Turf Marking

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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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

This episode of This American Life is going down as one of my favorites, because I can relate to some of these struggles.
My Experimental Phase

Three stories about people who decide to try out a new life. The kind of life their parents never wanted for them.
E and I had a record squabble. Not counting the time we were both asleep, it lasted, oh I'd say about 2 hours. It wasn't pretty but it's all good now (I hope ;).)

Reminds me of something I read awhile ago, a snippet from Larry Crabb's book Men and Women that was included in a compliation of devotional readings:
We will not move very far in our efforts to develop good marriages until we understand that repairing a damaged sense of identity and healing the wound in our hearts is not the first order of business. It is rather dealing with the subtle, pervasive, stubborn commitment to ourselves.

Self-centeredness is the killer. In every bad relationship, it is the deadliest culprit. Poor communication, temper problems, unhealthy responses to dysfunctional family backgrounds, codependent relationships, and personal incompatibility - everything (unless medically caused) flows out of the cesspool of self-centeredness.
Maybe I should remember that next time.

Monday, June 28, 2004

In the next few days, I've got to...
  • Prepare for the camping trip I'm going to take with some friends on the weekend after the 4th of July.
  • See E to the airport next Tuesday, where she'll leave for China for 6 weeks :(.
  • Make some time to hang out and/or train with DATU_B and maybe DATU_S while he's still in town.
  • Make some time to hang out with BILLY JACK -- I did promise him some time, after all. Hey, it's like my mother always used to say, "Be kind to animals."
  • Get in some solo training.
Five days until "Chapter 31" of my life begins. I'm almost excited about it, due mostly to the fact that I can look in wonder about all the positive changes that took place in "Chapter 30" and can hope for bigger and better things.

For some reason, I've been feeling an almost Zen-like calm for the past couple of days. But it's not some stupor-like calmness. I'm trying to be very mindful to maintain that balance between not making a fetish of this state of mind, trying to do anything and everything to maintain it and enjoying it in this moment. I'm trying to let go of the opposite expectation as well, that the other shoe (whatever it may be) is about to drop and that this is simply the calm before some storm.

I guess this all points to the fact that after thirty "chapters," I may have finally learned a thing or two.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Friday, June 25, 2004

Why someone would even enter this in a search engine is so far beyond me.
But, in any case, this blog is top of the list!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I found Bill Clinton's interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross very captivating. Maybe it's because I'm listening to these things at 30 years old nowadays, but I don't remember a past President talking about the state of things before, during and after his presidency with such candor.

I caught it on NPR as I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop. I think I inadvertently (inadvertently like a fox) dissed SUM YUNG GAI as he walked into the room, forcing him to obnoxiously gain my "attention." If I wasn't prepared and already watching him closely with my peripheral vision, I might've been offended. I'm sure it made him even madder when I pulled the earphones out (well after the interview was over) to speak to a friend of mine who entered the room.

In any case, writing this just now reminded me of this article that I've posted about before, Creative Class War: How the GOP's Anti-Elitism Could Ruin America's Economy by Richard Florida. The lead graphic says it all about my (and others') perceptions of the Bush presidency.
Earlier in the week, E and I had an overnight guest, a friend of E's from back in the day who went with her to Ireland to help film Between the Worlds. R was a great person, and she taught us a new word:
meatbelt n. That ring of blubber leaking over the tops of those low-riding hip-hugger jeans worn by females who truly have no business wearing them.
The lady's a genius.
I'd pay money to this movie...

Via diepunyhumans.com - follow the link and refresh the page to see more strips.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Because this just couldn't wait until tomorrow...

You are Ash.

Which Original Evil Dead Character Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla
I vas only follovink ze orders...
1) Go to Google and type in "You know you're from (your state here) if..." 2) Pick out whatever you wish and bold the ones that apply to you. 3) Post it in an entry. 4) Have your friends do it themselves!

You don't think of Florida first when someone mentions Miami.

