Evolution

10 years ago: Spiderrr!! *whack whack whack whack whack*

3 years ago: Spider! It’s more scared of me than I am of it. *tremble*

1 year ago: Spider. *carries it outside*

6 months ago: Spider, I’m going to leave the room, and when I come back you won’t be here.

Today: Sup, bud.

Sin Ingles

When I want a digital Chinese character, it’s easier for me to translate my way to it than to try to write it.

In the past, this meant translating from English.

Now, because all my translation tools default to Spanish, English isn’t even in the picture.

Being able to operate across two non-English languages feels incredibly satisfying.

Also, in today’s episode of todo en Español, I logged into my Kaiser account and was greeted with “Bienvenido, Vivian.”

Might as well. Es bueno para la plasticidad del cerebro.

Elephant Adventure 37: The Wind

[insert fart joke here]

The exercise: Become aware of the movement of air.

The wind. It’s everywhere, almost always. I know this, because when everything is still I notice something is different.

Wind is what makes plants come alive before our eyes. Wind is what the countless fans in our device and appliance filled lives produce. Wind is snoring. It’s voice. It’s sound. It’s the fog before my eyes, the person walking by, the fly buzzing across the room.

Wind is power. It spins turbines and shapes landscapes.

Wind is change. Ubiquitous, constant change.

Elephant Adventure 38: Listen Like a Sponge

Janky Bachi Nail

I’ve spent the last couple months since my bachi strike with a bloody nail. Yesterday, I realized a new warped nail was growing in under the old nail with a layer of dried blood between the two. So basically the old top nail is at some point going to fall off, and it’s looking like this will happen before the new nail underneath reaches the tip of my finger. So after months of bloody nail, I’m going to have weeks of partial warped nail. Lovely.

This has not prevented me from don donning my heart out at class.

Speaking of class, after this week’s class, a few of the veteran students stayed behind to rehearse for an upcoming performance. When they put performance focus and energy into a song, it looks and sounds really good! Lots of energy and flair. So-re!

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!

Don Don Driving Range

New month, new students! We rewound a bit and spent some time on basics, as well as a review of one of our core pieces.

My hands were glad. And so was I. We’d been going so fast the last few weeks I hadn’t really had a chance to pay attention to my form.

That’s one thing I’ve learned from hockey and juggling and swimming and climbing: You’re never too advanced to work on basics.

Banco de América

I’m not sure when this happened, but today I realized I’ve been interacting with my bank in Spanish.

This isn’t something I purposely set. While I was pleased that it actually took me a few weeks to notice the change, I don’t trust my Spanish enough to bank on it.

I’m guessing their app picked up my phone’s language setting and propagated it to my account.

In other news, I started a Spanish podcast this morning and understood everything in the first few sentences. It felt kind of surreal.

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!