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My buddy @jeffmshaw is putting me on a @usgrappling t-shirt! He designs gis and rash guards too. Shout out to @cagesidefightco! #bjj #girlsingis #subonly

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I like to pet sit because really, who doesn’t like cute furry companionship with no commitment?  Welp.  That privilege has understandably expired as of this incident.  The last dog I pet sat barked his way into unwelcome status. 

This video shows the heroic rescue of Jermaine.  My dog friend Lily bolted and she chased my friend/neighbor/landlord’s cat up a tree.  Mark incidentally likes to climb trees (and is good at it) and rescued Jermaine.

And Jermaine lived happily (and fatly) ever after; and no longer being tree-bound, could continue to eat Lester (my cat)’s food.

Photo Set

Lamb leg confit with a buddha hand cure!

I encountered a wacky fragrant yellow fruit at the store and decided to take it home with me. It’s a lot like lemon plus a sweet floral aroma.

I made a cure with buddha hand zest, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and sage + s&p, of course. Coated the lamb leg with the cure and let it sit for 12 hours in the fridge.

Then I poured melted lamb fat over the leg with more herbs and whole garlic cloves and let it hang out in the oven for 8 hours at 200 degrees.

After letting the leg cool I shredded the meat and added it to a simple sauce with meat stock and red wine and dished it out on top of pasta with fresh peas.

By the end of the process I just wanted to eat. Don’t judge my plating :p

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Last week I had the privilege to roll up (down?) to Miami for the annual Royce Gracie Network Gathering chez the Valente Brothers with my instructor and fellow Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy teammates.  It’s a male-dominated elite gathering of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners of the original Gracie family martial art - you know, the ones responsible for the UFCs.

At this event jiu-jitsu brown belts test for their black belt.  To keep it simple this is mostly significant in two ways: 1. It takes a REALLY long time to get your black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (unless you pay a bunch of money - but then again what can’t you get with beaucoup cash.) e.g. karate black belt 3-5 years, #BJJ black belt at least double. 2. This event is only the 2nd one out of many to implement a black belt TEST where your instructor doesn’t simply deem you worthy of a promotion but where you step into a room with 22 black belts all with a mission to put you to through hell - physically and mentally with the purpose of revealing what you’re really made of and to see if you are truly deserving of such a prestigious rank.

I went to Miami to see lots of #BJJ bad-assery but mostly to support my instructor and teammates as they put them through the ultimate test.

It was an utter mind-$%& from start to finish.  The test itself is top-secret. Details are only known to the black belts that administer the test.  How do you prepare for it?  You can’t.  There’s no such thing as cramming.

This is what I observed: brown belts are nervous the entire weekend;  Discussing amongst themselves what they heard from so-and-so thinks this, and based on that dude’s expression watch out for that.  They drilled the basics of self-defense over and over and over before test time.  Then a brown belt disappears into a little room with 40 black belts for anywhere between 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.  During that time its mostly quiet, some talking voices, then intermittent gut wrenching sounds of smashing, smacking, whistling, yelling…  It sounds like hell.

I was a four-stripe white belt (i.e. the lowest ranking practitioner of everyone in the room at any given moment 99% percent of the time ) so I spent a lot of the weekend plugging my ears and being asked to walk ahead so the black belts and those who had already taken the test could discuss the super-secret details.

To be honest after the 2nd day I was not interested in the details because the little nuggets I would pick up on (never explicit) were always terribly mysterious and terrifying.

Finally the tests are over and it’s Monday - Belt Ceremony time.  Pedro Valente is reading off names of students who are about to receive their new belts from the lowest rank (blue) to the highest (black).  I’m reminding Seth to stand up in base when/if his name is called.  Then my name is called.  I said: “Are you kidding me.” I was not expecting to get my blue belt on this day.  Add that to the list of things that are out of my control!

A little summary of my thoughts regarding this little milestone in my jiu-jitsu adventure:

  • Jiu-jitsu is FUN and AWESOME.  I’m so so happy I found it.
  • The Brazilian BJJ practitioners I have observed are passionate people - which does good and bad things for preserving the art of Gracie jiu-jitsu
  • Jiu-jitsu is MALE DOMINATED and I think something should be done about it.
  • Royce is a UFC legend who when asked how he felt about women in MMA unmistakably used the words “delicate” and “fragile” in is his unenthusiastic opinion of women partaking in the sport.
  • Jiu-jitsu is COMPLICATED - people do it for a variety of reasons and I’m torn between the Gracie purpose (self-defense) and the sportive agenda.  I don’t want to wait until someone tries to hurt me to be able to practice/evaluate my jiu-jitsu progress.
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#pink #mashedpotatoes - check! #picstitch #beets

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The critters of Li Ming’s Global Mart.. #hotpot is on tonight! (at Li Ming’s Global Market)

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I googled “Why do salt pigs crack” (salt sucks out moisture?!) and I got “Disorders and Diseases of Potbellied Pigs”. #Hummingbird needs some work, Google. #userintent #fail

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#diadelosmuertos #sugarskull #happyhalloween!

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Word on the street is you’ll win this Food Lovers Guide if you complete the @carolinachamber After Hours scavenger hunt at @carolinainn next Wed!

Audio

I need to listen to this once a day.

Source: Spotify