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Blast from the past

The loop jump video I linked to yesterday turned out to be useful for more than just illustrative purposes. I tried using a hockey line the way the guy in the video does, and I actually held the edge almost long enough to make it work! Still no rotation, but it's coming into sight.

*

Every time I read things from the Lois & Clark fic archive, I feel like I've entered a time warp. Even the fics from this year read like fic circa 1996. It's like all the new stylistic trends and narrative devices and increased irony and self-awareness of the past twenty years has completely passed this fandom by. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just a very weird thing. I guess it could be due to the canon, which is a.) very 90s, and b.) very much and exceptionally non-ironic, and indeed frequently crosses the line into mushy.

I happened to find out yesterday that Superman: The Animated Series stars Tim Daly as Clark and Dana Delany as Lois, and wow, I cannot imagine more perfect casting on anything. The guy who played moral, upright, sweet, slightly OCD Joe Hackett as Clark/Superman and the woman who played sassy, courageous, practical, sensitive Colleen McMurphy as Lois? These actors were born for these roles! For casting that perfect, I'd actually watch the show in its entirety if it were on Netflix or otherwise rentable, but I'm not quite interested enough to pay iTunes's asking price.

Although...I see it's available for free on Amazon Prime. This might be the thing that tips me over into getting Prime for a year.

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Loop-de-loop

Today, in service of learning to do better inside choctaws, I learned Schafer pushes (N.B. this person's individual ones are correct, but her sequence is wrong; however, you get the idea). They're one of those things that are incredibly evil and you despair of ever understanding them, until they click and you wonder why they were so hard. I think I may eventually come to like these.

P had me do my sit spin from back crossovers, and rather than the disaster I expected, it...improved it dramatically? I got four or five centered revolutions after getting to the sit position (well, the closest I can get to it right now), versus two revs to get to the right position, two more in it, then all but falling out of the spin.

As threatened last week, she moved the loop jump out from the wall, and it went reasonably well. P was very pleased because I've apparently got the entrance pretty much down, I just don't wait long enough on the edge for it to pop me into the air and rotate. Now I just kind of muscle off the ball of my foot and...hop in place. Sometimes I actually land on the same foot, as opposed to flailing and landing on my left foot. As you might imagine, it is very hard one one's back to do that. I need to figure out rotation soon.

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Skating report

I made a giant leap of progress in my sit spin yesterday by, get this...remembering to hold my arms out for the first few revolutions. *headdesk* I can't believe it took me so long to realize I was zipping them in right away and destroying any control I might have over my angular momentum. Anyway, sit spin is much more like both a sit and a spin now.

Back power pulls have secretly gotten way, way better than they were even a few weeks ago. I think there's some sort of cross-fertilization going on with them and the back cross rolls.

Forward circle eight has secretly gotten way, way worse over the past couple of weeks. I continue to hate this pattern.

Loop jump is still RFI3, keep turning, (hang on to the wall for dear life and) jump. "Next week we'll move it away from the wall," P says. "Ahahahahaha, that's funny!" say I.

*

I may or may not have slept until 1 PM today and then spent the rest of the day reading long, plotty Lois & Clark fanfic. It was entirely awesome.

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Vicious Backwards Curry Exercises

More camel success this afternoon! P happened to be watching when I did my best of the session and gave me a big thumbs up from across the rink, which was gratifying.

I bought a skate spinner from Amazon the other day, in part because I heard they were good for getting the right position on back spins, and in part because I really, really love the feeling of pushing into a spin and letting physics kind of carry me away, and this way I can get it any time I want! We'll see if it's similar to actually being on the ice. I'm also going to have to figure out the place to try it that has the fewest obstacles to crash into should it send me flying off. (Let's hope this doesn't happen.)

I got to the point on Vicious Backwards Curry Exercise that I could add what I remembered of the arms, though I wasn't really concentrating on them and they probably looked terrible. Before I do my Bronze test program (at least a year away), I need to get to a point where I can do arm-related things that don't just look like flailing and/or karate chopping.

