August 30, 2007

Kirtan: Friday, September 14, 8:00 – 10:00 pm

KIRTAN WITH SHANKARA & FRIENDS - West Hartford Yoga
Friday, September 14, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
$5 suggested donation

Join us for an evening of devotional singing, chanting, and personal expression. Kirtan is part of an ancient form of yoga known as Bhakti, or the Yoga of Devotion. The meditative quality of the music promotes a joyousness of spirit. Shankara leads our group in chants and songs in Sanskrit and English, from ancient Vedic text to traditional American music. Kirtan is for everyone, the experience itself offers possibilities of personal discovery or simply, the joy of raising one's voice in song. Allow yourself the gift of making a joyous noise. It's all about the spirit and the feeling. Bring yours to share! Expect surprises and unannounced musical guests!

As always, I am overjoyed to be one of the "friends" - we've gotten together to work on the chants. More bass this time around, but I'll have both guitar and bass per usual. See you there!

Upcoming: CARC Uberman Competition

September 13, 2005 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at The Warehouse. Benefits the CT AIDS Resource Coalition (CARC). My friend Alison is co-chair. Should be a nice event.

More info here.

Ah, but who to cast my vote for? Without personal ties, its hard to choose, but I am leaning towards John Dawson. Kind of partial to burly guys, don't cha know....

Catching Up

Been a pretty quiet week. The Zipster has been sick all week, staying home from work with a bad cough sick. I've been a little under the weather as well but not enough to withdraw from life.

Mostly its a catch up at work week, with me finishing reports, doing invoices, etc. Yesterday I actually cleaned off my desk which is pretty monumental - can the catch-all table be far behind? I have one report and three invoices to crank out this afternoon, and I will be officially caught up, leaving the remainder of the day and tomorrow to clean, to get started on some new projects, or to get my end of the month invoicing started.

It's political season in Hartford - with a primary coming up in a few weeks. Frank Barrows has visited the house. Street signs are up for Barrows, Feltman, and Perez. Minnie Gonzalez was rejected in the courts in her attempt to get on the primary ballot. No idea who I am supporting in the primary; they all seem to be saying pretty much the same things, they are all in some ways a vote against Perez. I know Art Feltman, so that helps. Zippy seems to be leaning towards Barrows.

It's been a Mon-Wed kind of yoga week which means Marcia. It kind of sucks to have so many good yoga teachers - practicing with Marcia this week (even being kind of off, in terms of energy) is sort of like coming home; I miss her classes a lot. Even as I miss (this week) Nykki who gets short shrift (since I am with Marcia) and Carissa. I'll probably hit the mat tomorrow morning with Carissa or Shankara, depending upon my energy level.

August 27, 2007

If You Do This, I WIll Own You Forever

The voice Paul Watson heard in his head as he took the Pultizer Prize winning photograph of a US Army ranger's body being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.
Terry Gross interviews him today on Fresh Air.

Back at the time, the incident created a visceral rage in me - that we humans could treat each other so cruelly. I wrote a mostly forgettable song about the incident called "Three Times Round the City" - comparing the incident to Achilles dragging the body of Hector around the city of Troy.

From the interview, it sounds as if by witnessing this, and taking the photograph, Paul Watson has indeed been owned forever. Another article, in the Ottawa Citizen, called The Haunting of Paul Watson, is also informative.

Powerful radio. A powerful story of a man's struggle to reclaim his soul.

August 26, 2007

Aetna Leader: A Proven Fighter

An interesting front page piece about Aetna president Mark Bertolini in today's Hartford Courant

The son's battle with cancer seems straight out of House. The father's serious ski injury and efforts to come back from that are also compelling. And two resonances from my life:
Each morning he practices yoga in the third-floor gym of his brick colonial, and meditates morning and evening, sometimes burning incense.

Bertolini says the whole process allows him to be "present in the moment." That means being "completely attentive in relating to the individual or individuals or situation at hand," whether it's dealing with pain or leading employees at work, he said.

and
Bertolini now considers himself a "huge champion of people with disabilities," and calls himself a "straight ally" of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees in the workplace.

The national Out & Equal Workplace Awards - Outies - named him one of four finalists this year in the category for non-LGBT people.

