I am telling you, that’s fucking Foreman on Pucca’s Restaurant right there.
I am telling you, that’s fucking Foreman on Pucca’s Restaurant right there.
Hope you are all enjoying your summer so far. Katie and I (Shirley) are in NYC currently and yesterday we went on the most epic Victoria’s Secret adventure ever. I’m not sure how familiar you all are with Manhattan island, but we started in Midtown (59th street) and walked all the way downtown to lower Manhattan (20+ blocks = 2 miles) and we went to 4 (or was it 5?) different Victoria’s Secrets! hahahahaha. They are having their semi annual sale so there are multiple containers of bras all for $25-$30 and the skanky panties range from $4 to $12 (for the skankier panties:P).
We walked downtown and visited/”checked into” all the Victoria’s Secrets along the way :P I found some cute skanky panties and bought a much needed bra. Along the way, I had fun trying on a 34A bra that made me look like I had C-cup boobs LOL Oh how deceiving xD We went to Express, Bebe, and Charlotte Russe where we also went for some skanky panty shopping (ala the spring taikai ‘11). I bought a shirt there (but I might return it, not sure yet). Katie and I had fun trying on their shoes:
and we ended the night by walking down to Chinatown and getting Pho for dinner
(can you see that giant yellow moon in the center?)
Can’t wait to get pho with the other members who are visiting this weekend!!
Prepare from some epicness Missy, Taylor, Haley, Katrina, and Jie. We’re gonna go shopping at VS.. maybe this time we can convince Jie to buy a cheap DD bra in preparation for next year’s Drag Ball! LOL
Hey there, Naginata world. Fabulous ni-kyuus Haley Slater and Katrina Heilman here.
(H) Hey Dragonflies! We wanted to add another post to this blog, and 2 in the morning seemed as good a time as any.
(K) Better, even. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as bitching out to cyberspace. Or in this case, spreading love and joy. Ah, this will not make sense in the morning, but right now all is right with the world. Yes.
(H) So you all know that Katrina came to visit me this weekend. Our initial reunion was as dramatic and sweet as you are probably imagining. Falling cherry blossoms were in abundance. As was dramatic music, and softly drifting snowflakes. And thunder-claps that punctuated each heart-felt confession. Either way, it was good.
(K) Yeah, the drive over to Haley was worth all the idiots on the Mass Turnpike. After the initial meeting, Haley drove me around her town. It’s absofreakinglutely adorable. Her town center looks like something out of a Hollywood rendition of the hero’s hometown during a WWII movie. All small general stores and white libraries.
(H) That is the church and gazebo on the town Common, but you get the idea. Adorable is a kind way of saying my town is small and residential and boring. But she got to meet my gang of girls…
(K) And was throughly impressed by their cut-throat Jeopardy! skills, and sassy wit.
(H) Also by their dedication to Trivial Pursuits and Word Jumbles.
(K) Annnnnd that was pretty much Day 1. Day 2 though, was a lot more action packed. There were ninjas and flying kotes and everything … Yes. We got up pretty early, and took the T into Boston (my first time riding an American subway), headed off to that wondrous place called the Museum of Fine Arts.
(H) The main reason we went was to see a temporary exhibit there called Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass. Chihuly is this mad man with one blind eye who can do spectacular things with glass.
(H) Fantastic, right? Some sculptures really did look like out of this world sea monsters!
(K) I don’t know if you can tell, but that last exhibit is entirely on the ceiling. The light shining down through the glasswork was entirely otherworldly. It’s how I imagine looking up through a coral reef would be, and made the prospect of dying underwater seem like a good death.
(H) I did not share this view. It was INCREDIBLY beautiful though.
(K) The man is obviously a master of his craft. I’ve never seen colors so bright, and he used all the light sources to his advantage. (Haley did a great job of capturing his work, I might add.)
