Re: Seeing things clearly

1

That makes being a lawyer sound a lot like trolling.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 6:13 AM
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On this I shall coast.

I'm strongly committed to the path of least resistance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 6:20 AM
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I may have said dishonest, but reading it now makes it sounds a bit stronger than what I meant. More along the lines of an argument that I (emotionally, intellectually, or both) don't entirely agree with. And I especially had to get used to stating arguments that I didn't agree with (or even agreed with, but only lukewarmly) as if they were the strongest, most obviously correct argument that one could imagine. I'm much more comfortable using a lot of hedging words.


Posted by: Airedale | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 6:24 AM
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Well, that's fair. I still like the sentiment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 6:29 AM
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Lots of hedging words are the best part of my job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 6:30 AM
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1 -- The best tasks in the law -- preparing a client for cross-examination, and preparing a colleague for appellate argument -- are pretty much exactly like trolling.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 6:37 AM
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A colleague's client, that is. You can usually get them to create a hole below the waterline in 7 or 8 questions -- you don't want to do this as the primary lawyer, because it'll shake the client's confidence in you too much.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 6:44 AM
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I'm strongly committed to the path of least resistance.

A strong commitment sounds like too much work to me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 6:48 AM
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Studying more effectively actually means working more intently, and with your whole brain.

Oh, heebert.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:03 AM
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You only use 10% of your brain to play soccer. Unless you head the ball wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:05 AM
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It's soccer. You use your whole brain when you head the ball.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:07 AM
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9: ...and I mean your whole brain, not your brainhole!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:11 AM
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Christ, what a brainhole.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:14 AM
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More along the lines of an argument that I (emotionally, intellectually, or both) don't entirely agree with. And I especially had to get used to stating arguments that I didn't agree with (or even agreed with, but only lukewarmly) as if they were the strongest, most obviously correct argument that one could imagine.

It can be very difficult to divest yourself of the belief that your perspective is the correct one. Shockingly, most lawyers start from the approach that their perspective is the correct one. It certainly provides some data on how other people might view your client's situation.

Also, the great thing about having some age/number of years of practice behind you is that you can more easily tell your clients that they are idiots.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:19 AM
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I recently had the rewarding experience of persuading our lawyer that a contractual concern she had raised was not serious enough to raise to the other party. (Our lawyers are extremely expert on our very specialized issues, and have worked on them for longer than most of us staff have worked here, so we defer to them a lot.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:32 AM
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Embarrassingly, I drink my own koolaid pretty easily. There are limits -- I can't talk myself into arguments that are just wrong, and I do have a category of arguments where I'm thinking "I can write this honestly, but if I were the judge I'd rule against me." But mostly, if I'm making the argument, I don't have any trouble being passionately convinced that I'm just right, goddamnit, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. This worries me, but it probably makes being a litgator easier some ways.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:35 AM
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The two parts of the post work well together, actually. The key to good lawyering, even the part that is just purely coming up with and stating arguments, is hard work and focus. In anything actually difficult, there's almost always a better argument (and, usually, a more intellectually/emotionally honest one) than what you think of initially, and one that can be stated more strongly. Whether or not you get to figuring out that argument before you run out of time is another story.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:36 AM
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I'm naturally inclined towards 16, but really the best thing is to become convinced in your arguments through savagely internally (either with colleagues or on your own) attacking them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:42 AM
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Oh, yeah, being passionate yet fickle about your arguments is the way to go. I'll drop an argument I was in love with like a hot rock if something prettier comes by, and 18 is the way to get there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:51 AM
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19 -- yes.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 7:59 AM
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Oh, heebert.

What I mean is that it would show up, using colors, on an MRI scan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 8:00 AM
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I'm always bemused when the subject is lawyering how little I have to add. My life seems to resist conclusions and the repeated patterns which would lead to firm opinions. So I feel doubly unlike a lawyer.

Sometimes I'm right, sometimes not. Believing what I'm saying was never a problem, persuading was. Sometimes hard work is rewarded, other times it seems to have been completely beside the point.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 8:12 AM
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||

A headline about Rob Halford just showed up in my FB feed, amusingly.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 8:54 AM
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As an adult ice skater the effort thing applies to a fare thee well. To master some types of footwork (without even getting to jumps or spins) you have to learn the basic move eight ways (left foot/right foot, inside edge/outside edge, forward skating/backward skating). No way to learn even half of them without practice practice practice (and the occasional fall fall fall).


