Saturday, December 19, 2009

2 weeks since we got back

What all have I done?

Caught up on 'Being Erica' during my sleepless jet-lagged nights.
Attended a party to tell people I am back and looking for work (sort of)
Washed a lot of dishes
Created a linked-in profile
Kept my farm on farmville somewhat up to date
Made pancakes from scratch for my son

I think if I made a list of all that I haven't done, but intended to do, it would be way way way much longer..

Monday, December 14, 2009

Back

I've been back in Calgary for about 9 days now. Long enough for the cold and snow to feel like a natural part of the landscape - which of course, they are, just not where I am from though. The jet lag is almost gone. It took a while partly because of Kuttipa (and of course I blame Kuttipa for everything these days).

And I wish I could write. There is a lot going on internally (there always is). Not much of it I can write though...for public consumption I mean, whatever little public happens to come through.

What can I write about? Well, Kuttipa ate an apple today. Not an entire apple but about 1/4th. Which is actually pretty darn awesome. The kid has never ever ever done this before. No matter how hard I tried, fruit would never go in unless it happened to be mashed thoroughly and blended into a milkshake or something. So, I am excited! Hopefully this wasn't a one-time freak occurance.

He is obsessesed with the alphabet these days, which he sometimes says in the right order although with a few letters missing. His favorite letters seem to be E, F and W('bubby') and he will wander around the house repeating these letters again and again. Particularly 'efff'. As long as its the letter and not the word, says my husband. I guess..

Friday, December 04, 2009

So long, farewell..

Leaving Chennai today. Feeling terrible. So terrible that I can almost feel the pain physically...
Too much confusion in my mind. I crave clarity.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Random thoughts...

from the past few weeks in no particular order. All this time among family and not much to do except tending after Kuttipa has left me time to think..

Gods and Pujas: Maybe there is no God or maybe there is. I prefer to think there is because it is immensely comforting. It is nice to be able to direct a prayer at someone. Or to be able to thank someone. But if there is a God or several of them, would he/she/they be happy to answer anyone's prayer if said in the right manner (homam, pujas etc.). What if the intent of the prayer is frivolous? Of course then the next question would be 'frivolous to who'? Who decides these things? What is a sufficiently serious thing to pray for? The amount of money spent on the puja? What if the desired outcome is actually not so desirable (not necessarily harmful) to someone else? Will it still be answered? Or if the other person has a clear conscience, does he/she have nothing to fear? And of course there is the pujari himself. Is it possible to be a pujari and spend hours everyday praying and fasting and chanting hymns and still be a lech or something just as undesirable?

Family stuff. Parents expect unquestioning obedience from children and yet expect them to go out and be assertive and even agressive in the big bad world. How is that possible? I don't remember who I heard this from or if I read this somewhere...It's not an original thought though. But its been going through my mind recently. I guess being among family makes you realize that you either have to spend a lot of energy resisting things or simply give in to every wish of theirs to avoid conflict. I mostly choose the latter option but then spend energy in simmering resentment. Perhaps there is a better way?

Self validation: How much of our time do we spend doing something in order to get validation from someone else? Inordinate amounts is my answer. Whether it is about trying to look good and evoke appreciation from men or trying to 'be good' and evoke appreciation from my family,
or appreciation from employers for being a 'good employee' or plenty of other such things. But what happens when I fail in these attempts like I mostly do? And the world is always only too quick to point out when and how much you fall short of anything. Then comes untold misery and self-bashing and feeling abject and feeling the complete opposite of validation. And so then it leads to a greater quest for validation. Somehow. Somewhere. Anyhow. It's some kind of vicious spiral. If validation came from within instead of coming from other people, it would be much better, wouldn't it? But how does that happen? I am worthy of existence. I am worthy of happiness. But how do I so completely believe it that it becomes a part of me?

