imbecamiel: (Default)
(Testing out cross-posting from DW for the first time, since a few people I know have switched over exclusively. LJ's still my primary "home" though, just getting a feel for things. ^^)

As a few of you know. this last weekend started out rough with our parakeet Volly dying Friday morning. We'd helped hand-raise and tame her since she was a baby and while she wasn't free in the house as much as our previous birds (partly because she had a more naturally nervous temperament and loved interacting with people but got overwhelmed in the Big Wide World, partly because before we didn't have cats roaming loose like we do now) she was cute and cheerful and by far the sweetest-natured of all her siblings. So that was hard and unexpected.

The week since then has been just such a blessing, though. It's been almost comical how perfectly everything worked out.  

As I mentioned earlier, I passed the final exam for second-degree black belt on Saturday! :D :D :D

It was a long, crazy, exhausting day. There were about 100 candidates for promotion in all (mostly brown belts testing for their first-degree black belt), which is a medium-ish size, though only three people from my school who made it through to the final exam. This time around, in addition to some fairly recent curriculum changes that were fully incorporated into the exam for the first time, they also were trying some new ways of running various sections of the final exam. So even though the exam itself didn't start until 1:00, we needed to get down to the Cities by 11:00 to run through drills, practice timing, and get other instruction on when and how we were supposed to do what. So we were busy with that until about 12:30, quick break for water and snacks, then lining up to start at 1:00. Exam itself ended at... a little before 3:00, I think? Could've been longer, maybe. The final graduation ceremony, giving out the new belts, lasted a while longer, so we weren't done until a little after 4:00. 

Between the exhaustion and stress and the heat (holy cow, it got so hot - just sitting in the audience my mom had to go outside for a while because she got overheated) it seemed to simultaneously fly by in a blur and take forever. It is always fun to do things like that when you have so many not-karate-people relatives in the audience watching, because not only are they really excited by the cool/hard stuff we do, but you get the audible gasps of alarm when black belts do self-defense takedowns and someone hits the mat fast. (Or, in the case of the higher-level black belts, partners are wearing protective gear so that candidates don't have to pull their strikes and most people who don't do karate don't realize that 1. The chest guards are made to absorb exactly those kinds of strikes, and 2. If you hit just right, it can amplify the sound of a kick considerably.) 

Also, as usual, in order to pair up for sparring they had everyone line up by height, which put me waaaaay down at the end with the kids who were mostly 10-12. Which meant that, like last time, I had to inform the instructors that I was actually an adult and wasn't supposed to fight the children... XD Fortunately, UNlike last time, this time there was another small woman in the same boat, so that was a lot more fun than ending up paired up with someone twice my size for the exam again, especially since my fight was directly in front of the Grand Masters' table.  

So. By the time I finished the exam, I was both thoroughly wiped out and wired beyond belief with adrenaline and relief. I am so, so happy to have made it through. There were quite a few times the last few months when I really thought I might not make it, mentally or physically. But now... I'm a second-degree black belt, and wherever things go from here having come this far and kept going through all of that is something that can't be taken away. 

Anyway, after that, vacation started. ^^ I hadn't been able to take much of a break, mentally or physically, for the last four months, and Mom and Nef wanted to take a short girls' trip. I'd also really wanted to do some fossil hunting for my birthday, and the best area to do that tends to be in the southern part of the state, and we were already most of the way there having driven that far for the exam, so our whole family drove a bit further to stay in a hotel near a nature center where I'd discovered fossil hunting is allowed. 

We had quite a thunderstorm Saturday night (perfect for washing away dirt and exposing new fossils), but Easter morning was beautiful and clear. After a morning church service, we went to the nature center, talked with one of the staff to get some advice on the better areas, and hiked up to the abandoned quarry. This being the first time I'd tried any organized fossil hunting (though I'd stumbled across a couple on previous trips out west), a lot of the time was just getting a feel for the lay of the land and what the types we were expecting to find looked like in their natural environment, but we did end up finding some quite nice ones. Mostly brachiopods and crinoids, a few others I'm going to need closer looks to identify. Really, really fun and I'm not the only one excited to try it again. (One day I'd love to go on some kind of guided hunt someplace like Montana or Utah...) 

After that, the guys had to head back to pick up the dog from the kennel and be home in time for work Monday, but Mom, Nef, and I spent the next few days in the Cities. We went to Como Zoo Monday, which we haven't done in probably 15 years, and had mind-bogglingly perfect weather for it. I got tons of photos with my new camera (will probably put up a few this weekend), both of the animals and of flowers in their conservatory, where they had a gorgeous Easter display.

