Dance Music For Nerds

The way it was, July 2006 edition
7/29/2006, 10:33 am
Filed under: Geek-Out, Happy!, Physics, School, Social

Once again hanging with my mom in Gloucester. July has been a pretty eventful month, full of new resolutions, new resolve, and new excitement. I got to assist Dr. Sprague teaching phyics in the Summer Ventures program at ECU. It was a blast working with these super-smart high school kids, and such a welcome change from the college folks I teach in lab, 90% of which could care less about being there. I am catching up on the time missed in the Acoustics Lab, and Dr. Bissenger has some exciting things in store for the next couple of months, some of which are top-secret and on a strict need-to-know-basis until we finish with our data collection.

On to the where-is-Dan-going-to-be-living section of this July wrap-up: several months ago I did a Dance Music For Nerds at Kings in Raleigh. While there I spent most of the night sitting with old friends and catching up, after that I resolved to be in Raleigh as soon as possible. I interviewed for a job at UNC, which didn’t pan out, then I spent several months helping to take care of my step-dad. Now it looks like I will finally be making the move. I have my school schedule next semester set to only be teaching/taking classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I have a fellow grad student that will let me stay with her on Tuesday and Wednesday nights so I can do research and homework on Wednesdays. So, looks like I will be commuting from Raleigh, and job searching should be easier with a home base up there. The big down side, going from having a two-bedroom to myself to having a room in a house with room mates…ugh. But, hopefully it will be worth it, I expect the job search in Raleigh to eventually pan out and allow me to once again live on my own.

The only other big news, long-time friend Laura and I have started dating. After the first few akward dates, which were cute in retrospect, things have been going wonderful. She is smarter than I, talented, and gorgeous to boot. A luckier man, there isn’t.

Talk on Indolence
7/20/2006, 10:51 am
Filed under: Music

Hey folks, here’s a low quality version of the Avett Brother’s latest video, “Talk On Indolence.” It was filmed at Merlefest, Seth’s front porch, and a show at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh that I attended.

I’ve also got some pics and short movie clips of the Avett Bros. at the Beaufort Music Festival from earlier this summer in my Gallery.

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Bizarre Celebrations, Explained.
7/19/2006, 10:57 am
Filed under: Music

The title of my post before last was “Bizarre Celebrations”, which is a reference to a cute Of Montreal song with an even cuter video:

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Better moves than Pee-Wee Herman
7/19/2006, 8:56 am
Filed under: Geek-Out, Physics, School

Sitting in the Mac Lab of the Physics Department, supervising the Summer Ventures kids as they finish up their papers/presentations. Got my headphones on, lisening to a little M.I.A. on DanceMusicForNerds Radio. Of course, one can’t help but bust a little move while listening to M.I.A., cue the giggles and laughter from the High School kids, which I was blissfully unaware of for several minutes, being into my music and everything. Luckily, I played it off with a “Talk to the Hand” gesture and a crazy display of popin’ and lockin’ skills.

By the way, the new iMacs friggin’ rock, if you have the means, I highly reccomend!

Bizarre Celebrations
7/18/2006, 12:29 pm
Filed under: Frustrations, Geek-Out, Physics, School, Social, Spirituality

Well, catching up from all my time away during the past few months. I’ve been assisting with Summer Ventures, which is tons of fun, as well as making progress on the ever important research. During the months leading up to my Step-Dad’s passing I felt like I wasn’t able to do anything at all, I was completely lacking in motivation. It is amazing the turn-around I’ve had in just a few weeks. I was working in the Acoustics Lab until 11pm last night, back at Summer Ventures at 8:30am, and am also managing to work a little on the new edition of a physics book I am helping out with. That would of been a months worth of accomplishments for me not to long ago, but now I feel like a weight has been lifted and I am zooming along. My counselor tells me that a sense of relief is normal, I talked to my mom and she has similar feelings, but underneath it all both of us can’t help but feel a little guilty.

