Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sock It to Me!

I love socks! This isn't new, nor is it an uncommon fetish. Sunday I managed to do ALL of my laundry, and I realized that even if I hadn't washed any of my socks I would still have more than plenty for the next week or two. Or four. Who knows.

In light of this realization I decided that instead of doing the simple thing and just counting up how many pairs of socks I own I would start a photo project to see just how long it would take for me to wear each and every pair before I run out. Will this mean I have to wear Christmas socks out of season? Of course! It might make things more fun. Or maybe just add a spark of oddness to a boring project. Either way you can follow my project at Sock It To Me.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 - The Year of Flying Improvements

It's 2014!! Let me tell you - I am SO glad that 2013 is over, it was a difficult year in many ways. This year has started off wonderfully, especially in regards to my aerial/circus world.

This End Up reached its goal on hatchfund and with some of the funding we have purchased our main set of trussing to start building the show's set in our performance space. We moved it all in on New Year's Eve and made friends with some of our warehouse neighbors - mostly artsy folks like us! It's exciting to see this project really get underway; we have a timeline in mind for when we expect to have our first performance, so stay tuned!

Nicolina, a gal I flew with in the OC Fair last summer, now owns her own trapeze rig about 45 minutes away from me, and I was able to visit for the first time on the 2nd. Yes, it's quite a bit farther from me than the studio where I started my flying trapeze training, but the positive, supporting atmosphere that she and the other flyers bring to her rig is well worth the time in the car! Such a breath of fresh air compared to the belittling and snarky attitude of the other rig's owner. Don't get me wrong - I'm grateful for everything I learned at my first flying trapeze studio (I'm leaving out its name on purpose - I don't care to spread negative energy), but it was time to move on. Nicolina runs her rig like a club rather than a school, so it's the perfect place for me to work on the little details like improving the height my swing, the position of my legs in a turn around, etc. especially since we didn't have a catcher out there that day. Everyone there is willing to help each other out; we all work together to be better flyers. One of the  absolute best things about her rig is that it's bright pink! No one has a rig like this that I have seen. I had to paint my nails to match; turned out pretty good!

The very next day I decided to finally use my groupon and go with a flying friend of mine (Carol) to Richie Gaona's rig in Woodland Hills; about a 25 minute drive for me. I had been wanting to go to his rig for quite a while now, but felt a little intimidated since the Gaona's are a multi-generation circus family with their circus blood dating back to at least the late 1800's (according to circopedia.org). Many professional flyers spend time at Richie's during their off-time. I'm glad Carol convinced me to put on my big girl flying panties and get out there though, because it was AMAZING.
The rig

The belt (safety harness) I used at Richie's -
seemed very circus appropriate
Knowing that I was one of the least experienced flyers in my class, I worked my butt off! I was quickly tearing through the gauze grips I had made at Nicolina's rig just the day before (previous sets of gauze grips have lasted up to 8 classes before shredding or ripping apart), and the skin on my hands quickly followed. Every couple of swings I was applying tape to cover my wounds and adjusting the tiny pieces of gauze I had left to minimize any slipping the tape would cause on the fly bar. By the time class was over my hands were pretty chewed up, and several people expressed surprise that I kept going without complaint.
At the end of class before removing the tape and gauze

The damage - can you find all 5 rips?
I rinsed my hands a little in the sink before getting in my car (ouch), and managed to drive myself to a CVS on the way home to buy some bandages I could tape over the wounds. Let me tell you - cleaning those suckers hurt. BAD. I may have yelled and stomped my foot a little in the process. Luckily I had told my roommate what I was about to do so she didn't think I was having some sort of fit. Anyway, I managed to clean them, trim off the flaps of skin and bandage them up.
All bandaged up
Was all that pain worth it? Absolutely yes! What a difference a day flying with pros makes! Before I had been to Richie's rig I had never so much as caught a return bar. I had tried but would either have problems getting up high enough out of the catcher's hands (partially because I was impatient and would turn early instead of riding the swing up before pushing into the turn), or I didn't have someone on the pedestal who was experienced in dropping a return bar, or my instructor would have me move on to a new trick that I wasn't catching consistently enough to be able to attempt a return. After warming up and throwing tricks to the net several times it was time to catch. Richie took me aside and told me exactly what to do and when to do it in order for me to get back to the bar and told me to do my back end split - a very solid trick for me (I've taken this one out of safety lines for shows). I threw this trick to the catcher twice, and these were the results:

Attempt 1

Attempt 2

Success! Back to the pedestal on my second return bar. Couldn't have had a better day - war wounds and all!