Saturday, December 29, 2007

a winter feis, part 2 (update via IM)

Let's see how this "journaling via IM" works for an update. (This daggone keyboard though HURTS my hands..... I pretty much require an ergonomic one.)
Ah, okay, I get the option of adding this to comments, to my journal (I THINK as a NEW?? entry?), or to quit.

Anyway, I got a photo texted to me from Sh, of M and Si. Si's in her solo dress which she's not supposed tobe wearing but it's not my business (she IS looking pretty, they both are). I wonder where M's gold tiara is but hey, she has on her eyeglasses and earrings.

And I waited. Granted, I did other things WHILE waiting. My mom will be pleased I finally tried on the clothes she gave me for Christmas. Almost 4 hours later -- so while walking Daisy, I try calling M via Sh's cell phone. It gets cut off, so I try again and get a voicemail. Sigh, okay. Then, immediately, I get a text message with Si's scores, plus YEAH, they got a 1st in their U13 2-hand, M and Si together.
But, is M's score not yet known (that'd be a surprise), or is she waiting to tell me personally, why not just call? Ends up, M's score and info about it was cut off. It'd been sent to Ma first, then forwarded to me after I called, so? At the time, I didn't know this, and textd back congrats to Si, and that I'm eager to talk w/ M including about how M did when she hears.
Well, Si DID do well -- remember, she's 5.5 years old, in her 2nd year of Irish stepdancing, and won first place in a novice level U7 hornpipe (i.e., hard shoe even, not even in soft shoe). She also got 2nd in her U7 novice slip jig (soft shoe). M called me later, they still at the hotel but not in the room, and I also talked briefly to Si. Si is THRILLED, and should be. (And, now she CAN wear the dress.) M, well, she had a good time.
Or, I think so. She feels okay about it I think, disappointed sure, but okay, and enjoyed the feis? M says she got right the things that she normally doesn't, and that she wobbled (on her toes) RIGHT as the judge was looking closely at her. Toes are NOT M's strong point. Arch and turnout -- definitely, but not toestands depending. One leg is longer than the other but I don't know if that has any relation to this or not. She had 24 dancers in her group, registered, anyway. I don't know, Mom, they just
kept coming up. She said that the photographer was there (ah, they got my request! great), and so on eFeis or elsewhere later, we'll figure out the competitor #'s with the faces. Many were from the Mid-America region, but really they flew and drove in from all over, Florida, New York, and west.
We talked about the other dancers -- I didn't realize, but this was "Friends" FIRST FEIS! How exciting, and she got a 3rd and a 4th (out of, hmm, 18-28 dancers depending which dance). Another friend DID get HER last 1st to move up to prelim champ (she also registered for all 4 main dances, while M registered for just the one).
I told M that I was concerned that being signed up for just the one dance may make her too worried. "Yeah...." so I guess her Friend there and all didn't overcome all her worries. I told M that this means she can still do Treble Reel's at the Prizewinner level, too (she wasn't registered ror TR this time, and she and I both love them for her). Ma had said to focus on the one dance and had reasons. We'll see for next time, though. M was excited for her friend who DID get her last first -- "Mom, can you
post that on the message board?" Ha, I had intended to already. I told M I was proud of her for helping out with the little ones on the stages, counting out their begining beats for them. Not clear howshe got asked to be a stage helper, but shrug, she's good at it so why not.
I think it's still better for M than not going. She's a good sport, and a great kid:) I"m real proud of her.
I've looked some at the 2008 feis schedule. Some I can't tell in part as I'm not sure how the weekends will fall (depends upon how we interpret Spring Break, but summer is set). There's not a rush. I'm told by someone else that Ma is thinking of not having dancers at their level feis again until May. Not that M nor I have been told that, but that's alright. There aren't any local enoughbefore then, and I don't have traveling money. They will be doing a lot of drills in their one class right now.
It's all good. M certainly had a better day today than if she'd stayed home and Si went, like last year. And she got to see Friend and other Friend, and DANCE, etc. She'll see her aunt tomorrow and they'll do C's family Christmas in Baltimore. About a 10 minute call, and some with Si, cuz I had to congratulate her:) but I'm real glad to talk with M, that today was still decent.

