Aether, Ink, and Steel

The new Mastodon is out today:

I’m not that great of a reviewer, as I generally only review things that I like anyways. That being said, I’m halfway through this album, and it’s amazing. It’s a departure from their previous albums, but it’s positive growth, and expected. Extremely layered, very dense, very complex. GO OUT AND BUY IT RIGHT NOW.

Several of my friends either just got new tattoos or are planning on getting new tattoos, and now I’ve got the urge to get some of my planned work done. It’s been 10 freaking years since I got my first (and so far only) tattoo, and it’s past time for me to get some more. I’m still finalizing the design a little bit, but I’ve got the location decided (well, I’m 75% sure about that). Just need to decide on where to actually get it done. I’ve got a few more planned after my next one, and ideally I won’t take nearly as long to get started on those.

And now for something completely different.

I’ve never really been an athletic guy; I certainly enjoy the outdoors, and the occasional game of pick up hockey, but any actual physical activity I’ve done through the years has been mainly for fun. It wasn’t until the last few years that I started “working out”, and that was mainly because being healthy is a good thing. And really, I’m very lazy about actually working out as well. I can’t really run or jog, partly because of a minor knee injury, but mainly because RUNNING SUCKS. Sorry runners. Enjoy your special shoes and crazy energy goo. I do enjoy stationary biking, because I can read while doing it. I also enjoy weight training, but that’s mainly because it has been a tremendous benefit to my playing. I don’t get a sore neck and back after long gigs anymore.

Way back in the day (HOLYCRAPALMOST25YEARSAGO) I took karate for a couple of years. I don’t remember why I stopped going, but I actually progressed a healthy level into the ranking system, achieving either the 5th or 4th kyu.
While the work outs did me good, I really enjoyed the mental discipline involved.

Around roughly the same time, I discovered The Hobbit and assorted Conan stories. I spent a fair amount of time running through the woods, pastures, and fields on our farm dressed in tunic and cape, fighting off Orcs and bandits, and embarrassing the hell out of my sisters and probably confusing the hell out of my father. I desperately wanted to fence, but there just was no opportunity to do so in my part of the world.

In college, I quickly went to a few fencing club meetings with b33n3r, but it just wasn’t what I expected. There was something missing. Yes, we had swords, but it felt… very French.

A few years ago (three, actually) I signed up for a fencing class through community education. It was fun, and a great workout, but it made me remember why I didn’t really take to fencing in college: I don’t want to learn how to fence, I want to learn how to use a sword.

And yes, that is where I’m going with this, B33n3r.

Reading Dies The Fire got me thinking about my interests in the “Western” martial arts. So, I’ve been doing some sleuthing, and I’m going to hook up with the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts
and learn about actual swordplay. I’m also going to start up with karate again, because I could use the exercise, and as mentioned, it’s a fantastic mental workout as well. Obviously, I’m not preparing for any sort of Change scenario (because I figured that out after reading the first half of the book, duh.) I just like having some sort of “purpose” to working out. And training with a sword makes a lot more sense to me than this.

How long has it been since we flew through shadows?

2 Responses to “Aether, Ink, and Steel”

  1. […] to myself for starting a new career would be to finally get the new tattoo I had been working on for a while. I had decided to go to the same place I had went for my first tattoo over ten years ago, Electric […]

  2. […] post has finally come to fruition; I’ve gotten a new tattoo, I’m going to see Mastodon […]

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