Friday, April 30, 2010

Yoga, Flip-Flops and Guacamole

I decided to go ahead and get off my ass and go to yoga.  In the end, i chose to go, because, even though i hate to exercise and i especially hate women who exercise and have little boy hips, i can go to yoga in my flip flops. There really is something to getting dressed for a workout by putting on your flops that makes you think, this is not gonna be that bad.  My yoga pants are pretty flattering, too.  There is a nice seam across the middle of my rear that makes it look half the size it is.  Another added incentive to dressing for yoga.

Last week, I went to Pat's class for the first time in about a year. I think after I ran (okay, more like waddled) the half marathon, my body decided that it completed a year's worth of the exercise it needed.  Now, the year is over (last weekend was the Country Music Marathon) and its time to get back to work.  Unfortunately,  Pat didn't get the memo that this was my first time back and she decided to try out something I'd like to refer to as Yoga Torture.  I left after 45 minutes of doing every fourth pose.  I think she got confused and thought she was teaching the aerobics class. We sat in "chair" for 3 minutes, same with "plank". Like I said, I walked out and went to Kroger to buy some chips and dip.

This week was much better, though. After being convinced by some Facebook friendly-fire, I got motivated to lace up my flip-flops and head in.  Pat was much nicer today and remembered that yoga isn't really about exercise, but about pretending to.  Breathing loudly while standing in "Warrior 1" is definitely my kind of workout.  Half way through the hour we laid on our backs and centered our minds.  I particularly enjoy the part where we relax are hips and let our navels collapse. It's really tough work.  I also love doing "The Swan".  I get to look at my smartly pedicured toes, over and over.

There is one girl in class that takes Yoga a bit too seriously, though, and I am debating whether or not to tell her.  She exhales like an exploding tire and I wonder if that can't be good for her.  She looks great in her yoga pants, too. She stands in front with all the other skinny girls who have those little boy hips I mentioned.  But, our instructor, Pat, has healthy hips, so I can keep going without too much inner criticism.

That's what yoga is all about, anyways: Quieting that inner critic so balance happens, inside and out.  If I can just get them to serve guacamole during class, I think I will be able to find perfect peace.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why I love Tina Fey

I mean, who doesn't love Tina Fey, really? But, I just wanted to write about her.  She is one of my modern day heros.  She is an archetype of the 21st century woman. She is a writer, actor, comedian, and producer. She  was the first female head writer for Saturday Night Live. And she is funny as hell. She is an amazing example of a woman who has achieved success without the expense of her femininity. 

I just spent half an hour googling about her life.  How did she know herself so well that she went directly from college (after getting her BA in drama) to taking classes and then trying out for the improv group where many of the comedians from SNL got there start? I think I'm jealous.  I wanna be a writer for SNL. I wanna write my own screenplay called Mean Girls. 

I wanna tell jokes about how girls should where cups, too, when they play sports. It hurts just as bad for us to get popped in the crotch.  It's even more embarrassing, though.  Guys get to roll around on the ground, recovering. Girls have to waddle to the sidelines and act like they twisted their ankle, or something.  I got nailed in the who-who one time by a soccer ball and the pain was so intense it radiated to my nipples. Thought they were gonna shoot right off my chest.  Of course, I just stood there, trying to catch my breath, waiting for the pain to subside. I was left to wonder, once again, if it was possible to break your vagina.  See, if I was Tina Fey, I could say that and people would laugh. I bet her mother didn't call her, "My Little Truck-Driver." Or maybe she did, but it was meant as a compliment. 

I love Tina Fey. I love her so much I want to marry her.  


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I adore the new show Parenthood. I cry every episode. Other than the fact that everyone has amazing houses to live in, the characters are all totally relatable.  The family dramas are very close to home. The sibling rivalries, financial crises, sexual dysfunctions, mental health issues with the kids, competitiveness with the children, etc.  They handle all of it head on and with a sense of humor.  

