free friday

Didn't practice today. Had dinner with Rob Rivers from Virginia and we talked about karate and iai and whatnot. Of course, we had dinner at Griphs, the sports bar above the ice hockey rink on campus. Guelph is a one-bar kinda place.
Hoshina-san spent the day with her sister and her kids.

tanjo and jo

Guelph is a beautiful campus! Hoshina-san and I walked all the way to the Stone Road mall, finally finding an ATM at a gas station that would give us Candian money. We also called her sister and arranged for her and her three kids to come up in the evening and spend the night.
After getting money and food, we used the library computers to look up the schedule for the weekend and realized there were already classes being held. So we changed and met Kim Taylor and folks and joined in the tanjo and jo classes. Hoshina-san has been doing jo for a while so she had a clue as to what was going on, but I was lost, especially since were were being taught the seitei (standardized) forms of the ZNKR by Eto-sensei. It was interesting to try something new, but quite different from the Shindo Muso-ryu we do under NPO Hougyoku-kai.
By the time class was over it was almost nine, so Hoshina-san went to the University Centre to meet her sister and the kids and I took a shower. We all then headed out for a late dinner at the Griffon Pub overlooking the ice hockey rink. The three kids ran amok as we ate burgers, chicken fingers, and fries. Heading back to the dorm Hoshina-san and I did some laundry as her sister put the kids to bed.


We got up early and had breakfast at 6 am before heading to LAX. Hiroko's flight was later in the day, so we said good-bye as Hoshina-san and I got on the shuttle.
Thank the lord for Silver Premiere membership -- got checked in really quickly, no problem getting the swords through security as all they did was swab (for traces of bombs/chemical weapons I assume) before locking my case back up and sending it through. Also got sped through security to the gate thanks to Premiere status, and of course boarded early, too. Hoshina-san was pleased at my ability to get us through to our seats on the plane as quickly as possible, though flying coach is still just painful and I'm not looking forward to the flight back.
We changed planes in Chicago, a big impressive airport (the United terminal alone is bigger than all of Narita airport), and we were in Buffalo before we knew it.
Buffalo Taxi was waiting for us and we got our gear and headed out to I mean Toronto. The driver had never been to Guelph so we missed the highway 6 turnoff at Hamilton, and ended up going all the way to Toronto before getting onto the 401 west and getting to Guelph.
Finally got checked in about 10:30, and everything was great except that we didn't have any Canadian money. Solved the immediate problem by ordering a large pepperoni from Pizza Pizza and paying with a credit card before heading to bed.

santa monica

On Ilene's suggestion, we went down to Loehmann's near the Beverly Center after a quick Starbucks breakfast, in search of name-brand bargains. Hiroko got a cute red leather Kenneth Cole bag and Hoshina-san refrained from spending all her money on bargains.
We checked out of Doheny Plaza and checked into the LAX Hilton right by the airport, and spent the afternoon lounging by the pool and in the jacuzzi.
Jeremy came out again for dinner and we cruised around Santa Monica, checking out Ollie's mom's house, the house Ollie used to live in, and Santa Monica airport (Jeremy's man Nori no longer works at the sushi restaurant The Hump so we changed dinner plans on the fly.) We ended up down by the Santa Monica pier and got some awesome seafood at Ocean's Seaside before heading back to the hotel.

more shopping

Hoshina-san wanted to do some shopping, so we headed down Doheny and grabbed some breakfast. I had a breakfast burrito and the women each had a huge plate of Belgian Waffles which they did a nice job of inhaling.
Then we walked all the way down Santa Monica Blvd. to Rodeo Drive, stopping off for manicures/pedicures along the way.
On Rodeo Drive we checked out Cartier, Tiffany's, Armani, and lots of other ridiculously expensive things before hitting Louis Vitton. Hoshina-san exhibited amazing self control and only bought herself a belt, a purse, and a wallet.
We then walked back through Hollywood, marvelling at the big houses and manicured lawns.
Back at Doheny Plaza, Jeremy picked us up and we cruised in 2Mecha through the hills as he showed us his Alma Mater Beverly Hills High School (which features its own oil pump), the various houses he used to live in, the Playboy Mansion and other huge estates of note. We went to Mel's for some good old fashioned diner eats, and my turkey meatloaf was divine. In what has become a tradition, Hoshina-san chomped down on a steak sandwhich before sharing an icecream shake with Jeremy for dessert.
Back at Doheny Plaza we visited jeremy's mom Ilene and her husband Derek. We gave them the other bottle of Suimoken sake which they loved, we played with their dog Mochi, and we looked at photos of their latest movie shoot; gladiators and beautiful women. I showed them my swords and we ate cookies and finally, after Ilene started showing us pictures of Jeremy and the family, we headed back to bed downstairs.

seminar day 2

A bit of a late start in the morning as some of the more hung-over straggled in, buy by 9:30 we were back in fine form. We ran through the first ten kata just to refresh, then got into the next five seated kata, goka. Tony and everyone did there best to fly high on the last form hazumi, and then it was time for lunch.
This time we took a burrito break and had sandwhiches. Hoshina-sensei's BLT was the size of her thigh, but she managed to chomp most of it down.
In the afternoon we did the last five kata, hashirigakari and the grabbed the wooden swords again for some final paired practice, doing the five kumitachi.
By 4:30 everyone was tired but smiling, the seminar a success.
We went to Islands for giant burgers, and again Hoshina-san polished off a huge Tuna-salad burger before we hit the highway and drove back up to Tony's. We packed up the rest of our stuff and translated some Japanese texts for Tony, including the two Nakagawa Mugairyu books he copied from my copies and some entries in the Daijten of martial arts about KashimaShinto-ryu. Then we got back on the road and headed into LA, getting back to Doheny Plaza about midnight. After a minor crisis involving a backed up toilet and a search for a plunger, we hit the sack for some much needed sleep.