Saturday, November 14, 2015

Holly Holm proves no champ is invincible

Going into tonight's UFC women's bantamweight championship fight, the champ, Ronda Rousey, looked to be as much a sure thing as anyone in any sport.  The oddsmakers had her at times as much as a -2000 favorite.  No one outside the fighter herself and her camp gave Holm any real chance at winning.

Once the bell rang, though, Holm showed that no champ is invincible and that theory and practice are never the same.  Holm executed the perfect game plan and dominated Rousey from the fight's start to its knock-out finish.  Like everyone, I had expected Rousey to plow through Holm as easily as she had beaten all twelve of her prior opponents, but Holm was never in trouble.  Holm put on an amazing performance.

I hope Rousey doesn't abandon fighting for movies and instead comes back better and whips Holm in a fight that I look forward to watching.  Regardless, though, Rousey has been an amazing champion, and I feel privileged to have seen her fight.

Tonight, I also felt privileged to witness the clinic Holm put on.

Friday, November 13, 2015

My heart goes out to Paris and Parisians everywhere

I love Paris, absolutely adore it.  I know many people have experienced rudeness and other bad behaviors from Parisians, but I've never had a bad day in Paris.  I went there first in 1985 and have returned multiple times since then.  I began and ended the travel parts of my sabbatical there.  We visited it when pregnant with my daughter, and many years later, she was engaged there.  I love this city and have lately been hankering to visit it again.

Tonight, as I assume everyone knows, terrorists attacked Paris and killed over 150 people in a move that will accomplish absolutely nothing other than to rally the world against them.  It is a horrible thing--but it won't make me want to visit Paris less.  To the contrary, it makes me want to support the city more.

My heart goes out to the people of Paris.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

If your sense of humor is as odd as mine

and maybe even if it isn't, you should check out the set of wonderful essays by Colin Nissan on this McSweeney's page.

Warning:  These essays and the rest of this entry use curse words.  Don't go there or read on if that bothers you.

I first encountered Nissan's work on the McSweeney's mug that bears the title of the first essay on the above page:  "It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers".  The title and the mug cracked me up, but when I read the essay, I laughed far harder.

Each essay I've read--and I am doling them out to myself, like expensive treats--has been at least amusing and usually far funnier than that.

My current favorite, and an essay I cannot read aloud without breaking down in laughter, is "It's Naked Time".  Many parts of this one crack me up, but the last two lines are particularly funny--if you have the same sort of (some call it "sick") sense of humor as I do.

Enjoy--but I have warned you this is not for everyone.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Those who served paid--and most still pay

In the U.S., today is Veterans Day, when we honor those who served in our armed forces.

My stepfather, Ed, served.  My friend, Dave, served.  I've known many folks who did.  I did not; Nixon ended the draft before I could be drafted.

All the vets I've known who were in war zones paid not only then but afterward, when they had to carry the scars--sometimes physical, always emotional--of that service.  No one escapes a war unscathed.  Ed didn't.  Dave didn't.  No one does.

When we contemplate sending men and women to war, we should think long and hard about the costs we're asking them to bear for the rest of their lives--assuming they live through the conflict; many will not.  When those who survive come home, we should honor them, thank them, and be prepared to spend to take care of them, to help them deal with the costs they are bearing for what we as a society asked them to do.

We shame ourselves and dishonor them when we do anything less, and, sadly, we usually do far less.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A PT sabbatical with charity work in Haiti

Scott spent part of his sabbatical in Haiti helping people there.  This video tells a little bit about his time on that island.

I'm very proud of this program and of the great work that many of my PT colleagues do while on their sabbaticals.

Monday, November 9, 2015

On the road again: World Fantasy Con, Saratoga Springs, day 5

Today followed the same pattern as most of my travel days in which I'm returning home:  Wake up, work, shower, drive, drop off rental car, go to airline counter, get boarding passes, go through security, eat, work, fly, work, fly, work, get luggage, go home, work, eat, work.  The pattern is boringly familiar but also necessary.  I need to think of better material for the blog on such days.

What stood out most today was that a surprisingly large number of trees in the Saratoga Springs/Albany area still had leaves, mostly yellow leaves, so I enjoyed the fall foliage as I drove.

The yucky Carolina weather was also a presence in my day, both in the bumpy flights and in the nasty drive home.  It was nothing out of the ordinary for this time of the year, but nothing pleasant, either.

I am now home, working and partially settled in, partially still unpacking.  I hope to be home for the next four weeks, which would be a lovely treat.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

On the road again: World Fantasy Con, Saratoga Springs, day 4

The first non-work, non-sleep part of today involved paying for and packing up my art purchases.  I'm quite fortunate that friend and bookseller, Glennis, offered to drive art home for me, thus saving me a lot of packing and shipping hassles.  Thanks, Glennis; I owe you for this.

The annual World Fantasy Awards banquet filled much of the afternoon.  The food might well have been the worst banquet fare in memory, but it was still nice to chat with others in the community, commiserate over said food, and applaud the award winners.

After transferring the art to Glennis, I and a few others headed down the street to Saratoga Gelato, to get the bad banquet taste out of our mouths.  The gelato was indeed delicious and did the trick.

Later, we walked to Chianti for a dinner of Italian food.  The salad, a warm blend of lettuce and anchovies with a piece of cheese on it, was one of the weirder dishes I've tasted recently, but the pasta was quite good.  Compared to the banquet, all of it was heavenly.

Tomorrow, I journey home.


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