Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Dog Day Afternoon

I've had a shitty day. No, literally. I had a shitty day.

I was supposed to go to the Indian Consulate today to get our travel visas for our trip. (Dad, if you're reading this look away. Yes, I know you told me to do it 2 weeks ago. Yes, yes, I realize that you've called me from India 3 times this past week to remind me to get our visas. DAD! Stop yelling! We'll get the damn visas soon.)

Anyway,the applications were filled out and I thought I would call the consulate to confirm the procedure and was treated to the following conversation:

man: hello (even his tone makes it sound like he can't be bothered)

me: oh, hello...is this the Indian Consulate?

man: (sounding annoyed) yes. what is it?

me: I wanted to verify that I can drop off my family's passports in the morning along with our visa applications and our visas will be ready for pick-up at 4pm.

man: yes...Perhaps

me: umm...Perhaps? Could you be a little more specific?

man: ma'am if there are many people than you must come back another day.

me: Another day? Meaning I drop it off today and pick it up on another day?

man: yes, another day.

me: Well sir, could you offer me some guidance on how many days it would take?

man: I don't know. 1 or 5 days perhaps. Depends. Are you American?

me: I have an American passport but I was born in India. I'll be bringing in passports for my husband and children.

man: You don't sound Indian. Are they Indian?

me: (WTF??) We all have American passports. They were all born in the U.S. My husband is American.

man: But he is Indian?

me: No, he's American..

man: Yes, he has a US passport but he is Indian, right?

me: NO, he has a US passport AND he is American..

man: ma'am! He is Indian but born in the US, no?

me: NO! He is white...like rice. My husband is as white as rice! (I'm practically yelling at this point)

man: Oh. Yes, drop the passports off with the applications but you may have to pick it up another day.

me: Thank you! (click)

So J was on her way to pick me up when Chutney starts barking/yelping/crying from his kennel. This isn't unusual as the dog is a big whiner. I continue typing away at my desk when all of a sudden I get a horrible smell. As I walk to the basement I already know what it is. Shit. Chutney had an upset tummy and went all over his kennel. I spent the next 2 hours cursing the dog and cleaning up the mess. What's worse is one of my projects is being audited which leads to a constant stream of stressful calls. By the time J arrived (an hour late I may add) to pick me up, I was in no mood to go to the consulate. Instead, she convinced me to go for sushi and deal with the visa next week. (I'm out of town the rest of the week).

D called and asked what's for dinner. If looks could kill I'd be a widow right now.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Short Thanksgiving Update:

  • I had a headache which turned into a migraine by that night.
  • Headache affected my tastebuds and made everything taste like metal. It's harder than you think to pretend like you're eating
  • Three pies this year; pumpkin, coconut cream, and chocolate delight (not pictured)


  • Going back this weekend for my mother-in-laws 25th wedding anniversary. If D's dad were still alive they would have celebrated 50 years this past July.
  • D's nieces and nephews morph between holidays. The pretty blond niece that wore pink tank tops now has braces and dresses like a boy
  • Oldest niece still going out with boyfriend. (2 years with a genuinely nice guy, which is a record for her)
  • Came home and took migraine medicine. Went to "Little India" (Devon Street) and picked up non-metal tasting food.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thank you for letting me be myself

Ms Lavi inquired about the purpose and meaning of celebrating Thanksgiving so this is my shout out to her. This is the short, watered down version...

In the early 1600's the Puritans left England to escape religious persecution. Many died on the ship journey over which eventually led them to the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. By the time the pilgrims arrived in America it was a cold, harsh winter and many did not survive to see spring. As you may know, America was already inhabited by people referred to as Native Americans or American Indians. The Native Americans befriended the pilgrims and taught them to hunt and plant in this new land. Thanksgiving marks the celebration of the first bountiful harvest the pilgrims had in November 1621 which allowed them to survive and prosper in their new home. They invited the Native Americans for a feast of turkey and a boatload of other food. It's all a beautiful sentiment and school plays usually reenact the feast with pilgrims and Native Americans with lots of smiles and handshaking. Of course they don't go on to show that as the settlers expanded their quest for land across the East, they banished many native tribes and enslaved the very people who helped them survive. A more accurate depiction would show the exchange of corn from the Native Americans for guns and gonnerhea from the pilgrims.

