Saturday, November 30, 2013

Merry Christmas to Your Skater--2013

Desperate for last minute gifts for your skater?  Here's my last couple of years of skater gift suggestions.

Christmas gifts for your coach.

Merry Xmas to your Skater-2012.

Merry Xmas to your Skater-2011.

I haven't been on ice much this year, so I haven't seen any new skating things to buy. So what about....

Fabric! and Crystals! or a Sewing Machine! Doesn't matter if your skater is a guy or a gal, everyone needs costumes and sparkles, boot covers, practicewear, jackets, whatever. Even a series of Learn to Sew lessons can be a wonderful gift. Okay, maybe you'd get resistance if your skater is under 18 or an adolescent boy, but most adult skaters would be grateful. Let's face it, if a guy skates, does he even care what people think?

I know what somebody out there is thinking, "This woman would recommend giving a donation to the Heifer Project in someone's name as a Christmas gift." Well, yes, if you made a charitable donation in my name I'd be happy with that as a gift. I've reached the age where 'useful gifts' is perfect!

Do you reject the sewing idea?  Okay, give them some freestyle or public skate cards. Those fit everyone!

Oompa loompa doompety doo
I've got another costume for you
Oompa loompa doompeda dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me

Learning to sew gives you power and style
You control all  designs and that brightens your smile
Your practice wear will fit; not to short or too long
And your costume is yours! Not sung to someone else's song!
(And if you want to see how to make a costume there's always Sew Skate Read's costume sewing tutorial!

Friday, November 29, 2013

When You Take a Friend to the Rink because They Want to "Learn To Skate"

First you help them out on the ice:

And they grab you and take you down
 Then you get away from your friend as quickly as possible, letting them skate on their own:

Watching them grab for the boards can be amusing too:

Finally after a long hour at the rink, you go home and take a well deserved nap!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

You Know You Skate Too Much: 3

You come home from the rink and tell someone you love how you spent your day working on your skating and they respond:

Yeah, who understands what we say except other figure skaters.

P.S. The Ice Doesn't Care will be down for a few days while I upgrade my computer. Sorry, no Sunday funnies this week unless a miracle occurs and everything works the first time. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hot Cross Buns--er---Rolls

I've always had trouble with cross rolls.  Anyone else?

Anyway, I admire the way some people do a big semi-circle then at the last minute the free foot crosses onto the outside edge, and you push off with the old skating foot from a T position. Finally, this summer I asked Coach Amazing if she could help.

She stood too one side and watched me do my 'cross rolls'. What I was doing was rather pathetic flat curves and only occasionally landing on the outside edge.

"I see what you're doing wrong," she said, "You're starting your free leg forward too early."

I was treating the cross roll like a swing roll. What I was doing was bringing the free leg forward at the top of the curve, and I wasn't bending my knees enough.

What I *should* have been doing was bending the knee much much more, and not bringing the freeleg forward until the last second.

It took me a while to break myself of the habit of bringing the free leg forward too soon, but once I mastered bringing the freeleg forward at the last second, I found that with the proper kneebend, I was automagically in a proper T-push position for the next edge.

Well, at least I only have to
worry about TWO legs!

Monday, November 18, 2013


Sunday I was stroking around the rink when I suddenly heard my former Russian dance coach yelling in my ear, "Poosh! Pooosh! Poosh!"

I reflexively started scampering for power like an elderly, arthritic Brussels Griffon who has just heard the clickety-click of an angry Doberman's toenails on the red Spanish tile of a California sunroom. And it's headed his way!
My typical scampering for power
Then I realized,  WTF! Dance Coach hasn't been my coach for a year since I quit dance. I'm having a skating coach flashback!

I looked to my left and he was skating past with his student and gave me a wave...and for a moment there, a heart attack too boot!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Marker of Doom. Mark II

Miss Bianca reaches into her pocket and pulls out here coach's marker.

You may have read how I feel about these here.

"Show me your 3 turn," she says.

I pop one out. Nice point, good shape.


