Monday, February 28, 2011

They Need Their Own Catagory

"It was like a fashion show not an award show last night," my husband remarked this morning when I was watching "the best dressed and the worst dressed at the Oscars" part of the news.
"Shush," I said without taking my eyes off of the TV. I know I watched them all last night, from Halle Berry, to Marissa Tomei, to Nicole Kidman, to Gwyneth Paltrow and of course Anne Hathaway who changed who knows how many dresses.
"So what were you saying?" I asked with an apologetic tone. "I see what you mean," I said in an understanding tone. "There were not too many men, were there?"
"Men were there, they are just not dependant on fashion to look elegant," he said. "I mean women go through so much, so much competition, for what?"
"It is not as simple as that. They are not competing, it is a way to keep culture going. They can afford the fashion. It is when we cannot afford and we compete, that is when it is bad. They were all in good spirit too." I think it was not me talking. It was my upbringing, where girls are supposed to dress up and get dolled up in a formal occasion. I am actually envious of men who get to wear tuxedos that can help them move about. Heels- I am so against them that I cannot stop talking about the dangers you can put yourself in. Most of the dresses were gorgeous and some reminded me of plastic table cloths and some of drapes.
I was so sure that  Hailee Steinfeld the young lady from "True Grit" would win that I did not even pay attention to the actress who actually won. I was really sad for her. This same feeling I had when the kid from Sixth Sense did not win. I really like to encourage young performers who actually proved themselves to be good enough to be nominated. Why do they not have a category for young Best or Best Supporting Actors and Actresses? I wish they did. I think that Dakota Fanning did a great job in War of the Worlds.
Couple of things I am happy about. Jake Gyllenhaal looks so mature. I had to look close to recognise him .Also Mila Kunis has matured so nicely. Her lacy lavender dress was very elegant. The Chorus from PS 22 was invited to sing. That made a lot of moms very happy.
One important reason I watched was to listen to Zachary Levi. I watch Chuck on a regular basis but never heard him sing. He is right in thinking about making an album.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Learn From Examples --- Good Or Bad

"One does not have to be chronologically an adult to be considered respectful as long as one shows the signs of maturity," said one of our dishwashing ladies back when I was a little girl. I hated wasting  "drinking water" so I would pour only half a glass and if I am still thirsty I would pour some more. Water was scarce in the sense that we did not have a refrigerator in our home. "Drinking water" would be stored in separate utensils from water for other uses. On top of that the water supply would shut off at 10 AM every morning and not turn on until four in the afternoon. So we would be careful using "drinking water " because we would not be able to drink water that was for other uses as that would be stored in big deep heavy containers. Today I miss Laxmi, my mom's dishwashing lady (who had a lot of insight) because I see that a lot of actors and actresses and national sport people make a lot of money, but some of them  behave very immature. Their choices of spending money does not reflect their age very well. Sure, it is their money and their choice if they want to waste it on vices or save for future, or old age.Sometimes it seems like they are unable to stomach a big slice of luck, sometimes it seems like they need to be supervised and sometimes it seems like they need attention. Who's attention? I wouldn't know.
A couple of weeks ago I was upset because someone on facebook had told Lindsay Lohan to go kill herself. Suicide is a very delicate subject. You need to walk around it like you are walking on eggshells. This person was not even a sibling of the actress so why does she care about the attention media was giving the actress?  I hope that Lindsay Lohan is getting some counseling and is improving. I wish that someone tells her to take a lesson from Charlie Sheen ie if you take success for granted you will lose it. Lindsay Lohan is an extremely talented actress so I hope she learns from an example no matter how bad it is.

Friday, February 25, 2011


When it comes to cause and effect I am with science people. I mean things happen because there is an explainable reason. Even accidents show reasonable details when looked at closely. So I always wondered why I heard from my grown ups that if a person is unkind there will be unkind consequences that his children will have to put up with. Hey, I am not disobedient in case any of my elders are reading this blog (which I doubt very much),  I am of average intelligence and most people of average intelligence do not get persuaded by what they hear but by what they understand. Right? Maybe it is a method that people of India use to deter people from being mean to each other. We try to do our best to give our kids the best possible life. So we do not want to do anything at all that could have an adverse effect on them.

