Back – from the past!

I got back from Gasshuku Spring 2008. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it did surprise me a bit. I’m not a super-social person (I’m an introvert), but I was able to make some friends.

So…I drank. Yes, beer and my first taste of 151. That’s an unforgettable experience, especially as it was only this one girl (whom I’ll avoid naming) and I who drank that stuff. I don’t blame anyone for not drinking it as well, but for me and her, it was a challenge we had with each other. The first shot (double shot wasn’t it?) for both of us was kind of to get things going. Then we decided to play a drinking game. The rules were kind of fuzzy, but it was just blackjack. Guess who had to do a second one first…yes, I have bad luck. I wanted to walk away, but I had to honour my wager. So I did, and it was pretty rough. Luckily, she had to do the next one between us. There were others playing, but not seriously and they refused to drink as well.

So, we had them at 2 hits a piece. We used carrots to soothe the burn until they ran out. After that we used tomatoes. This challenge didn’t last much longer, as I managed to avoid the final shot. I won’t go into details, but I felt pretty bad that I effectively made her take the last shot. Well, she quickly admitted defeat after that, but she still contends that she could out-drink me if she had eaten more earlier. Well, I hope to find an opportunity to test her theory out.

I seem to have gone on a tangent (although that was the highlight of the event for me), as Gasshuku is actually about kendo. I got hit by acute anxiety and hyperventilation during the second practice on Saturday, causing me to embarrassingly cry and leave the practice for ten minutes or so. I guess it’s what’s called a panic attack, but I don’t remember panicking about anything in particular. It’s happened before, but each time is just as hard to take as the last. Luckily, I don’t get them very often. Unluckily, I do get them from occasionally.

As for the actual kendo, it was frustrating being the only one without any sort of bogu. I felt quite alone and struggled with stamina. I was able to run pretty well in the morning on Sunday, but at that point I was still recovering from the slight effects of the 151 from the previous night. My stamina of course was lacking for the rest of the day.

I was thinking it was a pretty good weekend, and I still do, but I regret not paying more attention to my personal hygiene, specifically with brushing my teeth. To be honest, I don’t think it mattered about showering (someone else admitted to not showering at all), but I should’ve done something about my teeth. I don’t often get the chance to speak with women (I’m a Computing Science student), so when given the opportunity to speak with a pretty woman (which is what happened), I need to be more aware of myself. Being self-aware, of course, should not mean being awkward. But for me, that’s how it usually is, y’know?

This entry I think is the first one that expresses my own personal situation, so I hope it’s interesting. As a side note, I do brush my teeth and shower regularly, but there was something about Gasshuku that lulled me into being more lazy than I usually am.

For the most part, I don’t really care what others think about me, but there are exceptions. A woman I find attractive is an obvious exception. I sometimes fear that I’m being dishonest when my personality shifts in those cases. I’m conflicted; I want to make an impression that is favourable, but also that stands for who I am. And I worry if I’m thinking over things too seriously; perhaps she was simply being friendly, but I can always hope (watch out: weak and passive expression) that she might think of me, or come to think of me, in a certain way. (Phew! What a wuss!) Then again, if I’m truly as hopeless as I believe I am, I’ll screw things up regardless of her initial impression of me, whatever that may be, for whatever reason.

Is anyone else tired of reading this drivel? I make myself sick sometimes. And relying on alcohol…ugh.

On a positive note, um… well… I’ll keep doing kendo. I was considering stopping, for fear of inability and uncontrollable anxiety. I’ve also decided to rent bogu from sensei, so it won’t hit the wallet too badly until later when I’ll have recovered from my recent spending and actually buy a set.

For anyone who cares (only me I guess), keep your fingers crossed. I may be hopeless in reality, but I’m hopeful in heart. Or is it the opposite?


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