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Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Princess Complex

I prefer Princess. I would love to be known as a diva later on in life when I've had far more experiences.
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My mother calls me Queen Elizabeth when she's mad at me, "Oh thank you for joining us, Queen Elizabeth," she will declare.  I like to think of myself more as a Princess Diana.  And she has not clarified if she is talking about Queen Elizabeth I or II.  Big difference: huge.

Like a decade ago I was working somewhere and a guy used to tell me I reminded him of Alicia Silverstone.  Clueless. Something about how I flipped  my hair.    

I'm not sure how I feel about all these nicknames.  Nina Kaur literally translates into Princess Nina, which I'm fine with. However I'm not so fine with being designated as a queeny clueless bitch.  

My mother doesn't mean any harm. Just like when I call her Mata Shree, and I have no idea what Mata Shree means.  

The truth is I want to be known as a princess until I'm old enough to be called a diva.  I know I'm not that young, and I may just be fabulous enough to be called a diva now, but I like to dream that I'm still a princess.

Why? Well first of all princesses get all the princes.  Second of all princesses are forever young. 

Am I really and truly a princess, I wonder? I mean it's really not that great of a title. It means you are heavily entitled. I mean sure, I have more clothes than god. More shoes than Mariah Carey. I like to dress up. 

If I'm truly a princess, than I should be a good one. I should be more like Diana and do community service or something. I have too much. Some of my friends are princesses as well, if you are reading this you might be a princess. 

Or a prince, let's not be sexist. I think that maybe if you are thriving in an upper-middle class or above economic level, you might want to think about how entitled you are. 

Not that there is anything wrong with having things. Not having things for yourself is not going to give anyone in the third world anything. However, you know, caring and sharing.

Why did we love Princess Diana so much? Because she was like Cinderella, she had a hard life. I like to think I'm a princess who has had some hardships. And she gave back.

I don't know what I have to give back, but I intend to give back something at some point. Is that good enough? It's going to have to be. 

nina kaur

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Who is in Your Mirror?

I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
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I showed the music video Man in the Mirror to my college class that I teach.  I didn't have to explain it to them, they got it.  But I think I need to explain it to myself.

Who is the person in the mirror?  I was talking with a coworker of mine about having a variety of things that you identify with, so that if one fails you, you have something to fall back on.  

For example, if you identify as a mother first, if something happens to your child, you would fall back on the fact that you are also a nurse and woman, and Hispanic.  Or something.

That woman in the mirror has many identities.  And good for her, she is complex.  Sophisticated.  How many identities do you have? When you don't let one thing define you, you become a multidimensional being.  

But was is being?  I wonder sometimes what it means to be. You don't have to look in the mirror to be, because really it has nothing to do with the way you look.  Looking and being, are two different things.  

What do you want to be?  I want to be pretty and funny and smart. I want to be happy and successful and rich. But sometimes I just want to be me. 

What does that even mean, being me? I don't know, sometimes I just want to be nina and not worry about all my identities and images and desires and everything else. Sometimes I think what makes up me is a conglomeration of a lot of weird shit. But I'm not only weird. I'm also simple.

Maybe. Can't you be simple and complex at the same time. I like rain. Maybe there is nothing more to me than enjoying water. Water is really simple. However, it could be kind of complicated as well, I don't know that much about science. 

So maybe there are men in the mirror. Maybe Michael Jackson didn't know which man he was.  I sure don't know what kind of man he was.  Was he just a great musician? Was he an awful molester? I don't know him anymore than he may have known himself. 

There are a lot of women's faces in my mirror. The one I choose to see, the one I choose to be, morphs from time to time. Yet I know, it her I need to find. Or be. 

I hope she's beautiful.

nina

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Trivial Thoughts of the Insane

So where are you right now? How many of you are on the toilet, I wonder? Do you do some of your best thinking on the loo? Honestly I do some of my best thinking on the porcelain throne called the toilet or in the shower. 

I don't know why my genitalia must be exposed for my brain to work. However there is something meditative about these rituals. When you are doing something that doesn't require any thought on your part, thoughts start to flow in.

Like when I'm driving, or on the treadmill I sometimes have my best epiphanies. When it comes to aha moments, where do you have your best ones?

Where do you think the best?

I'm not sure if I think the best sitting at my desk at my computer. Maybe I should dance when I'm thinking. My mind should dance more. 

