Archive for June, 2014

DP: Picky tongues

The daily prompt:You have to choose one flavor that your sense of taste will no longer be able to distinguish. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, spicy (not a taste per se, but we’re generous): which one do you choose to lose?


Bitter.  I would like to give up bitter, please.  


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The contrasts between things have always fascinated us.   Particularly for myself, when I think of my life and the choices I’ve made, how they’ve affected me, and how I’ve learned from them.  I saw the opportunity for taking this picture as a way to highlight this.


bars and berries

Bars and Berries. We bloom where we are planted.



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What stands between you and where you want to be?

What stands between you and where you want to be?


What is it, really, that is between myself and who, where, or what I want to be?

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This daily prompt spoke to me, because it does rather apply to me.  I suppose you could say I am living the scenario described within.  I have left my home to travel the world for a year (or 2, or 5…).  I did have to decide what to bring with me. In terms of decorative or sentimental things, that means: Not much.  Each personal item was weighed against whether it would be useful on the travels, or easily replaced by similar items upon arrival.

There is one thing that I brought with me that serves no useful purpose.  It does not have much relative value; in fact, probably none to anyone except me.  It has traveled with me wherever I have gone since it was given to me.

You see, there are many levels of associative memory involved in this item.  My great grandmother, who taught me to write poetry and was my best friend until I was 12 years old (I wrote her letters almost every day, and she wrote back to me as frequently) collected music boxes.  I also developed a great love for music boxes as a result.  As a graduation gift from high school, my parents gifted me a custom made music box.

Made of rosewood and with a custom swiss movement.

Made of rosewood and with a custom swiss movement.


When most other kids were asking for a car or a trip to Mexico (My brother asked for, and received, a television set for his graduation), I wanted this.  I didn’t ask for it, my parents just knew me well enough to know I wanted it.   Mom chose the music to go inside it – our favorite piece of music.  Variations on a theme by Paganini  – by Rachmaninoff. So, you see, this piece has a bit of my great grandmother, both of my parents, my mother and I and our mutual love of something, and myself in it.

Over the years, this has gone with me everywhere I go.  I have taken it to university, to every home I’ve lived in.  It has seen every heartache and every good time.  It has been the one “thing” that has never been lost, misplaced, or stolen.  It holds my memories in it.  Some of you will recognize…some of these.  Tickets to a Chicago Bulls game and tickets to a family reunion dinner.  Tickets to a comedy show and my pass as cast at a Medieval Fantasy Faire.  A ticket to a play in which one of my best friends starred. A tiny ceramic bear with a signed “I love you”, a gift from my first love.  A celtic knotwork cross. There are more things buried underneath this top layer.  But it is where my treasures lie.  It’s precious and invaluable.

Music Box 2

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Roller derby skills: ploughing Ploughing… lots of ploughing.

I don’t read sports psychology books, but from my own experience (taking ages to pass my laps and 18 months as a bouting skater) I think so much of derby is about how you think and how much confidence you have in yourself. Finding your ‘Good Thing’ (i.e. thinking of one key skill you’re great at) is a good way of building up your confidence.

I’ve heard skaters at scrimmage, who’ve not long passed their minimum skills, say things like “I’m not really good at anything”. This makes me sad. I think this sometimes happens partly because there are lots of strengths that people don’t realise they have, because they aren’t on the minimum skills tests.

There are lots of really important ‘soft skills’ that are essential for derby: communication, track awareness , working together with team mates, being a good listener, taking instructions and putting…

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