Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hello frenemy.

Since I was 8 years old, the first thing I did when I woke up was reach for my glasses.  I was near sighted with astigmatism
In the 5th grade (1989) I sported pink glasses (I just can't bring myself to post photos). During class one day the screw came loose and my lens popped out of the frames. The only solution that I could think of at the time was to tape them together. For some odd reason I happened to have pink scotch tape (must've been my favorite color). Regardless of the matching color, it was still very evident that I had scotch taped my glasses together.  I went through the rest of the day with my pink glasses taped together with my pink scotch tape. 
It gets worse. 
I was a crossing guard that year. The entire school had front row seats to my pink mess, as I helped them cross the street. I can't remember if I was embarrassed by the whole situation at the time, or if I thought it was awesome that my pink tape came in handy. Either way it is a memory that stayed with me all these years, so I think it's safe to assume it scarred me  
For nine years my prescription slowly rose to -10.  Without my glasses everything was a big blur.  My lenses were so thick that I couldn't get any "cute" frames (this is also the case with my big 9.5 size feet, very hard to find cute shoes, woe is me).
Then 11 years ago, almost to date, my life changed.  I welcomed a laser into my eyeballs, in hopes that I can leave my glasses and contacts in the dust. 
It was just as scary as it sounds. 
A red laser is beaming into your eyes and you are forced to stare at it. Then they send you home and tell you to sleep. A lot.
When I awoke the next day. I could see.  Just like that I had 20/20 vision. (For the low low price of several thousand dollars-thanks dad).
I no longer reached for my glasses in the morning, I didn't have to worry about taking out my contact lenses at night before I fell asleep. I was done with them. Without hesitation the first thing I did was throw out my glasses and contacts. I vowed to never take for granted the ability to just open your eyes and see everything. 
A couple of years ago Chad asked me read him a street sign while driving, and I found myself squinting a tad to focus on it.  I didn't think much of it. But as the months went on I found myself squinting at far away things a lot more. When I had to renew my drivers license I was a little nervous. I borrowed my friend Brennas glasses, just in case.  I had no intention of taking them out of my purse...
I had to take them out of my purse.
I scheduled an eye appointment, and sure enough, my vision was no longer 20/20.  My right eye was -2, and my left was -1.75.  I was so sad.  I didn't want to believe that I really needed glasses again. I had gotten used to ten years of not relying on them.  But eventually, when all the brake lights were getting a little fuzzy when driving at night, I had to face the facts and fill my prescription. 
At least my prescription is low enough that I can choose any frames I want. (I got mine from Warby Parker.  You can pick 5 glasses to try on before you purchase one, and they're affordable! Check them out) I also got some contact lenses.  I'm sure I could use them all the time and I would be able to see the world in a clearer state, but I'm still a little in denial. 
Maybe in a few years if my vision continues to deteriorate I may revisit LASIK, but for now I will keep some pink scotch tape handy, just in case.  
You again.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oh, Martha!

One of my favorite shows on NPR is "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" If you haven't heard it before, you should check it out.  It's a very entertaining hour long news game show.  Chad and I listen to the podcast of it on Monday mornings during our hour long commute to work.  We try to test our knowledge along with the panelists to see if we are up to date on our current events.  One of the segments on the show is called "Not my job", where they invite celebrities on to the show and they have to answer three multiple choice  questions that have nothing to do with their profession.  I'm really not doing this show justice.  Just listen to an episode, you'll like it.  
This week they had Martha Stewart on, and in true Martha form she was giving us common folk advice on how to make our lives easier. 
Today's helpful tidbit was on garlic.
It was so unbelievable I had to go home and try it right away, regardless if I needed a whole head of garlic or not.
Martha told me that I could take one head of garlic:

Put it in a container: (Us Indians call these pots degchis- pronounced dhekshees. Chad hates these pots because they have no handles which make them a pain to cook with..but that's a story for another day...)

