Category Archives: Family

An Inconvenient Truth

Holy crap! Go see this flic. Sujal and I went to see a double feature today — more on that in the above post. The first flic we saw was An Inconvenient Truth. It was a very good documentary, and it made us sad that a). Gore will not be running again b). Bush stole the election.

In the documentary, Al Gore clearly explains global warming. I never really knew the specifics behind it nor the full impact, so it really helped me to understand more fully. At the end, I leaned over and asked Sujal what he thought about both of us selling our cars and buying one super fuel efficient vehicle. I knew he wouldn’t bee super warm to the idea, and he wasn’t. But truly, I do not need a car. I’ve been thinking about the Yaris, which gets 34/40 miles per gallon. I thought it was a it better, but I guess it could be better still. The Prius seems like a good option. Frankly, It’s only a few thousand more than my Jetta, and the tax incentive completely offsets that difference. Anyway, the the flic is good. Go see it.

My only complaint might be that it shows glaciers years ago vs. now and how they’ve shrunk, but it does not say the time of year. If it showed a picture of Glacier National Park in 1960 in the winter and then in 2005 in the winter, it would pack that much more of a punch than the unlabeled pictures. But frankly, they are pretty powerful nonetheless. We all can and should make a difference. See the flic website for tips on how to emit less greenhouse gas.

I almost forgot — there was a lovely moment of irony before the flic began when the theater ran a Mazda car ad. What the hell are they thinking?

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Bridal Shower

Last weekend my sister threw a wonderful bridal shower for me! Leading up to it, I was getting a bit nervous. A friend who recently got married told me she had read in Emily Post (after her own bridal shower) that you’re not supposed to ooh and aah over gifts that you receive off of your registry. Instead you are supposed to merely thank the giver for her generosity, otherwise it looks like you are fawning over your own great taste. Questions began swirling in my head: How do I act? What if I get too excited? What is the proper etiquette for the bride?

OMG, did I google etiquette for the bride?? OMG, am I a bride? Holy Crap! I’m a bride.

On the Thursday morning before my shower I realized that I am indeed a bride. I had not though about myself in those terms. I was genuinely freaked out about it until about 7th period lunch, when enough of my colleagues assured me that I wouldn’t make any faux pas, that as the bride, you really can’t unless you don’t thank someone. One of my many mantras in life is that Emily Post is for the birds. (I firmly believe that all birds should follow proper etiquette.) What my little breakdown was about was that word. By the time I got home and looked into my handsome groom’s eyes, being a bride was suddenly a very good thing again. He is pretty handsome, after all (even if he does like the musical, Rent).

So the shower was quite lovely. My sister ran a tight ship. One of the best touches to the shower was how everyone brought (or wrote there) a bit of advice for Sujal and me. My sister coordinated it so that she read the advice aloud as I was opening the gift from the advice-giver. Tres cool. I also got lots of good recipes, more impetus to get me a-cookin’. I’ve always wanted Sujal to serenade me with a little Hank Williams.

I was also amazed at how generous everyone was, both with their time, efforts, and gifts. We got some very creative gifts, some risque gifts, and one gift that was wrapped about 10 times, that had to be passed to various individuals around the room. Fun was had by all. We really did have a good time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been generous with shower gifts before, but it is different when you are on the receiving end. I just didn’t expect such generosity!! The only down side was that we didn’t get to chat with guests as much as we’d have liked. Several guests came from pretty far away, including Sujal’s mom and sisters. My friend Kirsten and her aunt drove for about 7 hours to come.

I’d been sad that my grandmothers could not attend. I was telling some colleagues that Thursday at lunch that all the other granddaughters in my family got the traditional big shower thrown by my grandmother and that I was a bit sad that I wasn’t going to get that. My cousin Cindy got at least three crock pots at hers! Of course my colleagues thought that I had done something that offended my grandmother. Alas, my grandmother could not be at my shower because she passed away a few years ago. And while I did get the traditional shower, and I am very grateful for it, I did miss having my grandmothers there.

