Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sometimes Yoga Things Really Horrify Me

The first time I found myself horrified by yoga was when my yoga instructor (the crunchy, yuppy one) had me put my big toe on my "third eye" aka forehead. I'm not really sure what freaked me out so much about this, but the whole thing just felt wrong (like kicking a puppy).

Well today I became even more horrified by yoga (though I still love it). I've been fighting a cold and was debating whether to go to yoga class today, so I did what anyone else would do and googled it. The answer was no, you should not do yoga when sick but they did recommend the "six purification techniques of yoga." I had never heard of this, but was intrigued so of course I then googled that and found this scary website. Here are the six purification processes as listed on the site and my comments in brackets [] since some of the things already include parenthesis. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe some fasting or something, but it wasn't this.

1. DHAUTI- Yogic cleansing of the digestive tract.
a. Antar ( internal )Dhauti -This further divided into -
Vatsara Dhauti (Expelling air through anus) [aka farting]
Varisara Dhauti (Evacuating a large quantity of water through the bowels) [what is considered a large quantity?]
Vahnisara Dhauti (rapid expanse/contraction of the abdomen) [ok, we've actually done this one in yoga class and is i would say the lesser of the evils]
Bahiskrita Dhauti (washing the rectum in the hands) [what?]
b. Hrida(cardiac) Dhauti - It has 3 kinds of practices -
Danda Dhauti (Inserting soft banana stem in the stomach) [i'm not even sure what to picture here]
Vastra Dhauti (Swallowing a long thin strip of cloth) [yummy]
Vaman Dhauti (Regurgirating the contents of the stomach) [and you thought this was an eating disorder...really its just yoga]

2. BASTI- Yogic colon cleaning
a. Jala (water) Basti (Water is sucked in the large intestine through the anus and expelled) [well, that doesn't sound like fun]
b. Sthala (Dry) Basti (Air is sucked in the large intestine through the anus and expelled) [oh, much better]

3. NETI - Yogic nasal cleaning
a. Sutra (thread) Neti (passing a soft thread through the nose) [i'm not sure it matters how soft it is. it still sounds like flossing the inside of your nose to me.]
b. Jala (water) Neti (passing warm saline water through the nose) [this happened to me in the ocean once. i don't recommend it]
c. Ghrita (ghee) Neti (passing clarified butter through the nose) [clarified butter? really?]
d. Dugdha (milk) Neti (passing of milk through the nose) [it's bad when i'm thinking "passing milk through your nose doesn't sound that bad"]

4. TRATAKA- Yogic Concentrated Gazing
a. Bahiranga (external) Trataka [i'm disappointed that there wasn't more info on this, so i did more research. this is basically staring at a candle flame...without blinking until your eyes!]
b. Antaranga (internal) Trataka [this is just visualizing something with your eyes closed. seems almost too easy at this point]

5. NAULI – Yogic abdominal massage
a. Madhyama Nauli (the isolated contraction of the central muscles of the abdomins)[like pilates?]
b. Vama Nauli (the isolated contraction of the left part of the central muscles of the abdomen) [pilates?]
c. Dakshina Nauli (the isolated contraction of the right part of the central muscles of the abdomen) [again i thought pilates until i decided to google and found this disturbing picture]
d. Nauli kriya (the circular movement of the central muscles of the abdomen) [circular pilates?]

6. KAPALBHATI – yogic purification and vitalisation of the frontal lobes.
a. Vatkrama Kapalbhati (similar to bhastrika pranayama) [oh! well why didn't you say so! i looked this up. it's basically really fast breathing through your 3-4 breaths a second.]
b. Vyutkrama Kapalbhati (sucking water in through the nose and expelling it through the mouth) [in kate's words "i spend my time trying not to do this"]
c. Sheetkrama Kapalbhati [i love how they assume you know what this is. thanks to google i now know its the opposite of the one above. this one you suck the water...preferably salt your mouth and expel out your nose...again, i try not to do this]

[yeah, all those just sound like tons of fun. One website I came across said "Of these six practices, many are best performed in private and would not be suitable for use during a class." no crap! it would have to be a really close yoga class in order to want to pass some clarified butter through your noses together! ps spellcheck really hated this post]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend: Part 2

So this is the part of the weekend that everyone really wants to hear about...the black tie wedding. Bright and early Sunday morning, my dad picked me up and we headed down to Tysons Corner Virginia. We arrived just as the mall opened. Perfect! I love this mall. Though I actually didn't buy anything...what's up with that? We had lunch at Brio which was pretty yummy. After shopping some more, we checked into our room at the Ritz and just chilled until it was time to get ready for the big shin dig.

