Category Archives: great ideas

The Bruce Lee School of Culinary Arts

Went to a surf n’ turf party the other night.  A surf n’ turf party is a party that starts out as a lobster bake, but grows to include a number of people who don’t eat lobster and so show up with steak.  I was a steak person, because I am a terrible Nova Scotian and I hate lobster (more for the rest of you!).  This was a kickboxer’s party, and ridiculous things tend to happen at kickboxer’s parties when things need to get tenderized.

Meat and Fists!

The best thing is, it was the most tender steak I’ve ever had, swear to God.  Possibly because I beat it way longer than was necessary, because punching things is an act of joy for me, but still, man, good steak.  I highly suggest that every serious chef procure, as a matter of a complete kitchen set, a martial artist.

I partnered with Phil in kickboxing yesterday, and that was very good because he really kept me on my toes.  I was dropping my right hand, as is my stupid tendency, and Phil just hit me in the face to remind me to not do that.  I returned the favour, because this is what good partners do (for real).

Biking is going well.  I tried biking in a skirt, while wearing shorts underneath, just because I was sick of always wearing jeans.  Alas, the skirt did eventually get stuck in the spokes.  There is probably some trick to skirt-biking where I bunch it all up and look ridiculous, so maybe I’ll just stick with jeans and shorts and blah blah blah.  I do love my pretty skirts, though.

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Filed under cool things, great ideas, kickboxing, shenanigans

Grad Students Playing in Sunlight

I did a hulahooping workshop on Monday afternoon in the Library House backyard.  At least, I can phrase it that way.  I totally taught hulahoop tricks!  I am not the most adept hulahooper, but I’m pretty good at a few tricks, and I am happy to teach it to people.  My favourite trick is spinning it above your head, then fwooping it down around your body so you’re suddenly hulahooping, but it takes practice and my apartment is small.  Your can reverse it, too, but that’s harder.  I also like spinning it above my head and switching it from hand to hand.  Then we found a worm digging down into the ground and Deirdre and I yelled at it to hurry up because we were over-excited at this point.  Monica took pictures, and it turns out her camera has some opinions about some things.  It has settings for candlelight dinner, fireworks, and children playing in sunlight.  We went with children playing in sunlight, because it was the closest to our deal.  Clearly the camera is judgmental and has never been unemployed on a sunny afternoon with a grad degree.

Oh man, speaking of which, I came up with a new pithy saying for myself.  “I may be poor, but at least I’m drunk.”  Damn, I’m good at these.  Is there a job where you get paid to come up with a hilarious saying once every four months-ish?  Because I would kill at that.

I redid my blog again!  This time I actually came up with my own picture.  It looks like a picture of a painting, but it’s actually a photo of a table from a tearoom in Bratislava.  All the tables had these beautiful paintings.  I might play around with it some more, so don’t let your entire world lose all meaning if you notice the picture changing slightly.  My only problem with this template is that is doesn’t have anywhere for my awesome subtitle, The best ideas are rarely good.  I put it above the search box, because I am a massive lameass and I love my stupid subtitle.  Would it look completely stupid if I just wrote it directly onto the image?

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Filed under great ideas, shenanigans

Extending the lesson

So many exciting shenanigans, I can barely keep up.  (Everyone please remember, I have a very loose definition of “exciting”.)  I went for a cottage weekend with various of The Girls last week, to celebrate our freedom from MLIS-dom.  I ate such a ridiculous amount of food, I am not joking.  If I ever want to become truly skinny, I have to stop being friend with people who are such good cooks, I swear to Christ.  But that would entail losing both wonderful friends and fabulous food, and I’m pretty sure I look awesome anyway, so I’ll just keep everything.

The cottage was lovely, even though I had to leave a day early for work, like a big big loser.  But I had some forest shenanigans.  I did nature yoga!  I did my tree pose on a rock by a still lake, then I found a rock in the middle of a running stream, so I did tree again on it!  It was harder in the running stream, because of the movement.  This is science with yoga I am doing, not fucking around in the woods on one leg.

