Monday, August 29, 2016

Yoga for the family.

This morning, I found a couple of yoga videos on Amazon Prime and decided to play along. The first video, full of sun salutations and warrior poses, did not get even a raised eyebrow from the dogs. But the second video, the guided savasana that was a glorious 18 minutes of guided meditation and total relaxation?

Well, the second I laid on my mat, those dogs acted like they'd never seen me - or another human, really - ever before. This is how it went down.

Voiceover: "Welcome to your personal retreat for relaxation and centeredness ..."

Me: Prone on floor, eyes closed, breathing slowly.

Lil' Frankfurter: OHMYGOD! Who is this person on the floor? I must investigate! I will stand on it!

Me: "Uhhh" as dachshund jumps on my ladychest.

Big Doodle: Hey, what's going on? I will saunter over.

Voiceover: "... feel your breath move to every part of your body, bringing relaxation and peace ..."

Me: I sense something beyond a dachshund on my chest. I open my eyes to see Big Doodle manparts hanging over my face. In his investigation, my 80-pound labradoodle has straddled my head and come to a complete standstill. I usher him along.

Big Doodle: "Siiiiiiiigh."

Voiceover: "... breathe in peace ... breathe out tension and pain ..."

Lil' Frank: OHMYGOD! I love Kong! Let's play Kong! I will get the Kong! I will gum the Kong with great gusto, then place it in your hand, which is conveniently palm-up! Let's play Kong! Let's play Kong! WHY AREN'T YOU THROWING THE KONG?
Nothing is better than gumming a Kong. Nothing, except gently encouraging loved ones to throw said Kong.
Me: Submit to the high-pitched doxie bark and throw the Kong so that I might avoid losing my hearing wholly and permanently.

Voiceover: "... something soothing ... that I can't hear ... over the barking ..."

Lil' Frank: Throw the Kong! Throw the Kong! Throw the Kong!

Me: Throw the Kong and attempt to achieve inner peace.

Voiceover: "... Kong is a journey through breath and high-pitched barking ..."

Lil' Frank: Throw the Kong! Throw the Kong! Throw the Kong!

Voiceover: "... Kong is a way of life that leads to peace and contentment ..."

Lil' Frank: Throw the Kong! Do it again! Throw the Kong!

(repeat forever)

Bonus! At some point, I give up, open my eyes, and realize there's blood everywhere. Lil' Frank's delicate paws were not made for such fevered Kong action. He has run a paw raw and oozed blood all over me, the yoga mat, and the floor.

If this isn't relaxation, I don't know what is.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

In which I attempt to donate some shoes.

If you're like me, every once in a while, your closet needs a little kick in the booty. And by "kick in the booty," I mean "exhaustive cleaning because you never get rid of anything and probably don't need that sweater you bought secondhand in 1991."

I recently cleaned out my shoes. Now, keep in mind that I have worn the same size shoe since fifth grade. And, my mom and I wear the same size. And I figure everything comes back, right?

However, even I couldn't deny the need to share the love. And by "love," I mean "size 6.5 shoes that I probably bought at DSW because they were on clearance and loved briefly but haven't worn in the four years I've worked from home."

I had the best of intentions. I really did.

But I caught myself having these internal dialogues. Words and phrases that would sound ludicrous if spoken aloud, but that made perfect sense rolling around in my brain.

I should also mention that I did said shoe purge while wildly hormonal. I do not recommend this.

Here's a sample of my thought process:
  • I know the heels of these shoes have literally disintegrated into dust, but I was wearing them when I walked home from a fraternity party during a thundersnow that dumped 19 inches of snow on campus overnight in January 1995. My friend Soup and I stopped to eat snow in the Lambda Chi parking lot. I couldn't possibly get rid of these shoes.
  • Should I really get rid of the shoes I wore to the closing of my first house? Probably not.
  • I wore those cork wedges on a date with Mr. I Want You To Want Me and I stepped on his foot. All things considered, I probably should have stomped on his foot. How could I get rid of such serviceable shoes?
  • I wore those shoes with my first - and, to date, only - real, grown-up suit. Sure, I bought them in 1999 and the suit has long gone on to the women's clothing version of a nice farm with plenty of room to run. But these shoes were so cool and everything comes back, even a square toed, high-heeled mary jane, right?
For what it's worth, I kept the suede pumps my mom bought in 1990 because they are on the verge of being of a "yeah, that retro style is in, but I have the real deal" ilk. And, of course, there are the stalwarts that will never be purged - my penny loafers, the shoes my grandma wore to my parents wedding (what? they fit me, and I have her dress, too), and the several many black pumps because, well, black pumps never go out of style. Even though I never wear heels anymore. Because I have kind of given up on being fancy. And my feet hurt.

Maybe cleaning out my shoes while mega hormonal wasn't the best choice. However, I was able to gift several pairs of shoes to a friend who literally squealed with delight. And I made more room in my closet for the comfort footwear that now seems to be my jam.

It all feels very, "To everything, there is a season." Which makes me miss my leopard-print Danskos. Autumn? I eagerly await you!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Two things that changed my life this week.

Doesn't that title make me sound like Oprah? Or at least someone who writes clickbait? Maybe if I titled it, "Two things Oprah doesn't want you to know!"

Well, at any rate, these things twisted my reality in the last few days.

1. Traffic cones. 
There's a guy around the corner who has been parking his truck all illegal-like on the street. But he's put two orange cones around the truck. The cones send the message that hey, this is totally legit. Nevermind that it's not a utility truck or a delivery truck. It's just some dude's GMC pickup.

It occurred to me that traffic cones are the universal sign of "These are not the droids you're looking for." They're like an instant get-out-of-jail free card! You can do whatever you want as long as you have some orange cones around you.

Clearly, I need some traffic cones. Forget my parallel parking anxiety - I will just leave my car in the middle of the street, throw out a few cones, and call it good. And I bet the cone shield works without a car, too. Worried about getting arrested for loitering? Set up some cones around ya. You're no longer loitering - you are doing sanctioned work. The Lord's work.

Obviously, this is life-changing.

2. Compliments.

I was shopping a few days ago. I had actually made an effort that day ... which basically means I wasn't wearing running shorts. I had on a dress and cute sandals. I felt good.

A woman walked passed me, touched me lightly on the arm, and said, "You are so beautiful."

Now, I recently took a quiz to tell me which Golden Girl I am. It said I was a Sophia, but I'm not so sure. I think my response to this kind woman's compliment might make me more of a Blanche. What flew out of my mouth was not, "Picture it: Sicily, 1923." Instead, it was a very southern, "Oh, honey, thank you!"

She walked off. I don't even know if she heard me. She certainly didn't stick around to comment on which Golden Girl I am. But what she said stuck with me for days.

At random moments, I've thought, "Oh! I'm so beautiful! That lady said so!"

I guess we all need those friendly reminders, those random acts of kindness. I'm so thankful that woman took two seconds to say a few kind words to me, even if they were code for, "Thanks for not wearing those ratty shorts again," which I'm pretty sure they weren't.

So, if I were really Oprah, I would tell all of you to look under your chairs. Traffic cones and kind words for everyone! YOU get a traffic cone! And YOU get a traffic cone! And YOU get a traffic cone!

Also? You look really nice today.

What's changed your life this week?