Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
a "personal record", that is, Full Primary, including dropbacks in just moments over an hour.
Not that it's a race. But the fact that I could do it at all in that time frame - well, I'm just going to take a moment to be impressed with myself. I have no idea how I pulled it off. I came in feeling like complete crap. I had spent the day at the new house, which isn't even mine yet, watering the lawn (no small feat, considering that there is roughly an acre or so of lawn out back alone) and training Lewis the Bagle to use the Invisible Fence. Never mind the fact that I was totally trespassing, which fact completely escaped me until The Husband pointed it out when I came home.
He was all, "You could have gotten arrested, you know."
I was all, "Yeah, but the lawn was turning brown."
He was all, "What if you got injured on their property?"
I was all, "Heh? If I got injured and no one gets sued, who really cares?"
When he was all, "What if you were so seriously injured that we had no choice but to sue?"
My mind went blank. That's when I realized that I really am no longer a lawyer.
Anyway, it was lovely to be there. I decided on a place to put the Composting Bin. And I even collected some branches and twigs to use as my first layer. I am obsessed with composting. I am sure you will hear all about it shortly.
Lewis is a bit traumatized by the Invisible Fence, but that's okay. Better that he should be a bit intimidated by it than that he should run away. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to soak the lawn, which has the consistency of a thick wool blanket and is about as porous. I also gave some attention to the lavendar bushes, which were quite sad looking when I got there. They did perk up quite a bit from the hosing down, I am happy to report The rose bushes are, at this point, pruned within an inch of their lives, so I have no idea how they are doing. The lawn, which has large patches of thirsty brown wherever the sun shines the brightest, remains to be seen.
Did I mention that my entire reason for being there was to check the mailbox for letters from camp? Hmmm. Maybe I didn't mention it because there WERE no letters from camp. An entire week has gone by, and my children have not sent me one letter. I will have to make them feel very guilty for this.
By the time I got back to the city, it was already 45 minutes into the evening session with T, which made me sad because I have been really looking forward to doing dropbacks with her. I have heard very very good things. On the other hand, it was miraculous that I got myself to the mat at all, considering the resistence my mind was putting up. Damn mind. It had all but convinced me that there was no way I could even touch my toes today. Of course, it was all a big lie; as soon as I got started with my practice, it was clear that my mind had been playing tricks on me. Although my intention was to do only the Standing Poses, based on my mind's protests against being pushed aside for an hour or so while my body went through its paces on the mat, turned out that one thing led to another, and I was on the Marichyasanas. So, I just kept going. Of course, since it was past 7 p.m., I was on my own, and Supta K was bound only by the grace of the loop of canvas I had waiting by my side. And dropbacks with T would have to wait for next week. Still, I almost stood up from a backbend without flailing into the wall in front of me.
Came home and went out to dinner at Amber on the UES, where I discovered the bestest drink ever: Malibu and Pineapple Juice, straight up. I just made it up, and it is much yummier than any of their strange concoctions involving vanilla vodka and pomegranate juice.
Did I mention that I actually convinced The Husband to let me have a couple of chickens? Laksmi, I need some help here. I want to raise chickens so that I can have my own homegrown eggs. My family is actually, historically, a family of egg-farmers, and I feel the pull towards growing my own. Eggs. I think two chickens would be sufficient. But not in a coop. They have to run free, right? Yeah, I know nothing about this other than the fact that I want to grow my own eggs. Luckily, The Husband said we have to wait until next summer to take this on. So, I have a year to play with my Compost Pile and read about egg farming.
Just call me Farmer YC.
Posted at 10:30 PM
Thursday, June 28, 2007
It's an outrage. I send my children off to summer camp, thinking that they're going to be having the time of their lives, playing sports, hiking, doing ropes courses, camping out under the stars. And what do I stumble upon? A photo of my eight year old, apparently being made to work in the fields.
When my older son studied child labor in First Grade, he made the somewhat disturbing, yet adorable (because I'm his mom, and I say it's adorable) comment: "I don't mind child labor as long as I don't have to do it."
Well, perhaps the statement was prescient after all. Will we next see a photo of Brian fishing for his dinner?
Posted at 11:41 AM
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I am ever so briefly jumping on the YouTube bandwagon for the limited purpose of posting this incredibly visually engaging photo montage set to India.Arie's powerful "I Am Not My Hair", which has the unique distinction of featuring not only Barbie, Breast Cancer and Black Hair, but also Donald, Demi and a little Dutch girl who hates her bangs.
Off to see Jean Luc Ponty, grabbing that last bit of culture while it's still only a cab ride away.
Oh, by the way, the Upper East Side had a blackout today. But all is well now.
Posted at 7:43 PM
First mystery: why the sudden 33% uptick in my daily average of new readers (from in the 200's to in the 300's)? At first I was like, is it the whole Squirrel thing? Are that many people reading the Voodoo Queen's blog and then getting referred to mine via the comments section? The I remembered that I, Yoga Chickie, am the Source Of All Things, at least all things Blogworthy, or at least in my mind I am.
Hence, some digging was in order.
Literally, as you shall soon see.
What I discovered after about two seconds-worth of sleuthing (luckily, I didn't have to dig as far as the people who solved Mystery Number Two, see below) is that people from all over the world are finding my blog when they search for "Hatshepsut". Hatshepswhowhat? Well, for those who don't know that Hatshepsut was the "Original Drag King", I've provided you pretty much all the information you need to know about Hatshepsut in this here history-making blog entry.
But why all the sudden interest in a woman who was the only woman to become a successful Pharoah in Ancient Egypt and whose entire existence and memory was erased (or an attempt at erasure was made) by the jealous and, I suppose, slightly embarassed, successors to the Pharoah throne?
I mean, dude's been dead for like thousands of years.
Well, a quick google search of my own produced This Article from the Guardian Unlimited, which was published on this very day. The gist of it is the subject of Mystery Number Two.
Second Mystery: Whatever happened to Hatshepsut's mummified remains (since her tomb was revealed to contain nothing but the remains of dead geese), and what mysteries do those remains hold?