Bertolini noticed the only employee resource group at Aetna without an executive sponsor was the LGBT group. He stepped up, and he started getting such e-mails as "I didn't know you were gay!" He playfully but pointedly countered by responding, "How do you know? We know I'm not lesbian, but how do you know I'm not bisexual or transgender?"


Edit: Colin McEnroe, shines a different light on the piece here. A Skunk at the Garden Party indeed..... and rightfully so.

August 24, 2007

Inappropriate Yoga Guy

Youtube video here

Article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer here

Thankfully, not much of that goes on at our studio.....

Four Teens Killed In Bristol Crash

Story here, I am sure it will be expanded as the day passes.

I'm crossing my fingers and toes that MYA (a Bristol teen) was nowhere near this tragedy. I think her mom would have called me if she was, but I'm still nervous.

Edit: Not MYA, thank the universe. But very tragic: A 19 year old, a 17 year old, and two 16 year olds....

August 23, 2007

Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith

An article in Time magazine, online here.

A new book, by Mother Teresa's postulator - Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, has some pretty incredible revelations. In short, "...for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever - or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist."

Wow. As a seeker myself this is haunting, and quite beautiful. It is one thing to be touched by the divine and to toil in the glow of certainty. To have lived the life she lived with such doubts, such yearning.....

Definitely on my reading list....

August 22, 2007

Busy Folk Fall

I've been checking out the local folk venues, and the fall looks BUSY, with lots of my fave folkies coming to town. This list is not conclusive, just the musicians that caught my eye that I would like to see if I can.

At the Sounding Board:
9/15: Vance Gilbert (also be at RAW CCH on 10/18)
10/6: Tracy Grammar
10/20: Chris and Meredith Thompson
11/10: Nerissa & Katrina Nields

At University of Hartford (Music for a Change Series):
9/14: Eddie from Ohio (One of Zippy's faves)
9/29: Richard Shindell
10/5: Patty Larkin (Long time no see!)
10/12: The Kennedys (I so want to see a full set!)

At Roaring Brook Nature Center:
10/6: Kate McDonnell opening for Mustard's Retreat
10/13: Donna Martin (mostly notable because I have not seen her around in ages)
11/17: Mad Agnes
12/1: Bill Morrissey (Long time no see!)

I am reminded of four things:

1) How much great music and how many wonderfully talented musicians there are out there, far more than the folk audience can support, I fear
2) How blessed we are to be living in this place, which supports so many top-notch music venues (and kudos to the folks who run them, a labor of love if ever there was one)
3) How little time I am gonna have this fall....
4) That I better get some work done and some invoices sent out so I can support my folk music habit (tickets and the inevitable CD purchases) this season!

August 21, 2007

Vegan Yoga Den

In the August 20th edition of the Hartford Business Journal, a piece by State Rep (and mayoral candidate) Art Feltman entitled "After the Clouds, the Sun" contains the following:

"A visitor with an hour to relax might prefer an authentic Irish pub or vegan yoga den to Thank God It's Wednesday or some other copycat fern bar."

Vegan Yoga Den, huh? He makes it sound so dirty..... uhm, the Alchemy Cafe (heretofore the Alchemy Juice Bar) seems to have a new website called The Green Vibration. Cool.

The HBJ piece is not online, but just ask any small business person for their copy; they freaking send this publication to anyone who even hints of being a business. (For the record, I am a small business owner). Oddly, the Zipster, who is the last person one might expect to embrace the free market, loves reading the editorials and stories....go figure....

August 20, 2007

Separated at Birth?


Tommy Noonan

and Stephen Colbert

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

The Zipster and I are enjoying the 1953 Howard Hawkes classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. Neither of us has seen it, and are enjoying it immensely.

Amusingly, the film has taken a feminist spin in recent years:
Feminist scholars made a stronger case for the film's progressive depiction of female friendship: "the absence of competitiveness, envy or pettiness" between Dorothy and Lorelei.....Perhaps most strikingly for contemporary feminists, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes can be said to draw a moral parallel between the motivations of women who pursue men for their money and men who pursue women for their beauty. St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture by Jeanne Hall
Jane and Marilyn are the bomb!

Canvassing

A caller this evening - a community organizer / canvasser from Connecticut Working Families - we signed her list, tossed a few bucks their way. They are sponsoring a slate of candidates for the city council - and are promoting a progressive set of issues around healthcare, sick days, against outsourcing, and for fair wages.