Acting scripts: Kind of related to self-validation. How many of our interactions are kind of scripted, in the sense of saying the expected things, the 'right' things. Are we using our minds in conversation to actually have the conversation or to figure out the 'correct' responses so that we can survive the conversation?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adrift

Feeling listless, restless and generally angsty. The reasons are several. My time in India is almost over. So there is all the homesickness and all that. And there is the uncertainty of the future. What am I going to do next? Where do things fit in? Does my life make sense in any way? Why am I in Calgary? that sort of thing....

And when I am feeling angsty, the bad poetry starts to flow ;-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Faces

In the landscape of my mind
Some faces remain etched
Deep in the granite,
Cut deeper and deeper
by thoughts, feelings
And dreams.
Other faces vanish though
washed away in the tides,
of everyday life

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the moonlight,
in my dreams,
a sentence winds
through, ebbs
flows
and
then s t
o
p
s
.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Heavy stuff

I've been overweight most of my life. I say most instead of all, because there are some childhood photos of me looking like a normal child. But anyway, after a certain point the weight started piling on. A variety of factors I am sure contributed to it and although I've analyzed a million billion times, I don't have a conclusive answer. And even if I did, what of it? How does it help?

The weight gain certainly didn't help. I've lived most of my life feeling like a lesser person; feeling depressed, feeling unattractive, feeling unworthy of love, feeling like because I couldn't successfully lose weight I couldn't possibly be good at anything.... Believing the stereotypes of 'fat' (dirty, lazy, slothful, stupid).

The only thing that kept me going sometimes was the distant hope that someday I'd somehow lose all that weight and then I'd show everybody who I really was. Or some such thing. All my childhood diaries teem with this fantasy. Particularly when I was terribly enamored with some boy or the other in my class but did not dare reveal my crush to him because I was so sure I was unworthy of his attention. I actually did muster the courage to talk about it after I went to college but the results were always bad. And I expected no less. I looked down on myself and was confident that others looked down on me too.

Somewhere along the time I met my husband I'd developed a better self-image. I was happier with myself and wasn't desperately trying to attract a guy to improve my self-esteem. And so I guess things worked out between us. Paradoxically the improved self-image attitude was because of another guy... but that's a different story.

And yet the improved self-image thing somehow got lost, as I gained even more weight upon getting married and moving and all that stuff.

There have been times when I have lost some weight, significant amounts even. And then gained it all back. Terrible, terrible, terrible! Every unit of weight gained was a unit of self esteem lost. And here I am at 32, weighing close to the most I've ever weighed and starting (yet another) diet. Feeling almost as bad as my teenaged self, though she was agonizing over far less weight than I am right now.

And somehow I came across a website called 'Shapely Prose' about weight issues. Good prose. I couldn't stop reading. And one of their core premises is that you can be healthy at every size. That link leads to a news article about a research project. And what was the study? Two different groups of women - one group on a diet and the other being counseled on self-acceptance and being healthy. The diet group lost weight the first year and gained it all back after that. The 2nd group lost nothing but became much more fit (cholesterol levels, etc.) compared to the first group. And they were more physically active too...Surprising eh?
'.
What does this mean to me personally? Am I going to stop my diet? No, I can't stop now. I am not quite there yet. I still am under the spell of 'the fantasy of being thin.' I've held this one for too many years now to give it up in a couple of nights of reading.

But perhaps I can start the journey of self-acceptance as opposed to constant self-flagellation (metaphorically speaking of course). And perhaps my goal should be becoming healthier even if not necessarily slimmer(!)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Trapped in my tower,
I yearn to be free.
Can someone rescue me?
But who has the key?
Me?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Avva

My grandmother passed away 11 days ago. I loved her and yet I have shed few tears. I don't know if this is because she suffered a lot for the past few years and (from my perspective) is finally free. Or is it because the tears are there within somewhere, waiting to be released at the right time, whenever that is? I don't know.

