Friday, May 30, 2008


Today I changed my mail address at the post office, arranged to get the utilities started at the Westrock house, and discontinued my phone and cable service up in Waco. All of a sudden, it seems so much more real that I'm moving into phase two of Anne in Austin existence. In some ways, it is a little scary, but mostly it is exciting.

Last night Jeff and I watched My Cousin Vinnie. It is a deeply hilarious movie. One of my favorites. Easily in the top ten list of movies I love, others being Apollo 13, The Godfather Trilogy, Pulp Fiction (though I tend to skip the really disturbing parts). Jeff had seen some of it before and it was really fun to watch it together. There's one scene were Marisa Tomei's character, Lisa, confronts Vinnie about going deer hunting we started laughing so hard that we had to stop the DVD to laugh more. Anyway, it was fun.

i did a short inversion and SP practice this morning and am getting ready to get a facial and then practice with Devon.

Oh, one of the other things that happened yesterday, I got tested for various possible food allergies and Milk came up. Not a surprise in that I really dislike milk (though I like other forms of dairy a lot). So I'm going dairy free for 30 days to see what happens. right now I'm at 24 hours of no dairy products. I feel perhaps a less congested, more able to breathe.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lots and lots of fun

I've really had an absolutely fabulous past couple of days. Tuesday was a bit hectic driving upto Waco for yoga and back down afterwards, but class was so much fun. We worked on abdominal poses and arm balances on the Junior I syllabus.

Wednesday started early with the online study group with Carlos and then I went down to San Marcos to practice with CT. She wrote at length about that on her blog, so I'll just say it was a great practice, gruelling groin work, but worth the work, then I drove up to Austin and had the best massage ever with Rebecca Rowbatham. She is amazing! After that I went to Devon's 5:30 class and Jeff came over for dinner. Great day.

This morning, I did a few computer things and footnote work on the Augustine article. It is ready to send off tomorrow and I can get to the Plato book. I subbed a class at NW at noon and then drove out for my Rolfing appointment. Also amazing and then I got in with Ken Anderson the chiropractor out there at Austin Holistic Health. Also great. My body feels fabulous right now. After that, CT's yoga classes and yummy pineapple gelato at Whole Foods.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Here is a picture of me catching a fish and kayaking. It was my first time kayaking. I have caught fish before, but it has been a while, like say a couple decades at least. Jeff and I went down to Galveston this weekend. His parents live down there. I also met his brother and sister and their two kids, his uncle Randy, and his 97 year old grandfather. It was really a fun weekend. It is a very rare occasion when I go away somewhere that has nothing to do with yoga or philosophy and it was really just fun to be there but have nothing much to do other than hang out and eat food. We came back and went to Jeremiah's 7;30 class. He did a fabulous job. Jeremiah has a really lovely teaching presence and I particularly liked how he used the "human pez dispenser" prop work !!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Morning

I just got back from walking Dylan. It is already pretty hot outside. I'm getting ready to get a manicure and pedicure at Polish and then I may go to Barton Creek Coffeehouse for lunch and a bit of writing and more blogging.

I'm subbing the restorative Class at 6:00 PM at YYS and then we are going to Jessica and Ian's Drive-in Asian Film Festival. Sounds pretty Austin-esque.

Yesterday was a fun day. I took Christina by to see my new house and I put down a hefty security deposit and signed the lease so it is official. We also went to Marigold and Central Market before CT's classes. I had the most stable Vishwamatrasana and am getting much closer to doing Bhujapidasana. After class, Jeff came over and we had asparagus and left over pasta and some nice Chardonnay.

Gotta run.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The next phase

Well, yesterday was a really exciting day because I found a super amazing house to rent. It is in Barton Hills, 3/2 and has all this great outdoor living space and overlooks the green belt. What is best about it is that there is a balcony right off the bedroom and I've always wanted to be able to drink coffee in my pjs and look out over nature. Dream come true!

Actually, it reminds me a good bit of the Chapel Hill house, though not quite so long or so large.

I'm totally excited about it!!!!! I will miss Dylan but Kelli said I could have visitation rights.

I just subbed a beginner series class at YY. That was quite enjoyable. I rarely teach all beginners anymore. There are always some beginners mixed in with my more ongoing "beginners." In a little while, I'm off to a private yoga teaching orientation at YY S and then I'm meeting up with Christina for pre yoga sisterly bonding fun.

So not much in the philosophy work domain today. I have time for a bit of reformatting of footnotes but that's about it.

A note about grapples. Perhaps you've seen them in the store. Grape flavored apples. Jeff brought some over last night. Oddly, they smell like artificial grape flavoring very strongly, they have a well, grape is too strong, but a decidely grapish taste, very mild, I did like the firm texture of them. Very bizarre food item. Better than I expected them to be. Probably won't buy them, but my mild curiosity about them is now satisfied.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday Morning in Austin

In some ways, this feels like the first day of summer to me, partly because it was really hot already when I walked Dylan at 10 and partly because the semester is over, Mary and Eddy occurred, and also it is Wednesday at noon and I'm in Austin rather than in Waco. This is more due to me ending my Wednesday Yoga class than School being out, but actually those two events nicely coincided.

This morning, I got up early to do the Carlos video conferencing. We had an intriguing conversion about the Vedantic doctrine of superimposition. More on that on the philosophy blog, but it was a bit odd thinking about the metaphysical status of the physical world at 7 AM.

After sleeping in for a while after that and walking the dog and doing pranayama, I actually meditated before Carlos, I finally got around to doing some work work around 11:00. Yesterday I finished up reviewing two articles for professional journals and today I turned to finishing up the recommended edits on the Augustine article that will soon appear in Augustinian Studies. Actually, this article is one of my favorite things I've ever written. originally, it included an autobiographical section on reading, which I cut for the length requirements,

but here it is for the blogosphere.

I vividly remember the moment I really learned to read. I was sitting on the edge of the bed, playing with the crumpled edge of my pink and orange plaid bedspread. It was just before bedtime. I was reading out loud from a picture book about pirates. My mother patiently listened as I tried to figure out the difference between the words “this” and the word “that.” Prior to that evening, I’d been doing a lot of guessing about how to sound out words and was even a little hazy what particular letters were. Suddenly, as I watched my little sister climb into the matching twin bed across the room, something clicked in my young mind and I could read. Just like that. From that point on, I have been an avid, even voracious, reader of texts.
When I think back over my reading life, particularly my years of reading before entering college, the books that resonated with me were not what one would term “great literature.” While the intellectual elitist in me would like to say that I loved Madame Bovary, Hard Times, and Moby Dick, I did not. I loved Charlotte’s Web, The Velveteen Rabbit, the entire Nancy Drew Mystery Series, James Mitchner’s Hawaii, Gone with the Wind, and Atlas Shrugged.
Once I enrolled in college at Trinity University, I did start reading and enjoying great texts. Some hooked me almost immediately. Plato’s Apology sparked my enthusiasm for the philosophical life and his Symposium has never let loose its of its erotic grip on my soul. I was also inspired by Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and was deeply puzzled by the Tao Te Ching. I would like to say that I loved the Confessions from the moment I read it, but that would be a lie. Truthfully, my relationship with the Confessions has been a bit rocky. I first read the text as a freshman. I read it as an assigned text in a Western Civilization course, the Human Quest. I read the book, passed the quiz, wrote an essay, and promptly planned to forget all about it.
At that point, I thought I could safely leave Augustine in his garden at Milan. However, as I progressed in my philosophy major, I encountered Augustine again, this time in his guise as an analytic philosopher of religion. We read excerpts on free will, the problem of evil, and analyzed all those distinctions between time and eternity in my metaphysics class. But by this time, Plato had captured my heart and I was quite happy to leave Augustine behind just as he left Monica at the seaport when he sailed off to Rome.
My next encounter with Augustine occurred during my second year of graduate school at The Pennsylvania State University. Somewhat dissatisfied with the current course offerings, I approached the late Carl G. Vaught, then the department chair at Penn State, , about doing an independent study on Kierkegaard. He, however, wanted to do a course on the Confessions.
So I felt compelled to sign up and sign up I did. Every Friday afternoon, twelve graduate students drove to his house. He opened his home to us and in this comfortable setting, the text finally opened up to me as well. I still remember what the furniture looked like, where every person sat and much of what every person said about the text. It was my first real experience with intellectual community. Teachers had certainly motivated me before, but I couldn’t remember really feeling like I was a member of the class collective. Vaught reads the Confessions in terms of community, specifically in terms of Augustine’s attempt to find a community that will sustain and nurture the dynamism of his new-found faith. And that class exemplified to me what the text exemplified for him. A community formed around something larger than us. A friend of mine took it the following year. For her, it was just a class. For us, or at least for me, it was mystical.
I taught the Confessions for the first time, my second semester at Baylor and something in that experience began to change me and my attitude about what I do and why I teach. After a few semesters, I taught a graduate seminar on the Confessions. There, I taught the non-autobiographical books, memory time, eternity and creation, which I had always shied away from when, teaching it to undergraduates. And, the oddest thing happened. I felt as if I were caught up in something larger than myself again, larger than all of us. In fact, it seemed like Augustine was carrying us on his contemplative shoulders. With him as our guide, we explored the nature of the cosmos and the meaning of Genesis itself.
Teaching Augustine to this inspirational class let me see teaching as an activity that leads me to think about these issues of community and spiritual reflection in a way that I do not when I am sitting down writing about the nuances of Platonic narrative alone in my study. I discovered that I am a better philosopher and a better reader of texts as a public teacher than as a private writer.
The odd thing about finding a deeper sense of my vocation as a teacher in this work is that Augustine doesn’t seem to particularly like teaching. He finds student rowdy and reckless. He finds the demands of academia onerous and time consuming. But nonetheless, Augustine the student and Augustine the teacher are the main figures of the Confessions. Until his retirement in the middle of Book IX, his role as an educator is a constant presence. It is so tangible, so material. It provides the real everyday life context in which his spiritual life emerges and it allowed me to see teaching as an occasion for spiritual growth. The book has become a part of the cycle of my life. I now see Augustine’s story as my own. His journey has let me travel inward toward deeper self-understanding and outward toward an ever expanding sense of communion with God.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Up in Dallas

Well, it has been awhile since I've blogged. I've really been very busy with end of the semester tasks of one sort or another and really have been pushing the envelope of getting everything done and blogging does not seem to be a high priority activity and then like most forms of writing, or really most forms of doing anything, when you get out of the habit of it, it is harder to do and easier not to do and so it goes.

but now the semester is over. No more class prep until the middle of January. I have various and sundry tasks associated with grad director activities over the summer but then I'm on research leave in the fall.

My primary task between now and January is to finish my Plato book and get it sent off for review. I actually am striving to have that done by August and then I can turn to writing Plato's Agent in the Fall.

Though life has been feeling a bit too busy, I'm really enjoying my new life in Austin. Jeff and I are having a lot of fun hanging out and getting to know each other better. I'm loving teaching at yoga yoga and taking Christina's and Mandy's classes on a regular basis.

. I'm beginning to look for my own house to rent down here and I've put my house on the market in Waco.

This weekend I'm up at the Mary and Eddy Workshop in Dallas. I'm learning a ton and their teaching seems very timely to me. More on that on the teaching yoga and philosophy blog.