Favorable Features Friday

Okay, so, Matt and I have reconsidered our plan for the next few years.  We're going to buy a house here in Vegas and plan on being here for a while - especially since they're practically giving property away right now.  This means that I need to amend my feelings about living here.  Obviously, I'll never love it, but I could try harder to like it.  Hence this new blog feature.  I'm going to list 5 things every week (until I run out) that I like about living here.

1.  No state income tax.  This is, actually, one of the very coolest things about Nevada.

2.  I can bowl at almost any hour of the day or night.

3.  L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

4.  Traffic is practically non-existant (unless you're on Las Vegas Boulevard between the Stratosphere and Mandalay Bay)

5.  I can place a bet on the Academy Awards (and I'll be doing just that)


How Much Do I Really Want It?

In my life, I've gone back and forth and back again on the subject of wanting children.  As a little girl, I named my prospective children the names I wished my parents had given me instead of the one I had.  Things that seemed exotic and beautiful to a girl of 8.  Things like Alexandra, Catherine, Tamara, Henrietta, and Flannery for the girls.  William, Edward, Philippe, and Alexander for the boys.

In high school, I ended an accidental pregnancy.  I decided that I didn't really know if I wanted kids and that it wasn't something you should do if you don't know you want it.  By my mid-twenties, I was strongly anti-kid.  Not that I didn't like kids, but that I didn't see any time that I would want my own.

That changed with Matt.  Suddenly, it seemed like an obvious choice.  A kid.  Just one.  We have a plan.  We throw names at each other occasionally.  Emma, Leah, Ben, Jack.

But I found out recently that I have a weird antibody.  It showed up the last time I gave blood.  I don't know where it came from and I never will.  The problem is, it causes hemolytic disease.  Most likely, if I am to carry a child successfully, lots of fetal blood transfusions will be necessary.  This won't, however, guarantee that I'll get all the way to term or that the baby won't die anyway.

Couple that with the fact that, as of my last birthday, I'm of Advanced Maternal Age.  Thanks, Western Medicine, for that sweet distinction.  Point is, I'm already in a higher risk bracket anyway because I'm old.  I never imagined I would end up with a high-risk pregnancy.

Anyway, I'm not sure how I feel about it all.  Okay, right now I'm kind of pissed and a little sad, and totally let down by the promise of health if I took care of myself.  But overall, I'm not sure.

As much as I want a kid, I don't know if I want one enough to go through the turmoil and potential heartbreak.  At the same time, I'm not sure I'm willing to forego the experience.  I think I'll have one shot.

I can be a parent no matter what.  There are plenty of kids out there who need to be adopted by people who'll love them.  But part of what made me want a kid with Matt so much was how much I love him.  I don't want any kid.  I want our kid.

There's no answer now.  Shit.  I wish to lodge a complaint.  Anyone know the number for Customer Service?


International Crush Day

Restaurant Refugee has declared this to be International Crush Day. It's a day to admit your crushes. Because who doesn't love a good crush?

First is the Refugee himself for his ability to write the shit out of a blog while waiting for his duck to confit. I've used his short-rib recipe a lot. You should use his recipes, too. And read his blog. He's even available via Twitter these days and I bet that's cool, too.

Colum McCann has also made me swoon with Let the Great World Spin. Every character is so beautifully realized, every scene vividly chisled that it made me want to cry. Plus, it inspired me to see Man on Wire. Which leads me to...

Philippe Petit, that Man on Wire himself. This man has lived his entire life with absolute passion. He's a little crazy, sure, but in that delightfully mad way that makes you remember the glory of exuberance.

If I could make out with Ellen Page right now, I totally would. She's adorable. Hard Candy, Juno, Whip It! Someday they'll stop making her play teenagers.

And on the subject of girl-crushes: Emily Blunt and Carey Mulligan. Yeah.

I also have a super-crush on Baptiste Yoga. I want to to it all the time. If it were a person I would write it notes with check boxes and giggle at it.

So that's my list for now.  Consider airing your own crushes.  It's fun for everyone.




My yoga studio had a partner yoga class on Valentine's Day. The couple who taught it is recently married. And they're super-cute. They both teach yoga and they usually take eachother's classes. Anyway, Matt and I went to the partner class. It was a blast.

Matt and I usually do 3 or 4 classes together per week but we'd never done one "together" before. It was weirdly romantic. Although it wouldn't be if you were with a non-romantic partner.

They started us off with some breathing while holding hands. Then they had us alternate breaths to tune into the other's breath.

I listen to Matt breathe almost daily because I usually go to sleep after he does and wake up before, but I had never really thought about how intimate an activity it was until I was trying to hear him. Sure, there are those mouth breathers and adenoid cases (does anyone have adenoids anymore?) who you can hear snorting whether you want to or not, but on the whole, to hear someone's breath, you need to be fairly close to them.

