F 1 D 0 - 2002 12 07 at 0200

Left hand, index finger.

It isn't calloused.
It isn't red.
It is sore, but not excessively.

I hurt it on Tuesday night, at the bluegrass practice.
I didn't cut it or anything like that. In fact, Ann
took a nick out of her finger today (Friday) by reaching
into a bag that had new jeans in it. There was some kind
of cardboard patch, and it was sharp enough to chop her.
Dave to the rescue: when you hurt certain parts of you,
don't use a bandage. Use a resin based first aid. They're
called liquid bandage or similar. They can be sprayed on
or dabbed gently. They sting like hell, but only for one
minute. Then, calm peace. 

Anyway, me: I get a near blister when trying to play.
I practiced for a while this evening (after midnight
saturday morning). Even from 20-30 minutes a day, it
hurts. Sigh. But I'm getting better at guitar. I am 
sure of it.

I'm being asked to play a solo on guitar now and then.
I'm slow, and you can be sure, as long as everyone is
looking at me and paying attention, I'm messing it up.
But they're proud I'm doing it. I was not able to play
at all in October. Now I'm getting it.

My newest song is Salt Creek. It's hard, but it is coming.

And tonight I was fiddling with some English Dance melodies.
Mr Isaac's Maggot. Maggot means favourite. Yes, I know it
means baby fly. So I dunno why they call them Maggot. But
they do. 

Exercise is going well. At least, I'm aching all over. So the
work is happening, and so I've begun.

It all feels so new to me. I look on this exercise program
with naiive eyes. I did a floor class with boxing Wednesday.
The girl who led it was rather new, as I met her during 
her first few days at the club. This class was truly 
inspired. Very strong, very well led.

Today a different new girl came in to lead the "Various" class.
It turned out to be a floor class as well. 

We have words for "step class" and "spinning class" and
"Thai boxing class" and "yoga class" -- but for a plain aerobics
class I use the term "floor class". It isn't widely used.
We used it a Bally Fatness, in Toronto. It just meant we
didn't have to take any toys out of the box. I rather like
them, perhaps better than step, better than Hip Hop, better
than (etc). 

The teacher's job is to lead the class in a picture perfect
fashion. Oh, yes, she's supposed to cue it audibly. But most
of the women in the class are at the very back of the room, 
and this girl is NOT amplified. So they follow her example.
They've done this for a while, most of them, anyway. But I
like to hear the cuing, and stand just behind her, just to
her right. Whenever she calls some kind of a change, I clap
on beat EIGHT. This sometimes has a wrong effect, and others
will just start clapping. Fine. But I want to reply to "last
time Step Touch; Forward for FOUR!" (!!CLAP!!).

Her routine was sharp, and sync'd to the music. GOOD JOB.
I think she called herself "Tayna". 

I was at David York's home wednesday. He has a nice
computer, which has been blessed with not one, but
two writers. One is a slow writer, and the other
is a fast one. This thing cuts a new CD in about
three minutes. It calculates two, but it really
takes three. WOW. Fast fast fast.

He has a teen son. He loves the computer, 
and has so many programs which autoload. 
I'm just so turned off by these chat programs
which include spyware. There is almost no reason
I can see for running a program on your computer
which does nothing you can visibly detect. One of
them is USAVE. If you see it in your task list,
don't let it start up. No need for that.

Start, Run, c:\windows\system\msconfig.exe
Oh, search for MSCONFIG.EXE if you're running
WinXP. XP is practically MS-SPYWARE. Feh.
Use this utility to only let programs you
know and love to start when you turn on your
computer. Of course you are not erasing any
valuable spying programs. You can doubleclick
them anytime you please. I'm sure they'll be
in the start menu. Yes, I *love* selective 
start up.

I happen to know what spyware does. It watches
your screen, and when it sees an email address,
it captures it. If it sees a proper name next
to it, better still. That isn't viral activity,
so Norton and McAfee won't stop these. They're
not evil and won't erase your data. In fact, 
they'll send it off to some corporation to "save"
just for you.

Dear $propername$, if you believe we have sent you 
this email in error, you can visit $nonexistantdomain$.com/remove.htm
and we will stop sending you valuable ads. You have registered
at one of our partner sites. In fact, if you choose, you
may unsubscribe by visiting 
this removes you from our site, and notifies our partner
sites that you truly read email.

Anyway, my complaint with most of these
programs installed by Dave's son is how
much games and chat programs autoload and 
install software with bad manners. I fixed 
it. We'll see if things stay fixed.

Every year in Toronto I get these things called
Dominos. They're a chocolate covered thing, marzipan,
orange gel, cookie. Wonderful treats. The small pack
sells for 1.49 instead of 1.25 and they're available
in Thunder Bay.

If I can get this sounding cohesive, it will become
a journal entry, but for now, you get to see
what I'm trying to write.

Fast forward; today is early on Saturday Morning, around
230am now.

What a *wonderful* day.

I've come back from a sparkling Scottish dance. We begin
at 700pm, supposedly. We started late, when the guy with
the key didn't arrive until 730pm. Still, the first hour
is for people with some experience. Minimal teaching.

After 800pm, the people who want extra lessons trickle
in. So after 830pm, we form a circle, and do some real
aerobic skipping. Setting. Strathspey'ing. Even fifteen
minutes of this makes the muscles which protects my shin
all warm.

A good dance messes up my head. I feel less than smart.
But I'm full of music, and very joyous. 

There is a Robbie Burns party happening in the new
year, and we may be able to play live music for it.
Yes! This is a good thing. They seem to be happy
with jigs and reels, a la Irish dance. 

Oh! I'd better get my money over to the lady leading
English dance soon. Now that I have some, I should
spend it there. Rumour has it she is new at teaching.
Normally, this might be a problem, but I have some
real ideas about how to teach, and a zeal to do this.

In fact, she's done the part I really don't like doing:
putting up advertisements, paying for a hall, and the
rest of the administrivia. So if I end up being permitted
to teach half or all of this, it could be perfect.

I found my book "One Callers Cards." It is very concise.
It has most of the dances we use in North America, in a
very shortened form. I also have the book "English Country
Dances" by Barnes. This has the music. Dave York plays
multiple instruments, and is willing to help. His schedule
could be strange, as the train company doesn't give him
any warning about when he does/doesn't work. All of a sudden,
his cel phone rings, and away he goes. But we have some good
players at the Bluegrass group. If I can connect with some
who have a background in (primarily) traditional tunes, rather
than countrystyle, then this will be perfect. 

The group went out for coffee at The Seattle Coffee house
again. Wow, it is far, but there is a perimeter highway here,
and that got me home from there in 10 minutes. COOL.

Ann went an Art Opening at Creed's coffee house. She
had a perfect day as well. The musicians were playing
(and singing) popular Jazz. The photos on display were
excellent I hear. Ann met many people we both know, and
so when I got home around midnight, she was still there.
So that rates as a good party in my books. 

I know I am rambling, but I'm trying to share the
ideas and thoughts as they run into my head.

Goodness, I had a strange nightmare last night. Or a
series of them.

All of them formed just one dream. I came home
from somewhere, and had a bug on me. It ran very
fast. Like an urban roach. But it was small, and
yellow with black stripes, like a bee. Also, home
wasn't very homey: it was sand. 

One became many suddenly. And my attempts to
chase and kill these bugs were not effective. But
what made the night suck was how I'd wake now and
then, only to fall asleep and continue where this
awful story left off. 

I didn't have a cold sweat or anything like that.
I just woke up so very tired, it wasn't until
noon that my head actually cleared. 

That's all I know.

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