Sitting in Logan Airport with a coffee and some precious free moments.
Two days of filming. Part done in Club 58, Jamie's place, where we played scenarios last year, part at the YMAA kwoon in Jamaica Plain. Some really nice people and excellent martial artists showed up to help, and Nick stopped by to say 'Hi.'
It was hectic and the days were way more exhausting than they should have been. Not sure why, it was basically teaching, but I was pretty drained every night. It might have been exhaustion from the night-flight out (no real good sleep this week, that always seemed secondary to spending time with friends I don't see enough). It might have been the choppiness, as things were paused so the cameras could be fed and cared for. It might simply be because shooting order is different than the logical progression of teaching. You need to shoot all the scenes you can without moving lights or cameras, then move them and shoot all you can with the new orientation...
Or a combination. David Silver was great to work with and from everything I hear, he is a genius with editing and production. That's outstanding, since I am completely ignorant. One of the martial artists who showed up to assist, Teja Van Wicklen, has training and experience in video production and she seemed impressed. Frankly, I wouldn't know good if it bit me on the ass.
The videos will be released by YMAA and the working titles are "Facing Violence" and "The Logic of Violence." I'll keep you posted.
Two days of that then an evening/night drive to NYC. With a GPS that decided to send us in circles on the bridges between NY and NJ.
Followed by one long but fantastic day brawling on a rooftop with a small group of mostly strangers. It was a blast. Since the group was so small and familiar with the books, I did it private lesson format: "What do you want to work on? Dealer's choice."
Groups, fighting the mind, weapons, coaching the one-step and a really quick run-through of Conflict Communications.
That evening, Afghani food followed by scotch and conversation on a deck in Weehawken, NJ in a very light rain. The deck looked over NYC with an incredible view and was attached to a beautifully restored 3-bedroom apartment that happens to be for rent...
Then up in the morning and a train back to Boston. On the train, we met the rudest, funniest person. When we asked to sit in the only paired unoccupied seats opposite her she actually sniffed (not the snooty sniff, but inhaling, like a dog seeing if we smelled clean enough to be in her world) and turned away.
It got worse from there and it was so hard not to laugh. I did giggle a little.
Mike and Tia and two of their friends invited me to Oktoberfest, so it was arrive in Boston, dump things off at J&J's apartment (and if you wonder why they aren't in the story so far I was almost never with them, but they do have some great news that I can't divulge until they do. No, it's not that.) Then to the meeting place. Got there a little early so had a snack, then the big meet-up for the Sam Adam's Okoberfest. OMG. Crowds. Beer. Polka music. It was like hell but with a worse dress code.
I came of age in the microbrew capital of the world. Sam Adams is good beer compared to... PBR and Bud and Coors and that's about it. Even given that, I don't like beer that much. Four free pints of not very good beer came with admission. Yay. And crowds. Drunk crowds. And dumb little trivia games- for weird little fake felt hats. And pretzel tossing. And polka music. Oh. dear. god. polka music. It must take a gene to appreciate that. Or more beer than I was willing to drink. It was also deafening loud and I think no more than six songs played over and over again.
I really want to know this-- who plays the accordian? I can see some little kid forced to play against his will, but when he grows up and moves away and his parents die... he still plays? In public?
It sounds horrible, but hanging with this group, horrible can be fun. The best part was talking about dark thoughts with... a certain person who will go nameless. But thanks, M, you made the night.
Then too short sleep with enough bad beer on board to keep one farting all night and off to the seminar. Which was held in a venue that googlemaps indicated was at the bottom of a lake. Half-hour late to my own gig, which wasn't too bad because everyone else was too.
It went well, a good, sweaty day. Intelligent questions, hard players. We skipped counter-assault in favor of Plastic Mind. Not sure if it was a good call, but some people really made progress with some of the plastic mind exercises.
Dinner with M&T and some fantastic people watching. We were competing to try to guess details and back up our observations on couples: first date? Long-term relationship? Hook up? Stresses? What are those two complaining about?
Then to T's to wash clothes and sleep (done far too late to go back to J&J's)
Slept in until seven, the longest sleep all week, and then up and deliver the Conflict Communications talk. I think it blew some people away. I also saw some people get very uncomfortable on certain parts... which is good. Emotions are signs the limbic system is stepping and you may want to see where that is coming from.
Then, for the last night in town, dinner at a Brazilian BBQ (which I love, but we passed a place that had Iraqi kebabs and I had a sudden stab of what can only be called homesickness) and narghilah at Habibi's Hookah Lounge.
Home in less than twelve hours.
The week has been packed.