Yoga might not be for me. I am a cardio queen and prefer activity that makes me sweat and that I can feel a burn as I do it. Yoga is slow and quiet, and I am fast and loud. But, in my quest to better myself in 2013, I am trying to mediate daily and try new things that will help me relax. So, I have started going to yoga. I haven’t been many times yet, but today was certainly the funniest.
As I am a novice, I wanted to try a beginners class. I saw “Gentle Yoga” on the website for my gym, so assumed that would be perfect for me. I got there a bit early, laid out my mat and grabbed the usual supplies: a belt, a blanket and some towels. I noticed after I settled in that I was the youngest person in the room, along with my friend who soon joined me. This would not be unusual in iteself, but combined Marcy and I’s ages didn’t add up to the next youngest person. This is to say politely, everyone else was in their 80’s. Gentle Yoga indeed. Marcy and I often joke that we are old ladies, and this morning was no exception. We had walked into the blue hair special of yoga.
The man in front of us didn’t do many of the moves, but he was there and trying, and quite adorable. He moved deliberately and paid special attention to the teacher, which is what a student should do. Speaking of the teacher, she was a story in herself. She reminded me a bit of the character Ursula on Mad About You who would bring someone that ordered a cheeseburger a bowl of spaghetti and not really understand why that wouldn’t work when the mistake was mentioned.
The instructor was sweet and kind, and in good shape, but seemed to have trouble with her right and left, and seemed to be in her own world if you know what I mean. We did doubles of certain poses and skipped over others. The flow wasn’t coming to her, but I didn’t really mind. It just added to the mystique of this class.
The moral of the story is that I think I am going to like yoga, but I might not return to this particular class. Unless I am setting someone up to be on an episode of a revised “Punked.”
Aubrey Yee wrote in
Inspired by a recent Wall Street Journal article written by Anna Lappe and Danielle Nierenberg, Sustainable America has created this infographic to show how food is wasted and lost around the world, and what can be done about it.
Food waste and food security are serious problems, but there are current solutions and ways you can help. Read on to learn more, and stay tuned for our next post, which will delve deeper into some of the points made by Lappe and Nierenberg in the Wall Street Journal piece.
"When I was first at Facebook, a woman named Lori Goler, a 1997 graduate of HBS, was working in marketing at eBay and I knew her kind of socially. And she called me and said, I want to talk with you about coming to work with you at Facebook. So I thought about calling you, she said, and telling you all the things I’m good at and all the things I like to do. But I figured that everyone is doing that. So instead I want to know what’s your biggest problem and how can I solve it. My jaw hit the floor. I’d hired thousands of people up to that point in my career, but no one had ever said anything like that. I had never said anything like that. Job searches are always about the job searcher, but not in Laurie’s case. I said, you’re hired. My biggest problem is recruiting and you can solve it. So Lori changed fields into something she never thought she’d do, went down a level to start in a new field and has since been promoted and runs all of the people operations at Facebook and has done an extraordinary job."
True words from a wise woman.
Each year I write down what I am going to do in the next year, hoping that writing the words will inspire me to keep up with my resolutions.
In 2013, I vow to be more thoughtful of others.
In 2013, I aim to have to have more fun.
In 2013, I will travel somewhere new, and re-visit NYC (its been too long).
In 2013, I will talk less and listen more.
In 2013, I will finally start my novel.
In 2013, I will buy a car.
In 2013, I will have an adventure with my nephews.
In 2013, I will take nothing for granted and say I love you more.
In 2013, I will lose those 5 pounds I gained last year and get healthy for my future.
In 2013, I won’t be scared or sad because everything will be ok.
In 2013, I will use my time more wisely and concentrate on creating a better future.
In 2013, I will use my phone more to call people instead of texting.
In 2013, I will live with kindness, as that seems to me that is the only thing that the world needs more of.
In 2013, I will eat less french fries and drink less beer.
What will you do? Let’s get better together!
I have been reading like a madwoman this summer and I love it! I have about an hour and a half on the bus each weekday, so have quite a bit of tie to catch up on the latest novels and stories. I focus on books that are memoirs, or about flawed characters, because lets face it, we are all flawed. I enjoy seeing likeable people fail, and that come out on top, because I often feel that I am not measuring up, or living up to my potential, so its good to see others going through similar things. Anyone read anything good lately? Let me know in the comments.
