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Princess Tubby [Oct. 26th, 2014|06:41 pm]
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My sweet little chinchilla was euthanized yesterday after her health continued to deteriorate over the past couple of years. She was about 15 years old. I miss her very much.

[Last visit to the vet]
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20 Things [Oct. 3rd, 2014|11:43 am]
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1. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life. In fact, I haven't taken as much as a single puff off one.
2. I have, however, smoked a pipe and part of a very expensive cigar.
3. I think cheesecake tastes like sweet, flavoured lard. Yuck.
4. I am sizeist when it comes to cats. I do not like obese cats. I don't know why this is.
5. I'm racist when it comes to goats. Nubian goats are idiots, albeit cute ones. I know why this is.
6. Probably due to being an outcast for the duration of my formative years, social interactions and rituals often mystify me.
7. Due to spending a lot of time with poultry, I became able to communicate certain simple things with birds using body language.
8. The 1990s is the decade I remember with the most fondness.
9. I'm scared of a lot of things but do them anyway.
10. When people are nice to me, unless I know them well, I can't help but be suspicious that they're setting me up for something. Thanks, grade school bullies, for making me so paranoid.
11. I do not like watching wipe-out videos where people are injured or killed. For some reason, this surprises a lot of people.
12. I am fascinated by cruelty in general, and the amount of creativity that goes into causing suffering.
13. I have an iron grip on my emotional response. Some people say crying is cathartic. I mustn't let myself cry. If I do, it triggers an asthma attack and sometimes also an anxiety attack. Crying has *never* made me feel better. It always makes me feel much, much worse.
14. I am fairly sure I developed asthma because of Irving spraying Agent Orange over my house when I was a kid.
15. I am fairly sure my gut issues were caused by antibiotic use in my childhood.
16. I have an iron grip on my breathing. If I start sucking air, like many people do when they are exerting really hard, I get an asthma attack. Therefore, when I exert, I am always focusing on my exhalations, timing them, and doing all my inhalations through my nose. As a result, I've had a classical voice instructor tell me with admiration that I have "lungs of steel." Not bad for an asthmatic....
17. I learned at a very young age that I have a strong ability to manipulate people. After experimenting with it briefly as a kid, I decided it was unethical, and now I only ever use this ability within roleplaying situations.
18. I have learned I am very good at stealing physical items, even right under the nose of others. This is a skill I only ever use at LARP.
19. I have been trained in techniques of how to kill and maim. I do not use this anywhere.
20. I cannot bring myself to personally put an animal out of its misery. I consider this to be one of my greatest shortcomings.
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Bad Ass Dash Review. [Sep. 14th, 2014|01:59 pm]
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Pro
- Course was solid, over all. Challenging hills, and a good length.
- Australian back crawl was a great obstacle. The hill leading to it was an obstacle itself. Though I have good, strong legs, I had to work them hard to make it through this one. Challenging, and the risk factor was not too high for those who had to really struggle to do it.
- The long, uphill tubes were another challenge. I imagined I was Bishop in Alien as I crept/slid my way through them. Lots of upper body strength necessary to make it through this one. Definitely not for the claustrophobic or those with great big butts. I could see a large person getting good and wedged. I found it a tight squeeze.
- The long, twisting, uneven trail through the forest. This was my favourite part. The downside is the trail is narrow and it was a bottleneck point because there were few places where people could squeeze to the side to allow faster runners to pass. That being said, I found my way and sprinted through the woods, while the vast majority appeared to take it at a snail's pace.
- There was a fire pit close to the finish line where racers could get warmed up.

