Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Rejuvenile

Hey, so if the author of a book wants to leave a comment on my blog I'm more than willing to write a bit more about it. Plus, the subjective temperature of my brain has dropped back below 150° again, which helps.

One of the main reasons Rejuvenile was so fun is that I firmly identify myself as one of the title characters. I like seeing a quality that I take as an important part of myself newly elevated to the status of book-worthy. Also, in exploring all the different varieties of rejuveniles and kidults, it made me think more about how much of this trend I really see around me. In a way I suppose that makes it lose a bit of its "specialness," but I think it's worth it, since it's a happy thing to be aware of in the world.

It's also good for those of us rejuveniles who occasionally feel a bit of a nagging worry or guilt about when they might feel like a "real" adult. (And c'mon, it happens to all of us at least sometimes, right?) I think its success in this area is primarily due to the sense of modularity with which it describes the various lifestyle choices. For instance, you might be someone who takes their job responsibilities very seriously, gives regularly to charity and invests sensibly in mutual funds, but then also goes nuts over Harry Potter books and can spend hours playing Legos with a toddler. Other people may swap out the Harry Potter for skateboarding, and not know anything about investing but be a dedicated parent. Or whatever the case may be. Presented this way, it has less a feeling of someone lacking the maturity to grow out of their childhood habits, and more a sense of people deliberately maintaining the most meaningful aspects of their lives and integrating them with the normal growth process. Obviously, there are people who become rejuveniles merely by remaining childish, rather than deliberately being childlike, and those can often be more on the dysfunctional side. But overall, the emphasis is on the positive.

One question I would like to pose, though, is one of terminology. I'd say a lot of the people I know in my age range (say the 20's generally) are rejuveniles of some sort, whether in terms of activities, sense of humor, or whatever. And the man/boy, woman/girl sets of words seem to bookend these sorts of people without really applying quite correctly. On the male side, referring to someone as a "guy" is a nice easy way to get around this, but I have more trouble on the female side, since "gal," the obvious "guy" equivalent, isn't really used as commonly or in the same way. If someone is a very silly, fun-loving individual, it might seem overly formal or old-sounding to call her a "woman," but if she's say, 28, I'd also wonder if that really counts as a "girl" anymore, on a purely numerical basis. What's the appropriate age-range for those terms? Of course, now that I think about it some more, it occurs to me that a nice way around it is to just call them a "friend." Works for a lot of situations, at least.

Anyway, fun book, I recommend it. Amazon's little "better together" deals should pair it up with some Harry Potter books or something. Or maybe some coloring books. That would be funny.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


"Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them."
- Dr. Seuss

That quote cracks me up. It's the opening of a book called Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grown-up, by Christopher Noxon. A very good book about being a childlike (but not childish) adult and just generally having fun however you want to grow up. If it weren't too hot to think right now, I might write more about it. :-/

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

So I Think I'll Predict a Winner

Okay, so I feel like a total dweeb blogging about who I think is going to win a reality show, but I have to admit that So You Think You Can Dance really does have me hooked. I also think it's been interesting to watch the contrast of Dimitry and Benji through the show. Dimitry has the sort of traditionally gorgeous, muscular, chest-baring look that would stereotypically make women swoon, but his dancing never really seems to quite work for me, and I get tired of watching him. Whereas Benji is the geeky, goofy one, but my god he can move like nobody's business. I love watching him dance, and I really like seeing the sort of support he's getting from the audience. It gives hope to those of us who are decidedly non-Dimitrys. :-) I'm going to go ahead and peg him now for the overall winner, though I really wish there could be a winner from each gender, so Donyelle could win also. Short term, I think Ryan and Martha are the next to be eliminated (but Dimitry's next after Ryan).

As long as I'm here, I'll also mention that I've been really surprised at how much I've enjoyed the "contemporary" routines so far. That's a pretty generic category that I never really had a concept of before, and didn't really expect to like. But Ivan/Allison last week and Travis/Heidi this week both had incredible dances in that style. They're in that weird category of dances I really enjoyed watching but didn't have any urge to actually do myself.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Musical Snapshot

Every once in a while I fire up Last.fm and see what it has to offer in terms of new musical recommendations. It tends to be pretty hit and miss, with rather more misses than hits, but it does occasionally come up with some good ones. The three memorable ones this time around were:
  • Hank Williams, Sr. - Honky Tonk Blues
  • Reel Big Fish - She Has a Girlfriend Now
  • The Smiths - Bigmouth Strikes Again
Their choruses have been vying with each other for the title of Alpha Earworm for the last few days, which is kind of a weird sensation, since they're all pretty different. The other-worldly female vocal line in Bigmouth may be pushing that one into first place, but the one yodel in Honky Tonk sounds pretty funny interrupting it periodically.

Anyway, that's what the inside of my head sounds like right now. Anyone else have some other recommendations they want to throw my way?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

So I Went Dancing

A couple of very good dances this weekend. First was FNW, with Anne teaching a tango class beforehand. I went to that and mostly got a review of a few things I learned when I took Argentine Tango a few years ago, but it was good to get it back into the front of my brain again. The rest of the evening had some fun dances, including a doozy of a polka with Eric and Bob swapping the lead but me having to follow all the time. Eric and I had some of the most ground-covering redowas ever at the end there, and I was about to keel over afterwards, but it was worth it. I gotta get better at omni-position polka, though, not to mention transition via genuflection.

Last night, Footloose (from North Carolina) was playing at the Palo Alto contra, so I went there for the first time in a while. Good to be back contradancing again, and with a really good crowd. Great music, too -- the wa-wa pedal on the fiddle was especially mind-blowing. I want one of those to play with. And I had a couple of excellent waltzes with Tracey. In the first one, rotary tempo, we did a combination of canter-pivots and underarm-turns, all while doing a left-turn waltz. I've been leading that a lot recently in right-turn, but Tracey was following so well that I didn't realize it might be harder going left until it was already done (and easily, too, I might add). I think we were going around a corner at the time too, so we got about the maximum amount of turning possible. Good stuff.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance

Mom got me started watching So You Think You Can Dance last week. I love watching great dancers learn new styles and perform in them every week; it just seems like so much fun. The pace of the show is driving me crazy, though. I wish they'd trim the shows down to about half the time. Cut out all the bits about reshowing and insulting the people who didn't make it on to the show, and heck, I wouldn't even mind skipping the judges a lot of the time. Then the elimination show just drags on forever. Argh. I just want to watch them all learning and performing. Oh well.

I don't know quite what I thought of the Viennese Waltz and West Coast Swing routines last night. Maybe that's what those dances are like in competitive ballroom, but it didn't really seem natural to me. But still, everything was fun to watch, and it's incredible what these people manage to do with just a week of preparation.

And speaking of learning new dances, I just signed myself up for a few hip hop lessons, starting next Friday. We'll see how silly I can make myself look with that. Should be interesting.