(H) Aw, what a flatterer! It’s hard to take bad pictures of pretty things though. Case in point:
(K) Dude, you are such a charmer. It’s no wonder your life is a freaking Harem Comedy. But after the glass exhibit, the rest of the museum almost seemed lackluster until we got to …
(K) The freaking Egyptian section. I don’t know if Haley was aware or not, but I had a MASSIVE fixation on all things ancient and Egyptian for the first 2/3rds of my life. My knees almost gave out when I walked into the wing.
(H) Seriously, you should have seen the happy waves rolling off her, it was unbelievable. She could identify by name EVERY SINGLE GOD/GODDESS in the wing.
(K) Haley had to put up with the cranky old Professor in me, constantly going, “AND THIS IS ANUBIS, THE JACKAL HEADED ONE, WHO IS NOT THE SATAN ANALOG THAT EVERYONE MAKES HIM OUT TO BE. HE DIDN’T RULE OVER DEATH, HE WAS MORE HARBINGER. THE RULER OF THE UNDERWORLD WAS—”
(H) They get it. But it was charming in a rather annoying geeky way. After Egypt we visited the Japanese Garden. This was disappointing.
(H) There were no samurai fighting for precious honor in a duel to the death. I feel this would have added something essential for an authentic ancient Japanese atmosphere.
(K) There weren’t any geishas either. Or a koi pond. Basically, it was lack-luster. After that though, we went on the Green Line (or so Haley tells me … I actually have no idea what it means) to get on to the Red Line to visit MIT.
(H) By MIT we mean Jie. Also, Taylor, if you’re reading this (which you should be), you were right, Katrina did flip out when she saw the state of his apartment. She spent a good 3 hours cleaning it. I spent a lot of time laughing and hanging out on the porch and enjoying the view.
(H) Seriously, look at that!
(K) Not pictured: The freaking mountains of shredded cardboard boxes a few feet to the left. Or my tear stains on the carpet.
(H) It wasn’t THAT BAD.
(K) On the plus side, we got to play with his katanas. Plural. There are at least four of them.
(H) Don’t forget the blowgun and the machete and the rapier and the bow and arrows!
(K) And the knife.
(H) And the ninjas stars. It is the most well-defended apartment in all of Boston. I felt very safe from any attacking ninjas while I was there.
(K) Not from your friends, though. Haley and I ended up wrestling in a park. Apparently I was threatening for the first time since we’ve fought together. (VICTOR-FREAKING-RY.)
(H) She really was. She got me in a choke hold for a good ten seconds.
(K) That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a real improvement!
(H) Then we watched the VERY FIRST Star Wars movie for the first time. Han Solo is the shit!
(K) Yeah, it’s a little shameful. We’ve both seen the prequels, but none of the originals … I can see why it got the following it did.
And yes. Han was the freaking shit.
(H) So that was pretty much our day. Jie drove us back to Oak Grove station so I could drive us to my house. It was a hell of a lot of fun, and I’m so happy Katrina came and visited me this weekend.
(K) I’m totally coming back here at some point. Haley’s family is hilarious, and she owns one of the most comfortable beds ever. And because I love her, here’s a picture of her:
(H) + (K) Bye! For now. Much Naginata love to our team! We miss you all so much! >|<
“Hi everyone! Congratulations for finishing all your finals and completing the school year!!!
I’m not really good at this kind of stuff so it’s kind of awkward for me to say this, but I’m really glad to have been apart of the Naginata club this year.
