One last day in black and green

I had to let this one cook a bit before I got around to writing it.

In one of my not-so-great decisions, I got to get in the ring and fight almost two years ago. As most of you know, it didn’t go so well, considering I was about as unprepared as you could be in terms of conditioning, weight, and ability(that unimportant thing). A few months after that, I got a taste of actual muay thai from Mark Beecher, who’s a well-known pro trainer, and his brother Primo, who’s on record as saying that we’re all idiots, but at least we’re HIS idiots. I was just blown away by how much both of them knew about it and kind of surprised at how much I wanted to go learn more from them. Or, as Tryn put it, “That’s odd, the Irish generally have never known anything about recreationally clobbering people.”

Right. So in a bit of serendipity, it turned out that Primo’s gym was no more than a 5 minute walk away from the house of some very good friends. In fact, I’d actually been in the liquor store in the plaza the gym was in, and if I’d bothered to walk another 100 feet, I could have saved myself a lot of wasted time with the other jokers in Rochester. But I didn’t, and much like my romantic relationships, the failures at least taught me what I WASN’T looking for.

So I did a few free classes, signed up immediately after the trial was up, and here I am a year and a half later. It started with “Wow, I can’t believe how much of this I’ve been doing wrong, the fight team here is kind of terrifying”, and ended yesterday with a pretty emotional farewell to the fight team that I’d managed to work myself onto. All of my blood, sweat, failure, and success between has been one of the greatest times of my life. I started as a sloppy mess of a fighter whose only distinguishing feature was wearing a leather trenchcoat(it’s actually a duster, but that never would have stuck). I leave with a group of people who, in every way but biologically, have become my family in a way I’d never have expected and would never trade for anything.

Hell, you guys even won Tryn over. After that first fight, stupid diet, and bad weight, she didn’t want me fighting again, and I couldn’t even argue much. And she certainly hadn’t even entertained the idea of training herself. But again, here we are a year later, and she’s just started talking about how she might want to work up to sparring and how much she’s looking forward to getting shiny new gear for cheap when we get to Thailand.

What else can I say? I love you all, and thank you for everything. I hope I make you guys proud over there.

-end transmission

Me and Allstate- a love affair

So the car fiasco seems to have resolved itself quickly. I guess the girl who hit me admitted responsibility, so Geico was able to get the money out of her insurance pretty fast. As in, my car got wrecked on Friday, and I got called yesterday with the news that they were mailing me a check. My previous experience with insurance settlements indicated that “I think we can resolve this pretty quickly if everyone’s statements line up” actually means “You might get a check in about a month from now.” This whole two-business-day-turnaround thing is kinda shocking. Welcome news anyway, but I’d rather have my car than the money. That, of course, is not happening. Oh well, I’ll stash the payment in the bank until we come home and get something new. If I’m really lucky, maybe it’ll even have four doors this time. In the meantime, we’ll be taking the train down to New York instead of driving. It’ll be about 7 and a half to 8 hours, which isn’t really that bad. Only about an hour more than driving would have been, and this way I don’t have to be responsible for anything but keeping myself entertained. Also, some form of black sorcery has given Amtrak the ability to have wireless internet on their trains, so that’s nice.

The real purpose of this update, however, is to make sure everyone I know gets to hear about the adjustor from the girl’s insurance company. I got a call on Friday night from this guy, asking to confirm my information, get my statement, make sure everyone was okay, yadda yadda. All fairly typical stuff as far as it goes, if a little abnormal to be calling for at 7:30 at night on a Friday. No, the really surprising part was when, after getting my statement, I get this- “Now have you ever gotten a quote from Allstate, maybe considered switching over to us?”

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Okay. I understand that this guy is just doing his job. He didn’t make the policy that forces him to ask if I want to switch my insurance to the company of the person who crashed into me. So I managed to avoid breathing fire through the phone and roasting him alive. Narrowly. But I’d very much like to meet the person who decided that their insurance agents should be asking someone who is, most likely, incredibly stressed and aggravated from a car accident, and ask if they’re giving any thought to switching their insurance. And maybe give them a life-threatening beating or two. No, Allstate Policymaker, I have not considered switching. Why? BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A FUCKING CAR ANYMORE. AAAAAGHJGKEHGSDBHKGWEUIAHSLKHRK

Well. That said, who the hell thought this would be a good idea? The insurance agent was just doing his job. This other asshole who made that decision can go light himself on fire. And jump off a cliff. Onto a big, pointy rock. That impales him in a location better left unspecified in polite conversation.

