Thursday, November 12, 2015

Failure to Progress

This morning I woke up thinking "Hey it has been awhile since I have written a blog post. Lets do that!" (Well to be honest, my first thought was "Cofffeeeeee." But after that it was all about writing.)

It is Thursday, which means it is a BJJ day for me. I took class yesterday so my neck is a bit sore (spider guard) but nothing is too banged up. I really like my new school and I am looking forward to going to class today. So its going to be a great training day! Right?

As I was weaving my hair into as many braids as possible in the hopes of it surviving rolling today, I had an idea for what I wanted to write about. In December it will be five years of BJJ for me. Yet sometimes I still am not sure why I am doing it. Despite hours and hours on the mats, I am still pretty bad at it. I still get tapped by white belts who are much bigger than me. I still forget every drill within a week of learning it. I am still not sure exactly what the point of all this is. Is it just fun? Am I hoping to get a black belt someday? Am I learning self defense? Do I just like having something to do every Wednesday and Thursday morning?

As I am formulating all of these thoughts into coherent sentences (slowly, because the coffee hasn't kicked in yet) something occurs to me. I have already written this blog post. I don't just mean that I occasionally feel this way about my training.  I mean I have already written this blog post. 

So I looked it up and yeah here it is: It was exactly a year ago, almost to the day.

Oh my god, I have gotten absolutely nowhere in a year! I am still a somewhat confused blue belt who often has no idea why she is putting on her gi! (I also clearly have nothing new to say.)

What a terribly depressing thought.

Do you know how many BJJ classes I have taken since November 11, 2014? Well on average I take about 2 classes per week, sometimes 3 if you count the ones at my own dojo. If there are 52 weeks in a year, that is over 150 classes of making absolutely no progress!

Okay, that's unfair. I am sure I have gotten better at some things. I am pretty good at guard passing. I have a decent kimura. But if my blog is any indication, I have not really moved past the wandering around the BJJ woods without a compass stage. I still don't take notes. I don't watch You Tube. I don't set specific goals before each roll. 

I love to go to class and I work hard while I am there but otherwise I am a lazy, lazy student. I am like the employee who never thinks about work, let alone does any, outside of the hours of 9am-5pm. Come to think of it, that is exactly the kind of employee I was when I had a 9 to 5 job. But I never really liked having a job.

Do I not really like jiu-jitsu?

If I loved it the way I say I do, wouldn't I be thinking about it all the time? Matthew is thinking about it all the time. (Well when he is not thinking about chess. Or Batman.) He is constantly watching videos of dudes heel hooking each other. The only BJJ videos I watch are the ones that play automatically on my Facebook feed while I am scrolling down to look for more posts about Starbucks cups. 

I have always known that I could progress much faster if I invested more time in the study of BJJ.  If not reading books and watching stuff, then at least writing down the things I learned after class and finding a way to review them later. Why don't I do this?

Man, I am a bad student.

With this newfound information, the obvious question would now be, should I just quit jiu-jitsu? But when I send that one over to my brain (which is now fully fueled with coffee) it says "Nooooo! I REALLY LIKE jiu-jitsu!"

Its weird. I really do.

So there it is. I don't want to take any BJJ work home with me. So I don't get much better at it. And then I get frustrated with how slowly I am progressing. And I wonder why I am bothering going to class. And then I go to class. And I love it. It is loads of fun and I leave feeling great. Rinse. Repeat. Write blog post about it. Again.

Jeez I need some more coffee!

Ok, I'm off to class. 
Because...well, I don't really know why.
But it seems I love it anyway.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Only Way Out Is In

I have spent a lot of time on my bike recently, to and from my new BJJ school, uptown to the dojo, to Petco to buy more crickets for the geckos. Sometimes I bike to the ferry terminal in Long Island City and take the ferry over the water to 33rd before biking uptown. I consider that the easy route. Other days, like today, I bike over the Williamsburg Bridge and then all the way to the dojo. 

That's the hard one. It's not just that the bridge is uphill half of the way across, or that it is sometimes a wind tunnel up there. Those things are hard but mainly I don't like the bridge route because I am kind of uncomfortable up there. I am a little bit afraid of heights and a lot afraid of places that I cannot easily escape from. Like tunnels. Or stuck subway cars. Or a fenced in bike path high above the East River. Inevitably there is a moment every time I am biking up the hill when I contemplate just turning around and going back to Brooklyn. Then there is the point of no return, the point right before the center of the bridge where it switches to downhill, that moment where it is almost farther to go back then to just keep pushing forward . It is the highest part of the bridge, directly over the water, and the bike path is fenced in on either side for obvious reasons. (Cause the only thing scarier than biking over the water would be taking a nose dive directly into it.)

