april 2010

Heart not on Sleeve, Soul not in Journal

Halo Noir's Journal

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april 2010
Shane came over just before midnight and we watched some anime. I ended up crashing relatively early because I'm so old. :P Then watched more in the morning.

Booster draft at Gamers Sanctuary courtesy of Agius. He had won a box at the mox tourney and decided to draft it instead of just opening the packs. Most memorable moment for me was my having 13 elephant tokens. Then was dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings where our server absolutely sucked.

Had planned on going to Gamers Sanctuary, but after talking to the ex, decided not to. Then Erick talked me into using Jessica's deck at Friday Night Magic and I went 4-1, taking 5th place! Won $9 in store credit so that was kinda cool.

Then we went to Sagebrush for food and drinks. It was so loud there that we almost left, but decided to sit outside instead, which was actually quite nice and bug-free. Had my first Sex On The Beach shot... I didn't even know they made shots of them.

Headed out to the University of Michigan Museum of Art to see a Sekishu style style tea presented by women who haven't given a presentation of it at UMMA in 9 years. One has been practicing for 65 years, and she still doesn't consider herself to be a master. According to the website: "The Sekishu-style of tea was the orthodox style of the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate (1615–1868) and is also known as the “warrior style” tea."

In the Sekishu style it was explained that the napkin was folded and placed to the right, as usually a sword or dagger would be on the left... this is different from other styles of tea. They presented the "thin tea" portion of the ceremony, which would normally come after the "thick tea" portion. A full ceremony would usually last about 4 hours and the guests would eat and there would be a changing of rooms a couple times.

Apparently not many native Japanese have participated in a private formal tea ceremony. The interpreter/narrator said that probably only 1 in 12 (and he would estimate closer to 1 in 20) Japanese have been guests at a private ceremony. There are public ceremonies that host around 3000 people 5 or 6 times a year that are not so formal. You would be expected to be well versed in the art of the ceremony to attend a private one, and each lesson runs about $30-40 with multiple lessons being needed.

I do not like tea, but this one was delicious. Unlike many western and European leaf teas, the thin green tea we had was powdered instead. The best young buds and leaves are collected in Spring, then stored in a tea box until September when they are ground by stone into powder. I was glad they weren't presenting the thick tea, which they compared to almost needing to be kneaded rather than whisked to blend. We were also served some cute little sweets shaped like flowers.

After the presentation, I went upstairs to take the curator's tour of the "Wrapped in Silk and Gold exhibit". All the donated kimono in the exhibit were from 3 generations of a single family. The more casual ones were actually the older kimono in the exhibit, as back then, they would've been the common clothing. The newer ones were more formal since western clothing was worn day to day and the kimono only needed for special occasions.

The curator talked about the different dye methods, and how a formal kimono will have the family crest on the back, or even multiple crests for more important occasions. I was surprised to learn that some of the kimono that were woven with gold and had a design covering the entire fabric, were actually more casual than the black ones with a design along the bottom.

So I spent about 3 hours at the UMMA, and definitely want to go back to check out their core collection. It was fun during the presentations, but looking at the standard exhibits would be more fun with a friend.


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