Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Flimsy Fauxhan

Perhaps you might remember her from the first season of Who Wants to Seduce My Little Sister? or the Bachelor: Season 17, or, then again, maybe not. And if the latter is the case, Miss Fauxhan would like to change all that. And if she has her way, this pint-sized upstart up and comer will be on her way up the proverbial stripper pole of the young celebutante scene in no time.

"Just call me Faux Spice!" she giggles to the papparazi (see photo at left) as she exits her car (a cherry-red race car with monster truck tires, so pimped-out that sources are quoted as saying that they could not readily ascertain its make; nevertheless, it has been reported, in a Yoga Chickie exclusive, that a friend of Paris Hilton's heard Paris telling another friend of Paris's about "Faux's Hot Wheels". On the other hand, we're told that Paris thinks that it's hot to refer to everything and anything as "hot").

These days, Faux has been making the scene at Hyde and Tryst on a nightly basis, "not just for the photo ops, irregardless of the fact that there supposably are, like, so many," as she says. When she's not dancing on tables with Paris and Lindsay Lohan, she's dining with Nicole Richie at Chateau Marmont and Taco Bell ("Nicole, like, got her, like, intestines back from her doctor, or whatever, and I think that's like totally brave of her, you know, to digest food and all. You ROCK Nicole!" Faux enthuses.

Of course there's that rift with Britney to contend with. Faux gamely volunteers that she's making amends with Britney Spears, "totally" denying those nasty rumors alleging that Faux is the reason that Britney and Kevin Federline broke up. "What, you didn't hear the rumor?" Faux shrieks when this reporter confesses not knowing of a Faux-Kevin coupling. "Well," she continues, "Word to all you bizotches, the rumors about Kev and me, yeah, theyz totally out there, and I am totally denying all of it, so don't even think about asking me about it if you don't want your interviews to end right there. Peace, love, the Gap, baby, 'sall good." Faux then tries to make that sideways peace-sign hand gesture that you see in all the Gap ads, but when she realizes that neither her hands nor her fingers articulate, she giggles, her green eyes flashing, unblinking. "'Sall good," she smiles.

For what it's worth, when asked to comment on the alleged rumor of the alleged infidelity of her erstwhile husband, Britney Spears denied that Faux played any role in the demise of her marriage whatsoever. A Britney insider reports overhearing from another source that when asked about Faux's relationship with Federline, Britney replied, "Faux? No [bleep]ing way she'd do that, ya'all. Girlfriend's a doll!"

Last week under the tutelage of her friend and newly hired life coach, Paris Hilton, Faux did some serious credit card damage at Fred Segal, where Paris helped her pick out the fabulous faux ("haha, geddit?!" Faux squeals with glee) leopard print bag and matching micro-mini, each emblazoned with a sweet looking pussy, designed by up and coming designer, V-J-J. The gold blazer and matching headband are vintage Mattel. The plastic riding boots are by, who else, the sartorial choice of all of young Hollywood: Hoebag. One might wonder why Faux didn't invest in a pair of panties, but one who wondered would have to admit to not being clued into the rite of passage for young girls whose claim to fame is a claim to fame: the panty-free crotch-shot papparazzi-invitational money-shot. The crotch shot sans panties has become as much of a trademark of Paris's life-coaching services as heroin, crystal meth and gastric band surgery have become trademarks of Rachel Zoe's services as a stylist to the stars.

"Everyone who's anyone has done the Vagina Monologues," Faux explains, "Well, that's how Paris explained it to me. Besides, it's also an opportunity to show the world that I'm worldly, you know, Brazil and all. Plus, Paris said that all the other girls do it, and that if I wanna be friends with her and them, I have to do it too. I was like, Paris, do you realize that I don't actually have a vagina? She was all, like, 'whatever, I don't even know if Britney has one since she had to have a caesar salad dissection.' And so I figured, I just better go on and give the people what they want."

So, there you have it. Pictured here, we see that Faux knows how to keep hers cool, er, keep her cool.

Faux's just shootin' the breeze.

So out she's in.

Matching her outerwear to her underwear.

Letting the cat out of the bag.

Throwing caution to the wind.

Proving she's a natural redhe......

...oh, never mind.


And this is what we do when we are home from school

We read deliciously foul tabloid smut and wonder whether there is a rule written somewhere that one must stop wearing panties in order to be allowed to hang with Paris Hilton?


Tile 8, Article 23, Paragraph 42: The Sick Child Exemption

Notwithstanding the requirement set forth in the foregoing paragrphs that Ashtangini shall make haste to the Shala immediately upon medical release from Plastic Surgeon who performed surgery to Ashtangini's breasts (and/or nose), Ashtangini is exempt therefrom provided that, and only to the extent that, if either one or both of Ashtangini's children (or in the case of Ashtangini with more than two children, one or more) has a fever of over 101 degrees Farenheit (or the equivalent in Celcius) and therefore must stay home from school, or if for any other legal and valid reason, Ashtangini must keep one or more of her children home from school, including, but without limitation, vomiting, lice infestation, cough and the like, then Ashtangini shall be exempt from attending the Shala for the duration of the child's remainder at home, it being understood that Ashtangini shall practice at home, it being further understood that practice is defined by the parameters of Article 1, Paragraph 1, to include stepping on the mat and doing whatever.

Catch my drift?


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And so it was said,

"Go forth! Do Yoga!"

And I did.

And I will!

And I will stop eating at night (no, I will never stop eating dinner)!

And I will stop being a slug!

Now, Brian is sitting next to me, complaining and whining that I should also write, "And I will stop being Brian and Adam's mother," which I think is fundamentally unfair, since I do my yoga in the morning, AFTER I take the kids to school. So, Brian? What gives?

Brian responds: It feels like she is doing yoga all the time! She is always talking about it. I don't like it.


Brian responds: What is Phhhhtttewwwwwwpp? How do you pronounce it?

It won't be long now before my 9 year old has his own blog, I suppose.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Alyssa Lies

This is one of the saddest songs I have ever ever ever heard, ever. And I don't usually fall for the sentimental bullshit. This stuff is crazy sad. I dare you to listen to the whole thing without bawling.


Speed blogging

I have about three minutes, but I have about three thousand thoughts, and so I am going to attempt to speed blog it, the blog equivalent of a hit and run.

I did some work study at Bikram today since I have a strong aversion to paying for yoga classes (Sir might be flattered to know that it is a rare rare thing for me to be willing to pay for yoga, given my access to free classes in several excellent yoga studios and gyms), and man, was I bored out of my mind. And hot. I hate working. I have to face it. I hate having to be in a particular place at a particular time, subject to criticism or praise from bosses. Especially that last part. It's just ooky. I hate myself when I feel the need to kiss ass. And although filling in on a work study shift hardly creates a need for ass kissing, still, it made me remember the days of "ass kiss or perish". Not a pleasant memory, and this is coming from someone who was fairly successful at the whole ass kissing scenario back when it mattered.

Subbing yoga classes does not require ass kissing, or not nearly as much as a permanent gig, with all of the attendant insecurities of head-counting and hoping for a following to develop. Talk about ooky. I like to teach for teaching's sake, not for the sake of surviving as a teacher. Thus, except under special circumstances (e.g., Pink Lotus Yoga), I'm much better as "guest star", as Samantha Jones would say.

What else was I going to talk about? Oh yes. Tomorrow I have my seven week appointment with Dr. Salzberg. I am sooooooo nervous that he is going to ask me to wait another five weeks to get back to practicing. This non-practicing practice is making me insane. I am positively cranky. If you don't believe me, read my bitchy (unintentionally!!) comments on Linda's blog. Linda, I meant no disrespect, but I am pretty sure you know that!

