Friday, January 30, 2009

Interview with Eric Utsch

I recently did an interview with Eric Utsch a professional muay thai fighter. You can find the interview here, at mymuaythai.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


"Why exactly are you with me then," I asked with the slightest touch of bitterness. My civility had left fifteen minutes ago when she had told me again that my life lacked ambitions.
"Its not like that, I love you, but you need to do more."
"More? Like what?"
"I don't know, that's for you to decide."
We sat at the table for a few minutes in pregnant silence. Was the onus on me to ask the weighted question? To push the conversation in its inevitable direction. Why was I with her? I remember once I thought she was attractive. My mind was filled with thoughts of her. My days would be spent in a dream with my imagination running a thousand scenarios of us together. Eventually I'd asked her out. We had a small picnic in the park. It was cute. When the conversation lulled, I read her one of my favorite Haruki Marukami stories. The previous night I'd spent an hour going over the pronunciations of the different towns and cities. I worked on my dramatic reading. After a few pages she leaned into me. Our lips lightly touched, my eyes closed and I knew that the spring of our love was beginning. Now though we'd fallen into a harsh winter, an unsuspected cold. Where did this lack of emotion come from.
"Maybe I'll talk a college class."
"You always said that you'd like to be a better writer, why don't you go to the community college and take a class on writing."
"That's not a bad idea."
"What do you want to do tonight?"
"I don't know."
"Want to watch a movie?"
"Let's just have sex."
"You're so crass."
"Is that a yes or a no?"
She got up from the table wordlessly. It seemed as if for a second she was satisfied but then the void opened up again. I knew that she felt empty, incomplete, but what was I to do? Like any young man my immediate thought was to fill her cavitity with my dick.
"What can we talk about that we've never talked about before?"
"How about our favorite European country?"
"Yeah, when I went traveling during my study abroad I went to Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland..." As she trailed off her eyes went upward recollecting her adventures. She was lost in thought. When we first were together her tendency to daydream aroused me. That was something seductive about her imagination, as we got to know each other more I realized that her memory was poor.
"I never went to Europe," was my flat reply.
"Oh, right, but we can still have the conversation."
"How can I like somewhere I've never been before?"
"You can imagine it, or I can describe the country. Pick a country I'll depict it."
"I can't live through you, I can't make my choices through your interpretations."
"But you do it all the time, when I suggest a movie you usually agree."
It was my turn for silence. I stood up and went to the bedroom. I laid down on the bed and began to fantasize. I could hear her in the other room, clicking away at the keyboard. A half an hour later she began watching television.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Soi 65

I've started training twice a day. I wake up at 6:05am to the sound of my thai cell phone speaking to me in english; "It is six o' five, it is time to get up." I lay in bed and contemplate going back to sleep but decide against it. There was a constant inner battle last time here. It was a small victory to just get up in the mornings and go train. Being away from the camp certainly demands more self discipline. I walk to the sky train which is simliar to BART and then take a motorcycle taxi a couple kilometers to prarama 4 where Ingram is located. The training takes about two and a half hours.

This morning I did three hundred sit ups, and worked on kneeing high, and with more distance by arching my back more. The trainers kept talking about this girl in the window and then they said she was fat. They also asked me if my dick was big, evidently thai's believe that westerners have big cocks. I showered after training and walked home. En route to the house I stopped by a couple magazine stands looking to procure a thai alphabet workbook not being able to find one I ate at a local pad thai stand. I should start reviewing the pad thai. I've been eating a lot of it. This one was okay, a bit pricey at 45 baht and they put shrimp into it! I picked out the shrimp and ate the meal anyways. Being out here I'm not as ascetic about being vegan, its difficult especially with my rudimentary language skills. That and they sometimes will sneak in fish sauce.

I've been reading a fair amount and keeping my journal up to date along with working on letters. I haven't been doing much for short stories though. My imagination is dead right now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The bleachers

Nick sat in the bleachers. The first bout of the evening was underway. The match brought together a bearded irish youth, his facial hair not yet filling his face, and an english boy. The two chopped the matted ring up with awkward foot steps and pawed at each other like lazy cats. The second round prooved even less interesting than the two europeans initial foray as the combatants ran out of steam. In the third round the irish boy smashed the english boy in the nose letting blood rush down the representative of the united kingdom's face. The bloody boy began to cry and the boxing match was concluded.

