Monthly Archives: May 2011

CLA Insanity!

I have had a sufficiently insane week to last me for a while.  I wound up volunteering for the Canadian Library Association’s 2011 Conference as Classy Erica’s photography assistant, which meant I went to every single event and wrote down every single person’s name, pretty much.  The basic gig was writing down the names of people in Erica’s photos, and it was so incredibly fun, you guys!  I got to go to fun events from daybreak to sunset for free and hang out with Erica.  I spent the entire four days pretty much living off of trade show cookies, because those are really easy to grab while you’re running around, but at the end of the fourth day this kind of leads to a stomach ache.  Anyway, librarians are incredibly nice people, photography looks a lot like networking, and my advice, you awesome people, is to always say yes to everything, because sometimes this leads an unemployed loser to the VIP party.  (Also, if you can pull it off, try to wander past Erica at the precise moment she’s looking to grab a person for the sweetest, craziest volunteer gig possible.  This is the moneymaker.)

I’m trying to think of what the hell else I’ve done, but CLA sort of filled up my brain for the past little while.  In kickboxing last week we practiced a lot of clinch stuff, which is always fun.  Clinch with the big boxing gloves on is a huge pain, especially when you’re in a clinch and trying to get your hands between your opponent’s arms.  It’s incredible awkward and you get all scratched up by the velcro on the gloves, but that’s how it is in the matches, so it’s how we must practice.  Anyway, knees in the clinch are a ton of fun!  We were trying knees when you’re the one being held in the clinch.  It’s a “I’m just going to keep hurting you until you let me go” kind of thing.

Watched UFC 130 at Bubba Ray’s the other night, but I’ve been up early so much for the conference I was practically asleep by the main event.  It ended in a rear naked choke, which is my favourite choke, and I didn’t even notice or care, I was just ready for bed.  Struve vs. Browne was my favourite fight, anyway, because it was a 6’7″ guy against a 6’11” guy and I was imagining Tokyo all around their feet.  Seriously, how do weight classes even work with guys that tall? I’m pretty sure Struve was trying to use the edge of the cage to armbar Browne at one point, they’re both so tall they were just towering over it.

Ugh, my apartment really needs to be tidied.  I was running in and out of it so quickly all this week, just throwing everything down, and yesterday was “rest” day, so today is the day I’m pretty sure I have to actually clean and stuff.  Yuck.

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The Tale of Stanley the Dancing Monster

Once upon a time there was a monster named Stanley, and everyone was afraid of him.  Whenever he went out shopping, or driving, or out for a walk, everyone screamed and ran.  Stanley was so lonely.  He tried to do some hobbies that would take his mind off his troubles.

First he took up jogging.  It really focused him, but whenever people saw him running down the sidewalk, they completely freaked out.  Children stopped playing outside in his neighborhood.  Cars swerved towards him on crosswalks.  Stanley grew more depressed.

So he decided to try an indoors hobby.  He started building a ship in a bottle, up in his apartment.  He tried hard to get immersed in the tiny details of the tiny ship with its tiny captain, but Stanley just didn’t care.  He wanted some real people to talk to.

On his way to hurl the bottle off a bridge, Stanley passed by a dance studio and enrolled in the ballet class.  The teacher didn’t want a monster in her class, but Stanley started to cry.  He gave her the unfinished ship as a token of his thanks, and she didn’t really want that, either.

Stanley was, of course, an amazing dancer.  When he danced, he was so beautiful no one could tell he was a monster.  In a few years, he was dancing professionally.  One day, when he was on tour, some monster hunters came to a performance.  They stormed the hall with their guns and yelled at the dancers, “We hear one of you is a dancing monster.  Which one?”  All the dancers knew that the second Stanley stopped his beautiful dancing, the hunters would see he was a monster.  And if only he was dancing, the his cover would be blown.  So Stanley kept dancing, and all his colleagues came around him in a big circle and kept dancing, too.  They danced all night, till their feet were bloody, and their arms were shaking, and they were crying, and they all looked like monsters, but they were still dancing.

Eventually, they realized they were alone.  The audience was gone.  The hunters were gone.  Even the staff had left.  The limping, monstrous company danced Stanley home, in the dark.

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Jane’s Fighting Ships

This is my favourite new title for a book.  And there are several dozen books called Jane’s Fighting Ships, so I’m a pretty happy person right now.  It really just has pictures of military ships, but the title is great.  I’ve started work at the MMA Library!  I like to imagine it’s actually a mixed martial arts library.  Really, it’s the Maritime Museum on the Atlantic Library, where I am spending a few weeks hauling and unpacking boxes after their renovations.  The boxes are all labelled MMA Library, and that excites me terribly.  Now I really want to start a library dedicated to cataloguing sweet, badass moves.  I think I would be uniquely qualified!

The job is fun!  I get to tour the museum for free, which proves that I will take the least logical route to touring a museum (I toured the Art Gallery for free when I did library work for them, too).  I also get the inside scoop on ghost stories!  I learned that I know, like, way more about maritime issues than I thought I did.  And now I know more!  Sweet~

Moving boxes and hunching over books is invigorating, but hard on the back.  I’ve been taking a few breaths to do Wheel Pose in the stacks when I start feeling too caved in.  A quick stretch during physical work it totally legit, but it occurred to me that Wheel is probably one of the stranger looking poses to be potentially caught in at work.