The answers were found in the form of a tooth that was part of the artifacts with which Hatshepsut was buried (Only the body was removed from the tomb. Silly grave robbers, leaving behind damning evidence!). When an unidentified mummy found near the empty tomb was examined, it was found to be missing a tooth (many teeth actually), which tooth was determined to be the tooth that belonged to Hatshepsut, and which was buried in her body-less tomb. Thus, it was determined that the unidentified mummy was actually Hatshepsut. And from that discovery, it was also determined that Hatshepsut was obese, had bad teeth and most likely died from cancer.
Speaking of teeth, here is Adam's favorite memory from Second Grade (see below for context):
Posted at 5:07 PM
One of the final art projects in Adam's second grade class was a watercolor rendition of "My Favorite Memories" from the school year.
Here is what one of the kids in Adam's class will remember most fondly about the school year, and, since we are moving, about Adam....
Posted at 4:54 PM
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Reading the responses to my last post, I can see that I am in way over my head here when it comes to assisted backbends. Make that all backbends. I am amazed and awed by Vanessa's tick tocking, and even more amazed and awed that it seems to be something that she has been doing for quite some time, without any drama or discussion, at least none that I remember on her blog. The last time I could tock (flip the legs back over the head from a backbend to go back to standing, via a handstand), I think I was about 17 years old. I suppose it is possible that I will someday tock again. I can already tick (go from a handstand to a backbend), although I can't stand up once I'm in a backbend, at least not with any grace.
Laksmi, Tova, Linda - it's all greek to me, three of this, three of that. For the most part, I have no idea what ya'all are talking about. Today, I couldn't practice downtown due to a bunch of annoying pre-move things going on uptown, so after I taught a class at Yoga Sutra, I ended up practicing with Erika, the Yin side of the Hildebrandt equation. Noneventful practice other than veeeeeeeerrrrrrrryyyyy low energy, and other than the fact that her assisted dropbacks consist of three hands-to-floor, unless you've done that part yourself, which I did (see - I can tock!), followed by arms-crossed-head-to-floor-for-five-breaths, followed by four half-way-downs, followed by hands down for five breaths.
When she came over to me for dropbacks, I was like, "Um, can you tell me how you do this? I've only done it with Greg and Guy and they each do it differently." Why am I the only person who has to ask this question? And for that matter, why am I the only person who seems confused by every teacher's Supta Kurmasana adjustment, other than Sir's? While I like the adjustments I've gotten from Greg and from Erika's assistant today, my favorite is the adjustment Guy gives because he totally doesn't expect (or want) me to do ANYTHING other than lie there.
See, you can take the Jewish girl out of the bedroom, but you can't take the bedroom out of the Jewish girl. Or something like that.
Posted at 9:50 PM
Monday, June 25, 2007
I just felt like saying that. Maybe someday.
But hey, I never thought that someday I would even be saying "maybe someday" about anything past Supta Kurmasana.
Sir is leaving sometime this week, and unlike the last time he left, when I was mid-torment with Supta K, this time he sat down with me after I finished backbends and gave me a sort of progress report. Or, a state of the "union", if you will (yoga does mean "union" after all). Apparently, my Primary practice is totally dandy, nothing much to really work on now. It's just the backbends, which is the bridge between Primary and Second. In some shalas, like Eddie's, there is NO backbending at all until you finish Primary, not even pressing up from the floor.
I have to be honest. I don't get the assisted backbends at all. What is it that I a supposed to be doing anyway? And why do some people drop back all the way onto their head? My assisted dropbacks consist of me standing with my arms folded across my chest, a la Setu Bandasana, and then on the exhale, going back "halfway", repeating this two more times, and then dropping back onto my hands and holding it for five breaths while being told to walk my hands closer, while keeping my heels down. Today I was like, "How much am I supposed to drop back when I go halfway back?" And Sir was like, "As far as you can."
Now that I think about it, the whole exchange made no sense because if I am to go halfway back, then that is as far as I am to go, no? So then, if I go as far as I can, how is that halfway? Is the word "halfway" the problem? Perhaps what is really meant is "drop back as far as you can without using your hands to stop yourself"?
I would be ever so pleased and grateful if someone could explain this whole assisted dropbacks thing to me, the different kinds of assisted dropbacks, and when is it that one is supposed to be attempting to stand up from a backbend, since no one told me to start trying?
Oh yeah, and another question...if I stand up from a backbend, does that mean that I am ready for Pasasana? Or do some people never get "the next pose"? Greedy girl that I am, I want to know...
Oh and another thing: we sold our apartment today. The money is in my account, so I can either use it to by my new house next week, or I can take the money and make my great escape.....hmmmm...which will it be?
Posted at 5:54 PM
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Today was delightful on so many levels, not the least of which was the acquisition of this beautiful China Cabinet for the dining room of the new casa. I have never had a China Cabinet before - there was never room in my dining room, so I have always had to be creative about where to store my china - the bone stuff from Limoge, not the day to day bistroware from Willams-Sonoma. My serving dishes have always been on shelves I am too short to reach, and I've been using a giant salad serving bowl as a place to store coasters. All of my barware and crystal fills with dust because it's out on open shelves.
I've been eyeing this cabinet for a while, as it's on diplay in a little store in the East Village that specializes in Asian and Indian reproductions. This week, it went on MAJOR sale. Apparently, not many people who shop at this particular store have the room for a China Cabinet. That' good news for me. Today, after practice (which went delightfully, first day of dropbacks and all), and then teaching (which also went delightfully, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the Husband was one of my students!!! He read my blog....), the Husband and I went over to the little store and haggled a bit and GOT the China Cabinet.
Later we went to the car dealership to check out colors, interiors and add-ons for our new second car. We're a suburban family now, or almost. So two cars will be needed - one for the Husband to take to the train station, and one for me to drive. No purchases were made, however, as we have a pair of longtime friends who own three car dealerships up in Connecticut, and we will be doing all of our car purchasing from them. I felt kind of bad knowing that I was wasting the car salesman's time, and I felt even worse taking his business card with his cell phone number. I thought about telling him we weren't buying from him, but then I realized that this sort of thing happens all the time, and it's just part of his day. Unfortunately.
Then it was off to buy a young coconut.
Did I mention how excited I am to finally have a place to store my china, glassware and serving platters?
