blk: (stilts)

Pictures from the Not Quite Pittsburgh Juggling Festival that we went to a few months ago, taken by the photographer Bill Allen.
blk: (stilts)
[ profile] xuth and the older of the [ profile] jboys and I went to the Not Quite Pittsburgh Juggling Festival yesterday, which is a small, fairly young, general gathering of jugglers, unicyclers, and other people who like to show off and do stupid tricks, held in a small town nearby. We packed the car with our collection of stilts and Xuth's bag o' tricks and headed up north to this year's festival location in Baden, PA, which is, well, not quite Pittsburgh.

It was our second return to this particular festival. It was a lot of fun to see so much talent, hard work, and sheer craziness in one place. Xuth joined up with his old juggling group from Ohio and spent most of the day passing clubs in various crazy ways. I wandered around on stilts for a bit, and got a fun video of club passing from the juggler's POV. J spent time learning cup-stacking and riding a waveboard, and got reasonably good at both of them.

I started practicing my basic 3-ball, then got distracted by a pair of Orbitwheels, which are basically a really wacky way to have your feet fly out from under you and land you on your ass. After about an hour of practicing over the course of the day, I succeeded in being able to roll in a straight line with help from a wall. Of course, I couldn't resist when the owner of the wheels decided he was ready to sell them. Anybody wanna come help me learn how to not kill myself?

Later on I gave stilt instructions to a variety of kids, who had a lot of fun and mostly only fell a few times. We left at the end of the day, very tired and a little sore.
blk: (spicy)
If I wait any longer to write up my yearly Arisia post, it'll never happen, so here's a trip report.

This year was very different in terms of trip planning, as I wasn't traveling there by myself, and didn't have to fly. [ profile] xuth and the Boy were along for the ride, and somehow we managed to pack the three of us, all of my business things, food/clothes/etc for the weekend, and two pairs of stilts into our tiny car. The weekend started off pretty badly, with a toothache for Xuth, a sore throat for me, and varying amounts of snow that we got to drive through on our way out east. We crashed outside of town late Thursday, then settled into the hotel on Friday.

Read more... )

I spent the next week getting over the rest of my Ick physically, and enjoying the fact that there was nothing I needed to do, which involved a whole lot of sitting on the couch. This week I'm starting to get back into life at a more normal pace, which is to say that I've got things to do and a desire to do them.

See y'all next year.
blk: (stilts)
We had such a good time at Oxidation Arts last weekend that we decided at the last minute to go to WildFire this weekend. I actually didn't do any spinning or fireplay, but there was plenty enough else going on to keep me busy.

dizzy with life )

Today we drive home, through annoyingly wetter but nicely cooler weather, but making good time so far. I'm pretty sure I'd do this again, although necessarily leaving out most if not all of the negative factors. I think this is a workable goal, so now I just need a few years to work on my juggling...
blk: (braids)
After the trip to MN last week, we drove back to Pittsburgh, unpacked the car, collected a few kids, did laundry, borrowed and packed the car, and left for camping in the mountains of NY.

rawr by qwrrty

Baitcon is as Baitcon is, which is full of ice cream and wonderful people and all sorts of fun. There was a plethora of bouncy stilting this year, in part thanks to the carload of stilts [ profile] xuth and I brought up with us. I tried my foot on a slackline, which was fun but very difficult. I finally got enough Dominion so that I think I can say I've learned how to play. I braided hair, including mine up with fun colors so that I don't have to think about it for the next while. I joined the Utilikilt contingent for giggles. I took naps and a few pictures and played with liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen. I got insect bites, a lot more than previous years, including one from a tick. I found him early, though, so I do hope this one heals faster than the other one (3.5 years and waiting!).

And then after a long and full weekend, we drove back home to unpack and return the car, get rid of the kids, do laundry, pack the car, and leave for camping in the mountains of VT. Man, we're crazy.

The night we got back, we noticed teh internets were out. Being too exhausted to think about it, I put off debugging until morning, when, after a few power cycles, I checked the landline, and noted the dial tone was out. Yep, that'd do it. A call to Verizon fixed it with an "oops" on their end, but the day of waiting around with No! Internet! prompted me to go ahead and hack my phone a bit more to enable tethering. Hurray! I now have internets everywhere! Well, almost everywhere, but everywhere enough that I can post this entry while riding in a car on the freeway through NY. Muahaha.

To make things better, while in the middle of dropping off kids at camp the first day back, I popped my beloved Saturn into reverse to turn around and.... something popped a lot harder than it should have and suddenly I couldn't shift to any gear other than reverse. I coasted awkwardly into a sort-of parking spot to call for help and await a tow truck, then enjoyed a very nice day for a couple mile walk home. The clutch cable broke, and as soon as they can find a Saturn-parts supplier, it'll get fixed for somewhat annoying but not horribly huge sums of cash. Good thing I don't need my car for the next week or so.

