14 October 2010

Second Week in September 2010

Oops, looks like I have a little catching up to do! Not only is this not really a big deal, it's pretty much expected that it would be this way. With Cowtown and the usual vacation after, it's been a while since I wasn't doing something else. So if this seems so four weeks ago, it's because it was. My apologies in advance if something important gets missed.

Monday was pretty slow, Tuesday started badly, I was told that because of a possible emergency that my vacation the following week might be canceled. I took the news like a trooper and team player, and said to let me know before I left work on Wednesday (it turned out to be a non-issue). When I got home from work I hurriedly cut the lawn and went to the first Blues dance lesson that Frank and Merinda were teaching.

Funny thing, yeah, I don't so much do my triples in swing, but when I try to take them out to do Blues, I end up doing them. Still it was interesting to try something new in dance forms. Swing moves are applicable, but the focus is on moving with the instruments, not the beat. This might be tough for me to learn, but I think worth it.

Wednesday was the start of vacation! Work did not mention anything about it being canceled, so I relaxed after work ... by grabbing Troy and the basketball, and headed out to the court. We played against some neighborhood kids. We played to eleven, and the score was tied at 6-6 until we ran out of steam. I wasn't aware at the time, but Troy got elbowed in the ribs pretty hard, so he was hurting.

Thursday was the start of Cowtown, and I messed around all day until I had to pick Steve Hwan up at the airport. We had already preplanned a photo safari. I thought Steve might want to get some pictures of something that would not be available in Los Angeles (Glendale). My two thoughts were the Platte River Pedestrian Bridge (a favorite of mine) and Boyer Chute. I think the views are more interesting from the Platte River Pedestrian Bridge, but there is always the chance of a Bald Eagle at Boyer Chute. After I picked up Steve, I described both and let him choose ... off to the Platte we went.

I swear I will jump off this cliff into the ocean way down there. I might sprain an ankle, or possibly get wet.

Steve is so gregarious, of course he made new friends right away.

There were certainly plenty of good shots available.

I'm not quite sure how these little sand piles were formed.

You can see all the pictures that I took there here. Steve and I went straight from there to the my house, then to the Cowtown Opening dance at Elmwood Park Pavilion featuring Big Sandy and His Fly Right Boys. The lighting was as bad as you might expect in the location, but the music and dancing were good.

It turns out there is no one actually named Big Sandy, who knew?

I believe I am trying to do the robot here.

Corinn did eventually come in.

You can see the rest of my welcome dance pictures here.

Friday morning came and I was up mostly early to get down to the Eagles Lodge to help Carol unload and set up the Mobile Carol's Closet. Of course, by the time I got there (3 minutes late) her, her mother, and Ben Peet had the van mostly unloaded. That's okay, there was still plenty to do. Most of the classes that I wanted to do were Friday, and what do I remember? Peter telling me "I didn't teach you to do that..." and also fixing my hand when I Balboa. We all went to lunch at the International Cafe, I had a lamb plate. I think it's funny how normally confident people occasionally get nervous when immersed in another culture. In the afternoon there were more classes, including a BalSwing class, I think I'm really going to work on getting the footwork into my muscle memory.

Something about a girl eating an apple is a picture I can't resist ... stupid snake.

Really, no caption is needed.

You can see the rest of the pictures I took from Friday classes here. I volunteered to 'work' dinner for the Jitterbugs. This consisted of driving Peter and Mia to Christy and Ryan's house for dinner.

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I took garden pictures and people pictures.

You can see the rest of my dinner pictures here. After dinner Peter had me stop by a C-store so he could pick up some smokes. Of course, it's not cool that Peter or anyone smokes, but it was definitely cool to drive Peter around and pick his brain about art and dance. Eventually I ended up at the dance.

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One of the hard part of having a camera hobby, taking pictures of my beautiful friends modeling vintage clothes.

I competed in the dance contest, with the usual results.

At least one person ... um ... creature liked my dancing.

I was fortunate enough to have Sarah nearby to take my pictures during the contest. Also thank you the organizers to put up good lighting.

You can see the rest of my pictures from the Friday dance here. After the JIVE volunteers cleaned up the upstairs, we all headed downstairs to the late night breakfast feed and dance.

This might be my favorite picture of Ben, he looks so happy.

Nothing says swing dance quite like a disco ball.

