I'm famous yo. by vanessa

This week's Chronicle, page 3. How super cool of Desirae for the ad.


What do you get someone for their birthday that signifies a) how cool you think they are and b) how cool you are for thinking of it? (I get it -- I've reached the 'cool' threshold. Whatev.)


My friend Travis's blog reminded me of a card that I too have seen. It's the one where the Dalai Lama is peering inside an empty box and he says "Nothing! Just what I wanted!" and then you open it up and it says something like "I hope you get everything you wanted!" Perfect b/c when I was a kid I hated Christmas and my birthday because we didn't celebrate them which meant no presents. And then you'd go back to school and everyone would have new Guess jeans and Keds. I've since met several people who also grew up JW who say that they didn't mind the no-presents thing. Really? How?! I only started liking my birthday when I started getting presents. And I only started liking Christmas when I began shopping for others. This is exactly the reason that JWs should make up their own gift-giving holiday. Call it Happy 144,000 Day or something. Everyone could sit around thinking what it'd be like to be chosen and then give lots of presents in honor of it. They could hold it on December 27th so there'd be no confusion with Christmas. Or December 9th. That's a good day too. I'm pretty sure my mom will read this and be appalled at my sacrilege. Don't' worry, Mom -- I'm tight with God.

It's easy to forget and I do often: when you set intentions or goals, your job is only that -- you get clear about what you want, then you trust it will happen. You don't need to worry about the *how*. MLK, Jr said something like "You don't need to see the whole staircase to take the first steps." I think 100% of stress comes from trying to figure out the how. Yeah this may be obvious to the rest of the world, but I am happy playing catch up. I'm really happy.

I suspect this is what my book will be about -- something along the lines of how How Thinking prevents freedom. Yesterday I was thinking that I had to have the conclusions figured out before I could start writing. Today at work I realized how constricting it would be for me to know all the answers up front. I'm on another strategy project at work. Strategy projects are where the client asks you to investigate a particular business case, system(s), or processes that may be problematic, and then you formulate impressions and recommendations based on your research. You don't know your recommendations before you begin scheduling the first interviews and conducting your analysis. You just put one foot in front of the other and somehow, at the end of the project, it all comes together.

Lucky, me by vanessa

New DBT post. Check it. I would love to take DBT to like the Austin Chronicle or the LA Weekly. I'm pretty sure we're super qualified.


That book I'm going to write still hasn't made it from thought to keypad. Part of it is that I think I have to have some conclusion drawn before I set out writing it. Is that how it's supposed to happen? Do novelists know the end of the story before they begin? The thing is, I have only impressions and threads of cognition ... I have paths I want to take, and leads I want to follow, but nothing in the way of answers. I have impressions and hypotheses, and there's no rush, but since I get sentences here and there it seems like I'm supposed to be *doing* something. Isn't that my story?


Did you know that NYE is right around the corner? This used to be my favorite holiday, right after my birthday, because I love the idea of new *anything* (remember I'm the girl who gets excited over groceries). This year it's enough that I'm going to be in Austin, hanging out with friends. I'm not placing any undue expectations on the countdown evening, and I don't aspire to see the night through to sunrise. Also, I live with my prospect for a new years kiss and since neither of us are lesbian, the turning of the clock doesn't hold much luster. Tell me I'm not granny.

In follow up news, karma's a mother. Even when I think I can joke w/ it, outrun it, box it around a little, whatever, it's on me like a cold sore. In teaching there's this saying that we teach what we want to learn (actually I think that's from the Course). I guess what's up for me is that nothing is insignificant; all actions have purpose and karma's not good, it's not bad, it just is. I ate chips and creamed spinach for dinner tonight and now I feel puke. And I'm still a super lucky girl.

YJ's in two weeks! I'm going up late since I have to work. The fact that I get to see a bunch of friends when I assist is pure bonus. I mentioned I'm lucky right?

oh no, I'm not done yet... by vanessa

Tis the season for lists (Christmas, New Year's Resolutions, Yoga-Teacher-Ticks-that-Bug, etc.) and I don't want to disappoint so here's my contribution. Since Christmas has passed and New Years isn't here yet, I'll spare you the first two and share with you my teacher list. Before we get started let me acknowledge that I've done all of these before, many times, and may even do them again. I'm also completely aware that I'm inviting a big heaping can of karma whoop ass by posting this. You know what, Karma?! BRING IT. (Dear Karma God, I'm soooo kidding. You know how I like to joke! No harm done! No need to show me how 'what comes around goes around'... cool?) So, without further ado...

