Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Right To The Point . . . If I Had One . . .

Some brief updates:

I've sent some of my writing on music to some people. Nothing has come of it, but at least I took a step; the trick now is not to feel discouraged that I don't know what the next step is.

I've been in training at a mixed-martial-arts school for just over two weeks now, and I'm loving it. I'm taking quite well to the Muay Thai and Panantukan. I'm a little more uncertain dealing with weapons (I've had almost no weapons training), and I SUCK at grappling. Aside from some pointed differences in technique, most striking arts have at least some core principles in common, so travel between them is relatively . . . not easy, per se, but less complicated. I'd equate it to travelling between romance languages: it's simpler to jaunt between French, Italian and Spanish than it would be to jump from any of those languages to, say, Mandarin Chinese. Grappling, then, is my Mandarin Chinese.

Last night, in class--my second grappling class, mind you--we finished off the last ten minutes by "sparring", sort of a tough sell when you don't know any techniques. Now, while "tapping out" is fairly common practice in any sort of grappling or wrestling classes, we never really discussed tapping out before these rounds, and I found myself, within minutes, flailing like a fish in a choke hold, my neck wrapped tightly in the arms of some ROTC kid who'd wrestled all through high school. Because I simply panicked and flailed--tapping out simply didn't even occur to me--it took some student noting that I seemed to be panicking and flailing to get air flowing in again (the instructor was working with another pair at the moment). I STILL have a headache and a sore throat. Kinda humiliating, but sort of invigorating.

I think I've got some things going for me in grappling: I'm extremely flexible, reasonably strong, more than a little slippery and effectively aware of my overall body mechanic. I just need to learn what the hell I'm doing.

Anyways, I'm LOVING being back in training. I was kind of hoping to see a little more trimming around the waistline by now, but 'Stine assures me I'm looking more ripped (though she is prone to flattering me).

I've been writing some lyrics lately, largely (though not exclusively) based on some H.P. Lovecraft short stories I'm adapting, and they all suck. But that never stopped Tim Rice, so I'm gonna go ahead and try to make some songs. I'm also feeling inspired because I finally heard some music by Idiot Flesh recently; they're the band made up of the core team of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum before they were Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and one of the tracks I heard was a punk/metal/industrial/cabaret take on a brass marching band sound. I'm used to the instruments I play--saxophone, flute--being employed in either square forms like popular jazz or arch, academic forms like . . . well, like experimental jazz, which I like, but is a little technically advanced for where I am and not quite as dirty and primitive as what I'm hoping to put onstage. Hearing horns used in such a visceral, elemental, HEAVY context was downright inspiring. So who cares if my rhymes suck? It may be time to just bite the bullet and risk looking stupid.

Actually, I still have a bookstore gift certificate that I received for my birthday; I should probably get a rhyming dictionary, just to get those wheels turning (though I could probably also afford to learn how to write song lyrics without relying on rhyme--it's worked for Michael Stipe, Nick Cave and Nils Frykdahl).