Anyhoo, I never even had turkey until I was in the second grade and our teacher made little turkey salad sandwiches to celebrate. I had so many that I ended up vomiting and vowed never to eat mayonnaise again. Of course being first generation immigrants meant our celebration had a little spice to it and included chicken biryani, somosas, and corn (as homage to our American Indian brethren). As the years progressed, the celebration became more traditional and my mom would cook a little turkey breast. My first Thanksgiving at D's house, I was amazed at how big turkeys actually were. D's family made meals from scratch although being from Wisconsin meant just about everything had cheese on it. D's mom always makes 2 pies for dessert and every year we're all too stuffed to eat them. A few years ago, D took over the tradition of making the turkey for my family's celebration. 2 years ago, to celebrate my mom's survival from cancer, my parents hosted a huge Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends for which D cooked a 20 pound turkey. Somewhere there's a picture of my dad and D smiling over this gigantic cooked turkey. If I find it, I'll definitely post it.

Tomorrow we're going to D's sister's house for thanksgiving. My parents left for India last week so I thought there would be no official celebration for my side this year. However, D took the opportunity this past Sunday to cook a mini turkey feast for just the 4 of us. As my parents used to do with us, we asked the Boy what he's thankful for this year. He scrunched his face really tight as he was deep in thought and said "I'm thankful for my mom, my dad, (the Girl), Chutney, and my Mr Incredible remote control car". I'm thankful that we still rank above Mr Incredible. : )

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Oh oh, come take my hand, We're riding out tonight to case the promised land

I've been tagged by Rat although I'm modifying the list to include questions from other variations of this meme. As you can see, I can only muster up 5 things for each category:

Five Things I Plan to Do (the ones I can list):

  1. Join the International Red Cross as a traveling nurse
  2. Vacation with my mom in Rome
  3. Speak at least 4 foreign languages moderately well
  4. Skydive
  5. Run the Chicago Marathon
Five Things I Can't or Won't Do:
  1. Smoke
  2. Stay mad at people
  3. Whistle properly
  4. Drive stick shift
  5. Put a towel on the bathroom floor

Five Things I Can Do or Have Done:

  1. Made snow-angels in the middle of Red Square
  2. Be a really good friend
  3. Camped out for U2 tickets
  4. Play volleyball fairly well
  5. A backbend
Five movies I can watch over and over:
  1. It's a Wonderful Life
  2. Cinema Paradiso
  3. E.T.
  4. Amelie
  5. Shawshank Redemption

Five things I say the most:

  1. That's so random
  2. Oye
  3. Fuck/Fudge (depending on who's around and my/their comfort level)
  4. OK (but slowly and with emphasis like OHH-KAY)
  5. How you doin? (a la Joey)

Five words I like:

  1. kismet
  2. bliss
  3. municipality (newly acquired)
  4. liaison
  5. pharmacodynamics

Five important things in my bedroom (right now):

  1. My husband
  2. 4 plane tickets to India
  3. My journal
  4. An overstuffed chair perfect for reading
  5. A book my friend gave me

Five random facts about me:

  1. I rock at Trivial Pursuit
  2. I emotionally withdraw long before I mentally or physically withdraw
  3. I can't sleep right next to a wall if someone is sleeping next to me (slightly claustrophobic)
  4. I have a calcified protrusion on my right knee cap from where I dislocated it at age7
  5. I'm allergic to pineapples

As for my future children's names- who the hell thought of this question? Besides, I'm done birthing babies in this lifetime. My son is named after my dad while my daughter was given a name that D and I both liked although her middle name is after my mom. That being said there's one certain girl's name that will always hold a soft spot in my heart. *wink*

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Picture if you will: 8:00pm on a cold, blustery Saturday night in suburban Chicago. D has already put the Girl to bed and I join him in the basement after I get the Boy to sleep. I prepare to download some new pictures I've taken when all of a sudden the lights go out. "Shit" D and I say in unison. 5 seconds later it comes back up. With barely enough time to breathe a sigh of relief, it goes out again. This time for good.

