SHE SAID: Yoga

September 30, 2010

Yoga is like oatmeal.  I know being exposed to it more frequently would be great for me, and I always think,” I’m going to do this more often”, when I finish.  But the truth, up to this point, is that I don’t.  When the time comes to go to yoga or go for a run, I choose a run.

When I am there, though, I love it.  I love the vibe: the clean, relaxed, body and soul cleansing aspect of exercise without stress.  I love the explanation behind poses, the reminders to breath, and the positive affirmation.  It’s something I typically do a few times a year and wish I did on a more regular basis.

And as far as men are concerned, I think Jeremy is over thinking it.  I would invest in some spandex, maybe these, be psyched that the next time a flash mob dance breaks out he can consider a high leg kick, and stop worrying about it.

Hot yoga.  Now that is a different story.  Hot yoga is trying to avoid the spatter from the sweat droplets of the person in front or beside you.  Trying to grab your feet, which are slippery as a greased up watermelon in water, to hold a difficult pose.  Wiping your brow with a towel so drenched that you’re not sure it’s even absorbing anymore … 5 minutes into class.  Doing the same 26 postures each class over and over.

Recently, my friend Lindsey convinced me to go to a hot yoga class with her.  She had been going a ton of late and was, even she will admit, obsessed with the class.  So, I borrowed a pair of spandex so short my father wouldn’t have let me out of the house (had he seen me) grabbed a towel and headed to class.  I should have considered, before enthusiastically accepting, that I hate saunas because I get what I can only imagine is the closest thing to a panic attack without being a panic attack when I’m in a sauna.  It’s hot and I imagine all the little oxygen molecules that my lungs need just evaporating into thin air and I start to sweat, and have trouble breathing, and insist on leaving.  I think the longest I’ve lasted in a sauna is about 2 minutes – and I grew up with one in the house.

As we walked into the class, I imagine inductees to hell experience the same wall of heat as they are high-fiving Satan, I realized that forgetting water was a grave mistake.  But our instructor was chipper, and Lindsey drove, so I had no out.  Being one of the last ones there, we were in the middle of the third row (the back), positioned behind a woman with a body that Gisele would kill for thankfully blocking my view of the mirror.  I imagined, as we were warming up, that I looked like her in my booty shorts and later on, that I was as kick ass at yoga as she.  This was, of course, tougher to do as I found myself needing “time out” on the mat with my head in-between my legs trying not to pass out while she continued to bend and contort and yogatize herself.  The class went on and on.  Poses were repeated, our chipper instructor continued to talk without taking a breath, and my sweat droplets continued to multiply exponentially as I careened down Negative Lane, straight past Desperation Alley and headed snack dab towards Hysteria-ville.

Of course, the class ended without me running out the door.  Once outside, it took me ten minutes and one coconut water to feel like I wasn’t going to vomit and/or pass out.  And once I got past that, I felt good.  Exhausted in a great way.  Apparently, I’m supposed to give it a few more tries.  And while I accept this train of thought and know I will be back to hot yoga (I even bought my own pair of short shorts), I also feel that you don’t have to be miserable to get a good work out in.

But if it’s like so many sports, where it gets more enjoyable as your body gets used to it, I might just start enjoying it and post about my love affair with hot yoga.  Has anyone who reads this been miserable at first with something only to grow to love it?

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SHE SAID: Silly Bandz

July 30, 2010

I don’t get it.  I don’t get it in the same way that I didn’t understand beanie babies and pokemon cards, but that’s to be expected since I wasn’t between the ages of 4 – 14 when those products came out.  Ask me about garbage pail kids and cabbage patch kids and I can contribute something positive to the conversation and will attempt a pathetic defense of why those products are better than today’s options mainly because I have to defend my allegiance to ridiculousness, not because cabbage patch kids were the most amazing toy ever invented.  Garbage Pail Kids, on the other hand, I will defend as art and I wish my mom hadn’t thrown them out because they were awesome … but I digress.

What I don’t understand is why the 28 year old man I talked to today was wearing a Silly Band.  Or the 26 year old woman who told me in great detail how she traded her black submarine Silly Band for a glow in the dark shark after turning down previous offers for a penguin and a multi colored kangaroo.  The cross over to the adult market for shaped rubber bands (that people are actually paying money for), amazes me. And no, these aren’t random oddballs or teachers and people who work with kids and thusly feel the need to decorate themselves in the accepted accoutrements.  This is common enough and widespread enough that I feel the need to post on it.