Then I had to part with the most precious thing, my mother’s car.  Yes, strangely, after Mom got back from her Caribbean adventure she seemed to want her car back.  Also, her cat.  Madness.  I tried to make a run for it, me and the cat against the world, but I can only get places via Google Maps, so the cops can find me pretty fast if they just check my search history (“Come, Kitty, to the Amherst liquor store!  Then the New Brunswick border, and freedom!”).  Also, if I got lost (and I would), I would probably call Mom, which makes stealing her car a little unrealistic.

Hanging out in Truro was good times.  I again played board games with six-year-old Tyler, and again lost to him.  This time it was Trouble, so it’s less likely he was cheating, the little sneak.  Next time I go up, he wants to play chess with me.  God, as you may remember from this, I have played chess exactly once and did pretty badly (though eventually won).  And considering how much this kid kicks my ass, he’s probably going to be giving me pity do-overs.  I think I need to start studying my chess moves in time for my Easter chess beat-down from my tiny nephew.  I’ll play against the three-year-old after, to bolster my ego.  (He will eat my king and I will weep.)

Kickboxing on Friday!  We took a trip to Thai-land, as in Muay Thai, which is seriously fun.  The stance is different, with the hands out in front instead of up next to your face.  It feels very natural for punching, but defensively a little exposed, since I’m used to getting smacked for not having my hands next to my face.  Also, we were supposed to have our legs straighter and bouncier, but I’m pretty sure I immediately forgot that, the way I immediately forget my grappling stance in grappling, because apparently my legs only like to do one thing no matter how stupid that is.  So, we were blocking an overhand hook, grabbing the partner in a one-handed side-clinch, then kneeing him in the stomach.  Then, block the punch, push the face, knee the stomach.  Muay Thai apparently involves a lot of kneeing people in the stomach, which is a thing I can get behind.  We ended with a bit of the old spinning back-kick, which is fun to do once but hard to do, like, twelve times in a row.  I think I need to practice spinning without getting dizzy or something, if that’s a thing, Classy Erica probably knows.

Also in kickboxing, we did an exercise where we had five minutes for holding a plank.  You didn’t have to hold it for the whole five minute, but as soon as you dropped out of the plank, you were done.  My plank is so crappy, I usually can’t hold it for more than a minute, but then I go in and out of it.  So for this, I didn’t want to be the first person in the class to drop out, so I just tried and tried, and lost all track of the concept of time and anything else, and when I finally collapsed it was three and a half minutes.  Holy crap!  I thought I had the worst plank in the whole world!  That time isn’t the best by a long shot (a few people kept it for the whole five), but it’s way better than I ever even dreamed I could do, so I was pretty excited.  Apparently, according to the Plank Gods, if you can hold a plank for two minutes you are Officially Fit.  But the Plank Gods are kind of biased.

Saturday three-hour bootcamp!  Whoo!  We couldn’t go to the gym, so we did it at the club.  This just meant a little less weight-lifting, a little more whatever-insanity-Gerald-could-come-up-with.  The best insanity was a balance exercise where you stood on one leg with your other leg extended as high as possible, in front, to the side, to the back, while moving your arms up, to the sides, in front.  For a very long time.  Seriously working those balance muscles that I’m pretty sure just don’t exist on me.  My balance is so bad, I had to stand facing away from everyone else, so everything I was looking at was completely still.  I managed to zebra up my legs because I retarded when it comes to skipping ropes, as it turns out.  We also did piggyback calf-raises, and I actually collapsed when my piggybackee hopped on me the first time.  She was bigger than me, and my piggyback posture is apparently bad.  I’ve always been strong enough to power up from my bent back with partners my own size, but it’s different when they’re heavier than you.  So!  Long-time readers may remember my guide to being a piggybackee.  Now I will impart the lessons on giving a piggyback ride.

  • Keep your back up straight.  You’ll want to lean forward, to equalize the weight.  This will actually throw off your balance!
  • Have your legs bent and shoulder-width apart, with one in front of the other for balance.
  • You are strong enough!  Booyah!

Today I finally got back to grappling.  I missed it for the past few weeks because of crazy homework and the like.  But I’m back!  We learned a really cool take-down called the head-snap.  Basically, you just grab the back of your opponent’s head and shove it down quickly, and then they’re on the ground!  And if they only go halfway down, then you choke them.  If they don’t go down at all, then I don’t know what to tell you, my algorithm has failed.  Then we did the Fireman’s Carry Takedown, which is fun as hell but really not something I plan on busting out until I practice it a little more.  You wind up in a weird position after the person flips.  At the end, rolling!  I used the head-snap, which is so simple and effective, so much love.

