Papaji

The kids came home from camp this weekend and the world rejoiced – right?  That’s how it felt to me.

My parents waited a whole 2 hours after they got home to call them. My mother lit candles and said prayers – I’m sure all the Indians Gods were involved.  I spoke briefly to my father who said just one thing to the kids coming home.  He said,”Good.” Then he passed the phone to my mother who took 30 minutes to tell me that only parents who don’t love their kids send them to camp.

That conversation sums up my entire childhood.

Have I ever told you about my dad? I should, you should know him.  He loves music – both classical and popular.  He has always rocked a ‘stache. He’s got a massive sweet tooth, loves to draw and spends most weekends napping and reading a paper. He’s a man of few words. Actually, no words. The only instance when he tucks into a long narrative story (and still will) is when he talks about his college years. The short period of time when he left home and went to boarding school. Ask him about that and he’ll sing like a canary.

He was one of 4 boys – his mother died after his youngest brother was born. He never told us how. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of her.  He was raised in a village – hardcore 3rd world style.  His entire education was funded by scholarships.  He wanted to be a doctor, worked toward it for years, but didn’t have the money to go to through med school.  There was, however, an American initiative to sponsor pharmacists from small Indian villages (not really, but I can’t get a straight answer on how it all went down).  They would pay for college and then pharmaceutical school – and in return you would agree to work in either Canada, the U.S. or Africa for a couple of years.  He went for it.  This was before 9/11 and before the world wide web took over – things were easier.

His stories of that time are amazing. He left home and  never looked back, he lived with several different families that took him in and he lived in several different youth hostel type of places.  By the time he graduated, he was also married.  He decided that Canada was the place for him/them – and made the move.  He talks about the move – leaving his country/his family/his new bride – in the most non dramatic way.  There’s no big, epic Ellis Island moment where he reached the promised land.  The really big news about making the big move? He tried and liked chicken.  That was about as “shock and awe” as he gets.

My mother stayed back in India while my dad set-up shop.  He eventually decided that New York City was a better option vs. Toronto.  And that’s how we landed on Plymouth – I mean Queens….via Canada.

For the most part – I had a very boring, protected childhood. My parents didn’t really fight – it was usually my mother yelling about something and my dad reading a paper.  I don’t remember him ever raising his voice at me or my sister – he may have nodded along while my mother ripped us apart but nothing more than that.  Sister – do you concur?

There was one part of our life where he was very vocal and aggressive – school.  He knew about every homework assignment and every project. He went to all the conferences and meetings and attended every concert (did I tell you I was in choir for 8 years, and that we made Nationals in High School – we did a rendition of Phantom that would knock you over. Sorry).

He is the most opposite of my mother as anyone could and would be.  She is the fizzy, bubbling tablet to his still water.  Forget the yin to her yang – he’s the calming yogurt to her spicy curry.  I can hear my sister rolling her eyes so I’ll stop now.

My baby was born on the same day as my father – which is ironic considering he has my mother’s disposition.

I wonder who I’m like?  I’m probably the best of both of them….yeah. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Here’s a couple of pics of my dad – one from his wild, chicken eating Canadian days – and one from today (technically last Christmas)

 

The Isle is full of…

Dear Olympic Opening Ceremonies,

Where do I begin.  I’ll start where you started. Sheep. Actually you started with a short film, but I have literally nothing to say about it. I stuck with you for almost 5 hours.  The sheep were cute. How very English of you. Then began a mixed up, jumbled, mess that included everything from Kenneth Branagh reading Shakespeare (that part I liked) to the Queen jumping out of a helicopter with James Bond.  The only person more bored than me was Daniel Craig.

I really wanted to like it. I didn’t expect China. I didn’t even expect Sydney, Greece or Atlanta.  I even forgave the NBC commentary – oh sorry, that’s a lie – Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera were awful.  And Ryan Seacrest interviewing athletes? What did we do to deserve that? Was Bob Costas tied in a closet somewhere? Could we not find one person actually connected with sports?

Back to the actual ceremony.  I’ll skip complaining about the historical lesson via redecorating the stadium and go right to the worst part.  This may be because I’m bitter about our national heath care – but an entire 45 minute production about how much you love your medical plans seems, I dunno, batshit.

Then – to add to the creepiness – giant, scary balloon type monsters appear to herald all the great literature of England?? What?  No Alice, No Harry or Hermione.  Just Mary Poppins in all black.

Oh Danny boy…

By hour 3 I had given up and given in. I tried to tune to another channel – but I couldn’t do it. I had to watch the whole hot mess.  David Beckham in a speed boat without a speedo on? Of no use to me people. Flying/bicycle riding monkeys, musical mash-ups, and then finally – a predictable, flat-line performance of “Hey Jude”.  Why that song? So the audience could sing along? We are big Beatles fans in our house (huge) and even we were rolling our eyes.  By “we” I mean me. I was the only one hanging on by then. Everyone else had smartly gone on with their lives.