a winter feis (part 1)

She might be dancingNOW. (add what listening to)
I poured over the "electronic program" earlier today and was happy to see that one of M's friends is there at this feis, also. This friend likes to feis, but doesn't get to very often, so it's a treat. Only 9 from her school at this one.
M is there with Si, and Sh. Not clear if C also went. He typically doesn't; it really is NOT his thing nor desire. That's okay. M is likely feeling more confident w/out him around, actually. She can nail this, depending. As I told M, she dances at a champion level, TCRG Ma knows this, M just needs to show it. Mostly, I want her to feel good about how she did, but having confidence going in can make or break not only her placement, but how she feels.
M has gotten repeated 1sts in her other dances, and 2nds in her TJ. Oh, M, I pray right now, Dear Lord, please be with M. Have her feel your spirit, have her feel great and dance with her heart.

Admittedly, if she also gets first? Then she will be moved up to preliminary championship level.

Ma recommended that M only sign up for THIS dance this time, her Treble Jig. She also recommended having a private lesson, just to see. M felt that did help. * Captain added the star instead of going into the dresser drawer; Tinkerbell hangs over the monitor. In that lesson, Ma told M to focus more. Hmmm, M HAS lost her drive lately. Ma is thinking socializing in class, while I was thinking Oireachtas and schoolwork and other distractions. M's been going over her dances intuitively again throughout
the day and nights. Okay, is she up NOW, or is it now over??? I don't know.
She can just shine, and smile so bright, and just WOW. "Why don't I see you dance like this in class?" Well, M lost her focus I guess. lol I hope she's shining now, feeling great. I agree with Ma, who said, "I don't care how they place. I just want them to dance well." Or something like that for the second sentence. That she and the other TCRG's watch, and say, what school is s/he from?
So Sh this year brought M along with Si. They danced two figures dances in the a.m. Friend's mom seemed surprised for my call, but happy to relay info. She didn't know how they did in figures (that's okay, I don't really care as long as they enjoyed themselves and there were no mishaps). Seems Friend is doing well today! YEAH. She HAS been looking good, but doesn't get to feis much to move up, competitively speaking.
Several on their stage, stage 5, Si's competition, Friend's competition which was just about to start, another dancer from their school's competition, then M's. Friend's mom said something about M's big dance. I relayed how I hope that wasn't making M nervous. Friend and M have been practicing (and, seemingly, hanging out YEAH I'm so glad). Also, M's been helping on stages, counting out beats for the little ones. Ah, this is great, also. M CAN shine and feel good.
We didn't even talk a full 2 minutes, Friend's mom and I, but I'm glad for it (and she was happy to relay the info, I think she enjoyed "the assembly line" of how the stages were running, and the camarderie for her daughter). Perhaps M's on NOW, instead, gosh, hard to predict for certain. M will know I called, and she's"supposed" to call me later, also.
I"m pleased to hear that she's seemingly enjoying herself. If she also gets first? WOW. If not? Well, hopefully she will, of course, how exciting would that be, and the feis photographer was asking for requests, so I e-mailed a request in. Hate missing this (MANY hours away). Still, it sounds as if it just might make for a great ending to an overall good feising year. happy new year, all. (Still hoping!!!_
Happy new year, all. Christmas was, well, an experience (in a good way), which is for another post. M will be with me this year for the BIGGGG St. Pat's parade where she can wear her solo dress and dance on the flat bed, and have the school party after. Sounds as if she's already invited school friends to come and watch ha. (C has never taken her, not even last year with Si dancing, also.) I hope to get back to dancing myself again. I need that. May it be a good year in all ways possible for all of u
okay, only 33 minutes since I talked w/ Friend's mother. Are they done??? At least I know something, while I await, eagerly, to hear.... my cinderella:)

Monday, December 17, 2007

TRYING to keep up!

