Monday, December 22, 2014

Light

Every year I get so excited for Christmas! It's not because I'm Christian and view it as one of the most important celebrations of the year. It's not because my mom is completely obsessed to the point of reminding me how many months left on the 25th of each month. It's not because of the gifts. It's not because decorating is fun & pretty. It's not because of the food. It's not because of the snow. It's not because every Christmas from the time I can remember has at least one good memory attached to it.

All of those things are true, but over the years my love of this season has somehow absorbed all of these and still managed to grow beyond them. I love this season, this time of year because it reminds me how amazing humans are. I post every year on Facebook about how cultures around the world (although perhaps not as consistently in the souther hemisphere) celebrate light during the darkest week of the year. Now days the darkness of this time of year is usually brought up regarding electric & heat bills or depression but there was a time when it would have put a huge burden on human existence not to be able to provide in the same ways for their families. I think it speaks to our true nature that over the centuries we have chosen to celebrate light this week. We focus on its beauty and all the gifts & strength the light brings us. In stead of giving up we as a race pull together with our communities & those we love to remind each other to have hope. We feast, give gifts & make merry in direct defiance of darkness in the very week it is most prevalent. We remind each other that we are not alone, and together we are stronger. Together we will overcome & persevere.


I realize I have been speaking to literal light and dark, and in our history celebrations may have been just about that, but for me this season means something more. In a world full of stress, pressure and cultures that reward self preservation it reminds me that have not lost our ability to love selflessly or to give freely of ourselves. This season renews my faith, not just my spiritual faith, but my faith in the people of this world. It reminds me to look for it & live it everyday.  So as you sit down with your family and open gifts remember to love, remember to care, remember to hope. There is so much darkness in the world today remember we are stronger when we stand together and hold onto the light.
Happy Holidays


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

That's a Hill for Another Day

I had the day off today from random nerdy reasons you may hear about in a future post but I had the pleasure of doing my run in the morning. And for those of you that know my pleasant morning disposition I actually mean pleasure. It was a nice way to start my day, no one to bother, got my adrenaline going for the day, met my step goal by 8:30, and didn't have to worry so much about what I consumed during the day! Another run that went well and nothing to vent about! Other than, you know, the running part. ;) I made good splits, felt strong and to my surprise attacked the hills (I have three on my route) with more energy than I anticipated. The last one nearly killed me (figuratively) and I had to walk a large portion but that is a hill for another day.

Distance: 10k
Time: 76:23
Best Kilometer: 5th, 5:43
Worst Kilometer: 4th, 10:59
Weather: mid 40's, foggy ^_^
# This Wk: 1
Song I Finished To: Let It Go (don't judge me)

Stand Out Though: If I was a stay at home wife I think I would like to do this every morning

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

That's How You Know You're Doing It Right

I bet you're waiting to hear what went wrong this run, or what I'm going to complain about? Well not this time! Nothing went wrong, nothing hurt more than it should have, all things considered it was a pretty good run. I was a little slower than normal yes, but to be fair everything hurt. Not in an injury sort of way but in the way you hurt the morning after doing a great work out. It was the kind of hurt that reminds me I'm building strength & getting a burn from these runs, not to mention endurance. It's the kind of hurt that reminds you you're doing it right!

Distance: 5k
Time: 36:43
Best Kilometer: 5th, 6:22
Worst Kilometer: 1st/3rd, 7:43
Weather: 32
# This Wk: 2
Song I Finished To: Centuries

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Is For Training

I know you have all been missing the summer where I wrote about circus antics. Well here it is, the triumphant return of circus blogging!! I mentioned in a previous post that our gig frequency decreases in the winter so we often use this time for improving skills and finding new ones. I think it's because no one in our troupe is good at having too much down time, but that is why we do what we do.

The weekend just past we had two workshops, one was on juggling and the other was on circus balancing. I was very excited and ended up having a blast!! Juggling is something I've struggled with for a long time. It was nice to have some help and direction other than "just do it over and over". I mean that is obviously part of it but a part I understood when I started learning. I made some small progress with juggling not a lot but more importantly I understand the mechanics better. I will become a juggler!

The circus balancing though, that was my favorite! We did some rolla bolla which if you've read my blog is kinda my thing in our show. Also we got to play with a walking globe, it looks kinda like a big yoga ball but instead of being squishy and bouncy it's hard and rolly. Getting up was a bit challenging partly because I have short legs and the globe was just a few inches below my hips. Once I was up there I was able to find that sweet spot for balance pretty well. Walking though, walking is what I would need to work on most. Really want a new toy! The slack line surprisingly was my least favorite. Don't get my wrong it was really fun and if I had one I'd play on it, but I think I like tight rope walking better. I did well with it for a first time,  I was able to balance on my own for about 5 seconds and walking wasn't too bad. I even spun around it from a lay back position. Gave me a nasty rope burn though.

So now that the workshop is over theres a few things I am planning to work on this winter.
  • Rolla Bolla - jumping on it, balancing with the pipe the other way, turning my body the other way, standing in the middle, one foot, start stacking
  • Throwing Knives - just starting this really
  • Juggling
  • Getting back some of the aerial moves I lost with that rib thing
  • Press hand stands
If you were wondering the answer is yes. Yes, I am planning to build on all of those things with even more skills!

