a Cheap Holiday: 01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003

Cheap Holiday

Welcome to a cheap holiday in my life. At least you get to go home at the end of the day!

Sunday, January 12, 2003

I'm craving fresh pesto. This has more to do with watching the Food Network rather than Monica Bellucci. Wouldn't it be wonderful to vacation in Genoa and have completely fresh pesto, pasta, and bread. Mmmmmmmm....

Saturday, January 11, 2003

For all you Monica Bellucci (Brotherhood of the Wolf) fans--and you know who you are--stop by her unofficial fansite for lovely eye candy (but hide it from the children, yowza!).
The most bizarre thing just happened. I came home from a day of shopping, including buying some supplies for small home repairs. One item I wanted to tackle this weekend was caulking a few spaces above a transom window in my bedroom that sometimes lets a bit of rain in. So I grab my folding step, step up, and take a look around the windows to see what I need to caulk. As I step down off the stair, I notice a small, furry-like mass on the floor. My immediate thought is "Goddammit, the damn cat has hyorked up a hairball and jeez is it huge!" As I bend down to investigate, I notice a beak and little curled up feet. Jesus Christ, it's a whole dead bird! Somehow a sparrow-type bird got access to my bedroom and died! Now I have no idea how this bird got into my apartment. I've just checked and as I suspected, there are no windows open (and with the daytime temperature hitting only 35 degrees F today, there better not be any open windows!). There is no way my landlord or his son could have entered my premises, because I changed the deadbolt when I moved in (and my landlord is very good about giving prior notice). A good friend of mine has a set of keys, but she would never enter my house without my knowledge. I do have a back door off my bedroom, but I never let my cat out to the back deck and to the best of my knowledge, no bird has ever flown into my room when I went in and out the door. It's like this damn bird was just transported into my bedroom. Wha?

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Shit, I have done fucked up my back somehow. I'm prone to having a twitchy lower back every now and then, but this weekend my sacral muscles have been as hard and tight as concrete. I had a 30-minute chair massage yesterday that did next to nothing for it and today I'm taking large amounts of Tylenol Arthritis Pain formula, which again is doing next to nothing. Right now I'm sitting with a heating pad watching those two totally gay acrobats from an old Cirque du Soleil tour on cable TV.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Happy New Year, my friends and neighbors! A big, sloppy, giddy New Year's kiss (with only a tasteful bit of tongue) to you all!
Oy. I ache today from yesterday's BJJ class, I hurt. Everything from the hips up is frozen tight by lactic acid, requiring me to use my arms to raise or lower myself from a sitting or supine position - a manuever not dissimilar from that used by pregnant women or geriatric folk. Thankfully, I had been doing a fairly consistent leg workout for the past few weeks, saving me from extreme leg soreness.
Last night, dearest Rachel invited me to attend her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. I had taken a couple of sample BJJ classes in Philly, but had decided against joining that particular studio, largely because it is such a far drive for me. I have not been in a martial arts studio on a weekly basis for almost 3 years and I'm still carrying 20 more pounds than I ought. Looks like I know what my New Year's resolution is going to be.

I browbeat Rachel in attending the cardio portion of the class, something which she tends to avoid. I was feeling particularly cocky, as I had been doing regular aerobics and leg workouts. This cockiness, however, came to be gravely misplaced, as the instructor proceeded to run us ragged with jogging, high knees, sliding steps, pushups, crunches, and other forms of torture at a blistering pace for 15 minutes. More than once, I felt in danger of losing what little I had eaten for dinner, a sure sign that your heartrate is being pushed too high. As I flopped, red-faced and heaving, next to Rachel to do the last set of pushups, she whispered to me, "This is not as bad as it usually is."

One reason I've had difficulty fully embracing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that it is almost entirely a grappelling style and I come from Tae Kwon Do and American kickboxing, both striking styles. So to have someone sit on your chest for 10 minutes at a stretch to learn holds, breaks, chokes, and arm bars is a tad intimidating. I'm used to being both vertical and at a distance from my opponent. This is not even a gender-specific issue - I could care less whether it's a woman or a man sitting on top of me, I just don't like someone sitting on top of me. Maybe I was tickle-tortured too much by my brother when I was a child.

However, if I was to have anyone sitting on top of me, it would be Rachel. After all the cardio, we're both a bit floppy when we kneel down to sit on each other. She managed to strain her wrist a touch earlier in the evening and halfway through the class I felt the ligaments in my left hip get a bit twitchy. Goddamn this getting old shit.

As Rachel and I are practicing some sort of rolling and blocking maneuver (God, how can anyone remember the names for all these moves?), I come to learn the wisdom behind her recent haircut. As I roll onto my twitchy left hip and Rachel is sliding to kneel behind my shoulder blades, my ponytail - which I felt certain I had secured away in two hair elastics - gets caught under her left knee. Before I realize it, we have both moved in opposing directions enough for me to feel and hear a small hank of hair ripping away. Rachel refers to this type of situation as "hair fu." I get the feeling that if I were to seriously train in BJJ, a short haircut would become more of a necessity, rather than a stylish option.
Christmas yielded a decent haul this year. $260 in cash from Daddy and Stepmomma Claus, yay me! A wonderful handheld back massager, that you actually use to massage your back. (Though when my father inadvertantly told me to fetch my "vibrator" from the living room, I froze in my tracks.) A lovely home bath spa mat, that will give me a new reason to keep my bathtub scrubbed and shiny. A pristine set of previously-loved books on the major religions of the world. What I find so heartening about this particular set of books is that the scripture covered for the Christian category is the Apocrypha and not the Old or New Testament. The devilish friend that gifted me with these also included a set of novelty, pink fur-lined handcuffs. Somehow, the combination of religion and sex cuffs seems terribly apropos...