Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Learning Some Things...

I wasn't going to post these, but they made me so happy, that I thought what the heck. The point is progress, and getting FIT and that's what's happening.

I had a Riding Lesson yesterday that's been sticking with me. Not sure if I can exactly explain, but it wasn't going well, and my teacher Poetry turned into HELGA the Destroyer, and threw me off the deep end into the pool. A little Trial by Fire. Never hurt anyone, I say, but it was pretty scary at the time.

My nerve failed. Then she showed me I could do a whole lot more than I thought I could.

I thought pretty much I was going to die, but trusted HELGA the Destroyer enough to do it anyway. And HELGA doesn't leave much room for discussion on these things. You do it. And live. I did.

We had spoken about doing Derby at the start of our lesson, she wants to skate, too. (She's be a hell of a jammer, little, and FAST) But my attitude was very much not at ALL confident, and I was thinking nice idea, but no way. I'm too old, too not FIT, not good enough.

Driving home, I wanted to call the Roller Girls here and tell them, I am so coming to practice.

My point, and I think I have one, is I am learning more about myself than I thought I had to learn. I thought, hey get FIT, eat right, work out, look good, easy. That part IS easy, comparatively.

Right now I need people like HELGA, and the Little Evil Trainer at the gym, and my Roller Girl friends, the ones who SEE, clearly, what I am capable of. And kick my Nice Ass until I DO it.

I want to feel that too, inside, and know.

Here's a couple of little Vids. I am wearing pretty much the same thing, and oddly, the SONG is the same song, but they are three weeks apart. The scale hasn't budged, but the camera doesn't lie. I'm getting fitter.

Here's the second one, taken on Sunday. Long way to go, but this girl with the Bad Ass Pink Hair, has possibilities the one three weeks ago didn't.

And it's not in her Nice Ass.

It's in her head.

Love and Learning,

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bengals and Derby!!!

Here's great news today: Kelli Bickman has put up a shop with prints, magnets, totes, notebooks and other Goodies of the Bengal Tree Painting she did for me last year!

You can find it HERE!

AND 50% of the profits will go straight to Great Lakes Bengal Rescue. (The other 50% to the artist, I have the painting, and that's more than enough for me) So if you're looking to do a little Shopping for the Holidays, and the Bengals make you happy, you might consider a Wee Something. For a Someone. Or yourself. And help out Bengals at the same time.

This week is exciting as at the end of it I am going to Indianapolis to see my first ever Derby Bout! Live and in person. Naptown Roller Girls vs Chicago.

Look! A Handy Poster I stole off the web! Art by Aaron Scamilhorn. (I would credit the photographer too, but can't seem to find that info, here in my morning Stalking)

I've seen this sport for a while now in the Internet, and have been lucky enough to get to meet a lot of women who play Derby. All of whom seem convinced it is only a matter of time before I take up this sport myself. I love skating, and am not half bad at it. These skaters are very, very good tho. And very, very FIT.

I want that too. There's art in skating too. Or an art TO skating. Derby has a beauty all of its own. Like dance. Only they hit harder.

Seeing Derby LIVE and up close and personal, as I've been promised, may decide the issue.

I think I know the answer.

Thanks Guys. See you Friday.

Love and Derby,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Leopard in the House....

We haven't had any Bengal Blogging in far too long, I am thinking. So tonight, just in time for the Holidays:


This picture, and the one below, are NOT Magic. I may be getting ahead of myself here, you may not know the story, or you may, but let's go back a little. Magic is an F1 Bengal, which means his Daddy was an ALC (Asian Leopard Cat, a wildcat, one of the smaller class of Leopards) This is Sancho Dos, ALC. And we believe: Magic's Daddy.

We aren't sure of his Mother, it seems likely tho that she was also an early generation Bengal.

Here's Magic. Magic came to live with me about 2 years 6 months ago. I had been fostering the tough case Bengals, with the Great Lakes Bengal Rescue group, the ones that needed more, the ones who had issues. I love them. All of them. I had mentioned to Janet, director of GLBR that I might like to try an early generation Bengal, if we found one that needed help.

Bengals are considered Domestic after Four Generations. Venus and Mim are F4. Four away from Leopard. Janet called me and said that there was an F1 in a shelter across the state, and the shelter had called us as they had no idea what to do with it, and could we take it NOW as it was not a cat they would ever be able to adopt.