Last night I went with various (former) classmates to watch some archival footage from the thirties in a church.  It was strangely engaging.  There were home movies of someone’s honeymoon from 1932, documentaries about porpoise hunters, and also the greatest short, ever.  It was about burglars and mushroom casserole and it seriously needs to be remade by Jerry Bruckheimer as a summer blockbuster stat.  No one else in the church seemed to find it as hilarious as us, though, which is weird, because it had the most bizarre plot, but everything hung together perfectly.  Like a perfect short story, that ends with a pile of burglar corpses strewn merrily across your livingroom while everyone laughs.

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Filed under bootcamp, cool things, exercise, family, grappling, great ideas, kickboxing, shenanigans, useful, yoga

Stick a fork in me, I’m done!

Oh man, oh man, the homework is finished, the classes are done, the exams don’t exist, my degree is finished!  All I need is to actually get handed the piece of paper in May, and I’ll be a big-person librarian.  I finished up my work on Wednesday.  Cut to me, on Thursday, completely lost and confused.  Seriously, it’s been so long since I didn’t have anything to do, I’m pretty sure I can’t function like that.  Apparently I need a job and nine million hobbies and parties to go to or I go batty, wandering around downtown, caressing bowls and produce.  Luckily, Friday had plenty of activities lined up!  I think two days of nothing to do would be the end of me.

Friday kickboxing was good times.  We worked on chest and abs, whoo!  I’m looking forward to being in some pain tomorrow.  For one exercise, you laid on your back with your legs straight up above you, and reached up to touch your toes.  Then you did a sit-up.  Then you touched your toes twice, and two sit-ups.  Then three times.  All the way up to fifteen.  I just did the math, and that’s 120 all together.  Urg.  But I did it!  We also did pushups, where your partner does a plank, and you do a pushup on one side of her (facing her), then walk your hands over her shoulders, two pushups on the other side, walk over her shoulders again, three pushups, up to ten.  I remember doing this at the bootcamp last summer and sucking at it so hard, so I was really pleased that I did it, if not elegantly (never elegantly), at least properly and finishing.

Then, kicking things!  We practiced countering a Thai kick with a kick to the inner thigh, which was fun even if I apparently missed that I was supposed to the throwing Thai kicks.  We had to keep our hands down to counter the kicks, which was OK because we were out of range of any punches, but it still felt counter-intuitive to have both hands down.  I now have a pretty nasty bruise inside my knee.  Bruise watch alert!  It’s been so long since I had a really satisfying bruise, I am excited.  I also got punched in the nose because I wasn’t paying attention while I was supposed to be picking jabs to the face.  This happens sometimes, but what was weirdly embarrassing about this time was that my nose started running like crazy!  I was actually worried it might be bleeding or something, even though I knew I hadn’t been hit very hard, it was just so runny!  And gross!  Anyway, that’s my completely necessary story about things that might happen if you get hit in the face.  The more you learn~

I went straight from kickboxing to the MLIS year-end party.  (I’m always entertained by getting dressed up fancy at the club, because usually I dash out in my sweaty clothes without even redoing my ponytail.)  Very nice event, but I would’ve killed for some munchies.  I tried to start a ridiculous dance party with Leah, Naomi and Monica, but by the time the real dance party started I’d apparently lost interest.  I have a very small window of dance-party, it would seem.  Anatoliy gave me very good job search advice, because he is the sweetest.  And generally I caroused and chatted with people.  No drinking, though, because I am poor and sometimes I just don’t feel like drinking.  (Often when I’m poor.)

Having a car is going well.  I am offering rides all over the place, because I feel I have been given a lot of rides and I’ve built up ride-karma or something like that.  And in three days I’ll be back to being carless, so there’s that.  But I’ve come up with a new slogan for myself, based on my driving abilities in a new city, being inexperienced.  You see, I’m not a jerk.  I signal when I switch lanes, I shoulder-check, I don’t tailgate.  My problem, you see, is that I’m profoundly stupid.  I just wind up in the wrong lane sometimes, or I don’t know the rules of turning in this intersection.  So I feel I need a bumper sticker that sums me up: “Rarely an asshole, but often an idiot”  And really, couldn’t this apply to so many of us?  It’s the human condition.  Sometimes, yes, we are assholes, but mostly we’re just rock-stupid.  I am onto something here.

