Thursday, February 28, 2008
The arm is doing better, although I doubt I've been babying it as much as the medical profession would like. But hey, I've only done five classes this week, and four of them were tkd where Sir let me adapt some of the arm drills. I really really wanted to do knife sparring tonight at FIGHT, but decided against it. I want to do sparring class tomorrow more, since I haven't done it for two weeks now, and that means babying the arm for the rest of the night and probably skipping kickboxing tomorrow, too. I'm also not completely sure that knitting isn't aggravating it either, which really it irritating as we're trying to get Miss A's package put together next week.
On the plus side, Sir is going to work with me one-on-one when I go back into rehearsals so I can keep up with classwork, and he said I've been doing really well in instructor class, too. It's really difficult for me sometimes, not because the material is hard, but I still have a hard time shaking the feeling that I should already know all of the forms that I've done. He said that it's easier for the black belts to go back and learn the color belt material because they only have one form of their own to focus on for a year or two, whereas I'm learning a new form of my own every two months, plus working through the old ones, but that I'm still keeping up pretty well. Sparring is still my weakest area, though, he said mostly because I don't get to do it on a regular basis and really train with it. We'll work on that in the private lessons, yikes.
And I've gotten my mom playing with yarn again, muha!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Thanks for all of the kind words about Huggy! He is pretty adorable. I brought him in to work (my tissue paper for wrapping things was still in my desk from some gifting or other) and everyone is now asking me if I can make one for them. In all ranges of colors, from lime green (Mom) to black and grey (an "execution hedgehog" - an inside joke from The Pillowman) to pink (Chrissy) to yellow (Miss A/Kara) to red (my friend Carl) to purple (me! I want one too!) to any other color of the rainbow. Very fun - they are a quick knit and gift idea, but I'm definitely not making them all at once! I might have to go up to SLO this weekend to hit a decent yarn shop - a little cheerful yellow toy might be just the thing to go with Miss A's baby blanket.
The coolest thing, though? They have PENGUINS!! Dudes!! I must get my hands on this pattern!
Dojahng news behind the cut.
So, the deal is, Sir and Mrs. S have gotten pretty fed up with ATA's politics and business practices. Sir isn't sure what parent organization we'll switch to yet, but he's been talking a lot with his instructors who are also leaving or have left the ATA, and is deciding between two. Both of those systems are more of a mixture of martial art styles, not just taekwondo. Sir will still teach taekwondo as the primary style, but there can be more guest instructors come in to add different flavors to the mix. I'm not completely sure about what changes will happen to formwork yet, but I do know that he will be adding a physical fitness requirement to black belt testing, intensifying the self-defense almost to FIGHT-level (he's always been big on the idea that martial arts are completely useless if you cannot defend yourself), delaying announcing testing results, holding to a higher and more even testing standard, dropping people in rank who have not trained on a consistent basis, and a few other things. Uniforms will be changing after the next testing date (March 29) - regular students will wear white, leadership students (like me) will wear blue, and instructors will wear black. We will have both a taekwondo patch and a FIGHT patch. They are also going to changeover all the tshirts and things to different, "more fitness looking" style gear (they better not get rid of FIGHT pants, though, those are the most comfortable things EVER!), and phase out the ones with the ATA logos. The dojahng has already been repainted and the old Songham Star and other ATA logos have been covered over or taken down, and the red parts of the mats will be changed out soon. They will still teach FIGHT to 18+ and kickboxing (I want a kickboxing patch, too!), so the general format of what they offer will stay the same. It will be really interesting to see what changes and how! I'm so excited to see the way the school is growing and adapting to what the owners actually want it to be and to be a (very) small part of it!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
2. Bernat CottonTots is actually a pretty darn good yarn. It's surprisingly soft and easy to work with, given the fact that it's a worsted weight 100% cotton. I've always been reluctant to use cotton for baby blankets, thinking it wouldn't be warm or soft enough, but I didn't find a superwash wool in the colorway I was looking for, and I've always felt a little guilty using acrylic for baby blankets because of the whole "in case there's a fire, acrylic will melt onto skin" thing. But this stuff is good. Yay! I'm doing a simple, quick dishcloth baby blanket for Miss Adelaide. It has a 5-stitch border and I'm going to increase until I have 126 stitches between the borders before starting the second half. I'm at a little over 80sts right now, so I still have a bit, but I think it will done pretty quickly.
3. It is damn near impossible to find non-googly and non-stick-on animal eyes and noses in these parts. I went to the local Michaels, the Beverly's up in SLO, Betty's Fabrics, and the Beverly's here before finally finding both the eyes AND the nose. But the mission was eventually successful, and Huggy got felted (twice!) today. Now he has his prelim stuffing in while he dries, but he's blind and noseless. I'm hoping to get him completely finished tomorrow. He's already pretty darn cute, though. I found a baby book about a group of monsters celebrating another monster's birthday, and that seemed appropriate enough to go with it.
