Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Comeback Post - So I Get to Ramble

I have a theory. Your body weight has to be within the range of skinny - slightly less skinny to move to Santa Monica. Really. There isn't another neighbourhood in LA where you'd find a greater proportion of health nuts in the population (Hey Urmi, am I way off the mark here?). At any time of the day (think 6:00 a.m. to well past midnight) I've been in Santa Monica, I've seen folks (primarily women in their 20s, 30s and 40s) running around the block, either exiting a gym or walking briskly towards a gym. Speaking of which, there's probably a gym in every block (or two per block) in the business district there.

This is all very inspirational (did I sound like I might be annoyed with Santa Monica's ladies who kick ass - heavens no!). I have a tendency to underestimate my body's capcity to exert and toil and an inertia to exercise is very strong. So watching a 50 year woman in better shape than I've ever been go on her morning jogging rounds is like having my very own personal trainer pushing me to do better than jog half-heartedly around the track for 1 minute and 34 seconds ("I have the wrong running shoes", I whined, to which boyfriend said: ", you just haven't ever been using them").

And frankly, a woman who runs a few miles a day, earns a decent amount of money, shops at farmer's markets, drives a hybrid car, and wears super cute ballet flats when she's not in her running shoes is just a better role model to aspire to. As opposed to one who maxes out her credit card shopping at Barney's, eats just three olives a day to keep her weight down, and obsesses over Manolos and Louboutins as if they were Picassos and Modglianis in shoe form (no you deluded bitches, those 5 inch stilettos are an instrument of mediaeval torture, not "the most comfortable shoes ever"!).

Of all the features that I listed I possess just two - I shop at farmer's markets and I wear very cute ballet flats. I'm working on the money thing, hopefully I won't be jobless and broke too long. I'm also working on getting some mileage on my running shoes by increasing the 1 minute 34 second run time to slightly more...seconds..ok, minutes.

This summer I also almost developed an intellectual crush. It's way less transgressive than it sounds (actually it doesn't sound transgressive at all, unless you think crush here has a sexual connotation and it doesn't). This of course has nothing to do with Santa Monica but I'm rambling and I can't be arsed to stick to a theme for the post. Well it all began on fine day (slightly before noon) when the flowers were in their early summer bloom and a shower of jacaranda blossoms had carpeted the sidewalks (that was crap - goodbye future chicklit career). I was walking towards an event on campus and I stood at a traffic light waiting to cross.

On the other side of the road, I could see a boy who looked like he was 16 initially, but then on closer inspection (well as closely as one can inspect across the road) he looked much older. Well, not that much older, but maybe a few years. The boy was seated on a bike, with his feet digging into the pavement to brake the bike's wheels. I suddenly had the feeling that the boy was staring in my direction, but I wasn't sure if he was looking at me or at something behind me. There was something very intent and earnest about his look - it was like the brazen innocence of a teenage boy mixed with the faraway absentmindedness of a poet.

"He's a mathematician", some brain cell of mine offered.

"How do you know?", another brain cell of mine asked sceptically.

"I don't think through these things, but something in his demeanor screams theoretical mathematician to me", countered the first cell.

"You and your theories about random strangers", laughed the second cell.

The light turned green and we crossed and he biked slowly by me. I studiously avoided looking at him. I had the absurd idea that somehow by thinking about him I had alerted him to my thoughts and now I ought to be embarassed for them.

I reached the venue of the campus event and found a few old acquaintances to talk to. I was talking someone when suddenly I saw the boy I had seen earlier make his way into the room. I mean, it wasn't as if I was scanning the room for him. My eyes were wandering because the silly guy I was talking to was boring with a capital B (I facetiously told him eating ants is good for you because they have Vitamin C and then he just went on about ants, Vitamin C and a whole lot else I didn't give a fuck about).

The boy went and sat behind me and I didn't really try to introduce myself to him because I was busy with folks at my own table. A little later, he left and then sometime later, I left the even as well. But this second appearance allowed my brain cell no. 1 to test out its theory about the theoretical mathematician. You see, the event invite had been sent through Facebook, so it wasn't hard to track the boy down. Well brain cell no. 1 had been sort of right. Kinda, sorta. Turns out boy with a bike (and intent look and flimsy blond hair) is a philosopher. With an interest in mathematics.

I mean he's a student of philosophy (which should technically make him philosopher no? A la economist, historian, etc.). How very.......nice. I don't know, philosopher doesn't have the same ring as theoretical mathematician. It's crushworthy enough, but there's a slathering of intellectual pretense to it which annoys me. So much for hoping to randomly pass by crazy mathematician boy as he winds his way through jasmine bushes (there's a jasmine epidemic in this city - has anyone seen so many jasmine bushes in bloom before?).

Ah well, there's always strawberry picking and LACMA nights for fun.


Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

welcome back. maybe you could call him a theoretical philosopher - would that help?

7:45 AM  
Blogger Urmi said...

Woo hoo - welcome back :)

10:13 AM  
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Was this as effortless as it reads?

And why did you go away in the first place?


5:45 AM  
Blogger Vijayeta said...

Yay! New post :)

I'd met one 50 year old woman recently who, till she told me her age, i took to be 35. And when I asked her hw she maintained herself etc. Her only advice to me was that I should start taking my body and the whole ageing process seriously already, cos this is when it starts and we're too blase to really care or notice.

And you're stilettos, no matter which brand or how exclusive and fancy, are ever really as comfortable as ballet flats.

3:52 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

TR - thank you! Am I being naive in thinking that all philosophy (at least academic philosophy) is theoretical? Applied philosophy is social policy and economics no?

Urmi - thanks luv! Hey, so am I right about Santa Monica or not?

JAPda - It was a bit stream of consciousness, so yes effortless indeed. And let's just say it was time out to adjust to all the changing seasons, life changes, travel across continents, etc.

Vij - Great to see ya! I think the woman is so right - my mother still looks great in her mid-50s, but she would have looked even more fabulous had she paid a smidgeon of attention to her looks.

And stilettos can be a lot of fun, but the new 5-inch ones are just crazy. The Times of London has a hilarious story about a fashion editor who wears these crazy stilettos and has an assistant to hold on to at all times!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

can one draw that neat a distinction? newton's laws were published in a book of 'philosophy'.

6:08 PM  
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