Thursday, May 31, 2007

Why I'm Always So Tired

Warning: If you are squeamish or subject to nightmares, you may want to skip to the end of this post. Because when I sleep, I dream. And when I dream, it's usually an adventure. Take last night for example.



I dreamed I was in the museum featured in the movie Night At The Museum. As the dream opened--or rather at the moment I became aware--I was hiding under the docent's desk in the lobby of the museum with the night guard--Ben Stiller's character in the movie. I was wanting to leave the museum, but a Tyrannosaurus rex was staring rather intently at us--fully fleshed out living Tyrannosaurus, not the skeleton that was featured in the movie. The night guard carefully removed the bone from the T rex's mouth (you would have had to see the movie, or at least the trailer to understand that one) and threw it. When the T rex ran to chase it, I was able to get out the front doors of the museum. It was, of course, broad daylight with people walking down the sidewalks.

Unbeknownst to me, a ghoul like creature had followed me out of the museum. A few yards down the sidewalk, he caught up to me. He was dressed in a black cape with a hood--much like a Nazgul (or the grim reaper if you aren't a LOTR fan). His face was that deathly grayish white and his breath was icy cold. What made him so frightening, though, is that where his eyes should have been were just two empty, cavernous, black holes with bits of red, decaying flesh all around them. He took my face in his cold, lifeless hands and tried to kiss me. He smelled of death. When I pulled away, he protested, saying that we belonged together, that we should unite our bodies and our spirits and become one with each other. Revolted and terrified, I turned and ran, and soon came to a large mall. I went inside and was trying to hide. I went from store to store, hiding in dressing rooms and in bathrooms (of one which looked remarkably like the bathroom in my elementary school), but I couldn't get away. The moment I stopped running, there he would be. Right there. I couldn't get away.

I finally went back to the museum, but as I was about to go inside, I saw the T. rex standing just inside the door looking intently out through the glass. I hesitated a moment, and good thing because the next person that walked in was grabbed and chomped by the T rex. I waited until he had grabbed someone else and snuck past him quickly while his mouth was occupied. I went into a large auditorium filled with people and tried to lose myself among the crowd. I could see the door of the museum from my seat, and the moment I sat down, in walked my ghoul stalker. I thought he wouldn't be able to find me in that large crowd of people, but he immediately turned and looked straight at me with those dead, empty eye sockets surrounded by ragged, red, decaying flesh.

That's when I woke up.

I'm sure I have good dreams. From time to time. I just don't ever remember them.



Now, back to pleasant stuff. My yarn came today. I can begin my big black soldier socks! Yeah, I overcompensated on the yarn yardage a bit, but I didn't want to run out and have to order more. Some of them soldiers are big fellas.



I'm still patiently unraveling my tangled blue sock yarn...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Discouraged

I am way too tired to think of anything interesting to blog about, and too discouraged to even try. I had some left over undyed sock yarn, so I decided I'd dye it with Easter egg dyes. So far, so good. The yarn itself came out quite interesting. Really uneven and blotchy in color. I thought it would be interesting to see how it knit up. This afternoon it was finally dry, and I began to try to wind it back into a ball. It didn't take long at all until it disintegrated into an impenetrable tangled mess:



It'll take a while to get that sorted out, but once I do, I'm going to divide it into two balls and knit two socks at once on ML. Toe up. That'll be a first for me, but I want to learn the technique.

Just so this post isn't a total waste, here is a video of me doing seisan kata in my back yard. It's not the best video of the best kata, and I can definitely see things I need to work on.


I think I'll start with teaching Cody how to hold the camera still.

P.S. When I ran the spell check on this post, the suggestion for the word "undyed" came up as "undead." Yeah, that fits.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memo

Sus has chosen the cone of cotton yarn as her grand prize. Now Lou may choose from what prizes are left.

Sus, I will have your cone o' cotton in the mail by the end of the week.

Lou, e-mail me with your prize choice and mailing address, and I'll get it out as soon as I can.

