Friday, March 31, 2006

This and that

So we went to an Ethiopian restaurant with AT, and I had some of the blackberry honey wine I'd been thinking about for a while. Once I asked the staff, "Is it from Ethiopia?" and they said "No, New Jersey."

Then we went to the Hungarian Pastry Shop. (No cute name like Hungary Wungary, sorry.) The counter lady steered me away from the yellow petit four I was eyeing. I got some mediocre blueberry thing on her recommendation. It was very disappointing. So I had some of D's chocolate mousse cake and then AT got the coveted petit four. It was the last one! We shared it.

I was mad at the counter woman for leading me astray, but D and AT said I needed to take personal responsibility. There was fun graffiti in the bathroom. One guy wrote, "I tried, but the short brunette behind the counter wasn't selling. She's a hot piece!" Another guy wrote with an arrow, "She's the hottest one!" Then someone sketched a bed with pillows and wrote, "Bush in bed with the Saudis." I looked at the counter women on the way out, but they all had dark hair. They were all kind of short too. So, no way to tell.

Patted many dogs on the way home.

*Lali and Bouchero. The owner let their leashes go. They sniffed the garbage. Lali likes to put everything in her mouth.

*A black Lab with very sweet eyes who wanted to be a guide dog, but was deemed not confident enough. Paired with a crazy shih tzu who kept jumping.

*A lamb-like dog who chewed my hair with vigor. Who knows how many split ends I have now. I swear it was trying to swallow.

*A sweet black shaggy dog.

*Two small white dogs.

And for bonus points:

*There is a hair salon on 6th or 7th Ave where a bulldog always sits right inside the glass door and gazes out with melancholy eyes. The other day, AT and I saw a different bulldog inside. It was very frisky and wrapped its mouth around my hand, but didn't use its teeth. The bulldog was named Junior.

Me: "So is the other bulldog named Senior?"

Hair Guy: "No, he's just Bob."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yay!

I just taught class at LL and it went really well. AT came, which is always nice, and a woman from another studio came to watch. One woman came up to me before class and said, with some barely discernible accent (maybe Australian?), "I am not very flexible, so sometimes I need to be adjusted." Then every time I adjusted her, she grinned and said, "Thanks." After class, she said, "Your voice is so relaxing! It made me feel like, I can do this." I thought that was a really nice thing to say.

Afterward AT asked if I wanted to get some tea, and several people standing around the studio recommended City Bakery, but we both found it too bleak and sterile, and went to Cupcake Cafe instead. The cafe was connected to a children's bookstore, and little kids were digging into cupcakes all around us. I had a yogurt (which had high fructose corn syrup, alas) and some fantastic ginger root tea. AT had a maple walnut cupcake, and we talked about our lives and watched a woman pipe icing onto a small, round cake. The intensity of her concentration made me think it was meditative.

On that note, you may want to check out the Vegan Lunch Box. Each lunchbox is a work of art. She has even inspired me to be a part-time vegan (I can't give up yogurt, but I can cut back on cheese.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The antisocial woman

There is a woman on my floor who is very shy. She is a little older, but has a bright, alert face. She reminds me of a small, cute mouse. Anyway, she smiled at me recently, so I took a gamble and said hi as I was slipping out to Gristede's to get soy milk.

Hi, she said.

Then, as I was coming back from the supermarket, she was standing outside the elevator and we went up together. I didn't say anything, not wanting to scare her. Then, as she left the elevator, she said Bye.
It was heartwarming, somehow ;)

Monday, March 27, 2006

I’m a little annoyed. Some of my auditions are not bearing fruit. And one got canceled…after the woman at the center told me to bring friends! I had to email everybody I had invited and un-invite them. It was really awkward.

On a more positive note, I am on the sub list for 5 affiliated centers, and there seem to be a lot of opportunities. I subbed on Sunday and really enjoyed it. It was the place I always used to go before I started going to LL. So I was really comfortable there. And there’s a little skylight above the teacher ;) It was fun being under the skylight.

Oh, and I feel Lisa’s pain about the high cost of Whole Foods. My bank account seemed suspiciously low, so I went to Gristede’s instead. But the orange I got there was leaking green juice on the counter.