Good lord, do I sound like a cliche. Next, I'll be singing the praises of the Magic Eraser sponge from Mister Clean. Oh, wait, I've already done that. I'm friggin Laura Petrie. Actually, no, I'm Lucy Ricardo because of all the "Luuuuuuuuuuuuucy!!!!!! You got some SPLAININ' to do....", not to mention the red hair and the constant quest to get "in the show". If only the Husband had a show for me to steal into. As it stands, the comparable "stealing into" I can do is to go get a job at his law firm as a paralegal. Or a lawyer, except I so would never want to do that ever again. And anyway, I just saw that on a rerun of Desperate Houswives the other night, where Tom interviews at Lynette's ad agency on the sly.
So apparently, I have nothing original to say today at all.
Sometimes that's a good thing though.
Posted at 4:38 PM
Friday, June 22, 2007
So, around five o'clock p.m., I got myself up outta my funk and drove down to the shala for an afternoon hit of yoga. And it was just what the jungle doctor ordered. I am loving practicing all of Primary. For some reason, my vinyasas get stronger after Baddha Konasana. Maybe it's because the asanas get easier. Probably, actually.
I was going to go back tomorrow to do the Led Primary class, but now it turns out I'm teaching it. It's better that way - practicing on Saturday always catches up with me later in the week.
I guess my kids are probably asleep in their bunks now, if they can sleep with all the darkness (no city lights outside the windows) and the silence (well, except for the sound of crickets).
Meanwhile, the Husband is like anxiety on wheels. He's very out of touch with his feelings, so he doesn't even realize that he's filled with anxiety about the move, the closings (we close the sale of our apartment this coming week and the purchase of our house next week) and about the kids being away for seven weeks. Instead, he's just stalking around the aparment complaining about the mess. Yeah, it's a mess. No one is really focusing on cleaning at this point. The focus is on packing. I wish he would take my class tomorrow. But sadly for him, he doesn't know how to set aside his anxiety long enough to do something good for himself. This is what I used to be like, so I can relate. My life used to involve a lot more suffering. With the yoga, I've learned to put aside a lot of my petty irritations and obsessions.
If I had one wish right now, it would be that my children are happy and healthy. If I had two wishes, the second one would be that my husband would learn to let go of the petty irritations and annoyances and enjoy his life more.
Posted at 10:32 PM
And I am feeling heavy in the heart, too heavy hearted to teach my noon class (thank you to my friend, Maria, for taking it on today), too heavy hearted to do anything but lay in my bed and wait for sleep to come. My kids ARE my heart. It will be hard to adjust to not having them here with me every night, every morning. I am excited for them, yes, as excited as they are - and boy are they ever. They got on the bus without the slightest hesitation, barely giving me a hug goodbye, forget about a kiss. The windows of the bus were black, so I couldn't even see in. As the bus pulled away, I waved, but at nothing that I could see.
I might make it to practice this evening with Lori. I wonder if I will. And if I do, will I do dropbacks with her? My body aches from not having had enough sleep in the past week, having added eight poses since June 5 (!), working harder in backbends now that it is possible to do so thanks to the intervening eight poses. I never thought I would be saying this, but I feel like I've lost too much weight too quickly lately. My clothes are hanging off me today. It's not a bad problem to have, I realize. But I do feel kind of schlumpy in my once-favorite ice-blue shift dress that now won't stop sliding around, the straps falling off of my shoulders, the bodice pulling away from my almost-non-existent breasts, revealing the dents and scars. Even my undies are kind of loose and bunchy - not the Cosabella Soire low-rise thongs, but the Cosabella low-rise hot-pants. Wish I hadn't bought them. They're too obtrusive, and they want to be a thong, if you get my drift. The whole thing adds up to Not a good look. I should probably change into something more fetching.
I assume that I will feel less out of sorts after catching some zzzz's. And that as the days pass, I will realize that my kids are having fun and are well-taken-care-of.
I'm also operating on a bad-dream-hangover, I just remembered. Terrible dream actually. I dreamt that Adam's best friend's mother committed suicide - slit her own throat with a razor. I was horrified and felt in some way responsible for not seeing the signs and stopping her. In the dream, she and I were out at night with a group of people, and she was wasted, a was I. She said something about needing a razor, but I thought it was to shave her legs. She left me a phone message that I got when I came home, and it seemed somehow "off", but I couldn't place why or how. Then the next day, I phoned her back, and the message on the machine was something along the lines of, "Hi, this is Holly. If you're getting this message, then I am dead. I cut my throat with a razorblade. Sorry." I hung up, and immediately started wailing for her poor son, her only child, the child she adopted from Russia from a dark old orphanage when he was five months' old. The rest of the dream was a flurry of visits to the boy, with friends of their family, figuring out what would happen next for the boy, making arrangements. The boy seemed okay. He was the one who found his mother. And yet he seemed okay.
When I awoke, I had a sinking feeling. My stomach felt knotted. I wanted to not have dreamt something so sad, so morbid, so vividly so. And even now, the dream is haunting me. I think some fresh sleep might do the trick.
Let's hope...because I have some work to do! Packing up he place, for example. And writing up a plan for two workshops I have been asked to give at Aer Yoga in Bedford (or thereabouts). I met with the director yesterda, and it looks like we're going to do a two-day workshop, or two workshop on two different days, depending on how yo ook at it, teaching Ashtanga to his vinyasa students. One workshop will be aimed to the beginner. The other will be aimed toward more experienced students. It's a start. So, I look forward to it...or I will look forward to it soon...
Posted at 11:32 AM
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I feel bleh.
No shala x for me today as I had my sixhundredeightyfifth school thing today, this one the fourth grade publishing party, which means the students show off their research and writing. It's a big thing at our school, maybe all schools these days.
Brian has a very pre-teen pre-flirtation flirtation with a girl in his class. She calls him Mr. Doughnut. He teases her about silly things with a huge toothy grin that runs from ear to ear, from chin to forehead.
Some of the kids requested a yoga session, which has become a tradition in this class after these parties. Not sure how it started, but the teacher likes it because it gives her a chance to reorganize after the party but before class starts again, and I like it because it gives me an excuse to not help with the cleanup. It was fun. Everyone always feels good after a little bending and conscious breathing.