I can't keep up.  With some things, yes.  Some, no.

Christmas time is always extra busy.  I LOVE Christmas!  I miss Advent at my church, yet, I feel conflicted about ever returning there (and had intended to visit another church yesterday yet M needed more sleep and I was trying to get stuff done, even while I should find more time for Christ, too).  We will go to Christmas Eve services, however.  We love it there.  We'll likely go with my mother/stepfather to services at their newer church, too, but there is nothing quite like how the magic of Christmas spirit is at our church.

I'm so behind, even on the two, yes only two, Christmas cards I'd intended to mail out.  After I got over the nice but too unrealistic idea that I'd send Christmas cards out to everyone who'd expressed greetings of some fashion or another when my father passed.  Yeah right, I could hardly find cards I liked this year, and I've not gotten cards out but minimally ANY year since M's birth.

The third Christmas card had to wait until after my mom's December birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!!!).  I had intended to bake her a cake, then buy a really great tasting one I'd gotten to sample, get her flowers plus gifts.  Nicely, we postponed thee celebration to later this week when her favorite restaurant is open.  We had her birthday card in plenty of time, somehow, and one gift.  I had her SRO 2007 sweatshirt all folded and ready to bring her, forgot it.  (She was polite in her annoyance at that.  Is she grasping the stress I've been under and trying to dissipate, or was she just happy from church, and to see M again?  I actually enjoyed our visit yesterday, and was glad to talk some with Bob, too.)

M complained about her selection of clean pants (jeans or cords) on Friday.  She who complains, gets to start doing more laundry!  Hehe.  She had the singing portion of her Cinderella auditions, and wanted to look nice (she did), the reading audition the day before.  Yeah, okay, she's also grown more, and one pair had a zipper break.  I did pick her up two pairs on Friday lunchtime, that sigh, do NOT fit and need returning now.  M's grown too tall for the older girls section, and isn't quite yet tall enough for some pants selections in the junior selections. 

We were also both hormonal oh joy we're in synch now.

The previous weekend, with M away, I slept Saturday; it felt good to not interact with the world and regroup.  I joked with my aunt that what I wanted for Christmas was a way to keep the water in the tub warm for as long as I wanted.  Sunday, though, I started missing Dad and M, and feeling overwhelmed with what I had to catch up on from having been away the previous weekend and then a full week of, well, work and M's school and schoolwork.  I didn't get laundry or other things done I'd intended.  I'm allowed a day of the duldrums just gosh, I don't have the time for that!

I did make it out to Target that Sunday evening, which felt almost as if I was intruding on the workers restocking and straightening the store.  Glad I got out in fresh air (more rain), without too many people.  We had gifts needed and likely pet food.  My dance group's fantastic Christmas party was last week, with singing of carols and a fun gift exchange.  It's NOT to be missed.  It was such a struggle to get organized sufficiently to GET to, but as always was well worth it (gifts, food, clothes! where ARE my Christmas sweaters/ turtlenecks I still don't know).

Since before our trip to Atlanta, we've been re-looking at "the next 4 years," aka, high school options.  Admittedly, I've been researching that for years.  I even spent a lot of time this past weekend talking with parents, even though the decision time for applying for magnet school programs is gone.  (At least I know we're not moving into Dad's house, a different high school district, nor are we going private school.)  Still, this was too important of an overall decision, some of M's input was not realistic to truly consider and I'd explain to her why, and some were really good points I had to consider.  I felt so behind and rushed this fall, so caught up in my father's things and the other details of M's current schooling (what good points DOES the "annoying" boy have for affirmations they'll all get, what gift for Toys for Tots should she bring, how is alleluia spelled and why does the ending differ from the word hallelujah, papers and science seminar on, ironically, adolescent brain development and sleep requirements, and what cereals for her presentation, and fantasy football continuing, and the really great detailed job she's doing on her mermaid marionette along with it's weekly development).  FYI --