First and foremost I hope those of you who go through power outages a little more frequently will forgive me if I sound like a wimp at anytime during this post. Now D and I have been through an outage together while we were dating. We had this huge snow storm that dumped about 2 feet of snow and the power went out. At first it was all romantic as we lit every last candle I had in my condo. Unfortunately 2 hours later the thrill was gone and we went to bed with about 5 layers of clothes on. (Nothing says sexy like 3 pairs of socks, panty hose AND jeans. Yes, it was THAT cold). I can still sorta remember shivering the entire night.

Anyway, the house is now pitch black and it's at that moment I remember the Boy asked to borrow our only flashlight to use as a light saber a few months ago. SHITE! Well, at least we have candles D says knowing how much I love candles. Yes, I respond, but do we have any matches? This would be a good time to mention that I'm pretty sure Chutney is mentally challenged. When D convinced me that a bloodhound was the breed for us I imagined that, God forbid the children were ever lost, our trusted bloodhound wouldn't stop until he lead us to them. This dog couldn't sniff out a skunk in an elevator. What's worse is Chutney is not graceful whatsoever. I constantly hear the thud of him running into a chair or door or wall. At night we are treated to irritating rattling as he tries to get comfortable in his kennel. With no lights Chutney was running into things left and right. I swear we got the only bloodhound on Earth with no sense of smell. D had to comfort Chutney in the basement while I searched for matches in one of the kitchen drawers. The problem with that drawer is that every miscellaneous item that doesn't have a home in our kitchen, including screw drivers and other sharp objects, can be found there. I decided I had to have light if I was going to continue to look. What does a modern girl looking for a light source use? Why her laptop of course. Luckily the battery was charged and set a soft glow in the kitchen as we searched for matches. I followed D around the house with an open laptop in some sort of deleted scene from the Matrix. In the end we couldn't find any and D had to run to the store to buy a lighter and new flashlight. He took Chutney with because:
  1. the dog LOVES riding in the car
  2. it's easier than me having to control him in the darkened house
  3. I think D realizes, as goofy as he is, that dog is a real babe magnet

So there I am, alone in the pitch black house. Luckily the kids are still fast asleep. I stare out our front window and I can see the shadows of our neighbors across the street as they walk across their living room with a flashlight. So far the night is comfortable weather-wise but I worry that the early morning chill may be too much for the kids. I call my dad and find out they have power. We make a plan that if it doesn't come back in a few hours, we'll pack up and stay at their place. I decide to be proactive and gather all the candles from the four corners of the house. Suddenly I feel like a frontier woman. They didn't need little things like running water and electricity to make their homestead complete. I feel empowered and have an overwhelming urge to churn some butter and feed the men-folk. Suddenly I have a fear that the electricity is somehow connected to the water system and that our water will be cut soon so I quickly brush my teeth while I still had the chance. Anyway I figure that D and I will be talking a lot so I may as well have fresh breath. It's only then I remember that D and I had watched the Sixth Sense for Halloween. FUCK! What if a spirit trys to contact me? Good thing I just went to the bathroom so I won't piss in my pants. All of a sudden every shadow cast by the blowing trees outside and every howl that the wind brought is scaring the crap out of me. When D came home about 10 minutes later I nearly jumped into his arms as soon as he walked in. I decided I was so not meant to be a frontier woman.

We now have a working flashlight which makes a world of difference. We light a few candles (my Ginger Peach candle from Pier One smelled so much better in the store) and head to the basement for some good old fashioned conversation. D and I settle down in our family room which is now aglow with flickering candlelight. I made a mental note to take some blog-worthy pictures of it but sadly never got the chance. D barely gets his first sentence out when WHOOSH the power comes back and with it came noise and brightness. I never realized how many things around the house made noise.