Go to a bar and you will see adults wearing Silly Bandz.  Okay, maybe not at the swanky I-Banker bars in New York, but most bars.  I haven’t checked with the generation above mine, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say they weren’t trading garbage pail kids or wearing slap bracelets any time, much less while out at night.  Are we so terrible in our attempts at interaction that we are resorting to the bag of tricks of a fifth grader?  It has to be something other than that.  And I’m not going to credit the designers of the Silly Band for coming up with something so cool that everyone from age 6 to 60 is jonesing for it.

Maybe by crossing the threshhold of 30 I have decended into the age of incomprehension.  Next I’m going to be telling my son how I walked seven miles each way to school with nothing but newspaper on my feet in freezing weather.  Or how much an ice cream cost with I was a kid.  And he’ll be rolling his eyes and sneaking off to spend his allowance on Silly Bandz.


SHE SAID: Nicknames

May 7, 2010

My mom always said that nicknames meant you were well liked. This theory arose coincidentally around the time I was dubbed “sniffer” and I have a sneaking suspicion they might be related. My nicknames included Fire, Snifter, Brandy Snifter, and Kid Sister. I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

I tried to drop my lifelong nickname freshman year in college. I had everyone calling me by my given name, the unused one typed in on my birth certificate, for two whole weeks. It seemed, and still does, like someone else’s name and going by it was kind of like stepping into someone else’s skin, albeit briefly. My brief flirtation with normalcy was cut short when my dad came to visit and let the cat out of the bag. I see people from elementary school who are surprised I still go by my nickname. One of them said, “I thought you’d have grown out of that by now.” It appears I have only grown more and more into it.

I had friends called names that would make my mom blush. Names they would accept as monikers despite me being embarrassed to say the word aloud, much less address someone as such. I have had friends name their significant others something lame and terrible and oh-so-cheesy. I’ve had friends name their or someone else’s body parts, which I don’t really think is all that necessary. I had friends that fought nicknames tooth and nail, a tact which seemed only to make the name stick with more zealousness. And yet, I’ve had friends lament their nicknamelessness.

But if we are going to do a High Fidelity type list, as my co-writer is so fond of doing since everything seems to be rateable in his book, my favorite nicknames of the peer variety in no particular order are:

Log. One of my good friends was called Smokey after alerting the authorities to a fire. Since I was already called Fire, we got a kick out of the link. Our third friend, wanting to get in on the action, suggested we call her spark or flame. Smokey decided that no, Log was a much better idea.

FurPud. A guy I knew, called Pud by all who knew him, moved out West and dropped the nickname in the move. When some friends came to visit him, he reminded them that they were not to call him Pud since he didn’t want it catching on out West. His Eastern friends discovered, however, that his Western friends called him Furball, due to his extensive body hair, and when they all got together, Pud/Furball became Furpud.

Pearsie. When I was growing up, my best friend’s parents called his brother Pearsie. They said it was because he had looked like a pear when he was born. It always struck me as incredibly sweet, maybe it was the way they said it, and I remember it fondly to this day.

Kat-breath. I don’t know this woman, she’s a friend of a friend. But all her friends call her this both behind her back and to her face. Seems a bit … too specific. I hope she’s not a close talker.

America’s Guest. He came. Sometimes invited. He bummed a ticket, invite or twenty off of you. He was adored, stayed too long and entertained everyone the whole evening. Again and again and again.


HE SAID: Promptness

August 6, 2009

566184634_f88248883dThere we were, a ghost, Jason from Friday the 13th, a gorilla, and god knows what else.  There were about 8 of us that year, horsing around my friend’s house after school waiting for our last friend to show up, so we could commence trick or treating.  We were probably about 9 years old that year, the pinnacle of Halloween.  We were able to pick out our own outfits, no longer could our parents dress us up in fucking pumpkin costumes (thank god that picture hasn’t  been scanned onto facebook yet), and this was the first year we were allowed to go trick or treating on our own.  Our plan was simple: get lots of candy, avoid the high school kids who would try and egg us, get back to our buddies house watch Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors and gorge ourselves on the candy we had.

And you know what…it almost never happened.  Why? Because my best friend was late.  Really fucking late.  We got about 45 minutes of trick or treat time, missed most of the Simpsons, and my candy lasted me about two days.  I’ll leave full names out of it, but we invented the term, “B***r Time,” after that night, because this kid operated on a whole different space/time continuum than the rest of the world.

