Category Archives: Personal Stories

Things that Go Bump in the Night

It has been really busy at work lately, and I have found myself staying at the office until 8, 9, sometimes even 11 o’clock at night. Maybe if I worked in a big office building, that wouldn’t seem so freaky, but my office is basically inside a 100-plus-year-old house, with all the creeks and cracks that come with it.

A few weeks ago, after my 15 hour work marathon my boss was telling me a story about how there used to be a custodian who was in charge of cleaning our office/house, who refused to come and clean unless a member of the office staff was present because he was convinced the house was haunted. Then my boss chuckled. Thanks… I’m happy to hear that story after being alone in the big creaky house at 11 o’clock at night.

Then this morning, in one of the “gori wives” facebook groups, a conversation started about being nervous when home alone at night. I admit I am fully in this camp. I was actually quite relieved to hear that many of the other women were also nervous when home alone at night, because for years I thought I was just overly anxious, that maybe I was a bit neurotic for feeling scared. I’m fine when P is home, or if I have guests staying over, but on the rare occasion I find myself completely alone at night I sleep with all the lights on. It’s like every single scary thing I ever thought about comes crawling back. It’s not that I’m afraid of or necessarily believe in ghosts, but it’s just everything—real and imaginary, that starts to flood my mind. Perhaps I just have an overly active imagination. I don’t know.

So that reminded me of another story.

When I was nearing my undergraduate commencement, I was applying to every international education job posting I could find, regardless of where it was located. My very first professional interview was for a study abroad position at Gettysburg College, in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. For readers who might not be as familiar with Gettysburg, it is famous for being the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War with between 46,000-51,000 casualties during the 3 day fight.

Today people can go to the town and walk the battlefields, and read different historical markers about different important moments in the fight. The town has kept up a Civil War era (1860s) feel, with a lot of older architecture, antique shops, and people who dress in Civil War era clothing in highly touristic areas—like hotel clerks, waiters, tour guides, etc.

The town is also supposedly haunted by all the “lost souls” who died in the battle. There are all sorts of “ghost tours” and “haunted battlefield walks” tourists can do. Even one of the Gettysburg College buildings had a bloody role in the battle, and has it’s own supposed ghosts: during the 1860s Pennsylvania Hall was a dorm, but during the battle it was used as an impromptu field hospital and surgical unit. According to Wikipedia:

Battle casualties were treated in Pennsylvania Hall through about July 29 and totaled nearly 700–many who died in the building and on surrounding property.

Soldiers of both armies were treated in Pennsylvania Hall, as control of the College shifted from Union to Confederate forces on the evening of July 1.

Pennsylvania College resumed classes on September 24, 1863. Bullets, bones, human remains and bloody books were found in and around the building for many years after the end of the battle.

So here I am, already a scaredy-cat, and I was on my way to interview for a job in one of the most haunted towns in America! What was I thinking?

I arrived the night before the interview to meet with the director of the office. She had offered to take me out for dinner as an informal “pre-interview,” and we had a nice time. She picked me up at the Gettysburg Best Western Hotel downtown, which, like much of the town, was decorated in a Civil War theme, including hotel clerks who were dressed in bonnets, hoopskirts, and union and confederate uniforms.

We went for some Chinese, discussed the job, and how the interview process would go the following day, including a presentation I had to do for several faculty and administrators on an international education topic. At the end of the evening she drove me back to the hotel (it was now well after dark), and as I unbuckled my seat belt and opened the passenger door she smiled and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow morning. Have a good night. Enjoy the hotel… you know, the locals say it’s haunted. Ha ha.”

Who says that?? Really?? Who?

I went back up to my room, took out my notes for my presentation the following day, and turned on the tv. This was before I had a cell phone of my own, so I had borrowed P’s, and I took it out and placed it on the table next to the chair I had settled into. For the next two hours I half-watched tv and shuffled through my notes, trying to forget what the director had said.

