Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
Click here to view the accidental yogist's map of los angeles yoga studios in a full-size page

Thursday, April 13, 2006

celebrating on a shoestring

yoga classes for two: $11
dinner for two, plus tip: $11
gifts for the birthday boy: $35
celebrating a special occasion with a special friend: priceless

my dear friend in running and yoga crime, BDB, recently marked a birthday milestone. to spare him the embarrassment of having his true age revealed, i'm just going to say that he's reached a new decade; in the running world, that also means he's now in a new age division. it should be easier for him to qualify for the boston marathon, and given that he missed the cut-off last year by a mere minute, if he gets his butt in gear and starts training in earnest, he may just find himself on an airplane bound for beantown next april.

it had been a while since i had last seen him. due to his heavy work load at the office, our schedules never seemed to intersect. so i told him that in order for me to give him a proper birthday bash, he needed to clear an evening on his calendar. he found the time, so i went to work planning the celebration.

... and no, it did not involve stopping by the nearest mickey d's for two extra value meals...

despite my shoestring budget, i was able to put together a decent gift package, thanks to KCRW and the various yoga studios that i practice at.

we met at liberation yoga on la brea for christine burke's 6:30pm level 2/3 flow class. my class cost me $11 (with my KCRW discount); BDB's was FREE since it was his first class there (and don't think i didn't factor that in when i came up with the plan). he enjoyed christine's lighthearted teaching style, although he admitted that he struggled at times to keep up because all that sitting at his desk didn't exactly keep him in top physical form (he also insisted that it wasn't him who kept groaning during class; it was the guy next to him. yeah, right).

after class, after dropping off our gear at our cars, we took a leisurely stroll down la brea to luna park. i had a $50 gift certificate, a premium i received from the recent KCRW pledge drive. for this special occasion, i was able to snag one of the curtained booths, which allowed us to carry on a conversation without having to yell over everyone else's voices. our dinner, including tax and tip, came to $61, so the net cost to me was $11. considering that the price covered our salads, entrees, and a shared dessert, it was a great deal.

as for BDB's birthday gifts, i had gotten him a running/yoga top at the recent lululemon warehouse sale so he could be a fashion trendsetter at his next yoga class (thanks to our mutual friend, matt reyes, one of lululemon santa monica's ambassadors, i was able to hit the sale before the public and get first dibs at the half-priced merchandise). i also got him a bryan kest power yoga workout CD so that he could squeeze in a yoga workout at home on the evenings he had to work late (and thanks to my volunteer efforts at the power yoga studio, i was able to buy the audio CD at a discounted rate). and those were in addition to the jamie cullum concert that i invited him to last month as a pre-birthday gift; our tickets were FREE, thanks to KCRW again and their call-in ticket giveaways. call it gifting on an installment plan...

all in all, it was a great price for a wonderful evening spent sharing things we both enjoy -- a challenging yoga class, followed by hearty comfort food, accompanied by witty and stimulating conversation.

a very happy ?0th birthday to you, BDB, with many, many more to come!