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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, January 30, 2004

There's something inherently liberating about deciding for a brief period of time, a day perhaps, to just be an absolute waste of space and precious O2. That's what I did today. I slept in late, idly practiced some kali and bit of kung-fu, listened to NPR in the late morning. Afterward, I left the house, checked out a bookstore that just moved locations, sat at a coffee-shop while leeching off their Wi-Fi connection all afternoon and now I'm about to head to a bar where there's (hopefully) some decent live jazz playing.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

By Jove, I think I've completed my personal manifesto/mission statement. Maybe I'll even post it if I decide it isn't too personal.
Finally, after months of (sporadic) searching, I found an mp3 of the theme to Once Upon a Time in China in Cantonese. It's one of the final pieces to my workout mp3 playlist.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

*Edited excerpts from my journal

*E's right about my rigid expectations about my time. My expectations for today were to get up, sip coffee and work on some things at a leisurely pace before work at 8 PM. In the middle of it all, I'd relocate to the coffee shop and soak up some atmosphere.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.
I'm accustomed to bolting out of bed when I feel it's time (or when my alarm goes off, whichever comes last) and getting down to it. I wake up with some things on my mind that I have to act on, or at least write down, before I do anything else. Instead, I get stopped at every turn by something or other. It didn't take a full hour before my vision of the day had completely collapsed, and I had to come up with a way to adapt.
*Adaptation isn't my problem. It's the inner resentment that develops, usually toward myself. That's got to end. After all, most of the time I "wasted" was spent taking care of E. Her knee acted up big time last night and it's still not right.
I've never had trouble concocting a "Plan B" on the fly. The trouble is I turn into Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction, who expressed this attitude:
If I'm curt with you, it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So pretty please, with sugar on top, clean the fuckin' car.
The bottom line is that I need to do two things: First, I need to return to practicing genuine solitude. Second, I need to be better and more ruthless about cutting out things that don't need done at a particular time. This is a problem for people with my brain style (read View From the Cliff) -- the feeling that if an idea isn't acted on immediately to the exclusion of all else, it'll be lost forever.
This song [Secret Lovers by Atlantic Starr] is all about "creepin' on hoez" and "creepin' on fools."

Monday, January 26, 2004

The Bush Conspiracy Theory Generator

And people wonder why I like this site so much.
I've been toying around with a new personal mission statement for 2004 for the past 2 or 3 months now, and it's still not done. Sure, I've got lots of goals and am taking steps to securing them. But, I feel like I'm in a spot that I was in a few years ago -- lots of activity, but little direction.

I did come to one conclusion that's brought me a step closer to constructing one for this year. I overheard a group of young women at a coffee shop discussing their mission statement for some enterprise, some sort of publication if I gathered right. Now, this bit that I heard may or may not have been connected to their proposed mission, but someone read aloud something that contained the phrase "b@$tard love child." Then, it hit me. If it was part of their mission, then I realized that whatever I construct for this year has to not only be on my TERMS but in my LANGUAGE. That is, something reflective of the new ways -- and a few of the old ways -- I've been thinking and speaking as of late.
Sometimes, I refer to E as "my Lil' Crusader." She has these "revolutionary" tendencies. She sees something that's not right, whether in her grad school department, on the street, or life in general, her first instinct is to do something to correct it. Sometimes, it gets her in some warm water. But, that doesn't even enter into the calculations for her. And at times, I'm jealous.

I can be such a tool of the system sometimes. Sure, I rail against it when it doesn't suit me. There have even been those rare occassions when I've used the little bit of "da juice" to try and fix things. But, in general, I'll sit and bite my tongue. And, I even go one step further sometimes -- I take the "flawed system," whatever it is, and find a way to manipulate it and play it to my advantage.

I find a disturbing resemblence between myself and the character of Avon from the cult sci-fi show Blake's 7. In the second episode of the series, called "Space Fall," three of the main characters debate their escape from a ship on its way to a penal colony.
Back to Earth?

Yes. That's where the heart of the Federation is. I intend to see that heart torn out.

I thought you were probably insane.