The First Step Is The Hardest

Those of you reading know that I'm working up to 10k distance. I decided that what I need to do is just start going that distance as often as time & my body allows. Even if I do not run the whole time. Two quick things about me: I'm very competitive, and very prize motivated. This makes it hard for me to set a reasonable pace for myself, I frequently over set my goals. Yesterday I set out to run/walk my new distance with a really reasonable goal though, of walking 1k and then running 2k. It was going really well, then my phone died. It appears I'm bound to have a glitch every run, such is life though right! I think I did pretty well regardless but keep in mind these stats are not entirely accurate (but more than last week!).

Distance: 10.5k
Time: approx 85 min
Best Kilometer: 5th 5:41
Worst Kilometer: 4th 11:06
Weather: 36 -> 34 degrees, snowing, ground was wet turning into slushy & slippery
# This Wk: 1
Song I Finished To: None, music died with my phone :(

Stand Out Though: The quickest way out is through

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The One That Shouldn't Have Happened

I kept trying to talk myself out of running today and for once I probably should have listened. Murphys Law definitely applied today! It started with Map My Run going crazy on me. So my distance and splits were not accurately calculated. Also even when I'm tight after I get myself moving muscles tend to loosen up. Nope! I actually got tighter as I ran and everything hurt, everything. I had to shorten my run by (I'm guessing) a kilometer or so just so I didn't pull anything. You know when you make a good choice for all the right reasons but it still feels like failure? That was my run from start to finish today. Sorry for the negative post but the only positive I can glean is: I did it. 


Distance: 4K
Time: 30:57
Best Kilometer: N/A
Worst Kilometer: N/A
Weather: 32 degrees, sunny, patches of snow & ice in the ground 
# This Wk: 2 
Song I Finished To: Shipping Off to Boston

Thoughts: (see above mostly),at least my leggings got broken in, maybe this means Tuesday will be better, can I get aways with blaming this on the full moon in two days? 
Look at my messed up GPS!!! This is NOT the route I took!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Back At It!

It has been two weeks since the Dirty Duel and I finally got back out on the pavement running. I know, I know! I've been a lazy slacker! To be fair it wasn't all laziness I had some legitimate reasons for postponing one of them being: cardio does not fit into my Thanksgiving schedule ;)

Distance: 5k
Time: 37:35
Best Kilometer: 2nd, 6:24
Worst Kilometer: 3rd, 9:29
Weather: 37 degrees, dry, sunny, some black ice >:
# This Wk: 1
Song I Finished To: Stamp On the Ground

Thoughts: This is going to be great I have new leggings, nope still sucks, but my leggings are still really great, this is gonna be a terrible run, it's OK because you were sick on Sunday, why does this actually clear out my respiratory system of all the junk?, I think my legs are too physically too short for running leggings, I get cake later

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Race Day 1.5


Why 1.5 you might ask?? This is my very first post about a race! But it's actually my second race, I ran a 5K in the spring which I did not blog about because I did not blog. Made sense to me. So I realized this spring that while I hate running I actually love race day!
It's so fun, there's so much energy and suddenly you're part of this group of people all doing the same torture. But what I learned this weekend is how unprepared I was for a trail run. I did OK with the distance but by the end I thought my quads were gonna give out. Probably gonna do it again next year.

5/3 River Bank Run (5/10/14)
Distance: 5k
Time: 27:10
Best Kilometer: 1st, 4:47
Worst Kilometer: 4th, 5:56
Weather: Spring time degrees, dry, sunny
# This Wk: 3
Song I Finished To: Olympic Fanfair



Dirty Duel (11/15/14)

Distance: 6k
Time: 47:51
Best Kilometer: 1st, 6:10
Worst Kilometer: 2nd, 9:08
Weather: 26 degrees, cold, traces of snow on the ground
# This Wk: 2
Song I Finished To: Olympic Fanfair


Thoughts: It's cold, I'm doing OK, keep it up, wait WHAT, seriously if this is the easy way what was the hard way like?!, just need to finish, I'm really sucking at this one, wish I had know what to expect, I'm not running up anymore hills, run just gotta cross the finish line running


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Did You Know I Hate Running

Readers I have come to a decision. When I don't like things that are good for me, or have to do anyway, I make them into a game. Real life - I need cardio. So running it is. I do all the fun things like count steps and calories and map my run etc. but I'm in a slump and I need to make it even more fun for myself. So I plan to blog about my progress. Don't worry they will be short! Stats mostly and maybe some of the thoughts I think along the way or even some of the struggle moments. So here we got!

Distance: 5k
Time: 34:44 (min:sec)
Best Kilometer: 2nd, 5:57
Worst Kilometer: 3rd, 7:10
Weather: 46 degrees, drizzle
# This Wk: 1
Song I Finished To: Olympic Fanfair

Thoughts: I hate this; Why does it hurt so much today?; Saturday's gonna suck balls; Maybe blogging abt it will help; Break my ankle in a pot hole or get hit by a car?

