Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More Martial Arts Thoughts- Some are High-jacked!!

Wherever you go, there you are.

Fight as though you are already dead.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Even if you think it is unbearable, you can bear up one more day.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo

And one that I still haven't figured out:
Be like the outside of a tiger and the inside of a dog.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo

I think something was Lost in Translation there.

Hey, a great movie.....

Lecture: Blood and a great instructor

Tonight in my Anatomy and Physiology class we covered blood. Something I had forgotten; blood is a connective tissue. That had totally slipped my mind. Blood also has a whole bunch of stuff in it: white blood cells, red blood cells, fibrinogen, globulins (antibodies), lots of water, ferrous iron (valence of 2+) and a pH of about 7.4. Your blood is what cleanses and feeds all your tissues in your whole body. Totally cool.

Having a competent, talented instructor is making this A&P class so very enjoyable. My instructor, Dr. Kelly Sexton, lectures from the premise of logic. This or that happens because of logical reasons. It makes it so much more interesting. It also lends a path for you brain to follow to categorize the information.

To get where you are going, regardless if it is in your education, or another venue, you have to know where you want to go. I try to have that idea when I teach martial arts. Even if the path you see or a student sees seems unattainable, you gotta just do it. (I DO remember what it was to be a white belt!)

Where there is a will there is a way. It got me this far, let's hope this attitude doesn't fail me now!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Bachelorette Weekend

This past weekend was my roommate's Bachelorette party. She wanted to go to Shreveport and gamble, so that is what we did. We hit the Hollywood and Boomtown. There were 5 of us who went all total. We rented a van so we could all ride together and goof off and be silly!

Any road trip requires road-trip-munchies. Here was the tummy is still very, very angry with me.
  • C2 Coke
  • Gatorade
  • Water
  • Animal crackers with icing
  • Iced cupcakes
  • Double chocolate fudge chocolate chip cookies
  • Cheez-its
  • Two kinds of Cheesy-poofs
  • Asian cracker mix
  • Baby carrots
  • Low-fat wheat thins (I didn't get it either...)
  • Dove Dark Chocolate (Yours truly goes no where without them)

So, needless to say, junk food haven.

We did eat a meal when we got there, the buffet at the Casino...Nothing to write home or blog about. The slots were fun, none of us lost or gained a tremendous amount of $$.

The whole point was to get out of town and goof off for 24 hrs. We accomplished that in spades.

Oh, we did get two offers from different men to strip for us if we needed. Neither were attractive enough to warrant a request. Nice to get an offer though!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Blog Chain Letter...?

OK, just do it and get it me a sucker.
I very dear friend sent this to me and because I couldn't think of 7 people to send it to (sad I know) I thought I'd just publish it. It is a nice poem and I had great respect for Mother Theresa. So here you go.

In case anyone is interested, Saint Theresa is known as the Saint of the Little Ways. Meaning, she believed in doing the little things in life well and with great love.
She is also the patron Saint of flower growers and florists. She is represented by roses. May everyone be blessed who receives this message. Theresa's Prayer cannot be deleted. REMEMBER to make a wish before you read the poem. That's all you have to do. There is nothing attached. Just send this to seven people and let me know what happens on the fourth day. Sorry you have to forward the message, but try not to break this, please. Suggestion: copy and paste rather than forward to protect email addresses and access to e-virus. (you make a wish?) If you don't make a wish, it won't come true. Last chance to make a wish!
St. Theresa's Prayer: May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you.
Now, send this to 7 people within the next 5 minutes and your wish will come true. And remember to send this back. I count as one. You'll see why.

I have no idea if anything will happen in 4 days, but what the heck?! I did make a wish and I'm not telling!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Butt Quarters

This is something I learned recently but refused to participate in:

Butt Quarters.
Yes, a drinking game.
Oh yeah...

The jist:
One places a quarter between one's gluteous maximuses and proceeds to circumnavigate the room and deposit said quarter into a cup....
No hands.
No kidding.
If you successfully do this, everyone else drinks.
If you fail, you drink.

Regardless, it is a primo observation experience.
Human Nature at its finest.

Martial Arts Thoughts:

  • You realize how much the arts have influenced you when you choose a mattress size based on whether your long weapons fit neatly at the bed-side.
  • The more I study empty hand, the less my hands are empty.
  • As you acquire more ability to do great harm, you seem to only search for the least harmful ways.
  • Kindness no longer also means weakness. It takes great strength to give kindness.
  • You keep extra weapons in areas of the house that are most applicable to the particular space on question.
  • You watch martial arts movies and think, " That is a great technique, I gotta try that!"
  • You can only answer a question on kata by physical illustration.
  • And finally: All those Japanese sayings begin to really make sense to you....

Food For Thought

I wanted to relate something I overheard while shopping the other day.

I must confess, I shop the Salvation Army Store regularly. I find fantastic deals there and the people watching is great. Sometimes the people listening can be very inspirational.

