Sunday, February 28, 2010

Closing Ceremonies

In my own personal Olympic tradition, I did not finish either of my events on time. I can live, however.

That hockey game will go down in history. Wow. Go Blackhawks. That's all I can really say. No one deserved to lose that game. Team USA, you did us proud. Team Canada, see you again in four years ;-)

Thank you Vancouver and all of Canada for a beautiful, exciting, thrilling, and outstanding two weeks. Tears were shed, smiles were shared, history was made. In other words - it was quintessential Olympics.

"I declare the Games of the 21st Olympiad closed and, in accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now at Sochi to celebrate with us there the Games of the 22nd Olympiad".

Friday, February 26, 2010


I think I mentioned that I'm terrible at the new boxing/MMA-style sparring that we're doing in FIGHT now. Despite the fact that I use a right hand stance for pretty much everything (drills, kickboxing class, etc), when it comes to that kind of sparring, I would spend the two minutes feeling awkward, clumsy, frustrated, and, well, getting beat (which, if you know me, just gets me MORE frustrated). I'd work with my partners and try to do more drills during the matches, and really did try to incorporate stuff that Sir was trying to teach me, but I just haven't been able to get things to start clicking for me. Last night we did knife sparring before MMA sparring, and it occurred to me that I knife fight left-handed (for a couple of reasons, but needless to say that it's gotten to be my strong side), so during MMA sparring, I switched to a southpaw stance, figuring that I couldn't do any worse than I had been previously. It wasn't magic. I'm not some great fighter now, but I did feel MUCH more comfortable in that stance and suddenly things started clicking for me. I even got in a hit on Mr R! When I talked to Sir about it after class, he just shrugged and said it was probably because in tkd sparring, we like to put our fastest side (my right) forward a lot so we can throw really fast jabs and round kicks and then will switch stances to get the power side (also my right) behind to add momentum to them. We don't switch stances so much in MMA sparring, though, so it comes down to either developing the speed and balance as a righty or the power as a lefty. He said I looked a LOT more confident, though, and to keep playing around to figure out what works best for me. My left foot has always been my balancer, so I think keeping it back in the southpaw stance allows me to have more range of motion, while having the right foot in front lets me snap out stronger kicks faster. Unfortunately, because of spending four years training as a righty, I have a wicked right cross and left hook that don't work in a lefty stance, hence why I'd have to build up the power on the left side. I dunno. We'll see. All I know is that, for once, the sparring was FUN, even if I still took a lot of hits.

On that note, gotta run off to work. Go USA!! We want the gold medal game!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Raining Again

-Olympic knitting is going about as well as US Olympic hockey. Going strong but a lot can still mess it up. Keeping fingers crossed.

-Work is very interesting. It changes a lot. I'm doing a lot of different things right now that actually make me feel like I'm Doing Something Useful, which is awesome, particularly considering the fact that I'm technically not really trained to do any jobs, according to the AF. So that's kind of a victory in and of itself. I'm glad my almost-full-week of being in at 0700 is over, though.

-Class is going better, although I've been on base late the past couple nights and haven't made it to everything I wanted to. Chrissy is going to come to kickboxing with me tomorrow, though, so that should be fun!

Think that's about it!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Recharging my solar batteries

Last post was 21 January?! Geez! Where have I been?? I'm not sure I even know! But now that the rain seems to have abated for a while, my 70-degree sunshine has returned, it's time to bask in three-day weekend gloriousness. (I'd started writing this a few days ago, but had to deal with pics, hence the backdating.)

Mostly, I've been on base. I spent a week doing instructor cert class, then promptly got put on orders for another week (that whole 'one weekend a month, two weeks a year' thing...this would be my two weeks), and 'well, since you've been working on suchandsuch, can you do thisandthat, too?' and got put on orders for, well, pretty much until I go to tech school. And tech school dates are up in the air again. Officially, I'm going in late April just to the school on base for a couple weeks, but The Powers That Be would like me to go, like, yesterday, and then summer in Colorado on the government's dime. Unfortunately, even TPTB can't just wave a magic wand and make it happen, as much as they would like to, but they're doing pretty much everything short of that. So we'll see if that can happen. In the meantime, they're keeping me busy with helping build paperwork for some of the classes my unit teaches, and I get to sit in on a tryout class next week. It's kind of cool, although it makes drill weekends a bit weird, because I'm fine with going in and talking to the officers and they to me, and I know where things are and how to take care of a lot of things that my 'official' (traditional) sergeants/supervisors don't get just because they aren't there all the time and I end up showing them stuff. Weird. Oh well.

