Fire! More poi!

Ok, my friend Jase came along to the Renegade FireNight tonight, so I had someone to man the camera for me. This means that yes, I have videos of me playing with fire poi now! They’re not my poi, they belong to a lovely person called Kat.

Me with poi

Video as promised. I’m doing a very poor 5 Beat Weave in this video, too.

5 Things

That 5 Things meme that’s been going around. You leave a comment on this post, and I reply with five things that I think remind me of you.

Thanks el_mcgruffle

1. Chocolate cake
Ok, so I may be just a little addicted to chocolate. I blame my family. Every Christmas, Easter and birthday we get sent a care package from the grandparents in Germany. These care packages are usually quite a substantial size, and usually 90% chocolate. German chocolate. Swiss chocolate. Hmmmm. (Craving chocolate now, and all I have is milk chocolate cooking buttons. They’re not nice.) I even had a t-shirt made that says “Just hand over the damn chocolate and no one gets hurt.” Two layers of my wedding cake were chocolate mud cake.

2. Poi. And the kinkier aspects
There are no kinky aspects, thanks Iain, so get your mind out of the gutter. We were shown how to use poi when we were in primary school but the fascination never lasted. I encountered them again at teacher’s college. I tried my friend Claire’s glow poi sometime last year (or the year before) and was quickly frustrated with them as they wouldn’t do what I wanted them to. So no, it wasn’t love at first sight for me. Then at my work’s Christmas do last December we were at a fellow teacher’s place, and she does fire poi. She also had some glow poi and took them out to demonstrate. She showed us a few basic moves and then some other people took over and gave it a go, and I also gave it a go. It was a fun environment, we were all as bad as each other, so we all had a good laugh. That’s the point that I got hooked. I commented to Duncan that night that I would love to get some glow poi. Christmas rolled around and I got some glow poi from Duncan. I spent the whole day, and the next (and a few after that), practising. They came with a video. I quickly mastered all the moves on the video (barring one – thread the needle, and oooooh that frustrated me! I can do it now, though). It’s been a downhill slide since then. I’ve decided that poi are a great hobby to have because unlike ice skating, skiing and snowboarding, after the initial cost there are no more costs. It is free to do. And the initial costs is considerably cheaper than all of those other sports I just mentioned. Perfect for someone who isn’t earning much at the moment.

3. Art
I’ve always been artistic, I guess. When I was at primary school I was known as someone who could draw well. When I got to high school, we had to do art for about the first year or so, then it became an optional subject. I dropped it like a hot rock. I couldn’t stand having to draw another bowl of fruit or self-portrait. So I’m basically self-taught, and not doing too badly for that. I sketched and painted like a fiend at uni, but since being in the workforce haven’t really had much inclination. I was meeting with a friend of mine on a regular basis to do some painting, and managed to finish one (which is now hanging at Duncan’s work) and start many others. A big canvas, painted black, is staring accusingly at me from the corner of the lounge. I got myself a drawing tablet for my computer a few years back and went through a phase of digital painting. I’d like to get back to that, but the inspiration is gone.

4. Roleplaying
Hah, this was my life through a lot of university, and a little afterwards. Pern roleplaying, play by email. How I lived for it. Member of many Weyrs, but the main one being North Ranges Weyr. I also ran one called Southern Boll Weyr, which later became a sister to NRW. Both have since died a painful death through lack of desire to roleplay.

5. Teaching
For the past five years that’s what I’ve been, and I know that a lot of my journal entries have been rants and raves about teaching related stuff. I was working as a primary school teacher. I love teaching, I love working with children, but the stress, the workload expectations, the long hours, the harassment, the paper (always more paper!), the politics, it all got to me. I won’t go into details, but it’ll be a long time before I go back to teaching, and a cold day in hell before I go back to the school I was at. I love the other teachers, I love the children. I’m still doing relief work there, and that I can take. I wish it could have been different, but perhaps I’m not cut out for it like I thought I was. We’ll see. I’m still working on building up the self-confidence that was all but destroyed last year. But despite what this sounds like, I haven’t given up on teaching entirely – I’m hoping to bag a contract that will allow me to continue teaching, just not children. Working with teachers. Don’t want to jinx it too much, so more details when the contract is signed.

