Friday, May 26, 2006

Self Defense Is Ouchy

(Or, how I ended up covered in bruises that in no way involved alcohol).

Yes. Self defense. This, unlike just about everything else in my life, is not a gym thing, but a work thing. And through a strange combination of our new EEO Director and her neighbors and their friends, I am now engaged in a 10 week self defense course taught by an awesome crazy man.

No, for real. I LOVE this man. He is like the actual living, breathing, STANDING RIGHT THERE personification of Jack Bauer. I really don’t know how else to describe him. He has done all sorts of scary undercover work in other countries and has defended himself against attacks by entire gangs at Union Station. Plus he carries a gun, which to me is kind of awesome.

So this class is not so much the litany of “Don’t wear headphones, keep your keys in your hands” that women are generally taught. This is far more, “It takes only 8 pounds of pressure to break the top of a foot, and it really, really hurts if you hyper extend an elbow, and now grab your co-worker and twist their wrist around until they corkscrew around the floor whimpering.”

Y’all, I’m not even kidding. So yesterday he used me as an example, which on the one hand is awesome, because he is awesome, and it’s even better to learn it from him. But on the other hand, it is not so awesome, because OUCH, jackass! My entire right arm is bruised all along the nerves (because when someone chokes you, you need to apply pressure to the nerve centers in their arms to get them to let go.) This is basically how yesterday went for me:

Instructor: “Lay on.” (this means to “attack” him).

Me: (Lays on. I am an idiot.)

Instructor: (Grabs wrist, jerks, bends, and twists wrist.)

Me: (whimpers, twists body into unnatural position to relieve excruciating wrist pain.)

Instructor: “Do you feel that?”

Me: (Glares as angrily as possible under the circumstance.)

Instructor: “Ok, now, if someone tries to choke you, turn your head and dig into the nerve.” (Chokes me from behind).

Me: (twists head, gets nerve.)

Instructor: “Good! Now, you’re actually kind of screwed if they do this.” (I… I don’t know what he did. I just know I actually could not breathe.)

Me: “Squawk!”

Co-Worker: “Wait, where exactly is the nerve in the arm?”

Instructor: “I’ll show you.” (looks at me.)

Me: (hating co-worker. Gives instructor my arm).

Instructor: “Ok, HERE HERE HERE HERE.” (Each here punctuated by sharp pain as he digs into my nerves. Man does not know his own strength.) “Feel that?”


Instructor: “Well, also, look at someone’s pants.” (To me: “Do you mind?”)

Me: (sighing, because still hero worship man and also do not want to look like wimp.) “Nope.”

Instructor: “Well, see, right where the pocket forms a point… Hmm, you don’t have that, so I’ll have to sort of guess, but there is a nerve center right about…” (Makes fist, hits me in hip.)

Me: (Falls over, hits table.)

Instructor: “Did you feel that?”

Me: (Hating instructor.)

So that is pretty much how that went. My wrist is sore, my hip is bruised, my arm is bruised, and… I LOVE it. The class is SO. MUCH. FUN., even with the pain.

The only problem is that some of the other students think that we really ought to practice more. And by that, they mean we should sneak up on each other at work and attack. Yes. My office is now a bunch of Stealth Ninja Attackers. I just can’t wait to see the look on a Commissioners face the first time they turn a corner and watch two normally well mannered attorneys throwing down.

Turns out kicking ass? Is kind of fun.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I Am Not So Much "Enlightened"

I want to update more frequently now, especially since I am DONE WITH THE SEMESTER (that still needs to be typed in all caps, I am sorry) and have time on my hands. Problem is, I couldn’t think of anything to write about, since my conversations with Peanut lately have tended to start with “Ow” and end with “Don’t you DARE blog that.”

The “ow” comes from the fact that Peanut and I now belong to the same gym, which we actually frequent, and we do things to ourselves that hurt a lot so we can justify the sauna. It’s actually very sad. A few days last week we did yoga. Now, I really like yoga. I need to increase my flexibility and I think that’s a great way to do it. The thing is… I am kind of really bad at yoga.

And not the physical part of yoga. I mean, I am not great, but I can hold my own with the balance-y stretchy part of the class. I even managed to balance all of my bodyweight on my wrists for a few second as I let my knees rest on my elbows. (Don’t ask. Just… don’t ask). (And maybe a few seconds after the balancing there was embarrassing falling down. But whatever). The point is, I can do the parts of yoga that are physical. The mental stuff? I have a really, REALLY hard time with.

I just cannot relax and meditate and take it seriously. And I DO take it seriously. Or at least, I want to. I believe in the whole thing- the relaxation and the meditation and the increasing your health and all of that. But… I can’t do it. I just cannot do it. We start the meditation stuff, and here is me:

Yoga Guy: “Ok, just relax. Let your mind clear. Focus on breathing.”

Me: (Ok, inhale, exhale… hey. Am I the only one facing to the right? Hmm, maybe if I just turn a little… oh, wait, breathing, focus on breathing)

YG: “Feel all your tension drain out of you, empty your mind…”

Me: (Empty my… empty your mind? Oh, so the woman who totally held up the metro for like TWENTY MINUTES this afternoon because she couldn’t figure out how to WORK a TURNSTILE, which for the love of GOD people, is not THAT HARD, and even if it is that hard, OPEN YOUR DAMN EYES and OBSERVE for a minute, because there are SEVEN HUNDRED OTHER PEOPLE going through them and you can FIGURE IT OUT, that one, she was simply doing yoga? Is that it? Because…”

YG: “You are very calm now.”

