Sunday, September 30, 2012

Full Moon Angsts

I hardly believe in what the pundits foretell in the weekly and daily horoscopes in newspapers and magazines, but I still read them anyways, just for the fun of it all.  I also don't believe in all the hype about the Full Moon creating heartache and havoc in one's life. Sometimes though, when anxieties and distress build up, and there's a heaviness in my heart and the tears come pouring out of nowhere, and later on I realize there's a Full Moon, my sentimental, weak, emotional self begins to wonder if there's a grain of truth, after all, to the fact that Full Moons do cause a lot of tension and tears.

I have to state too that after the Full Moon is gone, for some inexplicable reason, all the down-in-the-dumps feelings just dissipate, making one look back in befuddlement about what all that was about! Is there any scientific truth at all behind the Full Moon angst phenomenon?!? To be honest, I really don't know. Just let me say that last week was one such for me, and I'm now back to being my bubbly, cheerful self, looking forward to all that the days ahead have to bring. The threatening rain clouds are off my horizon now, and I hope for many more days of sunshine, at least until the next Full Moon! :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Living Solo

I have always been afraid of living solo and used to dread the thought of having to come to an empty house after a hard day's work. I just couldn't understand my friend who always lamented about her sons still living at home with her and how she couldn't wait to get rid of them so she could have the house to herself. Of late though, I've begun to see her point of view, after all. Interestingly enough, households with just one person are increasingly on the rise, according to Statistics Canada, and the phenomenon seems to be spreading worldwide beyond the wealthy Western world. People live alone these days purely because they want to, and because they can.

A decade or so ago, living alone was regarded as something pitiful, but now perceptions have changed and it is more of a status symbol, screaming financial independence and economic well-being. It is being treasured by young and old alike, who have the means to do so, because it grants them freedom and personal control that is just not possible while sharing one's living space with others. To be the master of one's domain is highly appealing in that it reflects the aforementioned modern values of freedom and control that are highly prized in contemporary life.

To have the financial security in a wobbly economy leads some to make the conscious choice of hiving it alone. To be able to cook and clean and watch TV and soak in the tub without worrying about hogging others' space is a luxury beyond compare, and quite epic, so to say. I'm now beginning to see this side of living solo, and to all my friends who have decided to do so, I say without reservation, "More power to you! Have a blast!" 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Graduation Hoopla

Ever since I moved to North America, I haven't been able to understand why there's so much of  hoopla about high school graduations. Growing up in India, passing out of high school was a very down-to-earth, routine, normal event, and was something expected of every teenager. There was no celebration or expense of any sort to mark the occasion, but one was rather preoccupied with the business of securing college or university admissions thereafter. Even university graduations had nothing more than the customary picture with the convocation gown and hat ... Not so, here in North America!

Last Sunday, the kid (!) sauntered out of his room in the afternoon to announce quite nonchalantly, "Oh, by the way, Mom, I need to have my grad pics taken this week!" and this, after my having asked him repeatedly on Friday evening if there was anything from school we had to know. He kept saying there was nothing at all, so his announcement threw me for a loop, but I rallied round enough to make the requisite inquiries, and discovered that the photo registration had to be done online, and lo and behold, all the prime spots had already been taken since we had logged in at the very last minute! The husband eventually managed to book an appointment for Friday evening, but it was a mad rush after that, getting the hair cut and shopping for formal clothes and shoes, all of which had to be done after our work hours during the work week. And I do not even want to get into the nightmare of the shopping episodes here ... who knew shopping for a 16-year-old who has lost an incredible amount of weight could be so grueling! The suits fit, but the pants were all falling off his hips, if you get the drift! In addition, reading all the tips on how to prepare for the one-hour (?!?) photo shoot, the grooming steps to be taken with particular regard to haircut, shaving (no five o'clock shadows, mind you!), and how to avoid breakouts and cover up blemishes, suggestions for clothes coordinated from head to toe, etc., etc., just sent me into a tizzy. 

Well, the pilgrimage to the studio through weekend traffic and the snagging of a parking spot on Vancouver's busy streets saw us at the studio at 6 PM sharp, and so had sundry other parents with their respective kids, all dressed to the hilt. A studio employee ceremoniously explained to the three of us that there would be 20 shots taken in 4 rooms - the White Room, the Middle Room, the Composite Room, and the Library Room, and showed us samples on the monitor to look at. A 30-second video could be thrown in as well, summarizing what could go in the Yearbook, he explained. Personally, I thought everything was over the top - the dressing rooms, the shooting rooms, the waiting lounge, the state-of-the-art cameras, the digital displays and art work in every conceivable space - and was wondering if we were paying for the ambiance as well.

