Where Have I Been?

You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t posted much on my blog lately. You may or may not have been wondering what I’ve been up to instead. Well, I’ve been spending less time here:

Of course, this is not me. I have more hair and I never work topless.

Of course, this is not me. I have more hair and I never work topless.

And a whole lot of time here:

Sacred Space Yoga Studio, Mount Airy, NC

Sacred Space Yoga Studio, Mount Airy, NC

This past summer, a yoga studio opened here in Mayberry. You might not think that Mayberry is a likely place for yoga to take off and admittedly, Aunt Bea has not yet donned yoga pants and tried a class, but surprisingly, Mayberry has embraced yoga in a big way. Because the truth is that yoga is for just about everybody – all ages, sizes, shapes and abilities (or lack thereof).

I had never done yoga before, but I started taking some classes. Then I took more classes and now I can’t seem to stop.  In fact, I’ve become such a fan and spend so much time there that I’m now the Director of Communications for Sacred Space. It’s the perfect job for me – I can continue to freelance for other clients, I can set my own hours, perform my duties in the comfort of yoga pants (okay, I always write and work in yoga pants, but now I write and work in yoga pants that I’ve actually worn to yoga, so they’re sort of like an official uniform), and I get the remarkable perk of unlimited yoga classes.

If you’ve never tried yoga, you may think it’s only for young, thin, flexible women who look super annoyingly cute in yoga clothes.  I am none of those things and neither are most of the people who practice yoga. You simply show up and start from where you are and you’ll likely end up feeling calmer, more energized and, as one of our clients said, “we leave your studio feeling like a better version of ourselves.”

If you’re ever Mount Airy, NC, come on in and do some yoga with us – we’ll make y’all feel right at home!

Top 10 Ways to Inflict Holiday Torture Upon Yourself

‘Tis the season – the season for unrealistic expectations followed by the inevitable crash and burn of disappointment.  How many of these things are you planning to put yourself through this holiday season?

Oh Noooooo....

Oh Noooooo….

1. You expect that somehow, despite decades of evidence to the contrary, your family get-together will be a blissful affair, with angelic children sitting in rapt attention by the fireplace as grandpa reads “The Night Before Christmas;” adult siblings enjoying one another’s company with not a hint of competition or resentment; in-laws happily allowing you to do things your way; everyone eating and drinking in merry moderation; and you pulling it all off without breaking a sweat.

2. You believe a perfect gift exists for each person on your list and you are damn well going to find it, even if it’s Christmas Eve and the overnight shipping will cost more than the gift itself.

3. Similarly, you expect your significant other will pick out, purchase, and lovingly wrap the perfect gift for you, even though you have no idea what that might be.

4. You are determined to get the perfect family photo for the Christmas card, you know, the one that depicts the fictional family of your imagination, rather than your actual family.

5. You eat and drink and eat and drink and eat and drink, knowing how badly you’re going to feel, but thinking, “Hey, it’s Christmas, what’s Christmas without a little (fill in your family’s standard Christmas food/drink excesses)?

6. You veer way out of your normal routine, staying up way too late, foregoing meals to compensate for all the crap you’re eating, and deciding that skipping your regular exercise routine for a few days or weeks is no big deal.

7. You believe that the office Christmas party is one big competition and that, this year, you will finally out-cookie the office baking maven, whose Christmas cookies and cakes are legendary.

8. You conveniently forget the hell of holiday traveling and think you can arrive at your destination unscathed, with no airline delays or traffic nightmares, ready to embrace your family with holiday cheer.

9. You expect to accomplish all holiday related tasks by yourself and that people will notice, appreciate and thank you for all that you did.

10. You finish up the holidays by comparing the reality of your holiday to the unreality of everyone else’s newly posted holiday Facebook photos.

Once you’ve tortured yourself through Christmas, it will be time to look ahead and make some seriously unrealistic New Year’s resolutions. Who wants to start?

Things One Should Not Do at Walmart

We’ve all been there. You’re shopping/schlepping through Walmart with a big list of stuff to buy. In the cart is your restless toddler. Distraction is key. Can you provide enough forms of distraction to keep the toddler below the tantrum ignition threshold until you’ve safely finished your shopping and are headed out of the parking lot?

By all means, break out the cheerios, hand the kid your keys, your iPhone, your lipstick, or grab a cute little stuffed animal or inexpensive toy off the shelf.

Yes.

Yes.

But whatever you do, DO NOT arm that child with a bicycle horn. Bicycle horns are for use outside, where you might have to warn pedestrians or other cyclists that you are coming up behind them. While your child might find the horn endlessly amusing, use of the horn deflects the tantrum potential onto all the other shoppers in the store.

Hell, no.

Hell, no.

It’s selfish, not to mention potentially dangerous. Harried unstable shoppers may well fly into fits of rage and ram their shopping carts into the premature Christmas displays, or track down the parent of said horn-tooting toddler so that they can helpfully suggest alternative uses for the bicycle horn, none of which involve a bicycle.

So, yeah, I just got home from a Sunday afternoon trip to Walmart. I think I’ll do all my shopping online for a while, you know, just until I regain my hearing.

