Interview: Nothing is going to change my geek status.

I opened up my draft (read “nemesis”) and actually edited two chapters yesterday.

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It felt like a huge victory since I have been avoiding it for so long now. My inner Hiro is rejoicing. Anyway a couple of weeks ago someone left me  a message on my Facebook page. They wanted to interview me. I thought it was a joke because hello I am Geek. I went to their site and they seemed pretty sane so I thought what the hell, so they want to interview a geek. Who am I to judge? Read the interview here : Smart Indian Women 

My sudden and overwhelming fame is not going to turn me into a snob,don’t worry. Nothing is going to change my geek status.

I am good with being a geek.

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Yes Hiro Nakamura is my inspiration.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth, The Ugly Truth About Writing

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This is literally me right now. Looking into the depths of my heart, which I have pulled out of my chest. To face the truth.

I am sitting here stalling. My draft lies in a file, wasting storage space on my laptop. I have left it alone for many months because that is what writers are advised to do. Write, leave it. Edit, leave it. Read and edit, then leave it again. But I have left it way too long.

I have tricked myself into believing that I am just waiting for an appropriate amount of time to pass then I will get back to it. I distract myself with other projects, then leave them also. In the back of my mind something keeps eating away at me, I push it away. I write humorous mom posts to keep myself busy. And distract myself…from myself. From the anger that is building up inside me. The frustration of the truth that I don’t want to acknowledge.

I am scared to go back to the novel. Scared it is awful. Scared it won’t ever be any good even after I have put so much into it that I am exhausted. Scared of that horrible feeling when you get another rejection letter. If it never gets done, I won’t have to face all that hurt.

And anger builds up even more. I push it down deep, so that my kids don’t notice. I don’t want them to know I desperately want to write, but I am too scared of the disappointment I will have to face.  I want them to be able to face their problems bravely when they go out on their own in the world.Get back up and dust themselves off after falling. . I want them to be able to keep their spirits up even when things look hopeless and I am not setting a good example. Which means I am failing as a mother now too. More frustration.

I open the draft and stare at it. I get up and go into the kitchen. I have to make dinner first. I always have to do something first. I am so angry I end up putting too many red peppers in the stir fried shrimp. The kids are going to complain and I will try to deal with them patiently, because it is my fault. I will suppress the urge to smack them in the back of the head and yell at them to stop whining about everything. It isn’t their fault. It is mine.

I contemplate blaming everything on my parents and a bad childhood. Blaming someone else makes you feel better temporarily. It gives you excuses to continue being stupid. In the back of my mind I know it is all me though.

I control my anger. Squeeze it into a ball and force it down my throat. It is struggling to come back up in the form of a loud, frustrated scream. I don’t want to worry my husband and kids. But I really want to punch something hard. And break stuff.

I avoid the on-line writing hang out. I don’t want to admit how I am feeling to all those other writers who will understand and try to make me feel better. I don’t want to admit I am scared to keep writing. Putting all my energy, all my hear t and soul into that stupid book, only to find out it was never any good.

And I don’t want any feel good advice. I don’t want to feel good, I am too busy being angry, and all that good advice sounds like BS anyways. We just give it and listen to it to make ourselves feel better.  I am tired of good advice, don’t give me good advice, just agree that everything sucks and then we can go throw rocks at windows or something.

Broken windows remind me of broken down houses. And homeless people, and that I should stop wallowing in this ridiculous hole I have dug for myself because I am so much better off. I should be grateful, happy and stop wasting my time. And go finish the damn book.

Which I can’t do, because I have pulled my heart out of my chest and looked into its depths. All I can find is anger and isolation and the fear of failure. I contain it, but it is building up and I am afraid it is going to explode.

 

(Artwork is mine.)

Arranged Marriage:Dear (Not So) Suitable Boy

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Contrary to the Indian movies that often portray every young girl’s goal in life as securing that Suitable Boy’s proposal, most girls just wanted to have fun.

