Sunday, April 25, 2010

A mob after my own heart...

I've found my people. Apparently there's a festival called Sechseläuten every year in Zurich, Switzerland in the third week in April. It's a Spring festival to usher in the nice weather and be done with Winter. Well I say Amen to that. Tons of people show up, there's a huge parade and politicians throw on their good pantyhose and run through the streets in traditional garb.
But that's not what makes it awesome. It's awesome because -Wait for it.....They Blow up a snowman. They have an effigy of a snowman filled with fireworks that they place on top of a big pyre. He's kinda cute right?

Apparently not after a long winter.
I mean seriously, if we hadn't been having nice weather in Boston lately, by now I'd be ready to blow up Frosty too.
But there's more. They light the bottom of the pyre and then wait for the flames to reach the snowman. When it does, his legs generally blow off first, followed by his arms and chest. But the real excitement comes when his head explodes. Yup, winter drives people so crazy that they created a festival where the climax is the exploding head of an adorable snowman.

The story goes that the longer it takes for the explosion the more rainy and crap the summer will be and the quicker his head explodes the more likely it will be warm and sunny and beautiful.

I don't know about you, but if I were sure that blowing off his head as quickly as possible would bring me warm beautiful weather, poor little snowman would have a stick of dynamite up his nose. Nothing personal dude, I just start to get a little stir crazy right about the time March rolls in.

This year it took 12 minutes 54 seconds which is apparently a pretty decent time.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sunday Snippets

It's Sunday and I can't bring myself to get up to use the bathroom never-mind write a well thought out blog post (do I ever, really?) so here we go - Sunday Snippets

*My nails are currently painted "Absolutely Alice" by O.P.I.

*I hate the rain that we've been having lately. I want the warm weather back.

*I love rain in the summer. I like to go out and play in it. I drag my cousins out to do this with me when I can.

*Occasionally, very odd things happen in my house. Like you try to go throw something away and there are three little dolls staring back at you.

* I still have a plethora of uneaten Easter Candy.

*This includes 5 packages of peeps that are sitting open on the mantle drying out. I only like Peeps when they're crazy stale.

*I bought a Betta fish today. He's Blue with little parts that are green or red. I'd post a picture but he's currently two floors away and remember that whole "It's sunday and I'm lazy" thing? So I'll just have to owe you one.

* A few weeks ago, I bought a hamster. I'd never seen a hamster with his coloring and I couldn't resist. He's a sweetie and he's on the same floor as me so you get a picture. (In other news, he peed on me when I was trying to take his picture so you just get another IOU)

*Turns out his coloring is "Dove" which is pretty much like a grey cardboard color. When I don't have my glasses on, he blends in with his bedding and I just see movement with no definition.

*This is the best parking meter ever. It made me laugh pretty hard when I went to go put money in it.

Also, this backfired on me, as I had to go up those two flights of stairs to change after I got peed on. See, moms of fur-babies lead glamorous lives too.
The End

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mouthwatering Monday

I'm far too underachieving to post a recipe today but I have to rave about a food that has made my monday so utterly delicious. It's this.

This is Bánh tét.
It may not look mouthwatering to everyone, but to me it's amazing.
Bánh tét is Vietnamese and it's made with sticky rice, mung beans and fatty pork wrapped in banana leaves and steamed for something like 6 hours. Needless to say, I don't make it myself. I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful Vietnamese lunch shop right down the street from my house which makes Bánh tét as well as the square version of it, Bánh Chung. As far as I can tell, there's not any difference apart from one being a cylinder and one being a cube. I think one way is how they do it in the north the other is from the south; but I have no idea which is which.

I buy the Bánh tét because the little asian woman who works in the shop likes it when I do. Apparently, I'm the only (or close to it) white girl who buys it because the few times I send my husband to get it for me, the women behind the counter question him - "This for your wife? She comes in here?" They find me amusing; I think they like that I enjoy the food they make and they're happy when I know something about their culture. They seemed shocked when I wished them Happy (Lunar) New Year.
While I'm proud to have a basic knowledge of many other cultures, it makes me a little sad that that makes me something of a novelty.

Food is yummy, and I'll be damned if me not being from a certain cultural background is going to stop me from eating it!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Time not only flies, it apparently takes the Concorde

See this little nugget here?

She's my cousin; the first one I ever got. She makes me feel old.

She used to sit in my lap. Even when I was 13 and didn't bother washing off my makeup for days.

