Wednesday, August 8, 2012

If I Have to Tell You One More Time.... Book Quotes

If I Have to Tell You One More Time....
Amy McCreedy

  • Empowerment Paradigm
    • Can't control others, but can control themselves and environment
  • Control the environment
    • Kids (and adults) need a private space, that others are allowed only by invitation
    • It addition, common spaces need to be allocated
    • House Rules
      • When I choose to play in a common area, I am choosing to invite my siblings to play with me. If I want to play alone, I can play in my room / private space
      • When I choose to leave my things in a common area, I am sharing them with my siblings. If I don't want my siblings to play with them, I need to keep them in my room / private space
      • Play fighting is allowed only by mutual consent. In the case of this rule, you'll need to develop some family-recognized word or phrase that everyone must respect, such as "Stop now", to put an immediate end to the roughhousing when one child is done (or getting hurt). Role play this several times with each child. 
  • Decide what you will do
    • Emphasize that there is no argument or fight without two participants
    • Each person has the choice to stay and fight or ignore and walk away
    • Role play respectful "open hand" requests versus taking back
  • All in the Same Boat
    • Unilateral consequence that affects all
    • A flight between siblings ALWAYS CONSTITUTES MISBEHAVIOR
    • Remain calm and indifferent to the the two sides of the argument
    • Do not pass judgement or declare a right / wrong
    • Refuse to listen to whining - deliver the consequence if a resolution can't be made and walk away
  • Family Meetings
    • Ground Rules
      • Commit to the meeting weekly
      • Don't bring a problem unless you come prepared with 1 or 2 possible solutions
      • Decisions require consensus, not a vote
      • Live with decisions for a week
      • Everyone has a job
      • Remember the fun
    • Pitfalls
      • Tackling too much too soon
      • Parents take over
      • Too many agenda items
      • Straying too far agenda
      • Too much business, not enough fun
      • One person dominates the discussion
      • It turns into a gripe session
      • Going to long
      • Parents solve all of the problems
      • Families only meet when there is a problem

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Understanding Sibling Rivalry - Book Quotes

Understanding Sibling Rivalry: The Brazelton Way
Berry Brazelton, Joshua Sparrow

Here are some quotes and passages from the book that I want to record:

To an active older child, you might say "You could have hurt him, I doubt that you'd feel good about that." To a quiet but provocative younger one: "Your teasing made her angry. That may be why she got after you." And to both: "You need to take care of this yourselves. But until you can stop hurting each other, I'll have to stop you. Let me know when you feel ready to play together again -- without clobbering each other!"

To the older child, a parent might say, "I know it's tough to have your little brother interfering all the time, but you can tell her to stop, or take your toys into  your room and shut the door. You don't have to hit." To the younger child, a parent might say, "I know you want to play with her so badly. But when she tells you she won't, you're going to have to learn to listen.

"Fairness does not mean the same thing for everyone, but the right thing for each of you. Fairness means doing what I have to do to help each of you learn your lesson. If you learn quickly, I don't need to use time outs or punishments." Fairness means the same rules, but may not mean the same discipline for each child.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dance Competitions of yesteryear

So when I was in college, I wrote emails home about my dance competitions. For the most part, my mom is the only one who read them. I've been wanting to post them, for what it is worth to my friends and fellow competitors of the time.

Hopefully it provides some nostalgia or entertainment.

Please note, that this contains personal references, opinions, and other information. Also recognize that these were written 15+ years ago. Disclaimers apply.

Harvard Competition - Feb 1994

This weekend was AWESOME, as in any off campus weekend with the ballroom family!!!! okay... the whole story:
Pat & Pam - dancing over a year
Me & Tonya - dancing about 5 months
Angie & Bill - dancing about 2 weeks :)

Fri: Inhaled my lunch so that we could leave be noon. Left at 12:15 - not bad group dynamics..if I do say so myself. The way down was lots of little small talk and sleeping. It was a gorgeous sunset! It was great we were travling uphill from aoubt 5 to 7. The sun just never set. It stayed about halfway down for about 1/2 and hour. And with all the hills and snow. It was beautiful. It was also really neat to see the rivers frozen over with snow on them. The whole drive took us a little longer then 11.5 hours. Pat got a speeding ticket about 10 minutes into New York. He was going 80 in a 55, but the cop gave him 70... He was kinda bummed about it the whole trip. It was his first ticket. The cop was funny though. He said, "What if this car rolled at this speed, what would your buddies look like if that happened. That's why we carry snow we can scrape  people like you off the ground". It was hard to keep from laughing. Ate at burger King on the way there.

Boston has got to be the worst place to drive. People just park wherever they want. Next to a the street. wherever...This makes the roads extremely narrow. Not that this slows anybody down. People are passing each other inches apart going 30. Pedestrians.. they just go when ever they want. Red light, green light, middle of the street, if cars are going at them. Tehy don't care. SO we get to MIT, that is where Pat's friend, melissa, and Steve Hardt are. We had to pass their dorm like 4 times because of all the damn one way streets. It took us about 40 minutes after the inital pass to get there.

We met up with Melissa first,b/c Steve wasn't there. She was really cool. MIT is a very open place. They have co-ed bathrooms. Then we went one floor up to look at the Elvis Shrine that they had set up. About  7 people were smoking dope in the hallway. They weren't even trying to hide it... there was a big ol' bong there.  So after that, I taught one of Melissa's friends to Waltz. Then we went over to Steve's. He was watching Beavis & butthead, of course. We got ready for bed and slept on the floor. I'd forgotten how uncomfortable that was. I was using my nice nylon jacket as a pillow. That was a mistake. Nylon is loud when moved! Everytime I moved, I woke up. Plus, I was sleeping next to Steve's bed... he had one of those fake hands sking out from it. Well sometime in the night, my jacket came untucked and was touching the hand. Everytime Steve moved, it would rub the jacket and I'd wake up. Now you are probably saying well way didn't you just move the jacket. Well I w as tired and having a hard time falling asleep, the less movement I made the more likely I was to sleep. Plus, Angie kept kicking me in the head. We were sleeping in a 2 by 2 kinda arrangement. Now in the morning, Steve's alarm is REALLY LOUD. Bill was the closest to the alarm, but it took him a while to figure that out. Then we are yelling at him directions about how to turn the alarm off. We all dress up and head toward the comp.

It was so funny when we got there. We didn't know where the ballroom was, so we asked people. Nobody knew. People don't even know there own campus. So, we get there. It is in this BEAUtiful hall.. Just what I expected Harvard to be. Stained glass windows and ancient portraits of no-name people. The floor however was also ancient. It had lots of holes and ruts and stuff. Pam nearly had a heart attack after seeing the floor. Then to "help" matters, they added sprinkled wax on the floor because it was too slick. It is going to take us so long to get that shit out of our shoes. We danced swing,foxtrot, waltz, chacha,jive. We won 4th (out of four) on international foxtrot. But even more impressive was we made it to semifinals in American Foxtrot. Funniest thing is that I still dislike the fox trot.  My Latin outfit fits great. My tux needs a little work. I've grown in the chest and shrunk in the waist. If there was a dance that I had to cross my arms, I would have been screwed. And my pants were so annoyingly lose. Needless to say that dancing only a couple of times, then sitting through student syllabus, adult syllabus, senior open rounds... it got to be a very long day. Besides that I'd barely eaten anything. I had a bagel for breakfast at 7:45. Then we had peanut butter and jelly (just one) for lunch. With that much food, I'd didn't even know that I'd eaten. I can totally see Pam as a mother. Just hte way she made the PB&J . She laid out two rows of 6 peices of bread. On one of the rows was a long spread of peanut butter. On the other, a long spread of jelly. Then with lighting fast blackjack-dealer hands she put the peices together. I don't know... it looked very Momish.

We met this incredible lady there. Her name is Kay Teague. She is the collegiate ballroom network coordinator. She is the nicest lady. Other then all the official stuff, she gets adults to donate there outgrown or old clothing, then she will give them to college kids. It was the neatest thing. We were sitting there talking, she looks at Angie's feet and notices that she doesn't have dance shoes on. She asks "what size do you wear?" Angie said 6.5. Kay Teague (everyone calls her this, first and last name... I don't know way...kinda like micheal J Fox) said Perfect, and took off the shoes that she was wearing. She told Angie that if she wore them today... they were hers. These were almost $120 shoes. Taht was SO cool!

Pat and Pam got a 7th,6th,6th, and 3rd. So they did very well also. I can see Pat doing this all his life. He probably won;t go pro, but I can totally see him charming the lady's at a dance. He is very smooth, and has great presence on the floor. I can just see him in the future at some very snazzy place just waltz from one girl to another. IT also helps that the girls think that he is VERY cute.

We left the comp during the team dances b/c we were all so exhausted. We missed out on the fun dances like the polka, hustle, and merengue. but those were after the team and that was like another 1.5 hours just sitting there. We were BEAT, so we left. So I changed back into my Latin outfit ( from my non-fitting tux) to go to dinner. We went to Atlantic Seafood bar or something like that. It was very good. But also very annoying. Here I am STARVING. So I order a fairly big meal, which I promptly inhale. The others order moderate meals and then they get full about 1/2 through. Like I can't eat another bite full. I'm like I could order about 4 more entree's without a problem at all. But oh well... I was still very tired at dinner but everyone else (esp Pam) was very hyper.... Now i'm not sure... This is just my hypothesis, but I think it was the clothes that I was wearing. B/c when I got back I changed into my normal clothes, and shortly afterwards I became hyper again. My Latin outfit is so dark. Ject black shirt, belt, pants, socks, dance shoes ( well not at the resturant, but still) The only colored part was the silver belt buckle.  When I put on my bright green shirt and my blue jeans, I had just as much energy as Pam. Now pam, wasn't just filled with energy, she was leaking...

So after dinner, I called Harvard Smart people. I could only get in touch with Scott Greenburg (was going out with Bethany). Steve, Scott, us six, and 5 of Angie's harvard friends tried going clubbing. One club wouldn't let us in b/c we were wering tennis shoes, and the other had over an hour wait. So we just ended up riding the T around (that's there public transportation thingy). After that we walked along the frozen river and took a walking tour of MIT. Then we skipped down this "infinite hallway at MIT" after that got a bite to eat at the 24 hour coffee house and then we pretty much went to our separate rooms. This time I used the air mattress as a pillow for three people.... much better.

Left this morning about 7:30 and arrived here about 7:30, with two stops for food.

