Nia: New Age Exercise I Can Get Into

Posted on January 2nd, 2005 in Health and Fitness by mynagirl

So, last year, my friend Libby met me for pedicures one Saturday morning and said that she’d just come from Nia class. I gave her a blank (and probably confused/skeptical) stare. “Hunh??” She, in turn, had that expression of one searching to explain a complex concept in only a few words. “It’s an exercise class, kinda like dance and martial arts.” I filed the word ‘Nia’ away under ‘martial arts’ in my head (only the last concept she’d said really stuck) and didn’t think any more about it — we proceeded on with our rare morning visit of pedicures and a girly kibbitz brunch.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Engineerboy and I are taking our normal drive to work, and I notice in a strip shopping center just off I-45 and Houston street, in bold red letters above one of the businesses:

Nia – Pilates – Yoga


Eventually, after enough weeks of driving by this place, I think, ‘hunh’ again. I check out their website and realize that Nia seems to be a lot of dance and movement, and that this studio seems to have their act together (I love a well put-together website). I connect these facts in my brain with my orthopedic doctor telling me I have to do something 4-5 times a week to strengthen the core muscles in my spine and abdomen and think, well, maybe I should go check out this place.

Well, I love it! I’ve basically gone for two weeks now (I know, I should go more before writing a review, but the place and the exercise concept is really cool). I’ve gone to several Nia classes as well as a YoNia class, which combines Yoga and Nia. The classes are done barefoot on an immaculate wood floor, and the classes really place an emphasis on how you move your foot when you exercise — rolling your foot as you step and being very mindful of your movement. (Quick disclaimer here: I’m just giving you what I’ve learned from the classes as a student, so don’t assume my thoughts here can teach you about Nia as a concept or anything. I encourage you to go to an official Nia site to make sure I’m not misinterpreting anything.) In general they’re very low-impact, which is good for and my spine, but many of the movements are done in “levels”, so that they can be kept low for those who need to stay at a low impact or low workout level (me, most of the time) or ratcheted up for those who like to kick higher

2005 Golden Globes Fashion Report

Posted on January 1st, 2005 in Fashion by mynagirl

Click here for the CURRENT YEAR’S Golden Globes Report

This is the 2005 report.


Angelica Huston was gorgously wonderful in a simple long black dress with loads of diamond necklaces. It was a great look, sumptuous and very sexy.

Mariska Hargitay once again looked stunning in Vera Wang (also her choice for the Emmys), this time in a medium pink silk column with ring detail at the shoulder.

Glenn Close in a beautiful black Geoffrey Beene, worn to honor him (he recently passed away).

Jennifer Garner was classy in a bright red gown; whether or not she chose that color to synchronize with the release of Elektra is anyone’s guess.

Kim Raver from 24 looked great in a pale yellow chiffon wrap Carmen Marc Valvo (but then again I’m super-partial to this guy, seeing as how every fancy gown I own is Carmen Marc Valvo). She accesorized with a gorgeously long and sparkly triple-looped necklace — very nice.

Emily Rossum looked radiant in a white gown although I never got a good look at it.

Eva Longoria was quite elegant in a black Oscar de la Renta.

Kerry Washington from Ray was just knocked-out in a turquoise Narcisso Rodruiguez. She deserves props for dressing so elegantly at her first awards show.


Joely Richardson in a too-pale aquamarine column, neck-cutting scarf, and too-severe hair bun.

Halle Berre in a mis-matched breastpiece gown.

‘Oh My God’s:

Melina Kanakaredes in a don’t-you-like-my-flat-stomach revealing gown. I guess her red silk keyhole from the Emmys just wasn’t racy enough for her. I swear, that gown is a reject from the Miss America pageant.

‘Oh My God’ Worst of the Night Special Honorable Mention:

Diane Kruger’s horrific gold lamé … towel wrap? (I’m not sure I can call it a dress). A terrible two-piece nightmare: too tight up top, showing flesh on one side, and in general, looking like she should’ve been tending bar at the Luxor. This is why I give props to Kerry Washington for looking so elegant and pulled together at her first awards show — because this is what happens when you aim to stand out.

The Coverage

As a side note, I of course switched from the E! coverage to the TV Guide channel… red carpet coverage just isn’t red carpet coverage without Joan and Melissa. However, it just wasn’t the same type of coverage as E… you couldn’t really see anyone’s dress — I think maybe they didn’t have enough booth space? The coverage seemed a bit disorganized: you could see less famous stars heading up the stairs and then slinking back down as Joan said, no we’re waiting for so-and-so, so they didn’t have handlers ahead of time making stuff work smoothly. It also seemed like a lot of the big stars didn’t really stop by, it seemed. Plus, because it is still the TV Guide channel, they still had to have a “what on what channel” ticker

Aromassault: Why America Needs to Go on a Fragrance Diet

Posted on January 1st, 2005 in Mynagirl by mynagirl

Mynagirl, the Wolf-Nose

A stand-up comic on David Letterman once told a cute anecdote: He goes shopping with his girlfriend at a candle store (“… because I wanted to buy a candle…,” he notes wryly) and she holds up a candle to him, saying, “Doesn’t this smell like lavender and lilac?” His response: “What are you? A wolf? It smells like a purple candle!!”

Okay, if my husband and daughter are supertasters, then I am a supersmeller. Either that, or American folks, as a general rule, immerse themselves in way too much hair gel, hair serum, hair spray, bath gel, bath splash, bath spritz, body powder, body lotion, body spray, fragranced soap, fragranced makeup, and most of all… cologne and perfume. I think maybe the truth is both a combination me being a wolf-nose and people wearing way too much smelly stuff.

Maybe It Was a Dodge Durango into the ‘Obsession for Men’ Counter

So, I have to say, I am constantly amazed by how unaware (or uncaring) folks are about the amount of heavily fragranced stuff they layer on their bodies, which then places an olfactory assault on those who are unlucky enough to have to be in the cubic footage around them. I hate stepping into an elevator with somebody who’s wearing cologne of any kind — I actually hold my breath as much as I can until I get to leap out on my floor. I don’t mind meeting new people but one of my least favorite archetypes is the extra-cologne-wearer (sales guys seem to fit into the category a lot). I’ve had one co-worker who wore so much I could tell he was in the office before I even saw him — he literally left a smell trail that was about 20 feet long. I mean, you could tell it was nice expensive cologne but oh my god the sheer volume of it was like somebody smashed a Ford Expedition into the Drakkar counter. And it’s not just a few people… the problem is pervasive. At work this week I experienced no less than three instances of severe nasal assault — sometimes I’m not even sure from whom; in one case the scent cloud was so strong that it filled up a whole work area for more than an hour.

When our daughter, aka The G-I-R-L, prepared to get on a flight back to her mom’s house (her boyfriend was also going to be at the airport to pick her up), she said, “hold on, I have to go upstairs to put on body spray”. I cringed, thinking of my own flight two weeks prior back from a business trip next to a seemingly nice woman but who happened to be wearing a particularly pungent perfume. “Sweetie,” I said gently, “try to remember you’re going to be on a flight where you’re sitting right next to other people. Go easy on the scent.”