Tuesday was rainy, so we spent the morning shopping and decided to go to the History Museum in the afternoon - at which point we found out that not only was admission free at the specific time we planned to go, and they had a big new WW1 exhibit (which Nef was especially excited about, since it's much less common than WW2 and she needs more background research for her book) but that evening we were in time to sign up for a special WW1-themed event they had on, where they played a Charlie Chaplain movie with a live band providing music, highlighted some of the history of the era, and let people screen print their own copies of WW1-era posters. 

Wednesday morning we went to the Science Museum, where they had a special exhibit on the history of fraudulent/misconceived medical inventions (with a lot from the early 1900s/20s, again fun and useful research for Nef), we got to visit parts of the museum we loved as children, and also alllll the lovely fossils. <3 I wasn't surprised to find that the gift shop had fossils for sale, but I was surprised that the prices were very reasonable. So... I may have gotten a little overexcited and ended up buying half a dozen (plus a beautifully detailed, realistic replica of a velociraptor claw and toe bones, since the chances of my affording a genuine one are zilch XD) for the price I'd normally be able to get maybe two or three, buying them online and paying shipping - with the added bonus of being able to see them in person and select exactly what I wanted. 

While we were at the Science Museum, we also ran into my godparents' youngest daughter. My parents knew their family long before I was born, but we haven't seen them in a while - the daughter lives in Kansas City now and was just up here for Easter, so getting to talk to her was a really fun surprise.  

Also, the lavender-peppermint lotion/shower gel/shampoo/conditioner at the hotel we were staying at was amazing, and I think I may have to buy all my stuff in that scent from now on. 

So yes - very nice to have a much-needed and refreshing break! ^^

Hmm.

Apr. 9th, 2017 07:59 pm
imbecamiel: (Insane Mind)
Finally got to the doctor a couple days ago. Always nerve-wracking, meeting a new doctor for the first time, but I unexpectedly lost my regular doctor recently, which is one reason it took me so long to get to see someone about stuff.

Anyhow, she thinks the problem with my hip's a labral tear - basically damaged the damaged the cartilage around my hip socket. Having a tear like that, the cartilage can basically curl in and get caught in the joint. Whiiiich would explain what's been making it hurt worse and the catching/popping issues I've been having.

Ankles are a bit more unclear. There are a couple things that might be torn, but it was hard for her to tell much. She's referring me to a specialist to try to figure out what's happening there and to have a look at the hip. Short term plan, I've got some braces to get me through the next week with the black belt exam when I'm doing more strenuous stuff, wraps and orthotics to wear around the house, then gonna see how things are functioning once I can rest everything rather than constantly straining and reinjuring myself. Long term, may wind up needing one or more surgeries to get things straightened out, but we'll see.

I think my body suddenly realized I'll be 30 in a few days and decided, "Hmm, 30 years... Yeah, that'd be a good, long career most places. Think it's about time I retire now. You're not, like, going to need me around here or anything, are you?" Honestly, though, at this point it's a relief just to have something more concrete to say than "I have injured myself and now everything hurts." (LOL, now I'm getting visions of myself in one of those commercials: Help, I've fallen and I can't get up...)

Speaking of - I'm turning 30 on Wednesday. Which is... weird. Mostly I don't care enough to have any kind of crisis about it. XD I don't know, in a way it feels like a Big Deal, but while I wouldn't say my teens/early twenties were awful by any means, there was just so much really hard mental and emotional stuff, growing pains, all that. For all I'm a nostalgic person and have trouble with change, I wouldn't actually want to turn back time, and there are so many ways that I feel like things have steadied out and I've improved as a person in recent years. More than anything, I'm happy with the direction my life seems to be headed and excited to be heading into a new phase of it. Getting another year older in the process isn't traumatic.

Still weird, though, the thought of not being in my twenties anymore. 

YEEEESSSSS.

Apr. 4th, 2017 10:15 am
imbecamiel: (Urge to conquer large parts of Europe)
So. I just got back from my feedback meeting on Friday's test (6 out of 7) and I HAVE PASSED.

Still got some tough classes to push through this week and next to finish perfecting details before the final black belt exam on the 15th, but basically at this point I'd have to really, really mess up at the exam to fail it.

