Oh the life I lead.

March 14, 2012 11:44 pm

When the night has come, and the land is dark…

Do I really need to say much further on the title? And darlin’, darlin’ stand by me, oh stand by me….

I don’t know where I’m going with this post. Go with me here.

So as I sit here devoting all of my lunch hour and most of my work day writing critiques of my team, other people’s teams, other people’s mother’s teams… I keep thinking about what an amazing time I had at Elite 8 2012 (that is, aside from being disrupted from an IPA drinking session with some old farts on that JJ team at 4 o’clock in the morning).

Friday night I got to the hotel at like 11:45PM.  Got to spend some quality time with Faizan and Hira that evening.  I woke up and spent the entire day wondering DC.  First with my crew from home, and then with my friend, Drea-who I haven’t seen since my Fordham days.  We spent the entire day doing, well, what Fordham kids do best-drinking, being obnoxiously sarcastic, and wondering around aimlessly.  By the time we finally got to the show, both of us were decently tipsy.

Show itself-amazing.  Simply.  Amazing.  Each team brought it, and did very well. Thoroughly enjoyed every performance.  Honestly my two winners were JJ and NYPD.  Between the two, I couldn’t decide-and I’m not a judge.  I didn’t have to (yay!).  JJ was energetic and clean, and had simple-and some not so simple-elements in the routine that were just phenominal.  NYPD just rocked it… literally.  I didn’t see a single person in the audience who wasn’t cheering.  It was a fun, entertaining routine. 

UNC was CLEAN (note-I noticed that their style’s a bit more reserved… so cleanliness is a little easier than for other teams), and that drum line was a bomb idea-so I respect the judges decision.  I get it.  And don’t get me wrong, I love a drum line as much as anyone else does (band geek for 5 years)… but I just so happen to love flash mobs and 300 more.  Who knew?

Afterparty-SPACIOUS.  Plenty of room to bump and grind… err dhamaal and jugni.  Here’s my one problem with it.  Bumble eff.  Not only is it in bumble eff, but the area surrounding the club wasn’t the best of areas.  We spectators weren’t allowed onto the shuttle, and it was pretty difficult to catch a cab (clearly I wasn’t in SoHo anymore).  So if you took a taxi there, good luck finding one back.  We found one after 5 minutes.  I heard that other groups weren’t so lucky.  But I guess this isn’t E8’s responsibilty… so I digress.

The fire alarm was unfortunate.  The getting a knock on the door and getting kicked out at 7AM was unfortunate.  I couldn’t wake up the people in my room for my life… so I fell back asleep (which I don’t suggest for ANYONE because hotel security could have just as easily knocked on the door and stormed into our room afterward).  A new mental note for any spectators staying in the official hotel-sometimes it’s a bad idea to hop on the “let’s get the discount from the competition” bandwagon. 

I still have to do more critiques.  I still have to do more formations… not to mention I still have my own work to do.  I still have to do…. well, more.  I’m gettin’ old.

On a personal note-I have this image of the white collar Italian-American man working hard, oxford shirt sleeves rolled up, pen in his right hand, and a cigarette/cigar in his left.  In front of him is a table with a stack of papers.  To the left of the papers is an ashtray, and to the right is either a tall glass of red wine, or an espresso.  Any time I think of Martin Scorsese or Mario Gabelli in the moment, I have this image of them.  Maybe this is the mobbed out edition, who’s to say it is or isn’t, but I wanna be that white collar Italian-American man (sans cigarette).  Anytime I have to do work pertaining to the team or other things, I always find myself at Eataly with a latte in front of me (some day I’ll switch… that day is not today), in the same seat at the same table.  You can find me there tomorrow… cause I’m taking the night off!

PS JJ, 143.

PSS Anyone in the DC area, GO TO TED’S BULLETIN right by Eastern Market.  The burgers were delicious, and their adult milkshakes were even better!

11:26 pm

Anyone have Advil? — JD

Please, I need some! So much work!

I decided to work on the mix for 5AB, and it’s coming out pretty well. I don’t understand how some mixers have so much time to actually make a good mix. Right now, I’m almost half way done and I’ve been on and off with this mix for almost a good week now. I wish I could show it to you guys, who ever is following, but…I can’t :( . If you guys are in Colonial Williamsburg on March 31st, you should come and support us. I don’t have much details on it, Joe probably spoke about it, not like I listen anyways….

I’m probably going to start posting on this more often now, mainly because I get bored.. Ok, so I think this spider has a hit on me. I just saw a spider and I blew it away. I don’t want him around me. Now, I think he’s after me… You ever have that weird feeling when you see bugs? Yup, that’s me right now.

That’s enough for now. I’ll post later on ;)

March 13, 2012 8:22 pm
bitches love memes.

bitches love memes.

March 7, 2012 10:37 am

5AB is going to Colonial Williamsburg… Hilarity Will Ensue.

