Sunday, August 2, 2009

A comic I did in Seattle about centering. To me the most important aspect of yoga practice.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

13 yoga skeletons:39=13+13+13

This is my 13th yoga skeleton, I am now 1/4 of the way toward my goal. Once I reach 52 yoga skeletons, I will redo the ones that I am not happy with in a new medium. 52 is an important number. There are 52 weeks in the year, and 52 years in the Maya long count calendar before the lunar and solar calendars would sync up. 13 is also my lucky number. 39 is a multiple of 13, as is 52. this is my 39th post over all.

Uttana Padasana
(extended leg pose)

previous 12 yoga skeletons

yoga skeletons

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yoga Skeleton 12: w/ commentary on LA Ink

Yoga Skeleton XII:
BakasanaCrane Pose
This yoga skeleton I did a little different. Instead of inking the shading I used the shading from when I drew it w/ pencil. Maybe when I redo it I'll ink instead.
This is the first pose that I've drawn that I can't do now. In the past I could... In the future I will... but now I can't.

LA Ink 2009
I've DVRed LA Ink in the past, but I think I may stop. I was more than happy when Pixie was kicked off. She annoyed the piss out of me. She was like a tattooed Urkel with boobs to coast the show along, though she had no talent and was generally crappy to watch.
What irritated me w/ last week's premier of season 4 was the dismissals of Hannah Aitchison and Kim Saigh. Okay, it was only really that Kim Saigh was no longer going to be on the show. I guess that neither of them provided the drama that was needed to propel the show into the publicity that was needed for a TLC show. Now that Jon and Kate + Hate has all of the country's papers burning with hot headlines LA Ink needs to spice it up a little. I liked both of their ink art, but Kim, with her love of Heavy Meatal and Yoga got my blood boiling.
Not sure if I'll continue to DVR it.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Yoga Skeleton 11: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Yogi, now with more MJ

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Upward Facing Dog Pose

Lately I've been achieving the Heavy Metal side of my moniker, but not the yogi portion. I've been stressing out, and having problems falling and staying asleep. I was drinking coffee and beer daily. The coffee before work, the beer after. Usually 16-32 oz black coffee and 1-2 tall boys ~24-48 oz beer. I haven't been doing any kind of regular yoga practice and have been medicating instead of meditating. I was walking to work, but this week that didn't pan out. A couple of weeks ago I did give up beef, and this week I hadn't had any coffee or beer until tonight when I had a couple of bottles of beer =24 oz. I have had a lot on my plate lately, and it would probably help if I could get into a regular practice.

Michael Jackson died last week and I am so sick of the media coverage. The bands whose videos I've looked up on youtube in the past week include Pantera, Scorpions, Megadeth, Otep, Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Primus, Melon Galia, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, They Might Be Giants, Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, Mudvayne, Sepultura, and Guns'n'Roses. After each video finished playing I was given suggestions of Michael Jackson songs. Normally the suggestions would be the same band or a band in a similar vein, but every suggestion like this was paired with a Michael Jackson video. Don't get me wrong, I have a copy of Thriller on vinly from ~26 years ago, and once in a blue moon I will get drunk and play a song or two from it, but the last thing that I want to listen to after Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills or Man in the Box is Remember the Time or Ben.
Is Neverland going to become his Graceland, with people making pilgrimages to honor him? At least there will be amusement park rides and a zoo, so much more to offer than Elvis' pad. It's sick whatever way you look at it. If kids were molested there, the place has so much bad karma. If kids weren't molested there, it was still the house of someone whose life was so tormented that he chose to live in a dreamland.
I hope the coverage ends soon.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Web Soup? Ugh!

I enjoy watching The Soup on E! and I used to enjoy Talk Soup when it was on. I even enjoy watching the web videos on G4's Attack of the Show. You would think that I would like G4's Web Soup, but I don't. Hosted by Chris Hardwick, 3/4 of the videos shown aren't even slightly funny. Most of the remaining 1/4 videos that are funny have either already been on The Soup or Attack of the Show. The jokes after the clips aren't funny either. They really seem to have missed the mark on this one. There's a lot more funny stuff out there, they just aren't searching hard enough. For example, they showed a commercial of a Neti pot. It was just a normal Neti pot commercial, ha ha. I think that they should have shown this video instead. It features the guy who writes Toothpaste for Dinner doing routine nasal irrigation, then coffee, and finally whiskey. It is truly funny. It would have been a much funnier addition to the show than the Neti commercial. I think I'll stop DVRing Web Soup.

