January 31, 2009

My Roots are Showing

Pawing through a crate of old cassette tapes (looking perhaps for some Peter Anthony) I came across a pair of cassettes. Equinox Live at the K of C - March 5, 1982. Tapes I and II. The college era rock band that I played bass for. We were a three piece group (Bass / Drum / Guitar), so we all worked pretty hard.....

Listening now. It's not art, but we sounded pretty good. Tight, anyway. How the hell did I remember all these songs?

Here's the set list from 27 years (more than 1/2 this lifetime anyways) ago.

Hound Dog (Elvis)
I Should've Known Better (Beatles)
Temptation Eyes (Grass Roots!)
Johnny B. Goode / Roll Over Beethoven (Berry / Beatles)
Sweet Jane (Lou Reed)
Watching the Girls Go By (original)
Go to the Mirror (Who)

Better Things (Kinks)
Who'll Stop the Rain / Have You Ever Seen the Rain (CCR)
Be My Lover (Alice Cooper!)
Hang Fire (Stones)
Satisfaction (Stones)
Summertime Blues (Who)
I Saw Her Standing There (Beatles)
Well, Well, Well (Lennon)
Purple Haze (Hendrix)

Roadhouse Blues (Doors)
Ain't Talking 'Bout Love (Van Halen)
Rain (Beatles)
Killing Floor (Hendrix)
Start Me Up (Stones)
Cold Turkey (Lennon)
Cold Chicken (original)
Don't Let Me Down (Beatles)
The Waiting (Petty)

Dancing in the Moonlight (Thin Lizzy)
Come On (Berry)
She's So Cold (Stones)
Red House (Hendrix)
Powderfinger (Neil Young)
Traveling Band (CCR)
Til the Next Goodbye (Stones, although I can not for the life of me remember this song)

This was the spring of my junior year, a local townie party so I imagine we were aiming for the AOR crowd - as we moved through senior year, I recall a lot more new wave stuff - Pretenders, Clash, Jam, U2. Kind of wish I had some of that later stuff on tape.....

Peter Anthony is Leaving

Allow me to reminisce about my friend Peter Anthony, on the cusp of his departure for his homeland of Australia.

I met Peter back around 1990. Coming off a separation, I had started to venture out to an open mike in Bristol, held at a charming dive called "The Common Ground". Sunday nght was folk night (I saw folks like Dar Williams, The Nields, and Aztec Two Step) and Monday nights, Jon Lewis ran an open mike. I'd show up, perform a few songs (mostly covers, although I wrote a couple myself), drink a few pints, and play pool on a ridiculous bar table (small, with all sorts of walls and poles to interfere with shots) as I listened to the other musicians. It was a friendly place albeit a bit rough around the edges; we musicians all came to know each other and watch out for each other amidst the regulars. One of the other musicians was Peter Anthony.

Never could quite figure out Peter. When he first started, he played a beat up guitar held together with duct tape. Perhaps I imagined this but it often seemed to be missing a string or two. His playing did not seem to suffer - Peter could drag more emotion and energy out of a single guitar string than anyone I've met. He'd wander around the stage and one worried he might fall off the stage in a bit of instrumental reverie. If he was sans guitar, he would borrow one, and I occasionally worried about my guitar coming back to me in one piece (it always did).

Peter was Australian, and would occasionally be introduced as the Aussie Bob Dylan. In truth, he was somewhere in the mold of Paul Kelly, Billy Bragg, perhaps a little Richard Thompson.

Peter wrote, or perhaps reworked, some amazing songs. I say reworked because he'd often lead in with "This is a Paul Kelly song that I changed the words, and the music, to" so one was never quite sure of a song's provenance. "One More Boring Thursday Night in Adelaide" was Peter's masterpiece - we'd call for it as a closer to his set. A rollicking anthem, (think Springsteen's Jungleland, but more colorful). "The Shots are Getting Bigger" was, to my mind, the best drinking song ever written by a person who does not imbibe. "Begger on the Street of Love" would make one weep into one's pint glass. "Reckless" was just plain beautiful. "Pouring Petrol on a Burning Man" made one want to stomp feet and play conga's on the table. I am sure there are others (newer songs, less ingrained into my head) - he had quite the canon.

Over the years, I've connected with Peter at various acoustic music venues and open mikes. The Common Ground closed, and the open mike moved down to The Chunky Tomato for a time. The late Equinox Cafe (think that was the name, it's been years) in Manchester. Klekolo's in Middletown. Roaring Brook Nature Center. There were others. Peter would disappear for a while (and I did my own share of disappearing) and then I'd get a call or an email about a gig, and I'd go and listen.

Peter was, and is, a bit of an enigma - I think he'd concur, and proudly. He's been a copy editor at Forbes (ironic, given how politically left he seems), edited the Hartford Business Journal, a chef, a waiter. He has a rainbow flag tattoo on his inner arm. He carries a somewhat rumpled, tattered affect of someone who has perhaps slept in his clothes, or maybe just could not be bothered to fold them after laundering, and is too fond of that old flannel shirt to let a bit of wear and a few holes preclude putting it on. A rogue, a poet, a wise fool, a kind heart. Peter is all those things.

Peter's heading home, to Australia. He's had the bad fortune to come down with some chronic health issues, in a country with no real safety net or health system. So he's heading back home. Ironic that in the 21st century, the folk musicians are emigrating away from this "land of opportunity" - in years gone by the tale of a young lad or lass heading to America to escape famine and poverty became the stuff of folk music.

I'm hopefully getting together with Peter tomorrow morning - one last time. Perhaps the last time I will see him; Australia is a helluva long way from Connecticut, and neither of us has a lot of traveling left in us. But you never know.....

Peter has touched my life with his music, his smile, his impish nature, his fragility. Even though I only see him now and then, I'll miss him. And though I've lost family members and friends; it has been many years since I've said goodbye. I imagine I have many good-byes ahead of me as family and friends begin to age; this seems like the opening shot in the long good-bye.

A few tears then, for an old friend.

Abi Tapia in Watertown

Trekked over to Watertown (CT) last night for a barn (actually, more of a house) concert with folkie Abi Tapia. Hosted by a Falcon Ridge Folk Fest friend / crew chief, it was a lovely evening of food (pot luck), friends (my bud Mary drove down from upstate NY) and music (Abi was wonderful). I sat in the front row, near enough to trip Abi had I stretched out, and she played unamplified (and sounded great). Having mostly come to know her music from her CD (well produced with full instrumentation), it was interesting to hear her do her stuff solo - I kept mentally inserting drum tracks and bass lines....

I discovered Abi last year, as I was prepping for the Falcon Ridge merchandise sales - her website / blog spoke of doing some songs for an independent film called Trinidad. Since I have been to Trinidad myself a few times, and one of the subjects of the film is my friend and client Dr. Bowers, it was a neat "small world" moment.

I only got to hear a few songs at Falcon Ridge (and those from the shelter of the merchandise trailer) but between what I heard, and getting to meet her as she dropped off her CD's, I liked her, enough to pick up her newest disk "The Beauty and the Ruin" back in July (via CD Baby, the Falcon Ridge tornado precluded me from buying my music, even though I'm the merchandise sales crew chief!). Her CD has become one of my MP3 faves, especially for airplane flights. Look for "My Miner" to be featured in some film about coal mining, and "Let the Lover Be" is a queer anthem waiting to be discovered.

I picked up her other CD, One Foot Out the Door. (She also has a "first" CD that she no longer carts around with her) - listened en route home, it's a bit more classically country. Liked a few songs, but mostly liked those better live. My only real complaint is she does not really have a good song to put into yoga rotation.....

All in all, a great evening of live music. Abi has recently relocated from Austin to Western MA, so expect to see her playing around New England more. I got to speak with her a bit last night, and she is delightful and charming. Definitely a singer-songwriter to keep an eye on - she's got a great voice, great songwriting, and is an engaging performer.

And a quick shout out to Brian Burness, Bluegrass host at WWUH, who I met at the concert.

January 28, 2009

Mayor Perez

Even though I've known about the percolating scandal involving Eddie Perez for a while now, I guess it took traveling out of state to bring it home. Yahoo News had the headline on the front page yesterday; USA Today has a small piece on Page 3 - Hartford mayor denies bribery claim

Yep, a little hometown pride....

Makes me wonder whether CT politics are really so much more ethically challenged than other states (sundry big city mayors as well as a big chunk of the Rowland administration) or are we just more likely to dig in, not ignore this sort of quid pro quo, etc.

January 27, 2009

John Updike

Rest in Peace.

Probably one of my favorite authors, if inches of shelf space are any judge - I own most of his short story collections and many of his novels (not an easy feat, considering how prolific he was)

I fell upon Mr. Updike in high school english class. The short story A&P if I recall correctly. Completely subversive to my at the time "good little kid" self. When Sammy unties his apron and walks out at the end, it was that one bold act of definance against the system, following one's bliss no matter how foolhardy. I loved the language, I loved the bubbling sexual and sensual tension. Updike's characters were so often flawed, thinking with their libidos, and not always able to contain themselves. I loved them all.

So many characters, so many memories. The two that come to mind right now - the sexual tension of dental hygiene in "Tristan and Iseult". Rabbit Angstrom, shooting hoops until the big one takes him down in Rabbit at Rest.

Not a lot of time to write, here from Gate 6 at Bradley. But I'll be thinking a lot about John Updike as I head off into life.

January 26, 2009

Hartford Mayor Perez Facing Bribery Charges

Hartford Courant story here

Posted without comment.

In other news, Springsteen has a new album out. And I'm going to Houston.

None of these are related, although I am sure I could make up something.....

January 23, 2009

Writers and Readers at RAW

Took a rare (for me) night off from yoga (it was a close call) and attended the Writers and Readers event at Real Art Ways. A nice couplet - Ammon Shea with his book "Reading the OED" and Michael Erard reading from "Um...: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean"

First, props to Real Art Ways for bringing this sort of event together. Having participated in the smallish, disinterested audiences that often show up at book events at libraries and bookstores, how wonderful for the writers to have a packed house of really interested people.

Mr. Shea mostly spoke about his book (did not read) but his talk was seeded with examples from his book, anecdotes about the process of reading, and references to his dictionary collecting. Quite the character. I picked up a copy of his book for the Zipster - who reads several books a week, has a rather large dictionary in the living room to who he refers often, and who is one of those people constantly lamenting the misuse of language, the deterioration of written and spoken communication, etc. So Shea's book is right up his alley.

Mr. Erard did read from his book (along with a work in process about polyglots). Interestingly, he seemed almost to be an apologist for the former president's "Bushisms" - Bush was apparently not known for them as Governor of TX, only once he entered the national stage. Maybe that was when he started speaking someone else's words instead of his own. And amusingly, as President Obama settles in, his own verbal stalling and stumbling when he is speaking extemporaneously is surprising, considering how much of a reputation he has as a polished orator.

I did not get a really good sense of what Erard's book was from his reading (although the word "disfluent", which he used, is a good one). I did come away with the fact that stalling words "Um.....Ah....." are an essential part of thoughtful communication.

All in all, a fascinating evening of literary discourse. Real Art Ways rocks!

January 20, 2009

More on Rev Road

Loyal readers and commenters have spurred me into a few more words about this film.....

What I thought was really sad about the film was that the dream that Kate Winslet's character had was really for / about her husband (or their lost youthful relationship), not really even about herself. Her dream might have been "to pursue acting" or even something wholly different. But she seemed to be living completely through him. Which is, I think, something of that era, and jarring as a result.

There is a TV show out there that I have caught a few times, Life on Mars, where a detective goes back in time to the 70s. The women characters on that show are so frustrating, because, looking at them with modern eyes, I want them to break out of their shackles and be as strong, smart, powerful as they really are. And in some ways, Winslets character in Rev Road is similarly locked up.

Another thing that kind of bothered me about the film - where were the kids? Even in late 50's / early 60s suburbia - are kids so easy to get rid of (for a few hours, for the night) or to placate into invisibility when they are around the house (even with Howdy Doody). I dunno, we were hellions in the mid to late 60s in suburban Pennsylvania - hiding or sabotaging mom's smokes, leaving messes wherever we went. Kate and Leo just had a lot of time alone in the film, which seemed odd. Just a few scenes with the kids, and no real detritus of a home with two kids in it - not enough to make me feel like the kids actually lived in that house.....perhaps seeing a bit more of a family there instead of a couple might have pulled me in a bit more....

Then again, maybe that's what family was back in the day, in a certain social and economic strata. Maybe my lower middle class family was a bit more chaotic and less restricted. Come to think of it, my parents lived on Long Island when I wsa born - Dad surely took the train into the city. But they moved to more rural PA when I was young, perhaps that life did not suit them.....

Finally, I guess my "anti-angst" attitude speaks to the buzz I heard before seeing the film - the "oh no, another film that portrays Connecticut as this soul-less bedroom community of NYC, you will be really down on living here if you see it" - because that is not my experience or belief. So it's hard for me to buy into the disheartened feeling about the state .....

Theres no-one as Irish as Barack OBama

Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys (now The Corrigan Brothers) bring this little gem, which I dedicate to Shane and Pat and all my friends from the Emerald Isle. Happy Inauguration Day!

January 19, 2009

We'll always have Paris

Saw Revolutionary Road yesterday with a posse of literary women (who had no interest in NFL championship games). The theater had a definite female bias....though perhaps the choice of entertainment had something to do with that.

Count me among those not walking out of Rev Road with a feeling of darkness, of doom. Perhaps that is because, in my life, I have taken the cruise to Paris. I am not safely ensconced in the suburbs, I choose (through my self employment, my pursuit of a life dream, my eclectic hobbies, my second and third careers, my refusal to be pigeonholed) to walk outside of the suburban angst, the grey flannel suits, the black / white binary of the world.

So yeah, a dark, sad, film. Not my favorite sort of thing to see. But my soul is pretty safe from whatever shadow this film is casting on suburban, upper middle class Connecticut.....

January 18, 2009

Facebook Friends

Inspired by Colin McEnroe's latest column in the Hartford Courant: I Haven't Got A Posse, But I've Got An e-Posse - I've been a little blog lax so pardon the cut-and-pasting of my comments there, here.

*********************************************************************************

I think part of being in a posse is a certain responsibility to show up for things. So even if one wants to go watch a movie alone, or seek solace in a solo hike, or go hang out at Barnes and Noble, there is always the posse, sucking one into a social whirlwind. There is an obligation to show up for this one's opening or that one's birthday party. Some people are just not cut out for the life of the social butterfly. Or gang membership.

As for Facebook, I have a reasonably strict (and somewhat penurious) policy of not friending anyone who I do not know personally, who I have not had at least one meaningful conversation with. I have one friend request at the moment who I am not sure I have ever met. We have two friends in common (a certain Colin McEnroe and the radio show Where We Live). He seems resonant spiritually, politically, geographically. And if his friend request carried a little disclaimer "Hey, we chatted over at the Creative Cocktail Hour!" or "My friend Colin says I ought to get to know you" then I might accept. And I even do some due diligence on Friend Requests. Check references and all that.

One thing that Facebook has done is draw me more solidly into connection with remote friends. I go to a folk fest every year (for the past two decades almost) and I see the same people every year. Yet we do not stay in touch, we just reconnect each July. Now with many of them connected via Facebook, I'm getting to know them a bit deeper and more permanently. That's nice...

I've only got 70 Facebook friends (which seems like a lot compared to how often I spend weekend nights alone) but I like to think that my Friends are people who I really might consider friends, as opposed to acquaintances.....I run a tight fiscal policy on Facebook Friends - doling out my Friendship carefully so as not to devalue the currency and spiral into social inflation.....

January 17, 2009

Home Again

No, not the Marx Brothers' vaudeville act....

A few days up in MA, with mixed feelings. First the positive. I had a kicking yoga practice on Thursday night, with Caroline at Back Bay Yoga. Ostensibly a Forrest practice, it was a lot deeper and slower than the more energetic practices I have done with Ana and others - although no less strong. Really enjoyed it! At one point we did a knee down lunge, reaching back with one hand for the opposite foot - and in the ensuing back stretch, I felt 1/2 dozen vertebrae pop. Like a self induced chiropractic adjustment. Awesome.

The studio is funky and urban (3rd floor, kind of chaotic and crowded) which was fine - a different energy from WHY but I liked.

Afterwards, my yoga teacher training buddy GG and her SO and I went out for yummy Pho at Pho Republique. So a nice evening all around.

Friday and Saturday morning, I taught yoga at a conference in Peabody. Not particularly successful - just 1 student on Friday and 2 on Saturday. A crowd more intent on late night partying, getting dolled up, and tire kicking with medical professionals is not really, I fear, into the quiet energy and stripping down of artifice that yoga brings. I'd blame the time (9 am after late nights) except that there were plenty of folks hanging out waiting for something to happen, sitting in the restaurant, or heading to the workout room. Oh well - I tried.

Similarly, sitting 5 years away from the big life change thing that most of the folks were in the midst of, I felt like a fish out of water, or a space alien. A different creature, to be sure. I've always felt a little divorced from it all, but the past year or so, as I dive deeper into yoga and personal growth, the further I get from all this stuff.

Oh well, at least nobody helpfully pointed me to the cosmetic surgery or breast augmentation docs, or offered unsolicited advice on makeup or corsetry (all of these have happened in the past).

In other news, I slept at my mom's place in Framingham. It was nice to spend time with Mom, we had a nice meal on Friday night and a bit of hanging out together. This cold weather is kind of tough on her (keeps her somewhat homebound) so I am glad to have had the time to visit. I wish I could get up that way more often....

January 14, 2009

Heading North

I'm off to Massachusetts tomorrow, with the following plan in mind:

* Leading yoga practices on Friday and Saturday morning at the First Event conference (9 a.m. - YAWN!) in Peabody

* Practicing yoga (tentatively at Spirit Bear Power Yoga in Natick) -hopefully Thursday night

* Hanging with mom, a little, in Framingham (where I will be crashing)

* Maybe dinner with mom and some of my sibs on Friday night.

John Dorsey in Action

"NFL Live's" Mark Schlereth (left) and Trey Wingo (right) demonstrate yoga techniques in ESPN's Health and Fitness center under the watchful eye of yoga instructor John Dorsey.

ESPN Video here

January 12, 2009

Wilby Wonderful

Caught this charming (albeit somewhat dark) little film tonight courtesy of Netflex / Roku. A 2004 Canadian film, a little slice of life a la Northern Exposure(filmed in Shelburne, Nova Scotia) combined with Brokeback Mountain (except with the promose of a happy ending).

Wikipedia here, IMDB here

Notable cast member - Sandra Oh (Dr. Yang from Grey's Anatomy). Paul Gross, who plays her police officer husband (and the good man doing the right thing in the film) is quite the hottie. Just saying.

Loving this Netflix / Roku thing. Indeed I am.

YogaDay USA @ West Hartford Yoga


When: Saturday, January 24, 2009 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
What: Free Yoga and Meditation

January 11, 2009

Unyogic

Even though it has set up an internal struggle (with the yogic Ahimsa, or prinicipal of non-harm and non-killing), I caught two mice last night. We've gone the humane route in the past (with various levels of success) but the last few times we tried that did not pan out. They seem to sneak in about this time of year (and between my allergies and our dogs, we're not a cat house)

Zippy has been kvetching about the mouse for a while, and though I dug the traps out of the basement, they did not get set up (typical Zippy, he was sure that peanut butter and cheese would not work, they seem to go for cereal and grain, so he just seemed to be dismissive of the whole mousetrap project)

How it came to be my role to be killer of rodents, I dunno. So I am excited by my success, cognizant of the fact that I am gonna need to go buy more traps (two mice might just be the tip of the iceberg, and I'll kill the mice but I will not clean their bodies out of the traps), and fairly repulsed by my unyogic murderous streak.

January 10, 2009

Frost / Nixon

Finally got to see Frost/Nixon. Enjoyed it a lot. Nixon was the first president I remember getting elected, the first candidate I remember talking about in school where we lined up behind political candidates like non-football fans picking a team based on mascots or team colors.

Langella was pretty incredible as Nixon (a difficult role since those of us of a certain age remember Nixon so well, and he became such a caricature). I thought the playwright and filmmakers did a nice job of adding some depth and texture to the story And though the critics have had issues with the film's accuracy, I thought it was a good story, well told. A welcome flashback to the 70's.

My film buddy (Kimi, to those who follow the blogs) and I discussed the way Frost was presented - was he a gadfly, a lightweight who toughened up at the end? Was he a cagey interviewer who laid back for the first part of the interviews and then sprung a trap? Or was he over his head throughout and really let Nixon off the hook?

There is a political meme out there "Only Nixon could go to China". And maybe only someone perceived as a lightweight, someone holding out a pile of cash, could have brought Nixon to the interview.

Also, whoever cast this thing must have something against Diane Sawyer - while her involvement in the Nixon administration is a matter of record that perhaps Ms. Sawyer would be happy to have not brought back into the spotlight, Kate Jennings Grant is made up to be a most unattractive, nerdish version of the celebrity journalist.

Maybe we all looked kind of awkward in the 70s....I know I did.

Social Saturday

No yoga today. Instead, a fairly mad social schedule.

9:30 am - Meeting at the Avon Old Farms Hotel, where we are planning our balloon club's annual winter dinner (I'm on the planning committee, by dint of bitching about the unimaginative venues the past few years).

11:00 am - A late breakfast up at the Harvest Cafe and Bakery in Simsbury. A great place, the food was yummy, although when something says "shredded zucchini, asparagus, and leeks" I expected a layer or two of veggies. It was more like a thick quiche. Good, but I was in the mood for a little more fiber and green.

1:30 pm - Criterion Cinemas at Blue Back Square, to see Frost/Nixon. First time at the Blue Back cinemas, and I was less than blown away. The decor felt kind of dated, I actually commented to my movie bud that "it reminds me of the old Elm" (just a vibe) and I would have thought they would have gone with stadium seating (maybe some of the screens are) since the facility seems to be more build up rather than spread out. I'd just as soon go to Cinema City (atmosphere / history) or Bowtie on New Park (modern cinemas).

4:30 pm - Lucy, where I scored a bunch of yoga clothes at their 50% off (previous markdown prices). Three yoga tops, a tank top, and a long sleeved shirt for $56.

Got home around 5:00 pm as the roads started to get tricky from the snow. Relaxing night - some TV, some dinner, some laundry. Bound to be some shoveling tomorrow....

One out of Twenty-Four

24 bodies (with resident spirits) in my gentle yoga class yesterday. Not my biggest class ever, but a good sized crowd. However, one of those spirits belonged to the studio director, who NEVER goes to her teacher's classes. One of the other senior teachers was beside himself with surprise (and maybe a bit of envy?) when he realized she was in there. As some of my schoolteacher friends said later "It's like when the superindendent audits a class"

But really, it was not so bad. A few moments of nervousness, and a little bit of self-consciousness as I planned my sequencing on the fly (I rarely do more than plan out a general direction), moved through the room, mentally double checked my languaging. But she was one of my students, and I frankly spent more time thinking about the rest of the class.

Afterwards, positive feedback. No major issues noted (this is a woman who pulls no punches and is incredibly astute and intuitive when it comes to seeing into the soul). And a request for a copy of my music (I ordered her a disc of the one artist she is unlikely to have)....which made me feel pretty good.

I feel like I've passed a test or something.....pretty good.

January 09, 2009

Bad Web Design

An open letter to whoever is designing the Alchemy website.

If you want me to call in a to-go order (which I am attempting to do right now) having your phone number SOMEWHERE on the website might be a good start.....

January 07, 2009

Roku Netflix Player


Our Roku player for Netflix arrived yesterday. Took maybe 10 minutes to install - power cord, a couple of video cables, and wireless internet. Did not take long to get it talking to the wireless (manually inputting the security password) and then to register the deice with netflix (a code input from the computer). And we were ready to go.

The biggest issue is inputs - we presently have an ancient Magnavox television with only a CATV input, so we have DVD -> VCR (Line In) -> TV inputs. For now, I swapped the Roku in for the DVD but I suspect I am gonna go find a low cost video switcher to hook it all up permanently. At least until the TV dies on us.

I demo'd it for Zippy (who I suspect, will not be able to work it without me, but we shall see) and watched an episode of All Creatures Great & Small - the video quality was fine, as good if not better than coming off CPTV / Comcast. We're not an HDTV or flat-screen house (and it will probably be a long time until we are) so the video quality is fine.....

Pretty excited - with an $8.99 / Month Netflix account we get unlimited downloads - and they have 12,000+ titles available. Not everything, but lots of old BBC television (Dibley, Appearances, Creatures, Ballykisssangel), lots of foreign films, lots of independents, and a smattering of recent hits and television series (I'm presently plowing through 30Rock)

Pretty amazing little bit of technology - integrating streaming video and the internet with existing television. I'm sold.

January 06, 2009

Bristol Adult Ed - Six Week Series

I will be leading two (2) six-week yoga series at the Stafford School, in Bristol, CT - through Bristol Adult Education. Information and registration here.