That's possible! They butchered my family, my friends. They murdered my past and gave me tranquilized dreams.

At least you're still alive.

No! Not until free men can think and speak. Not until power is back with the honest man.

Have you ever met an honest man?

JENNA [Glances at Blake]

Listen to me. Wealth is the only reality. And the only way to obtain wealth is to take it away from somebody else. Wake up, Blake! You may not be tranquilized any longer, but you're still dreaming.

Maybe some dreams are worth having.

You don't really believe that.

No, but I'd like to.

Yes, well, you asked me what I was going to do and I've told you. What you do is up to yourselves.

Right. A new identity, a job in the Federation Banking System. Three months with their computers, I could lift a hundred million credits and nobody would know where they went. Then let anyone try and touch me.

And the rest?

Have the same chance as I have.

You don't really believe that.
That last part could easily be an exchange between me and my Lil' Crusader.
Since my recurrent bouts of chronic aging quickly cause photos of me to become dated, I've uploaded a picture of a common avatar that I use.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The Lost Journals of Doogie Howser, M.D.
by Pasha Maller and Mike Baker
I love the NPR show Car Talk. It's part of my Saturday morning ritual. The Car Talk Guys end their show the same way every week. "Click" says "Don't drive like my brother" while "Clack" advises "Don't drive like MY brother." They're brothers -- get it? Hey, I think it's brilliant -- screw you, you didn't think of it :).

Lately, I've come to enjoy the way they cut out for station ID breaks. Today's was pretty funny...
And though Ira Glass prepares This American Resignation whenever he hears us say it... this is National Public Radio.
My ultimate favorite has always been...
And even though the Dalai Lama flings a handful of prayer beads at us whenever he hears us say it... this is National Public Radio.
Some gags just don't get old.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Yesterday, I obtained my first, aside from the balisongs that my parents brought back from the PI, combat-grade martial arts weapons - hardened, rattan kali sticks. Not that stuff that you order from Inside Kung Fu magazine or get at the local martial arts shop that splinters and shatters. We're talking the stuff that fended off Toledo steel and Japanese katanas.

I need to get in some martial arts movie this weekend. I'd really like to find Shaolin Soccer or 36th Chamber of Shaolin somewhere in this wretched town, but have so far been unable. At least, I need to rent The Hunted again, and despite what E says, I CAN use it as a training video :).
I just can't get enough of the Glengarry Mix.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Yes, five days with nary an entry. So, what have I been doing?

Well, E and I watched Bulletproof Monk a few days ago. She didn't go off about the grossly inaccurate portrayals of Tibetan monastics as much as I thought she might. Me, I just won't pass up any chance to see Chow Yun-Fat whip around in "two-fisted gun mode" even if for but a second.

OK, Yun-Fat, we know you can act in comedies and dramas. Anyone worth a damn knows you're far more than just some action star. Now, when am I gonna get to see you leap around and kill 20 people in one scene with glocks in both hands again?

I've seen evidence that my tolerance of idiocy and foolishness at work has greatly diminished. I've found myself showing righteous anger and contempt toward a couple of people who pissed me off last week.

The first is FLASH GORDON. A dim-witted sort. He's the kind of guy who likes to make little racially-slanted jokes -- the sort-of-innocent kind that might tempt you to laugh if the joke was funny. Unfortunately, his jokes never are and people (myself, a minority person, included) are in fact more put off and offended by his sheer stupidity than by any racial comment he makes.

Well, I tolerated all of that, and his slack-jawed troglodye nature that's so far inhibited him from doing his job effectively, until late last week when he proceeded to invade my personal space. I spoke to him in a private place where I fully intended to pummel his remaining IQ out of him, but instead reiterated rather forcefully that I didn't appreciate his antics.

According to the consensus, I should've just beat him with a crowbar.

The second "hall-of-famer" is THE RENNAISANCE MAN. (I don't know if I spelled that right -- I'll edit it later.) This person decides to interrupt my mental work groove by dinging me in the hand with one of those super-balls. Yes, harmless in and of itself. And, from anyone else (except for FLASH GORDON) I might've been able to laugh it off. But this guy wasn't even close to apologetic until I got loud, and finally told him to just "get the hell away from me."

