Tuesday, November 25

sunday sky

Make sure you get out on Sunday evening and look at the southwest sky. Venus and Jupiter are getting together with the waxing crescent for a secret meeting. Should be pretty cool.

Learn a little more.

Or another article.

If you miss it on Sunday, go out on Monday...

Sunday, November 23

double o seven


Last night we saw Quantum of Solace. A very vague title combining big words that I'm pretty sure don't normally go together, and don't mean much when combined. Despite being unable to understand what the name of the movie means, I enjoyed it.

Daniel Craig's James Bond is definitely my favorite Bond. All the other Bonds are so stiff and clean, so British proper. Daniel Craig's Bond seems to always give the impression that he barely has any idea what is going on, that he's winging it, and hasn't learned how not to muscle through everything. He seems to always be thinking "Dammit!"

I like that.

I thought the movie was entertaining, though not as much as Casino Royale. I couldn't really follow the plot that easily, not sure what was motivating the characters, etc. But that doesn't really matter. You go to a Bond movie expecting some specific things: great fight scenes, pretty girls, fast cars, etc.

This installment delivers all that. I especially like the lack of corny puns. This Bond isn't a witty,intellectual Bond. His actions speak for him. Loudly.

The Bourne Ultimatum had a lot of shaky camera work, where I couldn't really make out all the action. Quantum of Solace dabbled in that a little bit, but not as severely. I hope that's not the direction of the action movies. I like to see what's going on and be able to pick apart the fight scenes.

Speaking of which, Bond's techniques in this latest favored Katate Tori Ichi (Aikido practitioners know it as "KotaGaeshi"). This is definitely a more difficult technique to get when facing a resistant adversary, but Bond used it to disarm a knife attack, and also to take a gun away from a baddie.

This technique can be seen in this clip from the Bourne Ultimatum around the :35 mark. There is a pause in the action, enough time for the bad guy to fancily maneuver out of it. That is such a hard lock to get, but once you've got it, if you know what you're doing, the fight is over.



It's pretty cool, the way you twist the wrist that it becomes very difficult to close the hand in that position, so it's a great technique for disarming someone since they have a hard time holding onto their knife, gun, spatula, etc.

Keep your eye out for this lock in Quantum of Solace.

Another thing I really liked about this movie was the continuity. Every other Bond movie begins with a sense of induced amnesia regarding the past. There are constant characters like M, but never any mention of the past. This movie is more involved in carrying on the story. I don't know if any other Bond movie has made reference to any of the ladies of Bond's past.

This is probably as realistic as a James Bond movie will ever get. (I am, of course, overlooking the parachute scene in the desert, and the scaffold fight...)

Hollywood is making a bunch of crap. This is comparatively a diamond. Go see it.

Monday, November 17

americanos

I recently received a video of what Sundays are like in Chicago without me:




Wish you were here:

last day in greenville

It's been a great little vacation, but it has flown by. The Ju Jutsu convention was just what I needed. I have some new things to practice, to ponder.

First thing this morning, I went out to the lake to do some Qi Gong. Here is a short sample:




I had a close Sasquatch encounter:




I quickly befriended the lonely beast and tamed her with my aura of compassion:




One day it'll look more like this:




In my search for the Qi people, I revisited a holy site where I had once found sanctuary:





But it looks like they had to move. Maybe Greenville isn't ready for a mountain of Qi.

My last full day here was spent primarily with Heather. We went to the school my mother works at to visit her and meet her coworkers. It's a nice place, clean, new, spacious. Those kids are lucky to have a school like that.

Heather and I then headed out to downtown Greenville. I love the downtown. It's so cozy, without being cramped. I had a great time with my sister:




Look at that pretty girl:




And from this angle too:



What can I say? I just got back from three solid days of Ju Jutsu.


Wait?! Did you see those creatures in the water? I hid behind a tree to obtain this footage:




Tomorrow I have to load up my car, and then I'm off to Asheville for some hatchet throwing with a mentor.

I can't even imagine what boredom feels like anymore.

Tuesday, November 11

in case you miss me

I got pretty drowsy a little after talking with you on the phone last night. Went upstairs to "rest my eyes." I made the mistake of not brushing my teeth.

