Category Archives: mayalife

tribal belly dance + standing desk = killer abs

Short version: Hell yeah, the title says it all, doesn’t it?

Long version: back in my twenties I used to take this Tribal Belly Dance class based on Fat Chance Belly Dance troupe, which was just getting going over in San Fran at the time.  It was terrific, full of muscle locks and precision movements that resulted in a sweat soaked but very fun workout. Tribal is not flowing, floaty belly dance with chiffon scarves; it is muscle isolation and drills and yeah, it kicked my butt, but in that good way that lets you know you’re alive.  Not that I was ever any good at it, but who cares.

Fast forward twenty *cough* years [faints] and I’m, okay, well, I’m old.  And I’ve been having some trouble with wrist pain from Too Much Typing, so I made a standing desk with ergonomic keyboard, yada yada.  I’m standing here typing on it right now, this very post.  Anyway, as I result, I spend a lot more time standing now, doing my thang….

And it’s boring.  I mean, seriously.  My body gets bored.  I guess when I’m sitting, I just forget my body altogether, but standing, it stays…activated.   It starts moving around, shifting this way or that, pelvis this way, that way, scoop, slide, stretch…and suddenly I find I’m doing long forgotten tribal belly dance moves, like, unconsciously, while I type.  Figure eights, hip slides, scoops, belly rolls, up eights, down eights, clockwise, counter clockwise, locks, shimmies.  And yeah, I look like a flaming idiot.

BUT.  After a couple of months of this, my abs are freaking CUT.

TOTALLY UNEXPECTED SIDE EFFECT.  I had no plan whatsoever to get a six-pack at my standing desk.  But how cool is that?  Accidental Abs.

Unexpected Bummer to go with it: apparently having cut abs does not in any way mean that my jumpback will be improved.  And while I do notice an improvement in my posture, I notice no observable change in actual abdominal strength during my yoga practice. In other words: I still totally suck at navasana.  And I can’t do a decent jump back to save my life.  I am ashamed.

Is it the c-section—my secret theory—that keeps me forever from attaining this ashtanga basic, the all-mighty jumpback?  Have I just not poured enough sweat in (even after 5+ years of working it)?  It is physically impossible for me VS. am I lazy: these are the two basic options, with a possible side dish of “give it time” but I’ve done that and nada.  Humph.

I’m okay with this, usually.  I’ve come to peace with my smear-back and my walk-through.  But man, I would have thought carving your core would have translated into freaking LEVITATION.


I think I have that affliction where stated goals are never attained, but you get all this other great stuff along the way.

Most days, I’m okay with that.

No, there will be no photo of my new amazing abs on the internet.  So forget about it.  I support you in the process of feeling your loss.  There, there.  But if you want some abs of your own, I highly recommend an hour or two of tribal belly dance every day while you use your computer.  Shockingly effective.

I’ll leave you with the amazing Rachel Brice, tribal belly dancer extraordinaire.  She is a GODDESS.  (Hey, I wonder if she has a standing desk?)

birthdays and ten years fly by, ZIP, don’t blink!

Back in the middle of all that snow at the end of February, I turned 44 and on the same day, Sophie turned 11.  Some nice number palindromes there, plus I was exactly four times her age.  We had to postpone our party twice due to snow, but we finally got some friends and family together to celebrate, yay!  Luc and I baked the cake—he is becoming quite the baker, studying with the master, his Great Aunt Carroll.  Here’s my girl and I, plus Luc’s cake:

birthday 44 and 11

After the party, for fun we took a picture of Sophie in one of my old baby carriers.  I was totally into carrying my babies and had a ton of wraps, I’ve gotten rid of most of them, but some I just can’t part with… and I can still do it!  For a few minutes anyway.

sophie in carrier 44 and 11Isn’t she cute???  So HUGE.  For comparison, here we are ten years ago:

sophie in carrier 1 and 35I’m super preggo with Luc in that one.  We were just about to move into the yurt.  I had just finished my first novel.  It’s gone by so fast.

In another ten years maybe we’ll take a picture of Sophie carrying me in the wrap!

in which I build a standing desk and find it surprisingly comfortable. ergonomics ftw!