I just gots to practice.

OK, that's all I had time for. And to think, I had such lofty thoughts about such diverse topics as motherhood, Bret Easton Ellis and the Lyndsay Lohan death-watch, stirring around in my addled brain. They will simply have to wait for another day.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

I hate to have to do this

but sometimes I just have to have to have to talk about the stuff I read in the gossip rags. Like the number one gossip-raggy story on my mind now: Nicole Richie. If you stay away from the rags, then you may actually not realize that Nicole Richie has gone from scarily scarily underweight to just really really skinny in a matter of weeks and that there has been lots of talk about whether she had previously undergone some form of gastric bypass/lap band surgery that made her drop an enormous and unnecessary amount of weight, which surgery had now been reversed.

I'm going on record to say that I am absolutely, 100 percent believing the hype.

To all of those who say that Nicole could not possibly have gotten such surgery because she didn't "qualify" (because those who want the surgery must be morbidly obese or at least 100 pounds overweight in order to get a doctor to do the surgery) all of those naive believers in the notion that all doctors operate on some higher plane of ethics than other human beings in heeding their "first do no harm" oath....I laugh. A hearty hahahaha.

I scoff at the very idea that while a lawyer can be bribed, I mean paid, to defend a hardened criminal despite his belief in that criminal's guilt, a doctor would never compromise his ethics by performing unnecessary surgery on a patient willing to pay beaucoup bucks. For proof, I submit to you Exhibit A, Dr. 90210, the reality/docu-drama series on E! that shows plastic surgeons that never say "no" to anyone, no matter how insane the request. Exhibit B: The Cat Lady of Park Avenue, better known as Jocelyn Wildenstein, whose doctors willingly carved her face into that of the Lion King. Exhibit C: Michael Jackson. Exhibit D through G: men with plugs, penile enlargement surgery, vaginal rejuvenation and women with breast implants that take them to a cupsize larger than "DD". I'll stop there, although obviously, I could go on.

You want to tell me that there is no doctor in Beverly Hills who will perform a gastric bypass on a five-foot tall, 125 pound celebrity who wants to get down to 100 pounds? Then I want to tell you that there is no lawyer in America who would defend a mobster (and I am not counting public defenders). Of course, I also want to tell you how OJ WOULD have done it, IF he did it, and I am not saying he did. Speaking of things that may or may not have happened, how about that Holocaust? I, for one, believe that Santa Claus is real, and that he was totally responsible for it. Except for the part for which I hold the Tooth Fairy responsible.

Seriously, it would be like Katie and Tom's wedding, by which I mean, INcredible, UNbelievable and a thing of wonder, if there were no surgeon anywhere who could be persuaded to perform such a frivolous surgery.

Gastric bypass is like anything else. It can be bought. It just can. That's a given.

And in this case, it helps explain why Nicole was "trying" to gain weight but couldn't and was seeing doctors about the problem. It also explains why she stayed in the hospital only for a few days immediately before her weight started to go back up.

IF Nicole did it, this is how she would have done it. She would have found someone who was willing to do it, quietly, secretly and for a lot of money.


P.S. I just remembered....when I was in the hospital for my boob and nose surgery in October, I was actually given a bed that was intended for lap band patients. It was HUGE, and it had a scale at the foot of it. Back in October, I didn't even know what lap band was. When I asked the nurse, she giggled and said that it wasn't for someone like me. Looking back, I just think it's kind of funny. Me, in a lap band bed. If I were in Hollywood, perhaps it would have actually been plausible.

I need to be in a rut

It's that busy time of year again for me when I start to take on lots of teaching gigs again. On Friday, I taught a "hatha" class for, I think, the first time ever. By "hatha", I mean NOT vinyasa. It was quite a bit easier for me than teaching vinyasa because I didn't have sequencing issues to contend with. I simply taught postures and did so in the gentlest possible manner. It was liberating, although my first love is teaching the super-challenging classes, like my classes for personal trainers at Yoga Sutra. Those simply rock, in my opinion, which is completely biased, as I am teaching the class I would most like to take myself.

Coming up in the next few weeks, I'm teaching that hatha class again (at Boom! Fitness Center), some lunchtime Vinyasa classes at Yoga Sutra, my Focus Fitness class (the one for Personal Trainers at Yoga Sutra), a Yogalates class and even a "Led Ashtanga Class", which I put in quotes because it is only 60 minutes long and is expected (by the students, whom I have taught before) to be a picking and choosing of the postures from the Primary Series. Plus, there is Pink Lotus Yoga (for breast cancer survivors) coming up again in December. I'm looking forward to all the teaching.

But I am also facing up to the fact that I really don't enjoy commiting to any one job anymore. The thought of showing up weekly for the same class, let alone daily, is filled with foreboding and a sense of opression. This surprises even me. I always thought that I someday I would be teaching a full schedule of classes or even, possibly, start up a studio. But I just don't seem to have the mental stamina to keep doing anything over and over again for very long.

Except of course Ashtanga, by which I mean, the practice of Ashtanga. And Bikram, I guess, to a lesser extent because I always inevitably grow tired of Bikram after a while.

Which brings me back to my constant refrain: I need to get back to my practice. I can't take much more of feeling perfectly fine and yet not being allowed to practice Ashtanga. I am not particularly worried about losing any ground in my practice, since I have been going to Sports Club/LA all week and proving to myself that I can easily be on the Elliptical Trainer for 60 minutes at a 10-grade incline and a 10-level resistance (as long as I have a couple of South Park episodes to watch on my iPod), and afterwards I stretch on this spider-web thing they have there, and, well, there's no problem there at all (it helps when people stop and stare and say, "You MUST have been born bendy because there's no way I could ever do that," to which I can be reliably expected to reply, "Sure you could, you would just have to practice at it six days a week").

I'm not "worried" about anything really. I am just miserable to have to "do" exercise rather than participate in an activity I enjoy. I am also eating like crap, for me, and yes, it's all relative. But when I practice Ashtanga, I am keenly aware of the effects of whatever I am putting into my body. When all I need to do is climb on a stair machine, it really doesn't matter what I am using for fuel. With Ashtanga in my daily routine, I go to bed earlier, I eat healthier...and I HAVE a daily routine. As it is now, I am struggling to get into the groove each and every day, since I don't have to be awake and un-stiff at any particular hour, and I don't have to structure my day around anything in particular other than picking my kids up from school on time.

Whinge whinge whinge. I know. It's temporary.

But I long to get back to my boring Ashtanga-structured life. Please, please, please, Dr. Salzberg, please tell me that I can!!!


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Tofurkey Day All You Yogis and Yoginis Out There!

Last night, I made a couple of what I consider to be truly wonderful vegetable dishes to bring to mom's house. Mom is a great cook, and she taught me well. And truthfully, her spread is never really in need of any improvement at all. However, I adore autumn vegetables and figured that this gave me a great excuse to add some lively color to the dinner table palate.

And so...I give to anyone who is listening: Roasted Beets with Fennel and Citrus Vinaigrette:

First I roasted about 12 peeled and chunked beets in nothing but a bit of olive oil in a 350 degree oven (not too hot because I didn't want them to shrivel up and dry out, and no salt because again, I didn't want to draw out any liquid). It took I think about 40 minutes for them to get nicely cooked through, and then I put them aside to cool. Next I took a large fennel bulb (cutting off all the "hair" and the celery-like stalks and cutting out the core), cut it in quarters and then sliced those babies paper thin. I threw that in a large bowl with a large handful of chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and then peeled a seedless orange over the bowl to let the juices spill into the bowl. Then I segmented the orange and (this is the only really difficult part), peeled and cut away all of the membranes, leaving only the bright orange innards. I reserved a couple of segments for squeezing out the juice, yielding one Tablespoon, which I put in a shaker. To that I added One Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar. To that I added Two Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I shook up the liquid in order to emulsify it and then poured it over the fennel and parsley. Next I added the beets to the bowl. Finally, I took a handful of fresh dill, chopped it up, threw it on top, tossed it all lightly and ground some sea salt and multicolored peppercorns on top.


