Monthly Archives: September 2007

JourneyMan

I watched the pilot of JourneyMan on TiVo last night. I liked it a lot.

Time travel stories have always messed with my mind. Star Trek was the first exposure I had to the whole time-travel-and-all-its-accompanying-conundrums idea, and despite go-rounds with the likes of Back to the Future and Outlander, I’ve still yet to figure out how to think about the problems time travel poses in ways that make any sense. I’ve read plenty of stories and seen plenty of movies that try to answer some of those questions for me, but I still come back to the whole “if you go back in time to fix a grievous wrong, then the grievous wrong doesn’t exist in your future to make you have to go back to fix it in the first place” issue.

My little brain can’t make that work.

JourneyMan plays a lot like The Time Traveler’s Wife. As in the novel, the main character of the new t.v. show, Dan, doesn’t have any control (that he’s yet discovered, anyway) over where or when – both along a time line or in his present – he goes (although, unlike the novel’s protagonist, Dan shows up wherever he is in his clothes and has yet to arrive at any time beyond his natural lifespan. Poor Henry could arrive anywhere on the globe at any time in the history of the world – from dinosaurs to the Roman Empire to yesterday, from Europe to South America to his own back yard – and he arrives butt-naked). Dan seems to be tasked to fix grievous wrongs, though, and the pilot was engaging and just mysterious enough to keep me coming back for more.

I’m looking forward to the return of old favorite t.v. shows – ER, Medium (I know, Gerry – but I like it), House, Grey’s Anatomy and the like – and am interested in a couple of new offerings, namely Pushing Daisies, Moonlight, Private Practice, and JourneyMan. From what I’ve seen of this show, I think it might be a keeper.

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Filed under fun, Little Bits of Nothingness, my oh-so-exciting life, television

Did You Hear That?

…that was me, sighing with relief.

Yesterday’s first session of Yoga National Guard went really well. I’m NOT the least green person in the place – I’m not even the person with the least experience (as a matter of fact, I believe it’s true that, of all the participants who were there last night, I am one of two who has the most teaching experience). There were even three familiar faces in the group – granted, none of them is a close, personal friend, but they’re people I’d stop to chat with on the sidewalk, so it’s all good. I’m just so relieved that I’m not a Big Mac in an all-tofu class, you know?

Yesterday’s session consisted of some breathing exercises (which feel stupid when you first start them, but really work out nicely after a short bit) and then a quick practice session, which I really enjoyed. One of the instructors (we’ll call her Cicely – the other is a lovely gentleman whom we’ll call David) did a lot of the poses that I do in my own classes, she cued them similarly to the way I cue them, and she allowed us to follow our breath – one of the things I really dislike about how a lot of the other yoga instructors in my club teach their classes is that they don’t move with the breath; the classes feel rushed and uncomfortable to me. I’d rather do five poses, and do them well and deeply and in rhythm with my own breathing, than do twenty poses in a hurry. Anyway, this experience with Cicely showed me that I’m not too far off of the objectives of this training right off the bat, and that helps with the confidence level.

We even chanted a little and, I’ve gotta admit, I didn’t feel stupid. I mean, if I’d been the ONLY person chanting, I’d certainly have felt dumb, but I wasn’t, so I didn’t. You should try it sometime – when you’re alone in your room or in your car or something – just hum with your exhale; you don’t have to OM or anything, humming is fine. The feeling of the sound vibrating your chest and face really is soothing and transforming. I’m a skeptic about stuff like that – chanting and “sacred hand gestures”

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(I gat yah sacred hand gestcha right heah!….oh – sorry) all seem a little silly to me, but humming with my exhale really does feel good. Try it and let me know what you think.

I’ll update more tomorrow – I’m on my way out the door for the first full day of training. My understanding is that the day is going to focus on anatomy and alignment, and I’m really looking forward to that: I focus a lot on trying to get people to figure out how to line themselves up properly, and I’m going to be paying close attention to see if I can learn anything new today.

OM, y’all. More later!

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Filed under yoga - theory and practice

Yoga National Guard

(Two posts today…)

I signed up for a 200 hour yoga trainer certification course.

I really enjoy practicing yoga, and I also very much enjoy teaching yoga classes. My training to this point, though, has been what I consider to be woefully inadequate: I received a one day training at the health club seven years ago when we hosted a team from YogaFit to come and deliver a workshop, and I’ve attended a couple more one-day sessions from outfits like AAAI/ISMA. Really, though, most of what I know about yoga – and about alignment and safety and teaching – has come from self-study.

Woefully inadequate, is what I’m saying here.

Of all the fitness-y things I do, I like my yoga classes the best. There are times when I really get into step class, to be certain, but I always leave my yoga classes satisfied that the class went well – a “good” class isn’t always a guarantee in step. I’ve also forged some pretty good friendships in yoga, and I’ve gotten the most positive feedback from the participants of my yoga classes: people have come up to me to tell me that they’ve made real breakthroughs in my classes, or that they’ve learned a lot about how to control their stress levels or how to start learning to accept what their bodies can or can’t do or how they’re learning to really breathe and relax. People have told me that they have experienced attitude shifts as a result of something I said during the final relaxation. They come to me to tell me that, through their practice with me, they feel better.

All of this thrills me, and I’m convinced that, if I’m making this much of a difference in some people’s lives with the piddling training that I’ve received, I could help that much more if I were trained up right.

