My routine, such as it is
In the past couple days I have gotten the opportunity to walk around West Hollywood, near the academy, even though the band Missing Persons would have you believe that nobody walks in LA. I laughed out loud when I passed by Melrose Place. Does anybody remember this show, or am I dating myself? It was an Aaron Spelling creation, a soap operatic spinoff of Beverly Hills, 90210, starring, among other people Andrew Shue. It debuted just after I graduated from college and was living in Washington, DC. Watching the show became kind of a notable social event for me and my friends, to the point where we would get together after work, cook dinner, and watch MP, and to the point where a friend of a friend created an email synopsis of each episode every week that we all loved to receive.
Andrew Shue went to my college (he was a senior when I was a freshman), though at that time he was known as “Elisabeth Shue’s brother.” She was more famous, having had pivotal roles in high quality films such as The Karate Kid and Adventures in Babysitting. Andrew went on to experience some notoriety among alums of our college because of his performance on Celebrity Jeopardy. The short of it is that Cheech Marin and Emma Samms kicked his ass. (The two of them are legitimately intelligent, though read on to see how they also got a little help from Mr. Shue.) The long of it is that his questionto the final jeopardy answer: “This part of the bread was served to guests and has since come to mean people of high society” was “What is half a loaf is bette”, rather than the correct question of “What is upper crust.” (See, he ran out of time and couldn't finish writing out his question of "What is half a loaf is better than none?")
Anyway, all of that is why I laughed when I passed Melrose Place.
In other news, Monday was a great day at work. Felicia and Cindy stopped by to check on some shirts Gilberto is making for Felicia, and Kazumi and Sophia came to visit too. So while I was trying to do my job of returning phone calls, they were making me laugh. Here I am trying to provide high quality customer service and they’re being so funny that I choke on my own spit, trying desperately not to laugh while I’m on the phone with the customer. Is that fair? I submit that it is not.
But it was pretty hilarious. Plus, Eduardo Telles, Carlos Valente, and Rey Diogo all stopped by. All of them are accomplished black belts. Telles is known for his turtle guard game. The turtle guard is actually widely considered to be a defensive position (get on your elbows and your knees and tuck your head under), but Telles has developed a pretty elaborated offense from that position. Of course, lots of people still think that the turtle should only be a transitional position (transitional = you don’t want to be there in the first place, so you want to transition out of it as soon as possible) because if you think about grappling in terms of self defense, curling up in a ball isn’t a good idea.
I don’t know much about Valente, but he was very nice and when he met Cindy and Felicia, who are both black belts, he waxed really enthusiastic about women in grappling. And Rey is a Carlson, Sr., black belt who used to live in Chicago, and since he’s been in LA, he has visited Chicago lots of times, so I have had the opportunity to train with him a lot. I have also visited his academy here in LA, where his wife, a brown belt named Tatiana, kicks my ass on a regular basis.
I trained at New Breed on Monday evening and got to hang out a little with Steve, who you may remember as the nice blue belt who let me climb around him last fall. What I mean by that is, he stood still while I started out on his back and literally climbed around him, and as all 145 pounds of me (yes, I’m back up to 145 pounds) I moved around his body, he had to adjust his balance so we didn’t tip over. So Steve is reading my blog, which is cool. I guess it helps him pass the time when work is slow. Next time I’ll take a picture so you can see him for yourself!
He and Jason were unafraid to talk about Warcraft, which is apparently a computer game. They are kind of dorky, but they don’t seem to care. And they don’t fit the typical gamer profile, apparently, because they get out and about AND they do jiu jitsu. So I guess I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Yesterday morning I had breakfast with Ouano in my hood at a restaurant called Rocky Cola. I have been walking around here a lot, but haven’t been to many of the stores or restaurants. I hang out at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf down the street and had been to Rocky Cola before, but this was the first time for breakfast. And then it was training at Hollywood at noon and then again at 6. In between I hung out at a coffee shop in the area called Dialog and did some of the aforementioned walking around.
Today was a busy day at work. We got in a big shipment of Koral gear: gis, rashguards, board shorts. So if you live in the area, come and buy something! I’m working tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. Wow, I’m back in the rat race! Fortunately, I virtually get to wear my pajamas to work, and it’s a really fun job. And I also found out that I’m in the pipeline for teaching education courses online. Look at me being responsible once again. It’s weird.
I have to do a training course for the online teaching. It starts May 7th, which is the day I get back from the east coast. I’m leaving on Monday to visit some friends in DC and then head up to Trenton, NJ (my birthplace, coincidentally), for the Abu Dhabi Combat Club tournament that a couple of my friends (Felicia, Rick) are competing in. And Emily just found out that she got in—hooray for Emily!
So I hope I’m not losing my blogging touch. I’m a little tired these days and feeling sort of uninspired about my writing. Maybe that’s a good sign, though, because I’m content. Meh. I’ll figure something out.
Oh, and in other news, happy belated birthday to Brian! You can see Kazumi and Felicia in the background.