Onto brighter things: the photo page is back up and running, I am still tweaking the theme, so it may change a little in the future. Also, I hope to sit down next week and overhaul, Will has inspired me.

And for brighter, brighter things: my friend that is a girl, Laura, came down and stayed the weekend along with my mom’s Chihuahua, Sylvia. It was a great time having the ladies here with me, it was just sad to see them go…though I definitely miss Laura more (sorry Sylvia!).

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Roll credits
7/7/2006, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Frustrations, General, Spirituality

Leslie Hawes Fisher was my step-father for a scant 8 years. He was a good man, when my brother and I met him for the first time we were very thankful that he had entered our mother’s life. I love my mother very much, but she does have a habit of believing people and seeing only the best in them, which has led to her being taken advantage of more times than I care to remember. So, Zech and I were happy that she and Les were together, we no longer had to worry about her as we had in the past. During the time they were married, my mother finished earning her degree from East Carolina University, her and Les travelled to Hawaii and Europe, and we all came to know and love many of Les’s cousins and family. Les’s health began declining a few years ago, at first it was little things, not being able to stand for as long as he used to, having more and more trouble working the clutch and brake on his Mustang GT, etc… By last Thanksgiving he was barely able to move around, and only then with assistance. Shortly after the Christmas of 2005, Les was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Changes started happening more and more rapidly, culminating with him not being able to eat or speak clearly on Saturday June 24th. I was here looking after him that day, allowing my mom to take a break and go into town. Laura was here with me as well (as an aside, Laura has been a simply wonderful, supportive friend and more through this whole ordeal.) I had to start teaching Summer Ventures at ECU the following Monday, so I commuted from my Mom’s house to Greenville everyday. While on my lunch break Wednesday afternoon I called to check in and see how things were going, my mom was in town with family getting the checking account, etc… in order, but Les’s day-nurse (a great woman by the name of Clarice) informed me that his health was declining rapidly. I immediately left Greenville, by the time I arrived, Les was non-responsive, basically in a comatose state. My mom had not returned from town yet so I waited outside to meet her and let her know about the change in Les’s state before she walked in to see him herself. That night was one of the longest in my life, I allowed my mother to sleep while I stayed up administering Les his medicine every three hours. The next morning there was no change in Les’s condition. I stayed up a little longer, slightly delirious, joking with the day nurse and relatives that were gathering. I was getting ready to sleep when Clarice called me into the room. Les’s face had turned an ashen gray, within a couple of minutes he made one last gulping breath, and his lips turned from a soft pink to the same color grey as his skin almost instantaneously. What followed after the initial shock was a whirlwind of phone calls, people in and out, saying my final good-byes, and looking after my mom. Laura was nice enough to come down and be with me and help out even though I hadn’t had the nerve to ask her. People showed up, we had the visitation, we had the funeral, my mom had her house gutted by relatives, and I managed to get my mother to go on a several day road trip with her brother to get away from it all. The final kicker: This Monday, July 10th would of been her and Les’s anniversary.

Initially I was busy, concerned for my mother, helping her out, running interference between her and well-meaning friends and family that were crushing in all around her. It is only now, a week and a day later that I sit and write this that I realize how deep an affect this whole experience has had on me. I am moving in with my Mother next month for a little while, ostensibly to be there with her during this transitional time, but the truth is I am also in need of some time. Some time to work and not worry about school, some time to read books for pleasure not just for class, some time to reflect and organize this thing called Dan. Thanks to everyone who has been there for me through this time, I love and appreciate all you’ve done more than you could possibly know. Even if it was just a phone call or email, it all helps…quite a bit.

Samson and Delilah
7/4/2006, 6:15 am
Filed under: Fashion, Social

The hair is gone, I have been talking about cutting it off for the past month, so I figured the funeral was as good a reason as any to go ahead and do it. I only have one not so good picture of the new and improved Dan, here it is:

Hair goes bye-bye.

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