Archive for April, 2009


Thursday Randoms

Too ADD for an on-topic blog post today! :P

Zen for the busy? Check out Leo’s post “The Mindfulness Guide for the Super Busy: How to Live Life to the Fullest“.  Even though I’m not dedicating 30 days to it I may print it to hang up at work.

This head-bonk photo keeps making me smile. But I have to post both so you see his gorgeous eyes – half golden retriever, half chow.  (Not my pup – a online friend from a forum just adopted him!)

headbonk

puppy

No hoop/poi jam tonight – I’ll be celebrating Beltane around a fire with friends! But we’ll be back at the Morristown Green next Thursday.

Do you have pig flu? Try checking here.  And people, the CDC even says you don’t need a mask unless you are taking care of someone who IS sick!  Wearing it in public just identifies you as the paranoid freak you are.

And I would go on about fear, as it ties into several things, but I have too much blood in my caffeine system at the moment.  It would include an anecdote about how I’ve dyed my hair bright blue (just in the back – still need to take a good pic…) and no one at work noticed/said a damn thing.  Wearing it down, it’s hard to see, but I just put it up in a twist expecting comments, none yet.  Hmm.  Maybe I CAN get away with doing it all blue!  :D

Weekend plans:  not entirely sure.  Possible hang with someone friday, possible party saturday.  Conclave on sunday.  In between, car shopping, cleaning the bedroom, possibly a bottle of wine at the laundromat, and maybe even buying some soil/plants for the balcony.   *goes back to first link*  #3. Do less.  Hmm.

Queen

Watch this. All the way. You’ll thank me (and yes, apparently it seems legit, though not all recorded in one shot as he had to use some equipment for more than one part at a time)

THANK YOU JON STEWART! I laughed so hard I’m crying.

ugh embed isn’t working.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=224276&title=tea-party-tyranny

Through my travels to Burning Man and regional events, I’ve been exposed to a lot of new hobbies.  I started with poi - never imagining I would one day set them on fire.

Poi is a form of juggling one might say, that consists of balls or weights or wicks (for fire use) attached to chains or in socks (for practice only).  You spin them around you in various patterns, which all look extremely complex but break down to basic movements that most people can learn.  Some performers will always blow your mind with their creativity and flow!

I also met a lot of hoopers - hula hooping, or more accurately hoop dancing, has come a long way from the Wham-0 days.  I started trying to learn that as well, not so much out of a love for it but it was the most fun I had getting tired out (or, that evil word – “exercising”).  Until one day, when goofing off to some really amazing music, I started to feel it.  The magic within the hoop when it truly becomes a dance and the hoop is your partner.

Since then, I’ve been practicing more and taking a workshop when I can.  I am not in it to perform.  The exercise isn’t the only reason I pick it up, but it makes me feel better afterward.  It’s about having fun, and sometimes just a meditation while spinning, getting lost in the movement and rhythm of the music as the Sufis do.

Recently hooping is less restricted to festivals and burners, and it’s becoming a trend as a fitness regime and hobby.  The local community is growing, and while it’s more difficult in less urban areas to gather because we are spread out, hoopers are always looking to gather and spin together.

Morristown is usually central to a lot of people, and I decided to start a public gathering here.  It would be open to the public, and all forms of “skill toys” would be welcome – poi, hoop, devil sticks, contact juggling…  I figured if I started a regular thing, it would continue on even when I couldn’t attend.

And so Morristown’s first Hoop/Poi Jam was held last night on the Green.  The call went out online to hoop communities, New Jersey burners, and emails to friends.  I had no idea who would come, whether we would have people interested or annoyed at our presence, or what would happen.

I was thrilled that my friend Danny and his dog Bo would be driving up – his Traveling Piano project brings a great energy to public areas as he creates amazing music, allows anyone to jump on the truck and play, and talks at length with everyone who stops by.  It’s not the typical music most hoopers or poi spinners listen to, but it has it’s own beauty and flow that is a unique experience and I know I enjoyed those moments I got lost in it.

Photos by/compliments of Danny Kean:

Danny has been playing so long that he improvises pieces you would swear took ages to compose, but as I overheard him telling others – it’s not about the notes, or if you miss one or hit the wrong one.  It’s about the journey and how you get there, and being in the moment.