The only way out is in.

I love it up there. I mean I hate it. I am always out of breath and kind of anxious. But then it is over and I have conquered my fear and I am coasting downhill and man that part is totally awesome. 

Also the view is real pretty.

This week one of my best friends is testing for her black belt here at our dojo, along with another wonderful student who I have known and respected for years. I know they are both going to be amazing. 

As you know if you have read this blog for awhile, black belt promotion in Kenshikai Karate is long and all consuming. It takes three days spread out over half of a week. It begins on a Wednesday and the time between that night and the next (Friday) can feel like weeks. It is both mentally and physically challenging. But hopefully, the participants also have fun during it, and nothing is more fun than the end, when you have sparred for two hours and you finally get that much coveted shiny new black belt tied around your waist.

It is totally worth it. Every time.

Come to think of it, promotion is not unlike biking over the Williamsburg Bridge. It is difficult and maybe even a little bit scary. There may be a point halfway through when you want to just turn around and go back home. But no one ever has, just like I never biked back down the hill to Brooklyn. Quitting has never really been an option. The only way out, is in.

Good luck this week to Michel and Jennifer! I could not be more excited for you. You totally deserve this and I know you will be fantastic!

See you Wednesday!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A New Playground

Training is hard. I am not talking about injuries, or sore muscles, or the emotional roller coaster that is inevitable when punches, kicks and chokes are involved. Those things are all there, but sometimes the hard part is just the constant going to class. Going when you are tired. Going when you are feeling lazy. Going when you would rather just sit on the couch eating chips and watching reruns of Game of Thrones. 

It is all this going that is the hardest part. So it helps to have some extra motivation; techniques you are working on, friends you are looking forward to seeing in class, an upcoming promotion, or even the delicious cold beer you are going to have after sparring. Whatever gets you there.

But sometimes you lose your drive anyway. Maybe your favorite training partner quits. Maybe you had a long work day of your boss being a jerk and you just want to lie down. Maybe you get a new job. Maybe you didn't get promoted when you thought you would. Maybe your back hurts. Maybe someone in your life has disappointed you, and is not at all who you thought they were. Maybe you just aren't having fun anymore. 

If you read this blog regularly you know that I love to talk about the ups and downs of training. If you read this blog regularly you also know all about the karate politics, and the spazzy, smashy white belts, and the herniated discs, and the Kyoshi promotion, and an awful lot about my daughter Maya. 

Regular readers, know that you are loved and appreciated. And this post is for you. 

I recently left my jiu-jitsu school, a place I trained for over five years. There are many, many reasons for this. Some of them involve other people's personal business that will not be discussed here. Some of them are schedule related. Some of them are money related. Some of them have to do with commuting. Some of them come from that list right up there. You can guess which ones if you want but I am not here to say anything negative about anyone, so I would ask you to please do the same. (Even those of you who really, really want to. You know who you are and that is what the bar is for!) 

In my world, five years is not a long time to be doing anything. I have been in karate for 26. But it is long enough to have acquired some skills, to have made some friends, to have earned a blue belt. It is long enough to have set some goals and then changed them and then changed them again. But sometimes, things just aren't working. Not arm bars. Other things.

There is a wonderful freedom to decisions that are not marginal. Often things could go either way and you go back and forth between columns like a ping pong ball. Sometimes it is easier to just flip a coin. But occasionally there is a choice that feels one hundred percent right for you, and it is a pleasure to make that choice. 

Over the next few months I will be teaching karate in a public school, hopefully more than one. Many many tiny children will walk on and off the dojo floor. I will practice my katas and put on my sparring gear on Fridays so I can really enjoy that beer afterwards. And I will still be doing jiu-jitsu, both in my own dojo and elsewhere. 

But still, it helps to have a goal, something that gets you off the couch on those days when Netflix is a little too appealing. And my goal right now is a very simple one: have fun. That's all. I am sure there will be more later. But right now I just want to enjoy my time on the mats, enjoy the things that my body is learning to do. 

Quite simply, I just want to play.

If you have trained with me in the past five years know that I respect you and I wish you all the best. (Well, not you, spazzy smashy! But the rest of you, I wish the rest of you the best.) We are all on the same journey and I am sure I will see you again. 

