icepixie: ([Skating] Z&G zombies rocking out)
[profile] rivedellrose, I saw this house and thought of you, but really everyone should see it. It's super cool.
icepixie: ([Castle] My fandom reads)
My physical therapist, while poking her fingers into the muscles around my tailbone: "This is the same muscle dogs use to wag their tails."

My life these days. I swear.

It's been slow going, but on the whole, I think I'm doing better. I slept through the night every night last week, which is an achievement I haven't managed since prior to all the surgery. Alas, I woke up every night this week except the night before last. Still, my bladder symptoms have basically stayed away for almost two weeks now (minus getting up at night), and I'm back to doing knee exercises that also help with back stabilization, albeit modified to place less stress on the pelvis and therefore now way too easy, but at least it's something. SI and pelvic pain come and go and haven't changed a lot, but I also haven't really been doing any strengthening exercises yet, so I suppose that's to be expected. I have had a couple of really good days over the last two weeks.

I also noticed that my PT actually seems to align my pelvis when she has her finger deep in unmentionable places. There's a definite (good) difference in how I skate on days I've had a session. We're going to take a look at my leg length discrepancy and possible pelvic torsion next week.

*

Today I got this fantastic thing at an arts and crafts fest. Isn't it cute?

*

My Yuletide fic kept growing and growing, but I think I'm close to done with it. Maybe 1,000 more words. I was hoping I could both finish the assignment and a make a treat out of the earlier fic I abandoned for this one, but I suspect the other one is going to have to be a New Year's Resolution unless I can really power through the assignment this weekend and be writing the treat up until the second the archive opens. Next weekend is probably a bit of a lost cause, because there's the skating show on Saturday (I'm watching this year, not in it--I didn't want to add any more stress to this year, and I didn't quite trust my back and pelvis to carry me through rehearsals and the performance itself), followed by a party one of our adult skaters is throwing on Sunday.

*

My new favorite Christmas carol, a parody of "Silent Night" about the sun's light.

Sample lyrics:
UV light, shortwave light,
Causes sunburn when it's bright.
Used for sterilization
And forensics with irradiation.
Flowers reflect it for bees,
Flowers reflect it for bees.


HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THAT?

*

Finally, I want to recommend Ian Tregillis's The Mechanical, which is the first of a trilogy I've been describing to people who see it in my hands as, "If the Dutch rather than the English controlled North America, and they had robots. And one of those robots gains free will." In addition to two of my favorite sci-fi concepts ever, there's lots of action and many sympathetic and amusing characters (the foul-mouthed French spymistress is the best). I also like that Tregillis obviously made an effort to make at least half the stock and background characters--cart drivers, leather tanners, construction workers--female rather than defaulting to male.
icepixie: ([Pushing Daisies] Lily red)
I still don't really grok webseries--it's kind of like, just when something gets interesting, they cut off and there's a new episode and I'm thrown out of the story--but I ran across The New Adventures of Peter + Wendy this evening and wound up watching the entire first season. It's kind of like if Pushing Daisies-era Bryan Fuller had somehow gotten ahold of Spaced. And put in a lot of annoying talking-to-the-camera parts, but it seems that this is standard in webseries. The actress who plays Wendy is very good (she reminds me of Olive/Kristin Chenoweth but with more straight man qualities), as is the guy who plays John, and Peter and Wendy are undeniably adorable.

(I have to admit that it irks me somewhat how there are three women on the show--if you count Tinkerbelle--all of whom are in love with a guy who, frankly, doesn't that many great qualities, and are all vaguely jealous of each other because of it.)

It does take a while to get used to, though. I spent the first five episodes doing a lot of, "Wait, what? Why is Peter Pan a slacker and Wendy a journalist and Michael a pothead and why do they all live in modern-day Ohio and hang on, fairies still exist here?"

*

Via [personal profile] wintercreek, the Ultimate Trope Showdown. My results are unsurprising in the extreme. )

Stumped

Mar. 12th, 2015 10:08 pm
icepixie: ([Movies] Toepick!)
I managed to (temporarily) stump my coach today. Given how many years of experience she has skating and teaching, that is almost unheard of.