He’s talking about the musical “flow” – the same flow I felt for the first time in the hoop last summer, the flow that beginners of any skill toy struggle with as they try to learn the basics (or the notes).  Learning the basic moves uses a different part of the brain, and it’s necessary.  But once those moves start to feel comfortable, your muscles remember them and you don’t have to concentrate as hard.  And one day, you start flowing and improvising – when someone asks what/how you did a move, you don’t even remember what move it was, you just remember the feeling of being lost in spinning circles.

In the end, several good friends of mine came, some online friends who I hadn’t met in person yet, and we met some amazing people passing by – many tried either to hoop or the piano or both!  The night chill and our empty stomachs drove us to end the night and look forward to future jams, as the weather gets warmer and evenings get longer.

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Want to join us?  Come by on the First and Third Thursday of each month at the Morristown Green.  I don’t get there until 6:30 or so, but everyone is welcome to arrive earlier if they’d like.  Next one is May 7 – I may end up adding one between now and then since it’s 3 weeks away.

To know the latest about these spin jams, please sign up on the yahoo group (free to join and we are only using it for group email):

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/morristownspinjam

We will usually have extra equipment to share, but please ask before using anything and be sure to leave it with us when you go.

Musicians welcome!  Danny can’t always be here, so feel free to come hang out with us if you’d like to play!

Note, we do NOT use fire at these events!  (and do NOT attempt fire performance without being trained by a professional artist, for the safety of yourself and those around you!)

To get started in learning some of these hobbies or find places to buy equipment, here are some good links:

hooping.org

homeofpoi.com

Thursday April 16th

6:30 pm (I will be there around then – feel free to arrive earlier if you wish!)

Morristown Green – a square park in the center of town which has one way traffic around it.
maps.google.com/maps/mm

Street parking may be difficult, there is a map showing parking in town here – www.morristown-nj.org/parkmap.html

We’ll meet at the open brick area near the center of the park, there are benches and such there. (Depending on the wetness of the ground we may stay on the brick if there’s room)

Anyone welcome, regardless of your skill level! Any skill toy welcome, devilsticks, staff, etc.  We’ll happily share helpful tips and tricks, but remember this is for all of us to enjoy ourselves and not a free lesson.

If you have extra hoops/poi or whatever, please bring them along if you are willing to share! Keep in mind that this park gets a lot of foot traffic, and we’ll want to keep an eye on extra items and purses to make sure they don’t walk off (accidentally or on purpose) – so keep that in mind as well.
(Please ask before borrowing someone’s equipment – sometimes they are special pieces and it’s not anything personal!)

There will be NO FIRE at these events. Feel free to bring music but if we are asked to turn it down/off we will have to comply.

One thing I need input on — I need a way to communicate with people interested in these gatherings. Currently there are people on Tribe.net, Facebook, and people I only have email addresses for. I’d prefer to use email (possibly via google or yahoo groups) to send out notices – does anyone have a strong preference or dislike for any method of doing this? (I’ll still post to tribe and facebook but more sparingly, with details on how to get on the email list for up to date info.)

I’m still planning on doing this every other week (so the first and third thursday of each calendar month) – we’ll see where it grows from there. In the event of rain/questionable weather, feel free to contact me but chances are if you don’t want to be outside, no one else will either. :P

Thanks! Holler if you have any questions!

Katie (aka Hunnybear)

Twitter

I like to think twitter is a conversation between friends, even when it’s public.  I had mine set to public rather than protected, otherwise my twitter widget on this blog and my facebook app which updates my status wouldn’t work.

I’m changing that now.  (Er, shortly, after I post this and send  a tweet out about it!)

I’d gotten used to restricting my tweets, I didn’t post anything I’d hate to have my mother or boss read, and felt that was enough.  Sure I felt left out when my friends tweeted while we were at the… um the library on Saturday night. Yeah that’s it, there were a lot of GREAT books there.  :P  But that was my choice in editing what I put out forever into the internet for all to see.

Last night, I mindlessly tweeted about our new flat screen TV, and when a friend tweeted during a bodily function, I replied that I called that “twooping” – I’ve tweeted before about the immense amount of words in the “twictionary” which both amuse and horrify me, and my own creation fits right in there.