If you really knew my son, you'd know then that posing for the camera is anathema to him! His hitherto normal expression changes to one of utmost seriousness the moment the photographer trains his camera on him ... yesterday was no exception either. We tried coaxing him to smile, but after the shooting in the first room, I gave up, not wanting to torture him and myself, left the Dad with him and retired to the coolness of the waiting lounge, iPad in hand. "Fifty Shades of Grey" was too racy a read in the midst of school kids and their anxious parents, so I settled for the National Geographic until my men returned. The husband said we'd be lucky if at least 2 or 3 out of 20 shots turned out OK! On the way back, we were mad at the kid for having put us through the wringer the entire week, all for naught! Will keep you posted though, how the pictures turned out, for sure! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Violence In Society

The news media these days are full of stories of chilling premeditated murders, grisly rage killings, ghastly honor killings, gruesome shootings by disgruntled employees, mentally unwell students and other individuals, and macabre cases of dismemberment. Not a single day goes by without a news report of some killing of some kind somewhere. I used to be under the mistaken notion that Canada was a much safer place than the others, but not so anymore. Violence in society seems to be the new norm these days.

Just this past week, I read of a son being arrested for having killed and dismembered his mother and throwing her body parts in a suitcase into a B.C. lake. What a horrid way for this mother to have died with so much of violence at the hands of her own child that she brought into this world! And then there was the case of the spa owner and mother of three in Ontario who was hacked to death and whose body parts were scattered and thrown in the Niagara River and strewn elsewhere. These stories and more make us wonder how degenerate society has become in general, and how humans have become increasingly desensitized to violence these days.

I dare not go anywhere about the shooting rampages at universities and temples. Those once-hallowed halls of learning and worship that were so sacrosanct earlier on are frequently being desecrated these days with senseless shootings. And for a change of venue, movie theaters have now joined the list as well, as the one in Colorado where James Holmes mowed down so many of his fellowmen at the first screening of the latest Batman movie. What horrified me no end was the arrest of daycare workers in the US who were charged with making toddlers as young as three fight with each other.There were those monstrous adults, egging their wards to hit and punch one another, thus endangering the safety of the children under their care. What on earth were they thinking, one wonders, and where are we heading as a society, one might ask?!? There seems to be no known answer to the plague of violence, as pundits and analysts pontificate and take apart each case AFTER it has happened, but there seems to be no way to prevent these ghastly crimes from happening. And life does go on as we wait for the next wave of violence to hit us ... SIGH!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Welcome, Work!

Instead of laboring on the Labor Day holiday, here I am on the last day of my summer break, in the last throes of my vacation fever! Delirium there was none, but enough time these past three weeks to simply vegetate, chill out, relax, rejuvenate, and gear up for the work weeks ahead. For some strange reason, I always enjoy the first part of my break, but an insidious lethargy and boredom seem to set in inevitably during the latter half. I couldn't wait for my summer break to begin earlier, and I can't wait to get back to work now - no wonder at all I'm your typical fickle-minded Gemini at that!

Nothing went according to plan this break mostly because of welcome visitors at home. I had intended to do some focused reading these past weeks, but was too preoccupied and fascinated instead with the antics of the toddler at home. Thus it was that I couldn't manage more than a couple of hundred e-pages of the Fifty Shades Trilogy bundle that I'd downloaded on my iPad. The books seem to be a crock load of crap anyways, judging from what I've read so far, so I don't think I've missed much. The usual summer road trip also did not materialize because our five- seat car couldn't accommodate the six of us at home, including our guests. The husband alleviated my disappointment to a certain extent by promising a trip to Hawaii on our next long break, so I spent a considerable part of my lazy days doing some research on our holiday destination and things to do there. I think I'm well-equipped now with enough information to write a travelogue on Hawaii!

So it's back to the grind from tomorrow, but a pleasurable grind, as I always refer to it. After a full day of workshops, it's back to the classroom and my wonderful students again. I simply can't wait to see all my colleagues and friends at work as well. And as always, I'm infinitely thankful that I have a job to go back to, and one that I love very much. Adieu, Summer, and Welcome, Work!!!