World Juggling Day 2010

Last Saturday was World Juggling Day, a holiday* to "help spread the fun of juggling and to bring jugglers together all over the world". The idea is to celebrate by, well, juggling.

Outside of a juggling festival, Chautauqua is about the highest concentration of jugglers I've ever been around. Eighty percent of the band juggles, many of the truck drivers juggle, and lord knows the cook juggles. So in a brief moment before we packed up the trucks to head to our big show, I ran around camp announcing a big group juggle. This is what came out. I'd say we did World Juggling Day proud.
Friday June 25 2010File under: juggling, circus

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Vancouver and Its Mad Skillz


VANCOUVER MAD SKILLZ
JUGGLING/ETC. FESTIVAL

VANCOUVER MAD SKILLZ
JUGGLING/ETC. FESTIVAL

I went to Vacouver this weekend to check out the first annual Mad Skillz juggling/etc.* festival. Let me tell you, it was good times. Copious juggling, a mad hunt for ice cream, a nude beach, a new knot trick, and ever so wonderful company made for a day that's already got me looking forward to next year. Good times!!
Sunday June 13 2010File under: juggling

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Worlds Fastest Knot

So as anyone who has crossed paths with me for more than 10 minutes in the past 3 years probably already knows, I'm big into so-called flying knots. I find them a great diversion for my ever fidgeting hands and they occasionally impress people to boot*. Occasionally, when I am practicing my knot tricks, someone gets inspired enough to want to learn. There isn't a whole lot of material out there to point them to and many of the tricks take more instruction than can be given in a brief 5-minute interaction.

The excitement people get when they do learn one of the tricks got me thinking about wanting to find a way to share these tricks with people in a more effective manner. Since I dabble in comic drawing, I thought maybe doing a little diagram/instructional thing might be a fun exercise. It turns out it was! So if you want to learn how to tie the world's fastest knot, check this out.

Hopefully I will put together a few more of these, maybe enough to fill a small educational pamphlet. Then everywhere I go, people will be throwing flying knots and giggling with glee. That way I won't be the only giggling knot thrower out there. Tee hee.
Wednesday September 30 2009File under: misc, juggling

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Home Churned and Hand Pressed

Another [near-]equinox weekend means another Lopez JuggleFest. As with the years past, the weekend was wonderful. This was the first year I got to head out early to help with the prep, and with that came additional organizational tasks, which I accepted with pleasure. So in between as much juggling as I could fit in, a shift in the bakery, and general set-up, I helped head up the cider press and the ice cream making.

The cider press is a hand crank jobber (both the masticating and the pressing). If you add a few willing volunteers, it makes for quick work*. This year, we pressed maybe 30 gallons of delicious cider. I drank probably a gallon of it by myself*. (Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but all the apples for the cider came from on island if not from the property itself.)

Organizing the ice cream took a little more doing. Amiel and I were handed the ice cream torch due to the absence of the usual ice cream guru. We learned the recipes, bought/picked the ingredients, gathered supplies, facilitated the crankers, quality controlled, and helped to serve up the bounty. Everyone* agreed that the results were spectacular. The flavors were kiwi*, blackberry*, peach/nectarine, vanilla, and coffee. Yum.

If it wouldn't blow my strict word limit out of the water, I would go on about all the other great food there was (not to mention all the camping, creativity, campfire, juggling, marimba band, community goodness), but I guess that will have to wait for next year. Ah next year's JuggleFest - another yearly traditional I love having to look forward to.
Monday September 21 2009File under: juggling, food

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On Stage

I'm a hobby juggler—meaning I'm not the kind of juggler that likes to perform. That is a hard concept for a lot of people to understand. Often in their minds, juggling and performing go hand in hand. While often times they do, there are tons of jugglers out there that juggle for the sake of juggling: for the social aspect, for the exercise, for the zen of it all. I consider myself firmly in that camp.

But while I don't really like performing, I want to like it. I like the concept of being able to entertain people*. I like the concept of getting good enough at something that you can feel confident in showing it to people. And let's be honest, I like the concept of the positive attention it often garners.

So in a step outside my comfort zone, I took the stage with my friend Amiel at this month's Vaudvillingham* with a short juggling act. Besides a slight miscommunication with the emcee and some lighting issues, I would say it went alright for a semi-rehearsed act: not flawlessly, but not a disaster either. The sizeable* crowd was patient and appreciative, and I think they probably even enjoyed it*.

Overall, the experience was a good one and I'm glad I did it. I hope to get back up on stage in the near-ish future and try my hand at a solo performance. Stepping outside one's comfort zone every once and a while, while hard, is a good thing.
Monday May 18 2009File under: juggling

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Vaudevillingham

Last night, I attended Vaudevillingham, the monthly variety show put on by the Bellingham Circus Guild. Basically an amateur vaudeville show (and I mean amateur not in a bad way, just in an obviously not extensively rehearsed but none-the-less very entertaining way), Vaudevillingham is a way for members of the guild and others to try out new material in front of a live studio audience. You never know what you are going to get and in the 2 shows I've been to, this couldn't be more of an understatement: belly dancers, aerialists, a strip tease violin act, a mock game show, sasquatch fashion show, many many dudes in tighty-whities, classical piano interpretations, and much much more. The one thing missing from the shows I've been to is juggling. I'm almost tempted to work up an act of my own to balance it out, but we all know that isn't going to happen.

