Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hokum Lovers Need Not Apply

Daffodils from My Garden
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
Suppose you flipped open some CD liner notes and read this description of the boldly titled tune, “Ballin’ the Jack”:

"Scorched earth freek-jazz of the first order. The guitar- (or is it a uke?) –and-box-percussion break is worth the price of admission alone. Hokum lovers need not apply—this is the serious hijinks."
Instrumentation: Comb, kazoo, two guitars (or possibly one guitar and one ukulele), percussion.


Wouldn’t you drop everything and immediately listen to “Ballin’ the Jack,” even if you were supposed to be getting ready for a yoga class that started in 12 minutes? Well, if you were me you would have, which is why I’m sitting here typing a blog entry instead of lying on a purple sticky mat “letting go of my day.” Scorched earth freek-jazz made me miss yoga.

I’ve been waiting for quite some time for it to be my turn in the queue to borrow American Primitive, Volume II from the library. I’ve mentioned before that I go nuts for old-timey music, especially if it features yodeling and instruments like kazoos and guitars made out of cigar boxes. I have a small collection of this genre, but I was fairly surprised to discover that I already own another CD with a version of “Ballin’ the Jack” on it. I think that clearly establishes that I’m not some lame-ass hokum lover.

Truth be told, I kind of allowed myself to be carried away by the new CD; I wasn’t that bummed out when I checked the time and realized that yoga started in 4 minutes and there was no way (short of strapping on a jet pack) I’d get there on time.

I’m sort of burned out on yoga. I’ve been taking yoga on and off (but mostly on) since 1993, and yet I've made little progress as a yogini. I wouldn’t rank myself higher than advanced beginner. Or perhaps I’m just burned out on the class I’m taking. It’s a "gentle" class, and there’s no legitimate reason I need to be taking a gentle class other than the fact that I want a guarantee that not a single millisecond of class time will be devoted to inversions—which I can do—but which I hate a lot. Anyway, the class isn’t nearly challenging enough. I think I need to try something new. Maybe Pilates, although it terrifies me a bit. I have no core strength at all. My flabs abs will probably feel like they’ve been run over by a steamroller after the first class. I guess that might actually be the goal. If they're run over by a steamroller enough times, they're bound to flatten eventually, right?

Since I’m not at yoga, I’m also taking the opportunity at this very moment to bleach my teeth for what I hope will be the very last bleaching session. I’ve been at this for almost three weeks, using custom-made trays and bleaching gel provided by my dentist. I had hoped that the results would occur swiftly and dramatically. In fact, that’s what my dental hygienist had led me to believe—that my teeth would be toilet-bowl white (like her teeth) after a few treatments.

Since my goal was only to get my teeth, which have discolored with age, to match a much lighter crown (right in front) that glares forth blindingly and conspicuously at folks whenever I smile, I thought I was being pretty realistic. But it’s taken all this time to see any noticeable change. My teeth are maybe two shades lighter. I won’t say whiter, because they are nowhere near the color of a toilet nor are they anywhere near the shade (Nebulous White [for real, that’s what it’s called]) I painted my kitchen cabinets last weekend (see photo above). They are, however, pretty close to the crown color, which is more or less the color of the lightest daffodil petals (see photo above again). Before they were closer in shade to the trumpet of the daffodils—a perfectly nice color for a daffodil but not so very nice as a tooth shade. Anyway, it’s an improvement.

But I've had enough of it. There are sites all over the Internet saying the bleaching process is safe, safe, safe, these sites all seem to be part of some dentist or other’s Web site. How objective can they be? I have to wonder. I mean it is bleach, for crissake. I did find a few articles that admitted there are some dangers. Even with the dentist-supervised treatments (like mine), there’s the potential to become a “bleachorexic,” that is, a person who never believes her teeth are white enough and bleaches them until they become thin, bluish, and translucent. Jeez. Also, supposedly, the bleach only penetrates the enamel and dentin, but should it somehow make its way into the pulp (say if there’s a fairly serious crack in a tooth), it's good-bye, tooth; hello, root canal. Reading that scared me enough to decide to quit today.

I think this topic is now exhausted. Time to get back to American Primitive, Volume II and such freek-jazz classics as “I Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape” by none other than the Nugrape Twins and “Big Bed Bug” by Tommy Settlers and His Blues Moaner.

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