I Was Deep Inside an Existential Clusterfuck—Until Thai Boxing Rewired My Brain

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MICHELLE MITCHELL

The first time I walked through the gym door, I was a 44-year-old disaster.

My 17-year marriage was at a breaking point, thanks to a shared mid-life crisis and our penchant for searching for comfort in all the wrong places. As an advertising agency copy editor, I was expected to accommodate the all-nighters and endless creative noodling from superiors for low pay and no hope of promotion. I’d worked there for eight years, and it literally made me sick; the long hours waiting for work to come in, not knowing when I could go home, not being able to plan dinner and after-work errands. Then there’s my family: two teenage boys—one autistic, the other precocious—and my mostly devoted, but on-and-off-the-wagon partner. I tried hard to keep all the balls in the air, to maintain some semblance of domesticity. But by November 2014, after my husband confessed to some rather bad behavior over the past couple of years, I could no longer see the point in juggling.

In the middle of all this, a co-worker mentioned she was looking for a boxing gym—which got me thinking. I’d been an athlete most of my life, but distance running (as a form of stress management) had led to rheumatoid arthritis and then adrenal depletion. So I started practicing yoga and doing lots of walking. This got me healthier, but it couldn’t counteract the long hours of sitting at a monitor, and wasn’t engaging enough for my rabid-squirrel brain.

My husband had boxed for years, but I wanted to do something that was completely my own, which got me thinking about martial arts. One of my best girlfriends had gotten into Brazilian jiu-jitsu... but I didn’t want anyone’s nuts in my face. That being said, I’d witnessed the transformation jiu-jitsu had on both her psyche and physique and wanted something like that—so for some reason I googled Thai boxing. That is where the magic internet gods intervened and said, “Here ya go, lady. Have a hit of THIS.” I had no idea what muay Thai meant, but the idea of kicking the shit out of shit carried a strong appeal.

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Cannabuzz Reader Mailbag!

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PUNK_LLEIDA / GETTY IMAGES

Back in November, I opened up and answered letters—fine, emails—from readers.

As a virtual shut-in with borderline hoarding tendencies (although, when tubs of USB cords and 15-year-old copies of High Times become the coin of the realm, who will look foolish THEN?), I enjoy mail. I like how it tells me about the outside world and its cannabis concerns and curiosities. So let’s see what we have in the bag this go-round.



Q: What’s the best weed? What’s the best weed you’ve ever smoked?

A: I don’t know... for what? Sleeping? House-cleaning? Watching Game of Thrones? (There is no strain that makes viewing the British Carrot Top of shitty rhymes known as Ed Sheeran bearable. It does not exist.)

I cannot answer this question. I’m sorry. The effects vary based on a multitude of factors. I would focus more on how you are consuming your favorite (or potential favorite) strains and extracts. Love and respect to the bong rippers, but I now use a vaporizer to consume my daily intake of cannabis. I taste more flavor notes, can vary the effects, am able to extract a particular range of cannabinoids and terpenes based upon the temperature settings, and don’t hack like a West Virginia coal miner.

The best weed I ever smoked was the one I smoked with someone I loved, as we sat on the couch laughing. I don’t recall the strain, but I remember that person every day.

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Some Things to Bear In Mind About Trump's Trans Military Ban

Here are Trump's asshole tweets from earlier this morning:






First, about those tremendous medical costs:

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Girls Trip Review: A Turnt-Up Celebration of Black Womanhood

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Girls Trip doubles as a $19-million ad for the Essence Festival (I’ll be attending next year), but I was pleased that the comedy isn’t just a Black woman’s rendition of The Hangover, and nor does it contort itself into a cheesy romcom. The central love story here is that of the “Flossy Posse,” four college friends who used to slay dance-offs in the ’90s. Ryan (Regina Hall) seems to have it all, Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) needs to get laid, and Sasha (Queen Latifah) is a gossip blogger. But Tiffany Haddish steals the show as Dina, the life of the party who routinely gets the girls into trouble, and will get buck to defend her friends from fuck niggas or “Instagram ho” villains. Is Girls Trip a hilarious, turnt-up celebration of Black womanhood and sexuality? YAS! But at its core, it’s about personal integrity, self-love, and female friendship.

Read more Mercury movie reviews in Things To Do Film!


