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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.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Well, I just witnessed something rather embarassing. Not embarassing for me, but rather for E's and my friends, the BOBOs if they saw their daughter do what I just did.

Frankly, what she (at 14 or 15, I think?) and her friends are doing at a coffee house on a Sunday night near midnight is beyond me... although, I guess it is a holiday weekend, isn't it? In any case, she and her friends must've thought it would be funny to disrupt a group sitting at the next table that was only trying to enjoy a game of Jenga. They went so far as to "accidentally" shove the BOBOs' daughter into said table.

They promptly left the scene, and a bit later, I felt compelled to apologize to that group on behalf of her parents. I'm debating whether to narc the girl out to her parents, but I know if I tell E, she'll almost certainly do it. I know what you're thinking -- make her do the dirty work, right? ;)
I'm still suffering from the cough that just won't die. Plus, I somehow managed to find myself working in the coldest parts of my job. So, between sickness and my few moments of health spent working, I haven't had time to post.

In any case, judging by the counter, I see that someone who shall remain nameless has been anxiously checking out the blog here, most likely waiting to see if I'd write about my past Club session. I'm surprised to find only one IP address; I half-expected all of Club to be reading this thing by now as the aforementioned nameless person let slip the fact that I keep these notes ;).

Anyway, the "highlight" of the last session was one of the Krav Maga-style self-defense drills I participated in. In this particular drill, DATU_B and I stood, eyes closed and back to back, waiting for a "Go" signal, whereupon an "environmental weapon" would simultaneously be thrown in.

The "Go" was sounded, my eyes opened and immediately focused on the environmental weapon at my feet instead of my opponent who then, after a moment's hesitation, cold-cocked me with a right cross.

Ouch.

Note to self: next time, don't try to use the rules of the simulation to your advantage.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

It's odd -- I'm not necessarily feeling worse, but I'm sure not feeling any better. So, I'm heading back home to bed. I just had to get this out first.





Take the What High School Stereotype Are You? quiz.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Laziness - Didn't go to Club last night. I wasn't feeling well (on a lot of fronts), and neither was E, so we sat and watched Trainspotting: The Prequel Shallow Grave. It fit the mood perfectly.

I haven't felt much for working out solo, either. Maybe I can get some time in tomorrow. E may opt out of a kung fu lesson this week, since it's week 8 of the quarter and she's up against a lot of deadlines.

New Book - Been reading The Screwtape Letters by Lewis. See the current sidebar? It's a good read, even if you're not Christian, or even religious. Does that mean I'll change the CD image soon? Not really... I still listen to S&P almost every day.

Diet - I hope I'm not suffering from some wierd Keith Richards thing where all the vices he continues to engage in haven't killed him after all these years, even if he looks like one of the undead. E thinks I'm consuming alcohol a little too frequently as of late and that my diet has been rather deficient in green things. She may be right, but as of right now, there really aren't any apparent adverse effects, even to my metrosexual appearance. Still, why not head things off before it's too late, right? Once I polish off the remaining Sam Adams Cherry Wheat beers in the fridge, I'll work more on them vegetables. Hey, I've had my fair share of lettuce on a weekly basis, right?

Excerpt from "Pros and Cons of John Kerry's Top Twenty Vice-Presidential Candidates" by John Moe (link will be added once it's moved off of the McSweeneys main page).
4. Bill Clinton, former President

Pro: Oh man, that would be awesome—could you imagine? He'd be all like Yeah, I'm back, so suck on this, y'all and everyone would be all No way and he'd be all Way
Con: None

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I wouldn't even be writing today. I've been feeling ill (upper respiratory something or other) and I just got out of bed in time to walk myself uptown, have a cup of coffee and gather myself before attending to some unpleasant chores that have fallen on my plate unexpectedly. But I just had to comment about the drama that just finished taking place 5 feet away from the table at which I'm currently seated. I can't recount the entire saga. Only offer you a sample quote from this discussion:
We wouldn't even be havin' this drama if you hadn't stuck your d!ck in me and got me pregnant!
Superimpose this quote onto some of the characters you see in the average episode of Springer, and you've got a good idea of what I bore witness to, minus Jerry and Steve of course.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Yesterday was a surreal day. How was it that I could spend the early afternoon in my wage-slave job, and the evening in the company of, literally, some of the richest people in town?