Now I'm feeling down. Not sure if it is that I didn't practice and get my endorphin rush, or if it's the impending move or the fact that I am going to miss my kids for the next seven weeks, or what. I also feel horribly sore, especially the muscles on the back of my ribcage, and then next inseverity, on my butt, my glutes. Could it be that it actually is kicking my ass to be doing all (minus setu b) of Primary???!!! Say it isn't so!!!!!!!
Seriously. Say it isn't so. Or is it so? Is the addition of six more poses, and with them, six more chatturangas, updogs and downdoga - as well as a chakrasana and all the jump throughs - is that really taxing my body as - get used to it? I never would have thought there would be any significance at all to adding these relaxing rolling poses. But the vinyasas....and the backbending that follows, which has been far more energetic and enthusiastic thanks to the new six-pose distance between Supta K and the first backbend....maybe it's all adding up to a harder workout for me?
Or maybe I am depressed! Ever since they started showing those really sad commercials on tv for Cymbalta, you know, the ones that are all about "Who does depression hurt? Everyone.". And which emphasize depression's physical symptoms....well, every time I have an ache or pain, I wonder if I should get me to a psychiatrist for evaluation. Some might call it Park Avenue Lady Syndrome, not that I live on Park, but the idea is that these ladies of leisure have nothing better to do than get dressed up and visit doctors....
It is also kind of grey out today. Could be just a temporary mood downswing too...
Posted at 11:51 AM
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Ubaya Padangushtasana and Urdhva Mukha Paschima.
Backbends were delightful after so much recovery time after Supta Kurmasana....ah....Supta Kurmasana...I can no longer call it Supta K because it is no longer the only Supta K in my practice (Supta Konasana is also a Supta K).
With or without the thrill of new poses, practice was delightful today. Sometimes it just is. Then teaching was as well - seven students at noon today. Very nice. A treat for me.
I am finishing brunch at Sarabeth's with the family. So, i must go for now....
Posted at 3:41 PM
Saturday, June 16, 2007
OK, I know this is going to gross some people out, because it totally grossed me out. But I just had to put it out there. I felt compelled, due to the recent obsessive discusssion on some of the blogs out there about panties, which has nothing whatsoever to do with yoga, at least for me, since I don't like to wear that extra layer when I practice. Be that as it may...
I logged onto Flickr today and found that three people had added me as contacts. Usually, I peruse the photos of those who add me as a contact, if only to try to understand why they have chosen me as a contact. Like, what is the common thread? Usually, it is completely UN-apparent. Even moreso today.
Today, two of the contacts had photos that fell into the category of "not within" my "safety filter". But I had the option of clicking onto them anyway, and so I did. One contact's set of photos consisted primarily of (underage?) girls with braces and big boobs.
The other contact had only one photo.
Here it is:
It is titled: My ex wife's dirties.
For once, words escape me.
Posted at 6:48 PM
I look absolutely gawjuss. Or at least my hair does. Swingy, smooth, lots of movement, good balance. Jody said he'd post pics soon . Next month, I get to be the Single Process Color model. I can't wait! It's especially fun because I get to say "model" in the same sentence as "I". It's the one and only time in my life I can do that. As in: Hello, I'm here as a hair model. No, I don't have to pay for the hair styling because, ahem, I'm a model. Can you pass me that lip gloss, I need it for the photos - I'm Jody's model. Is there a discount on that product for models? And, me and Kate Moss, we're both models. Okay, maybe not that last one.
Posted at 6:30 PM
Friday, June 15, 2007
Tonight I'm gettin' the ole barnet (Cockney Rhyming slang for hair...Barnet Fair rhymes with Hair, remove the rhyming word, and you're left with Barnet....it makes NO sense, but whatev) cut and styled by Mr. Jody. Remember when stylists used to go by their names with "Mister" put in front? Mister Anthony was my first hair stylist. He gave me a Dorothy Hammill, also known as a Wedge back in 1975, and I never ever went back to him again.
Could you blame me? My hair has never been shorter than my shoulders since then, except for a brief interlude involving me, an IV drip and an unfortunate amount of projectile vomiting.
Jody, you should know - I am really easy in the chair. Whatever you do to my hair is nothing compared to what I have done to it myself, hacking away at it with five dollar drugstore scissors, colorig it myself with Excellence by L'Oreal, when every other chickie I know spends a few hours with a professional colorist every three or four weeks. Whatever you do can only improve it. And if not, there is always the ole ponytail holder.
The funniest thing about all of this is surely going to be when I show up and say, "Hi, I'm one of the models." I will not be able to say that with a straight face. Me and model in the same concept. It is just an oxymoron. I keep thinking of that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie is in a fashion show, and she comes out in these tiny blue, jeweled panties, and Samantha says, "Honey, you're a model!" For me, it's like, honey you're short.
So, now that I am breaking into the modeling world, I am wondering - anyone out there need a Restalyne model? A Botox model? A pedicure model?
Posted at 9:42 AM
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Turns out that one of my doctors is, in fact, one of New York Magazine's Best Doctors, several years running, in fact. Once again, my reading comprehension skills have proven themselves to be sorely lacking.
I thought it was important to make the correction at this juncture, but I'm not ready to say why.
Beware of falling anvils...
Posted at 10:06 PM
Take notice, Squirrel, that you've been served.
My friend Jody is not bad-wig-wearing, pancake-makeup-spackling, blog-pot-stirring, grammar-mangling, retarded drag queen. He is an intelligent, handsome, deep-voiced man who practices yoga at dawn, then works, then goes to school. If his blog posts do not adhere to Strunk's Elements of Style, it is because he doesn't have enough time to type carefully or use spellcheck. What he does have time to do is to translate the word "catvari" into sanskrit; hence the blog name as symbols. What he doesn't have time to do, besides proofing or spellchecking, is to spend much time blogging.
What he would NEVER do is to (1) put a photo up on his blog of an unsuspecting stranger for the sole purpose of mockery or (2) lift the contents of another person's blog wholesale and put it on his blog for the sole purpose of mockery.
For that matter, he would also never do what I am doing right now, which is throwing it down for no other reason than everyone seems to be demanding a blog war, and I believe that I am the blogger who is best able to deliver on that. To wit, the Boodiba Date-Photo Debacle, and the Send Yoga Chickie Some Swag Stir-Up, which related to the Send Tiff To India or Samasthiti Will Come to Your House and Beat You Up Aggravation. I do it right.