I'm at Starbucks listening to some bad music they picked out. I need to talk to the owner about this music, it's loud and obnoxious. It may be getting in the way of my brilliant thoughts. I think that's why I'm not having any.

Blame it on the music. Blame it on the rain. Remember Milli Vanilli? I think one of them killed themselves, is that right? I just checked, it's right. It's funny how you don't have to wonder about many things anymore because of google. I mean if google doesn't have the answer than you will truly never know.

You know I've been meditating lately, because if I don't I end up worrying about random things, like the band member in Milli Vanilli that killed himself.  I mean was it Milli or Vanilli? Did they actually identify one of them as Milli and the other as Vanilli? And if I'm actually concerned about the answer to these things does it mean I really have no life?

I woke up at the crack ass of dawn today because I was having nightmares about a couple of my students who might fail. Why am I staying up nights worrying about them? They didn't do the work, so it's their own damn fault. They don't answer my emails when I ask them for work, so I've done my part.

However the things we worry about can take over our very selves. We worry about things we have no business worrying about. Like what other people think of us, or what the future will be like. 

I'm having a dilemma lately about whether or not I should move to get a new job. All the professor jobs I'm looking for are out of town. The thing is I'm kinda happy here, in this Podunk town in Michigan (by the way Podunk is an actual word in spellcheck). I guess if I can be happy in the middle of Michigan, maybe I can be happy anywhere. 

Yet it took me 39 years to get happy here, how long will it take me somewhere else? However, maybe I will just show up to the new place happy and then happy things will happen to me. 

What do you worry about? What keeps you up at night? Are they crazy thoughts? I wouldn't be surprised, most of us are a wreck when it comes to thinking. 

I'm trying not to be such a mess with my thinking, but it's hard. The mind goes where it goes. I think about my laundry when I should be writing my book, and think about writing my book when I'm doing my laundry. I can't seem to get it right. 

The dishes are piling in the sink, and I've got pages more to write. I've got to lose weight but I'm hungry for some chocolate. That's the way it goes, right?

It's not right. It's mostly wrong. 

But it is what it is. We are what we are.

We are made with this huge brain to think with, and we waste it away worrying about trivial matters. I'm going to try to only think about things that matter, I mean I'm going to try. 

What matters though? I'm not sure. I matter. That's all I know.

nina  

Friday, February 13, 2015

"There's no place like Homophobia." -Jon Stewart

“What is the fear of the ‘gay agenda’ that has so upset people? Do people think that if gay people are given a place at the table, they’ll be so convincing we’ll all end up blowing them? What is the issue? ‘You know, I’m straight, but you’ve made such a convincing argument… ’”

I'm more than a little upset that Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show. Someone spectacular better take his place otherwise where will I get my news? How will I know what Fox News is up to?

Fox News is actually a big comedy routine to me but I can't laugh at them on my own, I need direction. I need someone to laugh with.

Please don't tell me to go to the regular news stations. Brian Williams is a great example of the evening news. How come I don't remember caring if he was in a dangerous situation in Iraq? Why did he lie when no one really cares if he risks his life? Just report the news people. How hard it is to read a script?

Jon Stewart never claimed that he risked his life to make a good joke about a news story. He didn't have to pretend to be superman and they call his news 'fake.'

I think we may be labeling this all wrong. Perhaps what they report on CNN is more 'fake.' They are only reporting what will get them ratings. Stewart spent his career reading between the lines of all the major news sources.

It takes a great amount of intelligence to tell a good political joke, or any good joke for that matter. The best comedians speak the truth because the truth is truly funny.

Jon Stewart may not always report the facts, but did he stick to the 'truth.' The world is a funny, funny place. Politics is a funny game.

Stewart may claim he is not an activist, but he has done something close to activism that maybe does not have a name yet. Being able to make people laugh at the twisted and ironic parts of reality is a gift. It really does make people see the world through a different lens.

One of the only real people on CNN is Morgan Spurlock who puts himself in the shoes of an average American. He even risked his life by eating McDonald's every day for a month, he literally almost died. That is superhero behavior.

And in the case of Jon, I mean if you can make us laugh at ISIS, the Mid East crises, and Ebola, you should get the Nobel prize in comedy. They should have a Nobel prize in comedy. Laughing our asses off at the absurd nature of life could save us. 