I was having a really hard time when I came back to MHC for my senior year and I wasn’t really doing too well for a long time. I was glad to go to Naginata as my responsibility as vice captain (first semester) but also as something I could turn to and rely on. During that time, Missy was one of my roommates and she told me, “No matter what happens, your team will always have your back.” That really touched me because, at the time, I didn’t think I had any one. The year progressed and I got a lot better. Some of the drama passed and I also became co-captain of the team and started having a lot of fun training you all in bogu. We also had a lot of team bonding experiences:
dressing Jie up for drag ball,
movie nights :
all the epic photoshoots [that weren’t for my own vain purposes], studying together,
preparing for the taikai
double planning things for the senpai, etc etc).. I really felt closer to everyone :)
Our club’s presence on campus has become a lot stronger (mainly because of Bangohan). We had such a huge success because of the connections and networks of your senpai— as a future reference, collaborate with other orgs (unlike stupid Sushi Roll), especially the Asian ones (AASIA, ASA) because their network and presence on campus is very strong. I encourage you to join their mailing lists because they do some amazing things, and if possible, become friends with some of the board members. ALSO— find out who the ACE House coordinator is next year because you will become good friends with each other if you want to plan more events like another dinner or movie night for A/PA month. Also, if the spring taikai next year is in April again… tell the ACE House coordinator to put it into the A/PA month calendar— free publicity and fliers for all events linked to the ACE house. Participate in Variasians in the Fall and Festival of Diversity in the Spring. Don’t be afraid to have fundraisers and donate a small portion to something. I tried to leave you with these networks in hopes that our presence can become stronger on campus.. not only to get more money from SGA… but also to give your time in college a more meaningful experience.
I mentioned this before, in an earlier email, but I created a Kachimushi blog for everyone. I invited everyone to write in this blog about anything naginata related, team/school related, or to use it just as an alternative to the “sister hood of the traveling hakama” and write about your experiences during the summer or whatever. It’s really open to whatever you want to write about. If I’m the only one blogging, I’m going to be sad, especially when I’ll be checking it constantly next fall only to find out no one updated =____=
When I joined Naginata my sophomore year, I thought it was the most random thing ever and couldn’t really explain it to myself or others why I joined. I mean, hitting other people with a long stick is awesome, but I was searching for a deeper reason and I couldn’t find it until I took my Shodan exam and even until up to this very moment. The random club I joined was there for me more than some of the people whom I’ve known for 4 years and I think fate was setting me up to fall, but to fall and to be rescued and brought back up by strong dragonflies. Being apart of this team really helped me heal and I finished my senior year strong, happy, and proud of myself and I owe it all to the Kachimushi Naginata Club members for helping me regain the strength, confidence and happiness I had lost previously. I really couldn’t have come out of my dark hole without the help of all the fluttering dragonflies around me, so thank you all.
Everyone should be very proud of themselves and how far they’ve come this year. Everyone improved in Naginata and everyone is still learning together. Support each other, honor and value the traditions that Katie senpai originally left us, and prepare to become role models for others. Push yourself and each other to become stronger and better than who you were yesterday.
Anyway, I’m not very good at this sort of thing,but I really am grateful and proud to have been apart of this club and I don’t really know how to express it otherwise, without writing a super long email. So… speaking as a graduating senior.. one of the greatest things MoHo gave me was… the opportunity to study abroad in China and the Kachimushi Naginata Club.
I hope you all have a great summer and If you’re ever in NYC, just send me a text/call and you can come hang out with Katie and me.
Signing off one last time as your co captain…”
"… a Kachimushi missed her team very badly. I’ve had at least five or six dreams about you since I came to Tamil Nadu, and told my classmates endless stories of our feats and general awesomeness. I was very anxious before the day of your shinsa and I’m so excited at how it turned out.
I keep seeing kachimushi everywhere.Our program took a group trip to Thiruvannamalai, where there is a sacred mountain believed to be the body of Shiva. Every year, devotees cover the top of the mountain with ghee (clarified butter) and set the entire thing on FIRE. Pilgrims also circumambulate the mountain on full moons in order to ensure the health of their loved ones. We did the 12 km full moon walk as a class, and because the local Tamil guys was doing it barefoot, of course, I had to do it barefoot too.
We hiked up the mountain, climbing above the clouds and reaching a plain shack/meditation hall where an old mystic sat in silence with a younger assistant. At the very tip-top is a rock with Shiva’s footprints on it. Swarming above the rock were hundreds of golden dragonflies. I hadn’t seen them elsewhere on the mountain, or anywhere in the town or in the entire state. I asked Boomi, a program assistant who speaks Tamil, what the Tamil word for “dragonfly” is. He said it was “tunbo” which sounds really similar to “tombo” the conventional Japanese word for kachimushi.
two days ago I had a dream where some punk took our club and individual naginata and tried to teach some new students how to fight by holding the habu end! Every SINGLE ebu and habu was broken, and I was FLIPPING my shit over how to cover the cost of new ones. I woke up …and was really distraught before I remembered that I was in India and that Jie only broke TWO naginata, not all of them. This is just one of many dreams I’ve had about you, my lovely kohai.
