I took a two hour nap and then sure enough, there they were on my doorstep, all seven of them. There was a brief flurry of hugs as everyone filed into the apartment, a moment or two of "this is my apartment, this is my room, this is Dar's indoor garden, these are my terrified roommates", and then we all filed out again to go to Koji Osakaya, our favorite Japanese restaurant. Then we came back and I fed Chris' kitty and we watched "Best of the Best 4: Without Warning". I found the fourth installment of our favorite crappy taekwon-do movies to be thoroughly mediocre, to my satisfaction. Sending Laura and Mary up to sleep on Chris' floor and leaving a litter of people in my own living room, I retired to my own bed, where I had a nice sleepover-style conversation with Fluffy before PASSING THE FUCK OUT.
Cornelius is only like a 50 minute drive from my apartment so we got to sleep in fairly well before taking off. The team was happy to have my Portland-area navigation expertise, and also my iPod converter (they had the stupid 9-seater Suburban, the one with the broken CD player). We introduced the newbies to "Skullcrusher Mountain", a Whitman Taekwon-do roadtrip necessity... somehow Mary'd never heard it before, which was criminal.
We were one of the first teams to arrive, so after signing in and getting dressed we had plenty of time to warm up, and plenty of room for Fluffy, Finny, Alex, and Laura to run through their synchronized form and self-defense skit. After lots of milling about and nervously running through our forms a million times, the tournament finally got under way (20 minutes late, as usual).
I will never get tired of being part of a crowd of several hundred taekwon-do students in dobaks, going through our forms in unison, or of sitting and watching 50 higher-ranking blackbelts go through their forms all together. Never.
Great-Grandmaster Hong Sik Kim, bless him, gave us his usual heavily-accented speech, telling us how he loves all of us very very much, encouraging all the students to get straight A's so they can be in the White House, and telling us to obey our "mother fathers". When he introduced all the instructors he had a hell of a time reading Fluffy's last name off of his belt... apparently "Ernst" does not translate well to Korean phonetic symbols, go figure. But at least he remembered that he was "from Walla Walla over there". <3 Great-Grandmaster Kim. Most adorable badass since Jackie Chan.
Then Grandmaster Tesdal guilt-tripped me into doing breaking, even though I hadn't signed up for it, much less PRACTICED AT ALL. So as soon as the group competiton was over, I headed outside to pick out some boards for my breaks. I was planning to come in and practice some kicks against the wall, when Mary rushed out and yelled at me to hurry back in, they'd just called Women's Blackbelt Breaking. So I did a reverse roundhouse kick through two inches of pine, and then failed to do a spinning sidekick through three inches of pine.
Very shortly afterwards they called us up for Hyungs, which was slightly unnerving to do in the front ring with Great-Grandmaster Kim staring in silent judgment. I spent most of the rest of the day being a corner judge for sparring matches, occasionally escaping to watch some of my compadres compete or to fill my mouth with Flat Earth chips and mango Gatorade.
The tournament was almost over when they called me for Women's Advanced Blackbelt Sparring (there were only three blackbelt women competing, and one was a fourth dan, so I and the other first dan lady got upgraded~!). Oh man. I wish I could properly describe to you how freaking awesome my matches were. They were INTENSE. There was a lot of super-speed and power involved, I'm kind of amazed no one got hurt. I won both of my matches by half a point, in sudden death tie-breakers. ...I still can't believe I beat the 4th dan lady, I've competed with her before and she is REALLY GOOD. I'm glad I got to watch her go up against the other lady first, so I could study her fighting style. As it is I walked out with my right hand bright red from blocking a bunch of her kicks, and from punching each other fist to fist. The back of my hand and wrist still feels bruised. I also acquired a bruise on one of the knuckles on my left ring finger, not really sure how or when that happened.
So anyway, I walked away with a gold in sparring, and silvers in breaking and hyungs. Everyone on the Whitman Team came away jingling, as usual, including our two frosh yellowbelts, Cory and Andrew, who came away with two golds each. Hells yeah for winning in every event you're in. Also, they got a second-place trophy for the group competition. So, pretty damn successful tournament, which is great, since it was a first tournament for most of the team.
So I felt like a double agent 'cause I took a picture with the Sellwood team and the Whitman team. I didn't know any of the Sellwood people except for Mister Brown, but he was happy to see me there and got me a t-shirt for being an Awesome Sellwood Blackbelt.
We all piled back into the Whitman Suburban and booked it back to Portland. We ate at Koji again because it's just that awesome. Then they dropped me off and headed for home. We all agreed it was awesome awesome fun times all around, with one exception- we miss Becca, OMG we miss Becca so much. ;_;
So then I took a hot shower- and let me tell you, there is nothing like taekwon-do to make you feel like you've earned your shower, YE GODS that shower felt good. I felt exhausted, just plain beat, like I'd been chased several miles by a truck and then run over by it, but I couldn't go to sleep, had to stay up all night so I could be nocturnal again for work on Monday. So I went on an epic coin-finding mission and did some laundry, then spent the rest of the night reading The God Eaters out loud to Dar, and eating cookies and caramel and drinking tea. It was HELLA FUN. We got through like half the book in one sitting, I'm surprised I didn't fuck up my voice.
...So that was my weekend. Yeah. It was pretty awesome.