Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Geography Bowl

I have made a resolution to learn some world geography, starting with our friends to the north. With some fancy googling, I found that there is a cool website that has these downloadable puzzle maps that help children and remedial adults like me learn geography. I downloaded the Canada one, and much to my surprise, I learned that Ontario is not a city, but a huge province! Also, I thought that Canada was cut into four big chunks, but it turns out there are actually 13 "chunks" including little Prince Edward Island.

Now that I've educated you about Canada, go to the website and download the puzzle so you can learn and be smart like me. My new rule is, if you can't name the territories, you can't be my friend.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Dumb ribbon magnets make me mad.

One of the weirder things that happened in this country while I was gone was the invention of those magnets that people stick on their cars in lieu of bumper stickers. They usually are yellow or red/white/blue with "Support our troops" written in an ugly script font on them.

Now, I know that people have become very fervent since the whole 9-11/Iraq war deal, and I know that many people are feeling the need to express their views. Everyone who saw my old Volkswagen Fox knows that I'm a huge fan of the bumper sticker. But, geez, if you really believe in something, there are a hell of a lot of better ways to say it than a freaking magnet! They are not even permanent! (Not that I would want you to ruin the paint job on your Durango, but if you're gonna say it, then say it for life, dude! Make a freaking commitment!)

Anyway, what really makes me mad about this is that somebody probably paid $5 for a piece of crap that was made in China (those businessmen are laughing their asses off at you people!) And what have you accomplished? You've created an eyesore. Bumper stickers are supposed to make you unique and help people to contemplate something. For example, there is a great bumper sticker that says "Visualize whirled peas." That is a cool bumper sticker. But what the hell do I care that you "Support the troops"? Everybody "supports the troops". We do it whether we want to or not with our tax dollars, and of course we don't want to see our friends and countrymen killed in a war. So what exactly are you telling me to do?

A much better use of your $5 would be to buy some Oreos and ship them over to the troops. Or, call up that phone number on the Christian Compassion website and donate the five dollars to feed a hungry kid so the fundamentalists can't lure him in with food and convert him into a terrorist. Or, hey, send it to me. I'll give it to my friend who is in the national guard. He was in Iraq, and I'm sure he'd appreciate some support.

Anyways, with a little savvy googling, I found some other people who hate those ribbon magnets. You can even buy a magnet from them that says "I support the guy in China who makes these idiotic magnets." Now THAT'S worthy of my bumper.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

My son, the yellow belt taekwondo champion.

Here's my adorable boy, pre-test. He is so darn cute in that outfit!
I'm sorry, is it annoying when a parent gushes over their own child?

Here they are warming up with one of the junior black belts.

Looks like that kid on the right has a wedgie.

As part of his test, he had to break a board using "hammer fist".

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my weak little dude broke the hell out of that board!

(OK, so it was on the second try, and I think Master Winkler kindof bent it a little.)

Isaac had just gotten his belt, and was supposed to stand at attention,

but he couldn't resist showing me his new belt. Awwww!

This is Isaac with his hero, Master Winkler.

Master Winkler's got it goin' on. Uh-huh.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's a miracle. I've lost five pounds. I don't know why. I have not been exercising. Maybe it's the stress of being stuck home with a five year old, an unemployed husband, and a mother-in-law. I don't know, but whatever it is, I want more. I'll be skinny in no time!

AlterNet: Investigating Pat Robertson

See this article for more on Pat "Shoot 'em up" Robertson.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

700 Club = Assassinations-R-Us

Venezuelan President Hugo "You want a piece of me?" Chavez, left, and religious broadcaster Pat "Kill all the bad guys!" Robertson

We're scared of Isalmic fundamentalism, but what about the good old Christian type? Pat Robertson issued a fatwa of his own this week, and is now tripping all over himself to calm the controversy. I stole these quotes and pictures from CBSnews.com.

On Monday's broadcast of the "700 Club," Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition and a former Republican presidential candidate, said, "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. … We have the ability to take him out and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."

Later, he tried to change his story.

"I didn't say assassination," Robertson said. "I said our special forces should take him out. Take him out can be a number of things including kidnapping. There are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted."

Notice he didn't mention the "we should go ahead and do it" sentence. That's hard to misinterpret.

Too bad we didn't elect this guy. The world would be a better place if we could just knock off all the dudes we don't agree with. Oh, wait, we elected his evil twin.

Wasn't Chavez democratically elected?

Isn't the war on terrorism all about protecting democracy?

Whatever, Pat.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Screw the low-carb diet.

After three days of cruel and unusual punishement, I gave up. The first sign that this wasn't going to work was the fact that fruit has carbs. I cannot live my life without fruit. I can give up cupcakes and twizzlers, but not fruit. Fruit is worth being fat for.

Masud and I have sent out a combined total of 67 resumes in the past week. Geez, how long does it take people to open their mail, anyways? Something good will happen, I can just feel it, but in the meantime it's like were Pippin waiting for Sauron's attack on Minas Tirith...waiting sucks!

I sent Masud outside today to play with Isaac. It's a gorgeous, sunny day, and one of the last weekends before Isaac starts school. They are setting up the tent in the back yard, and I'm packing a picnic and planning a scavenger hunt. Hopefully this will be a fun day for Isaac to look back on, and Masud will get some desperately needed sun and diversion from the drudgery of job searching.

