Son of Speakers Circle

The decision is made: Summer footbag sessions will be held at Speakers Circle every Thursday from first shade to dark (or collapse, whichever comes first). First shade to Dark is currently about 7-9pm. Follow #footbag on Twitter for reminders and other shcedule announcements!

Speakers Circle is my first true love of Columbia footbag scenes. It’s an awesome, high-visibility spot; a public stage with the perfect size, visuals, and amenities for freestyling. I fondly remember going there sometimes in afternoons long before I started working on campus. This, of course, before Jed and other prostelitizers took over the place during the day. Or in the evenings, like I’m planning now; the last hour or two before dark when it’s cooler. A vibrant shredding scene developed at Speakers Circle in the early 90’s, with 4-5 regulars meeting every week.
And Speakers Circle is where I will settle for the summer. Or at least until Stankowski Field is renovated with the new Mondo Turf. Even when school is out, there are always still a few unwitting spectators coming by the circle. Tonight, a group of 4 foreign men stopped by, one wanting to take my picture. The next, clutching a camera too, wordlessly “hacked in” and… was amazingly good! The whole group eventually took a few kicks before moving on. They were all were obviously accomplished soccer players, at least, and I’m certain the one who was so good had kicked a footbag before. We shared few words, but the experience spoke volumes!
Son of Speakers Circle rises to the occasion and regains it’s title as standard shred session location. And since I’ve already broken my “single best rally” posting rule (and I feel obliged to make up for last week’s horrible video) I’m indulging in my TWO best rallies on tape tonight. Both featuring… strings of tiltless moves and a sealed torque! Oh, and a different camera angle too. Camera is pointing west down Conley Avenue tonight.
Thanks for tuning in!

Another stinging slap in my footbag face

The evil witch’s curse is still upon me. I’ve just lost another place to play footbag. When I got to Stankowski field, it was largely gone. Torn to shreds. Goodbye astroturf. What must I do to break the evil witch’s curse? Simple: stop playing footbag. My 3 word response: FUCK… YOU… BITCH!

At this time of year, under clear skies, Speaker’s Circle is a blaze of light right up until sunset; not ideal unless you want to spend your session being blinded by the sun. Afraid of wasting half my precious evening looking for a place to kick like the Courthouse Jamz night, I went to nearby Lowry Mall. I used to kick there all the time where trees shade an open area. It’s paved in bricks. Uneven surface. Slicker than concrete or asphalt. And the trees weren’t providing all that much shade. And now for 2 more choice words: IT SUCKS. I should have gone somewhere else. I did eventually move to a different building-shaded spot on the mall, but what good that did I’m not sure.
So I was mostly moping around my kicking area, being pissed about everything. About the time I finally worked up the tiniest little groove and was ready to turn on the camera, my piece of shit, crappy battery, broken screen iPod died. Such a nice touch to such a nice evening of footbag! With all the radio stations playing nothing but commercials or shitty kicking music, and only 4 minutes of tape left in the camera, I’ve got a very different video than the usual “single best rally” video. This is what I’ve been reduced to.
It’s hard to believe I actually spent over an hour out there, but it feels like I maybe got 30 minutes of actual kicking the footbag. The rest was bullshit. So, I’ll split the difference and call it 45 minutes. Falling farther behind again (18:55/21:00) with the prospect of having to search for a new place to kick this summer.
Oh well. I get to try again next week, I hope. In the meantime, please spend a moment thinking of, or sending energy for, breaking the witch’s curse.

Beautiful weather, Ugly footbag

Ah, what beautiful weather! Except… I’ll claim that the wind was blowing just a little too hard (or something). I just never found the groove today. The Grizzly showed again, but we couldn’t come up with a gallon of gas between us. It was a struggle.

But still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not every session can be the best. At some points, about all I could manage and keep the bag off the ground was Blough-style consecutive kicks. Ridicule me all you want for that; at my age, I’ll take what I can get. And there’s still a smug sense of satisfaction knowing that I’m one of the very, very few human beings on earth that can keep a footbag off the ground for that long at all. And, I can do pendulums, too! Its always funny how that move impresses the audience more than just about anything.
Another important thing: I put in another 1:45 today. Even if the body was out of tune, I was still playing it. What’s that old cliche again? Oh yeah – use it or lose it. I’m still dangerously behind on my goal for the year (at 18:10 now, should be at 20; almost 2 weeks behind) but today got me closer, not farther behind. And I did seal 3 torques today.
In other good news, turning off  my SnapzPro and iClip ultilities seems to have improved video ingest from my camera tremendously. I also upgraded to iLife 09 (yeah, I’m a prissy Mac lover, sorry) but the new ‘image stabilization’ feature actually makes the background jump up and down when I’m playing footbag. It expects me to be standing still – feature FAIL for a footbag session! Gotta turn that off. Oh well, all the video came in just fine, and I finally selected one of my last rallies, showing my frustration with the quality of the session, to share.
Thanks for tuning in!
PS – I just realized I never “published” last week’s blog post. So, sorry for the double-whammy on the blog posts, but last week’s post was ecstatic compared to this, and it deserves to become public electrons on them intarwebz.

Stankowski Field Jamz

Holy smokes, I put in 2:10 today with a little help from friends! And I am SO in love with Astroturf for kicking. The good news is that the fields should be empty after this week. The UM semester is almost over!

The Grizzly showed up today – the first time since last fall – and threw down a few serious rallies. Sad to say, that footage is lost to the glitch in my camera. We also had a 30+ contact shared rally that I have on tape, but can’t get processed and exported without errors. Bummer.
The good new is, it was nice and warm, the sun was blazing most of the time, and… D’oh! I’m sure I have a sunburn. Sunscreen! But, I’ll endure the the pain for the fun I had tonight. Audio systems were behaving, Grizzly was stoking the fire, we was getting props from passers by, and an extra guy even showed up and kicked for a bit!
And yeah, this rally is full of cheesy toe delays, but at least the video worked, and it’s a 90+ contact rally with a little fun stuff thrown in to boot! Fatboy Slim rules the rally roost again!
16:25 – Thanks for tuning in!