Orchestra "Opening Night" in Kansas City

I woke up in Omaha and still couldn't get the Internet to work. It shows that I'm getting a strong signal but I cannot get the window to pop up that requires me to accept the terms and sign on. So I'm stuck in limbo with a strong signal that I can't reach.

In the morning, before leaving Omaha, I stopped to fill up with gas. The first pump I stopped at didn't seem to work. I couldn't get past entering my credit card information and it kept defaulting back to Swipe Your Card. So I changed to a different pump and it was fine.

I stopped at Petco, which was just around the corner, to get a new bag of River's food. And then I went back to the motel to fill the ice chest with a bucket of ice to keep the raw meat cold.

Our last stop in Omaha was at a park. River hadn't gotten much time to run on some good green grass, so when I saw this park, we had to stop. It only takes about 15 or 20 minutes for River to get his fill and soon we were on the road.

Shortly after hitting the highway, I found myself in Iowa. And not long after that, entered into Missouri.

I was sort of surprised, not knowing the exact formation of the states, that I never passed through Kansas. So, actually, this whole year, I will never make it to Kansas. I could've easily made a trip over the state line while I was in Kansas City, MO, but that felt artificial. I wouldn't count it unless I actually stopped for a reason in Kansas.

The closer I got to Kansas City, the more I started thinking about BBQ. Eventually, I saw a sign on the highway for Bandana's BBQ, so I pulled off and ordered a beef plate to go. River waited patiently in the car while I waiting inside the restaurant for my order.
Inside Bandana's lobby was a big sign with 35 uses for a cowboy's bandana. I stood and looked at it while they heated up my food. I didn't make an effort to memorize it, but now, a day later, I'm curious how many of the 35 I can come up with:
1. decorative clothing accessory
2. keep the sun off your neck
3. blow your nose
4. as a mask for a disguise
5. as a mask to keep dust out of your nose and mouth
6. a tourniquet
7. a poultice
8. to filter dirty water or coffee
9. to tie your hat down in the wind
10. as a blinder for a spooked horse to lead him out of a burning barn
11. a cover to keep bugs off your food
12. something for a lady to sit on so as not to get her dress dirty
13. to tie back a cowgirl's hair
14. a flyswatter
15. as a muzzle for a dog or a horse
16. ...
I didn't do as well as I thought. I am not even sure I read all 35 on the list. As I said, I was just casually looking at it.

I took my hot food and got back on the highway for about twenty more minutes until I found a rest area where I could use a picnic table and let River run around. It was a hot day, so he basically plopped down on the ground near the table, where I had laid his blanket and waited for me to eat.
I blogged about the food here.

It was only about another half an hour to my motel room.  I arrived just at three, which is check in time. Sometimes, when I arrive this early, they don't have my room ready and I have to wait, but today, they were ready and I got right in.

Just as I was loading up the room, a whole group of kids ran across the street onto a lush grassy area and started exercising in formation. I wondered if it was a P.E. class, but they didn't seem to be all the same age, plus it's the middle of summer. Then I thought maybe it was some sort of ROTC training or Junior Fireman training. They started with some stretches and the next time I looked at them, they were taking turns carrying each other. One guy was doing squats with a big guy on his back while the crowd cheered him on. The next time I looked at them was when I took River out for his feeding and they were doing sprints. It was 90 degrees as humid. They were all drenched with sweat. About an hour after they started, they were finished and they all ran back across the street from whence they came.

All day I thought my evening class started at six, but when I got out of the shower I double checked and learned it was actually not until 7pm, so I had some time to chill out before heading downtown.

Tonights class was a special one. The Orchestra routine was a joint effort between me and Brown Belt, Marcelle Rudnick. We worked together for a solid two months through video and email and miraculously put this routine together without ever speaking or being in the same room. Tonight we planned to co-teach the routine. It would be the first time we have been together since starting the project and I had taught it myself about a dozen times. But this felt like Opening Night in a way, since both of its creators were going to be presenting their contribution.

We almost didn't have an event in Kansas City. No one seemed to be in the right place to be host. But Marcelle wasn't going to accept Orchestra not coming to KCMO, so at the last minute, she arranged it and promoted it heavily. We ended up with a very full room.

It was so delightful to see Marcelle teaching her parts. I loved how she taught something a little bit different than what we had settled on when we stopped working on it several months ago. I will now incorporate some of her changes into it the next time I teach it.

The students were surprised at how awesome the routine was and how much they sweat and got a workout. The music is such a treat, even just to sit and listen to, but to dance with it is such a profoundly emotionally charged experience.

After class, Marcelle and I had a nice dinner at a fancy French restaurant. It was nice to have real food for a change. I got a chicken paillard and it was cooked perfectly. I even had a creme brulee for dessert.

Kansas City just recently had a White Belt intensive, so there are several brand new White Belts in town, adding a level of excitement and passion to a town that had been floundering in Nia anemia for far too long. After class, Robbie, one of the prominent and prolific KC teachers spoke of having me back for a three day long event next year. I told him things are still up in the air as to whether or not I'd be back on the road next year. But after exciting days like today, it's hard to imagine myself not doing it again.


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