Do I not?
Posted at 7:35 PM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
New to me, at least. Well, not really new to me, but newly decriminalized. Supta Konasana and Supta Padangushtasana. LOVE these post Garba Pindasana poses, by the way. Love the rolling, love the soft stretching. love the denoument of the sequence. I get my strength back in force. My back gets a chance to fully neutralize before backbends. And my last task before backbends is Chakrasana, which I adore. I love pressing up with my legs as vertical as I can, landing without touching kneew or elbows to the floor and then hopping forward towards the front of my mat, Nakrasana style.
Posted at 12:11 PM
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Not the ones under my eyes. The big-ass ballistic cargo bags that we shipped out to sleepaway camp at 5 a.m. this morning. The boys get shipped out next Friday. Their room is half empty now, a quarter packed for the Big Move and a quarter business as usual, which is to say, a mess of baseball cards, Pokemon cards, stuffed animals (you must never tell them that I told you that!), rocks, and yesterday's clothing, also known as today's laundry.
Today was yet another dance performance, this time, the younger half of the school, but again, African themed. What's with the whole Africa theme this year? Remember that advertising campaign that was all, "I Am Africa", and featured lily-white famous people like Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker demonstrating their inner African-ness by smearing their faces with tribal paint? "Dancing in the Streets" is an annual thang at my kids' school. It is exactly what it sounds like. The kids dance in the street outside the school, which isn't really all that exceptional since the school lacks anything resembling an auditorium or outdoor space, and as a result, the street outside the school is closed to traffic throughout the school day so that the kids can play at having a school yard.
Hmmm. I probably sound a bit sour-grapesish. Leaving it and dissing it, one might conclude that the leaving it preceded the dissing it, when in fact, the dissing it is what led to the leaving it. I believe that my discontent started when the Husband and I donated roughly, well, let's just say, a significant amount of cash, to build a basketball court in the asphalt courtyard behind the school. Roughly a year and a half later, we are still hearing that work will begin any day now. My kids need better digs than that. If my kids are going to dance in the streets, it should be because they want to, not because they have to.
Maybe I'm grumpy about it because it's like the eleven-billionth "Be At School, Mommy" event that I've had to show up for in the past three weeks. What if I worked for a living? How do the working moms make it to all these events? Friday is yet ANOTHER party in Adam's classroom, although I shouldn't be bitter. It's a goodbye party for Adam, as well as Maclyn, who is moving to Switzerland and Marisa, who is moving to Colorado, and I am the one who asked the teacher to schedule the party because Adam is going to be long-gone by the time the last classroom party of the year takes place in the third week of June. Yes, New York City likes to keep their kids in school; it love them long time.
Dancing in the Streets ended at about 9:30 a.m., which is way too late for me to start heading to the Shala, which meant that I could either practice at home, go biking OR go to a diner and eat some scrambled eggs. Ah, breakfast. It's a luxury with the Mysore mornings. I took full advantage, setting myself up with the latest New York Magazine (the Best Doctors issue, and no, none of my doctors are in it this year), which I read cover to cover until I had to pick my kids (and their playdates) up at .... UGH .... 11:30 a.m. The other, um, nice thing about Dancing in the Streets is that it always is followed by a very early dismissal to make room for the Annual Ice Cream Social, at which next year's kindergartners get to meet each other and the teachers and administration. Space is at a premium in New York City, and on days like this, you don't forget it for a second.
I was going to pretend that today was the moon day, but for some odd reason, I felt compelled to practice at home this afternoon. Maybe it was the Young Coconut I slurped at around noon. I did the Yoga Chickie Ashtang-esque Sequence, which is pretty much what I always do now when I practice at home. It starts out the same as the Ashtanga practice, from Surya A up through the Trikonasanas.
Then at Parsvakonasana, I add a bind on both sides, in both A and B and hold it for what seems like minutes before doing the pose as Guruji prescribes.
I pretty much do the Ashtanga thing all the way through Janu Sirsa B, after which I do Compass Pose (one leg straight up behind the shoulder, held in place with the opposite hand) and then Yoga Nidrasana before Janu Sirsa C. CRIMINAL, I know. But to me, these poses are like Janu C on acid. Janu C, at least to me, is all about opening up the lower back. I envision it blossoming open, like a flower. And these poses that I add in there, take it up to the next level, really preparing me for what comes next.
All of the Marichyasanas are done twice in my home practice. And today, I practiced jumping straight into Bujapidasana. Don't get me wrong - I can't do it to save my life. But what I could do was jump my feet around my arms and then go right into it, without any dancing around. The going straight into it method actually sets me up for a much better Buja than dancing around and shoving my shoulders behind my legs.
Kurmasana is a long-drawn-out thing, starting with a standing Tithibasana, using a dog-toy with a round, rubber ring to catch the bind, then moving to the floor and doing the same thing. I had Brian's playdate come over and press my elbows together, and he got my fingers to touch and kind of curl together, but he wasn't confident enough to really push hard enough to get my hands to bind securely. And this is a good thing, because otherwise, it certainly would demystify the whole teacher thing, right? I mean, if getting someone into Supta Kurmasana is so easy a child can do it, then who needs an authorized Ashtanga teacher?
Finally, I finish that damn Primary Series! HA! It's my house. I can do Primary if I want to.
Oh, what would Guruji say?
After Setu Bandasana, I did four backbends, then held Shoulderstand for four minutes and when I got to Sirsasana (headstand), I held it for five. Well, three and then two - my fingers were sliding apart, and I wanted to re-set up. And now that I have been reprimanded by the Squirrel, I know that when I lift up at the end of Sirsasana, it is with a firmly tucked chin. No problem for me on that. I am as strong as others are flexible. If I ever get to Kapotasana, I will probably stay there for two or three or thirty years or so. But anything requiring muscles? No problema.
Then I was called upon by the children to win them some Kins Cash so that their Webkins could eat. Poor Webkins. My kids feed them burgers and pie, but no fruits and veggies. And they make all of their money at the arcade because they can't hold down a Webkins job.
Afterwards, I cleaned out the closets in the playroom, putting aside things like wood blocks and large legos to give away. We are officially past the wood blocks and large legos stage. But not past Lincoln Logs, train sets and really really small legos.
