A Few Thoughts While Grocery Shopping

Okay, this gets me every time I’m at the supermarket.

WHY the gluten-free labels on chicken breasts?

Were these chickens raised on a gluten-free diet?  Or are they trying to remind us that plain chicken cutlets are gluten-free?

Word to the wise, farmers: if your chickens have grains in their meat, you are raising your chickens HORRIBLY wrong.

Also:

“Cows raised on an all-vegetarian diet.”

COWS ARE HERBIVORES.  THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE EATING, YOU LOW-EXPECTATION-HAVING MOTHERFUCKER.

(thank you, Chris Rock, for the brilliancy that is “you low-expectation-having motherfucker”)

What else would you like to point out, Mr. Farmer?  That the cows had ALL FOUR LEGS?  That they did, in fact, moo on occasion?

Enjoy Totally Legit Beef!  Cows raised on an all-vegetarian diet.  We also didn’t replace the cows last minute with squirrels and sewer rats.  Don’t forget: gluten-free!

…FYI, if you ever run into me in the grocery store and it looks like I’m suppressing a gigantic, shit-eating grin, it’s because I’m thinking things like this.  Lest you forget that my brain is an absolutely exhausting place to be.

Kanye Yoga, Bitch

I think it’s been firmly established by now that I’m a crude, lewd individual. However, I pride myself on making sure the music for my yoga classes is always 100% PG.  I typically play a lot of acoustic covers, a lot of folk-rock, and a lot of instrumental music.  But some classes merit more upbeat playlists.  I tend to go to town on those, creating specific themes for my students to boogie down to as they get into their down dog.  The themes can vary, from melodic dubstep to 90s pop stars.

I recently made a brand new playlist for one of these classes, this theme being hip hop and modern R&B.  These days, it’s not hard to find hip hop music that is PG/swear-free.  After combing through my iTunes, I created a nice hour-long playlist with all sorts of hip hop music, including Keri Hilson’s “Knock You Down”.

Keri Hilson’s “Knock You Down” is an innocent, uncomplex hip hop song featuring Ne Yo and Kanye West.  It’s so cute and so sweet that you could honestly hear it anywhere.  On the radio, in department stores, at your dentist… Cute, innocent, and sweet — minus the part where Kanye West goes, “Oh em gee, you listen to that bitch?” in the middle of his rap.

This is something that I completely and totally forgot about.

Would you like to know when I remembered this vital piece of information?  If you guessed, “In the middle of class, upon hearing the b-bomb drop during a moment of silence in the class,” then — ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!

Everything was going great.  Then I brought my students into a pose, only to have my words immediately punctuated with a very loud and very distinct, “bitch!”

“Coming into paschimottanasana, seated forward fold.” “…BITCH!”

Well, that’s not going to get me turning beet-red with embarrassment or anything.  Students, don’t mind the yoga instructor as she slinks out the back door.  Talk amongst yourselves.  Or, more aptly, pose amongst yourself.

Positives?  Either no one noticed or no one cared, and the rest of class went along without any other glitches, aside from a suddenly-very-fast-talking instructor who had gone downright manic with mortification.

It also got me thinking about a yoga class led by Kanye West himself, which is so ridiculous that it could actually work as an SNL skit: Kanye West coming into class 10 minutes late, wearing his leather pants and matching leather yoga mat.  With his shades still on, he’d throw his hands up and go, “Yo, it’s time for you to shut up and experience my genius.”

The playlist would consist of only Kanye West music.  He’d periodically stop the class to point out a beat or rhyme.

“Do you know who did that?  Do you know who created that?  Me.  That’s my masterpiece!  That’s some sick shit, right there!  Now back to your Warrior 2.”

Someone would cough in the middle of a cue and he’d shout out, “YO, WHY WON’T YOU LET ME BE GREAT?”

He’d conduct the class using a microphone.  Every once in a while, he’d do a mic drop for emphasis.

Halfway through the class, he’d interrupt a vinyasa flow, grab somebody’s props away from them, and go: “Yo, I’m really happy for you and all, and Imma let you finish — but BKS Iyengar had the best yoga of all time.  OF ALL TIME.”  He’d then shrug and walk away from the student.

