Writing and editing

Kids Yoga Class Two:

We are playing the yoga museum game. One person leaves the room while the rest of the group choose a yoga pose (usually an animal-themed yoga pose). The person who left the room is called back in and tries to guess the name of the pose.

I usher one child out, when I come back in all of the girls are lying on their mats with their arms above their heads. One boy is on his knees with his arms above his head, and another boy is in the same position as the girls.

Stan: What are you supposed to be?

Boy #1: Unicorns!

Stan: Oh, I get it.

Girls -in-Unison: We are dead unicorns!

Stan:  Oh dear. (to boy #2) Are you also a dead unicorn?

Boy #2: No! (indignant) I am just a sleeping unicorn.

Ok just wondering because last week we talked about the fine art of decapitation.

Apparently, unicorns are off limits.

Verinha from Ashtanga Yoga Cascais did a little interview with me because I am so very important  No, actually, because she is super lovely and generous. Tim Bermingham took the shot to the left and Rebecca Markey took the shot to the right. Yay!

category: AYCT

I am teaching Kids Yoga again for a couple weeks. I love it, mainly because they are so funny.

This week we talked about Ganesh and I tried to tell the cleanest, least violent version of how he got his elephant head while emphasizing the sweets and the rat skateboard.

Girl 1: Where is the rat?

(I point it out on a picture I am holding)

Boy #1: Oh I see it. So, what do you think his dad used to cut off his head?

Boy #2: Probably a knife.

Stan: It doesn’t matter really, it is more important that he has an elephant head now.

Boy #1: Besides you can’t cut off a head with a knife.

Boy #2: Yes you can.

Stan: Really it is about  his new head though.

Boy #1: No you can’t, you would have to cut through lungs and stuff.(Indicates neck and makes a cutting motion by his throat).

Boy #2: A really sharp knife.

Stan: Let’s get back to Ganesh at craft time.

Boy # 1 (considers): Maybe a really sharp knife

Craft Time

Stan ( to Boy #1): Which Ganesh colouring page would you like?

Boy # 1: Oh, I don’t want one. Could you tell me the story about how he got his head cut off one more time?

category: Ashtanga yoga

I have been quite sick with a cold in the past 4 days. On Friday and Sunday, I managed to just do half primary. Today, I slowly went into my intermediate practice. I grabbed onto my wrists in pasasana despite not doing it for a bunch of days, which I think shows that a regular intense yoga practice makes you fat.

My shoulder also felt a bit better, undeniable proof that yoga screws up your body.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, then you aren’t friends with a million ashtanga practioners on Facebook. I would link to the offending articles, but who really cares? The New York Times is publishing these ridiculous articles because they know that all the yogis will post and share and comment and respond over and over again.

It sort of makes me want to write an article entitled, “Why yoga makes your penis smaller” just to see the enraged response.

Of course, I would also love to write the follow-up, “Why dick-measuring is very important in Ashtanga Yoga”.

category: Uncategorized

On my birthday, David and I drove out to Kensington to eat the forearm-sized burritos mentioned below. At a stoplight we watched a man wrapped in a sleeping bag, sprawled on the sidewalk scream at no one in particular. He said, ” You are the fucking devil” or “You are fucking the devil.” I’m not sure which. Either way, he was completely furious.

I told David that you can see why people with mental health issues end up pushing everyone away – whether they want to or not. It becomes increasingly more difficult to be with them and how do you manage to hold on? How do you maintain compassion and empathy, to someone who is out of control, but who can make you angry, sad, and/or creeped out.

This week has been a small learning in this. Mostly because I am so quick to judge. If anyone makes my life more challenging, I have such a hard time letting go. Even when I know it isn’t about me, I get so defensive and hurt. Sometimes it feels easier to just write someone off.

I have lost touch with a few friends over the years who have suffered from anxiety, depression, or mental illness. At the time, I always think they behave a certain way because they don’t like me. So, one resolution for 2012 is to stop thinking everything is about me.

On a lighter note: my friend Daniel wrote this really funny glossary for the upcoming American election.


category: Uncategorized

When I was young, a teacher did a little project with us about researching famous people born on the same day as you. She gave us names and we had to write a little fictional piece on the kind of people we thought they were and then we read little articles about them and wrote a piece about who wrong we were. Some kids in my class shared a birthday with Hans Solo (who is kind of a douche now but at the time he was a really big deal) or Farrah Fawcett. I shared a birthday with Millard Fillmore.

I was disappointed because the idea was we share characteristics with people born on the same day. And Milard Fillmore sounded like someone who stayed in too much and fed a lot of cats. In retrospect that isn’t suck a bad thing, but turns out he was the president of the United States. But the was back when there were only a few dozen people living there – os it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Now some time has passed, and turns out I share a birthday with Nicolas Cage. And I wonder, if I was a boy and Italian and born into the Coppola family and batshit, would I be more like Nic? I loved him in Moonstruck. Sometimes I wish actors would just stop when they do something perfect. Like, that was the best – don’t do anything else – please let me remember you as the guy in the bakery who lost his hand and loved opera.

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Ok, I lied, I also like Wild at Heart.

And Face Off.

Never mind, Nicolas Cage can keep working.

