Yogi (And Not The Bear)

I would never be mistaken for a flexible person. Being tall (6’ 3”) I’m more often referred to as lanky or rangy, never flexible.

But age takes a toll on all of us so during the pandemic, but especially the last few months as my 45th birthday approached, I’ve incorporated more yoga into my weekly exercise routine.

I’ve pretty much stopped running. I have a bad bunion on my left big toe that requires surgery. I’m dealing with a good bit of neuropathy so I’ve switched to a long weekly bike ride for some of my cardio. I rode 60 km last weekend. I’m also doing a daily walk with the dog around the neighborhood (roughly 2 km) and sometimes I do it twice.

As anyone who’s been living/working from home the past 18 months can tell you – it gets monotonous. I traded Orange Theory YouTube workouts for random weightlifting and HIIT training but now I mix in yoga, usually every other day. I really like SarahBethYoga. Her focus on breathing, transitions between poses, and her tone really speak to me. Maybe it’s the fact that I meditate almost daily but her Yoga videos feel like a natural accompaniment to my other daily practice.

I’m not going to say I’ve become a Cirque du Soleil contortionist but I have gotten more flexible. My forward and seated folds have progressed to the point where I can easily touch my toes and grip the soles of my feet. For anyone that knew me in high school this sounds impossible but I swear it’s the truth.

I’m sleeping better and feeling fewer daily aches and pains as well. I tend to do yoga every other day and I try to find videos tailored to my specific time constraints (mostly 20 minutes) and what’s hurting me (shoulders after an upper body lift or lower body after a bike ride). I always get a good focus on glutes & core since yoga doesn’t let you forget about balance.

And my balance has gotten better too. Again I’m not the most graceful person (see all my caveats above) but I feel much more stable and grounded than I can remember feeling.

As long as I can find 20 minutes regularly I’m going to keep practicing yoga. I never regret the time or energy expended and I’m ok with knowing that I’ve made slow, steady progress.

Onward! (And namaste)

Easy; Listening

Sometimes you just want to listen to something familiar to make it through your day.

I feel the strongest tug at nostalgia and remembrance today, but that may be due to abandoning FB/IG the day before my birthday.

C’est la vie!

Here, then, are the tunes rolling around in my head, unrolled onto the blog. Please enjoy them in the spirit in which they are offered.

That last one never fails. It always gets me in my soft, creamy center.

Many years ago he
Looked out through a glassless window
All that he could see was Babylon
Beautiful green fields and dreams
And learn to measure the stars
But there was a worry in his heart

He said
How could it come to this?
I’m really worried about living
How could it come to this?
Yeah, I really want to know about this

Is it like today?
Then there came a day
It moved out across the Mediterranean
Came to western isles and the Greek young men
And with their silver beards they laughed
At the unknown of the universe
They could just sit and guess God’s name

But they said
How could it come to this?
We’re really worried about living
How could it come to this?
Yeah, we really want to know about this

Is it like today?
Then there followed days of Kings, Empires and revolution
Blood just looks the same when you open the veins
But sometimes it was faith, power or reason as the cornerstone
But the furrowed brow has never left his face

He said
How could it come to this?
We’re living in a landslide
How could it come to this?
Yeah, we really want to know about this

Is it like today?
Then there came a day
Man packed up, flew off from the planet
He went to the moon, to the moon
Now he’s out in space
Hey, fixing all the problems
He comes face to face with God

He says
How could it come to this?
I’m really worried about my creation
How did it comes to this?
You’re really killing me, you know

It isn’t just today
Is it like today?
Is it like today?

Many years ago he
Looked out through a glassless window
Didn’t understand much what he saw

How Muppeteers “Muppet”

One of my daily routines is watching videos on Uncrate while I eat lunch at my desk. (Exciting life, I know)

Yesterday I stumbled on a great video from Wired: Sesame Street Puppeteers Explain How They Control Their Puppets

It’s a pretty fun little video – about 7 1/2 minutes worth – that has some great behind-the-scenes info PLUS a look at the performers themselves embodying their characters (voices, mannerisms) without actually having their persons inside of them.

Better to watch than to have me explain, but it’s basically people pantomiming – which goes to why the characters are so memorable – the performers are great without the help of felt & wires!

Anyhow, just a little something for your Wednesday pleasure.

Echoes of Familiarity

Did you ever get a tune stuck in your head and you just can’t stop whistling or humming it to yourself? Happens to me all the time.

In college I used to actively try to get songs stuck in Jennifer’s head by singing them when she was around. Turns out she’s incredibly susceptible to suggestion (and I imagine most other folks are too).

A funny thing happened recently when I heard the new (to me) Urge Overkill album, I swore I’d heard one of the themes before. Listen to the guitar chord changes of “Thought Balloon” and tell me you don’t immediately think of the theme song to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

“Thought Balloon” by Urge Overkill

“Go” by Valley Lodge

Maybe it’s just more proof that there aren’t any new ideas, only new combinations and both artists simply got to similar sounds around the same time. Urge Overkill’s album is from 2011; Valley Lodge’s is from 2013.

Or maybe I’m just hearing them for the first time and imagining a correlation.

What do you hear?

Straight Outta Memes

Since we’ve all seen (or made) those “Straight Outta Somewhere” meme images promoting the new movie about NWA, Straight Outta Compton, I thought I’d bring your attention to something else.

If you’re in the middle of the Venn Diagram of NWA fans & comic book fans, please enjoy Straight Outta Gotham. A former coworker of Jennifer’s is the creative force behind the whole thing & it’s been amazing to see the response online & on his Facebook feed.

I’m embedding the clean version but if you don’t have kids around (or if you’re in a more relaxed office), here’s the explicit version.

If superhero mashups aren’t your thing, you could always check out The Muppets singing NWA’s “Express Yourself”.

For other Muppet/NWA goodness, check out some other posts:

Happy Thursday!