This is going to be all colors of the word “ridiculous.” I’m so excited!!!

February 29, 2012 9:25 pm

askerquestioner

Anonymous: Why are you so hot joseph campanella

I workout! Or at least I do now…

1:59 am

I’ll make my way back home when I learn to fly…

I <3 the Foo Fighters…
Prepare for the longest blog post ever.  I was going to break this up into separate parts, but two of them are kinda intertwined.
 
So I was asked to dance with Gajjdi Jawani @ VPD.  If you don’t know how much I love this team, then you need to scroll below and read about my first time dancing with them… but to spare you, I <3 them.  Each and every one.  They’re too nice and too cute for words.  They’ve really grown on me over the past few months.  Except for that chick Bianca. I dunno how they all put up with her. (JK Love you jori!!!)
 
Anyway.  I went down there for 2 weekends over the past month to learn their choreo, formations, and re-learn their style.  Mind you, I haven’t danced with them since last summer-and even then I just barely was able to adopt their style.  ::Sigh::  Pressure.
 
Friday night I had a family gathering.  I came home from said gathering circa 12:30 AM, and left the house for my 5:00 AM flight the next day to North Carolina.  For some reason I thought it was a good idea to take public transit, and I left asap so this way-God forbid anything-I would still have a decent amount of time.
 
Allow me to please go through my route.  Staten Island Railroad 25 minutes.  Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan 25 minutes.  1 train Chambers usually takes 5 minutes tops, however mine took 20 factoring in the wait.  Path Train to Newark Penn Station from World Trade Center-30ish minutes.
 
Forget the part that I didn’t realize that Newark Penn Station and Newark aren’t the same station, and that I can’t even get the Airtran to the airport from Newark Penn Station.  By the time I got to Newark Penn Station, I ran outside looking for the nearest taxi cab driver who didn’t look like he was going to mug me, simply because I lost all patience.  Yes, I got ripped off for the cab ride… but being that I was in the GHETTO, at least I didn’t get mugged.  I’ll count my blessings.
 
Arrive at Newark Airport at 2:45, and the gates aren’t even open.  Can’t go through security.  Can’t do anything… and at this point I’m starving (you’d think I’d be full from all of the food I had already… NOPE).  For some reason I decide that it’s a good idea to walk all the way across Newark Airport to the 7Eleven that I saw in the cab.  I equated it to a spiritual journey, clearly being delusional.
 
Hop on plane, wanting to fall asleep.  However, to my left you have Snorlax.  And to my right you have some ape like figure who looked like he just escaped from the Bronx Zoo, who was hogging up his seat, part of my seat, and some of the aisle.  Normally I would be pissed, but for some reason I found it hilarious.  Thank God I bought a tablet a few weeks ago that kept me occupied, because otherwise I would have thrown myself off of the plane.
 
Land in Raleigh, get to Durham, tech rehearsals very shortly after.  From tech rehearsals to practice at the studio.  Practice -> Lunch -> Getting ready -> Stage.  Let’s keep in mind at this point I still had no sleep.  It’s a miracle I was able to walk, let alone actually dance.  Thank God for coffee.
 
Performance itself… I’ll put it up for my next post.  It came out good on video.  A few mess ups here and there.  I slipped once, and during the ending song I had a step slip-up.
 
Something occurred to me though.  After the second segment, I felt like I had to puke.  I had all of the energy in the world, but for some reason I wanted to run off stage and puke out every internal organ in my body.  Last time this happened to Fever ‘10, and I’m not quite sure of what had set it off.
 
1st went to UNC, 2nd to FAUJ, and 3rd went to CMU.  Congrats to all the placing teams :-)
 
As FAUJ was performing, I kept yelling their name but pronouncing the “au” as a hard “o”, so it sounded like “FOJE.”  Backstory: 5AB went to Boston and we were in the FAUJ section.  This group of white kids sat next to us and kept yelling their name like this throughout the entire show.  I found it hilarious, and had to keep it up.
 
ESA performed immediately after us, and I didn’t get to see their performance (which sucks because I really wanted to see their performance).  I ran off the stage, thinking I actually was going to puke.  False alarm.
 
