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zeroblue76

gaydays 2005, flagging

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October 22nd, 2008

Miss me?

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back pain, introspection
So..... I've been away from LJ for awhile. Real Life &tm; tends to get away from you when you aren't looking, doesn't it? Let's see... a VERY quick update:


  • I have a new job at Salesforce.com.

  • Pedro left for Austin yesterday... permanently. There is a chair in my front yard next to the trash.

  • Even with a fixed interest rate, I find I am unable to make payments on my mortgage. Time to take a number, wait in line and join the masses!

  • It has now been 4 months of lateral epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) aka tendonitis -- right elbow. As such I have been out of the gym except for some cardio, abdominal and leg workouts.



This sounds pretty dour, no? I'm doing my best to keep smiling. So far so good!

Oh, and I'm still teaching at Dance and Circus Arts of Tampa Bay. Want to learn how to fly? :-)

November 2nd, 2007

What a Scream

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back pain, introspection
I see "50% off sale! Last day!" at the Halloween Store across the street from work and decide to go scope things out over lunch, just in case I find something to use for next year's festivities. I found a wig and some small accessories. I have always wanted to play with a smoke/fog machine, so decided that 50% off was a great bargain and opted to get the "low ground" ice-cooled type to play around with. I had some extra cash on hand, and it was nice to have a small splurge for once.

I left work early and headed home to test out my new machine. I read the instructions through twice and then ran to search images to figure out what a bibcock was. I couldn't find any such device on the machine, so assumed that the instructions must be generic for several models, as it had several other errors already. So I plugged the thing in, hooked up the control, filled up with juice and ice, and pressed the button. Nothing. Lots of nothing but cool air coming out the front. After mucking around with the intake hose, all connections, checking the fuse, switches, I finally tried blowing into the fog juice hose to see if it might be clogged. A small puff of smoke finally came out of the front of the machine, and some smoke began to emit from the vents. I decided the pump must be bad.

I sped back towards the store in hopes to catch them still open to get some advice. They had just closed, but I managed to get someone to come to the door. He cracked open the door barely as I told him I'd bought the machine that day and that the pump must be bad. He said he had no experience with the model I bought, has never had a return on them, and since it was the last day they were open he would not issue a refund or even an exchange for the same item. I asked for the manufacturer's number since the instructions had no contact information at all, and he said they receive them via a distributor. He declined to give me the number for the distributor also, said sorry again, and closed the door.

I had to get to rehearsal in Clearwater, so jumped on the road. A friend agreed to look at the machine and accidentally reminded me there was another store on the way! The staff there were all incredibly friendly and agreed to examine the thing to see if they could get it working. After some poking, peeking, and button-pushing it was determined that the pump was possibly bad, and that the smoke coming from the machine was actually the black electrical box overheating. Unfortunately, I hadn't purchased the machine from Spirit, but from Halloween Express, or I could have exchanged the machine for other merchandise (they had sold out of fog machines).

Lessons learned: Electrical fires are not a fun thing. The folks at Spirit, owned by Spencer Gifts, rock -- a lot! I will not be buying anything from Halloween Express ever again.

August 1st, 2007

Brain Fart du Jour

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gaydays 2005, flagging
I woke up late again today. The hazy morning fog in my mind still had its tendrils wrapped confortably around and through all the wrinkles of my brain. I knew better than to try to hurry. Cans of tuna went flying across the kitchen, slipping out of my hands. It's a good thing Kinopuppy had the good sense to put on his doggy crash helmet this morning.... Or was that my sleepy imagination? I finally woke up -- slightly -- when i grabbed the garlic powder for my tuna and liberally applied it..... to my coffee mug. Ahh yes, nothing like the taste of garlic-infused coffee to get your day started, hmm? Why, one sip is guaranteed to perk you right up!

Thankfully I'm one of those "creamer and sugar first, coffee last" types. So a quick rinse and a sniff took care of things.

July 19th, 2007

Today's Observation

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gaydays 2005, flagging
Taking an Airborne like a pill instead of dropping it to fizzle in water does not actually save more time when waking up late and in a rush to get out the door to work. You end up getting it stuck in your throat for 10 minutes, gulping down water trying to to dislodge it, until it dissolves and plops into your tummy. You know this happens when suddenly a giant orange-flavored burp flies out of you at record speed.

And here I thought I could down in quick on my way out and merrily enjoy burping orange goodness the rest of the morning.

June 22nd, 2007

Shocking!

