climbing, ashtanga, KUT, KoToR

Nothing special going on this week. Just slogging through the second-to-last week of school for Leslie. I’ve never anticipated the end of someone else’s year so much. We all know why it will be nice for her to finish. In addition, I’m selfishly looking forward to getting up at 8 again (die, alarm, die).

I bought a membership at a nearby climbing gym, and I’ve been trying to go a few times a week. I’m getting my old strength back quickly, which is encouraging. When I started, it was clear I didn’t have the mettle I did when I left UT. I’ve also been trying to go yoga every week, which is fine, except that there is really only one place in the south bay I can go to. The teacher there, while good, is a little too hardcore. He told me last week that he doesn’t think I should come to the led classes anymore, that “it’s time to take the training wheels off.” What this means is that I’m supposed to come several times a week (6, ideally) in the morning from 6:30-8:00 to do ashtanga so I can “move my practice forward.” Now, I would love to be able to do ashtanga 6 times a week. I’m sure I’d be in great shape if I did. But I’m just not going to rise at 5:15 every morning to drive to Mountain View and pay $11 a class for the pleasure.

Some people see yoga as a part of a religion, or a way to find personal spirituality. To them, it’s less about exercise and more about some abstract concept like wholeness or meditation. Some even pay exorbitant amounts of money to go to india and be abused. They say that if you’re only thinking about the physical aspect, you’re not doing yoga. You’re just stretching. I’d agree to an extent. Except ashtanga is the most ass-kicking type of streching that I’ve even done in my life. It makes me feel looser, gives me more energy, and makes almost all of my aches and pains disappear. The trouble is, the people who often embrace the religious aspects of yoga the most are the teachers. So, as I get better and want to learn more stuff, I have to put up with more spiritual mumbo-jumbo. Can’t I just do second series without bowing to the lotus-feet of Patanjali?

mayurasana pose

I had a great instructor in Austin who wasn’t at all hung up about the spiritual stuff, but now I’m stymied by the new age hippies here in the Bay.

Leslie suggested that when we’re looking for a new apartment, we could try to find a place that has a hardwood floor so that I could do yoga at home (carpet is too squishy, bad for the wrists). Brilliant. And George will be here soon, to the east, so hopefully that might motivate me to find another place to do ashtanga.

Another great thing that happened recently: I discovered that KUT is now offering an MP3 stream of their station. So now I can listen to Eklektikos with John Aielli every morning at work. It’s helped me to miss Austin a little less.

One other thing. I have sworn off the Xbox for various rational and irrational reasons, but I’ve still been taunted by a couple of games that have come out for it: Knights of the Old Republic and Halo. So, I pieced together a Windows (shudder) computer from spare parts I had, and bought a copy of the game for PC. It is indeed great. It offers more lattitude in the way you solve problems than I’ve seen in an RPG in a long time. Example: yesterday I had to work logarithms to solve a puzzle. If I’d wanted to, I could have solved the same problem by interrogating a prisoner or simply blasting my way through a bunch of guards. Also, you have the macroscopic option of choosing the light side or the dark side of the force. I’ve gone the light side, mostly because I made the decision early before I realized that being dark wasn’t a disadvantage. But the two paths are rich enough that I could see myself playing through again as dark just to see how evil I could get. Also, the game is broad enough that I’ve never felt hung up or frustrated, and it’s full of optional quests and side games. I haven’t once felt the need to hit up gamefaqs.

T-minus 7 days of teaching left for Leslie.

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