Onwards and upwards, as they say. 
Onwards and upwards.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

If You're Not in Pain, You're Doing it Wrong

It has been awhile, people. I would love to tell you that I have been traveling the world but if you know me you know there is no way that is true. To be honest, I have just been kind of lazy with writing lately. I guess I haven't been inspired. 

Not to worry, it was only a matter of time before someone posted something on Facebook that was worthy of my ranting. (Shockingly, Donald Trump's mere existence was not good enough.)

This morning, it was "Don't Be a Pussy" martial arts guy.

That is not his real name.

But you all know him.

"Don't Be a Pussy" martial arts guy has a very recognizable persona. But just in case you are not sure, here are some of his distinguishing features:

  • Posts only memes that have to do with "hard training" and "real martial arts". By "real" he of course means only things that will "work in the street." 
  • Says a lot of military stuff. Has never been in the military.
  • Makes fun of any art that involves kata
  • Actually still uses the phrase "boards don't hit back", as if any dojo anywhere has ever used breaking for anything other than a fun and challenging addition to their regular training 
  • Is constantly complaining about the "new" jiu-jitsu, the "sport" karate, and teachers who encourage students to "roll light" instead of just trying to kill each other all the time
  • Is always a man. Has probably been training for less than two years. Thinks those two years make him an expert. 
  • Actually uses the word "pussy" in polite conversation and does not seem even the slightest bit embarrassed
This guy believes that if you are not limping out of class every day you are doing it wrong. He is proud of all of his injuries, especially the ones where he decided not to tap. He thinks sparring with women is a waste of time. (Because when is he ever going to be attacked by a woman???) He has one speed, fast, and has one level of power, hard. He has no problem smashing someone brand new because "that is what they did to me when I was coming up, that is how I got stronger." 

"Don't Be a Pussy" martial arts guy will inevitably train for a few more years (if he is lucky) and then quit either when he can no longer move his neck to the left or more likely when his ego can no longer withstand the number of 25 year old super athletes who can now wipe the floor with him, even when they (god forbid!!) go slowly.

This guy is a douche.
Every dojo has one.

The question is, is he right?
If you don't train hard, are you missing the point?
If you're not in pain, are you just plain doing it wrong?

It is very easy for me, as a 5th degree karate black belt with over 25 years of training, to speak wisely about the value of going light. I spent years backed into the corner of the dojo being pounded on by a black belt man who would sometimes forget that the person in front of him was roughly the size and shape of his 13 year old daughter. In other words, I paid my dues. I have also spent over four BJJ years stuck underneath one giant spazzy white belt after another. I just turned 40. I have a 7 year old daughter that I have to take care of and a job running a dojo which I cannot do if someone charlie horses my thigh every Friday night. But before I was a mom, and a dojo owner and almost middle aged, I would limp home every Friday night and I would feel proud of how hard it all was. I was so tough, I was so strong, I was so not a pussy!

I was so miserable. I hurt all the time. I didn't actually get hurt, only bumps and bruises and once a broken toe that got accidentally caught in someone's gi top. But I was so sore, so banged up. And I so loved it.

To be honest, I still am pretty banged up half of the time. This jiu-jitsu thing is a bitch. I am sure there will come a point where my incredible skill will finally make up for the fact that I am barely taller than Tinkerbell, but that point is not today. Today, my ribs hurt. And I don't love it so much anymore. The novelty has long worn off.

As a grownup, career martial artist (and by that I do not mean that I am paid to fight like Ronda Rousey (I wish!), but that I plan on training for my entire life if I can) I am constantly trying to find the right level for me, one that still challenges me physically but also allows me to enjoy the rest of my life without the need for prescription painkillers. If I am not in pain, perhaps I am doing it wrong. But if I can't sit on a playground bench and watch my daughter frolic in the sprinklers, I am also doing it wrong.

This is not an easy task. In my own dojo, where everyone knows me and have been sparring with me for years and years, it is easier. I go light, I move around, I try to set things up. I am never going to be the biggest or the fastest so I try to be the smartest. Most of the time I fail but it is ok because everyone plays along. The teacher in our sparring classes, who happens to also be my husband Matthew, sends a very clear message every week. Not to fight light necessarily, but to pay attention. To go at the level that is going to keep both you and your partner safe but also allow you to both improve. He is six feet tall, about 190, with a 5th degree black belt in karate and a brown belt in BJJ and yet he claims that if he does not learn something from rolling with a 5 foot blue belt woman he is doing it wrong.

