PAULthinksmusings by a feminist
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I purposely attempted to keep my daily entries in my Traveblogue upbeat and positive, but I did have some thoughts cross my mind that were not quite positive.  If you’d rather avoid reading subjective criticisms, complaints, and general grousing, I would point you to the rest of the series and just skip this entry.

Travel to the event was flawless, but here I am in the airport on the way back facing a rain delay.  Whose fault is that?  If it’s anyone’s fault it would be mine.  I could have chosen to take an earlier flight home, but I wanted to give myself time to eat, get cleaned up, get lost, and return the rental car on time.  So, that’s fine, I chose a later flight for the best combination of cheap and later in the day and I’m stuck here for it (although I’ve gotten to chat with Naomi Uyama and Mike Legett, which makes up for it).

The car was as good a rental car as I could have gotten.  I highly recommend the Hyundai Sonata as a temporary vehicle if you ever need a cheap one.

The hotel, Holiday Inn RiverCentre, was pretty great, except… I think all hotels should offer some sort of breakfast refreshment in these days of competitive marketing.  A nice hotel can offer a nice breakfast, or a lower tier hotel can offer orange juice and pastries.  Okay, they did give me one free Quizno’s 6″ sub, but still.  Also, the hot water was sporadic in the bath/shower.  It would rapidly alternate from hot to cold for no apparent reason that I could figure out.  I got back at the hotel by splashing water everywhere.  If I ever stay with you, have extra towels on hand for the first time I take a shower because I have a tendency to flood bathrooms with splash water.  I don’t know why it happens to me and not others.  Do other people not dance around under the shower stream waving their arms?  I find that provides the best coverage, personally.

Jimmy John’s is a great place.  No complaints.  Likewise Target.  Okay, maybe they could have a larger men’s clothing section.  Taste of Thailand was a little slow, but the food was great and the Tofu addition was welcome.  It was a tad expensive, but again tasted great.  SuperAmerica markets are not that super but they’re okay.  I would like to complain about the prevalence of young adults going in there to buy cigarettes and chewing tabacco, but I’m not sure to whom I should direct that. Their parents? Society? Al Gore.

Now, the event.  Here I go.  …  Yeah, I got nothing. Wait…

Oooh, okay, the competitors could have been more numerous… but that’s partially my fault since I didn’t put together a team or showcase entry.  Oh, the venue was freaking hot and humid.  I mean, it was hundreds of people squeezed into a relatively small space, but couldn’t there have been more air conditioning?  Maybe drop the temperatures down really low between events?  I dunno.  I hope the New Orleans venue isn’t any worse, but I fear it may not be any better.  A lack of water fountains was also dismaying, but at least they had purchasable refreshments.

Okay, looking back at my list of complaints about Showdown, I see that I haven’t got much.  Oh, well.

How about my complaints about myself?  I had some items on a mental wishlist, all of which were quite optional, but still desirable.  I would have liked to lose weight and get exercise (one combined goal), to enjoy the Soul After Party, and maybe to get my flirt on with some lovely dancer. Oh, and to get reinspired about my own dancing.

I don’t think I’ve lost any weight, but I feel pretty good about my intake versus my activity.  I’ll find out when I get home… Maybe after Jam Cellar after I get home, since I plan to eat during my homeward trip and airport food isn’t exactly health food.

I tried really hard to enjoy the Soul After Party, but I just couldn’t get into it.  I don’t think I was there for more than 15 minutes or so. Soo would know.  In that time, I heard one older soul song that I liked but the rest of the music did not appeal.  I heard that the music got better later in the night.  When I watched Peter and Skye moving to the music, they looked good, but they moved in a way that I…don’t generally feel like moving.  I saw many leads leading what looked like a mangled Lindy Hop, which I very much didn’t want to do.  So I felt that I would have been lost even if I’d wanted to dance. That is, even if the music made me want to move to it.  And I hate to say this for fear of repercussions but… I don’t think I like soul music.  Jerry Almote once wrote something along the lines of “If you don’t like soul music, there’s something wrong with you.”  I guess he was talking to me.  Well, when I was talking to Soo at the beginning of the Soul party, I came to realize that I was being a downer and I didn’t want to bring anyone else down so I took off.  I hope everyone else there had oodles of fun, but I think I would have lessened it for some poor people.

As for flirting: I wasn’t trolling for anything, but I know of many instances when people have gotten together, either for something lasting or for something fleeting, at large events like this one.  I’m single now and I’m interested in new romantic encounters, so I tried to be open to that this weekend.  I think I felt some sparks here and there but frankly, I had no idea what to do about it in the circumstances.  There were always so many other people around and there was no easy escape location and I generally wanted to attend the next scheduled event more than take time away for flirty mischief. Maybe if the event had been in a place where there was an attached or nearby “away” space where people could duck out to do non-event things, I might have tried harder. Like a convention center or a hotel+ballroom. “Hey, wanna go chill out in Ballroom D for a while?” just seems more likely to lead somewhere than, “Hey, feel like walking out in the rain to my rental car and then driving no less than 10 minutes to somewhere away from fun events we might miss in order to chill for a while?” I suppose it may also have helped if I’d actually done any of the social things that the other attendees did, like eating together or… talking to each other or… being around each other.  Hmm.  Oh, well.  I met and got reaquainted with many attractive and interesting women and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

And for my own dancing? I’m happy to say, I think I got my groove back. I definitely danced with a few dancers where I got the “nice!” or “that was cool!” comments, and the live bands certainly played music to inspire. I’m feeling good about Lindy Hop again. I hope it sticks. Maybe I should dose myself with a daily regimen of Lindy dance clips from various international events to keep the juices flowing. It would be like a swing dancing vitamin. Or the hair of the dog.

I’m planning to go to Jam Cellar tonight and I hope I’ll keep on attending these dance events that I’m so fortunate to have local to me. I hope it stays fun.

I’ll work at it.

About Paul Roth

A vegetarian, agnostic, lindy-hopping, dog-loving tv-watcher who likes to read his own words.
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