Blue Surge

I just got back from a long afternoon.

Ran over to do some hot yoga at Yoga To The People – hard work, and I can see that I am improving, slowly, and that it’s gonna take a little time. Perseverance.

After that, I rushed over to the East Village, where I watched a new show – Blue Surge (details here: http://www.extantarts.org/play.php?playid=10 ).

Show was directed by a friend of mine, and it’s an interesting picture of a storyline that might seem clich√©, but they put a pretty interesting spin on it.

It’s playing for the next couple of weeks. Go on out and see it.

It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes…

For those of you that live in unenlightened circles, the title is a lyric by Nelly.

Day 2, Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Day 3, Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Two days, back to back. Three days in a row of this crazy abuse.

These times, I’ve felt less inclined to pass out, having hydrated well for the entire day before class, and drank some potassium-filled coconut milk drink.

But I still am not able to perform all the poses, and need some long breaks to try and get my heart rate under control. I’m simply glad I can tough out lying in that heat, pouring sweat from every possible distasteful location on my body, until the end of the class.

I made some progress, inasmuch I can understand some of the flow of transitions from pose to pose, and see how they all kind of lend themselves to experiencing the next one.

In today’s class, at some point a man was told some comment by the instructor, and suddenly got up to leave the room. A big no-no, and a bunch of other people voiced their concern that he shouldn’t leave, no matter what. He didn’t, and then it was cleared up by the instructor – “If you put a shirt over your eves, you might as well not be here, as your mind goes away.”

It was a roundabout way to tell the dude to keep his eyes open and unobstructed. Oh well.

At another point, when we were all lying down, in semi-darkness, one woman began sobbing loudly. Nobody addressed this – and I kind of appreciate that. The instructor mentioned: “You are here because you want to be here. Nobody forced you to come here and put yourself through this.” True.

I found out later that the woman was one of the instructors-in-training or such, and that was kind of a great motivation for me. If others at that level find this difficult, then I shouldn’t feel bad that I’m finding it very hard.

A discussion with another random dude in the locker room after, in which I said: “I think this is about pushing your limits. Everyone’s limits differ, and as long as you’re pushing your own, that’s really what matters. Not if you can be a perfect half moon.”

Statement resonated within. Got to remember that. And the utter cliche – “Do your best”. Ugh.

My best hurts a lot. Looking forward to next class. Neil, the dude who seems to know what’s going on and runs the place, is 23 days into a 100 day challenge (with himself? unclear.) so hopefully I’ll see him there again tomorrow.

Cold Turkey – or Hot Tofurkey?

Day #1, Monday, December 21st, 2009

Some say the arrival of a new year is a good time to make resolutions, and re-evaluate one’s past year. I consider Monday a better choice, and that’s any Monday. Not the beginning of the year, as then you get to easily postpone your responsibility until then, but any Monday.

This particular Monday, I had in mind that I was going to subject my poor, out-of-shape body to a new experience: Bikram Yoga.

Also known as “Hot Yoga”, this exercise discipline differs from many others in that it takes place is a location with an average temperature higher than Death Valley, CA reaches in springtime (105 degrees Fahrenheit, 40 degrees Celsius), and about 40% humidity, bringing the Heat Index nice and high.

Armed with a little knowledge, not nearly enough, and delusions of grandeur, I packed a pair of shorts, sleeveless shirt, large towel and water bottle and headed to the Yoga To The People studio on 27th St.

Arriving, I met Neil, behind the counter, where he asked me if I had done this before, gave me a quick lowdown, and after paying a really small amount of cash for a health class, gave me a mat, towel and sent me on my way.

I changed in the locker room, and dragged my gear into the heated room, nice and dark. Found a spot to place my mat on the back row, covered it with my towel, put down my water bottle, and simply began to breathe in the heat. Wow. That’s hot.

As more and more people came in, an instructor’s assistant called on anyone who hadn’t done this before to come and learn the warm-up breathing method. This was interesting, and there must have been about 8-9 of us in the learners circle.

Back on the mat, class starts, and the Door Closes. once the Door Closes, you should not leave the room, unless it is a dire medical emergency, instead, sit down, take a break, relax, and continue when you can. There was absolutely no pressure to keep up, and working at my own pace meant that I could sit down, and nearly pass out, thanks to not enough oxygen reaching my brain in a stressful scenario.

I sweat more than I thought was possible, and tore my sleeveless shirt off about a third into the class – I couldn’t bear it any longer. Was a little better once it was gone.

You’d think I would shy away from such a painful experience, but I actually reveled in completion, and felt great. Today, I’m sore, so I’m going back again tonight for round #2.

