Saturday, July 28, 2007

Me and The Husband

While I was at it, I thought I would show ya'all a photo of me and my spouse.


Also, DILF and TOWGA

This is the commentator from Boodiba's blog known as DILF.

And this is TOWGA, also in the cast of characters from Boodiba's blog. Isn't he purty?


More introductions, now with photos!

This is the blog persona who calls himself "Zee".

And this is Third Series Am I Sore's GXBF(Notice the painted-on abs).

Oh, and this is Boodi, herself, althought it is a very very old photo. It dates back to the days when she used to frequent Katz's Deli with Billy Crystal (she doesn't see him much anymore), wearing 80's style business attire.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Goth Fishing in America

This is Susan, also known as Samastithi, which is pronounced "Sah-MAHS-Tit-Tee-HEE", at least when I say it. Samasthiti (notice I am not spelling it in any consistent way, because I don't really know how to spell it in English. Or in Sanskrit, for that matter) has an eponymously named blog.

Sam and I have not always been on the best of terms, shall we say. There have been times when she has banned me from her blog altogether. I think I am allowed back now. She said that I kissed her ass enough, and it wore her down.

I can understand that, especially since she must be really tired, what with having to keep her really cute boyfriend satisfied (her husband does NOT know about this, so please do not tell him). This is Susan's boyfriend, Carl:

Isn't he cute?

Carl also has a blog.

I don't read it much these days because his stat counter is so sophisticated that I fear that if I read his blog, he will know everything about me, including my social security number, bra size and LSAT score. No, actually, that's not true. I just don't read much of anything these days. If I did, I would definitely spend more time on Carl's blog. Isn't he CUTE?? I mean, look at him, girls. That smile! That trout! Those suspenders!

Carl's blog is called Sweat and Fire, otherwise known as Morning on My Mat. And that is precisely what Carl's blog is about. There's another blog called "My Beloved Homemade Kayak" or something like that. You can find it on Carl's profile page for blogger. Definitely read it.

If I have failed to link to you, and you feel that failure is in error, please let me know, and we can see what we can do about it.


Laksmi is the West Coast, Shiksah, Backbendy Me

For those who don't know her, and for everyone else, please allow me to introduce you to my second-series-bending, voodoo-practicing, prolific-writing blog pal, Laksmi Vimilananda. That is not her real name. Her real name will not be revealed here, but I will this much: upon learning it, I was taken aback by its similarity to my own name, albeit, without any of the haymisha leanings.

Like many of us bloggers who have not earned book deals on the scale of the Washingtonienne and New York City Ho Who Shall Not Be Named of the Classical Drama Titled Blog, Laksmi first appeared on the blog scene quietly. But since then, she has developed a unique, fresh and witty voice, her blog appears to now have built some momentum. Originality can be sorely lacking in the Blog Zone. But Laksmi is anything but derivative.

Of course, upon reviewing her archives, none of this should come as any surprise. Her very first post invokes my blog, this very blog you are reading, as, in essence, the yoga blog that her blog will render obsolete until she sees fit to stop writing hers. When I read that, I thought it was a "tiny bit mean", as my younger son would say. But now, I no longer see it that way. I see it as the ultimate compliment that Laksmi came on the scene with YC in her mind as the force with which to be reckoned.

After a rocky start, fraught with miscommunications, Laksmi and I have settled into an engagingly bantering and mutually (I hope) respectful ifriendship. Or is that efriendship? In any event, I have taken to never linking to Laksmi, maybe because I don't want to share any of my reader, or maybe because I am just too lazy to link to anyone anymore because I mean, really, who cares. Technorati just sucks, so who cares how they rank us? Authority shmathority. Who needs it?

That said, I promised a link to the winners of the Caption This contest (see? I can't even be bothered to link to my own freakin' blog), which, like, NO ONE entered, except for Samasthithi, Carl and Laksmi. And maybe Boodi. I don't remember exactly and I can't even be bothered to check. And then, having decided that they were all winners, I am now beginning my linking campaign. Do they want the attention? I know Mrs. Laksmi does. Eh, who doesn't love a little attention?

Any publicity is good publicity, no? And the only thing worse than bad publicity is NO publicity. So....

Thank you Laksmi, for portraying me as Kundalini Barbie. In return, I shall portray you as Hard Rock Barbie. And thanks for keeping me on my blogging toes. If not for you, I might have just lost interest in the whole blogging thing by now.

Up next: Samahs-tit-teehee, followed by Carl.


It's a pitta thing.


Not so intense.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

That's mah boy...

You know you make me wanna....

(Shout-wooo) lift my heels up and
(Shout-wooo) throw my head back and
(Shout-wooo) kick my heels up and
(Shout-wooo) come on now
(Shout-wooo) take it easy
(Shout-wooo) take it easy
(Shout-wooo) take it easy (higher)
(Shout) a little bit softer now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now
(Shout) a little bit softer now

(Shout) a little bit louder now
(Shout) a little bit louder now
(Shout) a little bit louder now (ooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now
(Shout) a little bit louder now
(Shout) a little bit louder now

(Shout) a little bit louder now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now

Jump Now!
Jump up and shout now (wooo)
Jump up and shout now (wooo)
Jump up and shout now (wooo)
Jump up and shout now (wooo)
Jump up and shout now (wooo)
Everybody shout now
Everybody shout now
Everybody, shout, shout
Shout, shout, shout
Shout, shout, shou-out
Shout, shout, shou-out
Shout, shout, shout, shout (oh-whoa-yeah)
Shout, shout, shout, shout (oh yeah)
Shout, shout, shout, shout
Everybody shout now (ooo)

How come they still play the same music at parties that they played when I was a kid?


