This reads almost like a script from a Woody Allen movie, with scenes related to piercings, tattoos, and other guilt-related neuroses. The mother worries about the daughter's finances and throws around Hebrew terms. Both of them tell the story about how the mother saw the first piercing during the Days of Awe, of all times. You'd almost think it was scripted.
It's obvious that Joanna and her mother love and respect each other. The mother worries more about her daughter than she's ashamed of her. Worth a read.
On my way to the train station the other day, I was offered a breakfast bar with a card attached to it. I didn't really pay attention until I got on the train and noticed that the card was a greeting from South Mountain Community Church, inviting me to join them in worship one of these days.
I didn't have the opportunity to return the breakfast bar with the explanation that a candy bar wasn't going to convince me to convert from Judaism; but neither did I have the conscience to consume the thing (even though it did have a hechsher). So I put it in the communal fride at work, with the card prominently displayed, figuring that someone else wouldn't have the same qualms as me. We're a very diverse company - I suspect that every major religion is represented.
Well, it's been several days, and the bar is still there, with the card and all. The next step in my experiment is to remove the card and see if it's eaten soon after that.
The foreign press cite "unnamed sources" in Congress and write that there is pressure from the White House for several Republican representatives to either cross the aisle or at least start a new party.
Apparently, Karl Rove is concerned that the president is running out of excuses for his failure to execute against his legislative agenda. The Reagan strategy of taking credit for everything that goes well, blaming Congress for everything that doesn't, and forgetting anything embarrassing, simply won't work if a) things don't go well, c) Congress is Republican, and b) you're still young.
Rove's six-month plan is to fix all these problems, while distracting the public with religious-right spectacles. After losing the Republican majority in Congress, there will be some declarations of victory (an orderly election of a new pope is one such item), and coaching of Bush to make him look tired.
I don't breath so easily lying on my stomach. After flowing through Bhujangasana, Salabhasana (which is a killer even if you do it well, which apparently I did), Poorna Salabhasana (which I only do OK - can't quite get those feet up high enough), and Dhanurasana (not bad, if I do say so myself), there is no flipping way I can lie on my stomach and get my breath back. I flop onto my side and shamelessly gasp through my mouth.
I lost inches, but not much weight. Which means that I replaced fat with muscle but have some work ahead.
Some of the poses make more sense in more advanced forms. On the last day, I took Tadasana all the way down to (a very imperfect and wobbly) Padungustasana, and it wasn't as horrifying as I thought it would be. I also did Tuladandasana with parallel flat palms with better effect, and Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janurshirasana had a different feel with my hands in prayer position behind my back. I learned to start loving Ustrasana once I got my hands to my heels and could actually push my chest up.
I have a lot of fear tied up in my body. This whole thing about "opening up your heart center" is pretty terrifying stuff. After the afore-mentioned Ustrasana ("camel pose") my heart is pounding from a major infusion of adrenaline, and it takes quite a bit of fortitude to catch my breath long enough to do the second round. I think it's also at the root of my problems with Dandayamana Dhanurasana, where I have to choose between holding the pose or going deep, but never both.
Definitely go for those tight pants. Tight-fitting clothes are not my bag, but I am never going back to shorts after I tried Nike jammers made of lycra and nylon (trademarks respectively of Nike, DuPont, and DuPont). Apart from the occasional uncomfortable feeling that I was naked, they became my "magic pants," and I now have them in black, navy, and dark green.
I probably won't be able to do more than 2 or hopefully 3 sessions in the next few months, but my theory is that you need to 2 to maintain and 3 or more to build your practice.
I moved around a lot as a child. We lived in three towns and four houses in Norway before we moved to Canada when I was 5. In Canada we moved twice in four years, and then we moved to Austria, where we moved once in two years. Then we moved back to Norway, where we lived in the same house for 9 years, before I went off to college.
In Canada, Christmas was a holiday with an excess of bright lights, toys, and cheerful songs; in Austria, there were strong religious overtones; and in Norway there were strong pagan undertones. My parents strictly kept our home-based traditions.
From time to time, I've made reference to a blog by a woman struggling with infertility. We're in another chapter here, as getupgrrl (as she calls herself) and her surrogate "Sarah" are facing the first trimester together. As touching as her latest entry is, the overwhelming response from her readers may just improve your faith in the human race.
Last I checked, 325 people wrote in support of her. It may be a while before getupgrrl, Sarah, getupgrrl's husband, parents, friends, and countless cyberfriends feel they are out of the woods, but there is finally some good news.
I took my children hiking in South Mountain Reservation yesterday, and since my daughter wanted to meet someone at the other side of the river, I decided I'd take them both exploring. Exploring, I explained, was trying to find your way in a place you'd never been before. And although the Raritan River just down from the reservoir is not exactly uncharted territory, it wasn't clear how we were going to get across it staying dry.
As it turned out, we only made it to an island and had to turn back. I was doing a great job carrying my kids across river banks, when I slipped and fell on the final crossing. My daughter was very concerned that I was okay; my son (who was being carried at the time) was mostly annoyed. We made our way back to the car when I realized I no longer had my Blackberry. My wife came with the other car, took the kids home, and I went on a search mission for the Blackberry.
I found it at the bottom of the river, gleaming like a sapphire, utterly broken. And now I'm crippled until I get a new one shipped from the carrier today.
I read yesterday in my trusty WSJ that the CDC may have overstated the number of deaths that could have been prevented if people hadn't been obese. The problem appears to be related to the way the CDC adjusted for "age and other factors." Still, they said, obesity firmly remains the second most prevalent cause of preventable deaths in the US, after smoking but before alcohol.
Studies like this must be incredibly difficult to design and execute. Since we'll all die sooner or later, attributing a single cause to a death is all but impossible. Nobody dies of obesity - they die of complications caused by obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes, etc. And since obesity isn't exactly a binary condition either, we're trying to correlate two elusive figures to come up with an exact number. This is further complicated by the fact that medical science is constantly coming up with new ways to extend the lives of obese and sick people - better treatment for diabetes, new ways to treat heart disease, medicine against hypertension, cholesterol, etc.)
A second cousin of mine died a few weeks ago. He was 44 years old, and died peacefully in his apartment.
When his mother hadn't heard from him in a while, she managed to get master keys to his place and locked herself in. There she found him.
These are the duties of parents in general, and perhaps mothers in particular. To confront your greatest fear, go to the trouble of finding a key you're not really supposed to have, and be the first to know something awful has happened. Then pull yourself together and take care of things. And then, if all this wasn't enough, be grateful that you could perform this last service to your children.
Every time a parent buries his or her children, we're reminded that life is inherently unfair, that the human race has too much left to figure out, that even our greatest hopes can turn into the greatest tragedies in an endless millisecond.