As a side note I use a neti pot, and find that it helps me sleep at night. I breathe clearer.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

RIP K. Pattabhi Jois 1915-2009

Last month the yoga world lost a giant. Being a practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga, I am in a great debt to him. I was never able to make it to Mysore myself, but hopefully will someday to study under his grandson Sharath.

While I was in Seattle, a couple of days before he died, I had a dream. In the dream I was living in an ashram somewhere in the forest in Washington or Oregon. I was gardening and sweeping and doing Ashtanga Yoga. The instructor was K. Pattabhi Jois. This was the first time that I had a dream with him in it, and it was a day or two before he died. It was a very odd coincidence. I wish I had had a chance to know him.

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Yoga Skeleton 10

I haven't posted in almost 2 months. It has been a crazy couple of months. Starting with a few weeks of unplanned vacation in Seattle due to a family emergency and ending with one of the worst weeks at work that I've ever had. Hopefully I will start posting on a more regular basis now. Here's my first yoga skeleton drawing in June.

fish pose
Yoga Skeleton X
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Yoga Skeleton IX

This was probably my toughest yoga skeleton drawing to date.

Eka Pada Sirsasanaone foot to head pose

previous yoga skeletons.

I got a few posts I haven't finished yet. A piece on yoga and back pain...The Thirteen Homicidal Clowns That You Should BE AFRAID of...Another post on Sequels and Remakes.

I'll have one out of the pipes this weekend.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

8...8 yoga skeletons. Ah, Ah, Ah...

Why celebrate 8 yoga skeletons?.. It's because it's my wife's favorite number. I let her choose the pose. She did cat a lot while she was pregnant.

Marjariasana B (upward cat pose)

previous yoga skeletons:
Padmasana (lotus pose) Virabhadrasana A (warrior pose I)
Vrkasana (tree pose) Halasana (plow pose)
Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)
Navasana (boat pose) Urdhva Dhanurasana (upward bow pose)

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Saturday, April 11, 2009


Whiplash is a horrible injury. It can come from vehicular accidents...Riding on a carnival ride...or headbanging. Headbanging and moshing can really mess up your spine. Phil Anselmo claims that one of the reasons that he had such a drug problem with Pantera was the result of flailing his head every night while he sang songs like Shedding Skin and Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills. All I know is that I never felt sore after headbanging or moshing when I was 16-25. Now I am sore for days after headbanging.

I headbanged so hard when I saw QOTSA live a few years ago that sweat was raining from my long curly hair onto the people in front of us, and we were in a theater with a slope...the next day. I had to take nsaids and put a heating pack on my shoulders.

When I saw the Melvins at a small bar gig, I moshed like crazy with these skinhead dudes, keeping them from stepping on people. As one of the larger men, I felt that I had to take care of the smaller men and the women. The next day I had to soak for hours in the bath, so weak and sore.

When I was 18 I used to thrash to local punk bands Persecuted Bisexual Rednecks (PBR) and Skoidats and local metal in the form of Bacchus and Contortion. I would leave totally beat after a night of drinking/drugging/chain smoking. By the time that I'd had dinner at an all night family restaurant, I'd be ready to ride again and rock out with a few other dudes at somebodies house, with a few babes in tow. Often I'd end up going to party with the guys in PBR, one of whom was batshit crazy. He'd go and commit crazy acts of senseless vandalism. Stealing from someone's car so that he could spread their map/registration/snow scraper/gloves/tire gauge throughout the neighborhood walking/drinking/pill popping/killing 18 yr old braincells/toking/huffing/chainsmoking. His name was Jack, his bassist was Derek. I would have stuffed myself with booze/lortab/BraincellDeath/ganja/whipits/camel filters/top anyway, but with Jack there was so much more chaos and destruction to balance his creativity. Such a good guitarist/stage presence, Fall asleep and you'd have a dick drawn on your face/toothpaste in your hair/bottles broken where you sleep. Creation Requires Destruction to Exist/Destruction Requires Creation to Exist. Point is I'd never used to feel a sore neck or back when I used to Headbang hard, but now I am sore if I roll out the bed wrong, or lose my pillow in the night.. Could be just age though. At 31, I started hearing music from when I was in highschool on the classic rock station. Not mainstream music but Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction and Soundgarden's Jesus Christ Pose.

I don't believe that headbanging and moshing are good for you. Many of my creaks and groans are probably from when I was too hard on my body.


