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FYI

Things you need to know:
  • Some posts, or the links they contain, are NSFW. This is your only warning.
  • This blog serves the cause of my freedom of speech, not yours. I wield censorship like a 10 year-old boy who just found his father's handgun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

-The Sphinx, Mystery Men

Well, perhaps I don't dress in that manner (now), but I can now officially ACT in that manner, thanks to PayPal --





Help support my habit. My future endeavors (read: my bobo, metrosexual lifestyle) cost money, you know!
All this reading lately, all these cool websites I've found as a result of this reading (for example, Zoe Trope's), all the music I've been listening to lately has made my old creative itch return. Unfortunately, I've only two real creative outlets: music and this here blog thingy.

I'm still in the process of working out my list of "Things I Want to Accomplish in 2004" but it will include these two items:
A jazz arrangement of the song Another Sunday by Robert Lamm. I've already decided that whatever instrumentation is used, the last verse of the song needs to be sung.

"instant gratification 2.0" - as soon as I work all the bugs out of my budget, I'm going to at least upgrade this blogger account so that the ad doesn't show. I already have some ideas for a format change.


I could definitely use the readers' (all 3 of you) help with this last one -- tell me how to improve this thing!
Before I left the house I listened to today's Morning Edition on NPR. One of the features was an interview with American Records' Rick Rubin on the release of Johnny Cash's boxed set Unearthed. He had some very interesting recollections on the period that Cash recorded with American. It did produce some good music, my favorite being his version of Personal Jesus (yes, Depeche Mode), which I have on mp3.
Purely as a lark, I did a search on one of my favorite stories from The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002. Now, without violating any copyright laws whatsoever, I'm proud to bring to you, the instant gratification reader:
Journal of a New COBRA Recruit
by Keith Pille
...and knowing is half the battle.
Yes, today will be even better. The weather's a bit cooler, but E comes home tonight!

Monday, December 29, 2003

Yes, it's been such an awesome day so far, I can actually hear U2 in the back of my mind. It's a glorious day weather-wise; a nice 60 degrees. I had a restful night's sleep last night. I spent the morning meditating on (that is, pondering) my life, and finally discovered the piece that was missing as I'm trying to (re-)discover the spiritual component of the direction that I want my life to take.

I've got time to chill out here in OU's library, now open again after the holidays, so I've got a steady net connection, plus time to enjoy it. I don't work for another couple of hours.

And the icing on the cake is that I spoke with E a few moments ago, and she comes back TOMORROW!! God, I've missed her so much. We've resolved never to be apart like that again, at least not during Christmas.

In short, today I've been blessed, not only be being alive and feeling alive, but feeling centered and at one with Creation.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Not that I've actually seen a benjamin recently. I see numbers in my bank account that fluctuate back and forth and very rarely translate into equal amounts of currency in my grubby little hands.

But, yesterday I increased my chances of seeing said benjamins -- I finally finished creating a real bonafide budget for myself, based on a certain amount of income (since it sort of varies weekly).

Today, of course, I decreased my chances because I decided to treat myself since I managed to make a nice amount above my projected earnings this month. I finally got The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 (at 30% off, though!) and the latest issue of the Journal of Asian Martial Arts which had a very informative article which devotes a section to the form of kung fu I study -- Aw, c'mon, what the heck else am I saving my money for?

Friday, December 26, 2003

*New title for a new set of entries. Tag me if you get the reference.

I initially thought this should concern my official new hobby - "contemporary literature." Instead, I'm just going to dwell, ponder and/or comment on whatever I may read.

In this first entry, I'll just say that I've been through an awful lot of books. I suppose it started this time last year, actually. In no particular order, except for the first one which I know I read at the first of the year:

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor by Bruce Cambpell
Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Work It! by Allison Hemming
Every Man, God's Man by Arterburn and Luck
Bobos in Paradise by David Brooks
Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
(This was a re-read)
The Fran Lebowitz Reader by Fran Lebowitz
(I try to re-read this one at least once a year)
The Thomas Factor by Gary Habermas
Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan
Spiritual Advice for Buddhists and Christians by the Dalai Lama (I seem to remember this as the title -- the book was loaned to me)
Depth Takes a Holiday by Sandra Tsing Loh
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002 edited by Dave Eggers
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
(I actually only started this a few days ago.)

I know I've missed some. One comes to mind right now. I don't record it because I can't remember the author's name at the moment. Plus, it doesn't even touch the magazine and internet articles I've read. And, I'd hardly call 2003 an extraordinary year in reading for me -- just the first year I've noticed just how many things I've fed my head with.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Chances are, I'll be a bit busy the day after Christmas, and probably away from the internet in any case, so I thought I'd offer this a few days early.

Kinky and fun, you know how to scream and you sure know how to have one hell of a party!! And one hell of a night . . .
Congratulations! You're a screaming orgasm!!


What Drink Are You?
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Two days before Christmas and it's almost 55 degrees. It'll snow tomorrow, I believe, but by then I'll be in Cleveland (I hope) in which case I'm sure the weather outside will be frightful.
No matter how you feel about the war in Iraq, you cannot deny one inescapable fact -- as of right now there is NO EVIDENCE Iraq or Saddam had ANYTHING WHATSOEVER to do with 9/11! NADA... NONE... ZIPAROONIO!

Every time I hear about the polls saying how many Americans believe the contrary (53% in a poll from USA Today, in a reference I heard a few hours ago), it grates on my nerves. For pete's sake, you don't have to be (or, even LIKE) Al Franken or Michael Moore to see how far the current administration has backpedalled, you only HAVE TO OPEN YOUR EYES. It's been all over the news and TV -- granted, it's buried usually, but still.

Monday, December 22, 2003

As I look at the past year, despite, "what I have done and what I have failed to do" (as we former Catholics still have a tendency to say), I have to say that this has been the year containing my lowest and highest points of my life.

E's been in my life for about 6 months total, and they've been the very best of my entire life. By most standards, this relationship is a whirlwind one. In this short time, we've built such a connection that it's been hard for either of us to conceive of a time when we weren't together.

So far, the biggest obstacles to our relationship that have yet to be completely worked out: some minor unresolved facets of both our pasts, disagreement on the correct timeliness of doing the dishes, and the fact that she doesn't share my love of Philly-blue-eyed soul singers.
This merits special attention.

Last Friday, E retold the story about the time she went to some psychic guy in Korea. She was told that within a year, she'd be married to a Chinese man with a big nose who was an engineer. Nothing about a Filipino with social work tendencies. Well, she's been reevaluating the truth of that prediction in light of a few facts she discovered.

Within a year...
Our relationship is within the time frame.

She'd be married...
E had a conversation with a Korean woman she was tutoring about said prediction. This woman stated that, in Korean culture, any couple living together are simply assumed to be married, or at least on their way there, and are more or less treated as such. Therefore, any vision a Korean psychic would have about E living with a man would, to him, constitute "marriage."

To a Chinese man...
According to this same woman, most non-Korean Asians are simply lumped into the "Chinese" category. This is apparently due to the many Chinese living there. Any vision of me by a Korean psychic would be of "a Chinese man."

With a big nose...
Another Korean student of E's who I met a couple of months back commented to E about my "big nose." I don't, nor would most Westerners, consider my nose big. Westerners tend to look mostly at nose length or how far it sticks out from one's face. Koreans, on the other hand, look at nose width, and by that standard my nose would appear large to a Korean psychic.

Who was an engineer...
Ok, we're both puzzled by this one. I can't stretch my imagination or powers of logic far enough to make this connection.

Between this and the fact that E reported that the psychic was very accurate about facets of her past, who knows what to think? I've always been open-minded about psychic abilities in a "Ghostbusters" kinda way. I wish he'd been more open about what our relationship would hold for the future, but according to E, Johnny Smith reported seeing a horrible future that had to be prevented at all costs the psychic reported that things would "come together" by the time she was 39, especially financially.
I didn't have much time to go where I usually go to access the net, so once again, I relied on Windows Notepad yesterday, and today, the cut and paste feature.

Written 8:45 PM 12/21/03
This past weekend had its definite high and low points.

I drove E to Columbus so that she could hop a plane to see her mother and various friends in downstate New York.

I'm lonely.

She arrived safe and sound at Elmira, NY. She was searched at the airport in Columbus -- apparently her shoes were a bit suspicious. But, otherwise, the trip went well. She apparently made a new friend, as she is often wont to do, a fellow screenwriter who resides in L.A.

E got to spend some quality time with her mom that yielded some news: We don't have to worry about finding an engagement ring if when the time comes. Her mom is giving E her old wedding ring. Her mom (My future mom-in-law... man, that's a wierd thought. What's more wierd is how comfortable I am with it) had some stones from her engagement ring set onto her wedding ring after E's father passed away.

In case it hasn't been apparent, let me state it once and for all -- yes, she is the one.