We looked into her cupboard a couple of days ago and found a dairy from 1985 written by my Thatha (her husband). My parents meant to toss it and instead I held on to it and have been reading it on and off. I am amazed at the intensity of emotion in my grandfather's writing. I was nine years old when he passed away. Old enough to remember him in many ways but too young in other ways to have known and understood him.

In particular the dynamics of the relationship between my Avva and Thatha are fascinating, sad... and maybe even a tad scary. All the drama of lives lived and intertwined over decades. Just because the participants are no more, does it make it all meaningless?
Meanwhile more lives are lived and more dramas unfold. And left unrecorded, they are lost. As if they never happened. But it was real. What does that even mean? I am confused.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

And yet its different

1. More dazzling fireworks. Lots more.
2. More smoke. Lots more.
3. Less social interaction and people coming over with sweets.
4. Less people stopping by on the street.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Deepavali

I am at home in Madurai for Deepavali after a long time. Home for Deepavali, with everyone around me celebrating the same festival in an explosion of color and sound. Instead of solitarily trying to celebrate it in a distant land, surrounded by snow and people who haven't a clue about what it all means. Very different! Celebrations are always so much nicer with a whole lot of people around you...

So here I am clad in my new Salwar Kameez, having eaten my fill of a vellai appam and idli breakfast and way too many sweets! There is the incessant sound of crackers and bombs and other things that explode too loud. And on the streets, people are walking around wearing brightly coloured sarees and churidhars and pavadais and long strands of malligai poo. Every now and then the phone in the living room rings and greetings are exchanged. Some one drops by with some sweets and other sweets are given in exchange. I've missed all this!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Photos from my trip




Oh why?

Why do most lunatics seem to be Republican? Just asking...I seldom read the news but when I do, I invariably come up with this question..

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Beauty

First things first. I am really excited that Kuttipa looked at the shadow of his hand today and was experimenting with different shapes using his fingers.
I gave it a name. "Shadow!"
"Shayee"
Close enough. For the next few minutes he kept saying "Shayee" and looking at his hands (and the resulting shadows).

Just got back from a wonderful trip to one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Ever.
We went on a four day trip to Portstewart, a nice little seaside town in Northern Ireland, where we rented an apartment that happened to overlook the ocean (we didn't know this when we rented it. We just picked a number from the tourism website and called it.) The apartment itself was gorgeous. And there was a collection of P.G.Wodehouse novels. This was heaven in itself so far. We spent the first couple of days roaming around the town and visiting the very beautiful but hellishly cold beach there. And I spent my nights reading the novels.

On the third day we went to a place called the Mussenden temple. Getting there meant a bus ride and then a train journey to a place called Castlerock. From there it was quite a walk and an uphill one too. But the rewards of that walk, oh my!!! Such beauty all around! Tall wavy grass, ruined fragments of buildings, steep cliffs and the beautiful Atlantic ocean meeting the golden sandy beach in foam and glass layers of waves. I was so moved and close to tears!

I will post a photo of that place sometime in the next couple of days.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Any way you look at it

It's a good thing to be be more respectful of the environment and the planet. We know that. We have heard it tons and tons of times in the media, from other people, etc. But, are we doing anything at all about it? I am not (except for being vegetarian, which I can't really claim credit for since it's upbringing and not my conscious moral choice that has been the cause).

I am not noble or selfless or particularly passionate about the planet. In fact, to tell you the truth if you gave me a lecture on climate change, my eyes would probably glaze over and my mind will wander. And this has been bugging me a bit. Why am I not more interested? Why do I perceive those who do care as saints and those who don't as being normal? How can the normal join the ranks of the saints without giving up their appetite for life?

From my very limited knowledge (what is this blog called again?), being green kind of looks like you've to give up a lot of fun. No car. No paper. No nothing. And to do all this for what? What is the selling point? A sense of personal virtue from being green? That is not bad, but really I don't care too much for that and neither do a lot of other people.