But we had such great bonding on this trip. Pam is such a character. She
is so blunt. We are driving back, and she says "I've got to piss so bad,
that if we don't stop NOW, we are going to have some serious odor
problems in this car." She and Pat and Bill were just heavily, joking
flirting the whole time. Like htey would seductivly lick their lips, or
she would suck the donut sugar off thier fingers. It was very amusing to
watch, actually kidna fun to participate in also. Pat and Pam started
Vwaltzing in the middle of the cafe to whatever song was playing in the
background. In the car, bill and Angie took turns at sleeping on each
other's lap. We would skip or sing or dance in the streets. At one point
in time, we were swinging to a song that we were singing as well. A
couple of cops passed us and gave us the funniest looks. Pam and Tanya
did a chinese fire drill at one of the stoplights (that is where you get
out and run around the car to switch seats with another person at red
lights) Bill and Angie were trying to do lifts, Pat said that is not the
way to get the girl off the ground... upon which Pam jumped up and
wrapped her legs around his waist, then they proceded to do a very
lambadaish kidna dance. This was in the middle of the street so you
know.  It was just so much fun!!!!!

I'm kinda disappointed in my SMART friends. They knew I was coming for a
while, but still none of them were around Sat night.

I had SOSOOOSOSOSOOO MUCH FUN! There is no way that I'll be able to work
tonight at all. No desire....engery is fading fast.

Carnegie Mellon Competition - Feb 1994

This weekend was a lot of fun. Exhausting and painful.... but  a lot of fun. I haven't been this exhausted since orientation.

I started practicing at about 4:30. But Tanya didn't show up so that made it a little hard to practice. Then we started setting up around 6. It was kinda like orientation, but not as fun. It was like orientation in that we were moving and setting up chairs and tables. See for orientation, we would unstack the chairs and push them really hard across the floor to their final desination where somebody else would put them in their proper place. They didn't happen to like that on Fri. Plus the people in charge were VERY stressed. Several things were going wrong. Like the variable speed tape deck we were supposed to have, never got bought and several things like that. Then around 9, I went to the other room where we were throwing a welcome party. No one showed up till about 10. So I just practiced. At the party we had total of 4 people. Talk about happening! Then we danced a little in the ballroom after the decorations were set. Oh... a couple came in from Illinios. The girl was dancing several dances with a friend of hers who goes to Pitt, so we were trying to set up the guy with a girl to dance these dances with. One of the competitors was a girl from Chatham, who I'm pretty good friends with. We called up her roomate, who I'm also good friends with, and persuaded her that she wanted to compete. So she came down and practiced a little with him. I went to bed that night by about 1. This was the 4th time this year that I've gone to bed before Chad.

I woke up at 6:30 to be at the ballroom by 7:30. When I got to skibo... all the doors were Locked. so that was annoying standing outside in the cold waiting for a janitor type person to let me in. The we inflated ballons for 2 hours. Can I tell you how much that hurts your fingers. So many ballons. Plus my shoes have treds... so I'm trying to hold the extra balloons by stepping on the string.... I lost so many balloons... (Oh... I just want to say that if this letter is incoherent that is b/c I've had LOTS of EXERCISE and LITTLE SLEEP... but I'm getting to that). Oh, Pat told me Fri night that the place that he took my latin outfit to get cleaned, closed before he could get there Fri, and was closed on Sat. It wasn't a problem... I just wore a white shirt nad tux pants. So after the balloons, a changed into the tux. I wanted to wear the suspendeders b/c the tux was loose in Harvard. Unfortunately there were no attachment buttons, so the the suspenderes got pinned to the pants. I was lucky, the ballroom was cold, so I was able to comfortablly wear the jacket to (well at least until I started dancing when I got hot) There were not all that many people there. A couple from Illinios and about 6 people from Ohio state. We had a BUNCH of people... I'm not sure how many from CMU. The first thing that I danced was Rookie/vet smooth. I danced it with Julie, one of the team members. We got 3rd in Waltz,4th in American Foxtrot. Then I danced beginner with Tanya. We got 5th Quickstep, 3rd Am Fox, 2nd Int Waltz, 3rd Int Fox. My smooths felt AWESOME. There is just one thing that I was not happy with.... My smile. I concentrating so hard on everything else... the smile was the last thing on my mind. People actually told me that I looked mean. Me?!... look mean?! The only bad thing about the way that the comp was set up was that you danced in spurts. And if you happen to make it to finals these spurts were really long. Like you would do all initial smooth, then semi-finalists, then finalists... right in a row. By the end you are REAL tired. It wasn't as bad in smooth... but after latin... whooo.

Then for latin... I felt totally off the whole time. For Rookie/Vet, I had Julie count for me just to make sure I got the beat :) We got 7th. Then Tanya and I got 2nd in Cha,jive,and rumba and 3rd in swing and samba.  It was funny.. at one of the times I was talking with Pam... she goes. Drew, We REALLY need to work on your samba. Well I only had one lesson. It was still funny though. The rest of the comp was okay. The girl from Illini was fun to watch. She is an awesome dancer. Then we went to dinner. It was two cmu'ers, two illini, and teh whole ohio state team. We wanted to go to spagetti warehouse, but noone really know the way to get there, then we wanted to go to gullifty's, but they had a thirty minute wait. We ended going to Boston Chicken, a fast food chicken place. We had initially taken two cars, but we decided that it would be easier to leave one of them at Gullifty's. So we plied 9 people in a suburban. That was interesting. Then we came back. I changed into my "semi-formal" clothes. Which when I got there I found that it wasn't semi fomral enough. So I went back to change again. (BTW, if there are a lot of spelling errors in this section, it is b/c I'm slouched way down, eyes closed typing this). The dance party afterwards was fun!. There were actually more girls there then guys. That as cool. I was wearing the pumpkin long sleeve shirt thing. There was a girl there that had a blouse the exavt same color. It freaked everyone out when we danced together. It took me a while, she was kinda shy, and I had to ask her several times. She first gave me an excuse that the song was too slow (Rumba). I came back for a quickstep (she was eating). I finally caught her on a cha. She had fun. Then I caught her again on the rumba. The Open comp was AMAZING!!!! Esp the couple that competed Latin. HOLY COW! The quickstep couple was really good too! then we had a salsa comp. That was neat to watch. We also played musical merengue chairs. I didn't ven get close to winning, but it is very fun to watch people merengue cheat. Like when it was down to one chair and 3 couples. One couple came over the back of the chair,straddling the seat and merengueing. It was very funny to watch. The best part of the night though was whne they played a little bit of country. I two stepped with PAm. That was AWESOME b/c I hadn't done it in so long. But I definately have to learn something new, b/c I was bored with it again like the second time I double turned Pam.

After the partyt was over, the ballroom was stripped down SO FAST. It took like 5 hours to set it up and 1/2 hour to take down. Then, Tamara, one of the REALLY good ballroom dancer grad students was having a party. So I tagged along with Pat and Pam and Carol to go to the party. That 3was really neat. I never been to a grad student party. I met lots of grads and danced more. There was also LOTS of liquor. Pam of course got watsed. She is so funny when she is drunk. She and Danny (another Dancer) did body shots of tequila. Like put the salt on your neck and the lemon (or lime or whatever that fruit thing is) in your mouth. Then we danced and I talked a lot to Mech E grads. Val, our dance teacher, was there and drunk. You know how I said that she was kinda stand offish and not really helpful as a teacher.... well she is more more talkative drunk. She asked me if what I have is alepicia. So I said yes, and then she asked me since when. and I told her since 5. But since she was drunk she asked me the same querstion about every 4 minutes b/c she didn't remember. It was funny. I left there around 3:45 and went to bed around 4:30.

I woke up sun at 8:30 for the 9:30 workshops. The workshops were really cool. Tamara was threre, but she was kinda hungover (big surprise there) she said that Pam & PAt were alseep on her floor. The first workshop we worked on was the jive. I don't think I've been shown the proper way to juve before, I was just alwats told that it was a fast swing. Kinda but not quite. It has a lot more up and down then side to side. Then the next workshop of on smooth. Alot about backwards steps, like in the waltz turns and stuff. I was instructed on a way to totally improve my waltz. It seems that I was leading with my feet instead of my body. So I'll have to start working on that. The next workshop was Disco & West Coast. That was cool. =Disco is a lot of fun. We didn't get through that much West Coast though.
Just the basic. But we did lots of fun stuff for fisco. Then I learned Salsa and merengue. Boy my hips are going to be sore!!!! The last workshop was C&W and line dancing. That was okay. I learned to continous turns for two step.... but I don't really think that it was a function of the workshop... but from the fact that I'm a better dancer. I couldn't do the line dances b/c it hurt my ankle too much. I can't remember if I told you in this letter that I hurt my ankle. I'm not sure when, but at some time in the competition, I did something really funky to my ankle. It is the lower inner half of my left leg that really hurts. Especially for any side kidna streches. The things that hurt most are grapevines (line dance), latin crosses (cha & rhumba) and occasionally going up on my toes in Waltz. I don't notice it a whole lot when I'm dancing, usless I really catch it wrong. I notice most while walking. But especially when I stand up after sitting for a while. I'm going to Health Services tomorrow.

Then I took about 1.5 hour nap, and spent most of the rest of the day walking REALLY slowly between my dorm and the eating place. Then tonight we went to metropol, a normal dance club. It was fun to people watch, but It verified the fact that I don't like club dancing. The music really sucked and it was PAINFULLY load. The only really neat part was that for some reason a lot of CMU people were there .... I knew like 1/2 the dance floor. I don't see how anybody could meet anybody there . Even if you were a good "non-music" dancer and you were sexy. Noone cold tell. You cant hear a word a person shouting in your ear is saying. And most of the lights are off, except for the occasional stobe light. One of the cool things was that Tanya showed up there. I thought the was pretty weird... neat but weird.

Oh... Another funny thing. When Pam is cold and she runs....she looks just like Ozone running. The way she shakes her hear when she runns looks exactly like Oz.I found it amuzing.

Well I think that this letter is long enough. Let me know if I left anything out.

New York University Competition - Mar 1994


Comparing this weekend to all of the other comps, I would probably put it last in terms of fun.... But looking at it alone, it was ALOT of fun!

General infomation: The Group Dynamics of the trip really sucked

Main cast (ie stayed together through the end)
Danny "Mapman" Carlson, aka "Pappa Smurf"

Extras (ie came and went throughout the trip)

Okay... Fri. We were planning on leaving at 5. We were ready by 5:30, but then Karen forgot something at her apartment and had to run back. Stupidly Dave, who was traveling in an independent car, drove her back to her apartment. This was stupid, b/c the people traveling in dave's car had planned on leaving at 3, they could have taken off at 5:00 if Dave didn't leave. Of course Fri, was freezing cold, so I ended up bringing my thick jacket... The rest of the weekend would have been served real well with my thin one. In my car was Danny, Susan, John, and Karen. We had two other cars with us, Liz, Pam, Sam, Pete and Fei & two of her friends who were traveling with us. We fell asleep for the first 1.5, while Liz's car was singing and goofing off. Then we stopped to eat at Big Boy's or something like that. After that we played cards until dark, then we told each other secrets/ stories. That night we stayed in Allentown at Fei's house.