Anyway a few things I'll take away from my experience:

  • Never let the Boy play Star Wars with the only flashlight in the house
  • Always keep the laptop battery charged
  • I was so not meant to be a frontier woman
  • Chutney is not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Monday, November 07, 2005

She's got a smile that it seems to me reminds me of childhood memories

So much to say, very little to blog about.

  • Nice weekend in that the Girl was doing much better albeit a bit grumpy. At one point she literally threw herself 2 feet across the room in a tantrum about wanting to read "Oh my, Oh my, Oh Dinosaur" for the 900th time in a row. I can read it 600 times without batting an eyelash. Starting at about 720, I can feel my brain cells dying off one by one. D and I shot each other a look like "That's YOUR child" "No that's YOUR child!"
  • One of the hazards of parenthood is that you memorize every book you read to your kids cos they want to hear it again and again and again. This in and of itself isn't bad. The downside is that the space in my brain meant to store the common treatments for diabetic neuropathy is now clogged with stories about dancing barnyard animals.
  • Sunday, knowing we better leave the house lest we drive each other insane, we all went to the local super-mega hardware store and looked at all the Christmas displays. Who are these people who spend $300 on a 10 foot inflatable snowglobe with Frosty the Snowman? It's probably the same people who set up the life-size nativity scene in their front yard complete with Santa's elves watching over the baby Jesus.
  • We drove to downtown Chicago and showed the kids all the wonderful sites. We promised the Boy we would take him to the top of the Sear's Tower soon. It'll be nice to go there when we're not on a whirlwind tour with out-of-town relatives in tow.
  • Tomorrow is election day...I can't wait for 2008. Have I mentioned that I'm a political junkie?
  • Does absence really make the heart grow fonder or does it make you realize what you don't have next to you at that moment?
  • It's Fall in Chicago which means both the Chicago Bears (football) and the Chicago Bulls (basketball) have D's full attention. He's a diehard fan but not fanatical to the point of annoyance. Our weekends ooze testosterone.
  • I was thinking of starting a family band but unfortunately I'm the only talentless one in the group. Even the Girl has some moves she picked up on Teletubbies. (Dipsy can bust a move). Anyway, D's been giving the Boy guitar lessons and they do a mean duet on some Neil Young song. D even threatened, I mean suggested, that he take his old amp out of the garage and set it up in our basement. D smiled and said that I can be his groupie. Hmph! I've seen Almost Famous enough times to know what groupies do.

Anyway, enjoy pictures from our last jam session.

P.S. The girl is wearing a little outfit from Old Navy (the poor man's Gap). I'm not sure why there are 5 different prints between her pants and shirt. Must be what all the hip kids are wearing these days...

Guitar case

Guitar case with purple velvet. It as though Prince (or the artist formerly known as Prince) threw up in it.

Jam session

My hippie chick

That's not how you play Twinkle Twinkle!

That's not how you play Twinkle Twinkle!

Helping dad play

You've got your chords all mixed up dad. Let me show you...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The candyman can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good

The Girl's been home sick with me all week. She's so sweet and adorable but she just doesn't understand the concept of being really quiet while mommy's on a teleconference.

Here are our Halloween pics. D took the Boy out foraging for candy while the Girl (who was slightly feverish) and I gave out treats at our house. For every 5 little kids who showed up in their adorable costumes I'd get a teenager dressed in regular clothes with a plastic bag. D laughed at how I gave each and every one of them a hard time. If you wanna Kit Kat then you need to show me a little effort.

Halloween 05
The brave knight

Attacking my pillows
Note how D is just sitting there while the Boy attacks my pillows.

Halloween 05-1
Pink leopard

Cell phone
The Girl's latest obsession is her toy cell (mobile) phone. She is constantly yammering on it as if she's making plans for her little toddler friends to pick her up later.

Waiting for trick or treaters
Tried to get a shot of the little tail.