BLOG OF POOTENHEIMER... Fear it, Love it
Happy Chinese New Year!
Also known as the Lunar New Year. Did you know the Chinese calendar predates the Gregorian calendar by centuries? We've only been using the Gregorian for about 425 years. Actually, 423 years, if you must know. That's based on the Julian calendar, which was started by Caesar in 46 B.C. Yeah, they had too many leap days, so it was changed to the Gregorian. But yeah, the Chinese calendar has been used for a very long time. By that calendar, this year is 4702! And it's the year of the rooster! Just lots of random info for you.

Well, being the Chinese New Year, there is, of course, at least one celebration tonight. It happens to coincide with Ash Wednesday (have you Catholics remembered to forgo meat for a day?), but I think I'll have time for all of it. Yes! Tonight! 6:30 at the Royal Dragon! It'll be quite traditional, we'll do all the regular stuff we do. Not TOO crazy. Hopefully won't knock over tables and such. If you can make it, you might find it interesting.

And I've been getting feedback from the first few lion dances. Good feedback! For one, we had FOX news at the kwoon for our open house, but I don't know if we were ever actually on the news. I got interviewed, though. Hee hee! I think CBS was at the Chinese American Association thing at TCC, so they may have gotten some good footage. Oh! And a picture in the Tulsa World, on Sunday (full color, baby!), page A21. Turned out pretty good! That's me, on the right, in the gold. I love goooold.... I'll get a picture up on the blog when I get a chance. Since I was IN the lion at the time of the dances, I don't get to hear about results until after. But from what I heard, it was cool. The open house had a good crowd, I think the kids were the ones who got a kick out it, or at least showed it more openly. The TCC showing I only found out later had a very good reaction. I guess the gold lion looked really good, too, because the music guys made comments on it. And I also heard that the crowd all got on their feet when the lions awakened, and didn't sit down until we went off the stage. Yay! I think we set a pace that might have been hard to follow. Even though we didn't even get to do our GOOD stuff. Grr. That's okay, though.

I had some friends take their cameras, so I'll get some pics up, and maybe even some video sometime soon. Should be fun stuff. It WAS fun stuff. But by no means easy, trust me. I only realized last night, during our lion dance practice, how much heavier the gold lion is than the others. Sihing had us start practicing with the red one while Sifu was gone on an errand, and I didn't even break a sweat (which is crazy) while in that one. Then I pull the gold one on when Sifu gets back ("What are you doing? Put that away! Get the gold one out!") and it's layering the floor of the kwoon with salinated fluid in generous helpings. I'm getting more used to it, though, and hopefully by Nam Hai I'll have my lion working nicely. Nam Hai is a little scary, though. Sifu was saying we can expect a crowd six times the size of the one we had at the kwoon (which was NOT small), and also MORE fireworks. Which is crazy. But we're getting our practice down! Yes!

Yeah, so this week was mainly recovery time. I went to kung fu on Monday and apparently I was the ONLY ONE. No one else showed up. I'm thinking part of it is because people are LAZY and their demos on Saturday made them tired. Aww. Cry me a river. (I actually like that song, I'll admit.) It's the American way, though. I help perpetuate it, with my pizza and Pepsi, I'll give that, BUT I do try to get my vegetables and exercise, too. And I do drink lots of water! I'm cutting back quite a bit on the Pepsi, which isn't a bad thing. Yeah, so anyway, I show up, and no one's there, so I end up talking to one of the students' mothers, with Sifu. She tells us about how much of an effect kung fu has had on her daughter, and how it's been so good, she's planning on supporting her through it above everything. She even said, if it came down to electricity or kung fu, she'd choose kung fu. So that made me feel cool. I DO like being appreciated, and I'm weak that I want to hear it, but I only need to hear it every now and then. Yeah, so she gives us all sorts of good comments, and then Sifu and I chat for the rest of the normal class time. Which was cool! We talked about qigong, and kung fu, the advanced levels of them, all sorts of stuff. The whole hour made my day get 500% better. Which was GOOD, because up until then, it had SUCKED.

Yes, it had sucked. I was tired of dealing with people who just aren't considerate, or smart, or both. UGH. For one, one of my pet peeves has recently been boosted from witnessing people do it all the freakin' TIME. Turn signals. Do YOU use your turn signals? When turning? When changing lanes? Apparently, in Tulsa, most people DON'T. Yeah, getting cut off, without any cue. It really looks like their car is sometimes just drifting, and I wonder if they're even paying attention. In one case (and this was on Monday), I saw someone who really DIDN'T realize what they were supposed to be doing, and changed lanes unwittingly when the road curved slightly. Yeah, so Monday, I had to go pick up my mom from work to take her to the airport, to get her car, where my dad had to leave it. It was okay, it just made me more flustered, because I was hoping to have enough time to lay back and relax for at least an hour before kung fu started, but she needed me to pick her up from work at seven. But it's family, so of course I'll do it. I go back from work and get my kung fu stuff, then head over to pick her up, and on the way there (mind you, less than five miles away), I get cut off TWICE. Quite badly, each time. One, at a light. I have a green, and this other person does NOT. So I'm driving through the intersection at about forty-five, and as I'm in the MIDDLE of the intersection, they decide to turn right. Right, all right. RIGHT in FRONT of me. Oh man. I had to slam the breakes, I flashed my brights and hit the horn. Ooh, I was mad. And then, about a mile, mile and a half away, some podunks in a pickup pull the same stunt, but without a light there. Just pull out in front of me, as I'm traveling at a fairly elevated velocity. Physics escapes some people, I guess. Grr. Yeah, my whole DAY was like that, I wasn't happy. But my hour at kung fu actually made everything better! I was in a fully GOOD mood as I drove back home. Which was strange, but I was grateful. Good moods are GOOD for you. Try to remember that, when you feel tempted to sulk into the bad mood badlands.

Eh, but work lately has been good, I can't complain. I've been doing my job, and I'm actually getting a lot of props for it. Because I'm doing it WELL. The people I'm doing the work for are excited about it, because I'm doing it better (in their eyes) than the guy before me. So that's always good. Just have to keep doing it, I'll be okay.

So today, in addition to the Chinese New Year, is the start of Lent. Lent is a time to lay back, not be too [pick any of your seven deadly sins] here. People are giving up things. I say don't JUST give up something. Sure, trying to lay off the Pepsi is HARD. Trying to not watch TV so much is HARD. Putting that crack pipe down is HARD. But why not try to actively DO something? Do something good? I think that would be splendid. Try to make someone smile each day. Or random acts of kindness (I always like those). The best ones are the ones you can manage to do without getting recognition for. I know, I know, I said I like getting appreciated for stuff I do, but in some cases, it's good to just hit someone randomly, and all they know is that someone thought to do something nice for them. They just don't know who. It's like being a superhero! Even if you don't do it every day, even if you're not Catholic, why don't you try it out? See what you think? And if you believe in karma, it's not a bad idea at all.

Okay, I think I should stop here. My blogs are somehow GROWING each time I blog. I don't know why. Eh, maybe it's like a lunar cycle. Only longer. "Goodness! It's almost mid-February! The full blog is approaching!" Keep watch for some photos, I'll post sometime when I get a chance. Man, I didn't even talk about guitar! Maybe next time. Okay, time for random link. I looked around for best prices for my ticket to Los Angeles. Here! That's what ended up giving me the best price, although not by too much.
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as of 10/23/03

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