Sorry to be a pisser, as you say. Let me end with some positives.  I loved all the random shots of Wills and Kate. I could have watched an hour of them watching the ceremonies.  I loved the shots of the Queen during the singing of the National Anthem – frowning and wearing pink sparkles. Lovely. Mr. Bean was funny too. And expected. And welcome. And that’s about it.

Please note that this will in no way deter me from tuning in every day until the end. Then I’ll give you another chance with the closing ceremonies. By then I will have watched gymnastics, swimming, archery, beach volleyball, and fencing. I will have forgotten all about weirdo kids jumping on beds and the big multiculty statements you tried to make.  Lucky for you – like most of the world – I have terrible short term memory.

So thanks for the effort.  You didn’t earn a medal and I’m sure you know you screwed up, but we love you anyway.

Best,

Crabby blogger from the U.S.

Call of the wild

Today’s post was supposed to be about the following things:  picking up my babies from camp & the Olympics.

I plan to be at the gates of the camp as soon as it opens. Just kidding. Not really. The two weeks both flew by and took forever. I’ll never send them away again. Just kidding. Not really.

The Olympic opening ceremonies are on tonight!  Danny Boyle directed the production so I fully expect a little “jai ho” slipped in there. When I was little, the summer olympics were a major ritual in our house. Cooking shows were tuned off. Bollywood movies were put on hold for it. It was big.

So of course I sprung out of bed and bolted downstairs to post this before my big day – and look what I found waiting for me.

**warning** This is gross, offensive, disgusting and revolting (that’s how I felt anyway).  For your protection I only included a thumbnail photo.

Sorry. But I think you need to know what happens here.  It’s like a war zone.

I did what any sane person would do – I screamed and woke my husband up to clean it. He came downstairs, said a few swear words and told me that the cat is sick.

Yes…Sick. Twisted. Wild. Needs to be in the woods. This is why we shouldn’t have pets indoors. What were we talking about?

This now concludes the overshare.

I’m going to go back to my happy place now. A place that does not involve cat puke or poop or whatever that was!

10,000, 100 and 1

So my little blog that could finally reached 10,000 views, I’ve written 100 posts and I finally have 1 negative comment.  Does that mean I’m legit now?

I know I’m still very green, I’m like a baby blog.  I’ve tried to read a ton of other blogs, and articles about how to blog – where they usually tell you that the kiss of death is when bloggers talk about blogging. Sorry.

I’ve had so much fun and I’m still shocked anyone reads this site.  By now you’ve figured out that I will never address big, scandalous social issues on here, unless they have to do with my kids or food or The Real Housewives.

To all you seasoned bloggers that have been doing this for years, excuse my indulgence. I’m like those couples that celebrate being married for 3 months, yuck.

Here’s some random thoughts on the past few months:

  • I have one loyal reader in Wales that tunes in every day – OYE! I’m talkin’ to you! Thank you.
  • I cannot figure out what makes people tick.  Sometimes I write about TV and 2 people care, other days I write about TV and 300 care. You’re all a mystery but I love you.
  • I don’t love all of you. I finally got a negative comment. Someone (not you Howard) told me that I should quit while I’m ahead and that my stuff is crap. How dare you 232Columbus! I’m outraged! Show your face coward!! Just kidding. Don’t ever show your face, I’m scared of you. Go read some angry blogs and never come back here again.
  • Who knew checking my stats daily would be more addictive than coffee. My stats are my life y’all.
  • I wrote a whole bunch of blogs that I no longer want to post? Is that normal? It’s not like I only post the best – let’s face it – I did write a whole post on my weather app.
  • I think my posts with pictures are better than the ones without.  Which makes sense since I’m an infant. This is like a board blog. Get it?
  • On most days I get an immediate text from approximately 10 people who refuse to comment on the blog and instead ridicule me in private. One of these days I may do a post on all the texts I’ve gotten about my posts.
  • How come everybody doesn’t blog?

The suck-it-up gene

The other day some very smart ladies and I had a quick workday lunch.  We talked about world peace, how to save the economy, the usual stuff we tackle when we get together….ah hem.  But then the conversation moved to the men in our lives. Our very significant others.

I was rehashing/retelling a short story about my husband’s complete lack of “suck-it-up”.  It’s like he’s missing the gene.  He’s a good man and I love him to bits – but that boy cannot make a bad situation better.  He’s better at spotlighting or highlighting or magnifying that bad situation.  To be fair – if you asked him – he’d say I was a “head-in-the-clouds” Pollyanna.  And I am. It takes a lot for me to think badly about something or someone. I go with the flow. He’s like a big, tall building blocking the flow.

The reason I fell for the guy is that he’s always been decisive and determined. And in all honestly, loads of good things have happened to us because he won’t stand for things going wrong.  Better dinners, easier weekends, stronger kids, etc. He’s got a mission. All the time. When that mission goes astray – he’s upset and not afraid to show it.

Not me –  I meander. I stroll. If something goes wrong, my first instinct is to see the positive from it. It’s very Asian of me. It’s not always a good thing and it’s exhausting.

