Turf Marking

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  • Some posts, or the links they contain, are NSFW. This is your only warning.
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Sunday, January 30, 2005

The truth, it's been said, depends on one's point of view.

From one point of view, I could tell the story of how I was screwed with at the Diamond Mines, and then immediately made it clear to one of the two people involved (the other one left before I had a chance at him), by way of a bruise or two (that he probably won't even feel tomorrow) that I don't tolerate such behavior.

From another point of view, one could say I overreacted to two immature people who were just trying to be a bit funny through physical and psychological posturing - people who, even with my sad martial arts skills, really aren't any match for me whatsoever.

Either way, it seemed to amuse the heck out of the other people at the Diamond Mines. I did tell them, "Man, I think I overreacted. You know, I really shouldn't have done all that." The response I got 100% of the time, "Hey, that's freakin' hilarious!"

So, after all is said and done, I still really have no idea how I feel about the whole situation. Part of me wants to be repulsed. Oddly enough, though, the people who would support that seem outnumbered by the people who want to see blood.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Well, I've been feeling better, but E hasn't. She was cooped up in the house for the past two days and decided that she needed out. So instead of going to Fight Club, E picked me up from the coffee shop and we hung out at Wally World, just for the heck of it. She wanted picture frames, but the crap they had there looked rather chinsy (big surprise). And, so I decided to go through the bargain DVD bin, and lo and behold I saw two things that I never thought I'd see available again, and snapped them right up...

Shaft's Big ScorePosted by Hello  

Shaft in Africa Posted by Hello

We saw Big Score last night. I swear, the lines in that one are just as good as the original.
Don't talk to black honkeys with big, flat feet.

That damn eye-talian's serious!

Used to be Cowboys and Indians, now it's Us and Them.
Classics. Total classics.

My favorite line from tomorrow's movie:
No ride camel. Ride ass.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Which member of the JLA are you?


Losing his parents to a tragic mugging, Bruce Wayne took a vow to wage a one man war on crime. Using the image of the bat to strike fear into criminals, he dons the guise of the Dark Knight after the sun sets. A genius detective and scientist he is a valuable member to the League even without powers

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

SpongeBob gay? Well, duh!

This is for anyone who actually thinks their martial arts are good enough to challenge mine! Bring it on, b!+ches!

Monday, January 24, 2005

(That's just a line from Cassandra Wilson's vocal version of Wayne Shorter's E.S.P. - nothing at all really to do with the following post.)

I don’t know, these have been a messed-up past few days. I mean, nothing’s gone catastrophically wrong or anything – just full of negative outcomes and general badness. Between life at the Diamond Mines, a “mix-up” regarding a coaches pass for the Fight Club, and the beginnings of an illness, is Mercury in retrograde again?

It's a day off, and I've spent the most of it reading: about Carson, this, and bits from this. Oh, and the Inosanto book, too. I think my eyes are about to go numb, so I think I'm headed home now.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I realize a coffee shop is a public place, but for Christ's sake, how is that license to allow five-year-olds (wtf are they doing at a coffee shop at quarter to noon, anyway?) to run around the place making noise?

Every couple of days I'm in here, a couple of dads show up and bring their kids. The dads chat while their kids (always within eyesight of them) proceed to climb about the couches, making forts of the cushions, crying, screaming, laughing, and doing all the things kids at a day care would do.

Except that this isn't a f**king day care! I don't blame the kids - what the heck else is there for five-year-olds to do at a coffee shop? I blame the f**king dads. Buy a coffee maker, for God's sake. I don't blame the kids at all, but I hope one of them falls on their heads just so that these ignorant motherf**king dads gets a hard lesson about childcare.