My other dish was far less complicated. I roasted chunks of butternut squash with rounds of parsnips in a 350 degree oven until cut-with-a-fork-soft. Then I removed them from the oven and turned the oven up to broil. I then took an entire bunch of fresh sage leaves (just the leaves, not the stems) and an entire bunch of fresh rosemary (the whole thing, stems and all) and put them in a pan as far away from the fire as possible. I let them dry out, checking on them very often, sometimes getting impatient and actually holding a rosemary stalk up the fire, only to find out that it is VERY flammable AND smells quite a bit like ganja when on fire. When they were nice and dry and very aromatic, I took them out of the broiler and crumbled them over the butternut squash and parsnips, mixed it up with ground sea salt and ground white pepper corns and a touch of melted butter (you can skip the butter if you must...but why?)....and YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another option for the latter dish is to roast an entire garlic bulb separately from the squash and parsnips and then squeeze it out into the dish and mix it up. IF you like roasted garlic.

Yet another option for the latter dish is to add a bit of bright green in the form of chopped roasted asparagus. I mention it separately because asparagus overcooks VERY quickly and should not be cooked along with the squash and parsnips which take far longer. To roast asparagus, break off the ends of the stalks, toss them in olive oil and cook them at 350 degrees until they turn bright green. And then quickly remove them to the REFRIGERATOR to stop them from cooking. When they are cool, cut them into matchstick lengths and toss them into the root vegetable dish.

With these two dishes, you have green, purple, white, and yellow: not only do you have a colorful table, but you can be SURE that you have covered all of your vitamin bases...


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Incredible! Undescribable! Unbelievable!

(as in Not Credible, Not Describable and Not to be Believed)

Maybe I just have too much time on my hands, but as I read US Magazine's seemingly effusive and doting coverage of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's wedding in Italy (which, in case you only just awoke from a coma this minute, logged onto your computer and went immediately to my blog, took place this weekend), I kept finding myself snickering at what I felt HAD to be a wedding-wide private joke amongst the guests that I imagined began with a sly nudge:

"Pssst....Dontcha think it would be hilarious if we told the press exactly what what we thought of this freak show, while appearing to be all ass-kissing and what-not?

"Totally!" I imagine as the whispered answer, "Like, how about if I tell the press it was 'unbelievable'.....heh heh in 'not believable on any level'....geddit?"

I like to imagine that someone else responded with: "Ha! How about if I tell them that 'their kiss seemed to last forever'?!! I mean, like, it SOUNDS romantic, right, but no one will know that what I really meant was that if their repulsive show of Hollywood macking lasted a moment longer, I would not have been able to hold back the vomit!"

And in my little fantasy, even Katie's uncle got in on the act: "Hey, what about if I say, 'We're CRAZY-excited'! Heeee!!! Crazy...Caaaah-ray- ZEEE"

Linda Bruckheimer, wife of Tom's Top Gun producer dove headfirst into the fun, with "It was unbelievable, indescribable, unlike anything I have been to in my life!" And I am quite sure that Mrs. Bruckheimer has been to many an oversized, stylized, star-saturated wedding. So, you do the math.

Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham, one of Kate Cruise's newly minted friends, took on the "indescribable" aspect when she attempted (i.e., through Botoxed msk) to enthuse, "It was great." Nice, Posh Spice! Nothing like damning with faint praise.

Brooke Shields, the Princeton graduate added her subtle jab, proclaiming the wedding to be a thing of wonder ("It was wonderful", was what she actually said, but hey, I can imagine that it was the barbed kind of wonderful). Of course, Brooke was being followed around by no less than four thugs, I mean, bodyguards, according to an US Magazine source. One might ask - who hired them, and for the purpose of protecting whom? Or...what?

I'm pretty sure that US Magazine eventually got in on the act as well, publishing a photo of Katie looking oddly wistful as she stared out the window of the wedding's castle location, as if she were imprisoned in a medieval tower, and juxtaposing the fact that Giorgio Armani designed Katie's virginal gown with a story about the death of one of Armani's muses, Ana Carolina Reston, of anorexia (Armani has been accused of perpetuating the skinny-model mystique while tap-dancing on the grave of murdered designer Versace for having designed clothing meant for fat girls, or as he put it, "a body of a certain shape").

The question I have now is whether Katie was in on it, having chosen to dance with her new hubby for the first time as "man and wife" to "Songbird" by Fleetwood Mac (whose lyrics go, "I love you, like never before."


Monday, November 20, 2006

Yoga For Breast Cancer Survivors (again)

I admit I have been kind of remiss lately about getting this class up and running again. But it isn't for lack of good intentions. It's just that because all of my students continue to press on with their careers despite their treatments and surgeries (go girls!), we have to meet at night, and since my own October 11 surgery, I have been exhausted at night. I fall asleep reading or watching television most nights, unable to accept that I simply need to get to bed earlier with all of the recovering my body is doing.

But, I am six weeks post-surgery now, and I feel good. The energy is coming back. And an email I received from a breast cancer survivor in Washington, D.C., which told of a physical therapist's admonishment NOT to practice any sort of yoga that involves bearing weight on the hands lest she develop lymphedema (and this breast cancer survivor happens to be an Ashtangi who truly looked forward to getting back into yoga upon recovery from surgery, which did include the removal of lymph nodes, which is what puts one at risk for lymphedema), jolted me back into the realization that there is an urgent need for a yoga class that supports the physical and spiritual fitness of breast cancer survivors.

In the words of John Locke, the Lost character, not the philospher, "Don't tell me what I cannot do."

Moreover, yoga is probably the PERFECT physical exercise for avoiding lymphedema! It improves circulation, and good circulation is of the utmost importance in avoiding lymphedema (which is a serious, disfiguring and ultimately chronic localized swelling caused by the failure of lymph fluid to circulate properly, due to a lack of lymph nodes in the area). The number one and primary cause of lymphedema has nothing whatsoever to do with bearing weight on the at-risk area. The number one and primary cause of lymphedema in breast cancer survivors is infection in the arm from which lymph nodes were removed. An infection is a battle cry to the immune system, which then calls for action by the lymph nodes. When lymph nodes have been removed, the lymph fluid may not flow properly. Picture a highway filled with cars. Now picture a large, many-laned toll station. Now picture the same toll station with most of the lanes closed. What happens to the traffic? It backs up, swelling the highway with cars and exhaust and no one is happy. This is what happens in lymphedema.

Pop quiz: What is the number one cause of infection in the at-risk arm?

Pop-answer: Manicures. Seriously. I got this info from my breast surgeon and her physician's assistant, who together have, I don't know, like more than 40 years of anectodotal experience with this. Infections from manicures are rampant. So those at risk for lymphedema must avoid, not the yoga, but the manicures. Or if you must get manicures (I prefer simple polish changes now), make sure the manicurist uses your own tools and does not do anything funny to your cuticles.

Thus spaketh Yoga Chickie (via her breast surgeon).

But going back to the traffic analogy, it stands to reason that another major cause of lymphedema is repetitive pressure - such as, and most commonly, in the form of a blood pressure cuff being placed on the at-risk arm and being kept there for several hours during surgery. (Using the traffic analogy, think about what happens when there is construction on a four lane highway, and suddenly four lanes are merged into two...or even one...disastrous!)