You snicker when someone's from Tiffin, because you think of the State Hospital.

You think Pro football teams are supposed to wear orange!

You've heard of 3.2% beer.

Schools close for the state basketball tournament. Deer season, too.

You're proud of your state fair, but would rather go to Cedar Point.

You know all the 4 seasons: Winter, Still Winter, Almost Winter, and Construction.

You live less than 30 miles from some college or university.

You know what a buckeye really is, and have a recipe for candy ones.

"Toward the lake" means "north" and "toward the river" means "south."

You've heard of the Great Nickel Beer Night Riot.

You know if other Ohioians are from southern or northern Ohio as soon as they open their mouths.

You root for a college team though you've never taken a class there.

You can spell words like Cuyahoga, Olentangy, Bellefontaine,and Tuscarawas *(Wapakoneta?) and you know which letter is doubled in "Cincinnati."

You always visit more than two amusement parks in one summer.

You know that Serpent Mounds were not made by snakes.

You know what game they're playing when the Mud Hens take on the Clippers.

"Vacation" means spending a day at Cedar Point or King's Island.

You measure distance in minutes.

Down south to you means Kentucky.

Your school classes were canceled because of cold.

Your school classes were canceled because of heat.

You've ridden the school bus for an hour each way.

You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.

You know what's knee-high by the Fourth of July.

You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition. Example: "Where's my coat at?"

You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

You think of the major four food groups as beef, pork, beer, and Jell-O salad with marshmallows.

You carry jumper cables in your car.

You know what pop is.

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

You think sexy lingerie is tube socks and a flannel nightie.

The local paper covers national and international headlines on one page but requires 6 pages for sports.

You think that deer season is a national holiday.

You know which leaves make good toilet paper.

You thought that the Michael Stanley Band was the most popular band in the country.

You actually understand these jokes then forward 'em to all your OH friends!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I've been meaning to post this forever...

This was taken late last year when E and I were visiting MR. PO-PO's house. His wife (or was it someone else?) was taking some pictures and MR. PO-PO managed to insert himself into the background.

An alternate caption could read "A glimpse of the serial killer can be seen in this photo, taken moments before the couple was dismembered..."
I've been going through this book like the freakin' Zapruder film to unearth it's wisdom.

The only gripe I have about it is that it doesn't have a whole lot to say about kicking. Still, I guess it wouldn't be that much more effort to just apply all of Bruce's principles -- balance, economy of motion, etc. -- and graft them into what I know about kicking. I mean, obviously these principles are violated during fancy Taekwondo arial kicks. But when you remain on the ground, I suspect the balance part has a lot to do with developing strength in certain abdominal muscles.

Hey, if Chuck Norris could talk Bruce into learning to kick high, there must be something to it, right?

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Friday was made more enjoyable due to an impromptu training session with DATU_B. The best parts were some empty-hand trapping drills that came from his original FMA system.

He also had insights into my sparring were invaluable, as I figured they would be. Now, what to do with that information...
Well, my Friday ended much better than it began, with a couple of minor kinks. One kink, to be precise. And it happened while DATU_B and I were sitting in my favorite coffee shop and were accosted by a Korean gentleman, henceforth to be known as SUM YUNG GAI (I know it's not Korean sounding. Screw you.). I made the mistake of letting him get close enough for him to see I was reading The Tao of Jeet Kune Do. From there, the conversation just headed downhill. SUM YUNG GAI claimed to know 10 different martial arts, and to be able to teach them all in the school he's getting together. He'll tell you what those arts are... provided you wait while he fishes his 10-item list from his backpack. "Escrima" is one of his arts. Don't ask him which style, though. I made that mistake. Oh, and if you're interested in joining his club, be prepared to take a "very spiritual" blood oath. Yes, he'll ask you a good 3 times (just ask DATU_B). If SUM YUNG GAI would've had a knife in his hand, he would've been slicing at our thumbs right there in the damn coffee shop. Recalling the incident afterward...
ME: At least he didn't try to tell us that he mixed all 10 of those martial arts together and is the grandmaster of his own style.
DATU_B: That's only 'cos we left too soon.
I've been at the coffee shop every day since then, and SUM YUNG GAI's been there. I didn't notice him as a fellow regular before. Yesterday, he made the mistake of touching me. I was in line, and he comes over to say hi. I briefly acknowleged him, turned around and felt my left arm lightly assaulted by a barrage of punches. I turned around and looked and said "Hey, come on now..." I think he got the message from my tone of voice and walked away. I followed him, and had this look on my face that read Please, God... please let him touch me again so I have an excuse to use the knife on loan from DATU_B and introduce him to some real FMA. I turned my attention back to the barrista who gave me a knowing look, like Yes, SUM YUNG GAI is an idiot.