I've written before about the local power couple (call them BOBO_S and BOBO_E) who served basically as E's benefactors when she first moved here. These are the types of people who hand out bottles of wine to people the same way you'd loan someone a pen. And, I don't mean a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill -- I'm talking about $20+ bottles of Charles Krug and stuff. They're also one of the 5 or so Republicans in this town, too.

Anyway, I'm leaving work and as usual, I find a voice mail message from E, saying that she's hanging out with them at the local uptown swanky if-you-have-to-ask-how-much-it-costs-you-probably-can't-afford-it restaurant. Luckily, I put on my best metroerotic face (and hair, and shirt) before I got there, because what E didn't tell me was that I'd be, in essence, crashing the birthday party for the Dean of Students of the University. You see my confusion. "Can I help you with that?" in the morning. "Oh, ok, one more glass of chianti" that evening.

After the restaurant, we all (Dean included) head to a local bar where we meet another power couple -- a couple my age, this time, buying everyone drinks. Did I mention that of the volumes I consumed, I didn't pay a single penny? After the bar, we head back to the BOBOs' house where I continued the hobknobbing. E went home a bit before this point, as she has to be in Columbus today. But I hung out and was graciously offered pizza and more alcohol (they're lushes, they admit it) and conversation with accountants, college deans, and upscale-hotel executives who were my age.

That couple was funny. It's sort of wierd seeing people my age do (apparently) financially well -- good jobs, three acre spreads, money to buy drinks for total strangers. But to look at them, they didn't look my age. Granted, I look young for my age, but I wouldn't have pegged these people for 30. Thirty-five to 40 would've been more like it. Makes you think about the prices you pay to attain things like that. Things like 85-hour work weeks and such. To each his own, I suppose...
Why does the lack of a PayPal button mess up my blog template?

Thursday, May 20, 2004

With all the tremendously crappy news in the world, sometimes the more obscure crappy news gets overlooked.

Tony Randall, 84 - Actor, famous in The Odd Couple, among other things.

Elvin Jones, 76 - One of the greatest jazz drummers EVER.
Written on the men's bathroom chalkboard of my favorite coffee house:
I am almost always right. The last time I was wrong was about 5 years ago, when I thought I made a mistake.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Because reading is fundamental...
Changes to the Hotel California, Made in Response to Mr. Henley's Recent Complaint
by John Moe
From McSweeney's
...can people actually have the balls as well as the opportunity to jack world leaders like Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

And while we're on the subject of British media, let me introduce you to the person I look forward to hearing during the BBC's Newshour heard over here on NPR: Julian Marshall. His voice and manner are so irritating, it's actually amusing. Nice to see that the stereotypes of British journalism, fostered in part by Eric Idle in The Ruggles are, in fact, alive and well.
Well, last night was a so-so night at the old Club. Had better, had worse. Any success I had was in the form of the occassional shot I'd land or tapout. The rest were a series of shin beatings and shoulder grindings. Damn, work will suck today.

Potential BILLY JACK QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
I've got a list of people I wanna fight... you [I can't think of a nick for this person yet - a quiet, slight girl who'll spar anyone], [STRETCH ARMSTRONG], [The Management], and [The guest Bando instructor from last week].
Sorry about all the brackets, but the names must be changed to protect... well, me really.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

A very, very late start to my day. Work's been hell, so I slept in late.

Making a nice lunch... a nice sandwich with inferior yet oddly tolerable mayonaise. I'm serious, of all the "Brand X" mayo I've ever had, this one has been the best.

A trip to an empty grad school office. Things to check on, no live humans.