The box-elder bugs have invaded our house full force. When I vacuum them, they stink. Ewwww. I can't figure out how they are getting in here! My mother-in-law is worried that they will crawl in her ears when she's sleeping - a worry that I laughed off until I looked up box-elder bugs on the web and they mentioned the possibility of an ear infection from bugs crawling in there. EWWWWW.

We are on a cleaning rampage - getting rid of all unnecessary crap in case we need to move again. I'm hoping we won't have to until next summer, but it's good to be prepared anyway. The basement is almost empty, and I attacked the storage room upstairs yesterday. I have two huge plastic tubs full of pictures! What am I going to do with all of them? Geez! I hope I don't have to move into an itty bitty apartment again. God help me, I'll go crazy. So far we've filled tons of garbage bags with useless crap, and made several trips to the thrift store. It's hard on my mother-in-law, the proverbial pack-rat, but she understands why we have to do it. If only she'd stop saying, in her Bengali mournful tone, "I told you not to buy so much stuff!"

Well, my sweet potatoes (a carb dieter's nightmare!) are almost done baking, so I'm off to enjoy my insulin induced coma! I think I'll sprinkle them with brown sugar. Mmmmm. Carbs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Chakri Hariyegeche (The Job is Lost)

Boy, do I have news!

1) Masud finally lost the job that I've been begging him to quit. The money was good but it was too stressful and was turning him into a wacko, "Seven Habits"-brainwashed, exhausted and absent husband. He is now more like the man I married and I couldn't be happier. Poor Masud is freaking out about money, but I keep assuring him that I'll have a job sooner or later and we'll be fine!

2) This means that I can now focus on my own career in a bigger way. I've revved up my grad school search and have expanded my options dramatically. Since I don't have to worry about his job, I have a lot more to choose from!

3) We went to WI for a visit and my dad (who had been unemployed for three years) helped to get Masud out of the doldrums. It was a great visit.

4) My mother-in-law is here and although she's bummed about the unemployment situation, we're having fun hashing out the stories and issues that I learned about while in Bangladesh. With my improved Bangla/culture comprehension, it's been a riot. I really need to write some of these things down and post them here. (Some of them involve sensitive family material, so I'll have to edit, which will significantly decrease the hilarity.)

5) Incredibly, I still don't have a job. I have applied for maybe 25 positions that I'm definitely overqualified for. What is the deal? Should I take my Fulbright Fellowship and my masters off my resume?

6) As a sidenote, spammers have resorted to posting SPAM COMMENTS on my blog (see comments on previous post)! I got a few comments that say "St0ck For Your Review - FCPG" and then go on to advertise some kind of stock. Spam has got to be the absolute weirdest way to advertise a product. Like I'm really going to buy something from someone who has invaded my privacy!

7) My root canal is finally finished, and just in time as we won't have insurance at the end of the month! What a hellish procedure that was. I can't imagine a better torture device than those satanic little files that they thread down into the canal and then move up and down. The mere thought makes me almost barf. But I'm okay now...until the next tooth goes.

8) I'm finally breaking down and trying the low-carb diet. I've rebelled against it so far because as a vegetarian it's really hard to stick to it. Our protein alternatives tend to be really starchy (think beans), but I'm going to try to stomach tofu and cheese overload and see what happens. If I start to feel better, it might just be worth it!

9) Please check out the Nari Jibon website and tell me what you think!

Friday, August 05, 2005


I’ve been mulling over some questions for the past few days, and I thought I’d post some of them on my blog to see if any of you, my loyal readers, have the answers.

1. As a stay at home mom, am I obligated to get up early, take a shower, and do my hair as if I’m going to work? If it doesn’t make a difference in the way I perform my “job”, why should I go to the extra trouble of looking nice, since the only person who will see me is Isaac? Except when (mortifyingly) people drop by to say hello, or the phone repairman comes and I feel like a slug in my p.j.s at 3:00 p.m.?

2. Along those same lines, why do we bother to make our beds? Who cares?

3. Does watching bad Disney movies with Isaac count as “quality time”?

4. Is it psycho that I actually enjoy the bad Disney movies?

5. How lame is it that I have been checking my Ebay account every hour for the past three days because I’m trying to buy the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy but I only have 60 bucks and I keep getting outbid?

6. Is it even worse that the reason I’m trying to buy the LOTR DVD’s is because I just finished watching the ENTIRE series of Sex and the City and now I feel lost without an epic saga to glue me to the screen?

7. Do I now need a job not just for financial reasons, but for psychological reasons as well?

Somebody save me!

PS – My toothache is a little better but still warrants narcotic painkillers. I’m gonna milk this one for all it’s worth, folks. Also, my mother-in-law is arriving tomorrow at midnight from San Diego. She'll be here for eight weeks, and Masud is looking forward to big plates of rice with elish mach, and I'm looking forward to some great stories from the 'desh. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Dentists hurt people.

OK I know, it's my fault that I have all these dental problems - my love of sugar has not only made me fat and pre-diabetic, it has also severely rotted my teeth. And, yes, I know the dentist is doing his job, and without him I'd be toothless and gummy. I'm grateful to the dentist, but I'm wounded and must take it out on someone.
GOD help me, I've never been in so much pain in all my life. Worse than CHILDBIRTH, my friends, which I went through sans medicines. Pushing a human being out of my body was easier than letting a man with an evil metal file poke around in the root of my molar. And the worst part is, it's not over! I have to wait for things to "settle down" and "die" before he cleans it out and fills the hole up. Ahhhh! Two weeks of anticipation!

Somebody please put me out of my misery.

I think I'm going to call it a day and just get dentures.