A New Dojo

Sensei told me tonight that he is looking at a new dojo. It is on the outskirts of town, but not too far out. Sensei said it is like 4 times as big as our current dojo. It will have separate dressing rooms and bathrooms. It has two rooms, both about twice as big as our current room, so he can have two classes going on at once. Sensei wants to put a boxing ring in it, and have fight nights. As far as driving goes, it is about the same distance from the house as our current dojo. He also said one of the most well known local dance teachers is coming out of retirement and will share the lease with us. Sensei said she actually approached him about leasing the building. It will be a good move for the karate school.

But in a way, I don't want to move. I didn't want to leave the first dojo either.

I still miss the that dojo. It was in sensei's garage. It is the one I started training in. It had no heat in the winter except for a small wood-burning heater. It didn't cast heat more than two feet away. When we took a break, we all huddled around the heater, trying to soak up what heat we could. Many a time during the winter, I left class unable to feel my feet because they were so cold. It had no air in the summer except for what breeze three big garage doors let in. My hair curled, no matter how much or how little I sweated. In July and August, I sweated a lot. It had no bathroom. Red wasps buzzed about our heads while we trained. They say adversity breeds character. I built a lot of character in that dojo. When sensei said he'd gotten a place in town, I didn't want to leave that dojo. It felt like home.

The new dojo--the one we are in now--felt awkward and strange. I didn't want to be there. I wanted to go back to the old dojo. Up until sensei sold his house and the garage, I secretly hoped he would move the school back into that dojo. But he didn't, and eventually I got used to the new dojo. Now sensei says we may be moving again. A new dojo will be a good opportunity for the karate club. I'm excited about the prospects...

But this dojo is the one I got my black belt in. It feels like home.

I don't want to leave.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

I've Been Tagged, Again

This time by Amanda. This time the meme is about favorite local restaurants. I'll have a bit of trouble on this one, but first, the rules:

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.
Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, United States)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Lulu (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Chris (Boyne City, Michigan, United States)
AB (Cave Creek, Arizona, United States)
Johnny Yen (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Bubs (Mt Prospect, Illinois, United States)
Mob (Midland, Texas United States)
Yas (Ahwatukee, Arizona USA)
Alicia(Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA)
Tug (Hell, Colorado, USA)
Bond (Memphis, TN, USA)
TopChamp (Glasgow, UK)
Kailani (Honolulu, HI, USA)
Amber (Henderson, TN, USA)
Becky (Grenada, MS, USA

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

This is actually hard for me...There really aren't a lot of nice restaurants here in the middle of nowhere. And since I'm not a big eating out type of person, most of them I only know by reputation. Being on a tight budget, and the single mom of a son, mostly when we eat out it is at McDonald's or Burger King. I don't think that's what this meme is about.

My favorite place to eat has closed. They were called Mo'Suga, and they had some of the best pulled pork sandwiches I'd ever put into my mouth. Then there was Bumpers drive in. It burned down many years ago. About five years later, after they'd already built another business on the site, one of my co-workers said, "I guess they're not going to rebuild that." That being Bumpers. But enough stalling... Here are the top 5 best local places to eat.
1. Cracker Barrel--The closest one is in Batesville, about a 45 minute drive North of here, but worth every minute of it. The best chicken and dumplings on the planet. Plus a really cool little country store.
2. Catfish Corner--locally owned. I've only ever eaten there a couple of times. They do a lot of local fundraisers and such to help out the community, but don't let that fool you. The catfish is the best.
3. High on the Hog--I've never eaten at the place, so I don't know how their prices and such are, but they catered our last employee appreciation picnic at work. I ate so much I was sure I was going to pop. Barbecued ribs, chicken, pulled pork, plus all the fixins. I thought I was in heaven.
4. Fiori's--a nice Italian place. It's been a long time since I've eaten there, but I remember it being good
5. K C's Bait Shop and Eatery--I've never eaten here, but I love the name of it!
I'm tagging different people this time, but if I didn't tag you and you still want to play, you are more than welcome to participate. The ones I'm tagging are:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

And The Winner Is....

Ok, I know y'all are all chomping at the bit to know who won the Name That Blog contest. There were lots of good entries, and I'll give you a quick rundown of the submissions:

Playing With Sticks--Perpetual Beginner
Lethal Creativity--Scattered Gemini
Perfecting New Patterns--Sus
Fine Martial Fiber--also by Sus
Crafty Kicks--Frotoe
Way Of The Drunken Knitter--Gator
Enter The Knitting--Also Gator
Black Belt, Snake Wrangling, Knitter--Ruth
Karate Yarns--Lou

I'd hoped to get more of a response than this, but I guess naming a blog is a very personal thing. I hope that is what it was. I'd hate to think that my blog is just that dull...