In my BJJ school, it is a mixed bag, a combination of young and old, competitors and non, mature skilled purple and brown belts who can switch from flow to slam and back with ease, and brand new white belt dudes who only roll at top speed, last 45 seconds and then have to go vomit in the bathroom because "damn jiu-jitsu is really really hard!" My teachers here usually leave the pace up to the students, which means that sometimes I am forced to tell dudes to "slow down a bit" to prevent my getting a bruised rib or a hyper extended elbow or more likely a lovely knee to the nose.

I have visited BJJ schools where the teachers require everyone to roll with control and I have been to karate schools where the sparring is barely more than shadow boxing. Are those students not really training? Are they not doing "real martial arts"? Are they all "pussies"?

In my opinion, the conversation of what works in a street fight is a stupid one. I have never been in a street fight, don't plan on being in a street fight, and if someone looks like they are looking for a street fight I just go the other way. 

But the conversation of how hard we should all be training is an interesting one (to me anyway), and I think it is clear by this very long, rambling post, that I certainly do not know the answer.

What do you all think?

P.S. If we as a society can finally become mature enough to stop using the word "gay" as an insult, maybe we can also agree that calling someone a "pussy" is only really appropriate if you are talking about your cat. 
Just saying.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mixed Messages

There are so many lessons in a kids karate class. Perseverance. (When you are really tired and think you cannot do another pushup, do just one more. ) Being a good example. (See that new white belt kid over there who is spinning in a circle. Why do you think he is doing that? Do you think it may be because he saw you, a green belt, spinning on his butt?) Painting. (A few weeks ago I told my most advanced class a story that went like this: Suppose you had an assignment for school to draw a picture that was going to be hung up in an art show. You wouldn't just scribble on a piece of paper, say "I'm done!" and call that your masterpiece, right? No you would work really hard. Make it your best work. Well your kata is the same. Don't show me your scribble Pinan 1. Show me your masterpiece.")

That's deep right?
Some real Kyoshi stuff.

I spend a lot of time telling my kids that karate is for them. That if they cheat on their pushups they are only cheating themselves. That if they do lazy punches it is their body that will learn how to punch badly. That they will get out of class exactly what they put into it. So if they put in 100 percent, they will improve 100 percent.

And other motivational talk.
All true, by the way.

This week in summer camp we had a water fight day.  Kids were allowed to bring water guns, spray bottles or balloons. Then they chased each other (and me!) around the park trying to see who could get the most wet. When it was time to fill up the balloons, a couple of the kids got a little upset. "Those are my balloons," one of them said. "I don't want them to all get used up." Another one complained that they were from a friend and therefore "special." 

My first thought was to take away one of the boy's water guns, the one that said "UWS" on it, because it was "my water gun and if he didn't want to share then I didn't either." But eventually I just told both kids to put the balloons away and then explained the rule that I used to have for Maya when she was a toddler; basically anything that comes to camp is for everyone. It is totally fine if you don't want to share your stuff, but please leave it at home.

They are six, not two.
They were cool with it.

That was Tuesday. Today when the campers returned from the park there were surprise treats hidden all around the dojo. Armed with a bunch of clues, they had to search under, over and behind things, looking for candy. Everything they found went into a big bowl in the middle of the room and then they all got to share the treats after lunch. What about the kids who found more pieces? Doesn't matter, everyone got the same amount.

This time no one complained (it was CANDY after all) but it did make me think. I want my kids to learn to work as a team. But I also want them to be very aware of how all their hard work benefits them and them alone.  This week's activities included sand art, bracelets, a game where teammates had to work together to collect colored balls, a friendly game called "Murderer" (it is everyone's favorite!), and a group cooking project where everyone had a job. But we also played dodgeball. And chess. And Monopoly, the most selfish game there is. Not to mention all that sparring and grappling.  

(Quick aside, the first time my kid learned what losing at Monopoly is, she burst into tears. The end of that game is BRUTAL.)

Back to camp. Am I sending these kids completely mixed messages? 

The truth is that yes, I am trying to teach my kids both lessons because it turns out that both lessons are important. Sometimes your hard work benefits you and you alone. Like when you stretch a little bit wider every day and at the end of the week you have a full split! But sometimes your hard work benefits the group. Like when you find six pieces of candy in three different hiding spots and now your whole table gets to enjoy it. One day being the one in class who does the best kata will win you first place.  But on another day it will get you put in front of a brand new blue belt who is told to follow your every move. 

