New New Pattern

Mills Mess is settling in pretty well. I haven’t tried for a record yet, but 10 Messes in a row isn’t a terrible stretch so it’s part of ThePattern+Another2.

What’s the other new addition to the Pattern? After 423’s inside-out tosses and the W’s columns, I realized I could be doing an outside-in variation as well, with overthrows.

The New New Pattern: 10 counts of cascade, tennis, left shower, right shower, 423 inside-out, 423 columns, 423 outside-in, reverse cascade, and Mills Mess. Not always in the same order. The order depends on my mood, although I do have to do reverse cascade as a lead in to Mills Mess.

Also, I managed a pretty-for-me-at-times 56 catch four ball today. I suppose by definition if I can get 56 catches it has to be somewhat orderly. Progress!

What A Mess!

I found myself in downtown San Mateo with a bit of extra time, so I headed to the park to see if Jerry the Juggler was around. He was. What luck!

I showed him where I was with my two and four ball patterns. One takeaway from this: I need to make higher tosses on the four ball. I’ve known this, but right now I’m trying to balance high enough to buy myself time and low enough to not be running all over the place adjusting for inconsistent tosses. Ultimately, I know I need to learn to toss both high and with consistency.

Still, he showed me the beginnings of five ball by having me cross the four ball ball pattern. This one’s gonna need quite a bit of work.

In three ball land, Jerry got me to the point of doing a few rounds of Mills Mess! I’ve been working on the first 2-3 tosses of this for a bit now, and after some encouragement and several repetitions I was able to go back and forth a few times. What got me over the hump? A differently colored 3rd ball, so I could visualize the pattern it makes.

We even got a couple rounds of reverse cascade transitions into Mills Mess.

Progress! Yay!

Sunday Is Video Day

I’ve been practicing juggling two balls in one hand since getting some tips from Jerry in early April. I started with an inside-out pattern, and thanks to poor ball control have learned columns and outside-in as well. I mentioned these patterns earlier this month, closing with, “Maybe a video sometime.”

How about today?

Since I had everything set up, I figured I’d document my really tall W as well. This pattern is made possible by the 2 ball columns. Thanks again, poor ball control!

In the video, I start with the inside out 423 and transition to the W to highlight the difference.

Off to practice 4-ball.

ThePattern+2

There a new Pattern in town.

It’s a variation of the old Pattern plus a couple new tricks. Basically, 10 counts of cascade, reverse cascade, tennis, left shower, right shower, 423, and the W (which some would also call 423, but the balls stay in column formation).

I’m also up to 8 tosses with 4 balls more than half the time, 10 tosses here and there, and 12 tosses a handful of times. I’m like a 2.25 ball juggler now.

Two Ball Variations

I discovered in a YouTube video the other day that I could be doing the one handed two ball juggle in different ways. I’ve had to adjust on the fly as I’ve practiced the 4 ball pattern, so, magically, I now seem to be able to do columns and outside-in, in addition to inside-out.

It’s fun to switch patterns in flight. Maybe a video sometime.

Half a Four Ball Juggler

Jerry the Juggler said you can call yourself a juggler if you can make 2x the number of tosses as balls tossed. I can catch 8 tosses with 4 balls about half the time now, so that makes me half a 4 ball juggler.

Aw, crap, does that mean I’m actually just a 2 ball juggler?

I wasn’t one two months ago, so…

Progress!

Jerry the Juggler

It was beautiful out this afternoon, so Aaron and I went to San Mateo for bubble tea and walked to Central Park. Jerry was there again with his juggling spread. I wanted to visit and Aaron agreed. Yay!

He got Aaron started with the basic toss right away. Then he asked how my juggling was going and I showed him my 423, thanking him for the 2-ball tips from last time. “That’s a 3 1/2 ball pattern,” he said, “You’re ready for 4!”

As it turns out, a 4 ball fountain is just the 2 ball pattern in each hand, staggered.

I say “just”, but I have a lot of practice ahead of me.

Once I could sort of do the 4 ball fountain, he started to teach me Mills Mess, which he showed me last time as well. Watching it is a mind warp, and it took me a bit to get even the second catch. But catch I did, and eventually I got the third catch as well. This one is going to take even more practice, but it’s going to look really freaking cool once I get it!

Also really freaking cool, Jerry had with him different sets of Gballz. I’d been wondering about these because the competitive juggling world seems to swear by them. Lucky me, I got to try a variety of Gballz sizes and weights today. The moment I held one I instantly understood why everyone raves about them.

If I learn Mills Mess I get to buy Gballz.

By the time we left, Aaron had the beginnings of a cascade. Success!

423

I finally learned the name of that 3 ball pattern I wanted to learn last month: The 423 Siteswap.

What does that even mean? Here’s a fun read for later: Juggling notation

What did this mean for me? I finally learned how to juggle two balls with one hand. It took my right hand a few days to learn, my left hand a few weeks. The fingers on my left hand are derpy and kept ramping the ball over to the right.

Once I got the two ball pattern down, I could start switching sides. After training my fingers not to ramp the ball over to the other side, I had to learn to alternate: same side, other side, same side, other side. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Here’s the not-final but good enough to show you what I’m talking about product:

A Joggle In The Park

It was beautiful out this afternoon, so after dim sum some friends and I went for a stroll at the local park. We saw a guy juggling in front of a blanket with a bunch of random balls on it. What is this??! We went over and asked to play.

It turns out the guy likes to juggle, and wants to share it with others. He goes to the park to give people a chance to learn, teaches them some basics, and sells a few varieties of juggling balls, because “You can’t get them around here.”

He’s right. There are no good places to buy juggling balls around here. He buys good ones in bulk, and they’re fabulous. He sells them at cost, because he can.

He started us off with the basics, which I was happy to do. This helped smooth out my toss. I also got some tips on how to juggle two balls in one hand. Once I dial that in on both hands, there’s a three ball pattern I want to learn, where you alternate juggling two balls in each hand, tossing a shared ball from side to side.

That probably didn’t make any sense, and since I don’t know what it’s called I can’t link you to it.

I’ll just have to learn it and post a video someday.

Also, new term I learned today: joggling. It’s a thing!