This was lots of fun.. it seems that almost every night we segregated into grad and undergrad. The undergrad consisted of me,Pam,Liz,Sam,Pete, & Fei (but she slept in her own bed). We were all on the floor in the living room, while the grads were in another room. We were being really giggly and having fun... We played a drunk game (we were all sober) but it was funny. One person whould say... "Wanna buy a duck?" The next person would say "A What?". The first would say "A Duck."
 "A What?"
 "A Duck."
"Does it quack?"
"Of course it quacks"
Then the second person would ask the next person "Wanna buy a duck". The third says "A What?", the second says "A what?", the first says "A duck" ... etc
It was funny... Then Pam steamrolled us. Fei had left to drop off her friends, who lived in AllenTown. When she came back, her dad said something to her in Chinese, which we interpretted that it was time for us to go to bed. Later, just found out it was just "how was the drive" kinda stuff... But we went to bed anyways... It was really hard sleeping that night... I had the raft blown up to much and it was REALLY noisy. In the morning we had a group back massage b/c everyone was sore. We took showers and went to the grocery store to pick up muffins for breakfast. Pam & Fei & Sam went to Kmart to get socks for Sam (he forgot to pack them) and contact stuff for Karen (Who either forgot or ran out). Then when we got back, we waited until Karen was finished repacking till we left (Beginning of a theme). We left about 2 hours laters then we had initially planned.

We drove to the hotel in New Jersey, checked in and segregated again. Two rooms, 6/4 split. The 6th undergrad was Fei who was staying with us and going back home after the comp.

After spending 1.5 hours in traffic entering NY,  we spent the night at the comp watching the championship and open stuff. We also saw a demo from Tony & Melanie somebody... I think that they are National Latin Champions. They were of course awesome!! Their last dance was something that they made up..... My was it sexy... Total foreplay dance. When I get a girlfriend, I definately think that that is a dance to try to learn. VERY SEXY.... After the dance, Liz turns to me and says and awe-inspired "DAMN".

Then we went back to the hotel... Almost everone took showers that night b/c we were waking up by six the next morning. Fei & I were on the floor, while the others were in the two beds (that's the undergrad room that I'm talking about). We were about a 1/2 hour late leaving b/c Karen kept saying just 5 more minutes of sleep. Continuation of the theme. Luckily, there was no traffic (who in their right mind would be awake at 7:30 sun!) and we got to the comp in time to register and warm up... Actually we were the first ones there. and had to help set up a little. :)

The competition was huge... 200 competitors and the floor was always extremely crowed. Also there were normally 2 or 3 dances per heat. And most of the time I didn't know at least one of them. So I spent most of the morning learning the dances I didn't know. ie American Tango & rumba. Lena, my partner was about 1/2 hour late, and we ended up missing the first two heats which I think were Am Waltz, foxtrot,tango, and int waltz & quickstep. We placed 5th in Int Foxtrot and Tango. Which I found extremely funny. Int Foxtrot is very hard and I've never formally learned tango, just tips from people here and there. I think that there were about 10 couples, but I'm not sure. Then we sat for a while and danced again in the novice catagory. My smooths were off, I wasn't hitting any of them, I was however hitting alot of the smooth dancers. VERY CROWDED floor. They didn't have a lunch break, so during some of the gold stuff I took off to have pizza downstairs... Then we watched the kid competition. They had ages 3-teen competing. There is one I mean school in Brooklynn called the Kaiser Dance Academy that just mass produced ballroom dancers. They were all incredibly good! But the cutest couple was this 3 year old couple cha-ing. After that we danced the latin stuff. During the american Rumba... I kept switching. Everytime I would come out of a fan, I'd switch back to international and it would take  a measure or two for me to switch back. Very amusing. All the latins felt good, except we only placed in samba and jive. Which I totally don't understand. I suck at samba ( at least I thought so) and my jive is not all that wonderful. But we got 5th there too, I think that there were 14 couples. Then for the latin novice, we were so tired that we totally didn't care anymore and did everything that we learned... It didn't matter if we knew it well or that it was a gold step (we were only dancing bronze). It was fun. The day as a whole was very tireing. They hardly had any general dances b/c they were trying to get through so many heats (50 or so). So I slept a little there.

After the competetion Pam took off with Andrew and Min (team members, will get to them later) to go meet up with her boyfriend in Princeton. Speaking of boyfriends... Karen and John i think hooked up right before the trip. They were so nausiating.... Just hanging all over each other the whole time.

We went back to the hotel to shower and change and then head out for the night. I thought that that was really lame. If we are going out to dance, why bother showering. Then we ate at a pretty crappy steak house and went dancing at the continental club. This club plays live swing music. It was really neat. Just going out and trying all the jitterbug stuff that I forgot at SSQQ. It was pretty cool. Then after that we drove through times square and headed back to the motel.

Mon we took the subway from Jersey to NY. The sub dropped us off at 33rd and 5th Avenue. We walked up 5th toward central park, b/c several of us wanted to go there. Oh did I mention that it was raining a little. We stopped to look at Grand Central station and dropped off John & Karen who went to China town. We stopped in a couple of stores and looked around and stuff. We ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, then continued on to central park. We walked all the way across central park, then went to the guggenheim museum. I persoanlly thought the museum was excessively boring, but the architecture was really cool. BTW the Guggenhiem is located at 90th and 5th. We caught the subway back and waited 20 minutes for john and karen (no surprise at this point). I was never able to get in touch with Tejas, primarily b/c the hotel was in another area code and it would have cost $3 to call him.  I called him from the Hard Rock and left a message sayign I was sorry, I never got to see him.

Then we headed to Princeton, where Andrew and Min were. Min lives there, Andrew is her boyfriend.... So we stayed there. We watched the tape of the competition since andrew taped it, and waited for dinner. Andrew didn't realize that the dinner he was preparing took like 3 hours to make. We didn't eat until 11 which really screwed up doing anything that night. After dinner, I ran to princeton (abou;20 minutes) away to try to see Bethany, but she was already asleeep an wasn't planning on answering hte door. So we came back and went ot sleep. The next morning the van was planning to leave at 7, but liz was planning on leaving whenever they woke up. So I had the van drop me off at Princeton at abnout 7:30 b/c it was just about 5 minutes out of there way. I saw Bethany for about an hour before her 9 o'clock class. We went to breakfast together and talked and stuff. It was really cool that it worked out that I got to see her. I walked her to her class, and then as I was leaving I was looking at the people passing me... You'll never guess who I saw. Stormy Chamberlain. Does the name sound familiar? She was in YSP! It was so cool!!!!! So we talked for a couple of minutes as we walked to her 9 o'clock class. Then on the way back from that I ran into Manoj, who was from the SMART program, except that he lived in Houston, and we hardly ever saw him. So I walked him to his class. It was so cool. It felt just like CMU I could hardly walk two feet without running into somebody that I knew!!! It was SO cool.

After that I stood around waiting until Liz came to pick me up. She said that they were possibly going to try to be there at 9:30, but that depends on when they wake up... at 10:30 I called them and they said that they were just finishing up there showers... They finally picked me up at 11:30 and we took off from there. I didn't mind waiting though... I knew that It was going to happen. I was just happy I got to see Bethany and it was a totaly bonus to see Stormy and Manoj. I did find out that my thick winter jacket is not wonderful when it gets soaking wet. Down does not dry fast. The car ride back seemed excessively long. Probablly b/c I hadn't gotten anymore then 4 hours sleep each night, and sleeping on the floor doesn't help.

I fell asleep last night at 9... fully clothed. I woke up at 2:30 this morning brushed my teeth and went to the bathroom and went back to sleep until 9 this morning.

I think that about covers it for the weekend. Although I'm sure that I left out some stuff.

Indiana University- Sept 1994

This comp was so much fun.  But first the key players:

Me and Liz
Pat and Pam
Ajay and Johanna
Fei and Andrew
Danny and new Fei

We (Liz,pat,pam) left here at about 7:15 or so on Sat... and drove to Indiana. At one of the gas stations that we stoped at... it was bery funny - they had an intercom set up to teh pumps and the guy with the worst hick accent would tell everybody that they'd have to prepay... The way he said "alright" was VERY funny. Doesn't really do it justice to type but i'd spell it like "ahite"...
    And you know how I was telling you about the bed situation. Well it appears that since we we undergrads - and kinda have this reputation of being a little hyper and staying up all night on comps (who me? :) that everyone decided to give us our own room. That plus the fact that we didn't hit Indiana till about 1 am.. So liz and I DID end up sleeping together as well as Pat & Pam (of course). That was interesting. We barely slept at all... I think I've figured it out. There are two things that limit me when I've been in bed with someone else (the ever so many times that I've slept w/ people). One is that I have to be on my back.. I just can't sleep in any other position. And two - I am very sensistive to touch... sights and sound I can sleep though.. .but not touch. And the bed that we were in was of course a single. It was fun even though I slept oh maybe 1.5-2 hours total. but hey that is okay. The best part was the teamwork/partnership/ lead - follow taht evolved from this. Sinec the bed was so small - anytime the other person moved you had to readjust your position accordingly.
    Then Sun morning. We ate a skimpy breakfast (as usual) and went to the comp. This Place was GORGEROUS!!! it was at the top of the embassy suites hotel. The floor was huge and perfect... no pot holes, very soft wood, just the right speed. The only thing was that it was circular.... not ellipsoidal - circular... that made it a little hard to do things that you do to get out of corners and things that you do an the long and short end of the floor.
    We danced everything - American/ International. This was such a trip = we know almost no american so we were making it up as we went. So of course we got 3rd in American Waltz/Foxtrot (I guess we faked it pretty well). We also got 3rd in International Rumba/Cha-cha. There were about 7 couples in each of these (just so you know it is not thrid out of third.) Another cool thing is that we got the double reverse spin in waltz while we were competing. we had never actually tried it in waltz, but we had never gotten it in quickstep. But we were bored - so we tried it during one of the heats and got it... that was a cool feeling.
    Lets see... on the way back... liz got tired of driving so we moved to the backseat to become mutal pillows (I was/am extremely tired by this time). So the coolest thing about this trip is that Liz and I have become much closer friends. That's cool. Some good bonding going on there.
Sorry, that this letter is not longer or more in depth. But it is really late, I've had a really long day, and I still have other stuff to do (which is not going to happend tonight)

Catholic University of America Competition - Nov 1994

Catholic University of America (CUA) competition
Nov 4 - 6th 1994

Key people:
Liz Atkinson
Stephanie Behrens
Tom Gilbert
Pam Klepal
Pat Walsh
Jessica Messer
Michael Posner
Mom (Liz'z mother)

General award info (in case I forget to mention it later);
    The + is in case anybody jumped in and was not in the program
6th American Rumba - Beginner - 25+ couples
6th American Rumba - Intermediate - 15+ couples
7th American Cha   - Intermediate - 11+ couples
2nd West Coast Swing - 4+ couples
4th Hustle - 10+ couples
8th Intl Tango - Intermediate - 8+ couples
4th American Foxtrot- Beginner - 20+ couples
6th American Foxtrot -Intermediate - 10+ couples
2nd Intl Rumba - Beginner - 14+ couples
4th Intl Cha - Beginner - 15+ couples
3rd Intl Samba - Beginner - 13+ couples
6th Intl Rumba - Rookie/Vet w/ Stephanie - packed floor

CMU placed 2nd in American Team Comp
CMU placed 2nd in Intl Team Comp (3rd cha for us)

General Background info on the comp:
34 people went
Lots of newcomers
In Washington, D.C.

