07 October 2011

Second Week in September 2011

Welcome to Cowtown Week 2011, it's the most danciful week of the year! Yay! I stuck with my tradition with starting a vacation on Thursday of Cowtown week and not going back to work for eleven whole days! Monday was dull, I didn't even watch the first Monday night football game. Tuesday I cut the lawn immediately after work. The light is really starting to wane pretty early in the day, I barely finished before it was dark.

Wednesday after work started my vacation! No more work until the 25th. I really needed a break too. I celebrated with a nice quiet night at home with lots of walking.

Thursday marked a couple of things, the start of Cowtown and VK's birthday. My first Cowtown related task was to show up downtown around 1100 and help unload Carol's Closet stuff. I got there, then Amanda showed up, and we set stuff up for an hour or so, but no Carol. I then waited for another hour and finally went home and relaxed. There was a some sort of miscommunication with Carol and what time I was going to be there, all of her stuff did get set up even with out my muscles.

In the evening I met up with VK and her family and we had birthday dinner at Outback Steak House. I really enjoy all the laughing that happens when they are all together. Nothing really to relate about it, but it was fun.

After dinner I headed downtown for the Cowtown welcome dance.

I wasn't actually expecting to get to the beginning of Cowtown at all,
so it was a pleasant surprise to get any dances in. Photo credit: Matt

After the dance several people wanted to go over to the Donut Stop. Since I knew I was going anyway, and had one seat left in my car, I thought I'd just throw it out to Andrew, and see if he wanted to come along. He said sure so we piled into my car and listened to stories about the adventures of teaching all over the country. Andrew liked the donut stop, probably the whole in the wall quality, and bought $18.88 in donuts, enough for every instructor many times over. Cowtown has provided some memorable moments, and this was certainly the moment of the event, though there were plenty of good ones. When we left, we somehow managed to squeeze Andrew, Corina, Maggie, and four dozen donuts into my car and back to the Eagles, and then for me, home.

Troy and I had worked out a deal, I was going to stay up late and wait for guests to arrive late, and he was going to get up when guests arrived early. My guest was supposed to arrive around 0200, but she was running late. I'd like to say I stayed up wide awake and alert, but I mostly slept in the big chair with the door open. Beccy finally arrived at 0315ish, I got up and went out to the driveway to help her in and ran smack into for Creighton student Liz. This led to some awkward conversation (by me) "um ... I know you ... uh, are you staying here?" It turned out only Beccy was, Liz was just in the car that was driving her here. I got Beccy settled and went to sleep.

Friday morning I woke up early and got ready to go downtown. I took one class in the morning, then walked down to the Brandeis building to get some Subway. I took several more classes in the afternoon. Around 1600 I went over to the front desk for my turn there, after about 5 minutes that changed.

Someone needed to be picked up from the airport. Katie was supposed to do it, but the plane was late and she had to play at a wedding. I gathered up Beccy, and Amy and we went to the airport to pick up someone we had never met before. I'm appreciative of the way that technology makes this easier and safer. We headed up to the airport and met Chelsea ... it turns out it is easy to spot a dancer at an airport. We got her loaded into the car and back to driving within the 15 seconds allowed for cars to stop in the airport lane.

We had a couple of hours until the dance, so it was get cleaned up, nap, and then head over to Roja for dinner. Roja is owned by the same company that owns Blue Sushi. As much as I like Blue, I thought I'd like Roja better, but I thought the food there to be more pricey than really interesting. I'll give the benefit of the doubt because I only sampled one item.

We then headed over to the dance and arrived around 2030. I competed in the Jack and Jill. I tried to take all my lessons from previous contests and apply them, unfortunately, I wasn't dancing particularly well, and the competition was really much better than I am. The cow treated me well to start, I got Maggie and Eve to start, but then the cow went back to his old ways and stomped me into people I didn't know. Many thanks to Micah for running my camera during the contest.

Maybe my stance is a little too aggressive, do they take points off for that?

It looks like I know what I'm doing here...

...but it's obvious I have no idea here, but check out Eve's leg muscles, seriously.
Don't forget, those are happily married leg muscles.

It's my old nemesis, The Cow.

Ben does a jig in the middle of the finals.

My favorite of the Friday night photos.

Once the contest was decided, it was time for 'resetting' the upstairs at the Eagles. Yes, JIVE members know how to clean it up. Many of the Omaha Jitterbugs have become Eagle's members because of our long association there. So many in fact, that we are starting to have some influence on the organization. For instance, the new dance floor downstairs, the building getting taken off the market, and most importantly, the breakfast served at the late night was not grease covered yuck, it was quite tasty. I would like to thank Ryan and Christy for this, it seems like their influence. About 0200 I gathered up the people I was driving, and we headed home. When we got there, people just kept showing up to be housed ... we ended up with nine in the house, not counting me, Troy, or Merinda. Sheesh.