Cons
- We arrived in plenty of time for my 11 am heat, but the parking lot was full. We were told by the attendant to drive all the way back to Best Buy and park in that parking lot. Shuttles were leaving from there regularly. I thought this was weird. The parking lot at Best Buy is not huge, so overflow from Bad Ass Dash would surely take all their customer parking spaces. Still, we drove back and parked there. There were about ten of us waiting, in all. A couple of the guys had been there at least 15 minutes and had seen no shuttles. We waited at least a half hour and no shuttles came. Finally, one of the women drove us back to the site, because she didn't want her kids to miss their run or to see their Dad run. When we got back to the site, parking was available, but at $20. Emails told us parking was $10. Not cool. And no, shuttles were not being sent to Best Buy, but to a parking lot somewhere a few blocks behind Best Buy. We'd all been given incorrect information.
- The registration line was horrendously long, and being shunted into a building through a narrow doorway. We waited well over an hour to get my racing kit. They needed a LOT more people processing contestants.
- Several obstacles were removed by the time I ran. Some had no one there, and no explanation of what to do, so no one did them. One of the water stations had no water by the time I got there. Good thing it wasn't a hot day.
- I saw no places where people could shower or get hosed off.
- Post-race snacks included a giant tray of loose crackers. Uhh, everyone is COVERED in mud. No one wants to reach into crackers when covered in mud. This was a strange and bad choice for food.

DANGER
I realize there's an element of danger in these races, but this is the first time I felt so paranoid of injury at an event. For this, I give this set of cons its own section.
- Pontoon bridge obstacle. This was problematic for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was the absolute worst bottleneck point in the entire race. I'm fairly sure I was stuck in line for this obstacle for a solid half hour. The reason there was such a bottleneck is because it was extremely unlikely anyone could do this obstacle quickly, and only two people could go at one time. Floating plastic cubes were tethered together in a very unstable bridge across a stream of unknown depth. I'm not sure even one person made it across on their feet. The chances of smashing your head off a pontoon while falling were high. The water appeared to be deep, and was so muddy that the bottom could not be seen. If anyone went under, no one would be able to see where they were. As I came up on my turn, I turned to a couple of the volunteers and asked, "How deep is the water?" They laughed and said, "Oh, 6 feet. No, thirty feet!" I said, "I ask because my asthma is bothering me, I cannot float, and water pressure on my chest often makes my asthma flare up suddenly."

That's when they realized I was asking for a damned good reason. But they still didn't know how deep it was.

I looked at it again, and figured I could probably belly creep my way across, and if I fell, I had to fall to the left where I could see a rope I could pull myself with if necessary. Even belly creeping was difficult. I made it. Just.

I don't think there was a life guard posted at this obstacle where there was a serious risk of drowning if someone fell off and bumped their head.
- Scaling wall with a rope. This sort of obstacle is normally one of my favourites. A rope hangs from the top of a tall wall. You grab the rope and walk up the side of the wall. The other side can be descended in a similar fashion. So I thought, "I've got this," and I walked on up the wall, piece of cake. On the other side, I slid my body down a bit, got a firm grab on the rope, and ... THE ROPE WAS NOT ATTACHED TO THE TOP. There was a lot of slack on that rope. I went into a straight fall down the wall, scraping the shit out of my elbow and giving my first-ever scream of terror at an obstacle race. Fortunately, I'm tall and hit the ground before the rope caught up suddenly. I kept my knees soft and landed ok. However, I heard someone else dislocated their shoulder on this obstacle. I'm not surprised. Someone shorter than me would've been caught up suddenly on that rope. Jebus.
- Mixed grouping of adults with children. For some bizarre reason, the 7-13 year old contestants had a shared course with the competitive adults. This was terribly dangerous, in my opinion. On some of the obstacles, a 200-lb adult falling, losing their grip, or losing control could result in pretty devastating injuries to another adult, let alone a 50-lb kid. The absolute worst was at the...
- Slip and Slide. When I saw kids were going down the same high speed slip and slide obstacle event as adults, I stopped and said, "ARE YOU SHITTING ME?" Of course, people weren't exactly taking turns and making sure the area was clear before jumping on. I moved to the side furthest away from the most kids and sat on my ass. At first, I didn't slide too well, but then the speed came from nowhere. It was like I'd been shot from a cannon. When I realized I'd lost all control, I immediately laid down on my back, arched my back up, and raised my head in an attempt to slow my speed, increase stability, and minimize damage to myself. I shot past the end of the tarps and kept going full speed for a good 30' or so. This was the second time I've screamed at an obstacle. There were people whizzing past me at high velocity. It was like a firing range where the guns are shooting out bullets made of soft muscle and breakable bones. knightky had been watching this obstacle. He saw numerous injuries, some from people wiping out, but even more terrifying, some from people hitting big rocks at the end of the tarp.

