Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yep, They Do Got Talent


Monday, October 26, 2009

I Have Just One Thing To Say To You...

OK. Tyra Banks is AWESOME!

You Are The Perfect Gift To The World

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On Being a Good Blogger

Well, for starters, I am probably not one. I see a good blogger as someone who has lots of lovely pictures and tutorials and personal anecdotes to share with her readers. While this is what I want and aspire to be, right now I am not. Partly this is because I have yet to find my "voice", hence the name "Un Peu De Tout", French for "a little bit of everything" - because that's what I like, a little bit of everything. And while that can be endearing to some, myself included, it also doesn't create much of a readership of people who want to see what you come up with next. Several blogs on my sidebar have distinct voices and you kind of know what to expect from them. Mommyhood, crafting and/or sewing, cooking, religious stuff. I have a very eclectic set of things that I like, much of which does not fit well together. And while that is all well and good, I seem to have a strong resisitance to blogging about just one or two main topics as I am not totally into any one thing. I am a new makeup artist and maybe I'll find inspiration there, which I would love. I really enjoy Makeup Geek and perhaps I'll find my stride like she has. I love sewing and crafting, but for goodness' sake, I don't even have a sewing machine yet so there's no way that little old me can do any tutorials on making a darn thing. Homelife right now isn't something worth blogging about so that's out too. Maybe I have some readers out there despite the lack of a unifying thread tying some things together. I also am really apprehensive about expressing my political views and that's why I've kept my blog private for so long. I am pretty "lefty" at this point in my life and I know that strong opinions on either side of things are alienating. Yet, it is something that I would kind of feel incomplete without in my life, I really enjoy politics and news. Luckily I get to talk to my husband about all that so maybe I should just stick to talking about it with someone who understands my thinking and luckily agrees with most of my views.

Sigh. Well, I figure I'll keep plugging along and see what comes of it all. As I begin this new stage and career maybe something will arise I had not even expected. That would ne cool!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's Goodness

Ah yes, the French Press. The only way that I make my coffee in the mornings. It's not that I think it is bad, per se, to use a coffee maker, but I just really like the ultra fresh flavor that comes from coffee brewed in a French Press.

Now that I have plenty of experience using it for coffee, I am going to look into brewing small batches of chai in it. I am not sure if it will work, actually, because every recipe I've read for making chai at home calls for the spices to be boiled for a time so as to fully release all flavors. We shall see. Today, in fact, I am off to one of my favorite local markets to see if I can't find all the spices I need to make me a batch of chai. I am really excited to try! Also, we have these most wonderful neighbors who keep bringing us tamales and other culinary goodness so I am going to bake them a batch of my Pumpkin Crumbles.

Got my work cut out for me, so off I go!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Many Benefits of Yoga

Physiological Benefits of Yoga
* Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium * Pulse rate decreases * Respiratory rate decreases * Blood Pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors) * Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases * EEG - alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation) * EMG activity decreases * Cardiovascular efficiency increases * Respiratory efficiency increases * Gastrointestinal function normalizes * Endocrine function normalizes * Excretory functions improve * Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase * Breath-holding time increases * Joint range of motion increase * Grip strength increases * Eye-hand coordination improves * Dexterity skills improve * Reaction time improves * Posture improves * Strength and resiliency increase * Endurance increases * Energy level increases * Weight normalizes * Sleep improves * Immunity increases * Pain decreases * Steadiness improves * Depth perception improves * Balance improves * Integrated functioning of body parts improves

Psychological Benefits of Yoga
* Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase * Mood improves and subjective well-being increases * Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase * Social adjustment increases * Anxiety and Depression decrease * Hostility decreases * Concentration improves * Memory improves * Attention improves * Learning efficiency improves * Mood improves * Self-actualization increase * Social skills increases * Well-being increases * Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase * Self-acceptance increase * Attention improves * Concentration improves * Memory improves * Learning efficiency improves * Symbol coding improves * Depth perception improves * Flicker fusion frequency improves

Biochemical Benefits of Yoga
* Glucose decreases * Sodium decreases * Total cholesterol decreases * Triglycerides decrease * HDL cholesterol increases * LDL cholesterol decreases * VLDL cholesterol decreases * Cholinesterase increases * Catecholamines decrease * ATPase increases * Hematocrit increases * Hemoglobin increases * Lymphocyte count increases * Total white blood cell count decreases * Thyroxin increases * Vitamin C increases * Total serum protein increases

