Thursday, November 27, 2008

Heartfelt Thanks ...

Obviously even on our roughest day in America we still have much for which we should be grateful. The more I recognize this, the more humble I become. When I'm bitching about hating my clothes, for example, a little voice goes off in my head that reminds me of one the Gee's Bend quilts that a woman made using her dead husband's wardrobe. All of the clothing he owned made one thin quilt.

Or the news, for example. Everyone is so freaked out over this economic crisis, and I do understand there are many reasons why, but I'm reminded that as Americans what we stand to lose is still greater than what many have never had. Even me and my piddly little 401(k) - the loss there is more than a villager in Africa might make in a year. Life on our globe is not life in America. Everything we have is not a divine right, nor should it be an assumption.

Which is why I was completely touched this week when, randomly, I received a gift certificate to Prana from someone who reads my blog. It was so unexpected and yet so heartfelt that I just had to sit and reflect (before immediately using it online!) on how the act of generosity changed me, and made realize how petty my needs sometimes can be. But also how kind people can be. I will pay it forward, and I'm grateful for that reminder this week.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

4 Minutes



So I have no time to write a complete report because life is a mystery and I'm out here standing alone and feeling like I just got home and all.

Her bikini? Small.
Heels? Tall.
She said she liked the ocean.

Oh yeah, the shrieking is sorta a comical funny thing my friend Robert and I do to tap into our inner white trash. It's what happens when you put South Carolina and Alabama together in Georgia.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Words



While not the actual video, I thought I'd share this one anyway to wrap up the week. Lots of obscure Madonna material is out there and, well, there's only so much we can accomplish in 5 days. Think of it as a little Madonna sampler appetizer.

I still listen to 1992's "Erotica" album from time-to-time. It was really fantastic, despite the critical bash of the accompanying "SEX" book. I believe I gave my SEX book to my friend Wilbur during "le divorce."

Wilbur, if you still have it, I sorta feel like I want it back. And you didn't do "Jack Jack No Take Back" when I gave it to you because, at 39, that would've been really appropriate, so I think I'm entitled. But if you wanted to eBay it and split the profit, I'd be down too. Holla!

Everybody, Y'all: Madonna



At any moment I fully expect to see a cut-in to Denise Huxtable on the dancefloor with her friends - more than likely wearing a big cross and clearly a bowler because that's what you do in 1983 - followed by Claire and Cliff busting into the Danceteria to find her because she lied about spending the night with friends, then lecturing her sternly before, finally, they go home for ice cream. Vanessa is pissed, of course, when they return because she totally wants to be Denise, and Rudy is just happy for the ice cream.

Videos have come a long way, haven't they? I mean, it's stuff like this that should keep a bitch humble. Know what I'm sayin'? "Girl I know you all about yo' red string and shizz but I remember when you did that same shuffle-ball-change-twirl step with your little 'Everybody' song in that damn outfit from Esprit, so don't act like you was born trying to save Africa."

Also, speaking directly to my partner-in-crime Jon ... if you think we are not rehearsing that move at about 3:16 for our next foray into trouble, you're wrong. We need a third person to complete the concept, though.

OK, in all seriousness, I love me some "Everybody." It has had staying power, you know? I mean, it's 25 years old and you still hear that little "Dance and sing get up and do your thing," sample mixed in from time to time and you know what? Most er'body get up and dance when they hear it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Madonna: You'll See



Do you like how I'm now blogging at night? Didn't notice? Who cares? Yeah, that's how I feel about it too. I think it's because I've been a snooze demon this week and, you know, I'm OK with it. It's been really cold here and the thought of getting out of bed is quite daunting. Maddie is a late sleeper too, so she's of no use in insisting we get out of bed.

Though not hugely popular as a chart topper, this has to be the world's best breakup song. Don't act like it's not. You know when you've been dumped that you have truth on your side. The other scumbag only has deceit. That means you win.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Madonna Week: Nothing Really Matters



This is one of my favorites. I loved the entire "Ray Of Light" album, but I think I really "got" this one as a.) I'd also just finished reading "Memoirs of a Geisha" and b.) I connected to the lyrics as I was just beginning to recognize how little value I was contributing by expecting something good to happen to me, because I was entitled to it. The blessing was realizing that I was already blessed, and that it was my responsibility to share that with as many as I possibly can. Plus I liked that pulsing sort of camera-work and the whole mystical Dali-esque element of the treatment. Sometimes I still run up and down the hall dragging my hands on it and expecting a big bubble wrap baby to be waiting in a bassinet. True story.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Madonna Week 1



It's Madonna countdown week here at robbyjohnson.com. Yes, I will be getting my Sticky & Sweet Tour on next Monday night, God willing and the creek don't rise, in the - what? - A.T.L. with my homeboy Doc Martin and I'm excited. I need a little fun and excitement to put the shimmy back in my shake, mmkay?

And thank God for YouTube, where you too can relive the past 18 years of Madonna. Or just let me select 5 days of my favorites to share with you. Either way, you win, and I win. And do you know who else wins? Madonna. That's who. Yes, by being a fan we all contribute to her Id and serious bank account, as well as children in Africa and semi-odd mystical cultish practices.