Good thing he was wearing his wife-beater

All together now....It's fun to stay at the....





what is it about trains?

For me, there is something viscerally satisfying about traveling by train. I love the way it breaks up a trip into manageable chunks - a drive to the station, the ride on the train, the traveling to wherever I'm going afterward. It helps that my time pressure is almost non-existent, but then, even if I had a specific timeframe, I think I would like the discipline that having to "make" a train instills.

I first noticed how much I love trains the first time we rented a summer house in Westport. We were not far from the train station, and I used to listen for the train whistle at night when it was otherwise quiet. Now, I occasionally hear a train whistle when outside on my back porch in the evening, and I wonder how it is that I can hear it at all, considering that the nearest train station is still a fifteen minute's drive by car.

I'm on the train now, and I am loving that I can read, write or close my eyes and still get to where I'm going. I feel for those who dread this ritual. I find so much peace in it that I believe it enhances my morning practice.

We shall see. Today, I will probably miss assisted dropbacks. In exchange for that loss, I will gain the ability to try the Laksmi-patented wall warmup. As Third Series Am I Sore noted, may the force be with me.....


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Backbending roadkill

Today in Supta Kurmasana, I got tied up like a teeny little present wrapped in a teeny little ribbon.

Yesterday, Mark asked me when I am going to stop lifting the heels of my hands when I jump through.

I told him, "When my arms grow longer."

"But that's never going to happen."

I smiled. Hmmmm.

Nevertheless, now I feel self-conscious whenever I jump through, and I just can't seem, no matter what I do, no matter what I tell myself, to glue the heels of my hands to my mat. Sir said to me not long before he left for India, "We're going to need some velcro for your hands."

In my desperation, I actually bought some velcro today. I have no use for velcor whatsoever in my day-to-day life. Yet, I found myself compelled to buy it when I saw it in the sewing supplies section of CVS. So, now I'm thinking about bringing it into the shala tomorrow for a laugh, since, well, since I've become such an asana comedian lately. That's what happens when you try standing up from a backbend when you're all stira and no sukha. I've got the strength, but I'm sorry, my backbends simply don't look like backward forward bends. They're shaped more like the top of Cartman's head (see Figure 1, below).

Figure 1:

Yeah, it's kind of ugly, the whole long, flat back thing. But since I am strong, I can hurl myself up now (thanks, Laksmi, and hey, I am not looking a gift squirrel in the mouth - I realize that you can't be that specific when doing voodoo from 3,000 miles away; it's just that it would be nice if my backbending could improve while I am learning to stand up from a backbend, you know?). Of course, I end up either falling onto one or both knees, or in the best case scenarios, on both feet, but with knees bent, hips back and head hurtling forward ahead of the rest of my body.

"At least you stood up," Mark noted, as I recovered from having flung myself forward.

"Yeah, like a MONKEY," I replied.

This got laughs from those who were lucky enough to get assisted in backbending today. Now, that's a good story. Mark came over to assist me in backbends after I did four from the floor and three drop-backs with monkey-stand-ups. But halfway through the first assisted drop-back, he said, you know, just keep doing what you were doing. It seems to be working.

I didn't think he could be serious. And just as I was about to drop back again, I realized...he was GONE!

Maybe I have to get there earlier tomorrow? I am sure it can't be body odor. I really have none. Armpits and jacksie (thanks again, Laksmi) are perfectly delightful, thank you very much. And if I get any anonymous comments that claim otherwise, I will delete them anyway.

Now, I am off to .... I don't know. I'll think of something.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Caption This....

Winner of the Caption This Contest will receive a prominent link to their blog on the wildly popular Yoga Chickie: Chicken Soup For The Navel Gazing Soul blog. If you don't have a blog, I will think of some other way to honor you. And you'll LIKE it.

Letters from Camp, part 2

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

I ran in the 50 yard dash and won. I played in the Basketball Tournament at Pontiac and saw Brett and Jacob. I didn't see Ryan. When I played We Will Rock You at the Talent Show, everyone clapped and stomped. You already have written eight letters to me, so you only have 9 more. Please send me 5 dollars for sodas.



Letters From Camp, part 1

Dear Lauren/Momy,

Plese tell Dady that you can't do rollerhockey until your 13.



Sunday, July 22, 2007

Clearing away the tangled deadwood

I wonder why it's only now that I've cleared away the dead lavender branches that the scent of lavender finally permeates the air here on the back porch.

I've been busy with gardening and other outdoor endeavours since yesterday. Nothing around here seems to be done correctly unless I do it myself. For example, I hired a gardener, probationarily, I suppose, but I had hopes because he came to me highly recommended. Anyway, we walked through the property, and I showed him things that needed to be done, mainly consisting of taming the wildly and unattractively overgrown hedges and perennials and the even more wildly and unattractively overgrown climbing flowers and vines. Until I moved in here, I thought I liked primroses (climbing mini roses). I had one in the city one summer. The difference was that it didn't climb all over my porch railings (since I didn' have a porch, literally choking the railings to the point where the railings have indentations in them. Also, the thorns on primrose vines are sharp as hell, and if they poke through the porch railings, then you can't place seating anywhere nearby. SO...I asked the gardener to cut them back and train them away from the porch.

