So, we went to dinner with my family on Saturday for the massive October Birthday Extravaganza, with special guest Aunt Gayle. It was good. While I was there, I discovered a few things. You know that feeling you get when you're out in public and someone you're with says or does something incredibly stupid or potentially offensive, and you just want to crawl under a table and die of shame by association? I think parents exist to do that to their kids. I think they know it, and they enjoy it.

Also, I'm glad I'm not my sister, because if I was, I would've probably murdered my brother-in-law by now. I mean, I really like him, don't get me wrong. But sometimes, I just want to kick him in the mouth. Naturally, I'm biased, and I know I don't see the whole story, but I feel like he doesn't appreciate my sister enough, and that he doesn't share in the responsibilities. I wouldn't put up with it. Which is probably why I'm not married to him. Or anyone, for that matter...I'm a single, overeducated, bitter little woman who lives with 4 cats!

My cousin has apparently decorated her office in an Asian theme, and during the course of the evening, my aunt said she thought it would be cool if I could do some oragami or calligraphy or something for her. That's fine - the question is, WHAT? What kind of an oragami object (or objects) should I fold? Do I just send a collection of artfully folded paper, or do I make some kind of mobile or display out of it? For calligraphy, what should I write? I think she's a juvenile probation officer, or maybe she does some kind of drug prevention program. Should I write something like that, or just something general like "harmony" or "relaxation" or something? Calligraphy is such a strange thing. It's like, "Write a word for me that I will frame and turn into art. Make it cool." So, anyway, ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Momma said knock you out

Great news! My major professor got promoted to department chair! Having such a successful and prestigious person working with me on my thesis makes ME look a little successful and prestigious, too.

Terrible news! My major professor got promoted to department chair! I only just found out because I finally tracked him down today after two and a half weeks of unreturned emails and phone calls. He is beyond busy. The trouble is, I need his guidance, input, and approval at pretty much every step of this process. Not because I'm needy, just because that's how these things work. And while I'm really glad that his career is taking off, my career has ground to a screeching halt until he can catch up with me on this thesis. It's like boldly striking out to sea, and then turning around to realize vital members of the crew are still back at port. It takes the wind right out of your sails.

I started doing Taekwondo and Hapkido. Mostly, it's therapy. I have decided to get over certain crippling self-confidence and self-criticism issues, and I think this is the best way to do it. The master I'm studying under is a born teacher, and seems to really understand the psychological development process that comes out of studying martial arts. He's also a total hardass, and I have no illusions about him going easy on me or being sympathetic. He's understanding, encouraging, and very demanding. I signed up for six months, and at the end of that time, I think I'll either have made some real strides in working through my issues, or I'll be a ruined shell of a woman. Either way, at least I'll be getting a good workout.

So far, I've only cried once, and that was really just due to an adrenaline dump. Last Thursday, we had to spar in pairs for points. I was paired up with this brown belt chick (read: waaay above my skill level). To make it an even match, she had to earn more than double the points I scored against her to win. I didn't expect to get any points at all, since I'd never sparred before in life, but it ended up 6-3. She kicked me in the head twice, and that was a little surprising. I think I still have a bruise on my jaw from where her foot made contact with my face. Because I scored 3 points, she needed to have scored 7 to win, but we called it a draw because she threw up right after the match. I was okay for a few minutes, just a little shaky, and then BAM! the waterworks kicked in. I wasn't upset or hurt, I was just, I dunno. Overloaded I guess. And maybe a little freaked out about getting kicked in the head by a, um, fairly heavy-set girl. I honestly didn't expect her to be flexible enough to get her foot all the way up there!

In terms of the sports themselves, I don't like Taekwondo at all. I go to the Taekwondo classes so I can be strong enough to do Hapkido. Hapkido has some punching and kicking, like in Taekwondo, but it's also a lot of joint manipulations and pressure points - so far I've learned a couple wrist locks, a hip throw, and an arm-bar with a pressure-point strike. It appeals to me I think because it's a lot more cerebral, and also it seems more practical, like real self-defense stuff instead of a bunch of Karate-kid nonsense. When I practice Hapkido, I don't feel like a stupid Bruce Lee-wannabe. I feel like a badass.