Friday, February 25, 2011

The Yum of the Bedchamber

In previous meditations we have discussed the importance of your Yummish Temple. Today we focus on one particularly important aspect the Temple – the bed.

Aww, there are yard trimmings on my bed...
The bed is at the center of the Yummish life. When we feel bad, it's where we go to feel well again. When we feel well, it's where we go to feel even better. It's where (many) lives begin and where we hope ours and those of our loved ones will one day peacefully end. We create our most elaborate rituals around it, from the bedtime stories of childhood to bedtime playtime as adults. It is the altar for our most sacred rituals.

Be it a simple cotton futon or a princess-y pillow top affair, the only thing a Yummish bed should not be is lonely. Whether it's a puppy sleeping at your feet, a lover in your arms or a child whom you're shielding from nightmares, sharing the space in which you sleep with another is an act of intimacy. It is where and when you're the most vulnerable. The risk, however, is well-balanced by the potential rewards.

Today's exercise: Worship with someone you love.

Next: If I claimed to have a clue, I'd just be lying.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bound By Precedent

Yesterday, the Yummish Council spent the day engaged in the spontaneous celebration of a newly realized Yummish Holiday: Precedents Day.

Precedents Day is day set aside in the depth of the February doldrums to remember the people, places, events and ideas that are at the foundation of our idiosyncrasies. It is a holiday celebrating the stories behind our (occasionally odd) personal habits and rituals, such as why a middle aged woman might find ski-ball romantic or how an highly-educated professorial type can get an honest chuckle out of a bad movie due to fondness for the person with whom he first watched it. It is the day for remembering why, for decades, you've held your breath every time you've driven through a tunnel, crossed all of your fingers each time you've crossed a state line or are still unwilling to let the vegetables touch any of the rest of the food on your plate.

These quirks of personality are what make people, not just unique, but uniquely interesting. Each has its own creation story, which, collectively, are your story, your history, your narrative – your self.

Today's exercise: Review the relevant precedents!

Next: Still trying to hash out that piece on ego and wisdom... (Yeah, I know... Better to stick with cookies...)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just a Hunka Hunka Burning Yum: Elvis Presley, Yummish Saint

Fabulous... yet non-binding!
Maybe we're still high on nostalgia from celebrating the anniversary of our Las Vegas-based wedding a dozen years ago, but we're actually surprised at ourselves for not having canonized Mr. Presley sooner.

The tremendous effect of Elvis Presley's personal aesthetic (or “Yum”) on popular culture can hardly be overstated. People born decades after his death are still aware of his albums, his image. Whether or not you enjoy Elvis' music, chances are at least one of the artists that you do enjoy names him as a musical influence. Elvis also popularized such Yummish concepts as the non-binding-yet-fabulous sequin jumpsuit, the peanut butter and banana sandwich, and Ann-Margret.
Ann-Margret: sex bomb

Elvis was a family man. He was a ladies man. He indulged his appetites. He indulged his mother. He was a redneck from Tupelo and the King of Rock and Roll. He was a sex symbol and a caricature, a legend who became a myth. He was a soldier and singer, a sinner and, now, saint.

Today's exercise: Appreciate Elvis' influence on your own Yum.

Next: A self-(un)important treatise on wisdom.

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 14: A Day to Take Stock of Your Bonds

On February 14 many people around the world will celebrate the bloody death of a possibly apocryphal martyr to the cause of Christianity by purchasing seasonal cards and gifts decorated in cheerfully abstracted images of genitalia, manufactured largely in countries that do not celebrate this holiday.

Which is cool with us. You know... if you're into that sort of thing.

If, however, you are looking for an alternative to the romantic performance pressure of Valentine's Day, consider celebrating the Most High and Holy Day of Yummish Bonding (known as Bonding Day)*. 

Bondage (n.): the bond shared among spouses, parents and children, dear friends or other – a bond of deep caring and great passion

Bonding Day (n.): One of the two Most Holy Days, time set aside for careful, contemplative reflection about the important relationships in our lives.

The Yummish agree that taking a day to celebrate your lover is a beautiful thing. We, however, don't limit the celebration to only one aspect of our love lives. Rather than focusing only on romantic relationships, Bonding Day is about appreciating and celebrating all of the important relationships in our lives.

This February 14, gather up your favorite fetishes and bondage accessories and get your kink on with Bonding Day.
Bonding Day 1999
Cupid's Wedding Chapel
Las Vegas, NV

Today's exercise: Tighten those bonds!

Next: Announcing a new Yummish Saint

*We're also open to a resurgence in the celebration of Lupercalia, as we would enjoy more excuses to say the word Lupercalia.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Actors, Writers and Other Whores: The Impersonal Intimacy of Art*

I have a new love affair nearly every single night.

Cuddled on the sofa with my husband of close to a dozen years, we watch as heroes and heroines of every genre are meted out their nightly dose of conflict. There are charming rogues, altruistic champions, shy-but-sensitive soulmates, and so forth. With the press of a button,** we can experience vicariously, not just their fictional lives, but only the most interesting and exciting moments thereof. We see these characters at their most heroic, most villainous, most vulnerable, and most fascinating. They have witty conversations that progress dramatically to significant conclusions. Their every word and gesture is filled with meaningful nuance. They are physically beautiful. Even characters we're told are “ugly” are more attractive and appealing than the truly average person.*** Their clothes are always vaguely coordinated with everyone and everything around them. They always manage to stand in the most flattering light. They are never dull.

