html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: February 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm not even the passenger. I'm cargo.

I'm going out of town to meet my cousin's new baby. Might not be around much next week.

I have gotten so casual about travel that I am a little appalled. My cousin was trying to make careful arrangements for picking me up, but until I looked it up on Sunday night, I couldn't even remember whether I flew out on Wednesday or Thursday. I don't think about trips in advance anymore. I'll have figured it out before I have to get on the plane. I have packed, a little. I hate packing with a passion. I hate it so much more than a chore deserves. I hate it especially now, because my crap is in two cities. I invariably pack at the last minute.

I get by, I guess, because I've done so much of it. Maybe packing and travel arrangements bore me so much because I'm decent at them and they aren't intrinsically interesting? Dunno. I feel like a responsible adult would give them more than the scantest attention, but I also notice that I haven't messed up my packing or missed a plane in years. Perhaps I am free-riding on other people's attention to detail, on my cousin's reliability and my aunt's detailed back-up plans? Perhaps I am old and secure enough that if things go wrong, I'll just solve them at the time, with the internets, phone calls and money? Perhaps I'm just not concerned about how it turns out. I'll see my cousin and don't need anything else to happen. I dunno. But in several hours, I'll be on a plane to France. I've got my movements blocked out from now until I board. After that, I am not the driver.

Monday, February 25, 2008

And your feet don't hurt.

I found out the strangest thing last week. Is it true that you people are not daydreaming constantly? Do you really not have a handful of narratives developing at all times, that you slowly work through for a few weeks until they get old and a new one starts? When you do the dishes or ride to work or swim or even for the seconds when you walk to the printer, you don't instantly revert to a daydream?

I have a few daydreams going at all times. They are shameless, of course. I don't know which are worse, the maudlin ones where He Finally Realizes I Am Perfect or the heroic ones where I Step Up and Take Charge Because I'm the Only Person On the Scene Trained in Emergency Response. Let's see. I've led the evacuation of a burning theater. Right now, me and my friends have come upon an earthquake damaged elementary school. (I don't know why it was a multiple story building. That's not very realistic out here.) Someone has to land the 747 after everyone passes out. It isn't that impressive though. You just do what you have to at the time, and then graciously return to your regular life, blushing when you read all the stories in the paper. They'll pass soon enough. At least your friends still treat you normal.

Do some of you really not do this? I quizzed Anand relentlessly, but he says, no, he thinks about the projects he is working on and maybe how some plan is going to work out. I do that too, but in between it is all "if she hadn't been so quick-thinking, I don't know what we would have done. How astonishing that the catastrophe could only be averted by someone with an in depth knowledge of both irrigation AND deadlifting." You guys don't run these scenarios all the time? Some of you don't even do this some of the time? What do you do when you have to wait for stuff? More importantly, what will you do when you guys are first on the site after a disaster? WILL YOU BE READY?

Friday, February 22, 2008

In LA, this Sat, 7ish.

I said, 'Hey Joe, could you please make plans for us in LA this Saturday night?' and he sent me this:

I got it. Paru's, it's an Indian vegetarian place on Sunset. I've been there before, it's great. Address and more info here:

Afterward we can go to a bar on Sunset called Shortstop, in Echo Park. The one time I've been there, the dancing was good and the DJ was eclectic and groovy. Not sure what will be on offer on Saturday, but I did notice that the jukebox looked solid. Plus it's a fairly easy, straight shot on Sunset from Paru's for a couple miles, whether we pile into a car or two or hop on the Sunset bus.

Now, about when do we want to eat? If a reservation is required I'll call and make it...

See you soon!
I love so much that he settled the entire evening. That is fantastic. Hope you're there too.

Rats are curious.

I did enjoy these. I am completely shameless about peering through fences and looking into windows. I'll climb up on stuff to get a better view.

It seems only fair that I didn't put up curtains in the ten years I lived in my house. I'd turn the lights off to change clothing and turn them back on when I was done.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I should let it drop...

...but I totally can't. Long as I've got comment moderation on, I'm going to enjoy this. Ready?

Integrating women into firefighting doesn't hurt the quality of service provided.

Math ability is a predominantly a function of social constructs.

Lawrence Summers was not an innocent victim, railroaded by dogmatic feminists.


Men benefit hugely from feminist ethics and welcome the freedom to express a far wider range of ways to be than traditional gender roles permit.

I, me personally, can kick your ass in a fight. This is fact for all but a few exceptions and the odds are against your being an exception.

Integrating queers of all sorts into the military will not damage unit cohesiveness or military readiness after a brief adjustment. Military leaders are responible for setting the tone and enforcing this.

Soldiers in wars do horrendous things, and it is our collective duty to acknowledge that, limit and discipline it, and treat them on return.

Global warming is real, anthropomorphicgenic, and the leading trends are already showing up in our observation systems. Limiting the damage and adapting to new resource constraints will be the predominant task of mine and the next generation. Avoiding personal sacrifice to reduce global warming is shortsighted selfishness.

Arabs are simply people and should be treated as people. They are not inherently an enemy, but are instead pissed off and militarized when we invade one of their countries after an unaffiliated group of people from a different country flew planes into our buildings.


Homegrown evolutionary psychology is bullshit, and professional ev psych is highly suspect. In the first place, the idea that our nature is revealed by what animals would have done in a brutish struggle for survival IS NOT RELEVANT. What proto-humans would have done is purest speculation, and irrelevant as well. Our standard is NOT ANIMAL BEHAVIOR IN A STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL. We can do better than that these days. We have frontal cortexes now! This has been a very exciting development and it allows us to CHOOSE OUR BEHAVIOR! This is great! It means that we can act a hell of a lot better than animals in a brutish struggle for survival. So I DON'T FUCKING CARE what animals would have done on the veldt.

Immigrants, even newly arrived immigrants, contribute more to our society and economy than they drain from our resources.

Men do not come in alpha or beta types, and women do not react to them in some manner illuminated by game theory. Men and women are people, struggling to find connections and get their needs for touch and love and support fulfilled. Their reactions to each other are not categorizable and manipulable.

I can have extravagant, promiscuous, incredibly good sex before marriage, with whomever I choose AND have a wonderful life in all respects. I can be thoroughly loved by a man I love outrageously, NO MATTER WHAT SEX I HAVE before that relationship. Me and my adored can also have fantastic sex and make arrangements with each other for unconventional forms of sex and still have a loving and supportive relationship. I CAN HAVE SO MUCH GOOD SEX and never be punished for it in any form. Yep. I can have all sorts of crazy kinds of sex and be a great engineer and have a good job and have friends and family adore me and never ever suffer for AS MUCH SEX AS I WANT TO HAVE. Lots of conscientious fun sex, with whomever I want, and NO BAD CONSEQUENCES. Even though I am a woman. Having sex.


The value of the taxes you pay is less than the value of the services society gives you, that you never notice because you don't pay for them upfront.

The costs you see should cover the social and environmental externalities. Gas, food, water, clothing, single-family dwellings, parking, should all be considerably more expensive. You should eat local food, in season.

Civil servants are often bright and conscientious, trying to negotiate between multiple contradictory societal interests and established legal constraints. They are subject-matter experts and constantly solicit public input into their decisions.

There are other interests besides economic efficiency, like distribution of utility. Efficiency is simply one value, that should be balanced against other values.

RIDE YOUR FUCKING BIKE. You will like it better. SHARE THE MOTHERFUCKING ROAD and yield to cyclists!

Meat should be an occasional treat, not a dietary mainstay. What meat you eat should be humanely raised. If you can't afford grass-fed beef, you can't afford the full costs of the food you consume.

Being fat is the result of a mixture of complex factors; will-power is only one of them. Demonizing fat people is ineffective and mean.

Refusing to let a malevolent jackass spread ego-stroking, self-serving generalizations on a blog is not censorship or intolerance. It is protecting the discussion for people who want to read more than repetitive inane arguments that devolve into personal attacks.