Playing around with more Blogger tags, especially the MainPage tag. This way, you can click on one of my previous entries and have a cleaner looking page. Also, my counter won't get hit one time for every permalink that gets clicked. I'm still not sure though if I want two or three days showing on the main page. If I show too many, then the Previous Entries tags aren't really worth much. Next issue to decide on: whether or not to ditch enetation and go with Blogger's commenting system.

Getting my fix of Doctor Who in the form of the webcast Scream of the Shalka. This must be what it feels like for an addict, clean and sober for years, to fall right off the wagon. Incidentally, a fellow coffee shop patron saw me doing this and asked me for help fiddling with his computer so that he could do the same.

Sorting through my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu notes as well as some notes from MMAC -- the "Ninja Scrolls" needed cleaning out.

Wondering whether or not I feel like going to Club.
I can't believe I neglected to mention that last week, E had her first lesson in my kung-fu style. She's been itching to learn it since almost the day we met. It is what brought us together, after all.

Not that I'd necessarily want it to get out, at least into my old martial arts circles right away. My old instructors have a generally free, relaxed, Americanized attitude regarding the transmission of their martial arts -- except for the kung-fu system. I remember an old student who Mrs. R heard showed our booklet. It's the modern day equivalent of those old kung-fu scrolls you see in movies. All the terms and moves are in shorthand. There's virtually no way even an experienced martial artist could just pick it up and understand it all. And yet, Mrs. R almost freaked.

Plus, in this day and age, challenge matches do still happen. I live in a town where Bando is the martial art. The grandmaster does live here, after all. God forbid I get caught by the wrong people swinging kali sticks around. All I know is I'm too old and too slow to have Hung Wei Lo or whoever come and challenge me with his Flying Screaming Phoenix Ninja Fist Style in order to stop me from teaching the "gwai-lo."

Monday, May 17, 2004

Noooooo... really?
Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker magazine has published a new article that claims U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld may have been directly responsible for ordering the interrogation tactics use at the Abu Ghraib prison. NPR's Libby Lewis reports.
Sure, you can fall on either side of the argument. Give the average person a cattle prod and tell him or her that to use it on some blindfolded, helpless slob might prevent the next 9/11, and see what they'd do.

My point isn't to stir that debate, though. It's to illustrate yet again that yes, we do at least as many of the same things all those other "bad" countries do. What else could you say about a country led by the son of a former president who also happened to be the head of that country's secret police?

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Better late than never, eh?

Well, I managed almost an entire weekend without internet access. That's long enough. Man, I couldn't even see that my emailed blog post would include inappropriate line breaks as well as the automatic Yahoo! footer until today. Eh, what do you want for free? I edited the line breaks, but left the footer just as a reminder to myself.

So, how was your weekend?
The weekend's just been work, work, work until last night. I had one of those occassional benders that always feels so good the next morning. I think the taste of Negra Modelo has grown on me.

You forgot to post the BILLY JACK Quote of the Week
Yes, I know I forgot. It's been a busy weekend. I know I promised... quit yelling at me!
What you need to tell [E] is "Get back in the kitchen."
You seem to have trouble posting your weekly personality analysis on Fridays. Maybe you should try a different day?
Good idea. I think I'll do that on Thursdays for the time being.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

This will be my first email post. Hopefully this'll work -- I won't know until tomorrow sometime.

Tonight's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sparring record: 3 for 5.

I don't know how I got STRETCH ARMSTRONG, although he was having a bad night. He lost one later to SPEAKMAN. Hell, DATU_S tapped to him, too, for that matter. Anyway, I finally got the ankle lock down!

I actually sparred SPEAKMAN twice. First time, there wasn't much rolling. I sank a guillotine and that was all she wrote. The second time, he was out for revenge. I don't know how he got an armbar on me; he wasn't even planted anywhere. All I know was that I knew he was trying it, and I thought I was countering. Then all of a sudden, I felt pain. I hope I didn't panic anyone, but it sucked bad enough for me to yelp.

