Friday, January 29, 2010


leaving for walt disney world in a few hours. our travel will be complicated somewhat by the swirling vortex of winter weather that will (apparently) descend upon north carolina late tonight. my daughter and i actually have tickets to the ringling bros. (and barnum and bailey) circus tonight. plan was to leave tomorrow after her ballet class, but as that's sure to be canceled i think we'll amscray in the night and hope to miss the worst of the precipitation.

folk from the north always laugh at the mid-atlantic states as they fumble around during the winter, but while they get 3 feet of [clearly impassable] snow, we tend to get freezing rain, and a half-inch of ice, which may look like nothing, but will misdirect even the hardiest snow-tires into a ditch.

i'm psyched for the trip, but this is really the first time i've had to twist some string in advance. i'll be gone a week, so i twisted 8 strings. this seems more than i could possibly use (probably more like 3 or 4), but i wanted to be safe. i'm not bringing the cone or the ball, so i'll have to carefully save what i use. leave no trace.

someone on 'extremespin' (which still exists, funnily enough) asked how the project is going, which to me indicates that i don't post enough. i'll end this entry with what i told him, since i can't think of a more interesting way to paraphrase it:

"it's awesome string. i play narrow gaps, and i'm not gonna lie... it's hard. it takes a really concentrated effort to do the stuff that i've had dialed on thinner string. but that's also why i like it. i've only snapped one, it lasts a LONG time, and the texture is divine.

and much like the original 'idea', i really THINK before i twist a new one. they aren't 'disposable' in the same way that other string has been for me. i commit to twisting it well, commit to playing it well (or as well as i can manage), and when it joins the ever-expanding ball, winding it is almost a kind of meditation. like a tiny funeral. and like any funeral for one who has lived well, there's more joy than grief involved."

Friday, January 22, 2010

An old, familiar feeling.

I recently acquired a yo-yo that is a few years old. Don't tell anyone, but I bought it mostly because of the color. Turns out I like how it plays a whole lot. But I know on the inside that it's probably mostly the color that makes me want to look down at it while it's spinning, not necessarily the unique feedback I get through this string.

The old, familiar feeling came from the response pads that it came with. They are Kentaro pads. Old-school black, textured rubber pads that were a breakthrough when they first hit the market. These used to be my favorite response pads. They feel great, grip hard, and stay out of the way when you want them to. But I found that silicone (instead of rubber) did not leave behind the tell-tale black residue on the string.
I played one string with these pads. Twisted one fresh for this yo-yo, and I have not changed it as of writing this. But I was reminded how I came to changing the string as often as I used to (which was often more than once a day). I can't stand a dirty-looking string. Even a bright color of the string makes me feel like it's dirty. Yo-yo string is supposed to be white!

The residue visible is from about two days of playing. Around the slipknot is what the string used to look like before playing. I can't stand it anymore, it's too dirty. This is the shortest that I have had a string last.

I thankfully had an envelope come with more of a non-staining silicone response pad. Gonna play this up now, and with a clean string.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a series of non sequiters

i've been really discombobulated lately. i have no real 'theme', and yet i was compelled to post something anyhow, if only because i haven't in awhile (confessional).

my little boy says 'robot' all the time now, and then he talks like a robot. except he kind of says 'rabat', which makes me think of a mechanical rabbit terminating the characters from 'watership down'.

i can't tell if playing extremely 'high-end' unresponsive metal yo-yo's AND 'low-end' snappy wooden yo-yo's serves to enrich my play... or confuse it. i do like that the stuff connecting me to my yo-yo's is all the same. that feels good.

i bought myself an a-2 style leather jacket last week. it's the first leather jacket i've owned. stacy thinks it's 'a little boxy'. i wonder if marion ravenwood thought indiana's was 'a little boxy' too.

i'm going back to disney world in a few weeks. taking the little girl out of school for a full week. the principal is pretty aggro and might give me a hard time. bring it. steve doesn't like disney world cause it's so corporate, but i dig me some pirates of the carribean (i always misspell caribbean).

i have twisted and used 46 strings in about 3 months. got em all right here. you could play wiffleball with 46 strings, but it would be a pitchers' duel.

so i have 2 cats. one poops immediately outside the litter box (i can only assume it's for spite). the other insists on going outside as soon as the door is opened, where she promptly chews some grass, then comes back in to vomit. always on the carpet.

i like this frontstyle john-bot bucket mount a lot.

although there is nothing 'zen' about wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the kanji for 'zen' (or indeed about anything that proclaims to 'be zen'), there IS something 'zen' about irony. get it?

i hate all kinds of berries on principle, and their related ice cream/yogurt. except boysenberry.

it is 64 degrees here in nc on 1/19/10. i'm typing this in shirt sleeves on my porch.

shirt sleeves. what a ridiculous expression.

jonrob left spyy to do his own thing. it was pretty awesome to have been on a yo-yo team with him.

i'm making gumbo tonight in the crock pot, but totally forgot to buy okra at the store. what is gumbo without okra, i ask you?

most people won't seem satisfied unless they can put you in some kind of convenient box.

my little boy is up in the tree house, and i can smell his poopy diaper from here. if poopy diapers were bad guys, i would be like wolverine. ('i'm the best at what i do. but what i do isn't very nice... at all... in fact it's really disgusting.')

so i thought this string was pretty thick. then i started collaborating with john higby on a project, and he sent me a [bigger] cone to twist some string from. the string he sent me is like 'type 15'. so thick it'll hardly keep a twist at all, and when it does, it's literally the width of a no jive's gap. it's also left handed! we probably won't be using it.

i really want to get a new tattoo. of a triceratops skull.

yesterday i got a crown on a cracked tooth. getting the tooth shaved down and polished up and then having the thing stuck on with cement was mildly uncomfortable. it bothered me all day. felt like something was 'wrong' in my mouth. i went skating today and fell badly a few times while trying to get a launch ramp dialed. i'm shredded all over and it's pretty uncomfortable. doesn't bother me at all though, because somehow it feels as though it's 'supposed' to be that way.