I’m a Centurion!

Okay, that’s not true. I’m not an officer of a long-since disbanded Roman army, maurauding the hilltops of the world as they knew it at the time. But I did just notice that, officially, The View From the Bay has reached one hundred (100!) posts and I feel like this is kind of a big deal.

Seeing as how I am the author of this blog, I feel a bit like I have commanded a regiment of one hundred rowdy rabblerousers over the years. After all, some of my posts have seemed to take on a life of their own, refusing to pay attention or follow my orders. They don’t always straighten up and fly right, you know.

One hundred. Wow. Time flies when you’re writing for fun! Thanks for reading!

I feel like I should celebrate. Nothing too fancy, of course. Maybe just a cake. This will do nicely:

If not to celebrate 100 posts, then when, I ask you, WHEN?

If not to celebrate 100 posts, then when, I ask you, WHEN?


Floss and Travel.

I’ll admit it: I’m jealous of my dental floss. And not because it comes in a sparkly container, either, though, I must say, the glitter is a nice touch. Thank you, Oral B Complete! You sure know how to make a girl happy to floss. Actually, that’s not true. When it comes to flossing, I’m tempted to skip it pretty much every single night: I AM A BUSY PERSON AND IT TAKES LIKE SIXTY WHOLE SECONDS. Only my guilt is responsible for my flossing. Luckily, at least for my dental health, I am Catholic and have a pretty solid supply of guilt.

No, the thing about my dental floss that makes me jealous is that it’s been to Ireland and I have not (yet). I am from Nova Scotia, which is pretty darn close (at least in the Celtic sense; not geographically speaking). I just never realized my oral hygiene supplies could be so worldly.

I'm not sure if it's more interesting that my floss is from Ireland, or that I find it so interesting.

I’m not sure whether it’s more interesting that my floss is from Ireland, or that I find it so interesting that is so interesting. Wait, what?

First of all, who knew Ireland was a major player in the battle against plaque, gingivitis and those little popcorn bits that get wedged waaaay in there? Not me, that’s for sure. It’s kind of a refreshing surprise, finding out my floss came from the Emerald Isle, instead of a country whose business practices make me feel guilty for my purchasing decisions (didn’t I say I have an inexhaustible supply of guilt?).

Also, I never realized dental floss could expire. What happens in May 2014? Does it just disintegrate? Disappear? Poof—my floss ceases to exist, leaving behind a trail of minty sparkles? Does it no longer glide between the nooks and crannies of my dentition? How can floss have an expiration date? Or does my floss know something I don’t? Is it the new Mayan calendar? And if that’s the case, THEN I SURELY DON’T WANT TO WASTE TIME FLOSSING! I’VE GOT LIFE TO LIVE! I NEED TO GET TO IRELAND BEFORE NEXT MAY! What else is going to expire that I haven’t worried about already? My cutlery? Our table?

Anyway, I just found it interesting. After all, floss is not what I would have thought of as a major export from Ireland. Guinness, perhaps, but floss? Huh.

Yeah. I didn’t have a great topic picked for today. I know.


It’s okay to be pretty.

Did you see the now-infamous, undeniably depraved and clearly malevolent Dove Real Beauty Sketch video? The one that cruelly touts that we are “more beautiful than we think”? I mean, dear lord, what are advertisements coming to? If you have yet to view it, here you go. Prepare to be inspired or offended.

Maybe you already saw it: “Oh no,” you cry, “not that again!” Yes. That again. I saw the video and I thought it was a really cool concept. It touched on an idea I’ve been facing frequently lately in my coaching training, which is how warped our self-image or self-concept can be.

We get to decide who we are (and how we look), but some of us—most of us, I’d assert, myself included—tend to focus only on our flaws and shortcomings. The parts we can’t stand about ourselves. Just for the record, I’m not just talking about the fact I don’t have a cute little ski-jump nose or a gentle smattering of freckles just across the afore-mentioned adorable schnoz. I’m looking more at who I am being at the core of me, and realizing that I’m none too gentle when it comes to how I hold myself.

Now. You guys, this video has really pissed some people off. And I can sort of get it, at least inasmuch as having discussed it with those I know who are annoyed by their interpretation of the video’s message. I can understand what they’re saying, but honestly, I just don’t agree. I don’t think that the video is intending to subversively undermine women’s rights/intelligence/worth. At least, that’s not how I chose to watch it (again, I kind of think we can decide how we choose to receive it).

I saw women describe themselves the way most of us (men and women) do: Critically. Not particularly kindly, because a kind description isn’t a realistic one, in our society. We don’t compliment ourselves, because that is considered gratuitous and self-centred. Shallow.

I don’t think the ad pointed out that women are only the sum of their facial features and heaven help them if those features aren’t interesting and symmetrical at the same time. I didn’t hear anyone say, “My nose is a little too big, and I’m unintelligent.” The ad is for a company that makes body wash, soap and deodorant. I don’t understand why they would be talking about IQ and career accomplishments. That’s not the point of their Real Beauty campaign. Seems a bit like getting annoyed you can’t buy milk in a shoe store, to me. Seems a bit like people just want to be pissed off, in my opinion. The point is that we are all beautiful, no matter how our genes are put together. WHAT A TERRIBLE THING TO SAY! LET US TAKE UP ARMS AND VOICE OUR DISCONTENT!

I personally appreciate the message that beauty doesn’t fall into one narrow category, as defined by fashion magazines and Hollywood A-lists. I personally like the idea of encouraging people to be comfortable and find beauty in their own skin. To be kinder to themselves. To hold their self-image a little more gently. For crying out loud, it’s really, really hard to do that these days.

And why is it so bad to want to be pretty, anyway? Based on the conversations I had about this video, it really seemed like people are holding it as an either/or. Either you can be intelligent and powerful and effective or you can want to be pretty. Why can’t you be smart and accomplished and still think of yourself as attractive? So what if I like to wear some makeup? I don’t enjoy eyeshadow because I’m full of self-loathing. I like to wear makeup because it allows me to have fun and be creative in my expression of myself.

I don’t think it’s really such a bad thing if someone wants to consider themselves in a favourable light. I also don’t think it’s the only thing a person’s got going for them (unless we’re talking about my cat, Maui, who really is just pretty at the expense of just about any other positive quality).

After all, we choose our clothing according to our definition of style. Fashion is in the eye of the beholder. We pay stylists to cut our hair and arrange it (though the outcome is more of a daily surprise in my case). We dress up for special events.

Pretending appearances don’t matter is not realistic. Human beings are aesthetic creatures. We are biologically drawn to beauty. We find beauty in the world around us: In a sunset’s golden rays, an unfurling rose, a musical melody or a delicious meal. That’s pretty natural. The world is beautiful. Nature is beautiful. We are drawn to our friends and our family and the features of their faces are welcoming and appreciated. We are drawn to our partners, by glances from afar that inspire shyness on a first date. We find them attractive, but that doesn’t mean that their looks are the only thing that we value about them.

I find it interesting that so many people seem determined to find a negative in this video campaign. It seems a bit pessimistic to me. I mean, people have gotten angry. I have other stuff to be angry about, I guess. Personally, I found the concept to be innovative and thought-provoking. Interesting. Refreshing. A reminder to extend to ourselves the kindness we reserve for others.

I admit it: I like being pretty, myself. At least, my definition of it. And I don’t think that I can only be pretty at the expense of being smart (or kind or creative or fun or accomplished or generous or any other damn thing I want to be). I think I can be all of it. It’s my choice. It’s yours, too.

Dare I ask? What did you think of the video?

Scaredy Pajama Pants

I should not watch scary movies. I’d like to say I just shouldn’t watch them alone, but honestly, it’s not any better when I watch them with friends. I know this. I’ve known this fact roughly two weeks longer than forever.

The final nail in the coffin (you see what it does to me? I start getting all morbid and using death-y sayings) was watching The Strangers with Ben and Ashley, about 3 years ago. Adam was in Vancouver on a co-op term and he wouldn’t have watched it anyway because he doesn’t like to be scared (smartypants). Ashley watched most of it from the safety of the stairwell where she couldn’t actually see the screen, but pieced it all together based on the audio, combined with the look of abject terror on my face. Well, the abject terror that was visible above the pillow I was strangle-holding against me. I may or may not have been chewing on the pillow in distress.

That movie freaking TERRIFIED me. What do you mean, “because you were home.” Could that ending BE any creepier? I submit that it could not. But did I learn my lesson? Yes, of course. I never watched a scary movie again, because it is dumb to do something you don’t enjoy and I’m a grown up and no one can force me to watch a movie I don’t want to watch.


No, I didn’t learn. I then watched Paranormal Activity with Ben and Ashley, figuring it was clearly make-believe so I wouldn’t have to be scared of it happening to me. That’s pretty rational, isn’t it? I mean, obviously, my condo isn’t haunted by a demon and therefore I am A-okay. Except that it turns out that being rational isn’t possible when you become haunted by a bloody movie. Seriously, you guys. I didn’t sleep for days. I didn’t sleep well for weeks. I couldn’t get a particular image out of my mind—and no, I won’t tell you what it is, because then I’d be remembering it all over again and I don’t need that, thank you very much, but it gives me this reaction—and I was scared to fall asleep. I tucked myself into bed like a tightly wound burrito, lest any evil breezes ruffle my sheets. Because malevolent spirits are impassably thwarted by bedsheets, of course. I depended on the cats’ peaceful sleeping to reassure me that I was safe (Maui is DEFINITELY too paranoid to let a demon reside in the same room as her without a LOT of hissing).

So, what did I do last night? Let me tell you: I’m alone and decide to check out Supernatural on Netflix. I mean, it’s primetime TV. How scary can it be? I thought maybe it would be funny and perhaps campy. Well. Thirty seconds in and there’s a bloody (literally) woman on fire and pinned to the ceiling Exorcist-style. CLEARLY IT CAN BE VERY SCARY. So, because I’m a smart and responsible adult, I turned it off and read Winnie the Pooh and then went to sleep and dreamed of ponies and fairy dust.

No I didn’t. I watched the whole damn thing. And maybe another two episodes because I JUST DON’T LEARN, DO I?

And then I had to take the dog out, in the dark night. Alone and tweaky. Then I get in, lock the door (which I have to check three times after tucking myself in) and decide Grimby can sleep on the bed with me, because he’s lonely and needs comforting. And also because I figure he’d bark at any evil spirits creeping up to my bedside.

Yes, I’m pathetic and used my small, young dog to make me feel safe and protect me from my own imagination. What? WHAT? I ADMITTED IT AND THAT’S THE IMPORTANT THING. He might be allowed to sleep on the bed again tonight and maybe until Adam’s home from Vancouver. Look at me, problem-solving all over the place.

This is a reenactment of my scared face.

This is a reenactment of my scared face.

Getting more scared. I just noticed I'm wearing my headphones. I'm not scared of music.

Getting more scared. I just noticed I’m wearing my headphones. I’m not scared of music.

Magnumbo, She Wrote.

I’ve been taking yoga at a different studio as of late, which has been a refreshing change. I love my yoga studio, but they’re offering fewer classes when I need them (and after all, shouldn’t my preferences dictate the schedule?). I do my own Mysore practice at home four days of the week, so I like to get my led Primary Series on on Fridays and Sundays.

Today was my first Sunday led Primary at this new studio (it’s not a new studio—it’s just new to me). It was AWESOME. One of my favourite teachers who I haven’t seen in ages has been teaching there, so it was great to take her class again.

Now, Primary Series is tough. Ashtanga yoga is a particularly physically demanding style of yoga. And, I was sore from ballet class yesterday, so it was a little extra effort. This is what happens when you only pull on tights and plié every other month: just enough time in between to make it really hurt. Apparently I beat myself up emotionally and physically. I’m a big jerk.

The real point of this little vignette is that upon leaving class, I am, as they say, STARVING TO DEATH. That may be a little bit of hyperbole (is that an oxymoron? I think it is…). I have been known to embellish my tales from time to time. I was pretty hungry, though, because Ashtanga is practiced on an empty stomach. So, it was 11 am, I hadn’t eaten breakfast and I’d worked pretty hard in Primary.

