Semi-Charmed Life


Someday I’ll be Saturday Night

So much going on these days. Japan is getting royally fucked by mother nature while countries in the middle east are experiencing some type of simultaneous revolution, some more violent than others.

As for myself, I recently moved out of Sheepshead Bay to Bensonhurst and the move has been good for the most part. My ribs have been recovering nicely, which is great. X-rays came back negative for fracture.

Unfortunately though, while bed-ridden and sick last Friday I was contacted by my doctor regarding the ultrasounds that were done on my abdomen. The ultrasounds were to make sure my rib injury didn't mess up any organs inside. I guess my ribs were okay, but the sonograms revealed something growing on my liver. A cyst, the doctor said. The doctor does not think it is cancerous, but he took some urine and blood samples from me as well as ordering some MRIs to be done to further examine the cyst.

I was pretty shaken up initially as my mind raced through all sorts of horrible things this could possibly mean for me. In situations like this, Google is not a reassuring friend.

I'm past the initial worrying phase now though. Worrying does not make the problem go away. My MRI is scheduled for this coming Saturday so I'm hoping for the best. In the meantime, I've been busying myself by catching up with episodes of Modern Family, which is one of the best television shows out right now.

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Ribs (Not the ones you eat)

I left work early yesterday to see the doctor because my ribs were still bothering me. The act of sneezing feels like somebody is taking a chisel and slamming it inside my ribs. My doctor suspected it was a rib fracture but he received the x-ray results today and told me he had good news, that it was not a fracture after all. I'm not quite sure what to make of that because that means I still don't know what kind of injury I have. The only thing I know is that it fucking hurts.

Not that he can really do much for me anyway. He did, however, prescribe me some painkillers. Ultracets. I'm pretty sure I was better off without the painkillers because I felt like complete shit today. I felt very dizzy and extremely nauseous at work. The side effects are way worse than the pain itself!

I still have to take an ultrasound this Saturday of my stomach to make sure my organs are okay. Hopefully I'll be better by the end of the month because life is absolutely boring being away from the gym! I can't train bjj. I can't lift. I can't run. I can't do ANYTHING physically demanding. Life has been so BORING these past two weeks!

I had a longer entry in mind but I'm still feeling the effects of the painkillers so it's time to say good night!

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Help Japan

A very depressing morning.


TDW makes a list:

The American Red Cross has set up a special designation for disaster relief efforts in Japan. To donate, click here, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to instantly donate $10.

International Medical Corps says it is putting together relief teams and supplies to aid Japan “and other affected countries.” Donate here.

GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

World Vision’s Disaster Response Fund.

Click here to donate to AmeriCares’ emergency relief response.

Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund.

HuffPo has more:

Salvation Army personnel are organizing efforts in Tokyo and will soon send a team to help the severely damaged city of Sendai, Japan. To contribute to earthquake relief, text 'JAPAN' or 'QUAKE' to 80888 to make a $10 donation or visit

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is sending two three-person teams to the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures in Japan. To learn more about the organization's efforts or make a donation, visit

Other relief organizations are also sending representatives to disaster sites, including AmeriCare and Shelterbox.

MercyCorps is gathering donations for its overseas partner, Peace Winds Japan, which currently has personnel on the ground distributing emergency relief in Japan.

Along with an appeal for monetary donations, Operation USA has also announced efforts to collect bulk corporate donations of health care supplies. If you are interested in donating bulk medical items, visit

For any who have loved ones abroad, Google has stepped up to help. Along with a tsunami alert posted on its front page, Google has launched the Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake to help connect people that may have been displaced due to the disaster. Google has also launched a crisis response page filled with local resources and emergency information.

Image details:

The Help Japan poster is now available to preorder in the Signalnoise Store, and will be gin shipping on March 18. All profits made by the sale of this poster will be donated to help relief efforts in Japan. Head to the Signalnoise Store now to see full details.


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Hero or Heartbreak

The other day I was watching an old ESPN documentary on the wrestlers of Iowa University and it was the head coach Tom Brands who said that in wrestling it's either hero or heartbreak. You either go home a winner or you leave a loser. I was not the hero this Saturday.

On Saturday I went to my first tournament of the year and I lost my first match in my weight division 2-0. I got the grips I wanted and fought for a takedown but he caught me with a leg trip first (1:51)

Looking back at the footage, what pissed me off the most was that I was LAZY. After he got the takedown it looked like there was an opportunity for me to come out on the victorious end of a scramble but it looked like I didn't work hard enough (1:51-2:00). I should have been driving into him harder with more ferocity.

Instead, it looked like I put up a small effort and when he showed some resistance I was satisfied to pull guard.

