Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Back in eclectic, earth-quaking California, I'm blessed with a month to bide my time before my next assignment as acrobat ambassador. This time it's Seoul, South Korea, which, after a recent unpleasant experience with kimchee, and the news that it will be below freezing there, is making me a bit nervous.

A break from work offers the chance to peek into a sphere of society that is uncharted territory for most of my peers, the majority of whom are slaving away in med school labs and investment banking offices as we speak. I've joined the ranks of senior citizens, stay-at-home moms, and dot-com millionnaires who need not follow the 9 to 5 quotidian life. While I somewhat resent the family and friends who ask incredulously, "What do you do all day?!" I find it rather easy to spend the hours drifting through town, sometimes as a 'productive citizen' and other times as a hopeless waste of space.

Andy's working at the Google headquarters in Mountain View now, product-managing their Google Checkout thingy and thoroughly enjoying the perks of their "campus" - free and excellent dining, a shuttle with WiFi, motorized scooters, massage, laundry service, etc. If it weren't for the fact that I am similarly pampered by Cirque, I'd be noticeably tinged green with envy.

So, while he googles around, I've scoured the penninsula for Iyengar yoga classes (the style I've recently delved into) that can give a boost to my own very amateur teaching. As I generally attend these sometime from morning to mid-afternoon, my fellow students are almost invariably a minimum of 35 years my senior, retired, and free to take on all the extracurriculars they wish. While at first my ego and I entered the classes with a disdain for their wrinkles and hip replacements, my fellow classmates were unassuming yogic warriors, and I learned soon enough how much I have to learn. Seventy-seven year old Betty, my Wednesday morning instructor, with her blue eyeshadow and bright pink tracksuit was adamant about the merits of lifelong yoga practice, rolling up her sleeve to show me her still-strong bicep... how could I argue with that?

Besides elderly yogis, the new mom demographic is a big one I encounter during the workday. A heads up: storytime at the Red Rock coffee shop is at 11am sharp, so if you plan to, say, read the newspaper while enjoying your caffeine, better bring some earplugs.

While I did love my time studying abroad in Scandanavia, imported Swedish furniture can't quite compare. I've been practically living at Ikea, charged with the task of outfitting our new apartment in San Francisco. The beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge, an idyllic SF neighborhood and gorgeous hardwood floors are exactly what Andy and I haved dreamed of, but after living in countless furnished corporate apartments, I had no clue how much goes into creating a living space from scratch. If nothing else, we've managed to pick out a mattress, a dresser, and two placemats for a non-existant table and yet-to-be-chosen dishes. I have a feeling that Martha Stewart would not advise basing one's interior design on the color of placemats, but I am not yet boring enough to shy away from the unorthodox, and am rather enjoying discovering my inner interior decorator (inner interior... that's deep).