I’m still a little pissed is what I’m trying to say.

-end transmission

Operation: Be Social, complete

Well, it’s 6:45 on Sunday night, and I feel about like I did after running the Warrior Dash. Between the deaf benefit Friday, the car accident right before it, the going away party and Vertex yesterday,and the 6 or so hours of sleep I got total during the weekend, I’m oversocialized like a grouchy dog. And like a grouchy dog, all I really want to do is pee on the rug and go to sleep. But we don’t have a rug, and I’m pretty sure that would void our security deposit anyway, so I’ll have to deal with writing instead. Don’t get me wrong, the last few days were a lot of fun, and I was happy to see everyone, but I’m out of gas.

This week’s mission is to get ourselves moved back into Tryn’s mom’s place for our last few days here, so we’re going to have to really crank up the donate-store-trash cycle. We’re most of the way done at this point, but it’s still a monstrous pain in the ass. Easier than moving usually is, though, because this time we get to throw out anything we don’t feel like keeping. I know that’s a pretty normal part of moving, but this is motivated by necessity- when we come home, what are we going to be able to pack up and move with? Our primary thought right now is having as little junk as possible when we come back to the states.

It’s liberating, in a way. It feels kind of good to be able to shrug and go “Toss it” at will. We’ve always thought of ourselves as people who don’t place a ton of value on material things, and I guess it’s nice to have our self-images confirmed, considering how little we really care about keeping. Although, to be fair, a lot of our things were bought with this goal in mind anyway. I’m not shedding too many tears over the dresser I got at the flea market for ten dollars if I drag it down to the curb. It IS pretty bizarre to not have fifty bajillion boxes of books hanging around, but I guess that’s the magic of having a Kindle.

We also just got back from dropping the cats off with their babysitter for the next 6 months, which I’m pretty bummed about, to say the least. They’re my little monsters, and I already miss them. But at least we finally got someone who can take them and won’t be wanting to keep them once we get home. Although when we went to Belize, I accidentally adopted one of the strays when I gave him some milk, and he followed me around for the rest of the time we were there. I wasn’t too upset about that.

So we’re at one more week in Rochester. The 30th is when we’re headed down to New York to see my family before we fly out of JFK. I’m having a bit of a mental disconnect every time I wake up and look around and realize one more day has clicked off the calendar. What can you do but go with it?

-end transmission

Insert “first post” cliche here.

Today seems as good a day as any to get this thing up and going. We’re at two weeks to the day until we blow out of here. I have to say, I’m vacillating pretty frequently between “Oh my god, coolest thing ever!” and “Oh my god, what the hell is wrong with me?” But I guess that’s pretty normal when you’re moving to the other side of the world for half a year, especially considering my previous international experience amounts to-

Belize, for ten days on our honeymoon. Awesome, but temporary.

Canada, for like a day. I don’t know, I don’t think I was old enough to have hair on my legs yet. That fabled era beyond the mists of history.

And here we are picking up and leaving for 5-6 months to a country on the opposite side of the world. My sum total knowledge of Thailand is that they will be kicking me in the legs a lot, and the food will probably make me belch fire. That first one is the big reason I’m excited. For the…I don’t know, 3 and a half of you who don’t know, I’ve been training in muay thai for some time now, which is a style of kickboxing that comes from, you guessed it, Thailand. So I’m off to learn from the masters, in the motherland. I don’t even know where yet, I’m just going to wander the town looking for a place to train. And I’m pretty sure that’s how a lot of kung fu movies start. So that’s pretty great.

But it’s not all sunshine, roses, and bruised legs. There’s the flight to deal with, first. The 21 hour flight. Crossing many time zones, leading to horrific jet lag. I hate flying, is what I’m saying. Which seems like a small enough thing to bitch about, considering the bigger picture, but cut me some slack. I need to have something to complain about.

However, a day full of packing, throwing out, and getting vaccinated leaves me without a lot of gas left in the tank at this hour, and bed is calling my name. These entries will get a ton more interesting once we’re in Thailand, promise.

-end transmission