Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Check Yes or No

With our constant flow of information in the media, workplace, internet and politics, it's difficult to decipher just how we feel about a lot of issues that our thrown in our faces and dropped in our laps in this crucial time of skyrocketing gas prices, heat of war, and presidential changing of the guard.
So, if you'd like some help simplifying the energy crisis- if that's possible- and once and for all deciding how you want to take a stand, head to the link for a smattering of short articles about the energy crisis. The info gives you a quick glance at oil, energy and your money and provides knowledge on both sides of the fence. You can even submit a vote in the online poll and stack your answer up against other readers.
Just one more way to stay informed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Got Tears?

I am a weirdo.
A big freak.
Messed up like no other.
Yes, I am aware that many of you are nodding and saying, "Yeah, I know, why the sudden realization?"
I'll tell you.
Tonight was my last night taking yoga from my fav yoga teacher. There were only two of us in yoga class tonight (we teachers pets love that one on one attention!) and it was a great ending class.
Afterward, I waited until the other slow poke student left so I could offer my "thank yous" to the teacher. (In typical teacher pet fashion.)
As I thanked her for introducing me to yoga- oh, if only she read my blog!- and told her she was my fav teacher out of everyone, I thought I was going to start crying.
Don't worry, I didn't, but my voice was slightly shaky and if I had not said to myself, "Stop, stop, stop- what the hell are you about to cry for?" I probably would have. But, teachers pets do not like to look vulnerable, so I held it in.
Are you kidding me? I almost cried over my last yoga class????
Oh, it gets better. The reason I know something is wrong with me- as if that's not proof enough- is my lack of emotion over the goodbyes I've been sharing the past week.
As I start to bid "so long, I'll be back soon's" to my homies, I've been utterly unflappable. The past two goodbyes- I forgot to hug one of them and with both I acted like I would see them next week. And I'm pretty sure they both examined me like, "Man, she has no idea she's leaving in two weeks" or "Alright, guess she doesn't really care she won't see me for months."
Sure, but when it comes to a yoga teacher I've none for a month, I freak out and get emotional.
What a whack job.

Nota Bena- This post is not meant as a pathetic "junior high girl- 'OMG, I'm so fat!' attempt to receive mass comments saying, "You're not an emotional wreck", "You're wonderfully okay", "You're not pathetic, you're amazing!"

Friday, July 18, 2008

What You Can Only Learn from a 3 Year Old

This week may have been less than perfect at work, but included some funny moments I thought I'd share.

This first segment is "Things a three year won't understand"

Abby wanted to play band today. She of course was the lead singer and I was the drummer. Mean while I was also playing catch with Sam- drummer and ball player- multi-talented!
At one point I started singing along with Abby, and with all the sass she could muster, she said, "Ali, I'm the singer. You're the drummer." Which I followed with, "Dude, Abby, I'm pulling a Karen Carpenter without the eating disorder." She of course totally side stepped whatever I said, and some of you might too, but I'm hoping there are some loyal Carpenters fans out there who will catch my drift, mom.

Also, when you tell a three year old that you're giving her a ponytail because Gabriella has one in High School Musical- when you're secretly just doing it because you want to and you can't think of a better excuse- then she'll truly believe that Gabriella's ponytail looks exactly like hers and she'll want one every day.

Finally, I didn't know until today, but you can bleed and get high blood pressure from a haircut.
As I was getting paid at work tonight, Abby decided she'd like to do my hair and give me a haircut. All of a sudden she said she needed gloves and tissues. When I inquired she said, "Because, Ali. You have high blood pressure and you're bleeding!!! I can't get blood on my hands and I need the tissues to stop the blood." After several minutes of applying tissues with pressure on my shoulders she said, "Oh my God, the bleeding stopped, finally."

Freakin' kid is so funny. I just wish you could all experience her hilarity with her famous eye roll, head bob and attitude voice.

*If you can't see, I have another new blog just below this one- be sure to read that one too!*

