On Waltz

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Did you hear the 1-2-3 pattern in the beat?

The waltz is a fun, elegant dance, but the truth be known, it is not easy

Waltz music is in 3/4 time (three beats per measure), whereas most dances are in 4/4 time

Waltz music should provide an easy to hear 1-2-3, 1-2-3 pattern, with the first beat heavier (more pronounced than the others)

In many steps, dancers elongate the second beat

Today, waltz is associated with flowing gowns, tails, and sophistication, but its roots are as a dance of 16th century peasants in eastern Europe

Here’s a chance to learn the basic step

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The word waltz is from the old German word walzen, meaning to roll, to turn, or to glide

Waltz became fashionable in Vienna in the 1780s

As the dance spread across Europe, religious leaders vehemently opposed the dance, thus proclaimed it as vulgar and sinful

Acceptance in England was even slower, but opposition waned because Queen Victoria was a good dancer and enjoyed waltz

Waltz received a big boost when Austrian composer Johann Strauss wrote numerous waltzes

Waltz first came to America in the early 1800s, yet it also received religious opposition – but to no avail as society accepted waltz by the 1850s

Here’s one of our favorite waltz songs, Come Away With Me by Norah Jones with Jonathan and Anna on DWTS (listen for the 1-2-3 beat)

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In dancehall settings, waltz moves counter-clockwise around the floor with a rise on the second beat

Waltz looks best with long, controlled strides to move the floor

Social dancing is not choreographed – it’s lead and follow … yep, the male leads and the female follows …. Ladies, would any of you have a problem with that?

Today there are two prominent styles: International Standard Waltz and American Style Waltz

Major difference is that in international style, the dancers always stay in closed position (in hold), while American style breaks hold for spins, turns, and other steps (This was very evident to me on my trip to Italy early this year)

Viennese waltz (shown later) is also in 3/4 time, but at a much faster tempo with a lot of turning (thus I don’t do Viennese because of motion sickness)

Other styles include Scandinavian, Peruvian, Mexican, Cajun, Tango vals, Venezuelan, Contra/Freeform, Valse Musette, and Cross-Step

The next set of videos are to some of my favorite waltz music – Enjoy!

Still Me (American style)

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Theme from Cider House Rules (International style)

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She Dances by Josh Grobin with Tony and Julianne on DWTS

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Nocturne by Secret Garden

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Here’s a beautiful Viennese Waltz, which is much faster, but the 1-2-3 beat is still prevalent

On Satire Bits: Vol. 66

How’s your week going? A few days of fabulous weather has blessed Cincinnati, so golf was wonderful tonight. If was cloudy, comfortable temps, played with good people, and I played very well.

Otherwise, I’ve been keeping busy enough to cut into my blog visits. 😦 Plus, we received notification that handbell rehearsals start in 3 weeks!

On to your mid-week dose of satire. I’m breaking tradition this week as these are not from The Onion. Well, I wrote these about readers here. Do you know any of these bloggers? Are you one of the ten? Go ahead, make your guesses, but I will return later with the answers in a comment.

Have a good rest of the week.

1) Local Promotes Establishing Peaceful Zones on LA Rush-Hour Freeway

2) Northern Virginia Blogger Warns Against Washington Becoming Political

3) Canadian Proclaims All Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights Throughout the World are His upon Request

4) New NYC Tour Operator Creates Giving the Finger Tour

5) Photographer Revealed to be Alien Squirrel

6) Artist Admit to Psych Ward for Producing Drawing without Breasts, Faces, or Sexual Innuendos

7) Blogger Wins World Chortling Championship

8) Stunt Enthusiast Preparing to Surf Mudslide

9) NYC Tree Decorator Uses Bag Lady as Ornament

10) Flash in Pan – not genetics or coloring – Changes Hair to Red

On Time: The Musical – Act 5

TTime The Musicalhe Story
Time – The Musical is an original A Frank Angle production featuring songs about time.

Program (Past posts)
Act 1: Time
Act 2: Specific Time
Act 3: Years
Act 4: Months

Act 5
Act 5 only features songs with Day, Days, or any weekday (Monday through Friday) in the song title; but the challenge for attendees is no duplicates. Well, outside of the extra challenge of avoiding weekends, Saturday, and Sunday.

