added a couple pictures to the gallery - a reminder of my mophead phase, a couple pics of my bike and a nice one of foxy. hopefully i'll be getting a camera in the near future and can keep a more steady visual chronicle of my life. up to this point i have never owned a camera and so relied on the kindness of girlfriends to lend me theirs. hence almost no pictures have been taken of me during my bachelor periods, apart from family functions and the like. it's like looking at your life through a filter.
sadly the motorcycle is already in the shop. some clown backed into it while i was having lunch and crushed the kickstand and cracked the oil pan. funny, i only had it for 350 miles but i was really getting used to it and haven't been happy at all to go back to the big pig of a durango for everyday driving. hopefully i'll get it back in the next couple weeks before the gas bill bankrupts me.
time for my annual blog post. so what's new... oh not much - broke up with the girlfriend, sold my house, cut my hair, moved to mill valley and just today backed my truck into a telephone pole. good times, good times.
now i've moved a lot in my life, so you'd think that i'd get better at it over time but no, it sucks balls every time. in fact it gets much worse over time as you accrete more stuff. when i moved to illinois 8 years ago i had all my worldly possessions in the back of an '82 toyota pickup truck (with canopy). that move sucked. over the ensuing years i've accumulated approximately 1.7 cubic fucktons of crap, so that over this past week it took 8 trips with a variety of trucks and vans for my latest move. like i said, good times.
i finally put some of the photos ksenia and i took up in a little gallery
and did a little housecleaning on the site. most of the pictures are of the architecture of st. petersburg and moscow, which people may not find exciting. there is one good picture of me in a furry hat
though. so sexy.
it's all greek to me
it's been a little over a week since i got back from my trip and i'm already forgetting the words i picked up. i learned a bit of russian before i went over through some tapes that i bought. they taught simple phrases that might come in handy for tourists, stuff like "i don't understand russian", and "excuse me, where is red square". in practice, you can get pretty far in any country starting from a base of just 4 words - please, thanks, beer, bathroom - and pick it up as you go along.
russian is a tough language though. i can kind of find my way in french or german because the roots of the words are common to english. russian is just weird, with a different alphabet and entirely different sounds that we don't have in english, and vice versa. some of the newer words are taken directly from english though, which made for a little bit of familiarity once i started being able to read a little. it didn't take long to figure out what an internet cafe looks like, since the internet and cafe are both spelled phonetically in russian. they do have some problems with purely english sounds though, like trying to find a russian spelling for subway (saabvey). the subway shops in russia still have the same heinous yellow store front, btw, even with a different sign on it.
thankfully russian people were very good about the language thing. i didn't run into anyone that seemed offended at my butchering their language, and my russian grammar skills are well below tonto's english. the one person that couldn't get the hang of talking to me in a way i could understand was ksenia's grandfather. he would use a russian word i've never heard of to explain something, and if ksenia wasn't around to translate we were stuck. it didn't seem to bother us when we were watching hockey or playing cards though. he's not a dim bulb either, he kicked my ass 17 of the 18 games of chess we played, which was a thoroughly humbling experience.
the whole trip was humbling in some ways. no matter how nice people are to you, not being able to say anything but the most basic phrases or understand anything spoken to you made me feel very frustrated and stupid. i constantly had that perplexed smile of someone who has no idea what you're talking about. i hate that smile. that smile was one of the reasons i was eventually happy to get back home.
babes and beers
st. petersburg is the answer to an interesting question - what would life be like if no one needed a bungalow and a white picket fence. in the time that i was there i did not see a single single family dwelling, just blocks of flats as far as the eye could see. st. pete is not a small city either, it has a population of almost 5 million, but they're densely packed into a small area because everyone lives in a high rise of 4 to 30 floors. this allows for very good public transportation, with a metro that goes almost everywhere and thousands of little busses to fill in the gaps. good public transportation in turn means a lot less cars (about 1/10th the number of a comparable american city by my own pull-it-out-of-my-ass estimate), and a lot less cars means that everyone walks a good deal more, which in turn means that the percentage of nice asses is remarkably high. seriously, you can get on any random metro train and see at least 3 girls that look like they're on their way to a playboy photoshoot. 6' hotties grow like weeds in russia, a fact that it's best not to remark upon when you're traveling with your girlfriend, even if she's one of them.
they're all dressed well too. i remember looking at russian footage a few years ago and thinking that the country was still stuck in the bad hair, bad poofy blouse 80s but being there now it was a fashionable place. oh sure, you can still find the russian guy with the ludicrously high-waisted jeans or the girl with the white leather christina applegate boots but those are not the norm. i did find it weird that no one there has caught on to the fact that when the temperature is above 25C/80F shorts are a good idea. literally not one person was wearing shorts despite the warm temperatures. i wasn't rebel enough to go against the grain so i sweated it out in my jeans the whole time.
another thing that is striking about st. petersburg is that construction cranes are as thick as trees. the russian economy must be booming because new buildings are sprouting up in every empty corner of the city and a good percentage of the old buildings are behind scaffolding getting a face lift. another economic data point is that most things cost at least as much in russia as they do in the states, from the big macs to clothes to electronics to cars to appliances. there are some things that you can get a deal on, like some groceries and vodka and bus tickets, but it's not a cheap place to go for a tourist. apparently they've caught on to the whole capitalism thing and gone whole hog for it. you can tell from the tv programs too, which are similar to american ones, right down to the commercials, which i have to say was more than a little disheartening.
i'm sure that russians don't spend as much time actually watching tv though, they need to reserve some time to walk around bus stops drinking beer in the afternoons. i didn't really get why drinking beer on street corners was a good idea, maybe most of them still live with their parents and want to get out, maybe they just didn't want to be stuck inside when the weather was so beautiful, or maybe there just aren't a lot of good pubs around. plus it doesn't get dark that far north until about 11pm so you might as well make use of the light. anyway, drinking beer on the sidewalk is so de rigueur that a whole industry of sidewalk beer gardens has sprung up to sell the beer, which just further proves that the market economy has found a home in russia.
i have been to russia. there are no bears.
that's the caption on a souvenir tshirt sold in moscow and st. petersburg, and not strictly speaking true. during my 2 week trip to russia i did in fact see a bear cub, playing at the end of a leash in a st. petersburg park.
anyway, the chronicles have been sparse to say the least lately but i have a burning itch to record my thoughts and observations about ksenia and my trip to russia. i will begin, naturally enough, with the trip to russia...
the trip started with a flight to philadelphia, whose airport is very non-descript apart from the ben franklin fascination. it is hard to find any shop in the airport that doesn't have some sort of ben franklin tchotchke, and that's in addition to the ben franklin shop with nothing but. in any event, philly, whatever, never been there before but nothing particularly interesting so far.
the next leg of the journey took us to munich. that's a pretty long flight for a guy that's never been anywhere that wasn't part of north america before. the munich flight was an overnighter, so we took off late in the evening, had dinner, watched a movie, had about an hour nap and then they woke us up for breakfast. not a good flight for dieters. unfortunately it was cloudy when we arrived so i wasn't able to catch much of a glimpse of what munich is like from the air but i can tell you that the airport looks like the inside of an autoclave.
finally, the flight in to st. petersburg was relatively short, ending with a bone-jarring landing and a taxi to the terminal that was almost as long as the flight because they are repairing the main runway there. once inside the airport we had to pass the extraordinarily stern russian customs officer, who literally did not speak a word to me but seemed to xray me with his eyes. i used to think that american customs guys were dicks but they're tenderly accomodating in comparison.
and then, after collecting our bags from the impossibly small carousels, we jumped in a taxi for the rally race to ksenia's mother's flat. funny thing, most roads in russia don't seem to have any actually defined lanes. wherever you can fit a car, you will find a car. our cabbie wove between the buses and around the accidents like a champ and whatever race he was in i'm sure we won.
so after 30 hours, 3 flights and 6 meals we arrived at ksenia's mother's - just in time for dinner. it's a wonder i didn't come back 20 lbs heavier.
Back in the saddle
Hey, it's been a while, I know. But now I have some life stories that I
want to chronicle and I don't want to feel guilty for neglecting the
blog for the last many months. So let's don't judge, and carry on like
nothing ever happened.
it's been a while, stuff has happened. the most momentous bit is that my girlfriend and i have bought a townhouse and moved in together. it was a big purchase, and there is a fair to good chance that housing prices will plummet in the next year or so and drag the economy down with them so it came with a healthy amount of fear attached. thing is, living in my own place that is 2.5 times bigger than my apartment was and is a 2 minute walk from work really makes up for any economic uncertainty right now. i find that i listen to a lot less radio, and buy a lot less gas than i used to, but those are sacrifices that i'm willing to make.
