Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Snapshot: Happy birthday, sister!

Today is my baby sister's birthday --

-- and I love her so much!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Snapshot(s): Back Bay friends and neighbors

The weather is changing now, and you all may remember that I really dread the fall. So to perk myself up a little bit, I thought I would remind myself and you of my fabulous beach-filled summer in Sandbridge, Virginia. In addition to spending cherished time with some of my favorite people . . .

. . . I shared my Back Bay beach vacation with some more exotic neighbors:

I'm ready to go back!

Monday, September 19, 2011

" In keeping with tradition, the bride wore scarlet . . . "

So the husband and I attended the most lovely wedding earlier this month. A former colleague who worked with my husband invited us to participate in her wonderful day, which involved not one but two wedding rituals -- one Christian and one Sikh.

Now I must admit at the outset that we both were . . . I think nonplussed is the word . . . to learn that the Eastern ritual would require that we enter the room without our shoes, cover our hair and (can you hear the creak of knees and hips?) sit on the floor for the two-hour ceremony.

It was easy enough for me to find a lovely scarf to complement my western dress, and Coleen was confident that as long as I had a fresh pedicure the no-shoes situation could hold no fear. But the husband was . . . I'm going to say hesitant. Yes, hesitant, and -- because he rarely wears headgear other than a ball cap on a Boy Scout camping trip -- concerned that he would offend either our hosts or his own sense of dignity. (Men . . . .) He ended up wearing a patriotic red-white-and-blue bandanna that, while perfectly appropriate, also gave his charcoal grey suit a dashing biker dude air. He wouldn't let me take a picture.

And I'm telling you people, the lovely if virginal white wedding dress that we Westerners are accustomed to pales in all ways to the opulently beautiful traditional wedding garb of an Indian woman.

This is to say nothing of the fact that in the Indian and Sikh tradition, the groom dresses like an exotic Eastern prince. I will never swoon over a man in a tuxedo in the same way again.

Now don't get me wrong -- the Christian ceremony that followed was lovely. The lakeside setting and the adoring gaze of the groom were enough to make any grandmother a little teary-eyed. You do see that he shaved in between the two ceremonies, right? For me this just proved what I have always suspected: beards really are that itchy, and he really must love her a lot.

As the bride appeared with her father for this second ceremony, I was vividly reminded that this woman is really such a gorgeous blending of two worlds -- all rolled up in one brilliant and sophisticated package: a savvy computer engineer who also founded an e-zine for young and modern Indian-American women, who want to embrace every aspect of both their cultures. No wonder her dad looks so proud.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I think I know what's going on here.

So it's been a while since I checked in with all of you here, and I do apologize. I have to say, the school year for the college kids snuck up behind me, and then jumped out from behind a tree and scared the bejeezus out of me -- so I had to go lie down. The college academic calendar meant that not only did the tall boy go back to school last week, but so did a gaggle of besties and cousins. It seemed like every time we turned around we were saying good-bye to someone. In addition, I myself headed back to school, teaching again this semester at the community college -- which I am realizing more and more is what I was meant to do.

But here's the weird thing: all those college kids have been reporting bizarre natural phenomena, which have forced them to evacuate -- like the girl in charge's bestie (an 18-year-old freshman), who was in residence at the College of William and Mary for a whole week before Hurricane Irene came for a whirlwind visit and she was told, " Get out. Oh -- and if you get a chance, tell your folks where you are." I paraphrase, but only slightly.

In contrast, the tall boy was not evacuated -- he was told to hustle to his college campus as soon as ever he could. The tall boy, who had plans to move in to his new dorm room last Saturday, was sent a text from the college doo-dahs: "OK, so remember how we told you don't even think about showing up to college early? Well -- forget that; get your ass here as soon as possible."

I'm paraphrasing again, but it turns out that between the hurricane (due to hit us on Saturday -- right in the middle of hauling a refrigerator and a carpet remnant across the hilly Catholic University campus) and the earlier damage caused by the earthquake (the National Cathedral was supposed to host a big and important Martin Luther King, Jr. event that was moved to the CUA campus because the Cathedral was so damaged), there was no way in hell the tall boy and his dad were going to get a car on to the Catholic University campus. His actual text from the nice Campus Life people said, "If you plan to arrive on Saturday with a vehicle of any kind, you are so screwed." Paraphrasing again . . . .

What does this mean? It means that the tall boy and his dad were unloading the boy's shit at his dorm in Washington, DC at 11:30 on a Friday night. Now tell me that's not a great dad!

Just a little word about our earthquake (summary: I was driving, so never even knew there was an earthquake -- while at home, the hellhounds freaked out). Californians mock us for our measly 5.8 quake but I would respectfully say to each of my west coast friends, "Back off, bitch!" We live in Virginia, y'all. We have some experience with hurricanes (I would submit Camille, Agnes and Isabel -- who all were very cranky ladies ). But we don't do earthquakes.

We don't do uncontrollable wildfires either -- and yet the Great Dismal Swamp has been burning since mid-July. That just looks like a beautiful sunset, but it really is smoke -- I took this picture at the beach in early August, on a day the wind was blowing from the west.

Add to all of this bizarreness the fact that just last week my friend Wendy's teen-aged son took out the trash without being asked, and I think it's pretty clear we are looking the Apocalypse dead in its gaping maw. Not that I'm worried.