Archive for the ‘Week 04’ Category

Week 4 – Betty Jarra

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Betty Jarra, Week 04

Adding a little extra on top, because it’s Easter 😉

“Learning To Fly”
Pink Floyd

Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction is holding me fast,
How can I escape this irresistible grasp?

Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought, I thought of everything
No navigator to find my way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone
A soul in tension — that’s learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
……

Flying lesson 4

Incredible how a half-hour walk can provide new insights and discoveries every day.
Evening walk today because I was too tired to walk home from work.

Being Friday night I walk in to town, just to get some variation and to walk among people that might be in a party mood. Kings Street up and halfway down.
The first 10 minutes it’s just fun to walk. Then I start to look at it as that gift again and it immediately it becomes far more difficult. I believe there’s something important tied up in that so I repeat the gift part in my head now and then. The first thing that happens, doing that, is that I realize how my shoulders are pretty stiff. Waving my arms back and forth anyway and know that I must deal with those shoulders somehow later.
Another obstacle, the more I repeat how this walking is for me, are my legs getting stiff from my hips down. That femininity is sure difficult to handle.
But against stiff hips I have tools. Swaying the hips in a sort of catwalk style makes it hard to stay rigid for long. So with hips swaying and arms swinging (without flapping too much since I’m on Kings Street) I walk all the way.

After passing pissed guys pissing against walls and groups of girls in festive mood, sharp healed knee high boots, tight legs and leather skirts (how incredibly off they are in their timing, the guys with the girls and vice versa) I become pretty good at swaying.
I’ve also been partying like that not too long ago. Thinking about what their real underlying purpose might be. Building a steady relationships, marriage and kids, or?
I managed to get both of them in those days. Got a kid one time and caught a man the next.
I did wear something tight too, and red, but never high heels.

On my way back (Kings Street is too short for a half hour walk) I’m suddenly forced to squeeze my way through a movie crowd on their way out. It’s a bit tough. It’s me against the world and it’s not until I have pushed myself through, all the way to the curb, that I remember how this walk is supposed to be a gift to myself. Not a battle against the rest of humanity.
Yet another important thing to practice, which is great to do on city streets on Friday nights.
My flying lessons are all about me and nobody else.
But you are of course allowed to come along, to walk in my footsteps for a while.

So many more difficult things to grasp; it IS a gift to myself although I try to avoid it. It has a lot to do with my femininity (I’m probably trying to avoid that too) and that comparison never works because there’s nobody to compare with. That last one I know, pretty well even, but still…….

By the way, your trust in me, that I will eventually become a pro flyer is at least a100 times stronger than from the kids I met today.
I know them from before and some of them know that I have wings. So one of them tells the others that “Betty says she can fly”. I show them my wings and tell them how I have recently practiced take offs, uphill. They have serious doubts, pointing out that my wings are just tattoos. But I tell them to keep their eyes open in the summer when I might be flying around above their kindergarten. What do kids know!
Anyway we agree on that it’s important to flap the arms as well, although the wings are on my feet.
They aren’t all that negative after all.

Come, fly with me!

In Sweden we (witches) fly to Blåkulla (Blue Hill) on Easter Thursday to dance with the devil.
So I’m off!

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Week 4- w.c. pelon

Posted: April 20, 2011 in w.c. pelon, Week 04

“Flower Sticks”

Flower Sticks: also known as devil, juggling, or inertia sticks.

I purchased my first pair of devil sticks in the summer of 1995.  My fellow geek and uber-cool brother-in-law Mike taught me how to juggle them.  By the following summer, I had used them so often I managed to break the center (or “flower”) stick in half.  I disassembled the set to repair them, and in doing so I realized I could reverse engineer them using common materials.  I picked up some poplar dowels, 20″ inner tube and electrical tape in a variety of colors and was on my way.  Now, 15 years later, I’m still building them.

Materials: wooden dowels, used bicycle inner tubes, electrical/vinyl repair tape, scissors

Each spring, I kick off the juggling season by constructing two pairs for personal use (in addition to the sticks I make for friends & for sale throughout the year); one lighter, more slender set for speed and a second, heavier set for increased resistance.  This set of flower sticks is the former, and aesthetically I’m quite proud of the way they turned out.

A closer view of the center (or "Flower") stick.

This year, I intend to experiment with new materials:  fabric tapes, skateboard grip tape, neoprene, aluminum rods instead of dowels, etc.  Since each set is handcrafted, no two are exactly alike, either in form or function.  As weight, size and shape affect rotational inertia, each unique set allows for different tricks.  As a rule, longer, heavier sticks make for the greatest illusion.

Control sticks (or hand sticks), used to manipulate the spinning stick.

Math and physics are certainly not my stronger points- I’m more a humanities kind of guy- which I think is precisely what makes juggling so beautiful.  I don’t need to fully comprehend  the science at play in order to enjoy juggling; the act itself is much more abstract,  which makes the sticks artistic both in their design and application.