Monday, March 31, 2008

The clock is ticking....

T minus 6 days until departure....

Wow....we leave soon and I'm not ready! I still need to rhinestone the costumes...chances are....I'll be doing it on the plane like I always do. Nothing like killing a six hour flight with glitter and glamour! Thank goodness the glue is only 4.5 oz. Granted 3 oz is the standard allowed, so I'll have to do some sweet talking with the TSA officials. Rumor has it, we can take our skates on as carry on, but for some reason I just don't trust it. I don't want to end up in Brent Bommentre's situation!

No practice today. Have to work. That's where I am now. Sh! Don't tell anyone (sorry, blond moment). We'll start fresh tomorrow at 7 am. Thank goodness it's at Lloyd Center ice and I won't freeze solid. However, it's also a rink filled with kids in the morning. Not that I mind kids. I LOVE kids. I photograph them for a living! However, they always manage to squeeze themselves right in the path of your impending lift which you end up having to bail out of at the last second, or they plant themselves right in the path of your Paso Doble pattern. They "appear" to be traveling one direction, and then Bam! They switch to another route. Gotta love those kids! They are lucky they are so cute....

New news: We have secured the great Lorna Aldridge to help us at Nationals! I am so excited to work with her. She is amazing and so generous to make herself available to us during the week. We are thrilled. I would go to LP for a week just to work with her let alone for Nationals.

So I have had multiple requests here on the blog for pictures. You'd THINK that since I am a professional photographer that I would have lots of pictures, however it's just like the old saying about the cobbler. His kids don't have shoes! I have no pictures!
Well, here it is.... I promise I will be posting LOTS of images. I'll start by taking the video camera to practice tomorrow. I'm not sure I'll have the guts to actually post what we capture of us, but if you all berate me enough....I could be convinced. Photographers prefer to be behind the camera! LOL.

Excuse # 11

That little girl is standing where we need to put the Paso Doble break-away!

Maybe we should just teach her how to do the dance? Or better yet, let her be there and work around her. She is more important than our silly little dance anyays!
---I'm such a softy for little kids.

Until Next Time,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Practice? With all the other stuff I have to do? leaving your job, starting a new career, selling your house, moving and trying to keep up with skating's a little overwhelming at times.
I woke up feeling almost sick this morning from lack of sleep. To get ready for the transistion to my new life, I have basically been working around the clock.
So, I canceled skating practice this morning. I know. I know....bad me. But I need a nap, and Jordan is holding an open house here at my house today and I have to clean. I don't want dozens of strange people seeing my dirty laundry. Gross!
PLus, I have a costume fitting this afternoon and a photography convention tonight with one of the most amazing and world reknowned children's photorgaphers on this earth! Can't wait for that!

Excuse #12.....
There are not enough hours in the day!

Why can't I just function with no sleep? It would make life so much easier to use those hours productively! I think I have "Type A" disease. I can't stop going and going and going and going....

...I'm gone.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Look up, Lutz!

So changing your choreography, your music and your costumes four weeks before the National Championships does not come without its hang ups. We are actually really lucky the music fits as well as it does because we are able to keep several of our elements. It's the linking footwork that has changed the most. And of course, putting it to a different tempo makes all the difference in the world. When you're used to skating it at one tempo and then have to alter to a different beat, it's a bit frustrating.
I fell on my fanny twice today. Hard. It hurt. What's with me and falling lately? I even knocked the wind out of myself again today. The excuse? There was a nice big Lutz hole in the ice and my toe pick caught it (a lutz hole is a large jagged hole in the ice that results from a freestyle skater who jams their toe pick into the ice to launch themselves up into a jump). How boring is that? Wham. I hit the ground. Grrr... No glamor or anything. Just a simple...whack! One minute your up, the next your down. You know it's bad when folks come up to you afterwards and say,

"Wow that looked like it hurt." Ummm... yeah! It did. I feel like a complete moron too! LOL.

Overall? I'm really happy with the new program. Leone is kicking us in the rear to get our heads up and stop looking at the ice.

"What's down there?" she asks.

Funny how the minute your eyes look up, your head comes up and your core stablizes and your knees bend and your center aligns. Hmmmm..... and you skate a WHOLE lot better! Maybe it's just me looking for those darn Lutz holes.

If there's one thing we've really improved upon these last few weeks, it's confidence and presentation. This dance feels like us. We can express it so much easier. We feel like we know what we are doing, even if we don't. Does that make sense? Strange, I know. No one ever did call me normal.


We've been spending a lot of time at Lloyd Center lately and I have to say, the warm rink is really nice! What's even nicer? Skating with Tim and Terri. Terri, of course, is judge-extra-ordinaire, dancer and co-moderator of Ice Dancers Online. She has been invaluable to us in these past weeks. The other morning, she insisted on being late to work so she could help us with our Paso Doble and Starlight Waltz. What awesome tips she gave too. Now all of sudden, the cross rolls on the Paso are MOVING forward! I love it. Jordan is having a ball and realizing that Lloyd Center, as small as it may be, is a pretty hip place to hang out as an ice dancer. Yeah, you have to do your program in pieces because it won't fit across the entire ice. And there are several times when we have been flying across teh diagonal at full speed only to yell,

"Boards!".... and come to screeching halt, but hey. It makes skating more interesting. Certainly more of a contact sport. Ouch. ((giggle)) It's also just nice to have another team on the ice to skate with. Talk about competitive motivation!

