Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Born To Run

I bought myself a pair of flexible, lightweight dancing shoes that I wear around the house, my feet look as if they have been dipped in black paint up to my ankles. Much as I love walking barefoot, two weeks ago I stepped on some bits of glass from a broken peanut bottle in the kitchen. I had to go to emergency, have my foot x-rayed and then a needle pushed into my soles and the bits of glass scraped off. My foot is fine now, though I dearly wish my feet were not so flat, the other day in yoga class they got stuck on the spongy yoga mat, everyone's moved on to the next pose and here I was strill trying to move my foot.

Has anyone read, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall? Very inspiring. I'm going to get myself one of those Vibram Five Fingsrs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

...More to Rima

Eating out, did you say? tsk tsk. You should be eating more of your mama's cooking my little friend.

Now before I continue, let me say this first. A lot of people I know are overweight and they are very beautiful. Far more beautiful than I can ever hope to be even if I reach my target/ideal weight. But, for me, if I cannot hop or skip or jump I lose the zest for living. The high I feel now is not sugar induced, it's from dancing vigorously. I really ought to have been in the performing arts. Which reminds me, a friend asked me, What play did you go to at Miller Outdoor Theater? I had forgotten to mention that on my blog. Oooops. Obviously, I was more drawn to the sky and the bugs and Murphy and more. It was Twelfth Night. From where we were, I couldn't see the expressions on the actor's faces and for a while I kept borrowing my son's binoculars for a closer look and then I got distracted by the medical chopper that was flying above us, there's a hospital closeby and then I was watching a woman getting wheeled away by ambulance and wondering if she had had a heart attack and why was she sitting upright on the stretcher, yeah, an outdoor theater is not the best place for me to watch a play, there's just too much happening in life....I think Shakespeare would understand :)

Coming back to eating out, when we moved to Houston and with so many restaurants all around us, we were eating out a lot too, I used to love fried bananas, the Chinese kind (dipped in batter), and the Cajun kind (without batter). You know, some luminary once said, if I had known I would live so long, I would have taken better care of myself. When I was a little girl, I thought I should die at 40 because 40 was old age and I didn't want to grow old. But now I am well past that and certainly not looking or acting my age (whatever that ought to be, more about that later) and I do wish I had taken better care of myself. Still, it's never too late :)

Now, about acting one's age, I overheard this:

Her mother asks, What happened to your bellybutton ring?
She says, I'm not a teenager anymore.

How utterly confining that one should want to remain within one's 'age'. And whoever said that only teenagers could ornament their bellybuttons? I'm shaking my head, uncomprehendingly.

OK, I have some proofreading to do, I have been putting it and putting it off...and...OK bye, to work now :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

...Continuing my letter to Rima

The people I know are busy managing companies, writing books, giving concerts, making movies, running newspapers, building plants, treating patients, designing homes and they just don't have the time or the inclination to come comment on my blog. It's reassuring to know that they do read my drivel from the references they make to what I write here :)

We had a break-in on our street. A young man kicked open the double-doors but got scared and ran away when he set off the burglar alarm. I was speaking to the owner of the house and he said, "If that *&&^% ever tried getting in again he's going to be facing a shotgun." Then my other neighbor said, "I keep my 9mm near the bed. I'm always ready." And they both gave me advice on how to handle intruders.

We don't carry guns. A friend of mine who lives a street away has a rifle. She's from India, from Bangalore, actually, and I asked her, "Would you really be able to shoot someone?" "Of course," she said, lifting an invisible rifle to her shoulder and squinting her eyes. "I won't aim to kill, I'll just shoot him on the knee or something."

Hmmm.

We don't own fancy gadgets. Because my husband used to be away for months in his previous job, we installed the burglar system for my personal safety. Now with Murphy in the house, I'm always scared that someone might hurt him or let him loose in an attempt to get in while I'm away -- even if it's for a short time. It used to be that I couldn't set the alarm because the motion sensors would pick him. So I got a soft leash and I confine Murphy to the entrance inside the house and then set the alarm to 'away'. Murphy is such a quick learner that now when he sees me pick up my handbag and my keys, he immediately goes to the front and lies on the cushion beside the door as if to say, hey I don't need a leash.

By the way, I lost my keys while walking Murphy. We changed our door locks but it's a hefty amount to change the car locks. And no, I didnt pray to God to help me find my keys as some people I know do. I think the good God has more important things to do than help me find my keys. We were watching a Spanish movie, Trade, the other evening. Even though I read about women and children being kidnapped and sold for sex, it was particularly disturbing. I can condone burglars, in fact, when I was a child I used to be fascinated by crime stories, but for someone to destroy a person's life for a moment of sex is something I just cannot understand. But people are people, some are beautiful and some are not. That's life, what to do, my mother would say and I often find myself echoing her philosophy.

Got some reading to do. More later.

