Sunday, December 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Hubby

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Hubby.
Today he turns 35
And is officially OVER THE HILL.

(I guess that means that I like elderly men.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Iron Age

As I mentioned a previous blog, I was recently faced with the prospect of having to iron some of Hubby’s shirts myself. It was that or volunteer to fork over an obscene amount of money and admit to my own ineptitude. After much discussion betwixt Hubby and myself regarding my innate laziness, the cost of dry cleaning in Nai-Robbery, and the glory of dress shirts that don’t require feats of domesticity, I relented and went in search of the iron.

Now that may not seem like a big deal to some of you who have ironed more than 2 shirts in your lifetime, but to me this was a BIG step. Even Hubby at this juncture in our lives together had ironed more shirts than I. (Proof of his accomplishments can be found in the acknowledgement section of his Master’s Thesis, which gives a shout-out, and high-five to our friend the King of Kraft for instructing Hubby in this most complicated of chores.) My story; however, is slightly sadder (although I too received a shout out in the same acknowledgements, thank you), or, as Hubby would point (and he often does) slightly more pathetic.

Our tale begins not with my eager child-self ironing my dad’s hankies (which I did with a rather impressive display of skill, if memory serves) but later at my wedding shower. On that fine afternoon at Care Bear’s house I received not one but two irons. (Ahem! It is simply not that difficult to update a registry. Sheesh!) Everyone giggled at joked about all the ironing I would be doing for my once and future husband. And here I thought that the guests all knew me. But I digress… I won’t say here that I returned one of the irons for fear that the lovely gift-giver might find out, but… Well, I hardly needed two of them, after all.

Several months passed and I included the still boxed Black and Decker iron into my UHaul shipment for its long ride from Canuckville to Yankee Town. There it sat (out of its box) on a shelf in the laundry room for quite some time. The ironing board, you see, was being used as a hall table and couldn’t be spared for anything as trivial as wrinkle-free clothing.

One day about two years or so after our move, my friend Hershey came to work in a bit of a tizzy. It turned out that her iron had puffed its final breath of steam that morning and had gone to that big Ironing Board in the Sky. Hershey was rather beside herself as she didn’t want to come to work each morning in creased clothes.

“I have one you can use while you look for a new one,” I piped up cheerfully.

“Won’t you need it?” she called over the cubicle wall.

I walked around to her desk and let her peruse my somewhat crumpled outfit. “Oh.”

“Exactly. I’ll bring it in for you tomorrow. Keep it as long as you need.”

A year or so passed and I received my orders to move from DC to the Midwest. As a going away gift, Hershey presented me with an iron I could now tell my mother (without lying) had been well used.

Three years in the Midwest did not boast much action for our shelf-confined friend. At this point we had abandoned all pretense and had not even bothered with buying an ironing board. The good news (unless you were the sweet and wonderful person who kindly and thoughtfully bought me this gift which I truly and sincerely appreciated) was that I sold it for $10 before we moved to India.

It was that wonderful country that Hubby and I reveled in the joys of cheap door-to-door service dry-cleaning. But all good things, I’ve heard it told, must come to an end and we left that dry cleaning heaven for Nairobi. Which brings us, my friends, to that fateful moment when I had to figure out how to fill, turn on and use our new Black and Decker iron.

Savant that I am, those hurdles were overcome with only a minimal amount of cursing. Approximately an hour and a half later I presented my empty apartment with the fruits of my labor: five (more or less) perfectly ironed dress shirts!!

This story does have a happy ending for both our lonely iron and, more importantly, me. I am happy to report that pressing our laundry will be one of the jobs that the new maid will takeover in December. THANK GOD!

Why She Ate a Fly

The following comes to us from Extra-Special Guest Blogger Queen E who wrote this shortly after serenading her saintly husband and your favorite blogger (me) with a song about an old woman who ate a fly but no one knew why.

Queen E enters Typ0’s blog.

If ever you should attend a pub quiz, or for that matter any quiz where you need a team name, then surely you should always use this name: “Norfolk Enway.” When said aloud, to the right mentality of peoples, a few titters will be heard. No doubt Typ0 will titter the loudest!

Thank you,

Queen E


PS2: Typ0 will laugh five minutes after everyone, as she is stupid.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Choco This

Saturday dawned oppressively in our newly settled Claridges suite. Despite having been reunited for only a few hours, Hubby was back to work for a daylong conference in Pusa. The duvet-covered, king-sized bed was cold comfort as he left for day of… well… whatever it is he actually does all day.

Hours passed as I chatted on the phone, watched Power Rangers and plowed through my current literary tome: “The Historian.” After passing a half hour under the pleasantly brutal pounding of the scalding shower I decided to face the day. It was, after all, almost 2 p.m.

I played with lunch venues in my mind, trying to determine the perfect culinary destination. That was when the PMS hit me with a gunshot of clarity. There was only choice here: Choko La. It was finally time for my Delhi chocolate fix.

After a quick taxi ride (150 rps) to Basant Lok, I tormented myself with temporary denial and prowled the local bookshops before finally giving into the addict-like pangs that were wracking my body. I ducked down the alley in front of me and ignored the large Sony store to my left. The familiar orange awning before me was all that mattered.

I gave the menu only the barest of glances and ordered a plate of mini bruchetta and a steaming cup of Papua. This rich nectar of the hot chocolate gods danced past my tongue and into each chocolate deprived cell of my body. This, I was certain, was what true nirvana was like.

