Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sisyphus' Garden

It happens every day. Every morning when I take my iPod out of my bag for the walk to work, it looks like this--and takes a good anxiety-filled 5 minutes to wrangle and untangle. Every morning, peeps. Every morning. If this is a paradigm for my mind, what would happen if I actually unravelled a solution? How do normal people avoid iPod wad?

To more clearly demonstrate the theme, a better blogger might have featured "Do It Again." But I'm so haunted by this next one, and besides, it's still about someone who's on repeat. Though it sort of annoys me, as I learned from the comments, that it was featured in The Sopranos.

P.S. Don't feel bad that I only have 43 songs on my iPod. I have to transfer iTunes from my old Mac to my new one : )

P.S.S. I'm already trying to make life simpler by not using the extra possessive "s," as in Sisyphus's! That's as crazy as a serial comma!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meezer Monday: Scary Monster

Don't let him fool you! This sleepy beastie is only seconds away from pulling a Victor Frankenstein. Seriously, if you say something too loud in the wrong tone and leave the room or let him knead too long on the faux fur blanket that he loves so much he drools on, he gets this weird look in his eye, stiffens his posture and yes, straight-line Frankensteins it over to poor little Bing, who's usually Mr. Magoo'ing all absent-mindedly in the corner, and tries to bite him in the neck. Never mind that Bing is like half his size and three times his age--Derrick's a dumb-a$$ bully sometimes.

Yes, of course, I talked to the animal communicator about it. Derrick apparently has some issues around sibling rivalry and competing for his mom's milk, but he has no interest in delving in to them. He thinks it's boring and pointless.

The thing is, 90% of the time he is a good boy and a general all-around fancy being indeed. I guess you just never know, 'cuz things and people aren't always what they seem. Like there's always a backstory, ya know? The connections and misconnections that blow the fuse, make us choose to choose, choose to use, choose to go. Darn right I (sorta) stole that! Thinking that we're all both scary monsters and sleeping angels deposited me straight to the Velvets' doorstep. If you randomly selected a VU song and blasted it in the ear of a sleeping Derrick, about half the time he'd get up and bite Bing. The other half, he'd purr galore and snore, perchance to dream.

Here's one on the sleeping cat's playlist:

I always love the comments that people leave on videos. My fave on the above: "Those guitars make my ears tickle when I have headphones on, lovely song."

Watch out, Binger!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I See London

A lady wore a dress to yoga on Friday night. Who gives a shift (snort!), you ask? Well, apparently I did, and I guess I just need to write it out to figure it out.

From the get-go, I could tell it was gonna be a weird class. There was a lot of space in the room so I had a hard time locating my—for lack of a better term—“power” spot, and it took me 3 tries to get it right. Then, there were a bunch of people who put their mats facing the “wrong” direction, which I was delighted about because it made a few others all huffy-puffy. (Some shim-sham take on schadenfreude? Heck if I know, I’m just a total amateur human being as of late.) So I decided to turn the “wrong” way, too, because otherwise I would have been directly facing the lady with the dress, which I knew would be a distraction. Our very earnest teacher went with the flow.

Actually, I didn’t realize she was wearing a dress (super short, loose, striped, more like a night shirt) until we started moving around, when it was falling down and riding up and revealing her granny panties. So…it’s not just me, that’s sort of curious, right? Would it give you pause? Now, I’m ashamed to admit it but I’ll do it anyway, but I was initially disgusted by what my fear-biting imagination perceived as an overwhelming need for attention on her part. (Hello?! Solipsism-colored glasses much?) Then, I felt awful about myself for having such a nasty thought, so I tried to immediately cue up a positive one (there’s a fancy name for that process, but I’m not sure what it is-- don’t worry, it’s not “life coach” tho!).

It must have worked, because all of a sudden the dress was no longer a threat (what?! Like the cockroach in the elevator last night?!), and I concluded that, even if she either had simply forgotten her pants and/or was just clueless, she clearly really wanted to be in class and was a very joyous practitioner (I could feel it--she was right next to me, remember?)—plus I heard her say “Wow!” when she was leaving—so I couldn’t care less if she was wearing a skunk suit and playing the xylophone.

On the bus home my thoughts returned to the dress. For one, it made me think about the general effect for you and everyone else should you wear something inappropriate/out of context for a situation. At the very least, doing so can re-frame the situation and your experience of it, and to me there’s something very exciting about that. I couldn’t come up with any really good examples, but I did remember that I wore a rose-patterned table cloth to a Pogues concert once. And for years I wore standard-issue all-black to jazz class, until I switched up one day and began to wear…Pink! Red! Green! It actually felt like a new me in a new space, which is kinda cool if the space is a place where you are trying to grow and learn. And clothing is an easy “Reframing for Dummies” way to do it, but heck, I’m still at the intro level for sure.

And the other thing the dress made me think of… there’s always something really cool and brave about showing up to something new with your…granny panties?! No!! With your open mind and willingness to learn. As a kid I didn’t London (my new word—a verb!—for trying something you’ve never done before) very much, and I didn’t fail a lot because I only did things I knew I’d be good at. I literally never got back on the horse when he bucked me off (his name was Blue) and dang me if I’m not trying to make up for it now.

I think it’s good to suck at something because you can’t go anywhere but up. Case in point, the video we made for the Feline Forum in Chicago, September 2009. There’s Bing in a top hat (Sweetie! He just sat there doing exactly what I wanted him to do while I floundered around trying to film), and Elyse and Cindy belting it out. In this case, I was the one with the granny panties in the singing dept. (I’m so bad!), but Elyse was such a firm but gentle production manager, and I always trust the creative process, so the whole thing took on a life of its own. For me, the Londoning wasn’t in the doing, but in the documenting. I always think I look like such a doofus, so I’d rather remember how it felt doing it than how I looked doing it. So far this has served me pretty well and allowed me to make random experiments (i.e. wearing a table cloth). I wish I’d figured out you’re supposed to look at the camera, though, even if you are wearing a cat mask and wagging your tail.

The cosmos offers so many opportunities to London:

P.S. Aha! Perhaps the dress/GPs was one reason why our teacher suggested we do many of the poses with our eyes closed. A whole different world! I wonder, but not too much.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meezer Monday: Back Seat Driver

Derrick as a bumper car. Derrick meditating. Derrick stalking a giant fly. Derrick trying to eat a vegan chocolate cake...Derrick, Derrick, Derrick!

For someone painfully acquainted with the second-place finish in the ol' sibling rivalry race, I can't help but notice that the big guy has been taking center stage on Meezer Mondays lately. Bing is actually pretty secure in himself so I think he’d be OK with it if he, um, read my blog, so this post really is…surprise, surprise…gonna be all about me and MY issues!

For years I could turn absolutely any situation—depositing a check, getting my ID picture taken, going on a nature hike to observe reptiles and amphibians!—into a scenario where whoever's in charge is an authority figure that likes someone (everyone!) better than me. Weird, right? I’d trained myself to run out of the room whenever the concept of the Favorite surfaced its green-eyed (hey, I have green eyes!) head, but you can run away only so many times. It's taken me awhile to accept it, but—my field may be fallow while someone else’s is blooming, and that’s totally OK. I can always go in the corner and plant something.

As I said, it wasn’t always this way. Take, for example, the last day of my sophomore year in high school. We were free, and I had a perm, new friends M. and P. and silver sneakers…totally ready to rock Montauk. There we were at the beach, harassing some guy by asking him stupid questions (“Would you rather lick a cat’s butt or have all your thoughts show up on your head like that scrolling ticker-tape thing at the bottom of news shows?”), drinking beer in the sun (gross) and popping aspirin because it makes you photo-sensitive. And that was just from 2 pm to 4 pm!

After a dinner of—if I remember correctly my awful eating habits—French fries, Diet Coke and red hots, we were back at the beach as night fell. M. was hoping that the guy she liked would be there (100 points if his name was Alex!), and I was just happy that my teenage life was finally starting. So yup, M. disappeared with “Alex,” (Did I mention that P. and I were sleeping over M’s house? Oops! That is crucial to the story, peeps!) and P. and I started up a conversation with some prepped-out college student who lived in Montauk during the summer. Robin’s egg blue T-shirt? Maybe. Rich-boy beer breath? Positive.

Since we couldn’t find M and “Alex,” Entitled White Prep (EWP) offered to drive me and P. to some local bars to find them. His car was small and brown. His hair was brown, too, but otherwise unremarkable. I would have remembered if it were, because although I may have been too G-rated at the time to notice any manlier bits, it’s all about the hair anyway.

So EWP presented us with a challenge.

“Whoever kisses the best,” he said, “gets to sit in the front with me.”

DON’T EVEN SAY IT, OK?! YOU KNOW it was me who wound up riding in the back seat!  At the time, I was completely humiliated and I’m still sort of embarrassed even now to admit I lost, but you know what? He tasted like stale beer, wasn’t my type and I’d already honed my skillz during the fifth-grade Spin the Bottle party, when Rod Retana said I was the best kisser at Most Holy Trinity. SO THERE, EWP! SO THERE!

So I'm all silent in the back seat (I mean, what do you say after a defeat like that?), a 16-year-old loser in my silver shoes, as we returned to the beach to look for M, but there was no one there. I was so out of sorts I fell on the jetty and skinned my knees, ripping my pink Sasson cargo pants. Anyway, EWP offered to take us back to M's house, in hopes that she had returned--which I actually thought was pretty responsible of us.