Benefits of Yoga Versus Benefits of Exercise

* Yoga Benefits
o Parasympathetic Nervous System dominates o Subcortical regions of brain dominate o Slow dynamic and static movements o Normalization of muscle tone o Low risk of injuring muscles and ligaments o Low caloric consumption o Effort is minimized, relaxed o Energizing (breathing is natural or controlled) o Balanced activity of opposing muscle groups o Noncompetitive, process-oriented o Awareness is internal (focus is on breath and the infinite) o Limitless possibilities for growth in self-awareness

* Exercise Benefits
o Sympathetic Nervous System dominates o Cortical regions of brain dominate o Rapid forceful movements o Increased muscle tension o Higher risk of injury o Moderate to high caloric consumption o Effort is maximized o Fatiguing (breathing is taxed) o Imbalance activity of opposing groups o Competitive, goal-oriented o Awareness is external (focus is on reaching the toes, reaching the finish line, etc.) o Boredom factor

*Lists borrowed from the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple website.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Movie Review: Hippie Masala

I just finished watching Hippie Masala, a documentary film about 5 or so hippies that moved to India in the 60s and 70s in search of greater spiritual meaning. It was interesting and even enlightening. It has taken the mysitque out of life in India for me. While the terrain is absolutely stunning, I see what one man says in the film about it being beautiful to a visitor but to those who live there it is what it is. It seems that a woman's life in India is very difficult, too. Men feel that they can expect the women to do all the work, or at least most. One woman who married one of the Eurpoeans said that it was her dream to live out her life single, obviously so she could be in peace.

Also, I have heard that animals, especially cows are very revered in India, but I can't say I saw a life better than those in farms here. I guess I have a strange vision as to how animals should live. I bet if I had a farm people would laugh at me because my animals would have comfortable places to sleep, good food, clean environments, plenty of space, and lots of love - sans any fear of harm or death.

All in all though, an interesting film. I like learning about India and it's culture. I found it not too surprising that one man said that you could live there for 50 years and never be fully accepted. I wasn't too surprised because the same is true here. You will always be viewed as a foreigner, and will never be seen as only a member of that society.

Verdict: I am happy here in the States. I love my freedoms, I love belonging at least somewhere. I am an American, and that does mean something.

Rose Lassi

Right now I am drinking my very first rose lassi. A traditional Indian drink used to aide digestion or is just simply enjoyed after meals. I may not have made it the best or right way, as I imagine it should taste a little better than it does. I added real rose petals so maybe next time I won't. Or maybe I won't add the rose water and see how that tastes. As I've been drinking it, I thought that a mint lassi would be good. We didn't grow mint this year because it pretty much takes over our garden so I'd have to get a bunch at the store, but it may be worth it.

Here's a recipe, for those so inclined:


About a cup of plain (unsweetened) yogurt {or indeed use sweetened and just don't add sweetener afterward}

rose water (can be found in Asian markets, but be careful which you get, mine seems fake...)

rose blossoms (optional)

A few teaspoons of honey (until it's sweet enough for you)

Whizzz it up in the blender (until it's frothy and smooth)

When There is No Pebble Tossed

Ripple by the Grateful Dead, one of my all-time favorite bands. Needed some Dead today.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Because of One Great Man

Today is the National Day of Non-Violence. This is because it is also the celebration of Gandhi's birth. Two great days in a row: yesterday was Vegetarianism day, and today this. Awesome. Gandhi was my first Hindu inspiration. As previously noted, I feel very connected with all things Indian, but as Indian culture is not very prominent in the States, I hadn't heard of this great man until I was in my teens. Now that I study Hinduism and Indian culture more academically, I have found it to be a pleasure to get to know this man more. The most beautiful part to me is that his message didn't die with him. Through his courage and efforts he is known, and thus his message is known. The UN recognized Gandhi's contribution to the world and has codified this day to be a national day of non-violence. I think he would be most pleased even if it is only one day. It is a start in the right direction.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dear Naysayers:

What a crying shame that this couldn't have been determined during Michael's life. I have ALWAYS been a strong M.J. supporter and never believed that he was bleaching his skin. He said he had vitiligo and I believed him. He was healthy at time of death, contrary to many reports that he was weak and depleted. How very sad that his life ended so soon, that his childrens' father has been forever taken from them, and that the world lost the best, nay, the GREATEST star the world has ever known.

Love ya, Michael. Wish I could have met you...

Jesus H. Christ Hangin' on the Cross

These people (Phelp's people) are so. fucked. up. I am so grateful that I don't live anywhere near them. Oh my god...
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