Just when I finished the big draft of the new novel and sent it off to the editor, out of the blue, BOOM, repetitive stress injury! I think this devil had been waiting in the wings, biding its time before slamming my little twig-wrists like twin bolts of fire shooting up my arms.  Dangit.  At least it was nice enough to let me finish the draft.  But yeah, it’s become quickly apparent that my days of sitting curled up in my bed with my laptop are over.

What to do?  There’s writing, yes, but also surfing, Japanese, blogging, publishing, paying the bills—you know, how we use the computer for… just about everything these days. Hey computer, go wash the dishes for me, would ya?

So, I spent a couple of days reading about ergonomics and carpel tunnel while icing my wrists and taking ibuprofen and just generally feeling like an idiot.  Because it turns out typing while curled up in bed is about the worst possible position for wrists, not to mention my neck, which has chronically hurt for years.

But I emerged from my research with A Plan.  Which I quickly enacted.  Because I can’t Not Write.  That’s just…not happening.

Here it is:

 standing desk 1

Standing desk!  That’s an old oak dresser I’ve had since I was a little tiny girl, as in, a toddler.  I think my dad built it.  Or maybe refinished it?  Add a milk crate—very DIY—topped with a leather desktop that SuperCoolHubby has had around forever, and wa la!  The adjustable laptop stand lets me dial in just the right monitor height for when I am wearing my around-the-yurt clogs, and the dresser/milk-crate combo seems to be the right height for my keyboard by sheer magic.   Add to this a split keyboard and a wireless vertical mouse and BAM.  I’m in business.

Once the acute inflammation stage of my injury passed and my wrists weren’t on fire anymore, I tried it out.

#1 Right away, results: the neck pain and stiffness, which I had just taken as a given of life, is GONE.  Worth the price of admission right there, baby.  Huge win.

#2 The hands and wrists are better, for sure, as in NO PAIN.  But I also haven’t put in any long sessions because…

#3 My feet hurt.

Why does something always have to hurt!?

It isn’t bad and I think it is more building up muscle sort of hurt than damage hurt.  I think my feet will get used to it.

But, no wrist pain, that’s a yay! right?  Even if it’s inconclusive until I do an actual writing stint of a couple of hours on it….  standing desk 2

I find I shift and stretch a lot as I work at this desk, which has got to be better than sitting there like a lump, solidifying in my bed, no matter how cozy the bed is.  Plus I tend to surf less at the stand up desk, which is good for my time management.  I buzz over, get some work done, then move the heck on.

Big test: I’m going to start trying to write on it in the next few days.  Fingers crossed.

But now I’m thinking…treadmill desk.

AmIright?  Sitting is the new smoking!  Treadmill desks are IN.  I just need an old craigslist treadmill I can DIY mod and stick under this stand.  Maybe…?  Cardio while I work!  This is soooo happening….

happy new year!

I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that we’re already starting 2015.  I never got used to 2014.  Anyway…hey, may all our resolutions come true!

Actually, I’m afraid to make any, for fear of crushing my already pathetically weak self-esteem by failing to keep them.  Although I was thinking last night, while sipping this simply MARVELOUS blackberry honey mead, that my Number One Resolution for 2015 should be MORE DRINKING.  I think I could keep that one….  But I’m also considering a treadmill desk, and think SuperCoolHubby could probably whip up a DIYer for me for $100 or so, if I set up some nice incentives for him.  I spend too much time sitting and typing/reading!  I’m determined not to atrophy in my old age.   I also have a book to publish, and another one to write….

Anyone have any resolutions?  Yoga five days a week?  Should we form a yoga-support team?  How would the end of the year be if I could keep that for 52 weeks? Hmm.

Many blessings on you and yours!

xoxo m

sweat-free christmas and world’s best shortbread cookies

The question on everyone-I-run-into’s lips for the last week has been, “are you ready?” By which they mean,”Are you ready for Christmas?”  It has started sounding like “are you ready? Get set…GO!”  I’ve started feeling paranoid because folk seem so freaking busy and stressed out and I…don’t.  It’s like they’re whittling their Christmas out of hand hewn logs, grown from Christmas seeds passed down through the generations, and I’m hanging out, eating a carrot (visions of Bugs Bunny, don’t ask me why, I don’t know) and watching all the industry with a puzzled expression. Why don’t I have a to-do list longer than a garden hose?  Am I forgetting something?  Am I shirking my Chirstmas duty?