How effing hard is it to show up on time, generally speaking.  I get the fact that in many cases there are extenuating  circumstances, but most of the time that is not true.  To quote one of the greatest comedies ever made, “Well, no, why don’t we say 9:30, and then make it your beeswax to be here by 9:30? I mean, we’ll all be in our late 20s by then. I just don’t see any reason why we can’t be places on time. ” (Wet Hot American Summer).  When you’ve agreed to be somewhere, or meet someone at a certain time, just do your best to accomplish that.

Guess what?  If you think you might be late – That last beer before you head out the door…doesn’t need to be drunk.  That last mile on the bike, skip it.  While I realize the following statement is not what chronically late people are actually implying, it seems to those of us chronically affected by it that you deem your time to be more important than ours.  Again, I want to stress that I understand that isn’t what you people (yeah I said it, “you people,”) are actually saying to the rest of us, but it is how it comes off.

I have two friends (yes, that’s right, only two), who shall also remain anonymous.  Both of them have had some terrific softball careers.  One of them was somewhat of a team leader, showing up on time, running practices, etc etc…however in his final at bat one season he had the chance to be the hero – runners in scoring position, two outs in the final inning, and he struck out looking.  Clearly he can’t come up big when it matters.  The other friend is a bit like Manny Ramirez  (not the hitting aspect, the mental aspect).  She shows up some games, sometimes late, she doesn’t show up others.  You get the point.  She had a walkoff single last week.  Who would you rather have on your team?

Well, the one that shows up late and comes through in the clutch of course.  This doesn’t support my overall statement in any way, but I just heard the story about my buddy that struck out looking, and had to squeeze it in here.


SHE SAID: Promptness

August 6, 2009

Before anyone berates me in the comment section, for those of you who don’t know, I am chronically late.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?  I find it’s usually about 15 minutes, but sometimes despite best intent, I stretch it out a bit longer.  There are those who think my showing up late is disrespectful of their time.  And while I completely understand that, it is not my intent in any way shape or form.

It all started way back, such a long long way back …

My entire family is late. As Jeremy’s childhood friend, we seem to operate on our own time & space continuum.  Christmas morning starts at 11 am, dinners scheduled for 7 start at 9, and any time it’s really important, tell us to be there at LEAST a half an hour before you actually want us there.

Once I walked home from soccer practice as a young child (4 miles) only to find my mom hadn’t left to pick me up yet.

So, I consider my 15 minutes preferable to both my brother’s 45 minutes (my sister-in-law’s ring tone for him is “love isn’t always on time” – brilliant) and my mother’s solid hour.

nifer_timeline

My most horrendous offenses to date that I remember:

I was close to two hours late for a friend’s Christmas Dinner without a good reason.  Well, it was good for me, but they weren’t as understanding.

I once told Jeremy I was on my way to meet him as I was stepping into the shower which resulted in me meeting him at 7:28 for a 7:30 movie that was 30 minutes away.

I recently orchestrated a meet up with friends at 7 and while they were all there at 7, I was just getting off my bike at seven and didn’t make the dinner until a little after 8.  Thankfully, they had all ordered a few drinks.

I have spent a large amount of time this summer driving 85 MPH +  for over three hours in an all out effort to make the last boat of the day to my destination … because I left home late.

Thankfully cleanliness, not timeliness, is next to Godliness because at least I have some hope in that area.

I just asked my best childhood friend if she had any memories of my lateness and she said in an incredibly sexy voice (she’s single, gentlemen) ….

“You are always late. I factor in an extra 45 minutes, no joke, when you are meeting me and honestly it works out pretty well.  You have the best intentions of anyone I know and you genuinely want to be on time and make plans but it’s how it goes.”

About two weeks ago, I decided, after a day of being ten minutes late for everything (and it was a heavily scheduled day, so it was wearing me down) that I was going to be on time.  And, surprisingly enough, I did it.  I was uncomfortable at first. I didn’t know what to do with all the time I found I had, and I was really unaccustomed to not running around like mad and constantly apologizing for keeping people waiting.  But it was nice.  In comparison to my regular state of being, I felt like I had just stepped out of a spa.

I could get used to it.  Maybe.  But I’ve got to work in room for the spontaneity quotient, so don’t count on me to be on time ALL the time.