Nick looked at the program again wondering why he'd decided to come into the small hall for the fights. Nick had been walking in the streets of New York idly. He had come into town looking for work. The textile factory that he had worked at in his small hometown had gone under. His savings were enough to support a move to the city, unlike his coworkers. He was not married, and childless. He took the train from poughkeepsie to grand central station and then began to wander. He carried only a small bag with him that contained a shirt, two pairs of socks and underwear, an extra pair of pants, and a few books. In the lower east side he passed a hall which hosted bouts on friday nights. He walked in and paid the low admission price.

The crowd was loud but not yet belligerent. A dockworker next to him introduced himself as Rick and offered Nick a swig of something from a flask. Nick took a draught from the metal container. His throat burned as whiskey hit the back of his throat.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Reluctant Hero

Reluctant hero

Kittipong Thongsombat speaks to boxing champion Denkaosan Kaovichit about his long, and rocky, journey to the WBA flyweight title

Published: 18/01/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Sports

Newly-crowned WBA flyweight champion Denkaosan Kaovichit did not like fighting and his boxing career began only because his father wanted him to become a reformed boy.

Denkaosan, whose real name is Waehama Wangmu, was so difficult that his father sent him to a Muay Thai camp where he fought under the name Boonlang Kaovichit.

"My father took me to a boxing camp when I was very young because I was so stubborn," said the 32-year-old from a fishing family.

"At first I did not like fighting. But after a number of fights, I grew to like it."

Because he was reluctant to fight, he lost his first seven bouts earning a mere 180 baht a fight. But he later fell in love with the sport.

He life changed for the better in 1994 when he moved to Bangkok and joined the camp owned by the late promoter Somkid Chukaewrungroj, who was better known as Mai Muangkhon.

At the camp, he stayed with Muay Thai stars such as Oleh Kiatwanchai and Charoenthong Kiatbanchong and wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Although he was successful to a degree earning about 5,000 baht per fight, Denkaosan switched to Queensbury Rules because his promoter felt his powerful punch could take him to a world title.

He beat Filipino Melvin Magramo on points on his debut in 1996, but Denkaosan admits he still favours Muay Thai to Queensbury Rules.

"To be honest, I prefer Muay Thai," said Denkaosan who successfully defended a regional WBA title 18 times on his way to a world title shot.

In Muay Thai, he earned more because he could fight every two months but in professional boxing he could only fight once in four months or more, he said.

"Worse is that you get hurt more in professional boxing because you often have to absorb powerful punches," said Denkaosan who is from the famous resort island of Samui in Surat Thani.

Denkaosan got his first shot at the WBA flyweight title in 2002 but was stopped in the 11th round by American Eric Morel.

He then regained his regional title but lost his appetite for boxing when promoter Somkid passed away.

Without Somkid, Denkaosan moved to the camp of Naris Singwangcha, his current promoter, and in 2007 got another shot at the WBA flyweight title against champion Takefumi Sakata of Japan in a mandatory fight in Japan.

But disappointment followed again for Denkaosan as the fight ended in a controversial draw when the Thai was deducted a point in the final round, without which he would have won.

But it proved third time lucky for Denkaosan on New Year's Eve and this time he did not need the scoring from the judges.

He knocked out Sakata in the second round with a thunderous right hook in a rematch on the last day of 2008.

"That was beyond my expectation," said Denkaosan who trained for three months for the bout. "Although I was confident that I would beat him, I did not think that I would win in such an easy fashion."

He credited his victory to his training staff which included former champion Khaosai Galaxy.

Denkaosan (46-1-1, 20KOs) became the 12th Thai boxer to win a world title abroad and says he has become more popular now with fans greeting him everywhere he goes.

But the father of three says he is still the same person and down to earth.

Naris, who bought Denkaosan for 1.5 million baht from the Mai Muangkhon camp, believes that the boxer became Thailand's 39th world champion because he was ready for the title bout both physically and mentally.

"The boxer was motivated to win the world title and did not have a weight problem," said the promoter.