Hey, I'm not anti-parent or anti-child. In fact, it's my Libertarian attitude showing through. Anyone can do anything they want with themselves or their children - so long as it doesn't f*ck with my hussle.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I felt like such a loser after last week's, I just had to try to cheer myself up somehow.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I certainly did enjoy The House of Flying Daggers! This, despite Ching Siu Tung taking much more than a few pages from Yuen Woo-Ping's playbook. This is just my opinion, but all I could think about while watching Daggers is that this is what Bruce must've had in mind when he envisioned quality movies by Asians that still make good on the bottom line.
Today's the second day in a string of "two days off from the Diamond Mines." This late in the day, I've managed to accomplish even less than I did yesterday.

When I could've been blogging about how much E and I enjoyed The House of Flying Daggers, I spent an unreasonable amount of time doing web research to support the hypothesis that getting published on McSweeney's is too easy. I've heard some people who read the stuff on their website, especially the lists, say, "Geez, I could write that stuff." Many try. I tried, and first time out, I actually freakin' succeeded! I'll provide the link later (maybe - the piece does come with my last name attached to it).

I didn't want to believe the two pieces of information that would intuit the contrary, namely:
  • There are many complaints you can find online, sometimes bitter ones, about being rejected multiple times.
  • These "sucky writers" who got published "too easily" can say they now share the same forum as Eggers, Chabon, Hornby, Ellison, and King.
If anything, I stand a greater chance of being accused of having been transmogrified into a pseudo-intellectual, po-mo, smug, self-satisfied, hipster pouseur of a hack. But, I'm ok with that.

Friday, January 14, 2005

It's official - I'm waaay too f**king out of shape. Couldn't even do half of a ten-lap cardio run. Now, I did manage to make it through the TKD-style kicks the club drilled. Man, it's been over a year since the last time I helped anyone with the mechanics of a dwi chuggi.

Probably the most useful drill last night was on using vectoring footwork to maneuver past someone firing jab/cross combos. I threw in some more JKD/bare-knuckle boxing concepts and managed to fire some back. It was pretty awkward at first until I managed to work on pulling STRETCH_ARMSTRONG's guard down and just going for the straight blast right to the chops.

I'll tell you, STRETCH must be going through BJJ material the way I've been going through the Inosanto book. Every session, he's got a brand new pain-inducing lock he wants to try. It's become my job to point out if/how those moves can be countered. I'm no expert, but I figure that it's better that he learns his vulnerabilities from a schmuck rather than from someone who really knows what he's doing.

Speaking of schmucks, BILLY_JACK has returned! There isn't much to report, though. He was pretty toned-down, so I don't even have any of his stupid saying to post. Oh, well, I guess it was only a matter of time, though. He was a bit disappointed upon hearing that weapons weren't going to be a big focus this quarter. Which is ok by me, because last night should be the last night I'll have to pay to get in this quarter, as DATU_B and I should have our Coaches Pass by next Tuesday, depending on whether the Club Sports Office is open for the holiday.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Say it isn't so. Oh, well, I do these things to reveal the truth about myself, no matter how ugly it might be.

This week, I've had one of those rare occassions of enjoying two consecutive days off. I've spent a lot of that time poring deeply over the Inosanto book, making notes just as I would any other textbook.

I spent an hour reading and re-reading the section on body angling while I had coffee and breakfast at the local "hippie hangout" by my house. I've lived in this town over a year now, and this was the third time I've ever gone there. I like it - it's nice and quiet, and if you sit in the right place, you can almost get the vestiges of someone's wireless internet signal.

Before doing the laundry E and I were way behind on, I stopped at the other "hippie dippy" hangout, a grocery store near the laundromat, to buy E's preferred herbal tea-tree-hugging moisturizer. I shouldn't say that - I, in my metrosexual ways, use it all the time myself, which is why I thought it was fair that I spring for this round.