I will now share with you what I wrote to Hubby via test message upon my first sip of this familiar ambrosia:

“This is truly the finest hot choco in all of Christendom. Sweet heaven this is reason enough to live in this hell town.”
I realize, Dearest Readers, that many of you will never know this ecstasy of chocolate perfection and for that I pity you. For those of you share my joyous knowledge, I can only say this: we are the lucky few who have tasted heaven and returned to share the tale with the mere mortals who will never know the perfection of chocolate truth.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Twisted Minds

When we lived in Delhi my Friday mornings, as I have mentioned previously, were often spent in Gurgaon at the home of one of the ladies of Twisted Thread: a craft group. Several of the women cross-stitch, I knitted, and still others worked on various projects like patchwork or sewing. What we all seemed to have in common was that we were all women who were rather twisted. Mentally that is.

The greatest evidence of this mutual insanity may be that they let me into the group in the first place. Exhibit B would be that they were often brave enough to be seen with yours truly in public for lunch after our industrious work at Craft Group. Luckily for me that bravely and craziness hasn’t changed much since I left back in June.

On Friday the group changed its usual venue and gathered in Delhi at Princess MK’s house. The group arrived at the usual 10 a.m. with a promptness and comfortable familiarity that made me feel as if I had never left. Some of the regulars like Queen E, who was busy painting sets (an endeavor from which I was busy playing hooky), were unable to join us. On this particular Friday, our klatch consisted of myself and the Princess, the Ladies J, Doc Quilt, and Crafty C.

Discussions were underway about where we would spend our well-earned lunch hour when C’s phone suddenly rang. The voice at the other end of the line spoke rushed Hindi to which C, in her very proper British accent, replied that she didn’t speak Hindi and that they had the wrong number. The call was one that we had all received at some point or other. It seemed; however, that C had better than average skills at convincing people of their lack of dialing success as her phone continued to lay silent for several minutes.

Just as we were about to give up the wrong number discussion the Newest Lady J pulled out her now ringing phone. There was a similar urgent Hindi message on the other end to which Lady J politely replied before hanging up. About thirty seconds later the phone rang again and, shockingly, it was the same person.

That, Dearest Reader, is how the mayhem and laughter began.

Lady J’s phone sang out a third time and was welcomed with a communal groan as we all shook our heads at this guy’s inability to take a hint. This time; however, Lady J had a trick up her sleeve.

“Hola! Cómo éstas?” The one one-sided, now Spanish, conversation, continued in this vein with the non-Spanish speaking and frustrated Indian on the other side being the one to hang up. We all laughed and applauded Lady J’s ingenuity. The group also agreed that this was the best and soon to be official way to get rid of the wrong number callers. Our gaiety was, naturally, stopped short when the phone rang again a few minutes later.

Deciding that it was now my turn to torment a local, I had Lady J throw me her phone. Grinning, I answered it with my most nails-on-a-chalkboard-inducing Quebecois accent. “Bonjour! Comment je peux vous aider? Parlez-vous français?” The ladies cackled gleefully and then triumphantly when our erstwhile caller finally gave up the ghost.

Our rather anilingual room quickly realized that we had no more languages among us in case our friend called back. This led to a litany of accents and voices worthy of a Saturday-morning cartoon that we could use in lieu of language torture. In deference to the Christmas album that Princess had been playing, I offered to be Alvin complete with helium sounding tones and demands for a new hula-hoop. Aussies, cheerleaders, southerners and others were all offered up with increasing levels of guffaws. Then brilliance struck and, thankfully, so did our phone stalker.

After Crafty C confirmed the identity of our mystery caller, Lady J took custody of her phone back. “Yo! Yo! Yo! Why you be hasslin’ my ho? You ‘bin callin’ my hizzle getting’ up in my grill? Ah’s goin’ ta cap yo ass if you keep this up! Fo shizzle!” By this time my hands were both securely clapped over my mouth to prevent any sudden giggle from bursting free.

With a final “fo shizzle my hizzle” that Snoop himself would have been impressed with, the line disconnected and the sounds of hilarity echoed as our laughter rose and we all doubled over with the combined glory of certain success with our erstwhile phone friend, and the full blooded joy of warriors who had defeated, with the mighty rapier humor, our common enemy.

Fo shizzle!

Friday, December 01, 2006

An Unconnected String of Notes

For the period of time that Hubby has been in Agra, my lovely, kind (obviously reading over my shoulder), and wonderful friend Princess MK has being playing host to me, my militia of suitcases, and Fuzz the bunny. This has been wonderful as it gave me a chance to catch up with friends without having Mr. Cheap… err… Hubby, complain about the outrageously overpriced cost of hotels here in Delhi.

During this brief sojourn at the Princess MK’s home, both Fuzz and I have been having a lovely time. Fuzz, of course, has been hanging out with M. Lapin who belongs to the Princess’s son, the Squire. I on the other hand have been jaunting off to lunches, craft groups, shopping, and enjoying all the lovely things that made Delhi a great place to live.

On Thursday, after buying several hundred dollars worth of medicine at Khan Market for about $50 USD, MK and I headed off to ACSA: aka home of the only burger made from actual beef to be found in Delhi.

As many of know (and some of you have witnessed) the Group 4 guards at the American Embassy in Delhi hate me. Sadly, I am not overstating things or exaggerating: in the past they have dropped my purse on the floor repeatedly, emptied my purse when other people walked through with hardly a glance, had me sign and then resign the book when the didn’t like my printing and several other indignities that I loathe to recall. Although I have never seen it, I often believed when we lived here, that they had my photo behind their desk at the ACSA gate and had instructions to torment me on sight.

This day; however, was different. The guards smiled and laughed at me in a friendly and pleasant manner. Then one of them said he recognized me and said he had wondered what had happened to me over the last few months. Then the two guards both said they hoped I enjoyed my stay in Delhi and would come back to ACSA for a visit soon.

I found the entire experience was rather Twilight Zone-ish. Positively freaky!!

The burger; however, was lovely as always!