Last Friday was a definite high point in my relationship with E. Since we'd be apart for Christmas, we had our own little time under our little tree. We'd spent most of the day in "decadence" surrounded by pillows, watching three of my favorite films (Mystery Men, Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, and the original Shaft), and being rather intimate. Then came the presents! We got each other an assortment of little things. She was pleased with her gifts, and I was pleased with mine.

One of the things E gave me was The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002. I consider this my first real foray into "contemporary literature," because the collection isn't primarily humor for the NPR set or about various socio-economic phenomena, though it does have some of those elements.

However, I received a present unlike any other I've received in my life. And, I've received some extremely special gifts in my time -- gifts that I'll probably never write about on this weblog.

But the gift that E gave me is now one of the few physical possessions that I have that I will truly cherish. It was a penknife that her late father got in the Philippines during WWII. It isn't so much decorum, but sheer inabililty, that prevents me from describing what this act meant to E in light of all that her father meant to her.

Friday, December 19, 2003

It's been awhile since I gave you all a "two-for-one," so here it is. Go on, Freud -- figure this conundrum out.

vsvsv
Justice and Morality: You believe in doing what is
right for others and maybe even for yourself.
People would consider you one with good morals,
and someone who would not let them down.


Which Characteristic From the Samurai Code Matches You Best? (You may find out your best trait)
brought to you by Quizilla

theft
You're goin' down! FOR THEIVING!
Please rate if you liked!

If you're a goth please visit
groups.msn.com/gothicteensoftheworld and join
up cause it rules!


What Would You Go to Jail For? (Many outcomes)
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Thursday, December 18, 2003

As I've gotten older, I've gotten a little more pensive whenever a year wraps up. It's usually when I take stock of the previous 12 months in a vain attempt to figure out where to go from here. I say "vain," but it's really not. Some goals I meet, some I don't - usually the ones I should've.

I usually try to figure out what needs changed and how, in various areas of my life, including this blog. I've been at this thing almost a full year now, and it's been good for me. But, what could/should I do with this thing in 2004?
A.    I could always just delete this thing.
B.    Actually spend the time and money to get my own server, or at least a domain name, and learn CSS or something like that.
C.    Just make the usual minor cosmetic changes.
D.    Go more personal? Or less personal?
E.    Be more active about getting more readers?
F.    All of the above?
G.    None of the above?
Any suggestions, anyone?

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Well, if I wasn't Friendster-ed out already, there's an article on Buttafly that took the remaining wind out of the sails. I went through all that stuff, creating my profile (even putting my own damn face on it), building my network, essentially gorging myself on the Friendster experience. But, like all gorgings, you come to your senses, covered in beer, buffalo wing sauce, [body fluid double entendre deleted], etc. and ask yourself as you're puking your guts out, "What was this all for?"

I had only recently started to come to these conclusions on a subconscious level, anyway. I guess I could always take myself out of that network, but that smacks of effort.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

This whole series is about children being scarred!

-E, during the scene where (SPOILER - highlight the space if you want to read) little Boba Fett holds Jango Fett's decapitated head while we were watching Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Isn't it sad just how true that is?
Yes, this past weekend, I felt quite mushy as it was the first time (between Saturday morning and Sunday night) that E and I have been apart for a 24 hour period since I moved here. Who would've thought a tiny apartment could feel so big?

And, why did I miss her? Well, that became immediately evident when she returned and we watched the movie Trekkies. Just the fact that we could watch it together, by itself, makes her the best life partner I could ever have. Nevermind the fact that we could make tons and tons of jokes about it, mostly to cover up the fact that we both see pieces of ourselves underneath all the genetic misfits covered in Spock ears, Klingon ridges, TOS shirts (any color except red), and TNG phasers.
Remember those ads? R.I.F. Ah, another childhood memory.

Anyway, new book plug on the left of the page - Depth Takes a Holiday by Sandra Tsing Loh. IMO, "Fran Lebowitz-lite" but funny and maybe a bit more accessible.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I got this from E, who will always call this area home.
New England Temperature Conversion Chart

60° F: Southern Californians shiver uncontrollably. People in New England sunbathe.

50° F: New Yorkers try to turn on the heat. People in New England plant gardens.

40° F: Italian & English cars won't start. People in New England drive with the windows down.

32° F: Distilled water freezes. Maine's Moosehead Lake's water gets thicker.

20° F: Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats. People in New England throw on a flannel shirt.

15° F: New York landlords finally turn up the heat. People in New England have the last cookout before it gets cold.

0° F: All the people in Miami die. New Englanders close the windows.

10° below zero: Californians fly away to Mexico. The Girl Scouts in New England are selling cookies door to door.

25° below zero: Hollywood disintegrates. People in New England get out their winter coats.

40° below zero: Washington DC runs out of hot air. People in New England let the dogs sleep indoors.

100° below zero: Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. New Englanders get frustrated because they can't start their "kahs."

460° below zero: All atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale). People in New England start saying, "cold 'nuff for ya?"

500° below zero: Hell freezes over. The Red Sox win the World Series.
The following is a conversation between E and me as we're watching the movie The Hunted with Tommy Lee Jones and Benecio del Toro. If you haven't seen it, this movie contains what is arguably the most realistic martial arts fight scene in a movie, which utilized the sayoc kali style of Filipino martial arts.
Me: Man, this is the $hi+!!
E: (disapproving look)
Me: Hey, this is my cultural heritage, here!
E: Bull$hi+. If you're cultural heritage was flower-pressing, would you be celebrating it?
Me: Aw, hell no, that's lame.
E: Exactly -- it's not about your cultural heritage, it's about your bloodlust (she says, with a big smile on her face).


At least, I think it was a smile.
I got this notice in the mail from my credit union today, italics added by me. What a load of $hi+.
Your HASSLE-FREE [Is it?] CHECKING available balance [not "the actual amount of money that every stinking piece of paper says should be in your damn account."] is not sufficient to cover the following...
Pisses me off, I tell you.

Amateur movie! You might not be too experienced in
the way of sex...but chances are, you do enjoy
it (or the thought of it). We'll probably see
you in some home video that surfaces on the
internet one day.


What kind of porno would you star in?
brought to you by Quizilla

I always knew I was too vanilla for my own good :(.

I can imagine a scene taken out of my life and put on the big screen TV-VCR screen/computer monitor in someone's basement: A solo scene where, immediately after the big [small] O, one has the energy to jump up, set up a game of Yahtzee, and on the first turn immediately score a Yahtzee, all while I'm just sittin' there :)

Monday, December 08, 2003

While E and I have still managed to avoid getting a powered antenna, we've been watching several fine movies. I've honestly lost track of what we've seen lately. I may have missed some, but in no particular order, they've included...

Cradle 2 the Grave - My first "DMX starring with a martial artist" movie. He really wasn't that bad. Jet, of course, is as much of a bad@$$ as ever. There was a scene with Jet and some rather prominent UFC fighters. E bristled at the thought that in a real life fight between Jet Li and Tito Ortiz, my money would be on Tito.

The Corruptor - It's always impressive to see how much range Chow Yun-Fat has, that he really is more than a two-fisted-gun-toting stoic. Although, we get some nice two-fisted-gun-toting stuff, too!

Moulin Rouge - I swore up and down that despite what the credits said, the Duke must've been played by Gary Oldman. He wasn't. While it dragged initially, it really wasn't as bad as I was led to believe when it first came out. The crowd I hung with at the time almost universally blasted the movie. Some walked out in the middle of it. But, there was some impressive stuff in there once you got past the rearrangement of various 80s tunes.

The Big Lebowski - I hadn't seen this one before. God, was I missing out! If you haven't seen it, stop what you're doing right now and do so!
On Google's front page, enter the following search terms and click "I'm feeling lucky!"
"miserable failure"

"weapons of mass destruction"
Now, that's what I call a search engine!

Saturday, December 06, 2003

I was walking around the Athens Wally World (aka WalMart) the other day when I heard a rather curious announcement. For $1.00 a ticket, you could enter a raffle for a Remington .28 gauge shotgun. I almost did, just to see 1) whether I'd win and 2) whether they'd make me wait for my prize while they did a background check or if they'd just hand it over.

I could go on about this, but why? Your own thoughts are probably swimming in the same direction as mine.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Ten years since its inception, and I've managed to avoid it... until today.

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
Version: 3.12
GSS d+ s-:- a30 C++ U--- P L- E-- W++ N++ o+ K- w+ O--- M V-- PS+ PE Y+ PGP- t+++ 5++ X++ R++ tv+ b++ DI+ D++ G e++>+++ h--- r+(++) y+
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------


Sad, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The song from Subtlety & Passion that really convinced me to take a closer look at is was Another Sunday. On cursory listen, it seems like Lamm just copied himself; compare it to the song Wake Up Sunshine from Chicago II.

Then, when you listen to the bridge of the song and realize it was co-written by Gerry Beckley of the band America, you might be tempted to write it off as yet another Beckley-Lamm-(sans)Wilson "BMW" (bitch, moan & whine) session about old age.

