in roughly the right places. (All THIRTY-EIGHT THOUSAND OF THEM.) I'm going to let it marinate for a few days, then proof and look for a beta.

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[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I made myself a to do list of scenes to finish (or write in the first place) in the China Beach angst!fic, and wow, it is so satisfying to cross those off! I'm making so much progress!

I still need to rewatch S4 for vid-making purposes over this vacation. (Did I mention I have this week and next off? Since we can no longer roll over PTO days, I have to use or lose something like 45 total by the end of June, so I gave myself a Christmas break. Too bad it won't happen again next year, sigh.) I'm trying to get up the mental fortitude. It's so depressing.

In skating news, I maaaay have done something resembling a real Salchow yesterday, maybe, perhaps? It was so tiny you could barely slide a credit card under it, but...I think I hit all the right parts? I'll have to show P and see if I'm doing it right. I also managed a full revolution of a backspin despite a right blade that may still need a touch more adjustment, and, uh...interesting things are happening to my forward scratch spin. I got it to a point by the end of the session yesterday where the circles were really small because I was basically on the right part of the blade--but now I'm a world traveler. My tracing looked exactly like the red one here. (Well, except for the three turn to start it off, because I can't do a one-foot spin entrance yet, but anyway...)


So, hey, Yuletide goes live in, like twenty minutes, right? I'm about to sit down to dinner and other Christmassy activities, but writer, if you're reading this, I promise I'll be reading the fic you wrote me in a few hours and I am really looking forward to it! I had to default for personal reasons this year, but I did write someone a full-length treat. No points for guessing it, because it's so ridiculously obvious. :D

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Gloooory, glory hallelujah!

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
My skates are FIIIIIIXED! Other Skate Tech, who is one of the nicest people in the world and didn't charge me for the remount, looked at them, was horrified, and remounted the right blade entirely. After a couple of adjustments, it feels awesome. My power pulls are back! Hell, skating in a straight line is back! This guy is getting all of my sharpening business in the future.

And on the session I skated after he fixed them, I managed an inside counter on one foot! I...was trying for an inside bracket, but let's be optimistic.* I also feel like I'm flying when I just skate forward, because these blades are much better quality and have less resistance, I think. Crossovers are maybe not quite as fast, but I feel much more in control of them. And I have a rocker on which to rock into my waltz jumps, and on which to spin! I even managed a full revolution of a backspin.

I also fell flat on my ass for the first time since...uh...possibly it was late last year. It was a combination of starting a back outside edge on a skate with a different center of gravity I'm not used to and J asking me a question at the same time. It hurt less than I remembered. I'm not sure if it's because I was going slow or because my butt muscles are stronger and better shock absorbers now.

In addition to all that, I attended that rink's adult ballet for skaters class. Not because I'm that into ballet, but because OST (who is also the skating program director) is very keen to have lots of adult-centric classes and opportunities if there's enough interest, so I want to help demonstrate interest. It was just me and J, which was kind of cool, if intimidating. I'd forgotten, in the intervening 15 years, how hard ballet is on the back, and in retrospect, with my current back problems, it may not have been the very best idea. That said, I think it was helpful because it reminded me to stretch/elongate on the session that followed immediately after, and I'm not always the greatest at that. It was also a good warmup for that session.

* An inside bracket is an inside edge to an outside edge on the same circle, i.e., draw a semicircle, put a notch in the middle that looks like, well, a curly bracket { }, and you have your tracing. The notch is where you go from forward to backward. An inside counter, on the other hand, goes from an inside edge on one circle to an inside edge on another circle, kind of like an elongated "S," with the turn from forward to backward being at the hinge of the two semicircles. If you try to do a bracket and fall to the inside, you wind up with a counter.

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[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
Hooray! The show is over went fairly well. Someone did fall, but not at a super critical moment and she didn't take anyone else out with her. (If someone had fallen during the kickline, now that would've been a disaster. A kickline on ice is exactly as unstable as it sounds.) Other than that and a few timing glitches, it seems to have looked pretty good. Our pinwheel was straight, which was a minor miracle, and it looks very cool on the video.

I enjoyed getting to watch most of the show from the sidelines rather than spending the time sewing my dress together. We had a couple of guest pairs and a dance team, all of whom were excellent, especially the Novice pair. They were super good, very well-packaged with excellent choreography and presentation, and I absolutely expect to see them at the Olympics if they stay together long enough.

I invested in a pair of these tights for the show, and it may have been the best decision I made all year. The only way they could've been warmer is if they were fleece-lined. Between that and my long-sleeved leotard, I didn't freeze this year!

