Went to practice in Akabane in the morning because one of the new guys said he was coming. Didn't get a chance to do much other than teach, but did have a few words of wisdom from Naganuma-sensei -- some day I'll be as amazing as he, but not anytime soon.

In the evening over to Jeff and Ericka's for Yet Another Meat Fest BBQ. Ericka is bigger with child, the upstairs neighbors still scoff unpleasantly when we fire up the BBQ, the building across the way pounds on the window when we make too much noise at 8:30pm on a Saturday, and Jeff's pork loin is still to die for. Zareen had more than some red wine (that never happens, really) and we all watched 8 Mile, a lovely flick methinks.


Got the scooter from Will yesterday after some initial confusion over which train station to meet at. It's a Suzuki Address. Supposedly 50cc, but the body is the same size as the 100cc Suzuki Address, which means it nice and long and stable and smooth and FAST. The spedometer pegs at 60 (kilos/hour) but there's plenty left in the throttle and the engine has a wicked squeal of combustion as it revs ever higher. The Angel of Death sticker on the back suggested a possible name, but I think for now, and in honor of the original Mighty Steed, this scooter is hereby named:
The Mightier Steed

Technically it's not quite mine yet. Will has to go to the Meguro Ward Office, unregister it and turn in the license plate, then transfer it to me and then I have to register it in Minato Ward and get new plates. (Actually, legally I'm wondering if the scooter was ever transferred to Will from the previous owner, but whatever...)

rain and pain

Truly stunningly mad hard rain tonight during practice. I was teaching the students' class and explaining to a new guy and the thunder is thundering and the lightning is lightninging (?) and the gym roof sounded like it was going to collapse under the pressure of the rain. Kinda neat.
We've started cranking hard for the tournaments coming up -- I'm not going to practice anything other than the forms inchuyo, yochuin, musogaeshi, migi-no-teki, and shiho for the next few months.

god of war

wad of gore.


Got on the Odoriko 105 from Tokyo station and made it to Ajiro in Shizuoka Prefecture in about an hour and a half.
Ajiro is a dinky little seaside town known for its seafood and not much else.
We headed straight for the practice hall and started practice with about 75 people.
Practice lasted a couple of hours, and then the three people testing for 4dan and 5dan did the cutting portion of their test before we called it a day and headed back to the hotel, Ajiro Daiichi. Trying to beat the rush I dropped my stuff in the room, grabbed my towel, and headed down to the bath. Tanaka-sensei and Naganuma-sensei where already there, and Sano-sensei showed up a moment later. The water was nice and hot and kind of salty -- maybe they were using sea water.
Changed into our hotel yukata and headed to the dinner hall. Speeches, food, huge quantities of beer and sake, some karaoke, and more beer and sake.
Dinner ended promptly at 8, and most folks headed down to the bar in the basement for more drinking and karaoke. Most of the students headed back to their (my) room and proceeded to wage their own war against sobriety (a rousing victory.) Somewhere after midnight I dragged a futon across the hall into Otsuka-san's room and attempted to sleep, but Yokoshima-san was bellowing his trademark giggle up and down the hall and the students across the way were in full swing. Yokoshima-san, in his drunken stupor, stumbled into the room in which I was attempting to sleep and commented, in his thunderous voice "Someone's trying to sleep in here!" Trying is the operative word, thanks.
Later in the evening, just as I was embracing the sweet cloud of slumber, someone stumbled in and knocked the shoji sliding screen down. On top of me. I remember a feel of distinct heaviness, not from the lightweight paper screen, but from the body on top of it squishing the sleep from my skull.
After a couple of hours of sleep we got up and headed down from a 7:30 breakfast. I managed to get back into the bath to wash and wake up, and then we headed back to the hall for more practice. By now most folks were completely sleep-deprived, hungover, and/or voiceless from too much karaoke. We attempted to practice, I leading the students group, while Niina-gosoke ran everyone else through the basics and Naganuma-sensei ran the promotion exams.
The students were uninspiring to say the least. Most of them were so hung over they could barely stand, let alone swing a sword, but they gave it their best effort, and Shiokawa-gosoke watched and smiled.
When we finally ended in the afternoon, everyone was dead and hungry. We headed into town for a lovely meal of fresh seafood before getting the 2:17 train back into Tokyo.