Kickboxing update!  I learned a sweet new kick on Tuesday.  It’s a jump-back kick, or something, I didn’t catch the name.  Basically you stand right in front of your opponent, touching him, then you leap back on your front leg and use that force to propel your back leg forward into a really hard kick.  It feels great to do, it’s fast, and it works from punching range.  It’s a little hard to control and definitely needs more practice, but I love it to bits.  I was doing a snap kick, which was easiest, but Ray was demonstrating that you can do it with anything up to and including spinning back kick.  I think I need to practice just leaping up and spinning all the way around with one leg before I try to add a kick on there.

Because of the ways we were kicking each other, I now have a perfect, round bruise on the top of my wrist, right where my watch sits.  Just thought you should know, because my bruises are my precious children.

After about a month of rain, I finally bought rain boots.  It has now stopped raining.  Ya’ll can send me whatever cookies you like.

I had a conversation a few days ago that made me laugh.  Jill and I were complaining about how, in Nova Scotia, it’s impossible to find a bottle of wine for under $9, even the stuff that’s on sale, and doesn’t that suck?  After a pause, Jill was, like, “This is a real ‘developed world’ problem, isn’t is?”  Anyway, that cracked me up, and I wanted to share it with all of you.  And now I have.  Bam!

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MMA Days!

We had the greatest kickboxing class.  MMA class!  This is, Mixed Martial Arts, which is what UFC is all about.  Basically, it’s mixing grappling and kickboxing, in this case kickboxing while on the ground.  So first my partner, a big guy, sat on my chest while I punched up at him for at least three minutes, I couldn’t see the clock but holy crap it’s hard to punch up.  I had to keep moving around, too, and trying to bump him off, which means basically bucking up with my hips to try to get him off my chest.  The poor guy wasn’t very used to grappling, though, so I had to remind him a few times to be really heavy on me and actually have his full weight on my chest.

Next!  I got to sit on a heavy bag and punch down on it.  So much fun, not even kidding.  I always wondered how the UFC fighters threw proper punches on the ground, since they didn’t have the full range of motion, but you can really get your hips going!  I now love hammerfists, and I only just discovered them in that exercise.  Also, we did an exercise where we laid on the ground and scooted in a circle on our backs while kicking right up into a front kick.  Basically, kicking the person in the face before they try to get past your legs and into your person.  These are the lessons that will get me confused in grappling class.

In another day entirely, I finally went to a co-ed grappling class!  And I even rolled with a man!  Very exciting!  (Although, when I explained it to Classy Erica, I phrased it, “I went with the men!  Now my knees are so bruised.”  I need to get better at saying things.  I am covered in awesome new bruises, is my point.)  We played a great game called Bulldog, which is sort of like Red Rover with your eyes closed and also violence.  Hard to explain quickly, but it is full of testosterone and badass and I enjoyed it.  I hope to play it more once I get better at it and the guys know me better and are more willing to tackle me.  The learning part involved a lot of really fun take-downs that I can’t remember the names of, so I can’t link to them here.  The important part is that I remember how to do them (I CAN’T REMEMBER HOW TO DO THEM).

Yesterday was my pre-mother’s day visit with Mom, an event celebrated with sushi (every event, people, I am telling you, sushi).  Then, a party with Sam, where I was sociable and talked to people I didn’t know, which was “everyone other than Sam”.  I was competing with other partygoers, to see who knew the fewest people there, and I was the proud winner of that game.

Today I got a last-minute invite to see the play Top Girls, which is seriously awesome and I love it.  The first, long scene could probably just be the whole play, although the rest is worth watching, too.  I have learned about several badass historical ladies I did not know about at all, how terrible is that.  Lady Pope?  How did this chick escape my notice for so long?  Yes, she’s legendary and probably not real, but I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I choose my reality based on it’s fantasticness.

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Whatever Links: I Need to do this More Often!

Holy crap, apparently I need to be doing these linkspams, like, way more often.  It has been almost three weeks.  I learn from my mistakes!

What is Totalitarian Art? Seriously cool essay.  It argues that the art created under the regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Saddam can be seen as belonging to the same movement (spoiler alert: it’s a really crappy movement).  It’s art that’s meant to further a political agenda, and created under tightly controlled conditions.

Poetic Connections in Finding a Reader Irresistible: Someone is on Craigslist, writing “missed connections” poetry to beautiful people they saw reading books in public.  This is the greatest idea ever, and everyone should do it.

Facebook Reuniting Tornado Victims with Memories: There’s a Facebook page where people put up pictures of documents they’ve found scattered by tornado winds.  Valentines, ultrasounds, love letters, old photos.  My favourite quote of the article is: “It’s raining pictures.”

AntiGravity Yoga: Yoga done upside-down in a silk hammock.  I want to do this so bad, it almost hurts.

