Mother’s a Little Helper

August 29, 2007

My sister, her hubby and their delicious three year old, JBen, came for a visit over the weekend, as did my two sisters-in-law and their brood (consisting of one 47 year old perpetual bachelor, and my children’s super cool cousins). Then today my parents came for a visit. It’s a lot of work, entertaining. But I enjoy it. Nevertheless, by this afternoon, I was talking a mile a minute and very loudly. Perhaps too much entertaining for one week? Perhaps too many backbends at practice? Either way, Mom slipped me an Ativan, and all was well.

Ever notice that people who take tranquilizers have a tendency to make many offers to share the wealth?

Anyway, I have to say, the stuff is effective and blessedly subtle. I never feel it kicking in, but at some point I become aware that it already has.

I’m tired, but I am watching Mad Men (on Demand), my latest tv obsession. It’s a period piece – you might even call it a costume drama in that it takes place in 1960, and the sets, costumes and even the mannerisms depicted are as important to the gestalt as the acting and the plot. It’s really a form of porn – for the historically inclined. And I am a closeted history fan.

Now, can someone please tell me where an eight-year old boy would learn to stick his butt out and say, “Spank it!”?



August 28, 2007

It’s going to be a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong week.









and we are home, all of us.



The grass really IS greener over the septic tank

August 24, 2007

Yesterday, I went to The Yoga Shala in Georgetown, Connecticut. It’s not more than 30 minutes away, and the route is all country roads, which means less stress than driving on commuter roads. And the best part? It’s an actual ashtanga yoga shala, with an actual ashtanga teacher who has an actual Mysore program in place, which doesn’t start at the crack of dawn, thus permitting householders such as myself to get there and practice after dropping the kids off at school.

It was awesome. I got some very unique and useful adjustments, and the room was warm and humid and full of energy. Teacher, Valerie, is off on retreat with Eddie now, so I will go back next week when she returns and when the husband is on vacation from work – he has promised me that I will be able to do as much yoga as I want. Yay!

But back to being a householder, or rather, the sucky side of it….I was perusing an adult education brochure yesterday and saw a class called “Home Maintenance for First Timers and Beginners”. I mentioned it to the husband, and he scoffed.

Fast forward to sometime after midnight on the same day, when a scary alarm went off in my basement. Was it a burgler? No. It was, in fact, a bit scarier than a dark and evil human being whom in my fantasies I like to believe I could dispatch with one swift kick to the groin.

Rather, it was….the SUMP PUMP. Also known as the thing that keeps the shit moving from toilet to septic tank. Or rather, it was the alarm telling me that said pump was broken, or that something else was amiss with my septic tank.

New territory for a recently erstwhile city mouse.

Luckily, the former homeowners had penned a list of their service providers (at my clever husband’s request), and so, I had the name and number for a septic service man. I woke him up and tried to find the words to explain what was going on, which was tough, since as little as I know about it now, I knew still less then.

Long story short, today some guys dug up a portion of my lawn to discern the problem, and later today some more guys will arrive who will fix said problem. In the meantime, iand wholly unrelated, I am keeping a handyman and plumber very busy with an assortment of other fixes around the house, most notorious of which is the faucet on the kitchen sink…which FELL OFF the day before Septic Hell began.

So, in the midst of the digging up of my lawn (they did put it all back, at least), I had to get to the nearby plumbing supply store to pick up a new kitchen sink faucet. Happily, they had the exact one I was looking for. Of course, one day earlier, I did not know I was even looking.

Good when you own a house to be willing to roll with the punches, as it seems there are many punches with which to roll. Perhaps that is why Guruji has different rules for householders than he does for others.

I had to bring it back to yoga.

I don’t talk that much about yoga at the moment because nothing much is happening. I can do every pose in Primary myself on most days, although I am now VERY grateful to get any adjustment, especially in Supta K. I can sort of stand up from a drop back, although I still resemble a rather large and pale macaque when doing so.

My flat palmed vinyasas are enervating, but I suppose (or, hope) that will pass.