I gasp every episode at least one time with how "head on" they face some hot button topics.  In the episode entitled "What's going on down there?", they lightly tackle the generation gap between the women who landscape and those who "go all chia pet".   In another episode, the eldest brother and his black sheep sister discuss the integrity of "faking it" after the brother realizes that his wife "fakes it." The sister explains gently that it really is more of an act of compassion than anything else. She explains its like a "Thank you for trying. Come again soon." 

Anyway, check it out on I think you'll find it amusing at the very least. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Motorcycle Memories

When he called, I was expecting a quick lunch at Puckett’s downtown. That’s feels like our usual place now, even though I think we’ve only been there once together.  But, then at one o’clock, I hear the familiar rumble of his Harley pulling up in front of my house.  I could recognize the sound of Dad’s bike coming from two blocks away. When I realized we’d be taking his bike, my stomach did a quick flip-flop. I hadn’t been on a motorcycle since Ellie was born, 9 years ago.  Not that I had many opportunities to decline a ride, but once I had a baby to take care of, motorcycles made me nervous.

Dad gave me a few options and we decided on the Loveless CafĂ©.  I’d never been there, even though it’s like a Nashville hotspot.  I climbed on, worrying that my older, more hefty, middle-aged version of myself would be more than Dad could handle on his bike.  I played the scene of Dad losing his balance and us crashing.  When my brain made the mental check that it seemed unlikely, he revved the motor and we took off.

A smile spread across my face. As we rounded onto 11thAvenue, the rush of wind against my face was followed by a rush of memories. A flip-book of a dozen childhood scenes flashed through my mind.  I remembered burning my leg on the tailpipe of a neighbor’s motorcycle that my dad forbid me to ride.  I remembered the utter terror of feeling like I was going to slowly vibrate off the back of Dad’s vintage Triumph speeding down the freeway in Atlanta.  I remembered, after taking a huge jump on a dirt track, landing hard on top of the gas cap of my brother’s Yamaha 250, wondering if it was possible to break your vagina. I remembered trying to keep that pain hidden because I was the only girl around and wasn’t sure if anyone had noticed yet.

Now, just like every ride I ever took with him as a small girl, I felt a visceral connection with my dad. His love of story, of adventure, and of me emanated from his back directly into my chest. And my chest was open. I sucked in deep gulps of it as the ride started, relaxing slowly into regulated inhales and exhales as we rode down the Natchez Trace.  The powerful rumble of his huge bike underneath me and the great, open sky above me reminded me of how small, how fragile I am. But, Dad, just like when I was eleven, blocked me from most of it.  His broad back, the gray hair curling out from underneath his helmet, and the soft crease in his neck were all familiar reminders that I was protected from the bigness around me. 

I am looking forward to more Harley rides with my Dad, though I am still a little unnerved by the thought of doing it again.  Adventures and intimacy are always risky business. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Juniper Tree Book of the Week

Now that I am required to read from a fairly obscure book list (or maybe not so obscure- I've just been had my literary head in the sand), I thought I'd start sharing some of the books with my readers. Vermont College of Fine Arts has some fairly extensive required reading lists for poetry, creative non-fiction and fiction.  I will be studying mostly creative non-fiction, but will be reading from all the lists.

The first book I want to share with you is juvenile fiction.  I have a huge love for that genre ever since I started teaching high school ESL.  We read dozens of books by Lois Lowery, Sandra Cisneros and Gary Paulsen, to name a few of my favorite authors.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is an incredibly addictive, fast-paced sci-fi.  It's not as cheesy as won't be as embarrassed for enjoying it.  For those of you who don't normally enjoy science-fiction, I have to say that it doesn't feel like you're reading sci-fi.

You will fall in love with the main characters, the heart-wrenching love-triangle, and the drama of sufferers of a government in the future that is obsessed with fashion and utter indulgence at the expense of its "district" citizens.

Get this book, but be prepared to ignore your family and friends while reading.  Nursing moms: this is one that you won't be sad to wake up in the middle of the night for.  Enjoy!