We DID decide, in time, to NOT have her apply for ANY of the great public high school magnet programs (ends up, she only had an interest in the one -- she herself tried to shadow someone a year ago but they somehow won't let people visit the programs until after applying, huh?).  I was a bit disappointed, yet her home high school is not only close by, it is a good school.  Putting pressure on my ADD child to finish her homework, even non-challenging homework, within the time limits non-ADD children can, is not realistic.  Having her get up almost 2 hours earlier than currently, to catch a bus to get to the other high school with the International Baccauleaurate (sp!) program, 5 days a week, or drive that much further from her dad's home on those mornings, would have her TOO sleep deprived.  It's not realistic.  Don't think I haven't been talking with teachers and parents and students THERE these past several years, also.  Last? week's The Washington Post (or Gazette but I think "the" Post), showed details of The Challenge Index.  Tests and rankings cannot and do not show the entire pros or cons of a school.  I'm still pleased.  M's home high school is still within the top 3-5% of high schools in the NATION for percentage of students / # of IB and AP tests taken.  It has a great drama department she's already interested in, good AP programs, an equestrian club, sports and such, knows some others who will attend just likely not in the same classes, right HERE.  Her current principal agrees with me on my assessment, of the sleep requirement and the home high school, pointing out a Ulysses or Oddyseey program, something.  This principal knows M well.  M will do fine, nah, she'll do GREAT!

We used to read a Christmas book nightly, listen to Christmas cd's, some in particular one that follows along with a book, and/or sing carols before M went to sleep.  I need to re-institute some of that.  At least she's had an Advent calendar up, and she decorated a tree with lights and garland and plastic ornaments (safer with the cats).  I found the wreath holder ha.  The season is here NOW, it's both hard to face this year, and something I wish to get absorbed into.

So much of my dad's stuff to deal with. 

Sometimes, life itself is a struggle. 

An ADD example of M's:  she had a bit second draft literary analysis paper due today on the book Secret Life of Bees.  She worked on that last Wednesday and last Thursday, me worried as it was originally due last Friday.  M thought she told me it was changed to today.  After hours spent on that, she remembers she needs to do something for FRIDAY.  Friday day, M works more on her re-write.  I am so glad that she's dedicated and wants to stay on top of her homework and do well with it.  At the end of the day, she'll go to the "board," and verify what school work she has the following day or upcoming, and make sure she brings home those folders / schoolbooks.  Except Friday, she'd put her paper back in her locker, not enough time to get it into her folder, so it was left in her locker.  Nicely, "the barn" is co-located, and someone had a key, and she got her paper.  We DID have what she wrote up to Thursday night electronically, yet she'd made a lot of changes since.  Earlier last week, M had a retake of her Algebra test (hoping to get that A instead of the solid B).  She KNEW what to do, she MEANT to do it, but she simply forgot to go back and shade in a quadrant.  Oy.

I'm going off on a tangent.  AH, well.  Rambling, I know. 

The power was out at my mom's last night, but is on now.  The winds were up to 50 mph.  The weather's been a factor lately in many lives, and I've wanted to write something about that.

And about the other corn-syrup eggnogs we found and taste-tested. 

And the movie, p.s. I love you -- great movie, btw!!!  M danced at a preview / premiere showing of it one night last week, then we were invited to stay and watch it.  It's not released officially until December 21st.  "We laughed, we cried," said another dance parent.  Three great men in it oh yeah that was nice to see, admittedly.  Hillary (Hilary?) Swank? is great.  It's not as cutesy lighthearted as the previews make it seem.  It IS okay for almost 13-year olds, except perhaps the quite backside shot of the cute guy from Grey's Anatomy whose character had been the fiance of Katherine Hiegl's (sp) character.  Anyway, in some ways, it's a primer on how to grieve, and move on.  That was helpful for me, who IS moving on while it takes time, too, and that's all okay.

E-mails?  Alerts?  Ha.  I MEAN to.  I like staying in touch with my friends online here.  I'm finding I just cannot like I wish to.  Not right now.  So forgive me if I've missed your journal lately, or your e-mail with a subject line looking like a journal alert. 