We were working on back scratch spins, which you enter with a forward inside three turn. Because I spin CCW, for me it's a right inside three turn. Apparently, I have been muscling my way through that turn all this time by using only my hips, and not doing much with my shoulders at all.

Quoth P: "How are you...I don't understand...how is that even possible??!" Later: "Okay, you've got me stumped. I can usually fix something if I can recreate it, but I can't recreate this."

Go me?

She did manage to recreate it soon after, because she's awesome like that. The upshot is that a good inside three keeps your hips almost still (they flip from front to back because your entire body does, but they don't do anything to make you turn) and all the impetus comes from the twist at your midsection, driven by your shoulders. Or something like that.

This turn is likely complicated by my uneven hips. The lower one on the left kind of pulls my body weight in that direction, which makes it difficult to get enough of it over my skating leg to go from a right inside to a right outside edge, as in this turn. (I have no problems doing it on the left.) P thinks doing it right is within my reach, it's just not going to be fudgeable. I need to have the shoulders and the core body twist perfect or it won't work.

...That said, I can totally do it right if I have something to distract me afterwards, like a toe loop. I don't even know.

In other news, I can consistently get four revolutions on a forward scratch spin from either a T-entry or back crossovers now. YAAAAY. P was very impressed. I am very impressed.

*

Other amusements:

Today I received a birthday present and a card from [livejournal.com profile] rowdycamels that includes a drawing of a stake through my uterus, which is bemoaning the crumbling of its evil empire. I very much appreciate the thought.

Representations of various states with Lego people. All of them are hilarious, but I think New Mexico has to win.
icepixie: ([Skating] Z&G happy zombies thumbs up)
Skated today for the first time since Tuesday, and probably for the fifth time in a month given snow, ice, and medical issues. The session was only an hour and fifteen minutes, and I still had to sit down for five minutes in the middle. Uuuugh, anemia.

I told P that I had no jumps in me today, so we worked on moves and spins. The outside circle eight is now...slightly less horrific? Three turns got a bit better, although not perfect. Now the one on the right starts curling back on itself about a foot later than it used to. Baby steps.

I think I had a few more less-awful forward scratch spins this time. It seems to help to think, "I'm doing a sit spin!" because then I'll actually bend my knee enough to get vaguely stable for a moment. Of course, that trick won't work for real sit spins. But I suspect those are a distant dream anyway. ("The knees, they cannae take no more!") Back scratch is actually coming along. I definitely did some that were semi-centered and actually had a full revolution before I bailed.

At the end of the session, I did a couple Salchows and toe loops with the last of my energy. One of the ladies who has passed Bronze complimented me on the right forward inside three turn I use to get into the toe loop.

*HEART EYES* I struggled with that turn for over a year, and even now it doesn't go well if it's not leading me into a jump or something that will distract me from the turn itself. To have someone who doesn't know me at all say, "Hey, that looks good!" made. my. day.

*

You all need to watch this video for "Shut Up and Dance with Me" that uses clips of various movie dancing scenes. It is very fun.

Amusement

May. 20th, 2014 08:55 pm
icepixie: ([DW] Romana and K-9 at the beach)
Amusing as this picture is, I feel the most important detail is the scratch on the woman's arm.

Crowned

Apr. 15th, 2014 08:54 pm
icepixie: ([SA] Geoffrey smooshy)
Well, as I suspected he would, after three attempts at sanding my old filling down and managing to get my bite aligned but not actually fixing the pain, my dentist determined that my problem tooth is actually microscopically cracked and will need a crown. Bah. At least it'll get fixed for good this way. (And if this doesn't fix the problem, I may well cry.)

I also scheduled my endo surgery for June. Fingers crossed it does the trick at least for a long time, if not until menopause.

*

The ice rink closed on Saturday afternoon, and will remain closed until sometime in July if all goes well, August if not. Tomorrow is the first Wednesday in months that I won't be getting up at some insane time to go practice. What will I do with myself?

(Aside from go down to the rink in Franklin...but getting up at 4:30 to do so is beyond even my level of enthusiasm.)

At least I won't have to clean frost off my car at six AM (and perhaps it will have melted by seven), because it's going to be 30 degrees on the night of April fifteenth, Nature, what are you doing??

