seminar day 1


Got everyone up, out, and to the dojo about 9:15. Verdugo went early to open, so when we got there many folks had already arrived. Keith and Joanna from Chicago came down, more Senpokan fools, and even some youngin's so it was a full house.
We ran through all 20 kata, broken up into groups, and the pace was fast but most folks kept up and we had a good day. More In and Out -- double-double -- for lunch, a bit of rain to keep it cool, and it was 5pm before we knew it.
We headed back to Tony's to change and shower before regrouping at the dojo and then going to Steve's place on the beach. His house is right on the water, his racing sailboat docked in front of the house. We had food and bevvies and watched the boat parade of lights and sat by the fireplace when it got cold and goofed off and generally had a great time.

Verdugo's fiancee and kid are adorable, Clay's wife is a charmer, Steve is a fine host with a dog who loves him, Neeley's ex-prison guard girlfriend is sweet enough to keep even him in line, and Bubba is bubba.

At some point Jimmy Crow revealed that after the seminar he's off to eastern Europe to meet the girl he met on the internet. We immediately started abusing him for having an internet girlfriend who was currently vacationing in Transilvania. We were concerned that Officer Crow was getting taken in, but he assured us that they video-chatted regularly so he knows what she looks like. To which Rob replied "Yeah but have you seen all of her? She's not missing a foot or anything?" So the rest of the weekend was spent making one-foot Bulgarian woman jokes at Officer Crow's expense.

bubba et al

Woke up still feeling a bit jet-lagged and had a bagle sandwich while flipping through 200 channels of nothing to watch. In the afternoon the Arno family arrived from Sacramento, kids in tow, and we waited for Jimmy Crow before cruising down to Huntington Beach to get a late lunch. Arno's youngest, a 13 year-old cutie with stereotype blonde hair and a finely honed Arno attitude, won 500 yen when she inhaled nearly her entire monster-sized burger and most of the fries. Sometime during the conversation I gave her the nickname Bubba, and it stuck.

After lunch we walked across the street to do some shopping, but food coma + jet lag = Jimmy Crow drove me back to Tony's and we napped.
More folks arrived in the evening; Rob came in, Neeley came up from San Diego, Verdugo and Clay, the rest of the Arnos...and we assembled a fine posse for a traditional strip mall Mexican feast. Tony had a work thing so we were on our own. The food was great but I was stuffed from lunch. Bubba claimed to be stuffed, too, and didn't order anything, but she sucked down half my carnitas buritto.
The Arnos went off to their hotel and me, Rob, Neeley, Jimmy C., and Barbara headed back to Tony's. We goofed off and made fun of each other for a while before crashing. Tony supposedly came in about 3 am, feeling good, but I was so out I hardly noticed.

goin' back to cali, cali, cali...

Afternoon flight from Narita so I took my time getting packed, got a cab over to the Westin in Ebisu, had lunch and picked up a few books before getting on the 12:30 bus to the airport.
Was less crowded than I expected and I was soon at the gate, then on the plane. Pretty quick flight, very bad movies, but I managed to sort of sleep a few hours before landing in the blinding sunlight of an LA morning.
Tony picked me up and took me back to his house before going back to work. I chatted with Barb a bit (who was taking the day off) before stretching out on the couch. Immediately my brain shut down and I went into PowerNap Mode for several hours, waking when Barb was back from errands and Tony was back from work. He still had a bunch of stuff to finish up his year-end, so he dropped me off at the dojo and I ran Verdugo and Colin through the kumitachi. After practice we grabbed some In and Out -- double-double with cheese -- and headed home.
I was still fried and after some tv and chitchat I crashed hard.

not at all

No one showed up for practice...expect Naganuma-sensei and Sanno-sensei. So Naganuma-sensei ran us through the basics and a couple of kata. Needless to say I haven't practiced in a while as I've spent so much time recently teaching, and Naganuma-sensei ripped me apart. Watching him move reminds of just how little I know and how much farther there is to go...

beginner's luck

Beginner's seminar, but as Naganuma-sensei and Tanaka-sensei had to work, and Ando-sensei was out, Niina-gosoke ended up running the seminar himself. I don't know if the students realized how lucky they were, but everyone seemed to have a good time and in three hours got alot better!