Hapkido in Greensboro

Cast of Characters: Mr. Scott: Second assistant to Grandmaster Bong. He's somewhere between 20 and 40, vaguely Asian, with friendly spiked hair. I keep expecting him to use `golly jeepers' and `20X6!' in the same sentence. He's Archie if Archie were a well-built anime character. My wrists are still happy from a couple locks he put on me. I don't think he stopped smiling both days. Master Friske: Pronounced `frisky'. He's a 7th dan; in 7-8 years of karate and now four months of TKD, I don't think I've been in the same room as a 7th dan more than once or twice before, and this dude is the assistant. He's 50ish, pure California surfer bum. Grandmaster Bong: Little ageless old Korean man, speaks softly and thickly accented, keeps saying `so eeeasy' and talking about ballroom dancing while severely throwing the other two around. The structure of the class: They demonstrate a technique a few times, we copy that technique many times with our partners. Unfortunately, there were so many people that if we didn't get the technique just right by watching, there was little chance of getting any correction. I still learned quite a bit, but I think I would've learned more by watching the three demonstrate over and over again than by doing so many bad reps myself. I'm glad I went, but I might skip it if they come around again. It is something to watch really good martial artists, though.
posted by Liar at 19:26



Rent one today. ps. I dont think I would approve of this method.
posted by Liar at 16:24


"May a hundred thousand scales flourish."

Kyle Gann is a composer who plays with microtonality and some pretty exciting rhythmic stuff, too. His site is neat, both for its brief and fun discussions of tuning (which is how I found it) and for its good-sized MP3 library. Three things worth checking out: Folk Dance for Henry Cowell, Bud Ran Back Out (both quick pieces for computer-driven piano), and my favorite so far, Time Does Not Exist (a bit longer, for human-driven piano).
posted by Liar at 15:35


The Achordants lay it down.

In class today, one of my students announces that his a cappella group, The Achordants, is putting on a: choose-your-own-adventure-a-cappella-murder-mystery-show tonight. I'm curious, of course, so I swing by. The first thing I notice is that this show is standing-room only in a venue with a couple hundred seats. (Later investigation: 422 seats.) That seems odd for a college a cappella group, but I figure they just have a lot of friends or something. I lean on a pole in the back and prepare to hear some average singing. Holy shit. They weren't perfect--inveterate nitpickers like me had nits to pick--but they were solid. They had rich voices, tight intonation, interesting arrangements, and their dynamics! Their dynamics. What's more, they put on a hell of a show. The whole audience was throroughly amused from start to finish--two hours, minus a few minutes' intermission. Just fantastic. Turns out they're the South Regional ICCA champs, which puts them in the national finals on April 30. Rock my nads. Good luck, guys.
posted by Liar at 23:21


The Barnswoggle shuffles off to Buffalo.

When I met him, he was six weeks old and I didn't know algebra. Last Thursday, Champion Lacey's Phineas T. Barnum died. He had just turned 13. He was a good boy.

posted by Liar at 13:44

My Maine Squeeze.

Get it? This weekend was amazing. (For trip details, you can hit LJ's post.) We clambered together on amazing rocks. The ocean showed us how like a single living thing it is. Everybody's dogs were thrilled to meet us. Which reminds me of a story. In Boston, we stopped on the sidewalk to briefly chat with a basset hound named Elvis and his person. As we were saying goodbye to the two of them, Elvis sneezed and I said `Bless you'. Apparently, Elvis's person thought I was thanking her for her time in a religious fashion. Not everything's about you, lady. Yay! I don't think I've ever felt so loved as I do when I'm with Lauren. I'm unutterably thankful. She interrupts herself amazing me to amaze me further. I am ridonculously in love.
posted by Liar at 13:23


This afternoon.

All the papers are graded, my thesis is submitted, it's thundering hard outside, and I'm packing to go camping--tomorrow--with LJ, whom I love harder than it's thundering. It doesn't get much better than this.
posted by Liar at 16:01


Go heels.

Yee-ha. When UNC wins, they celebrate right around here. The main drag was shut down entirely so folks could burn and burn. Fireworks went into the air, my shirt went into the fire, etc. At least four or five of my students came up to scream in my face. Enough local roads were closed to force me to moped home (still shirtless) on the highway. Verizon is overloaded, and I can't place any calls. This is proper.
posted by Liar at 01:45

Yuri demonstrates his New Zealand zeal.
posted by Liar at 01:39

This ain't half of `em.
posted by Liar at 01:39

Eric gets the spirit; Rod and Hagop take over the world.
posted by Liar at 01:38

I need TP for my bunghole.
posted by Liar at 01:36


My Ancient prof's dealer.

So I'm sitting in the hallway waiting for my meeting, and this guy, early 40sish, comes out of my Ancient professor's office with a backpack, a clipboard, and a Tupperware container lined with tinfoil. I figure drug dealer. I ask him how he is as he walks by; he says he's fine. A few steps later, he comes back and says, `You asked--and you care.' Thus begins a few minutes of meaningless small talk about how hoi polloi can't seem to rise above meaningless small talk. Then he says, `Want some chocolate?' and opens his foil-lined Tupperware to reveal chunks of chocolate. Now I know that (strangers x candy)/(your mom) = butt doctor, but I dig me some chocolate, so I accept. Just as I put it in my mouth, he asks, `So what do you think I do for a living?' I tell him: `I see the clipboard and the backpack; you're here at a professor's office mid-afternoon; you've got chocolate; I think you're a drug dealer.' He got a good laugh out of that. Turns out he buys "textbooks" from "professors" and sells "them" on "the" "internet". Yeah right.
posted by Liar at 16:54


Must I stay or can I go?

The chair sez `Go ahead'. The director of graduate studies sez `We need to talk'. So I meet with him tomorrow. Fingers crossed, folks, but it's looking good. (Knock on your mom.)
posted by Liar at 19:10


Turning a corner

I just sent an email asking for a year off. Although I'm holding my breath waiting for the answer, I still feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Now I just have to dig myself out from under all these papers... Here's some Rumi for y'all: When you feel gloomed over, it's your failure to praise. Irreverence and no discipline rob your soul of light. (trans. Coleman Barks)
posted by Liar at 22:43