Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Last night at yoga the lovely Marigold Lamb substitute taught the class in place of my nemesis, Sunshine Wheatgrass. I got there way early, as usual, and sat in the very back in anticipation of more yoga blanket folding angst, comments about my baggy yoga pants and gym sock debacles. When Marigold walked into class (late- ahem) I breathed a sigh of relief.

Having already been to the gym yesterday morning for my regular workout I was feeling all proud and sanctimonious that I was back there again on the same day for more punishment. After all, it is the holidays and I have over-indulged just like everyone else these past few weeks. So imagine my surprise and somewhat disappointment when Marigold announced we were going to do something called "restorative yoga". What on earth is that? Isn't all yoga restorative or is the regular kind actually designed to beat you to a pulp and leave you a quadriplegic? I was drawn, yet repelled by this new concept.

At any rate, and not to belabor the point, the class was fine and very relaxing in a stretchy sort of way. I will say that I have noticed no one in yoga class except for me seems to have a sense of humor, though. After class I told Marigold that I very much enjoyed her class but we should all really be taking this "restorative" class Thursday morning ha ha. She gave me an odd look and said "well, we will be closed for the holiday but I'm sure you can do this on your own at home." So of course I felt the need to explain my joke to her by saying "No, I mean because tomorrow is New Year's Eve and we will all need some restoration the next morning ha ha." Nothing, no response, blank look. Oh well.

Just then who should walk in but Sunshine Wheatgrass, up selling, of all things! She had a handful of fliers and was talking about all of us showing up at her yoga studio Thursday morning at 10 am to participate in something called "108 Sun Supplications" or something. She handed me a flyer, calling me by name and telling me she expected to see me there Thursday morning. Never mind that it cost $20 for the privilege of getting out of bed the morning after New Year's Eve and then enduring whatever odd rituals, supplemented by heated crystals, Sunshine had cooked up for us. I said thanks and would think about it, handed the flyer to another unsuspecting soul and beat it out of there. They can have my share of supplications and hot crystals on New Year's Day. I will be at home with Paco, eating black-eyed peas and watching the Rose Bowl. On my yoga mat.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

MONDAY MUSIC (one day late)

I hope everyone had a lovely, safe and blessed holiday, whatever your religious persuasion. This week's musical selection has nothing to do with Christmas, Hannukah, New Year's or Ramadan. I just happen to love this song and it reminds me everyday how lucky I am to have Paco in my life.

Happy New Year and everyone be safe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This crucial decision tells alot about how much I care or don't care about the recipient. If I am re-gifting I tend towards gift bags, usually re-gifted gift bags (it's tough to re-gift using used wrapping paper, despite all the paper my late mother made us save by carefully unwrapping our gifts). If it's a family member I would probably go the paper route but there are so many variables I could be here all day splitting hairs. I think the recipient should just be darn glad I got 'em a frappin' gift in the first place, don't you?

After Paco and I got together I had to switch from my 'tree-in-a-box" to the real thing, albeit a tiny one. I have two huge, as in taller than my two-story house, pine trees in my front yard that started out as living Christmas trees from Home Depot. They are now blocking out the sun, threatening to displace the driveway with their wicked root system and the sap has killed the once verdant and thriving Bermuda grass that lies beneath their majestic branches. I can't wait to cut them down some day soon. Preferably right before Christmas, just to teach them who is in charge.

Yes, as of last year when one of my closest and bestest friends gifted me with one. I think she maybe thought I couldn't afford one since we had been using one made from pipe cleaners and Popsicle sticks I made in 4th grade. Bless her.

Absolutely. I have to stop here and say several things about Egg Nog. First, the low-fat version should never be sold anywhere except maybe at the little dairy stand right outside the fat farm where those folks from The Biggest Loser go to work out and try and win $100,000. Low-fat egg nog is horrid, awful and not found in nature. Second, for the best dang egg nog I have ever had, I made it from the Joy of Cooking recipe back when I was living in the U.K. and they had never heard of it over there. It had several cases of different liquors in it and put all of my British family members into a self-induced coma until Easter. Yes, it was that good. I feel sorry for people who don't know about this recipe.