Wish me luck.

Site was down

My site apparently got hacked about a month ago, thanks to me not keeping my site software up to date, and left a small vulnerability open, so something went wrong, and I was offline for about three months, until I sat down, and started fresh, with the same content database. It might take a few weeks until all the software is brought back into play, so let me know if anything is broken, and I’ll try to fix it.

Staying on top of patching software is not easy, especially when you do that by day, and when you get home you don’t really want to look at a computer anymore.

But it’s back, and I’m happy. Life is better.

Train musings

This morning’s train brought back some memories for me.

I saw a dude wearing a lack t-shirt with Beavis and Butthead in skeleton form, rocking out as usual, and it brought me back to high school, 1995 in Jerusalem, where I met one of my best friends Yos, and he proceeded to educate me in MTV and a lot of animated pop culture.

We spent countless hours at his Dad’s place – whether in front of the TV, on the balcony or causing some sort of havoc in the neighborhood. Good times.

Then my iPod decided it was time to play a dialogue from Free To Be You And Me… – the same dialogue that Talisa and myself performed in 2003, for many children and adults. It was a good time, and it was shared by a bunch of awesome people.

I think it was during that show’s run I got my motorcycle license and bought Stella. Ah, the open road.

Anyways, have a great Monday.

A random chat with a coworker

As a lot of hi-tech companies do, we also communicate via chat. After you’ve been chatting with people for more than a year,¬† and are friendly with them, you tend to derail the technical conversation into weirdness.

Here’s the tail-end of one such conversation that I had this morning. I have no idea where this came from.

(10:16:12 AM) chris: thanks for the understanding Mr sensativity
(10:16:34 AM) mike: hey, I’m not the guy the gals turn to for a shoulder to cry on.
(10:16:56 AM) mike: I’m the one who made them cry
(10:17:05 AM) mike: by running over their cat in a driveway or sometrhing
(10:18:20 AM) chris: nice, you are one of the nicest guys I know
(10:18:31 AM) mike: except when it comes to cats
(10:18:41 AM) mike: then I turn into the hate-mongerer
(10:19:20 AM) mike: Actually, I haven’t decided if it’s that I hate the cats, or that I love to see a gal cry.
(10:19:28 AM) chris: twisted
(10:19:36 AM) mike: I’m so confused and emotional about this time in my life
(10:20:09 AM) chris: well if you need a hug, I heard JP is giving them out
(10:20:28 AM) mike: ewww.. You might get more than you bargained for with him.
(10:20:54 AM) mike: like some weird Canadian STD that nobody ever heard about, has no visible symptoms, and cannot be detected in any way.
(10:21:05 AM) mike: That has no cure
(10:21:07 AM) chris: ohhh!
(10:21:12 AM) chris: or ewwww!

Continued pain

So to some that have followed my bodily harm escapades, here’s another one for the record.

Yesterday, walking to the train with a couple of coworkers, I spent some time chatting with one more than the other.

This guy has a hearing problem, so he reads lips, so I turned my head 90 degrees so he could see me clearly, and there would be no “slurred” words.

As we’re walking up a hill at a decent pace, I suddenly feel immense pain in right thigh, all at the same instant.

Yes, I just walked into a fire hydrant.

Snuck up on me. I didn’t stand a chance.
And I was going at my normal pace, full momentum smashed me into the immovable object.

So now my right leg is largely useless. Don’t ask me to run, dance, skate, or walk too far. It hurts.

Oddly enough, I was looking forward to posting an image or two of some huge bruising, but it seems like the damage was done too far below the epidermis for it to be visible.
Oh well.

I just finished watching my DVR’ed episode of the Battlestar Galactica two hour finale.

To those of you who watch the show regularly, this will not come as a surprise.

This episodic saga is quite the amazing drama, which kind of happens to take place in space. But that fact doesn’t make it purely a geek show, it is much much more.

For those uninitiated, it follows the lives of a bunch of people – some closer than others – put into extraordinary situations and forced to deal with scenarios that, while seem to be highly unlikely and sometimes unfathomable, somehow shows us a glimpse into something that no matter how far out, in a a galaxy far far away, touches you.

Call me crazy, and I’m sure some do, this is a series that I think most people can enjoy – whether or not they like Sci Fi genre stuff – it’s an amazing story about people, and how they relate to other people.

The finale had moment in which I laughed out loud, and others where I actually teared up, and really felt for the characters and their predicaments.

All in all, if you’ve had any reservations on watching this show due to its geekiness, try to put those aside for a minute and give it a chance to lure you in and learn to love them all.