I fall in love nearly every time I watch a film, see a play, attend a concert, go to a gallery or read a book.

Artists have to love what they create. When the art is effective, it can inspire that same love in the person experiencing it. The audience and the artist are then connected by the mutual love of this third thing: the art. The relationship between artist and audience is less of a love affair than a well-functioning love triangle.

A relationship exists between the artist and audience that is, at the same time, very intimate and entirely impersonal. Artists generally create their works with the idea (hope) that there will be an audience. In that way, with a few notable exceptions, every work of art you experience was, in fact, created for you. However, it was not created specifically or only for you as an individual. 

The audience is not passive in this relationship. Each individual experiences art through the filter of their own aesthetic (aka Yum). Experiencing a work of art teaches you less about the artist as a person than about yourself in that moment – how you perceive it and react to those perceptions.

Art, in it's many forms, is a conversation that takes place independent of time and space. It is emotion without consequence, experience without risk. It is the opportunity to sample the Yum of another, compare it to and let it influence your own.

Today's exercise: Read a book, watch a film, go to a concert, listen to an album - have a threesome with your favorite artist.  

Next: Some thoughts on Bonding Day, February 14.      

*I have no intention of trying to define “art” anymore than I intend to attempt to define “quality” or “pornography.” What I consider “art house” another might call a “stag film.” Where I see crudely rendered animation, others may see biting social commentary. It is a complex matter of perception best left to overly caffeinated grad students and their masters theses. Therefore, for the purposes of this meditation, please feel free to use the definition of “art” that best suits your Yum.

**OK, several buttons on a combination of different remote controls and/or game box controlers.

***Consider the average crowd at your local discount chain.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bunnies and the Loony New Year

Mose Bunny
Happy Lunar New Year, Yummish friends, and welcome to the Year of the Rabbit.

We of the Yummish Council are particularly excited about this cycle of the lunar calendar, as we are particularly fond of rabbits. As a matter of fact, we consider rabbits to be something of an unofficial Yummish mascot.*

It is hard to deny that rabbits have a decidedly Yummish nature.** Rabbits have a pleasing appearance. They are small and furry and cute. For some reason, we humans are programmed to respond positively to small, furry, and cute – and bunnies bring it by the bucketful! Rabbits are also pleasant to touch, with soft fur and velvety ears. Further, they tend to be friendly, playful and curious – all very yummy traits!

Rabbits have very Yummish hobbies, as well. They are voracious and (occasionally too) adventurous eaters. In addition to sleeping, they enjoy both napping and resting. Then, of course, there is that most Yummish of activities for which the rabbit's famed zeal has become a well-known cliché.

So, as you go through this year of the rabbit, occasionally stop and ask yourself, “What would Bunny do?”

Today's exercise: Embrace your inner bunny.

Next: The Impersonal Intimacy of Art

Note: As this is technically the year of the “Metal rabbit,” one of the Council Members intends to celebrate with a new tattoo.

*Dragons also loom large in our legend, which we will discuss in more depth after all of this Stieg Larson madness has died down. (Forgive the unfortunate choice of words...)

**While we acknowledge to our hossenfeffer-eating kin that rabbits may also have a yummish flavor, we don't really wish to discuss it further.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the month of February is pretty much as bad as it gets, weather-wise. Whatever your region's definition of lousy winter weather, chances are it will be paying you a visit over the next few weeks. In spite of this, we maintain that February is actually the Yummiest month of the year.

We are all very aware of the drawbacks of winter weather, but it is good to remember that there are advantages, too.

Rain: Is there any sound in the world more comforting than the sound of falling rain on the roof when you're snuggled cozily in bed with your favorite person, pet or pillow? Does any place ever seem as warm or inviting as when the windows are darkened by wailing storms? Watching the driving rain from some safe shelter brings out an almost elemental gratitude: I am not wet. I am not cold.

Snow: Even the most torrential snowstorm can be beautiful to watch – the driving, blowing, dancing glitter of it, as it falls to create a pristine crystalline landscape. Night is brighter, as reflected light is sent back to the sky by the unbroken whiteness, and daytime becomes an ever-changing wonderland of drifting, billowing, and swirling. When the storm has finished, the freshly fallen snow offers many entertaining and social activities, like skiing, sledding, snowball fights and slow, crunching, romantic walks.

Ice: Much like snow, post-storm ice also leads to social events like ice skating, ice fishing, ice hockey, and the possibly fictional curling*. It also offers the all-but unassailable excuse for not doing anything you don't want to do and staying home to watch clips of old curling matches on You Tube: “the roads are icy.”

Winter weather all but begs you to leave your running shoes in the corner, have that extra brownie or glass of beer, hide the extra bulk under a heavy sweater, and cuddle up in front of the fire and/or flatscreen with someone you love. When it feels like the entire atmosphere is intent on your destruction, it brings into focus what is really important.

Today's exercise: Enjoy a little inclement weather with someone you love.

Next: The Year of the Rabbit 

*We half-suspect this event was fabricated wholesale by the International Olympic Committee, just for giggles.