From guard I was looking to attack his right arm but he recognized the danger and pulled his arm out immediately. I transitioned to spider guard and did nothing with it. Then I had the idea to play de la Riva guard but I made the mistake of leaving my foot on his bicep instead of posting it against his far hip/thigh. Another idiotic mistake.

I know I'm down 2-0 at this point (2 for the takedown) and as he goes for a knee cut pass I realize that I only have his ankle trapped so it was a matter of time before he would get the pass and get to side control. I couldn't let him score so I released his ankle and spun the other way into turtle position.

It was downhill from there as all I did from that position was defend against the choke and the back take by not letting him get his hooks in. I ultimately lost 2-0.

First Match

I also signed up for an open weight match because I wanted to guarantee myself at least two matches. The guy I faced was in the 207lb division so he was at least 60lbs heavier. My plan going in was not to stand with the guy and to just play guard immediately.

I actually felt pretty good against him but somewhere a little after the two minute mark I injure my ribs very badly. In training I would normally immediately stop and sit out on the sides but in the heat of competition I just thought to myself that I could ride it out. You can see me wince in pain from 2:54 and on. I was really hurt and was not able to defend the choke. I don't want to take anything away from him but I would have been able to play a much better game if I was not injured. You can see me clutching my ribs at the end of the match wondering to myself how the fuck I got hurt.

Second Match

My ribs are hurt pretty bad. I was not able to even drive my car afterward and needed my friend Jein to drive for me. It hurts to laugh, to cough, to take a deep breath, to drive, to do anything! I iced it down for about two hours and have been taking Advil for the past 2 days and it helped a little, but it looks like I'm out for at least a month. I don't know what's worse, that I can't train or that I have a tournament in exactly one month that I've already paid for but will probably not be able to recover in time for.

The upside in all of this is that I now have competition footage of myself to analyze and I have already spotted things that I am looking to work on. I would like to thank all my friends who don't train that showed up to support me. Competitions are mighty boring, especially when you don't train and especially at a poorly run tournament like LI PRIDE. My friends were with me for 6 hours that day!

Thanks to all my training partners who have helped me improve and believed in me. My only regret is that I was not able to display and showcase my jiu jitsu. What I did out there was crap.

I'll embed videos later on in the day after I get home. I have them posted on my fb page at the moment.

In the meantime, here's a song I heard on the radio that lifted my spirts up:

Yobi ft Maino - Painful War

Yeah its like I'm in the 12th round,
but I still keep fighting, odds is against me,
I still keep trying, one foot forward
man I gotta keep striving,
life is a road baby, never stop driving,
mama didn't lie when she told me I'm a winner,
gotta stand up go and get it now or never,
even when its painful, never let it break you, never fear,
if it don't kill you it makes you stronger, stronger,
mind of a soldier, spirit of a champion, militant and boulder,
king of my dreams I'm the master of my destiny,
never back down, never let them get the best of me,
conflict is constant, sometimes life hurts,
it is what it is, just how life works,
and even when you feel like you ain't got enough to win,
and u down, u gotta stand up again.

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High Society

These New Yorkers must have been inspired by Gossip Girl when they decided to form their own preppy social club for those no longer in high school but are still yearning for that exclusive in crowd feeling.


Foppish scions in their 20s ascended the grand marble staircase, and sipped champagne in couture gowns, velvet dinner jackets and tuxedo slippers rakishly embroidered with Chinese characters. Those disinclined to formal wear still looked clubbable in Burberry check jackets, bow-ties and Hermès scarves.

Set against the intricately patterned oak parquet floors and the robber baron-luxe red velvet sofas of the Rose Club, the affair took on the air of Mrs. Astor’s Four Hundred — if Mrs. Astor had been conducting a casting call for “Gossip Girl.”

But this was no ordinary cotillion. The black-tie party was for the Native Society, a new club that is limited to native New Yorkers, many of them city dwellers who might reside in 10021 — the ZIP code of upper Park and Fifth Avenues — or be graduates of certain prep schools.

And talk about pretentious!

Native sensibility. Native mind-set. Those terms were tossed around at the Plaza gathering. Like Zen monks marinating on the essence of nothingness, members tried to put their finger on that ineffable quality that makes them worthy of membership.

To Anne de la Mothe Karoubi, 24, who went to the Marymount School, it’s an intellectual precociousness. “When you grow up in New York City, our minds develop faster,” she said. “You’re not from Wisconsin, you’re not from the middle of America. We’re international, we’re focused, we’re driven.”

This part sums up my opinion clearly:

After a December party at the Classic Car Club near SoHo, the party blog Guest of a Guest cattily dismissed the group as “a sort of Saint A’s, the Princeton/Columbia faux-literary society that aspires to bolster social cachet through exclusivity but only serves as a safety net for the awkward in need of constant validation.”


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