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Tactical Ninja

Sep. 7th, 2016

06:40 am - I just made The Most Hippyish Thing Ever

This is from the fleece of a sheep I shore, except the hood. Comment on Facebook - "I bet it sprouts it's own hemp beans!". :)

Geek notes: the shading on the hood came out reasonably well even though I messed up the colour gradation a bit. Next time I'll measure out the fleece for each spool before I start spinning.

Next project: shiny shaded silver leg warmers!

(I may have slipped and accidentally bought 6kg of moorit merino/polwarth and 4kg of silver and grey/ black gotland)

Sep. 4th, 2016

04:43 pm - Pole kittens!

That's what we apparently call the people who clean the pole between acts at a show.  I was one with these two hot laydeez at my studio's student showcase last night.

pole kittens
Discovery of the evening - I can climb in gogo boots.  Also, from some angles I have cleavage.  Who knew?

Sep. 2nd, 2016

10:29 am

OMG woolgasm! SO much beautiful wool!

Backstory - I've had an arapawa/gotland fleece sitting in my stash for a few years, from a flock in Tawa. I've always wanted to do that thing where you take the fibre all the way from shearing the sheep* through preparing and spinning the wool to making an item of clothing for myself.

A few weeks ago, I dug out the fleece and started on it, teaching myself to crochet in the process. I finished the item, and it looked hippyish enough that it needed a hood. Half way through the hood, I ran out of wool.


Joel suggested I do stealth shearing - sneak back to Tawa and shear the sheep for enough wool to finish my project. I figured buying a bit online would be easier and involve less running around paddocks at midnight and potentially getting shot for worrying.

Anyway, I went hunting for arapawa/gotland online and in my travels I accidentally slipped and bought some merino, polwarth and straight gotland fleeces in a variety of natural colours. Oops. I have a project in mind that involves playing with natural variations in coloured wool, so now it can be a really big project!

Pictured is the hippy thing I made from my own shearing on the left, and the wool that I'll finish it with on the right. I'll have to pick the darker bits out, but it's close enough. I'm stoked!


PS I think that the history of fibre and textiles is the history of civilisation, up to and including the fact that looms were the first computers. But I'm geeky like that.

* Even better if I bred the sheep myself. Working on that.


Aug. 31st, 2016

08:29 pm - So this happened

We just got betrothed!
Joel is irresponsible

Another soppy Hawke/Cullen pic under cutCollapse )

Aug. 26th, 2016

08:40 pm

Putting this here because Facebook just feels like egoposting and here is more private. This is the first time I got horizontal in iron x practice and held it steady, this Tuesday just gone.

It's here because I struggle a lot with confidence and self esteem these days, and I want something to remind myself that occasionally I'm starry. That not all my practices are failures, and that I am making progress.

When i get that second leg straight, I'm going to be insufferable. :)

Aug. 21st, 2016

10:59 am

Over the last few days, whenever I've seen that naked Trump statue posted, I've dropped in and left a comment along the lines of "I'm really not down with body shaming, even of that scumbag."

A statement of my own view, or so I thought. It's been interesting to see how many people will vehemently tell me I'm wrong to feel that way, and work very hard to convince me that my perspective is invalid. Arguments used include:

"It's art!" (it is art, because art is supposed to elicit emotion and discussion - but that doesn't mean it's not also body shaming)

"Think about it in context!" (you mean the context where almost everyone is bombarded with reasons to hate their body every day, or the one where Trump is not smart enough to realise that a lot of his belittling of other people probably comes from an unacknowledged desire to make himself feel big? which probably stems from the same crap this statue is perpetuating regarding self-loathing)

"He started it!" (what are we, 4?)

"He does it to women all the time!" (and we think he's scum for it, so why is it ok to now do the same thing? does that make us scum too?)

"He said he had a huge penis though!" (and? since when are tiny penis jokes any kind of argument about anything relevant?)

"You just don't understand how it's supposed to represent the Emperor with no clothes!" (which I do actually understand, I'm just not ok with the way we're focusing on the 'nauseatingness' of his naked body as a representation of his ugliness)*

"Not everything is about you!" (um, yeah - i got nothing)

* I actually think it had the potential to be a lot better. If his naked body were painted in representations symbolic of the people who would be (are being) harmed by his policies, for example. As it is, we take the Emperor's clothes off and what's revealed is a fairly accurate representation of the body of a fat old man, and we are supposed to be nauseated by that.

I'm sorry folks, it's body shaming and I'm still not ok with it.

Note - one person out of everyone I've commented to responded with "Oh, I hadn't thought of that." and took it down. There's a reason that person is in my inner circle of friends, just saying.

Jul. 22nd, 2016

08:40 am - Here is a picture of mah hed

mah hed

Today is Mucking About With Wigs day.  I only have one wig, the one I used for the Saarebas cosplay.  This is it.

Still not used to the look of No Hair Me, but I do love how it feels.

Jul. 19th, 2016

09:44 am

So I shaved my head.