I got a tap out of DATU_S. He did have the advantage most of the time, but I finally got the mount and again remembered the tried-and-true armbar from there. I wasn't fast enough to do it clean. He countered and held me off for quite awhile until I managed to counter his counter and force the tap.

The last bit of club was rubber-knife sparring with STRETCH ARMSTRONG. We managed to kill each other several times over. What can you say, that's what happens in knife fights.




__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Movies - Buy advance tickets for 'Shrek 2'
http://movies.yahoo.com/showtimes/movie?mid=1808405861
Yesterday on NPR's Day to Day I was listening to a story about a news program produced by kids for kids. In it, I caught a passing reference about the latest Olsen Twins movie premiering at, of all places, the Tribeca Film Festival? De Niro green-lit this?

Eh, well even if he did, who's going to tell De Niro not to do something with his film festival? I like my legs intact, thank you very much.
I went in for another workout and BILLY JACK was there a-waitin'. Hey, he was good for something. Thanks to him, I finally perfected my BJJ handstand sweep (though for me, it didn't necessariliy require a handstand). The amazing thing about BJJ is how subtle finesses can make the difference between executing a technique properly or not at all.

BILLY JACK showed me some drills he learned in some muay Thai seminar he went to recently. Believe it or not, they were a bit helpful.

I'm not sure if I'll go to Club tonight -- oh, who am I fooling?
Made the post font a wee bit smaller. Shouldn't make too much difference, except to distinguish the posts from the rest of the content. Expect a continual metamorphosis for awhile (read: until I get bored).

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

As you can see, I've made a few more changes. I'm not sure I like them, but it's been awhile since I shook things up in here.

I don't know what's up with the new Blogger posting apparatus. Sometimes I need to try 2 and 3 times to republish the damn thing after a template change. It would probably drive a less patient person into a homicidal/suicidal spree.
How I performed last night depends on your point of view. From the standpoint of how many "wins" (via submissions, hits, etc.) it was an abyssmal night. From the standpoint of trying some new moves, failing, and learning, then it was a great night.

We did some warmups and pad work led by DATU_B2. People seemed to like my boxing work. I guess I've developed a bit more power as of late. Still, it's easy to hit stationary targets.

The last drill was a lumberjack kicking drill. My partner and I needed a third person. I felt sorry for SPEAKMAN. I swear he was like that kid that no one wants to pick for their team and ends up standing and looking around, so I invited him in. But I didn't feel so bad that when it was his turn to hold the pad, my partner and I blasted him back about 10 feet with each successive kick.

Afterward, there were two stations set up, one for free-rolling and one for ultimate sparring. I myself sparred with the same two people, SPEAKMAN (big surprise) and, let's call him STRETCH ARMSTRONG. You have to understand, STRETCH not only goes all out, but he gets every limb going when he grapples. People are afraid to grapple him for fear of getting a toe in the eye.

Yes, grappling him sucks. The only way to get him (it is possible to submit him) is patience. That, and checking him whenever you can. By that, I mean he'll do anything to snake any of his 4 limbs around you and whenever you can stop him from doing that, you're doing ok.

Unfortunately, in a moment of weakness I shared this with STRETCH. Apparently, to him it was "disconcerting" (his word) that I kept doing that, especially with the way I would look away from him and toward, say, the opposite wall. Actually, I noticed myself doing that for the next few weeks, and it wasn't until last week that I realized that was probably the true secret to any amount of grappling success I have -- sensitivity.

Anyway, between him and SPEAKMAN I tapped every time, although I was only submitted twice with an armbar by SPEAKMAN and a choke by STRETCH. The other times, I messed myself up with a move gone awry and ended up in positions that I just couldn't escape. I went in that night with 5 separate techniques I was determined to use. I only pulled one off successfully -- a scissor sweep on SPEAKMAN, and upon reflection I did the move incorrectly.