But the answer is hidden in plain sight. Our survival, our health, our children... real selfish reasons for why you might want to go green as opposed to being a selfless saint. Consider this article for instance, from which I've quoted the paragraph below.

"Just as liberal tree-huggers need to understand that we cannot make a case for altruism in any sense, least of all when it comes to saving the environment, conservatives need to understand that “saving the planet” is a euphemism for saving ourselves. It’s not the environment we’re actually concerned about. It’s our ego-driven selves, along with the future generations that will carry our DNA. And that’s the only compelling case we can make in taking any and all action to protect and preserve our vital ecosystems e.g. air, freshwater, forests, oceans, and the animals upon which they all depend."

So there is such a thing as selfish environmentalism then? As usual I turn to google for some answers. And as usual I found some very interesting reads that kept me up well past midnight. The most interesting one was "Can Selfishness Save the Environment?" by Matt Ridley and Bobbi S. Low. It was published 16 years ago and I think the intervening years have only proved some of their points.

They discuss some ways of dealing with over-exploiting common resources (land, air, water etc.). One effective way has been privitizing the resource. This may not always work in the desired way or it may be near impossible to implement (How do you privitize air?). Another effective way has been legislation. This is not necessarily effective all the time either. There may be other ways too.. such as a mutual benefit system (explained by the 'Tit for Tat' model in game theory). The article goes on to argue for the creation of positive incentives for being 'Green' and negative incentives for polluting. A bigger version of 'Tit for Tat'.

I don't think I did a good job at explaining it and would strongly urge anyone (anyone?) reading this blog to go read the article.

One thing that struck me was the USGBC's LEED rating system for buildings and how successful this program has been despite its many flaws. The article was probably written well before the creation of LEED ratings but can well explain its success.

Now that I've read this, what am I going to do next? I am still working on the answer.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

My reading journey

It started because I was starved of fiction. If I had fiction nearby, even if it was a book that I'd read already, I wouldn't have made much progress with non-fiction (unless it was related to babies somehow). Consider the fact that I bought 'The Botany of Desire' by Michael Pollan five years ago in 2004 to read on a train journey from New Haven to New York. I read a chapter, found it interesting but closed the book after the journey and forgot about it. Till now. Before I left for Belfast, I grabbed a couple of books from my shelf one of which happened to be this book. And so I read it finally after all these years.

It was entertaining and interesting and a surprisingly easy read. Pollan writes about four different plants and how they have evolved over the years by catering to four different desires of ours. The apple catered to our (fundamental) desire for sweetness long before sugar was made. The tulip catered to our desire for beauty. Marijuana is obvious in what it caters to. The highly controlled conditions that it is grown in now and the strains that have been married to get the most desirable qualities (including the quality of intoxication) made for highly interesting reading.

The last section of the book dealt with the potato. The potato was supposed to cater to our desire for control, something that didn't really make sense before I read the section. I also thought that this would be a terribly boring section, because after all how interesting could a potato be? I was wrong because this was the most interesting section!

This section discusses genetically modified potatoes (hence, control) and also gives us some historical insight about potatoes in general. Doesn't seem too preachy either and we are left to draw some of our own conclusions. For example, the Irish Potato famine is now famous in history. Why was it caused? A fungal blight. But had there been a variety of different potatoes, one strain may have survived where the other failed. The widespread cultivation of just one variety led them to this mess. He doesn't pose the question outright but the parallels are obvious by now. In today's world, dominated by crop monocultures have we really learnt our lesson?

The whole process of how the bt genes were introduced into the potato plant and the concept of genetic instability was fascinating too. Although, that's not the reason I picked up 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins as my next book. I picked it up because I saw it in the library and remembered it as one of the books that Pollan had mentioned in his book. This however happens to be one of those books that change the way you think about several things. Had I read this book say about 10 years ago, I might have been even more influenced by its message. I am glad to have read it at all.

What should I read next? I visited Michael Pollan's website out of curiosity and read the introduction and first chapter of his book 'The Omnivore's dilemma'. Sufficiently hooked, I've placed a hold for it in the library and am eagerly waiting for it. Is it here yet? Is it here yet?

Meanwhile I have been reading online. Starting with a couple of articles by Pollan in NY Times and branching onto other related but varied topics, I've been reading about the slow food movement, bt brinjals, mindfulness and even something called slow sex. It has been interesting for sure. I have more questions than answers right now. Perhaps the biggest one being if I will actually make any lifestyle changes based on all this reading. Will I? Won't I? Only time will tell...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More kuttipa words

Aggu - Hug (followed with a hug)
Bananga - Banana
Kaagu - Kaalu (leg, in Kannada)
Itty - Hottai (stomach, in Kannada)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Update

It's 11:14pm here, Belfast time. I am sitting here feeling weird. I came to the computer after a long day with Kuttipa (who didn't even nap today) ended with him falling asleep for the night around 9pm. I figured I could put in a couple of hours of work except that when I checked my email, it looks like I've been fired from 'The Project'.

There is a part of me that feels terrible about this, since I've always been good at my work and this is the first I've let things slip by so badly. How does this reflect on me as a professional? How can I expect them to give me work again once I return to Calgary? What will happen when others in the small community that is my profession, come to know of this incident? These are only some of the questions awhirl in my mind.

Undeniably though, there is a small tiny part that feels relieved. And then I feel guilty for feeling relieved. But that doesnt stop the relieved part from feeling relieved. The mind is what it is.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wow

I am currently reading 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins. While there is a lot in this book that challenges my existing thought patterns and beliefs, the part that absolutely blows my mind is his concept of memes. Wow!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Words

Kuttipa has a few words now...
Huppu - Hippo
Boa - Boa
Di zzah - Zebra
Hoovu - Hoovu (flower in kannada)
Apple - Apple
Wow (said with great exclamation) - wow
Baab - Ball
Dodda - dodda (Big in Kannada)
Dodda (said in a different tone) - He actually means little
Athe - Ashtae ('The end' in kannada). He says it sometimes after we finish reading a book.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Monday morning and you know how that goes

It's dull gray and dreary outside and both Kuttipa and I have a cold. Okay, I am actually feeling way better cold-wise than how he looks. Poor kiddo!

I do have some self-inflicted crap churning away inside my mind affecting how everything is perceived. For starters, there is 'The Project'. It is titled thus since I've been theoretically been working for an entire year on it. How much work have I actually put into it? About 40 hours - a regular work week(or less) for most people. Yeah, not a whole lot I know. I started work on it and then assumed with time it had died a natural death. I didn't receive follow-up emails asking for it either and so I continued with my assumptions. There were other projects that came along which I more or less finished on time and everyone seemed happy. And then came the call and an email about a few days ago asking me about the project status since the client was asking for it. Obviously I couldn't tell them that I thought it had died a natural death, that my weekends were spent roaming around Northern Ireland, that I'd actually rather go see Harry Potter if I do get a couple of hours off instead of working on this. Nooooo.... Instead I am lying low, trying to do as much of it as possible and send him an email with some updated work in the next couple of days. Except as you can see, I am blogging right now. Not working. Crap!

Self inflicted crap #2 (no pun intended there): Googled a friend's name. Couldn't help it. I've been doing it every now and then for the past several years. Ever since we had a falling out for unfathomable reasons really. The last time I did this was probably over a year ago. No results then. And then this time - several results. Came to know she is in Bangalore and doing very well work wise and probably personally too. Good, right? Yeah, except that it has somehow stirred up all the old feelings up again and I am all a-muddle. I went through quite a bit of angst about this a few years ago and couldn't even listen to certain songs because they would remind me of her. Most of this angst was because I had no clue why she cut off abruptly. And now here is her email address in plain sight. Her husband is on facebook. I can easily contact them and perhaps renew the friendship. But is that really possible or even desirable?

There is a tamil poem that likens friends who have parted ways, to a grain and it's husk. Once separated they can never be joined as before.

Okay, I'll go work now.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, midnight ++

I ought to be sleeping but instead I find myself browsing relentlessly, restlessly. I came to the computer to try to coordinate with the IT guy from work in Calgary so I could get my lighting software license renewed. That didn't work though and the guy is gone. I am still here though. Online.

My frequency of posting has dropped dramatically and I've been wondering why. I've always loved to write about random crap going through my head. So why did the desire wane? I think it is partly due to the anonymity of it crumbling away. I know that only a few read this blog but those few know my real identity and somehow that is a bit scary. As in, it's easier to post nonsense when you think no one knows you, as opposed to having family and friends reading your blog. I almost feel like I am being judged even though there may be nothing of that sort going on. Who has the time for that anyway?

So does it mean I am going to try and post more sense? No way! Sometimes the best way to overcome fear is to try and face it. So I'll just have to post my usual nonsense on a more regular basis, won't I?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The darker side of this place

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jun/24/hindu-priest-belfast-attacks

A Hindu priest's family and home were attacked a few days ago and they're now fleeing Belfast. Came to know of this in conversation with another Indian family yesterday and then from the internet. Scary!

Friday, June 26, 2009

An ocean apart

Haven't written in a while because I was too busy living! Now, isn't that an excuse? ;-)
I am currently in Belfast, Northern Ireland accompanying my husband on his academic visit. We're likely to be here for a few more months.

It's been almost two weeks since we arrived - two weeks filled with moving in, settling down and exploring just a wee bit. For the better part of last week, we stayed in a temporary apartment - a gorgeous place in Wellington park, which is just a bit south of the city centre. And then we walked and walked and walked and occasionally took a bus around trying to find a place to live for the next few months. We wanted someplace within walking distance of shops since we didn't have a car and also someplace that would be an easy commute for my husband to work.

And someplace safe! We initially found it a bit shocking that people warned us to stay away from some areas because of troubles with racism. And then we got a couple of eggs hurled against our window! It was enough to send me into a frenzy of fear, until we spied an egg dripping on the window of the neighbouring building too. Probably the work of some wandering drunk!
So anyway we found an apartment in the city centre which is good in terms of commuting and also very close to all kinds of shopping. Seems okay in terms of safety and I hope it stays that way.

There are quite a few other Indian families with kids and it looks like Kuttipa will have some company here after all.

It's a different way of life, not having a car and walking everywhere. I end up doing a bit of groceries everyday since it is easier to carry home than a big load. The fridge in our apartment is very small, so that also prevents stocking up in bulk quantities. There is a fruit and vegetable shop nearby which has fresher produce than the department store. There are also tons of bakeries nearby.

And the buildings are all so gorgeous! Everything is gorgeous!! I've not seen much of the city but I am looking forward to exploring it over the next few months. And when I can, I'll come here and write down what I've seen and where I've been. How else will I remember it all?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A random photo from over a year ago

He was at that stage when everything made him smile and laugh! He still is a happy child but is prone to quite the tantrum when things don't go his way...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Everything is so interesting

Well, almost everything is interesting except whatever it is I need to be doing at any given moment. If I am blogging now, and if you bet that I actually should be doing something else, you'd be totally right. There are times when I decide that I should blog, and then what do I do? Not blog of course!

If I said I am addicted to the internet, it would be putting it mildly. It's my life. It's everything. Okay, maybe I am overstating it now. The thing is there is no good way to explain how it fits into my life. Or how my life fits into it. Or something.

I wonder how I seem to come upon the most amazing and interesting sites just when I sit down to 'catch up on some work, now that the kid is asleep.' In fact, that's exactly the reason I am at the computer at this moment, except as you can see this is no lighting calc.