They were right. The Kitty I picked up could not have been adopted. He trusted no one, he loved no one, and he was very, very afraid. He also had NO claws. None. All four feet, gone. A Domestic Cat, even afraid, will yowl it to the world. Magic never made a sound the entire ride back. He knew there was no one to call and in the wild, silence was the key to survival. He'd been thru several home at this point, and had never had anyone who understood him.

Bengals, all of them, are interesting creatures. If you ever think you might want one, you really, really need to do your homework first. Beautiful, yes, but they are bred from Leopards. I don't mean they will hurt you, anymore than any cat might, but they THINK differently. You will need to have a very clear understanding of this.

I gave Magic his own room, and built him a Screamed Porch where he could hop out and look at us in the kitchen. I fed him from a long spoon. I taught him how to play. I learned he had a voice, and that he could make the most astonishing array of sounds. I added a fountain so he could splash when he wanted. I cried the first time he let me give him a pet, while he was eating. I let him bite me and didn't pull away, let him taste me. I trusted him. He learned.

I changed the door to his room to a Scream door so he could look out into the Romance Room and see me with Venus and Mim. I let them come in and play, while he watched.

And then I let him out into the house. He does all the things Venus and Mim do. He lets me pet him while he eats. He joins in the circle dance when I come home, coming by quickly for pets, never stopping, but coming back for more.

It took a very long time. We understand each other. I'll never be able to pick him up and cuddle him, Bengals in general aren't cuddlers, and him more than most, but I can walk by him, carefully, and he won't run away.

He's kind of a pudding now, he cleans up everyone's plates. He gets pieces of steak when people come over, and sometimes, if there is only one, he will come out, never too close, but he'll be there. It's best to pretend you don't notice there is a Leopard in the House, and go about your business. Never look him in the eyes, and smile with your teeth not showing.

He's started running on the Cat Wheel, when no one is looking. But I can hear him. He'll get FIT too, my Magic.

But more than that, it's his soul that is getting FIT. He's healing, from whatever he went thru, from whatever he is by genetics. He's my friend. He has friends in Venus and Mim, who have accepted him. He joins us by the fire, and most importantly:

He's happy now.

He's living his life, and knows there is good in this world he finds himself in.

And that makes me happy.

I'm glad he's here and wouldn't have him any other way. Seeing how far he has come makes me KNOW, very, very surely, that there's pretty much nothing that can't be fixed.

With enough love, patience and determination.

Love and Magic,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Buried in the Basement, I Found: ME!

I've been cleaning out the Spooky House for the last week, getting rid of junk, delving into the dark corners, making space, and getting it to feel like ME again. I've been gone a lot the last few months, and things hadn't been getting done, and once that happens, you start to notice how many things have been building up for years. And you get to work. Kind of like getting FIT, in a way.

Along the way in the basement (Basement of DOOM I called it, and was convinced it was only a matter of time before the producers of HOARDERS gave me a call. Not any more, there goes my 15 minutes!) But along the way, I did find some treasures that had been buried, since I moved in four years ago, and perhaps, longer than that...

Pictures. Of me. Long ago.

I remember this day, yup, that's me there. I remember modeling some Leather Things for a friend shop, and being very unhappy about it. Because I thought I was far to fat to be dressed like this.

I kind of want to go back to that girl and shake her. That's HOT. If I do say so myself. Perspective is everything, eh?

Here's the Flash Girls at the Fine Line in Minneapolis, with drummer Nicole sitting in. Yes. Those are Ledarhosen. I need to find those. I am very much going to wear them again. Perhaps even playing with Emma again, I got t spend time with her in New Orleans last week, not close to nearly enough, but I know very much that we both would love, once more, to play some music.

Which reminds me, found THREE cassettes of The Return of Pansy Smith And Violet Jones. Unopened, wrapped still. I am thinking one of them is going up for sale, with the monies going to Great Lake Bengal Rescue. This is WAY out of print and not coming back (Ones first cd should never come back. They come back to haunt you, and not in the nice way) You can download it on Amazon, but this is the real thing. Only cd we ever did a cassette for, and even at the time, almost didn't, they were so out.

My music career DID miss LP's, thank you very much!

I don't remember much about this photo shoot, for the Flash Girls, me and Emma Bull. I seem to have a lot of photos. Can't recall where they were taken, but they were done by Beth Gwinn. Loved that dress. Again tho, wished I were prettier. What kind of brain did I have, and what the heck was wrong with it???

I wonder, now, at this lesson. Didn't know what trouble really was, didn't know what I had. Now I do. Strange to go back and look at your younger self tho. I wish I could tell her the things I know now. It's an interesting thought about NOW too. Will my older self be happy with THIS self? (there's that Six Weeks In The Future Me again...)

