20 July 2011

Second Week in July 2011

Monday I got tricked by the weather forecast. I decided not to bring workout clothes to work because the weather forecast said 'hot'. At the time I would have been walking / running outside it was only 86°F, not in the 100°s as I feared it might be ... so I took a nap instead.

After work I went to Kaleb's and played a game of Arkham Horror with the King in Yellow expansion pack and all the usual house rules and add ins. The good guys won, it was not your typical game, I've never seen so many clue tokens come out, and it was needed. It took eight clue tokens to close gates. The win ended up being fairly easy. While we were playing, we ate a meal that Audrey cooked that was fabulous, curry chicken and rice, cheesey potatoes, and a green salad ... need I even mention that I ate too much? After the game we went and played ping pong for about an hour and half until it got to be late. Maeg was a little goofy, but since it's so good to see her, I'll let it slide, this time.

Tuesday right after work I went grocery shopping, then home. I cut the lawn, and afterward, I made a horrible discovery. Bunnies had chewed off some of my peppers! Those allegedly cute little creatures are killers! I moved the plants to the top deck, hopefully they will not get too hot ... the plants, not the bunnies.

Wednesday during the day I ate lunch with Kimee at Runza. We had a great discussion about an alternative name for Frings, called Potonions. I like the new name much better than the old one.

Thursday after work I headed off to Brazenhead and Rome and Coke. The topic of the day was music. I offer up my opinions, and then I get the beat down. Actually I appreciate how much smarter many of the attendees are than me, and yes they are kind. It's okay, we learn and grow. After we went down to Old Chicago as we usually do. There were lots of laughs, but when I got up and went to the bathroom, I came back and everyone but Ashley and Janet had left. Oops. Ashley and I got into a conversation in the parking lot starting about 2330 and ending at 0110 ... it was one of those conversations that just stretched time, so I didn't even notice time passing. Now I know Ashley much better than I did. I headed home and went to sleep.

Friday morning I woke up and went to 0800 Mass at my new parish, but Mass wasn't until 0830 ... so I did one of my favorite things, sit in a quiet church ... ah! peace. After Mass I went down to the parish office to register, and I spoke with Father Al about a couple things ... I'm sure more to follow on this.

I came home and started packing for Sunflower Swing in Wichita. 90 minutes is plenty of time to pack, right? I used to be way more organized and I would pack days before I was going somewhere, however when I got Cherokee, he figured out pretty quickly that packing meant I was leaving him, and he stressed out, so I learned to get ready at the last minute. By the time I had enough packed for a six day trip, Jillian showed up, and shortly there after Maggie made an appearance, and we were on the road. First stop, the grocery store for snacking supplies and cash.

The trip itself was uneventful, except for the sun and the heat being pretty intense on the passenger side of the car, but Maggie and I kept well hydrated. Also, Jillian's bean and cabbage heavy vegan diet showed up, unless you ask her, then it was 'road noise'. I am not an Anglophile, but since Maggie and Jillian are, I get a lot of U.K. centered humor secondhand ... most notably in this case Jeremy Clarkson saying "I went on the internet, and I. Found. This" ... it ended up getting quite silly, all weekend long.

We arrived in Wichita around 1730, the temperature there was higher than Omaha, but the dew point was lower which meant that it was still freaking hot. We unpacked, got on the internet, and picked out a "middle eastern" place called Rain Cafe and walked about 3/4 of a mile there. I ordered a shawarma, and it was fabulous, and cheap (the service was not fabulous). The dill pickle that came with the meal was spicy, and by spicy I mean Ben or Troy would have noticed the kick. We headed back to the hotel, got ready, and went to the welcome dance.

I think Ben suspects the camera is on him.

I love it when a dance picture captures both stillness and motion.

Lindsay wants to dance with me!

It wasn't a late dance, it was only supposed to go until 2200, and ended around 2220. We came back to the room and went out to the pool and had fun for about 45 minutes until they through us out.

Saturday morning dawned way to early for me, well 0730. We ate the breakfast we bought at the grocery store, messed around and got to the teaching venue around 1045 for the first class at a very reasonable 1100. I decided (and by 'I decided' I mean that I asked Jillian and Maggie what we were doing) to take classes from Jenna and Jason. It turned out to be a good choice, they were amazing ... in particular the second class on musicality presented it in a way that finally got through to me. I was quite happy about the entire experience, and took all four of their Saturday classes. It turns out that Jenna is from Chicago and used to teach with Frank, and she was super nice and encouraging, as was Jason.

Don't do it that way, do it this way.

We ate lunch at Subway, this must be a teenager sandwich,
I can tell because it is sticking it's tongue out at Maggie.

After classes we met Ben at 'Old Town' Wichita for dinner at Hana Cafe. Sometimes you buy a martini, and it's expensive, tasteless, and watered down, and you think you got ripped off ... this wasn't that martini, whooboy, it was very strong. Hana has Japanese and Korean food, and it was good. We had several different kinds of sushi rolls and some sake, which I still don't like. After, as we walked across the plaza and Ben and I played in the water ... Maggie and Jillian thought that they were too dressed up for such tomfoolery.

This can't be right.

It probably didn't matter how soaked I got,
I was going to be dry three minutes later.

We went and got gelato at a place across the way. It was no Ted & Wally's, but it was good. Then we headed over to the Saturday night dance. The sun was just about right when we got there to get some great shots.

Music provided by The Grand Marquis.

Maggie closes her eyes and imagines Marshall giving her a ride ...
on his motorcycle. Oh yeah, it's a Triumph.

Lindsay tells James "I made the Jack and Jill finals"!

Indeed, both Lindsay and Ben made the Jack and Jill finals, though neither placed in the top three. Yes, I competed, and no, I did not make the finals, but I had fun and I thought about what I was doing in a new way. I want to have a plan next time. I did not enter in the Strictly Lindy contest, due to lack of planning. Ben and I intended to enter the same gender contest, but unfortunately Jillian did not feel well, and so at the end of the regular dance, we went back to the hotel room and slept.

And sleep in we did, we all woke up around 0900, got up, packed up the car, checked out and headed over to the first class of the day. It was a fast Lindy class from Jenna and Jason. The second class I took was a class from Mike (Faltesek) and Delilah. It was called "Rock Out with Your Swingout" and it was a very Mike class, wow, I don't think I could dance like Mike ... ever, his style is so energetic and random. We grabbed three other people and we went to lunch at Lotus Leaf Cafe. Call me surprised, but we randomly picked out three restaurants and each was really good, and reasonably priced. I would not have imagined Wichita to have such fabulous noms.

When we got back from lunch Jillian was still not feeling good, so we decided to make our exit. I put my dance shoes down ... and promptly forgot about them. Fortunately, I have really nice friends in Wichita, and they are going to feed and care for them until they can be brought up during Cowtown Jamborama. We got gas and hit the road. We drove to York with only one stop, and then stopped there for dinner. We drove home from there, and I got home around 2200, and that was my weekend trip. Thank you Sunflower Swing for a great time, and thank you to all the dancers new and known who made it fun.

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