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Taylor Toth's JGP Germany athlete diary

Creepy dolls, double digits and more grandma

Taylor Toth (right) and partner Felicia Zhang competed in the pairs event at the JGP Germany.
Taylor Toth (right) and partner Felicia Zhang competed in the pairs event at the JGP Germany. (Liz Leamy)

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By Taylor Toth, special to icenetwork.com
(10/05/2009) - Pairs skater Taylor Toth is on double duty this weekend, skating with Felicia Zhang and serving as icenetwork.com's backstage correspondent at the Junior Grand Prix event in Dresden, Germany.

Saturday, Oct. 3
In the free, not only did we not remove the 'one' but, we added another. Perhaps, channeling Sally Bowles, a second rate American singer, was not the best idea. Next time, I will channel the great American boxer... Tonya Harding.

Last night, with our U.S. pride in tow, all of team USA cheered on the men, and they were marvelous. Proceeding the men's event and awards, we had a competitor's banquet. After the banquet, I headed to a chic downtown disco. At the disco, I had a few iced teas. I am not sure if it was the iced tea or all my rehearsing, nevertheless, I felt compelled to perform my Cabaret dance moves.

As usual, they went undetected by all the drunkards. While at the disco, they played, Mariah Carey's, "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Christmas songs in the middle of October are inherently funny. I had a blast.

For a new pair team, this experience has been phenomenal. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to represent the USA in Germany. Our team leader Stefanie Mathewson did an amazing job supporting all of the skaters. She has the perfect touch of crazy that everyone loves. I want to thank everyone for reading my blog and thank you, Wilda, for the French fries. It's icenetwork.com Samantha -- not icenation; Kim loves cats and I love you Melina.

At the end of my Poland blog I wrote: "Follow me on Twitter: @TaylorToth." I would like to personally thank the two, 'followers' I received after that was posted.

See you.

Tay

On a side note: If for some reason you are in Newark, Del., on Nov. 7, come to the 19th annual Skid Fest. It is an all day music festival in my backyard, with proceeds benefiting the construction of a Haitian children's hospital (In associations with: University of Delaware Students for Haiti). It is sure to be a good time.

Friday, Oct. 2
Today's Blog: Short and sweet, like my Grandma.

Waking up this morning was dreadful. I was deluded enough to think I would go to bed early and get up feeling fine, and who would have thought Starbucks was not open at 7:30 a.m. That put a sour (not coffee) taste in my mouth.

Our short program today was very much like a cabaret performance -- not great but not bad. In regards to placement, I am not a huge fan of double digits, though my singles career made me rather familiar with them. Hopefully, tomorrow the 'one' will be removed. Congratulations to Nathan and Britney, who were terrific.

Instead of joining Coach Jeff D and Felicia at the gym today, I opted for a tour of Dresden. If you live with me or have visited my apartment, you know I am mad about creepy dolls and tchotchkes. As we were admiring one of the buildings surrounded by water, we noticed something floating atop the water. They were large, white puzzle pieces and fixed in the middle were creepy dolls. I do not know what those things were, but when I return to skid row, I am going make them and give them as gifts.

Thursday, Oct. 1
Practice Day:
This morning, my grandma and I begrudgingly got out of bed and went to breakfast. Felicia and I have to compete early tomorrow morning. I figured I ought to practice getting out of bed. I have a feeling that will be the hardest part of my day tomorrow.

After our practice, I got a chance to watch Angela Maxwell compete her short program. I wish all skaters had an attitude like Angela. I not only enjoyed her skating but her attitude and demeanor on the ice as well. I love that, after landing all her jumps, she fell on a spiral...I mean went down hard. As opposed to getting upset over something, that, let's be honest, is funny, she laughed her way through the rest of her program -- not missing a beat. I loved it and wish her the best of luck in the free skate.