Probably someone like Donald Trump but I don't know him personally and he isn't on my list so I don't care about him anyway. He has such odd hair. Maybe if he was on my list I would buy him a mirror so he could see how stupid his comb over looks, especially standing next to his latest cradle-snatched wife.

Yes, sort of. It's actually a tree ornament and is very small. Since it hangs from the tree all of the occupants are in various states of dishevelment, having to hang on for dear life to keep from falling into the tree stand water, which would not be good. I may have to strap Baby Jesus into a tiny car seat just to be on the safe side.

Despite what I know Lorrie will say if she reads this, I still love "It's a Wonderful Life". I just wish maybe "This Old House" or "Extreme Makeover" had been around back then to help spruce up George's house.

More people visiting my blog, blog ads that make lots of money and two tickets to His Majesty's inauguration.

Monday, December 22, 2008


There is a newer version of this one which was recorded by Willie Nelson, but I prefer Roy's version for this week's pick.

PLUS, the results of my HOPE HOPE HOPE contest! The winner is...Something Happened Somewhere Turning.

Congrats and please email me at and I will get your glass to you.
Happy Holidays everyone, and be safe!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


During the holidays it’s nice to think this is the Season of Hope, albeit that’s a bit of a stretch given what a mess things are out there at the moment. Still and all, there is reason for a glimmer of hope even if you have to look pretty hard for it.

My Fantastic and Amazing Holiday Giveaway is all about hope and the Grand Prize is this fabulous 2008 Christmas Glass starring none other than His Majesty, our future president, offering us HOpe HOpe HOpe!

In Comments please tell me where you find hope these days and where it may be hiding. This might help some of us out there who are a bit thin on it lately. If you put a link on your blog to my little contest and you win, I will award you an additional glass of your choosing (assuming it is in stock). Glasses can be found at this link:

Contest winner will be announced next Monday, Dec. 22. Thanks everyone and good luck!


I changed the title of my Monday Music post because 'Holiday Monday Music' didn't quite make sense. Once in a while my dyslexia rears its head ugly...urm, whatever.

I hope you enjoy this week's selection and Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This whole market crash thing has, so far, not affected us too badly since we live in a so-called "growth state". But that doesn't mean we haven't had to tighten our belts a little bit just like everybody else. Yesterday, Paco went to look at new cars since his is way over ten years old and is on its last legs. With his trade-in and some savy wheeling and dealing, he actually managed to up-grade to a much roomier, nicer ride. Plus, everytime he drives it, Oscar Meyer pays us 10 bucks plus gas. Sweet!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Holiday Greetings to everyone. I have two selections today, one is that perenenial holiday classic, "Santa Baby" as sung by Miss Eartha Kitt. This was a request from Thystle.

The second is actually a video that I couldn't figure out how to embedd here, so when your finished listening to Eartha, please change the channel and have a look and listen. This will make your day if Eartha doesn't. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Anyone who watches Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Network knows that no matter how wretched, unappealing or sinister that plate of, say ludifisk, might be he always takes two bites. If that first bite is bad you should still force down a second bite just to be sure. Sometimes first impressions can be deceiving. So it was that I have continued going to yoga class at the Y to see if my first experience with Sunshine Wheatgrass was just a one-off. Maybe she, or I, was having a bad night, Mercury was in retrograde or there was a little too much carbon monoxide in the a/c system . Come what may, I was going to give it another chance and then report my findings here...

Unfortunately, since my last run-in with Sunshine, the Yoga teacher with bad Karma, I have not had the pleasure of taking her class again. The other teacher at the Y, Marigold Lamb, had been teaching the Tuesday night class and she was just lovely. Patient, happy in her own skin and thankfully lacking any serious OCD symptoms or psychotic behaviors . So imagine my surprise last night when I walked into class to discover Sunshine, Marigold's evil twin, was there to teach the class instead. Daunted but unyielding this time, I took a deep breath and found a place to unroll my mat. I knew after my first run-in with Sunshine not to wear gym socks or baggy pants to class and that yoga blankets had to be folded in a certain way, seams forward and fringe to the back. Last night I was not wearing socks but was sporting baggy yoga pants. And I had already decided no one was telling me how to fold my damn yoga blanket. I knew all about Sunshine's near-pathological focus on blanket folding and the sin of baggy pants and I was determined to stand my ground on both points. Someone had to draw a line in the sand.