I think I’ll go to Whole Foods in the future.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Inside man

We saw Inside Man last night and it was pretty good. I'd give it an A-, while D gave it a B+ or B++. It was a fun little puzzle of a movie. It was a little too violent for me, but there's a twist that mitigates the violence. (I hope I haven't given anything away.) I thought it was well-written, well-casted, all that jazz.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday bits

I took yoga from 2-3. It was taught by one of the girls from my yoga program, and it was fabulous. We did a restorative supta baddha konasana pose (goddess) at the end, with a bolster under your spine, a blanket folded in a square under your head, and a long blanket wrapped over your knees, with the soles of your feet together. It felt really good. I was like, can I stay here forever?

I know this hasn't been a pictorial blog lately, but I sent my camera off for repairs for the third time. According to the warranty, third time's the charm, and they should send me a new camera now. Of course, they might wiggle out of it. If I don't receive a new one, or one as bad as before, I'll be soliciting your recommendations for good, but not horribly expensive cameras. In the meanwhile, I have my non-digital camera, but those are like dinosaurs ;)

Tonight we're going to Zen Palate with AT. We recently discovered their upstairs section, which has a swankier menu (usually I like it simple) but they have a dish that is god's gift to man or woman. It's called Wheel of Dharma...these nice big mushrooms (and I don't usually even like mushrooms! these are empire mushrooms, or something) arranged on end in a circle, nestled in a bed of butternut squash with shredded almonds sprinkled over and some kind of oniony sage sauce around the edges of the dish. You're thinking, Bearette, that has no protein...but it's really good anyway. And I guess there's some protein in the mushrooms and almonds.

Afterward we'll see Inside Man...not sure if AT is going to see it too. Tomorrow I have a bridal shower where teacups and cake will be featured. This is where I am feeling the loss of my camera...I won't be able to share the cake with you!

Also, the bride, T, wants to have a yoga class on the morning of her wedding, taught by me. Don't worry, the wedding is at night, so she won't be rushing sweaty down the aisle or anything. I would love to have the class in Central Park, but the weather may not agree with us. We'll see...

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

13 ways of looking at the novel

So I've been reading 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley. The first twelve ways are explored in twelve essays, which were sometimes heavy going (the art of the novel, the psychology of the novel, the history of the novel, etc.) The thirteenth way is explored in mini-essays on each of a hundred books. Anyway, this bit about Moby Dick, which I hated, seemed spot on:

"Other novels, of course, I liked very much and I remember them fondly every day or two in the ongoing flow of mental images that constitutes my inner life. But even though I had no argument with Moby Dick and felt as though I was enjoying it and appreciating it without truly loving it, very little lingers, and I rarely think about it. Is this only because the concerns of the novel are extremely masculine and I don't really care about them? Is it because the style seemed heavy and ornate to me and didn't really communicate much about the psychology of the characters even though I wanted it to? Is it because the characters don't relate to one another in a way that I intuitively comprehend? More important, do I need to read it again and try to get more out of it? That strikes me as possible but not likely, rather like going out on a date with someone who was okay but not compelling the first time." (p. 373, emphasis added.)

YES.

On the other hand, does anyone think this interpretation of The Great Gatsby is needlessly harsh?

"This is a vividly written novel of a very young man (Fitzgerald was twenty-nine when it was published). It is not the wisdom of the ages. All the qualities of youth are present in the novel - snap judgments about others, overblown emotions, sharp observations about surfaces, self-doubt, self-hatred, and a lack of insight into women - plus considerable promise, of course - but I don't think it is careful enough, wise enough, or well enough thought through to be a masterpiece." (p. 449.)

Come on, now.

TV, part II

So we're going to be on TV! They're planning to air the footage on Sunday, May 14. It was a lot of fun. MC (my friend from the class) and I were both very comfortable on camera. It's odd, if you put me on stage in front of thousands of people, I would be nervous, but on camera I'm not at all. However, the teacher was a little nervous, though very articulate.