Incidentally, BILLY JACK did say a couple of silly things, but I'm going to wait until Thursday. He's bound to say something more worthy by then. He tried some ultimate sparring and succeeded only in pissing off his partner who was kicking his @$$ something fierce. Who says Taekwondo techniques are no good? Anyway, how do you piss someone off who's kicking your @$$? Why just resort to face-mask wrestling and pant-leg pulling. Now, I'm sure BILLY JACK didn't go in planning to resort to those techniques. But as I've said before, he can be a dirty fighter. My theory is that it's almost like an instinct with him. I truly don't sense that he goes into sparring matches intent on being an @$$hole. He just often ends up that way.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Well, I played around with some of the new tags they have here. I also tried to streamline things a bit. A good chunk of sidebar links have been moved over to the self-restraint site. That is what I decided to use the space for after all.

I'll be tinkering with the format over the next few days, so forgive me if things look a little funny.
Just goes to show that not all anti-establishment critics are fans of Michael Moore.
I guess E wasn't lying... Blogger did change everything around. I fiddled with some of the settings. Each individual post is now perma-linked, plus I can email posts into here... muahahaha. If they'd only do image hosting... b@$tards ;).

Now, I can get to posting.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Communion - Based on Whitley Strieber's UFO abductee experience. I didn't like it as much, personally, but I have to say that once again Christopher Walken proves his ability to bring out the wierdo in any character he plays.

Fist of Legend - I loved this movie! But having said that, now I know why Bruce Lee followers might have called this movie blasphemy. In this movie, not all the Japanese are evil. Not only that, but the main villain copped some of Bruce's moves and mannerisms (no, he didn't go wwwwoarrrrrr.... WATOWWWW!). But this is one I'm going to own one day.

The Legend of the Swordsman - Ah, the kung fu fantasy. Fighting ability is never enough. You need magic weapons and the ability to fend off opponents who flick water droplets and candlewax bits through trees and walls.
As promised, the continuation from the last entry...

What, Another Martial Art?
The first part of Club were mostly pad drills from Lethwei (Bando kickboxing). I had a decent partner -- no SPEAKMAN to hog me, thank Christ. I never know what to think when an instructor doesn't say much to me as I proceed with drilling. He only spoke to me twice during this time. Once when he was correcting my partner on form, and wanted to demonstrate on me. I made that classic mistake of throwing a tired, half-@$$ed punch instead of showing the instructor the proper "respect." Now, I may have made up for it the next time the instructor spoke to me when he seemed pleased with the amount of power I was generating with spear knees.

The second hour was devoted to combat applications of the cobra animal subsystem of Bando. Part of these involve fast strikes to soft targets, mainly the eyes and the groin, using finger slaps and knuckles. We were shown a pattern of 6 strikes, 5 of which were used in a drill in which we were hitting sheets of notebook paper hung on two corners with the goal of slicing through them. I managed it with 4 out of the 5 strikes, much to the dismay of BILLY JACK (though to his credit, he did manage it once... maybe twice).

After that, we practiced some grappling-like takedowns. It turns out cobra-style exponents don't like grappling. There are takedowns and joint-locks, but these are done with the intent of disengaging and striking ASAP, as opposed to silat or Brazillian jiu-jitsu. Verrrry eeenteresteeng....

E didn't like these details very much. In fact, she's decided that she's pretty down on the arts of southeast Asia. Yes, she understands the historical contexts. Yes, she understands that other Asian martial arts have equally ugly combat applications. What she doesn't like, if I understand right, is the stark utility of the techniques and their presentation. There does seem to be relatively little emphasis in training sessions on any moral or ethical context as compared to, say, the dojos in more classical styles.

Now, from what I've seen, 95% of the people I've trained with so far don't seem to be the type to delight in inflicting pain on other people. These aren't trigger happy martial artists with something to prove to the world. But we all - and I'm as guilty as anyone - joke when we learn something especially brutal. "Well, not that I'd ever do this *snicker snicker*... BUT in case you need to break his arm in four places, crush his trachea *guffaw* and deliver 3 fatal knife cuts in one smooth move HAHAHAHA..." I think that's how E sees these martial arts.