This is why whenever I have surgery, I write all over my at-risk arm with a Sharpee Pen: "NO NEEDLES!" "NO CUFFS!" and simply, "NO!!!!!" My most recent anesthesiologist was a bit peeved by this. "I would have read your chart and seen that you can't have needles or blood pressure taken on your right arm," he pouted. "It's not you I'm worried about. It's anyone who hasn't read my chart," I explained, trying to make nice (he was my anesthesiologist, after all, and I didn't want any sort of problem with the man who was in charge of eliminating my pain), "or anyone who gets their right and their left confused."

Anyway, it's my body. I'll Sharpee it if I want to. Na na nana na.

But this actually DOES pertain to yoga, at least in the types of yoga that rely on props (not naming names here, Om cough Yoga cough cough, Iyen cough cough gar cough cough cough...). One who is at risk for lymphedema in her arm must NEVER secure a belt around said arm or the fingers of said arm, particularly in order to pull herself into Gomukhasana.

But bearing weight on the arms? Where is the lymph blockage in that? And this isn't just my sense of logic and reason speaking. I went over this carefully with my breast surgeon and her physician's assistant. While I am not a doctor, and I cannot possibly give out medical advice (you should talk to your doctor for that, mmmmkay?), I am going to take a stand here that there is nothing harmful to those at risk for lymphedema about yoga, so long as it is practiced mindfully and under the tutelage of a trained and experienced teacher.

Hmmmm....but I have digressed into a full-on soap-boxy speech here, when all I really wanted to say was....

I have decided that it is high time to kick Pink Lotus Yoga back into gear. I emailed my students and even put an ad up on Craig's List to see if there's anyone else out there who might be interested (and it turns out, there are). But I figured that perhaps there might be breast cancer survivors who have only recently started reading this blog who don't check on Craig's List and who don't know about Pink Lotus Yoga (since I haven't taught it since September).

Anyone who is interested, please email me. I think my email address is in my profile. If not, try lscnyc425 at the email service that is "hot".


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Floating Yoga

I went swimming this morning since I am a bit skittish about practicing yoga until I get the official "go ahead". It was lovely. I did laps for most of the 40 minutes I was in the pool. The rest of the time, I did lots of handstands and Tic Tocs and somersaults and pikes. Afterwards, I spent some time in the jacuzzi.

The Sports Club/LA is pretty fabulous. I wish Sir would move his shala there, like Jessica Bellofato is doing (Jessica, as in Jessica and Colleen Saidman, Colleen as in Rodney Yee's soul mate slash co-conspirator in infidelity). Sort of. Jessica and her yoga school, Yoga Shanti (based in the Hamptons) and SC/LA now have some sort of partnership going on whereby Jessica is bringing her Yoga Shanti classes to SC/LA four times a week. If I were into vinyasa as a practice, I would be psyched as all hell.

As it is, I really can't consider joining SC/LA because the only Ashtanga they have is Led Primary, and no matter who is teaching it, you can't get away from the fact that it is in a gym setting, and there is a total absence of sangha.

Right now, after 40 minutes of swim, my body is as limp as overcooked spaghetti. I don't think I could stand for more than a minute, and I barely have the energy to lift my arms. I guess I better stop typing so I don't get carpal tunnel from the way I'm lazily holding my hands on the keyboard.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

And just like that...

  • the Palm is in perfect working order.
  • the Palm Desktop is working like a charm.
  • hard as I try, I cannot seem to misplace my cell phone...wherever I go, there it is.
  • my laptop is now safely with the Geek Squad being put back together again at no cost to myself - my Service Contract is intact, despite that a day ago, they could find no evidence that I posessed a $362 Extended Warranty.
  • the phone is, for the first time in a month, NOT ringing with annoying brokers-slash-stalkers who want me to let them sell my apartment for a SIX percent commission, when my apartment is perfectly capable of selling itself, thank you very much, I think I'll keep that six percent (despite that my ad is still out there on the NY Times Classifieds web site and that no one officially "knows" that we have a contract out on it....).
  • Tom and Katie got hitched!! Married!! For real!! My life really IS starting to make sense again!! (Just kidding about that one, not that they got married, but the fact that their wedding-slash-ironclad-business-deal has any bearing on my life whatsoever.)

Yep, right on schedule (November 18, 2006), it seems that Mercury has gone back to its regularly scheduled revolution around the sun. Retrograde be damned, I don't believe in such nonsense anyway.....or do I?

So, my plastic surgeon gave me a big ole negatory on the getting started on the yoga next week plans. No explanation why six weeks, as promised, is no longer the deal. No promise of "After I see you for your next appointment on November 28", nor even a "Assuming all is well, after I see you for your next appointment." What gives, man?

We were emailing.

So, I emailed back: "I think we need to get you to a yoga class so you can see that it isn't all crazy stuff."

His response: "I LOVE yoga! I practice Bikram, Ashtanga and Kundalini."

Talk about stepping on my buzz. He KNOWS what Bikram is all about (and Ashtanga too!) and doesn't want me doing it. Ooops.

Me to him: "Oh. Right. I see. Damn. Sigh."

I haven't yet decided how much I can obey this to the letter. All I can say is that I did absolutely nothing today other than give Lewis a bath, and tomorrow I am going swimming at the Sports Club/LA. Family Day and all.


Friday, November 17, 2006

More Retrograde Fun

So, I finally got my Palm's Desktop fonts to become visible again, but this rendered all of my color-codings completely null and void. Then I went back and checked to make sure that my Desktop was not missing any records. Sure enough, it was missing a reference to a yoga class I am teaching next Friday. This makes me suspicious of the whole thing. But what can I do?

Next, I go to my Palm - the actual handheld - and check to see if the Friday yoga class was in there. It is. It's just disappeared from my Desktop somehow. I decide that the best thing to do is to HotSynch it up, so that all of the records will appear in both places.

Guess what? My Desktop refuses to recognize my Handheld.


What day does this fun end again?


I hate Mercury in Retrograde

My laptop crashed for the third time since Labor Day. THIRD TIME! I brought it into Best Buy, to the Geek Squad, where I have my Extended Warranty (best thing I ever bought), and they couldn't find evidence of my Extended Warranty. It took over an hour to straighten out the problem. In the meantime, I missed my three o'clock Bikram class.

Taught a class at Yoga Sutra today, which was good, other than the fact that my tongue felt like it didn't fit in my mouth. I stumbled on every word. I must have sounded like a total novice. Then I agreed to take on a couple of more subbing gigs in December, came home and tried to input them into my Palm Desktop (on my kids' computer), and guess what? All of the entries on my Palm have disappeared. Well, it's not that they have TOTALLY's that they are there, but I can't read them because the Font matches the Background color. No idea why.

Before I got home, I drove up to my shoemaker to pick up a pair of boots that I really wanted to wear this weekend. He had closed at 3 p.m. It was 3:18.

The Husband sent out our Sales Contract today for the Buyer to review and hopefully sign. I SHOULDA told him to wait until tomorrow when Mercury is downgraded to a non-retrograde, or whatever the term.

And if none of this seems particularly shocking, consider that it is just ONE day in the life of a normally calm, cool and collected me.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

From tiny to MONSTER!!!

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

The latest email scam begins with the following subject line: "Trying to reconnect". Ooooh! I wonder who might be trying to reconnect with me, you think. I guess I should open this! And you do, excitedly...because who doesn't like to connect and reconnect with old friends.

You open up the email, and it says, tentatively, you can almost hear the hushed tone: "Is it you?"