Urbanite's Irrational Fears

Ever since humans began living in societies, they have feared the woods. Anything chthonic was dark and unreasoning. It was where the beasts lived. It was a place where you were not safe. The more urban a population, the more it feared what lurked outside the walls of the city. Rural populations were subject to less irrational fears of the woods. For the farmer the fear was that his livestock would be killed and eaten by wolves. The farmer couldn't let his children go outside at night for fear that some beast would kill them. The fears of the urbanite were more irrational. The city dweller created fantastical beasts that were much more horrific than anything that existed. While traveling through the wilderness he feared his imaginary monsters more than the highwaymen who were to rob and kill him.
Perhaps the real fear of the wilderness, was due to the darkness, the fear of the unknown. In the woods you can experience real darkness. Cities have always been lit up with lamps that remove the real darkness. Anyone who has spent a night in the woods on a new moon night knows what real darkness is. When only the stars are visible, and you fear you might not find camp after your 0300 bathroom break. For the urbanite, anything could exist in the darkness. Legends spring up when people, who can't see well in the dark, see shadows moving and tell their companions of the beasts that they have witnessed. Their friends tell others, who tell others, and the image of the beast is soon distorted into something that no longer resembles the animal that it was based on.
For the history of civilization man has feared the things that lurk in the shadows of the wilderness. From the serpent in the Garden of Eden to Jason Voorhees, citizens have mistrusted and feared what they imagine to live in the woods. Since there are so many dangerous animals in the woods, it reasons that anyone who would choose to live in the woods must themselves be dangerous. With all of the dangerous men in the woods, any woman who chose to live in the woods must be truly dangerous. The society comes to think of women that live on the outskirts of towns as witches who are able to control the beasts of the woods. Women who are to be feared and destroyed, just as the animals who live in the woods are. How many wolves were killed, because of the Germanic folk tales that demonized the Big Bad Wolf? How many women that lived outside of town were hunted and killed because of some overgrown fear of the dark? In this blog I will attempt to explore the many facets of the urbanite's fear of the woods, of the fantastical monsters that have sprung up from this fear, and of the things that city dwellers have done because of this fear. Hopefully it's gonna be a good ride.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Yoga Skeleton 7

Hopefully I'm back on track. And I'll be posting a new yoga skeleton every Friday night/Saturday morn.

Urdhva Dhanurasana (upward bow pose)

Previous Yoga Skeletons
Padmasana (lotus pose) Virabhadrasana A (warrior I pose)
Vrkasana (tree pose) Halasana (plow pose)
Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)
Navasana (boat pose)

Also YogaDawg posted a link to my yoga skeletons on his site. This led to me checking out his site and there is some pretty funny stuff on there. You should check out his article on yoga in the great depression.

Depression era yogis performing Savasana (corpse pose)
on their old school yoga mats.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eddie Campbell's BACCHUS

The best comic series that I've read recently was Eddie Campbell's Bacchus. I was introduced to Eddie Campbell's work in From Hell. Bacchus is based at the core upon Greek Mythology, Campbell updated the characters with one basic assumption: the gods aren't wholly immortal, they can die, they can age.
The action focuses on the aging god Dionysos going by his Roman name Bacchus. Bacchus has lost what the gods used as a fountain of youth. He has aged poorly because of his debauched life of booze and cigarettes. He looks like a weathered old sea captain, wearing a captain's cap and pea coat. He survives on wine and spirits. He won't touch food or water. He also won't touch ale. He has lost an eye due to a corkscrew accident with the abbot Dom Perignon. He is a drifter, and the series begins and ends with him in a jail cell. He is no longer the fair haired youth of Euripides' Bacchae. He is taunted and seems a weak, pathetic, old man. But as in Bacchae he is a savage force to be reckoned with.
Simpson is his faithful servant. Simpson was a classical literature professor, who met Bacchus years ago as he was leading a group of students on a tour of Greece. Simpson, though physically weak, has a great deal of power as a lawyer to the loud roaring god. Simpson is also the undead. He was taken to Hades due to a clerical error, by Hermes. He managed to escape though and serves as the twice born's only surviving worshiper.
Hermes initially tried to take Simpson back to the land of the dead but eventually made amends with Simpson after the situation was explained by Bacchus.
Hermes is one of the few living gods left. He hasn't aged as poorly as Bacchus, but he is no longer the mercurial messenger of his youth.
It is still his duty to cart away the dead, though Hades himself is dead. Hermes is still strong and virile, but is showing the signs of age. His brow has become gray and he is no longer so swift.

