This is cross post from the other blog I write on my Year of Yoga and special needs orphan awareness. I don't have that blog linked to here, so I will periodically cross post from there to here. This is one of those posts.
I finished my Year Of Yoga back on October 31st, it was a wonderful
experience. Trying not to 'mess up a streak' made me practice when I
didn't feel like it, when I didn't think I had time, or when I wanted to
do something else instead- and it was invaluable.
I cannot tell you how much it affected me for the better during that
year. It was like my 'reset' button everyday. If I was grumpy, I was
less so afterward. If I was anxious, I was calmer afterward. If I was
happy, I was happier afterward.
For full disclosure I must mention, my year of practicing was not
perfect, there were days that were totally busy and I completely forgot
that I hadn't practiced that day until it was 11 and I was lying in my
bed almost asleep- but there weren't too many of those, and when one is
doing yoga 6 days per week all year long...even with mistakes, there is
After I finished the year on October 31st, 2011, I took a break. I think
it's important when you push yourself to accomplish something, that you
give yourself rest afterward so you don't burn out. I felt that I was
in danger of that, so I took a break for November. Then in December, I
decided that I would get back into it, but not as a 'have to' thing,
just as a normal exercise during the week.
Well...I can't be trusted to do things that are good for me I guess
unless I have some kind of goal I have to meet. Even though I enjoy it,
even though I know how amazingly beneficial it is for both my body and
my mood, even though it only takes 20-30 minutes of my time, there were
too many days that I just didn't get to it.
SO...because this is going to be another big year and I need all the
help I can get to cope with the uncertainty and change, I decided last
Sunday to do another Year of Yoga. Six days a week for a year. I will
finish up next year in January. Already I can see what a giant
difference having a goal I'm trying to reach makes. This week I made
time every day of the six. I just made time. I guess goals are what I
I feel so much better today after six days of practice. Better in body than I have in two months.
As I do this Year of Yoga, I will continue to dedicate my practice to Porter from Reeces Rainbow. He doesn't have a family yet, so I continue to pray for him and send love to him as I complete my practice every day.
Please join me in another Year of Yoga for Porter and all special needs orphans.
Guess what! I just noticed that the post from yesterday was my 100th post on this blog! I don't know why I am so excited about that, but I am. Such a great number! I also don't feel like I have posted that many, I guess because until this month, I posted so sporatically; so that's another reason I am finding it so fun!
So today I am just going to relax and celebrate making it to 100 posts!
Remember my Year of Yoga? I finished in November and then decided to go back to 'No Goal' yoga. Having a regular practice, but not having to do it if I didn't feel like it. I wasn't going to do another year, because I thought, "hey, I did that already", but what I'm finding is, unless I have to because I don't want to mess up a goal or a streak, I find it really easy to do anything else but my yoga. Even though know how beneficial it is and even though its really a very minimal time commitment.
So, since I need the benefits that yoga gives me, especially since I have a lot going on this year with all my husband's interviews and our move to...somewhere...I thought I would do another Year of Yoga. Starting today. Another year- yoga six days a week. This go round will end on January 22, 2013.
I mentioned that I am in the midst of a bit of a Victorian Era obsession. It started last year with my participation in the Queen's Scullery, where I wrote a few posts about Victorian Horsemanship- more specifically as it related to Victorian women. Posts can be found here.
The Queen's Scullery was a year long project which began as a way for SJ Alexander (of I, Asshole fame) to work her way through Mrs. Beeton's Cookbook. (Her posts on cooking in the Victorian way are thoroughly entertaining- and educational!- if you have any interest in Victorian life at all, do read them).
After my participation in the Queen's Scullery ended, I got distracted by other things, but renewed my obsession this fall when I finally finished reading Black Beauty.
One of the things I continue to be interested in, beyond just Victorian life in general, is Victorian horse(wo)manship. Take a look at the illustration below:
you may notice in the picture of the proper Victorian horsewoman above,
there is no leg visible on this side of the saddle. That is because all
good Victorian Ladies rode 'aside' in a sidesaddle, as not to (GASP!
the impropriety of it all) spread their legs in a visible way.
Because of this continuing interest in sidesaddle riding, when I made plans to visit the Horse World Expo today, I made sure to stop by the booth for the International Side Saddle Association, where I hoped to pick up some literature and talk to someone about the association.
Well, much to my excitement and surprise the booth contained a sidesaddle...
...that you could sit on! SQUEEEE!!!!
So I sat on it, and because I was lucky enough to show up between waves of people, I got an impromtu sidesaddle lesson from the lady running the booth.
It was super informative and awesome and really renewed my interest in learning how to ride this way. Not right away, as I currently don't have the funds to devote to any new equipment, not to mention my hands full with my horse's training issues, but in the future I look forward to learning. In the meantime, as the lady (wo)manning the booth at the Expo helpfully suggested, I can audit some workshops in my area. Whee!
Because I am not in the same mood every time I want to read, I often have two books going at the same time. In my last post I wrote about beginning The Crocodile on the Sandbank . I am also reading, for the times I am in a different mood, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, which is one of the free books that came preloaded on my e-reader.
Perhaps one might not think these books are different enough to suit different moods since they are both mysteries and they are both set in the Victorian era, but the writing and mood of the stories are very different and written by, and in the voice of, different genders.
I recently saw the second Hollywood installment of Sherlock Holmes (my opinion? thoroughly entertaining), so I guess when I was perusing the preloads, that particular work stood out.
The above picture of A Study In Scarlet shows the cover of Beeton's Christmas Annual, in which the character of Sherlock Holmes first appeared in 1887. Although each story was published by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at a different time, I am using the date of 1894 for the purposes of my Read Through the Centuries Project as this was the date that the entire collection was published as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. This collection of Sherlock Holmes stories will serve to check off the 1890's for my project.
Since I finished The Call of the Wild, I needed another book for my Reading Through the Centuries Project. I didn't plan to go with a more modern book, but on my shelves, on the evening I was looking, the book that appealed to me the most was Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters.
Side Note: You might have noticed that I often say I pick books from my bookshelves. The reason I can kind of 'go shopping on my shelves' so to speak, is because nearby where we live is The Baltimore Book Thing- where you can drop off books you don't want and pick up more books that you do. All for free. You can go as much as you want and take as many books as you want, the only caveat is that you can't resell them, and there is a stamp in each one telling you that. If you are in the area, check out the website and make a visit- you won't be disappointed! So anyway, because we go there and just kind of, grab books, a lot of books on our shelves I haven't read, and many times, like in the case of That Old Ace in the Hole, I didn't even know we had it because my husband brought it home. Our bookshelves are full of mystery and wonder. :)
Anyway, Crocodile on the Sandbank appealed to me for two reasons. It's a mystery, which I always enjoy and although written in the '70's, it's set in the Victorian era. It's known to be very well researched- so reading it is a little lesson in Egyptology in the Victorian Era and I am a little obsessed with the Victorian Era, thanks to my participation in The Queens Scullery last year.
What I didn't know, is that the main character, Amelia Peabody, is total awesomeness. I will write more about her when I get more into the book, but her witty observations about herself and her society make this a truly entertaining read. Lucky for me, Elizabeth Peters wrote a whole series of books with this character, so my experience with dear Amelia doesn't have to end with the completion of this book.
Crocodile on the Sandbank was published in 1975, so this is my book for the decade of the 1970's.
learning from it and never forgetting the struggles of those who came before us
as we move boldly into the future.
Thank you, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. May we never forget those who sacrificed their lives so that we could live a brighter future. May it not stop with them, as we endeavor to be agents of peace and love- that those who come after us can experience a future brighter than today.
I finished reading another book! Rolling right along with reading through the centuries!
I chose Call of the Wild because I was on an airplane with my e-reader and realized that I had forgotten to download the book I had purchased for the trip onto my reader. Oops. I could have connected to the wi-fi to do that, but because it was an airplane and they have a monopoly on the in-flight wifi market, it was way more than I was willing to pay just to download my book.
Thankfully my reader came stocked with 100 classics- very helpful to my project! So I looked through the list and chose Call of the Wild.
I had read this one already, but not since sixth grade or so, so this is another 're-reading with an adult perspective' choice like The Scarlett Letter and Black Beauty.
Its a great book. Although, like Black Beauty, the main character is an animal, I would not consider it a kids book. It's a really interesting account of conditions- both for dogs and men- during the Klondike Gold Rush. The brutality of life in the Yukon at this time is portrayed through the experiences of Buck, a dog stolen from his plush home in California, shipped to the Yukon, and sold to those looking for a strong sled dog.
I really enjoyed it. Also like Black Beauty, it's a quick read, but does deal with subject matter related to the 'kill and be killed' reality of the time and place, so it's also decidedly not a warm and fuzzy kind book.
Call of the Wild was written in 1903, so I have that decade checked off my list!
I finished this book a little bit ago, but forgot to post about it. I chose O'Pioneers, because I was interested in reading something by Willa Cather, and equally importantly because it was available in a Dover Thrift Edition- $2.00!!
What an interesting book. I enjoyed all of it, and found especially interesting the feminism obvious in the writing, as well as the soap opera romantic drama that takes up part of the plot- Forbidden Love! Adultery! WOMEN OWNING AND MAKING ALL DECISIONS REGARDING THEIR PROPERTY (What?!?!)!
Like other books I've chosen in the course of this project, this book offers insight into a particular time in history, and offers a history lesson as well as a good read. O'Pioneers actually gives the reader two history lessons: the first part of the book takes place when the American prairie was first being settled and when the pioneers were struggling to survive in an ecosystem that was fighting their attempts to subdue it; and the second part of the book takes place about 16 years later when the prairie had been divided up and 'civilized'- when people had moved past the point of mere daily survival. The first part took place when people were living in sod houses. The second part took place when people had built proper Victorian homes. Two very different periods in the history of the American prairie.
The protagonist is a Swedish woman named Alexandra who is left in charge of her father's homestead on the American prairie after he dies. She makes shrewd business decisions that go against the practices of her neighbors and because of this- she turns her father's farm into a very successful and profitable enterprise.
She is interesting for many reasons. She's very intelligent, she's an amazing and intuitive business woman, she cares not even a little for what the men around her think she should be doing, but on the other hand, she is blind when it comes to her own feelings and the feelings of those around her.
I loved the obvious feminist commentary present in the text. Consider the following conversation between Alexandra and her brothers (keep in mind the attitude of people towards women at the turn of the 20th century):
Alexandra waved her hand impatiently. "Come now Lou, stick to the facts. You are talking nonsense. Got to the county clerk and ask him who owns my land, and whether my titles are good."
Lou turned to his brother. "This is what comes of letting a woman meddle in business," he said bitterly. "we ought to have taken things in our own hands years ago. But she liked to run things, and we humored her"...
Alexandra rapped impatiently on her desk with her knuckles "Listen Lou, Don't talk wild. You say you ought to have taken things into your own hands years ago. I suppose you mean before you left home. But how could you take hold of what was not there? I've got most of what I have now since we divided the property: I've built it up myself, and it has nothing to do with you."
Lucky for me, I am a ridiculous person and therefore often provide myself with blog fodder, just by being. The following is an example. Originally posted on my old blog in September 2007, it is my favorite self-written post ever.
Please enjoy at my expense.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2007
JUST YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD CRAZY...OUT FOR A DRIVE
Ever have one of those moments that start out as a well intentioned endeavor but, in the span of usually less than a minute, turn into....An Incident. An Incident is something that will cause you at the very least, Low Level Embarrassment that will last you an evening- and at the worst, Mighty Monstrous Mortification that will last you an entire lifetime. I had one of the former this afternoon. (Stories of my various Mighty Monstrous Mortifications are carefully preserved in the dusty back room in the Library Of My Brain and going through those annals is definitely For Another Day.)
So anyway, on to the Low Level Embarrassment of today.
I work at a fairly small institution (of the intellectual, not the mental, variety thank you very much), where you get to know everyone by sight if not by name. There's a professor at said institution that I have to be in contact with fairly often due to the particular nature of my servitude. He's a very nice person...older, ponytail, Birkenstocks, and T-shirt everyday without fail- in other words, Total Aging Hippy and Not Anyone I'd EVER Be Attracted To (so put those thoughts away you sicko). He's just one of those relaxed and confident Cool People...one of those people who if they talk to you in a more personal manner, you feel like YOU'RE cool too- cause you must be if this person is taking the time to converse.
Well, I've seen this person several times in my neighborhood, but keep forgetting to ask him if he lives around there- so today I when I saw him walking along the sidewalk when I turned onto my street I thought to myself:
Hmmm, I should say hi. That wouldn't be too hard would it?
Well, those could be considered the proverbial Famous Last Words, because it not only was apparently Too Hard for me, but it also turned into a full blown Incident.
First of all, I'm in a car, so right away this interaction is not going to be simple. Am I a Yells-to-People-on-the-Side-of-the-Road kind of person? No. I very much am not, but for some reason today I lost my senses and decided that I WAS one of those people. (Probably because I actually exercised after work today and apparently my Body and Brain can not be trusted to work in any sort of conjunction.)
Now...if the fact that I was about to yell to someone (who I don't know that well) on the side of the road wasn't an embarrassing enough procedure...it was complicated by the fact that I was also situated BEHIND him due to the two cars in front of me at the light. (Although, to clarify, this is not some busy intersection- it's a tiny one in my small city neighborhood. But still...)
So...against any better judgement (that wouldn't be MY better judgement, since I obviously don't have any)...down goes the window and...and...
...(takes deep breath)...
I YELL HIS NAME.
Instead of ignoring me like he probably should have...he swings around and...
I WAVE FRANTICALLY.
More than once. Probably about three times, which could be considered in such a small time frame- A Continuous Frantic Wave. Like out of the three possible cars, he's not going to see the one where the crazy person is waving hysterically.
That's when it really starts to go downhill. Wait, you say...worse than you have already made it for yourself? Yes, my friend...worse than I have already made it for myself.
Because now I think:
'Oh, maybe he doesn't see me through my windshield!' (Despite the fact that he's looking in my direction and my window is the customary Made of Clear Glass variety.) 'I think I should wave out of my sunroof!'
Well, ok, that might not have been TOTALLY horrid, except... my sunroof was not open. NOR had my sunroof been open more than maybe..maybe...twice this whole summer. Why did I think it would be open now? That I can not tell you my friends.
So my hand goes up with the amount of enthusiasm it had just demonstrated when waving (i.e. frantic and hysterical) and...that's right...crashes with a audible and somewhat painful 'THUMP' against the glass of my Almost Never Used Sunroof.
So then...because I can't just leave it there... I can't just leave The Embarrassing List at a mere FOUR...including but not limited to:
1. Yelling loudly from car to Person Minding Their Own Business on the Sidewalk.
2. Waving frantically.
3. Thinking person cannot see me through glass.
4. Slamming hand against Closed and Always Closed Sunroof.
I...(wait for it)...
TELL HIM WHO I AM.
As in...(wave, wave, THUMP, wave, wave)..."It's Hope!"
Wow. There's really nothing to say to that other than what he said which was:
"I can see that."
"Um...right...well, uh...I've seen you walking here a couple times so I...uh...do you live around here?"
Turns out he does and was polite enough to make brief small talk (I had to watch for cars coming up behind me since I was blocking the way with this ridiculous display of well...ridiculousness), but seriously. Wow.
Smooth. Smooth all the way. If there was a SmoothFest in Smooth Town with a Grand Smooth Award given at the end, I would most certainly be the Grand Smooth Award Winner. Just call me SmoothyMcSmootherson.
So....so much for being in the Cool Club. Tomorrow I'm back to eatin' lunch with the Freaks and Geeks- which...let's be honest...is probably a much safer place for me to be.
Note from 2012: I still work at the same place. I still have to see this person. Four years later I still think of this every time I see him. Blimey.
I used to run regularly, but that was in my other life. Pre-husband, pre-"real job", pre-baby. I have been pretty much doing yoga exclusively as my formal exercise for years. I haven't fun in forever, but a friend asked me if I wanted to start running with her- she wanted to start and wanted a buddy.
If she had asked me even two weeks ago, I probably would have said "No thanks, I'll stick with yoga", but because it's now 2012 and I am all about stretching and extending myself- albeit in little ways- I said "Sure".
At worst, I hate it and decide not to continue. At best, I enjoy it and renew an old hobby.
It was not a long run (not even a little) but it was hard. In a good way. I enjoyed the challenge.
Today I took a small step to do something outside my comfort zone. I have been having some fear challenges (I was going to say 'issues', but 'challenges' is more positive) in a certain area of my life that have held me back from enjoying something that I have always have. Something happened to diminish my confidence, and because this is an activity where injury is a very real possibility, dimished confidence equals fear. I have been dealing with this fear for almost two years now (with a little improvement- not enough), but I'm still not thoroughly enjoying the activity I once did. Finding excuses to not participate, etc.
Well in 2012, I would like to actively work towards a few things, and rebuilding my confidence and, as a result, enjoyment of this pastime, is one of them. Little steps definitely count. Today I stepped outside my fear just a little, to work on that. Was I nervous, yes, but I was THERE. Living. Trying. Doing instead of thinking about it. Would anyone have noticed that I was stretching myself. Probably not. I looked like I was doing something I've done and enjoyed for years. But I knew. And I was happy.
Wow. I am blown away by my 2007 awesomeness. And you will be too. When you read one post leading up to, and one post dealing with the aftermath of, my (SPOILER ALERT) failure of NABLOPOMO on Day Three of November 2007.
Post Everyday January has already made it farther than NABLOPOMO 2007. A win? I think so, my friends.
Even though my computer charger is REALLY trying to do just that. It won't stay plugged in properly so that my laptop stays charged enough for me to come up with some extremely witty and entertaining post. Instead I have to explain why I am only writing two sentences while my sidekick manually holds the charger into the power source. Sad. So...more tomorrow. Hopefully!
Sunday, November 04, 2007
BUT I WILL BE FOILED ON DAY THREE
DOH! I have failed NaBloPoMo on DAY THREE! This is a new low- even for me! The darn charger was not working again yesterday and when I tried to turn on the computer last night- NOTHING. AND my trusty sidekick was not here to hold in the charger while I frantically tried to type out at least two sentences before the computer went dead. So...no post. Day three- No Post. So...no prize for NaBloPoMo...BUT I will finish the race nonetheless. Hobbling and ragged perhaps, maybe missing a toe (Horrid Day Three NaBloPoMo Toe Accident) but I will cross the line at day 30 with 29 posts. :) Or maybe 28. Or 27. Or 26.
What can I say, I keep my goals Lofty. That's how we roll over here at Very Important Blog.
...to consider "daily posting" to include re-posts of past posts about posting?
But who cares! On with the re-post.
This is a post from 2007 when I was all geared up to POST EVERY DAY. It was GOING TO HAPPEN. I was GOING TO ACCOMPLISH MY GOALS and HAVE SUCCESS.
As I already mentioned, I didn't. But enjoy my short lived, circa 2007, enthusiasm!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!!
And here are our top stories for today:
A Very Important Blog is No Longer Doing Just. The. Bare. Minimum.: Why have we upped our standards closer to the level of our favorite Pretty Boy Brian? It's time for National Blog Posting Month that's why! I have officially signed up for NaBloPoMo which means that I will attempt to post something (anything!) each day during the month of November. Including weekends! I am hoping this will rejuvenate my Fast Becoming Boring and Stagnant and Not Very Important Blog into something resembling its Mildly Amusing But Still Not Very Important Former Self.