Oh holy shit that felt good. Awwww man. You can't even know how good that was for me. Baby, I'm just gonna lie here a while and glow.

Quick note

Comment moderation is on for a short time, 'cause I am not interested in letting Andrew pick fights here. Since I'm around a lot, I hope it won't much delay putting your comments up. I don't intend for comment moderation to be permanent.

A large bottle.

I had a long and tense dream last night, in which I was systematically looting a store because the Collapse had started. I carefully considered what I could carry and what I would need until the next store raid and how each thing could keep and like that.

I'll have you know that the first thing I stole was a bottle of vanilla.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

L.A. on Sat night?

Hey folks.

Sharad is going to be in LA this weekend! Sharad! Yes! THAT Sharad!

I don't actually know Sharad. I've heard about him for years. Most accounts describe him as larger than life, described best by repeating his name and shaking one's head to convey the hugeness of his essence. Sharad!

Anyway, Sharad's visit to LA is reason enough for Anand to arrange a roadtrip, and I do need to see my sibs. So I'm in. I don't know if I'll actually meet Sharad. Having already met Felix, it is possible that I need to keep some people as legends in my life.

So anyway, want to hang out in LA on Saturday night? Strange Bird? aDubin!? Srchngformystry? Others? Maybe we'll connect with Anand and Sharad and their crew. Sharad!

I blew it.

I got an email from a good friend last night, saying that she takes my very long email silence as a sign that I am no longer interested in our friendship. She is sorry for whatever it was and thought we were close and her door is always open to me. Crap. I am so sorry. I didn't mean it. I wasn't breaking up with her. I just cannot manage all the friends and family that are far away.

It is like this for me all the time and if I think much about it, it kills me. You know who else I don't talk to nearly enough? My baby sister. My baby brother. My mom. My dad. My grandfather, who was just put in a dementia ward. His wife. You know who else wants my attention? The perfect nephews, who have recently started crying when I leave. Oh god. Babies, I would stay and cuddle you forever, except I can't. If I did, I would still be neglecting my friends in Sacramento. And my friends in L.A. My aunt and cousin in Paris have mentioned that I should write more. I love them all so much. I want to. But oh god. Each mention just tugs on the whole chain of people I should write to even more and I can't start on all that.

For someone who writes as much as I do, and has sought out a whole bunch of imaginary friends, I don't know why I don't contact the people I already have. But their correspondences are hard! They should be good letters*, and have to be within some reasonable time. Why can't they just read this and leave me short quips? Then I could still feel close with them (Claudia and Alysia and eDubin! and Amanda and all y'all who were real first! Represent!).

Anyway, I feel guilty all the time anyway. The real solution is for everyone I love to move very close. Then they should come by all the time without waiting for invitations. That is the real solution. Honestly, that is mostly who I see now. People think that there are secret coded messages in the frequency of my contact, but the real truth is that I see the people who are close to me. Then, having seen them, we make more plans and the cycle is reinforced.

I am sorry, far away friend who took it personally. I did it wrong. I am sorry, family that I am still doing it wrong for. Why did we move apart? How come I must necessarily leave some of you to see the others? I want to give you my attention. I love you. But you are far and it is hard and there are close people I love. I'm doing it wrong, but I can't get it right either. It is broken.

*Even crappy letters are hard. "Well, I sortof moved. [long explanation] Sortof doing new things at work. [long explanation] No, no boys. ['cause I'm still a loser] Factual recounting of things. [boring] Cute story. [why don't they just read the blog for that?]

My Chris is right.

I've been getting involved with the bureaucratic side of California's climate change plan. Chris was right when he said:

All the people talking about climate change are coming from the attitude that we should hold lifestyle constant and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. That isn't going to be good enough. We need to get our greenhouse gas emissions where they've got to go and then maximize lifestyle.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Point of clarification.

