Monday, January 28, 2013

My Book

I spent the last ten minutes attempting to come up with grandest, wittiest, most befitting title ever, for this post. I failed. Sorry...

Once, for a fund-raiser (my school never quite had enough funds, so we were always trying to raise more), a selection of old books from my school's library were put on sale. I am, oddly, very fond of old books. I like the worn-out cover, the age-stained and half-eaten pages, the musty smell - even though the dust irritates my nose and the occasional silverfish always makes me jump. I picked up a few such from that sale...

Five Birds In A Nest is one of them -

I read it so long ago I hardly remember what exactly it is about... something of the simple, daily adventures of five siblings. It wasn't a particularly memorable read.

While reorganizing my bookcases earlier, I held it in my hand and marveled at just how really very old it looked and felt. The oldest books I own are mostly those "inherited" from my father, dating back to the 1950s. I wondered if this was older than everything else and I wondered when it was published. The date and location of printing, along with the name of the publishing house are usually on the first page after the cover.

A shock ("surprise" will be understating it) awaited me -

There is no publication nor reprints dates. However, there is this copyright statement -

In the absence of subsequent "this edition" or "reprinted" year, I believe I am allowed to assume that 1914 is the year this book was printed.

My book is 99 years old. I own a 99-year-old book!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nightmare Come True

I have recurring dreams. I'm sure most people do, and according to a term paper I did in college, a lot of people do believe they might be a glimpse at what may come. Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, postulated that dreams are the nocturnal "rest state" manifestation of the unconscious mind, including repressed desires and fears.

This post isn't about my subconscious (and unconscious) desires. Obviously. For, if so, the title would say "dream" instead.

One of the most annoying, frequently occurring theme that disturbs my repose is, surprisingly, work-related. I misread my timetable and miss a class; I have a class in ten minutes and I'm still at home, not dressed; I go to class, not properly attired, or completely undressed; I go to class without any teaching materials for the lesson I have to deliver. Just to say a few.

A combination of some of those stuff happened to me last week.

I had a particularly unpleasant drive to work because traffic was heavy and as usual, some road users were inconsiderate and mean. I got to campus a mere half hour before my class and hadn't had my morning coffee nor proper breakfast. I was carrying a lot of stuff with me. Outside my office, I rummaged a good minute for the keys in my bag. It took another minute before I accepted the horrible truth that was that I had misplaced my office keys, and they were not in the bag, no matter how long I continue digging in it. I had never, in my n years of working life, been locked out like that! I had a class in less than half an hour, I had not anything to teach with - not even stationery - and I was in my slippers (yea, the proper shoes were on the other side of the door...) Nightmare? Sort of, and it was happening.

Anyway, after the initial panic and forehead-slapping, all was fine. The biggest issue was footwear because my class was in the lab, and the rules are pretty clear against slippers. I had a pair of sneakers in my car, but I was in a rather formal-looking dress... I know being in Engineering means I can totally get away with fashion illiteracy - in more aspects than one, for, the similarly fashion illiterate around me wouldn't be able tell (like intelligence and maturity, it takes some to know the lack of it) - but formal office-wear and sneakers? One needs nothing short of a celebrity status to get away with that, so nope, not for me. Fortunately, I was supposed to have a fitness class in the evening, so I had my gym bag with me. I changed into my plain black yoga pants with the plain tee I usually wore with it, and ended up going to class looking exactly like how I do going to gym (weird, I know, but no weirder than the alternative!) I also managed to loan a couple of whiteboard markers from a colleague, but in my typical absent-minded style, left them behind as I left his office.

Long story short (I seriously say this way too often without meaning it the slightest... *sorry*) I managed quite well through the "crisis". In hindsight, it wasn't that big a deal. I should stop regarding those recurring dreams as nightmares.

Sleep tight, world!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Seventy Sets of Sun Salutation

She actually started by saying we'd attempt 100 sets, which would take about the entire hour. I stared at her wide-eyed. The guy beside me looked overwhelmed by incredulity and horror, and all but chickened out. I'm sure it crossed his mind, though. And the instructor must've thought the same, for she warned him, half in jest, "Don't you dare walk out of the studio!"

We started off good. Instead of letting my thoughts wander like I did when we did the forty sets, I tried my best to just focus on my breathing, the movement, and maintaining fluidity. I was rather surprised that I started feeling like clockwork after the 30th set. Sure, my breathing was becoming laboured, I was all flushed and perspiring profusely, my arms starting to feel pumped... but I wasn't struggling to go on, to say the least.

After the 60th set, she announced loudly, "Completed 50 sets!"

I balked in mid-forward-bend-to-plank... 50 only?! What - physical exertion actually inhibits my ability to keep count? *no comment*

15 more sets later, she announced we were down to the last 5, bringing the total to 70. I don't know what changed her mind... It could be that by then, half the class had given up and were flat on the floor, all soaked through either by sweat or tears... or both. Many took multiple breaks in-between the run. Only a handful were still pushing on, obviously fighting the fatigue, most probably due to stubbornness or ego, or well, both. Anyhow, I can't say I wasn't relief we didn't go all the way to 100.

I expect to have muscle aches for the next couple of days. No complaints though, for I'm pretty sure these 70 sets were handy in helping rid my body of calories I consumed from the scrumptious New Year's Day feast - my roomee hosted a superb, awesome, totally unsurpassable Burger Party and well.....

It'll probably take a lot more than a bunch of Sun Salutations to burn all that off, but it was a start. Ahhh, life! =D

*read about the burger party*