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Kite arches!!

Yesterday was a fabulous day.
It was the freo kite festival and so I took my bug down to South Beach for the VW meetup that takes place in conjunction with the air-born insanity. The weather was PERfect. Sunny and windy and wonderful. It was great, because the parking lot RIGHT next to the event was cordoned off and filled with vintage VWs, like special reserved parking for special not-so-reserved people. It was like instantly being part of the in crowd when they opened the gates to let my pink bug and it's driver enter. I ate lunch at a really cool restaurant called missymoos. They had two walls painted with blackboard paint and their menu and specials were all chalked up in bright colors and pictures. They also had a wall of boardgames and scrabble tiles spelled out, "the cow jumped jack was pushed and the ugly duckling turned out to be ugly after all," which amused me. I drew a cow jumping over a hamburger moon for them while I waited for my tasty tasty burger and thick cut fries.
I met some fun people and saw some GREAT bugs and got some good advice.
I also found out about another event I'd like to go to. :D Bugs are fun... they come with communities of creative crazy people.

The kite fest was also pretty special. They have these big arches made up of hundreds of kites strung together side by side and BIG, beautiful, shiny, bright, delicate, octagonal, flagellated kites floating and fluttering on tethers like deep sea apparitions. I regret forgetting my camera. I want to make some cool kite arches for Burning Man as they looked to pack up quite small and were really quite beautiful. It's definitely windy enough at BM, I just hope it's not too windy...

Then I went to pick up Matt from his trip and changed quickly and went strait to a gig at the local show (City fair). I got some good practice in and it was good fun despite one of the things I most fear occurring. I had a wardrobe malfunction while doing poi. The neck band of my halter-topped costume came undone.... I caught it just in time, but I had to run off protecting my modesty and trying to free myself from flaming poi at the same time. Embarrassing. >_>;;;

But afterwards I had a dinner of chips, doughnuts, and cotton candy and sat around with my awesome friends and watched the greyhounds run and told silly jokes.

Yes... my life rocks. ^_^

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Chapter One: The Dragon

If you aren't my friend on LJ and have no intention of becoming so, comment with your e-mail address or an expression of interest and I shall e-mail you the chapter (comments will be screened to protect the guilty).

I'm not quite ready yet to expose it to the world indiscriminately. :P

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Hardcore Yesterday...

Yesterday morning, I went in at 8am to begin firing a kilnload of pottery. Since I'd been glazing like mad to get ready for the firing, I hadn't had a chance to shower in a few days. So during one of the 30-minute intervals between checking the kiln, I hopped over to the nearest restroom, which happened to have a shower stall. I quickly showered, then sat in front of the kiln, watching a TV series about mid-19th century painters, and dried my hair by the heat of the kiln.
Yes... I am such a hardcore artist, I use an 1200 degree Celsius kiln as a hairdryer.
Go me.

The series I watched was called Desperate Romantics and is based on the lives of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, a group of painters in the mid 1800s. It was such good fun, watching a series about artists while making art that I think I shall make a habit of it.
Anyone have any recommendations for things to watch during my next firing? Only stipulation is that it must be about art or artists. I don't care when it was made, if I can track it down I'll watch it.

In news of a completely different sort.... I have found the best underwear known to man.
Fluorescent, rainbow-colored, leopard-print, BONDS brand undies. I have about six pairs now. I'll wear them out one at a time so that I can have these undies in my life for as long as possible.
BONDS make the best undies EVER, btw. They are the most comfortable thing next to your own skin. They are made of such soft material and have have these fantastic, wide, elasticated bands that don't cut into your skin, but just press it gently. They come in the greatest and most outrageous colors and patterns and you can get a specific color or pattern in several different styles so you can have just exactly what you like.
I want all my undies to be BONDS.

Lastly, I started writing something a while back, and, while I'm still working on it, I think the first chapter is nice enough to share. So, Friends of Mine, what do you guys say? If I post it will you read it and tell me what you think?

Colors of India...

I want to go to India some spring for Holi, the Festival of Colors. They paint their buildings in vibrant colors, throw colored powder and water at people, and it sounds completely and utterly amazing. I love color.

I need a good camera, first, though.... a colored-powder-proof and colored-water-proof one. :P

Some interesting things about Australia:

There is a childhood delicacy in Australia called Fairy Bread, and while I have always marveled at it, I have just recently discovered how it is made.....
Take a slice of white bread.
Butter one side thoroughly.
Pour a bag of sprinkles (the little spherical rainbow kind, here known as 100s &1000s) into a shallow pan.
Place the bread butter side down in the pan, and press to maximize sprinkle adherence.
Slice into triangles.
Enjoy! ..... If you have the metabolism and sugar-lust of a 4 year old.