If we're friends and I ask you whether you read the blog, I am not checking up. I really and truly do not care whether my real friends read this. I just want to know whether I can tell the same stories or if I have to find new things to talk about.


Three months to the day after I moved out of my house, I'm finishing unpacking at my sister's. It took forever, because I haven't had a wardrobe until Anand came up and helped me assemble one this weekend.

IKEA solved my problem, but I still think their furniture looks cheap, which it is. I've never liked IKEA stuff, even when the whole concept was new and exciting. I should focus on the 'solved-problem' aspect of it, shouldn't I?

I'm unpacking boxes and finding out that I do too have pretty clothes. I never wear them. If the overlords took away everything but a pair of jeans, three t's and three longsleeve t's, I'm not sure I would notice. The reason I don't wear anything else, especially quite a number of skirts, is that I don't have boots. Just like the wardrobe was the bottleneck for my new room, boots are the bottleneck for my new style.

I have tried to buy boots, but apparently all you women have little chickenleg calves. The usual circumference for boots, I now know, is 14 - 15in. Mine are 18in, and do you people have no muscles? Seriously. I'm sure someone is waiting to call me a fatty, but there is not a millimeter of yield on my calves; if I stand on my toes, you see that shelf and both sides of the gastrocnemius. Also, I think you wasted-away waifs don't have quite as much muscle on the front of your shins. Flexing my toes brings that out. I don't remember what that is from (maybe from the bouncing that these guys do interminably), but I guess it means that I can't wear boots. I am painfully bitter about this, but I make myself feel better by mocking other women's physiques.

Anyway, if boots weren't an insurmountable barrier, I would wear some girlie clothes and then I could wear the jewelry I also own. Found that today, too, with detached interest. Look at all those supercute necklace and earring sets! So exactly my tastes! I didn't miss them at all. I've kindof liked having the excuse of being in the process of moving to neglect all ornamentation. It couldn't last forever, though. Today I faced up to my clothes and jewelry. I unpacked them, tucked them away into the new wardrobe. I hope they'll like it there. That's probably where they'll stay.

Thank you, benevolent universe.

Dear god I had fun tonight. Thank you, friends who came out to celebrate with me tonight. Having so many friends from different places (and surprise exciting strangers) talk and play together was overwhelmingly joyous for me. Thank you, beautiful setting and delicious food and tall tall flames. I am so lucky and so blessed.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hey Abby,

You've seen this, right?

Added 4/17/8: Also very good.



He loves her SO MUCH. He loves the thought of her, tells me where he last saw her and what she did. He lights up at the sight of her, leaps into the air, shouts in pure delight. He yells, YEAH!!!, and runs toward her, fast as he can. My poor cat takes off at the sight of him, back to safety under the porch.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Like a freakin' mirror.

It is a trifle disconcerting to read a field guide to oneself, but at least it is accurate:

A common characteristic amongst white people is the need to over analyze things, so they partake in activities such as therapy, writing a blog, or becoming an arts major.
Sometimes people like to think about things, OK?

But, in order for them to truly enter into whitedom, they need to own the holy grail of white kitchens - the kitchen aid stand mixer (right). They will match this mixer to their kitchen’s color scheme and it will make up the focal point. And much like many religious artifacts, it will remain untouched for months and even years, sitting on the counter to be admired as a testament to their lifestyle.
I have too used Sunshine, and I will again. Soon. This weekend.

And of course, it goes without saying that white people who ride bikes like to talk about how they are saving the earth. If you know a person who rides to work, you should take them aside and say “Hey, thanks. Sincerely, The Earth.” Then give a thumbs up. That white person will ride home on a cloud.
Yes, please. Do say this, and I will glow with happiness.

White people need organic food to survive, and where they purchase this food is as important as what they purchase. In modern white person culture, Whole Foods has replaces churches and cathedrals as the most important and relevant buildings in the community.