Oh — and Sujal and I are supposed to have 5 kids — I broke 5 ribbons. I was going for as many as I could, trying to defy biology. Sujal said that I shouldn’t do that because I might have quintuplets. My mom called this AM and told me that I don’t need to buy onesies, because she inadvertently got 36 of them. Even 36 might not tie over our quintuplets…

In God We Trust and Have a Merry Christmas

The past two nights, as I came home bleary-eyed from a day of reading, grading, feverishly writing exams, listening to lectures, etc, I logged on to check my email. Both nights I got some sort of crazy forwarded email from each of my parents — from Dad first, then Mom. Both emails were about the victimization of Christians in this country, because we cannot say “Merry Christmas” anymore. The one from my father was a letter forwarded from the American Family Association about how successful a Target Boycott has been (although looking at the headline of the link, it says Target has not responded). They also claim the fact that Sears has Christmas promotions as a victory.

Today I got this ridiculous email from my mother that had a supposed letter to the editor from a Tampa newspaper about how immigrants and a few people born in the States are disallowing the patriotic citizens their rights by forbidding “Merry Christmas” and God.

I believe I missed this memo. You see, I, a beautiful liberal, say things like “Merry Christmas” and “Oh my God!” all the time. The last I knew, there was no law passed saying people could not use the word Christmas. Has Christmas commercialism gotten out of hand so that it rubs every non-christian’s face in it? Yes. Does that mean we have passed a law? No.

And once and for all, can people please understand the concept of separation of church and state? People fled their countries to come to the US at various points in its history to avoid religious oppression. We have been founded on the principles of religious freedom and separation of church and state. I’m so tired of hearing, “America, love it or leave it.” I do love it. Does that mean I have to agree with it all of the time? Does that mean I have to give up thinking as an individual? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of freedom?

If you want to be ruled by the Catholic Church, move to the damn Vatican City.

Finally, when people say things like there is nothing wrong with extreme patriotism in one’s country, I kindly as them to look at Germany circa 1938. The is no benefit to any society from jingoism.

I got kind of excited when I first saw the email subject from my father, something about a boycott being successful with Target. I was hoping they had changed their stance on a recent decision they’d made about allowing their pharmacists to refuse to fill the Plan B contraceptive pill based on religious beliefs. Sujal claims this is “my” issue, and therefore we should boycott Target. I fully support this boycott, because I am completely pro-choice, and I think it is wrong for someone else to presume they can and should make “moral” decisions for someone else. But I was very sad that we can no longer shop at Target, because I like the store. So I was hoping that my dad was sending me an email that we’d won the battle. With hindsight, why my dad would ever send me that kind of email, knowing who he is and all, I have no idea. But I was hoping, nonetheless. Sujal feels strongly about the issue, because it opens the door to sanctioning other religious discriminations, which I can see as well. Damn it, Target. You were the last big store we could shop at. It’s not like I have interesting shopping options down here in CT, either.

The Haircut

Last weekend, Sujal and I went to a haircutting ceremony. Yes, many of you westerner friends of mine are saying to yourselves, a haircut? Yes indeed. In Sujal’s family there is a special ceremony for boys. A baby boy’s hair is not cut for the first several years of his life. Then when it is time, there is a big event that happens. Everyone comes together to witness the hair cutting, which is both a celebratory and religious event. Sujal had this done when he turned 5. His parents have a very adorable picture of him with his newly shaved head and he’s wearing a little hat and has a garland of flowers around his neck. It’s very cute. This hair cutting was for Sujal’s cousin’s boy, Avi. In Avi’s family, the ceremony happens at age three, but our son, should we have one, will have his at age five.

I tried to look up some information on this event, and it seems that the traditions vary between families greatly. This I learned from many of Sujal’s relatives. Some family, Jain and Hindu alike, don’t do it at all. Here’s what I found on the web, though I do not know how good any of this info is: defining Mundan and Munjan.

I really enjoyed the experience, and I was happy to be invited. The big thrill for me was not only to watch Avi get his hair cut but it was mainly to meet Sujal’s entire family, most of whom I had not yet met. Everyone was very warm and welcoming, something I think we all worry about when meeting the extended in-law family. I got to wear my first Indian outfit, and if I had a picture, I’d post it, but we didn’t bring a camera. We were blessed by some relatives, teased by others, and warmly congratulated on our engagement by all. I really enjoyed chatting with many of Sujal’s cousins, and I met his cousin who lives in Austin, TX, so we will have to visit her next time we stay with my sister. It was a very good day.