November 30, 2003
Going to bed that night, I set the alarm wrong, so instead of waking up at 7:00, we were awoken by Chris knocking on the door at 8:10. We had to be ready to go by 8:30. After a very brief shower and cramming a muffin in my pocket, we were good to go.
The only events I was dancing in during the Saturday morning session were the Open West Coast and the Open Lindy (and, as it turned out, the Open Hustle). They were at the very end of the morning session, so I had little to do but sit around and watch the American Rhythm events, which, as far as I can tell, involved seventy billion rounds each. Everyone was dancing American Rhythm. And we noticed for the first time that people were dancing down quite a bit. There were couples who really should have been dancing at the Silver or Gold level who were in the Bronze competition. We didn’t have anyone dancing them (unless we did, and I forgot them, and I’m sorry.), so we just wasted time. And watched the dancing.
I saw Bolero, which is a bizarre dance. It’s sort of a cross between Waltz and Rumba, and it looks like either Rumba with rise and fall, or Waltz on tethers. Everyone was joking about it being Kay’s dance, which I later found out was because in a past year, a guy had come up to them and asked if anyone would dance Bolero with him. Despite never having danced it before, Kay agreed, and they won! So now Bolero is Kay’s dance.
I am proud of my performance in the Lindy, though. I can honestly say that I am the second best ballroom dancer, who was in Columbus this weekend, and danced Lindy in the open competition, and had his number on for all the rounds. And I mean that. Stephanie and I weren’t planning to dance in it at all until the night before, but luckily it’s easy to add dances on short notice. Actually, as we found out during the Hustle, you can just walk onto the floor for an Open Dance event. Claremont took the 1-2-3 spots in the Lindy (Andrew and Kay 1, Matt and Katie 3), and, had Jon and Ashleigh had their numbers on, it clearly would have been the 1-2-3-4 spots. This says far more about the lack of good Lindy dancers there than it really does about our skill.
Still, though. #2! W00t!
Kitri and I got 5th in the West Coast, and I think we were the only CCBDCers (cooka-budda-kers) in the final. I have to assume we did pretty well, because we certainly didn’t have anything prepared, having danced West Coast for a total of two songs or so. Ever. Certainly, by the last round we were much better than we were in the first round.
I also entered the Hustle with Stephanie, but we didn’t get called back after the first round. I saw the people who did get called back, and Steph and I were way better than a bunch of them. Not that I’m bitter.
After that we went to lunch, and returned to watch the Standard events. I’m sure people did well in these (or not), but I honestly have no recollection. At this point I started getting nervous about our performance, which tended to cause my attention to stray a little bit. I also started getting dressed for our performance, which caused a reduction in the flow of blood through my neck, the resulting loss of oxygen leading to certain gaps in my memory.
When the time came for us to perform, we all had a nice trip outside into the hall, and then back into the ballroom. University of Arizona went first. I don’t remember much about their routine, except that it was a Latin medly, and most of the time they stayed in a single-file line. Then we were up.
We had practiced our entrance the night before in the hotel hallway (somewhat to the distress of the lady across the hall. Not that I care about her, though; she woke me up at midnight by knocking on the wrong door! They have numbers! How dumb do you have to–but I digress). So we had that entrance thing down quite well. I remember only three things in the actual routine (but don’t worry. I watched it on video, and I did all the steps and everything). The first thing I remember was waiting for the music to start at the beginning. It took ages longer than usual, by which I probably mean an extra two or three seconds. And when the music did start, it was low and muffled and terrible. Seems that the moron on the microphone had blown out the speakers when she was shouting during the Polka, so the music sounded like shit for everyone. The second was during the Waltz, when we went to our plus formation. I remember looking over at Jonah and realizing that at worst we were about four inches off of the line. Since that’s about the best we’ve done so far, I was very happy at that point. The last thing I remember during our performance was just as I was going up to take my bow, and I thought “It’s almost over. That wasn’t so hard.”
Then Wes’s new team, UC Irvine, performed. They did a cool Latin routine. After that, the University of Michigan’s team performed a standard medly. They were beautiful dancers, but there were only four of them, so they couldn’t do much in the way of a routine. They ended up getting fourth, which was really too bad, considering how talented their dancers were.
