SUNDAY–In my last words to you I forgot to write about my time with Chris and Bevan helping with their act. These two jugglers took my workshop when it was in Melbourne. They are both quite good. I spent five hours coaching and helping. As we went along I was surprised at the ideas and help I was able to present, some good suggestions. I gave them the idea of doing street shows, in fact, I asked if there was a mall near by with people who could be an audience. We were there about 20 minutes and they got a good feeling of a street show before the mall security told us we had to leave. They are planning to get a street license today and then start doing street shows this weekend. I believe they will do well.MONDAY–Took a bus today from Sydney to Katoomba, http://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=2svemtrg6VUStaying in a hostel tonight, return to Sydney tomorrow. This hostel is nice, very clean. Interesting at the hostel, many different people, many different languages. Things are setting up for places to stay in New Zealand, but I don’t like to pre-write you, I will have words later about other experiences.
One of the first things I saw when I got into Katoomba was a store that sold juggling equipment and unicycles, I was surprised. Here they are:After arriving and securing my sleeping location, I took a bus to see http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=AWQD63mye44. It ended up that there was this very large brush fire near the three sisters, which consumed some houses, and the bus could not get close. It was interesting to see and breathe all the smoke, see all the fireman and helicopters, and see people evacuating. When I heard that the fire was under control I departed. I was surprised you didn’t show up, Tom.THE PAIN–I told you of the pain I was experiencing, still there. This morning I could not hardly even move my right arm. Then the pain came into my mid section and eventually down to my legs, mainly my knees. This happened once before while I was driving across the US. That time it was my right ear and jaw area–terrible pain. I even went into a hospital to have it checked out, they could not find anything. That time the pain started in my ear-jaw area, then spread down to my arms and mid-section and finally to my legs. Excruciating pain, of course, I was greatly concerned. Then as quickly as it came, it went away, nothing left over. This second pain like before is doing the same, down to my knee now. It feels like chemicals are going through my system and finding my joints. I do know that pain is mostly in the brain when you feel something. And boy, in my brain messed up. Any thoughts or ideas about this pain that comes on me?Went out this evening for a walk, nice evening. I heard some African drums, very loud, and got curious, time to investigate. I went through a church yard following the sound. I found it in a church hall. The African looking guys bongoing, two white guys playing also, and about 35 dancers all doing the same moves. Kind of interesting. I just knew that I could not even begin to dance as they were, feeling that my body has let me down.
It’s so strange how sometimes my fingers just go and go with words for you. Then there are other times, like now, where it really takes effort to write. When I am out I keep paper and pen with me to take notes. Today I didn’t have, and I know there were some things that occurring that I had wanted to write you about. Now I will have to make new things happen..
TUESDAY–When I awoke this morning I was scared to move. I didn’t know which part of me would be hurting. The pain is now down to my knees, with some remaining in the right shoulder. I do wish I knew why this pain comes on me, moves through me, and then exits. Any ideas?Returned to where fire was yesterday to see the three sisters by bus. Looks better in photos. But doing a tourist thing.Then I took the train back to Sydney and went to stay in the hostel I was at before. I really like it here. The one I was at last night was just a bed for the night. When I returned here it was like I was coming home, like a family.Seeeeeeeeee ya>>>>KtOctober 26, 2011
