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February 15, 2003

Snow Massage

Snow Massage. Dr. Chau is going to hate me. Whether, she reads this or not. I think that today, I undid the past couple of years of chiropractic therapy, let alone a few millennia of special evolution. Today I went snowboarding for the first time ever at Greenpia Onuma, just across the lake Onuma valley from Nanai, where I went skiing for the first time in only 20 years. THAT was an unqualified success, and a triumph of experience over whatever experience should triumph over. Yes, snowboarding should be illegal for over 40s. I have no bones left. I'm not just jellied protoplasm on toast. And anything that still resembles a muscle is as tight and stiff as the recently jellied bones. From human to ameba in 4 hours or less. My calves are as hard as diamonds. Walking is not an option. My feet feel like they were on loan to the Russian ballet, ridden hard and put away wet by the most prima of ballerinas. My knees. They're in good shape. Somehow falling on your knees is not a painful thing when snowboarding. I think that this is due to the need to pray for deliverance from the spirit of bravado that led you down the path to consider snowboarding in the first place. Arms, elbows, wrists, fingers all struck hard surfaces with the intensity of a cannibal with a meat tenderize mallet. My butt hurts. We can leave it at that. My lower spine, however, cannot be left as is. It needs remedial therapy. It was wacked, but good. Upper back? I'm not sure if it was the whiplash from smashing the back of my head into the snow, or if it was merely the tension and fear now permanently lodged therein. The fear of snowboarding. Of course I loved snowboarding. Once I figured out that you will die if you try to treat a snowboard like skiis, and that it is easier on a steep fast hill than on a slow one, things got both easier and less painful. When you fall at high speeds you tend to slide on your butt or well padded stomach. When you fall at slow speeds... like almost standing, you fall like someone who tries to walk with their feet tied to a big flat piece of wood. You fall flat on your: face, back, butt. All damage was done on the easiest hill. The flying cartwheels that I did down the main intermediate hill were mere technical faux pas. Not even a memory. So, as Larry and Ayaka mastered Ayaka's fear of skiing on the easier hill, I moved up to the intermediate. And larry even got the opportunity for a run down the difficult hills. There are no pictures, of course. I was wise enough to realize, before the fact, that no camera, let alone a mother's child, would survive this experience. So the camera stayed in the car, surviving to bring you this wonderful picture of Ayaka cutting onions. Oh, I did forget to mention that the hills were filled with classes of high school students, all in matching outfits, learning to ski and snowboard. The hills were dotted with hundreds of kids in various states of disrepair. The obstacle course they themselves created merely added to the joy and confusion. As I write, we have two nice bottle ofchianti open, and larry's cooking up a pasta storm. Ayaka's on her gameboy, having finished her cooking chores. Larry certainly has 'italian' figured out in a way that is pretty amazing. I have never seen that much garlic in my life. I wish I knew how to cook like that. And before I go, I have to learn how to make a proper italian salad. I was stuffed to exploding... especially since wine is a bit cheaper here than in Canada. Though the quality is not as good on average, Larry helped me find some stuff that turned out to be really good. Just for comparison, you can get bottles of french wine here for 300 yen. That's about $3.60 canadian. I got a couple of bottles of Rhone valley stuff for $7 which looks drinkable. Just need to try it out... tonight perhaps. There was a wonderful package waiting for me when I got back to the Davies-Noguchi household. It was a large box from professor Yoshiko Akamatsu at Notre Dame Seishin University. Yoshiko's a friend of yuka and mine, originally through LM Montgomery conferences. Yuka had told me that Yoshiko was reading my journal, and had invited me to visit her. Okayama is pretty far from Hokkaido though, and it wasn't really possible this trip. But she sent me this wonderful package full of oranges and mandarins and kiwii from her garden, as well as some ""Shinchan"" candy, which I may never open, but add to my great shinchancollection. I must open the other package, which seems to be chocolate hena dolls. I'll have to take it up to the university to get some professional help in setting this up, you just have to see it... It was a great surprise, and an even greater breakfast!"

Posted by jason at February 15, 2003 11:57 PM