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MMIII-MMVII
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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.

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.
Yesterday, I was in that unfortunate position of being hungry and broke. I wasn't totally without means -- I had a bit of money that I just didn't want to touch, but I gave in. Now, this wouldn't have been an issue if I had time to go home, but I didn't. Anyway, I caved and stopped at the nearest Chipotle. Why not -- if you're going to blow money on food, might as well eat well, right?

There was an instance awhile back when I'd get to the register, and if for whatever reason it's non-functional, they'll simply give you your food. Well, yesterday, I thought it was going to happen. The register was down and the guy in front of me got a "don't worry about it." Wouldn't you know that in the millisecond it took for me to assume his spot when he left, they fixed the damn register and had me pay?

Well, what could I do? I payed and enjoyed a nice lunch. So, I get back to work and a coworker was giving away his lunch because apparently, he wanted to go out for lunch as well. So, I had me an additional half of a chicken-salad sandwich and a brownie.

It was just as well I ate as much as I did, because I didn't have much time for dinner before my kung fu class -- which I had to basically teach again, btw. Well, tutor, really -- I hate calling myself a teacher when I don't have a black sash.
Well, since a few people have graciously decided to allow me to link to their personal pages, I've done so.

I also added the link to BBC's Coupling. Not that tripe that I couldn't even finish watching last night.
When, oh, when are we going to learn that we Americans haven't successfully copped a British TV show since Sanford and Son? Late last night, I caught a few minutes of NBC version of the BBC comedy Coupling. Can we say, "horrible"? They tried so hard, too. But it just isn't the same. Picture the horror of British phrasing being used by Americans. It'd be better if they at least tried to fake the accents. NBC put Queer Eye right from Bravo -- why not do the same with Coupling rather than do such a crappy remake? The sets even look mostly the same, for pete's sake. Big corporation like NBC could roll over PBS in a second, couldn't they? Not that I'd ever advocate that. But, I just hate seeing a great show f**ked up like that.