We get into (friendly) arguments all the time about what I deem is a level of preparedness and mental training, and what she sees as unnecessary paranoia of the type that contributes to all the strife and suffering in the world. I was taught a long time ago that it helps to always mentally visualize how you would defend yourself in whatever situation you were in, imagining the people around you were going to jump you. How would you stand relative to how they could approach. What would you do against a tall opponent? A short, but strong one? One who looks like she's had some martial arts training? In Club, we were asked at one point to visualize attacking someone. It's how ancient and modern day Filipino warriors keep themselves sharp. Needless to say the first time I mentioned this to E, she was absolutely horrified. Recently, we had this discussion and she brought up a quote that we heard on a George Carlin CD about "obsolete macho impulses from a hundred thousand years ago."

Is that what these are?

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Twenty-five years ago today, E's father passed away from cancer.

Hopefully, sir, I can care for your daughter to your satisfaction.
  -D.
THE BILLY JACK QUOTE OF THE WEEK
This may be a paraphrase. I may quite possibly have heard him wrong, but I would swear that he made this statement to the guest Bando instructor we had that night:
I want to spar you this summer.
I guess you'd have to know BILLY JACK as well as the skill of the instructor to know just how ridiculous a thing it was for him to say.

Speaking of which, before last Thursday's session, I made the mistake of asking BILLY JACK how the silat seminar from the previous weekend was. I knew the minute I asked that he would proceed to attempt various foot strikes on me being seated, which he did. Not only did I check them all with my feet, but I landed a shot on his upper thigh that knocked him to the ground, much to the delight of a couple of onlookers.

Rude Guests
E would probably be upset if she read this. Maybe she's right and I should let it go. But last Thursday, a gaggle of Taekwondo practitioners sort of took over the back room of the workout space. They did have permission from the Club president, and it wouldn't have bothered me in any case -- so long as they weren't kyap-ing all over the place and making other noises while the guest Bando instructor was trying to teach.

At one point, the instructor was trying to describe the philosophy behind the animal forms in the Bando system. This was when the TKD people were making the most bruhaha, so I turned around and stared at them a bit coldly. A couple of them took notice, and they quieted down. I say that not to imply cause and effect. That's just how it played out.

E came to their defense as I was b!+ching about it for a couple of days. She said that they probably didn't realize they were being rude. In Korea, space is at a premium. Chances are, they were probably accustomed to being able to do whatever they wanted in one side of a dojo while other people were doing something completely different on the other side. Plus, the did ask and receive permission to work. To their credit, it finally sunk in that maybe they were distracting us, so when they discovered the room next door was unused and open, they moved over there -- 10 minutes before Club was done for the night.

Besides, as E noted, there is some sort of special Korean thing in town tonight (which she plans to attend) and that they were probably preparing for the scheduled Taekwondo demonstration. Well, even so -- a couple of people from Club joked about walking over and challenging them. I confess, I would've gone with them. Kali stick in hand, of course. Hey, they were pretty good...

I gotta get to work... I'll finish this later. Here's a note to myself for next time to write about...
  • The Bando techniques I learned
  • How E has decided that she's not too fond of southeast asian martial arts
  • A couple of funny anecdotes I heard about the Bando grandmaster who actually lives in town.
  • Thursday, May 06, 2004

    Again, seeing as I'm not sure what kind of time I'll have tomorrow...



    As dictators go, you're kind of pathetic! Instead of military coup or systematic persecution to get power, you just happen to be the head of the only party in the UK that isn't totally worthless! While not very impressive it is none the less effective! You can do whatever the hell you like without any chance of getting voted out of office! People know that the only alternative would have them eating their children if they ever got back into power! However, you still think that you are as loved as you were when you were first elected into power… News flash for you: You're not!