Hmmm...inquiring minds begin to get suspicious. How would I know if it were me if he/she is not saying who he/she is? The denying big-hearted softy (no pun intended, seriously) in me wants very much to override such cynical notions and write back with a voracious, "I don't know...Who are you, and how do we know each other?" The sly detective in me won't let that happen, and instead, places hand firmly on mouse and hovers over the name of the sender, "Chassidy".

The hovering mouse produces the actual email address:

It most definitely is NOT me. And I am not a guy, so I would appreciate it if the penis-enlarging people out there would stop spamming me with their product plugs (although a part of me secretly, or not so secretly anymore, smirks that finally, the media and Madison Avenue (or some really sleazy version thereof) are conspiring to make men even more paranoid about something about their bodies, just like women have been for decades if not forever).

Funny thing though, even as I knew that the whole point of the ad was to make me write back, I still kind of wanted to write back, even just to say, "Don't email me again, despicable spammer scum."

I restrained myself and wrote here instead.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thom Birch

So tragic...I can't believe it.


Update: More info can be found here. I just want to add that Thom Birch touched a lot of lives here in NYC. Many a NYC long-distance runner first discovered yoga through his classes (with BBB) at the New York Road Runner's Club (not me, unfortunately, having come to yoga only after hanging up the marathon shoes). I extend my condolences to Beryl Bender Birch and to all of those who in losing Thom lost their teacher (not to mention their mentor, their inspiration, their friend, etc...)


They are totally there, limited only by the flexibility of my spine. I know that sounds kind of obvious, but up until my surgery, the shoulders were the limiting factor. And the limits of my shoulders were far greater than the limits of my spine. So now I am able to walk my hands in towards my feet until my spine says "Woa there", all the while, my shoulders saying, "Bring it".

Mari C is nice and deep. But Mari B and Mari D are reeeeeeeeally a stretch, with Mari D being a bind by fingernails alone (thank goodness I stopped biting my nails, at least for now). What gives? Maybe I put on some belly weight during my yoga layover?! Dear God, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I know, I am not supposed to be practicing. But I taught at Yoga Sutra today, and it was sweaty and warm in the room, and there was a vague scent of Nag Champa, and my music was plugged in, and I guess I got swept up in the moment. No vinyasas though. Just the asanas. And just select asanas. And about a million backbends and dropbacks. Ahhhhhh......

I didn't even attempt Supta K. But Kurmasana is doing just fine. We shall see...


Monday, November 13, 2006

It won't be long now

One week until I can come back to the Shala. I think. I have to confirm with my plastics doctor first that the "crazy yoga poses" can be a part of my daily repertoire once more.

In the meantime, I am doing the Bikram thing, since there is absolutely nothing about Bikram that involves anything "crazy", other than the heat. And oh joy, Bikram Yoga NYC has opened their Upper East Side studio!! I was there today for the First Upper East Side Bikram class ever! Although the heaters were on, it was not particularly hot, which emphasizes to me just how non-challenging the sequence is, in and of itself. Without much heat, I was able to generate enough sweat to drench my clothes, but just barely. My heartrate never went up very high, and overall, it was just plain easy. However, it's a wonderful stretch, it's a great leg strengthener, and with the addition of blazing heat (hopefully, that will happen within the next day or two when they work out some thermostat issues), it becomes quite aerobic.

The cool thing about adding Bikram into the mix is that it enables a Primary-Only type like me to do some Second Series postures (Salabasana A and B, Dhanurasana, Ardha Matsyandrasana. Ustrasana and even Kapotasana or an approximation has to start somewhere). Also, there are some standard "level 2" variations in the sequence, such as Hanumanasana in place of the second Janu Sirsasana A and Kurmasana in place of the second Paschimotanasana A. Kapotasana is one of those standard level 2 variations. I hardly ever try it though since usually the room is so hot that I feel as if my heart is going to beat out of my chest and go flying across the room if I backbend that deeply.

My arms are actually kind of fatigued right now.

Parent-Teacher conference today for Brian. I never worry about that one. I don't think Brian has ever been naughty in school, and he tests out at above-grade level (NYC has standardized tests each year starting in third grade). Adam's conference is on Wednesday. He's the one who gets love notes from girls and acts a bit impish. It's not his brains I worry about. It's his snark. But I'll think about that on Wednesday.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

hmmm...what to write, what to write

This is the nose progress as of one month or nearly five weeks, depending on if you follow the sun like most people or the moon like Jews, Ashtangis and pregnant women.

In terms of the way it feels, it's kind of stiff and sometimes feels swollen. In terms of the way it looks, it's still a bit swollen, particularly right at the bridge and at the tip, where all of the work was done. But by golly, I am happy with it. I look like me, but with a non-lumpy nose. When I expressed concern about the ultimate results based on crap I was reading in the tabs about Ashlee Simpson's nose drooping after a few months, the Husband put an absolute ban on any further nasal surgery, which I take as a compliment. I think I'm putting myself on a plastic surgery 12-steps program.

In four years, I haven't made it a year without at least one surgery. It's time to put the brakes on while I still look nothing at all like Michael Jackson.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

A - Always, B - Be, C- Closing

I don't want to jinx meeself, but we have an accepted offer on this place! With a June closing date (ideal for the school-age-kid family) and no mortgage contingency (well, that's standard in NYC nowadays, but still!) to boot!

Of course, nothing is a done deal until it's a done deal, or, in the immortal words of David Mamet (via the character, "Blake" in Glengarry Glen Ross), "Only one thing counts in this life! Get them to sign on the line which is dotted!

How awesome is David Mamet, by the way?

Guilty pleasure of the week, and please never ever remind me that I have spoken of this: Fergilicious. I really don't think that Fergie (Stacey Ferguson, of the Black Eyed Peas) is particularly talented. I hate that she thinks she is "Fergilicious" and am annoyed by the fact that she can get away rhyming "Fergilicious" with "delicious" (I mean, isn't the former simply a contraction using the latter?). Moreover, I don't even know what it means when she says that the boys "rock rock". But I can't get the song out of my head. And, even worse, I say this as I hang my head in shame, I downloaded it from iTunes so I could listen to it whenever I want.

I didn't get to meet David Williams, unfortunately, what with my Halloween party and his plans with his son and my friend S's work schedule (he was staying with her). She promises to give me a really detailed third person account though. And I am holding her to it.

I am just about ready to be back at the shala. The only reason I'm not, well, it's really threefold: 1) I promised the husband I wouldn't start my membership up again until December, 2) I promised my plastics doctor that I wouldn't do any "crazy yoga poses" until six weeks had passed, and once I start hitting the shala, I just know that I am not going to be able to hold back and (3) I'm kind of enjoying the enforced rest, not that I am fully resting. I did do my Ashtanga practice yesterday, although I skipped most of the chatturangas and only included the between-sides vinyasas up to Janu Sirsasana C.

Guess what? My backbend has opened up incredibly, by which I mean that my front has opened up incredibly. It was amazing and astounding to press up into backbend with ease. Is this what it is like for most of you out there? Who knew? I did some drop-backs as well, since I felt strong, and it was comforting to know I haven't lost any of my postures.

I have to admit that I believe that once I get back to the shala, I will be able to bind in Supta K. But what if it's not true? Will I be devestated? Will I feel that it was all for naught? I need to deal with my expectations before I get back to the shala. So make that reason number four that I am not back yet.


A - Always, B - Be, C- Closing

I don't want to jinx meeself, but we have an accepted offer on this place! With a June closing date (ideal for the school-age-kid family) and no mortgage contingency (well, that's standard in NYC nowadays, but still!) to boot!