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Scar Buddy!

Man, I totally discovered my scar buddy last night.  Sasha from the club and I have the same surgical scars on our arms from breaking our arms in various gnarly ways.  The scars are, like, two long straight scars, one either side of the forearm, where the doctors go in to put the stupid bones back together.  I have seriously never seen anyone else with these scars, so I was pretty excited.  Sasha broke his arm in a being cool in high school football, while I was an idiot child who fell off a hay bale.  We also have similar knee scars.  I’d say three scar match-ups make scar buddies.  As such, Sasha and I are scar buddies.  I think that’s only a thing you can have if you’ve lived a certain kind of life.  A poorly thought-out life.

Oh, we had some fun exercising last night.  Some switching from high knees (jumping-as-high-as-you-can-and-tucking-your-knees-to-your-chest) to squats (squatting).  One day, I will get trapped in an old school Super Mario game, and I will rock the crap out of it, and it will be all thanks to my constant practice at jumping and squatting, courtesy of Gerald’s kickboxing class.  “Oh yeah, here’s a block, I’mma jump up and break it.  Now here’s a ledge, just let me squat down and slide under it.  Not even breaking a sweat, hell yeah.”

We also did human leg presses, which I really love.  These are like a normal leg press you would do with weights, but weights are hard to find, so instead you use a person!  The funniest thing about these is, for me, I have a harder time being the weight than I do being the lifter.  It’s a real trust exercise!  You can’t actually have any of your weight on your feet, so you’re just barely balanced on the tips of your toes and trusting your partner won’t let you fall.  I trust, I trust, but I’m a huge baby about that stuff!  Another thing about this exercise is that is wasn’t designed for the ladies, so to speak.  There is the possibility I had a footprint in my cleavage when I got home, is what I’m saying.  It’s faded!  Maggie also said she could feel my ribs shifting around, which is so delightfully weird.  I kept getting told to engage my abs.  I’m told that a lot.  I think, really, I should just do that automatically, all the time.  Kickboxing, yoga, at the grocery store, sitting in class.  Just Shannon, engaging her abs.

We did a lot of Thai kicks, which I love and got some good pointers on so I’m better at now.  Thai kicks are like a round kick, but with the shin contacting instead of the foot, and they are very fun.  (I would find a video, but we’re getting into kickboxing/Muay Thai distinctions that the YouTube search algorithms are just not equipped to deal with.)  Anyway, basically with a Thai kick you can kick a person from the same range that you can punch them from, and that is just gravy.  Those Thais think of everything!

I have looking through my tags, and I noticed a lot of my entries are tagged “shenanigans”.  If I were naming this blog now, I probably would’ve gone for some sort of pun, along the lines of “Shannon-igans”.  Which is probably why it’s good that I’m not naming this blog  now.  I would’ve had my internetting license taken away right then and there.

Oh wow, in other blog news, I might start doing some sort of weekly linkspam of all those ridiculous links I put up on Facebook, since they are apparently a source of excellent time-wastitude and not everyone reading this on my Facebook and anything I can do to spread the link/timewasting love is cool with me.  If I put them in a separate post, I’ll make sure they don’t post automatically to Facebook, just because a Facebook update that the blog post of all my links that I put up on Facebook last week is just too tedious for thought.  Oh man, oh man, but I will value-add.  I will tell you the best parts of the articles to read.  “Just skip to the middle, that’s the cool part.”  I’ve been holding off on that, but forget it, I’m just gonna do that from now on.  “Paragraph three is where it’s at.  Just past the picture.”

I have a week and a half left of this graduate degree, then I will be done!  Done like dinner, stick a fork in me!  So much homework, so I am blogging.  No energy for shenanigans.  Not even one shenanigan.  Must finish projects.

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Who would pay to see this?

Man, so, in kickboxing today, we were practicing stuff with jabs.  So we had to keep jabbing, over and over again, which, if you don’t know, is the quick little punch you throw with you left hand.  Needless to say, as the exercise continued, the left arm got more and more tired.  Rosie and I were discussing how it was good conditioning for an actual fight, but I figured an actual fight would probably let you use your other arm eventually.  Then it dawned on me.  The World Jab Championships!  I have no idea how these fights would be set up, all I know is that they would have to go on for hours, and they could only involve jabs.  Two men enter the cage, only the best jabber leaves.  Oh yeah, this idea is gold.

My hair is becoming a definite issue.  It’s gotten so long that the bottom of my ponytail is getting all sweaty and tangled up over my face while I’m training.  Maybe I need to figure out french braids.  Or become less disgusting, one of these.

Tuesday kickboxing involved an exercise where Gerald let us chose “Do you want to do 20 pushups on your own count, or 10 on my count?”  We voted 20 on our own.  So he switched to 30 on our own, or 15 on his count.  Dammit!  Basically, the number would keep going up until we agreed to let him count the pushups.  We did 5 reps of 15, and he was, like, “If you think about it, 75 isn’t really that many pushups.”  I’d whine about it, but my sweet biceps speak for themselves.  And they ask for more pushups.

(Oh yeah, I discovered that, whatever else may suck about them, doing pushups on your knuckles is way easier on your wrists.  So, you look completely hardcore, make your punchy muscles… punchier, and keep your delicate, ladylike wrists in prime tea-drinking condition.)

I had some fun times making myself useful at an office today, for a group project.  Cubicle fun!  Well, really, I was just acutely aware of the fact that other people could probably hear me talking.  Weirdly, I worked in a cubicle all summer, but they were the waist-high cubicles, and the fact that I could see everyone anyway just led to me being as loud and giggle-fabulous as I usually am.  As soon as I can’t see people, apparently it’s time for stage whispers and miming stuff out.

It is homework season!  I seriously have less than a month left of classes, I don’t understand.  Basically, I’m doing lots of homework and neglecting my poor blog because I have nothing interesting to write about.  Today I spent hours looking for trade publications on the dairy industry!  Whoo!  I have to say, I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t run across any sort of skin magazine called, like, “Canadian Milkman”.  Not that I’m looking for that, but I feel like it should exist.  It’s a matter of principle!  Sexy milkman principle.

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It’ll be the Poor Man’s Vajazzling!

Holy crap, Kickboxing Erika and I came up with the greatest idea ever yesterday!  It started with her offering to give me a ride to Game Night after kickboxing, and I really wanted to show up wearing my cup, because wearing a cup to Game  Night is just a good gag.  Then we got on the idea of how all the other library students are really good crafters, and I suck so hard I can barely knit a square, and next crafternoon I am just gonna sit in the corner and bedazzle my jockstrap.  That’s when it suddenly became clear we had stumbled across the world’s greatest idea, ever.  Bedazzled Jockstraps!  It’s the sporty version of vajazzling.  Don’t think I won’t do it, either.  And don’t think there won’t be pictures.  And eventually some sort of commercial empire.  We’ll need taglines.  “Get kicked in the crotch with rhinestones.”

Game Night last night was delightful!  In the hours I was there, we managed to play, like, four rounds of Balderdash.  There is nothing more fun than ridiculous lies with friends.  I also came up with a new version of “That’s what she said” for this decade.  Everyone say it so it catches on, OK?

Leah: “I’m confused, but I think I just lost.”
Me: “That’s what I say every time I make love.”

A leftover issue from the trip to the giant-themed restaurant last week.  Do you think, dear Internet, that a proper giant-themed restaurant should have giant food, because it is for giants, or tiny food, to make you feel like a giant?  Kathleen believed it should be the former, I thought it should be the latter, and this terrible issue threatened our precious friendship right up until we got normal-sized food and were united in disappointment.

I finally did some pushups yesterday, after not doing any for well over a week.  I was getting worried about my buffness, OK?  We also did an exercise where we had to dodge either a jab to the face or block a right hook.  Only two choices, and I still kept fucking up and getting hit.  This is why I’m always bruised.

In grappling, I rolled with poor Angela and kept her locked up in a choke for, like, a minute and a half before I finally had it tight enough to actually cut off her air.  So she just couldn’t move and was extremely uncomfortable while I was flipping her around and trying to make the choke proper.  My arms were actually starting to hurt from flexing so hard.  This is how my showdowns with muggers will end.  “Damn, my biceps are aching.  Can you just, like, go?”

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