A man finds out he is dying and after years of abuse to his body and neglect to his family, he decides that he will try to right all of his many wrongs in the short time he has left. Funny and poignant, it shows humanity as its worst, but in a kind way. We are all flawed and Tropper points out the flaws in a realistic fashion. His characters and their reactions feel like people you would know and although hope you aren’t them, you like them in spite of yourselves. Read it! Family, funny, poignant, sad but true.
A memoir of an event planner, I picked this up because I thought it would be a fun read. It was well written but I found it a bit self-serving. I am happy that she is successful and doing well after overcoming prior trauma, but felt the book could have spoken less about that, and focused more on her business sense. Skip it.
A fun, unique tale of a mother gone mad, this novel focuses on Bernadette, a brilliant architect with a wonderful husband and beautiful daughter. She hates her life, especially because she is stuck in Seattle, which she despises. Her life revolves around her daughter and her interactions with her virtual assistant in India, who she hires to handle most of her day to do interactions. As her depression unravels, hilarity and calamity ensue. A fun read with many twist and turns. Read it! Family. Mystery. Seattle.
A novel told in stories, this is a well-written tale of a family in crisis. I was surprised that I enjoyed actress Ringwald’s writing so much. Her words are concise and even pretty at times. Her tales could be read on their own, but also create a cohesive story when read together. Read it! Family. Divorce. The ties that bind. History.
This book tales of wanderlust, working abroad and feeling like a failure. Egger’s writing is lean and poignant, as always. His flawed protagonist is a bad father, a poor businessman and a guy short on luck. The reader roots for him, through his trials and tribulations as an American businessman in Saudi Arabia. This is his last chance to succeed before his failures will cause him to fall further than he can take. A bit sad, but a cautionary tale of business.
Weiner is one of my favorite “chick-lit” authors, but “The Next Best Thing” was a bit of a dissapoint. Her characters are quite similar in most of her books, and this time is no different. In real life, Weiner had a television show that did not make it, and I think her residual anger funneled itself into her story. I enjoyed this book, but I did not love it as I have with other works from her.
Mindy Kalig successful puts into words all of the angst of being a young, single, intelligent women (can you tell I feel her?). She is smart, fun and funny. Successful from a young age, she appears fluffy but is educated and ambitious. Her words are true, comical and sometimes embarrassing. I enjoy people who can write like they speak, and she is no exception. I can’t wait for her new show, and am proud to see another woman do so well in a medium that is usually a man’s world.
I am feeling thankful for many things right now.
I am even thankful for those who have put me down or tried to make me feel less than - they simply made me focus on the those who believed in me.
I am thankful for hard times because they make me appreciate the good times more.
I am thankful that I have time to be thankful.
I am thankful for those who are thankful for me and to me.
I am grateful for life.
What are you thankful for?
Pretty Dali. My first and only horse.
What makes a good movie, TV show or book? I prefer character driven pieces that are well worded (that’s why I like all Aaron Sorkin dramas). I want to be able to remember witty lines to tell my friends. I want to feel better about humanity, learn something new or laugh. Entertainment value is important, but words are more important to me. People make fun of me because I don’t decide if I like a song until I have digested the lyrics. Melody and harmony are vital to good music, but I need to know what the writer was thinking to know what I am feeling. That’s why I don’t prefer classical music. I am a woman of words.
Here is a list of some of my favorite things. Will you share yours? What is missing from the list below? (Besides Breaking Bad, my new obsession!)
Good Will Hunting (movie)
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s writing debut was spell-binding when I first saw it. I remember my heart racing in the movie theatre because although I was a high school student in middle-class Idaho, I felt like I knew them and that they were my friends. I think that’s what a writer wants people to feel. I also knew from then on I wanted a smart boyfriend (but preferably one without anger issues). I am still a fan of both stars.
Religion and spiritually have always intrigued me. I loved the relationship between Jody Foster and Matthew McConaughey in the film, and thought they both did a fantastic job creating likeable yet flawed characters. I also appreciated the attention to detail that the director had. They didn’t simply introduce Jody Foster as the adult version of the protagonist at the beginning of the movie. Instead they showed her making the same facial expression and putting her hand through her hair the same way the little girl had. This movie still holds true today.
30 Rock (television show)
Tina Fey is the best! I love it when good girls win! This show is funny, fun and smart. Its characters are likeable, yet a little nuts, like most of us. Alec Baldwin is great and makes an impressive unsympathetic character. Stereotypes, politics and witty repartee come together to create an exaggerated reality. (Speaking of Fey, her Mean Girls is also a favorite.)
