Archive for November, 2009
Posted on November 20, 2009 - by Jennifer
This is a shout-out to Pranamaya, who produce and distribute high quality yoga DVD’s ( Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers, and Jill Miller’s among others) and are now offering online courses. ¬†http://www.pranamaya.com/online-courses
You go to the website, create an account, and buy a class or workshop from the instructor of your choice. ¬†You can instantly stream the video you have purchased. ¬†And it goes into your account so you can log in anytime and stream any of your courses an unlimited number of times. ¬†Anywhere you have an internet connection, you have an instructor at your disposal. ¬†Right now the offerings are limited as they test market the idea. ¬†But, I think demand will be high and more courses will be available soon (please! please!) Delivery is instant, the media production values are high, and Pranamaya can, no doubt, produce these courses much faster and release them more frequently then a fully-packaged DVD. ¬†Instructors can also target specific topics (like the shoulder stand workshop being offered by Grilley) without having to produce a full DVD around them. And you don’t have to pack DVD’s when you travel. ¬†Instead, you just connect to the internet and an online yoga library awaits!
Posted on November 20, 2009 - by Jennifer
As a Yankees fan living in Washington D.C., I always feel like I‚Äôm expected to apologize for liking the Yankees.¬† Even when I make all the right arguments ‚Äì¬† my family is from New York, I was born in New Jersey, the Yankees are a huge part of the history and tradition of a game I love, Reggie Jackson was my first hero ‚Äì none of it seems to matter.¬† People look at you like you‚Äôve said, ‚ÄúWell, Hitler was trying to lead during difficult times‚Äù or ‚Äú We really should hear Bernie Madoff‚Äôs side of the story‚Äù.¬† At the very least, they want to know why an otherwise good and generally kind person would chose, CHOSE, the Yankees over all the other plucky, hardworking, underdogs in baseball. Here‚Äôs why.¬† To me, the Yankees are not George Steinbrenner.¬† They are not Alex Rodriguez.¬† They are not even Derek Jeter.¬† They are, to borrow a line from MLB, ‚Äúbeyond baseball.‚Äù
Like any baseball fan, I love the big plays.¬† I love watching Jeter dive into the stands after a ball, or Posada thwarting a would-be stolen base, or Rivera staring down a batter in the 9th. And when I remember the 2009 World Series, I will remember A-Rod‚Äôs clutch home runs, Johnny Damon stealing bases, and Matsui homering off Martinez.¬† But a lifelong attachment to a particular baseball team doesn‚Äôt come from feats of athleticism or stellar stats.¬† When people remember a moment with ‚Äútheir‚Äù team, they remember where they were when it happened ‚Äì anxious in a living room, screaming in a packed bar, shivering at a stadium.¬† They remember who was next to them- the stranger they hugged, the best friend they wept with, the peanut vendor who said, ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs always next year.‚Äù¬† As a fan, you turn these moments and these feelings into a story and every year that story gets new characters and new twists.
In my story there are family car rides in our yellow VW Rabbit and my father and brother teaching me to recite Ruth, DiMaggio, and Mantle‚Äôs statistics.¬† In my story, I‚Äôm the girl growing up who wants to beat the boys at sports and hates being told she cannot do something. Naturally, I loved watching Reggie Jackson stand up to Steinbrenner, the media, and pretty much anyone else who got in his way!¬† In my story, I will always remember October of 2000 when the Yankees faced the Mets in the ‚ÄúSubway Series‚Äù and my brother gave up his ticket to Game 2 in Yankee Stadium so I could go. In my story, I will remember with pleasure the taste of the whiskey my father and I shared in the family living room when the Yankees finally won that series.¬† And l will feel bittersweet when I recall that we no longer own that house, so filled with our history.¬† In my story, when my grandfather falters after bypass surgery, we know he has fight left in him because he refuses to let anyone at the hospital take off his Yankees hat. In my story, it is my Yankees hat and my friend Priscilla‚Äôs Red Sox hat that lead to our meeting at the gym during the 2004 ALCS.¬† And in spite of the Yankees bitter loss to our hated rival, she and I became fast friends.¬† This year, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.¬†¬† And, although for her the pain of the Red Sox early exit from the post-season was still fresh, she still went with me to a bar for Game 2 of the ALCS and hung in through all 13 innings to see the Yankees win.
