The update on the "pain" business from the other day: I slumped into yoga class Monday morning with my neck and shoulder still throbbing a little, only to find that only five others had come. I went up to Columbia at the beginning of class and mentioned that I was having some issues--"well, you picked the right day!," she said. "We're just going to be doing some restorative work today." It was indeed pleasant, restful stuff we did--it didn't exacerbate any problems, just kept me calm and energetic for the day. When I came into class on Wednesday, it was a bit more populous. Where had everyone been, Columbia asked? A few people mumbled "well, um, last week after class I was really feeling kinda awful..." "You should've told me!" she said. Then she spent part of the class teaching us some poses to alleviate neck and shoulder pain (they seem to work), and the end of it teaching us a variation on the shoulder stand that's soothing rather than straining.

Last night most of the NAJP fellows went to a reading of a play called, I think, "Black Is My Robe" by a Pakistani playwright, Shahid Nadeem (he'll be coming in to speak to the group tomorrow), and a brief memoir read by an Indian playwright whose name I forget. The play was just okay--I got the feeling it was a bad translation of a good play--but the performance (by a group of mostly Subcontinental-American actors at the Lark Theatre) was excellent (esp. one woman who led the qawwali-based songs they performed between scenes and sometimes in the middle of them), and the conversation between the actors, the playwrights and the audience afterwards was extraordinary. The Indian playwright had mentioned that something or other had driven home for him the fact that India and Pakistan are "truly one nation"; some of the Pakistani actors said "we love you, but, er, no they're not--that was the whole point of Pakistani independence"; it was pointed out that the mega-India had only ever actually been one nation during the period of British occupation. Then there was some discussion of how it might be altered if it was to be presented to larger American audiences--should they attempt to modernize the songs or their instrumentation? (No! No! They're great as is!) What about the heavy Pakistani accents the actors used in the performance (but not in subsequent conversation)--appropriate or not? (It was appropriate as a sort of Brechtian formalizing device, was the consensus.)

And tonight, itching for some live music, I saw Dear Nora and Family Outing do an in-store at Sound & Fury. The latter is the new band with Jody Bleyle (ex-Team Dresch, Hazel, Infinite Xs) and her brother; they've only been playing together for a month and haven't yet recorded anything, but they're excellent. Apparently they're playing tomorrow (Friday) night at Meow Mix; I've got a party to go to early in the evening, but I may try to go see them later. (Then I've got the Soft Boys Saturday night, the Chickfactor show Sunday night, Sleater-Kinney Monday night, and then CMJ starts Wednesday--yikes!)



previously ask for advice