Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zealot


Mood: Serious tiredness - need coffee IV 5 minutes ago.
Listening to: The kids attempting to play chess

And with this letter, we end this little stretch of insanity. I feel like a damn writing zealot for following this thing to the end. That’s all I’m going to say about z.

So. What did I learn from this? Yes, I am totally one of those annoying people who tries to learn stuff out of experiences – I know, it irritates me too. I learned my best writing does not come from prompts – it comes from my own head and random experiences. Writing according to a preset order has the habit of making me try and fit a letter to my own experiences, so why with the prompts anyhow? Perhaps it is the letter thing that throws me. I’m not even sure.

2nd lesson – in order to keep up with the pace, my other blogs suffer. Sorry about that other blogs. Between life, work, and inlaws, there isn’t enough left for one blog some days, not to mention 6. Lesson learned.

I’m not quite done with my writing jag, so let the fun continue – just not in alphabetical format.

Becky

Thursday, April 26, 2012

X is for XXX


Listening to: Belly Dance music
Mood: Calm

This post will be slightly cheating. What do you expect? I can’t be brilliant all the time people.

Each of those X’s stands for a decade of my life that has gone by. I turned 30 this year. Since we were attempting to abscond from the country, my birthday passed quietly this year. I don’t remember feeling so much angst – because again, when you’re packing up shop to move half way around the world, a birthday isn’t going to be all that big of a thing, even if it is a big one.

I don’t feel 30. I feel somewhere around 26. It was a good year. One in which I finally started feeling like a responsible adult, even though I was married and had kids for a long time before that. It was the year when I finally came to grips with who and what I was and began to be confident about it. Really, things have only gotten better since then. I still have all of my hang-ups and issues, but they are now recognized as a part of me rather than something that I need to find, analyze and excise. It was a year when I started realizing that I was hungry to learn. I don’t mean to wax poetic about being 26, but it was a time that resulted in my being able to be who I am today, and I'm proud of where I've gotten to.

I hope to be able to add at least ten more of those Xs (and yes, I know that’s not how counting in Roman numerals works) before my life is done. Who’s afraid of being 30? Not this girl – talk to me in 10 more years and we’ll see.

Becky

W is for What the Hell


Listening to: Do it for the Kids - Velvet Revolver
Mood: Pissed.

Doing my usual thing and trolling through the news for things that caught my eye, I came across this:


India seriously, what the hell is this nonsense? It breaks my heart on a regular basis that a country that has made huge strides in modernity is still stuck in some very ingrained ancient behaviors.  I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea, this isn’t common in India. There are a few areas with groups of people who are neither rich nor educated where this occurs. Still – one child married at the age of 1 is too many.

Unfortunately, India doesn’t always have the best track record when it comes to protecting women and children – especially those who don’t have much. The country also isn’t all that great at standing up for an individual who needs support. As in the story – this girl had to go against her own family in seeking a divorce.
India has a culture of trusting parents to find a spouse for the children and the children are raised to trust their parents’ decision regarding spouse. How much courage it must have taken for this girl who doesn’t have much to stand up and take control of her own destiny. Hats off to you my dear; I hope that you are an inspiration to other girls in the same situation.

This is a prime example of the need of education for people still stuck in the last century. I’m sure these people are not doing this to be malicious to the girl (although that is another problem all together) but rather out of tradition and a misguided idea of what are good for her and their family. I’ve said it before: Progress is vital.

It is also an example of how much one voice can help. It is so easy to turn your head and let things go if they don’t apply to you. If you feel like balking, think about how much courage it must have taken this girl to go against her entire family and community for what she knew was right.  Man up – this should never be excused or ignored.

Becky

Monday, April 23, 2012

U is for Undone


Listening to: The construction next door – Argh!
Mood: Concerted effort to be Mellow

As you may have heard (did I tell you or not, I always forget whom I tell what to!) I have a housekeeper named Indira. She does our dishes, cleans the floors every day, folds laundry, etc. Our relationship is an uneasy truce.

When Indira started, life was good. She came every day on time, always finished all of the work she was supposed to do, and didn’t take lots of days off. As is the norm in India, now that we’re comfortable with each other (i.e. she is less likely to be fired for not doing what she should) things have changed a bit. The number of tasks she does each day has drastically reduced, sometimes for no apparent reason at all. There are a few basics (dishes, floors, making flat breads called chapattis that are like tortillas) that she just randomly doesn’t do. Yesterday, she didn’t show up at all. No call, nothing.

I know quite a few people who have come to rely on their housekeepers. They whine a great deal when the ladies call off. This is not what I’m pissed about – that I have to wash dishes for myself for the day. No, this is more about me hating to deal with other people’s drama and not even caring enough to call and give an excuse – even a flimsy one. So here is my response to this whole situation.

You know, I didn’t even want to hire anyone. I’m 30 years old, healthy, able, and more than capable. I have been cleaning up after myself and my family for my entire life. There is absolutely nothing around here that you can do that I can’t/won’t do, except for making chapattis, and if I wanted to, I could learn to make some kick ass chapattis too.

I would like to think that I’ve been fair, patient and even kind to you as we settled into our groove and getting things done. I have treated you with nothing but respect. Just because I am not riding you like my mother in law did does not mean I will put up with a whole bunch of nonsense. I absolutely hate having to guess what will and will not get done and whether or not you will show up and if so, when. I have the social skills of an otter sometimes. I am friendly, but I don’t get all of the nuances. I am not good at guess work or passive aggressive nonsense. Since you refuse to negotiate with me or tell me what you need out of this situation, I am left fumbling in the dark. I do not feel bad about the arrangement we worked out because you seemed ok with it.  If you agreed to work in more houses after I hired you, the least you could do was talk to me about it so that you have an agreeable time to come and I don’t have to bitch at my husband every night about how frustrating this has become.

In short, I really don’t need you here. If you can’t get your act together, perhaps it’s time to end this relationship. These calluses didn’t get on my hands from sitting around getting pampered all my life – quite the opposite. It was hard enough accepting the fact that I was letting someone else in my home to do work that I was raised to believe was mine to be done. You have not undone a lifetime of being responsible for myself. I am still very much capable.

Becky

Friday, April 20, 2012

T Is for Talent


Listening to: Random Hindi music
Mood: Pretty darn cheerful

That’s right folks. Time to pass some love around.

Today I want to give you all a heads up about a very talented musician. He majored in music in college and plays more instruments than I have names for. He also happens to be my brother. The other guy in the video is Scott Knies - also a very talented guy.

I don’t follow the same belief system, but this isn’t about religion. It’s about being the change and passing on the love.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you Jeremiah and Scott.













Becky

V is for Vagina


Listening to: My Kids Playing
Mood: Pissed.

Hello there. What a lovely day we have going on. Sky is blue…grass is green. Why yes, I am procrastinating, how did you know? I have some mad procrastinating skills. Writing is just so much more fun than working. Skipping along to V today because this just made me so angry. Watch out people, I’m digging out the soap box.

So. I was watching my absolute favorite TV host last night on the internet because Comedy Central in India isn’t able to air John the same day he tapes – probably to censor and avoid episodes that use words like vagina. Once again, the US is up to some asshattery about women and their bodies. John suggested that since we have a war on Christmas and a war on women, why not just use some Christmas to neutralize the war on women – more specifically, using a manger to keep US policy makers out of a place they have no business being. As usual, this studly TV host has a hilarious way of pointing out when people are being absurd. “The catholic church” subsequently got their panties all in a bunch. Because you know, how dare you mention Vaginas and an inference to Jesus in the same sentence? How dare you use religion to mock anything?