As the tv show I was watching geared up to its conclusion, I started to feel warmth in my chest, like I had just downed a shot of whiskey and a few moments later I thought I saw something moving towards me. You know when you rub your eyes really hard and for the first few seconds afterward everything looks a little fuzzy? Or when you are at a BBQ and you are standing near a hot grill and the air above looks kind of wavy and disturbed. Basically it looked like a wavy disturbed patch of air was moving towards me pretty fast. Between the fuzzy air, my sudden feeling of warmth, and the cheerful reminder of the hotel’s notoriety earlier in the evening, I freaked out. All I grabbed was P’s cell phone and I charged out the door, leaving my key and my shoes, essentially locking myself out in the hallway.

I didn’t even wait for the elevator, I ran down the stairs to the lobby, where the hotel clerk in the hoop skirt and bonnet failed to put me at ease. I paced the hallway in my bare feet trying to figure out what to do. I had P’s phone, so I couldn’t call him for comfort. If I called my family, they probably would think I was over reacting, or crazy. So I called my friend Eliza. We had recently returned from studying in India together—I’ve mentioned her before when discussing her art—and I figured after the craziness of India, telling her I was scared of a haunted hotel was probably not that surprising.

It was tough to hear her on the other end of the phone. It was senior week back on campus, and students were out enjoying their last few moments of college life. She had met her now-husband a few months before, and I could tell they were out together. But like a true friend, she listened to my fearful babble and helped to calm me down, then reassured me all would be alright. I told her I was ready to spend the night sleeping in the lobby if necessary, but she talked me into going back up stairs and trying to stay in my room a while more.

I worked up the courage to ask the front desk attendant for a new key—she probably thought I was crazy anyway—then reluctantly headed back up stairs.

As soon as I got up there I turned on all the lights, then I turned the tv volume up, and I got in bed, burying myself under all the blankets so that the only thing visible was the tip of my nose. I spent the rest of the night like that. I didn’t sleep, I just listened to the tv and stayed perfectly still, sweating under the blankets until the sun rose.

The next morning I got ready, happily checked out of the hotel and went to the interview. One of the administrators took me on a tour off the campus, explaining the buildings and their history. I tried to play it cool and casual, “So, do some people consider the campus haunted?”

“A lot of people say it is, if you believe in that sort of thing.” The administrator responded, and launched into several stories about Pennsylvania Hall being the surgical unit during the battle and how some students swear they have seen things around campus.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I was offered the job, could I really live there in an apartment, on my own? I had visions of a string of panic and heart attacks.

The rest of the interview went well, despite the sleepless night, and later that evening I flew back to upstate New York.

A few days later the universe made a decision for me. I wasn’t offered the job.

I think it was a good thing.

I Can’t Believe It’s Been Ten Years Already

I thought a lot about writing something on my blog about 9/11. I was hesitant because even though I have vivid memories from that day, I almost feel like I don’t have the “right” to publicly comment about my experience since I wasn’t in New York City that day; I couldn’t smell the smoke, I didn’t lose a friend or family member, I was pretty removed from the whole thing.

I don’t dwell on 9/11 much, or even follow coverage of it most years. It’s the bigger “anniversary” years—1, 5, now unbelievably, 10– that kind of get to me a little. How quickly time passes.

The day was pretty nondescript when it started. I was in my senior year of high school. I officially had a “study hall” in my schedule for my second period class, but I was in the process of organizing an independent study in anthropology. Each day I would walk down to the cafeteria and “sign out” of my study hall with the hip new history teacher and head to the library where I would sit with an equally nerdy friend of mine who was doing an independent study in economics.

That morning I remember it was sunny. I walked to the large cafeteria, where someone was trying to change the channel on the tv monitors (which usually looped a powerpoint of all the school events) but the screen was all snowy and making a static noise. There were some murmurings about cops or planes in New York City, but no one seemed alarmed, or even that interested. I walked over to the history teacher who monitored my study hall. She had dark, short cropped hair and wore jean jackets and dangly earrings, and I thought she was young and cool, even though I barely stayed in her study hall for more than a few minutes each day. Later in the year, after my request to do an ethnography on the culture of a regional Islamic center for my English class fell through, she let me do an ethnography on her freshmen history classroom.

She signed my hall pass, and I headed down the hall and over to the library. Our school library was constructed with a wall of windows on one side, so students from the hall could see in. As I was finishing high school right around the time computer research was slowly becoming the new social norm, most of the library’s books had been pushed to the back, and several rows of computers lined the area near the windows. Behind the rows of computers a tv monitor was mounted high on the wall, which also generally scrolled the powerpoint announcements much like the tvs in the cafeteria. As I approached the doors to the library I noticed most of the library staff and a few teachers were standing near the small square tv, watching some sort of news coverage, including my anthropology advisor. My economist friend Paul was sitting at the closest table to the tv, holding his stack of books and staring up through his large round glasses at the screen.

I approached and slid into the chair next to him, trying to absorb what was on the tv. A picture of the Twin Towers in New York City… burning.

“What happened?” I asked Paul.

“Planes flew into the World Trade Center.” He said.

I think he said planes. I’m looking at the timeline of events, and trying to remember my high school schedule, and when I must have gotten to the library. The second plane must have already hit by then, because I would have vividly remember that, like I vividly remember watching the South Tower fall. Liveon television. I saw it fall and felt it in the pit of my stomach. All those people. The teachers and librarians, Paul and myself, we let out this collective cry of disbelief. How can it fall? How can a building fall like that? Like a movie?

That summer I had volunteered for the Red Cross, and helped with several blood donation campaigns. Just a few weeks prior I remember hearing them call for “a state wide blood shortage” and the need for emergency drives in order to keep enough blood in reserve. In shock, I remember turning to Paul and saying, “There isn’t enough blood! The Red Cross won’t have enough blood to save those people!” Paul turned to me, equally shocked and said, “Imagine the insurance claims! Some company will have to pay millions, maybe billions!”

We were in New York, but “upstate” is like a whole other world to the skyscrapers, yellow taxi cabs, and heavy accents of Manhattan and its boroughs. If one could jump in the nearest car and drive from my high school straight to the Trade Center in NYC it would take about five hours, probably more. Some of the kids I went to high school with had never driven more than an hour away from their home, let alone visit New York City.

But we visited the city a lot. My parents grew up about 45 minutes north of the city in a town in Orange County. One of my uncles still lives there and commutes to work in lower Manhattan each day by bus. My grandmother still lives in the house where my mother grew up, and as a kid she and my aunts would take my sisters and I in to New York City during the holidays to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. I had never gone to the top of the World Trade Center, but I remember driving through the city many times, looking at the famous tourist sites (sometimes with Irish relatives fresh from the villages in Western Ireland in tow)—pointing out Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, visiting Ellis Island, where my Irish grandfather and great-grandmother’s names are listed on the wall of immigrants.

I didn’t feel like a “New Yauwker” (imagine with thick Brooklyn accent to stereotype someone from “the City”), and would feel annoyed when meeting new people from other places that thought that I was from “the City” because my name badge said “New York”—“What was it like to take a taxi to school?” “Which is your favorite skyscraper?”—I’d answer, “I’m from Upstate New York, and it’s totally different.” But I still felt an emotional connection to New York City from those childhood holiday trips, and knowing when I was at my Grandmother’s house it was only a short car trip away. I never ever wanted to live there, and it wasn’t idolization, but the city was there. It felt a bit familiar.

And now it was burning.

And the building fell. It fell.

I didn’t want to do anything the rest of the day. I just wanted to sit in front of the tv and stare. Those first few hours were so confusing. No one knew what was next. How could I look away?