She loved me despite my awkward-dress-like-you're-40-in-middle-school phase.

And she's been making me feel old for a while now. Like when she turned 7 and we went to Disney.

Where's my baby?

But see now, she makes me feel even older. Maybe not age-wise, I know I'm still young. But you don't realize quite how much 10 years is until this

becomes this

And she's a wise ass just like you were at that age and the phone never leaves her hand and she's as tall as you are when she wears heels and she wears heels.
And suddenly instead of "melmo" and sesame street you're chatting about cliques and boys and holy crap where is my baby?
She turned 12 on thursday and when I tell her how she makes me feel old and how I remember the day she was born and how her mom got mad at me for saying she looked like a grumpy old asian man, she rolls her eyes at me.

But thats okay because this guy?

This little nugget turned 1 on Wednesday.

And one day, faster than she realizes, she's gonna look at this picture and say "Where's my baby!?"

And he'll roll his eyes at her. And the cycle will come full circle once again.

P.S. My only consolation it that even though she's grown like a bean pole, I can still put in a headlock just like old times :D

But she grew up fine anyway right? Apparently older kids harrassing the younger ones is tradition.

Happy Birthday, Guys!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For Maddie

I've been thinking about what to say in this post all day.Debating whether to post at all. Whether my words would cheapen the day because I never got to know Madeline. But that's where it lies isn't it? I never got to know Madeline. Most of us never did. Every day there are children that the world will never get to meet. And yet, this little girl that I never got the chance to know touches my life regularly. I think of her often, when I see a big toothy grin on a baby girl, or hear her name. And I think of how unfair it is. I know the world was robbed of Maddie. Just as they were robbed of my friend's son Kadin and countless others. I wish I'd gotten the chance to watch them grow. To feel the same excitement for them as I do for others when their parents proudly post new pictures of them. I often wonder where the sense is in any of it. When I see things on the news and in my life. Of parents who fail to care for their children. Who neglect them, don't appreciate them, put them in danger. I see people who would be, and are, wonderful parents denied the chance to be parents, while others who show no merit continue to overlook their blessings. These children, who were taken from us far too soon, are loved more than can be expressed with words. They are thought of constantly even by those who never got the chance to hold them. But it is for for those who did get to hold them, those who rocked them and sang to them, who dreamt of their lives and had it torn away, for them that I decided to post. I don't know your pain, I can't understand it's depth. But I can give what I can. I will think of your children for the rest of my life. And today I'll be making a donation to March of Dimes. And I'll be praying. For strength, for peace and for amazing miracles; that the world will stop being robbed of it's babies.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It doesn't rain but it pours...

While the title of this post could easily refer to the massive flooding around Massachusetts, it doesn't. Luckily my home and my family have been spared for the most part, but it doesn't take a very long look around to find homes that have been entirely flooded. Or, you know, people kayaking on fair grounds.
It's sights like those homes in the middle of rivers that remind me to be grateful for what little troubles I do have. Even when they feel monstrous, they could be monumentally worse.

We've been having one problem after another with our "good" car lately. Not our beat up old civic that we run into the ground but our pretty silver Mazda. First it was New belts and horrible squealing. When we fixed that, it was new tires. Then the squealing again even when the belts were supposedly fine. Then the emergency brake light wouldn't go off. Then we need new brakes. And finally today, as I was leaving school, the power steering belt ripped to shreds.

::Headdesk:: That alone wouldn't have been so bad, I still could have managed to drive home using only brute force to steer but it happened to take the belt that powers the alternator and water pump with it when it went. No water pump means no water running through the engine to cool it, which means I could warp the whole engine. No good. And as much as my husband says he wants to put a Turbo Charged engine into the car, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't thank me for ruining the engine. So thankfully we had AAA and the nice man only charged Half and arm and half a leg to tow it from Billerica to Boston.

On top of all this, our insurance company is refusing to return our $500 deductible from a long ago accident that they agree was entirely not out fault, but the woman who's fault it was won't talk to her insurance company so they claim we're just SOL. Does that make sense to you? If it does, fill me in, I'd love to understand. We're filing a claim with the Insurance Bureau or something but if we do get the money back it's going to be a long fight for it.

And the iPad came out this weekend and it's beautiful and lovely and so much nicer than my iTouch. But, since we can't seem to stop the holes in our bank account, it looks like I won't be getting to replace my laptop anytime soon.

*sigh* At least the weather has been wonderful. If there's a silver lining around, thats it.