XVI. Dally< Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >

The Littlest Ninja 

After all of that talk of Ninjas…

Saturday at 8 AM PT I attended my first Ninjitsu class. That’s right, sucker, I don’t just talk shit, I… do shit. That is to say I can back-up my shit talking.

Anyway, as you can probably tell from my obsession with Ninjas, I have always wanted to take Ninjutsu. Upon finally finding a fantastic dojo, I purchased my black gei, split-toe tabi shoes and a green belt (which I couldn’t figure out how to tie correctly) and headed off to train.

I was the lowest rank and the new student, but I didn’t feel like that was the case. I felt like I belonged, which is a pretty rare feeling for a situation when one is new and has no prior training. Perhaps it was due to this encouraging letter sent to me by one of the instructors prior to my first lesson:

Bright and early on Saturday it will be. Do not let any stumbling blocks the pyrates may throw at you deter you. Naturally, I would assume they fear the formal training of another ninja and will stop at nothing to avert you.

I am just learning about this ancient blood feud, but it would seem obvious to me that this is a very dangerous time for you. They will want to stop you by any means possible before you officially start on the tabi path.

As you can tell, all Ninjas have a wicked sense of humor.

Out of all the things we learned on Saturday morning, some involving bo staffs, my biggest challenge was a forward roll. This is slightly different than the gymnastics style forward roll that any three-year-old can perform, but still not difficult. Granted, we were on hard wood floors, but I still can’t believe I couldn’t master the forward roll. Yeah, I have homework.

“Try the backward roll.”

Are you kidding me? I can’t even do the forward…

Surprisingly, the backward roll was no problem. On either side.

Sweet. I still rule.

“Try the forward again.”


For some reason I have an easier time going backward than forward when physical activity is involved. For example: When learning to snowboard I was much better on my toe edge than my heel edge. Instructors are always telling me that this is “unusual.” I am always telling them that I am the shit. (Then I fall or roll incorrectly or can’t kick over on the back walkover or whatever. Then they laugh at me. Then I go to Starbucks.)

The fantastic thing about the style of Ninjutsu I have endeavored to study is that it’s not a sport martial art. When you punch, you really, really throw a punch so that people learn what it’s like to be hit and how to get out of the way. One black belt gave another black belt a bloody nose on Saturday. I am so glad that wasn’t me. I have a sensitive nose. Luckily, I escaped with only three bruises and a blister from my tabi. The biggest bruise is on my shoulder and is definitely not from not being able to forward roll correctly.


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That Evil Goo is a Witch's Brew 

Which ‘90s cartoon had a phoenix called Needle who loved pomegranates?

The Adventures of Conan. (Whatever that is.) Anyway, the Internet says that Conan basically bribed Needle with pomegranates just like the Scooby gang bribed Scooby with Scooby snacks.

ClintoBean: I hate Scooby.
Jessica: Yeah. I wasn’t into Scooby. That was too old skool and not fantasy genre enough for kid J.Sto.
Jessica: WTF was ‘The Pirates of Darkwater?’ That sounds cool.
Jessica: http://www.toonopedia.com/darkwatr.htm
Jessica: Ah yes. I remember that.
ClintoBean: I don't.
Jessica: That is what I thought Needle was from.
Jessica: This conversation is making me want to watch the Care Bears movie.
Jessica: (I totally have it!)
Jessica: The second Care Bears movie is far superior to the first one because it explains how the Care Bears and Care Cousins were founded.
Jessica: It’s a prequel.
ClintoBean: It also has Dark Heart, who was a mean SOB when you were 2.
Jessica: Totally, I mean he was a tornado and stuff. Well, technically I guess he was a waterspout because he was tornado-ing over the ocean…
ClintoBean: Wait, which kiddie movie had the big purple goo monsters?
Jessica: OMG
Jessica: Are you thinking of SMOOZE?!
ClintoBean: Yes.
ClintoBean: That's the shit.
Jessica: b/c that is totally My Little Pony the movie
Jessica: hahahaha
Jessica: You watched my little pony.
Jessica: Girl.
ClintoBean: I remember the purple shit.
Jessica: Only the flutter ponies could make the smooze go away.
Jessica: It made everyone pissy if it got on them.
Jessica: I recall that Shady was one of the first to get smoozed.
Jessica: Shady.
Jessica: What kind of fucked up My Little Pony gets that name?
ClintoBean: The borderline my little pony.
ClintoBean: Do you remember Unico?
Jessica: Oh shit
Jessica: No you did not bring up Unico.
Jessica: That is the wackest shit ever.
Jessica: I mean, even as a kid I was like “WTF?!”
Jessica: Do you remember that part
ClintoBean: Little tiny unicorn, cardboard robotpeoplethings.
Jessica: Where those minions, like, build up a wall using themselves?
ClintoBean: Yes.
Jessica: Yes those robot things!
ClintoBean: That's the one I'm thinking of.
Jessica: That was the beginning of annyoing Pokemon facial expressions.
ClintoBean: They're controlled by the little hunchback Rumplestilskin-like thing.
Jessica: Totally.
ClintoBean: And there's that weird dead-toy wasteland.
Jessica: Oh man.
Jessica: I need to get a copy of that.
Jessica: I saw ‘Watership Down’ recently and was like, "Mom you let me watch this and you wouldn’t let me watch Jem?!"
Jessica: She thought I'd want to be a super-famous singer. Or something.
Jessica: (Way to save me from show biz, Mom.)
ClintoBean: Haven't seen either of those.
Jessica: Really! Jem and the Holograms?
Jessica: …She's truly outrageous… The Misfits….
Jessica: And, dude, ‘Watership Down’ is basically Nazi rabbits and loads of blood. Awesome.
ClintoBean: I've definitely got the Unico movies somewhere; I'll find them and bring them down.
Jessica: Haha-- You watched My Little Pony.