- A short posting this time. I must apologize to you, I’ve not been keeping up with this. I will do better in the future. I just want to get this off to you today, so bigger postings later.FRIDAY–On awaking this morning I had this bitter anger toward Mary Ellen, my ex(?) wife. Not sure where it came from, perhaps I was dreaming previously. I’m not used to having anger, this morning I had much–why, why? I still don’t know why she left me and then divorced me. Around that time I was hit by a second truck, put in jail for a month and my family broke up. Since then I have pondered which affected me the most and the worst. The breakng up of my family wins.A clear and nice day out, to the beach I go! Jumped on a bus down to the docks. Took a ferry ride for 40 minutes and then walked for a bit to get to the real beach. Manly Beach is a big beach. I tried to play the part, being manly that is, I think it worked, but who am I to know. Many people in the area, and, as usual, everything is very clean and nice. Springtime is quickly approaching, so the water is still a bit cold, yet I actually wore my swimming trunks and went in the water to over my head. The waves were quite small, but a good time was had. I guess you know of my balance issues, walking near the shore with the water waist high and with waves it posed some problems, fell a couple times because I could not stay upright, laughed as I went down. Also, I looked at my body, I am one of those out-of-shape old men that I remember seeing in my youth–yikes! I do need to get in a better shape–work-out time. I’ve not because of my knee problems and other problems, yet, I think I use that just as an excuse, so excuse me. How about you, what’s your excuse, have you worked out today? For me, a pleasent day at the beach, juggling, reading and writing to you.The afternoon was spent making salsa at the hostel. We made a big batch. They did not have a food processor, so we had to hand-chop, first time I’ve had to hand chop the entire thing. But, I had help. Three guys chopped through the tomatoes in no time.That evening there was a barbeque party up on the roof. The salsa was a hit and consumed and gone quickly. There were at least 35 people there, a good time was had by all. Food was flying, beer was flowing, talk was loud. The party did need music, but other then that it was fantastic.SATURDAY–Back to the beach, Bondi beach this time. A bus ride brings me in. Many more tourists here. Didn’t feel like going for a swim today. I did look out to the water and there must have been 35 surfers out there, in wet suits and everything. Trouble is, it was like they were on a bay. The waves, when they came were, maybe, a few centimeters (remember, they use metric here, so I can’t use inches and feet.) It was mostly like they were just sitting in a bay on their boards; kind of a funny site.OK, I must do some statistics:Obese people in America: about 6 in every 10Obese people in Australia: about 1 in every 15America: about even, pretty girls to guys in the populationAustralia: about 5 pretty girls to every guy in the population (not that I’m noticing.)SUNDAY–Didn’t do much today, enjoyed my day, though. I will make sure my next post is more substantial for you.Woke with a very sore shoulder, I can barely move my right arm without tremendous pain. I did nothing to bring this on. It is the shoulder that was broken when that truck hit me. Hope is not reoccurring on and on.Write you again soon.
It’s me>>>>KitOctober 23, 2011
Whenever I start writing you these words I don’t know where I want to go with it or what I will write. It seems that I think it is such a big project, then things turn out fine in the end (I guess you will be the judge of that.) Many words come together each time and the result is what I send you. Really does not take that long, just thinking, which is not that hard, think about it awhile. I should approach my next book project the same way, yes?
Staying in a top bunk at the hostel. It reminds me of when I was in jail, I had a top bunk then, too, which was difficult because I was recovering from a broken knee. Being in jail was the worst month of my life. As you might know, I was put in on a false charge with no witnesses and no proof what-so-ever. My lawyer is currently working on building the case, thanks Joe, To remind you, did you read the articles?
TUESDAY–Today I decided to be a tourist and take a walking tour of Sydney. Before I went I expected me, and maybe, a couple other people. The 25 of us were a good crowd–for a Tuesday? As we walked to various sites in Sydney “Matt” told of history and such. The first who discovered Australia were the English, yet the French were right behind. And, of course the aborigine people were already here. England decided to use this new land to send prisoners to. Matt said there was one girl, age 9, who stole some brushes and was sent here, pretty dramatic I think. If course that was long ago, now there is hardly any crime. Makes me hesitate wanting to go back to scary America where we have all that crime.After the history lesson I spent the afternoon first going to the library to use there internet and see if they had any books on juggling. Only one book on the subject, I’ve not seen that book before. On the way there I saw more of those interesting birds, called Ibis, they are everywhere. Had some cookies with me, they liked hand-feeding. The afternoon was spent around the area of the hostel.