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gaydays 2005, flagging
I love starting my day and stumbling onto something SHOCKING (giggle - yay puns!). This is the coolest thing I think I've seen all month, perhaps all year!




From the YouTube page:


This is a solid-state Tesla coil. The primary runs at its resonant frequency in the 41 KHz range, and is modulated from the control unit in order to generate the tones you hear.


I picked out the themes to Mario Brothers and Tetris. I can't quite make out the rest.

May 29th, 2007

Texas Flagger Weekend 2007

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gaydays 2005, flagging
It's one of those happy tired feelings; you don't want to move or think, let alone tell everyone about the weekend. So I sit here with a giant grin on my face and droopy eyes, sore muscles and a heart full of light. Where do I begin?

I had a feeling the weekend was going to go very well, and then I got to the airport. I grabbed a delicious green tea Frappuccino and flopped down on the floor at my gate, just as the agent came on the loudspeaker. In her formal polite tone she exclaimed, "Again, if anyone is traveling to Dallas via this flight to St. Louis, please see the gate agent." I had seen the flight delayed and realized I would miss my connection. Worried, I stepped up to the counter behind another woman in the same situation. Good karma ripens at the best of times: they were re-booking us onto a direct flight that was leaving a few minutes later, so I would arrive two hours earlier than anticipated.

I arrived at Flaggerboy's home just as the food arrived, and so many old friends and smiling new faces were there. I felt like I was home again. After eating, chatting and catching up, people started to filter out. Some of us joined Phillip in mixing dyes and prepping for the weekend workshops.

I was up early Saturday morning and rode with Chris F. to Club One to set up for my aerial fabric workshop. It went well, and everyone seemed to pick things up quickly. Chris was uncomfortable being upside-down but was a good sport about learning. Plus he looked quite dashing in my pickle pants! We made a quick clean-up and trotted over to Station 4 where the other workshops were getting underway. Introductions by all the instructors (me included this year) kicked off the weekend. While last year's focus was on community and interaction, this year we were asked to think about our own personal journey and inner state of mind. My schedule consisted of Dan V's intermediate flagging workshop. It turns out we were both a little intimidated to be working with each other, but had a wonderful time. After a short break and a snack, Dan held a quick demo on the Chakra fold, which I chose to fiddle with in the tie-dye workshop that followed. The results weren't quite what I had hoped, but that's part of the fun. Everyone pitched in to help clean up, and I rode back with our Canada boys, Neal and Denis, to Phillip's place.

It just so happened there was a surprise birthday party. It was especially surprising because Phillip's birthday was over a month a way, but in order to keep him from finding out it was decided to have it that evening. Disney baked and decorated a gorgeous (and delicious) cake with a tie-dyed fabric flag made of fondant on top. We had all secretly signed a set of flags that Dan had folded into a book. He can keep the book or eventually unfold and weight them into a set of flags. I think it was the most touching and thoughtful gift I have ever seen.

After the party, everyone made their exit to freshen up for a night of flagging and dancing at Station 4. Since all the dye and silk had been used that afternoon, some of us helped Flaggerboy to cut and mix, then we got ready ourselves and headed to the club. They had roped off half of the balcony overlooking the dancefloor just for us. With all the black light we brought, our flags shone as bright as the club lights. When we finally broke out the firestick flags, the whole club looked up at us and watched.

After the show, Phillip, Dan, Jim and I went downstairs to dance in the crowd. We had a great time, Dan sporting his popular tie-dyed bandanna around his neck. Suddenly it was over my head and covering my eyes. "Just relax and dance. We're here," Jim said in my ear. So I did. I felt Phillip come up and hug me and dance with me. Just then they pulled off the blindfold; it wasn't Phillip I was dancing with. A little embarrassed, I stopped a momment. We made our introductions -- a casual friend of P's. But then it was time for us to get home, finish prepping for tomorrow and get a little sleep. I got his phone number and left.

I remember dreaming something, then suddenly hearing what sounded like an alarm in my dream. I woke up immediately to dead silence. Looking at the clock, I had 15 minutes to get over to Club One for the workshop! Phillip and Disney were dead asleep (we went to bed at 5am), so I grabbed my cellphone to look up a phone number. As I came back out of the room, I saw Phillip working with the silk for the workshops. Patric agreed to come get me, and I got myself ready.

Day two of my workshop went even better. Serina was there and very eager to get brought up to speed. She was like a shining star, so full of energy and positive light. Even Carlos decided to try it out, and I got him hanging from the fabric also. It felt so good to share what I know, and I loved seeing my friends climbing and hanging in the air.