Very relieved. And very tired. I've got a doctor's appointment on Thursday to try to figure out how badly I've messed up my ankles/legs what's going on with the issues I've been having and have a look at my injuries. So hopefully that'll be helpful.

Now if I can just stop injuring myself further for a while... I took some pretty nasty kicks at sparring Saturday, one to my wrist and one to my chin, which have left some rather interesting bruising, even despite safety gear. Also burned my finger today and managed to get another bruise on my foot tonight, getting stepped on during class and basically at this point the degree to which my body is falling apart is pretty much just hilarious except kind of not. >.<

Annnd I'm way too tired now to have anything coherent to say so I'm going to bed. But yes. I'm happy. A break is finally in sight... 
imbecamiel: (Renewed Blade LOTR)
Finished my black belt screening, and I didn't actually collapse. Was pretty sure I was going to for a while there, but I didn't. XD I won't know what the verdict is until... Saturday, probably. But right now I'm feeling pretty good about how I did, all things considered, so I'm hopeful. If I passed, that'll be four of the seven down, three to go. (The next two being the hardest, but heh, let's not think about that now. ) And it is such an incredible relief to have it done.

In somewhat less happy news, I managed to do... something to my hip in the process of doing the tornado kick portion of the test. It felt like it might be really bad, especially when I could barely raise my knee this morning. Didn't seem like any pulled or strained muscle I've had before, more like something was wrong with the joint itself. But then in the process of stretching and testing my range of motion today I apparently managed to pop whatever-it-was back into place. At any rate, I felt something click in my hip and now I seem to have pretty much normal range of motion back with just general achy soreness instead of sharp, Something Is Wrong pain, so... Not sure exactly what happened, but crisis seems to be averted in that regard. Pretty sure it's gonna be okay with a couple days of taking it easy.

So. Nothing definite, but I'm no longer in I May Die mode for the time being. ^^

Heheheh.

Oct. 1st, 2016 04:12 pm
imbecamiel: (Insane Mind)
Well, I've officially got whatever nasty cold Nef's been down with this week. Going to sparring anyway today was maybe not the smartest decision I've ever made, but since I knew it'd be a couple weeks until I could get to it again...

On the one hand, I did better than I expected. On the other, now I can't be sure if I'm sore and headachy because I'm sick or because I got repeatedly punched in the head and knocked down by a guy twice my size. (Still won the fight, though. And the instructor said I was turning into a superstar on them. So there's that. ^^)

As a more interesting diversion from being sick, though - a flying squirrel has moved into our attached garage/the walls of our house. I knew we had some living nearby, but we don't see much of them because they're usually really shy, besides being nocturnal.

This one, though, is the most brazen, attitude-filled little thing I've ever seen. Doesn't seem to much care who knows he's around. And Ella, our mighty, fierce huntress cat who will take down anything that moves, including rabbits nearly as big as she is, seems to have just shrugged and decided this is okay. Last night I went to give her dinner and he was right there and just... didn't leave. Scooted over a bit, and then just sat there a couple feet away. She just looked at him, then looked at me like, "Yeah, so? He's my roommate now. You gonna give me dinner, or what?"

He stayed there while I went to get her dinner and came back, like he was waiting to see if he'd get dinner too. Didn't head off to the other side of the garage until Ella practically stepped on him. She acted like he was invisible.

????

I mean, he's adorable. And I don't actually want him to get killed, because I love flying squirrels. But having one living in our house is probably not a good thing? Even if he hasn't done any noticeable harm yet. And. Uh. This cat is apparently going to be no help at all in figuring out what to do about it. (She killed a mouse last night and left it by the door, just to prove that she hasn't actually forgotten how to do her job.)

So... for now, we've got a kind-of-pet flying squirrel? And yet one more illustration of why our friends call us the home for confused animals.

I think I'll call him Sam. 

Zoo trip!

Jul. 2nd, 2016 08:09 pm
imbecamiel: (Urge to conquer large parts of Europe)
Had some fun stuff happening this week! Among other things, just finished up my first month as a full karate instructor (i.e. no longer assistant-instructor-in-training). I think it's going well - I've had some good feedback, at any rate!

The big event this week, though, was the trip Nef and I took in to the Cities to spend a couple days at the zoo. Officially, this was because our zoo membership was expiring and we wanted to get some more photos before it did (me for art/anatomy reference, her for graphic design), and they also had a new exhibit for the summer with anamatronic dinosaurs. Unofficially... we really wanted a getaway with just the two of us, and it was a good excuse.