Of course, nothing is a done deal until it's a done deal, or, in the immortal words of David Mamet (via the character, "Blake" in Glengarry Glen Ross), "Only one thing counts in this life! Get them to sign on the line which is dotted!

How awesome is David Mamet, by the way?

Guilty pleasure of the week, and please never ever remind me that I have spoken of this: Fergilicious. I really don't think that Fergie (Stacey Ferguson, of the Black Eyed Peas) is particularly talented. I hate that she thinks she is "Fergilicious" and am annoyed by the fact that she can get away rhyming "Fergilicious" with "delicious" (I mean, isn't the former simply a contraction using the latter?). Moreover, I don't even know what it means when she says that the boys "rock rock". But I can't get the song out of my head. And, even worse, I say this as I hang my head in shame, I downloaded it from iTunes so I could listen to it whenever I want.

I didn't get to meet David Williams, unfortunately, what with my Halloween party and his plans with his son and my friend S's work schedule (he was staying with her). She promises to give me a really detailed third person account though. And I am holding her to it.

I am just about ready to be back at the shala. The only reason I'm not, well, it's really threefold: 1) I promised the husband I wouldn't start my membership up again until December, 2) I promised my plastics doctor that I wouldn't do any "crazy yoga poses" until six weeks had passed, and once I start hitting the shala, I just know that I am not going to be able to hold back and (3) I'm kind of enjoying the enforced rest, not that I am fully resting. I did do my Ashtanga practice yesterday, although I skipped most of the chatturangas and only included the between-sides vinyasas up to Janu Sirsasana C.

Guess what? My backbend has opened up incredibly, by which I mean that my front has opened up incredibly. It was amazing and astounding to press up into backbend with ease. Is this what it is like for most of you out there? Who knew? I did some drop-backs as well, since I felt strong, and it was comforting to know I haven't lost any of my postures.

I have to admit that I believe that once I get back to the shala, I will be able to bind in Supta K. But what if it's not true? Will I be devestated? Will I feel that it was all for naught? I need to deal with my expectations before I get back to the shala. So make that reason number four that I am not back yet.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Nonattachment is not Detachment

Overcoming attachment does not mean becoming cold and indifferent. On the contrary, it means learning to have relaxed control over our mind through understanding the real causes of happiness and fulfillment, and this enables us to enjoy life more and suffer less.

- Kathleen McDonald, "How to Meditate"

Copyright Wisdom Publications 2001. Reprinted from "Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations," edited by Josh Bartok, with permission of Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm St., Somerville MA 02144 U.S.A,

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I went to Bikram yesterday

and debated whether to admit it here.

Obviously, I am admitting it. It was hot, and it was not strenuous on my upper body. I got to stretch my legs, my spine, my front body, my shoulders, and I never had to do a pushup or balance on my hands. I liked it. I needed it desperately. The sweat was amazing. It utterly transformed me.

Afterwards I drank 66 ounces of SmartWater. I felt as if I were a car, and I had my oil changed. It was exquisite.

I woke up today and wanted to go again. I LOVE that feeling. But I resisted, for all the right reasons...I need to allow my body time to recouperate. I will go tomorrow instead.

Lost rocked last night! Rocked!!!! And as usual, I fell asleep during The Nine. Why is that show so boring when it should be so compelling?


Monday, November 06, 2006

From Being at Tufts to Being Here Now

Back in the days when Ram Das was called Richard Alpert, he was quite the typical Jewish kid from an upper middle class suburb of Boston - enrolling at Tufts upon receipt of his rejection letter from Harvard (to this day, you can still hear the Tufts freshmen bemoaning their having had to suck it up and attend their "safety school" when it didn't work out at that ivy-covered institution located a mere two miles down the road), pledging the Jewish fratenity (A.E.Pi, which was still the Jewish fraternity on campus when I attended Tufts during the mid-eighties), flunking out of Organic Chem and switching his major to Psych, much to the chagrin of his dad.
Later on, of course, it was an entirely different trajectory. Even those who don't read this blog for the yoga may well have heard of Ram Das, or at least the book he published in the early 70's, "Be Here Now". And if not the book, then the sentiment behind it: be here now, be present, be in the moment, this moment.

I got my Tufts Magazine yesterday and was absently flipping through it after dinner when a photo on the back cover caught my eye. A twinkly eyed, white-bearded, bare-chested septugenarian smiled from the sparkly turquoise water of what appeared to be a gunnite swimming pool.

"What's Ram Das doing in Tufts Magazine?" it teased.

Why, "the backstroke," of course.

Haha, Tufts Magazine! Good one. In fact, so good, that it drew me right in, and I immediately flipped to page 16 to the article entitled The Ultimate Trip and devoured it. From the article:

Ram Dass communicated Eastern precepts in a language Westerners could understand. He would run down Buddha’s four Noble Truths and keep the audience with him all the way. The first truth, he said, is that all life is suffering, because it’s in time. “Birth, death, not getting what you want, even getting what you want means suffering because you’ll lose it, in time.” The second truth is that the cause of suffering is desire or attachment. “If you don’t try to hold on, you don’t suffer over the loss.” So the third noble truth is: “Give up attachment; give up desire and you end the suffering, the whole thing that keeps you stuck.” The fourth truth is Buddha’s eightfold path for giving up attachment, which Ram Dass summarized in a phrase that clicked instantly with Western minds: “Work on yourself.”

The eight-fold path (akin to the Eight Limbs of Yoga) as "Work on yourself"....simple and brilliant.

Old Nazi

Over the years, I have found that when itcomes to my intuition, generally speaking, where there's smoke, there's fire. That's why I was surprised that when I googled this Old Navy ad campaign, I came up with nothing.


No. Thing.

Doesn't anyone besides me see the swastikas splashed all over this ad? Not only are the models posed as human swastikas, individually, but they are also grouped in four-person swastika formation, like a anti-semitic synchronized swim team.

Ironically enough, the ad campaign is entitled "Spot the Difference", and asks the viewer/reader to compare two seemingly identical photos filled with Old Navy merchandise, a la the "I Spy" books for those who have children of "I Spy" age and "spot" the subtle differences between the two (like, in the top two photos, the girl is carrying a black bag in the photo on the left and a brown bag in the photo on the right).

I, of course, found myself "spotting" the swastikas instead.

In case you weren't able to spot the swastikas in the photos above, which I saw today while flipping through Glamour Magazine, try your hand at spotting them in the photos below:
I wish I could say that these ads contained even a hint of irony. But I just don't see it. What I do see are human swastikas depicted in the traditional Nazi colors of red, white and black.

I guess there will be no Hanukah shopping at Old Navy for the Yoga Chickie family. We prefer our swastikas spray painted with malice-apparent, not smiling brightly in the latest in hoodlum-chic mass-marketed youth attire.

Ah, holiday fun. Good times.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Obsession with Sociopaths Continues

I don't talk about it nearly as much as I talk about yoga, my appearance or even breast cancer. But it's an obsession that is always with me. I am intrigued by sociopaths, particularly sociopaths who appear to have everything going for them when they take their sociopathology just one tiny step too far, exploding their lives in the process. I'm not talking about the Sawyers from Lost - the down on their luck, surviving at any cost type of thing. I'm talking about the Alan Hevesi's (okay, I can't say he is a sociopath, but his arrogant and public use of taxpayer money to chauffer his wife around is typical of sociopathic behavior), the Ken Lay's, the friend of mine who it turned out had had at least 22 affairs, mainly culled from glorified escort-service, during less than two years of marriage, the acquaintance who stole at least a million dollars from investors, including the husband of a close friend of mine, the wife of said acquaintance who knew that none of this smelled right, even as her husband suddenly came into enough money to purchase a four million dollar condominium in a brand new building on the Upper East.