The cameraman, who was from New Jersey by way of Kansas, said, "These young ladies were terrific...but I want you to be more terrific."

Teacher (mock-pouting): So you didn't think I was terrific?

Cameraman: You were fine, but...let's give it another go. I want you to have that fire in the belly.

!!! She took it in stride.

Anyway, they interviewed MC, the teacher and me first before the teacher's new class came in, and then they took a couple of shots of MC and me with the new class. The new class DID NOT want to be on camera.

Lisa, you might be mentioned on the show...no last name though ;)

There was a gap between the interview and the new class's arrival, so MC and I nipped out to Cafe Bari for a bite to eat. We both had some white bean soup and talked about a wide range of topics, including men and porn. (I won't reproduce that here because it's a family blog ;) We did talk about bachelor parties and how it's a different matter altogether if they're in Vegas as opposed to Scores or Flashdancers. "It's scary!" she said.

MC is also really into the Myers-Briggs; she's an ENFJ and I'm an ENFP. We talked about how writing can be lonely - that's part of the reason I do yoga teaching - and she tries to do as many playdates and stuff as possible. She has 2 young kids who are adorable.

The yoga teacher thing raised a lot of interest. Even the cameraman asked where I taught!

MC and I will be meeting in April to talk about our writing - go over new pages, etc. We're going to meet once a month. She's a really cool person and I'm glad we're still in touch. She is the one who had a party at the karaoke bar. She actually slipped and fell after I left the party, and had to have an x-ray, but she's fine now. "I hope you had fun. I sure did - a little too much fun!" she wrote in a e-mail.

One more thing...the cameraman asked us if we'd like to be filmed in our homes later. I said yes promptly, swept up in the enthusiasm of the moment. He said, "Maybe you'll become famous!" Later, as I walked to Cafe Bari with MC, I was second-guessing that decision. I usually write in my pajamas!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Maybe I'll be on TV

So I got an email from my former writing teacher...I took a course with her in late 2005...and she told me CBS might be doing a segment on her writing class as part of its Sunday morning programming. (She has a new book coming out in August, which might be featured too, I bet.) She said her current writing class is very camera-shy, so she was asking me and a couple of other girls from my old class if we wanted to be interviewed.

I think it will be fun. You never know if it will be used though. Once I was stopped on a street corner (they hang out on 34th sometimes and interview people coming home from work) and interviewed by a camera crew about doctors...was I satisfied with them in NYC, etc. It never showed on TV to the best of my knowledge. The funny thing is, I called my mom to tell her about it and left a message. I called her on my cell. Maybe because of the street noise, maybe I was talking too fast, but all she heard was "doctor" and she freaked out.

I was on TV once before when I was in high school. It was a cable-access type show, small and cute, called "Writer's Block"...I had won a short-story contest then so they invited me on the show. It was cool. I actually remember what I was wearing...a green shirt and beige pants. Funny, I hardly wear either color now.

If you are looking for a weird but fun book, you might want to check out "Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys" by Eric Garcia. He writes from the point of view of a woman who is fed up with men, so she chains a few in her basement and teaches them "proper behavior." It was a little crazy, but entertaining. Don't worry, I'm not going to chain men in my basement anytime soon. I don't even have one. A basement, that is...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Currently addicted to Madeleine Peyroux's CD. It rocks.

Took my second spinning class tonight. The other was in Miami. I enjoyed this one much more. In Miami, I thought I needed really high resistance for support (when you stand up, etc.). This time, I figured: why torment myself? So I used reasonable resistance and got a good workout, but I didn't feel totally depleted afterward.

The instructor was kind of a character. She told us she got into a motorcycle accident - some guy slammed into the back of her vehicle.

[shocked silence]

Then she burst out laughing and started talking about no-fault insurance, and how she'll get six months of free chiropractic massages. Okay, then. Her music was good overall. Some Michael Jackson ("Beat It"), Michael Sembello's "Maniac" (during which she yelled, "MANIAC!") and some other yummies, interspersed with generic R&B. She hadn't worked out in a week due to the accident, and was really glad to be back. "A week without exercise! I'm like a caged animal!" she yelled.