HE SAID: The Overuse of WiFi/Internet Cafe’s

June 23, 2009

There are many, many viable reasons for spending lots of time in wifi cafe. Maybe you are a freelancer who works out of your house and sometimes you just need to find some new space to be more productive. Perhaps it’s a last resort because your own internet is down and the public library is too far away. There is always the chance that you aren’t a big drinker or bar person and feel most comfortable trying to pick up a member of the opposite sex while listening to the hip Indie music the barista is playing that day.
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While these options are all possible, they are all few and far between as well. Most of you assholes that spend an excessive amount of time at the local Starbucks (or localized version of Starbucks) are there for one reason and one reason only- to look cool.

You know exactly who I’m referring to. The guy with his Macbook (no, not even a Macbook Pro, because people with Pro’s are probably doing something productive), wearing a J. Crew cardigan and listening to The Shins. And you know what he is working on? His fucking screenplay. The same screenplay he has been working on forever. This person does not intend on actually finishing this piece of work (use that term loosely), but it is merely a conduit for conversation with random strangers who he wants to appear cool in front of.

It would be almost acceptable if this conversation in turn were a conduit to hooking up with whatever poor bastard this person ends up baiting, but seems to me in most cases it’s not. This person just wants everyone else in the world, or at least the wifi cafe, to know just how cool he/she is.

When I was in Indian Wells a few months back for work, I would sit at the hotel Starbucks every morning for about 90 minutes. I’d enjoy my non-fat double tall latte, catch up on emails, (sometimes listen to The Shins), and try to sell some extra tennis tickets. See, there was a point to my loitering. The more tickets I sold, the better quality of alcohol I could afford that night at the hotel bar (where I would try and sell more tickets).

Well one morning this approximately 30 year old male sat near me and asked me what I was working on. I told him, “just catching up on emails, I’m in town for the tennis so just killing time before the matches start.” (Notice the veiled reference to tennis, in case he were interested in some tickets). Now this guy wasn’t wearing a cardigan because it was 83 degrees, but I’m almost positive he put one on later that night since it cools down dramatically in the desert. What clued me in was when he said, “That’s cool, I’m usually in here working on some of my writing, but my creativity really feeds off different people’s vibes, and it’s just not crowded enough.” I almost spat my latte out, but given that it cost about six bucks I held it in, swallowed, and called him a douchebag.

Ok so I only thought about calling him a douchebag, but you all know I would have been justified.


SHE SAID: The Overuse of WiFi/Internet Cafe’s

June 23, 2009

I love your unbridled and rampant hatred of these tools sitting around in cardigans (how dare they) and working on writing. You’re right. You’re so right. What a loser for going and working somewhere where they can get free wireless and check out the people. Especially if they are working on a piece that includes characters and they might need to do a little people watching to make some of their characters more believable or interesting or less one dimensional.
Who are you to judge the validity of someone’s actions and how they are spending their time? Or whether or not they deserve to be sitting in a place that offers free wifi? I mean, I love you and all, but maybe you should be worrying more about selling your tickets and less about what the guy next to you is doing. Although, I will give you that the exchange you had with said douchebag is pretty douchebaggish.
Stop spending your time worrying what the guy next to you is doing with his time and criticizing what he’s wearing (I’m wondering who is deserving enough to wear the J. Crew cardigan without receiving a lashing from you?) and focus on your own stuff. You’re own latté, your own laptop, life, incoming SMS messages, whatever it is.
Is the person next to you on their computer harming or even affecting your life in any way other than the stress you are generating over judging him or her?
I think we get into a lot of trouble when we’re worrying about and judging neighbors, be they literal or metaphorical, thoughts, actions, and clothing. To a certain extent, it’s inevitable that we compare ourselves to those around us. We want to be like someone we admire, we don’t want to turn out like a parent or sibling, we want to impress someone we like, keep those we don’t like away from us, we’re going to do things to either elicit a response from someone or emulate someone.
But let’s have it stop there.
These places are offering free wireless internet and most don’t even require the purchase of one of their coffees, although I would recommend it just because it’s polite. What people chose to do with that access to the mighty world wide web is their business and whether it’s the worst screenplay in the world, or a new masterpiece we will be discussing for centuries, it’s their choice where they write it, if they write it and what they wear while writing it.
How you choose to spend your free time with access to the internet is completely up to you, and I’m happy to rip on you for that or have you rip on me for that if we choose to go their with this idea, but as for the poor bastard sitting next to you who unknowingly opened himself up to 541 words of condemnation by choosing to go to the local starbucks that day … let’s cut him and the like a break.
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As a side note, I love ordering small, medium and large sizes instead of tall, vente and grande when I go to Starbucks. Just to be an ass in whatever small way I can.