In Recent News:
My mom has always been great at being a "Skating Mom,"from the time she gave me a paint brush for Christmas because I always skated around the rink and "painted the boards" to the one time on the way home from the rink that she told me that by not working on the session I was throwing their money out the window. At that point, she reached into her purse and grabbed a handful of cash and threw it out the window. That taught me a valuable lesson: my mom is a "Skating Mom."

I love my mom, and we are beyond close. This is the only reason I can tell that story.

Last night my mom's "Skating Mom" status hit an all time high. I got a text message from my friend Amanda:

"Ahh your mom's on Perezzz!"

Immediately, I was concerned. Upon further investigation, I found out it was regarding the Stars, Stripes and Skates show and how my mom was to drive Kate Gosselin (Jon and Kate Plus 8) to the show. But Kate refused to get into the car. It is funny because before going onto the red carpet I said to Kate:

"My mom was the one that was going to drive you here. Let me tell you, I wouldn't want to spend five hours in the car with my Mom either...so, good choice not getting in."

She chuckled and moved along.

While away from home, these are the things I have to deal with.

-- Tay

Wednesday, Sept. 30
The bus ride to Dresden was but 20 minutes, and from off in the distance we could see several golden angels atop buildings. I knew we were on the brink of something fantastic.

The city came into view and greeted us with the most stunning picture of Dresden. This place makes Torun, Poland, look like Cindy Crawford's less fortunate little sister.

Once at the hotel, I was pleased to find out that I had my own room. This will allow ample time to repeatedly run my Cabaret medley I have been rehearsing.

We had a nice team dinner at some... card swipe- cafeteria- Italian Panera establishment. After dinner, I met up with my Grandma, who was still a bit sedated from the long flight. This is not, I believe, founded in fact. But, I think she took the same thing they give the animals stowed under the plane. My Grandma limply reached into her bag, passed the Peppermint Patties, neatly folded muu-muus and pulled out a fist full of flags -- U.S., of course.

She told me she found them in her basement, and she intends to hand them out to all the skaters. So as not to date her, I did not point out they only had 48 stars.

In regards to skating: I could not be happier that Nathan Miller and Brittany Simpson are here in Dresden. Nathan and I have known each other since we stood on the podium at the 2005 nationals. He beat me and my partner and, yes, I am still a bit bitter.

I got to watch some of the men's practice today and, obviously, I got to see the pairs (U.S. team members are on the same practices per discipline). From what I saw today, Team USA is looking awfully strong. I look forward to seeing how the week plays out.

TTYL, Tay
P.S. -- *that is not true she does not wear muu muus, but in my mind, all grandmas do

Tuesday, Sept. 29
Two days before we left for Germany, Felicia and I skated in the Stars, Stripes and Skates show. We had the absolute best time and I particularly enjoyed skating pairs with Hairspray's Nikki Blonsky. I think the two of us would make a strong "Open" juvenile team.

Monday we skated and flew to Dresden. While on the plane, I read a book my roommate Ali gave me.

Her inscription read: "This book looked really dirty. Naturally, the best kind of book to read on a long flight filled with people."

When you are reading a book of risque short stories, one can expect a few "looks" from fellow passengers. With my in-flight reputation compromised, we arrived in Dresden.

I will be channeling my inner Sally Bowles for the duration of my stay in Germany -- the book was a start.

I am looking forward to meeting the team tonight at our dinner.

Go Team USA!

Dresden warm-up
Prior to leaving for Germany, I found it necessary to do some research on the culture. The extent of my research was re-watching one of my much loved movies, Cabaret!

Cabaret has been at the top of my movie list since the age of 9 when my Grandma Beach found it appropriate to sit me down and put it in the VCR.

I am not sure how many grandmothers show their 9-year-old grandsons Cabaret, but she also allowed me to dress up as Raggedy Ann and parade around my neighborhood.

That was swiftly put to a stop by my mother.

I am terribly glad my grandma showed me that movie and equally as glad she is joining me on my trip to Germany. I want her Flow Blue China set -- thus, I will not say her age. But, suffice it to say that the "When" of the movie, and the "When" of her birth are one and the same.