Thursday, March 30, 2006

Defining Oneself ..with food

I was on another site where someone posed the query - if you were a type of food/drink, what would you be?

Yes, we can certainly make this naughty. :-)

However, I started thinking about definitions and expressions. Since I recently wrote the chai poem, my mind wandered back to it.

So, I think I would be a warm cup of chai - sweet, but not too sweet, surprisingly spicy though not overwhelming. The caffeine can be invigorating and it can be soothing too. I feel like quite the cheerleader and pacifier to those around me.

I'd love to get feedback on what type of food/drink you think you are.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Movie Review: Just Like Heaven

Did I need to put a "Chick Flick" warning label on this blog?

I watched it last night and it was a sweet movie. Has a nice mix of true love goes beyond our bodies and is a meeting of the souls, fate, destiny, whatever. In case you don't know the story, as I did not until it started, it's about two souls bringing each other back from the dead. I'll leave it at that.

Reese Witherspoon's character Elizabeth is very well developed in comparison to Mark Ruffalo's David. He's got that average guy cuteness about it, which makes him fetching - "Thirteen Going on Thirty" and "View From the Top". However, you need to have more than that.

It got a little annoying in the last scene in the hospital, but I thought it was fun. Reminiscent of "Ghost" though a lot lighter, and less confusing than "Chances Are" (remember Cybil Shepard's husband comes back in Robert Downey's body?).

I would've given David a career in the first scene. At least make him a writer who has a nagging agent or something. Then you would be able to see his "avoidance" issues.

Anyway, I'm sure this movie will make the TNT/TBS circuit. I think Reese Witherspoon is stepping into the heels of Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan for the romantic comedy genre. I did think she did a fabulous job in "Vanity Fair" though.

In case my friend Dr. Manisha is reading this, I thought of you a lot since Elizabeth is a doctor running around a hospital on no sleep! It looked very realistic to me, but I've never worked in a hospital so I buy whatever portrayals the pop culture/media feeds me. I mean, don't your colleagues look like George Clooney and Goran Visnjic?

Monday, March 27, 2006

On the Job Training: Motherhood 11 - Play Dates

So this is the new dating game.

I've been seeing articles about this in parenting magazines so I'm reassured I'm not alone in this. There's a lot of anxiety involved. The kids like each other and are "new best friends," but does that mean I have to click with the mom too? I have enough friends, do I need more?

With Annika's first friend T, it was good. Her mom, D., is very outgoing and social, and we found ourselves chatting up a storm. In fact, we went out to wine tasting dinner (sans kids) with D and her husband. We had a great time, and even the guys had a good connection. Think we've found a nice match. Girls are in the same dance class, so we chat every Saturday morning. Things are good.

Now, Annika's in the new preschool (and doing pretty well) and has a friend Allison. So, Annika & I went to Allison's house one afternoon, spent two hours there and Allison's mom and I had fun chatting. It was great because we shared training/discipline tricks, kindergarten information and other things. I felt more informed when I came out of there; she later told me she started doing some things I had suggested. I guess our daughters' personalities are similar so they would work.

Now we have a play date with Hannah. So, I coordinated with her mom and took her there one Sat afternoon. We stood in the foyer, and I kinda waited wondering if I was going to be invited inside or not. Then Hannah's mom, H. said, "Annika are you ok if mommy leaves for a little while." So, H. was comfortable with having the girls play without entertaining me. I was thrilled! I figured she'd be ok since Hannah has an older sister and both parents are teachers. I rushed off to Target and other stores to do errands. I was quite sad at how quickly 2 hours flew by.

At Our House
Out of courtesy, it was my turn to host Hannah and let them have 2 hours of peace. She dropped off Hannah last Sunday and let me know that she had been sick last week. She lived on juice and water for 4 days and is now ravenous. That's fine.

I told the girls, "Let me know when you want a snack." as they were playing. Fifteen minutes later, Hannah said "Annika's mom, I'd like to eat a snack." So I gave her some mini-muffins and Annika had some cookies - the two of them dressed up in princess garb.

An hour later, she returned hungry. I gave her more muffins. Annika did not want to eat at all.

About an hour later, she told me she was hungry and opened the fridge. It was almost lunch time and I didn't know what her mother had planned. I told her "No, your mom is coming soon and you'll have lunch at home."

I turned around to get Annika to start putting away her toys and I looked for Hannah. She was gone. I started yelling her name, running up and down, opening and closing closet doors, basement, garage. My heart was pounding -- I lost the child 10 minutes before her mom is coming! What kind of play date parent am I?! Annika was running around looking for her, too. I was getting a little furious at this hiding game.

Finally, I found her in the dining room. Under the farthest chair, her pink tutu revealed itself. She was crying and I pried her up. I asked her what was wrong and why did she hide?

"I'm hungry." she said sadly.

I quickly jumped up to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Her mom came a short time after I finished. She didn't take off her coat and made some small talk. By the way, I told her about the hiding and she said Hannah doesn't hide often (maybe new environment?) She said I should've called. Anyway, she was nice, but no chemistry between us.

So, is this what I should expect going forward? More to my nature, I'll just play it by ear and see how all this goes.

Social Calendars
So, every now and then Annika wants one of her friends to come over. However, by the time I coordinate with the moms and given everyone's hectic schedules, it could be tomorrow or it could be two weeks from tomorrow.

