Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reflecting, on working out . . ..

It's odd.

I've just had a sudden urge, a want to punch something.

Not so much a "punch-something-because-I'm-angry", mind you, but more of a "hit-something-because-it-was-routine".

I guess I just miss doing . . . what? What am I missing?

Am I missing the simple act of punching? The machismo of the act? The tactile response that I receive from my hands? Or is it the routine that surrounds itself?

It's not that I miss the whole thing altogether; sure, I've been wildly inconsistent recently, but I'm very satisfied with the Judo Dojo I've joined, and I'm going to be consistent, I swear! It's definitely not that.

Being in a reflective mood, it makes me think of several things; what it is, this "martial art" that I've been long obsessive about?

This may be a stereotypical nod that many practitioners would take (and I'm a stereotypical guy, mind you), but I don't like that term. "Martial arts". Psshhh, what a farce. A farce in that it's both a caricature of what it is and something that may be much more, at least to me.

Thinking back, I'm somewhat stuck not so much on the styles that I've taken, but more towards the relationships built around this institution that I chose to partake in, and as with everyone else that has been in any relationships; the mistakes made and the triumphs.

I've made mistakes both as an instructor, pushing the students past their limits; as a friend, being callously bigoted, or hypocritical, at times; as a mentor, crossing boundaries which, in retrospect, I was the one taking advantage of a situation and should never have taken.

What leaves me in awe is that those same people would have the quality of character and patience to put up with mistake after mistake that I make and still be there, sometimes in the dojo, sometimes socially; hell, sometimes out in a shopping mall never expecting to see each other.

I've thought about listing some of the names of instructors, mentors, students and others I've had the luck of meeting, but they know who they are; and what's significant right now, half a world away, is that I would consider them friends, and if I'm lucky enough, they would consider me theirs.

Before I go overboard and crying about puppies and flowers; I will stop - consider this, however, an apology to those who deserve it and to everyone that I met inside the dojo, a sincere thank you.

I'm out, and yeah, I can be a sappy SOB sometimes. Now I gotta punch something. For machismo.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Japan Itinerary 2009 Gaiden: Fortune for the Lunar New Year

Definition of "Gaiden" from Wikipedia

(One of the things we did while in Fukuoka was to travel to a temple and pay respects, and also pick out a paper fortune by reaching into a stone container/cabinet[?] for the New Year as well. Fortunately, there were English fortunes to pick from. Here's what it says.)

Fortune Slip

Number 15
Very Lucky
Like boats gathering at the port.

Fortune Everything will proceed as your heart desires, but you must not be negligent. This is a good time to gather your thoughts and narrow down your plans for the future.

Wish Will be as you wish.

Expected Person Will arrive if there is no news.

Lost Article Will be difficult to find.

Travel Good.

Conflict Be passive. There will be victory.

Position Vacant Earlier the better.

Relocation Do not make haste.

Construction Good.

Business Good, will gain popularity.

Trade There will be loss.

Competition There will be good odds, but stay on guard.

Illness Have faith, there is no doubt of a complete recovery.

Marriage A female will be obstructive and chances may be ruined. Will be hard to come about, even if help is sought.

Childbirth Easy birth, with the help from the gods.

Study Examination and admissions will be successful, go forth.

Employment Your desire will be fulfilled in the near future.

Hmm, that part about the marriage and childbirth appears to be contradictory . . ..

Japan Itinerary 2009: part 1

Friday, January 23rd 2009

11:30PM – Attempt to get some rest before going to Fukuoka, Japan (Flight: Seoul, Korea 9:30AM to Fukuoka, Japan 11:50AM). Fail.

Saturday, January 24th 2009

4:30AM – Get up. Attempt to get up. Try to attempt to get up.

5:03AM – Get up and head out across Seoul to get to the Airport. Intended path; take 20 min. cab ride to bus station, take shuttle bus to airport.

5:05AM – God damn it's cold.

5:12AM – Flag down a cab. Get in.

5:46AM – Get off at the bus stop. Find out that bus passed less than 5 minutes prior and have to wait ~20 minutes to catch next bus. On the sidewalk. Freeze ass off.

5:48AM – Motherfucker; is that snow?

5:59AM – Bus arrives. Can barely feel finger.

~ – Note the powdery snow is increasing in intensity. Note with half amusement/absolute horror at the other drivers driving in zero visibility; driving in between lanes, stopping/starting for no reason, going at ridiculously slow speeds, briefly think of joke about Asians and driving before having a quick prayer.

7:12AM – Arrive at Incheon Airport.

7:14AM – Leah is feeling ill from the bus driver lurching the constantly due to the terrible traffic. Fuck.

7:20AM – Leah applies for a re-entry permit. Her ticket # is . . . 198. The waiting list is . . . 104. Fuck.

7:40AM – Let Leah wait in line for her permit, go exchange Korean Won for Japanese Yen. Fuuuuuuck.

8:40AM – Wait in queue for air ticket while Leah is still waiting. She catches up, we rush, arrive at plane just in time. Awesome.

9:30AM – Plane not in air yet.

9:45AM – Plane still not in air.

~ – Pass out, wake up to note that; a.) the plane is in the air, and b.) they're serving food. Can relate to this guy.

12:30PM – Arrive in Fukuoka. Estimated weekly temperature; ~50 degrees F.

12:47PM – Get to the domestic airport/subway station; note on shuttle bus ride that all the logos/icons for industrial factories/warehouses are adorable cartoons of some sort. Awesome.

12:48PM – Motherfucker; is that snow?

12:51PM – Decide to get some food in our stomach before moving on; ordered a chili dog, get a hot dog with some kind of ketchup/salsa mix on top. Better than airplane food, not quite human food.

1:12PM – Arrive at the intended subway station/Ryokan with relative ease. Get shocked at the subway prices in Japan (Subway ticket in Seoul[capital city, gargantuan metro] for 4 stops; $0.60. Subway ticket in Fukuoka[not a capital city, relatively big metro] for 4 stops; $3.15). Brace for the worst.

1:13PM – the Ryokan is b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.; unfortunately, check-in is 3PM

1:45PM – Wander around the area; look at outside of local temple, get lost for 30 seconds, note that 7-11 in Japan is 7-and-i-incorporated (and note that it doesn't quite have the same ring, but will do anyways) find area's shopping mall and find . . . Wendy's. Delicious, delicious Wendy's.

4:15PM – Come back from mall. Crash for the rest of the day. Watch Sumo wrestling. Note to self; remind self to get one of those nifty Japanese tables.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's new?

Well, both nothing and a lot of things, actually;

Currently, it's pretty much status quo, but I suppose in some sense the status quo has changed a bit;

- I've joined Judo, which is awesome. The players there are awesome, the master is awesome, and it's a great environment overall.

- Leah's scooter got run over. With both of us on it. We're fine, but the scooter isn't.

- We're going to Japan - Fukuoka, more specifically - for the Lunar New Year. Hurray for 4-day weekends and (relatively) cheap airfare!

- I've made friends with a lot of people at Facebook - yes, for people who didn't know, I have a Facebook acct - but I'm kinda ashamed/jealous of other people's successes (and, to a limited degree since I'm admittedly petty, happy for them, of course); hopefully soon it will change from petty jealousy to an impetous for improvement. A man can dream, can he not?

- Leah, my wife, started her own blog;
She is, admittedly, much more consistent with the blogging, so for some up-to-date news, I'd recommend checking it out.