(I would totally buy a fleece-lined leotard, though. If and when I ever really learn how to sew, that's the first thing I'm making.)


34k and some change on the angst!fic. SO CLOSE. (I'll be looking for a beta shortly if anyone's interested and knows China Beach canon...)


I finished S2 of Miss Fisher this weekend. So cute! I loved the Christmas special, and the one before it, and the one with Jack undercover at the radio, and... It's light, but eventually became very satisfying. (Although, ummm, was it everyone in the cast's mission to interrupt Jack and Phryne in those last two episodes? Heh.)

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Fandom Stocking

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
Fandom stockings have been hung. This year I'm shooting for at least three fills, rather than the one I ended up writing last year.

Should you feel the desire to visit, mine is here. :)

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New skates

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I wore my new skates for three hours this morning. As you might imagine, my feet hurt like hell by the end of that time, and indeed straight through until about 8 PM and are still twinging now, but I LOVE THEM. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

The boots are an improvement over my old ones in every area. My toes aren't crushed together, the balls of my feet can lie flat, there is actual arch support, and my heels stay locked in like they've been glued there. After figuring out how to lace them--I can actually do the recommended tight over the toes, less tight over the instep, tight around the ankles lacing now because I don't have to give my toes every millimeter they can get and make up for it elsewhere--I didn't have to relace them every twenty minutes to get any kind of support out of the ankles. I also love that the higher heel puts my center of gravity just a bit forward, instead of uselessly in the middle/back of the blade.

But the blades are definitely the best part. The only comparison I can make is like going from being able to see only black and white to seeing the full spectrum of color. It is that dramatic an improvement. I have an actual rocker upon which I can rock up and off the toe for a correct waltz jump, among other things. I also have an honest-to-god spin rocker upon which I can spin, and did spin today! Now I only have to fight my body to get my weight in the right place over my leg, rather than fight to find the spin rocker. Turns are also amazing. I just thought "three turn," and it was done. It was like the blade turned for me. And pick jumps are way better with the cross-cut pick, which has more areas of contact with the ice to keep me from feeling like I'm going to slip off the side when I pick.

The right blade was mounted slightly off true, which is a bummer, but easily fixable. Kudos to whoever figured out the system of temporary mounting. I must say, it was weird trying to get an inside edge rather than an outside edge, though.


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Several things make a post!

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I made it to the maintenance dose of my allergy shots yesterday! Woooo!

I think they've actually been helpful, or maybe it's all the allergy meds I take now. Either way, we've had a stray cat hanging around lately--okay, more likely it's a wandering neighbor cat who's figured out this neighborhood is an open bar--and it hasn't made me sneeze yet.

Cat picturesCollapse )

I've watched through 2.3 of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. You were all right, it did get much better, especially Jack (and to a slightly lesser extent Phryne). He has a personality (and it's funny)! She is much less irritating! Dot and Hugh are still completely adorable, and Jane is much less trying than I expected.

Certain People Who Know Who They Are might enjoy this. It's kind of like a gender-reversed Castle mated with a BBC costume drama and shipped to Australia.

Finally, the annual Christmas Tree pictures. I upgraded this year; by happy chance, my mother got herself a slimmer, trimmer tree just as I completely overwhelmed my poor 4.5-footer with ornaments, so I inherited her slim-but-not-close-enough-to-singularity tree.

Too lazy to HTML, look at them on Flickr instead.

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Sunday adult session practice

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I semi-sorta successfully did a Salchow off one foot today!

Okay, so instead of a nice sequence of:

1. Left forward outside three turn
2. Swing right leg around in a controlled manner while turning in one place on left foot
3. Go up onto left toe to hop off it, thus making a hook on the ice
4. Do kind of a pivot into a waltz jump,

(all of which I can do as long as I let my right foot tap the ice for balance during part two), it was more like this:

1. Left forward outside three turn
2. Swing right leg around wildly while scraping a biggish circle with left foot
3. Go up onto left toe after overrotating, no hook in sight
4. Hop about two inches.

But my right foot didn't touch the ice until the landing! That happened a lot faster than I thought it would.

Half lutz also got slightly better. It helps if I remember to stand up straight rather than leaning forward on the takeoff. I think I managed one where I didn't come to a complete stop when I picked in.

Back scratch spin is up to a revolution and a quarter before I lose my balance. Baby steps.