The groom was in his fifties and this was his first marriage so the theme of the wedding was "when pigs fly and hell freezes over." Interesting theme. How was this theme expressed? If the invitations, and the little pig with wings on the note card in the out of town guest goodie bag didn't tip you off. Then maybe the 6 foot high devil ice sculpture would give you a clue.

It was also a martini luge, which served four different types of martinis being dispensed out the bottom of the pitchfork. Yummy! There were also glass vases full of fireballs on either side of the sculpture which my dad filled his tuxedo pockets with towards the end of the night. And if you didn't get the idea from that, then maybe this:

Pig with wings cookies (though they kinda look like pink dogs) and chocolate medallions with devil appliques that were delivered to each table. I also may have gotten my dad in trouble because he stole an extra pig cookie which I thought was for my mom, but when I asked my mom today how it was, she had no idea what I was talking about.

Though that seemed to not be the only theme. The invitation stated that the event was black tie (or at least cowboy formal) so there also seemed to be a higher than normal percentage of cowboy hats and bolo ties. That may have tied into the cake:

Because obviously a stagecoach has nothing to do with pigs or hell (except maybe my own personal version of hell). Yes, there are musical instruments on the top of it. What can I say? They're in the music business. NERDS. Did I mention this was a Charm City (AKA Ace of Cakes) cake? Of course. Though we never actually ate the cake.

The food was very eclectic and plentiful. The cocktail hour seemed to be Asian themed. As there was a sushi station, some sort of burrito type thing with Peking duck, carved seared tuna, and various types of dumplings. Though there were waiters wandering around with everything from prosciutto and melon to barbecue chicken skewers to caviar and salmon wraps. We had no idea what to expect inside the actual let's have everything! There was a pasta station with chefs preparing pasta dishes so that it would be warm and fresh, there was a meat carving station (with filet of course), a seafood station with lobster, crab cakes, oysters, shrimp, etc., an antipasto station and a salad station. Then on top of that for dessert there were crepes being made to order, bananas foster being prepared by a chef, cookies, brownies and an ice cream sundae station where the poor chef girl was dishing out ice cream with a melon baller. I mixed desserts and had vanilla ice cream with warm bananas foster on top.

In case the food didn't break the bank, maybe the half dozen open bars, two bands (one big band, one Motown) and ridiculous floral centerpieces did.

One of the other women there with my dad's company was ridiculous drunk, and the HR staff person was almost forced into action but her boyfriend took her up to the room for the night. Though not before some ridiculous dancing to "New York, New York," her nearly toppling off of her chair at dinner, and multiple yellings of Mazel Tov during the speeches (it was a Jewish couple so that was only slightly inappropriate). All in all, a good time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend, Part 1

I realize that I'm going to be become bored of this post before I cover the whole weekend, so I'm going to split it in at least two.

My dad was in town for the weekend. (PS I have discovered that he somehow accidentally signed up for facebook and has a page, but nothing on it.) Saturday started off, and we went to visit my grandpa which was rather boring. After that we decided to go to lunch at The Chocolate Avenue Grille. I had the BEST salad EVER. I'm not even exaggerating. It's called "Jess's Favorite Salad In the Whole World." Look it up on the website. We were sitting out on the patio because it was a gorgeous day. Just before we were about to leave someone rear-ended another person on Chocolate Avenue. There was a lot of damage, but the person who had been rear-ended just drove away. Weird. Is there such a thing as be hit and run? We think they probably either a) had a suspended license (my mom's idea) or b) had a dead body in the trunk (Danielle's idea).

