Monday, March 31, 2008

Startling discovery in the desert

So last month I went to Palm Springs for a vacation with my parents and Perry. I did not take my skates as I was there for some fun and adventure sans ice. However, as we were driving through Cathedral City in the 80+ degree heat, a mirage appeared before us. There, right there on Highway 10, was the mythical and oft-doubted Ice Garden. The car screeched to a halt as I pointed in hysterics -- "it exists, it exists!" Somebody spilled their date shake in the back seat as I frantically grabbed my camera.

Here, in two never-before-seen photographs, is proof that smack dab in the middle of the desert you can find skating on ice the size of my living room. I had to somehow document the ice-rink-in-converted-furniture-warehouse before the mirage faded away into the desert sun.

Some people don't believe the Ice Garden exists, and perhaps it was all just a dream. But I'm adding it to the list of "interesting places I haven't skated ... yet."

Who knew?!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We have a winner ...

Marilu Campbell, come on down ...

Marilu guessed our music in an e-mail to me. We have a prize for her of course -- because she won, she gets to take Tim through his Rocker Foxtrot test at the test session of her choice. Congratulations Marilu!

And I'm sure many of you have guessed too, since my hints were so illuminating. Of course, this music choice is subject to change, but yes, we are skating to Dream On. Thanks to Eric Hampton for giving me the idea.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Field Trip

Today we skated at a new rink - "Shiny Rink" per Gordon, which is true, since it's the newest rink in town and quite well maintained. It was not very crowded and the ice was fast. A very nice young lady showed us how to use the CD player (we adults are kinda slow). There were several adult skaters, one doing figures even, but no other dancers. They even made ice in between sessions. It was colder than we are used to though. This is the first time in a long time that I've skated in 4 layers, and never got down below 3!

Good to get out on bigger ice as we realize we will be skating in Oly-sized rinks in Lake Placid. We'll probably take a field trip to Shiny Rink weekly going forward.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A rounding error?

My math skills were recently called into question when I exclaimed publicly that we only had 9.5 weeks until Lake Placid. Now, any fool with a calendar can tell you that it's more than that since LP doesn't occur until the very end of July and it's still March. I blamed this calculation error on the IJS rounding algorithm, of course.

But please, nobody tell Tim. He was so freaked out by my announcement that he started working harder than ever so that we'd be "ready in time" (not that he doesn't already work hard, geez). Believe me, I wasn't plotting for this to happen or anything, I simply had a senior moment. But if it kicks us in the butt and makes us work harder, I'm all for it. Who knows, with all of this extra time we might actually have something that looks like a free dance ready for public humiliation -- I mean, critique -- by July.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Birthday ...

Perry sez ... Steven Tyler turns 60 today. (Yes, that was a music hint.)

Since Tim is out of town the next couple of days we can do the weekly recap now. We discussed how much we've accomplished this past week - we now have intros to both of our compulsory dances, we've made some fixes on the Viennese end pattern and significant fixes to the Samba.

I cut out the pattern for my samba dress (but still don't have fabric - sewing is coming along slower than skating).

Tim and I are each taking MITF lessons with Ruth separately to work on our individual skating skills. This is invaluable for us as a team.

We've enjoyed having our friends Julia and Jordan training with us - it's motivating and inspirational to have another adult dance team on the ice. They've made great progress in a very short period time. We've also seen Marilu in the morning working on her Argentine Tango for test. She'll have her gold medal in no time.

All in all, a good week for ice dancing in PDX and we're happy with what we've accomplished.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lake Placid Countdown

We have 9.5 weeks until Lake Placid. Three of those weeks are "Tim's on vacation, Terri tests an international dance" weeks. That leaves 6.5 weeks until Lake Placid. We have 18 seconds of our free dance choreographed. We need 3 minutes, 10 seconds. You do the math!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Still another music hint

The song's title appears in the lyrics 15 times.

Today's post-wisdom-tooth-removal/birthday-wine-drinking practice was surprisingly good. We worked on the new choreography and of course since our coach was not there we decided to change it all around.

We realized quickly that it's probably not a swell idea to tell him "we just couldn't do the hard stuff you gave us so we decided to do this easier stuff instead." So then we worked on the hard stuff and it got somewhat better. I think we'll go with his choreography since after all, he is a professional, and we are paying him for this. Plus it's going to be good, if only we can do it without tripping each other!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two year skateiversary

Today is the two-year anniversary of when we first had our partner tryout. To mark this momentous occasion, Tim is having a pesky wisdom tooth pulled and so he will miss practice. As today is my birthday I was happy to oblige his dental needs by sleeping in.

Nobody has yet guessed our music, probably because nobody ever reads this blog. However, just in case, here is today's music hint: Our music was the first single ever released by this band, in 1973.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More music hints

And, we have a guess! ... sorry Gordon, your guess was NOT correct, although you are certainly going in the right direction. I know the rest of you are all waiting to chime in, so it's time for another hint ...

Before being famously known as "Tim and Terri's free dance music" in 2009, this song was used in a Buick commercial in 2004.

"Guess Our Music" Contest

Today we started our choreography for 2009. We have about 18 seconds done by my stopwatch. Yay! Considering that we know by the time we compete this it will have morphed into something else, the term "getting started" is really all relative.

Coach K seemed to really capture our style from the very beginning and I am very happy with our coach/choreographer choice. He talked about the key to the music being speed and flow across the ice, and that we need flowing arms and that my fingers have to look nice. Um, OK, I guess it's back to ballet then so that I avoid "the claw."

I really like the first 18 seconds. I won't describe them in detail, but there's quite a lot going on, mostly to gain speed. It is different not to do our own choreography but I know we'll put our own stamp on whatever we end up with.

I doubt anyone would guess that we would actually pick this music, but when I brought it up with trepidation to Tim he practically screamed "I love that song" and we knew that it was meant to be. In a bizarre and amazing twist, our coach actually liked it too. Perry is starting to hate it though since he's heard it over and over and over and ... over.

No fair cheating by coming to the rink to see what we're up to! Those who skate with us are of course prohibited from guessing.

Today's music hint: Our costumes may include lighters held aloft at the end of the program.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

T is for Tango

I feel as if our 2009 season has now officially begun. I know what you are saying ... the 2008 season is still in progress ... but for us it's all about 2009. Tim passed his silver tango yesterday in Seattle - all three judges passed him, two of them giving him marks above the passing average. This means we are on our way to qualifying for the gold event in 2009. Now he just needs to test his rocker and starlight. Fourteen tests down, two to go. Sometimes I wish I had not finished my gold dances so we could just skate silver, but then again, who am I kidding?

We realized how spoiled we are to skate in a warm mall rink. I am always in a tank top or short sleeves within 5 minutes of getting on the ice at our home ice. In Seattle, Tim tested in his heavy fleece jacket and I almost did too, but took it off at the last minute. He had a hat on until the last minute! It was freezing, or maybe we've become wimps. The ice was fast and the people friendly so that almost made up for the chill.

In other news, we listened to our proposed music on the better sound system in Seattle and liked it much better than we do at home. We realized that the LC sound system muffles the bass line of the music (which is where the beat is). With a good system it sounded great. So assuming our coach agrees, we have music.

(However, if I tell you what it is I'd have to kill you.)