Category Archives: circus

and, as expected…

i felt like a truck had run over me, on saturday… slept for a large portion of it, while the TV was on, which might give you an impression of how “out of it” i felt. i recovered enough to go to my unicycle class, on sunday, but i was winded about 20 minutes into it, and i had to take a couple of “breathers” after that. our alternate unicycle coach, nick, is the unicyclist i saw at the moisture festival this year (from the band pit, so the wheel of the unicycle was, literally, within 10 feet of me) do a perfect free mount and ride away, with a woman standing on his shoulders… during MULTIPLE shows, so it wasn’t just a fluke. 😂 i am tantalizingly close to being able to free mount… at this point i would say i’m doing it about a third of the time. i keep making microscopic adjustments in what i’m doing, and it’s really frustrating when i find something that works, and i can’t replicate it reliably enough to do it again… i guess it’s a good thing i’m dedicated, because i am painfully aware of the fact that i STILL can’t do essential things like idling, or riding backwards… 🙄 oh well, some day, maybe… i suppose…

then i came home and burned the pile of summer detritus in the fire pit across the street… except that a bunch of it was so green that it wouldn’t even burn… like a bunch of unripe tomatoes from the garden, and a bunch of leaves from the brussels sprout plants… but, because i was using a propane flame thrower as the fire-starter, and an electric leaf blower to accelerate things, i ended up making “fried green tomatoes”… 😉

today i was supposed to meet up with gunnar (i have a bag of weed for him 😉) but, before i left home, i got a text message from him that said “Cannot feline. Oils yoy mail”… um… ¿؟፧‽ so i called him. he explained that he hasn’t been getting enough sleep lately, and was not going to be there, so i drove down to puyallup, via our old neighbourhood, went by rick’s old place (there’s someone else living there, unsurprisingly) and came back by way of enumclaw, black diamond, and ravensdale.

in the humdrum

monday moe was in vegas. i got a whole bunch of spam, DIDN’T have my regular counselling appointment because of a misread calendar, two weeks ago, DIDN’T get my tires rotated in spite of waiting around for an hour while they DIDN’T rotate my tires… 😒 i’m still not totally sure what happened: i made an appointment, showed up before i was supposed to be there, told the guy that i had an appointment, which he confirmed, and then… i waited for an hour, went up to the counter to inquire when they were going to get to my car, and was told “within the hour”, but i had other places to be, so i had to bail and come back later in the week…

and i was already ripe for mushrooms… 😒

wednesday, the smoke from wildfires (i never bothered to find out where they were) was bad enough that both seattle and portland had the WORST air quality in the world — worse than singapore or hong kong. also, apparently, someone dumped, and burned, a human body just up the street from the trailhead to the back side of taylor mountain, where i walk a lot… where i saw the bear… 😒 moe came home. i picked up quill at the puppy-sitter’s place near lake desire at 8:30, and picked up moe at the airport at 9:30.

thursday i had my circus class, and on the way back home, driving down I5, the smoke was bad enough that i couldn’t see more than a mile or so in front of me. 😒 then got my tires rotated — for real, this time. i was in and out inside of 15 minutes. a guy i had never seen before, but who i assumed was one of the managers, said that he “knew all about” the fiasco on monday, and that they’d get to my car right away… and they did, which kind of surprised me…

friday i decided that i was not going to take as many mushrooms as i had planned, because, by that time, the smoke from the wildfires was really awful. we bought some inflatable halloween decorations — a unicorn skeleton, and two enormous, flashing eyeballs. when it got dark, it started raining, so, naturally, monique decided that was the time to put them out… and the eyeballs (which were my part of the deal) only had one set of tethers, which meant that i had to cut and singe nylon string, in the dark-and-rain…

saturday i actually took mushrooms. instead of four capsules, i only took two, but — as is seemingly fairly typical — all the “good stuff” had filtered to the bottom of the bag, which meant that two capsules was SIGNIFICANTLY more than the past couple of times i had taken four capsules… and it was raining REALLY HARD, so even if i wanted to go up to taylor mountain and risk being high on mushrooms in the vicinity of an actual murder investigation(!!), it was raining hard enough that there was standing water in our back yard, which usually indicates that the trails on taylor are flooded, as well.

it was weird not being able to walk around while tripping balls, as is my usual habit, but i got through it okay… although i REALLY need a beanbag chair, because the only “comfortable” chair in the house is directly in front of the TV set (because that’s where moe usually sits), and, while it is actually big enough for two of us, i REALLY DO NOT want to watch TV while high on mushrooms… so i sat for a couple of hours in the 2nd-most comfortable chair in the house, which is on the opposite end of the house, until i got done peaking, and then it was — more or less — life as usual, only “usual” included being high on mushrooms this time.

