my friend melissa invited me to something called church of the infinite you, held in the basement beneath union hall (a park slope bar with bocce courts and a fireplace), this past sunday. she'd heard about it from john hodgman. "nondenominational," the tag line read, "...only motivational." "we invite you to SAVE YOURSELF." i was reminded of an oxford house party i attended with a couple of friends that turned out to be some sort of cult recruitment meeting; it took us nearly an hour to leave once we figured out what was going on, as their plan to ensnare us involved hiding our shoes. this was more of an uplifting variety show about the importance of self-care, helmed by jean grae, a hip hop artist, writer, actress, and ferociously charismatic person. she told a story about going to puerto rico and shopping and cooking dinner for an old woman in a bikini who was probably dead; she led a surprisingly effective guided meditation (i have an extremely low tolerance for guided meditations, which tend to make me feel like the little prince) accompanied by a guy playing radiohead's "everything in its right place" on the keyboard. after talking about reports that a muslim woman was attacked on the subway (and that no one helped her), she chatted with the most athletic member of her choir about her women and trans kickboxing class, how it had gone from like six people before the election to about 35 now, and how you should hit people in the eyes, kidneys, and crotch with your elbows and knees, not your fists. it sounded like someone in the row behind us was crying pretty hard. and let the church say FUCK YEAH, she bade us. melissa and i agreed that we'd come back for the next session in two weeks, and that we'd try to find a krav maga class together.