The Secret Life of Blue Boy

Blue Boy

Yesterday I spent nearly an hour gazing at this famous painting, Blue Boy. Now, now, no need to be jealous. I was not at the Louvre, the Met or the National Gallery of Art.

Can you guess where I was? Never mind, you’ll never guess.

I was at a local tire shop, getting the oil in my car changed and there, hanging on the wall between the row of vending machines and Kelly Ripa blabbing away on the tv, hung what I will assume to be a reproduction of Blue Boy. He was gazing with bemusement at the small crowd gathered in the tire shop waiting area, juxtaposed with posters of the rolly polly Michelin Man.

I pondered. Is Blue Boy auditioning to be the next Michelin Man? Is the Michelin Man the secret love child of Blue Boy and an unknown marshmallow-woman? Is the owner of the tire shop trying to introduce classic art to the masses? Was this unassuming building formerly a secret art museum? Was the waiting area professionally decorated by the owner of the local flea market? Was I hallucinating from the powerful rubber smell of new tires?

See the family resemblance?

See the family resemblance?

We may never know. But at least I got the oil changed. 

Dude, Got Any Oreos?

Science fascinates me. Never mind that I could never make sense out of chemistry and physics, and that the mere mention of the periodic table causes flashbacks to my perpetually stoned high school chemistry teacher who made no sense. Science is cool.

I admit to being addicted to www.sciencedaily.com, which summarizes the latest in scientific research. It was where I learned about the study that tired people are perceived to look tired to others.

"What, no Double Stufs?"

“What, no Double Stufs?”

And now this … a new study has proven that Oreos are addictive. GASP! In fact, say researchers, Oreos activate significantly more neurons in the pleasure center of the brain than cocaine or morphine.   “Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” said one researcher. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”

As further support for this theory, we need look no further than the mass hysteria caused by last year’s news that Twinkies were dead, though they have since been resurrected.  Statistics back this up as well, with 8.7 percent of the U.S. population abusing illicit drugs, compared to 79.2 percent who abuse Oreos.

This intriguing study revealed yet another startling fact. Using rats in a maze, researchers found that rats overwhelmingly preferred Oreos to rice cakes. I believe further research will find that this is because instead of lighting up the pleasure center of the brain, the rice cakes activate a little known portion of the brain called the why-am-I-eating-styrofoam lobe.

In case you were wondering, the study also found that rats prefer to open up their Oreos and eat the creamy filling first. Still unanswered, though, is whether the rats prefer their Oreos dry or dunked in a cold glass of milk. I’ll keep you posted.

The End is Near

No, no, not the end of civilization as we know it (although that might not be such a bad thing).

For my fellow Americans who are dismayed, disgusted, incredulous or [insert your favorite string of expletives here] outraged over the pointless and damaging shutdown of the federal government, I see a ray of hope.

Sure, the various factions seem to be holding firm to their positions, pointing fingers and laying blame, while the talking heads in the media proclaim there is no end in sight. They all blather on and on, as the ridiculous shutdown clock racks up more days and the equally ridiculous debt ceiling countdown clock edges us ever closer to doom.

John BoehnerBut wait. Have you noticed that in recent days, John Boehner’s normally carrot-tinged bronze complexion has begun to fade to a washed-out amber color? That must mean the unthinkable has happened — the Congressional spray tan booth has fallen victim to the shutdown—yet another obvious but inconvenient consequence of, ya know, shutting down the government.

One day soon, there will be a day of reckoning, a day when John Boehner will look in the mirror and a pasty old white guy will be looking back at him. As the realization dawns on him that he is looking at himself, rather than his colleagues, he’ll cave. A vote will be held and the government will be up and running.

The sun will shine, federal workers will work, terminally ill people will have access to clinical trials, the Statue of Liberty will reopen, and the CDC will get back to the business of spreading fear and panic about a flu epidemic that will never happen. Most importantly, Speaker Boehner will collect on his back spray tan sessions, restoring him to a robust shade of pumpkin just in time for Halloween.

Welcome. Your government is now open, just as soon as that Park Ranger gets here with the keys to the front gate.

Welcome. Your government is now open, just as soon as that Park Ranger gets here with the keys to the front gate.

How Did You Sleep Last Night?

... a dash of stupidity and 30 cc's of gullibility ...

… a dash of stupidity and 30 cc’s of gullibility …

In a ground-breaking new study, Swedish researchers have reached this startling conclusion:

“A new study finds that sleep deprivation affects facial features such as the eyes, mouth and skin, and these features function as cues of sleep loss to other people. Results show that the faces of sleep-deprived individuals were perceived as having more hanging eyelids, redder eyes, more swollen eyes and darker circles under the eyes. Sleep deprivation also was associated with paler skin, more wrinkles or fine lines, and more droopy corners of the mouth. People also looked sadder when sleep-deprived than after normal sleep, and sadness was related to looking fatigued.”

I’m no scientist, but my layman’s understanding of this information is that tired people look tired and other people can see that they look tired.

Thank you, Swedish researchers. I anxiously await the results of your follow-up study, “To what extent can scientists dupe others into funding scientific studies designed to prove the painfully obvious?