Random thoughts on a rainy Wednesday NYC night...
DO REAL MEN DO YOGA?
Internet, I have a confession.
I am now a person who does yoga. Yes. I am a Yogi. Me.
It all started out innocently. I just wanted to add a different dimension to my workouts. Lifting gets boring (those weights are heavy!) and running on treadmills makes me feel like a lab rat. So despite my general dislike of anything that reeks of a pretentious New Age fad, I thought I would expand my horizons and give yoga a try. At the very least, I figured I'd get to stare at my girlfriend's gorgeous body for 90 minutes. Where was the downside?
Holy cow. I'm hooked.
Seriously, I love yoga. I'm sleeping better. I'm breathing easier. I'm less stressed. I've become stronger and more flexible in ways that I had never imagined. I'm bending to Downward Facing Dog, dropping to Chataranga, and reaching to Tadasana.
Despite my fears, I'm pleased to report that I have yet to develop an unfettered love of kombucha, Lulu Lemon, or patchouli. And the day that I say goodbye to any of my buddies by chanting "Namaste" is probably the same day you'll find my dead body in the bottom of the Hudson River.
Luckily, I think my yoga teacher knows the limits of my tolerance for pretension. For example, instead of forcing me to hear Ravi Shankar jam out on a sitar, we ended this week's lesson by lying in savasana while listening to Zero 7. I'm clearly doing the upscale downtown Soho version of yoga.
Anyway, I really do love it.
If I could only resist the temptation to fart out of my third eye every five minutes, I think this yoga thing might be for me.
The year I was applying to colleges, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton all asked potential matriculents to write an essay answering the same question: If you could have dinner with any figure or figures, living or dead, real or historical, who would it be and why?
I can't remember exactly what I wrote but I'm sure my 17-year-old pompous self started the essay by stating, "Don't you mean WHOM?"
I was thinking about this today because last night, I woke up from a weird dream that had a similar motif. The details of the dream are fuzzy but it entailed a dinner with me, my girlfriend, Oprah and Alec Baldwin.
In the dream, we start off with champagne and cheese. Alec and I huddle on one side of the table talking about mayoral politics, the Knicks, and Peter Luger steaks. Oprah turns to my girlfriend and says, "Girl, you lookin' good." I love it when Oprah gets a little sista-y. Nobody really knows the real Oprah. When the cameras are off, the girl is mad cool.
Over dinner, they start sharing amazing celebrity gossip. Oprah reveals the entire Brad and Jen saga, even though she promised Jen she wouldn’t. Alec tells us about the time he almost had a threesome with Tina Fey and Condoleeza Rice. Amazing!
After a few drinks, I convince Alec that we should start prank calling Rudy Guiliani, Rupert Murdoch, and Kim Basinger. Nobody picks up so we start drinking martinis before dessert.
After dinner, we make s'mores, cuddle on the couch, and watch re-runs of Extreme Home Makeover. Then suddenly, the dream ended. I woke up, jumped in the shower, and went to work.
*FYI, in case you were wondering, I didn't get accepted into Harvard, Stanford, or Princeton.
Much to my own detriment, I tend to gravitate a little too much towards "serious" literary writers. Because I've always been interested in determining how the writing of contemporary heavyweights (Amis, McEwan, Eugenides, Roth, Atwood, Coetzee, et al) compares to the classics of the Western canon, I often miss out on less-recognized writers who are producing great work. To remedy that shortfall, I've just ordered the following books from Amazon.
Charles D'Ambrosio's The Dead Fish Museum
Dan Chaon's Await Your Reply
John Jeremiah Sullivan's Pulphead: Essays
Wes Moore's The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
Have you read any of these? Or read anything else lately that you can recommend? Let me know.
THE END IS NIGH?
Speaking of books, NY Times best-selling novelist, reality television star, and professional guidette Nicole "Snooki" Polizetti announced today that she is pregnant with her first child. If the baby is born on December 21, 2012, then the Mayans were right.
"Hey man, am I supposed to tip the nurses?"
"Who knew Maria Shriver had the most appalling voice in the world? No wonder Arnie sought solace with the Spanish help!"
"Did you know that when girls eat asparagus, their pee smells bad too?"
"You'll be glad to know that mock turtlenecks are still alive and well in San Francisco."
"Isn't couture arguably ephemera?"
"I just reverse-engineered a Cobb salad!"
"Before people get a divorce, they should try switching the side of the bed they sleep on. Problem fixed!"
In the same manner that one's life becomes more complicated as one gets older, parenthood also becomes progressively more challenging as one's child gets older. The stakes are higher. The repercussions become more serious. And every event takes on greater significance. Navigating the perils of changing diapers become laughable after one realizes that those were the gravy days.
It's difficult to explain parenthood to those who don't yet have children, because becoming a parent is an intensely personal experience. Every child is different. Every parent is different. Every culture has their own way of doing things. The experience is fundamentally different for every new parent in the world, yet children are the one universally shared thing that binds our giant collective chain letter of human beings together, regardless of nationality and language. How do you explain the unexplainable?
As Jeff Atwood succintly said,
As an adult, you may think you've roughly mapped the continent of love and relationships. You've loved your parents, a few of your friends, eventually a significant other. You have some tentative cartography to work with from your explorations. You form ideas about what love is, its borders and boundaries. Then you have a child, look up to the sky, and suddenly understand that those bright dots in the sky are whole other galaxies.
You can't possibly know the enormity of the feelings you will have for your children. It is absolutely fucking terrifying.
It never ceases to amaze me how much I love the Peanut.
The Peanut is now seven and while she has grown up to be an incredible child, I often find myself constantly thinking about her past, present, and future. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was changing her diapers? How does the time fly by so quickly? With all the dramatic changes she's experienced in her life thus far, am I really doing absolutely everything in my power to ensure her current happiness and well-being? What obstacles lie ahead? In what ways will she thrive? Where will she struggle? How can I protect her?
These are the questions that keep me up at night.
Ultimately I remember to take a deep breath, bring myself back to earth, and remind myself that while the days may be long, the years go by fast. The kid is only seven.
And you know what?
Seven is cool.
This is seven.