OKay... now that that is out of the way- lets get started... I'll just begin with the car ride. We planned on leaving around 2:30 and ended up leaving around 3. The people in the car were me,Liz, Tom, and Stephanie. See Liz and I had a conversation about a week before about who should ride in our car. Because we had already decided that Pam and Pat, and Liz and I would stay at her mom's place in Virginia. Since both Pam and Liz drove, we wanted to make sure that the people who were staying with us could be as crazy and zany as the 4 of us... so we were trying to choose our car well. We knew that Jessica (this is the jessica that was in Houston) and her partner, Mike, would go with Pat and Pam because there is an extremly strong friendship there already. Liz and I decided that we definately wanted newcomers with us just to meet and bond with more people and to hook them a little bit more. We decided on Tom and Stephanie b/c we thought that they would fit in with the rest of us the best. We were not disappointed. They fit in perfect!
    Stephanie fell asleep relatively quickly, so Tom, Liz and I talked for a while. When Stephanie woke up is when the fun and the bonding started. I'm not sure how it all started, but during the remaing course of the trip, she would pat my head or we'd make faces at each other. At one point we all ganged up on her for a tickle. And we teased Liz a little.. The start of a GREAT weekend. We went to Liz's house to drop our stuff off and relax for a littlre bit.
    We met Liz's mom who we just called Mom for the entire time and talked for a bit. Then we went to the general dancing/ mingling thing that was going on. They also put on a couple of demo's.... WOW! One of the jives had just an amazing set of aerials. Just amazing. Aerial after aerial....I'm sure that the girl had no clue where she was. The dancing was fun... nothing memorable, but just fun. I met a dancer from CUA who is also from Houston and we talked a little bit. It was here at the general dancing that we met up with the other 25 people. We got everything settled and arranged for the next day and then we (Liz's car + Pam's car) returned to Liz's. We talked for a little while and eventually ended up going to sleep at around 2:30 or so. In terms of sleeping arrangements, Pam and Pat slept together in a bed, Jessica slept in a bed b/c of her bad back. Liz and Stephanie slept on the floor upstairs, and Tom, Mike, and I slept on the floor downstairs. We thought that we didn't want to shock the newcomers so soon by having everyone sleep together. See if Liz and I slept together and Pat and Pam slept together... that kinda ment that everyone slept together. I gave Pam my watch to wake up to (kinda been tradition since Illinois) and we were to wake up at 5:30 - in order to have time to get ready and get there by 8:00
    So while the girls were putting their faces on, the guys were complaining about the lack of sleep. We had the usual competition breakfast of one or two bagels and maybe a muffin.... and we left for the comp. Mom accompanied us to cheer, take pictures, and supply food. Yeah! Go Mom! :)
    The comp was set up as follows : American Rythym, Intl Standard, lunch, American Standard, Intl Latin, dinner, Team comps, social. In each section there was newcomer, beginner,rookie/vet, intermediate, and adult. We had signed up to dance as much as possible because it gets really boring otherwise. This plan kinda backfired. See, as you know, we only learn international style. We know maybe the basic and one move in the american style dances.... we signed up for them just to dance. You dance once - get eliminated, be happy. Well we didn't get eliminated. In almost every dance American or International we made it to semifinals or finals. So we ended up dancing Beginner, Rookie/Vet, and intermediate with all the callbacks. So I think that I figured out that I competitively danced for about 9.5 - 10 hours total for the day. It was awesome.
    It was so funny, my only lesson in American rumba was a 10 minutes lesson with Mike (who has taken lots of American, but no intl) on Wed. He showed me the basic, the hand to hand, and the underarm turn. This was the first dance - that is all that we did.. the basic, hand-to-hand, and the underarm turn. We made all callbacks and got 6th in BOTH beginner and intermediate. INTERMEDIATE - where people having been dancing this thing for YEARS! I was floored - I didn't understand why until the next day at the workshops. We learned at the workshops a lot about what the judges look for. And that's where we cleaned up for the whole time.... we had the style. We had the attitude, the look, the overall prescence of good dancers. I concentrated lots on my hips and my arms on the cross overs.... Also in terms of the whole day I NEVER looked at the floor, be it in promenade or fan or any of the other times I normally do. I was always looking at Liz or the audience.
    Since we were out on the floor so much, and since we aways had a smile (I did a very good job in this deparment) we made a lot of fans. Aside from the very loud CMU cheering section, we had fans at every corner of the room. As we would circle the room in the Smooths, everyone was cheering for us as we went by. Sounds of "GO 27" filled the room.... this is not an exaggeration. Since I have a hard time in smiling in the smooths, I focused on audience members as I was dancing... this made it much easier to smile. I would always try to pinpoint who was cheering for me, but I had a really hard time finding them in the crowd. But it was so AWESOME!!!! IT gives you so much energy and makes your dancing so much better when you have fans.
    We started off a little poorly in Intl Smooth, but I fixed that after about 5 dances... I was having a problem keeping my frame.... I was trying to avoid traffic more with my left hand than with my right. Oh and traffic was definately a BIG problem. The floor was rather small - about 2-3 waltz turns long and 1 waltz turn wide. That with 20+ people.... quite a challenge.
    I think what also helped get us some fans was the West Coast. There were only 4 or 5 couples out there. And according to my teammates, we should have taken first. I also believe that we were the best looking couple out there. I'll come back to this when I talk about Sun... b/c I found out why we didn't get first.
    But here is the most interesting part..... I don't know if you've gathered this or not, but the Latin's are my favorite dances. Intl Latin was the last event of the day... We danced Beginner and Rookie/vet... but we could not bring ourselves to dance intermediate. We were just so exhausted that we couldn't do it.... and we were extremely content with that decision. I'll pause here and let the impact of that settle.....We were not ABLE to dance our favorite dances, and we were HAPPY that we didn't.
    Then we broke for dinner. We had about an hour for dinner before the team matches... this was a nightmare. We were making a trip to Wendy's and somehow ended up taking about 15 orders for food... let me reprase this - I ended up taking about 15 orders for food. Pam, Pat, Jessica, and I went to Wendy's to get food for everyone. What a nightmare. We spent about an 45 minutes there trying to get this ordered. Please note, that it took us about 1/2 hour to get all the orders and money from everyone, ten minutes to get to Wendy's.... so we were about an hour late returning.... All that we missed was the awards, which we had Liz pick up for us. (We got more energy back after eating, so that we could continue to dance) But we got back from Wendy's right as the team matches were starting. The team matches are a set of four couples who dance one dance and the total score for those 4 couples determine if your team placement. We had enough people for 4 teams. That was awesome. We mixed the teams fairly well with one person per team who could take up any slack if the others didn't know the dances. But we did have one super team composed of Me & Liz, Pat & PAm, Danny & (someone, I don't remember right now), and Andrew & Fei (Our best couple all around). Liz and I danced Am Rumba, and Intl Cha. The best thing was Pat and Pam's Jive and swing... they got so into it. They had SO much fun while they were dancing. Can we say glowing? They were just fun to watch. So we ended up getting 2nd in Americna and Intl. The funny thing is that NOONE knows American very well. And to do this against 10 other colleges (I'm not sure how many teams/ college).
    One a side note, and as a completely random thought. The towel was the best gift EVER. I used it continously. It helped SOOOOOOOOOOOO much. It saved me from being completely and totally soaked and disgustingly wet. I was damp but not drenched... the towel on the otherhand was soaked clear through. It is late Monday and it is still a little wet. It was GREAT! thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.
    Then there was a general dancing. That was so much fun. I danced with everyone from CMU who I hadn't danced with yet.... then I went to dance with people from other schools. This was the best. I went to the corners where I had heard people cheering for me. I stood there and said really loudly "Who here cheered for me?" Then when somebody acknowledge this I asked them to dance. What a GREAT line. I loved it. Also one of the newcomers on our team... named Jee Sun.... is such a great follower. We polkaed and swung together.... she is such a delight to dance with. She didn't have a clue what I was doing, but she followed it beautifully. Oh there was also a contest for who could do the best straight-legged cha. You couldn't bend your knees at all... then they made it so that you couldn't smile, and then they had the girl lead the guy. It was very amuzing
    Anyways... after the social dancing, and after we got kicked out of the ballroom for being too loud - we hung out in the parking lot for a little bit. We somehow ended up doing a 4 person Cha cha.... The way we did this was have someone on your shoulders and someone on your partners shoulders.... that was highly amuzing. Then when we finally departed - we went to go get some ice cream. And then we CRASHED really hard. I was a little disappointed, b/c I thought that Pat & Pam and Liz & I would switch and I'd get to sleep with Liz, but she was sore and her back hurt, so she ended up sleeping on the floor. Oh well.
    Then on Sun... there were 4 workshops taught by Dan Calloway. Dan Calloway! This is when he went over dress, posture, and other things that the judges look for (all those reasons why we won American). Well at the insistance of some of my friends who thought I should have come in first in West coast, I asked him what he thought of it (he was a judge). He said it was a very good WCS, and I had a good style and a good lead, but that my posture for it was bad. Crushing blow, kinda. It was a great compliment - but guess what is going to be absolutley totally fixed in me now :).
    Anyways... he also covered latin motion and stong movements in smooth. I learned TONS!... I also bought a couple of dance books from him that describe all the steps (kinda like the manual for dancing).
    We drove home talking about the comp and remembering... but we were all REALLY tired. When we got back, I was ready to fall asleep by 7:30.... No I was falling asleep by 7:30. I unfortunately didn't completely reach my goal of being completly finished before I left. I had 5 questiosn to answer that on a normal night would take me 45 minutes, but b/c I was so tired, took me 5 hours. I even took a nap from 11pm to 1 am b/c I couldn't stay awake. The funniest thing though... sometime when I was either just about to fall asleep or just about to wake up... sometime when I was "awake" but dreaming... kinda like I was dreaming but I was able to direct where the dream was heading... I dreamed that I was sleeping in American style, when I normally sleep international style, but I had confidence that I was sleeping in American style properly.  (I'm not joking about this one) :)
    Anyways... this weekend annihilated all the homework,tests, meetings, and all that other shit for the last month. It was absolutely worth it. And b/c of this weekend I told liz "Let's go to England"... so I am going to England. B/c I'm anticipating that england will be at least 4 or 5 times better then this weekend (is that even possible?!). If that is the case then 4 or 5 times more shit can be annihilated. The best thing would be for the shit to remain constant and for England to be 4 or 5 times better... Then we are left floating. Yeah!
    One final thing... please refer back to the list of goals that I had set at the the beginning of last week. Look at what it says for this weekend. Look at what I accomplished... Decompression, fun at social dances, top three places with 2 dances with Liz - one being rumba, 2nd in WCS, not getting frustrated, retain everything from the workshop... the only thing I didn't get was top three places in rookie/vet and the not having ANY homework Sunday night.

