Gray skies, howling wind, mad humidity, 10C temp changes day to day: typhoon season is upon us.
Didn't get in much practice yesterday, so today I went to the newly-formed University Student's practice. Naganuma-sensei was in a good mood and gave us a taste of what basic practice used to be like in his time: 2 solid hours of basic cuts, 5 sets of 10, in deep DEEP stances, full swings from back to front. I tell ya, kids these days; a couple of the students had to stop and rest, and all of them werepanting and dying after an hour. I felt vindicated as the old man in the room, and even Naganuma-sensei was giving everyone grief.
I will most likely not be able to raise my arms tomorrow.
Quite an exciting iaido practice. about 30 minutes in, a girl who had come to check out iaido was sitting quietly on the side, when all of a sudden she let out a little moan, her eyes rolled back, and she fell sideways out of her chair. Everyone ran over and she was shaking like she was having a seisure. I grabbed my towel and someone put it in her mouth and held her down so she wouldn't smack herself into the floor too badly. Kanae-sensei grabbed her cellphone and ran up to call an ambulance which arrived about 10 minutes later. By then the girl had stopped shaking and seemed to be sleeping, and when the paramedics came down she was awake and could stand up and walk out by herself. Not sure if it was a seisure or if she just passed out (freaked out by stress of sitting by 15 people swinging swords?) but anyway practice was strangely relaxed after that as everyone gave a big sigh of relief that she seemed ok. As for my towel, it was covered in blood (I think her mouth was bleeding a bit) and sacrificed to the greater good, so sensei said maybe I'd get a Suimokai towel in exchange for my quick action.
In true GIVE YOUR MEAT fashion, I stuffed meself silly at Roberto's BBQ. Seems not only did his lovely wife Debbie go on a mad Costco run, but via some inside connection they managed to purchase steaks on the US Army base. So the grill was choking with mega-pound, 2-inch thick steaks, we all ate like pigs, and washed it all down with brownies, toffee caramel bars, and icecream. It's good to be American sometimes.
Yesterday in the stunning 30C heat Kevin and I wandered Shimokitazawa for a couple hours checking out the freakshow. Finally made our way back to my place, where Hiroko's mom was waiting with Kevin and Zareen's summer yukata that grandma hand-stiched for them. Very cool. Don't think Kevin and Z will be around for the Azabu-jyuban Summer Festival this year, but maybe I'll rent out Lucky for a couple hours for my birthday, traditional wear if available.