Sunday, February 24, 2008


I just spent an amazing weekend with the tremendous Jonathan Fields. 6 years ago, I stumbled into his newly formed Sonic Yoga, 4 blocks from my place, to facilitate the continued recovery from a knee issue that had caused me to gain 30 pounds and lose my momentum in most areas of my life. I tried Bikram for a while but the heat and emphasis on the lower body wore on my bod and psyche (the pretension and yogatude that permeated the studio was rather tiresome, as well). The vibe of Sonic was much more down to earth, the practitioners more varied, and the vinyasa, or flow, style threatened to develop my arms past the spaghetti-like tone they'd sported since childhood.

I practiced there for some time, taking the 7am classes before I raced to my temp job, but I couldn't afford it for long and kept leaving town for gigs. I left for LA and my friend Gabra started practicing there, then doing work study. I returned and have gotten on the karmi wagon, working a shift a week to qualify for free classes. The fact that the studio has lasted 6
months much less years, has an amazing number of repeat clientèle, a huge teacher training program that turns out several hundred certified yoga teachers a year, and has maintained the chill yet focused energy I so loved at the beginning is impressive, to say the least. Separately, all these things would be good fortune. Together, it shows damn good business practices combined with amazing people skills.

What I didn't know until recently, was that zen, groovy, yogi Jonathan had not always lived this lifestyle. Years ago(read his full story here) , Jonathan left his high powered position and six figure income at a law firm a year after an especially grueling deadline landed him in the hospital needing emergency surgery.

Now, over a decade and many business ventures later (some successful, some...not so much), he is sharing his passion for living a fulfilling life. I just partook in the first Career Renegade Bootcamp. 16 hours spent talking about "how to do what you love and earn a great living without blowing apart your life." Sign me UP!

It was fantastic. Jonathan has an amazing range of skill sets, from yoga to web-savvy and, most importantly, has a gift for teaching people those same things in an accessible, non-pretentious way. He's a very well rounded healer.

I will be making some changes based on this workshop, watch out. If you feel like you need an assist in a life change, or figure out if it's really what you want to do...get yourself to the next workshop. At the very least, go take the Career Intervention Test and see what it tells you about where you are.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ah, 1982

When I got home tonight and saw Knight Rider on my list of saved shows, I squealed like the 6th grade girl I pretend I am not. I double checked and made sure I hadn't left the flux capacitor on when I went to work and settled down to watch what promised to be a train wreck of a pilot. Actually, it's a "movie event" which means if it tanks, they can yank it.

Actually, not bad, NBC. Aside from the terrible, night-time-soap-opera-ness of the casting...not a terrible story. I'm sure Sidney Poitier is thrilled that his daughter, and namesake, upheld the family history of pioneering civil and human rights with the bikini, boob shot at the intro of her character. This was, of course, counteracted by the fact that she leaves her lesbian one night stand in bed as she slaps her badge on and races to work. Oh, wait! She's a dyke? Bring on the objectification! That makes it totally okay.

The lead gal, Deanna Russo, was on a soap for some time, natch, and Justin Bruening was on TWO soaps. [I want it noted that I actually had no knowledge of that until I imdb'd them both this instant, my psychic skills are rapidly sharpening.] Another fact I just learned, this instant, is that VAL KILMER is the voice of KITT. Holy shit. My favorite VK moment (other than seeing him in the catastrophe of The Ten Commandments, the musical!, in LA) is when I saw Deja Vu with my parents. About 25 minutes into the movie, my mom turned to me and whispered, "Who is that?" The resounding gasp of horror from my southern belle mother that the bloated, detective on camera was the one, the only, Ice Man said it all. WTF? Now he's making some much needed moolah providing the emotionless, even voice of the car in Knight Rider.

The brief appearance by The Hoff at the end of the show was painful. He seemed cagey, unable to stand still. I've decided that he's just doing '80's television...he hasn't gotten the memo that the current style of TV acting is akin to being as expressionless and unmoved by anything as possible.

The two best parts of the show were the rockin' remix of the theme song (which I can't find on line for the life of me, sorry) and Bruce Davison as the designer of the car, he is an amazing actor, I'm thrilled to see him working.

I'm still not entirely sure it wasn't a wrinkle in the space-time continuum, Porky's II: The Next Day was on a couple of channels away. Dear. Lord. Deliver us.

Monday, February 11, 2008

For reals...

For the love of all that's holy, watch this video. Originally posted by Byrneunit, there are at least 400 reasons to watch it.

The top three are
  • If you need to polish your Midwestern accent.
  • If you are obsessed with weiner dogs (the kind that bark, not the kind you eat).
  • If you've never heard a news caster say the words “Clean up all the wiener poopie if you want to see Jesus unharmed.”
Do it. Now.

Dunder Mifflin

Good gravy, it's been 3 weeks since my last post! I've been overwhelmed with a visit home and approximately 1 bagillion hours of training for my spa job. That's right, they're making us become employees at the hotel spa where I work (which will not be named for obvious reasons) because...well, because there's no way on God's green earth they would ever win a lawsuit claiming worker's comp even though we're classified as independent contractors because of what we do. We are not, of course, allowed to be full time (although who would ever want to do that) because they're sure as hell not going to give us benefits, but I have been forced to add a shift.

The training on the body treatments was actually fun but we had one day of corporate training that was mind boggling. I honestly felt at one point that might have been duped into shooting an episode of The Office for free. Our manager must seriously rock the numbers because she could not be more lacking in people skills. This is a woman whose smile rarely, if ever, reaches her eyes, you know what I mean - I wouldn't trust Fakey McFakerson with a nickel. At one point, while trying to explain the deep philosophy behind customer service (this is a Five Star joint, btw, the policy is: The customer is right. Whatever that customer wants, get it and if you don't personally deliver it on a silver tray within 2.8 seconds, you're fired.) she singled out a massage therapist to make a point. "Ivan, are you happy?" she asked.

Ivan is Russian; a stocky, dark, hunk of poker-faced gravitas who will pound the shit out of your muscles. Ivan does not have emotions, he has hands of steel that were made to earn the $200 you're about to toss down for your massage. I don't think he blinks or breathes more than once or twice an hour. You don't address Ivan in front of a group of people, you don't make him participate in ridiculous group activities, you quietly fantasize about him throwing you up against the supply cabinet and having his way with you and let it go at that...but I digress.

"Ivan, are you happy?" she asked. 25 people stopped breathing and stared at her. "Yes," Ivan rumbled. "Why don't you tell your face?" She didn't just say...she couldn't possibly have... You could've heard a pin drop. "That's!" I fully expected Steve Carrell to come bursting through the door. Nevermind that the smile (customer service) was just part of the equation to the real reason we're in the spa business, MONEY! Her entire motivational speech was how this behavior would lead to making more money. She would break into the chorus from the Abba song "Money, Money, Money" often, singing into the handheld microphone she insisted on using in the 14x30 conference room. Now, I won't turn my nose up at a large paycheck, but I am in this business for a slightly larger reason...touching naked men...seriously now!, I'm a healer. I'm helping people feel better. Ew.

I decided to rise above and continue making my ridiculous paycheck there until I'm truly set up for a private practice. Until then, don't forget to tell your face you're happy!

This video, posted by my friend Kate, will help. This is from a class she took to learn how to be a Muppeteer. Muppets make it all better.