I absolutely adore Angus Jones, who plays Jake Harper in Two and a Half Men. I am not a big TV person but once in a while I watch what every one else is watching. So last time I watched Two and a Half Men I was surprised to see that he grew up to be a very good looking young man. He did not get that syndrome at all, you know the one I am talking about, when cute baby actors ( or cute kids in general )  grow up to be awkward. He is still very good looking, has poise and I am sure a lot of young girls think that he has suave. So this morning when I heard in the news that the show was getting cancelled my immediate thought went toward him. "Man, do kids really have to pay for grown ups' sins?" Then my husband reminded that that kid does not have any relation with Charlie Sheen at all. They are all actors.
This evening my daughter pointed out that both Angus Jones and Jon Cryer  ( he was so cool as Duckie in Pretty in Pink) will find work as they are both well known. It is the behind the scenes people she is thinking about.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So Different and So much Alike

"We forgot to live," I said. My daughter looked up from her computer. "I mean this winter and cold weather does not allow us to do anything you know, outdoors." I finished my sentence.
"Hybernate," she said and went on with her keyboard. I went to bed, reminiscing about  when we were in India and we would put cots under the sky in our backyard, in air filled with jasmine blossoms and look at the stars until my father called us back in saying that the fruit bats will be coming soon. We would then come inside and close the doors and keep the screened windows open so we could still look at the sky and smell the jasmine. So I went to sleep missing my childhood. This morning I brought the subject up and then my daughter said, "To me not living means not helping anyone. If we are not helping anyone we are just existing." Wow, I had no idea. Here I am missing India's outdoors (or American outdoors in spring time) and here she is talking about something so deep. Later today I was thinking how my father used to say that our existence is a waste if we do not lend a helping hand to the needy. So that is where she gets it from. Aside from this strong feeling of helping people, if I think about my father and compare him to my daughter, they seem so different. He used to like rich Indian food, she is into skim milk and fruits, he used to like only Indian music, her favourites include The Beatles. He believed that women should stay home and man should make the money,she is very independent. Yet she does not believe in wasting resources and he was careful about using every bit of paper before he would take an other sheet. So I am wondering if my father lived to see her, would she be able to change his mind and convince him about her likes and dislikes? The deeper concerns about this world are the same.
It has been a month since the world lost Jack Lalane. He was somebody I looked up to. Not because he was rich or because of his looks but because he reminded me of my grandmother. They both believed in being independent so they took care of themselves. She believed in eating two morsels less than everyone else and used to say that if we move about and did our own service we would not have to worry about  being disabled. She came from a different world than Jack Lalane but had thinking so much alike.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Today's Kid is Tomorrow's Grown Up

We had only  up to six inches of snow in the whole area of New York State  (we had only two inches in our neighbourhood)  and I was upset. Then the Barbie toy with her feet all bent for high heel got me upset.  I should not worry now that my daughter is old enough and she is smart enough not to wear high heels (her decision).  I still get upset, the reason being that I am shorter than average and I used to wear high heels to look as tall as some of my coworkers. Now that I do not wear high heels I am so comfortable and am able to walk so much more that I have started discouraging people from wearing high heels.  Also, I remember my Mom as a very fashionable lady. I would sit and look at her beautiful sandals (high heels ) that she said she did not wear very often. Never the less it was so stylish to wear pencil heel that it looked like we did not wear high heels even if we wore two inches high. So no one paid attention and things went unnotised and ladies suffered all kinds of muscular and skeletal problems. In her later years my Mom started getting severe pain in her back. With some one with good health insurance plans and good hospitals around in the state of Maryland doctors recommended a back surgery. The surgery went well except that on the day she was suppose to have been discharged she had a stroke. We lost her when she was in her mid sixties. She suffered just about four month's with the rehab. I am not so sure if I could attribute her back ache to high heels but I know for a fact that she never fell or hurt herself. I was begining to get back ache when I wore heels and fashion or not no high heels for me. Thank You.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Poor Barbie