The Question of Small Towns

This weekend I ventured out to the East Coast with my mom to visit my brother and sister-in-law. The 10 hour drive from Grand Rapids, MI to Littlestown, PA is nothing short of exhausting. That is not to say it is with out bright spots. There is nothing like the rest stops on the Ohio turnpike, they are fully stocked oasis dotting your drive through hell. If it was not already clear, Ohio is low on my list of states to visit. Back to the bright spots, if you are driving this way and have the opportunity to drive through Pennsylvania and Maryland in the day light, do it. It is beautiful country side through the mountains with forests and rivers, it's really quite lovely. 
Each valley reliably has a small town of some kind, even as you move into the flatter terrain closer to the coast you will find small towns almost evenly spaced through out the country side. And with the exception of our visit to D.C. we spent the majority of the weekend in small towns. This got me thinking, "What would it be like to live in one of these tiny towns?"
I grew up in a moderately sized city that is no NYC or Chicago but it was a proper city with many of the perks and pitfalls. I have visited many cities and lived in several others learning that, I love cities. They are full of life, culture, food, impressive skylines, and there is nearly always something going on to do or try. I am not blind to their faults though, they are loud with higher crime rates, and people are mostly out for themselves. Not to mention questionable smells. But weekends like this make me wonder what the flip side is like. I really appreciate small towns as an adult. They are cute and charming. No one is ever in a hurry, even the most high strung of individuals are forced into a slower pace. There is also good food, some of the best breakfast potatoes I've ever had were in small New York town. There is always that little show that sells the strangest combination of useful and non useful items. History and tradition is sometimes more preserved because it's not just history it's family.  But each side of the fence has its weeds and small town life can not be as simple as it seems.
If I had grow up in one of these quaint little places that I enjoy exploring would I like doing that still? Would it have made me different some how? Would I still like cities or would I be afraid of them? Would I be more of a homebody and travel less? Would I place more value on traditional values or would it have the opposite effect? I love retreating to small towns and I enjoy playing the "What if?" game in my mind but the truth of it is, I am a city girl and I think I will be for some time yet. Perhaps when am retired I'll try out small town living...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Here's To All The Fangirls

I have commented several times in some of the My Thoughts on Media posts on my opinions about why people now love television and movies and stories in general. Some recent events have brought a further question to my mind. What makes a fan girl?

***** two things need to be said before I continue. 1. I recognize and understand that fanboys are an equally influential and prominent but for simplicities sake for this blog I will be using the term Fangirl, please understand I do not consider it gender specific. 2. Now this is important, all things I write here I write in love and solidarity for I consider myself a Fangirl on several accounts*****

Because sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious it should be stated that a true Fangirl is more than just a fan. More than just someone who reads a book because it's on a featured table, or sees as movie because it's at the top of the box office. A Fangirl doesn't go through "phases" they stay true, their love and dedication out lasts trends. 
These are not the people you casually chat at work or on the subway with about last nights episode or your general thoughts on your favorite book. Fangirl conversations go deep and get intense rapidly. You might think this would make them easy to spot, and if you did you'd be right. There are several tells that you are observing a fan girl the first is a failure to speak in complete sentences. When fangirls encounter each other there is a moment of testing each other out before recognizing their shared passion. At this point English is no longer suitable their connection requires a faster and more intimate form of communication: Fangirl Telepathy. Fangirls are also easily identified by the pitch of their squeals of excitement, because sometimes it's so exciting that your vocal chords exceed even your own expectations. If you are thinking that you've seen teens around the world display both of those qualities  the last tell is indisputable. The Fangirl Arms. You know the ones, where they wave both hands back and forth in front of their chest & face rapidly as if they are about to sneeze out fire. 

http://www.rots.com/video/10837/david-attenborough-observes-fangirls

If this is how you recognize a Fangirl I repeat my previous question, what makes a Fangirl. What takes someone from casual enjoyment of something to cosplay? What prompts someone to start writing fanfiction so they can further emerse themselves in the world of their choosing? This is not to mention the clothing, and jewelry, even tattoos of a specific interest. Does fangirling qualify as obsession or is it something else? Some would say that fangirls have their origins on Tumbler, but I would argue that people were fangirling before that even if the label didn't exist yet. So was the beginning on My Space? Or did this all start before that with say Beatlemania? 

The reality is I don't know. But I have been thinking about it a lot in the last two weeks because of two events the first was one of the teenage girls at work telling me out right that I am too old to Fangirl. Whether or no that's true I do it anyway and I don't feel bad about it! The other was two different teenage girls fangirling so hard that they actually wrote a physical list of reasons why I should watch Supernatural, which a good friend of mine saw and felt compelled to add to. I have good friends :)

I will leave you with this list because while I may not know what started fangirling but this made me so happy when I read it. I suppose that's why us fangirls do it. Fangirl (or boy) on my friends! 