A god who has retained the knowledge of the fountain of youth is Joe Theseus. Though he was only a hero long ago, he has since become a god. He is at odds with Bacchus, not because of his good looks, but because he abandoned Ariadne after she helped him defeat the Minotaur. After leaving her on an island, the god Bacchus took her as his wife, but she eventually died. Joe Theseus is handsome and strong. He has a full head of hair, a beard, and is a financial whiz. He is the enemy of Bacchus. Joe Theseus has a wild card of an ally in the form of the Eyeball Kid.

The Eyeball Kid is one of the funniest characters from the whole series. He is the grandson of Argus Panoptes, the hundred eyed first son that Zeus had with a mortal. The Eyeball Kid has 9 partial pairs of eyes and the power to electrocute with his hands. He stole this power from Zeus and proceeded to kill all residents of Mount Olympus, before going on to kill the majority of the other gods.
There is no reasoning with the Eyeball Kid. Of all the insane characters in the Bacchus universe, he has the least grip on reality. He has gone crazy on power. The power of his immortality and the power of the lightning that he has in his hands. Joe Theseus may only be aligned with him due to the fact that he's afraid of what the Eyeball Kid is capable of.
I think that one of the reasons that I'm such a fan of Bacchus is Eddie Campbell's sense of humor. Though the characters are Greek, the humor is most certainly Scottish. I remember watching Craig Ferguson on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. This was in the years before he had his own show. His sense of humor was so irreverent. Sly but rowdy. His humor was a lot more rowdy on Conan's show. The humor in the world of Bacchus is much the same. You have to pay attention to get the jokes, but when you get them, they are so outrageously funny. I have reread sections and discovered new jokes that would never get past the censors. They are subtle but edgy. Some of the jokes when he was in prison almost made me blush. Though the jokes in Bacchus are profane, they are never obscene. That has a lot to do with the Scottish sense of humor. It is smooth and pleasant, yet coarse and worldly.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Dangers of Detox Diets

It seems that every few years, people latch onto fasting as a diet plan. Since fasting has some negative connotations, Diet hucksters have renamed fasts Detoxification Diets. When it is for religious purposes it is considered a form of corporal mortification. Fasting can bring on a number of unwanted side effects.
The Dangers of Fasting:
  • Mild side effects include diarrhea, dehydration, and the flushing out of digestive enzymes that are needed for proper digestion.

  • Without the proper amount of carbohydrates your brain functioning is hindered. That's probably fine if you can sit around all week, but if you are driving a car it can be downright dangerous.
  • If someone goes on several fasts in their lifetime, they increase their risk of insulin resistance, which leads to Type 2 diabetes.
  • Fasts can also lead to a sodium or potassium imbalance, which can lead to loss of muscular control, or complete nervous shut down, which could result in death.
The basic premise of Detox diets is that the digestive system does not completely remove waste from your system. Toxins accumulate in your digestive tract that harm your physical well being. This is absolutely false as well as absurd. A healthy individual's digestive tract is very efficient at eliminating waste and toxins from the body. The best way to make sure that your body is eliminating efficiently is by getting enough soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet regularly with water. See here.
Detox diets are an extreme measure which don't figure into moderation. They lead to very dangerous situations, which should be avoided. As with all extreme diets they should be avoided.


Monday, April 6, 2009


I've made it to my 26th post, in just over 3 months time. This one has been delayed for a while. Hopefully I can get back into the groove soon, with my posts, my skeleton drawings, and my yoga practice.

Navasana (boat pose)

Nav is one of the most universal word roots in the Indo-European family. Through Greek we end up with words like nautical, through Latin words like navy. Could it be something aside from boat pose?..No.

Previous yoga skeletons:
Padmasana (lotus pose)
Virabhadrasana A (warrior I)
Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
Halasana (plow pose)
Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sequels & Remakes: Disney

The hospital must have given our information out to third parties, because we were home with our newborn moments before we started receiving mail for parents. One of the first pieces of mail that I came across was from Disney for 4 Disney DVDs for only the price of shipping. I opened this right away assuming that they meant Disney Classics. Instead, almost all of the movies were sequels to those classics, along with Hanna Montana/Jonas Brothers/ other crap... Hollywood has become too safe in recent years. Instead of giving a chance to a new idea, they go for the movie that is guaranteed to break even... They choose to make sequels, and remakes of older movies and TV shows knowing that they will make money. The problem that I have with all of these sequels and remakes is that they are often mediocre and at odds with the plot of the first movie. The characters are shallow stereotypes of the initial characters, and they act in ways that they would never had in the originals. Instead of allowing someone to write a story that is creative and imaginative, Hollywood executives are more happy to produce something that is mindnumbing that the public is guaranteed to buy. Bet on the sure money. I want some of the money, but don't want to actually create something new (lol, like I could get a new idea through), so I've come up with some ideas for sequels that they could make.

