Thursday, July 24, 2008

The calm before the Placid

There's always a captive audience in a mall rink. Above, a rowdy group of fashion models supervises our practice.

The countdown to Lake Placid has begun. It is a frenzy of list-making, packing, wrapping things up at work so I can go on "vacation," and making sure the teenagers staying at home have enough food and money to get through the week on their own.

I am judging, not skating, so I won't be blogging any updates. As a judge I am not allowed, for obvious reasons, to comment publicly on any event which I have judged.

However, I can comment on packing for the event: glasses, power bars, stop watch, warm clothes. (There's more, but I don't think anyone except TSA wants to know what's in my luggage.)

I can also say that my dear husband Perry has volunteered to help with photography. Perry learned a long time ago that if he wants to spend time with his wife, he may have to go inside a skating rink now and then. He did a whole bunch of announcing at the Fairbanks competition and did a great job. He can't announce at Lake Placid - not enough experience - but he can take some photos as a volunteer.

Last night we discussed everything he needs to know, such as the fact that yes, this is a very prestigious competition, it's ice dancing only, the skaters come from all over the US and Canada, and some get evaluated for grand prix assignments. Thus it's a bit less laid back than, say, the local non-qual.

Also we discussed that, when assigned to photograph the Open Fiesta Tango event, he will be hearing the same atrocious piece of music at least 200 times. We talked about taking potty breaks whenever possible because you won't have a chance later if you're volunteering. We discussed the best way to get a good photo (my amateur opinion is, "the opening pose is best and then you can doze through the rest of the dance").

We discussed the fact that the people on the east coast think of "Terri Levine" as the president of the Skating Club of New York, and I'm known as "The Other Terri Levine" when I go there. So he may have to answer questions about me, such as what level I judge (Perry had no idea until I told him) and what's really in my luggage. Hopefully the conversation won't be about me, but of course people are always curious, and even though I was there last year my hair is a different color now, rendering me unrecognizeable. (For proof of that, watch the "Learn to Ice Dance" DVD, made when I was at Lake Placid last year, featuring my very red, frizzy, mess of hair.)

That reminds me, I had better pack the anti-humidity hair spray.

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