Actually I got Happy to do it because he's a bit of an expert, and it's only a Number 5 because it's winter, but the bottom line is most of my hair is gone and in the last two days I've been compared with both Imperator Furiosa (yay!) and Sinead O'Connor (not miserable enough, sorry!). Not posting a photo cos I'm not used to it yet, but there's just enough left so it's still purple.

The feedback has been interesting. Women like it, men don't. Except older men for some reason. I guess aesthetics are not gender-neutral or objective.

I probably won't keep it like this but I do like the way it keeps my hood up instead of being all slippery, and touching it is very pleasant.

Jul. 9th, 2016

07:34 pm - What I did today

Jul. 8th, 2016

11:30 am

I seem to have used up my braining capacity for the week, so in lieu of content, here is a video of the Teletubbies performing I Fink U Freeky by Die Antwoord:

You're welcome.


Jun. 30th, 2016

09:29 am - Incoherent rant about a pet peeve

10 things you need to know before dating the outgoing introvert

I could write a massively long sociological and academic-sounding wank about this, but I'll spare you, and instead, give you a numerical list:

1. Humans love labels.
2. We are all special snowflakes.
3. My reality and yours aren't the same. Ironically, this is the same for everyone.
4. This is all ok.

From a massively long sociological and academic-sounding wank I read yesterday: "You do not need to have a deep, internal, essential experience of gender* to be free to dress how you like, behave how you like, work how you like, love who you like."

I'd like to add "You do not need to have the perfect label for every identity trait to be free to accept that other people can also dress how they like, behave how they like, work how they like, love who they like."

I'm an antisocial fuckface who hates small talk, can only cope with about four people at a time in conversation, doesn't really like having house guests, dislikes house parties, enjoys the anonymity of crowd dancing, can speak in front of 1000 people with zero nerves but will not even sing in front of my partner, likes people, has few friends but many acquaintances, will probably not come to your party but cares how you're doing anyway, would rather wear a costume than normal clothes, and sings along to 90s angst-rock when I'm alone.

News flash - I find Fidels gatherings really difficult but I go anyway.

Sometimes, none of this is true.

And this is all ok, despite how guilty I sometimes feel for not being more into being with people. I don't claim to be an introvert and it annoys me how many articles are written about Understanding The Introvert, as if somehow being 'An Introvert' makes you more worthy of other people's effort to understand than just being You.

I would like to be less of a grumpy bastard. I am trying to be more understanding of the need to apply a label to oneself in order to be We rather than Me. We is stronger than Me, but I am frustrated by the amount of We that I see being used to judge the other We over there for not being like Us. I'm aware that my disdain for this is judgemental and makes me exactly the same as the people doing it, and that my smug feeling of superiority as I type about all these people buying into silly labels is the same feeling anyone feels when they separate themselves from the Other and see themselves as somehow better.

The view from up my own arse is not very scenic, just saying.

* The article was about gender, but substitute any of the nouns we used to encompass identity and the same applies IMO.

Jun. 28th, 2016

11:40 am - Not very interesting video

On Friday I bought a GoPro. Within about 5 minutes I was asked to make a video of pole from the point of view of the performer. Here it is.

Mostly just the room spinning with the occasional leg passing through. And a reminder to self to point my toes...

Jun. 24th, 2016

01:20 pm

I'm not dead.

This week I got my first pay packet from my new contracting lark and the only thing I could think of to spend it on was socks and jocks. Until today when I bought a GoPro because fuckit, if I'm making more money then I should have videos of my pole practice that don't involve extreme close-up shots of my desk because my phone's fallen over, and actually include the whole pole instead of just the bottom half.

Turns out that when I can manage my own hours, I tend to stack them all at the start of the week and give myself a short day Friday. Working from home twice a week means I get to do the necessaries during the work week so the weekends are truly my own - and they start at lunchtime on Fridays.

In short, this rules.

It took my employer a month to offer me a permanent position. I politely declined. Contracting might be less stable but I'm getting an inkling of just how much work is out there, and I LOVE being in charge of how and where I work.

New Lease Of Life Tats is Newly Life-Leased.

(and has a gopro)

May. 24th, 2016

07:54 pm - So I read Wuthering Heights

Short book reviews by Tats: Wuthering Heights

Half way point: Pretty much all of the protagonists are insufferable. Heathcliff holds the intergalactic record for Epic Brooding and has zero redeeming features.

Curious how it'll manage to salvage a happy ending from here.

Also, I still want to live on a moor. Despite Heathcliff.

At the end: Ok so it seems whichever Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights was a bit obsessed with folks going mad and dying of TB. But the ending was nice and tidy, cousin-marriages notwithstanding.

Heathcliff can eat a bag of dicks though.


May. 13th, 2016

01:00 pm

Today is my last day of work. As of not very long from now, I'll be unemployed for two whole days. I'm inordinately excited about this.

On Monday I start learning about water reticulation for public supply. By the end of the contract I'll know exactly what's involved in it but still won't be able to do it. Such is the nature of my work.