So Mr. Frost visits again, Yeah, yeah, yeah, the roads were not as slick because of the thaw last week and most of us did not have to go to work. Central Park was a Winter Wonderland again. Does it mean that cleaning the snow is not going to cause fatigue? Yes I am testy again. What do you know, it is always the exercise that makes us feel good. So after the snow was taken care of we headed towards the mall, for a walk. I had not eaten breakfast because of the tension of the snow. "How about we grab a burger?' I could not believe myself. Usually I am the one discouraging a stop at the fast food place.
"OK." My husband just needs a hint.
So we order happy meal because it comes with juice not soda. "Girl or a boy?" the same question. I said "girls" without thinking. "So what's in it today?" I asked my daughter.
"It's Barbie" she said. This time Barbie had wings.
Then my daughter pointed out to her feet and said, "Her feet are always shaped like they should be in heels."  I looked. Oh yeah, now what is up with those people. Do they not realize that time has changed and girls don't always wear heels? Are we giving little girls a message that they should be always wearing heels? Common people, this is 2011. Girls are more enlightened now. (Not there is anything wrong with people who like to wear heels.) My point is please do not give wrong messages to kids. Stop already. I know just about half a dozen people who ruined their pinky toes, arch of their feet, knee balls, ankles, and backs. Just about everyone I know who wears heels on a permanent basis cry at the end of the day (or party) and want to walk barefoot. It may be worthwhile for them. Let it be a girl's choice. Do not suggest it to them from their formative years on by shaping dolls feet to look like they should be in high heels.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Entitled to Waste? Not Me

If someone lives within a hop, skip and jump distance from Washington DC and wants to visit you, when you live in a suburb of New York City what do you do to entertain them? The driving time is supposed to be an hour but takes more than two hours because of traffic. You do not have too many choices. Two years ago my siblings were visiting me for the first time since we moved away in a condo and I was going crazy planning their visit, menu and entertainment besides other things.
"Having company Munir?" asked a coworker. I smiled.
"You worry too much, just take them to Cosimo's. There is one in New Windsor and one in Monroe. You are covered if you take them to Woodbury Commons or decide to stay home reminiscing."
Great tip. Cosimo's is good in service and has good food. Their food has their basic signature taste for the chain but a difference of a dash or a pinch here and there in different locations. There is a small Cosimo's in the mall here. Not a full service place, you stay in line, order, pay and take your food and supplies (napkin, straws, plastic cutlery etc) to the table. The food is still very good. The price is not as high as in a sit down restaurant. Today in the mall Cosimos was unusually busy. We had to order and sit down and then wait for the food. When the pizza slices came they were very hot. Some of us were blowing on them to make them cool and some of us were tearing a little corner at a time. Then a young man gets up and gets a plastic knife and a fork and eats his pizza.
"Great idea," I said . I got up to go get a pair myself. Then I sat down. Tearing a little piece at a time I finished halfway and then ate the rest like I usually do.
"Why did you get up to get the knife and fork and why did you sit down," asked my husband,
"Because, one pair was wasted on a slice of pizza by one person, I did not want to add to the garbage," I said. My husband shook his head in disbelief.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Genius Remembered

President Obama showed his dismay about the acedemic achievements of our students here in the US.  He compared our students to Asian students and to students from India. I cannot say anything about Chinese or Japanese, but I will say this much that parents from India go beyond their means to send their kids to school and colleges. Here in the USA a lot of teachers have lost their jobs. It is not fair with the inner schools to have to loose their teachers when the student to teachers ratio is already bad. We need teachers and parents to be able to understand every kid and see what potentials he or she has. Who could be a genius, who could be a future scientist and who could be a manager. One such genius was George Washington Carver. In spite of being born a slave and loosing his parents at an early age,  (his father passed away and his mother was kidnapped by a night raider) Mr.Carver never wasted his time in goofing around. He was lucky to have Susan and Moses Carver for his guide, who not only freed him, but helped him out with his education. He had a deep interest in agriculture and a strong thirst for learning. How else would he have discovered almost a hundred uses for peanuts and several uses for soy beans. His achievements are too many for me to blog, but a family trip to Tuskegee University would be very interesting for kids especially if they are curious about crops etc. I urge every adult involved in a kids life to let the kid explore and see his potential for who knows the very same kid might be able to save our earth from getting destroyed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spills , Messes and Feeling Good

Back when people used discipline more than common sense to raise their children, I used to kiss my kids on their little hands and their cheek or foreheads , whenever they spilled something.
"You are the only parent who shows love to kids when they make a mess." said a friend who had stopped by for a cup of tea.
"Well, it was an accident, a mistake. You can clearly see that. " My only defense for loving my kid. I felt weird.
"Not in my house" she said. "My husband gets a fit"
"Why?" my question was genuine.
"Because it makes a mess in the first place and also it is a waste of food." she explained.
"I don't look at things that way, not when they are this young" I was still supporting my method. "You can see how sorry he is, there is no need for yelling"
" May be you are right" she said . I shrugged my shoulders, "Lets go and see what the kids are up to" we headed for the basement where kids used to play.
I remembered this incident today because I spilled some orange juice while pouring it in my cup. First my thought went towards a "stroke". Then I realized that there are many more health issues when it comes to people my age. Lack of coordination between your brain and your fine motor? It got scary and I realized that I was making a mountain of a mole hill. So I laughed and here I am writing my memoirs since my early years when my kids were babies. I do remember getting angry at my kids when they were teen agers and they did not tighten the base of the blender and almost all of the drink started seeping through the blender and on top of the counter. All three of them were laughing. I felt like a warden who was angry. I still regret that.
Today I did not get angry, instead I got worried.  Then I said why worry ? It is only a spill. I am still capable of carrying it from the refrigerator to the table. How perspective changes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Family Time Better than Valentine Dinner

