Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cereal independence

The Scout is staging a struggle for independence. Independence from being fed cereal and veggies and other such good mush. The spoon is batted away. The head is turned vigorously this way and that and the mouth is clamped shut. But put him on the high chair and lay out pieces of dosa or chapathi or croissant etc in front of him and he picks them up between his thumb and fore-finger and eats them with a great air of confidence. Confidence that I wouldn't have if I had no teeth like him. But he eats and chews and grinds pretty well. Only, I don't have the time to wait for this program to finish, especially at breakfast. Not to mention all the other problems with the finger-foods not being nutritious enough and all that. I'm almost wishing that he hadn't learnt to eat on his own. :(

Friday, September 25, 2009

Attention Deficit Dis.... umm.. err.. huh.. what was I saying?!

Yeah, the Average household suffers from it even though we are armed to the teeth with task lists (on the fridge, on a whiteboard in the room, on the computer etc).

Scene1: I come to make mix dinner for the Scout. Completely forget about it and instead start putting the grocery into the fridge and take a minute to figure it out when Scout starts getting cranky.

Scene 2: I open the laptop to reply to this all important email from my manager's manager but then I start composing a blog post. 

Scene 3: The tea boils over EVERYDAY.. enough said.

Can go on with scene 4, scene 5, ... scene 'n'.

And the husband does not fare any better although he has more lists than me stored on Google tasks and Iphone and what not!  For example: He has to go to some embassy in San Francisco to get some visa stuff done today. His appointment was like right NOW! We got all the paper work ready yesterday. We even discussed half an hour ago the best route he could take to beat the traffic. Then he calls me and says he is in the bank for some other admin work and he is gloating about how he remembered to get me some cash from the ATM before which he got me some books from the library and all that. And then I ever so cautiously ask him about what happened to the trip to SF. *click* Disconnected. Duh! Yeah, he can't show face now, he is I assume racing driving to SF as we speak.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If TPL encountered a bear..

TPL in one of her posts asked what one was supposed to do if one encountered a bear. Here is a picture we took of a list of instructions on what to do when one encounters a bear. We were supposed to read and assimilate the instructions before getting on the bus in Denali National Park, Alaska. 

IIRC the para before what is on camera was also very interesting. Basically it asked us to run in circles around a tree to confuse the bear "until the bear moves away, then slowly back off" (which is the line cutoff at the top of the pic). Does that help, TPL? :)  

Now that we know what we are to do, given a choice do you want to encounter a grizzly or a black bear? :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Childhood shopper-girl trauma*

My dad killed the shopper-girl in me. :) I would come back all pumped up after some shopping trip where I thought I had haggled and got the deal of my life for a pair of Madhuri-Dixit-type baggy pants (yes, as horrified as you may be, that was the trend in those days) and he would jokingly say "You payed Rs.xxx for this? I could get you ten of these for Rs.xx in ChikpeTe". Or he would say "Is this new? Looks like saarso baTTe (mop cloth)" when I thought I had bought this hep top from Wearhouse or Weekenders. (Please note that those two were the "it" stores of our generation or so I thought). The worst was when I was in the fifth standard or something and he got a pair of jeans stitched for me after buying said jeans material from, where else but, ChikpeTe because he thought the ready-made stores fleece you generally. Have you ever heard of getting jeans stitched from the neighborhood tailor unless you were JLo or something and had your personal designer? Before I came to the US he was bent upon getting me a leather jacket stitched but I put my foot down and said I will buy a winter jacket in the US. And you should see him haggling in action. I take him whenever I buy used books and he easily gets me about 50-70% off the price first quoted. So I can never bring myself to pay the full price for anything.

I have imbibed this anti-shopping, penny-counting mentality from him and I have caught myself advising cousins and younger folks to stay away from the brands and the upscale stores.  Having a husband who thinks like the father hasn't helped either. I almost hate shopping in malls as I have no way of knowing if I'm buying at a reasonable price. Shopping online suits me better, as I can take my time to search and research, but then there is always the problem of not knowing if something bigger and better is going to be launched obsoleting my buy. Having choices is stressful. Too many decisions. Too little information. No optimal solution. Gah! And how tragic that now my dad comes and gifts me $xxxx and tells me to buy whatever I like and I'm like "Yeah, right, like I can! Thanks to you!" :) What is this if not childhood trauma*? Is there going to be a cure ever? :)

* - In the Average household, "childhood trauma" in a lighter vein refers to anything that you avoid because of being traumatized by it in childhood. For example, a friend hates bananas now because he was made to eat one everyday in his years at home. So his "childhood trauma" is bananas. :) What is yours? 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Timeless, mapless glyphs.

They reminded me of this. A co-worker spent a day in the desert searching for them. I had no idea that such things existed in California.  There are no maps to get there, in the interest of preservation. Hmm.. one day.. may be I will go.. when I can be without clocks and maps and other baggage.

Hence, proved.

Costco croissant: 1
Baby Gerber puffs: 0 

Home-made dal: 1
Gerber veggie: 0 

Cut up peach: 1
Pureed peach: 0

Park swing: 10
Amma: 0

High-five to daycare aunty: yes
High-five to amma: no

Scout-wants-to-move-away-from-babyfood test: +ve
Scout-wants-to-be-affixed-to-park-swing test: +ve
Scout-knows-whom-to-impress test: +ve

Friday, September 11, 2009

She wonders if she is careless! Pshaw! What would I be if I told you that I almost failed to stop the Scout from swallowing a band-aid which he tore from the thumb of his right foot by putting foot into mouth sitting in his rear-facing car-seat while I sat in the front chatting with the GI?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beautiful Bangalore

I'm a 4th generation Bangalorean. My great grand parents came from their hometowns and settled in Bangalore. Our roots end in Bangalore. I have never been to my ancestral hometown(s). In fact I think my parents themselves haven't been to those parts although my grandmother sometimes wistfully spoke about her parents' village. Now, we haven't decided if we want to settle in the US or r2I but one of the things that saddens me a lot about settling outside India is the possibility (or certainty) of my kids and grandkids not knowing _my_ beautiful Bangalore.

What would you miss (apart from family) if you were to settle outside your country?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And his social life starts..

Scout got back home from the daycare with a fancy balloon, a reasonably big bag of candies and a toy -- all part of the goody-bag from a kid's birthday celebration at the daycare. With that we mark the beginning of the boy's own social life. :) He lovvveees the balloon. Has breastfed, eaten, pooped, bathed and crawled while clutching the string in his hand. 

PS question: Are we supposed to reciprocate by having a similar celebration with goody-bag and all when his birthday comes around?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Six with the GI

One: number of children with the GI.
Two: times 10 pounds is the weight gained (by me) after living with him.*
Three: average number of arguments in a day with the same person.
Four: average number of waking hours spent with him in a day.
Five: times five Illayaraja songs learnt from his bathroom singing.**
Six: years of documented togetherness.

Happy anniversary and more power to us. :) ***

* he hasn't gained a single pound in all this while.
** at least five times five.
*** We went to this (non-Indian) vegetarian restaurant (using organic, locally grown ingredients) and had a fantastically flavorful dinner. The dear boy co-operated as well. He bore a shy smile and stared (!) at people sitting or walking around and they were almost forced to make cutesy conversations with him.
**** Happy teacher's day to everyone.

[Posting delayed]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whose recipe is it anyway?

Which of the following do you think irritates me the most?

(1) I make a crispy yet fluffy bajji and an aunt from the mom's side asks me if I learnt cooking from the mom.
(2) I make a tangy saaru (rassam) and an aunt from the husband's side asks me if I learnt cooking from the mil.
(3) I make a mean bisi-bele-baath and the sil asks me if I learnt cooking from the husband.
(4) I make a reasonably well-textured dhokla (never mind that it came from the instant mix) and the friend from grad school asks if I learnt cooking from my Gujju roomie.

I'm irritated that nobody gives credit where it is mostly due,  where people use standard measures to write recipes, where people don't use words like "kaNNaLathe"(roughly translates to "as measured by the eye") or "andaaju"(roughly translates to "more or less") as terms of measurement. Thank you internets. :)