Monday, June 29, 2009

Parts Canada Superbike Championships

The Superbike Championships were lots of fun yesterday. A couple of the races were really close, especially the main event. Jordan Szoke (team Kawasaki) riding a ZX-10R lost in the last curve to Brett McCormick (team Suzuki) riding a GSX-R1000 and even though I was cheering for Szoke I have to admit that McCormick raced exceptionally well and made his pass when it counted, the last part of the last lap.

At least Szoke won the first race against McCormick in the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike Category riding a Kawasaki ZX-6R against McCormick's
Suzuki GSX-R600. Here are a couple pictures of the races...

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They also had a demo of a couple guys just doing stunts/tricks on their bikes which was seriously impressive. Those bikes get the snot beat out of them though, poor things

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At least the weather was gorgeous although I did manage to burn again, despite the fact that I repeatedly put on SPF 30 sunscreen.

And thats all...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

9th Revolver: Journal Entry 01

I do not know how to begin or where. There are so many changes in me and sometimes it gets hard to focus and even meditating doesn’t sooth my soul. I feel wilder than before, less like a man and far more feral, but I suppose that is to be expected. I lost a great chunk of my humanity when I died. My soul itches where it was merged with the one the Byakko gave to me. Like a wound that is still healing.

It is confusing to me, my chest aches. Are there two souls inside of me or one? Am I still who I was or am I different entirely? I have so many questions and no one will answer me. No one knows the answers. Even the priest doesn’t know. I stare at the heavens and pray to the stars shining in the vast darkness but they remain quiet. The trees are silent and the animals run at my very presence as though my very being frightens them.

The priest was the one who encouraged me to write this, that it would help me focus and come to terms with what I am. What am I? Am I human? Am I feline? I was once a warrior, a samurai. Someone used to both giving orders and taking them. I wrote poetry and studied the art of the sword. Now I have no one around me to instruct and there isn’t a single person alive that knows how to guide me. The library here is limited and there is nothing on my situation in them, no matter how much I have searched. The Byakko has not returned and I still don’t know if his gift is a blessing or a curse.

Perhaps I should start from the beginning although I don’t know where that is exactly. Should I tell of my old life so I don’t forget? Or should I begin with my new one. Or maybe I should start with my death. Was that where it began? Or was it at my first birth?

I’ll start with who I was. I used to go by the name Akita Sadao. I was born in the year Eikyō 7[1] in Edo, Japan. My father, Akita Dai, was a samurai before me and like him I became one under the service of Ōta Dōkan[2]. It was a good life, full of pride in who I was and what I did. I was a samurai. I demanded respect.

That life is gone. It is over now. How many days has it been since I died? It is mid-summer judging by the feel of the air around me but time is hard to tell at the Shrine. It was spring when I ceased to live. The samurai in me has me up each day earlier than dawn but there are no tasks for me to complete. By mid morning I have practiced all of my techniques but there is no one here to spar with. The priest will not train with me nor do I expect him to. He is a peaceful man, joyful and full of life. I feel like I am full of death. It creeps upon me as I lay down at night and yet death is now the one thing I should be the least afraid of. I am going crazy here. I need a purpose. I need answers.

Even poetry fails me. The words that one flowed through my fingertips and off my tongue now lie like rot in my mouth. I want to roar instead. I want to run free and I want to taste fresh blood on my tongue. I want to eat red meat, devour it raw and still warm. Sometimes I give in and take to the forest but I have to be conscious of what I hunt.

Humans look edible to me. I have never been afraid of something in my life. A samurai does not feel fear. Fear is a sign of weakness. But I feel it now. I am afraid of who I have become and what I am.

Enough about fear and these strange instincts running through my vein, I will return now to my life and my death.

I was twenty-seven when I died. I can remember the event clearly which is both strange and soothing. I died well. That is a peaceful thought, it is every Samurai’s dream to die well.