Sunday's workshop schedule started with tie-dye for me, followed by Xavier's choreographed flagging class. I decided to stick with what I know and created a somewhat radial design, with my favorite spirals at the tips. I've been getting into mixing dangerous colors together lately -- yellow and purple, blue and orange -- and can really appreciate the delicate tendrils of smoky brown that form where they merge. I had the pleasure of helping Michelle M with her tying and meeting her birth mother. Of course I made sure to give her a Papa BOBL from Rence, who's sort of adopted both of us.

By the time Xavier began his workshop, everything on my body was aching. But I made like nails and pressed on. I enjoyed learning the choreography to the music he selected. It's an experience I had been craving for a long time now. I only wished there had been more time to pick his brain about the process of choreography itself.

We made another giant effort to clean up and get going. Tonight's agenda called for a house party at RJ and Kim's. He has a gorgeous house and amazing pool. With the stereo playing music outside and the black lights set up, we had a great outdoor flagging by the pool event. One spinner had brought his wicks and spun some fire poi. Then several flaggers had their first burn. Before anyone realized it was already 1 in the morning. In consideration of his neighbors, and because we were all very tired, the party promptly ended on a happy note.

Phillip dropped me off at his place and went to deliver everyone else to their hotels. I stayed up awhile talking with Disney and watching the end of a strange movie. Just as I got into bed, P returned home, so we all ended up chatting some more for awhile until we were all beyond exhausted.

Against my will, I awoke early again Monday. Phillip, Disney and I all showered and got ready for brunch, which turned into lunch, with some of the other coordinator and instructors. Since there were rolling thunderstorms and rain clouds all day, we opted to move the Flagging in the Park event to Club one. Barbara, the owner, very graciously gave us use of the space from noon until 6pm. She had a DJ there, all the lights going, and even had water and red bull for us at cost. It was, without a doubt, the absolute perfect way to end what was already a most amazing weekend. Seeing my friends, old and new, all laughing, smiling, dancing, spinning together... sharing passions and joy, helping and learning from each other... it moved me beyond words. I was speechless, lost in the wonder and emotion of it all. If there is a heaven, I know now that my little corner of it will be just like that afternoon: new friends and old, all relaxed and free, helping and sharing with one another. It was such a positive and supportive environment.

Of course I had to set up my fabric again. Phillip gave me a pair of pants he'd made -- tie-dyed stretchy material that fit me like a glove. I just climbed to play around a bit, and lost myself in the music. I'd never felt comfortable enough to just free-form on the fabric before; it was a great feeling. When I finally looked around, everyone had stopped flagging and stood there watching me in wonder, cameras turned to see. It gave me a rush. Yes, I got tangled a few times, but I enjoyed every moment of it and slid to the floor to the sound of applause and cheers. I know I'm not anywhere near an accomplished aerialist. Still it felt great to receive such encouragement and compliments from people I love. I climbed a few more times throughout the night, in between flagging and spinning poi. It was simply magical, indescribable.

Finally 6 pm arrived. We packed up and cleaned up the space, and a few of us headed over to Phillip's yet again. I needed to grab my bags and get ready for my airport ride. I inhaled some leftover food, sitting around the coffee table with my friends, thinking back on the weekend's events. It was naturally bittersweet; I couldn't have asked for a better weekend and didn't want to leave, but I knew it was time. I flew home with a heart filled with joy and wonder.

Phillip, Disney, Patric, Joe, Jim, Carlos, Dan, Xavier and everyone else: from the bottom of my heart and center of all that I am, THANK YOU for all of your passion, hard work, dedication and love. Thank you for an amazingly fun, touching and life-changing weekend. Thank you for being the shining light you are!

April 9th, 2007

Sometimes I have to fight with the universe, and other times it politely offers me little nibbles without warning. Such was the case with Lynn this weekend.

I went up to Gainesville for my sister's 13th birthday and decided to swing over to meet Lynn and get in some aerial training on Saturday. This woman has a horse, buck-toothed black llama, dogs, a rabbit, and chickens. I arrived under the watchful eye of said llama and met Lynn, fiery red hair shining brilliantly in the rays of sun filtering down through the trees. She had a pocketful of eggs from one of her hens and invited me inside for a late breakfast. We talked over eggs and toast, then eventually went out to her rigging to throw up my fabric and have some fun. Before time completely got away from us she invited me to join her on a road trip to Talahassee to see the FSU circus.