And now, I am blogging. Funny, I was going to title his entry, "Stingy" and write about two sentences to the effect that for some reason, I just don't feel like sharing. Ah, the best laid plans.
Posted at 11:24 PM
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Much much better Supta Kurmasana today.
Went to the new, later time slot at Shala X this morning. Got there 15 minutes after it started, thinking that the session was 75 minutes, just like the earlier one (not including time for finishing, which is another 30 minutes). As I was finishing up Upavishta Konasana, Sir told me that class was over 15 minutes ago. I told him I didn't realize that. He then asked me to make sure everyone got out of there, since I was going to be staying to teach the noon class.
I was all, "Well, that comes with a price. I'll do it if you give me Supta Konasna."
And he was all, "No deal."
Then I was all, "I was just kidding."
And he was all, "So was I."
Ah, the mystery that is my teacher.
Posted at 11:17 PM
Friday, June 08, 2007
Yesterday, with school being out for some city-wide teachers/chancellor thingy, I asked my kids, "Do you mind if I go downtown to do my yoga?"
"Do it here," they said without the slightest hesitation. "We don't mind your yoga, as long as you do it here," Brian explained.
And so, to the background of Night At The Museum and part of Charlotte's Web, I did my practice. It was good, actually. All of the Marichyasanas were wrist-binds except for Mari D, which was a "touch the wrist" bind, were I am grabbing as far as I can down the hand toward the wrist and then I extend my longest finger as far as it will go and "ping" when it touches my wrist, I have done my job. Kurmasana was downright delightful. How many people out there even really DO Kurmasana? Am I one of the few who actually regards it as an actual pose, and not just prepwork for Supta K? I really enjoy the process of flattenging out while still drawing my feet inward toward one another in order to keep my shoulders firmly underneath my legs, and in order not to allow my legs to splay out so that they start sliding down my upper arms. This usually involves me stretching my arms directly back behind me, rather than out to the sides, at least initially. And it really helps to have some nice mat traction for this, which is essentially, me walking my hands down the length of my mat, lining my shoulders up directly under my arms. Only when I have gotten myself comfortable with the placement of legs in relation to shoulders am I ready stop, breathe and be squished. Suta K wa assisted by Brian, who got fingertips to touch.
Today, was a mad rush though. I got to the shala as late as ever, despite the rule that no poses will be given to latecomers (this rule applies to me; I can' say it applies to anyone else), and I cut corners wherever I could. Well, let me just tell you something you already know: Haste makes waste, my friends. Taking a mere two breaths in each down dog of the Surya Namaskars is not going to release the shoulders, back and hamstrings the way they need to. Breazing through Trikonasana and Parsvakonasana without waiting for the delicious "click" of the hips is not going to make for an easy time in Janu Sirsasana C later on. And a cranky Johnny C is a kvetchy Supta K. Let's face it. As Johhny C goes, so goes Supta K.
Nice jump throughs today; those are getting way more consistent. I can pretty much count on them as long as I meet the threshhold test: Is my lower back open enough to do a close-footed full squat, true Indian style, as in India, as in the way everyone squats there. If it is, then each time want to jump through, I simply draw my belly in on intself, drawing my thighs up to graze my bellow, curling my tailbone under as if I were about to squat in midair, and then I look up, and as if by magic, my feet and legs flow out in front of me, and I can sit down pretty much gently. Nice lack of flourishes today. But sad, sad, depressing Supta K.
I just didn't feel it today. Yeah, I got my hands bound. But I could tell as soon as my hands weer gripping each other, that it was to be short-lived. What I felt was that my back was to rounded and my spine would press up against my hands, causing them to spring apart. I really bleve that this is what sets apart a good spta K from a poor one - whether the back can remain flat even as Supta K starts happening. If the back stays flat, the hands don't come apart for me
Afterwards, Sir told me that he's taking away baddh konasana and Upavista konasana. Oh. Well. He was just kiddin hough. I love Baddja K. And I am NOT giving it up.
But the title of this post was "A bit of a letdown". And that is what my failure to stay boudn as my legs got tied up is causing a let down feeling. I keep thinking about it. I haven't leg it go all these hours! That's not what yoga is supposed to teach me! I think thre is something to be said for failingto do the yoga work and recogn/......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....I cnnot jeep my eyes open. This is sudden!! My legs are restless, my eye can't stay open. Isai that oalready. gMore anorehte rtime....
Posted at 11:22 PM
Walking through Thompkins Square Park in the East Village, I'm bound to see all kinds of people enjoying the summer weather - park staffers, planting flowers or talking on their walkies, informing bosses that the parents in the playgrounds are asking for the sprinklers to be turned on; dog lovers and others seated on benches in the dog runs, chatting with each other with one eye tuned to their canine charges; sleepy-eyed squatters who currently call the park benches their home, skateboardering goths with their hair dyed shoe-polish black, their cheeks, lips and eyebrows sporting large pierced stainless steel adornments, and then the one I wasn't prepared for, although - should have been. A well-dressed man flipping through a magazine on a bench. Nice looking, casual, clean. Clearly on a break from work at a nearby boutique or some such.
And then there's me walking by, hair damp and curly, skin flushed from practice, a tiny bit of makeup to look awake for my noon class, wearing a pucci-print peasant blouse with a pair of khaki drawstring-front pants.
"Honey!" I hear.
I look around without trying to be obvious. You're not supposed to acknowledge catcallers, of course.
"Honey! You!" It's the well-dressed magazine-reading guy. I lift my eyes only a fraction, not wanting to encourage this behavior which is usually monopolized by construction workers and women in Diet Coke commercials.
"I just want to tell you that the print is fab, and I love the way you accentuate your beautiful eyes with the black liner!"
I'm beginning to think I might miss living in this fine city. Where else am I going to get advice from street-side queer-eye-style stylists?
Posted at 10:47 AM
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I understand that you are now offering convicted criminals the option of serving their sentences in Paris Hilton's 2700 square foot four bedroom luxury home in the Hills.
Point of clarification: I was wondering if one has to be convicted of DUI in order to qualify for the Hilton Housing (is that what the DOC is now calling it, by the way?), or if one has to take the additional step of violating their probation after a conviction of DUI? Or is there some other criteria altogether of which I am not aware (for example, starting off in the main jailhouse and spending the days crying and talking to one's shrink before being considered for a transfer to the HH Unit)?
