Monday July 17th

Sleep disturbed by the people in the next room, who appear to think that TV should be in operation at high volume twenty four hours a day. Speculate that incessant TV in US culture may fill the same role as lead in ancient Roman plumbing, causing brain damage, madness, and the eventual fall of the Imperium. Perhaps this has already happened?

Neighbors also receive wake up call at 6 am, also 6:05, 6:10, 6:20, 6:30 and 6:40. By ten to seven security are hammering on their door to make sure they are awake. Give up on further sleep at this point, and go to breakfast at the buffet. $5 buys an awful lot of fairly good food. The only other juggler up that early is Jen Salberg, sneaking out for a few minutes as a grown up while Alex is asleep.

The last paragraph was interrupted by stopping to watch Francoise juggle. She juggles four batons with an effortless pirouette after every four throws, then five and finally six. She uses a fountain pattern for six, switching several times from synch to asynch in a single run, and stopping when she gets bored. As I type she is working on seven - she uses a Velcro holster to hold the seventh stick at the start. Salberg is counting catches, and tells me that at least one run makes it to fourteen catches... Eighteen... Nineteen with a clean finish!

Earlier today Butterfly was wandering around giving out buttons that say "Don't even start" to his friends. Have no idea what this means, but dutifully wear one anyway. A new edition of JW comes out, this one eight pages slimmer, and lacking a letters section. I note with some relief that a corrected set of annual accounts for 1994 has been published.

Spend a fair amount of time talking with Perry and Bud Markowitz. I try to be as positive as possible and emphasize out common ground, which is not inconsiderable. I suggest to Perry that in future years it might be a good idea to let an accountant check the IJA accounts before publishing them instead of after, and it sounds as if this might well happen. We disagree mainly on issues of disclosure. My impression is that Perry feels the IJA business should be private by default, whereas my view is that everything should be open unless there are legal or humanitarian reasons for secrecy. We agree to differ - and will discuss this further at the business meeting tomorrow.

Perry is particularly unwilling to publicly discuss the fact that a bonus is paid to the festival coordinator which is a percentage of the festival profits, on the grounds that it is the board's business how people get paid. Since this has already been posted to rec.juggling, it seems a little academic at this point.

Interview Todd Strong for rec.juggling. We take it in turns typing questions and answers. Since I have to wander off to talk to Perry, he starts making up the questions as well. He asks stuff I was about to ask, but is a lot less polite than I would have been.

John Gilkey is here, head newly shaved and glistening, and is planning to compete in the Seniors. We discuss the election with the Bakalors. Sue suggests that I hand out lollipops with my name on them, like they do for student representatives at junior high schools. I respond that I do not want to win the election by handing out lollipops, that's not what it's about. In fact, that's a very poor example of politics to set for our young people - democracy through tooth decay.

Have a pleasant conversation with Boppo, then off with the Bakalors to see Dick Franco at Circus Circus. He is on form tonight, even though he has not performed his 'Vegas Juggler' routine for a couple of years. Three and four balls, five to seven rings, three and four clubs and one to three ping pong balls, all performed flawlessly, and with tremendous style and energy. There is not a drop or a fumble in the entire routine. As we are walking over to say hello to him afterwards, one of the general public sitting next to us asks "Is he any good?"

I stop at Treasure Island on the way back to try to pick up my ticket to Cirque du Soleil, but the box office closes ten minutes before I get there, mainly because we spent about twenty minutes wondering round Circus Circus attempting to find which of the half a dozen parking lots we had left the car in. I admire the set for the full scale naval battle which is enacted five times a day, but decide not to wait for the cannon fire.

Club Renegade is disappointing. There are several bad acts, but mixed among the other bad acts. Finally there is something worth watching - a team tennis ball and canister act. That is followed by a funny but sometimes cruel parody of last night's dinner and show. I hope that none of the German performers are offended by any of this. Finally there is a club swinging routine, let by Butterfly Man, with Graham Ellis and Henrik Bothe backing him. Butterfly had far more fun arguing with Ngaio about what sort of music should be played and how ugly his mother looks than swinging clubs. This is the funniest part of the show, after which, thankfully, it ends.

As usual, matters of spelling and fact are to be regarded as approximations only. At this stage in the convention syntax is starting to go, too.