We have such a busy life - we've got friends and family commitments, home renovations (another topic for another blog!), work and the need to just chill out every now and then. I really didn't think a 5 year old could bring obligations to the calendar.

She's got back-to-back birthday parties this Saturday; actually will be cutting out of the Nature Center early to make it to the Dance party in time.

I, on the other hand, have no plans for Saturday night.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bubbles (My Poems): Stepping Over the Mist

A lovely lady had whispered to me

tiny secrets she held
in her bosom. She pulled the slip of white
from her white chest, soft billowing
flesh. I must let you know.

This is so important and I hope you will remember.
I assured her I would.
She whispered with the freshness of summer
and sweet scents of roses in her hair pummeled through my senses.

How can it be? I asked.
Is it so simple?
Yes, she said. You must not worry.

For now you know.

There was something that
told me
you would come my way
walk down my path

and perhaps ring my doorbell
Should I answer it. I do not think I should.
Could you leave the flowers on
the steps and the kisses through the keyhole?

Things that Worry Me

In no particular order:
Third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq

o South Dakota

o My senator Rick Santorum

o Intelligent Design becoming a
scientific topic. If we roll back Darwin, should we roll back Galileo too?

o Tom Delay winning Texas primary

o Dakota Fanning movies

o Having had 20" of snow dumped on a Sunday in February and having it melt by Thursday's 57 degree weather. Feels great, but can we enjoy it without conjuring hurricanes and droughts and wildfires due to global
climate change?

o Bird flu - when do we stop serving chicken nuggets to our kids?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bubbles (My poems) For the Third Anniversary of the US Invasion of Iraq

I wrote these poems on March 19, 2003 11:30 pm, as the invasion would begin March 20, 2003 . The first poem is what I imagined it would be like to be an Iraqi in Baghdad, just waiting for the war to start.

We have fear
to pull over our heads at night
to shut out the prying eyes,
the fingers that crawl through the blinds.

We have fear
to protect us from the
Invisible Evil that
may fall from the sky

or hurt as we breathe.

let the fear harden our lungs
so it may not let out the
cries of anguish,
the turmoil we feel inside
should be hidden.

Tell me how one strikes
upon a city
that sleeps.

A city in a stupor
of silence

Do you feel stronger and braver
knowing you have concrete targets?
Had someone thrown the first punch
and you fought back with that awesome
left hook,

I would understand.

I would know where it came from -
a fire inside sparked.

Yet how do you light a fire
when there is only ice in the air?
Sand in your eyes?

We cloak ourselves in answers
knowing what we do not know
but say we do.

Is it all Right?

We will find out tomorrow

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bubbles (My poems) This Afternoon

Come to my house for a warm cup of masala chai.
Not a powdered Starbucks mix,
but a tawny brew of foamy milk, water and
teas, harvested on the green hills of Ooty,
picked by women swathed in cotton saris.

I’ll lace it with a blend of spices
made from my mother’s recipes.
A gingery grind of
and other spices you didn’t
know could even be added to tea.

I’ll serve you in pastel Ikea mugs
on a Pflatzgraff tray.
It goes well with ginger snaps and
khari bisquits.
Editorial: I don't understand how Chai Latte got coined. It's so mismatched - Asian and Italian words to describe an American concoction.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bubbles (My poems): Art Begets Art

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend a women's writing workshop at the Pen and Brush in New York City. For me, it was a day to feed my soul - I had a chance to write and interact with exceptional people, all who share a passion for writing. I definitely came away feeling elated and optimistic, and found wonderful support.

The Pen and Brush is an amazing place to be and full of inspiration. It's a historic brownstone and they have an exhibit of women's artwork around the room. Since we were there from 9 to 5, the sun cast light and shadows. I saw the paintings actually breathe with the changing light.

We did two writing exercises that tasked us to view a piece of artwork in the room and let it reveal itself - actually "reveal you to you." So, for a change from the motherhood posts/poems that I have been recently posting, I found myself writing about me. (Yes, I remember her!)

The third exercise was to draw conclusions from the first two poems.
I was thrilled to find images of these two beautiful pieces online.

Exercise one: She, Me.
(Inspired by Nikki Moore's "She" a collage of torn magazine paper)
Pieces of you and others
make me.
Dress me up, tell me who
I should be,
wearing hats, wearing boots
draping myself in all that
is around me.

But really, my soft curves,
curvier, linear
interior lines
are my true self. And
if you care to step closer to
me, you'll see the hues of me.
I am not
just one shade, but
colors that glow
and fade
and sparkle
and change.

Exercise 2:
(Inspired by Min Sin Kim's "Room 502")

If you sit long enough,
You will become one of them:
Helpless, hapless statues.
Embraced by a stale air,
unable to reciprocate,
only hesitate.
You will be paralyzed by your anger,
holding for an eternity what
you need
to throw now.
Your soul will become
a cool polished stone.

There is a light, you see.
A window. Jump
through it.
Take me with you.

Exercise 3: Gather the pearls, the necklace will come

A grain of sand
found itself into an
Oyster. It irritated.
It burned. It let her know
it was there.
The Oyster wanted to
rip it out. Let it free.
But, she liked it.
In time, her shell hardened and
she grew into it.
she felt the irritating sand was
gone, and a smoothness bubbled
Inside. It lolled about the folds of
her belly and her heart,
but it stopped short her mouth.
When would she be able to release it?