Dear (Not so ) Suitable Boy,

I have been meaning to write to you for some time now (about 20 years) but somewhere along the way, after I realized you most certainly were not my knight in shining armor, I married someone else and had five kids. So yeah I was a bit preoccupied. No, I didn’t end up marrying the knight in shining armor. He still hasn’t shown up. Curse you, Disney. Curse you.

I remembered you and your audacious proposal yesterday night as I was scooping fat cat’s dehydrated poop out of the litter box. Please don’t be offended, you do not in any way remind me of dehydrated cat poop. I just get random thoughts scooping poop.

I just want you to know that it never would have worked. I was done the second I realized I was about to be shown off like prize cattle, when I saw you sitting there in my aunt’s drawing-room with your mom, your dad and your female sibling. I am surprised you didn’t bring your grandparents. I stopped at the door and I checked you out. Sorry I wasn’t raised in Pakistan, yeah I checked you out and you did not even make my “last guy in the world list”. But let’s be honest, you were there with your family to do the exact same thing. I just beat you to it.

Yes, in those few seconds I was able to sum you up and sweep you aside. I was a narcissistic nineteen year old what could you expect? I knew I was on every eligible bachelor’s mom’s list, most likely first or second, because I fit what every desi mother-in-law wanted. Tall, thin, fair, but most importantly, Canadian National. God bless our hypocritical, stereotypical desi double standards!

Besides being turned off by the fact that I was about to be paraded in front of a guy I did not know (why can’t people just arrange a normal lunch with lots of people?) it was the moustache. That ridiculously thick moustache that made Tom Selleck look like a fuzzy lipped female. Had you never heard of Johnny Depp? Apparently not. You looked like a forty-five year old, (yes I am aware that you were not actually forty-five, but damn that was some ‘stache!) a forty-five year old who was accompanied by his parents and little sister to check out a nineteen year old chick. That is not a good first impression.

I did my utmost to be as obnoxious as possible to your mom and little sis. I refused to go into the drawing-room to meet you, I didn’t see the point since I had already decided we were most certainly NOT meant to be. So they came to meet me in the other room. I disagreed with everything your sister said, I mocked the fact that she didn’t enjoy Jane Austen which she was required to read for school. I love Jane Austen. The second a tray of drinks was brought in I hopped up and rudely grabbed a drink for myself to the shock of both my aunts.  And your mom. I wanted her to realize what Canadian National meant. It meant I was not the standard docile girl who had been embedded with the concept that I had to marry whichever Suitable Boy thought I met his mom’s standards. I would not be cajoled into an arranged marriage just because everyone thought you were a Suitable Boy.

Fourteen hundred years ago my religion gave me the right to decide if I liked a guy enough to marry him, but along the line somewhere all that got lost in stupid cultural backwardness. Up till the point where girls were displayed to be evaluated by a boy and his family. To see whether or not she was good-looking enough, submissive enough, to make a good daughter-in-law and wife. Then the poor girl waited, hoping not to be rejected as Prince Charming went on to check out the next eight girls on Mama’s list.

The point of all this is, you probably have kids now. Unless you jumped off a cliff in a fit of drama, your ego bruised by a girl who had the impudence to refuse.  If you have a daughter please don’t parade her in front of dozens of young men and their families. Let her peek in the drawing-room first. And if she doesn’t want to go in and meet them, don’t make her.

Sincerely,

The Canadian National you are so lucky not to have gotten hitched to.

P.S. Do remind her however, that the knight in shining armor rarely shows up, she should not waste her precious time waiting for him.

Laws of Mom Physics

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There are about four days left before school reopens, and I have mixed feelings about this. Summer is ending, this is a nostalgic and often bittersweet kind of feeling. After a certain age it reminds you that  you are at that late summer stage in life.
I will miss sleeping in and being awoken by my twins acting like lion cubs and lounging on me, late and lavish breakfasts and the no stress late nights because no school the next day.
However I also miss the few hours of peace and quiet, the clean house, the lack of screaming after every five minutes and the time away from the kitchen because summer vacation is also basically just one big “I’m hungry…” all the time.
You’ve got to have both experiences or life would be pretty boring…which made me realize that two extremes of people commit suicide : those that have everything and those who have nothing. No this has nothing to do with my blog post, sorry for that depressing thought. It’s just my brain has all these tabs open at once, you know all that creativity and stuff.

