Monday, November 07, 2005


Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been nearly a month and a half since my last confession. I'm in Vancouver right now. Andrea's in Tucson. This is not an ideal state of affairs, but we're managing.

Today's flight was a little strange. I got up at about seven this morning, made my usual cup of spoon-bending coffee, and tried to recover from the experience of getting up so bloody early. At 8:00 we were on our way to the airport, Andrea with bagel in hand, me driving.

By 10:00, I was at the gate for my 11:07 flight, which was at that time listed as being delayed for an hour. An hour and a half later later we were on the airplane, listening to the pilot matter-of-factly talk about how the APU on the plane wasn't working, but they had an external APU that they were going to use to start the engines. Said APU also wasn't working, so after another ten minutes or so they wheeled up a second external APU, which did work, and they finally got the engines started.

This isn't as drastic a situation as you might think, because the APU is actually non-essential equipment unless all of the engines on the plane flame out at the same time, which has only ever happened once in the history of modern aviation (and when it did happen, they weren't able to restart the engines anyway, but they managed a dead stick landing after gliding over the ocean for an impressively long time, which gives you some idea of just how much redundancy there is between you and something bad happening on your flight: a lot).

Be that as it may, there was a strange sucking, whirring noise in the tail of the plane when we started to gain altitude, which was disquieting, but it cleared up when we got above 10k feet and the flight attendants were able to get up and turn off whatever machine was making the noise. I always get really strong realizations about gross impermanence when I fly - it's very beneficial.

Anyway, the flight was largely uneventful after that. I read my book (Scott Westerfeld's Pretties, which is the sequel to Uglies. Both very good books, aimed at a teen market, but like Harry Potter quite enjoyable to read even if you're only a teen in base 21 (heck, my parents read Harry Potter, and they'd have to describe their age in base 33 to still be teenagers).

There was a nice view of Mount Hood at one point. As we made our descent into Vancouver I saw one of the most beautiful cloud formations I have ever had the pleasure to witness - a really nice cumulus cloud (through which we flew). When we emerged from the cloud, there was the usual cumulus wall, but with some really light wisps of cloud that were clearly not related to the big cloud nevertheless rammed right up into it, as if they were just blowing across a mountain pass. It was like something out of a thangka or a Chinese mountain/cloud painting, only a million times more vivid.

I was thinking of something sweet on the plane - about how parents teach their children. You know, the whole "first step" thing. How does that go? The parents help the kid to walk, over and over again. Finally, after great effort, the kid actually gets up and walks into the parents' outstretched arms. So the parents are working really hard to bootstrap the kid into being able to walk, and then as a final act in this play, the kid finally, deeply gets what the parents have been teaching, and, under his or her own power, puts what they have taught into practice. It's like a dance, which can only be performed properly in partnership.


Blogger Mark said...

Hrmmm... your parents are only 42?
*confused* Maybe I can't count!

Monday, November 07, 2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Penni said...

So, I gather you've gotten out of the habit of getting up at dawn for yoga?

Parents teaching their children over and over again--you've got that right! I think it really is true that you don't learn patience until you're in that situation.

Monday, November 07, 2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ted Lemon said...

In base 33, if you are 1V, you are 65 in base 10. I guess that would make you thirty-two-teen. 20base33 is 66.

Penni, what's happened is that during the DM term, our classes were sometimes running late, and we also had events that ran late. In order to do my early morning yoga, I would have had to get to bed reasonably consistently at 9:30pm; given that I was routinely getting to bed at 1:00am, that just wasn't in the cards.

The good news is that I actually managed to get up and do yoga this morning, albeit at 7:00, and during the retreat the week before last I managed to do yoga two and a half times (I got kicked out of the temple during my sun salutations the first day).

I'm hoping that at least for the next couple of months I can be reasonably consistent about getting to yoga class again. I think though that I need to give up on the idea of making yoga class with any consistency during the term; instead, I need to just start practicing on my own, without going to class.

I've tried relying on my own pratice before, rather than relying on class; getting to class is good because once I'm in the car and on the way, I can't really make excuses, whereas at home there's always something I could be doing instead of my yoga practice. So we'll see how it goes. Bootstrapping my yoga practice has been very rewarding, but also frustrating, because I keep getting derailed. :'(

Monday, November 07, 2005 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ted Lemon said...

By the way, in ase you're wondering, my '' key has some rud in it, and is stiking somewhat. I keep forgetting to do anything about it at home, but I'm at IETF in Vanouver, without an external keyboard, so now it's an atual problem again.

Monday, November 07, 2005 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Oh; I see! Thanks, Ted.

I have the same problem with getting to bed late, and not getting yoga done in the morning. I moved it to the evening to compensate, but that doesn't work when I am at work 2pm-10pm.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 2:33:00 AM  
Blogger Penni said...

I've been able to do my exercises more consistently since I've decided that if I don't do them in the morning I'll do them in the evening, even if I work till ten. And this works for me, most of the time.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 7:45:00 AM  
Anonymous evision said...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 2:55:00 PM  

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