Hope that is descriptive enough.
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Ohio State University - Feb 1995

This weekend at OSU was SO much fun... Totally one of the best dance weekends... I know that I say this about almost all of them... but this one really was AWESOME!

First the basics:
Key People
Liz - my partner,
Pam & Pat - good friends
Tom & Jee Sun- other members of our car
Natalie (CUA team member) - good friend

3rd American Swing syllabus with Natalie
3rd Hustle with Liz

The Story:
We left on Friday about 6... I think we had about 6 cars going - we had 19 people go altogether... Nothing too terribly exicting on the way down... Jee Sun fell asleep and we teased Tom that he has this effect on all his dance partners b/c the same thing happened on the way to CUA. In Ohio we were supposed to meet everyone at one of the OSU team member's houses - which on the directions was dubbed the hospitality house. The directions were not all that clear... Things like turn onto waldeck, take an immediate right down an unmarked alley. When this alley dead ends the hospitality house is right in front of you. We totally couldn't find this dead ended alley - and so we asked some random person if he knew wehre the hospitality house was. The guy had no clue and rightfully so - b/c it wasn't officially called that - they were just using that name for our comp. So that was amuzing. Then once we got there we had a great time telling stories and lots of laughing and a great way to start a comp weekend.
    Then our host came to pick us up... Our hostess was the nicest lady... she had mattresses for everyone and already had the table set for breakfast the next morning. She was just incredibly nice. Liz and I slept on this air mattress type of thing... That was interesting. It was kinda like sleeping in the hammock.... we both kinda ended up in the center of the mattress.... And trying to roll over was nearly impossible. I slept fine, but Liz had a very difficult time going to bed.
    The morning of the comp we did the normal things.. had a decent breakfast (okay so that was abnormal).... But this time Liz put some makeup on me. Mascara and whatever is user to draw in eyebrows.... And for shits and giggles (Liz term) she added a Charlie Brown curl which everybody got a kick out of (we didn't leave it though :).
    The ballroom was enormous. There was a full length ballroom, tables all around it, and a full length ballroom side practice area in the same room. It was AWESOME! We did a quick and dirty tailoring job on the tails to make them look good. This included useing a black rubber band hooked around the lower buttons, and a couple of well positioned saftey pins. I danced Rookie/Vet w/ Angie and we got called back several times. Which was really cool. The Liz and I had some great dances... I reached my goal, BTW... The goal of dancing EVERY dance well... I would rate almost all of the dances at an 8.... Whereas normally Cha and Rumba are 10, Samba/jive 7, smooth 4  - this time almost everything was an 8... Which means that the Cha and Rumba were not as strong as they have been in the past - but that is okay. We did fairly well on the smooths and some of the moves have never felt better. We even got called back in waltz/foxtrot!?.
    Latins were just painful. We got called back in both rumba/cha and samba/jive (two dance heats) with almost no break in between. We literally could not breath at the end on the second jive. We are actually kinda glad that we didn't make finals because I don't think that we could have end danced it. Oh, I danced American Swing w/ Natalie b/c Liz was dancing it with an old friend... We somehow managed to get third - which is really strange b/c I don't consider swing to be one of my stronger dances. For Latins, I wore Pat's latin shirt instead of mine b/c mine is so big now.... And to make it look better and make sure it sayed in place we pinned the shirt to both my underwear and pants. Now I say we b/c Liz did all the pinning.... That was interesting. We were standing right off the side of the dance floor with my pants undone and Liz's hands way inside of them trying to pin the shirt at the right length so that I could still raise my arms. That was quite amuzing.
    After that we were supposed to have a fun dance competition, which included hustle,merengue,and WCS. But since we were running late we went right into team match. The fun dances were done immediately the team match - which kinda upset Liz b/c she has a special west coast costume that she wanted to wear. Instead she ended up wearing what she wore for team dances - which is a very latin lavendar leotard which just screams "look at my crotch". Not something to do a WCS in :) ... but we did anyways... Anyways for team match - we danced Am Rumba and Intl Cha. In the rumba - we did a couple of saultry dips that we had come up with about 20 minutes earlier (team matches are open). And in the Cha we started amost immediately with our new "supergold move" - I think I told you about this one. Anyways - we kicked some serious butt! It was GREAT!. Beating CUA, and coming in first - what a rush. And now we have definately established a friendly rivalry between CMU and CUA. It seems that since I was good friends with Natalie, and Pat was mild friends with her - that it opened a whole doorway between our schools. I made two more friends over there, Liz and Natalie's partner totally bonded, and It seemed like both teams were just long time friends.
    Anyways, after the team match we had the fun dances... so Liz had to Hustle,Merengue, and WCS in "The Purple Crotch Thing". We were going totally crazy during these dances. I mean we had just taken FIRST and we were wired. B/c of that we both were doing some cool, sexy, improvisional stuff, in these dances. We got third in Hustle - which is really kinda bizzare b/c I don't particularly care for the dance....We made it to the finals in merengue - that was fun... we did a lot of sexy stuff there in Merenegue. Then in WCS we got 2nd place (unofficially)... Our score was the second highest, but there was a three way tie for first that had to be broken - so we didn't place at all.... That was a TOTAL shock... My mouth literally fell open when we didn't place.
    Then we had a little bit of general dancing.... Which was fun but it was little difficult b/c we were already very tired. And of course we hung around until the bitter end. We exchanged local phone numbers with Maryland and CUA b/c some of us wanted to go out that night. We got back to our crash space - I depinned myself from my latin outfit and got ready to go out. Now at this point in time  - my body, esp my legs were very much in the mood to sit at a nice relaxed bar and talk to people for a while. The club that we ended up going to was a dance club - so we ended up dancing more. Liz and I were the only ones who went - but we met up with Natalie, her partner, one of her teammates, and a guy from OSU. We had a really good time. If I would have been able to move and dance well it would have been even better. But I got closer to Natalie and Lisa, Liz and Natalie's partner totally bonded. And we ended up having a really good time. We got back to the crash space around 3:30-4:00. Kay Teague and Bob, the people who M/C and scrutineered the comp were also staying in the same crash space. They were up when we got in - so we ended up talking to them for about 1.5 hours.
    Then trying to go to bed was a nightmare.... at least for me. By this time - my back through my toes were throbing and in pain.... I could not for the life of me lie on the floor. I was so restless. I could only stay in one position for about 2 minutes before It hurt too much. So I ended sleeping sitting up until I became sufficiently asleep to be able to return to the floor. Overall I got about 45 minutes sleep total. On the drive back we talked alot about the events of the comp and other fun things.
It was definately a very fun, very successful weekend.

Cleveland Competition Mar 1995

Hello!!!!! This weekend was AWESOME!!!!!!!

OKay first some background.... Over Thanksgiving, Pat and Jessica were looking for places to dance in Cleveland. They ran across the Springville Ballroom... They danced there two days and were really well received by everyone there. They became really good friends with the owners and the owners totally fell in love with them. They invited the entire team (actually it was the whole club, but we only extended the invitation to the team) to come use their ballroom. So that brings us up to now....

We were planning on going there this past weekend. Now what we knew going there was that They were going to give us dinner on Fri and Sat, they were going to let us (and us alone) use their ballroom for 4 hours in the afternoon. They were going to give us 2 hrs of free lessons, and they invited us to their evening social dances. All of this was in exchange for 2 20 minute demonstrations from the formation team...

(BTW I got roped into the demo team b/c I was in it over the summer and knew some of the routines) So the demos that we did were
Jive - 5 couples including me
Tango - solo
Cha - 6 couples including me
Quickstep - Pat & Pam Solo
Waltz - Andrew & Fei Solo
Tx Two Step - 6 couples including me
Rumba - Pat & Pam
Foxtrot - Andrew & Fei
V Waltz - 5 couples (not me)
Paso - Solo
West Coast - Liz and my solo
Samba - 5 couples (not me)
Polka - everybody

Some quick background comments -then we'll start on the story... The owners were AWESOME!!!! They were very giving (this will be explained later).... The audience and crowd on Fri was mostly elderly singles/widows(ers) in the 60+ range.... The audience on Fri was mostly couples starting in the 40+ range - and they also invited some High School students who have been taking lessons there. Needless to say - they played a lot (biggest understatement I've ever made) of Foxtrots. The ballroom is one of the original ballrooms from the big band era - and is one of the few left. It just celebrated it's 70th anniversity. It still has its orginial floor.

