The Soapbox Archives:
I just got word last week that Beantown Lindy Hop Camp was missing a few leaders for track 2 & 4. Since some friends have told me I could be in Track 4, I volunteered to move up a level to help balance it out, though I don't know if that left a space in Track 3. One friend said she figured I was in Track 5 because she never saw me in Track 4; Denyce always says the nicest things. :-)
I've been in Track 3 at every Beantown since I started going, mostly because I figured there's plenty of good dancers that I can dance with at that level and there's less pressure to learn than at the higher level. At Beantown, if I happen to learn something, all the better, but I really go because I like the people who attend and I like the whole "camp" environment. Everyone eats together in the same place and I end up meeting new people at every meal. I think I'm more likely to dance with someone more than once if I've sat down for a meal with that person. The dancing's always great at any level. At times, I've able to get in extra classes by filling in as a leader in the lower tracks when I didn't have a class.
To be honest, I hope some more people come in and fill in Track 4 so I can drop back down to Track 3. I hope some of you guys who are on the fence about attending this event remember one of the many reasons why you might have started dancing in the first place: there be women to be dancin' with!
I now see how dangerously restrictive a social networking website is when someone puts all their eggs in that one basket.
My Facebook account got disabled this past week and I can't seem to find someone who will tell me why. It turns out I wasn't the only one, either. There was one link that was suppose to send me to a form that I could fill out to complain, but it required me to....log into my Facebook account (like that made any sense). It took me a while to find an email address ("firstname.lastname@example.org") where I could send email with questions. So far I've gotten no response.
It's also ironic that Facebook "helps you connect and share with the people in your life". They also put a very vague limit on the amount of email you can send within the Facebook network, which contradicts the whole purpose of Facebook. I had gotten a few warnings on the email which I used primarily to coordinate activities within one of the online Facebook games I play. Apparently, they realy want you to use the Chat feature to talk to people, but you can't do that with more than one person at a time and they have to be online at the same time. We need to be able to send messages to our group of players without having to set up a "group" and no one wanted to send me their email addresses to use for that purpose outside of Facebook control.
The thing that bothers me is that a lot of people use these social networking websites as their sole means of communicating with their friends so if you didn't get around to getting their email address, you're cut off from those people. For me, I've found how much more time I have on my hands since I've been cut off from Facebook so that's good for me. Once people find out how much time they have to do stuff outside Facebook, I don't think they're going to be as eager to come back. I'm not sure how my Facebook friends feel...because I don't know how to get in touch with them outside of Facebook. They just think I completely abandoned Facebook...and them.
June wants me to make a t-shirt that says "Banned from Facebook!" :D
P.S. Know how sometimes on Facebook, they'll say "these people score xxx on some quiz" and they'll show pictures of people you might know and their names? Well, I saw that they used a picture of Frankie Manning and me...from my disabled account. I'm not sure I'm going to be posting any more pictures on Facebook.
Is anyone else having problems using Comcast for the Internet?
Some friends of mine are having problems:
This was confusing for a while because a friend could send out email through her business' mail server while at my house but couldn't do so from her own house (where she has Comcast). I didn't realize what the problem was until another friend ended up with the exact same problem where he was forced to use smtp.comcast.net and Comcast's tech support couldn't figure out what the problem was.
Congratulations to Kathleen Rezendez and Chris Hugo for getting first place; they got dinner for two at the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown.
The more interesting story, though, was the fight for *second* place. Second prize was a certificate to Rancatore's Ice Cream in Belmont. At least two couples declared a battle for the best ice cream in Belmont. When Roger Weiss called for a second round of audience applause for voting, the crowd demanded a dance-off to get a second chance to see what these people could do. When the results came in, Roger Weiss declared that someone's wish came true. The couple of Chris and Chris (old-time dancers from way back) fought a determined battle for that coveted ice cream but June Joyce and her partner (some Chinese-looking guy, who knows?) triumphed for the sought-after prize.
Word has it that the two winning couples will be pooling their prizes on some Saturday before a dance in July.
Before sending in any questions, please read the list of frequently asked questions.
I get really annoyed when people send me *additions* a day or two before the event. Usually by that time, people have made up their mind what they're doing that day. I don't mind last minute cancellations for weather, but even those risk not being seen until it's too late. Sunday notes are always risky because I probably will have gone dancing the night before, gone to the diner afterwards, get home really late and probably not wake up until *really* late. Don't expect updates until late Sunday. Asking me why your information isn't on the website before Sunday night is a really bad idea. Updating the website is not a priority before I have my coffee.
Just a thought for you people who join social networking websites like Facebook.
In some of the games like Mafia Wars, Vampire Wars, Farm Town, etc, you have to be "friends" with people before being able to invite them into your group, clan, etc, in order to create a group strong enough to take on other groups or otherwise interact with the other players. While it's possible to "friend" someone, have them join your group, and then delete them from your friends list without losing the benefits of their "presense", there is a period of time where some of your information is open for all to see. Assuming you leave some person information like your email address so people can contact you outside of Facebook, it is a way to get access to a lot of legit email addresses for use in spam. How many of you play the games on Facebook or allow various Facebook applications "access" to your information? How many of your Facebook "friends" would you trust not to be a spammer?
People who play these games should protect their personal information by "unfriending" those whom they don't know or trust, yet still get the benefit of their presence in your games. Or just shut off that personal information.
This, however, makes it tougher for people to find you outside of Facebook if something happens to your account.
When I list special workshops in the calendar, I like to include pictures of the instructors so that my readers will see who the teacher is. Sometimes they'll recognize the picture more than the name. The pictures should be used to promote the dance teacher and therefore should look somewhat professional and put the instructor in the best possible light. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get pictures of the instructors and many times those pictures are awful. I'll settle for professional portraits, but I'd really like to see good dynamic shots of an instructor teaching a class or dancing.
Pictures I like? Frankie Manning's picture was simple but had a lot of life and energy. Angel & Debbie Figueroa were serious and dramatic. I had an older picture of Hazel & Tybaldt, but I like their newer one. Jeannie Tucker & Robert Royston have "professional" written all over them. I always seem to end up using the same Ryan and Jenny picture. John Lindo's seems like a professional shot, I can't seem to get a picture out of John Festa. Kelly (Buckwalter) Casanova has a great picture. I've been using this picture of Mario Robau for years. Does he still look like that? This picture of Steven Mitchell & Virginie looks like a great action shot. This picture of Skye Humphries and Naomi makes you think they're moving, like the pictures in the Harry Potter movies. But a picture like this one of Sylvia Sykes reinforces the fact that she is a teacher and people will pay good money to take a workshop with her.
Those are the kinds of pictures that people should have if they're going to be going around teaching workshops.
A Corner Booth member came up with the idea of rating venues with little graphics of t-shirts. The t-shirts would give you an idea of how many t-shirts you'd need to change into based how good the venue was...i.e., how much you were going to sweat. I thought it was a cute idea.
I didn't dance much on Friday & Saturday nights at Beantown because I didn't like the music much; I've never been into the early jazz music (especially Dixie-land jazz). However, The Racky Thomas Band played on Sunday night and I danced the whole weekend's worth of dancing on one night. I was so tired at the end that I couldn't lead to save my life (and that was before I was asked to dance three times in a row); that's never happened before. I still wished this band would play shorter songs; on the other hand, my friends who got to dance with Ryan Francois that night had a *great* time.