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 8:56 AM
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As an adult ice skater, I can barely remain upright.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 8:57 AM
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o way to learn even half of them without practice practice practice (and the occasional fall fall fall).

That brings up a question that has troubled me -- how is it that anyone lives long enough to get good at sports like ski-jumping?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 9:07 AM
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You learn when you're too little to break.

(Hokey Pokey fell off a wall today, apparently. Nursery rhymes aside, Jammies had to take him to a clinic and get his arm x-rayed and all is well.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 9:10 AM
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26: I always wondered that about skateboards specifically. Even the simplest trick looks like something that would put me in debt to a cosmetic dentist for years.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 9:13 AM
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Many practice ski jumps are set up for summer use (lubricated with lard maybe?) and the landing area is a body of water.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 9:25 AM
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My friend's seven year old is becoming a rather accomplished gymnast. She can currently almost do a handstand push-up. She's become phenomenally muscular, and she's always been fearless.

Yesterday she was beating all the boys at a makeshift pull-up contest - they had to jump up and catch a bar hanging from a rope, and then do a pull-up on it, and I heard one sour grapes kid tell her afterwards that hers had been an assisted pull-up (somehow in his jealous dreams). She kicked their asses.

I'm just bragging because I like this kid and her parents.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 9:28 AM
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I heard one sour grapes kid tell her afterwards that hers had been an assisted pull-up (somehow in his jealous dreams). She kicked their asses..

It takes a village to assist a pull-up.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 9:31 AM
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lubricated with lard maybe?

Just one of several options.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 9:33 AM
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33

And now Kotsko is all seriousness and distinguished.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 9:38 AM
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I am starting to regret the decision to halfass and eyeball the embroidery I'm doing on the dress I'm sewing myself, because now that I have to do the mirrored part, it's very clear how wonky it is. But because I use all my brain on being brilliant, I only am doing that embroidery along the spine seam and I'm all about fucked-up spines and thus it's art and not just crummy embroidery.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 10:12 AM
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As someone coming to soccer later in life (and thinking a lot about what it takes to get better), my experience has been somewhat different from yours, heebie. Totally agreed about the additional mental effort required, but IME I play better when I focus less on the physical effort. There's a temptation to make up for lack of technique with physical drive, but once you start playing against better players they just use that against you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:17 AM
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I would have participated in this thread while it was more active, but I was tied up engaging in acts of intellectual dishonesty. 16 is not my experience (I am probably the most likely of my colleagues to be the in-house heretic in any given case) but I fully subscribe to 17-19. If the argument still feels dishonest when it's time to make it, it's probably going to sound that way coming out of your mouth (or off your keyboard).

The comparison between OP.2 and comment 3 is an interesting contrast between what lawyers (or frankly, people more generally) will say in person among friends and what they are comfortable having appear next to their names in writing, even when the name is a pseudonym on a blog. And I say that as someone who could very easily have made the oral statement in OP.2 (intending it as a "good line" with a bit of hyperbole) and followed it up with the written statement in comment 3.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:19 AM
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I've taken up the fiddle recently, basically just going through "American Fiddle Method" pretty slowly because I don't practice every day. One thing that's interesting is how, as an adult, I know that I need to listen to the sounds I'm producing and try to get them to be better. I don't remember doing that when I was learning trumpet in 4th grade. Also, I think adults have better fine-motor control than kids, so at least at first we've got an advantage when learning to play an instrument. Of course my lack of neuroplasticity will doom me to never being all that good.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:24 AM
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Little kids have fingers that can hit the strings better. Or that's what I blame.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:27 AM
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My experience mirrors heebie's. When I played soccer up until high school I always tried to make up for my lack of speed with position, timing, and reading my opponents. It wasn't until late high school that I realized I wasn't as slow as I'd thought; I just hadn't been trying very hard.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:28 AM
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37: Yes! Despite never practicing, in some respects I play better as an adult because I just understand what I need to be doing in ways that I didn't when I was young.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:34 AM
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I've been surprised and gratified with my progress in learning how to set things on fire with my mind.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:36 AM
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The OP makes me think about my transition from undergrad to, a year and a half later, the first job where I was learning programming. I worked so much harder and was so much more focused than I had been as a student that I had various moments of thinking, "If only I knew then what I know now . . ." But there were some important differences between what it was that I was trying to accomplish.

The biggest difference is that I had clear goals.