I was there last Friday and overheard a very nice African American woman speaking with another woman who was Caucasian. Normally I couldn't care less about race, ethnicity or anything for that matter, it's about the person inside not the skin they wear on the outside. But this happens to be pertinent to the story.

The African American woman was very well dressed, well spoken and just very nice. The Caucasian woman was just the opposite; she had the look of a difficult life, very poorly dressed and generally sad. These two ladies were discussing the New Orleans tragedy and apparently the Caucasian woman was someone who had escaped the devastation but some friends of hers had not.

The more affluent woman stood and listened intently to the less fortunate woman and did nothing but give her reassurance and kindness and even a hug at the end of the conversation. I was so touched. I was suddenly very happy to be of the human race.

But the statement that truly hit me was what the less fortunate woman said to the the other woman as they parted ways:

"Thanks for listening to me and being so nice to me. You have no idea what it meant to me for someone to be so nice."

The response?
"But isn't that what we all should do for one another? It was my pleasure."

Race is irrelevent if we first remember to be human.
People can be worth you time.
Being nice is free, only if we choose to give it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Here and Now

My second degree black belt test is coming up in November. (That is just way too fast!)

Tai Chi is what I have chosen to do as my specialty for my second degree. I have been learning this art for almost three years now and I still suck at it. But it is a way of life.

One of the things I am going to attempt to discuss with some level of aplomb is how Tai Chi has taught me to slow down. Not just physically, although that definitely has benefits, but more so mentally.

Tai Chi is so darn complicated that there comes a point where you realize you are doing nothing but breathing and trying to move correctly. Your body also learns to crave that type of all-engaging moving meditation. It is as if we humans were really created for Tai Chi.

I find that my mind can actually succeed at doing nothing but the here and now...This one moment in time. I can actually find moments when I am not thinking of what I did a half a second ago and I am unconcerned with what to do next.
I just have to do this right now.
Just this.
What ever 'this' is at the moment.

It is such a relief to be able to do that, find the off button for my brain.

So it is the discipline of the core that has been most educational.

I love it...

Bad Santa

I just finished watching Bad Santa, an amazingly "wrong" movie that is hysterical!!

First of all, I really dislike the holidays. So I sort of identified with the Santa in the movie, although I am not that decrepit and don't have any issues with alcoholism.

The movie is this dark comedy that just keeps surprising you at every turn. And Santa is Oh So Bad. Not for the kiddies at all!

This would be even better really intoxicated, but stone sober was plenty entertaining.

But it is not for the meek at heart. It is raunchy and WRONG!

But go watch it anyway!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Perspectives on Motorcycles

This is my friend's post on her new-found adoration of motorcycles...

It is good entertainment. Her link is also on my side-bar.
Whose Reality Is This?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hair Raising Experience

I took the dogs walking tonight. There is a park close to the house, so I often walk over there with my roommates' dogs, Sydney, an Australian Shepard, and Max, a very oversized border collie.

It was a lovely evening to walk. On our second lap around the park, I saw two men get out of their car and begin walking onto the park grounds, just in the path of where I was to walk.

I found myself running the mental check of 'Where can I go?' 'What can I do if I need to defend myself?' 'What weapons do I have?' (Hair stick--check!)

fortunately, my hackles were raised for no reason; I had logically thought there would be no reason in the first place.

But being a woman, two large dogs or not, I still ran the mental check. It's innate. You run that mental check several times a day. Even in broad day-light, you wonder if you are safe enough; you wonder if the men walking toward you wish harm on you.

It is the female brain. I think this is one thing men cannot quite wrap their minds around. Men, most likely, seldom need to be concerned with who is going to attack them. Women consider this constantly, the thought is always there.

I am very happy that these days I find my martial arts influencing which way my brain plans and assesses situations. I find that the situations are assessed on tactics more so than fear. Don't worry, there is still a healthy dose of fear, but the mental attitude, the way I come at things, is really, really different now.

I'm glad.
Self Defense starts in the mind.
Don't walk out of the door and leave it open without knowing what's on the other side.

Dave Mathews Band

A friend invited me to the Dave Mathews Band concert being held at the Smirnoff Music Center at Fair Park.

I happily accepted. Although I would not say I am a huge fan of DMB, I do like his music and I think the band itself is amazing.

well, I am a fan now! It was a great concert!! Being a member of the DMB Fan Club, the seats she had were amazing!! About 12 rows back and almost center stage.

It has been a really long time since I have went to a concert. I had forgotten that one attends a concert to "feel" the music more so than "hear" the music. It is great the way sound travels in waves and those waves are wonderful reverberating off you skeleton.

Granted, the hair cells in my ears are a little more worn, but it was worth it!!

I gotta hand it to the DMB. There was an amazing cross-section of society there. Young, old, parents with their kids, the young and obnoxious....Everyone was there. The people watching was supreme.

Get out there and go hear/feel music!! It is wonderful. I will certainly be trying to put that on my list! Anyone up for blues??