Friday, April 17, 2009

I'll work on my belly-to-belly suplex and get back to you

Just a quick note to apologize for the exorbitant length of that last post. Skimming all that stuff was actually very tiring, so I'm hoping the California sunshine will inspire some good posts. From what I gather, cc is busy making all sorts of fun plans and b informed me that the WWE has added an extra night of wrestling just in time for my visit. Apparently the legacy of the "professional" wrestling my brother used to watch--Jake "the snake" Roberts, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan and Ted "the million-dollar man" DiBiasi--continues through their children. This I've gotta see.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

milestone: year 4, month 1, day 8

Apparently the four-year anniversary of this blog sailed by on March 7 and I didn't even notice.

On the first and second anniversaries of this blog, I compiled quotes from old blog posts for my own amusement. Like this and this. I didn't on the third, because that year was kind of busy what with the layoff on my birthday, the startup stuff and in March I was raising hell as a landlady (not doing that again).

So I'm going to indulge myself with a snippety roundup of the last two years because no matter how I try, I haven't felt like posting lately* and reading back over the old stuff might get the juices flowing again.

Also, next week H's best friend's sister is getting married and she's flying us out so H can photograph her wedding. I am taking a detour to San Diego, where I will hang out with cc and her son, b before taking the train back to L.A. for the wedding. So I might not be around and this could take you an entire week to read. (I will not be offended if you don't; it's mostly for me). Here goes:


"whatever, i know your record; the less you know about the teams, the better you do. and i'm NOT going to be shown up by my sister in a pool with all my friends."

and it didn't help that there was a tv news camera crew at the wall, obviously capturing fodder for their let's-say-goodnight-on-a-bright-note shot. you know, because 55 minutes of murder and mayhem is perfectly canceled out by a 30-second segment featuring stickyfaced kids or furry baby animals. sadly for us, H lost his footing and wiped out on his back directly in front of the cameras while i spun around on my palms and skates.

fine, it could be that the girl's a lifelong country fan-- that's fair; they're sort of in their own musical universe. and besides, i myself couldn't find the cheese in a maze if all the clues were based on classic rock. somehow during my formative years, the only music available to me fell into two categories: sappy country and even sappier hindi movie music.

I think the time has come for me to trade the day-old pizza boxes and pajamas-as-streetclothes lazy college email style for the language of grownups. You, my dear readers, deserve the extra keystroke effort required for me to make use of capital letters.

I started with my parents because a) it's much easier to throw out other people's stuff and b) I inherited saving techniques from my father, Mr. Just In Case, who is gunning for some sort of keeping-stuff championship. Granted, junk he saves comes in handy once in awhile, but the useful-to-spacewaste ratio is severely skewed toward the latter.

When your parents come from a place like India, you have to take the good with the bad. I'm talking about a society that generally says "Do not even look in the direction of the opposite sex" for years, then suddenly one day: "Hurry up and get married so you can make as many grandchildren as possible. 1-2-3, GO!"

When I was little, I wanted to be a cardiac surgeon. I held onto that dream for a really long time (especially when my dad said he'd buy me a convertible when I got my MD). I realized somewhere in the middle of high school that if I couldn't watch fake doctors doing fake surgery with fake blood on tv without my stomach churning, medical school was probably not a realistic option.

"I could have told you that you're not retarded, silly girl," she said. "What I want to know is this: Did the guy say when you're going to get married?"

The woman is knowledgeable, and she don't waste no kinda time. Back in college, I wouldn't be satisfied with a trip to the mall unless I had systematically touched every hanger in every store, a habit that elicited threats of bodily harm from pp. She goes in knowing what she wants, targets it, takes a sweeping glance at the rest of the offerings and exits. She's like an assassin. A trained killer who can quickly calculate markdowns.

"However, if the situation were completely different: Let's say I was carrying something heavy, and you were not carrying anything at all but you didn't think to help out? Then I would have to put whatever it was down and kick your ass."

