Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My Favorite Mistake

Here is my horoscope from today...

Once you fix up your surroundings, you will feel better about yourself and probably be far more efficient. A financial gain is possible. Check out personal papers, assets and investments. You will be lucky today.

For those of us born on: March 29 Happy Birthday: You may be asking yourself what life is all about. Aspire to accomplish all the goals you have set for yourself along the way. This is the perfect year to stop contemplating and start the process of actually doing what you want to do. Travel, learning and getting down to business should be your goals. -- Birthday Baby: You have drive, determination and the willpower to get you wherever you want to go. You are inquisitive and adventurous, and you like to do things in a grand manner. You are intuitive and always willing to help the underdog.

I'm still in the process of fixing up my surroundings. The piles are slowly starting to disappear and my office is becoming less hazardous for those who enter. As far as the rest of it, I am inquisitive and fairly adventurous but I tend to be more on the passive side. When I was born my mother had an astrological chart made for me. It basically gave the canned speech about how I have a lot of drive and determination and will always land on my feet. I think my mother took it to heart because she always trusted my decisions, almost to a fault. Whenever I had a dilemma, she would tell me to do what I thought was best whereas if my older sister had an issue, my mother guided her step by step. I think I was jealous of this relationship and I resented my older sister for quite a while. Something along the way changed me. I changed me. I realized that my mother taught me to trust myself, which is one of the most beautiful gifts a parent can give a child. I've learned to trust in the decisions I make and (here's the hard part) I try not to wallow or second-guess myself too much when things don't turn out exactly as I had hoped.

Anyway. It's my birthday and I'm feeling nostalgic. I'm still trying to figure “it” out for myself but I'm now enjoying the process instead of fighting it. I leave you with my 2 favorite fortune cookie sayings:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. --Lao Tzu
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. -Oscar Wilde

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Digging in the Dirt

Not a lot of time to post but needed to vent. We spent Saturday at my mom's and Sunday at my sister-in-law's place. I know we all have stress in our life. My husband is by nature a great guy. My only gripe (at the moment) is that his initial reaction for circumstances that are beyond anyone's control is less than desirable. Case in point: The baby didn't nap at his sister's Easter celebration. This was probably due to a combination of the new surroundings, the noise from the living room where everyone was watching a basketball game, and the fact that, by hook or by crook, his mom was trying to get her to smile. Anyway, when I heard her crying 15 minutes after he took her into the bedroom, I innocently went in to help. Well, let's just say that he wasn't in the mood for my help and he felt that I was trying to "take over". FINE. I walk out and didn't say anything when he sheepishly followed 10 minutes later with baby in tow. Payback is a bitch. Dear hubby was closest to her when she started smelling a little "ripe" later that afternoon. I decided to heed his request not to interfere despite hearing the following comments from the bedroom; "Agghhh" "Please baby, don't do that" or, my personal favorite "Who's daddy's little girl" immediately followed by "Oh my God". Apparently the little princess had the mother of all bowel movements. HA!

There were multiple incidents throughout the day but that one was my favorite.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Shaking the tree

Epiphany. I was flipping channels the other day and landed on MTV. On the screen was a provocatively clothed girl who could not have been more than 15 years old rapping about licking your (bleep)and then (bleeping) you until your (bleep) (bleeps). What the....where the hell (oh sorry (bleep)) are this girl's parents?? Do 15 year olds really know about that stuff to that extent?

Despite having an affinity for certain genres, I honestly enjoy different kinds of music. However, the music I enjoy (a) has a good tune/beat and or (b) endears me to the singer based on common emotions/experiences/feelings. The only thing this singer made me feel was old. Maybe that's the point. Maybe I'm not supposed to "get it". I think back to my mother's reaction when I would blast U2 or when my sister would play her Nirvana CD every waking moment. It's all tame compared to some of the stuff that's out there now. I guess I now realize that the imaginary line between free expression and my interpretation of decency is ever-evolving . Maybe 15-20 years from now when this girl is married and has a daughter of her own, she'll have to cross out and redraw her line. Until then, a word of advice to said singer. In your next video please put on a decent pair of panties. I'm not your (bleeping) gynecologist.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Stop Making Sense

I'm having one of those weeks. It's nobody's fault but my own. Well, actually I can blame my mom a little because I inherited her genes for the art of procrastination. I've had 2 weeks to work on bits and pieces of my project but, did I? NO! Instead I cringe every time my project leader calls hoping she doesn't ask me for a progress report or any drafts. I noticed on Monday that my office was starting to look a little shabby but, did I do anything about it? NO! Instead I decide to photograph the mess so I can have "before and after" pictures. My project leader is going to kick my ass. She may look petite and dainty but she's going kick my ass all the way back to the Motherland! In my defense, some of my best work has come under pressure. Hey, perhaps I'm subconsciously waiting until the last minute so I can produce my best work? Oh who am I kidding...I'm unfocused and I need to grow up.

