sabato 6 ottobre 2012

All Great Heroes Say Goodbye

This short post was supposed to be a comment to this one, but as I went into obsessive compulsive writing mode I thought what the heck, let's make it a blog.
Those who've occasionally kept in touch with me know how it's gone for me recently... those who havent : I haven't watched SASUKE stuff in ages (aside from 27), not posted in forums, barely kept up with news...not precisely the gamebook of a fixated fan.
And still, when I read about the future of the All-Stars it felt like a part of me cringing and dying. SASUKE is moving on to a completely new, probably brilliant era and I'm not complaining that it is because it's a way for it to survive...however it won't be the same, and it will be deeply missed.
How sad I am to see the All-Stars go has made me realise, to my surprise I must say, how deeply radicated my affection for them is. They were my heroes in a moment when I needed heroes; yet they were simple people with which I could sympathize. And seeing them do wonderful things made me dream and dream of doing the same, and even though I'm far from doing extraordinary, God knows how much that's helped me get where I am now. They've taught me perseverance and sportmanship, the power of willpower but the humanity of accepting one's limits.
They really were ordinary people doing extraordinary things, which included but went beyond grabbing ropes and climbing towers.
What now...well, Sasuke moves on and I intend to keep an eye on it, especially because I don't mind this new direction where it's going. (and, well... it seems that  Sasuke is expanding to places to where I may actually be able to fly/drive/walk if I'm lucky with schooldays and can find the money. It's a chance!)
As for the All-Stars, again, if you know me you know I may have been silent but could never forget them. Heck, if I needed proof, last night my brain decided to shatter my morale with a really frustrating dream about Nagano and Takeda coming to my College and me not being able to tell them a word because their interpreter was having coffee.

Although I've had my great fangirl moments (a couple message exchanges with Nagano, and thanks to someone awesome a friggin' AUTOGRAPH), as many others one of my greatest regrets is never having seen them in person. Though I doubt that'll ever happen I feel I want to do something, send them a message, a picture, anything to really tell them how much I owe them and that even though their era competing in Sasuke may be over they still have reasons to be proud. I'll see, probably in a couple of weeks since academically speaking I'll be in deep crap at least until the end of the month.
Until then...that's all, folks.

venerdì 26 agosto 2011

A Long Journey

I mean it, when I say a long journey.Start reading at your own risk.

A long time ago, in a galaxy that now seems far, far away...
I was at home, having lunch with my mother and Teo, my best friend. It was November, and for a couple of weeks already the main topic of our talks was the italian selection for United World College. That day, we finally decided that it was worth a try.

