Friday, August 31, 2012

E-Dating; The Devil's Brew

I'm going to come right out and say I have never actually tried e-dating.  No or or YouKnowThere'sSomeoneOutThereYouJustHaven'  Frankly my dear, they scare me.  Not in the Craiglist-they'll-rob-you kind of way, but in the people-lie-to-your-face-how-much-worse-can-they-be-over-the-INTERNET kind of way.

Oh sure, there's always the friend of a cousin that has found their one true love on an internet dating site, but that's the 0.5% that you hear about.  That ONE person you have heard of that it's actually worked for--the hope-fodder.  For the most part all I get told is it's either a bunch of first dates with nothin' to show for it or terrible, terrible matches.

My poor sister is one of those "guess who just WINKED at me?! Ewwww!" ones.  At least she's trying though, so kudos to her.  At this point though I'm not doing any worse off then her NOT using the dating sites then she is actually using them.  I've actually saved myself a lot of aggravation.  At least I will keep telling myself that until my sister gets married, then I'm getting a cat.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Small Town Shenanigans

I live in a relatively small town.  I say relatively because the population isn't under a thousand or out in the middle of Nowheresville, but you could walk from one end to the other in under two hours.  In fact, most people bike to get around.  That should tell you something.  Other then the fact it is a college town, there's not a lot happening from day to day.  Sure, there's the Farmer's Market twice a week and the occassional rummage sale at the Rotary Club...but besides campus 

We DO however have two sets of emergency responders.  There is a police and fire department for just the college and another one for the town.  I feel a little bad for them.  The majority of police calls are to frat parties and citing cyclists running stop signs and not having bike lights (seriously, you can get a ticket for that!).  The majority of fire department calls are to the Chemistry building when someone has burned a bagel in the toaster (yes, that happened).  You know they're bored.

So that's why this morning I was not surprised when I passed two cop cars and two fire trucks on the side of the road (they travel in packs).  What were they there for?  A tree branch had fallen over the bike path...  Thanks for keeping is safe guys!

Black Belt Special Powers

Getting a black belt is an odd thing.  You spend years training; sweating, bleeding, pulling muscles, getting bruises and blisters, being disappointed in your technique, being slightly happier with your technique, being disappointed in your technique again, washing uniforms in special laundry loads, and buying ice packs, ibuprofen and sports tape by the truck load.  But no one is ever impressed with what leads up to a black belt.  They just hear you are a yellow belt, or a blue belt or red-black belt and say, "Oh, that's nice...when are you getting your black belt?"  

I understand that a lot of most people do not know anything about martial arts.  Most people, if asked, will know these things about martial arts: 1) Bruce Lee, 2) The Karate Kid movie, 3) Chuck Norris, 4) You break boards and 5) Black belts are the top of the pyramid.  And any time you mention that you do martial arts they automatically assume it is Karate because of #2 or Kung Fu because of #1.  Thanks, Daniel-son. 

All that being said, what do you mean, "When am I getting my black belt?"  It's not the belt that matters!  Ok, yes, the belt is sweet, it has certain bragging rights because there is a expectation of coolness that comes with it, it's a reminder of how hard you worked to get it, but the belt itself does not give you super powers.
On the day you first wear it you are not suddenly a better martial artist.  You can't spontaneously do the Van Damme splits, jumping spin heels like Chuck Norris or turn invisible like a Ninja.  It doesn't work like that (although it would super cool if it did!).  You are no better the day you get your black belt then the day before you got your black belt.

You know what getting a black belt means?  More training.  Why?  Because you are never going to be perfect.  Never.  No matter how many years you train, buckets of sweat you drip or black belt degrees you have.  You. Will. Never. Be. Perfect.  That doesn't mean you won't get better or that you shouldn't try.  It's the striving for perfection that pushes us.

Anyone who is training for the right reasons isn't training for a belt color.   You could just as easily show up for class in yoga pants and a tank top and the training is just as valid if your mind is in the right place. 

As my Hapkido Master says, "You will never be perfect...and that should be freeing!"