May 25, 2010

Two men and a bird.

One sunny Saturday morning, I heard the sweet chirp-chirp of what I know now as a Starling. I turned about on the bed, smiled at r~ next to me and this time heard the chirps right above my head as if there were a bird incessantly calling out to me from the ceiling. I alerted k to this fact just like the past 65 times that I had done that and just like the previous times, he muttered an eloquent, "Uh uh" and went back to sleep inside his comforter. So I left it at that.

A few days later, k told me that he is going to Home Depot to do some "chores". This surprised me because k, like other husbands I know, tend not to take up initiative when it comes to chores (Yes, yes, broad generalization). They tend to believe that they live in self-cleaning, auto-organizing houses that prefer not to be interrupted while performing their self-auto-duties. So anyway, I left it at that.

A half hour later, he comes back with a long metal ladder strapped on to the top of our mini-van. "Need to sort this bird issue out", he said sounding very business-like and matter-of-fact.

"What bird issue?"

"The birds in the attic."

I give him a look that says, Ok, so you woke up now after a year to take care of that? 
Maybe 65 is the magic number, remind a man 65 times and he will get the task done asap.
Only in our case, asap turned out to be a bit longer than I expected.

So, he sheepishly admits, "The home depot dude said bird nests in the attic could be a fire hazard. So, I thought I should take care of it."

Strike out the 65 theory.

k valiantly unloads the metal ladder that seems to weight heavier than our house and leans it against the outside of our brick wall on the side of our house. There, about 200 feet high (or some similar dizzying height), there is an opening that our dear Starlings have been using as the entrance to their house -- the nest in our attic.

But you see, if you have ever lived through the experience of "driving birds out of your attic", you will know that step #1 is just that -- driving them out. So k proceeds to do the logical thing next.

Which is place our ipod player, volume turned max, in our attic (In case you are interested, no, he did not have to climb the ladder outside to place the ipod player in the attic; we have an access to the attic through our bedroom closet). The theory is (and you will notice by the time you read to the end of this post that several theories support the "driving birds out of attic" experience, most of which are flawed. The rest are untested.) that birds do not enjoy music that humans do. So, they tend to stay away from human music and humans. And hence an ipod player in the attic will drive the birds away. Ta da! So, all day long, the poor American Starlings hear Suprabharatham and an eclectic collection of Tamil and Hindi movie songs and then k announces that the birds have flown out of the attic.

Which leads us to step #2 -- Clean the attic

No complications in this step. Clean the nest from the attic. Make sure you take big trash bags with you to the attic. Step out with bag full of nest stuff.

And that brings us to step #3 -- Seal the opening so birds can't get in in the future.

k managed to climb the 200 feet ladder propped outside the house, somehow with a drill and drill bits (or whatever the thingamajiggie is called) in one hand, and cover the opening and nail it all down or drill it down or whatever the technical term for that is. And so we are done. And that is how you drive birds out of your attic.

Normally, that is how this happy serial would end. But, ours turned out to be more along the lines of a Sun TV mega serial.

The next morning, I heard sweet bird songs early morning and in my sleep nudged k and said, "Birds."
And then a few moments later, we both sat up upright with the sinking realization that we had sealed those birds in. They apparently enjoyed the music a bit too much and did not exactly leave the attic. They were just silently sitting there praying with MS.

So now enter man #2 of the "2 men and a bird" saga -- S.

k and S hemmed and hawed and tried to decide what to do with the stuck birds. Firstly we did not possess the infinitely tall ladder which was returned to home depot earlier because it costs $30 for every 4 hours! So to recap, the options are:

1. Do it the hard way -- climb the ladder, remove the nails, free the opening and let the birds fly home or fly away in this case. And then reseal.
2. Do it the harder and possibly more comical way which is to remove the opening to the attic from our bedroom closet, leave all the windows open in our bedroom and let the birds fly from the attic to the bedroom and out the window.

Thankfully, they decided against #2. Ok, so I thought k & S decided to go with option 1 but k tells me I am wrong. The wise men chose option 2. So, the men decided they would go up the attic from the bedroom, leave the attic entry open, leave our bedroom windows wide open and use the window screens as tools to lead the bird out our bedroom window (An hour prior to that, the men sort of waited for the birds to fly out all by themselves which of course they chose not to). Once in the attic, k had the bright idea to shine a pen light torch towards the bird in the hope of attracting the bird to the opening. The bird liked the light a bit too much and flew straight towards k. Of course, our brave man fought hard till the end which involved frantically waving the light and pushing the bird towards S. The bird took the hint and flew straight to S who at this point tried to wave the bird off with his window screen but in the process stepped onto our dry wall and then he sort of hung out in our attic. By that I mean, literally that -- his leg broke through the dry wall and sort of dangled below our ceiling inside the house!

Edited: k tells me they took a stick and a window screen up the attic. The stick to wave the bird towards the attic opening and the screen to protect themselves from the grave danger that Starlings are capable of inflicting on humans with sticks :p

In case, that wasn't clear, this scene should explain:
One man waving his pen light torch in arcs and his window screen with his other hand crouching in the dark attic. Other man valiantly trying to deflect the bird away with one foot dangling down our rest room ceiling and one scared little bird trying to figure it all out.

So bright idea #2 having turned out to be a spectacular failure, our men decided to fall back to #1. My manager was kind enough to lend us a ladder and this time k did it all by himself -- basically a repeat of the first part of this serial.

Long story short, the bird did eventually fly out. S's leg is doing much better now. The hole in our ceiling is fixed and drying now. k has realized that theories about driving birds out of the attic are just that -- theories and may not work out for musically inclined Starlings with a penchant for bright lights.

3" button / pin printed with hatchling, feeding, starling, bird, animal

May 14, 2010

Quality waste-of-time!

k and I are a perfect match when it comes to the matter of hanging out with folks (Y'all may notice I don't use the word perfect loosely especially when it comes to marriage stuff. Prefer to let other couples vie for the perfect couple spot; too much pressure to be one! Also, how will r~ learn the tricky art of mule-headed arguments unless we lead by practice? :p) So anyway, k and I are the kind of couple that need about 32 seconds to make up our minds when someone calls us to hang out with them.

Them: "So you wanna' hang out?"
k: (holding receiver and looking at me): "What time can we feed r~ and have her ready?"
Me: "Gimme 10"
k: "We'll be there in 15."

So that's the amount of planning we do when someone calls us. What's the word am looking for? It's not "people's person" -- that's someone people want to spend time with not someone who wants to spend time with people almost always...that's the word that describes us.

I have noticed some folks tend to keep some occasions private: anniversaries, birthdays and so on. They do cool, romantic things, fly to exotic places and come back to share awesome pictures with us. Some couples stay home and take it easy and just celebrate quietly. We, on the other hand, strongly believe in the "the more the merrier" cliche'. if k or I can squeeze in 2 additional people to the party, we would do so even if we had to spend 30 minutes convincing them that our home was a really hep hangout place and we would ensure that they would stay entertained the entire duration of their stay.

So given that, we (I should probably start speaking in the singular; k can say what he thinks in his expired blog if he wants to) or I am constantly surprised when people chose to opt out. No, am not talking about you or you in particular. This is sort of a sum total of my observations based on my 10 year stay in Lex. So anyway, why do people say no when you call them to spend time with you? Let's analyze:
  • They are booked for that time.
  • They do not belong to the "Oh...we are one big set of friends" camp.
  • They would rather go to the dentist (or as P~ would put it, "They don't like you, don't you get it? Duh!")
  • They don't like your facebook updates.
So to summarize, those people who opt out of get-togethers baffle me (maybe they really don't like my updates)! Maybe they really have important things to do with their free time than chat with me about my facebook updates. No seriously, I always wonder what the driving factor is to refuse an opportunity to share some face to face personal time in this increasingly virtual world. I guess kids are a good reason to say no. If one is throwing up on your tshirt the moment the invitation comes along, I suppose there is a valid reason to hold your breath and say no and then get your kid to sit down in the bath tub when you give her a bath (Don't get me started on that!). Another good reason is playing hard to get but wait -- we are not in College anymore. Drat! And I thought I was on to a breakthrough there deciphering the forces behind people's choices. I, on the other hand, got myself up the world's fastest, highest, all-est wooden roller coaster and my limbs shook for 30 days after the event, because while I detested and still do detest roller-coasters, I went along for the big gang (Unfortunately, the 2 other girls in the gang wanted to try out all the number 5, hardest rides. Ugh). Basically, I believe in the power of numbers; show me a big gang and I'll tag along for the ride even if it is to, God-forbid, King's Island (k, if you are reading this post, no, it does not mean we can take r~ to Kings Island. No, you may not pay random people to tag along.) And in this respect, k is just the same. When we were students and had a lot more free time, he would constantly look for excuses to call people home: we have thrown graduation parties, got-a-job parties, got-hitched parties, star-at-home parties (When Crazy Mohan and YGM were home), dal-bhati parties, golu get-togethers, New year's parties, birthday get the idea.

I suspect though that we are entering a time where we are so restless, constantly multi-tasking that the days of leisurely banter and "time pass" are behind us. We catch up online and are so caught up in our lives that we forget to leave some time out for wasting. Oh no, not to say I have mastered the art of zen living but am just throwing this out there and reaching random conclusions (because if you can't reach random conclusions on your blog, where can you?)

