Yoga philosophy

Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga

Yamas (Restraints)
– Ahimsa (non-harming)
– Satya (non-lying)
– Asteya (non-stealing)
– Brahmacharya (of Brahma)
– Aparigraha (non-hoarding)

Niyamas (Observances)
– Soucha (cleanliness)
– Santosha (contentment)
– Tapas (zeal for yoga)
– Svadyaya (self-study)
– Ishvarapranidhana (surrender)

Asana (pose)

Pranayama (breath)

Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)

Dharana (intense focus)

Dhyana (state of meditation)

Samadhi (state of oneness)

Bat flower plant

Chuck and I went adventuring into Virginia last Thursday, looking for a labyrinth in Boydton. Coming home, we stopped at Cedar Creek Gallery in Creedmoor, NC. (It’s right off I-85, and worth a visit.) In addition to a gallery and studios, they have lovely gardens and a little plant sale area.

I wandered over to the plants (as I must) and found a bat flower blooming its heart out. I have seen pictures of them, but had never seen one in person. And they had a relatively small one (with no blossoms) for sale for $5.

It’s a terrestrial orchid and needs low light and high humidity. I accidentally did the right thing when I repotted it with extra vermiculite in the mix. I have it up against the back wall of my house where it gets early morning sun and it seems to be happy there. For now. When nighttime temps get close to 50ºF/10ºC, we will bring it into the living room and put a humidifier nearby.

I have friends who think I have a green thumb.  I think I am simply willing to give a plant a shot.  And I read the instructions that come on those little tags.  (That wasn’t a lesson quickly learned.)  And my yard has all the choices for sun.

I think the trick to keeping plants, is finding things that like what you have to offer.  If you tend to want to water a lot, don’t get cacti or succulents.  If you have a tendency to forget to water, go for those.  And don’t beat yourself up if the plants you wish you could grow don’t love your climate.

When I lived in Charleston, SC, I had a collection of bromeliads and all of them bloomed for me.  I moved from that house to a different angle and amount of sun and they all died.  My care didn’t change, but the environment did.  That has affected my plant expectations since then.

My dad died

I believe in the Big Bang and I believe it is the breath of God and it is God. Exhale creation, inhale entropy. And it is all Now. That part of the Now that forms into Ingram is part of Us before we are born and part of Us when we separate out of the moment we inhabit as individual particles and return to the greatness of All. And the part of Creation that was his life is still happening.

I am still laughing with my grandmother. I am still gossiping with my dad. I am still holding my infant son and I am still fucking up all they ways that I did that, too. And my future is unknown to me, but it is already happening, too. Not as it is supposed to happen, simply as it does happen.

So, that part of the liturgy that talks about “as it was and is and evermore shall be” really works for me. My dad is with me forever, I just can’t hold his hand any more.  The particle of Now that is “me” misses that and cries sometime.

I do not believe that the Breath and God are separate.  I believe Singularity.

Nevermore Film Festival – 2016

This year Nevermore received 1275 submissions. From those, they ran 5 shorts collections and 11 feature length films. The collections were:

It’s only a Nightmare, Charlie Brown: PG-13 Animation and Dark Fantasy Shorts

Little Brother (USA) No dialogue, very creepy, uneven black and white line drawings,
The Red Thunder (USA) not animated, funny, if I say anything else, it will give away the punch line,
She’s Mine (UK) fairly standard animation, a stalker creeps into the house of the woman he intends to murder and finds competition,
Pipo (Germany) little conehead, stop motion, weird and sad,
House of Monsters: Frank and the Zombie Girl (USA) Stop motion nicely done, sweet story with monsters,
A Brief Encounter (Iran), there is a dragon and a girl. Not a happy ending.
Life Smartphone (China), line drawings, everybody is totally focused on their cell phones, it’s funny in a too familiar kind of way,
Flight of the Soul (USA) stop motion, there are 4 modified clones, one has a birdcage in its middle. The ending is kind of telegraphed, but it’s sweet.
Cristal Junket (Portugal) stop motion, surreal party, the story is vague
Trolled (Singapore) fairly typical anime, cute
The Seed (Greece) live action, good story, a little Blade Runner-esque, title could have been Monsanto World
Millennium: Eternal Sunrise (USA) live action, daughter trying to get the Millennium Man to reset time so her mother can come back, the ending was unexpected,
Jack is Pretty (USA) live action dystopia, Q&A with the writer and the producer afterward they are hoping to do more with this, planning a couple of “origin story” shorts and a feature film,

Not From Around Here: International Shorts

Gnomes (UK), garden gnomes gone bad, not bad, not great.

5 Ways 2 Die (Cyprus) this is funny and well made, The 5 ways are pills, jump off a bridge, carbon monoxide poisoning, bathtub electrocution and car wreck and that isn’t spoiling.
The Black Bear (Belgium) what not to do in the woods where there are bears, a little Python-esque
The Grandson (Netherlands) I liked this until the very end.
dark_net (UK), the acting was good but the story was uneven, jealous ex hires a hit man online.
A Bite to Eat (UK) at the Midnite Diner, this is cute,
Last Night (France) the story was uneven, it’s the last night in an apartment with friends coming to help move tomorrow, and a threesome ends badly.
They Will All Die in Space (Spain) this was creepy and well made, B&W

Can’t Live Without You: Committee’s Mixed Bag Shorts

The Stomach (UK), A medium uses his stomach to contact the dead.
#Help (Hungary), Very well made, and a good story. I would like to see it expanded into a feature length film
Choice Cuts (USA), This started out making me flinch and I laughed out loud at the end.
A Way Out (USA), Hit men. Entertaining,
El Gigante (Canada), This is straight up slasher gore.
25m2 (Sweden) The wall developed an abscess, which was weird. And there was some grossness because …abscess. And, it was really slow. Not a favorite.

They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara!: North American Shorts

Hag, I loved this take on hag-ridden sleep walking.
The Trap, This was short and funny. There is an alien.
Night of the Slasher, The hero is blond and female. This was fun.
The Fear Box (666 Telemarketing), This is why I don’t answer phone calls from numbers I don’t recognize.
Home Sweet Home, This is what I expect from Alzheimer’s.
Bad Guy #2, How to move up in organized crime. A little cheesy, a little gory, pretty funny.
Never Tear Us Apart, There are cannibals. And grandparents.
Shhh, Older sister Helena deserved to meet the monster. What a bitch!
Thresher, an homage to Guillermo del Toro and H. P. Lovecraft. Locks galore.  in Hell.  I would like to see more from Michael Dahlquist and his friends.
Knob Goblins, A monster movie where men have to deal with a sexual predator. Made me laugh. A lot.

This is my friend, Trey, meeting Knobby and Writer/Producer/Director Christopher G. Moore after we saw the film.

This is my friend, Trey, meeting Knobby and Writer/Producer/Director Christopher G. Moore after we saw the film.

How to Survive a Horror Movie Anthology: Long-Form Narrative Shorts

He Was His Friend (Russia) about a wannabe serial killer and his first victim,

Dance of Death (Latvia) a guy sees a HELP sign in the window of a car he passes, does nothing and is haunted by regret. (See what I did there?)

Don’t Fall Asleep, Motherfucker (Puerto Rico) her snoring is worse than you imagine,
The Fisherman (Spain) set in Hong Kong, special effects are very good, story is good. I could see this being expanded into an interesting feature film.

 

Feature length films that I saw:

Reverie of a Solitary Walker This is awful. There are 4 story lines that hop around in time and don’t seem to have any real connection. I was excite about it and very, very disappointed.

13 Cameras. This didn’t go where I thought it was going to and it creeped me right out. There are many cringes, many jumps and several I-can’t-looks. Should get some mainstream play.

I meant to see Clinger, but it was sold out for the time I expected to be there. I’ll see it via Amazon sometime soon. I could have gotten tickets early, but I didn’t.

Fan Favorites were:

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE – Idila (“Idyll”)

Best North American Feature – 13 CAMERAS

BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT – Bad Guy #2

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT – The Black Bear

BEST LONG FORM NARRATIVE SHORT – He Was His Friend

The Jury Awards were:

BEST NORTH AMERICAN FEATURE: Everlasting

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE: Idyll

BEST LONG-FORM NARRATIVE SHORT: The Fisherman

BEST ANIMATION SHORT: Tie She’s Mine and A Brief Encounter

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT: A Bite to Eat

BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT: Bad Guy #2

Baked Potato Day

Saturday, we had Baked Potato Day at work. Usually, we have our breaks and meals whenever we can fit it in to whatever we have to get done. But, sometimes, we eat together. LabCorp feeds us 2 or 3 times a year for some festive occasion, like a Winter Holiday between Thanksgiving and Xmas. There will be something around the 4th of July. They do a meal during National Medical Laboratory Week. And last year, Amy was pregnant so we did a little baby shower. And we, sometimes do birthdays if we think of it.