David is going to Russia, which is so exciting. Holden and I want to come, but we are too traumatized by airline travel. David and Holden made a little video for the Russian students. They made it after dinner one night. Holden still has a brown rice noodle stuck to his face.  He should be in every advertisement. For everything.

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Don’t you want to go to Moscow now in March?

category: baby
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When I first started nursing in public, I felt really shy and bumbling. It was summer, but there always seemed to be too many layers, the baby would be distracted and I needed to be sitting a certain way with a pillow etc etc.

Anyway, like most nursing moms, I lost the primadonna act pretty quickly and just got used to clothing, distractions, and feeding Holden wherever whenever. At some point, I realized that it was silly to feel embarrassed or ashamed about my baby being hungry. Every single person at AYCT has seen me nurse, I’m pretty sure.  All the moms (and dads!) were so supportive. I’m lucky that I hang out with pretty relaxed people and everyone in my family is also on the same page.

I don’t really like those breastfeeding cover-ups, but I support women who feel more comfortable using one. However, it does really get on my tits when I hear about people feeling uncomfortable watching a baby nurse. Nursing can be beautiful, peaceful, interesting, funny, and sometimes boring, but it really isn’t sexual. And I sort of think – if you have a problem with a person breastfeeding on a plane, or in a store then you have issues that only years of professional help can solve.

Anyway, Cheaty wrote posted a link to this article. And it reminded me of how much work we still need to do in normalizing breastfeeding. The Today’s Parent article has the best Sesame Street clip obout breastfeeding. I had to share because it is so awesome and 70s. I hear that Mr Rogers, who is my hero, also did an bit on animals nursing. I wish I could find that.

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category: Uncategorized

It is quiz time!

Very Important! Look at the following pictures carefully and then answer the quiz!




We need a dog  friend who sleeps 23 hours a day. Likes slow walks with a baby. And, uh, likes babies.

Since, i don’t know, maybe June I have been working on Pincha Mayurasana. That is a really generous way of saying I am totally stuck. David wants me to come up with both feet, like this:

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Laruga makes it look kinda easy. This is how I look every morning:

Except the room is warmer. But I think the sour donkey expression is pretty dead on.

Is it weird that I like being stuck on a pose? I mean, I don’t like flailing around my mat every morning. But I love the “yes you can” part of Ashtanga Yoga. Every morning I think, “Oh! maybe today!” And then, “Oh well, maybe tomorrow!”  And honestly, only a small teeny tiny part of me thinks, “I wish I could switch bodies with Laruga to do Pincha”

I think I am actually happy doing my donkey kicks! Hurray! yoga worls.

category: baby

At 5:30 this morning I woke up to watch the baby scream and throw his bottles of creams and massage oil on the floor. Seriously, who does that? Who wakes up at the crack of dawn on New Years Day to smash bottles of the massage oil that someone gently rubs into your perfect skin every night after bath? Is he the emperor of some distant land and I just didn’t get the memo?

Last night, I was up listening to the countdown trying to get Holden back to sleep. He woke up again, but I must have been so deep asleep because I only heard him when David went in to see him. I don’t think that has ever happened, where I haven’t heard him at all.

David said when he went in, he pointed to his bookshelf, “Book! Book! Book!’ he said. David said, “No book.” And he screamed. This morning when I was getting dressed, the baby passed me two small pieces of scrunched up kleenex. David puts Kleenex in his ears when he is rocking or soothing Holden to sleep and he is screaming and crying in his dad’s ear.

It is hard to explain what it is like to have a baby that really doesn’t sleep well. Sometimes, I can look back on the last year and realize how far we have come. Holden doesn’t nurse during the night anymore. His naps are kind of regular and he can get to sleep with a variety of parenting methods (rocking, patting the bum, stroller rides.). People without kids look terrified when you tell them your 18 month old still never sleeps through the night. And then probably, because I know I would have thought the same thing, I’m sure they say to themselves “That won’t be my kid!”. Some people have kids that sleep and when you tell them about your child they say, “Well by this age he really should be…..” But then they trail off because they recognize you might rip them apart limb by limb if they continue. Then there are a special breed of moms who seems to relish every beautiful moment spent with their children. And they tell you that their kids didn’t sleep , but they loved being up with them in the night and having that special time.

That is the worst, because more than any other suggestion or comment, you feel like the worst parent on earth. Through their tenderness and patience, you can see your own failures as a person to live in the moment, to make each moment count, to enjoy a painfully brief childhood. When the baby cries for me in the middle of the night, I actually dread seeing him.  But then I dread going to sleep too, because I know I will wake up too soon and be met with an angry little boy. If you gave me a choice in that moment when the baby cries, either go in and help him back to sleep – or to get punched in the face and he will magically fall asleep. I would get punched in the face. Every time.

Do you know the scene in Fight Club where Edwards Norton’s character talks about insomnia? He describes his life without sleep as being a copy of a copy of a copy.

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That isn’t quite it. It feels more like the meanest, ugliest copy of a copy. When you don’t sleep properly, it is hard not to get things all twisted up and wrong. I find it hard to start things, It is hard to recover properly from practice. It is hard not to feel blinding self-pity.  It poisons everything.

So sleep plan: 0. Holden’s grumpy sleep deprived mood: 1

Today, I’m throwing shade all over 2012.