The Weekend Happy: Music and Dance

Work’s been busy. We’ve been working to get a new part of the site ready to launch next week, so I’ve had a lot to do. I’ve called California more times in the last two weeks than  have at any other time in my entire life. I can tell I’ve made the right decision, though. Underneath all the stress and the long hours of data entry and of searching other people’s websites for information that should be easy to find but isn’t and of calling people who’ve never heard of me and who are afraid I’m trying to sell them something, I feel much more peaceful than I did even during some of the less stressful periods at my last job. I no longer feel like a worthless sack of meat that gets punted around by people who don’t understand my job and don’t care to find out what I do or what I might like to do. I chose this job, I enjoy it, and I am being allowed to do well at it. There’s things I’m still learning and getting used to, but I am still so excited to be doing the work I’m doing, and I hope our funding works out so I can keep doing it!

I suppose none of that strictly has to do with the Weekend Happy, but it does perhaps explain why I’ve felt myself drawn to some of the quieter and more peaceful expressions of music and dance this weekend.

The whole thing started when Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches tweeted a link to a tango number. Now, in the right mood, I will watch most any dance number, as I have just enough dance experience of my own to be able to identify “difficult,” “talented,” and “well-executed,” which I think helps a great deal in the appreciation of any art. Plus, I really loved dancing, and while I would never in a million years want it for a career, seeing other people do it well makes me happy. I don’t know a great deal about tango, and most times when people post links, they’re to routines that emphasize just how sexually charged tango can be. (This video in particular is quite popular, and I admit I enjoy it quite a lot, and am always reminded that this is a dance movie I haven’t seen yet.) So when I watched the video Sarah posted, I was a little surprised, and ultimately quite charmed:

The music and the couples’ attitude combine to create such a tenderly romantic dance. For the first time, I kind of wanted to learn the tango.

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I wanted some lettuce, but all I found was this linksalad

As promised, the craziness of July is beginning, barely, to abate. We moved last weekend, and my sister’s wedding was the weekend before that. We helped close friends move this weekend, and next weekend is my husband’s birthday. Also, I just got transferred to a new department at work on Friday. But you know, aside from that, stuff’s kinda boring. :P

Since I’ve been away, I thought I’d bring you presents. From my husband, a link to Harry Potter as an animè/manga series. I have to admit that I have a hard time recognizing all of the characters (though Bill Weasley cracked me up). Some were obvious and awesome. I loved McGonagall and who I think was probably Tonks, and was intrigued by the character surrounded by lilies, who I’m guessing is Snape. I can’t decide whether to be fascinated or amused by the fact that before reading the seventh book, his portrayal would have been quite different. But that should probably be its own blog post. Also, the image of Regulus Black and Kreacher made me feel a little choked up. I think in some ways it defines their relationship even better than the books. Which leads me to wonder what HP as a manga series would look like. (I’m not sure if I’d want to see it as an animè or not.) The shifts in the characters required by the cultural transition would be really fascinating and in good hands could give a feeling of discovering new sides and depths to the existing characters. (As I suspect is the case with the manga adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, though I have not read enough of it to say.) Not that I ever expect to see it done, or done well. But it’s a nice thought experiment.

From the blog lines and colors (which I highly recommend) comes the YouTube series The History of English in 10 Minutes. The first video is below; if you like it, I highly recommend the playlist.

And finally, though embedding is disabled (boooo!), I had to share Janelle Monae’s remix of “Tightrope” featuring B.o.B. and Lupe Fiasco. I’m not enough in the music scene to know what kind of criticism she’s receiving, but as someone very talented who’s trying to do something different, it wouldn’t surprise me that there are naysayers. This video appears to be a response to this sort of Doesn’t Get It, Too Jealous sort of criticism, and as such, the classiness just blows my mind. And if you’re not familiar with Monae, watch her music video for “Many Moons.” I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched that video, and it never seems to wear out. I love it to pieces.

And on that note, farewell and good night.