Fig-tionary – March 30, 2005

k-rot (Props to Mr. Burgess for this one)

  1. Function: noun – Karate – Usage: Mr. Burgess can’t make it to the theatre today. He has to go to k-rot.

k-rotstitute (Jorge came up with this while engaged in a chat with Suzy)

  1. Function: transitive verb – to offer indiscriminately for assistance in Karate classes – Usage: Jorge wishes he could assist in class. He’s always wanted to k-rotstitute himself.

*Remember, you can submit a request for a crazy definition for a typo by clicking here. You can read about the Fig-tionary here.


These Are the Daves I Know…

I have a few friends named Dave. Two of these guys are my among my closest friends (and members of my assassin squad/glee club). The Dave in this particular entry is the one we refer to as the bald gay man or just simply D.

Today we had a goofy exchange of words. I could make this into a regular feature, given how frequently we have conversations that contain stupid dialogue. However, I will only do this occasionally, because the world can only handle so much unbridled genius.


[Dave and Jorge are embroiled in a bitter game of Trivial Pursuit. Jorge just answered a question incorrectly.]
Dave: You were wrong. The answer is Boston.
Jorge: Boston Massachusetts?
Dave: No, Boston, India, you idiot.

How about this one…

Jorge: What are you guys doing May long weekend?
Dave: What is that, May?
Jorge: I am SO writing this in my blog.

I thought I would lighten the mood after the post from yesterday.

Up In Smoke

Take Up Smoking, Win a Prize!

I almost fell out of my chair the other day when I caught the tail end of a news segment about people who are quitting smoking and winning a car.


That’s right – A FREAKIN’ CAR!

Apparently, there is a group of these folks who entered some program to help them quit, and the incentive is that they are entered into a draw. If their urine tests show that they haven’t been smoking for n weeks, then they have a chance of winning the thing.

My question is: What about all the people who don’t ever choose to smoke?

You’d think that they would also be entered into the draw due to the fact that they haven’t exposed anyone else to second hand smoke.


Gotta love modern society…

The End of an Era

The Skinny

I used to attend a Capoeira academy a few years ago. Actually, I attended several. I would leave because I don’t particularly care for politics, or poorly-run schools that keep increasing their fees, even though there is no reason to do so.

The last academy I attended was the longest of any, clocking in at about 2 or 3 years. Throughout my time there, I had to learn and unlearn many things. The kicker was that a lot of the things I had to unlearn I learned from the very teachers that were asking me to unlearn. It was very frustrating.

I watched in heartbreak as potentially great students were left by the roadside because they didn’t learn fast enough. And the students that were gifted were fed greater and greater techniques as the rest dwelled in mediocrity. New students that came to try out for the classes were not given any help, and were left frustrated. Consequently they would not come back.

I designed the school web page with no guidance (not for my lack of asking), and the promise of payment was brought forth. That never happened. They ended up paying me with free classes for a year, only to turn around and mistreat me.

One of my best friends (who also attended this place) and I sat down with them to discuss the state of things, not as students, but fellow martial artists. It was apparent then that these people did not want to listen to reason, and so we left. I walked away from all those free classes, and the time I had invested.

A waste? Not really.

The lesson I learned was that I had to be true to myself. If I want to be a good martial artist, I have to make sure that wherever I go, I am really learning things. My old instructors are also not really bad people. They are good at the core, I am sure. They just didn’t know how to run a business properly, and they had a lot to learn as leaders of a martial arts community.

The Solution

One of the things I wanted to do was to continue learning and playing Capoeira. I started a study group (with a good friend of mine) for martial arts & Capoeira using another friend’s common room (In their building). I had invited people out to try Capoeira, so that they could build the basic skills necessary to go to a real academy and learn without feeling left in the dust. I also left it open for people in my former academy to come out and brush up on their skills so that they could learn more effectively from where they were attending.

It started out well enough, but attendance over the year never really increased to the level where we could have real games with the real flavour of Capoeira. It just turned into a session about movements.

But people did learn. At least I hope they did.

The End?

Yesterday I told the attendees that it was the last class. There would be no more.

Due to my current Blue Belt status in Karate, I have the opportunity to assist in classes. This would really help me out in achieving my goals in Karate. I have spent so long doing various martial arts, and never really taking the final steps in any of them, that I feel it is about time to think about myself and actually attain a rank somewhere that is meaningful.

I also don’t like to sacrifice time that I could potentially be spending with my wife.

It’s really that simple.

Ironically, last night we had five new people show up to learn, all of which expressed disappointment at the prospect of the last session. One of the students brings her mom once in a while, and they brought some friends who are Brazilian musicians who invited us to use their church common area. They also possess all of the instruments (and the knowledge to play them), and are excited at the prospect of Capoeira.

In a few months, when things have settled for me, I might run a workshop or something with those folks once a month, as I really enjoy playing Capoeira and helping people learn.

It would also be fun to have games in the park or on the beach.

