pro-inflammatory cytokines in the morning, pro-inflammatory cytokines all through the night.

Went to Cal Wushu on Wednesday and Berkeley Ironworks last night. Can’t move.

Wushu because on Tuesday, two girls wearing Cal Wushu jackets bought Blokus. They play Magic and Starcraft. I was ecstatic. They told me to bring my magic cards and that they play with Sifu Fong. AlexP says I should start up a Saturday girl’s Magic or something. See? It’s hard to get out of this supermassive black hole.

New non-flaky me goes to things.

I really like wushu. There is something humbling about having your forehead an inch from the floor with your limbs trembling. Then it is grand to snap into a form and really mean it: pow, I’m here and I’m fabulous and look at my outstretched arms and arched neck. Wushu is suitable for me because I like to be intense and grandiose and kinetic and there is joy to be found in moving your body in a way that makes sense. I turn around and the momentum carries me and my muscles remember all those years of chinese dance and there is something about intuition and realizing you can trust it… I watch someone do something and am bewildered by what happened and how to copy it until I stop thinking about it and let it go and after a while I can get my body to do what I expect it to do, it snaps into place, and that’s a very, very good feeling.

I am just weak. One of the last times I went to Cal Wushu in 2001, Li Jing (the really cool instructor who’s in LA now making movies or somesuch) chose me to be “it” in the blob game, saying “girls are smarter” but I couldn’t catch anyone and ended up sitting out. That was embarrassing. It’s always like that with instructors, because I know I can look good, so teachers have expectations of me, I just don’t have the pure muscle strength to sustain anything. I remember taking ballet and Sue said “get your leg higher” and tapped me and I tried except my whole leg started shaking. She said “you have no strength. You need to do some weights.” Hahaha.

Berkeley Ironworks because Priscilla told me about it at game night like three weeks ago. I’m glad she told me, and she’s glad I pestered her to go. WINNING COMBINATION! I went with sore legs, though, which meant that after two really exhilarating scrambles to the top of the easiest parts of the boulder wall my forearms screamed bloody murder. My favorite little scramble was the orange-green one in a corner, where you twist around and get splayed out like a spider. It feels like cheating when you just use a toehold for balance or something, because you try it and it feels so wonderfully easy. But that is what climbing is all about. Inevitably fake rocks and rocks and people shimmying up a crack by putting their tape-wrapped fists and feet into it make me think of Marianne Moore:

            marks of abuse are present on this
            defiant edifice –
            all the physical features of

            cident – lack
            of cornice, dynamite grooves, burns, and
            hatchet strokes, these things stand
            out on it; the chasm-side is


Look at what happens in Peter’s lab.

Anyway after a little bouldering, Priscilla and I went to Albatross and played two games of For Sale. It’s a bidding game with two phases: everyone starts out with $14k, then you bid for properties. Then you use your properties to bid for checks. In the first game, I was conservative in both phases–gave up pretty early instead of competing for the highest valued properties, and using the low properties in the second phase to snag low-value checks that were not 0. So the interesting thing about this game is that when you drop out of bidding for properties, you pay half of whatever your bid was for the lowest remaining property. This makes it usually better to come in second than first, because the winner of a round of bidding is the only one that pays the full price. If it lets you get a 30 (the highest property) then I suppose it’s worth it, because you can use it to get a $15k check (the highest check) in the second phase, and so on.

So in the first game I came in with a 46, which was second to AlexF who had a 47. The second game, I was really aggressive about getting a 29 in the 2nd round of property bidding, and I paid 9 for it, which screwed me for the rest of the first phase… but I held on to the 29 until the very end of the check-bidding phase, waiting to see the $15k checks, and ended up with a 45, just under the tie for first at 47 between Priscilla and … er, I can’t remember his name. But I’m glad to live in a place where even in a crowded bar you can hang out in a wheelchair and the staff is good about going to get ramps and stuff if you need it. Also we were talking about being on the no-fly list and one of the dudes told a story about how he got randomly selected for a search once, and the airline security guy was going through his script, and going through his script, and then paused for a long time before saying “um, stretch your arms out to your sides” and the punchline was “this is as much as you’re gonna get” cuz he doesn’t have arms. It was funny. There is a lot to be said for having good humor in Life.

It is very hard to say what I feel, which is that I am so very glad to have arms and legs to work and flail and dance with and make sore. How do I say that without being… I don’t know. I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I was complaining yesterday about being emo and Danny said “Judy, I hate to break it to you, but… you’re gonna die.” Which is, I suppose, all the perspective I need.

Dude! I was wearing my beloved Sufjan Stevens shirt, and a lot of people asked me what it was from. When I said it was from a song called “Avalanche,” Asa said “yeah, that’s a chevy avalanche, isn’t it?” And I had no idea. That the Avalanche was a car. Now the song AND my tshirt make A LOT MORE SENSE. Previous to the acquisition of this knowledge I thought that maybe they were riding a car… in an avalanche… of snow. I am a fan of things without even knowing what I’m a fan of. How foolish.


  1. Wow. Now I want to go do wushu and go climbing and play games with people, magic and fun bidding games and all sorts of stuff. Sounds like fun!

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