Portland Burger Week 2017: Burgers of North Portland

Alameda Brewing Co.: Not-Cho-Burger
Alameda Brewing Co.: Not-Cho-Burger MEGAN NANNA

AT LAST. After an entire year of waiting—you’ve been so patient!—the Portland Mercury’s Burger Week is almost here!

From Monday August 7-Saturday August 12, at over 40 of Portland’s finest restaurants, you’ll find one-of-a-kind burgers that exist only for the Mercury’s Burger Week! And even better? Each of these wondrous creations will cost a mere $5!

Will this be one of the greatest weeks of your burger-eating life? Damn straight it will.
Thanks to the Mercury and our friends at New Seasons Market, Jim Beam, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Satchel, and and ReachNow, this will be a week long remembered.

Read on for the mouth-watering descriptions of 2017’s Burger Week offerings in North Portland from Bar Bar, Las Primas, Fifth Quadrant, Alberta Street Pub, Alameda Brewing Co, and Vagabond.

Check out the full 2017 Burger Week map here.

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Tease Is Blossom’s Sparkling Debut with Hot16

BLOSSOM Blossom (center) with backup singers Janae Ball (left) and Erika Nathanielsz-Bowden (right).
BLOSSOM Blossom (center) with backup singers Janae Ball (left) and Erika Nathanielsz-Bowden (right). Courtesy of the artist

If you’ve been paying attention to Portland’s music scene, there’s no way you haven’t heard her name. For the last couple of years, Blossom—AKA Keisha Chiddick—has lit up countless stages, converting casual onlookers into fans with her lovable personality and soulful voice. This month the singer finally released her full-length debut, Tease, with producer Hot16 (Dan Kinto).

“The actual process of writing the songs and picking the beats was super fast,” Chiddick says. “And it was more us finding time to get together, because we all worked full-time in addition to doing music.”

As hard as she grinds, finding time for her relationships is crucial for Chiddick’s success. “It was at the point where I started doing a lot of shows, so it’s like: I work, then go do my shows, and when am I gonna have time to go to the studio? And still be a human? ’Cause I really cherish my time with my friends as well. Those are important to me.”

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Good Morning, News: Trump's Transgender Ban, GOP's Health Care Flop, and More Tweet Trouble for Sessions

GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! But where the hell do you get off telling me your mama said I'm not what you need? Tell you what, since she knows it all, then that's where you need to be. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

For no other reason than to be divisive and cater to his morally bankrupt base, Trump started off today being even more awful than usual, declaring that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the military in any capacity.


Fully aware they are going against the wishes of the American people, the GOP Senate voted to begin debate on a bill that would repeal parts of Obamacare. Unfortunately for them, their next vote held hours later to pass their newest crappy health care plan went down in flames. Expect even more crappy plans to be presented (and probably voted against) today.

In case you missed it, Sen. John McCain, who was called in by McConnell despite being diagnosed with brain cancer, cast a vote in favor of continuing the health care debate yesterday, but really let the Senate have it in a blistering speech to its ranks. It had exactly zero effect, and doesn't matter anyway because he voted against the needs of his constituents.

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Despite yesterday's forced procedural vote, our Megan Burbank lists some pretty good reasons for us not to panic about health care yet.

Trump is continuing to torture Attorney General Jeff Sessions, making ominous statements and leading people to believe he might be fired. (Which would be great for us because Sessions is the only person in the administration that's successfully pushing forward the conservative agenda.) For his part, Sessions remains committed to staying in his job.

New communications director Anthony Scaramucci is threatening to "fire everybody" in his shop if the White House leaks don't come to an end. (Editorial note: This Scaramucci douche is a fucking joke.)

According to a new poll, half of Trump voters believe the president won the popular vote. (Editorial note: Apparently we're not saying it enough. DONALD TRUMP LOST THE POPULAR VOTE BY 2,864,974 VOTES.)

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort met with Senate investigators behind closed doors yesterday to chat about what happened during that meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower last year.

Investigators are still looking into what caused the Portland house explosion and fire on Monday that left two people dead.

Now let's take a gander at the WEATHER: Mostly sunny today and a balmy high of 84.

And finally, here's a summertime trick you probably, really, obviously should never ever try.