We have to thank local judge Becky Post too. She has spent time watching and evaluating as well. To have all of this input in one city is just incredible. The Portland community is so generous, forthright, constructive and positive. Could a dancer ask for a better place to skate? No Way.

We leave for LP in one week. Oh what a week it's going to be.
Stay Tuned.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back to The Big Rink

I have to say, I've been spoiled the last couple of weeks. We've been practicing at Lloyd Center where the rink is inside a mall. It's nice and warm. That sure feels good at 6 am instead of 30-something degrees. The only issue is that rink is teeny weeny. It's not regulation size.
So, back to Mt. View we go. Time to practice in the big, COLD rink now. I'm supposed to be there at 9:00 am. Can you tell I am procraastinating??? LOL.

Excuse # 16

The rink is too cold!!!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Amazing New Costumes since we've decied to change EVERYTHING at the last minute, that means costumes too. Our seamstress, Kathy is truly amazing. In the course of two weeks she has transformed us from hip-hop funk to Asian Sensations! My dress is this gorgeous kimnono style with a bright orange Obi. Our dance marks the arrival of the cherry blossom, so I will be wearing them in my hair. I guess I have to just give a big shout-out to Kathy because she has truly been our advocate, rock and just an all out awesome person to help us at the last minute like this.
Meanwhile, the program is coming along. We still need an ending. We have NO choreography for the ending. It's a bit frustrating because both Jordan and I feel like the ending has to have some pizzaz and make a big imapct.
We've been taking some lessons from other coaches just to get a feel for what we're not doing right and man! What a difference this is making. All of a sudden we are more aware of our feet! Our backs are straighter and we are actually presenting the dance to the audience instead of staring at the ice! LOL.
Well, gotta head to practice,
Until Next Time,

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Excuses just don't seem right anymore...

Life is just not the same without Otis. Rob and I are struggling to make sense of it, accept it and overcome it. It's hard losing your best friend.
Jordan and I did skate today. We are keeping to our practice schedule. It's a good distraction, really. Staying busy helps.
The OD is coming along. We have completely changed it. New music, new choreography, new costumes.
One piece of good news: We put the culprit "lift" from Sectionals back on the ice today. It was smooth as silk.

I miss you, Otis. I love you.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The excuse is real today..

We lost our sweet, dear Otis last night.
We are heartbroken. I wish I could be sure he is ok now.
We love you, hunny. You made our lives incredible. Thanks for giving us so much- for making us laugh and love.
We will miss you so much.

For those of you who own Pugs, please do your research on Pug Dog Encephalitis. It happens so fast and unexpectedly.
Until Next Time,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Excuse # 21

Do I have one?

I have a day JOB!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Excuse #26

The music player won't play our CD!

How many buttons do we have to push to get that dang thing to work? I think it's time for a replacement (hint, hint).

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

27 days to go.... practice can get pretty tedious and there's nothing like a good excuse to get OUT of doing a program run-through. EVERY skater (and don't let them tell you they haven't tried!)attemtps to get out of doing a run-through now and then because let's face it: It's hard work!

And let's face it: There's always a good (or cheesy) excuse!

So 27 days until we compete, 34 excuses. The count down to U.S Nationals is here. Bring it on! LOL

Excuse #27:

There's lutz holes in the ice. I'll catch a toe pick!

Until Next Time,

So we bombed...

Sectionals... that is.

We kinda knew it would happen, but oh well. Unfortunately, we took quite the dramatic crash during our Original Dance. I ended up in the hospital. However, I have to point out that we finished the rest of our program! I just kept thinking.... during that pivitol (what seems like slow motion) moment right after you fall and you have to decide if you stay down or get up... if we don't finish, we don't qualify! So we kept going.
The good news....we qualified. We're going to Lake Placid and the National Championships.
The other good news? Nothing's broken. We are just both banged up and bruised. Based on the fact that we were in the middle of a scary, upside-down lift, it could have been much worse. Thankfully it wasn't. And many, many wonderful people were kind enough to help me out afterwards when I wasn't feeling so hot.

So, the BIG news? We're changing our whole program! Yep, four weeks before Nationals and we are changing music, changing costumes, changing everything! Sectionals was a real wake-up call that the music we're skating to now (street dance/hip-hop)doesn't really suit our skating style. And we learned the hard way that you just can't fight that. So, we're changing. Big time. We'll be skating an Asian folk dance to beautiful, soulful music. We love it already. It's a little scary to change things last minute like this, but we also know that if we don't, we won't fare any better at Nationals. And we want to go feeling like we have a chance, and feeling good about how we skate.
So, onward! Practice, practice, practice!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Competing in Two hours!

Holy Cow. It's the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships. This will tell is if we qualify for the National Championships! We are competing two compulsory dances today; the Paso Doble and the Starlight Waltz. There are five teams up against us and the pressure is on.
So, our costumes are complete. There are more than 2000 rhinestones on my Paso Doble dress and we are set to go. Are we prepared? Not really. Do we expect much? Not on your life! I fully expect we may end up in last place, but do I care? NO! What a blast this is! I love the nerves, the excitement, the TENSION......

OoooH! So fun. Anyways it's great to see all of our Adult competitor friends again.
So, wish us luck! I'll report back on the results and have pix tonight or tomorrow.

Yeeeha! We have officially kicked off the Adult National Qualifying season! Somebody help us! LOL.

See ya later!