September 24th, 2002

The gentleman is always properly dressed

Humbled before the spirits

This weekend, I volunteered to work at Oktoberfest as hosted by the Boston Beer Summit and Spaten at the Park Plaza Castle. I toted heavy things. I drank too much. I had a hangover the next day. It’s funny, I remember coming home on Saturday thinking that I would have to relate all of the things that went on over the course of the evening, but I was in no condition to write then. Instead, I responded to a couple of e-mails when I got home, one of which never reached its destination, the other was barely readable. I thought both were hysterically funny at the time because I was having such a hard time hitting the right keys as I typed.

In the aftermath, I’ve found it a little difficult to remember what I thought was so important to relate. Now, weird things are kicking around in my head, replacing memories of fun and funny things that happened. I’ve been nursing a bit of post-inebriation guilt, mostly circulating around the idea that somehow I didn’t do enough and Josh won’t me as a volunteer next time around. I’m also a little worried about relating stories about not being fully in control, courtesy of my overdeveloped sense of propriety.

Today's not the best day to record a night in which I probably repeatedly embarrassed myself, though. I'm down, I'm feeling lonely for some reason, and I'm also well into the partly cloudy mood that strikes me whenever I come off the tail end of a stressful project.

Update: In the end, I did write the tale of my debauchery. It's posted below as a friends only entry, and then only because wisdom_seeker asked nicely. Her curiosity benefits all.
The gentleman is always properly dressed

On Wu Ching and Pak Hok Pai

I've gotten word that the White Crane school I used to go to is probably going to be shutting down in the near future. The rent for their space is going up to $1500/month, and where the previous overhead was troublesome, this is just oppressive.

It's really problematic to me that Sifu Wu is being driven out of business partly because he's never been willing to do the highly commercialized franchise student mill. Instead, he tried to maintain the character of the schools that he trained at and to give his students a sense of family. He also tried to serve as a resource to the community, providing traditional medicinal treatments and a center for all manner of activity surrounding Chinese culture and heritage. He succeeded on all counts, but in the process, he managed to work with too small a number of students and collected too little in the way of fees to meet to pressures of this real estate market gone mad.

On a more personal level, I'm kicking myself because the inevitable has happened. There was this amazing opportunity that I managed to squander because I was too busy wrangling with the Big D. Had I been devotedly studying over the past several years, I'd be fit, I'd move like a fighter, and I'd have a working knowledge of a beautiful and esoteric style of kung fu. I'd have accomplished something, and even if I hadn't managed a mastery of the art, I'd at least be able to claim that I learned everything I could learn from this man from Taishan.

I'm frankly really disappointed in myself.

The school can stay open if they can figure out a way to secure nearly $20,000 of funding per year. The truly sad irony is that that's about the same amount that I'm required to give elsewhere.

me: Bet you didn't think it was quite that much...
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