Coldish and rainy night. She gets points for being out, working the block on a night like this....

August 19, 2007

CT Sun Regular Season Finale

The Connecticut Sun seem to be handling Washington at the half, even without Asjha Jones.

ABC must be questioning the decision to mic up Mike Thibault; a pretty clear "Margo, what the f*ck...." got through. Not that any of the fans have not said pretty much the same thing this season; poor Margo has had a rough season.

Genghis Conn points the way to a good article about the Sun in today's New London Day. Not much to say except that I concur; I went to pretty much every home game the last few seasons (oh, yeah, I was working) but even this season I've been down to Uncasville 3-4 times for games. It's a great product, both the quality of the hoops and the arena show - and hugely more affordable than any professional men's team. The Day article compares the WNBA to minor league ball - and although I have attended a few Rock Cats and Ravens games over the years, its been a while. But the WNBA has had my heart, in terms of professional sports, for a few years now.

And proud to say, in three years of going to Suns games, I have yet to throw a single quarter into a slot machine.

Edit: Ugh, the Sun lost. Not a biggie, and it was exciting at the end, but they let Washington back in.....oh well, on to the playoffs!

Settling In

It's been a fairly quiet weekend. No balloon chasing; too windy yesterday and my interpid balloonist was off on vacation with his kids. Next weekend will be a busy one - the Plainville Balloon Fest launches from Norton Park. I am likely to be at the park Friday night for the glow (and party) and one of the two weekend mornings.

Zipster and I took some time out for a walk / hike on Saturday - down to Timberlin Park in Berlin. No particular reason, just someplace different. We were 1/2 heading down to Southford Falls in Southbury but decided to go somewhere closer. Not a bad walk; I used to golf at Timberlin back in the day - but its been a while since I have been there.

Not much else planned this weekend. Hot yoga this morning saw a first - I popped up into a handstand against the wall without an assist.

August 16, 2007

The Opening Shot

Perez's House Searched - Hartford Courant Story

Interesting Timing Department:
According to Perez's statement, Costa began the work on the mayor's house in the spring of 2005 to renovate the bathroom and install a new kitchen countertop. In June 2005, Perez's wife suffered multiple brain aneurysms. Her illness delayed Costa's work, Perez said.

Costa completed most of the work in 2006, and Perez said he looked into a mortgage to pay for the work in 2006. But it wasn't until earlier this year that Costa billed him $20,217, Perez said. Finally, after securing two mortgages for a total of $50,000, Perez paid Costa in July.


Let's see, we start the work in June 2005. We work on it throughout 2006. We send the bill in Feb 2007. Now I wonder what could have been happening in Mayor Perez's life in Feb 2007.

Oh yeah. This.

Hypothetical and imagined phone call: "Carlos? It's Eddie. Listen, things are getting kind of hot about this whole parking mess. You better send me a bill for those renovations....."

Ho boy. Gonna be a fun couple of months until the mayoral elections.....

Don't Panic

For all the Wall Street and financial market chaos, I look today to see how my 401(k) is doing. While all of the funds are down somewhat QTD (ranging from -0.2% to -6.2%), the YTD is somewhat more reassuring (one fund is down 0.5%, and the rest are positve, one is up 9.9% on the year) and all of the funds are positive over the past 12 months (from 8.7% low, to 26.54% at the high)

Being a bit of a long term investor, I'm kind of keeping my eye out for a big check, due any day, and I might take advantage of this low point to stuff my 401(k) for the year.

As someone who got caught in the last housing bubble (back in the early 90's, upside down in a house with an ARM) which I did not get out of until around 2000, I have a lot of empathy for those who are going to lose their homes. But sheesh - did we think these low interest rates and rising real estate values would go on forever. I came of age in the 70's and we were looking at inflation, an energy crisis, and interest rates through the roof.

Christian Pron?


My client and I had dinner at the Texas Roadhouse last night (such a shame to have the exact same dining experience 1/2 way across the country as I can have down the road from my house, but whatever, neither location anywhere near Texas) and in the parking lot was a big 'ol SUV advertising the "#1 Christian Porn Site", specifically: www.xxxchurch.com - we could not figure out whether this was a pron site that was trying to lure in christians, or a christian "recover from porn" site, or maybe some obscure midwest christian sect that was OK with pron. My client (a somewhat conservative gentleman from the south) commented that if the goal was saving souls, they were going about it the wrong way, in his opinion.


Well, I surfed on over this morning, and it is indeed a local "save your soul from pron" kind of site. Amusingly, there seems to be some sort of tie-in with pron star Ron Jeremy - some sort of rolling debate between the pastor of xxxchurch and Mr. Jeremy. You can also find a fairly amusing (caption / graphics / colors) "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" shirt.

Grand Rapids is funny - there are lots of sort of grungy rocker kids, goth kids, and the like hanging around, but their fearsome rebellious clothing is all pro-christian. Take Marilyn Manson tour merch, or Kiss, or even anime stuff - and insert Jesus / Christ / God in there. Channel surfing I found a few christian rock bands - loud, in your face, sulky and posing like any such music - but christian. It's odd, amusing, and sort of passive aggressive.

Parents of all stripes have to continue to dislike the attitude, the dark themes, the tee-shirts, the loud music, etc. But if its all done in the name of the Lord, what can they say?

Heh-heh. The House of Slytherin is alive and well.....

More Free Wi Fi

Add Grand Rapids to the list of airports with free Wifi. So I get to blog a little; my flight is not until noon, but the airport shuttle from the hotel ran at 9:45. So a little early. Wifi makes it palatable.....

I was able to practice this morning in the empty pool area - the heat and humidity were nice for practice although I wonder about the effect of chlorinein the air.....I warmed up in the pool area then stepped outside to a patio to do some inversions against a friendly column and some forward bending - then back inside to stretch, cool down, and finished with a nice, deep savasana. Remarkable the effect of practice on the spirit - I get into this hotel / travel / work lethargy. I channel surf, I lounge, I mess around online. Instead, a good hour+ of yoga and I had time to shower, to pack, and feel much better about life.

In the "wide world of inversions" motif, I did a nice long supported headstand (against the column) and started working towards balancing away from the wall. I also did some down-dog on the wall, and actually made a few stabs of jumping up into headstand (unsuccessful but kind of fun to try, and I can see how close I am). And I got up into wheel for a bit also.....

I have a relatively close connection in Detroit today so I may end up stuck there; otherwise I touch down in Hartford around 3:15. The work went well. My recent struggles getting trip reports down for this customer has germinated an idea - I am going to develop a standard template for this client, with standard language and spots for measurements and photos - I have (3) reports pending and the time spent on the template will be well spent, I think.

August 15, 2007

A Week Late (and chromosomally problematic)

Wandering through the Grand Rapids airport, my dykedar is going off left and right. Lot's of assortedly butchish, dykish, and/or earthy women in the waiting area - not wall to wall, but definitely a cluster of sorts. Backpacks, nalgene water bottles, birkenstocks, shaved heads. I'm thinking to myself "this is Grand Rapids, not Ann Arbor....."

Then it hit me. Michfest was last week; and Grand Rapids is the closest airport. These are probably the stragglers, heading home. Doh!

Random Road Musings

A couple of puddle jumpers - from Cleveland to Detroit and from Detroit to Grand Rapids. I probably should have driven....for all the hurry up and wait associated with air travel. That being said, Northwest Airlines, and Detroit Metro, have been downright civil so far.

Staying at the Airport Marriott in Cleveland ($159 rack rate) but then you do not get free breakfast / coffee in the morning, free wifi, or free parking even. Sheesh. No wonder I am a low budget hotel kinda girl - I just freaking hate paying for all these stupid things that the moderately priced properties throw in for free. And while I am at it, can I grouse about paying close to $100 to rent a minivan for 18 hours because that's all they had on the lot. Next time, I book cars for all my travel and then cancel them if I need to.....just to lock in a lower rate.....

On the plus side, the veggie wrap at National Coney Island in Detroit Metro (right across from Gate A23) is pretty rockin and is miles ahead of the McMeal I was considering.

And Boingo works out pretty well for me as well - even though I need to buy it, I can log in from Cleveland AND Detroit for my pound of flesh. Not so bad. I had some web stuff to upload this morning; it's pretty cool to be able to keep up with the little things while I travel.

