Monday, January 23, 2012

When You Fall, The Stairs Won't Catch You

Since living in my current place of residence I have had a falling accident on two separate occasions. I should put out there that I never claim to be the most graceful of human beings, I fall quite often, and quite dramatically. As a person who always finds another person falling hilarious, I look at it as some sort of karmic retribution. I have fallen up stairs, slid down stairs, fallen trying to skim board in the snow (there I should point out that I didn't skim board, I stepped upon the skim board and promptly fell), fallen on my knees in school, in the snow, on the ski slopes. I fall all the time, and always with an operatic shriek.

The other day, when the house was full of people (of course, I have never once fallen without an audience), I was scrambling down the steps when at the top of the landing I missed one. Since my arms were full I had nothing to catch myself with and instead went toppling forward down the steps. It's an odd sensation, falling head first down the steps. I hit the carpeted staircase with a scream and an "oh my god!" fully aware that I was most definitely attracting unwanted attention. Those around me began to murmor and cry out, "oh dear," they said, and "oh my" too. I reciprocated with my own yelp and continued my tumble, losing my camera to the laminate floor ahead.

I thought I could steady myself, gripping the carpet desperately to stop my descent, however I seemed to have gained enough momentum that I toppled forward further. At the bottom of the stairs I was shocked, people were rushing about me asking if I was alright. I assured them that I was, but I could not abide by my normal rule of falling and laugh it off. That is key kids, LAUGH OFF your falling. Everyone else wants to laugh at you, you might as well too. Instead, I burst into tears of embarrassment, which actually worked quite well to repel some of the people around me. Making people uncomfortable is a VERY effective way to get people away from you, I would know.

The thing I was most struck by was how ridiculous I must have looked, toppling and shrieking down the steps. One of my dear friends described it as when a plank on an uneven surface is disrupted. Another girl assured everyone that I was not hurt, I fell too slowly to be hurt. Excellent.

I was not in fact hurt, my ankle betrayed a bit of rug burn later in the evening however it was only the sting of extreme embarrassment that I felt that fateful night.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How Yoga Deceived Me

As the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2011, millions drank from their champagne flutes to celebrate the new year and their resolutions, which probably include not drinking from champagne flutes as often. We all know they will inevitably fail. My ambitious New Year's resolution was to do at least one physical activity a day. So, in attempting to satisfy my baleful resolution, when my mother and sister bombarded me early-ish in the morning (during winter break, mind you) to ask me to come to a yoga class with them, I acquiesced.
"It will be great!" my mother squeaked, clapping her hands. "We will work out and then get green drink!"
Hold up. Whaddahell is green drink. I accepted, in my mind, that it was some sort of magical concoction of the Yogi gods, akin to ambrosia or, the Ferraro gods and their creation of Nutella (one can only hope anything will taste as good as Nutella but, of course, that is a FOOL'S DREAM.) Alas, we departed for the Yoga studio.


Upon arrival, I already knew something was awry. Eleven dollar smoothies. I would be getting no drink of the gods.

I grabbed some squishy yoga mat and walked up the narrow, spiral, wrought-iron staircase only to see that we were slightly late. Everyone was already in some position that looked like they were bowing to the petite and perky blond leading the pack. The room was a stifling 90 degrees and I was wearing sweatpants. Intentional increase in temperature - This MUST be hell. Even worse, the room was already crowded with different types of women: one, a hardcore, warrior-woman whose every move was like a blade slicing the air and making it bleed, another an obese soccer mom who somehow managed to bend in ways that seemed impossible for a woman of her girth. The rest seemed like bored housewives looking for a way to keep their husbands interested, and peppered here and there were the incomprehensibly sweaty men - some old, some young but with weird hairlines.

I was forced to lay my mat front and center. Everyone was watching as I got into the bow-down-to-me position, or, as I thought as soon as I bent down, the I'm-going-to-fart-in-this-poor-unsuspecting-woman's-face position.

What happened next, I can't event manage to describe. My body was manipulated in strange ways.. it turned out that the class was not, in fact, the relaxing Yoga I had signed up for, but a terribly demanding and rigorous Power Vinyasa class.

"Okay, now downward dog, Brrreeeeeeeathe throughthevinyasa, scorpion, eeeeeexhalle slooooowly.. BACKintodownwarddog, bring both feet up to your palms on the outside of either wrist, exteeeeeeeend, exteeeend again, Reeeeach UP! (absolute silence.. a stoic face) Tree pose. Breathe, and relax.

How the hell do I relax when I've been called multiple animals and a tree and didn't have any idea what a vinyasa was until I was forced into one. I still don't know what it is. All I know is that at one point, my foot was too close to the lip on the wall on which a little incense burner sat. I knocked it off and it clamored to the floor, as a result, my form suffered, leading the the instructor personally walking over to me and correcting my form. Remember, I am at the front of the class.

All in all, this wasn't a terrible experience. I could have actually fallen over like my poor sister did. Arms, chest, legs, butt, nearly everything, aching, I left the deceitful "yoga" class with a dazed expression. Jovial women smiled at each other and said, "Oh, let's come back tomorrow!" All I could think was, girl you CRAY.

Namaste.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Profile of a Pretentious English Major

As an English major myself, I have supreme authority on spotting the pretentious ones in our fine academic program. You've probably noticed these overzealous, brooding, kind of squirrelly people in your class before. Let's discuss them shall we?

There are two classes of pretentious English majors. The first we'll call The Brooding Coffee Shop Kids. They'll reveal themselves BCSK the first time they open their mouths in class. Not even in answering a question, it will be in their introduction. First, they will be tiny, with an impossibly small BMI. You will NEVER see a fat BCSK. Second, if they are female they will be wearing a scarf. They will not wear this scarf like you or I might, they will have no slack, it will be wrapped firmly and totally around their neck. If they are a man, they will more than likely have a beard, a creepy wispy one, and they WILL be wearing skinny jeans. In fact, all BCSK will be wearing skinny jeans. If these men don't have a beard, they will probably have an odd hat on, various styles apply. When asked what they've read lately they will probably not be telling the truth. They will reply with the following writers, Samuel Beckett, Henry James, James Joyce, or they may even throw you a curve ball and say they've read some sort of complex study lately. They will never reply with either of the Brontes, Austen, Shakespeare, or anyone from the American Modernist movement (except maybe Hemingway). They've read all those books when they were twelve or younger.

These people will not be overly participatory in class. In fact their comments will be limited. They will only open their mouths when they are utterly frustrated with the drivel coming out of everyone else's mouth. They will then become an active participant until you feel so stupid and demoralized, you concede their point. They do not show up to class every day; their presence will be limited. They have more important things to do and read than what's going on in your class.

The second kind of pretentious English major is the highly squirrelly, highly participatory, highly annoying one. These are the people that wear cat ears to class, have a glassy appearance of eagerness, and should blush at sex but talk enough about phallic imagery to make everyone else cringe. Their hair will probably be short, and if it is long, it will be greasy. This group of people is mostly made up of women, small and chubby, bouncing off their seats to talk about Chaucer and chivalry. They will raise their hand every time they have a point to make, it will always be satisfactory, but you will wonder what hole they climb into when the day closes.

It remains to be seen which of these classes of people are less annoying, or more preferable to have in your class. Perhaps, the BCSK would be better if you're really interested in learning about literature. But you'll definitely feel better about yourself when you're confronted with the squirrelly hat wearing ones.