So from there we headed down to the Harrisburg Arts Festival. We didn't end up getting anything except a few delicious coconut macaroons.

Doesn't that look yummy!

After watching some Food Network (my dad is a Food Network junkie...weird). We headed off to my Uncle Bill's for a big picnic. We watched as the Phillies just gave a win away to the Yankees...painful. Then I doubted my decision to attend the big family vacation in the Outer Banks in July as there was a lot of fighting going on amongst the kids (sometimes with shovels and plastic swords). But once the food was ready, everyone was happy. I was a little disappointed because there was no fruit on the menu...hello? it's fruit season. Even if you don't want to cut everything up for a fruit salad, can't I at least have some watermelon or something. The other thing that bothers me is that they always have too much dessert. It's family tradition to make homemade ice cream. You would think that is really all you need, but apparently it was necessary to also have fudge, brownies and some sort of strawberry jello-y stuff. Oh well.

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for a recap of the big black tie wedding!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Technicality

My dad: I got a ticket today
Me: For what?
My dad: Speeding
Me: Oh yeah?
My dad: He got me on a technicality though.
Me: What?
My dad: I was going 75 in a 45.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shopping and Fun in NYC

Next weekend I've been recruited with the promise of shopping by my dad to attend a back tie wedding gala because my mom refused to go (which should lead to a good blog post next weekend). So when I saw that Swatara Township was offering a "Day on Your Own In NYC" bus trip for like $40 a ticket, I knew I had to call on my fashion advisor (and former college roommate) Marcia.

I met Marcia just after getting off the bus and we went straight into shopping mode at Bloomingdale's and after finding the correct section found this dress. The one I have is actually darker than the one pictured, so I'm not sure if its just the picture or actually a different color. A random guy with an African accent who was sitting in the lounge area of the dressing room remarked that it was his favorite color and that he would buy it for me...bizarre? I did not let him buy it for me (this may have been some sort of proposal for marriage in his country which would have been "bad news bears" according to Marcia.) We then went to Nine West and bought these shoes. Another random shopper remarked as to how cute they were...weird.

We then realized we were EXTREMELY hungry. We took the train downtown (actually I don't remember whether we took the train before or after shopping) and stopped by her apartment. After meeting her French bulldog, Madeline (Bonjour, Madeline!...yes, I just gave a dog a shout out in my blog. Do you have a problem with that?) and have Madeline like my toes in approval of me, we went to brunch. We originally wanted to go to some place with tacos, but after not being able to get in because of a stuck door we gave up (obviously we were not meant to eat there) and went to Oliver's where we had mimosas.
and I had waffles with fresh berries and cinnamon cream which I would like to eat by the spoonful (the cinnamon cream that is).
We also discussed the fashion trend of wearing leggings as pants and pointed out people who should and should not be wearing them out the window. We also saw a police man giving a parking ticket to a Mack truck. haha We then went to a crafty street fair and saw lots of really cute things, though didn't end up buying anything...surprisingly.

We then went to our friend Joe's apartment (where Marcia's husband Matt was). On the way there we began to make fun of French people until we realized that we were walking next to French people. At Joe's apartment we hung out on his fire escape and drank beer and sangria (not together, I drank sangria, everyone else had beer) and booed people for the poor choice in outfit and also inability to park (the true New York experience).

Then Matt, Joe and I went to a wonderful outdoor courtyard at A.O.C (l'Ail ou la Cuisse) who's website says "A Little Bit of France In New York." Which was completely true at first as we were completely ignored for several minutes as we stood by the bar waiting to be seated in the courtyard. But after that we enjoyed more wine and a really really good cheese plate.

Well, it was almost time for me to go. So I went back to Marcia and Matt's apartment to pick up my new dress and shoes. Marcia took me into the subway and gave me instructions on how to get back to the where I was supposed to meet the bus. However, we were so focused on getting me into the subway and back uptown that we forgot a goodbye hug and settled for a high five in between the bars. HAHA I had a ton of fun and was so exhausted today that I meant to go to yoga and fell asleep instead.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sometimes I Really Hate My Job

The most productive thing I did all afternoon was color the end of lollipop sticks with a marker for Kate. Really? I went to college for this?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Fridge Gnome

My office needs a fridge gnome, but we don't have one. Amanda 2's office does and recently sent out an e-mail to the staff.

