anything but the weather...

Figured I wouldn' talk about how hot and humid it is, or how three people have already died from the heat...but then there's not much else to talk about.
Went to the Starbucks in Tsutaya at the corner of Roppongi Hills, naively thinking I would be able to use the wireless LAN. Turns out you need a WEP password to get on the LAN, and of course there's nothing nowhere that says how to get a password. Some tables had a sticker that said "iSpot" but I don't care enough anymore to bother figuring out what that means or how it could possibly relate to getting a WEP password. So anyway I drank my ice tazo chai soy latte and translated half of the Japanese book Tony asked me to translate. Met Kiyokawa at Azabujyuban station about 1, looked for the cool 3-piece jimbei set but didn't find them, ate some lunch, ate some shaved ice, and came home to cut in the basement. Cut for a couple hours, then....yup, came to Honbu to practice. And boy, but it was hot and humid. Before class we started doing the kumitachi, but halfway through I totally spaced out from the heat and just took it easy the rest of the night. I was still drenched in sweat even though I was only working at 50%. I am just not built for this kind of weather. 9pm at night inside the dojo it's 60% humidity and 34° C!

more hot, humid honbu

Still hot and humid in Honbu Dojo. More kenjutsu, more iai, more kusarigama. I think got heat stroke or something; I was dead tired and no matter how much water I drank I was still thirsty. Cracked my thumb nicely doing some stiff-grip techniques that should have been way more fluid, so my right thumb is all blue and purple and swollen now. But no time to complain as I had to go to Iidabashi to teach. Only two showed up (that's why we're shutting down Iidabashi this month) so I got to practice, too, but I was too tired to be useful.

hot, humid, honbu

I'll just go ahead and stop mentioning how unbelievably hot and humid it is in the dojo. And I also won't mention the complete lack of wind.
More kenjutsu in the morning. Specifically, a set of kata from Shintoryu called Shitsuhatsu. This is the sword that Shindomusoryu Jo (staff) was designed to beat. We did the first four: aisun, gyaku-aisun, jyu, and chibarai. I can barely remember the footwork, let alone keep up Kiyokawa-kun, who's done this before and has them wired. For my benefit he goes nice and slow, but when he cranks up the pace I get bonked.
We then did some iai and then practiced kusarigama before lunch. Kiyokawa worked the first four kusarigama kata with me, which is good practice for him as the distance and timing of sword vs. kama is different than sword vs. sword. It was good for me to see what it's like when the enemy really is trying to cut me down, and to practice distance with throwing (launching the weight on the end of the 10 foot chain attached to the bottom of the kama.) A couple of times I got lucky and he had to really duck out of the way to avoid getting a face full, which is just the reaction necessary to give the chance to get in and cut his wrist. Sometimes (rarely, but every now and then) it works well and we both move pretty smoothly. Most of the time I get cracked in the head or wrist or tangle myself up.

honbu day 2

It is still incredibly hot and humid. Started the morning with kenjutsu kumitachi with Kiyokawa-kun, then did some iai before grabbing bento again for lunch. Lazed around in the afternoon, did some kusarigama and Niina-gosoke showed me the moves to the first four kata.
In the evening Hata-chan showed up for class, so I taught her while Kiyokawa and Iwata-chan trained on the other side of the dojo.
Got home and ate the last of the chicken and spinach Hiroko made before watching some tv and hitting the shower.

unemployed and loving it

This not-working concept is nice, and it's only day one!
Woke up about...8ish, just as Hiroko was going to work. Had brekkie and took my time, made it to Honbu Dojo about 9:30, and trained with Kiyokawa-kun and Niina-gosoke for a couple hours. Hot. Humid. Hot. Humid.
Kiyokawa-kun is, of course, totally on the ball. Niina-gosoke showed up some of that magical kenjutsu stuff that Kiyokawa already knew, like how you can always get the centerline, whether you move before or after your opponent moves. Something to do with getting 'on top of' the opponent's blade, and coming in a slightly steeper angle, but other than that I'm basically clueless and will require way more practice.
Starting working on the kata I'll need for the National Tournament in September, though I have little chance of beating Tanaka-sensei. Several folks got promoted this weekend so there will be at least 3 or 4 matches to make it to the finals. Hopefully I won't get knocked out in the first round like last year (hopefully no one will drop his sword into his foot, forcing me to compete in the remnants of a puddle of blood like last year.)

lazy sunday

Woke up far too early because the delivery guy showed up with a package for the owner of our house. Who of course doesn't live here. Should've taken it, though, as it was ochugen, the traditional summer-greeting gift; a way of saying "My but isn't it here's a nicely wrapped box of beer (or cooking oil, or ham, or coffee beans, or towels, etc.) and I do hope you'll continue to consider us the next time you order a set of widgets."
About 11ish Saito-san from Suruga-Isho came by and checked out the bedroom and living room to get an idea of what kind of furniture-action we need. Table in the bedroom won't be a big deal, but the custom cabinet for the living room won't be cheap. Ah, but it will be oh-so-cool, and good furniture is generally worth the money, methinks.
Needing some supplies we walked over to National Azabu, which was (strangely?) really quiet and empty, and got mesmerized by the dude selling Welsh chicken pâté. We bought a couple, plus some crackers and other necessities, and hurried home for a minor feast. Damn but if Tequila and Cranberry ain't just the best tasting chicken pâté I ever done had me.

Needing to cool off, we walked up to Azabu-jyuban and got the first of what is to be many ujikintoki kakegori at Naniwaya, then bought a set of jimbei (my preferred summer unemployed loungewear.)
Back at home, Hiroko once again assumed the position: