Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting Bendy

Periodically, I feel guilty about yoga.

I know yoga's all about acceptance, and living within your abilities, and only doing what you want to do, but if I'm going to deal with putting on a sports bra, someone better make me sweat. And it's better if they're yelling at me while doing it.

Which is not to say yoga instructors can't rile me up, although I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of the intended yoga effect. My very first encouraged me to breathe through my uterus. That certainly got me sweating. A couple of years ago, I thought maybe I'd be able to handle yoga early in the morning, before I really woke up enough to process the ridiculousness of being AT the gym, but not feeling like a shower was necessary afterward. (Well, actually, this was in Cambridge, where some people feel like they NEVER need to shower...which is enough to merit at least a good rinsing after getting too close.) The downfall of that particular class was the insistence on my least-favorite part of the whole concept: the savasana.

For those of you who maybe live in a part of the country for which there IS no peer pressure to yoga for Health and Wellness, savasana means deep breathing. (I mean, I don't know what it MEANS, but it means deep breathing.) So, at the end of every class, everyone has to lay very still on their mats, and, you know, breathe. It's just like sleeping, except that you got out of bed an hour and a half earlier, and now it's time to go to work. So while all the dirty Cambridge retirees are slipping into their first siesta of the day, I'm using the opportunity to make a list of things to worry about for the day. And while the instructor's extending the savasana because she thinks everyone needs the extra time to relax, my blood pressure's shooting up because every minute I'm laying there is one more minute to be late to work.

So, anyway, that was the end of that.

But when I ended up with all this free time/all this independence from money, and could no longer justify a gym membership, I invested in a set of yoga CDs at the secondhand bookstore in Berkeley. I thought I was so smart...It cost something like $10, and comes with 130 minutes of audio yoganess. And with nowhere to be, who cares if a single workout takes an hour? What the hell else was I going to do?

I made it through two of the 20-minute discs over four sessions, and gave up. It's just too boring. I mean, it's not even a DVD. If I could watch television and still understand the instructions, that'd be one thing, but listening to this dude with the ponytail and staring at my floor? No.

But Adam's mom was in town this weekend and told a really disturbing story about her pelvic bone somehow ending up at a weird angle, and how she had to have it popped back into place. And then last night, I saw Denise Richards go to the chiropractor, and it just looked so violent and the popping was so LOUD...Well, I don't deal well with bones. Thinking about them makes my legs go numb. So if I need to be bored for a while in order to avoid some quack jerking my bones back into place later in life, I'm in.

So this morning, I set up Adam's yoga mat and ambitiously put in the 75-minute Vinyasa Flow CD. It was nice. It was the first time I've done one of the yoga CDs and didn't need to use the flashcards. The sun was coming in through the window, and, unlike in our Berkeley apartment, there's room to stretch out and do all the poses correctly. I planned my outfit for the day around the fact that I felt my legs would probably look better after the "workout." I imagined that it was going to be a really healthy day. Yogis eat lots of fruit and yogurt. I have both in the fridge. And I'd drink nothing but green tea and my whole system would be cleansed out. I think rearranging your gut on a mat does that.

Then I got bored. I held off as long as I could, then glanced at the counter on the stereo.

I had lasted ten minutes, 14 seconds. And that was the end of that.

Yoga sucks. But my outfit looks really cute.

Friday, July 10, 2009

To get off the couch, you have to spend more time on it...

With the check from my car sale officially in my wallet, and no chance of me doing my tax return on the horizon, it's pretty apparent that I'm probably about to hit a peak in my bank account, and it's just about time to figure out how to replenish it. It's going to be a long, downward financial slide from here.

So the job search begins.

Up until the move to San Francisco, I've gotten every job I've ever had through a personal connection. It's been a pretty pleasant handoff from one boss to the next. The exception, of course, was that first job I took when I got here--and I left after two months to preserve personal sanity. You see how Craigslist now makes me feel a little creepy.

But, given how few people I know here, it's Craigslist and for me now, every day. I also tried out Idealist again, despite protesting for months that I was ready for a job that comes with a 401k...but it turns out this recession thing is real. The first day I looked on Idealist for any non-profit job within ten miles of San Francisco, it returned something like 15 results. FIFTEEN! Even a year ago, it would have spit out 100. It's scary out there.

And, truth be told, I think part of what draws me to non-profit work is its ability to skip the bullshit. I don't apply for many corporate positions because I have no idea what the job descriptions MEAN. Does an infection control specialist at Kaiser (which Monster thinks I'd be perfect for) mean that I'd disinfect toilets or make calls to the CDC? Would I enjoy "Driv[ing] and facilitat[ing] process improvements in managing and supporting production operations"?

The Craigslist jobs are at least interesting. The Gorilla Foundation is looking for a gorilla evening monitor three nights a week. It's mostly database entry, although the posting also specifies that one should be "confident around dogs" and have a "calm (gorilla-like) demeanor." I'm not going to say that I don't match these qualifications's just that my high-school reunion's coming up. I'm just not sure this is something I want to be talking about with people I haven't seen in ten years.

Today I found a posting from someone looking for a blogger for a "Cute & Fuzzy Animal Blog." I like kittens. But I'm definitely not qualified to do this job, which demands "sensitivity" towards the and communities (what are those?) and an "in-depth knowledge of the 'pet and animal meme' universe." THERE IS ONE?!?!

Twice a day, someone posts within the Craigslist non-profit section, "GOT GOOD GENES?? Why not share?!" and on the day "Scrum Master" was suggested in my daily Monster e mail, I started to think, "Why not?" I've heard egg donation's pretty painful, but, frankly, so is

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If your boyfriend's sick of hearing about how you think there's a dent in your tooth...

Sometimes I read people's Facebook status updates just to feel better about myself. I might be unemployed and aimless in life, but at least I would NEVER post "Amy Stice Sucks to be Monday!" Facebook should be a vehicle to either brag about your life or point out your own shortcomings before anyone else figures it out on their own and thinks they can talk about it behind your back--NOT to make uncomfortable cocktail-party-before-the-cocktails-come-out small talk.

But all in all, I think people obsess over Facebook updates and Twitter because it's a vehicle into the human mind. It's kind of like how people in the days of yore read "novels." But because everyone's just showing off, or at least trying not to be offensive, it's kind of like reading F. Scott Fitzgerald. Everyone's fancy, mildly troubled and not too concerned about it. (And everyone but me goes to parties on Friday nights.)

And it's for that reason that I'm obsessed with this project, which Adam's co-worker created. It's the worst of everyone--full of the petty shit, the cobwebs in the back of the mind, the stuff you'd send to PostSecret but don't actually because the problem doesn't seem big enough to sit down and make an elaborate postcard for. (Also, what about the fear of not being creative enough for PostSecret's book?)

Anyway. Post your worries. Tell strangers the worst possible thing that could possibly happen to them. As Ramona would say, it's declasse to do it on Facebook. Here's your outlet.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Reasons I'm Not Looking Forward to Renting a Truck and Picking Up a Bed Tonight

The only thing missing from our apartment that we really need is a bedframe. We left Adam's old one in Berkeley, where it's probably by now been peeled apart and smoked. We picked out a new frame at Ikea that's probably the same one you have in your homes, given the speed at which it goes out of stock. But it's in stock tonight, and the truck's been reserved.

While I kind of notoriously have no sense of direction, there's not a doubt in my mind I couldn't navigate Ikea with my eyes closed at this point. We've been there, I think, four times since this move--the combination of Adam not coming from a land of Ikea and my joblessness means that the lure of cheap furniture is too strong to resist. It's gotten a lot nicer since my introduction to it in my first apartment out of college, but right as I'm getting comfortable in the store and convincing myself that adults shop there, too, I come across that table we all had two of (or four, if you were really classy and arranged them all together in the middle of the room so it looked like you had one big table):

Yeah, you remember that. It's called the Lack, and it's still $12.99. Inflation hasn't hit Ikea since 2003, but the Lack does come in several more colors now. I think my only option was "Birch Effect."

So, anyway, the other thing you don't realize about Ikea is that even though it IS incredibly convenient that all their furniture can be dismantled into teeny, tiny pieces and put into a box that you can strap to the top of your Volkswagon, those boxes are super-dense and your average 130-lb woman stands little to no chance of being able to haul them up four flights of stairs herself. And, frankly, that's usually my only contribution to the furniture effort, because I look at directions and my eyes start to cross and I usually end up going to bed crying before the project's complete.

Luckily, Adam sees the construction of furniture as a pleasure. Whereas my previous favorite Ikea assembly quote came from a former roommate's boyfriend, who, on their second date, decided he'd rather stay behind and assemble my bed than go out to dinner: "It's like Legos!," my new favorite comes from Adam, who, upon seeing the first page of instructions for our new bookshelf, gasped (sorry, Mom): "Aw, man, I'm gonna jizz in my pants!"

I did decide that there was one Ikea item I could handle entirely on my own: the mirror. It's just a wall mirror--the cheapest full-length one they had. Whereas my dear roommate doesn't seem to mind if his shoes are compatible with the length of his pants, I do, and, besides, the mirror is literally one one piece that gets stuck to the back of a door. I didn't think this could be difficult at all. BUT LOOK!

Four illustrated instructions. I have omitted nothing; there are no additional written instructions. I had to make them up.

Knife it off. Got it.

Find Silly Putty. Pet lovingly. Shape into wave, add tiny surfboard.

Stretch as far as possible.

Corn dogs make the sun rise.

This is just a MIRROR. And that's why I won't be participating in the assembly of the bed.