Tag Archives: yoga

No good story ever started with ________

31 Dec

blog image gilleys

“One time I was in Texas and….”

for my east coast friends this ends in either a fight in which beer, Mexican food and a woman is involved or with a police escort to the state line (sometimes both).  If you’re lucky, the fight happens at a place that requires patrons to check their guns upon entering.  While visiting The Lone Star State, you are free to carry all the concealed library cards you want.  Whether folks in Texas use library cards or read is unclear.

“I’m just going to pop into IKEA and…”

never come out.  Or at least never come out empty-handed.  Even if you buy only Svalka and Dryck Julmust (an auto-correct nightmare for sure), there’s no escaping the umlaut.  And if the meatballs don’t lure you in, the öersattlig napkins will.  In any case, there’s no “popping” into IKEA.  If you enter, you will spend both time and money buying items like weirdberry preserves that will sit on the kitchen shelf for a few years until one of you throws them away.  (PS: the shelf is a Fjalkinge and is ready for the trash alsö.)

“Why do you always…”

always what?  If I’m so busy constantly, eternally and perpetually doing whatever (kudos thesauras.com), how am I able to type (and online shop) right now?  Your question just went from defensive to expensive as you know that I can only deal with confrontation when sharply dressed.  Even my limited yoga and meditation practice has taught me that there are no absolutes.  Speaking of which, I positively must sign up for more Ashtanga classes.  And book a facial while I’m in town.  Definitely.

“Canadians have a word for this…”

well Canadians have a word for everything but can they drive?  Even my limited long-distance driving experience has taught me that Quebecers are the worst.  All summer, from New York State to the Jersey shore to the top of Maine, there they are either meandering in the left lane or zooming up all willy-nilly like in the right lane while loosely towing a pop up camper or some other clunky thing behind them and will then pull in front of you with only one working brakelight- like a little red eye winking as if to ask “how’s that affordable care act working out for ya?”  Meanwhile, The Boy (now eligible for his driving permit) is closely observing and asking questions like, “if the left foot works the clutch and the right foot works the other pedals, when am I supposed to shake it all about?”  We Americans have a word for Canadians and it’s not “Canadians.”

“Mom, no one wants to see you twerk.”

an actual sentence spoken by The Boy last week.  (He continued by saying that he felt weird even using the words “Mom” and “twerk” in a sentence but it had to be said.)

and finally,

“Haven’t we all had enough twerking?”

unless, of course, what we’re all really saying is “it’s 2014 already and time we all got back t’ werk.”  In which case, pass me my sledgehammer, I agree.

Summer Sausage

27 Jun

In preparation for the 108 sun salutations that my Ashtanga yoga class does every solstice, I decided to paint the house.  Not the entire house- just the trim.

I figured that if I could deal with sweat trickling down my face, 95 degree temperatures and 80% humidity while on a ladder, I could perform 108 sun salutations with the greatest of ease.

What I hadn’t figured on was the wasps and their insatiable hunger for Exterior Hi-Gloss White.  (The paint.  Though my skin is pretty pasty and it does develop a sheen when I sweat.  Also, I was outside.)

Three stings to the hand later, my entire left arm looked like Soppressata and hurt like, I don’t know, maybe sausage being made?  Anyway, by the time I drove to the gas station/mini mart/pizza+sub shop* and realized that I was not having a throat-closing/life-threatening allergic reaction, I really craved a Mounds bar instead of Benadryl.

And while a chocolate-and-coconut flavored antihistamine would have been ideal, all this Ashtanga practice has taught me that I can’t have everything: if my Down Dog feels good, my Up Dog flows like cement.  I had to choose between a Mounds bar or Benadryl.  Hello, I went with Peter and Paul.  I love those guys.

*Don’t eat gas station egg salad.  Ever.  No matter how “fresh” they say it is.

As for the sun, the salutations, the painting and the wasps?

Well, another great lesson that yoga teaches is gratitude.

And maybe I’ll never be a yogi, perhaps I’ll never move beyond scorpion pose but I will say this: no wasp, no chocolate; no chocolate, no happy; no happy, no paint.

No paint, no sunburn.

What a scam yoga is.