The Ibis Bird
Learning much about life on this trip. I’ve never been interested in art and paintings, I found I enjoyed seeing artwork that was displayed in the park; analyzing it as I have not done before. After going through some things in 2010 and 11, I need this time away. I had to go on this journey to find myself again and leave some things in order to move forward and be open to and open by new insights.While walking to my next destination I walked by a store that only sold only boomerangs–I could not believe it. With curiosity I went in to see. In talking with the owner I found out http://www.boomerang-school.
com/ has been in business for over 50 years. Boomerangs originated in Australia and have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, used by Aborigines. Mainly selling to tourists, hard to believe he sells enough to stay in business. Yet, I know that if you find your passion you will find a way to make it. And, you are rich because you are doing something you love. So many people go through their entire life and never do find their passion. Many of these people just live day to day and just do what’s next. Finding or developing your passion in life takes effort, takes time and takes work. So many people are lazy, it is the most satisfying work you can ever do in your life.While walking on I went to an interesting and seedier side of the city, Kings Cross. As I walked through the crowds I saw tattoo parlors, smoke shops, a Risque Adult Boutique, and two different prostituties propositioned me, too (and no, I didn’t.)WEDNESDAY–Decided to try staying at a different hostel. The one I was at was OK, but in a search I found one that sounded even better, now that I am here I see that it is much betterhttp://www.bighostel.com/. Worked out the same payment with them, $10 a night. I will be teaching juggling and presenting a program, too. This new place has free breakfast every morn, free wifi, and good people here.I have two suitcases on wheels with me, a regular size and a smaller size. In the big I keep all my clothes and a few other items. In the small I keep my computer and other important stuff, this one goes everywhere with me, I leave the bigger one at the hostel when I go out. I trust people, yet I feel better, safer, if I have the smaller one with me. When I travel I am able to hook the smaller behind so when I walk with the it is like I am pulling a train. As I walk I see many taxis, I walk where I need to go–kilometer after kilometer.Taking a shower every other day, comfortable with that. While walking I know that I will probably never see any of these people again in my life. This is something that I tried to get across to my daughters, Jasmine and April. If you keep this in your mind it does not matter how you act on the street, you never have to be embarrassed. I’m not saying that I do weird things (or do I?), but know that if I do it really doesn’t matter. I know what I just wrote, but something that does bug me, when I am walking people hardly ever make eye contact or say, “hi”. I like to be friendly and make eye contact with most everyone I see. If fact, when I am approaching someone who does not look up, I sometimes say right toward their face, “oh, another unfriendly” or “hi to you, too”. I try and present in a friendly way. Like I wrote, I will probably never see them again in my life, but I think that it is much nicer to get through life friendly and smiling then keeping to yourself and not opening up. How about you, do you make eye contact and say “hi–you better.On the streets here often they have at a corner written on the curb right where you step down, “LOOK RIGHT” or “LOOK LEFT”. I think this is because many are Americans who are used to cars driving on the right side of the street. Cars approaching from the other direction is hard to get used to. Yet, in America I have never seen this done on our streets for walkers who might be from Australia or England or Japan. Also, people don’t cross against the walk signal. I’m used to in America people run across anytime. People here obeying the laws and keeping their yards, parks and streets quite tidy, a good thing. And, I’ve found that when I say, ‘thank you”, for something, I don’t get the usual, “your welcome”, that I’m used to. I say, “thank you”, and most often I hear, “no worries” or “no worries, mate”. An Australian thing, I believe.With Davy I discovered that I was keeping my left elbow out to the side when I juggled. This is something I consciously could not see, when he pointed it out I did see, it was a terrible site. We got a rope and tied it around my waist and elbow to keep my arm in, that helped to retrain my brain. Now when I juggle I can think about where my arms are and make corrections. I do have to think about it, though, the whole time. It’s funny how the mind retains memory and how things become automatic. Same with walking, I sometimes have to “think” about using my ankles to push off when I walk. Sometimes I can feel myself walking bad and tell myself to use my ankles, things correct. Yet, I still often have to think about things. Of course, before they were unconsciance efforts, better before.Once again writing to you while sitting in a lovely park. So, I juggled in this park more then I have in a long time, felt good. Birds making noise in the trees. Flowers flowering. I’m looking at lovely females and I fell in love (again and again and again.) Australian’s are a beautiful race (?) of people. Another thing, I am not seeing many over-weight people here. In America every other person is obese, it’s sad. Yet, I don’t see everyone working out and exercising. I think it is just that Americanish eat too much with no control.It’s funny and has happened a few times in the past. I see someone who “just” looked at their watch then I ask them, “What time it is?” Most every time I ask, they must refer back to their watch again. It is like they forgot or just were unsure. By the way, what time is it?THE QUEEN IS IN TOWN !! Actually, I didn’t know that Australia is still connected in any way with England, yet they are. The queen is even on their money. The hostel where I’m staying on Elizabeth Street. They tried to break away in the past and it never went through. Answer me this, what does the queen “do” anyway?
