Yoga A-Go-Go

Photo/Hilaria Baldwin - Instagram

Photo/Hilaria Baldwin – Instagram

I clicked on the above photo this week of actor Alec Baldwin’s wife striking a yoga pose in order to roast a marshmallow on the beach while bent over backwards. I regret nothing.

For starters, I learned that Baldwin’s wife is named Hilaria, a name you just can’t take seriously, which may be the point. I also learned that Hilaria is 30, while Alec Baldwin is 56 years old but 94 in dog years.

The best part, though, was that I had just been inwardly scoffing (which stings a little, I’m not going to lie) about how trendy yoga is, only to come across this photo listed in the search results under “news” for yoga. Thanks to this photo, I now know that yoga provides a practical solution if I ever find myself with my feet stuck in cement and it’s critical I roast a marshmallow in an ostentatious manner on a fire located behind me. Really, though, the greater challenge in such a dire situation would be coming up with the marshmallow.

After catching up on this latest global yoga news, I decided to look into yoga more deeply, or as they say in yoga circles, “mo-o-o-o-o-re de-e-e-e-e-ply.”

Yoga is an ancient physical and spiritual practice, dating all the way back to 2001. It grows out of a combination of Hindu mysticism and vintage Jane Fonda Workout tapes. The popularity of yoga began to increase when yoga pants were first introduced in stores in 2004. Inappropriate photos of women in yoga pants were first introduced online about 10 minutes later.

Yoga stretches muscles, massages the organs, calms the mind, improves circulation, reduces stress, clears blackheads, eliminates odours, removes unwanted body hair, cleanses the palate and cuts through even the toughest grease.

The beauty of yoga (besides the pants) is that anyone can do it. All you need is good balance – a good bank balance because at $10 a session, yoga’s not cheap.

But beyond the physical workout, the spiritual aspect of yoga makes the cost worthwhile. Yoga practitioners enjoy the spiritual enlightenment that comes with knowing they are spiritually enlightened about spiritual enlightenment. Done properly, yoga touches something deep within the practitioner. Done improperly, yoga touches something deep within the neighbouring practitioner, so maybe you should oonch your yoga mat over just a smidge.

Many people shy away from yoga not only due to errant toes but because of the confusing array of moves and sequences in a typical workout. Luckily, many of these moves are imaginatively named to help you remember them. Here are just a few examples:

The Downward Dog: On your hands and knees, you slowly lift your bum in the air while keeping your feet and hands on the floor. It is so called because, with your face so near the floor like that and those tantalizing bits of kale and quinoa at the corners of your mouth, you may end up getting your face licked by your dog or by Alec Baldwin.

The Cobra: Lie face down, then raise your upper body, rest on your arms and shout “I’M A SNAKE, SEE? LOOK AT ME, EVERYBODY, I’M A DANGEROUS EXOTIC SNAKE.” The spiritual component comes when your yoga mates tap deep into their emotions to suppress the urge to tell you shut the hell up.

The Hello Sailor: Standing with hands on waist, thrust your hips to the left, breathe in, thrust hips to the right, breathe out, raise face skyward and smile broadly at the sun like a good-looking stranger has just asked you, “Hey, do you work out?”

The Grandmother Canoe: Lying on your back, point your toes away from you and raise your hands over your head. Now bring your hands to your eyes and cover them. Let all your shame float away from you for wearing dowdy beige sweatpants to yoga class.

The Hot Cyclist: Over several sessions, gently move your yoga mat eastward until you are positioned next to the really cute blonde.

The What’s New, Pussycat: Sitting in the lotus position, hands clasped in front of you, breathe in, gently twist your upper body to the left, then to the right, breathe out like a long, exasperated sigh. Be filled with the revelation that you are one with your chakra and that everyone else in the room is also one, and that all the ones added together make many, and this yoga class has become far too crowded and trendy, and that, in your spiritual quest, you should go next door and sign up for the new hot workout, Buddha Camp. I hear they do amazing things with wieners.

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Tournament weekends are rough in the end

The devil.

The devil.

For years I bought into the myth. I even preached it myself. “I’m so glad my kids are into basketball instead of hockey. It’s so much cheaper. All they need is a ball and a pair of sneakers and they’re good to go.”

Well, that’s a lie. For starters, once your child passes the age of 8 – when they begin developing opinions and annoying free will – not any pair of running shoes will do. They need to be basketball shoes, preferably endorsed, imbued with Swïsh-Dunnkk® technology and featuring more gels and pumps than a hair salon.

