BLOG OF POOTENHEIMER... Fear it, Love it
It's late, but I can still blog
Wow, it actually feels late. And I'm tired. That's good! I need a normal sleep schedule. But I have a little time to blog. So here! I'm blogging! What an odd word. I'm still not used to it.
Ah, so the trip to Springfield. A week ago, it was. Seems like... a week ago. It was a good trip! Took two and a half hours each way. Left early in the morning, but the road tripping was fun. Even IF gas was crazy priced that weekend. We got there, checked the place out. Nick's kwoon was very nice! It had high ceilings, large floor space. Even a couple of foundation poles, good for banging arms and shins on. I tested them out, they're quite nice. There's something weirdly satisfying about throwing your shins against a large metal pole and just having it ring loudly each time. Especially when you don't feel it. If you did it and it rang but your shins hurt a lot, it's not quite as good. It's a level you work up to, believe me. So we hung out, talked with Nick, so forth. One of the students from our school asked about a particular technique that Justin uses, a quick side heel kick, so I started showing him how Justin throws it. It's all about how he throws a backfist first to lure you into thinking your coming high, then shoves his whole body into the kick that goes right into your solar plexus. It's a great move, believe me, I know. I've been sent through the air by it plenty of times. So I'm showing how to throw it, and Justin comes up to give extra tips on how it works. Now by this time, some of Nick's students had arrived. As Justin is showing how the kick works, one of these students starts commenting on how it's too northern style, in a very "tsk tsk" sort of way. Justin kind of glances at him, then dismisses it. Until the student comes up to tell Justin what's wrong with his technique, and the "right" way to do it. As he's doing this, Justin just looks over his shoulder at me and gives me this look of incredulousness, with the implied "What the hell does he think he's doing" all over his face. And I couldn't help but start chuckling. The guy had no idea what he was in for. He showed us how you need to step INTO your kick, by planting your other foot about three/four feet behind you, towards your opponent, before throwing the kick. As he started doing it, Justin got into a subtle fighting position, and I knew exactly what he was getting ready to do. Unfortunately, it never happened, as the guy stopped right about then. I was on the verge of telling him, "Go ahead, show him the right way - how would you kick him?" But I thought that might be pushing it a little. Later, when he put on his uniform and his white belt, and Justin put on his full Chinese traditional regalia with his black belt, did the guy realize just what a mistake he had made. He apologized later, and Nick apologized, too. After that, the whole day, the guy tried to get chummy with Justin, but Sihing really didn't talk to him too much. Except a few times to correct him on improper movements through his forms. Which was funny to watch. Even Sifu went to correct him on Lau (our first set), came back, sat down, and then turned away and said, "I can't watch." It was funny.
So we had our mischief there, but after everything was set up, we went and did the demo thing. Started with the lion dance, which we used Nick's new lion for. So we awakened the lion, which involves putting paint on various parts of the lion, as it "awakens". Then the full lion dance, with a stack, and the offering, and all of it. It went well, even though it was very windy, and HOT. And when it's hot, and you're under a lion "skin", it's VERY hot. At least we didn't have to worry about fireworks. I think the dance turned out okay. Then it was time for kung fu demos - Nick's students went through their warmup stuff, and we had a lot of our students do various demos. Including the first few forms, and some of the more advanced forms. I did a sparring set with the other Eric, which we hadn't practiced in a very long time (he hadn't been to class in a month), and it turned out okay. I also did a chunk of Gung Gee, which is one of our most advanced sets. It was rather last moment, since Nick thought it'd be good to show it. I think I did it okay, though, which was good. And Sihing did a few sets - one with the spear set (which is AWESOME to watch him do), one with a chunk of Fu Hok (the other very advanced, super long form we have), and a sparring set with Nick. Of course, he did excellently. In the Fu Hok demo, there's a point where you jump and then plant both feet straight down below you. When Sihing did it in the parking lot, we could feel it from the sidewalk next to it, about thirty feet away. Which is rather crazy.