Catholic church, you’re up first. Would you please stop crying like a whiney little toddler? We all know the function of humor and comedians. Stop putting religion where it has no place. This is a political issue (which all too often is mixed up with religion these days). The entire point of this satire was not to skewer the church, but to skewer the politicians who seem to think it’s their prerogative to be up in people’s reproductive business. It was also a jab at the talking heads. You are not talking heads Catholic church. Get over it.

To the politicians and talking heads. You can deny it all you want, but this is in fact a systematic prejudice against women. If we told men that they would have to start taking fertility pills and that they didn’t have the choice of whether or not they wanted to share their sperm, I’m sure there would be riots. For the love of sanity and everything that is actually holy, stop acting like your personal belief system must be adopted by everyone else. You are supposed to be leading a country (or giving factual news to a country) made up of people originating from every place in the entire world. There is no central belief system. You cannot force people to go along with your morals and belief systems. We do not live in communist China. We ARE NOT communist China and for a reason. Getting all up into people’s reproductive business isn’t what America is about. Stop twisting it to fit your narrow view of right and wrong.

Giving my employer any information about my reproductive choices is absolutely absurd, not to mention having to defend my choices or be forced to follow someone else’s reproductive prerogative and prove that contraception is for health reasons. I should be forced to have more children that I can’t support or don’t want because someone high up has an agenda in the company I work for? Should my choice about eating pork, for example, be taken away if I work for a Muslim or a Jew? Are you volunteering to pay the half a million dollars per child to raise them and send them to a public college? Are you the one who has the responsibility of disciplining them and making sure they don’t turn out to be axe murderers or lazy bums who mooch off society? Are you planning to sit up and worry about them if they come home late and cry at night because you are worried about how they are growing up? I didn’t think so. Seriously. Are we back in the 18th century here? If my husband and I decide that we don’t want any more children, what business is it of anyone else? 

Having children is not a moral, religious, or social obligation for everyone, thank goodness. I do think that children are a blessing, but they also come with a very heavy emotional and monetary price tag. As with anything else, you should only have what you can afford. How is it fair to the 8th child born that you can no longer afford to feed him or her because you have a regular job and 8 kids? There’s a responsibility in deciding how many children you bring into the world. Since corporations and the government aren’t taking responsibility for the aftermath of reproduction, they should just butt the hell out. The world is over populated as it is.

You know, the good old days may have seemed like a calmer, quieter, more moral time. The fact is, that’s not necessarily true, nor does it take into account that technology and progress are good things. If you want to live in the past, go build a house on the Montana plains and do as you please. Churn your own butter for Pete’s sake, but do not get into politics.  I would venture to say that the vast majority of people recognize that progress is important, even if our definition of morality and acceptable behavior has to adapt as well.

John – honey I love you. I am so glad that your voice of sanity is still heard on TV. Please, do not ever sanitize your content because you may offend someone – then you will be just like them.  I do however have a bone to pick with your joke. I don’t want a manger, or anything else related to religion anywhere near my vagina.  I do get the joke – and really, it was brilliantly executed - but religion has already put in a major bid to control people’s reproductive rights for almost all of time. Let’s not even open the can of worms and let them start with that crap all over again. To be blunt, I’ll put whatever I decide in my vagina and everyone else can just butt the heck out.

Seriously US, if you keep this shit up, I will not be coming back.

Becky

Thursday, April 19, 2012

S is for Stupid


Listening to: Kun Faaya Kun from Rockstar
Mood: Calm and collected – for once

As much as I wanted to use sex for my S entry, I think I’ve been preoccupied with this enough. It’s story time boys and girls. This will be outlining one of the stupidest things I have done. For sure, there are plenty.

I am such a wimp, it took me until I was 12 to be able to go sit in the chair at Claire’s at the mall an get a set of holes punched through my ears. My mom didn’t do it when I was a baby and I had a phobia for pain when I was younger. Seriously – my mom had to sit on me in order to have my shots done. It’s funny thinking about having to sit on a 12 year old for shots now. It was mainly traumatic back then.

Anywho. I do have a point here – I’m getting there. I got my first set of earrings at 12 and it wasn’t really that bad. When I was 16, I decided I wanted the cartilage at the top of my ear pierced. The thing was, I was afraid to go and get it done. So what does this genius do? That’s right boys and girls, I was stupid and did it myself. With a needle and an icecube. The piercing itself wasn’t that bad. The infection that followed was bad. My mom’s reaction when she found out was bad.  It did end up clearing up after being infected for weeks. It took me that long to figure out that the cheap nickel filled earring I was using didn’t help at all. At the time, I should have bought stock in Peroxide and Neosporin cream.

When I turned 19, I decided that I wanted set number 2 of earrings in my ears. Using a bit of common sense, I went back to Claire’s and got them done. It hurt a bit more than when I did the first ones, but they healed pretty seamlessly.

On to the peak stupidity. Right after I turned 22, I decided that I wanted to be a badass and pierce my nose. I was ghetto fabulous people. I lived in a bad part of town, had a low end job in a fast food restaurant, was hanging around with all the wrong people, and had an attitude problem the size of Texas.  I went and saw 8 mile and decided that a nose ring would definitely help me be a badass. Yes, this post is about stupidity – I freely admit it.

I was pretty sure Claire’s didn’t do nose piercings and there was no way I was going to Roger’s (the local tattoo parlor/piercing spot) and letting one of those people near me with a needle.  So. A needle and an icecube. It hurt like a son of a potato. Seriously. There was lots of pain in spite of the ice. The infection that followed lasted months, even though I used a real earring this time. My then boyfriend was so mad at me he didn’t talk to me for a week after that. If you look, you can still see a bit of grossness on my nose that was still there when I got married. That shit was infected for a long time. I went through the pain of piercing it, there was no way I was taking it out again. My bosses both had a fit. I started having to wear a piece of band aid over it as to not offend the people I was serving food to. Yep. Ghetto fabulous with the band aid on her face.

I stuck with it though. It completely healed up a few weeks after we got married.  I absolutely love it and wouldn’t get rid of it for the world now; for completely different reasons. I am no longer ghetto. It’s just become a part of my face and I’m just used to seeing it in the mirror. For me, not having it would be like waking up without an eyebrow. Something wouldn’t be right.

Many people have asked me about it over the years and I freely tell them it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. Not getting my nose pierced – doing it myself. It has now been relegated to a party story my husband tells to amuse people.  And the man does tell almost every single person we know or meet that his wife pierced her own nose. I keep telling him it makes him look bad because he made the choice to marry a crazy lady, but he still tells it. It’s right up there with visiting the chicken shop. Legends boys and girls, I have them.

I have been threatened with life limb or divorce should I choose to put any more holes in my head (I have 4 sets in my ears, 1 in the cartilage, and 1 in my nose), whether by my own hand or at Claire's, so I think I'm done. I wish I had my belly button done when I was younger, but I'm sure popping out two kids would have ruined it anyways. 

What are some of the stupid choices you made when you were young? Do you regret them? Would you do them all over again?

Becky

R is for Running


Listening to: BBC
Mood: Calm

I just caught a story on BBC news about a 101 year old man running the London marathon. I am beyond blown away. My lazy 30 year old butt can’t even manage to train for one and this Uncle is running to finish at 101. He has previously completed 8 of them.

My hat is off to you, Sardarji.  I wish I had so much discipline and drive as you do. All the best for your race!

This is a prime example of an older person being healthy and not just wasting away in his or her house. If a 101 year old man can get out and run a marathon, any other person can keep busy as they age.

I wish I had a photo of this man, but check out the link below if you want the whole BBC story:

Becky

Goodbye to Dick Clark


Goodbye Dick Clark. We’ve had the privilege of having you on this earth for 82 years. You became a cultural icon in our homes. It will indeed be hard to get on with the show without you.  Our New Year’s Eves will definitely never be the same again. We will also remember you for what you did for rock and roll. Music today would not have been the same without you. We will miss your smile and your cheer.