    What tin-pot dictator are you? Take the "What Dictator am I?" test at PoisonedMinds.com

    I'm making this a separate post instead of lumping this in with the last one.

    Like I wrote, for one reason of another my powers of analysis pertaining to my martial arts has been growing. I guess people in my old club would tell you I had that already, but I've noticed a definite improvement. Very recently, I read somewhere about how studying different arts can lead to insights about your own art and I've found that to be true.

    For the past few weeks, I've made it a practice to sit with my notebook for a good hour or so after club and go over whatever I did in Club. What we did, what I learned, what it relates to, etc. etc. It's just cool watching the thing develop.

    It wasn't until my Tuesday night time that I realized I was inadvertently doing something potentially disturbing for the past couple of sessions: detailing strengths and weaknesses of each individual member I've sparred or observed. I'd detail them a bit here, but hey... one of them might become brainwashed by the Legion of Doom or something, and need to be taken down. Hey, it can happen...
    Well, at least for the time being. What can I say, even I get bored with the same jokes once in awhile.

    I should save this until after tonight's session, but I'm not sure what kind of time I'm going to have tomorrow. Plus, BILLY JACK wasn't at club, so unless he shows tonight, I may not have one of his "Quotes of the Week" anyway.

    Tuesday night's session was a good night for grappling. I'm as sore as I've ever been, and my arms have difficulty stretching in certain directions, but it's all good. After some free rolling time, we did some "tag-team" grappling: two people grapple and can tag in, at any point, any other person sitting around the mat. And, let me tell you, a good time was had by all!

    As hard as it is to believe (for me, most of all), I had a bit more success than I was accustomed to. Oh, not that I just kicked @$$, but neither was my @$$ just plain whooped. I don't know why, but something about BJJ has enabled me to use my mind and think about strategy moreso than Taekwondo sparring. Of course, this could just be indicative of overall progress, I guess. In any case sparring so many different people forced me to "dig deep" into my reservoir of tactics and try things. I was surprised to find out what things actually worked!

    For instance, I was sparring a guy, let's call him BIG PUN (a big guy, but not as big as BIG POPPA or even the ol' ONE-ARMED BANDIT). First few rounds I sparred with him, I was fighting for my life, to be sure. I managed to get tags in before I was completely decimated. But on one of the last rounds I got, I surprised myself at how using sprawling and pummeling techniques kept me from getting smothered and taken down for quite awhile. Of course he eventually found an opening. I attempted a guillotine choke which didn't fully sink as he managed to grab ahold of one of my kneeling legs. At this point, I managed to successfully sprawl again with my free leg. Unfortunately, as he tried maneuver around my sprawl, my guillotine sank -- around his trachea :(. He tapped out, and later vomitted a bit. After I told this story to E, she was sort of delighted to find out how horrible I felt about that.

    Choking was a pretty effective move for me in a few cases. I got taps from the other DATU_B (DATU_B-2? Yeah, that's it!) and one from the TRENCHCOAT MAFIOSO. His was another case I felt a bit bad about. I got TM in a guillotine choke and he waited a tad too long to tap, as he was red-faced and coughing by the end of it. He got his revenge, though. The next chance he got against me, he bypassed everything and went straight for the guillotine on me and sank it hard. I just had to let it go, though -- he was out for his rightfully deserved revenge.

    My most humorous episode was during a round with DATU_K. She might be small, but she's no slouch. I managed to keep her on the defensive, but couldn't really lock anything on her. Anyway, she was close to tapping in the ONE-ARMED BANDIT. Not wanting to face him, I pulled a move worthy of the WWE, and tagged him in myself ;). Yes, that was a ghetto thing to do, so I tagged DATU_K out and took my medicine.
    Here's an out-of-context, edited excerpt from my journal...
    I need to look at my strengths for what they are – things I’m already good at that, as good as they are, won’t necessarily propel me to develop the strengths I don’t have yet. It’s like thinking the levels of taekwondo and my kung fu I’ve reached can and should help me become a better stick fighter, kickboxer, & grappler.
    So, perhaps for the first time since the day I began my martial arts training, I've found something transferable from the dojo to my everyday life.

