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Friday, January 29, 2010

Bigger is Just Bigger

I am slowly being strangled by my bra. Things that have no need of getting bigger are getting bigger. My lungs have been fighting for breath. My shirts have been fighting for elasticity.

Every morning, I dread putting on the torture sling; if I don't don it, I feel like Pelé juggling soccer balls on his knees. (Slap, slap, slap, slap...)

I've lost count of how often I've knocked into people with them (that, folks, is why they call them "knockers") or been inadvertently fondled by someone who was just trying to get my attention by tapping my arm. My breasts remind me of dinosaur sponge capsules sitting in a sink, slowly enlarging and leaving me unsure at what size they will stop their madness. My cleavage is growing like the slow, uninvited crack in a poorly built home's foundation. My undershirts need undershirts, though there's only so much one can do in the name of modesty when one's cleavage starts at their chin. (You thought that was a John Travolta dimple?) Even turtlenecks can't help me now. (Speaking of turtlenecks... Mitch sums it up in two lines.)

The last time I went in to get measured for bras, I was directed to the drapery department. (I'm a size "Pleated, Double Swag, Standard Window" if you're wondering. Nice to know I can choose from a generous selection of brocades.) I didn't invest in the window treatments. If push comes to shove, I'll tie on bedsheets and bring the toga back in fashion. Drool stains will be all the rage! Until then, I continue to curtail the depth of my inhales and look forward to the end of the day when I can undo the stressed-out clasp and hear the familiar "flop, flop" of relief.

Next time you see me waddling, it's not because of my burgeoning belly, it's my poor, poor Pelé knees.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Food, Oprah, and a Discount

I first mentioned it last year in July and then again last September. I'll mention the film again.

Oprah recently interviewed one of the food experts featured on Food, Inc., the highly-acclaimed (and highly controversial) film exposing many of the processes going into the production, pricing, and politics behind the American food system.

Here's part of the interview:

This was good timing for me! I've been having difficulty getting back to eating well since THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE NAUSEOUS TRIMESTER OF 2009. I've added back fruits and whole grain but am still having trouble with vegetables. The closest thing I have been doing to veggies is bowls and bowls of sugar with a side of sugar. (Yeah- that's how well I've been doing.) So, really, it was nice to see part of the interview and have my memory triggered in regards to some of the horrible side effects I experience from inhaling/eating/drinking/rolling in refined sugar.

(BTW, if you haven't seen the film, or if you'd like to see it again, here's a special offer:
Until 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, January 29 (2010), you can buy Food, Inc. for only $9.99 at )

Too see what else was covered on the show, visit:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

35 Examples of Awesomeness

I am 35 years old.

That sounds so weird to say because I turned 35 eleven days ago, and I still feel fine. (Cue R.E.M. classic.) I suppose I expected a letter from the President or a taunting Grim Reaper tap-dancing by my mailbox.

My birthday was a quiet day. No huge fanfare. No cake. No correspondence from the White House. I thought I heard a creaking sound under my eyes when I smiled, but it was just my knees, and they've been doing that a while, ever since I drop-kicked Chuck Norris over a heated game of Connect Four.

For my birthday, David avoided the Connect Four and gave me a pleasant Honey-Do Birthday. He took the day off, made breakfast, cleaned out part of the basement (the other half awaits Valentines' Day?), went to IKEA with me to pick up some extra kitchen hooks, and helped decide on what to do with our daughter's Big Girl room.

At night, we were treated to dinner at Carrabba's by my family, where I got lots o' gifts and the waitress danced. Oh, how she danced! It's not part of the restaurant's protocol, but our table requested it, and she was compensated. You earned that 30%, Miss Thang.

The next day, David continued the honey-doing by fixing my treadmill (HOORAY!) and setting up my shiny desktop robot. I also got to sleep in a teeny bit. I felt a young 34, though perhaps, a 34-year-old smuggling a basket of uranium in her belly. (EnergySolutions is trying to get it into Utah one way or another.)

Similar to my friend Sarah's birthday post, I will post 35 things I like about myself. (She only had to do 30.) (And I am not bitter.)

** I'm awesome because: **

1. I'm hilarious! Even if it is only my funny bone I tickle.

2. I am intelligent. I learn and understand new ideas quickly.

3. I am fair. I see both sides of the story and understand where people come from. I actually do not disagree with people much (this will surprise some of you blog stalkers). Sometimes, people confuse my bringing up another perspective as debate when, really, I just want the conversation to be level.