After the breathing and some gazing, we moved into the partner poses. I don't remember all of what we did, but we did some counterbalancing forward bends, opposing triangles, opposing standing bows, some stretching across eachother's backs, and back-to-back trees. Then we went to the floor and helped eachother in the spine series by holding down the other's feet while they did cobra and by pulling arms in locust and by lifting legs in half locust and holding knees in in bow. We also did some opposing stretching on the floor and foot-to-foot shoulder stands. We ended in an overlapping savasana. It was just fun and funny.

The hardest pose to do together (for us) was tree. When you're back-to-back, balance becomes a mutual effort. We had an easier time standing on our left legs, but it wasn't easy. And when one of you starts to lose it, it's easy to take your partner down. Funny how balance always seems to be the hardest part of everything in life.

After the class the teachers did a little acro-yoga demonstration. It was cool. They offered to teach us a little, but we couldn't stay. I'd really like to try it though. It looks really fun.

They're going to try and do partner classes on an ongoing basis and I can't wait to do it again. If you get the chance to do a partner class, do it. All you need is a partner (any old person will do). Yoga is usually solitary, but it doesn't have to be. And having someone to laugh with when you go flying out of a pose because you lost your grip is a nice change from the usual smile at yourself in the mirror.


Tyger! Tyger!

Fear not.  No literary analysis of Blake's poem will sully the frivolity of my blog.  However, it is the first thing that always pops into my head whenever I hear or see the word 'tiger.' 

Anyway...  February 14, 2010 will mark Chinese new year.  The Chinese lunar calendar year will be 4707.  4707 is the year of the White or Metal Tiger.  I was born in the year of the Green or Wood Tiger.  The Metal Tiger could spell disaster for me.  Fortunately, my lucky element is water and I'm a red lamb born in the year of the Green Tiger and my parents are strong earth elements, so I'm okay.  Apparently.  If my lucky element had been fire, I'd have been totally fucked.  Evidently. 

I know exactly jack shit about astrology - Eastern or Western.  Sure I know my sun sign is Scorpio.  I don't know my ascendancy or descendancy.  I don't really care, either.  Astrology hasn't really interested me much since I was about 15 (at which time I had several books on the matter which I cross-consulted with numerology and was prepared to change my name to Miranda in order to have a better harmony with my astrological and numerological components - yeah).  Since then, though, I've forgotton why Miranda would have changed my life or how to calculate my numerology.

I'm not going to Feng Shui my house and I don't have a pendulum (anymore) to discover the best location for the head of my bed.  Nor do I have any mystical stones or crystals anywhere in the vicinity for cleansing.  I've never smudged anything and I absolutely do not subscribe to the Law of Attraction method of anything and  I don't believe in asking the Universe to hear my pleas.

However, I feel like this year is going to be a good one*.  Maybe because I'm set as far as the Chinese zodiac is concerned?  Maybe because I accidentally set fire to some rosemary while making Christmas dinner?  Maybe because Orion was in my ascendant on the day of my birthday (this may or may not be true)?  I don't know why, really.  I only know that I feel like it's going to be good.  I know that it's going to be another year of questions without answers, but I'm feeling optimistic about 2010, 4707, 5770, and any other designation you want to give the forthcoming days.

So have a good year of the Metal Tiger, everyone.

*This should in no way be taken to mean that last year wasn't good.  It was really good.  I just feel like 2010 will be a good one, as well.


Dream Chronicles Pt. 2

Last night I had dreams of sharks and cold, dark water.  I had dreams about being asleep, dreams about dreaming, dreams of trying to wake myself up.  In my dreams within dreams, I floated and spun through vacuums.  I dreamed that I awoke, crying, only to awaken, startled, that I hadn't been awake in the first place.  The Platonic/philosophical implications are staggering...

I arose from my bed feeling exhausted and dazed.

Usually when I sleep soundly, I remember only parts of dreams - if anything at all.  Lately, though, for the past few weeks, my dreams have been an assault.  Big and jarring and emotionally charged.  not all of them have been dark, but even the neutral dreams are brighter and louder than usually.  The vividity itself is exhausting.

I don't generally need to look far for meaning in my dreams.  If they mean something I usually know.  But these dreams just leave me bewildered.  They wake me and leave me emotional and alert long after the dream has faded from my memory.

Last night's dreams are all fuzzy.  I remember a snip here, an image there, but I still feel like I've been hand-cranked through the wringer emotionally.  Last night's dreams were all scary or startling or sad.

Something is working out of me as I sleep.  I'm glad to purge it, whatever it is, because it's unpleasant.  I just wish I knew what it was.

I've been doing a LOT of yoga.  That always makes for crazy dreams, no matter what, but (and I know this sounds kind of nuts) recently I've gotten deep into my hips and I think I'm releasing stuff because of it.

I just really wish I could do it during waking hours.  I'm tired.



