Dec. 6th, 2012 08:33 pm
tmcg: (Default)
It's thirty-six degrees outside. I am inside, and I am warm, and the warmth extends to more than a single room at a time, and I did not have to light and supervise a cranky kerosene heater, or position and monitor various electric heaters, in order to achieve this.

We have weeks, months, even years to go before things are truly normal again, in this house or in my town. The new boiler is running off an extension cord plugged into an outlet in the first-floor kitchen, because the basement wiring was immersed in salt water > can't be trusted > has to be replaced > hasn't been yet. Two of the breakers in the new main panel keep tripping, which means that either something's not right with the panel or something's not right with the house wiring and the old panel didn't register it. My dining-room office-in-exile is plugged into a bedroom outlet (this is an improvement over the living-room-office-to-bathroom-outlet rig of a week ago). Heavy-duty extension cords are our friends.

New debris piles appear every day as people return and gut their basements and/or first floors. The streets are still devoid of cars (all the cars here drowned, and almost all the drowned cars have been towed away, and many of them haven't been replaced) and busy with contractors' vans and appliance-store delivery trucks and moving trucks for the packing-it-in-and-getting-out folks. But no more National Guard, no more curfew, no more state of emergency. Just a lot of long-haul, continuing cleanup.

We were extremely lucky here. No loss of life. A habitable house. Funds to pay people to pump the basement out and do the first heavy-duty debris-clearing and tear out the walls and apply a professional mold treatment, friends to help with continuing debris-clearing, insurance to replace the funds. And even for us the recovery has been long cold hard work, and is far from over. For those less lucky, OMFG.

tmcg: (sword)
Got a third stripe today. Proud of it; the class was a freaking killer (and then we did five-on-one multiple-attacker scenarios). Yellow belt is on the horizon.


Jul. 28th, 2011 08:42 pm
tmcg: (Default)
I now have two stripes on my white belt.

That they are black electrical tape delights me no end.

tmcg: (mousies)
My elderly mother, who's quite ill and for whom it is an effort to walk up or down a flight of stairs or cross the street, felt it was so important to vote today that after an exhausting three-hour doctor's visit she asked to go with me to the polling place instead of being taken straight home.

I'm just sayin'.

(And I'm very proud of her.)

tmcg: (NY Giants)
We're a big Giants household here, so today is a day of celebration. Me, I still can't believe we got into the Super Bowl. It's going to take me a couple of days to believe we won. One of the biggest upsets in NFL history, and it was our team! Not to mention that it was a fantastic game. We reserved a table for dinner at our local sports bar and went kitted out in our Giants gear (well, with me kitted out in K's spare Giants gear, since I couldn't turn up my jersey, which given the power of sports paraphernalia voodoo may have been for the best, since IIRC the last time I wore it was for the Giants-Ravens game that it's best not to speak of) and watched with a crowd of enthusiastic fans. It's a pretty wild experience--the massive TV screens, the sensory overload, the voices chanting "DEfense!" in unison, the primal roar of the clapping and pounding hands and feet, the strange temporary community of strangers--and on the way home we had what K called Pavlov's car horn: beep at any corner and a cheer would go up from all the people out on the streets. We could still hear the horns and revelry from the strip when we got back to the house. It was as if all of New York had gotten married.

Yeah, ultimately it's just entertainment and just a game, but there's an awful lot of suckage going around these days, and when glee comes to revel in, I'm reveling in it. Go Giants!!! :) :)

tmcg: (pirate)
Tony Jaa Offers Martial Arts Unplugged in 'Ong-Bak':

Rejecting the CGI effects and "wire fu" of recent martial-arts films, Thai production "Ong-Bak" relies solely upon the raw physical talent of star Tony Jaa to tell its tale of a simple country boy sent to the big city to retrieve a precious religious artifact (primarily by kicking much bad-guy butt). IFC News’ Dan Persons spoke with Jaa.

[livejournal.com profile] akaspeedo, sounds like we should see this as our follow-up to Million Dollar Baby. Maybe I'll finally learn to pronounce "Muay Thai" correctly.

(Also for [livejournal.com profile] fionagh and [livejournal.com profile] stevendj, among others.)

tmcg: (happywilly)
Because the show must go on, managed to marshal sufficient resources against this cold on Saturday to go in and do box office for closing night of the Open Book's production of The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge--a dramatic reading for four players adapted by actor/director Marvin Kaye from his book of the same name, which picks up where "A Christmas Carol" leaves off. Lawrence Van Gelder reviewed the show in the December 10th Times, calling it "an exploration of friendship, penitence, guilt, anti-Semitism and brotherhood in the true spirit of the season."

I found it entertaining and quite moving. The way the work was broken into parts reminded me at times of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, and the players (H. Clark Kee, Nancy Temple, Stacey Jenson, and Marvin Kaye) did a terrific job, moving fluidly through narrative and characterization with great skill and what I took to be an obvious pleasure in the challenge and fun of ensemble reading.

Didn't do my health any favors by going out, but it was well worth it. The guy it looked like I might have to give CPR on the train home is another story, and was an adrenaline rush of quite a different kind. (He was okay when we pulled into the station, and an ambulance was there waiting.) I need to get recertified again.

tmcg: (quill)
[livejournal.com profile] pippintook2097 posted more of this quote from Peter S. Beagle's The Folk of the Air in [livejournal.com profile] literaryquotes. It came up on my Friends page right after an entry in [livejournal.com profile] self_defense.