Jersey Shore Gone “Wilde” This is the most hilarious thing ever, and I could quote it all day.  Oscar Wilde actors re-enact lines from Jersey Shore.  Just… just click this link, or you blow dick for Skittles.

Storyteller-in-Residence: Cape Breton Regional Library is hiring a Storyteller in Residence, which is just awesome.

dismantling and reassembling a jeep in under 4 min: The title pretty much says it all.  A team of army engineers take apart a jeep and put it back together, on the street with people watching, then they drive away and people clap.  Cutest detail is the Pride flag attached to the jeep, because Canada is cool.

It’s a Small World After All: A slideshow of historical aerial of photos of Earth.  The first aerial photos had to be developed in a darkroom in the hot air balloon they were taken in, holy crap.  When scientists finally got a photo of the Earth from space, they were so excited they jumped up and down like kids.  Also, there is a photo of carrier pigeons wearing adorable camera backpacks.

Tweet Insurance Coverage in the Works: To start, it’ll just be for companies that lose money because of poorly-thought-out tweets, a la Kenneth Cole, but in a few years we can all get covered!  Let the drunk-tweeting begin!

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish: I’m skeptical that this picture is real, but it is completely awesome, and in the end, that’s the reality I choose.

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names: I love all of these, but “desire path” is my favourite because I love those things and never knew they had a name.  However, pet peeve, I hate when things assume I don’t know something.  That link should have a “probably” in the title, at least.  I did know a few of those, list-writer.

Wanderlust: Maps of famous voyages throughout history, historical and literary.  This definitely gets my imagination going, I have to say.  We have Jack Kerouac, Tran-Siberian Railway, Around the World in 80 Days.

What Travelers Can Learn from War Zone Reporters: There is a book called “How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone”.  Considering the quality of my life decisions, I should own this book.

Listening to Rap for the First Time, with a Book Critic: A book critic reads rap as poetry, then listens to the songs for the first time.  Very cool, and lead to me paying attention to rap in a way I never had before.

Future Olympics: A Reusable, Floating Venue: A scientist has the idea that we can build floating islands with customizable nodes, and float them around from city to city for the Olympics.  Why is every problem on Earth best solved with a floating island?  I love everything.

This is Your Brain on Shakespeare: MRI’s of brains when you hear a adjective used as a verb, or a pronoun as a noun.  It’s a study of how poetry keeps your brain stimulated in unique ways.

Vladimir Nabokov’s Drawing’s of Butterflies: Nabokov was a huge butterfly enthusiast, and said the best form of immortality was to have a butterfly named after you.  This is a collection of his personal doodles of butterflies, often addressed to loved ones.  The best are the ones to his wife.

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Long Walk to the Gong Show

I had my birthday this week!  There were limited birthday shenanigans, in the form on birthday sushi.  The major shenanigans will occur later, in the form of a joint party with Deirdre.  I think sushi is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday.  Or any event, really.  “Successfully brushed my hair.  Sushi!”  I have found that buying sushi at a grocery store regularly leads to people asking me questions about sushi.  Then I get to play sushi expert, which is great, because my expertise in this case extends to “Sushi is delicious.  It is made of rice and seaweed wrapped around your fondest imaginings.”

I went to a surprisingly athletic free yoga the other day.  I always love trying different yoga instructors, because it’s almost like an entirely different sport (or… practice?  Whatever the hell noun yoga is).  This one was definitely the type to make you sweat and work for your yoga, which is good considering how lazy I’ve been the rest of this week.  I think it was the closest I’ve ever seen a yoga instructor come to making a class do pushups.  I didn’t bother bringing my towel, because it was just yoga, and then I was sweating all over the place because I am ridiculously sweaty when I work out.  Seriously, I know it’s because I stay hydrated and have apparently great kidneys or whatever, but a little less sweat, please, body.  And it’s not when I get hot or hang around, just when I work out.  Oh well, go kidneys.

I went on my very first hike yesterday!  I’ve been on long walks in the woods, to be clear, lots of them, but this was the first one of my adulthood where the path wasn’t, like, gravel and level and all that.  Anyway, it was great!  I missed my fightin’ classes this week, so I’m hoping a six hour hike makes up for it.  A lot of it was up-hill, and there was a lot of jumping on rocks.  I’m surprised, my calves are sore today, it must’ve been more of a workout than I realized.  Hiking is fun.  We found a fort some bored people had built out on a hill, and I declared myself king.  Then I left a log king in the fort, to rule in my stead while I’m gone.  I stuck him in the throne.  I’m pretty sure that log is planning a coup in my absence, though.

After hiking, we had a backyard bonfire that also involved sushi (because, I am telling you people, every event can be celebrated with sushi), and I took off early because I was meeting junior kickboxers to watch UFC.  This, however, turned into a bit of a fiasco, or, in the colourful terms of some of the kickboxers, a gong show.  Turns out last night was a huge UFC match and a huge hockey game, so every sports bar in town was filled up at, like, 8:30.  We had a good time walking all over Halifax, asking bars if they had any room for our poor little souls.  Alas, they did not, so we just went to another bar and talked and had a good time, like a bunch of dorks.  We should have celebrated with sushi.

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