There are some regions that do not have Whole Foods, but do have an abundance of white people (college towns), in these situations Whole Foods can be substituted with a local co-op grocery store where you have to pay a membership to shop there.
Whole Foods is weak. Too convenient, buying all your groceries in one place. I go to farmers' markets for produce, the co-op for bin food, and my community garden for anything I can grow.

And more than a little tingly.

Wow. You sure make a lot of friends when you put mildly smutty stuff up on the internet. Did you know people like that? They're kindof better friends than you guys, too, because lots of them are naked and they put pictures up! You guys never do that for me. They're all hott, my new friends. Every last naked one of them. Well, maybe not this guy, but we disappointed him too, it seems. It wasn't going to work out, I guess.

Anyway, thanks lots, all of you who wrote me a little story to tide me through Valentine's Day. That's the sort of thing that makes a blogger feel warm and cared for.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Time to put out, darling.

Hello my friends!

Maybe it is already Valentine's Day where you are! Maybe you are reading this on Valentine's Day! Maybe you will have very romantic Valentine's Day, or maybe you don't care or maybe you will sulk! None of those things matter to me, though. What matters to me is that you do me a favor. Or maybe we do each other favors, just a little something nice for each other.

If you want to do a girl a favor, you should click through to Smut Shorts and you should tell me a naughty little story. A true one. Not all porn-y and nasty, but a short little sumthin'-sumthin'. We wrote some for you, because we're all generous and giving like that.

So, my friends, Smut Shorts. Short. Smutty. Tell us a story, then tell your friends.

Happy Valentine's Day.

UPDATE: Also, to the dude who'll recognize himself: Hope that doesn't bug you.

I never really minded keeping my bike in my living room.

I've gone back and forth on this, but now I'm sure. I want the car that hits and kills me to see me first. I don't know if there is a point to that, but emotionally, I'll be pissed if the driver never even saw me.

Also, my new weekday place in Sacramento has designated, sheltered, locking bike parking. It is the most civilized thing ever.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

If this were really a choice, I wouldn't waver FOR A SECOND.

Why is the U.S. one country? I know that we fought a huge war over that, and it was important back then and stuff. But I am not scared the British are going to invade us anymore. We don't need to be one country to exist as stable entities. There's some good stuff in the U.S. Constitution that I would like to keep, and parts of it and the California Constitution I don't love. Breaking away would be a good time to pick and choose a better constitution.

I am fiercely in love with my state, and feel almost no allegiance to the country as a whole. They aren't like us in those places, you know, the ones east of the Sierras. They're not like us or each other, from what I understand. Like, the Northeast is as different from the Midwest from the South as they are from us. So, besides the Civil War, what is the importance of the U.S. staying one country? I would be thrilled to be one of the states of Pacifica. I would be proud of being a country that was a world leader on environmental legislation. I wouldn't have to be ashamed to be part of a racist imperialist country any more. The different regions can go their own way! The South can rot practice its unique heritage as its own country and fly whatever flag they want, if they aren't embarrassing me by association. I would visit Mesa Country all the time.

Sadly, the California Secession movement does not appear to be ready for us.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Will anybody come to my party?

When I was fully in the swing of my Sacramento social life, I threw several parties or events per year. They were usually well attended, but I don’t think this is because of my innate popularity as a host. I read or talk to people who are disappointed by their party turnouts, and think that it is a reflection on them. I’ll tell you who doesn’t think that. People who throw a lot of parties don’t think that your turnout is a reflection on you. People who throw a lot of parties think that novice party-givers do not put nearly enough work into their invitations.

For reference, I had a large local circle of friends and the parties were usually annual events, so they had reputations of their own. Working from that relatively strong position, here is what I would consider the minimum effort required to get more than your close friends to attend:

Pick a convenient day.
Craft an invitation specific to the event. Chris makes fantastic flyers for his parties. Roxie’s evites are particularly clever. I try to write up something to set the tone.
Start talking about it a month or more before the event. Talk about it often, with everyone you see.
Send out pre-invitations by email a few weeks in advance.
Send out real invitations by email a week or two in advance.
Remind people with an informal hope-to-see-you a couple days in advance.