it's funny, there is a palpable difference between living in a rented place, and one you own. in a rented place, if you don't like something you live with it because moving is a pain in the ass. in a place you own the imperfections nag you and force you to pay substantial sums of money. owning means you have to care. that's not a subtle shift in thinking, or a cheap one. all i can say is this better be worth it.
got back today from my trip up and down the west coast, and i'm beat. 9 days in a car that smells like a dog's feet can wear on you, no matter what beautiful sights you see along the way. i can accurately measure those things against each other too because i did see some really beautiful things along the way.
ksenia, foxy and i packed our bags into my durango and headed north up the 101 last saturday morning. the first day we stopped in crescent city for the night, the most northerly city on the california coast. the second day was the best of the whole trip. it started with a walk on the beach in the early morning watching the fog burn off, progressed through the redwood forest, meandered up the oregon coast
stopping to ride atv's
on the sand dunes
and wound up in vancouver, washington with a work out and a swim in the hotel pool while watch highlights of the nfl games that i missed during the day. for me, you can't get much better than that.
from there we spent 2 days in seattle, took the ferry to victoria for a day, took the ferry back to vancouver for 2 days, then took 2 days to drive home stopping at factory outlet malls and the steaming crater of mt. st. helens along the way. a whirl wind tour of the pacific northwest to say the least. some random observations of the trip, in more or less chronilogical order:
a. redwoods are really really big
and old. you can see the ones that have died and fallen and how new life is created by the trauma. they make you think about your place on earth and other weighty subjects
. it's also always very quiet in a redwood forest, which makes you feel like you should whisper when you talk, which i find weird, but i can't help but do it anyway.
b. 1 hour on an atv in the sand dunes is pretty much enough to get the gist of it.
c. i have yet to actually see any part of portland not visible from the freeway. from that vantage point there just doesn't seem to be a reason to stop.
d. redmond must have the biggest dog park in the world. every city should have one of those.
e. i wouldn't mind if the ferry to victoria was a little more spartan if that would make it cheaper.
f. how many more high rises can they fit into yaletown? they've been building them there non-stop for forever.
g. the canadian dollar is really cramping my shopping on trips back home, but not as much as the dearth of things i'd like to buy. clothes shopping in vancouver was a complete whiff.
h. mt st helens
isn't really worth the 4 hour detour to go see it. maybe if the mountain was a little more rambunctious it would be more interesting. btw, the weird test pattern trees
(that image is not doctored) on the drive up to the crater viewing sight will give you motion sickness if you watch them too long. i kept expecting to see a crappy 3d rendering materialize out of the background.
i. i really miss my friends.
here's some more pics from the trip: 1 2 3 4 5 6
the reclusive tree in the forest
it's been a long time since i've written anything. the beauty of that is people have stopped looking at this blog so now i don't have to censor anything. i don't like to write about personal things because i don't want people finding out how i feel about stuff from reading my blog. that's a very passive aggressive path to walk. i guess another solution would be to tell people how i feel so it's not a shock, but it's still airing your laundry for other people to see if you then plug it into your web-based diary. i have this strong belief that privacy is something to cherish, but i'm not entirely sure why.
anyway, i've been putting in some very long hours lately and having a hard time unwinding and getting to sleep. i figured that after a hard day of working on my computer it would help to come home and sit in front of my computer for a while. it's working great so far.
how things change
i've noticed something creeping into my blogs lately: excuses for why i haven't written in my blog much lately. i've actually held back from excusing myself more because i thought it was going to get annoying very fast. (now i just write a couple entries at a time and backdate them to look like i'm still blogging (shh, don't tell)) the fact is that excuses for not finding the time to do something are a sham. if something is important you will find the time to do it. the reason that i haven't been writing in my blog as much as i used to is that my priorities are shifting and blogging is becoming less important than other things in my life. well one thing really, and her name is ksenia. girlfriends change a lot of things in your life, not the least of which is how you spend your time. blogging was a relatively fun way to spend time, but it falls a lot farther down the list now.
that's not an excuse though, just an explanation.
my memorial weekend road trip started out sunday on the least beautiful stretch of road in california (880 though oakland/alameda) and ended on the most beautiful (17 mile drive
in monterey). monterey
is spectacular all over but the area around pebble beach
golf course still manages to stand out. i guess that's why homes there can cost 36 million.