My Itty Bitty Tips for Weight Loss

Dear Rima,
I have never been a big eater and the foods I like are mostly vegetables, fruits, and nuts. But ever since Sirocco died, my feel-good food became chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. I was going through such severe depression and everyone was trying to get me to go see a psychiatrist, take antidepressants and more -- the typical way most people handle such trauma. I refused to go in that direction, I prefer being my own psychiatrist and chocolate has always helped in lifting my spirits, but had me 15 pounds heavier than what I'd like to be. Of course, I know how to conceal the weight well but I like to be light-footed, run, skip, and fly up the stairs, activities that I wasn't doing anymore because I had grown sluggish.

The first thing I had to do was get the chocolates out. But I couldn't throw them out of the fridge because my husband likes to have a square or so everyday and he has remarkable self-control and does not binge the way I do. I'm an obsessive freak :) Sticking an unflattering picture of me on the chocolate compartment worked like magic. In fact, even when I went shopping anytime I saw chocolates I saw my fat face on it. It's been several weeks since I gobbled up chocolates. Incidentally, you'll often come across articles that advise you to keep the temptation away. In the short run it works, but all those people who do this go crazy when they see chocolates and chips in a store/restaurant. Have you read Mark Twain's, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg?

I increased Murphy's walks from two to four and even six times a day. Whenever, my neighbors see me they ask, Is this your 27th loop or what? And then, of course, my dance. Oh I lovve dancing. When I was in Gandhigram, I went to a dance class to learn Bharatanatyam and the dance teacher said that my legs were too long and I wouldn't make a good dancer. Tall and long-limbed, I just didnt fit in the South-Indian profile. Remember, they used to call me a stork? So I never learned to dance. Waaah!

Listen girl, I have to step out now, will write more later....

Lovve, Anu

Miller Outdoor Theatre

On Saturday afternoon, I went in to the laundry room to get a blanket for our evening at the Miller Outdoor Theater. Next to the washer and dryer, I have three white Ikea end tables arranged like a bench and a fourth stacked on top of the one closest to the dryer. Here's where I keep all of Murphy's towels and sheets and blankets. When I pulled out a comforter to use on the grass, that end table toppled over. I was busy stuffing the comforter in a bag with some cushions and did not immediately notice a funny odour. And when I did, I thought it was from the blankets and sheets, sniffed them, but they smelled fabric softener fresh. It struck me that I had heard a tchktchktchk sound from near the wall. What I had always thought to be a water line was actually a gas line and the quarter turn lever had tripped down, there was no plug on the pipe and the little room was filling up with gas. Holding my breath, I turned the lever up and then opened all the windows. My husband picked up a pipe plug from Lowe's, something that should have been there already. All I could think of was, hey, if ever I needed to die quietly, unaggressively, I just had to close the laundry room door, and open the gas pipe valve. So easy and painless. But for now, I got some living to do :)

Blankets, snacks, husband, son, Murphy and all, we went to Miller Outdoor Theatre. We were there a good hour and a half before the play and found ourselves a great spot on the hill close to the stage. Everyone was charmed by Murphy, especially when he started leaping about snapping up flying bugs in his great big jaws, one would think we don't feed him at all. Once the play started, he settled down on the blanket with us. and I was thinking, we were sitting so close to a multitude of people, but within that square of cloth, we felt a complete privacy. It seemed so natural for me to lie down under the sky and during intermission lift my leg and count the stars with my foot without any inhibitions and yet only a hand were people I had never met before.

The play was very nicely done.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Losing Weight and Loving It

All right, I admit, it must be terribly hard for overweight people to lose weight. BUT it's just as difficult for people like me who are not exactly fat and who are not exactly thin either to lose those extra pounds. In fact, I'm often inclined to think that it's even more difficult because we are not visibly fat, the pounds are sort of well distributed and I still wear the same size 6 jeans...oh well I have to draw my breath in a bit, wiggle into it, but still, and I wear the same size T-shirts I have worn for the longest time, of course now I have to sort of stretch the material a wee bit, but still :) Anyway, to continue, yes it's not easy. So you can imagine how elated I feel to note that I have lost a good ten pounds. All by doing fun stuff, for instance, I walk Murphy at least four to six times a day. And since the springiness sort of continues through the day, I end up dancing instead of walking from the bedroom to the kitchen, or wherever. And then a friend of mine got me a hoolahoop and I placed this on the hallway, so every time I walk by it I do a few hoolahoops. Fun. I have also added another dance class -- taught by a tri-athlete -- whoah...what a dancer she is! Last evening, I bought myself a new pair of shoes because I had worn out my previous pair. But this one was a bit too tight so I kicked them off and danced barefoot in the class. She taught us a dance from Barlovento, we dance on our tippy-toes (one foot behind the other) all the while turning, twirling, swirling, while shaking our hips. "You should see the butts of the women in that region,' the Venezuelan instructor said. "So Perfect." That was enough to get us all throwing more energy into the dance.