And so now, I am doing exactly what I said I would never do again after getting all of Primary:

I await the next pose.


blah blah blah Supta K blah blah blah Dropbacks blah blah blah Pasasana

August 21, 2007

I drove all the way into the city today to practice with Greg, and he had the audacity to have had a death in the family. So, I self-practiced with the four other people who somehow weren’t up on the news as it broke.

Something similar happened to me yesterday, now that I think about it. I decided to pop in at Eddie’s shala to practice with whomever was going to be teaching at 11:15 a.m. Unfortunately, after I parked Big Foot Print (my new name for my gas-guzzling Acura MDX) at the rate of $15 for the first hour, I discovered once I reached the second floor studio that Eddie’s shala is closed for renovations until, well, until it really doesn’t matter because my desire was to practice there YESTERDAY, not like, two weeks from now. There were a bunch of guys up there, some of whom I recognized from the days when I use to practice at Eddie’s, painting and doing other construction work. What they are doing is taking still more practice space from their already narrow confines and making it into a temple to Shiva. Hey, as long as Shiva and Ganesh are happy.

Hooboy, with that last comment, I might as well have put on a pair of deer antlers and walked out into Dick Cheney’s backyard on opening day of hunting season.

I ended up practicing at Yoga Sutra, starting with the 1/2 Primary led class and then finishing on my own.

Perhaps the universe is telling me that I can do this myself. Since I did. All of it. And when I do it myself, I now throw in Yoga Nidrasana either before or after or both before AND after Supta Kurmasana. Because I CAN. Na-na-nana-na. And sometimes I channel SoCallies out there and throw in a Hanumanasana and a Samokonasana after the Prasaritas. Oh, and I always hold Prasarita Pado C for like 15 breaths: five with my palms touching each other and the ground with the crown of my head on the floor, five with my palms touching each other and the ground with the back of my head on the floor, and five with my hands in the more advanced, reverse-palm position.

My big thing lately, aside from the whole binding myself in Supta K thing, is completely transforming my vinyasa form. Mark, Christopher and Guta have all looked (and spoken) askance at the heels of my hands curling up off the mat as I jump forward, jump through, jump back and lift up between Navasanas. Neither Sir nor Petri has ever said a word to me about it. Nor has Greg, although I bet that he would if he noticed it. He seems to be quite the stickler for good vinyasa form, catching me as soon as I jump directly into Tirianga Muka Ekapada Paschi, rather than jumping into Dandasana first. So, now that I am drifting around in some sort of teacher-free abyss, I suppose that I could just pick and choose whose theories to follow, and wouldn’t it be convenient if I chose to not really pay much mind to my vinyasas? But I can’t seem to to do it. I find myself, as is customary with me, to want to always do things the hard way.

As between jumping through with straight legs and curling palms versus jumping through with crossed ankles and flat hands, the latter is the far greater challenge. Not just to my arms strength and my bandha strength, but to my ego. SUCH a painful exercise to that ego of mine, to jump UP instead of through, to let go of letting my legs fly through my arms in a (pitiful) imitation of Guta’s gorgeous fly-throughs, to slide my dragging feet over my mat before each seated pose. I want to fly!!! But as they say, you gotta crawl before you can walk. And so, I crawl.

The payoff is that my lift-ups between Navasanas are solid now. At least most of the time. And I have to believe that soon I will be jumping into Bujapidasana. Or at least I can say this: if I were to continue to jump through in the cheating way, with my palms lifting up, I would never be able to jump into Buja or…someday, perish the though, Bakasana B. Flat palms are an absolute prerequisite for both of those if you don’t want to face plant, or in Buja, break both of your elbows in one fell-swoop.

Whatever my needs are, I do WANT to have a teacher again. What will come of this? Something always does. Perhaps Sir will reinstate his mid-morning class? Please?


Me, Green

August 20, 2007

I may suck for the environment in myriad ways, like, my big-assed SUV, my OTHER big-assed SUV, my propensity to drive one or the other of said SUV’s when I could just as easily take the train, or bus, or walk. But instead of talking about that, which has been done (see, e.g., Cody on not being green) or picking on those who drive hybrids (the NEW kind of hybid, the one that hybridizes gas and electric, rather than the OLD kind of hybrid, the one that hybridizes car and SUV) just because I happen to not, which has also been done (see, e.g., Laksmi on rage, and South Park on some recent season, sorry but I don’t remember which, but you can
JFGI if you’re so inclined)……so, instead of all that, I have decided to give myself props for being so totally green that Leo DiCaprio and Al Gore are throwing me a party. Well, not really. But if they knew about me, they would. OK, not really.

