Monday, March 17, 2014

Self Defense

I like the idea of self defense. I've never been one to rely on someone else to help me. Not with my luggage at the airport (I never pack more than I can maneuver on my own), not to shovel me out after a huge snow dump (of which we've had many this winter), and not to save me if someone is trying to do something bad to me.

If help should be offered in any of the above situations, I will most likely take it and say thank you, but I don't count on someone to be there or to be helpful if they are there. Most people prefer to ignore a need for help as opposed to offer assistance so I'm a "handle it myself" kind of girl.

I consider myself a fairly strong person in the physical realm thanks to lots of gym time but I don't overestimate my ability to turn the tables on a stronger person should they choose to inflict harm on me. And I don't like that. I want to at least give myself a fighting chance if push comes to shove with an ill-intending figure. When an opportunity to take an intensive self defense class came up, I signed up and tried to draft as many of my lovely girlfriends to come with as I could. This is important stuff people!!

The class was filled with women of all ages and different levels of physical abilities. It didn't matter. The course was designed to give everyone the basics of how to create space to get away from an aggressor, inflict a little pain, and make a run for it. It also taught us how to assess a situation, how to verbally buy time in a dangerous situation, and strategies to get the attention and potential assistance from anyone nearby if you're fortunate enough to be approached in a public place.

The instructors didn't try to scare us, but they train most of the local law enforcement agencies and the information they did share was of things happening in our picturesque suburban utopia. Ugly stuff. Violent stuff. But all real life events that seldom make it to the local news. I appreciated the honesty and am now more aware of what to look for to keep myself safer as I'm out and about. There is a lot of messed up stuff happening and I don't want to be another clueless woman who is too busy texting to realize that there are clear signs of danger right in front of me.

Women in general are a vulnerable group. Someone who wants to attack or abduct you is counting on you to be scared, to freeze up, and to comply with their orders. They count on their larger body mass, and in some cases a weapon, to intimidate and easily overpower you. They are not expecting you to whip around and face them, groin kick them like you're splitting them in two and follow it up with a palm heal punch and hammer fist combo and run like hell. That makes you a whole lot less appealing to deal with.

I knew I would like the class when one of the first things the instructor said is that "Today is about learning how to fight dirty. And women have to be the dirtiest fighters out there." It wasn't about building a false sense of security or talking about what to do, it was 3 hours of punching, kicking, flipping a person off of you on the ground, and learning how to assess situations and make the best possible odds for you to walk away (or run like hell!)

I hope that I never have to use anything that I learned. The cuts and bruises and sore muscles I have from just practicing are quite enough trauma for me. But it's nice to know that I've been given a foundation of information that will help me override my freeze response and come out swinging! Watch out sucka, this one is a fighter!

I would strongly encourage anyone to take a proactive step and learn how to better protect and defend yourself through a self defense course at your local martial arts studios or law enforcement agency when they offer it. There is no better investment of your time and money. DO IT!

Friday, January 31, 2014

"Soft-Core Friday" - I Can't Remember to Forget You

Boy, it's been a while since I've done a SCF post, but it's good to be back!

I feel like I'm finally getting back to being me and it feels pretty darn good. I'm back to the grind, back to the gym, and back to shenanigans...all is right with the world again. I'll take it! The end of the year sucked to put it mildly but as in all things, it's just a season and it too shall pass. It always does. Here's to getting on with getting on!

I've found a shiny new thing to keep me smiling. He's a good distraction and an even better...well, you know. Think Mark Wahlberg circa the Marky Mark/Calvin Klein underwear ad days and that's what I get to look at on a regular basis. Yes, please! I swear this guy is his doppelganger and I'm not complaining on little bit.

Nothing gets a girl back on her game faster than some first class shenanigans and a healthy dose of man candy. I may have some new scars but I've still got way too much self confidence to let that slow me down. And he doesn't seem to notice thanks to some tried and true distraction techniques.

Yep, I'm back!