In the rest of the time we had to get ready for the next camping trip, I baked and cleaned while Xuth packed and prepped. Sadly, I barely glanced at my garden, which is slowly being overgrown by ignored tomato plants, or my blueberry bushes, which are merrily ripening away. It's lovely to own a place where I can enjoy locally grown food, except I'm feeling guilty about not taking proper care of things.

Meanwhile, this weekend we are off to Firefly to do some hard camping. I'm a little trepidatious about it, as it'll be my first time at any Burner-type event (and Xuth's mostly first time really doing this -with- someone), and I don't expect to know many people there. [ profile] frobzwiththingz promised me that I wouldn't die, so here's hoping.
blk: (spicy)
Another Arisia come and gone, successful and fun! I delayed this post for a while because I was waiting on pictures to prove I was there accompany the writeup, and then had a couple days of recovering from post-con Ick. I'm still hoping for the existence of some better pics, but for now, these will have to do.

through a crystal haze (trip recap) )
blk: (stilts)
It was a crazy, fun, wonderful weekend.

Friday, I stopped by CMU to pick up the last of my stuff, most of which was files and email on a portable drive. After I scan through the folders to make sure nothing obvious is missing, I will consider my separation from this relationship to be cleanly complete, and we can start working on a friendship again. Still haven't ruled out the possibility of trying to go back in some way or another, but whatever happens, it will be different.

xuth treed
Saturday, there was a party with bouncy stilts and games. We had five (!) pairs of bouncy stilts to run around in along my driveway and street, and about 10 people trading them off and being extra silly. The weather was cold but thankfully dry, although there were a few fun moments upon noting that muddy or icy grass is indeed slippery. People bounced until the sun and temperatures dipped low, and even for a bit after, before moving inside for games. I foresee this being a regular thing at future parties...

Sunday, I woke up to strange car noises from outside. [ profile] xuth commented that it sounded like tires stuck in snow. It does, I agreed, but that's impossible, since it wasn't snowing last night, and, being Pittsburgh, it couldn't have dumped that much on us in 8 hours. I peeked out the window, but aside from a drizzle, everything looked normal... except for a few cars seemingly parked rather oddly by the side of the road. Hrm. A few minutes later, the squealing came again, and a different angled window showed a car and four people all sliding comically on an obviously sheer-slick street, attempting to help the vehicle get to the top of the hill.

icy entertainment )
blk: (fall)
This last week saw the passing of the autumnal cross-quarter as well as my LASIK anniversary.

The clocks have been turned back, making darkness come disturbingly early. On the bright side, the lack of a job means I can still get outside and enjoy the diminishing sunlight a lot more than when I was in an office. On the other hand, I can feel myself mentally starting to burrow into my warm cozy home nest for the upcoming winter, and it's slowly getting harder to actually get things done. The idea of doing a lot of busy travel is becoming less appealing (fortunately, I've already acquired all the plane tickets I need for the next couple months), but I've also been enjoy cooking and stockpiling.

My eyes are still working as well as ever, with the exception that I returned from my last Boston trip having acquired a minor upper respiratory tract infection, complete with my apparent tendency towards conjunctivitis as a symptom. So yesterday was a cough, last night and this morning were spent cleaning eye gunk out of my lids. Today was the sore throat and aches, but all minor enough that I could pretty much ignore it. I expect a new set of symptoms tomorrow, and hopefully a quick recovery.

Current project: convince all my local friends to buy bouncy stilts. Because they are AWESOME.

There are lights in my windows now, bringing a bit more cheer to my darkness and a smile to my face. I'm looking forward to the cold of this winter season with a lot less trepidation than I have on ones past.
blk: (stilts)
Home again after a week of lovely, lovely vacation.

Last weekend was my final weekend this season as a guest braider at the Ohio renfest, this time accompanied by [ profile] xuth, who was traveling out that direction to see family. Attendance at the faire was nearly dead on Saturday, possibly due to the cooler weather, which made it completely unprofitable for me but still a lot of fun. I got introduced to X's kin on Sunday and then to lovely Hocking Hills on Monday, then was kidnapped back to Boston on Tuesday.

Wednesday through Friday was spent relaxing, seeing various people, getting rained on, climbing, and navigating the MBTA. Saturday we went out to play on bouncy stilts for a couple hours before I had to fly back home to Pittsburgh.

Sadly, USAir delayed my flight just enough so that I missed trick-or-treating with the [ profile] jboys, but [ profile] mj2q was nice enough to take them for the evening, so when [ profile] grouchyoldcoot kindly picked me up from PIT, I had some free time. He invited me to a small dinner party he was heading to, so in the car ride back to my house, we mentally threw together a simple accompanying costume for me, cobbled together with spare parts from around our houses.

... for science! )

Now I have the sun outside, dinner on the stove, boys happily playing, a very cuddly kitty, and plans for interesting small projects for myself this week.

Life is good.


blk: (Default)

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