A recent conversation with H revealed that an integral part of my physical education--the Square Dance--was not a part of the curriculum where he went to school in California. I was appalled to hear that fourth-graders out there weren't forced to devise methods of partner dancing without actually touching their cootie-infested counterparts. How else do kids learn the complex techniques that make for the stilted, awkward interactions they call *relationships* in junior high? Maybe that's why people in California are so very laid back; they don't know how to Do-si-do.

13) I can't make rice. Please don't tell anybody.

Movies to which I wish I could have awarded zero or fewer stars: 1 (I'm looking at you, The Puffy Chair)

His homing tactics went on to include driving three hours to sit outside my college dormitory and interrogate my friends, who feigned ignorance about how I was sneaking into the building through the the back basement laundry room as they spoke. I believe that pager ended up at the bottom of a lake, to be joined by the relationship shortly thereafter.

"Uh, I did NOT spend all that time and money raising you just to die because you can't do a puzzle.*"

One definite downside to this whole working-days concept is that for years, my brain learned to shut itself off between the hours of five and nine in the morning, which is exactly when some key daily decisions need to be made. Mission Critical choices, such as what I'm going to wear.

And while that may be true, If you go through enough crap with people--no matter how much they make you want to tie them to a chair and duct tape their mouths closed so you can beat them about the head and explain just how wrong they are--one day you'll wake up and they're part of your family. And everybody knows, no matter what you do, it's not easy to break away from family.

"No kidding! Last week there was an eight-percent-visibility monsoon when I was driving to the airport to pick you up, and as soon as you got in the car it was gorgeous the whole time--right up until your plane took off again five days later, when it promptly started drizzling. You really are magical."

2) This girl, Amy "The Kisser," would smooch my brother every day in kindergarten. But when she started touching him with her tongue, the engagement was off.

2) He can't plan his life. This was supposed to be a pretty straightforward antibiotic annihilation (because that wound around his pacemaker had been open and covered with gauze for more than a year, they went in, took out the pacemaker, flushed the spot where it had been with the most powerful antibiotics, put in a new pacemaker generator, closed him up and put him on IV super-antibiotics for two weeks.) Now it's looking like healing may take longer, which will delay going back to school, which will drag out his already-six-year attempt to graduate even further.

People like to tell me they think I'm overly paranoid and to "just chill out," "let it go," or "don't worry so much." But honestly, if a reminder that you could lose the things you care about most in this world smacks you in the face at least once a day, you'd start to clutch onto everything just a little bit tighter, too.

Sure enough, it came. Swiftly, semi-unexpectedly and deadly-ly. We got back from that great lunch and had a meeting with the mother office to learn that our entire office is getting laid off, two months (and one day) since I started. Happy Birthday from The Man!

It's a good thing I grew up with a dad that accelerated at hairpin turns, so I was only slightly fazed when my chauffeur for the evening was texting, dancing and even reading me a Forward joke in a bad Indian accent from his Blackberry, all while zipping around cars on the highway.

"Well, there have been known to be ugly babies out there. You can’t just generalize."

There's a frigging LAMBORGHINI parked outside the office, for use in the new Christian Bale batman movie, The Dark Knight. They've blocked off all the streets on our block and on the way into the office this morning, my colleague almost got run over by Bale in a sleek black car flying up the street. When you see the movie, look for a bewildered dark-haired woman in white pants and a dark brown shirt, hopping onto the curb to save her life.

As we walked down the path, we saw a bunch of girls in hijabs carrying brightly-wrapped gifts into the meeting hall attached to the pool, which was obviously rented for the occasion. I wondered if those nasty people in the pool (and I say people because no one said anything to him, including the lifeguard) had seen the girls, made some assumptions and taken it out on us. I couldn't help but worry for those girls and their party.

Get your boobs checked. And your pipes. And the rest of yous. It's way less sucky than the alternative. This may be hard to accept, but you are not invincible, after all. As someone who's spent way too much time pacing around helplessly in hospital waiting rooms, trust me when I say that your loved ones will thank you for taking care of yourselves.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't even close to the first time H had hung out with my parents; it was important to me that they all met each other straightaway, mostly because he lives so far away and I wanted them to know he wasn't a serial killer or someone who couldn't appreciate the virtues of a good chapati.