Last night I went with Chris to a juggling club meeting here, about 20 jugglers present. I coached how I could and did some juggling myself. Chris and Bevan are good jugglers. One thing that came to mind to talk with them about was “showing tricks” as oposed to “performing”. In their act they are mainly just showing tricks. This is something I have tried to talk to people in the past, yet the words did not form. Good to be there.THURDAYBack at the park reading, typing, reading and juggling again today (ok, ya caught me, and looking at women. There is a large water pool about 100 feet by 40 feet by 4 inches deep, “The reflection pool”. They have a guy walking the whole pool vacumning it. He has a vacumn that is only about 4 inches wide, why did they not get him a wider one? Back and forth, back and forth, it will take all day, seems like a major waste time.
While at the park, still having trouble with my juggling. I’m just curious on how long it takes to develop muscle memory. At this point I have juggled incorrectly for so long I’ve developed some really bad memories in my muscles. What will it take to retrain them? Boy, and I thought you had all the answers.TookmyselfouttoaTeirestaurantt
onight.Ienjoyedthat,much. Thecurryvegetableswereexcellen t.Sorry, forgottousethespacebar–again. Doyouknowhowharditistotypenotu singthespacebar?Didn’t do a lot today, enjoyed life, much.More later>>>>KitOctober 20, 2011 Up above Brisbane
Summer time here in Australia, that is. Memories of cold and windy back home, this is nice and getting nicer. Spring is here with summer on the way.Before I left Brisbane Davy and Renee brought me here:
for a birthday party. Davy has performed here in the past. I was sad to depart from Brisbane, but here I go.
Could you imagine this sign in America?
SUNDAY, October 16,2011–I’m enjoying writing to you. Throughout the day I take notes to be used later in scripting this, can’t rely on memory. On the bus right now heading to Casino and then from there down to Sydney on the train. Leaving Brisbane now, I feel like my trip is over now–yet, just that portion, many new experiences coming. Last night I took an over-night train to Sydney. Flying would be twice the price, and with the train I could see some of the country. When I was with John Fox in Europe years ago we would be able to get a whole sitting room for our self over-night, then stretch out and sleep well. I was hoping that this train might provide the same, but it was packed with people. Not being very comfortable, I slept as I could. If I flew down I would not have many memories from it, but this train, I will hold memories, not all of them so good. Actually, I very much enjoyed, first, my four hour bus ride down to where to catch the train, then my 16 hour train ride down. The most interesting thing to see are the different people, some unique on this train. Everyone is so different, yet we mix together well.
During the bus ride down
At a hostel now to stay a few days, arrived about 8am. I had contacted them before I came and let them know that I could entertain and teach juggling and wondered if I could get the room for $10 a night, they agreed, so here I am living low-cost. Arriving on the train, I asked where the hostel was and walked here. Sydney is much bigger then Brisbane, and older, and not as clean. I must say, Brisbane is the nicest city I remember ever seeing. In both cities all the roads and parks are maintained at such a high level, yet, I have not seen one gardening person or cleaner. No trash, no graffiti, private yards and public parks are kept so nice. I think it is the mentality of the people to keep it clean and nice.Decided to be a tourist today and go see toursty things. The Opera House was calling, so I listened. While walking I saw a walking street, took that route, and so glad I did. First I saw and heard street musicians–they were quite good–gave them money. On I walked on this street with no cars. A clear sky overhead, a crowd around me, spring in the air. On I walked and what did I come upon–a juggler–Christobal Solto, from Chili, spoke no English. His control over one football was amazing (America stole the name “football”from Europe and had to call the game “soccer” there.) He also juggled 3 big balls. I showed him my book and he seemed impressed. Then I told him about Rudy Cardenas, who used to keep 2 footballs going in the air using only his shoulders, he seemed happy to hear that. As I wrote, he speaks no English, so I had to pantomime the moves. Next I came upon a musician who uses an assortment of instruments including a digery doo. The music he made was a feast for the ears. I never before heard a digery doo played so that it sounded good as an instrument. It is good for street performers here because they have $1 and $2 coins, so the “spare change” adds up.