“I have complete faith in the continued absurdity of whatever’s going on.”

The absurdity of the universe needs to be noticed and laughed at. It is absurd that the world is so messed up and Stewart never missed an opportunity to point that out. He presented the agony and the ecstasy of it by making us laugh out loud until we cried. 

However, there were times when Jon was dead serious. He gave a rant about police brutality. 




Call me crazy but I always get the feeling Jon actually cares. I don't get that feeling from Wolf Blitzer and his smart board. I never got that feeling from Brian Williams either. 

Jon Stewart has a better vocabulary than me and the average American. He did something legendary: he made the news tolerable. Thank you Jon, we won't forget you.

nina

Images and quotes curtesy of the World Wide Web

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Re-Post Another Slimmer Story

Tank Slimmer: Wrinkles Due to Tight Fit and Acrobatic Removal              


This is the real thing:  This is my real life.  My diet went to shit last week.  I don’t know what to say, I want tea.  I want to calm myself and feel myself.    I want to live in a world where we don’t need so much tea and coffee and crack to calm our nerves.  I mean I don’t smoke crack but there may have been a time I was doing the pharmaceutical version of it.

But I’m here, and I’m lucky and kind of happy.  I mean I’m calm cool and collected. No one named nina is jumping around acting like a fool.  I like the British because they say things like:  “You bloody fool!”  Why all the blood, I don’t know, but I find it rather amusing.

I’m at Pete’s Coffee, which has apparently replaced some of the Caribou Coffees around town.  They have some Hawaiian promotion going on and some tables are decorated with paper Hawaiian skirts.  And they have exotic lays everywhere. I hate to be tweeny about it, (a tween is an adolescent).  I hate to be a tween but sometimes I want to just tell people a thing or two.

I want to say what’s on my mind.  I want to say to this cafĂ©:  This is a rather tacky and cheap looking version of Hawaii.  Nobody and nothing but me looks even remotely Hawaiian in this joint.  Of course I’m sitting here wearing a sports bra under a very see through white top with a long skirt.  I don't just look Hawaiian with my long skirt and sports bra, but with my computer I look like an intellectual belly dancer.  You know belly dancers have real bellies and I'm no exception.    

Of course I did buy a white tank top to wear under this top, however it was another  “slimming” device.  I wore it the other day before burning it.  I will tell you why:  It was obviously a few sizes too small for me (I was being ambitious).  When I put it on, I was huffing and puffing.  My face turned bright red as I pulled the thing over the middle of my stomach.  It was a sort of acrobatic feat.  I had to roll the fabric over the bottom of my tummy. 

I looked amazing.

Again my stomach never looked better. 

However, the problem began when I started driving.  The bottom of the tank top started to roll up on its own.  I had little in the way of power in terms of stopping the bottom half of the top from rolling onto right below my chest.  The only reason it didn’t’ roll all the up to my face was because my boobs stopped it.  So I was driving and simultaneously trying to roll this particular slimmer down.  All the while it is illegal in Troy, Michigan to do anything while driving.  This includes drinking coffee, anything that will make you drive with one hand.  There however is no clause for rolling down slimmers.  I have just created a new illegal act.

I was late for a party and too far away from home to go back and simply take off the slimmer.  I wasn’t at this point even sure if I was going to be able to take it off.  The thing is, it had gathered in a roll very tightly under my breasts and to be quite honest I was kind of unable to make it come off or come back down over my stomach.

I couldn’t exactly take it off anyways because I was wearing a completely sheer shirt and I was gong to an Indian party.  They were likely to first of all think I was being rather slutty if I took it off, being thought of as an Indian slut is not the route you want to go, especially in the judgey Indian community.  I’m sorry to my peeps but come on, we all know it’s true.  If I had waltzed in there with a shirt that you could see my lacy bra with…people would talk and likely take pictures and post them on Facebook.

It’s enough that I bare my soul on Facebook, but I can’t bare my bra too.  I just can't.  So I decided that I would have to somehow roll the slimmer back down over my stomach and try to breathe like a human while at this party.  It was a kid’s party by the way, my friend’s kid.  I don’t even remember whose party it was at this point, no it was my friend’s husband but there were kids there.  Who cares?  The fact that it had to be a PG kind of situation made everything worse.