The event itself took place at night soon after the Edo Castle was completed. There were celebrations all around and it was the perfect time for attack. I was one of Ōta Dōkan’s personal guards and I am not ashamed to say I did my job well. While others drank Sake and joined with woman trained in the pillow arts I stayed with my Daimyo.[3]

When the assassin came I was ready. His blade was cunning but so was mine. Like sheets of ice in a melting river they slid and flashed against each other. We were well matched and I had to give credit to the grace of his footsteps as we danced throughout the room. In the end however I knew we were too well matched and so ignoring his Katana I thrust mine. Blade met flesh on both ends. His piercing my belly as mine went through his heart.

It is odd writing of your own death. I can still feel the ghost of his weapon buried inside of me. The scar is still there, a white line slicing across my stomach. I can remember the vivid red on my fingertips as I pulled the sharp edge from me. The smell of it is still strong in my nostrils as is the pain I feel just recalling it. Then there was nothing, my world faded into blackness and it was quiet.

Eventually the darkness ebbed away and I was standing in a lush green forest high in the mountains. There was a bold, regal, white tiger - The Byakko[4]. When it approached I bowed low. It spoke to me. Its voice raw and powerful as it told me he had witnessed my act of courage and as a result had a reward for me. I listened in awe as it told me I would wake up a different man. That I would have the soul of a tiger buried inside my chest. He explained to me that I had nine lives to live and that one had already been used. Eight more remained.

He reared up then and pressed his massive paws on my shoulders as he opened his mouth and breathed on my face. My vision sunk back into darkness.

I next woke here, in the heart of the Shinto Shrine, inside of the Hoden[5].

The priest was beside me along with a young man that I recognized as being a servant in the castle, hardly someone worth my time. Peasants were beneath me, beneath all Samurai.

It was then that I first felt the strangeness inside me. The burning in my soul that made me want to tear out my own heart. It spread through my limbs and curled around my spine, down my legs even into the smallest of my toes. I wanted to scream in agony but my pride would not let me. I made not a sound as my bones broke and melded, shifted and reformed. My mouth opened but nothing came out as fangs formed and my tongue lengthened. I was terrified but remained quiet as fur spread along my skin in different hues, coating my body in hair. My eyes felt like they were being injected with fluid as they swelled inside their sockets and my skull expanded to fit them. My ears buzzed as they moved and transformed. Then my fingernails grew and became claws, lengthening and growing razor sharp. Finally the pain seemed to stop as my heart gave a giant lurch then sped up in my chest. I tried to speak but all that came out was a vicious snarl.

It was then that I realized the Byakko had meant his words literally. I had become a tiger. A beast. One of courage and passion and protectiveness. A possessive creature that fed on flesh. I felt betrayed and angry, not understanding and I lashed out.

It was the priest that finally calmed me enough. He said my name. Over and over and over. It was so loud in my ears, my hearing was hyper-sensitive to sound. I tried to focus on him and suddenly he was clearer than anything I'd ever seen. The world looked entirely different; it shone brighter, clearer, like I was looking at the sky, scrubbed clean after a storm.

In awe I prowled around the small space, sniffing the air and tasting the smells. The young man was scared; I could sense it on my tongue, through my nose. Intrigued I turned my head to him and he stumbled backwards. He also smelt good, I wanted a taste.

It was the priest repeating my name again that stopped me from pouncing. "Akita Sadao," he said, "remember who you are. Remember your humanity."

I shivered then. I was suddenly more scared then I could ever recall being. That fear was what changed me back and the reverse process was just as painful. My skin felt too tight as it shrunk and my bones tried to accommodate the smaller packaging. This time I did howl out in pain. It was eerie sounding even to my own ears. When it was finished I lay on the ground panting.


[1]Eikyō 7 - The Japanese era calendar scheme is a common calendar scheme used in Japan, which identifies a year by the combination of the Japanese era name and the year number within the era. Tora was born in 1435 which was in the Eikyō (永享) era which began in 1429.