It was an awesome trip, too! Couldn't have asked for nicer weather, the dinosaur exibit was very fun, and we ended up going to the bird show twice because it was so good. We basically hardly sat down for two days straight, and I don't even know how many miles we ended up walking - so pretty wiped out by the time we got home, but happy.

Nef got some really beautiful photos. I don't have a whole lot to share on that front, because though I took a fair amount I am a terrible photographer and was only using my phone, so I got quite a few that're useful for my reference purposes but not much that's particularly interesting or artistic in its own right. :P I think I'm getting a little better hang of photography generaly, though, so I've resolved to actually bring a proper camera that I know how to use next time.

I do have a few fun photos, though!

Cut for pics! )

*waves*

Apr. 2nd, 2014 07:21 pm
imbecamiel: (Urge to conquer large parts of Europe)
Heh, I realized that, though I've been keeping up with others' new posts, it's been quite some time since I've actually posted something here myself. Oops.

Been buuuusy. Among other things, lots of editing work, working on writing two original novels (yeeeah, it was just one last time I posted here... then stuff happened and I'm about 12,000 words into another coauthored one as well) at least one of which should be finished by the end of the summer, need to finish formatting my finished nonfiction ebook, trying to keep up with some artwork, getting all the details worked out for being a bridesmaid in [livejournal.com profile] scarvenartist's wedding (pretty sure I have mentioned that?)... Lots of fun stuff, but lots of busyness.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] scarvenartist was just up here to visit us! Which was an absolute blast, particularly since it's been a couple of years since she was able to make it up here. We mostly sat around and talked... a lot... *g* But we also did some really fun baking! Of which there are pics under the cut...
Cake and Karate pictures. Though not both at the same time. )

Success!

Dec. 9th, 2013 09:31 pm
imbecamiel: (TaeKwonDodo)
I am now officially a black belt. And I am so happy. :D The final exam came at... a rather bad time, and the last couple of weeks have been crazy stressful and packed with completing last-minute requirements that I found out about belatedly, so I'm pretty much collapsing now with relief at having completed it successfully.

At this point I'm hoping to start training for my second degree black belt in January. But first... some time off to properly focus on family and the holidays.

One advantage - after this, all the Christmas craziness seems like a really nice break! *bg* 

Ow.

Nov. 21st, 2013 03:58 pm
imbecamiel: (Daniel Mortal Peril)
Yep, that's pretty much been my mental and physical reaction to this month so far. Between helping my mom through the continuing recovery from her surgery the first half of the month (she's pretty well back to normal now), being right in the middle of the most stressful and demanding part of the black belt testing process, and a ton of other events and obligations, this year was probably not a good one to also decide to do a half NaNo.

But... I'm really liking the way my novel's coming along so far, and without that goal to push myself toward I knew I would've probably would've given in to exhaustion and just not worked on it at all this month. So. I've been writing. And so far it's still coming along. My current word count's at -

20048 / 25000 (80.19%)

Still on track to finish at this point, much to my own surprise!

Karate is also going well. Between particularly intense workouts and getting punched in the head multiple times (not hard enough for a concussion... definitely hard enough to snap my head back and leave me with a stiff neck for days) soreness is pretty much a way of life at the moment.

I also found out, belatedly (my brother knew, but didn't realize I hadn't heard) that one part of the screening tests was a trick question, test-of-your-character sort of scenario. You're given a couple of options as if they really don't care either way which you do, but in fact your choice is actually a rather major factor in their assessment of you. Not being aware beforehand, I chose correctly by pure accident (or Divine intervention, more like), rather than some kind of determination to challenge myself and push my limits. I didn't think I could manage the easier option without flailing and/or falling over at that point, while I was pretty sure I could do the harder one technically correctly, even if my execution wasn't awesomely impressive. XD

So - Eric and I just got word that we both passed our final screening, and will be allowed to go down to the Cities for the final exam on December 7th! Which means a lot of intense preparation yet, and I've got to fit in the required number of sparring sessions before then (which will be... tight), but I think we both have a really good chance of passing the final exam. \o/ But in the meantime... ow. Also, tired.

I've also been re-reading Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia during car rides and at night to unwind, and they are not only making me very happy but doing an excellent job of reminding me exactly why I wanted to write in the first place. What a wonderful reward it would be if someday someone laid in bed reading one of my books, desperately trying to smother gleeful giggles for fear of disturbing family members...

