body and soul

Happy Ronni is Happy! (Multimedia)

It has been a few weeks of friends old and new, family, pampering, love, delicious anticipation, and spiritual fulfillment. :) Let’s see. My last update was May 23rd. Since then, Adam and I have decorated the back porch. He stained the wood, we got some flowers and hanging plants, and new chairs.

Butterfly In The Sky
Butterflies like my new flowers, too.

It’s such a nice place to sit and read when it’s warm out. Helps that we got some new neighbors who are cool and friendly. The yippy dog from next door moved to California, so it’s been pretty quiet around these parts. That will change Tuesday, when AIDAN gets here!!!

He gets into town Tuesday morning. Tomorrow will be a busy day of trying to meet up with (more) old friends, a doctor’s appointment, and the finishing touches on Aidan’s room. It should go fast. Then, Wednesday, Eli & Melissa get into town, so we’ll all get to spend time together. I’m excited to see them! I haven’t seen them since January 2009, and they’ve never met Aidan. I’d better get my cameras all charged up!

My friend Claudia Gray flew off to Rome for the summer last week, but the Friday before she left, she came over for dinner. Adam grilled steaks and veggies, made homemade mashed potatoes (honestly, are there any other kind?), and corn on the cob. For dessert, we had shortcake cups, fresh blueberries and strawberries, French vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. We ate VERY WELL. We also talked muchly about yoga, and watched Doctor Who. While she was here, apparently Critical Mass took a turn to my neighborhood. I have never seen so many people riding bikes before in my life. They just kept coming and coming and coming, and yelling “HAPPY FRIDAY.” Some had on weird hats. Some rode funny-looking bikes. It was mind-blowing. You can see the video here. You’ll hear me yelling and see Claudia’s lavender nails make a few cameos. :)

It was a great evening!

Earlier that day, Adam and I went downtown to meet Angelo, one of my best friends, who was in town for the weekend. We had lunch at Chipotle, the first time I’d eaten there in years:

Angelo & Me
Angelo & Me

Saturday the 29th, I went to the Moksha Yoga in Logan Square to support my friend/teacher trainee Cassandra who was doing a video review. It was a free class and an easy train ride, so why not, right? It was great. Then after that, Adam and I went to Margie’s Candies where I had my favorite Swiss Miss sundae. This sundae is so good. I’m sure you remember me going on about it in the past, right? You two scoops of ice cream, whatever flavors you want (I always get chocolate and vanilla), whipped cream, nuts (which I pass on), a wafer cookie, and a cherry, and warm chocolate-marshmallow sauce. HEAVEN! The first picture is my ice cream pre-sauced. The second…well, you know. Yum.

Ice Cream! Ice Cream Part II!

Last week was a spectacularly good week, with the exception of me forgetting about my downloads and losing $6.50 for the month. I was annoyed at first, but chalked it up to a lesson learned. DON’T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD MY 12 SONGS FOR THE MONTH. Actually, last month it was 22 because I’d gotten the 10 free ones, but I think I’d gotten a few at least. Still. Oh well. Let it go. Om.

Besides THAT little hiccup, I had a good week. Wednesday, I got a pedicure and a massage, went to meet some other creative folks, and had a fun evening. Thursday was a yoga class with Cassandra that was the perfect length. Just as I was starting to get very tired, it was time for Savasana–Corpse Pose. There are some poses I am not a fan of (ahem, most standing poses except Wide Leg Stretch–Prasarita Padottanasana and Intense Forward Stretch–Uttananasa), but I do them because I am getting stronger physically and mentally. My favorites are sitting or lying down poses that twist and stretch me (I like to kick, stretch, and KICK!). Backbends, and Shoulderstand–Sarvangasana, make me all kinds of happy, too. I guess I could say yoga makes me happy, even when I am in the middle of a Triangle-Side Angle-Warrior II sequence and my arms are SCREAMING at me. I plan to take a class with master teacher Seane Corn this summer. How amazing will that be?

Anyway, Thursday night, had a delicious dinner of hickory-smoked tilapia and creamy parmesan risotto. My mouth is STILL watering thinking about it. So OK, the really good risotto might be $3 a box, but it’s still cheaper than eating out, and it’s good for us, right? (But now, I’m obsessed with grain. I got some couscous and other grains at the store today. Can’t wait to NOM!)

Friday, Adam and I went to the library. I love the library. I’ve already read some of my books. :O Speaking of that, I finished reading my 100th new book of 2010 today!! *golf claps* I wonder if I can get to 200 before the year is out? That would be a personal best. Friday evening, I went to the Life Force Arts Center to see my friend, my favorite gypsy, the amazingly talented musician and performer S.J. Tucker (aka s00j). She was so awesome! She is so tiny but her presence is so big, and her voice. It’s like angels. I could listen to her sing all day. It’s just so flawless and beautiful. To top it all off, I got to bask in many, many, many s00j hugs. They *should* hold me over until November, because I am definitely going to see her perform with her band Tricky Pixie at Windy Con. It just has to be done. The decision’s been made, there’s nothing I can do. If you heard their album Mythcreants (which, OMG you can hear in its entirety on that nifty little link there… and holy bananas and chicken, there are several FREE downloads there. I recommend Daughter of the Glade.), you’d understand why I am so adamant about attending to see them live. Adam and I had to miss OVFF last year which we are still sad about (because everyone we love was there: Tony & Vixy, Seanan McQuire, and s00j!). But we’ll get to see Talis Kimberly at DucKon in a few weeks, so I guess it all evens out in the end.

Here are a couple of photos of s00j:

SJ Tucker SJ Wailing Kevin & SJ

And here’s me, basking in some s00j love:

Me & SJ Tucker

Saturday was… wow, I can’t remember. Just relaxing inside, I think. Oh, and I managed to eat an entire pint of organic strawberries in one day. How awesome is that? I mean, they’re good for me, right? *innocent look* Speaking of being good to my body, I haven’t had McDonald’s since May 8th, and I haven’t had pop since April 4th. The McDonald’s fast MIGHT get broken on Tuesday, though. Every time I go to the airport to get Aidan, I crave the stuff. We’ll see if I can resist!

OK. This entry has gone on long enough. ‘Til next time! :)

P.S. Just found out they played a Deathly Hallows trailer on MTV tonight. Seeing as we don’t have cable, I had no clue. But I saw it on YouTube. Very excited about this movie! OK, good night/morning. :)

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Feeling Kinda Zen…. (Pictures, Long)

Woo Hoo!
O hai! I’m on my way to Schaumburg! Look how excited I am!!!

With the exception of a headache, I feel pretty good today. I went to a new yoga class today, Mindful Vinyasa, and it was really amazing. It’s getting to the point where my body craves yoga practice, and if I skip one for any reason, I feel all knotted. AND, apparently, I have bad dreams! Last night/this morning, I dreamed that I went to class and went to unroll my mat and it was all ripped apart! Eeek?!

Fortunately, the are 57 classes that I can always make up if I have to miss. :)

I’ve been practicing yoga in this classroom/studio setting for more than a month now, and already, I’m stronger in some ways. Weak in others, but that’s the beauty of yoga. We’re all different. Everyone has their own practice, and it’s OK not to be perfect all the time. Such a refreshing view to have (and a hard one to learn in this competitive society). So, I plan to continue practicing and learning and growing. Plus, I meet the most incredible people there. Even if we only touch lives for a brief moment, it’s a gorgeous moment.

I went to the library today. Got out a bunch of awesome ones, but before I read those, I’m going to finish Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti. I had the pleasure of meeting her Wednesday evening at Anderson’s Bookshop in Downer’s Grove. (I just have to say, that if I ever move from the Chicago area, I will miss Anderson’s a great deal.)

Anyway, getting to Downer’s Grove SUCKED. I swear, it’s rush hour ALL the time in Chicago. Still, once we got there, I got to spend hours in a bookstore and eat yummy pizza in a cool-looking pizza place, so that was cool. And meeting Susane was such a treat! She’s hilarious and so much fun! I love how candid she is. Here are some pix from that night:

Susane Colasanti and Me
Me and Susane. Isn’t she so pretty?? Pictures don’t do this woman justice, just sayin’.

Susane loves her some cupcakes, so when someone brought her some, she was totally thrilled:

Susane Colasanti

AND then Susane shared them with us!!!

They were red velvet and totally yummy!

This week was busy. Not that I can remember WHY, but it was. Yesterday, we headed out to Schaumburg so Adam could do an Author Event. It was interesting. The Schaumburg Township District Library, though? OMG. Amazing and awesome. Five star. I didn’t know libraries had a rating system but apparently they do (and Columbus Metropolitan is a five-star library too, but I’m not surprised by that at ALL). This library. People. It’s crazy. Bright and welcoming. Board games and computers and books and books and books. NEW books! And the best part is that they let Chicago library card holders borrow books as visitors. :) It’s like Heaven on Earth for me. I wish it was next door to me. I took out books last week when we were there for a different Author Event type deal that Adam was filling in for, and returned them yesterday. Today, we went to one of the Chicago branch libraries, which is five million times more pleasant than going downtown to Harold Washington, where I rarely feel welcome at all.