He believes the best yet to come from Denkaosan, the first Thai Muslim to have won a world boxing title, and that he can still fight for several years.

"With good discipline, Denkaosan can defend the title many times," he said.

However, Denkaosan and Naris disagree about the future. While Naris wants him to fight overseas, Denkaosan prefers to box at home.

Denkaosan says fighting abroad may attract more money but he would also run the risk of being robbed by unfair officiating.

"You have to stop your opponent to make sure that you win," said Denkaosan who got 500,000 baht ($14,400) from his title triumph.

"You do not have much chance to win on points."

The first fight with Sakata has obviously left a deep mark on the boxer.

Denkaosan hopes to make his first title defence in his home town of Samui.

But Naris has a different idea. He believes that to prove Denkaosan is a real champion, and to get more money, he has to fight abroad particularly in Japan where there are a number of flyweights.

"We got only US$60,000 for the last fight and we hope to receive around US$120,000-150,000 for the next bout if he fights in Japan," said Naris.

"You can defend the title 10 times in Thailand but you would earn a small sum and the promoter would be in the red."

Naris plans for Denkaosan to make his first title defence in Japan on May 6 with the challenger being one of the Kameda brothers, Koki or Daiki.

Thailand's Wandee Singwangcha will take on Daiki next month. If Daiki wins, he will take on Denkaosan. If he loses, then his elder brother Koki will challenge Denkaosan.

"Koki looks a tougher opponent but it could be a big fight," he said.

Denkaosan aims to defend his title for seven times before retirement. As he is 32, his handlers have to map out a proper plan for him to reach the target.

That's not a bad end to a career which he started as a reluctant fighter.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bangkok night

Central world mall is located in the heart of Bangkok. Connected to the sky train (BTS) and slightly off sukumwit road the bougerosie shopping center contains hoards of shops for the rich thai's off krungtep (bangkok/bkk) to dump their money into. It also provides a place for the less well endowed to window gaze. I got to Central world around 6 o'clock. Mike was there idling about the edges of the Swatch fashion show. He talked with his geek (love interest) and looked bored with his model good looks. We watched the runway show for a while with a blase attitude. Five young thais dressed in plaid and high heels danced about as a main model would saunter down the green carpet to the main stage. On stage they would pose, vogue, pose, and make attempts to look deliciously good, mainly they looked boring. Mike and I stood at the show for about an hour engaging in small chit chat between us. He came to make some connections, to meet up with his geek, and to obtain a free watch. At the end of the show Mike got a new Swatch watch, an elegant but simple affair. Later in the night he said:
"What do I need a watch for? I need some money!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cops killing the kids

(CNN) -- A New Year's Day shooting in which a subway police officer fired a deadly shot into the back of an unarmed man has the San Francisco Bay Area demanding answers as authorities appeal for patience.

Oscar Grant, 22, was killed January 1 in a shooting at a subway station in California's Bay Area.

Oscar Grant, 22, was killed January 1 in a shooting at a subway station in California's Bay Area.

Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman Linton Johnson told CNN affiliate KTVU-TV in Oakland, California, that the officer is presumed innocent and described him as devastated.

Attorney John Burris called the shooting "unconscionable" and said he filed a $25 million claim with BART on Tuesday, alleging wrongful death and violation of civil rights by use of excessive force. BART has 45 days to respond, Burris said.

"It's a clear shooting in the back that should not have taken place," Burris said, characterizing the incident as a case of "overagressiveness by police."

KTVU obtained at least two videos of the incident and its prelude. One video, which KTVU reported came from a train passenger who wished not to be identified, shows three young men against a wall in the crowded Fruitvale station.

Karina Vargas, who also provided a video to KTVU, said the men had been pulled from the train car in front of hers. Video Watch the events preceding the shooting »

Burris said Tuesday that the young men had been celebrating the new year at a popular waterfront tourist spot, The Embarcadero. They were heading home when police pulled them from the train car.

Some of the young men were handcuffed, but not 22-year-old Oscar Grant. The video from the anonymous passenger shows Grant seated on the floor with his back against the wall.

Grant holds up his hands, appearing to plead with police. Burris said Tuesday that Grant was asking police not to use a Taser.