The bell rang that signaled the changeover in classes and the library staff peeled their eyes away from the tv long enough to shoe us students in the library along to the next place we were supposed to be.

I think there were two classes between the library and my mid-day English class. I can’t clearly remember what we did, but I’m fairly certain that we didn’t do much, and probably continued to watch the tv. But then we got to our mid-day English class. It was a college theory class in a double class period team taught by two teachers. Mr. F was the lead teacher that day. When we entered class he didn’t have the tv on. He instructed us all to sit down and said we would be continuing on with class that day, that watching tv wouldn’t help anything, and we had to keep a sense of normalcy in our lives. He wouldn’t even turn the tv on and mute it so we could follow any updates.

Mr. F could be a bit curt and gruff by nature. He had three kids in the school system (his middle daughter was in my class, she was the kind of student that was assumed to be our valedictorian at least a year or two before we graduated). He was a softball/baseball coach, and ran a tight ship. It was like him to lay down “the law” and that was that.

I remember being so mad at him. I still feel mad at him when I think about it. An anger deep in my chest. How dare he tell me I couldn’t watch the horror unfold on the screen? No one knew yet what was happening, there were still all sorts of stories about planes in the air, heading to important places across the country. This was history happening. Don’t turn off the freaking tv!

I remember repeating to the other teacher in class (Mrs. D), “The Red Cross has a blood shortage, what will they do?” I remember she responded gravely, “C, I don’t think they will find a lot of people alive to give blood to.”

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. We got home from school and watched the tv some more. I was obsessed with watching. The coverage was on every channel. You couldn’t escape it. I checked my email and had several messages from people I had attended an international leadership conference with a year or two before, they had checked our participant list and saw “C C—New York” and assumed I must be involved in the craziness in Manhattan, and sent me messages of support.

I couldn’t believe the next day we were expected to go to school. But the teachers said we had to get our lives back to “normal.” I was frustrated. Why did everyone want us to be “normal”? The whole world felt crazy, and I wanted to have a day or two to absorb it.

My afterschool job was working at a local independent bookstore. That second day I went to work. In the store we were surrounded by news– newspapers on the wracks, magazine covers, NPR on the radio. I luckily had called ahead to have the owner save me a copy of the New York Times from September 12, 2011. By the time I got to work all the papers were gone.

The months after September 11th scared me. I was really uncomfortable with all the American flags flying everywhere. One in nearly every window, on every car, on every light pole. The uber-patriotism. It didn’t seem to fit right. I didn’t think people were sounding reasonable. I understood that the country was hurting and trying to recover, but then Bush started talking about war.

I remember one heated exchange in my AP American Politics class. My teacher was talking about bombing Afghanistan, and I voiced my worry about it, about killing innocent people. I didn’t see the difference between us dropping bombs and killing innocent people there, and them flying airplanes into buildings and killing innocent people here. My teacher said he would drop bombs on the Afghans “any day, if it meant saving American lives.” I asked why an Afghan life meant less than an American life. He told me to stand up and point to five of my classmates I’d rather see dead rather than five Afghans I knew nothing about. “That’s why.” He said. I was upset, and angry. Five people were five people no matter who they were.

Life in the US changed quickly. A close friend of mine from high school (ironically his birthday was 9/11) was studying in Hungary as a Rotary Exchange student that year. He called when he was feeling homesick or lonely. I remember once trying to explain to him that he would be returning to a country that had greatly changed. When he left I had gone with his family to the airport to see him off and hugged him goodbye at his departure gate before he boarded the plane and we watched as his plane taxied back towards the runway. That was August 2001. I’d probably never be able to do that again in my lifetime.

I went to college, and finally had the opportunity to travel myself second semester of my freshmen year. I had wanted to travel for years, and had begged my parents for years, and this was my first opportunity.

