Complete the interview with Todd, and then off to the well hidden IJA business meeting. There is no notice indicating where it is taking place, and the festival program lists the wrong location. I have to ask Steve Salberg to find it. Someone goes to announce the location on the largely inaudible PA system, with little result. Perry opens the meeting by announcing that since we do not have a quorum, no business can be transacted. Some of the officers report, some of the candidates, self included, rear up on their hind legs and make speeches. Most of us are concerned about the declining membership of the IJA.
Martin Frost proposes moving the meeting to the gym to get a quorum, but Perry decides not. We discuss the possibility of giving Doubble Troubble a retrospective gold medal. The board will talk about it later. I raise the issue of goals for the festival: profit vs. attendance. There is much discussion, which is basically inconclusive. There is a lot of concern expressed about the lack of communication from the board, and declining membership (again). It is pointed out that rooms in blocks of ten are now available at a little more than half what we are paying the IJA. Someone says that it would be a good idea if someone were to be made responsible for marketing the IJA to jugglers. Paul Kyprie, the retiring IJA marketing officer, declines to comment.
Return to the gym to ask people to vote for me. Ask Ngaio to vote for me. "Actually, man, I'm not a member." Ask him if he has a badge to get into the gym. "Yes." Fishes under sweater. "It doesn't have my name on it though." Register some shock, fortunately not expressed, that the MC of the IJA Championships has not bothered to pay his dues this year. Decide I have met the decline in membership.
Meanwhile, cohorts in the r.j party steering committee are buying beer and munchies, and attempting to establish a link to the net. Promised local net connection fails to work, so I go over to party room to try to download latest news from my service provider, a long distance call to Oakland. With the party looming, in desperation pull out disk for ten free hours on AOL from recesses of computer bag where it was awaiting recycling. VegasParty@aol.com and PartyVegas@aol.com are both taken, so settle on IJAVegas@aol.com. Discover the amount of time it will take to download the aol web browser, make one more attempt to contact Oakland, and finally succeed. Download news and e-mail, then disconnect and crank up off line newsreader.
People are starting to arrive at the party. We are in a 'hospitality suite', with a fridge, view of the pool, tables and genuine leather look plastic chairs. Apparently the hotel is to be bulldozed, soon to make way for something a little more... expensive. Meet a number of people who look nothing like their .sig files. Qarin Van Brink provides a local internet connection that works and we join #juggle in IRC. There is nobody else there. Various people contribute to a post. Tony Duncan demonstrates how to stack three silicone balls on a table and keep the stack upright by only holding the top ball.
Tarim appears on #juggle, to general rejoicing. Expressions of mutual respect cross the Atlantic. Tarim asks how many people we are expecting at the festival. About six hundred. Claire, apparently from Tarim's house, comments that they get more than that at their local workshop. We consider this to be a slight exaggeration. Expressions of mutual disrespect cross the Atlantic.
We get about fifty people to the party. One board member wanders in claiming to have an e-mail address, and wonders if we can find it somehow so they can have a sticky label like everyone else.
Hear that I have not been elected to the board. I am disappointed, but feel a certain amount of relief that I will not have to attend next year's festival in Rapid City, South Dakota. Personally I do not see the appeal of being bussed two miles from the dorm to the gym in the sweltering heat of Badlands in summer. I hear the rock climbing around there is real good though, which makes it a great location for a juggling convention. Throw in a marina and a golf course, and there would be no need to juggle at all.
Crowded on return onto gym. The room is really too small, most of the people in here seem to be standing around talking, not juggling. There are two workshops about to take place, one on the future of the IJA, and one given by the Qian brothers. Hope that the future of the IJA is not an oxymoron, and decide to eat, instead. Hit the buffet with Adam Adler, and talk about jugglers who were IJA champions when he was in kindergarten. he seems to know more about them than I do.
On returning to the gym, find the space alien, who turns out to be called Donald Grant, giving a diabolo workshop. Alas, an ill considered pirouette causes him to fall and sprain his thumb on a chair. He continues with the workshop, dipping his thumb into a cup of ice between tricks. His control of two diabolos is unsurpassed.
Martin Frost tells me that he has just seen the Passing Zone get a qualifying run with eleven clubs.
Wander out with Ngaio and friends. Was shocked, shocked, shocked to discover that all Ngaio's dope humor does have some small basis in fact. Back to the gym feeling hungry. Watch Boppo throwing five club back crosses.
Club Renegade is much better tonight. After almost every act, the Recap (Frank Olivier and Henrik Bothe) rush on stage and parody it. Butterfly flutters round the edge of the stage disrupting the action until finally Donald very movingly dedicates a toothbrush manipulation routine to him.