Sleeping Beauty II: Insomnia
Sleeping Beauty now has the problem that she can't sleep, thus making her life with the prince a living hell. As a tie in, she finds relief in the form of Lunesta.

9- The Hunchback of Notre Dame III: Judgement Day
Facing Persecution at the hands of an angry mob, Quasimodo decides to out Esmerelda as a witch, which results in her and Phoebus being forced to run from Paris.

8- Tarzan III: Tarzan's Haircut
Tarzan is faced with the challenge of living in society with long hair. He decides to cut his hair to fit in, after many songs praising conformity and cleanliness. Teaches important messages to kids about conforming and getting haircuts. (I'm a little obsessed w/ this I guess.)

7-Peter Pan II: Time to Grow Up
Peter Pan realizes that there is a time to give up on childlike wonder and grow up.

6-Dumbo IV: Dumbo's Rampage
A combined effort w/ the people who did NatGeo's "Dark Side of Elephants: Elephant Rage".

5-The Little Mermaid III: How Ariel Got Her Groove Back
After Prince Eric leaves Ariel, she goes to Jamaica and falls in love with a younger prince, since a woman is nothing without her man.

4-Cinderella IV: The Quickening
Cinderella learns that she and her step sisters are actually aliens from another planet. Every time that she is near to one of them, she feels a tightening in her stomach. She has to kill them all , so that she can be the last one. Realizing that this doesn't make sense with the other films, they return to the roots of the story for Cinderella V: From the Ashes.

3-The Jungle Book III: How May I Help You?
Mowgli moves into the city to pursue the girl from the end of the first movie. He takes a job doing IT Support. After a few months of being yelled at over the phone every day, he decides to move back into the jungle.

2-Beauty and the Beast VI: The Enchanted Channukah
Lumiere's cousin Menorah comes to visit, and teaches everyone about the miracle of the oil.

1-The Sword and the Stone II: Happily Ever After
Arthur marries Guinevere and lives happily ever after. There is never any infidelity in their marriage, and he is never wounded in battle. They do take a Carnival Cruise to the tropical isle of Avalon.

This post took 2 weeks to write. In part due to my new job as a Papa, and in part due to my crappy IP which I will soon be replacing.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yoga Skeleton 5

Here's my fifth yoga skeleton drawing.

Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)

Previous Yoga Skeletons:
Padmasana (lotus pose)e
Virabhadrasana A (warrior I pose)
Vrkasana (tree pose)
Halasana (plow pose)

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Another of my first views of Kali: Ray Harryhausen's

A couple of months back I did a few posts on the goddess Kali and the places I'd first encountered her. I completely neglected perhaps the very first time I saw her. As a kid I was a big fan of the Golden Voyage of Sinbad. I loved Ray Harryhausen movies when I was a kid, and will probably eventually do a post on Harryhausen himself. The reason that I bring up the Golden Voyage of Sinbad was that I believe the first time I saw a representation of Kali was in this move. It was on basic cable when I was ~5 years old. If I recall correctly, she was a statue of the goddess that came to life to fight Sinbad.
(As a side note sci-fi geeks will be thrilled to know that the evil magician Koura was played by Tom Baker of Dr. Who fame. )
Though Kali's appearance in this movie did not follow the traditional mythos, I do not feel that her appearance should be seen as offensive.
Enter Heidi Klum and Seal. That couple has some of the greatest Halloween parties around. A few years ago when she was pregnant, she was the apple that tempted Eve with the serpent wrapped around it. Seal obviously had to dress as Eve. A very clever couple's costume (if a little sacrilegous). They seem to have some great ideas for halloween costumes. Last year they decided to dress up as Kali and Sinbad from the Golden Voyage.

Their costumes raised the ire of many Hindus who didn't feel that one should make fun of their goddess in such a way.
If Klum's costume was offensive, then it's inspiration in the Harryhausen movie should be seen as offensive, but generally it is not seen as offensive. I feel that some people have no sense of humor when it comes to sacrilege. If you want to be offended by a representation of Kali take on Jack T. Chick. His comic on Kali that I posted on earlier is much more offensive.
I believe that part of Halloween should be offending the fundamentally religious anyway. Dress like a pregnant nun accompanied by the Devil.
(as a side note: I believe that whoever designed these costumes did an excellent job.)

The Harryhausen movie was probably my first encounter with Divine Mother Kali, and it was interesting to me to see that that image is still influencing others much less geeky than me.

My posts on Kali.

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Heavy Metal Yogi by Nick Matthaes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.