Never realized that the power company crews would turn out to be rehab points of entry.
I suspect you bring yourself to The Ordinary Acrobat, and you will find what you are looking for. Historians like the history. Performers like the performance.
I came to the circus arts relatively late in life (45), with knees that won’t let my feet leave the ground at the same time anymore. I loved Wall’s descriptions of learning to do acrobatics, trapeze, and juggling. I have started using “trapeze” analogies in business conversation. (People are looking at me funny. We don’t have trapeze schools around here.)
I found the history a good bit dry. As a result of reading the book, I see how the circus arts came to be something middle-aged women can play in.
If you have any curiosity about circuses, you’ll learn something useful from reading The Ordinary Acrobat. Who knows–you just might start juggling plastic bags from the grocery store (enormous hang time) or try a hula hoop the next time you see a group hooping at a street fair. (As long as it’s taller than your waist, you have a chance.)
Can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this book yet. I love Jamie & Dennis’ step-by-steps. Funny, but they work. I don’t like “project” books in any other art form, but in chainsaw carving, it works. Perhaps because so very few people carve.
Find a log, follow the steps in Chainsaw Carving an Eagle, and commit to making two carvings. The first one might not be completely an eagle–it will be a bird, but depending on how well you understand what you’re doing, your friends might think it’s a pelican, or something else. (With any luck at all, not a sparrow…) But after you get the feel for where Jamie’s going, your second carving will be spot-on.
If don’t already know this–you’ll do much better with a carving bar than a saw with a stock tip, but if your only saw came from a big-box hardware store, you can do reasonably well. Do get safety equipment–chaps, at the least, steel toe boots too–and let yourself carve without worrying as much.
I wish there was something I could make with this.
Encyclopedias show up at the swap shed all the time, as do dictionaries, thesauri, and Bibles. I wish there were something I could make with any of them, something that used them up, was easy to store, and salable.
I’ve seen the Christmas tree made out of books. I have made jewelry with Bible verses (harder than it looks if you are soldering; the soldering iron singes the paper). And I resist. I even brought home some set of reference books because the spines were so pretty. The text was not useful to me. Eventually, I cut off the spines and sent the books back to the paper bin and still haven’t done anything with the gilded ornamentation.
I have an old Morrison and Boyd (Organic Chemistry) at home. I may look for the illustrations of interesting molecules (caffeine, mostly, in my world today) and make a pendant or two from them.
But mostly, I have to watch the books float on down the endless stream of raw material that passes outside my studio. I simply can’t recycle them all.
I caught the NOVA segment about Chaser with Neil Degrasse Tyson, and I rather wondered how she was trained. I have also read a bit about Alex, the African Gray parrot, and his training regimen, so when I saw this book on my list, I pounced.
It’s a pretty good read. Not great lit, and not great dog training material, and if you have a smart puppy and five hours a day to invest in training, you too can probably have a dog who knows an awful lot. That’s what I needed to know. Training dogs like Chaser is a full time gig.
That said, like Alex the parrot, it only takes one black swan to blow the model wide open. If one dog with a lot of attention can learn 1000 words, lots of dogs can learn a lot more than we give them credit for. I rather hate that I had to out-think my lab when he learned how to open chain link fence gates. He was so happy with himself. Can’t figure out cotter pins yet.
Of course, the sheepherders who work with BCs all the time knew it all along. They’re not surprised by dogs knowing sentence structure. I suspect many service dogs can do pretty much the same.
So–You’ll learn that it’s possible; you’ll win arguments with unbelievers, and you’ll learn a little bit about how it was done. You’ll have to push through a few dry places.
And remember, Chaser’s doing it all in ESL. One can only wonder what she knows in Dog.
I am a professional artist of the self-taught variety, perhaps even “outsider” school. I found the essays in Learn, Create, and Teach to be mostly helpful. However, the book is strongly slanted towards a world of formal art education, with classes, teachers, and critiques. If “you and your market” are your major critics, some of the chapters are less relevant.
A copy of this book was provided by the author for review.