Here Are Some Reasons to Maybe Not Totally Panic About Health Care Just Yet

Hear me out.
Hear me out. Getty/PeopleImages

If you're panicking about today's Senate vote to open debate on Trumpcare, here are two important reminders before you permanently clench your jaw and take to picking at your fingernails until they bleed: The first is that today's vote was a procedural vote. It was the first step in the Senate GOP's deeply ill-advised effort to pass their awful law no one wants. It wasn't the last. We're at the beginning of that process, not the end, and a lot of independent variables are in play right now that could yet complicate the bill's progress.

One of these is the Byrd rule. I wrote about the Byrd rule last Friday. Essentially, it boils down to this: Because the GOP is using budget reconciliation to pass the health care bill, it needs to be in accordance with the Byrd Rule, a list of clear budgetary requirements. In the case of Trumpcare, several of its provisions were found in violation of the Byrd Rule on Friday, which means that they won't be able to pass without 60 Senate votes. Two of these provisions have to do with the GOP's least favorite thing, reproductive rights. The GOP's tacked-on effort to defund Planned Parenthood is one of the provisions that now needs 60 votes to pass. So are two provisions that would prevent premium tax credits and small business tax credits from going towards insurance that covers abortion.

That's good news if you care about reproductive rights, and if you're panicking about health care access, you'd better. (Because let's be real: The GOP's attack on health care access isn't new if you're a woman.)

Recall, also, that the Republicans had quite an embarrassing struggle getting the 50 votes and Mike Pence tiebreaker needed for the bill to even move forward to debate. Getting to 60 seems unlikely. So while it's possible the GOP will find some way to jam through their terrible law no one wants, it's still a long road.

Besides, it's way too easy give up if you're panicking. So don't. Channel that energy into action. Do it now. Your tense jaw will thank you.


SEX

Savage Love Letter of the Day: Dating with Busty Baggage

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I'm newly on the dating scene and I'm trying to understand the mind of a guy with an extreme fetish since that's what I am. I have natural size 38T boobs and the rest of my body is relatively regular looking (google Milena Velba for a visual). I completely bungled my first attempt at dating someone ridiculously into my particular body type, although I suspect the issue was more on his end since he kept talking about how I was his dream girl, I'm so rare, blah blah blah, and now he's engaged to a woman with fake size B boobs (and keeps bothering me every once in a while, because, well, people are complicated and sexuality is confusing).

My first husband really loved me for who I am on the inside, which was definitely awesome, but he didn't have a thing for big boobs, which became kind of a bummer. For husband #2 I would like to try to find someone who loves me for who I am on the inside and is really attracted to me. But I think I'm struggling with novelty fuck syndrome—guys who want to fuck an extreme fetish once (yay! I reached the top of Mount Everest!) but don't want to be with me long term (ugh! no one wants to climb Mount Everest every damn day!). Is this something that I'm just missing about the psychology behind fetishes?

TLDR: I'm a pretty cool girl with mega boobs and I'd like to figure out how to have a healthy relationship with someone who likes mega boobs. Maybe there's a book that you can recommend?

Boobs Impress Guys

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Seahawks DE Michael Bennett Co-Authoring Book Called Things That Make White People Uncomfortable

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CORKY TREWIN/SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Michael Bennett, the Seahawks defensive lineman known for his hard hits, charitable work, and penchant for speaking his mind, is giving a run at authorship.

The Super Bowl champ's upcoming book, slated for publication in 2018, will be called Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. Dave Zirin, sports correspondent for The Nation, signed on as co-author. (Full disclosure: I interned at The Nation in 2013.) Haymarket Books, a Chicago-based independent publisher that mostly publishes works from a radical-left perspective, signed the deal a couple weeks ago.

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Don't Worry, You'll Be Able to See Practically the Whole Eclipse from Portland Anyway

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Vox

Vox has this handy-dandy interactive guide to the upcoming solar eclipse, which is scheduled to cross America on Monday, August 21. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that parts of Oregon will get to see the eclipse in totality, meaning the entire sun will be blocked by the moon for a brief moment of darkness. You've also probably read that every campsite and hotel in the state is already booked solid.