August 14, 2007

Blogging from BDL

Off to Cleveland (today) and Grand Rapids (tomorrow) and with any luck, back in CT on Thursday. A whirlwind tour of the midwest, courtesy of one of my clients. I'm meeting my client in Cleveland, and he will be heading to Grand Rapids with me, so no need to worry about directions and the like, although I have brought along my GPS, just because.

Per usual, I have my big tool case (46.5 pounds today, I'm pretty good at keeping it under 50) although one of the latches has broken and I need to replace the case. So I have a large strap holding things shut. I need to buy a bunch of stuff next time I get a big check - a new multimeter, a new ground current meter, a new tool case. Probably think of some other things as well.

I also brought my mat, so I can practice a bit - Monday was a nice juicy hot class with Marcia with lots of inversions - I got up into wheel (despite being pretty wiped) and when it came time to do a headstand (which I have been craving and working on during my personal practice) I simply pulled my mat over to the wall and pulled myself up (I need to wall for stability at the moment, but at home I do it in the middle of the room, all of our walls being covered with bookshelves and art). Upside down is great! Marcia was the first person to offer her ankles to me in wheel assist, so I was happy to demonstrate my newfound wheel prowess in her class.

I mention this at times, but I am overly blessed with yoga instructors - everytime I go to a class with Marcia, or Nykki, or Shankara, or Carissa, or Jeff - I lament how infrequently I am able to practice with each of them. Or rather, how it would be OK if I simply worked with any one of them - they are each wonderful in their own way and when I take a class its like coming back to a favorite restaurant. An abundance of blessings.....

For the record, this is a pricey (for me) trip - because its a multi-city one with some pretty tight travel windows - I'm out on Northwest (through Detroit) to Cleveland, then through Detroit to Grand Rapids, and finally through Detroit back to Bradley. But that did not stop me from popping the credit card into the machine when I was offered a $15 upgrade from my center seat in the back to an aisle seat in an exit row. Ca-ching! My client should be fine with it - he usually stays in much nicer hotels (Marriot / Courtyard) than I do when traveling along and I saw that his ticket was quite a bit more expensive than mine. So I can splurge a little......

August 13, 2007

Karl Rove Resigns


So?

It's not like W is gonna move his cell phone off the speed dial. If anything, Rove can machinate with impunity from within the more lucrative (and less scrutinized) private sector. Or start grooming another horse to ride to high office. Or run off, make a ton of money and connections, and come back when the political climate is more receptive, a la Dick Cheney.

Ding dong the witch is off gaining strenth, marshalling resources, and learning new and more powerful magic.

Dinosaur Kid

Colin McEnroe has been spending some time in NYC with his son, making memories. Pretty cool. It has got me thinking about my own times in NYC. (also, he links here from his blog, and people have been visiting, so I better write something less mundane than my usual pap)

My father hailed from Long Island. We lived in south central PA (think a bit west of Amish) and so my dad and his family seemed urban and sophisticated. Dad was a NY kind of guy, in my eyes. In hindsite, I think Dad feared and hated the city - our visits to his family always involved the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, as if he were circling as far around Manhattan as he could. For years I assumed that bridge was the gateway to New York. So we would head out to the Island - Rockville Center, Massapequa Park, Wantaugh, Amityville. It was urban and exotic enough for this kid. Mostly, my grandma took us to play bingo, show us off to her friends, and smother us with pride and love.

When my dad died, we became estranged from his family - who conspired to hide from my grandmother that her youngest son had been having heart problems. Don't want to worry mom. Instead, she got to say goodbye to her baby in a funeral home. Mom was furious about that, and the rift never healed - I became the conduit between the families. When grandma fell ill, I was the one to drive out to the island to see her in the nursing home - shrunken, with one leg amputated. Her funeral was a debacle for my family - as we drove in a blinding rainstorm from MA down to Long Island. That may be the last time I saw many of my father's family - 20+ years ago.