we had a karaoke party last night — about 10 people… including one of our next door neighbours, kelly, who i talked to fairly extensively regarding our respective weed crops this year… it still ASTOUNDS me that it is legal, and, while still not technically legal, i have a mental health professional RECOMMENDING that i take mushrooms… 😲

today was the last unicycle class of the session — a new session starts next sunday — and i think i may have gotten back to the point i was at the end of spring session, before “the summer from hell” (which is how i have been referring to the summer of 2022), during which i had very little time, and even less motivation, to practice unicycle.

i have a sousa band rehearsal on tuesday, a circus class on thursday, tracy and kelly (next door neighbours) are having a “costumes optional” halloween party on saturday, and halloween, proper, is on sunday. i have been making more Operation Mindfuck envelopes to be distributed to random people, while in costume, over the coming week.

happy “ride a unicycle” day!

220515 salamandir on a very small bicycle

okay, so it’s not a unicycle… but i’m free-mounting at least once for every 15 minutes of practise… and it’s not often that one gets to ride such a tiny bike. 😉

behind me, you can see hannah, riding a unicycle, between two bars. she is probably no older than 7 or so, and i WATCHED HER learn more on the unicycle, TODAY, than i learned in two years!

it’s so inspiring having young kids in the same class as old geezers.

sunday (yesterday)

i THINK i MAY have learned to free mount my unicycle! 👍

i went into the last class for this session about 15 minutes early, because i wanted to “practice” before class actually started. i free mounted almost immediately, and then did a couple more “almost free mounts” — i actually mount the unicycle, but i have to abort before i ride away: i figure it’s a “real” free mount if i can pedal at least twice, all the way around, before having to abort, and these were less than two complete rotations — then class started, and i got down to actually doing it… and i was able to break the limit of ten free mounts (after which i said i wasn’t going to count any longer) before the end of class. 👍👍

THEN, i went home to find moe out in the front yard, pulling weeds, and i asked her if she wanted to see me free mount the unicycle, and she said yes… AND I DID IT! 😎 THE FIRST TIME!! 😎👍👍👍👍

now i really have to get started on my flaming tuba… it won’t be long now. 😉

then, later on, i went to Fyodor Karamazov (tim furst)’s wedding party, to play my tuba with a group of musicians who were SPECIFICALLY chosen to play at this party, two days ago. it was a wedding, so there were A LOT of speeches, which meant that we didn’t play music as much as i would have liked (because we had to vacate the building before 1:00 am, otherwise the police would show up), but, strangely enough, it didn’t affect my payment in the least… and, because of the fact that there was ZERO traffic at 1:00 am, it only took me a half-hour to drive home…

but, apparently, i misplaced my regular reading glasses, after the show, so, in order to read the computer screen at a reasonable distance (as compared to a foot away from my face, while squinting), i’ve had to commandeer the glasses that i usually keep in the workshop… they’re the same prescription, but they’re a lot more chewed up, because i use them in the workshop. hopefully the regular ones will show up soon, because glasses are expensive, and i’ve “lost” too many pairs of glasses recently (which means “in the last 5 years”). 😒

cirque du soleil

a couple of friends bought moe and i tickets to see the cirque du soleil show “Allegria”, which we used today. i have seen “Saltimbanco”, and “Volta”, and i think i like this one best of all. it is, apparently, “Allegria 2.0”, which is a reboot of the show they did from 1994 to 2013, which, according to moe, was “why there weren’t as many set pieces and why there was a lot more acrobatics…” and, indeed, there was A LOT more acrobatics than i have seen at previous cirque shows. there were stacks of 3 people in several of the acts, and EVERY. SINGLE. ACT. had some variety of “death defying stunt”, from the stack of 3 people that “fell” into a bunch of long poles, which were being held on the shoulders of other guys, and ended up with two of the stack of three people standing ON the poles… and a 4-way “tumble track” that had 8 people bouncing and tumbling over the top of each other… and the guy with the german wheel that started with the wheel flat on the ground, and he got it up and rotating SIMPLY BY exherting momentum with his feet…

220129 cirque du soleil fire baton juggler - photo by moe
220129 cirque du soleil fire baton juggler – photo by moe
and the guy that juggled two fire batons, which he lit by passing the fire from one end to the other with his mouth… and the people that did the 3-dimentional acrobalancing dance, hanging from wires in the ceiling… and the contortionist/hand-balancer that, i think, may have been in the moisture festival a few years ago… and the flying trapeze artists… oh my! i don’t know what the original “Allegria” show was like, but this one BLEW. ME. AWAY!