Me: (Shit. Focus. Breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale… I feel like a complete and utter moron.)

YG: “Ok, now you will learn what surrender means. It is not just physical surrender, but emotional and spiritual surrender as well.”

Me: (That sounds kind of nice. Maybe I really should put an effort into trying that. Just… let it all go. Don’t try too hard to force life to go my way. Just… surrender. Except… Well, what if I do that, then anyone I meet won’t actually be meeting the real me, and if I ever want to be myself again there will be this whole thing about how I’ve “changed” or wasn’t “real” and that is just something I don’t want to deal with.)

YG: “Just feel yourself let go…”

Me: (did I actually just… Good Lord. I allowed myself a second, while doing yoga, to consider this “surrendering” thing, and I rationalized myself out of it. I can’t even pretend that I am going to be able to do this while I am actually doing it. Christ.)

YG: “Ok, now just lie down now. Lie on your back and let your whole body relax, getting in touch with the one spirit that unites us all…”

Me: (Oh, right. I can’t even fake an understanding of surrender, now I need to get in touch with the one unifying spirit? We don’t even have a unifying theory of physics, for Christ sake. And the only way I feel united to all of these people is that we use these same relatively disgusting mats every class, and the Plague was a relatively uniting thing, just ask Poe. And as long as I am thinking about physics and dark literature and all, that pipe on the ceiling looks awfully heavy, and if it fell down, it would shatter my pelvis. I wonder how badly that would hurt….”

YG: “Just spend a few seconds enjoying this glorious feeling of peace and one-ness.”

Me: (Dude, every second brings me closer to Pelvis Shattering.)

So as you can see, my one person monologue during the relaxation period in yoga is less “enlightenment” and more “garbled nonsense that leads to no good.”


But I am improving my plow position!!

Monday, May 15, 2006


I don’t even know where to begin.

Last week was a bad, bad, week, so we are going to ignore it and pretend it didn’t actually happen. Because I am a HUGE fan of denial when necessary.

This weekend, however? Totally happened. And now ALL weekends can be like this weekend, because I am TOTALLY DONE WITH ANOTHER YEAR OF LAW SCHOOL. YAY.

I am really excited about this summer. The other weekend Kate and E and I set up the new Forman grill on the balcony, and I had gotten up and gone to the gym and I came home and made myself some food and we all just sort of sat in the sun and ate and laughed and joked, and I looked at Kate and I was like, “This is what this summer is going to be, isn’t it?” And she was like, “Yes, and it’s going to be awesome.” This was followed by drinking phenomenal mint juleps prepared by PC and watching the Kentucky Derby, (which was very cool, and I would love to see a triple crown winner, but I am still cheering for “Showing Up”, because that name is a philosophy I can get behind), seeing American Dreamz (“Dreamz with a Z”), having dinner, and drinking wine. Seriously? Best. Day. Ever. And now I can have days like that without feeling guilty for not studying!

Which brings us to this weekend, where the Peanut and I lost our minds. Friday night we went out, despite the torrential downpour, and discovered where all of the attractive people in DC apparently hang out. We didn’t drink a lot, but we didn’t get home until almost 3. Which would have been fine, except that we were getting up at 8:30 in the morning for yoga. Yeah. We went to yoga. On a Saturday morning. The plan was simple: yoga, showering, DSW (I wanted a new pair of athletic shoes), Ann Taylor (Peanut had to return a suit), and the back up to MD to go to Peanut’s salon for manicures. Simple, right?


We didn’t leave the mall for nine hours. Do you know how much damage to a credit card I can do in nine hours??? Well, I do. I can do a LOT of damage. An INCREDIBLE amount of damage. A… well, you get the point.

In all fairness, I have not shopped like that in almost two years, right when I started law school and K and I had that massive shopping spree, where I bought 2 jackets and three pairs of boots and skirts and pants. And I would totally link to that entry, but that entry is gone.*

Anyway, Peanut and I blew an incredible amount of money. And I got great stuff, but… still. And I was exhausted, and it was eight o’clock at night and we had never left the mall since yoga at nine in the morning, so we decided it was time to go home. And what did I do when I went home?

A. Relax and watch all the TV I Tivo’d during finals?
B. Cook food for the week so I wouldn’t have to eat out?
C. Clean the apartment, which was looking a little post-apocalyptic?
D. Decide that NOW would be a good time to COMPLETELY REARRANGE MY CLOSET?

Yeah. So I walk exhausted into my already messy bedroom, throw all my shopping bags on the bed, and then just take every other piece of clothing I own and throw it on the floor. It took me hours to get everything organized. HOURS. At one point I called my mother in a panic because I had just yelled at a hanger and accused it of being a drama queen. (Seriously? The hanger was SO being a drama queen.) But still. One should not yell at hangers. In fact, one should not socially interact with hangers in any meaningful way.

Summer? Thank god you’re here.

And one final note- Congratulations to E for graduating law school!

* For those of you that haven’t figured it out yet, all of the old entries are gone. I was on Diary-X, and Diary-X died. I did not back up the majority of my entries, which is all my fault and there is nothing I can do about it. I actually try not to think about the three years of writing that I lost, and just thank god that I moved here when I did.