Everyone on the program knew about my “naginata noggin knocking” very well. There’s a type of stick fighting from South India called silambam. When my friend Clayton heard about an entire village of young boys who get up at 6 am and start practicing silambam he said, “oh my god, Missy can be their queen!”Can’t wait for Kachimushi Fall season!Good luck on finals and send me news from the homefront!”
Sailor Venus (‘08 O.G.) wants to tag along to NYC!!!
…When are you bitchez coming?!?!?! HELP SAVE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
- You Know Who.
Wow, time flies! Everyone has already finished with their finals and everyone has already driven home/are flying home now. Where did the time go?
We finished the naginata season by going out for our traditional victory dinner after every taikai/end of semester! I made reservations at Gohyang, a Korean restaurant, because they also offered karaoke! It was also Taylor’s birthday so I wanted everyone to have a super happy time and help her celebrate :D For some, it was their first time having Korean food so I’m glad they enjoyed it :) Here are some pictures:
After dinner, we were ushered into the other room and the old ahjusshi (grandpa) helped teach us how to choose songs on the Karaoke machine. We tried to ask about Big Bang but they couldn’t help us because they said “We’re very traditional; we don’t know about the young ones” hahahahha We chose old pop songs such as Briney Spear’s Oops I did it Again, Third Eye Blind, Dancing Queen, Don’t Stop Believing… we took a lot of videos also, hahaha. Oh it was such a great time :)
Deea and I went out to buy the mochi ice cream for Taylor as her surprise birthday ‘cake’ and brought it in singing for her ^___^ I think we all surprised Taylor :D
And then!!! something even MORE surprising!: the kohai presented me with a graduation gift!! I was not expecting that all! Hahahhaha, it’s funny because when we were planning for Taylor’s birthday, they were also planning for my surprise! hahahaha. I am the proud recipient of two Kachimushi bowls, cards from my teammates, and a Princess Mononoke bowl! Thanks everyone!
After our last few songs at Karaoke, we took pictures outside of the restaurant :) :
^^ Our love for the birthday girl :)
and congratulations to the graduating senior (me, haha):
I love this photo because everyone looks so happy in this photo! ^____^
I hope the rest of the team can carry on and perserve the the legacy that Katie senpai left us with the same energy and commitment to the team, to each other and to oneself.
Congrats on finishing finals and completing another school year! I wish you all the best next fall :) TRY to keep updating this blog with your own little adventures, ok?
I want to know where the dragonflies fly to.
(Kohai, Vice Captain, Co Captian, Kachimushi Naginata Club O.G., MHC alumna 2011)
I’m not sure what to write now, since Shirley seemed to sum up the events of Pangy Day nicely, but here it goes!
Having never experienced the wonder and joy that is Pangy Day before, I’m glad I had my senpai around to help me out! Leggy and I hit up the Mega Free Bin and each walked away with a pair of boots, pair of pants, and at least two shirts! Katrina got this GIGANTIC red sweater which we can both fit in at once and is exceedingly comfortable. I will steal it from her later.
Katrina also drew swarms of dragonflies all over Leggy and I. They are pretty fantastic, I suggest we make Katrina draw them on us for the next taikai or something. Show some Kachimushi pride, right?
Canoeing was great since I didn’t have to paddle. :) I just sat there like a bum and let Katrina and Leggy do all the work, and we got to see Shirley with her senior friends too!
Overall, Pangy Day was a great success! I really enjoyed it, and am glad MHC has such a plethora of great traditions for us to participate in! Also, it finally stopped raining for Pangy Day, which just made my life in general a whole lot better.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Pangy Day! Kachimushi love!
