Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Business Card Waltz

I went to a meeting of a new nonprofit group last night, The Taproot Foundation. The idea behind the organization is great -- get professionals to donate their time and their functional skills to help nonprofits accomplish tasks they wouldn't be able to otherwise - build websites, send out annual reports, identify a brand. It's a chance for nonprofits to get pro bono help and a chance for professionals to use their skills for the greater good.

And network.

I hadn't even walked in the door before I was assaulted with the handshakes and the business cards. I was asked, "who are you and what do you do?" but what they really wanted to know was what could I do for them.

We went around the room giving introductions. Why were we here, what interested us in Taproot. The answers ranged from, "I'm unemployed and looking to build up my contacts" to "I want to get a new job and am looking to network" to "I need to beef up my resume to advance my career and I'm hoping to meet new people in the industry."

Well, at least we're honest.

I confess, I was there to meet people too. Except I'm just looking for friends - like-minded people interested in creating a better world in whatever way we can.

I shouldn't be surprised - ask professionals to give of their time and true to any business cost-benefit calculation, they'll figure out what they can get out of it. An extrapolation of Darwinism or The Selfish Gene, I suppose. But it would be nice to labor under the idea that sometimes we just do things because it's the right thing to do.

How are those rose colored glasses working for you, Kalesy?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Acclimating - a dialogue

Mr. Zips and I are slowly learning to co-habitate. He is, at this very moment, in bed and (hopefully) asleep. While I blog. And watch Futurama.

Yeah, Futurama. Bested only by Family Guy. (You can't deny kids Sex Ed. If you do, they get all confused. Just look at Michael Jackson. "The kid in me loves the frosting. But the adult in me loves the kid in me!")

Anyway, it's a happy compromise so long as I continue to kid myself that he wasn't expecting any action tonight. I know he was, but since he wasn't overt about it, I can labor under the misconception that he wasn't.

What was he thinking? I did 7 hours of intense asana this weekend. I can barely move, much less make hot monkey love.

In a somewhat related note, a friend of mine called the other day with the message, "Where are you when I need someone to talk me out of having sex? Call me!"

What was she thinking? Was she really expecting me to talk her OUT of having sex? I mean, seriously.

Kalesy does love her sex. As long as there isn't a long-time companion actually asking me for it.

What's wrong with this reality?

Saturday, February 24, 2007


As a post script to last post -- Wind people tend to shift perspectives easily, be unable to be tethered to one consistent point, see the big picture but at the sacrifice of the details.

Know anyone who might fit that description?

And to think, all this time I've been calling my boss, Napolean, Mr. Windbag, completely unaware of how right I was.

It's Elemental

Warning: this will be another long, touchy feely post. If you're not into mumbo jumbo, stop now.

Today was another yoga immersion day. And once again I was hit over the head with a giant anvil of awareness. It's not an anvil I am unfamiliar with - I remember it well from my days of herbal classes, even from some of Hiroshi's old speeches. And so I am forced to wonder, how many times must I be hit with this anvil before I finally do something about it?

Deb was talking about adhikara - the qualities, competencies, and entitlement of the student - and how you can deepen your adhikara through self-knowledge and balancing action. Knowing yourself requires that you understand your qualities, which can be tied to the five elements - earth, fire, water, air, ether.

Ding ding ding. We seeing an anvil floating in the air above my head yet?

Earth people tend to be stubborn and steadfast. They do the same thing every day at the same time. (Or, say, the same thing every day of the week at the same time, at the cost of, say, going out to dinner with friends, or having a romantic night at home with Mr. Zips.)

Fire people are fast, quick witted, intense, inclined to transcend boundaries.

Know anyone that matches those descriptions?

Water people tend to be more fluid, more calm, accomodating, sensitive, compassionate.

Know anyone who lacks those qualities?

Deb went on to explain that to increase adhikara, one should not only play to one's strengths, but should cultivate those elements that one might be deficient in.

When I got home, I went through my old journals from herbalism class. I found this note on one of the pages. "Should take jasmine bath. Or maybe hibiscus. Increase water energy. Dampen fire. Come into balance."

Now, I'm sure that increasing my water energy won't fix all my problems. But I'm thinking it could help.

For starters, water is connected to the second chakra, the womb or belly chakra. Medititating on this, I was struck by how often I stand sideways in the mirror and grab my "poodge" (as I call it) and shake my head, thinking myself fat. Perhaps I might shift my perception and see instead a round, firm Buddha belly that, if not able to support a life within me (for I still don't want to breed) than perhaps can engender compassion and nurture for other lives around me.

