Check out my other blogs: Life, etc. and Chrisfit

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Updates Abound

This is just an update on a few things going on in my little occupied corner of the internet.

First, I started a new blog dedicated to telling travel stories and showcasing some of my favorite photographs. It's called Life, etc. Keep an eye out for updates and let me know what you think.

Secondly, I'm currently featured on another blog, that of my local bookstore. The wonderful owner Mel Corroto of the equally wonderful Beehive Books recently asked me to write a review for her of Gary Shteyngart's new book Super Sad True Love Story, which I had bought there. So I did and now its on their website. Check out the review and other articles on their blog and then read that book; it's amazing.

Finally, I'm giving a shout out to my friend Emily and her blog. She is currently teaching english in Thailand and spent a part of this weekend at Ayutthaya, a UNESCO world heritage site and a place of incredible cultural importance. Her adventures in Thailand continue to make me painfully jealous but nonetheless make for a delightful read.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Labour'd and Laugh'd

I wanted to write a story tonight but have been feeling incredibly uninspired and this was all I came up with. Enjoy.

Oh my God, this is awkward. The first what was hers, the second mine. As far as first dates go, this one could certainly have been worse but that’s hardly consolation to me right now. I had made a joke. It was self-effacing, wry, and would’ve been funny only in that immediate context, if at all. She didn’t hear me though. She said “what?” It was a perfectly reasonable thing to say. Why did I say “what?” That’s the real question. It just came out. I mean, I couldn’t repeat the joke, it would just fall flat. In fact, she probably hadn’t even noticed the context in which my joke was made so I’d have to explain it to her, turn back the clock and not only repeat myself but recreate the entire environmental situation in which I was able to make the joke.
And now she’s just staring at me. And not in that good way where she looks deeply into your eyes, one eyebrow slightly cocked, the tip of her pink tongue poking out and sliding smoothly across a pair of perfect lips. No, not in that way. In that moderately confused way, mouth slightly agape, eyes narrowed in a weird mixture of suspicion and a complete lack of humor.
“Hah,” I said. Yeah, that fixed it. Well done, man. I didn’t know what else to say, how do you come back from the double what and save face? “Um…”
“I think I’m going to head home,” she said.
“That’s okay. I don’t think I like you. And I don’t mean that I think we’re not going to work as a couple, which, to point out the obvious, we’re not, I mean I don’t think you’re a very good person. You’re not curious about, well, about anything apparently. You have the cultural awareness of a goldfish and you have about as much charity towards others as a betta fish. And frankly, I don’t think you even understood that insult. You’re painfully self-conscious, self-absorbed, and self-serving. You have seemingly no sense of humor, and less sense of creativity, and I think that, as a human being, you’re not very good. I don’t want you in my life. I want go out to a bar with a girl and we’ll be sitting there laughing about wind farms in Greece when some guy in a pink polo comes up to me and calls me gay for wearing a satchel, then I’d turn to her and say ‘Honey, am I gay?’ and she’d look at me and say ‘Yeah, you are,’ and then we’d laugh for some reason even though no part of that interaction was particularly funny but we’re kind of buzzed at the time so everything is funnier. So yeah, you can head home and I’ll just go to the movies by myself. It’s really just easier for everyone this way. It wasn’t that nice meeting you, I’ll probably forget you pretty soon, and you’ll tell your friends that I was pretentious and not funny, which may very well be true anyways. In short, bye.”
Man, that’s what I should have said to her. Instead I got really awkward, looked just left of her head and mumbled, “Oh. Yeah, okay. It’s pretty late anyways but it was really great meeting you. You have my number, right? Yeah, alright well text me sometime if you’re bored.”
And thus ended yet another first date, just like all the others. One day, I’ll find that girl though and we’ll get buzzed and she’ll call me gay and we’ll both laugh for some reason. Somewhere that girl is out there and someday I’ll meet her. I hope she has a really nice ass.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Well, I Passed

I feel good about something today and really, it just occurred to me that this is something to be proud of. Now, I already knew it was something to be proud of, but I have a different reason for being proud than everyone else who passed too. Let's back up a bit.

When I started this year with the idea that I'd put things in my life to keep depression at bay, I had the idea to improve myself physically, spiritually, and mentally. Spiritually I had hoped to start attending various churches and temples and expand my spiritual knowledge; this never materialized however. Mentally, I was going to start taking classes (still hasn't happened), I would read a lot, and I put my thoughts into words using my blog. And as for improving myself physically, I had hoped to either join a gym or start taking some self-defence class or something. Well, after looking into a few including tae kwon do and tai chi, I remembered that there was a gym near my house that I'd seen called Ohio Krav Maga & Fitness.

I sent the person in charge, named Terri, an email saying that I'd like to stop by and watch a class to see if I was interested. She told me to come in for the intro class on thursday night, so I did. And, while I had only hoped to sit in the corner and see what the hell krav maga actually was, it wasn't long before Terri told me that I should go ahead and just try it out. The intro class wasn't bad, you learn the proper way to punch, throw knees, elbows, and do a clench. "Hey", I said to my mom, who was there watching as well, "That was fun!" Combined with the intro class you get to stay for the Krav 1 class which occurs immediately afterwards. Turns out the Krav 1 class is a lot more intense than the simple intro. About twenty minutes into the class I felt like I was going to pass out from exhaustion. I stumbled into the bathroom to splash cold water on my face and lean my face on the cold wall. And though it sucked, and it hurt, and I kinda thought I was gonna die by the end, I finished it. I didn't know what it would mean to me but I left knowing that I was going to stick with this gym.

And so, since that time in March, I've gone to a krav 1 class a couple times a week. In May I went to spring training camp and learned to take guns away from people who are pointing guns at me, I learned third party protection, workplace shooter defense, and aggression training. The point is, yesterday I took my level one test. In short, it was probably the most painful and difficult physical thing I've ever done. Now I've done some crazy difficult things before, hiking through Peru was doubtlessly harder and, obviously, longer, but the difference is I didn't have people hitting me and chocking me the entire time.

Well, I passed. And with that I'm proud of the fact that I accomplished something that assuredly not all 25 of us passed yesterday. But more importantly, I'm proud that I actually stuck with something that I decided to start this year. If you look back at my first blog on this site, I wanted to completely recreate my life. I was unhappy with almost every aspect of my life and I wanted to change it all. Well, of course that was rather unlikely and not very honest, but this is the one thing that actually has changed my life. And I'm really proud of that.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What Fresh Hell 2.0

I recently received two letters from a very good friend of mine and, simple though they may be, something about them has given me a kick. They have woken me up from the rather undignified stupor that I found myself in.

For nearly a year now I've been napping through my life rather than living it. Now don't mistake this for any kind of epiphany. I, myself, am afraid of falling into that trap. I still don't know what the hell I'm doing with my life. I still feel horribly, painfully alone. I still feel that aching sense of abandonment, that I've lost most of those people I'd thought my best friends. And to be honest, I don't know what I'm going to do about all that. But I'm going to stop pretending that's the only way my life can be. I'm going to do something. Like waking from a very long nap, I find myself rather sore, in need of movement. And so, with this as my glorious return to the internets I had abandoned almost a year ago, I'm going to stretch out my tired limbs and get moving. I don't know where and what. But its about time I got up again.