So… how awesome was Betty White on SNL last weekend? I hadn’t watched SNL in years, but I made an exception for this. She was hilarious! I was also very excited to see the return of some of my favorite SNL Ladies, Molly Shannon and Maya Rudolph especially.

Flowers are blooming like crazy all over the neighborhood:

Flower In the Neighborhood Flower In the Neighborhood
Flower In the Neighborhood Flower In the Neighborhood

And this is on the ground on the way to the yoga studio. I don’t know.


Hmm, what else?

· Adam and I have been trying to eat better, thanks to watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. This result of this is that there are snow peas in the house almost all the time. And BEAN SPROUTS! And clementines! I try to eat something raw every day, even if it’s just a little bit. Less processed, more real please!

· In 25 days, Aidan will be here for the summer! Woohoo!

· Still enjoying the new Doctor, even though some of the episodes are a great big cup of wtf.

· I am sooo behind on emails, game requests, etc. I’ll get to them. Eventually.

· I’ve been going through and editing the categories/tags on my old entries. Unfortunately, I thought (wrongly) that the updated entries would simply update on LJ. Oh no, the cross-poster cross posted the entries AGAIN. So I have doubles of a lot of my LJ entries from before 2010. It’s a PITA to go and individually delete thousands of LJ entries, so they are just going to be some doubles in the archives.

· Adam and I can’t take Aidan to Disney World this year, so of course I’m getting all kinds of emails from Disney Destinations with all these fantastic deals! They’re driving me crazy. If only I could get a huge, crazy windfall….

· Excited about … well never mind. Adam interrupted me to tell me something and I forgot. :O

That’s all for now. About to watch some Molly Shannon and chill out. ‘Til next time! :)

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Body and Soul (cont.)

Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices. ~Shana Alexander

In a few weeks, it will have been an entire year since I’ve had a relaxer. I think I’m ready to finally do the Big Chop. Frankly, quite a bit of the relaxed hair has broken off anyway, especially in the back. I’m ready to start playing with my natural curls. ALL natural curls. Not this half and half crap.

As long as I’ve been doing my own hair, it’s been straight. Either my mom was using the hot comb or I was getting a relaxer (that we used to call a perm). So I’ve always dealt with “straight” hair. Now I’m relearning how to style and care for my hair and it hasn’t been all that easy. Still, I’ve lasted a year without using the “creamy crack.” Now I just have to let go of all the relaxed hair and know that I’m going to have really short hair for a while. That’s going to be a challenge as well, but I’m determined to break through it.

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Body and Soul

I have discovered yoga. And it is good.

Well, that’s not true. The just discovering bit, I mean. I’d started doing bits and pieces of yoga back in 2005, but I definitely did not practice regularly. Just a DVD now and then, or the Wii Fit every once in a while, and flipping through pages in my yoga book. But lately, I’ve been feeling all bunched up. Just crunched and squished and small. I want to feel lean and lithe. Plus my upper back between my shoulder blades was kind of stiff. I know what it’s from. It’s from a winter of being hunched over, typing/playing on my laptop, or curled up reading, and not stretching and moving.

But that’s changing. I found a yoga center that is walking distance from my apartment, and I dropped in for three classes last week. It’s kind of a luxury, but it’s kind of not. The drop-in classes aren’t terribly expensive, and I feel like there is already a difference in how aware I am of my body, my breathing, and my posture. It’s helping me with my attitude. (I am still kinda complainy/whiny, but that has more to do with whether or not I take my medication correctly than anything else.) At the end of class, the instructor tells us to go about with gratitude in our hearts, and I feel disappointed because I haven’t concentrated on being thankful for things so much lately. I feel like this is going to keep me healthy on so many levels, so it’s something I need to be willing to make sacrifices for.

The soul thing is an side effect that I didn’t expect, but it’s a pleasant surprise. I like how they tell us to really pay attention to the sensations in our bodies. How that feels, and how it affects what’s going on in our minds. Tuesday, I did Tantric Vinyasa 1-2, Wednesday I did Vinyasa 1-2, and Friday, I did Ashtanga 1-2. So far, my favorites are Tantric Vinyasa and Ashtanga. I can’t even describe how I felt coming out of those classes. It was good, though. One day, I’d like to try hot yoga.

I have a habit of starting things, getting into them gung-ho, then abandoning them. I am not proud of that. I’m going to try to keep that from happening with this. It’s too good for me.

And now for a bit of fun….

I’m a Balanced Yogi!

Take the Yoga Journal Yoga Snob Quiz!

Hee hee, the girl in the cartoon even kinda looks like me! I have a pink mat and I always wear a headband!

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