Meanwhile, Osteodude has cleared me to start doing range of motion exercises with small kettlebells. I went to buy a 2kg and a 4kg and discovered that the tiniest weights are always pink. So now I have a teeny pink kettlebell and I felt like a right knob carrying it through town. I wanted to shout "I can do pullups, honest!" But naturally nobody else gives a fuck about my pink kettlebell paranoia because the only universe I'm the centre of is my own, so nobody actually noticed, never mind judged.

But still, why are the smallest weights always pink?

May. 10th, 2016

03:18 pm

Tuesday of my last week of work, and staying focused on anything is a struggle.

I got the meeting invitation for the first meeting in my new place of work today, and as it turns out their meeting rooms are named after native trees, just like here.

Please tell me your workplace has more original meeting room names! Like, how about Greek Gods? "Yes, big stakeholder meeting in the Hades Room today."


May. 5th, 2016

03:52 pm

Today in Wellington it is raining properly for the first time since January. We've had rain (c'mon, this is New Zealand!) but last weekend when I dug over my garden for winter I was digging to fork depth and not striking damp soil. This is almost unheard of.

You betcha I'm saving seeds from the plants that survived this! Climate change, it's real yo!

Meanwhile, Wellington is hilly as. I mean, some houses are built using helicopters to deliver the materials hilly. And after four months with no penetrating rain, we are now experiencing a deluge that had me arriving at work with boots full of water, hair plastered to my head and my shirt a piebald mishmash of wet and dry bits - and that's from walking for half an hour in it wearing my kayaking gear and a builder's raincoat. What this usually means is that the hills will start slipping. Luckily the topsoil here is thin, so it's unlikely any houses will go with it, but what normally happens is that the Hutt motorway closes and traffic mayhem ensues.

It hasn't happened yet, but I bet by tomorrow morning it will have somewhere.

And over on the Twitters, the Taranaki St Puddle is having a fieldday.

Me, I've opted out of dance class in favour of home, pjs and a blankie. Sometimes you just have to

May. 3rd, 2016

02:48 pm - Body dysmorphia, it's a thing

It really is - it even has its own disorder label.

I don't have it. At least, not to the extent that it'd be called a disorder. That wiki entry talks about thinking you're severely flawed and taking exceptional measures and stuff like that. That's totally not me. But I think many of us do have pretty skewed visions of what we look like.

I mean, at it's most basic I'm always surprised how I look in photos because when I look in the mirror what I see is the mirror image of what I actually look like. When I see a photo, my face looks different from what I expect. I mean, I still recognise myself but it's just.. slightly off from what I think I look like.

Then there's the other part where women in particular tend to have a skewed idea of what their body looks like. We're taught from day one that much of our value is in how we look and that there's an ideal we're supposed to strive to meet, that's mostly achieved by judicious application of makeup and photoshop combined with having streak-o'-weasel-piss genes and some starvation thrown in for good measure. Basically it's impossible for most women to look the way we're told we should look if we want to be valued.



Anyway, being aware of this doesn't convey instant immunity, and most of us being more on the normal side in terms of fitting somewhere other than emaciated 'perfection' on the extremely broad spectrum of body shapes, we tend to see ourselves as, well, less than perfect.

So I think everyone thinks they have flaws, and certainly in my experience the view from above my nose down my body doesn't give me the most flattering perspective.

Cut for literal navel gazingCollapse )

I don't know if it'll last but right now it's quite nice to have an objective reality check for my skewed idea of my own body, what it looks like, and what it can do. I think that was a very worthwhile exercise.

/self indulgent navel gazing

May. 2nd, 2016

09:56 am

OK so now I am more than half way to 90. Neato! So far it's going pretty well. :)

I was born on Beltane, in England. Here, it's Samhain, the day of the dead, Summer's End, etc etc. Being born on pagan festival days is how we roll in my family.

So anyway, I spent the weekend tidying up the garden and getting it ready for winter, pulling out spent vegies and planting winter greens, dumping sheep shit on the dug-over, sad-looking summer soil, and planting bulbs.


Every year I plant bulbs in a huff, grumbling about the lack of instant gratification and the digging and the number of them that've gone soft in their cupboard over the summer. Every year I spend about $30 buying some new ones. This year, $30 bought me 20 daffodil bulbs (the standard ones with an orange middle bit and yellow around), and 15 tulips in different colours. The first year these new bulbs go in pots on the balcony, then they get lifted and replanted the following year in the garden to naturalise. I'm slowly getting to the point where the garden is a mass of pretty every spring, and every spring I'm thankful that I put on my boots and went out in the dim light of Samhain to bung a bunch of bulbs in.



Also I bought and downloaded Creedence Clearwater Revival and JJ Cale albums for my birthday, because I'm classy like that.

May. 1st, 2016

02:30 pm - And now for something completely different

The monsters have taken up acro yoga. They've seen all the videos online and wanted to make one, so over summer they nicked the car and went on an acro yoga roadtrip. This is the result.

Monsters - totally more spiritual than you.

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