literally… there was one of the “entr’acte” scenes, with clowns, where they created a literal blizzard of confetti that completely engulfed the people who were sitting close to the stage (which included us)… and then, after they had done a little dance with leaf blowers, to get the confetti off the stage, they had people who ran sheets up, over the heads of the front rows of seats, and they blew the confetti on to the sheets, which were, presumably, gathered up and recycled for the next show… there was A LOT of confetti…

and i got a souvenier collapsible velvet top hat, which is something i have wanted for a very long time. 😉

derp

since 22 november (a week ago monday), i have gotten 8 incense orders, and i’m back to almost $500 in my bank account, after having been, basically, wiped out in june. i sent out the final incense of the month to my first two incense of the month clients, which means that i have, officially, been doing the incense of the month club for a year, now. my business is as strong and as vital as it has ever been, and i am beginning to rebuild from the cloud disaster in june, but, every day i realise there’s another picture, or document, or bit of information, that i HAD on my old cloud drive. i’m still reeling from the loss of approximately 50% of my music collection. 😒

i’m learning to free mount on the unicycle, which is an important step in learning to ride the unicycle while playing the tuba. i have to be able to mount with no hands, not holding on to anything except the tuba, and i have to be able to ride away, while holding the tuba, without falling down. at this point, i’m ALMOST to the point where i can mount the unicycle with no hands. at this point, i can mount the unicycle with a pole in my left hand, to help me balance. if everything goes EXACTLY RIGHT, i can ride away after a couple seconds of wobbling and balancing on the pole. also, i am pretty sure i have learned how to turn left… which is important. turning right is a lot easier. i’ve been able to turn right for a while now. it turns out, turning left involves looking left, preferably at where i’m intending to go, and adding a little bit of extra “oomph” with my hips at just the right time. who would have ever thought that riding a unicycle would involve looking as much as it involves balance?

a number of things have happened, part 2

a number of things have happened since the last time i posted this — which, admittedly, was less than a week ago, but they’re significant enough to warrant another post.

the first is that i have now attended three weeks worth of circus classes. today i walked the entire length of the tight wire, backwards, with a pole in only one hand… and when i reached the end, it was a surprise. i thought i had two or three more steps to go. yay! go me! 👍

i talked with jo, the coach, about foot juggling, as well… she said they’ve got the doohickey that you lie on to do foot juggling, so… 😉

also, i got confirmation that my spore order was received, and i got confirmation that my order was shipped out, ANDthey’re arriving friday!!!

(woo hoo!!!) 😉

so, i am feeling A LOT more positive, and i still can’t tell whether the medication is having any effect…

AND

it is my understanding that i probably shouldn’t take mushrooms while i’m taking bupropion, because mushrooms are a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, and there’s some danger of an adverse reaction to the inhibition of the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine that bupropion does… and i’m not sure how to ask dr. akinyele about this, because of the legality issue, combined with the fact that she’s far enough away from me that she doesn’t have any concept of the political climate of the region in which i live.

(but the spores will be here friday, so i’d better figure it out pretty soon…) 😉

ouch!!! 😣

i’m learning to ride a unicycle.

there’s a guy in portland — The Unipiper — who rides around portland on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.

i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for YEARS. i’ve got all the necessary equipment to make a flaming tuba. the ONLY reason i have not made a flaming tuba before now is that i don’t want to set myself on fire. fortunately, i have a few friends who can alleviate that problem for me (i’ll set them on fire instead… 😉), so it’s just a matter of building it…

and learning to ride a unicycle.

so, i’m taking a unicycle class at SANCA.

i’m actually doing really well, considering that i’ve never done it before, and i deliberately signed up for a “Level 1/2” class instead of a “Level 1” class (so that i could combine the class with my already existing “Basic Circus Skills for Handicapped Adults” class, which occurs on the same day), and i’m keeping up…

although, to be honest, there’s a BIG motivation behind being in a class with two 8- to 10-year-old girls who are “Level 2” riders, and who, literally, ride circles around me. 😉 i REALLY want to ride as well as they do!! and they’re not even free-mounting, or riding around turns, or any of the “fancy” stuff that the unipiper does…

i’ve taken my third class, and i’m almost to the point where i can, honestly, say that i can actually “ride” the unicycle without holding on to anything: i can ride between two bars, only one of which i am holding on to, and ride beyond the end of the bars without holding on to anything… for about two cycles of the pedals, before i have to “dismount”… or fall…

the falling part is the part that i have been trying to avoid, and, for the most part, i have. however, i came home, last week, with a fancy bruise on my right knee, which was the first actual bruise i have gotten since i started the class, and, this week, i fell hard enough that, today, i strained to put my left knee in a brace, because it is hurting A LOT when i do relatively normal things like bending it, or lifting it… or doing pretty much anything except holding it straight with my leg elevated.

so, now, the question is, will i actually learn to ride a unicycle, or will i blow out my knees and end up in a wheelchair?

“courage is knowing it might hurt, but doing it anyway. stupidity is the same thing, which is why life is so hard.” — jeremy goldberg

i’m hoping it is the former, and not the latter.

although, either way, i can play the flaming tuba, so it’s all good… 😉