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August 25th, 2006

I love this word from A.Word.A.Day

tarantism (TAR-uhn-tiz-uhm) noun

An uncontrollable urge to dance.

[After Taranto, a town in southern Italy where this phenomenon was experienced during the 15-17th centuries. It's not clear whether tarantism was the symptom of a spider's bite or its cure, or it may have been just a pretext to dodge a prohibition against dancing. The names of the dance tarantella and the spider tarantula are both derived from the same place.]



I met Dr. Swarts at Helios, where I signed a usability test participant form, installed screen capturing software on my laptop, and received process instruction on when/how to capture my participation.

I did another batch of STC work, which included:
  • Responding to Dr. Dicks' and Kim's note about participants for the 11/09 Professional Panel
  • Creating a PowerPoint template for the "675 Survivor" participants to use
  • Sending said template out for review to Dr. Dicks and the STC Board
  • Reminding Sarah to review the Constitution ballot, and distribute if it meets her approval.
During the "creating the PowerPoint presentation template" task, I turned on the screen capture tool as I did some re-use of text.  Cool.



I had an interesting conversation with an older guy I've seen at Helios several times before. He has long, gray hair, usually tied back in a pony tail, and looks like he may have once been an important figure in an Indian (feathers, not dots) tribe.

It makes me laugh even to write that assumption about the man as it makes me think of the Lesbian in the bandanna comment:

Me:  Excuse me, but I was wondering if you are an ex-Indian tribal chief?

Man in gray, pony-tail:  No, I'm just a hippie throw-back from the 60s.

--Helios, Glenwood Avenue



I read several more chapters of Memoirs of a Geisha this afternoon.



I met Robert at the Carolina Theater for the 7:10 showing of Little Miss Sunshine.

Movie Synopsis: Olive is a little girl with a dream: winning the Little Miss Sunshine contest. Her family wants her dream to come true, but they are so burdened with their own quirks, neuroses, and problems that they can barely make it through a day without some disaster befalling them.

Olive's father Richard is a flop as a motivational speaker, and is barely on speaking terms with her mother. Her Uncle Frank, a renowned Proust scholar, has attempted suicide following an unsuccessful romance with a male graduate student. Her brother Dwayne, a fanatical follower of Nietzsche, has taken a vow of silence, which allows him to escape somewhat from the family whose very presence torments him. And Olive's grandfather is a ne'er-do-well with a drug habit, but at least he enthusiastically coaches Olive in her contest talent routine.

Circumstances conspire to put the entire family on the road together with the goal of getting Olive to the Little Miss Sunshine contest in far off California.


Probably the best word to describe this move to me would be "cute." I thought it degenerated, unfortunately, to a preposterous ending.

Overall, however, I felt like the return on my investment, which was laughter and poignancy, was sufficient to warrant the price of my student ticket, which was $5.75.



After the movie, I stopped by home; put the delicious homemade caramels Robert had made for me, and given to me at the show, in the fridge; had a quick bite to eat; and headed down to Helios, where I mostly worked on my blog.
 
I had my second fortuitous, and totally unexpected, meeting of the day there.

I didn't mention that while I was there earlier, this guy came in who looked just like Jay's boyfriend, Julio, who now lives in Ohio. He didn't see me when he walked in.

After a while, I got up to get some coffee, and looked his way, and he nodded at me.

I walked over to him: "Are you who I think you are — Julio?" (He pronounces it Jew-lio, not Hoo-lio, as he's Portuguese — Brazilian Portuguese.)

He smiled, and said, "Yes, I am.  Hi, John."

Tonight, I was at the cash register getting coffee, and someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Hi, John."

It was Tony, the Marine from Camp Lejeune, who came to Country Night at Flex several times about a couple of years ago, and whom we haven't seen in a long while.

He actually didn't look that good, but I'm always happy to see him alive. He's one of the few people I know who might get called to fight in this war and not make it home.

He was in town for some rugby team activities — a "going away weekend" for their coach, and a game tomorrow.



At home I read some more. I'm within 100 pages of finishing. Should be able to do it by tomorrow night at 6 when we meet to discuss the book. Yay!

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