I went to France. I was there when Bush declared war on Iraq. My fellow American students and I crowded around a computer to watch a grainy streaming video of Bush’s speech in the cramped computer lab in our program office. It was a war I couldn’t support. I decided to wear a white arm band that said “contre la guerre.” I wore it the rest of the time I was in France. We were publicly told by our American advisor that we were prohibited from French protests about the war, but as a former activist herself, the teacher looked the other direction when it wasn’t so secret that I had joined in with various “manifastations contre la guerre” in the city.

I wrote home about my activities and my feelings, to friends and family, and started to get negative, sometimes even hostile responses in return. How could I speak out against my president in a time of war? And to the French? It was the days of “Freedom Fries” (which the French didn’t get—“Don’t the Americans know that French Fries are actually Belgian?” they would ask), and the idea that I was standing up as an American abroad declaring my disagreement with my country’s war was very upsetting to people back home. One day I went to my professor’s office and burst in to tears.

9/11 shaped most of my twenties.

And now its ten years later. Ten years in which so much has happened in the world and to me, and yet has passed so quickly. I think the passage of time hit as hard as the day itself.

All I wanted to do yesterday was sit in front of a tv and watch 9/11 anniversary coverage. We don’t have a tv, so I resorted to reading news sites, and Wikipedia events of the day. For the first time I listened to all the names read in New York and I was struck by the number of kids reading–people who were babies or in vitro when their fathers died. I searched for streaming documentaries online and watched one called “The Falling Man” about the famous picture and the “jumpers” from the Towers that day.

I couldn’t stay transfixed to the computer all day though—P’s parents were here, and there was a bit of cleaning and shopping that had to be done.

I don’t need to dwell every year, but I think it will hit me again at 20 years and perhaps 25. That passage of time, and that moment in history. It was also the beginning of my own transition to adulthood, and to finding my independent voice.

I can’t believe it’s been ten years already.

“Greatest Hits” for 100,000 Views

I reached 100,000 views about two weeks ago. A milestone I never really imagined reaching. I was hoping to write a post in honor of this, but work and home became too busy to write anything meaningful.

So it was suggested that I should do a “greatest hits” post, but rather than repost things that actually received a lot of hits, I wanted to post stories that were particularly meaningful or interesting to me—or topics that I wrote about a long time ago, but are probably buried far down the chain of posts that new readers might not have read them yet:

Nepali Culture
Teej
Bratabandha Part I
Mo:mo
Nepali ho?
Fat is Relative
Just Give Hing a Chance
Please… No More Rice!
A Female Taboo
Yak Cheese that keeps on Giving
Don’t Sleep with an Onion in your Armpit!
Monsoon Wedding Series (Starting HERE)
Nepali Wedding in New England

 

Personal Stories
Pretty Woman
African Hare Krishna
Obstacles on the Way to the Altar
Frank Uncle and the Nepali Wedding
He Told Them!

K-k-k-k-k-k-kathmandu
My First Night in Nepal
The Delicate Mzungu at the Delicate Arch (the engagement story)
Another Rant on Language
The 2010 Sel Roti Tihar Challenge

Thanks again to all those who read, and to those I’ve gotten to know through the blogging world. This has been such an eye opening and interesting experience, and I look forward to getting to know more of you in the future!

Happy reading!

10 Years in America

Ten years ago (minus a day or two), P, draped in yellow and orange marigold garlands, hugged his family at the Tribhuvan International Airport. The group who gathered to see him off posed for a photo (which still hangs on our refrigerator). In the photo P looks different—much skinnier, with longer hair and tinted glasses. His expression is a mixture of excitement, nervousness and sadness. His little cousin at the time was about six years old, she was the smallest one in the photo—now she is nearly done with high school. After the photo P again said goodbye, trudged off to the departure gate, and boarded a plane bound for Bangkok. It was almost two years before he returned for a visit.