But as as we approached the driveway, you could just tell that we were about to be screwed. M’s mom greeted us, swigging from a bottle and pointing at me and P. “You SLUTS!” she screamed, and made us call our parents and have them come get us at 1 am. P. was lucky that her sister answered on the first ring, but me…nope, my entire family had to come and fetch me, my brother driving, my parents in their pajamas, rosary beads hanging from the dash. “It’s going to take a long time for you to earn back my trust,” my mother said. There was no point in telling her I didn't do anything, and we were silent on the ride home. Except my dad probably shook his head and said "Gee whiz" or something. I was so guile-less I didn't even think about a) pretending that no one answered the phone and going to P's, or b) telling M's mom we'd wait outside and just sleeping on the beach.

My summer ended before it even started. I was grounded for most of it, and spent my days working at the local library…a teenage slut and kissing contest-loser reading Evelyn Waugh and Theodore Dreiser.

And, even though it’s no longer Monday and there hasn't been a lot of talk about meezers, I do feel obliged to honor the theme. Where's Bing been in Derrick's omnipresence, you ask? Right here…tap tap on left side where heart beats…where he always is.

With spear or bow, she wandered, and her goddess
Held her most dear, but no one's hold on dearness
Lasts very long.

Ovid, "Metamorphoses"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Free Your Mind (And Your A$$ Will Follow)

Ok, so I stole the title from a Funkadelic album, and I don't even know whose shoes these are. I took this photo outside of my 5Rhythms class last week, so I know their owner was a sweaty/smiley mess when it was over : )

Re: this next video: Oh! My! Who doesn't want to live on this wacky planet?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bing on Bing

When Bing was about 2, I had fallen asleep on the couch and woke up to find him standing on top of me, looking me straight in the eyes while he, um, pissed all over my leg. I guess I love him so much that I wasn’t really skeeved by it (not sure if that is the correct usage…I know it’s a phrasal verb but there’s back-and-forth re: who does the skeeving. For example, I’ve seen both “You skeeve me” and “I am skeeved by you.” Hmmm…), but—oops, got sidetracked—I was mad enough to run around the apartment sobbing and chasing his furry, bob-tailed a$$.

I had heard about interspecies telepathic communicators because there was an amazing woman who volunteered at our adoption center, talking to all the dogs and cats who found themselves in the shelter, abandoned or lost or otherwise. Bing had just been to the vet and was pronounced healthy, so I had a hunch there was an emotional component behind his rogue peeing. Why not just ask him?

So yeah, Bingaling’s wake-up call 13ish years ago was exactly that—“a message to you because you aren’t taking care of yourself,” he said. “You’re not sleeping enough.”And I was working so much that I wasn’t giving him what he needed. “Stay home and read a book sometimes, quieting your mind and letting it unfold—I want to be near you,” he demanded. “I get lonely…you have to understand, I need to do things and see things, too.”

What else is going on in his kitty mind? A freakin’ lot, as you’ll see here. Luckily, I took really good notes along the way.

Bing on dancing
- “I can walk over teacups and not disturb them. Because I am so centered, I can dance in the craziest ways.”

Bing on being brushed
- “I have no patience for that.”

Bing on subtle energies
- “I am doing a balancing act in the home. I smoothe out and expand the energy in the apartment. We need to combine our energies so each is balancing the other, so it’s a mutual thing.”

Bing on Mrs. Brown, a sweet floofy Himalayan we tried out as a possible companion for him.
- “She encroached on my territory and gave me an ‘Ugghhh’ feeling. I felt blurry with her around and I couldn’t escape her.”

Bing on some guy I went out with for awhile
- “He wants you to pay attention to him and not do your own life. He wants to control everything, and doesn’t let you be yourself. It’s not serving you.”

Bing on the possibility of adopting Puff, whom he grew to completely adore
- “I’d like to try her out for 3 days. I like the fact that she’s a girl, but I can’t know for sure until I see her. I am fascinated by her energy.”

Bing on Derrick
- “This one is a great companion! We fit in well together, but he really forgets his boundaries sometimes—and I am not good at keeping boundaries.”

Bing on his own appearance
- “Aren’t I beautiful?”

Thanks for reading, everybody. I sure hope he doesn't get mad at me when he finds out, tho!

Music for tuning into your inner Bing

D'uh! Of course George is his favorite Beatle!

You know, Bing's a total bopping elf himself...

This last one's kind of a surprising choice, I know, more like my sentiments about the Bingford. But really, I wanted to point out...MJ's doing relatively simple moves here, but there's something about them that's like dancing over teacups. Focused, perfectly expressed, grounded, not a wasted bit of energy. I think Bing would dig it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sex Pistil

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was allegedly a whoring misogynist who pushed an elderly lady down the stairs because he thought she was talking too loudly, but he wrote one of the most beautiful things ever about plants in The World as Will and Representation:

"For the plant reveals its whole being at the first glance and with complete innocence. This does not suffer from the fact that it carries its genitals exposed to view on its upper surfaces, although with all animals these have been allotted to the most concealed place. This innocence on the part of the plant is due to its want of knowledge. Every plant tells us first of all about its native place, the climate found there and the nature of the soil from which it has sprung."