What I came home to was a dead-looking sprawl of thorny vines coiled all over the ground. Worse, on the other side of the porch, some unidentified, non-flowering vine choked the porch railing so badly that it literally ripped a six-foot section of railing right off its moorings. The gardener tied it to a nearby pillar with some rope but proceeded to train the evil vine back up another nearby pillar. A day later, three-quarters of the leaves on the vine were dead, and I was here with kitchen shears, cutting the vne down until it too lay on the ground in a tangle.

My immediate reaction: phew.

I don't think the gardener watered the hedges in the front or side yards. So, yesterday, I just brought out all of the hoses that were left in the house and connected them together until they reached the front yard.

Again, my reaction: phew.

Now, why couldn't the gardener do that? Or maybe that's asking too much from a gardener? I don't know.

Similarly, I realized that after the gardener trimmed all the hedges, I had a lot of hosing down and even soaping up of exterior walls and pillars to do. Not that I didn't kind of enjoy doing it, but I doubt that I'm going to want to do it on a regular basis. So, whose job is that anyway? Should the gardener have done it? I mean, I pay him in man hours. But maybe it's not the gardener's job. I really don't know.

Then the thing that kept me busy nearly all day yesterday from about three p.m. until 10 p.m., except for a 45 minute bike ride at around 7: I opened up the gas grill and discovered that it hadn't been cleaned in like, in like, um, you know what? I am pretty sure than in 10 years of this house's existence, that it hadn't been cleaned EVER. I went through I don't know how many cans of Easy Off Oven Cleaner and completely destroyed the wire grill-brush. After awhile, I was scraping soot with a heavy duty spatula anyway. When it was finally fairly clean and didn't make me feel like I couldn't cook for my children on it, I discovered that the ignition button was broken. Nice. Thank goodness it can light manually, with a match. I like simplicity.

Is there someone to pay to do these things? I'm okay with doing them for now, but once my kids get home, I will be way busier and won't have the time to do this endless, obsessive, compulsive householding-related work. So, the what? Who does one call for such things? I have been a city mouse for so long, I just don't know the answers.

The H put me into a very nice Supta K today, and then he put me into another one, not nearly as nice, but still serviceable, so that he could take a photo. Well, really, so that I could HAVE a photo. I had to force him to assist me again and to go get the camera. It's a decent pic, and I will upload it soon, along with a video of me jumping through (never thought this would happen at all, let alone be accessible enogh so that I can do it with the pressure of the self-timer beeping). But at the moment, all I have is a memory card. The camera is now shot. It fell on the slate patio when I was trying to do a self-timer of backbending.

Oh my god. I just realized the significance of that. My backbend is so awful, it BROKE the camera. How funny is that?


ClearBlue Pee-easy

I just found this title in my unpublished drafts. I am not exactly sure what I had in mind, but I *think* that I had just seen a television commercial for a pregnancy test in which they actually show the tip of the pregnancy test being wet by a steam of, well, what else? I found it shocking, and heartily unappealing.

I mean, I got it. It's pee-on-a-stick simple. But do they really need to show the pee hitting the stick?

I'm just saying.

Update: OH!! I just found this on YouTube! Now you will know what I am talking about, minus the artistic license...


Beaten and blessed t-shirts, version 2007

Here is a photo of some girls from my kids' camp dipping t-shirts in the blessed waters of Lake Whatever It's Called. Afterwards, they will beat them against rocks. Then the t-shirts will lay out to dry atop Mount Whatever It Is in the Berkshires, beneath the warm Massachusetts sun. Please let me know if you want to buy one. They are expensive. But they will invoke for you all of the joys of the simplicity of childhood, which is truly a blessing, albeit one best appreciated by those for whom childhood has passed.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Just call me "Pose Ho"

That's all.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Only in hindsight

Only in hindsight do I realize how anxiety-ridden I must have been about today's colonoscopy. After all was said and done, and I was pronounced clean and healthy, I bounded out of the doctor's office and onto the street with an exhuberance that can only be ascribed to the effects of major relief...or major amounts of sedatives. I bounced around the city, chatting on the phone, meandering into stores and found myself in Grand Central, thrilled to be able to take the train home. Everything was thrilling, in fact, gloriously technicolored thrilling. I guess that I have developed a generous level of denial of health fears; I simply supress the feelings of anxiety when an exam is coming up. Some of it leaks through of course, but usually it turns up in the form of aches and pains and exhaustion. Occasionally, it turns up in the form of clumsiness (hence, the bruises everywhere) or forgetfulness (hence, the loss - and later the finding, thank you my friend, Lalala, of my wristwatch the other day). And rarely, it shows up as irritability, like this morning when I bitched to the doctor about how hungry, tired and thirsty I was, and how I wanted no part of their new-fangled, non-valium-based sedative. Did that the last time, and it felt like someone had knocked me out and then shaken me awake. I prefer a dozy, drowsy, goofy kind of sedative, thank you very much. He obliged, and afterwards I thanked him profusely because it really does make a difference to me. He told me that ninety-nine percent of his patients prefer the non-valium based sedative. Always gotta march to my own drummer, I guess.

It is sooooo nice and quiet here. This afternoon, I fell asleep on the setee on my back porch, with lewis curled up at my feet. Now, all I hear is crickets and bullfrogs. My windows are open, but there won't be dust and soot to clean up on the windowsill tomorrow. And no car alarms, no sirens, no drunk kids, no AA members drinking coffee on the church steps into the wee hours. How did I NOT live here all these years?

