Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Miscellany: Lapham's Quarterly

I've really enjoyed my subscription to Lapham's Quarterly, a literary magazine founded by former Harper's editor Lewis Lapham.  Each issue collects and excerpts stories, art, poetry, and essays from across history and around the world, with a focus on a common theme.  What results is a dizzying comparison of perspectives, mostly unexpected, from all of humanity's cultures, ancient and modern. It's like an erudite version of "Reader's Digest," without all the distracting ads.

For example, the most recent issue, "Night," juxtaposes an eighteenth-century poem about a night hag, an eerie nightvision photo of a U.S. soldier, and an essay from F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Crack-Up" about insomnia:

Miscellany: Krav Maga class journal, month 3

I was getting really out of shape, so I'm taking a local beginner's Krav Maga class. I'll post updates here, mostly for myself but also to give people an idea of what you might expect if you sign up for one of these things.

The third month of class repeats numerous techniques (the beginner's Krav curriculum isn't voluminous), so I'll glide over stuff that's been covered previously.

Session 20

This was day 1 of "street clothes" week, so everyone wore everyday attire instead of athletic wear in order to feel the restrictiveness of normal clothing. I came in wearing what I usually wear to the office - a pair of dress slacks, a dress shirt, and a tie. It didn't hamper my movement much, but I got a lot sweatier than normal. We drilled punches, side knees, and front and rear choke defenses with pushes.

Session 21

I missed a couple of classes due to work conflicts and being battered from a ShivWorks ECQC class (much more on that in a later post), so I didn't get to do day 2 of "street clothes" week. In this class, we focused on movement - punching and moving, moving offline to the dead side while striking, and then combined all that with rear choke defenses and learning to pick up weapons of opportunity.

Session 22

This was a back-to-basics class. Punching and elbow combinations, groin kicks while moving offline, and front choke defenses.

Sessions 23, 24, and 25

Honestly, these classes kind of blurred together, due to a combination of work conflicts (I had to miss another class) and familiarity with the material. I do recall practicing round kicks, rear and front choke defenses, and punch combinations. The only really new technique was a side kick from the ground, as opposed to the grounded front kick we had learned in prior classes:

Level 1 review session

This was an optional Saturday three-hour course reviewing the entire Krav Maga Alliance Level 1 curriculum. I signed up because of the three classes I missed in the past month, and because I do eventually want to take the Level 1 test and join the intermediate class.

There were a number techniques we practiced that I had never done before, including:

Straight Punch with Retreat (not the strongest punch, and the timing is tricky)
Straight Punch Low (not usually used for self-defense)
Eye Strike (not a terribly difficult technique, so they don't spend much time on it)
Inside Defense vs. Low Straight Punch (elbows and upper forearm deflect punches)
Choke Front 1-Handed (one hand escapes, one hand strikes)
Ground - Side Position (as opposed to being on your back)
Ground - Round Kick (sort of a scissor kick against someone to your side)

Sessions 26 through 30

In these sessions, we focused a lot on shadowboxing as a training method, and moving while hitting. The only new technique was a disarm against someone with a gun to your back. I learn I'm not going to be invited to the Level 1 test at the end of the month; I have to work on my movement and choke escapes.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Food: Victoria's Peruvian Cuisine

Good restaurants are like living organisms - if you stay in an area long enough, you'll see them expand and reproduce as they get more and more popular.

A prime example is Victoria's Peruvian Cuisine. The first time I visited, many years ago, it was a quiet hole-in-the-wall that not many people knew about. I loved the food and kept coming, though, and now the place is more than double the size, with a spin-off casual rotisserie chicken joint in the same plaza and a Lake Worth lounge.

The crowds may be bigger, but chef Julio Leon's food hasn't changed much. It's still the same delicious ceviche and tiradito, the same delectable bistec and jalea:

Really, almost everything on the menu is good, and every guest I've ever taken to the place has loved it. If you're ever in Lantana and jonesing for some Peruvian food, there really is only one option - Victoria's.

4/4 stars