October 5, 2006

Why do you have to "put your two cents in" but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going?

I think my DVR is pissed at me. It's been working SO hard lately, and here I am, just letting things pile up. It's normal for me to record WAY more than I would watch at the beginning of the TV Season because I like to try out as many shows as possible. Furthermore, this season is getting out of hand because there are quite a few good Guilty Pleasures out there. However, I can't spend every weekend catching up, so little by little, I'm giving shows the old Heave Ho. The first to go was Men in Trees. Next up was Survivor - I will try to catch this live when possible, but the Ugly Betty and the Office/My Name is Earl combo gets precedence. Thanks to Zoot, The Class gets another week's pass. I think Jericho is going to bite the dust. The frustrating part of that show is that I fast forwarded through much of last week's episode, could still follow the storyline and AM STILL curious as to what's going on. Anyway......

I've noticed something - I always say I LOVE to cook, yet I only cook a full "traditional" meal a few times a week. I think that is probably why I do love to cook because when I DO cook, it is something special and that makes it fun. If I had to cook every night, maybe I wouldn't enjoy it so much, eh? Anyway, this week I made a sweet potato erisheri - I've referred to this recipe before using pumpkin (link is here). This was my first time making it with sweet potato and I have to say I liked it better that way. Furthermore, I didn't feel like messing with the mung beans, so I left them out to no ill effect. In other words - leave out the beans if you are in a hurry. I also made a meen molee with pomfret. I've never used pomfret before and really, really liked it. It's a hearty fish that can stand on its own, but isn't too rich. With all the coconut milk in the molee a rich fish can become too much.

I've also noticed something else. Apparently, Arun doesn't like North Indian food. Whenever we eat out, he turns all White Kid on us and won't have anything to do with what we give him. I can sometimes get him to do aloo gobi, but that's about it. When we are at home? He gobbles whatever we give him - for example, he LOVED the meen molee from Monday. Of course, I primarily cook South Indian and specifically, Keralite, at home. X verily beamed with pride when I pointed this out to him. I don't know which was sweeter, the Malayalee pride bursting forth from X or watching Arun steadily shove pieces of fish in his mouth.

So, I finished the book Mommy Wars. It was a great read! However, approach this book like you would one on religion. I suspect Both Parties come away from this book believing even more fervently in their point of of view. I wanted to read it to get the perspective of women who continue to pursue careers in conjunction with motherhood. I expected that I would feel wistful towards my "working" days, but I did not. I see this time with Arun as temporary - before I know it he will be in pre-school, then kindergarten, then high-school and then just plain gone. For the first time in my life, I feel like what I am doing really matters and this is a lesson I am taking to heart. While Arun is growing up, I am viewing this time as a personal sabbatical for me to figure out what I will do next. For damned sure, I don't want to go back to software development, data security or anything accounting related. I want to do something that makes a Difference. I have some ideas, but nothing for sure and I am not in a hurry. This plan also worked out quite well for my step-mother, so I have a good example to follow. She just recently pushed her career in a new direction, finished her Master's this year and just accepted a brand-new position in this new career that she is very excited about - all after staying home for nearly 15 years. My sister is in college and my brother is almost done with high school, so the timing was right for her. I think there is a lot of negativity towards women stepping out of a career path for a long time and the attitude is "all is lost" at that point. My step-mother is a great example as to how it doesn't have to be that way. Anyway, for the most part the book was a great read, but I have to say that I am tired of women who combine a career with motherhood claiming they "have it all". Whatever. I resent the insinuation that just because I am a full-time mother, that I have somehow "given up" something. Furthermore, I have family members and friends who have chosen NOT to have children and I would consider the phrase "having it all" to be mildly insulting to them as well since it implies they can NEVER "have it all" because they won't ever have children. One other thing about this book was the viewpoint was a bit narrow since most of the "working" moms are in the writing/publishing field - it was hard for me to relate to this career path. I came from the technology/accounting field where there was not a lot of flexibility - particularly, when dealing with clients. For example, while working at the Fed, many, many times I would be packing up my laptop to head out the door and we would get a call that a server couldn't be accessed. If I had a child, this would be a bad situation because either I would have to pick up my child late OR there would be a Fed sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for me to dash home. Nobody would win in that situation. I briefly toyed with the "part-time" work situation because I could have pushed the Fed's so-called Family Friendly party line (hee hee - I canNOT type that without laughing! hee hee hee), but after I had to CANCEL a pre-natal doctor's appointment at the last minute, I knew I would never stay at the Fed for that kind of crap. But here's the thing, I can't entirely blame the Fed because that was the nature of the job - servers go down and need to be brought back up. Children or not, a job must be done. Bah. I could go on and on, but there is no point to it.