It took every ounce of energy I had for nearly 35 minutes not to turn around and yell at the top of my lungs: LISTEN LADY, APPARENTLY YOU HAVE SOMETHING IN YOUR THROAT. WHY DON'T YOU PUT SOME EFFORT INTO COUGHING IT OUT AND DO SO IN AN ABRUPT, ALBEIT LOUD, MANNER? YOUR METHOD IS DRIVING ME FRICKING BALLISTIC! But instead I sat there, eyes glazed over, pretending to read but contemplating exactly how I'd word my bitter, hateful blog diatribe against her.

I like to chat.
I am a bad liar.
Someone told me my face is louder than my mouth. And it's true.

Mrs. Leuken certainly did not make Baked Alaskas and Peach Cobbler this way in seventh grade Home Economics class; she gave out written recipes. On the other hand, my mother's idea of a recipe is to tell you to put a "fistful" of this and and a "little bit" of that and "don't forget to throw in some" of whatever else. Repeating it too many times or writing it down is too taxing, and she'd remind me that if I had stood around and watched when I was a kid, this wouldn't have been a problem.

I have to say, the concept of eating all Chicken McNuggets and then touching a screen 10,000 other people have touched with their licked fingers is kind of gross (and when the screen goes black between games, you can see all the grease on it, too).

"Oh, by that time I'll be dead, so it'll have to be flowers you can put on my grave. But I'm going to be cremated, so I won't even have a grave, so you'll just have to put them on the table and think of your poor, dead mother."

And poor Highcon--who had told Kaiya he wouldn't be able to make it--he spent most of the party concealed in a stuffy Grim Reaper costume disguising his voice and introducing himself to everybody as "Fareed." That worked until someone whose actual name was Fareed showed up, and no one bought the story that Highcon's name had suddenly changed to Julio.

"He said, 'Mom, why are you talking about all this other stuff when I called you for business reasons'? And I was like, "What business reasons?" And he said, "My Christmas List."

I do not care WHO you think you are, it is NOT okay to clip your nails during a crowded and herkity-jerkity train ride.

Even all these years later, cc can make herself crack up just by thinking about my reaction to those flying tampons; it freaks people out on the train or in the elevator when she laughs to herself for no apparent reason.

When there are too many people in a revolving door, there's no room to move your legs and actually make it revolve. It took some fancy coordination and Fred-Flintstone-like quick babysteps, but we finally got out of there. I turned around and said to H, "What the HELL was that?" He was like, "What? That's not how you do it?"

The reason today is called Black Friday is because that is the color the tips of your toes and your nose turn after waiting in line outside in the middle of the night in 20-degree weather.

"Well, according to your blog, I'm too simple to operate a revolving door, so I wouldn't want to tackle something as complex as winter gloves."

a) The people downstairs give dance lessons. promptly at 3:15 yesterday, the lilting strains of "if you don't know me by now... you will nevereverever know me... OOOoooOOOO" started, then continued. On repeat.

"I never wanted Charles to be in charge of me."

"Boy, you have a very nice voice on the voicemail! Your mother must have taught you how to speak so well. Please give me a call and have a pleasant morning. Bye, I love you."

So sometimes, if he's been standing too long or taking too hot of a shower or if the wind blows the wrong way or if the cable goes out, a vein in his left leg will spontaneously burst, spurting blood everywhere. And I don't use the word "spurt" lightly.

All I want to do is curl up on the couch with my knitting and watch Roll, Bounce.

Let me clarify: I refer to Jo Ann Fabrics (or any craft store) as "The Crack House." Mostly because I get a rush out of going there and acquiring items that are probably not good for me. Like boxes and boxes of choice cuts, gadgets, pattern envelopes, balls of yarn, loose sheets of pretty paper and a whole mess of other stuff that will likely get crumpled in my closet for decades to come. And with every trip, I suddenly find my pockets empty and my home bursting with heaps of craftery. It's nothing like the tragedy of an actual crack habit, but it's an addiction nonetheless.