Harbored Love and Knocking on Death's Door

Do you remember my initial adventure with Yoga?
Let me remind you of my annoyance with having to breathe, people who don't wear socks and all the ridiculous sex moves that had ridiculous animal names.
Yeah, well, almost a dozen classes have passed and yesterday I tried something new- Ab Lab.
Oh my God- it was hell.
No, literally, Im pretty sure I visited Hell. This is how I thought it would go-
Me stupidly thinking, "Hey, Al Brown, you've lost 95 lbs. Go to the Ab class because you are obsessive about flattening your stomach and you're fit now, so it won't be that hard."
Oh, silly, silly Ali.
This is how it really went-
I walked into the class with about 12 people already lying on their mats- half of them with a reason to be there, a quarter of them pretending that the 3 carrot sticks they had for lunch, "made me so bloated that I HAVE to do something about it!" and the other quarter wearing half shirts so that they could look at their stomachs after every move to, "See? I totally see my stomach flattening already!!" Idiots.
The only thing I noticed besides the annoying people were these things:
1. The fact that I will never be "that girl" who can breathe, smile, look hot and not sweat while working out- talk about a sport.
2. Cardio instructors are bitches. Poor girl, it was so not her fault. But, as soon as she walked in with her perfect outfit, great hair, perky voice and, "just breathe through the move, c'mon class, let's end on a tough one! You can do it!" (Please tell me you read that with a cheerleader voice?) I though, "I hate her."
As class proceeded (it was only 30 minutes), but as the slut teacher said, "Oops, we already are a minute late, we'll have to make that up!" I caught myself saying YOGA GIRL things!!!!!
Such as...
"That's not how we breathe in Yoga." or when the teacher says, "Arch your back up and head down, then back down, behind out, head up" I thought, "Actually, that's called cat and cow in yoga."
GASP!!!!! Can you believe I was turning cardio into yoga??!! What is wrong with me?I HATE yoga. It's so hard, and a pain in my ass and I can't bend and breathe and "love my body as a temple" and "Namaste"everyone. And in ab lab you keep your shoes on and people are rude, so you don't have to talk to them, but I missed yoga!!!
In yoga time flies. It's like it doesn't exist.
In Ab Lab, I look at the clock every three minutes and enter a fit of laughter when the girl next to me says, "Fucking shit" after every new set of ab work, but she doesn't laugh with me. (In yoga, they would laugh. Then they'd shut up for the rest of class, but still they'd laugh.)
There was no great 15 minutes of stretching and every time the bitch told me to breathe I couldn't do it because I'd be in some awkward ass position with my leg in the air and my "abs contracted" and my arm around my head doing a push up and my eyes focused and my breathing centered on the pain (the pain is everywhere!!!). Well, really that would mean my face looked like a tomato, my eyes were popping out of my head and I was about 0.5 cm- instead of 2 inches- (I'm not Jesus) off the ground because I was dying.
Oh, oh, oh aaaaand- she had the nerve to call the "Child's Pose" the sit back position. Excuse me????!!!! It was a classic Child's Pose- duh.
So, apparently, I suck at Ab Lab, and I'm secretly in love with yoga.
I know, Yoga and peanut butter with Oreos- who would have thought?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


From time to time I'm going to create a post with at least 2 articles, books, songs, etc. whose content is in some way linked.
They will usually provide opportunities for reading, learning and maybe a little entertainment.
Today's idea comes from the article on my internet homepage- cnn. More than anything, human interest stories are the articles I enjoy reading and today's article is just that.
READ the story of the 10 year old girl in Yemin (insert Chandler/Janice/Friends jokes here) who was married off before American kids can even do long division.
I hope this story has not become standard for you. Release your immunity to this type of story and check it out.

The LINK I'm creating for this story is the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns- by the author of Kite Runner. I finished it a few weeks ago and cannot deduce if I like it more or less than Kite Runner because they're just different from one another. Suns holds the same backdrop as Runner, but it's characters are mostly female and the story creates a great intertwining of characters that may or may not slightly be expected.

Read both pieces for more knowledge on the women, problems and sometimes unexpected beauty and love of the Middle East.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Yoga Update

Alright, yesterday I successfully (I actually don't know how you measure success in yoga) completed my 8th yoga class.

Some things have not changed- I still have a difficult time using the mats because of all the gross sweaty people who've used them before me. Since I constantly think about the gross mats, my level of concentration hasn't really improved. Although, my mind has gone from, "Breathe... I have so much to do tonight, yesterday was so fun, I really need to get that CD" and a continuous five minutes of uncontrollable thought to, "Breathe... oh my gosh I hate these mats, someone is breathing loudly, oh right I should be breathing, inhale..." Basically, I've cut my five minutes of tangents down to about a minute.
Beyond that, I really have noticed the physical strength yoga provides- my back hurts less, which is great since my rack and the fact that I sleep on a futon are always making me a bit uncomfortable, my downward dog is always improving; I'm holding the position longer and deeper and it's seeming less like a creepy sex pose- don't worry there are plenty of other yoga poses I'm learning that I feel should be reserved for the bedroom.
The biggest change (which will never happen again!!!!!) occurred at my 6 pm class last night. After a busy weekend and great "bachelorette party halter top shopping at the Loft", I booked it over to the 6 pm class. At the time I was wearing jean shorts and flip flops- which needed to be changed, but had my upper half ready to go. I looked at the clock and realized I had 10 minuted to get there, park, change, run to the room and "pre-relax". I knew 10 minutes would be about 5 minutes shy of what I needed. I dumped pre-relaxing (I suck at it anyway) and changing. This meant that at a long red light I unbuckled, took off my shorts and changed into gym pants- awkward. I didn't get time to put on sneaks and socks, but I figured I could manage that while beginning class. I did not have time.
I went to yoga in bare feet. I know.
Well, this is what I know- everyone does that. Everyone is not me,
I tried to calm myself down, which went something like this, Me:"I hate feet, I cannot be barefoot. When you're barefoot they make you do toe stretches." Mind:"You have to do them with socks too." Me: "But I don't have to see feet when the socks are on!" Mind: "Relax, it's one class. No big deal."

I'm telling my mind and I'm telling you- I am never never, never going without socks again. I was hyper aware of all the feet around me. People touch their feet, we had to spread our toes yesterday, which I REALLY hated and remember my mat germ issue? SUPER elevated when I realized my bare feet were all over bare feet essence.

Yoga may help me with strength training and maybe even one day I'll be able to, as they say, "keep my thoughts on and about what''s on my mat", but I will forever more wear socks to class.