Where does this leave us? It leaves us coming out from the studio in Market Square, directly above Wannawafel, where the fragrant and intoxicating aroma of waffles drifts upwards on its way to heaven and my nostrils. Do you know what waffles smell like? THEY SMELL LIKE HEAVEN AND VANILLA COVERED IN SYRUP AND WHIPPING CREAM WITH STRAWBERRIES. THEY SMELL LIKE DELICIOUS LOVE AND SEX AND EVERY SINGLE THING DESIRABLE ON THIS BLUE PLANET. Okay, I don’t actually think waffles smell sexy, but they do smell  pretty damn attractive to me. Maybe I do. Maybe I find waffles sexy. It’s impossible to say for sure (I’m pretty sure).

I didn’t get a waffle. But here I am, over 12 hours later, writing about them. That’s the power of waffles. WAFFLE POWER.

Oh hello. Some people tell me I look like Tom Selleck.

Oh hello. Some people tell me I look like Tom Selleck.

So, Netflix is pretty much the best thing ever. Not in terms of my time management, but in terms of my entertainment, it is a success. I am currently writing this while I should be going to bed, so there you have it. I’m too successfully entertained to manage my time. Well played, Netflix. Well played.

I love that I can watch entire seasons of a show with a single case of strep throat. Or a single case of laziness. Whichever the case might be (it is most often the latter). Some of the shows that have fallen prey to my inability to pace myself are: Merlin, Once Upon a Time, Bones and Dark Shadows. I’m pretty sure there are more, but now I’m distracted by Dark Shadows: Can you believe that storyline has been reduxed three times? It must be financed by Revlon or some other cosmetic company with an excess of smokey eyeshadow. So cheesy. And yet, I couldn’t look away.

What I really love is that you can watch every episode of ye olde favourites like Columbo, Murder She Wrote and Magnum P.I. I love them. They don’t make shows like this anymore. There’s so much facial hair, blue eyeshadow and shoulder pads. And so much ACTING. ACTING amongst the incredibly busy prop design. I suppose you had to act very much to overcome the details of the sets. I haven’t even mentioned the orchestra scores. There’s a lot of sounds (most noticeably the piccolo so you know when things get dire), accompanied by a lot of background noise and, blessedly, no laugh tracks at all. I wonder if I can watch MacGyver on Netflix… (just for the record, Adam and I already have all these shows and watch them regularly. It’s okay to be jealous. We’re very trendy.)

OMIGOSH, this episode of of Murder She Wrote has a guy whose pants go up to his nipples. At least to his nipples. I don’t know if people wore their nipples in the same place way back then (I’m kidding: I know nipples don’t move). It does NOT look good. Especially because they are cream riding pants <<read: they are fitted>>. Wow, and this lady’s pants go up extremely high, as well. This is clearly a thing, these pants going all the way up there.

The clothes in these shows are amazing. Magnum P.I. wore very tight short shorts. Actually, I don’t really know that for sure. I’m basing that purely on speculation. The last time I watched that show was probably during the original airing (holy crap I’m old). But seriously, I can’t remember what I ate for dinner yesterday: I can hardly be trusted with wardrobe recollection from a million years ago.

Also, my mom loved Tom Selleck and I used to think he’d be a cool stepdad. I still sort of do, actually: I could’ve been in movies. Or at least television (how I’m not in Glee or Once Upon a Time, I’ll never know). All you need is a famous parent. DON’T EVEN TELL ME I’M WRONG BECAUSE I’M NOT WRONG ON THIS ONE. Lily Collins. Liv Tyler. Angelina Jolie. Drew Barrymore. Charlie Sheen (oh jeez. I’m mentioning Charlie Sheen on my blog: He’s gonna be so pissed). Kate Hudson (I want to be her). I mean seriously, you guys: It’s not fair. It’s like junior high all over again, or anywhere I’m not cool enough to be on the list. I’m very cool. Ask Grimby or Adam. They’re not biased.

This isn’t a very intriguing post, but in my defence, I’m tired. Here’s a treat for you. You’re welcome.

Night, y’all.

Yoga Hair

I’m back in Seattle, where it rains like it means it. I was actually impressed this morning at the volume of rain falling from above. First, there was the volume in terms of the sheer quantity of water hitting the roof. But I was even more impressed by the volume in terms of the deafening sound of it. So impressed, actually, that I couldn’t get back to sleep. Rain 1: Bay 0.

