November 23, 2010

Lucifer Sam

Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 1967

Thanksgiving!  Probably my 2nd favorite holiday after Halloween.  Delicious  food that involves gravy and cranberries.  And, of coursea wee bit of family sans all of the consumerist commercialism huffing and puffing at our doors, waiting with bated breath for Black Friday.  My family manages to dial back the Crazy for an entire day.  We have so many members now, we cannot all fit into a house, so for Thanksgiving, we rent a community hall.  There will be about 40 or so of us.  It will be loud.  It will be fun.  I simply adore my family and it also helps that I feel refreshingly normal after a day with them.  All the while knowing they probably feel the same after spending some time with me.  Touché.

Anyway, that giant sucking sound you will be hearing on Thanksgiving will be me, hunched over my Great Aunt Joan's Weird Whipped Cream Cranberry salad.


In other news, we recently went to another reptile show.  I have posted about these reptile shows and truly, if you have a kid who is crazy about lizards and amphibians, you would do well to go to one.  They are incredibly cheap and require a minimal commitment of time.  We are usually done in about an hour.

This last reptile show was a special - we were on a hunt for a crested gecko and a new tarantula.

Gentle Reader, I present for you, Gordon...the Gecko

Because if you have a gecko, he simply must be named Gordon.

Arun is over the moon since he has been asking for a lizard for a year and half now.  I have been spending that time doing research.  Also, waiting to see if it was a phase that might pass.  It did not.

A crested gecko fit our needs - he can be easily handled, has a diet that includes baby food and a minimum of crickets.  It also helps that he is simply adorable.

Arun paid for Gordon with his own money.  Dollar bills that he has been carefully hoarding in a plastic bucket.  It was simply precious watching him hand over that wad of bills.  It cracked my heart a bit watching him so carefully pet Gordon and coo sweet words to him.  However, it nearly cracked my brain when I discovered that Arun was giving Gordon "airplane" rides in one of his jets.  Sigh.  Arun still has much to learn when it comes to gecko husbandry, but I think he is up to the task.

And yes, that foliage is what you think it is.  How could I resist that when I saw it in the pet store marked 50%?? No, Nancy Botwin, I am not.  Still, I did snicker when the college kid who sold me the plastic ganja asked how I knew what it was.  Dude, pass the blunt and stop talking.

Oh.  And we also got another tarantula - another Pink Toe (aka avicularia avicularia)

His name is Daniel.

He is not as pretty as Sofia. But do not tell him that. Shhh!

There is a body in Bartlesville, Oklahoma spinning in its grave.  That would be my great-grandmother.  After I uploaded these snaps, it occurred to me that she might not be so appreciative of Daniel's attempts at tickling the ivories of her beloved Steinway.

That second giant sucking sound you hear?  Is the sound of my soul.  It is most assuredly hellbound now.

November 15, 2010

More blues.

Pink Floyd, More 1969

Things that are/were broken or unusable in my home with accompanying explanation in parenthesis.  Fixed items are in red.

3 out of 4 tires on my car (Please be advised that Special, Fancy Vehicles require Special, Fancy Tires at a Special, Fancy Price that will make your Special, Fancy Husband grumble louder than a Kardashian using public transportation)

Right-side of the garage (broken springs)

Left-side of the garage (blocked by so much junk you would think we were hoarders, except for the fact our basement has plenty of storage space and we even have a 4th bedroom that is unused.  Which is worse?  Hoarding or laziness?  Wait.  Don't answer.  Although to be fair, the lawnmower and the 10,000 bicycles we own do not belong in the basement, right?)

Downstairs guest bathroom door does not stay shut. (Believe me, our friends and family really appreciate this game of chance fondly known as "Peeping Tom" in our home.)

Upstairs guest bathroom toilet.  (Thank your Favorite Deity that it was a Clean Flush which discovered the problem, so the mess was minimal.)

Upstairs master bathroom toilet. (Again, another Clean Flush!  Perhaps, I should rethink my views on the powers of higher beings?)

Upstairs shower (It leaked into the kitchen over a year ago and we simply stopped using it.  Problem solved! Oh the joys of 1st World problems that include multiple bathrooms for a 4 member family.)

Ice maker refuses to spit out ice. (Another 1st World Problem, FTW!  Woe is me, having to get my delicate digits WET while filling those dastardly  ice cube trays.  However, my father, The King of Ice Cube Trays, would be proud (A brief sidenote on that post, my dad and step-mom are moving and I insist they take the creepy cake with them.)

The power steering thingie in my car is leaking fluid/making noise. (The explanation for this is quite obvious.  We paid off the Special,Fancy Vehicle just last month.)