At 8:45, we started moving. Then we stopped. More groans. Leather Jacket was on his third piece of gum and in a jolly mood. He began to tell me that the last time a train he was on hit somebody, the person didn't make it and that the transit authority actually let people off during the cleanup. He said police were walking around, covering things up here and there. It took me a second to process that.

But if you've spent more than 2.5 seconds here, you've probably noticed that I live in the Land of Worst-Case Scenarios and I believe that if I spend some time hashing out every possible bad outcome, then maybe they won't come to fruition after all. I know this is not logical, but it helps me sleep at night.

"Like if I told you, 'Cadiz I just murdered someone,' I know you'd probably say something like 'That bitch probably deserved it.' "

I spent eight of my formative years learning to play the cello. I figured that having played an instrument where you have to know where to place your fingers without markers while swinging a bow would make holding down five colored buttons and strumming a flap on a plastic guitar incredibly easy on the very first try. I figured wrong.


I plodded along. I didn't realize until it was too late that the flimsy cardboard pizza box was coming open at the side and after a thump, I saw my lunch face down on the concrete.

We were laughing so uproariously that we didn't even notice the door open. All heads swung around to face the giant girl who had come back upstairs, this time with a giant yellow Labrador tucked under her arm, and invited herself in.

He swears that if I make my kids call him "Mama" he will make his own children address me as "Dork."

For years, I've said that I lived at my parents' house because I had to stockpile money for the impending Depression, and that all my years spent learning to make clothes, knit and generally be crafty were preparation for the hard times I was sure are coming. I was mostly kidding, of course.

If I had gotten to see my boss before she died, I would have told her that not only did my brother finally graduate after seven years, but he'll be turning 26 in September and continues to raise hell every single day. I think it would have made her happy to hear.

"We all make sacrifices. Like when I started dating you, I had to come to terms with saying goodbye to my liver-flavored chapstick."

Even though we were stuck on a bridge the bayou for three hours in the dark with hundreds of other cars because of a fatal accident, with no idea when we'd be able to see the inside of a bathroom.

Strangers walking around and touching our things, sitting on the couch where I fall asleep every night at 10 pm, fondling my pillow, opening my fridge and seeing my stockpiles of string cheese. It's a little too much to think about.

While we were still working there, we decided (based on no historical knowledge whatsoever) that gangsters used that safe to hide ungodly amounts of cash, guns or booze during Prohibition. Or bodies. It's over the top, I know, but any sort of intrigue makes sitting at a desk job seem a little more sexy.

My brother is the only person I know in real life who can get away with shenanigans like that. He will shrug his shoulders, smirk and hand you a card that says HAPPY BAR MITZVAH for your birthday or one with LA ABUELA MÁS FABULOSA on Father's Day. Somehow it works for him; people find it absolutely hilarious.

"Okay. Let me get this straight, you're coming HOME for LESS THAN A DAY and you need to bring SHAMPOO? You're coming HOME! Not some cheap motel with no complimentary cleansing products! HOME!"

This was one of those scaredy times: I had my jacket over my arms and would hold it up to the bridge of my nose or higher whenever a villain had someone by the throat. This Joker is much more terrifying than anything I'd seen on the Adam West television program. And I was pretty sure he wouldn't be challenging Batman to any surfing contests.

My brother called while he was high as a kite on pain medication and said he told the nurses that he was a pimp, but that no one believed him. Someone called him out on it and he said, "You're right, I'm not a pimp. I don't believe in beating on women and treating them bad."

Somebody really should determine the distance-walked to distance-walked-in-heels ratio. You know, for the record.

"Oh yeah, I remember that. And your name on there is Cod-zee, right?"

There was a lush park of green grass in the center with a gazebo, and all around were perfect little houses with perfect white picket fences; everything so gleamingly new (or so it seemed). I kept looking around for the Truman Show-cameras.