That’s right. To get acquaintances to a party, I tell them around three or four times each, at least by email, and hopefully in person. Do you want to know what my response rate for a party is? For a large party, I would guess about four hundred people get two or three invitations from me and the co-hosts. A large party is eighty to a hundred people, so that is a low twenties percent response rate. That’s high, and draws on past success*. If you are bummed that you didn’t get many people to come to your party, it is entirely possible that your response rate was normal. It is hard to get people to a party.

Baby party-throwers make a number of mistakes, most of which are easily overcome by booze, food and a good playlist. But the mistake that shortcircuits all of that is thinking that party attendance just happens and that it means something about the party-giver. Low party attendance doesn’t mean anything about the host, and no one knows that better than people who throw lots of parties. High party attendance does mean something. It means your host worked at it for weeks. If you’re feeling bad about a party that didn’t turn out, and all you sent was an email announcement or two, you should let yourself off the hook. It wasn’t about you. The people I know who throw successful big parties co-host, have a good hook for the party, have party-reputations and put more work into the inviting stage than you ever noticed.

*Response rates among close friends will likely be higher, but even for a small gathering of friends you should get buy-in before choosing a date or event. Easiest is if you move in a crew of people used to coalescing. That's hard to come by, though. Mostly, it is rare that people have enough close friends to throw a large party. So you have a smaller party or you either have to lure acquaintances (hard) or co-host (yay!). Special events, like weddings or the season party for Ultimate, get disproportionately high response rates.

Do I want the person there or not?

How do I stand it? All the inviting and asking people to please come to my party, oh please? Does it sound mortifying to you? “Networking” sounds mortifying to me, but somehow inviting people to parties doesn’t trigger the same feeling.

First, of course, is that I trust my parties. I can sound enthusiastic about them because I’ve (often) done them before. I don’t generally try out a new theme or party location without having seen it work. I wouldn’t decide on a new type of party without having co-hosts who were willing to see it through with me. So I pretty much know that I am inviting people to come have a good time.

Second is that I’ve ditched a lot of the insecurity associated with inviting people to stuff. Multiple invitations is simply the process one uses. If I decided to invite them in the first place, I decided to remind them twice or more. (‘Sides, if those fuckers could remember an invitation the first time it was offered, I wouldn’t have to.) After throwing big and little parties, some with huge turnout and dedicated followings and some where just a few friends show up, you know it isn’t about you. It is about the rest of their lives and the atmosphere around the party and whether they got sunburned and tired that day. Not personal.

Finally, I don’t mind inviting people that I know will not attend. I figure that an invitation is a way to tell people “You are welcome and wanted. Someone thought of you when planning a good time. Your presence would help your host have a better time.”. Most of the point of an invitation is to get someone to attend something. But some of the point of an invitation is to tell people that I enjoy their company. That part works whether the person comes to the party or no.

So that’s how it is easy for me to issue so many invitations. I was all fraught about it years ago, but since then they have actually worked. People have shown up and a good time was had and the effort of putting out invitations has been well returned in fun.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Standing still, but for a reason.

These are gorgeous, but why are they all either short tiny little people or way tall? Where are the 5'8" women, so I can compare myself?

Via Krista.

(Also, this reminds me that I was battling my body type the whole time I was in tkd. I'm sure that if I hadn't come in with years of tkd behind me, our grandmaster would have sent me over to judo. He used to walk down the line of new people and tell anyone who wasn't tall and skinny that they had "judo body" and should come back the next night. Which is what you get to do, I guess, when you're the most respected bad ass in the room.

In his late sixties, I saw him heft a very big guy over his head, freeze for a good long time to demonstrate the hold and the throw, and then keep going.