The reason I am asking is that in several weeks, I will be moving into a new home. Lovely home, yes, but still, I really think the wood floors ought to be refinished in a warm walnut brown, and I am being told that this will require that I either postpone my move for a 10 day period, or alternatively, that I vacate the premises during a 10-day period after my move. Either way,I'm looking at needing a place to stay for about a week and a half.
SO, here's this thought I had. Why not drive drunk on the freeway in your lovely county, weaving uneasily between cars as I search for an In and Out Burger place where I can satisfy a serious case of the munchees, get convicted of DUI and then get right back in my car in full view of a police officer such that I can get sentenced to a week and a half at..... Paris's house! And of course, that will be the week and a half when I will need a place to stay anyway, so it, like, totally works out.
Besides,the ankle bracelet is HOT. So, sign me up, okay? Let me know whatcha'all think, okay? And if my idea isn't going to work for you guys, then I would greatly appreciate it if you would kindly tell me what a girl's gotta do to get to do time at Paris's Big House?
Very truly yours,
Posted at 11:40 PM
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Hell finally froze over. After 15 long months, and I know it was long for you too, I finally got a new pose! And another! I cruised through Baddha Konasana and got Upavishta Konasana. Hooray! Getting new poses rules!
I was not really surprised that I didn't get Supta Konasana, although I thought it was possible that I might, since Baddha, Upavishta and Supta all kind of go together, and it's not like there was anything for me to learn really. I mean, Sir knows that I studied these poses with Lori, in depth, and he didn't even carry forward any pretense of having to teach me them. He just said, "take Baddha Konasana" and "OK, Upavishta Konasana". To me, the natural break point would seem to be after the three Konasanas. Then Supta Padangushtasana. Then Ubaya Padangushtasana and Urdvha Mukkha Paschimatannasana. And finally Setu Bandasana.
But what the hell do I know?
Ever since practice, I've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Sorry for the graphic, vegans of the world. I had to pick up more random stuff to pack for the kids for camp. I can't believe the trucking company comes on Monday to pick up the trunks. It's insane. They're going to have like two pairs of shorts to wear for two weeks. Then I had to pick up Adam and get over to his last Tae Kwon Do practice before his promotion test. I usually don't stick around while he's practicing, but since he has to have his promotion test a week early due to leaving for camp before the school year is over (!), I had to endure two hour of Yaso, Daso, whatever, whatever and the grouchy stares of the head of the Dojo. It's name is a-MAN-da. I am pretty sure that makes it a woman. But, good lord, you would never know from looking at him, I mean her, I mean, him, I mean her, I mean, oh, who the hell knows? Anyway, we have to call it Man. I mean M'am. Or is it actually Man? Whatever. For those who don't know, this formality is how I came to give Sir his nom de plume on this here blog. But I digress. Ma'm does not like when I do yoga in the dojo, even if I am just stretching out a bit. And every time I change sitting positions, she shoots me an impatient stare as if to say, "I told you NO YOGA in the dojo!"
And just as I get home, I realize that I have to leave again to teach a led class at a gym up here on the East Side.
Oh, I almost forgot...I met one of my readers today. In the dressing room of Shala X.
"Are you Yoga Chickie?"
That sent the girls in the dressing room, most of whom were in the teacher training with me and who know about Yoga Chickie, into fits of giggles.
Very nice meeting you, S! And all the way from Austraaaalia!!
Posted at 6:51 PM
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
"If you want to learn more poses, you are going to have to get here earlier."
And with that, the giddiness begins!!!!!!!!!!! Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! More poses! More poses!!! I feel like a lottery winner but without all the money!!! The cat who ate the canary but without all that bird-murder!!! A kid who just caught a foul ball from the other team but without the hotdogs and beer!!!
Not even having to report to the jury department to tell them I can't serve in the County of New York because I will soon no longer reside in the County of New York could not take away the hop in my step!
Now, I just have to figure out how to get to the shala earlier....
Posted at 2:10 PM
Sunday, June 03, 2007
It can be done. And I did it today. I wanted to practice. All day, I was itching to practice. But this morning, we had Adam's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's which was, surprisingly not hellish at all, due to the fact that the party started at 10 a.m. and all of the undesirables are still tucked into their beds in Queens at 10 a.m.. By the time we were leaving to go back to the borough of Manhattan, they were arriving in droves. And not just kids either. There were plenty of adults there to play. Oh well. Hope they had fun eating their junk food and spending a hundred bucks on arcade games!
Then we had playdates for most of the afternoon until Adam had his skateboard lesson with, let's just call him, "Dude". Dude was such the dude, and a good teacher at that. Adam learned to toe-turn. Heel-turning is a bit more difficult. Maybe he will get it at tomorrow's lesson. Is that weird to take skateboarding lessons? I just realized that it might sound weird. No one ever took skateboarding lessons back when I was a kid. But now, THAT sounds weird. How can you skateboard without lessons? Would you ski without lessons? Or play tennis without lessons? So, skateboarding...must involve lessons. I guess...?
Anyway, by the time we finished with that, it was time to race home, take my bath (must take one of those every day, it seems) and get ready for dinner with the in-laws because it was Yoga Chickie's Husband's Birthday!!! Sad to say, I actually FORGOT that it was his birthday when I woke up this morning. Last night we went out to Stanton Social with two other couples, and we did the whole obnoxious "Happy Birthday"/candle with cupcakes thing, so by the time I woke up this morning, I suppose I had kind of put the birthday behind me.
Stanton Social ROCKS, by the way. BEST food. Everything is served as little nibbles. There are no entrees - just little bites of things. And dessert was insane. I never even eat dessert, not being much of the sweet-toothy one. But last night, we had little shots of chocolate malteds and a plate of "afterschool snacks" (homemade twinkies, ding-dongs and something peanut-buttery that I don't recall from my afterschool days). So, how could I resist?
Our dinner started at 7:30 p.m., since we are all old foagies with children who need our undivided attention starting at like seven a.m. So, we were saying that it's almost like we were eating at Stanton Social in a different dimension from, say, the Boodibas of the world, who wander in after 10 p.m. and mingle with others who have never gained and lost fifty pounds of baby weight in one year and who don't drive around the city in SUV's.