I had never been to Talahassee before, and it had been many years since I'd seen a circus of any kind. I felt that tingle in the back of my head that always lets me know i'm being offered a gift from the universe and would be wise to take it. So we hopped into her white van with suncatchers and a snakeskin hanging from the rearview mirror and rode off into the sunset -- literally. The circus was a great show and even more impressive because it was all done by college students. The only act that made me genuinely nervous was the fire poi, and I think it was because the performers didn't seem comfortable enough to be spinning fire in the first place. Then again, I've got more experience than most people when it comes to spinning fire.

Sunday was my sister's birthday. Mom had ordered a cake from Publix bakery, but it seems even the guy who took the order didn't realize it was to be Easter Sunday. So I trot over to the store, order receipt in hand, and find it locked up tight. Not a big deal. We had our own dessert when we went out to eat. The chocolate bread pudding I inhaled was delicious and very rich.

I talked to Lynn again, and she invited me down to Miami this weekend for an aerial workshop. It's her opinion that this would be a great opportunity to develop a performance and improve my style. I'll listen to her -- she's the professional after all. Besides, how often do I get the chance to visit Miami and not have to drive myself down there? The back of my head was tingling again.

April 2nd, 2007

I make it a point to read Tatsuya Ishida's Sinfest daily. Although I'm still not sure if I like the comic or his news posts better. I hope he succeeds at becoming sexy as Picasso did blue. I hope he tells me how it's done so I can follow. After all, who doesn't want to bring a little more sexy into their lives?

Today's cartoon had a quote that tugged in the back of my mind. So I had to investigate (read: Google) it. It's the first stanza of a well-known poem by Walt Whitman and a perfect, if long, mantra to sing every morning. It speaks to me.

I Sing the Body Electric

An amazing celebration. I dare not write more about it and risk tainting Walt's message. Read it for yourself and celebrate your own Soul.

If nothing else, it's an incredible introduction to all things sexy. Not just carnally, but spiritually as well.
Usually when you get food poisoning your brain and stomach know exactly what did it to you. At least that's how it was when I suffered it a couple years ago from a bad bit of delivered pizza. It took a few months for me to get used to the smell of tomato and basil again, let alone the taste of same, green peppers, or small pickled peppers.

The fact that I was not overly nauseated by the thought of salmon should have been my first clue. Then again, I was feeling pretty ill in general this weekend and spent most of it in bed in and out of sleep. This meant that I had to skip Friday's tissu training, pass up my Saturday flagging gig and postpone the new ceiling install until today.

My latest theory is that I somehow picked up a really evil stomach virus when I wasn't paying attention, as even today I'm not at 100% full superhero capacity. Also, Pedro seems to have come down with the same symptoms as of last night. Be warned! If anyone sees this monster, run away. I think my only saving grace was sipping ginger ale while nibbling saltines, and then gradually moving up to the life-saving chocolate chip flavored Pop Tarts. Man those things work miracles.

Last night I pulled down the acoustic tiles in the living room ceiling... and all the dirt, gravel, and "stuff" that accumulated on top of them. "Messy job" would have been an understatement here. After heaving all the big pieces of tile and other unidentifiable gunk out the back door, I busted out the trusty green Hoover and started the suck job (pun intended) of cleaning it all up. I passed the thing off to Pedro after a bit to take over while I showered, and he got close to half of the room fixed back up. But then suddenly Hoover went from making a "vroom" sound to something more like "oh sweet merciful heavens no!" It was then that we saw all the magic white smoke escaping from underneath its hood, and we knew without that smoke bottled up inside there would be no more vacuum cleaning goodness that night.

And I had just run out of chocolate chip flavored Pop Tarts.

March 26th, 2007

Dear Friends

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gaydays 2005, flagging
Dear friends,

I'm sorry I have been such a life-draining emotional vampire the past few months. Most of you know there have been many big changes in my life all at once, and I think the timing and the way they all touched on some of the same hot buttons in my head just broke me down to nothing. I appreciate every single one of you and thank you for lending me your strength, even when you had little or nothing to give. I can only hope to be able to return the favor someday.

I feel my strength grow a little more each day. This is a great big forest with a lot of rocks to trip over (and you know I can trip over absolutely nothing sometimes). I'm still not sure when or where I'll come out of it, but I keep walking and know I'll get there eventually. Just watch. Before you know it I'll rise up and fly. And I'll meet you all at the end, where the earth and the sky meet!
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