Which also reminds me of the time after belt testing, when the HapKiDo black belts all went out to dinner to celebrate and discuss the results. Our grandmaster and the hkd master stepped outside to talk about the black belt promotions, and the hkd master noticed that a drunk asshole type guy was walking towards them and looking hostile. The drunk asshole guy was sortof approaching down the block, fixating on them and veering towards. The hkd master had no idea what to do, and was frantically reviewing the etiquette of the situation. Does he step in front of the grandmaster, who can't be expected to soil his hands on street thugs? Is that rude? Does it imply that the grandmaster couldn't handle it? Does he inform the grandmaster and wait for permission to handle it?

What does he do about the fact that on the other side of a large plate glass window, there are about thirty macho college-age black belts, who watch Hong Kong movies every single week and would love nothing more than to come running out of the restaurant shouting Siiiiifuuuu!

The asshole thug guy kept walking toward them, picking up a beer bottle out of the trash. The hkd master is not worried, but still has no idea what response will be proper and respectful to his master. At this point, the thug guy dashed the bottle against the wall, to make a jagged edge. The grandmaster heard this, turned to look and stared him down. Looked at him hard and the guy turned around and walked away. Good choice, dude. Good choice.)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I barely know him.

I wiped out on a turn on wet tiles at the BART station, a huge big fall. The bike went skidding. I went skidding. The sweetfaced skateguy said “Whoah! Are you alright?” I was, surprisingly. No broken arms this time, which is all it takes to make this a good bike fall. It would all have been fine, except that I took the entire fall and skid on my right asscheek, which was already sore from Friday.

Friday I went to see the sports therapist guy about my knee. My knee’s been bugging me. It doesn’t hurt, but I feel it all the time and I think joints should be bent and not felt. I told the knee doctor guy “I’m pretty sure it started the fall I ran stadiums, but now I feel it more the day after squat workouts.” He said “That’s your hip. Lie down on the table.” I lay down on the table, fully dressed. Without asking, he took off my belt, reached down my jeans and pressed on my hip flexor so hard that I doubled up. He flipped me over and jammed his elbow into my right asscheek hard enough to make me cry out in pain. “JESUS!” I shouted, and he said “Nope. My name is Lino.” “MOTHERFUCKER!” I shouted the next time he elbowed me.

He explained how having tight hip flexors had tightened my ass muscles, which meant my knee was torquing during squats. I don’t entirely get that, because I don’t see how muscles carved from solid marble can be any more tightened, but he’s the sports therapist guy. He had me stand and squat, and it is true that my knees felt good. He told me to unbutton my pants and lie back down on the table; on his way to see another client, he stopped to shove an ice pack down my pants, pat me on the shoulder and leave again. It really was a very personal visit.

His prescription for me was lots of pigeon, which I should have known. I love stretching. I love the feel of a stretch, the pull and slight pain of it. I love just about every stretch, will happily spend long minutes deepening any contortion, except pigeon. Pigeon just sucks and makes my hips hurt. I should have connected a pending injury to the only stretch I don't like. Of course tight hips are the weakness that showed up first.

After manhandling me like I cannot remember anyone ever doing before, he showed me some other stretches, which reminded me how much I love love love assisted stretching. I completely hated this article about partner yoga, mostly because people’s bodies are not either gross. The author assumed we shared her snide distaste for bodies, and I don’t. Worse, I’m scared the article might discourage assisted stretching, which I love so much and never get enough of. One of my secret hopes is that the guy I date will already know or be willing to learn how to help me stretch. I don’t expect that, ‘cause it takes a fair amount of skill and work, but I would be beyond thrilled if I had someone who would help me stretch occasionally.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking lots and lots about mind-body stuff recently and have started believing that people’s ailments are linked to their minds and emotions. I really want a good map of what body part or symptom corresponds to what thoughts and emotions, but don’t know where to find one I trust. Without a good map, I’ll start putting one together by myself and it will be the usual Megan esoterica. “Sore shoulders? You’re claustrophobic, aren’t you?” “Shallow arches? I knew you were a sheepfucker.” I won’t say that out loud, because I have manners, and then it will never be disproved, which is exactly the same as being right. So I’ve been pondering what tight hips mean. Probably signifies unusual perceptiveness. Something like that.