I’ve been out-of-pocket for a while. I was super busy before I went on vacation and then on vacation I didn’t do any writing at all. I just hung out, cooked, ran errands and grocery shopped. We have a couple of friends who aren’t doing so hot so I took them pans of chicken enchiladas and lasagna. I wanted to can while I was off but that didn’t happen, either. The last weekend of vacation friends of ours – Bernice and Raphael came up from Florida and brought their motorcycles and bicycles.
Saturday, we made the glaring mistake of taking the train downtown to the Dragoncon parade. I really thought it was going to be a cool thing to do but once we got down there it was a nightmare with so many people. We stayed for about 30 minutes and fought our way back to the train station only to be trapped because all the trains were going Westbound for the Auburn/Louisville game. Once an eastbound train finally pulled up there were so many people we had to all squeeze in like it was 1996 and we were going to the Olympics or something. We were all so hungry that we thought we’d just get off the train in Decatur but I slapped my head and groaned, “The book festival is downtown this weekend. We’ll never get a table.” In fact, shit was happening all over Georgia that weekend. It was Dragon freaksville con, Decatur book festival, a college football game in the dome, Atlanta Black Pride Festival, and the hokey apple festival in the mountains – all these people your grandma’s age trying to stay on the mountain roads for a bag of measly apples you can buy at Kroger [ask me how I really feel about it].
And why once back to our original destination we got in the truck and drove to our favorite bar/bar food place for lunch. Afterwards, we went back to the house and washed all our motorcycles because they were very dirty and then we went on a bicycle ride through the neighborhood to a local watering hole for a drink and back home to veg before grilling dinner.
The next day we were going for a motorcycle ride out to Madison, Georgia. It was the four of us plus my buddy, Drew. On the way out we stopped off at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit just to see it again because it’s so beautiful and then on the Madison to eat BBQ at Big Kev’s. Even before we pulled up we could smell the smokers out in the parking lot. My mouth was watering and we went in and sat right down to some iced tea and plates of smoked pork BBQ, ribs, mac-n-cheese, greens, fried okra and banana pudding. It was probably the best we’ve had in a long time. (In fact, I put a glowing review on Yelp). Afterwards, the owner was nice enough to take our pictures out in the parking lot before we suited up and rode home.
Once back, we were exhausted and only had the energy to sit on the porch and veg. I was glad I had another day off the next day (Labor Day). The next day we were sorry to see our friends leave but spent the day planting flowers and going for a short ride out to a friend’s house and back.
Yesterday was my first day back at work in ten days and I’ve been slowly getting back in to it. After work I went to my first martial arts class in over 15 years. I had been thinking of getting back into a style but nothing had jumped out and kicked me in the shins and said, hiya or anything. I found a Groupon for a class near the house and thought, “Why the hell not?” bought it and emailed the instructor (or I should call him his proper Korean name “chung sah nim”) to set up a brief meeting prior to the first class to fill out paperwork and get my dobok. He turned out to be a very easy-going guy (a rather tall, broad-shouldered, bald, white guy that spoke with a bit of a drawl I couldn’t place) and after the first practice the whole dojang is way more laid back than my old dojo was. As far as the uniform went you could walk into the gym completely suited up or not it didn’t matter as long as you were fully dressed when you bowed and went onto the mat. My old dojo we weren’t allowed to wear our jackets with our belt colors outside the dojo. When I entered I only had on my pants and a t-shirt and I went into another room to put on my jacket and belt before going back out. There were several other people circled on the mat stretching and talking and when I bowed and walked up everyone came over to me and introduced themselves individually – later, I realized they did this in the order of rank as at the end of the practice we all went up to bow and shake the master’s hand in the order of rank.
Practice was pretty much like it was previously in my old dojo – the first 20 minutes dedicated to stretching, then a few punches and kicks and sit-ups. Then, some self-defense moves and ending with some kata. I got a decent workout although I’m not as sore today as I originally thought I was going to be. Practice is on Tues, Thursday nights and Saturday mornings and I plan to attend as much as possible until my Groupon runs out 😉