A few things ran through my mind while watching/not-watching performances:
1) How did it get to this?  There was a point in high school that I was a star athlete (at 5’6” with a booty and a bit of a tummy-I didn’t look the part, but I was an award winning sprinter and short distance swimmer).  I have the medals and trophies to prove it.  Where was the part that I let myself go and all of a sudden I feel like puking after 2 segments.  Did nerves/lack of sleep get the best of me?  No matter what it was, I’m not happy.  Soooo I started running again.  I switched to diet/whole wheat everything.  There’s gunna be some changes.  I guess this is the point where a bunch of people reading this are like “Told you so”… and to all of you, go f*k yourselves.  Also I’m making Jaideep, aka PartyJatt (aka PartyButt) do this with me.  Why suffer alone?
2) Alan on UNC is going to be the second Asian-American (4th non-desi all together) to compete at Elite, and I couldn’t help but be really excited for him.  I wonder how he’s taking this (note, if you’re reading this-feel free to reply with how you’re feeling).  I remember when AEG did Elite, I was sitting in a corner praying to God and every angel/saint that I can think of off the top of my head slash crapping my chadra… and there’s Scott and Joey looking like they perform at this caliber of a competition in their sleep and they didn’t have a single problem in the world.  Either way, it was cool to be a part of it, and it’s cool to see more non-desis having the opportunity to take part in the show.  It’s like I sad, before the stage is nerve wrecking… but the feeling you get when you walk off stage and really think about the big picture, it’s pretty special.
 
Afterparty: packed.  Forget dancing, or grabbing a drink.  YOU COULDN’T EVEN WALK THROUGH THE CROWD.  Lavesh, Pam (ESA/GMU) and I wound up at some random hipster pool hall (if anyone has ever been to Fat Cat on Christopher Street in New York-think that, without the band, without beer on tab, and even more hipster… and yes, it’s possible).
 
Lavesh and I wound up back at the hotel, where we played chess with the very large pieces in the courtyard.  I openly admit that I suck at chess, and Lavesh was whooping my ass before we decided that it was freezing and went into the room.  We talked with some teammates for however long… I dozed off at some point.
 
What a great weekend, but I think I’m getting too old for the “I don’t need sleep” shpiel.  Nearly every single performance on AEG, I always pulled something pretty close to an all nighter before a performance… and now I just can’t do it.  I’m getting old.
 
As I sat on the plane home, I felt really inspired.  Choreo/formation ideas were flowing in my head.  I have concepts.  I have song ideas.  And as much as I hate choreographing, because it literally takes the life out of me, I’m really excited.  I can’t wait to start teaching it!!!!
January 31, 2012 12:29 am

START IT UP!!

Here we go again.  Choreographing, form stressing… me losing my hair (more so than usual).  It all is happening again, and I couldn’t be more excited.

This is a new beginning.  I’ve learned from my mistakes, and 5AB is moving forward.  We have a new co-captain, Adam (how ironic is it that not a single captain on a team called 5AB is actually Punjabi lol), a new outlook, a new style… and hopefully some new blood.

With the old routine, I tried to (tried being the operative word here) pull together a style that every New Yorker would appreciate-a little bit of sophistication with a little bit of edge.

For the new routine, this is all going right out of a 15th Floor window of Columbia’s School for International and Political Affairs (located on 118th and Amsterdam-where Open Practice is being held this Saturday at 1PM.  COME THROUGH!). It’s gunna be different-different for me, different for my dancers, different period.  I’m out of my element, and swimming at the deep end of the pool… but I live for these moments. 

5AB is getting a makeover, and I’m very excited.

You won’t wanna miss it.

12:12 am

For those that haven’t seen 5AB’s debut performance at B’Heights, here you go :-)

Overall I watch this video and, as captain, I know what I have to do.  I applaud my dancers, a decent amount who are brand new to everything, and admire their courage and strength and patience. 

All formations were done within three weeks-never EVER an ideal situation for a coed 12 person team, but we got through it.

I started becoming form crazy.  Every single little detail is important and I’m stepping my game up. 

Next time 5AB performs, we’ll be a whole new team… and I think everyone will love it.

December 7, 2011 11:57 am

Momma and Poppa dukes are coming to Heights.

Hello, Pressure. So we meet again.

-Joe

December 5, 2011 3:22 pm

Put Your Hands into the Fire

Dear Gurbir Singh,

Remember when you were captain of AEG and you led us to Elite 8?  Made all of the choreo, basically did everything… took a fresh batch of newbies and threw us on stage against some of the best dancers that North America has to offer, leaving us no choice but to grow as dancers/friends/a team?

HOW THE HELL DID YOU DO THIS BY YOURSELF?!??!?!?!?  Am I missing something!?!!?  Was there cocaine and/or adderall laced into that chicken and rice/pizza that we ate every practice?

Some teams take longer than others to develop.  Fine… but COME ON!!  I never admitted, and I never gave you the credit for it-but you’re a smarter man than I am.

Sooooooo….

Heights is this week.  Kinda nervous.  Usually I would just copy everything my captain does, listen to everything he says, and do that whole thing.

Simple enough.

But this is different.

It’s my choreo.  My formations.  I decided which songs to use.  And the NYC bhangra community will be there watching.  Also, momma and poppa Campanella might be there (reinforcing the fact that this is different).

This isn’t my first rodeo as captain of a team (or a coed team, for that matter).  But so much has taken place since the last time I wore the captain hat… That and i just don’t want history to repeat itself.

I think we’re ready.  I have faith in my dancers and the routine.

… I just can’t help but still be nervous.

-Joe