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December 30th, 2002

Note To Myself: Tiffany Mermaid

Apparently, the original of L.C. Tiffany's Mermaid is in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Next time I go to MFF, I'm going to have to go on a field trip to see it.

-The Gneech

Brittlivity

I get concerned sometimes about the way many people seem to overreact to things. I don't want to name any names, but I have noticed a trend in certain circles to be absolutely devastated with what seems to me to be very little provocation.

For instance, imagine for a moment that Brittle Guy is on a mailing list about the care of newts, and Bigmouthed Moron posts to the Newtcare Mailing List, "Well, everyone should know that Brittle Guy's methods of newt watering will lead quickly to a tank full of dead newts, what a twit!"

Brittle Guy, cut to the quick by Bigmouthed Moron's devastating(?) jibe, responds with, "I thought that this list was about the love we all feel for our newts -- but now I see it for what it is! Ignorance and snobbery, where the cliques of the popular can lord it over those they deem less worthy, no matter how much love those people may have for their newts! I am so disappointed that what was once an open, welcoming community has become so vicious! I am leaving forever, since it's obvious that I am not welcome!"

I dunno, it seems to me that a more proper response is, "Bite me, Bigmouthed Moron, my newts are fine." Always be skeptical, folks ... people who score points by putting other people down, only do so because they can't lift themselves up. If their assessment of self is so shallow that they can only speak in negatives instead of positives, then why in the world should you give any credence to a single thing they have to say? (See also, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!")

Anyway, just my thoughts on the subject. Don't even get me started on Self-Flaggelist, who posts, "Hi, I love newts but I suck at taking care of them, I'm such a loser..."

-The Gneech

Yay! I Didn't Suck (As Much)!

Kung fu class number five, and the improvement is starting to show, if only in as much as I don't have that rattling cough thing going on afterwards tonight. My chest still isn't quite totally clear, but it's worlds above where it was Friday after class. Of course, we didn't have as much tumbling or deep bends this time around, so it may just be that nothing got knocked loose ... we'll have to see.

Tonight we did a lot of punching and kicking practice; this is the first time I've held a body target for somebody to kick -- whoof. The particular person kicking me was a woman about 5' tall (I had to get way down in my stance to hold the target for her), but those kicks still packed a whallop.

Be like water, that's what the taoists say ... the waves rolling up to the shore, persistently and patiently, eventually wear the cliffs down to sand. That's what I'm going to do. If every class is just a little bit better than the one before it, then after ten classes, I'll be ten times better than I was when I started ... after a hundred classes, a hundred times better! And so on.

Sometime this week, I'm going to take my measurements, just for reference. Then as time goes by, I'll take 'em again, and see how things are changing.

-The Gneech

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