BLOG OF POOTENHEIMER... Fear it, Love it
Almost time? Yes! Almost time. For me to go on my trip! For those who haven't been keeping up, yes, I'm going on a trip, a vacation, if you will. To where? To the other side of the world... Hong Kong! It shall be an adventure! I'm getting excited about it. I just hope I don't forget anything. Either to take there, or to bring back, or to check out while I'm there. Any suggestions for things that fit into any of these categories I am open to.
Ah! So! I haven't updated in a while. That last update was a big one, though, wasn't it? Woo-doggies! So what's happened since? Hmm. Saturday. Oh yeah! Saturday! How can I forget that? It began with kung fu, of course. The other Eric was leading class. So he took everyone though some exercises, that type of thing. And then it was time for sparring! I sparred with one of the few black belts in our school (Chris), who we haven't seen in a while. He went and opened up his own school, so he doesn't come around as much anymore. But yeah, we sparred. He throws a lot of crazy double punches, very extended, and he's really tall and lanky. He also gets kind of wild when he spars. Lots of round kicks, too. So my arms got a good conditioning from blocking all his kicks. We traded a few hits, so it was a good practice for me. Since I haven't sparred in MONTHS.
After that, it was time to spar with Eric! He's always talking schmack, wanting to get a piece of me. Well, he did. He got a couple of light hits, but nothing too bad. I blocked a snap kick with my elbow, and it left a nice mark on his foot. Hopefully it wasn't too damaged. And then I planted a nice kick. In his GROIN. I found out after that he hadn't brought his cup. So it put him on the ground for a while. (At least Chris let me know ahead of time HE hadn't worn one, so I avoided that with him.) After that, Sifu set us up to spar, ring-style. One on one, one match at a time. Best of five points, using point sparring rules. Which suck, but hey. And Eric was up first, against one of the newer students. He kept winning matches, so Sifu had him stay and spar the next person. Winner stays rules. Eric just happened to keep winning. And he had gone through pretty much everyone. Except for ME. So, of course, Sifu calls me up. Eric gets a look on his face that he's not too happy about that, since he's rather exhuasted from sparring everyone else. And we spar! He gets some good shots in, although they're the kind I don't like. No solid contact, purely the "I touched you and I get a point" rule. A good example was a high kick he landed, which I caught. So he gets the point, which Sifu counts, as I walk him around holding his leg. Ooh! If Sifu hadn't stopped it there, I think most people can imagine what would have followed. So it's back and forth, best of five points. He's up by a few, and then he moves towards me, steps on my foot. He said it wasn't intentional, but hey. I throw a kick, and since he's standing on my foot, my foot comes out of the pad and then hits him. A nice slapping sound from that one. I fix the pad back on, then we go again. He throws some high punches, I see an opening, and BAM! A solid roundhouse. It's all shin against his solar plexus, and he goes down. An extended groan of pain comes from him as he heads toward the ground. So Sifu comes over, sits him up, and tells him to breathe. Finally he gets his breath back, after a little bit of time. And it's four to four. Last point. It all happens fast! He throws a kick, I deflect it and turn his body so his back's to me, I rush towards him and he spins back around with a backfist. And he lands it! He manages the point, although it's very close. A pretty good match, but I'm not too proud to admit he got a good point there. I did make him work for it, though.
First time I've really sparred in a while, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I need to do that more often. Sadly, Sihing doesn't really spar anymore, since he's always working and is exhausted most of the time. He'd be the best to spar, for good practice. Oh well. Maybe when he's finished with school and has more time.
But Saturday night was open mic night at Newman, and I went over there with the trusty twelve-string. There were all sorts of talents on display! Two people did a guitar duo thing, after passing out lyrics to everyone to sing along (since they didn't really want to be heard too loudly) and did two songs. Pretty good stuff. One guy did two songs on the piano, also asking for people to sing along, although the second song was more of his own song, since no one knew the words. He did a good job. As well as that, he did a stand up act, which was both funny and not at all. His material was... lacking in some areas, but the way he handled it was actually pretty funny. Overall it was good, though. There were also a lot of games played, pulled from "Whose Line is it Anyway?". Some of those were really funny, had me almost crying. And there was me. I got up three times, did a couple of songs each time. Seems like a lot of people liked them okay. It was fun to do, though. They were all cover songs, I still don't have anything of my own that I'm completely confident to play in front of other people. YET. But one song I hadn't really done before turned out pretty well - Hear You Me, by Jimmy Eat World. A lot of people don't know the song, but it's a good one. Anyway, it was educational and fun. And hopefully some people liked what I had to offer, as much as the coolness that was displayed by everyone else.
I spent a bit of the weekend cleaning the apartment. I can hear it now, at least a few of you are eliciting gasps. But YES, I cleaned a bit. Got my hanging file cabinet folders set up, transferred my papers from the old small case (which was ready to burst) to the cabinet. Very productive. And Sunday was a nice lazy day, got some things done, then went to St. Bernard's to offer my skills as a musician there. I only knew one of the songs, never heard the others, but I still managed to learn them enough to play and sing with most of them. Some of them were cool! It's a little nervewracking, though, being one of three vocalists, all of which have microphones, in front of a couple hundred people. Especially when you don't really KNOW the songs. But I think it turned out okay. I got some compliments, and even a nice punch in the stomach from the pastor (who I've known for years, it wasn't a random assault sort of thing).
And James came by! It was a nice guys' night. We watched Payback. Probably one of my favorite movies to watch. There are favorite movies, quality wise, and then there are movies that are purely a joy to view. Payback is in the latter category. I think another good example of a movie that fits in the latter category and definitely NOT in the former would be Road House. Hmm... both of these movies are rather violent. Vicarious aggression, anyone? But yeah, it was definitely part of the guys' night. Paired up with Chinese food and Halo 2. Excellent!
This week has been mostly work. I seem to be getting loaded down with stuff a lot lately. Maybe partially because I'll be gone next week. Who knows. But I'm trying to keep up, do what I can. So far, it's been pretty good. But we'll see.
Oh, and last night was more kung fu. And after class, I FINALLY tested out of my last form. It was all good, except for one move I kept getting stuck on, when Sifu made me do the form solo (it's a sparring set). But I got past it! And now it's on to the next set, which is another weapon set. I'm thinking I'm going to do another staff set. It's a slightly different staff, because it's heavier on one end than the other. Called the Rat-Tail Staff. I don't think anyone else knows this set, so that'll be good to know. Then two more forms, and I'll finally have the black belt. Yaay!
Okay. Lunchtime's over, so I should get back to working my BUTT off. Indeed. So here's a random link! When I was young, I was fascinated by magic. I actually learned some tricks, and it was fun stuff. Deception, all that. Can be fun, but you should use the power for GOOD and not EVIL. I'll give you two links, both about one guy. He's rather incredible. And he's British! His name is Derren Brown, and he's good at what he does. If you have RealPlayer, you might be interested in seeing it in action.
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as of 10/23/03