But that's all ok. Because at the end of the day, she launched the 90's in gold Gaultier on a red velvet bed. Definitely the sorta shit one should have on their resume and in their obituary. Right?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pimp Me Out

Yesterday I finally went to my mailbox which, can I just say, I hate and yes, it's because I hate a bill and all of the bloody structure and compliance associated with it. "Pay me, pay me," they say. And it just makes me want to slap a bitch. Freedom is my thing ... I'm a bird baby, I need to fly!

Why did I start with the mailbox? Oh yeah, right, so the thing is my "Eventing" magazine was in the box and I read it - not much has changed there ... keep trying and practicing and you'll get better. Horses are still horses. Young riders are still rich. You get the picture.

But what was included was the big schedule and rundown for the Annual Meeting which is being held in New Orleans December 11-14 and guess whose name was included in the roster? Yours truly, that's who. I'm doing a presentation on pilates and specifically addressing posture and how it affects the equestrian. I find this really fascinating. I haven't done any hardcore research or laboratory studies because I don't even know where to begin with that, so am preparing my presentation for a more general assessment and "ease of implementation." I'm excited about it.

But what matters to me most, of course, and not surprisingly to anyone I'm sure, is what I'm going to wear. I'm just going to address the simple honest truth here. My default concern is always the Robby In My Head who must be up there walking the talk. And bitch need to look fresh!

I'm obviously not going to wear what Joseph H. Pilates is wearing in this pic (but don't think for a second if I didn't have my little Ethiopia belly I wouldn't) so I need to get cracking on the ensemble. I have a few ideas percolating, but am all over the board with it. I need to edit and, quite frankly, how hard is it to slap on some workout shorts/pants a tank top and a zip-up hoodie? Not hard. But they have to be the RIGHT workout shorts/pants, tank top, and zip-up hoodie. This of course says American Apparel to me. Although I really want something from Prana. But Prana is s'spensive and I ain't sayin' I'm a gold digga, I'm just sayin' I'm a broke wigga.

I am, of course, open to suggestions. Pimp me out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wild Birds Y'all

I like to watch birds. And fish in an aquarium. In fact, I could do it for hours. There, I said it. In fact, if there were ants on the other side of something glass, I'd probably watch them too.

Which is why I finally took down my hummingbird feeders at the office yesterday (I had a few stragglers after migration but the feeders had been empty awhile and they'd hum in, look at me after attempting to feed, and say, "Thanks a lot, asshole!") and paid my friends at the local Wild Birds Unlimited a visit. $32 later I have a squirrel-proof seed feeder hanging from my office window dogwood tree.

The viewing reward on a seed feeder is pretty instant. Within an hour I had all sorts of little finches and sparrows getting their fight on over the black oil sunflower seed mix. This of course provided my ADD a major outlet, so I engaged it and just watched them for 5 minutes. Activity behind a glass. Lovez it.

If anyone reading this happened to be looking for an appropriate gift for a certain writer and couldn't find a.) a quaint Middleburg farm or b.) laser liposuction in a discrete South American location or c.) a year of training at Stott Pilates mothership in Toronto, I did hear he might enjoy an Audubon birding guide. Even a used one.

So the bird I am featuring here is a cedar waxwing. I remember once, as a kid, we had a flock migrate through and attack our pear tree. My father was all aflutter getting his encyclopedia out because he'd never seen such beautiful birds. And then we probably returned to a random dirt road project like changing a tire or oil or something. Ahh, my life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slow News Week

So we have lots to talk about in the news following the election of a new president, right? I mean, why do we need to know the code names the Secret Service has given the Obama family? Isn't that supposed to be a secret? Murder over football game win? Conecuh County, Alabama, has you covered there. And let's not forget Jennifer Aniston's heartache nearly 4 years later. Hey, Jen, I feel for you sister. 2005 was a sucky year for me too. Here's the thing ... if you want everyone to believe how great you are doing, quit talking about how much it sucked. That's so white of you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Start The Day Fresh

Even though it sometimes isn't fun, I'm a stickler for making my bed before I leave in the morning. And sometimes I may or may not sing Paula Abdul's "Promise Of A New Day," except I substitute "day" with "bed," get it? It's those little things that allow me to just burst with creativity, folks. I'll let you have that one for free.

No, for serious, here's a link on how to get your bed did. My room doesn't look like this, unfortunately, because I'm rather sure I'd never get out of bed.

But I do have me some hospital corners and when I sink in at night, I'm snoozing before the light's even off.

Ahh, sueno!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spread Eagle

Don't even think this exercise isn't called Spread Eagle because it so is. And thankfully my IT is holding my feet here because otherwise they might just slide right out of the fuzzy hanging straps.

I am now officially trained through Intermediate level to teach the work on the Cadillac. I had amazing classmates and yet another fantastic weekend in Memphis. There's lots of good work to do to continue exercising both my body as well as my clients' bodies into more neutral alignment.

