Archive for November, 2007

EsoPhil you have the floor

I just have to laugh. After talking to other people about my entry yesterday it seems so many out there are in disagreement with all this name change business. One person that shocked me with his opinions was my high school buddy Phil. He was not shy about some of his feelings towards roads in Portland being named after different people. Actually I think his three comments on yesterday’s blog are better then the blog itself. You should go read them. When I wrote my entry I held back a little so as to not offend too many, I guess I should’ve let the floodgates open like EsoPhil. I applaud you my friend. :)

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Name Change

I’m not sure why, but it really irritates me when the city goes and changes street names. As you know if you live around here, the lastest debate is whether or not to change Interstate Ave. to Chavez Way to honoor Cesar Chavez. My question is ‘why?’. Why is this important and how does this really honor anyone? It seems so ridiculous to me and rather annoying. If you’re looking to honor a person why not name a building or a park after them, don’t go messing with something that everyone has to use like street names. I think so many people don’t take into account the extra costs this creates for local business that are located on these streets. Since I’ve lived here I’ve seen:

Union turn into MLK
Front avenue turn into Naito parkway
Portland BLVD to Rosa Parks Way
82nd ave to 82nd Avenue of the Roses (to send a positive message to the broader community about 82nd) puullleease.

I fail to see the honoring aspect by naming chunks of roadway after someone. As far as all the crime and crap on MLK Blvd it seems more of a ‘dis’honor to name it after someone so great.

Am I alone on this?

UPDATE: So apparently it has been approved that 4th avenue in SW PDX is going to be changed to Chavez. This has to be the dumbest idea ever. Change a numbered street downtown to a ‘named’ one. As if the one way shenanigans downtown aren’t confusing enough! Argh. So irritating.

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This is what Michelle looks like during self defense

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2 spanish coffees and a steak and I’m out cold

Oh man. I totally had another blog planned for today but I went to the Refectory with my Dad and I don’t know what happened after that. We sat in the lounge, lounging on a couch talking about life and spiritual matters and while we theorized and speculated I ordered a spanish coffee. I slurped it down like candy and about 30 minutes after I finished the drink I started to feel my face a buzzin’. We still had time to kill since we were waiting for for the restaurant part of the establishment to open. I said, “I’m feeling pretty good.” Dad said, “Order another!” So I did. I told the lounge waitress how kick ass she made the first one and I asked her if she thought she could make the 2nd one just as delightful. She did. Although I swear she put ruffees in my drinks b/c damn, I was high on life. After the 2nd one we went into the restaurant and I ordered a huge steak with all the fixin’s. I scarfed that down sobered up and drove home.

I got home and felt so ‘tired’ I couldn’t do anything, I tore off my suit and fell into bed. Two hours later at 8:30 pm I awoke and felt like a zombie. Called my dad to see what time we left the Refectory b/c I could hardly remember anything!

So now here I am at 11:39pm when I should be going to bed, getting my second wind. I think that waitress wanted some Micah lovin’ and spiked my alcoholic drink with something, probably alcohol.

Better post tomorrow. Maybe. As long as I don’t go there for breakfast.

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They should make parking for the blind

Since I owed my colleague Michelle $10 for services rendered I told her I would take her out to Olive Garden to even out our deeds. It was late afternoon and the roads were rainy and mucky….another glorious fall afternoon in Portland. As I pulled into the OG parking lot I noticed there was a space right up front next to Michelle’s mustang.

“SWEET!”  I thought to myself as I whipped in along side her ’stang.

I walked in and the hostess led me back to the table Michelle was sitting at, although she wasn’t sitting there, she was huddled down in the booth trying to hide from me. I swear sometimes she’s 3, but that’s ok she makes life fun.

We ordered and ate the same thing we always do: soup, salad, bread sticks with the white soup and a small chicken alfredo pizza. Carbo bombs for our bellies.

As we exited the OG we chatted underneath the outside canopy waiting for the dreary drizzle to break so we could make our way to our cars. It gave no sign of letting up so I decided we should just go.  As we hurriedly shuffled to our cars I noticed something wasn’t right.

“Sh*t! I parked in the handicap zone!” I blurted out as I put my key in the door.

“You dork!” cried Michelle.

Embarrassed, I looked down and saw the diagonal lines beneath Michelle’s radials.

“You’re no better, YOU parked in the handicapped loading zone!”

“CRAPASS!” she moaned.

We checked our windshields for tickets, we found none so quickly and sheepishly we got into our cars and drove off.

We’re normally not handicapped, just today.

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I did it!

With very little convincing I went in today and joined the Krav Maga class. I promise that won’t be the only thing I blog about over the next few months, but I am fairly thrilled about it. Today’s class was a good study in rotation and the power gained from using your hips to punch or throw elbows. I was throwing elbows out all over the place, another great workout that I’m already feeling.

Seriously, more of you should join. Or at least come to the free trial class.

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I wasn’t lying.

Remember yesterday when I posted about that super awesome self-defense class and how it totally kicks ass?! Yeah, well it was the truth. My ass is totally kicked today. Quite literally my butt muscles are so sore, standing and sitting has become a gruntingly painful affair. Love it. I think I’ll sign up.

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Kickin’ ass and taking names

If you really ‘know’ me, not in the Biblical sense, but in the friend sense you know that I love the martial arts. I love watching it, but most of all I love practicing it. Ever since the first Karate Kid more than anything I wanted to throw some punches and do some crane kicks. I got my chance in 5th grade when my mother so generously enrolled me in karate classes. It was awesome! I stuck with it until my junior year of H.S.

Even though it was great, the most frustrating thing was that I made it all the way to 2nd degree brown belt, which is a smidgen away from black belt. When people found out I was in karate for so many years they would inevitably ask how far I got and it was always a little disappointing to say “2nd degree brown, which is one away from black”. Friends would always tell me I should go back, but after being away for so long it was pointless and I thought ‘why bother?’.

Today all that changed.

Michelle decided she’d like to go to a self defense class and after a little prodding got me to go along. It was a free trial and I figured it could be fun. The style of the class is Krava Maga which was a self defense system used in the Israel Defense Forces. Today it is used by many law enforcement agencies to quickly disarm and disable any opponent. Quite literally it is designed to kick ass in the quickest, most effective way possible.  I had a blast and it totally kicked my ass, just like the karate days. I forgot how hard it is to punch and kick and punch over and over again. Talk about a workout! The style took some getting used to since the fighting stance is more like a boxer’s rather then a martial artist’s but I was still loving it. The best part about the class is that our instructor looks so much like John Locke from ‘Lost’! He’s soft spoken and has the all knowing twinkle in his eye and grin on his face, just like John, but when it comes time to demonstrate he explodes into an ass kicking older man! No one would ever suspect him to be like that.

After the class the John Locke look alike showed Michelle and I around the facility. It is new and very nice. Downstairs they have a small workout room with some dumbbells and a few machines. I was noticing their lack of machines when he said, “You may notice our lack of machines, that’s because we don’t believe in just isolating one muscle, but working out the body as a whole unit.” This just about sealed the deal for me since this has been my philosophy ever since I lost 30lbs a year ago. The only thing holding me back is the money, it is a bit expensive, but damn I want to do it! I haven’t felt this jazzed about martial arts since watching Ralph Macchio kick that no name actor William Zabka in the nose at the end of Karate Kid.

Check out the official Krav Maga website here.
Here is  a good blip about Krav Maga from the Discovery Channel.
So….who wants to join with me?

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Bumpy Ride

Tired, sore and hungry my family and I made our way through the airport. We found a Chili’s to eat at and with full tummys and renewed strength we made our way to gate A18. We only waited for a short time before boarding began and we all lined up like cattle to the slaughter. We found our seats and patiently sat, waiting to take off. A voice cracked over the cabin speaker system explaining safety and other instructions. I wish I could’ve recorded it b/c he was very comical and full of zest. My sister and I were lucky enough to not have anyone sit next to us so we had an extra seat in the middle of us to stretch out and relax.
We were airborne for about 30 minutes when the flight attendants began making their way through the cabin with the drink cart handing out big bags of peanuts and pop. My sister ordered a club soda and I settled on orange juice. They were generous as I received a whole can of OJ instead of just a tiny little cup. With my drink in hand I settled into my seat and opened up my book. No sooner had I read one page when the familiar “bing” of the fasten seatbelt light came on. About 5 seconds later the whole plane shook violently, I caught my drink before it fell over but my sister wasn’t so lucky as half her club soda schlopped on the floor.

“Flight attendants, take your seats” cracked the voice over the loudspeaker.

With that command the attendants ran their drink cart to the back of the plane and disappeared out of sight. Immediately after the captain’s command to the attendants the airplane shook and trembled with such force it got everyone’s attention. After a few violent shakes the airplane took a nose dive and every passenger that had just received a drink was doing his best to keep the fluid inside the cup and his stomach out of his chest. The plane went up and rattled and shook and then it went down, and up…etc. Just like a roller coaster. Each time it went down people would raise their drinks in the air not unlike being on a roller coaster, except this one was at 30,000 feet and we didn’t know when the ride was going to be over. My sister kept saying ‘woah’ not like Joey on the tv show Blossom but more of an elongated statement “WOOOOOAH~!” The lady behind me was officially freaking out as she kept saying, “oh my God, oh my God” she was not loving it. I found myself laughing. It was scary to be sure but I realized what little control we have when we’re flying. We all literally put our lives in the pilot’s hands. I figured all we could do was enjoy the ride and if we crash, we crash…it’ll be over so quick we would hardly have to worry. After a few minutes of craziness I looked over at my sister and she was looking a bit pale and I’m pretty sure I saw her praying.

The plane finally smoothed out but most people remained a bit tense for the rest of the flight. The attendants broke the silence by apologizing for the severe turbulence and for the fact that per the captain’s request they were to remain seated for the rest of the flight. We eventually touched down in PDX on time and in one piece, my sister was giving thanks to the powers above. Even though it was sorta fun and exciting I’m thankful to be alive as well.

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Guess I should get out there and ride.

I saw this in my google headlines so I clicked the link and was surprised to see #2. Go us!

 ”I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my biiiikeee.  I want to ride it where I like!”

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