You know that fight or flight instinct? I would always flight.  In other words, if aliens landed tomorrow, I would not be the gal joining the rebellion and fighting back. I’d be the one thinking,”gee, maybe the world will be better post invasion.” or “I wonder what they eat?”.

So he may be missing the gene, but I’m knee-deep in it.  I’m not sure which one is better.

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

Letters! We got letters from both kids!  One was fantastic – and one makes my heart hurt. Guess who wrote which?

Here’s my daughter’s letter – full of honesty and excitement and positive thinking.  I did so good with her.  My husband played a part too, I guess. She commented on the food because I’ve been asking in all my letters. I need to know!  I plan on giving her 1,000 kisses when she gets home.

Now for the other letter.  My boy must have had a tough week.  My husband read the note and laughed – hard. I read the note and felt sick to my stomach. I read the note and felt like driving to get him that very second.  I read the note and had some wine.

Only 3 things kept me from scooping him out of camp today and tucking him into bed with me:

1) the letter was sent on Tuesday. I’m hoping things got better and happier.

2) homesickness is common among campers the first few days, it’s normal, it doesn’t mean he feels unloved, abandoned and alone.

3) my husband wouldn’t let me go get him.

Here’s his letter.  Notice the line about crying.  Twice.  Lord. Help. Me.

(not sure what he means by losing his “hamper” and that I’ll have to wash the clothes? sob sob)

Smellog

I’ve sent a few care packages this week – sniff sniff…

But the other day, I got a care package of my own.  One of my BFFs sent me a box full of treats and I think you all need to know about it.  I wish blogs were scratch and sniff so you could experience these little babies for yourself.  They are amazing.

Candles from Fifth&Madison. I first found them at the Bryant Park Holiday fair in NYC.  We walked by the little tent selling them and literally stopped in our tracks – it smelled like heaven.  Heaven made of juniper, jasmine and grapefruit.

 

Yankee Candle eat your heart out. Actually I’m not a fan of Yankee Candle – does that make me less patriotic?  Would it help if I said I also dislike 98.5% of the scented candles out there.  Most are too strong. Too fake. Too smelly.

These make me feel fancy, like I’m in glamorous hotel lobby when I light them.  A glamorous hotel lobby littered with shoes, Wii remotes and to-go coffee cups. Whatever.

Just go out and buy them. Do it. You’ll be happy. You’ll be fancy.

 

Dear Detox

Ate
Burrata with tomato and basil
Pan fried artichokes
Goat cheese and spinach flatbread
Rigatoni pesto
Mac and cheese
Brownie sundae

Drank
Gin and tonic
Dirty martini(s)
Beer
Wine

Went from
Restaurant to trendy dark hotel to gay country bar to restaurant

Talked, laughed, cackled about
Lap band surgery
Aero beds
Money
Kids at camp
Boys
Rain
Parties
You
Spot in the kitchen where you eat standing up
Husbands who have birthdays today
Babies born of tequila – or so the legend goes

How day turned into night

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Pizza Palooza

 

We dropped the kids off 48 hours ago.  This post is not about the kids. But did I mention that I miss the kids? Waaaaa.

Since then my husband and I have been living like frat boys (except for the annoying jobs that we can’t ignore) – there’s been no cleaning,  no cooking, no making our beds, nothing.  We’ve had pizza for 4 meals so far.  Only two of our meals have contained a vegetable (there was some arugula on one of the pizzas so I’m counting that as one).  Does the wheat in beer count as fiber intake? Is having a persecco-a-day the same thing as having an apple-a-day?

Last night we decided to drive 20 minutes to try a new grocery store. Cause we could. Ok – so maybe frat boys don’t do that. And we have showered and brushed out teeth daily – so no need to panic.

I was planning on doing a cooking post this week.  Not going to happen.  Maybe I’ll do a “cereal of the night” post.

I feel like I’ve already gained 5 pounds.

Here’s some photos of our balanced pizza diet – are you jealous or are you worried for us? Don’t tell me.

it doesn’t mean I don’t love you

Here’s a riddle:

What’s this a picture of?

a) a present I just got from a close friend

b) a present I just bought for a family member

c) a present I bought 4 weeks ago for a cute little baby girl who just turned one and whose birthday party we had to miss but whose gift I should have sent via mail the next day – but instead it sat in my car for weeks, reminding me of how I don’t have my life together.

d) stop judging me!

Did you guess the right answer? Do you think less of me? Don’t hate me. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you if I don’t send you the gift – it just means I’m a spaz.

Moving on.  Why should this present be any different from the unsent thank you notes, forgotten housewarming cards, and of course – the left behind mommy-loves-you letters to camp. None of those things get out alive.

I have the best intentions – and the worst follow-through.  We have so many people in our lives that can get a birthday card to us the day of – THE DAY OF. That’s talented. I have no such talent. I will call you (except that one year I forgot both my best friend and my sister’s birthdays) –  and I’ll eventually take you out to a very nice dinner or drinks or something – but it’ll take a while.

A long, uncomfortable, guilt-ridden while.

 

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