Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Odds and Sods for Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ouch.

Don't mind me, I took my very first yoga class last night. More on that in a minute. Though I must admit, I was shocked it didn't kill me and even more surprised that I woke up this morning still alive. But I'm glad I'm here, because this evening, Eric Slick will be on the drums with Dr. Dog on the Jimmy Kimmel Show!



Tune in tonight at 12:05AM on ABC.

ETA: Dr. Dog gets an amazing review today in Relix Magazine!

And in case you missed the billboards all over the internet, Julie Slick's debut solo CD is not only available on her website, you can pick it up at Abstract Logix or Burning Shed, and have a look what Guitar Player Magazine's Anil Prasad had to say about Ms. Julie there. (Burning Shed, that is)

So yesterday was, quite frankly, the day from hell and the first one I spent in tears in a long while but I'm thinking I've had a lot of pent up frustration since the summer and it all finally came pouring out. I've been working feverishly every day since the Great Canadian Writers' Retreat on my new novel, and I spent the past two days working through a problem with two chapters that I felt were boring because they contained too much exposition. I use MS Word 2008 on a macbook and on Monday, I started getting messages from MS Word every time I hit save: "Memory low -- too many windows open -- please close". Since I had no windows open at all, I shrugged it off as a glitch but gmailed myself the novel "just in case" at the end of Monday's writing session and then again on Tuesday. I kept MS word open.

Big mistake.

After my AM writing session yesterday, MS word crashed. I figured, no problem, I have the auto save feature and I also have "back-up copy" checked off. Plus, I had the work I gmailed myself.

Well, you would think I was covered, but apparently the only place all the new writing from this week saved was to the screen I was working on. When I pulled up my gmail, it only contained the work I had done last week. I went into my recovered files folder, found the back-up from yesterday, and it, too, did not have any of my new chapters in it. I tried everything, wrote to computer geek friends...and then I googled MS Word 2008 and found that several people had encountered this FATAL FLAW and all of my work from this week is gone. I think I went into shock...I still am in denial. I know I can rewrite it but I don't know if I can recapture what I had...I was on such a roll that I didn't even read back what I'd written so whatever I try to recreate today will not be the same. I first realized this "tragedy" occurred at 10AM and it wasn't until 5PM that I finally gave up. By then I realized I had nothing to eat the entire day and had a crashing headache, not good when I also remembered my very first yoga class was at 7:30PM that evening. I was torn in half. 50% of me just wanted to say Screw it, I'm staying home and drinking wine because my heart feels like it's about to come bursting through my chest, the other 50% said, Oh man, this could not be coming at a better time...you are about to have a massive coronary from stress...you need to start exercising and learning how to breathe properly or you are going to end up dead. Luckily I had a salad in the frig which was basically just spinach, tomato and avocado and I gulped it down with an hour to spare before class.

So I went, lugging my brand new hot pink yoga mat, a bottle of coconut water because I read somewhere it has the same chemical make-up of blood (yes, I'm a sickie but in case you aren't familiar with coconut water, it is not only delicious it is ridiculously healthy and gives you an energy jolt), and a huge beach towel for what reason, I cannot tell you.

Okay, so there are twenty of us in the room and right away I see I am the oldest -- the group is made up of 95% twenty-something gorgeous women, none of whom weigh more than 130 pounds. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. Now mind you, this is supposed to be a complete beginner class. And if we had any health issues, this was the time to announce them so the teacher could be aware.

"Hi, my name is so and so and I took yoga in college and loved it, now I'm a runner but I wanted to get back into the stretching and breathing."

"Hi, my name is whatever and I go to Drexel University and I am a runner, also."

"Hi, my name is blank and I did yoga for a little bit but stopped and I'm really stressed (what does a 20 year old gorgeous woman have to be stressed about? Ha ha, honey, you just wait...) so that's why I'm here."

They finally get to me, who, by this time, is sweating like a pig because it's ninety degrees in the room.

"Hi, my name is Robin and I'm a vegetable who sits in front of a computer all day and I have high blood pressure which I'm trying to lower in hopes of going off medication altogether."

Okay, then...

The teacher is also young and beautiful and she moves along quickly. I found out something really scary about myself last night. Apparently, when under pressure, I do not know my left from my right. Every time the teacher said stretch right or turn left I got so discombobulated I had to watch what the others were doing.

How is it that the teacher would say "dog position" or "mountain position" and everyone knew what she meant but me. Those liars! Why were they in my absolute beginner class?

And then naturally after a few exercises, the teacher looked at me and asked, "Are you alright, Robin?"

Oh sure, twenty strangers in the room and my name is the one she remembers.

But yeah, I was huffing and puffing and all sweaty and started worrying about 15 minutes in that I was going to faint.

That fear was soon replaced by reality -- my duck foot condition.

Never heard of duck foot? Well, you probably have, it probably even has a real medical name, but this is what happens to me if I wear anything but sneakers or flex my foot the wrong way. I get a bizarre, incredibly painful cramp in my foot, and inexplicably, my toes spread wide apart like a webbed foot of a duck and I can't bring them back together. It's agonizing.

Dear God, I was going to make a scene. There was no way I could hide this from the others. You do yoga in your bare feet. The only way I can stop it from happening is to immediately lie flat and grab hold of my toes and try and pull my foot toward my body. But then I remembered something I learned on my writers' retreat from Susan Henderson. She said she had leg cramps all the time when she was pregnant and an acupuncturist taught her that if you grab the spot between the bottom of your nose and your upper lip, it's a pressure point or something and it causes the cramp to go away.

Damn if it didn't work.

Disaster diverted.

By the way, this technique also works if you are feeling like you are faint, having a panic attack, are short of breath...if you grab the space between you thumb and index finger and apply pressure.

I did that, too, just in case.

And then a funny thing happened.

I started to love yoga. I mean, really love it. It was, dare I say, life-changing.

I even got "high" from it.

When we were stretching and breathing and saying "Om" I emptied my brain of all the day's stress and my lost chapters and just totally and completely relaxed. I even stopped thinking I was going to die in that sauna of a room.

But one final hilarious thing happened. At the end of the class, we had to lay flat on our mats and just inhale and exhale with our eyes closed. Suddenly everything went dark and my stomach lurched. Holy crap, I was dying! My eyes flew open in terror, only to realize the teacher had dimmed the lights for our final pose.

I am truly pathetic.

So yeah, I am remarkably not in too much pain today but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little stiff, in fact, ouch right now as I sit here at the computer, but the good news is, I actually lost two pounds, most likely from the adrenalin rush of my lost writing and not eating all day but still.

And now I realize it is 9:10 and I must begin my morning writing session and try to resurrect what I lost the past two days.

Om..............

Later,
xo

5 comments:

jessica keener said...

Robin,
What hilarity and determination you have. Thanks for the smiles this morning!

RobinSlick said...

Aw, thanks, Jessica. You are the best.

And in case you are wondering, I moved my writing session up this morning "just in case". Someone from Microsoft word is supposed to be contacting me shortly. I have really no hope but I figured I'd give it one final shot just in case.

But no matter if I hear from them or not or they can help or not, the writing starts at 11AM today.

LitPark said...

I get that low memory warning all the time, and the worst thing about it is it won't allow you to save the document, even after you close windows. There's always an impending crash, and I know this because it's happened to me hundreds of times. The trick, when you see that warning, is to know there's no way to save what you have and no way to divert the crash that will come in 5 minutes or so. So what you do is copy everything in that document that's new (hopefully you were only working on a single page or a single chapter since the last save) into an email and click "save now" because clicking "send" usually incites the full-out crash. Then quit (it'll ask you if you want to save your document, and with a giant gulp, you're going to have to say no. Then restart the computer, and go right to your email draft and put all that new stuff back into your last-saved document.

I know this sucks but you are the rock star of storytelling and I have total faith in you and in this new book. Whatever brilliant thing you wrote yesterday, it will be more brilliant when all is said and done.

So happy about the Dr. Dog news I LOVE them! xo

RobinSlick said...

Ugh, Sue, this is just wrong. The big evil corporation Microsoft has a flaw like this that leaves us so vulnerable? That isn't the worst of it. This morning, when I went into the "recovered files" folder once again hoping for a miracle, I found all of these photos that had been downloaded during the night while I was asleep! They weren't personal photos, they were pics of a deck of Tarot cards! I have a call into Microsoft right now...how the hell does Word get hacked? I'm so paranoid today I whipped out my composition book and have been writing in longhand until this gets resolved.

I do not want to use MS Word again -- surely there is a viable alternative.

Anyway, thanks for the advice - I hope like hell I don't have to use it.

But your other advice...ha...you saved me like you would not believe last night. I was about to freak out in public but damn if the minute I grabbed my top lip area, that cramp went away. That's just crazy! I need to google more on all that stuff because the thumb/forefinger trick is the same principal and I swear, once I applied pressure there last night, I was finally able to relax and enjoy the experience. I finally know what it means when people say they get high from exercise. I felt so freaking good last night I'm already thinking I'd like to go more than once a week.

LitPark said...

Yeah, it was miracle when I was pregnant and getting constant charlie horses. Your story of the yoga class was adorable, by the way. Very you. Can't wait to read the next installment.

Luck with your composition notebook today!