At first I was appalled, but then I realized that the same basic recipe is used for most american breakfast cereals..... and I just hung my head in shame.
The Aussies may feed their kids some terrible stuff, but at least it's occasional treats, rather than every morning meal.
Which somewhat explains why most Aussies I've met don't like a sweet breakfast. Much of classic American breakfast fare is sweet in nature: Pancakes (with syrup and butter), Waffles (with syrup and butter), French Toast (with syrup and powdered sugar), Breakfast Cereals (like Lucky Charms, nothing like marshmallows for brekky!), Pop Tarts (and their slightly less sugary compatriots, Toaster Streudel), and so forth. Not so in Aus. Breakfasts are hearty, nutritious, sometimes tasteless fare such as Muesli Bars, Sultana Bran (in the US, Raisin Bran), Multigrain Cheerios (They don't have regular Cheerios! Only Multigrain...), fruit and nut enhanced grain-based cereals, toast, etc. Almost mortifyingly healthy.
I feel like such a slob craving sugary brekky amongst all this health consciousness. :P


It's always the disparity found in the places you least expected that shock you.


Also, it's 34 degrees Celsius (98+ Fahrenheit), and it's Christmas. It feels SO weird, and not at all like Christmas. Santa hats aren't terribly popular here due to the heat and I've yet to find a good quality fake fur one. Instead those headbands with the reindeer antlers are popular. Along with T-shirts, tank tops, tiny santa dresses, and the sparkly, multi-colored, marabou-trimmed cowboy hats that say MERRY CHRISTMAS across the front.
I must get one.
Just for shits and giggles.... and maybe to keep the sun off.....but mainly shits and giggles.
Although I did see a brilliant Christmas hat last night on the telly. It was a sparkly yellow brimmed hat trimmed in yellow marabou with yellow christmas ornaments hanging from the brim.

If you don't know why this is brilliant, Google 'Aussie Cork Hat.'


In Other News:
I get to go to the beach this arvo!
I am so excited! I've not been to a beach in AGES.
We are going to have dinner, play around till sunset, watch the sunset, then have a great big burn on the beach. :D Lots of people and fire and waves and sand and fun!!

I <3 Australia!

First time out...

So, my shows went well...ish.
I learned that I am an incredible ham when I have a HUGE camera lense in my face, even to the point of burning my lips so the nice photographer can get the shot. >_<
So yes, slight burns on lips and tongue from the roving gig along with some frizzled hair at the bottom. All-in-all it went alright, tho. I didn't set anyone on fire and the crowd seemed pretty interested. I need to work on looking/interacting with the crowd more.

We arrived ten minutes before the show was supposed to start, but people had already started leaving the event so we pretty much kicked off our shoes and started right away. This doesn't sound bad until you remember there's only three of you for a 30 minute show and you never discussed a run order or what each person was going to do when. SO I was pretty much like "AH! TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!" every time I wasn't on fire. I didn't know which prop to pick up and when so I just picked at random or waited for one of the others to point at something. >_<
So confusing without a run order.
But I didn't burn myself or anyone else, so It went well enough. :)

I also found out that my pinky and ring finger on my left hand are entirely too weak to both support and guide a fire finger into my mouth. They just sort of waggle around uncontrollably till I catch the end with my tongue. :P
It's silly lookin'.

My make-up held, but I think I'll get a different brand of lipstick next time.

Next show is Thursday night and I'm excited.


OTHER than that... I have some sort of mild cold or allergy or something because my nose has been running like mad and I've been sneezing occasionally as well. It's been postulated I may be allergic to some of the plants here that I hadn't encountered last time owing to the fast I wasn't here in December last time. *shrugs* I just want to stop running like an open tap.

ALSO... there is hope for me in the ceramics department of the local Uni. I may well be starting in February, exchanging expertise and labor for studio space. :) I am highly excited about this as the ceramics department is really struggling. I met a girl the other day who had just graduated and didn't know how to fire a kiln! D: They need someone to show them techniques and teach them the basics of the materials at the very least. I hope to be that person. :D

OK... time to do some sewing. Whhhheeeeeeee!
So my first paid fire performance gig is in 2.5 hours! My second fire performance gig is in 4 hours!
I am excited and nervous, but mainly excited. I think that one of the greatest things in the world is to get paid for doing something that you love to do. It may not entirely pay the bills, but at least it makes fire-twirling and circus stuff a self-sustaining habit. ;)

I've been in training for a while now, safetying at gigs and seeing how they do stuff and practicing with new props. All the money I got for being safety (the person responsible for the wet towel, fire extinguisher, and general safety of everyone) went to paying for my fire performer's insurance.
Can you believe I'm insured for $20 million dollars???
I can't.
I mean, I hope NEVER to have to use a penny of that, but it's nice to know I'm covered if I accidentally burn down one of the nicer suburbs of Perth.

