Department Of Free At Last, Free At Last….
Five days, and we will be free of this festering dungheap of an election.
I have no illusions about the future. After a brief respite, yet another Turd In The Political Punchbowl of Life ® will bob to the surface. Yet for just one moment, perhaps, we may inhale through our nostrils, exhale through our mouths, and whisper,
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“If freshness and hygiene is a question, generally it’s tribal situations that are problematic, where the whole tribe, the chief is offering you something that’s what they have. Often they don’t have refrigeration, it’s often old…. Often these dishes are eaten in one large bowl with the whole tribe jamming their fingers in. So yeah, rotten food, food that’s clearly not clean, water that’s clearly not good — those are a challenge.”
(Anthony Bourdain, Fresh Air, 10-27-16)
Intrepid tourists from (that which we call) Western Civilization often  pride themselves on being game to sample the local delicacies. The more obscure the travel destination and more repellent-sounding the delicacy, all the better for their reputation as Culturally Curious/Sensitive Travelers ®. American “bad boy” chef and author Anthony Bourdain demonstrated this proclivity in spades during his recent interview with the radio show Fresh Air, which ruined my breakfast entertained me one morning when I listened to a podcast of the show.
Bourdain shared stories about how a world traveler in search of “food adventures” has to navigate the tricky waters of being a guest in someone’s home and eating what is offered. This can be especially dicey when visiting poor/tribal peoples, who profess to honor you by offering you the local delicacy  – usually an obscure (to Western palates) animal parts concoction.  Which prompted the show’s host  to ask Bourdain if it were true that, while visiting Namibia, Bourdain had been offered an “unwashed warthog rectum.”
Yep, it was true.
Well…the chief yanks that part out and throws it on the grill and grills it medium rare and splits it with me. And…the whole tribe is watching. He’s offering me what he sees as the best part. That’s a clear take-one-for-the-team situation…. What am I going to do, refuse him, embarrass him in front of his people, look ungrateful?”
When Bourdain was asked what grilled warthog rectum tasted like, he replied (my emphases), “It tasted like exactly what you would expect – a sandy, gritty rectum.”
Boys and girls, repeat after me: WTF !?!?!?!?!?!?!
Now, that is the part that got me. More than the fact that Bourdain ate…what he ate. It’s how he described how it tasted. Excusez-moi, Monsieur….
To what “you” can Mr. Bourdain possibly be referring – the you who has exact expectations about what a warthog rectum would taste like?
I moiself have never been happier to confess that there is a thing about which I have never held and will never hold any expectations: what grilled warthog rectum tastes like.
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Department Of More Fun With Podcasts
Out for an early morning walk was the perfect venue for listening to a StarTalk radio show podcast titled Calling ET. As I watched the sun rise and gradually break through the veil of gray clouds overhead, I wondered, as per the podcast, who or what might be watching and/or listening to beings like moiself?
StarTalk frequently covers topics relating to the SETI program, including the speculation that if the first extra-terrestrials to discover earth find us due to our own transmissions, whether they be the early radio and television transmissions which were (unintentionally) transmitted to the cosmos or the new plans to use planetary radar to send focused beams into space. The program invited sci-fi author, scientist and NSAS consultant David Brin to discuss many ideas inherent in the topic how to let extraterrestrial life know that that there is supposedly intelligent life on earth, and “when to say who you are.”
One of the things mentioned that caught my attention: Brin stated that although our technology has much advanced in the past 30 some years, the advent of cable and other non-antenna dependent way of accessing television shows means that we were “louder” (in terms of sending information outward) in the 1980s.
I was grateful to realize one implication of that statement: Duck Dynasty is less likely to be accessed by potential ET visitors. But it gave me pause to consider what any intelligence sufficiently advanced to receive our broadcast from the 1980s – when most popular TV shows included such intellectually-stimulating fare as Joanie Loves Chachi and The Love Boat – might think about us. My guess is the ETs might immediately erect the cosmic equivalent of police yellow tape around paths leading to the planet Terra, and warn their fellow galactic travelers to “move along folks, move along folks, there’s nothing here to see.”
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Department Of Peeking At A Writer’s Glamorous Life
The upside of receiving biannual royalty statements for a book which was published eleven years ago and is out of print and thus hasn’t sold any copies in several years: It takes less than thirty seconds to reconcile and file the statement.
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Department Of Om – What She Said
I practiced yoga at home, off and on but mostly on, for ~ 25 years. FAVOR,  mostly including a pesky tendinitis-like injury to my left elbow,  my mat work in that form of exercise has been sparse-to-non-existent the past five years.
In all those years my practice was self-motivated and solo; I never attended a yoga class, but learned from a wide variety of teachers via videos and DVDs. The days of when I could (and wanted to) jump back into chaturanga during a vinyasa, (landing in a low pushup with body weight supported only by toes and hands) are likely long gone. Also gone is my desire to do the more vigorous forms, “power” yoga. I’ve got free weight routines for that kind of workout. These days, I’m all about relaxation and stress reduction.
As for the latter, I figured it was time to find a good class/studio/teacher…but I’m selective, and not much of a joiner. And, as un-yoga as it may be to be so critical, what I was not seeking (and what is too easy to find) is a couple of twenty-something PYTs who took a few yoga classes, liked how they looked in yogatards,  forked out $3k for a Yoga Training certificate, rented a space, opened a studio, call themselves Experienced Yoga Teachers and want to fill their classes with bodies like their own and have no idea about the capabilities and concerns of those of us whose joints have 50+ years of mileage.
After much perusal I think I’ve found a match. The practice space at Yogaomazing is…well…amazing. As was the class I took there, given by a very nice yogini, who maintained her attentive calm and gentle, unflappable spirit and batted not one eyelash when I used the word dildo  in her beautiful, light-filled, wall-of-windows studio.
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Department Of Public Service Announcements
Remember to Celebrate National Cher Day  tomorrow before you go to bed.
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May you find a reason to exhale;
May you have the poise to refuse “delicacies” that would knock a buzzard off a shit wagon;
May you, like Cher, remember to turn back time;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 And often mistakenly, IMHO.
 A part of me thinks there is no such tradition, and that as soon as the well-meaning (read: patronizing) white guest leaves, the tribe later dishes themselves: “Can you believe we got him to swallow that – what kind of ignoramus thinks we eat hyena pus pie?”
 e.g., the ones I’ve heard of include things like monkey brains or slug’s milk cheese or shark’s bladder soup Or other “food items” I’ve read about which should induce immediate vegetarianism in those who would even consider ingesting said items.
 My favorite (no pun intended) acronym, which translates For A Variety Of Reasons.
 Not yoga-related…but a good story, which I may relay in these pages one day, with my offspring’s’ permission.
 The term for a one-piece stretch garment worn by some yogis – not a pejorative for a spastic person trying to do advanced yoga poses…shame on you for even thinking that.
 Nothing yoga-related, I assure you, but, believe-it-or-not, apropos to a story I was telling her.