badness, goodness, nerd, school

Too hot to handle

glyph I saw on a stela at La Milpa, Belize

I woke up yesterday feeling good.  I got an email a couple weeks ago from a friend and professor at UCLA, asking if I could lead his class through the ancient Maya exhibit at LACMA.  Of course I accepted, and it went great.  I was nervous the day before, but I pulled the class in front of a stela, and my mouth just started moving and I was awesome.  So much fun!  Once again (just like when I landed Karate Job), it was a small dream come true: I got to teach a group of college students about the ancient Maya.

I got home to dote on Diminutive Roommate, who is recovering from some minor surgery.  Her mom came into town for it, and she’s the best.  DR is healing quickly, and being a real champ about it.  I think it really helps that her mom is here to be doctorly and motherly.  She’s pretty great.  We played Epic Spell Wars: Duel at Mount Skullzfyre, and had a little caramel Bailey’s.  I can’t imagine my mom rolling with that kind of plan.  She’s so full of judgement.  Plus, we’d have to get her out of the house first.

Anyway, Diminutive Roommate has been sick for a couple of weeks, and I’ve been keeping my distance whenever I could to make sure I didn’t catch anything (although the kids at the dojo have been pretty nose-picky lately).  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.  My throat started hurting around 8pm.  Within an hour I was sore everywhere and exhausted.  I woke up this morning with a fever of 100.1.  Crap.  I emailed both jobs and said I wouldn’t be coming in.  I’d just be arriving at Karate Job right now if I’d been healthy today.

Sister shared a memory with my family a little while ago that once, when I was sick with a fever, she covered me with blankets just like my folks told her to when they left for work.  When they came back, I had a fever of 105 or something, and they got mad at her for putting all those blankets on me.  We were just kids, she didn’t know any better.  Still, she was next to tears when told us about that.  I don’t remember that at all.  She obviously still feels responsible.  Poor Sister.


Healthy and horrified

basically a weekly visitation from this guy

When I spent a month in the jungles of Belize doing archaeology, digging an ancient Maya ballcourt, I had to get all kinds of vaccines and take malaria medication once per week for a few weeks before and after, and every week during my stay there.  When the doctor told me of the side effects (dizziness, upset stomach, etc.) he neglected the one that would have caught my attention: nightmares.  It also happens to be the most common side effect, so common, in fact, that almost every other member of the archaeology team who was on this medication experienced them.

These nightmares were exceptionally graphic, bloody and violent, and everyone had them.  Once we realized what was happening, we instinctively made little support groups.  The people who took their malaria pills on Tuesdays would wake up on Wednesday morning and huddle together at breakfast comparing horrors, and so on throughout the week.  I can only remember two, and they both include my family doing horrible things.

Kitchen knives
My mother and sister have me cornered in the kitchen in the house I grew up in (near the toaster).  Whenever I try to slip out of the corner, they calmly slash at me to keep me there.  They’re smiling and laughing at my futile escape attempts.

Pool of Parts
I’m in a swimming pool that has been dyed red with the blood of freshly hacked-up body parts that have been put there (or maybe they’re swimmers who got chopped up before they could escape).  I’m attempting to get out of the pool, but my mom, sister and dad keep pushing me back in with long wooden poles.

goodness, martial arts

Word of the day: atlatl

find the face on the left half

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: The ancient Maya were amazing.  What an incredible culture.  Just super cool.  I love their writing style in particular: so many animal faces and allowance for creativity.

They weren’t the only ones to figure out how to use an atlatl.  Pronounce every letter: atlatl.  It’s a spear throwing device that basically ads another joint to your arm to allow a small spear to be thrown farther, and a whole lot faster than is normally humanly possible.  This device was used at some point in every continent except Africa for a long-ass time.

the last thing you see before you die

Aside from being an amazing way for an otherwise unarmed person to kill a fucking mastodon, atlatls are amazing because they’re still used today, all the time!  And people don’t even know that they’re doing it!  You can even buy one on Amazon.  It’s an arm extender called ‘Launchit!’ to allow dog owners to throw a ball farther, more easily.  And its design rooted in something the ancient Maya used to kill jaguars.  Awesome.

"c'mon, lady, just pick up the ancient weapon, mimic your long-dead ancestors, and throw the fucking ball."