I remember my dad taking us into the city to visit Museum of Natural History. I was a Dinosaur Kid. That's not particularly odd or problematic these days; kids are weaned on Barney, parking your kid in front of cable TV dinosaur shows is pretty commonplace, and animated dinosaurs have stuffed the coffers of children's museums everywhere. But back in my day - the 60's - being a Dinosaur Kid was different. One had to be cut from a different cloth to find the handful of books dedicated to the subject, there were few toys or models or peers. Dinosaur kids were the hardcore nerds. One of the instances of childhood bullying drilled into my brain was a chant the kids made up "Russell is a fossil of a dinosaur's d*ck"

So my family (my dad, surely, mom was never much for the urban experience) dragged his young family into the city he feared or hated, so his eldest could see some dinosaurs. In hindite, pretty cool. For years, when NYC was discussed, that was my one cultural touchstone.

As the years tumbled past, I've become more NYC savvy. My first major relationship was to a person who had lived in the city - so there were trips to MoMA, to the Met, to visit old friends, to see some shows. I've worked in the medical field for years, and have been to many of the hospitals strung out along the east side. Later, doing freelance production work during the dot.com era, I've found myself in and out of the city for work - schlepping powerpoint at Joe's Pub, the Rainbow Room, at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, at the Harvard Club, at Chelsea Piers, or in the banquet rooms of the old stately hotels. Even back at the Museum of Natural History; at a New School awards dinner, under the whale.

NYC is kind of old hat to me now - I take Metronorth into Grand Central, I jump on the subway. I hum Sondheim's Song and Dance as I wander around Manhattan. "And that drive in the eyes of New York girls; I'd like to be one of them....." I'm perhaps a bit jaded - avoiding the obvious tourist things, not looking up too often, not letting on the delight and surprise to find myself in front of some iconic structure or famous intersection.

But to this day, mention NYC to me, and a small part of my memory flashes back to the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton (long since remounted in line with current theories of the beast). New York is that dinosaur skeleton to me - ancient, held together with wire and bracing, improbable, fearsome.

August 12, 2007

Flight Plan


What we call a "milk run" this morning - a flight from Spring Street in Bristol, down Rte. 10, to Cheshire. Not all that exciting for the chase crew, but some nice scenery for the passengers. And today, four balloons in the air from the launch site. Remarkably, three of them landed in the same industrial park.

Seeing them lined up, north to south, down the valley reminded me of airplanes queued up for landing at O'Hare. Landing was mild - with no winds, so no need for crew acrobatics (leaping onto the back of the basket to add a bit of weight and dig in one's heels to slow the momentum).

One of the pilots had a newish chase team - to whom I imparted the cardinal rule of chase - park the vehicle next to a tree or light pole (since its the one place the balloon is sure not to land). Welcome aboard Charmaine and Nick!

Sunrise

Balloon crewing tends to put one in sync with the seasons. One wants to hit the field around sunrise, to get the balloon in the air early before the sun starts heating things up and causing atmospheric instability. So my morning schedule is often synced up to sunrise.

Mid-summer, near the solstice, we hit the field early - before 5 a.m. (meaningful since the local Dunkin Donuts open at 5). Today, it's 5:30, a little more sleep. Early fall, before the time changes, and then again in mid-winter, it gets downright reasonable. Bankers hours, we joke.

I kind of like that. Barring this, I'd hardly notice the change of seasons other than the extremes - the first cold morning, the Sunday mornings when the clock's are set ahead or back, the first sweltering day. But instead, I get to watch the season more minutely, ticking off the change from summer to fall by a few minutes each week, by the change in morning temperature.

Jude is showered. The dogs are fed and watered. It's time to hit the road. Today's launch site: Spring Street in Southington. I'm taking my camera for a change - hopefully there will be other balloons in the air and some decent photo ops......

Twelve Hours Off

My friend Helen and I often joke about being 12 hours off. I'm usually getting up around the time she is heading to bed, as evidenced by our emails and various message board posts.

Maybe its a New York City thing. I'm up early this morning (the dogs were stirring and I have an appointment to go balloon crewing). I jump online to find Colin McEnroe finishing up a blog post from his NYC vacation.

I'm jealous - he's having fun. So's Helen. (Being young and hot and trendy helps.) Maybe it's because they are both writers.....there's a certain bon vivant lifestyle and a need to live an interesting life so as to write about it that we mere mortals lack.

Then again, in this week's Courant column (which they upload earlier than the news portion of the website, being a Sunday morning early bird has taught me that), Colin writes "....we take the subways, even though, in the summer, the lower tracks appear to be heated by the molten core of the earth....the heat was so vicious down on those lower tracks that it felt like subway poison crowding every other toxin out of my pores."

