We are headed to India next February to study for a month with Sharath and Saraswati at KPJAYI in Mysore. Alex and I went to Encinitas to do led classes with them last April and really enjoyed it. So the next logical step seemed to be to plan a trip to India. Well, Alex might disagree, he is rather petrified at the thought of a 24 hour flight with a toddlington and then the prospect of taking care of him in India. I, however, am much more excited about it and am hoping that the traveling will agree with Walter and he will have a lovely time (he LOVES Indian food so I think he will do just fine). Additionally, the uber planner that I am, have decided that I would like to try have another munchkin and that they should be about 3 years apart so this is my last hurrah to enjoy being in charge of my own my body before I give it over to grow another munchkin. Needless to say being pregnant makes my practice a wee bit more difficult.
As we came down the hill, a stream of runners came into sight. They were pouring past us. I felt this wave of excitement and good energy hit me. It reminded me how much fun races can be and how nice the energy is.
“Relax,” he told me as he somehow wiggles my hip around to start to put it back into half lotus for for marichyasana B. I have a bit of surrealness. I feel like saying to him, “Ummm….this is Ashtanga yoga, we do not relax, we work really hard!” However, the sound of his New Zealand/Guruji accent is rather calming and miraculously, I relax. My hip falls open a bit more and he manages to somehow wiggle my hips so it comes forward and that crushing knee pain of late – totally gone! I have been babying sad knees for the last couple of weeks. I started doing lotus recently and it seems that instead of my hip actually being open enough to do the pose, I just just made my knee open in nasty ways. No good. So my knee pain suddenly disappearing in one of the poses that causes the knee pain was miraculous to me. He sat with me propping up my knees and legs in a way that just worked and then pulled my arm around to bind.
I am either brave or stupid, but we seem to do a lot of traveling with Walter. I suspect it stems out of grandparents in Virginia (or Montana) and Texas with Aunts and Uncles in Southern Cal and Pennslyvannia. Walter took his first cross country trip at 6 weeks (looking back this is the easiest time to travel with a little one!) and we have been steadily traveling with him ever since. The most recent trip was our first big road trip with him to Montana (visit the in-laws) and Colorado (my mom’s family reunion). We are gearing up for a trip back to Texas at the beginning of November before we begin the holiday travel too. So I thought this was the perfect time to review my best practices when traveling with a toddler. Here we go….
I realize this has absolutely nothing to do with my blog theme, but I need to rant and this seems like a good place to do it. I am practically shaking as I write this. I worked in politics for a long time and am so jaded and frustrated with things that it is hard to piss me off, but somehow this did it. My Grandpa Read would be so proud.
You know those contracts that you have to sign all the time? The ones that accompany your car rental or your health insurance or the rafting trip you are about to take? Those make me twitch. I went to law school and I took my first year of contracts and it is all about how the consumer gets royally screwed over when the form contract he/she has signed goes horribly wrong. As a young idealist, this stuck with me and I vowed to read all those form contracts in my life to at least know when I was getting screwed and possibly, if I had the guts to flout convention, cross certain parts out and write in my own terms. I have kept this vow (with the exception of house buying paperwork signing extravaganza which was just impossible to read everything) mostly since then. Rarely have I had the gumption to actually cross anything out, but sometimes I do.
Alex and I are in the process of buying life insurance at the suggestion of our financial advisor (who rocks by the way, if you need one please let me know!) and it has been an icky process. The agents are pushy and downright obnoxious and one of them called me several times a day until I told him to knock it off. We made it through the process of finding the best rate and getting an exam done and I began to fill out the paperwork….oh dear, my lawyer sense got all tingly and I became very anxious. It was a mess and I could feel my indignation boiling up inside of me. So I started crossing things out. I decided to just do the one thing that really made my blood boil, the releases to give them access to my medical records for the next 2-2 ½ years. Why the fuck do they need access to my medical records for the next 2 ½ years? They are going to decide in the next month or so whether I am fit to give life insurance to and then do it. Why the extra time? So I thought about it and decided that a more than generous amount of time to give them access to my medical records was 6 months. I felt quite pleased with myself and started going through and crossing things out and writing in “6 months.” Then into the envelope the paperwork went and I sent them back to the agent.
Fast forward to this afternoon. I get a call from a woman who wanders if I want to proceed with my life insurance application. I tell her I do and she asks why I have not responded to her e-mail. We go back and forth over whether or not she has the correct address and then I ask what the problem is. She informs me that some of my paperwork had been redacted and she needed me to sign fresh copies. I told her that I had done on purpose and I didn’t want to sign fresh copies. We went back and forth over that for a bit and she finally said she would have my agent call me.
I just got off the phone with my agent, who could learn some skills in dealing with a pissed off lawyer, who yells at me for awhile telling me that they aren’t going to change the contract just for one person and that ALL the contracts are this way, but refuses to tell me why in the world they need that clause. She tells me to talk to my financial advisor and he will tell me this is standard (did she miss the part where I told her I don’t want them to have access to my medical records for the next 2 ½ years??) I ask her to speak with someone who has the authorization to change the contract and she finally says she will do some research and call me back. I thank her, as politely as possible, and hang up.
So here is the thing that gets to me….In all those cases I read so long ago, the consumer signs the contract and then something goes wrong and the corporate entity tends to get some sort of huge windfall and the consumer just gets screwed. The court sides with the corporation almost every time saying that the consumer has the right to negotiate the contract and if they don’t, tough toots. Ok, so I listened to you court, I try to negotiate my contract, and am not doing particularly well at it, even with a small item. So what happens if I give in, buy the life insurance and then something goes horribly wrong. Is some court going to tell Alex and Walter that I had the ability to negotiate and so I am stuck with whatever unjust outcome occurs?