And that's basically a summary of my life lately.

Now I need to go and write a little more, because I'm behind on my word count for the day.

Eep.

Sep. 26th, 2013 02:25 pm
imbecamiel: (Daniel Mortal Peril)
Got my first blackbelt screening coming up tonight. I don't know how it's done at other schools, but we have a series of tests over three months, at the end of which the school's owner decides if you're ready to go in to the Cities for your final examination, or if you need to train harder and retake the screenings. Each screening can be... well, basically as long as the instructor wants it to be, I've heard anywhere from one to three hours, depending on how well he thinks people are doing.

I... don't think it's a particularly good sign when they feel the need to tell you beforehand what the rules are for where and how you're allowed to throw up during the test. Heh.

I'm just gonna go quietly have a nervous meltdown in the corner now.


Update: Still alive. Didn't get yelled at by the owner. Didn't collapse. Didn't blank out and forget the moves for my new form. Managed not to join in when the girl I was partnered with started crying. (It wasn't anything I did - I was just holding stuff for her to kick at that point - it was just really hard.)

Haven't been given my in-depth assessment yet, but... so far, so good.
imbecamiel: (Mortally Wounded)
 ... you start with a pleasant discussion of Thanksgiving celebrations, you end with helping to clean the blood off the floor. Literally, not figuratively. 

Gotta love it.

(Not my blood, by the way. Although I did suspect for a while that I was going to wind up with whiplash and a severely bruised chin and/or hand, after a few kicks from guys twice my size went awry. XP)
imbecamiel: (Default)
Still working on the follow-up for Live by the Currents, Plan by the Tides! It’s almost done now – I’m hoping to post it within the next couple of days. This… is basically just what happens when plot bunnies attack in the middle of the night.

Story idea from [livejournal.com profile] swanpride ’s post here at [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner , asking for a story related to Neal’s asking for combat training. This is very much based on real facts and incidents over the course of the four years or so I’ve taken karate, with a nice twist of fiction thrown in.

All recognizable characters are property of Jeff Easton – all unrecognizable characters are heavily based on real people, names changed to protect the guilty annoying and awesome alike. *g*


Story in here! )
imbecamiel: (Daniel Mortal Peril)
 Whew, what a weekend... 

Karate tournament went - quite well, all things considered. Lots of apprehension (I hate that my response to stress tends to be so much dizziness/trouble breathing), though not quite as much as I'd expected until the very last moment. We've had so much come up this last week that... honestly, I just didn't have time to get nervous. Didn't really have time to practice, either, which makes me all the happier for how things went. 

Aside from the general nervousness, conditions weren't exactly ideal - I'm pretty sure they were still running heat in the building, which was absolutely ridiculous given today's temperatures, and rather awful when combined with lots of people in an enclosed space and intense physical exercise. Then our time slot for competing got postponed, which added 'bout an extra 45 minutes of jitter-building time. Then they moved our competition to a different ring. Without telling us or making any announcement. *dies* We ended up running over and getting signed in just at the last second before they were getting started. 

And then... Eric and I were slotted to go first for our division. Now you have to understand, this is not only intimidating - because you don't get the chance to observe someone else before going yourself - but in karate competition you really don't want to be among the first three people competing. Those three tend to be the benchmark scores, which others are compared against, and so tend to get marked lower than they might later in the competition. 

But in the end - we got fourth place for our division! Considering how intense the competition can be, and what we're up against at the red-brown/black teen and adult level? I am very, very happy. ^.^ And... we were actually just One. Point. Away. from third place. The judges even commented on how close the decision was - we were one of the few teams to which none of the judges gave a score lower than 990 (the highest possible being 999). I'm fairly confident that if we'd either been able to get one more person on our team, or had enough practice time to introduce one more creative element, we'd have easily made third place, possibly even second. 

So. Awesomeness. :D Gonna get either a plaque or a medal, not sure which for this division - they apparently underestimated the number of competitors/had some delivery issues, so some trophies are getting delivered to the schools rather than presented there. I've been so ridiculously keyed up that I've been practically vibrating ever since we finished. Except now that we're home I'm kinda crashing. So tiiiired. And hungry. *g* Between the stress and the intense physical exercise... I think I got all the reserves sucked out of me. I had a hotdog and ice cream there, M&Ms when we got home... think I'm gonna have a slice of pizza now. XD

Oh! And the writing conference yesterday was quite awesome as well. Lots of very useful information on the publishing world, submitting manuscripts, what and how to negotiate on the contract... Very good. Also, one of the more interesting aspects of being an editor: people at conferences randomly giving you books they've written because they hear you're currently editing something related. XD This person wasn't just looking for free editing/in-depth critique, though. Must remember to read a bit this week and send him a note.... Hey, not such a bad deal - free books! *g*
imbecamiel: (Doom On You)
So, Neffie and I have a new nickname now. According to one of the kids we watch (he's... four now, I think?) we are - the Ladies of Doom. 

