So, since crossing the 40-and-up threshold 2 weeks ago, I've been pretty insanely busy. Thus, no updates. Briefly, here's the status quo:
Employment Status: Happily, gainfully employed again for the foreseeable future. Working with a buncho f former co-workers at a new startup here in Austin. To top it off, I've managed to swing a job change into marketing and creative development and management, which will really open up my career prospects moving forward. It took a bit wrangling, mostly of my own pride, to get things settled into place, but I'm glad to be working folks I enjoy working with again in work that is challenging and interesting.
Social Life: Active. Almost too much so. Lots of running around and stuff to do, not nearly enough time to do it in. This is a problem that is quite nice to have.
Toys: Several lovely new ones, courtesy of my last birthday. On the "fun and games" side, I have a spankin' new Xbox 360 Elite happily buzzing away atop my television. Many hours hve been spent playing Bioshock, Gears of War, Guitar Hero II, and Viva Pinata in the past two weeks. If you're reading this and have an Xbox 360, drop me a note with your gamertag and I'll add you as a friend!
And on the "foodie" side of things I've been having a blast getting to know the ins and outs of my new espresso machine. I love all the work and effort that I have to go through just to make two itty bitty cups of bittersweet bliss. Much like travel, the journey is half of the fun when it comes to food and drink prep.
Martial Arts: Training as often as possible in preparation for a) the Lone Star Classic, which occurs tomorrow morning and b) my 3rd gup test, which occurs in 2 weeks. I'm excited about the tournament: it's Master Nunan's tournament, so I'll be competing alongside (and against...) many of my friends and training peers from our dojang. Plus, it will be my final tournament as a green belt, so it will be a nice way to see out this phase of my training and education in the martial arts. Will be competing with Chil Sung ill Rho for (I assume) the last time, and I'm sincerely hopefully hat this third time will be the charm that finally lands me 1st place with this form. I've been practicing it for over 5 months now, so I'm hopeful that all this hard work will pay off. As for sparring, who knows? I never expect to do well in sparring, and yet when tournament time come along I seem to perform well and often place high in my class. I'm not worried about it. It'll be fun regardless, and with any luck we'll be attending a party later that evening at Master Nunan's place.
As for my 3rd gup test, I can't wait until it gets here. I've been eagerly anticipating this test for months now, and just want to get in there and show what I can do. Plus, I'll get to test on the mat with my wife and my son, who will both be testing for 5th (green belt 1 stripe), which will be terrific. Miranda and I have tested alongside each other before, but this will be the first time I get to test with the rest of my family (whereas Miranda is on her 6 month wait for 3rd gup and will be sitting out this next one).
I'll probably only be testing with one other 4th gup, though -- my 8 year old training partner Kayleigh -- which will be interesting. Given our height differences, we'll probably only be doing line drills and forms together -- we'll both need someone closer to our own size for one steps, wrist grabs, sparring and improvised self-defense, so I assume I'll be working with one of the 5th or 6th gups that are testing, or with a spare red belt or dan that is floating around. Regardless, I know Kayleigh is taking this test seriously and will show up prepared to blow it out of the water that day. My goal is to get though all of my forms (every single form I've learned in the past 21 months...) without having to do any of them twice, and I think that goal is very attainable if I just stay focused and calm. Once I've got this tournament out of the way I'll be spending the next two weeks (evenings at the dojang, mornings at the gym) running forms, one-steps, wrist grabs, and line drills just to iron out any kinks and get things solid.
Italy Trip: Sadly, on hold until Spring. Too much going on, so we've decided it makes more sense to put it off until May or so, so that we can enjoy it without stressing out about money and all the time off so soon after starting at my new position. Disappointing, sure, but we'll get there one way or another next year. So as not to completely ignore our 15th anniversary, Christine and I will be taking a 3-day romantic getaway vacation to San Antonio at the beginning of October. Staying at a gorgeous, hoity-toity hotel on the Riverwalk. Pampering ourselves and eating out and drinking champagne and doing this and that for a few days on our own. It ain't Italy, but it'll be nice all the same.
And now, time to wrap up some more design work and start focusing on the weekend.
Now Playing: Lyle Lovett, "It's Not Big, It's Large"