We did the whole demo twice, with an hour break in between. The second time, the lion dance wasn't quite as long, and the stack went better - the first time, I jumped early and hit Cory in the face, since he hadn't positioned yet. And THEN when I landed on his leg, part of the lion skin had slipped in between my foot and his leg, so I kept sliding down towards his knee. I had to hop each time, and finally landed where I could hold it (barely) to push the lion head up high. We made it, though. The second time went a little better, and we even got applause. I think there's even video of it somewhere. Maybe I'll see about finding it. Even moreso if someone out there expresses INTEREST in it. One of YOU guys, that is. And Eric missed one move in our sparring set, but we still finished it okay. I think Sihing left a few nice welts on Nick's arms with their sparring set, which is funny. But not surprising, somehow.
And Nick was nice enough to give us all a good Chinese dinner, which was delicious. Take out, the only way, man. And even a gas tank refill for our ride home. A lot of us were worried Sifu wouldn't be pleased by his school and their skills/antics, and although they have a lot of work to do and a few things didn't sit quite right with Sifu, he did do a lot right, and made lots of effort to make Sifu happy, which worked out very well. I think it turned out great, to be honest.
So that was our crazy kung fu trip. This last week has been another week of work, which has been going pretty well. I got two projects, both of which I finished the same day I was given them. I want more work! But I'm sure I'll get it. I'm happiest when I have some good work to do. I hope my boss realizes that, and gives me something GOOD to work on. He's a fun guy, though.
So full week of work, all that, and then we had open kwoon on Friday, which I was in charge of. We had three other people show up, one of which was J.R. He really wanted to spar me, so I finally said okay. We sparred a bit, it went fairly well. Until I made the mistake of turning away from one of his punches, which put my head directly into his other fist. Landed right in the middle of my face, compressed my nose very nicely. Made my eyes water a lot, and sure enough, blood started pouring about fifteen seconds later. He hit hard enough that it left a slight bruise on the top of my nose, moved my upper teeth a bit, and got enough blood through my nasal passage to plug it up (with blood) for the rest of the weekend. Kinda sucked. Although my nose didn't actually break (which I was surprised about), and I think my teeth will be okay. Still was a little upsetting. I think I'll reward him for it, though. He's earned my full attention for sparring, so he'll get a full contact match from me, and I won't handicap myself like I normally do against students newer than me. I don't want to bloody him or anything like that, and I'll still pull punches (no full power unless it's a serious situation), but he'll get plenty of my shins into him, which have a tendency to make people stop the fight. Hopefully I won't hurt him too bad, if at all. But he's got it coming, and I'm eager to let loose a little more than normal. AFTER I heal up fully.
So that was Friday. The rest has been a lazy weekend, blowing chunks of blood out of my nose (I know you wanted to hear that) here and there, falling asleep randomly a few times. Which was very nice. And paintball! Well, an effort to. Only all the places don't open until NOON on Sundays. So we got all dressed up with no place to go. So we went to the next obvious place, which was to the movies! To see Lord of War. A different movie, but pretty good. Definitely a "heavy" movie.
And church tonight! Normally it's me and Carlos on guitar. We have two other guys who play, but they never really show up to play in the choir. Well, last weekend, they BOTH did. So we had four guitars. Which was crazy. We managed it, somehow. I did hear that of all of us, three of us made it look easy, and Paul made it look hard. Apparently his "guitar face" is constrained with effort, and the rest of us look relaxed, just playing. I thought that was funny. So THIS weekend, apparently the guitarists didn't want to repeat the crazy guitar quartet fiasco, so NOBODY showed up. Except for me. So it was down from four to one. But it turned out pretty well, I think. Some good songs.
Ooh! Random news. This week, the Tokyo Game Show happened. And at it, Nintendo unveiled their plans for their new Revolution console. That is, they revealed the nature of the controller for the new system. And it is something revolutionary. If it works, it's going to change the way we think of video gaming completely. I think it's awesome, personally. Check it out for yourself!
Okay, it's late, I need some sleep. Got to be at work in the morning! So have a lovely day yourself, and here's some random linkage for you. Ever heard of people losing a job for a silly reason? Well, I think this one probably beats any reason you've heard yet.
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as of 10/23/03