So I got my costume, which is, for all intents and purposes, small.
It was made for the smallest girl in the troupe so I had to spend two days altering it to fit. I had to pull off the velcro bits and re-sew them by hand and put in some tucks and gathers, and it's STILL small.
I mean, it could be worse, it REALLY could, but it IS less than I normally wear on a hot day....albeit more than I normally wear to the beach or pool. I was as worried about the more as I was about the less, actually. The more consists of flappy bits and panels that I was worried about getting tangled in and may still have trouble with if I'm ever not careful. I WAS really worried, until I tried it out on Tuesday and found out that I will NOT fall out of it, no matter how much I jump around. This is good.
Tuesday night was really, really, reeeaaaallly fun. I has a practice go with every prop I knew how to manage and only got a little burnt. The fire sword was pretty darn impressive up close and personal and ON FIRE IN MY HAND!!
I found out that my hair, while too short to put up in a lackey band, is long enough to fly about and get singed more often than I would like.

Thus began my work of the last few days.....


-Turn away now if you don't want to read girly hair and make-up drivel-


I had to run around getting combs and hair gel and clips and things to control it. I can't use hair-spray because of it's high flamability, so I've worked out a system of gel and lots of clips. :P
I hope to find different hairstyles that suit what I'm doing, but It's going to take practice.

Yesterday I had a dry-run. First I showered and shaved and painted ALL of my nails. I found this AMAZING nail polish that's the deepest blue-black with just a hint of blue sparkle and I'm completely in love with it. Then I did my hair and put on my make-up. It's a good thing this is stage make-up because I feel like a friggin monkey using those little eye-shadow buds. It always ends up being too much, which, for performance, is just enough.
I found out, however, that my liquid eye-liner is no longer very useful. It dried like glue and flaked off in chunks when I attacked it with make-up remover at the end of the night (>:P Ew). Also, my favorite lipstick had gone off. It was like trying to scrape a glue-stick across my lips.... Not happy. I also plucked my eyebrows. I think they actually look pretty damn awesome and I am SUPER happy for my developed sense of proportion. One is still lower than the other.... but I'm pretty sure it'll always be thus.
SO then I went out shopping. I needed a long-last lipstick anyhow as most normal lipstick won't stand up to the rigors of fire-eating. :P
So I got an eye-shadow brush with will hopefully help me with the application as I am somewhat well acquainted with brushes in general. I got lipstick and foundation that was WAY too expensive to have been bought by anyone not being paid to wear it. >:P I also got mascara, solid eye-liner, and some glittery eye-shadow stuff. All-in all I spent $80 on beauty supplies and I gotta say, I have no clue why girls go through all this if they aren't getting paid to do it. I mean, yes, I do get it for special occasions, proms, weddings, a nice date, because it makes you feel beautiful.... but every day? It's ridiculous.


-End of Ubergirly Content-



So I should be all set for tonight. Just going to go get all made-up and eat dinner before I'm off!!

Wish me luck!

Lust, lust, lust...

Check out this stunning necklace!
I need to get some good vintage buttons to make casts of so I can make some nice ceramic pendants. :D

Also...


How cool is this??

Do want! And the Dover version down where it says "people who bought this also bought" looks pretty spiffy, too. I want to design a deck of cards....

I wonder if there exists a company that will take your photos or images and make you a custom deck of cards. That would be so neat! If it doesn't exist... it should.

Edit: I found one!

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Silly. Google keeps suggesting Connor.

1: Type in "[your name] needs" in the Google search:
Supplies That Every Cat Household Needs | The Humane Society of ...
You probably won't have to worry about training your cat to use the litter box, but you will need to show your cat where to find it. ...
www.hsus.org/.../cat.../supplies_that_every_cat_household_needs.html

2: Type in "[your name] looks like" in Google search:
Cats That Look Like Hitler!
Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he's going to up and invade Poland?
www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/

3: Type in "[your name] does" in Google search:
Cat Conner
Intro page to the jazz website for singer Cat Conner and also her long established party character site,
www.catconner.com/

4: Type in "[your name] hates" in Google search:
My Cat Hates You
10 Jun 2009 ... A collection of the internet's most ferocious housecats, and they aren't happy to see you.
Cats - Forums - Samwise - Litterbox
www.mycathatesyou.com/ - Cached - Similar

