Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Cure for Most Kinds of Pain Is Chinese Food

Not to count my chickens (on the subway or otherwise, Geof), but as of now I am a "yellow belt" in Krav Maga. Yellow belt in quotes because, really, it's just a naming convention — Krav doesn't have belts, there's no special ceremony, really just a certificate and the ability to take classes involving more intensive techniques.

I'd like to say that the test was the most grueling experience I'd ever put myself through ... and that's probably the truth. Three hours of more-or-less continuous movement, including the hour-long warm-up and two hours of actual technique testing. It's like a marathon ... a marathon of slamming various body parts into a hard vinyl pad. Or having your partner's limbs slam into you.

What I'm most impressed with is not that I knew the material so well — can't help that when you've been attending the classes regularly for 8 months. It's that I actually was still upright at the end of it all, and ready for some more. I guess adrenaline really does work. (It also really works to dull pain: I barely felt the clip to my jaw my partner gave me accidentally during a chokehold. Though I did feel it in my femur every time she round-house kicked into it, through the pad.)

Right now, however, I really feel like I had a bad drinking binge last night, completely with a mild auto accident. Ow.

And now I get the opportunity to take more classes, ones that will actually involve the purchase of protective gear (shin guards at the least are required, apparently ... my poor legs). All to train up for the next level test, the "orange belt", which is apparently longer and more grueling than this one was.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


My sister lately has been pressuring me to join an online dating service — namely, JDate, "the premier Jewish singles community online". Morbid curiosity, a touch of loneliness, and the looming number 30 on the near horizon took me there tonight, just to see what I could see.

Turns out that before you can search the site, you need to set yourself up with a profile. Seems simple enough to start: give your gender (female), your religious status (culturally Jewish, but not practicing), marital status (single). But now I'm sitting on the page where I write a brief description of my life and my personality, and suddenly I'm stuck. It's making me slightly ill, suddenly making me realize that I am here, doing the thing I secretly see as hitting a lowest of points: asking for third-party help with my dating life.

I am well aware that I am a half without a whole. I know quite well that it's been nearly two years since my last real date with someone (an embarrassing affair that made me altogether too happy to scuttle back into singlehood). But doing something like this makes me feel pathetically dirty. It begs the question: What's so wrong with me that I can't find someone normal and wonderful on my own, someone who actually wants me with my virtues and my flaws as much as I want him?

The past six months have been something of an experimental phase — leaving the graveyard shift, becoming a part of the normal human race again. The result: crushing failure. The only guys who talk or anything-close-to-flirt with me all end up taken, or gay, or happily married. Obviously, I can't do this on my own. And it's time to stop dawdling, to stop crying at night because I'm lonely, and to stop feeling painted in a corner with my options.

So. We come full circle.

In more positive news: I had my friend Angela, from my company's Nashville office, visiting for the past week. We hardly saw each other, since she was working the graveyard shift and I, of course, am working days, but we both took the last day of the week off, and spent two days hanging out and running around town. I miss her now, but good times were had, money was spent, pictures were taken. I'm sure some of them will be up on my Flickr at some point. But most important of those pictures are the ones Angela took of my ceramic monsters. It's the first time they've been anything like professionally photographed, and it's inspired me to think about actually setting up a website or something like that to display them. I love my monsters, and these pictures actually make me feel like they're works of art, as opposed to clumsy ways to idle away my Monday nights.

Other positive, exciting news: at the behest of Friend Geof I've signed up for a short story contest. First round starts this coming Friday, and I'm looking forward to it. If nothing else, it will start me writing again. And that is definitely a positive thing.

I should get to work. I hate writing about myself (present blog excepted), so it'll take some concentration to get over this mountain and say something intelligent and non self-deprecating.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Must Be Tired ...

... Because everything seems more depressing when you're wiped out. Also, I tend to be less coherent as a writer. Case in point:

New year, new session of ceramics class, a lot of the same people from the previous session. We were sitting around a table, working on our projects, and the topic of New Year's resolutions came up. Which, I suppose, is normal for January 4.

One of the girls who's been taking the classes as long as I have (so we've become friends if only by default of having spent so many hours together over the last three years) announced that her one resolution for 2010 was to start living more for herself. She's recently gotten out of a long-term relationship, single for the first time in years, and I think finally getting the chance to figure herself out as a whole instead of a half, so I guess it's a resolution that makes sense for her (she's also amazing and a good friend to have, so it's about time).

I haven't really thought about resolutions for this year (slight lie), but my friend's struck me as amusing, because for the past few months I've been trying to live more for others instead of myself. I joke that if I had a deadly sin, it would be envy ... but that's not far from the truth. I have trouble being happy for others if they gain something I want for myself. I get jealous. And it always bites me in the butt, never gets me what I want. I don't like how it makes me feel ... though I don't know how to stop feeling it, either. Maybe it's time to learn.

That's resolution number one.

I'm about to turn 30, this coming March, and while I feel like something of a success in some parts of my life, in others I feel painfully empty and behind. Thirty will be my year to try and fill out those segments of my life, stabilize, settle into the path I want for the rest of my life.

That's resolution number two.

And finally, of course, there's the resolution I make every year: to be healthier in some (or many) aspects of my life: finances, body, mentality. Wrapping them all up into one: budget better, eat well, workout more. Life shouldn't be about sitting in my apartment, fat and poor, eating junk. It should be more than that. Even sitting in my apartment, there should be no poverty, and there should be no bloat.

So that's resolution number three.

2010, I guess I'm as ready for you as I'll ever be. Let's go for it.