With any luck this will provide my Loyal Fan Base (wait a minute...what are those crickets doing in here...and is that a tumbleweed?) with something to read each day. I can't promise Quantity and I certainly can't promise Quality, but DAGNABBIT (I'm going with the whole tumbleweed/old west ghost town imagery here- work with me) I will provide you with SOMETHING.
New Domain Name- I started this blog to kind of well...make fun of blogs...but I quickly realized that it's FUN! There I said it- BLOGGING IS FUN! WHEE!!! Ahem...so anyway, when I started I used 'antiblogger' in my original domain name. However, after realizing that well...I have a Real Blog and therefore...am a Real Blogger- the ANTI didn't fit so much. And it was clunky and hard to remember. And it was starting to annoy me every time I saw it sitting there all smug at the top of my screen. So...I have a new one! The new and improved (and entirely truthful and completely un-ironic) domain name for this A Very Important Blog is...(drum rollplease)....www.hopev.com. (Side note from 2012: This domain is no longer in existence).
See! How simple and easy to remember is that?! Blogger will be rerouting everybody who types in the old one to the new one, but if you want to drop the Old Clunky One and save this New and Improved One under your 'Favorites' we here at the Very Important Blog would like to encourage that. And you do want your Blogs to express themselves don't you?
We'd also like Our Readers (again with the crickets...where are they coming from?) to start wearing more Flair while checking in on the Blog. So...while you Get Right On That, I am going to go find something that I can write about tomorrow.
Geez....one measly post and I'm already tired...so very tired...I'm just going to put my head down on the keyboard for just a ....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Thus, Eco-ing Myself was born, where cleverness happens by accident (...maybe?...) every once in awhile, but it isn't expected.
Anyhow, that blog still exists and although I don't post on it anymore, I DO still find some of the posts entertaining, so during this "Post Everyday Bootcamp Why Am I Doing This? Experiment" of this the first month of 2012- I will be reposting some of my favorites from my old blog. As not to overwhelm myself with posting EVERY. DAY. when I have not posted everyday...er...ever.
To start off, I will repost those posts having to do with the only other time I tried to post everyday, which was NABLOPOMO of 2007. (Remember NABLOPOMO? It still exists in conjunction with BlogHer.)
Well, let me tell you, NABLOPOMO 2007 was a failure for this particular blogger.
I was going to title this post "Beginnings...and Endings", but as I am trying to be positive, I want to frame my language in as positive a way as possible. Endings aren't always negative, but in the way the title would be intended, it would be negative, so...we shall go with just..."Beginnings".
2012: The Year of the Question Mark
I thought last year was the year of the question mark, but 2011 turned out to be Year of Practicing for the Year of the Question Mark. The Pre-Question Mark Question Mark, if you will.
I am so sporatic at posting that I don't know if I mentioned last year that my husband was applying for jobs that would most likely take us out of my beloved state. Last year however, he knew he had another year at his current job if things didn't pan out, so he only applied for the jobs he liked the most, leaving those that weren't that exciting to him. He got two (very impressive if I do say so myself) interviews, and was in the top two choices for both but ended up not being the first pick for either. That was ok. His job where we are is temporary, but he had another year to try again.
So this fall, the job hunt began anew, but this time more seriously. Because I am a total dork, I made a spreadsheet- and my spreadsheet tells me that he applied for 49 positions, in 29 cities, 17 states, and 3 countries (other than the US). He has gotten 12 interviews so far- which is awesome- and a few more might trickle in this month. These interviews are all over the place- pacific northwest, south, northeast, midwest, west, and the UK. So much for narrowing down my possibilities to a general area.
Since there are no jobs where we currently reside, we will be moving to an unknown location in the summer/fall of 2012- and because I have lived here, have my friends here, and family here, it is easy for me to think that some things are "ending". However, I refuse to succumb to negative word choices. Nothing is ending, old things may be changing, new things are beginning. And that is an exciting thought.
Dear Readers That Live In The Interview Cities: Be warned- I may pretend that we are friends if I am forced to move somewhere I know no one. :)