*

I'm just going to assume these kids reacting to a Walkman tape player are playing up their ignorance for the camera. Come onnnn, surely they've watched movies or cartoons or something with cassette tapes, right? And seen them for sale in used music/book/etc. stores? Their parents still have some hanging around? I know they must've been around a VCR at some point, that's not too old, and the technology is basically the same.

...Right?
icepixie: ([Skating] Z&G happy zombies thumbs up)
For giggles, and because there is a shocking lack of coverage of barely-top-ten-ranking German ice dance teams in English, I mean really, where are our journalists? I ran some of the articles here through Google Translate.

Oh, Google Translate. Don't get me wrong, I'm amazed computers can translate well enough that I can get the gist of most paragraphs, and I certainly couldn't do that on my own with my half-remembered phrasebook German, but I had to share some of the...unique interpretations it spat out at me:

They currently occur in the freestyle as "zombies" who leave their tombs for a few hours of the night on. These roles they design with passion, expressive facial expressions and gestures, as well as a large dose of humor. The required elements are installed perfectly.

I feel like Translate is probably very suited to translating computer manuals. Not so much anything else.


In the heavily occupied Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, they occupied a much-acclaimed fourth place.

Possibly Translate thinks they are waging war rather than competing in skating competitions. Next year their free dance can involve miming tanks and nuclear bombs? (Actually, I wouldn't put that past these two.)


"We burned kids, there are not even in the hand and can only hope for the best," Alexander Gazsi describes the emotional state.

...I have no idea what that's actually supposed to say. I'm going to work under the assumption that they did not set fire to small children, though. (Though again, I would not be surprised to see fire appear in a future show program.)


A flight number, when they are using a winch circling the ice rise into the air and perform the poetry of motion into another dimension.

You know, that's actually not terrible. "The poetry of motion into another dimension" should be an album or song title for an especially pretentious band.


Translate is also indecisive on whether they are roommates or "life partners." There strikes me as being a rather wide gulf between those two options. Also, "Zhiganshina," at least when spelled with an extra "s" or "c" or something like one article had it, apparently means "ski goose china" in Google Translate-land. Now, that is a name.
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
Uhhhhh, so apparently Spain was hiding some extremely bizarre skaters somewhere in their ice rinks until they let this one escape: Javier Fernandez does an aerobics class on ice exhibition number. Complete with what appears to be a Superman outfit with a big "J" on his chest, for Super!Javier! And if I'm not mistaken, that's him doing the narration over the music.

Even the British EuroSport commentators, who are rarely fazed by anything, sound a little nonplussed in the version with their commentary.

I am unsurprised to find that Kurt Browning choreographed this number.

Despite the amusement factor, I think what I like best about it is seeing interesting and unusual skills that would never be rewarded in competition these days, like the opposite direction jumps at 4:09, and that super cool up-and-down sit spin at 1:48.

*

I had a good lesson and practice yesterday. My Waltz Eight was actually...well, okay, I don't think I can legitimately call it an "8" shape, since the right-hand circle kept collapsing in on itself because my left side still doesn't believe in back outside edges, but there was a definite circular motion to the stuff on the left-hand side. I still can't check my three turns worth a damn, so we ended up shortening the back inside edge part and pushing more quickly into the back outside edge, which helped things stay on a circle. I'm not 100% sure if I can just keep it like that or if I'm going to have to be able to check better before I take this test.

(If I could just alter the figure to put a poor man's back inside loop there before moving on to the back outside edge, it would be gorgeous and totally circular, but it doesn't work like that, alas.)

We worked on the forward perimeter stroking pattern for a bit, and I learned I actually get six strokes to make it down the long side of the rink. Hot diggity! I thought I had to do it in four! I can actually do it in four, especially since you're really going from red hockey dot to hockey dot rather than goal line to goal line, given how the intro steps and crossovers work, but apparently the rule-makers want six. Per C, "You actually have a lot of power, but we need to control it."