"The myriad arts of self-defense," John Erne said. "They're all just in it because of the muggers, you understand, or the police, or the Zen of it all. But no new weapon ever goes unused for long. Pretty soon the streets will be charged with people, millions of them, all loaded and cocked and frantically waiting for somebody to pull their trigger. And one man will do it--bump into another man or look at him sideways and set it all off." He opened one hand and blew across his palm as if he were scattering dandelion fluff. "The air will be so full of killer reflexes and ancient disabling techniques there'll be a blue haze over everything. You won't hear a single sound, except the entire population of the United States chopping at one another with the edges of their hands."
tmcg: (Default)
My friend Becky now has a blog. It's a good blog. Go there. Post comments.

She linked to this fairly silly but sometimes descriptively accurate article from the Times about a guy taking Krav Maga classes. By way of once again crawling back into my temporarily moribund LJ, I'm cadging the link from her. Thanks, Beck.
tmcg: (Default)
decarbing, recarbing )

Here are the three foods I will miss most when I redecarb:

3) Pizza. (I'll still enjoy it when I stop eating the crust, so it's only #3. Plus, grossing out observers by eating the cheesy part right out of the crust is kind of fun. But I'll still miss the gestalt of cheese and crust.)

2) Chalupas. (The good part is the carb part. Mmm. Had 'em tonight. TacoBell's Canon.)

1) Baked potatoes. (Also boiled, mashed, roasted...I'm Irish, what can I tell you? Blame Sir Walter Raleigh.)

The good part about preredecarbing is indulging in these foods to the point of decadence.

tmcg: (Default)
I've never had a dream about Arnold Schwarzenegger. I've never had much interest in Arnold Schwarzenegger. Someone said in chat the other night, about women who train in martial arts, "Don't we all want to be Buffy?," and my unvoiced reply was "Well, aside from just a really badass me, I'd like to be Sarah Connor from Terminator 2." My SO tells a funny story in which someone on TV or radio brainoed "General Schwarzenegger" for General Schwarzkopf, but I can't remember the details. And I am sometimes known to say "I'll be back" in an Arnold voice. Those are all the connections I can think of between me and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I never considered him as a cultural icon--or a viral complex. I found Dreaming Arnold pretty interesting.

Superficially for [livejournal.com profile] cordwainer.

tmcg: (Default)
I tested for orange belt in Krav Maga last Sunday and passed with an 86. The five other people I tested with also passed, and I'm proud not only of me but of all of them, too. They're great guys and they worked hard and looked great on the test. I also appreciated the support of the people who came to root for us--it was a two-hour test and some observers actually stayed for the whole thing. It was actually fun, and hilarious at times, with much laughter in among the intensity and nerves and aggression. In an attempt to help someone else, I did something so boneheaded that I'm still laughing about it. I also did one roll (flying front roll) for the very first time and one fall (hard breakfall to the front, which scared me so that I couldn't bring myself to do it until last Thursday when someone said "It's easier if you just fling yourself onto the ground, no matter how counterintuitive that may seem" and turned out to be right) for the second time ever, which is cutting it a little close but exhilarated me in the event. It was a great experience.


Jul. 25th, 2003 12:02 am
tmcg: (obelisk)
Via Tom, Irish stickfighting.

I don't know how to say "Cool!" in Gaelic. Gotta rectify that.

tmcg: (Default)
There's a picture here of last May's Defendo workshop. That might or might not be me on the far left, and Sam from Krav Maga next to me; I'm for sure not the guy writhing in agony on the floor, glad to say.
tmcg: (Default)
Remember this SUV from back in November? Here's the jacket to go with it! At least, if they can figure a way to juice it up a bit. I don't think the 9-volt quite cuts it. (Don't miss the video clips. They're wonderful.)
tmcg: (sword)
Gail Collins, in an op-ed piece in today's Times, talks about the significance of the Slayer icon to a generation of females who grew up in the age of Bonanza.

tmcg: (Default)
Did the Defendo workshop today in Manhattan. Nonstop from 9:45 to 5:45. Bill Wolfe is an extraordinary guy--an entertaining (and sobering) raconteur, a compelling instructor, and possibly the most dangerous person I have ever met. The core of the workshop was grappling techniques--how to respond to an empty-hand attack from the front and take the attacker down quickly and effectively--with some defenses against knives and guns toward the end. I'd characterize the level of training as fairly hardass; I was relieved to come out of there uninjured, though quite fatigued and thoroughly bruised. Most of the material complemented the Krav Maga I've learned so far, and where the systems differ it isn't so much a contradiction as a choice among methods. I'm glad I had this additional training.
tmcg: (Default)
You know it's self-defense class and not tennis or some civilized pursuit when you get home and realize you smell like at least two other people's sweat.

Well, I guess there are alternative conclusions one could draw from that information, but tonight it was self-defense class.
tmcg: (Default)
It occurred to me that watching The Warrior Challenge last night was a little like watching Wonderama. What was with that show? Why would kids sit inside on a perfectly beautiful Sunday morning and watch other kids play?

I was looking at the Webpage for the Defendo battle camp recently. What we need is a combination of that, fantasy football camp, and The Warrior Challenge. If they ever start a Roman legionnaire battle camp up there at Hadrian's Wall--dude, I'm in.