Cooking, wrapping, mailing, baking, decorating, attending parties, hosting parties…these are the basics of Christmas as celebrated by early 21st century middle class Americans, right?  I keep checking them off on my fingers to make sure we’re doing all the Christmas Stuff.  We seem to be (haven’t hosted a party, but everything else, yep, yep…yep) and yet…I just don’t seem to be stressing out.  I’m clearing doing something wrong.

But wait, no, I’ve decided maybe it’s a question of scale.  For example, yes, we have a tree, we decorated the house, but, you know, when you live in a yurt, it only takes about twenty minutes to put sparkly lights on everything, and our tree is only four feet tall because anything wider would take over all the available floor space.  Maybe we’re doing all the things just…in a smaller dose.

THEREFORE.  My present hypothesis is this: the answer to a sweat-free holiday is to cut your portion of Christmas down to bite size.  Then you’ll be fine.  See?  Problem solved.  People are just trying to have TOO MUCH CHRISTMAS.

Christmas is strong stuff.  Sometimes, a little dab will do.

After having this discussion with the kids, however, we realized that we were, in fact, shirking: because we were experiencing a sudden and profound shortage of Christmas cookies! Emergency action must be taken to remedy the situation immediately!

I’ve been craving shortbread—those incredibly buttery cookies that aren’t all that sweet but melt in your mouth, you know the ones, fabulous with a cup of strong black tea?  One cookie has, like, 700 calories?  Yeah.  Those.  Where do these cravings come from anyway?

Ah, who cares.  We made some.  Turns out they are super easy.

shortbread 1

Cream 1/2 cup salted butter (that’s a stick) in the food processor with 1/4-1/2 cup confectioners sugar (depending on how sweet you like them.  Add 3/4 cup white flower and 1/4 cup corn starch and pulse a few times until you get a ball of buttery yellow dough.  That’s right, there are just 4 ingredients.  Seriously, you can’t mess these up.  Maybe if you burn them.  Don’t do that.

Roll it out to 1/4 inch thick, cut with a cutter in the shape or shapes of your choosing.  Bake for about 15 min at 300.  If you want them to be a bit golden, you might need to brush them with some egg or something, because mine turned out quite pale, but that was fine with me.


shortbread 2And listen, there is nothing good for you in these, okay?  Except love.

Luc: “These are made of God.”

Sophie: “No, they’re made of butter.”

Luc: “Then God is made of butter.”

Sophie, holding up a stick of butter and making Gregorian Chants sounds, “Let there be butter!”


Or as Jake says in “Dungeon Train,”  ““Fiiiinn, I made those biscuits with so much butter. You were just responding to the butter! This whole place is butter!”

Note: this recipe is a very small batch, maybe dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cutter.  You can easily double or triple the recipe, but seriously, you won’t want to eat more that one or two of these things.  They are super rich.

SuperCoolHusband rolled colored sprinkles into the little fork holes I made, haha.  We ate them while watching Guardians of the Galaxy (which I ADORE).

Baked Christmas cookies: CHECK.

So there you have it.  My Christmas wish for you: don’t sweat it and eat plenty of butter!  Merry Christmas!!

what has it got in its boot pocketes?

My girl, Sophie, has more style at ten than I had the confidence to pull off at twenty.  Maybe even thirty.  For example, today she was rocking combat boots, over the knee socks, a tutu in black with petticoats, and a hoodie with a glow-in-the-dark skeletal bones, all beneath her bright red hair.  I mention all of this because her combat boots are a crucial part of her look and man, the last pair we got fell apart after only a month: the soles just dropped off.  I hate it when that happens.

We got them fixed by our local cobbler (we have one of those! his name is David and I’m pretty sure he could crush my skull with one hand if he wanted to, he’s a BIG dude; luckily he is also very sweet) but finally, I’d had enough with the bimonthly shoe repair, and we went shopping.  We fell upon a sale that netted boots for half-off but get this: they are black combat boots, yes, but they have POCKETS.

combat boots with pocketsWhen we saw them in the store, both Sophie and I zeroed in on them, me thinking “Sophie would love those!” and her thinking “THEY’VE GOT POCKETS.”  Sometimes purchases are so obvious.

Of course, the very next thing you think is, what goes in the pockets?

SuperCoolHusband took one look and said, “a knife.  A really cool, little, knife.”  And he immediately began googling miniature knives (“This one’s cute! Oh, dang, it’s out of stock….” while Sophie rolled her eyes, “Dad! I’m not carrying a knife!  Besides, I already have, like, two that you bought me.  Chill.”).

I said, “lip balm, a tissue, and a twenty.” This seems so obvious!  I can’t stand being caught without any of these items, amiright?  (“Mom, I don’t even wear lipbalm.  But you can give me a twenty if you want.”)

Luc rolled his eyes at all of us, “You put in CANDY. Duh.”  (Thoughtful look from the girl.  “Possibly.”)

And at this point it had become clear that boot pockets are some kind of rorschach for our inner needs.   A boot pocket is an emergency back-up location, too inconvenient for regular use, but out of the way enough for long term storage.  Small but crucial items only.  What fits the bill will be different for everyone.

It has become an informal survey, no one is safe; as soon as someone sees the boots, the conversation begins.  And we keep getting different answers: back-up phone batteries, thumb drives, condoms, drugs, cash, lighter (?), multi-tools, protein bars, dog treats, hand-i-wipes, ID, toothbrush and paste (I guess they have small ones?), tea bags (might there be unfortunate flavor transfer?), ipod charger, a picture of a one’s dead mother (that was intense), a tiny notebook and pencil, chewing gum.  It’s pretty interesting to find out what people pick.

At first Sophie chose hair ties, two ginger candies, a spare pencil eraser, and a ten dollar bill.  Very sensible.  Then, as a joke, I started handing her things and saying, “keep this in the your boot pocket.”  Fireworks, an amethyst, emergency chocolate.  It started being how weird an item can one carry in a boot pocket?  A bird wing.  A collection of teeth.  A pocket watch.  And moving beyond that into metaphorical things.  A sense of duty.  Fears.  My love.  She started writing little notes and carrying those, funny phrases she overhears—she used to write things like that on her legs with sharpie.  Now, they go into the boot pockets.  Every few days she cleans out the pockets, reading the phrases, context often forgotten, like funny poetry.

I wonder what will be next?

What do we want to carry, just a little of, but everywhere?  Somehow this seems linked to Christmas, where I have been thinking about what to give people, what do they want, what do they need, what can I afford, what would surprise and delight or at least not get throw out?  Or maybe keep it simple, the standard socks jocks and chocolates…. I dunno, there’s probably more to think about this, but I’m tired.  Time for bed.  Hmm, sleep might be a good thing to put in a boot pocket….

end of 2014 has nearly flattened me, but it’s okay

Wow, man, I haven’t gone this long without a post since I started this blog back in [goes to look it up] April of 2008.  APRIL 2008! Holy shit, that means this blog is six and a half years old!  How–when–

[hold on while my brain-system reboots]

Sooooo, why no recent posts?  Hmm, I dunno, am I too tired, is blogging O-VAH, it’s not you it’s me, am I done with blogging—or is it just a busy patch around around Christmas and I’ll find my stride in January?

Time will tell.

Meanwhile, in Mayaland News: I’m in the first stages of putting together a cover for the new book.  I’m so nervous about this one.  I guess I say that about all of them.  But this cover!  I have a GORGEOUS photo.  I’m thrilled.

PLUS: I can’t believe I didn’t put out a single book this year.  Because I’m definitely not going to make it to publication in the next three weeks, and WOW where did 2014 go?  Fuuuuuck.

Actually, speaking of that, I have just written an epic sex scene for the new book that I had not intended to put in AT ALL and still might not—I reserve the right to chicken out, I’m going to see what my editor thinks—and it feels crazy to write that scene LAST like this, after the book is basically done.  Maybe I’ve been chicken all this time.  I have resisted, as in never considered adding it, up until just a few days ago when I suddenly got hit with the certainty that it needed to be written.  Such emotional DRA-MA.

I really love writing books, have I mentioned that?  Even with all my silliness.

But the book!  It is coming!  (I still don’t have a title.  Sheesh.)

Moving on.  I’m fine, kids are great, SuperCool Husband has a Man Cold, poor little bunny.  Right this minute Sophie is playing ukulele and I am—well, I WAS, before I started writing this—re-reading Dhalgren by Samuel Delany for probably the seventh time since I was 14.  I think it is probably my favorite book in the world.  At the very least it is in the top three.

Weird story: the photo I took  (in the post linked above) of my ancient copy of Dhalgren sitting beside my sparkly new copy of Dhalgren (although I’m currently reading neither, instead reading it on Oyster), IS ON MR. DELANY’S FACEBOOK PAGE.  How did this happen????  Omg omg did he read my post?  Or no, maybe it was just a google image search pull.  Christ, if we ever were to meet, I would have nothing to say, I would just clam up with nerves like an idiot.

(If I could say anything, I would try to say thanks.  Thank you very much for writing this book.)

Oh, and crap, Christmas is nine, ten days away, what?!   I do like watching the kids open presents, even if the two of them are super hard to buy for because they say they “don’t really need anything” and struggle to come up with even a couple of items they might be interested in.  “I have everything I want,” said Luc and Sophie agreed, shrugging.  “Maybe a Terraria t-shirt?”


Which makes me realize that while I could write many memoir-essay-type posts, and I do love writing those,  I’m starting to feel like the kids are old enough that they don’t want their lives sprayed over the internet.  When they were babies, I guess it sort of felt like their stories were my story in a way, maybe because they couldn’t tell their own (this is probably totally not true, not fair, and very greedy and self-centered of me).  But now…at some point they came to own their own stories.

This is a big loss to my blogging material, heh.  I’ve always blogged whatever I’m thinking about and…I’m still thinking about them—lots—but I don’t feel so free to write about them.  Plus I’ve never written much about my husband (another large slice of the “what Maya is thinking about” pie).  So what to write about instead?  What remains?

It’s a question.  Maybe that’s part of the slow down in blog posts, as well.

At any rate, I’ll let that be the Mayaland update.  Writing and publishing, yoga practice, unschooling, living in a yurt/building project, walking my dog in the woods, reading, playing with my family, learning Japanese (because everyone needs a weird hobby), long hot baths.  It’s my life.  (I really love my life.)

But wow, 2014.  You’re nearly gone already.  I’m not ready!

sunglasses, tirimisu, the GALAXY BRA, and how to be a woman

My daughter Sophie and I had quite a haul in the mailbox yesterday.  For me, my very-first-ever pair of prescription sunglasses, scored from Zenni Optical for $45 bucks, because I finally have had ENOUGH of wearing sunglasses perched precariously on top of my glasses when I go anywhere bright and actually want to see in focus (what a dork I am, I know, I know).

For Sophie, the mailbox contained her very-first-ever grown-up BRA.  As opposed to those cute, cotton bralettes they sell in the “junior” department (basically very short tank-tops), this bra sported adjustable straps, a back closure, and LO! actual cups.  So cute!!!!

So.  Cool Wayfarer stylin with polarized lenses for me, and injection molded foam for wire-free support with a simply gorgeous image of Space emblazoned on the cups for her.  It’s a wonder the mailbox didn’t pour out blinding golden light when we opened it up.

Online shopping is amazing, isn’t it?  On the Zenni site you enter in your prescription and your various desires (lens material, fancy coatings, etc), then you upload a picture of yourself upon which you can “try on” any of their frames. Sweet.  Click order and they send you your glasses in a week, and the prices are jawdroppingly low.  I uploaded a crap-tastic picture of myself, (because I don’t want to have to look good for my glasses, you know what I’m saying?  I want them to make ME look good, not the other way around) and a week later, here I was, mugging in the rear view mirror.

Sidebar: Seriously, I love my eye doctor (who is, I have to say, hot), but at $400+ for a pair of his glasses, I do not see how he can possibly compete with Zenni which gives me the same (or better, because they have a huge selection) glasses for 1/10th the price.  $40 vs $400, there really is no comparison.  Although I seriously pray this boon to me is not coming out of a sweatshop-for-glasses scenario.

Anyway.  Back in the car, Sophie is ripping open her package from, another online wonder, this time a knickers emporium with 100,000 bras to choose from. It even has a sizing page where you enter various measurements, hit calculate, and boom, it gives you your bra size.