I'm going to look in the mirror every day and ask it the QUESTION and I am darn sure I know the ANSWER!

(Yes, you do to, it starts out : Mirror Mirror on the wall....)

Love this shot! Didn't even know it was being taken, after a long day playing at the Renn Fest, counting out band money. I am beginning to understand why people said I had GREAT tits. (Opps, sorry, went off a bit there)

I think everyone ought to post a totally embarrassing ROCK STAR photo at least once. This is me and Lojo Russo in our band MOGG. MOGG only played once, for nearly 2 hours. We did four songs. The rest of the time it was sort of, er, comedy? We had a Butler who came and went with drinks, we had toys for the audience, we made them do things, we'd start songs and go off in the middle of them.

Taped it too. And SOLD the tapes.

Audience loved it. Those who were there will never forget MOGG.

MOGG may do a brief Tour this summer. Or fall. Or spring. MOGG is not organized. Nor will it ever be. We want to see Derby, and play some shows. That's the only agenda.

It could happen.

Count yourself lucky if you happen to be there.

I'll be wearing Ledarhosen.

Love and Perspective,

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hitting the Danger Zone...

I don't know who took this picture of the Naptown Roller Girls, but thank you! I need some inspiration this morning!

New Orleans was wonderful. Bosses Birthday week. And the week before, when I went down for three days to do walk-thru and set up. And the week before when we all went to House on the Rock. And then before that when I spent 10 days in Ireland.

But it's turned into 5 weeks of No Progress. Checked this morning, I am the same as when I went to New Orleans. Which is FIVE pounds more than when I went to Ireland.

This I think, is the Danger Time. One decides to get FIT, and puts in the work, loses 25 pounds (now 20) and feels pretty good, and then something comes along and derails the thing. I think I was feeling too smug. It's hard when you travel, eating right, getting in any kind of workout. When you eat ALL your meals out, and you can order anything, it's much harder than when you come home too tired to move and your only option is a can of Healthy Request Soup and a rice cake. There's a Holiday feeling of "It Won't Hurt This Once, I'm on, well, Holiday."

This may seem obvious. But it's a lesson I just learned.

I got back at it, started on Monday. Eating right and taking this BUTT to the stable or Gym. But it is frustrating, losing 5 weeks.

That's the Danger Time. I'm a quarter of the way there, and I've no doubt am going to hit this feeling again at half way, or three quarters.

When I started this FIT I made a promise to myself that I was going to write about it. ALL of it. Not just the Good Bits, but the failures too. Did I fail? Not sure. I know I didn't succeed tho. Scales don't lie. And get this: Darn depressing this morning. Teeth Gnashing depressing.

I'm sore. I'm tired. I'm screaming. I'm frustrated. I HURT! There ain't any Roses here in the FIT world. Couch Me had a whole lot of arguments with Getting FIT me about going to the gym this week.

Getting FIT me won them all.

I've got six weeks now until the end of the year. Excuse my language, but Fuck Holiday Treats. I stumbled. Fell of the horse. (Not literally, thank you. The horse I ride is HUGE) I let it go for a bit. Fine. Bound to happen, me being human and all.

But it's what happens NOW that's important. All there IS is now. I know how I want to feel on New Years Day. Not being a drinker, I know I will be WAY ahead of a lot of people, got that going on, but I want to know that I spent the last six week working my ASS off. I want to do another blog then and have you all say NICE ASS! I want that feeling again of accomplishing something.

I guess I am now writing to Six Weeks In the Future Me.

This isn't going to be a Blog about failure. It's about a journey that ends in winning. In being FIT and having everything I've ever wanted.

And in what happens on the way.

All of it.

Love and Danger Zones,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We Went To New Orleans...

I'm home!!!

And, as one might suspect, a complete Zombie. I loved every minute of New Orleans, and after that, our surprise trip to Atlanta, but there's not a lot left in me.

Before I say anything else, I want to send out Love to my Sister Tracy, who lost her longtime friend Kitty Buster today. She made the right call, as we have all had to do, but I know she is missing him a lot right now, so here's all of our love for you, Tracy, from me and my Fiends...