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What I wanted to blog about today was the “Laws of Mom Physics”
1. The amount of a mother’s love is constant,  it simply changes from one form to another from mother to mother and even in the same mother. Like “overprotective love” to “please get out of my hair because I don’t want to hurt you” love.
2.  Every action from a child will cause an increased reaction from a mother. For example a hug from a toddler will result in a much tighter hug and many smooshy smooches from an exuberant mommy. A ridiculous demand from a teenager will result in a higher decibel verbal reprimand and an increased possibility of house arrest. 
3.  The stickiness of the floors is directly proportional to the necessity of the reopening of schools.
4.  The capacity of a mother’s bladder increases exponentially with her number of offspring.
5.  The angle of projectile vomit spewing from a noxious child can be calculated perfectly by mommy ready with the plastic bag.
6.  Dinner ready and set on the table will always result in all the kids NOT being hungry at the given point in time.
7.   Pi(e) is always equal to happy children especially when served with ice cream.

There are many more laws, please feel free to add yours.

Art Exhibit at MuslimFest 2014

MuslimFest was lots of fun for the kids. Jumping castles, slides and face painting. Lots of food and music. Big crowd!

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This was painted live (but I missed it ) just outside the art exhibit.

My stuff was right in front and got the best light (lucky me)

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This is the picture that sold. Yay!

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This is some other work exhibited there. I messed up the pic and the lighting wasn’t the best in this corner. But the paintings were good.

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These are prints someone had put up of their original work. There were a lot of other paintings but the kids didn’t want to stay more than five minutes and I couldn’t get any more pictures. The jumping castle was becoming a matter of life or death for them.

Gotta clean the house today (although I am really tempted to start another painting) before the health department puts a quarantine sign on our front lawn. Yes it is THAT bad. The summer vacation needs to end now.

Feeling Artsy

I think it was the fact that spring finally decided to make an appearance, I have been feeling all artsy this past month.

2014-05-18 21.41.20 I stole teen 1’s canvas board and did some clouds in acrylic.

2014-05-18 22.57.00My suddenly blooming garden inspired me to wear down a set of pastels.

2014-05-23 10.30.37 I am almost out of blue pastels.

2014-05-26 20.51.43yup blue is definitely all gone now…

2014-05-28 21.21.07Since I have consumed most of the pastel crayons I turned to acrylic paint (swiped it from teen 1) and started this one. I hope I can finish it tomorrow. I am thinking of dumping the kids on my worse  better half and taking a serious art course. Seriously. Or maybe I should get that novel done, the Best Seller List is patiently waiting for me. The Mayor is retiring too though…that could be fun.

Extreme Parenting or How to Fix Your Obnoxious Brat

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You know that parent you find in random aisles when you go shopping? The one with a UNICEF Ambassador’s concerned expression and the tact of a woodland creature surrounded by hungry wolves?

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Their child is sprawled on the floor causing a ruckus that would shame a South American howler monkey. And they stand there being a good parent and continue to give this writhing, howling hell child “choices”.

“Honey, you can’t have both, you have to make a choice. Do you want the (sugar laden, cavity causing, hyper-activity trigger) cereal (made with loads of genetically modified stuff) or do  you want the (excessively salty) chips (full of saturated fatty acids that will be sure to make you a candidate for cardiovascular diseases in the future) ?”

Devil spawn gets up glares at the parent and knocks down everything on the bottom two shelves. Because it couldn’t reach any higher than that. Not effective parenting.

I say, yes give the child choices. In fact I would give the child three choices.

“I can either whoop your ass: 1 here, 2 at home or 3 you can shut up.”