So I'll just list some of the sites I've visited in the recent past.

http://askthebloggess.pnn.com/13150-the-front-page
I am already a huge fan of theblogess.com. So..

http://www.fmylife.com/
I actually got this link from one of the comments from the Bloggess site. But then I noticed the Blogess had mentioned it too. It's so...funny (for the lack of a better word)

http://annie.pnn.com/8000-family
Again, another link from the Blogess comments. I liked what she was saying about family and relationships though I read only a couple of posts.

http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/
I don't even know how I came upon this one. Heaven knows I am not fashionable or even particularly well groomed. I don't think I even wear matching socks sometimes. I loved this site though, especially for the photos!

And there were a few other sites. But Kuttipa is up and awake and I really need to end this post right now. So maybe later...when I ought to be working again.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It grows in bunches

Since this song is playing in my head all the time these days, I figured I might as well post a link to it.

And then he ate it!

So half an hour after my crazy rant about avocados being not just avocados, my son decides to eat it all. It's called hunger I guess.

Although it doesn't always work that way. I've had days where he is screaming with hunger but still won't eat whatever it is I'd like him to eat. Even if was the exact same thing he couldn't get enough of a few days ago. And by that I don't mean leftovers (just in case you were wondering).
I do have a friend who thinks I feed my son gross smelling and tasting stuff. And so when we visit her, she keeps trying to cook 'good stuff' for him. Until one day he spit perfectly good 'dosai' out. He didn't like it. Didn't want it. No way no how. Now I think she is more likely to sympathize with me.

I am in a better frame of mind today. Why? Kuttipa is napping. The weather outside is going to be nice. It's Friday which means a weekend of being with the husband. And I had a reasonably restful night last night. And...I don't know, sometimes it's just nice being alive, no?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not just an avocado.

Why won't my son eat avocado? Why? He used to love it. And now he won't eat even one spoonful of it. I've tried all kinds of different ways to present it to him and he still won't eat it. And why am I getting so worked up about it? It's just an avocado!! No, it isn't. But I don't know how to explain it.

The avocado is good for him. It's not just that though. If he ate the avocado, it means one less thing for me to figure out what's for lunch for him. Now I've to think of other things for him to eat. Things he still may not like and spit all over the kitchen floor. Which means even more figuring out. It's exhausting! This business of trying to figure out multiple times a day what he'll like and actually eat. And if he ate reasonably well, he'll go down for a nap maybe. Just maybe. Because if he doesn't nap, he'll be cranky and whiny for hours. And then he won't eat his snack or dinner and then he'll keep waking through the night and cry in hunger. Arrggh!

It's not just the avocado. It's all that it represents.

Okay, maybe I need a break!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Nineteen minutes

More than a month has passed by since I blogged last. It's not for lack of things to write about. With Kuttipa in the house there can never a dearth of subjects. In this past month, he has learned to successfully climb up and down the stairs and loves to go down to the basement if he sees the gate open. He used to be able to clap his hands and wave bye-bye but seemed to forget it for the past few months. Now he is starting to remember again...

Actually the entire month of February has been a big blur. There were so many things on my to-do list for the month and they're all still not done yet. Work-related things and other things, such as getting rid of some of Kuttipa's old clothes and accessories. What did I do last month? I attended a book club meeting a week ago, but that's this month, not last month.

The book club meeting was good though. There were 10 of us and we've each picked a book to read and discuss at the meetings that will be held once a month. So I've got my reading list for the next 10 months. Next month's book is 'Nineteen minutes' by Jodi Picoult. I finished reading it last night after getting it from the library just a couple of days ago. I've got book-addiction issues and this book was particularly un-putdownable.

