Thursday, October 28, 2004

gogol ganguli...

i've recently discovered swimming as my favorite new form of exercise. i randomly walked into the (relatively) new health club in my neighborhood two sundays ago with a couple from the neighborhood who i've become good friends with. the health club is literally a 5 minute walk from my house. i shied away from it before because i couldn't justify paying $50/month to become a member of a gym when i have workout equipment on the top floor of my condo building as well as a small gym at the basement of my office building. but once i got there and saw the beautiful junior olympic size pool, i ended up swimming for a good 2 hours!

i realized then how much i enjoy swimming (not competitively) and enjoyed myself so tremendously that i signed up to become a member right away! justification out the window! the fact that i found a form of exercise that i actually enjoy made me very happy! i've since been swimming 4 times a week for an hour each time. then i cap it off with a good 20 minutes in the steamroom. i'm not sold yet on the hygenic attributes of steamrooms, but damn that shit feels good! at first, i have to admit, i was a little scared to go in. i felt claustrophobic almost immediately and chickened out. but my 62 year old neighbor/friend literally came out and insisted that i go back in. he held my hand (yes, i know.. i felt like a child) and led me back into the steamroom and at first i found it hard to take a deep breath, but was comforted by the fact that he was sitting next to me, and that i could see just enough to make my way to the door if the claustrophobia got too bad. you see, i'm extremely claustrobhobic, and the thing about claustrophobes is that we always have to have an exit strategy available and in plain sight. otherwise panic sets in and then it's all over.

so yeah.. swimming is great exercise. i'm hoping this new obsession will help me shed some excess flab. and so far, it hasn't gotten boring. let's hope that continues.

on another note, as many of you may or may not know, the gay games are coming to chicago in july, 2006. i just recently found out that billiards is one of the sports included in the competition!!! i'm seriously thinking about signing up for it. i have a little less than two years to prepare for it, and considering i now have a table in my own house, i have no excuse not to..

it's kinda exciting.. just to be a part of something like that! i think i may go for it..

let's see.. what else? oh.. i randomly picked up "the namesake" by jhumpa lahiri the other day at borders. i flipped to the first page and saw the word "bengali" in it and was sold by the time i got through the second page. it's a fantastic read! i'm so diggin' it right now. she very amazingly taps into the intricacies of bengali culture and describes and translates various bengali words, situations, etc. with such detail and familiarity and at times subtle, yet hilarious humor. it's rare that i find a book with which i can relate so well! not only that, but the characters in this novel are kolkata (f/k/a calcutta) bengalis who just happen to live in boston! how amazingly familiar is that to my life!? kolkata bengalis are slightly different from bangladeshi bengalis. we're all a part of the same region, you see.. only divided by a line that separates india from bangladesh. and i've always been interested in the subtle disparities between the two "bengalis", but from what i've read so far in her book, there aren't too many aside from the obvious hinduism that is prevalent in kolkata. ms. lahiri herself is a kolkata bengali which explains much of the knowledge behind her uncanny descriptions of the bengali cultures and traditions that make up her book.

i absolutely love this book! in two nights, i've gotten through almost half of the 291 page paperback! i can't wait to finish it and then get started on her first book "interpreter of maladies" which is a collection of short stories that won her the pulitzer prize...