[2] Ōta Dōkan (太田道灌) (1432-1486), also known as Ōta Sukenaga (太田資長) or Ōta Dōkan Sukenaga - A Japanese samurai warrior-poet, military tactician and Buddhist monk. Ōta Sukenaga took the tonsure as a Buddhist priest in 1478, and he also adopted the Buddhist name, Dōkan, by which is known today. Dōkan is best known as the architect and builder of Edo Castle (now the Imperial Palace) in what is today modern Tokyo; and he is considered the founder of the castle town which grew up around that Ōnin era fortress.

[3] The daimyo (大名) - Powerful territorial lords who ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings. They were the most powerful feudal rulers from the 10th century to the early 19th century in Japan following the Shogun.

[4] Byakko - White Tiger. The White Tiger is a supernatural figure who presides over the Western, or autumn quadrant of the sky. The spirit of the White Tiger combines the courage and fierceness of a soldier with an ethereal, magisterial dignity. Specifically in Japan the tiger is the emblem of the great aristocratic warriors famously known as the samurai. The tiger represents the virtue of courage. It also means revision, improvement, change, and the Zen good. - prowling through the trees around me but I felt not even the slightest twinge of fear.

[5] The Hoden - is the most sacred building at a Shinto shrine, intended purely for the use of the enshrined Kami, usually symbolized by a mirror or sometimes by a statue. The building is normally closed to the general public and Shinto priests enter only to perform rituals

Jewelry and Sunny Days

So it turns out that I lied in my last post. I never did go to Hap Ki Do or Jiu Jitsu this morning... I went to both last night and ended up so sore that I didnt have the energy to go today. You should see the bruises I have all over me, I am colourful! Very pretty. (Although I have a couple hickies on my neck now from practicing chokes and the like... so that looks a bit sketchy.)

However! I did get some stuff done today, like many loads of laundry as well as getting my house clean. That makes me quite happy. But since it was too nice to spend the entire day inside I had to go out for at least a little while.

Later I went back inside and decided to lug all my beads downstairs so I could make some jewelry. I made two sets of earrings, plus found the feather pairs I made.

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(Click pictures to make them bigger)

I am debating on whether I want to keep them or add them to the pile of stuff to sell at the Collective Market Fair 'Thing' with Hilda.
And thats all....

Friday, June 26, 2009


I never actually introduced myself in this blog, instead I just made a couple random writing posts and that is it. Oops. The purpose of this is to basically just keep people updated so I don't get in trouble for not telling anyone anything as well as have my own little spot to post some of my writing and other artistic endeavors.

This weekend is going to be busy. Like all my weekends this summer have been so far. I had forgotten how incredibly hectic my life gets when it starts to get nice outside. Plus, Mike and I have decided to join up at a Jiu Jitsu school as well as doing Hap Ki do. That means that we have even less free time.

Today after work I am going straight to Hap Ki Do for a sparring class. Then about an hour after that is finished I have Jiu Jitsu for another two hours. Saturday is the same thing, Hap Ki Do in the morning then Jiu Jitsu a couple hours later. Its crazy I know, but I am eating lots of protien and going to bed earlier so I don't wear myself out. Plus we both really enjoy it. And yet... 疲れて体中が痛い。(Tsukarete karadajuu ga itai.)

Sunday is the Parts Canada Superbike Championships. I am pretty excited about that, we went last year and it was a lot of fun. Plus the weather is supposed to be nice. The only bummer thing is that we were invited to at least 2 more events this weekend that we can't attend now... things like camping with Meg and Bill and going to Gwenyth's Birthday party. But we are still hanging out with our friends Allen and Sill on Sunday night which will be fun.