So I got to the bar/restaurant and sat in the car trying to adjust my tank top slimmer. I got it so it was sort of rolling down and I decided if I could get it over the belly itself, it would roll right into a position right under my belly.  So I managed to fandangle wangle with it and I finally got out of the car.

Walking was another feat all together.  I had to walk and make sure the tank top didn’t roll up and end up like a big roll under my chest.  So I sort of held on to the bottom end of the tank top and finally made it inside.  I 'side hugged' everybody.  This little sweet beautiful girl hugged me.  No, no, no, I was not going to bend, considering my situation.  There would be no bending people.  So I sort of snorted at the kid and didn’t really hug her back.  I’m sure she hates me and thinks I’m cold.  I probably traumatized her little brain with my weird non-hug.

I didn’t want to hug anyone because my “abs of steel” kind of felt like steel, they were hard as a rock.  If someone really tried to hug me they might think I was wearing some kind of armor under my clothes. 

There she was: my old good thin beautiful friend.  She was dressed so lovely in a poke a dot dress I think.  Who knows?  I wasn’t paying attention to anything but the status of my slimmer.  She of course gave me a full on hug, it was a long hug, and I had to let go of the bottom of the tank top.  People it was a situation, that thing could have rolled up as fast as a rubber band snapping.  But there is a god and he was kind to me while I hugged her tight and prayed for the best.

So I tried to mingle, but kept my distance in case anyone else felt the spontaneous urge to hug me.  I was on the diet so I couldn’t even eat anything at the party except a turkey sandwich and some fucking salad. I say fucking salad because fuck salad.

So I ate my salad, with one hand conspicuously on my tank top, pulling it down with great force.  I tried to make convo and smile when it was appropriate.  I probably looked constipated and I felt like my breathing and digestion were being compromised. 

To make a long story longer, I told them I did not, under any circumstances want my picture taken.  You know what people do with pictures these days, they send it like five times around the world before you get a chance to scream and delete the picture.  Don’t ever “tag” my picture; I look like some kind of freak in photos.  The camera flips my face backwards and that doesn’t really suit me.  It makes me look like I have a bird’s nose and freaky cheeks.    Not to mention those extra ten pounds.  Trust me, it’s not the million and a half pounds I need to lose that’s the problem, it’s the extra ten pounds that the camera puts on.  I cannot afford another ten pounds, I just can’t.

So I told them no pictures and they hesitantly agreed.  Phew.   

So I went in the car and was on my way home and I just let that motherfucking tank top ride up to my chest.  I did not care to keep it down, it made my belly protrude out more, and I didn’t care.  If got pulled over by the Troy Police I would proclaim a slimmer emergency.  If they ticketed me for trying to slim while driving I would simply proclaim that it wasn't easy trying to be thin in this country.  Instead of my license and registration, I would take my Weight Watchers card out and claim that I was trying my best!  

The problem was getting home and getting out of the thing.  I should have thought of scissors.  I didn’t.  I tried to get the elastic shit it was made out of over my chest.  Let me just say, it was jutting into the middle of my chest.  Let’s just say I had to stop breathing and go the other way.  I took off a shirt by trying to roll it down over my belly and down to my legs. I almost started crying, I was defiantly praying at some point.

Madness I tell you, madness.  These are things we must go through in order to be slim, if we are not naturally slim.  I remember the moment I ripped that shirt off, oh the freedom of it! 

Now what do I do with it?  I could give it to charity, but that seems cruel and unusual.  I could burn it but that seems drastic.  I could keep it as a memento, reminding me of how I've struggled.    

The Surgeon General needs to put a warning on slimmers, just saying.   

nina

(Join me on Facebook, Like my page: Author Nina Kaur)

Slimmer curtesy of Target

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Woman in the Mirror

"In my mind I'm a blind man doin' time," Tupac Shakur
What if you couldn't see? What would you miss? Would you miss looking at yourself? Would you forget what you looked like, what life looked like?

My father is blind, so this idea comes up every now and then...I know what he misses the most, our faces.

I would miss my father's face...

There are so many things to see and so many things that we see we take for granted because we have always been able to see. Imagine being able to see it all then just losing it one day. That's what happened to my dad. 

You know it's funny but I don't think about flowers much or beauty in general, however when I think about losing my sight I think I would miss the flowers. The question is, why are they not a part of my life now? I mean there are not many flowers in the dead of winter, but really Cancer patients will tell you that you should have stopped to smell those damn things more often.