4. As a result of the search for various facial features, I learned that while Betty's still is not the ideal LYS, and probably won't be until they both act like they know what they're talking about and stop acting like I must not know anything about knitting since I'm not over 60, they are currently carrying three or four different colorways of this:
Kureyon Sock. I got a skein just because I could, frankly. It's terribly rough and course in the skein, it's not superwash, and I don't really like Noro that much anyway, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this, but it's pretty. It's actually a very similar colorway to Mom's Booga Bag made several years ago, but seems to be sans the magenta.
5. It takes forever and a day (okay, a little over 16 hours) to burn a video DVD.
6. Helen Mirren wore the only really stunning-in-a-good-way gown to the Oscars tonight. The current "in" colors of pale metallics are not flattering on anyone, particularly when they wear pale lipstick as well. 90% of the women looked deathly pale and colorless. Very sad. (And we approve of Chrissy's new bf.)
7. The dojahng got repainted this weekend. I can't wait to see what it looks like tomorrow! (Me, Mel, and Mr. R knew painters were coming over the weekend, but didn't expect to see them already there, set up, and working when we walked back to our cars from Klondikes' Friday night!) On a related note, I also learned exactly why it takes three judges to score a sparring round in a tournament. I taught kickboxing on Friday, but sat out of sparring because my arm was bothering me again and I had to ice it. Mel and I had our own gimp-section at the desk during sparring, but Mr. R called me out and asked me to judge the adults during a King of the Mat drill. (I don't know quite why - there were at least two other higher-ranking belts in the class - I guess he wanted them to spar and not have to sit out to judge.) There is no way one judge can see every hit or block - yikes! I tried to be as fair and accurate as possible, but I'm sure I missed some!
8. My elbow is bothering me again and I didn't do anything with it All Weekend! =( TKD doesn't seem to bother it very much, but kickboxing seems to. I hate to even think it, but I might have to take it easier than usual this week and sit out of a few classes. I only have two more weeks that I can do this! I don't want to give this time up while I have it!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I knitted a furry blob!
Oh, THAT'S what it's supposed to look like! (Unfelted and unstuffed)
He's sitting on my ball winder, which can't be comfortable! Anyway, the knitting is finished, I just have to felt him, stuff him, and get him sewn up. I think I'll go up to SLO tonight (because I, for once, have nothing better to do on a Saturday night) and hit Barnes and Noble to find a cute baby-sized book to go with it. Preferably a story about a blue hedgehog, but I'm not picky...any animal will do. It's so nice to have a gift pretty much finished two weeks early! And other than looking and feeling (I imagine) like Muppet pelt, the fun fur wasn't TOO terrible to work with, although I can't imagine a new knitter trying to use it!
I also got my Ravenclaw yarn yesterday in the mail, but since I was finishing the Huggy up, I haven't done anything with it. It looks pretty and feels soft, though. I might try the Elodea socks with it, using the striping pattern by itself instead of the two colors. We'll see how it works.
My arm is feeling better today, but I did end up sitting out of both kickboxing and sparring last night. I went in during kickboxing to talk to Sir, but apparently Baby S was sick, so Sir stayed home with him. Ma'am and I both sat and watched sparring, though. We thought maybe between the two of us we could spar someone - I could kick and she could punch - but Mrs. S thought there were already too many people on the mat and we might scare someone if we teamed up. Sigh. Small crowd at Klondikes, just me, Ma'am, Mr. C, and TKD Grandma w/ her grandson. Mrs. S goes next week to test for her fourth degree, so next week will be a little different than usual (including me teaching again!), but it will be fun to hear about the test when she gets back. She won't know if she passed or not until the next week.
No class on Monday because of Presidents' Day, but I have to work auditions anyway. The days off will be good for my arm, and I can still work on my forms for Wednesday. Maybe Tuesday Sir and I can work on my training schedule.
(Oh, and I updated my 100 Things About Me. A lot has happened in two years, wow!)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
On a much more pleasant note, my expectant friend had her baby today! Adelaide Grace entered the world seven weeks early, but everyone is doing fine and she's a beauty! We just weren't ready for her yet! None of us have our gifts ready, so she'll just get her California luvin' when she's a bit older and hopefully settled at home in Indiana. But yay, a healthy baby!
