5.31.2009

Good Sunday

Plenty of clean clothes for the week.











And sweet snickerdoodles from Dina.

5.30.2009

Day One - Yoga teacher training

8.00-9.00: Meditation
9.30-11.00: Yoga
11.00-12.00: Lunch!
12.00-4.00: Anatomy

Note 1:
My meditation demon appears to be judgment, in the form of analysis, i.e. going over real-life situations, interactions with people or plot lines and evaluating how effective/positive/plausible they were. I think I even spent a few moments this morning being disappointed in the story arcs on Grey's Anatomy over the last few years.

I have given my intellect way too much power over the years. It's time I take that power back. I also have feelings. They might benefit from a little more attention.

(I turned my intellect back on for the anatomy portion of the program though).

Note 2:
A good proportion of the class is made up of dancers, circus performers, and acrobats. People who make their living with the bodies, and who enjoy a degree of flexibility (and physical tonus) that I will probably never attain. On breaks between lectures, they would perform physical feats in the middle of the room to showcase their many talents.

Once I got over the feeling of being the old fat lady in the class, some observations rose to the surface. Although yoga naturally attracts the athletic because of the potential for impressive contortions, according to what I've always understood, you don't need superhuman bendy ability to be a good yoga teacher.

But (assuming that you have all that other important teachery stuff) will students still respect you if you can't get that foot behind your head?

5.27.2009

Diamond engagement rings

When: Tonight
Place: Kilo
Who: Me. Ladypants. Maur.
What: Discussing a common friend who is orchestrating every aspect of her engagement ring before her boyfriend has even proposed.

Ladypants: I think you should just be happy with whatever ring your boyfriend buys you. I would!

Ad: No. No, you wouldn't. I know plenty of females who have said the same thing, but when they were surprised with the engagement ring, they were very - very - disappointed.

Maur: The engagement ring is something symbolic, but a lot of women just want to show if off to friends and have the ring. If I were given the choice between buying a ring and say - taking a trip to Asia for a month - I would rather get engaged with a trip.

Ad: It's definitely a symbolic thing and if a ring is the desired symbol, that's okay, but you still have to deal with the possibility that the woman will be disappointed. And not necessarily because the diamond isn't big enough. I think I might be disappointed that my boyfriend doesn't know me well enough to give me something that he knows I'll appreciate.

Ladypants: And where's the element of surprise if you're controlling everything from the start? 

Ad: If the guy were smart, he'd ask her best friend to shop with him. The BFF knows.

Maur: If the guy were smart, he wouldn't marry someone who only cared about diamonds.

Ladypants: Let's get candy!

So are we a bunch of candy-loving idealists, or did we get close to the heart of the issue?

5.26.2009

Update

Yoga teacher training is three sleeps and two work days away - and I am *so* ready.

The bedroom is finally painted, and my nest is warm and feathered. I've moved all the furniture back in. Installed the drapes. Bought a bitchin' new alarm clock. I look forward to the massive amounts of sleeping I'll be doing there during training.

I know the difference between medial and lateral rotation, why bowlegged people are bowlegged, and that the radius crosses the ulna when the hand pronates.

I have done all my laundry and discovered that I'll need one more yoga outfit to get through the month. I'll need to swing by lululemon tomorrow to check out new pants and a top. What do they put in their clothes? Cocaine?

I really am going to miss my coworkers. To compensate (i.e. make sure they miss me),  I made them lemon loaf for this morning and chocolate cupcakes for tomorrow morning. You'd be amazed how long it took to find a simple recipe for chocolate cupcakes.

T's have been crossed. I's have been dotted. Bring on the learnin'!

5.25.2009

Clever Facebook status lines

Feeling a little lonely? Want some attention - even if it's only comments on Facebook? Here are some suggestions that attract attention.
  • Malkin vants to be alone.
  • Malkin will be fine. Really. No need to worry.
  • Malkin needs attention. Over here! Yes, I'm talking to you!
  • Malkin is just going to stay at home all day. Alone. Sighing.
  • Malkin thinks we need to talk.
  • Malkin thinks you're marvelous!
  • Malkin is finally feeling better.
  • Malkin wants to talk to you about something.
  • Malkin is a little smitten.
  • Maklin has a little surprise for you.
They're cheapish, but they'll likely get results. You'll get much-needed attention... and my blog will get a much-needed traffic boost. Everyone wins!

5.22.2009

How to improve your yoga practice

You just have to listen. Even if you've heard the instructions a million times before. Even if you know the positioning by heart.

You never know when your yoga teacher will use a new metaphor or rephrase an instruction in such a way as to make it completely new.

For example, I've been working on padmasana (lotus) - well, ardha padmasana (half lotus) actually. The other week, while in the position and whining (internally) about my bone structure, Allison said, "To make more room, just move your hip back."