Next thing I knew it was 2 am and I woke up after having had some wild dreams, ideas, and images. I brushed my teeth, finding myself wide awake. I stayed up until 4 or so. Then went to bed. Woke up at 11. I've been sleeping a ton.

I feel good though. Hope you enjoyed the work and are feeling more centered.

With my energy today I shot a couple videos for you, so you don't miss me too much.

The first one you have to tilt your head to watch. Sorry.




Sunday, November 9

sunday

I slept really well last night. Played with the dog this morning. Did Qi Gong by the lake. Gave out a little thai massage to my mom, dad and sister. They like the rock climber a lot. Big pops in the back.

I've put my sister in Hadaka Shime San, Kote Guruma, Katate Tori Ichi-Go, and Tenada Jime. I also successfully disarmed her when she came at me with a spatula. I'm getting excited for the convention.

I told them about the farm in Wisconsin, and how great that would be if it panned out.

It's nice here.

I'm glad I came.

Wednesday, November 5

bonkers

Chicago was bonkers last night.

Rebecca and I went to our favorite coffee shop to watch the election results. There was no one around. (everyone was downtown.) We saw that Obama won, and then went downtown. There was a huge rally down there. People had tickets and there were so many streets closed, cops all over. Obama was there giving his speech. We caught the end of it. "God Bless You All... etc" The air was electric.

It was really warm out last night and there were thousands upon thousands of people in the streets, in the parks, shouting from concrete walls. It was great. So refreshing to be in a place where a ton of people are excited about something, optimistic. I'm still processing it.

I don't really know what it's like to live in a place where the people actually like the government, I am in awe. I guess I am so used to dissent, it's almost uncomfortable to be enthusiastic. I want to be enthusiastic.

Hope. Change. Catchy words. Now he has it, it's up to him to back it up. I'm excited.

There are two things I'm very interested to learn more about, though.

One:


The North American Union is widely known about in alternative media. I find it shocking that he wouldn't even know the name of it. Unless, of course, he was stalling while trying to think of a way to deflect the question. He knows more than he lets on.

Two:


Joe Biden has made similar statements.


Don't let us down Barack.

Monday, November 3

speaking of beards

Something to aspire to:

it's growing on me

I usually have a scruffy face. Sometimes the scruff becomes a beard, and then sometimes it becomes a big beard. That's usually when I trim it down, and start the cycle all over.




I don't just shave. I play games with Rebecca. "Would you still love me if I looked like this?" I ask her as I stick my face out of the bathroom door, with a fu manchu and sideburns. "Yes," she reassures me.




"Would you still love me if I looked like this?" I am wearing a goatee, reminiscent of a bank manager or used car salesman. "Yes," she reassures me.




"Would you still love me if I looked like this?" My facial hair is gone, except for a nice moustache covering my upper lip. Tom Selleck would be jealous. She falters. "I'm not sure about that one." I consult the mirror again. I'm not sure about that one either. There's something so 1980's and so suburban about the moustache that just clashes with my constitution. Some men can do it. I am not one of them.

After showcasing my facial hair creativity, I buzz it all off, and begin again.

Last night I tested Rebecca's devotion with an Abe Lincoln style beard. Something rather Amish looking. Heather calls this style a "Chin Strap." It looks like I should be wearing a helmet. "Would you still love me?" "Yes."



I returned to the bathroom to buzz the fuzz, only to find that my beard trimmer's battery had died. Our apartment is relatively big, but not big enough to lose anything in. Except, of course, for the charger. I tore the place apart, unable to find it.

The beard trimmer lies waiting for renewal, and my new appearance has transformed me from the Jeremy that everyone knew to Jeremiah, a simple man with a Chin Strap.

Despite my new found urges to raise barns, churn butter, and hand carve quality wooden furniture, she does still love me. I suppose I'm lucky for that, and of course, lucky I'm not stuck rocking a molester moustache, alone.

Saturday, November 1

november

November is here. So soon.

Rebecca and I have a faorite coffee shop that's a couple train stops away from our place. We are there now, empty mugs in front of us. The days go by quickly, the weeks slip away.

I'm going to Greenville next weekend. I'll probably get there Saturday night. By the time I get back to Chicago there may be snow on the ground.

I tuck love notes into my sketchbook, whle she eats rice crackers.