Goodbye Dick, it will indeed be hard to get on with the show without you.


Becky

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Q is for Quackle


Mood: Calm – for now
Listening to:  Completely ineffective ceiling fans – it’s hot!

Since I’m a ginormous nerd, I decided to discover a new Q word for today. Using my trusty friend Google, why by the way never lies to me, I found quackle. Bwa ha ha ha ha. The fun things about finding new words is that you’re never really sure if they are real or not.

Here’s what http://phrontistery.info/q.html had to say about quackle: to choke; to suffocate
Hmmm. This kind of makes me wonder why we needed a new word for choking someone. Don’t get me wrong, quackle is awesome. It’s sure to diffuse any situation where you actually feel like choking someone.

“Knock it off or I will totally quackle you.”

Yep. The subsequent laughter will actually prevent any quackling from happening. Can you imagine how funny this would be in a BDSM context?

“You want me to quackle you baby?”

I’m rolling on the floor here people. But wait, that’s not as fun as Quadroon. A person who has ¼ African American ancestors. Seriously? Who comes up with this nonsense.

Being a word nerd is so much fun. Just try not to use too many big ones in one sentence. It tends to confuse people and then they may want to quackle you. Yep, still laughing about that one.

Becky

P is for Panties


Mood: Calm – for now
Listening to:  Completely ineffective ceiling fans – it’s hot!

All right, all right calm down perverts. The panties that I’m referring to are of the big girl variety. Shucks. That probably didn’t help. Let’s get specific. I’m talking about the phrase “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.”

I was whining about how hard it is to raise kids to a friend recently when she replied with this gem. Now I know she had the best intentions and was trying to be humorous, but it made me wonder. Do I complain too much?  My husband very well may say yes, but only because he has the privilege of listening to me complain whenever I need to.  Usually he’s smarter than to admit it to me when I ask.

I get it. People don’t like listening to complaining.  I hate listening to chronic whiners too. I’m generally a big fan of the “suck it up and deal with it” philosophy. Life is hard. Get on with it.

On the other hand, sometimes people just need to vent. Life is frustrating. Even if you have a plan on how to proceed and don’t plan to sit around and whine forever, it helps to get a little of the steam off, especially if it’s a really stressful issue. 

Commiserating with someone else about something can bond you together (My goodness our boss is a prick!) or it can put space between you (Um, no, I really think the boss was right on this one). I think everyone knows that life isn’t simple. It usually isn’t as easy as just facing a situation head on.  Sometimes, you need to be comfortable letting off a little steam with another person rather than just worrying that you’ll be inconveniencing them by making them listen to some whining. I can almost guarantee that unless you whine all the time, you’ll get an ear and possibly some semi-supportive comments.

So think twice before you tell someone to suck it up and get on with it.

By the way: I'm part of the camp that hates the word panties. It just sounds so dirty.
Becky

O is for Obituary


Mood: Calm – for now
Listening to:  Completely ineffective ceiling fans – it’s hot!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of my desire to wear jeans. As I previously mentioned, India is hot. I live in Bangalore, which in comparison to the rest of India is downright moderate, but it is still bloody hot outside. Shorts are not an acceptable sartorial choice for ladies, so I was really trying to stick with my jeans. I have been a jeans groupie for the past 20 years. I love love love me some jeans. Since I lost weight, I have been loving them even more because I don’t have to fight to get them on and then suffocate.

Then came April in Bangalore. I just can’t take it anymore. My legs are dying of suffocation and heat stroke every day. In the name of comfort, I have had to put my jeans down for a while. I still stare longingly at them when I open my closet in the morning, but my hand always reaches for a light skirt instead.  I have never worn so many skirts in my life. I’m just not a skirt kind of girl. Unless its ungodly hot outside.

So goodbye for now sweet Levi’s, Gloria Vanderbelt, and Lee’s. (Shut up, I am not dropping major amounts of cash on jeans!) I will miss you and look forward to the days when we can once again be together.

Becky

L is for Laughter


Mood: Calm – for now
Listening to:  Completely ineffective ceiling fans – it’s hot!

My apologies for the shorter posts (or you're welcome, depending on if you like rambling on). Apparently I need to go back to Kindergarten too, I'm all over the place with letter placement too.

One thing I’m really missing and craving right now is laughter. Not the small ha ha’s that you give in your everyday life. I’m talking about the gut laugh. The one that leaves you aching, breathless, and happy to be alive. The one that usually lasts for 2 – 3 rounds because as soon as you think you have yourself under control, you start laughing again. Most of the time this happens when you’re with other people.

One of the reasons I absolutely adore my extended family is that it’s only a matter of time before someone starts the laughter. We are a family of clowns – everyone has something funny to say and we usually end up gasping for air. I just get so tickled by their outrageous suggestions that we all end up rolling on the floor.  Needless to say, I am really missing them a lot.

I have many fond memories of laughing like this with friends too. As we’re in a dead spot for friends right now, it’s been a while since we were able to let our hair down and really laugh and enjoy time with other people. I really miss it.

I suppose I could substitute in a really good funny movie instead, but it’s just not the same as sharing belly laughs with someone else.

What do you do to have a good laugh? Any ideas for hilarious movies?

Becky

M is for Music


Mood: Calm – for now
Listening to: Completely ineffective ceiling fans – it’s hot!

I am a music junkie. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before. While my love of a certain 80’s rock band is more than well known, this goes way beyond that.

Growing up, I lived in a house that was always full of music. My mother played the piano, my father played the guitar, and they both sang. My extended family is really into music also. I took piano lessons for almost 12 years while I was growing up. My brother majored in music in college and can play more musical instruments than I know names for. So yeah, lots o music in our house. I grew up enjoying music on a superficial level. My dad was really, really into the Beatles so I listened to a lot of that. Worth noting – the musical selection in our house was almost exclusively restricted to 50’s and 60’s music and Christian music. I definitely did not grow up with tons of variety. I understand why my parents did this – it was to shelter my brother and me a bit.

As I grew older and developed my own mind, I started stretching my boundaries in regards to music. To this day, I still find music that I cannot believe I didn’t know about all this time.  I have a better appreciation for both playing the piano and understanding music because of my background.

Certain people are susceptible to music. I am one of them. It’s like a cancer (without the negative connotation) that moves into your soul and changes you.  It touches you on a fundamental level that you will never be able to get away from. Once it’s happened, you want it to happen again. Music for people like me has a way of sneaking in and getting a hold of your emotions. Due to my rhino skin abilities, music gives me a very solid outlet for my emotions. Music has the ability to grab me by the ear and cheer me up, depress me, or generally give me something to cling on to when life starts getting rough. This is the reason I’m so ridiculously attached to Guns n Roses. This were hard when I started getting into the music. Life quickly took a rapid downward spiral and I do believe that the music is what kept me sane in such a dark time.

I crave music like some people crave religion. I really can’t explain it too well, I just need it. I need the soaring powerful feeling I get when I’m singing, the dark contemplation, the mindless noise and energy, the quiet soul and the occasional cheerful simplicity that music can bring. Singing and playing the piano are like going to church for me. I go and visit a forgotten place inside of me and take care of myself, even if it’s very briefly. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it is pure joy, but I always feel better afterwards.

Life is hard and occasionally very complicated. Music reflects that. Some get into art, some get into religion, some drinking. They are all complex and occasionally difficult. 

Right now, I’m really into Velvet Revolver (really, I’m going to chuck something at anyone that is surprised by this) and Buckcherry.  What can I say? I’m a sucker for men who have haunting voices who sing about deep stuff.

Becky

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

K is for Kaleidoscope


Mood: Calm – for now
Listening to: Completely ineffective ceiling fans – it’s hot!

My housecleaner’s daughter comes over sometimes with her mom to help out. I actually hate it because this girl has gone to school and needs to find a good job and not get sucked into being a housecleaner, but it’s not my place to say. Anyhow, she was asking me today how things in the US are. I found it kind of funny, because non-Indian people ask me the same question about how India is. I can’t say that one place is better than the other – they both have their good and bad points.

The US is clean, it’s orderly, and downright boringly sanitized most of the time. I guess if you need that kind of environment, then it is wonderful. Life is a bit easier because Americans love giving instructions and helping other people figure out what’s going on. We are a nation that loves instruction manuals and posters telling people what’s going on.  I would venture to say that life in America is almost ridiculously simple.

The closest thing I can compare India to is a kaleidoscope. It is all lights and colors and chaos swirling around in a semi set pattern. It is dazzling to watch but very easily becomes overwhelming for those not accustomed to it. It is dirty, crowded, and most often smelly, but that’s what happens when you throw so many people with such a rich history together. If nothing else, India is as real as it gets, which is one of the reasons I love it.  There isn’t much about India that is simple. If you have a decent amount of money, you can get a lot of service, but it won’t come easily, especially if you don’t speak a local language or at least Hindi.

Being a simple US girl, the lights, colors and smells of India never fail to fascinate me. When we first moved in with my inlaws, I used to sit for hours on the porch and watch the hustle go by in the roundabout. It never got old. Even after almost 6 months of living in this amazing country, I still see something new and interesting every time I step out of my door. Even the people are complicated, which seems to add a depth to every interaction that you just don’t find in the US.

As I mentioned, the downside is that India is ALWAYS like this and it’s always on. If you get overwhelmed there’s not much to be done besides hide in your house, and that never lasts too long – you have to eat eventually. Occasionally, it makes you long for a simple farmhouse in Bumbledum Montana where you can sit in complete silence on the porch in a rocking chair and not contemplate humanity for 5 minutes.  

It’s still easy to see the pull of India though. Let me tell you, the kaleidoscope still has its hooks firmly in me.

Becky

N is for Nose Nonsense


Listening to: November Rain – Guns N Roses
Mood: Incredulous

Skipping to N, because there was no way I was letting this one by.

I was flipping through the news today and noticed a story about a bride who went on a nose tube diet before her wedding. For those not familiar, a tube is inserted through the nose into the stomach and food is pumped directly into the stomach, strictly controlling consumption. It’s supposed to help you lose weight fast.
Ok. What the Sam Hell. Ladies and gentlemen, sanity has left the building. This is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard.

 Can we please just stop with the twig envy for 2 minutes? A woman is supposed to be getting ready for the happiest day of her life (whatever!) and to spend the rest of her life with her fiancĂ© and she’s so worried about being fat she resorts to feeding herself through a tube. Argh! The true kicker was, this lady didn’t even look overweight to me. At all.

800 calories a day. I want to know what doctor is helping this woman with all of her medical apparatus. I don’t know any credible doctor that will tell you that 800 calories a day is a sane plan. It’s just not sustainable for your body. This woman stopped picking her kids up from school because she was afraid of scaring the other children. What about your own kids you silly broad? What messages are you sending them about their own bodies and weight? People thought she was dying

I’m all for being healthy. If you are overweight, go for it. Lose it the healthy way. Get your butt moving and reduce your portion size to help you reduce calories slowly.  Why in the world have we not yet learned that losing weight too quickly is both not good for you and probably won’t stick. It reeks havoc on the body. If you have an event that you want to look awesome for, start a few weeks earlier and do it the healthy way.

Ladies and gentlemen, people are willing to stick a tube up their nose and walk around like that to lose weight for an event. Words fail me.

Becky

J is for Just Eat It


Listening to: Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
Mood: Meh

I have a thing about picky people. I’m not talking about a person who doesn’t like sausage and asks for pasta without it, or someone who has a religious objection to eating pork. I’m talking about the people who ask for a detailed list of salad ingredients and then ask for half of them to be left out.

I’ve never really understood it at all. There are very, very few things that I don’t like and just plain won’t eat. Very few.  I just can’t understand why people just don’t eat whatever it is they don’t like anyways.

I have been blessed with a picky child. Indian food involves lots of spices – some of them whole for flavor. We use black mustard seeds, which are the same size and color as poppy seeds. They really do not taste like much of anything. For some inexplicable reason, this bothers my youngest to a ridiculous degree. She will sit and pick every single last blasted seed out of her food. Same for cilantro leaves, spinach, and anything else resembling something that grows outside on a bush.

This girl has fought me about what she will and will not eat since she was born. Most days I just want to pry her stubborn little jaw open and shove the food in. But child services looks down on that, so I have to resort to trickery/bribery/hell/high water. It’s challenging for my patience at best.

For the love of a Sweet Baby Yam. Do not go out to eat if you’re picky. Stay home and just make it yourself. Don’t torture the waitresses son, it’s just bad manners.

Seriously. Stay home or Just Eat It.

Becky

I is for Individuality


Listening to: Fall to Pieces – Velvet Revolver
Mood: Tired and Discouraged

On to the letter I.  I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about being an individual while being a part of a pair. More specifically, what it means to be a sexual individual inside of a marriage. Yes people, yet another post about sex. I’ll try and rearrange my thoughts for the next post, but for now, it is the topic of the day.
I married young. 22 to be exact. I wasn’t exactly worldly wise and jaded, at least in the relationship and sex arena.  My husband was also a virgin when we met.

Understandably, my (then) boyfriend and I fell head long into the rush of new love and the rosy, exciting haze of sexual discovery.  It was glorious. We got married two and a half years later, still nuts about each other. As the years have gone by (as in 9 years next week!), I have found my sexual identity to be both intrinsically tied to his and yet very distinctly mine.  

I am pondering how you define yourself in a sexual way when you’ve committed to being sexual with another person for the rest of your life. There are definitely some things we don’t share. My obsession with Guns N Roses for example. My penchant for having an active imagination when it comes to the lead singer of that band. Fantasizing in general.  I’m pretty sure that like every other man on this planet over the age of puberty, he spends quality time alone with himself too.

When you love someone (no, this is not a Bryan Adam’s song, I promise) and live with them on a long term basis, the lines between you have a eerie way of becoming lighter and less defined. There’s a reason for the saying “He or she is my other half.” 

I actively chase being my own person. It’s a deep seated drive somewhere in me. I have a need to have areas of myself that are only mine. There are some that I wouldn’t want my husband to see because I’m pretty sure he would recoil in horror/disgust. Mama’s got a dark side.

I find having your own thing going on sexually to be a healthy thing in a relationship. As with other areas of life, it’s important to know who you are and have things that are only yours. After all, the better you know yourself and can be comfortable with yourself, the better you can get to know your other half and be comfortable with him or her.

Ideas? Comments? I love to hear them.

Becky

Monday, April 16, 2012

F is for Fifty Shades of Grey


Listening to: Buckcherry  - Sorry. It’s definitely a Buckcherry type of day.
Mood: Tired and Discouraged

I usually refrain from commenting on what I’m reading in the blog because I have a separate blog for my literary pursuits. Check it out here if you’re interested. I think it’s also worth noting that I am NOT a fan of pop-lit. In fact, I usually avoid it like the plague.  

Fifty Shades of Grey was discussed so often that I hesitated to even read it. I figured it was good for some hot scenes, so I figured I would give it a chance. Wow. I am so glad I did. The author is definitely talented at creating hot scenes.  I’m almost finished with the 3rd of the books and I have to say that I loved all of them.

Ok, so this is a romance novel. Even with the BDSM twist (which by the way – definitely pushes the right  buttons for me in a major way) it boils down to romance. There isn’t much of a plot beyond sex. I do like the character development though. There’s just something hot about a man that needs to be saved and needs love.  On paper I love broody serious, flawed men. Yes please.

Like all romance novels, you probably shouldn’t think too hard about logic. The bad boys really don’t turn around like this in real life. Most are probably not uber rich either. Still, it’s a fun read if you like that type of thing.  The first book deals a lot with the darker side of sex. If you don’t like/agree with that type thing, this probably isn’t for you. If you are really really into it, the book doesn’t delve too deeply either. It’s a fine line well skated.

I’d definitely recommend it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go off and daydream about my rockstar some more only this time he’s dark.

Becky

H is for Hormones


Mood: Relaxed – for now

Listening to: Salaame – Kunal Ganjawala and Vasundhara Das

I’m skipping F for now because I can’t think of anything useful right now with the exception of my favorite word, which I’ve adequately covered in this post. I’ll circle back to F later. For my G post, see the GuiltManifesto.

Caveat – this is a post about sex. If you are my mother, not of legal consent age, or generally get your undies in a bunch easily – come back another day.

If you are a girl or have ever possibly in your life known a girl, even if she is your own mother, you understand how much hormones suck donkey balls sometimes. This is not a post about that. This is a post about how much hormones can be awesome if you play the game right.

In regards to sex, most girls go from “Meh” right after their period to “Yes, right now or I will find someone who will!” in the middle, to “Don’t Touch Me” the week before their periods to “Meh, if it will get rid of the cramps I will” during their period. All thanks to the hormonal changes that happen.

I want to draw your attention to a 2 hour window of hormone heaven that happens a day or two before a girl’s period. As most people know, a week before hand (AKA PMS) a girl’s level of horniness will drop to almost 0. If you are lucky enough to be awake and around your girl when the hormone spike occurs right before her period, you should definitely take advantage of the situation if she isn’t after you for it already.

After ambushing my husband recently, I told him about it. The poor man thought I was referring to an ovulation window and spent the next 5 minutes getting his own tighty whitey’s into a bunch that his super sperm somehow grew legs found their way out of the condom. After I assured him that not only was it was not that time of month, his sperm weren’t that coordinated, he was happy about it. Some of the best times I’ve ever had have been during this 2 hour window.  Don’t get me wrong, the ovulation period has a magic all its own, but you may as well take advantage of it when you’re feeling hot. There’s just something hot and desperate about knowing it will only last so long, you’re ready to go, and when it’s done you won’t care a fig about it for at least another week.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go have a day dream about a certain rock star.
Becky

E is for Earning


Mood: Crabby from being hot as hell and not in a sexy way. Dutch Viking folk do not like sweating all the time. We prefer to stand outside in 40 degree weather in a hoodie.

Listening to: Gela Gela Gela – Adnan Sami

I work from home as a consultant. I got my current gig in New York before we packed up and moved half way around the globe and I have continued to do work for the same company.  I enjoy my work, but I am in no way working full time.  There has been some talk about my getting a full time job after my youngest goes to school in June.

I’m not quite sure what I think of this idea. While I never planned on being a full time housewife and mom, it’s all that I’ve known for the past 9 years.  On one hand, I would absolutely love to have something adult that I can work on and be doing on my own. On the other hand, I can see my free time and pursuits dissolving as I type. I know that this is a ridiculous hang up, but I LOVE writing. As much as I love it, I’m pretty sure that I won’t get hired for anything to do with writing. I have no degree pertaining to it, no experience, and nothing to show. I don’t mind a regular desk job.

I’m also a little apprehensive about what I would do with my kids. I think it may be a hard adjustment for them to make. I’ve always been at their beck and call and now they would have to get used to someone else being at home. I’m also afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with their homework and other activities. Hell, I ‘m a stay at home mom and I already can’t keep up with it.

I do want to be earning at least a token amount for myself. My parents got divorced when I was 13. By sheer luck, she had happened to get a nursing degree a few years before they divorced. It has been hammered into me from an early age that I need to be able to take care of myself, no matter how stable life seems. So that’s also a motivation of mine. I hope to the Spaghetti monster that I never have to go through a divorce from my husband, but no point sitting about without self reliance in the mean time.

What do you think? What are some of the challenges from changing your trajectory when you’re 30?

Becky

D is for Dazed


Mood: Crabby from being hot as hell and not in a sexy way. Dutch Viking folk do not like sweating all the time.

Listening to: If You Ask Me - Yusuf Islam

Hello there.  I’m back from oblivion. Anyone really surprised that this alphabet thing is going all to pot? Anyone? Bueller? Didn’t think so. I’m not surprised either.

Anyhow, the past week has been one that has left me in a daze of relatives, schedules, and completely losing my shit. Allow me to explain. My mother and father in law have come to Bangalore. Up until now, they have been staying at my sister in law’s house. As I’ve mentioned before, I really do love my inlaws. They are fabulous people. I also am very accepting of the fact that I married into an Indian family and having the inlaws around every once in a while is a foregone conclusion.  When my sister in law was dropping them off at my house, I asked my nieces if they would come stay at our house for a week. To be honest, I was totally joking with them. They got all excited and begged my sister in law and her husband to stay with me and their grandparents. I was a little surprised, but I definitely wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t willing to watch them. So all of a sudden I not only have the inlaws, I now have 4 kids in my house.

To say I was unprepared would be kind. Excellent planning is almost a requisite for survival in India. My inlaws have honed it into almost a religion. Unfortunately, I have never been all that good at discipline and planning out of the box. I know how to run our house down to a science, but throw a few extra people in there and shit flies apart. Needless to say, our philosophies and levels of ability are different. My mother in law can look at a house of 8 and know how many quarts of milk we will need a day and how long a curry consisting of 3 vegetables will last. I figure we can always go to the store if we need more milk. Technically this is true, but running a house with 8 people does not lend itself to running to the store every time you miss something.

The kids part of the equation really wasn’t too bad with the exception of 4 little voices asking me for stuff every 5 minutes instead of 2 (and I was prepared for this – I’m not stupid) and a few massive weeping fests at bedtime because my nieces are uber attached to their mother and missed her.

My inlaws come from a very regimented house. My mother in law has been running her house since she was 18 and was often time caring for a household of 20 or more. I totally get it why processes are important to her. However, this is my house. I do not ever have more than 6 people living together for any amount of time. I do actually have my own processes. I have a habit of trying to allow other people to be and do what they want in my house because I want them to be comfortable. It’s not necessarily a good thing for me, but it’s a compulsion I have. This is magnified with my inlaws about 10 times. When someone comes into your house and doesn’t even recognize that you have your own system and tries to re-haul everything you’ve worked on setting up, it’s a very hard pill to swallow. I was mulling over my housekeeper’s ability to try this with me, and then my mother in law came over and it was multiplied by 10. She’s such a perfectionist – and honestly brilliant at what she does – it’s hard not to feel like a gawky 11 year old who doesn’t know anything. Even when I try to defend my way of doing things, she has an argument ready about why her way is better and supporting points. It’s a little exhausting. Ah well, at least now we know where my husband gets it from.  So with the schedule.  My inlaws schedule revolves around food. The problem with getting sucked into someone else’s schedule is that your own will disappear and things that you need to get done. At my house, my work was the first thing out the window. Blogging quickly followed. Spending all day in the kitchen is not compatible with doing actual work or writing.

My inlaws have gone  back to my sister in law’s house. It’s a bittersweet feeling – I miss them after they leave, but I also heave a huge sigh of relief and relaxation.

How do you deal with people who are convinced you are wrong and want to show you the right way to do everything?

Becky

Update: Apparently I'm so dazed I did D twiceD is for Daze
Mood: Crabby from being hot as hell and not in a sexy way. Dutch Viking folk do not like sweating all the time.
Listening to: If You Ask Me - Yusuf Islam
Hello there.  I’m back from oblivion. Anyone really surprised that this alphabet thing is going all to pot? Anyone? Bueller? Didn’t think so. I’m not surprised either.
Anyhow, the past week has been one that has left me in a daze of relatives, schedules, and completely losing my shit. Allow me to explain. My mother and father in law have come to Bangalore. Up until now, they have been staying at my sister in law’s house. As I’ve mentioned before, I really do love my inlaws. They are fabulous people. I also am very accepting of the fact that I married into an Indian family and having the inlaws around every once in a while is a foregone conclusion.  When my sister in law was dropping them off at my house, I asked my nieces if they would come stay at our house for a week. To be honest, I was totally joking with them. They got all excited and begged my sister in law and her husband to stay with me and their grandparents. I was a little surprised, but I definitely wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t willing to watch them. So all of a sudden I not only have the inlaws, I now have 4 kids in my house.
To say I was unprepared would be kind. Excellent planning is almost a requisite for survival in India. My inlaws have honed it into almost a religion. Unfortunately, I have never been all that good at discipline and planning out of the box. I know how to run our house down to a science, but throw a few extra people in there and shit flies apart. Needless to say, our philosophies and levels of ability are different. My mother in law can look at a house of 8 and know how many quarts of milk we will need a day and how long a curry consisting of 3 vegetables will last. I figure we can always go to the store if we need more milk. Technically this is true, but running a house with 8 people does not lend itself to running to the store every time you miss something.
The kids part of the equation really wasn’t too bad with the exception of 4 little voices asking me for stuff every 5 minutes instead of 2 (and I was prepared for this – I’m not stupid) and a few massive weeping fests at bedtime because my nieces are uber attached to their mother and missed her.
My inlaws come from a very regimented house. My mother in law has been running her house since she was 18 and was often time caring for a household of 20 or more. I totally get it why processes are important to her. However, this is my house. I do not ever have more than 6 people living together for any amount of time. I do actually have my own processes. I have a habit of trying to allow other people to be and do what they want in my house because I want them to be comfortable. It’s not necessarily a good thing for me, but it’s a compulsion I have. This is magnified with my inlaws about 10 times. When someone comes into your house and doesn’t even recognize that you have your own system and tries to re-haul everything you’ve worked on setting up, it’s a very hard pill to swallow. I was mulling over my housekeeper’s ability to try this with me, and then my mother in law came over and it was multiplied by 10. She’s such a perfectionist – and honestly brilliant at what she does – it’s hard not to feel like a gawky 11 year old who doesn’t know anything. Even when I try to defend my way of doing things, she has an argument ready about why her way is better and supporting points. It’s a little exhausting. Ah well, at least now we know where my husband gets it from.  So with the schedule.  My inlaws schedule revolves around food. The problem with getting sucked into someone else’s schedule is that your own will disappear and things that you need to get done. At my house, my work was the first thing out the window. Blogging quickly followed. Spending all day in the kitchen is not compatible with doing actual work or writing.
My inlaws have gone  back to my sister in law’s house. It’s a bittersweet feeling – I miss them after they leave, but I also heave a huge sigh of relief and relaxation.

BeckyD is for Daze
Mood: Crabby from being hot as hell and not in a sexy way. Dutch Viking folk do not like sweating all the time.
Listening to: If You Ask Me - Yusuf Islam
Hello there.  I’m back from oblivion. Anyone really surprised that this alphabet thing is going all to pot? Anyone? Bueller? Didn’t think so. I’m not surprised either.
Anyhow, the past week has been one that has left me in a daze of relatives, schedules, and completely losing my shit. Allow me to explain. My mother and father in law have come to Bangalore. Up until now, they have been staying at my sister in law’s house. As I’ve mentioned before, I really do love my inlaws. They are fabulous people. I also am very accepting of the fact that I married into an Indian family and having the inlaws around every once in a while is a foregone conclusion.  When my sister in law was dropping them off at my house, I asked my nieces if they would come stay at our house for a week. To be honest, I was totally joking with them. They got all excited and begged my sister in law and her husband to stay with me and their grandparents. I was a little surprised, but I definitely wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t willing to watch them. So all of a sudden I not only have the inlaws, I now have 4 kids in my house.
To say I was unprepared would be kind. Excellent planning is almost a requisite for survival in India. My inlaws have honed it into almost a religion. Unfortunately, I have never been all that good at discipline and planning out of the box. I know how to run our house down to a science, but throw a few extra people in there and shit flies apart. Needless to say, our philosophies and levels of ability are different. My mother in law can look at a house of 8 and know how many quarts of milk we will need a day and how long a curry consisting of 3 vegetables will last. I figure we can always go to the store if we need more milk. Technically this is true, but running a house with 8 people does not lend itself to running to the store every time you miss something.
The kids part of the equation really wasn’t too bad with the exception of 4 little voices asking me for stuff every 5 minutes instead of 2 (and I was prepared for this – I’m not stupid) and a few massive weeping fests at bedtime because my nieces are uber attached to their mother and missed her.
My inlaws come from a very regimented house. My mother in law has been running her house since she was 18 and was often time caring for a household of 20 or more. I totally get it why processes are important to her. However, this is my house. I do not ever have more than 6 people living together for any amount of time. I do actually have my own processes. I have a habit of trying to allow other people to be and do what they want in my house because I want them to be comfortable. It’s not necessarily a good thing for me, but it’s a compulsion I have. This is magnified with my inlaws about 10 times. When someone comes into your house and doesn’t even recognize that you have your own system and tries to re-haul everything you’ve worked on setting up, it’s a very hard pill to swallow. I was mulling over my housekeeper’s ability to try this with me, and then my mother in law came over and it was multiplied by 10. She’s such a perfectionist – and honestly brilliant at what she does – it’s hard not to feel like a gawky 11 year old who doesn’t know anything. Even when I try to defend my way of doing things, she has an argument ready about why her way is better and supporting points. It’s a little exhausting. Ah well, at least now we know where my husband gets it from.  So with the schedule.  My inlaws schedule revolves around food. The problem with getting sucked into someone else’s schedule is that your own will disappear and things that you need to get done. At my house, my work was the first thing out the window. Blogging quickly followed. Spending all day in the kitchen is not compatible with doing actual work or writing.
My inlaws have gone  back to my sister in law’s house. It’s a bittersweet feeling – I miss them after they leave, but I also heave a huge sigh of relief and relaxation.

Becky

Update: Apparently I'm so dazed I did D twiceD is for Daze
Mood: Crabby from being hot as hell and not in a sexy way. Dutch Viking folk do not like sweating all the time.
Listening to: If You Ask Me - Yusuf Islam
Hello there.  I’m back from oblivion. Anyone really surprised that this alphabet thing is going all to pot? Anyone? Bueller? Didn’t think so. I’m not surprised either.
Anyhow, the past week has been one that has left me in a daze of relatives, schedules, and completely losing my shit. Allow me to explain. My mother and father in law have come to Bangalore. Up until now, they have been staying at my sister in law’s house. As I’ve mentioned before, I really do love my inlaws. They are fabulous people. I also am very accepting of the fact that I married into an Indian family and having the inlaws around every once in a while is a foregone conclusion.  When my sister in law was dropping them off at my house, I asked my nieces if they would come stay at our house for a week. To be honest, I was totally joking with them. They got all excited and begged my sister in law and her husband to stay with me and their grandparents. I was a little surprised, but I definitely wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t willing to watch them. So all of a sudden I not only have the inlaws, I now have 4 kids in my house.
To say I was unprepared would be kind. Excellent planning is almost a requisite for survival in India. My inlaws have honed it into almost a religion. Unfortunately, I have never been all that good at discipline and planning out of the box. I know how to run our house down to a science, but throw a few extra people in there and shit flies apart. Needless to say, our philosophies and levels of ability are different. My mother in law can look at a house of 8 and know how many quarts of milk we will need a day and how long a curry consisting of 3 vegetables will last. I figure we can always go to the store if we need more milk. Technically this is true, but running a house with 8 people does not lend itself to running to the store every time you miss something.
The kids part of the equation really wasn’t too bad with the exception of 4 little voices asking me for stuff every 5 minutes instead of 2 (and I was prepared for this – I’m not stupid) and a few massive weeping fests at bedtime because my nieces are uber attached to their mother and missed her.
My inlaws come from a very regimented house. My mother in law has been running her house since she was 18 and was often time caring for a household of 20 or more. I totally get it why processes are important to her. However, this is my house. I do not ever have more than 6 people living together for any amount of time. I do actually have my own processes. I have a habit of trying to allow other people to be and do what they want in my house because I want them to be comfortable. It’s not necessarily a good thing for me, but it’s a compulsion I have. This is magnified with my inlaws about 10 times. When someone comes into your house and doesn’t even recognize that you have your own system and tries to re-haul everything you’ve worked on setting up, it’s a very hard pill to swallow. I was mulling over my housekeeper’s ability to try this with me, and then my mother in law came over and it was multiplied by 10. She’s such a perfectionist – and honestly brilliant at what she does – it’s hard not to feel like a gawky 11 year old who doesn’t know anything. Even when I try to defend my way of doing things, she has an argument ready about why her way is better and supporting points. It’s a little exhausting. Ah well, at least now we know where my husband gets it from.  So with the schedule.  My inlaws schedule revolves around food. The problem with getting sucked into someone else’s schedule is that your own will disappear and things that you need to get done. At my house, my work was the first thing out the window. Blogging quickly followed. Spending all day in the kitchen is not compatible with doing actual work or writing.
My inlaws have gone  back to my sister in law’s house. It’s a bittersweet feeling – I miss them after they leave, but I also heave a huge sigh of relief and relaxation.

Becky

Update: Apparently I'm so dazed I did D twice. D is for "Doh!"

Monday, April 9, 2012

D is for Domesticity


This will be a shorty post. Just trying to keep the flow going.

As I’ve discussed before, I have what I like to call the Martha Stewart gene. I’m not anywhere near as creative as she is, but I do love me some cooking, cleaning and organizing. I wasn’t always like this; I only developed the symptoms after I got married. Since we’ve moved to India, I have a house keeper type lady who comes over to clean my house and occasionally cook some food.

My housekeeper took the day off recently right before my inlaws landed up at my house to stay for a week.  I had a very full day of cleaning and washing dishes. Perhaps I haven’t been here long enough to get spoiled, but I actually enjoyed doing my own chores again. I missed washing the dishes. On one hand, dismissing the housekeeper would let me do things how I want them done. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have time to sit and write all this nonsense on my blog, and I do love me some blogging.

Becky

Saturday, April 7, 2012

C is for Collateral Damage


Listening to: Suga Suga – Baby Bash
Mood: Exasperated

What do you do when friends and relatives have so many other obligations that you end up feeling like an afterthought all the time, even though you are asking for face time?  I’m not going to call out anyone here – I have a few relatives that this seems to apply to and I do love them all.

I grew up in an extended family that prioritized family time. We didn’t see each other all that often, but whenever we did see each other, people actually made time and visited. Those times are some of the best memories I have. As I got older, I would often hear that visits weren’t always possible because people have lives. This I get. I do indeed have my own life that sometimes takes juggling – see the insane parade of people that have come through my house in the past 2 years.

I guess I’m just old fashioned, but to me, both friendships and family take work and connection. Just because I’m not being needy and demanding doesn’t mean I don’t need or want to spend time with people. I respect your obligations, but you need to realize that I am one too. I don’t want to have to feel like the other obligations in your life always take precedence over mine.

I know, I know, stop with the wah wah party. I just hate feeling that with some people, especially family, that it will always be something or other.  I don’t want to be collateral damage from your other obligations.

Becky

Friday, April 6, 2012

B is for Bollywood


Listening to: Tujhse Nazar Nahi Zindigi from Massom
Mood: Procrastination central. I have relatives coming over tomorrow and I’m hiding from all the cleaning

Oh Bollywood. Over the past 10 years I have come to love you like you were a part of my own culture and upbringing.  For those not in the know, Bollywood is the Indian version of Hollywood that is based out of what was once Bombay. It’s now technically considered Mumbai, but come on people, we can’t call it Mollywood, that’s just ridiculous. In a side not, there is also a Sandalwood, Tollywood, and Kollywood. It’s getting totally out of control.

Bollywood has always had its own style of movie making that never directly competed with western style movies nor became taken over by them. To be sure certain elements were shamelessly borrowed from or stolen (Yeah, sneaking Snoop Doggy Dog into Bhangra, hello India, what’s that about??), but the soul of a Bollywood movie always retains its own flavor. Most of the movies are centered around music, although this isn’t necessarily true anymore. Think like a musical play, only with lots of coy looks and dancing in the rain. Bollywood can be split up into 3 catagories.
  1.  Really, really old movies. Some of these are classics, but the only people who seem to like these movies are older aunties and uncles and even their parents. It is a tremendous nostalgia jag for them to see really old movies. In the US, see anything with Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, or Cary Grant.
  2. Everything from the 70’s to the mid 90’s. This was really the golden age of Bollywood. The movies were for the most part interesting, the girls were innocent and fully covered, all sexuality was implied and never shown (seriously, not even kissing), and there were great songs from most of the movies. Indian kids growing up in the late 70’s were fully exposed to this section and probably have a firm affinity for this era. These are my personal favorite too.
  3. Anything after 1995. After that approximate time, Bollywood started selling its soul little by little and becoming more western. There are many more “Item Girls” (Hot girls who are loose with their favors), shorts and cleavage are common, and the songs have definitely lost some of the Indian soul and quality. They just seem like a cheap ripoff of some of the older movies. I understand that the world is flattening as we speak, but this just makes me sad how much movies have lost.

Bollywood has a whole lineup of actors and actresses that make a buttload of money, just like their American counterparts. Some have been around for quite some time and some have better acting skills than others. I personally prefer actors and actresses that have been around for a good long time (think Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Akshay Kumar) just because they seem to bring back some tradition and some of the magic that movies used to have.

If you’re not familiar with the genre, I highly suggest you check it out. You probably won’t like it at first. If you grew up on a strict diet of Hollywood movies, it will take you a long time to stop laughing, especially if you watch some of the older stuff. It does grow on you and you end up getting sucked into the innocence.

Becky

A is for Alcohol


Listening to: Hai Koi Hum Jaisa from Dhaani
Here we go trying to catch up on alphabet blogging.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that with a smidgeon less discipline, I would be a raging alcoholic. Well, I would have been in the US, but hooch is simply too expensive to guzzle here… so I’m afraid alcoholism is out, at least for now.

We have finally located the newspaper guy in our building and are now getting newspapers delivered to our house. Can I get an AMEN! Seriously, that guy has been harder to find than Carmen Sandiego.

I was reading an article that said that scientists discovered that people feel more sexy and confident when they have an alcoholic drink in their hand and are drinking it. All together now – well duh! Alcohol lowers your anxiety levels and helps you not worry about being an ass in front of others. Well now we have science to back us up on this. I’m not sure why this make the 2nd page of the newspaper, but who cares. 

Here’s to your sexiness and your confidence. Drink up!

Becky

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

G is for Guilt Manifesto


Mood: Calm, for now
Listening to: Random Hindi songs

I’m trying to follow the A-Z blogging in April. I’m already a little behind, but I’m hoping to catch up today. I was going to wait to post this, but I don’t have an “A” post ready….so we’re going to sub in “G” for today.

I’m sure that this post will offend at least 1 person. To that person, take it or leave it, it is what it is. I really don’t care either way.


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about feeling guilty and why people like to make you feel that way. Make no mistake, there are actually people who like that, and not passively. I feel there is definitely a place in our lives for guilt. Without it, society would devolve into a hot, steaming mess of brutality and anarchy. We all have parameters in which we need to abide to make life in a community setting possible. I am not referring to the type of guilt and social obligation that constrains us from boiling each other in hot oil for giggles.

I’m talking about the type of guilt that other people impose on you to make you fit into how they see the world. You know the one, the insidious, anxious feeling that is programmed into you from a very young age, working its way into your psyche so that you end up feeling guilty all on your own. The one that seeks out original ideas and brutally kills them for daring to be different. The one that makes you second guess your every move according to what other people expect of you.

Due to some really tough home situations, I have had thick skin since my teenage years. I’ve compared myself to a rhino, and I tell you, it’s not really that far off the mark. It takes a LOT to make me feel upset or guilty at anything people say. Certain people’s opinions (my husband, my mother) matter more to me than others, but for the most part, I can confidently say that I am happy to march to the beat of my own drum without feeling bad about it. I also have been blessed with a husband who has helped me by always encouraging me to be proud of who I am and always try to become a better person.

I find guilt imposed on you by other people to be almost useless. If you look at the other person’s motivations, you will most likely find that that their intent was to make your behavior easier on themselves to palate. What I would like to know is why this is so important. Life is hard. People are in fact individuals. We just do not all fit the same mold.  Why would it seem like a good idea not to celebrate who someone is, but rather guilt them into acting how you thought they ought to. This is the place where creativity and individuality go to die.

Another thing about guilt that absolutely pushes my buttons is people who expect you to feel guilty for being good at something or having something good happen to you. Most likely, it will be people close to you who do this. The averted eyes, the “wow, how great for you” with a less than sincere tone. I get it, no one likes to listen to bragging and sometimes, you just can’t avoid jealousy. Even with this caveat, the people closest to you should not be the ones trying to drag you down, even though this happens all too often.

I mentioned this in my blog post “Baby Mama Wanna Be.” A synopsis – my best friend has 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls. I would give my left arm, leg, and possibly boob to have at least 1 more kid. After hearing that she was expecting her youngest 2, it was almost physically painful to hear and congratulate her and try my best to be happy for her. But I did it because I love that girl and I genuinely AM happy for her. Why in the world should she feel guilty about those blessings because of a want in my life? The answer is, she shouldn't.

So no – I won’t apologize for being a white girl who knows how to drape her own saris, and cook Indian food. I won’t apologize for preferring to shop in the village and walk there by myself. I won’t apologize for taking life by the balls and enjoying my stay in India and not hating all of the uncomfortable things. No, I absolutely won’t apologize for being smart and reading big complicated books. No, I won’t apologize for my taste in clothes, music, or my pictures on my wall.  I won’t apologize for being musically able or all the years I took piano lessons. I will not apologize for being quiet when I have nothing to say or just don’t want to talk and I will not apologize when I don’t smile because life is hard for me. I absolutely won’t apologize for the way I’ve chosen to raise my children or conduct my marriage. I will not apologize or feel guilty for having shoulders broad enough to walk, talk and think on my own. I will not apologize for being strong enough to stand on my own, even if I choose to share my life with my spouse.

I am the way I am because I have gone down the roads set before me in life and took some of those experiences and used to them to shape myself into what I am today. I am this way because I decided early on that I wanted to be proud of myself and develop things in myself that I admired. I did not land up on earth how I am now, it took years of stumbling and pulling myself back up to get here. I am not perfect, but I am damn proud of all the hard work it took me to get where I am. For that reason alone, I will not ever apologize for who I am. If it makes you uncomfortable, I will understand that, but don’t you dare try and make me feel guilty for who I am and try to invalidate all the work I did to get here. I’m definitely not done either. It only gets  better from here.

Becky

Thoughts Exploding out of my Fingers


Mood: Velocoraper – like. Seriously. Duck and cover.
Listening to: Civil War – Guns N Roses

For reasons that I’ll explain later in this blog, I needed to write today. Unfortunately, today is not great personally for me so I’m really afraid this blog entry will come out sounding bitter, angry, and not just a little bit whiney. My apologies if this happens. Feel free to skip today and move on to something with a little more unicorns, rainbows, and general sunshine shooting out people’s butts if you’re so inclined.

Since my departure for a new life half way around the world, my communication with people who are not technically required to communicate with me (read: not family) has been a little spotty. My oh so mediocre history of communication does not put me in a favorable light when it comes to getting in contact with people.  I am not a social butterfly that makes friends everywhere and the minute she lands. It takes me a LONG time to settle into a place and get to know people. Then slowly slide into friendship. We were blessed to be able to stay in New York for almost 7 years (unheard of if you know my husband and I at all, we bounce around a lot!) and had a beautiful group of friends that we were dearly attached to.  One of the most challenging things about  taking a step off the cliff and plunging into a new situation, either 1 state away or half a world, is overcoming the people barrier. It’s not a language thing, it’s not a fear thing, it’s just taking the time to get to know people and slowly become friends.

This being said, I don’t talk a lot in real life. Unless you are my mother, then I talk your ear off every time I call you, but I digress. I’m not really unhappy with this either. I’m just not the chatty type. Unless I’ve been into the merlot, but that’s a whole other blog post. I have two small children who require almost ceaseless, mindless chatter. They are home on summer vacation right now. After I’ve spent the day talking with them, I find myself craving a small hidey-hole to go sit in. What I do however have is an excess of thoughts floating around in my brain fighting to get out. All these thoughts coupled with a general lack of people to have intelligent conversations with (i.e. nothing in reference to Sponge bob, Popeye, or Oggie and the cockroaches) makes writing indispensible to me. It really is the only way to get stuff out of my head.

As the years have gone by, I’ve become more and more attached to having all of my thoughts written down and organized. Writing has become a joy for me that I crave.

Unfortunately, writing takes some semblance of concentration for me and a certain mindset. If I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or just plain angry, I can’t write. Well, I can, but then I can’t stand the tone my writing takes. That bitter, sarcastic mopey tone that I can’t stand. I hate listening to myself be like this even more than listening to other people carry on like this.

Sometimes it isn’t an attitude problem, it’s the sheer current of life that pulls me along without a chance to sit and write. I have a family to take care of, a job, and interests outside of writing. This is most frustrating when words are literally exploding out of my fingertips, yet I just can’t find the time to get them down. As you have probably noticed as of late, I have started writing longer blog posts, which in turn need longer time to be written and edited.

The third thing that keeps me from writing when I have the time is plain old vanilla procrastination. I like to play Spider while I formulate ideas in my head, pausing to note down ideas/sentences that invade my head. The only problem with this is that Spider is addictive. What could have been a 20 minute brainstorm can quickly turn into an hour and a half time suck. I know it’s ridiculous, but sometimes that’s the way I roll.
My blogs have always been the way that I cater to the need to write. I do occasionally write fiction geared towards a strictly adult audience, but I feel blogging is more up my alley. I don’t write for anyone else. No one pays me. I do it for the sheer love of the art of taking letters, syllables, words, and sentences and weaving them together to create something.

So there it is, all out on the table. I will most likely be writing for the rest of my life. I love it, I need it, and I will do it. Hopefully on a regular basis.

Becky