Since the beginning of this month my husband has been asking "What day is Valentine's Day and what date is it?" My answer has been the same. "It is coming on a Monday this year and it is the same date like every year, the fourteenth of February. " I have been planning to take him to a seafood place. As far as I am concerned, I do not want anything as his health and well-being is the only thing I wish for (and health and well being of my kids(including my daughter-in-law of course) and  my grand kids.)  So I was feeling good, planning this trip across the river to Poughkeepsie to our favourite sea food  place. Now what do you know? Our son in Hawaii had been planning a visit home to surprise us. If it was up to me I would discourage him from coming to New York, when it is biting cold. He had already bought tickets and we had a great visit. When my kids come home, I do not take them out to eat as they miss my cooking therefore I was feeling bad that I could not keep up with the plan of taking my husband out to eat. Instead, I made Salmon and shrimp and rice and all the side dishes. We all had fun sitting together and enjoying the dinner. After dinner I made the trifle with pound cake and frozen strawberries (with nutra-sweet instead of sugar) and low fat whipped cream. My only regret was I did not use a red tablecloth. So this dinner was a healthy dinner without any complaints as now we are getting used to eating healthy. We sat together and watched TV and talked in between shows. It was fun.
Just before we went to bed my husband asked me how much the whole dinner was. I gave him a ball park figure. He said, "I bet if we ate the same dinner at a fancy place it would be three times more expensive and fattening too and not even half as tasty, especially the shrimp." 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do Not Take Suicide Lightly

Call me testy, if you will,  it has been biting cold. It is more like "Up State Alaska" not "Upstate New York".  The sun does not seem efficient enough when it comes to warming up the out doors and even the indoors in some places. Back home they suggest that when the natural elements are not co-operating with you, human beings should support each other, one family member should be nice to another. I see that all mankind is a big family, so one person should be understanding about another person. Give people a benefit of doubt and move on. When a son visits his parents in the middle of winter he brings warmth, no matter how cold it is outdoors. When a younger neighbour picks up milk and toilet roll for an elderly lady she is showing that she cares for people in general. Sure, there are degrees in temp, but when it comes to attitude don't be cold.

Lindsey Lohan had more than her share of visits to the court and perhaps to jail as well, ( I did not keep a track),  but I cannot be careless about her behaviour. It is not because she is pretty or famous. She seems to be in need of attention, direction and an aim in life. She is very young and the story she made up about " not stealing the necklace, but borrowing is as naive as her self. She does not know that there is paperwork involved when some one borrows a piece of jewelry and most of the time vendors arrange for the pick of the item. So, I feel sorry for her as well as angry. Yes a lot of people are angry at a lot of celebrities. I am angry at one particular "Face Book" person who is so angry at the movie star that she said that the movie star "should just kill her self". Loosing a good friend to suicide gets me upset when people talk about suicide as if it is a joke. It is not. No matter how bad a person is as long as they are sorry and face the punishment and repent even God forgives, so who are we to tell a girl to go kill herself because she is constantly in trouble?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

TV Commercials and their Effects on Kids?

When a doctor comes up with a diagnosis of an emotional problem as the cause of a medical problem, only the patient knows the feelings he or she is going through. Not a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a friend, a teacher or a student, would know what the patient is going through . Parents of a minor do get hurt and so do adult children  of elderly people. No one can come close to the pain the patient feels. The patients' councilor or the patient's "buddy" who is willing to help the patient get through the process of acceptance and dealing with reality may get a general idea of the pain that the patient feels. So please do not put the patient through any more anguish especially if the patient is coherent and sharply intelligent and astute. Now don't you think the urgently warranted attitude is that of understanding ? Shed all the stigma, the facade, the arrogance and the the touch ups the artist gave your family portrait and accept the diagnosis and embrace the patient.
This world is made up of hundreds of good things, but again it has  hundreds of bad and painful things. There are things that can benefit human beings and then there are things that can harm human beings. So please do not add to the things that can harm human beings by having a wrong attitude about various illnesses, conditions or problems.
In the eightys the commercial for "Candy Apple Cooler"  made a lot of little girls want to look like Alisa Malino. A few decades ago the little girl on the salt box made little girls twirl their umbrellas and say "when it rains, it pours". A couple of days ago a concerned parent posted on Facebook that her daughter wants to know how to be depressed so she can look like the girl in the commercial for a depression medicine because the actress caught her eye. So the actress may be pretty and this desire could be just a silly preteen emotion. I just hope that the parents would try to find out if there is an underlying issue and also hope that they will educate her about the seriousness of depression or other emotional conditions