A Time to Kill (movie and book)
Apparently I am a Matthew McConaughey fan. His speech about his own little girl during the end of the trial is one of the best soliloquies in film, in my humble opinion. John Grisham churns out novels, but this was his best. Racism is a tough issue and he tastefully discusses it here. My only complaint about the film is that I have lived in the South, and no one looks as good as Ashley Judd sweating. It’s just not humanly possible.
A recent release by Chris Cleave about two professional bike racers (both Olympians) who have grown up together while sharing a coach, and now are nearing retirement. It’s clever twists and turns keep the reader guessing until the conclusion. I didn’t want it to end! Believable characters and exciting plot lines were just what I needed, especially before the real live Olympics, one of my favorite times of the year.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (book)
Betty Smith’s masterpiece was written in 1943, but it still strikes a cord to modern times. She wrote other books, but knew they weren’t as good as her first novel. I am named after the protagonist, as it’s my mother’s favorite book (and became one of my brothers top picks as well). A beautiful tale of coming over age in poverty and overcoming adversity, it was an instant classic. I still cry when I get to the scene where Francie receives flowers at her high school graduation.
The Lion King (movie and play)
I love the music, the story, and the name of course. I still have magnetized Simba and Nala stuffed animals that kiss. Elton John plus Disney equaled success in this beautiful coming of age tale. Has anyone seen the stage version live? I would like to.
In Her Shoes (book and movie)
Sisters and chick lit - how could you go wrong? Jennifer Weiner’s book got to the heart of the complicated competitive and protective of a sister relationship. I even (attempted to) read the same poem by e.e. cummings to my sister at her ceremony that Cameron Diaz reads to Toni Collete in the wedding scene (Cameron Diaz did a much better job).
Life is Beautiful (movie)
What can I say about this movie? A beautiful, beautiful film about the power of love and optimism during tough times. Roberto Benigni is pitch perfect about a father fighting for survival during the holocaust. If I am ever in a terrible situation, I hope that I am half as brave as his character.
The Breakfast Club (movie)
I got detention once and it was not nearly as cool as The Breakfast Club. The characters represent real cliques, and I wanted to be Molly Ringwald eating fancy Japanese food and giving Judd Nelson an earring so bad. I also wanted to dance in the library. This is the only film I can quote from beginning to end. I know because I was once stuck in a car with my brother and we had time. Our parents were not impressed with our memories, but I think we did a nice job.
What are your favorites? Share with me!
I never thought I would be a Californian, and in October, I will have lived here 8 years. Do you agree with my choices below? Tell me why!
The oldest sushi bar in SF, its small, family owned and features fresh fish and a sassy attitude at the bar. Steve, the sushi chef, is the son of the two owners, and he and his sister will soon take over. I don’t even order anymore - Steve and his team of sushi artists create new things for me constantly. My favorite appetizer involves a blowtorch, butter fish and a jalapeno.
Another small, locally operated joint. This casual Italian place has a lively atmosphere and delicious food. Each patron is offered a fresh bruschetta when they sit down, which is out of this world. Fresh, local ingredients make the traditional favorites (try the antipasto platter!) better than usual. The hosts are attentive, and the waiters are really from Italy.
Small plates are everywhere in SF, but here they are better than most. The menu is diverse and creative, and the wine list above par (which is difficult to do in wine country). The tables are intimate, and the staff exited about food. Go there! You won’t be disappointed. This isn’t your Mom’s Italian, but its fun to try something different.
Movies are projected each day on the walls of this beautiful, spare space. The food is unpretentious and the atmosphere artistic at this Mission district Gem. It’s been around awhile, and once you visit you can tell why. Laszlo Bar isn’t bad either, which takes up the front of the building.
Another Pacific Heights restaurant I adore. Whether for brunch, a drink or dinner, it’s a great place to rest your feet and have an amazing Southern themed meal or enjoy a cocktail. Their biscuits are to die for.
Amazing. Greek. Food. There is not much more to say about this Meditterenan masterpiece. Its large space is inviting and the food is as good as people say it is. Tourists, locals and businessmen mix well here.
Written up in the New York Times as the Best Pop Up Restaurant, it could easily be passed by. Its home in the Mission has no fan fare, and is most certainly more bare bones than fancy. The spicy food is served family style at large tables, at fair prices. They even deliver! I need to go back soon as my stomach growls as I write this.
One of my favorite magazines used to be Vanity Fair. Its gone a bit downhill, but the Proust Questionnaire is still a hit with me. I love seeing people’s interesting responses to these important questions. Fill out your thoughts in the comments. Would love to know your answers to these questions!