So, hours later, we left the Ballroom to go home, clean up, and hit some dinner.
November 26, 2003
Going over to Riverside with Kyle’s family for Thanksgiving, and I don’t know if I’ll have an internet connection available, but if I do I’ll continue to post. If not, expect the next installments of the trip to Ohio (we actually dance in the next one!) and the thrilling conclusion to my birthday to come early next week.
And a Happy Thanksgiving to all.
November 25, 2003
From this story.
It seems an antipornography advocate was arrested for engaging the services of a prostitute. It is, of course, charming to see hypocrisy exposed, but mostly I liked the article for this:
[quote]”I’ve known Mr. Riddle for a long time, and this is the last thing that we would have expected to happen,” [former County commissioner] Davis said, adding that if the allegations prove true, “it just goes to show that even good men … can get pulled into this pornography stuff.”[/quote]
Yeah. I guess it could go to show that. If you really wanted it to.
November 24, 2003
The trip started on a somewhat uncertain note when Lucas, who was supposed to give some of us a ride to the airport, was nowhere to be found. Calls made to other team members met no success, but luckily Cori was able to give us a ride in Kitri’s car.
When we got to the airport, the first thing I saw (as in, through the car window when we stopped) was a Windows error message. This particular error message was on a large flat screen suspended above the Delta check-in counter which is presumably intended for the display of some kind of information that Delta thinks essential, such as advertisements for Delta. This was not a good sign.
After sharing some laughs at the expense of a business stupid enough to run critical applications on Windows, and a brief foray into the business politics that would cause such a decision, we sat around and waited. We were waiting both for Chris to appear and in what we thought was the line to check in. Chris wasn’t there because he had brought his own car, and had to leave it in long-term parking. He actually had all our tickets, but we waited in line anyway, on the assumption that if we got to the front before he was there, we’d just stay at the front. Not like the Delta people really wanted to hassle 14 people in matching jackets. We could be a gang or something.
The reason I say we waited in what we thought was the check in line is not that we were in the wrong line, it’s that Delta doesn’t seem to have the whole “line” philosophy figured out. Sure, they got us in a somewhat linear formation (which, just ask Chris, is tough to do), but they didn’t bother serving people in the order in which they arrived. Now, I certainly don’t want people to miss their flights, but there were people arriving at the airport with fifteen minutes to spare and getting bumped up to the front, while the rest of us who had gotten there in plenty of time were held back repeatedly until we were the ones that were close to missing our flight. grrr.
During this time, we kept seeing glimpses of Wes and his new team, who were on our same flight. They were in the line, and then out of it. At one point, they even got pretty close. I mean, the competition (!), right there (!). The feeling of rivalry was enhanced by certain team members’ (not that I would name names) dislike of Wes. Several of us envisioned a West Side Story-esque encounter in the aisles of the airplane, but, alas, it never materialized. Also, Chris had told us that it was important to be nice to them and socialize, advice which we all took to heart starting Saturday, about five minutes after our performance.
We took a red-eye flight because it was cheaper, but it certainly was exhausting. The first leg of our trip was to Cincinnati, a distance which takes an amount of time equal to a few dozen games of Mario Kart, one bad movie, and (as I remember it) a flash and a click when someone took a picture of me and Andrew sleeping. I brought my laptop dans controllers so we could play games on it, and Matt and Jerome demonstrated their mastery of go-karting. And then I watched part of the movie. It was The Hulk, a movie of surpassing mediocrity. Andrew warned me not to watch, but I had seen the trailers and knew there were some cool-looking scenes, so I gave it a shot.
I gave up on it after the scene with the giant poodle, and tried to get some sleep. I didn’t get much.
We then had a delightful three hour layover in Cincinnati (The City of Sin….cinnati), during which I bought Dan Savage’s new book, which I was quite happy with (despite its need of better editing), and because I was starving, bought and ate some McFood, which ended up being another Bad Idea™. We then watched part of Monsters Inc. which was mostly drowned out by the noise of the airport, and got some sleep on the floor.