So I did. And then the most amazing thing happened. My knee actually floated a little bit closer to the floor.

Same thing while attempting salamba sirsasana (supported headstand). I couldn't get my legs up. Allison suggested (as she always does), "Squeeze your elbows, Adriana."

Now it always seems to me that I am squeezing my elbows, but this time I squeezed them a little more and my feet lifted from the floor as if by magic. I made no exertion other than squeezing my elbows. Gobsmacked.

So listen. You never know when the simplest of instructions could open new space.

5.18.2009

What do you want from a relationship?

Today was an extremely productive day. Gardening. First coat of paint in the bedroom done. Baked bread. Cleaning. And I still had plenty of time for girl talk with a few friends.

Topic of the day: What do you want from a relationship time-wise? Do you need the fusion-type relationship that keeps you and honey in almost constant company? Or are you okay with seeing each other, say, three or four days a week? What about living together? How soon? Not even an option?

Here are some highlights:
  • "If we spend all that time together, how am I supposed to miss him?"
  • "I've got things to do, activities, friends, so I'm totally fine if he has his own stuff going on. That means we can balance our time together - and apart."
  • "What are we supposed to talk about if we spend that much time together?"
  • "I don't even mind if we're both home and doing our own thing."
You can probably guess from the comments where our preferences lie, but what about you? Do you think it's a matter of personality? Lifestyle? Age? Or does it change from one relationship to another?

5.17.2009

Home decor

I think I'm falling in love with my home. I mean, it's been a pretty heavy crush for the last year and a bit, but our relationship has changed recently - deepened.

What really changed things was my decision to beautify the place. New closet doors. Wall hangings. Photo gallery. Fresh coat of paint. New curtains. I still don't have enough furniture to fill the space, but what is here looks prettier - more "me".

I even backed out of a girls' shopping weekend in Burlington to spend the weekend repainting my bedroom. My mom's manning the roll and I've got the paintbrush. She's also in charge of sweeping up all the cobwebs in my bedroom (no jokes, svp).

Once this room is done, I think my home and I will definitely be going steady.

5.16.2009

Pinching pennies

I had the pleasure of going to the ballet tonight - Sleeping Beauty by the Grands Ballets Canadiens. Since discovering ballet some three or four years ago, I have tried to see one performance every spring. It's generally a contemporary piece.

I love the powerful surge of bodies against gravity. Ballet's ability to unfold intricate stories with a flick of a wrist or a turn of the head. Le gestuel. And how to describe how sacred I feel when beneath the silence of the room, I hear the dancers breathing.

It's a privilege to see such beauty. And I feel especially fortunate to afford such a privilege.

For many years, when I worked as a freelance writer, I would lie awake at night calculating and recalculating expenses, trying to find a new strategy for paying everything off on time. There was no pocket change for ballet tickets.

Although I'm not 'rolling in it' today, I can afford the occasional ballet tickets. Or pedicure. According to my mother, I spend too much - and she's right, given the fact that she calculates costs based on 1970s standards. It feels good to be able to afford these little luxuries, but the mental calculations never really stop. I still find myself making purchase decisions based on how much money I actually have in my pocket.

"How much...? $7! Right. Then lunch will just have to cost $7."

"Gum would be good. Hmmm. No change? I can live without gum right now."

Certain habits never fade. I'll bet that even if you're rolling in it, you still make calculations... just on a much larger scale.

"How much...? 1.4 million! Right. Then I'll only buy a company worth $1.4 million."

They can probably afford better ballet seats too :)

5.12.2009

Problem with Twitter

I tweeted Eddie Izzard today. He won't respond but I sent my two cents anyway because my love of Eddie Izzard is greater than my good sense. I giggled to think that my name would flash across EI's iPhone.

So yes, I love being able to eavesdrop on the thoughts of faves like Eddie Izzard and Tina Fey. Yes, it's amazing to see how many creative people there are in my circle and watch the evolution of their projects. And yes, I love the ability Twitter gives me to share interesting articles and pick through articles posted by friends.

But I'm still not convinced that Twitter deserves that much of my attention. Not only I am not interesting enough to generate enough content for such a medium, but I find that most people on Twitter are not worth following either. Beliefs that were confirmed when I read this article by J. Peder Zane. He brought up two points that I'd like you to mull over.

We are self-absorbed and we like to be in control. Twitter satisfies both impulses.

Direct interaction is unpredictable. One of the joys and tribulations of conversation is the pressure of real-time give and take. Text messaging relieves that anxiety. We process the material on our schedule -- say what we want, when we want. Or don't say anything at all. Instead of forcing us to be our warts-and-all selves it allows us, at least in theory, to control the face we show the world.

