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~Sunday~  I slept in this morning. Glorious Sunday.

I had a most delicious bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, along with some coffee, of course. I had 14 items on my to-do list for this weekend, and I knocked out a few of them today.

  • Completed submission form for my Flexible Health Spending Account reimbursement for 2009. I dropped it in the mail, ready to enjoy my $750 reimbursement when it arrives. I hate the guessing game that is involved with estimating that amount every year. I had a bunch more eligible receipts to submit, but to no end as I'd estimated $750 and that's the max I can get back. I upped my 2010 estimate to $1000.

  • I went to pay my vehicle registration renewal online, but after reading how it's tied to my required annual NC Vehicle Inspection, I decided to wait until I pass the inspection first. I plan to have it inspected the first week in March. Assuming it passes—there is that little issue of the brake light that continuously burns—I'll submit the registration renewal as soon as it does.

  • In anticipation of our 5:00 Gulf Coast Alternative Spring Break meeting, I worked up an activity that we can do during our "free day" in downtown New Orleans at the end of our week-long post-Katrina Habitat work that we'll be doing in Thibodaux, LA. My proposal is that in three or four groups (so either three groups of four or four groups of three, and one with one extra person, since we're 13 all together) we'd do this:

    1. Make a note of the funniest or most interesting thing you see on a t-shirt while walking through the French Quarter.

    2. Check out a total of three menus in the windows of nice restaurants you pass by and:

      1. Write down the names of all three restaurants that you check out

      2. Note the most exotic, unusual, or unexpected item across all three menus (i.e., so pick one menu item overall, not one from each menu)

      3. Write down the name, what’s in the dish, and the price of the most expensive item across all three menus (i.e., again, that's one item overall, not one from each menu)

    3. In one or more of the Voodoo shops, can you find anything that is designed to keep hurricanes away? If so what was it? If not, what's the most surprising thing to you that people might want to use voodoo on?

    4. Glancing at ads for the jazz (or any music) clubs, what's the most famous name you saw of someone either currently headlining or has played in the past at any of them?

    5. Make a note of the most interesting piece of art or street performance that you encounter while visiting the French Quarter.

  • I refilled a prescription online.

  • I wrote Saturday's blog entry.

  • I attended our penultimate Gulf Coast ASB group pre-trip meeting, where we played a game of Jeopardy devised by Jackie, our student leader, filled with facts and statistics about Hurricane Katrina, which was followed by a quick review of three important information sheets: a packing list, a contact sheet with everyone's information on it (how we can contact that parents or guardian in the event of an emergency), and the group information sheet about our whereabouts during our trip (how parents or a guardian can contact us if they need to reach their student).

  • I did a bunch of homework in the evening, including reading assignments from The Wisdom of Crowds and Conversation and Community, devising a blog entry called, "The mother-of-all passwords and a taxonomy, a tweet about the blog entry, and then just a little bit on what our group ("The Geeks") is responsible for in developing the Classmate wiki.

  • I studied a few shagging dance lesson videos (with Sue and Randy, who keeps calling the videos "tapes" throughout the series). I watched: The Basic Series, The Female Underarm Turn Series (which includes how the male is to lead it), and The Belly Roll. This is all in anticipation of jumping into Shagging for Beginners II with my friend Jen tomorrow night, where they will expect the participants to have learned all that in Shagging for Beginners I.

    It's always interesting to listening heterosexist language in dance lessons. Instead of referring to "the lead" and "the follow," most (unenlightened, in my opinion) instructors refer to "the man" and the "woman," respectively. Of course, the gender of the person fulfilling the role is actually totally irrelevant, which all you have to do is watch two men dancing together or two women dancing together to realize.

    Here's another very heterosexist (if not outright homophobic) remark made by Randy, while explaining how the belly roll got its name. "It's because while doing steps 5 and 6, the woman can roll her belly (although 'hips' is more accurate if you ask me; rolling your belly just sounds fat), just to add a little flair to the dance. Now men, it's the women who roll their belly. Then men don't do that. If you're out there and you start rolling your belly, well, you're going to get some looks from the others that you might not like." Yeah, god forbid you should do something outside society's uptight gender norms, or possibly get a second look from someone of the same sex. How horrific that would be.

    It's so "interesting" living in the non-majority paradigm sometimes. But I bitterly digressed as I was shagging the "man's part" by myself in my kitchen at 1:00 in the morning.

That last sentence would be so much better if it were read in the UK.

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