*beam*

I also managed not to fall over doing the spiral pattern for the first time, but I doubt my free leg was anywhere near my hip. You get two spirals, one on each foot, down the long side of the rink, and each of them has to go for about 50-60 feet. You get one push in the middle to build some momentum for the second spiral. I was just pleased to make it on both of them without running out of gas. Height can come later.

In practice, because someone in my group class was asking, I pulled out the half flip I haven't worked on in weeks and...actually managed to jump rather than step from toe pick to toe pick. IT WAS A MIRACLE! Apparently mastering that ballet jump (for generous values of "master") actually helped. Alternately, benign neglect improves my skating skills.

In other miracles, I managed to generate power on my backward cross rolls after applying P's advice from last night that it's kind of like a mutant edge pull. Now, we are not talking a lot of power--we are talking, like, AA battery versus the nuclear reactor that a pro could generate from these--but I could get the sixty feet or so from the goal line to the first blue line before I came to a standstill, which is much better than last week.

And I got a very interesting piece of general advice from fellow adult skater R, who told me about the idea of finishing a lobe*/edge, coming to a neutral position, and then being able to move to any foot/edge/direction from that position because you're not tipped over too far one way or the other. Which is a cool idea. I applied it to my swing choctaw and came out with...something that looked a bit more more like a choctaw than an unhappy mohawk, anyway. Maybe this will be helpful.

* I don't know where the term "lobe" comes from--I suspect figures; are the circles that make up an 8 called lobes?--but it basically means an arc.

*

I don't know if it's the dust mite covers I put on my mattress and pillow last night or the Prednisone, Zyrtec, and/or Nasacort finally kicking in, but today was hugely less snotty than the past week or so has been. Downside: I am very obviously sleeping on plastic. It rustles when I move, and is warmer than I'd like. But if it means I can breathe...
icepixie: ([Skating] Roca Sur ghost in pink)
I want to like Davis & White more than I do. They are so very quick with the complex footwork, and have such incredible speed across the ice. Their spins in particular are quite impressive, I think.

(Fun fact: It's harder to spin in dance blades. Something to do with how thin they are compared to freestyle blades, I think. It's harder to jump in them as well, given the less aggressive toe picks [less to pick with] and shorter length [less to land on].

...Fun fact the second: High level ice dancers use a different type of blade than singles and pairs skaters!)

But every time I watch D&W I just keep thinking how much they resemble robots. Technically perfect, with some very nice choreography, and yet absolutely soulless. I just can't care about their dancing aside from appreciating the technique. They are a textbook, with facts and figures; other teams are novels, with characters I care about.

It also bothers me that they don't seem to get very deep into their edges. It's like they're skating over the ice rather than digging in to it. I'm a sucker for a deep, deeeeeep edge held forever so I can appreciate it, though, even if it means slower skating.

That said, DAMN but the entrance to this lift is impressive: This should take you to 0:36.

Did Meryl Davis figure out how to levitate? Did they perhaps install an anti-gravity device in her skates? Can she fly?? Seriously, I cannot wrap my brain around how a normal human being could enter that lift from the position she's in.

*

In further amusements on the intertubes, check out ski ballet. W. T. F.

Also, a very cool skating clip from 1946: Belita Jepsen-Turner in Suspense. Proof that over-the-boot tights are not a hideous invention of the past twenty years, but have been around much, much longer. (The horror, the horror!) Also, duuuuuuude, that series of turns on her toe picks makes me cringe just thinking about it.
icepixie: ([Movies] Toepick!)
I did not realize you could put yourself in traction "in the privacy of your own home"! I hope it includes directions on how not to hang yourself accidentally.

Today at practice I managed to do mohawks from (slow, very slow) stroking and forward crossovers, and finished them off with back crossovers. Now they are actually turns as part of a larger series of steps rather than just a thing I do in isolation. Woo-hoo! Outside three turns, alas, did not go so well when trying to do them as part of a step sequence. Maybe I'll work up to them with some two-foot turns out of crossovers first.

Distinguishing right from left on the alternating back crossovers is going better as well. Yay.

