Monday, July 5, 2010

A New Week....and some New Thoughts for 6 July 2010

Our week here begins on Tuesday.  This is because, until things change, Amy Suzanne's "days-off" are Sundays and Mondays.  There is a reason I have placed the phrase "days off" in quotation marks.  In her business, especially being that we are a full "day" ahead (actually, it's 12.5 hours) of West-Coast time, there always seems to be the nightly/mandatory "10:00 P.M. conference call" with one group or another back in the "Pacific Southwest".  "Day off" or not!  I usually don't mind...I made certain to bring along our Bose QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones for just such purposes.  Coupled with my trusty iPod, I can escape into a blissful hour or so of good old American rock-n'-roll, some great Gregorian Chant or some sweet four-part-harmony Bluegrass Gospel (a'la "Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver")... 

You see...."Home" is never any further away than your iPod!

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Speaking of Bluegrass music...because our new Skoda Laura came with an "auxiliary" hook-up for the iPod, we have have the ability to blast some "road-trip" music for when we are out driving around Hyderabad.  It's a tough call at 5:30 in the morning...every morning, with liturgical precision, Big 92.7 FM Radio plays the morning's proper poojaToday, as tough as it was for me, we had to turn off a beautiful Chalisa in praise of HanumanOn most mornings, when we take Suzanne to work, she much prefers to listen to her favorite:  Bruce Springsteen!  And - of course - we let her!!  After all (and we almost bought her a t-shirt that said this: "(She) has the skills to pay the bills!"

However, after she is safely out of the car (and out of earshot!) - I have taken to switching over to listen to a little Silly Wizard (Scottish, for my friend Angie Shields in Glasgow!) - or, a little Bluegrass music, usually something from Doyle Lawson.   This has allowed me to continually expand our driver Krishna's English vocabulary since we got the car.  Today, on the way home from Deloitte, we added the following to his growing lexicon of "useful" English terminology: "Bluegrass music", "Dobro", "banjo" and "Gospel".  I must admit, we're having a little trouble with the pronunciation on "mandolin" - but we're working on it!!  Willy, Max and Fate, I thought you'd enjoy that!

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As today's subject seems to be "music" - - I really need to bring this one up:  Here in Hyderabad, some of the clothing stores that cater to "the younger crowd" just *love* to play LOUD rap music for their customers. However....there seems to be one *slight* problem with this practice. You see....they have absolutely no clue what the lyrics are actually saying!!   I guess that they know that it's Western music, so it MUST be cool, right??

I'll refrain from posting the lyrics that we heard the other day.  Let's just say that Amy turned to me and said: "Wait a second...did I just hear what I think they just said??"  Uh...guys... fo' shizzle - a word to the wise:  Hire someone to translate for you...PLEASE!

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For most of our daily supplies and food, we seem to have settled on one particular store (it also happens to be the closest, by far!)  There are a couple of other good ones, too...and, actually, there are far bigger ones (Hyper-City and Spar).  But, for's the trusty "Q-Mart".  Beside the fact that they seem to have most of the food that we most enjoy (and a freaking unbelievable bakery upstairs!!) - it was there at the local Q-Mart in Banjara Hills that we met our new friends "from home"**.  On July 4th, while shopping, we noticed some people in the produce-section who looked "a little different" than the usual  "Q-Mart shoppers" that one might see on a Sunday.  Sealing our new friendship was the fact that they cried out "Happy Fourth!" to us as we were deciding what kind of cheeses to buy for the week!  Making the friendship of the "lifelong" variety was the fact that one of the gals was from Orange County...and went to U.S.C.!!  Fight On!!  She works for the U.S. Consulate General here in town, and is our neighbor right here in Banjara Hills.  To be honest, the fact that Christiana has an extensive DVD collection might just put her into the "BFF" category!

**  N.B.  I guess that "from home" is not exactly the truth.  Besides Christiana, our trio of new friends actually included a fellow from Norway (I think that's where Rasmus said he was from!  Maybe it was Sweden"!) and another girl who is from Iceland.  She was funny.  She said not to blame her for "the volcano":  "It's not my fault!"

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Yesterday, I had my first in-home yoga session with Neeraj.  We met Neeraj at the Latitudes gym one day when Amy and went there together.  Neeraj showed Amy how to use the machines and how to work her "core" - she was pretty sore for almost two days after working - obviously Neeraj knows what he is doing!  He also was shamelessly "hitting on" my wife the whole time...which was pretty strange, but kind of funny!  Aims said to me that she was a little embarrassed by it, and said she wanted to tell him that "I'm old enough to be your grandmother!" - but I noticed that she didn't!  Looks-wise and body-type-wise, Neeraj reminds me a lot of Yuichi Ohi, my godsend trainer from back home (shown here in this pic "running" the L.A, Marathon with his "other" famous client, actor Shia Labeouf!  Three-months training and they finished!  Yuichi is my hero!)  And, much like Yuichi, Neeraj pulls no punches - either at the gym, training...or doing yoga downstairs here at the house...telling me that I need to lose weight (he's very observant, too, as you can tell!).  The difference is, when Yuich would move you from machine-to-machine, position to position, he might say "Let's go over here and do some biceps..."  With's more like "Get UP!!"

The guy knows his stuff, too!  I think for a complete "yoga rookie", I did O.K.  He told me that I had the basement (where we've set up our home "gym" and yoga "studio") "much too cold" - - so - he made me turn off the A.C.  Because of this, I think I turned Amy's new yoga "sticky mat" into something much more like the consistency of a wet dish-rag.  I haven't sweat that much since I made my Confession after our trip to New Orleans in 1999!  I was able to do most of the poses and stretching...a couple of times I discovered how truly un-flexible I am...and that my balance needs more than a little work... but Neeraj insists that "after ten regular sessions, I should be noticing a great improvement".  Either that or I'll be in traction in the E.R. at Apollo Hospital!  Actually - it felt good, and I know that I slept a whole lot better last night!  Amy and I are BOTH going to try it again tonight.  I may have to keep Neeraj and Amy's mats apart, though!  :-D

Oh, by the way, Yuichi - we talked about this before we left - - you really don't want to know what Neeraj charges us for a whole month of in-home daily training!!

Oṃ śānti śānti śānti, y'all!!

Father K.

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