RM here is one of those people who always has some kind of story about something he knows that you don't. Or, something he did that thinks will automatically garner him some respect. Sorry, RM -- get your positive ego strokes somewhere else like from PCP or something. Anyway, why the name? Apparently, he's generated so many stories that some have taken to generating an annotated list of them.

Oh, and the consensus as to how I should've reacted in this case? Same as the first -- a merciless beatdown.

Note to B -- the nickname's coming, I swear.

Speaking of Club, I can feel that my sorry-@$$ Filipino martial arts skills are already a light-year ahead of where I was. It's so totally worth every overpriced penny I'm paying for it! And, Thursday I get new kali sticks!

Yes, today I'm going to let a day's worth of posts on the mailing list I'm on just sliiiide by. No need for me to comment today. Well, at least until after work 10 hours from now.
When I'm more awake and I feel like it, I'll change the book listing in the sidebar. Until then, know that I'm 4 chapters into Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser. I expected to be suprised, but not disturbed.

Unlike most of the people I know who've read this book, I'm not swearing off any Happy Meals just yet. Yes, I'm a tool of the psychologically-marketed, chemically-enhanced, economically-vampiric, uniformly-mass-produced system.
Take a gander at this.

If I were Mr. Ellis, I'd be going "WTF?" too.

Friday, January 16, 2004

I've been rather involved lately with responding to posts from a LRP mailing list I'm on. I almost forgot how the thrill of intellectual battle can be as good as from physical combat.

Looks like I've garnered at least one more reader here. Blogger has tutorials on What to do if your Mom discovers your blog and How Not to Get Fired Because of Your Blog. They need to include a tutorial on "How to Avoid Serious Injury In Case Someone From Your Martial Arts Club Discovers Your Blog" -- you know, just in case.

Message to B: Don't worry -- you'll get your nickname soon enough.

I put a question on a ricebowljournals.com forum about handwraps - how essential were they when doing a lot of punching and hand work. Up until then (last Thursday), between my previous martial arts experience and the club sessions I've attended before, I never felt the need.

Wouldn't you know that the night I attended Club after posting my question, two of the knuckles on my left hand get shredded? Story of my life, huh?

More later. I gotta go. But, one last thing (see above).

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Quick post about some MMAC cast member updates:

ONE-ARMED BANDIT isn't a complete b@$tard after all. It turns out he'd actually like to be shown a couple of my kung-fu long forms. He also indicated that he knew some "pine tree cell" forms (whether from Song Moo Kwan TKD or Shotokan, I don't know); I'm always curious to see people from other schools do these forms.

TRENCHCOAT MAFIOSO isn't a complete b@$tard either. Once I decided to step out and interact with him while disregarding his previous b@$tard-ness, I discovered a rather personable individual.

More tomorrow, maybe.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Inspired by last night's viewing of Once Upon a Time in China II, I'm ready to head off once again into another session of the MMAC. I even have today off of work, so I'll get to go there a little early and maybe warm up a bit more. Maybe even practice some kung-fu.
"Confidential to T-Mobile: NASA is downloading 36 MB TIFFs from Mars and I only get 2 bars of signal on my cell phone inside my house. Please look into upgrading."

from diepunyhumans.com

Regardless of provider, or whether it's cell service or TV reception, nowhere is this more true than in the fine town of Athens, OH.
Yes, there have been a lot of these posts lately, haven't there?

I finally got my hands on the Kama Sutra of metroeroticism, The Metrosexual Guide to Style: A Handbook for the Modern Man by Michael Flocker. It's sort of interesting seeing how much of this stuff I've known almost since birth, and how much I am totally clueless about.

I thought it would be fun to see how I stack up to some of the various lists of standards scattered about the book. For instance, on page 86, we have "Ten Wardrobe Must-Haves." The items in bold are the ones I lack.
  • Three black T-shirts, three new white T-shirts
    I got more black tees than you can shake a stick at. I have a fair amount of white tees, fairly new, but if "pocket Ts" don't count, as the book states, I need a couple more white ones.

  • Two different pairs of flattering jeans

  • One dark suit
    $400 charcoal gray from Brooks Brothers.

  • One leather or suede short coat (not a bomber jacket)
    I'm a child of the 80s/90s -- I got a bomber jacket, sue me.

  • Two rollneck or crewneck cable-knit sweaters

  • Two pairs of dark, straight-leg, nonpleated pants
    All my pants are pleated -- damn, damn damn.

  • Three well-cut, solid-color, button-down shirts (one white)
    I technically have them -- they may need to be cut a little better though, because I got them 5 years and 25 pounds ago.

  • Quality sunglasses
    Both prescription, look good, and cost INXS of $200 USD each.

  • One expensive watch, one sports watch

  • Flattering underwear
    Unfortuneately, most of my underwear was from that "one score and 5 pounds ago" era.
Looks like I have a little bit of retooling to do.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Lookee what I found...

E and I are visiting friends in Columbus. A fun evening was had by all, but for the first time in a long time, the gallons (not really) of coffee I consumed left me a total insomniac. And, also for the first time in a long time, I've had immediate access to the internet to enable me to b!+ch about it. I'm dead serious here, it's 5:30 AM and I'm completely awake. I got a two-hour drive and an eight-hour work day ahead of me tomorrow

What to do, what to do...

Saturday, January 10, 2004

The Glengarry Mix

There's the clean version and the Ultimate Abuse Mix. Get your groove on!
So, I go in for another round of punishment on Thursday night. For the first hour, I got off my cowardly @$$ and dove straight in to the group doing the muay Thai pad drills. My most gruesome day ever in tae kwon do class was nothing compared to this. The typical TKD class will also have you run drills gradually increasing the number of techniques in a single drill. I think I've only done, at most, three or four techniques in a single TKD drill. Thursday night, I was doing between three and seven techniques per drill. God, I felt like a yellow belt all over again. Once again, I felt that way you get when you push your body a single step too far, that nauseous feeling in your gut as your body cries out to stop.

I loved every second of it.

In the second hour, I got in some more kali. Unfortunately, being the sole minority in the room (and the only Filipino doing the Filipino martial arts work), I've got a pretty high visibility level over there. People, especially the instructors, noticed that I didn't take the advice fromt he first session, namely to try the Filipino kali during one of the sessions this week, and the next session to try a lesson in Western (Irish) stick fighting offered simultaneously at the other session.

Hey, screw that. I chose to celebrate my cultural heritage.

I'm meeting some very interesting people from the spectrum of university life at the MMA Club. In the tradition of some of the fiction I've been reading lately, as well as some blogs I frequent, I'm going to start assembling a rough cast list.* Here are a few to start with:

*Ed. note: If anyone from the MMAC stumbles across this blog, and may potentially be offended by anything written here, I apologize in advance. The names I generate are to protect our mutual anonymity, and the opinions expressed are my own, so if you don't like them (and if you're not one of the instructors), well we can settle our differences the old fashioned way after any club session you want ;)
TRENCHCOAT MAFIOSO - This is a guy I recognize from frequenting a certain coffee shop in town. He appears to be a student, and always wears a rather nice, long tan trenchcoat with a button or two on the lapels of a liberal nature. He seems to be a decent fighter - I watched him spar with someone after class.

But, he ticked me off Thursday night while we were doing kali hand-sensitivity drills (to increase one's reaction-time in close quarter hand-to-hand situations). We were rotating partners, and while some were pleased at my speed and upped their game accordingly, this person twice requested that I slow down. Slow down?? F**k that -- I'm there to freakin' train. Hey, I got smacked myself by people going faster than me a couple of times. I don't have time for no pansy ass weekend warrior. Come to train, or don't freakin' come at all.... damn, I gotta calm down. Sorry, TM -- you know I still love you.