And because I gave the girls a little something to look at today, I'll give the guys a hot video to take a gander at. These ladies enjoy themselves some wall action...and I'm not even joking. Happy SCF to all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Everyone's Dealing with Something

Please, please...hold the applause. I've decided to put words together again, shoot them out on the interwebz, and see if that makes me feel any differently than when they were just rattling around in my head.

I'm not even sure when I posted last but I'm sure I'm not more impressive than  I was then so I would advise you to prepare yourself for more of the same. Whether that's good or bad, I'll let you decide.

I've spent the last little while learning a lot of big words I didn't ever want to know and having pieces of myself cut out and stitched back together and figuring how to to manage complete duality in my head while appearing perfectly normal on the outside. You know, just your normal everyday stuff in the land of Randy.

Here's what has become abundantly clear to me throughout the course of all of this fun: the people you choose to have in your life is one of the most important decisions you can make. Those people will become your link to the outside world, your source of laughter and stability, and in some cases, your ride to the hospital for your surgery early in the morning on Christmas Eve. Yeah, those people are important.

Choose the wrong people and they become the people who disappear when you really need them, offer hollow words via cold, impersonal methods, or show up when the dust has settled and you're back to your "normal" self and they can pretend nothing ever happened. Thanks for nothing, I say.

I have some quality time on the horizon with some people who I actually love and can count on. I'm looking forward to that with infinite excitement and look forward to the comfort of being in the presence of those that can simply take you as you are, scars and all. Those people are the ones that count.

Spend your time being kind and loving people well because the one thing that is for certain is that everyone is dealing with something.

Friday, August 16, 2013

"Soft-Core Friday": A Little Lazy & Narcissistic? I Have The Dating App For You!

Another SCF is upon us and not a moment too soon! I need a weekend my friends!

But before I shuttle off for cocktails and witty banter with another (hopefully) quality suitor, I wanted to take a minute and let you all know about a fairly new "dating" app called Tinder. Now I use the air quotes around the word dating because really, it's a stretch to call it a dating site.

Allow me to explain. The Tinder app is a lazy person's dream. To create a profile, all you have to do is is put in your Facebook log on, it pulls over your name, age, and up to 5 pictures that you can choose to display on your Tinder profile. Viola'! That's all there is to setting up a profile. You do have the option to add a description or tell potential dates a little about yourself but really, who needs to know anything about someone they might hook up with?

And unlike other pesky dating sites that make you take a personality quiz or checklist a detailed set of criteria that describes who you are looking for, Tinder makes it easy. You choose if you're looking for male or female, set your radius that you want you potential dates to be in proximity to you, and your preferred age range of profiles returned. That's it. No really, that's all the filtering criteria you can select. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Once your profile is set up and your 3 available filtering criteria chosen,  the fun really begins. The hook with Tinder is that you literally face no chance of rejection initially. Profiles appear and as quickly as you can swipe your finger left to reject someone or right to choose them, the next profile pops up for you to swipe to the winner or losers column.

The person doesn't know that you have right swiped them as a potential match until or unless they also right swipe you and then you get a little fanfare that you're a match and are prompted to start a conversation with that person to get the ball rolling. Should your hearts desire not find you to their liking and you get the dreaded left swipe, you are none the wiser leaving your fragile ego intact.

In theory, this sounds like a great idea. However, I know of people who will literally spend hours swiping hotties just to see how many have already selected them. It's validation in the worst way and does little else than inflate the already healthy egos of those that are on Tinder for sport.

It's not a bad way to kill a little time though when you are waiting in the doctor's office, stuck in stand still traffic, or having trouble falling asleep at night though I must admit. The sport aspect of "if I right swipe him, has he already right swiped me?" and the little "Booyaa!" moment of validation when you instantly get the celebratory clinking together of your profile pictures as Tinder announces there is mutual interest is a bit of a pick me up. Who doesn't want to feel wanted once in a while?