4. I'm beautiful.

5. My head is always spinning with puns. I don't do it on purpose; my brain is just on pun search, probably stemming from having to learn English as a second language and noticing similarities in words.

6. I am not intimidated by people, not rich people, not thugs, not celebrities, not homeless, not people with deformities, not people smarter than me or bigger than me. Sure, it has gotten me punched in the face a couple times, but I wasn't intimidated.

7. I think long-term. People may not understand why I purchase (or don't purchase) like I do or why I don't participate in certain activities, but I'm OK with being "weird" because my objectives are different.

8. I'm OK with aging. I freaked out about 4 years ago when my hair multiplied in gray streaks, but I'm actually fine with it now.

9. My consciousness is as big as the world. I feel great empathy for all cultures, and my vision is to impact as many communities as God will allow.

10. I'm a great judge of character. I can tell pretty quickly what a person's values are by short conversations. I have rarely been mistaken.

11. I've never dyed my hair. Spray-painted, yes, but not dyed.
This photo was taken on a Halloween,
but I donned this look a handful of times in middle school on regular days.
Just 'cuz. (Man, I hope I remember this when my daughter gets a similar bug.)

12. I'm clueless about guys. This served me well in high school when I had no idea guys thought I was hot, and it serves me well today to not notice if a man thinks I'm attractive. (Who can resist a unibrow??) Dave is the one who points it out. Someone should probably tell him it's not necessary (except when I'm feeling Mahana).

13. I am content with simple possessions and am happy if they last me 20 years, including t-shirts and shoes. Dave, on the other hand, isn't as "thrilled."

14. My taste in things, clothes, music, books doesn't shift much, which coincidentally makes it easier to keep shoes and shirts for 20 years, unless your spouse makes you throw them out. (Leopard-print pants, I hardly knew ye.) (Tiger-striped skirt, shhh... stay quietly hidden.)

15. I like that I don't like what's popular at the time. In a way, I dislike blending in.

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
~ Mark Twain

16. I don't like to shop just to "let's go shopping!" It has to have a purpose like to collect solutions or acquire a specific object.

17. I don't like to eat out just to eat out. If I'm going to eat out, I enjoy it more if it is to some place that either (1) I've never been to or (2) is exotic. If the establishment offers both, awesome!
If you go to Rosalind's Ethiopian Restaurant in Los Angeles,
you better not be in a hurry to get anywhere else. They're as laid back as all get out.

18. I like doing uncomfortable things even though they feel uncomfortable at first. Impromptu speaking in front of a group? Doing a stupid-looking dance? Approaching a stranger? Entering a room where I'm the minority? Please, don't ask me to do that, but... please, do!

19. I sometimes receive pictures or promptings of future situations. Sure, I don't know what to do with them sometimes, but it's nice to know I'm trusted with these bits.

20. I am honest. I will drive to a store several cities away that I never planned on returning to if they accidentally forgot to charge me for one of my purchases. I will call a company if they send me extra products. You can trust me to be honest (unless it involves some delicious mouth-watering concoction. Then, I have no clue how it disappeared.)

21. I like taking action. You've got a great idea? Let's do it!

22. I am opened to being taught. I am constantly improving in self, evaluating my understanding of the world, determining what things I need to change, opening myself up for molding.

23. I stick to my values. They don't shift for different people or circumstances.

24. I make my bed in the morning. It just makes the bedroom look a whole lot better, even if there are messes in other parts of the room.
This guy used to think it was rather nice of me to make his bed.

25. I do a load of laundry a day.

26. I tell my husband "I love you" every day, multiple times a day.

27. I tell my child(ren) "I love you" every day, multiple times a day.

28. I have a hard candy coating, but a gushy sentimental interior. So, I cry more than people would, at first, suspect.

29. I love to laugh LOUDLY.

30. I believe old dogs can learn new tricks, and people can always change. Some just choose not to.

31. I believe in miracles and witness them often in my life.

32. I can admit I am wrong, even if I never have been.

33. I like being in my 30's! In a few years, I'll report on how I'm liking my 40's.

34. I feel fine with calling things "good enough."

35. See #34

I am awesome!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where Everybody Knows Your (Maiden) Name

Facebook: Where you can reconnect with old friends and then continue ignoring them.

They really shouldn't call it Facebook. Maybe Statusbook. Or FindYourFriendsButDon'tTalkToThemBook. Or TrackMyBejeweledScoreBook.

In my case, Fatbook: Where you can sit on your butt all day and pretend you've been connecting with people while your kids go neglected and scrounge the corners of rooms for nutritious crumbs.