A while later I checked twitter again, and found two replies from people I don’t know.

The first was spam to sell me a wall mount for my TV.

The second was a user with the account name “Twooping” who retweeted my post for all their followers to see.

O.o

OK OK.  I get that this is a new tool for marketing, and yeah that would involve targeting people who obviously can use your product, but it’s a little too “Minority Report” for me.  And I think it was the combination of both within a short time, and the fact that well, twooping to me is best left for the bathroom and private jokes among friends, DEFINITELY not something I want someone to find when searching for me.

Yes I realize I post more here about twooping than ever, but it’s to explain my reason.

I’ve been walking the line between using twitter just personally for inside jokes and being a “public” persona on the internet, and it’s time to seperate the two.

So – feel free to send me a request.  If we’ve met in person (and you aren’t my mother or boss) most likely I’ll approve it.

Facebook fans, I won’t be updating my status nearly as much, you may want to follow my blog/twitter more, and I’m much easier to reach via email than by messages on FB.

And now I’m totally expecting one of these for my birthday.  *sigh*

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On an entirely different note, I registered for the Unravelling e-course today! WHEE!!! I’ll post lots of blogs here for it, as we will have writing and photography exercises.  Starts May 4.

Easter Update

Happy Easter (belated), Passover, Ostara, day of chocolate and sugar, or whatever you celebrate! :D

Just a quick note, been meaning to blog but time is flying by.  I had off Friday, but got up at a reasonable hour and was on the go all day, yet didn’t get nearly enough done.  But – easter baskets were made – really a first time doing this for family – my grandmother on my dad’s side passed since last easter, and I made baskets for my dad and cousins.  I made one for Random as well, and instead of fresh flowers got the eggs with soils/seeds in them for Mom and grandma.  Then I tried to make headway on the black hole of a bedroom, spending two hours cleaning and doing laundry, with not much to show for it. *shrug*

Friday night we went shopping at home depot, and Saturday (after a bridesmaid meetup for my cousin) we went to our friends’ house to work on my art project for Playa del Fuego.  Got decent progress on it, but it’s not done (or even at painting stage. patience patience…) Had dinner with Mom’s side for easter and my step-dad’s birthday, and then went back to our friends for a night out at Pumps.  Hey, drinks were cheap, and it kinda reminded me of PDF!  :P

Sunday was dinner with my dad’s side, cleaning out the attic there since my dad will be putting the house on the market this week.  It is tough on us but at the same time, it’s no longer the same house as when Grandma Betty was here.  I managed to get another of her crocheted afghans – in a fabulous tacky (as opposed to ugly tacky) blue and green pattern.  I had really hoped to get another, since I only had one that she made me and it’s very pink/girly/flowery.  She gave up crocheting a year or so before she passed because the chemo caused nerve damage in her hands, and she never got to make a “wedding” afghan for me like she did for my cousins.  I was a little disappointed, and glad that I was able to grab another – the fact that it’s very funky and offbeat (in a way that works, in my world anyway) makes it better than one in ecru!

Soon I’ll be posting a blog on my new hobby – writing it properlike so it will take more time to assemble and use correct capitalization and all that fun grammar stuff :P  but I wanted to drop a note while I could.  Tonight, Random and I are looking for a new TV (as it’s getting old slapping this one to stop the image from flickering) so wish us the luck of the retail gods.

He is still looking for a car.  (Small, good gas mileage, has character, $5k and under.  Loves beetles and little hatchbacks.)

I have a friend in Millington NJ who is looking for a roommate.  If you know anyone looking for a place to live, hit me up in email or something.

Me?  Hating Mondays as usual, but work is not stressful today. Other than stressing over making a choice buying a TV tonight, I am doing absolutely awesome!!  So of course when I have nothing to bitch about you see less of me :P

Stormy Sky, just before hail, Clark Park, Philadelphia

Stormy Sky, just before hail, Clark Park, Philadelphia

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to
experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
-Alan Keightley

Read:

A Brief Guide to World Domination at the Art of Nonconformity. (There’s a PDF document that you can view or download on that page.)

Answer:

#1: What do you really want to get out of life?

#2: What can you offer the world that no one else can?

Feel free to share here.