Well, I won't hold you in suspense any more. The winner is.....

SUS with the submission of Fine Martial Fiber.

Since this was a highly subjective contest, I decided to draw a second and third place winner randomly. I put all the names into a cup (except Sus, of course) and had Cody draw two names. So, without further ado

second place goes to-----Lou!

And third place goes to---Scattered Gemini!

Each winner needs to e-mail me within 10 days with a mailing address and prize choice. The way it works is that Sus will get to choose first, then Lou can choose from what's left, then Scattered Gemini.

Meanwhile, I'm off to think of something else to host a contest about...

Thinking
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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday Knitting


The sky stayed over cast all day today. I did manage to get this picture of the sun trying to break through, but it didn't quite make it.

I spent most of today doing various and sundry things around the house. I finally finished the May mid month KAL cloth, just in time to start the new June one--almost.

The big news is the Jaywalker socks. I got this far:


then decided that this yarn wasn't quite right for this pattern. When I got past the heel turn and saw how it knitted up in plain stockinette:


I decided I liked it better like that than the way it was pooling in the leg. Now I'm trying to decide whether I want to rip the whole thing, or just make the leg a bit shorter. The pattern called for 6 3/4 inch legs, but I decided to make mine 8". Now that I see it, it just isn't working. Plus, I'm not really sure I'll have enough yarn to make them both that long. Plus, I really like the Potomus socks, and the Baudelaire socks, the Lombard Street socks, and the Falling In Love socks. Oh, what to do? What to do? What I think I'll do first is sleep on it. I'll be able to think more clearly in the morning.

I've finally gotten the Black Belt Knitters webring up and running. If you have your own blog, you can join the ring. If otherwise qualify, but don't want to start your own blog, just drop me a comment and I will make you a team member of the Black Belt Knitters blog. I am going to try to get a graphic made up, but if you know of someone who can do this, please let me know.

Don't Forget

my contest.

I'm just looking for suggestions. Even if you don't think I will like the title you come up with, enter it anyway. If I get enough entries, I will draw for a second and third prize. These will be a random drawing. Right now, only one person has entered a title. So far, she is a shoo-in for the prize of her choice.

(P.S. I have added an additional prize. If you've already looked at the list, check it out again.)

UPDATE: Just a few more days! Even if you suggest the name "Geroge" or "Fred" or "Puddintane" it will at least get you into the drawing for 2nd and 3rd prizes.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Dear Co-Worker

I am completely in awe of your skills on the job. How you can disappear from your work area for an entire day is simply amazing. Even more astounding is how you can do so day after day (after day...ad infinitum) without getting fired. On the rare occasion you do remain in your work area, how you manage to look busy while doing absolutely nothing is beyond my comprehension. I bow to your superior talent.

In answer to your query in the bathroom, no your supervisor was not pitching a fit that you weren't in your work area. On the contrary, he was so happy that he had someone over there who would actually get some work out, that he didn't even miss you. Your co-workers in tubing weren't pitching fits either. They were thrilled that they had real work to do for a change instead of having to spend half the day sweeping and wiping down machines. The sub-assembly brazers were so happy to have headers to braze that pitching a fit was the farthest thing from their minds. Same with the assembly lines. They were ecstatic that they could build their units because for once they had the parts necessary to build them with. So they weren't pitching a fit either.

Sorry to disappoint you, but the only one pitching a fit was the one who had to take up your slack yet again.

Oh, yeah....That would be me.
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm Being Useful

Finally, I am doing something meaningful with my knitting! I've joined

a yahoo group that knits socks for ...well, soldiers. I had to order some yarn from Knitpicks to make my Big Black Socks, and it should be here in a week or so. They also make Great White Socks, and leisure socks for both men and women. Not only that, but they also make beanies and such. Now, I really, really want to go to Memphis and find some of the yarn shops there. I can't afford more yarn, but it's for a good cause.



