Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The busy man


From Pinterest

The busy man

The busy man works very hard
Before dawn, after dusk 
Until his eyes fall shut

We want to chew him up
Bit by bit by bit
Until all that’s left

Are his eyes mouth and ears 
Aha, we think
Finally, we have control 

Take him where we want
Feed him what we like
Place him on the mantelpiece 

Now he can’t work so much 
He will always be with us
But, it feels like there is a but

He isn’t a man any more
Just a puppet doll
But hey, always with us.

- written in jest to entertain the kids. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Pandemic pets - meet Marshmallow and Hermione

We got guinea pigs. I never had or wanted pets and somehow one thing led to another and now we are the proud owners of two cutie-pie guinea pigs. We went from idea to adoption in just three days. Their quietly curious personalities provide so much delight and comfort for all of us that I think they are therapy animals!

Here are S1, S2 and my caricatures of them.

Sketched by the gullible one who never wanted pets but now fell in love with them anyway.

This cartoonist is the primary caregiver, you should see the excitement on the guinea pigs' voices when she feeds them

She never wanted pets and she said they would stink and poop and be a royal pain.
Now that the pets are here, she is delighted and loves to carry and pet them

We are experiencing the totally unconditional love these pets have for us. Well...not entirely unconditional, I guess. Feeding time generates the most undying affection as does petting time. In a pandemic world full of emotional and unpredictable humans and moments, these pets are giving us much needed, non-judgmental cuddle time!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Permission in the Pandemic

Our home in full bloom. 
Photo credit: A

I gave myself permission
some call it freedom

to let my curls be curls
not tied up, not straightened out

they are a start
to my writing and loving

I let them loose
now I can rein in my tongue

I let them loose
now I can write

my rage flows through my hair
instead of being suppressed

built up only to burst into flames
that hurt everyone and me

now my hair is angry
but my tongue is full of love

now my hair is angry
but my fingers and heart let go

I think before I speak
I love with more kindness

I, me, myself, I now celebrate
my curls have let me think and calibrate.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Coping in the Time of COVID-19

No, we are not alright. I'm not okay and neither are you. and...that's okay.

As I write this, the number of coronavirus cases in my state, California, has topped 12,300. The U.S.  has more than 311,000 coronavirus cases. Woo hoo! America is the best, bar none, yeah? Trump is truly making America Great Again...not. I wonder if he is currently outshining other covidiots by a large margin.

Here are some ways in which many of us are loving and coping through this pandemic.

1. In Praise of the Paranoid:

"Better safe than sorry", "prevention is better than cure", "only the paranoid survive". These have just been a few of my mantras in life. Right now, though, we all fall somewhere on the neurotic scale.  The more neurotic, the better for the individual and society.

Some neurotic things we've been doing at home:

  • A and I have been wearing face masks and plastic gloves to grocery shop. 
  • When S1 caught a cold, cough and sore throat and passed it onto me and S2, we isolated ourselves from the grandparents who are staying with us. 
  • I canceled my travel to Chicago more than a month and a half ago when my paranoia radar was up and almost everyone else around me still seemed fine with travel. V and J were my voices of sanity through that difficult decision. 

I've been paranoid about this for a while. If you were also equally paranoid a month and a half ago, I saw you as my equal, my loving, kindred spirit who 'gets it'. If you were not, I saw you as having a delayed response. "Give it time, s/he will come around to it", I told myself.

2. Love is the Predominant Emotion:

While I see some universal hate against covidiots and Chinese wet markets, love seems to prevail against all odds. I've always been a sucker for love. Loving more enables me to continue living more. While I believe that blood is thicker than water and think it's basic and easy to love family, I'm humbled by how much love and help strangers are offering strangers in these strange times.

We are all on Zoom meetings at work and school, hosting and attending birthday parties online and spending ginormous amounts of time with the ones we love the most, if we are lucky to live with them at this time.

Across the board, instances of loving I've engaged in are:

  • Hosting Zoom meetings with cousins and hosting a baby shower for a dear friend J
  • Video chatting with my faves
  • Checking in on those who've touched my life positively these past few years
As M and I strongly feel, video chat> phone call> voice recording text> text message right now. 

3. Remote Love and Longing:

I've been working from my home, remotely, for the past 5 years. Right now, it feels like the world is catching up to my everyday lifestyle. Finally, I see people, who had strong behavioral inertia to video chat, opening their minds and video apps to video chat with me and everyone else. 

As an extrovert, I'm loving this. I am fundamentally a huggy-kissy person, though. Perhaps because I want what I cannot have, I'm left with a longing to touch the people I love through the screen. A warm hug, a gentle kiss,  a tight squeeze. How much longer do we need to wait to be able to display these forms of emotion outside the four walls of our homes? Sigh.

Among the many small things I've been loving and longing for everyday - waiting to see a new California poppy pop and burst into life overnight in my garden. What a joy!

4. Rise to the occasion...and do nothing:

As several memes have emphasized, this is one time in history when we are all required to save the world by...doing nothing. Simple as it sounds, it is hard to sit back and do absolutely nothing when the world is suffering.

Charity begins at home. I've seen that the ones who don't help around the house or their immediately family generally don't have a tendency to help the world either.

We are all forced to help ourselves and our immediate family during this time. We've offered to help elderly neighbors and we've also started making face masks, thanks to my amazingly talented mom and ever-helpful dad. S1 and I are hemming face masks today. S2, the artist in the family, wants to decorate them and make them "creative".

So - How are you coping during times of COVID?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

If you give a snake some sambar

If you give a snake some sambar,
he will want some rice to go with it.

When you look around the kitchen for boiled rice,
you'll realize you need to pressure cook some.

When you start to keep rice in the cooker,
he will spot a caterpillar on your flowers.

When he slithers and tries to slurp up the caterpillar, 
the caterpillar will become a beautiful butterfly.

The butterfly will flit about and spot the moth on your window
and the snake will greedily eye both the winged creatures.

The winged creatures will fly up, up and away
and the snake will be crestfallen, defeated.

He will spot a crispy chip on the floor
and taste the crunchy, salty goodness.

He will wish for some spicy sour dip
to go with the salty chip.

You will feel kind and generous towards the patient snake
and give him some delicious sambar.

and if you give a snake some sambar...

- Bedtime "mouth story" for the girls tonight. The silliest stories evoke the loudest laughs. They rolled off the bed, hysterical. 

This is sambar.
This is the story style.