But I make efforts. I do.

To wit:

1. I wear natural fibers almost exclusively and sleep on 100 percent cotton sheets. NO synthetics for YC. Except for my ski jacket.

2. Whenever possible, I purchase antiques. Antique purchasing reduces waste, particularly when purchased locally. New furniture requires the use of new resources. Furniture that is shipped from, say, North Carolina, where a lot of furniture is manufactured, requires the use of fuel for transportation.

3. When I order from an online retailer, I always tell them to ship all of my items in the same box. Not only does this save on shipping, but it reduces cardboard waste and the use of fuel for transport.

4. If I see an animal in the road, I swerve to avoid it, rather than braking. Starting and stopping in a car uses excessive fuel.

5. If I have something to mail, I put it in my mailbox for pickup rather than driving to the post office. That saves on fuel. And it keeps my postman busy, turning that little flag down when he leaves. It’s really fun. It’s like we’re secretly communicating about being green!

6. I have decided to install a sprinkler system, rather than relying on above-ground sprinklers to water my lawn. This will create less of a burden on my well water usage. I think. Wait… OK, not so sure about this one. But maybe.

7. I put bins full of my Diet Peach Snapple bottles out at the curb for pickup by the local recycling people (whomever they are), rather than driving the three miles to the supermarket to return them for the five cent deposit. I think that is major. And you would too if you knew how much Diet Peach Snapple I drank.

8. I only buy music on iTunes now because seriously, I can’t stand those damn plastic jewel cases that CD’s come in. And I hear that they are wasteful of resources as well. So, it’s a win-win.

9. After I installed new wood floors in my house, I vowed to clean them only with distilled white vinegar. NO Endust or Pledge for me, with all their hydrocarbons and gross chemials. Yech.

10. I turn off the landscape-spotlights every night before I go to sleep and turn up the thermostat to 78 degrees (F).

11. I eschew fur. Except when the husband happened to GIVE me a shearling. Shearling isn’t quite as bad, is it? And it’s not like I asked for it. And what was I going to do with it at that point, I mean, damage done, animal dead, can’t bring it back, right? I think it was LESS wasteful of me to WEAR it than to NOT.

That’s all. I mean, there’s more, but I think I’ve used too much electricity already in writing this.


Dude, John Bonham’s Grandson is only 10 Years Old

August 17, 2007

When my 10-year old told me that there was this awesome drum player in his bunk at camp, whose grandfather was also, supposedly an awesome drummer, I thought nothing of it until I learned that his last name was Bonham. Being an adult for whom “classic rock” does not mean Pearl Jam or even The Cure, but rather, such actual long-toothed goldens as The Rolling Stones and Led Zepelin, the wheels in my brain started spinning. Bonham’s first name happens to be….Jagger. More wheels.

“Did your friend ever mention the name ‘Led Zepelin’?”

“Yeah, I think that was the name of his grandpa’s band.”

So, I did a little googling, just to see what might come up on this late generation drum prodigy, and, well not much. But I did find
this, on one of those “I’m a Professional Food Server, and You Suck” blogs, in which the waitron in question tells an underage kid that he’s not going to be served a cocktail unless he produces a valid I.D., or unless he happens to be “John Bonham’s Grandson.”

Good thing it wasn’t really JB’s grandson. Ten-year olds really shouldn’t drink.


My 10-Year Old Put Me Into Pasasana

August 16, 2007

Not Posh-asana. But really, full-on Pasasana. At first he nearly knocked me over, but I got back on my feet, wrapped my arms around myself, touched fingertips and had him take the hands just a little further…voila.

So, husband-assisted Supta K’s, pre-teen son-assisted Pasasanas,….do I really need to schlep into the city – let alone MYSORE! – to do this practice?