Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wishin' it was still summer...


We are in the middle of one clammy, nasty week, weather wise.  It's dark, dreary, and misty (somehow Stephanie Meyer made this weather fashionable in her Twilight series, but Edward/Jacob or not, I still hate it)  The humidity is so high, my hair looks like a giant puff-ball, and it's that in-between temperature that makes you alternate between feeling hot and feeling cold. 

I've been wanting to post pictures, but last time I attempted such an endeavor, my picture was horribly fitted to the page, and I couldn't figure out how to fix it.  For this (I think, fairly successful attempt!)  I've chosen a picture I took at a local beach a little over a month ago.  The weather was great and the beach wasn't too crowded.  I was relaxing while the kids caught fiddler crabs in a bucket when  my daughter suddenly said, "Mommy, LOOK at those seagulls!"  I took loads of shots but somehow every time I managed to miss the seagull on the right sticking his head right into the beach bag and fishing out potato chips.   What a riot!  I probably should have shooed them away, but it was way too funny, and I was too busy trying to take their picture...  Ah, I miss summer, don't you?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Groin Strike - YIKES!

First, I want to say that I really like karate.  Maybe you’re wondering what kind of karate I’m talking about so I’m going to state for the record that I started out doing Kempo, and now it’s Shoren Ru or some other such name like that, but for all I care, it’s just Regular Karate.
Regular Karate is the kind where you learn how to punch and kick people, and you feel like you’re TOUGH.  You can kick some ASS.  You can take someone out (Not that you would, but technically, you could.  Although, I’m not sure I could, but that’s the theory.) It’s especially cool if you get to wear the black gi pants, but if you have to wear the white ones (let’s face it, what girl really prefers to wear white pants, especially baggy ones, unless you’re getting paid lots of money to do a Tampax commercial?) you will still feel cool when you do things like roundhouse kicks and elbow strikes.  I’m noticing, though, that the further I get into this, the more I run into things that strike fear into my heart.  Things like:  BREAK FALL.  TWO MILE RUN.  And most recently…
GROIN STRIKE
Oh my GOD!  Am I actually going to have to hit someone in the groin? Worse, is someone going to groin strike me??  You know, not that we actually hit each other hard when we’re practicing, but when you’re doing a chin strike for example, you make contact with the chin.  GROIN STRIKE.  YIKES!!
When the sensei was demonstrating, I paid careful attention.  How was he handling it? Although, could I even use him as an example?  He’s the SENSEI, for crying out loud, of course he can handle a groin strike with aplomb! Ah, I saw that he pretended to strike, but stopped just short, which was convenient for the other person (in this case, the victim, or was that the attacker?) who then had to grab the wrist to prevent the groin strike. 
Oh, did I tell you that I have personal space issues? 
I have personal space issues.
And my partner for the day was a young man.  Oh my.  I could do this.  I was not a wimp. The drill began with a two handed bear hug (personal space!) by the attacker to pin down the victim’s arms.   I stood in front of my partner, ready to pin down his arms.  Suddenly, a pair of black belts (conveniently, a young man and a young woman) came to our rescue.  Whewww…  I don’t have to pretend to grab the groin of a young man, but you know, pretending to grab the groin of a young woman is just as bad (worse?  Just as bad in a different way?).  Now, boobs were an issue.  I don’t want to hug someone with boobs unless it’s one of my sisters or a really good friend and one of us is really happy or having an emotional meltdown (Did I tell you…?  Nevermind.)
I got past the awkwardness by concentrating on remembering the next step and feeling awkward about that instead. Those black belts – in addition to having mastered all sorts of ways to kick ass, they have also mastered the issue of personal space.    
I’ve done this drill a few more times since that first time, but it’s still not my favorite.  I’d rather pretend to chop someone in the bicep, hyperextend their arm, or even bend them over and get them in a headlock while they turn and pretend to bite my leg.  The next time the bear-hug-then-groin-strike drill comes up, I’m going to try and concentrate only on the fact that I’m learning to kick ass.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

DISAPPOINTMENT - 11 year old style...

     My son is extremely disappointed that his game, Halo Reach, didn’t arrive in the mail today, as scheduled.  We special ordered the game from Costco.com for his birthday, which was last week on the first day of school (the poor kid).  In spite of playing video games way too often (is this the case with most 11 year old boys?) he wanted this game like kids in the early 80's wanted Rubic's cubes... Smurfs... Cabbage Patch dolls, oh you know, he HAD TO GET IT.  According to my son, this stupendous, miraculous game had its world wide release TODAY, September 14, 2010. (Is he SURE it’s today?  I think it must be tomorrow.)  But when he got home from dischool, he checked the mailbox.  Nothing.  Checked the front porch, where the UPS man usually leaves packages.  Nothing.  There were no Post-It-like notes stuck to the front screen door, ala, Fed Ex. Man.  This being the case, I ask you, what is a newly-turned-11-year-old boy to do?  He’s been pacing the floor since he got home from school.  He did his homework in a microsecond, anticipating the delivery of the videogame package, knowing I wouldn’t let him open it until the homework was done.  All for nothing.  (Who cares about education?  Not my son!)  His life was a total disappointment, he informed me.  (Yeah, who cares about the bike he got this summer, and all the great things we did in the past two months?)  I joked with him, "Yeah, it's the end of the world.”  “It IS,” he tells me.  He starts a negative rant about Costco, telling me he’ll never buy another thing there again (… which is no big loss for Costco, since it’s really ME that does the shopping there, and I have no intention of boycotting.)  As a matter of fact, he’ll never even set FOOT in Costco again.  I imagine him standing just outside the wide open doorway of our local Costco, arms folded in front of his chest, and chin up in the air, as a few employees try to coax him inside to no avail.   I chuckle. “My life is over.” He informs me.   We are sitting in the parking at his karate dojo when he tells me this.  He’s flopping around the car, venting his disappointment and frustration.  Ok, It’s time for karate, I tell him,  He gives me a joking glare and states dramatically, “I’m not going in there until my video game is delivered!” but when I glare back at him he knows I’m serious and he heads inside. 
     In my boring, adult mind, I keep thinking, I can't believe he's making such a big deal out of this, but you know, tomorrow, when the game does arrive, he's going to be the happiest little man in the world, and I'll be marveling (and appreciating) the pure simplicity of boys.