But, I know for me, personally, the last verse sort of sums up all the struggles I've had as of late with spiritual and life direction.
Another Sunday
Could I fin'lly?
Could I fin'lly start to live?
And maybe one day
I would take time
I would take some time to give
To those who always waited for me patiently
For my return and my company
But for now, you see
Comes Monday... I start all over again


Another Sunday
by G. Beckley/R. Lamm
I take back almost every negative comment I made about Chicago XXVII... er, I mean Robert Lamm's Subtlety & Passion album, especially on closer examination of some of the lyrics. Most of them are as brilliant as ever. Some are really lame, but you'll have that.

Dammit, Chicago, can't you make an album half as interesting anymore?
*Tag me if you can identify the source of this reference.

Without cable, one is pretty much screwed TV-wise in Athens. Your only alternative is a powered antenna, relatively inexpensive, but still a pain in the @$$ to bother with, especially when you're living in a household chock full of fine movies.

Videos E and I have watched thus far:
Some martial arts stuff I taped from the Discovery Channel awhile ago
Glengarry Glen Ross
The Star Trek episode Day of the Dove
Le Pacte des Loups
Rowan Atkinson - Live
The Godfather I & II

Part III will be tonight's viewing, I believe.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Turkey day went well. Ate and drank myself into a coma and had some funny dinner conversation. E and I had dinner with the family of a local friend whose mother-in-law happens to be our landlady. She made one of those comments that you just don't expect from an elderly lady about the workers at the local Wal-Mart aka "Wally World." She said
300 pounds must be the limit.
I almost had wine coming out of my nose.

Friday had its own little adventure, trying to find a TV! Yes, we've been down here for months with no TV, and so E finally had the money to get one. We get it home after going literally from county to county and treated ourselves to kung fu movies and of course, Glengarry Glen Ross! As if we didn't quote that movie enough already...
How f**ked UP you are!
-Ricky Roma (Al Pacino)

Which brings us to Saturday's...
Inside Joke of the Day
Give me five more minutes of butt treatment!
-E
This was forwarded to me the other day...

Subj: Proof

...that authentic country singers still walk the earth

http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Music/11/25/campbell.arrest/index.html


...and that there is a god

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/South/11/24/klan.initiation.ap/index.html
Delayed, like most everything else because of the holidays and my tryptophan-induced coma. The results are further proof of one of my mutant superpowers -- the ability to successfully BS my way through any kind of test. That, or I've been wearing so much black for a reason other than keeping up with hip, trendy late-1980s fashion.

lexmax
Congratulations! You have an understanding of the
goth culture!


A True Goth Quiz (now with pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, November 24, 2003

This gave me a chuckle, courtesty of Warren Ellis's blog www.diepunyhumans.com.
Last Friday night, I succumbed to idol worship at the Altar of the Porcelain God. I was brought low to my knees unto it thanks to my lowered tolerance. Again, Danny Glover's voice rang through my mind's ears -- "I'm too old for this %hi+." Yes, a Killian's, two Manhattans, and two shots of Goldschlager (that weren't even on fire!) were enough to humble me.

My stomach's churning again just thinking about it.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Because I couldn't bear the thought of not having an image from the Church Sign Generator for at least another week.



I'm sure the friend of E's who sent this to her wasn't the first person to think of that, but it's still pretty darned funny to look at.
After digging about in my skull for my username/pw for my enetation account, I managed to get in and delete some double-postings made accidentally by myself and a couple others, no doubt because in this case, you get from enetation exactly what you pay for which, in my case is "jack" and "$hi+". Actually, I still owe them "jack."

I did leave all the troll postings, and although I've got a rule never to feed the trolls, it's a very loose rule. So, I'll take a quick second and put the question out there. Of all the posts to spam, why did they have to pick one of my soul-baring posts??

Well, I'm going to twist the concept of "pay it forward." I'm going to pay my misery forward and post the email address left by the spammer. I did some checking, and I'm willing to bet that it's maybe some innocent person whose addy just got jacked. Or, this person is the perpetrator. In any case, if I've managed to annoy at least one person by making this email addy available to all my readers and the various search engines, then I've successfully paid my misery forward!

So, take a moment and tell Willowmagic18@yahoo.com to "Have a nice day!" or share some of your sexual-organ-enlargement tips.
Two of my online addictions have now dovetailed with the addition of a few RBJ forum posters to my Friendster network. I suppose it's better than being addicted to talkers and MUDs the way I was.
Apparently, my name iz not Shake Zula... the mike rulah... the old schoolah

DrWeird
YOU ARE DOCTOR WEIRD -- An escaped mental patient,
Doctor Weird holes himself up in a laboratory
on the South Jersey shore. He unwittingly
creates various mutations, monsters, and
machines that tend to destroy large areas of
the town and cause trouble for the Aqua Teens.
While he may sound like a maniacal madman, it
is evident that he has no idea what he is
doing.


What 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' character are you?
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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Well, I added to and rearranged the template a bit here, especially if people are gonna act a fool on my tag-board. Can't have that thing scaring visitors away -- all solicitations for pr0n will be at the end of the blog and take more than a casual view to see, just as it should always be.
OBJECTIVE: To be the sexiest metrosexual -- EVER!

-Me

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Ed. note: This is a paraphrase/re-edit of something I wrote in my journal the other night.

I've been trying lately, without much success, to re-envision my mission statement -- my personal creed, my statement of what my life's supposed to stand for.

It's certainly no longer about the struggle to live as spiritual a life as I used to. No, I won't mention the path by name, because 1) if you've been paying any attention, you'd have known it long before now and 2) it really doesn't matter because what I'm about to say can apply no matter what spiritual path I happen to be following.

Following such a path wholeheartedly means the acceptance of certain principles that can and should have a direct bearing on how you live your daily life, I don't care if it's Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or even Atheism. I've found the people who are the most content with their spiritual lives, no matter what path they choose, follow that path wholeheartedly, knowing full well how often it will bring them into conflict with the values of the world and/or the people surrounding us.

There's a whole chapter in David Brooks's Bobos in Paradise about Spirituality, about how the compromises that this new educated class make between old bourgeois and bohemian values extends to even the spiritual. Bobos (bourgeois bohemians, in case you haven't been reading this blog enough to see the term at least once a week ;) ) long for the community that comes with religious institutions, and want that sense of spiritual ritual, structure, and "higher values" to pass on to our children. But, they're unwilling to take it back to the age where "pope, priest, or pastor" or any set of teachings hold any sort of real authority without the individual having a "spiritual line-item veto" (my phrase -- wow, that almost sounds intelligent!) for anything they don't agree with.

Brooks uses the term "Flexidoxy" and says Bobos attempt to "build a house of obligation on a foundation of choice." I feel that's the choice I'm facing now. To go ahead and submit to spiritual compromises and fudges. Am I headed down the path to drunken orgies of Dionysian excess? Probably not. But, will I be following a path or a method of living that focuses ultimately on promises to come in the next life/lives/whatever?

It's a crossroads. In the past couple of years, I've seen with my own eyes that certain spiritual realities do exist. Now, whether or not I and people who believe as I do interpret them correctly is another issue. Yet one thing is clear -- people who feel the most satisfied with their beliefs, regardless of what they are, don't fit their beliefs into their life. They fit their lives into their beliefs.

Am I willing to do that at this stage of the game? What values are at the core of my life? What's my life now based on?

Monday, November 17, 2003

Maplethorpe ain't got nothin' on this guy.
Hanging Corpse Admired as Sculpture on Campus
From Warren Ellis's blog
ITEM ONE
I found my new food besides wings from Rooster's, chicken fajita burritos from Chipotle and roman burgers from Mr. Hero that I could subsist on -- E's fried potatoes!

ITEM TWO
I finally have a local (cell) phone number. Now, I feel like a true Athens hick resident! The sad part was that I took the cheap option and took the companies free phone, which technologically speaking is just as advanced as my other one (which I still have, btw -- numbers in 2 area codes, how ghetto is that?), except that 1) it doesn't vibrate and 2) it's virtually the same dimensions as the very first cell phone I ever bought 8 or so years ago.

ITEM THREE
There is NOOOOOOO.... Item Three.

ITEM FOUR
I'm still feeling the last vestiges of my workout pain from last Thursday's MMAC meeting. Man, I wanna go again tomorrow night so badly, but if they're just going to putz because it's finals week, I really shouldn't blow $7.50. But, it's even worse than I predicted -- because the workout was so intense, my exercise/adrenaline junkie withdrawal is even worse than it ever was.

ITEM FIVE
I've been working like a dog for the past few days, so I'm going to enjoy the next couple of days off that I have.
You're a Meanor
-E


Ed. note: pronounced MEE-nore
I don't wanna come and get it!
Bring it to me!!!!


-E

Friday, November 14, 2003

No, this has nothing to do with pictures, either.

I'm in so much physical pain, it even hurts to type. But, it's a good workout pain. The kind of pain that comes with training at the MMA Club. God, I thought the calisthenics alone would kill me. I kept hearing Danny Glover's voice in my head going, "I'm too old for this $hi+." But, I'll be darned if my boxing technique didn't come back PDQ.