1. What is your current state of mind?
Hopeful for the future.
2. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Lazy days with wine, books, good food and loved ones.
3. What is your greatest fear?
Being alone and being a failure.
4. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
No one in particular. I most admire those with intelligence and dedication to make the world better.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
My parents for being strong role models and teaching my siblings and I to be good people.
6. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am too sensitive and try to do too many things at once. I need to have more focused energy.
7. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
8. What is it that you most dislike?
Cigarettes and lying.
9. What is your greatest extravagance?
Yummy food. I eat sushi often.
10. What do you most value in friends?
Honesty and loyalty.
11. What is your favorite journey?
Home to Idaho.
12. What is your most treasured possession?
My health, my family and my great-grandmothers wedding set.
13. On what occasion do you lie?
To save someone’s feelings.
14. Which living person do you most despise?
I don’t despise anyone. I do however prefer some to others.
15. Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
My family, which includes my friends.
16. When and where were you happiest?
I was born a happy person. There are fluctuations, but, life is pretty good.
17. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
That I would be able to get done everything I want to get done, and do it well.
18. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Living! Life is hard, but its fun!
19. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
That we all lived closer to each other.
20. What is your favorite occupation?
Spending time with good people, making good things happen.
21. What is your most marked characteristic?
Stubbornness. I wish it was positivity or wit, however.
22. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Francie Nolan and Superman.
23. How would you like to die?
Peacefully in my sleep surrounded by loved ones, without regrets.
24. What is your motto?
Keep calm and carry on.
Growing up, I always looked up to my older brother. He let me watch R-movies, made fun of me for reading too much and taught me about boys without meaning to. When he went away to college when I was in the fifth grade, our lives diverged, but we kept in touch with letters. The subjects were different - while he was drinking from kegs, I was drinking from juice boxes. I always anticipated his visits home, and didn’t even mind when he embarrassed me in front of Cynthia Mann Elementary when he delivered my lunch in a robe, shouting my accolades in front of my classmates. He moved back to Boise around the time I headed off on my own college adventures. One summer, he needed to pick up some things on the East Coast, and I had three weeks until school started, so we started off on a cross country “Sibling Road Rules.” He picked me up in Portland, and we slowly meandered down the coast having funny escapades all the way.
Before I go any further, I have to tell you about the van, nicknamed Vario, which quickly became the third member of our trip. Vario didn’t move quickly, as it was a 1978 moving van big enough for pianos. Vario preferred highways to freeways, as he couldn’t go more than 55 miles per hour. Its doors didn’t always open, it contained no stereo, and its engine was in between the two front seats, making the trip quite warm. I won’t be polite - it was actually quite hot. Probably the hottest I have ever been. Driving though the southern states in July without AC is not the most comfortable thing to do. But I digress. Back to the trip, which could have been a disaster.
We would be in a confined space for an extended time period. One of us talks incessantly (life in interesting so I have to share) and the other is more introspective (he would rather draw than talk). The loud noise of the engine kept my noise to a minimum while driving, so that helped. The fact that we both had an anything goes attitude during this trip also added to the success. We had both recently been living abroad, so our gypsy spirits were in full effect. Each day we tried to think of a challenge, whether it was to get to the next city, “borrow” something from a place we had visited, or make it to another professional baseball game (Jake was very tricky in that we happened to hit major cities around game time).
Some adventures were better than others. When I directed Jake to come back a bit further in the van, and he knocked off a large piece of tree, we had to leave the Redwoods, and quickly. Getting drunk in a baseball stadium parking lot with a sketchy attendant, sleeping in the yard of a “ranch” that contained only plastic flowers, being mistaken for newlyweds - it was all part of the journey. I don’t think either of us will ever need to re-visit Arkansas, or drive through the entire state of Texas again. But next time I see a couple on a bad date, I will send them shots of tequila, as we secretly did in Austin. And I am still hoping to visit every baseball stadium in the U.S. I will certainly have a decent stereo and air conditioning on my next road-trip, but I don’t think “Sibling Road Rules” would have been as great of a time if we would have been comfortable. The bunk beds were also a great addition to the van, allowing us to save a few nights of hotel stay on our journey - I would think about re-creating those if I had the space. I am grateful for this time with my brother, as ten years later, we still think about the trip and laugh. Sibling bonding at its best. I can already see Ace and Avery having a similar sort of adventure when they are older.