And secondly, I don't think I ever managed to get around to doing a HAPPY 50TH Birthday Boss! Post! Had meant to on his Birthday, but he had a Party in New Orleans for it, and I didn't manage to have any time to say everything I wanted to for him. Not sure I can now, so I will use the important words:

I love you. You are the best Boss in the World. The past 18 years have been wonderful and I am honored to be your Assistant. I could say Thank You a thousand ways, a thousand times, but neither of us have the time for that, so we'll go with this:

Happy Birthday! I will always make you tea.

(Let's do it again at 75!)

There. Best I can do.

I can't talk about this Party, or week and do it justice. There was simply too much of it. Not sure I slept much. Wait. That's not right. I am very sure I didn't sleep much. I can say it was very beyond wonderful seeing so many good friends, many of whom I hadn't seen in years. Many of whom I hadn't EVER met in person.

I can say a few things tho:

Cat Mihos: You were with me every second and I wouldn't have been sane without you.

SuperKate: You Rock at what you do. Every time I saw you, my Impressed Meter jumped. Glad you are here.

Amanda Palmer: The morning of November 10th 2010 is something I will never forget. You did good and I am very happy you may or may not have married my Boss. I am going with Married as I can't imagine anything more real.

Storm, Hera, and Bill Stiteler: Ya'll are wonderful and I love you dearly, and was very happy that it was you drinking at various times and not me. I love you all more now. And will happily watch over you anytime.

Emma: You are always in my heart in a very special place. Pansy and Violet were all over the place. And the Flash Girls were together again. Love.

Nice People from China who own the Foot Massage Shop: I can walk, which is your doing.

Kambriel: Pretty sure you didnt drive to Georgia hyst to give me massage and find the evil knot, but I am glad you did. I even forgive you the Waffle House thing. You are not a Waffle Overlord.

Merry Housekeeper: Both houses look GREAT and all the Beasties are happy. Thank you.

Hans: You drove all the presents home, including the crossbow, and no one was hurt.

Adriane: That would be your basic shuttle bus MAGIC. You rocked.

That's all my brain is letting me do for now, sadly, there were so many more, and so many friends and I will do more, with more pictures. But for the moment, here's a picture of me, that is getting posted now, because, if I may be permitted to say it:

DAMM, I'm hot!

Love and New Orleans,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Skating: Day Four, with Photos and Vid By Kitty....

We shall start and end with Bengals tonight, as all the best stories should. Here's Little Queen Mab. Cat Mihos is here this week, and when she comes, I get lucky. (That may have come out wrong) By lucky I mean I get lots of great photos and tonight, some video as well. All of the photos here are hers, as well as the video.

(Thank you, my love!)

I found out our local Roller rink has open skates on Sundays and Wednesdays, which is going to be perfect, schedule-wise, for my skating practice. They also have a Bouncy Castle in the middle of the track, which tends to minimize that Real Derby Feeling I am going for here, and was also a bit disappointing in that one needs to be under 9 to use it.

Other than that tho, I love the place. The people who worked there got excited about our song requests, (And I believe the fact that there were people there) and have agreed to play us anything we want when we come to skate.

"We" today was Myself, Cat, Daisy, Daisy's Husband and a friend of theirs.

Limbo contest. Yes, we joined in. Got beat by a 4 year old, but in our defense, he had REALLY SHORT on his side.

This is a short, and I do mean short, video of my Toe Stop. A little move I was practicing today. One turns around backwards and hops up on ones toes and, hopefully stops, and skates off quickly the other way.

Watching a lot of the video Cat took was really good for seeing what I am doing WRONG. I've been watching the National Derby Championships this weekend, and last weekend, of course, watched a whole lot of Derby practice live and in person.

I don't look like they do YET. But this is only, if you count House on the Rock, my 4th time out. And I am darn sure I couldn't do it if Joan of Dark had not left me a pair of her skates. These skates KNOW what they are doing. I rely on them for instruction.

The biggest thing I learned today, watching video, was that the Bee Rule of "No Flailing" applies to Derby as well. I Flailed around like a, er, FLAILER. Things got much better when everything stayed in close. I did a lot of FAST and going around corners tightly as well. I'd say I was good at dodging people too. Didn't hit anyone at any rate.

Another great thing about skating today was my confidence. It's all coming back. I grew up a figure skater, and somewhere, somehow, I remember this. I'm not afraid on quads any more than I ever was on ice skates.

FIT is hard. Starting a new sport at the complete BOTTOM from scratch is hard. Skating is hard. Derby, one surmises, more so. Pushing yourself until you can't move, skate, stand, ride, dance, whatever: Hard.

But you know what? It's the best feeling ever. And it's only going to get better. And it's very very worth it.

This makes me happy.

