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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

May 31st, the Day of Days: Anniversary AND Skating Show!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

May 31st, the Day of Days: Anniversary AND Skating Show!

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I have promised you all a post about my ten-year anniversary and skating show yesterday....

I left work early to go home and put on my costume and my face. One of the few times a year that I wear make-up is for skating shows, and I have to wear a lot. If you've seen pictures of me, you know that I am a white white-girl. Beneath the spotlights, it's doubtful if you'd be able to see me at all. And when I say a lot of makeup, I mean are-you-sure-you-don't-work-in-the-Red-Light-District-of-Baltimore-Street quantities.

Not to mention the fact that I had to squeeze into my shimmer tights--a cross between pantyhose and a vice with sparkles--wrangle myself into my strapless-backless corset bra, put the costume on top of all that, and hopefully secure my yard of hair so that it didn't come tumbling down in the middle of a performance.

These things take time.

I had just put coverup over my yucky spots and was pouring on the foundation when Bobby came home. With 14 beautiful orange roses! So of course I had to bounce out--patchy face and all--for hugs, squees, and a little marital making out. Hey, it was our anniversary, what can I say? And tucked into the roses was a note.

He wanted to write me something, and when we were in the tenth grade, we used to write each other a letter every day and exchange them in the hallway between classes. That year, we had only one class together and barely saw each other; it was my hardest school year ever. So he wrote me an old-fashioned love letter that made me wubble and get all teary-eyed. Good thing I hadn't done my eye makeup yet!

I also gave him his thirty-three drabbles, and he set about reading them. Poor Bobby. No matter the occasion, he has to read at least ten pages written by me. This is the third thing I've written him since Christmas and nothing's ever less than ten pages. I promised him that for our next anniversary, I would settle for writing one drabble. As I finished applying my makeup, I kept hearing pages turning...I felt kind of bad for him, stuck with a rambling wife like me.

We arrived at the rink early because Interstate-95 going north was strangely traffic-free. Each skater was to bring a bottle of soda and a refreshment for after the show, and I--of course--made candy: chocolate rollerskate-shaped lollipops. So I set them out on the refreshment tables and then...waited. I didn't want to put on my skates because I have a deformed bone in my left foot that hurts if it spends more than two hours in skates. Bobby and I sat and talked until a half-hour before showtime, at which point I went to finish putting on my costume, put on my skates, and warm up.

I had quite a crew in attendance: my parents, my in-laws, my sister-in-law, Bobby (of course), and our couple-friends Cindy and Andy. Strangely, skating for people I know is never as scary as skating for strangers. And skating for strangers is never as scary as skating for other skaters, who know when you mess up or don't land a jump or cheat on a spin. So I prefer an audience full of people I know; I pretend I'm performing just for them and it's all good.

Of course, nothing can go perfectly at a show. That would be too...perfect. One of the skaters showed up without her costume skirt. Another showed up without her costume necklace and Ms. Jackie had a fit. We were late getting started while waiting for the first skater's parents to return with her skirt. Ai.

I fluctuated between slightly being nervous and unnervingly calm. But that is never a true indicator of how it will be out on the floor. It's what my skating-friend Shannon calls "The Black Curtain Syndrome": The moment that you're waiting behind that black curtain for your name to be called and your music to begin, you have to pee. Like so badly that you fear wetting out on the floor. It's awful.

Then, when you come back: no more pee. As I asked her, don't you wonder where it goes? Like, "Oops! Did I have an accident out there?!"

Our theme this year was "A Celebration of Music: Idols, Divas, and Hearthrobs." I performed in four numbers this year of (I think) twelve:
  • Tom Jones medley, "It's Not Unusual"/"She's a Lady"--solo

  • Tina Turner, "Proud Mary"--group number with other advanced specialist girls

  • Whitney Houston, "The Greatest Love of All"--group number with the whole cast and our skating instructor Ms. Jackie

  • Earth, Wind, and Fire, "Shining Star"--finale, with the whole cast


Because the show was done chronologically, with the oldest songs first, I skated my solo second in the whole show.