Funny Enough…

I just met with one of my former instructors to sign a contract for the use of my photos if they require it (not more than 10 minutes ago). It’s nice that he is finally taking a more professional approach to the whole thing. He is starting an official academy (in his own space), and is learning the ropes of running a business.

I wish him well.


Would You Like Some Salt On Your Foot?

Ever have one of those moments when you say something really inappropriate? Those are the worst, especially when the inappropriateness is due to some subtlety in the English language.

A friend at work was walking along the cubicle hallway carrying a large folded up cardboard box.

The following exchange ensued…

Jorge: Do you love your box?
Girl: Yes I do.
Jorge: Er…..


Beering My Soul

I Was Canadian

Can someone tell me what happened to the Molson’s commercials? They went from being very Canadian to very…well….not Canadian.

Now, I know that there are many who will argue that Canadians pride themselves on not being American, and that we have no real defining characteristics that make us really distinct (with the exception of the coolest flag ever, and the fact that our National Capital is as secure as a 20 year-old training bra).

Why do I bring this subject up in the first place? Beer. Or rather, beer commercials.

Our beer commercials were much different before the Coors takeover. They were more laid back. More fun. There was far less ego, really. Just a couple of friends having a good time, but not working too hard to do so.

Now, however, it’s as if our beer commercials received an injection of “hypercoolness”. Canadians are portayed as being ultra-cool womanizers (even the women) with unlimited active sex appeal. They dress up in the latest trendy clothes, and they’re smug and over-confident in their top position in the world. Um, I don’t think so.

Canadians, for the most part, should be portrayed as more leisurely (bordering on lazy) in their partying. Oh yes, don’t get me wrong, we don’t sit at home and do nothing (unless the hockey game is on…oh….wait…). We do go to parties. We do have fun. But we don’t have to try to be cool. Our sex appeal is passive. That is, we are magnets, and the fun comes to us. We don’t have to go around pretending to be what we’re not.

We could be proud of our old commercials. Yes, we were definitely portrayed as having confidence. But it’s an ambivalent brand of confidence that made it less abrasive.

Now we just look like pricks.

On the flip side, the Keith’s commercials also need work. Those are just too homey.

Blowing Up the Future Single-Handedly!

The Future is Now

I was chatting with Reay on the phone the other day, letting him know that he should read my friend Cat‘s blog, as she really loves to read his (and has mentioned it in an entry of hers). He was flattered (as he should be, because Cat is cool), and agreed that he would mosey over there with his mouse sometime sooner than later.

He asked how I knew her. And then, immediately added…

“Did you know her Pre-Blog?

This cracked me up. Not that it is a particularly incorrect or silly thing to say. On the contrary, it is highly indicative of the craziness that has taken hold of us. This craziness (which I refer to as futurosity), is a wonderful thing. It is a sign that we are evolving into more intelligent and efficient creatures. It definitely saves some typing, to be sure.

Observe the following more cumbersome way of asking the same question…

Did you know her before she starting writing a Blog?


Did you know her before she started writing an online journal to allow people to be updated on the things in her life she feels she could share?

Damn. How annoying.

Three cheers for futurosity!

Napoleon Dynamite (Contains minor spoilers)

I watched this movie last night, and was howling silently (as my wife was sleeping, and I didn’t want to risk unholy wrath). It is a great movie.

At the same time, though, it was somewhat disturbing. I can see bits and pieces of myself in the character of Napoleon. His friend Pedro also reminds me of some of my friends that I had in high school as well. Actually, almost every character in there could be a representative of groups of people that I knew.

Napoleon is in his own world. One of those guys who is so uncool that he is cool (because he doesn’t really give a damn about what anyone else thinks of him). I wasn’t quite like that. I was uncool, and very conscious of it. I ended up coming off as a total geek most of the time, and pretty much fumbling over my own tongue trying to talk my way out of stupid situations.

All through grade school I was the guy that would sit on his own, that the girls would only dance with because they felt pity. And no, I’m not fishing here, this is the truth. I was always the nice guy*. The guy that girls would date to feel better about themselves. There is a part of the movie where Napoleon goes to the school dance with someone and she essentially leaves him just as they enter to hang out with her friends. I’ve felt the stinging bitterness of that very act.

It’s rare that a movie will make me uncomfortable about myself (discomfort in general – thrillers and horrors – a different feeling). At the same time, though, I hope that I have outgrown at least some of those traits. I mean, my wife is hot, so I must be doing something right!

Plus I feel a lot more confident in myself these days. You would find it hard to believe that I consider myself to be a shy person.

Crazy. This got a lot heavier than I intended. Ah well.

If you are comfortable with possibly facing some of your own demons, watch this movie. It is hilarious.

* Actually, that has sort of been one of the recurring themes in my life. Even my Capoeira nickname is gente-boa which can essentially be translated as “Nice Guy”. Mind you, I have had my moments of being a complete jackass, so the title may not be that appropriate.