You can see the rest of my late night pictures here. Eventually, I slept. Saturday dawned, and I headed back to the Eagles for morning classes, or considering how long I slept in, morning class. After the class, we went to eat at Flavor's Indian restaurant, which no one where it was. It turned into a cluster, we got directions from someone who will remain nameless, it wasn't there. It turned out to be a couple blocks from the Eagle's lodge, but it took us :45 minutes to get there. I had goat. The rest of the afternoon passed without unexpected events.

How to put a little style into your dance.

Jillian had a little trouble with egress from Cecily's car.

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Some dance class headshots.

If you're going to style, do it big!

You can see the rest of my Saturday day pictures here. After the classes, it was time for our latest installment of Mass Chaos. We chose a church that we could walk to from the Eagle's club, so Joe and I did just that. In between classes and the dance Frank, Joe, Steve, and I went out to dinner at Upstream. Steve bought, thank you. Then got ready for the Saturday night dance.

Omaha Ballet put on a demonstration from their October 3 "Swing, Swing, Swing" show.

Typical Steve, making funny faces and in the finals.

I'm still not sure what is going on here.

Mama's don't let your babies grow up to leave their cameras sitting around so just anyone can grab them and snap random photos.

Coach Bob Devaney and his star quarterback.

Isabel was cold, so I lent her my hoodie ... we might be different sizes.

You see the other 57 photos from the Saturday dance here. After the dance, I and the other JIVE members cleaned up, Maggie and I unsucessfully tried to get donuts from the Donut Stop, and then we headed over to the late night.

No doubt this is the thrill of Jillian's lifetime.

After all that dancing, you start to see things.

Probably a once in a lifetime photo, probably that's not such a bad thing.

I enjoyed this guys company, but frankly his dancing was a little stiff.

Lee is an antlerhead.

Kelley says "You're going to put Steve in this section twice, but me only once?

This was the latest I ever gotten home on a Cowtown Saturday night, 3:15am. I crawled into the sack and was out quickly, only to wake up and face more dancing ... Praise the Lord for that, unless you're a Southern Baptist. I actually did go to the classes, I actually thought about participating too. We went to lunch across the river at Alvarado's, good times, good times.

Megan's hair is really five feet long, okay, well maybe four. Really!

If these two are both smiling at the same time, something inappropriate is going on.

Ah yes, preparation for the annual corn eating contest.

I processed this one while on vacation, so I had lots of time to mess around

You can see the rest of my Sunday class pictures, including some that came out of discussion with Steve that was probably worth the price of Cowtown admission just to get picture tips from him, here. I went home and took another quick nap, then grabbed a footlong Subway sandwich, and headed to the venue, the Old Mattress Factory. In case you weren't keeping score, that was lamb, vegetarian lasagna, goat, fish, pollo asado, and a sub for my Cowtown meals, what does it mean? Probably nothing. First up, the corn eating contest. The corn eating contest, being what it is, kind of offends my sensibilities, so I can only imagine how someone like Cecily feels about it. I'm sure some people find it too objectionable to watch, it's kind of gluttonous ... and since we're already into one deadly sin, it's a matter of pride to me that I finished my first ear before Matt did.

This year, for the first time ever, there was a junior division.

Joe ate exactly one kernel.

Our mothers are just so proud of us boys.

You can see the rest of my pictures from the Corn Eating Contest here. Once again an instructor, Andrew, finished first, Matt second, and Vivian third. The weirdest part of the corn eating contest is that three minutes after the finish of the contest, you are hungry again.

Sarah and her new haircut are going to rule the air.

Steve almost cooperated with the pink hat ... almost.

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I took this very nice sequence of Maggie.

The Grand Marquis was the band, dang they're good.

I don't think anything was going on here, but it sure looks suspicious.

Why, it's a (dancing) reenactment of Katie's Facebook profile picture.

Too cool for my camera!

...and the last picture of the weekend, at least it was a good one.

You can see the rest of my Cowtown Sunday dance pictures here. All my Cowtown photos can be found here, I believe there are 538 of them. Jillian's Cowtown photos are here, Matt's can be found here. Lisa and many, many others have posted pictures to Facebook.

And thus wraps up another Cowtown Jamborama, I think I'm getting good at these things. There sure are a lot of super nice swing dancers in the world, even the ones that I disagree with I really like.

P.S.: I'm only four weekly postings behind. This one was started on 9/14, and posted on 10/14 ... good job.

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