I am still refining my answers.  I read other people’s answers at the link above not to cheat but to help put it into words.  (I seem to “know” things and have difficulty finding the words to express it, clearly and simply sometimes.)

#1:

Above all else, I want to be happy.  This doesn’t mean I’ll never be mad or sad, but I want the general emotion/feeling of my life to be happiness.

I think that getting/maintaining this happiness (I think this past year has definitely been one of my happiest!) involves a balance of simple times at home (and quality time with friends/family) and adventurous travels.

I think that my ideal life would be similar to this person’s comment –

My dream is to enjoy useful, engaging, and lucrative work with the flexibility to live comfortably, give generously, travel regularly, sleep in, hang out, get fit, and cook (and eat) luxuriously until the end of my days.

Being any more concrete than this is difficult – I have many dreams, some of which are the kind that you always have as dreams, and some I do hope to actually do.  I don’t have any career goals except one that I find fulfilling and supports me/my family and the things that bring us the most joy.

#2:

This is the hard one.  Yeah I can wimp out and just say no one else has the same views/thoughts/whatever that I have, because yeah we are all special flowers.  Whoop-de-do.

I don’t know what I am good at or what makes me unique.  Because I’ve only ever been me, and can’t really judge without bias.

Some people think I’m brave/adventurous, for traveling abroad alone, for going to Burning Man, for spinning fire, things like that.  But I know so many people that are way more adventurous than I am.

I know I have some talents/skills, but I feel like I’m more a jack-of-all-trades rather than excelling in any area.

The things that truly feel the most “me” – the most unique and self identifying traits… I don’t see those as things that I can offer the world, they are just my characteristics – not much different than the color of my hair or eyes.

I don’t know of anything I can offer that no one else can.

I know I care too much, do too little, can be way too selfish, battle with myself, usually am inspired more than inspiring others.  I know I (sometimes) don’t let fear get in the way of new adventures, but the fear and the voices of the “shoulds” (parents/society/whatever) haunt me and sometimes win, and I’m not proud of that.

I know I don’t know all the answers, and can be gullible at times, but tend to stay neutral in arguments between friends because I can see valid points on each side.  I try to be a peacemaker and avoid drama, but often at the cost of my own peace.

Maybe I’m hung up on the “uniqueness” of what I think this answer should be.

It may also be tied into some personal changes in thought that have morphed over the past year, and specifically around the election, on how I feel we can impact the world the most.  And I’m not sure I’m ready to put that out in a public blog yet because it’s just too raw still and different from anything I really envisioned for my life.  But you never know what the future holds, and whether that path will be mine or not….

Anyway.  I invite you to think of your own answers, whether or not you share them here.

And – this is kind of a scary request (but let’s be adventurous)…  What do YOU feel I have to offer the world that no one else can?

Here’s an interesting mash up of things on my mind today…

First- a concept I saw on Zen Habits, inspired by Gretchen at the Happiness Project
Gretchen has 12, and Leo at Zen Habits has a zenly simple 4.  How many do you have?

I have a lot, I’ll try to narrow it down to a few and get back to you on it.

I have to say, as much as I like Zen Habits, I find it frustrating that every post is “7 steps to a greener life”, “12 steps to organization”, “4 steps to less stress” (paraphrasing).  Seriously, almost every post is a countdown in bullets of how you can improve your life.  They are great ideas, and sure people can absorb a numbered/bullet list easier than skimming a blog entry – but because EACH entry is like this, skim is all I do… hmm…

Through the Happiness Project (which I love the concept behind and will be following this blog), I found the Art of Nonconformity.  I’m linking to the recent blog post about the “Real world” – and not the MTV version – I think a lot of people who are like me will appreciate it.

Lastly, I am soooo excited to (hopefully) sign up as part of the Unravelling e-course.  (British spelling :P)  I got my tax refund and while I’ve spent more than I should (on iphone, jeans that won’t fall off my hips, and a few other fun things)  I promised myself I would do this, not knowing it was going to be offered again so soon.  It’s ok, there’s just enough money for it, and I just have a little less in my Burning Man fund – but it’s enough for airfare and expenses and I already have my ticket.  I think this is just what I need to explore my photography and myself on a new level, and really explore what I want my photography to be in my life.

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