I've yet to determine the overall intentions of the majority of current Tinder users but I don't get the feeling that it's quite as skanky as a full on hook up site, nor is it quite as legit as an in-depth dating site either. To it's credit, I have gone out with a guy I "bumped in to" on Tinder and he was a solid guy and the date went well so I can't completely bag on it. But that was one out of 40+ matches in the short time I have been on. Most chat for a while with no real intention of actually meeting up or more times than not, it guys that are in town for a short period of time and are looking to entertain themselves with the local flavor while they are here.

I would venture to say that 90% of my single friends are on Tinder currently, which makes it a little awkward when you keep seeing people you know pop up to be swiped left or right. You don't want to left swipe them to oblivion because you are friends but you don't want to right swipe, find out you matched, and then have that awkward recognition and celebratory profile pic clinking moment either. It's a delicate dance I tell ya!

I approach my time on Tinder like I have my time on all the dating sites I have been on, with a mix of cautious optimism and morbid curiosity. If you're single and looking, give Tinder a try. If you're bored and curious, try it out as well. If you're looking for your soul mate, you may want to look elsewhere.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pre Season Fun - Football On Your Phone

It's back! Football season! I've been waiting all year for this. Not only does it signal the beginning of my favorite season, but it gives me plenty of weekend entertainment to look forward to for the next 5 months or so.

And what could be better to kick off football season with than a little bit of ridiculousness from the Manning brothers? Now, I'm still a little sad that Peyton broke up with me and moved to Denver but I'm willing to be the bigger person and give him some props for this hilarious video.

Are you ready for some football?!? Apparently you can have football in your pants now. At least that's what the video says.  Well done DirecTV, you get my vote for best commercial.

Friday, August 9, 2013

"Soft-Core Friday" - A little bit ridiculous, a whole lot of genius

Happy "Soft-Core Friday" kids! It's been a while and I'm tired of talking about break ups, revelations, and my dad's chemo treatments so let's get back to a little bit o' fun shall we?

Ladies, how many times have you been somewhere, like an outdoor concert, camping trip, or just somewhere with way too many women and way too few bathrooms? Well, rest easy because there is a new product that will allow you to handle things like a man and get on with your business: the P EZ.

Yep, that's right. The new portable urinal designed specifically for the girl on the go...pun intended!

These babies are running in high demand, selling out Groupon offers and websites alike. There is seriously a need for this product and women who are sick of losing their awesome pit spot at concerts or having to pull over all the time on a road trip are snatching these things up like hotcakes! No more waiting in line for these girls!

Here's a link to a recent ABC News article about this genius little product. I know what all the girls on my Christmas list are getting this year. I'm sure they'll thank me for that.

And because it's Friday and I'm getting my country on tonight, I'm starting my day on the opposite end of the spectrum and getting some Jay-Z lovin' on. Enjoy Holy Grail by HOVA and JT. Feel free to brush the dirt off your shoulder enthusiastically at your desk. No one will mind.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Expectations Not Met

How many times have you taken a customer service survey or filled out a product return form and seen the little box begging to be checked: Expectations Not Met

What about in relationships? How many relationships have ended and left you feeling like you need to check the box beside "Expectations Not Met" on the post-relationship survey? I would venture to say it could be applicable to every break up, fizzled out high-potential relationship, and divorce.

Can expectations ever really be met?

I look at my most recent failed relationship and I have to own the fact that a major component of that failure was not him actually lacking anything, it was me having expectations that he couldn't, in all fairness, really meet. Was that me setting him up for failure? Yes, yes it was. Was it me always giving myself an exit to run out of should I decide that it was getting too hard or too serious or requiring too much communication and openness from me? Yep, that too.

This is nothing new for me, for us. This is not the first break up. It's not the first time that I've been disappointed in how something was handled. It's not the first time my expectations haven't been met.

Will I do things differently next time? Probably not.

How do you manage expectation in you relationships? Have you ever broken up with a  perfectly good person because you can't let yourself be content with what's in front of you? Tell me about!