Laundry took way longer than usual (and E will be the first to tell you that I take my slow-@$$ time, too). Aside from the mounds of stuff we had, I decided I was going to do the whole shebang at once. And, not only that mound, but some other stuff that's been in the trunk of the car since time immemorial and had gotten moldy over the past... must've been two days, because a 5 liter jug of leftover water, also in the car since time immemorial, must have sprung a leak. I sure didn't smell anything a couple of days ago, but there it was. I got to spray it down with Lysol after washing the affected articles three times. The true test will be when E gets home to see whether or not her sensitive nose detects it.

Well, now I'm killing time on the net before Fight Club. I just received a small bit of good news which I won't mention just now, but expect to see it in the next couple of days. I'm rather proud of myself over it...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fight Club
Went to Fight Club last night, which started off with an extensive cardio warm-up. Now, I know I said my saving grace thus far was a refusal to keep up with the 20 year-olds, but now I'm wondering whether or not that's what whipped my @$$ into shape relatively quickly this time last year. It sure wasn't the flying spear-knees that we got to do last night, that's for sure. They started BJJ last night, and I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with not hearing the full "Don't be an @$$ and go too hard; don't be a tough guy and not tap" speech. They did give the hygeine speech twice -- too bad BILLY_JACK wasn't there to hear it. Anyway, we did some positioning drills, which was about as well thought out as they were last year. Granted, I'm a no-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but when/how/why would you ever need to transition between a mount and the north-south -- unless your intentions have nothing at all to do with Jiu-Jitsu?

When was the last time I said anything in this area?

I forgot to relate a story from E's and my trip to Columbus which brought us to the Lennox Town Centre at one point. Since it occurred to me that we might end up in such a place, I purposely wore my dad's now-vintage 70's red-orange leather car-jacket. Anyway, I was briskly walking from the B&N to the Target where E was and ended up walking behind a rather flirtatious gay couple. Now, as I walked around them, I heard the ultimate metrosexual compliment... a listful "Oooh, I like his jacket!"

In the Gnus
I would laugh, heartily, if the implications weren't so completely depressing.
U.S. Ends Fruitless Iraq Weapons Hunt

White House Says Iraq Weapons Search Over; Evidence That Bush Used in Argument for War Not Found

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON Jan 12, 2005 — The search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has quietly concluded without any evidence of the banned weapons that President Bush cited as justification for going to war, the White House said Wednesday.
More Interesting News
From the Cebuano paper, The Freeman
Tom intervenes, bans controversial arnis duel

by Gabby Malagar
January 12, 2005

Go on with the duel or face arrest.

This was the stern warning by Cebu City Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña to eskrima Grandmaster Ciriaco “Noy Cacoy” Cañete and his challenger Bonifacio “Loloy” Uy not to pursue their eskrima duel because it is “illegal” having no permit issued for that purpose.

Therefore, the highly-anticipated eskrima “Duel of the year” between Noy Cacoy against his former student-turned detractor Bonifacio “Loloy” Uy set yesterday morning at the Cebu City Sports Center did not materialize.
Nevermind that Cacoy is just about old enough to be my great-grandfather. It's just that this duel probably wasn't going to be for points with body armor. Someone was going to end up seriously hurt, crippled, or even killed. Yeah, these things still happen in this day and age -- yesterday, in fact.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Who says you shouldn't kick a man while he's down? Not Bruce... Posted by Hello

I snagged this while I was playing with the university's scanners. Between that and the mp3 player/USB flash drive I bought, the process is a whole lot more smooth. I even scanned all the Tao of JKD pages related to Bruce's Five Ways of Attack -- for my own personal use, so please don't sue me, Bruce Lee ®!
E and I took an impromptu trip to Columbus yesterday, since I had a rare Sunday off. She got to spend the morning at her old Buddhist center and we got to meet with the head Lama who will marry us. Besides all the other little things, we've now got some more concrete plans, which makes the whole prospect blissfully more real.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Traceless Warrior - The thoughts of a teacher of the martial ways. Thank DATU_B for turning me on to this.

