Saturday, September 24, 2005

Not-so-surprising discoveries

I went to the Fencer's Club the other day, to sort of scope the place out. It's the oldest fencing salle in the United States, home to the National Foil Team, and home base to the Peter Westbrook foundation as well as the coach of the men's olympic sabre team. That last part is the carrot that's dangling out in front of me. If I can train with him, I'll be in sabre girl heaven. Anyway, the visit was more of a formality than anything... I know I want to be at this place. Needless to say, I haven't got the money for it right now, but when I do, just try and stop me.

When I got there, I found that the salle itself was up a few floors, so I rode the little elevator up to the place, where I found a bunch of kids warming up and running drills. A woman dressed in all white (slacks, blouse, and chiffon shell... not in an all-white fencing uniform... just wanted to clarify) was walking around very briskly and talking on a cellphone. My guess was that this would be the woman to accost and speak to. I caught her eye, and she greeted me, leading me back to an office. After that, there was basically some banter about where I was from, how long I'd fenced, who my coaches had been, here's our paperwork, come fence with us, we're a really nice group, best sabre in the country, see you later. Before I could get a word in edgewise, I was out the door again. So much for that.

No surprise, really. I mean, fencing people are nice. Nice and prideful, and often curt. This woman was nice enough, but, honestly, no different from what I expected. And why should she be? Besides, she wasn't exaggerating... they really do have the best sabre fencing anywhere. Trust me. I've done my homework. Fencing with these people would be... well... let's just say I don't consider myself worthy. But hey... when's that ever stopped me from doing anything, right? So let them laugh when the chubby girl with crap equipment walks in and starts fencing. I'm eager to learn, ready to train, and I'm drinking milk. Okay, soy milk, but it's got calcium, damn it.

Speaking of equipment, I also visited the Blade storefront. Blade is one of several stores that you can purchase fencing equipment from online, and I've done business with this company several times over the years. This, however, was my very first visit to a real live fencing store. Once again, pretty much the way I expected... brusk, old Russian man behind the counter, lots of fencing jackets, weapons, and shoes on the walls. "You buy? You need I help you buying something? What size your jacket... thirty-four? Oh, yeah, you wish... here, we measure you, then you know what big size the jacket you buy." Yeah. Love those Russians. My Dallas Opera chorusmaster was Russian, and I dated a Russian once, so I wasn't surprised by his forward demeanor and borderline insulting tone. I got a good idea of the prices, told him I'd definitely be back after chatting him up a while about the fencing in the area (he verified my hunch... Fencer's Club is the only place for anyone serious about sabre), and made my way out and about Manhattan.

Still wishing to extend my day's theme of all things unsuprising, I found Chevy's, a Mexican restaurant that I'd eaten at once in California. I had a great, albeit predictable, meal there, complete with a strawberry-banana margarita the size of my head. From there, I made my way across the street to the movie theater. I looked at the selection of movies, seeking out something... you guessed it... painfully predictable. My choice? Heh heh... Roll Bounce. Oh, yeah. Bow Wow was in rare form. Good, predictable fun. Yes, I enjoyed it, but it's no sin to wait until the video release to see this one. I did redeem myself this evening, however, when Russ and I watched Corpse Bride. This movie was much better than my selection from yesterday... sorry, Bow wow, but the stop animation Johnny Depp/Helena Bonham Carter collaboration had you beat. Predictably.

The rest of my evening, along with most of tomorrow, will be spent recording some songs... I've put it off too long, and I need to get these tracks laid down before the CBGB thing. Given my tendancy to take five or six hours recording one song, and seeng as I have at least sixteen to record, I'm hoping I don't do things so, er, predictably this time around.


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