the whole trip was a big loop down through san jose to monterey and then up the coast along highway 1 back to san francisco and home. highway 1 is a big favorite of mine so the trip down was predictably less exciting than the trip back. all the ocean scenery
and the beach towns (monterey, aptos, capitola, santa cruz, half moon bay, pacifica) are picturesque. the stretch of highway 1 on the olympic penninsula in washington state is same way. i tell you, it was a hard thing to go back to an office with no windows after that.
the other "big event" of the weekend was accidentally seeing "the day after tomorrow". i know i railed disaster movies just the other day but this one was ... well, the same crap. i got tricked into going to see it by a couple good reviews and then it wound up being exactly what i had originally expected it to be - cheesy, and with way too many american flags. i don't understand why movie makers feel that they have to take everything in a movie to absolutely ridiculous extremes. why do cg wolves have to try to eat people who just got drenched by a 200 foot wave, are on the verge of being frozen by a killer land hurricane while searching for a cure for gangrene? what mental disfunction prevents them from making a movie that is remotely believable? i think the answer is that these kinds of movies exist for the sole purpose of advertising computer graphics rendering technology. at least i went to the matinee and didn't pay full price for it. small consolation, but still.
a week's worth of random thoughts
two things on the brain recently, movies and playoffs. i was sick over the weekend with yet another sinus thing so i spent a lot of time on my couch watching dvds and sports. here are my thoughts, in no particular order.
in retrospect, people in the 70s had a comical view of utopia, at least as it was portrayed in logan's run
. for what it's worth you couldn't film my utopian vision using a southern california mall as a set, although my utopia might wind up being a little bit disco.
good will hunting
was actually a pretty good movie. sometimes you look back on movies you thought were good and find them lacking from a more recent perspective but that was not the case here. i forgot how well robin williams played his role.
calgary must be rocking these days. makes me wish i was up there for some of the fun. i'm the biggest bandwagon fan because the only times i've ever cheered for the flames was when they were in the stanley cup finals, but go flames.
minnesota is doomed, indiana is done. detroit will put up a good fight but succumb to the lakers, as much because of favoritism as skill and bulk (aka kobe and shaq). the nba has more in common with professional wrestling than with any real sport in terms of a level playing field. who you are determines what calls you get. it's like watching figure skating, and that's why i care less and less each year. when does the nfl season start?
will the disaster movie genre ever die? how many more movies can they make whose entire plot consists of "giant wave/storm/asteroid/monster wrecks los angeles/new york/washington d.c."? there's something freudian about the whole thing.
and finally, being sick sucks - unless you have someone sweet to be sick with.
the pseudo-science of taste
this week i dicovered pomegranate
juice. i don't mean i invented it, i just found it at the grocery store and bought some. according to the makers it's by far the highest concentration of antioxidants in juice form. according to me it's delicious, but i do also like taking it to those bastard free radicals.
but don't trust my opinion unless your taste is similar to mine. my taste buds are tuned to very tart things like straight cranberry juice and sour patch kids, yours may not be. taste is a very personal thing. i'll eat almost anything, but some people are very picky. nothing wrong with that either way, it's all just how your neurons interact when presented with particular stimuli.
it is hard sometimes though to account for other people's taste, even when you can see clear patterns. soccer moms love mini vans. germans love david hasselhoff. watching the brick and board breaking competition on espn tonight it's clear that people who like kung fu also like 80s hair styles. i have to think that there is some genetic factor at work at some level. whatever it is that makes you want to break a brick with your elbow must be physically related to whatever it is that makes you think a rat tail with a mohawk is cool.
still, there's no excuse for david hasselhoff
the movie that launched a thousand something
went to see troy tonight. i'm not a person that makes a habit of seeing summer blockbusters on the opening night but it looked like it could be good and getting tickets to any movie in marin isn't hard considering there's a theatre for every 10 people in the county.
it's not exactly historically accurate, but then the story of the trojan war is a legend not the washington post. brad pitt was looking a bit puffy, like someone over-inflated him. he and eric bana took turns looking stoic, or solemn, or stolid but they're both buff and take their shirts off a lot so no one minded. all i know is that i never need to see brad's ass again. the actress who played helen was probably the 5th prettiest girl in the movie, after the girl who played eric bana's wife, a couple of the extras and orlando bloom. odd casting choice for the face that launched a thousand ships. brian cox lived up to his name, dicking everyone around as the megalomaniacal agamemnon. just in case you didn't get the point that he was a bad man early, he hammers it home in every scene. most of the characters were painted with a pretty wide brush, so that wasn't a big surprise.