Friday, January 07, 2005

As Dr. Smith from Lost in Space would say, "Oh, the pain... the pain." Sure, I needed E to get me in, but it was worth it. Two hours of cardio/pad work. I have to say that as bad as it hurts now, it didn't hurt like I thought it was going to. Maybe that's because this year, I didn't try to keep up with the 20 year olds like I did this time last year. Oh, and I guess the "Coaches Pass" really is in the mail, so last night should be the last time I pay $7.50 to work out.

Sadly, the Club isn't doing weapons this quarter, opting to switch it up by sticking with muay Thai and doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instead. Guess that means I won't have a chance to "play" with the new kamagongs. Oh well, once I have access to the training space whenever I want, I can at least get used to swinging them around the right angles.

One thing I did last night was something I could kick myself for not having thought of last quarter (actually, two quarters ago), and that was to do all the pad work without my glasses. That way, I hopefully won't feel so disoriented when I spar without them like I did last time. After all, I never used my glasses when I did the BJJ drills, and I had more success sparring that than I ever did kickboxing.

The other thing I did was adopt some JKD tips about foot placement and balance. Also, thanks to DATU_B who I didn't know was going to be there, I had help correcting my rather rusty techniques. The only thing I missed (NOT) were my friends BILLY_JACK and KENPO_BOY. Ok, I did miss BILLY_JACK, but only because I had the kamagongs and was waiting for him to do something stupid like jokingly challenge me to a patayan as he often does.
1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?

Get engaged.

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Some of them, and yes there are some for '05.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

I wish. I visited the state of Inebriation several times, if that counts.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

A wife, my kung fu black sash, a final, concrete career direction.

7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory?

I forget the exact date, but it was the day my parents and I made up.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not having taken care of it sooner.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I got cold-cocked while cheating on a krav maga-style self-defense drill.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My two Chicago concert DVDs.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

E's - every day, for putting up with me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Everyone who voted for Dubya.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Coffee, coffee and more coffee.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The most extensive Filipino Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training I've ever had.

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2004?

Robert Lamm's Subtlety & Passion album, which I've played to death, much to E's consternation.

17. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Saved more money.

18. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Drank coffee.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

With E's mom.

20. Did you fall in love in 2004?

Every day.

21. How many one night stands in this last year?

None. Or several, depending on your point of view.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Joss Whedon's Firefly - I think that should count since I saw it on DVD soon after it was released this year.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

Toss-up between Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee, The Metrosexual Guide to Style by Michael Flocker, and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Jazz trumpet player Ingrid Jensen.

26. What did you want and get?

Engaged, a new laptop, a (cheap) mp3 player, and more (training) weapons.

27. What did you want and not get?

More money.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Hero. Supersize Me was a close second.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Worked, and thirty-I

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

My first degree TKD black belt.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

Being a freshly out-of-the-closet metrosexual.

32. What kept you sane?


33. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?

Julian Marshall from BBC's Newshour

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election and the fact that Dubya actually got f**king RE-elected.

35. Who did you miss?

The people in my old TKD/kung fu club.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Boomer - my sister's dog.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:

When I fight, I perpetually dodge in and out of range instead of soaking hits. It's great for not being hit, but you don't win battles that way. And, when I do get hit, I get too frustrated with myself and rather than paying attention to the fight at hand, I kick myself because I feel I should've been better than that. That needs to change. Yeah, not too hard to extrapolate that lesson, really.

38. Quote a song/lyric that sums up your year:

It's another toss-up...
Here in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge

And I don't mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I'm welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving by Don Henley

Yesterday's news is tomorrow's blues
But today I am alive
Today I did much more than survive
I learned to live by the love I give
It's the only thing I'll own
Shadowed valleys that I've known
Helped me build my home

So tell me why
Why should I be afraid? (Why should you be afraid?)
We've seen brighter, we've seen darker days
Tell me why, why should I be afraid
(Why should you be so afraid?)
Sitting here watching,
It's just another parade
Just another parade

Just Another Parade by Cassandra Wilson
Stolen from here.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Maybe this is why I like leaving the house to go to coffee shops so much...?

