Sunday, August 8, 2010

WORLDS, shaving, and the future...

the great dilemma of our time: do i bring the cone and ball down? just the cone? should i just pretwist a few strings?

i'm not competing (i mean besides ladder, fixed axle, and pink slip... and maybe in some 'eating dares'), so i don't have a great need for my string to be at its 'highest level of performance'. honestly, the way this stuff lasts, i could probably swing worlds with one string. it would be kind of cool though to reunite the cones (and/or balls - lol). steve's coming, and i assume he'll bring his. no worlds for you this year, j-def? that's where you were at when last we talked.

i've always wanted to roll up to worlds with essentially one yo-yo and minimal clothing/toiletries. my first time down, i brought this mammoth box full of yo-yo's, and it was just this ridiculous anchor for the whole weekend. since that experience, i kind of dare myself to underpack in the extreme for contests. this is at odds with the general truth that i'm a man who likes access to his 'peripherals'.

in other news, special thanks go out to that mos def of deffenbaughs for turning me on (back) to 720s for 2a. i hadn't tried a pair since switching to type 10, which laughs cruelly at most looping yo-yo's. these however, work splendidly, and after near on 10 months of spitting, hissing, and biting, i finally have 2 pairs of 2-handers that do what i want them to do (the others being a set of clean machines for which i finally solved the gap equation). i have to say, i also miss the kind of 'suicide-consistency' that only polyester provides. i'm the first to admit that with good technique, you can nail suicides on virtually any yo-yo with virtually any string. but while poly will give you some string-tension 'fudge-room', if you're not close-to-neutral, type 10 cotton gives you basically no window at all.

i'm still undecided on what my string plans will be come october. ain't no way i'll run out of this stuff by then. i've definitely evolved toward the mindset that yo-yo string is SUPPOSED to be white (call me an antiquated string-racist if you must). the practical perspective is that white goes with all my clothes AND is nicely visible. i've never cared for that ultra-white poly string though (i find it too thin), so i'm virtually assured at this point to stick with white cotton. i miss the plug-n-play ease of type 8 with wood and loopers, but i think pulling a string off a skein will feel distinctly alien now, and i'm afraid the string will seem limp and insubstantial by comparison.

to go back to 'peripherals' for a minute, i started shaving with an old-timey safety razor a few weeks back. since buying it, i shave every morning. before, it had become something that i would do only after reaching a level of scuzziness that could no longer be politely ignored by society. however, i've finally embraced the ritual after abandoning the series of 'nice' modern, multi-bladed razors that are designed to make shaving 'easy'. my safety razor was designed circa 1930, and i can remember watching my grandfather use one exactly like it. it's heavy and shiny and it will carve your neck like an easter ham if you handle it sans attention. i WANT to be the kind of person who maintains attention. i think the prospect of needing to maintain attention while shaving is, ITSELF what has driven me to shave daily since buying this device. i WANT to care about little rituals and give my mind up to tiny details and not just sloppily rake a 5-Blade Mach 5 Turbo-Power across my face until all the hair is gone. i WANT to be someone who appreciates and accepts the consequences should my attention break down.

and, it occurs to me, that's also why i like this string. and why, i expect, when my year is up, i'll be sticking with it. BECAUSE of its inherent difficulties (and not despite them), i'm a more attentive, focused player. and that's worth hanging on to.

see you at worlds!


  1. No Worlds for me, sorry. You will have to make tea, or have Steve pull espresso shots for everyone. Actually...

    Nah, I was thinking about mailing tea stuff to the hotel, but it's a big load of stuff, and will keep you anchored in one spot.

    And did the YYE post "how big is your ball?" remind you of our little blog? Because it did for me.

    I'll try to make a "wish I was at Worlds" video, too.

  2. On a side note, have you figured out what shaving gear to bring to Worlds? I'd like to bring my badger and blade with me, but don't want to get hassled at the airport.

  3. @j-def miss you already.
    @doc just gonna do my razor and suffer through some inferior (but more convenient) cream. not doing full the mug n brush dance. not for the 2 days i'll be there. psyched to hang out!