I think I'll stick to hot yoga for a good detox....the NYC subway sweat, not so much.

That being said, reading about and vicariously living Colin's father-son adventures is good for the soul, a little balm for the wounds left from my own father's somewhat aloof parenting style and premature departure from my life.....

August 11, 2007

Staropolska - New Britain


Zippy and I went to Staropolska in New Britain, this evening, with a friend.

Completely delicious! I had a rare (for me!) polish beer (when in New Britsky!) and we all had the Polish Platter (see photo): Golabek (Stuffed Cabbage), Kielbasa, Bigos (Hunters Stew), Pierogies, Potato pancake. All totally delicious.

The potatoe pancake was freshly fried, crunchy outside, fluffy inside. Three pierogies: mushroom, meat, and potato. The stuffed cabbage was remarkably light, and not too sharp flavored. And the Bigos (Hunters Stew) - sauerkraut, cabbage, meat, kielbasa - was incredible and would have been a wonderful entree by itself.
The place is spacious, light, and well decorated, there's an adjacent parking lot, dining inside or on the patio.

Highly recommended! In moderation, of course....

Chilly Morning

I jumped on my scooter this morning with the intention of hitting the bank and CVS to pick up some milk, and get some scooter time when the traffic was light. Too darn cold on the bike! Fall is coming..... I ended up at CVS (skipped the bank), and made it home with the milk balanced on the floor of the scoot, between my legs. Now enjoying the fruits of my labor, a cup of decaf with milk!

At CVS, I ended up running into our local pedestrian, an older guy we always assumed was perhaps homeless and mentally ill (he hangs out at the CVS) - he was outside smoking when I went in, and when I came out he engaged me in a rather practical conversation about the scooter: miles per gallon? ride on the sidewalk? need to be registered? need a license? dealership around here?

Funny, the people you encounter and interact with when one is not encased in an automobile. We see this guy up and down New Britain Avenue (long trench coat, often has a briefcase), as well as standing outside or in the doorway of various retail shops, and never once interacted. Wonder what his story is....

On the subject of two wheel modes of transit, Saturday, September 8th is the Hartford Bike Tour - a self described "...This is an anti-sprawl, pro-fun, pro-sustainable city, anti-pollution, anti-couch potato, pro-bicycle, pro-pedestrian event." There is a fee to enter, option of a 10-mile and 25-mile route, and a 2 hour walking tour. Sounds like fun - that's a busy weekend so not sure if we can participate, but I would love to!

BB called last night - he needs chase crew on Sunday morning so I got Saturday morning off. But I am gonna see if Zippy wants to go out for breakfast (once he gets up) with the balloon folk; since I have not seen KB (my usual chase partner) in a while and Zippy has not seen the balloon folk in ages. And breakfast in the Southington / Cheshire neighborhood is usually pretty tasty!

August 08, 2007

Yoga Action Squad


Tip of the mat....er...hat.....to Kerri from Real Hartford for this one.

I laughed until I stopped. Actually, the cat makes me laugh most of all (also the fact that when confronting evildoers they do yoga postures, complete with gentle teacherly admonishments to keep one aligned.

I'm going to yoga hell, I just know it.

Having a Bad Day?

Now quite as bad as this guy, I imagine.

The driver had loaded a boom truck inside the storage building and raised the boom so he could cover the load with a tarp. He forgot to bring the boom down and pulled a main supporting structure down when he tried driving away.

Whoops.

Recharged and flowing

Sometime in the last 24 hours my lethargy and stuckness broke. Lots of reasons for that:

* Hot yoga in the morning, I have only gone down to the studio once in the past two weeks
* I finished up a seriously time consuming report for a client
* A site visit has been scheduled for Ohio and Michigan for next week
* Collected some tools and parts from my storage hole to repair a meter that broke
* Received a way overdue power analyzer via fed ex which lets me finish a report and invoice a customer

Just a lot of things moving. So less stuckness. Still pending:

* Fix the broken meter
* Write the final report with the power monitor data
* Write another trip report
* Write one more involved power monitor report
* 2x Expense reports and 3x Invoices for some trips in May and July
* Put together a proposal for a paper for the next power quality conference (idea came to me yesterday, related to long report)

I'm also going to approach the facility manager to see if I can maybe move my office - I'd love a slightly larger space (maybe with two smaller offices, in a less desireable part of the building) so that I can spread out some more, have a second workspace, eliminate the need for a storage locker.