So, there's clearly work to be done here. And realizing that is the purpose of walking this path of Anusara yoga, is it not?

Now if I could only find a way to embody this knowledge for good - to incorporate it into my DNA so to speak. Because my head's starting to hurt from all this anvil dropping. Damn Acme Labs...

Friday, February 23, 2007


This weekend is another Anusara Yoga Immersion weekend. So I took today off from work to "prepare."

I intended it to be a really productive day. Clean the apartment. Get my car looked at. Go grocery shopping. Do my laundry. Etc.

I have done NOTHING.

Well, OK, maybe not exactly nothing. I did finish Life of Pi and the Immersion Manual for class tomorrow. And I paged through four or five catalogues of useless items.

But I haven't exactly done much that is useful. And I'm feeling really guilty about it.

It's another shocking example to me of how deeply I am caught up in the western culture of ratraceitis.

Upon deeper reflection, I've found that I have used today to prepare. Just not the way I expected. I love the yoga of happy little surprises.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Shout Out!

My bebeh (and by proxy, me) totally got a shout out on the Rachel Maddow show today. How cool are we?

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Mr. Zips met one of my heroes today, Rachel Maddow. She came in to the TV station to film a live spot for CNN and he was filming it. I haven't gotten all the 411, but apparently he told her I was a big fan and that I had instructed him to tell her, "Monkey!" (Fans of the show, on Air America Radio from 6 - 8 p.m. will understand). In response, she had him tell me, "Vigilance!" This made me happy.

Which is good because, otherwise, I've had a pretty rough day.

Yoga was very difficult for me today. I was not in a balanced place. Muscular energy, yeah, I got that. I can grip, hug in, draw in, grow strong with the best of them. Organic energy, not so much. Kalesy is struggling with radiating out, revealing her true light of Shakti. All of which sounds like New Age Heathen mumbo jumbo until I translate it. I can grit my teeth and muscle through life like the true daughter of a Marine Corp Sniper (don't bother running, you'll just die tired). But when it comes to letting go, expanding out and trusting that the Universe will hold you up, I'm not quite as skilled. Witness falling over lots in Ardho Chandrasana, half-moon pose. It's something I will need to continue to work on. But as I do, my GetRDone nature lacks patience and self-compassion. And the cycle repeats.

My car is making a noise. A wierd rattle noise. And no service centers are allowed to be open on Sundays. So I'll have to take Friday as an official day off to get her looked at. Joy. Every time I bring my car into one of these places, I leave $300 poorer. At least.

All that and - just when I thought I was smart - I came into this cafe to do my reading for next week's immersion class and I am really NOT getting this tantric philosophy thing. It's confusing. Really confusing. Here's hoping Deb can clarify a little. Because this is even more out there than Hiroshi. And that's out there...


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Proving a Point

I really like the show Criminal Minds. It's got hot white guys, hot black guys, hot geeky guys, hot chicks, and Mandy Patinkin. What else could you need in a crime drama?

Last week's episode had a lot to do with race. At one point - and dramatically right before he was shot in a misguided vigilante act - one black cop asked another, "don't you wish it sometimes didn't matter?" To which the other cop replied, "It'll never happen, not in this world."

What I think the show was trying to prove was that it does matter. Sometimes superficially, sometimes to the core, but always. To proclaim that you don't see race is ludicrous.

And just today, my mother once again said exactly that. (Why she feels the need to convince her daughter she's not prejudiced is beyond me, but there you have it.) She was telling me about some shindig at church that's she's signed up to do with another woman, who she professes, "when I look at her, I don't see black. I just see Inez."

Now, let me tell you, in my whitebread hometown, this woman is very black. She's also beautiful, heavyset, tall, well-dressed, etc. But to pretend you don't notice how dark her skin is among all the lillies in the pews, well....

All of this leads me to a really interesting point I heard on, yes, NPR, this week. (click here for OnPoint archive). They were talking about Obama and whether or not he's "black enough." And one of the panelists made a remark to the point of,

"there are some people who are defined by race and determined by race. There are others who move beyond race. Or sex, or culture, or gender, or anything, for that matter. These are people who shine, who are luminant above and beyond mere categorizations. There is something about them that transcends the simple labels that our society feels the need to apply to the world."

I wanted to just shout at my mother. Tell her that you could be friends with Inez -- or anyone -- even though they're black. Or gay. Or a man or a woman. Or whatever. But don't ignore who or what they are. Just don't define them by it.

Because all of us should have the power to transcend.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Universe WILL Provide

Last Sunday, while on another one of my infamous hikes, I was doing a lot of thinking about basic needs - food, clothing, MONEY. I'm not so good with the money. I spend it a lot and make it only a little. And, so, for the first part of my walk, I was berating myself for being 31 and living hand-to-mouth, no savings.