Listening to "Beat It" reminded me of a restaurant I used to go to in 1983 with my parents. I was 8. It was called Romy's and they had a song-and-dance number at night. We never saw it, though. They served mediocre crackers with delicious cheese.

Everything at Whole Foods looks really tasty. The carrot cake, the $26.99 vanilla buttercream cake (I don't know why I remember the price), the chocolate macaroons. Slate had an article about WF. Slate doesn't think they're so wholesome after all. Apparently "organic" is not synonymous with "small farmers" - most organic produce comes from 6 megafarms in California. And WF says that eating organic food saves energy, but energy is wasted shipping this stuff over from Chile and California.

I'll still shop there.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

So I subbed today at a new place. It went well, though I was nervous for a variety of (silly) reasons beforehand. For example, the place I usually teach is shaped like a big square, and this place is a long rectangle. (I know, I'm weird.) And the class was 90 minutes, instead of 75 like I'm accustomed to, so I had to lengthen my playlist. Two minutes before I had to leave, I was scrambling to import some Madeleine Peyroux tunes. I got her CD, inspired by Crystal's mix, and it was great. (I also got Aberfeldy's CD a while back, and Feist's CD more recently.)

It turned out that Madeleine Peyroux's French jazz is a great choice for yoga. The students were very serious, so the chemistry of the class was different. However, one of them loosened up and giggled at one point, and a guy at the end of class asked me where I usually taught, so I told him about LL and my next class. So who knows, I might even develop a following! :)

D likes to have fun with the grocery list. I had written "garlic" and he added:

a silver cross
a stake
skim milk

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Binaries

D and I came up with these.

Goobers or Raisinettes?
Philip Roth or Anne Tyler?
Baked ziti or macaroni & cheese?
Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy?
Billy Joel or Elton John?
Woody Allen or Pedro Almodovar?
Moby or Eminem?
BBC version of Pride and Prejudice or the theater version?
Pandas or koalas?
Magic Kingdom or Epcot?
Thai or Indian?
Cary Grant or George Clooney?
Will Ferrell or Steve Carell?
Colin Firth or Clive Owen?
Bridge to Terabithia or A Wrinkle in Time?
Winnie the Pooh or Babar?
South Beach or San Francisco?
Susan Sarandon or Geena Davis?
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Eating or drinking?
Pink or purple?
Ashtanga or vinyasa yoga?
iPod mini or nano?
Brokeback Mountain or Capote?
London or Florence?
Summer or fall?
Yoga or pilates?
Walking or running?
Easter or Christmas?
Chocolate or lingerie?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bad girl, or INDULGENCE

I was feeling a little moody earlier. Did I mention that I'm an emotional sponge? I felt bad about Lisa's grad school travails, and I'm a little annoyed by the yoga teacher pavement-pounding (though I do have 2 subbing gigs and a class later this month, but waiting to hear about my latest audition is annoying). I did exchange emails with my writing class teacher earlier, and she hoped I was still working on my novel. I told her I was. Hopefully she'll be into looking at it when it's done, and offer advice. She is a published authoress.

(Preview of Inside Man on TV right now. Clive Owen is cute.)

Anyway, I was a bad girl. I walked D to his office, intending to go to yoga afterward, and he got a brownie at Antique Cafe. So of course I had to get one too, and instead of waiting till after yoga like a good girl, I ate it. Now you're not supposed to do yoga with anything in your tummy, because you're twisting around and so forth. It could make you queasy.

Realizing that yoga post-brownie was a bad idea, I decided to eat an early dinner instead. So I bought some peanut-avocado rolls, which are like peanut butter & jelly for grownups. (I'm really just a kid, but anyway). Then I immersed myself in Friends on one of those rerun channels. They were all so young, like babies, and Jennifer Aniston still had baby fat. It's cute.

Also, I looked up House on fox.com to see when it would be on next. Sundry friends and family members have recommended it, but no one told me Robert Sean Leonard was in it.