I also discovered that the biggest problem with that exercise is no longer my poor ability to tell right from left, but the fact that my left leg is a good inch shorter than my right. Not a big deal when both are in a roughly vertical position because my hips are the same amount off, but a bigger deal when one is at a 45-degree angle out to the side. My right lobe is much larger than my left lobe. Bah.

I'm almost to the point where I don't have to slow down before the mohawk to change from forward to back power perimeter stroking in the first Bronze Moves pattern. I'm not sure if that's because I'm more confident about mohawks at speed or because I'm generally slower on that pattern than I was prior to surgery.

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New Adventures of Peter + Wendy

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.Collapse )

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Careful camels

Good progress on camel spin and back spin today. I'm consistently getting 1.5-2 revolutions on my camel, and many times 2.5 or even 3. By the end of the session, I could tell I was getting my leg higher and torso lower, too, maybe even within shouting distance of horizontal. I toe picked out of, or let my free leg open too much, on some today and was able to easily save myself so I didn't go crashing to the ice, so I feel more confident that I won't die if I get in the right position.

Improvements to back spin are harder to quantify, because I'm rarely in the actual back spin position, but P was pleased with some improvements to the entrance and getting more of my weight over to the right side (although I failed to actually find the right spot lengthwise on the blade, sigh). I figure, it took me a solid year to get a real forward spin going, and a back spin is harder, so if it takes two years, that'll be about right. I started working on it in January, so minus the two months I was off, if I get it going in the next 18 months, I'm actually going to be ahead of schedule.

I successfully managed to do a loop jump on the wall. Yay abs! You're back! It's going to be a while until I feel comfortable moving it off the wall, though. I've also been concentrating really hard on bending my takeoff knees in salchows and toe loops so that I get an actual spring off them, and it's been very successful for the past week or so. They look more like jumps now.

P taught me more Curry stuff, including a vicious little backwards exercise. It looks so simple, and yet it tests the edge of my ability to differentiate right and left so hard. It's just going backwards on alternating lobes, but you have to bend just the outside knee, not both or just the inside one, and that just flummoxes me. I finally figured out that if I think of it more as popping out the hip of the leg I want to bend, it works better, but of course my left hip is like, "Nope, I'm the lower/less sticky-outy hip, I don't do that," and bollocks it all up. I think I finally got it by the end of the session, but it took many tries. There are arm movements that go with this exercise too, but I had to hit pause on them until I figured out how to move my legs.

It really works whatever muscles go down the outside of your hips and thighs, and made me realize that my current PT program kind of ignores them. Not totally, but enough that I think I need to look up something to add for that. The one on the left in particular needs work, which doesn't surprise me given my hip misalignment.

And then I got out of the rink and it was about to storm, but the storm kind of stalled out just west, so it's been beautifully cool and windy for the last couple of hours and I love it. AUTUMN IS COMING.

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Swoop, swoop

Not only did I have a great lesson today, but I got to squeeze in an extra session afterwards because youth hockey is on break. Yaaaay!

P fixed my toe loop, because she always fixes my toe loop, and I always find some new and interesting way to crap it up again by the next time I see her. This jump and I, we don't get along.

She actually got me to do two full revolutions in something approaching a camel spin position, and I got myself to do...four? in a perching-on-a-barstool position. AND at least six in a regular scratch spin from back crossovers. It was so centered I couldn't tell from the tracings. (YAY IT WAS FINALLY CENTERED AGAIN AFTER A WEEK OF TRAVELING TO TIMBUKTU.)

Her immediate instinct upon seeing how well I was doing with the back cross rolls was to make them harder by adding a bit where you hold your free foot behind the skating foot for a while on the roll part, and it is so much harder than it looks, wow. Ditto for the inside edges with free foot held behind the skating foot. They look cool, very swoopy and powerful, but if you fall off that edge, there is nothing to save you. You're going DOWN.

We also did the inside three turn version of the power three pattern, because I didn't hate that pattern enough. At least I won't be tested on it. And it'll maybe improve my poor, pathetic inside three turns.

