Friday, January 27, 2006


No time to write: I have a zillion things to do, and I can't blog about any of them. However, I want to share news of one event. Last night I advanced to 9th gup in Tang Soo Do . Nice red stripe on my white belt, and I'm now significantly closer to testing for my orange belt some time in the (hopefully) near future.

It's been so long since I worked so hard to accomplish such small advances in a new field. It's thrilling. My wife and kids were present when my stripe was awarded. And though I couldn't see them as I took a knee before Sa Bom Nim Nunan, arms stretched wide, to receive my stripe, I could hear them cheering.

I felt like the Grinch must have felt when he figured out the real meaning of Christmas, I swear. My heart felt just That. Damn. Big. And when instructors and fellow students who have worked at this for years and years, who have demonstrated nothing but formidable skill and talent and love of this art, in recognition of your achievement bow -- just this once -- to you ... ?

Well. It's humbling. There's really no other word for it.

Why the hell didn't I do this years ago?

Mood: Harried, happy
Now Playing: Nothing.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cutting the Gordian Knot

I'm taking the vast majority of my blog offline, possibly for good. It might be a while before I post again.

Why? Well, I need to re-evaluate how much of myself I really want to share here. This blog started off as a semi-anonymous outlet ("semi-anonymous" in the sense that I didn't put too much immediately identifiable info about myself or my family in the posts, or go out of my way to let lots of people know it existed) for me to express opinions and work things through. This being the Internet, and people being the inquisitive little monkeys they are, it's not so anonymous anymore. As a result I spend half my "blogging" time self-censoring and suppressing myself. Therefore this blog -- as it currently exists -- has become worse than useless.

While I've enjoyed taking the opportunity to express myself on this and that, utlimately doing so without being able to either control my audience or maintain my anonymity has become a fairly constant source of frustration, and occasionally a source of outright anger. I do not need additional sources of frustration, and anger is an emotion I try -- with varying degrees of success -- to keep out of my life whenever possible.

The simplest solution is the Gordian Knot approach.

I've archived all of my own content, and may bring some of it back online when I've had time to sift through it and decide what I don't mind sharing with the world at large anymore. However, this blog will probably remain somewhat stagnant for a while. Feel free to drop me a line if there's something you've seen here that you'd like to see again.

Mood: Dejected
Now Playing: Nothing

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chuck Norris Facts

Chuck Norris Facts.

Brilliant idiocy.

Mood: Good
Now Playing: Kid Creole and the Coconuts, "The Best of Kid Creole and the Coconuts"


And he's back.

Jeez, it's been a while since I updated (again). It's not that I haven't thought about the blog, it's just been a lack of... well... resources from which to channel the energy I need to get writing. It's at least partly the typical post-holiday emotional hangover, I'm sure: too much company, too much spending, too much tension and stress, too much Making Merry. I know I speak for lots of folks when I say that we work ourselves into such a lather desperately trying to ensure that each Christmas is So Damn Perfect for our kids that by the time it's done we're exhausted and too stressed out to actually enjoy the joy that the season brings them, and that -- theoretically at least -- it should bring us as well.

This past Christmas wasn't a particularly good one for me. I never even got close to being "in the spirit." I worked hard to avoid being too Grinch-y, but didn't always succeed. And through it all, all I could focus on was New Year's Day. Get through the Christmas nonsense and get me to New Year's so I can shake 2005 off.

2005 was not a good year for me, not by a longshot. It saw my already miniscule immediate family shrink a bit more (through death and through divorce). 5 years of work chasing a pipe dream of techno-riches dispersed, as pipe dreams always do, into a cloud of bitter smoke. Friendships were nearly strained to the breaking point a couple of times. Money continued to be a challenge, to say the least.

And yet, We -- the people that make up the core of my family and of my life -- made it through intact. Knocked around a bit, but healthy and whole for the most part. So for that I'm grateful. And that was why I could hardly wait for the calendar to change. Get it done. Get us into 2006 in one piece, please.

So we made it, and 2006 is looking good so far. Aside from the simple fact that some of my money problems will FINALLY be coming to a close I've taken on some new projects that I think -- I hope -- will help me adjust my outlook on things. So often this blog has served as little more than a repository for anger and frustration for which I couldn't find an outlet in my day-to-day life, and on reflection that struck me as a fairly unproductive use of my creativity. It didn't help, especially, and while it felt good to vent little was actually achieved. I'm trying to change that. It'll take a while, I'm sure, but we'll see how it goes.

These days, after my work and family responsibilities are taken care of, I'm trying to pour all of the remaining energy I can muster into my Tang Soo Do training. It's going very, very well so far, and I'm making swift progress in learning the basics of the art. Of course I'm also beating the living shit out of myself -- these classes are the most demanding physical workout I've put myself through in at least 2-3 years, and I'm doing them in conjunction with maintaining my already busy 4-5 times a week gym routine. I've scaled back on weightlifting due to a nice little neck muscle spasm that has been haunting me for nearly a month, but I've instead been focusing on cardio and flexibility in the mornings, with 3-4 hours of Tang Soo Do in the evenings each week. As a result, my left hip muscles are seriously pissed off and I've done a pretty good job on the toes in my left foot. I'm 38, not 18, and times like this tend to drive that point home with annoying precision and force.

But whatever. It's just pain. It'll pass, and I'm just working through it. And if I can do that with physical pain, channeling it and dealing with it and just keeping going, then why do I need to use a blog to, well, Bitch and Moan? Can't I channel that energy more effectively, too?

I don't know, but I think it's worth a try.

So, the blog may be spotty for a while. My energies are most definitely focused elsewhere. In time they'll balance out on their own, and I'll try to keep things rolling here whenever I have something interesting to say.

Mood: Good
Now Playing: Death Cab for Cutie, "Transatlanticism"