Susan's Blog

Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Keys to the Universe

Every so often it comes to me that there are certain items or activities in my life that are pretty much always good, never disappointing. They could be a cheap little thing picked up at a supermarket, or some part of a daily routine of mine. The point is, they always do what they are supposed to do. They function as promised. These things I call “Keys to the Universe,” because there are times when even I crave consistency.

Here are some new ones I’ve discovered, and perhaps some old ones that keep on satisfying me:

1) Any book by Ann Hood or Sue Miller. Right now I’ve got The Knitting Circle, by Hood, and The World Below, by Miller, courtesy of my maw-in-law. Thanks, Eleanor!

2) Envi nail polish spray. It dries nail polish immediately. I don’t know what kind of nuclear-space-age-magical material it is made of, but it makes it so that my polish lasts for days and days!

3) To go with item #2, my new technique for fixing nail polish chips. I find a color that closely matches the one I got at the salon; if your chip is small enough, it doesn’t matter if it is not a direct match. The trick is to catch the chip before it gets too big so you don’t notice the slight color difference. I dab it on wherever there’s a chip. Then I spray the Envi stuff on (see above) and I get another day or two.

4) Sharifwear. I have discovered the joy of dancing in comfortable, yet beautiful practice clothes, rather than my formal cossies. I don’t understand this change, but it makes dancing so much easier. I think it has to do with viewing myself more as a dance teacher these days, rather than a performer. I wear what a teacher would wear, and leave the cossies for extra special occasions, like when Neddy requests a dance.

5) Max’s music for working out: Franz Ferdinand, the Fratellis, the White Stripes, Gomez, Weazer, Jack Johnson. They are melodic and they make me think of sweet Max.

6) The new CDs Ned bought me: Niyaz and also Beats Antique. Perfect for new choreography. The first is good for spinning; the second is good for sharp tribal movements.

7) Alternative Leisure Trips Unlimited. This is the independently-owned company that has combined with Nat’s “social group,” aka Brookline Quest, to bring him a glorious bunch of fun, with people he likes and whom I trust. They are game for anything: Harlem Globetrotters, nice restaurants, movies, glow-bowling, mini-golf, trips to Disneyworld, even. Alternative Leisure is the Special Olympics of social life. If you don’t know what I mean, read this. They make you realize that disability need not be an obstacle to a fun life.

8) Baking with Nat. Of course.

9) Photobooth. Benj and I have been making little videos about Link (from Zelda) on my mac and then sending them to his cousin Kimmie, who makes Link videos with my sister and sends them back to us! It’s like a playdate, though they’re miles apart!

10) My gym. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this one in previous Keys but who cares? I need this kind of motivation for survival. I don’t work out for weight loss. I do it for sanity. I crave it. I love it, once I’ve gotten past the painful first 15 minutes of hell. My gym is all women. Nothing but people working out and making friends. It is light and bright, filled with windows and skylights, spacious and classy. There are tons of choices of workouts and machines and classes (even bellydance). There’s the glorious hot tub, steam room with eucalyptus spray, sauna, clean roomy showers with elegant tiling, towels everywhere, big well-stocked vanities; massage, salon, cafe… You can work out, reward yourself with a massage or hot tub, then meet a friend there for lunch, all in one place! It keeps me coming back, even in the dark depths of winter. It is “like a witamin,” as my Polish Grandma used to say.

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