It always makes us cheerful on the days we have food together. The days when Nick picks up our LC meal from a local restaurant are nice. But, the times when we all make food to share are the best.

Last weekend was Amy’s birthday and next weekend is Zack’s birthday. So, we celebrated both of them on the Saturday in between. I don’t remember who thought of baked potatoes. I might have been me. It might have been Nick. Night shift has done something like this in the past, so it wasn’t original.

Nick went by Wendy’s on his way into work around 5:30 PM. I made chili. Amy brought steamed broccoli and crumbled bacon (not in the same bowl). Michelle made an Italian Love Cake. Marla is brought 6 kinds of cheese. Zack brought Salsa.

Victor was very puzzled by the whole thing. He has only lived in the US for 5 and a half years and baked potatoes just haven’t been on his list of foods. He said the only way he has ever had a white potato is slices with boiled eggs on a sandwich with a sauce. What his wife finally decided on was an appetizer of shredded vegetables (eggplant, red bell pepper, potato, and tomato) that was a delicious topping to a potato. (Victor is a lovely man, but Zena does all the cooking.)

I posted on FaceBook when we started planning this a month ago and then, again, on Ello, asking “If you are having a baked potato, and you don’t have butter or sour cream to put on it, but you do have your favorite (other) potato topping available, what goes on the potato?” I was told

1. cheddar cheese, (with chives)

2. chopped garlic,

3. salsa,

4. olive oil, raw garlic, and a little Parmesan,

5. Ranch dressing,

6. malt vinegar,

7. ketchup,

8. yogurt,

9. salsa, cheese, broccoli

10. DARK brown sugar “It’ll melt into molassesy goo & get down into all the nooks & crannies you made fluffing it up.”

11. guacamole

12. cottage cheese

13. mustard

14. A-1 sauce

15. Marinara/tomato sauce, cheese of any kind, gravy…. Now that I think about it- anything that I would also put over pasta.

16. ghee, salsa and black beans, cheese, cottage cheese

17. honey mustard

18. soy sauce

19. Sesame butter and hot sauce

20. roasted garlic mashed in and chipotle infused olive oil…a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

21. Shredded cheese is #1 but I have tried ranch, blue cheese, and garlic as well. And of course BACON! I think that for our little get together we should sauté some garlic to mash in there.

22. Cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms… Or, you know, gravy.

23. Pesto

24. Sauteed mushrooms and onions

I want to get a bag of potatoes and start working my way down the list.

Oscar Nominated Short Films – 2016

We saw 2 collections of Oscar nominated short films today.  My husband will go see the documentaries when I’m at work this weekend.  I don’t object to the documentaries.  These were just easier for me to get to and when I had to choose between 2, these were my preference.

The link in each title is to the Oscar page.  I don’t know if it will last for more than a month.  The link in the country of origin is the best I could do to show you about the film away from the Oscar website.  Or, at least, is a decent starting place for you to try to find out about it for yourself.

Animated: I have put them in the order they appeared in the collection

Sanjay’s Super Team  (USA) This is the Pixar offering.   And it is very cute and very sweet.

World of Tomorrow  (USA) The animation is fairly simplistic.  The story is existential and interesting.  I won’t hate it if this one gets the award.

Bear Story  (Chile) This has a very touching story and clever stop motion animation.  I like it very much and would be happy to see it take the award, too.

We Can’t Live without Cosmos  (Russia)This has pretty straightforward animation and a nice story.  I didn’t find it as interesting as World of Tomorrow or Bear Story.  But, I’m glad I saw it.

There were some fun films that got Mentioned, but aren’t actually up for the award.  They were inserted between the first 4 that ARE nominated and the last one.  They are

If I was God (Canada)  Claymation, cute.

The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse (France) Good animation.  Sweet story.  Nice.  Sadly, absolutely nothing for me to link to to show it to you.

The Loneliest Stoplight (USA) Voiced by Patton Oswalt. It was good but not amazing.

