Thursday, February 25, 2010

hot yoga, hot dog

A yogi walks up to a hotdog stand and says "make me one with everything" (you're supposed to laugh after that part; ok next part of the joke)

So the hotdog vendor makes the yoga a hotdog with catsup, mustard, relish, onions, cheese, chili - the works

The yogi pulls out a $20 bill from his pocket and hands it to the vendor

"Thanks" the vendor says

"Hey, what about my change?"

"Change comes from within"


I know, it's not that funny, but sometimes yoga jokes between postures are what it takes to get through class

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bed-a-Thon on Maryland Avenue

Every year, The Annapolis Bookstore runs a 24-hour Bed-a-Thon in the window of their cozy shop.

Beat the recession blues, read a good book in bed

they write on a chalkboard outside, urging people on the street to wander in and find a book of their own to take home. It's hard to deny the bliss of sitting in your bed, nestled under the covers, engrossed in whatever book you're reading at the moment. I read books very slowly - largely due to the little time I give myself to read - and often have trouble really getting into a story. But when I do get lost in the story, there's nothing else I want to do but finish it. And when it's done, all I want is for it to continue.

Reading in a window on Maryland Avenue from 2-3pm has its share of distractions. Friends coming in, dropping their dogs off in your lap for you to keep an eye on as they browse the Valentine's Day card selections and then collecting the pups on their way out (I of course welcome the canine company anytime); passer-bys pointing and waving at the novelty of a person lying in a bed in a window that's not in Amsterdam; and the general chatter that takes place in any place of business, but is especially interesting in this bookstore, as it serves as a sort of center of community life in Annapolis that comes so naturally to the welcoming, enthusiastic owners.

I finished 8 pages in Middlesex during my hour in the window. Nik read about 6 in one of Clancy's novels. Despite being unable to immerse myself in my book, I enjoyed the experience - distractions and all. Still, it might be a good idea to sign up for the 4am shift next year - although I'd probably read even less zzzzzzzzzzzz 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Road Rage in Charm City

Coming home from downtown Baltimore today at 5pm, I drove exactly 300 yards in 48 minutes. That's a little over 2 football fields. Not even a lap around a track. A distance I can cover on all fours in less than 5 minutes. And yet, as I sat through an endless cycle of green - yellow - red, my car did not move anything more than mere inches. One at a time. u n b e l i e v a b l e

And the worst part is, I have to do it again tomorrow

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!

Well, it's official - I've been alive for a full quarter century, and I have to say it feels pretty good. My birthday was actually last Friday, February 12 - a day shared with a few famous characters, including Charles Darwin, Abe Lincoln and Judy Blume. I guess you could say I've got a lot to live up to.

Anyways, this year I was a bit... well... not ready for the big jump to 25. I had issues turning 20 as well (I think it's a 5-year anxiety). But 25 is a number which I viewed as a 12 year old as an age when people have their lives figured out. And I clearly don't. Which I'm okay with for now- it's just a little reminder that time's still ticking.

Anyways, I'm writing to tell you about the most wonderful surprise I received the day before my birthday at a family gathering for dinner at our old favorite, Cafe Normandie. I arrived late and flustered, straight from yoga, hair soaking wet from my shower and nearly frozen in icicles in the post-blizzard air. I sat down in the most out-of-reach chair at the round table by instruction from my mother and was just settling in when I looked up - my Niklas casually walked in, glass of wine in hand, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. And considering he flew in that afternoon without my knowing from around the world - London to be exact - it was far from natural.

this is the face of pure joy

Words cannot describe what an incredible surprise this was for me - and finding out in the next 5 minutes that everyone seemed to be in on it (including Cafe Normandie's entire staff) astounded me even more. But you said you were playing pool with Adrian I stammered. It's amazing what can escape you when you're not tuned in to every word - although it also helps that I'm pretty gullible when it comes to these things.

It was a shock to see him, in a good way of course. And yes, it had only been since early December that we'd been apart, but 2 months can feel like forever sometimes. And as so many can attest, having a long distance relationship is more often than not really tough.

my birthday dinner entourage, who braved the cold and banks of snow from near and far

So without the life plan that some (most??) 25-year olds have, I joined the club of quarter-centurers and got to celebrate with someone who flew 3,644 miles just for the occasion and my amazing friends and family who all made it a truly fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I love snow. My thought is, if it's going to be cold outside, it may as well be pretty too, with the ground covered in a clean white blanket of fresh powder. 36 inches in 5 days is a bit excessive, but I still have to say I'm enjoying it. The problem comes when that freshness becomes massive mounds in the right lane of every road, and is then coated with a layer of filth from the exhaust of passing vehicles. The beauty is gone and you're left with a traffic jam, not to mention some extremely hazardous conditions.

