Semi-Charmed Life

23Jul/091

Raising a Dog is a Headache

If raising a dog is even a fraction as troublesome as raising a kid, I'm not sure if I want to have kids. Maybe troublesome is not quite the right word, but whenever there's a problem with Bobo it makes me worried sick. I think I care more about the health of my dog than my own health because whenever there's a problem with him, I bring him to the vet right away. Whenever there's a problem with me, I wait it out a few days or weeks to see if it'll go away.

There was the time when Bobo started pissing blood. It wasn't a large amount. Maybe just a few drops. You know when there's blood in your piss, regardless if it's a dog or human, it can't be good. That cost me a pretty penny. Then there are the countless times when Bobo managed to dig through the garbage can and eat something he wasn't supposed to eat. One time I had a whole grave of chicken bones that I threw out but I forgot to close the door to the kitchen. The next morning I see the garbage can turned over with the chicken bones missing. I was worried for two weeks because chicken bones are REALLY BAD for dogs. They're brittle and can snap into shards that can rip right through their stomachs. Since he's alive now, I'll assume that the bones didn't hurt him, but I really was worried sick.

Yesterday, when I went home I found Bobo licking at his paw incessantly. I'm not sure what's wrong with his paw. Maybe there's a splinter stuck in it or maybe there's a tick there. It looks really raw at this point. I can't even do much because when I go near that paw he growls and becomes very defensive. I asked my brother to bring him to the vet for me, so hopefully the vet will be able to take care of this problem.

And that's another thing that bugs the hell out of me. When your own dog growls at you, it's very disheartening. 99% of the time, Bobo's a sweetheart. But that 1% . . . it almost makes me feel like he should be put down. Is it an unrealistic expectation of a dog owner that his dog should not growl at him? After all, dogs have emotions too. The worst is when he growls after he becomes possessive over a piece of food or bone. But he also growls when he's in a really comfortable spot and you try to get him out of it or bother him. And now he's growling because he doesn't want anyone to touch his irritated paw.

What a headache . . .

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14Jul/092

Stomach pains and tv shows

Oh man my stomach has been KILLING me these past few days. I'm not sure what started it, but now after every meal my stomach is just in terrible pain. I'm not sure if it's an ulcer or if I have worms or something. This all started last Thursday. I didn't give it much thought for the first two days, thinking that I just had a poor reaction to my lunch. But this lasted past the weekend until now. Last night was even stranger, as I had to run to the bathroom half a dozen times in the middle of the night. I also notice a decrease in appetite . . . not good!

In other non-health related news, I just started on two new tv shows. The first one is Gossip Girl. I've been ragging on my brother for the longest time for watching this show, but one day curiousity got the better of me and I decided to queue it on my Netflix. 12 episodes later, I have to admit that it's not a bad show. I'll have more to say on it once I finish the first season.

I also started on Breaking Bad. The show is about a high school chemistry teacher who finds out he has lung cancer, who turns into a meth-maker/dealer because he wants to build up a nest egg as quickly as possible in order to support his pregnant wife. Sounds ridiculous, but the show is good! Check it out.

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14Jul/090

Georges St-Pierre does it again!

UFC 100 was a good event. I'm glad Georges St-Pierre defended his welterweight title and destroyed Thiago Alves.

After watching the fight, it cemented GSP as my favorite fighter of all time. First let's get the obvious reasons to like him out of the way.

He is an athletically gifted specimen. He doesn't have a bodybuilder's build, which is typically all show no go. This guy has functional power! I remember watching his first few fights when he debuted in Canada and the commentators were raving about what explosiveness and strength GSP had.

He understands the mma game and has extraordinary fight IQ. While many other fighters are labeled as bjj guys or wrestlers or strikers, GSP does it all. He is not amazing at any one particular aspect but he is extremely proficient in all of them and knows how to put it all together seamlessly. He knows how to capitalize on opportunities and knows which tool to use in a given situation. If an opportunity for a takedown is there, he takes it. He mixes it up with all different types of strikes and combos. Two hit high low combos, spinning back kicks, super man punches, etc. and he makes it all look good. Not only does it look good, he makes it work! I think his karate background definitely shaped his striking.

Two other favorite fighters of mine are Fedor and Anderson Silva. I think these three represent the next level in mma. I think all three possess an extremely high fight IQ and are also good at most phases of combat.

What makes GSP my favorite is his humanity. He seems much more personable than either of the other two fighters. He keeps a blog which he updates on a regular basis. He gives interviews on a regular basis. The guy is all smiles all the time. What makes him awesome is that he seems like a genuine NICE guy. I never understand when people say they don't like him because he is an EXTRAORDINARY fighter and not that I know him on a personal level or anything, but judging from his media appearances he seems to be a really nice guy.