I had figured that by 30 I'd be married to a Nice Indian Boy with a couple of kids, living in suburbia, working at a job that "hasn't been invented yet" and serving as scout leader on Tuesday nights.

"Nah, that's a little too old. If your name is Gertrude, you might as well be dead. Something not too oldish, that still has spunk... I got it! Beverly! Still youthful, but yet—you're old. Yeah, BEVERLY!"

If I were smarter/more alert/not so flustered I would have said Sorry, my mom still cuts my hair (what would he know, it was in a bun) and be on my way. But what did I do instead? Hemmed and hawed until he threw in two for a reduced price of one and wrote a check, thinking Hell, at least I have an excuse for being late to the status meeting.

He will leave things to the last possible hour, and then squander 55 minutes of that hour hysterically pacing and complaining about how he has no time left and so much pressure. And then in those last five minutes, he will come up with something brilliant and shrug it off as no big deal when he's patted on the back about it. That's just how he rolls. But it's one hell of a rollercoaster if you're along for the ride.

Last week when I dropped the gift off at her parents' house, I asked Kai's mom if she was going to cry at the ceremony. "No way!" she had said, "Why would I cry? I'm happy!" But of course she did. And it's rumored that her tough-guy little brother was wiping his eyes, too.

As if the harried looks on our faces and the piles of paper on our desks weren't obvious, I answered that we were extremely behind and it looked as though we'd be there till about 8 p.m. that night. He responded, "Oh. Well, would you like some wood to knock on?" and sailed out the door.

Even if I must switch careers, I have worked in several facets of my industry, including a place I visited during school and said, "I'm going to work here someday." So I can leave with no regrets.

I realized that this is the exact expression that comes over your face when you have had quite enough and decide to check out of the listening portion of a sermon by Mom, Dad or myself. It's precisely the face you make 2.5 seconds before you take an enormously long pause, say "Ok, I gotta go" and get the hell out of the house.

Today I've been making Very Important Decisions that my boss would have handled if she were still here. And I feel a little like a fraud telling people what to do. I mean, I get it, but I feel like a kid at the adult table—grabbing a turkey leg in my fist will get the job done, but it would destroy any credibility I have.

So while things become even more uncertain in the coming weeks, I'm going to lean on family, friends and food to stay afloat. But it'd be really nice if I can figure out how to use the remote controls.

"I'm a mess. And this morning when I called you on the walk to work and said I had to go back home because I forgot the bag with my files in it? Yeah, when I got into the house and looked around, I found it on my shoulder—it was flipped behind me and my purse was over it, so I hadn't realized it was there."

But the highlight of the evening for me was when The Boy told his mom he'd like a hug from me, and was too shy to ask. I was delighted to oblige.

It's just that we all have to take a hard look at just what we're honoring, decide if it's really something we can be proud of, and if it isn't, we should do something about it—no matter how long it's been a part of "the tradition."

I sincerely hope that after years of being in the same room with genius minds, I have managed to absorb some of the smarts it's going to take to pull off this little endeavor.

So the boss and I did what any self-respecting dynamic duo would when faced with shutting down and hitting the road. We knocked back a few drinks.

29. He says he doesn't dance, but I think I caught him—once.

"Holy crap, if we're both this touchy about age now, what's going to happen when we really ARE as old as mold?"

The line was out the door and people weren't bothering to wait for a booth. Instead we lined up and colored in our circles on the stage where I reprised the role of Calamity Jane and sang festive holiday songs on risers more than 20 years ago. Ah, the memories.

I left my brother a message saying that being on Michigan Avenue right then, with all those people so happy to just be there, felt as though all the sports teams in Chicago won the championship on the same night.

-You are legally guilty of first-degree murder if you take part in, well, any step involved in the events that led up to the crime. (Even if you weren’t the one holding the gun.) So if anyone ever asks you for help doing something shady, say NO!--angel07

"Nice, Dad. Your daughter is 30 and you're 28?"