We had a single-ladies' ice-cream bash this afternoon for Valentine's Day at one of the acting interns' houses. It was very fun! I think AJ might have pics soon!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
What? You can't tell what it is? Why, it's the body of the Huggable Hedgehog I bought at Stitches West last year! I've been casting around trying to think of what to get for Baby S for his birthday, and thought this would be perfect. It's a quick knit - not nearly as time consuming, the body would have been done in less than an evening if I'd properly read the instructions, or obviously labor-intensive as a blanket - cheap, since the whole kit was already in my stash, and they are so darn CUTE when they're done! I'm going to work on the back tonight and hopefully felt it later this week. The only thing I'm disappointed about is the size - the body is only about eight inches from head to toe right now. I'm a little afraid how much it will shrink when felted. I think I'm going to buy and sew on the eyes and nose, though. My embroidery just isn't that good!
Other than that, not much is going on. Thanks to my HSS3 pal for tipping me onto a Spanish-learning podcast! The Opening party for Othello was a lot of fun. (I'm telling you, gotta make friends with the bartender! No, I do not get plastered at work parties. Yes, I do get service faster than anyone else. What can I say? It's a talent. It certainly doesn't hurt that he's awfully cute...I didn't get any pics, but some of my friends did. I'll share when I get them.)
Sir had us work double bahng mahng ees again at instructor class last night. It was only me and Mr. R there, though, and Mr. R drilled me through the first four forms while Sir watched. I had trouble with the round kick/reverse side kick combo in Songham 4 the first time I learned that form - this second time is better, but not much. I'm going to ask Mrs. S if I can work reverse side kicks instead of the #3 side kicks during kickboxing, as I obviously need the practice! That's assuming I can walk tomorrow - my thigh and shoulder are hurting tonight after FIGHT. Of course, I got taken down over and over by Sir and a new kid, that might have something to do with it. Shower and television for the rest of the night!
Saturday, February 09, 2008
2. I've rededicated myself to learning Spanish. I took a few years of it in high school, and a few semesters in college, but it's actually useful here. My brother brought me his books from when he took it in college when he stayed with me last year, and I've been going through them and doing the workbook exercises and whatnot. It surprises me how much of the grammar I remember, although my vocab is really rusty! Between that and joining a Spanish-speaking(typing?) group on Ravelry, I'm getting a lot better at reading and writing it already, and I can generally speak it pretty well given time to think through what I need to say. My downfall is, and has always been, hearing it. I have a really hard time picking out words and translating them in conversation. I have a couple of CDs to work with, and TKD Grandma said she would help me, too. There are a couple other people at the dojahng who I'm sure would help me out as well, but I haven't asked them yet. This is mostly coming from several recent encounters in kickboxing and just out in public in general where people have asked questions and I didn't know how to answer them. I really doubt "right hook punch" is going to be in too many primers, though ;)
3. I've gotten this much done on the sweater so far:
I'm in the plain old stockinette for four inches portion, so I'm hoping to get a good movie or tv marathon or audio book going and crank it out. The sleeves are knit flat and seamed for some reason, and I forgot to check my gauge for flat knitting, so I'm hoping they'll be okay length-wise. I'll have to try it on again before I do the cuff.
4. I'm realizing as I work on projects like MS3, the sweater and Wendelin that when it comes to projects, I'm not really a monochromatic kind of knitter. Unfortunately, I love wearing monochromatic shirts - I really keep patterns down to a minimum in my wardrobe. I like varigated yarns and switching colors. I have one friend who is expecting next month, maybe it's time for another colorful baby blanket! And Baby S has a birthday next month (wow! really? no way!) so maybe I'll find something colorful for him, too.
5. I was oddly pleased to know that Sir's neck was sore after Thursday night's class, too. We did a drill at the end where we had to do situps keeping our hands in guard/protective positions while our partners hit us with tombstones. It wasn't bad, for the most part, except for the whiplash when P caught the back of my head with one hit. Sir said his partner caught him, too. Misery loves company, I guess. The bruises from knife sparring that night are starting to appear, too, just in time for me to have to dress up for opening. How come the guys don't get nearly the bruises I do?? It probably doesn't help that those are also the exact places that I use to block in sparring, too, so they kind of get hit two days in a row. Large bruises on the shoulders, forearms, and legs while wearing a dress. So sexy and attractive!
6. Speaking of sexy and attractive, Ma'am and I agreed last night at Klondikes that if guys get to watch Victoria's Secret commercials during the Super Bowl, we should, at the very least, get an Abercrombie & Fitch commercial. Preferably Chippendale, but an A&F guy without his shirt will do. Seriously, it's only fair. We'll start the revolution!