    Sure, people always tout the discipline of training or the endurance of pain or the perseverance that comes with maintaining progress as something you can transfer into real life. I'm sure all that is true for some people, but not for someone like me. I've had similar discussions like this with other people who share my right-brainedness and all the resultant chaos and disorganization that come with daily living.

    People like us can, despite outward appearances, be very disciplined -- but only in the things we want to be disciplined in. For me, it doesn't take much in the way of any special discipline to keep up with martial arts training. It always holds my interest, and plateaus aside my progress has only gone upward.

    Life, of course, is not like that. Henry Ward Beecher once said:
    Any man can work when every stroke of his hands brings down the fruit rattling from the tree...
    That pretty much sums up how difficult it's been for me to find those lessons in training that I can use IRL, at least until now. How do I develop myself personally? I'm still working on that. But I know that the lessons of discipline, endurance and persevarance are going to have to come from other places. In fact, they already do come from other places -- I just need to pay attention to the lessons they teach.

    Damn, how's that for profundity?
    Yeah, I got nice and toasty - not because of the holiday, but because E and I were drowing our sorrows. Since she went through the trouble of detailing them already, I won't go into it again.

    Tuesday, May 04, 2004

    These young college students just have no idea of how things used to be.
    Yes, that's what I've decided to be today, and why not? Work's been long and excruciating lately, so I deserve. OK, well maybe I don't, but tough. Anyway, some goings on...

    Gross Violations
    You know when you've got a top class supermarket in town when they've got a magazine rack with a few martial arts periodicals and a copy machine. Hey, Grappling magazine goes for $6 a pop, and I only wanted 5 pages on the subject of "No-Gi Takedowns." Twenty five cents or $6? What would you do?

    Once Upon a Time in Lazyville
    No, I didn't work out this morning. I didn't get out of bed until about noon. I've decided that twice a week on the same days as Club is too much. One time a week is too little. This week, I'm shooting for twice a week on non-Club days. We'll see how that works with my work schedule.

    The Prophecy
    Ah, another Christopher Walken flick where he was as creepy as when he was dancing in that Fat Boy Slim video. This is the first time I've seen it in literally years... long enough ago to completely forget that the role of Lucifer was played by some relatively unknown schmoe named Viggo Mortensen.

    Down Wit' the Man
    E just couldn't resist being My Little Revolutionary again. Her target this time? University parking services for an email notice they gave out on some lots that will be closed this weekend due to some event. E hits "reply" and sends them a treatise on how this affects graduate students (Hey, I unsarcastically agree -- screw the undergrads. They're young, they can walk.) and some suggestions on how to improve the situation for them.

    I just didn't have the heart to even ask the question about her estimation of the likelihood they'd even read her email.

    Monday, May 03, 2004

    Inside Joke of the Week #1
    Since I titled the entry thus,
    Because those are Loverboy songs... and Loverboy has always sucked.
    Inside Joke of the Week #2
    Brought to you by the letter E:
    All these mothers have gone...
    Takin' What They're Givin' 'Cause I'm Workin' for a Livin'
    I literally did work for the weekend. Although it wasn't without its relaxation points. Chillin' out with DATU_B and his wife, sipping beers and watching flicks. Saw another flick last night, K-PAX with Kevin Spacey. An OK film with a predictable ending, but hey... how could it not be good with a Glengarry Glen Ross cast member in it?

    Bloggin' in the Free World
    It's funny how E seems to blog about more personal stuff than I do. But then, that's her nature. And perhaps that's her blog's nature, as well. I realized what one of the main purposes of my weblog is -- to detail the various inanities that would otherwise irritate and annoy the people I'd otherwise tell verbally.

    You wouldn't wanna know my inner demons anyway. Heck, I wouldn't want to see them.