As a student, I cared about my studies, and I spent a lot of time thinking about whatever I was working on. But it still wasn't clear, most of the time, what outcome counted as success. Getting a good grade? Writing clear, logical essays, or following various intellectual side-paths, getting myself confused, and then trying to sort them out. But at a job it was much clearer -- I need to write working (and not brain-damaged) code that somebody is willing to pay for.

There were various other ways in which that fundamental difference -- having a clearly defined outcome that I was trying to reach -- made it much easier to focus or, almost as important, to recognize when I was just to frazzled to do anything productive.

So in terms of balancing the OP and Josh's comment my experience is that thinking about the problem enough to be able to define what counts as "success" is often a prerequisite for being able to work harder.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:41 AM
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thinking about the problem enough to be able to define what counts as "success" is often a prerequisite for being able to work harder

This is very true for me, and has the additional benefit that when your definition of success is clearly divergent from others' you're aware of that, and can prepare yourself for the consequences.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 11:58 AM
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Music is funny. I know lots of people who are really good players who, I think, haven't really put the work in on a lot of core technical areas. Yet, I also know, that for _me_ personally to get better, that's where I need to put the work. Boring rote memorisation, lots of scale and arpeggio exercises, etc. Which is shit when you've been playing 25 years or more.

With martial arts, I think training efficiently is a big part of it. And not bullshitting yourself that you can do something well, or that 'easy' stuff is boring. Some of my friends have trained with the French national team [the pinnacle of our sport] and report back that, i) it's super relaxed and informal, on an inter-personal level, very un-'Asian', and ii) they'll spend 6 hours, working with real intensity and focus, on the sort of basic combinations* that my beginner students think of as boring and beneath them.

* jab, cross, side-step, roundhouse kick to the floating ribs, shuffle. Repeat. For hours.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:14 PM
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re: 37

I learnt saxophone in my late teens [I don't play any more]. Now saxophone is an easy instrument* [much easier than violin/fiddle], but the combination of adult focus, a bit of knowledge, and fairly efficient use of time, meant that I learned ridiculously fast. As in, from zero to grade 7 level [a little below the formal entry level for music college] in about 12-16 weeks.

I'd bet something similar would apply with you [albeit slower, because it's a harder instrument].

* a friend of mine who already played a couple of wind instruments claimed to have learned it in a weekend. I sort of believe him.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:20 PM
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It is super easy. I was playing in pit orchestra for a show in college and the piccolo part was written to double on saxophone so I thought, why not? I wasn't great, but certainly good enough for second sax.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:25 PM
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It is super easy. I was playing in pit orchestra for a show in college and the piccolo part was written to double on saxophone so I thought, why not? I wasn't great, but certainly good enough for second sax.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:25 PM
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FINALLY YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF HOME MAINTENANCE


Posted by: OPINIONATED KESUKE MIYAGI | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:25 PM
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I tried to learn the french horn one weekend. I wasn't able to get any of the keys to do anything, except one which made my one note burble and another which reliably dumped spit on my shoes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:25 PM
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Hey ttaM I was thinking of you this weekend as I was watching this, having come across it three or so layers deep into googling things while rereading that Geeshie and Elvie article, and had a highly uncharacteristic (for me) experience of "holy crap, that's an amazing thing to do with a guitar". With my level of ignorance, it could easily turn out to be a really easy to do with a guitar, but anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:28 PM
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Boring rote memorisation, lots of scale and arpeggio exercises, etc.

It's interesting--I find I have much more patience for this sort of thing now, in my mid-to-late-40s, than I did 20-30 years ago, and somewhat unsurprisingly it has led me to be able to play things I never could back then, even though I have much less time available for playing music now.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:29 PM
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I'm increasingly annoyed at the social waltz/foxtrot teaching standards in Seattle because we don't drill; even the intermediate/advanced classes just go through `a combination' of eight or more measures a bunch of times, calling out what you're supposed to be doing next. It really shouldn't take us two hours to learn sixteen measures. I don't think it would, if we broke it down and stopped *right before* the hard parts and verified where our weight and frame were. And unless we do that, we'll never be able to do the kinetic-and-therefore-slightly-risky dances, and the scene will get older and more boring and less willing to practice. Also, if you know where the transition points are, you aren't as tied to set combinations. I don't feel qualified to teach this stuff, but oy.