You know how in School, there's always this girl pleading with another girl to come...somewhere to do something, "Vaaayen! Nee vaaayen!" I suppose I am that girl now. I often wonder why I prefer to have a gathering whenever possible. Do I like the sound of conversation? Do I like the idea that I have a whole bunch of friends around me and that feels good? Am I bored too hang out with just k and to be fair to k, is he bored to hang out with just me and therefore we feel the need to invite 6 other people to dissipate it? Of course we have r~ now and she keeps us more occupied than 10 people can but even now, I prefer a gang to alone time. As one of my friends put it tongue-in-cheek, "As RS would say -- Let's get together and have some fun!"

Yes, RS would say that. And I guess that's just in my genes. Gotta remember to ask mom and dad if they were like that (Based on what I know, that is true) too.

Although sometimes, I think I go out of my way to spend time with people leading to situations such as:

"Hey, am going to get my eyebrows waxed, do you want to come along and share the joy of beauty?"

"Hey, taking r~ to the doc, wanna call it a play date and also grab a coffee with a screaming kid at Starbucks?"

I have always fantasized about living in the same town with the perfect set of people to hang out with. The kind of people who jump at the opportunity to make pots and paint them with you for example. Or eat at that tacky Indian restaurant that served GulabJamoons along with the plastic wrappers, warmed to perfection that other day. Or watch that Hindi movie that has the horrendous reviews just for the heck of it. Or waste a quality 60 minutes in your company.

Now, wouldn't that be something?

May 07, 2010

Jumble again.

Seems like I either don't find the time to organize my thoughts into a single coherent topic for a post or I do find the time but my mind doesn't want to put in the effort for it. So, here's a jumble again:

► I keep saying I really want to return to India for good but I guess at some level, I am apprehensive, sometimes scared of the prospect of going back for good and what all it would entail. In the end it seems to be whether I want to live the life I want, the way I want when I am healthy and young and then handle the tough decisions that life in America will throw my way when I am retired (Mainly to do with the dynamics between r's lifestyle and choices and how they will affect k and me) vs live a challenging perhaps difficult but fulfilling(?) life in India now with the chaos and color that family will bring and lead a relatively more peaceful old age to put it simply. If r grows up in India, she is going to be Indian (Duh ☼) and Indian culture will automatically be a part of her life. But my life is going to be dictated at least in part by others. Of course I can be a bad gal and ditch what people say. But really, what's the point of going all the way to live a life there when all you are doing is being miserable because you can't make the people that matter with their infinite demands happy ☺? So money and comforts aside, the r2i deal seems to sprout new tentacles each time I think about it.

► "That's my girl!" k says when finally r shows interest in a tiny racing car that he's been trying to entice her with since she turned 6 months.Automoblox Mini C9 Sports Car Yellow by AutomobloxAnd I was going to give him the mommy-knows-all lecture of "Don't try to impose your interests blah blah" and then stopped myself. I have been guilty of that too. I have been trying to get r interested in books since she was 6 months old and I believe I have succeeded but that's an example of me trying to impose my interest on her too. I guess there's a difference between imposing our unfulfilled dreams on our children and teaching them to love the traditions we love. And right now, it's more of the latter than the former. Maybe when she is 18 and wants to be an entomologist and I am insisting that she take a Literature degree, that's when I have issues to deal with ☺.

► I have noticed k (I should say men since I like to generalize based on k :p) don't do well with multi-processing. If I have asked k to do one thing and then I tell him do this after you finish, then he just freezes in his tracks and looks at me like I just spoke Ancient Greek to him. The whirring pace of one task after another in my head are no match for the precise, one task at a time only chugging that goes on in his head. And I have noticed he doesn't do well with too many choices. Even if it's just his clothes. The Spring wear he sports now has been exclusively hand picked by yours truly :p I, on the other hand, like most moms (Should I say women?) like to multi-process (Sometimes, I don't have a choice) and plan ahead. Wayyyy ahead. I like to have the if-then-elses in place in my head and plan out possible routes (Yes, yes, I do understand life tends to get unpredictable but I like to assume I have the power to handle the predictable at least!)...Mars-Venus I guess. Who knows?

► Anonymous blogging is boring. Firstly, it's hard to get a reader base if you are starting off as a nobody, just too much work to patiently write interesting niche stuff until you have people stopping by. But, if you already own a known home in the blogosphere, then this anonymous getaway is sorta not that appealing because it lacks the people interaction I guess. So anyway, I started writing (venting? :p) in this mom blog. A couple of reason I wanted it to be anonymous: moms tend to carry passionate views about parenting styles and I guess everything else related to kids and I didn't want to inadvertently write stuff that will rub other moms the wrong way; I wasn't editing, so just dumping thoughts from my head to the long story short, here it is: desi mom. Another blog? Until I set up my own website somewhere and aggregate all my blogs, a new blog it is plus am afraid I'll scare folks away from here if I keep writing twitter-style mommy blog posts here! Yada, yada...feel free to take a look, ignore, comment and all that good stuff. Like I said, blogs with no readers are sort of like unread books -- there might be good reading material in them or at least glimpses of it but you never know until you pick them up and read it :)
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