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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2008-12-02 - 1:07 p.m.

I'm a bit late to the game, but I like the garage-y blues of the Soledad Brothers.

Likewise, finally saw Tropic Thunder which just came out on DVD.

I wouldn't say it's a great film, but it is consistently funny, with a talented ensemble cast. The star here is Robert Downey Jr as an Australian Method actor staying firmly in character off-screen as a black American GI.

I recall there was a furor about the repeated use of the word "retard" in the film, but trust me, it's not developmentally disabled people being mocked here, it's the stupidity of Hollywood executives and the vanity and self-absorption of celebrities. Sitting ducks, for sure, but still worth lampooning.

The faux trailers at the beginning of the film are worth the price of your weekly allotted Netflix fee.

Over the TG long weekend I visited a new-to-me yoga center called Yoga to the People. Reading their manifesto moved me, and I really love their contribution-based payment model and their ego-dismantling attitude. It is everything that a yoga center should be, in terms of generosity and community outreach.

The downside of the place for me is that because it is so popular, the classes are unbelievably crowded: mats literally two inches away from you on all four sides, feet in your face, elbows in your ribs.

The class I attended did not have much in the way of detailed instruction or personal attention, so I can't imagine how a beginner would get by, but this might have been the teacher's individual style.

The congestion isn't all that bad during the class--you can look at it as a way of honoring "tapas," but afterwards, the crush of 50+ aggressive New Yorkers pumped up on endorphins and prana, all headed for the one tiny bathroom and exit at the end, pretty much harshed my yogic mellow. It wasn't pretty.

There were other things about the place that I liked and disliked, but I'd say the overcrowding is probably the only one endemic to the payment system itself. There must be ways around this--class size limits, a bigger space in a less expensive neighborhood?

When they work this out, I'll be back. Meanwhile, I'd be curious to know how this model works for them in the long term, and whether more yoga studios could adopt this system at least some of the time.

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