Summer Hummer 2012 Update #2

Our flight attendant was an adorable black woman with fashionably hip gold cuff bracelets, short matte-grey nails, Mary Janes, and the cutest pixie haircut with – hyperventilating – a shiny *metallic* gold streak in her hair from crown to forehead. Metallic! First time I’ve seen that. Must have this! I asked if she modeled and yes! she does! She was the one to read the “in case of emergency float around the ocean on your seat-cushion also let your kids suffocate while you hook up your own oxygen” speech over the microphone and between exploding it out faster than Nicki Minaj and her thick black accent I did not understand a single word this woman said.

We have more dialects in this country than any other country in the world. I love America.

We fly so much yet every lift-off remains breathtaking. Watching the ground tip at an extreme angle then fall away below; the high-def lumps of white cloud, crisp and defined, hanging in arm’s reach just outside our window – no matter how many times we fly it is still majestic to soar across the sky.

My phone flew out of my coat pocket into the fetid puddle left fermenting in the bacteria-infested bathroom sink. I hate germs. I want to cry.

So excited to see friends from the UK! Haven’t seen loud-mouth Steve and his beautiful long-suffering Rachel, Caro, the rest of the London crew, for ages it seems like! Or our good friends Hrfnkel (I’m not clearing my chest, that’s his name) and Maria from Iceland! And friends from France! Feels like a long time since these folks have been to the U.S.

This event, late August, always marks summer’s end. The light is low and golden on leaves and sides of buildings, the contrast so sharp it makes me drunk.  The cicadas have been roaring so loudly we have to shout to hear above the din. Crickets sing non-stop all day and all through the night, the dry grasses and trees throbbing and pulsing with a complex symphony of highs and lows, calling each other, “summer is ending summer is ending.” This is my favorite time of year, so full of promise and foreboding.

The Open is right around the corner and “Open Fever” is setting in. What new routines are in the works, new partnerships, surprises? I can barely wait! The Open will be different this year. For the first time in its history the Open will hold Novice and Intermediate Jack and Jill divisions. Whether this will be a good thing or a bad thing we shall see. Some say this makes the Open like any other comp, detracts from the uniqueness of our flagship event. Others say it’s great for lower level dancers who until now haven’t had a place at the Open. We shall see.

You either have to rent a car, catch a cab, or take public transportation to get from the airport to the hotel. We rented a car. The route takes you through the infamous “bricks dropping from the ceiling smashing into drivers’ cars” three tunnels (part of the even infamouser “Big Dig” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Dig .) We got stuck in horrific, mind-flattening stop&go rush hour traffic along Boston’s east-west corridor – the also infamous Mass Pike – heading towards Worcester (like the sauce, as in, don’t call it War Chester.) Google Maps took us a brand new much worse way than we’ve ever come before, adding a full half hour to the trip. That’s because Google Maps was just updated on my Ipad! Yay! So now it’s much worse than before.

But we got here! We arrived at the same moment that a busload of very happy very colorful Asians pulled up at the front door – women with huge floppy hats and six totes on each shoulder stuff bulging and falling on the ground, sweaty excited men shouting and dragging seven suitcases at once, kids with four animal backpacks each and huge open bags of family-sized chips and cheese doodles – everybody pushing laughing shouting in a language I didn’t recognize – everyone stopping abruptly every few feet to stare intently up at the empty sky.

Who have we seen so far: Arjay is here! Maxence is here! Michael Kielbasa is here! Louis St. George is here!

Chris Palmieri’s cool new registration/bib/judging system – on Ipads – is in use again here, as at Swing Fling two weeks ago. Registration was fairly quick (Bill’s mom and sister!) but would have been quicker if we hadn’t messed up our own reg by making changes last minute. We held up the line waiting behind us.  Hopefully tomorrow, when everyone gets in at once, they’ll have more at the registration table so when annoying dancers like us have issues it won’t make the lines last forever.

Asians are walking around the hotel in pajamas. Just pajamas, no bathrobe, no slippers. The old-fashioned kind of pajamas where you know they’re pajamas. Cracking me up.

Genieboy’s downstairs dancing. I checked the ballroom at 10pm counting 30 couples on the floor, another 10 sitting around. The floor is 40 x 80, or 3,200 sq ft. Decent size, not huge. No backdrop up yet – they say that’ll go up tomorrow. Tables are the long skinny type (five people on each side) arranged one-deep around three sides of the floor. DJ in the far left corner, platform for Global Dance TV’s cameras at the back.

Ballroom is probably picking up now … I’m gonna go down and have me a few dances!

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