2009 was a memorable year for me.¬† On June 6, I got married and the Yankees lost to the Rays.¬† During my honeymoon, I insisted that my husband and I find a bar with the MLB package so I could watch the Yankees take on the Red Sox at Fenway in a 3 game series.¬† My very patient husband indulged me.¬† The Yankees did not, losing all three games. I forlornly declared that the season was over.¬† My husband suggested I was a bit premature.
Like the Yankees, I settled into a new house.¬† And when the Yankees won the World Series on Wednesday night, I was sitting on my new couch with my husband.¬† I was tense, like I have been during every game of the postseason.¬† During this game, I gnawed off my fingernails and chewed my lips to shreds.¬† I texted a few people but didn‚Äôt want to say too much or speak too soon.¬†¬† When Rivera got the last out, my first feeling was relief.¬† It took a while for the joy to sink in. When it did, I started to talk to my family and friends, my fellow diehard Yankee fans.¬† None of us were together.¬† My brother was in LA, my sister in Baltimore, my friend Tony in New York, my friends Reese and Amy in Seattle.¬† But, in cities across America, we had all been holding our breath.¬†¬† And, collectively, we were breathing a sigh of relief.¬† My husband was asleep and I had to wake him up to share the good news.¬† I think he said ‚ÄúYay!‚Äù before his head dropped back down on the couch pillow.¬† Instead of my father‚Äôs whiskey I was drinking a Tuscan red from the charming caf√© and wine shop down the street, a place where they now recognize us.¬† I raised my glass to Matsui who was accepting the MVP.¬† Matsui‚Äôs translator said that Matsui felt ‚Äúawesome‚Äù and I wondered if there really was a word for ‚Äúawesome‚Äù in Japanese?¬† More importantly, as the Yankees added World Series trophy number 27 to their collection, I added another chapter to my story.
Posted on November 20, 2009 - by Jennifer
How do you get people to fall in love with magazines again? ¬†Esquire thinks they have the answer in the form of “augmented reality” http://www.esquire.com/video/#v49407280001. ¬†A chip embedded in the latest issue of Esquire allows you to hold it up to your computer screen and then interact with the magazine’s content. ¬†For example, you can change the clothes and even the weather in one of their fashion spreads (like a high-tech paper doll!) ¬†My first reaction was “Wow…that’s cool” (something I rarely think when looking at an issue of Esquire). ¬†And then I started to wonder, “Is this kind of like CNN’s surreal election coverage when Wolf Blitzer interviewed a holographic version of ¬†will.i.am?” ¬†Point being, while seeing will.i.am appear in CNN’s studios like some kind of jedi knight was first weird, and then kind of astonishing, it didn’t make Wolf Blitzer ask better questions. ¬†It ¬†didn’t make the election coverage more informative or more nuanced (although it did make it more humorous). ¬†And it certainly didn’t make me want to tune into CNN more often. ¬†But, like most technology, this “super chip” that Esquire has up their sleeve is agnostic. ¬†So, in the hands of Esquire, I’m not sure what it will offer, although I can speculate that it will involve cigars and scantily clad women. ¬†But, in more creative ¬†hands, it could probably offer a really cool fusion of the printed word and the glowing screen and that’s got some potential.
Posted on November 2, 2009 - by Jennifer
This summer I produced an interactive exhibit for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago about how a woman’s body changes during pregnancy.¬† Since I’ve never been pregnant, I had to ask women who were pregnant or had recently given birth to open up to me about their experiences, in detail!¬† I was afraid they wouldn’t really want to share their stories with a complete stranger but so many women stepped forward because they wanted to be part of an exhibit that would help other women and girls – and maybe even educate men a little about what women go through! ¬† Their candor, warmth, and humor was inspiring and you can read quotes from them throughout the interactive exhibit “Make Room for Baby”.¬† You can also see an amazing animation that takes you through all nine months of pregnancy, week by week.¬† When you see the growing fetus force the mom’s digestive organs up into her diaphragm, you get a whole new level of appreciation for your own mother!
The museum has made the interactive available online so you don’t even have to leave your computer to play with it.¬† Check it out!