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Appropos of Nothing X-tra Credit: Soapbox and Such

Nam Yang: More characters in this movie

giamattiThink Paul Giamatti playing an earnest Quebequoi with the sense of an absent-minded-professor about him and a wide-open laugh. The person played by Paul Giamatti is my Kung Fu twin in that we started and will end our time here at Nam Yang on identical days. My Kung Fu twin’s most endearing quality relates to his shoes. We are forever taking our shoes on and off. Don’t wear them in your room. Put them on to schlep down to the practice area or over to the new practice area or up to the dining area. Paul Giamatti will leave his shoes at one practice area–because, really, it is just a hop from, say, the practice to the tea area. Why, the shoes? Yet when it is time for breakfast and his shoes are down at the far practice area, well; we have a bit of a problem on our han… feet.

grace jonesThis next person is played by Grace Jones with a shaved head and no make-up (but keep the wraps). She had no interest in Kung Fu. She came to Nam Yang for chi gong, but realized that she needed the yang side provided by the kung fu–the fire, the external strength–and well as the yin–the softer, meditative power which chi gong develops.

Along these lines, I am finding the strength-training kind of exciting. Even though I hate it. Mostly because I’m terrified I’ll hurt myself. But I’m not hurting myself. After my first training session led by Master Ian–we do indeed call him Master–he gave me a thumbs’ up! And, as previously noted (perhaps in a tweet), I did the splits for the first time in 10 years.

spaceyThis final person reminds me of the nice characters played by Kevin Spacey–before Kevin Spacey blew it, Me, Too-wise, and then said what he said about that, and everyone was like, “Oh, don’t say that.”

Imagine the young Spacey over there with no hair (The real person shaves his head, too). Then imagine it is the crack of dawn. At the previous crack of dawn, you finished learning a chi gong form, and at today’s crack of dawn, you are supposed to put it into action. All by yourself. Shaved Kevin Spacey is the teacher that comes up to you and says, “I’m about to start the chi gong. Do you want to follow along?”

Meet more Nam Yang people here.

By Alle C Hall, writer!

Alle C. Hall’s work appears most recently in Dale Peck’s Evergreen Review; as well as in Tupelo Quarterly, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Brevity (blog), and Literary Orphans. She is Associate Editor at Vestal Review. “Wins” include: a Best of the Net nomination; First Place in The Richard Hugo House New Works Competition; and finalist or semi-finalist in the contests of: Boulevard Magazine, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Hippocampus, and Memoir Magazine.

Claim to fame: interviewed Leonard Nimoy. He was a bit of a pill; disappointing.

• Twitter: @allechall1
• Facebook: Alle C. Hall
• Alle blogs at About Childhood: Answers for Writers, Parents, and Former Children. (allehall.wordpress.com)

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