In the meantime, enjoy my "before" pictures.

My desk BEFORE Posted by Hello
I swear the desk was pretty much in order until Monday when I got slammed with a side project. Despite the way it looks, I actually know where things are hence can't mess with the piles until I finish some preliminary data. (Note the jumbo yellow bottle of Tylenol)

The printer is overflowing... Posted by Hello

Step right up ladies and gentlemen, watch the amazing growing piles. Posted by Hello

Tomorrow is a new day! I'm going to get a good night's sleep and I'm going to attack the piles with a vengeance. Yes, that's it. I'm turning off the ringer on my office phone as well as my e-mail indicator. I'm not going to give into my newly acquired blogging addiction by tweaking the stat counter on my website or by checking out every URL that has visited my blog. (A big shout out to my 2 visitors from Iceland!) I'm not going to continually check Vig's or eM's or Anurag's blog for new posts because (dammit) they're in a time zone which happens to be almost 12 hours ahead of the one I reside in. Chances are they're sleeping at 3am in the morning. That's right folks...say bye to the old chutney and get ready for the new and improved chutney!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Rattle and Hum

I've been doing a lot of soul searching these past few months. I think my insightfulness (is that a word?) has a lot to do with the birth of my daughter. You see, my parents, older sister and I moved to the US when I was about 3. I have no memory of the apparent scene I caused at the airport when I had to leave my ammachi. My parents seemed to be caught in a cultural purgatory, halfway between American ways and Indian ways. Now don't get me wrong. We were raised to respect our parents. My sisters (the youngest of whom was born in the US) and I were extremely respectful. We never assumed we could do any of the things our friends were doing such as parties or sleepovers. We never knew what the answer would be when we asked to go out but knew never to push the issue too hard when they said "no". We kept curfew no matter how early it was. We never drank or smoked. We did however, grew up going to school with only a handful of Indians. We went to the church associated with our grade school that again had minimal Indians in it. It wasn't until I studied in India after high school that I made my first close, Indian friends. I am still extremely close with some of these girls with whom I spent eight of the best months of my life.

Now that I have children of my own, I feel compelled to give them the full 360 degree life experience. I feel lucky that my husband, who is American, fully embraces me and my entire family. Not once in our 6-year marriage has he ever complained about our weekly visits to see my parents or the 5-million family parties that seem to fill our calendar. My kids are already very attached to my cousins, who are close to their age. We are even planning the big family pilgrimage to India for Christmas to visit my parent's new house in Kerala as well as introduce our respective husbands and children. I feel, for lack of a better term, "born again".

Now that I have my identity as an Indian worked out I now need to concentrate on my identity as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, career-woman, democrat, blah, blah, blah. As this rate I'll have it all figured out by the ripe old age of 186.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Blue Monday

Do you know who the cleaning service sent me? A little old woman old enough to be my grandma. She spoke as much English as I spoke Polish. I actually had to help her carry the vacuum up and down the stairs. I tried to hide out in my office but was compelled to check every time I heard loud clangs for fear I would find her in a crumpled heap with a broken hip. I'm going to have to request someone new. This woman should be at home with her feet up. Despite being against the rules I gave her a nice, big, tip for which she gave me a hug.

My stress level trying to get my project off the ground was at near record level today. My husband and I decided to meet for lunch, a perk of working from home as he is only 15 minutes away. We (and by "we", I mean he let me choose) decided to have sushi (YUM). Now that the baby is almost one, he is really pushing to get a dog. My parents have a dog. Jordan is about the size of a toy pony and has the brain capacity of a drunk sailor. When he gets excited to play, he spins his body around so that his tail knocks down everything within a 2 mile radius. He is about as sharp as a stick of butter. I should ask my sister (the vet) if dogs can be born "mentally challenged". It is, however, funny to see my parents yell at him in an English-Malayalam hybrid language that can only be described as "Malaish" (or should it be "Engalayalam"). Anyway, if we do get a dog, my son and I have already decided we like the name Chutney. I wonder if I can toilet-train the puppy and the baby at the same time?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Under Pressure

After many months (years) of trying to be everything to everyone, I've decided to have a maid service come clean my house every other week. I can only imagine my mother-in-law's reaction when my son let it slip that a cleaning service was coming tomorrow morning. The woman is obsessed with cleaning. We have literally awoken to the sound of a vacuum cleaner at five f-ing o'clock in the morning when we've stayed with her. Her carpets look as if they've been raked so the pyle is uniform in the same direction. My son used to love cleaning and vacuuming when he was 2 years old (an obsession he quickly outgrew). I told my husband it was as if his mother and my father's prayers to the Gods of Tidiness were answered. (Footnote: My son has recently developed a random fear of vacuums. Perhaps it would help if I pulled it out more than once a month..)