Production Note
It has come to my attention that past acts have crashed browsers. Please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line. The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video. I will try to establish a pattern to follow in the first few comments, plus adjust when necessary.

Opening Act
Ladies and gentlemen, to kickoff Act 5, a grand AFA welcome to a group more than worthy of being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but is somehow omitted, it’s the Moody Blues with Tuesday Afternoon.

On Dolittle Monday

How was your weekend? Come on now, tell us something.

This weekend wasn’t our normal fare as we had family visiting; therefore no dance floor time for us. Saturday’s rain continues to keep us over the average for July and for the year. That’s OK because at least the weather wasn’t stifling! Plus, Sunday’s weather was one of those days I could take everyday.

If all goes as planned, Time: The Musical continues on the next post featuring song titles with Day, Days, or a weekday (Monday through Friday). Get your song titles and videos ready, and have a backup because no duplicates.

This week is has numerous celebratory opportunities. Monday is Lasagna Day and Tuesday is Chicken Wing Day and Paperback Book Day. Wednesday is Uncommon (Musical) Instruments Awareness Day, plus, White Lady in the Hood will welcome anyone willing to cheer the start of Fancy Rat and Mouse Week – so make a note to visit her on Wednesday for a celebratory greeting!

August starts on Thursday, which provides starts month-long culinary celebrations for celery, fennel, cactus, goat cheese, catfish, panini, orange, and papaya.

To jump-start your week, here are some funny talking animals – kind of the opposite of Dr. Dolittle. Have a good week!

On the First Sex Symbol


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Regarded as an animated sex symbol from the Depression era as she was a Flapper Girl reminder of the Roaring 20s

The wind blew up her skirt before Marilyn Monroe’s famous skirt scene

122 cartoon appearances

#17 TV Guide’s Greatest Cartoon Characters

Famous Tagline: “Boop-oop-a-doop”
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Created by Max Fleischer and Grim Natwick

First appearance Dizzy Dishes (August 9, 1930)

Last appearance Rhythm on the Reservation (July 7, 1939)

First voiced by Margie Hines, but voiced by four others in that decade

Most famously voiced by Mae Questel, who also voiced Betty in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and other appearances until her death (1998)

Fleishcer used jazz great Cab Calloway and his Minnie the Moocher hit in a 1932 short – so, here’s Calloway’s introduction and the song from the cartoon.

Originally appeared in the sixth Talkartoon series

Comic strip from 1934 to 1937

Initially appeared as a poodle in human form

Appeared many times as companion to Bimbo

Character based on Clara Bow and Helen Kane (the latter eventually sued, but lost)

Originally black and white, but the first color appearance was Poor Cinderella (1934)

Betty Boop had international popularity

Here’s a well done 4-minute report about Betty’s history

Given her dress and cleavage, the National Legion of Decency and the Production Code of 1934 forced changes in her appearance, dress, and cartoon content

Fearless Fred, a boyfriend, introduced in 1935 and her dog Pudgy

Bette Boop balloon has appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Each year, a Betty Boop and Baby Boop Look-a-Like Contest is held in Montebello, California (last one was July 20, 2013)

Enjoy Riding the Rails (1938), her only Oscar nomination

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 190

On Politics
I was surprised to learn that 15 states allowing voting for a straight (one party) ticket with one vote. Personally, that’s pathetic!

Conservatives loving Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as a potential Republican presidential candidate just goes to show they do not understanding winning.

Oh my my … a Stop Hillary PAC has been formed, so expect to see ads.

As House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) explains votes will not come to the House floor for vote without Republican majority, I say that is a prime example of the House Speaker’s position should be an impartial, nonmember of Congress, which would be Constitutional.

On more than one occasion, and for some time, I have proclaimed repealing various banking laws in favor of returning to the pre-deregulation days of the Glass-Steagall. Finally, I am not alone.