He doesn't shit talk, and after all of his victories he is extremely respectful of his opponents. It almost seems as if he's apologetic for having to kick so much ass, and that it's all in a days work.

What also makes him great is that he has tasted bitter defeat and avenged his losses with dominant wins. As a friend put it, he's a "peoples champion." Guys like him are good for the sport.

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10Jul/090

Training Troubles and Beyond

Nothing new or significant has happened lately, so not a lot of posting on here.

My skin is basically pretty much cleared up, with the exception of some scarring on my hands and neck. I wish I had time to shower after I train, but I have to run on a REALLY tight schedule and showering at my gym would just throw a huge wrench into my timing of everything. I'm going to take extra precautions from now on though, such as using KS Skin Creme prior to training. It's supposed to help form a barrier between contaminants and my skin and suspend it until I wash it off. After training I wash my face, hands and forearms pretty vigorously because those are the main parts of my body that are exposed. I also use Athletic Body Care foaming skin sanitizer, which is supposed to be pretty good as well.

I've been having some issues with the gym I'm training at lately . . . I feel very unhappy there due to numerous factors. I have no choice but to stick with my gym for now though. Despite the issues I have with them, they still offer an insane amount of flexibility that is incomparable in the NYC area, which is the main reason I'm with them for now. The issues I have with them boil down to what I perceive as inadequate concern over their students, which in this case is me. I guess I expect a certain type of relationship to develop between the school and the students, but in my case I feel it's lacking.

Of course I understand that in the end it is a business, but I guess this is the difference between a large school and a small school. I don't want to feel like just another paying customer, and when the day comes where the timing is right, I'm going to pursue a different path. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art, and it'd be nice to know that the guys who are training you day after day actually give a fuck about you.

I've also been trying to hit the weights harder lately. I've been neglecting weight lifting for the past couple of months and after going to Miami, I have renewed motivation.

I haven't been mountain biking as much lately because it seems like every week there's something going on.

And finally, my poor car has been diagnosed by the mechanic with only 6 months to live. My brother brought it in for the yearly inspection and was told that the car was basically at the end of the road, and gave us an inspection sticker only good for 6 months because the car is not expected to make it much past that. So now I'm in the market for a new car. I'm most likely going to buy one with my brother because it doesn't make sense for me to get one on my own. I don't drive nearly enough to warrant buying a new car on my own, but not having a car at all is brutal. I'm grateful that I have friends who are nice enough to drive me around, but you bum enough rides and you begin to feel like a nuisance.

Anyway, the weekend is here and my boy GEORGES ST-PIERRE IS GOING TO BE VICTORIOUS THIS WEEKEND. Happy Friday everyone!

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2Jul/090

Cool to be “Poor,” But I Wish I Was Rich

I was reading an article in the latest issue of Details magazine about a growing class of people in America known as the "poorgeoisie." People who disdain the excessiveness of wealth in America displayed by individuals who flaunt it with corporate expense accounts, private jets, etc, but indulge in expensive luxuries themselves, albeit more understated.

"If people find the culture loathsome, they solve the problem by just buying different stuff. Even in the sixties, products were sold as a way of dealing with the anomie of consumer society—things like Volkswagens that were seen as nonconformist," says Thomas Frank, who's written about alternative marketing in The Conquest of Cool and about modern conservatism in The Wrecking Crew. "There will always be consumerism as a form of rebellion against consumerism."

Loosely translated: Just because the cultural moment is dominated by bloodlust for the heads of AIG executives doesn't mean public sentiment has turned against the accumulation of material possessions—it's just that the material in question is likely to be double-brushed flannel. And that's the advantage guys who look like Devendra Banhart have over guys who look like Patrick Bateman: The poorgeois are in cultural camouflage, blending in perfectly with a landscape full of genuine privation. The fact that their accoutrements may cost more than many suits is their secret pride.

You can read the full article here.

What I hate about these hipsters is that they are full of shit. They snub their noses at the rich, but in order to cultivate their bohemian lifestyle it requires them to spend just as much money as the people they despise.

My rant is not about hipsters really, but the growing disdain the population at large has for the rich. Calling this growing sentiment "populist outrage" is a fancy way of saying: HATER.

If you're broke as fuck and nobody knows who you are, well tough luck! Stop directing your frustrations onto the rich. Just because things have worked out for other people but you haven't fully capitalized on capitalism doesn't mean the system is fucked up.

What bothers me the most is that these people who hate on the rich are all too ready to embrace the rich and hedonistic lifestyles they're supposedly against.

There is no escaping hypocrisy.

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