And, because this is a knitting blog, I can proudly say that I've completed the January Hat Trick:
for which I nabbed Bragging Rights (for completing at least one Hat Trick, there were some people who did two or three complete ones! Wow!) and the Selke Award for Best Defensive Forward for both striped hats (no idea, but it's all in fun)! Congrats to all of the Puck This HatTrickers!

And, in the spirit of combining knitting with Winter Games, I am again participating in both the Ravelympics and the Knitting Olympics. I'm doing a couple of hedgehogs for the Squint Squad and a baby blanket for Puck This (one of my former PCPA co-workers is due this summer). Y'all know what the hedgehogs look like - they'll go to some friends of mine when completed - and the blanket is turning into something like this:
It's just garter stitch strips, and I have a strip and a half done already, which is pretty good considering how many times I've frogged and restarted it. I had played with the idea of doing the whole thing with intarsia squares, but strips travel better and I kept changing my mind on the layout of the squares. I'm pretty settled on this one, though. I haven't quite decided on a border, other than it will be pink (they're expecting a girl). It may end up just being a garter stitch border, but I'm toying with the idea of making it a bit lacy or frilly. My first idea was a Boo Berries Wave Scarf, which I still love, but the self-striping jacquard colorway that I found....well, frankly, I hate it. I couldn't get it to the proper gauge to make the stripes come out pretty, and that particular colorway turned into a bunch of thin stripes that would be a royal pain to match up. I think one of the two-color colorways in that series would work much better (such as was used by the designer), but this batch is going back to the store!

Hmm, what else? I've redone my apartment and at least Teddie and Chrissy heartily approve. The two rooms I'm most proud of are the bedroom closet and the living room.
Closet before:
Underused and messy, right? So (and also in compensation for my dresser, which is on its last legs), I decided to actually use it as, well, clothes storage. Closet after:
My pride and joy, though, is my "new" living room. This is the room before:
Cluttered, unorganized, uninviting, and, well, unfriendly. Not a place friends could come over and crash and watch movies/tv. Heck, not even a place *I* could crash and watch tv - I generally watched television at my desk on my computer. Gets the job done, but loses a lot. So, one weekend, a tax return, a massive trip to Best Buy, and a fantastically helpful and knowledgable employee (who knew?!) later, I now have this:
and I LOVE it! It's awesome that I can be making dinner, sitting on the computer, or on the couch and still have a great, sharp, clear picture. I went down in tv size so I could get a Blu-Ray player, and I gotta say, Star Trek in Blu-Ray HD is freakin' amazing! I also can't get over watching the Olympics in HD. I know it sounds like a commercial, but that opening sequence/flyover of British Columbia to start NBC's broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies was literally breathtaking. (And hockey games are pretty cool to watch, too, although I think I scare the neighbors with the cheering. Oh well!)

I'm still in the process of finding a workout routine that builds up my running, keeps me able to do the 1.5 mile speed run, and keeps me training for martial arts. I talked to Sir for quite a while Wednesday night after tkd, and he told me that I'd be midterming (possibly for the last time as a first degree, depending on how I do) in April. Learning the form is fine (the new forms are actually REALLY fun) and I'm about halfway through it already, but I'm really out of shape for sparring, and I really don't have the time or energy to add those classes into my current schedule. He suggested taking out one kickboxing class, and focusing on hitting at least two tkd classes, one sparring class, and Thursday night FIGHT (we've added kickboxing-style sparring to FIGHT, which is cool, but rather different to get used to!) class every week. I think this week I'm going to try doing kickboxing and tkd on Monday (today), running and FIGHT on Tuesday, tkd and sparring on Wednesday, running and FIGHT on Thursday, tkd on Friday, and a long run on Saturday. I have to find a good time/place to run, too. Running in the morning forces two showers a day, which my skin doesn't like at all, even if the morning one is a really quick rinse-off (I had problems with that at Basic - it dries my skin out like crazy), pretty much eliminates running on base if I want to eat breakfast (and I do now), but makes it dark and creepy to run at home. I rather prefer running after work, when it's light out, but if I want to run on base, I either have to give up my music (headphones are banned for road running on base) or run on a treadmill at the gym, so running at home is preferable then, but then I have to find some time to eat dinner before the evening's classes. I'm thinking that this week I'll try eating as soon as I get home from work (which is what I usually do, around 5:00p), go running around 6:30p, and then go straight to FIGHT at 7:30p. I'm a little nervous about having the endurance to run at least two miles and then go straight into a FIGHT class, but we'll see.

Anyway, I am still alive, still kickin (often literally), and enjoying life. And I will try to update more frequently, at least for Olympic updates!