I approached the gate and pushed the buzzer.  It was raining and cold.  I was greeted by a man who showed me inside.  The room was full of magazines - lots of them yoga oriented - and I flipped through a few until I decided to try one-legged pigeon pose.  I got all the way into the pose with my toes touching my chin when a door opened and a man I used to love walked in. Only then did I realize that I had come to see him.  He took my hand and led me down a long hallway to a huge pool.  We got on a raft, lying face to face and we began floating.  We were naked.  We said nothing, just stared at each other and floated.  We finally reached the other side and were clothed again.  I got off the raft.  For a second he held my hand. Then we let go and I left.  I walked out a different door. The rain had stopped.


Non Sequuntur

I was in high school when I found out about the whole transsubstantiation aspect of the Catholic communtion and what the communion bell meant. Ever since, I think of the communtion wafer as Chicken in a Biscuit, but with Jesus instead. Jesus in a Biscuit.

My grandmother always called me Dear Heart. When I was little, I thought (because of Snow White's huntsman) that she was calling me Deer Heart. It grossed me out.

The only consistent vision I've had for my life since I can remember is that I will someday have a library with floor to ceiling oak bookcases and a fireplace. Okay - the 'oak' part came later, but still...

I have a hard time reconciling the fact that there are people I love that I see infrequently/never, but people I don't care about/don't like, I see all the time.

I am one of those people who other people spill their guts to. And not necessarily people I know. On my last transcontinetal flight, my seat neighbor told me the tragic tale of her financial ruin at the hands of a criminal accountant and her subsuquent divorce. I also heard about her problem breast augmentation and that she really regretted having her clit pierced because it had deadened her nerve endings and she no longer enjoyed oral sex because if it.

I am fully secure in my carniverousness, however, I think that everyone should be more connected to their food. For example, butcher an animal themselves, or at least acknowledge that they are eating a formerly living thing. I know a few people who can't even eat meat with bones because they can't think about the fact that what they're about to consume once had a pulse. If that's how you feel you should become a vegetarian and leave me your delicious meat.

Once, Wilbur and I were eating on the patio at Swingers on Beverly and two women sat next to us and had a discussion (that we couldn't stop listening to) about who Liam Neeson is. Finally, one said to the other in a deep Long Island accent, "He's the gray-haired gentleman. You know. He does spoof." Wilbur and I nearly peed our pants. I've never heard anyone confuse Liam Neeson with Leslie Nielsen before or since. And now whenever I hear either man's name, I hear the word 'spoof' echoing in my head.



How many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

It's a really obscure number.  You've probably never heard of it.


Know what I hate?  The Lost obsession.  And not becuase  I disdain either TV or obsession w/TV shows (I was totally obsessed with the X-Files for most of its life - at least until Mulder disappeared and fucking Doggit and whateverthefuck Annabeth Gish's character's name was showed up and ruined EVERYTHING).  No, my problem is that Lost SUCKS.  A lot. 

It started fine.  But then  it went all Gilligan's Island with the "others" and then every time you turn around it's let's do the timewarp again and again and again.  It got so far up its own ass it lost sight of everything else.

Somewhere in the third season, th story arcs got so convoluted that it was just boring.  I'm willing to guess along with everyone for a while, but fuck, man.  After a while I like for something to actually mean something.  At first I thought maybe they were making some cool statement about relativity and the ability to manifest thought into reality.  Or not.

So I'm really sick of people asking me about Lost:  do I watch it, did I see the premier (that was three fucking hours long), etc.  For five days now, I've heard nothing but theories about what that three-hour extravaganza meant.  Really?  I guess I can be thankful that this will be the last season.  I hope it all ends in a hail of fire where all the characters  meet their Bizarro counteparts and destroy eachother.



Have you ever known someone who irritated you for all the reasons you knew you should feel sympathy for them?  I do.  She was, undoubtedly, the kid who was always in the nurse's office in elementary school to avoid PE and had imaginary friends well after everyone else's had disappeared.  The paste-eater.  An only child of indifferent, divorced parents.  An overworked mother and an absent father and no one to talk to.

As she got older, she had serious, unacknowledged self-esteem problems and was desperate for attention of any kind - good or bad - and would have cut off an arm to be liked.  This translated to bad decisions with guys in high school in an attempt to be "cool" and instead became the willing victim to many an unscrupulous male.

She was a teacher's pet.  A room monitor.  The kind of kid who always hoped that maybe a teacher would mention her name in class if she sucked up enough.  But she was the kid even the teachers didn't like.

Then she went to college - to get a new start - where she developed a viscious substance abuse problem and flunked out.  Even this didn't seem to get anyone's attention, though.  She dated a string of wretched men who treated her badly and she let them.

As an adult she's got a neverending stream of pathetic ways to get attention or illicit inquiry.  She's forever talking about "inside jokes" and posts waaaay too much in her Facebook status updates.

Her common-law husband hasn't worked for the entire 8 years they've lived together.  She eats lunch alone in her car (although she thinks no one knows this).

All of this should allow me to feel sympathetic, and yet, it just makes me want to kick her in the shins.  I want to scream at her to get a backbone and stop being such a pathetic mess.

God, there's really something wrong with me.