It deals with a high school shooting where 10 kids are killed and many more injured. The killer is a high school kid himself, one who has been bullied and pushed around and been the target of cruelty from other kids ever since he joined school. Pushed over the edge, he retaliates with a bloody massacre. The book is scary because you realize that any kid could be this kid.. perhaps yours (I hope not). Picoult challenges the notion that a kid who would do this must have terrible parents. Lacy, the mother of the shooter kid couldn't possibly be more caring or loving towards her son. And yet what happens, happens. In the aftermath she is left wondering about what she did wrong. Should she have been more loving, less loving, what? Her pain was described very well and I am thinking Picoult is probably a mother herself, else how could she possibly do this so well?

My instinctive response to this book was fear; Fear that Kuttipa might one day be the victim of bullying in school. But that's a while away and many things can happen between then and now. And I guess I can't protect him from every single thing life throws his way. I wish I could though!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Kuttipa climbed up on the sofa for the very first time yesterday. He had some help since he used my leg as a step stool. Still, it's a first and so it has been noted. He also spent an hour at a dayhome today - another first. It went reasonably well although I felt guilty and terrible as if I'd abandoned him. The poor lambkin! Not sure when I am going to do it again...

I think I need to organize my time more effectively and work around his schedule better. Of course he could be sleeping better but the reality is that he is not. Instead of perenially lamenting about it maybe I should just accept it and move on...and maybe then I'll actually get some work done.

Speaking of laments, I was listening to the radio recently and I heard some lady lament about how she was not told about the credit card policies when she signed up for it and now she was in deep debt. Excuse me? Is it really that difficult to understand that if you don't pay your credit card bills in full each month, you WILL be in deep doodoo? Hmm...

A few posts ago I'd wondered how so many people were able to afford big screen TVs and fancy vacations. I figured the answer was our high mortgage and single income. Maybe it is. But maybe it isn't. Maybe it's people who are living way beyond their means because they can't figure out their credit card bills. And maybe that's why Canadian bankruptcy rates are on the rise. Or mabye it's just the bad economy. There is never one clear reason for anything is there?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If only I could turn back time..

'Being Erica' is my new must-see TV thingie these days. It airs Monday nights on CBC television and I've given up watching 'Little Mosque on the Prairie' and 'Sophie' because of this. Why? Because I don't want to watch too much TV all on one night. Also 'Sophie' is absolutely ghastly these days. Looks like they couldn't find a good writer to stick with for the series. I am not saying 'Being Erica' is much better. But it does seem interesting, sort of, kind of, when you shelve logic away.

Erica is a woman who has made some bad choices that have led her to a very mediocre life - dead end job, pathetic love life, etc. She meets a therapist who is able to send her back in time to revisit some of those choices. Then she returns to the exact same point in her dead-end life but her personality has changed for the better after each visit - she is more confident, more willing to take risks, less crippled by others' opinions of her. This is the part that is a bit sidey. For example she realizes that ever since her professor tore up her poem and ridiculed her in class, she stopped writing poetry and has lost the confidence to speak up for her self. That was 10 years ago though. So she revisits the past, stands up to the prof and comes back as a more confident Erica who then makes some snappy decisions in her crappy present and alters it for the better. But but... if Erica did confront her prof in her past, that would mean 10 years of being more confident. Wouldn't that have led to some different decisions and have changed her present entirely? Or is the time travel a metaphor for effective therapy?

Who cares! It's mildly entertaining and that's enough I guess. If I could revisit some of my decisions, which ones would I choose? Now, that's the part I wonder about every now and then. While there is no 'Dr.Tom' to take me back into the past and help undo my mistakes, I can at least analyse why I did what I did and who I can blame for all my mistakes! ;-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quote

"I gave my life to become the person I am right now.
Was it worth it?"
- Richard Bach

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Starting afresh

Jan 11. Take a 1 away and it becomes Jan 1. Just pretend it's the first of Jan for a minute and accept my wishes for a wonderful new year! What's that? You don't want to pretend? Well, there's still a good 354 days left in this year. Wishing you happiness and health and all good things for those 354 days...and beyond!

Hope it's a fantastic year for all of us.