Life is good
I had a GREAT Christmas with my parents. And now I am in Philly, hanging out with Rick and Anahi, Heather (aka Leather), Steve72 (aka L-Bo), Turkey Sandwich (aka Chris, aka The Hipster Hitman), Anahi’s sister Romina, and various other grappling people. On Fri TS came and met me at the train station (caught the Septa from the airport), and he and Heather babysat me while Rick and Anahi were celebrating Rick’s birthday with his parents in NJ. Happy birthday, Rick! You are an old man of 26 now. (Jeebus. I need to find a more age-appropriate lifestyle.)
TS hates hipsters. Here is a description of hipsters, based on what I could glean from TS’s ranting, the youtube videos he has forwarded as evidence of their evil, and the assortment of them who regularly and ironically slouch through my neighborhood in Whittier: Hipsters are usually either very skinny or very fat. They range in age from teen to 40-something, and the pathetic to cool ratio increases directly with age, though that ratio is apparently pretty high from the get-go. They listen to groups like Fallout Boy and Dashboard Confessional (although Dashboard Confessional listeners might be more emo than hipster, now that I think about it. I am just at the beginning of my hipster education, and right now, I have more questions than answers. For instance, do hipsters know they are hipsters, or would that be too meta for them? Are hipsters born or made? If I honestly like to knit and actually need the glasses I wear in order to be able to see, as opposed to knitting because it’s retro and wearing glasses without lenses, does that make me a hipster by implication? And if so, should I just kill myself to save Turkey the trouble?)
Hipsters tend to wear all black, sometimes including black berets; dye their hair black; and wear black makeup. On males this is called “guyliner.” They are world-weary, although frequently they are seventeen. They panhandle at times, although frequently after a long day of asking the Man for assistance they get in their station wagons and drive home to their apartments/parents’ house/dorm and play Wii. They roll their eyes at most everything—political views that differ from their own, people who are gainfully employed—although frequently they forget whether what they currently hate has actually become cool while they were reciting original poetry at a coffee shop.
I have gotten good at hipster-spotting because of TS’s tutelage. I don’t hate them with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns the way he does. I find them annoying when a whole gaggle of them can’t be bothered to make space for me on the sidewalk or when they insist on hipsterbabbling through the movie I’m trying to watch, but for the most part I’m glad they exist because they incite TS so. And TS’s rants are comedy gold. It’s not even so much the rants as it is the commitment with which TS hates hipsters. And Philly is lousy with them.
After dinner served to us (where “served to” = “thrown at”) by a cranky bartender at a place near the train station (I could easily tell I was back on the east coast because said bartender did everything she could to avoid waiting on us short of telling us to leave—fortunately for us, she was wide and the space behind the bar narrow), TS and I met up with Heather, Drew, and Faria at Bonner’s, a nearby bar that was playing the Friars’ Club roast of Flavor Flav on the TV. Drinks were drunk, laughs were laughed, and finally at about 3am, which is normally way past my bedtime and actually nearing my getting-up time (thank you, time change!), we parted ways. I crashed at Heather’s, playing with her puggle Walnut for a bit before sleeping. He is incredibly cute and has a little underbite that makes him look tough. But he is a marshmallow. Here are pictures of him. I forgot to take pictures of Heather. But I will take some on New Year’s Eve for sure.
Yesterday Anahi picked me up and we went to Rick’s class at NJMA, where he is one of the main instructors. Some of you may know that NJMA used to be Joe Priole’s academy. Sadly, Joe passed away a few years ago from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If anything good came out of that, it’s the legacy he left behind of great people and amazing training. I never got to meet him but wish I had, and I’m glad I got the chance to train there.
Anahi and I were late, so when we arrived, the class was doing situational sparring. One person was trying to open and pass the guard using a stand-up pass, and the other person was trying to sweep or submit. Halfway through, the partners would switch position, and then after about 4 minutes, we’d switch partners altogether. When I worked with Rick, he was psyched that I was able to pick him up while I was in his guard (I’m about 145 and he’s about 205), so at the end of the drill, he had me do it again to show the class that it’s not about strength but about technique. Like he said, if he outweighed me by 100 pounds or more, I might want to think about a different pass, but even a seemingly large weight discrepancy isn’t a problem if you use good technique. I love it when I can help show how cool BJJ is. It isn’t that I’m such great shakes; it’s that if anyone uses technique properly, anyone can neutralize at least some weight and strength advantage.
After class I got to hang out with Rick and Anahi. We got something to eat, we ran some errands, we saw Rick’s grandfather and complained about customer service. I love hanging out with Rick and Anahi because I like them both equally. With some couples you love one person and tolerate the other. With them, I get double the enjoyment.
Steve72, me (minus about 7 inches of overcompensatory hair), and Turkey Sandwich, including more bitching about the flash:
Me and the frighteningly flexible Giggy, who was excited on the forum today about the fact that he was recently put to sleep for the first time, via rear naked choke. Congrats? Giggy?
Okay, and now I'm going to try to post a video of the Giggyplata. Turn the sound down, because I'm being annoying and telling him to hurry up because my battery was dying.