Monday, June 30, 2008

Where the Money is in Exercise

I guess any reader of this blog is aware of my fascination with yoga. True, it's regarded as an expensive sport - but I would say is that it's worth every penny and every minute.

Still, I thought a touch point on what "expensive" really means would be worthwhile:

At upscale but mainstream yoga studios - Sacred Movement, Yogaworks - a single class (usually an hour and a half, with between 10 and 60 people in the class - kinda depends on the teacher and the time of day) costs $20. But a monthly unlimited class membership (which for me means about 20 classes per month) is about $125 per month, or for me, about $6.50 per class. Couple that with beautiful wood floored yoga rooms, nice amenities, but most important of all, truly world class teachers (I'm talking here in L.A.), and it doesn't seem that bad.

Now a friend recently told me about the new fad up in Brentwood. Burn 60. 60 minutes of interval training - meaning 15 minutes on a treadmill, alternating with 15 minutes of core, strength, and stretching exercises.

Number of students in the class - 30, and you need to reserve in advance because they're so full.

Cost per class - $26 for a single one hour class, down to $19 if you buy a package of 30 classes ($570 for the package). Yikes. And however extensive the expertise of their teachers, I'm pretty sure it doesn't compare to the experience and expertise of good yoga instructors.

Well, I'm not surprised. Yoga is time consuming and the reality is that people with money often have less time. If you want to make money as a sports enterprise, shorter, more intense, boot camp type classes (Curves and Burn 60) are definitely the way to go. Of course you'll counter with the example of gym membership at $40 a month. True, but most people need a good class to get a truly thorough workout, and that human touch (preferably a quick, 45 to 60 minute human touch) may ultimately be what you're paying for.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Where to Get a Mac

I finally succumbed and ordered a MacBook Air - but the important thing about this post is a suggestion on where to buy it.

You can buy it online at (save yourself leaving the house), or in person at the Apple store. In both cases you don't have to pay shipping costs.

But better yet - go onto Amazon: No shipping costs, no sales tax, and... a $70 dollar discount plus a $50 rebate. Total savings of about $250.

Just a tip.

It's still pricey. Hopefully I'll enjoy it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Dear Cat

I have two cats. Which qualifies me, in the view of many, as the eternal spinster. Cats doom women to singlehood, just as dogs guarantee them an abundance of suitors. Or so I'm told.

But in my defense, the only reason I got the cats in the first place was as an (albeit poor) alternative for my kids to having a dog. A dog was more than I could handle. A creature that needed babysitting while I was away. A creature almost as needy as a human baby, but with one difference - that the dog would remain that baby forever, never grow up.

So, I "adopted" two cats. I put that with quotation marks, because the cost of the adoption was $75 per cat, supposedly to cover their immunization expenses, but one of the two cats - the pretty black one - actually cost $25 more, because of her Asian Short Hair look. Is that an adoption or a purchase?

But back to the point. These two cute, female cats have lived a nice life in the eight years since their adoption. They're indoor/outdoor cats, free to roam around to their heart's content, but always assured of a warm dry place, and plentiful (although not gourmet) food.

And then something happened. The black cat. The premium one. The one, by the way, who had always acted neurotic, started peeing in the house. I'm almost afraid to tell you this because those of you who visit my place may find yourself forever sniffing around to find a small gift. Don't worry, you don't need to do that, I do it for you.

Only then did I realize what a well established issue "feline inappropriate urination" is. It is probably the single most common reason for "feline euthanasia". Which is starting to sound like a real option here.

So I've done everything I found reasonable to do. Bought four, organic-catnip infused cat scratchers, and scattered them around the house, given the black madam a round of antibiotics (just in case this is a "feline urinary tract infection"), sprayed feliway (a feline pheromone) around the house - it's supposed to have a calming influence - , and now, just to make sure I've tried everything, I've gotten Cloricalm - used for the treatment of separation anxiety and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder, I kid you not) in cats.

My dear cat refuses to take her Clomicalm. I have a feeling this is not going to end well.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Secret to Writing is?

I just saw a t-shirt with the tagline - "The Secret to Writing is Writing". Of course it's tempting to immediately agree with such a tagline, but contemplating on how little I've been blogging lately, I thought a modification was in order. So here's my version: "The Secret to Writing is Having (or at least thinking that you have) an Audience.

I think the real dip in my blogging activities happened when my dear but elusive blogger friend, Luke Ford, decided he was no longer putting "Favorite Blog" links on his web site. For my anonymous blog, his endorsement was (or at least I thought it was) my main source of traffic, and the main incentive to try and write at least one entry per day. When that disappeared, I suddenly felt as thought I was writing to myself, and I'm not a Dear Journal type of person.

So what I'm trying to do right now is to visualize you, my dear reader, and make myself believe that you're reading this post.

If I can do this every day for the next month or so, then I may just send out a mass e-mail to all my friends and acquaintances saying something like - Hey - check this out, I've actually been blogging, please read and comment.

We shall now see if I can stick to that illusion of readership for the coming month. Or 30 days to be more preceise.