Friday, August 13, 2010

Failed Inception, Pacific Park, & Saturday Yoga


Yoga Anonymous

My good friend and esteemed and lovely yoga teacher invited me to her yoga class in Santa Monica on Saturday (July 31).
She invited me the Tuesday before that (July 27) out in the parking lot of the SRHT office, just after our weekly yoga class. My lovely case manager, Erin was standing there by Beth's car when she invited me, so I have proof. Erin had already been invited, and had told me earlier in the day that she would be attending.
I didn't expect Beth to invite me. I had just picked up all of the blankets we use in yoga class sometimes when we roll them up into "sausages," ("Erin, stop grabbing my sausage,") a big pile of them that Beth was going to take with her to wash. I stood inside the Defiance Space holding this big pile of blankets while Beth spoke to Erin. After a while Beth turned around and noticed me holding the big pile of blankets, and said, "Oh!" Then she hurriedly lead the way outside to her car where I deposited the big pile on the back seat.
Then as Erin and Beth hugged each other goodbye, they spoke of the upcoming Saturday yoga class.
It was going to videoed and Beth needed people to attend so it would look all busy and successful and everything. The video of the class would become available online, I guess from the site from where the classes are held, a place called Yogi Anonymous, in Santa Monica, California. I was assured it was not a 12 Step Program for individuals addicted to yoga, that it was just a clever name to call the place where classes were held. Anyway, eventually Beth's class would appear as a live stream on the Internet in the hopes it would attract more students for her to teach.
Here's their web-site:
If you're ever in Santa Monica, California, dear readers and wish to attend a yoga class, this would be a good place to go. There are lots of other yoga teachers there as well, but my favorite is Beth, and her class is on Saturday nights from 6:00 to 7:00 at night. Yogi Anonymous works on a donation basis, were the patrons donate a certain amount of cash to the instructor at the end of the class ($14 a session is suggested), as Beth and the other instructors rent the place and need the money to keep teaching.
Beth suddenly looked at me in the parking lot, and said,"You can come too."
Then it was my turn to say, "Oh!"
She told me the name of the place, where the class was going to be held, and the time, and that it would be free for everybody that night due to the taping and all.
I went back to my box and looked up the address of Yogi Anonymous on the Internet, then Emailed Erin and asked her if she minded if I went. I was thinking Erin might be sick of seeing me all of the time and might want the weekend off, even though she likes it when I attend her church on Sundays.
I'm so insecure.
Erin swiftly replied, and said, "I don’t mind at all, and I’m sure she’d be happy to have you!"
I told Erin, "Thanks. I'm sure she'll be happy to have you as well!"
I'm such a smart ass. I hate myself sometimes.
Anyway, I figured it all out. Saturday I would leave at 1:00 and take the 720 to Santa Monica, arriving at about 2:30. I would then walk to the AMC Criterion theater on the Third Street Promenade, and use the AMC Silver Pass that I got for giving blood at Cidars-Sinai for the 2:45 showing of "Inception" (what's Erin doing up there again in Inception's reverse reality cast picture!?).
Yes I know I've already seen it, but I wouldn't have minded seeing it again, and with the length of the film at 2 hours and 28 minutes, I figured I get out about 15 minutes before the yoga class began at 6:00.
I called the theater before hand to make sure the pass was good for the movie (it's only good, it seems, after the film you wish to see has been out for two weekends), and it was. I took the bus, got there on time, entered the theater, sat down, watched the previews, then the film began... but slightly out of focus.
Many patrons yelled at times, "Focus!" Truthfully, it wasn't all that bad, but was noticeable. You could tell at times the movie projector people were trying to adjust the focus, but after a while, after about 30 minutes, during the Kyoto helicopter scene, the film abruptly stopped, and management people spoke from the back of the auditorium.
They said they couldn't fix the focus problem and gave us all the boot. The theater was about half full (as I predicted, "Inception" would continue it's reign at the box office, being the #1 film in America for the third weekend in a row (due no doubt to weak competition), making 27.5 million over the weekend, beating out the new Steve Carell flick, "Dinner for Schmucks," which made 23.3. "Inception," has now made $235 million domestically, and $251 overseas, for a total of $486 million. Considering the film's production budget was $160 million, and that the movie houses get about half of the ticket money, and advertising costs have been said to be $100 million, "Inception" should now be in the black. Now whatever it makes on DVD sales, cable, TV, etc. will be pure profit for the producers. A little movie business trivia for those who have no life), so there was a lot of us getting the old boot. I felt like I was back in the Salvation Army.
We were given AMC Guest Passes of course, good for any AMC theater, whenever a movie came out. And as it happens the Third Street Promenade is lousy with AMC theaters, 3 of them. It was 3:30 when I got out, and I now found myself with a good deal of time on my hands. Just across from the street from the Criterion was another AMC theater showing, "Inception," at 4:05. But I decided not to go, save my new pass for a film I had not seen before, and just walk around until yoga time.
But where to go? I had two and a half hours to kill.
I did bring two books with me for reading on the bus. Dean Koontz's "By the Light of the Moon," which I had read before, and was almost finished with again. And "Chaos, Making a New Science," by James Gleick, presumably concerning...chaos. I hadn't gotten very far in that one yet. It was too chaotic.
I'd have to get over that though and start reading it sometime.
However I did not read in Santa Monica. I continued walking along the Promenade, looking and listening to the street singers, looking at the shops and the pretty ladies.
Then I decided to go over to the pier and look around. There were a lot of people there. A lot of pretty ladies were there as well! They're everywhere!
I was going to stroll to the end of the pier and see what I could see, but I never made it that far. Instead I got involved watching everybody in Pacific Park ( ), the amusement park on the pier (Erin, her friend Courtney, and I had been at the park before, but decided the rides were too hokey and expensive to bother with. ($5 a ride).
It's not a very big amusement park being on a pier and all, but it was fun slowly walking around watching everybody have a good time, especially the kids.
I watched people on the world's only solar powered ferris wheel, Inkie's Pirate Ship, electric bumper cars, Inkie's Air Lift, the West Coaster ("the only west coast, Oceanfront, steel roller coaster located on a pier over the Pacific coastline." Freaking big deal.), the Pacific Plunge, the Frog Hopper, and Inkie's Scrambler (and who the hell is Inkie anyway!?).
I watched lots of kids and adults play those amusement park arcade games, like throwing a basketball in a hoop, ring toss, pitching a baseball into a basket, all for $5 a shot. If they managed to win they received a small stuffed animal that probably cost the Park a buck or two. That means a clear $3 to $4 profit if the sucker, er, the player wins. What a racket.
They were all having fun though, I guess that's what counts the most.
I saw a Park employee, a young girl, the Guesser, at the Guessing booth, actually guess (within a certain limit) a small girl's weight, and a guy's birth month (which means they lost, and paid $5 for a big fat nothing). I saw little girls, they couldn't have been more 6 or 7, climbing up a rock wall kind of thing, with safety belts on of course. They were great.
The time just flew by. At 5:15 I left the pier and made my way to 2nd street, to the Yogi Anonymous practice hall.
There's a sign by the front door that directs those who wish to enter to take their shoes off. I did that and went inside.
The last class had just ended, and various people I didn't know were busy getting dressed. I sat down on the floor, propped against a wall and just waited about fifteen minutes until Beth arrived. She seemed surprised and genuinely happy to see me there, and gave me a nice palm slap in recognition of her extreme happiness. She got me my very own mat, and I used one of the restrooms to change into my yoga shorts.
One of Beth's friends placed a static video camera on a floor truss which pointed to where Beth would be instructing us. Beth was given a microphone to wear as well.
Others arrived. Soon Erin and her lovely friend Ivey got there too.
Erin cannot do any inverted poses for the time being due to her Acid Reflux condition. She and Beth worked out what stuff she could do before starting.
And then we began. Beth explained she would be doing a "beginners class," with fairly simple poses. She was lying.
A very attractive young blonde girl got there late and took the mat directly to my left. I happened to notice this. I don't know why...
... because I was really concentrating of the poses Beth put us through. They were simple, but some of them quite strenuous. I began to sweat.
But I wasn't the only one. I could look around and see others being put through their paces as well. The pretty blond girl was having as hard a time as I was it seemed.
At one point Beth wanted us to try a pose that I had never done before, a hand stand really, with our hands in between our legs which were spread open. I tried it until it made me fart. Then I stopped.
I was slightly mad that Beth had made me fart, and I certainly hoped no one else had noticed, especially the pretty blond girl to my left, and Ivey next to her. Then after awhile I didn't care anymore and just tried to get through the rest of the class without killing myself.
It did eventually end at some point. While I was rolling up my mat, Erin came over and began poking me in the head with hers. When I looked up she introduced me to Rachel, the pretty blond girl who may have heard me fart.
"Hi Rachel," I said.
I got my pants back on, then went over to Ivey and asked her if she practices yoga on a regular basis.
"No," she told me. She had only been to two yoga classes before, through her church she told me. I complimented her on how well she did, then assured her I would seek revenge on Beth for those particularly hard poses she thrust upon us.
It was time for me to leave, so I said goodbye to Erin and Beth, who were talking to each other.
"Rick, you rule," Beth said. She was happy that I had come. She gave me a nice hug, which instantly dissolved my animosity toward her. I like it when beautiful young women give me heartfelt hugs.
I don't know why.
I said goodbye to Ivey, and Rachel.
"It was nice to meet you," she said.
Then I was on my way.
I ate three pork tacos when I got back to my lonely box. Had a sweet roll kind of pastry, and watched some stupid Indiana Jones rip off movie on the Sci Fi channel, until about 10:30, when I couldn't take it anymore, and went to bed.
And dreamt of flying elephants landing in the downward dog position.
Freaking elephants!

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