My 3.5 year old computer. (It's slower than my grandma in a rainstorm.  It takes 15-20 minutes to boot up and I have a small fan running constantly on it to keep it from over-heating.  Often, when I am typing, it will freeze and I will have to wait for what I just typed to appear s...l....o...w..l...y, to magically appear! on! the! screen!   It needs to be rebuilt, but since I am an Over-Privileged American White Girl, we will probably buy a new one in the next few months)

The gate to our backyard. (To be fair, this has pretty much been falling apart since we moved in 6 years ago.  However, the gate held no importance until we got a goddamned DOG.  Now, we prop the gate closed with a wheelbarrow.  'Tis very classy of us, I KNOW.)

The noses of Team Chaos (Note: they are not broken, they are constantly streaming mucus, which in effect, renders them unusable)

My brain (It is yet to be determined whether my brain is broken or just unusable.  I will leave that to you to decide.)

Come on - is there anything better than some puerile sniveling from an Over-Privileged American White Girl living in the suburbs?


November 11, 2010

Us and Them

Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon 1973

After yesterday's theme of Totally Serious, I need to lighten things up.  What better way than discussing the festival of lights, Diwali?  .

Awhile back, a fellow blogger who also shares the love for Men of the Foreign Extraction (Gori Girl, perhaps?  Indian Ties?) and is also in an Indian/American marriage linked to a group site/bloggie thingie whereby all of us gals who had legally hitched up to the Masala Marriage wagon train could post our blog links.  I thought about it, but hesitated.  I do not post much about my own little Masala Marriage, mostly because there is not much to report.  As I have written about in the past, this is complicated by the fact that Manoj comes from the relatively teensy Syrian Christian ethnic group and as such, came into my life already Christmas and Easter Trained. Sure, we had some details to hammer out (Santa, Rudolph, Peeps), but overall, we are the most boring of the most plebeian of Masala Marriages.  I would feel like a fraud purporting this blog reports on such fascinating things as "diversity" or "culture".  Except in the kitchen.  Folks, we like it hot n' spicy in the kitchen.  Although, I probably did not need an Indian husband for that. 


Are you still left wondering why I do not plumb the murky depths of my multi-cultural marriage for interesting blog fodder?  Really?

Gentle Reader, perhaps, the following exchange will convince you otherwise
Scene: An average suburban home in Olathe KS.  A man enters his home and addresses his wife.

Husband, in a Lovely Hue of "Sepia": Um, when is Diwali?
Wife, in a Rich Hue of "Vampire": You realize *I* am the White person in this relationship, right?
Mocha Brown Husband: Ha Ha.  No, really.  When is Diwali?
Pasty White Wife: *Blink * Blink*

Action: While Wife resists the gluttonous temptation to openly mock her husband, said Husband looks the information up on Google and finds out that Diwali is the next day.
Mocha Brown Husband: It's tomorrow.

Wife waits for some enlightenment as to the reason for this entire exchange.  After all, Gentle Reader, in the entire 10 years together, this couple has never celebrated Diwali, much less discussed it at any sort of length, so why does he care so much now?  Christ on toast!  He consulted Google, so it must be important.   

The ZhuZhu hamsters in the Wife's brain begin powering up.  Creak....creak....creak....



Pasty White Wife:  Um, I am going to take a wild guess and say that someone at work asked you about Diwali and as the Token Indian, you feel compelled to offer up the appropriate information, huh?  Even though you are a Catholic from Kerala who really did not celebrate Diwali much back home, much less here.

Husband hangs head.

Mocha Brown Husband: Yes.
Pasty White Wife: Dude!  This was totally your chance to demonstrate the rich diversity that is India. The fact that India is an amazing tapestry of religions and culture interwoven through the centuries!  Fail!

In conclusion, my Very Special Indian and I celebrated the festival of lights by drinking cheap wine, eating take-out pizza (with pepperoni, no less) and settling on the couch in front of Real Time with Bill Maher.  I did light up a Yankee candle.

Does that count?

November 10, 2010

A Saucerful of Secrets

Pink Floyd,  A Saucerful of Secrets 1968

Unless you live in a cave, you may have heard of a post at the site known as Nerdy Apple Bottom, a fellow Kansas City blogger.  I am not even going to attempt to paraphrase or explain her post.  The post has been the subject of so much conflict and misinterpretation at this point, that you would do well to just read it yourself.

Are you back?

Mostly, I applauded that post because it resonated deeply with me. No, I do not know the blogger in question, but regardless, I could relate to her on a personal level.  We are both mothers of boys the same age.  We both live in the somewhat conservative area of Kansas City (although I live on the Kansas side, the side that is probably more Red, in terms of necks and politics.) We both send our boys to church-affiliated preschools.  We both have boys who like girlie things.

And, oh my.  How I adored that she cracked that secret wide open - the fact that many, many boys like girlie things.  Gasp.

While I applaud the post, I cannot help but feel a bit guilty for this applause knowing that a little boy is now being considered a public face for a very adult cause.  The mother has stated that she was not outing her son.  And I trust her on that.  But the message has grown larger than her original post.