Good news, though—looks like vantage points from here in Portland will see anywhere from 98.9 to 99.6 percent of the thing. Which, if you round up, is basically all of it. Punch in your zip code into Vox's interactive tool to see just how much of the eclipse you'll be able to experience without leaving your back yard. The Mercury office, for example, will be able to see 99.4 percent of the eclipse. Which is great, because it's on a Monday, and we have to work.

So if you totally forgot to plan ahead, you're looking pret-ty smart right about now.


Wine and Portland Street Food at Counter Culture This Thursday!

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Looks like there’s going to be a mid-week break in the heat, and I can think of no better place to spend it than eating bites from tasty af Oregon restaurants and knocking back wines from more than a dozen wineries. Oh, and there’s a DJ too.

Tickets are still available for Counter Culture at Anne Amie Vineyards in Carlton. Billed as a pre party to this weekend’s International Pinot Noir Celebration, this is certainly a more relaxed and accessible way to enjoy the fruits of the IPNC.

With restaurants like Bollywood Theater, Pok Pok, Olympia Provisions, Tusk and tons more participating, this is shaping up to be a great way to spend Friday Jr.

Tickets are $85, or $115 for a bus ride to and from the winery from Portland (good idea for the wine drinking).

Full list of participating restaurants and wineries after the jump!

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Something To Read While the Senate Votes On Repealing Obamacare and Killing Tens of Thousands of Americans Annually

This Frank Rich piece in New York Magazine back in March is worth a second reading...

There’s no way liberals can counter these voters’ blind faith in a huckster who’s sold them this snake oil. The notion that they can be won over by some sort of new New Deal — “domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance),” as Mark Lilla puts it — is wishful thinking. These voters are so adamantly opposed to government programs that in some cases they refuse to accept the fact that aid they already receive comes from Washington — witness the “Keep Government Out of My Medicare!” placards at the early tea-party protests.

Perhaps it’s a smarter idea to just let the GOP own these intractable voters. Liberals looking for a way to empathize with conservatives should endorse the core conservative belief in the importance of personal responsibility. Let Trump’s white working-class base take responsibility for its own votes — or in some cases failure to vote — and live with the election’s consequences. If, as polls tell us, many voters who vilify Obamacare haven’t yet figured out that it’s another name for the Affordable Care Act that’s benefiting them — or if they do know and still want the Trump alternative — then let them reap the consequences for voting against their own interests. That they will sabotage other needy Americans along with them is unavoidable in any case now — at least until voters stage an intervention in an election to come.

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Portland Burger Week 2017: Burgers of Downtown + SW Portland

Holsteins Bánh Mì Burger
Holsteins' Bánh Mì Burger

AT LAST. After an entire year of waiting—you’ve been so patient!—the Portland Mercury’s Burger Week is almost here!

From Monday August 7-Saturday August 12, at over 40 of Portland’s finest restaurants, you’ll find one-of-a-kind burgers that exist only for the Mercury’s Burger Week! And even better? Each of these wondrous creations will cost a mere $5!

Will this be one of the greatest weeks of your burger-eating life? Damn straight it will.
Thanks to the Mercury and our friends at New Seasons Market, Jim Beam, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Satchel, and and ReachNow, this will be a week long remembered.

Read on for the mouth-watering descriptions of 2017’s Burger Week offerings in Downtown + SW Portland from Swine, Rock and Roll Chili Pit, Tryst, Holsteins, and BRIX Tavern.

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On Recording, One Senator Calls Trump "Crazy" and Another Says, "I'm Worried"

Alarming US Senators, too. They just wont say it this plainly when they know theyre being recorded.
President Trump: freaking out US Senators, too. They just won't say it this plainly when they know they're being recorded. Getty Images

Washington Post:

At the end of a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday morning, Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine) didn’t switch off her microphone. Apparently speaking to Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the ranking Democrat of the committee, Collins discussed the federal budget — and President Trump’s lack of familiarity with the details of governing.

And then, Senator Reed apparently says to Senator Collins:

“I think — I think he’s crazy,” apparently referring to the president. “I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy.”

“I’m worried,” Senator Collins replies.

Also discussed in the presence of the hot mic: a Republican Congressman from Texas who recently said he might challenge Senator Collins to a duel over her stand against Obamacare repeal—except that Collins is a woman. Here's that Republican Congressman:

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