And then, about halfway through my hike, I started thinking about all the times I just gave up and let the Universe take care of me. Those days when I had no money and somehow, someway, found a way to make ends meet. And I decided that, while I did need to set a plan to get back on track, somehow, this month it would all come together and I'd be OK. Even though I only had $72.04 in the bank and it was four days 'till payday.

Lo and behold, Monday arrives and 1) I got my tax return in the mail 2) I got some random check as part of a class action lawsuit against Glaxo Smith Kline I had no idea was even going on, much less involving me 3) got my P.A.L.S. coupon from Pets Plus for one free bag of (expensive) cat food.

So, tax return, right to savings. Check, cashed for lunch today and tomorrow (hey, $12.06 only goes so far...). Coupon, to be spent this evening to feed yoga cats. And payday is tomorrow at midnight and raises kick in end of month, retroactive to the beginning of the year.

All I can say is one big, giant, thunderous, capital letters THANK YOU.

Friday, February 09, 2007

You Can't Come to My Birthday Party

Do you remember how much it hurt when you were a kid and you found out someone was having a birthday party and you weren't invited?

(Or maybe you don't - maybe you were super popular. But I wasn't, and I do.)

It doesn't hurt any less as an adult.

Last night I was at a writing group meeting. Now, I've only just joined and there's three others who've been meeting a long time. They're fairly tight, but that's understandable and fine by me.

But then someone mentioned that one of the guys had a get together the night before and invited the other two. "Oh, sorry. If I'd known you were around I would have invited you." Which he said out of politeness but certainly not with sincerity.

The thing is, I don't know that if I knew this guy under any other circumstances, I would want to be his friend. He's very self-righteous and self-important. He definitely likes to hear himself talk and thinks he's an expert on all fronts. He's sort of like BBB, but without the wit or the (albeit well-hidden) tenderness.

But, there you have it. He had a party and I wasn't invited. And there I was, feeling low, and no new Barbie outfit to show for it.

Growing up sucks sometimes.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Towel Boy Confounds Me

I don't know how to deal with the towel boy at my gym.

Well, okay, maybe he's more like the front desk boy. (And I do mean boy - he's probably 12.) But all I need him for is towels.

I come in every day. And every day I need two towels. But he seems unabashedly unaware of my showering needs.

I stand there, looking at him, watching him fold aforementioned towels, my hand out expectantly. And he looks at me and smiles. (It probably doesn't help that he reminds me of an ex, beloved Bass Boy.) And continues folding. And so I try to come up with something witty to say, but always - ALWAYS - wind up saying something idiotic.

I just want my towels.

Why do you need to tease me so?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mt. Misery (or Pre-Menstrual Hiking)

My hormones are all screwed up. I blame it on the stupid horsepills I'm taking for my foot. But still, I've felt PMSey for days - you know, bloaty, crampy, hostile. But today I'm convinced it's not a false-positive -- I got a case of the cries.

Other women might know what I mean. The NPR Weekend Sunday (or WeSun to us junkies) music set me tearing. A particularly poignant paragraph in my book started a gusher. I was overcome with a desire to read old Christmas cards I've hung onto for too many years.

So I decided to go for a hike. A guide to local hikes mentioned a trail that wound a few miles around Lincoln, MA with Mt. Misery as it's goal. Mt. Misery? Perfect.

It was truly wonderful to get outside. I do my best thinking outside. I do my best non-thinking outside.

And while I didn't meet God (although I'm sure She was there) and I didn't discover the Meaning of Life, I did have a very cool leaning-against-a-tree-uuji-breathing moment. Oh yea, and I saw some really big animal poop. Bear? Deer? Huge doggie? I have no idea, but it was a bitch to scrape off my boots.

Mt. Misery? Only kinda sorta.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Guilt will get you nowhere

I have this to say to friends and family members who try to guilt me into doing something - it will get you nowhere.

When I've decided to do something - or not do something - it's pretty much certain. Stubborn, who me?

If you try to change my mind by putting a guilt trip on me, the only success you'll have is pissing me off.

Unless I've done something that is actively hurtful, I refuse to feel guilty. And working that mojo on me will only make me want to end the conversation.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

We'll Miss You Molly Ivins

Columnist, commentatory, funny woman, brilliant woman, brave woman, Molly Ivins died yesterday after a long, heroic bout with breast cancer. NPR did a wonderful eulogy.

She was a personal hero of mine and her spirit will be missed.

"We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell!" -- Molly Ivins. Read more of her wisdom.