The funny thing about a big house - the dirty little secret, I suppose, is that with everything so far away from everything else, you tend to economize your travels within the space by consolidating your usage of the space. So, without the kids here, I find that I spend all of my time either in the kitchen, in my room or outside on the back porch. I never even walk into the other rooms, except to do the laundry. I guess that when the kids come home, I will expand my usage somewhat, which will be nice - it will validate the decision to take a big house. Right now, it just kind of feels like a waste.

Tomorrow, back to practice, which I don't feel like defending or debating at this time.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You told me so

Greg offered to start teaching me Second Series. Unsolicited. He just came up to me when I was backbending and asked me if I always stop at Setu B, and I was like, "What? [because I almost never understand what he's saying initially] Setu B? I stop at Setu B, yes." He then said that next time he would teach me some of Second Series - because it will help my backbends.

It's funny because last night, at a dinner at Pure Food and Wine (Matthew Kenney's raw, gourmet, amazingly delicious restaurant) with my fellow teacher trainees, I heard myself saying what I never thought I would hear myself say: "I wish I could do some of Second Series, just to make backbending easier."

Anyway, I guess people do move along faster under Greg's tutelage.

I'm sitting on my bed right now doing absolutely nothing. It's the first time in more than two weeks. I'll be doing nothing for the next 20 hours or so as I "prep" for my tri-annual colonoscopy, scheduled for tomorrow morning. Prepping for a colonoscopy is a bit like a cleanse, only Western medicine style. Basically, you drink a salty, fizzy drink, and a few hours later, you need to be near a toilet. For a few hours. And then you take some more salty, fizzy stuff and wish you would never see another toilet, ever again.

So, I won't be practicing tomorrow. I'll be under a twilight sedative, getting a flexible flashlight snaked up my tush. And hopefully, I won't have to deal with this for another three years.

I have to say, doing nothing is quite pleasant. I used to enjoy it quite a lot. I would have to defend myself to the H, who couldn't understand the notion of doing nothing. To him, it seemed like a waste of time. To me, it always played some part in every day. But since I've moved here, the work has been nonstop. There's always something else to unpack, something else to organize, something else to shop for, someone else to call about some service I need rendered or some arrangement I need to make. It's all been gratifying, creating a home, developing a garden, trying to be thoughtful with regard to the environment in ways that I was unable to do when I lived in an apartment in the city. But it has also been exhausting.

Now, I'm exploring the channels on the cable box, surfing the net, reading the blogs, gazing out at all the green, green, green....and loving it.


Monday, July 16, 2007


Saurday was Visiting Day at camp. I got to watch Adam kayaking (not windy enough for sailing, which was disappointing since he is on the camp's sailing team, excuse me, Regatta team) and doing a rope course and Brian performing in the camp's version of High School Musical (he plays the kid with the cello, except the cello is a flute). We had a giant buffet lunch in the dining hall, which is right on the lake, and then we hung around in front of the Canteen for a few hours before taking the kids off campus for dinner at Dakota Steak House in Pittsfield. I believe they have the only salad bar still in existence on the Eastern seaboard. Drank a Mai Tai, straight up, since I hate ice, and I have discovered that rum doesn't make me feel like crap the next day the way vodka does. So, that's the end of the Cosmo era for me.
After their Shirley Temples, straight up, since the kids hate ice too, Adam asked for a Bison Beer, as if he knew what it was. It was root beer. How do my kids know things that I don't know, and that I don't know they know?
Blah blah blah. I am so boring lately. I have nothing to say. I'm sitting on the back porch under the
pergola, looking at the newly shorn bushes and trees and my newly planted annuals. My asters are wilting pretty badly under the hot sun. But the petunias, impatiens and zinnias are doing beautifully, and who knew that petunias smell so yummy? Boring. Sorry.

Yesterday, my Rotating Composting Bin arrived from back order at the local hardware store, you know, the one that is next to the gas station with the sign that simply says, "GAS"? I drug it home (that's country talk for "I took it home"), put it together, smashing myself in the shins a few times or good measure and because I really don't think I have enough black and blue marks on my legs, and set it in the back yard behind a copse of trees. It's black, and it really blends in with the surroundings. But, ah, what goes on obsession of mine.

Yes, in fact, I am obsessed with composting, which is to say that I am obsessed with decomposing organic material. Obsessed. When my H asks me why this is, I can't really explain it except to say that there is something truly satisfying to me about sending my tree and grass cuttings back to the soil from which they grew and using my own kitchen refuse to enrich my property's ecosystem. If I'm not always "eating locally", at least I am thinking globally by putting my avocado and mango rinds to good use here where I live. I haven't quite figured out how to handle coconut shells. I can imagine that in the best of circumstances, their journey toward humus is a looooong and winding road. Perhaps if I obtained a wood chipper or an ax. Maybe I will do that, when I go to buy my shovel and my wheelbarrow. Of course, that won't be necessary for a while because I JUST started the decomposing process.

How cool is it that grass clippings, branches, leaf clippings, fruit rinds, vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grinds, cardboard, newspaper - they all turn into a deep, rich, non-stinky, earthly black soil after enough time elapses? Given the right mix of brown stuff (dry things, like dead leaves and paper) and green stuff (wet things, like food scraps, recently live branches, grass clippings), regular aerating (through rotating the bin) and watering (living outside the city, I now pray for rain instead of dreading it; snow might be a whole nother story though), all that stuff that would otherwise have gone to some landfill in Staten Island or wherever could turn into mulch in a mere few weeks.