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Vanities Can Get You Killed 

Or at least robbed.

I have no love for magazines. In general, they suck. I flip through the trades and sometimes look at stills from my favorite films but that’s the end of my involvement. However, while perusing Vanity Fair a headline caught my eye...

Nightmare on Sunset

What?! WTF?! I live damn close to Sunset! What is this nightmare you speak of?

“There has been a recent increase of burglaries in fancy LA homes in the hills.”

Oh. Cool.

I had heard snatches of stories about distraction crimes and follow-home hold-ups (the latter is extra scary), but most notably the article introduced me to,

The Bel-Air Burglar.

Yes, I had heard of him. He’s smooth. Ninja smooth. He’s robbed over fifty mansions and made off with so much jewelry and other valuables that he’s believed to be a thrill robber. Hence, I dub him The Bel-Air Pyrate. (No alliteration but still more rad.)

Guard your rum.

Part of what is freaky about the mansion robberies is that the crews or the Bel-Air Pyrate know when people will be away. (The Pyrate in particular has hit the houses of celebrities, producers and other industry folks.) They know which windows don’t have motion censors. They know when valuable jewelry is hidden in a closet under a laundry basket and disturb nothing else. They know which of your pearl necklaces are real and leave the fakes. This is almost as scary as Santa who “knows when you are sleeping” and “knows when you’re a awake.” Although, he usually leaves things when he breaks in instead of taking them…

Much like Santa, these robbers aren’t drug addicts. They’re smart guys who clip your phone lines and know how much time they have before your private security company responds. All of the above begs the question: When you have so much money that you are a target and so many people employed at your home that your day-to-day might as well be broadcast to the world, how do you protect yourself?

You get yourself some Ninjas and some guard dogs, that's what you do. Both have insane amounts of honor and/or loyalty. Plus, Ninjas auto-hate Pyrates due to the age-old war between their peoples. You should also learn to use at least one object in every room as a deadly weapon.

Part of me wants to root for the Bel-Air Pyrate because he’s straight out of a movie. For now, the ending to the story remains open to your imagination since the police are baffled, understaffed, practically lead-less...

There is something to be said for having no thing that anyone would want to take away.

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Wizard Skills 

C.Sto: This econ midterm is so stupid and easy that I don’t even need to study. It’s all common sense! Even you could pass it! I mean, it’s not like I’m some economics wizard and I can figure it out.
Jessica: Of all the kinds of wizards one could be, an economics wizard would be the worst. What does that guy even do?
C.Sto: Yeah that would suck. What a waste of a wizard.
Jessica: “Watch as I conjure a margin of deficit right before your eyes!”
“Gasp in awe as I macro-organize the”… er--I don’t know any economics words.
C.Sto: OK, so maybe you couldn’t pass my midterm.

C.Sto is here. We are going to the beach. Hopefully muggers won’t case us this time. However, if we do get cased, (as usual,) which of our great skills should we use to thwart said muggers?

A.) Ninjitsu Wizard: Backward roll away from muggers.
B.) Movie Wizard: Quote Napoleon Dynamite until muggers vote for Pedro.
C.) Political Wizard: Frighten muggers by conjuring images of Condoleezza Rice.
D.) Mad-Gamer Wizard: Challenge muggers to a mug-off.
E.) All of the above in rad combination.
F.) What the heck are you even talking about?! GOSH!

But seriously, we’ve read Harry Potter. We know some spells and stuff.


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Jessica: Binto Clean!
Jessica: Spoonerism, ha!
ClintoBean: Can I help you with something?
Jessica: Yes, do you know how to back a chocolate cake?
Jessica: From scratch?
ClintoBean: No.
Jessica: Well then no, you cannot help me with something. This is not so much due to the fact that I have nothing to ask, but more so with your inability to bake.
ClintoBean: Well, since cakes suck, I've chosen not to learn to "back" them.
Jessica: So you are saying you cannot get behind cake?
Jessica: You’re talking like a crazy person.
ClintoBean: As are you.
Jessica: So you are saying that you are talking like me?
Jessica: And we are both talking like Michael Jackson?
Jessica: Would it not follow, then, that you have an obsession with Peter Pan?
Jessica: (Bask in the glory of my Socratic method.)
ClintoBean: Hardly.
ClintoBean: What spurs such inanity in the early afternoon?
Jessica: Um, hello, I've only been awake for two hours.
ClintoBean: That doesn't change that it's afternoon.
Jessica: Oh yes, yes it does.
Jessica: You see, I don't believe in time anyway, so this is all moot.
ClintoBean: Then how do you know you got up 2 hours ago?
Jessica: That was me speaking your language.
ClintoBean: Take as much time as you need to answer.
Jessica: I will now leave you to ponder my Socratic skills and the meaning of your life.
Jessica: In conclusion: Big Ben is bell, not a clock.
ClintoBean: That is the worst argument I have ever heard.

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