August 06, 2007

Off My Game

Just a quick hi-de-ho. I'm not dead, really. Just out of sync with life. I've been off kilter for a while; I think I trace it back to the Tias Little workshop weekend - three days of yoga got me off balance (ironic. eh?) - then I plowed into two frantic days of work and prep before heading to Falcon Ridge. Wed - Sun at the fest, and then back home for another frantic day of catch-up and unpacking.

Then Tues and Thurs off to Rhode Island for family reunion stuff with the Zipster. Puncutated by work and unpacking. I did sneak in one yoga class last Friday. I chased a balloon on Sunday.

Symptoms of being off-stride - I fell down the steps outside work on Friday - had a cup of coffee which went splat and scraped up my knee. Where did THAT come from? Tonight, I headed off to power yoga but I thought it started at 6:30 (it starts at 6:00, I got there around 6:10), and I just hate to walk into class late (note, I also hate when people walk into my class late) so I bagged it. Just as well, Barb was not teaching tonight.....I was half-way present anyway, tomorrow I'll hit one of my normal morning classes.....

Oh, and Zippy and I have been doing couples counseling, and dealing with some major stuff. So.....life is complicated. Not a lot of time or energy for recreational blogging.

Be back soon, though - I promise!

August 03, 2007

Yogi Watch

Fans and friends of John Dorsey might be interested to know he's at the Fuller Movement Center, on Park Street in Hartford, Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. As much as my plate is overfilled with the opportunities courtesy of the yogi's at WHY, I might even drop in on a class now and then.....

Back to Business

I think, finally, my summer vacation is coming to an end. Today is going to be my first real work day in a week and a half. Kind of looking forward to it, not the least because of the fine air conditioning over at the office. Goodness its powerful hot out there (and in here).

We spent two days in Rhode Island at a charming estate - Zippy's mother and sister conspired to gather the smallish family for a reunion. I had a lovely time; Zippy's niece is a delight and I was entertaining with pool frolics (she loved standing on my shoulders, and kept saying "let's pretend we're friends") and also a game I thought up called "mystery box" - a shoe box became the repository for things lying around and she had to guess what I put in there. Sort of like 20 questions except she was a bit too young to really guess. So she'd work in tandem with Nana (Zippy's mom) to figure it out. We must have gone through 20 objects before I tired of the game. She could have gone on forever.

We also met the newest member of the family, Zippy's nephew Chaz (aka Little Man aka Mister Mister) who was also beautiful and amusing.

All in all a nice reunion. I, lacking a lifetime of history, got along fine with Zippy's family, although there were some old tensions. The food was delicious (Zippy's sister is a Martha Stewart wanna-be, so we feasted on lamb chops and steak on the two nights there) as well as cocktails. I got my swimming in (being 25% dolphin, I love the water)

Today - a morning hot yoga class, and long overdue work - I am cranking out two reports this morning to get a jump on things and then the rest of the day - more reports, overdue August 1st invoicing, and other reports and projects to finish up.

August 02, 2007

Real World Deferred

Much as I want and need to get back to the real world, its been slow coming back. Zippy's family has rented a house in Rhode Island this week; ze was there Sunday and Monday; I drove out to joint them Tuesday. Zippy came back with me Tuesday night (too much family!) but we are going back out today. It's nice - there is a beach, a swimming pool, and a niece and nephew to hang with.

All the FRFF living caught up with me; I've been too tired and achey (and busy) for yoga - coupled with 90+ temperatures, I needed a week off. I'm planning to hit the mat tomorrow morning with Carissa, to get back into it.

And I spent yesterday morning with MYA - a court date and lunch.

Work has also been slow coming back - I've been to the office a few times, sorted emails, put things into directories, and cleared off a few projects. I got the ticket sales for my one client launched without a problem, but I have a big backlog of reports to write, my August 1st invoicing (which will not get out until the 3rd) and lots of small and large projects to kick start.

Today - more Rhode Island!

Jude