Mighty cool. In my opinion, at least.

Lewis loves it here. I am sure he will write soon to tell you what it's like for him, a Bagle From The Projects, to move to the storied "farm in the country", where some dogs are known to have gone but from which they have never returned. Lewis, as he will tell you, is here to tell you that some dogs actually DO end up on a farm in the country. Or at least on a rural postal route with an invisible canine fence.

Meanwhile, I've been going to practice most days at Shala X, where things have been mostly very good. Except today sucked ass. No, it sucked the ass's ass. I was weak AND stiff. How's that for unfair? If I'm stiff, at least I should be strong. If I'm weak, at least I should be bendy. Today, I was neither. If my back cracked, which it did, it did nothing to alleviate the stiffness. If I bound in this or that pose, it did nothing to release any endorphins. It was a long, slow struggle. And when it came time for dropbacks, I asked Mark, "Dja ever have one-a-those-days?" "Sure I have," he said, "but on those days, I would probably be skipping backbends."

And off we went. To backbends. I wanted to cry. I really wanted to cry. And not because of any emotional heart opening bullshit. I wanted to cry because I realized that with a sucky asana practice, I must not be enlightened. No, that's not why either. What was it? Hmmmm. Oh yeah. Pain. It hurt like a mofo. It hurt to bend my spine. It hurt to press my chest out forward of my armpits. It hurt to stretch my hip flexors. It hurt to straighten my legs. It just hurt. And I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. I wanted to say, "I think I don't really want to do backbends after all."...."Um, no, not just today, I mean ever."

I vaguely remember this same sort of resistance in Supta Kurmasana. I used to arrive too late to practice to get adjusted. I used to dread getting adjusted. I used to feel miserable, like my collarbone was going to snap when getting adjusted. For a looooong time, there was this huge amount of resistance, physical, definitely, and quite possibly emotional. Now, the resistance has moved from my back body to my front. And I don't wanna.

I just don't wanna.


I think I'm going to take the train tomorrow and get to practice even earlier.

Two weeks til the latest tweak. Shall I be vague about it? We all have the right to be vague on our blogs, don't we? Yeah, I'll go with vague for now. Coy. I'm being coy. A tweak is imminent. It won't keep me from practicing for very long. But it will produce a small blip for a short time. And hopefully it will be worth it. My tweak.

Whenever I feel myself going under, at the dentist's office, plastic surgeon, wherever, I play an old Genesis song in my head that feels oh so appropriate:

"When you're asleep they may show you
Aerial views of the ground
Freudian slumber empty of sound

Over the rooftops and houses,
Lost as it tries to be seen,
Fields of incentive covered with green.

Mesmerised children are playing,
Meant to be seen but not heard,
"Stop me from dreaming!"
"Don't be absurd!"

"Well if we can help you we will,
You're looking tired and ill.
As I count backwards
Your eyes become heavier still.
Sleep, won't you allow yourself fall?
Nothing can hurt you at all.
With your consent
I can experiment further still."

Madrigal music is playing,
Voices can faintly be heard,
"Please leave this patient undisturbed."

Sentenced to drift far away now,
Nothing is quite what it seems,
Sometimes entangled in your own dreams.

"Well, if we can help you we will,
Soon as you're tired and ill.
With your consent
We can experiment further still.

You'll have no trouble until
You catch your breath and the nurse will present you the bill!"

Enjoy this beautiful day.


Friday, July 13, 2007

I can't fall down for standing up

I am tired. And my legs, from my ankles to my hipbones, are dotted with black and blue blotches, some fading to brownish, some angry and new. I keep promising myself that today, this day, will be the day that I don't unpack boxes, move furniture, plant annuals in big-ass clay pots. And every day, I find that I just can't stop. I have been in the city nearly every morning for my practice with Mark - his assisted backbends are the best, at least in my limited experience. Not only do I like his sequence (three all-the-way-down-onto-the-hands-and-then-right-back-ups, three half-backs and one five-breath hold), but his instructions and suggestions have helped me make sense of what it is I am supposed to be doing - the breath being of paramount importance, no easy task, no suprise there, and then an opening up of the front body, also no easy task, but nowhere near as difficult as inhale, exhale back, rock onto the hands with straight arms and inhale stand up.

The drive in is not bad, although today the traffic from a "serious accident" (according to my new GPS) on the East River Drive delayed me so much that I ended up driving to Yoga Sutra instead. Greg is delightful as well, and I had one of my best Supta K's ever - my hands touched even before he put his hands on my elbows. He asked me if I wanted to bind on my own. I demurred. I don't do that, after all. Yet.

Anyway. Where was I? Soooo tired. After practicing, I usually run a few errands before making my way back to my house. Then I do some major unpacking, gardening, organizing, putting things together (like my wireless router - yay!), and suddenly, it's well past dinnertime, and time for bed, which I nevertheless put off for housekeeping, laundry.

I know I need to pace myself better. But I feel this compulsion to get all the twigs just right in my nest. Of course, that can never happen - there will always be another task. But I keep hoping that if I could just get "caught up", maybe I could get a small respite before the need to add more twigs becomes urgent again. Of course, that will never happen either.


