It’s on like Donkey Kong

I didn’t have a photo of me from class, but this is pretty much what I look like when I’m doing Krav Maga.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I’m kind of dangerous now. I enrolled in Krav Maga, so you can pretty much bring it on at any time. Just kidding, don’t bring it on because I’ve only attended three classes so far.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Krav Maga is a military self-defense and fighting system developed by the Israeli Defense Forces. It utilizes techniques from boxing, wrestling, Judo, Karate, and street fighting. It’s basically opening a can of whoop-ass on somebody.

Things are going okay so far. One of the problems I’ve encountered though is that I look absolutely hideous in the outfit they’ve given me for class. Everything is way oversized and I have such a small frame that it just does not work on me. I went up to the owner on the second day of class and had a conversation that went like this:

Me: “So do we have to wear the pants you gave us to class?”

Him: “Um…why?”

Me: “Because they’re falling off me.” (This is kind of a lie; the elastic waist is fine, but the rest of the pant is gigantic and extremely unflattering and I really, really cannot be seen in public like this.)

Him: “They’re supposed to be big. It’s so you can move around easily.”

Me: “Okay, but do I have to wear them??”

Him: (looking confused, because I have no doubt that I am the first person who has brought this up to him ever and he has his black belt in Krav Maga and I am positive that he just can’t even with me.) “Well, you should wear them every once in a while.”

Me: “Okay! Thanks!” (skipping into class)

The other problem that I’ve encountered is that I pretty much vacillate between hungering to be the toughest, most brutal student in the class and being scared out of my mind of some of the other students who are giant men.

For example, today we did a drill in which one person holds a bag (it’s like a cushion with handles) and the other person punches the bag. At the end of the drill, I see the instructor handing out Band-Aids. Some guys punched the bag so hard that they split their knuckles open and started bleeding. I was pissed because apparently I did not work hard enough; my knuckles were red and irritated, but not yet cracking. Fortunately, later in the afternoon, I did notice a bruise on my hand, which made me feel slightly better, but I can’t quite let go of today’s subpar performance.

There are also times, however, in which I’m terrified and want to collapse into a fetal position and start crying. Like there are these drills where everyone in the class has to attack you and it is literally a nightmare come true. The instructor also encourages us to look menacing during a particular drill if we are the attacker. When one of the giant man-students that is typically super nice and jokey with me turns into scary attacker man, I kind of have a panic attack. And end up saying something like, “Wow, you look really scary!” or something similar that I’m hoping will cut some of the tension.

Otherwise, I am really enjoying Krav Maga. It’s a great workout and it’s way more fun than doing a muted YouTube work-out video by myself in my house while watching The Golden Girls. I’m hoping my husband reads this post, as he believes all I do in class is run around on mats, putting myself in a fighting stance and screaming, “KRAV MAGA!” at the top of my lungs over and over.

It’s ok if you pretend you don’t know me


I’m not really sure what to do as I recently made it so that I can never show my face in my kid’s school again. This will most likely pose a problem for his upcoming band concert performance. And basketball season. And every school-related event ever over the next two years.

Here’s how it went down:

Parent/teacher conferences were last week. For the first time, my kid had to lead the entire conference while his teacher and my husband and I all sat around a table in his classroom. He was a little uneasy because, duh, but I kept telling him it was NBD. He can easily talk to his dad and myself. He can easily talk to his teacher. The conference was just combining the two easy-peasy interactions into one and he’d be totally fine.

On the night of the conference, my kid did his thing and it was great. Then it was time for him to go out into the hall while we had a few minutes alone with his teacher.

So he goes out through the classroom door and closes it. I start to say something or other to his teacher. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the door slowly cracking open. I decide my kid is trying to be sneaky and listen in, and in a clear, loud voice I shout, “CLOSE THE DOOR!” I mean, can you believe the nerve?

And then the door opens even further and a head that is not my kid’s pops into the classroom. To my utter HORROR I realize I am staring straight at the principal.

Yup, that’s right, I screamed at my kid’s principal and I cannot even convey to you how much self-control was needed in that moment not to vomit all over the table in front of me.

I look at my husband and I believe his reaction is best conveyed by this emoji:

Which was in no way helpful.

I panicked because, well, have you met me?, and screamed at the principal, “OH NO! YOU don’t have to close the door!” And then I think I actually cackled.

I looked at the teacher and was about to literally die where I was sitting, but instead of dying I whispered to her, “I can’t believe I just yelled at the principal!” to which she responded, “At least it wasn’t me!”

Again, not helpful.

It turns out the principal just came in to engage in some playful banter about both my kids who were sitting in the hallway. Instead of bantering playfully, however, I completely sullied my reputation, that of my children as well as the millions of generations that have come before me and will come after me. I am not even exaggerating.

So the next time you think you’ve committed a faux pas, please take comfort in the fact that no matter what you have done, it will never be worse than what I did on school conference night. And for those of you who I usually run into at school, I will see you after graduation.


I know you are but what am I…infinity!