overall impression = easily mocked but quite enjoyable.
picking something to blog about has always been a passive exercise for me - just wait for inspiration to hit and then go with it. that goes a long way to explaining the irregular schedule of updates i've followed, and the random assortment of topics i've written about. sometimes when i'm awash in interesting stimulus there's a cascading flow of ideas and i have to pick just one at a time, and other times nothing seems to strike my fancy (but i think that's partly because my fancy isn't a very big target).
it's not always a lack of energy at the root of the dry spells either. art for me is much the same way. i like to draw, but if i'm not inspired to draw i quickly lose interest or get frustrated and shift my efforts to other activities. i haven't been very inspired to draw for literally years now. that skill has been put on the back burner while my creativity has been channelled into my job and other new experiences and activities like computer art, photography and yes, blogging. my zeal for art is not dead, just dormant, waiting for the right gust of fresh air to catch its sail.
the thing i haven't figured out is what triggers the shift of focus. sometimes i discover a new thing that i haven't tried before and want to explore the possibilities, but many times i come back to a past enthusiasm and resurrect it. if i had more control over the process i'd have wanted to spend more time drawing over the last few years. it's an ennobling activity, and one with a tangible reward that can be shared. i'd be a more consistent blogger too.
i think though that creativity is better served by unpredictability. it should be a bolt of lightning not the tick of a metronome, otherwise it too would become tedious like duty and obligation. but that doesn't mean that i don't want to stand next to the lightning rod to make sure i get zapped as much as possible.
it's been a while since i've posted and that's because my folks arrived on wednesday and i've been pretty busy since they got here. they've had the premium package tour of the area - mt. tam, muir woods, muir beach, golden gate bridge, coit tower, fisherman's wharf, marina, giants game, marin civic center, napa wine tasting and a whole lot of shopping. it's been an exhausting few days for everyone but at the same time it's made my surroundings fresher to see other people experience them for the first time. there's a ton of very interesting stuff around here, and it's a huge shame when it becomes familiar and mundane.
it's aways been a little weird to have my parents come visit me in places i live. i'm definitely a different person when i go back home than i am when i'm living by myself (although moreso in the past than now) so it causes a little cognitive dissonance when the two worlds collide. it also makes me evaluate my lifestyle in a new light, which is good. not that there's anything radical about my lifestyle in the grand scheme of things, but my roots are fairly extreme in their conservatism.
introspection is a healthy thing, and paradoxically looking inside yourself is helped most by seeing how other people see you. things that i take for granted about my life are completely foreign to my parents and having them around illuminates those aspects. i have such a weird mix of experiences that i can't imagine anyone else parallelling them in their own life. maybe that's true for everyone, we're all unique after all. in any event, probing the differences between my point of view and other peoples' is a good way to ask interesting questions about the underlying structure of my personality. it makes me investigate whether i like me, and if i'd want to hang around me. asking those questions has been the strongest impetus for change in my life because i've often disliked the answers. i'm not saying that i believe what everyone else thinks of me, but getting outside yourself gives you a fresh perspective and that can be a welcome push out of a rut.
destroying the environment, one leaf at a time
today when i was driving back to work from lunch a leaf, carried by the swirling eddies of highway air, beached itself on the dash of my open convertible. "poor confused leaf," i thought, "this was not your intent", so i gingerly lifted it from the dash and released it back to the nurturing wind from whence it came.
it was at this point that the clown behind me started honking his horn vigorously and proceeded to pull up beside my car and yell out "go back to washington jerk, we don't need your kind here". (how did he know i had previously lived in washington state you might ask? well, i have not yet switched my registration to california so i still have washington plates. i paid for them, and they're good for another couple months, and i'm cheap enough to not want to dish out a whack more money to change them over until i get my money's worth. when i buy food, i eat it. when i pay my green fee i make sure to see the whole golf course. it's about not wasting stuff. but i digress...) i gave him a very calm and reasoned rebuttal of two middle fingers, which oddly didn't seem to placate him. it's regrettably difficult to have a meaningful conversation about the environment across freeway lanes at 65mph.