Miss Bianca says, "Do you want me to draw you an arc?" Oh, the voice is sweet and nice. But deep underneath is a threat...'make it bigger'.

"No," I say in a little voice.

I want to hide when the marker comes out
 Miss Bianca draws an arc anyway. I know what's she's thinking...
Well, uh, falling....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ice Doesn't Care--2nd Year Blogiversary!

Can't believe I made two years!  I thought I'd run out of topics after a couple of months, then I realized I  could  cover things so trivial no other skater would touch them…and, of course, pictures of cats.

So, what were my most popular posts of the last year (based on page views) ?

The Six Stages of Adult Figure Skating thanks to Lori over at International Adult Ice Skaters for mentioning it.

Judges--Thinking Positive. Apparently a coach at Bowie Ice Rink (I don't know who) posted it on Facebook. Thanks!

My favorite posts of the last year?

Types of Coaches

The Great Skate Bag Debate,

The most popular posts involving cats…

When I'm the tallest skater on the ice.  I have to admit, the punchline on this was a lucky find.

String Theory for Figure Skaters

So, do you have a favorite post? Waiting to hear about it!

My motto for every lesson is as follows:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When You Lose Something Precious

This weekend someone backed their car into mine before I went skating.  I made it to the rink after the ritual exchange of insurance information (note: everyone takes pictures of the registration cards now). I even have a witness that I'm not at fault.  I felt calm cool, and collected.

I must have been more rattled than I realized, since,  when I left the rink after my lesson, I left my SkatingSafe kneepads behind, along with my super-duper best blade rag ever a Simonize waffle weave car detailing cloth. The kneepads I can replace, but the Simonize detailing cloth they don't make anymore.

When I went back to the rink the next day, no sign of the knee pads in lost and found.
The Desk Clerk checked the Lost and found all the way to the bottom.

The Skating Director even checked the "Figure Skaters Hidden Lost and Found".
No luck there either.
I was desperate enough to even open the benches to look inside, and behind them to see if they'd been pushed between the bench and the wall.

Someplace, somewhere, someone has my pads.

Okay, probably not this guy.
Anyway, I ordered new knee pads. I can't skate without them.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

You Know You Skate Too Much.1

You look at this picture

And you think…


Cross Behind

Slide Step.

What a cute piece of footwork.

And then you realize it's a gif of Buzz Lightyear.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Speed on Ice

I hadn't seen Miss Cheerleader for a few months, and when we got together on the ice this weekend, we yakked about her Silver Dance test next week, and her work on her Gold Moves.

We're on public and as we skate around the rink yelling over the music, we're going like fire.

Sort of like this.
We're blowing past the people in rental skates, weaving around the hockey boys, zipping along at  fast and serious pace. Oh, I can remember the old days, when moving this fast would have panicked  me.
I used to feel like this when I went fast
"Hey, you're keeping up really well," Miss Cheerleader says, "Your knee must be better!" I agree, and say, "Look I know you have tests to work on, don't let me keep you."
And Miss Cheerleader was gone…
Miss Cheerleader
Yeah, no keeping up with THAT!

But I'm gonna try!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Whining Ritual--on Ice

Miss Bianca was looking thoughtful today. I've got all my basic skills, not perfect but they're all there (even the  weak side mohawk) and she wanted to move on to something new.

"Can you do Tango Stops?" she asked.

If your coach hasn't introduced you to these, a Tango Stop is a forward stop like a T-Stop but the stopping foot is in front of the skating foot.  They can be scary to learn.

"Oh, no," I said, "Those are scary. I can't possibly do those."

We're entering a ritual of learning new skills. It has 3 stages.
1. Miss Bianca tells me to do something.
2. I whine.
3. Then I do it anyway. Because Miss Bianca is THE BOSS.

It goes like this:

Miss Bianca gives me directions.

"Here's how to do this."

I whine:
Stage 1 Whine
Working up to a:
Stage 2 Whine 
Miss Bianca rolls her eyes and give me a pep talk.

Then I do what she wants me to do!

"Good little student. Good girl. And you said you couldn't do it."
(Shaffer pushes, still a long way off!)