Belting out the Carnivorous Smileys

Feeling Blue

Well, I hope so at least.

On Saturday I graded for my Blue Belt in Goju-Ryu Karate-Do. It was quite challenging. I like the dojo that I am a part of because they not only stress the physical (and boy do they stress it), but the mental as well. They encourage you to read books related to our style, as well as martial arts in general. So, not only are the students who are grading expected to fulfill the physical requirements of the art, but they are also expected to know some answers to some questions regarding various aspects of our style (as well as handing in a written test).

Thus, preparing for this exam is a serious thing (unlike other dojos I have been a part of), and I treat it as such.

The grading itself went well. I could have done better (but this is something that will never change, as I will never be perfect). I messed up some of my basics (some due to my own momentary lack of coordination, and some due to misunderstandings with some of the calls – which were sorted out after a few moves), I did well on my katas (some minor errors), and I did fine in the rest of the elements as well (Self Defence, Sparring, Exam).

I always find it interesting after these types of things to have most people tell me how great my peformance was. While I disagree with the level of their enthusiasm, I know I did all right. Most likely better than average, and well enough to attain my belt. It’s not a matter of being cocky. It’s just that I know how well I did because I am very critical of myself, and I work very hard to do well at things that are important to me (and even some that aren’t).

When I say things like I could have done better or I made some mistakes, people seem to take deep offense to this and respond with phrases like you rocked that test or some other pep-talkish phrase. It’s not that i’m down on myself. I just know the areas in which I need to improve.

I know if someone asks me how they did, I tend to give them good news unless they ask about the bad. I am an honest critic, and depriving someone of useful information that could help them improve would really be unfair to that person. If the criticism is delivered constructively, there should really be no problem.

My friend and nemesis Steve didn’t argue when I told him that I messed up my basics. However, he did mention that he really enjoyed my katas. This is the kind of support that is best.

Hopefully I will advance to a new level in a few weeks.


My friend Tien is awesome. He’s a great friend who has a knack for putting things into perspective.

Every Monday we run a little study group for people that want to learn and practice Capoeira and self defence. I sort of lead it, and Tien points out all the things I forget. It’s a good arrangement.

Tien is shorter than I am, and doesn’t weigh as much, but he eats as much as I, and doesn’t seem to ever gain any weight.

Oh, and when I say that he eats as much as I, I don’t mean that he consumes the same amount of food that I do. I mean that he consumes the same amount of food that I weigh.

Smileys Don’t Take Away the Pain

I have to be honest, and say that I am in Blogging primarily because of three people: Shatton, Amanda and Dave.

Shatton is a great friend who comes across as a very angry guy in his Blog. This is awesome, as he is not really all that angry in reality. He just writes that way. And it is hilarious! In reality he is a really nice guy, and very savvy.

Amanda is the one who introduced me to MSN as a blogging venue. I curse her for this.

Dave has been one of my best friends for the longest time (and he’s hung like a bear*). His sense of humour and easygoing nature have always been a great balance to my evil tendencies and jackass-like behaviour. He’s a big influence, and I appreciate his friendship tremendously (even though he doesn’t know it. Oh wait. He just found out. CRAP!).

So how do I show my appreciation? I razz him about being lazy for writing a new section** by leaving a snarky comment about him being lazy. And then, when he retaliates, I pull out all the stops, and leave a comment as him (which is, tactically, a stroke of genius).

Now, I wasn’t actually serious about any of it, of course. There is always an inferred smiley face at the end of my comments. I called him up to see his reaction to my latest ploy (which I found that he had erased). We chatted on the phone about it, and Dave laughed and said smileys don’t take away the pain.

And so, let us see if this is really true…

Case 1 – The Breakup

Dear Gwynneth,
I just thought I would let you know that I have been moved around here in Europe for my job. I am now in Germany, and it has been a great experience so far. I’m not missing you as much, though, as I am missing being home. That being said, I think we should call it off. I find that you are too needy, and whine far too much for someone who considers themselves to be a well-adjusted person. I’ve started seeing someone else, so I guess you can consider this a goodbye letter. Take care, and I hope you have a nice life!


Case 2 – The Notice

Dear Occupant,
We have decided to evict you. It is not because you’ve missed any rent payments, or that you’re overly noisy or disruptive. It’s just that we don’t particulary smile upon anyone that owns so many pieces of Hello Kitty clothing (accessories are one thing, but bikinis?). Please move out by the end of the week.

The Management

Case 3 – Termination

Dear Reginald,
You are fired.

With Sympathy
The CEO of Company B***


I guess it is true. Smileys really don’t take away the pain.

* – No he isn’t.
** – Dave’s new section involves him asking a question about one topic or another and an invitation to the reader to comment on their opinion of the answer.
*** – Not affiliated with the Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy