Uff, already April?!

Time flew by! Nothing much to report, either, which is probably why it went by so quickly. I’m still all aches and pains, but I’m back on the mats and loving it. It gets darker later and I’m actually outside of my office when the sun’s still out, which is absolutely awesome. However, there was a lot of drama at work and the last two, eh, make that four weeks went by in a blur of handling the drama, sleeping, and, if possible, going to the gym.

Oh, and The Wife gave me a kindle as a present and let me tell you — that thing is amazing! I love love love it. Gone are the days of shlepping around bricks of books (I’m looking at you here G.R.R. Martin or that guy who wrote Dune or Neal Stephenson) and the fact that I can get books from the library is just the bee’s knees! So I finally got around reading Bitter Seeds, something I’ve mentioned wanting to read years ago and it’s not bad. The second book in the series, however, gets pretty hackneyed half-way through and I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.

BJJ training is chugging along, my shoulder is feeling better, but I might have messed up my disc again the other night. It’s always something. But after sitting out about 10 days because of my shoulder and of having a major dental thing happening I’ve got a fair amount of time on the mat in, drilling and rolling, and it’s good to be back and I’m learning to work around my limitations. You won’t see a lot of inverted guard or berimbolos from this guy here. Even doing drills that involve anything close to a Granby roll make my neck act up. But that’s okay. I’ve been playing around with open guard a lot lately to keep the big guys away from me and have had some success working omoplatas or triangles off spider guard. I’ve been thinking about training goals and, over the last weeks, have tried to just concentrate on how to use open and closed guard, top control, side mount — basically control and defense and if there is an opening, try to go for a sub, but basically work on defense and control.

Just like a white belt like me is supposed to do. :-)

True crimes

I have mixed feelings about true crime books. If they’re good, they’re great, if they’re not they are usually incredibly hacky, sensational, and very bad. There’s not much room in between and I think either way they are sensationalist and voyeuristic.

And who wants to be called a voyeur?

Be that as it may, I did enjoy Mailer’s Executioner’s Song a great bit and if it’s done well true crime books can be as enjoyable a read as a good (fictional) crime book.

So anyway, Louis Theroux posted a list of true crime books he enjoyed and I thought that’s a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff and dig in. Some of them I’ve read before, some I remember being on the reading list of an anthropology class I wanted to take and wasn’t allowed to, and some of them just sound interesting.

  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd-Parry
  • Savage Grace by Natalie Robinson and Steven M. L. Aronson
  • My Dark Places by James Ellroy
  • Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss
  • Remembering Satan by Lawrence Wright
  • Columbine by Dave Cullen
  • Cries Unheard by Gitta Sereny
  • As If by Blake Morrison
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
  • Manson by Jeff Guinn
  • Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
  • Lucky by Alice Sebold
  • Bully by Jim Schutze
  • Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
  • Ten Rillington Place by Ludovic Kennedy
  • A Cold Case by Philip Gourevitch

Theroux adds a short paragraph to every book writing what it’s about and what he thought of it, but to read that you gotta head over to his post.

Stuff and things and arms and legs

Unfortunately, just as the disc in my neck finally squished itself back in I managed to fuck up my arm. I have no idea what happened exactly, two weeks ago my shoulders got squished together while rolling and something got hurt and my arm, right at the point where my pec connects to the shoulder. It’s been getting better day by day, which is great, but it also meant that I’ve been sitting out for about 10 days now, which is driving me a little insane.

On top of things, work has been terrible this week because of reasons and it would have been really nice to have been able to roll and get rid of the stress and tension that way. I’m sure, well, I know there are good things happening at work, as well, but unfortunately I get involved when things go bad, which means in my perspective the bad stuff is much more present than the good stuff.

So I don’t know, I guess, within reason, I need to work on my perspective a little bit.