Being a bad ass parent literally means you have to be bad ass.

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My dad’s cousins were bad ass mothers. These aunts of mine, they are oh so awesome! To this day they evoke respect and can make their grown sons shake in their boots. They believed in extreme parenting. Once one of their very young sons let them know that the story about the stork bringing babies was a lie, babies came from tummies. My aunt’s reply?

“Really? Well come here and I’ll cut your tummy open, let’s see how many babies we can find.”

Needless to say, the son never questioned the authenticity of her explanations again. Their children did not throw tantrums. Sometimes being extreme is the best option.

Some Extremely Effective Options:

1. Your child needs to go pee and refuses to acknowledge this. Options:

“Honey your bladder will burst and you will have a pipe attached to a pee pee bag that you will carry around for the rest of your life. Or you can go to the bathroom and save me a trip to the hospital.”

2. Your child can’t fall asleep because it is too hot. Even with the A.C working perfectly. Options:

“Honey I can stick you in the freezer. Or you can just go to sleep in your bed. Immediately.”

3. Your child can’t fall asleep because it is too cold. Replace ‘freezer’ with ‘oven’ in above option.

4. Your child is unhappy with you because you are an unfair mother. Options:

Pack a bag with some of their clothes and drive them to an ominous looking building. “This is the place for children with moms that aren’t fair. There are no x-boxes, no ipods, no birthday parties and no snacks ever. They are served only with leftovers, they wash their own dishes and clothes, and no one tucks them in at night or tells them stories. You can stay here or you can come back with me and live with my rules.”

Teens?

5. Your teenagers don’t listen. Ever. They don’t even deserve an option, post their bare bummed baby pics on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. Don’t forget to tag them. Another great pic is the ‘first time on potty’ pic.

6. They forgot to take out the trash? Dump it on their bed, that should improve their memory.

7. They don’t put away their stuff? Throw it in the driveway.

8. They don’t like what you cook? Kick them out of the dining room and lock the pantry. After two days of starving everything will taste gourmet.

And every night at bedtime don’t forget to tell them how much you love them. BTW I have used #s 1, 2,3,4, and 7. Extremely effective.

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(all pics from Google Images)

I spent the vacation in my blue flannel pyjamas

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This is the only way to spend a winter vacation with a house full of rowdy kids. Wearing flannel pyjamas ( God bless the inventor of flannel). I planned on not taking them off (except to wash them). However husband refused to be seen in public with me wearing them, so I had to change to attend a couple of dinners and a wow birthday party. I think I could have pulled it off at the birthday party though, I mean Mickey Mouse was wearing his red pyjamas I don’t see why I couldn’t wear mine. Okay maybe they weren’t pyjamas, but they looked it.

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Since I already am a super mom(not bragging or anything) I became ultra super mom and baked an endless supply of cookies, brownies, apple pie, cheese cake and banana bread. My teenagers face-palmed as I took endless pictures of my creations. I was going to put them up all over facebook, but one of them had a delete-happy trigger finger.

I am now ultra super over weight mom.  Yes I had one cookie too many. I suspect that the cheese cake helped.

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Thanks to the ice storm we had great scenery and the hills were awesome for sledding. I hogged a whole sled to myself. I was the only forty-year old woman sledding down hills in the park.

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Nope no pictures of that! Next time I will convince husband to take a picture of me zipping down icy hills.

I did absolutely no writing at all. I did however keep the angry woman in my head under control. She really wanted to tie and gag the kids then lock them in the garage after the second day of the vacation. It is amazing how many things five kids can find to fight about. She was also tempted to hit the husband over the head with  a rolling-pin after his third day of vacation. It is amazing how much time husband can spend in front of the computer oblivious to the pandemonium his kids create.  I tied her up, gagged her and locked her in the garage.  I will let her out after I finish cleaning the gargantuan mess made by two heathen teens, three rambunctious under tens, one incredibly sloppy husband and a very lazy, blue flannel pyjama clad me. I know her fingers are itching to type out a story.