Place another container on top of it so it fits the opening perfectly(looks like a top hat): 
Shake for about a minute:

....And each clove will be peeled:
Well I'll be damned.  She was right.
I was a skeptic, but shame on me for doubting her tried and true methods.
I don't need all those garlic cloves, but I'll stick them in the fridge for another day.  The point is, it works, and I will never have to waste my time peeling garlic cloves again, and now neither do you.   Thank you Martha.  Thank you.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pinterest vs Stumbleupon

I love Pinterest. It's such a great concept and really makes finding ideas and recipes a lot easier with the big pictures and ease of saving them into folders that you can create.
Initially when I joined pinterest, it was a few years ago, when it was "by invitation only" you had to ask them for an invite and then a couple of days later they would send you a link that you could log into.  It was just as fascinating when I first joined as it is now, but there were a couple of things that I didn't like about it that kept me from really utilizing it.  These issues have since been rectified, but if you are curious here were my issues:

The biggest issue I had was privacy.  It automatically logged me in through Facebook and I had all my Facebook friends following me on there and it would show up on my feed what I had "pinned".  I wasnt a fan of everyone on Facebook knowing my business. I have had dark circles under my eyes since I can remember.  Maybe every time I saw anything about how to prevent dark circles or how to lighten the circles I pinned it.  And maybe I was embarrassed that every time I hit "pinit" my "followers" also saw all the things I've pinned on reducing dark under eye circles.  To be honest, I've never actually pinned anything on dark under eye circles, but as I write about it I am actually really curious what would come up.  I think I'm going to go check it out.  But it does illustrate my point.  It just felt very invasive and I felt very vulnerable when everyone had access to the things I was pinning.
I actually deleted that account and opened another account with a different email address so my Facebook isn't connected to it. I don't mind my friends having access to my boards but when it's open to all Facebook those that aren't even that close to me for some reason I felt exposed. They also have started "secret boards" where you can have categories that even your followers don't have access too. Because not everyone needs to know that I have numerous pins on how to achieve the smoky eye look.
How DOES she do it?

Now that I've solved the problem and figured out how to get around the privacy factor I'm an avid pinner.

I'm also big fan of Stumbleupon.  This site also has categories that you can pick, and then when you hit stumble, it finds websites that only pertain to that particular category you picked.  And you can save the page for later as well.  It's not as user friendly as Pinterest, but it still does the trick.  I didn't understand why stumble upon didn't gain the same popularity as Pinterest did, then my brother made a comparison that unfortunately made sense to me: Pinterest is the Facebook of Stumbleupon's myspace.  Ahh, I get it.
It would be nice if you could personalize catagories and sort your "stumbles".

Chances are you are already addicted to Pinterest, which I completely stand behind.  But if you want to try something else, check out Stumbleupon,  it definitelyhas the potential to occupy you for hours as well.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bikram and me.

I found Bikram in Bellingham and fell in love.
Some friends said my love was more of an obsession.

I couldn't get enough of him.
I would plan my days around Bikram.
I would plan my meals around Bikram.
They were right, I was obsessed, but I didn't care.

Others complained about his warmth.
They said it was too much....suffocating even. 

But his warmth made my skin glow.
It made my brown cheeks turn a natural pink hue that emerges only in his presence. 
His warmth never suffocated me, it invigorated me.

For two years it comforted me, his teachings focused me. 

But unfortunately this relationship came with a steep price tag.

When I moved to Seattle, I wasn't making very much money so the thought of shelling out almost $200 a month for yoga was a luxury I couldn't afford. So I stopped my practice. 

Now that I've moved back to Maryland I've decided to rekindle my love for Bikram. $185 a month still seems steep but its no longer breaking my bank. 

I've spent many days researching studios from Maryland to DC. I've compared prices, locations, schedules. 

The closest studio was 30 minutes away with no traffic. 
That's an hour and a half for the class, and another hour in the commute. 
I work in DC. I am already in the car for two hours of my day. The thought of adding another hour to my daily commute was far from appealing, not to mention the schedule conflicts with work. How much did I really love Bikram?

There was one studio that I thought would fit my schedule and wallet. It was 35-40 min away with traffic and they offered a 6:15 am class. If I left my house at 5:45 am I would make it there in time.  I had to try at least once.  I spent so many days planning for the right time, location and price it was time to just get back into it.  