Sill and I have this nefarious plan. Get Mike and Allen together to play video cames and then gthey can become gaming buddies and hang out together so that we (Sill and I) can hang out more often as well (not that we don't already). We have a couple photoshoots planned as well so maybe we can get one of them done on Sunday. Although I am a couple weeks behind on Japanese lessons just because I am so busy all the time (Sill is my teacher though, so she is patient with my schedule!)

I need to study!

Plus I bought 3 new books last Sunday that I haven't even started yet.


Must Read.
Must Write.
Must Clean House.
Must Live Life.

Oh and I went to see the new Transformers last night because I had a bit of a rough day yesterday and really just wanted some mindless entertainment. Plot wise it could have been a bit better, there were some holes in my opinion... but at the end of the day... its still TRANSFORMERS... and that makes it cool on its own.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


She dug her bare feet into the gravel, scrunching the small pebbles between her toes and pushing them in little piles. Her shoes lay forgotten off to the side, abandoned on the grass in favor of feeling the earth beneath her feet.

Smiling a little to herself, she wiggled the naked appendages and then used them to push off the ground. Her hands were slender and ink stained where they curled around the cool metal chain of the swing she was on. The seat itself was wood and double wide and despite her age she looked small and almost forlorn sitting on its rough, paint chipped surface.

It had been four years since she’d been to this specific place. And as she pumped her legs and let the September breeze make streaming, satin ribbons of her hair, she wondered if she was the only one that remembered its significance.

Four years ago was the last time she’d seen him.

If someone had asked her what spurred her to come to the park she wouldn’t have been able to tell them exactly. Only that she’d finally returned to her hometown and the lure was too great to ignore. The air was cold enough that her bare feet were foolish and she would probably get sick but she’d come anyway, shedding her socks and shoes and letting go like she used to - like they used to.

He would be playing in town the next night.

Four years ago they’d both left this place promising to not look back. It was almost ironic that they both came home the same week.

She wouldn’t see him.

Part of her had been tempted to get a ticket to his show. To slip into the back and watch as his fingers danced over the wire strings, as sweat dripped from his forehead and his dreams bled through the music, catching the crowd in his excitement.

That was how she imagined it would be anyway. She’d never actually seen him play anywhere except his room and that had been enthralling enough.

But she was scared to go. Scared to see that he had changed, terrified that he would look at her and not recognize her. She was proud of him, she was even proud of herself, but her insecurities sometimes got the better of her.

Closing her eyes she let her head fall back, her arms extended in front of her, no longer curled loosely, but gripping tightly. White knuckles held firmly while her back arched and she let the motion of the swing carry her. She knew her hair was probably getting dirty, turning its black silk into dusty grey. She didn’t care.

Eventually the rocking rhythm slowed but she didn’t hoist herself up or open her eyes. It was peaceful here and she felt comfortable lost in memories and wishes that were as solid as the oak beneath her and as insubstantial as the smoke of her cigarettes, there for a moment then lost in the atmosphere.

The crunching of gravel warned her that someone was approaching and with a sigh she allowed her lids to open, revealing a pair of stylishly worn boots.

“You are going to get sick out here dressed like that,” an amused voice sounded and with a start her eyes flew upwards - over torn jeans and a warm jacket to a grinning face, older than she remembered but still young and still the same.

She gasped his name and pulled herself up, nearly tipping over backwards on the swing. Her heart did a tiny little hop-skip-stutter, like she had tripped and only just managed to catch herself.

“Shove over,” he instructed from behind her. She couldn’t see him anymore but she shifted to the side anyway and he joined her on the swing, facing the other direction. Squirming a bit he muttered something about not fitting quite as well anymore then leaned back a bit and she did the same, so they could see each other’s faces.

“Hi,” she whispered softly, suddenly shy and at a loss. What was he doing here? How had he found her?

Her puzzlement must have shown on her face though because he answered her unspoken question with a quirk of his lips and the words, “I was walking home to visit my mom and I saw someone in the park. It reminded me of you, and then amazingly it was. I didn’t know you were back.”