It’s not so much that I hate the rain, it’s that I can’t stand when it rains All. The. Time. Of course, it sort of does rain All. The. Time. I have cute rain wear and I like wearing rain boots, but all my favourite shoes are little leather ballet flats and have leather soles (yes, I know they are impractical for someone living in a temperate rainforest. Whatever.). So really, Rain; you’re messing with my footwear options. Enough. Enough now.

Okay, so that’s been dealt with. I’m in my favourite Starbucks. You know, the one with Beardy McBeardyson? He’s here and this time he’s sharing his table with some guy in a track suit (he must be so athletic). Turns out he’s quite chatty this morning (Chatty Keith is missing): I’ve overheard him discussing his credit (he’s hoping to get some soon) and his ability to produce attractive offspring. According to Beard Man, he makes beautiful babies. Well, all except his youngest daughter (his words, not mine—I’ve never seen her, after all), who (unfortunately, I take it) looks just like him. Nice one, Dad. Sheesh!

There’s also a dude in front of me who doesn’t wear underwear. This is not an educated guess, either. It’s based on empirical evidence; namely, that he’s not wearing a belt and while he sits on a stool by the window (as he is currently doing), I can see a rather impressive expanse of cheek and crack, with nary an underthing in sight. I feel like there’s no way he’s not aware of his predicament, either. There’s distinct draft that sneaks in each time the door opens, and this is a Starbucks, after all. In downtown Seattle. The door is opening a lot.

UPDATE: He just stood up and turned around and I’m pleased to note that he has those incredulous eyebrows, which I’d like to attribute to his discovery of his cheekiness (hahahaha), but in fact I think may be in response to the conversation he’s having with the dreadlocked pontificator who’s sharing the secrets of Nimh with him. Or so I assume. I mean, what else could they possibly be discussing, right? Yes, I am.

That’s my morning report. You’re welcome. On to our feature presentation: Yoga Hair.

As you know, I love yoga. Lurve it. I practice and teach Ashtanga. I also teach powerflow and yin/restorative classes, but that’s neither here nor there, nor the point of this post. And yet I keep in here, as though I’m not the boss of my keyboard and the backspace button. Fascinating.

Yoga is good for you. See? It's on a cake!

Yoga is good for you. See? It’s on a cake!


I took my first yoga class when I was 15, I believe, as a part of a summer ballet intensive. I took a hot yoga class when I was maybe 20 or 21 for an article I was writing for school (incidentally, I named the article “Some Like it Hot,” which my prof thought was a clever connection. At that time, I didn’t know where I’d heard that line and had no idea it was the title of a famous movie with an even-more-famous star. But I smiled and took the credit anyway.).

Anyway, that hot yoga class inspired me to find another yoga studio, and the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve been practicing Ashtanga yoga for probably about nine years or so, after dabbling about in various forms of Hatha flow. Ashtanga is good yoga for Type A people/dancers. It’s hard, it’s got a demanding schedule (1–1.5 hours, 6 days per week) and it’s super traditional. Why does it take so long to do each day? Here’s why: All these asanas, or postures, on both sides, with a vinyasa (like a mini sun salute) in between each side and each asana. I’m excited just writing that!

So, while yoga is extremely beneficial to body, mind, spirit and soul, I must admit that it’s hard on the hair. And here is why: Several postures have a damaging impact upon my follicles. Setu Bandhasana gives me dandruff, just at my front hairline. I think it’s from the pressure of gravity, and even worse, my entire body weight, mostly resting on my forehead. It’s hard to say, but my scalp just gives up.

Then there’s Supta Kurmasana, which is difficult for my body at the best of times (my scoliosis tips my pelvis to the right and makes hip openers hard). When I’m skootching (official word of yoga: Skootchasana) my feet in from Kurmasana, my feet often catch my wayward hair and then when I try to lift up, I yank out handfuls of hair (okay, maybe 10 hairs, but still. STILL.). I can hear it. It’s not a good sound, the sound of hair protesting being yanked out from the root. And then my practice is spent mourning the loss of all that hair that wasn’t ready to go yet. Because that’s where my mind should be going in a yoga practice. To vanity.