The latest sociopath to fascinate me is perhaps one of the saddest stories of all. "A" had just graduated from Harvard when he enrolled in NYU Law School. I was a third year law student at the time and heavily involved with the school's annual musical comedy, "The Law Revue" (NOT, the school's highly esteemed legal publication, the Law Review). I was a producer and a writer as well as a performer. My fellow producers and I interviewed a number of potential Directors, and despite the fact that A had no experience with our vision of the Law Revue, we hired him on the spot. He was musically gifted, he was an experienced community theater actor, singer and director and he had an arrogant wit that was infectious.

A took over and promptly steamrolled all of us. I hated his guts for casting a first year student in the part of "Spacey Jones", the hippie, trippy lead female whose roll was as the heart center of the story, which involved the mysterious deaths/murders of students and professors of the school, which were ultimately solved by a set of "Keystone Kops". Spacey's part included a rendition of "On My Own" (different words, of course) from Les Miserables. It was the part I had written for myself. It was the chance I took in not taking over the director reigns, myself, but directing was not my thing. Singing and musical comedy was.

However, as a producer, I had the power to right the wrong in another way: I created a new role for myself and for two fellow-veteren Law Revue performers, Heidi and Laura. We became "The Heathers", essentially a Greek Chorus that showed up throughout, commenting on the murderous action and performing two absolutely fabulous girl-group tunes. One was sung to the tune of "Beauty School Dropout" from Grease. The other was sung to the tune of the Sherelles "Remember: Walking in the Sand", which you may not have heard of, but it's on iTunes, if you're interested, and it's catchy in a moody, minor-key way.

"It's been a rotten day,"


"Our boyfriends passed away..."


I was Heather Number One. So, if you've seen the movie, Heathers, you'll know that I got to die on stage. It was a beautiful death, occuring right in the middle of the song. As I sang, and Heidi and Laura did their doo-wop backup, they sprayed me with "poisoned hairspray", and as I sang my "Oh no. Oh no. Oh no no no no no"'s, I sputtered, clutched my throat and crashed to the floor like Heather Chandler in the original movie (freakish factoid: the actress who played Heather Chandler, Kim Walker, who was known for her famous scathing putdown, "What, did you eat a brain tumor for breakfast?" died an untimely death of a brain tumor sometime in the 1990's).

But I digress.

Our esteemed director, A, was cooperative with this vanity maneuver on my part, and I forgave him for his arrogance. Later that year, I graduated from NYU Law School and never saw A again. Nor did I ever hear of him again.

Until this past week, when my eye fell upon his name on a page of the New York Times Metro Section that had fallen open on the breakfast table. It was one of the Times' paid death notices, and it was written by two other NYU Law graduates, who were extending their sincerest condolences to the wife and children of A.

Oh my God! What???

These friends of A wrote of A's talent as a lawyer (he had become a partner at a major, major NYC law firm), as a singer, as a parent and as a spouse. They also wrote of A's "previous joy of life". Excuse me? Previous? I mean, I understand that he was no longer enjoying life, but he was also no longer enjoying being a lawyer, singer, parent or spouse. Why the use of "previous" in relation to "joy of life"? What did that mean?

I had my suspicions. I called up my friend, Kim, who is always the first one to call me when someone we know has died, and said, "I think that someone I knew from law school killed himself. But I'm not sure yet."

Then this morning, I googled A. And sure enough, there was an article in a Westchester paper that told of how his body had been found in a local preserve, no evidence of foul play. Or at least no evidence of foul play coming from the outside. It turned out that A had attempted suicide a month before. A fairly girly attempt at that: a little wrist slitting.

But why? Why would a 39-year old father of three, partner in a prestigious law firm slit his wrists and then finish the job a month later?

My sleugling (sleuthing via google) brough further answers. And be ready. This is shocking and terrible. A had been involved in a scandal in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of this past summer. Apparently, after a night of partying and clubbing, this married father of three invited a twenty-something woman to his hotel room where only they know what happened, but which quickly led to A's arrest on charges of rape and assualt.

When A killed himself, he was out of jail on a quarter of a million dollars in bail.

How do these things happen? What goes on in the minds of people like A? Like Daisy and Tom?

When I saw that Yogamum was writing a novel this month, I longed to do the same. I longed to get into the heads of some of these people I have known who have fallen so far from so high. But don't know how to start. I don't think I could stay focused for long enough to write more than a blog-entry on any of it. But I wish I could...


Friday, November 03, 2006

Love Lost? Miss Maggie Grace? Find Frat Boy Humor Humorous?

Well then....Nobody's Watching Lost....


blah blah blah apartment blah blah blah hair blah blah blah yoga blah blah blah

So, here I am, bored, not knowing quite what to do with myself. So far we've shown the apartment to five different people and have gotten one offer. The offer seems good enough for me, but the Husband says we ought to be able to do much better, by which he means, the Asking Price. He feels it's too early to negotiate too much off the Asking Price. We've also had one couple come back for a second look, but they really couldn't afford the apartment. It would have been too much of a stretch for them to get approved by the Co-op Board. Sucks, since they have enough income, just not enough assets. But that's the way it works in NYC Co-ops - in this fickle business world, an income of half a million a year can become an income of zip on a moment's notice. So the only thing that REALLY matters is what you have stashed away.

And in our Co-op, what you need stashed away are Liquid Assets exceeding 1/3 of the purchase price after the purchase of the apartment. IRA's, 401K's, investments in privately placed or otherwise illiquid funds don't count. Basically, it's bank accounts and readily liquidatable mutual funds. Thus, if an apartment costs a million dollars, after you purchase it, you have to be able to show three hundred and thirty thousand dollars in basically cash AFTER you put your downpayment down. Oh, and the downpayment cannot be less than 25%.

And these are relatively tepid co-op financial requirements. There are some co-ops that require more than the value of the apartment in liquid assets! This is exactly what puts people in the mindset of buying all those new condos that are going up all over the city. Of course, you get what you pay for: condos cost more per square foot.

And that is your lesson in NYC real estate for the day.

In the meantime, I am continuing to shun ALL real estate brokers, and showing the place myself. It is a bit of a time suck. I have to show it today at 2 p.m., which cuts right into the middle of my day. On the other hand, what else am I doing with my time?

I want to be practicing Bikram, but fear is holding me back. What if I end up swollen afterwards? What if my Alloderm slips? What if my nose swells to elephantine proportions? Damn nose is already really swollen again today. I bruised it yesterday, massaging it. If my doctor really really knew me, he would never have suggested that I do any self-massage. I go overboard. I just do. And I did. The bridge of my nose, which was supposed to have gotten slimmer through massaging the edema out towards my cheekbones has a nice rug-burn-like abrasion on it and a shadow of blue bruising which extends up to my eye sockets. NICE! Arnica is my best friend today. And NO f-ing massaging anymore!

My whole DIY (do-it-yourself) mentality is very helpful in many instances, but here, it just ended up making me look like I got punched in the face.

One area where DIY is working for me is my hair. Now it's this topic - the DIY on the hair topic - that actually inspired me to start writing about my wigs a few days ago, before I got too bored to continue. So, without going into a description of every wig I wore for the year I was bald (there were MANY, in many colors and styles), I will cut to the chase and say this: after being bald, and then wearing my hair in a buzz cut, and then watching the tufts of hair grow into a not-quite Portman-pixie when I would have rather had long, flowing hair, after wearing my hair pinned back in ever-increasingly long ponytails and waiting approximately four years for an actual haircut that attempted any sort of non-ponytail style.....after all of this, I have become amazingly unsentimental about my hair. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE my hair. I love having hair. Every day I wake up and look in the mirror and praise GOD that I have long, lovely locks. I make my kids touch my hair and ask them if it's soft. I get thrills from combing it and coating it with conditioner. But I no longer "care" so much about it being anything close to perfect. Which leads me to the ultimate freedom: the freedom to cut my hair MYSELF.