The marketers have convinced kids that wearing the right shoes will help them get to the next level – provided the next level means jumping 4.5 inches off the floor instead of 4.4 inches. Continue reading

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We be shillin’

coverfinal02So, when the revolution comes, which by my reckoning should be sometime next week, probably Thursday, depending on your time zone, you’re not going to want to read all those drab dystopian novels because you’ll be living them. Instead, what you’ll want will be pleasant, humorous snapshots of simpler times, the perfect length to read during one of the three designated five-minute work breaks allowed daily by our robot overlords at the hydrogen slave farms.

Don’t Everyone Jump at Once is just that book.

I’m not going to bore you with details about what’s in this whimsical collection of columns about life, family and the defence of cannibalism during the End Times. Instead, let me tell you what you won’t get:

  • Boolean algebra
  • The “autobiography” of any pop star under the age of 25
  • A recipe for Balena Ano Arrosto di Radicchio (Roasted Whale Anus on Radicchio)
  • A venereal disease
  • Your money back

What’s important to know is that the cover price of my most recent collection has plummeted from $18.00 plus shipping down to (up to?) $20.00 shipping included for U.S. orders and $15.00 (definitely down) shipping included for Canadian orders directly from the publisher, Blue Ice Books.  Does that even make sense? Doesn’t matter; in a week, the monetary system will collapse anyway so spend, spend, spend!

Order now, and you’ll get this free photo of me pretending to row a canoe:

IMG_4983

The post sticking out of his head kind of explains a lot.

Operators aren’t standing by. Because they’ve all been eaten.

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Google’s got me

It is with great pleasure and a scoop of ice cream on the side that I announce today that I have been acquired by Google.

After many long hours of negotiations, plus minutes of Greco-Roman wrestling and one romantic weekend in New Hampshire that was this close to being truly magical, Google and I hammered out an Agreement in Principle last week. Principle is located just outside Boston and is known as the Agreement Hammering Capital of New England. (“Principle: Where Good Times Are Contractually Obligated!”)

I am unable at this juncture to reveal the financial terms of the agreement with Google, mostly because I don’t fully understand them. I can, however, confirm that there are “terms” and that “financials” are involved. Google has also given me a car, and it is red and shiny, and that’s all I know. Continue reading

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Feeling grill-ty

bbq

I’m everything that’s wrong with society. Perhaps that’s too strong a statement. I’m not everything wrong with society. I haven’t incited ethnic genocide. I don’t text and drive (only because I don’t have a cell phone). I’ve done absolutely nothing to encourage the likes of Taylor Swift. Let’s just say I’m a thing wrong with society and leave it at that.

A few weeks ago, I won a barbecue from the local IGA. It’s Stanstead’s only grocery store. Over the years, my family has shopped there faithfully, even though we live next door to Vermont. People look at us like we’re crazy when we tell them we never shop in the States. But I’ve always felt there’s something suspect about American food, meats in particular, something I can’t quite put my finger on, like maybe the meat is actually “meat,” or that someone really has put their finger on it.

Given my nationalist food prejudices and my loyalty to the local IGA, not to mention the thousands of dollars we’ve spent there over the years, I should have no qualms about winning the barbecue. One might even say my family earned it, much like the bag boys earn their tip every time they cart our groceries to the car. That’s right: our store still has bag boys who carry your groceries. Why the Town of Stanstead isn’t actively marketing this to encourage fresh settlers is beyond me. Continue reading

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Clothes call

The invitation defined the dress code for the office function as “clean casual.” “Clean” I understand: you can’t go to dinner straight from digging in the garden or changing the oil in your cat. (That’s not a typo; you should change the oil in your cat every three months or 1000 hairballs, whichever comes first. I read that on Facebook so it must be true.)

“Clean” means no grass stains, no torn jeans, and you can keep your Daisy Dukes at home, mister.

It’s the “casual” part that confounds me. Let’s right-click that word: “sporty, nonchalant, untailored, unfussy.” That sounds like sweatpants to me.

But no, even I, a rube from Nova Scotia, where a plastic shopping bag is known as a “Cape Breton suitcase,” even I appreciate that “clean casual” means you should wear what your mother would describe as “something decent.” And given that my normal office attire is blazer and tie, I interpreted “clean casual” to be clothes I’d be comfortable wearing to answer the door when the media descend on my lawn to grill me about the whole unfortunate misunderstanding about the cats. Continue reading

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Not-So-Humblebrag, or The Prizes is Right

Someone complimented me the other day and it felt weird. It wasn’t the compliment so much, because I’m awesome, it was the fact that it was public and unexpected, plus the fact that I was singled out when other people around me had been nearly almost as awesome.

I like compliments. I mean, my thick, lustrous hair alone generates multiple compliments daily. The hair on my head is also quite something. But I want the compliments to be earned and justified and preferably accompanied by one of those giant cheques. Continue reading

Posted in Awards, Family - whadya gonna do?, It Really Did Happen!, Turn that radio on!, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments