Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: fan

The heat is on

It’s hot. It’s 87 ‘feels like’ 94 before 10 a.m. hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot. A slight paraphrase, but factual. It’s so hot, it hurts my feelings. It’s so hot, I have the air on, which I try not to use*. Normally, I use the air a few times in a season. This year, however, it’s been really hot in the house, even when it’s not that hot outside. I don’t feel that bad about using air because I don’t use any heat in the winter.

I have been tagged as the elite of the elite when it comes to being eco-friendly with the furnace/aircon, which pleases me. My brother and I have had discussions about this because environmentalism is his passion. So he’ll sometimes point out ways I can save more, but he doesn’t push it. Why? Because I’m bare bones already.

I have my air at 78 and my furnace at 62 (day)/60 (night). I have one light in the kitchen on most of the time and then the light in my living room when I’m in it (which is most of the time). I’ll turn the light on in my computer room when I’m there, but that’s an LED. So is the one in my kitchen. I have a hybrid car that before the pandemic, I filled the gas every three months or so. Now, it’s every six months or longer.

I do have a cat who has a carbon pawprint, but I have no kids. That’s the biggest thing. I do laundry once a month or so. I do eat meat. I’m trying to cut down on that, but it’s slow-going. The more I do Taiji weapons, the more meat I want to eat. I noticed several years ago that my meat intake was increasing. I mentioned it to my Taiji teacher; she explained that it was probably because I was upping my Taiji routine.

This is more an ethical matter for me than an environmentalism one. Meat comes from animals. They are living and breathing creatures. Factory farming is brutal and not animal-friendly (to vastly understate it). It’s hard for me to sit comfortably with that. I would prefer to eat non-meat protein, but there is something just so satisfying about meat.

My brother and I have this ongoing conversation about environmentalism. He does EV car shows and has a passion for EV cars. I do not begrudge him this, but he has a hard time seeing how niche it is. And how far out of the norm it is. A few years ago, he stated he thought that maybe 50% of cars on the road were EV. Well, maybe not that high. I can’t remember exactly, but it was a high enough percentage that even I knew he was out of line–and I know nothing about cars. Nor do I care. I’m going to say he said 25%. That seems like a reasonably high number.


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I got my weapons on my mind

Let’s talk weapons. Not the gun kind that has been making the news with distressing frequency, but the kind that doesn’t shoot projectiles at a high velocity. We’re talking swords, sabres, canes, and fans. We’re also talking escrima sticks and karambits. I mentioned this before, but I want to delve more into it.

I never wanted to try weapons when I first started taiji. While I was all about the martial arts application, I thought weapons were…uncivilized. More than that, they scared me. I was a ball of rage at that time, and I felt if I did weapons, I would just beat the shit out of everyone with said weapons. It wasn’t rational, but it was how I felt. I kept a tight rein on my anger, but when I slipped, it exploded all over the place.

I’ve told this story a million times, but I fobbed off my teacher every time she brought up weapons for an uncomfortable amount of time. It was only when she put a wooden sword into my hand that I realized what the fuck I had been missing. The second I closed my fingers over the hilt of the sword, I knew this was what I was meant to do. It felt like an extension of my arm, and I bought my stainless steel sword pretty soon after.

I would like to say that I practiced diligently once I started learning the Sword Form, but this isn’t a fairy tale, and I didn’t experience a radical personality change. I still dragged my feet, but I *did* enjoy learning the Sword Form more than I did the Solo Form. I learned it fairly quickly, and I loved every minute of it. When I was learning the Solo Form, there were several times I questioned what the fuck I was doing and why the hell I was doing this thing called taiji? I don’t mind saying (and my teacher doesn’t mind hearing) that I resented the hell out of taiji, and one of the reasons I went to more than one class a week is because I didn’t practice at home at all.

Side Note: I have a new classmate who is challenging to me for many reasons. The one I’m going to focus on this right now is because she’s so gung-ho about taiji, especially weapons. I am the weapons person in my class, and it’s a poke to my ego to see her learning them before knowing the whole Solo Form. Back when I started taiji, my teacher was told by her teacher that weapons could not be taught until after the Solo Form. That is no longer the case, and while I think it’s a good change, it’s hard for me not to feel resentful. I know I sound very much ‘back in my day’ about it, but it doesn’t help to hide it. I try not to have attitude around her, but it’s difficult.

Anyway, after the Sword Form came the Sabre Form, and that was a rocky road. It was nothing like the Sword Form, which shocked the hell out of me. Ignorant me thought, “Hey, it’s just a slightly bigger sword. It should be a snap.” It was not a snap. Not a snap at all. It was the opposite of a snap, and it upset me. There are very few things I’m proud of when it comes to myself, and one of them is that I learn things quickly*. Whereas the sword instantly felt at home in my hand, the sabre was just…dead wood. It never came alive. It never sang to me. It never thrummed with excitement, and I hated it.

I can say that now because I am past that hate and the resentment. Way past it, but I’ll get to that in a second.


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