Tag Archives: eating

Grappling Redux

OK, I’ve been called out on my crappy updating ways, so here’s my attempt to make amends.  I’ve just had such a boring life lately!

After about a six-month hiatus, I went back to grappling today!  Yay!  This was inspired by many things, but largely by my brother challenging me to a grappling match, so I need to get back in form for the Very Exclusive Mason Family Tournament, scheduled for Whenever We’re In The Same Room Next.  We can make t-shirts!

After six months, I have forgotten so much!  But not everything, so that’s good.  I even totally won two rounds of rolling.  One was the rear naked choke, my eternal favourite choke.  The other win may not count completely, because I had to get my rolling partner to talk me through the last half of the choke.  I was almost there, I had her pinned, and then I made her tell me how to finish because I suck and Angela is so nice.  Other fun thing: while practicing chokes I was trying to remind Angela to grab my head, but I was already kind of choking, so I couldn’t say anything, so I just kept hitting myself in the head, and she was like, “Are you tapping?  Did you forget how to tap?”

I continue to kickbox, of course.  I’m sort of getting to the point that I’m getting way fewer bruises, and the bruises I get are way lighter, which I know means I’m getting more hardcore and conditioned but also kind of sucks because I want my damn trophies.  I am in pain, why can’t I get my props?

In other, desperately important, news I have started putting blueberry liqueur on vanilla ice cream, and it is pretty much heaven.  The moral is, always do everything a booze salesman suggests.  I have never been lead wrong, in all the one time I’ve done this.

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Failed Experiments in Kendo

Last week I went with some kickboxing buddies to a kendo class to see how kendo works, as a possible summertime thing.  For a long time, I thought kendo and I could be pretty good friends, because it involves screaming and hitting things with sticks, and I am all over that like me on ice cream.  Unfortunately, it’s one of those super-ritualized martial arts, where you have to respect the art of the craft a whole bunch and bow every thirty seconds at something.  This is the kind of thing that drove me out of Shotokan Karate so many years ago; I really just want to hit things, now please?  Also, and more importantly, the stance is the opposite from kickboxing, so it’s right foot forward left foot back, which is so hard to get used to you have no idea.  It’s fun in the sense that I find almost everything new fun, but it doesn’t work with my schedule anyway, so I can’t really keep it up.

The other day I went out for ice cream at the fancy ice cream place, because what else to do on a sunny weekday?  On the way there, I walked past the place with the horses, and the horses were totally out, ripe for the patting!  Awesome!  I go ballistic with joy anytime I get to pat a cat on a sidewalk, so you can imagine me with access to a horse for three minutes.  Anyway, I got horse spit all over my hand, and then I got ice cream anyway, so if I die suddenly from some horse disease someone show this blog to the coroner, please.  Cause of death can be something like “Ice cream is worth more than sense.”

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Bootcamp’s back, baby!

First day of bootcamp today!  Yay!  I have been such a lazy loaf lately, I am very excited that bootcamp is happening just precisely when I need it most.  So, yes, you all can look forward to me gushing about the terrible things I do outside all summer long, shouldn’t you come too?  Today we were out in the cold, windy rain, which was pretty nice when things started heating up.  It got a little ridiculous when the wind started knocking over all the cones as we were running through them, though.  Usually there’s a penalty for knocking over cones, but about 75% of the time it was the wind, make the damn wind do pushups.  Running around in the mud was entertaining; I came pretty close to one faceplant.  I was more worried about getting unfortunately intimate with a cone, really.  Then there was crawling in the mud, with my old nemesis, the inchworm (this video doesn’t have the 1-5 pushups we enjoyed).  And then a bunch of other stuff.  I’m not here to explain every single thing, I’m  just here to say it was super-fun and awesome and I loved it and missed it so much!  And my hands were basically numb by the end because holy crap it is cold today.  Why, June, why are you doing this to me?

Went out to a birthday bar thing with a bunch of people I haven’t seen in ages/ever last night.  I was determined to a) not get drunk, because hungover bootcamp sucks, and b) eat something ridiculous, because fat bootcamp is completely acceptable.  As such, I wound up with a hamburger with, like, everything on it and then some, including onion rings.  This is a meal that you can enter a bootcamp with, head held high, stomach heavy.

Kickboxing last night!  We practiced how not to get kicked in the head/what to do when kicked in the head.  This involved a lot of spinning on the kicker’s part, which is always super awkward.  It was a good opportunity to rehearse that awesome spinning backfist with which I am passingly acquainted, because that is the thing you can generally do when spinning anyway.  Also, and more importantly, there was a toddler sitting in on the class who was acting out the moves as we were doing them, and it was the cutest thing in the world.

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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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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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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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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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