Back in the rat race
Okay, I know I’m taking my life into my hands by complaining about this, but working is tiring! Even at a job I like. For me it’s probably the commute as much as the job, because the job is fun, as I mentioned. But the commute is long, especially if I’m trying to get to Hollywood afterward. Holy crap, LA traffic is the suck. I’m definitely going to have to move closer to the job and Shawn’s academy. But for now, I am among the millions of people who drive long distances every day. I should have a lunchbox and a thermos or something.
I haven’t yet experienced SNA, or Sunday Night Anxiety, which is a term my friend Julie and I use to describe that feeling you get in the evening on Sundays, when you know the weekend is almost over and you have 5 whole days of work standing between you and the next weekend. (Not sure where we originally heard it.) Of course, I haven’t actually worked on a Monday yet, but I will be working tomorrow. And I’m not feeling any SNA. So that’s a good sign.
The job is fun. I’m learning how to work the register, which I think I have down pretty much. The harder part is going to be learning the prices of everything and what’s in stock/being back ordered. But my co-workers are really friendly and patient, so it should be fine. And in addition to seeing Bibiano Fernandez again on Thursday, I also got to meet Rani Yahrya (for the civilians, these are badass grapplers, as you might have guessed). So it’s just a fun thing to be around grappling stuff and people who like grappling and grappling stuff.
Training has been fantastic this week, too. For the first time in quite a while, I was thinking that maybe I’m getting better at BJJ. I don’t know what it is, but I’m feeling cautiously good about my progress. But whenever I think about it, I take a step to the side so the lightning will strike where I just was, not where I am. I figure I’m due for some forward progress, so that’s not TOO prideful, is it? It’s just that not only have I learned some really cool things this week and worked on some other things I already knew, but I have also been able to use them in training. In particular, I pulled off a Peruvian necktie (choke), a half guard sweep, an omo plata defense, a D’Arce (or brabo) choke, and a move to take the back.
Random aside: Speaking of the D’Arce/brabo, which is it? My east coast friends give me a hard time for calling it a D’Arce; they say that the setup is the D’Arce setup but that the choke itself is a brabo. My west coast friends say that the brabo is a gi choke and the D’Arce is the same version done no gi. The other thing is: how is D’Arce pronounced? Everyone I’ve talked to says “darce,” but the guy the choke/setup is evidently named after is Joe D’Arce (pronounced duh-ar-SAY). I guess I don’t really care enough to lose sleep over it, but I also guess it would be useful to know one way or another.
Anyway, life is pretty good these days. Yes, I spend lots of time in the car, and yes, now I am working for the man, but the man I work for is really cool, and the driving is so worth it when I am going to places where I have so much fun and learn so much cool stuff. When I talked to Natasha, she told me that I sound happy, and that she of all people knows how hard I have worked to get here. Hooray!
As you can see from the picture below, I got to train with Rodrigo Gracie. Last week he substituted for Shawn, who was out of town. Rodrigo showed some really cool stuff, including a knee bar, a toreando guard pass detail, and a flying triangle that I can actually do. I haven’t pulled them off, but I really think I’ll be able to incorporate at least the knee bar and the guard pass. He had some funny and marginally scary stories about growing up in Brazil, funny because of the way he told them, marginally scary because they involved fighting on the street, at the beach, etc.
Rodrigo is, as they used to say back in the day, a tall drink of water. (PS: I am not as chunky as I look! At least, that's what I keep telling myself over spoonfuls of lard.)
Okay, I’d better get some sleep! Gotta work in the morning. The nice part is that my day starts at 11, so I can sleep in, but hey, it’s still work. As Bugs Bunny would say, another day, another carrot.