The swing dancers and Skandia dancers *do* drill. With the earnest northeners one could have a cultural explanation, but you could also say that Lindy and pivots get ballistic and slightly risky earlier than late social ballroom does.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:39 PM
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jab, cross, side-step, roundhouse kick to the floating ribs, shuffle

Perfectly fine Lindy combination, if the other party knows when to fall to the floor.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 12:40 PM
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Re:50

It isn't _that_ hard, yeah. The picking hand part is probably pretty idiosyncratic - strumming and picking with thumb upstrokes, it looks like, which is tricky. Lots of old blues guys syncopated in odd ways, and/or weren't strictly in time. So exactly duplicating would be really hard, but playing something more or less the same, wouldn't.

Re: 51

I have more patience now (and knowledge), but much less time. And I feel that I ought to have done that already and am annoyed with past self that I didn't.

Re:53

Ironically, the French terms for those moves are also ballet terms.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 2:24 PM
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54.last: Do you know which use came first?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 3:19 PM
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I'd guess it's just common French words for certain types of movement: fouette (whip), chasse (chasing? following?), etc.

The martial arts terminology will be second half of the 19th century, so I'd assume the ballet terms are older. I don't know how much the terms were directly borrowed or just a result of a shared French background. The moves with shared names aren't particularly similar, although the fouettes are very slightly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 4:03 PM
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49: there's a difference between a key and a spit valve, just FYI.

56: ballet has used a fairly stable set of French terms since at least the 17c. The terms are descriptive but not literally so, eg the literal meaning of fouetté is whipped, but does not mean as a dance term either a softly mounded mass of high fat or protein liquid into which air has been incorporated or a cringing, subjugated animal form.* Rather it refers to whipping on leg around the other so as to achieve or regain momentum.

*Note either alternative may apply in a modern dance context.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 4:31 PM
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Rather it refers to whipping on leg around the other so as to achieve or regain momentum.

Yeah. Exactly the same meaning in the martial arts context, and some similarity -- as far as I can see from video -- in some part of the movement, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 4:43 PM
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And I feel that I ought to have done that already and am annoyed with past self that I didn't.

Indeed. I've added this to the growing list of things for which I will reproach my past self, should I ever encounter him.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 4:59 PM
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54.1: I think the timing was what really got my attention, so okay then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-21-14 5:08 PM
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I've been running consistently now for six months, and I'm learning that while I'm still slow, I'm a) not as slow as I think and b) I'm slow not just because I have no endurance base but because I just don't naturally put forth a lot of effort to be fast.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 5:59 AM
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re: 60

Yeah. But doing something broadly similar with timing, rather than exactly duplicating, wouldn't be crazy hard.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:03 AM
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Sweet. I'll get to it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:09 AM
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61: Despite a great deal of effort, I don't get any faster. If I try hard to go faster, I injure myself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 6:23 AM
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I did something over four miles this morning and I don't feel any joint pain greater than when I started. I ran mostly on dirt. Maybe I should try that more often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 7:11 AM
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65: be sure you replace your shoes often enough, and use the right ones. Also, avoid concrete whenever you can.

To improve speed, either step more often or step longer or do both. Also, focus on smoothness of gait.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 7:51 AM
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The Black Swan in Swan Lake does 32 fouettés in a row at the end of one of her dances and the audience by tradition starts hooting and hollering (politely) after 12.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 7:53 AM
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If your worried about your gait, it's helpful to also use the left ones.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:03 AM
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Argh, "you're". I trust this sort of error is expected of me by now.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:04 AM
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67: Just like Rocky Horror! When do they throw toast?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 8:09 AM
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Getting used to the "applaud the circus tricks" thing in ballet is an ongoing process for me, at first it always seemed repellent coming from a repressed classical music background. Now I find it endearing how ballet audiences unselfconsciously applaud between the movements as it were. The really egregious applauding of tricks qua tricks still bugs me, but I now enthusiastically participate in the applause to acknowledge midstream awesomeness in service of the actual dramatic experience, whether technical or expressive or best of all both.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:42 AM
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Never seen toast thrown but in eg La Fille Mal Gardée would be awesomely appropriate to throw smocking supplies, crocheted doilies and other English folk textile objects. Or clogs, if the performance was a real stinker, but ouch!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-22-14 9:50 AM
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jab, cross, side-step, roundhouse kick to the floating ribs, shuffle

Perfectly fine Lindy combination, if the other party knows when to fall to the floor.

Jazz Maga!
http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_11319.html#1318041


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 3:46 AM
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