The second hour, we had our choice between muay Thai pad drills and Filipino stick work. Now, what's a Filipino boy like me to do, eh? Man, in one night I've already increased my single stick repertoire by at least 50%, mostly with all the footwork they had us do. Mr. R in Columbus spent time training with Bobby Taboada, so most of his stick training had very little in the way of footwork. That's 'cause Bobby was so fast, he'd just stand there and play a song on you before you'd get in two swings. Then, we did some empty handed flow drills, a couple of which I already knew -- that scored me a few points with the instructors there ;).

Yes, I still wanna get my blacks, but I'm definitely sticking with this. The stuff they're doing will fill the gaps in my martial arts knowledge perfectly, I think. The only problem is having to pay the guest fee each and every time I wanna train with them, at least until I (hopefully) get matriculated next summer. Apparently, it's a problem the club has been trying to address all sorts of ways. They even discussed labelling me an "instructor" just to get me past the gate. That's the spirit of OU/Athens, OH -- trying to find more ways to "stick it to The Man." Hey, the way I see it, $7.50 2x/week won't necessarily break me, even with the pittance I'm making each week. And, it's still averages about what I paid in Columbus, anyway.

Unfortunately, it's the end OU's fall quarter. Next week is finals week, and the club meetings are basically going to be unstructured sessions, so they said it might not be worth me shelling out money to attend. Their break is 6 weeks, so I guess I'll have to wait until then :(. But, hey, I got stuff I can work on until then.
Ask yourself this question.
My inner child is sixteen years old today

My inner child is sixteen years old!


Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while
adults might just accept that, I know
something's gotta change. And it's gonna
change, just as soon as I become an adult and
get some power of my own.


How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, November 13, 2003

The most informed and unbiased music critic columnist -- EVER!
I Despise You and Your So-Called Taste

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

ITEM ONE
So, tomorrow I'm definitely checking out the Mixed Martial Arts club. I need to start training again in something, so it might as well be in stuff I'm interested in.

ITEM TWO
I've been working on my grad school application materials. For OU, part of that is an autobiographical essay. That doesn't bother me in and of itself. What concerns me is how best to construct the thing. "Just be yourself," one might say, to which I might respond, "Oh, grow up." ;)

On the other hand, I feel like I have to be careful. I have a history of basically flatulating on any piece of paper and have it be considered "above-average" work (read: usually "A" papers). When considering these things, I caught myself thinking that the folks here at OU were "country bumpkins," who could be taken far easier than the folks at the bigger institutions where I attended school.

Now, I admit, that thinking is just plain wrong. It's also made me somewhat paranoid, too, of the folks here being too saavy.

Eh, maybe I should just be myself.
Well, since I've been bit by the "pics on your blog" bug, I found a free 30 MB webhosting server at Ripway. Now, all I need to remember to do is log on once a month.

Screw you, Yahoo!

BTW, All of today's earlier posts have been edited accordingly.
Sneaky b@$tards. Should've known it was too good to be true. Well, the boffins at Yahoo! have outsmarted me [Yeah, congratulations, guys -- I've been outsmarted by far inferior to you ;)]. Darn rotating filenames -- f**k 'em all.

Well, enjoy the pics while they last. Hey, I could always remote load from my AOHell space.


Courtesy of the Church Sign Generator

First, I didn't care about not being able to post my own pics on here. Now, I feel like I've been missing out!
Tell me just because I missed the Yahoo! service change by two months, having better things to do with my life, that I can't remote load JPEGs from My Briefcase account? Fine, then... it ain't the only graphic format around.

I know, I know -- "Why not simply use another blogging service that will let you upload pictures?" Because, "FREE" is the ideal price, muahahaha!

I feel like Jack "Shelly 'The Machine' Levine" Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross when he said "You can kiss my @$$ [makes a zipping motion up his bottock] and that's all I have to say to you [as he transitions from zipping up his buttock to flipping the bird]."

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I neglected to mention that last week, I spent more than $15 on a haircut for the first time in about 6 months! It made me think about and miss my old stylist back in Columbus. When I could afford to see him, the salon would always have coffee or wine. In fact, I discovered my favorite wine there, a cabernet-merlot blend by Concha y Toro. The best part was, he never, ever used clippers on my hair except for my sideburns and the back of my neck.

He had these cool-ass Japanese shears with the blades forged in the same manner as katana with the metal folded over a few times. You may ask, "What's the freakin' difference?" The difference is you can just tell what an easy time he had cutting my hair. I noticed it in particular one day when he tried using these German-made shears he had. There was something strange and I asked him, "Do those things need oiling or something? It seems like you're working harder." Immediately he switched back to his old shears. He explained to me that someone invited him to try the German shears, and he was debating whether or not he liked them. But, he decided against them the moment I said something, saying that if even a client could tell the difference, he was sticking with his old tried-and-true shears.

One day, I'm going to make enough bread again to go see him.

Monday, November 10, 2003

*Yes, once upon a time, I thought I made this phrase up myself. But, as it happens, I'm not the first person to ever use this word, so if you're one of those copyright fascists (and I mean that in a nice way) and want to sue me, well, go ahead -- take the $0.91 I have to my name.

ITEM ONE
My new favorite website, posted on a RiceBowlJournals forum:
Church Sign Generator
I haven't wasted hours on a website like I have on here in ages!

ITEM TWO
Got a Friendster invite from a fellow Fran Lebowitz lover who I met a few months ago. I joined up -- why not, after all, so long as Friendster doesn't broadcast my email address or my picture around, it's all good. At least I know someone on this network, and who knows, maybe I'll get the same level of intelligent-yet-fun interaction that I get with the members of RBJ.

ITEM THREE
I'm on Yahoo! Messenger at this moment with E, who is ranting about the parking fines she inadvertently accumulated. She made a funny:
anyway, so I still ahve to pay $15. F**k, like I can afford $15.

I'm freaking shopping at save a lot to save money on groceries and now I have to pay the bi+ch her f**king blood money
Um... well, ok, I thought it was amusing.
ITEM ONE
Upon careful deliberation (read: cruised the webpage and decided, "Wtf"), I decided to email OU's mixed martial arts club. I'm told I'm welcome to join even though I'm not officially a student yet, for $5 a session. Not too bad, I'd say. Once I'm matriculated, it'll be $15 per quarter. I'm going to check out the next meeting this Thursday. They're finishing up the quarter getting ready for next quarter where they're going to focus on some kali, muay Thai and maybe some BJJ.

E is all excited for me, because she knows that kali and muay Thai are the two arts I decided to train in once I got at least one black belt/sash/whatever.

ITEM TWO
Last Saturday, I accompanied E to her ta'i-chi class. It was some very interesting stuff. Afterward, she introduces me to both of her instructors. Now, E's kinda funny when it comes to my martial arts. She gets all frazzled every time I joke privately about "breaking my foot off in someone's @$$" whenever people check her out or premeditating a self-defense scenario while we're in a crowd. But when discussing it in public, she's all like "Yeah, he knows tae kwon do and kung fu, and he's really good, too!" after I've spent minutes trying to downplay my knowledge. Sure, I joke a lot, but I'm never in any mood to be challeneged by someone who identifies too closely with the movie Billy Jack.

Anyway, she just has to drop the fact that I know kung fu and of course, the instructor just has to see me do some. I'm like, "Ohhhhhhhh, crap." Well, I acquiese, since I'm in "his house," so to speak and do my white sash form. He genuinely seemed impressed and complimented my teachers (yay, Mrs. R!!). He and I then get caught up discussing martial arts for the next half-hour after his class. We demonstrated a few techniques and stances for each other. Let me at this time, reiterate my respect for ta'i chi as a combat art. The dude demonstrated how with one hand on my chest and shifting his weight forward how he could knock me back a few steps.

So, I guess ta'i-chi will be my next martial art in line :).

Friday, November 07, 2003

One shoe on, one shoe off
Nothing in life is decideable, wouldn't you know
Nothing's supposed to be easy
Take one day at a time
Ain't no need to hurry
Realize where you are
And where you're going to

Follow Me by James Pankow and David Foster
perf. by Chicago
A couple of days ago, I found out that OU in fact does have a program in community counseling. The time frame is shorter, and well, it's the degree that I was after in my first attempt at graduate school.

Now, I just need to get my game on and carry this plan through to fruition. I need to work past all the baggage, real and imaginary, that's stopping me, and take hold of this second chance.

The one factor out of my control -- Will I get in? I ask this knowing there's but one way to find out.
Ah'll be running around und tare-minading de girly cockroaches, ya.


Which Survivor of the Impending Nuclear Apocalypse Are You?
A Rum and Monkey joint.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Well, as I've intimated by now in various posts, it seems to be bust for the time being.