P is going to a competition next month and spent some time working on her program to one of the more bombastic parts of "Appalachian Spring," which is such perfect music for her it almost hurts. Ostensibly, I hung out at the boards so I could stay out of her way, but really I was just enthralled. Swoopiness! Power! Confidence! Everything I want to have! She's been working on a spread eagle into axel maneuver for months now that has a prominent place in the program, and it's so great. I hope there's video from this competition.

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Aug. 2nd, 2015

Freestyle was kind of sucky at practice today (ugh, toe loops, ugh), but there were many good parts:

1. I got my free foot in the right spot and my weight over the right part of my blade on a sit spin. Once. For two revolutions. But that's more than it's been before.

2. I got 1.5 revolutions on a "camel" spin. I was in at best an arabesque position, but, you know. Baby steps.

3. Back cross rolls were amazing again. I easily got all the way down the ice without running out of steam. I'm astonished when I remember that 18 months ago in the Edges class, J the Younger and I were cracking up as we kept moving our feet frantically and getting absolutely nowhere.

4. I don't usually compare myself to other skaters because we all started at different points (most of them way earlier than me) and have been out for different amounts of time due to injury, have different ages and genetics, etc., so it's kind of futile. But that said, G is our Moves and Curry champ, second only to P. (She's been P's student for umpteen years, so it's not surprising.) She has beautiful, graceful spirals, turn sequences, etc. And yet today I managed to give her advice when she was having trouble on the Bauer three turns that were the bane of my existence for a couple of weeks in March, and which I have now made my peace with. That felt good.

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On a whim, I decided to get the first disc of Lois and Clark from Netflix. I wasn't sure what to expect besides baggy 90s clothes, and...wow. This is very much like Nora Ephron got ahold of the Superman franchise, isn't it? With a smidgen of X-Files thrown in, given the whole government conspiracy angle that seems like it will become a running theme?

It's completely ridiculous, the dialogue is often terrible, and the FX are awful even for 1993, but I like all the characters and I've taken a shine to Lois/Clark, because of course I have. I appreciate her "you do the fluffy women's interest stories, I'll do the hard-hitting investigative reporting" angle.

But. Two questions: How long until Lois sees the obvious, and can I skip most of the episodes until she figures it out? Better yet, could I watch them secure in the knowledge that she's known all along (because "not wearing glasses" is not an effective disguise!) and will whip it out at an opportunely awesome moment?

Because much as I like these people, I don't think I can sit through season upon season of her having to carry the idiot ball where Clark = Superman is concerned.

P.S. Your fic recs, I want them.

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Meh and yay

A very much meh practice today. The ice was rutted and weird, and I just wasn't feeling it. That said, I managed respectable back cross rolls right out of the gate (I figured it would take me the whole session to get back into how they should feel) and for the first time managed reasonably accurate versions of power threes on both sides in one go.

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Rocking and rolling

Every few months, someone teaches me back cross rolls, and every few months, I fail utterly at them. Until this time. This time, in practice after my lesson, I succeeded at them beyond my wildest dreams.

Which still doesn't mean they look as good as when P does them, but that's to be expected. They look damn good for me. I guess it's because the smoothness and depth of edge on my forward cross rolls have improved a lot since the last time I tried back ones, and I've been working hard on back power pulls lately. After changing edges on one foot while going backwards, getting to use two feet is like hitting a power up in a video game.

We revisited sit spins and camel spins today as well. I like sit spins because I'm lower to the ground, which would minimize injury should I fall. My knees hate sit spins for that very reason. Camel spins I think I will like once I get over my fear of actually pulling up into a spiral position, with all of the potential for face-breakage that entails.

Back spins...oh, back spins. One day I will not hate them and will indeed be able to do them, but that day is not today. It's probably not this year.

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Cylons on ice

Girl!R was the only other person on the sessions this morning, so I played the BSG soundtrack while we practiced. It was pretty awesome.

Girl!R gave me some tips on salchow and toe loop. We both agreed that at this point I just need to get the confidence to do them full out and they'll look like jumps rather than steps.

Five- and six-revolution forward scratch spins continue happening as long as I remember to keep my knee bent going into it.

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Improvements

Agony (n) -- Remembering halfway through a skating session that you have a blister on your heel, and realizing you have no bandaids in your skate bag.