The Opera House, but I did no singing
Finally arrive at the Opera House. People here often call it the “Oprah House” because the lady made an appearance there and they made a big deal out of it. It’s just like in pictures (I took a few), so no big deal. Many tourists walking around, me included. In Australia they know about beauty and using it in designing their cities. Such wonderful parks, great fountains, lovely lay-out of cities. Found a big beautiful park where I am writing you from while sitting on a bench. The white and pink blossoms are just now coming to life, a nice setting. Various bird sounds filling the air, as well as my tinnitus filling my ears, as well. The fresh smell of flowers and trees, comfortable.In the hostel and on the streets I am hearing languages from around the world–French here, German there, Korean and Danish in the room I am staying in. Also, often they have a dual sex bathroom. As you know, with stalls you never “see” anyone, so it is fine to share this room. I saw them in Europe as well. Americans would be too strange to allow this.Found a big beautiful park where I am writing to you while sitting on a bench. The white and pink flowers are blossoming. The smell of spring is in the air. Various bird-sounds filling the air (that constant sound from my tinnitus filling my mind, as well.) The sun is bright and cheerful overhead. People sitting or milling around–a splendid scene. What’s that I hear? A man’s cell phone is going off, the most unique “ring” I’ve heard, it said, “Answer the phone, answer the phone, come on, answer the phone” with a powerful OZ accent.For dinner I ate with three young guys who I taught to juggle. One could do balls, I taught him clubs, he loved it. One I taught with scarves, he moved on to balls quickly and was surprised at his skill. They fed me well. I’ve taught about 10 people to juggle so far, and am trying to inspire as I go. Trying to change people’s lives for the better. Slept well, usually wake before the sun shows his yellow face, this day I slept until after the sun had risen.
MONDAY–Walked many kilometers today. Saw on a map there is a china town, time for a visit. On the walk over there many more beautiful parks and big fountains. Before today I did not see that many oriental people, except for Japanese tourists. Upon entering the china town area, about all I saw was Chinese. Lunch was a chicken chow mein with crispy noodles, delicious it was. Seeing sites today and exploring Sydney. As you see, I have pictures.October 17, 2011
- Sorry I haven’t written you, I’ve been busy at the juggling convention.,Before the convention I spent a day here, helping and coaching:They have built an excellent school for circus and have many students.
Someone who works there, Earl Shatford, has told me repeatedly that my book, Juggling with Finesse, inspired and taught him much, and continues to (very nice to hear, of course.) Earl is an excellent juggler, he is here:
watch?v=WGHI8vfncs2cI am at the Melbourne Juggling Convention. http://mjc. juggling.net.au. I’ve been doing some workshops and went around helping various people with juggling. The convention runs until Monday and then my workshop takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m glad I brought books to sell, already sold 8. Because I have a limited number with me I raised the price from $19.95 to $30, people are still saying that’s a great price. I’ve attached a photo of a ball bouncer juggler who is one of the best I have seen. Also you will see a shot of the gym..‘The people I am staying with are all jugglers. They keep two chickens on back, fresh eggs from the chickens daily. The chickens do not make noise, we should be able to have where I live, but cannot legally, that’s not good.One strange thing is people drive on the left side of the road here. I have done my research and what was written was that the English are on the left side of the road because of the old days when people were jousting and fighting. They wanted to use there good hand, the right hand, for sword fighting. Then, when the Americans broke away from the English they wanted nothing to do with England so they started driving on the right side, bad reasoning I think.Right you again soon.You know who>>>>>>KitSeptember 24, 2011