The summary of my situation: My living situation changed, as the friend who was graciously providing me with a place to stay could, through no fault of his own, no longer afford to be gracious. To quote his paraphrase of Malachi 2:16, "God hates divorce."

Therefore, I took this as God's/destiny's/fate's/the universe's way of telling me to go ahead and do something I've been pondering for weeks -- to move 90 miles away to be with E. After all, when all is said and done, to paraphrase Gladys Knight,
I'd rather live with her world
Than live without her in mine
Now, there is more to it than that. It turns out that I stand a better-than-even chance of entering grad school here, and finally finishing off that pesky masters degree that I've been putting off.

But, it is a shame after I just made it to first gup. I was all gung-ho about barreling forward to black belt. I learned the first 1/3 of one of my required forms, chung moo. Mrs. R was looking forward to a time when she'd be able to get a kung-fu class going again. Mr. R wanted to find time to train with me personally.

But, now I'm in Athens with a vehicle that's unreliable at best -- I wore it down with weekly trips between Columbus and Athens for the past few months. I don't want to get flabby, and I don't want to lose the little I just regained, with regard to training.

So, I've got a few possibilities:
A) Simply resolve to make a 1-2x/month pilgrimage up to Columbus to train. It's not unheard of. I remember a girl who went to my old alma mater the University of Dayton after college and came back once a week for awhile.

B) I could just find another martial art. This is my least favorite option, because being so close to black belt (TKD) and black sash (KF), I'd really hate to start with something else now, at least until I've reached those levels in at least one of my current martial arts.

C) Ohio University has a mixed martial arts club that I could, in theory, check out. Their website says that the "majority" of their members are OU students, implying that some aren't. Now, I'm not a student quite yet, but assuming I could get in, would it be worth my time and expense?
Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I think I know what I'm doin'
But I haven't been doin' it right
It seems like every time I turn around
I find myself feeling uptight
Every once in awhile I see
The questions and the answer
Is before me
Misery isn't free
I gotta be free

The Sons, Misery Isn't Free
So, today is my first (virtually-) stress-free day down here in my new abode. I still feel some of the pangs of mental and physical exhaustion, but slowly, day by day, I've managed to integrate myself into E's space. I cooked dinner for the first time for her last night, some throw-together non-Mexican tasting wannabe chicken fajitas. They were tasty, nonetheless.

Ok, so I'm down here, relatively settled in and some part-time hours starting tomorrow. I'll also get a bit of money in tomorrow, too. But, now I need to start thinking ahead a bit. I want to start the ball rolling as far as getting into school here at OU. I want to go ahead and start a masters/Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. However, right now it just isn't in the Life Plan to spend the next five to seven years down here, at least if I want to spend them with E. Now, there seems to be a minimum requirement of time to be spent here at the Athens campus, so I'll definitely be exploring the option of doing that minimum time and finishing somewhere else.

And, on top of it all, I need a much better job than what I have now.

What I need, above all else, is patience with myself and diligence. I can never seem to balance those two things out.

I guess what this means, at least in the forseeable future, is that "First Dan or Bust" is bust for the time being :(. Sucks, I know, but first dan really isn't important in the big scheme of things at this present time.

But, I'm finally beginning to realize just how many good things I have in life in spite of all the negative.

Monday, November 03, 2003

CNN.com - NBC cancels 'Coupling' - Nov. 3, 2003

The link will only last until the 17th, so enjoy the good news while it lasts!
I should've posted this over the weekend. I just wanted to mention how great it was that E and I went on our first movie date last Friday -- we saw Kill Bill!

And, it was her idea! How cool is that? It was a mere week ago that I counseled a fellow against taking a girl out to see a Quentin Tarantino flick. Hey, I chalk it up to E's background in film. She seems so unimpressed by the whole "chick flick" thing.

Yep, if I didn't know if I was in love before, I know now :)

Sunday, November 02, 2003

I took E's advice and put the tagboard at the top of the links column. We'll see if I get anymore scribble.
So, I didn't go with the Supersoulfighter costume for the big Athens Halloween festival last night. No, yesterday, I actually went out in two costumes. The first was IMO, the most realistic pimp costume that was at the fest last night. I had the wig, colored glasses, and genuine vintage 1970something clothing, including a tacky-@$$ two-tone brown shirt and E's fly leather coat that would make Richard Roundtree himself green with envy.

Athens definitely lived up to its infamous reputation last night, that's for sure.

E and I hosted a couple of friends. There were supposed to be five in all, but three bailed due to reasons outside of their control. E was a girl version of the Dread Pirate Roberts. Mr. M was a scotsman -- well, he had a kilt leftover from the annual Columbus fetish ball he attended the night before. Ms. V was my british ho'. Ah, what fun.

Well, we did have our problems scoring libations at the fest because 1) we were virtually broke, especially after a kamakaze shot and 2) Mr. M is a mere 20 years old and thus was not allowed into any drinking establishment. Yes, we did have "a nip" before we left, but we decided to go back to our place for another. Well, we did and it was then that I spontaneously switched costumes with the help of the half-Mexican Ms. V. We were joking around with the hairnet that came with my afro wig. Earlier that day, I modeled it for E while toying with hispanic stereotypes.

I did the same for M and V. V decided my appearance was just too good, and so with the help of black eyeliner, supplied me with the necessary tears, knuckle-writing, and Sacred Heart "hay-soos" tats. I only allowed it because, hey, we were in Athens, OH and chances are, no eses were going to mess with me. If we were in Columbus, I'd've been shot before I got two steps out the door. I completed the ensemble by buttoning the top button on my fly 70s shirt, and busting a major sag.

Man, I wish I had pictures.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Actually, this one is eerily accurate, given my role playing experience.
I Am A: Neutral Evil Human Thief Mage


Alignment:
Neutral Evil characters believe in Number One. Their personal gain takes precedance over all else, and they will work with whomever necessary and whatever institutions necessary to further their own goals.


Race:
Humans are the 'average' race. They have the shortest life spans, and because of this, they tend to avoid the racial prejudices that other races are known for. They are also very curious and tend to live 'for the moment'.


Primary Class:
Thieves are the most roguish of the classes. They are sneaky and nimble-fingered, and have skills with traps and locks. While not all use these skills for burglary, that is a common occupation of this class.


Secondary Class:
Mages harness the magical energies for their own use. Spells, spell books, and long hours in the library are their loves. While often not physically strong, their mental talents can make up for this.


Deity:
Mask is the Neutral Evil god of rogues, thieves. He is also known as the Lord of Shadows. He appears as a lithe man, shadowed, wearing dark clothing. His followers believe in stealth and wariness. They wear black and gray clothing, and carry weapons and armor similar to that of a thief. They frequently wear masks to conceal their identity. Mask's symbol is a dark, checkered mask.


Find out What D&D Character Are You?, courtesy ofNeppyMan (e-mail)
Provided it's not too late, my costume for the big Athens Halloween fest will be the "blaxploitation karate dude" aka "Supersoulfighter." You know the image, like that dude who played Williams in Enter the Dragon. Karate outfit, mad skills and a huge-@$$ afro!

Current Music: Supersoulfighter by Lenny Kravitz
Soul brother space man
Flying through the sky
Fighting wars and battles
Protecting you and I
Right on!
As I said, I splurged and got the subtlety&passion CD.

If you want to hear how (arguably) one of the best songwriters in America operates, get Robert Lamm's last solo CD In My Head -- it was lyrically exciting, if musically a bit dull, full of synths and drum tracks. Nice trip-hoppy rhythms at times, though.

This CD is just the opposite. Musically, it's really organic sounding. Don't let the CD fool you, though. Yes, it's full of the "Chicago horn sound," but I'm not sure exactly if and where all three of those horn players play together. There are actually five horn players throughout the album, and the only one who plays on all the tracks is trumpet player Lee Loughnane.

While it all makes for a very musically tasty album that sounds like Chicago from the early 70s, don't expect anything with the same lyrical depth.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Since I have at least a temporary job with a few hours a week set up for me down in A-town, I decided to splurge anyway. Hey, it's been a war hell-ride of a week. Sure, I can say there's about as many good things as bad thing going on right now, but I decided to even them out a little.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

or, "bouncy bouncy bouncy"

Looks like I got hit with another NSF cascade. Life sucks.
I don't know whether or not I've previously discussed Robert Lamm's new CD subtlety&passion. This CD's been in existence for a couple of months, but only through his website. Well, despite almost total destitution, I'm planning to get this CD before the end of the week, since I just found out that it's now available through retail.

There are some kick @$$ soundclips, too. Now, I've ranted many times about what great music Chicago (the band) can still produce when they get off their lazy musical @$$es. This CD is further testament to that, especially since it has every member of the band except for (my favorite -- sorry, Robert) Bill Champlin. Even two of Chicago's old guitarists are featured -- Chris Pinnick (their guitarist in the early 80s) and sound clips from Terry Kath!