5: Type in "[your name] goes" or "..has gone" in Google search:
Whippet Has Gone For Our Cat - Dogpages forums
15 posts - 12 authors - Last post: 14 hours ago
Whippet Has Gone For Our Cat, cat gone missing! Options V ... I got there too late on both occasions and the cat has run off. ...
www.dogpages.org.uk/forums/index.php?showtopic... -

6: Type in "[your name] loves" in Google search:
Cat Loves Crow
Cat Loves Crow is a musical duo performing in the folk, old-time, bluegrass, and Russian musical traditions. Also known as Joe and Karena Prater.
catlovescrow.com/ -

7: Type in "[your name] eats" in Google search:
Cat Food -- Nutritional Requirements of Cats
Outside of regulary veterinary care, the food your cat eats is the most important factor to his health and longevity. These lessons will teach you ...
cats.about.com/.../catfoodandnutrition/Cat_Food_and_Nutrition.htm

8: Type in "[your name] has" in Google search:
Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats – I Can Has Cheezburger?
9 Nov 2009 ... Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger? the home of lol cats ... What a cat really sees when it looks at a small rodent ...
icanhascheezburger.com/

9: Type in "[your name] died" in Google search:
my cat died recently and i was with her then. What i want to... - Q&A
I was saddened to hear your story and I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that I believe at least that when a cat dies he or she goes to a better ...
www.faqs.org/qa/qa-4156.html

10: Type in "[your name] won't" in Google Search:
My cat won't clean herself? - Yahoo! Answers
12 Dec 2008 ... My cat is almost a year old and continues to not clean her bottom, ... A cat with constant diarrhea has a problem, whether it is a medical issue ...
answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid...

11: Type in "[your name] can't" in Google Search:
The cat can't read on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
At the Ernest Hemingway house and museum in Key West, Florida, an appalling menagerie of around 60 scrawny felines has the run of the place.
www.flickr.com/photos/tampics/2183203760/

12: Type in "[your name] wants" in Google search:
What Your Cat Wants You to Know - TIME
30 Oct 2007 ... If you're thinking about getting a cat — or want to know more about the one you' ve got — the new book The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat ...
www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1677802,00.html

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Bite the Blood Bullet....

So yesterday, I went to give blood for the first time.
I gave in to peer pressure (all the cool kids are doing it!) and went with a friend of mine.
I'd always thought about going to the blood mobile when it was on campus, but never took the time. Nearly all of my friends here give blood, and they were pretty surprised I'd never done so, being the clean, healthy, kind-hearted, blood-filled sort of person they look for in donors. My friends are awesome... and I want to be like them.
So I went to the blood bank. Filled out lots of paperwork, answered lots of questions, and then had a little finger-prick blood test to determine my iron levels.* I got a 117 at first, which was too low, so the nurse decided to test me again from an arm vein. After cooing over my large veins for a second, she took some from my right arm with a small needle and I got a 121 iron count, so I was feeling pretty good (I got this. I TOOOOtally got this. I can take a needle, Yeah!). I watched as she prepared the left arm, and then suddenly....
she pulls out...

THE GIANT NEEDLE OF DOOM!!

I mean, I could have used the thing as a straw! And it was sharp! And I turned away quickly and tried not to panic as she put it in. It's a weird feeling having a hunk of cold metal in your veins, and it was that feeling, the feeling of it just sitting there, more than the going in that really got to me.
I had to try very, very hard to think about something else and not to panic because there's A GIANT NEEDLE IN MY ARM OMGGETITOUT!!! I had a moment of manic laughter, which is, apparently, how frantic panic avoidance manifests in my person.
But I read about the messed up people living in Wuthering Heights and managed to steer clear of real panic. It was really good when I stopped feeling that arm because then I couldn't feel the needle inside me anymore. It really wasn't SO bad... I just freaked myself out by looking at the needle and getting weirded out about something being under my skin which wasn't supposed to be there.
I really hope that my blood helps someone because I'd hate to have gone through that for naught.
Hopefully next time will be better now that I know what to expect.
I got tea and cookies and cheese and crackers after, which was very nice, and suffered no ill effects whatsoever.
In a few weeks I get to learn my blood type. I've forgotten what it is. It's probably nothing terribly exciting, but It's still nice to know thyself.

Anyhow... Join the IN crowd... Give blood!
(If you're clean and healthy and not scared stiff of needles).



*They gave me a band-aid. A whole band-aid for one little prick? Really? I work with my hands so much a tiny little prick like that is only notable because you have to suck on it for a few seconds to make sure you don't get any blood on the art. :P