Neither of the first two Saturday morning classes held any interest for me, so I hadn't planned on getting up early. So I let myself sleep until I woke up, wandered the house, and found it empty until there was a lone voice downstairs, Chelsea, everyone else had managed to catch rides downtown. We got ready, ran a couple errands and finally made it downtown in about 90 minutes ... sheesh. Fortunately, we were on time for the Indian Buffet that they served for lunch. Last year on Cowtown Saturday, I also had Indian for lunch. I was a little concerned about the plan to cater in food, but it turned out to be just fine, and it was not the mess it was last year.

In the afternoon I took a few classes, but more or less hung around upstairs. It was the public introduction of Billy and Lindsay's twin girls Dolly and Birdie.

100_3477 100_3475
Dolly and Birdie ... no, wait, it's the other way around, really.

Matt and Vivian need to have a boy, all the little jitterbugs are girls.
Honey and Mirabel show that they will be great dancers.

Notice that Christy, who is already a mega-fabulous dancer, is trying to learn something new. I'm sure there is some sort of lesson in this for me, if only I could grasp it.

When afternoon classes were done, I gathered up my riders and we headed home. I got a call just before I was going to turn on the highway, and it was from Chelsea, who was at a play at the Orpheum that just got out, could I pick her up? Of course I remembered ... I'll be right there. We turned around down Leavenworth Avenue and went and picked her up. When we got back to the house, we cleaned up, and Amy, Chelsea, Beccy, and I joined Joe at China Buffet. It's one of the best parts of dance events is getting to know people.

Kaleigh did hair before the dance for cheap, some smart ladies took advantage.

I told Josh and Maggie that I wanted to create conflict by having them
look away from one another. I think I created hilarity.

Nothing like a picture of two pretty ladies and dinner.

Once again Hillary and Terri defy explanation.

Andrew is my hero, his attitude is amazing and fun, I wish I had it.

Both Jess and Ben grabbed this for profile picture, it must be good.

The dance and contests ended, once again JIVE members cleaned up. Frank, Maggie, and I went over to Cubbies to get something to drink. I know I am prone to exaggeration, but I kid you not, we must have seen fifteen people from Cowtown all doing the same thing that we were. We headed over to the late night, went inside as a group to the 906, ate some food, and had some fun until 0200.

I believe Larry wanted to call this "The Deal". I just call it wrong.

That's a party!

Sunday morning planned on going to church with Bonny from Wichita. Because it was close to where she was staying, we went to Beth's church. We went in, I introduced Bonny to Beth, then Teri came in too, and I went to introduce Bonny to her, and they said "We already know each other..." What the ... So two of my friends who live 300 miles from one another, one dances, the other doesn't know each other? Sheesh. Just so you know, Teri's sister lives in Wichita. Who knew?

Bonny and I headed downtown to the Eagles. I didn't take any afternoon classes, but I did have my camera.

Really? This outfit was in Carol's Closet? Mia rocks it.

Not my best picture from the weekend, but easily my favorite.

This year's Corn Eating Contest was set up for immediately after the classes this year at 1730, and unbelievably, it almost started on time. I like having the contest at that time better because you don't have to starve yourself to compete. It gets sillier every year. I've given up 'competing', I had five ears this year, and felt like I was eating too much. My name was called out first, I took my seat (next to Mirabel), then Ben was next, he attempted to sit next to me ... but after getting corn soaked last year sitting between Ben and Matt, I chased him off, I almost felt bad ... almost. Nicole was behind the camera for this.

Maggie wonders what the heck is going on back there.

Now Mirabel wants to see what is happening,
but not at the expense of interrupting gnawing on her corn.

The randomness of it all escapes me.

It started with one kid, and ended with five,
I thought it took longer to produce them.

The future of the corn eating contest is in safe hands.

I didn't win, go figure. The winner was Bryan from Grand Marquis. I think more people like to be on the watching side than the eating side. I don't mind being in the freak show, especially since I can get up and leave and still feel good with only a few ears of corn in my tummy. I had no more riders, they all left earlier in the day. It was kind of quiet ride home, then back to the dance.

Bryan wears the trophy like only a Corn Eating Contest winner can.

Ben placed second in the solo Charleston contest.
He had great exit that I hope
someone (anyone) caught on video.

My last photo of the weekend, taken with a plastic cup over the flash. It stuck just far enough over the lens to make this effect. I like it.

You can see all of my pictures from Cowtown right here. Matt also has a few pictures here. Lisa put up some also, they can be found on Facebook, not sure if you have to be her friend or not to see them, but they are here. I went home as soon as the dance ended, and went right to bed so I could be up early in the morning and head to Chicago.

Thanks for reading what is probably my longest post ever.

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