Now, I had a crush on Robert Sean Leonard when Dead Poets Society came out. Does anyone else remember the scene where he had a crown of thorns on and they played that otherworldly music? I thought it was so deep. (OK, I can't believe I admitted that.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cupid

I feel like I am playing Cupid. Usually this has disastrous results. For example, I tried to fix up this girl with this guy in high school; I ended up involved with him; then she got involved with him later (briefly). Oy. But this time I feel good about what I am doing.

My friend AT sent me a couple of mildly panicked emails today. He has a crush on a girl from his church and she asked him on the way back from church to have pizza with her. They had a good time, and he decided he wanted to ask her out. But he was nervous!

Now, in all the time I've been friends with AT and living in the same city (almost 5 years), I've never seen him this nervous about a girl. He confided that he has a real crush on this one, whereas the one he dated before her, he just wanted to be dating someone and thought she did as well.

The girl is from Louisiana and works in fashion design.

So he called me tonight (I watched a bit of Gilmore Girls but was not really hooked - and did I mention, How I Met Your Mother will be back on March 20th? Yay!). He wanted to know how he should ask her out, where, etc. I could practically picture him pacing up and down his apartment as we talked, so I told him to call her as soon as he got off the phone with me. So he did and called back, seeking restaurant advice. And then:

AT: So what do you think?

Me: I'm having a watershed moment. I think you guys are going to get married.

AT: Oh, God.

Me: I'm serious. It just feels so momentous.

We also discussed whether he should contact her before Saturday, when he'll see her at the soup kitchen (she is not homeless, but rather, one of the other volunteers). I consulted D and we all agreed: No.

I hope I'm doing the right thing...I feel a bit as if I'm playing God with this relationship ;)


Parsnips and shows

I made a parsnip soup last night. I guess parsnips aren't popular with anybody except me and Didi Emmons, a cookbook author who eats them raw, like carrots :) It was very good, though D declined to try it. If you're interested in trying it, you saute 1 c chopped onions in 2 T olive oil, then add 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 t fennel seeds, and 3/4 t garam masala. (You can leave out the fennel seeds if you really want, but I think they add to it.) Saute for 2 min longer, then add 1 lb peeled, chopped parsnips and 3 c water. Simmer for 30 min, covered. Then add 3/4 c white wine and simmer for 10 min, uncovered. Blend everything together in batches in a food processor or blender, and serve with parsley if you are so inclined. (The recipe is from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons.)

I'm reading 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley. I'm only about 20 pages in, but I have 2 impressions:

1) She is very intellectual.
2) She relishes big, meaty projects.

In this book, for example, she reads a hundred novels - and discusses them each in detail. But she doesn't start discussing the books until she's on page 270; up until then, she muses about the novel as a form. It is interesting, but it will probably take me a while.

Anyway, did anyone see The New Adventures of Old Christine last night? As D says, it's a difficult title. But it was funnier than I expected. My nose was out of joint because they were showing it instead of How I Met Your Mother, which always makes me laugh. I feel slightly guilty for liking the interloper, but hopefully Mother will return to its slot soon. (P.S. How I Met Your Mother will be back on March 20th. Woo!)

And...I think I'm starting to like Grey's Anatomy better than Desperate Housewives. Desperate is starting to seem cartoonish, though my neighborhood is a good place to watch it. At one bar, you can even get a $5 "desperate cocktail". (Not that I have.) But Grey's is really involving.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

New York blogger encounter

I met Lish and some of her friends from work today. Lish, another Austinite, was in the area, and we got together for brunch. I had a great time except that I was slightly bummed about some credit card fraud. You see, someone wrote a "convenience check" for $99.99 using my credit card number (unrelated to the PayPal business some months ago, which seemed to blow over without any harm) and I also got a $5 "transaction finance charge". I straightened the whole thing out after brunch, changing my credit card number and reporting the fraud, but I guess it was stressing me out because I started seeing spots in front of my eyes at brunch. That always happens to me before a migraine. I've actually only had them three times:

1) in high school, when this guy asked me, "Did you start your paper?" and I hadn't realized one was due;
2) the first night of my 5-year college reunion. Not sure why;
3) and this.

I hate migraines, the steel-band feeling around your forehead and eyes, but Tylenol has dulled the edges.