I'm way behind.  Sometimes, I feel as if I cannot keep up.  Sometimes my head feels in a vise without the intensity of pain, as if it needs caffeine or something to soak in, and get the neurons or whatever working properly again.   Then I relook at things -- and [take some minute charge] make homemade applesauce, or M made thee really great peppermint bark in a pinch while I waited over an hour to rent a car for the weekend, did I mention mine is dying again??? (even her big crush asked her details on how to make the peppermint bark! while they were otherwise SILENT (sitting apart) in the back seat lol).  I'm getting a handle on important things again, like clean laundry.  And touching base with some.  It's bit of a handle.  I'm trying.  Just forgive me, please, if I don't "get there," and know I'm trying to balance our lives and not struggle TOO much while doing so.  Know that if I've visited and cared about you and your life in the past, I don't care any less now.  IM me if you see me on, and if I have time (as I keep AOL up in the background often), I'd be happy to chat.


While I have the service station to call and a store to return those not-fitting pants I got for M as I need the money back.........  among other things, but I'm trying to keep the to-do list short enough so that I can accomplish SOMETHING on it!  Really, don't put EVERYTHING on it or it's overwhelming and who knows where to start.  Break it down into smaller things.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Welcome to Atlanta: Soundbites from SRO 2007

"Welcome to Atlanta."  Everyone, including the homeless, were very hospitable in Atlanta.  One of the bellhops at our hotel said this to us, as he opened the doors.

"I've been to this hotel three times hoping to find see someone!"  V, as she and M ran up to hug each other hello.

"Ahhhhhhhh, look, look!"  Various dancers from M's school, as they discovered the surprise ad in the program book, with all of their baby photos in it, and were excited to share it with the others in their school.

"How come you can go three states away, and you still know people?"  A friend, LF, who was dining with others from his adult, mixed 4-hand ceili team, after we did a quick hug and "kiss, kiss" greeting.  He and I both laughed, while I used his cell phone to call M at the Decades Party as mine couldn't get a signal inside that restaurant.  M, OHBoy, and Am went to the party, but an hour into it, they were bored with the d.j. switching from playing decades music.  I'm glad their was that option, however.  Many then went into the pool and hot tub.

"Do you know if there's a dance store around here?"  A parent who didn't realize her daughter needed black tights, not bubble socks (which an Oireachtas vendor DID carry).

"Do you know what those numbers mean by the Round numbers?"  OHBoy's mother asked on Saturday, and I couldn't recall at the time.  Later, I remembered and told her that it indicates the competitor # that the particular round will start with.  For example, if there are 76 dancers in a competition, 1-76, for Round 1, they may start with competitor # 17.  This would mean that they'd go competitor #'s 17-76, then competitor #'s 1-16.  Round 2 would start with a different competitor #, ditto for Round 3.

"Care for a Moonpie?"  Z&B himself, to a woman as we watched figures teams.  Some of ours did well, some not as well.  (Friday night, M and V were the first official recipients of the first official Moonpies for the SRO 2007.  I promised Z&B, however, that I'd not share his photo publically.)

"Where can we cross?"  Various LSU, Tenn, and SRO fans, who were somehow surprised to discover that Atlanta had their BIG Christmas parade Saturday morning.  "It's scheduled to end at noon; can you watch and wait 9 more minutes?"  Some could.  M was too excited inside, absorbing the Oireachtas itself, seeing her friends dance and others.  I didn't wish to come to Atlanta and not see any of it.  "The" parade passed in front of the Oireachtas hotel, down Peachtree, so I did catch about 25 minutes of it.  (I don't believe I've ever seen so many adults in solid orange, including jeans, nor in purple with yellow.  Teams, I tell you, Irish Dance school teams, and the SEC football teams.)

"We want to surprise our granddaughters."  Grandparents of young Maple Irish Dance School dancers, whom I overheard in the street outside, and I pointed them to the tall tower of the Westin building and showed them the stage schedule.  I heard that they later asked, inside, "Can you help me find where the Maple Leafs are performing?"  They arrived in time.