If I could walk to work, that would be one thing - but I'm supposed to make the trek into Baltimore tomorrow and

considering this is what downtown looks like right now,

my plan to get there in the morning might not work out so well.
Unless the snow plows pick up the pace in the next 12 hours like never before.
And why would they do that when more snow just keeps coming?

But wait... it stopped you say? Just now? Is this real? Oh... no, sorry, false alarm. It's hard to tell with the 50mph gusts whirling the flakes in every direction, but snow is indeed still falling. With no end in sight. At least I'm not getting bored. Yet. All I can say is I'd rather not have to plod through a 2-hr commute tomorrow - my little Corolla has had enough.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yoga in the Snow

Being stranded in the middle of one of Maryland's worst blizzards doesn't mean you have to sit inside bundled up beneath mountains of blankets by a fire (although that does sound pretty good right about now)....


Yoga in a 30°F snow storm is a very different experience from yoga in a 105°F studio - it's hard to decide weather I'd rather have salty sweat dripping into my eyes or flakes of icy coldness


This is before I lost my balance and pushed my mom into the snow - at least there was a drift to cushion her fall, right?


Just another day in the Blizzard of 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Reflections on Park City, UT

Nestled into the valleys of the Rockies between Salt Lake City and Wasatch National Forest lies a small town that was once a mining village, and today comes alive as a sort of "alternative Hollywood" for 10 days every winter. It's Park City, Utah - a truly beautiful place. Looking back on my week-long holiday there, which passed by far too quickly, I have taken away some thoughts/ advice on the town itself and the Sundance Film Festival it hosts.

1. I have never seen a ski town quite so charming. True, I have been to very few ski towns at all, but I cannot imagine one that surpasses PC. Small multi-colored bungalows line the mountain-sides sloping up from Main St, which is crowded with small boutiques, restaurants and stands trying to sell passer-bys $20 lift tickets in exchange for "just 30 minutes of your time." The wonderful thing is that the quaint old houses are authentic, or at least many of them are, dating back over a hundred years to the mining days. Also, the people there are all soooo nice. Approach someone and comment "I'm on the waitlist for a movie" or "I really should have worn another layer today" and you've made a friend. And the overall pace is sl o  w    e        r . The people move at a more leisurely pace, and the cars don't speed and are far fewer in number. It really is refreshing.

2. If ever I take a winter to be a ski bum, it will be in PC. Which makes me wonder why the term "bum" is used when in fact ski town employees often work long hours, scarcely finding time to make it down the slopes without five ski-wiis following in their tracks. One concierge at our hotel said he'd clocked in 93 hours that week. I'd venture to guess he didn't get a single run in.

3. Regarding Sundance, BUY TICKETS BEFOREHAND. If you don't have tickets and you want to see a movie, plan on 3-4 anxious hours waiting, sometimes with a slim chance of ever being allowed through the doors. The official time to pick up your wait list number is 2 hours ahead of time, but 3 gives you more of a chance that you'll make it. You do risk being asked to leave the premises that early, though. Once you've got your number, you're free until 30 minutes before the show, when you line up and wait. And wait. And wait. And just MAYBE, you get in. If you're lucky. We were lucky 5 out of 6 times we tried. Not too bad, but next time I'll be sure to buy tickets ahead of time and avoid standing around for hours and hours.

4. Talk to people you meet. During the film festival, there's a buzz around town amongst the PIBS ("people in black," as the locals refer to the movie people, who dress in all black and each carry 2 cell phones wherever they go). With hundreds of films to chose from, it's hard to know what is actually worth spending $15 on. But as the week goes by, word spreads about what's being picked up and what you can miss. Also, you never know who you'll meet - after seeing Holy Rollers, I ended up in the same shuttle as the man who played the rabbi in it.

5. Two words: après ski. The only thing better than flying down the mountain all day is the "after ski" at the end, preferably in a hot tub in the snow, beer in hand. It may just have been my favorite part of the whole week.