Reasons that I should watch Supernatural as written by 2 teenage girls & Michelle:
1. Dean
2. Sams hair
3. Sam
4. Crowley - King of Hell
5. Deanmon
6. ❤️Cas❤️
7. SuperWhoLock
8. Destiel
9. Moose
10. Squirrel
11. '67 Chevy Impala 
12. JENSEN ACKLES
13. JARED PADALECKI
14. MISHA COLLINS
15. Demons
16. Angels
17. Bobby is a nice guy
18. Charli
19. "I have genital herpes" - Sam in Hepexia
20. Lots of killing
21. Everyone dies
22. 5 people die in first episode
23. Becky
24. The Supernatutal books
25. Slow change of Sams hair
26. Both been to hell like 7 times
27. Purgatory 
28. Heaven
29. Hellhounds
30. Abbadon
31. Matt Cohen 
32. Genevieve Padalecki
33. Misha Collins ice bucket challenge
34. Puppy Sam 
35. PLAID
36. Cas' pimp car
37. When the car turns into a girl
38. Binge watching
39. Yellow eyed demon
40. GABRIEL 
41. Metatron >:(
42. Garth & his cowboy hat
43. Things that go bump in the night
44. The time the guy died from eating too much
45. Winkies
46. Meg the demon
47. Megstiel
48. Deans love for burgers
49. Zombie burgers
50. Sam & his vegatabes
51. Deans love for pie
52. Dean with babies & kids
53. Krissy chambers
54. Krissy & dean relationship
55. The wedding chapel
56. LUCIFER❤️
57. Adam Winchester 
58. Dean dying because of a chihuahua 
59. More plaid
60. Trench coat 
61. CAS IN THE SUIT
62. Fake FBI stuff 
63. Ellen, jo, ash
64. Dean & Sam getting drunk
65. Croatoan
66. When the animals talked
67. Multiplepacolyses
68. Classic rock
69. Mishapscolypse
70. Cas having the leviathans in him
71. Dick roman
72. Greys Anatomy spinoff-thingy
73. Filmed in Vancouver 
74."You don't understand I NEED PIE" 
75. FANGIRL
76. Luci torturing Sam 
77. Crazy Sam
78. Pie
79. 4,000,000,000,000 Tuesday 
80. 4,000,000,000,000 deans death
81. Soulless Sam
82. Angel Sam 
83. Leviathan Sam 
84. Leviathan dean 
85. Halloween episode
86. Christmas episode
87. When Sam decorated Xmas tree w/ air fresheners
88. Fat Santa 
89. Bela talbot is rich & cool
90. Ellen & bobby relationship
91. Jody mills
92. Jody mills & bobby
93. Bobby killed his wife
94. Satan is cold
95. Supernatural fandom
96. The casts kids
97. The casts families
98. THE CAST
99. exorcisms
100. Rituals
101. Lots of lambs blood 
102. Killer tree
103. Young John & Mary winchester 
104. Hunters
105. Dean is snorts!!
106. Dean as a teacher
107. Sam as a janitor
108. Mary is dead
109. So is John
110. And bobby 
111. And Ellen
112. And jo
113. And ash
114. And all of Sams girlfriends
115. Sam and Dean in Lansing 
116. Pranks
117. Sam as a yoga teacher
118. All the cool monster lore
119. Sarcasm
120. John Winchester/ Jeffery Dean Morgan 



Thursday, October 30, 2014

#ChallengeAccepted

I'm To explain briefly, I have a close friend and we love joking about silly, ridiculous, or even just stupid things in pop culture. I think this is because we both work with young people and have to deal with and manage these things on a regular basis. Recently we were joking about hash-tags and spent probably 10 minutes saying "hash-tag" before everything we said. At some point my friend challenged me to write and entire blog using hash-tags and well I'm competative what can I say. You decide if you want to keep reading. #trainwreck #sorrynotsorry

#whodoesthis #seriously #todaysyouth #butforreal #cultureshock #howdidthishappen #mytheory #socialmedia #instantgratification #instantinfo #shortattentionspan #noconsequences #Twitter #thebeginning #hashtags #hashtagsonfacebook #hashtagsofinstagram #hashtagsinconversation #whathappenedtogrammar #imissgrammar #wheredidthearticlesgo #nottomention #punctuation #peopledontwantthem #sadface #communicationchange #faster #easier #isitbetter #thismakesmefeelold #butsomeoneshouldask #otherwise #wewontknow #EVER

#itskindafunthough #hardbutfun #tryitwithyourfriends #neverstops #likeateenagecouple #onthephone #noyoustop #noyou #noyou #noyou #yougettheidea #usefulsometimes #forexample #insidejokes #evenihavesome #CFYIMA #tooanythingforahat #whenthesnowfalls #makesmesmile #friends #goodtimes

#notallhashtagsareequal #suckstosuck #whyisthat #lotsofthings #annoying #toolong #overused #askateenager #oranyone #idid #hereswhattheysay #bragging #inyourface #cliches #stupidstuff #missedthepoint #didyouknow #therewasapoint #hashtagslinked #linkedpeople #linkedsimilartopics #notanymore  #eitherway #heretostay #whatsnext #IDK #couldbebetter #couldbeworse #lol #teenswillfeeloldthen #dontworryillfeelolder #askedmykids #askedfacebook #bestandworse #subjecttoopinion #tallyho

#BEST
#thestruggle
#nerdgirlproblems
#godisgood
#none
#suckstosuck
#icannotbelieveijusthashtaggedahashtag
#restingbitchface

#WORST
#hashtag
#yolo
#selfie
#bae
#nofilter
#firstworldproblems
#tbt #wcw #mcm
#bros4hos

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

True Blood "Thank You"

I should start by saying SPOILER ALERT: I will be discussing not only Super Sundays but also the series finale of True Blood. If you do not want to know what happens stop reading.