You Are a Traveler Soul

You're a thrill seeker who loves to be active and on the move
You love to wander: between places, ideas, and people.
A good communicator, you're a nonconformist and interested in the world.
You are an explorer, a good storyteller, and a true dreamer.

Because you're always on the move, you can be a bit fickle.
It's difficult for you to make personal commitments.
Don't be so quick to ignore emotional issues and problems.
You're much more intuitive and psychic than you think.

Souls you are most compatible with: Retrospective Soul and Dreaming Soul

This is really more like E, though. She's the one who's been Asia more times than me!
I've now scanned, edited and compiled 19 of my favorite Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu techniques in .pdf format with the intention of putting my "ninja scrolls" on CD-ROM. That way, instead of handing down outdated pieces of crinkling yellow paper to future generations of my progeny, I can hand down an outmoded piece of technology.
Something I read from Tao of Jeet Kune Do stayed with me.
Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. Perception alone will resolve all our problems.
I can only hope.

While E and I were visiting Mamazoo in NY over Christmas, we hung out at a B&N, where I purchased Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living. I know, I know, I bought another mashed-together product from the machine that is now officially "Bruce Lee®." That's right - check out any recent Black Belt Magazine or Inside Kung-Fu if you don't believe me. But, darnit, there's some good stuff in there.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Stuff for more footwork drills?

Question for self: Does this mean switching your footwork style when you have a weapon vs. when you're unarmed?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I was reading the chapter on Triangulations of Footwork and Striking in the Inosanto book, particularly the section on defensive footwork. I need to read it about three more times, but it's helped me get a better sense of the application, especially when supplemented by the clip on dogbrothers.com on footwork.

How can I describe having this 24 year old book? Training with DATU_B (who gave me the book in the first place), the random bits and pieces I've picked up elsewhere, and the other FMA books is sort of like having a very big and comprehensive dictionary. The Filipino Martial Arts is like having my first grammar book!

In any case, I mapped out a little footwork training progression for myself, from simple footwork, including offensive/defensive strikes based on ideal and not-so-ideal stepping positions. I've got to get on the working-out ball, and I really can't put the blame on anyone else but myself. There are a hundred-and-one solo things I could be training, at least 25% of which can be done in my living room.

Monday, January 03, 2005

"It has been proven in boxing," [escrima master Ben Largusa] says, "that the hands are faster than the eye. If you shoot six darts at me at once, I can't defend against each one, so I treat them as one dart. If you throw three or four punches at me very fast, I treat them as one punch. They are only one point of your rhythm triangle. Once you understand the theory of the rhythm triangle, you can understand these movements."

from The Filipino Martial Arts by Dan Inosanto
I've spent the past 3 hours digesting this text. Like Tao of Jeet Kune Do, I'll probably be doing this over the course of several months to a year. Some parts are things I know and some are epiphanies that jump out at me. Other parts I read through and just say, "Huh?" I remember the first time I read this book about, oh, three or four years ago. It was a waste of my time then, because I had no comprehension of what it was I held in my hands. It truly is a revolutionary text.
Aside from these two books, I've got one more to pore through...

That's right, b**tches...  Posted by Hello

Between these, kamagong sticks, training with DATU_B, and perhaps the ol' Fight Club... oooh, yeah...

I figure I've got about 6 months to cram in all the martial arts training I possibly can. I've got workout partners; now all I need is the motivation. I'm going to at least the first week of Fight Club tomorrow. I'm bringing someone from the Diamond Mine with me, who's been bugging me for weeks to start training again. He wants to learn as much stickwork as possible before embarking on his planned career as a police officer. So, I figure if I can commit to at least that much, it'll get me out of the house to work out. Not to mention everything I still have to learn from DATU_B... although that might not be so urgent of E can talk him and his wife to move out to upstate NY with us.