For most people, the sporting event of the weekend was the SuperBowl. Congrats to the Steelers, who won the thing. I know they won because I saw the last 5 minutes of the game. That's more than many of my teammates and grappling pals caught. For many of the people I know, the sporting event of the weekend was Saturday night's UFC, specifically the rematch between Georges "Rush" St. Pierre and "The Prodigy" BJ Penn. (As my one teammate so colorfully put it, "Fuck the SuperBowl.")
So while most watercooler talk today is probably focusing on how the Steelers pulled the win out at the last minute, grappling watercooler talk today is going more like this:
"GSP is a machine!"
"BJ looked gassed. He couldn't even maintain his guard."
"Oh. My. God."
GSP dominated BJ for most of the 5-round fight, to the point where BJ's brother threw in the towel at the end of the 4th round. So he definitively beat BJ, putting to rest--at least for now--any doubts there had been about the outcome of the first GSP-BJ fight, in 2006, which resulted in a hotly contested decision for GSP. Since then, there had been lots of trash talking, betting, and armchair quarterbacking on both sides. I haven't done a study, but my guess is that BJ was the sentimental favorite for a lot of grapplers because he is an amazing one, naturally gifted and just incredible to watch. His nickname wasn't given lightly, I suppose.
On the other side, you have GSP, who came to grappling later on; he focused on other martial arts first. He has a work ethic that rivals that of any MMA fighter--or any person, for that matter. So he worked with the best he could find, and then he worked and worked and worked some more. I'm sure he's naturally athletic too. And that combo was the winning formula.
There was also a little bit of international rivalry there, because BJ is from Hawaii while GSP is from Montreal (hence the "Incroyable.") I don't think GSP would appreciate hearing Canada referred to as "America's hat," as one guy I was watching the show with described it, but I laughed and laughed.
Anyway, that was kind of a SuperBowl of MMA. Congrats to GSP!
In other news, I made it to the second round of Wipeout auditions. I actually almost walked out of the first round, because the guy who was explaining the situation said that the wilder, crazier people, the ones who are loud and talk trash, are the ones who make it onto the show. Much as I like to talk trash, I like to do it via keyboard. And I am not good at becoming riled up on command. So I thought I might not be right for this gig. (And after catching a glimpse of the show last night, I still think that. But I'll keep an open mind.)
I just decided to be myself, which I like to think is witty and engaging, and it seemed to work. They took us one by one into a room where we chatted with the guy while being filmed. He asked us things like: What will your nickname on the show be? Apparently everyone gets one. So I trotted out the usual ones--Valhalla, Valkyrie--and explained why they'd be good. But then, in a move that my parents were particularly proud of (I warned them already), I also said a good nickname for me would be Valtrex, which is the name of a herpes medication. I said that would be good because, like herpes, just when you think I'm gone, I come back.
Well, it's on film somewhere, so it's too late now.
And then he asked what people would remember me for when they talked about the show the next day, and I said I'd be the woman with the really big arm muscles and the even bigger vocabulary.
So, somehow, he liked that, and gave me a big packet of information to fill out so I could be considered for the second round. I basically no longer have the rights to my own internal organs, as near as I can gather, and now I think I just wait for them to call me back. The interview was in Burbank, so it was another brush with "the industry" that I usually ignore and that usually ignores me.
My friend Klint started a blog. Check it out at http://www.caipirabjj.blogspot.com! He just took his own mini-vision quest and has written about it. Klint is a brown belt under the Yamasakis and runs Mechanicsville BJJ in Virginia.
I got some annoying news the other day: The ADCC trials are the same weekend as the Wearers of the Green induction ceremony. The trials are in Long Beach, just down the street, and they are one of the biggest competitions around. So even if I don't compete, just the pomp and the opportunity for people watching would be amazing. But on the other hand, I have to admit to being pretty stoked about this honor. And also, I am trying to shake some things up in my life, so do I have the new and different experience, or do I have the experience I have already had multiple times, exciting though it always is? I dunno, and I'm not going to decide right now. I'll keep you posted.
Two other cool pieces of news: Congrats to Steve and Janine on the birth of their new baby boy! He took his sweet time arriving, which I hope they hold over his head every time he asks to borrow the car. I'm wishing the whole household lots of sleep and relatively few poopy diapers. (Especially Steve. He has almost graduated to those pullups, so send him your best wishes and lots of luck!)
And yesterday I got to hang out with my old college friend Katherine and her family. They were in town visiting Katherine's sister, and we walked around Santa Monica for a while, they enjoying the decidedly un-Chicago-like weather (which is where they live). It's so comforting how easily you can fall back into step with old friends; I think it had been about a year and a half since I had seen them, and it's like nothing changes except the kids' shoe sizes.
Today I'm taking it easy; I tried to train this morning but had to stop because I got queasy. I have been feeling nauseated here and there for the past couple weeks, and while Frank and Joey want to know if it's morning sickness, it's far more likely that I'm just fighting something off. There is a flu going around, and I have been sleeping a LOT lately. So I'm trying to indulge it and just relax. It's frustrating, though.