As you’re going to your resting pose at the end of class, he’d stare at you stone-eyed as he states, “George Bush does not care about savasana.”

And of course he’d end the class with “namaste”, which, in a Kanye West yoga class, means: “The light in me honors…the light in me.  Damn, bitch, have you seen my light?  This shit is brilliant.”

In the corner the entire time is Kim Kardashian.  Not taking the class, but posing for selfies in her yoga leggings.

Although, in some ways, the Kanye shrug embodies a lot of the yogic attitudes, if you think about it (but don’t think about it too much).

…Remember, folks: humor is a defense mechanism and this is how I handle mortifying embarrassment.

On Casual Misogyny and Referees

A few days ago, for the first time since he joined the team, I went to one of my husband’s intramural basketball games.  I walked into the building 15 minutes before the game was set to play, found a seat with a clear view of the court, and sat down.  The people actually playing the game milled about, half-heartedly warming up or just shooting the shit as they casually sat by the sidelines.  Before long, two refs — neither of them a day younger than 65 — walked into the area and took a seat next to me.

“So!” one ref said as he plopped down next to me, as if the impact from sitting down forced him to speak. “Which team are ya rooting for?”

“Actually, I’m not sure,” I replied. “This is my first time coming here.  My husband is on one of these teams, though.”

“Your husband is playing and you don’t know which team he’s on?”

“Well, yeah,” I sheepishly admitted.

“What, do you not look at the jersey when you’re washing his clothes?”

I only shrugged in response, if only because I had two competing thoughts in my head:

1) You can kindly pound sand for assuming I do his laundry.

2) Hey, his jersey has yet to show up in the laundry!  I would know if it had! …Since I’m in charge of laundry.

“Well, maybe he’s on the yellow team,” the other ref offered. “The black team seems to have all their players here already.”

“Maaaybe.” said the first ref. “And at least two more people better show up for the yellow team, or else they forfeit.  I’d hate to do that, especially since we’re all here to have fun.  But, you see, the yellow team has a bunch of girls on their team and…” He paused nudged an elbow at me. “…you know how women are about arriving on time!”

“I’m a woman and I arrived ten minutes early,” I respond, my eyes now on the black team shooting a few practice hoops.

Eventually four other members of the yellow team — three girls and one guy — arrived.  The guy paused by the refs to put down his bag and lace up his shoes, exchanging a few brief pleasantries with the referees as he did so.

“Glad you guys got here in time!” said the first ref. “Your team was a few minutes away from forfeiture!” The ref paused and nodded his head over to the side. “I told this one over here that your team has a bunch of girls on it and — well — you know how they are about getting to things on time!  And she replies, ‘Well, not all women…'”

My husband showed up a little while later and the first half of the game was more or less uneventful.  It played out exactly like any intramural game plays out: a few players take the game a little too seriously, but all-in-all it’s just good fun.  In between periods, my husband came over to sit next to me.  The two refs quickly took their original spots as well.

“Well!  Now you finally know what team you’re rooting for!” the first ref shouted with a self-satisfied smile.  He leaned over towards my husband and added: “She didn’t know what team you were on!  I said, ‘What? Don’t you look at his jersey when you’re washing his clothes?'”

The second half of the game proved to be just like the first: a few people showing some genuine skill, a few people showing some genuine anger management issues, and a lot of people just laughing and getting a little free exercise in.  The refs continued to do their jobs exactly like referees are supposed to, but I spent the second half of the game imagining that first ref as something out of Mad Men.  Gone was his whistle, replaced with a short glass of whiskey and a cigar.  He didn’t run the length of the court so much as he sauntered, strutting like he owned both hoops and everything in between.  In my mind, he was less about enforcing the rules and more about wondering when his secretary was going to refill his glass.  He was exactly the type of person you’d expect from, say, 1965.  The type of person who would hear terms like, “casual misogyny” and laugh, going: “Don’t these broads know how to take a joke?  Now, kindly get me another cigar, sweetcheeks.”