The horn charts are something else. The whole album sounds like it could've come right after Chicago VII! That settles it, I'm buying it! It's just too damn good!
Ok, well, my last day in Columbus was ending really well. I said goodbyes to a few more people, one of which was this young kid (20) who, despite his deliberate actions indicating a low level of maturity, really said a mature, heartfelt goodbye.

Well, my stuff was packed and I was on the "rookie road," in crappy weather when my car shuddered and shook. I pulled off on the road -- I thought I was pure toast. There I was outside of the little hick town of Nelsonville on a dark, two lane highway with three minutes of talk time on my cell left (because I was roaming -- damn Verizon). I tried to move the car, but it wouldn't... then it would... then it wouldn't again. Each time, I'd go a little further and further, but it sounded almost like I was dragging something. I pulled off and checked under my car, but couldn't see anything. Then, I decided to just go for it. Apart from eerie engine noises, my car finished it's journey to E's (now, E's and my) pad. I moved the car once I regained my senses, and found that the transmission seemed very very wierd.

Damn tranny. Something like that's usually way too expensive to fix and I have no money at all right now.

I had to move my car again this morning, and things seemed normal. But, hell if I'm going to drive it very far unless and until I get it fixed. Damn. I have one more day of work at my old job in Columbus. Well, E told me I could borrow her car for the day. Still, though. It's a bitch, to say the least.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Check out a Talk of the Nation interview with Michael Flocker, author of The Metrosexual Guide to Style: A Handbook for the Modern Man on NPR.
Well, I'm spending my last few moments in my previous residence, graciously provided by a friend of mine from church who will always have my eternal gratitude. The last traces of me are almost gone from the abode and packed into my vehicle.

I'm headed into totally unexplored territory for me. I've never lived with a significant other before. Stayed for extended periods of time, sure. But this time, I've no retreat, no getaway. It's mildly scary, but immensely exciting!

It's going to be a rough start, but if our (mine and E's) short relationship has been any indication whatsoever, I think it'll work out just fine.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Well, the move is about 90% complete aside from a few pieces of baggage, both real and emotional, back up in Columbus. Man, I am exhausted.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Well, at this point, it looks like it's all in danger of being bust.

Due to various life circumstances, I believe the time has come for me to pick up and move down to my precious E in Athens, OH -- an hour and a half away from regular TKD/Kung Fu lessons and a smidge over two hours away from Mrs. R's classes.

I guess it doesn't have to be totally kaput, though. I mean, it's not really all that far away. I should be able to manage a trip at least a couple of times a month, shouldn't I? I sure hope so. I hate the idea of stopping after just being awarded first gup.
E emailed me a correction about my telling of the Night on Idiot Mountain story...
Oh, but I do have one correction about the night on Idiot Mountain story -- I DID turn around when the white car came down to the parking lot area, what I DIDN'T do was shine my brights at them (in fact I'd turned off my brights just out of reflex for courtesy's sake). I'd already started to drive away
(which was my intention by turning around in the first place) when the guy came up to us. It was only at that point that I questioned if they maybe needed help. If I'd been in the car alone I NEVER would have stopped. Anyway, I've always been told that I am too trusting, when I am just trusting my instincts. My instincts weren't screaming danger at that point, just a general creepines, inappropriateness and stupidity (of them, not us).
Heh... courtesy. Well, that's what makes her such a special person. Me, my courteous streak is long gone when you're tailing me in the dead of night. They were just lucky I was sober ;).
You Shook Me All Night Long
"You Shook Me All Night Long" (by AC/DC)
'Cause the walls start shaking
The earth was quaking
My mind was aching
And we were making it and you -
Shook me all night long.


Which 80's Song Fits You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 23, 2003

E and I were both having crappy days, so I figured WTH, and drove to see her last night. We had it in mind to take a romantic drive around the outskirts of Athens. We're making our way down this winding road when we see this car behind us, and pull off to allow it to pass. We go back down the road and find it a little ways later waiting for us! E and I pull off again a little ways down, this time going down a little road into a parking area. The car follows us in.

I was trying to get E to turn the car around and put them under the lights, but she wouldn't, thinking they might need help or that they were just goofing off. They were obviously OU students. One dude got out of the back seat. There were two in the front and one other blond girl in the back. We pull up to the exit, and the dude starts to approach the window. I tell Elena to take off, since we now weren't in the best tactical position. She did admit she was creeped out at the prospect that these are people tailing us in the dead of night. But, not creeped out enough, I guess to turn the tables and screw with them, like I would have ;).

Ok, I admit it. Part of me was a bit paranoid. If you needed something important, you wouldn't be tailing us in the dead of night. Had I been driving, I'd've had my brights right on them as they approached the car. Maybe intimated that I had a projectile weapon of some sort, and at the very least been ready to break my foot off in someone's @$$ if they would try anything.

Granted, they could've had the same plan. I guess we'll never know.
[In a robotic voice]
You will respect mah authoritah.
Yesterday, I made the 22 mile hike up to one of Mrs. R's classes. Maybe I'll get to one of T's classes this Saturday. Before class, I hurt my neck somehow. It was better by class time, but I knew Mrs. R would have some suggestions as to how to handle it, and she did, so I actually managed to get in a bit of a workout.

I got to learn part of the first of my two forms that I have to learn for this gup, the longer one. I was hoping to start on the shorter one, and perhaps get it all in one class. But, as it was, there were two first gups in class that day, myself and this little kid who wanted to learn the long one, so rather than have Mrs. R teach us separate, I thought I'd just learn the long one. No complaints, though.

Monday, October 20, 2003

I'll kill any man who try to take away what I got!
Wasn't that from Rocky III? In any case, this dude took those words to heart. Actually, he took them to someone else's heart.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

I have to think up a better name for these posts. Anywho, for those curious as to how my belt test went, I copied and pasted a snippet of the entry I left on the forums of Rice Bowl Journals (click to vote on my blog, if you'd like). As I said... rough weekend, rough day. But here it is:
It wasn't my finest test, however. But, it's sort of like that old joke

"What do you call the person who graduated dead last in his med school class?"

"Doctor."

The part I feared most, the unusual move of having me defend against unchoreographed attacks (unusual for a 2nd gup exam, anyway) wasn't all that bad. I even managed a successful "gun against the temple" defense.

Since they did that to me, they allowed me to choose my breaks. I chose a wheel kick break (which I've never done before) and a backward knife hand groin strike, which is a break I had failed to do during my last "TKD/kung-fu all in the same night test." I think the fact that I chose that break sort of impressed them. I didn't do it to impress them, however -- it was just one of those things that's haunted me for awhile. Unfortunately, since I hadn't broken anything about almost a year, it took me two tries. Actually, it seemed like a bad night for breaking overall for all the testees.
Next step: First Dan or Bust. Hey... maybe that should be the new title? Hey, how 'bout that for a brainstorm:
FIRST DAN OR BUST for my TKD tales.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN COLUMBUS for my Kung Fu stories.

Night night, all.
It's two days late. But, it's been a rough weekend. I just got back from a crappy day at work at the end of an iffy weekend. But, here it is...



Are you Addicted to the Internet?

53%


Average@Internet-User.com (41% - 60%)
You seem to have a healthy balance in your life when it comes to the internet and life away from the computer. You know enough to do what you want online without looking like an idiot (most of the time). You even have your own Yahoo club or online journal! But you enjoy seeing your friends and going out to enjoy life away from your computer.




The Are you Addicted to the Internet? Quiz at Stvlive.com!



Thursday, October 16, 2003

Yesterday, I went in for a last training session before my 1st gup exam tomorrow evening. I spent the majority of the class working on my creative self-defense, particularly, my grappling defenses, i.e. defenses that end in a submission hold and/or joint lock.

I've mentioned before that traditionally, the club's requirement to pass my current grade is the formulation of 6 self-defenses, 2 involving weapons, 2 involving multiple attackers, and 2 involving grappling. Typically, this involves conceptualizing certain scenarios and arranging your techniques accordingly.

Now, the head instructors of the club have seen fit with my gradings to alter the requirements. This has to do with the fact that I remain the first person in their school to double-promote three consecutive times (10th to 8th gup, 8th to 6th, 6th to 4th) -- they've tweaked my exams to make things more, shall we say, interesting. In my last exam, I tested for my new Tae Kwon Do andKung Fu ranks at the same time.

This time around, rather than be allowed to work out defense scenarios, I was told my rank test would include what we call "any attack, any defense," which in class is precisely what it says. I won't know what's coming, if weapons will be used, or how many will attack me. I'm subject to the same two ground rules - each opponent must be "finished," and disarmed with me possessing the weapon(s).

So, yesterday as I had various classmates throw all manner of attacks at me, two things became clear which may have positive or negative implications, depending on how you look at it.

First, I seem to instinctively have a preference for evasion over closing the distance and getting the job done. While this may be preferable, it assumes I'll always have enough space to do this in a real life scenario. Plus, it makes me vulnerable to an attacker with a weapon to simply throwing the weapon.

