May 26, 2009

You Tell Me ...

Went skating this weekend for the first time in 2 years! I'm glad I lived to tell.

I was also glad to have my newest accessories on hand. Well, actually my feet.

I had new skate socks. Haven't bought skates socks since 1991. That's right. I bought a couple of pairs in Japan in '91 that were so tough - thicker than normal nylon - that they lasted through five more years of heavy use (I retired in '96) without any runs. I was back in Japan in 2000 to buy more, but they were no longer around. The company put themselves out of business I bet, because the nylons were so tough. Lasted me for 17 years.

Okay, before you all run from this post worried about the smell of nearly two-decades old item of clothing, don't worry. I washed them all the time.

But it was time for a new pair. And there at our Saturday local market, between the stall selling extension cords and electric outlets on one side and a bootleg copy of any recent movie you can name on the other was the sock stall.

Nothing but socks!

And I saw a pair of thick nylon-like booties with the tops two inches above the ankles. That's very important for me. I need some kind of protection at the place above my ankle where I hook my laces.

Okay, Ice Charades, first you talk about fishnets, now socks. Big whup. Are you going anywhere with this?

Why yes I am, thanks for asking.

What you wear or don't wear inside the boot is critical to how you skate. Once skaters get past the rental stage, they usually stop wearing thick socks because they are too heavy. You can't feel your foot move. To me, nylons are too thin and my foot slips around. Not good.

Some show skaters were tough and refused to wear any socks. There were others that were tougher (or stupid or both) and refused to use any padding either. Hello cysts and blisters. Not pretty.

But to me, a bare foot will stick to the boot making your foot immobile.

Everyone's different. You tell me?

Socks, nylons, or bare feet?

May 19, 2009

No News

Okay, Axels, Loops, and Spins ... I don't have any juicy gossip for you - well, not recent gossip anyway - so let's have a jumping poll out there until there's news in skating again.

What's your favorite jump?

I would have to say a loop jump, double or triple, especially when it's preceded by a bunch of inside three turns before take-off, a la Chris Nolan.

Maybe we can string up a bunch of jumps together like a game of add-on!

Okay, anyone else?

May 14, 2009

How (Not) To Fix Your Fishnets

In a tribute to Ice Mom, I thought I would try a post much like she does.

How To Fix Fishnets

It's not easy.

I tried to learn to fix them, because I was often in places (Japan for one) where you couldn't go out and buy an extra pair.

Let's back up for a second. Before I even started my first show, I headed to Europe with a pair of black fishnets. Who knew? My mom and I took a look at the "flesh" colored pair and thought nobody would wear this.

Just Google fishnets and you'll see. Black pairs everywhere ... I had to dig deep with the "flesh tone fishnet" query before I found this photo.

But that is exactly what we wore. And any good showgirl knows to save a brand new pair for a night you need to skate (and look) good.

Brand new = extra firm. Like Spanx that breathe!

So the first time I ripped a massive hole in the tights, I started to darn them up like my grandmother did when she darned socks. Big no no. It came out looking like a giant spiderweb attached to my thigh.

What I learned is to fix fishnets you shouldn't use a needle and thread. You should use a small safety pin and a long piece of fishnet thread carefully pulled from an old pair.

Don't worry, that veteran showgirl in the costume crate next to you has a couple of old pairs and she'll let you have a piece of fishnet thread if you pull her one off too.

This part takes a while. Try doing it over intermission or between shows. Then once you have a piece of thread that's long enough, tie one end to the safety pin. Take your fishnets that need repairing and pull them tight, so the hole is spread over the top of a hairspray can or some other large plastic cap. Now you have a an empty cavity to maneuver the safety pin as you wind the thread around and around the fishnets.

Start about two or three squares back from the hole for reinforcement. Now, start winding your thread around. Once you've come to the hole, stretch the thread across to the squares at the top end and wind the thread two or three more squares to make it strong. Keep doing this for as many times you need to fill in the squares again.

Still with me? Make any sense? I probably haven't explained it any better than I ucould fix them. That's why I also learned to pay the "Fishnet Gal" at the rate of fifty cents a square (about $1.50 today) to fix them.

May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day Ice Mom

Thanks for the great posts. Hopefully you are getting a nice treat for yourself today!

May 5, 2009

Welcome back to show life, Mr. Hamilton

He's back, he's returning to the world of skating.

There's a line at the very end of the article stating "details" to follow.

I can't see him returning to competitive skating, but at 50, I bet he can still crank out a nice show program with tricks that the audience loves and look a lot harder than the are - for Scott, that is. Triple toe loops, russian splits, arabians, barrel rolls, and his incredible wit!

I bet he misses the spotlight (and I mean the one up in the stands that literally shines in his face).