One of Lish's friends told me, shortly after I sat down, "We all want to move to New York!" I thought that was cute. The weather was gray and drizzling, but it didn't seem to dampen their enthusiasm.

I had another audition yesterday. It seemed to go well. The people I taught were a little less experienced than I'm used to, but I actually liked that. Maybe I should teach basics classes. Anyway, they enjoyed the class, and afterward one of the women told me about her massage therapist, a big, menacing man named Fluffy. Well, it's his nickname, but they told me "he's anything but."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Choctails

Sometimes I feel like I'm running out of new experiences, and fear that I'm becoming jaded. Well, I did discover something new tonight. It was a chocolate place, with a hard-to-remember French name. It was noteworthy for several reasons:

1) it was very cute
2) it had choctails, little chocolates, and the best hot chocolate I've had - very thick and rich.

I feel like I drank too much - some strawberry liqueur and white chocolate champagne.

A third thing - they played "Mushaboom" by Feist from Crystal's mix CD, which I am still totally obsessed with, and listen to daily. Sometimes multiple times.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Wow

One of D's friends just gave us tickets to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden in April. I saw Billy and Elton on tour together back in 1994, summer after freshman year in college.

Isn't that nice? He also gave D a foosball table once.

I must email to thank him.

In other news, I saw two pairs of Reebok high-top sneakers today. You know, the kind with velcro tabs across the top. I'm scared.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Silver sneakers

So, as y'all know, I recently joined Crunch. I thought I would take some more of their fun classes and decided to take a RetroRobics class at a different location than usual. The class was billed as an old-school aerobics class, Richard Simmons-style. Remember the aerobics scene from WHMS?

So I went over there and quickly realized I was the only woman of childbearing age in the room. I asked one of the women, "Is this RetroRobics?" She said, "Yes," and returned to the clique. An issue of AARP lay on a chair nearby. I felt like an excluded kid in the playground. Never mind; I'll observe. So I observed a man with two tufts of white hair struggling to lift an air-filled green ball, and got a sinking feeling in my stomach.

Then the instructor breezed in. He looked more like SJP's friend on SATC than Richard Simmons. "HELLO!" he yelled. Then he saw me and mouthed, "Are you taking the class?"

Me: This is RetroRobics, right?

He shook his head sympathetically, but it was somehow loaded with meaning, so I went over to get the 411.

Me: It says RetroRobics on the schedule!

Him: It's supposed to be. But based on who's here...you'd be the only one. It's really a Silver Sneakers class [leaning in] for seniors.

Oops. I felt like a total dork. Then the penny dropped. I realized this was an "old gym". The plethora of daytime classes...all for retirees. I guess I'll stick to the Crunch that's close to me.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A recipe for y'all

I know I haven't posted a recipe in a while. D is playing basketball with the boyz (sorry, couldn't resist) tonight so I decided to make something with sweet potatoes (which he doesn't like). How can you not like sweet potatoes?!?!? Anyway, moving on.

This is very good and filling. I have a bunch of leftovers; too bad I can't ship them to D.C. or Austin or something. I adapted this from Didi Emmons' Entertaining for a Vegetarian Planet.

You'll need: 1 sweet potato (peeled and chopped), 2 zucchini (chopped), 2 Roma tomatoes (chopped), 1/2 c. frozen baby peas, 1/2 c plain or lemon yogurt, 1/4 t red pepper flakes, a few shakes of salt, brown basmati rice, 1/2 c shredded coconut, 1/2 c raw red lentils, 1 t cumin and 3 T canola oil.

Toast the coconut in a small pan over medium heat. Shake the pan almost constantly for 5 min, until the coconut is tan. Set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the lentils and cook until they begin to brown - 5 or 10 min. Add the sweet potatoes, cumin and 1 1/2 c water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 min, stirring occasionally. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and peas. Cook for 10 min until the veggies are fairly tender.

Combine the coconut with the yogurt, red pepper flakes and salt. Mix until everything is blended. Remove the veggies from the heat, fold the yogurt in and cover for 1 min to heat through.