I very tentatively picked up one foot at the end of a two-foot spin, and...it felt good? The spin was easier to come out of, actually, which I suppose in retrospect isn't surprising. I'm still nowhere near brave enough to to pick up that foot near the beginning of the spin, though. Not that there's much difference between the beginning and the end of said spins, because I'm still only getting 2-3 revolutions. Bah. (I'm sure part of it is because I keep semi-involuntarily trying to stabilize myself in ways that slow me down, such as spreading my feet or bringing my arms in too soon. If I just went for it, I could probably get more revolutions. But. TERROR.)
icepixie: ([Fringe] Two Olivias)
I figured Sabra didn't really mean the label on their "Supremely Spicy Hummus." ACTUALLY, THEY REALLY DID. OMG, my tongue. Ouch.

*

There's going to be an adult skating class this session! And it's going to focus on edges, footwork/moves in the field and FIGURES! I've wanted to do figures forever for months! (Because I am a NERD. And also because jumps still scare the crap out of me.)

I just sent the instructor a "my skills are still puny, but can I come anyway?" email, to which I hope I get a favorable response. I assume it's going to be like the jump classes and aimed at everyone (the jump classes basically do "flip" or "loop" or "lutz," and you work on your half, single, double, whatever you're capable of).

ETA: It is like the jump classes, and I can take it! Woo-hoo!

*

Hilarious cat burglar video.
icepixie: ([Movies] Myrna Loy as a blonde)
Travel back in time with the latest interesting images from Shorpy.

Marathon dancers. The woman on the right is glaring daggers at the winning couple because that crown should've been HERS, although she's kind of glad she didn't end the night in slippers and a housecoat. Meanwhile, the woman on the left is asking herself, "Jesus Christ, what did I just watch?"

Jailhouse blues.

Welcome to Meow Meow Airlines. Your pilot is Mr. Fluffykins.

Take one look, and this is kind of boring. Take another look, and it's creepy as hell.

This photo of some young men by a post office makes me think of Edward Hopper.

This "camp tent" is more fabulous than my bedroom.

Someone's about to tip into the drink. Nice composition, though.

The hippie bus of 1940.

I am so glad I don't have to carry this camera anywhere.

"Hey, fella. Can I see your plane?" / "Uh, um, I...yeah! Sure!"

I think the first requirement for joining this dance troupe is being dead.

New frontiers in feline locomotion.

As God is my witness, I didn't think trains could fly.

Really!

Continuing our series on trains...

And train tracks, for that matter. Also: Brrrr.

Candygram!

Precurser to the tiny house movement?

If Molly from the American Girls series was about ten years older during the war, I suspect she would be much like the redhead in this picture.

D'awwwwwwwww.

I am completely charmed by the image of bumper cars with 1940s styling.

For those who aren't content to just put up a Christmas tree, now you can BE the tree!

And now for the video portion of the evening, I move to the present and present:

Labs being idiots amusing.

Cats being assholes taking over dog beds.
icepixie: ([Farscape] Crichton in space)
Proof that everything possible to conceive of can be found on YouTube: "America the Beautiful" played on train air horns.

Also: Ship Horn Symphony and Composition for Ship Horns.
icepixie: ([Farscape] Crichton in space)
OMG. Kroger's new chai-with-caramel-and-chocolate ginger cookie ice cream is a revelation. Just so you know.

*

For your Sunday, have some curated images from Shorpy. I have some pictures on my camera of various plant life I need to put up here as well...

Railroad pageant. Yes, as in a play/musical revue featuring trains as the main characters. Check out the comments for video.

Fill 'er up. H2O, please.

Early Billie Burke.

I can't really improve on the original caption: "1948. 'Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.' Color transparency for Look magazine by the future film director Stanley Kubrick, who manages to make this look like an avant-garde Coke ad."

Cool view of NYC from a train station.

Another awesome view of NYC, this time under storm clouds, taking full advantage of the drama inherent in black and white photography.

"I will NOT hurt myself while trying these newfangled 'roller skate' contraptions!" Obviously a girl after my own heart.

It's so 60s my brain hurts. Also, since when is an airport terminal that empty?

"I CAN SEE YOU LITTERING ON THE MOON! AND I'M TELLING YOUR MOTHER!"

Off-roading, 1923-style.

...All the jokes I could make about this one are tasteless, so I won't. Just note that these two appear to be in the hall of a high school.

D'awwwww.

Gaaaaah. Where the other one was cute, this is just creepy. Apparently these kinds of shots were all the photographer did. I'm going to assume he died from being mauled by a bunch of pissed off kittens and puppies.

The site owner claims no wires or other restraints were used, just infinite, inexhaustible patience. Somehow I doubt this.
icepixie: ([Movies] Myrna Loy as a blonde)
This site has one of the most awesome Easter eggs I've ever seen. Mouse over the blue cup on the right.

(Also of note: Check out the name of the portable radio.)

*

Skating today! Because the ice at my usual rink is apparently now more like a very shallow swimming pool, I trekked down to Franklin for a public session on their rink that was packed to the brim with tiny hockey boys traveling in packs. Sigh. (There was one tiny hockey girl with hot pink laces on her skates, too. I'm not usually one to think kids, pink, or the intersection of the two are cute, but that was actually pretty cute.) The other girl there in figure skates and I just kind of shook our heads and resigned ourselves to lots and lots of stroking/swizzle/slalom practice.*

But that wasn't such a bad thing, since this was largely to test if skating would make my tendonitis flare up again or not. I'll know by tomorrow, as it seems to take a day or so to manifest. But in exciting news, I did a forward crossover I did not stumble out of! And when I say "a forward crossover," I do in fact mean one, singular. But it's one more than I've ever managed before! Next on the list: 1.) how to replicate that, 2.) how to string more than one together, and 3.) how to do them in a circle rather than an ever-narrowing spiral.

My poor skates, though, have more battle scars from that exercise. It might be time to invest in some boot covers. My knees are also crying and wailing about how they'd thought this foolishness was over, dear god in heaven.

In other excellent news, I got my stops back. I had to skate the entire long axis of the rink backwards doing stops every few feet to do it, but I did get them back. \o/


* This isn't to say I'm not grateful there's another rink within driving distance. It was only built maybe fifteen years ago, so before that my other choice would've been...Knoxville.
icepixie: ([B5] Ivanova facepalm)
Google searches based on Myers-Briggs type. There is so much fail in this list. Also, as an INTJ, I'm a but irked that INTPs get the only non-character-impinging list.

...That said, "help, I’m feeling this ‘bizarre’ human feeling = ‘love’ and can’t figure out how to out-rationalize it" does seem like a spot-on search term.
icepixie: "All the Queen's Horses." Lyrics misquoted from The Innocence Mission. ([DS] Fraser/Thatcher train joy)
Teaching Freshman Composition in GIF form.

All of them are accurate, but I have to say the two for "Introducing myself to the class during my first semester of teaching" and "Introducing myself to the class during my second semester of teaching" (and particularly the difference between them) are spot on. There was notably less oversharing in my second semester of comp, and I was glad of it.

*

In other news, yay for skating! I got up to a pretty good clip, dodged many kid!obstacles,* and did not fall once during today's public skate session! I...have not quite taught myself front crossovers, since I never actually crossed my right foot over my left (more like put it directly in front of the left), but I at least got the feeling of what I need to be doing. I'll get there one day.

I hope I'll learn at my lessons how to stroke without jamming my toepick into the ice every time I push off. I mean, I'm pushing off mostly with an inside edge, it's just that I don't manage to lift the skate up in time to avoid the first spike of the pick digging into the ice. I'm going to bet this is called "toe pushing," which I know is a bad thing you're not supposed to do. I just need to figure out how not to do it.

I also need to figure out how to keep the laces from loosening around my ankles. I had to stop and tighten them three times over an hour and a half just to keep the boot properly supporting my ankle. [personal profile] kyriacarlisle, is there some trick to it? Well, besides "get something better than rental skates," but that's not an option as of yet... ;)

The feeling of skating is even more addictive than I remember it being. There's something about the speed and the smoothness that makes you want to keep going forever. By the end of the session, my right ankle was in agony, but I kept telling myself, "One more time around, then I'll quit. Well, maybe one more..."


* Apparently the tiny kids now get to use walkers instead of flailing and/or hugging the boards like we did in my youth. Talk about your traffic hazards.

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