I swear if that primitive so much as touches me again, I'm going to throw some techniques back. But, not being at the same master level, my control might not be what it should.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Pretty much sums up how I feel today. My little vacation day a couple of days ago was nice, but started out sort of stressful-like. Yesterday, we headed back here, and I went to work. In the middle of work, E comes with news that my chances of going to China were excellent, provided I jump through a million and one hoops, some of which needed thinking through. So, I had to agonize about all of that for the rest of my work day. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it was revealed that an answer was needed by the end of last night, and there was no real way I was going to be pressed into a decision like that in the span of a few hours.

This morning, all kinds of little things were going wrong, making me feel like Ash during his slow mental and emotional cracking between Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness.

I'm tired and cranky, so woe be anyone who f**ks with me today, because they'll get a nice wide smile until they turn their back.

OOH... at this precise moment in time, I'm hearing a caller from A-town, here on NPR's Dianne Rehm Show! Small world.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Well, provided I can get off my lazy @$$ day after day, I can follow through with something I've been planning for about a week now, inspired by Bruce Lee's notes in The Tao of Jeet Kune Do as well as MMAC's summer training routine (in pdf): A semi-structured training routine designed to, at minimum, strengthen my basics in TKD, kung fu, kickboxing and FMA. I need a couple of miscellaneous items in order to set up some ghetto targets on my porch, but even without those, I think I now have enough of an idea of what I want to accomplish and how.

Here's hoping some master ninja wannabe doesn't decide to call me out. Even so close to 31, I'm too young to die...
I'm the IT manager. Do you fancy me?
Which Office Moron Are You?
Rum and Monkey: jamming your photocopier one tray at a time.

I just had to copy and paste the verbage they wrote along with the image:
I'll smoke you a kipper, because you'll be back for breakfast. You're the cult television show quoting, user account deleting, soap loathing IT Manager.

Something in your childhood has made you the way you are. You've been hired to provide a service to everyone else in the office - you make the computers run, and you make them run well. You've streamlined everything; you've removed all the viruses and installed all the firewalls. The only trouble - the only hole in your veneer of digital perfection - is the way you laugh at everyone.

If someone doesn't know UNIX, you laugh at them. If they lose their password, they laugh at them. If they visit a website using Microsoft Internet Explorer and their computer succumbs to an Internet worm, you laugh. Then you take a swig of your Coke, and with another hearty chuckle tell all your friends on IRC about the idiots you have to deal with.

Maybe it makes you feel better about yourself, although let's face it, you don't need help in that department. You're great, you. Fantastic like burning cool. If only those luddite office fools would let you play Unreal Tournament in peace.
E and I had to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to vacate our hosts' house. MRS. PO-PO (I gotta make up some nicer-sounding names.) makes some extra money providing day care, and part of the rules involve a minimum of strangers passing thru the home during day care hours. But, it was nice to see them. A third friend joined us, so it was just like old times. I even got another taste of cable TV i.e. the same old crap, except for a brand new episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. All in all, a pleasant (more or less) day trip.