Today, after practicing, teaching and then registering my kids for school, I came home with the intention of crawling into bed and watching the entire final season of the Sopranos on HBO on Demand. But did I? Course not. Adam's room was calling out to me, mocking me with its unfinished-ness, with its winter clothing begging to be put away, with toys desperate to be placed on the shelves my bruised-up body had dragged up two flights of stairs the day before.

And then it was eight-thirty and time to leave the nest - to drive a hundred miles or so to visit the little birds at camp. Which is what I am doing now - driving, or rather sitting in the passenger seat while the H is driving.

Two days of enforced doing nothing. Hopefully, my calloused hands will soften, and my bruises will have a chance to heal. Maybe I will stop biting my nails to the quick for a day ot two.

Funny thing - I am so so so happy. And I miss my house already even though I haven't even been gone one night yet.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Oh yeah,

forgot to add:

1. My husband totally put me into Supta Kurmasana on Sunday. Can putting myself in it be THAT far behind? Don't answer that. Just let me have my little delusion.

2. My yoga practice is so totally off-the-hook lately that I feel that I must share with you just how very very very enlightened I am. My Primary Series is really "there" now, and so I have no doubt that in my next life, I will have far fewer samskaras, and I will not come back as a cockroach or anything with more than four legs. I am quite sure of that, thanks to the awesomeness of my asana practice.


I guess I've been pretty much unplugged for the past week,

and it's odd that I almost feel guilty about it. I haven't set up my wireless router here in the house, so if I want to use the internet, it has to be on my husband's computer in the upstairs den, and getting there in the middle of the day, or really any time of day is just too much work, when I have about a hundred and eight million things to do. Like, change the locks, have the alarm installed and turned on, which alone has been a four-part process, beat back the overgrown greenery along the perimeter of the back veranda, which is something a landscaper/gardener should be doing, but just try to get one to call me back, I dare you. Then there was the car inspection. And the floor contractors, one for staining the floor with a nice oil-based walnut color, instead of the water-based yellowish oak color, and one for installing a hardwood floor on the upstairs halls. Right now the floors upstairs are wall-to-wall carpet, covering plywood. The carpet is nice and plushy, but it will be destroyed by my kids, and probably by me in about two weeks. What else, let's see, hmmm...oh, yes, there was the leaky pipe under the kitchen sink, and the complete lack of garbage cans, which sadly, could not be remedied by a trip to Target, because Target did not have any street-side garbage cans with lids. Can you imagine? OK, let's see, what else? OK, there's the front gate, which opens via sensor, which is really annoying, or via remote, of which there is only one. So, there was the task of obtaining another, which is in process. And my myriad prescriptions, once carefully tended to by CVS, now, transitioning into the hands of the local Rexall. Did I mention unpacking? There is still a room full of boxes - Adam's room, and although I unpacked Brian's boxes, his closet has no shelves, which means that I now have another home-improvement project: figuring out a closet system for him, as well as for Adam because when I get around to unpacking him, he won't have a closet with shelves either. Wow, this is boring. Sorry. This is why I haven't bothered to blog. My days are as boring as this blog, and yet, they are strangely engaging to me.

Typical day: wake up at 5:30 a.m. to the sunlight streaming in, let Lewis out the front door, notice the day's share of wildlife, which today was a rather large turtle that had made its way out of the pond and onto the front lawn - it was as big as my foot, and underneath its shell, it was red, yellow and green. Wish I had had a camera ready. After I know that Lewis is busy, I go back upstairs, bathe, put on yoga clothes, grab a Diet Snapple and head into the car. An hour and five minutes later, I am at Shala X, where Mark has convinced me to stop rolling my pants up to bind in Supta Kurmasana. Whatever. It's not really newsworthy. Dropbacks are getting interesting because I am finally getting at least some sense of what I am supposed to be doing. And let me tell you, I have a loooong way to go before I can synchronize my breath and open my hip flexors enough to stand up from a backbend. But we shall see. I'm no longer the last one out of the shala, since I have to get there by eight in order to avoid city-bound traffic. The train was a nice idea, but it doesn't work that well for me right now, what with so many errands to run on the way to and from the shala. For example, the past two days, I have stopped at Home Depot, and that is in lower Westchester, and so it wouldn't be on the way if I had left the car at the train station up north.

Boring, objectively. Yet, not to me.

So, typical day continues with me stopping for some errands on the way home from yoga. The past few days the obsession has been potted flowers. Lots of annuals to fill up the pots the previous owner left. Impatiens, daffodils, aster, those are my favorites. A few marigolds and zinnias as well. I went through about eight bags of potting soil if that is any indication of how much I've done in two days. It looks very nice now. The next task is to spread some wildflower seeds around some shady trees. Maybe I'll see some shoots before the end of the summer, and maybe some may even bloom. If not, that's okay too.

Usually by the time I am done with all of that, I've forgotten to eat anything since, I don't know, since ever. So, I'll scarf down a sandwich, which if I had time, I could really enjoy: avocado, swiss cheese, sprouts, fresh beefsteak tomatoes, on multigrain bread. The produce here is outrageous. When I remember to eat, it's all about the fruits and veggies. Which brings me to my next task - finding something for my husband to eat. Since he is not a big fan of the nearly vegetarian diet that I have been following (I say nearly because I will, on occasion, chew on a rib bone or take a scrap of chicken skin; I know, very healthy). I've had to cook him dinner because if I don't, he will be very cranky, and he is already very cranky from having to commute 70 minutes each way every day.