I suspected I had been spending too much time online:

* When there was something sitting in front of the monitor blocking my view and I tried to move it with the cursor arrow.

* When I wanted to find a passage in a book I'm reading and my first thought was to hit Control+F.

* When clarifying what neighbor I was referring to in conversation, I included their maiden name. "I hear Jennifer Schrader Miller is pregnant."

* When my thoughts throughout the day were in "status" form.
Adhis is eating oatmeal.

Adhis feels so lonely she could cry might cry bawled her eyes out.

Adhis found $50 in her pants pocket. Must have been slipped in by a passer-by gone ga-ga while she was waddling down the grocery aisles.

Fatbook is too instant and fleeting. Make a witty comment on someone's status, and a day later, you have to wade through "Show Older Posts" in order to pull up the hilarity.

Online conversations in general can be problematic as a comment extended in calmness or sarcasm can instantly be misconstrued as an attack, depending on the reader's frame of mind. I was inadvertently offending people left and right. At least, on my blog, I can offend people just a couple times a week. (If you'd like it to be more often, shoot me an email, and I'll respond with just how fat your Mama is.)

I decided to take a hiatus from Fatbook for a while. A week? Two weeks? Who knows. I deactivated my account which erases all traces of me from everyone's FB account: photos I posted, notes I tagged, comments I made. I gave a few days' notice this time around since the first time I deactivated some people thought I had found fault with them and had blocked them. If you hadn't heard already, or if I happen to be one of the people whose FB activity you had hidden, just know I didn't block you.

Life without Fatbook has been great! Since then, I spent 12 hours willing away the urge to puke, almost starved and dehydrated myself, and had a nervous breakdown. But I hear it's typical of the first hour of deactivation. It should be smooth sailing from here on out. And that's a status you can "like."

[Posted song: "Where Everybody Knows Your Name"]

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Loosening the Grip

Many people know I’m a compulsive declutterer. But they don’t know it’s because I come from a background of hoarding.

Middle school, high tops, and Aqua Net

My weaknesses are paper (ideas, articles, research notes, things I want to do) and records of my life (school work, photos, letters, etc.).

I’ve gotten a lot better on the paper/idea side since I realized a year ago that I could Google most anything I ever do end up needing. The records of my life… well… have been another matter. Until yesterday, I wasn’t sure why I struggled to throw out old records. I came up with this:

Things are memory triggers for me, memories that said I lived and that what I thought, said, and did were once important.

Growing up, my parents, for different reasons, never showed up to my events. Ok, almost never. I remember my mom coming to my rifle marksmanship competition because I needed a ride there. I was the only girl on the team. We came in second.

My dad took me to the county spelling bee because I was a finalist. I came in second place. (BTW, I misspelled “alienation.” I had never heard of the word, but I had seen commercials for a new television show called “Alien Nation”, so I spelled it like that.)

Second place. That’s kind of how I have felt most of my life. I came second to whatever else was happening. People were probably doing truly important or urgent things, but it happened enough that all I recall is being not important or urgent. I was often forgotten at school when I was supposed to be picked up; I sometimes sat in that sweltering Florida heat for hours. No one really asked how my school day went by then. It felt like I did not matter that much.

Since no one was there to cheer me on at competitions or to see my progress, no one could remember the event for me and tell me how I did; I had to do all the remembering myself. If I forgot, it was like no one, including me, was there. And then, what did that say about me? I didn’t exist!

Who wants to be nonexistent? I wanted to know I mattered, I meant something to someone at some time. I had some sort of impact or meaning in the world while I lived here.

I chose early on (subconsciously anyway) that I had to take it upon myself to make me matter to me, and that meant keeping stuff that proved “I was there!”, “I did it!”, “I am good!”

Probably a certificate for demonstrating egg-cellent fashion in 4th or 5th grade

By my senior year of high school, I had become accustomed to feeling unsupported and getting along in the world in that manner. I did a stand-up routine for the comedy segment of a talent show in front of about 100 people. (Scary, huh?) My parents didn’t attend. I won first place. I had no one with whom to share the victory. Another 15 years may pass before I toss out that trophy.

Yesterday, all these realizations went from my subconscious to the forefront of my mind. I pulled out a heavy file box from the top shelf of my office closet that included older proof of my existence. (The proof used to be in five very heavy boxes, but I trimmed it down over the last 10 years.)

• Newspapers from when I was a section editor for the school newspaper
• Programs from when I was a staff leader in a military youth leadership weekend
• Brochures from when I was selected as a representative in an international congress in Chicago and met Ms. Oprah Winfrey
• The “Have You Seen Me?” mailer that actually featured people I not only knew, but whose whereabouts I was aware of
• Newsletters of church positions I had held where I had soared
• Portraits I had drawn of people, earlier ones in crayon, later ones in pencil
• Form response letters from Congressmen
• Music I attempted to ink
• Lyrics I wrote
• Newspapers from Desert Storm and September 11th
• Letters from boyfriends and friends

Random proof that I lived, did something, and/or meant something to someone.

My whole life has been a keepsake box to make sure that when I die, someone will know “Adhis wuz here.”

In the box, I found a TIME Magazine article from the early 1990’s I had saved on Somalia’s starving population. One of the pages was a full page photo of a starving infant born to his mother as she walked to a food center 10 miles away. Hundreds of people had stopped and looked at him, but no one could do anything for him. He was crying, his eyes wide open, frantic, and kind of rolled back.

His mother held him, and two hours after I took this picture, he died,” noted the photographer.

He was just a tiny little baby on the other side of the world who was hungry. He had no awards or school drawings. I cried for that little baby. I wanted him to know I knew he existed, and he mattered.

I thought on that photo for hours. I thought about the photojournalist. He must have cried that night. I don’t remember his name, but his work mattered because he made personal to me a travesty occurring to our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world, lives that would otherwise have been unknown to me.

In the midst of these thoughts, it hit me. The mark I hope to leave on this earth is not of the awards I’ve won, the celebrities I’ve met, or the honors I’ve received. The mark I desire to leave is in the turning points in people’s hearts, even if they don’t remember my name.

The best keepsake collection will be when I stand before my Creator, and I hear whispered from a multitude, “Hey, that’s the lady that made a difference to me” and then “I don't remember her, but my spirit tells me she made an impact in my life," and then maybe a “Me, too” and so on.

My soul came to the conclusion: To embark on new things I am called to do, I must appreciate my experiences without clinging so tightly to the earlier parts of my life.

I looked at the box of memories and pulled out half of its contents, softening my grip on the past. The pile went into the recycle bin. Hopefully, if I’ve retained any of the good traits that garnered those souvenirs in the first place, those traits will show up again on the rest of my journey.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

He Said, She Said : The New Computer


Adhis gets a new computer for her birthday from her father. Her husband is taking it out of the box for her.

He said:
8 gigs of RAM!! Intel Core 2 Quad processor! 25" 1080P monitor!? 1 tetrabyte drive! Windows 7! Ooh, it has LightScribe! Very nice! It's beautiful!

She said:
Cool! It's so shiny, and it has a big screen! Why do they make the screens so big? I hope it won't be a pain to use.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Doing Time

Remember this?

Fortunately, a settlement was reached in that case, and I was notified the night before that my services would not be needed. (Hooray for settlements!)

When I got back from Hawaii, I found in our mail a letter requesting me to show up for jury duty selection to ANOTHER case, this time for a trial lasting four days. With no vacation scheduled, I was kind of looking forward to having the experience as juror. I filled out the pre-interview questionnaire and sent it back to the court.

The trial was a few weeks away, but meanwhile, I was well into my second trimester and was not experiencing the surge of energy that I had experienced in my last pregnancy. My body grew wearier. Sleep became elusive. Swelling and burning daily afflicted my legs. Things weren't looking or feeling good to be sitting for long periods of time for four straight days.

I called the day before the trial and told the clerk I was concerned about my ability to serve considering some of my symptoms. He told me to show up anyway. That night, I had the worst (lack of) sleep in a long time. I became sick, congested; I couldn't breathe, couldn't sleep. By the time my alarm went off at 6am, I knew I was not going to be able to make it to the courthouse. I felt horrible and had gotten a total of 3 hours of sleep here and there. David called the clerk's office early in the morning and left a voicemail stating I would not be able to come in.

We thought everything was fine until a couple weeks ago when I received an order from the court to show up and explain my absence. The penalty for failing to excuse my absence would result in a $1000 fine and/or 30 days in jail. Failure to show up to this appointment would result in a warrant being issued and my being picked up by a sheriff and brought before the judge. Well, hello.

Dave joked and joked about my spending time in jail and enthusiastically suggested I birth our child in jail so our medical expenses would be taken care of. I wasn't so worried about jail because (1) I am obviously pregnant and (2) it would make for a great story! I was concerned about paying $1000 from our baby fund.

Today, was my appointment, and I actually felt pretty calm. David, on the other hand, was wound tight. "We're late!" he exclaimed an hour prior. He hurriedly got the baby in her carseat while I touched up my lip gloss. He was tense the entire drive there, elbows locked straight as he held the steering wheel.

We dropped the baby off at my sister's home, and Dave then drove me to the courthouse with 5 minutes to spare. Except when we got into the building, he realized we were NOT at the courthouse. We were at some other government building and the courthouse was 3 blocks away.

I sensed David freaking out and then trying to stifle his freaking out as his pregnant wife with the full bladder moved way too slowly back to the car in the parking lot. By the time we got to the correct building and through security, we both had to use the facilities. We entered the courtroom a few minutes late, found a place to sit, and waited for the judge to enter the room.

I looked around. There were about 40-50 other people there, not counting staff and inmates. Not to say that everyone there fit into one demographic, but... everyone I saw in the benches seemed to... fit... into... one demographic. I first found it amusing and then sad. Whoever said education and income level does not play into the higher risk of meeting up with the wrong side of the law hasn't yet been to a courtroom.

I looked at the collection of inmates at the front of the room. Man, I so wished I had a camera with me. I reached for my pocket and remembered that I had left my cell phone in the car as instructed by the signs at the security check point.

"Lots of people not looking happy to be here," I commented. Dave was quiet. I realized I was talking to one of them.

I looked at the gray room. Gray walls. Gray suits on public defenders. Gray lights humming above. I leaned against Dave and whispered "this is nothing like 'Night Court'." Where were the flamboyant hookers? Where was Bull?

Dave did not think this was funny.

"This is not the time to be making jokes," he whispered tersely. "If you get up there and something seems funny to you, do NOT say it."

"Relax," I said.

"This is not the time to make funny comments," he urged. The guy was truly nervous. And I thought that was funny.

A bailiff called my name to see if I was present, and David raised his hand.

"Relax," I whispered.

The judge entered the room.

"All rise." I pulled on the bench in front of me to get my pregnant body up, but by the time I was on my feet , the bailiff had already said, "you may all be seated" and the room was down. I chuckled while I maneuvered my body back down. Dave was being no fun.

My name was called. I was first. (That's right, punks!)

I approached the podium and waited to be addressed.

"You are here because you failed to show up for jury duty on December 15th. Do you have a reason for your absence?" asked the judge.

"Yes," I replied.

"What is it?"

This is the part where I'm sure David held his breath. He had attempted to practice my response at home in the weeks prior. I was usually making dinner or cleaning the kitchen. Most of the time, my response to his questioning was me swinging my pointer finger up into the air and exclaiming, "Up yours!"

David had chuckled the first time I did it but not so much on the subsequent practices. He would get a serious face, state an appropriate response and have me repeat it. I would repeat it, pause, and then "Up yours!"

"Adhis, you can't say that in court."

"I know, I know." I'd put on my serious face and then say, 'Your Honor... ... ... up yours!"

I was not in court; I was in the kitchen cleaning up the table.

So, here I was, in front of the judge at the beginning of his afternoon session being asked what my excuse was. Out of habit, my pointer finger extended and swung up. I caught it on the microphone and pretended to adjust it to my height.

"I was pregnant and sick. I am still pregnant but not as sick."

"Did you inform the court?"

"Yes. Actually, my husband called that day."

The judge's countenance changed and then he said, "Oh, that's right." He looked at a bailiff who said, "Her husband did call but he didn't leave a phone number so (blah blah blah) the 1st."

Wait a minute, what?

The judge turned to me again. "A court cannot operate without jurors. It is not fair for the other 35 people who showed up for selection that day. I order you to 8 hours of community service."


"Pregnancy is not an excuse."

"What about a crappy pregnancy?" I said. That comment was more in alignment with what David feared I would do, so I left it at that.

Before the judge dismissed me, I repeated to him what I thought he had said. He added that my name would be thrown back into the jury pool, and our little chat was over. A bailiff handed me a sheet with suggestions for service, and I went back to the bench to collect my coat and my husband.

Once out of the courtroom, I laughed. I had received community service because my husband forgot to leave our phone number. I kidded him on it.

"Were you trying to get rid of me for 30 days?"

Poor guy. He was still tense. Super tense. He was tense on the drive to pick up our daughter from my sister's house. "This is not funny," he would repeat.

There you have it. I have been ordered 8 hours of community service on the honor system to any service I choose.

If you see a cute little pregnant woman on the side of the road wearing a neon orange vest, remember to honk and wave. And if you feel so inclined, toss her a sandwich.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Year Nine

We coincidentally spent our 9th wedding anniversary on Oahu! Happy accident, eh? I think for our 10th, we may go to the moon.

While at the Luau, the MC had anyone whose anniversary was in November come up to the stage to dance with their sweetheart. I was so elated! I like dancing with my honey.

(Warning: photo of old people kissing)

The actual night of our anniversary, Baby Dhis had had a difficult day, what with a few teeth tearing through the flesh in her mouth. We put her to bed, dragged the table and chairs to a spot out of her line of vision, ordered delivery from Macaroni Grill, and ate by the bathroom light. It was very sweet. I tried capturing the night on film since I had a direct line of sight to the toilet. (Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in this photo.)

Anniversaries are apparently about food.


9 years, baby!

David, here, just 9 of the many things I enjoy about you:

1 You do your hair the same way you have always done it (except for the year you tried out my "cooler" suggestions) and the way your Dad has always done it, and the way your Grandpa probably did it when he had hair.

2. You hog the bedsheet and blanket at night and then sleepily whine when in the middle of the night I tug at them to get a foot or two of coverage.

3. The way you dance when you're being "sexy." (Giggling means I think you're cute.)

4. How every so often, you look down at me from your 6'3" height and in genuine surprise say "You're short!" like you just discovered this.

5. When you look at me lovingly and hug me sweetly because I made you oatmeal to take to work with you for breakfast. Or a container of leftovers for lunch. Or a cup of hot cocoa for an evening drink.

6. That you eat whatever meal I make and like it (except for the one time we tried salsa on halibut). (Yeck.)

7. When I try a new activity and you enthusiastically tell me I'm awesome at it, like I'm the undiscovered genius of the planet.

8. That you love me and cuddle me even after I have lashed out at you during a string of emotionally or physiologically difficult moments.

9. That you cheer for me when no one else does. Even in the uncomfortable silence of my being overlooked, you step in and cheer, "Way to go, baby!"

I love you, baby, and I'm so grateful you love me!

[Posted song: "Better Together" by Jack Johnson]

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Photo Opinions, Please!

I am turning in two photos this Wednesday for a photo contest, and could use your help!

The theme is "Defining Lehi: Past & Present." Photos must be taken within the boundaries of Lehi, Utah and may show people, places, things, or any combination of images.

Would you please give me your opinions?
I can only turn in two photos, and they must be framed.

Opinion #1:
Which of these two photos should go in this white frame? I like both of them for different reasons, but I will not submit both. (All photos are 8x10.)

Photo 1? (Black and White)

Photo 2? (Color)

Opinion #2:
This photo is being submitted because Dave loves it, but I'm not sure which of the two frames to submit it in.

Frame 1:

Frame 2:

What do you think?

I need to decide by Tuesday and do appreciate your opinions!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Micro Memory

Me, about a year after enlightenment

When I was 7, my mom, my sister and I moved to the United States from Venezuela. I didn't speak English, so at school, I had a teacher's aid and a language specialist work with me regularly to teach me the new language.

One day, the teacher's aid took me to a room in the school I had never seen before. It had little round lunch tables and a soda machine, and there were only teachers there.

The aide flashed some photo cards at me. I remember one had a little girl in a phone booth. She pointed at it.

"Telefom," I said
"Telephone," she corrected.
"Telefon," I repeated.
"Good," she said.

She looked around the room and pointed at a small wood-paneled television on a counter. I had this one in the bag since the word in English was also a lot like the word in Spanish.

"Televizon," I said.
"No," she said.
I jolted. Maybe she didn't hear me right.
"Televizon," I repeated.
"No," she said.
I searched for synonyms.
"Teh vee?" I offered.
"No." She smiled.
I tried different versions. "Televizon? Televishon?"

She smiled even bigger and pulled on a handle on the the front of the TV screen. It was empty inside! My jaw dropped. Why was the television empty???

She was amused. I bet just then I was the cutest little immigrant child she had ever seen.

"Microwave," she said, but it meant nothing to me. I had never seen one. I scrunched my eyebrows. She said something about putting food inside then pushed some buttons and made it beep.

I told my parents about the weird TV later that day. I remember them laughing, but I don't remember understanding what the purpose of the microwave was. It was some time later before I really understood that one puts food inside the empty TV, and the food gets hot.

Funny thing, it was only about 4 years ago when I finally owned a microwave. And now, I don't even own a television.

Poor little Venezuelan girl.