I don't know what the injury tally would be at this event, but it had to have been high.

I saw a few people in slings. But worst of all, at the end of the race, I saw a pallid, dead-looking man being rushed to an ambulance on a gurney while paramedics administered CPR on the run. Someone else saw someone being rushed away on a gurney with an oxygen mask. I don't know what happened to them. Maybe a heart attack, which could happen at any time, really. But maybe they were lost in the mud water? I don't know.

I won't be doing this race again. The clusterfuck of the beginning was bad enough, but the unnecessarily dangerous obstacles are the clincher.

I sure hope those men are ok.

[Bottom of slip and slide]
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Slug Storm [Aug. 25th, 2014|04:35 pm]
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Slipping along the stem, feet moving like buttered skis, and only through luck and perseverance do I not fall. Green waves above me, prickles and stems and chew holes letting sunlight heap upon me. My journey is slow, inexorable, but not devoid of backtracking. Slimy exudate follows in my wake. Petrichor and chlorophyl pull me forward.

I slide to the left, and heave my body back on course. Lift my head. Lift my middle. Lift my back. Move. This is the sequence I must repeat.

Something moves toward me, faster than the speed of thought. Huge globules of water murk the sunlight, dash toward me, splash off the greenery, and cascade around me as I huddle-climb the slippery slope. I'm so close. I can almost taste it.

More water. A fierce gust of air buffets the stem and the movement is violent. I can't dodge this. I can only continue my way in the meagre lee of the meal I approach.
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Definitely a Pants Day [Aug. 22nd, 2014|12:55 pm]
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There's a gash in my leg, and I don't mean a cut. I'm talking pussy, here. It's not a porn star gash, with its neat, tidy labia. I'm talking a big ol' floopy cunt, with curly hairs and a bit of a dribble. From the looks of it, I'd say it's given birth a few times. It was there when I woke up this morning. No, I don't know how it got there, but I'm trying to find a way to deal with it.

I know you want to see, but there's no way I'm going to show you. You're not my doctor. Not my lover. Would you want to show just anyone your bits? Ok, maybe you would, but as for me, I'm not that much of an exhibitionist, even if I've been known to wear my shorts too short. No more of that, now. My new vag is up near the top of my calf, so there's no hiding it in the summertime unless I cover up.

Yes, I still have my old pussy, thank you very much. And yes, it's in the right place. And... Oh, dear lord. I just realized it might start bleeding. What the fuck am I supposed to do with a leg period? I guess I could use a tampon. There's no way I want to strap a pad there. And if I'm stuck with this thing and it's a working model, I sure hope it's synchronized. I don't want to have two sets of monthlies.

I remember seeing articles about mice with human ears on their backs, and a Russian guy with a dick attached to his forearm, but these things were there by design and not by chance. How the hell does a vulva end up growing out of my leg? Was I abducted by aliens? Is it proof of a god? Does magic exist? Will Professor X invite me to his school for mutants?

Oh god. I need to keep away from Aunt Fran's frisky dog. That thing always humps legs. Oh god....
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The Saint of Bees [Aug. 21st, 2014|08:44 am]
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Back when a few bees still buzzed from flower to flower and we still had good things to eat, a woman was walking home just before twilight. Though it was midsummer, it was cold enough that she could see her breath as she hurried along, and it was only by chance she noticed a bee lying on the sidewalk. She paused to look at it. It was on its side, and she wasn't sure if it was dead or not until she noticed a slight movement of wing, and another of leg.

She knelt down and scooped it up, placing it on a lush bed of Kleenex. She carried it home in her hand, one hand atop to give it some warmth. When she got home, she set it on the table and mixed a bit of sugar and water and offered the bee a droplet. Warmed but still weak, the bee crept forward and supped upon the sugary elixir. Soon, it was rejuvenated enough to crawl around at normal speed. The woman turned out the light and went to bed.