It turns out there may be a possibility of a small chance that perhaps I maybe might be able to accompany E to China! I've got some mixed feelings about it, but it begs the question: When else am I going to get the chance to be in the shadow of Wudan Mountain?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Why copy, paste and spam when you've got a blog, right? From DATU_B...
Friends Oath

1. When you are sad ... I will get you drunk and help you plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.

2. When you are blue .. I'll try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile .. I'll know you finally had sex.

4. When you are scared ... I will rag you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried ... I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit whining.

6. When you are confused ... I will use little words to explain things to you.

7. When you are sick .. stay away from me until you're well again.

8. When you fall ... I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

Remember: A friend will help you move.
A really good friend will help you move a body.
And who says friendship is dead?
Well, more for E than for me, but today she and I are headed up to Columbus for a day to see some friends of ours before she leaves for China in less than a month. I'll get to hang out with those same people the weekend after the Fourth of July weekend. We'll get to check out the old haunts, drink some decent coffee and then stay up late talking and going to sleep around 3 AM, which is usually 2 hours earlier than our host, let's call him MR. PO-PO, does.

Since E's been home a little more than usual, I got to introduce her to the Evil Dead trilogy, which she's never seen. I'm sorry -- these were better than Bubba Ho-Tep.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Let's see, what else was there...?

Here's last Thursday's Talk of the Nation discussion on the Defense Department Torture memos, the revelation of which I'm sure was a big, big surprise to everyone. Anyway, there were other things on NPR I wanted to make note of, but I just forgot.

A very important person passed away recently. No one else can ever sing Georgia like you, Ray Ray. Oh, and Ronald Regan died, too.

My early birthday present from E was The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee. It's given me a greater appreciation of all those people who strive and struggle to cobble together the notes of a dead artist and mold them into martial arts manuals, rap albums (a la Tupak) or science fiction TV shows (a la Roddenberry).

Last night E had a party for all of her school friends, some of whom would be leaving the country for the summer. It was touching when three of her friends from China, South Korea and Japan, said their goodbyes and one of them told the others "Don't forget your English!"
I'm baaaaack. Maybe if this test were true, I'd have gotten to this sooner.

You're the Flash!
People say you're impatient, proud, and bold, and
you sure are! While you are impulsive and let
your abilities do your job, you CAN think on
your feet if you need to and you're always
there for your friends. You joke and you don't
take a lot of things seriously, though.

Which one of the Justice League (cartoon) are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Last night, Club held an open gym. Before that, though, I gave E her second kung fu lesson. I thought it went pretty well.

DATU_B showed me some larga work that got all jumbled up in my head by the time I managed to get it all down on paper. Hopefully, I'll get other chances to train that, even if it is his last year in club. Now, I'll be the official sole "old man."

For kicks and giggles we decided to just line up and take thigh kicks. DATU_B sunk one in really nice. I still can't walk straight -- thanks! ;). E was, of course, horrified at the exercise as I described it to her. To be fair, I suppose it could be misinterpreted as some sort of cult initiation ceremony.

The ONE ARMED BANDIT is now, aside from having had the use of both arms for awhile, an officer. He wanted to do some knife work, so we did some passing drills. We did an experiment: instead of going for the kotegesch disarms, we went for some of the disarms we learned in our original systems. The results were pleasantly surprising. Not that we'd ever go for knife disarms in any system anyway. Run, shoot, or throw something, that's what I'd do.

BILLY JACK is apparently serious about wanting to hang out with me over the summer. Gee, fun. Hey, I can accommodate -- I know what it's like to be in a college town in the summer with very few people to hang out with. Now, if only we'd have a place to train. Or gear, for that matter.

I'm told the new officers intend to hold Club hours during the second summer session. Perhaps I'll wait until then to attempt to get my "coach's pass" renewed.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Well, I might've stretched my luck with exposing E to Black movies. She just didn't seem as into I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka as I'd hoped. At least she got most of the jokes, like the various Shaft references. I suppose it was dated and a bit slow compared to Undercover Brother, which she liked.