    Okay, so we left on friday around 3 (2hr drive)... This was annoying. It was a two day trip and I had three pieces of luggage. I had a suitcase that really didn't hold much more then my sleeping bag (we were crashing on Jessica's floor - she lives there) and a couple of changes of underware and a t-shirt. I had my hanging bag which had my costumes, and I had my dance bag with my shoes, some of our CD's for our practice times... I had like 7 outfits, 3 pair of shoes, and 5 BELTS!!!!! I was going to be gone for 2 days.... Very annoying.
    So we got there just as they were serving dinner.... It was very good. It was very similar to the Grannymama effect - I said I'd like a little bit of whatever... They said okay and only gave me 4 whopping servings of the food. It is okay though - it was very good. We then changed for the party (it was a semi-formal kinda place).. then at the party it was the most boring dancing I've ever done... about 12 foxtrots,1 swing, 8 more foxtrots, 1 cha,1 rumba, 1 samba (this was their latin set) and then 12-15 more foxtrots. Then at intermission we gave our demos.
    Just so you know - everybody was changing in the coat room.... this was because usaully we had about 30 seconds to change between songs and this was the only closed place that was immediately off the floor. The lady in the coat room was having the time of her life. All the guys and girls were changing - she said that she hadn't had that much fun in two years. It was difficult chaning because it was very crowded in there. Oh final note - the floor was VERY SLICK which cuased several problems while performing/dancing.
    The Jive didn't go too bad - my partner (not Liz) was incredibly nervous and had basically locked every muscle in her body. We did fine - and I don't really think anybody could tell - but she was rigid.
    Did a quick change for the Cha... It went okay. Then I changed for the Twostep.... I screwed up the twostep royally... See I hadn't ever finished learning the whole thing and it definately showed.
    Then during the west coast... I got really nervous - I mean not only was this a solo - This was OUR dance. Liz and I have a fairly sexy entrance - (hell the whole dance is incredibly sexy....Lets just say we were a little worried about giving some of the people there heart attacks)... And we start at separate sides and kinda walk towards each other.... While we were waiting to start.... I told her that I was really nervous... When she looked at me before we started - I showed her that my heart was really beating..... She sent PAt over to comfort me.... it was amuzing..... Anyways - for our entrance.... I didn't realize the the room was quite as large as it was.... So when I was walking towards her - I realized that I wasn't going to get to her at the proper time and I could speed up and run towards b/c that would totally break the sexy image. So we started off wrong....Liz was sliding and neither of us were doing any of the styling that we do to make our dance look really good... Then the last set (out of three) of the song - total brain fart - completely forgot the rest of the routine. So I made up stuff and fortunately hit the dip at the end...
    Just overall - all of the demos were not wonderful... I don't think anybody was very happy with them or with the day in general... I know that I was VERY excited going there - and dancing nothing but slow foxtrots (except for our demos) did not help dispell this energy.
    So that night we all went out to a club... That was a lot of fun... Even though it was a bounce around kind a place - It was really fun to be there with all my friends. We went back to Jessica's - ate some of her food and crashed really hard.
    Sun - Sun was Incredible....We went to the lessons... We learned some gold American Foxtrot - so we could actually do something fun when they play 40 billion foxtrots that night. The we learned some really cool American Rumba - This was specifically for Liz and I b/c we compete in A Rumba. Then we went to the mall to grab a quick bite and spent the next 2 hours just dancing in an empty ballroom... We also practiced our routines and fixed all the mistakes and stuff. The owners had some left over towels and mugs with their logo on it - so they gave everyone one of these
    Then they fed us dinner again.... This time they had made a cake that said "Welcome CMUBDC" (Carnegie Mellon University Ballroom Dance Club).... This is the Amazing part.... During dinner, they called me, Pat, and Cindy, the demo team coordinator to the front - Mr. Chef, one of the owners - made a small speech -the jist of which was that he was going to give us money.... I was just in awe - I felt so loved... And while he was talking I was thinking like maybe $500 or so.... In his speech he said that this were for the people going to England.... The check was for $3000.... Then, to top that off - he gave ANOTHER $3000 to the club to be used anyway that we see fit. God - talk about WARM FUZZIES - Almost all of us were in tears.... Big hug time I was hugging everyone - the owners the team - everyone.... And what I found out was that part of that money was to go to Andrew and Fei to go to England - b/c they were not able to go b/c they didn't have enough money.... That means that we now have a FULL TEAM going to England. These people are just so amazing....
    That night during the dancing - they had invited high school students to come - hoping that we would be inspiration for them -etc.... So that was fun to dance with all of them.....
    Our demos that night were awesome!!!! I mean everyone was on such a high..... And this time our demos were worth $6000.... And they were. Everyone did great!!!! Liz and I got all the styling in and we were definately incredible sexy this time. It was just awesome.... Before our last demo - we made a public thank you to them and gave the owners flowers and a card that we all signed... Then do you know what - They gave us a plaque... These people just didn't stop..
IT was so incredible.... We danced for the rest of the night.... Then we all returned to Jessica's and talked and laughed till the wee hours of the morning....

What an incredible weekend.... Wow .... That is all that I can say..... Wow!!!!

Carnegie Mellon Comp - Mar 1995

Why hello.... I know that it has been forever since I talked to you.... But God have I been busy. I tell you as much as I remember.

I think that I'll start with Wed. Don't remember classes.... In Ballroom that night all that we did was organize things for the comp.

On thurs.... remember that test that I told you I made a very large collection of stupid mistakes.... Well, I barely passed that test - I got a 62.

I spent all of Thur night finishing my problem set and stayed up till about 5 working on the program.

Friday was just bad
When the chicken went off at 7 that morning... Matt happen to already by up at the computer- I think I mumbled in my semi-sleep state to turn it off, which he did. I got a phone call at about 9:55 - 1.5 hours into my first class... So I bolted from bed to class. This prod however is one of those that if the hmwk is not in in the first 5 minutes - then he doesn't accept it... I went to work for a little bit and then spent the rest of the time working on the program. The program took me all night to finish.... So I didn't sleep at all before Sat. That was bad for the comp - very bad.

I went over to Liz's at about 6:15 (almost immediately after we finished the printing at Kinko's)... I helped her pack, and then she put makeup on me. Things like shadow, mascara, and she added some eyebrows.

We got to the place that we were dancing at at around 7:05 to set up and such. We started dancing at 9...

I danced rookie/vet with Jee Sun and Stephanie. We had lots of fun and I danced very well - didn't place though.

The smooths were weird... I danced them well, but it was strange... Every dance Liz said my arm was too low on her back... but it felt like my arm was above my sholder. I think that this might be a result of the the tails. And then for some reason, either fighting with the tails, the lack of sleep, the lack of practice - whatever - my right arm was totally tense.... It is even sore today. We got called back for almost everything - even made it to finals in Int Foxtrot and Tango - I have no clue where this one came from.

After that things just were weire... During latin - we danced awesome... Everything felt really good. We didn't even get called back!? I don't understand.

Then during the fun dances (salsa, WCS, and hustle)... we made it to finals in all three. Didn't place in any of them. Got dead last in WCS...This was such a shock b/c everybody said that ours was the best.... When I talked to one of the judges today in the workshops about it... he said that we were off time in the finals and that is why we lost it.

By this time... I was definately in teh comotose state. If you looked into my eyes, you could see that there was nobody home. This was really bad b/c team matches were next. And there was nothing that I could do get myself there.... I was out of adrenaline and energy... I managed to pull off some magic trick during team matches b/c we kicked some serious ASS!!!! CMU came in FIRST in BOTH AMERICAN and INTERNATIONAL styles. Go CMU!!!!

Then we had a couple of demos and onto general dancing... by about 10:15... I was useless... It was at the point where if I stoped moving - I'd fall alseep. So I told Liz and Pat that I was going to take a nap and to wake me in 30 minutes.... So I fell alseep on the floor in the hallway. It was funny though. I woke up to find several notes from the team members on my stomach....

After I painfully helped clean up. We went over to Pam's to just hang out... I fell asleep there almost immediately... We didn't stay there long b/c everybody was exhausted... when we left.... I was so tired that my eyes were tearing just b/c they were open. It wasn't like they were moist - I was full out crying. I thought that that was pretty scary.

Today we had 5 workshops that we attended. They started at 9:30 - so I only got 5 hrs... makingin me really tired today. Tehy were awesome workshops though. I learned some new tango and an awesome Cha sequence... Learned what Judges look for, some Intl Fox technique and samba technique..

I spent the rest of the day w/ Liz - helping her pack for her conference in Las Vegas. I went to the airport with her and then drove her car back. She lent it to me for the week.

Anyways.... I think that I'm going to go to bed

Indianapolis Comp - Mar 1995

Okay this thing starts last fri.