The other day, I discovered that my camera takes pictures in sepia tone. Behold for you to view:

A young cotton plant in sepia.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Men

Millions of them have lived and died. Each one unique. Each one with his own personality. With his own individuality. Each one with his own hopes and dreams, his own passions. His own aspirations. No two ever exactly alike. Yet in some ways, they are all alike.

Cody, Brian, and I were sitting at the table in the dojo during our water break. My sinuses were really acting up. "I feel like my head is about to explode," I said. "Wouldn't that be interesting?"

"If my head did explode, you'd have to clean it up," I teased Cody.

"No, I wouldn't," he replied.

"Yes, you would. You're my next of kin."

"Nobody would know that. I'd just tell them I don't know that woman."

"All they would have to do is look at you. 'He looks just like her. He's got to be kin', they'd say"

"Hah!" Cody scoffed "I don't look anything like you."

Up until this point, Brian had been sitting there silently listening, and being amused, by our banter. When Cody said that, though, Brian made the most indescribable sound. It sort of sounded like a "naaaw" combined with an "uh-hunh" combined with a "heh-heh-heh" laugh. I'm sure if you've ever spent time around a man, you've heard something like it.

About that time, Blake wandered up. "The silent one speaks," he quipped.

"He didn't really speak," I said. "He just sort of made a sound." Then I told him what Cody had said about us not looking alike. Blake looked at me. Blake looked at Cody. Blake chuckled a bit--then,

Blake made the exact same sound!

Yeah, it was his own vocal timber and inflection, but it was still the same sound. See, in some ways they are all alike.


And y'all thought I was going to talk about the toilet seat thing, didn't ya?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Blog Ring Anyone?

We did a lot of sai work in class last night and my arms are really sore. Therefore, this post will be brief.

Windsornot recently suggested to me that we start a blog called Black Belt Knitters, which if I have enough interest, I just might do it. But, I was thinking maybe it would be better to start a web ring. That way we won't have worry about maintaining a whole separate blog. Personally, I have a hard enough time keeping up this one blog. I sure wouldn't be able to write two.

The only rule is that you have to be active in both martial arts--any style-- and knitting. Ok, if you prefer to *gasp* dare I say it??? crochet, we'll let you in, too. Anyone interested?

Since this post is so brief, here's another simple picture so you don't feel deprived.


Wild grass

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've Had It

I have had it with State Farm. I've used their insurance ever since I've been here--for my automobiles and my homes. I've never been outstandingly pleased with their service, but I figured they were as good as anyone else. Not so any more.

Several weeks ago, I received a letter stating that State Farm will no longer write new homeowner's insurance policies in Mississippi. Apparently, we're a bad risk. They have to actually pay out when things like hurricanes and tornadoes come through. So they just won't insure us any more.

So when I bought the new home, I got insurance for it from somewhere else. Last month, the policy premium on my old home came due. You know, the one I no longer occupy. I requested to cancel the policy because I don't live there any more, and will soon be selling the house (why I haven't is a whole nother blog post). They haven't insured it against structural damage for years anyway. They said it's too old. But I still had a renter's policy that covered my stuff. When I requested to cancel that policy, the agent--rather the agent's secretary--said, "What about your contents?"

Well, DUHHHHH. I've moved them to my new house.

Anyway, there's no sense in paying for a policy on an empty house, so I cancelled it. This week, I received a letter from them stating that since they will not insure my new house, they are increasing the premium on my automobile insurance.

Ok what is really said is that my premium increased because my multiple insurance line discount was removed. Either way, it's time to start looking for a new insurance company.
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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Stuff



I don't usually get tagged for memes. Usually the ones I do get tagged for are the ones that say something like "If you read this consider yourself tagged." That's how I got tagged for this one:



1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED? Sort of. We were trying, but had been unsuccessful for so long that we'd decided we couldn't get pregnant. Then suddenly, I did get pregnant and we totally weren't expecting it.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME? No. The ex didn't want to wait until we got married.

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? I was excited, but nervous. The ex wanted me to have an abortion, even though he was the one who'd been saying that we had to hurry up and get me pregnant.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU? No! I told the ex "I'm having this baby with or without you." He chose without.

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU? 28.