Sigh-o-delic, eh? But I'm still noodling on the strange interconnectedness between the song featured here and the relationship between the parties behind it. Would Andy be a venus fly trap? I could see Lou as a vine of morning glories growing wild in a vacant lot where feral cats (a managed colony, of course!) fight and whine and meditate.

Oops, better make that LessWord Wednesday, peeps!

Watch this and find out where he got the idea for the song:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sister Nicotine

Does anyone remember Sartre likening a woman's naughty bits to "a gaping mouth that devours the man?" I can't find the exact quote, but this is the gist of his lovely sentiment and will have to do for now: The obscenity of the feminine sex is that of everything which 'gapes' open.

Nice, right? Geesh. Like it really helps to ponder stuff like that. Anyway, there's nothing new about the analogy of eating/ingesting=wanting to possess/be one with something. Case in point #1: Robert Smith singing "I could eat your face" in "Dressing Up." Case in point #2, and in my biz I see this a lot: "That kitten is so cute I could just eat him." Case in point #3, smoking. Which I haven't thought about in years, really, until last Saturday when a woman on the street asked me if I had a cigarette. Why'd she ask ME? Could she see the ghostly puff-puff cloud of a Parliament surrounding me? Or did I, in my flip flops and jeans with a hole in the knee, look like someone who didn't care enough not to poison themselves? Or did I just look helpful and smiley?

I first started smoking (Benson & Hedges Ultralights!) during the summer before college, and I didn't even know how to inhale. That's the time when you're all free to start your life, and instead of getting drunk and puking all over the place like the rest of my classmates did, I would go to clubs and dance all night long to really bad music, drinking only water and every once in awhile blowing out smoke like some sort of stuttering teapot. I really didn't care, because it was really all about the shiny gold packaging, and I thought they were just so freakin' pretty, all soft and white like women's arms. (Well, women's arms in a film noir.) And I was like the biggest poseur around (see what you did, Mrs. B!), so it's no wonder I cottoned on to it. And besides, look who else did it, too..

Nicotine's a nasty b*tch, but she has her charms for the vain. You can eat all the ice cream you want (and, ahem, bowls of fresh whipped cream) and still weigh less than you would if you were on a diet. But really, I can't tell you how decadent is the slide and glide when a match is struck, the bump and suck of a cigarette being lit. My dirty old loves, 20 to a pack and only wanting to be held gently between my fingers. The inhale, the exhale.

Inhale and exhale?!!! Ah, so maybe that's what making me so bird-mad and causing me to listen to "Sister Morphine" for the, as I write this, 13th time in a row.

Tonight I did this breathing practice in yoga that I'd never done before, and it totally made me all high, way better than nicotine ever could. You exhale and then plie (yeah, i'm adding a little ballet in here, why not?) while your abdominals go up against the wall with your spine, and then you do this rapid abdominal flappy thing. OMG! It was nuts! My hip creases got all tingly and I felt like I was on fire. I LOVE this stuff! Talk to me about subtle energy centers and burning up toxins and opening your heart and it makes me so happy I have to laugh. Well, actually I couldn't laugh, 'cause I was retaining my breath. And what does this have to do with Parliaments?

Well, if yogic breathing and smoking are in the Inhale Exhale family, then smoking is like the inbred cousin who plays dueling banjos in Deliverance. And the first time I tried that practice--the standard version, not with the abdominal flapping thing--was probably like 7 or 8 or so years ago, right before I went cold turkey for the 2nd time, and I must not have had the lung capacity or ab strength or otherwise not been ready to do it, 'cause it released something that got me all agitated and crankadelic for like 5 hours and think I even had a nasty confrontation in the laundry room. I was "cutting back," in the hopes that my nicotine addiction would sort of just fade away. It was basically torture--10 a day, down to 5 a day, down to 1 a day, down to 1 every other day, down to 1 cigarette 3 times a week, down to 1 a week, down to 1 every 2 weeks, down to 1 a month…No, dudes, I'm not kidding, I'm pretty embarrassed to say. I even marked it on the calendar and everything.

I'll save the phlegmy details for another post, but nicotine, the best thing I ever did was kick your honky a$$ to the curb long ago. You try uddiyana bandha and tell me how it goes. You don't even have abs!

Why you should not smoke:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: So Where Were The Spiders?

I thought this was a tripped-up, hipped-up cousin of a Blue Meanie until I counted the legs just now. Spider? Octopus? And why is there always a Ramones song for everything?!