It has been a while since I've written about Super Sundays. This is in part because I've had several other things I've been trying to get to but also because Super Sundays has been less that super lately. With performance season several of our regular attendees, myself included, have been unable to attend. Our numbers have also suffered due to several people moving away. I am hopeful that interest will pick up again soon especially with the News Room which I am super pumped to have back! This got me thinking about why television draws people together the way it does. Perhaps some of you have a show that you get together with others to watch, or maybe you don't but you're the person that can't wait to chat about your favorite show at work the next day with your coworkers. I have no evidence to back this up nor do I expect others to agree with me. I feel like our urge to get sucked into TV and watch with people or talk about it in person or in social media is connected to the same thing that draws us to telling stories around a camp fire or the instinct we have to continue passing on our personal histories verbally to our children. So when I start to sound like a TV addict just know that I am a story teller and drawn to other story tellers.
So True Blood. Say what you will but I liked the end. There are so many shows that spend seasons building up to a finale and don't deliver. This time they did. The plot threads were tied up and the viewer did not need to know more. Myself, I didn't want to, but in a satisfied way not in an "I give up way". Eric, my favorite character was totally on top where he should be! (Jackie take a shot) I came so close to punching the air and shouting "yes" at the moment you see all his suave Viking charm put to use :)
 I also liked that Sookie ended up with someone random. It was better story telling and probably the only smart thing she did in the whole run of the show! I like that we don't see him and it feels fresh like she is really truly starting over. The only thing that would have made me happier would be if they had killed her. But that's my own gripes, hate me if you want. 

TIME WARP!!!

As you may have noticed I'm a super slacker on writing regularly so now you get to hear me fan girl about my new TV obsession. It doesn't air on Sunday nor does anyone watch with me, except my one friend I was able to talk into it. But really Outlander is consuming my mind!
I read the books and the whole concept has always been fascinating to me. But standing stones pull at something in my soul. But if we are being honest here the main reason this show is successful is that they did an amazing job casting the male lead. Pretty good actor, although to be fair to him most of what I've seen him in has been fluffy stuff, and he looks the part. Which to clarify is sexy. I'm super pumped for it to come back in April!!! Not super pumped about waiting till April šŸ˜”

When Circus Meets Dance

Well now I've been writing lots about festivals and fairs which I like to think you all enjoyed but all of these things need costumes and this past weekend we went to the UDMA. Or in layman's terms is a giant room full of more costumes than anyone actually needs. But they're pretty!!

Once again feeling out of my element I dove in to a world of glitter, spandex, grace and extreme pressure. I learned about running a studio and rhinstoning and fixing bad ballet habits. Did I mention I've never danced in my life? But who cares! We got to wander around taking a look at all the potential costumes for silks and stilts and contortion, all our circus needs. The other wonderful part was looking at all the other things that the dance world unintentionally provides us with to make our aerial studio even better. I can only speak for myself but sometimes I get so emersed in the circus aspect of what we do that I forget how many things the aerial arts share with dance. 

I found that looking at costumes is not only like playing imaginary dress up, it's also good inspiration. As I looked through catalogues and racks of all types of costumes I found some much needed inspiration for my small assortment of ground acts. I am not always the most creative of types so I will take inspiration where I can get it. 

My biggest take away from this is someting I already knew but when I experience it happening in front of me it surprises me every time. If you act like you belong, people just accept that you do. We were in the company of big, established and really intense dance studios and even though some venders didn't take us seriously, for the most part they were just as excited to talk to us and made our time super fun!

1. Rolling Meadows does NOT sell alcohol after 11pm
2. The head bitch always knows everything 
3. Tote bags come in many sizes and colors
4. Double 2s, double 2s, and double 5s do not equal snake eyes
5. Everything should be rhinestoned!!!
6. Put me on a convention floor and I will find the free stuff
7. The TV in the bathroom will always be more interesting than any other TV
8. Costume catalogues are heavy
9. The dance world is actually as dramatic as it appears on TV
10. Sabrina and I are pretty much shower planning geniuses

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 10 - The End

To every season there is an end and the first weekend in October brought an end to this years "Summer Cirque" season. Of course the gigs will not stop but there is a different feel to them.

Our last fair is one of extremes. On one hand it was cold and uncomfortable. 
On the other hand the vast majority of acts we love to share stages/fair with were here. Over come with nostalgia I realized several things about how far I've come in the 3 years since cirque was introduced to my life.
Fisher's Renaissance Festival was my very first Renaissance fair 3 years ago. We did not perform there last year so when I arrived back this year the differences in myself and my acts were clear to me. Then I was not part of the company, now I have two seasons under my belt. I am performing aerial and comfortable doing so in less than ideal weather conditions but I am also performing ground acts and making a presence on stage. Then I struggled to find clothing that was period appropriate and also warm, now I arrived with the multiple piratey layers needed to stay warm complete with boots and a cape. The cape saved my life! Then I was the strange newby that was meeting everyone for the first time and didn't wander about with out the safety net of my new possy, now I roamed the fair comfortably and visited good friends.
Stripey socks though, stripey socks are constant ;)

I am happy to have the season end. It will give me time to get back to all the other odd activities I do. I will get to spend some much needed time with friends outside my cirque world and visit family. I will also have time to work on new acts and making my current acts more exciting! It is time to take a break from fairs and turn my attention to other things. Here's to ending the season on such a positive and warm note!  So to all my faire friends:
Farewell where every you fair.