"You're the ones with the baby pictures?"  The mother of a U13 boy who got 9th place at Nationals this past summer, and had feised with M later in the summer (him sweeping).  Not clear if anyone else from his school attended or not, but his parents and I chatted briefly again.  I also talked with the mother of a local U13 boy from another ID school.

"Wow!"  OlderJ's mother, as we sat in the balcony overlooking his stage.  He'd just performed his traditional set dance, The Hunt.  WOW indeed, just absolutely amazing.  Enough to impress his own mother even:) 

"I'm so happy for you, I could cry."  Dancer from our school, literally crying for her friends Saturday night for having recalled AND qualified for National.  One of our friends did not recall, okay with it for having been injured a bit ago and this her first Oireachtas, and was excited for recalling with her figures team.  Sunday night, the crying girl's first Oireachtas, SHE was recalled, wiping her eyes onstage.  Ahh:)

"We waited this long, for THIS?"  A mother yelling at her daughter.  The girl had had her competition number posted as having recalled, but she was not called onto the stage.  The daughter then hid a bit, waringly, behind a friend, as her mother approached the stage and signed the girls competitor #.  "Sorry, we overlooked one dancer.  [first and last name], competitor # [#], got [placement].  Please come up on the stage."  She received her medal then, and I clapped hard as did some others.  I still feel badly for her.

"I just want what's fair."  A TCRG, who ended up discussing the results of a particular competition with a director of the SRO 2007.  I appreciate that this TCRG did this, not just for the dancer in that TCRG's ID school, who questioned the results, as this TCRG was as concerned about other dancers not in her school, also, but in general.  There was some blatant concern, and there was a strong appearance of politics.  Was there, or was there not?  DID it still work out, mathematically?  This TCRG is going via proper channels to see.  Nothing against the dancer being questioned, however, who is a fantastic dancer with a not best day, nor the dancer's family, nor that dancer's ID school, so I won't post further details publically.  It is, however, a "sound bite" I take from this Oireachtas, as having importance along with some related conversation.

"Did you hear what happened to me?"  OHBoy, Sunday, rather brightly, after we YAWN, missed his first (hard shoe) round.  He was all prepared for dancing Hornpipe.  Thankfully, he didn't dance first in his hard shoe round, and was able to discover, hey, they are playing jigs, and dancing jigs.  Ma was there, Ma was somehow seemingly at every single competition for her dancers this weekend, and if not, tried to.  Apparently, she was able to talk with OHBoy, and hey, he'd learned a third jig step a couple weeks ago, and danced what he knew.  He seemed okay with it.  He'd prepared his reel and traditional set (usually, for boys competitions, there are so few competitors, that all recall and must be prepared to dance a traditional set).  I watched his competition, and the U13 boys (two have danced at feiseanna with M in the past).  OHBoy ended up placing 5th, qualifying for Nationals, and getting a sash.  He even broke a smidgen of a smile going up on stage Sunday night for this.

"Just so you know, K didn't recall.  I know y'all know what to do."  "Should I go talk with her?"  Ah, LessConformingGirl's dad told us the news.  LCGirl didn't recall, either, even if she AND K both truly looked good just with really tough competition.  K was a little sad during awards that night.  LCGirl had told me Saturday night that it was over for her.  I talked with her, sincerely.  Not because of my talk,but in general, she was fine by Sunday when we heard K had not recalled.  At least K's 4-hand team recalled:)

"'re not competing against others, you're competing against yourself."  A mother I overheard talking with a girl she was walking with, presumably her daughter after not recalling.  While I agree generally that one competes against oneself, this IS technically a competition against others, and so the Oireachtas is a bit of both.  Not sure if that matters, though.  The girl was calm, and was obviously supported emotionally by her mother.  THAT is what counts more.

