Monthly Archives: April 2007

Taking a Little Sample

I came home last night with takeout from the new Ambassador of India Cafe in West Hartford Center. It’s a vegetarian restaurant that boasts Jain Cuisine. This strikes me as odd — like saying something like Catholic Cuisine. But my very smart husband said it is probably sans garlic and onions — roots you’d have to kill in order to harvest. The first words out of Sujal’s mouth were, “Oh boy — Govind is gonna be mad at you.”

Well, he has no need to worry. As if it were not enough that his location is WAY more convenient, the food cannot compete. I ordered the saag paneer (palak paneer), and it was very salty. I think Sujal and I will give Ambassador a second try, but it simply cannot beat our favorite, India Oven.

Go, Beth Bye!!

I am so proud to have Beth Bye as my state rep. I’d read her powerful testimony, but when Sujal and I watched it on the web — wow. Watch it below.

Colonialism Sucks

In order to keep the grim tone to the week, Sujal and I watched Hotel Rwanda. My school’s Amnesty International showed it at a movie night last year, but I was unable to go, so I was glad to finally see it. It was a powerful story powerfully told. As my neighbor said today, “Anything with Don Cheadle is great.”

On a purely filmic level, it was very well executed. The actors gave believable and stirring performances, and the ineffective characters were effectively portrayed. Nick Nolte did a great job playing an overloaded and sadly ineffective general. Such is history. I found one specific scene particularly powerful. After witnessing the carnage (BTW, for a movie about genocide, the carnage is kept to a minimum, though the filmmakers clearly get their point across. Sometimes the hint of violence is more potent that watching full-blown terror, as we become desensitized and/or we shut down from the horror.), Cheadle’s character, Paul Rusesabagina, (based on the real Paul Rusesabagina) showers and tries to dress himself. It is in doing the mundane activity of tying his tie — that semblance of normalcy — that he has his emotional breakdown. It is so visceral and real. It reminds me of the character of the wife in the novel The Sheltering Sky who must put her makeup on as her daily ritual, even though she has lost her husband and cannot get home. This is like the film version of the objective correlative.

Aside from being a strong film — holy crap! While I knew there was a genocide, I had no understanding of it. What frustrates the hell out of me, and I am only beginning to learn and understand the never-ending effects of colonialism, is that Hutus and Tutsis fought with each other eventually ending up in the Rwandan genocide of the Tutsis, when really, their aggression would have been better aimed at their oppressor: Belgium. Colonialism was and is such an evil institution.

The film is ultimately very inspiring. I hope you are inspired to learn more and to donate to NGO’s to try to right some wrongs put into motion by colonialism.

Amnesty International is an excellent organization.

Donate here to the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation.

NPR’s info on Paul Rusesabagina.

Hmmmmmmm…

I saw the New York Times headline, Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure, and I thought to myself, What a grim day. It has been a series of grim days — the rain, shooting tragedies, long hours at school, husband in LA — it’s been grim. So I began to read the article, and I began to think that I may not agree with this procedure. Yes, I, the abortion rights believer, began to doubt. Perhaps it is because I am in my 30’s and beginning to think about having a family. Then I realized — I wouldn’t have this procedure, but I believe others should have the right to choose. That’s what this all comes down to — the right to choose. It has been a grim week.

NYT article on Iraq High School Play

I wanted to write this articled a while ago, but here are some interesting links about a play that a high school tried to put up about the Iraq War. It was even in a Connecticut high school. I think it’s an interesting story.

NYT article

text of the play

Farewall to Vonnegut

Here’s the New York Times obituary for Vonnegut. I’m not sure why, but I was very surprised to hear the news. I heard it early Thursday morning as I was getting ready for work. I asked my sleeping husband if he had known about it, as Vonnegut died the day before, and Sujal seems to know news as it happens. He said that it sounded familiar — how long ago did he die?

I told Sujal he just died the day before, to which Sujal acknowledged he thought maybe he’d died several years ago — much like deja vu for me when Ford died. I’d forgotten he was alive. Nonetheless, in his sleepy state, Sujal tried to make a pun, and English teacher joke, if you will. He said, “I guess he Caught 23.

With that, I fell into laughter and replied, “That’s Joseph Heller.”

“What number book did Vonnegut write?

“Slaughterhouse 5.”

“Oh, but that’s not so funny,” said my sleepy husband. Some people just cannot pull off English teacher jokes, not the way English teachers can. And man, do we think we are funny!

I’ll be rereading some Vonnegut soon. I remember reading Bluebeard, and even though he was poking fun at the abstract expressionists, that novel sparked my love of Mark Rothko. I read it right after I finished Sirens of Titan, which I loved. I recall that Vonnegut was a topic of conversation between my very first boyfriend and me. He was Jim Wylie, and we dated in 8th grade. We didn’t talk Vonnegut then, but we both read him in eleventh grade. Eleventh graders still love him!!

News in the State of Connecticut

Damn! Am I ever glad I voted for Beth Bye. Read the Courant article.