This years last lessons of Ren Faire:
1. Tentception = warm and makes you popular
2. When you have heater brownies appear
3. Wind cancels out spinning
4. Sometimes pumpkin ale just starts appearing 
5. Max is random
6. Squire Paul gets bored easily
7. You can spot an imitation  TARDIS because it is not bigger on the inside
8. The stripey sock market is no longer saturated
9. We are SO FAST at setting up the rig in the cold
10. The "eat what ever you want because it's fair weekend" policy catches up with you in the end.... 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 9

"Good morning Baltimore!"
Last weekend KB worked a gig at the University of Martland for an all night event. Several things stood out for me on this one. The first was that Baltimore is really far away. 

I mean not just kinda far but bordering back seat induced insanity! Our car was full and everytime we stopped I feel like I stumbled out and crawled to the bathroom. At one point there was hysterical laughter for no reason at all. 



The ripleys museum in Baltimore is SO COOL! 
Some highlights that got me real excited, Popsicle stick hogwarts, won't lie I couldn't stop looking at it. 
Super model mirror that made me look awesome. 
Tight rope to play on, Woot! 
Small scale subway tunnels to crawl in. And a mirror maze! Shout out to the tactile kids for making it through!!!

This gig was great for me on a personal level because I did something I have never done and wasn't really sure I could do. We each went up and and did two 10 min sets each. I realize that doesn't sound so bad but 3 songs worth of aerial is a lot! Especially if you're not used to it. This kind of set requires you to slow down everything and be, for lack of a better phrase, "artsy". This is not my strength. My fears were this: 1. I physically wouldnt be able to handle  being in the air that long and 2. I would look stupid and like I was trying too hard. For my first fear, I did it! No falling, I made it through both sets and only normal sore feelings after! As for the second I very well may have looked stupid but it felt better than I thought and the second set felt better than the first so that's all I can ask for. 
But really, Baltimore is far away!!!

Summer Cirque Part 8


This year we spent the weekend of Sept 13-15 in Iowa!! That's right Des Moines Renaissance Festival! 
It was a blast, and castle. We met lots of new people and castle. Had to wear unitards and castle. Actually got running water for a change and castle. I got to see my friend from study abroad and... Yep you guessed it CASTLE!!!
So now that you're wondering ;) our stage was actually a castle. And I felt like a bad ass doing aerial in front of a castle. Look: 

Seriously though it was cool. 
I really enjoyed not being "the new kid on the block" this time around. This is different than what I wrote about from earlier this summer. That was more of a feeling of being accepted into a community of performers which I loved, and cherish the memory of that experience. But this time it felt like everyone in our troup was on equal footing. Yes it was clear that Sylver and Gwyd both lead the troup and have the most experience but we came into this new fair as a solid unit and the solidarity held. We were new as a group and they accepted us into their community as a goup. Now this is not to say that I am ungrateful for the performing community that was gifted to me in Michigan. I am celebrating the cohesion that has developed over this year that allows others to view KB as a unified troup and not individual performers clumped awkwardly together. I am excited to be a part of it and for this to continue

Things we learned in Iowa:
1. Captin James T Kirk will be born in an alley

2. Even bees attacking small children can't stop our show
3. Renny hair braids are amazing

4. The soup disappears
5. Every fair has doppelgƤngers
6. BEES!!!!
7. The Knotty Bits makes a great verse to "what do you do with a drunken sailor"
8. Every fair has participants with questionable morals
9. Watching a dragon eat French fries is awesome!
10. When the Pirates storm the castle the Jolly Roger looks amazing up top

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 7

FYI:  I should specify that my previous Cirque post due to some technical difficulties was delayed. Pirate Fest was actually August 9th & 10th. This post is about the most current weekend Aug. 23rd & 24th.

Yes that's right. I spent yet another weekend in the renaissance. And boy was it got and uncomfortable! But this weekend a company member that hasn't worked with us allll summer joined us and it was fabulous!! Got to work on my partner acro which is always a favorite of mine. I also got back on the Lyra this weekend which was a bit rocky but lots of fun. 
This weekend I spent a lot of time thinking about the future of my acts and various costume situations. If you have ever seen a sideshow or circus act and thought "how did they come up with that idea" I can only speak for myself really but for me there's a few options of how this goes down. The most straight forward is of course when my boss just tells me "I think you should learn this". Then I start trying. 

Sometimes I see another performer executing a skill and think "I could totally do that!" Usually what that really means is that with lots of practice and probably bruises I can work up to that. Most of the time it really happens too! 
There are also situations where my ADHD self gets bored with my act and starts researching how to make it more interesting. My favorite is when I see something totally unrelated and decide surely I can add that to my act! That happened this weekend. 
I have a specific act that needs to be made more interesting. Not because it's bad but more because I have a short attention span. In my selfishness I saw some belly dancers do a sword dance in which they balance swords on their heads and thought "that's what I need for my act!" I'll probably try it. Could go horribly, either way I promise to write abt it. 
I'll try to find something other than fair to write about for my cirque category. Till then...

