I think the problem is that I have too many things to write about. I mean, it was kindof a full weekend, what with the dancing, and the Swing Club taking 2nd place in the competition and winning the Collegiate Cup (so proud of them!), and the dancing, and the working of the desk and the showing off of the knitting, and the dancing, and Sky being in town, and Sae’s wedding invitations, and the dancing, oh, and dancing with Peter Strom, which was, you know, rather awesome, and then dealing with the sore muscles that came from the (guess what) dancing. Plus the days since the weekend have been very full, trying to recover/catch up both from the things I did and the things I didn’t do. Plus, you know, working on Big Brother’s wedding, a friend’s birthday party, working extra hours to make up for the ones I’ll miss on Friday (our office is closed because the university we’re attached to is closed for spring break), and dealing with my rather annoying recent tendency to drop off to sleep any time I sit still in a reasonably comfortable position for more than five minutes. Everything tends to blend together in my brain into a sort of white noise that prevents me from focusing on any one particular thing long enough to compose a sentence, and before I know it, days have passed, and I still haven’t written a word. Which is why it’s Wednesday, and I’m just now actually writing my Monday blog post. I am almost convinced that the answer to my difficulties is to write an entirely random blog post, talking about spring, wearing things I have made myself, and the difficulty of defining precisely what shade a person means when they say “light sky blue.” However, I am going to try to resist this, and give you actual news. You’re welcome.
Before I plunged into the all-consuming whirlwind that was Smackdown this year, I started off my weekend with a heavy dose of Epic Wedding Preparations. This began with leaving work early on Friday to meet Sae at her first wedding dress fitting. Sae’s dress is a sample size she was able to get at a huge bargain from the sale rack of a small bridal shop (Sae and Indy were walking past, decided to go in on a whim, and there waiting for them on the sale rack was the perfect dress at the perfect price). This means that it needs a few tweaks to make it fit Sae perfectly. The dress shop Sae bought it from does not do alterations, but they recommended a woman in Carlisle who does. Consequently, Friday afternoon found me in the back room of a very nice ranch house that had been converted into a great sewing work room (seriously – I was jealous) watching as the seamstress pinned and pulled and adjusted things to find the exact right, most flattering way for this gown to help Sae look gorgeous. All I did was sit back and watch a master at work. And then I took pictures, and told Sae that she was beautiful, and while the seamstress pinned up the hem, we draped the half-finished veil over Sae’s head and discussed hair styles and tiaras.
As soon as Sae was done with her fitting, we headed back to The Family Homestead, where we were scheduled to assemble and address wedding invitations. Indy was still at the printer’s when I arrived, so first I ended up making tuna noodle casserole with Boy-O for dinner (it was really, really good, with lemon and garlic – I may type the recipe out, because you really, really should try it). While the casserole was in the oven, Indy arrived with the invitations, and we started work. Friends, these things are so beautiful. Each piece is a work of art. I’ll post pictures for you soon, so you can see for yourselves.
At 6:30 I had to say good-bye and go change my clothes to make it out to help set up for the Smackdown Friday night dance. I worked the desk there most of the night, though I did get some good dances in, particularly with some dear old friends, including Mr. Clean, and Hatman. Sky was there too. The train lines had put him on a bus to Cincinnati, so he arrived in plenty of time. The dance went until 1am, after which Bounce and I cleaned up and headed home. The next day I was up early in order to make it to Baum Opera House in time to help Bounce set up for Saturday’s classes. That day was one big blur of lessons, dancing, and working the desk. Technically we had a two hour dinner break, but between resetting things for the evening and travel time, I had exactly 35 minutes at home to eat dinner, change clothes, and think longingly about how lovely a short nap would be. Then it was back to Baum for competitions, more dancing, and then leaving to set up for the Late Nite dance at another location.
Now usually I don’t stay super late at Late Nites. At a certain point I just run out of steam. When my feet hurt more than I want to dance, it’s time for me to go home. This time, however, I needed to stay to help with cleanup, so I stuck around. About 2am, when I was so tired my head was buzzing, I snuck away to the back office, curled up on the floor in the back corner, and slept for about 45 minutes. That refreshed me enough to keep going, and keep dancing until the last song. Then I helped Bounce pick up the place, and headed home. At noon on Sunday (with a whole four hours of sleep under my belt, in case you were wondering), I was back at the venue, setting up for the lessons that were due to start at one. We had two hours of class, then a dance until 6pm. As soon as it was done, as I was wandering around the dance studio corralling trash to throw away, Bounce came to me, took me by the shoulders, and told me to go home. I did not argue.
I should mention that at the Sunday dance I did finally get to dance with Peter Strom again. It was a good dance. I made him laugh, and he made me laugh. Both of us were smiling. We hit the breaks. At the end of the dance, he said thank you, and added with a big smile, “That was fun!” When I was leaving I went over to him and Naomi, thanked them both for coming, and thanked him for the dance. He thanked me in return, and added again, “It was really fun!” So, you know, there’s that. 😀
The funny thing is that sometimes after an exchange, the stories you end up telling again and again aren’t about the good dances you had, but about the bad ones. Some of these are so bad that they earn a place in local lore, to be passed on to future generations of Lindy Hoppers. For example, there’s the man who smelled curiously like applesauce, or the one who, when hit by Godiva’s swinging braid as she turned, exclaimed, “Oh, yeah! Beat me! Beat me!” Or then there’s that dance I had with The Clogging Lindy Hopper, in which he got into Charleston turns, and not knowing how to get back out again, kept leading them for the last two minutes of the (much too slow for Charleston) song. (I was trying so hard not to laugh that Swing Snark thought I was about to cry.) I didn’t have many bad dances this time, partly because since I knew I only had a limited amount of time to dance, I made sure I grabbed only guys I really wanted to dance with. There was one very odd dance when my partner was so struck by the sight of Justin Bieber in the audience (someone had brought along their life size cardboard cutout) that he stopped stock still on the dance floor and didn’t move for a good thirty seconds. I still managed to dance with enough newer guys, both in class and out, that by Sunday afternoon I had a sore spot on my left shoulder blade from guys digging their fingers in just that little bit.
Still, I hadn’t had an actually bad dance (and was foolishly congratulating myself on this achievement), until late on Sunday. Bounce put on Marc Broussard’s Home, and a college boy I didn’t recognize asked me to dance. At first I had hopes. I love that song, and my partner apparently did too. But then came the wildly enthusiastic swinging of the arms masquerading as styling, and the rough jerking me into whatever place he had decided I should go next. I gave up my own dreams of being able to actually dance to the music, and settled for trying to faithfully follow whatever he actually led without letting him rip my arms off or pull me off balance. And then he did it. He decided to lead a Texas Tommy, not by gently turning my thumb down towards the floor and placing my right hand behind my back, but by swinging my entire arm up into the air before slamming it back behind my back and wrenching me around. I hate it when guys do that, hate it with a fiery passion that will never, never die. And that was when I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I could no longer claim to have made it through the weekend without a single bad dance.
Since then, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been pretty busy. Preparations for Big Brother’s wedding are continuing apace. Yesterday I put down the deposit on the reception site. Sae’s wedding is also coming along nicely as well. I’ll have pictures of her invitations for you probably tomorrow. Life in general continues to happen, and I’ll keep you posted as it does.