Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A chaotic mind

"Yoga means union; it is waking up to the beauty both within ourselves and realizing the sacredness of all life. And it is the expression of love: loving yourself and others, which frees us from a chaotic mind, negativity and neurosis."  What a great quote from a blog entry via Ed and Deb Shapiro (

I wish I could fully experience that union without my thoughts constantly trailing off.  Last night my mind wondered to feet ... yes, feet.  I even made notes ... yes, notes ... about what intrigues me about feet at yoga.  It was as bad as the two college students I saw texting during inversions not too long ago.

The intimacy of feet during yoga class fascinates me.  It's such a personal thing to reveal yourself to other adults you don't know by baring your feet, and I believe, your "self" in the process.  You can assume a lot about a person from her or his feet.  Part of it is the texture.  Are they cracked?  If they're dry and worn, the people emits the feeling of being tired.  If they're quaffed, smooth and look soft, the person is likely to be young and less tired as a result.  Taking good care of your tootsies, polishing your nails, that all spells youth to me.

Another issue is normality.  Alas, I regress to freaky feet.  It's embarrassing to admit I look at the length of women's toes in hopes to see some asymmetry there.  And the feet that are totally, exceedingly cracked make me feel sad for the person.  I imagine them having corns, bunions, or even (gag) hammer toes.

The last thing is care.  It kind of scares me to be beside someone like this, the funky feet person, as if their flakes will slough off and reach my mat or something.  What a control freak and germaphobe!  I hardly ever walk across that floor without my flip flops because of all the icky stuff there from craft class (and the Y's bugs, ew).  It's not as if I have the most perfect, loofa-ed, beautiful feet in the room either.  My heels are slightly cracked (I'm working on it) and my toes soak in the lotion every day.  Not to mention, my own nails have carried no shiny color since at least September.  The yellow tinge of post-summer polishing doesn't count.

Mine have carried me over years and years, not to mention miles and miles.  They've not been pampered, with only occasional attention and a half-assed effort with a pumice stone.  If it's not sandal season, they are usually worse for the wear.  So why am I such a foot snob?  Are you kidding -- why am I even thinking about this sort of thing in yoga?  At least I'm there, tackling these OCD tics one at a time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Contained" play list

Thanks to my co-conspirator and friend, Lanea (, for the idea of what music would go along with my novella, "Contained."  The scene is listed to the left and so on.  Can't you just see/hear it???

Open – "Breakaway," Kelly Clarkson
Check on neighbors – "Perfect Day," Lou Reed
Chapter 2 (Keith intro) – "Rehab," Amy Winehouse 
First drive – "Rose Garden," Lynn Anderson
Blank scenery – "Angel from Montgomery," John Prine & Bonnie Raitt
Picking up convict – "Chain Gang," Sam Cooke
Leaving convenience store – "Trouble," P!nk
Driving into town – "Lord Protect My Child," Susan Tedeschi (Dylan cover)
Café scene -- "Requiem for a Dream," Clint Mansell
Sheriff station – "Sabotage," Beastie Boys
Chapter 7 Burning trees – "Welcome to the Jungle," GNR (at its mention)
then "Goodbye Blue Sky," Pink Floyd
Driving to barn – "Mother," Pink Floyd
morning meeting Ol’ Joe – "Hurt," Johnny Cash
Amish barn – "Hallelujah," KD Lang (Leonard Cohen cover)
Chapter 9 Girl running – "Helter Skelter," The Beatles
Assorted scenery driving – "Lullaby," The Dixie Chicks
Dog shelter – "Freedom," George Michael 
Chapter 10 Base alert – "Holiday," Green Day
Car wash – "I Will Build You a New Life" chorus, Everclear
In the church – "Evanescence," My Immortal
Outside church against guys – "Man Down," Rihanna
Leaving there – "MIA," Paper Planes
Chapter 13 (at the mention) – "For Whom the Bell Tolls," Metallica
Ending chase scene – "William Tell Overture," Rossini
End credits – "Beauty in the World," Macy Gray

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One of my heroines!

Goddess bless Gloria Steinem!

I especially love her quote about plastic surgery and what I've heard called the "frankengina:"

"It is part of an obsession with youth, but it is also pushed – and this is much more reprehensible to me – by pornography, in which women are made to look like children. What has sent me over the edge is this operation in which the labia minora is tucked in. That's what they think women should look like. It's horrifying. It normalises abnormality." Ms. Steinem

Her mention of the bunny suit's fit made me think of my own Spanx swim suit.  Why do I care so much about my weight gain that I find it necessary to push all my fat upwards out of the top of a one-piece suit that take 10 minutes to squeeze my fleshidy flesh into?  

And I appreciate her articulation of, ""The idea that women are supposed to be the means of reproduction. If they – I mean 'they' in the larger sense: patriarchy, nationalism, whatever you want to call the mega-structure – didn't want to control reproduction, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in."

I can never quite explain my feminist view on reproduction to others who question where feminism fits into having babies (aka "haters").  We should never be made to feel like it's the inevitable goal for all women. We have that inner "shit detector" she mentions, and some of us are prepared to use it.

Seeing Gloria interviewed recently on "Chelsea, Lately" renews my hope that younger women will know who she is and learn from these pioneering women's actions for our collective future.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

On old friends and the best of times ...

Some of the best things in my memory are from the way-back-when of grade school.  There are so many of us who were classmates then and have remained in some degree of touch to this day.  It's the old pack, the ones from the north side, including the ones from the "wrong" side of the tracks like me.  We could walk home from Eastwood and never fear for the worst.  Every few streets there was a "safe-house" picture in the window of someone's home, usually that of an extra-protective mom who wanted the neighbor kids to know where to go in case of trouble.  A bicycle was our easy transportation to the school, where a free bus took us to the swimming pool in summer months.  Our moms knew the two-hour route intrevals, and 10-minute whistle breaks made us rest on the hour, but we were pretty much on our own beyond that. The small-town world was our oyster, and we were free to roam it.  But those were the '70s.

I remember Girl Scouts and sleep-overs. Maybe the girls didn't get invited to my house so much, but I cherished going to their homes.  It was an escape from the confines of a middle-child existence, with parental attention usually elsewhere, and not enough left out of the weekly paycheck to go around.  It was an event to go to those bunking parties, as we called them.  No way would my mom let me have more than one person over at a time.  She was pulled to opposing ends with four of her own kids as it was. 

My friends had the scoop on each party.  We knew which hosting mom was friendly and who was strict, who would yell up (or down) the stairs for us to be quiet past midnight.  Some parents were willing to pick me up for the party, but I think the consistency of the inconvenience wore out my welcome with others.  Regardless, we knew what house had the most fun in store.  Many nights were spent with Ouija Boards, Magic 8 Ball, and "light as a feather, stiff as a board." If only I still had my vintage red-white-n-blue sneaker sleeping bag!

My friend, Lanea, is and was awesome!  She introduced us all to a crazy band our young minds tried to absorb.  She was the most die-hard KISS fan you could ever encounter, and her mom was the coolest about letting her immerse herself in that fandom.  Every inch of her bedroom walls was covered in magazine pages of Ace Freely, Peter Kriss, and Gene Simmons.  Who was that other guy?  Lanea's room was the coolest out of every one of us.  I don't think she ever heard, "Don't put a tack through that plaster!" or "You better not use Scotch tape on that panelling!" (It was, after all, the '70s.)  Lanea decked her walls with her love of music, and she carried that tradition into adulthood.

She combined the joy she gained from music and a knack for cooking into a joint labor of love with her best friend, Maggie. Their story is heart-warming and amazing.

Maggie's legacy lives on at  Rock on, ya'll.