She nodded and they fell silent for a moment, rocking slowly back and forth on the swing, lost in their own thoughts. When the silence was finally broken it was by her. In a soft voice, barely a whisper, she said, “You did it.”

“So did you,” was all he replied.

Her gaze met his sharply and he laughed. “What?” he asked, “did you really think I never asked my mom about you? Or read the book you wrote?”

The blush that tinged her cheeks the color of an apple was answer enough.

Tsking softly he tapped her on the nose and said, “You still have the same insecurities I see. I thought I’d rid you of those.”

“It’s been four years,” she admitted, “People change.”

Frowning slightly he shook his head. “Wrong,” he chastised. “Up here,” he pressed their foreheads together then bonked them lightly, making her giggle, “we might change. Our thoughts are influenced by the world around us and our experiences after all. But in here,” he moved away slightly and took her hand, pressing it to his chest, “we are the same.”

“Always so sure,” she mumbled, imagining she could feel the steady thump-thump of his heart through his wool jacket.

“I have to be,” he retorted with an impish grin. “You are unsure enough for the both of us.”

A tiny grin pulled at her lips at his teasing. “I made it though didn’t I? You were there in my head yelling at me whenever I got scared.”

“So were you. Only you were wringing your hands and fretting over me until I just pushed forward to drown your worrying.”

She snorted that time and freed her hand from his grip so she could shove him on the shoulder. “I’m not that bad,” she groused, nose wrinkling. She wouldn’t admit it, but she had worried about him. She still did, daily, hourly. And it felt good to know that he had thought about her.

He hummed a sound of agreement then suddenly stood up and walked around the swing until he was standing in front of her. Holding out a hand he waited for her to grab it then tugged her up, pulling her into a bone-crushing hug. “I missed you,” he whispered into her hair and tears pricked her eyes as she squeezed him back.

“I missed you too. Why on earth did we ever leave?”

“To chase our dreams,” he reminded her.

She was quiet for a moment, hearing the promises they’d made to each other ringing in her ears. Then she asked quietly, “What about now? We did what we set out to do.”

“Now we make new dreams,” He replied firmly, pulling back and pressing a quick kiss to her forehead. “But this time, let’s dream up something we can do together.”

Frowning, little wrinkles appearing on her forehead she asked, “Like what?”

He shrugged, “Who cares?! Dreams can be anything.”

“Anything eh?”


“Okay,” her lips split into a wide grin. “Anything it is. Now let me just go get my shoes on so we can go concoct up some mad schemes without me getting sick and dying.”

His grin matched hers in brightness as he held out his hand and replied, “Deal.”

Instead of shaking his outstretched fingers though, she reached out and entangled the slim digits together, holding tight and promising herself that this time she wouldn’t let go.


The sky was a vast canvas of monotone color, grey and dreary. People scuttled all around, like ants crawling along a forest floor, intent only on their work, their destination, on survival. She stood in the middle. A solid dot in a blur. Stillness in chaos.

The sky began to fall, weeping tears of sorrow on the bustle below, trying to be felt through thick wool and blue denim. Hues burst out in flashes on the street, impeding its path, umbrellas opening and shunning the damp coldness. She stood in the middle heedless. A lone figure without protection. Welcoming the rain.

The sky shouted, growling its fury and showing its hatred. It sent electricity down in arcs of light, trying to disrupt the ignorance it saw. The streets emptied, flesh disappearing into buildings made of hard stone and brick. She stood in the middle. A dark spot in an empty street. Alone in the storm.

The sky grew calm, light peeking out from behind black and illuminating her still figure in warmth. Footsteps sounded again, splashing through puddles and trudging onward. Then there was a voice, soft and concerned in her ear as the owner took in her wet visage and pale sightless eyes. “Miss, are you okay?”

The sky was quiet as she turned, a soft smile painting her lips as she whispered, “I felt the rain, and it let me see.”