Saturday, August 11, 2007

First Practice: The Japan Jacket Might Have Been Weird

I woke up this morning at 5:15AM and promptly thought to myself "I've made a huge mistake." Plus I didn't have any coffee--truly a crushing blow on an early Sunday morning.

I got to the boathouse at six, passed out some business cards to dudes in spandex (apparently Japanese people like business cards, so I took the shotgun approach), and we got started. I was given the choice of any type of boat. Given that I haven't rowed in any capacity whatsoever for a year and a half, I picked the eight. I actually couldn't remember what side I usually rowed at first.

Now, my plan was to lurk in the bow 4 somewhere and watch how these guys row. They had different plans and I was plopped into 7 seat. Crap! Luckily, it went okay. I have no idea what level these guys normally row at, technically, but we didn't flip and the boat was kinda set a couple of times, so I'm considering it a success. We did some 20s and it was really hot out. I drank an entire gallon of water when I got home.

Now the rowing: there's a famous urban legend that gets passed around high-school rowing clubs in the US, about this one time that this Japanese team rowed at like a 70 the whole way down the race course and then THEIR HEARTS EXPLODED AND THEY ALL DIED. True? who knows? Probably not. However, I will tell you this: within 20 minutes of practice starting, I was taking desperate half-strokes at a 50 as we did a Japanese super power ten.

My last surprise came when this dude brought his single in and racked it next to our boat. Now, I wasn't wearing my favorite Japan Junior team jacket because it's still in America, but if I did, this guy might have given me a strange look. Why? Because he's the Japanese junior team coach, and he was in Duisburg in 2001, and I probably saw him when I was trading with one of his rowers. How this massive web of improbable occurrences conspired to make him and I meet again in a random semi-rural area of northern Japan confounds me. Small world, huh?


matthew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nate said...

Thank you for your wonderfully descriptive comment, Matt. However, since this blog is read by a mixed audience, I'm gonna go ahead and delete that.

gavin said...

Three guesses regarding the content of Matt's deleted post:
1)Reference to a Japanese high school rower Nate banged in Duisburg and later regretted.
2)Anecdote involving rowers holding a 70 for so long that they lost bowel control and finished the race with rancid feces slopping over the gunwhales.
3)Html drawing of a drippy vagina.

Nate said...

Yeah, extra regret since they only brought men's boats.

Conceptually, it sort of touched on elements of guesses #2 and #3.

Also, you said HTML art, but clearly meant ASCII art. What are you, stupid? This is one of the most under-rated mediums, and one which has given us classics like this:



.-., ,.-.
'-. /:::\\ //:::\ .-' \
'-.\|':':' `"` ':':'|/.-' \
`-./`. .-=-. .-=-. .`\.-`
/=- / | \ -=\
; | | | ;
|== \ 0 /_\ 0 / ==|
|= /'---( )---'\ =|
\ \: .'. :/ /
`\= '--` `--' =/'
jgs `-=._ _.=-'

please find more genius here:

c_e said...

Gavin, thanks so much for the mental images. Really.

Nate, do you spend much time at the site you linked? god I hope not.

Nate said...

no, I spend way too much time at to have time for that site.

Sam said...

I hadn't been keeping up with your blog regularly, so I just went through and caught up.

First of all, I didn't think the retardo-brakes were weird. In the US, we have fire-retardant materials. It is funny to see it printed on the side of a van, though.

Secondly, that red van was awesome. Buy it.

Third, this is now the second time that someone has attempted ascii-art here. Not only do most browsers not use a fixed-width font as their default but they also condense all whitespace to single spaces. If you want ascii-art to show up properly on a website, you must place it inside a PRE tag like so:
[ascii-art goes here]
"pre" stands for pre-formatted text. Unfortunately, the comments section of your blog doesn't allow use of the PRE tag. So everyone just stop trying to make ascii-art.

Lastly, what the hell is wrong with you? You're in Japan and you're rowing?!?!!????!!! Good God, man, get out while you still can.

matthew said...

well, it is an honor to become the first deleted (read CENSORED) comment on your newest blog...never thought you'd bust big brother on me.

in other news, i was trying to watch spice girls videos today, and somehow a live performance of yyz was a result. i think the lighting in this one might be similar to any number of japanese shows:

by the way, i could have sworn your set-up is more extensive than neil peart's.

matthew said...

even better than rush:

Nate said...

I like the Slipknot approach to normal drummer with about 150 drums, and then 2 other full-time percussionists to...well, play more drums.

Not that I condone listening to Slipknot, or any other kind of nu-metal.

gavin said...

"nu-metal"? What's the matter, your precious ASCII can't handle some simple umlauts?

Nate said...

Sorry bro, but the preferred spelling is actually "nu-metal," without umlauts. Umlauts are too evocative of the aging 80s metal bands nu-metal groups markedly distanced themselves from.

Here, do some more research so you don't embarrass yourself next time you're trying to pick up chicks at a Mudvayne show: