Tuesday, January 12, 2010

memorial board

Today at work while I was waiting for the elevator I glanced at the Memorial Board on the left of it and noticed a name of a man whom I haven't seen in a while. He was a quiet man. He didn't talk much to anybody but he enjoyed his life and his independence. He made an impression on me because he always tried to do everything for himself. He wanted to get dressed by himself, he wanted to eat real food ( not any modified versions of it), he wanted to be able to walk and even make his own bed. Even if it took him 5x the time it would normally take.

Every 3 months or so, this man got sick and had to be hospitalized for another month. But then he'd come back, weak but determined to enjoy his life.

And today I noticed his name on the memorial board. It wasn't even on the very bottom of the board ( the names are placed in chronological order and the board is 'cleared' in the beginning of every month) but towards the top. He passed away a while ago but it became known to the facility only recently. But considerately, his name was still placed on the board.

To quote the Beatles ..." all the lonely people... where do they all belong?"
I wonder if anyone attended his funeral. I wonder if he had one.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fashionably late

I still remember the days when I used to be punctual. That frequently meant being one of the first (if not the first) on many occasions. For example, coming to an engagement party before the engaged parties, etc. It also meant that I was always on time at work and usually didn't miss my bus, train, or plane. Basically, I knew how to manage my time.

Fast forward a couple of years. I'm so chronically late to work that I had to change my schedule. I now come to weddings by bodeken time (though I aim to come at least 1/2 hour before that) and consider myself lucky if I get to congratulate the bride before the ceremony ( not to mention missing the refreshments:)). And everywhere else? Time became a really fluid concept.

A few days ago my sister made a party which many of our mutual friends/family attended. I had every intention of coming in right on time (I didn't kid myself about coming in earlier and helping to set up). But when the party was beginning, I was still in the process of getting self and kids ready. Long story short, as I was walking in, 3 of my friends with whom I was looking forward to socializing were walking out. By the time I got my act (refreshments on my plate) together, a couple of relatives walked out before I got a chance to move beyond greetings. And albeit I very much enjoyed the party, I wished I timed things a bit better.

So, is there a hope for the return of punctuality? Only time shall tell.

Engagement Parties

The other day I went to an engagement party and here's a quick summary. Almost all of the guests were wearing black ( men and women). A party planner was involved as there were cookies, cakes, flowers, tablecloths, etc. with the same theme/color scheme. There were quite a few beautiful flower arrangements and presents on display in the corner.

Apparently, this was not unique to this engagement party as I've attended another one a few months ago which had similar characteristics ( except there were more colorful clothing choices as it was in the summer). So there is the l'chaim for the family/close friends, the engagement party, the shower, and the wedding. Apparently, if anybody is anybody they are expected to bring ( chip in for) a gift at each step of the way.

When did this become a norm? Is there a trend to give a smaller gift at the wedding which necessitated all the gift giving prior to the happy event? Or was I living in a cave and this has been happening for ages?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bake Sale

I recently participated in a bake sale. I actually baked a Dunken Hines cake with a couple of added ingredients ( which made me think that the cake qualified as Semi-Homemade). I felt like a Brooklyn Sandra Lee. Until I brought my cake for the sale.

Maybe they didn't hear of Sandra? Or maybe Sandra adds more than just 2 ingredients to her semi-homemade cakes to make them desirable? Who knows. I bought one of my cakes and liked how it tasted. I was also inspired by all the other baked good there to start baking again, like I did in my younger days.

Hope this inspiration will lead to something tasty. I'll keep you (and me) posted:)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Clueless moment

The other day I joined a couple of my coworkers for lunch. For some inexplicable reason, I asked one of the of the aides ( non-professional as per immigration standards) on which visa she came to the states. She explained that one of her family members petitioned for her. Then we talked about various visas, and I mentioned something about her and her home country of Ecuador. The conversation lasted a few more minutes and then lunch was over.

An hour or so later, I saw the aide again and all of a sudden it clicked. She was not from Ecuador but from El Salvador. Someone else in our lunch group was Ecuadorian. I pointed out my mistake to her and the Ecuadorian lady and asked why neither one of them corrected me. While they said that Ms Ecuador was smiling the whole time during lunch at my error, they didn't really explain why I wasn't corrected.

This incident reminded me a scene from Clueless where Cher told her housekeeper that she didn't speak Mexican. The housekeeper got upset and Cher's brother? had to remind her that the housekeeper is from Ecuador, not Mexico.

And though I found this incident amusing, I still ask myself - Why Didn't they correct me?