I should point out that, by this point, about 100 pictures had been taken of each other sleeping in funny positions. We probably have almost as many pictures of people sleeping as we do of people dancing. But the ones that we got of Adam are great. He’s all curled up on the floor.
When Chris went to wake him up, he was quite disoriented. A transcript:
Chris: Adam, wake up.
Adam: [no response]
Chris: [kicks Adam] Time to get up.
Chris: It’s time to go.
Chris: The plane’s here.
Chris: We’re in Ohio.
That’s kind of how I felt, too.
Took a little puddle-jumper to Columbus, where we packed ourselves and our bags into a van that looked large from the outside, and trucked on over to the hotel, where we got showered and refreshed enough to care about food again (this would be the fifth consecutive meal I’d had without sleep). Some of us went over to Meijer’s, which is the result of a grocery store grafted onto a Target, and got food, which we brought back to my room and wolfed down using a bizarre assemblage of napkins, ice buckets, pita, and pieces of plastic as plates. I think there are some good pictures of that too, but I defend my method of eating to the end. You just can’t get all the meat off a chicken unless you rip it open like that.
November 19, 2003
The competition team is preparing to go to Ohio for Collegiate Nationals. This morning was our last practice before a final run-through when we get there, or so we thought. We were informed of a last minute performance by Chris this morning after practice. Here is the relevant text of his email:
[quote]At 10:30 tonight I’d like you to perform the Medley for the Campus Team. Let me know if you can’t make it, otherwise I’ll assume that you’re all OK with it.
It will be non-costumed; just come in whatever you’re wearing…but no “Hello Kitty” pajamas, Kay.[/quote]
Kay has come to morning practice in pajama bottoms before and received some light ribbing for it from Chris.
So, the call to action goes out.
And we all arrive for our performance in pajamas. I was wearing some of Kitri’s, because I don’t have any of my own. They were light blue (I have no better description of the color than that; as Andrew says: “Guys only work in 16 color mode”) with moose, or reindeer on them. And Ashleigh (my partner for most of the dance) matched!
So we performed, and it was swell, and the team all got jackets with our names on them (more or less ;)) to wear to Ohio.
Wish us luck, or perhaps some sort of leg fracture!
I seem to be rife with Penny Arcade allusions recently. Anyway.
Yesterday I went shopping for pants, and a shirt. I needed new pants because Mein Tanz-Direktor has ordered that we all dress presentably, even on the plane, even the night that we’re flying from 11 pm PST to 9 am Retarded Time, and have a 3 hour layover in some god-forsaken place in the midwest, and will likely be sleeping in our clothes on the ground. So I needed some pants. I have dressy pants in the form of the bottom half of my suit, but I couldn’t very well wear that the entire weekend, so I wanted some dressy casual pants. My current offerings in that arena are a pair of linen pants that are very comfortable but, because of that, have served as my dance pants for the past several months, and are somewhat worse for the wear. I don’t think that they could be worn as dress pants until I patch up at least some of the holes, and last time I used her sewing machine, Sarra got all snippy.
I needed a shirt because we may need to wear a white dress shirt for syllabus events, and I don’t actually have one that I can both wear and breathe simultaneously. I also needed to pick up some socks.
I brought Didi along to impart a woman’s touch, most of which consisted of trying to get me to buy grey wool pants, and rebuffing suggestions that we were a couple.
I did get some nice pants, but I’m finding it disturbing that my sense of what looks good on me is eerily approaching what my Step-Mom would have dressed me in before I stopped letting her do that. And it’s not just me. Didi was encouraging, as was a girl in my Scripps Politics class, MacKenzie (possibly some more capitals in there, or hyphens, see L.A. Story), who said that I looked “Pro” today, which I assume is a compliment. Kids today and their slang.
The Writing Center has business cards. Really. A whole big box, in fact, that remains full due mostly to the fact that these are the least informative business cards in existence. This is what the card looks like:
301 E. 12th Street, Claremont, CA 91711
Note that there’s no telephone number, no email address, no listing of hours, and no location given. The address listed is for the administration building of Harvey Mudd, which is on a different street entirely.
Amazingly enough, no one has ever taken many.
November 18, 2003
Liza has an evilblog, now, too. It had a bit of a rocky beginning, but it should be going by now.