What witchery is this?  No older woman “fitting” you for a bra while making veiled snarky comments about your back-fat and trying to sell you a bra that clearly does not fit?  How can local bra shops compete?  I was dubious that a web-applet could produce a proper size—but damn if the bra we purchased (for $9 bucks!) fit Sophie exactly.  Amazing.

$9 bucks!!  My stupid yoga bras are more like $40 and I pass out from sticker shock every time I go to buy one, resulting in me wearing them to tattered rags.  $9 bucks!  Maybe I need to rethink the yoga bras.

Sophie put her new bra on the car as we headed out to do errands.  I sang the Star Wars Theme because it is, after all, the Galaxy Bra.  Seriously! it’s a Maidenform “Softie Contour Bra,” and when we found it on the site, the color options were black, nude, white, or ‘Galaxy’.

“Which do you want?” I asked.

Sophie gave me a look. “Duh.  Galaxy.”

That’s my girl.

“How is it?” I asked, driving through the autumn colors.  Sophie peered down, stretching left and right.  “They both look the same size now.”

I laughed and sang Star Wars some more, the wind blowing my hair back from my new jaunty shades—which are excellent, by the way.  I’ve never been able to see in focus, and without glare, BOTH at the same time.  I can’t believe I waited this long to get these.  “Mom,” Sophie said, “Please.  My boobs do not need a soundtrack.”  Ha!

“Of course they do!  And you know you’re a woman when you discover what yours is.”  We were both cracking up.

galaxy braAnd let me just say, it isn’t just bra-selling technology that blows me away, it’s the bras themselves.  Holy cow, I’ve been wearing my cotton yoga bras forever, and, I have to admit, nursing bras before that, I am WAY behind the times on the high-tech, molded foam, wireless possibilities out there.  The Galaxy Bra is soft, comfortable and according to Sophie, very supportive.  Amazing.  The dang thing is just shy of a levitation device for breasts. On top of all that, it’s dramatically pretty.  My first terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bra was a no-size-fits-anyone disaster that I had to jerk down in the front every time I moved because it rode up constantly—for a year.

In comparison, the Galaxy Bra is a work of art, both engineering and aesthetic.  It’s goddamn beautiful.  (And my little girl!  In a real grown up bra!  I can’t even tell you have astonishing that is.  My life, it’s passing before my very eyes.)

Anyway, what with the sunglasses and the bra, we felt so celebratory (celeBRAtory, heh heh, cough, sorry) we ended up at a coffee shop.  It just happened, I swear.  But online shopping had yielded us life changing treasures!  Clearly we needed sugar to commemorate the moment.

Staring at the bakery case I said, “Should we get a chocolate chip cookie, a cannoli, or tiramisu?”

Sophie gave me a look. “Duh.  Tiramisu.”

That’s my girl.tiramisu

We sat outside in the sparkling fall weather, beneath a juniper tree and a red maple the color of fire, and shared the tiramisu, me with the sun on my face and NOT in my eyes, and her in her secret, fancy underwear.

“This is awesome,” she said, through a mouthful of espresso soaked cake and mascarpone.

“Yep,” I said.

It was.

Later, in the yurt, Luc, 9, said, “So, what the heck IS a Galaxy bra?”

“It’s a bra emblazoned with Hubble deep space photography,” I said.  “It’s lovely.  I want one.”

“But why would you even want a bra with stuff on it?” he said.  “No one is going to see it.”

“Dude.  Fancy underwear can change your whole day.  It makes you feel like a million bucks.  It’s an instant boost.”

“You need therapy.”

“A bra is cheaper.”

Sophie started to lift her shirt. “Want to see it?  It’s really comfortable.”

“NO.  Definitely not.”

how to be a womanWhich brings me to the painfully, wonderfully funny memoir of Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman, in which she says, “The bra is, perhaps, the rudest item of women’s clothing. If you do not doubt this, try this simple test: throw a bra at a nine-year-old boy. He will react as if he has had a live rat winged at his head. He will run, screaming, away from you – like that Vietnamese kid covered in napalm. He cannot handle the rudeness of bras.”