    On Friday, Pat and Pam left for Springvale to visit. This was the place that donated the money for us. So she left me in charge to organize things for Sat. I mean who is driving with whom, getting the correct number of cars, and getting everything there and back. This was quite interesting. See originally, Mike P,Tom, myself, and Pam were supposed to drive. Pam and Pat were going to Cleveland in their car. My car was only supposed to have 1 other person b/c we Liz was flying into Indianapolis from her job conference in Vegas. I was to take one person to keep me awake, then Liz and I and her luggage would travel back. Tom and Mike were supposed to take the other 8. By the time that Pam was leaving - Tom was nowhere to be found and Mike was being indecisive about if he wanted to go or not. So we talked Danny into driving, and I gave everything that I had to take to Pam. It was going to work in just these two cars. Then later that night, Tom returned and said that he was able to drive, which made Danny happy b/c he didn't think that his car could make it. Then out of the middle of nowhere an adult couple from the club said that they were interested in going... so they drove to - so space really wasn't a prob. It was jsut very hectic.
    The drive down was not bad, except for about 1.5 hr traffic delay b/c of construction. I was talking to Pete the whole time. He is so much fun to talk to. So we had a good time driving down. We got there about .5 hour after the social dancing on Sat had started. The social dancing was fun. Saw a lot of old friends and met alot more people going to England. CUA people were there - This means Natalie and Tomas and others. So that was fun, we danced alot. I'm not sure if I told you or not, but there is alot of potential between Natalie and I. So it was after the social that the real fun started.
    We all were staying at Bob Blankmanship's house. He was one of the coordinators of the comp and the boyfriend to Kay Teague, who is a principle organizer for England. We are good friends with him. So at his house were, Me,Liz,Pat,Pam,Pete and Michelle from CMU and Natalie,Tomas,Tony,and Kara from CUA. Also as background info - there is a lot of interested between Liz and Tomas. Tomas is Natalie's partner. One of the best things about Bob's house is that he has an 8 person hot tub.This was a ton of fun. We ended up playing a drinking game called "I never" (I had a coke). The basis of this game is that you say "I never ...." and whoever has done whatever - they have to drink. Sortof a more sophisticated game of true or dare. And let's just say that there were no holds barred. The questions ranged from "I never did illicit drugs" to "I never had sex in public" to "I've never been interested in people in this hot tub" (BTW you could say false negatives, as long as you drank afterwards). Needless to say, I found out a lot about this group. It definately made for solid friendships. Oh, also the entire time in the tub - Natalie sat in my lap and Tomas sat in Liz's - this was cool. So after the hot tub, I got a short kiss from Natalie. It was an awesome kiss, just really short. Liz got a much longer kiss from Tomas though.
    Bakground flashback: The previous week, the week that Liz was gone - I had come to the realization that I loved Liz. And I planned on telling her on the 7 hr car ride on the way back while we were alone. But after some of the things that were said in the hot tub and after the kiss. I was incredibly confused. Confused about what I wanted to do with Natalie, Liz, and how both of them felt towards me, and just a ton of other things. Since I had spent at least 2 hours in the hot tub, and since I needed to think.... I went outside on the porch (it was about 45 degrees out - so it felt good). Liz came out a little later to tell me what happened between her and Tomas. OH, just so you know - that was not why I was confused. Our whole relationship is set up around flirting with other people. I don't have a problem with her and someone else - and she feels the same towards me. But, she did see that I was upset and asked what was wrong.
    I told her that I it was really long, and would work perfectlly for a 7 hour car ride. And at this point, I was so consumed by so many different emotions - that I started to cry. So at this, she asked again. I told her that it was a totally mental vomit and that it probably was not a good time to start. She asked for just a hint of what was going on. And at this point, I could really not hold it in much longer - I'd been thinking about it all week. So I told her that I loved her. She paused for a second - then gave me a big hug. We spent most of the rest of the night sitting outside talking about this (me crying - I just couldn't help it). We talked about things like how I realized this, some of the explainations for my actions over the past month, even the approach I was going to use to tell her in the car. It was a very open and honest talk...(Now b/c this is as much for my record as to inform you - I'm not going to hold back). I'm not sure if I told you what happened between us back in Sept, but it was along similar lines - but the roles reveresed. There was two parts to what we talked about - they are related but can be separated. So we talked about the fact that I loved her and was REALLY going to miss her when she left. I also told her that I wanted her to be my first. Just so you know - Liz is VERY experienced (lots just say that she drank a lot in the tub). So we talked about that for a while too. We were outside for about 2-3 hours. Needless to say - we got very cold... but we were not in a state to deal with people and there were still people up inside. When we did finally go inside about 4:30am, I went to to hot tub to try to regain feeling in my toes. Kay was still up and saw me (I had been crying almost the whole time). (Don't worry I'll mention this later). So then Liz slept in my arms, but I couldn't sleep - not that we were getting much anyways. We had to wake up by 6 to get ready for the comp.
    So on sunday, My body wasn't too happy.  My contacts were killing me from the tears and the lack of sleep. We ended up oversleeping and woke up 30 minutes before the comp started. The comp itself was the most disorganized, confusing thing I've ever been to. The went in a totally random order for the heats, we had to enter by one side of the floor where you couldn't even hear if your number was called or not. There were just a ton of things to make the comp disorganized. Liz and I danced incredibly well though. We got 3rd in Waltz/Quickstep, 3rd in Foxtrot/Tango, 4th in Samba/Jive and 5th in Cha/Rumba. CMU placed 3rd in team matches though. So overall we danced very well.
    Then on the way back, things didn't quite work out as planned and we had two other people in our car. That was okay, b/c I had already had the talk with Liz. It was funny, on the way back all 4 cars got pulled over for speeding and we weren't even caravaning. I was driving too... I didn't get a ticket - b/c it was a nice cop. It was funny though - he gave me a breathalizer. I found that amuzing..I talked with Pete alot on the way back while Liz slept.

Anyways... That was most of it.
I'll fill in the rest of the week later

England Danceport: Mar 1995

I skipped most of my classes on Wed. I did go to aerobics however, b/c I figured that  some movement before I whole day of sitting would be helpful. I finished 90% of my packing  before the evening. Then Liz, Pam, and I went lsat minute shopping.... bought things liks sequens  and glitter for our Disco costumes. That night, was a tough night.... This was the first time that  I had ever seen Liz cry. She had her heart broken by someone that she had fallen in love with. I  went over to her place to console her and to help her pack. I ended up working on glueing glitter  and rhinestones to the 70Õs dresses that we bought. It was a lot of fun, total regression. This of  course took the whole night. We left early Thurs. We flew into JFK airport for a 3 hr layover.  The girls worked on sewing their dresses, while we just kinda hung out. On the flight to  England, I slept most of the way. And for some reason, Liz was being incredibly cold to me. She  didnÕt even want to be around me.

 Fri, The first day in England.
So we arrive at the Heathrow airport and spend tons of time in customs. We then wait  in the airport collecting people for a couple of hours. I went to go meet the group of people from  NYU while we were waiting. This was part b/c I wanted to and part b/c it was really difficult  being around Liz when she was being so cold to me. It is always fun meeting people, especially  ballroom type people. So we all load onto the bus, for the 3 hr drive to Osmington Bay. I, of  course, slept most of the way. We stopped at a tiny shopping center for a bathroom break and a  quick bite for lunch. The place that we ate at was called WimpyÕs (and it lived up to its name).

  The place that we were staying was literally on a cliff overlooking the ocean. A beautiful place  - Just incredible. We got dropped off at the reception desk and unloaded our luggage and picked  up our info packets. We took our a quick look a the map and grabbed our luggage and started  heading towards our room.... This was incredibly stupid. I mean my two bags checked in at 50  and 30 lbs respectively. Not something that you want to carry when you donÕt know where you  are going. So we dropped our bags and sent Pat off to find where the rooms were. Pat was  asleep all the way into the camp and didnÕt realize that the place overlooked the water. He was  looking at the numbers to the rooms at the top of the hill and turned around to continue his  search. Pat was totally out of sight, but we hear this ÒHOLY SHITÓ coming from him.  (Actually, I think the whole cmap could have heard him). Pat had just turned around and saw the  amazing view that was there. The reason that IÕm mentioning it, is b/c it became one of those  repeated phrases for the trip. We dropped off the luggage in the room and then sat and relaxed  on the Òholy shitÓ hill for about 1.5 hours.

  The rooms (ours at least) were a nice size. Liz and I stayed together. There was nothing  exceedingly special about the rooms.... except for the fact the ceiling and floor were not  parallel.  We went to dinner that night, and ran into our first of a long line of british meals.  Very bland. Fish and vegetables. Very little carbohydrates. And they are very unused to people  drinking water.

  According to the schedule, there apparently was a social dance that night. I really donÕt have  any memory of that. After the social (according to the schedule) we went to the disco/pub.

B/c I set the alarm wrong, we woke up late. Breakfast is served between 8:45 and 9:15. We  woke up at 9:00 as Pat & Pam knocked on our door. The breakfast was a little weird. The  scrambled eggs tasted funny, and the sasuage was sheep. Very interesting texture. Our first  class was a Jive techinque class. The instructor was incredibly funny. And he was a very good  teacher. It turns out that my Jive is totally wrong and I have to relearn the entire dance. The  next lesson, we went to an Advanced jive class. The instructor for this was very bouncy and  had a very strong English accent. After  this lesson, we practiced for our Disco routine. After  that we took an advanced Cha lesson. Then a samba technique class. I got a lot more from the  technique classes then the step classes. Most of the steps were open. We prefer syllabus stuff  b/c that is the level that we compete at. Then we practiced the disco routine a little before  dinner. We rushed through dinner in order to get ready for the competitions that night.

  The competitions were fairly annoying. Most of the events were open. This ment that you really  could not compete at your own level. Most of the british had routines and it was difficult  competing against that. Plus they were set on getting through their routines and would plough  into you if you were in there way. Needless to say, there was a lot of running into people during  this week. If I remember correctly, this first day was a bad smooth day, but a good latin day....  Oh, just so you know - I never made it to finals in any event throughout the entire week.

  Later that night, we worked on the Disco more... Then that night we tried to create the disco  ball. We wanted something that could be used agian, so were were going to glue all thr mirrors  to pantyhose. This didnÕt work for several reasons, but it was very amuzing experimenting  with it. It was a lot of fun for Pat, Pam, and Liz.

We woke for breakfast on time today... We took advanced waltz and samba classes. I was lost in  them. We had adternoon and evening competitions today... I really donÕt remember anything  special about them. That evening we also had the cabaret team matches. We had decided to  attach the sequens to my head w/ just vasaline.  So I put lots of vasaline on my head and Liz  applied the mirrors. Once the mirrors were on, I couldnÕt turn my head or smile b/c it would  mess up the mirrors. That made things really difficult. We put a plastic bag over my head and I  wore my team jacket with the hood up. See the whole point of this was to go for a massive  shock value - especially to the people who knew me. The routine was performed to the disco  version of BeethovenÕs 5th. We arranged to have the house lights off when we started... There  were 3 couples dancing and then me being the disco ball and one person with my also shinging  lights on my head. Me and mike were concealed under tablecloths as we entered the floor.  It  was an awesome effect. It was great to hear the audience reaction when they 1) relized who I  was supposed to be and 2) realized who I was.  It was especially fun that night at the bar  afterwards when I got to talk to everyone about it. I got a lot of great comments about it. It  was also neat, b/c my head ended up being incredibly smooth after having all of that vasline on  it. That night I spent a lot of time with Natalie. We left the disco together and walked around for  a while. She showed me her room (much smaller then mine) and we went back to my room for a  while (her roomate was a little busy). While there, she got a full dose of how wacky we all are.  B/c about 5 minutes after we got there Liz came in and then Pat and Pam came in. It was just  silly. Then I walked her back to her room and we kissed for a little. That was cool.

We slept in a little b/c there was little going on in the morning. We attended a really cool West  Coast class that afternoon though. There was a west coast competition that night... We didnÕt do  to well in it b/c we were competeing it and not dancing it. The fact that we didnÕt make it didnÕt  bother me all that much. But the fact that it really disappointed Liz really hurt. I ended up  sitting alone on the Òholy shitÓ hill for most of that evening. I eventually wandered to the  disco, but I didnÕt really feel like dancing. Although this is amuzing... After the place closed, we  and a few other people were left. I asked Liz if she wanted to practice American Rumba for the  team matches the next day. We practiced a little, and decided that we needed another cool move  in the routine. So we asked one of our friends who was still around. This guy is the coach for  the Maryland team. So he gave us a neat move.... which we then proceded to practice. While we  were practicing, Liz happed to hit my face. Now for the comp, she had put on really long  fingernails. After hitting my the side of my head she had felt a nail come off, I put my hand  over the side of my head, b/c she did have long nails on and it hurt. My ear really hurt and  when I went to feel if it was okay, I discovered her nail inside my ear. When Liz saw me pull the  nail out of my ear, she almost peed. We were rolling on the floor laughing for nearly an hour. It  was VERY amuzing.