Catch It (France) This is a throwback to Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner.  But with a Vulture and Meerkats.  I wish I could show it to you because you would laugh.  I will look for it later to see if I can find a useful link.

Then, the final nominee was Prologue (UK) This is the one that you get a warning about so you can remove your children from the theater.  There  is nudity (free willies) and violence (with spurting blood).  Sadly, there is skill in the animation but no real story.  Men kill each other and little girl is sad.  The end.  If it wins I will be pissed.

Live Action:

Ave Maria   (Israel)  This one as funny.  And a little sweet.  I don’t expect it to win but I was glad I saw it.

Shok   (Kosovo) This one made me cry. I don’t understand how people can be evil to each other and this is about that.  It’s also about what it is to be friends when you’re 12.

Stutterer   (USA)  This is uncomfortable.  And sweet.  I’m glad I saw it.  I don’t expect it to win simply because of what it’s up against.

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)  (Germany) This isn’t an entirely surprising story.  But the little girl is excellent.  Keep an eye out for Julia Pointner.

Day One   (USA) This one should win.  It is hard to watch.  One couple left the theater because it was going to be so very hard.  But, it got less hard.  And, then, different hard.  It is sad.  It is War.  It is life and death.  This was perfectly made.

House work

A friend on Ello posted about getting ready for a familial visit and, as happens, it put me in mind of a couple of shifts in my brain about household maintenance.

Once upon a time, when I was a young lass with no washing machine, a friend offered to let me do my laundry at his house. I was delighted. As I was trying to fold the fitted sheet and bitching, he said, “Is that what you want to be able to look back on at the end of your life? That you could fold a fitted sheet?”

I folded it into something that resembled a square and put it in the laundry basket. I have never worried about it since. As long as it will go in the place I need to store it, I just don’t care.

Another time, when I was grown, I was visiting my parents. Both my sisters and their families were there, too. I don’t remember how we got on the topic. At the time, I had a house keeper come every couple of weeks to help keep the big stuff done. And if my parents were coming to see me, I made sure that it was the weekend after the cleaner had been in. (I’m not stupid.) And she called me out on that. I laughed because I didn’t care. But, then she made the comment that none of her daughters were very good house keepers. And my younger sister’s jaw dropped. She thought she had managed to live up to our mother’s expectations.

My parents live in a retirement community and have white furniture, white carpet and no appliances on the counter top in the kitchen because they don’t cook. They have a cleaner come in every Wednesday. To an apartment that never, ever is dirty.

I don’t even want to live up to her expectations. Having had a spotless house is not what I want to look back on.

I think there are still bits of espresso on my kitchen ceiling from an explosion when a friend was visiting. I have had parties that took up my whole back yard. I have slept in my hammock under the stars. We had a scotch and waffle party, one time. My son helped me build a labyrinth in my back yard and that labyrinth lured Chuck into my life. I have tried beekeeping, but they don’t can’t thrive in our neighborhood. This yard blooms almost all year ’round. This house has been full of laughter and tears and spilled wine and hugs and shouts and good food and love.

And I don’t care if it isn’t clean enough to suit someone who doesn’t live in it.

Changing my mind, some more

I finally figured out a thing.

My co-worker, Nick, suggested that I treat myself to the piece of cake I have been longing for when I get down to the weight I wish to maintain. That kind of thinking is part of how I got in this shape and it has to change or I’ll be right back here in a couple of years.

I have been aware that there are 2 fallacies I need to give up.

First, food has to stop being a reward. Food is necessary and food is tasty. Enjoying the tasty part is OK. Eating too much, i.e. more than I actually need in order to function in a healthy way, is not.

Second, denying myself food I want leads to overeating that food when I finally allow me to have it again.

I allowed myself that cake Monday night. I simply calculated it into my daily calories. Yesterday, I had a cappuccino and a pecan bar, also calculated into my daily calories.

I can do this.

Today, I finally figured out how to reward myself in a healthy way.

Spa.

When I lose 4 more pounds, I will be at the maximum weight my insurance company wants me to be. That day, I get a pedicure. Every time I get to a 5 or a 0 after that, I get to go again. When I get to my personal desired weight, I’m going to have a 60 minute massage. With an actual massage therapist not just the hydromassage bed at the gym or the chair thing on my sofa.

really love having someone else give me a pedicure. This is going to be an effective shift in my head space.