What a lovely Pangy Day today! It was great to share this day with some of the kohai - some who experienced their first Pangy Day picnic, Maypole dance, and free bin rummage amongst other activities today! My favorite part about Pangy Day was playing with the baby bunnies that a lab instructor brought to campus for this day. Although I’ve attended three Pangy Days, today was the first time I went canoeing! Prior to today, I didn’t even know there was a canoeing activity/tradition! I’m such a bad senior >.< Well, I guess it’s better late than never (as the cliche goes).
I went canoeing with some of my senior friends, but the kohai seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves! (I’ve asked one of the kohai to write about it later so you can have another perspective— and so that it’s not just me who’s blogging all the time =__= lol).
Happy Pangy Day!
(Canoeing at Upper Lake for my last Pangy Day at Mount Holyoke College)
The Kachimushi Naginata Club had the honor of hosting a taikai (tournament) last weekend (April 22 -24)! Members from the Greater New York Naginata Federation came up to Mount Holyoke College to help train us, give us a rank test and fight with us! It was great seeing our club founder, Katie, again. There were a few of us who were testing for Shodan (1st degree black belt) and she helped us prepare for the written exam. Hanging out with her is great, but studying with her is even MORE interesting! (our members know what I’m talking about :P ) I definitely remembered the naginata anatomy after studying with her!
On Saturday April 23rd, we had our shinsa (testing). The senpai (upperclassmen) had their Shodan written exam in the morning and everyone passed with flying colors! Whoohoo! 100%!~ After the writen exam and a brief practice, we took a lunch break and prepared for the practical portion of the exam afterward. We were given numbers and we did daitatsu (a warm up exercise where the group follows the leader in swinging exercizes, speed, and practices striking the targets the leader opens for). After a brief daitatsu, we paired up and did engi. After we finished our engi portion, we went ahead to put on our bogu (protective body armor) to prepare for the fighting portion of the test.
While we were putting on our bogu, the kouhai (underclassmen) used this time to test for kyu rank (the equivalent of brown/green/yellow etc belt). After they finished their engi, all the senpai were suited up in bogu and were ready to show off their fighting skills!
We did uchikaiyashi (a warm up exercise) and then we lined up according to the numbers that were previous assigned to us and commenced Kakarigeiko— striking where the leader opens up for you. Openings include strikes to the head (men), throat (tsuki), wrist (kote), waist/midsection (doh) and shins (sune). We often do kakarikeiko as a warm up exercise to practice our striking accuracy. It seems that everyone who tested for Shodan hit all on target! One of our members, Deea, even impressed the judges with a furikaishi doh! (sorry, my Japanese spelling still isn’t all that great!) After kakarigeiko ended, we were paired up and had to shiai (fight) for one minute or so. After we finished, we took off our bogu and awaited the results…..30 minutes later……we find out…
WE ALL PASSED! Everyone who tested for Shodan became Shodan and the kouhai got 2kyu and 3 kyu ranks! I’m so proud of everyone!!! YAAAAYYYYY ^_^
Wow, that was a long post just for Saturday xD
Sunday was the actual taikai (tournament) and it started of with the engi competition. I am SOOOO PROUD of my kouhai! They all placed in the top 3!!~ A huge improvement from last semester ^___^ Keep it up ladies! After the engi competition ended, we went for lunch and came back an hour later to prepare for bogu…. I looooove bogu… it’s hot, sweaty, stinky, and tiring… but it’s so much fun. Everyone’s bogu fighting improved and one of our kouhai, Katrina, got her first experience competing in bogu! She even got her first ippon(strike/point)! Very exciting indeed :)
The results of the women’s individual matches are as follows: Katie, our founder and original team captain, placed first, I placed second, and the sweetest and most badass 13 year old girl placed third.
Team matches :
1st place - Nana, Shirley, Taylor
2nd place - Leslie, Katrina, Allegra
3rd place - Jimmy, Jie, Cheuk
I’m seriously so proud of everyone! This was a very successful taikai thanks to the hard work and superior organizational skills of Taylor and I just hope everyone had a fun experience :)
NOW I CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE THE VICTORY DINNER!!!!!!!
<3 Shirley :)