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is an ass with a problem, which unquestionably qualifies him for political office. However, in the end, it is up to the NYC voters (not me or anyone else outside the city) to decide his fate. On a related note, The Onion offers tips for making a political comeback.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Man at salad bar must say every item aloud as he ads it to salad
  • Royal baby already crawling
  • Man making $1000 per month has nerve to complain about minimum wage laws
  • Frustrated novelist no good at describing hands
  • Area man sobbing after Phil Mickelson’s win
  • Royal baby speaks first words

Interesting Reads
Columnist Thomas Friedman’s look at Egypt
A view of the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy
Tony Bennett about Duke Ellington
Gettysburg and Pickett’s Other Charge – the family secrets
Voyager 1 is still going
Infographic: Comparing 1940 & 2010 in the U.S.
Cute graphic about history
Texting on the toilet

On Potpourri
My wife (the avid reader of fiction in this house) purchased The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin, a blogger who visits here …. In addition, the book received a big thumbs up!

In my personal quest to find good ginger ales, I requested tasted two that are new to me. If you like a little (but not a lot) zing, try Red Rock Ginger Ale. Cock N’ Bull Ginger Beer was a solid choice for my taste, so it may make it to my taste-off event.

Are you kidding me? Lance Armstrong’s legal defensive against his then sponsor (USPS) is that they should have known that he was doping (thus lying).

Time is running out on National Doghouse Repairs Month and Sandwich Generation Month. Meanwhile, this weekend is the World Lumberjack Championships and someone I imagine one of my California readers have attended – Garlic Days in Gilroy. Single day celebrations include (Fri) National Talk on the Elevator Day (say Eleven); (Sat) National Dance Day, National Creme Brulee Day, Take Your Houseplant for a Day, Walk on Stilts Day (Go Guap), and Barbie in a Blender Day; (Sun) National Milk Chocolate Day, Auntie’s Day, and Parent’s Day.

Next Tuesday is the scheduled curtain rising of the next act of Time: The Musical. The theme for Act 5 will be “Day” – so get your song title that include Day, Days, or Monday through Friday.

Interesting that we get to live at a rare time with three living heirs to the throne. All the royal baby hoopla reminds me of this comedy bit from Tim Wilson.

I’ve planned a cartoon post for Saturday

To send you into the weekend, here’s some classic rock by someone who should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but isn’t. Have a good weekend. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Alien Squirrels

With no through streets and a good number of trees, our neighborhood is peaceful. We do not live in the woods as Zannyro does, but we have a AlienSquirrelBySuzanneCompwooded lot. I wouldn’t call our setting a menagerie, but numerous squirrels and birds are active – let alone the nocturnal creatures that roam in our midst without our knowledge.

It was a dark Friday night in the fall as we were returning home from a high school football game. While driving on a less-travelled road, I saw a spinning rhombus-shaped object fly across the road in range of the car’s headlights. Not to appear silly, I did not say anything to my wife.

Five seconds later, the object again crossed our path in the opposite direction. This Time I said something to her, and she verified both events.

We safely arrived home, but still wondered what we saw. Later that week, our midweek weekly community paper reported other people seeing a similar object … but the story doesn’t stop there.

The following spring and summer were odd, as we did not see many squirrels – possibly none. Given the oak trees and the sunflower seeds we supply to our bird feeder, their absence was a conundrum.

In a seemingly unrelated event, after awaking from a night of sleep, my wife discovered a pair of tiny marks on her skin. Being a prolific reader and one who enjoys her share of science fiction, I predictably responded with a nod and an eye roll. Interestingly, the marks appeared several other times, and of course, she proclaimed alien probes.

On a sunny day later that summer, my wife summoned me to the yard to see her discovery … lo and behold my eyes fixated on a severed squirrel head. Not a head left from a mulling by a predator, but one with a very clean cut … and during the squirreless summer to boot!

Squirrels began to reappear. However, during the following summer, after seeing a squirrel carrying a dead or injured squirrel, my wife surmised the squirrel was returning the fellow warrior to the mother ship.

That was 15-20 years ago, and squirrel activity has been normal ever since. My wife has not discovered any more probe markings; we never saw another flying rhombus, another severed head, or any evidence of the mother ship – yet the events of that year remain a mystery.

Perhaps, the strangers migrated to Zannyro’s in northeast Indiana, which isn’t that far away from southwest Ohio. After all, do these feet look normal?

alien squirrel feet (1 of 1)

Special thanks to Zannyro (Suzanne Rogers) for the pics!