June 2010 Archives

July Hooping Events

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Here's what's on the schedule (so far) for July.

Sunday, July 4: Hooplovers Teacher Training from 11:00. contact Hooplovers for details
Saturday, July 10: Shizuoka Hoop Picnic @ Sunpu Koen from 2:00. FREE
Wednesday, July 14: Circle (glow edition) @ Yoyogi Park from 6:00. FREE
Saturday, July 17: Hoop Making @ Tokyo Hacker Space from 11:00. 4000 yen
Saturday, July 17: Hackerspace Hoop Jam from 2:00 FREE
Sunday, July 25: 4th Sunday Spin @ Yoyogi Park from 12:30. FREE

Details are on Facebook on the “Hooping in Tokyo” page. Impromptu hoop jams are bound to spring up, so Like the page and get the updates.

Plus there are all the regular classes around town, including Deanne’s hoop classes at FAB Academy, Ayumi’s classes at Hoop Tokyo.

Tickets for Spin Matsuri are now on sale and we have an amazing lineup of workshops this year: choreography, flow, poi, spiritual connections, gymnastics, dance, games - all suitable for any level of hooper.

Hooping Integration

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Laughing and enjoying while attempting a new trick.

This week, I hooped an awful lot. It's been a while since I felt so eager to hoop. I just can't stop myself from setting aside what I am supposed to be doing in favor of spending time spinning. Maybe it's the weather or just a bunch of hoop events in a row that's amping up my passion.

And something unexpected happened as a result. Finally, my hoop is an integrated part of me. No more thinking. Now hooping is being.

Not that my skill has changed dramatically this week - I still drop the hoop, bruise myself and look generally dorky as I try new stuff (see video above). But the hoop knows its business and I know mine and we are cool with that.

Personal statistics: June 1-14, 2010


8 hoop-related events attended
3 hoop tricks conquered
10 FB friends confirmed
1 offline friend made
2 cast iron pans purchased
8 items of clothing purchased
37 text messages received
124 e-mails received
12 consecutive days without refined sugar
8 consecutive days with migraine
1 sketch drawn
2 diagrams created
4 articles written
1 toilet scrubbed
7 loads of laundry washed

Raw Carrot Cake

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The last piece of cake standing after a vicious two-day assault. Dehydrated and looking shabby, but still delicious.

Raw desserts are some of my favorites, especially in the heat of summer. Their sweetness comes from dried fruit and non-refined sugars, and they are packed with nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, too. They are full of nutrition and almost virtuous. They still pack a calorie wallop, though - one serving of this cake is about 300 calories. But it's filling and one slice is usually enough.

The salt in the recipe helps to wilt the carrots so that they're not too crispy. Finely grating the carrots would give the cake a smoother texture. I love the orange flavour, but if you aren't a citrus fan you can leave it out and substitute water for the orange juice.

This recipe comes from Julie, who is Tracey's mom's friend. Thanks for sharing it.

Raw Carrot Cake
makes 10 servings

3 cups grated carrots
2 cups ground walnuts (or pecans)
1/4 cup chopped raisins
1 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice (or 1/2 tsp each cinnamon, ginger and clove)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup dates blended
1/2 cup orange juice

Blend the dates and orange juice into a wet paste. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and squeeze with your hands to mix well before pressing firmly into an ungreased cake tin. Put it in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up a little. The chilled cake is quite moist.

1 cup raw cashews (soaked)
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp agave syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
pinch of salt

Process cashews until finely ground, then add the wet ingredients, adjusting the water to get an thick glaze-like consistency. Spread over chilled cake.

Hoop Triumph


You know when you set yourself a goal to master - or at least to get to a certain point - and no matter what you do, it eludes you? You might make some progress but the leap to actually calling it your own, having it in your repertoire seems impossible. Frustrating.

The three beat weave with hoops has been one of those goals. I learned to do the three beat weave with poi in a workshop in June last year. It took until today get get it with hoops. Now and forevermore, I will be able to do the move continously. It's gawky right now but it will smooth out and become refined with practice. The thing is that I can finally feel it!

Many thanks to Deanne, as always, who gave me just the right guidance and push on Friday. I didn't get it then, but 24 hours later...it worked! I was so excited when I saw the figure forming around me (there is a really beautiful double hoop wheel that the alternates on each side) that I spun it a few times to prove I could sustain the motion, then dropped the hoops and did the happy dance.

The kids smoking in the margins of the park were amused.

Today's holiday is...

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Every day is special and there is always a reason to celebrate. And if you look at the Japanese website, Kinenbi, you'll know exactly what's being honored or feted.

Today is "Aperitif Day thanks to a campaign by the French agriculture ministry in 2004. "Happy Aperitif" is the catchphrase of warm June evenings.

Tomorrow, 6/4, is 蒸し料理の日 or Steamed Foods Day because the date sounds like mushi, the word for steaming. So steam some vegetables or fish for dinner to celebrate. It's also Cavity Prevention Day, because the word for cavity is mushiba.

Skipping ahead to Sunday, 6/6, we have an amusing conflict. It is Low-calorie Lifestyle Day" and at the same time is is also Roll Cake Day and Baby Cheese Day. If I had to choose, I'd pick the cake. Sunday is also 忙種, (boushu, a solar year observance to mark the forming of awns on grain.

So if you are looking for an excuse to enjoy your day a little oddly, check Kinenbi.

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