Things I learned at Ren Fair
1. Eating all the food can make you want to take your clothes off
2. Wearing a security shirt does not give you a free pass 
3. Not all crochet dragons are created equally 
4. "Do you wanna do a sideshow?" (Song)
5. Everything's better when your spinning, just not too fast
6. People exist that have not seen Mean Girls
7. When it's humid everything sticks. EVERYTHING
8. Calories don't count on fair weekends 
9. All food tastes better when served on swords 
10. The female William Shatner of waitressing does exist

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 6

I spent this weekend at West Michigan Pirate Festival. I wish I could say it  was something new and adventurous for me but it was remarkably similar to the renaissance festivals. That being said I still had a blast this weekend and got to know even more performers vendors well.

I wish I could say it was lots different from the renaissance fairs but truth be told it was very similar. What struck me this time was how much the audience really does keep you going. Perhaps some of you are not up Michigan weather but it was super hot this weekend and we had the pleasure of working in the center of the fair. A fair that was in the middle of a field, so no shade. On days like this it's hard to remember why you spend your weekends dressed in spandex sweating. Until a small child comes up to you with big eyes and asks you how you stay up on the ropes, or the audience has just the perfect reaction to a skill you've been working on that's the moment you realize why you put yourself through the heat and the sweat and sometimes the freezing cold (I'll write that blog later). Maybe that makes us all attention seeking and spot light starved, but I choose to believe that it means we are people that have a gift. The unique ability to suspend reality and exist for a time as a pirate or back in the renaissance. Instead of being weirdos that are possibly diagnosable we share this gift with our audience to help them also suspend reality. Then hopefully everyone has relieved a little stress!
Enough with my sappy ramblings I have altered the title of the closing section to fit the theme. Catch ya later!
Pirate Lessons:
1. Rennies double as pirates 
2. Two men sometimes talk abt gag reflexes on Sunday mornings
3. "Susan B Anthony was the original. Thomas Jefferson was cool too. Ben Franklin was creepy." 
4. New KB roles Sylver: artistic director and le jefe, Sabrina: personal trainer, Gwyd: cat herder, Me: fashion and hair director
5. Blue Beard hides everything in his hat
6. In black, red, and stripes Sylver Sabrina and I are sisters
7. If stretching were a competitive sport it would have its own ESPN channel
8. We are strong as marines or amazons, you decide
9. Dragons have awesome ice cream
10. Rib cages suck when they are not in place

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 5

You may have been thinking that I quit the circus, but this is the post to remind you that's not true! I have written quite a bit about my Renaissance fair antics but I do other things as well. One of  my favorite gigs that keeps me busy in the summer is stilt walking at our local ballpark.

I have never been one for baseball. I don't understand it, and I get bored trying to watch it. I have done this gig for 2 summers now and only ever seen something happen twice. Working this gig has taught me to appreciate why Americans love it. This is a sport where you can show up halfway through and it's OK.  You can chat with your friends, eat, and drink all with out danger of missing something important. Because it never happens ;)

Baseball aside I love stilting there! The crowds are so friendly and the kids love it! The season ticket holders all look forward to seeing me and asking how I'm doing and make me feel so welcome. Last year they all said farewell on the season closer and when our ballpark was struck with a fire they all told me how worried they were that I would  not be back. My favorite part about stilt walking is the reactions I get from people which really never gets old.

There's the Toddler Reaction: Usually a child between 18 months and 4 years. They stare at you with and intensity that can only be broken by their parent picking them up and moving them, or food. They are trying to figure out why this is wrong. They can tell something isn't right about you but can't figure out what it is. Approach with caution though, these are the children most likely to scream.

The Young Child Reaction: This is typically a child between 5 and 11. They've picked you out as something strange and fun to play with. They love high fiving you, running between your legs and asking you all manner of questions from "How did you get so tall?" to "How do you drive?". My absolute favorites were "how do you get in bed?" and " What are you?"

The Middle Aged Man Reaction: These men are easy to spot they are usually drinking but don't have to be. Their wives are either not with them (they are with the guys) or they are the quiet sort of wife that laughs or scolds from the sidelines. These are the ones that are most likely to joke about knocking you over. They are rarely serious but best to be on your guard and squash the idea early. They are also lots of fun because they typically get sarcasm and want to joke with you. I would say most of the time these are bad jokes about playing basketball or liking women with long legs, on a good day I get puns :)

The rest of can be simply summed up they are either impressed at your skill or too cool to acknowledge you. I enjoy all the reactions I get and I love guessing what it will be in my head before I interact with a person. I work more than just baseball games if you are wondering. Once I worked at a corporate gig in a museum which was fun, partially because I love museums in general but this one had sentimental significance for me as well! Recently I worked a city festival which was also fun. there were of couse lots of kids but a fun band that gave me shout outs every time I walked by and lots of people running for state office that though I was pretty awesome. I absolutely love that I get to stilt walk it gives me an excuse to meet all types of people. I will write more soon we have a few more gigs coming up this summer!

