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Saturday, May 31, 2008


Ok, so more than one person has recommended yoga to me.

My buddy Shannon even has gone and gotten herself certified and everything to teach it. Dallas readers? Look her up, yo.

Anyway, Associate Professor (with tenure!) Treecup and her family belong this fabulous place out where they live that's kind of half spa half really nice gym.

Honey and I went with Treecup and child a few weeks ago and as we were walking out, we picked up the fitness class schedule and noticed that Saturday morning they offered a class called "yoqua." We all assumed it was yoga in the water and talked about our coming out to try it out one weekend. Treecup and family live about 45 miles away from us, which is no small jaunt when you're trying to get to a 9am Saturday morning class.

We had plans to go this morning that looked in danger of getting derailed because Honey has a cold. Treecup suggested that she and I go and check it out sans partners.

I got up really early this morning and picked her up in time to make it to "yoqua." I'm working up to feeling comfortable enough to try actual yoga and I figured I would try it in the water first. I'm fairly buoyant.

It turned out that the yoqua instructor had quit and not taught anyone how to teach it before she did so. We got "aqua fit" instead. We were the youngest people in the class and neither one of knew that the default fashion accessory was a visor and very large sunglasses.

For an hour we sort of jumped around in the water. It was fun and I liked our chatty instructor, though her chattiness was, to me at least, an indication of how not aerobically challenging this class was. I should also note that there was no yoga centering or anything what with the Katrina and the Waves we were jogging in the water to. "Heels down, ladies!"

Afterwards we spent some time in the jacuzzi. I am a little sunburned, so maybe I shouldn't be so quick to judge the bevisored.

We did some cardio, had nice spa-like showers, and then went to lunch. In other words, a very nice day, but I'm no closer than I was yesterday to yo/qu/ga.


Monday, May 12, 2008

What you get

I've lately been hankering for an iPhone. My current cell contract is up July 19th, not that I've got it down to the day or anything. I'd like to keep my number and not pay an early termination fee, so I have not yet gotten an iPhone. Still, I keep saying things to Honey like, "an iPhone will save my life." A colleague at work has one and today I was sitting next to her in a meeting just staring at it. I think it winked at me.

Yesterday, Honey wanted to shop for clothes. I do not like shopping for clothes. At all. Not even a little. Even for clothes for someone else. While she was shopping for clothes, I tried to occupy myself. I first went to the Sharper Image going out of business sale. To say that they were picked over three days from the end of their existence is an understatement. Fixtures and gift boxes and Star Wars poker sets and some REALLY large binoculars sat around in a store that was filled with despondent looking retail clerks for whom I felt sorry.

I then wandered into Body Shop, where I discovered that they have again decided to break my heart and discontinue the bath gel I love the scent of. The world of retail has littered my life with products that I can't live without only to then require me to live without them. Oceanus joins Coke Blak and original Fresca and Nike Long Ball Slip Ons and...

I bought some Ocean Lilly and can say definitively that it is not the same.

Finally, rather than shuffle into Old Navy and act despondent while Honey tried on clothes (though that would certainly come later), I walked into the Apple store. Oh, it is a bright and shiny place. Not in the Hemingway sense. In the bright and shiny and lovely sense. I looked at the MacBook Air. I wished (yet again) I had waited to buy my iMac until after the silver ones came out.

Finally, as if pulled by some unseen force, I found myself playing with an iPhone. Then, feeling strong and brave, I put it down and walked away. As I walked back over to the iMacs, I thought I'd mess with them a little. And, lo, there was a new product about which I did not know. It was a new Apple keyboard. It was silver and had no tiny crevasses in which bagel crumbs might lurk or lodge. It has pleasing slightly offwhite keys. And they clacked satisfyingly as I typed. I turned without another thought and picked one up. As I headed to the counter to pay, a bright and shiny Apple employee asked if I needed anything else. Did I ask him about an iPhone? I may have. Was I a little relieved when he said that they were sold out? I may have been.

As I finally shuffled (perhaps a little less despondently) into Old Navy to find Honey, I clutched my new keyboard in my hand like a beacon. And tonight, as I type on it, I can say that sometimes what you get is ok. July 19th will come. In the meantime, I have clacking. It's unlikely to save my life, but it's still pleasing.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Those dark mirrors

I've never been a big fan of Paul.  You know Paul, right?  The guy who wrote all those letters.  The ones in the Bible?  That Paul.

Despite my general distrust of him, I always liked this painting depicting him.

That's Caravaggio's The Conversion of St. Paul which hangs in a small chapel in the back of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome.  I'm a little bit of a freaky fan of Caravaggio.  He's always seemed, well, funny to me.  Don't you just get the sense the the horse is looking at Paul like, "What the hell are you doing on the ground?  You know I poop down there, right?"

I spent a semester in college in Rome and wandered around from church to church with my very worn Michelin guide to the city.  Always a bit of a completest, I saw every Caravaggio in the city.  It wasn't a singular obsession, I also saw every Borromini church in the city.

That's St. Ivo della Sapienza.  I like how wavy it is.

Anyway, back to Paul.  I don't much like to say what he has to say about women, among other things.  I should note that I come by my dislike of him perhaps somewhat organically.  An ancestor of mine was so enraged (relatively late in his life) about the Pauline perspective that he resigned his ordination to the ministry and began writing books trying to debunk the various epistles written by Paul as heretical.  The demand to publish these tracts was rather small, as you might expect.  So, he opened up a vanity press to publish them himself and kept it going with others' projects of the same type.

Despite my dislike of Paul, I've always liked one verse.  Really, half of one verse.

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face."  That's 1st Corinthians 13:12, if you want to know.

That was the King James version.  Here's the New International version:

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face."

Same basic idea, though the "through a glass darkly" is the bit I like the best.

I've always connected it to the Platonic allegory of the cave.

"Behold! human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets."

The difference, really, is that Paul makes promises.  He suggests that at some point, we will see clearly.  Which gets me back to not liking Paul--how can I believe in the clarity when the rest of it seems so suspect?

So, art, ancestors, philosophy, and religion aside, what's my point?

I don't like how what sometimes goes on in my head seems disconnected from reality.  I keep trying to turn my head to see what's reflected, but it's always just out of view.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The consequences of rancid oil

Last night I made us dinner while Honey vacuumed.  There is a freedom in the detached ranch that we never had in the apartment.  Vacuum anytime, night or day.  It's not a freedom I treasure or think about much, but it is a freedom.

I made us chicken curry and rice.  For some reason, the smell of the curry didn't appeal to me.  Honey tasted it and pronounced it fine, but I decided to doctor up mine with some soy souce and chili oil.

I was munching on my warmed up flatbread, which was tasty, and began to eat the rice and pieces of the chicken.  The chicken still tasted off to me and then it dawned on me that the chili oil was rancid.

Rancid is a very unappealing word.  Also an unappealing oil condition.

I stopped eating and for the rest of the evening felt a little (as my grandmother would have said), "puny."

I went to bed early.  When I woke up this morning, I felt compelled to brush my teeth again immediately.

I sleep with ear plugs in to keep dog noises out of my head when I sleep.  I don't like ear plugs, but there they were, all blue and squishy and shoved in my ear.  I started to brush my teeth.

Brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush and ear plugs rates as one of the oddest sensations I have ever experienced.  So odd I had to come blog about it.  It made my head feel as if it were vibrating independently of my body and might just float away.

The magical head vibration was a totally unexpected consequence of eating rancid oil.  Who knew?  Not that I'm going to repeat the chain of events, but I may just brush my teeth with ear plugs in on occasion when I need to slightly realign how my head and body fit together.