Second, at close ranges, I typically execute quick strikes and takedowns, relying on strikes to vital organs. While the majority of the techniques I use may be effective (My scrappin' days were long over by the time I started martial arts), I've never effectively learned to use techniques in the clinch in a "close-to-real-life" scenario. In "any attack, any defense" scenarios, I simply didn't let people get that close. And, when they did (a hold from behind, for instance) I pretty much focused on shielding myself and waiting for an opportunity to get a strike in somewhere, when perhaps some grappling would've been the answer.

To that end, after class, I camped out at a Barnes and Noble for awhile and sat with the Gracies' (Royce and Charles?) book on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense. Now, I know what you're thinking. "No way you're gonna pick up anything you're gonna remember come test time." But, all of the grappling techniques I've practiced thus far (in a controlled and structured manner) have been BJJ moves, and most of the ones I noted in the book involve escape moves before the clinch is put on. Plus, they simply build on moves or principles I'm already familiar with.

Hehe... I hope someone tries to half-nelson me ;).

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The screenplay to my favorite movie of all-time!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Last week, I heard something on the show Fresh Air on the way to Tae Kwon Do class, an interview with Bill O'Reilly.

I've typically been indifferent to Mr. O'Reilly, occassionally tuning in to "The Factor" sort of the same way I'd watch various train wrecks. Sounds bad, I know, but sometimes, I watch these shows not knowing or caring what the people on the show believe -- I like the screaming matches between people using a higher level of vocabulary than what's found on, say, Springer.

On the other hand, I've liked NPR for years. The show Fresh Air has been literally that, at times. Terry Gross is a great interviewer for her style -- calm, poised, direct but not pushy.

O'Reilly didn't like his interview. In fact, he cut it short, then apparently went on his show the next day venting the usual right-wing paranoia about the "liberal media out to get me" and such.

I listened to the interview, and yes, he did stomp out of the end of it like a spoiled child. But, at that point, I don't know if I blame him. Terry Gross seemed unusually tense the whole interview, even before Bill O'Reilly got ornery, which really wasn't, in my estimation, until about 2/3 of the way into it. It was like Terry "locked and loaded" before the interview, much like Isaac Hayes did in that one scene in I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka, stuffing guns in every pocket.

Seemed like the interviewer ended up the way Isaac did when he tripped and fell and all the guns went off. Luckily, like Isaac, the bullets seemed to miss all her vital organs :).

Monday, October 13, 2003

The previous entry was cobbled together with Windows Notepad over the course of a horrendous day of computer-related mishaps during which I trapsed through half of the city of Columbus trying to find a high-speed internet connection. The one at home seemed temporarily out of service, all the brances of the Columbus Public Library were closed due to the holiday, and most of the connections at various free Wi-Fi hotspots I know were dubious at best today.

In short, today sucked.
I've been meaning to treat this topic for some time now, since I took my last "Weekly Personality Analysis."

I was introduced to the term "metrosexual" some time ago, way back near the start of my blogging experience on Word Spy. The term caught my eye, and the definition seemed interesting, but I was distracted by other things at the time. I didn't know or read enough about it to think about any personal implications.

Then some time recently I ran across the now-famous (for those tracking this subject) article by Stacey Pressman Nothing Sexy About Metrosexuals. Her descriptions as to what a metrosexual was and why she didn't find them sexy seemed to hit a little too close to home.

I took a quiz similar to the one she referenced in her article on Rooshlog. This was before I took the one on Quizilla. The results were as follows:
The Metrosexual Quiz Results
Your Score: 22 / 50

YOUR SCORE
44.0% 22.0 points out of 50

AVG SCORE
32.0% 16.0 points out of 50

3497 have taken this test so far.

783 people have scored higher than you.

2641 people have scored lower than you.

73 people made the same grade as you.

What does this mean? *
22 points is in the 21 through 34 points range
You're a metrosexual. The next girl you hook up with will be more masculine than you, full mustache and all. Is it time to buy new tweezers?
Interesting, huh?

My sister and closer friends of mine could testify to my random musing over the past year or so about certain predilictions of mine: expensive hair product, a streamlined wardrobe, and styles, mannerisms, and cultural knowledge that sort of makes me resemble an "after" photo of any random Straight Guy after a Queer Eye make-over (and, all this before the show existed, mind you).

There was a few moments when it sort of forced me to consider the question, "Could I be a homosexual? Bi, even?" Despite a perceived preponderance of evidence, one crucial fact remains -- I have yet to be physically or emotionally attracted to any male to a degree remotely in the same ball park as my attractions to females.

So, given all of that, I've decided to add yet another semi-regular category to discuss these matters as they pertain to my life -- Metroeroticism.

Next Entry: Do I decide to continue using Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree styling wax or fall back on my tried and true Tigi Bed Head wax?
Haha... a few entries back, I made fun of NBC's Coupling for copying an episode lock, stock, and barrel from the BBC's Coupling. Well, thanks to BBC America, I can watch the original episode yet again. In fact, I'm doing so right now!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

How could I have forgotten?

Metro
You are a Metrosexual. No you are not gay but you
are sometimes what people would consider a
girly man. But you are just in touch with your
feminine side. You're the next "in thing
to be". Or you are just a really butch
girl.


Are you Metrosexual? (With Pictures)
brought to you by Quizilla

Fine, I'm outed now -- happy? ;)

Friday, October 10, 2003

You've seen this entry before.
Just came back from seeing E yadda yadda yadda. Had a great time doing x, y and z. Sad now, having to come back. Maybe I should blah blah blah.
Seriously, though, this is the first trip I made down there in *gasp* two whole weeks. I had completely forgotten how draining it can be to be away from your dearest. It's really no different from the drain to carve out the time to spend in an LD relationship.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Well, yesterday I made the 30 mile trip to one of Mrs. R's classes. I got to re-learn all of the TKD one steps I had forgotten. And, I learned that my board-breaking "won't be one of those crazy breaks you did for kung fu." Just a simple two-direction break where they've graciously allowed me to choose my tehniques. It's usually "instructors' choice," you see.

As usual, though, I'm in more pain after one of these classes than I am after a class at the "main branch" of the club.
For kicks and giggles, I looked at the website for NBC's version of the show Coupling. Looking at the next episode, they're just copying lock, stock, and barrel one of the episodes from the BBC series.

Did I say, "insulting?" More like "pathetic."

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

or, I'll Never Again Ask Myself, Who do I have to look up to? After Seeing a Bio on George Washington Carver.

October, I just discovered, is Filipino-American History Month.
It's bad enough having electrcal tape covering up part of the power cord. Even worse that for some reason, I need a 1/4 inch lift under the right bottom corner of my laptop just so that the hard drive won't freeze. But last night, out of nowhere, the laptop hinge finally gave in, so right now, the screen's supported by my planner.

And, I just got a wireless card for it, too. I know, I know, it was sort of like putting a spoiler on my ghetto-@$$ car. But still.

I feel like rhymin'
my name iz...
Shake-zula
the mic rulah
the old schoolah
you wanna trip,
I'll bring it to ya

Frylock and I'm on top
rock you like a cop
Meatwad you're up next
with your knock-knock

Meatwad make the money see
Meatwad get the honeys G
Drivin in my car,
livin' like a star
Ice on my fingers and my toes
and I'm a Taurus

ha ha, check it, uh, check-check it, yeah


'cuz we are tha Aqua Teenz
make the homeys say ho
'n the girlies wanna scream
'cuz we are tha Aqua Teenz
make the homeys say ho
'n the girlies wanna scream
yeah
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
numba one in tha hood, G


Aqua Teen Hunger Force Rap
by Schoolly D

Here's a test all of you need to take!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

My biorhythms must be at an all-time low.

-Doctor Who, The Pirate Planet
Somehow, I just need to finally accept that I cycle between normalcy and depression. I've suspected this for awhile.

See, this season of my life has far more going for it than it did not too long ago. I still have a lot of the things that have made me happy. A lot of the possibilities I embraced are still there.

Yet, right now, I feel as bad as I ever did. Unaccomplished. Tired. Avoidant. Depressed.

These are the times when my life has slipped by me. Not necessarily because any huge disaster has happened (although, that has been the case on a few occassions), but because any minor problem or setback or task that can't be immediately solved or completed with my usual devil-may-care, ace problem-solving ability can send me spiraling down if it just happens to catch me at the wrong time.

Well, not this time. This time, I'm going to accept that this is how I feel. And, I'm going to muddle through it, ticking off the tasks I need to perform and the problems I need to take care of, just like I would if I was feeling like a devil-may-care ace problem-solver.
Am I running a blog or a web journal?

Seems like the latter, according to this, although eventually, the question may end up to be along the lines of Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?.
Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?
If so, I can't imagine why.
We've all got time enough to cry.


by Robert Lamm
performed by Chicago
Well, I got a couple of things accomplished today (actually yesterday -- it is 1:40 AM), not the least of which was convincing my car insurance company to allow me to push my payment date this month back a couple of weeks. Progressive rocks!