"He said to them, 'Don't Tase me; I have a 4-year-old daughter,' " Burris said.

The interaction on the video is not audible.

Seconds later, police put Grant face-down on the ground. Grant appears to struggle.

One of the officers kneels on Grant as another officer stands up, tugs at his gun, unholsters it and fires a shot into Grant's back.

Burris said the bullet went through Grant's back and then ricocheted off the floor and through his lungs.

Grant, who has a 4-year-old daughter, died seven hours later, KTVU reported.

"I couldn't believe it. We was already following directions and everything, and they shot him," Fernando Anicete, one of the young men with Grant, told KTVU.

Burris has spoken to witnesses who claim that Grant was trying to resolve the situation.

"He had been telling people to calm down. 'Be cool. Just do what they tell you to do,' " the attorney said.

Johnson said the video provided to KTVU is inconclusive.

There are two surveillance cameras at the Fruitvale station, but a BART official told CNN that no video is being released at this time.

The community is outraged, according to local media. CNN affiliate KRON-TV in San Francisco reported that about 20 people rallied Monday outside BART's district headquarters in Oakland.

"A 22-year-old unarmed father was executed and assassinated, and BART expects us to swallow that the shooting may have been an accident," protest organizer Evan Shamar of Oakland shouted through a bullhorn, according to KRON.

BART says an investigation is ongoing and hasn't reached any conclusions.

The San Francisco Chronicle published an editorial Tuesday demanding answers as well.

"The BART police say that they are taking the investigation very seriously, but they had better find a way to reach out to the public effectively about what is going on and why. Otherwise, public outrage over this case is going to grow exponentially with every passing day," the newspaper said.

BART Police Chief Gary Gee released a statement this week expressing condolences for Grant's family and saying the authority is cooperating with the Alameda County district attorney's office, which is also investigating.

Gee added that BART will complete an "unbiased and thorough investigation" and asked the public to be patient.

"As frustrating as it is, I want to stress that we cannot and will not jeopardize this case by discussing details before the investigation is complete," Gee said.

Gee provided minor details of what preceded the shooting: BART police received a report that two groups of passengers were involved in an altercation as their train left the West Oakland Station about 2 a.m.

"BART police officers responded to the platform at Fruitvale and detained several persons," Gee said in his statement.

BART has not identified the officer, saying only that he has been on the force two years. He has undergone drug and alcohol testing and is on administrative leave, both of which are standard procedure, according to BART.

The officer has yet to make a public statement.

Johnson and Gee say they are refraining from releasing further details to avoid compromising the investigation. Johnson further told KTVU that BART wanted to avoid "polluting the potential pool of witnesses."

Burris, however, said there is no excuse for the use of force on a man being restrained by police. If BART does not grant his $25 million claim or if the authority fails to respond in 45 days, Burris intends to file a lawsuit, he said.

Burris, who served as Rodney King's co-counsel in King's civil case against the Los Angeles Police Department, said he also wants criminal charges filed against the officer.

He is pushing the Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff to press second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter charges, he said.

Second-degree murder charges would be warranted if the officer shot Grant in the back when Grant posed no danger, Burris said. However, there are reports speculating that the officer accidentally shot Grant, in which case involuntary manslaughter charges would be appropriate, Burris said.

"No one wants to believe a cop would just kill somebody like that," he said. "My view is, this is criminal conduct, period."

Johnson told KTVU that authorities are trying to determine whether the officer who shot Grant accidentally drew his gun instead of his Taser.

He also said authorities still need to speak to all the officers but that the BART officers involved in the incident felt outnumbered and called the Oakland Police Department for backup. 'I'm not happy with the state of the police'

"We need to take our time and go through this thoroughly and try to figure everything out. There's more to this story than this one angle," Johnson told the station.

Asked whether there were developments Tuesday, Johnson said he had none.


Thomas Blalock, president of BART's board of directors, has urged the public not to jump to conclusions.

"Let's get the puzzle put together, and then we'll come to a conclusion," Blalock told KTVU

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More songs for the You tube party

Who loves NYC!? I fucking love NYC!
Andrew WK from I get Wet

Bored Teenagers are emotional razors.
The Adverts

The Damned "Smash it Up"

How to Flog