Everything we had ever wanted from a school ( and that our schools had never ever given us) was there. But as the day of Regional selections came closer, we started discus
sing how little our chances of making it were. About 700 students apply in Italy every year, and there are only about 20 spots; half of them are "bought"by certain richer Regions that pay scholarships for their kids. Obviously, our Region didn't, so we had to rely on the few "national" scholarships.
On the 8th of April, the night before Selections, Teo and I went for a walk in town. Sitting on a bench, eating ice cream, we were at the same time excited and very depressed. After wondering what was waiting for us at Selections, we started imagining what life could have been of us, for some incredible reason, had made it... or even - "but c'mon, we're just imagining stuff right now." - if we BOTH made it, and even in the same College. That "if one of us ever passes Regionals, and that is so not going to happen. Or is it?"
Fast forward one month later.
After four weeks of nailbiting, euphory, depression, euphory, "why the hell did I do that instead of that", I was finally starting to calm down, when my mother told me to check this email.
"I'm going to Nationals! That's!FTB! I gotta tell Teo - oh wait. Shit". I was very excited, but a part of me just couldn't help but shiver at the thought of telling my best friend that I had made it, knowing that "the chances that we both made it don't want to know".
The next morning, classes were about to start, when a classmate showed me a text from Teo.
"Tell Silvia to turn her cell on. I call her."
I ran out of the classroom - almost knocking down a teacher - turned on my cellphone, and waited. One minutes, two minutes, five...I was about to text him, when finally the phone rang.
"Hey Silvia!"
"Oy! What's going on? Quick, I gotta get back to class..."
"You have any idea 'bout who's made it to Nationals?"
Oh shit. Please, please let me...let him...
"You made it?!?"
"What do you m...WHAT?"
About 30 kids had applied in our Regional selections. We were the only two kids who had made it.
We both agreed that it felt like "living a movie".
But now, there were Nationals coming.
We weren't really prepared. We started studying, studying, studying, and looking for people who had already been through Nationals. They all told us the same thing: study a bit, but mostly be yourself. That's what they want.
Finally, on the 29th of May, Teo, my parents and I squeezed into my father's car for a day-long journey that would take us to Duino, the small village near Trieste where UWCAd - the Italian college - is located.
National selections were three days long, and kids were separated in three different shifts. Teo was in the second one, I was in the last one.
It was an incredible experience. I have some really great memories of those three days - like reenacting the opening scene of Serenity in front of all the kids, examiners, the headmaster and a Harvard teachers (who all seemed to like it) - and some less great memories - like feeling sick in front of the chief examiner, or getting lost right after my academic interview.
Teo and I both agreed that we had already been lucky enough, to both pass Regionals and have such a great time at Nationals. But...we also knew how badly we wanted to be accepted at UWC, and how terrible the perspective to go back to our old school was.
Time passed. Day after day, I got back home from school half thinking "No way, too early, still nothing", half expecting my mother to greet me at the door saying "Guess who's now a UWC student!". Nothing happened, for two weeks, and then my mother told me. "Got a mail from UWC...not good news". Same was for Teo.
I thought I had gotten used to the idea of not having made it - I was wrong. School was over, but summer had never been so depressing. One day of mid June I was playing Halo, when the phone rang. My mother answered, so I didn't pay attention at first, but then she just...freezed.
I looked at her, and understood.
It was the UWC office secretary, a lovely and kind woman. My mom gave me the phone. Patrizia had only heard of me through Teo, but her voice was still shaking when she talked to me: "Hello! I am Patrizia. I am so happy to make this call..." "And I am...happy to receive it..." "You did *great* at selections, but we had to shift you down the list because of Regional scholarships, we're always so sorry when that happens, but well, this time it ends well!"
I. Had. Made it. I had a scholarship, and for the Italian college.
Ten minutes after that call, my mother was still screaming, hugging me, jumping around the house, crying - and I was standing in the living room, still in shock. "Why am I so calm? I'm not supposed to be calm...I friggin... I this happening for real?"
It took me a week or two to fully realize what was going on. And then one day, just when I had almost recovered, I was walking down a street in town...
*cellphone rings*
"Hey Silvia, I'm Teo, What'ya doing?"
"Walking down the town centre,going to see one of my friend's final"
"Me? I'm celebrating."
"I'm celebrating because...I'm going to Duino!"
This time it didn't take me more than one second to understand. He had made it, and to the same college where I was going. Careless about people staring at me, I started yelling and jumping around, punching walls. I didn't stop until I ran out of breathe and felt my hands going numb.
The rest of the summer has passed very quickly. Too quickly, in fact. Teo and I are flying to Duino next Monday. It feels weird, saying goodbye to friends and relatives, packing, looking at my bedroom and thinking I won't be here for a while. It's not like I'm never coming back - holidays are always holidays, I'm coming back for Christmas and summer and all - but to be honest, now that Day X is so close, I'm terrified. Everybody tells me I'm going to be ok, I think I'm going to be ok, but, you know, it's the fear of the unknown.
I haven't changed my mind, though. I still think it's going to be great! I've already met most of my future mates via internet, and they all seem - well, as nuts as me. Every time I feel too freaked out I just watch this.
And I have this great blessing of going with my best friend, that I'm so thankful for.
Everybody tells me, when talking about this College, "Wow! Well, basically you're going to Hogwarts!". I can't help but smile and agree. In fact, one of the first things I said after that famous phone call - several minutes after, I was lost for words for a while - was "Damn! Took that damn owl five whole years to
Studying Maths isn't exactly like studying Charms, and I know that this school, like everything in the world, isn't perfect. There will be hard moments. But I chose this adventure, and I want to live it, and make the best of it.
Bring it, life!

giovedì 21 ottobre 2010

New Start

Summer has ended a while ago. While I thought it would have been a chance to do what I couldn't do during the school year, I actually needed that time to not do anything at all- you know, relax, clear up my mind a bit.
Now, October the 21th (time is flying O_O), everything is starting over again. School, girl scouts, fencing training (in a week or so). Also, after months of little or no news, a new Sasuke (26th) has come and passed (airdate next January).
So it's time to get ready.
Last year was a bit of a mess, mostly because of school, combined with all the other things I do. Since this school year is going to be even harder, I decided to be well prepared.
I want to organize my everyday life better. Get ahead with homework, decide when and how to train, and even do stuff like writing a blog every week, just to keep things in order in my mind...and avoid getting crazy if I loose control of the situation, hehe.
Another thing I want to do is come up with a decent schedule for my training, both Sasuke training and non-Sasuke stuff.
I still don't know how I'd get to Japan if hell ever freezed over and I made it to Sasuke, heck I don't even know if there will BE a Sasuke 27 (or 28, 29...) - but you know how that goes. I never loose hope.
Sure, when my mother says things like "Why don't you just wait until they do an Italy Sasuke?" I want to bang my head on a wall, but that's another story -.-"
Anyway, just to make sure I have things ready if/when the moment to show what I can do will come, I'll keep working on an entry video. Though I'll probably ditch the old one and do a new one since I can improve and do better stuff.
Ehemm - perhaps my parents are a bit right...I decide to write a post about a "new life" and half the thing becomes Sasuke stuff...LOL.
That said...the very first thing to do is getting enough sleep, and considering it's half past midnight now...not a good start :P Nighty night!

venerdì 23 luglio 2010

Because if you're American you get a $250k extra!

I would like all of you to read this blog post by RamblingRican, because it pretty much says the same things I think about the latest bad idea by G4 TV.

Right now I'm not feeling well, I'm sorry if posting the link and doing a copy and paste sounds too lazy. I shouldn't even be posting right now, I just think everybody should read this, and possibly spread it. It's a big mess.

venerdì 2 luglio 2010

One year has passed...

One year ago, I joined the Sasuke Maniac Forums.
Since then my life has changed a lot...and a lot of these changes are related to Sasuke.
I'm not really talking about training, changes of lifestyle etc. I'm talking about all the wonderful guys and gals I've met in this year.
I've grown up in this year, both physically and emotionally.For example, I've learned to be more confident when speaking to new people, something that I wouldn't do before and I would never have done in this small town where I always see the same people.Thanks to the experience of being part of the boards I've learned so much things and had so much happy and funny moments I can't list them all, nor I want to since this would be the longest post in the world.
I just want to thank you, guys. First of all, Arsenette: without you and the wonderful job you're doing with your blog I would have never had met Sasuke for what it is really, and I would never have found the boards. People could say it's just a blog, but really it isn't, it's a way to discover a whole new world for people like me and all those who had the same experience. Thanks for always being ready to help, for supporting everybody. Btw you remember I'm your long lost sister, don't ya? :P
Same for Ube, whose blog I found a little bit later but it helped me understand Sasuke as well.Even only your patience and how hard you work to keep us updated deserve some respect.
Thanks to all you guys on the forums and not, for sharing your toughts, for being like a huge family that supports me every day making me smile, laugh and cry, thanks for being my friends.
Sorry if all this sounds mawkish, but this is how I get when it's 3 am and I can't get this thought out of my head :)

lunedì 14 giugno 2010

Workshop Matera with Laurent Piemontesi 13-14 June '10

When I heard about Laurent Piemontesi (THAT Laurent Piemontesi) coming to Matera again, I completely went mad. He's a legend here for the traceurs in this town. Last year he was here as well, but I was on holiday with my family, so I decided I wasn't gonna miss this if he ever came here again.
Man, that was wonderful. The traceurs' group here is a really small crew (twelve kids) so it didn't feel like a formal lesson.
He impressed me a lot. Quite serious but never strict, he'd help us out even doing imple things, and encourage us when we were scared. There also was his friend Yohann (who looks like Paul Terek, lol). He injured his foot last weeks so he just helped us out but he is a very nice guy.
For example: there was this kinda big jump between to walls in the Sassi, I knew I was able to do it but it simply scared the crap out of me. Aftera a couple of minutes Laurent told me "Come down then, we'll try again tomorrow. It's OK even if you didn't make it, because you at least talked with your fear".
What he said impressed me so much I barely could sleep at night, and the day after decided I was going to try again. I made it! It was friggin...easy. Once I was jumping, I realized it was a kinda small jump compared with other jumps I had made before.
We trained very hard and learned loads of things, but we also joked and mocked each other all the time. Laurent's French accent even when he was speaking Italian was just priceless, we kept mimicking it in front of him and he would just laugh. Sometimes he'd mimick the guys' reaction when they first met him (btw it was an immensely lucky coincidence, he was visiting Matera's Sassi while they were training and they met), or we would harass each other with the circle game (especially Yohann).
These two days have been a real blessing for me. I've never been so serene in months, and I'm also very motivated now. Both Laurent and Yohann told me I have a great potential! A couple of times, after watching me making a long jump or new trick, they would start confabbing in French, then laugh at me desperately trying to get what they were saying - btw I studied French in middle school but...can't remember jack squat- and give me a thumbs up.
In a couple of days there should be video footage and a lot of pictures, by the way.
Gotta go now, au revoir!!!

P.S. Yesterday after furious yelling, my mom locked me at home -also with less than an hour of internet a day- for 3 days because I complained about her bossing me all the time.
Ergo she's doing it wrong because she just proved me right. LOL.

domenica 25 aprile 2010

Maguro Festival 2010

First of all...sorry if I haven't blogged Sasuke 25 yet. At this point even doing that in chunks would take too much time since I'm having way more trouble at school than I should, so I need more time to study. I might try to do what I can as soon as I have a couple of days off school, or wait 'til school finishes...which would be June.../sigh

Posters for the event (thanks Elsie for the find)

However, I haven't given up! This time I'm blogging about the Maguro Festival, a local festival held in Miyazaki prefecture, that happens to be where Nagano Makoto lives.
This is the fifth time they also have some Sasuke stuff as well, which is cool! This time, besides Nagano, All Stars Shingo and Akiyama were there.

Maguro Festival 2010 Sasuke course @syuichidc2

They set up this little course . Thanks to Ube we know the obstacles were: Soritatsu Kabe, Cliffhanger, Rope Untei (which should mean rope monkey bars), Lamp Grasper (tho I didn't see it in any pic), Salmon Ladder, Pipe Slider (yay!Long time no see! And I have one.), and something they call Tarzan - I have no clue about what could it be.

He also found a blog with a nice set of pictures.

Shingo helping out some kid @shimojikonashi

And Akiyama doing the same with another one @shimojikonashi

I always like the shots where they help kids on the course. Tho I always think “Wanna be that kid...wanna be that kid!”

Makoto Nagano getting interviewed @shimojikonashi

Watching this pic I couldn't help but think about how Nagano looked fab, especially compared to how the guy interviewing him looked creepy. Ok, ok, back to blogging.

Oh, speaking 'bout Nagano, I found this pic today and thought it was kinda weird. He looked upset for some reason.


Probably it's just me going OCD once again. It's been a week or so...but I digress, again!

Kazuhiko Akiyama getting interviewed @shimojikonashi

As said before, Akiyama and Shingo were there as well. Always nice to see Akiyama in this sort of events, tho I'm sad for Bunpei once again not being there, and too bad Takeda didn't make it as well.

Makoto Nagano freaking out acrophobics (lol Rider) @shimojikonashi

Here I have no idea what he was doing...probably checking out something. However I lol'd at Shingo and Akiyama sitting there in this pic.


Shingo: Scissors!

Kazuhiko: Rock!

Makoto: Could you guys stop playing and help me get down?

Gonna try to post more pics if I find them, and videos if there are. For now that's all, folks!

EDIT: Thanks to the Sasuke Maniac Lennon we have videos!!

Seems that the Tarzan thing was a Rope Glider-ish thing, and the rope monkey bars were for kids only.

Unknown boy no.1 (well, not unknown. Ube tells us it's "perennial STAlmoster Makoto Yahagi". Thank you Ube!)

LOL at Makoto going "Oh crap he's gonna fall from that thing" and climbing his way there just in time to catch the kid when he fell.

Uknown boy no.2 (EDIT: that's Yoshiki Itō, thanks Arsenette)

Scared the heck out of me on the Cliffhanger. He basically caught it while falling straight down.

Now for... Nekkid Shingo!!! LOL


Everybody was laughing at the start. Made me laugh even if I don't know wtf was going on :P after all, Shingo is Shingo. I seriously thought he was gonna take a bath after the Lamp Grasper :O

But hey, Shingo can still pwn the course ya'll ;)

And dulcis in fundo..ok ok I won't even start here's the video :P


Great Run! (said Capitain Obvious after watching this video :P) Besides the fact that he scared the crap out of me on the Shin Cliff -he didn't even swing!- LOL at Shingo suddenly standing and cheesin when he dismounted.

Mwahhaha he looked kinda tiny standing on the top of the Kabe- uhm, perhaps I should stfu since I'm (still) even shorter. I probably wouldn't even have touched the top of that thing :P

Too bad we don't have any videos of Kazuhiko - seems that he didn't feel very well that day so he didn't do any demonstrations. HowevernI still found cute the whole thing, and I'm happy they managed to do this (been told it was basically a last minute project).

EDIT: Props to Arsenette for finding these.

They must from the first day (Maguro festival lasted two days and the other pics I posted should be from day two)

Nagano posing with (lucky) mom and kids. @Blue Diary

Nagano posing for @blife



If I find other stuff I'll post it as soon as I can.

See ya next time!