Cave Yoga: Keepin’ it weird

September was my month for weird places to do yoga. I signed up for both goat yoga and cave yoga after a fairly daunting hot yoga class that left me feeling a bit out of it. (I later realized that I had neglected to take my pills the night before. Hello, crazy town.) Much as I bitch and complain about Facebook, it does clue me in to local events; and without its stupid algorithms, I would not have found either class so easily.

This definitely falls into the little local adventures category as I had not previously visited Olentangy Indian Caverns despite driving by billboards for it for years. It appeared to be a kid focused tourist trap. From where I parked, I could see a maze, jungle gym, outdoor games, mini golf, and a petting zoo that disappeared ominously into the woods. As one of the women there for the class said, “Oh, I can give my son $3 and he’s off for hours.” Babysitting courtesy of tourist trap.

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It was surprisingly hard to round up an adventure buddy for this particular event. They all voiced the same concerns that I had used over the years about goat yoga, but after a brief but positive conversation regarding the cave yoga, there had been silence. I wasn’t sure if I was flying solo and was relieved to pull in to the lot by a friendly face.

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Adventure Buddy and I entered the little brick building covering the cave entrance and prepared to descend 75 feet down 55 narrow, wet steps. Above ground, the day was sunny and temperate, a perfect fall morning, but the temperature dropped immediately inside the cavern entrance. For whatever reason, my right knee decided to age 90 years in two minutes as I tried to grip my mat and the railing, navigating the slick steps. Each step sent hiss worthy pains shooting through my leg and knee. I let Adventure Buddy know that I would probably use her to cushion my fall.

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With great relief, we made it to the cave without anyone squishing anyone else and followed a trail of tea lights into the main cavern.

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The Olentangy caverns were inhabited caves. Our yoga instructor who used the stone table as her area to direct the class, assured us that it was a work area and meeting point for the tribe members. While she was centered on the table, other yogis had to find spots in the pathways that branched off from the table area.

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We had been told to bring an old beach towel because the “cavern floor can be damp and somewhat muddy.” What should have been said was the cave floor is wet as hell and you need a garbage bag.

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I wasn’t concerned for my mat. It had migrated to the status of “outdoor mat” long ago and still had some chicken poo on it from goat yoga. What I didn’t realize was that as the practice progressed, water would seep through the mat particularly in the spots where I consistently placed my feet. Unfortunately, I was very conscious of the dampness. In a normal studio, placing my hand or foot off the mat would be no big deal. Here it meant cold, wet mud which I confirmed by firmly planting one ass cheek in a puddle. ****Side note: Cave mud does NOT just wash out of yoga pants. Soaking required. A garbage bag under the mat might have been better than a towel.

Also while I was sweating under all my layers, my body never really loosened up. It was, as predicted, about 55 degrees in the cave. Talk about being conscious of your breaths, I could see mine.

If you squint with one eye, you can kind of see a cloud of steamy breath during this pose.

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While there were tea lights and candles placed in various nooks and crannies, at no point did the the glaring overhead spotlights dim or go out. I was really hoping that at least during Shavasana, we could just relax by candlelight. I’m assuming it was a safety issue and there was no turning them out, but, damn, that would have been cool.

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Of all my adventures so far, this is one that I would probably not repeat unless another adventure buddy really wanted to try it. I don’t mind getting dirty and I’m certainly glad I tried it, but it was not the most comfortable yoga experience I’ve ever had.

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Halloween Hangover

The best holiday is over and it’s time to clean up. Three perfectly good pumpkins to nibble on, and my squirrels extracted all the vanilla scented candles.IMG_9877

Although their positioning for this one was pretty hilarious.

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We tried revisiting the pumpkin photo shoot, but per usual the felines are awful models.

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Birdie was as obsessed with sniffing the pumpkin cat’s butthole as she is with sniffing everybody else’s.

I tried keeping my models a little hungry, but added in some catnip and strategically placed treats. That backfired.

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Sookie refused to even remotely get involved. “Nope. Just nope.”

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Olivia sort of participated, but her eyes ask, “What the cat shit are we doing? And when’s dinner?”

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This was probably the best shot-Thanks, Miles-, and we are officially done with Halloween for the year. Now I just need to figure out the Christmas cards.IMG_9838

Happy Halloween: Pumpkin Carving Knife in hand

I knew I had waited too long to buy pumpkins when I found that someone appeared to practically be living in them. The cashier told me that they had live-trapped a raccoon in the garden center that week. My concern, of course, was the two cats that roam the store. Everybody’s okay though including the raccoon.
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Halloween snuck up on me. I realized the weekend before that I hadn’t even thought about carving pumpkins which is something I really enjoy doing. Life skills: gourd art. Typically, I steer clear of anything that seems to originate in the evil realm of Pinterest, but I did see this idea online and …well…it’s my life.

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Cat butt.

Successful pumpkin carving requires good Halloween based shows or movies although there was a point when I really wondered if I should be holding a knife and watching something with so many “jump scares.” I made it through the extended “Murder House” episode of American Horror Story’s latest season. Not bad in terms of jumpiness, but I am definitely being bullied by  “mean girls” in my class that are annoyed that I am always an episode or two behind them. They want to talk about it now! They are not going to be happy to hear that my DVR shit itself last Wednesday and didn’t even record the next episode.

