30 June 2008
fire play, safety, spinning, staff
Spinning Off is one of the first exercises that the budding fire-staff spinner should learn. It involves rotating the staff rapidly between the dominant hand and the non-dominant, so that the dominant hand pulls the staff towards you, and the non-dominant pushes it away. The result is two impressive gouts of fire from either end of the staff. It looks impressive, and it’s a great way to start a routine.
It’s a great way to start a routine because, of course, what’s spinning off (and burning) is excess fuel in the wicks on either end of the staff. If you start twirling the staff without spinning off first, all that fuel is going to be twirling off — on fire — onto you and your clothes. This is generally regarded as a Bad Thing (™), and something to be avoided.
So remember, kids! Spin off first! It attracts a crowd, impresses the ladies, and saves you from unsightly third-degree or first-degree burns all over your face.
The photograph is actually the work of my friend Johnny, who takes awesome photos normally even though these didn’t come out very well. The fire-spinner in the picture is me. Clicking the photo will take you to a gallery of additional shots of me spinning my used ‘new to me’ double staff courtesy of Cory from LA.
28 June 2008
breathing, fire, fire play, fire staff
So I did my first staff burn tonight, in addition to fire-breathing tonight. I did my second staff burn too, but I was pretty pleased with the stuff I got to do for the first time. I used the contact staff techniques and the traditional staff stuff, which I learned at WildFire weekend before last. Wow, it’s been a few crazy weekends in a row. What a wonderful, crazy, delicious ride!
My friend/brother Johnny took some video. What impressed me is that I felt very disjointed and disconnected as I did it — I felt like my performance was very jerky and not very flowing. But when viewed in video, wow! It was fluid and flowing, very organized and almost practiced. I think as I learn some more tricks and understand how to use the staff more effectively, I’ll be able to craft a good routine. So I’m no longer a virgin burner.
I can breathe fire, I can do staff, and I can play a little with a light saber now. So this is the beginning of a great new performance skill. We now return you to my regular juggling practice…
27 June 2008
I’ve been avoiding wheat, rice, pasta, bread, and such-like, and cutting back on potatoes after noon, since the last week or two of school. I’ve not increased my exercise at all; I still walk the dog about 1 1/2 times a day, but I’m not kayaking, and I’m tending to do shorter walks with her.
You may recall that I did this on the advice of Gary Taubes’s book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. I still haven’t read any part of it other than the epilogue, which lays out his findings (Mom says it’s a very difficult book to read). I am eating a lot of non-meat products, like fruits and veggies, and so on.
This morning, after I had breakfast, and still clothed, I weighed 272. I’m pretty pleased with myself for this; this is a whole lot better than weighing 290, and it will keep getting better.
27 June 2008
3 things, meme
Post 3 things you’ve done in your lifetime that you don’t think anybody else on your friends list has done.
See if anybody else responds with “I’ve done that.” If they have, you need to add another! (2.b., 2.c., etc…)
1. Built troytown-style labyrinths out of sticks, stones, and tree logs, by myself and with others, in more than seven places.
2. Worn a Scout shirt un-ironically to a FireTribe event.
3. Written two different poems of more than 2,500 lines.
27 June 2008
books, meme, reading habits
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them
26 June 2008
“Anyway, my grandson is on Isle Royal, and I let him know that I knew something about it. I’m from Michigan originally, as you know.”
“I didn’t know that. How did a straight-talking Midwesterner like yourself wind up here in Connecticut among us duplicitous Yankees?”
“Oh, because I’m from Kalamazoo.”
26 June 2008
clio, dogs, poetry
Clio has just chewed to pieces
one of her oldest and favorite-est toys:
plush pheasant with squeaker inside.
she is asleep now,
and looks totally exhausted,
I like the way little pieces of stuffing
form a halo around her head…
the way her leash loops casually
around her upper right side
before emerging over and under her legs
like a piece of Celtic ropework in a canine Book of Kells.
Dogs are divine beings,
loving others more than themselves
each a perfection,
a bodhisattva of mysterious compassion.
But in a few moments she will move,
confused and mildly dismayed
by the sudden appearance
of a pee spot right beside
my parent’s old stuffed chair.
24 June 2008
Came home from Flood Stage last night feeling like a bus had backed up over me, and then gone forward over me, back and forth, a half-dozen times. Wound up hitting a rabbit in the road by my colleagues’ house as I came home because I was in so much pain. Feeling much better today, but last night I crawled into bed with headache, body aches, joint aches and general muscular weariness. Slept for nine hours through. Woke up this morning, took Clio to pee, fed her and ate an entire half of a cantaloupe myself. My usual walk down and around the maintenance building has left me sweaty and exhausted.
At first I thought maybe I aspirated some fuel on Saturday, while breathing fire. Most of the ache has been centered in my guts, though, and I think maybe I ate something bad, or ate too much of the wrong thing, or … this is the other possibility… just worked myself too hard the last few days.
In any case, despite the sweatiness I am feeling better this morning than I did last night. I am going back to bed though.
23 June 2008
So for the month of June, no one has showed for Flood Stage. We have had up to 4 attendees on any given day but only one pair have ever been repeats. Maybe I don’t have the personality to run a reading but it’s discouraging.
Any advice on making a reading work in a sleepy New England market town?