So, with the sincere hope of making a good thing better, I signed up for a 200 hour training at a yoga studio in my hometown. I call it “Yoga National Guard” because it meets one weekend a month for the next ten months – and it makes my yoga class chuckle when I tell them that I’m going to yoga boot camp.  The first session is tonight, from 6-9:30, with the weekend classes running both days from 9:30-6:30.

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I’m approaching tonight’s very first session with a mixture of excitement and trepidation: I’m really thrilled to get started, but what if I’m not comfortable there? What if everyone else in the class is vegan and organic and lives a cleaner and more ecologically responsible life than I do? What if I’m not accepted because I’m practical and pragmatic and I’m in it not to get all mystical and airy-fairy, but because I’m interested in learning how to do what I do better? What if I feel stupid chanting? What if I don’t fit in?

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Filed under learning, Worries and Anxieties, yoga - theory and practice

Musical Mini-Chilis

We spent part of Wednesday afternoon getting Beanie hooked up with violin lessons!

Local University offers a music education degree program and, as part of their studies, students in the major offer instrument lessons to youngsters from the community. Both Beanie and Punkin’ Pie came home with fliers advertising the lessons, and Beanie got really excited about the prospect of being able to learn the violin. It was because of this excitement that I picked her up from boot camp Wednesday afternoon and drove her to the informational meeting in University Town.

We met with the director of the program (who happens to know the girls’ grandparents) and met some of the college students who will be her teachers for the coming semester. Beanie was fitted for a violin (amazingly, she’s NOT in the smallest size the rental company brought – but it was close…) and shown how to hold it properly. I’ve gotta tell you, she looks pretty darned cute with the thing (and the GINORMOUS boy who tuned her violin looked pretty darned ridiculous with that itty-bitty violin under his chin!).

Strangely, Punkin’ Pie is being REALLY resistant to Beanie’s taking up this instrument. She’s spent the last several days, since the flier came home, trying to actively discourage her sister from considering the violin as an instrument. I haven’t quite figured out what the hostility is about, but I suspect that it has to do with Punkin’ Pie wanting Beanie to do the same or similar things that she does. Beanie’s being different scares Punkin’ a little, I think – my guess is that she’s worried she’ll be left behind. It’s not an unreasonable fear, but it’s one we’re trying to get Punkin’ to release – she really ought to spend her energy encouraging her sister…

Anyway, we’re pretty excited about our musical babies. I’m hoping that Beanie likes the violin and keeps up with it – it’ll be fun to have little flute/violin duets when the girls start getting good…

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Filed under celebration, kid cuteness, learning

Aspiring to Be Like Gerry…

Seriously? This may well be one of the best pictures I have ever taken:

I stand in awe of the absolutely gorgeous photographs that Gerry of TwoBlueDay seems to effortlessly produce. His landscapes are stunning, his flower pictures are breathtaking, and he’s got a gorgeous knack for finding beautiful compositions in things like doorways and sidewalks. Really, go check his Flickr page out, then tell him how talented he is and encourage him to keep bringing his camera out…

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Filed under admiration

Long Live the First Amendment!

Iranian president Ahmadinejad was invited to speak at Columbia University on Monday.

I, for one, was delighted that the college invited the man to come and deliver a speech. There was a great deal of uproar and protest around the event, but the college – rightly – stood by their decision to go ahead with their plans. Sure, they were giving a very unpopular man a very powerful forum to speak, but they were also giving him a proverbial noose with which to hang himself in front of the American people. Columbia University was also giving their president an opportunity to deliver what may have been one of the best introductions EVER. Observe:

Columbia was also correct in allowing Ahmajinedad to speak because, as one reporter put it:

Ahmadinejad is the president of a major nation in a vital part of the world, and we should have enough self-assurance and belief in our own system of government, and in the intelligence of our college students, that we can let them (and our larger public) evaluate his words, whatever they may be.

Well, his words were, to put not too fine a point on it, dumb.

Did you know that there are NO gays in Iran? (I bet there are no left-handed people there, either.) That women in Iran enjoy the “highest levels of freedom”? That the Holocaust is a “myth”? All true: so sayeth the moronic leader of Iran.

Here’s what I think about this – I applaud Columbia University for letting Ahmadinejad speak. They upheld the tenets of this country by offering this man the opportunity to exercise his freedom of expression, and offered the rest of us an opportunity to see and hear for ourselves what a certifiable nut job the guy really is.

God/dess bless the people of Iran. With a guy like this at the helm of their country, they need all the help they can get.

 

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Filed under admiration, General Bitching, learning, social issues, strange but true

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten burning questions:

1. How, exactly, DID those pyramids get built?

2. What really happened to Jimmy Hoffa?

3. Was there a gunman on the grassy knoll?

4. Are there really aliens, and did they land at Roswell?

5. While we’re at it, what’s up with crop circles?

6. If we can hurt ourselves in a split second, why does it take so frickin’ long to heal – if, of course, we ever heal at all?

7. When I see a something – let’s say the color I’ve been trained to refer to as “blue” – are you seeing the same thing I’m seeing? Is it possible that you’re seeing the color I’ve been trained to call “yellow,” but that you’ve been trained to call “blue”? Do you hear the same things I do, or is my reality entirely a figment of my own design?

8. Scientists say that we can only use about 1/10 of our brain. What could we do if we could access that other 90%?

9. What is the nature of the Universe? Is there an “edge” to space? If so, what’s on the other side of that edge?

10. Why the hell can’t we all figure out how to get along and treat each other with love and dignity?

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Filed under Questions, social issues, strange but true, ten things Tuesday