Monday, July 21, 2014

True Blood

Sorry it has been so long since my last post! Life has gotten away with me but I'm back and although the group has dwindled Super Sundays is still going strong. We have moved into True Blood which if you don't know is in it's final season. Speaking for myself and most of the people I know, thank god! Last season was bad. So bad I almost didn't watch this season. There is a phenomenon in television that is not exclusive to American programming but is most frequently found there. That is the continuation for a show past it's natural end.
Every program regardless of genre is telling a story, if it doesn't then it's not a very good show. All stories have a natural arch to them which is typically determined by the nature of the story. It really is OK if a show runs 3 - 4 seasons and plays out this story arch and then ends. But in a culture where binge watching & total immersion in our television is encouraged (I'm just as guilty) the viewer is left demanding more. The production companies are quick capitalize on this and green light season of shows way past the amount of story the writers had in mind. We've all been there where it felt like a show was done and then we find out they are bringing it back. Full of excitement we sit down for that next season and feel that disappointment when we realize we can no longer justify loving said show the way we used to. \
Stepping off my soap box now. The point of this rant is I feel that True Blood has long past this point. The shit they've made up in the last few seasons has been absolutely ridiculous! To the point where I found myself no longer buying into the world that had been created for me. It lost it's shinny. That being said with the announcement that this is in fact the final season the writers seem to have been infused with creative vigor! They have made many decisions I can support this season, like taking characters that used to be minor characters and building their importance. This is mostly because everyone else is dead which brings me to the second thing I've enjoyed this season. They appear to have been inspired by Game of Thrones and have adopted a "lets kill everyone" attitude. I love these characters I really do but this is the last season of a vampire show, why the hell not? Each one of them has gone out with a bang so far too which is fun. The last thing I love about this season is that the "old Eric" is back. I enjoyed romantic Eric but the version of this character that couldn't give a shit is way more fun!
I promise to post again soon!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 4

So this weekend was supposed to be weekend two of North Hold Renessaince Fair, but due to unforeseen factors it did not happen… exactly. There was much disappointment from many, for a variety of reasons, so a member from one of the acts organized an event in its place. There were many that could not attend due to costs and booking other gigs but those of us performers that could traveled back up to Cadillac MI to have Renessaince gathering of sorts. 

Over all I would say it was a good weekend but it definitely had it's bumps in the road. I for one did not like having to repack the car to drive down the street and unload it again. Not cool! Also the wind really made aerial difficult and scary yesterday! We weren't even able to go up today it was so strong! Not to mention the lightning threat. And the uncertainty made everyone on edge just a little bit, at least that's how it looked from my perspective. But at the risk of sounding cliche I like to take what I can from these times. For example I got to work out alternative sequencing for my routine and play around more with my rolla-bolla act. Also got to hang with some cools people again this weekend! So with out further rambling I'll get to what I like to imagine is everyone's favorite part. 

Things I learned at the Renessaince (sort of) fair:
1. Wind is trying to kill you
2. I have too much awesome to fit through one hoola-hoop
3. Audiences love it when they think you're gonna die but don't 
4. How to select audience members
5. There is a lovely generous person out there that tips in teensy weensy bottles of Kracken 
6. My love of bag pipes is lasting
7. I can fall asleep to scary movies if I'm not paying attention
8. Whiskey mustard exists!!!
9. My abs are shaping my fat but not getting rid if it
10. Lemon flavored icing goes really well with cinnamon 

Farewell where ever you fare




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 3

Well surprise! You get two posts this week! Guess where I was this weekend.... That's right I was at the Renaissance Fair! This weekend was the first ever weekend of North Hold Renaissance Fair in Cadillac MI. Mixed feelings about this one but overall I am pleased.

Down sides first, attendance was super low. Being the first weekend of the first year of this fair I'm just not sure very many people knew about it. This means tips were pretty scarce, in fact on Saturday we had to work 2 shows just to get lunch! Eeek! You might not know this about me but I get hangry, and it happens more quickly when I'm burning calories so the thought of not having lunch was scary! To be fair to our lovely patrons, tips were low not because they were stingy, there just wasn't very many of them. They were quite generous in fact and many of them stopped to chat and it was wonderful! Also our stage, which was the cool kids stage, was directly in the sun pretty much all day. So much so that I may have gotten distracted by the glitter on my eyes at one point in the middle of a show. Oops!

Now before you start thinking I had an awful time at this fair I will share all the brilliant things that happened! We got to share the stage with one of my favorite performers I have ever met in person! Ric Roc is outstanding, both to watch perform and to hang out with back stage during fair! Good times were had by all and screaming chickens were thrown more often than they should have been. Or not enough? We had a reappearance this weekend of the Gwyd and Dangit version of our show (my other boss Sylver was at a different gig, don't worry she'll be back this weekend!) which meant that I got to practice my stage presence. I have found my self starting to say lines to the show in my own way with my own flavor which is cool because when I start doing this at Mayfaire this year I was mostly copying the way Sylver delivered the lines. It means I'm growing, aren't you proud reader? I got to hang out with my ren fair friends from previous fairs which is always a good time but I also got to chill with some music groups that I really enjoy and one of them I've never seen perform at all! So as I said mixed feelings on the weekend but if I had to give an overall opinion I would say it was a great time and I hope that the fair grows and people hear about it! Now for your favorite part of these

Things I learned at Ren fair:
1. Drums exist that are so large I could fit in them
2. The Box of Extreme Discomfort is truly an easy bake oven
3. Audiences love the screaming chickens
4. So do we
5. I can still juggle after not having tried it for a month (only once though)
6. The song Wipe Out completely transforms my rolla-bolla skills into an act
7. First impressions can be unfairly colored by unrelated events
8. There are some flies that can bite right through tights!!
9. I am not the only one amused by my rear view camera
10. I really should get the Monday after fair off!

Till next time!