"So, if there are only three groups in Choreography, do they automatically get at least third?"  Another parent, basically trying to figure out if her son would need to be in costume and present for awards Sunday night.  M's team did a great job.  Basically, it's a lot of work to create and prepare a choreography or a dance drama, including a lot of practice time in addition to any other practices and dances learned.  That's part of the reason that there were only three entries in their age range (U-15).  The school who won first, to me, clearly won that first.  The school that won second could have tied with M's school, from what I could tell (slight lineup issue once each).  Beautiful, nicely done, yet with arm movements that I didn't know if it should have been more in dance drama or not, vice choreography.  The five judges were under no requirement to award placement to all who competed.  M's team did get up there and performed well, fit the rules of the competition, and did earn their award.  They received third.  Even if it's out of three potential placements, they earned that third place.

"That's the best we've ever danced it."  The other girl in the mixed 4-hand ceili of M's.  They really did look good.  Both Ma and FiguresTeacher were surprised that their team didn't recall.  I am, also.  Ah, well.  Five judges.  Theirs was the only jig, so danced alone and not with another team.  They were disappointed but okay.


Please note:  No photos, still or video, are allowed of competitions during competitions.  This was taken AFTER the judges rang the bell, releasing the dancers off stage and completing their competition.  I'm still proud:)  (Also, the date stamp is wrong, sigh, OHBoy's mother thought she had auto-flash on her camera but it was off and she had no photos (I sent her some), and I had M's digital camera and didn't know at the time how to take off or fix the incorrect date.  Hey, we're not from the technologically-savvy generations!)

"Is that your medal?  Don't lose it, your thousand dollar medal."  "Thousand dollar medal?"  "Yes, that's about what it cost [to travel here]."  Parents and dancers after awards, dance gear and medals strewn about, while waiting for two Nationally-qualifying friends to pick up their results / scores.

"Can we go up the tower?"  It was one "Atlanta" thing I could have M do, other than visiting "the" Underground for food (basically a mall like Crystal City underground, just smaller I think).  They went up to the Sundial, a restaurant that spins around 73 floors up, and M and others could view Atlanta lit up at night.  For the most part, the elevators were insanely not even worth waiting for.

"Inspire, not intimidate."  MegaMAID on Sunday night, after some dancers and parents had gathered for ice cream.  MegaMAID is hopeful that is how the dancers who came to SRO 2007 feel.

"Welcome to Washington."  Me, as the Floridian next to us woke up after we landed at Washington Reagan National Airport. Later, I saw her change out of her flip flops.

"I liked your choreography."  A National-qualifying dancer from another local ID school, who flew in on the same flight as us.  She'd tried to be discrete as she turned her head to read the ID school name printed going down M's sleeve.

"I preferred it [the weather in] in Atlanta."  M Monday afternoon, as we battled 40-50 mph winds while taking our luggage to my vehicle.  "I can feel the moisture in the air."  Also M, who noticed like I did and others as to how very dry it felt in the hotels in Atlanta.  We're home, and that feels good, too.  (For the record, today it SNOWED!!!)

And, then the non-sound moments worth remembering: 

The practially fainting anticipation of a parent, practically sliding down the post she was leaning against, then happiness, as we waited to hear her daughter's name called.  And waited.  And waited.  The announcer starts with the recalled dancer who placed furthest, leading up to those who placed first (sometimes after calling up those who are in the very top top).  Every name called that was not her daughter's name, meant one placement higher.  Finally, this girls name was called, barely into the Nationally-qualifing dancers for her competition.  Their goal this year.

The big, sincere hug from friend LF after I went up to congratulate him and his ceili-teammates on their 1st place win. 

The surprise on the face of the champion dancer who won the competition that appeared questionable, again, a superb dancer of apparent good character just as the others in that competition are, as far as I know, just seemed potentially political. 

The trying not to be sad face of K during awards, who brightened when her friend, also a K, sat with her, them playing "draw a letter on my back and I'll guess what it is" quiet games, happily. 

The entrancement of, and standing ovation by, the audience watching the Billy the Kid dance drama.  "Udderly" fantastic.

The beaming faces on M, and others, after going on stage for their Southern Region Oireachtas 2007 medals.  (Seems the boys didn't make it onstage -- there were I believe 16 dancers total.)