Travelogue: Los Angeles 2018, Day 3a

Grappling with some scooters and Zankou’s Chicken

Actually, one of the first things we did after we checked into the hotel was to look at a grappling school just a few blocks from the hotel.

Me: Wow, it’s only two blocks away from here. Did you plan that out?
Her: (pause) Yes?

We were planning on seeing a few schools but I neglected to factor in the holidays so we only got to visit the one. But  we were fine with that because it was so nice and welcoming.

In fact, the woman that worked at the front desk used to live just two blocks from me.

Her: I loved the Upper West Side.
Me: Correction, it’s the Upper BEST Side.

The main instructor is a pretty famous practitioner named Ryron (pronounced “he-ron”) who was just the nicest guy.

We spent two really enjoyable but challenging hours there early on Saturday before we went back to the hotel to get changed.

Her: That was a lot of fun.
Me: I know! I think we’ve been brainwashed to think that grappling schools are fulla screaming and impatient instructors (because of our old instructor).

After we got cleaned up, we ended up taking an Uber to a Zankou Chicken.

Driver: I haven’t seen anyone read an actual paper in years.
Me: I’m as old as dirt.

Interestingly, while we were there, it was the first time I’ve ever asked anyone to take a picture of us and they said no.

Woman: I’d rather not.
Me: That’s unexpected, but ok.

Instead of taking a car back, the Gymgirl suggested that we take one of the several electric scooters around us. It took us a few tries but we ultimately got two going.

Unfortunately, while mine was pretty zippy…

…hers was decidedly not:

There’s more but you know that I don’t like to write super long entries so I’ll have to continue this tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a video of Ryron (the guy on the bottom) and his brother Renner, doing what they do:

 

Location: heading out to see some friends with the boy
Mood: hungry
Music: they shine for you and all the things that you do
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Grateful for my adversaries

The Cartoon with Ralph and Sam, the Coyote and Sheepdog

A Great First Date is finally out on Amazon!

It came out Friday and I was going to write a post on it, but work got in the way. In any case, now it’s available on all platforms including Barnes & Noble Nook, and Apple iBooks.

If you like this blog, you’ll probably like the book as it’s essentially one long entry about one narrow topic. More on this later.

Me: You just elbowed me in the head!
Him: You just slapped me.

Was telling someone recently about this Warner Brothers cartoon I used to watch as a kid where there was this sheepdog named Sam and a coyote named Ralph.

Evidently, they’re not just friends and roommates but also co-workers. What makes the cartoon interesting is that between the hours of 9 to 5, they are mortal enemies – each trying to outwit, and even kill the other. But once the bell rings to signal the end of the day, they put their differences aside and go home.

I have a regular training partner when I wrassle and we’re pretty good friends. But the moment we hit the mat, we each expect the other to bring his best, which means a lot of relatively controlled violence.

Then the bell rings and we go home.

I’m grateful for my adversaries in life; the ones I count as friends and the ones that I don’t.

They make me anti-fragile.

And these days, I find that I need that more and more.

Him: Oh man, what have you been eating, you weigh a ton.
Me: Chili, what else?

Location: at the end of several deadlines
Mood: hopeful
Music: be brave with what you want to say
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Burn all them bridges down, to the ground, cause I won’t be coming this way again

UWS NYC

Him: So – y’think you’re back on your feet finally?
Me: (thinking) Yeah. I do.
Him: Good. (raises a weapon) Let’s go.
Me: (laughing and raising my sword) En garde.

Been spending my days with my nose to the grind and working like mad. Spending nights with my favourite person.

An old friend of mine crossed my mind today. We had some good times but he ended up being a different person; I’m sure he thinks the same of me. But in the end – like so many others – that relationship wasn’t worth the time and effort.

Thought about all of people that have come in and out of Venn Diagram. The people and relationships I cut, the boats and bridges I’ve burned.

They say never burn any bridges, but I say sometimes you gotta burn all them bridges down, to the ground, cause you won’t be coming this way again.

And the bridges and people I got left earned their spot in my life as I hope I’ve in theirs.

Got my pad, my people, my poison, and my person. I’m sickeningly content.

And boy, have I got stories to tell you. I’ll tell you one Wednesday tomorrow.

Me: I’m good at convincing people to do things they wouldn’t want to do normally.
Her: Well, you convinced me to marry you.

Location: AC Hotel lobby in Malaga, Spain
Mood: thoughtful
Music: I’ve got friends and they’ve got my back
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Clear Blue Skies

I’d like to move away – but I’d miss my family

The funeral I went to has been on my mind. It’s made me pensive and sappy.

I have no death wish – far from it. I have a master plan to live until I’m 100. But the plans of mice and men…

What I think about is whether or not I’ll get to find out if my father is right or wrong.

My father, you see, believes me in. I don’t know why, especially in light of my dismal track record in, well…just about everything. Yet, he thinks that I am capable of things I don’t think I am.

He always says, The race is long, one day you’ll fly.

Maybe he’s just like every other dad in the world. Maybe he really believes it.

I like to think he believes it.

That’s the real reason I don’t just pack up and leave to Beijing, Berlin or someplace where no one knows me, you know?

Because it would be nice if I could prove him right.

And I’d miss them all.

Location: sick in bed
Mood: sick
Music: So, all alone I keep the wolves at bay
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