January 2014 Archives


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I spent the weekend at a retreat hosted by my friends Jason, a Tokyo-based actor and singer, and Diana, a dancer and yoga teacher. In addition to more than 5 hours of yoga and movement workshops, we all created "envision boards" based on a 9 square feng shui style grid. 


The grid isn't obvious in mine, but it sort of follows along with the system. 

Wealth and prosperity (purple) are in the upper left; I need a new wallet and I want to get my finances all consolidated. Fame and reputation (red) are top center; I would like to fix up my reputation from when I was feeling burned out and let my resentment and anger show. At the top right is love and relationships (pink); during some of the workshops at the retreat I realised I don't love myself very much, so me first, then I can love all the other people who are connected to me. 

The jumping girl is my sister; she is my inspiration and represents the family and physical health section (green). The 9 pointed star in the center indicates spirituality and well-being (yellow); these are the core of everything and reach out to each of the other areas. To the right of star is creativity (white) ; I've draw amorphous clouds, music, and notes of my ideas. 

The last row of the grid starts with knowledge and wisdom (blue) on the left; I am already studying a certification, so that's an obvious action for 2014. In the middle is career (black); I have been having circus fantasies so I drew myself as a ringmaster. To the right is a big area for me - travel and helpful people (grey); I need collaborators and I hope to travel with circus-y ideas to India later this year thoughtprobably not by balloon.

You may have noticed that there are colored discs surrounding the star. They connect with dotted lines to the drawings and to each other to create a map of how each area will support the others this year.

Jason told us about a study of two groups of people; one group spent five minutes a day imagining their goals; the other group imagined themselves working to accomplish their goals. The group that imagined the actions rather than the end result got closer to their desires than the ones who focussed on the goal. Interesting. I will make sure I envision the path rather than the goals in order to make my 2014 a productive and good year.

Nice Day for a Walk

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The weather was so beautiful today that once I left home, I could not stop walking. From my planned errand in Iidabashi, I decided to stroll through Kitanomaru Park,. When I ended up down by the Imperial East Gardens I walked through them, too. Then the Imperial Outer Gardens to Hibiya Park, where I called UltraBob away from his desk to join me in a turn around the grounds while we chatted. 

Then I set myself a goal. I'd walk across the Rainbow Bridge! I've wanted to for a long time and today seemed ideal for a little adventure. I said goodbye to Bob and kept going south past Shiba Koen to the seaside area. I found the entrance to the bridge at Shibaura with not too much trouble and caught the elevator 7 stories up. I paced the north side of the bridge towards Daiba, where I shot the photo above. Before I reached the very end of the bridge, I ducked underneath and back across to Shibaura on the south side of the promenade. Back on terra firms, I meandered over to Mita station and caught the subway home. 

Total distance, 19.2km. 25,876 steps.

Oh, ouch, amazing

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I just spilled an entire glass of water and did a backroll into the login table. Wheeee! Ouch. I think I drank too much. 

Tod & I spent most of the day at the Furosato Matsuri 2014 Tokyo, a huge "hometown festival" in Tokyo Dome with hundreds of stalls vending food and drink from different parts of Japan. We visited the booth of our favorite part of Japan, Nijima, four times. They were selling  glasses of "shimajima" or local sake. So of course we had to have some. It felt like camping, but more urban.

We ate and drank our way through several delicious prefectures, enjoying vegetarian soup with mamebu walnut-mochi from northern Iwate-ken,  tai chazuke rice soup, fried potatoes from Hokkaido, and melon ice cream. In between stuffing our faces, we watched some shows including the Yanakiku duo, who made me laugh.

Somehow we spent 6 hours in the Dome, and it was fun. I think I will have a headache tomorrow from hitting the table more than from the sake.

Frolicaholics' Tokyo Debut

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Tod & I played a 25 minute set at What the Dickens on Saturday night. It was our first show in Tokyo. I had a happy and positive evening, despite stage fright and mistakes as I played. Here is the last song of our set.

Being in a band is fun and it is scary. It is definitely worthwhile. We'll never stop learning. More stage experiences for us, please.

I want to give a big hug to Huw Lloyd for inviting us to open for his band, the PopJazz Orchestra, and for joining us on stage to add a bass line to some of our songs. Thank you to What the Dickens for having us despite not knowing us. And my huge gratitude to Anna Mackie, one of my singing heros, for being warm and welcoming to us newcomers. It was a good night thanks to all of you.

Resolving to have goals

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I am pretty crap at resolutions. They seem like personal demands on myself. I might make them, but I put them off. I make excuses to not get started on them - I'll wait until after the holiday break. Or when I get over this cold. Or after coffee. I guess we all do this or there wouldn't be any jokes about their ultimate uselessness.


I have a few on my fridge right now. I wrote them down yesterday in a fit of "help you help yourself" thinking. There's a morning list and an evening list. I'd really like to get myself back into a more healthy, productive schedule and I think the lists will help remind me to do so. They aren't unreasonable. Probably every person I know already does these things. Even with such good intention, I saw them this morning and pushed back. Who am I to tell myself what to do?! Ridiculous.

If I reframe the resolutions as goals then things get a little easier for me. I have GOALS! Goals are fun challenges. They have an end. They do not drag on like putting away the laundry every night forever. They are more meaningful, yet also dreamy. Reach the goal, make a new one. Wheeee. Visible progress. 

What are some of my goals for 2014?

  • Study the AFAA Group Exercise certification course and pass the exams
  • Host workshops with visiting hoopers and other flow artists
  • Re-engage with the local flow community by attending events & classes
  • Start a circus fitness class series
  • Develop master classes with circus folks and vaudevillians
  • Start a vaudeville troupe/company (this is more long-term than 2014, but I am putting it out there)
  • Perform with the Frolicaholics at least quarterly
  • Take voice/singing lessons
  • Learn 10 new songs on the ukulele
  • Organise Guru-guru Camp during GW on Niijima
  • Work with Rob to create a video at Guru-guru Camp
  • Change the way I do the WHD Dance project
  • Stop eating meat at home; choose vegan when possible
These are all obtainable and some of them are already in progress. It will be interesting to return to this list later in the year to see how I've progressed, where I've got stuck, and what new goals I've added.

Happy New Year

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Wishing you a lucky 2014. 明けましておめでとう!

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