Make Like a Banana

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…And split. That’s what I did today, for the first time ever. That’d be one leg in front, one leg in back, and one torso plunked perpendicular to the ground. Then I did it again, switching the legaroos.

This new ability serves absolutely no practical purpose. It does not make me a better librarian. It does not improve my reading comprehension. It contributes nothing to the cleanliness of my home. In no way shape or form does it help with the bills. But I can do a split and it’s really cool. Besides, it shows that I’ve been making progress in yoga.

Okay, theoretically, I can imagine a practical purpose, one of a sexual nature, but theory ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Watched the Kentucky Derby last night. I know this is difficult for you to comprehend. There are only two ways this could have happened, and both explanations are outlandish: either I went to Kentucky to watch it in person, or I watched it on a television.

I assure you, I was not in Kentucky last night. I had to work this weekend. Could have managed it if I had apparated, but I have not yet worked out the kinks of instantaneous teleportation. It’s only a matter of time, of course. My research will pay off one of these days.

The only remaining explanation, however unlikely, must be the answer. I watched it on teevee. I do own a television, yes, but for the express purposes of playing video games or watching yoga DVDs. I wouldn’t know how to make it play a television show if my life depended on it.

I watched the derby at La Friend’s house. She hosted a Cinco de Mayo party for us Adult Services folks. Honestly, I don’t have the first clue what Cinco de Mayo’s all about. Something to do with Mexico, I’ve gathered that much, and it happens reliably every May 5th. Beyond that I couldn’t tell you much, though I do know it involves margaritas. And also there was a papier mache bull that was filled with chocolates, though we only discovered this after savagely attacking it with a pole. Amazing the brutality a group of librarians will sink to, once they’ve imbibed a little.

So that was a fun evening, though it would have been funner if Nathaniel Philbrick had shown. He’s a big famous author, and he was supposed to speak at the liberry that night, but his plane flight was delayed. Poor man was stuck in Charlotte.

Mr. Philbrick won a National Book Award. This is a special award given to people who write books I don’t like.

Actually, that’s not true. I like Pete Hautman just fine. His NBA winner, Godless, didn’t do it for me, but his other books are good. His book The Prop is just divine, a noirish mysteryish quick read. The NBA only goes to stinkers.

Apparently I have a weird multiple personality reading disorder. I like the classics very much. If it’s in the literary canon, there’s a very good chance I’ll love the book. Classic fiction is my favorite genre. You’d think I’d like literary fiction, but I don’t. I just don’t. I find most of it boring and unsatisfying. Go figure.

So anyway. Philbrick. I read his whole stupid book this week, putting off other, more pressing duties (revised book proposal, anyone?) to finish Mayflower before he gave his author talk, and then he doesn’t even show. Wasn’t his fault, but still. I rearranged my whole week to read a book I didn’t like and I don’t even get the satisfaction of hearing the author speak. What about MY needs?

My problem with Mayflower is that it was dry. I learned lots of Important Facts about the Pilgrims and King Philip’s War, but it was all so very dull. Such a fascinating period of history, too. What a shame.

The problem is that there was very little social history. I got no sense of the daily life of the ordinary people. What were the kids doing each day? What sort of prayers were the Pilgrims saying? What clothes did they wear? What fabric did those clothes come from, anyway? What was a marriage ceremony like?

What did women do before tampons, anyway?

Lots of people like Mayflower, though, so don’t take my word for it. And, to be fair, that’s not the book that won the NBA. Maybe In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex is a scintillating read. I’ll never know.

And now, though it is merely midnight, it’s time for bed. I’ve got a long day of book proposal rewriting ahead of me tomorrow. But that’s okay. I enjoy going to bed, because it means I get to do Legs Up the Wall. I don’t know how to say that in Hindi, but the English translation for this yoga pose is very descriptive. These days (or nights, rather) I’ve been settling into bed with Legs Up the Wall, an excellent pose for improving circulation and inducing calm. I lie on my back, put my butt right against the wall, and hoist my legs on up. Might sound crazy, but it’s a wonderfully relaxing way to fall asleep.

Much easier than doing a split, let me tell ya.

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3 responses »

  1. Viparita karani is the Sanskrit name for legs-up-the-wall. It translates as ‘inverted lake posture.’ According to the book, "BKS Iyengar Yoga," its "based on the belief that blood and hormones circulate better through the body when it is inverted. This asana alleviates nervous exhaustion, boosts confidence and reduces depression." I love it, too.If I tried a split, I would literally split apart. My skeleton, I’m sure, would crack and I’d be severed in two long pieces. I’d have to be glued back together. I’m not even trying it!As for Philbrick, all I’d done is put aside some money to buy the book at his talk. Not as much of an investment. Could you please define ‘literary fiction’ and explain how the classics (in general) differ from it? Thanks! (Got my degree, but I don’t know everything about books, yet!)

    Reply
  2. If it’s social history you want, you should check out Scott Rogers Nelson’s Steel Drivin’ Man. Based on the words to the various folk songs about John Henry, he convincingly identified a black convict who died building the Cumberland Railroad, and was buried in a mass grave at the Richmond Penitentiary, right beside the railroad tracks. "And every locomotive come roarin’ by says, Yonder lies a steel drivin’ man". He also follows the John Henry image through social realism and the image of the industrial worker, then ties that image to (ta-da!) Superman.Scott just won the ‘Black Pulitzer’ for the book.

    Reply
  3. the Queen of Claremont

    Hey, you too CAN be a cheerleader! Now, if only you’d be willing to stand on top of a pyramid of other such flexible nubile bodies, you could get excited about sports!Somewhere in my trove of trivia, I think the ancient Egyptians invented tampons..I know you don’t watch movies, but last night we watched the OLD "The Last of the Mohicans" with Randolph Scott to compare it to the newer version with Daniel (drool) Day-Lewis. To go back to my tirade about Native Americans, the modern day version is far more politically correct, and has inspired me to read the novel to find out which of the movies is more accurate…perhaps that could be a tack for your RA.

    Reply

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