I decided to check it out one evening so I wouldn't be lost at 6 am. 

Instead I got lost at 7pm. It took me 45 min to get to the studio and I ended up being late and missing the class all together. 

I consoled myself over a chai latte at the nearest Starbucks. As I pouted,  I went over different yoga studio locations and schedules once again on my phone, trying to see if I missed any. I couldn't justify taking that much time out of my day to try to fit in yoga.

As I drove home, I came to the realization that Bellingham spoiled me. 

The studio was only a two minute walk from my apartment and an affordable $99 a month. Two things that I dont think I'll ever find again. I had come to know all the instructors and they had learned all my strengths and weaknesses.  

Bellingham Studio

It was clean, well lit, and spacious. 
Unable to find another studio that meets my needs, I came up with a brilliant plan that night.
I'm going to set up my own little studio and practice from the comfort of my home.

Friday, June 22, 2012

so. hot.

It's hot. I feel like we're in India or some other country where heat and humidity envelopes you and all you can do is just come to terms with it and be hot.  And maybe bitch about it every thirty minutes. 

Grrrr. There is no reason to subject yourself to this stupid weather. We left this weather in search of better things and we found it. We did our time with summers like this when we were younger.... paid our dues, if you will.

Yet here we are again. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

I went to a private elementary school.   When I look back at my elementary days I'd like to believe that given the small size of the school, there was never a "popular" group.  I would like to believe this because maybe I wasn't in that group and rather than come to terms with this, I choose to banish the idea of the popular crowd all together.  This should give you a glimpse into the world of denial that I allow myself to sometimes live in.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day Nana.

Last year for Mother's Day I bought a card for my Nana. In it I told her how much she meant to me, how important she was to our family and how I can never imagine going through the obstacles she had to endure in her lifetime. It sat on my nightstand for a couple of days until eventually I missed the date to send it so it would reach to her in time for Mother's Day. I did something that I will regret for the rest of my life; I naively saved it for the next year.
I visited my family in July and I got a chance to spend some time with my grandma. The night before I left she came to dinner at my mother in laws house. Chad and I were leaving for Seattle very early the next morning and the last thing my Nana said to me was come to my room before leaving and say bye to me.
Nana had been staying with my parents and sleeping in my old bedroom. The next morning I tiptoed upstairs and wanted to wake her up without alarming her. I gently called her name, gave her a hug and said bye Nana, I'm leaving. I love you.
Before I even walked out of the bedroom door she was fast asleep again.
One month later while asleep in Seattle, I received several phone calls early in the morning from my dad.  Nana had a heart attack and by the end of the day, I received a text from my mom who was by her side that read: Bikku, she is gone. Nana will not be coming home again.

The night before her funeral I laid awake for a long time trying to write her a tribute.  Like most people put in that position, I didn't know what to say.    This was the first time anyone so close to me died.  My dear husband has not been so lucky.  He has buried several members of his family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, and his favorite person in the world, his sister.  She was only 26 when she died.

Nana was 83.

It was an open casket, but I couldn't bring myself to look inside.  That's not the last image I wanted of my grandmother.

My brother played the piano while singing Abide With Me. His voice fighting tears during the second verse. I went up and read the words I managed to scribble down. I started crying after the first sentence, but somehow took a deep breath and finished my tribute without completely breaking down.

My sister has her ups and downs with every member of our family, but never with Nana.  She always made it a point to visit her, spend time with her and even stay with her. She would make her sugar free desserts so she would never feel deprived of anything because of her diabetes. She would call her and talk to her on the phone all the time; I have never seen my sister treat anyone with the love and attention she gave Nana. My sister read her tribute, without a quiver in her voice.   In her tribute she referenced how much strength Nana gave her in becoming a strong independent woman.

In my tribute I referenced knitting.

After Chad and I got married she said to me, Bikku now I can leave this earth I wanted to see my grandchildren get married.  Luckily we had another year with her before she passed away.

I want more years with her.  To sit with her, hold her hand and look at her sweet smiling face.

But who wouldn't do anything for just one more day with a loved one they lost.

Happy Mothers Day Nana.