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? My first clue was that my breasts got really sore. I couldn't even take a pregnancy test yet, because I wasn't far enough along.

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? The ex

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? Yes

9. DUE DATE? October 23, 1993--my dad's birthday. Ironically enough, this was the only grandchild my dad lived long enough to see.

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? No.

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? Golden Delicicous apples--funny because I don't like apples at all.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? Everyone and everything! It was like 9 entire months of PMS

13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX? Male

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? No. I wanted a boy from the beginning

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY? 29

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER? No, the baby was 5 months old before I got back to the States, and no one gave me one. I did get lots of gifts, just not a party.

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? N/A, since I never had one

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? Not until I went into labor. Then I ran 102 fever the whole time, and lost a lot of blood during delivery.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? US Naval Hospital--Naples, Italy--that's what it was called even though technically it was located in Pozzuoli, Italy

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? 29 and a half

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL? The duty driver from the hospital

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? The doctor, two nurses, and a corpsman. Ex had already left me by then, and the the girl I had arranged to be in the delivery room with me was home on leave. If I had gone into labor on my due date, she would have been there, but the baby surprised all of us by coming early.

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION? Natural

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? No, they woudn't give me anything, even though I asked for it

25. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH? 8 lbs 6 oz.

26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN ? October 14, 1993

27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? Cody Matthew

28. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY? Thirteen. A teen ager. ACK!

I am tagging ALL the mommies who read my blog!!!!


But today I actually got tagged by name by Tabitha! That's the first time anyone has ever tagged my by name. The meme she tagged me for has been circulating among knitbloggers for a while. Since most of them have been tagged, I'll have to expand the meme's reach. (By the way, particiaption is encouraged, but not mandatory.) Anyway, here is the meme:

Those tagged must list 7 random facts about themselves. They also need to write in their blogs the rules of the game, which are pretty simple--you list your 7 facts, then list 7 people you are tagging. Then you leave them comments letting them know they've been tagged.

Here are my 7 random facts:

1. I have been training in Isshinryu karate for 4 1/2 years and currently hold the rank of first degree black belt.

2. I am the first female from my dojo ever to be promoted to black belt, and only the second black belt ever that my sensei has trained all the way to black belt.

3. I am a very crafty person--pretty much everything I try, craftwise, I can pick up pretty quickly. I know how to knit, crochet, sew, cross stitch, embroider, tat, do needlepoint, and spin on a drop spindle. Knitting is my preferred craft, though.

4. I am the first person my allergist had ever diagnosed as being allergic to oranges. I am also allergic to eggs, though that one is pretty common.

5. I have one son, one dog, one cat, and seven snakes. Stay tuned--a snake post is coming soon.

6. I absolutely loooove hot chocolate, and drink it even in the summer.

7. I am a veteran of The United States Navy--and frequently wish I'd remained on active duty.

There. Those are my seven facts. The seven people I am tagging are:

1. Buck
2. Lou
3. Sus
And of course, anyone else who wants to play along is welcome to. Also, all you mommies are tagged for the Mommy Meme.
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Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Art Museum

Cody's field trip to the Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis. His teacher was sooo glad to see me, because she had two parent chaperons back out at the last minute. (One backed out because her dog was sick. Go figure.) She was having to scrounge for volunteers so there would be enough adults to even make the trip. I wasn't going to back out. I'd been looking forward to this for a long time.

When we got there, the students were treated to a guided tour of the traveling exhibit--which was on African men's power dressing. The exhibit showed traditional African clothing which indicated power, wealth, and status among the men of their tribes. It was pretty interesting. The students also got to do an art project. In this case, they made African hats out of paper bags. Well, supposedly...Cody put Japanese symbols on his.


After that, we were given an hour to see the rest of the museum. That was just enough time to make me want to go back. They do allow photography inside the museum, but the school had requested we leave our cameras at home. I doubt the teacher would have said anything if I'd brought mine, but I'd rather take it on a day when I can stay as long as I need to.