Skating at the other rink is always a mixed blessing, because while I do indeed love the adult sessions (there were four of us on there most of the time, growing to six for about a half an hour, and everyone looks where they're going and is polite and awesome), the other rink's pricing structure is wacky. The cost of a freestyle session is $12 no matter how long the session is, compared to $4 for every 45 minutes at my usual rink. So I feel compelled to stay for the whole session once I pay my $12, even if the session is two hours long. (That's about the point where I break even, actually.) I can improve things pretty steadily up until the 90-minute mark, at which point things begin a sharp downward curve as I get tired (and, honestly, start to worry about wiping out because I'm so tired). So that last half hour isn't very useful, but I don't want to waste it, but my back is killing me and all my muscles will protest tomorrow, but...

Meanwhile, [personal profile] kyriacarlisle is probably saying, "You get THAT MUCH ICE for THAT LITTLE MONEY and some sessions have only FOUR PEOPLE, all of them adults, and you're COMPLAINING??? OMG, I hate you." Heh. Tax-funded municipal rinks are a wonderful thing.

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Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
I just watched the first two episodes of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. I'm on the fence. I really liked the crusty, older doctor in the first episode and Dot, the maid, in both episodes. (Dot and Constable What's-his-name are admittedly adorable as well.) The whole Detective Phryne and Girl Friday Dot is an excellent dynamic. I'm starting to wonder if Phryne is going to collect a lost lamb of a younger woman or girl in every episode, given her unexpected desire to foster Jane in the second episode. The twist in the first episode absolutely caught me by surprise, so that was good. There are some funny moments here and there. I cannot tell the two Communist taxi drivers apart at all.

But. Phryne...kind of annoys the hell out of me in some ways? Despite all the hints about her poor childhood, she's drawn like one of those rich characters who can't relate to the salt of the earth underlings and eventually get some kind of comeuppance. There's a kind of irritating nobility to her character, I guess.

Jack Robins (Robinson? I forget his name, which is indicative of the problem with him) is as dull as dishwater and I do not buy the brewing romance between him and Phryne for one second. So, so dull. I am not looking forward to further developments on that front.

The seasons are pretty short, so I guess I'll at least watch S1. If nothing else, the set design is lovely, as are the costumes, given what they have to work with. (I loathe the dropped waists of 1920s dresses, so while I like the hats and the fabrics and the shoes, the actual clothing does little for me.) And I hear Phryne gets a plane soon. That should be fun.

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[Movies] Fred and Ginger Danced Till
Arrrrgh. The blades I ordered for my skates are a quarter-inch too short, according to the guy at the rink who sharpens, mounts blades, and otherwise supervises equipment. They look fine to me and measure exactly the 1/4" from the end of the boot they're supposed to. I think he just has a preference for end-to-end mounting. On the other hand, he's effectively the only game in town, so...I guess I need to get the longer blades. Sigh. At least returns are free from the place I ordered them.

Today I started working on a back scratch spin. If you're wondering what the difference is between that and a forward scratch spin, it's that you're on the leg furthest from your direction of rotation. I spin to the left, so for a forward spin, I'm on my left leg; for a back spin, I'm on my right.

P taught to me as "an inside three turn that keeps going, with your free foot in front." At the moment, mine is more like an inside three turn that goes around once and crashes to a halt because my lizard brain is busy screaming that with my left foot in front I am going trip and kill myself. So of course P had me practice just doing an inside three turn and putting my free foot down crossed over the turning foot once the turn was over.

This is going to be a work in progress for a while. Years, perhaps.

Incremental progress on the forward scratch. I managed one at the very end of the session today, after rehearsal, that actually felt decent. The tracing was a lot tighter than it normally is for me, which means I centered it and got on the right spot of the blade. (I don't travel in the "spin while moving down the ice instead of staying in one place" sense you hear commentators tut about--frankly, I don't get enough revolutions to travel with--but I typically have my weight wrong and lean to the inside, which results in a tracing where the loop of one revolution is a circle about a foot wide, rather than infinitesimal.)

P also gave me an exercise to prepare for doing half loops. It consists of skating backwards in the loop takeoff position, jumping straight up on on the right foot and then landing on it with the left leg swung back in the landing position. It is exactly as horrifying as it sounds. My lower back was also like, "You're kidding, right? You must be kidding," because that landing is harsh. Eventually my back just threw in the towel and I've been wearing a heating pad since I got home.

(PT for my back is...I actually think it's making things worse, but perhaps it's a matter of getting worse before it gets better. So skating has been an adventure lately.)

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January 2015



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