And beyond tired. Total noodle legs after an hour, tho the Screaming Shin thing seems to have given up and settled down. I love this, again short, vid mostly because of the soundtrack.


And we end with Bengals. King Lear the huge, in my bed. Which is where I will be soon.

Love, Bengals and Skating Again,

Thursday, November 4, 2010


"Set short & long term goals, both realistic and dreamy! You never know where life will lead you if you put the energy out there to help lead the way. Be positive, put forth honest effort and push yourself. Listen to your body & take care of yourself."

That was from a letter a got yesterday and it is sticking in my head, so, I am putting it into yours as well. I've been feeling like I am on a really strange path lately. I have no idea where it's going, or where it's taking me, but I have to say, truly: I'm having the time of my life getting there.

There was an interesting talk going on via Twitter last night about goals, with some people coming down on the side of "Don't tell people your goals, you will be less likely to accomplish them"

I don't buy that. I think one should shout them to the world. Put it out there and see where it takes you. Go. For. It.

It's been three months now since I told you what I wanted. I want to be FIT. I have muscles now. I'm down 25 pounds. We haven't gotten around to doing another measuring, me and my trainer, (Yes, I have a trainer now. Sweetest evil women I know) but when we do, there will be less inches. I have pants that fall off now. I have a body that protests, but is beginning to do what I say.

I told you I wanted to learn to ride, really ride, and do dressage. I'm riding my teachers dressage horse now. (And this a women I spent nearly a year knowing, WAY to shy to talk to her, let alone ask her to teach me) Every ride, every step, every connection, every MOMENT goes deeper. I could learn this forever.

I found a sport called Roller Derby, and a whole lot of amazing women, ALL of whom so far have been 100% supportive, and tho I had no plans to play this Derby myself, THEY are firmly convinced it is only a matter of time for me. They could well be right. They took me skating last weekend. I skated with them. Didn't see that one coming, now did we? I want to be as tough, and as cool, and as BADASS slinky fast on skates as Joan of Dark, Allie Gator, Jane Ire, Fleur De Lis and the rest of the Derby women I've met in the last month.

And I want it all. I may not be exactly sure what it IS, but I know I want it very badly. And I will work as long and hard as it takes to get there.

If it doesn't sound too soppy, I would say that the universe knows what you want. Listen to it. Dream some dreams. Chase them.

They could come true.

Scream it to the world.

For The Win.

Love and Goals,

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Day Of Derby!! Among Other Wonders.

This weekend had a whole lot of wonderful going on, and I am nowhere near recovered enough from it to do a proper post, but the bit that was most wonderful for me was the Skating. Specifically: Roller Derby. With Real Roller Derby Girls.

In this first picture, you can't SEE that I have skates on, but I can tell you, yes, I do. I am thinking Charlie's Angel's. This was the First Skating Ever, in the parking lot in front of House on the Rock, which as first places to skate ever, is not a bad place to begin.

This is Joan of Dark on the right, and Kerrie on the left.

Safety is important when skating Derby, I am learning. And having people who actually CAN skate, NOT in skates holding your hands, is a good way to start. This will be helpful for both you, and the innocents around you.

If you survive Day 1 at HOTR, you may be lucky enough to move onto Day 2. At a proper Roller Rink, where you can skate AFTER the real practice. After watching the real practice for a couple of hours, you know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you are not yet ready for that. Your goals become your own. Mine were simply: Get the skates on, and skate without holding an Rollers Girls hands. (May have been working against myself on that one.)

Got the gear on and am feeling pretty tough. Yeah, I do do this all the time. (That's Jane Ire on the left.

It's important to Plan stratagy. And rest. Often. Becuase your calves are going to be screaming calves of doom. They will hurt. A lot. It is Derby, and there will be pain. Best to understand this up front. I didn't much get hipchecked, skated upon, run over, punched or hit. Just skated around. Painful enough.

Here's Madison's Allie Gator showing me how when you think you are going to FALL on your, say ASS, crouch down and get LOW. Oddly enough, this works. And you feel really cool doing it.

I love this. I want to skate. I grew up a figure skater. I can learn this. I can get FIT enough to do this.

Watch me:

(No, literally, get it???)

Almost as Magic as Derby was this: My Boss brought Me, Joan of Dark, Danguy, Pat Rothfuss and Tom with him on the Carousal at House on the Rock.

Which is not something anyone will ever forget. Are we smiling like the phrase "from ear to ear" was just invented?

Why yes, we are.

Love and Derby,