Arnold’s. Bizarre.

The drive was long, and I wound up driving the entire time (Jason did offer, but I said no). Getting on the road to head up there at 5 am was tuff, but rolling into town at noon made life easier. Plus it was worth it so that I see Kelly on Thursday night.

We roll in, go inside to register and check out the craziness in the convention center. Registration was fairly simple; once they got my $105 they simply gave me a wrist band. Paula was able to put off registration because she knew one of the ladies that was working the registration desk, so she was able to judge how her knee was feeling before she handed over her cash.

Once everything got sorted out we made our rounds through the vender booths. I made everyone push their way though the convention center because I wanted to get to the dragon door booth and get some kettle bells — which turned out to be the furthest booth from the martial arts area possible. but I got there, and picked up a couple of bells at a nice polite discount.

We wondered aimlessly staring at the many extreme specimens of the human form that were lurking around. Wearing spandex. Or plastic. Some wore plastic AND were made out of plastic. Eventually the hunger forced our curiosity out and we went to find food. Chipotle it was, and one burrito was not enough. We called the hotel and were able to get a room at the hotel right across the street (parking down town was a pain), went and checked in and unloaded the car. Paula stayed upstairs and iced her knee while Jason and I went back to watch a few jiujitsu fights. Crazy fun stuff. Eventually jordana found us and every one crashed hard.

Up bright and early, events started at 8, according to the registration desk. We went out, got used to the floor (zebra mats are pretty nice, better than most of the carpet tournaments have) and warmed up. The Chinese team showed up and started taking over the floor, the Americans and Brazilians didn’t take none of that and would jump right in unintimidated. There was a fair amount of tension at first between the teams, but as time went on and we waited and waited for competition to begin everything cooled down. By the time we were getting started everyone was cool and joking around.

When competition wasn’t being interrupted by Wesley Snipes’ entourage things went smooth, Nick Gracenin did a great job of running the contemporary divisions. I think most of us were happy with our performances—even though I think my scores for CQ were, um, a tad low. Jason covered his stumble after tornado amazingly well and Paula didn’t blow out her knee (everyone was cringing as she busted those low stances).

Once things wrapped up we met up with Y Chan and the OU Wushu Club for a little zhongguofan. It was mamahuhu at best. I also thought it weird that the white guy was ordering everything in Chinese.

Everyone wound up going out later that night, I went to a grocery store to buy water and oatmeal cream pies, swung by white castle and chilled in the hotel room watching American Wedding. I was pissy as hell, it was much better that I bailed on going to the club. Not a big fan of clubbing when I am in a good mood.

I wanted to roll home as soon as possible on Sunday, but Jason and Paula had grands. They said they would bail if there was no cash prize. We stayed. There was no cash prize. But Paula gets to tell her sponsor that she won grands, and her sponsor will be happy. The drive home a bit of whammy excitement on the Penn Turnpike. I won’t say who it was, but it wasn’t me or Jason. We even saw some of the traditional competitors at that very gas station. Yay!

I got to get me some of the Sequined silks.

Everyone is a winner!

Cung Le!

Frank Shamrock!

And to a lesser extent Wesley Snipes!