She liked Twin Warriors with Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh a lot better, and so did I. Our next goal is Jet Li's The Enforcer. We knew nothing about this movie until we saw a trailer in Twin Warriors. Apparently, it's Jet with the same kid playing his son that also played Jet's son in Legend of the Red Dragon.
Heard a couple of interesting things from NPR.

One was a rather interesting analysis of Christian Contemporary Music on Talk of the Nation, and something a friend sent me. It's a commentary from All Things Considered about being proud of your guilty pleasures, which in this case sci-fi/fantasy stuff.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Well, that last post was probably the most significant to happen in the time since my last post life. But, there were a few minor things as well...

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Saw it and liked it because it was, as the critics have said, really nice and dark. I lost count of how many times the character who played Ron said "Bloody Hell!" -- I thought I was watching an episode of The Young Ones for a second there. And, sheesh, how do these people line up actors like Richard Harris, Kenneth Brannaugh and Gary Oldman? Not to mention a couple of actors you'd only know about if you watched as much imported British TV via PBS as I have. It almost reminds me of Star Wars having Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

Fight Club - Last Thursday was the last official session. DATU_S made the "warm-up" one of most torturous ever. OK, it wasn't that bad, but I got as much out of that as any of the drills or sparring.

I got a chance to spar BILLY JACK. In the end, I had to tap out because I was more tired out than he was. I was there for the warmup; He didn't show up until just before the sparring started. But, he had about 3 or 4 bruises on him to my none. Blood was drawn, too! Thing was, we didn't know whose it was. There were drops on the mat, and one on my gi pants. But, no one was seen to be bleeding, not even the people who sparred before us. In any case, I learned some things:
  • I need to overcome my fear of closing the distance while people are swinging. Then, maybe the sweeps I tried might have worked.
  • The times I did close the distance, I could actually connect with my fists at a farther range than I'm used to. I didn't feel as if I was overextended, but maybe I was. In any case, having short arms doesn't have to be too much of a disadvantage.
  • I shouldn't bother with a back kick unless I commit to it. When I didn't, I looked stupid and got hit. When I did, BILLY JACK got hit ;).I'm going to miss the cats that are leaving. DATU_S and DATU_E got in their last official Club ultimate sparring match that ended with E's shin on S's throat. Beautiful, I tell you.

    Video Misadventures - I have successfully introduced E to slapstick African-American comedy movies. You know the ones: sex and drug references, awful black (and white) stereotypes that overshadow the trite, yet almost heartwarming message of the movie. Now that E's seen Barbershop, she's itching to see Barbershop 2.

    Speaking of which, I found that the sequel from the Leprechaun series, Leprechaun in the Hood now has it's own sub-sequel, Leprechaun - Back 2 The Hood. Oh, it's on, now!

    I gotta go.
  • Yes, that's right. I've asked E to marry me, and she actually said yes! She wrote about the story already, so I won't repeat. All in all, not a bad way to end my 30th year. Thirty-one is in just under a month.

    Thursday, June 03, 2004

    I AM 48% EMO!
    48% EMO
    Hmm.. I should stop listening to Dashboard Confessional.... enough said... Now that I stopped looking at my shoes, I know how the real world looks.

    Tuesday, June 01, 2004

    Movies recently seen...

    Bubba Ho-Tep - Bruce Campbell's latest movie. I like B-Movies, even intentional B-Movies, as much as anyone. But I would've shut the flick off in the first half hour if it didn't have Brucie in it. I can see the Evil Dead nerds in their Ash T-shirts walking in to see this movie only to have their expectations dashed. No real snappy quips like "Yo, she-b!+ch" and "Come get some."

    Shiri - Another E selection. I liked it a lot, even if it was a Korean movie pretending to be a Japanese movie pretending to be a Hong Kong action movie.