Since this was the first time in about 10 years that I've been able to go anywhere and not have to drive, I needed a knitting project to take along. I thought about my Irish Hiking Scarf, but didn't want to take a chance on losing my cable needle. Then I thought about taking a pair of socks, but I didn't want to take a chance on losing a DPN. So out came the old Magic Loop and my last ball of sock yarn. This is how much I got done during the trip:


This is a generic ribbed cuff pattern with a 72 stitch cast on. The yarn is Meilenweit Cotton Spirit color #3004.

When I got home, I finished the April mid month KAL:



This is the one I missed when my computer had its attack. I'd wanted to go back and pick it up, and when she started putting out the May mid month pattern, I figured I'd better get on it.

Well, I guess all good things must come to an end, including this day. It's back to work tomorrow, so I'd better get to bed.

Heavy sigh...

Pouty







Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Hardest Thing

Sometimes the hardest thing a parent can do is to watch her child fail. It is even harder to allow him to fail. Cody is very likely going to fail Algebra this year because he simply will not do his work. I have tried everything I know to do to get him to do his work. He just won't. He doesn't even try.

His teacher IMed me yesterday and said he hadn't done an assignment that counted as a test grade. She told me that if he turned it in today, she would go ahead and count his score. When I asked him, he said that assignment was in his locker. He would get it in the morning and turn it in.

He hadn't done the first problem on it. He got a 0. A test score 0. His average now stands at 47. With only a week left of school, it is highly unlikely he can bring that grade up to passing. Even with a perfect score on his final, I don't know if that would be enough.

I don't know what else to do, except to tell his teacher to let him fail. Maybe that's what it's going to take to wake him up. As much as it breaks my heart to say it...

Let him fail.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Sketch



This is what I see as I morosely stare down at my sketchbook desperately trying to think of something to sketch.

I hate Joshua. (Ok not really, but still) It took me three months to learn Agena no Sai, and he had it down in 10 minutes. We spent the second half of class tonight supposedly learning something new. Josh wanted to learn a sai kata, so I taught him Agena. The little stinker had the whole thing down by the end of class. Meanwhile, I struggle to learn Kusanku sai. Which means I have to hate Barrett, too. He just started learning it today, and he knows it better than I do. But then, I only started learning it last week.

Last night at black belt class, we were doing some drills. Sensei wanted us to start in a relaxed position with our hands by our sides. I kept forgetting. I kept going back to my normal kamae position. Sensei would have to remind me, "Put your hands down." Finally, I quipped, "Sensei, you taught me too well." I couldn't help but see the smile of pride cross his face. I know sensei's wife. It's unlikely that he gets any such affirmations from her.

I'll be brief tonight. I stayed up far too late last night reading. (Night Light, by Terri Blackstock, if you're interested.)



Reading Reading Reading Reading



Monday, May 14, 2007

Interview Meme

Black Belt Mama has been doing an interview meme these last few days. She had quite a few people request to be interviewed, so it was a while before she got around to me. Here are the 5 questions she asked me:

1. What's your favorite spectator sport?

Football, of course. Preseason starts in just 83 days, regular season starts September 6th.

2. Favorite vacation spot and why?

Vacation? Hmmm, hold on a moment while I consult a dictionary...

Ok, I'm back. This is actually a hard question for me to answer. Taking a vacation is so far outside the realm of possibility that I really haven't thought about it. I suppose a beach resort--better yet, a private island, I don't like crowds--somewhere, or a mountain cabin with a huge stone fireplace and large picture windows would be nice. But as for naming a specific location, I just don't know any by name. We rarely took vacations when I was young because my mother didn't like to travel. I can't afford to now.

Well, maybe a trip to the Isshinryu Hall of Fame tournament in Gatlinburg, TN would be cool...

3. Most important thing your son has taught you?

Self-control. You know the old saying, "A teenager is someone who says, 'Here I am, come choke me!'"? Yeah, you can't really do that...

4. Describe your perfect meal.

One I don't have to cook! Ok, seriously--

Right now, all I wish I could eat was fried eggs, bacon, hot biscuits and orange juice. Or French toast. Or heck even an egg sandwich. Can you tell I miss my eggs? On the other hand, that meal from Red Lobster where they bring you something like 12 different preparations of shrimp, and I'm actually not allergic to shrimp so I could really eat it. I also really like those Japanese restaurants where they cook the food right at your table. Or barbecued ribs. Oh, or crawfish.