Let me be clear, I do not believe for a moment that she did this as a stunt.  The vilification of her is undeserved, in my opinion..  After all, we have many, many bloggers in our wee mommyblogging community who know how to do stunt posting and they do it quite well.  I emphatically do not think this particular blogger was mongering for traffic.

And I also do not buy for one second all of those folks who say that parents should not have their children support political agendas or be involved in politics at all.  That is ridiculous.  No one sends their child off into the world as a blank slate.  It is that very inherent piece of parenting that dictates you instill important beliefs in which you hold to be true.  You can wordsmith all you want, but politics are always involved in our belief systems.

Still.  I do squirm a little bit at the thought that this boy has been thrust into such public of a light and there now exists a permanent record.  A record that will go stagnant after awhile, perhaps waiting to rise again when the boy is in middle school.

I am uncomfortable with that.  I cannot lie.

I am not throwing stones, folks.  Hell no, I just finished Windexing my own glass house and I would like to keep it all pretty-like.  At least until the dog starts licking the windows again.  And I have publicly stated time and time again that I support gay rights, that I believe it is a human right for someone to choose who they want to honor legally in marriage (since it is always in the back of my mind that it was not so very long ago that my own marriage was illegal in many, many states in America.)

Oh, how I wish that being labeled gay was not considered a backhanded insult or a convenient punchline.  How about that for a thesis statement?

The hardest part is that this post hit me at a time when I was already having a huge existential blogging crisis with myself.  It certainly did not help to watch a post with innocuous intentions blow up so spectacularly on a national level.  I always question what I am doing on my own site and to what extent I should share my children here. Oh sure, it has helped that Erma Bombeck and Teresa Bloomingdale wrote such a respectful, loving treasure trove of books detailing their own family lives. Two classy ladies who can serve as remarkable role models for all of us.   It also helps that I have a small readership, most of whom are friends and family, and that I feel safe here.  However, blogging is still relatively new and we are still unsure as to the long-term effects on our children as they approach more sensitive ages.  It is quite easy to share baby stories and not worry about the awkward years to come.  Yes, this post has had me thinking in regard to what responsibility I owe my children as I share our lives here.

And I am not sure I like some of the answers.

November 5, 2010

Nobody Home

Pink Floyd, The Wall 1979

Arun and Anjali wore their costumes 5 and 6 times, respectively.  What with school parties, a birthday party, a Daddy's work event, actual Halloween and a special day where I took the spectacular duo to visit some relatives, I had to duct tape Arun's Yoshi costume no less than three times.

Ah yes, am I the only parent who insists on buying their kid's costume a few sizes too big in the vain, desperate hope they will wear the over-priced, scratchy, velcro'd polyester garment more than one season?

Yes, Arun was Yoshi - I quickly realized that my glue gun and I were out of our league when considering the efforts required to make a Bowser costume.  Some gentle prodding at the costume store resulted in an ecstatic 5 year old tightly clutching a Yoshi costume.  Anjali was more than happy to be Spider Girl and as she proudly proclaimed to anyone within earshot, "I am going to save the WHOLE DAY!!!"  Indeed.

Also, am I the only parent who is still slightly drunk on the Halloween spirit and will need all of November to recover from the hangover?  In the past few years, the entire frocking month of October has turned into Halloween.  While I am happy to get a few more pennies worth out of those costumes, it strikes me as a little excessive.

By the actual night of Halloween, the mask was nowhere to be found and her true identity was exposed.

Everyone thought he was a jolly, happy dinosaur.  Dude.  How many dinosaurs can fly while eating apples?  HUGE pop culture fail.

Stupid Human Tricks

A witch's hat for the most impossibly sweetest dog ever in the history of dogs.  However, Lucy most assuredly did NOT appreciate my exercise in irony.  God, what a bitch!  Literally.

And finally, the ACTUAL night of Halloween.  It felt like the denouement to a 100 act play. 
Or something like that.  Also,  I would like to take a second and brag about the fact that I spelled denouement without using the squiggly underlined red thingie as a cheat. Take that, bitches! I deserve a Butterfinger.

Every year, we head a little further south in our neighborhood.  Next year's goal is Oklahoma.

Charlie and Me.
This is one of Anjali's babies and she insisted her portrait be taken with it. Her other two "babies" are an elephant and a polar bear.  No worries, Gentle Reader.  We have established a special account for her future therapy expenses.

And for the grand finale, I have a video!  Anjali loves to break out in song, randomly, in narration.  It is as if I am living inside of a musical or something.  Which leads me to ponder, where the hell is my hot, Nazi-fighting Captain?

I love halloween! from Kelli Oliver George on Vimeo.

That's all, folks.  I have a 3 year old pretending to sleep-walk in my living room.  Soon, the rumbles for breakfast will begin and it is best to have a jump on that.