Yes, really. No, I do not have any idea whatsoever where he got that from. It just came out of the blue, completely unrelated to anything we'd been doing. Er, maybe we were a little tougher than usual about Enforcing the Rules today? Not a clue. It was quite adorable, though, and I've been chuckling about it all day. 

Annnnd here's hoping that I can actually impress someone other than a four-year-old with my doom-bringing status. Because... I have just signed up for my first Very Srs Bsns Karate Tournament. Yep. I now have just short of a month to finish preparing my form before competing for real. 'S gonna be a team form, but... at this point I don't even know for sure who's going to be on the team. Eric, definitely. Other than that - one of my instructors might, but we don't know yet if she'll be allowed at that level. Another guy might, but we don't know if he'll be ready. So. We'll see. Kinda hard to get things properly ready at this rate, but yeah. 

At the moment I'm still flip-flopping back and forth between, "Cool, this'll be fun! I can totally master this category by then." and "'Kay. I'm gonna go throw up now." Heh. The potential competition at the brown-and-striped level is kinda terrifying. But marginally less terrifying than at actual black belt level. Because... if I waited until then to actually compete in a tournament for the first time, I'd probably never do it. *dies* So you can probably expect much angsting and freaking out as it actually gets close to the date and I find out more details. 

Also, I am officially on the verge of declaring all-out war on all creatures with more than four legs. Spiders? Not so bad. Don't love them in the house, but in general I can see a certain fascination in them, especially really big ones. The dream I had last night about a tarantula being in my bed was less than fun, though. It is not, however, the spiders that are pushing me over the edge. It's the centipedes. 

Oh yeah, that leetle piece of dried-up dead insect I was gonna pick up with a scrap of tissue this morning? Turns out to be a very much not dead centipede, with a muuuuuuch longer body that'd been mostly hidden in a tiny hole in the wall. Not cool. That thing just kept coming. And the other mostly-drowned centipede that decided to join me in the shower? Turns out to be much more energetic than appearances would suggest when I kind-of grab it. I say "kind of" because, oh yes, I did pick it up. It just wasn't actually restrained by the piece of toilet paper I used. 

Again I say: Not cool, centipedes. Very much not cool. Consider this your final warning - one more such incident and I am escalating this to a whole new level. The Lady of Doom has spoken. 

Hee!

May. 18th, 2010 08:11 am
imbecamiel: (Drop Your Sword)
 As of last night, I... am a brown belt. 

I am now officially "Miss Cami" - at least to anyone in karate with a lower belt level than me. *bg* (Only, y'know, they use my real last name which I try not to use online. XD)

I'm so excited! :D
imbecamiel: (Briar Sprite)
Meh. Lately I have felt so worn out and vaguely depressed and just completely distracted. And the stupid thing is, I have no actual reason for it, other than this last weekend having left me completely wiped out. But even that was mostly a really good time, and by this point it's really pushing the whole recovering from an exhausting few days thing a little far. Which has led me to wonder if I might be coming down with something, but... eh.

Anyway, things have been looking up today.

Rambings on... stuff.  )

Edit: Oops. Sorry about the defective LJ-cut. *facepalm* You can blame that on the defective computer. And defective internet connection. Er... and defective brain. *g*
imbecamiel: (Default)
Guess what! I'm a red-with-brown belt in karate now! *so bouncy* Nef wasn't feeling real well, so she didn't test this time, which is sad... but she's not particularly bothered, because now Eric and I both have to do harder stuff in class than she does. XD

As far as other stuff going on...

Made squirrel for dinner the other day. The guys have been shooting them lately, and decided that we really ought to try eating them. Eh... not something I think I'd do again. Not that it tasted bad - in fact, it was quite good - but, well.