Too true!  And listen, there is so much truth in the chapter on bras alone that I was laughing so hard reading it I fell off my chair at the kid’s aikido class.  Very embarrassing.  Basically I was trying so hard NOT to laugh (aikido being a rather serious endeavor) that my butt just…slipped…and I ended up half-wedged between seats, hanging onto the appalled parent next to me, concerned that Sensei was going to need to bring in a crane to get me out.  Imagine a hilariously funny British stand-up comedian giving you the feminist 101 download on an array of topics from clothes to childbirth to wedding receptions to journalism, all while telling her own life story and making you pee your pants.  I highly, highly recommend.

I also highly recommend Zenni Optical and Herroom.  And bra shopping with your daughter in a way that makes you both laugh.  And tiramisu.  Lots of tiramisu.

Bonus Level!

Overheard just now as I was typing this out:

Sophie: “I’m going into the man cave.”

Luc: “Says the person wearing a Galaxy Bra.”

Sophie, thoughtful: “Maybe you can’t go into a Man Cave in a Galaxy Bra.  Maybe it would cause them both to combust, like matter and anti-matter.”

Luc: “Which one is which?”

Good freaking question.  I have no idea.

so, i twisted my ankle, plus yoga this week and 100 year old woman talks about her pilates practice

Yep.  I feel like a big dummy.  Went down while walking the dog and now I’m on crutches.  This happened to me once before and I wrote about it one of my favorite posts here on mayaland.  Anyway, I’m propped up on the couch feeling pitiful and delicate—unless I take ibuprophen and then everything is fine fine fine.

Yoga this week: three full primary’s and one half before I lost the ankle.  Really nice practices this week, too, not so stiff, pleasurable.  I wonder if I’ll be able to practice this coming week?  How long will this ankle thing last???  I can’t remember from last time.

On the up side, I asked Luc, 9, what he wanted for Christmas—we were chatting on the sofa, and honestly, I think he was kind of enjoying that I couldn’t keep hopping up to do a million things—and he said, and I quote, “I don’t know.  I already have everything I want.  Except maybe infinite sushi.”  He kind of shrugged a little and went back to what he was doing.

WOW.  When I was nine, I was hungry for a million things, I was starring items in catalogs on the off chance someone somewhere would feel generous, I couldn’t have imagined saying such words.  It really took my breath away, especially the nonchalance he said it with.  Like it was no big deal to be happy.

Does this mean I’m doing something right?  That he feels so full and content?  Can I take any of the credit?  Because seriously, he’s such a cool little guy and he always has been.  Jeez, you know what?  I am definitely buying this kid a shit-ton of sushi.

Oh, wait.  Maybe that was his plan?

Hmmm.  While I ponder that, please feel free to check in with your week’s yoga thoughts, I love hearing them.

And here is Ruth Kobin, talking about doing Pilates at 100 years of age.

A year later Ruth was featured in Pilates Magazine.  She was 101.

girl to old woman in five minutes: amazing video

Danielle” is a wonderful, beautiful vid showing a young girl aging into an old woman in five minutes.  It happens so slowly, at first you don’t quite realize what you’re seeing—LIKE REAL AGING—and then you get it and wow.  Highly recommended!  And no skipping around!  Don’t cheat!  Watch it straight through for the full effect, watch it in HD, just watch it.

I feel strangely moved by this, by how beautiful she looks at all the ages, by the little girl inside the old woman, by how fast my life is passing before my eyes, like this.  It feels like five minutes ago I was that little girl.

The video was made by Anthony Cerniello    by merging and animating high-def photos of many relatives within a single family.  Here’s the info: Cerniello traveled to his friend Danielle’s family reunion and with still photographer Keith Sirchio shot portraits of her youngest cousins through to her oldest relatives with a Hasselblad medium format camera. Then began the process of scanning each photo with a drum scanner at the U.N. in New York, at which point he carefully edited the photos to select the family members that had the most similar bone structure. Next he brought on animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle who worked in After Effects and 3D Studio Max to morph and animate the still photos to make them lifelike as possible. Finally, Nuke (a kind of 3D visual effects software) artist George Cuddy was brought on to smooth out some small details like the eyes and hair.

Obviously, I’m still pondering aging.

Sidenote: my current novel is out with the first round of beta readers.  FINALLY.  It feels very, very bizarre not to be working on it every day.  I’ve been writing it for the last sixteen months, which is really embarrassing.  Why so long???  It isn’t proportionally better a novel than my others, I don’t think.  It just…took longer.  I hope to get it out by the end of the year, but that might be pushing it…..