I've also had to find time to put together packages for my kids, write them letters, put up a clothesline in my laundry room, take out all of the backyard furniture nearly single-handedly, attempt to water the extremely parched lawn.

My eyes are closing. Getting up early means being tired early, something I have never had to contend with until now. When I turn out all the lights at night, it is actually DARK here. No streetlights, no neighbors' lights: nothing. Me likey. I've taken to this country life like a fish takes to water. Except for all the errands and stuff that I've had to do, which I am sure will dissipate over time. I just really want the house to be ready for the kids when they come home.

So, yeah, I haven't been inside much at all, and when I am, I'm running around putting things away, or putting things together, or meeting with some service provider. I have not turned on the television since at least a week ago. I am trying to force myself to peruse the paper a little bit each day. But it's a struggle. If I have free time, I want to bike around the country roads and see the huge horse farms and the estates in the "Back Country", as the Greenwich locals call it. We're not in Greenwich, but we're less than five miles from the border, which is kind of neat.

I'll try to be more interesting another time. Right now, I'm just living the bumpkin life and trying to keep up with all this householder stuff.

And because you've bothered to read any of this, I shall reward you with the following photos of Brian, who is proving to be very much the Renaissance Boy:

Brian entertaining the crowd with his renditions of Tequila and We Will Rock You.

Brian (on the far left), rehearsing for the camp's production of High School Musical.

Brian, at bat, athleticism on display.

What can I say, I am a proud mum.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm alive

and living in the boondocks.

But I LOVE it.

Some people who wish to not be mentioned by name or title on this blog anymore are homesick for the city, however. I hope said "people" can learn to love it the way I do.

Many boxes are unpacked, many more still need unpacking. I am up to my ears in things to do, which is why I have not blogged, but hopefully life will settle down some in the next week or two.

More later...


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Yeah, no, not so enlightened today

I mean, it's not like I am totally at the bottom of the enlightenment food chain, I did do all of Primary today, bound in everything, did my backbends and my dropbacks. But I skipped out on the Shoulderstand sequence and went straight to the seated poses, to which I gave less than ten breaths apiece. And I even tried to skip out on the squish after backbends, but I guess Mark thought I could use it, so he told me to stay put. Then I TOTALLY skipped the final resting pose. I'll sleep when I'm dead. Or at least when I am done moving.

As it is, I was a half hour later getting home than The Husband wanted me to be. But I knew that it was useless for me to get home and add anymore boxes to the 45 we had already packed. The movers were coming at 9 a.m., and then all bets would be off. And that is exactly how it happened. Suddenly, our carefully inventoried 45 boxes multiplied to more than 80, since they boxed every chair, every painting, every everything that wasn't tied down. And we stopped cataloguing it. We're just going to hope for the best.

There are simply some things in life you cannot control. Asana practice is not one of them. I have recently come to believe, from the bottom of my heart, that by carefully analyzing each and every pose, the anatomical factors that play a role, by studying up on the vinyasas by watching videos and reading Graeme and Matthew and Richard, I can and will meet my goal of total enlightenment. And I will that I have reached my goal whe it becomes clear that I am more enlightened than anyone else. Which is to say that I will be doing postures that everyone else has only dreamed of doing. Or maybe not because if you can dream it, you might be able to do it.

To paraphase Rabbi Hillel, "If I am not MORE enlightened than you, then what am I?"
Considering the vast distance which I must travel to being "blissier than thou" (I am only practicing Primary now, albeit ALL of Primary, bitches), it must needs be that I get myself busy in studying up and doing R&D at home. For, to paraphrase Rabbi Hillel again, "If I am not more enlightened than you now, then when the hell am I going to get Pasasana so that I can start to catch up?"

I mean, hell, as Rabbi Hillel actually said, "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?" Or, as Adam would say,

Shit, I am just absolutely beyond impressed with my ability to combine the religious with the yogic with the real life references. I am so friggin' enlihtened, despite evidence to the contrary today, of course. Must be all that asana.


Am I Enlightened dot com

You've heard of Am I Annoying dot com? Well, how about Am I Enlightened dot com? You can plug your name into my database and others can rate your level of enlightenment. It will be based purely on your level of ability in the asanas, of course, because that's pretty much what we know of you. That and what you write about yourself here, although that is far less illuminating because anyone can write about devotion, being nice to bums on the street, eating vegan, practicing brahmacharya (although who writes about that? Doesn't make for very interesting reading now does it?), making pilgrimages to third world countries for the sake of darshan or karma yoga. But who knows how genuine any of it is, versus so much chest-beating, self-stimulating puffery? can't fake asana.

Today is the big move, and I am exhausted and slightly hung over from two kir's (old lady drink made of campari and vino blanc) at the little bistro on my (about to be former) street, Quatorze, which my Canadian (former) friends used to point out rhymes with a female body part. Before the drinks, there was a trip to South Norwalk to buy an Acura MDX, big shout out to the totally decent Devan Acura and their fine owners, Marc and Jonny, and their upstanding citizen salesmen. Before that was the closing on the house. Before that was the walk-through at the house. Before that was practice at the godforsaken hour. Do i even need to say what hour that was? Godforsaken says it all.

And it is with this tired body that I shall attempt some morning enlightenment today.

I shall report back later on how enlightened I am today after it reveals itseld on my mat.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Lost a little enlightenment today, but gained a friend in law enforcement

So, today I was forced to practice, if I wanted to practice at all, at the god-forsaken hour of six-thirty a.m. It was okay, but no major breakthroughs, and worst of all, I had to skip matsyasana through sirsasana to get home in time to drive to the closing, which is where I am still.