"I have been informed that many staff have decided to engage in refrigerator gardening this spring (please note example on the left). While admirable, it is strictly forbidden to use agency facilities for fungal cultivation. SHAME ON YOU!

As a result of this gross (pun intended) lapse in proper fridge usage, there will be a general purging of fridge contents. See below for details. The minions of the Honorable Order of the Fridge Gnome will be throwing this hot dog away Friday, May 21, 2009 at 2:00 PM. Mark your calendars!

And oh yes, along with it ANYTHING left in the fridge and freezer at that time, that does NOT have a Staff name SECURELY affixed to it, in an EASY - TO - SEE way will be thrown in the garbage. This means EVERYTHING. Unopened soda, salad dressings, frozen hot pockets, yogurt, your great aunt’s crystal serving dish, we don’t care. We will NOT be saving anything that is not labeled. No dishes will be washed and saved. Can’t get a label to stick to the side of your container? Don’t care, put it in a bag, tape the bag closed and label that. Take it home or label it, or DON’T WHINE LATER ONCE IT IS GONE. Labels will be placed in a convenient location in the kitchen to be used to label your containers. If our labels don’t work, get your own and don’t complain.

PS: we would like other to join my minions in the fridge purging revelry, please let me know, or show up and pitch in. No whiners, please.

PPS; If you have interns who may use the refrigerator, but who may not be on the mailing list, please tell them as well."

So funny (and soooo gross), did I mention that the fridge gnome has his/her own e-mail address?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Little Nuggets of Comedic Genius

Sometimes I wonder why I keep some of the shit I do, and then I find things like this and realize why. For those of you that did not know me in college, I have to give you some background. My friend Danielle, who at the time was 600 miles away from me at Penn State, would send me hysterically funny e-mails (sometimes sober, sometimes not) which I would pull quotes from and put on my aim profile...much to the enjoyment of my friends. I don't really get many psycho e-mails from her now (more just psycho voicemails). ::sigh:: Well, good news, I just found the notebook which held all of her quotes. YEAH!! So here are some of my favorites, along with some new never before seen quotes. I can't make this shit up folks. I will abbreviate the profanity, but I think you'll still pretty much get the idea.

"WARNING: e-mail is long and funny and can potentially produce uncontrollable laughing. do not read this e-mail while operating heavy machinery. (who the f*** would read their e-mail while using a forklift, i ask you.)"

"Pothead apologized to me last night for having sex all the time."

"i wonder if the sims are real people who are just trapped in my computer. like when i messed around on fehran's computer and accidentally killed the mom adn they all cried and i laughed. was that mean of me?? to neglect their feelings? to not only neglect their feelings but then turn around and laugh?? i'm sorry sims family. God i'm sorry."

"Point h) the point f up there really threw me. we almost had another g point but no funny, cool words start with g. unless you consider glittoris funny. wait, that's not right."

"my mom said, i wonder where he got the script from. i said , uh, hello, it came from the Bible."

"then she said why do young people think they are the only ones who have sex? i personally never ever wanna have this kind of conversation with my mom ever ever again."

"saw a special on brit brit today. i personally like when there are pictures out there of her that look wretched."

"unless of course you grew a f***ing heart and a conscience which we both know will never happen."

"I swear to God I am on a different planet called stupid."

"so what does it say when i'll listen to O-town before i'll listen to bsb? it says Kevin is queer."

"the fact that most times she sounds coherent upsets me cuz its like she's lying."

"pokd i'm dgoona go lay dwon now and itry ot sleepe. ok byeb buyye."

"wouldn't it be totally ironic to have a cat named fievel?"

"four words: tone loc: wild thing"

"finally, stop using f***ing tildes around your name. that is so 2001."

That is all for now...but i have plenty more. This may become a regular series like "letters from prison." Which by the way, I should have soon.