Even harder than trying to teach kids how to be both tenacious and gracious, is trying to teach them which situation calls for which behavior. Like when you are playing baseball and the person who hits the ball is the tiniest three year old in camp. Are you supposed to let the ball roll past you because you know he will be so happy to get a home run? Or are you supposed to catch it (which you can easily because he is three and you are six and have won 5 little league trophies ) so your team wins the game? 

Do you really, really have to share your stickers with the whole camp?

And while we are at it, sharing sucks!
But candy, candy is awesome!

And here I thought my job was just to teach them how to do Pinan 2 and play Murderer.

P.S.. We actually changed the name of the game this year to "Sandman". (As in, he makes you go to sleep.) Because when a three year old comes home from summer camp and says "Mommy today I was the murderer" we get a lot of phone calls.

I really love them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

On Giving...and Laundry

It rained all day on Monday. That meant that Maya and I could not go to the playground after school like we normally do. She didn't want to go to the library and I didn't want to pay $20 for our local indoor playspace, so instead we just stayed home and did a bunch of random things. Maya wrote a story. I made a tiny dent in the giant pile of clean laundry that lives in the corner of our living room. She cleaned her room. I cleaned the bathroom. She beat me at chess. Twice. 

For awhile now Maya has had the idea to collect some of her old things (clothing mostly) and put them in a bag to donate to charity. Specifically, she wants to help the homeless. Here in NYC, there are often people out on the street begging for change. They make Maya feel sad, and she wants to help all of them. So on Monday, while the rain beat relentlessly against our windows, Maya filled a bag with clothes that no longer fit her anymore, along with two stuffed animals, a book and a toy baby that cries when you push on its belly. 

I was very proud of her.

The day went on. We had dinner. We watched a movie. She had a bath. And then somewhere between teeth brushing and lights out, she suddenly got sad. 

"I think I want to keep the red dog."
The red dog was one of the stuffed animals she had so selflessly stashed in the paper bag bound for the Salvation Army.
"Why? I thought you wanted someone else to enjoy him."
"I think I changed my mind. Can I take him out?"

After a few minutes of contemplation I decided that yes, the red dog could go back into Maya's bed.

She read for twenty minutes. I kissed her goodnight, shut the light, and sat down on the couch to watch something really meaningful on Netflix. (Like reruns of Dance Moms.)

About five minutes went by.

"Yes honey."
"I think I want to take the baby out too."
"Maya, go to sleep."
"But I love that baby. I don't want her sitting on a shelf and feeling lonely. I want to keep her."

Ok now I was starting to get annoyed. Maya has like five baby dolls. What happened to my selfless little girl who wanted to make other kids happy? What did I do wrong? Not to mention all her yapping was making it really hard to hear Abby Lee Miller completely destroying young girls' self confidence. 

"Maya you did a great thing by giving that baby away. It will make some other little girl who does not have any toys really, really happy."

Then a small, teary voice.
"I know. But I changed my mind."

At first I told her absolutely not, the baby was staying in the bag. That it was too easy to give away things you do not want anymore. That the point of helping others is to sacrifice a little bit of yourself. Its supposed to be kinda hard. Also that I was frustrated and a little disappointed with her for not appreciating how much she has compared to others. 

I want to be the mother of a little girl who selflessly gives all her toys to charity!! Now I'll have to delete my Facebook post!

Oh yeah, the homeless.
Its about the homeless.

Maya is seven.
She is seven.
Perhaps expecting Mother Teresa is a bit much?

So eventually I told her it was ok to put the crying baby back in her bed. That maybe she was not quite ready to give her things away, and that was ok too. Giving away the stuff you love is a very grownup thing, it is incredibly hard to do, in fact I know plenty of adults who still cannot let go of their things. I told Maya that maybe on another day, she would change her mind, and if she did she could always find more toys to share. That there is no timeline for helping, you can do it any day, every day, whenever you are ready. For now, the clothing was enough. 

My Maya has a big heart and she so much wants to change the sadness in the world. But not as much as she wants to have a big bed full of stuffed animals, and five baby dolls instead of four, and that one sparkly shirt that she loves to death even though it has not really fit her for over a year. And that is ok. She is only seven years old. So instead of being disappointed at her inability to pull the trigger, I should be proud of her for even having the thought to help. She has to start somewhere, right? And on the plus side, there is now a whole lot more room in her drawers now for all that laundry I folded. 