I can do it!

5 Beat Weave – I can do it! Will keep practising and take a video tomorrow. Hopefully I can still do it tomorrow!


This is just a sample video of what I’m talking about.

5 Beat Weave

It’s slightly more difficult than the 3 Beat Weave but I’m getting it. I’ve only been trying it for under an hour, but I’ve successfully managed it a few times for a couple of sides, and I’ve managed it once for about four sides. Having a break to drink my Milo. I didn’t think I’d pick it up this quickly. I’ll work on it tonight and tomorrow, and once I have it down pat I’ll take a video. I thought the 3 Beat Weave looked cool – the 5 Beat Weave looks even better! Once I have that, I’ll try 7 Beat… Muwahaha.

Can’t wait till I can get my hands on some fire poi again.

Burn Baby Burn

I went to the FireNight in Mission Bay last night and had a great time practising my poi moves and helping Fay learn the three beat weave. Once Fay had left and I was left on my own, Kat came and told me that I should do fire. I was very reluctant! She was very persuasive, along with another guy who got in on the persuasion. Between the two of them I was holding a set of fire poi and wearing some random person’s beanie before I knew it. Kat took me over to dunk the poi and show me how to spin off the excess liquid, then light them up.

I can tell you, it was both a scary and very awesome experience. The whoosing sound they make as they go past is fabulous. I did some very basic stuff at first, then moved on to the more complicated moves I know. I didn’t do thread the needle, as I’d only learned how to do that earlier that day and it still sometimes ends in the poi crashing. But I did do the three beat weave along with turns. I worked up to spinning around while doing the three beat weave, which was fun. I also did over the head butterfly and various other things.

By the time the fire ran out I was having a really good time, but my knees and hands were shaking something chronic. I was quite happy to give the poi and beanie back. But the first thing I did when I got home was look up the price of a pair of fire poi. Haha. I’ll have to save up.

Black out

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Great weekend

I was so happy last night. We were at the Starlight Symphony in the Domain and the music was good, the rain held off, and the weather was warm enough to be comfortable and windy enough to keep the mozzies at bay. To cap it off, when I got home I had that happy buzzy feeling you get when you know that you can sleep in tomorrow! Bliss.

Today in my email I got sent a link to a really neat video on YouTube. It’s a Scottish Country Dance video on a massive scale. 960 dancers performing at the same time. The shots of the Eightsome Reel from the top look cool.


Keeping busy

Busy with work this week, which is good because work = pay. Today I had off, which is fine as there are a few other things I also need to do. I need to get food for the birds in the aviary and to do that I need to go all the way over to west city. I’m annoyed that there aren’t any good bird food stores on the Shore. I have to go all the way to the Bird Barn where I can get a reasonable size sack of feed for not too much money. If I buy bird food from Animates (formerly Jansens), the largest pet store on the Shore, it costs about twice as much for half as much food, and it’s often stale seed. So, even though the petrol probably balances out the cost, the seed I get from the Bird Barn is by far better.

Monday I was relieving at NPS and got to work in three different classes, which was fun. Tomorrow and Thursday I’m working retail (oh joy) at a store that sells underwear. Jockey Hole Proof. Yep. Then Friday it’s back to doing some relieving.

This weekend just been was my little sister’s hen’s night. We had an absolute blast, even though part of the entertainment never arrived. No, not a stripper. There was, booked and paid for, a person who was meant to come and entertain us by throwing a sex toy party. Sounds like it would have been a lot of fun, but they never showed, and no one could get a hold of them. The party almost died, as people were wandering around not sure what they were supposed to do with themselves, but revived again once the DJ at the pub started and we got dancing. The theme was Angels and Demons, and Janey was dressed in a fantastic sort of cross between the two. White silk bodice, white tutu skirt, red corset, fishnet stockings, black heels, white lace gloves, devil horns, black veil… she looked amazing. I went as an angel and us angels were very outnumbered by the demons in the group!

Sunday was recovery day, as well as having to drive back to Auckland.

And now I’m here, sitting on the ground because my laptop is plugged into the network. Wireless is spitting the dummy again.

Legend of the Seeker

I’ve been home and unable to continue with my work so I was browsing DeviantART. On my watchlist was a deviation about the Sword of Truth series. I followed it, had a look, and saw in the comments section some people discussing the mini-series. WTF? I thought.

Sure enough, there is a TV series based on Wizards First Rule (very loosely in some places). I spent all day yesterday (the hottest day recorded in a long time) watching the episodes on my computer, and watched the last two or three this morning. I’m now up to date with them. They’re cool, so long as you don’t mind if they butcher the books too much.

I won’t go into the travesty that is the Denna episode.

Damelza – you must watch these!

Income & Taxes

I have been doing some math this morning to do with my income, expenditure and taxes. I’ve looked at the IRD site and found out what I need to put aside for taxes on the income I earn doing contract work. That’s fine (better than I expected, actually). Then I added up what goes out of my account on a fortnightly basis.

Rent. Loan repayment. Gym membership (actually a very minor expense). Car & contents insurance. Health insurance.

I’m hoping for a reasonably stable contract starting in March. This alone wouldn’t cover all my payments, though, as it’s only part time.

BUT… if I can get that contract, AND do relief teaching for at least one day a week, I can just scrape by.

If I can get that contract, get at least two or three days of work per week doing other stuff (relieving, admin work, data entry…), then I can live quite comfortably.

Right now, though, I haven’t had any relief teaching, I haven’t been paid for any contract work, and I haven’t had anything else from my admin recruitment people. I’ve just dug into my savings to pay the bills. On the plus side, I’m getting paid for some work in the very near future (next few days), which means I can replace the savings money and still have enough to put aside for tax and food and stuff.

I think it’s going to be a hand-to-mouth existence for a little while, at least until I get some more steady work coming through. Talk with Stuart is sounding promising for some work in the future, so fingers crossed.

I did open up a new account called TAX that I can siphon all my tax from contract work into, and then I don’t have to go finding it when it’s due.

I may be addicted…

… to poi.

I have just spent a good section of the late afternoon making various poi. I’ve used socks, stockings, scarves, tennis balls, balloons, ropes, rice…

black-scarf-rice pink-scarf-rice

red-scarf-rice rainbow-sock-tennis

black-stocking-rubber black-stocking-tennis

And my two favourites…

blue-scarf-tennis red-black-white-scarf-tenni

And probably the most elaborate, because it also has finger loops…


I should probably stop now, eh? All together I have 13 sets of poi now. Perhaps I should sell them? Though that’s pretty cheeky, since most are made from two materials that anyone can put together.

FireNight at Mission Bay

I attended my first FireNight at Mission Bay this evening. I very shyly walked up to the group with poi, unicycles, staffs and various other things out and said I was here to join the FireNight. They made me feel very welcome and it was reassuring to see someone else there who was being shown the very basics. I met some awesome people. Three of my six poi broke during the night (I let others use them, but I broke one myself), but they’re all fixed and improved now. Good to put them through their paces. I suspect they’ll come apart reasonably often, especially during FireNights.

Joined the group on Facebook that will tell me where the Tuesday one is, and apparently there’s one on Thursdays up in Albany. I could seriously keep busy with poi stuff! And the best thing is, it’s free!

Must sleep now. Have work to do tomorrow!


Hoorah! I have done the forward 3-beat weave! Took me a whole afternoon, in between working, but I can do it. Well, with my sock poi. I have yet to try it out with my glow poi, which are slightly heavier.


Yes, that’s me. Video is very low quality, as I don’t have a video recorder, just my little crappy Olympus on video mode. I might try taking a video with my camera phone, it might turn out better!

The above video is me using the long poi.

Below is a video of me doing the 3-beat weave using the short poi.

Wireless issues

My wireless has spat the dummy. I use Intel PROSet/Wireless to run my wireless network adapter, but it’s gotten itself in a tangle with the Windows wireless network adapter, which doesn’t appear to have been properly disabled. Intel is meant to disable it so it’s the only program trying to use it. Slowly, over the last couple of days, the two have been getting more and more tangled until now my wireless isn’t working at all. I’m hooked to the Internet using a cable right now, but that’s dodgy, too, because the little clip at the top of the plug has broken off, so it works itself loose if you move the laptop too much.

