Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wax on, wax off

Sorry for the absence. I've had a mad case of writer's block ever since Aaron begged me not to blog about my first-ever bikini wax experience, which was pretty much the comedic highlight of my week. I understand, since the parental units read this and all (hi, mom!) but it made me think about the things in life worth writing about.

Rather, it made me realize that sometimes your week's list of accomplishments is so insane sounding that's it's hard to pick just one thing. The end result is that you never write about anything, yet any one would have made a great story. For instance, this week I...

... played croquet
... got in a fight with a meter maid
... saw my waistline again (yay yoga!)
... sang karaoke
... witnessed Paco Collars' biggest bank balance ever
... got drunk with people that make dog mannequins
... rode in a limo
... found our new dog, then got rejected
... sold my car
... got a bikini wax.

Any one of those events is story-worthy, but only one makes for a good picture:

the not-so-remedial team.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Freud would be stoked

The other night I had this dream. In it, I was with a bunch of friends and we came upon this large, stone arch. Everyone was getting amped about climbing it, including me. Everyone was taking turns scaling to the top and down the other side. When it came my turn I started out with so much enthusiasm, my friends were cheering me on. I made it most of the way but, but just a hair's breath from the top I turned chicken. My sense of vertigo kicked in hard, and I clung to the arch for dear life.

Someone was behind me, "Go on, I've got you, I won't let you fall," they said, and I could see their hands right there.

I looked ahead, the crest was just a few feet away, but my body was absolutely frozen. I could not move.

"I can't, I can't, I can't do it. Just let me down."

I woke up and was amazed at the textbook components of my dream. To me the whole dream was just so obvious... was I afraid of success?

It was 5 am, but between the dream and a small creative idea kicking around in the back of my head, I had to get up. I checked the business e-mail and saw an e-mail from our Japanese buyer. It was on order. A wholesale order for the new line we designed for them. It was the biggest wholesale order we've ever gotten... by a lot.

Guess I better not be *that* afraid of success.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Extra Caffeine, Please

Today is a two-cups-of-coffee morning. It's nearly noon and I'm sitting here in my pajamas waiting for that second cup to brew. Don't worry, I haven't gone that feral, it's just that I had to take Aaron to the airport at an ungodly hour (read, had to wake up at 4, after staying up 'til 2, and then couldn't get back to sleep until 6) so I'm moving a bit slow.

Aaron's down south at a robotics conference where he was invited to give a talk and show off the new robot. This will be their first industry demonstration of the robot and the first talk he's given in two years. I can't say who is more nervous, me or him, but I also know he'll pull it off in style.

This weekend was a pretty good one. The front house had a BBQ featuring "Luther Burgers" (a cheeseburger served between a grilled Krispy Kreme donut) that degenerated into a hap-hazard karaoke party (which was basically just people in their underwear singing along to an ipod). Saturday we ran all over town clothes shopping, had dinner at Blue Plate, and then drank a bottle of whiskey with Eric and Yuni around the fire.

Yesterday morning we woke up with Eric and Yuni on our couch, then met up with their friend Chris for brunch. Aaron had to get some work done, so he prepped his talk while I went on a huge dog walk with Tanja. It was pretty entertaining to walk through the city, rolling deep with 4 Shepherds and little Xdog.

By the end of it I was tuckered out, but in a major act of bad planning on our part we'd agreed to meet folks for the 10:30 showing of Bruno. In an even worse display of planning, at 9:50 as we sat down for dinner, we discovered the movie actually started at 10:15 with the theater located clear across town. We broke major land-speed records, made it just in time, and laughed our asses off.

Ever since, I've been obsessed with reading the reviews of Bruno on Twitter. It seems teenage boys across the country are booing and walking out on the film, urging each other not to see it because "it's gay." Intellectuals are insulted by the potty humor and the shy are shamed by the number of cock scenes. It seems either you loved it or you hated it, there are no in betweens.

Personally, I cringed as much as I laughed, but kind of really loved the movie for so many reasons (for the record, I'm totally fine with potty humor). I mostly loved it because it will hit a nerve with everyone... you will be offended at some point. A random twitterer said it best: "Bruno: a litmus test for society's tolerance to weirdness"

Go see it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Old habits die hard

At first I didn't want to jinx anything, but it's been a couple of days so I can now officially report that I'm back to Bikram. And it feels great.

I started Bikram many years back for the same reason so many people decide to try it: the intro month was ridiculously cheap. I'd never attempted any form of exercise in my life, was in my late 20s, and had smoked for a decent portion of my adulthood. The first class nearly killed me and triggered a migraine that lasted 24 hours, but I wanted to get my money's worth so I went back for a second class. After one week, my heart condition had disappeared and I was sold.

At the time I had a full time job, so it was easy to slip into a membership package once my introductory month was up. My practice was diligent, the only week I missed being the one where my mentor, Sarah, passed away.

When I left my salaried job to pursue Paco Collars full time, I had to make a decision, so I decided to spend my unemployment checks on yoga. When that ran out, I started volunteering at the studio in exchange for classes. My practice was as an integral a part of me as my name, and I went to any length to continue it.

But then... well, life happened. After 4 years, I started to burn out. Working behind the scenes in the studio I witnessed all sorts of atrocities as it changed ownership, and the new regime sucked big time. I watched my friends go and new faces fill their places. People I'd introduced to the practice got on the fast track to become teachers, and suddenly I felt like my special little place wasn't so special anymore. I began to slack, and then disaster struck.

Two days after Christmas 2007, the electrical system on our house melted, which left me and Paco Collars homeless for a month while the landlords rewired the property. I stayed with Aaron in San Francisco (which was a great leap of faith in our then two-month old relationship) while Paco Collars operated out of a garage in a West Oakland cooperative household.

After that things just got even more jumbled. We rehabbed a toxic West Oakland warehouse into a decent studio and moved Paco Collars again. Paco blew both of his ACLs and had to go through surgery. I moved back into my house, found a new place to live with Dango, and then in a random turn of events, moved in with Aaron a month later when the cottage behind his house suddenly came up for rent. While all this moving was going on, I was fighting the battle to save Paco Collars as it was on the brink of failure (the year we'd spent trying to become a cooperative had resulted in leaving the company in serious debt and disarray).

At first I tried to maintain my practice, I even took the intro month at the Bikram studio closest to Aaron's house, but it just got lost in the shuffle. As I worked continuously both at work and at home, I promised myself I'd resume my practice once things settled down. But they didn't settle down.

Paco Collars began to heal and sales shot through the roof. Then the economy collapsed and we tried to stay afloat. Then the Christmas rush hit. Then we went on vacation to Mexico. Then there was a new puppy to consider. Then Paco died. Then we got a storefront.

In addition to the logistical reasons keeping me from practicing, I also had to consider my fears. I was totally out of shape, had put on a bit of relationship weight, and could barely touch my toes. Not to mention the social aspect of explaining to everyone where I'd been for so long just seemed overwhelming. This mindset was not exactly the best motivator.

But then last week something happened. Tim and I were poring over the soon-to-be-schedule since Paul was due to return from his month-long trip. I was complaining about my knee hurting, and saying I needed to go to yoga to fix it. I realized that, between the three of us, we have the store/company covered and there's no reason I can't leave for 3 hours every couple of days to take care of myself. So we made it official.

Now I'm back. The first class wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and I already made my peace with the owner. There are even fewer familiar faces, which is actually a good thing. Now that I'm anonymous again, it feels like it did when I first started. It's just me and the yoga, which is the way it should be.