Jun 26, 2008

Not that you noticed. Or cared.

FV went on vacation. Sri was left alone with the work of two counselors. Some of Sri and FV's coworkers ... well. It's enough to drive an oftentimes sane young woman to refer to herself in the third person.

But the ones who are really suffering are the children blogs. I have fallen into a funk and am unable to summon my usual comedic genius. For that, I am truly sorry. The few witticisms left at my disposal is being poured into emails and face-to-face communication. While this is not an efficient method for the dispersal of quips, I find that it is necessary to maintain my reputation as a well-respected socialite and philanthropist (please, someone, get the Bruce Wayne reference and realize that I'm comparing myself to Batman).

But you know what they say - misery loves company. And so I bring you...

Disturbing Things I Know

If you were born at the end of October, your parents were probably doing it on Valentine's. If you were due to be a Christmas baby, like me, you were conceived around April Fool's Day.

10% of paternity is "other than reported." Think of your nine closest friend - if they look like their dads, it might be you.

Not only do we share 99% of our genes with chimps - we also share the majority of our genes with bananas.

There really is such a thing as a mouse genetically engineered to grow a human ear on its back:


What's that? You're going to be sick? Funny, I feel much better.


Jun 23, 2008

Inexplicable Bruising

Well, not completely inexplicable. But for the interests of time and hilarity, I will restrict my comments to the events in question. I was at Busch Gardens on Saturday when someone had the genius idea of going on the Log Flume ride. I didn't want to get soaked, so I scooted all the way up and tucked my legs into the front of the log. This seemed to work swimmingly until I made to exit the ride.

Me: *struggling* I can't get out. My legs are stuck.
Ride Operator: I dunno? Try pulling a little harder?
Me: *struggling harder* It's not working.
Rider Operator: Um... this has never happened before? Maybe I should get my manager?
Me: *struggling even harder, beginning to panic*
My "friends": HAHAHAHA! Look, logs are piling up behind her! HAHAHAHA!
Me: If I ever get out of this, I will kill you all in your sleep.
Ride Operator: I'm sorry? Do you mean me?
Me: Especially you.

Not to spoil the ending, but I did manage to get out with the majority of my kneecaps intact. Never again, Log Flume. Never again.

On Sunday I went tandem skydiving - I was petrified, until I discovered that my instructor was a graduate of William and Mary, my old alma mater.

Me: What was your major?
Instructor: History.
Me: Huh. I was hoping you'd to say Physics, with an emphasis in the Aerodynamics of Plump Indian Women.
Instructor: I usually skipped class, anyway, so I could go fishing on Lake Matoaka.
Me: I didn't realize that was allowed.
Instructor: It isn't. Ready to jump out of a plane?

Luckily, he was much more diligent in his studies of skydiving. He was conscientious about checking the equipment, especially the harness attaching me to him (and, by extension, the parachute). But when he pulled the rip cord, the jerk of the harness around my thighs hurt like a mother trucker. Of course, I was hardly complaining at the time. And once I had stopped my terrified screaming, it was quite exhilarating. He even let me pretend to steer the parachute, which was very kind of him. Once we were on the ground, he complimented me on my skydiving form.

Instructor: You should consider getting certified - you fell just like a bowling ball!
Me: Thanks, I think.

After all that, not a single coworker has asked me what I did this weekend. Which is a pity, because I was so looking forward to saying, "skydiving and roller coasters!" And then limping away on my poor, abused legs.

Jun 18, 2008

Jokemaster... the master of jokes

So I was walking down the street the other day, and who should I see but a real, live pirate! He had a peg leg, a hook hand, and an eye patch. He was even dressed in full swashbuckling regalia. So I went up to him and said,

"Sorry, you must get this all the time, but ... are you really a pirate?"

He replied, "Yarr, lass, that I be. That I be."

"Wow," I said. "Your life must have been rife with adventure! Do you mind if I ask, how did you loose your leg?"

"I was swimmin' off the coast o' Madagascarrr, and a great white shark leaped out o' the water and chomped me leg clean off!" He stomped his peg for emphasis.

"God, that's terrifying! Did something similar happen to your hand?"

"This?" He brandished his hook. "I was in a mighty sword fight with the Admiral o' the Royal Navy, and with a mighty blow he struck me hand from me wrist!"

"Incredible! One last question, if you don't mind. How did you lose your eye?"

"Yarr," he muttered. "Seagull pooped in me eye."

I frowned, perplexed. "That's pretty disgusting, but how do you lose an eye from bird poo?"

"It was me first day ... with the hook."

Jun 12, 2008

Is it Friday, yet?

I used to wonder what unemployed people did all day. No school, no work, with nothing but daytime TV to keep you company? The horror. It reminded me of summer vacation, how long and boring it was. You remember that nerdy little weirdo on your street who could not wait for September? Yeah, I was that kid.