His brother, P, his mom and dad before his departure

It took him over 48 hours—flying from KTM to Thailand, then Tokyo, then Minneapolis (where he briefly met up with a cousin who, during P’s layover, brought him to the “Mall of America.” An undoubtedly overwhelming first entry into the US, P fretted at the cost of an alarm clock when he converted dollars into Nepali rupees. His cousin gave him sage advice, “Stop doing that. You’ll never survive here if you keep converting everything.”) then from Minnesota to Boston, and finally to Bangor, Maine. Once the tired traveller departed his final airport, he was greeted by his friend and former high school roommate S, who drove him the final two hours north to their small college campus in rural “Downeast Maine.” Today is the anniversary of his initial arrival on US soil.

A decade in America.

Ten years is a long time. It’s hard for me to imagine being away from my own country for that long. P said that when he initially left, he knew he was leaving for quite a while, but he can’t believe it’s been ten years already, “Time passes fast in the US.”

Now—almost three American university degrees later, soon to be married, with lots of memories under his belt, I guess today is one of reflection.

I can’t speak for P, but I think about all the immigrants who have come to America who never had a chance to go home again, who missed weddings, births and funerals. We are lucky that we now live in an age of great technology. P is able to talk to his parents often on the phone, and video chat through Skype and Gmail. We are able to travel to Nepal every few years, and P’s family has been able to visit. We make an effort to highlight beloved and important aspects of Nepali and American culture so that both of us feel respected and appreciated in our household.

So happy ten years to P. Perhaps someday we will be celebrating a happy twenty years… or perhaps a happy ten years to me in Nepal. There is a lot of life (knock wood) in front of us, so we will have to see what will happen.

Being Good at Christmas Time

There was a funny post today highlighted on the WordPress homepage called, “Why it’s a bad idea to peek at your presents” and I thought it was time for a confessional post about my own childhood Christmas curiosities, and—er—lack of patience? Too bad I didn’t have a character like the “Dad” in this post to “teach me a lesson,” I had to teach it to myself.

I promise, I don’t do this anymore, but for a few years in my pre-teen days, I fancied myself something of a Christmas-present-secret-agent. I was getting old enough to know the truth about “Santa” and savvy enough to know my parents had to hide those gifts somewhere, and I loved to find them before Christmas and figure out what they were.

It started in the first year or two with the family gifts that began to appear under the Christmas tree in mid-December. Instead of buying gifts for parents and sisters, then hiding the wrapped gifts until Christmas Eve, we would wrap them and put them under the tree shortly after purchasing them. It made the living room all the more “Christmasy” to have a few scatter presents there.

I somehow got the idea that I could get a good sense of  what the present inside the wrapping paper was if I scratched a bit of a hole underneath a gift tag or bow. Between present size, shape, sound (if shaken) and a tiny peep hole peek under the wrapping paper, I could make a pretty good educated guess. No one discovered my “wrapping peep holes” so I felt pretty daring.

The following year I decided to take it a step further, and when no one was around I thought I could sneak a gift to the bathroom, delicately peel off the scotch tape and open the whole edge of a present and see a majority of the box underneath. This gave me an even better idea of what gifts were—but I found that peeling off the tape sometimes ripped the wrapping paper, or pulled off some of the paper design, and the tape wasn’t all that sticky again afterwards—too much chance for discovery!

The year after that I got really bold. I figured that my parents hid the majority of “Santa” gifts in the attic, which was tough to get into when people were around. It was one of those attics that unfolded from the ceiling, you had to pull a draw string to open the wooden “door” and a collapsible set of “stairs” descended to help you climb up into the attic space. The “door” was part of my parents’ bedroom ceiling, and the collapsible “stairs” creaked to high heaven when you pulled them down and straightened them out. No chance of sneaking up there when others were around.

So I hatched a plan—fake sick, stay home from school alone, and spend the day exploring the attic space and checking out the gifts—remember, I fancied myself a secret agent, I was bubbling with anticipation!