In the morning, she brought the bee outside and set it on a flower. It crawled inside, covered itself with a dusting of pollen, and flew off.

She thought no more of it until the next day when her garden was abuzz with bees, a sight she hadn't seen in years. Every day after that, as long as the flowers bloomed in her yard, bees populated every blossom, and yellow- and black-striped fuzzy bodies busied themselves in the breeze.

Her home became a marvel as the bee population continued to decline in the world. Though bees had become a rarity, the air around her house was a droning cloud, and people would gather and gaze in amazement. The one time a burglar attempted to steal from her home, he was stung until he ran away. But the bees never stung the woman, though they swarmed about her, and sometimes even on her, for she enjoyed their company and sang to them daily.

One spring day, when she was very old, the woman died. On that day, no bees buzzed in her garden. They all stood still on flower and tree and wall and roof, and the bombination disappeared as they mourned.

Yes, they mourned. Three days later, when the woman was buried, the bees swarmed the cemetery and built a hive upon her gravestone. It became the last known hive in the world, and through this miracle, the woman became known as the saint of bees.

[Night Bee I - by Robert Spellman]

(Image is Night Bee I by Robert Spellman: Night Bees)
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That Night on the Marge [Aug. 20th, 2014|09:17 pm]
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Years ago, when I lived in the Rocky Mountains, I stared overhead at the lurid green glow of the Aurora Borealis. Dad told me that when the night was cold enough and the air was still, I could make the northern lights move with a sharp noise. And so on those bitter, biting winter nights, I would stand outdoors and strike over and over again with a hammer hoping to make the lights dance. It didn't work, of course, although sometimes I pretended to believe it did. My attempts to influence the goddess of dawn were fruitless. Even the dog watched with disinterest while the sky glowed like something out of science fiction.

Years later, I would stare intently at the exact same coloured glow of the text on a Commodore PET screen. Sometimes, I even wished I had a hammer.
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Chocolate Banana Avocado Pudding/Milkshake [Aug. 12th, 2014|11:22 am]
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This sounds like it would taste weird, but it doesn't. It's delicious, and it also has the benefit of also being pretty darned good for you. It tastes like a nice, rich chocolate pudding, but contains no sugar beyond what's already in the fruit.

Here goes:

2 ripe bananas
2 ripe avocados
a bunch of cocoa, according to taste (I usually use about 1/3 of a cup)
1 tsp cinnamon

Throw it all in a blender or food processor and process until fully blended. That'll give you a delicious pudding.

If you want to make a milkshake, add coconut milk until you get the right consistency. Scrumptious!

This is a pretty forgiving recipe, and you can add vanilla or other spices if you like. If you have a real sweet tooth, you can add some honey, but if the bananas are nice and ripe, that should be plenty sweet.
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Dansu, dansu, dansu [Aug. 4th, 2014|10:55 pm]
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Though past years have turned me more in the direction of athletics, I am still dancing. I've just been doing a lot more study and teaching than I have performances. Today, I received the most excellent news that I'm the recipient of a scholarship to continue my butoh training from September through to April. I'll be studying with Denise Fujiwara again. I hope to be able to put elements of these studies into performance, but venues for such stuff is pretty scarce, and paid venues even more scarce.

I started doing pole dance again as of about a year ago, and am currently in the advanced/masters-level class over at Aradia Fitness, where I also teach belly dance on Tuesday nights. If you would like to try out my class, sign up here ($15 + HST/class, Tuesdays from 6-7).

Tomorrow, I'll be taking a classic burlesque workshop with Sassy Ray. I miss doing burlesque, and hope to be performing at it again within the year.

Later this week, I'll be doing choreography and gymnastics workshops with Natalia Skomorowski.

Next month, I once again take up aerial silks with Stan Sokolenko over at In.Motion School of Performing Arts.

In between all that, I keep my strength and endurance up through regular training at CrossFit Kitchener.

I guess you could say I'm busy.
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Magda [Jul. 17th, 2014|07:48 pm]
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Here there be story.Collapse )
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