Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mid-Week Ramblings

Some random tidbits today; I was tempted to split this up into a "karate-themed" post and a "non-karate-themed" post to pad my posting numbers, but finally decided to just alternate between them in the post. I bet you're all really glad I shared that useless information with you, huh?

  • A couple of weekends ago Squiggly and I attended a "takedown and submission" workshop taught by the head of Red Tiger Karate. It was pretty cool, although I wish it had lasted a bit longer since we wound up rushing through everything so quickly that we barely had time to practice any particular move more than a couple of times. Still, it did confirm what I had suspected, which is that I would much rather be taking a grappling style martial art such as judo or jujitsu than karate; not that I don't enjoy karate, it's just that I think I'd enjoy the other styles more. Of course, until I can find a judo/jujitsu class that's as affordable as Red Tiger is, it's a moot point.

  • For the first time since its inception oh so many weeks ago, I was unable to come up with a story to submit to Write in the Thick of It. I blame my assigned genre; whereas last time my assigned genre of "western" inspired me, this time around the assigned genre of "mystery" killed all creative juices. I wouldn't feel quite so bad about not entering something if it weren't for the fact that there was apparently a plague of writers block, resulting in there only being two entries: Redneck Diva and Hillbilly Mom. Today's your last day to vote for a winner; with luck, I'll be up to submitting something the next time around.

  • In addition to PigPen, I have a new constant sparring partner: Cap'n Shack-Fu. You see, following our swimming pool grappling a few weeks ago, Shack-Attack has taken it upon himself to continually test my battle readiness. The evening after the "takedown and submission" seminar he had me show him some of the things we'd learned, as well as a couple of the self-defense moves from our regular karate class, before he decided it was time to run me through the Cap'n Shack-Fu Self-Defense Crash Course, much to the amusement of Squiggly who got to watch Coach Shack-Fu put me through my paces. Unfortunately, the fact that I jammed one of my fingers pretty badly last week* meant that Shack-Fu was unable to engage me in battle before heading off to OK as he obviously wanted to, which is a shame, really, since I was enjoying the fact that, for once, it wasn't me being the instigator.

  • Later on today I'm going to have a phone interview with a reporter for -- please note the ".com," which means that this will be an Internet article, and not something televised on MSNBC, as a few of the people I've told have assumed. As for why she's interviewing me, well, it's because of CoIM; in particular, my "Cap'n TMI" blog post, which ties into an article she's writing on people's tendency to overshare. I think there's probably a betting pool going on just how much I'm going to overshare during the interview.

  • You know what the most difficult thing about karate is for me right now? It's not learning the kata or feeling comfortable with the techniques; it's not getting up to speed with the conditioning or enduring the constructive criticism of the instructors; it's not even the thought of having to perform my kata in front of an audience at the tournament or having to start sparring,**; no, the hardest part for me is not comparing myself and my progress to fellow white belt PigPen. I actually have done a pretty good job of just focusing on how much improvement I'm showing compared to when I started without trying to use anyone else as a measuring stick, but every once in a while that foolishly competitive side of myself rears its moronic head.

  • Last night I updated the CoIM Cast List to include Cap'n Bubbles, as well as updating several people's nicknames, character descriptions, catch-phrases, and the like. I probably would have tinkered with it more but I got distracted by the siren call of new episodes of The Closer, Eureka, and Pirate Master, as well as the DVD of an excellent Indie horror flick Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon*** which is the first DVD I've been compelled to listen to the full commentary of in many many moons. So please, check out the updated list, but don't be too surprised if it gets updated again soon -- then again, don't be too surprised if it takes another three or four months to get updated. Because that's the way I roll.

  • It's a little less than 4 weeks until our tournament, where I have to perform my kata in front of a whole bunch of people; it's kinda-sorta a competition, since they'll be awarding first and second place, but I'm going to do my best to just think of it as "something I've got to do in order to take my belt test."

  • I'm experimenting with exposing different blog monkey groups to each other; on my recent Frilly's Friday I invited Li'l Random along so that he and Zinger could meet. Now, I've provided Cap'n Shack-Fu with Bubblegum Tate's phone number since Tate lives not too far from where Shack-Fu is stationed. The next step: having representatives from three different groups converge. Zinger has expressed concern that such crossing of blog monkey groups could cause some sort of rift in space and time, but I think we've concluded that as long as he and Bizarro-Zinger never meet, we should be okay.

*PigPen and Squiggly's Sis can testify to the load cracking sound it made when it happened, as well as to the not-nice-words which escaped from my mouth at the same time

**Both of which are just far enough away for me to be in denial about them
***I know there aren't many horror fans among you blog monkeys, but for those who are, I highly, highly recommend
Behind the Mask. Funny and creepy, self-referential without being over-indulgent; think I might have just enough to say about it to resurrect Movie Monday next week . . . maybe.