Life is remaining busy right to the end! Broken record? Not half!
On Thursday, May 26th, after talking about it for weeks and weeks, we finally went to Incahoots, a country dancing bar. It was finally instigated sort of by me and Jenny. I left my 133 lecture a half hour early, and she picked me up just after 6pm. I was fully kitted out in all my cowboy gear.
When we arrived they were just beginning a line dance lesson at 6:30, and we jumped in. It was jolly fun, and then we watched them dance for a bit. It was quite a large bar, which looked a lot like the one in ‘Airplane!’ In the middle of the bar there was a rectangular dance floor, about 6x14m, and it had a wooden surround covered in cowhide making it look like the centre stage in a rodeo. At 7:30, there was a country 2-step lesson. For me, this was very useful, just to remind me about some of the moves. It was difficult to get followers on the floor for the lesson though; a few came on in drips and drags. I laughed and must have gone slightly red when it was just me left, and the women taking the lesson was saying “come on, you can dance with this (meaning me)”
Me and Jenny did a bit of dancing for a while, and then had another crack at a few line dances. At around 8:30 Lissette, David, Hanna and Jake arrived. I got a steak and potato for $5 with David, which was absolutely delicious. It was such a wonderful piece of steak!
They played a few more line dances, and some of them we could hustle or west coast too, so we found a bit of space in the corner and danced to them. There was a country-specific cha-cha and a nightclub 2-step which initially threw us a bit, but was caught on by the end. I only danced once or twice with Lissette and Hanna, but got the impression that there weren’t too into it all that much and didn’t mind not dancing. I spent most of the time with Jenny. I was pleased she went, and I got the impression that she was pleased I was there too. Otherwise, it might have been a bit of a cop out. I loved it there; it was just how I imagined red-neck America to be. All the guys were in their cowboy hats, their boots, and there were a couple of string ties. One chap also had a terrific civil war moustache! It was so much fun. It was something I had to experience before I left, and I had a ball!
On Saturday afternoon I took our recycling to Vons to get some CRV back for it. I made my journey with the 60-odd empty water bottles, and was nearly thrown off the bus (in hindsight, now I think about it, I can fully understand why recycling is banned on buses). It smelt a lot at the recycling centre. It was around the back of the Vons store, and I had to take all the caps of the bottles and place them in a large metal mesh bin without a liner. It was weighed by a scruffy looking chap, and he said something to a rather rotund lady who wrote me out a receipt that I could cash in at the store. I got $3.30 for my efforts, which I decided was a bit pathetic considering what CRV costs, but I wasn’t going to complain because I didn’t buy them in the first place. I was just the one who got sick of seeing the collection grow every night for 4 weeks!
I danced with the only other woman on Saturday night and she asked “So, are you from Australia or New Zealand?” My accent must be getting that bad! She then said how she’d studied in England for a while because she’d studied Shakespeare, so she had no excuse to get it wrong!
On Sunday, I got some work done, watched the Monaco Grand Prix, and then settled down to watch the Indy 500. Dear me, was that dramatic! JR Hildebrand, who I’d met at Long Beach, was on the verge of winning in his first ever Indy500, and then coming into the last turn he went to the outside groove to lap Charlie Kimball who was hugging the inside. I was screaming at the TV, “don’t do it! Noooo!!!” JR had crunched the wall, and was coasting to the chequered flag on 3 wheels. The Brit, Dan Wheldon, came through and passed him just before they both crossed the line to take an emotional victory in what is currently his only race of the year. I’ve liked Dan for years, and was over the moon to bump into him in Long Beach on the way to watch the Friday practice session. I hadn’t expected him to be there, he was only there to announce this one off Indy deal. So I met the Indy 500 winner! My cries of despair for JR quickly turned to cheers for Dan Wheldon!
Monday 30th May was Memorial Day, which meant it was a holiday. I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked though. I had been invited to go out Lindy dancing on Wednesday with some people, so I spent most of Wednesday trying to get all my presentation stuff done in readiness for the MAE 3 presentation on Thursday, and so I could go out to do Lindy Hop for the first time in donkey’s years that evening. However, the animation rendering was being a pain, and taking forever, and then the other people in the group weren’t getting their stuff done as early as I’d have liked, and then I started to worry, and then I had to assemble everything again on another file because I was the only one who knew how to do it, and 6pm quickly became 7pm, and 7 quickly became 8, and I had to admit defeat and disappointedly text to say I couldn’t make it. The sad thing was that they got back about 11:30, and I was still beavering away in the computer lab. Me and David didn’t leave until nearly 1am, something I appreciated from him. I was so tired when I got in, all thoughts of dinner left my mind and I just went straight to bed. Although I don’t agree, as Del Boy says in his yuppee days, “Eating is for whimps!” I was up at 7:30 and back in the computer lab at 8am to put the finishing touches, and do Albert’s slide for him.
The presentation went rather well in the end, although I was slightly frustrated at, in my eyes, the lack of common sense in my team mates. Given that we have 8 minutes to talk, and it’s going to go in order (Albert, then David, then Alex, then Me), and the TA had put a full screen timer on a screen in front of where we were delivering, you’d think it would cross their minds “there are 4 of us, and 8 minutes…that means I should probably try to get my bit done in 2 minutes.” It didn’t. David was nice and thorough, but despite this there was only 30s left when I started. I continued apace, deciding be quick, but to ignore the time issue and say everything that was necessary. We got a 95/100 for our presentation. This annoyed me a little too, because although I thought we did a good job in comparison with the other groups, I didn’t think any of us were anything special. Giving a 95 for what we did is a bit like rewarding mediocrity. Maybe people in the real world workplaces don’t do it much better, and my perfectionism is going to take a continual knock. I got a lot of compliments for my delivery though, and my lack of interposing an ‘erm’ or a ‘like’ all the time, which I was flattered by. I was just pleased to get it done. In the section competition afterwards, we scored 2 wins, 1 tie and had 2 loses. We should have won the 0-0 tie though, because we found 5 minutes later that one of the wires connecting to the power supply under the table had come out. The first win was the best though; we won 5-3, with two last gasp points to break the tie. It was very lucky, because I’d accidently turned the base the wrong way and the ball were going to fall off their starting level, but a quick drop of the basket and a bit of control Ronaldo would have been proud of them saw the balls rebound into the 1-pt bin, and victory! Best of all, it sort of worked! Thursday evening was another long one in the lab, before going to the computer labs till nearly midnight to finish the 107 homework.
At the last Friday Fun I got them to play a Röyksopp track to hustle to, which made me happy. I asked Scott to video me and Lissette dancing to it, but it turns out despite being a computer science major, he’s not so hot on cameras, and it didn’t record. C’est la vie, it doesn’t matter! Then we played Apples to Apples. It’s a lot like Compatibility, with words instead of pictures. My choice of Noun matched the first card (beginners luck) but thereon in I performed poorly! They also had a pot luck thing going, so there was food too. I took along some Scottish shortbread from the World Market.
It was good in the evening. Me and Lissette owned “On the Floor” when that was played! We went to Denny’s afterwards, during which I embarrassed myself on my first go with an iPhone by accidently submitting my MAE3 peer review instead of doing a backspace to correct a typo I’d made.
I finally talked myself around to getting the ‘Maple Bacon Sundae’. Can you guess what it is yet?
Yes, its maple (flavoured) syrup, topped with vanilla ice cream and smokey bacon. Only in America. The guy who sat next to me, who is in Dancesport, had a side of cheesy fries to go with his sandwich and curly fries. This was no ordinary sandwich though; it was grilled cheese, with 6 long, large 1 inch square fried mozzarella sticks inside. Only in America!