Yoga Teachers, I Don't Like It When You...
1. Proclaim "one more breath" and then count three more. It breaks the trust. If you can't count, don't tell us how many more breaths to begin w/.
2. Use repetitive or meaningless fillers. "Mmmhmm" and "that's great!" when you're not even looking at the class feels empty.
3. Take out your control issues on students. People taking your class don't need you to "fix" them.
4. Demonstrate advanced postures that you're not even teaching and preface it with "I don't want to make this about me" because of course that's exactly what you're doing. Yes, you've been practicing since Gandhi was in diapers and you're beautiful to watch. But, if I wanted to be taken out of my practice to watch you perform, I'd have bought your video. And kept it.

Can you tell I'm feeling a little grouchy? I think it's best I go to my room and think about what I'm grateful for. I'll get that list to you later.

Spills and thrills by vanessa

2007 Checklist
1. Take snowboarding lessons.
2. Invest in a neck brace.
3. Practice yoga. A lot.

I just returned from a really fun weekend to Colorado to see my friend Leslie. I flew in Friday night and our BIG plan was to hit Vail on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, then head back to Boulder Monday night and chill. But, apparently Denver got a little snow last week and something about the airport being closed, and so I didn't get to Boulder until 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. And naturally we talked until 4, so we were in no condition to drive to Vail until late afternoon.

We stayed at Leslie's friend's house in Vail which was really sweet b/c a) very nice digs, and b) it was a bus stop away from Vail Village. Sunday morning we hit the slopes bright and early, like say 11-ish. I felt so out of my body -- it was weird, really -- I couldn't even put my boots on without some drama. However, if you're going to be awkward do it when no one's around to crash into, and fortunately, there was NO ONE on the mountain (the lone perk of Denver's recent storm). I'd like to blame my clumsiness on the altitude, but I bet it was my infrequent practicing -- the last few times I've gone up I've kicked so much ass and I was practicing like every day. Or that's how I remember it anyway.

So I'm riding along and I barely remember what happened but I bit it. Hard. I wanted to cry but the concussion knocked the tears out of me. I recall something about whiplash but really it's all a blur. I picked myself up, got down the mountain and stopped for lunch. Leslie and I brownbagged it which is the only way to go b/c mountain food is puke. Think school lunches without the tater tots. We ate and went back up a few more times till I bit it again, hitting the same spot! My teeth now feel like I need braces again. Whatever, I scraped myself off the mountain, called it a day and we headed back in.

Monday we got up early to get a few hours riding before returning to Boulder. Except I couldn't move. My neck felt like someone took a sledge hammer to it. Owwie. I was popping arnica like it was Darvaset. Which blew, b/c I was *this close* to showing Vail who's boss. Oh next time.

Last night we made a really yum dinner and watched The Secret again. This morning my neck feels much better. So, on my agenda for the next few weeks: yoga yoga yoga. I can take a hint.

Even dust could crush by vanessa

Dear Christians,

Happy Hannukah.

That's for the countless times that I've said "Merry Christmas" to Jews. See, the thing is, I should know the "Happy Holidays" routine by now, but I forget! I don't even have a good excuse b/c I didn't grow up celebrating Christmas (or any other holiday). If I'm to say anything at all, it should be more natural offer a generic tiding -- Seasons Greetings! -- and yet I chirp Merry Christmas indiscriminately.

Have you seen The Secret? It's a movie about the Law of Attraction. I saw a meditation teacher when I lived in Cambridge who formally introduced me to this principle. I had been aware of it by concept but not name, and now there's a documentary out based on its principles. The production is a bit along the lines of What the Bleep; still, the content is an important reminder. You know how you think you understand something and start to apply it and then it's only much later, sometimes years (though in this case months) where you realize your previous thinking was only one tree in a forest? It was nothing that this movie explicitly said that triggered the understanding. Rather, it's my own subsequent kinesthetic experiments which have left an immeasurable imprint on my perspective. Super exciting.


Last night we played this really cool game called "Settlers" that now I can't stop thinking about. Even my abysmal performance is no distraction. It's a game which balances probability and resources and you can't get it in Toys R Us. You have to go knock on some door off of like Alameda and Gage at 4 in the morning. A sliding door the width of a butter knife opens and some beady eyes peer out asking what you want though no words are spoken. You have to give some key word and if you're wrong they shoot your foot for wasting their time. If you're right you're entered into a lottery for a chance at buying the game. If you win the lottery your stoned to death (thanks Shirley Jackson) while the remainders bid on the game. I don't pretend to make sense but it IS fun. Settlers, I mean.