Okay not that at all. I have no idea.
Things are just in a holding pattern. It's why I haven't written anything new in a long time. The days are much like the week before.
Except, maybe not at all.
After I got my black belt, I was in a tournament. Being in the tournament felt a lot more like a coming-of-age than the actual test. For the test I was kind of a nervous ball of wreckness, but the tournament was pretty awesome. I got to wear the special uniform over my gi, and where last year I was in like an event and a half in our city taikai, this year I was in four things!
Two were just like the things I had done last year, by-yourself kind of kata, and group kata. The special things were that during the opening, just after the warm up and before any of the actual taikai competition style events, I got to present the 'mohan embu.' I don't quite know what that means, except someone explained it's like an example form, a presentation to be a sort of example for the kids and perhaps the others present. Basically an exhibition by black belts to kick things off. For this embu, we just re-did the kumi embu (paired form... so like we have these moves memorized and go through a sort of choreographed pattern of attack and defense) that I had to do for the test. It was fun as hell. Like, doing that for show and not for testing purposes, moving through it more fluidly, it changed the way I do paired embu.
The other thing I got to do this time was fighting, which was also awesome, if a little scary in the moment. Beforehand, I hardly gave a thought to the fighting; it was not something you could prepare for, it was going to be a reaction thing, catch as catch can. It was going to be the high school boy that rides the same bus. He was strong. Too strong for me. I won, I think, the match, but in a real fight, I would have lost pretty hard. He was nervous, and it made him less in control. I broke a toe and got some astonishing bruises on my forearms.
Since then, the kempo trajectory has changed to focus on the Hyogo prefectural tournament, coming up on the 24th. It's going to be another paired embu set, but after furiously memorizing everything I could for the test, the techniques I have to learn aren't so far from me, and after doing that mohan embu I'm way less freaked out by the idea of doing embu as a presentation. So I've really tried to focus on working with my partner to help her feel the same way. To feel the timing, the give and take of distance, the naturalness of the motions. I used to sometimes skip kempo if I was tired or didn't feel like going, but lately I've been going whenever possible, in preparation for these trifecta of stuff (testing, then citywide taikai, now prefectural taikai).
So there is that.
In the meantime, work continues apace, trying to plan out an arc of what I want to do and where I want to land, elementary-school wise by the end of the semester (and the end of my work here). Keeping up with the middle school shuffling and observation days and games and demonstrations.
Spend the kempo evenings enjoying kempo and the non-kempo evenings doing random things like firefly hunting, or consuming TV shows/books/other media.
I've also discovered a website called unfuck your habitat, which is pretty nice, and I've spent some time over the last week or so gently trying to clean things up. There is a lot to do, but I've managed to accomplish things that got shunted to the "do later" pile for like.. years. As well as stuff that tends to just get overlooked because it's not immediately noticeable and isn't on my mental roster of How to Clean House. So all this is good.
I've been watching a lot of Avatar, the Last Airbender, because it's the best thing Nickelodeon ever did, and I've only recently realized this. It goes together with unfucking the apartment because I work for twenty minutes on something, then get to watch about half an episode. Twenty more minutes of work, and I get to finish the episode! The episodes are like crack which I am watching basically whenever I am not doing something else.
I redid the potted garden because the pansies died in the heat and looked so sad I couldn't hold to this concept of not doing/changing/buying more stuff when you are not far from moving out.
I hear there's a hurricane (or two) a-coming, so this might have been a stupid idea. But yesterday was just so sunny and warm I had to. For the first time in a long time, I had a whole weekend of downtime, and it was pretty much the best thing EVER. The last several Sundays have been taken up almost entirely by kempo and while those are good times, so is drinking not-mosas, playing vidjagames, zoukin'ing, gardening, scrubbing laundry with a brush, and watching Avatar.
I love the feeling and smell of early summer, and while it's still not quite right to still be in school, I've even gotten used to that. I can't tell if it's really rainy season yet and we are having some sunny days in the rainy season, or if we have just had some really rainy ones in a still not-yet rainy season.