That's right. My hair was getting insanely long. I could no longer comb the back, it was losing it's bounce. It looked like a giant wall of hair, which might be fine when you're sixteen, or if you're six inches taller than me. But I wasn't rocking it at all. I was chatting with a fellow wavy-curly girl in front of the kids' school, and she said that just cuts it herself to acheive the look she wants. Hmmm....I thought. I already color my hair myself, and quite successfully, to the point where friends have asked that I color and highlight theirs rather than paying several hundred dollars to have it done at Fekkai or wherever. So, why not snip a bit. Make the curls come back to life.

And that is what I did. Without any sentimentality, I lopped off several inches of excessively long ends and ended up with what still is quite long hair, only now it bounces and springs again. After working on the length, I realized that the cowlicks in the front were still not working out well at all. What was I to do with them, I thought. Well, again, without fear, without sentimentality, knowing that anything I did would grow back as it has in the past, I lopped off everything in the front, right up to my cheekbones. I held with that for about a day, until I realized that cheekbone length still meant that my hair was falling into my eyes and making me want to wear it pulled back, which was what I was trying to avoid.

So, day three of the DIY Haircut, I snipped a bit more off the front so that I have long layers along the sides of my temples, starting at eyebrow length and falling to my ear that blend perfectly with the rest of my hair, such that it just kind of looks like long hair that falls exactly the way I want them too. It's the best my hair has ever looked, before or after chemo. I am thrilled. But I am also going to hide my scissors. NO MORE CUTTING! Can't turn this into a compulsive thing, after all.

Oh yeah, and I finally stopped biting my nails....for a while. I have to say that last bit because history shows that I will bite them again eventually. But wearing them to fingertip length and coating them in BLACK polish is working, so far, to keep them out of my mouth. Who would have thought that black nail polish would be the antidote to nail biting.

As for physical activity, I feel a bit lost. What to do, what to do. I have to admit something that I don't want to admit for fear of getting screamed at, and so I am burying it here....yesterday I did every seated posture up to Navasana and then did Kurmasana, Supta K (still not binding, but hey, it's ONE try, no assistance, first time out of the box since surgery) and Garba Pindasana (which has become incredibly easy post surgery, wonder what that's about). It was awesome. The only thing sore today is my abs. And get this - last night, I had to make many trips to the bathroom. It's like, woa, this Ashtanga stuff really DOES cleanse the digestive system.

But the many trips to the bathroom are one excuse I have for not wanting to sweat my ass off in Bikram today. I feel as if I am already quite depleted. I mean, I am talking MAJOR trips to the bathroom.

So, then, what can I do to get the endorphins going? I was considering going up to Equinox Fitness and seeing about a one-week trial membership and then taking in as much as I can in the way of stairmaster, elliptical trainer, recumbant biking. I hate that stuff. HATE. But I need to move. And walking four miles takes 80 minutes and fills me with loathing. You non-NYers understand that, right?

I suppose I could spend the day looking at house listings on the internet. Westport is CHOCK full of listings in my price range. Fabulous fabulous places that will get my heart rate right up there. But that's just dumb. I need to sell this place before I can really fantasize about Westport. Right? Well, maybe just a little....


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Is it just me?

Or have I become exceptionally one-note?

I got so bored with what I was writing about the wigs that I couldn't even look at my computer. I got so bored with talking about my plastic surgery, that, well, I couldn't even look at my computer. I can't even think of a decent second half to the latter sentence.

And Lost! Lost is so boring. SO boring. What is there to say that I didn't say, in essence, in my post about the episode two weeks ago? Episodes involving hallucinogenic trips through the jungle are boring. Flashbacks that do not enhance our understanding of a character are boring. To wit, the flashbacks last night regarding Eko. Eko was a drug-dealing warlord whose brother died for his sins. Yeah, we know. So, why go back and show us what an incredibly BADASS drug-dealing warlord he was? Why show us the smoke monster at this point when we have REAL life problems to deal with. Okay, fine, so the smoke monster killed Eko, and before Eko died, he whispered to John Locke that he and his crew of jungle-walking-trail-following Losties were next. I guess that kind of makes it a real life problem. But frankly, I don't care if Locke gts whomped to death by what looks like a giant tree root/dinosaur tail made of smoke. And I really really don't care what happens to Sayid or this new Nikki person who suddenly appeared out of nowhere, claiming to have been harboring annoyance at not having been included in the island antics and politics heretofore. From here on in, Nikki shall be known by me as "Fake Kate".

As for the real Kate, I missed her last night, and Sawyer too. There are now officially WAY too many characters on Lost, and nowhere near enough airtime to get to them all. If it were my show, I would just STOP adding new characters and stop developing storylines for characters other than Kate, Sawyer, Jack, Ben and Juliette for now, at least until their story arc runs out of steam. To me, all this storytelling that harks back to the supernatural (smoke monsters! sheesh!), as much as it sucked viewers in three years ago, when the show first aired, is just totally unnecessary. And all this backstorying for characters who aren't central to the current central storyline (which involves Kate, Jack and Sawyer and their being held captive by Ben and Juliette and various other Others), is just annoying and distracting and wastes my time.

I am TIRED of the mysteries surrounding the Others, and I would like some answers. For that matter, I would like someone to even ASK the questions. Like, couldn't Jack ask Ben the OBVIOUS question: If you're ill, and you have access to the chartered world out there, why not take a boat trip to some metropolitan city and get your life-saving surgery already? Why wait for a neurosurgeon to drop out of the sky, Ben? Why Ben, why?

A little mystery is fine. But if no one acknowledges the mystery amongst the characters, then it's no fun at all. Life is full of mysteries and questions that never get answered. I can live with that in fiction (to wit - the Series of Unfortunate Events answers, none, not even in the final book, called, appropriately, The End). But it's no fun at all if I am the only one scratching my head and saying, this makes no sense. If the characters are just taking the mystery for granted, then I feel all alone in this.

Other questions: Wasn't Desmond busy discovering electricity like a 21st Century Ben Franklin at the end of last week? What happened to that? And what happened to Desmond's psychic weirdness? We're just going to gloss that over? Just another fun loose end that will never get tied up? And what do Sawyer and Kate have to do with Jack's being coerced into doing Ben's tumor debulking? And why do the Others sometimes run around barefoot in burlap sacks? And when do they have time to read up for their book clubs? What do Sawyer's excellent conning skills have to do with anything at this point? What does Kate's criminal past? Why is the Dharma Initiative still even remotely important to moving the stories forward? Are we going to have to waste another precious break between commercials next week watching the Lostaways bury Eko?

Questions that I really actually care about are far more circumspect:

Why didn't Jack ask Juliette about their weird "white" shirts for Colleen's funeral? Why doesn't Jack ask Colleen where all the fresh meat is coming from? Oh dear, I didn't mean to imply that the meat came from Colleen...but jeez, any Deconstructionist worth her salt would see the connection in my juxtapositioning of sentences right there.

Soylent Green anyone?


P.S. I walked five miles yesterday, and I hated it. And it made me fall asleep really early. I might go to Bikram tomorrow. As long as I don't do any "crazy yoga poses", my doctor seems to be okay with me doing whatever.

Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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