Anyway........Moving on to fun stuff.......Snappage...........

One Skein Faux Fair Isle Hat

Here is the hat. I am not convinced it fits Arun. I tried it on him before finishing and thought it was time to decrease, but YIKES. I think I misjudged. However, even if I have to knit another one, that's okay by me, because this was SO MUCH FUN to knit. I love my Addi Turbos and this yarn is just YUMMY.


You'd think I'd just handed him a martini the way his eyes lit up when he figured out the whole straw thing.


I call him Brokeback Baby because he is totally Equal Opportunity when it comes to flirting. THEN, he poses so smartly like this. He's just figured out the Effects of Gravity by pushing his car off the table for the umpteenth time. Baby Newton, he is.

Updated to Add:
In a beautiful bit of Irony, Goofy Girl sent me this old email from my first week at the Fed -- September 2003. What I love most is my sweet naïveté actually thinking I was going to get to finally work 40 hours a week. Months later when I was transferred to another department and was traveling while working odd hours due to a little project known as Check 21, the resentment rose like a bile, folks.

To: Goofy Girl
From: Cagey
Subject: Recap - First 40 Hour Week as a Federal Government Employee

Well, the first week has gone well. I am almost used to encountering high ranking females (Officers, no less!) in the bathroom - I realized on Monday that I had actually forgotten what it was like to have women to look up to. Anyway, here we go:

1. Food is a religion here and the subsidized cafeteria on the 10th floor is its temple. Nearly everyone I have encountered has expounded upon the virtues of the omelet station offered on Friday. I live in fear that someone will discover that I don't like omelets and I will be forever marked as "that girl".

2. I am almost done expecting a piece of cheese in my cube each morning after navigating 2 city blocks of footwork, a maze of metal detectors, card readers, secured turn-stiles, and a bank of 9 elevators in my daily arduous journey to the 17th floor . At least I feel safe working for an organization that has an entire department named Protection.

3. I am beginning to feel at ease with the 1970s decor on my floor and have quit expecting to see Lou Grant peek around the corner. I am even a little less resentful of the other floors that apparently had a "renovations" line item in their annual budget.

4. Our intranet rocks! Unlike Blocknet, you can actually find things on it and the color scheme is not damaging to your retinas. The daily dining menu is the first link on the right hand corner (refer to #1 above) and I have a schedule of all the TV shows that will be featuring the new $20 bill to be released on October 9th. You know you wanna know, right? I don't think they are giving out samples, though. Darn.

5. I have the unique opportunity to join the Photography Club OR the illustrious Knitting Club. Actually, the knitting club looks cool and is doing a good service - they knit caps for chemo patients. Hey, don't laugh - Julia Roberts is knitter!

6. Sadly, even here I must report the evil United Way has burrowed its head in like a Lyme disease-bearing tick.

7. Yes, it is a deadzone here after 4:30pm and the 40 Hour Week is an institution. However, these people are actually working and they come in at the buttcrack of dawn. Other than the mad dashes to the cafeteria for the daily snack special at 2:00 pm (again, refer to #1) and despite the plethora of cubicle toys that my nephew would sell his baby brother for - there is really very little goofing off. These people have jobs to do and are determined to do it in 40 hours, if possible. I was even in a meeting where there were concerns with having people to work on a project after 8pm, so they moved some tasks to the following morning. What a concept!

Anyway, jokes aside. It is pretty good here and I am learning a ton of new things and revisiting a lot of old stuff. I am so happy to be getting back into this. I am also glad to be back downtown. My first whiff of stale coffee with a hint of truck fumes brought back so many fond memories from DST and EY.


Rozanne said...

That hat came out beautifully. It really does look somewhat Fair Isle-ish, too, but w/o the headaches.

I need to get back to knitting!

Blondie said...

Tis the season for yarn. I don't know how to knit, but I crochet. I went to a Stitch'n'Bitch in Chicago, but I was the only person who wasn't knitting and they seemed somewhat elite. I WISH I could make a hat, but I can't crochet in a circle. So instead, I just make a long rectangle, fold it, sew up the sides, add pom pom things, and give to child. Anyway, my original comment was about the Mommy Wars thing--that book got Dorothy all in a twitch last week. I think either way is a good thing, and I admire the fact that you feel good about staying with Arun.