Now, I think someone could do without a job easily. First of all, there's Facebook - cyberstalk all your old boyfriends/ girlfriends/ crushes, there goes your morning. Of course, not leaving the house would make coming up with amusing status updates difficult, so you'd have to find something to do after lunch. You could go for a walk, all the way to your nearest coffee shop. Think Jared and Subway, only with less weight loss and more caffeine. Taking a book or laptop along purely for camouflage, you can people-watch for a while. Depending on how bizarre your neighbors are, this could take up several hours. By then, some of your friends would be getting off of work - all you have to do is con one of them into buying you dinner. Once you're done listening sympathetically to their work-related stresses, it would be time to go home and watch Netflix movies. Fall asleep right there on the couch, and you're done - you've just had the perfect day.

And maybe it would get old - but then you can always take a Yoga class or try macramé (or, if you're a dude ... I dunno, fix a car). These activities have the benefit of being easy to set aside if something more important comes along - like a Buffy The Vampire Slayer marathon on TV. If you're feeling especially ambitious, you can start a blog and publish your feverish ramblings two to three times a week.

Of course, there's one teensy weensy flaw in this plan. No one is going to pay you to do any of it. Which is a pity, really, because I would kick ass at unemployment.

Jun 9, 2008

Go ahead and cry for me, Argentina

I must have had Fox & Friends for breakfast on Friday, because something I ate just did not agree with me. Ba dum chh!

Seriously, I was miserable. And because misery loves company coddling, my parents drove up to nurse me back to health. We spent the weekend fixing things (my dad), doing laundry (my mom), and sleeping (me). Good times had by all!

But I didn't force them to work all weekend - some of the time was spent on the couch, watching TV movies. We sat through My Big Fat Greek Wedding and The Princess Bride in rapid succession, to hilarious effect.

Gus Portokalos: I come to this country with just eight dollars!
Dad: I came to the country with only eight dollars! Though ... I did spend one dollar on the plane, to listen to music.
Me: Dad! That's 1/8 of my inheritance you threw away!

Wesley: *climbs Cliffs of Insanity*
Mom: Is that ... Zorba The Greek?
Me: Do you mean Zorro?
Mom: Yes!
Me: Um... Zorro is Mexican.

Laughter being the best medicine (take that penicillin!), I am sure I will be all better in no time.


Update: My expert in all things Mediterranean, FV, informs me that there really is a movie called Zorba the Greek. Who knew?

Jun 4, 2008

Words Have Power

My first speech at Toastmasters International ...

Good evening Madame Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters, and guests.

At a small departmental reception during my college graduation, I was happily introducing my mother to all of my favorite teachers. Over crackers and veggie dip my zoology professor, Dr. Heidemann, praised my scholastic dedication and complimented my mother on having such a studious young woman for a daughter. My mother replied:

“You know, we raised her just like a little boy.”

There I was, half-chewed baby carrot hanging out of my open mouth, mortified beyond belief. Dr. Heidemann stammered out a polite response and, with one last sympathetic look in my direction, excused himself back to the cheese cube tray. My mother simply smiled.

The thing is … I knew exactly what she meant. My mother was born in a small village in India. It was common for girls to marry young and never finish their formal education. My mother herself narrowly escaped betrothal to a man she didn’t love, only by excelling in her studies. Her education landed her a successful career and carried her across the ocean, to build a life in America entirely different from the one she was raised to expect. That her daughter was not only allowed to pursue the field of her choosing, but encouraged to do so, was remarkable to her. Of course, I wish she had found a better way of phrasing it.

These little misunderstandings are common in the Sri household, and are in no way unique to my mother. English is not my father’s first language – it’s his third. Whenever he goes to use a proper noun, I can almost see the Kannada and Tamil versions running through his head as he struggles to find the one that I will understand. He and my mother agreed not to teach these languages to my brother and me. I suspect it is because they wanted us to think in English, to succeed in the American school system before bilingualism was so highly regarded. English will forever be a foreign language to my parents – they never wanted that for their children.

But nothing could have prepared them for having a child who fell in love with the English language. Growing up, I would spend all day during my summer vacations in the library, soaking up the air conditioning and the written word. One year I developed spontaneous nosebleeds and my pediatrician blamed the constant exposure to cold, dry air. My mother was terribly concerned, but I could care less. Once I’d worked out a way to press a tissue to my nose, tilt my head back and read out of the corner of my eye, I was happy. My father developed a habit of searching me out a sunset, just to remind me to turn on a reading light. He warned me I would ruin my eyes and, sure enough, by sixteen I could hardly see without my glasses.

Even then, I was not content to merely absorb the English language – ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of being a poet or novelist. And my two biggest fans are my mother and my father. Often, one of them will read something I've written and shake their heads in wonder. “Where this is coming from?” They constantly underestimate their influence.

Words are what set my mother free from the constraints of traditional Indian society. Words are my father’s gift to me, that I may achieve even more than he did. Words are what I use to honor their dedication, their struggle. Words have power.

Thank you.

Jun 3, 2008

TV Blog Updates

MSCR: Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (5/10/08)
Summer Lovin' - Law & Order: Criminal Intent (5/15/08)
Public Enemy No.1 - the many crimes of Flava Flav (5/29/08)