*The plain vs. lemon yogurt is a matter of personal choice. The lemon does sweeten up the dish considerably. I have issues with plain yogurt, though. Too dull.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I feel like I have yoga coming out my ears! Not a bad thing, just a lot going on. I taught my second full-length class today at 2:30 pm. I didn't bother telling most of the people I know because they have full-time jobs, but AT was able to come. He's a Spanish teacher/grad student so his schedule is more flexible than most. He brought along a friend, which was nice.

The class was a lot smaller than the one I had in January...maybe more people are still on vacation in January? - but I actually liked the small group better. More intimate and cozy. It was funny, at one point I did crow, and then asked the class if they wanted to do side crow; this one woman, laughing, said, "No." I like it when people are honest like that.

Anyhow, I'm scheduling an audition at a running center (yoga for runners, easy on the knees with lots of stretching) and scheduling an audition with the manager of another studio. I also have a subbing gig on Sunday the 19th, another subbing gig on Sunday the 26th, I'm teaching a class on Thursday the 28th, and I probably have another audition in April (the auditioneer is currently in L.A., but wants to schedule one when she gets back).

I think it's easier each time. I was barely nervous at all today. During class, that is. I am always nervous before.

At Whole Foods today I found a second-thoughts cookie. Someone had picked out a cookie, wrapped it up in plastic and abandoned it among the bread loaves. I guess they had second thoughts. I also saw stacks and stacks of chocolate cakes with chocolate frosting and pink rosebuds. Very yummy-looking. I love aesthetic desserts.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Today was kind of an exhausting day. I feel like I have too many things going on, and it all kind of caved in on me. Feeling better now though (I think).

I switched gyms from NYSC to Crunch. Crunch is more fun, with its pink and purple splashes of color. Their classes are a real workout. Supposedly my location also has ride-in movies...you can spin and watch a movie at the same time. But there doesn't seem to be a marquee in the spin studio, like there's supposed to be. Oh well.

I am trying to refrain from too many snarky comments on the Oscars, but I must ask:

1) Does anyone think Jon Stewart is funny?
2) Was Crash even a good movie?

On a more positive note, I am psyched that Philip Seymour Hoffman won the award for Best Actor (even if I did think his mother was his girlfriend) and Queen Latifah is always fun.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Preschool competition, and weird dream

D was reading the NY Times online about the competition to get into preschools. The parents have to write essays for their children. One mother described one of her children as a "soft-hearted jock" and the other as a "mischievous lover." He's three years old, people!!! At any rate, they both got in. Apparently there are more slots than people, and the process is fiercely competitive.

I had a really weird dream which in my view is blog-worthy, though controversial. With some trepidation, here I go.

In the dream, it was March and I got pregnant in January. We weren't telling anyone for the first trimester. There was some question of paternity but D said it was OK. (Again, just a dream, people!)

While I was pregnant, I was on The Apprentice. I decided to quit because the stress was bad for the baby. Donald was understanding.

Then D and I were at the supermarket and a girl started telling me how she was coming out to her family.

In the dream, I gained some weight (probably much less than a real pregnant woman would). I went from 4ish to 8. My chest also got bigger ;)

OK, end of weird dream.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I did it!

I had my audition. I went to the gym in question. Maybe because of the bad weather (cold things falling persistently from the sky), there were only 5 people initially. The auditioneer (Bearette word for the woman who would be watching us) explained that we would each have 5 minutes; she wouldn't hire anyone on the spot; she'd let us know via email. I asked about iPods - we'd been told we could bring them - and she explained that they no longer had wires to connect them to the stereo, because people kept stealing the wires. Oh well. And then we began.

First up was a nice gay man who taught "stretching", a blend of yoga, ballet and aerobics. He loved it so much that it was impossible not to smile. He played some Brazilian music in the background, which was nice and bouncy.

Then there was a Pilates girl who kept telling us to do a C-curve. I don't like to round my back that much!

Then I went. I did a tree-Warrior III-eagle type deal (vrksasana-virabhadrasana III-garudasana for the Sanskrit scholars among you). It struck me later that it's interesting that I love the balancing poses so much. You basically have to be calm and focused to do them. Warrior III, for example - you're on one foot with your torso parallel to the ground and your hands interlaced behind your back. So it's a good nervousness-dispeller.

Next up was another yoga person with a German accent ("You vill put your right foot back").

Then another girl went, and a girl with a flushed face burst in, asking if she could still go. She did her routine, and then the auditioneer said she'd get back to us via email.

The latecomer: YOU'LL TELL US NOW???

Auditioneer: No, you missed my whole spiel.

Latecomer: Ohmigod, I'm so sorry, I'm from California, I totally underestimated how long the taxi would take...

Ohmigod!!!!

Anyway, I feel like it went well. Even if I don't get it, it will be valuable practice. And maybe I'll get it :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Oof. I'm tired. I'm probably going to go to bed really soon.

Went to IM's yoga class with AT. IM is my favorite teacher. AT loved the class too. He did his first tripod headstand and took a tumble! He said it didn't hurt at all, it was just a forward roll. I'm so tentative with my headstands and almost always use the wall because I hate the idea of falling. I should have tried it on the beach, with sand for a softer fall.

So I heard about yet another yoga teaching opportunity. The manager at LL sent me and the other yoga school grads an email, describing this other place that's looking for teachers. The teacher seekers were really cagey about it; no phone number, no email, just the address. So I went on over. The whole place was locked up! There was a notice on the wall saying that one teacher would be out till March 19th, and until then the "doga" class was canceled.

NOTE: "Doga" is yoga with your dog. I wonder if the dog actually does the poses, or just wanders around the studio. They also welcome dogs at regular classes.

So I took a schedule from the box outside, went home and called. Got the answering machine, left a message, asked if they were closed, etc. Then later I looked at the schedule and saw that they have no classes in the 2:00 region, which is when I went.

D'oh. I should have looked at the schedule before making the call. Oh well. I am used to studios that are open all day.

In other news, tomorrow I have a 5-minute audition at one of the NY gyms. 5 minutes?? So I'll do a little sequence because there's not time for much more. Also, there's supposed to be a bunch of snow tomorrow.

Epiphany

Ugh. I can't sleep. I think part of it is an epiphany I had in the cab. I will explain.

As most of my regular readers know, I used to be a lawyer. It was a thoroughly rotten experience. And whether it should have or not, it scarred me. D said, "I don't know why it had such an impact on you," but it did.

Am I highly sensitive? Yes
Am I sometimes a drama queen? Yes

Those things acknowledged, I still wouldn't wish my legal experience on anyone. It was truly awful.

And I remember when D and I started dating, and it was still a long-distance relationship. He would come up to Newton, MA to see me and I would come to Manhattan to see him. I remember riding on the bus and how excited I felt to see the buildings rushing by.

And the law thing soured me for a while. But I feel like the bitterness of it is falling away. There are all these new yoga possibilities this month and once again I feel like the city is infused with hope and excitement.

I love it.

I'm baaack

I'm back in beloved NYC...like Madonna, "other places make me feel like a dork." Just kidding. I do seem to fit in here better than anywhere else though. I'm not sure why.

The demolition crew polished off about a third of the building across the street. I'm hoping they won't wake us up at 7 am tomorrow. Can't you sleep through anything if you're tired enough? We'll see.

Conclusions from the flight: The flight from Miami to NYC is more pleasant than vice versa, and shorter, maybe because of the wind. They showed the same episodes of various sitcoms as they did on the flight to Miami...bad planning! I can't stand Scrubs. I'm sorry, it's supposed to be all cute and lovable, but all I can do is compare it unfavorably to Grey's Anatomy. Last Sunday's episode, when Meredith slept with George...was that horrendous or what? D was laughing, the heartless scoundrel ;)

When we got back to the apartment building, I saw one of my favorite resident doggies, Pinocchio. Pinocchio is a dachshund, very low to the ground. I said to him, "You are so cute it should be illegal!" D found this amusing. Pinocchio used to be very outgoing, then he was shy for a while. Another dog, Balthazar, apparently scared him. But he seems to be recovering.