Cagey said...

The Yarn is just a self-striping sock yarn that comes out Faux Isle-ish when done in a hat pattern. Very fun!

I think if a person is conflicted in any sort of way, reading that book will bring it out, for sure. It does an eloquent job of presenting BOTH sides - the cons and pros. If a person feels all right with what is going on, the book will reinforce those cozy feelings for them - that's what I meant about the "religion" comment.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

You made pomfret!!! Hands down my favourite fish (in Maharashtra we call it paplet...have you tried Kingfish/viswan, yet? That's another marvelous one...more for panfry than curry though.

I never really knew anyone Malayalee before law school but when I went I was struck by how similar the fish dishes are to Konkani food (tons of Malayalees in Chicago).

I'm with Arun...aloo gobi blows. I like North Indian food but my heart's in the Souf & Konkan. Ain't nothing compares to a good fish curry. The only people up north that eat a bit like we do is Bengalis. Besides Konkans & Keralites they're the other big fish-eating culture. Some Tamils do but they tend to mostly be vegetarian though some of their Brahmin castes have also taken up eating fish like on the Western coasts.

Anna said...

I love that email! I miss that so much, the first hopeful days on a new job, before it's all crushed out of you...

scribbit said...

Loved your opener, quite the deep thinker, aren't you? Enjoyed the post and thanks for the chuckle.

Diana said...

I still don't understand why there are two such rabid mommy camps. As we are all different, why, oh why would we all fit one lifestyle or work style?

I've come to the conclusion that those who are so adamant about their choice being the only right way are the ones who deep down are not entirely convinced that their way is how they want to be.

Love the snaps! And the hat!

Flybunny said...

You know I kind of agree with Diana on this one. I don't begrudge anyone who stays home with their kids because I think it is great. I just hope no one would begrudge me for working because in our house with Mr Fly being a teacher and all, I am the breadwinner.

Loving the pictures. My grandma taught me how to knit and crochet when I was in 4th grade and the only thing I ever made were some very ugly potholders and an extremely long crocheted rope!

Modern Day Hermit said...

I've never understood the Mommy Wars, it's just silly to me. Sure, if someone is doing something that is seriously going to screw up their kid, like abusing them, then that's another story.

I've also never understood people who tear one another down for staying home with their child or someone who works. It's crazy to me. For me, I'd love to stay home with my son, but given circumstances, it just isn't an option. Maybe one day my husband can stay home with our son, but at this point he just doesn't have the multi-tasking abilities to watch him for extended periods. I certainly don't feel guilty, my son needs to eat and wear clothes. Everyone's situations are different.

I adore the hat! I missed another knitting class this week, grrrr. I am dying to make a hat for my boy, it gets so chilly here I don't want my guy's ears to freeze, haha.

Madame DeMarge said...

1) The hat is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. I've made a bunch of those myself, and don't ever stay for the full 7 inches before decreasing....I think it's cuter if your ears stick out.

2) In the pictures of your Juice Box Hero....is his diaper full, or is he just happy to see us? Or am I so used to Pull-ups that I've forgotten how bulky "real" diapers are?

Cagey said...

I have the best blog friends EVER. I was a little nervous posting about the whole mommy wars because I try to keep quiet on that front. But, BUT there no negative comments! We really CAN all get along. Squee!

Madame Derange,
My little Juice Box Hero probably would have been happy with a diaper change. It's crazy how long those things can hold the Juice. Seriously.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

I think if you are happy with your life you "have it all."

Unfortunately, there is a group of individuals who choose their words to send subtle messages to those listening to the comment (I wrote about this on my password blog recently) and usually the message is "me better than you." I hate this shit and I do try to watch what I say carefully because I don't want to send any message like that. Sometimes people do it unwittingly too, but more often than not it can be a calculated stab (or maybe these are just my experiences in my industry, which thrives on subtle assholitude). It's better to just drown it out. I believe happy parents make happ[ier] kids. My mom is not the stay-at-home type but my father is. We have an arrangement that works though it was considered freaky back in the day (though it should be noted my father does actually manage to hold down a job while being "super-lazy effete" in the eyes of our relatives)

Goofy Girl said...

Cool Hat.
Cool Pose.
Glad I could provide some fodder for the Mommy Wars post with the ancient email.
Where can I buy pomfret?