Well, that’s kind of it really. Just two postures. So much hair drama for so few asanas. I still do it, though, so clearly yoga is worth it. In case my hair drama was turning you off of trying out some classes, just remember that my hair is particularly wayward at the best of times, so of course it would misbehave in yoga. It feels all free and relaxed and does whatever it wants. But yoga: Do it. Just make sure your hair is well pulled back first.


On the tip of my tongue…

Good grief. I had an amazing topic all planned out and thought briefly that I should write it down. So briefly, in fact, that I forgot to do it. But then I decided that it was so obvious that I didn’t need a written reminder. And then I promptly and completely forgot what I was going to say.


I even thought that if I stopped thinking about it, it would come back to me. It did not. It could be that the memory knew that I was secretly still thinking about it, with the hopes of tricking it into making a return appearance. I’m very tricky, you see. It’s tricksy when you are smarter than your thoughts.

This is when I had something else on the tip of my tongue. It was delicious.

This is when I had something else on the tip of my tongue. It was delicious.

So, I will write something else, instead. Did you watch Game of Thrones last night? Because I surely did. It’s so good. THIS SHOW, IT IS SO GOOD. The hair is quite inspiring. Man. Here’s a thing: I’ve never really wished harm on someone else. Okay, so that’s not entirely true: not really really, if you know what I mean. I’ve certainly entertained less-than-philanthropic thoughts from time to time, but not like this. I want Joffrey to depart this blessed make-believe world. In a hurry and in a painful and humiliating way. For crying out loud, how is that douchebag still alive in the show? And since when do I refer to a kid as a douchebag? I don’t like who I’m becoming, Game of Thrones. But he is. He is a monster. He makes me afraid to procreate and he’s not even real. Maybe his mom, too. She’s a real piece of work. Apple didn’t fall far from that tree, if you know what I mean.

Anyway. I’m getting all riled up and Joffrey isn’t even what I want to write about. What I do want to write about is how this show is about the only fantasy world I don’t want to live in. As you know, I’ve long wanted Narnia to be real. I’m not even kidding: I’m kind of holding onto a thin feathery hope that I just haven’t peeked through the right wardrobe/closet/painting yet. There’s still a chance…

Harry Potter’s world? UM YES PLEASE. I’d be an amazing witch. Wow, I just read that out loud. Sounds different than what I’m thinking, that’s for sure. But, I’d love to fly and cast spells and see magical creatures. I’d even like for the world of Twilight to be real (as long as I didn’t get killed. Actually, that kind of goes for all of the magical fantasy worlds I want to be a part of: I don’t want to expire in them. That’d be lame.). I’d look amazing if I glittered. As it is, I have to buy mineralized skin finish from MAC to achieve that look. Plus, I’d love to see what I’d look like as a vampire. And it would be fun to run that fast.

But the Seven Kingdoms? Not ideal, really. Crap seriously happens and it is not pretty. It’s just terrifying. You’ve got Whitewalkers, who are pretty nasty dudes. And they create Wigts, who are basically zombies. There’s a demon-birthing witch and dragons (though the dragons are pretty cool). And that’s not even the scary part! It’s how horrible people are to each other that really does me in.

You can’t trust anyone and you sure as heck can’t get attached to them. I mean, here I am, all, “Well, the situation is most certainly dire, but he is a main character and, after all, he IS Sean Bean, they can’t kill hi—OMIGOSH THEY JUST CUT OFF HIS HEAD! IN FRONT OF HIS YOUNG DAUGHTERS!” This kind of trauma happens All. The. Time. Sure, sometimes, it happens to someone you really wanted to suffer and then you’re all happy, while simultaneously feeling guilty and like you need a shower. And an adult. WHAT IS THIS SHOW DOING TO ME?

Anyway. There you have it. The only make-believe world I don’t want to daydream about joining. Also, Adam and I like to hum the theme song, like this: “Do-do-do-doo, do-do-do-doo, do-do-do-doo, do-do-do-doo.” We’re very talented, musically.

Do you watch GOT? Do you kind of know what I mean? And are you also waiting for Joffrey to die a swift-yet-prolongued-and-incredibly-painful death?