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ownership Of Stamina

"Hey, I am not too old to help someone even though they could be younger than me."  I was upset at my husband who made a remark that I am an old lady and a younger guy should not have asked me to help him.
"But he had to bring his walker through. " I snapped at my husband and then told him that I did not mean to yell back at him. Then I explained the whole situation.There was a tremendous amount of snow in our neighbourhood and in spite of working hard, the maintenance crew could not clean up close to the cars. The plow is made at an angle that is hard to maneuver and bring it close enough to clean without the risk of scratching or snipping off a corner of the car. So my daughter and myself were coming home after cleaning up our cars and the area around them when one of our neighbours asked me very nicely if I could make some room so he can walk up to his car. So, what's an extra couple of shovels of snow to clean. I did that. My husband was upset. He does not want me to do a lot of physical work because I am not as young as I used to be. Sure, my daughter can clean the car and shovel the snow in half the time, but I do not want to back off. I want to do my share of work and some more. I think that if I start slowing down just because of my age, pretty soon, I will not be doing my share let alone help others. Like they say, what does not kill you, will make you stronger.
I am sure our neighbour must have had an unfortunate incident or accident or it is also possible that he has a problem for some medical reason. I will however listen to my husband and measure every step I take and not leap over fences because I know that he is looking out for me. As far as hard work is concerned, I am here to stay until I get called.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Days / Human Nature

Yesterday everyone went back to work. You could see a cloud of smoke from every car as it's engine was on to defrost the windows. Every car was screeching as it was moving on the snow with ice underneath. Their transformers got their fair share of wear and tear. Every one was late, but by ten in the morning only a couple of cars were in the parking lots. Then at ten thirty I heard the trucks and the plows coming in the neighbourhood. Also I saw the young men who clean our side walks  mosey along with their shovels. By noon every side walk and every parking lot was clean. So, why did they make a fuss about plowing the snow while the cars were in the parking lot?  what about the side walks? there were no cars blocking any side walk. I think that I can attribute this whole  "strike" attitude to winter blues. No resident was going to work, therefore no body from the maintenance crew came to do their job. It sounds very fair. My only fear is that there are some older people here and some patients who may have to go to doctors or what if there was an emergency. Some people do not realize the dangers of bad weather and go out anyway even to get milk and bread. What if they fell. What  explanation would the maintainence crew give.No body went to work so why should we? I had a very hard time resisting the desire to take our shovel and go and shovel the side walks leading to various buildings  I do not want to see old people break their bones. My husband tells me to learn to mind my business.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ground Hog's Day Brings Hope For Warm Weather

"Missing work two days in a row was boring and such a waste of time. As such we don't get enough time off", one of my neighbours was complaining. She works in New York City and we live thirty five miles away. It is normal for people to commute such long distances now that more and more people are moving further and further away from jobs. "I am sorry, " I said. "Well, just make the most of the time." I did not know what else to say. Winter has been rough over all. To add insult to injury, the snow maintenance crew is upset at people of the complex for not moving their cars. So they do not plow enough for us to drive on. So, we go round and round with our problems. We cannot move the cars because the parking lot is not plowed and they cannot plow because we did not move the cars. I do not wait for any one to plow. I just get out with my shovel and walk to the car. The shovel is handy to keep me from falling in case I slip. I shovel the snow up to four feet behind the car, clean the car and pull it out to see if I can find a spot that has been cleaned. I drive around and not a single clean spot, as no one went to work, so no cars were pulled out and therefore the plow person was still angry. Today every one who needs to pull out their car is having such a hard time. They are telling their bosses that they will be late. We need a break from this cold weather.
Yesterday both Puxatony Phil and Staten Island Chuck gave us the good news that winter is not here to stay. May be now we will feel better and not let the cold weather get us upset.