Thursday, January 31, 2013

Smelly Secrets of a Vegetarian

The only recourse in presence of meat eaters
I have a confession to make, and it involves being a vegetarian.  I haven’t heard other vegetarians talk about this when we get together at the coven to make tofu sacrifices and worship Bahomet, but I suspect they think the same thing.  We don’t want to tell you, because we love you, silly meat eaters, but here it goes.

You all stink.

Really, I’m very sorry, but it’s true.  I read once that when people quit smoking and their sense of smell returns to normal they have a moment of shock and revulsion the first time they get a good sniff of another smoker.  “Is that what I smelled like?!?  Ew!”  They can’t believe that they once offended the world as they are now offended.  That’s essentially what happens a few months after you stop eating meat. 

You start to notice that everyone has a little bit of a rancid meat smell about them.  It’s not evident at first, but it starts to build over time.  You notice body odor in a way that you didn’t before.  You hold your face back a few more inches than normal when in a close conversation.  This shock doesn’t last long, and the stinky meat smell from your fellow humanity just becomes part of the background funk soon enough, but that is a surprising couple of weeks.

Does not eating meat make you stink less?  I can walk out of a Bikram sweat factory and (per the reports of my trusted fashion advisor) not smell any different then when I left for class.  My fashion advisor also advises that I have never had a particularly pungent man-funk, but that my man-funk is even less man-funky now.  A sample size of one is not statistically significant, but I invite you all to sniff me at your earliest convenience.  

I wonder how bad the smell must be to vegans?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dangerous Thoughts

No Gun Totting Transsexual Prostitutes Today

Twelve months ago I looked at the list of things that doctors said I should or should not do, or eat, and did not handle it well.  I said on numerous occasions that if I gave up much more I would come full circle and explode in a frenzy of vice, finally getting shot robbing a bank while doing a line of blow off the backside of a transsexual prostitute.  That wouldn’t be good for anyone.

Now I have stopped eating meat and stopped drinking alcohol.  I am working up to cutting out dairy and sugar.  I practice yoga three to four times per week.  I am extending my notions of ahimsa to my gaming life, a difficult feat when facing down an army of ogres.  These things make me happy, and there are no gun totting transsexual prostitutes covered in blow to be seen. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Trying to Explain Yoga to Gamers

Sometimes my friends ask me about yoga.  They really don’t quite understand, but they try.  If I show them an image of a posture on the internet they pretty quickly try to figure out how you have sex in that posture.  They mean well.  Really.

I do wonder what I would say if they ask a question like “what are you working on in yoga?” 

Would I say that I am working up to handstand…

…or that I just started on headstand prep…

…maybe explain bakasana?

Perhaps.  But the reality is that what I am working in yoga is getting my whole hand on the earth and breathing, preferably at the same time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Four Reasons to Support Your Local Yogi

(Copied from BlackLatinaYogi on Tumblr)

Here are a few reasons why you should take classes at a privately owned studio vs. your local gym:
  1. Individual attention - teachers take the time to know their students. You’re more than just a face in the crowd to us. We get to know the real you. It’s about building a community with a strong common bond. As teachers, we have a unique perspective on life challenges because of our practice. We have our moments(we’re human just like you) when situations get the best of us. Yet, we come back to that one place where everything makes sense, our mats and take a moment to breathe.
  2. Training - most instructors complete a 200 hr course over a 9-12 month period focusing anatomy, physiology, postures, yogic principles(Bhagavad Gita) and ethics. Advanced training is offered at the 500 hr level. Great instructors continue studying by attending workshops and retreats. Gyms on the other hand, may only offer a few weeks training, focusing solely on the postures(asana). Certified yoga instructors are taught to provide assists(cues that guide you the student deeper into the posture) through visual contact, verbal instruction or touch. 
  3. Atmosphere - gyms are surrounded by mirrors so students are distracted by what they see and spend less time on what they feel. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj which means to join, to yoke. How can you join the mind and body when your focused on your reflection or what the person next to you is doing? Yoga is an opportunity to go within, to connect and feel the nuances the body experiences in certain poses. Through practice, the mind becomes still and is ready for meditation. 
  4. Cost - In order to take a yoga class at a gym, you may have to pay a monthly membership fee. Most yoga studios(like mine) charge a nominal fee for group classes somewhere in the range of $12-$20.(that’s the price of 2 lattes)
Consider attending a yoga class at a local studio. Ask for a free consultation. Experiment with different styles until you find one that suits your needs and lifestyle. We only have one life, live it to the fullest. ~ Namaste 

Friday, January 11, 2013

I am Adam Jensen

I will probably write quite a bit about Deus Ex: The Human Revolution over the next few months as I play the game.  It has been an interesting experience.  As I mentioned in an earlier post I mostly started playing because I wanted to explore the idea of playing through a “shooter” and not leaving a single body in my wake.  It has been tough even in the small bit of the game that I have played so far, with lots of sneaking around, a couple of well placed tranquilizer darts, one case of sprinting through a police station throwing flash-bang grenades, and a lot of, well, this…

Yes, it’s a crazy world in the Detroit of the near future.  What has really grabbed at me, though, is the ongoing discussion found everywhere in the game about the nature of humanity, and what we lose as mechanical pieces start to replace flesh and blood.  You play as a man named Adam Denton, a former SWAT officer turned corporate stooge security  director who becomes largely bionic / cybernetic after surviving a terrorist attack.  Adam picks up lots of casual conversation on the street where people say that “Augments” are less than human, and the dependency on anti-rejection drugs that augments require is debasing.

Excuse me, had to take a quick break there, the sounds of my mechanical valve distracted me from my allotted pill time.  Off to take my rat poison anti-coagulant, or else my valve might seize up.  You know, I have had people tell me I should stop taking anti-coagulants because they are based on rat poisons.  Let them feel what it is like to have the valve get stuck and see how they like it (hint: it sucks and is highly disturbing).  I also had one person tell me that I should have come to him to design a more efficient valve that wouldn’t require chemicals to integrate with my body.  Note this man is neither a doctor nor an engineer, but he is an asshole.

I had planned on buying this game when it first came out in August 2011, but I am glad that I didn’t.  It’s taken two years of yoga & meditation and a year answering cardiac infused existential questions with a psychiatrist to get me to relative stability.  If I had seen the opening to the game (see below) before now, I probably would have had a minor breakdown.  Funny, I’ve watched similar surgeries on Youtube without problem, but the stylistic way that they show the heart beating followed by the buzz of the bonesaw really sets kicks the flashbacks in high gear.