You must realize, I am not particularly squeamish when it comes to meat - either the preparing, or the eating. I've tried some pretty odd things, just for the sake of having eaten it at least once. I frequently deal with various kinds of meat in the kitchen, of course, and I have helped butcher a deer, I clean fish (and bait my own hooks, take the fish off the hooks, and cook them, naturally, started learning all that when I was about five), and none of these things bother me. I also favor the idea that if you're going to kill an animal, it's good to eat it when possible rather than wasting it.

I don't know, maybe it's the fact that they were squirrels. Squirrels are cute. I like them. (Deer are beautiful, and I like them too, but squirrels are cute and little. I rather lost my appetite for that reason eating quail, even though I liked it - all I could picture was my parakeet... :P) Squirrels are also pests, yes, and these were trouble-makers that needed to be got rid of. Still.

Might've also been the fact that, while I was preparing them, I was extremely hungry. That, combined with spending so much time trying to get the fur off the meat, and then the smell of it cooking - just enough "normal food, and yet... not" - was enough to make me start feeling sick. Somehow, the smell of that meat, just...

Might've also had something to do with the fact that my brother tends to process things by talking. A lot. And therefore felt the need to go over the killing and gutting process in great detail, regardless of whether we might be eating at the time (difference in appearance between blood and brain matter on snow, versus ground, smells involved... yeah, maybe interesting for writing research purposes, but now?).

The fact that my piece of meat still had some pieces of hair on it might also have contributed. I maintain that Eric was the one who cleaned that one. :P

So yeah. Not real interested in trying squirrel again. I'm glad I did once... sort of. But if Dad and Eric want to do it again, I think the meat's gonna be done with barbecue sauce for a guys-only night. Heh.

On a completely different track - yay, such pretty new eggs out at dragon cave! And for the first time, I actually knew from the start what two of them were going to be. *has so much insider knowledge* He, yeah, or not - but I was following their progress and they were finished quite recently - which gives me hope that it may not be so very long before one of my concepts has a chance of making it. ^.^ So -

Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!

And along those lines...

Bit of an art update. )
imbecamiel: (Squee)
Soo, karate promotions went considerably better than I'd expected, all things considered. Except for the fact that the toes on one of my feet were doing the whole random-going-numb thing again the whole time. Doesn't really help with balance and all. :P But! While I didn't get my next belt, I'm almost certain to next time (I was told I had just a couple of things to polish up, get the details perfect), and I did get another stripe. As I said - better than I'd been expecting, with the less than ideal circumstances this time.

And after testing had a very fun conversation with my favorite teacher, who commiserated with us on the fact that Eric his next belt, is therefore slightly ahead of us now, and will likely prove impossible to live with. *g* Found out she likes NCIS, and Dad gave her official permission to Gibbs-slap Eric whenever she pleases. 'Cause sometimes he needs it. ;) (He just... sometimes likes to press his luck a bit with the teachers we know well, hoping they'll be harder on him in consequence.Yeah, he's literally asking for it, and they know it.)

Speaking of NCIS... anyone else read this? *EPICsquee* Seriously, in all the speculation and discussion I've participated in over the 150th episode, it sounds like it may prove exactly, exactly the sort of storyline I'd been hoping for. Just - *flails in fannish glee* Okay, I now have major excitement, and even higher hopes for this episode. If only January 12th weren't so far away... *wistful sigh* Still slightly nervous over what the resolution will be like, but ooooh, I've a feeling this one's gonna be awesome.

Yay! :D
imbecamiel: (Shep - Glares)
Saw a fun YouTube video today. Even though my family isn't really particularly big, we have heard this sort of thing many times over the years... :)




In other recent events... I keep getting laughed at in karate. Not by opponents (yet), just by my friends. And not because I'm Doing It Wrong, either. Actually, things have been going quite well.

No, it appears the difficulty is that, when I talk or smile even a little, my dimples show. And by this stage, where I'm supposed to be all intense, and focused, and Intimidating (particularly when, for instance, practicing tournament-style forms, or formally presenting oneself to judges).... Apparently dimples =/= scary, and occasionally make it difficult for others to keep a straight face. Hmph.

Not really much I can do to fix that, though. On the bright side... yet another reason anyone in a real situation would be unlikely to take me seriously?

*pouts*
imbecamiel: (Percy - Moment of Triumph)
Well... erm, seems whenever I post around here lately, it's to apologize for my general absence 'round here. So I'm not going to. Apologize, that is. ;P So. Moving right along...

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Hehe. Actually, I still has a happy. ;D 

Life 'n fanishness 'n stuff.  )

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