Last night I finished reading the most FANTASTIC novel called Infinite by Jeremy Robinson. It contained all of my interests:

  • Cryogenic sleep gone awry (very awry, muwahahahaha)
  • Various references to Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise
  • Conjecture about what humans will look like thousands of years from now
  • A person who’s gone madder than Deanna Troi that time she lost her Betazoid telepathic abilities (if you don’t know by now that I’m talking about Star Trek: The Next Generation, then I can’t imagine we have anything at all in common.)
  • Science-y talk that seems to be legit but isn’t so hard that you need a Ph.D. in physics to follow it
  • Brains in vats! For the unfamiliar, there’s this philosophical theory about reality that proposes someone (who may or may not be a mad scientist) has actually taken your brain out of your head, placed it in a vat filled with life-sustaining liquid, and hooked it up to a supercomputer that triggers electrical impulses to make you think you’re actually feeling/seeing/smelling/etc. your environment. Basically, everything you experience is a simulation, and in reality, all you are is a brain in a vat! OMG!

I loved this book so hard that when I read the notes from the author at its conclusion, and saw that he was asking readers to post reviews because it would really help him out, I was all, “YES! I will post a review because this book is not only awesome, but I’d like to help a brother out.”

Then I got to thinking: A book review? I don’t know how to write a book review! Who do I think I am?!?

Then I got to thinking even more: Well, I have written five books. I think I’d probably be capable of writing a book review.

Followed by: Yeah, I can write a book, but a book review?!? That’s an entirely different animal! How long should it be? How much should I give away? How do you summarize over 300 pages of awesomeness in one compact blurb?

And then I wrote this blog post which is kind of a book review but mostly about my insecurities. Do with that what you will.

But the takeaway is — READ INFINITE! You will not be disappointed! (That’s my one-line book review and it really, really sucks. I’ll stick to my day job.)

Pee Wee image from Postimage.


I’ll take my movies without a side of zombies

I am psychologically, emotionally, and physically drained.

Why? Because of a stupid movie called Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. I just finished watching this abomination and it has put me into such a state that I am never sleeping again.

You should know that this movie is based on The Maze Runner series. Which was written for young adults. And which I have read. So you’d think I’d know what was coming and watching this movie would be no big deal because it’s for, you know, kids.

Nope nope nope. I guess the only thing I remembered from the series when I read it a few years ago was that there were a bunch of teenagers stuck in a maze. Apparently, I forgot that the book (and, consequently, the movie) contains all of my fears:

  1. People being chased.
  2. People being chased by zombies.
  3. People being chased by zombies while a building that they’re in is collapsing around them.

I do not watch zombie movies because zombies up the trauma factor of any said movie by one million.

For example, I like Brad Pitt. I enjoy watching Brad Pitt movies. Yet you couldn’t pay me to watch his movie World War Z because it is about zombies. Specifically, zombies chasing Brad Pitt, or so I’ve gathered from previews.

Imagine my surprise as I’m sitting there watching this movie and everything’s going fine until the first jump scare is a freaking zombie jumping out of pitch black darkness. Then more zombies jump out and there is a swarm of them. And then they start chasing everybody. For like two hours.

The entire time I am freaking SCREAMING, saying things to my husband like, “WTF I didn’t know this was a horror movie!?!” and “How are there zombies in this?!? I don’t remember zombies from the book…” and “Did you know this was about zombies?!? I didn’t know this was about zombies! I would have NEVER watched this if I knew it was about zombies!” in addition to, “I’m having chest pains.”

I mean, I was so freaked out before watching The Sixth Sense. On a scale of 1 to 10 of traumatizing me, it was like a 4, while Maze Runner is a freaking 27. How did this movie happen to me?

Only one good thing came of this. There was a surprise gun shot that nobody was expecting and as soon as the gun went off, I slid down real low into the couch in a nanosecond. It turns out that I have a kick ass gunshot reflex that would serve me well in a post-apocalyptic society. So there’s that.

Okay, seven hours to go until morning. It’s going to be a long night.

Image from Uber Humor.




European vacay

Last week, my husband and I took a trip to Berlin and Prague. We saw many amazing sites, like Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War:

Like the place where the Potsdam Conference was held, where Stalin, Churchill and Truman decided the fate of postwar Germany:

Like these skateboards featuring characters from The Simpsons:

Like a park where 100 random peacocks were wandering around, squawking at little kids and making them run away and cry, which, I’m ashamed to admit, was kind of hilarious:

And we can’t forget this bicycle outside of a yarn store that was all warm and toasty in its knitted attire:

Not to mention the food, which was mostly this:

Let’s just say I ate a lot of sausage. And meat. So much meat.

But, surprisingly, what was most amazing to me wasn’t any of these things. It was something that happened to me on the plane ride home. For 18 long years, this one experience had eluded me. For a very long time, part of me wanted to dive headfirst into it, throwing caution to the wind, but the other part of me was, frankly, too terrified that I’d lose myself. Lose what made Meredith, well, Meredith.

But on the plane ride home, I made the leap. I did it.

Ladies and gentleman, for the first time ever I watched The Sixth Sense on the in-flight entertainment system.

Since the film came out in 1999, I was terrified yet strangely drawn to it. Was I going to watch a movie about ghosts? About a kid seeing dead people? HELL NO. I remember the previews on television would make me run screaming from the room.

But for some reason, on that flight home, something clicked. While I was perusing my movie options and happened to spot The Sixth Sense on the list, it just felt right. I was ready. And it was ready for me.

And…the movie wasn’t really that scary. I have no idea why for 18 years I’d built up this idea that The Sixth Sense was the most terrifying horror movie ever to be made. I mean, there was only one jump scare. ONE.

All those wasted years. And it took a journey across the ocean to another continent for things to shift in me. I am changed. And no one can ever take that away from me. Not even Bruce Willis.

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