Competitions I could win

6 Dec

competitive yoga: forget the mind-body, touchy-feely,  I know can force my way to at least a bronze medal via crow pose- it may not be pretty but I’ll do it.  I’m also a contender in the Uji breathing category as years of temper tantrums have taught me how to hold my breath until I get what I want,  which sometimes, is nothing more than the next breath.  So very Zen.

competitive trim painting: living in an 1860s farmhouse means that something is always breaking or broken or recently fixed and then broken and painted again.  “Here comes “High Gloss White!” they yell as I enter Middleburgh Hardware and it has nothing to do with my pale shiny complexion.

extreme badminton: no rules, no net, no mercy, poor shuttlecock.

knuckle cracking: not just my own and not just fingers.  Whether in church, the opera, the library or during sleep, I can easily win in both the Frequency and the Shrillness categories.  I face no serious competitors other than Jamie Lee Curtis who, legend has, was born with extra toes.

chewing: I pulverize my food for optimum nutritional intake.  At a very slow rate.  So slow, I’ve had family YELL at me for chewing too long.  My brother would say that slow eating was merely an attempt at getting everyone to pay attention to me.  My sister would defend me by yelling “everybody shut up and let her eat, damn it!”  At that point I could still chew but I could no longer digest.  Optimum nutritional intake- ha!

exhaustion: fierce competition here among all my friends but ultimately I will prevail simply because I am the only one with enough energy to pick up an entry form.

looking interested in what you have to say: actually not.  There’s no disguising boredom.  Can I go now?

Size 8 revisited

11 Sep

I have spent a fair part of the summer reading back issues of women’s magazines and have concluded that in 2010, the issues of greatest concern to women who read magazines were:

Weight loss.  Losing those five pounds fast, losing those last ten pounds and losing that belly fat.  (My research also determined that in 2010 magazines of a certain genre tended to overuse restrictive clauses like: “those five pounds” and “that belly fat” when really, most women would be thrilled to lose pounds of any kind.)

Insomnia.  Three words: Ambien, melatonin, kava.

Pants.  Such an issue for the 2010 magazine-reading woman; I had no idea and I am pretty sure I wore pants then.  The sizes changed without notice: today’s size 8 is a former size 10.  Jeans that I bought three years ago (Old Navy), fit great and are a size 8.  When I recently tried on the same model, they were big and I know it’s not me.  Apparently losing weight by reading about losing weight has worked because I am now a size 6 and I have done nothing new except haul extra bundles of outdated magazines to the recycle center.  I now understand why finding a pair of quality black pants to fit any budget and flatter any figure, repel stains and fight crime was so difficult then.

Beauty.  And the perfect eyebrow.  Pardon me while I execute the perfect eye roll.

Fitness.  While the number of cover stories about losing weight without dieting, while you sleep, but keeping the foods you love outnumbered fitness articles 5:1, most magazines included at least one exercise circuit.  In early 2010, the calories burned were calculated using “a typical 135lb woman.”  By late 2010, those same calories were based on “an average 150lb woman.”  Are magazines allowed to just change the common definition of a word?  If all magazine reading women gained 15 pounds, wouldn’t a magazine write a cover story about that?  Is Miriam Webster a person and shouldn’t she have been consulted?

Dinner.  Made with five ingredients or less.  “Why five?” I asked myself.  “What was it about six ingredients that pushed women over the edge and into KFC?”  (Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, coleslaw and gravy- that’s five.  If you don’t count the gravy, you can have a roll.)  As far as I can tell, it was Häagen Dazs and their introduction of Five– a creamy and delicious pint that offered a degree of minimalism and purity never before seen in the frozen aisle.  By eliminating some ingredients and creating lovely packaging, Häagen Dazs (which is owned by the Pillsbury Company) helped consumers achieve zen via their ice cream selection.  If you placed your pint on top of the shopping cart seat for all to see, congratulations, you’re a zen overachiever.

Eggs.  They’re good for us; they’re bad for us.  Eat only the whites; eat just the yolks.  Free range, hormone free, brown, white, happy-go-lucky, organic.  Have a damn omelet.  If it kills you, then you know.

Things!  This page has exciting punctuation, bright pictures and coy language like: “Guess What We Found?” or “We Like!” and perhaps an alliteration like: “Five Items Under $50!”  From $4 cupcakes(!) to pink colored hand tools(!), this page provides a respite from more serious issues and one time I even found a nice gift for, um, a tightly wound German mother in law.  Should you find yourself needing a gift for a tightly wound German mother in law, may I suggest Claus Porto Shea Butter bath soaps?  Thanks, Oprah.

Advice.  Women who read these magazines have time to write for help but little time to solve their dilemmas.  I, myself, have rarely encountered a marriage, parenting, financial, legal, orgasm, hair or wardrobe crisis that couldn’t be fixed with some yelling.  Old school, but effective.  Husband doesn’t earn enough?  Yell so much that he takes side jobs just to stay out of the house.  Kid slacking at school?   No loss of cell phone or computer; no nurturing “hey little buddy, Dad and I have noticed that you don’t seem as excited by school as you once were.”  Try hollering until your eyes bug out and see if that doesn’t scare him back on the honor roll.  Boss wears too much perfume?  Can you quickly get promoted and then leverage your new position to get her transferred?  No?  Yell.  It’s a cleansing breath in reverse.

Cleansing breaths.  Spirituality, yoga, journeys, destinations.  In 2010, women searched for depth, awareness, meaning.

And a well- organized pantry.

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