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  [News]
Old News - 1999

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Happy Holidays! December 26, 1999. I guess between the relatively warm weather and work, it is hard to believe Christmas has already come and gone. I was never really prepared for it. Oh well, next year, I'll start early and get cards out. I promise!! Either that, or I will be adding "Stop Procrastinating" back to my list of New Year's resolutions again...

Speaking of which, I have actually been doing a good job of getting things done this year, but as usual when it comes to dates, I procrastinated... I have season tickets to the Shakespeare theater in DC and waited till less than a week before the next play to find a date. Next up, "A Missummer Night's Dream". Perhaps I can get Puck to give me one of those enchanted flower petals??? Not that they would help. I would still have to find Miss Right first, and once I do, I would not need them would I? I am tall dark and handsome, can dance, have a good job, stable, can cook, my own place and am not glued to Monday night football. Not such a bad list of qualifications! But for all of my flirting with friends out dancing, I really do not chase all of the women. Am I too picky or too blind to all of the nice women out there? Oh well, lightening will strike some day. *chuckle*

So, besides work and dancing, what else have I been doing? Impulse shopping as usual. This year I really got into photography. I started off with a nice camera and have ended up with half of a camera store on my living room floor. More lenses, filters, camera bodies and accessories than I can carry at one time, and some of them seemingly larger than any gun the Terminator ever carried. Next up? I'm going to try developing my own black and white photos at home! I wish I had gotten into photography a long time ago. I have some pictures from late in college but almost none from high school. I really started to regret that as I was looking up old friends and trying to remember names and faces. I found a alumni pages for my old high schools (Groveton High Schooland Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Tehcnology, class of 1986). I will not let more time go by without capturing it any more!

Enough rambling... My pages are long enough. Probably about time to give them an overhaul. I will just add that to the list of projects to get done next year! Happy Holidays!


Austin, Texas? July 20, 1999. Atlanta, New Orleans, DC, Austin . . . Interesting week. Well, it looks like I will be in Austin for a while for a new project at work. All done with Atlanta finally. So, anyone know of any good places for couples C/W and Swing dancing in Austin? How about great instructors and maybe even women to practice or compete with?!?!?


More Golds! June 28, 1999. Ok, 3 more Golds! This time in Cha-cha, Two-Step and West Coast Swing with Dawn Garrish at the Colorado Country Classic. Unfortunately I need to dance in 4 dances to qualify for overall division placement. Meaning if I want to try to get that 1st place overall award, rather than just placements in each individual dance, I need to add Waltz for the next competition . . . Hmmm, think I can get it ready for the next competition in 2 weeks?


Me winning Gold at Eastern Dance Invitational, May 1999

Golds! May 9, 1999. I finally did it. I entered my first real competition! I had done informal Jack and Jill contests before, but nothing really like the formal UCWDC comps. Last week was my first attempt at ProAm Adult Novice division at the Eastern Invitational dance competition. I was nervous, my knees felt like jello and I completely blew my practice dance that morning . . . I was not sure I was going to even be able to remember my routines much less do them correctly, stand up straight, smile and act like I was having fun while doing them, etc . . . But, somehow it all worked out. I took Golds in both dances I entered -- Two-Step and West Coast Swing! I Hmmm, not bad for my first time out. Of course I guess this means I have to keep it up from now on while still adding routines for the other dances . . .

So now it is time to work on the rest. This past week I started working on Cha-Cha and Waltz. If all goes well, I will be able to do 4 dances within the next couple of months so I can aim for overall division placement. I am still not sure if I will have all of them ready before the Denver competition, but at least by Chesapeake!

Oh yeah, for those wondering . . . Yes, I am wearing a HAT. Shocking as it may be, I actually have a picture of myself in a cowboy hat on my home page now. No, I still do not like wearing it out for social dancing, but it is required for competition. If it was not, I would ditch it in a heart beat -- I do not care how many girls tell me they like it! I am just not a hat person.


Atlanta, GA! April 7, 1999. Yes, I am down in Atlanta for a bit. Actually I will be in and out of here for the next few months working at a client site on another data warehousing system. Now, the first couple of nights looked pretty bleak. I could not find anywhere to go dancing. Then, Wednesday night at "Cowboys"... FUN! The place is huge! It could swallow up all the DC C/W bars at once. Fortunately, I happened to find where the dance crowd hangs out as soon as I got there. They kept me busy the whole night and told me about some other dances during the week I should check out. So, with any luck I'll have places for West Coast Swing, Shag and Country while I am down here!

As for the rest of the city, well . . . What else is there to see? I found places to go dance! Ok, maybe I will get out and try to see some of it while I am down here. We'll see . . . Actually I also need to check out the local juggling clubs too. :-)

Speaking of juggling, I picked up a new version of the digial video editing software and I had my camcorder fixed. With any luck I will be working on the contact juggling tutorial. I figure if I shoot a clip, cature it to my computer and take it with me to Atlanta, then during the week when I'm not out dancing or juggling I can work on the next lesson. I would be happy to get one done every week or two. I'm not making any promises, but we will see.


Happy New Year! February 2, 1999. Ok, so I'm a little late saying so . . . It seems that for New Year's Eve I was in San Antonio at the World's VII C/W Dance Championships! Between limping around on sore feet, I pretty much danced every chance I got. The last night I was up dancing and flirting till about 6am or so. Headed back to the hotel, shower, change and just went right to the airport for a 7:30 flight. Who needs sleep when there's a floor, music and women? I was sore for the next week, but I cannot wait to do it again!

Next up will be competitions in Williamsburg and New York in February and March. I have competed in some of the informal contests (Jack and Jills), but I hope to actually start UCWDC competition in March. I will be entering ProAm, Novice Division, starting with Two-Step and West Coast Swing.

Other than that, the new year is starting off well in other ways. A different date each week is not too bad, although it would be nice to find just one . . . Hmmm, who this week?

I would like to say other projects are progressing as well, but I have not put any work into the Contact Juggling video or refinishing my floors (a project I started almost a year ago). Some day . . .

Not much other news. Dancing, dining, dating, etc . . . Sending e-mails to all my married college friends reminding them what fun single life can be! *chuckle* Anyway, Happy New Year!

Raymond Bowers


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Old News / Ray's Home Away From Home / ray@bowers.com / April 16, 2000