And blind people will tell you to look at them. My dad used to like to take pictures of nature. I can describe a movie to him, but how am I supposed to really describe a flower? I don't even have the words and allegedly I'm a word smith.

When is the last time you really looked at something? I mean looked at it with everything you had? I mean really saw it?

Anything, I'm looking at my coffee right now. It's not even that pretty but I can see it. It's real. It's always the little things that matter, the swirl in your coffee. I'm looking at my skin right now and my hands. I don't notice them, ever. 

My skin is caramel colored and my hands are nice. 

I go about my life seeing things all day and don't even recognize their power or beauty. And what about ugly things? I didn't see any of the ISIS videos, not because I can't see, but because I choose not to watch them. 

Is my dad lucky he does not have to see how physically ugly some things have become? People setting each other on fire. I saw a woman in Afghanistan who had burn scars on her face, a man set her on fire because she wouldn't accept his marriage proposal.

NO. Stop it. I have this particular empathy towards burn victims. I'm scared of fire, scared of getting burned. It's hard for me to look at their scars.  

It is hard for me to look in the mirror sometimes, because I don't like the way my body looks. It never occurs to me that I'm lucky I can see it. It never occurs to me that it is beautiful.

If I could see myself the way my father sees me, I might see my real self. I might see my real beauty.

My father does not see me as someone who has gotten older and fatter, he sees me as his beautiful daughter. I want to truly look at myself and see that as well.

There was a time in my life that I would not leave the house without wearing make up, without at least wearing some kind of foundation. I thought I was ugly without make up, I wondered how people could look at me without it. I wondered how they recognized me without it.

Then I grew up and realized I was the only one looking at my 'flaws.' Now I go out all the time without make-up or with it. I go to work with or without, it makes no difference to me. I'm no longer embarrassed about the natural me. 

I stopped needing to wear heels, because I'm not short and I don't need the back problems my mother has because she wore heels. I stopped wearing slimming devices, mostly because they are uncomfortable. 

Often times the first person I see in the morning is my father. I see him but he cannot see me. He is a man over seventy, yet I think he is a wonderful sight. 

The truth is, when you love someone you stop caring what they look like objectively. You don't 'see' them anymore. Their flaws become invisible to you.

My father has some scars on his face from boils he had as a child. When I was a kid he told me he was in a bull fight, and that's how he got the scars. 

I still think of him as the man in that bullfight. The man who came out alive, with only a few scars. Scars I can't even see, scars that give him character. 

I have imperfections as well. Sometimes I don't see the rest of me, I just see my 'scars.' Whether they be wrinkles or a belly that is protruding too far out. 

However the truth is, all the people that love me, love me with or without my flaws. They don't care, why should I?

Maybe I'm a blind woman doin' time as well. 

nina

Image curtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sing the Silence

If you can’t be a poet, be the poem. – David Carradine

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. – Carl Sandburg

I wrote a poem:

                 Sing the Silence

Pieces of me, are lost in the pieces of words. I don't want to stop. I want to make mistakes and not stop anyways.

Where am I in all of this? I didn't play the piano for you. You heard me anyways. my song.

These songs that we are, never to sing, only to be said instead of sung.

I am very short, very short when i speak to nobody. I say small things to the air. the air never defines me, it only echoes me lives with me, in me.

do you believe in ghosts? in gods? they might be the same thing

i love, i love, i love the winter in your eyes. the snowflakes I can see in your soul. it's snowing inside you but you are burning up

Where do we go from here? i never wanted to climb a mountain, you are my mountain, you are my words piled up

I want to see the sunrise, i hate when it rises and i'm not there. i'm there but not there

in the space where i need to be

punctuation is a joke
it's not even funny

there are pauses that need to be acknowledged, I suppose. 

there are flights i've missed and commas I never printed
you say you missed me
i thought we were simple people
we don't talk about that kind of stuff

Which one of us is me?
I thought I was you for a long time...
What is time?

this glamorous bitch knows nothing
of the present moment
she keeps singing about the past

what is she saying?
do you hear her?

what would you say 
if i talked out of turn
would you walk away from me

mr. would you stand next to me
and hear my song?

there's nothing to hear, you say...

yes

nina

Image curtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net