So, yeah, I managed to squeeze in all of the seated poses and none of the standing poses, and not a single Sun Salutation between skateboarding and dinner, because I basically had to squeeze it in while I was taking a bath. So, after I let the water out, I did all my seated poses up to Bujapidasana. At that point, I got out of the bath and did Buja and the Kurmasanas on my bedroom floor with my 10-year old assisting. He got my fingers to hook in Supta K. Then I quickly rocked through the rest of the "K's" (thanks for pointing that out, Laksmi), threw on a sundress and walked out into the rain.
I am soooo excited to go to bed tonight because I just put on some brand new sheets. They're Egyptian cotton and super silky, which I especially love in the summer because the silkiness reads as cool, at least on my skin.
Posted at 10:36 PM
Friday, June 01, 2007
Moon days can be such a downer.
I took my moon day yesterday because it seemed reasonable to do so. After all, Yoga Sutra considered yesterday to be the moon day. And besides, I didn't have any time to practice yesterday. Yes, despite that I am quite the lady of leisure, there was actually a day in which I was so booked with activities and obligations that practice became an impossibility. First, there was the Fourth Grade Band Concert at school. Then there was a doctor's appointment and a related lab visit that took up the rest of the morning. Immediately after, I had a chiropractor appointment. And that left me just enough time to swing home, grab Brian's tennis raquet, pick him up from a playdate and get him to his tennis lesson. While he had his lesson, I sat with my papers spread around me and made all those annoying phone calls that I hate to make that have been piling up all week (like, calls to my dental insurance company asking them why they considered only $289 of a $400 bill to be a "covered expense"....of course, I already knew that the answer was "beyond the bounds of reasonable and customary"....). As soon as tennis was over, it was time to pick Adam up from his after school activiy. And then it was dinner time.
Despite the flurry of activity and productivity, I was feeling rather gloomy. I am starting to worry about how much I am going to miss living in New York City when I move up to the country. I suppose that if you don't have at least some degree of sadness over leaving whatever it is you're leaving, then it might be that you're actually running away from something. So, I guess I am not running away from NYC. I am making a move that I consider to be right for my family. And I am excited about all that fresh air and open space. But I am also scared. What if I feel all lost and at loose ends out there, where instead of buildings, you see trees, and instead of people, you see stone fences and specimen plantings? What if I am bored? What if I absolutely hate it? What if no one wants to meet the new mom in town?
What if no one talks to me in study hall? What if no one plays with me at recess?
Oh wait, this is now. I guess old habits die hard.
I also spent time yesterday feeling sad about no longer being a "baby mom". I don't obsess of strollers and babyproofing. I'm long past the What to Expect and Touchpoints years, and I read People and Life & Style rather than Parents Magazine. And that's not the worst of it. The worst of it is that I am 10 years older now than I was when I was one of the rosy-cheeked, perpetually anxious stroller-pushing girls that walk around the streets of my neighborhood. Yeah, I am happy, WAY happy to be 41, to have made it to 41 when there were times about five years ago when I was forced to consider the possibility that I might not ever see 40. And I am happy that my children are growing into themselves, becoming the people that they are, and the people that they will be. But I felt sad yesterday.
I remember when I was in the seventh grade, and I felt the same quality of sadness as I stood on a soccer field and thought about the fact that I was no longer a "kid". I was happy to be growing up, but I felt these pangs of sadness that I was no longer a little girl.
The downer lasted into this morning when I woke up and realized that I was too tired to practice. I still had to teach my led class at noon. But there was no way I was going to motivate to practice beforehand. If it wasn't for an encouraging email from Vanessa (Mindbending, not Dinnerland), I probably would have continued my downward spiral. So, I taught, and then I got out my mat.
I did a few Sun Salutations, but I wasn't feeling it. I decided to put on some music (I had brought my iPod just in case), but it was hard to find music that matched my mood. Eventually, I settled on...what else,but the Blues. I have like four different versions of "Aint No Sunshine" by Bill Withers, and I played them all in a row. Believe it or not, the most awesome version of this tune is by none other than David "Partridge Family" Cassidy. His voice is incredible, and the arrangement is gorgeous. But Sting also does a nice version with David Sanborn accompanying. There was also "This Night" by Black Lab,which is not exactly blues, but more like alterna-bluesy. Same with A3's "Woke Up This Morning (Got Myself a Gun)".
What happened was that I didn't want to practice yoga at all. I wanted to dance. And so, I did. And then after a time, I found myself wanting to practie. And so, I did. And by the time I was done, I was the happy version of myself again.
Am I so addicted to moving my body that I suffer from withdrawal if I miss a single day of it?
I ended up not getting uptown until past 4 p.m., at which point I had to shower and change and get Brian to P.S. 6 for the Fourth Grade Dance Performance. And, well, all I can say is WOW. The Fourth Grade Dance Program at our school (not P.S. 6 - we were just using their awesomely big auditorium) is run by the National Dance Institute. NDI has been rehearsing with the fourth graders for the entire school year, choreographing the most amazing dance performance I could have ever imagined. It was seriously professional enough to be, well, professional. I would have paid good money to see it, and let me tell you, this has nothing to do with the fact that my kid was in it. It was really amazing choreography and really amazing dancing. The theme was Africa, and the costumes were bright, primary colors. The sets were these huge, amazing, deeply saturated-color murals. The children were exhuberant.
And now, finally, I am home. Exhausted. Happier than I was yesterday.
Posted at 9:26 PM
She is not in NYC. A good stat counter is pretty nifty that way. It can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt where a reader is when both they read your blog and they comment on it.
Cheri is in Seattle.
I bring this up only because Cheri's tone on her blog and her comments on mine have raised some red flags lately amongst someone who actually does have a degree in psychology. There was some concern (based on all of the references to Yoga Chickie in Cheri's blog and the increasingly provocative comments - not sexually provocative, but generally provocative - on my blog coming from her), that Cheri actually IS in NYC and posed some sort of threat to my well-being, let's just say.
She is not in NYC though.
She is in Seattle.
And it appears that she knows that the jig is up.
Posted at 7:37 AM
VISIT ME AT MY NEW ADDRESS, YA'ALL!
- Yoga Chickie
- 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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