Sometimes I hate my Dell. Mostly I love it, but sometimes I don’t. Oh, and Duncan had deleted my iPod from having access to the wireless, because when he connected it for me he forgot to write down the wireless address in his little booklet. He cleaned up, getting rid of any that weren’t written down… which included my iPod. Gah.

Today is not my day.

On the plus side – I’ve made myself some more poi, ones that I can practise with. They’re slightly softer when they hit you, but still approximately the same weight as my glow poi. Also I made some short ones so I can practise some short poi moves. I was doing that with my glow poi, but wrapping the string around my fingers proved painful. I made the poi from a pair of blue footless tights, bright pink stockings, balloons, cous cous and ribbon. Instructions will go up on my Moodle on Dragonslair at some point.

Well, I suppose now that I have Internet, I’d better get back to doing some work.

Wedding Anniversary

Well, it’s our 2 year wedding anniversary today. Funny thing was, I looked in my diary last night because I had this feeling I had something on today. There was nothing written in my diary, and I didn’t bother to look at the date, just at the day (Wednesday). I woke up today just as Duncan was leaving, groggily said goodbye to him, and it wasn’t until a package arrived from his parents that it clicked. Today was the 4th Feb! Suppose I’d better go get something to give Duncan.


Meme – baaaaaa

Being a memesheep. Or lemming.

Miriam Laidlaw

2. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother and fathers middle names)
Ingrid Robert (My mum doesn’t have a middle name, so first name will have to do)

3. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother's dad, father's dad)
? Werner (I am ashamed to say I don’t know mum’s dad’s name)

4. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)

5. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Red Cockatiel

6. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, town where you were born)
Ingmar Reinbek

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning)
The Yellow Baileys (?? Doesn’t sound like a superhero to me)

8.FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)

9. STREET NAME: (fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie)
Chocolate Tim Tam

10. PORN NAME: (1st pet's name, street you grew up on)
Minka Owhiwa (pronounced “oh-fee-wah”)

11. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of last name plus izzle)

13. YOUR IRAQI.. NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, first two letters of your middle name, last two letters of your first name then last three letters of your last name):

14. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Stratus

15. STRIPPER NAME: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy)
Strawberry Bueno

Hmmm some of those names are very odd. I think I like my porn name best. I couldn’t decide whether it would be Minka or Mitsy, I don’t recall which came first. Minka was a cat, Mitsy a rabbit. I suspect Minka was first.

The Pinnacles

This weekend just been we went to the Pinnacles in the Coromandel, as well as visiting Cathedral Cove (where part of Narnia: Prince Caspian was filmed – the bit where they first arrive into Narnia again).


We went hiking through the lovely bush, across streams, and in general just UP really steeply. Photo from left to right (or front to back): Rachel, Elizabeth, Jason, Duncan.


“I think there are wetas in here.” Rachel and Jason check out the hollow log for wetas before sitting in it. If you’re really keen you can crawl right through. None of us were that keen.


We scrambled all the way to the top…


… where the view was stunning. Apparently we were at an altitude of 773m (2,536.1ft). Elizabeth, Rachel, Jason and I even climbed up to the very highest point.



It was a little uncomfortable up there, but fun.


On the way down, I hung over the edge of a cliff. Because I could.


And because I suspect I’m not completely sane. It’s more fun this way.


The others decided just sticking their noses over was sufficient. Probably safer, too. Left to right: Duncan, Jason, Elizabeth, Rachel.

We came down the Billy Goat Track, which adds an extra hour onto the trip, and got to have a swim in some rock pools that were a little off to the side of the track. Yay for Jason, who knows where these things are. Cooled down and rested, we carried on. By the time we got to the bottom, I think we were all at the point where we weren’t crawling just because pride stopped us. We left the car park at 8.40am, and arrived back at 7.15pm.

On Sunday we went to Cathedral Cove. This involved another 30 minute walk down to the cove and 30 minute walk back, but we spent two hours playing around in the water and on the beach, so that was ok. There was this rock you could swim out to and jump off, and so we amused ourselves by doing that for a good section of the afternoon.

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