Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Last Day

Reader, do you sense the heavy air of finality? Well, of course not! We're all happy we're gonna have a NEW year... though, I'm not exactly thrilled right now. Or, at all. I should be in bed, catching up on sleep, having joyful dreams, but instead...

About 12 months ago, I made a list of lessons I've learned, in the place of resolutions, which people in general love to make and then break. I just don't see the point in publicly announcing "new year" resolutions - I mean, if I resolve to do something, or to *not* do something, I don't need to shout it out. In that way, if I'm obliged to break it, or feel like breaking it, or forgot I ever thought it in the first place, no one has to know. I digress - I'd meant to share more lessons:

1. How to survive on the *same* food (that which you get on campus) 5 days a week, 17 weeks a trimester, 3 trimesters a year, year after year: go for lunch only when extremely hungry, such that you can think of nothing, but how grateful you are that something (no matter how far from palatable it is) is going down your throat.

2. How to avoid Monday blues: work through the weekend, of course. No weekend, no dreading the impending gloom of Monday!

3. How to minimize time spent marking: set either super easy questions (everyone gets everything right - a tick and full marks) or super tough ones (everyone gets everything wrong - a cross and a zero)

Oh, it's a short list alright. Now, I shall surrender to my beckoning bed and try to lose this obstinate consciousness.

Happy New Year, Reader!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Pick

Right after I bought my first guitar, more than a decade ago, I was given an orange D'Addario pick. I never really used it - I couldn't hold many chords properly (still can't) and didn't know any fancy strumming patterns (still don't) - so I only learned the simplest songs requiring plucking one or two strings at any instant. Those I do with my nails, so the pick was just... mine. For ten long years (and more) it was mine, and I kept it in my purse. For ten long years (and more) it went with me everywhere I did, snugly nestled in my purse.

I lost it nearly three months ago. I was at the airport, dropping off my baggage at the counter, tugging at my ID card in my purse, when I noticed it missing. I could have dropped it anywhere, anytime. It was gone.

It was a pick I don't use, given to me by someone I don't relate to anymore. Yet, the moment I realised I'd never see it again was so unexpectedly overwhelmingly painful I had to hold back the tears. I do not understand how I can be so attached to that little inanimate object, which I don't even need! For the rest of my wait and the entire flight to my destination, I was sad. I was brooding; I was actually grieving. The lost pick was all I could think of. I do not even have a photo of it!

After touching down, I took a taxi to my hotel. I suppose my being extremely sorrowful was apparent, and perhaps alarming, for I noted that the driver stole occasional curious glances at me from his rear-view mirror, and kept from small talk. It wasn't until the last stretch of the winding road we were on, that he dared asked if I had traveled for work or leisure. And following my short but civil response, he made some comments about the weather. I hadn't meant to make him uncomfortable, but I lost something important to me... Wait, was it really important to me? No, I guess not... just that it's been with me for so long, I grew so used to having it that I didn't want to be without it.

I took two days to get over it. Two days. However, considering that I took two years to get over my first breakup... it wasn't so bad. Don't you agree?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Partner Yoga

One of the lesser reasons I enjoy yoga is the fact that it can be done totally on my own. Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't love and appreciate my (former) yoga buddy of 4 years - but she was a luxury, not a necessity. A partner in any kind of activity is a bothersome requirement, as compatibility in competency and level of commitment and/or passion in the activity is very important to me. On top of that, most physical activities are best done with partners of about the same size, and I don't find people my size very often, if at all. Therefore, when I stepped into class the other day and saw the setting made for practice in pairs, I was slightly irritated.

The mats were placed two together, and at a glance, all were already occupied by, well, couples. I was about to drag my own mat from the pile at the end of the room when I heard someone calling me. I had no idea how I figured it was me she was calling out to, for she didn't know my name, so she didn't say it. It was just "Hey, hey! Come here!" while gesturing to the vacant mat beside hers.

The irritation I felt just moments earlier vanished as suddenly as it came. She was a regular in the class, always friendly with everyone and totally fun-loving. She's also about the same height as I am. So yea, if I must have a partner, I would much rather have her than anyone else in the class.

We started with some basic stretches, pulling each other by the arms into sitting forward bends. Then, we moved on to standing balancing poses, each supporting his/her partner by holding hands, arms, elbows et cetera*. Reader, you must have noted the inclusion of the masculine possessive pronoun in the previous statement. There were two pairs of men in class that day. One was right in front of me.

Don't get me wrong - I have absolutely nothing against men not minding holding each others hands with fingers interlaced et cetera* - but those being such uncommon sights simply made me giggle. I know my behaviour was probably inexcusably distasteful. We moved on to poses involving more arm-to-arm, back-to-back, butt-to-butt... and a crazy back bend which required a partner to hug, I mean, support, the waist of the other while he/she bent backwards. I felt a wee bit awkward doing that with my female partner, so I was quite amazed at the men, really. Oh well, maybe I'm just awkward. Ha!

We always ended the class with an inverted pose - shoulder-, head- or hand-stand - and that day, we did head-stand. I've always felt it precarious to do head-stands with a partner, specifically for the partner supporting the inverted one. Obviously. Fortunately, both my partner and I could manage on our own without support, so that was easy for us. *Phew*

I guess partner yoga isn't so bad when you have a good partner. But then, I suppose partner anything isn't bad when you have a good partner. The getting a good partner bit is the tricky one.

*A couple of days ago, I told my roomee that there is a kitten called Etcetera in the musical Cats, and she developed such a sudden liking to that word she wouldn't stop using it in our conversation. It made me laugh every time =)