Right Arm and Hand

A few months ago I started taking weekly classes in hand-to-hand combat.  I needed some exercise, hate gyms, fantasize about being an action star, and “have a lot of aggression,” so it seemed pretty logical.  I’ve also been assaulted in real life and nurse an obsession with horror films and literary thrillers; I am fully alert to the presence of danger! walking down a city street and have a tendency to plot evacuation points whenever I am in a room for a prolonged period of time, so why not put all this occasionally justifiable paranoia to use and actually learn how to defend myself rather than just fantasizing about it?

The classes have been everything I hoped for and more.  I mix it up by attending beginner’s-level classes to work on my basic skills and advanced-level classes for variety.  While already outnumbered 10:1 in beginner’s, I am usually the only woman in advanced classes, and I thrive on it.  Aware that I may be regarded as weaker, more delicate, and less intense (and therefore an undesirable sparring partner) intensifies my aggression and need to prove myself.

I am not just a girl, I think, I am a threatI may be physically weaker, but I can be faster, smarter, and unexpected, and that is what makes me more dangerous.  It’s getting into a mindset that I think will serve me well in life in general.  Focus, train, emphasize your strengths, protect your weaknesses, and if ever cornered and in doubt, go for the balls.  Hard. (Note:  That’s not the playground tip – read on).

Particularly in the advanced sessions, I am often outclassed by people who have been training months and even years beyond my experience.  Almost all these guys are gracious partners and, while still challenging me, offer useful tips and assistance.  In turn, I do my very best to learn from them and give them the opportunity to get the training they are paying for by being a good partner (and it is a lot easier to attack than defend, so I think I do alright).

And sometimes I get the shit kicked out of me, if it’s a good class.  What follows are a lot of pictures of bruises, and a few thoughts on the nature of injury. (more…)


So the internets are abuzz with the story of the woman who nearly lost her eye, people, to a thong gone wrong at Victoria’s Secret.


Naturally, the victim had little choice but to hire a gobshite of a personal injury lawyer to plead her case on the legal bastion that is the Today show. While spirited debate has inevitably ensued over the right of a 52-year-old woman to sample thongs in the first place (with the: “Ew! 52 is, like, way old!” contention leading the way), most everyone can find common ground in the understanding that this is, at heart, a national embarrassment to an already frivolously sue-happy country.



Enamored as I may be with the notion of Tacky-Attack-Undergarments, I think we can all agree that the approximate three minutes we’ve spent collectively contemplating this story has been a big fat waste of brain space. If you choose to enter Vicky’s Secret, you do so at your own peril, and you don’t come crying to me about the body rash that followed your purchase of a lavender sparkle-lace teddy with bow detail. For you, I feel nothing, and your pain I will mock.