Normally, I like to do a group number first, to accustom me to the floor and the audience, but no such luck. So five minutes into the show, I was standing behind the black curtain...

...and it went great!

I skated out and couldn't even see the audience because of the follow-spots shining in my eyes. Which was a good thing. It was like practicing in the dark. I nailed all of my skills and didn't have any embarrassing blunders. (Except for the fact that my "tightly secured" bun decided to come loose midway through.) I had made the executive decision before the show to change my camel-sit to just a camel spin because the "sit" lately has looked more like a squat. I even managed both sets of successive three-turns; I've never been able to perform successive three-turns in a show before. They require a good deal of finesse and are not suited for nerves.

I had a lot of fun.

Then I skated backstage and thought, "Five months of preparation, three minutes, and it's over."

It was disappointing.

At White Marsh, we'd had a much larger program and had three shows and a cast show each spring. But the positive aspects of the Freestyle Fanatics over White Marsh Skating make it worthwhile, even if I do miss the additional shows.

"Proud Mary" was a fun number; one that Ms. Jackie told us could only be done by older, sexy women. (I think she was trying to placate some of the "older, sexy women" who didn't want to be doing all the shimmying required of the choreography.) The audience clapped loooong for that one.

We had a bit of excitement when Ashley and Brandon skated a pair's routine to Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up." They are the most advanced pair in the group and did a lot of scary advanced lifts and flies. And they did them all perfectly without problem...until the ending pose. At the end, Brandon lifts Ashley in his arms and reclines her with her skates pointing at the ceiling and her head pointing at the floor...and he dropped her. Luckily, they weren't hurt and Ms. Jackie let them show the audience at the end what the "death drop" was supposed to look like.

"Shining Star" went great considering that it was the first time that the whole cast had skated it together. Even those skaters who tend to be bona fide eejits couldn't find a way to mess it up.

Then...the show was over!

And I could enjoy the second part of my evening.

I was a bit dismayed that all the excitement surrounding the show had dulled our anniversary a bit. After the show, the whole entourage went for dinner at Red Brick Station so that Bobby and I could have a nice anniversary dinner. Bobby and I shared hummus and I had a vegetarian quesadilla; Bobby had an old-fashioned burger and a Daily Crisis IPA microbrew. I was ravenous by this time, and we had a great time with our families and friends.

Then I looked up and got quite a surprise...because walking in the door was our old friend Will.

Those of you who read my (33!) drabbles will know that Will was the mutual friend who got Bobby and me together. We had both been shy at that age and neither wanted to admit to liking the other; Will rather forced the issue. He and Bobby have known each other since the age of eleven; Will and I became friends freshman year of high school and went to university together. The three of us have always been the sort of friends that might not see each other for years but--upon reuniting--find so much to talk about that it's as though we were never apart.

I've talked to--but haven't seen--Will since I graduated three years ago.

It was awesome: Our ten-year anniversary, a great evening, and seeing the friend who had made it all possible, ten years ago. So it was chaotic and not the tenth anniversary that I would have planned, given the choice, but it probably turned out better than if I had planned it. It was a night to remember.
  • That sounds like a wonderful day, and you couldn't have had better. (Okay, yes, you could have had better. . . "The Greatest Love Of All" is a terribly overused song in amateur skating shows.) Ms. Jackie sounds like just the right person to be in charge of an amateur show. She goes with the flow, rolls with the punches, and lets the skaters who dropped get a do-over at the end because it's not the Olympics, after all.

    So, the dating anniversary and now the wedding anniversary -- you'll just be the Anniversary Girl! (And Bobby will have twice as much to remember. Snerk, snerk.)
    • Yes, Ms. Jackie's been running shows for...longer than I've been alive, I imagine. She's a great teacher and puts on the best shows in the area. (Both shows that she used to run and had to "retire" from descended into the pits after she left.) "Greatest Love of All" isn't my favorite song (because I remember having to learn it in elementary school, to sing at an assembly), but the idea of that particular number was for each group--from the (relative) newbies to the best skater in our program--to skate with her as sort of a tribute. So it fit the idea. Most of us have been skating with her since we were knee-high. (I was 11...so 14 years! Shannon--the most advanced of us--has been skating with her for something like 25 years.)

      I also developed an extreme hatred of the song "Shining Star" after having to "learn" that routine new every week because the same people never came every week and someone had always forgotten it or just never learned it. If I never hear that song again, I would not complain.

      (And Bobby will have twice as much to remember. Snerk, snerk.)

      He's actually really good with it so far. Ask me again in ten years! :^D
  • Oh wow, it sounds like you had a wonderful time--first skating and then the anniversary dinner. And how great to see your old friend. But, oh crap! I remembered I have to go back and read your 33 drabbles--I really wanted to but at the time I was in the midst of my story from hell and panicking, and didn't have the time. Hell--ten pages is nothing for me to read!

    Anyway, Happy Anniversary!!!
    • Thank you! :) And don't worry about them if you don't have time; I didn't expect anyone to read them but just thought, "What the heck...." And I know all about lack of time. :^/
  • I WANT SKATING PICCIES!!!!!!

    Pweese?
    • I'll have to see if I can scan in the professional picture. There's no pictures of the show, unfortunately, because flash photography isn't allowed. It's a shame, too, 'cause I've yet to see myself skate.
  • I'm so happy to hear that everything was great! And that you had a lot of fun while skating. All that practice and your talent were put to good use and I'm sorry I could not be there to see you myself. Just think what it would have been like to come out into the spot light and see that a section of the crowd is packed with everybody on your f-list, holding a big banner full of encouraging words written in Tengwar. That would have been nice and I'm sure others agree with me as well.

    There are so many sweet and incredibly romantic things about the relationship between you and Bobby... It makes me all wubbly and teary eyed to read such touching things. You two are truly blessed to have found each other and to have such an extraordinary, growing love between you.

    And, yea, will there be piccies? *hopeful grin*
    • Goodness, if I came out and saw a banner in Tengwar, I'd probably fall over!

      Actually, I couldn't see anything with the lights in my eyes! But on the assumption that I could...that would be awesome! :^D

      I had a professional picture done, but I'd have to figure out how to work my scanner! :^O My work scanner doesn't do color and I don't know how to use my home scanner. Flash photography isn't allowed during the show (for safety reasons, 'cause who wants to come out of a jump and have a flash go off?) so I don't have any pics of the actual show. Believe it or not, I've never seen myself skate! Even a picture! Everyone raves about my spirals, but the only way I know to adjust my body positioning is by watching my shadow.

      I might have to get Bobby to take pictures sometime during practice. That might help me figure out too what I need to work on positioning-wise. And you all will be the first to see them if I do! :)
  • That sounds like agreat day! Many happy returns! *hugs*
  • It sounds like you had a lot of fun! I was thinking of you on Wednesday, both for your anniversary and your skating show. Sorry I couldn't be there. :-(

    And OMG, Will! Nobody arranged for him to come in? That's too awesome. :-D

    Yay!
    • I thought of you too because this is the first of my shows that you missed.... :(

      But for a happy reason, so it was okay! :)

      It was totally awesome to see Will, and on that day, it was just a wonderfully crazy coincidence! Something to frighten you: He drives an armored truck now, has a gun permit, and carries a weapon for his job. o.O Oh, and he has a girlfriend!

      It was great to see him.
  • ...and it went great!

    Ah, congratulations then! Nice to hear you had a good time! :)

    The three of us have always been the sort of friends that might not see each other for years but--upon reuniting--find so much to talk about that it's as though we were never apart.

    I have a lot of friends like that, too. We practically never call each other, but when we meet again, it's like old times. :)
    • Thank you! :) Now that everything's over, I'm enjoying having nothing to do filling my time with other pressing activities! ;)
  • And skating for strangers is never as scary as skating for other skaters, who know when you mess up

    AMEN!!

    Glad things went great though!!

    *really needs to catch up on f-list - a really strange feeling!*
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