Minding my own business and trying very hard not to make eye contact with Sunshine, I picked up two blankets from the cart, sat down on my mat and started stretching out until class began. At this point someone else in the class apparently started folding their blankets incorrectly, setting off a small tidal wave of dismay with Sunshine. I thought this was my opportunity to quietly fold my blankets while she was distracted with the other student, but I was sorely mistaken. Instead of focusing on my classmate, Sunshine zeroed in on my efforts, this time coming over to sit next to me on my mat and show me the correct Sunshine Wheatgrass-approved method of blanket folding. I was having none of it, however:

SW: Here, let me show you how to fold your blankets (reaching over to grab them from me)

RL: No, I like them just as they are, thanks.

SW: But that isn’t the correct way to fold them.

RL: I don’t care. They’re the way I want to fold them.

SW: (looking aggitated and suddenly in need of medication) Well, can you at least please smooth them out neatly?

RL: No. I like them wrinkled.

Sunshine genuinely looked ill and panicky as soon as I said I was leaving the blanket in its current unkempt state. She jumped up off my mat, hitting me in the face with her long, braided salt and pepper pony tail. The sound of her jingly anklet bells followed her back to her own mat at the front of the class. She was not happy with me and I could see a determined look on her face. If she could not force me to comply with the order of her own Bizarre Universe, she would bully me into it. Sunshine fixed her gaze upon me...

SW: So, I don't believe I know your name.

RL: My name is Racie.

SW: Oh, is that a family name?

RL: Yes, I am named after my paternal grandmother. She was a famous exotic dancer.

SW: Oh, I see. Well, how long have you been studying yoga, Racie?

RL: A few years, off and on. And I wouldn't say I study it exactly. More like I just audit it now and then.

SW: And is there a particular school of yoga you follow?

RL: No, not really. I think they all have their own attributes. I couldn't even name them for you. It's sort of like art. I don't know the artist's names or style, but I know what I like.

Frustrated because she could not draw me into a conversation about specifics and thereby embarrass me by my lack of knowledge, Sunshine turned her attention back to the class and we got started. We began in the seated lotus position and after clasping our hands in prayer and doing three OLMS in rapid succession, Sunshine greeted everyone with the following question:

SW: Hello, everyone and welcome to Tuesday evening yoga class. My name is Sunshine and I am substituting for Marigold tonight. I would like to begin by first asking if there is anyone in the class who is having their menstrual cycle (there were no takers and I did not return her glare).

We began our routine with the Downward Dog, a position I felt fairly comfortable with. As I dutifully stretched my legs as far back as I could get them and bowed my head, Sunshine came up to my left side and grabbed my waist with both hands. Yanking me violently upwards, she said "Racie, you are way too low. You must be much higher (yank). There, that's better." I said nothing, mostly because I was struggling to breath and thought she might have punctured a lung.

Recovering somewhat from her first assault, I was making sure my legs were as straight as I could get them while still attempting to touch the floor with my folded elbows. Once again, Sunshine walked over to my mat. "All of you who continue to show up in class wearing baggy yoga pants, I can still tell if you have your knees together or not."

I knew I was getting to her.

About half through class the door suddenly opened and Marigold, the kind and gentle other yoga teacher, walked in. How odd, I thought, as she dropped her mat and started to squinch in between me and the person behind me. Was I being double-teamed? Did Sunshine have a secret floor buzzer under her mat and had called for back up after my early passive-agressive behavior? Hard to say.

The rest of the class proceeded more or less without incident, other than when I turned around to get my blankets for the last sequence of moves and they were- missing! Someone had moved them across to the opposite side of the room. I could only think it was Marigold, doing Sunshine's dirty work for her. Maybe she wasn't as innocent as I first thought. I made a mental note to keep my eye on her from now on as I went to retrieve my (now) neatly folded blankets.

Class ended and I actually thanked Sunshine for the class and said I enjoyed it and would be back. I have decided that having stood my ground she will back off next time and leave me in karmic peace. That doesn't mean, however, that I might not still find a dead fish wrapped in newspaper on my front porch some day soon. Written in Sanskrit, of course.