7. I started a group for knitting stage managers on Ravelry. It's called The Ghostlighters (an obscure nickname for SMs, since they are usually the first ones in and last ones out and have to deal with the ghost lights usually). It's kind of an addendum to the Theatrical Crafters group. Some of the other SMs on that group and I have been PM'ing back and forth about various issues we deal with in our specific jobs and companies, and we decided it would be easier to get more input from more people and not bother the rest of the TC group if we had a separate SM group. It's no slight on any of the other theatrical departments! This is the first time I've started a group, and it's been interesting so far!
Friday, February 08, 2008
I didn't get much knitting done, in fact, I ended up frogging the toe of the second Wendelin sock after I realized that I'd somehow ended up with several stitches on the wrong needle and had been happily increasing about five stitches from where I should have been. I did get several more repeats done on the Drop Stitch Scarf, even though it's kind of gotten into that weird twilight zone of scarves where you can do five million pattern repeats and the scarf only grows about half an inch. I'm going to try to at least finish the first sleeve of the sweater this weekend and hopefully get a decent start on the second one as well.
Class stuff behind the cut. Man, I miss three days of class and I get "Oh good, are you back for a while now?" Most people don't even come to class two days in a week. I miss three days and it's assumed that I've abandoned the school. Luckily, Ma'am was kind enough to work with me on my new form after tkd Wednesday night. I need it. I always say that when I start learning a new form, and actually this one isn't too bad. Nothing too tricksy or difficult in it. I just don't have the memorization down yet. I will have to work on it over the weekend so I can start working on cleaning it next week.
I have gotten a lot of comments and cracks lately about how many classes I take, or how tough or aggressive I am/must be. I get it from lots of people online and irl, and even the instructors. I'm not trying to be tough or aggressive or show off. I just enjoy being there, I want to learn as much as I can, and I know that in a few weeks, just when my training is going to intensify for black belt, I'll only be able to come once a week. At this point in my life, I'm physically capable of handling the classload. So what's the big deal? And what's the point of training if you're going to half-ass it while you're there? I think Sir kind of gets my frustration. Whenever he hears those comments, he catches my eye, smiles and shakes his head. Of course, he and his wife both make their living doing all of these classes and more every day, so I'm sure they've gotten those comments most of their training lives, too. I was rather grateful when Ma'am said that if Sir really thought Weapons class would help me, he would tell me to get my butt out there, though, since I'm really not interested in weapons much (ssahng naghts are the weapon of choice this unit, ugh!) and technically don't have to deal with them until after I get my black belt.
Tonight's FIGHT class was interesting. We've had a bunch of new people join class lately, but tonight we had a guy who is teaching English in Taiwan join us as he was passing through town. Afterwards, he took a picture of the dojahng and the class to show his students when he goes back to Taiwan. Ma'am and Mrs. S stayed for a while and talked to a new girl who seemed to be interested in the class. They warned her that many girls don't like FIGHT because it gets too rough and it's mostly guys, but that I came whenever I could, and the only reasons the two of them weren't doing it were injury (Ma'am's knee is still messed up) and Baby S. The regular guys know how and when to dial it back if they need to. F clipped me with an uppercut elbow to the chin tonight, and he is a big guy, about my height and probably twice my width and I'm sure has a good hundred pounds on me (trying to move him is like trying to move a brick wall). It honestly did not hurt at all, although he was absolutely horrified that he hit a girl. It earned both of us a good five minutes of teasing from the rest of the guys and from the peanut gallery. I don't know if that helped make up the girl's mind one way or the other, but we had fun =) The guys take care of me, but also respect that I'm there to learn to take care of myself. Oh, and I learned two things tonight: P, an older guy who's been doing FIGHT for quite a while, takes no prisoners during knife sparring - he goes straight for the throat and I'd be dead about fifty times if we used real knives - and S, the tall guy who's been coming for about two months now, has a degree in archaeology. How random is that?
A little bit of work, kickboxing, sparring, and pizza tomorrow, then Othello opens Saturday night! I've seen bits and pieces of it this week as they continue into dress rehearsals, but it will be interesting to see the whole thing put together. I think it will be over three hours long with intermission, though! (Is it weird that I can watch Othello break Desdemona's neck and think, "I know they're doing it that way for stage combat/safety reasons, but you'd never break someone's neck like that!"? I think it might be, a little.)
And, Mr. R during a round kick/side kick drill at the very end of tkd class Wednesday (we were supposed to be alternating mid-range round kicks with low side kicks):
"Aw, ma'am, the workout comes from changing the height of the kicks!"
"Um, at this point, I'm not really sure I need more of a workout."
"Sure you do. You're addicted, admit it."
"Addicted, maybe. Not sadistic." (Which, I realized later is the wrong word, should have said masochistic, but the assonance and trying to concentrate on the drill got to me. Although I'm not sadistic either.)
[To my partner]"Don't believe her!"