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I've had a weekend full of activity, and I've got some sore muscles to show for it.

I usually don't mention movie nights, but for a change of pace Friday night at
seelevarcuzzo 's place, we played Wii games. I'm probably the last first-world Gen Xer to say this, but the Wii really is a neat interface. My favorite game with it was doubles tennis. Much Rayman Raving Rabbids was played too, and while the deranged rabbits were amusing, its mini-games mostly just looked frustrating.

At my tea ceremony lesson on Saturday, I made koicha for, IIRC, the second time ever. Koicha is the thick type of maccha, as opposed to the thinner usucha, which beginners start out making. The koicha ceremonies are more formal and a little more elaborate. Any time a tea ceremony student learns some significant new procedure, the lesson tends to take a while and be exhausting, because every movement has to be described and often corrected by the teacher, and it's no doubt pretty tedious for the classmates who are serving as guests or just observing. I wore my obi-like belt for the first time, and I'd say it's a partial success; the ribbons I was using for closure in the back weren't stitched securely enough, and one of them now hangs by a thread. I may try replacing the ribbons with a metal clasp closure and see how that works. The belt part itself looks good.

Next up was a pool session with a kayaking instructor who's experienced in helping people get comfortable with wet exits. Going into it, I was pessimistic about my potential for becoming comfortable underwater. After all, those beginning swimming lessons I took late last year were, if not literally disastrous, certainly discouraging. But through this instructor's patience and creativity, I feel I turned a corner. Wearing a diver's mask and a nose clip helped. Holding my breath instead of exhaling helped too. For the first time, I touched the bottom of a pool with my hands. For the first time, I sensed my body not as a weight that could drown me but as a buoyant volume and as something I can maneuver in the water. By the end of the session, I could sit in a kayak, hold the side of the pool, and ease myself down to where I was upside down, underwater, in the kayak, momentarily even letting go of the side of the pool, and not panicking. Realizing what an achievement this is for me almost makes me want to cry for joy.

On to the final activity of the weekend: a day-long Greenland paddle carving workshop organized by the Chesapeake Paddlers Association. Here are my pictures. I'm new to woodworking, but I brought a newly-purchased block plane, some nice bar/spreader clamps, and a drawknife borrowed from my dad. The cedar blanks we started out with were roughly shaped, fortunately, so there was no need to pull out any heavy-duty saws. We worked from these instructions. A participant could complete a paddle—at least up to the waiting-for-the-finish-to-dry part—in a day, but I was a little slow, spending some time figuring out what to do and how to use woodworking tools, some time in front of the fire to defrost, and some time correcting for a mis-measurement in the cedar blank I received. Most of the productive work I did was measuring and marking lines to guide the beveling work. After that, I got a start on planing down some corners toward the bevel marks, but it was cold, and I was getting sore, and it was time to call it a day. I should be able to complete the paddle at home. I'm considering what I could clamp it to in order to work on it; in decent weather, my deck railing could do.

I've never enjoyed my whirlpool bathtub quite so much as I did when I got home this evening.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 19th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
you're amazing; some day i hope to achieve as much as you.
Mar. 19th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Now if I could only achieve things like washing my dishes, taking out the trash regularly, and keeping up with my mail. :)
Mar. 19th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
I'm probably the last first-world Gen Xer to say this, but the Wii really is a neat interface.

I still have only seen them in commercials. But I like their commercials. Especially the one where the guys try to give the Wii guys a chicken :-)
Mar. 19th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
Wow, congrats on finding some comfort in wet exits!

You had said before that skirts were also an obstacle. Was this session with or without a skirt?
Mar. 19th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
This was without a skirt. I think it wouldn't be hard for me to add the skirt to what I did, though, and I imagine with another pool session I could accomplish a wet exit.
Mar. 19th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
Getting comfortable in the water is a good thing if you expect to be spending a lot of time there :)

And I can guarantee that if you had played Wii tennis more, you'd have been sore :)
Mar. 19th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
Wow. I wish my weekend had been nearly so much fun. :)
Mar. 20th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
I am convinced that it is not possible to own a Wii! I'm not quite sure how the few who 'own' them actually successfully purchased them from the normal assortment of retailers. At this point I think I might have more success trying to plan a heist and pick own off a truck ---if they ever produce enough to fill a semi......(Aweseome future paddle!!)~Ebola
Mar. 20th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
The people I know who have them seem to have gone to considerable lengths. One friend called all the stores in the area that might have them every day for weeks on end; even then, it was her boss who eventually ran across one in a store and scooped it up on her behalf. Another friend snagged one by hanging around a store where one was sitting on hold or something and tried to wheedle the salesperson into giving it up when, IIRC, the customer who had it on hold showed up somehow without enough money to pay for it(!). So, yeah, I agree, it doesn't seem possible to acquire a Wii through normal means.
Mar. 21st, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)
Yeah--around Christmas we had a clever plan of going to a late night comic show and then hang out at one of several local stores which were recieving shipments (those were the good ole days). Well fortunately our friend recommended checking out the stores to see if lines were forming around 1 a.m.....driving around to various businesses we realized people people were lining up in tents at multiple retailers!!! ~Ebola
Apr. 4th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )