May 25th, 2008



Just came back from fighting class. It was just me and Kyoshi. He fights in international tournaments and wins them. I'm a long-haired hippie weirdo freak from the Bronx. When I told my neighbor this, he joked, "So you were his punching bag, basically?" I said, no, I was also his kicking bag.

Ten rounds, no break. Two rounds of just punches, two of just kicks, and then six straight of kick-and-punch. I actually learned quite a bit, and did much better than I expected, but man am I cooked.

Fighting has been the most difficult aspect of being a karateka for me. I love so many aspects of this discipline -- but I really don't like fighting. I don't like the idea of it, and it's taken a lot just to mentally put myself in a position where I'm okay with punching and kicking people I like and respect (that took a while, believe me). I still panic every time I have to go to fighting class, and will often take the most feeble excuse to avoid it. Even today, I kept thinking as I was walking over that I should turn around and go back.

And then to get there and realize that it was just the two of us. Yowza. I kept hoping just one more person would walk in. (The ideal fighting class is one where there's an odd number of people. It means that one person sits out every round, and that occasional break does wonders.)

I'm gonna try to go again on Tuesday. The only way I'm going to get better at this -- and this is part of the promotion process from here on, including a full one-third of the three-day black belt promotion, so I need to get better -- is to go more often.
  • Current Music
    "Stagefright" by The Band

Phoenix has landed!

Phoenix has landed on Mars! This is huge, mainly because it was a jet landing, not a landing with big-ass airbags like Spirit and Opportunity -- and that's the best sign that we can land a staffed vessel on the surface of Mars.

Unlike the two rovers, Phoenix is stationary, and will dig into the northern ice shelf to see what kind of goodies they can turn up regarding Mars's past.

This is so cool!
  • Current Music
    the "Two Cathedrals" episode of The West Wing