Random Items... Of Doom!|
1) Gini and I have been doing yoga for — well, hang on, lemme check my archives — three weeks now, and it's interesting. Depending on which yoga enthusiast you talk to, yoga is about breath control, or twisting toxins out of the body, or simply mastering both mind and body.
But to me, yoga consists of getting into the most uncomfortable positions you can imagine and staying there.
It's a trick, since after about five seconds your entire body starts to quiver. You're trying to keep your balance while your hamstrings are shrieking in agony, and you have to push up with your left arm as you extend your spine. Your muscles ache as you try to explode your body outwards, every limb reaching in a different direction. You're not doing any exercise other than just standing weird, but oh my God does it hurt.
Yet there comes a point where you "get" one of the poses, and everything clicks into place. I've often said that I burn off a lot more calories biking than Gini does, because even though we're traversing the same distance I don't have her efficiency. She knows all of the subtle tricks of how to pump her legs, when to apply force, how to shift gears on slopes, whereas I'm just flailing about. She uses less energy to go faster.
So it is with yoga. Once you "get" a position, it's still strenuous, but suddenly you know how you're supposed to stand. Before then, you're the driver of a carriage filled with exhausted horses straining at the bit, each of them trying to run off in separate directions as you frantically whip each muscle back into line… But after getting it, you're focusing your body towards a position, an ideal you pour your energy into achieving.
It's an interesting process, and it's a clear illustration of how mind and body are engaged. I'm not sure whether getting it is the mind or the body, but from that point onwards they begin to work in harmony.
And just as you're enjoying your strength, the instructor tells you to move into the next position — the one you haven't gotten. That bitch.
2) God willing, I am going to one of the special sneak previews of Serenity tonight, as a special send-off for my Joss Whedon-addicted daughter. (Thanks muchly to Julie Washington for getting me the tickets.) I'll give a comprehensive, spoiler-free review when I get back, but you'll have to correct for the inevitable "It's a new franchise flick!" high that taints every review.
Initial reviews are weird, because there are some films you enjoy but have no urge to see again, and there are some films you liked a lot but you were swept up in the hype. I've gone back and read my initial reviews coming out of the theater, and while they're right in the essentials, the weight is off. A minor complaint I had later swells to tarnish the whole film, or some nice little touch turns out to be the thing I remember.
I'll be glowing with fanboy enthusiasm (or worse, reeking with the betrayal of excessive hype), so crank the correction knob a few notches.
3) For sheer entertainment, check out this video by OK GO (sent to me by Devilishdestiny). I heard them on NPR yesterday, and the hook is that they practiced quite seriously for a week to do the dance routine for this video — but they're not dancers. There's something oddly compelling about watching people do a competent job that's nonetheless not very good.
I mean, I like 'em because they're obviously having a good time. But stick these guys behind, say, Britney Spears or Janet Jackson and you'll see how much you're grading on a curve.
Still, I'm gonna pick up the single on iTunes, if it's there. Creativity should be rewarded.