The classes are Wednesday, from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, and run from Feb 4 - Mar 18, and again from Apr 1 - May 13. $38 - a good deal!

Intro to Yoga - Mondays from 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm

This new year, I will be teaching two Intro to Yoga series, at West Hartford Yoga. WHY offers a number of intro series - Monday through Thursday. I'm teaching a class on Monday from 7:15 - 8:30 pm. Info here. Classes start Jan 19th, and again in the spring (March 16).

So if you have been thinking about yoga, or know someone who would like to try yoga, it's a good time to take an intro series with someone you (kinda) know.

January 04, 2009

Coda

Colin McEnroe says goodbye to his radio friends in his column this week. A lovely summing up.

I was one who listened from the beginning, when he had a morning solo show. I was just geting my consulting practice started - so I was around the house all day in the days before WNPR went to an all-talk format and there was a vast wasteland of classical music (not that there is anything wrng with that) between Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Colin kept me company.

And in these later years, as I tuned to the local Where We Live, and the national feeds of Day to Day or Talk of the Town, it would comfort me that Colin would be listening too - so often he wove stories and themes from these shows into his own afternoon broadcast.

There is this public radio thing called a "driveway moment" - when one is listening to an engaging story in the car, pulls into the driveway, but sits in the car listening until the end of a story - unable to pull away. It's one of those moments when one recommits to an annual donation. Colin had a different sort of memorable radio moment - he'd say something so funny that I would laugh out loud - in my office, the car, wherever.

Too bad there was no pledge drive for that.....

Speaker of the House

Connecticut has a new speaker of the House, Representative Chris Donovan from Meriden. Story in today's Hartford Courant, here.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Donovan (and his wife) at an annual halloween party that Zippy and I have gone to over the years. If anything, Donovan's liberal bent (grass roots organizing, unions) was trumped by the crowd at the party (Unitarians and Librarians) - but he seems like the real deal - authentic, smart, heart in the right places. I'm a fan! (and not just of boomers playing in rock bands)

And his wife Elaine works in the health care field, so you can bet he has some insights and passion in the area of health care. Another big plus.

My political post for 2009. I return you now to your regularly scheduled blogging.....

January 01, 2009

2008 Wrap-up

One of the bennies of having a blog is that it provides a handy way to look back in time. So as 2009 clicks over, I'm looking back on what 2008 meant for me, personally. I usually get to this a bit earlier, but it's been a busy year....

Without doubt, 2008 was the year of yoga. I started out a "type A" yogi - with a strong and regular practice. In the first half of 2008, I survived 6 long weekends of yoga teacher training, and in the 2nd half of the year, I became a yoga teacher. Funny how that happened. I did *not* set out to teach yoga; I merely became aware that the bowl that is my self had been filling up with yoga the past few years, had begun to overflow, and yoga was spilling out of myself whether I willed it or not.

So I signed up for teacher training (expecting to deepen my practice, and perhaps have some teaching chops for the when the moments arrive, but NOT expecting to teach). But the first few times I stood in front of a class of students, well, it just kind of flowed. So here I am, teaching yoga. Pretty amazed and ecstatic about that. I've also become a bit more embedded down at the studio, between part time work and teaching.

Hard to really quantify much else about the past year. My engineering work continues - my biggest clients are still chugging along, I've picked up some new clients and industries, I have as much work as I need or want.

My IRA dropped about 40% this past year, but since it's not something I plan on using anytime soon, and it's not all that much at this point - that's OK. A paper loss that will hopefully be restored. In the meantime, I am trying to stuff it for 2008 / 2009 right now, taking advantage of bargain basement stock prices. With a new president and a new administration coming in - I am optimistic. The last time a Dem was in office the world and the economy went through a prosperous period, and while I do not expect any quick changes after 8 years of mismanagement, neglect, and criminal world policies under Bush, well - it can't get worse.

I signed up for Facebook and picked up (between Facebook and teacher training) a newish social circle.

And I explored moving out - finding my own apartment which woul dbe a huge life change (involving moving my personal life as well as my office into the new place) but that is, for the moment, on hold.

And so I head into 2009 pretty much on course. Continuing my yoga practice, my yoga teaching. Continuing my engineering. Working on my living arrangement.

The years spin by...faster and faster.