jesus was a jew party

Conan and Millie (and various other adults) came over for the traditional too-much-food at the Kuroda house. There was much eating and drinking and general silliness, though somehow we ended up with more wine than we started.
More photos from the Ishiharas.

Spiral glazed ham. One word: MAGICAL!

kimonose kawahagi

kimonose kawahagi, originally uploaded by renfield.


I have a brother:

(the goggles are for his own protection.)
He has a blog, on which he writes. very. infrequently.
I have heard that the first child get's all the mom's calcium. So I think he has better teeth than I.
Other than that, I am infinitely the superior blogger.


Literally "forget the year party", the tradition of the end-of-the-year bonenkai is a celebration of all the stuff you want to leave behind you as you look forward to a new year. Then again it seems like all the silliness you want to forget about is what you end up doing at the bonenkai itself.
After practice I hooked up with the SCT posse in shinbashi and closed out the evening walking home from Roppongi at 1:30am. At least this time I wasn't assaulted by Russian Women of the Evening. Instead I had a lovely conversation with a girl dubiously named Ichigo (strawberry) who was a dumb as she was cute, but her tips were pre-paid by the generousity of my coworkers and therefore she was perfectly content to talk about the benefits of a buzz cut, being able to speak the language as a foreigner in a strange land, and why pachinko never took off in the USA.

reach? lean?

Today we worked on distance, specifically closing the distance between the Other Guy. The basic idea is go-no-sen: move second. First see what he does, and once he's committed to attacking in a certain, respond. He goes high, you go low, etc. The key is move decisively, quickly, and close. The other key is to wait long enough for his attack to be committed, but not so long that you get hit. Move to early and he'll simply adjust his distance and hit you were you're going, not where you are.
All of the kata assume many things, most of them totally 'unrealistic'. Then again kata were never intended to be actual mini-recreations of possible real-life encounters. They make assumptions and promises in order to define parameters within which you can learn something; some technique, a theory of response, the eye to see and judge distance, timing. Most of the kata start with the assumption that you are getting attacked where you are. Therefore, you have to wait until the other guy has actually attacked you, where you are, before you can evade and counter. And obviously, you have to evade before you can counter.
We worked in pairs with wood, trying to understand how a millimeter difference means evading or getting hit, understanding speed and reaction time, checking distance. I am a big believer in working with someone else in order to really feel what it's like to evade and deflect, to focus counters on target, and to verify distance. Ultimately though if you cannot imagine the enemy, see him standing there in space, and hit him consistently, then you are his mercy, because you are only capable of reacting, and therefore he is in control. Ultimately, we strive to overcome such control, by the enemy, by the environment and situation. Ultimately, we are simply part of it, neither controlled nor in control, neither action nor reaction; simply there.
But that's far away, and right now it's hard enough to keep from getting bonked on the head.

big lunch bad

Wasn't necessarily that busy, but didn't end up having lunch until 2pm. By then of course I was really, really hungry, and ate way too much. By 7pm I was still feeling really full, and kind of over-salted, too. Not the best condition to hit the dojo, but I went anyway.
After the first half-hour, I went to the back and sat down with my water bottle, where I remained for the remainder of class. Moral of the story: listen to your stomach.


Went to the quarterly antique faire at Heiwajima but didn't really find anything too exciting. There was this one kind of cool small box, seemed quite old and the dude selling it was telling me it was 300-400 years old. I pulled all the drawers out of it and on the bottom of one of them was written "Meiji 20" which is 1888. The dude was surprised; he'd never looked at the bottom of the drawers. Then I flipped the whole thing over and on the bottom was the date and the maker's name. He offered me a discount but it was in such crappy shape it wasn't even worth thirty bucks.
After the antique fair we defrosted the crab we sent to ourselves from Hokkaido and had hand-roll sushi.
Oh yeah, and damn it got cold this weekend! What's up with that? Oh right, winter, eh.