to be fair, mr. uninformed granola munching ass clown has a point, which i take the liberty of paraphrasing for him: littering is bad. i even fully support that point of view. but when you offer that point of view with the shrillness of a yoko ono chipmunk remix it gets lost in the emotional response of the person you're screeching at. and if you parrot a dogmatic message with a knee jerk quick draw, you run the risk of looking like an extreme and/or extremist idiot. these two observations i think are the roots of a great many liberal failings. (they are the roots of a lot of conservative ones too, but then i don't broadly care about their platform) i believe that the liberal message is a good one, and one that a sensible intelligent person has a good chance of accepting. it's the delivery that's the problem. and the root of that problem is that the people who get activist on everyone and push the process are precisely the people who have the most passionately extreme views. factor in my hypothesis that the general public are idiots who care more about whom j.lo is dating than anything remotely political, and you have a recipe for the least amount of calm and reasoned discussion possible.
but what do i know, i can't even vote.
took a nice drive down the coast today to the beach in santa cruz. santa cruz is every cliche about california beach culture, and i don't mean that in a bad way. there is a boardwalk with shops, a main strip lined with surf shops running past volleyball courts and pasty sun bathers to an amusement park/casino complete with two roller coasters and a log ride. you can't see any of those things from the crappy pictures
i took, but they're there.
i went down with a friend who plays volleyball competitively, a sport i haven't touched for about 8 years. i managed to weasel my way into a few games on the beach and was pleasantly surprised that i haven't completely lost my skills. back in high school volleyball was the
sport for me. basketball was just something that i did after volleyball season to have fun and stay in shape for provincial team tryouts, and soccer wasn't even in the picture. but something happened after volleyball season ended in grade 12 and i dropped it cold turkey in favor of basketball. since then i have played very sporadically, instead getting involved in a long laundry list of other sports.
i'm not totally sure why volleyball fell so far off my map, since it's a good game and i still enjoy playing it. part of the reason i think is that i haven't hung around with people that play volleyball. another part is that volleyball is the single most abused sport in the world. the difference between good volleyball and the perverse facsimilie played in rec leagues by fat people wearing powder blue sweat suits is a vast and horrific chasm. most people who are not remotely athletic would never think of joining a basketball league, but they all seem to want to sign up to slap a white ball back and forth across an 8 foot net. i think it's fine that they're getting out and getting active, and i'm not trying to be elitist about the whole thing, but i just wish they could come up with a different name for it (maybe slappyball?) to mark the marked difference between the two. i should start a petition.
getting back to my original point, i really like beach culture. walking around with shorts and sandals on, the sand, the surf, the sun, the scenery - it's all good. it must be instinctive but i'm drawn to that lifestyle. if i had my choice of any way of life i'd pick a house on the beach with a bbq pit and boat tied to the end of a dock, and i'd never wear socks again. until i reach a level of financial independence that could facilitate a sock-free existence i'll just have to go back to the beach to get my fix.
the sweet science
i cooked and molded my mouth guard tonight. i'm starting to box again and you need one, even if you only plan to train, not fight. one of the guys i work with belongs to a boxing club and i went with him last week to work out there. it was cool to get into it again. i've done the boxing thing before a couple times, (the last time about 8 years ago) but i've never done more than a little controlled sparring. it is an excellent workout though. boxing is one of those sports that you can't cross train for. it works unusual muscles and works them with such intensity that you could be a triathlete and still come away sore from a hard workout. i'm no triathlete so i was pretty sore for 4 days.
boxing is a really primal sport. on one level it's all about raw instincts, rage and toughness, but on another there is an actual science to it. a very smart, skilled boxer will destroy a brawler by picking him apart. it's a bit like martial arts in that sense, that you learn defenses and counters to various attacks. if you get two boxers that are technicians the bout becomes a game of chess, with each making moves while thinking ahead to countering the counter-attacks. the kind of boxing you get at small local clubs is usually just a couple guys flailing at each other though, with the guy who can windmill his arms the fastest winning. i can remember one time at a house party in high school, a friend of mine and i thought it would be cool to lace up the gloves and box a little. i was thinking that we'd just play around and see what it was like, but he immediately came storming at me swinging his long lanky arms furiously and there was nowhere to back up to in the cramped bedroom we were in. i wound up having the laces of his glove leave a scuff across my forehead after one punch got too close for comfort and before i convinced him to chill out with a couple retalitory shots to the ribs. a lot of things seem like a good idea after a couple beers that wind up going south quickly when you actually try them. friendly boxing is definitely one of those things.
anyway, the two things that i'm hoping to get out of trying this again are to get into better shape, and to explore the primal part of me. there is something very focusing about being in a confined area with someone who is trying to knock you unconscious and you learn quickly how tough you really are. i'll let you know how i stack up when it comes to that.