Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olympics! (And a mental slap upside the head)

Okay, I love the Olympics. I know some people are boycotting watching them because they don't like China. I say that goes against the entire concept of the Games - that the whole point of the Olympics is that you can compete against each other without hating each other, despite politics and world problems, and look what we can do when we all work together just in sports. What could we do if we worked together on the really important stuff? And despite its flaws, China has opened its doors to the world at least for a brief few weeks and invited us to come in anyway.

Anyway, I love the Olympics. Sports (well, except basketball, which I still think is boring to watch) that I'd never THINK about watching before are suddenly fascinating. I've watched swimming (of course), badminton, equestrian something, men's and women's volleyball, boxing, men's gymnastics, fencing, and even a judo match. So cool! Of course, I want to try to see a tkd match, but they are next week and being broadcast online at strange hours. And I could talk about how cool the Opening Ceremonies were for hours. The "artistic" portion was just plain jaw-dropping, the Parade of Nations was really interesting and educational (I didn't know the Chinese didn't have a set alphabet!), and the lighting of the torch...well...just go to NBC Olympics and watch it for yourself. (Btw, can I just say that I LOVE the design of the Cauldron this year! It's gorgeous!)

Anyway, I'm not doing any of the formal knitting-related Olympics KALs, but I've decided that the Olympics are for my four UFOs: the Boatneck Bluebell Sweater, the second Wendelin Sock, the Dropped Stitch Scarf, and the Tumbling Blocks scarf. Just before the Ceremony started on Friday, I was getting everything ready, found my place in the pattern for the BB sweater, counted stitches, and realized I was four stitches short. I don't know how I got to be four stitches short (well, obviously I decreased four times but I don't know where), but it was correct on the other sleeve (the ribbing columns make it easy to count), so I had to frog back and fix it. Now I'm pretty close to being finished with the stockinette portion of the sleeve and then just have the cuff to do, seam it, and be done.

It's been really tempting to knit on either the sock or the Tumbling Blocks scarf during rehearsals, as we've been doing tons of choreography this week (one of the bad/good things about heavy dance shows is doing choreography overandoverandoverandoverandover) and the director is a knitter herself, but I haven't yet. I might check in with her about it today, though, since we aren't doing ANYTHING new, just cleaning. This show is going to be awesome, though - if you love to watch swing dancing, or just guys dancing, this is your show. The first eight numbers are ALL guys, then we add the girls in and swing for a while longer. It's pretty cool, although I'm going to have to build in lift calls before the performances for this one. First time in about two years we've had a show with mandatory daily lift calls and warmups.

I did get a sort-of answer to my ponderings about my board breaks in class, too. I had been under the impression that once I chose my options, I was stuck with them until my next test. Mr. R explained the other night after FIGHT that I could try different options as much as I wanted and figure out what I like best. Yay! And I didn't make it to kickboxing last week, but I'm going to tomorrow. I made the mistake of making brownies the other day, then we had an Opening last night with lots of food and alcohol, and I haven't done anything since Thursday night, so I'm going to need to burn off some empty calories! I am going to stay after rehearsal today and work on forms, though, as I need to have brown belt (my assigned form) down cold for tomorrow night.

We've had a bunch of new white belts in the adult class lately (two young teens, an older teen, and two new women older than I), and I worked with one, Chad, the older teen, Monday night. I remembered how I felt when I was a white belt working with a black belt, and since he seemed to be fairly intelligent for a high school boy and asked questions, I did a lot of explaining and demonstrating that day, but didn't really think anything about it. Apparently it made an impression on him, though - Thursday before FIGHT I was stopped by a gentleman coming off the mat from kickboxing class:

Him: " you remember Chad? He's new in the taekwondo class?"
Me: "Oh sure. I worked with him the other night. [me realizing that this is probably a parent, turns out he was the stepdad] He seems to be a good kid."
Him: "Yeah, he is. He's been talking about you all week. He said that you were really great to work with - that you knew what you were doing and helped him out a lot...[him realizing what class is next] Do you do this, too?!"
Me: "Yeah. In a really good week, I'll do the kickboxing class, as well."
Him: " wonder you know what you're doing!"
I looked around to make sure Mr. R wasn't listening, leaned over, and told him the truth - "I just have really great instructors!" He laughed. I made to shake his hand:
Him: "I'm [I don't remember his name, sorry]."
Me: "Nice to meet you. I'm..."
Him: "Katie. I know."

The whole conversation kind of threw me a little - Mr. R teased me that Chad has a teenboy crush on me - but I don't generally expect total strangers to know me, or to compliment me like that. And then I slapped myself upside the head. I'm in instructor class, this is what I'm training to do - to help other people learn what I've learned so far. Obviously white belts aren't the only ones learning something!

Ooo...beach volleyball now!

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