I practiced some TKD/Kung fu tonight all by my lonesome, trying to go through everything I remember and musing over where all the holes in my knowledge are. I got three TKD belt levels of one-steps to recall, almost all of my kung fu one-steps, kicking techniques and staff form.

And, speaking of martial arts, I came across a reference to an upcoming episode of a PBS show entitled Independent Lens. The episode itself is called Shaolin Ulysses which focuses on the story of 5 Shaolin monks trying to spread their art and teachings to America. Check your local listings!

I should be in bed right now, but for some reason the PC Card adapter wouldn't work. I decided to try one last reboot and took out the 6' cable that I had patched between my computer and the main 30' cable extending from the router. Serves me right for going out too much lately just to be able to mooch WiFi as opposed to good ol' fashioned ethernet.

I talked to E a couple of times today, once on IM and then later on the phone. The IM conversation wasn't pretty. I was melting down as it was because of all the random things I had yet to deal with that day, and the meltdown just continued as our conversation went on. I called her later on to apologize, and she was so completely understanding and loving.

I'm the luckiest guy in the world.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Because I sure don't have any motivation right now.

I had a long weekend of work and general funnery. But, it was tiring. I slept for about 9 hours last night. I got up an hour ago and still feel almost totally discombobulated.

I got three things to do on my "to do" list for today, and the whole day off. I suppose I should at least shower and shave now, huh?

OTHER MISCELANEA
I did go ahead and crop/grayscale a headshot of me for Rice Bowl Journals. Eh, why not?

On Saturday, E scored a new computer -- a CPU, that is. The future roomie scored it from a neighbor's eviction and was willing to give it to her.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

ITEM ONE
E was here last night. We went to Gallery Hop with some friends, and even though it was sort of late, we actually saw a gallery or two. She left early this afternoon -- that's the part that always sucked.

ITEM TWO
Lots to do over the next couple of days. Will I get it done? I'll let you all know.

ITEM THREE
I've been notified that I'm now an official member of Rice Bowl Journals.

ITEM FOUR
In order to fulfill their requirement of a small black and white digital photo, I dug up an image (a close facsimile) and used a nice freeware image editor known as IrfranView. It's definitely worth every penny I could potentially pay for it!

Friday, October 03, 2003

I need a new muffler, as it sort of just fell off of my car yesterday. (Did I forget to mention that? The trauma must've caused my mind to temporarily blank it out.) Yeah, now I got what was once known back in the day as a "hooptie."
Since my numerous entries today have so skewed the page and since the TV show 7 Days is on right now, I've reverted the blog back to showing 7 days' worth of postings.

Now, I'm going to bed... seriously. Well, maybe in a bit.
It is Friday, given this late hour. So...

I'm Mr. Orange!
You're Mr. Orange!


Which Reservoir Dog Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Current Music: Little Green Bag by George Baker

That's it. I'm going to bed.
Ahhh... a showing of the BBC's Coupling. I feel that my mind is being cleansed after watching (shudder) the American version.

While I'm on the topic of the idiot box, what is the deal with these Direct TV commercials featuring dramatic readings of customer letters by top actors? So far, I've seen Danny DeVito, Laurence Fishburne, John Goodman and Andy Garcia.

There used to be a day that when a movie actor did commercials, said person's career was usually understood to be on its last legs. I saw some camera commericial awhile back with Val Kilmer. It was a sad commercial, and what was the last good thing he was in since The Doors?

You got a big-shot producer. You got one of the stars of The Matrix. Ok, John-boy did King Ralph, but c'mon -- you all know he's good. And, you got the last person to assume the mantle of The Godfather. These ain't slouches, yet there they are, on TV doing Direct TV commercials.

I'm boggled.
As if numerous entries concerning the martial arts weren't enough.

I stumbled across Rice Bowl Journals, which bills itself as "an Asian online journal community." It's a directory of blogs written by people of Asian descent. I'm considering submitting this here site.

Why? My sole response to that question truly is, "Why not?"

That's it. No treatise on "getting in touch with my Asian roots." I haven't "come out of the Asian closet" after having been in denial, living in the U.S. of A all my life.

It's a cool site about blogs of Asian people.

I got a blog.

I'm Asian.

All's I need is a black and white photo of myself (or a reasonable facsimile). Actually, I just might go with the facsimile. No need to scare people, and all.
[Ed. note: I gotta think up a new title]

So, apparently I'm not the only returning student to my school. A third dan who apparently hasn't been seen for a few months returned to TKD class tonight. And, not only that, another black belt who attends rather intermittently ran most of the class tonight. It was quite the workout.

But, the best part was afterward. When these folks decided to have an impromptu kung fu class, I just had to stay behind. I managed to relearn most of my green sash requirements. But, the best part was when we worked on impromptu self-defense techniques.

The concept is simple. One person is the defender. An attacker or attackers get to attack any way they want -- armed, unarmed, from any side, one at a time, or all at once. My turn came, and I was stabbed at with a (fake) knife. So, I parried and trapped the knife arm while hooking the attacker's neck, whereupon I kneed him (lightly) in the throat.

The onlookers gaped a bit, much like in that scene in The Magnificent Seven where that dude shoots a man off his horse at like 200 yards. An onlooker gaped, while the dude said, "I was aiming for the horse."

Truth was, I was trying for a kick to his head. I was too close and his throat connected with my knee... heh.
One lil' tidbit I may have forgot to tell you about my sojourn to the border of Orgyville -- [details omitted]

-Me in an email to E

Thursday, October 02, 2003

everybody's gotta take a turn
to realize we got a lot to learn
what are dreams and what is real
you gotta trust what you feel
and the five town man can prove
with no bucks and nothing to lose
don't need a lot that money can't buy
i have so much i'm in motion


Life In Motion
by Robert Lamm
I went and looked at a new apartment today - a nice two bedroom to be shared with a decent roommate. Hopefully, my credit troubles won't get too too much in the way. The only two problems are that it's clear on the other side of town from where I am now and that makes finding a new job even more imperative than it was before. The other is that I'm really hoping I can front the cash and resources to move in.

Hopefully, things will all work out. Things have, though, as my life goes into motion again. I did splurge a little bit, though, since I found out that the application fees and rent weren't going to cost quite as much as I thought -- I went out and got me a cheap generic Wi-Fi card. That way, I don't have to depend on going to random coffee shops or other Wi-Fi spots and needing their free gear (if any) to be available. Plus, I've got more than one friend willing to let me mooch off of their wireless setups. Lugging a cable around is such a pain in the @$$. Not that I'll be able to afford cable or wireless at my new place. But, who knows.

E comes up this weekend for Gallery Hop. She invited a friend of hers to come, and though she doesn't know it yet, I invited the future roomie to come, too. I better call and tell her, huh? Not that anyone will mind, I'm (99%) sure.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

After another war hell ride of a class -- I am in pain, all over -- I got some news...

THREE WEEKS!

That's how long I've been given to polish up my techniques, remember anything and everything I've forgotten in the past 10 or so months of being away from training, and get myself into shape before testing for 1st gup (i.e. black belt candidate).

Now, if I remember correctly, the testing requirements for my school include 2 forms (which I know), breaking and I think two creative self defense techniques.

The breaking prospect alone might concern me. Before I stopped training, Mrs. R "threatened" that my breaking technique would be something crazier than for my last rank test. My last break consisted of three simultaneous breaks using a kung fu technique. I only managed 2 out of 3 in my initial try. What she proposed for my next test was a high wheel kick immediately followed by what's called a "sho tan" -- sort of a drop/spin kick thing that you see in movies all the time to knock someone off their feet. If you saw it, you'd know what I'm talking about. Actually, that move isn't meant to knock people off their feet. It's meant to smash their ankles and cripple them. Man, I love me some serious kung fu. ANYway, the sho tan break involves a free-standing board, so I'd need to execute my technique perfectly in order to break it, as opposed to sending it off flying into the onlookers.

I don't know if she'll have me do that after all the time I've been away. But with her and her husband, you never know. It's great with teachers such as those who really are in tune with what someone is capable of and will try their hardest to bring it out of someone. So far, I've never regretted attempting anything that they thought I could do, even if I thought I couldn't -- even if I didn't succeed initially.

In any case, the prospect of the break doesn't scare me as much as what Mrs. R proposed for my creative self-defense. I had several bits of ideas when I stopped, but never developed them. Mrs. R told me that rather than create defenses, she would subject me to random attacks. She feels my self-defense techniques are my strong suit. Where did she get that? I feel like I can get cold-cocked just like anyone else. I don't fear getting beat up by strangers. I'm usually paranoid enough to be ready in strange situations. No, I fear just getting jacked by someone I wouldn't be suspicious of for whatever reason. Anyway, that's what I gotta look forward to in three weeks.

I should just be grateful that she isn't making me test for red sash in kung fu! I'm sure she would if she thought she could :).

It is exciting, though, to know that by March or April of 2004, I could be a 1st dan (black belt). I'm really looking forward to the time when I get my kung fu black sash, though.