Other than that, yesterday's practice was good. I've figured out what magical alchemy of stepping up and leaping forward gets my waltz jump to feel like a jump and not a step with aspirations. I managed six revolutions on a forward scratch spin by getting my free foot in the right position and remembering to bend the spinning knee.

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Working hard

Yaaaaay, P gave me a refresher on jumps today and they are all so. much. better. Waltz jumps are springier and waltzier, salchows are salchowier, toe loops are...well, they're not as terrible as they were. We started to do loop jumps on the wall, but I had to beg off as my abs are in no shape for that yet.

We also worked on getting my free foot in the right position for a scratch spin, because I have a tendency to point the toe down and then this drops my right hip. I ended up concentrating so much on my toe and knee that I forgot to pull my arms in, but I think it'll be good when it all comes together.

I have spent the week doing terrible Circle 8 after Circle 8, and then the moment P's eyes were on me it perfected itself, better than it was even before my two months off. The moment her eyes were off me, it went back to being almost as terrible as it had been earlier. Maybe I can have her stand on the ice and stare at me during my test.

I pushed myself pretty hard during my lesson and even with multiple sit-down breaks, I still only lasted about an hour total. If I remember correctly, that's roughly where I was when I came back after last summer's simple single laparoscopy, so I'm pleased.

And now, to nap.

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SKATING SKATING SKATING

Yaaaaaay, I did it! I made it through the entire 45-minute session without even a rest break. (The two minutes I spent leaning against the wall while some girl ran her program were just me getting out of the way, not resting.) I've regressed about as much as I figured on most of the Bronze Moves--power threes were unexpectedly about where they were when I left--thankfully kept my ability to enter a forward scratch spin on one foot, even if the spin is much uglier than it was, and even jumped. Teeny jumps.

Toe loop is a disaster again, but Salchow was pretty good and waltz was tentative, but not bad. ("Tentative, but not bad," describes much of today's skating.) I did not attempt a backspin, because J the Younger broke her ankle doing one a couple of weeks ago, and holy crap I did not need another reason to hate and fear that spin, but now I have one.

Of course, every joint from the waist down is now screaming at me, and will probably be screaming even louder tomorrow morning. I really need to get back to doing my PT exercises every night. Ugh. And my abdomen hurts, but it usually hurts about this much at this point in the day now, so I don't think the skating really did anything to it. If anything, it helped, because I didn't hurt at all while I was out there.

Nevertheless: SKATING, YAY.

Ahhhh, I'm using this tag again!

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Pain, pain, go away

The first three days back at work went better than I feared but worse than I hoped, recovery-wise. (Work is fine. I picked a great week to come back.) I did okay in the mornings, but my abdomen started hurting by noon, so I ended up taking three halves of a pain pill each day to cover afternoon, evening, and night.

This would be so much easier if I could take ibuprofen or Aleve right now. Instead, I have to wait until the pain gets bad enough that I feel justified in using my dwindling Percocet stash on it. Tylenol by itself is a waste of time; frankly, I'm not even sure why that alleged painkiller exists.

I see my gyn late next week for another follow up, so maybe he'll give me something. I don't think he wants to, and honestly I don't want more--I'd much rather not be hurting. Maybe Tramadol? Something to step down with? Or maybe I can tough it out until I see the kidney doc in two weeks and with any luck get permission to take NSAIDs again.

*

Apparently there's now a trailer for the new "adult" Muppet show coming out this fall.

I like the idea of a new show, but actually hearing Kermit say, "She turned my life into a bacon-wrapped hell on earth" is just bizarre. I always think of the Muppets as completely G-rated.

Speaking of which, I fell down a Muppet-shaped hole in the internet and discovered that these days, Oscar the Grouch occasionally pops out of recycling bins. The times, they are a changin'.

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Mad Men through the end

EndingsCollapse )

Completely unrelated except for the fact that both are/were on AMC: Lee Pace has a new show about computers set in the early eighties? How did I not know this?

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Mad Men season 7A

AwakeningsCollapse )

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Mad Men season 6

SurprisesCollapse )

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Mad Men through 6.4

Machinations, mmmmmCollapse )

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