If you happen to be in Bellingham on the 15th of any month, stop by the Cirque Lab for a night of matchless entertainment. The proceeds go to help pay for the cost of maintaining the Cirque Lab, a space for classes, workshops, juggling club meetings(!), and more.
Monday February 16 2009File under: juggling

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Juggling n Travelling

A good traveler knows how to pack light. I think I am pretty good about it*. But one thing I've included in my international travel bag of late is four dube airflite juggling clubs. (For those who don't know, juggling clubs aren't small.) But for the joy they bring me and the opportunities they provide, they are totally worth it.

First, juggling is a great way to past time on the beach, or a park, or a train station, or anywhere you've got time to kill. But beach juggling is the best. Also, it is a great way to meet locals. They'll see you carrying your clubs around and ask for an impromptu show and then share a smile*. Or sometimes it is a little different connection. Juggling builds bridges. Finally, you never know when a little entertainment will be called for. At the Boxing Day Jam Session, I took along my clubs and gave the gathered cruisers a bit of a show. Good times.

Yep, I break a few packing rules by dragging my juggling equipment along, but it is totally worth it.

(P.S. This whole post is just an elaborate excuse to post this picture of Joya trying to imitate me by balancing a club on her head. So cute!)
Monday December 29 2008File under: travel, juggling

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PDX Weekend


As I mentioned in last week's Lopez Jugglefest post, I was planning on attending the Portland Juggling Festival. This past weekend, I did just that. It was, however, less juggling oriented than I thought it would be. While I did get my a fair amount of juggling in (including a great walk around pattern with drop backs that we came oh so close to running) and watched some great juggling take place, the weekend was so packed with other stuff, it would be unfair to restrict my post to just juggling.

There was also gambling friendly wagering! In the course of just 24 hours with Andrew, I managed to lose $24 in bets about the most random things. $9 on trivial pursuit (the wager: +$1 for every question I got right, -$1 for every question I got wrong*), $10 on skee ball ($5 per game), and $5 on frolf. Andrew (or in the case of frolf, Myke) won each of these bets on a fluke and I would be willing to throw down anytime again. Luckily, just before leaving the juggling festival, I made all my money back by winning the crumbled dollar bill juggling event in the games*.

Besides juggling and gambling friendly wagering, there was some biking around to visit friends. Once again, I was reminded of how bike friendly Portland is, even if you happen to be riding a fixed gear bike of death or basket-ed cruised that is 11 sizes too small (but seriously, I'm grateful you guys letting me pedal your babies).

Biking, juggling, wagering, frolfing, and hanging out with friends: not a bad way to spend a weekend. It serves as a great opening to my travel season.
Monday September 29 2008File under: juggling, travel

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Lopez JuggleFest 2008



This weekend, I hopped out to Lopez Island for the 18th annual Lopez JuggleFest. It was my 5th(?) time attending and this year was as magical as ever. My thoughts from last year still apply: wonder and appreciation at the cooperation, thankfulness, and thoughtfulness shared. Oh, and there is always some kick ass juggling too.

As I was explaining to a friend recently, annual events such as this provide an opportunity for me to notice changes in my life that might have happened slowly enough that, without this chance for comparison from year to year, would go unnoticed. This applies both in a concrete sense (my first lopez festival 6(?) years ago, I had to leave early to get back to a housesitting gig just as I did this year i.e. some things don't change) and more conceptually (the practice of sharing a hug with a [near] stranger has gone from unheard-of-ly uncommon (and uncomfortable) to unremarkably common (and enjoyed) i.e. some things do change).

All this is to say that while my juggling skills got a much needed workout* this weekend, my mind-brain also made a few laps, both in analysis of change and merely of revisiting times past. Next weekend's juggling festival in Portland will be a little more juggling focused and a little less thought-provoking. Stay tuned for a post on that which will be a juggling post actually about juggling.
Sunday September 21 2008File under: juggling

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Green Juggling in the Parade

Last year, I posted about Anacortes's 4th of July Parade, the quintessential small town parade. The big highlight for me was the Beat the Heat group who marched to advocate living a lighter impact life specifically through less carbon emissions. This year, since I've become a member(ish) of the group, I decided to walk with them and effectively restart my annual tradition of juggling in the parade.

Since just juggling wouldn't really make any sense in the context of beating the heat, I had to get a creative. My solution: themed juggling clubs. And for those who couldn't really tell what the idea was, I made a little sign I wore on my back. While I don't think anyone really got it*, people seemed to at least enjoy the juggling.

The point of the exercise was as much to have fun both in the artistic endeavor of creating the clubs and walking in the parade as it was to influence/get people to think. I think the whole thing can be called a success.

Thanks to Gretchen, Ma, and Ron for snapping a few photos while I walked.
Saturday July 5 2008File under: juggling, Anacortes

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