Since Halloween seems to be the only horror movie that any channel will air, I headed to Netflix. I’ve seen all the variations of House on Haunted Hill and read the related Shirley Jackson book, so I was drawn to a new series The Haunting of Hill House. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Don’t watch this with a pumpkin carving knife in your hand. Do watch it alone on your couch in the dark. I only lasted two episodes that night because it was late, and because episode 2 had me sobbing to a point my stomach hurt. Warning: box of haunted dead kittens.

***Side note: This isn’t just a cat thing. I HATE it when the horror genre brings in animals, whether it’s the family’s pet or just a random stray who wanders on screen or that fucking horse in season 5 of The Walking Dead. It is always gruesome, upsetting, and completely unnecessary to the plot line. Stephen King, I’m lookin’ at you too.

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Most of my usual work supervisors went to bed although I was able to pique Birdie and Olivia’s interest with some strategically placed treats. I may have to try again for our usual cats vs. pumpkins photo shoot.

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My favorite photo is the tongue action in this shot. Happy Halloween!

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Little Adventures: Dia de los Muertos

I’m the crabbiest person I know. I take crabbiness to new and fantastic levels particularly towards friends and loved ones maybe because I know they won’t shoot me. Strangers only experience a certain surliness and migraines from my evil thoughts projected at them. I am cognizant enough to realize that one part of my brain has to stomp on the other crabby parts or we will all miss out on experiences in life.

When initially presented with the Dia de los Muertos adventure, the crabbiness kicked in. It really sounded like I would have to interact with strangers. Strangers who would be honoring dead family members! It seemed voyeuristic at the time, but it turns out that being voyeuristic is more often a sex thing which was not what I was going for. Then parts of my brain went on about basic white girls, and cultural appropriation, and the fact I had already hit my “being social” quota in a big way. However, adventure buddy wanted to take her Spanish speaking self to this, and we do my crap all the damn time.

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So I went and it was delightful. Damn it.

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Los gatos t-shirt by Squirrel Den Studio

It was sunny and comfortably cool. There were skeletons and skulls on everything and everyone, but in a festive manner. I may have bought stuff. Everyone needs a Frieda-esque floral headdress, right?!

Unfortunately, I also learned stuff. (Eyeroll) I learned that marigolds and chrysanthemums are traditional parts of the decorations and ofrendas…

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… and that ofrendas is the name for the altars that are covered in food, flowers, and mementos of favorite things. The altars incorporate an arch and three levels representing the unerworld, Earth, and heaven.

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Dia de los Muertos turns mourning on its head. It’s more about remembrance and celebration which might have been why an art show and kids watching The Book of Life inside a mausoleum made perfect sense.october20183

Certainly, food is part of the ofrendas to entice the spirits, but food trucks are there to entice the hungry living. We had a great plan to sample a little somethings from all the booths starting with tacos al pastor at Comida El Catrin. However after the chicken tamales and quesadilla stuffed with mole and cheese at La Costenita, there was only room for chocolate skulls with Oreos in the middle from Las Primas Handmade. They also made the floral headbands.

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Lunch among the tombstones. Yum.

Cures for crabbiness: sunlight, festive skulls, stuff myself with food truck goodies and chocolate, buy silly things, and dance in a cemetery.

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I soooo needed a better costume. Something flowy for the wind.

 

The Horror of Disconnection

It was a dark and stormy night…is how this tale of horror should begin, but it was actually a bright and lovely morning.

I awoke without Wifi.

Nothing on my phone would load which wasn’t startling given its antiquity. (It’s paid off dammit.) However my computer with whom I had planned to spend some morning coffee time would only say that its broadband link had been garbled and funkled; I should check to see that the wire whooozits were tight.

The stomach tightening realization that I would have to DEAL WITH SOMETHING before peacefully going about my day sank in. I unplugged, re-plugged in, and held buttons down to restart all the blinking things that seemed relevant before dialing the dreaded 1-800 number for customer service.  A robotic Ken doll interpreted my graveling morning voice to determine that I had a “connection problem” then made fake automated typing noises to somehow reassure me of his competence. He let me know that my whooozits provider was funkled across a broad area, but was on the case and that I should not try to contact any humans as they were not privy to more details.

Did the gods of the internet not know that I had things to do today! There were cat pictures I needed to view on Instagram. What if someone’s status on Facebook had been updated overnight? How was I supposed to play Words With Friends while pooping? Should I just go back to reading a book on the toilet? Auughhhh! What. About. My. Pokemon. Game?

Incredibly annoying all around! Almost as annoying as my daily activities being dictated by some invisible doohickey that I don’t really understand. I just know it makes my trivial stuff work, but that somehow I was doing okay without its existence like twenty years ago.

However the part when humanity truly suffered was when I had to wait until everything re-connected to post this adorable photo.

This is pre-vacuuming today. The carpet is a slightly different color now.