Omar just called: LA beats Union Square (2001 redux?) while Nuyorican beats Urbana, ensuring NYC's streak of Finals appearances since 1996 (at least) continues. They also landed someone named Jive Poet, ranked 7th overall, in the indie finals. (Celena Glenn was Urbana's top individual @ 21, Ta'i Freedom Ford for Union Square @ 45.)
Had the winners of both of those wrong (Urbana & Los Feliz) in my predicted. We'll see how the other two turn out. I picked Austin and Chicago-Wicker Park, though an Omaha upset would be a special kind of cool.
It's weird, being home this year. Last year I really missed it and it was the beginning of the end for the Virginia experiment. This year, I'm rather ambivalent about it. I would have liked to see some people I haven't seen in quite a while and taken part in the general festivities but at the same time, I have little interest in the competition itself beyond rooting for various friends to do well. That said, I'm a bit nonplussed about Union Square's results. To be honest, it's exactly what I expected based on their matchups in the first round. From what I've heard, they came out on fire the first night with Trent Lott, Homeland, Rakim and Other Thesis, surely not wanting to lose to the LA team that knocked us out in the 2001 NPS Semi-Finals. According to Ed, LA did it right this year in the semis, coming strong and winning with solid work. I wonder if not making the Finals means the veterans will slam yet again next season or finally step aside and give other people the opportunity to experience Nationals from the stage as opposed to the shadows. One can hope...
In an interesting twist, it's Salomé who's away for a week this year, in Colorado for her job, and me home with the kids. From 1998-2001, the week of Nationals found me away from home, using up the precious little vacation time I had. In 1998, it was only three weeks after we'd gotten married. In 1999, she came along to Chicago. 2000 was in Providence and she drove up for the Finals. 2001 was the first summer after Isaac was born, with me across the country in Seattle having the worst Nationals I'd ever experienced. Turned out it was likely my last.
These eight days will be the longest she's ever been away since we've had kids and the longest period of time I'm taking care of them alone. Coupled with what will likely be the worst week yet at my job (they still haven't replaced my boss and the girl they chose not to promote is quite bitter), I'm going to be so ready for our vacation when she gets back next Friday. We leave for the Poconos the next day ( my birthday, hint and hint, gift certificates are perfect!) and will have a week of no phones, no computers, no work!
She was already gone this morning when Isaac woke up, crawled out of bed and went looking for "mommy." Telling him she was gone was awkward as that usually just means the store or, on rare occasions, out for the night. I told him she was on a plane, hoping to connect to his memory of going to my mother's back in the Spring. He remembered it when I picked them up from the daycare but it'll be interesting to see how he handles it with each passing day. I've always been the one gone so this is new territory for both of us. India remains as happy-go-lucky as ever.
Probably take them to the zoo again tomorrow or Sunday for the Paws, Claws & Jaws events: face painting, animal feeding and Native American music & dance performances. Not sure if I'm ready to brave the children's zoo yet, unless my cousin and her kids come, too. Should be fun.
BTW, the Kucinich Meetup last night was interesting. More on that another time, though. Time for bed!