Saturday, April 13, 2002

confirming what we've suspected all along (hehe)

I'm a Freak!

How much of a freak are you?

wow, what a weekend!

wayne shorter concert friday, dean lerner yoga seminar saturday (meals from cafe tandoor, both days!)

if you were to ask me who the greatest living musician is, wayne shorter would definitely be on my short list. actually, the only folks i consider in his league would be ornette coleman and sonny rollins. i saw wayne shorter this past friday at the cuyahoga county community college jazz festival. he played with his outstanding quartet (wayne on saxes) danilo perez on piano, john patittuci on bass, brian blades on drums. the music was very free - a collective improvisation and these 4 wonderful musicians have the skill and the taste to make great music in this free format. many of the pieces flowed into each other as a suite. i have rarely been able to witness first hand such fresh and innovative music being performed live by a legend who - after all these years, is still in his prime. i can't describe it - it was genuinely like nothing i've heard before - very free. i have loved shorter's music for a while. i was amazed when many critics blasted HIGH LIFE - which i felt most critics blasted for what it was not (i.e. traditional jazz music) rather than recognizing what it was (a collection of very innovative and dreamy songs which defied categorization). wayne's latest quartet similarly is not traditional jazz - but as striking and original music as i've heard. can't wait for the cd to come later from this band. while the whole show was really a highlight - the highlight among highlights was the bands version of Aung San Suu Kyi recorded originally on the shorter/hancock duet recording a few yrs back. if you catch the newport jazz festival on pbs they feature shorter's quartet on this tune named after the nobel peace prize winner.

and saturday - i had the honor of attending an all day seminar with sr. iyengar teacher dean lerner. lerner's low key teaching style and gentle wit make him, for me, an ideal teacher. it is truly a blessing to be able to attend a class by him, i feel i learned so much and expect my practice to benefit from today's class immensely.

Friday, April 12, 2002

here's a nice guy who has 3 interesting blogs:
journey inside my mind
letters to god

ten reasons why chris witty should be athlete of the year

1. skating the race of her life when it counted the most (world record and gold medal in the women's 1000m long track speed skating)
2. doing this shortly after being diagnosed as having mono and subsequently being written off as not having a chance by all of the "experts"
3. being one of a handful of US athletes to have competed in the summer (cycling) and winter olympics (if there were a spring and fall olympics, you can bet she'd be there too!)
4. the sacrifices she and her family made
5. she accomplished this with the knowledge that this would probably NOT translate into a financial windfall for her
6. she probably will not ever be arrested for everything
7. she showed grace and poise both before the race, when her chances did not look so great and after the race after she had won - she genuinely seems like a cool person
8. her skating appears so effortless - like she's not really going that fast - 'til you check the time! (apparently it takes a lot of work to appear that effortless!)
9. despite these accomplishments, more americans could probably identify a photo of anna kournikova (who has never won a major tournament) rather than chris witty
10. simply put, she kicks ASS!

rock on, chris

Thursday, April 11, 2002

after class today, before office hours, seeing it was in the 70's and sunny, i went for a spin around campus on my inline skates. sure makes everything better

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

funny page

10 living people i'd invite to dinner

badi assad, lynn hill, bks iyengar, the dalai lama, craig charles, chris witty, robert sapolsky, salman rushdie, nigella lawson, sheryl crow

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

advice to a new yoga practioner

while i do not claim to be a yoga expert, i have practiced for a few years and i think i can offer someone new to it good advice
here goes...
    take a class if possible - any new activity is better with the support of a group and qualified instruction - a great teacher (like mine - thanks vicki) can make all the difference

    don't compare yourself with others - perhaps this should be rule 1 - and rule 2 and rule 3.... there are tons of reasons why you should not comparing yourself to other's
      nothing good can come from it - if you are less limber you may feel discouraged - more limber , you may feel prideful - neither are good!

      everyone's body is different - etc, etc,

      everyone is at a different level of their practice

      yoga is meditation - it is not gymnastics - the practice is to cultivate awareness and focus - it is not (or shouldn't be) viewed as primarily a physical exercise (of course there are countless physical benefits- a person should try to become aware how the pose feels - be truly present in it - how can you do that if your seeing how far the other folks are bending

      given that yoga is meditation - a person "deeper" in the pose is not necessarily "better" at yoga

    listen to your body - if something hurts - don't do it - or adapt the pose - that being said - a healthy stretch is ok - but if doubt, error on the side of caution

    don't eat before you practice (couple of hours)

    don't be afraid to use plenty of props - blankets, blocks etc to help you out - if you can't hold the pose as long as the class - come out of it! again - listen to your body!

yoga has helped me a lot - i feel less anxious and depressed - feel more focused and aware - and this has lead to all kinds of healthy changes in my life - try it out!

my vote for coolest online radio is the bbc
(esp. bbc6) which features a saturday funk show hosted by craig charles (lister of red dwarf) about noon-3pm est

the other stations are cool as well

here's a great link Plasticboy

anyhow, i am a vegetarian...people often ask me why i don't eat meat. first of all, what one choses to eat or not eat is entirely a personal decision. one should not judge someone one way or another based on one's diet. i stopped eating meat when i realize it came from dead animals. i'm not being coy here. i had eaten meat for 40+ years, and while i certainly could tell you that a steak came from a cow or ham came from a pig, somehow it wasn't real to me. when i became deeply aware what it meant to eat meat, i couldn't do it anymore. originally, for me, it was less for "animal rights" issues and more for, i don't know, aesthetic issues - i.e. eating meat was eating dead animals. i wouldn't want a dead animal laying in my front yard, much less on my dinner plate. that being said, since my epiphany, i have come to know of many of vegetarianism's other benefits to myself and the world - health (i lost weight, i feel better), environmental (compare resources to grow plant food vs. resources to raise meat), and yes, even animal rights (i doubt most people realize how cruelly animals on many farms are treated). i do not support completely the agenda of all animal rights groups, but if i can have a healthy, tasty, diet, which does not require fellow creatures to suffer and die - why not? some people say that humans need meat to be healthy- which is clearly not true - human need certain nutrients to be healthy - regardless the source. people say it is "natural" for humans to eat meat - which may be true - however, few other aspects of our 21st century existence are "natural" in that sense either. perhaps in another time, another place, it was necessary to eat meat - but not here and now.

but you know, chances are no one is going to be convinced to change their diet based on a blog posting and that's not even my intent. i don't want to preach - so i'll keep that at a minimum; i doubt if i'd still be a vegetarian if i viewed it as a grim duty. i'd rather focus on the fun of being a vegetarian - all the tasty dishes which i have discovered since i've stopped eating meat - which i guess i could have eaten all along, but sometimes closing one door forces you to open others...

Monday, April 08, 2002

oh yes, and if, on the odd chance someone reads this - feel free to email me at mzellers@hotmail.com

Hello. A few things about myself: i love to skate (inline and ice); i practice yoga; i love a wide range of music; i don't eat meat. I am not convinced i have anything interesting to say; i guess we'll all find out - either way, i'll bet it'll be fun - and i like fun.

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