5/31/14: broke two garden bricks with an open palm strike. Not bad!
5/31/14: broke two garden bricks with an open palm strike. Not bad!

It’s been a while since I updated. Here’s what I’ve been doing.

Yesterday, I tested for my third stripe on my second-degree black belt. There are ten stripes between second and third degree, each one representing a minimum of six month’s work. Recently the curriculum was beefed up, so in addition to breaking *two flippin’ garden bricks* with my *bare freakin’ hand*, we also had to demonstrate mastery of:

12 poomsae (forms)
3 bow staff forms [but we had to be prepared to show 20 additional techniques]
20 nunchuk forms [but we had to be prepared to show 20 additional forms]

I might also mention that the two-brick business was announced three days before the test, and we didn’t get to see the bricks–which were thicker and heavier than the brick I broke while testing for second degree–until we arrived at the testing center.

Also, just in case you think it was a trick, the bricks were so heavy, I couldn’t carry all four pieces out to the car at once. I am using them to wall off a Badass Garden in the back yard. I think I’ll grow jalapenos there.

Surprisingly, the most difficult part of the test was doing the poomsae team demonstration, because I’m rubbish at synchronizing with the rest of the team. Was also a bit disturbed that during the initial pre-test practice, my mind was foggy, and I kept messing up techniques I’d been working with for years. Then I remembered that I’ve been giving up caffeine. Fortunately the minute the test started, everything fell into place, and I feel like I tested quite well.

Was completely amazed that I made the two-brick break in one go, though.

Am very close to finishing the third Ira Adler book, Fool’s Gold. The story has a wider scope in terms of both time and geography, and while I’m by no means done with these characters, several of the personal story arcs will be tied up. I think Ira’s fans will be happy for him.

What will be next? I’m not sure. That’s going to be my summer project–to figure out what the next project will be =)

Am also finishing up two quilts: one crocheted and one scrap quilt whose main purpose is to winnow down my fabric stash. Also, because temperatures are in the 90s now (when we’re lucky) and blankets are exactly what we need. /sarcasm

Also: finished this one.

blanket_halfway

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