The classes that we took Tues were American Tango, Advanced Quickstep, Cha Technique, and  Advanced West Coast. Although we had woken up late again this morning and dashed to  breakfast.... so after breakfast - Liz went back to the room to finish up her morning things....  She fell asleep as she was waiting for her nails to dry. So she missed the first two classes. It  was funny though. She woke up with her hand stuck to her pants  - while she was sleeping she  moved her wet hand to her leg and it stuck there. The Cha class was great. He showed us  something that Liz didnÕt know. She said that what he was saying was really difficult. I said  deal - Personal Victory. There is really nothing to this story from an outsiderÕs point of view.  But this made my day.... I was tickled by it the whole day. Then they had a tea dance, which we  got dressed for. They played mostly smooth stuff which was really annoying. We had the  American team match that night.... We did really well, but (as we found out the next day)  mistakenly did not call us back for our Rumba. That was really disappointing. That night at the  disco, we ended up in a massage chain. I choose a great spot in front of Liz (did you know that  she is a trained massuse), but she was receiving a great massage from a very good looking  incredible dancer - so my massage was rather weak. The girl I was massaging, was wearing a  tight sequened dress (she hadnÕt changed since the comp) and said it would probably be easier if  I unzipped the dress. So Liz, and the others behind me were giving me a hard time about that (it  was fun though).... And she, being the front of the line, massaged my feet. Then Kim, a friend  that I had made at Indiana, told Meredith (the girl I was massaging) that she could really screw  up her massage by offer a full back rub for me. I of course immediately jumped at teh chance. I  laid down on the floor and Kim gave me a GREAT backrub. Awww it felt so AWESOME!!!!!

We had a private with the guy who was teaching all of the technique classes. He was so  awesome. He worked on Rumba technique with us. Taught both Liz and I alot. Although, that  afternoon during competition, we tried applying what we learned to the rumba. Liz eneded up  hyperextending her hip and was unable to dance/walk the rest of the night. This was really  dissappointing for several reasons. We were dancing (not competiting, finally, but dancing)  very well and could have placed. She also missed out on a lot of the socializing/flirting after  the comps that night b/c she was not up to it. So that really sucked. I spent the night flirting  though. That was very fun. After the music was over - I ended up finishing the massage for   Meredith. I didnÕt go to sleep until 5 or so.

We woke up really early to pack. I did the packing for both Liz and I b/c she was still unable to  bear weight on her leg. We ended up cutting it really close though. We got to the airport at 1:30  and the plane left at 2. And they said that they didnÕt have a seat for us on the plane. It ended up  that they bumped us into a higher class for the seating... This was great. There was TONS of leg  room and the seats were very wide. It was Great! We had to wheel Liz through the airport  though, b/c she was still unable to walk. When we finally got back here, we went out for a solid  American dinner of steak. It was really good. I was so exhausted though. I came home and slept  for 13 hours.

 Other things/events/people....

 Chris from OSU.
Chris is a friend from several competitions ago. She is awesome, and an incredible flirt. The  first day at the camp, I saw on a map that there was a computer cluster. I was going to check it  out - and I invited her along. Liz and Ted (guy from OSU) jokingly called us geeks. So as we  walked away arm and arm, she put her hand on my butt and we both slyly glanced back at them.   That was fun. She lived two doors down from us, so we saw her alot. Later that week, as I was  standing outside my room... she came over to me and started pushed down on my shoulders. Not  getting the desired result she started hitting the back of my knees to try to get me to bend  down. When I finally caught on, she licked my head. I said if that is what she wanted to do, all  she had to do was ask... So she did.... I stood at the bottom of the stairs, and she at the top and  she slowly licked my head this time. That was VERY fun. I can honestly say that IÕve never had  my head licked before. She is just a lot of fun.

Things didnÕt go as well between Liz and I, as I had hoped. I wasnÕt expecting a lot, especially  because of what happened to her the day we left, but I excepted us to become better friends.  Although I got the feeling, especially towards the end, that she was just tolerating being around  me. I donÕt know, she is very hard to figure out. Plus she goes through rapid cycles. One minute  she will be really warm to me and things will be going great, the next she will be ice cold to me  and wonÕt even talk to me. Our interaction over the week definately contributed to the bad part  of the trip... I really wish that we had gotten along better.... not that we didnÕt get along. But it  wasnÕt like we were together.

  Overall, the trip was really good and really bad, but definatly very memorable. If there is any  more, IÕll add it later.

Connecticut State Games Comp: July 1995

Conneticut State Games
July 23, 1995

People involved:
Me & Liz
Mike & Jessica
Sam & Mickey
Craig & Vivian

3rd Int Cha S/G
2nd Int Samba S/G
3rd Int Jive S/G
2nd Int Cha Open
2nd Int Rumba Open
1st Int Samba Open
2nd Am Cha Br
2nd Am Rumba Br
3rd Am Swing Br
3rd Am Mambo Br
3rd Am Rumba S/G
3rd Am Swing S/G
2nd Am Mambo S/G
2nd Am Cha Open
2nd Am Rumba Open
2nd Am Mambo Open
3rd Int Rumba S/G
2nd Int Foxtrot Open
2nd Int Quickstep Open
1st Int Vwaltz Open
1st Int Tango Open
1st Int Waltz Open
2nd Int Fox/Tango S/G
3rd Int W/Qs S/G
1st Int Vwaltz Br
2nd Int Fox/Tango Br
2nd Int W/Qs Br
1st Am Vwaltz Br
1st Am Vwaltz Open
3 Bronze medals - I've lost what they were all for though.
5 Silver Medals
1 Gold Medal

So we started driving on Sat around noon. We took two cars - mine as the people car and Mikey's as the luggage car. We unfortunately took this really slow road and we got stuck behind this incredible slow driver for about 1/2 hour or more. The drive wasn't bad...I had all of my good driving tapes with me. I drove for .5 the way and Liz drove the other half. We listened to a great song from Micheal. This guy was singing about the three most important things in life, not sex, drugs, and rock&roll - but music, sex, and cookies. It was such an awesome song. VERY appropriate. There was one part in the song when he was descriping a woman that he had met, put on some nice music, broke out the oreos, but the he said that she turned cold. And so he said "Two out of three ain't bad" (Trust me there is a point).... So later in the drive, we were talking about the song again. And Liz sang the music,sex,and cookies part.... I turned to her, looked her square in the eye, and said "eh, two out of three ain't bad" - It took her a couple of seconds to read the full meaning into that - then she was laughing really hard for the next 20 minutes. I think that this song is going to be my theme song.

We finally got to Viv's house, which is in NY, about an 1.5 hours away from the comp. Her  parents were awesome! The cooked us a BBQ w/ hamburgers and steaks and such. It was great! It was too bad that my stomach was upsetting me and I couldn't really eat much. We ended up going to bed fairly soon after dinner so that we could wake up insanely early to do makeup and to leave. The comp was held in a gymnasium of a local collage. No A/C and an incredible slow floor... Double turns were out of the question and American spins were excedingly difficult. But the music was AWESOME....

We started with Latin - which is SO wrong. We did very poorly for us... it is b/c we like latin... So that kinda sucked. Our routines were okay, but we were nervous (at least I was) so we didn't do all that well... It was so hot too... I was completely drenched. There was one time when we were all ready to do Rumba, and it was supposed to be a Samba. So liz kinda did this travelling rythym bounce which reminded me a lot of (this is totally rude) but it reminded me a lot of what Ozone looks like when she is wiping her butt ... you know the squatting and moving forward.... Liz didn't actually look like that - but that was the imagery that I was having. But I think that it was that one that we placed first in - how ironic. We totally faked our way through American style though.

We did really well in Smooth. First place vwaltzing across the floor. ALthough there was one time in tango when I went to lead a swivel and b/c we were both so wet w/ sweat - my hand slipped off her back and it ended up being a totally missed lead. They played one 5 minute vwaltz... it was kinda fun. Since once you got your momentum going, you could actually concentrate on the other aspects... like standing up straighter, smiling, fixing hand position, and stop turnning my head. See it is really hard - I naturally spot - but that also means in something like vwaltz, my head crosses onto her side often.... So I actually stopped spotting. Whoa Dizzy.

There was a reporter there who's angle on the his story was how hot it was. So he was desparately trying to get a picture of us toweling off. So I gave him a shot of my drying off my head similar to a person drying there butt/back off. It was kinda amuzing.

After smooths, Liz was unable to change b/c the arm things were definately not coming off while she was so wet...So we went to go sit out in the car for a while. She however could not close the door b/c of her dress... So she decided just to get comfortable. She put her feet up on the dash.. The next thing that I hear is (oooh, OOOOOH ) - very sexual sounding crys... Well with her feet up on the dash - the air was able to go right down her legs. I think that she really liked that.

So we changed and prepared to go... I talked to Ingrid for a while. Ingrid was the girl I met in the Carribean over Xmas and who is a ballroom dancer living in CT. So it was really cool that she was there. I drove the 1.5 hours back to Viv's - I was exhausted when I got back. I was SO tired. Serge drove and Liz was copilot. Jessica - who was very worried b/c she still had several hours of work to do before going to work the next day and was having a very hard time sleeping... I told her that I've been told I make a comfy pillow. So she ended up falling asleep on me. So about 1.5 hours later I wake up and find that we are on the side of a very crowded NY freeway. Liz tells me that Michael's tapes - which happen to be sitting on the back bumper of the other car in our caravan - just bounced off (Mike is VERY attached to his tapes)... So so said that she was going to try to collect them. Now having just woken up - I was not thinking clearly... I tell her that she should at least take someone with her. About a minute after she and Craig left.... it hit me what was going on and I told Jess - that I no longer felt comfortable. Liz and Craig were dodging traffic to recover tapes and we lost the other truck... when they finally returned w/ 1 tape.... we then proceeded to try to catch up with the others. I couldn't go back to sleep b/c I was still not comfortable w/ the fact that we lost the other car. I also couldn't sleep b/c there is something developing between Serge and Liz and having them both together made me a little uneasy as well... After about 1.5 hours - we all were watching every truck closely to see if we could find our friends. We past this one rest station where we see the truck and our friends standing by the side of the freeway. Liz and I both yell out there they are (same with the people by the side of the road).... Unfortunatly, while doing this - I happened to throw Jessica almost completely off me... And she had just fallen asleep too.

The rest of the drive back was painful. It was really long and tiring. Just like every other Sunday comp that we have ever done.