Tuesday, June 8, 2010

First experiences: weed wackers, Kung Fu, and Rooster staredowns

I used a weed wacker for the first time today. Last saturday I used a lawn mower for the first time. One friend I have said that's impressive, that I got to 26 with never using a push mower, but now I'm living in a new house with a one acre yard and a commitment to contribute. I like the sweaty summer grass bit covered feeling. It makes me want to do something radical like get that expired carton of vegetable stock out of the fridge and go down to the chicken coup and pour one out for my homies while staring down the rooster who slightly aggresses me sometimes. He wants to eat my toes, I swear. He's in the coup, I'm out and I say " I eat the fruit of your loins for breakfast, buddy. everyday" Have you ever seen chicken sex? It's fast and cumbersome, and the hen usually runs a few feet afterwards. Not unlike some relationships I've had.

Another first I had today was my first Kung Fu class. The first two classes are free. It's in the Family Dollar parking lot on Haywood Road. The owner/instructor is named Bob. I might have had to shift these two facts to the side of my brain before I took the first step inside.
There were probably about 20 or so participants and we did some kicking and punching together as well as some basic strength building type things. After I learned more about punching and kicking with some advanced students and Bob himself. Kung Fu requires a lot of squatting, kicking from a ridiculously low stance, and it additionally seems to have a lot of subtleties in the techniques. All of that appeals to me, and was humbling. I kind of expected muscularly to be more than equipped, but I bet my legs are going to feel it tomorrow.

Does martial arts have a stereotype student? I seemed to have collectively found an expectation of a few in my mind. They were all there. I don't know if I'll indulge them today; I'll let them turn into people, then I'll tell you about them.
Bob did reference a "bad-guy-crack-head-crazy" a few times before demonstrating why he was standing/punching/blacking this way. I'm not in the market for any of those, and I do believe if you think about them attacking you all the time (or him and his wife and kids in his so-stated case) then that's what you'll find one day, dark alley or no. But maybe that would be Bob's paramount moment, he wants to manifest himself as a protector. We all do that a little, imagine kicking ass in the name of protection of ourselves, and more commonly the ones we love. But it didn't resonate with me and what I want in a physical practice, to be prepared to hurt someone if I need to or be focused on hurting others at all.
One advanced student with a Brown sash did say he had been practicing for two years, and that when he came to the studio his life was a wreck. He was so genuine and easy in telling me this I felt what he meant; that he had found discipline and respite in this practice. That's not unlike my journey with yoga, which has been the most fulfilling experience I've had in life. I've applied its inner peace and awareness to so many things, including mowing the lawn and my irrational fear of that rooster.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kitchen Kung Fu and too many life aspirations

On my way to check on Sweet Peas Hostel from 9 hours of Baby Sitting, I saw this guy text messaging on a bike on Charlotte Street at 5:30. Who does that? I wanted to yell something at him but I cooked this meatloaf at my nanny house and I smelled like it. Does that make sense? it does to me.
Anyway, while Baby Patrick (my new favoritest guy) was napping I imagined I was a Kung Fu master. I may or may not have tried to catch a fly with some chopsticks. You know the final scene in the Karate Kid? Take that 14 year old handsome devil out and insert me. I kicked ass, by the way. humbly.
I just moved to West Asheville last week, there's a Kung Fu studio right around the corner and I'm gonna go check it out. Monetarily and timewise, what with my yoga addiction and worktrade, the new band I'm in where I can't remember the name right now, managing Sweet Peas, and nannying Patrick I probably don't have time. But, I wanna crush a walnut between my thumb and forefinger. I also want to be able to stand gracefully on one leg and fight a bad guy with the other via a series of intricate ankle movements. This is probably like when I thought I was going to play the violin, and become a swing dancer, and take over the world, but what-evs, a girl can have dreams. Did I mention stand up comic or epic author of adolescent literature? (those last two are still on my life agenda)
Two years out of college and your grammar gets all shoddy.
I kind of think of taking Kung Fu as an education/body/mind investment though. What if I became a teacher? Then all the time and money would have been an investment.
Also, exercise is my sanity. AND already aforementioned nut-cracking abilities. Comes in handy at fancy Christmas parties. just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Drunken Master (the old one) and being Kung Fu Bitten

I watched Drunken Master twice last week. It's pretty out of character for me to watch an entire movie in a single event (I get distracted), let alone the same one twice. I wasn't really watching the second half the first time to be honest, though, I was doing something in the world of distractions.
What brought me back to it was not the amazing myriad of overdubbed voices ranging from the American midwest accent to some British/southern hybrid, but purely the Kung Fu. I've been a Kung Fu watcher before, but I think I was 19, and stoned. And making out with He Who Shall Not Be Named. Kung Fu is sexy, I think. Jacky Chan (that's how they spell Jacky in the old Drunken Master, thankyouverymuch) is sexy.
Kung Fu americanized (particularly vintage) is funny. Some jokes just don't translate, no matter how they try and this creates a funny curiousity, one of my favorite types of funny. Some of it is funny-haha as intended, and then sometimes you just start laughing because no one would ever really make that noise even if they had just been flipped on their back by a mythically powerful punch.
A curiosity envoking scene in Drunken Master is where Jacky wants to impress his friends by getting a girl to hug him. His friend says "Imagine what it would be like to kiss a chick like that" Jacky says, "Kissing is for children, I could get that broad to hug me"
And he does, with a snake. Then some awkward patting ensues. Anyway, what I mean is that kissing in our culture is a sexual step above hugging, but in that society maybe the body contact is more titillating, she does kiss him, on accident, a peck on the cheek... but when she jumps in his arms it's just as innocent. Later the girls mother, who unbeknownst to Jacky, is Jacky's aunt, describes him as a sex maniac.
His Aunt kicks his ass by the way, and it's the most beautiful Kung Fu in the whole movie. The grace of her limbs just takes you. I'm going to find some time this weekend to render her in watercolor. I'll post it here, on my new blog, which will not just be about Kung Fu. But maybe for a minute because I am currently Kung Fu Bitten, like where So Hi bit Jacky's fingers in their first fight in the woods. This movie is currently on Hulu. It's awesome in many ways.