The thing is, I follow those I follow because I respect what they do and they keep up my interest with good content. They're genuine. But you all know people who use their Twitter account to self-aggrandize, over-promote and overexaggerate their achievements with gratuitous content.

And that's what the blessed "Block" button is for.

So I continue to flirt with Twitter, but I don't think it's ever going to get serious. For who I am, for where I'm going, only recreational use makes sense.

5.10.2009

5.07.2009

My mother wins. Again.

When I decided to get a tattoo, everyone said, "Wow! What will you tell your mom?"

When I got the tattoo, everyone said, "It's gorgeous! What did your mom say?"

And now that it's been a month, everyone is asking, "You haven't shown your mom yet?"

The truth is, I've been putting it off, not wanting to deal with the inevitable explosion of how could you? and why would you waste your money? and what are people going to say? and have you changed religion?

Tonight I finally stopped being such a scaredy-squirrel. I paid a visit to my mother, telling her beforehand that I had a surprise to show her. I strode into her kitchen, propped my foot on the table and lifted my pant leg with a tah-dah!

[pleasedontyellatmepleasedontyellatmepleasedontyellatme]

My mother nudged her glasses further up her nose and said, "Why did you put it so low? I'd have put it up higher. Do you want another piece of cheese?"

Even after 36 years, she's still outsmarting me, dagnabbit!

5.06.2009

Why I'm a bad Montrealer

Here are the top eight reasons why I'm a bad Montrealer ( I tried to come up with ten, but I couldn't get past eight).

Warning: On a few occasions, you may want to accuse me of getting old. Truth is, I already felt like this when I was 16 years old so you have no grounds - haa!
  1. I don't like festivals. Festivals = crowds with sharp elbows, bad traffic flow and in-your-face backpacks. And I hate crowds. I'll happily buy a ticket to a show and make appropriate noises from my seat, but don't ask me to see free shows during the jazz fest or Just For Laughs. I'll say no.
  2. I don't like shopping. I tend to shop like a marine. My shopping trips are strategic strikes: I go in, I get what I need, and then I get the **** out. None of this browsing through every t-shirt on the rack or debating between turquoise or green for an hour. Buy and get back outside pronto!
  3. I don't like the tam tams. Remember all I said about point one? Take that and add "music that sounds the same" and "drunk McGill students".
  4. I don't know anyone who works at Ubisoft. And considering I live in the Plateau, this is astonishing as Ubisoft employees comprise approximately 76% of my neighbourhood. To compensate, I do know people who work at Cirque du Soleil.
  5. I have never made out at the Mont Royal lookout. Like number four, I am confident that this will change in the near future [fingers crossed].
  6. I don't like Irish pubs. Although I used to frequent them often in university and in my 20s, Irish pubs now make me cranky with their shrill Celtic music and clusters of drunk frat boys from Massachusetts singing "What do you with a drunkkken sailor?"
  7. I'm not a huge fan of Leonard Cohen or Mordechai Richler. They're legends and brilliant artists, but they just never conquered my heart, what can I say?
  8. I will not wait in line for food. Beauty's does make a nice pancake. And those restaurants along Duluth serve delicious food. Am I going to stand around with 20 other people waiting hours for a table? No! I will go to one of the city's other fine eateries, because when I'm hungry, I want to eat.
There may be more. I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'll work on my list of reasons why I'm a good Montrealer.

Photo was affectionately borrowed from CrissyAlright on Flickr.

5.03.2009

Pheromones and your period

Oh, the cruelty of the menstrual cycle!

Somewhere between ovulation and your period, it has been said that women secret sex pheromones, or as the non-sciencey people call it, invisible sexual magnetism. Biologically, our bodies are silently calling out to fertile men, letting them know that this "land" is ready to be "seeded".

Some of you ladies may have noticed that in the week before your period, the number of compliments you receive increase significantly. Suddenly, you are a total sex bomb and everyone is smiling in your direction with eyebrows lasciviously waggling.

No makeup? Old t-shirt? No matter! The pheromones are doing all the work for you!

For example, despite no effort on my part, in the last four days, I've been:
  • overtly ogled in the gay village (by a non-gay I imagine, let's not over-exaggerate my charms)
  • talked at in a lively fashion by a group of middle aged Portuguese man outside a sports bar (don't understand Portuguese but their eyes said it all)
  • hello-ed by a young blond thing on his bike while crossing an intersection
  • accosted by a pug dog who tried to make love to my shoe
So why do I lament the "cruelty" of the menstrual cycle? Because this increase in my charms generally coincides with a degradation of my verbal skills. My jokes fall flat, nothing I say makes sense to anyone except other hormone-addled females, and my ability to speak coherent French takes a four-day vacation.

So what's the lesson to be learned here, ladies?

In the week before your period: smile a lot and say little