Not to mention, my dad had lent me an old rubber stamp making kit that came with an x-acto knife. Due to the tape stickiness issues of the previous year, I theorized I could easily unwrap the attic stash by surgically slicing the scotch tape along the edges of the wrapping paper, unwrap the entire gift, check it out, then refold the paper along the same edges and apply a second layer of tape directly over the tape I had sliced. Presto, who would know?

The night before I was to put my plan into action I started turning on the theatrics… acting tired, rubbing my throat, complaining of achiness. I wanted to set the stage for a “I can’t go to school today mom, I’m feeling rotten” the next morning. And so it went—my sisters were herded out the door to the school bus, my mom left for work, and I stayed at home watching cartoons and sipping vegetable soup.

I waited an  hour or two, just to make sure that no one would come back and “surprise me” while I was frolicking in the attic. Once I felt confident the coast was clear I pulled on the string connected to the attic door, unfolded the creaky wooden ladder/stairs, grabbed the scotch tape and x-acto knife, and scurried up.

My suspicious were correct! The attic was brimming with brightly wrapped boxes of Christmas gifts, tucked amongst the rafters and pink insulation. I spent a good deal of time going through the piles to look for gifts, mindful to keep packages in the right “order” so as not to arouse suspicion. I unwrapped and rewrapped most of my gifts, and even some of my sisters’ gifts, just to see what was there. It was great fun, and once it was over, I felt a sense of pride that I was able to pull off this secret agent mission.

The rest of the day I was excited. I had this big secret. I knew my gifts, but my parents didn’t know I knew, and I knew my sisters’ gifts but they didn’t know I knew either.

However the excitement didn’t last long. After a day or two, I realized that knowing all the gifts kind of ruined the excitement and anticipation of Christmas day. There were no surprises to look forward to, no burning curiosity to keep you up at night wondering, no suspense. As the days ticked closer to Christmas Eve, I realized that by sneaking into the attic and covertly opening the gifts I essentially ruined half the fun of receiving gifts to begin with.

Christmas day I already knew how many gifts would be stacked in the living room. Of course it was nice to receive presents, but my enthusiasm was drained.

That was when I decided I wouldn’t look at presents beforehand again. I enjoyed the anticipation too much.

However somehow my family found out about my sleuthing, and I became notorious for checking out my gifts ahead of Christmas, even though I never did it again. They all expected it, and wouldn’t let me forget it. Even now my younger sister still brings it up.

So sometimes it’s better to be good at Christmas time… but to be safe, maybe parents out there should hide their scotch tape and x-acto knives.

My secret agent kit pretty much looked like this... perhaps I missed my true calling, as a surgeon!

In the Rain…

I’m going to piggy back on Gori Girl’s post today. She writes:

Allow me to introduce you to my new favorite artist, Nidhi Chanani. I first stumbled on Nidhi’s work on etsy, which is an online community for buying and selling handmade items. I was immediately in love with her whimsical, joyful drawings. Once I found her personal website and bio I realized why the art brought such a smile to my face – while Nidhi was born in India, she grew up in California, is married interculturally – and infuses her art with the diversity of her life.

So of course, I did “the needful” and checked her out. Although I like more abstract art, I too enjoyed her work.

There was one painting in particular I liked… not only are the figures in the painting the “right” ethnicities (desi guy, gori girl–it would be perfect if they were both wearing glasses!), but it reminded me of a moment in October, seven years ago, when I accompanied P to the campus library near midnight on a windy rainy night. It was the night I was determined to figure out if P actually liked me “more than a friend,” and although there were no secret kisses under the almost leafless trees, it was from that moment on that everything changed.

So here is to rainy autumn nights, burgeoning romances, and special loved ones.

365 Days and Counting

Today is July 10, 2010— exactly one year from now—July 10, 2011, P and I will be married. Needless to say, I’ve very excited. Happy one year pre-anniversary to us :)

Homage to P and C