I also got to do ballet stretches with the trapeze and even did an arabesque, which solidified my notion that I should have a reality show in which I attempt to become a ballet dancer at age 37.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Namesake

I finished this book on Thursday night, and it was one of those reading experiences where I find myself a bit weepy (but not really) when the back cover is closed. "I am better because I read this," was precisely what I said to myself before I fell out comatose.

As a budding writer, I often read in an observation mode. By this I mean I find myself analyzing style and method while concurrently processing the story. Does that dilute the message? I'm not sure. Many times I'll proclaim the beauty of a book and someone will acknowledge reading it as well and mention a critical part of the plot or storyline and I'm like, "Eh? I don't remember that at all."

But I can always reference why I liked it based on how it was written. That tends to be my default: the story can be anything but the architecture of the words and the manner in which they hold up the visual component is what truly fascinates me. Not surprisingly, this is where I find great reward in my employment as a public relations and marketing professional. The final format - the executable or tactical component - doesn't engage me as much as the strategy and planning dimension does.

To me there is so much range in the visual and written spectrum, but if you don't craft the message to appeal to the audience, you're missing the opportunity to connect. I think this is the fine line we must balance in commercial writing to avoid becoming a "sellout!" (Hello, Anne Rice. Did I just type that out loud?)

And that's a real challenge when you set out to write a novel. What is the strategy? I think it's noble to write for yourself. It's certainly what compels me to continue slaving away at this story I'm attempting to extract, but at the same time I really do contemplate the end result and how it might be perceived and how it might affect someone else.

I think the reason I really respond to Jhumpa Lahiri is that she writes from a very realistic perspective. There is an intimacy created through the context and reinforces in me the insignificance of self-imposed boundaries and judgment.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Port de Bras

I'm off to Memphis again tomorrow morning to finish the Intermediate Cadillac repertoire training. One of my favorite exercises is port de bras, which evolved from Pilates' time spent training ballet dancers. I like it because it provides a really nice stretch as you roll down through rotation which, of course, works to strengthen the obliques.

I have a little bidness idea I'm beginning to research in earnest which excites me. Let's just say it involves a tricked out trailer and 5 months at Winter Equestrian Festival. And yes, NOLA JOEY, you can come with.

(Thanks Dolores Park Pilates for letting me snag your photo!)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Changes

I think it's really normal to be fearful when change is introduced. It's what we do, after all. But one of my favorite little sayings is "The only thing constant is change," so I feel we must make decisions and model behaviors that allow for smooth adaptation.

Clearly I'm very excited about the next four years, and my hope is for a redirection of our country from hate-harboring and calculated discrimination to progressive, authentic practices which earn America a spot at the global table not because of the power we possess, but because of the responsible way in which we harness and share it.

Each day we awaken in this country we should remember that even in our most fearful of times we've never seen the likes of genocide in Sudan or the Congo, or the atrocities that occur daily in countries like North Korea. We are blessed to exercise the right to vote and, regardless of political candidate preferences, we owe it to ourselves as a country to work collectively to make our world better.

Remember, sitting by idly and waiting for someone else to make the decisions and do the work isn't going to move the needle. Capture your passion and direct it in such a way that it can make a change at any level. These efforts add strength and definition to our person, and energy to the Light.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My Little Pony Update(s)

So it's been a rather crazy 4 days for me. The horses have been on suicide strike.

Fortunately the news seems to be promising as they get into outpatient rehab/support groups for their pent-up internal issues.

Rhodes had colic surgery not once but twice last week at LSU. I don't even own him anymore but still feel like he's mine. His owner has taken great care of him and he was actually in the hospital for four days before they did the first surgery, which repaired a hole in the supporting membrane anatomy around the intestine. He recovered and was doing great but had to be taken back in on Saturday as he had developed an impaction in his cecum. So far, so good is the status from Baton Rouge. Keep your fingers crossed.

Then Friday, Ouisie and her herdmate Ellie put on their Girls Gone Wild show for the foxhunters when they arrived at the farm in Faunsdale for opening hunt weekend. After their show Ouisie stood in the same place for about 15 minutes so the farm owner went to check on her and she was 3-legged lame, non-weight bearing with a goose-egg on the inside of her hock.

We started her on Bute and I went down Saturday morning to check and she seemed OK. Sore, for sure, but I wasn't concerned that she'd be in trouble UNTIL Sunday when it was much worse despite meds and some hosing. I was very concerned that there was a fracture and while she lives in horsey heaven, the big drawback is lack of modern veterinary resources. Fortunately I have been blessed with great friends and while I began yesterday morning preparing for a worst case scenario, the day ended on a positive note when x-rays revealed no fracture and an inflammation of the hock joint.

CAGP, my friend, is taking care of her at her farm in Montgomery, and I think I'll commemorate her kindness by, I don't know, casting a bronze statue or something to be prominently displayed at the entryway to the Alabama Cattleman's Stockyard or something. Or maybe I'll buy her her own Fisher Price My First X-Ray Machine so she can have it on hand when the cow vet shows up in cucaracha spurs to diagnose a snake bite.

Either way, I'm getting off the horse drama bandwagon.

I think Wiffle and I are about to embark on our new lives as foxhunters and I'm really excited about it! Stay tuned!