Even then I have contemplated starting a new trend where he has his place across the street from mine, a la Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.--pp

To hell with the "loveable losers." It has been almost a full week since the nightmare, and I sat there and watched the BoSox win yet another series and get one step closer to the World Series.--my brother

I'd like to say a few things about what it's like to be a fan of the team that beats the most cursed team in all of sports—not counting the Washington Generals. First of all, it feels fantastic.--H

All these years when I've waited in pre-op with my brother before his procedures, I thought getting blankets out of a warmer must be so awesome. Yeah, not really.

So basically, in order to accomplish something good we actually have to take action and not just sit in the corner and pray and hope good stuff will happen and if it doesn't—feel guilty about it.--Alexandra

Working from home is rough—you can't turn it off and you feel guilty if you take time to watch The Colbert Report during nonmeal times when you could be working. On top of it, the laundry/housework is sitting there mocking you, and you need to remind yourself to take a shower.

And after he mentioned something about another Aquabat giving the dad some paper to sign, he asked Alex if he was ready, doublechecked with the dad, counted to three...and then The Commander HEAVED THAT SIX-YEAR-OLD HIGH INTO THE AIR AND INTO THE CROWD.

"Hang on, I'll ask...Yes, mother, he said his family dresses up in their finest Pilgrim-wear every year."

All I can think about are those people who were hurt and are still being held hostage in that hotel in Mumbai. This terrorism thing really blows.

I am still trying to figure out why it's got to be so black and white: I'm either working 24 hours a day or unemployed.

I'm not advocating the throwing of health and wellness out the door for work (it's not for everyone); but that extra cash gives me a tiny window of financial security during which I can hopefully find a job.

We decided to share some spiced apple cider wine, which came in a commemorative cup. That stuff was pretty rough going down, but I have to say it left me with a very warm belly. And a buzz.

She said I could air-dry and go, put a little gel to bring out the curl and go, roller-brush with a dryer and go or do a bunch of other things. I liked the "and go" parts the best.

It's so ridiculous because for three years H and I said goodbye for months at a time and he's only going to be gone for ten days this Christmas. The funny thing is all those times we'd wish for a snow day to cancel flights, but it never happened.

a) It's virtually impossible to demonstrate something while trying to keep only your arms in front of the camera.

Have I truly expressed how much the people who love and support me are appreciated? Do I really need to watch so much television? What needs to change to prevent my being taken advantage of in the future? Maybe that life-assessment I didn't go through when I turned 30 is catching up with me four months late, but I suddenly feel like a bomb is going to go off if I don't get my crap together as soon as possible.

Unfortunately for my mom, everybody and her momma wanted one, too, and the shelves were bare. To hear Mom describe it, getting a Cabbage Patch Kid that Christmas probably inspired that Schwarzenegger action flick Jingle All the Way.

3. When I'm home by myself, I often forget to eat. When other people are around, I'm constantly snacking and asking if they're hungry, too.

If every American could feel included, there's a much better chance we will work together to turn this ship around. And in these frightening times, the hope that things will get better is what I'm relying on to make it through.

And if enough time and resistance wears away at my enthusiasm, a big part of my identity will be relegated to the spice rack--busted out about as often as a non-Chinese family springs for dim sum or hot and sour soup. And that just makes me want to cry.

There was the bug-eyed kid who looked like he'd skipped fourth grade that I was sure figured out a way to access dirty pictures on school machines. The weird broody kind of guy who gave me the feeling he was hiding an uzi in his big backpack and waiting to take us all out for high crimes of procrastination. The girl with the twitch I kept catching in my peripheral vision. The sad-looking person who seemed a little too relaxed, like she had already finished all her work and was just in there for fun. Beeyatch.

I have been logging in some serious hours in front of the television--escaping into the drama of fictional people really takes the edge off of my real-life issues.


It takes me a full day to accomplish what she does in a few hours. And if you lend a hand in her kitchen and don't hear some form of "move your hands and feet faster," either she's not feeling well or you're not in the right kitchen.

All this is making me question my mothering capabilities; if I can't wrangle one grown woman, how the heck am I going to raise children?

For me, the best way to hone a skill is by playing for keeps. And this project slowed me down and steadied my hand--it's amazing how few envelopes you waste by actually stopping to think about what you're going to do before dipping the pen.

I can only describe the woman's accent as having had a terrible accident.

*Even though for a month I have promised a post about the AWESOME Amazing Race I participated in for Angel07's birthday--I took the photos on my mom's camera and saved them onto Blogger at my parents house when I was there for her recovery, but apparently part of dial-up is that it only pretends like it's uploading photos and they are no longer on here. So I have to go back and get them on a jump drive. Sorry ladies!

the weekend isn't complete without the Indian Show

For the last 20 years or so on local non-cable channels (in Chicago it's Class A stations that air Polvision, China Star TV and Greek, Filipino and other cultural shows)--before 24-hour Hindi programming was available via satellite dish--they've shown Bollywood music videos as well as entertainment gossip and news on Saturday and Sunday mid-mornings.

As a kid I'd wake up to my parents making brunch to these shows. And while the music videos are supercheesy (and nowadays a little sleazy), the weekend is simply not the same without them. The ones I catch most often are Namaste America, which has news and songs;
Desi Jams, which is all about the music videos; Bollywood Now (?), which is celebrity gossip; and Desi Tunes, which is a local program that throws in some South Indian* videos once in awhile. I'm sure there are a bunch of other shows, too, but it all depends on what's available in your area.

The segues between videos often have newsy little tidbits.

The highlight of the entertainment gossip show, Bollywood Now, is its voiceover talent. I can only describe the woman's accent as having had a terrible accident (What's wrong with sticking to a regular Indian accent?). She
incorporates as many American slang words as possible and, most of all, speaks with the lilting tone people often use when imitating a stereotypical "British mum." However the combination is pretty riveting. I couldn't find a clip, but here's an example of an interview done with a completely un-weird voiceover--it's from a show that aired on the west coast sometime in 2007.

Lovely, but it doesn't have quite the panache as the crazy lady who does the show that we get. The actor featured, Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, is in Steve Martin's latest Pink Panther movie.

My favorite part of the weekend programming is a feature on Namaste America called the Shout Outs. People write in their little messages and Obaid Kadwani, a serious-looking guy who sometimes does the news, reads them out.

I can't imagine anyone doing it better. One of these days I'm going to send one in. Probably to H, because as much as he pretends he's not paying attention, I like to think he secretly loves this stuff. But more likely, he just tolerates it because I love it.

How can I have a post about the Indian Show without a clip of what it's all about? I would have embedded it, but the best version of "Desi Girl" from the film Dostana with subtitles has embedding removed. The movie takes place in Miami, and these two guys pretend to be a gay couple in order to be roommates with the woman they both are interested in. Subtitles are often RIDICULOUS on these songs, but I chalk that up to translators whose English isn't as strong as their Hindi.

I should go back to school, learn Hindi properly, and do some of these lyric translations justice. It could be a totally new career path! However, it probably won't deter Bollywood from incorporating English phrases that don't make sense--whoever approved "Krazzy" as an alternate spelling for "Crazy" should be smacked around--but there's only so much one desi girl can do.

*It's important to note that Bollywood alone is not a fair representation of all things Indian. When you cross a state border in India, it's like going into another country with its own language, food, customs and dress. The movie industry puts out about three films a day, but that's across 18-some official languages, which each has its own "-wood." Not to mention the documentaries, theatrical productions, etc. And there's a lot I don't know about this stuff; my love for Hindi movies is tied up in the nostalgia of my childhood.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

when you're on camera, be sure to sit tight

"I love the Indian show."

"That's obvious; we watch it every single weekend. But they really need to do something about the on-air talent."

"You know I only watch it for the songs and the news, not to see these people, right?"

"I know, but this guy needs to stop swaying when he talks. It's very distracting."

"So is his shirt. What's that say, 'Sit tight Babushka?' "

"I bet that's an inside joke from the wardrobe department."