Hence,logic dictates that it must follow that I am no longer as enlightened as I was yesterday. Two steps forward, one step back. I wouldnt care nearly as much as I do about the physical practice if it didn't correlate with the spiritual journey that yoga set me on. In order to reach Samadhi, I am quite sure that Primary Series is not going to cut it. Maybe not even Intermediate, since it is, after all, merely intermediate in level. And my goal is to reach Samadhi before I get too old and arthritic to do the advanced series, because how will I become a siddhi without being able to get into astavakrasana from a handstand? Without being able to take gomukhasana arms with one leg behind my head? Without being able to tick and tock and kiss my own ass in a backbend?

I am not dissing those of you who can't do as many awesome poses as me. I just feel kind of bad for you all who are, by extension, that much less enlightened by me.

And now, I will share a story which proves that I am, not only the Source of All Thing, ahem, Laksmi, but also the Solver of All Internet Crimes. That murder-extortion email scam that I wrote about yesterday? Well it came to the attention of a police detective, who phoned me and asked for help in solving the crime. After verifying that the detective was not merely perpetrating yet another scam (I have seen David Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner, after all), I helped him out, the nature of which help I feel constrained not to reveal in the interest of protecting the innocent (myself).

Pretty heady stuff. Must be all the manifesting Ive been doing lately. Not to mention the chanting. I'm thinking of switching my chanting to the kundalini style because they do this chant, "har har har har har har har har.....(And on and on for eleven minutes)" that will make one who chants it prosperous. I will put my newfound prosperity to good use - using it to pay for private yoga lessons so that I may stand up from a dropback within a week, lest I get behind on the road to enlightenment.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Notwithstanding the contract out on me,

, not to mention the contract I have out on a certain house in Northern Westchester County which contract is set to close tomorrow, and notwithstanding the late our at which I retired yesterday evening after seeing the funny but wildly unrealistic-to-the-point-of-distraction and overly loooooooong The 23 Year Old Stoner, or as it is also known, Knocked Up, I had a really momentous practice today.

Those don't come along very often, and you never know when you're going to have one, which is a lesson in life and yoga in and of itseld. But today, with my body aching from packing up my entire apartment (that's right folks, YC does this herself, being too thrifty and controlling to allow a group of strange, burly Israelis do it for her), my mind busy slaying the fire-breathing dragon of thoughts that keep breaking free of their harnesses, trying to speak to me of town tennis, parking and pool permits, finding a tae kwo do dojo for the little worker bee who is currently at camp, wondering about the baseball scene in the new town for the sports star who is also currently at camp, considering the brown spots on my lawn and the packets of flower and herb seeds I have in my possession and what to do about all of that, spinning ideas about whether I can have an open compost pile despite the wildlife that roams the neighborhood .....I got up to practice yoga with Mark, who begins his third summer at our shala today.

Today I bound wrists in every Marichy. And my hands overlapped so much in Supta K, I wondered later if I had missed an opportunity to wrist-bind there too. Mark was fairly stunned, - think it is safe to say, as he stood there after my Tittibasana exit and said, "ItKs like you have a different body now. Not just from two summers ago, but from the last time I was here."

He was referring to the practice, not the weight loss, although at 107, I am now close to 20 pounds smaller than I was when I started practicing yoga on a daiy basis in 2003.

This ashtanga practice, it really has the power to transform a body. As for spiritually, I am obviously way more enlightened than I was when I couldn't manage Mari C on my own-I mean obviously, the more advanced your asanas, the more advanced your level of personal evolution, the closer to bliss you are. Of course. I mean duh.


When greed fails, next try fear

This arrived in my email today. It's the dawn of a new scam-era. The Sengalese Bank Account era has ended. The Tony Soprano Hit Payoff era has begun. Long live the scam!

Subject: get back to me immediately

This is the only way I could contact you for now, I want you to be very careful about this and keep this secret with you until I make out space for us to see. You have no need of knowing who I am or where I am from.

I know this may sound very surprising to you but it's the situation. I have been paid some ransom in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employer. It's someone I believe you call a friend, I have followed you closely for a while now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusations he leveled against you.

Do not contact the police or try to send a copy of this to them,because if you do, I will know,and might be pushed to do what I have been paid to do. Besides, this is the 1st time I turn out to be a betrayer in my job. I took pity on you,that is why I have made up my mind to help you if you are willing to help yourself.

Now listen,I will arrange for us to see face to face,but before that, I need $8000.

I will come to your home or you determine where you wish we meet; I repeat, do not arrange for the cops and if you play hard to get, it will be extended to your family.Do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation, my employer is in my control now.

Payment details will be provided for you to make a part payment of $4000 first,which will serve as guarantee that you are ready to co-operate,then one of my boys will deliver a copy of the video tape to you that contains his request for me to terminate you(I tape recorded our conversation),which will be enough evidence for you to take any legal action against him.i advice you be fast about this before he employs another person for the job. You will pay the balance of $4000 once you receive the tape.

Warning; do not contact the police, make sure you stay indoors once it is 7.30pm until this whole thing is sorted out,if you neglect any of these warnings, you will have yourself to blame. You do not have much time,so get back to me immediately

Note:I will advise you keep this to yourself alone, not even a friend or a family member should know about it because it could be one of them. Contact me for now on this e mail:

Good Luck.


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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