Maya will be eight in November.
Maybe then.
Maybe then she will change the whole world for the better. 
Right now, she changes mine and that's enough.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


To the cop who felt it was necessary to give me a $135 ticket for SLOWLY biking through a red light after STOPPING FOR THE PEDESTRIANS who were crossing, on CPW where there is NO SIDE STREET TRAFFIC. ..fuck you buddy! There is construction in every bike lane, the Williamsburg Bridge is a daily parking lot, the L train costs $2.75 and is always broken and there is a traffic jam on every highway. But yeah I'm the criminal for trying to do something healthy and enjoyable with my commute.

When I was in college, I used to get on the 2 train at 96th street in Manhattan and ride all the way to Flatbush Avenue (Brooklyn College), a trip that could easily take over an hour. Since I often had early morning classes, it was not unusual for me to take my seat on the train, close my eyes, and immediately fall dead asleep. I would wake up somewhere way out in Brooklyn.

I could never do this now. Forget the fact that I am much older and wiser, therefore, I keep my eyes wide open at all times in public. I also could never sleep on the subway now because I really hate it in there. It seems that the older I get the more claustrophobic I feel on the train, particularly the L which is always crowded and goes through a tunnel so long and deeply underwater that my ears pop. Not to mention that at least once a week it stops in the middle of said tunnel due to a "signal problem" or "train traffic", or some other euphemism for "the L is fucked up again." I am always mildly uncomfortable on the subway, but when this happens my discomfort often turns into a full blown panic attack. 

Basically, I really do not like being stuck in places. I'm not crazy about elevators either.

It goes away once the train moves again but sometimes the stress is not worth it.  So I take the ferry. If there is no traffic on the bridge (so like, never) and I am just going to BJJ class I will take the bus. And about a month ago I had the brilliant idea to drag my bike out of its lonely spot in the back of my hallway and start biking to the city. 

Which I did today. 

And Friday.
And last Monday.
And basically every day this month that wasn't rainy.

I am really pretty proud of myself.

But today was the day that a police officer decided that the best way to fill his end of the month ticket quota was to take this nice thing that I discovered, this thing that makes me happier and healthier, and shit all over it.

Okay, its true there is no way for the cop to know that I have a thing about the L train.

There is also no way he could have known that I run my own business, a business where half of our income disappears during the summer months, and that a $135 ticket in May is very different from a $135 ticket in January. 

He couldn't have known any of that. But he did know that I was going very slowly through the red light, on a street with no cars or people in sight. He knew, because I told him, that I work as a karate teacher and was running late for a private class. He knew, because I told him, that I had just starting biking about a month ago; therefore, I did not know all the rules yet. (Apparently I am also supposed to have a BELL on my bike! A fucking BELL, like a 2 year old has on her tricycle.) 

He could also probably assume by looking at me, that I am not a major criminal. And he knew that even though he claimed to have a "zero tolerance policy" and that he "had to write me a ticket", he is a human being with free will and as such could have just as easily given me a warning and driven his car away. Slowly. Obeying the laws of traffic of course.

Okay, its true that he was just doing his job. That there are plenty of bikers who recklessly zoom in and out of traffic without a care for anyone else. That sitting by a crosswalk in an unmarked car, waiting to nail people with overpriced and unnecessary tickets is probably not one of the reasons he became a cop. That after I stuffed the ticket into my bag and paused very dramatically at the next red light before biking away angrily, he probably sat there in his stupid black car feeling like an asshole for completely ruining my morning.

So maybe I wished I had taken the 1 train to work today, and that cop wished he had become a fire fighter instead, and meanwhile some douchebag politician is laughing all the way to the bank. 

So fuck that guy. 

Fuck the dude who is going to take a nice long weekend at the Hamptons with my ticket money and the one you got for smoking a joint all by yourself in the park, and the one my brother got for switching subway cars, and the one his buddy got for jaywalking out on Flatbush Avenue. (Fucking jaywalking!) 

I know, I know, how dare I be different. How dare I teach karate to four year olds for a living instead of spending my days slowly destroying my back while sitting at a desk like I am supposed to. How dare I ride my bike to BJJ class at noon, instead of follow the herd through Grand Central Station at 9am and 5pm every weekday like I am supposed to. 

I apologize for attempting to do more with my life than just engaging in a slow crawl towards death.

But how about you let the cops catch the actual bad guys and me bike to work in peace?
That way everyone is happy.