Monday, April 16, 2007
I was looking forward to teaching my free lunchtime Level I Dharma Mittra class on Friday. Eight students had come to the inaugural class the previous week -- and only one of them was a plant. But when I arrived to teach my 10AM class I learned that a week-long teacher training was taking place from Noon-5PM -- during my class. I had to think fast. A 10AM student was able to get the message to her daughters, who'd come the previous week. The five people I had to turn away at 12 received gift certificates for a free class and thankfully didn't seem all that annoyed. I was able to go home and eat lunch before spending the afternoon shuttling back and forth between banks taking care of SEP stuff and IRA BS (never, ever attempt to move an IRA from one bank to another -- even if they're a block apart and both CD's are in grace and your banker has correctly filled out the proper form and you have a couple of hours to spare).
I arrived an hour or so early to sub a 9-11 Mysore class on Sunday, thinking that I could practice beforehand. Partway through Surya B I learnt that I was meant to be subbing at the yoga shala's other location, 50 blocks north. I had ridden my bicycle five miles south against the wind to get there in the first place, so the owner offered to pay for cabfare. After flagging down a giant taxi-van, I was unable to remove the bike's front wheel. Nor would the driver lift a finger to help me. Annoyed, I rode east towards Michigan Avenue and the lakefront bicycle path. The wind was incredible, so I stopped on Boul Mich and looked around. I noticed a bus stop and looked up the street. A 148 bus was approaching. I flagged it down and tried to open the bike rack attached to its front bumper. After pulling several levers I could not figure it out. The driver, who was not quite as livid as I, stormed out of the bus, pulled down the rack, and strode back in. I lifted my veryheavy bike into the rack, tried to secure the front wheel, and skulked inside to pay. When I looked up, everyone on the bus was staring at the crazy white girl in the helmet and day-glo orange jacket -- and not because they wanted to get to know her better. I sat down and watched my orange bike bounce up and down up and down in front of the windshield all the way up Lake Shore Drive, praying it would not fall off and cause a multicar pileup (see photos above). I arrived at the shala with barely enough time to sweep the floor. No asana practice for me. But I was able to teach and catch up with a delightful couple who met at Miss Y's Mysore class and later married.
Surfer Girl came to my noon ashtanga class on Sunday and told me about an unannounced appearance by the Dalai Lama that afternoon at a temple in Evanston. Her ex had just texted her about it; apparently only those in the know could go. You know, like when the Rolling Stones play a secret dive-bar concert with Muddy Waters. Despite the fact that I had loads of deadlines and Surfer Girl was slated to take the same workshop that had caused the confusion on Friday, we shirked our duties and loaded my bicycle into her SUV. On the way to Evanston we ate granola bars so we could make it through the Dalai Lama's talk without fainting from low blood sugar. Then we picked up her father, who is recovering from cancer but was feeling well enough to see the DL. When we were almost there, her son called and told us to bring dollar bills because the Dalai Lama was signing them. Huh? As we were parking we learned that the Dalai Lama wouldn't be appearing after all. Instead, they were showing a movie about him. A few minutes later we learned it wasn't an actual movie, but a video about various religious leaders being shown on a small screen. "There are five people in there," said Surfer Girl's son, gesturing towards the Masonic temple. By now the wind had changed direction, and riding my bike home took a good 45 minutes. That was my practice yesterday. That, and catching up with Surfer Girl and her father -- and, of course, teaching.