GANGSTA OF NEW YORK - This is the main instructor of the Irish stick-fighting method, as seen in the movie Gangs of New York. He's a nice enough guy, very outgoing, very skilled. I get this wierd vibe off of him, though, as if he's disappointed or something that I haven't tried his system yet. Eh, don't worry, I'll get to it.

ISSHIN - Freshman lady, a 1st dan in Isshyin Ryu (sp?) karate. She was my partner for the majority of the Filipino drills. I saw her practicing a couple of her kata. I wouldn't wanna go hand to hand with her. But, her weapon work needs, well, work. So far, though, she's been the only partner that it's been a pleasure to work with so far. Aside from instructors, my other partners, male and female, fall into one of two catagories: total newbies who really don't yet know what they're doing and people who've been training for a relatively short period of time who think they know what they're doing whose techniques are so sloppy that it ticks me off.

ONE-ARMED BANDIT - Named because he recently broke his arm and has been attending club in a cast. Nice guy, seasoned martial artist, heart is 100% in the right place, but damned if he doesn't come off at times like some slack-jawed troglydyte. (Heh... gee, now why might anyone potentially be offended by what I write here, huh?) Why do I say that? Well, when I saw ISSHIN practice some of her kata, it inspired me to try and recall some of my kung fu forms. ONE-ARMED BANDIT saw this, and inquired:

OAB: Hey, cool, what is that?
ME: Kung fu... shippalgi. It's a Korean style
OAB: I've never heard of it... is it something you rent, or something?
ME: [feigned puzzled look on my face, because I knew where he was going with it] Huh?
OAB: Like, on a video or something
ME: [with a "wtf, you b@$tard" look on my face] Umm, no, I'm a brown sash...
OAB: [slightly embarassed and apologetic]: Ohh, ohh... hey, cool...

Now I know how most of those fights you see in 70s kung fu movies get started.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

My schedule looks rather full tomorrow, so I did my soul-searching today.

I'm going to burn for posting this... I know I am. But what the heck?
A Message from Pat Robertson and the "Vote No on Jesus" Campaign
by Nathan McIntire
Well, the Mixed Martial Arts club has started up again, and last Tuesday I got my first lesson in muay Thai basics! I also got some more kali in, and learned the first five angles of the Inosanto system.

Dan Inosanto... the most famous martial artist you've probably never heard of. Everyone's heard of Bruce Lee, but most don't know about Mr. Inosanto, Bruce's #1 student/teacher.

Anyway, I might go in for another round tonight! I gotta get my fighting skills back up. I've been inspired by all the videos E and I have been watching lately, namely:
  • Drunken Master - if my brain could handle another martial arts system, you're damned right I'd learn drunken boxing.
  • The Legend of Drunken Master - Jackie's no Yuen Wo-Ping, but he gets the job done.
  • The first 8 episodes of Dragonball GT
  • 4 random episodes of Dragonball
  • Once Upon a Time in China III
I'm really glad the members of the club maintained their "righteous indignation" about me being "raped" at the door (i.e. paying $7.50, since I'm not yet officially affiliated with the University. I'm still a "townie" as far as they're concerned). But to me, it's worth it, because as I've said before, my fighting skills (such as they are) probably aren't worth a damn in the clinch (i.e. the short "up in my grill" range).

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I've included a link into each post to enable you, the instant gratification reader, to vote for my site on ricebowljournals.com. So don't playa hate, congratulate!
Here's a conversation I had with a (male) friend where he works.
Me: Do you know if you carry any papaya extract?
B: Papaya extr... what the hell is.... are you hitting on me??
I was at the laundromat last night for a couple of hours and left without realizing that I had left my day planner. It didn't even occur to me until well over three hours later when I found that I couldn't sleep at 1:30 AM. Poor E... she couldn't sleep as it was, and had to be up early, but on top of that, she (like me) is really sensitive to her partner's moods. I tried being as quiet as I could as I swore up and down, tossing things about trying to find it, then realizing what I did.

I even drove out (it's all of 3 minutes away) to see if it was where I thought I may have left it, but it wasn't. I saw what time they opened up, and was there, disheveled, at 8 AM. Thank God it was still there. I thought for sure some scandalous mother had jacked it.