5. What's the best dream you ever had?

This is difficult. I don't usually have good dreams. Even the ones that start off good turn bad before they're over. I had one dream when I was a teenager that I lived back in the Little House on the Prairie times. It was a cold winter that year. Really cold. There were these two bears that were harassing the town--killing livestock and such. They were starving, just like all the wildlife. It never occurred to me to wonder why they weren't hibernating, but it was a dream after all. One night, it was my turn to keep watch. I was outside and the snow was falling and it was so beautiful. It wasn't like a regular snowfall. The snow was like little diamonds were falling out of the sky. I was just staring up into the sky, awed by the beauty of these snowflakes falling. Suddenly I heard a commotion off to my left. Two of the local hound dogs were chasing these bears--a black bear and a brown one. I raised my gun and shot them both. But when I ran over to see, the brown bear turned out to be my mother in a bear suit.

I don't usually have good dreams. Last night I dreamed Sylar, the bad guy from the TV show Heroes was after my brain.

Well, those are my answers. If you want me to interview you, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I will send you 5 questions.
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Sunday, May 13, 2007

When I Knew

--When I looked through my t-shirt drawer, and all I could find were karate related shirts.

--When my former supervisor walked by and shook his fist at me (as had been his custom for many years) and I shook my fist back at him (as had been my custom for many years), only this time the fist I made was an Isshinryu fist.

--When I realized I could no longer make a non-Isshinryu fist without concentrating on what I was doing.

--When I discovered that I no longer straightened my arms out completely because I'd heard "Don't lock your joints" so many times that it had become second nature.

--When I realized that I couldn't straighten my arms out completely because I'd heard "Don't lock your joints" for so long that I'd actually developed a mental block about doing so.

--When I tried to think of a single friend of mine who wasn't involved in karate, and couldn't.

--When I saw a character on a TV show lock her elbow and I yelled "Don't lock your joints! You're going to blow your elbow out!" at the TV.

--When I realized that I can't remember the last day that went by when karate wasn't in my thoughts at least once during the day.

--When I discovered that I'd rather be at the dojo than anywhere else.

That's when I knew.
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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Prizes For Contest

For those who wish to enter my Name That Blog contest, the following prizes will be offered:

1. One unopened cone of Peaches & Creme cotton yarn, color #130--Shaded Pastels2. Six skeins of Bernat Cottontots yarn, either three yellow skeins and three blue skeins
or six yellow skeins3. An assortment of acrylic yarns:

4. The Mardi Gras scarf: and the Confetti scarf:
5. Passion scarf and hat set:
6. A set of four hand knit dishcloths:
7. One unused copy of this book:

8. An original drawing done by yours truly:
the drawing is 5 x 7, and will be matted and framed to 8 x 10.

9. These two books:The Book of Five Rings by Mayamoto Musashi and The Art of War by Sun Tsu. Both are in like new condition.

The contest winner will be able to choose one of the above listed prizes. If I get enough entries, I may do a second and third prize as well.

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First Things First

And first thing in this post is today's
That dark cloud on the left was raining as I took this picture. But if you looked off to the right, there was sunshine and blue sky. Weird, but nifty at the same time.

A finished object! I finished the garter stitch scarf I'd started out of the contest yarn. Somewhere in the midst of knitting it, I thought to myself, "This looks like something you would wear to Mardi Gras." Thus it became known as the Mardi Gras scarf. Since I'm not really a scarf wearing person, though I am a scarf knitting person, this one is being offered as a prize in my Name That Blog contest.


A sock update:

Not much progress has been made on my socks since the last posting of them. I'm working on my Stashalong WIPs and kind of holding off on these until Summer of Socks starts on June 21st. That brings on an odd feeling. It is summertime already down here, even though summer won't officially start for another month.


Our dojo has a couple of websites, one of which I maintain. Mine is not the official dojo site, but is more of an online newsletter. The official site was started by a student several years ago. That student then moved to Tennessee and the site went un updated for about 4 years. Then Mr. Tedder took over the maintenance of the site, and made a single update. Now the site is laying fallow...just waiting for someone to tend it.


My site is more of a current events type site, and you can view it here. I need to update it as well.


Well, off to knit some more.

Knitting





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