Now you're probably thinking, "What's the big deal? You left your planner, so what?" Well, you have to realize that I'm one of those planner-junkies, that anal retentive breed that has every piece of information (within reason) organized, dated, coded and set in that single place.

Man, I was in a bad space last night. But this morning, I got better.

Monday, January 05, 2004

I never ever thought I'd see the day when I'd get E to stay up through an episode of any anime. I tried, when we first met, to get her to watch some of my favorites on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup: InuYasha, Cowboy Bebop, Lupin III, etc. It never occurred to me to show her any episode of Dragonball Z.

Well, at the local video store, they had the first two tapes of the series Dragonball GT, and I wanted to check them out. They kind of piqued E's interest, so I told her about random bits about both Dragonball Z and Dragonball.

I thought she'd definitely like Dragonball, and they had a tape at the video store, so I picked one of those up. She may not admit it, but I think she's hooked! I almost forgot how much I liked Dragonball myself. It strikes me as very kid friendly, even with the martial arts violence in it. One of these days, I'm going to get that in order to have it to show to my kids.
It occurred to me recently to look at my archives list, and sure enough I found a whole 52 weeks worth of entries. I actually did this blog thing for a whole year.

Friday, January 02, 2004

I rang in the New Year at a bobo $75-a-head fund-raiser for a local arts center with bobo people. E and I were to be volunteers at the complimentary beer/wine bar, but our services weren't really needed so we were told to go and have fun! There were lots of food, fun, alcohol and dancing to be had.

E and I got to go thanks to two people who have basically become our "sponsors" down here in A-town. EK and SK are a really great couple with great kids. Bobos to the core, whether they realize it or not. Conservative, modestly wealthy with artistic bents, S has a band (which played the event) and E headed the committee that put the shindig together.

We met all sorts of interesting people, not the least of which was EK's sister. I found her interesting because she's, by some estimations (not necessarily my own, though) typical of someone of my age range/generation. Damn, am I old enough to start "talkin' 'bout my gennnnneration"? Anyway, from what I gathered, R_ (I never got her last name) is a year younger than E, divorced, without a bachelor's degree, with some small business of her own that she left in the care of her sister's family while completing boot camp to enlist in the Army Reserves. No love of her life yet, but she's still looking. R, I think, reminded E of where she used to be before she took the time to do something radical in her life to find what she was looking for. It was interesting, but not surprising that R was listening to our (E's and my) story with rapt attention.

I mention all of this to illustrate something, mostly to myself. It took a couple of months, and while it still has every chance of going south, my life plan is going along at a nice clip. I'm finally at a point where I can put away some of my meager pittance in the bank. Hopefully, I'll be enrolled at OU in the next month. And, I'm finally taking all the mental notes I've made about the success and failures of my various interpersonal relationships and putting them to good use. I'm surrounded by a cozy web of people who have the same attitudes as I do, and attributes I'd love to emulate. I'm also getting back in touch with personal attributes I once thought had been lost to me.

Seeing these things helped me realize that there are a few things I need to accept about myself in 2004:
  • I need to chill about certain things, hold some of my beliefs, "oughts," and "shoulds" a bit less tightly.
  • I need to be OK with being 30 and still learning things that a lot of 25-year-olds already seem to know.
  • People can and do like me, and in a slightly more-than-superficial way! I can and should, like anyone else, use this to my emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and even physical benefit.
  • I still have problems. They no longer define me, but they are a part of me. They are real and need solved.
  • I need to (re-)discover the exact place of the spiritual component of my life.
I've been saying with increased frequency that it's been a long time since I've been this happy, usually to and in reference to E. But, it's just quite possible that I've never been this happy, period.

Oh, BTW, see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King!! E and I saw it last night. It's easily the best movie I've seen in quite a while.
You are Spearmint.
You are quick-witted and sharp. You pay close
attention to details and you can tell what your
friends are feeling. You are always the first
to understand a joke and you are valued for
your insight and advice. However, you
sometimes isolate yourself from other people,
afraid to share your own feelings.
Most Compatible With: Cinnamon

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